You are browsing the archive for 2013 February 12.

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Orthodoxy: Liberty’s Other Enemy

February 12, 2013 in Blogs

By Robin Koerner I am typing this in Miami, where I have had the privilege of sharing ideas of liberty with some new Americans who know more of its antithesis than almost anyone on this Continent — Cuban exiles of Castro’s regime. One of them, Normando, has spent seven years in prison for the crime of criticizing the quality of government-manufactured Cuban bread.

A conversation with Normando over breakfast on the day of my second lecture caused me to throw out the lecture I was going to give and replace it with one entitled, “Why Changing Minds (and Hearts) Is Difficult,” which is full of empirical psychology, epistemology and neurology. It attempts to explain why it is hard not only to interpret reality accurately but even to see reality when it conflicts with what we already “know” — regardless of whether our knowledge is right or wrong. (Its opening quote is from Goethe: “We see only what we know”.) I am referring not so much to the changing of others’ minds as to the changing of our own.

At the end of my lecture, I asked my audience who among them had read 1984. Some of them had — although more of them had lived it than had read it.

I suggested that the book is, from its opening page, set in a near-complete tyranny. In the political sense, the world of 1984 is as hopeless as any dystopia that has been imagined in literature. You read it without much sense of hope for anything. Isn’t it strange, then, that there would be any palpable sinking of the heart when you get to the end, when Winston, taken to Room 101 is finally broken by the destruction of his ability to believe for himself; to think for himself, even to perceive for himself? Why does your heart sink? Because at that point, all hope truly is lost. The ability to see his world as it is has gone, and with it, the possibility that he could ever experience his true self.

Before that — throughout nearly the whole book — Winston was a victim of tyranny — but not, apparently, without all of his freedoms: he retained what might be called the final freedom, or (better, perhaps?) the first freedom: the one that resides inside — the freedom to think. The freedom that makes him …read more
Source: ROBIN KOERNER BLOG

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Open Letter from John Tate to Senate Judiciary Committee

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Megan Stiles

United States Senate

Committee on the Judiciary

Subcommittee on the Constitution,

Civil Rights, and Human Rights

224 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Durbin and Ranking Member Cruz:

Thank you for holding this hearing on “Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence: Protecting Our Communities While Respecting the Second Amendment.”  On behalf of over half a million members of Campaign for Liberty, I appreciate the opportunity to address this issue.

In the wake of December’s tragic loss of life at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many Americans have called for new federal laws to prevent further incidents of gun violence.  Unfortunately, most of the proposals currently before Congress not only violate the Second Amendment, as well as other parts of the United States Constitution, but they would fail to prevent future mass shootings.

Today, I want to recommend that Congress adopt a policy that would meet the constitutional test and prove effective in protecting schoolchildren from gun violence: full repeal of the 1990 Gun Free School Zones Act and all amendments to it.

Under the Gun Free School Zones Act, it is a federal crime for an individual to have a firearm either in a school or within 1,000 feet of a school.  While the legislation does allow for lawful holders of concealed carry permits to possess firearms within a Gun Free School Zone, it makes it a federal crime for anyone other than an on-duty law enforcement officer or school security personnel to discharge a firearm on school premises.  As a practical matter, this means that most schools, except for those that can afford to hire professional, full-time security personnel, are left defenseless.

The supporters of the law claimed it would guard school children from gun violence.  However, in passing this law, Congress overlooked a crucial fact: mass murderers do not obey “gun-free zone” laws.

In fact, disarming school personnel, except those few specifically designated as “school security,” can encourage deranged and violent individuals to specifically target schools.  After all, what better way to ensure one will inflict maximum damage than to target a location where carrying a firearm is a federal crime?

Even if repeal of the Gun Free School Zones Act does not discourage all school shootings, it will still save lives by giving school personnel the ability to defend themselves and the children in their care.

Currently, federal law forces school personnel whose schools do not have full-time security staff to wait helplessly during a crisis …read more
Source: CAMPAIGN FOR LIBERTY

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Cato Responds to the 2013 State of the Union Address

February 12, 2013 in Economics

Immigration, gun control, and the state of the economy were all key topics in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the first in President Obama’s second term.  Cato scholars offered live commentary throughout the address, as well as during the GOP response by Sen. Marco Rubio, and the Tea Party response by Sen. Rand Paul. Watch a video compilation of their responses to the President’s speech.

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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Industrial Hemp Farming Legislation Reintroduced In Congress

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) and 28 co-sponsors, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN), havereintroduced legislationin Congress that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp isa distinct varietyof the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Dr. Frankel Explains How THC Becomes Active Through Decarboxylation

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green I am always interested to learn more about the science behind medical marijuana. Luckily Dr. Frankel has uploaded some great videos online that give the breakdown of how THC becomes active through decarboxylation.

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Jeffrey Miron – Why The War On Drugs Has Been A Complete Failure

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green Join the Suffolk University Libertarians, Suffolk University NORML and the Suffolk University Economics Club as we host Harvard University Economics Professor Jeffrey Miron! Miron will be leading us through a discussion about how the War on Drugs has been a complete failure from an economic perspective. A FREE lunch will be provided, featuring a sandwich [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Legalize Marijuana – 3 To 5 billion A Year In Tax Revenue In Quebec Coffers

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green Marijuana legalization is sweeping America, which is long overdue. Also overdue is marijuana legalization in Canada. Growing up in America, I smoked a lot of Canadian marijuana back in the day, all of which came via the black market. I would much rather prefer that the marijuana I were smoking was legal, and didn’t benefit [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Broadcast Aims To Clarify Michigan Dispensary Ruling

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green By Rick Thompson, The Compassion Chronicles Michigan’s two most powerful marijuana radio shows are combining forces to deliver a very special Monday night broadcast. The Medical Marijuana Radio Show (MMRS) and the Planet Green Trees Radio Show (PGT) will bring their casts together to evaluate the Michigan Supreme Court decision in People v McQueen, which [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Paddle 8 And The Drug Policy Alliance To Host Upcoming Event

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green Online auction housePaddle 8and theDrug Policy Alliance (DPA)will host a conversation with artistFred Tomaselliand DPA Executive DirectorEthan Nadelmannat TEMP Art Space in Tribeca on the evening of Tuesday, February 12. Tomaselli is known for his series of intricately-executed paintings that have incorporated collages of both legal and illegal drugs. His discussion with Nadelmann will explore [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG

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Former Baltimore Narcotics Cop Testifies For Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana In Maryland

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

By Johnny Green Tuesday Hearing On Lowering Marijuana Penalty To $100 Fine ANNAPOLIS, MD – A former Baltimore narcotics cop will testify before a Maryland House of Delegates committee on Tuesday in favor of a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession. The bill, SB 297, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), will be heard by the Senate [Continue Reading]

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Source: THE WEED BLOG