I Do Love Cops, United States Constitutional Issues

If I came to your house, looked through your things, and told you…

If I came to your house, looked through your things, and told you that I wouldn’t allow you to possess certain of your items, you would probably laugh at me, and think I was kidding.

If I then took your things away, insisting that I would not allow you to own such things, you might try forcibly to stop me. If, in response, I knocked you down, bound your hands, removed you bodily from your home, to be locked in my basement until I believed you had been punished enough for your actions, you would not stand for it.

You would probably do whatever was necessary to get me out of your life, and keep me out. You would tell other people that I had lost my mind, and that I was dangerous. You would be right.

Why, then, do you comply, without thought or meaningful objection, with the same treatment as I have just described, at the hands of police?

You are likely NOT one of the few people who had a true, meaningful say in the formulation of the laws. You almost certainly never personally agreed to obey them. If you think carefully, and objectively, about the laws, you will likely find that you do not agree that many are necessary or beneficial.  You will realize that you obey those laws, not because the laws are just and right, but to avoid being punished.  Why does any human have authority

Why has this become ok? Loving America and its people does NOT require you to accept rules made by strangers, for the benefit of the wealthy, and enforced by people who do not feel that they are bound by those same laws.

Wake up Countrymen! “Our” government is doing far worse things to us than King George was doing, when the first Americans rose up to overthrow the tyranny of England. That is the truth! Think about it! By using mantras and slogans to make us feel that we are part of “Team America,” the government of today has managed to do what the tyrants of old never could: make us advocates for our own oppression. They have put us to sleep, and we facilitate the whole terrifying progression by criticizing those of us who try to bring the details to light.

Those in power are TRAINING us to be subjugated! If they had taken away so many of our rights, at once, the nation would have risen up to defend our freedom. With ghastly effectiveness, our liberties are being chipped away, a bit at a time. No particular loss seems to be enough to cause a true outcry. We don not look at them cumulatively, because we grow used to the erosion as time passes. So, those who have elected one another to power, have been slowly chipping away at our liberty, one tiny piece at a time. Most don’t realize how much of what the men and women of two centuries ago gave their lives to achieve, has been lost. This is because the details are being eroded right along with our freedom, over long periods of time.

Do yourself, and me, a favor. Get your hands on a history text book from a public school. It should cover the American Revolution, and the events that triggered it. Your jr. high school would certainly have such texts. Then compare what is there, to what you recall learning. Is all of the detail still there? I find that it is not.

There are those of you who will be ANGRY at me for saying these things! That is how far we have back-slid. But, I urge you to think about it. Read the Bill of Rights. Really read it. It no longer controls how our rights protect us.

We have been asleep far too long.

I am afraid for us, and our children.


Alcoholism, Obnoxious Advice, Physical Health and Wellbeing, Uncategorized



Please understand that I know exactly diddly-biscuit about cancer research.  The geniuses who have devoted themselves to the study of this horrific disease are heroes.  I wish IN NO WAY to suggest that I have knowledge that even approaches what is known among cancer researchers, and the medical professionals who work so tirelessly to combat this nightmare.  What I have is too much time to think, and an imagination that provides me with ideas that I like to expand upon.

The following is just such an idea.  I only wish to record it here so that, in future, if I happen by merest chance to have hit close to the mark, I can point this blog entry out to friends, and crow about my brilliant insight.  If I am way off base, I will quietly delete this, and deny ever having had such barmy notions.

MY BRILLIANT THEORY CONCERNING CANCER-CAUSATION (Which, by the way, I have been mulling over for well over a decade.)

My brilliant theory, if you care to read on, is:  cancer results, when the body’s defenses are activated to combat a threat.  Human immune mechanisms, as I understand them, were designed primarily fighting mechanism.  The troops rush to the scene of the infection, and with or without the aid of antibiotics, batter away at it until it is dead, and the body is once again safe.

However, when the irritant that sets the immune response in motion is non-organic, it leaves all those angry troops (mostly white blood cells?  I don’t know exactly, but whatever the body uses as warriors) with nothing to attack.  The troops see the irritation, and know therefore that “infection” is present.  Unable to find the foreign matter to attack, the troops turn instead to the least healthy of the local domestic tissues.  The irritation itself, therefore, becomes the enemy, and the more the troops attack, the more irritated the area becomes.  Somehow, this becomes unstoppable, and the body’s troops become a hostile invading army, destroying the body’s own cells, and killing the host off gradually.


