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A State Trooper's Lament...

(I SENT THIS TO A GOOD HEARTED, YET WRONG HEADDED FAMILY MEMBER)

I didn't vote for Obama today... neither did I vote for McCain....

This is not a confession, but rather a sad realization.

I did not vote for either barack obama or john mccain...
not because either possessed some physical trait that I found displeasing...
not because either was for or against change,...
not because either failed to pick a VP with particular accomplishments worth note...
not because either had too little of the right sort of experience or too much of the wrong...

My vote sprung out of a realization dealing with an issue, a topic... a realization that I had failed to uphold my end of the bargain.

See, over the years, I have taken many classes related to this topic and as you may have reasoned, I never got the full use out of those classes, even thou my grades may persuade you otherwise.

I eventually attended a ceremony where the focus and reason for any of us being there was summed up in an Oath. My dad was there. It was truly a proud day for me... I thought I understood the words that were spoken that day... Words I repeated with such solemness and good intention almost exactly 17 years ago. I still didn't understand, even as my dad pinned my badge on my chest and smothered me with a bear hug.

As life went on (as life will do) I noticed some things that bothered me:

For one, it became painfully clear to me that the Wyoming Highway Patrol hired from the same gene pool that we arrested from... there was nothing inherently different about those of us in the WHP... that was disconcerting; I was hoping to be insulated, protected from messing up... protected from my own flawed nature. I soon realized that was not going to be the case. In addition, I witnessed human devastation and cruelty that I frankly never would have suspected could exist. Death, destruction, wickedness, immorality and neglect were all too commonplace in my new world.

Worst of all, fellow Law Enforcement Agencies had other flawed human beings working for them, just like us... and once in a while, one of those flawed human beings would do something that violated an Oath that I remember taking... and surprisingly, those words started to make sense. I noticed that certain people in positions of authority, would often times do what they wanted, and call it 'right'. After all, the ends justified the means, if it were for the greater good. (i.e., bad guy in jail, drugs off the street, drunk driver convicted...)

I noticed people without political or financial means were often resentful of my choice in a career. I noticed that I was now labeled as one of the fortunate few, who had been given everything and didn't know what it was like to struggle. I was told that peace officers abused their authority and I could be no different. It was stated plainly that by virtue of my profession and the color of my skin that there was no need to weigh the content of my character.

Those words... that oath. "... solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America..." A review of that Document brought me to The Bill of Rights... "...to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving there just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."

I have been a fool.

I had been willingly ignorant of my duties. I was negligent in the fullest meaning of the word... not in my career responsibilities, but in my duties as a Citizen of this great land.

I had many times voted for the lesser of two evils. I have, on occasion voted against someone by voting for his/her opponent, even if I didn't understand all that vote was going toward. I placed my trust in rhetoric and sound bites and sold my country out,... one vote at a time.

Our President-elect Barack Obama and John McCain are also very flawed human beings... I can live with that. What I cannot and will not excuse is that both of these folks have taken very similar Oaths as I have mentioned above,... and neither has made the effort to uphold that oath. Both, along with the vast majority of their parties, has long since adopted the mindset I abhor in some of my fellow officers, deputies and troopers... They are in power and what they feel is most important needs to be accomplished at whatever the cost... the ends justify the means:

*People make poor choices and are now without homes? ANSWER: Take $ from those who are responsible... and their kids, and their kid's, kid's, kids to bail them out.
*Companies make poor choices and now are without their business? SAME ANSWER!!!
*Terrorist attack us on 9-11, tell us it is because we are infidels, defiling their Holy Land? ANSWER: Attack a country LOADED with Holy sites that DIDN'T attack us.
*Government spends us into $10 Trillion in debt, forces (thank you Barney Frank) semi-private banks (Freddie and Fannie) into loaning billions to people who cannot afford them.
*President Bush then boasts about how home "ownership" rates have never been higher in America Then when SHOCKINGLY these loans are defaulted on, they take MORE money from our kid's, kid's, kid's, kid's, kids....all so they can get re-elected.

I could not possibly care less how much or how little pigment a person has in their skin.
I am not ambivalent about someone's service to our country, but I would not build alters to one's greatness or assume that courage necessarily translate to presidential character.

I hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, LIBERTY and the PURSUIT of HAPPINESS....

I will never again vote for any candidate, no matter what the office (Dog Catcher or President) if that person would not defend the LIFE of ALL the citizens of this land, at all stages; those born or yet to be born.

I will never again vote for any candidate that would presume to keep me safe by restricting my LIBERTY... The Patriot act is just one of the number of such measures that must be repealed. Locking one into a cell would certainly keep you safe, but at what cost to your liberty?

I will never again vote for any candidate that would presume to define for me what it means to be "secure in our persons, houses, papers and effects", or tax me punitively when they decide that I have made enough money, and in fact have CAUGHT happiness and now it's time to spread the wealth around... to do my 'patriotic duty' and not be so selfish.

I will only vote for those who would protect me from a government that would do all of these things and much more to her citizens. That sure as hell wasn't one of these two clowns.

