Friday, March 25, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #54 “Gratitude for Liberty—And Each Other”

99a3f0e6e2ac09e2d96145fe3d41c7ef-350x196I am elated to tell you that there is a budding movement that will be spreading the country called the Grat Network.  This is an internet connection where anyone can register a “gratitude vote” for someone else who has beneficially affected that person.  Watch for it – soon.  It is an increasingly proven fact that people who feel and express gratitude to others for kindnesses, leadership, friendship, etc. are much happier, and even live longer.  In fact, in that regard, please watch this clip:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHv6vTKD6lg .  I think they are right!  Here is the specific Grat message: “We are a new kind of a media platform company, launching our inaugural product in early 2016. When we say “new” we really mean “new”. Never before has there been a media company that exclusively connects people, places, things and ideas through gratitude. We have a feeling that gratitude will connect every single one of us, seven billion plus and growing, in a more mutually positive, meaningful way. Thank you for tuning in. We #grät you!”

But advantages for the person showing gratitude are really not the reason for the act.  The reward is received in the expression of gratitude itself.  Feel it – often.  Of course, Liberty means free choice, so no one forces us to express gratitude to others.  But adopting an attitude of gratitude is a reward in itself.  We are all so blessed to have had such a support system and to have received assistance from so many different and varied sources throughout our lives.  Have you expressed gratitude to those who have helped you?  Loved you?  Supported you?  Don’t be embarrassed to show gratitude!  We even have a dance that expresses it.  What is that dance?  Right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeLbrGspigg .  Oh the Blessings of Liberty!  Life is Good!

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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Sunday, March 20, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #53 “Liberty and the Practice of Law”

180px-James_P_GrayA recent 2 Paragraphs column discussed government protectionism by requiring people to be licensed before they may engage in such practices as teeth-whitening, hair braiding, selling of coffins or child care.  The result of this protectionism is to restrain people, mostly those newly entering the work force, from competing with more established interests, such as licensed dentists, barbers, morticians and child-care centers.  Then the column went on to state that the more appropriate system is to allow anyone to enter those fields, as long as they are privately bonded.  These bonding/insurance companies would enforce minimum standards and competency levels, and insure that resources would be available in the event of malpractice.  Of course, the more established interests would be free to advertise about their “superior training and abilities,” etc., but this approach would leave the customer to choose whose services to engage, and what price to pay.

But probably the biggest protectionism for me and my fellow attorneys: the State Bar of California.  Realistically there are many areas in the practice of law that could be performed by people who have not graduated from law school, or passed the bar examination.  Some examples are preparing forms for or giving advice about simple wills, small claims court actions, immigration laws, taxes, worker’s compensation benefits, divorces and many more.  The secret is for those providers to “know when they don’t know” an issue. And that is where the private bonding companies could assist.  Candidly, when I graduated from law school and passed the bar examination, in many ways I was far less competent to practice law than many journeymen who had developed expertise in various specialized areas.  So requiring that all legal practitioners be insured would in many ways increase the quality of the practice of law, drastically reduce the price, and make legal assistance much more available to everyone.  As such, this would be yet another example of the general benefits of Liberty in Action!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #52 “Our One-Year Anniversary”

 

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This marks the 52nd edition of our “2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty” weekly series.  I will share with you unabashedly that the purpose of this column has been to pose and discuss how Liberty works and Big Government does not in facing and resolving so many varied problem areas.  So I hope not only that you have thought about and considered these critically important realizations throughout the past year, but that you have also forwarded these columns and thoughts on to your social media friends so that these ideas may become more wide-spread and accepted.

