Author Archives: Stephen Littau

Refuse to Serve? Protect Yourself!

Karolina Obrycka is a bartender. As a responsible bartender, she noticed that one of her patrons had a little too much to drink and refused to continue to serve him. As a responsible bartender, the choice made was one that anyone who has an rsa certificate melbourne and has the right to serve alcohol would safely make. This did not sit well with the customer 38 year-old Anthony Abbate who became increasingly belligerent to the point where he began attacking her. Surely the police who were present in the bar would come to her aid to protect her? Oh, did I mention that the man attacking her was an off duty police officer?

Here’s the video:

As it turned out, Anthony Abbate was not the only police officer in the bar that night; surely they would come to the woman’s aid? Investigators are now trying to determine if several other police officers threatened the bartender with false charges to keep her quiet. If this is true then these officers should all be hauled off to jail along with this Neanderthal.

This is not the first time Officer Anthony Abbate has been on the wrong side of the law. Back in 1992 he was arrested for drunk driving. The charges were dropped.

It seems to me that we should hold our men and women in blue to a higher standard instead of giving them a license to break the law. Whatever the penalty is for assault and battery (or any other crime) for a civilian should be doubled for anyone in law enforcement. This is truly disgraceful.

Raich’s Options: Die or Go to Jail

Doug has already written about how our courts have denied Angel Raich her right to life but I think this is such a fundamental miscarriage of justice that it deserves further discussion. Angel Raich suffers with a brain tumor, chronic pain, seizures, Scoliosis, TMJ and other medical conditions; her physician has determined that cannabis is her only effective treatment option for these conditions. According to Raich’s website, from 1996 to 1999 she could not move the right side of her body and had to use a wheelchair. After smoking the cannabis as recommended by her doctor, she was able to ditch the wheelchair and better manage her pain, and products all over the world are helping to do this increasingly often. Companies in Canada provide a wide range of products that can have similar effects, known as CBD Oil UK wide.

Cannabis has done more than restore Raich’s mobility and alleviate pain. According to her physician Dr. Frank Lucidio, taking her off her cannabis regimen would cause “imminent harm” which would likely lead to her death by starvation or malnutrition. Many of the beneficial notes have been spoken about passionately by other experts on the subject, such as Christopher Wright, and there is a growing movement across the States to allow people access to this medication due to the known benefits. Yet somehow the powers that be in their infinite wisdom have determined that Raich’s life is not worth saving. Their precious prohibition of marijuana is more important. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a medicinally legal area and you frequent dispensaries, you may want to change up how you buy your cannabis while also adding to the collection of strains you can smoke if you buy weed online instead.

It seems that Raich will have to risk going to jail if she wants to live. This isn’t the first time Raich has had legal setbacks regarding this issue. Back in 2005, SCOTUS ruled against her 6-3 in Gonzales vs. Raich. The majority opinion even acknowledged that without the cannabis she could die. The following is a post I wrote on June 9, 2005 at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds in reaction to this disastrous ruling.

State, Economic, and Individual Rights Up in Smoke
I cannot say that I was surprised with the unfortunate 6-3 Supreme Court ruling (Gonzales vs. Raich) in which the court determined using marijuana for medicinal purposes violates federal law. In the process of fighting the war on drugs, civil liberties of this great country have been compromised over and over again from courts all across the land. My interest in this case initially was due to my opposition to the war on drugs. The reasoning this court used to justify the ruling, however; should disturb every capitalist, supporter of states’ rights, fiscal conservative, constructionist, and those who value limited government, irrespective of how each views the war on drugs.

In the majority opinion delivered by Justice Stevens (joined by Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg and Breyer; Scalia wrote his own opinion concurrent with the ruling), the ruling recognized that Respondents Raich and Monson may indeed benefit from using marijuana for their conditions, written as follows:

They [Raich and Monson] are being treated by licensed, board-certified family practitioners, who have concluded, after prescribing a host of conventional medicines to treat respondents’ conditions and to alleviate their associated symptoms, that marijuana is the only drug available that provides effective treatment. Both women have been using marijuana as a medication for several years pursuant to their doctors’ recommendation, both rely heavily on cannabis to function on a daily basis. Indeed Raich’s physician believes that forgoing cannabis treatments would certainly cause Raich excruciating pain and could very well prove fatal. (p. 3, paragraph 2)

So what’s the problem then? If Raich’s condition could become fatal because she stops using marijuana, she now has to risk arrest by federal agents or chose to die by following the law? What happened to this ‘culture of life’ conservatives like to talk about?