I did vote... I will do so again.
I ran for office and I won... I will do so again.
I brought my Constitution with me and when asked a question... I looked it up.
In the past the Constitution and the Bill of Rights protected and served us well.... God willing, They will do so again.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE... here is my early Christmas present to each of you... sorry I didn't have time to wrap it. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6732659166933078950

Be Blessed all.

Will



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I surely did appreciate this!

It is good to know there are some good cops out there. Thanks!

Thank you...

There are more than you might think... some are still laying dormant. Help those good cops come out and do the right thing.

I've had LONG and wordy posts on this subject before... I won't do that again... (You are welcome;-)

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Truly the best gift of all...

is to protect each other's liberties by not comprising anymore!

thank you and all the best to you and your loved ones as well!

RP R3VOLution

To all the good cops out there...

http://www.dailypaul.com/node/72290

Lets take back our country. Please do your homework fellas, America needs good men and women like you.

I reserve the right to govern myself.

I reserve the right to govern myself.

Huge bump

for Liberty!
beautiful post

http://www.votenader.org/blog/2008/09/10/statement-to-ron-pa...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/57925480@N00/2660779139/sizes/l/

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Wow... never got a HUGE BUMP before

... I feel a quote from BRAVEHEART coming on ;-)

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Wow, that is really

well written. Thanks, for sharing. I am not sure it will wake up any sheep but it certainly made me feel good to read it. I too will not vote for the lesser of two or three evils.

"We can see with our eyes, hear with our ears and feel with our touch, but we understand with our hearts."

Thank you

We all have our "Fed Up" level... I have hit mine and I think more and more people have hit theirs as well.... Judging by the number of people who what to have this type of discussion out in the real world, now is more important than ever to lift up our Constitution.

JBS.ORG does a really good job.

Be Blessed

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Cops are mostly good!

Will, cops like you are and I was are why I have trouble joining the anti-state folks. Well put!

I just spoke with Don last night (he hosted the liberty party in Rock Springs) and he told me he is starting a new party! www.madisonparty.org

Shepard Humphries
www.wyrlc.org

We are better off in Wyoming

The bulk of the Republican party is still made up of pretty good folks. I choose to attack from within and convert and educate as many as possible... Like Dr Paul on a much MUCH smaller scale.

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Wyoming indeed

I have been studying Wyoming and I think it would be a great state for us all to gather. Besides being one of the most beautiful states it is also the least populated so there's plenty of room for everyone.

"There can be only one permanent revolution - a moral one: The regeneration of the inner man."
—Tolstoy

"The body is but a vessel for the soul,
A puppet which bends to the soul's tyranny.
And lo, the body is not eternal,
For it must feed on the flesh of others,
Lest it return to the dust whence it came.
Therefore the soul deceives and despises."

See Free State Wyoming - Others agree with you!

See FreeState Wyoming - Others agree with you!

Yeah Wyoming is really nice place

and our gas prices today were 1.40 gallon. Low unemployment cept in my county.... And I havn't met many police, but the sheriffs and deputies are all very good, very pro constitutional.

Good Post.

If it's any consolation to you, you aren't alone.

I've worked all over the place with police and I've trained them and tried to show them the right way to be. I just attended the Marine birthday banquet the other night, and there was a former Gunny there who is now a deputy sheriff. He's just as disgusted with everything that's going on, and he isn't alone. Half of his department is feeling this way, and a lot of the older guys are quitting or taking retirement.

As you know, being patrol, the departments tend to be hurting these days so they don't like losing people. The ones who screw up on the beat sometimes get fired outright, but for the sake of stop-loss, a lot of the bad ones get put on admin at the office where they end up in command positions over time and more of the bad stuff gets 'overlooked' by them, and then bad dept. policy shows up. From there it's just a snowball effect. What a wonderful world...

I urge all the GOOD COPS

NEVER QUIT and NEVER RETIRE until they have to or they have been elected to some office where they can do even more.

We need leaders in this area in the L.E. Profession. Defend the Constitution on the FRONT LINES!!!

Thanks

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Question

Will, do you enforce drug laws?

I would love to have this conversation...

Yeah, absolutely. Give me a few days and I will give you my reasons.

I know this may be sticky, but I hope you will wait for my full answer.

Thanks

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

OK, sounds good

I'll be awaiting your response here!
Cheers

Why I enforce Drug Laws...

There is no simple answer, at least not one that won't lead to carpal tunnel surgery. But here it goes.

A basic reason is simply that I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Wyoming... Yes, some of my arrests have resulted in Federal charges, but I will ask you to set that aside for the time being...

All of us (including innocent bystanders and children) have been endowed by God with the same rights as the drug user/dealer. And to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving there just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. At the State level, (like it or not) the People of the State of Wyoming have voted, authorized and even demanded that we take action vs. drug related offenses. They wish to have their liberty and lives protected. Drug use is associated with many crimes (burglary, robbery, prostitution, assault, murder, gang related and other organized crime, etc..to name but a few) that the citizens of Wyoming find intolerable.

