Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sick in America

It has been a while since I've ranted about something. Today's topic: Healthcare.

Our healthcare system is falling apart, and has been for decades. This is mainly because because the Constitution of the United States' amendment stating "Thou shalt have Universal Healthcare" has been completely ignored. This could be because there is no such amendment. Universal Healthcare is not a right and is not gaurenteed to us by the Constitution. Besides, it is just a stupid idea to begin with. Everything that Government sticks his greedy little hands in gets screwed up. Look at our education system, where teachers and schools care more about standardized tests than actually teaching anything of value to our kids. This is no different than the idea of universal healthcare.

In America, we have a strange breed of healthcare. It is not universally regulated by the government, like in Canada, but it is not a free market system either. The vast majority of Americans know that something is wrong with our current system, that is why it is such a hot topic for politicians and activists. The problem: a great number of Americans believe that is because Government needs to wave his magical Wand of Universal Regulation and fix everything. The truth: Government has been secretly sticking his wand up our rectums for far too long. HMO's, Medicare, and Medicade have been mucking up everything and adding to our economic crisis. The solution: force Government out of healthcare!

Universal healthcare, in theory, will provide every American with free healthcare. Let's analyize this a little bit. First off, even the theory of universal healthcare is flawed. It won't provide every American with free healthcare. Most importantly, it won't even be free! We will be paying for it through taxes as the IRS pickpockets our wallets. The Federal Reserve will be forced to print more money to cover such expenses and inflation will rise through the roof. The healthcare provided will be inadequate and laughable at best; waiting in a clinic for fifteen hours to get a simple perscription. The quality of the care will drop because there will be too few doctors and too many patients. Now, before you start yelling "But... but... if you want better care you can just get better insurance and go to other doctors," think about this: who in their right minds would pay for medical insurance when they are already paying for it through their taxes. Not to mention, the price of any other healthcare option will skyrocket because the majority of Americans will continue with their universal coverage. This will allow only the rich to get any decent healthcare coverage and the poor and middle class to continue to wait in a crowded waiting room for days on end. I see an even wider gap between the rich and poor!

Basically, think about universal healthcare before you start advocating it!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A little about drugs, "Real Women of Canada"

I just finished reading an anti-cannabis reform article by the "Real Women of Canada." This just blew my mind and I felt it instinctively necessary to write a response to them.

First, I want to explain a quick history of marijuana prohibition. Out of our Country's "Great Depression" came-forth a big problem. This situation is much like the one we face today with the surge of illegal immigrants from Mexico. In 1929, the stock market crashed which resulted in an enormous slump of high unemployment, low wages, poverty and prohibition. In the South, at that time, there was also an increasing rate of immigrants from Mexico. They were willing to work for far lower pay than the American worker and the economy ate them up. Our government was outraged and brainstormed new ideas to send the immigrants back to Mexico and free these jobs for the American worker. Now these Mexican immigrants were not just bringing cheap labor across the border, they were also bringing a virtually unheard of drug called Marijuana. With a desperate attempt by our government to drive out these workers came the Marijuana Tax Act.

"In 1937, congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. Presented as a $1 nuisance tax on the distribution of marijuana, this act required anyone distributing the drug to maintain and submit a detailed account of his or her transactions, including inspections, affidavits, and private information regarding the parties involved. This law, however, was something of a "Catch-22", as obtaining a tax stamp required individuals to first present their goods, which was an action tantamount to confession. No marijuana tax stamps were ever produced. This act was passed by Congress on the basis of testimony and public perception that marijuana caused insanity, criminality, and death." -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Drugs#History

The immigrants, being completely oblivious to the certain outcome of such a law, flocked to pay their $1 tax. When they showed their papers and marijuana the government would swiftly deport them back to Mexico in violation of the crime of having marijuana before paying the tax. In order to pay the tax, however, you must show the marijuana. In order to support this catch-22 the government and special interest groups started a shmeer campaign to convince the public about the "harms of marijuana."

Notice the Spanish subtitles. Now, ad's like these worked surprisingly well. I hope that every American, after watching this, would laugh at the extreme exaggeration and misunderstandings of the effects of the drug. Even so, I would also guess that there would be an enormous amount of people who would agree with the "Real Women of Canada's" claim about the harm of marijuana.

"The increased number of accidents that have been reported in the last few years, on both the roads and the ski slopes, may have been due to the increased use of cannabis." -http://www.realwomenca.com/newsletter/2000_Nov_Dec/article_13.html

Although this would be the easiest conclusion to come upon, people often leave out the full story, including what other drugs the driver are on. Dangerous drivers who test positive for THC often test positive for alcohol. In 2001, the United Kingdom Transit Research Laboratory conducted an experiment on the negative effects of cannabis while driving. There results showed that although there were slight effects, they were not enough to support the claim that it severely harms a person's ability to drive.

