Andrew McCullough's Blog

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And the "wars" go on

July 23, 2009

On this eve of Utah's Pioneer Day holiday, it is important to remember that the State of Utah was founded by those who were forcibly ejected from polite society for their different religious views, including the right to have multiple wives. Times have changed, and now the outcasts see themselves as the bulwarks of society, the ones who can now "prevent the breakdown of conventional marriage" by doing such things as harassing gay men who happen to express affection while walking by the LDS Temple. After the Church issued a statement earlier this year urging respect for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, many of us hoped for more.

On Saturday, several groups, including the Libertarian Party, will sponsor a rally at the State Capitol to urge sensible policy toward drugs, especially marijuana. Today the U.S. "Drug Czar" dashed hopes that the Obama administration would change policy to go along with its previous announcement that it would no longer use the term "war on drugs" in policy statements. Today the Drug Czar announced "Marijuana is dangerous and has no medical benefit." Most educated people know that this is utterly without factual basis; so we now know that the new government will lie to us, just like the old one. And our hopes of something better are dashed once again.

On the local front, the Salt Lake County Sheriff reopened the "Oxbow Jail" on Monday, to help hold the prisoners that are being held for minor drug crimes and other victimless offenses. On Wednesday, it was announced that the jail might have to be closed again, because there is no money to operate it. If the waste of taxpayers money that has already gone into this farce wasn't so tragic, it would be very funny. Even staunch Republican Doug Wright of KSL radio wondered aloud if the time hadn't come to stop incarcerating people for possession of marijuana. To me, it is too obviouis to require much discussion.

Back to the national stage. Republicans have used every possible opportunity to criticize the President for his "Stimulus Package" to increase government spending to stimulate the economy. Libertarians, along with Republicans, think it is only common sense that the government must tighten its belt and cut spending when everyone else is forced to do the same. This week, however, the Republicans in the Senate put up fierce resistance to cutting back on the production of F-22 fighter aircraft. We have already built over 150 of them; and have yet to find a use for them. They have not been used once in the two expensive wars now being waged overseas. So, the Pentagon suggested that we should not build more. The reason for the fierce resistance to this request was NOT that we really need them. No, it was that those employed to build the worthless machines need the jobs! And many of them appear to work in States with Republican Senators. Wow!

Some of my Libertarian cohorts suggest that the only way we will ever elect our members to public office is to change the electoral system to something like proportional representation. I maintain that, if the two "major parties" continue to do dumb stuff to our country, the electorate will look elsewhere for a real alternative. If you are seeing some of what I see, please join us in our efforts to bring common sense back to government, and to support our freedom from a government that has gotten too big and too intrusive. Unfortunately, the two "major parties" will not restore the freedoms we have lost, so we must do it without them.


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