I am serving the public by enforcing these laws. I am also serving those I may arrest for drug related offenses by ensuring that their rights guaranteed to them under law will also be protected. I have protected the rights of those guilty of Homicide, assault, drug trafficking, attempted murder/assault of a peace officer, etc., etc., etc..

I do not accept that Law Enforcement should be the only defense against drugs and drug use. I fight the drugs in my community by also being involved in my kid's lives, my church, my neighborhood, etc... (none of those involve search and seizure ;-)

The focus of the WHP is Public Safety, specifically the motoring public. While I am willing to let a man's home be his castle, provided it is like the Las Vegas (what happens at home STAYS at home). The problem is many folks exercising their freedom to do as they please with their bodies don't just expose themselves to the hazards.

I have taken part (sometimes a VERY small part) in seizing Meth labs out of hotel rooms, homes (in residential areas) and cars (driving down the same streets and roads as your family and mine) with children and unsuspecting folks exposed to the highly toxic material involved... not to mention to the highly toxic BEHAVIOR of those who are using the nasty stuff.

I have been apart (sometimes very remotely) of large drug seizures... A few kilos of Meth, or lesser amounts of Ecstasy, Cocaine, etc.. or (most recently) 185 pounds of BC Bud Marihuana.

Now I fully admit that in no way worried about a traffic crash being caused because of the drugs in the vehicle... but the danger to liberty is (IMHO) very real.

Now, the VAST majority of my drug related arrests have been from those who are driving while under the influence. I do not know of too many folks who are willing to defend a person's right to drive drunk and the same argument would apply to drug use as well.

Without getting too graphic, I have been around 125-150 or so traffic related deaths and statistically 40-50% are alcohol and/or drug related. I have no idea how many crashes I have worked involving drug/alcohol use that resulted 'only' in people getting badly injured.

I am open to a discussion to de-criminalizing some drugs, but I am currently against such actions. It is my experience that virtually none of those who want to legalize Marihuana, for example, seldom if ever mention responsible use and behavior for the substance... just it should be legal and alcohol kills many many more people and yet it is legal, etc...

That being said, I once walked into a neighbor's home and found the wife smoking Marihuana... I saw a jar sitting in plain view on the coffee table that may have been close to a felony amount... I heard a confession from a third party that they had purchased and provided the drug. And I listened to my good friend apologize over and over for having it there. I told him I couldn't care less about it. His wife was dying of stomach cancer and they had taken the steps they deemed most helpful to make her more comfortable.

More power to them.... Unfortunately, I only seem to hear from the guy who suffers from self diagnosed depression and stress and wishes to self medicate. Or the guy who provided me with a ratty old photo-copy of a 'certificate' that proclaimed him an "Ordained Minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Hempsters" No, I am not kidding or making that up.

I guess you get the idea... I'd better call it a night...

Be Blessed All.

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Here's my reply--what do you think?

"A basic reason is simply that I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Wyoming..."

Poor argument. If the laws of the State were modified to criminalize criticism of the government would you enforce it just because you had "taken an oath"?

"At the State level, (like it or not) the People of the State of Wyoming have voted, authorized and even demanded that we take action vs. drug related offenses. They wish to have their liberty and lives protected."

So, if the "People of Wyoming" decide that they want all Muslims sent to internment camps, that's fine because "they wish to have their liberty and lives protected" from what they perceive as terrorists? What happened to individual rights?

"I am serving the public by enforcing these laws."

What about the part of the public that doesn't want you to enforce them? Or does anything goes because it's "the will of the majority"?

"I am also serving those I may arrest for drug related offenses by ensuring that their rights guaranteed to them under law will also be protected."

How can that be called "service" when you are using physical force to violate their natural right to use drugs?
Furthermore, is that not Orwellian to say that "you are guaranteeing" their rights when you are actually violating them?

"The problem is many folks exercising their freedom to do as they please with their bodies don't just expose themselves to the hazards."

Yes, if a person if physically harming others that is an entirely different matter.

"I am open to a discussion to de-criminalizing some drugs, but I am currently against such actions."

Why only some? Don't people have a natural right to ingest any substance that they want?
Or should the government outlaw the ingesting of substances that are deemed dangerous? Hey, don't a lot of people consider Big Macs to be dangerous?

"It is my experience that virtually none of those who want to legalize Marihuana, for example, seldom if ever mention responsible use and behavior for the substance... just it should be legal and alcohol kills many many more people and yet it is legal, etc...."

So, you're saying there's some "personal safety clause" attached to people's rights? People must first show how they will be responsible and not harm themselves before Big Brother allows them to engage in dangerous activity X?
What if I want to go climb the very dangerous Mt. Everest? I must first get permission from some bureaucrat?

"I heard a confession from a third party that they had purchased and provided the drug. And I listened to my good friend apologize over and over for having it there. I told him I couldn't care less about it."

Right-O!

"Unfortunately, I only seem to hear from the guy who suffers from self diagnosed depression and stress and wishes to self medicate."

Don't people have a right to self-medicate?
---
Looking forward to your reply.