Cigarette Smoke or asbestos in the lungs that may lead to lung cancer,

Head injury that may lead to lymphoma or cranial tumor,

A woman who does not breast feed (painful!) who later gets breast cancer,

The sun-worshipper who develops skin cancer,

Alcoholism and liver disease,

I bet that someone in the medical field would be able to think of MANY more ideas!


The means of prevention, therefore, is to introduce into areas subject to irritants (such as those listed above), a foreign bacteria for the body to fight and defeatas soon as possible following exposure to a known carcinogen.  This may sicken, temporarily, the host subject, but will prevent the otherwise likely initiation of the cancer development process, by giving the body’s warriors something to attack and kill, thereby allowing them to complete their mission, and return to stand-by status.

There.  What do you think?

Alcoholism, Courts, I Do Love Cops, Mental Health and THEPVZ, Public Assistance, Recovery and/or 12-Step Programs, Uncategorized, United States Constitutional Issues

Prohibition and the “War on Drugs”

I ask you to take a minute to give some thought to the problem of drug and alcohol abuse, and its relationship to the “War on Drugs.” It’s pretty important to us all, directly or indirectly. Go with me on this, and suspend, for a minute, your knee-jerk reaction to the subject (whatever that reaction may be) and try to see the issue as if for the first time. Will you do that?

I have been thinking, and talking, about alcoholics and drug addicts who get sober, and the REASONS a person might have for doing so. I am a sober alcoholic; alcohol is a drug. I believe, therefore, that I am a drug-addict, that the two afflictions are really one and the same.

It took me nine years of struggle, knowing all the while that I was dying, before I finally understood what I needed to do to save my life, and began to take those steps. So far, so good, nineteen months into my new life. (If you are interested in what that process looked like for me, I am happy to share my story. Just ask.)


What I want to point out, after all of this processing of thoughts, is that I have NEVER heard a person say that they got sober (“clean”) because the substance they were addicted to was ILLEGAL. Have you? To my knowledge, no one has ever said:  “I now realize (for example) that injecting methamphetamine into my arm is illegal.  Therefore, I have decided to take the moral high-road, and quit.”

(I have, however, heard silly stuff like: “I may take too many Vicodin, but I have never taken ILLEGAL drugs.” Or the alcoholic who will say: “yeah, I drink too much, but at least I have never taken DRUGS!” What was that about being constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves…? Just remind me how that goes….)

I did not refrain, when experimenting with things in my youth, from trying any intoxicating substance on the ground that it was illegal. That thought never occurred to me. There were, however, many substances, and methods of consuming substances, that I did not try because I was afraid of what would happen to me, physically and mentally, if I did. Do you know anyone who would have LIKED to try a drug, or a drink, but chose NOT TO because it would have been illegal to do so?

No. People take intoxicants in their adolescence, to fit in, to seem cool, to have fun, to rebel, etc. I used alcohol and drugs as a teen for ALL of these reasons. That it was illegal for me to use these things was no more than an incentive to conceal my using from anyone who might have helped me down the right path, for my own good. Prohibition did nothing to deter me from taking the drugs to begin with.

As adults, many, many people take drugs to self-medicate, where proper medical care is not available, or not affordable, or too humiliating to seek out. Methamphetamine, for instance, does wonders for depression. So does cocaine. Alcohol can assist with sleep and nervous disorders. Opiates and benzodiazepines offer a spurious sense of ease, optimism, calm, and freedom from fear and anxiety. And, of course, we are all well aware of the beneficial effects of marijuana, to treat a wide range of illnesses, physical and mental.

The truth is that, all of these substances have been used, at one time or another, for legitimate medical and/or psychiatric treatment. These are no more dangerous than many drugs currently prescribed by physicians, and a good deal less harmful than many. Take chemotherapy, for instance. That is some ugly, dangerous, harmful, toxic stuff. It is a poison. The hope, as I understand it, is that it kills off the cancer, before it kills off the host. This is only one example among millions. You can think of many yourselves, I am sure. Tylenol will damage your liver; ibuprophen exposes the unprotected lining of your stomach to stomach acid, in addition to being dangerous to your kidneys; and too much of the mineral potassium will stop your heart.

