I made an awesome tuna salad sandwich this evening and watched an HBO documentary on a woman from Australia.
Here name is Schapelle Corby, she was on vacation in Bali and during a routine search of her bags at the airport; Authorities found 10 pounds of marijuana in her “boogie board bag”
I must say these HBO documentaries do not mess around. This is a chilling reminder of the risk travelers face when visiting countries with vastly different criminal justice systems and cultural mores.
She was subsequently found guilty, lost both appeals and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Have a look at this film; it is controversial but very well done.
The director Janine Hosking captures the hopelessness and the dire straits this brought to Schapelle’s family and all the lawyers involved. I will leave it to you to decide her guilt or innocence.
After watching the film I feel strongly regardless of your personal verdict and opinions; the sentence in no way whatsoever fits the crime. In fact the entire scenario is absolutely ridiculous and pathetic.
The film is called “Ganja Queen” and is showing on HBO this week
There is a much bigger picture emerging in our world these days and it is starting to become very clear to me. Not only is the majority of our culture quick to judge and tear people down. We love to build people up and then tear them down. Regardless of what you think of Martha Stewart or Paris Hilton. You have to question either of those two being sent to jail and the media frenzy that followed. How is that big news? Unless you have been asleep in the last 20 years. Here’s the big news! and this is old news.
Welcome to the United States of America a complete “police state”!
Those of you that know me, I feel strongly will attest. I am not a “doom and gloom” guy. I also believe in law enforcement and I have a lot of very close friends in the field that I admire and respect.
They teach people that there are consequences for their actions. They also put their lives at risk on a daily basis. Growing up in a city like Houston, TX. I definitely know what I am talking about.
I experienced my first murder in Jr. High school. Yes that’s right Jr. High. His name was Stanley Conde and he was stabbed in the heart after school with a sharpened butter knife and died on the spot.
Our dear family friend Bernard Pivonka was murdered in his home in Houston and his wife witnessed the horrific event and I could go on and on with these stories. I understand there are “bad guys”.
Furthermore I have not lived some sheltered life devoid of exposure to the grim realities of what can happen. I want to make that very clear before I get on the tirade that follows.
The most important thing is that what has “supposedly” happened in the last few years has given our government “carte blanche” to creep into our lives and feed off the constituency like never ever before.
And my friends this is an insatiable beast with a hunger that never ends. It is a bureaucracy run wild, with out checks and balances and your constitution? Sorry my friend they gutted that beloved document years ago. All that is left is an echo of our beloved past that our fathers framed for us.
The constitution has been shredded into mincemeat under the guise that it is in our best interest. I am a fan of a great man named Benjamin Franklin. He said something that we need to hear again in these times:
Here it is:
” They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security” Benjamin Franklin
I first faced this harsh reality in my own life in the last 10 years. I am a responsible fun loving adult with a big heart and a massive affinity for people. I love people.
I live in a groovy little college town with 2 universities known for it’s thriving music scene. It is kind of like a baby Austin and has been mentioned as a hot spot lately in The NY Times, The Village Voice and scores of other publications as a breeding ground and upcoming mecca for artistic creativity and live music.
I myself have wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars defending myself against “false accusations” that had absolutely no merit whatsoever. Only to have the powers that be “drop the charges” when they saw that I had the moxie and the courage to defend myself and that I would not blink.
I will always do whatever it takes to find the resources and bring the best to the table when it comes time to stand up for justice. I respect the great men that stand up for us when “the beast” salivates and begins it’s feeding frenzy. I am very humbled and fortunate to have friends like Rafe Foreman, Robert Hirschhorn and Richard “Racehorse” Haynes.
I support the work of Gerry Spence, Barry Scheck, Tony Serra, Dick DeGuerin and countless others who do much of their work “pro-bono” defending us against this tyranny. Racehorse himself told me over dinner, “Eric they have taken the courts away from the people”
A prime example of the emergence of the police state is modern Day DWI laws. I have been hit by a drunk Driver. I was rear ended by him at the intersection of Fondren and Westheimer in Houston in 1988.
I still remember his name and I will as long as I live, It was Kevin Leck. He passed out at the wheel and rear ended me going 55 miles an hour. The crash was witnessed by 4 HPD officers. One of the officers found my wallet across the highway 2 blocks away in the parking lot. That will give you an example of the impact. I ended up in the hospital and had minor surgery.
I am lucky I survived, it wasn’t my time and I am here to tell you about it. I am also here to tell you that I do not feel the need to go and project my pain on to everyone else and somehow blame them for what this guy did. Look at these signs on the freeways these days; ‘Drink Drive, Go to Jail” what kind of broad bullshit statement is that?
Since when did responsible adult drinking become a crime?