Alrighty then... ;-) Good thought provoking stuff

"A basic reason is simply that I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Wyoming..."

(Poor argument. If the laws of the State were modified to criminalize criticism of the government would you enforce it just because you had "taken an oath"?)

A poor argument indeed IF you take away the Constitution. If a law is constitutional, then my oath to uphold it is valid, moral and legal. I would not use the Death Camp Guard's excuse in any similar situation. We live in a REPUBLIC or at least we are supposed to be living in one... That means that one person with the law on their side is a majority. Again, PLEASE read "law" as a "Constitutionally sound law". There are plenty of "laws" that I find both immoral and IMHO Unconstitutional.

Even in my agency's policy it states I only have to follow laws that are legal (read constitutional), moral and ethical... your example would fall short on all counts.

****

"At the State level, (like it or not) the People of the State of Wyoming have voted, authorized and even demanded that we take action vs. drug related offenses. They wish to have their liberty and lives protected."

(So, if the "People of Wyoming" decide that they want all Muslims sent to internment camps, that's fine because "they wish to have their liberty and lives protected" from what they perceive as terrorists? What happened to individual rights?)

Again... Constitution must be in play, ... or all bets are off. I never did away with the Constitution in my reasoning and therefore I never did away with individual rights. No such law would be constitutional (legal), moral, ethical and I would not follow such a mythical order, law or whatever.

****

"I am serving the public by enforcing these laws."

(What about the part of the public that doesn't want you to enforce them? Or does anything goes because it's "the will of the majority"?)

Certainly the Constitution gives the right to States and the People to make laws governing themselves. If we are only to enforce laws that 100% of the people agree upon, then there would be darn few laws at all.... like ZERO. Are you arguing that would be a good thing?... no laws? But you are correct in this point: Just because everyone agrees that something should be done, doesn't mean that it, in fact, should be done. Again, this is a Republic and we operate on the Rule of Law as set forth by the Founders... not necessarily as implemented, twisted, warped and otherwise distorted as we often see today.

****

"I am also serving those I may arrest for drug related offenses by ensuring that their rights guaranteed to them under law will also be protected."

(How can that be called "service" when you are using physical force to violate their natural right to use drugs?
Furthermore, is that not Orwellian to say that "you are guaranteeing" their rights when you are actually violating them?)

Their Constitutional rights to due process, etc. are what I am referring to. Please define "natural right". All I can think of is " When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them,..." Morally I have issues believing that Nature's God gives the RIGHT to shoot Meth into one's own eye socket... He does give you the free will to choose to do so, but it is no "right".

The drunk driver who kills one, seriously injures another and sends his own two children to the ER for the night is still entitled to certain protection and rights under the Constitution... no matter what we may think his personal 'worth' may be... Those are the rights and the service to which I refer. I am not saying he doesn't have the freedom to drink, but he certainly does NOT have a "Right" to drink, drive, and crash at the expense of the LIFE, LIBERTY and HAPPINESS of anyone else.

Please, explain what constitutional rights I may have violated for arresting a kid stoned out of his mind while driving down the wrong side of the road, crashing thru a building and coming to rest in the woman's bathroom? Or even the guy who is in the country illegally (for at least the third time) who was transporting 165 pounds of elicit drugs? Again, are you saying that a People of a given State, thru the means set forth in the constitution, (I.E. a representative government) cannot pass laws (constitutionally protecting Life, Liberty, etc..) to limit certain conduct that infringes on the Life, Liberty of others? I see nothing Orwellian about it, but I am very open to the discussion.

***

"The problem is many folks exercising their freedom to do as they please with their bodies don't just expose themselves to the hazards."

(Yes, if a person if physically harming others that is an entirely different matter.)

This is precisely what I am basing the whole of my argument on. I would ask you to define "physically harming others". I know what that means for me, I just think we may need to define our terms.

****

"I am open to a discussion to de-criminalizing some drugs, but I am currently against such actions."

(Why only some? Don't people have a natural right to ingest any substance that they want?
Or should the government outlaw the ingesting of substances that are deemed dangerous? Hey, don't a lot of people consider Big Macs to be dangerous?)

Poor word selection on my part... Shoot, I will discuss ANYTHING... but still against the idea in principle. I would say this is my moral objection to this topic, not so much a legal one. Too many people equate 'legal' with 'moral'. Example: 40 years ago abortion was illegal, did that make it immoral? Today it is legal, does that make it moral?

You again have a point... If two people sit at home, never in public or harming anyone in any way do the following: One deals with stress by eating his weight in Big Macs every week and the other smokes enough Marihuana to stay happy and stress free... the Big Mac guy will most certainly die first... and cause irreparable damage to the County Corner's back when he attempts to haul this guy's bloated corpse to the morgue. I have no legal argument against either... unless the Big Mac guy has a heart attack driving down the road or the Marihuana fella gets the munchies 5 mins after getting lit... and drives down the road on his way to McDs.

***

"It is my experience that virtually none of those who want to legalize Marihuana, for example, seldom if ever mention responsible use and behavior for the substance... just it should be legal and alcohol kills many many more people and yet it is legal, etc...."