The grocery stores are FULL of items that it is legal to consume, even for children, that have no beneficial effect, not even nutrition, and are potentially deadly. If you doubt me, do some quick research on the effects of diet soda, sweetened with aspartame. For that matter, leave out the aspartame, and the stuff will still rot your teeth, raise your blood pressure, increase your risk of stroke, lower your sperm count by 30%, and contribute to acid reflux, freckles, some forms of acne, stomach ulcer, hemorrhoids, constipation and many other diseases related with digestive system and skin.

These and so many others can be purchased in any stop-and-rob market, by anyone, at any time. So, what is the point of making the medicines, that we commonly call “street drugs” illegal? In what way are they more dangerous, more pernicious, or of greater harm to society than those medicines that can be bought over the counter?

A better question is, with that most dangerous, and least beneficial of ALL drugs, ALCOHOL legal, WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO BAN OTHER DRUGS? Can you think of anything at all? I cannot.

As I discussed above, banning the drugs does not deter their initial use by curious people. Banning drugs does not make it easier for addicts to quit. The sole effect of banning drugs is to bring otherwise law-abiding citizens into the legal system, charged with crime.

The ban on drugs, and more particularly the “WAR on Drugs,” make “criminals” out of people who are in need of, (if anything,) help and support. I do not subscribe to the notion that the War on Drugs, has much if anything to do with drugs. My view of this is largely irrelevant to the crucial issue of drug prohibition, so I will not dwell on it much. I merely urge you to notice that, while school shootings are used to justify disregarding the Second Amendment, the War on Drugs is used to justify the erosion of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. After all, all is fair in love and War, right?

The ban on drugs has created an entire class of sub-citizens, who are disenfranchised because of drug-related convictions. These de facto former-citizens, having been convicted of felonies, cannot vote. They are not entitled to the protection of the Second Amendment to the Constitution. They cannot find employment, even where that employment has no relation whatsoever to their “crimes.” They must disclose their status as convicted felons, even where their last drug use was years and years ago. They are not entitled to several very important social services, or to receive student financial aid, in some cases. These circumstances continue, not until the individuals stop using drugs and alcohol, or until they are “rehabilitated,” but life-long.

You may say, “well, some of those are only a problem if a person is convicted of possession of drugs for sale.” Sure, but the facts often (and I do mean often) have very little bearing on what crimes the prosecution charges, or what plea they ultimately insist upon, in order to resolve the case short of a trial, with all of the risks attendant to that process. One might well accept a possession for sale charge, in order to take advantage of an offer that guaranteed the “offender” would not go to prison. I did.

Speaking of prison, that people, self-medicating for untreated mental illnesses, or chronic pain, or other conditions, should be in jeopardy of imprisonment, solely for doing what they know how to do to keep themselves able to function, is outrageous. Why should any of us presume the right to tell another what they MUST and MUST NOT do?

When the single-mother of six, who is battling depression, anxiety, diabetes pain and chronic loneliness, and who has no time to go to the doctor, even if she had the money to pay for it, or the means to get there, turns to the use of the same drugs her own mother used to get by, she should not be making a choice that might take her from her own children. If she is prosecuted for drugs, and whatever she had to do to pay for those drugs, she may be dropped into prison, to remain there until long after her own children have taken up drugs to dull the pain of losing their mother.

If we set aside the hypnotic rhetoric we have cut our teeth on, and look objectively at what the War on Drugs has caused in our society, we must (I assert) recognize that prohibition of drugs does NOTHING to prevent, minimize, or correct drug abuse. The ONLY THING that can do this, other than the steps taken by the addict him or herself, is education. Educating our kids, teens and adults about the symptoms of treatable conditions that frequently lead to drug abuse, about the potentially disastrous effects that some drugs can have on the body and mind, and finally, about the EFFECTIVE methods of recovery available to the suffering addict/alcoholic:  these WILL make a difference, where nothing else will.

So, who IS served by the prohibition on drugs? A wise man once said, “If you want to know, follow the money.”

The money generated by the War on Drugs is in the pockets of the cops employed to enforce the prohibitions; in the hands of those who train and equip those cops for battle; with the attorneys who prosecute, and those who defend the accused; probation, parole, corrections, and one of the worst offenders out there, when it comes to killing off the addicted: REHABILITATION CENTERS. These programs who will wheedle tens of thousands of dollars out of terrified, heart-broken relatives, prepared to part with their life’s savings in the attempt to rescue their loved one, while the rehab centers taking the loot KNOW THAT THEIR PROGRAM WILL NOT WORK. The success rate of standard 30, 45, 60, 90 day rehab programs is next to nil. The programs know it. But the money is not the only thing lost in these facilities. Also lost during these “spin-dry-s” is the will of the addict/alcoholic to continue to try to recover. They often feel that, if RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT couldn’t save them, then they are beyond redemption. So they quit. And many die, loaded.