With those thoughts in mind, and since I deeply believe that our country is going in the wrong direction, my intent is also to show you how Governor Gary Johnson is the only candidate running for President who actually will employ these concepts of Liberty to put our great country back on the right track.  But not only does he talk a good game, he actually put Liberty into effect during the eight years he was the governor of New Mexico.  And the results show it!  After his two terms he left the state with a $ billion surplus, all the while working well with both Republicans AND Democrats on financial and social issues.  Recently Governor Johnson announced his candidacy for the 2016 Libertarian nomination for President.  Please look into this man, what he has done, who he is, and what he would do as President for our country.  Governor Gary Johnson is the most qualified person to be President I know of, and if you look into it yourself, I truly believe you will come to the same conclusion!  So Big Time Help is on the Way!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #50 “Liberty Freely to Publish”

Jim-Gray_Waterwark-11-600x600Recently my wife and I saw two movies: “Spotlight” and “Concussion.”  Both are hard-hitting movies that focus upon perceived large-scale damages being perpetrated upon many people by two large and powerful institutions: the Catholic Church and the National Football League.  Whether the facts depicted in these movies are true, recklessly false or true-but-exaggerated I leave to your conclusions and our various laws covering libel and defamation.  But the ability for movie makers – or any of us – freely to publish arguments like these is fundamental to Liberty.

As you probably know, the first of these movies alleges a wide-ranging cover-up by the Catholic Church in Boston of its priests’ sexual molestations of children.  The second alleges a cover-up by the NFL of the fact that repeated head-to-head collisions by its football players cause brain trauma resulting in predictably bazaar behavior, homelessness and suicide.  And it speaks well for our society that even these two powerful and even cherished institutions were not able to smother or curtail these exposes.  Liberty means being able to place minority and even disfavored views and claims into the open marketplace so that they can be heard and scrutinized by the voting and consuming public.  To which freedom-minded people everywhere should shout: Hear!  Hear!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Saturday, February 6, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #51 “Liberty and Governmental Licensing”

unnamedMost people feel that the government protects them from being sold inferior services by requiring the providers to be licensed.  That may have been the original intent, but the actual practice has strayed far from that result.  Instead many vested interests have used government licensing requirements simply to protect themselves from competition from others.  And frequently those being restrained are young people just trying to get started in the business world.  Examples of this are rampant, such as in braiding hair, selling caskets, providing childcare or teeth-whitening services and many more.

The cosmetology lobby keeps people from braiding hair without a license, even though few if any of the schools of cosmetology teach that skill.  The morticians lobby has mostly been able to restrict the sales of caskets only for its members.  There are no special dentistry skills required for the whitening of teeth, but the dentist lobby works actively to restrict this business solely for its members.  Instead, if people were “allowed” to provide these services simply by being privately bonded, the customers could decide whether the services deserved their business.  For example, many stay-at-home moms would like to provide child care services for their neighbors, but cannot get a license because they don’t have enough bathrooms in their houses, or their doorways are not wide enough to allow for wheelchair access.  Of course, that results in their potential consumers either being forced to pay more money or travel longer distances for childcare services – or simply do without.  Or it results in all participants resorting to the completely uncontrolled Black Market.  But under this suggested approach, the private bonding companies would certainly require a threshold of competence and safety, but otherwise the customers could choose.  So not only would this approach promote Liberty, more people would be able to enter the marketplace, which would result in the costs of all of these services being reduced.  The same analysis applies to the practice of law, but that will be addressed in a future “2 Paragraphs.”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Friday, February 5, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #49 “Liberty and the Right to Travel”

judgejimgray_onthebenchLiberty requires the right to unrestricted foreign travel, so our government generally should have no right to impede that travel.  It does have the right to place somereasonable conditions upon that right – but only in those rare occasions in which that travel is for the purpose of causing material harm to our national safety or interests.  So today if we want to travel to North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela or virtually anywhere else, as free people we should have the right to do so without any restrictions, much less sanctions.