(So, you're saying there's some "personal safety clause" attached to people's rights? People must first show how they will be responsible and not harm themselves before Big Brother allows them to engage in dangerous activity X?
What if I want to go climb the very dangerous Mt. Everest? I must first get permission from some bureaucrat?)

Well, to quote John Adams:
"Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

My argument isn't that you must promise to eat your veggies and exercise 3-5 times a week in order to be a good citizen... Rather that Freedom and Liberty do NOT mean freedom FROM doing the right thing and the liberty to do whatever the hell I want. I guess that is why I like the quote at the bottom of my posts...“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”

Again, from a legal argument, I am not so concerned with those who would harm themselves (they will soon run themselves into an early grave, leaving more prosperity for those responsible and industrious souls left behind;-) My concern is for those exposed to the person who is so unconcerned with his/her wellbeing that they would choose to imbibe a gallon of rye whiskey everyday, or do drugs (perscriotion or otherwise), etc. My concern is also for those who may have to risk their lives to rescue some clown who lost a bet with his Frat Brothers and is trying to hike naked up the north face of K2.

No I am not for government intervention in every, most or even some of our lives, but personal responsibility does not end at ME deciding that I don't care if I die or not, so therefore I can do whatever I chose with no consequences.

***

"I heard a confession from a third party that they had purchased and provided the drug. And I listened to my good friend apologize over and over for having it there. I told him I couldn't care less about it."

(Right-O!)

Right-O because you see my reasoning? or just because no drug laws need ever to be enforced?

****

"Unfortunately, I only seem to hear from the guy who suffers from self diagnosed depression and stress and wishes to self medicate."

(Don't people have a right to self-medicate?)

Certainly! Some do it with exercise, some do it with Starbucks. Some do it with Prayer and some do it with drugs. Which (in general) would you rather the driver of a 80,000 pound semi have chosen to self medicate with 10 minutes before you meet him on the highway?

Wow... way too long.

Sorry

Be Blessed.

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Will thanks for the reply.

Will thanks for the reply. Here's mine (let me know if I missed anything that you wanted answered):

1.

"I never did away with the Constitution in my reasoning and therefore I never did away with individual rights. No such law would be constitutional (legal), moral, ethical and I would not follow such a mythical order, law or whatever."

Isn't that a non-sequitor? Just because a law is Constitutional doesn't mean that it can't also violate someone's rights. For ex: some types of taxation are permitted (not the income tax though) by the Constitution. However, taxation directly violates man's right to his keep his own property.

2.

"If we are only to enforce laws that 100% of the people agree upon, then there would be darn few laws at all.... like ZERO. Are you arguing that would be a good thing?... no laws?"

Good question. Ideally, I only want laws that are in accordance with natural law.

I believe there is probably close to 100% agreement on the laws that fall under that grouping.

E.g. pretty much everyone agrees that actions that consist of physical aggression against person + property are crimes (ie. murder, rape, theft, vandalism). As well pretty much everyone believes that fraud (breach of a contract) is a crime.
So then, I guess, yes, I would like there to be close to 100% agreement on an issue for it to be a law--I believe that would create laws that are most in accord with liberty.

3.

"Please define "natural right"."

For sure. Natural right: A legitimately enforceable claim that is derived from man's nature (and not from the State).
And by man's nature I mean self-ownership--that each person owns their own body.

4.

"Please, explain what constitutional rights I may have violated for arresting a kid stoned out of his mind while driving down the wrong side of the road, crashing thru a building and coming to rest in the woman's bathroom?"

None.

5.

"Again, are you saying that a People of a given State, thru the means set forth in the constitution, (I.E. a representative government) cannot pass laws (constitutionally protecting Life, Liberty, etc..) to limit certain conduct that infringes on the Life, Liberty of others?"

As I mention above, I'm completely fine with laws that are in accordance to natural law.
So, yes, I want laws that "limit certain conduct that infringes on the Life, Liberty of others."

6.

"This is precisely what I am basing the whole of my argument on. I would ask you to define "physically harming others". I know what that means for me, I just think we may need to define our terms."

Yes, definitely. I define it as: Initiating physical force on another person (without their consent).

7.

"Rather that Freedom and Liberty do NOT mean freedom FROM doing the right thing and the liberty to do whatever the hell I want."

I agree. A person don't have the liberty to violate the equal liberty of others.

8.

"Right-O because you see my reasoning? or just because no drug laws should ever be enforced?"

Yes. And also because I think the principles of liberty show clearly that no drug laws ever need to be enforced.

Re: driving under the influence and whether that needs to be enforced or not...If a person is driving drunk and slams into a parked car, the crime according to natural law, is not that they ingested alcohol but rather that they damaged someone's property.

Lew Rockwell has written more on this subject, and also why drunk driving should not be a crime. Also Mark Crovelli has written a thought provoking article that shows how the government's drunk-driving laws cause more accidents.

9.

"Which (in general) would you rather the driver of a 80,000 pound semi have chosen to self medicate with 10 minutes before you meet him on the highway?"