But, the justice system and the drug and alcohol treatment system are not the only interest groups driving the War on Drugs. Look too, to the pharmaceutical companies. A population free to research and select the medication (a drug that is legal is not a drug anymore, it is a medication…) that works best for them, is less apt to run to the doctor, and less likely to fill the expensive prescriptions the doctor writes for their condition. No, no, no! The medical and pharmaceutical communities do NOT want you to be able to “prescribe” medication for yourself. YOU are not qualified. Only THEY are qualified. And, if you think for one minute you are going to get away with manufacturing, or growing your OWN medication, you’ve got another thing coming, Bub!

Ok, I am tempted to continue to rant about the graft and corruption rampant within our society, and the fact that our government is nothing but the dangerous pawn of the money-people, worldwide. I am soooo tempted, because I really, really hate it. But the point I want to have made, and which I hope you will take the time to consider and discuss, is that the prohibition of drugs, the “War on Drugs,” and the convoluted mechanisms in place to force addict/alcoholics to “recover,” under threat of legal penalties, is as useless as tits on a boar.

Thanks so much for hearing me out. In doing so, you have exercised your First Amendment rights to speech and association. Now, let’s get to some of that peaceful assembling, and petition the government for the redressing of some greivances!

By the way, in case it lends my remarks any credibility in the eyes of you folks who will continue to see efforts to legalize all drugs as the manipulations of a druggie, there are a fair number of cops who agree with me, if not for all the identical reasons. Have a peek at: http://www.leap.cc/about/why-legalize-drugs/

The foregoing is contrary to everything we have been hypnotized to believe. But, if you will set aside for a moment, all the voices that have ever told you about things, even your own, and just be still, and look at what is going on… I think you will begin to see the problem, and then the solution. It is so important that we do, because people we love are at risk.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.


It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs.
David Mamet

Our whole constitutional heritage rebels at the thought of giving government the power to control men’s minds.
Thurgood Marshall

Obnoxious Advice

For the Smile Guy: Some Advice on Listening to Your Elders

This lad is the age of my eldest son.  He admired my photos, on a website to which we both belong.  Also, the silly fellow invited my ongoing advice and thoughts.  I do not suppose he has any idea what he has invoked.  Still, my own kids may appreciate the break.

He opined that I do not look my age.  (Bless him!)  I relplied:

“You are a gem, aren’t you!  In person, I think you would find that I look my age.  Many of these photos were taken by a professional photographer, who did me the courtesy of smoothing out some of the age-related flaws. …  Overall, the photos are made softer than the reality would have been.  …  Not that anyone here would ever see me in the harsh light of day!

But, I DO NOT regret my age!  Indeed, I like myself, my appearance and my life far more now than I ever have.  It is good stuff, to get older and to accumulate knowledge and experience.

I tell my kids, and now I tell you, that – I feel NO different than I did when I was 15.  The only change has been that I now have far more information to factor in when I am evaluating a situation, a choice, an experience, etc., than I did at 15.  Same chick, more tools.

I urge you to embrace this perspective:  every moment of every day of your life, whether wonderful, miserable, intolerable, boring, scary, erotic, frustrating, hopeless, fabulous, etc., is giving you knowledge, (of yourself and how you roll, if nothing else) that will help you in the future.  ALL of it.

Resist despair by noticing that, to have survived things that others would not be able to withstand, makes you that much more powerful.  You may already know this, but I urge you, even so, to take this fact out and play with it from time to time.  That you are willing to listen to me, shows that you have a survival skill that so many people lack.

I do not mean to imply that listening to ME, in PARTICULAR is the evidence of this; rather it is your willingness to listen AT ALL, to a person whose experience and situation differ from your own, that is your strength.

You must remember to evaluate, and then constantly re-evaluate, that which you receive from others, to see what value it has, if any, for you.  At a minimum, all knowledge gained from others gives you insight into how other people’s minds work, and that is insight worth having.

I, for instance, tend to assume that any rational person thinks as I do.  Not a good assumption to make, and not valid, nearly any of the time.  Each time I expect this to be true, I am building in my own disadvantage in dealing with others.  I have to constantly remind myself to watch others to gauge how they think, if I am going to need to rely on my predictions in that regard.