One of the rare situations in which the government could place restrictions would be for travel to places like Syria, Iraq or Libya to join terrorist forces as they fight against humanity.  If those people are not citizens, they should have that right, but with the express condition that they could never return to the United States.  Of course it is a violation of international law to prohibit citizens from returning to their own country.  So our government would be justified to pass and enforce a law that would impose a prison sentence for a conviction upon our citizens who traveled or attempted to travel to those areas of the world.  But that sanction could be avoided by those travelers if they voluntarily renounced their citizenship before they departed.  Thus they could be treated as a non-citizen.  This overall approach would accomplish two important purposes.  First, it would uphold the critically important freedom to travel.  And, second, if someone has terrorist tendencies, it would be better for them to be in those other places instead of here.  So once again, Liberty works both to our philosophical as well as our practical advantage.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Monday, February 1, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #47 “Liberty and The Victim Mentality”

Screen Shot 2012-06-01 at 1.05.41 PMAs I have said before in this column, Henry Ford was socially not my favorite person in the world, but one of his quotes should be emblazoned upon the thoughts of every American: “Anyone who feels they can thrive by relying upon the government should talk to the American Indian.”  In other words, the “Victim Mentality” doesn’t work.  And unfortunately, it gets people down and keeps them there.

A second quote from Milton Friedman should be similarly emblazoned: “No society in the history of man has lifted itself up out of poverty except through a system of Free Enterprise and Private Property Rights.”  In other words, Liberty works!  So choose.  Of course we should have a Safety Net for those among us who are in need, but we shouldalways combine that with a program with incentives to earn the extra dollar.  Why?  Because we care about people, and want them to prosper and have a better life.  And we can do that by setting up a system of equal justice and opportunity for all to attain success and prosperity through education, economic risk-taking and just plain hard work.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #47 “Liberty and The California Drought”

James_P._Gray_Web_t479Please don’t get me wrong, the drought in California is serious, and we must all do more than our part to conserve water.  In addition, I believe that I am “one of the good guys,” to the degree that long ago I turned off our sprinklers, and only hand water our yard less than once per week.  Nevertheless, in my opinion, neither the water districts nor any city governments have any authority whatsoever to order us not to water on certain days, or to control in any way how we actually use the water that is sold to us!

Water districts are formed as a public utility monopoly and are obviously in the business of selling and providing us with water.  To that degree, they have the right to set the prices for its sale – and that includes using a sliding scale for higher amounts used.  But otherwise they have no authority to tell us, for example, that we must take showers instead of baths, or water our roses but not gardenias, or to “allow” us to run sprinklers on Tuesdays but not on Wednesdays.  Yes, during World War II the government imposed rationing of products like gasoline and butter.  But once the sales were made, it did not even purport to have the authority to dictate when or where people could drive or whether the butter could be used on toast but not on hot cereal.  That was and is the right of the consumer.  And just because water districts and city governments might say they have that authority now does not make it so.  This is a straightforward question of Liberty, and yet another example of big government improperly attempting to control our lives.  Thus any attempts by governments to intrude on that Liberty should be resisted!  (Nevertheless, please continue to do your part to conserve water.)

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Thursday, January 21, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #46 “Liberty and Sex on Campus”

image               There is an increasing movement on university campuses to require express and sometimes even written consent before parties engage in sexual activities – at each step of the way.  This is another example of trying to address every problem by passing yet another law.  Of course rapes and sexual batteries are serious matters, and they are rightfully criminal violations.  So when they occur, call the police!  But the present laws on the books are sufficient protection without universities taking the form of government and nosing even further into our bedrooms and private lives.

And talk about the Law of Unintended Consequences.  Does anyone seriously think that imposing these consents upon sexual activity will do anything good?  Without even addressing the dampening effect it will place upon emotional relationships, what should those written consents say?  “May I take off your shirt?” or, “That takes care of the left shoe, how about the right?”  And, by the way, which partner will keep them?  And for how long?  What is to keep the custodian from destroying it the next day?  Or the non-custodial party from saying that is what happened?  (Talk about “He said; she said.”)  Furthermore, in today’s world those written consents could really have marketable value.  In fact in some cases, particularly when one lover has been jilted, they would probably even be auctioned on the Internet!  “Having trouble finding a sex partner, here are the names of some active potentials!”  The possibilities for mischief are virtually endless.  (“Have sex with me once more, or I will mail this consent to your sorority, parents or new boyfriend.”)  So in this, like in most types of human activity, sexual relationships are matters of Liberty – and Responsibility!  And no university or other governmental do-gooding will change those facts.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #45 “Liberty and Freedom from Speech”