It really depends. Some people can drive better after consuming marijuana (it makes them more alert). Some people drive worse after consuming coffee (makes them jittery).

10. So basically, in trying to sum this up, do you believe that a person has a natural right to ingest whatever substance they want?

Good discussion btw.

This is really getting long!

And I have had to do this 3 times now because I keep getting kicked... Grrrrr... But I love this anyway.
here it goes again:

1) I would agree that there are some laws (as currently implemented) that seem to violate the basic principles of Life and Liberty. The one that is most obvious to me is that the Abortion Ban was struck down on Constitutional grounds... the same constitution that was written to protect life and liberty.

2) So we have no beef as long as close to 100% of Wyoming citizens agree on the drug laws? That seems to be problematic to me... even a "super-democracy" is not necessarily a place I want to live.

3) OK... not bad, but I would add a moral truth to that as well. I did not make me and therefore I am not the final authority about what I am able to do to, for and with myself. God created me and He gets to decide what is "right". He in fact, endowed us with certain unalienable rights.

That being said, He does give us the freedom to choose what it is we will ultimately do,.. however, that in no way should be construed as a "right" or that whatever we do is therefore "right".

4) & 5) Cool

6) So where do you stand on abortion. Is it a woman's right to do what she chooses to and with her body... or is abortion "Initiating physical force on another person without their consent."?

7) cool again.

8) OK... here we go:
IMHO, Mr Rockwell is terribly wrong:

" The crime is having the wrong substance in your blood."
**Wrong... the (of age) passenger could have twice, three times or even be on the verge of death because of the alcohol in his/her system and be in violation of NO law. You can have a great quantity in your system in a bar, restaurant, arcade, church, etc. and be in no violation... unless you start something else...and don't blame it on being drunk ;-)

"What have we done by permitting government to criminalize the content of our blood instead of actions themselves? We have given it power to make the application of the law arbitrary, capricious, and contingent on the judgment of cops and cop technicians. Indeed, without the government’s "Breathalyzer," there is no way to tell for sure if we are breaking the law."

**Wrong again.

I cannot begin to detail all the steps necessary to stop, observe, investigate, quantify and verify the impairment REQUIRED before I can arrest a person. The idea that someone cannot be "for sure" under the influence without a breathalyzer is absurd.

He speaks of the "drunks" that "we all know"... is he really telling me there is NO LEVEL of intoxication that he himself would observe (without the benefit of a breathalyzer) that he would not say... "OK THAT GUY IS TOO IMPAIRED TO DRIVE SAFELY."? NONE?!?

I can see it now... We came to the party with Bob. After losing track of Bob at the party for some time we decide it is time to find Bob and ask him to drive us home. We find him... Bob is currently laying in a pool of his own vomit,... semi-comatose and muttering and slurring as he tells us he loves us and that he is fine. He stinks of whiskey and cannot stand on his own. He says he has only had 2 shots and wants one more for the road (you suspect he has had several more than 2, but lets not call him on it) but until we give Bob a breathalyzer and ONLY then can we really be sure if it would be safe for Bob to drive us home?!?!?

Rockwell goes on...
"What’s more, some people drive more safely after a few drinks," (WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!))

"...precisely because they know their reaction time has been slowed and they must pay more attention to safety."
(So I can only reach my safest level of driving, handling firearms or brain surgery AFTER I have reduced my response time, coordination and divided attention? How ridiculous.)

"We all know drunks who have an amazing ability to drive perfectly after being liquored up." (I know of no such person. I have had people claim that and then fail to demonstrate a base level of physical control.)

"They should be liberated from the force of the law, and only punished if they actually do something wrong." (PLEASE define what that might be!!! Should I really pull Bob over, write him a ticket for Improper Lane Use, (a $50 ticket) and let him go because the person in the other vehicle did not have a reduced reaction time and got the hell out of Bob's way and avoiding a crash?)

Mark Crovelli states:
So, the drunk driver is faced with the following choices: 1) drive slowly and safely, and almost certainly get arrested and go to jail for drunk driving, or 2) drive the speed limit, and have a decent chance of not getting arrested, although this increases one’s chances of getting in an accident. Understandably, many drunk drivers choose the latter alternative, simply because the chance of arrest and jail time is a certainty, whereas the chance of a fiery crash is only a distant risk. (If you think my reasoning here is unsound, ask yourself whether you’ve ever driven 80 miles per hour because you’re running late for a meeting, believing that the certain costs of being late outweigh the increased, though distant, costs associated with driving faster). In other words, the prohibition of drunk driving actually serves to increase unsafe driving practices, simply because drunk drivers don’t want to go to jail, and are, consequently, unwilling to drive slower than the speed limit.

This is astonishing...

First it assumes a rational level of thought going on in the mind of an impaired driver...There are plenty of sober drivers who do not have that rational level... and I am only half kidding there ;-)

Secondly, I have stopped an untold number of impaired drivers... Some at speeds from 110 to damn near stopped.

I have stopped and arrested folks who could not care less that they were being arrested, in fact some even had a hell of a good time with the process...

