Monday, October 23, 2006

To the Politicians:

If you want my vote, then you are going to have to demonstrate that you have at least a basic understanding of the principles upon which our nation was founded. If you can’t understand why you don’t get to veto what people do of their own free will to themselves or with willing others, then you certainly can’t be trusted with power over others. If your marriage or sexuality is in any way threatened by anonymous people, freely engaging with each other as they wish, hundreds and even thousands of miles away from you, then you can’t be trusted with power over others.

If you think you have a “right” in deciding whether one person you do not even know may freely enter into a lifetime bond with another whom you do not know, then you clearly do not understand the nature of minding your own business, and thus, cannot be trusted with power over others. If you want my vote, you have to address the fundamental question of our day: why in the world are we allowing our government to deny and withold the most fundamental of our rights as equal citizens? Most importantly: what are you going to do to bring it to a halt?

The question is not whether or not one has the right to smoke a joint, or have sex with another person of the same gender. The question is whether or not the government has the proper legitimate power to hold accountable and punish those who act upon themselves. It doesn't matter if the act in question is inhaling smoke from a plant or shoving a burning hot knitting needle into your own eye -- you cannot be legitimately punished by the rest of us for doing so.

The core principle that people fail to realize when they insist that you don't have the "right" to smoke pot, is that in saying so, they are agreeing with the supposition that the decisions you make about what you do to yourself can be voted against by the collective citizenry. In other words, your will toward yourself is subject to being voided by others claiming a superior power to do so based on outnumbering you.

The argument that what you do to yourself "affects others," and is therefore properly subject to inspection and revocation by a group of your fellow citizens, is easily dismissed with actual data. Getting a sunburn may lead to skin cancer -- should we make getting a sunburn illegal? If the criteria we apply to drugs are used to make the determination, then we certainly need to start no-knock raids to see if people are in possession of sunscreen. Those who have young children but do not have sunscreen should be arrested immediately and their children carted off and placed in foster homes to "protect" them.

Think it's absurd? According to the mortality data in the CDC's on-line mortality database, from 1979 through 1998 inclusive, all illegal drugs combined were the underlying cause of death for 44,727 people (out of 42,868,083 total deaths over the span). Meanwhile, over that same time, there were 121,001 deaths attributed to malignant melanoma of the skin.

So, if we need to punish people for using drugs because they might die, then we need to punish people who get sunburns for the same reason. Skin cancer is killing people at a rate nearly triple that of illegal drugs. And think for a moment: if the possibility of immediate death is not deterring people from using the drugs, then what good is *any* law you may dream up?

People dying "too young" from skin cancer "has affects on others." but then again, everything can be said to "affect" others -- that's what makes it such a crappy criteria for outlawing what one does to oneself.

Most people have heard of the theory that "if a butterfly flaps it's wings" off the coast of Africa, that the cumulative "effects" of having moved the air can eventually add up to a typhoon in Madagascar. Which could of course kill and otherwise "affect" lots of people. Bad butterflies!

What happens when you fart? Did fart power lead to hurricane Katrina?

And if every person is only six people away from any other person on earth -- then what is your link to bin Laden?

Drug use costs society money? Oops, fat people cost society over twice as much as those using illegal drugs. Obviously, it should be illegal to be fat. The really obese have all sorts of negative effects on those around them. Let’s round 'em up and lock 'em up -- then we can force them to exercise and control what they eat.

The issue is not whether or not you have the right to smoke pot -- the issue is that no one has the right to punish you for what you choose to do to yourself. Whether that involves smoking pot, shooting heroin, having sex with a cucumber, chopping your own hand from your body, leaping from airplanes, or merely laying around on the beach somewhere baking in the sun, the issue remains the same: no one has the right to punish you for doing something to yourself.

Any criteria you may wish to apply to support the drug war can be used against every person in the nation for some other equally specious "reason." The republic is in very grave danger. It is time to once again rise to the defense of individual liberty.

You have the right to do what ever the hell you want to yourself. No one has the right to punish you for it. It is the fundamental right, without which, there is no other right possible. After all, how can you even vote for the politicians who are taking away these rights, if you don't have the right to make your own decisions in the first place? If I am not allowed to choose what to do to myself, then how am I "allowed" to vote?

It's time to get our nation back on the path of ensuring that all of us are treated as equals. I won't vote for someone who votes to deny rights to the citizens. I will only vote for people who understand that the government is charged with protecting those rights.