In a relationship, for instance:  does he assume that I am honest, because he is honest?  Is he accusing me of cheating, because he would cheat in the same situation?  Is he being passive-aggressive and manipulative, as I would be in this situation, or have I genuinely hurt his feelings?   Worth knowing, these things.

I regret the damage I have done to my own kids, through mistakes, negligence, lack of knowledge, anger, fear, and all the rest.  THESE things are the ONLY things I would change in my life.  PERIOD.  If I could choose never to have done them anything but good, I would trade anything for that.  Beyond this, I would change NOTHING.  That is the truth.  Even though I hated much of it at the time, (“hated” = feared, suffered, dreaded, ached, hurt, etc.) all of the things I have said, experienced, done, watched, learned, avoided, caused, etc. have made me a better person.

Honesty.  When you find that you can (and you seem to be doing pretty well already) look at yourself, and not feel the need to apologize for your flaws, whatever they be, or to exaggerate your good qualities, whatever they be, then you will find a whole new freedom and happiness.  I am getting there, and it is wonderful.  An interesting side effect is that, the more honest I am, the less people seem to judge me!  Who would have thought?

Ok, kiddo.  That is my officious-intermeddler, quasi-maternal lecture for today.

Smile; you are a cool kinda guy.


United States Constitutional Issues

Sure, I’ll Tell You What I Think of Guns and Gun Control; But Remember, You Asked.

He asked me to tell him my thoughts on (#1) Guns, and (#2) Gun Control.  This is what I said.

My feeling on guns? And then, my feelings on Gun Control? Two completely different issues, I must say.

The FIRST is answered really, really simply. I wish that we had never developed the technology. I regret that we have the ability to kill, beyond what is useful for a man to use to feed his family. I have kids, and I like them a great deal.  It scares me that weirdoes can reach out and “touch” them with deadly force, without ever drawing near enough that my beloved would recognize the danger.

The SECOND issue you asked me to discuss is Gun Control. The Right to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the Second Amendment to the Constitution of these United States, and my opinion about that Right, are founded on the events that took place during the aftermath of the Scottish rebellion against English Tyranny, in 1745.  To understand why our Bill of Rights in its entirety, and the Second Amendment in particular, must be held to be SACROSANCT, and free from erosion by the very agency, (the Federal Government) it was designed to protect us from in the event of Governmental Abuse, Oppression and Overreaching, a quick review of our history is necessary.

The Scottish rebellion ended in an overwhelming Scottish defeat by the English, on Drummossie Moor, near Inverness, Scotland, in 1745.  This defeat ushered in a period of Governmental oppression, crime and abuse that shaped the events that followed, up to and including the drafting of our Bill of Rights.

As soon as the Scots were defeated in 1745, the English Government (King George, III) enacted laws to deny the Scots, as a people, the right to possess arms, particularly firearms.  They were also prohibited to wear their traditional clothing, or to publish, or even speak, “treasonous” remarks.  What was “treasonous?”  You guessed it:  anything that expressed dissatisfaction with the King.  (You know, the Government.)

These prohibitions were a means of controlling the Scots, preventing another violent uprising, and preventing any armed resistance to the English troops which patrolled the Scottish Highlands at that time.  The troops, English Dragoons, were there to “Keep the King’s Peace.”  (“Peace-keeping.?  Sounds familiar somehow…)

The more important effect of the bans, from the perspective of our own Constitutional history, is that these bans were intended to, and did, to an extent, rob the Scots of their sense of themselves as Scotsmen, as warriors, as clansmen, as a People, and at the most basic level, to take from them their sense of themselves as men, period.

The bans were enforced against all Scots, without regard for their individual loyalties.  Imagined “violations” of the King’s law were punished summarily by English Dragoons, who murdered, raped, ransacked and burned, in the name of the King, and of justice.

Those convicted as Scottish criminals, “Jacobites,” who had fought against England, were transported in large numbers to the Colonies (that’s what we think of as the U.S. these days) to serve as bondsmen (men bound to serve without wages, virtual slaves, for a given time period) over the following decades. North Carolina, in particular, was, as I understand it, a primarily Scots colony in the mid to late 1700s.

