Saturday, June 7, 2008

ignorance of the law is no excuse

Found a neat article about open carry. There are several good issues here, not least of which is the list of inaccuracies shown by the corrections posted with it. Read the whole thing, not just the little tidbit I picked out.

“But there are times when the response is more severe. Deveraux has been stopped several times by police, most memorably in December when he was walking around his neighborhood.

An officer pulled up and pointed his gun at Deveraux, warning he would shoot to kill. In the end, eight officers arrived, cuffed Deveraux and took his gun before Deveraux convinced them they had no legal reason to detain him.”


First let’s state prior to this discussion I applaud the police for responding with alacrity and in this case erring on the side of caution and safety. I’m sure they are doing a difficult job as well as they can.

Second the above incident is not the main subject of the article and as such not many details are provided.

That said I’ll go into some other aspects of the incident. The first issue that leaps to my mind is ignorance of the law.

Detained, threatened at gunpoint, surrounded, cuffed, and his property seized by the police for the crime of walking around his neighborhood. All because the police received a complaint by someone (I don’t for an instant believe the police just ‘happened by’ in a residential neighborhood without someone calling them) and didn’t bother to check out the legalities of the local open carry law. We’ll gloss over the fact that at least 8 officers didn’t already know the local open carry law prior to the incident.

I’m pretty sure I could find a few other articles involving law abiding citizens being accosted at gunpoint and forced to surrender their possessions in disregard for the law. I won’t bother, the Google search would have more results than I care to sort through.

Has anyone ever been stopped by a police officer inquiring as to what you’re doing? Of course you have. Has anyone ever been informed by a police officer of a violation of some facet of the local ‘thou shalt not do that in this town?’ Of course you have. Has anyone ever tried to use the ‘I’m sorry officer, I didn’t know there was a law against that’ defense argument? Of course you have. Did it work? Of course not, and it shouldn’t. We as citizens have a responsibility to know the law. (Ok ok, granted, the law has become so horribly complicated no one can ‘know’ it. That’s another topic for another day.) I don’t think using the ‘sorry sir, we didn’t know that was legal’ argument is any better.

Hmm. Cuffing pedestrians who might be breaking the law and THEN looking up the law. Neat-o. I wonder where that sort of trend will take us. Perhaps the police will be stopping everyone and demanding their papers next. LawDog, David & PawPaw all said it better than I can.

Sad, considering all the citizens who gave their lives in WWII to rescue the world from this sort of behavior.

Quite frankly folks, I don't know how I would react if I were confronted with a situation where the gov'mint or one of its reps, through their own ignorance, was demanding the surrender of my sidearm. Here's a related link if anyone is interested in raising the awareness of the local PD to avoid unnecessary confrontation Open Carry Forum. I was planning to look into it a bit deeper but my blood sugar is high and I'm losing focus so that's all you get for now.

'health' care

From the biography of Jonas Salk M.D.

“1947, Salk accepted an appointment to the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. While working there, with the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Salk saw an opportunity to develop a vaccine against polio, and devoted himself to this work for the next eight years.

In 1955 Salk's years of research paid off. Human trials of the polio vaccine effectively protected the subject from the polio virus. When news of the discovery was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker. He further endeared himself to the public by refusing to patent the vaccine. He had no desire to profit personally from the discovery, but merely wished to see the vaccine disseminated as widely as possible. “

No desire to profit personally
Take a moment and let that sink in

From Edward Jenner and the Discovery of Vaccination

"Edward Jenner (1749-1823), after training in London and a period as an army surgeon, spent his whole career as a country doctor in his native county of Gloucestershire in the West of England. His research was based on careful case-studies and clinical observation more than a hundred years before scientists could explain the viruses themselves."

A country doctor
Take another moment, grab a sandwich, we're just getting started

It took Salk less than 10 years to develop a vaccine for polio …… 10 years.
Jenner lived and worked in the 18th century.

No giant mega corps, no telethons to raise money and these guys found cures; CURES, not treatments, CURES. These guys, and others like them, worked on the side part time in primitive conditions, with limited funding, university backing at most.

Has anyone out there seen a CURE on the market lately? Hell no. all we see is treatment. Anyone think for a minute that the mega medicine corps doing the research today want a cure? There’s not enough money in curing things. No repeat customers to bill. Just treat the symptoms and people have to come back over and over. Keep them alive and kicking but sick enough to be dependent on the drugs.

