Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unintended Consequences.

I apologize for my absence; not that I think there are many of you left reading this blog, but because for those of you that are, I appreciate it. It’s been very hard to write since our daughter passed away; I’ve given myself over to more twaddlish things. I feel that that is changing, I hope it is.

Recently, the state that I live in legalized marijuana for recreational use; I honestly don’t have a problem with medical marijuana. I believe firmly that our Heavenly Father prepared all the plants and herbs here for our use—not ABUSE let’s be clear, but that many things, including marijuana have been bastardized and used in ways that our Father in Heaven didn’t intend. But that’s another topic altogether.

However, this new law legalizing recreational usage, seems to me to pose some problems.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Law of Unintended Consequences, it's also known as “What is seen, and What is Not Seen”; an economic parable by Frederic Bastiat called the “Broken Window Fallacy,” is the basis of this law, and I’d like to start there.

From “What is Seen and What is Not Seen”:

“Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation – "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"

Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.

Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade – that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs – I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.

But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”

It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.”

Now, I recognize that M. Bastiat is dealing with something a little different, but the concept is quite applicable.

The Libertarian in me is totally fine with legalized marijuana; the Lord based earth life around his law of Agency. You are given the commandment, and are allowed to choose to follow it or not; that inspiration was given as the basis for the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The fewer the laws, the more we can exercise our Agency.

So as recreational marijuana was legalized, what are the unintended consequences?

Let’s take as our example a man we’ll call Seth. Seth loves to smoke a joint after work occasionally, instead of going to the bars. Now that it’s legal he can do that without difficult repercussions, and Seth gets high quite often; so often in fact that Seth loses his job. Because Seth was fired, he can draw unemployment for many months without much trouble to himself. And, because he is unemployed, Seth is eligible for food stamps.

Who is going to pay for these social services? Where do the funds come from for Seth’s unemployment and food stamps?

I recognize that not everyone who uses marijuana will become addicted, but at some point, Seth may want to go through rehab. This is a good thing, a positive development for himself and his family, and hopefully, for the social “safety net” that allowed Seth to live his lifestyle without many sacrifices.

But, who’s going to pay for rehab? Where are those funds coming from?

Some will argue that they come from our new socialized medical plan; that may be true, but that only means that you and I are paying for Seth to get clean. I don’t know about you, but I can tell you that I voted no on the marijuana proposition, so even though I disagreed with the implementation of such a disastrous law, I’m now paying the consequences of it by contributing the fruits of my labor and my husband’s for all the services that Seth—and many more like Seth will need.

Another argument bandied about, is that “alcohol is legal, and it hasn’t turned out as bad as those naysayers so long ago claimed.” Really? One statistic I read says that 15,000,000 are dependent on alcohol. That’s a lot of self-medicating in and of itself, but Marijuana dwarfs that at around 83,000,000 who’ve TRIED it; I can find no solid statistics on addiction; I suspect that that is intentional; A drugged populace cannot actively engage in the political process; just a hunch. Out of those 83M, how many became, or will become, addicts? How many will use it as a gateway drug when its effectiveness diminishes?

But I digress. Alcohol is cleared from your system in a matter of hours; marijuana takes days. My husband’s employer has a zero tolerance for the presence of THC in their factory staff--because of its effect on BRAIN FUNCTION; so how many factory workers are going to lose their jobs? How many employers will be sued for discrimination because someone wants to partake of a legal substance and is terminated for doing so?

Unintended consequences; they come back to bite society in the backside more often than we realize and as a general rule, good, hardworking individuals are paying for it. And even scarier...this is only from an economic standpoint. What about our children? The safety of our roads? Workplaces? Who cares, the potheads have spoken.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Books; 2013 in Review

I read 35 books last year, including the Book of Mormon twice. I read quite a bit of fantasy last year, which was, honestly, never a genre that had interested me. However, I think I’m hooked.

I delved into fantasy at the beginning of the year, trying to not have to think too much. Losing our daughter had been tough, and I barely made it through Christmas. January, I read nothing. February started with “How to Kill 11 Million People”; probably not the best one to start off with either, so most of the early months of last year were spent in “Fablehaven”, which I highly recommend.

I had several disappointments in my selections this year. First on the list would be “Phantastes; a Faerie Romance for Men and Women” by George MacDonald; it was dull, and hard to follow. Really hard to follow. I so enjoyed MacDonald’s “The Princess and the Goblin”, that it was a huge disappointment, but his “Light Princess and other Fairy Tales” was only fair, so while he’s the beloved mentor of C.S. Lewis, I cannot agree with Lewis wholeheartedly on MacDonald’s merits.

Another disappointment was “Tarzan of the Apes”. First, I was completely unprepared for the amount of violence in this book; Tarzan follows the moral code of the apes, not man, and kills without remorse. The book ended stupidly in my view, and so I doubt I’ll be reading the subsequent volumes, so I don’t know if Tarzan ever develops a human understanding of right and wrong. The first book didn’t entice me to continue.

The other disappointment was “Beyond the Wardrobe; the Official Guide to Narnia” by E. J. Kirk. There was nothing new in this book; I love Narnia, he didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. I was glad it was a free book.