These men, having served the terms of their bonds, and already well-familiar with oppression, government overreaching, and murder in the name of the King, were prominent among those who eventually sought revolution.  It is not surprising that they adamantly insisted upon the institution of Basic Rights to be held by ALL citizens*.  And, given their horrific treatment at the hands of the English Government, both before and after the rising of 1745, it was inevitable that certain rights (protections against Government oppression, injustice, criminal acts, etc.) were foremost on their minds.

*(Yeah, I realize that to the Founders, “all” citizens meant citizens who were white men, who owned stuff.  But, when you consider how radical were the changes they were already seeking, they did pretty well in terms of being progressive.  No one can solve all problems at once.)

These newly FREE men, who had lived through the loss of their homes, families, dignity, heritage, and liberty so recently, wanted the right to defend themselves from such a thing ever happening again.  How did they intend to do that?  By being able to use force of arms, even against the Government, if necessary.  By being able to speak freely amongst themselves, and convince others publically, if necessary, of the danger posed by the Government.  By not having to open their homes to Government Tugs (also called soldiers, when not being used to oppress the People).  By forcing the Government to hold fair and public trials before punishing people for “crimes.”

These are only a few of the rights insisted upon, to protect those Founders and their posterity.  (That’s us, the posterity.)  But, they are the FIRST ones set forth, because those Founders MEANT that shit!  It was a BIG DEAL to them, that they not be deprived of their means of defense and survival by an oppressive Government EVER AGAIN.

To the extent that we honor that Bill of Rights, and claim like-mindedness with the amazing men who crafted it, we are WRONG to chip away at the Second Amendment. Period.  Yet, the erosion goes on, allowed by a people who have never YET (we’re getting there, though; just give it time) experienced true oppression, and do not know their own (our own) history.  They cannot really imagine a time when we will be defenseless against the hostile standing army that, at present, we pay to “Keep the Peace.”  (Remember that phrase?  Seeing where this is going yet?)  What is happening around us is some really, really scary stuff!

History repeats itself.  It looks different each time, because the time, the technology, the nations involved, and the justifications proffered, change.  But if you clear away these era-based details, and look only at the dynamic between a Government, and the People it no longer protects, but has begun to oppress, you cannot miss (I submit) what is going on, right here, right now.

Yes, I support the Second Amendment, in its entirety, without limits, conditions, or exceptions.  If we want to know how quickly our own Government can turn on us, all we need to do is to talk to a Japanese American, who lived in the U.S. during WW-II.  Our Government justified the imprisonment of over 110,000 AMERICAN CITIZENS, because they were of Japanese descent.  Are you getting that?  OUR UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT took these citizens from their homes, their jobs, their schools, their ongoing medical treatments, their home-improvement projects, their weekly golf games, their scheduled vacations, and EVERYTHING ELSE that those people had going on in their lives, and THREW THEM INTO CONCENTRATION CAMPS.

Never doubt that it will happen again, as soon as it is expedient for our Government to do it.  But this time, who will be confined?  Democrats?  Republicans?  Those of Middle-Eastern descent?  Non-Christians?  Anyone who speaks or writes “treasonous” things about the Government?  THOSE OF YOU WHO WILL NOT SURRENDER YOUR GUNS?

There are FEMA camps already set up, waiting to receive you.  The infrastructure necessary to crush rebellion is being put in place.  Did you know that the military is GIVING AWAY armored vehicles to local law enforcement agencies?  Modern-day Dragoons, employed to “Keep the Peace” throughout the nation?  Scoff, if you like; I did.  But look into it.  And, for the sake of all of us, DO NOT CHUCK AWAY THE RIGHTS OUR FOREBEARS FOUGHT AN DIED TO SECURE FOR US.  If you don’t want a gun, don’t get one.  But, I will feel LOADS SAFER knowing that citizens nationwide, who honor our Constitution, our history, and our Rights, are armed and aware.  I do not trust Government.  Period.  But I trust us.  I trust you.

That’s what I have to say about that.

Courts, Recovery and/or 12-Step Programs, United States Constitutional Issues

Medford, Oregon GETS IT! HUZZAH!!

While other counties (which shall remain nameless, but some of which are located at the top of California, on I-5…) are fixated upon prosecution, and punishment to the full extent allowed by law, Medford, Oregon seems to have an understanding of how to actually REDUCE CRIME while HELPING PEOPLE change their lives!

I have not been to Medford more than a few times, and then only to hit the Costco, so my knowledge of the rest of their policies, reputations, etc. is pretty-much non-existent.  But a friend recently (about an hour ago) drew my attention to THIS program they have to handle first-offender shoplifting cases.