I will tell you; since it became a massive “revenue stream” and since the “neo-prohibitionist” at MADD extended their militant moralism on the rest of society. I am sorry for the loss the families of victim’s of Drunk Driving have to endure. I have been to a “victim impact panel” and what a joke that was. A bunch of MADD whiners projecting their pain onto the rest of us who are not even responsible for their pain. I have a message for them; “Remove the speck in your eye first”
Even Candy Lightner the founder of MADD who watched her 14 year old daughter get run over and killed by a drunk driver has gone on the record and said. “Enough is enough” she wants nothing to do with this organization as it stands today. She is the one that started calling them the “neo-prohibitionist” She was trying to get repeat offenders of the road. Not Grandma on the way home from her birthday after having a margarita. Or an innocent college kid driving home after a few beers and watching a game!
Did I miss something? No just another government lie directed at the people to instill one thing my friends; FEAR
Just like when everyone went out and bought “duct tape” because that buffoon John Ashcroft started to enact his fear campaign and the “patriot act” The biggest joke since Pat Boone’s last album.
Here is a guy that covered up a statue in the Department of Justice that had been there since the 1930’s because she wears a toga and sits with a single breast exposed? I guess the war on terror wasn’t enough, so he also had to declare a war on “nakedness”
The drapes to cover the statue cost us taxpayers $8,000 dollars by the way.
I have so many friends that have been in jail, on parole, on probation or that have been indicted that the reality of this has started to sink in. I mean really sink in, and I am not talking about any real crimes here. I grew up in a nice family with a nice neighborhood. Most of my friends are middle to upper class, college educated and own their own businesses.
Just petty income generating bullshit to feed the big monster that keeps growing and growing. Now the police in many jurisdictions are obtaining bench warrants from judges if you exercise your right against “self incrimination” and refuse a field sobriety test.
Yes my friend they will drag you down to your local hospital strap you down to a gurney and forcibly take your blood. The same way they force someone down when they execute them. What do you think Benjamin Franklin and the founding fathers would think about that?
A police officer is not the one to blame my friends. That is easy and there is an old saying. “We are so busy pulling people out of the water to keep them from drowning; we never go up the river to see who is throwing them in”
The police are not evil, look in the mirror. We are for being complacent and trusting these politicians to “take care of us” and “protect us” Do you really believe after all of this that they have your best interest at heart?
Come on! A police officer is a human being just like you and me that loves his family, wants to see his kids and daydreams about fishing or learning to play guitar like the rest of us. He is just trying to pay the bills like the rest of us.
They get a little jaded like we all do from time to time. Even Kindergarten teachers want to scream at kids once in a while it’s just human.
No my friend’s it’s much deeper, our apathy and complacency has given all of the rights our forefathers fought and gave their lives for away, Most recently under the guise of “national security”
Police officers have become “revenue officers” simply rounding us up and herding us into the corrals they call courts. Like a cattle auction we become a pawn in their game led to the slaughter.
As of the year 2006 a record 7.2 million people in the United States of America were behind bars, on probation or on parole. Of the total 2.2 million were incarcerated. More than 1 in 100 American adults were incarcerated at the start of 2008. Only the People’s Republic of China ranks second with 1.5 million, despite having over four times the population of the U.S.
Think about this; That’s about 3.2% of the U.S. adult population, or 1 in every 31 adults. I didn’t make this stuff up folks. These are straight from the U.S. Bureau of Justice statistics.
In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in it’s prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandated sentences that came about during the “war on drugs”.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world at 737 persons imprisoned per 100,00, More than 1 in a 100 adults are confined in an American Jail or Prison.
The United States has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s incarcerated population.
George Carlin recently passed away and he summed this whole mess up best! “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”
Comedians have a way of being radically honest and it is often when we are joking that we are the most serious. Throughout history political cartoons were always the way candidates could be kept in check and “razed” indirectly. You see how upset the muslim extremist became a few years ago over the political cartoons based on Mohammed. They couldn’t take the joke because they are pent up and repressed like our Ashcroft clown.
One of my favorite comedians Chris Rock said it best. “The war on drugs is a joke” People don’t sell drugs; drugs sell themselves” When is the last time you saw a crack dealer saying “Man! How am I going to get rid of all this crack!”:
I don’t believe drugs are a great thing but putting people in jail because they are addicts, and users and dealers and etc; is a joke and completely evil. Everyone knows my drinking; no one knows my thirst!
Download “No One Knows My Thirst” featuring Allan Holdsworth on iTunes-
Why does the person desire the drug in the first place? How can we help them alleviate that need? What are they trying to escape from. These are the types of questions that bring about change.