While the year was heavily laden with fantasies, it was almost equally laden with classics.

I read the “Secret Garden” because my family was working as stage crew on a local production of a play of the same name. I found that I love Frances Hodgson Burnett’s writing. LOVE. Shortly after, I read “Little Lord Fauntleroy” and “The Little Princess” and enjoyed them equally. If you haven’t read these three classics, please treat yourself; they are charming and wonderful.

“Call of the Wild”, “The Adventures of Pinocchio”, “Through the Looking Glass” all get top honors. I especially enjoyed learning the WHOLE story of Pinocchio.

Two “modern classics” were “The Giver” and “Ender’s Game”. I have to admit, that I read “Ender’s Game” in preparation of the then upcoming movie, but I enjoyed it, mostly, and it, and some of the other “dystopian” novels that I’ve read, have inspired a book idea of my own. Please don’t hold your breath, but I have begun taking notes.

Of all the books I read this year, “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens takes the top spot of “Oh My Gosh, that’s my favorite book ever” for the year! (I have a new “favorite ever” each year it seems, they have a special list of their own) I laughed, I cried, I SHOUTED; I was listening to it on audio while I was canning, and the reader did all the voices, the perfect inflections, it was just superb.

I’m hoping to get to 40 books this year. How did you do in 2013? What are your book goals for 2014?

Where is Common Sense??

Today, I went to Walmart to buy, among other things, some cold medicine. My son was with me, and he had chosen some items to pay for with his own money; he has a job now, he does that. As it turned out, he hadn't brought enough cash, and asked if he could pay me back at home, and as before, since I know he has the money at home, I agreed.

We have all of our items rung up, and he hands me $10; I then try to hand the $10 to the cashier, and I have my debit card ready to swipe; the cashier says he needs my son’s ID. What? I try to hand him MY ID.

“Well, since he handed you cash, and you have ‘age sensitive items’, I need to see his ID.” I explain that my son is not yet 18 so that wouldn't work; that it made no sense because he’s buying a t-shirt, and art supplies. “Well I’m not comfortable with him handing you cash, how do I know this isn’t a sting? I have to get my manager.”

Now, let me pause in this ridiculous story to say that this is not the first time that this cashier has given me trouble over COLD MEDICINE. He checked my ID in September—while shopping alone, when I had purchased some Nyquil. Now at my age, I suppose I should be flattered, but really, when you have a ‘Self-Checkout” aisle, apparently you shouldn't try to self-check cold medicine if you live in a communist controlled state.

Just a friendly caution.

So, our intrepid cashier waits…and waits, for his manager to come. She finally arrives and he explains that the young man gave me cash, and I have ‘age sensitive’ items, cold medicine, that he believes *I* am buying, but what should he do? The young lady looks at me, and asks “is this your son?” I answer in the affirmative, and she turns to him, and says “It’s fine.” He is still hesitant, and she explains that if it were alcohol or tobacco, it might be different, but it’s fine.

I’m thinking “Thank you, common sense!” But hold on, no! She then says to him “It’s OK, you were right to check.”; and walks away.


Now, a few things, outside of the obvious bug me here (bet you didn’t see that coming).

First, I know this guy has been working at our Walmart for over two years, because, while I try to avoid his line, I’ve seen him there a lot, and I know he was there before Sarah died, which will be two years in April; this CANNOT be the first time that this has happened, where a child handed his mother money for his own items while she was purchasing COLD MEDICINE!

Second, they took my favorite pseudoephedrine OUT of the cold medicine, so no one can manufacture meth with it, but apparently, at the upper teen level you cannot be trusted to know 1. if you need cold medicine, and 2. to be able to purchase it for yourself or for your mother, even if she may be on her death bed, without an adult to pay for it and not take any money from you while standing at the checkout.

What has happened to common sense? Why should it matter if my son handed me money at the checkout for the items he’s purchasing? We had numerous other items besides our cold medicine, would it have been so difficult and scary to say “are you his mom? Because you have some ‘age sensitive’ items, and legally, I can’t sell them to him if he’s under 18.”

It could have easily been brought to light that *I* am sick, and I want to go home, take my cold medicine and go to bed; that if we didn’t live in a communist society, I could have sent my son to GET the cold medicine for me, on his own.

Marijuana is now legal in a few states, but you can’t buy COLD MEDICINE to relieve your aches and sniffles without Big Brother making sure you’re not buying it to give to your *almost* adult child.


The older I get, the more Libertarian I become. Personal responsibility is what our Constitution is about. Agency is what our Constitution is about, not this convoluted and bastardized system of ‘laws’ and ‘statues’ that we have now.

What kind of society do we want to live in? Do we want everyone to check up on our business, every time we buy ‘age sensitive items’? Does the government have the right to tell you that you can or cannot buy ‘age sensitive items’?

Please, let’s restore common sense. All politics starts at home. Who are your county officials? Who are your state representatives? Are they proponents of the Constitution? The 10th Amendment? If not, seek out those who are, and encourage them to run. Maybe run yourself. You and I may be what stands between a restoration of the Republic, and complete lunacy.

We must restore sanity to this nation!