Dramatist George Bernard Shaw wrote, "Liberty means responsibility. That is why most [people] dread it." Nanny-state political leaders pander to that dread by promising to make responsibility vanish. They are a grave threat to liberty.
Center for Individual Liberty
More on Mexican Cartels' Firearms — U.S. Second Amendment Targeted?
The Obama administration continues what appears to be a nasty charade in which it cooperates with Mexican government officials 1) to undermine support for the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment of U.S. citizens to bear arms, while 2) dragging the red herring of smuggled U.S. firearms to help divert attention from endemic Mexican corruption. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder have made highly-publicized statements fitting this pattern, and now the U.S. Government Accountability Office appears to have joined the parade.
Click on the icon below to read Tom Tancredo's letter in this matter to acting Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.
Liberty and Morals: Where Is the Legislative Line?
It often takes loads of objectivity to put the limited government that is a prerequisite to liberty ahead of a citizen's earnest desire that government "do something" to cure a perceived ill. Drug laws provide a rich environment for debating government's proper role in a liberty-loving society such as ours. Click on the icon below for a fine illustration.
Do Conservatives Need to "Get Beyond Reagan?"
Sure. Just like the socialist lefties have gotten beyond FDR!
The lefties haven't gotten beyond FDR, and conservatives shouldn't heed the panicky advice of post-2008-election accommodationists who claim Ronald Reagan's principles no longer appeal to voters, whether right here in the Rocky Mountain West or throughout America.
Here is Rush Limbaugh on the timelessness of Reagan's beliefs: "Reagan argued, and history has shown, that America does best when it is true to its original idea. It does best when its people are left free to work in their individual self-interest—not meant in the sense of being selfish, but in the sense that they are left free to work to improve their own lives and the lives of their families, and for the good of their communities and of the nation at large. ... the idea of individual liberty will never go out of style as long as America exists. To argue that the Reagan era is over is to argue that the era of freedom is over. And to argue that conservatives should abandon Reagan's principles is to argue that they should stop being conservatives."
It is a huge irony that so many of America's colleges and universities, theoretically bastions of uninhibited inquiry and the free speech that is its indispensable handmaiden, have collectively become intellectual prisons where speech is free only when expressing views acceptable to the left. Otherwise, it is suppressed – sometimes viciously.
Rocky Mountain Foundation chairman Tom Tancredo has some recent experience to share. Read more here.
Is the War on Drugs Working Well?
The Rocky Mountain Foundation examines this important question, having implications not only for Americans' civil liberties but also security in their daily lives.
Some 6000 murders – often described as being as grisly as anything carried out by Al Qaeda's terrorists in the Middle East – are reported to have been committed during 2008 by Mexican drug cartels. Most of them in cities bordering the United States. Violence in the international narcotics black markets is escalating and has moved into the United States.
Attorney General Eric Holder blames U.S. assault weapons sales!
In addition to massive quantities of drugs, Mexican drug cartels are shipping plenty of violence north.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says, "These cartels will be destroyed." Well, maybe. But nowhere does one read that Holder supports ending Prohibition II and, thereby, taking away the criminal profits providing the cartels' power.
Instead, he recommends re-instituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons! That, he said, would help reduce the bloodshed in Mexico, where last year 6,000 people were killed in drug-related violence.
A new front in the war against the Second Amendment, maybe?
How credulous does this man think we are? (Very credulous, apparently; this foolishness comes quickly on top of his recent condemnation of Americans' "cowardice" as to discussing race.)
Here's the opening of Burt Perlutsky's intelligent discussion of the War on Drugs:
"I believe it is long past time to end the War on Drugs. That’s not because I approve of drug use or have any desire to encourage it. But this particular war has already gone on longer than the ones in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, put together, with no end in sight and far less to show for it."
In connection with its examination of the War on Drugs - what one might call "Prohibition II" - The Rocky Mountain Foundation presents below statements published at various times one of its founders, John Dendahl.
The recent raid on a medical marijuana dispensary in California was another reminder that federalism is all but dead in America. As if that weren’t bad enough, it is hard to escape the conclusion that drug-using Americans’ money in the hands of narco-traffickers created and continues to exacerbate a terrifying situation immediately south of the U.S. southern border.
See more at The War on Drugs – Unacceptable Collateral Damage? Here or Here.
In June 1999, Gov. Gary Johnson put his prestige as a high elected official behind those challenging the national War on Drugs. During a conversation with me, he said something like, "I think illegal drug use is the worst problem facing us today. Our current policies aren't working and are probably making the situation worse. We should be discussing alternatives, including decriminalization" I said I agreed with him. So began one of New Mexico's top news stories of 1999.
One might suppose there's a "Newton's Law" that applies to markets: For every benefit there is an equal and opposite cost. Distillers profit and pay substantial public taxes on their products, but some consumers become alcoholics. Drugs sold for nonmedicinal purposes create economic opportunity for farmers who grow, say, marijuana and coca, and for drug distribution organizations, but then there are the myriad related costs: direct harm done to the health of users and the collateral crime of users who believe others should pay for their habits. One doubts that these benefits and costs always exhibit the equality governed by Newton's Law in physics. More important than equality is, Who pays the costs?