Want to see something even more scary? Google “Michael Ruppert”. This guy is no quack he is a former LAPD Narcotics detective that took a stand and risked his life and liberty by going on the record and publicly calling out CIA director John Deutch for the agency’s connections to cocaine dealers in the city. He told John Deutch at a public hearing “I can tell you empathetically and without equivocation, that the agency has dealt drugs in this country for a long time.” Michael was as I mentioned a former police officer and a member of Alcoholic’s anonymous for over 20 years.
This brings me back to the sad case of the girl Schapelle Corby. The criminalization of marijuana is the biggest joke of all time. To me it boils down to this;
How do you legislate a plant?
Just someone answer that simple question for me? What right does one human have over another to tell him or her that she is forbidden to partake in something that occurs in nature.
Whether you be a Judge, a Police Officer a Politician or even a poet, a pauper or a King! What right do you have to declare yourself god and start legislating plants. I ask this all the time.
No one can ever answer it. Ever, I always get some “skirting the issue” or the old “gateway drug” tired ass script. It’s not a drug it’s a plant. End of story! That’s it. End of Story.
Now that being said; cocaine, crack heroin, meth. Yes I get it. These are created in laboratories with the intent of profit and addiction and chemical compounds that cause harm.
Make them illegal and educate the public as to the negativity and heal them. While we are at it let’s criminalize Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline , Hoffman-La Roche and Merck.
Collectively these companies are the true drug dealers and their profits and addictive destructions parallel any of the so-called underground drug trade.
Last but not least I want to clear up one thing that always comes up when I speak publicly about this heated subject. Inevitably my friends always tell me that I am unreasonable.
You can’t get rid of jails!
I always reply. Thank you and then I tell them something I believe deeply in that George Bernard Shaw said:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him…The unreasonable man adapts surrounding conditions to himself…Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”
They hate it when I say that by the way:-)
Creative thinking is simply finding new, improved ways to do anything. The rewards of all types of success-success in the home, at work, in the community-hinge on finding ways to do things better.
What is one thing we could do to move away from this “police state” we are in and stop this stupid war on drugs that is in all actuality a war on ourselves and our very own country.
*Step One: Believe It Can Be Done. Here is a basic truth: To do anything, we must first believe it can be done. Believing something can me done sets the mind in motion to find a way to do it.
To illustrate this point of creative thinking I often use this example: I ask a group of people, “How many of you feel it is possible to eliminate jails within the next 30 years?
Once assured I’m not joking someone always blast me with something like, “You mean to say that you want to turn loose all those murderers, thieves and rapist loose? Don’t you realize what this would mean?
Why, non of us would be safe. We have to have jails”
Then the others cut loose.
“All order would break down if we didn’t have jails”
“Some people are born criminals”
“If anything we need more jails”
“Did you read in this morning’s paper about that murderer?
And the group goes on, telling me all sorts of good reasons why we must have jails. One fellow even suggested we’ve got to have jails so that the police and prison guards can have jobs.
After about ten minutes of letting the group “prove” why we can’t eliminate the need for jails, I say to them, ‘Now let me mention here that that this question of eliminating jails is used to make a point.
“Each of you has come up with reason’s why we can’t eliminate the need for jails. Will you do me a favor>? Will you try extra hard for a few minutes to believe we can eliminate jails? Joining in the spirit of
the experiment the group says in effect, “Oh well just for kicks.:” Then I ask, “Now assuming we can eliminate jails, how could we begin?”
Suggestions come slowly at first. Someone hesitantly says something like: Well, you might cut down crime if you established more youth centers.” Before long, the group, which ten minutes ago was solidly against the idea, now begins to work up real enthusiasm. “Work to eliminate poverty. Most crimes stems from the low-income levels”. “Conduct research to spot potential criminals before they commit a crime.”
“Develop surgical procedures to cure some kinds of criminals.” “Educate law-enforcement personnel in positive methods of reform”
These are just samples of the 78 specific ideas I’ve tabulated which could help accomplish the goals of eliminating jails.
WHEN YOU BELIEVE, YOUR MIND FINDS WAYS TO DO.
This experiment has just one point: When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But, when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it. Believing something can be done paves the way for creative solutions. Believing something can’t be done is destructive thinking.
This point applies to all situations, little and big. The political leaders that do not genuinely believe permanent world peace can be established will fail because their minds are closed to creative ways to bring about peace. The economist who believe business depressions are inevitable will not develop creative ways to beat the business cycle. In similar ways you can find ways to like a person if you believe you can.
I want to leave this rant on a positive note and if you have read this far into my banter Thank you, I feel like a kindred spirit with you and I am not waiting for the world to change. I am going to change it.
I look forward to helping you as well and together let’s Wake the people up!
It you would like to see some of the inspiration for this the following articles are brilliant and were penned by a true statesman Gerry Spence:
*I also quoted David J. Schwartz from his wonderful book “Magic of Thinking Big”- An excellent book I highly recommend reading.
Much Much Much Love and Play Guitar!