"Users of cannabis move more easily on to using other narcotic drugs than their drug-free contemporaries. At least 80% of those who later become heroin and cocaine addicts started their career in drugs with hashish or marijuana." -Real Women of Canada

The "Gateway Drug Theory" is one of the many things that pushes my buttons. To base a great portion of your argument on a spurious relationship shows that there really is no hard evidence behind your claims. A spurious relationship is best explained in the following scenario: "An example of a spurious relationship can be illuminated examining a city's ice cream sales. These sales are highest when the rate of drownings in city swimming pools is highest. To allege that ice cream sales cause drowning, or vice-versa, would be to imply a spurious relationship between the two. In reality, a heat wave may have caused both. The heat wave is an example of a hidden or unseen variable (Wiki)." If I was to apply this to the Gateway Drug Theory we would see:
The rate of hard-drug use is highest among those who smoke marijuana. Therefor, marijuana leads to hard-drug use. This does not include many other hidden or unseen variables such as the current way our society is set up, the prohibition of such drugs, the laws themselves, the relative ease it takes to produce and sell marijuana, the accessibility to marijuana, and other drugs such as alcohol and nicotine. If you were to look at the big picture, you would also see that nicotine and alcohol are considered drugs and are often the first drug a person tries, even before marijuana. Therefor with your logic we should be able to assume that cigarettes and alcohol are "gateway drugs."

The "Real Women of Canada" also go on to touch upon the subject of medical marijuana stating that there is no evidence that the drug has any positive medical uses. With all of their evidence coming straight from U.S. government experiments and rulings, I could easily give counter evidence. I find this a waste of your time and mine and hope that everyone could at least cite 10 different experiments that say different with a simple Google search. The simple fact is that as a human being we should be allowed to put whatever we wish into our body. Period. If a peace-loving hippy wants to turn to alternative medicine, who are you to say "no?"

"Some have even recommended legalized possession and the right to grow cannabis for personal use. This is neither rational nor sensible and such proposals undermine the efforts of parents who are trying to influence their children not to use drugs to protect both the health and future of their children." -Real Women of Canada

What is really not rational nor sensible is the idea that one should coerce their personal views and morals onto another. By decriminalizing marijuana, we would not be forcing our lives upon yours. We are not enacting a law that forces you to smoke a blunt every day but that is exactly what the current laws are doing to us. By prohibiting the act of smoking marijuana in our own, personal lives. It is up to the parents to say what their children can or cannot do and when the time comes, the children will be able to make up their own minds. The bulk majority of the article can be thrown away on the basis that every person should be able to do whatever they want to their body and their personal lives as long as it does not directly pose a threat upon someone else's life and well being. This is a strong Libertarian viewpoint and one that I deeply advocate.

I won't even start to mention the politics, cost, blow-back and complete idiocy in America's Drug War. Perhaps for another blog. In the meantime I'm off to...

light up a joint and think.

Peace, holmes.

More reading!

Support Marijuana Reform!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hello... anyone?

I decided that I will be unexciting and use my first official "blog" as an introduction, not that there is anyone reading this to begin with. I am a student up in the rainy Northwest. I love to draw, follow politics, listen to music, smoke, drink and enjoy life. To put lamely, I am just like every other kid my age. Politics is the only exception to this "normality" that my life swirls around in an uninteresting routine of work, school and fun.

Although I would like to, I can't say that I am the most avid political follower and activist. However, I've always held strong views that some would consider most quirky. I've volunteered as a video-journalist for the Independent Media Center, although I soon felt disconnected from the extreme liberal lean that surrounds the mere mention of the IMC. Since then, this is my first attempt at expressing my political views and thoughts.

I like to consider myself a libertarian even though I believe these labels as a broad generalization. I value the long-forgotten thoughts of Liberty, Freedom, and Peace. That should be enough to incriminate myself as being an avid Ron Paul supporter. Wait! Before you rush to click the little red "x," let me just say that I do not plan on using this blog as a shrine to worship Dr. Paul, there are already half-a-million of those across the internet! This blog will be my podium to express my ideas and thoughts about our World, our society, our Country and politics.

I hope that this introduction did not bore my potential-audience to death. For those of you that are still alive, I will be spicing up the page with pictures, graphies, links and other things to do shorty. So no worries, right? Until next time...

Peace dudes.