untitledDisturbingly, there is a movement spreading around some of our universities and elsewhere to promote having a “Freedom from Speech,” otherwise known as a freedom from having your feelings hurt by “insensitive” speech.  This has resulted in so-called “safety zones” in which people are shielded from discomforting thoughts.  To this end, students and others have received lowered grades or otherwise been censored for using phrases like “the most qualified person should get the job,” or “America is a melting pot,” or for calling people who do not have white skin “People of Color.”  (As to that last issue, when I was in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica, it was common for a male with Chinese ancestry to be called “Chino,” a Black “Negro,” someone who was thin “Flaco,” or a North American like me “Gringo.”  Using these names was simply descriptive and not at all disparaging, and I look forward to the day that this will be true in our communities as well.)

But setting up these zones of “Safety from Discomfort” is the antithesis of Liberty, because it not only stifles free speech, it also stifles thinking.  Fortunately our country is better than that.  Once again, remember back in 1977 when the American Nazi Party planned to march in their uniforms replete with Swastikas in a predominantly Jewish community in Skokie, Illinois?  Reprehensible and insensitive as it was, the United States Supreme Court rightly ruled that even those misguided people had a right to freedom of speech, such that they were allowed to march.  Of course – and this is the key – just because some people have the right to free speech does not mean that they have the right to make us listen.  But providing a cocoon wherein people will not be confronted by thoughts that might make them uncomfortable is contrary to our principles of promoting dissent.  So the campus “Cyberbullies” in this case are actually the ones trying to protect build a zone of protection from discomfort.  To quote George Will in one of his political columns, if this is “about American higher education: What, exactly, is it higher than?”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #44 “Liberty and Fairness”

johnsongray-2012A good friend of mine who regularly participates in our weekly “2 Paragraphs” discussions recently forwarded to me some comments from a friend of his about the fact that the benefits for Veterans are weighted in favor of those who have less money.  So the issue of fairness was raised, because his friend was arguing that all Veterans should receive the same benefits regardless of their economic condition.  And he certainly has a point, because service is service.  But, as I frequently reminded my children as they were growing up (Just ask them!), “Who says life is fair?”  In fact it obviously isn’t, because some people were lucky to be born to supportive parents in the United States instead of being born to a single mother in Nigeria who is a narcotics addict with AIDS.

How is this relevant to the Veterans’ benefits situation?  Well, we as a society have made the political decision that, at least to some degree, we are going to provide a safety net for the disadvantaged among us.  So we have exercised our Liberty by making that political decision.  To be more clear, Liberty demands that, for example, if you are literally bleeding on the street, I would not be required to help you at all, unless I helped to cause your injuries.  But I will, because I want to – because that is who we are as a society.  It is not an entitlement; it is a voluntary gift.  (And maybe it should be more appreciated as such by the recipients!)  So the Veterans situation actually is fair, because that is the political decision we have made.  As a result, as long as the laws are carried out as uniformly and “fairly” as possible, Liberty is upheld.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Friday, January 1, 2016

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #43 “Liberty and Being Smart on Crime”

C15120D0000-00-00Last week our 2 Paragraphs discussed the failure of the policy of “Tough on Crime,” and put forth realities on how we could have safer and more crime-free communities by being Smart on Crime.  What follows are specific things we all can do to achieve those goals:

  1. Stop “Over-criminalization!”  Many jurisdictions have turned their police and traffic laws into fundraising mechanisms.  Not only does this frequently weigh disproportionally upon the poor, it also directly results in anger and distrust against law enforcement in general.  In addition, large fines, coupled with additional penalty assessments, often result in unpayable amounts of money being owed by many people.  And if it is not paid, that inevitably results in additional fines and even being subject to arrest.  So the cycle perpetuates itself.
  2. Arrests should be seen as a last resort, just like in medicine, where surgery is seen as the last resort.  Furthermore, if people are arrested, bail should be reasonable.  That includes the proposition that suspect who are not a threat to anyone and are highly likely to appear in court should be released upon their written promise to appear.  (Actually, this is the normal rule of law, but often bail is still required.)
  3. Repeal Mandatory Minimum Sentences.  No one can determine in advance a reasonable punishment without knowing who the perpetrators are, their backgrounds, who the victims are and how badly, if at all, they were harmed.  But these “automatic” punishments often result in obscenely long sentences that are truly unfair to the defendants, their families and also the taxpayers.
  4. Body cameras on the uniforms of the police result in better conduct both by the police and also by the people in the community.  And that frequently also results in the exoneration of police officers who are charged with misconduct.
  5. Community Policing.  Get the police back to being peace officers instead of law enforcement officers.  That includes repealing the failed policy of the so-called War on Drugs, because that often results in the police treating drug violators like the “enemy.”
  6. Repeal “Policing for Profit.”  In other words, change the civil asset forfeiture laws to require a criminal conviction before anyone’s property can be forfeited to the government.  And when this does occur, the forfeited property must be placed into the general fund instead of police coffers.  Clearly our police must be fully funded for the protection of us all, but they should not have a financial incentive to forfeit property.
  7. If non-violent offenders have drug addiction or mental illness problems, but otherwise are not hurting anyone but themselves, they should be referred to medical assistance, not the criminal justice system.

Being Smart on Crime by providing reasonable assistance to help people live more productive lives, as well as bringing our police back into the peace officer business, will not only enhance Liberty for everyone, it will make all of us safer and even reduce taxes along the way.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #42 “Liberty and Criminal Justice”

05.david.judgegray.0141711.avI just returned from an amazing convention in New Orleans called “Advancing Justice” that was sponsored by the Koch Institute.  It was amazing because there was actually a consensus across a wide political spectrum that our nation made a mistake by turning the political slogan “Tough on Crime” into a public policy!  Not only did this action unnecessarily deprive hundreds of thousands of people of their Liberty, it also destroyed lives, families and futures – as well as government budgets.

Everyone should have the Liberty to have a meaningful opportunity to live a good life – and that certainly includes those among us who have made mistakes.  So once people finish “paying their debt to society,” they should have at least a decent opportunity to succeed.  That means they should receive assistance, where appropriate, with education, drug treatment, housing and job opportunities.  Thus some of the many oft-repeated comments during the conference were:

“Each of us is more than the worst thing we have ever done;”

“As to prisons, we spend far too much and receive far too little;”

“Since 97 percent of the people in prison will be released someday – and most will desire a better life – we will seriously reduce crime by helping them learn social skills and find a job, housing and a driver’s license;”

“The most dangerous person in the world is one who has nothing to lose;” and,

“We are crazy not to provide mental health services to the mentally ill.”

So providing people released from prison with assistance to succeed will not only provide them with more opportunities for Liberty and independence, it will also make the rest of safer.  In other words, “Smart on Crime” is much more beneficial for everyone than “Tough on Crime” (except for the prison guard’s unions)!

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #41 “Liberty and Gambling”

GrayThere is a great deal of betting that our governments allow in today’s world.  And in many ways, not only do governments approve of these “vices,” they actually promote them, like when they advertise for their state-run lotteries!  (And the idea that “it’s for the schools” is a diversion!)   This legal betting not only includes horse and dog racing, but also complete gambling not only in Nevada, but also in many Native American casinos all around the country.  Furthermore, depending upon your point of view, the stock market and other investments are simply another form of legalized gambling.  So why should placing wagers on sports events be illegal?  (And how, by the way, is fantasy football different than other sports gambling?)

Betting upon sports events has been around as long as human civilization, and it always will be.   So not only is this a matter of Liberty, it is also a matter of practicality.  As long as people are going to bet anyway, don’t prohibit gambling, provide for it, regulate and control it, and tax it.  Imagine how much money this would take away from the Black Market, and put instead into governments’ coffers!  This is simply another example of the philosophy of Liberty being completely consistent with responsibility as well as practicality.  So help promote the concept of Liberty – in this and other areas.  It only makes sense.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #40 “The Love and Passion of Liberty”

Judge-Jim-Gray_600x300-590x300  Early nineteenth century humanist English writer William Hazlitt once made a comment that has haunted me ever since I heard it.  He said that “The love of Liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.”  As a writer myself, and someone who came in third in the 2012 election for Vice President of the United States (although truly a distant third), I know that frequently when people talk about Liberty today others think they sound like something of a kook.   And that is really a tragedy, because our great country is actually founded upon the concept of Liberty.  In fact, Liberty is literally our country’s soul.  So I simply agree with Hazlitt.  If people have confidence in themselves and others, Liberty and free choice are best for all.  If people want power and domination over others, take that freedom away and exercise control over others.