I think that this is fabulous!  And, based on my fairly-extensive understanding of why people do things they should not, and how they are sometimes able to manage to stop doing those things, I would say that this is the program with the most likelihood of being effective that I have ever heard about.  What do you think of this?

City of Medford Oregon / Municipal Court / Theft Recovery Program

Theft Recovery Program

The Theft Recovery Program is a standard alternative to jail for the first offense shoplifter. The offender is required to make a list of all unreported thefts they may have committed in the last three years, verify the lists accuracy through a polygraph examination, and make restitution.  Clients are granted immunity for any misdemeanor thefts that are on their list.  This program requires the offender to accept responsibility for their past thefts and to start over with a new decision about not stealing.

For more information on this program, please contact the program specialist at (541) 774-2049.

To me, it looks like the things one would do, in a 12-step recovery program, if they took a 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th step.  I like it!  I can see no flaw in this for a person who does NOT have any felonies to confess (that person should absolutely talk to an attorney before getting involved with this program).  Of course, one is always better off to seek legal advice before making any decision in a situation where they are being accused of having committed a crime.  People fought and/or died for our right to have legal counsel; we should use it!  But, once one understands what they are doing, and the consequences of their decisions, I say that this program is an excellent option to minimize the misery that can come from having been busted for shop-lifting.

Kudos to Medford, for this innovative and well-thought-out program!

I Do Love Cops, United States Constitutional Issues

I Was Outraged by Dishonest Cops Then, and I am Outraged by Dishonest Cops Now.

I practiced law, specifically criminal defense, for thirteen years.  During that time, I worked in my own practice, for other firms, and as a Deputy Public Defender in two different counties.  I no longer practice law, having been disbarred.  But I was disbarred because I was an appalling drunk, not for any kind of dishonesty.  When I became a lawyer, I took an oath, you see, which among other things, promised that I would uphold the laws, uphold the Constitution, and not B.S. the courts.  I may have become too drunk to do the job effectively, in the eyes of the State Bar Association, (my clients said I did a good job, and I take their word for it, ’cause I don’t really recall…) but I never once got drunk enough to forget my duty to the courts, my clients, and the public, to tell the TRUTH.

Other professions swear to uphold the laws, the Constitution, and to tell the truth to the courts, too.  Cops, for instance.  I mean, hell, they are hired to enforce the laws, and to gather and present evidence of alleged crimes to the courts; it would make no sense to pay them to do all that, if it was ok just to make it up as they go along.  Right?  I was recently asked whether I have an opinion about our system of “justice,” such as it exists here and now.   Me?  Have an Opinion?  Sure!  Always!  Always have an opinion, and am delighted to offer it to YOU.

So, my opinion is this:  People are ass-holes.  They will do nearly anything to avoid “bad press” or having to acknowledge that they screwed up.  I am constantly amazed at what “saving-face” is worth to some folks.  In this regard, however, the difference between cops and the rest of us is that cops are selected, hired and trained to do their jobs with honesty and integrity.  They take that oath we talked about a minute ago, don’t they?   Remember?  Something about defending the Constitution and upholding laws?  Yeah, some tripe like that.

Law Enforcement is only a job.  It is a profession people enter by choice.  No one HAS to do it.  If they choose to do it, they should do the job, in the way that society expects and believes that they will.  Yes?

Because you and I have a Constitutional Right to a fair trial, when we are accused of having committed a crime.  We are entitled to an unbiased jury of our “peers.”  Unbiased?   I don’t care how many Rodney King videos fly around the internet, or how many precincts in some big city are found to be nothing but a pack of drug dealers; jurors, and nearly every other one of our American “peers,” when asked to decide who to believe:  the Big Black Guy with Not Enough Teeth, or the Clean, Wholesome, Healthy, Uniformed Young COP (or worse:  his obviously mature, experienced and reliable older colleague) these “peers” of ours will believe the cop EVERY DAMN TIME.   This is the case, even if nothing the cop says is supported by the evidence.   It simply blows my mind.