Prescription Addiction. We’re prisoners of the health care system. We can’t live without our ‘maintenance meds’. We have to keep going back for more drugs.

Here’s the kicker. Each drug they convince us we need has some sort of side effect which,
(wait for it)

I’m not one for conspiracy theories really. But with all the money and all the technology and all the secrecy, one has to stop to consider the fact that all we see are new illnesses and costly treatment solutions. How long do we put up with it before it becomes ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ for the crime of being sick?

Our elected and soon to be elected officials have various opinions about solutions to the health care system. Frankly my friends, I don’t have a solution. There's so much wrong with it now I don’t know if I can even pick a specific aspect of health care that is broken, wrong or missing and say “this is the thing to fix”. I hear politicians saying 'we need to fix it', 'it needs to change', or 'it’s broken'. All good, all correct, all valid points in my opinion, but what do we DO to fix it? There’s no way to make the drug companies not love profits. There’s no way to make doctors not need patients; that’s where the money comes from to buy white coats, pay nurses and buy tongue depressors, not to mention all that insurance they have to pay for now. It’s simple economics really. Unless someone can put the CARE back in HEALTH CARE we won’t have HEALTH either. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

… wait ….. big business, mega corps, volume sales, return customers, profit margin…… IS economics.

No wonder there’s no cure to be found. All the healers are dead and gone, replaced by businessmen. No wonder politicians think they know enough about it to fix it. Its business not medicine; do you think for a second if it was medicine a politician who’s never been involved in medicine EVER, AT ALL, could fix it?

I’ve heard people say ‘put the gov’mint in charge of the health care’. .. ugh, I’ve been a patient in the VA system for a while now and well.. um .. gee .. wow.. how should I put this .. ah .. they suck bad. So if that’s an indication of what’s to come then we’re in trouble.

From what I’ve seen our legislative branch can’t agree on diddley unless it involves a raise, more vacation time or the pointing of fingers at the other party. Who in their right mind thinks the gov’mint, as is, can pour piss out of a boot? Put them in charge of health care? Get real. Look at all the other stuff the gov’mint is in charge of and tell me all that stuff doesn’t need fixin’ already.

OK .. granted .. its soooo bad now we could put businessmen in charge of it to make it better, maybe, than it is now. Regulate prices and make it available for more citizens and stuff like that yeah ok. BUT, until we can address the QUALITY of the care it won’t be FIXED. If you want to settle for better than horrible instead of good, great or awesome go ahead. Personally, I think this is the USA and our stuff won't be FIXED until it's the by gods best in the world and then we should make it better.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

day one

I’ve been toying with the idea of a blog for some time now. With all the time I’ve been spending on the computer digging through websites trying to keep a tenuous grip on what’s happening out in the world, and since I believe a well informed public (voters) is essential for effective government here in the USA., I’ve talked myself into kicking off this blog experiment. Hopefully I can contribute something useful.

For many years I tried to keep my ideas and opinions to myself, believing most people to be uninterested (why bother) or at least as (or more) observant, intelligent and educated as I am (they've already reached the same conclusion or had the same observation, so again, why bother). Usually if I voice an idea someone looks at me with utter disbelief and proceeds to tell me I’m crazy.

Today’s random thought:
We the People, in order to accomplish anything, must know something about it.

Today’s reality check:
It seems the media no longer reports just the facts (if they ever did), letting the reader draw conclusions or form opinions. We’re now being spoon-fed opinions by the media and expected to swallow them whole. Since I don’t trust big business (the media) to be completely impartial I’ve got to sift through a lot of information to find the cold hard facts.

Today’s rant:
Research takes time and effort but it’s got to be done. As a US citizen I have the right to vote and I have the right to be heard. Everyone knows and talks about our rights. We seem to overlook the fact that we have RESPONSIBILITIES as well. We have the responsibility to make informed choices on our ballot. We have the responsibility to be heard. We have the responsibility to monitor our elected officials and we have the responsibility to fix things that are broken.

Anyway... on this little search for truth, justice, etc. I ran across a few blogs that have been helpful along the way (links to some on the sidebar). Often when browsing these sites I find myself reading things I’ve previously only heard in my own head (sounds a lot better when they write it than when I think it though). I see people voicing ideas and opinions and inviting others to do so in an open forum environment while conducting themselves with class, honor and dignity (a standard I hope to achieve one day).