Despite the benefits as determined by the court’s majority, the court still managed to find reason to rule against a law passed by the people of California. As disturbing as denying medication to those who truly need it is, the reasoning is even more cause for alarm. The ruling reads:

Our case law firmly establishes Congress’ power to regulated purely local activities that are part of an economic “class of activities” that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce…As we stated in Wickard, “even if appellee’s activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce…When Congress decides that “‘total incidence'” of a practice poses a threat to a national market, it may regulate the entire class. (p.13-14, paragraph 3)

What kind of flawed reasoning is this? This so-called interstate commerce is grown, sold, and used locally. How does this local activity affect commerce in other states? It appears that this bad court decision is based on a few other bad court decisions, loosely interpreting the ‘commerce clause’ (Section 8; Clauses 3 and 18) of the U.S. Constitution. The obvious problem is that the court is granting power to the congress to manipulate the economy however it sees fit regardless of if the commerce is interstate or not. This is frightening. Using this line of reasoning, any activity one could choose to participate in or not participate in could be considered an ‘economic activity,’ subject to the will of the U.S. Congress!

If you think I am being an alarmist, read Justice Clarence Thomas’s dissent. Thomas gets straight to the point writing:

Respondents Diane Monson and Angel Raich use marijuana that has never been bought or sold, that has never crossed state lines, and that has had no demonstrable effect on the national market for marijuana. If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything-and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers. (Justice Thomas Dissenting, p.1 paragraph 1 or p.62 paragraph 1 in the pdf. format)

What does Thomas mean when he states that “…under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything…” ? Thomas continues:

If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined,” while those of the States are “numerouse and indefinite.” (Justice Thomas Dissenting, p.13 paragraph 1 or p.74 paragraph 1 in the pdf. format)

It is truly amazing the lengths our Federal Government will go to continue fighting the war on drugs. The casualties in this battle are people such as Diane Monson and Angel Raich who must find an alternative treatment for their conditions (though by the court’s own admission, marijuana is probably the best treatment available for these women), the California voters who passed the proposition, the free market, the States, the Constitution, and ultimately, everyone who believes in limited government.

No Legislation without Representation!

Have you ever seen a congressman being cornered by an angry constituent who asks why he or she voted for a particular bill? How many times have you heard a congressperson in this situation explain that he or she was unaware of a certain provision in a bill he or she supported? Is it possible that the congressperson did not read the bill before casting his or her vote?

Though I believe Michael Moore to be a lying Socialist propagandist, in one scene in his Fahrenheit 9/11 he made a great point (even a broken clock is right twice a day). Moore was driving an ice cream truck around the D.C. mall reading the U.S.A Patriot Act over a loudspeaker. The point he was trying to make was that almost no one in the congress had taken the time to read the bill and were likely hearing the contents of the bill for the first time. Regardless of how one feels about the U.S.A Patriot Act, is it not a little unsettling that our representatives in congress voted on a bill without first reading it?

The fact that most of the representatives failed to read the U.S.A Patriot Act is hardly unusual. Judging by the size of some of these bills, some which rival the thickness of The Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary, it’s no wonder why most legislators only read a summary of the bill’s main points (if that). Because there are so many cumbersome bills in various stages of the legislative process at any given time, it is not unusual for a representative’s constituents to be better informed than he or she is on a particular bill. As a result, the people of this country are in many respects, unrepresented in congress.

Unlike most problems, this solution seems quite obvious: require every congressperson to read a bill in its entirety before casting a vote. Believe it or not, such a bill has been proposed. An organization dedicated to limited government causes by the name of Downsize D.C. is behind a bill called the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA). The organization believes the bill will result in smaller bills, more open and honest debate, slow the growth of government, and would end the practice known as “logrolling” (sneaking in unpopular proposals into an otherwise popular bill).

The RTBA would require every bill with every amendment to be read aloud before both the House and the Senate. Each congressperson would be required to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury stating that he or she has had either read the entire bill or had the entire bill read to him or her before casting a vote. Any bills with sunset provisions which are up for renewal would also be subject to the above provisions of the RTBA. Additionally (a provision that I particularly like) each bill would be required to be posted on the internet seven days before the vote and congress would be required to inform the public of the date of the vote. Any bill that fails to conform to these rules would be considered null and void and would be grounds to challenge the law in court, therefore; congress could not waive the requirements under the RTBA.