Yes, in my practice, I have played the race card on behalf of my clients many, many times; and it works.  You know why it works?  Because it is TRUE!  People are singled out, arrested, and prosecuted, based on stereotypes, most of which are racially based.  Find me a person who is not a racist, and I will cook him and serve him on 4th of July.  We are ALL racists.  Why?  Because the stereotypes are almost all true!  Sure, you can point to the exceptions, but they are just that:  exceptions.  Black men, driving expensive, low-rider cars around white neighborhoods, with hot white girls riding shotgun are very likely to have drugs, guns and who knows what other contraband with them.  Right?   White men with shaven heads, covered in swastika tattoos, with a lovely, large, flowing inscription on their NECKS (can you imagine?  Their necks?) that states:  “Mama Tried,” who cannot stand still, or keep their jaws from grinding to and fro, are likely Methamphetamine addicts, and almost certainly involved in a variety of crime to support those addictions.  These things are simply too common, and too frequently accurate, for us to pretend they don’t exist.

Defending people, especially as a Deputy Public Defender, I represented so many walking clichés!  My clients would say that:  The drugs in the pants he was wearing when he was arrested weren’t his.  In fact they are not even his pants; they are his buddy’s pants.  No, he doesn’t recall his buddy’s name, but they call him “Paco.”  No, I can’t talk to “Paco” because “Paco” went back to Mexico a week ago.  Seriously folks, I heard this exact story at least five or six times over the years, along with another standard:  my client wasn’t driving when his truck crashed into the Seven-Eleven.  His buddy, “Paco,” who is on his way to Mexico, was driving; but he got out and ran away.  My client was found in the driver’s seat because he moved over there to shout out the window for “Paco” to come back.  Of course my client wasn’t driving.  He was too drunk to drive; that is why “Paco” was driving…

But I also had fabulous cases involving lying cops.  For instance, I took a case to trial (by a jury of those “peers” my clients all had) involving the charge that my client had been in possession of a quantity of illegal drugs.  The arresting officer who testified was named, interestingly, Officer Nicks.  Officer Nicks testified that he used a “Nik-test” (a quick, presumptive test, used to identify illicit drugs on the street, so that the involved cop can be sure that he has sufficient cause to make an arrest.) to check the dark brown substance found in the purse he claimed belonged to my client.  Nicks further testified that the test came back positive, indicating that the brown substance was heroin.  This was odd, since the lab, while agreeing that the stuff was an illicit drug, determined that the substance was Methamphetamine.  (A Nik-test is substance-specific; a heroin Nik-test will only give a positive result if the substance tested is, in fact, heroin.  Any other drug will produce a negative result, if tested with a heroin-specific Nik-test.)   Officer Nicks hadn’t noticed the discrepancy between his claim that he had tested heroin, and the lab’s conflicting result, prior to taking the stand in court, and swearing to an (that is to say, yet another) oath to Tell The TRUTH.  Thankfully, I did notice it.   When confronted with the undeniable facts, Officer Nicks had to fess up, on the stand.  It was ugly, and I squirmed for him, but not much.  Because he was a lazy dishonest, dirty liar!  WTF?  Oh, Officer Nicks was, at least, paid some nice overtime for his trouble.  Not prosecuted, not fired, not suspended, not caned, but given some overtime pay for his “work.”

Now, one may reasonably ask, why am I am outraged by the conduct of Officer Nicks, and not by the conduct of my client (Paco’s buddy)?   The reason is that, although both of them lied to protect themselves from the consequences of their actions, Officer Nicks Chose to Take the Job, Chose to Take an Oath as a Peace Officer, and Has the Power to Have People Convicted of Crimes Based on False, Manufactured Evidence.  That’s why.

I say NO.  This is NOT OK.  Cops manufacturing evidence, or suppressing evidence, or lying about what they saw, or what they were told, is, and should be treated as, a Crime.  Nicks not only failed to do his job, but he made determined efforts to have my client convicted, based on evidence he KNEW to be false!  I don’t know why he was allowed to walk out of that courtroom, except perhaps that our courts have become so accustomed to this behavior on the part of cops, that they merely frown and shake their heads.

So, my opinion is that our system of “justice” is a nothing more than a contest to see who can bullshit more effectively, the cop or the defendant.  And, despite the fact that we, as citizens, talk and express our outrage at the all-too-frequent “police corruption” scandals on the news, when it comes down to rendering a verdict at trial, the scales are always tipped heavily in the cops’ favor.   Even knowing the truth, we will not SEE it, because to see corruption is to have a duty to do something about it.

And, hell, my client was probably guilty anyway, of something, right?  No harm, no foul!  Nicks will just check his facts more carefully next time, and one more “loser” will be off the streets.  How do we know she is a loser?  Because Officer Nicks SAID so, and a policeman would never lie about something like that….