Of course freedom has risks, and does not present those “warm and fuzzy” feelings of being protected from life.  But – as long as we implement a safety net for those among us who really need it – we can best show our love for our fellow human beings by promoting a system of Liberty.  And that will bring eternal benefits.  For example, as Milton Friedman said, no people have ever raised themselves out of poverty except through a system of free enterprise and private property rights.  And that begins with Liberty.  Do you agree?  Please think about it, and then help us spread the word.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #39 “Liberty and the ICD-10”

maxresdefaultLast week I wrote that I felt that the American Disabilities Act was probably the best example of governmental “do-gooding” statutes.  But now I think I was wrong.  Because this past October 1, the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (otherwise known as the ICD-10) was ordered into effect.  This measure increased the number of billing codes from which our country’s healthcare professionals must select to bill insurance companies for services rendered from the lofty number of about 24,000 to a mindboggling 148,000!  So now injuries must be earmarked more precisely, literally forcing the billing doctors to draw the distinction between computer codes for being bitten by a cow, chicken, macaw or parrot.  Or whether their patients were injured at the opera, the driveway of an orphanage or at a prison swimming pool!

Things like these represent the logical extreme of bureaucratic absurdity.  Why can’t the government make necessary provisions for those people who cannot afford basic healthcare, and then simply leave the rest of our healthcare system alone?  The American Medical Association estimates that it will cost a small medical practice an extra $57,000 to $226,000 just to train for, perfect and monitor these new codes, and a large practice from $2 to 8 million.  And, of course, this will directly translate into increased costs to all of us for medical care.  Thomas Jefferson rightly stated that a government is best that governs least.  Less governmental interference results in more Liberty for everyone.  How did we ever get so far off track?

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)                         

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor 

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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Friday, December 18, 2015

2 Paragraphs 4 Liberty: #38 “Liberty and the ADA”

James-GrayThere are so many examples about how “do-gooding” government statutes actually harm people that it is hard to choose the best example.  But I think I have a winner in choosing the Americans with Disabilities Act, otherwise known as the “ADA.”  When it was passed in 1990, some legislators were quoted as saying things like “No amount of money is too great to safeguard the rights of our disabled.”  (Of course, this simply shows what politics can do to a rational discussion.)

Obviously any caring society wants to make things less hard for disabled people, and that certainly includes ours.  So that means that some laws and regulations should be enacted for their assistance.  But, having said that, we must resist meeting each problem with the response of simply passing more laws.  Mostly the things that come to mind in helping the disabled is for those in wheelchairs or on crutches by shaving the curbs on our street corners and providing paths for them to gain access to buildings, etc.  Obviously there are more, but when we pass open-ended statutes the bureaucracy unfailingly kicks in and produces numerous unintended consequences.  And, of course, there are always people who will try to take advantage of any system.  In the case of the ADA, these laws and regulations are often used literally to “shake down” large numbers of businesses by extorting relatively small amounts of “settlements” from them for small and even meaningless “violations.”  Of course, little of this is helping the disabled, but it does add to the bureaucracy and reduce the Liberty of everyone.   Thomas Jefferson rightly said “That government is best which governs least.”  And the ADA is a long way away from that principle.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)

2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice

President, along with Governor

Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

 

Please forward this on to your circle of friends for their consideration.  And by the way, now I am on Facebook at Facebook at http://ift.tt/1KPuMEA, LinkedIn at http://ift.tt/1cAMtZD, and Twitter with username as @JudgeJimGrayOAI, or twitter.com/JudgeJimGrayOAI.  Please visit these sites, and pass them along to your social world.

 

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