Friday, March 09, 2007

Idaho Opts Out Of REAL ID

Idaho's legislature has passed House Joint Memorial 3 and rejected participation in the REAL ID Act, according to the ACLU and the Idaho legislatures bill status site. The battle wasn't a very hard fought one, either. Kudos to the politicians in Idaho who have decided that a national ID card is a bad idea on many different fronts.

On a vote of 19 to 14, the State Senate today approved House Joint Memorial 3. The State House of Representatives had approved the bill unanimously on February 20. While the bill does not require the signature of Idaho Governor Butch Otter, he has also been a vocal critic of the Real ID Act.

The bill states in part that Idaho, "shall enact no legislation nor authorize an appropriation to implement the provisions of the Real ID Act in Idaho, unless such appropriation is used exclusively for the purpose of undertaking a comprehensive analysis of the costs of implementing the Real ID Act or to mount a constitutional challenge to the act by the state Attorney General."

In other REAL ID related news the Arizona Republic is reporting that Arizona's State Senate is set to approve Senate Bill 1152 which says, in plain and easily understandable English that Arizona will not be participating in the REAL ID Act.

“Section 1. Title 28, chapter 2, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 28-336, to read:

28-33628-336. REAL ID act; implementation prohibited

This state shall not participate in the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005. The department shall not implement the REAL ID act of 2005 and shall report to the governor and the legislature any attempt by agencies or agents of the United States DEPARTMENT of homeland security to secure the implementation of the REAL ID act of 2005 through the operations of that department.”
Sadly, no penalties are mentioned for government entities who attempt to "secure implementation of the REAL ID Act" other than reporting them to the legislature or the government. I think a lengthy prison sentence would be appropriate, perhaps busting rocks out in the desert would be a fitting penalty.

Other states are also poised to join Maine, Arizona and Idaho in striking out against the REAL ID Act.
...Georgia, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming. Bills rejecting Real ID have also been introduced in Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and West Virginia, with more expected in the coming weeks.
Sadly, the state of Indiana, of which I am a resident, lacks the fortitude to tell the Federal government that they will not bow down. The Indiana legislature has had to concern themselves with pay raises, anti-gay marriage amendments, lottery privatisation and HPV vaccinations for school aged girls. Keeping the people of Indiana free of a national ID card and increasing their privacy is the farthest thing from their minds. At least there will be some states which refuse and manage to carry the ball. Indiana will (hopefully) ride their coat tails to a REAL ID free country.

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

What Can You Expect From Government Schools?

Not much, it seems. Right now there's a story hitting the national headlines about two 6th grade students in a local school district who were engaging in sex during an "Industrial Arts" class. For those of us with a more jaundiced view of government schools this really comes as no surprise, neither should the cover up which is occurring where this story is concerned. The school and all the administrators are playing the no comment card, as we would expect, and cannot see what the big problem is, and the public is justifiably upset over the matter. Not necessarily the sex, but the refusal to elaborate on the matter. Parents of children in that district, (you know, those pesky tax payers?) want answers on the matter (as does the local press) and they are all receiving a hardy "Get Screwed" from the school and the district administration.

I, for one expected no less than this, but that's just me, (and a few thousand others who lack faith in the competency of the government school system). This same school system expelled an Eagle Scout a while back for having a pocket knife on him. The kid had accidentally carried it to school and went to the office and turned it in, thinking it was the right thing to do. Unfortunately for the Eagle Scout their Zero Tolerance policy allowed them to expel him and they did so. Sex in class is apparently not a Zero Tolerance issue...go figure.

When I see this occurring I chuckle, because it was inevitable that something like this would be glossed over by the government school administrators. This act, and the government administrators "response" to it are just what parents should expect from state sponsored schools. Sex in a classroom and a cover up should be a surprise to no-one with more than two brain cells to rub together.

If government schools can teach your children whatever they wish, despite your wishes to the contrary, then incidents such as this should come as no surprise to you. People shouldn't be too upset when the government administrators decide that what happens in Vegas school, stays in Vegas school and is none of your business. That this particular incident even came out was sheer luck. One cannot help but wonder what else these people have covered up over the years. Violence? Failing students? Sub-standard "education"? Political indoctrination? Student/ teacher sex? The list of potential cover ups is almost without end.

Incidents such as this are one of the main reasons that libertarians constantly call for the separation of school and state. By its very nature government is opaque, abhorring transparency and openness. Secrecy and obfuscation are inherent in their nature and necessary to achieve their goals. Why should government schools be any different? Look for things to get worse, folks. Since it is legal for them to teach what they wish, they will. If they get away with these cover ups, (which they do) then they can, and will do as they wish with your children. The schools are not yours. The government is not yours. Who will your children belong to?

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Pot. The Wonder Drug.

Yet another study has come out showing the overall efficacy of marijuana as a palliative medicine, especially in the realm of neuropathy related pain control. Lester Grinspoon, MD had an Op/Ed piece in the March 1st edition of the Boston Globe that addressed the new study and made the case for renewed study and use of cannabis as medicine. This isn't the first time that a study has been made into the efficacy of marijuana as a reliable and effective medicine for the treatment of the pain associated with the various types of neuropathic myopathy. Nor is it the first call for reform where medical marijuana is concerned.

I've touched on this before, and likely will again in the future. Medical marijuana is a subject that needs to be in the forefront of alternative treatments. Too many of the treatments for neuropathic pain do not work and have potentially serious side effects, like opiates. I had to watch my mother deal with the devastating effects of diabetic myopathy and got to see first hand how little conventional medicine was able to do for her condition. At times she was relegated to a wheel chair when she went out. She, and thousands of others like her, was relegated to a world of unending and agonising pain tat could have been alleviated by the simplest of actions. Lighting and smoking a joint.

This latest study, like previous studies will likely go unheeded by the federal medical establishment and their drug warrior bureaucrats. Spurred on by Pharmaceutical lobbyist dollars, this study will, sadly become yet another ignored footnote in the War on People and the suffering of countless people will continue unabated. Big government proponents of the Democratic wing of the Boot On Your Neck Party will do nothing and neither will their comrades in arms, the Republican wing. All we can do is ignore the laws put forth by the governments and run the risk of imprisonment or death. Even in places where medical marijuana is supposedly legal, people are imprisoned and have their medicine stolen from them by law enforcers.

As someone who faces the possibility of one day dealing with something like diabetic myopathy I welcome these studies. They tell me what I might need to know in order to maintain a decent quality of life, regardless of what some law enforcer thinks. Our lives or their laws, the answer is obvious.

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