I have stopped folks who where CERTAIN that they were not under the influence and had no worries about attempting the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

Thirdly, Crovelli seems to think the only task required to drive is proper speed management. In addition, speed must be the ONLY tip-off to cops as to whether or not someone may be impaired.

Fourthly, (and that will be enough) Both of these learned professionals (Rockwell and Crovelli) seem to ignore DUI-Drugs... prescription or otherwise. Much of what we deal with is in this area as well. A recent phenomenon is these kids inhaling the "canned air" while driving down the road. None of the compressed gas (It is NOT air) ever gets into the blood... it is not an intoxicant, yet they are intentionally inhaling a substance that certainly impairs their ability to drive, or walk, or see, or breath.. live, whatever.

There is nothing in my 17+ years of first hand knowledge and experience that gives Mr Rockwell or Mr Crovelli's statements ANY credence.

9) Obviously we are asking absolute questions in a world where there are very few absolute answers. Our intended form of government (Constitution, etc) is as good as people are ever likely to develop, but it is still not a one size fit all in every situation. That being said, I would love to get back to it.

But I don't EVER remember seeing anyone smoke MJ and state "Oh, my... I can think so clearly. Perhaps now is the time for me to pursue my career in mathematics."

10) My BELIEFS dealing with Natural rights... I refer you back to answer #3..." I did not make me and therefore I am not the final authority about what I am able to do to, for and with myself. God created me and He gets to decide what is "right". He in fact, endowed us with certain unalienable rights.

That being said, He does give us the freedom to choose what it is we will ultimately do, and in that sense, I am free to do whatever I want.. however, that in no way should be construed as a "right" or that whatever we do is therefore "right"."

So I would say you are able to make choices and have liberties in your home that do not exist outside that castle. I will not call that a "RIGHT", but you have the ability to make those choices. You also have the physical consequences to deal with as well.

Did that even come close to answering the question? Shoot, I confuse myself.

take care!

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Operation: shorten

Will, I'm going to try to focus on what I believe are the core arguments to cut this down in size!

So, I'm gonna leave aside the drunk driving question as that is a separate matter from the question of whether people have a right to ingest whatever type of substance they want.


So at the moment, do you agree that a person (assuming they are on their own property):
a) has a right to ingest any type of substance.
b) or that they do not.


If a), then we are in agreement.

However, if it's b), what specific principle do you propose be employed to determine the list of substances that people don't have a right to use?

I don't think so...

Again, First from a legal point of view:

Citizens of the State of Wyoming have elected a representative government and have passed laws in a Constitutionally sound manner.

If the standard is raised to your : That "pretty much everyone agrees" then I would suspect these laws would fit that bill as well. The extreme majority of Wyoming citizens agree that these drugs are on par with the crimes you have mentioned. So there is close to 100% agreement on this issue on the majority of drugs... Not sure where we would be on Marihuana.

Question... What would you think about a man who (on his own property) is 1) doing drugs?
2) doing drugs in front of his wife who doesn't want him to use?
3) doing drugs with his kids in the house?
4) doing drugs when his kid asks; "What's that? Can I have some?"

Again, from a Moral standard I will just repeat: I did not make me and therefore I am not the final authority about what I am able to do to, for and with myself. God created me and He gets to decide what is "right". He in fact, endowed us with certain unalienable rights.

That being said, He does give us the freedom to choose what it is we will ultimately do, and in that sense, I am free to do whatever I want.. however, that in no way should be construed as a "right" or that whatever we do is therefore "right"."

So I would say you are able to make choices and have liberties in your home that do not exist outside that castle. I will not call that a "RIGHT", but you have the ability to make those choices. You also have the physical consequences to deal with as well.

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

a) I didn't realize that

a) I didn't realize that near 100% of people agree on criminalizing drugs in Wyo.
That means my hunch that near 100% agreement on laws would tend to produce laws that are in accordance with natural law is incorrect.

b) In response to your questions 1), 2), 3), and 4): I think in each of those situations it can be proven that, yes, a person has a natural right to consume the drugs.

c)

"So I would say you are able to make choices and have liberties in your home that do not exist outside that castle. "

Yes that is a 100% correct statement.

d)

"I will not call that a "RIGHT", but you have the ability to make those choices."

I think this might be the core point of our disagreement.
First off, you are correct that there is a difference between liberties and natural right. Why?

Because a liberty can be either:
- a privilege (granted by someone else. Ex: someone allows me to go onto the property that they own)
- or a natural right

So, since you said that consuming drugs on your own property it is not a natural right, then by default you are saying that it is a privilege. And since privileges are granted...who then grants me or you the privilege to consume drugs on our own property? Please answer.

This is very interesting... THANKS for the debate!

I guess perhaps I need to back up. Is everything that one can do or partake in because it is a natural right good or proper or in fact, right? Is smoking mj good, proper right?... how about crack, or meth or cyanide?

It seems (without me waiting for your answer) that your definition of natural law does not concern itself with terms such as good or proper. It would be irrelevant to the discussion, is that correct? If not, I cannot agree, even in theory, to your response in your b) above.