So far, I only see one problem with the RTBA: the clerk from each house would read the bill. Arizona has a RTBA (of sorts) where the bill is read by a speed reader. The person reading the bill reads it too fast for most people to understand (much like the disclaimers at the end of some radio ads). What would stop the House and the Senate from using a similar practice? I would suggest that instead of having the clerks read the bills, either the bill’s sponsors, or the leaders in each legislative body (Speaker of the House in the House; the Vice President in the Senate) should read the bills.

Requiring our legislators to do their jobs (read their own bills) should not be too much to ask. No more legislation without representation!

Draft of the RTBA

Anyone Who Believes America is Winning the Drug War Must Be High

Originally posted November 10, 2004 at Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds

Could legalizing drugs be the answer to reducing drug use in America? Most people would probably call that idea crazy. Why would the government want to encourage drug use? This is a misconception most people have when the taboo topic of legalizing drugs is brought up. Many people believe that because something is legal, the government is somehow saying it is right. Tobacco is a legal product yet it is constantly under attack. When was the last time the surgeon general told the public that tobacco is safe and healthy? Could this reasoning apply to other drugs that are currently illegal, yet kill far fewer people than tobacco? In fact, tobacco kills more people every year than all illicit drugs combined (McWilliams, 1996). What would happen if tobacco was suddenly illegal? Would people who want to smoke try to find and buy cigarettes despite it being a banned substance? What would the consequences be of this prohibition? The result of course would be a complete failure, just as the prohibition of drugs has been a failure. There are three main reasons why the prohibition of illegal drugs should end: it is ineffective, it causes unnecessary strain on the criminal justice system, and above all, it is dangerous.
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Is Islamofascism a Legitimate Threat to Liberty?

In my recent post about Michael Charles Smith, I received a response from a reader by the name of Carl Deen regarding my support for the war against terror Islamofascism (Not the war on terror. Terrorism is the method the Islamofascist uses to accomplish his political-religious goals). I think his challenge is worth a post of its own so rather than responding in the original post, I have decided to answer him here.

Deen writes:

Let’s see if I understand the author. Without provocation, much like Germany did to Poland, the USA invaded Iraq, a country that was no threat to us; however, because, we did, we cannot admit our mistakes and withdraw. I suppose, by that reasoning, we must stay there forever at a cost of $500 billion and the lives of several hundred solders a year.

According to the author, Islam is a threat to us; therefore, we must attack and meddle in their affairs. It doesn’t occur to the author that if you attack and meddle in their affairs, you make more enemies than if you leave them alone.

Oh, I forgot; they hate us for our freedoms. Therefore, by using the war as reasons to turn the USA into a police state, they will stop hating us because we will have lost our remaining freedoms.

Was Iraq a threat to the United States?

First of all, the comparisons of the U.S. to Nazi Germany are getting very tiresome. Whatever ‘atrocities’ the U.S. has committed pale in comparison to the Holocaust. I also reject the premise that Iraq was no threat to the U.S. Regardless of whether or not Saddam had WMD, he was a threat to the U.S. Saddam did in fact invade Kuwait in the early 1990’s to steal the Kuwait’s oil. Had Saddam been allowed to proceed, there would have been national security threats as well as economic threats to the U.S. and the world.

When Saddam surrendered to the international coalition, there were certain conditions that he agreed to so that he could continue to be in power. Among those conditions were that he was not to reconstitute his WMD program and was restricted from flying in the ‘no fly zones.’ To enforce the agreement, coalition fighters patrolled the no fly zones from the time of the surrender to the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Saddam routinely fired with anti-aircraft weapons on the coalition fighters patrolling the no fly zones, directly putting the lives of U.S. and coalition pilots at risk. These attacks were provocative acts of war.

Let’s also not forget that Saddam attempted to assassinate former President Bush. Regardless of how you feel about President Bush, he was a president of the United States. An attack on the president—any American president is a provocative act of war against the United States.

And then there were the families of the suicide bombers who Saddam paid to spread terrorism throughout Israel. Sure, he was not paying suicide bombers to make attacks in American cities (as far as we know anyway), but this still proved that he was not above such tactics. Though the 9/11 commission found no links between Saddam Hussein and the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the commission did find that attempts were made between Saddam and Bin Laden to form an alliance. Their ties however, were non-operational. Had Saddam been as far along in his WMD program as most of the world’s intelligence agencies and world leaders had thought, it is not out of the realm of possibility to believe that those ties could have eventually become operational making it possible for Islamofascits to gain access to this material and carry out an attack on the U.S. Based on Saddam’s track record (his use of chemical and biological weapons on his own people, for example), there was no reason to believe that he did not have WMD. U.S. intelligence had underestimated Saddam’s progress in his WMD programs in the past. If left unchecked, he would have.

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