To ask the question again:
Is it your view, that a person exercising his/her natural right is not capable of harming someone else?

I gotta tell you Patrick, this is great stuff! I am going to break this up into two discussions. Looking forward to this response.

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***

Good/proper + bad/improper

"Is everything that one can do or partake in because it is a natural right good or proper or in fact, right? Is smoking mj good, proper right?... how about crack, or meth or cyanide?"

That is tricky, because people's views on what is good/bad/right/wrong can differ greatly.

Personally, I think smoking mj can be good in certain situations and improper in others. Re: crack, meth, and cyanide, I'd say that it is a bad thing (according to my personal tastes) in in pretty much all situations (there might be some exceptions).

"It seems (without me waiting for your answer) that your definition of natural law does not concern itself with terms such as good or proper."

That's a really good question. I think it does concern itself with "good" and "proper," but only on certain issues.
For example, the theory of natural law deals with what the proper use of physical force is.

But there are also issues where it does not have anything to say. For example, it doesn't have any ramifications for what is good/proper and bad/improper parenting techniques (except of course if the child has been aggressed against by the parents and thus has had its rights' violated),

"Is it your view, that a person exercising his/her natural right is not capable of harming someone else?"

If you are talking of harm brought about by physical force, then no. A person exercising their natural right to self-defense could physically harm their attacker for example.

I'm enjoying the discussion as well. I see your response below, and I'll get to it tomorrow!

Will~ Beautiful letter !

Well said! Thank you for sharing this!

*******
"Thomas Jefferson is rolling in his grave fast enough to be a new source of energy independence."~ samthurston

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/

"I think we are living in a world of lies: lies that don't even know they are lies, because they are the children and grandchildren of lies." ~ Chris Floyd

DOWN HERE ATRICKPAY:

Back to our discussion:

"I think this might be the core point of our disagreement.
First off, you are correct that there is a difference between liberties and natural right. Why?

Because a liberty can be either:
- a privilege (granted by someone else. Ex: someone allows me to go onto the property that they own)
- or a natural right"

I will have to pick at our reasoning for "a liberty is either/or"... I think the answer is ultimately the same for both. And I would also need to clear up a point about anyone granting a privilege or a right to consume drugs... so here it goes.

I agree a privilege is granted by someone with authority to allow or gift me with something... In my view, so is a natural right. But to have a natural right, you must be the ultimate authority over the issue, property, etc... Here is a clumsy example:

I am the caretaker of an apple orchard and I also live off of the land. I am responsible for the production, maintenance, profit and care of the orchard. You walk by and ask if you may have an apple. I respond by saying, "Certainly, weary traveler! You may choose a dozen apples off of any of the trees in the orchard. Choose wisely and enjoy!"

You now have been granted a privilege... but if you chop some trees down in order to get the apples you desire, we have a problem. You have no right.

Now, as stated, I am responsible for the care of the orchard and I do make my living off of the land. So if I water too little, and prune too much, I may adversely affect the harvest, I may be harming my income and the overall value of the orchard, but I am within my natural rights to do so. After all, I was hired to do this job and just because I don't do it perfectly, doesn't mean I am not within my rights to care for the orchard as I see fit. BUT,...

What if I cut down the trees, make applesauce out of all the apples, sell the wood for firewood, and negotiate a lucrative agreement with a waste disposal company... then what?

I may be able to convince the actual OWNER of the orchard that I was doing my job as caretaker, after all I did show a nice profit!... but I don't think he is going to buy it. "You were RESPONSIBLE for nurturing and cultivating the ORCHARD, not doing whatever it is you saw fit in your own eyes! You are not your own... you were bought with a price. I hired you and I own the land and all that is on it... you were chosen for a purpose,... My purpose." That is how I see this issue.

I agree with the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights (or Privileges from the One who has authority to give such authority)...

This same Creator is rightly shown to have the ultimate authority over all the powers of the Earth "...to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them..." which clearly places God in His rightful roll as the ONLY one with final say over our lives and what is actually and truly, right, good, or proper.

Additionally, if the owner has told me prior that NO ONE shall be allowed on his orchard, I cannot give you authority to do so.
Furthermore, if I don't want you there, but you have authority from the owner to go get some apples, I cannot stop you,... approval from the REAL authority outranks my limited responsibility... NO ONE that claims the authority (The Government, Police, Tyrants of any sort) cannot make a law that is contrary to the commands of the Ultimate Authority, the Creator who endows us with those unalienable rights.

So finally, you may have the ability to do things in your home as a caretaker that you could not do off of the orchard, but you do not have ultimate control over what you do, even in your own home.

1 Corinthians 6: 18- 20
Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

Didn't plan on going there, but that is the basis for my views, both legal and moral... (because laws are not always moral, I need to have that foundation, don't you agree?)

Take care.

Keep it coming!

“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” - George Bernard Shaw

wants are unlimited, means are scarce...

....where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY. 2 Corinthians 3:17(b)

***wants are unlimited, means are scarce...***