Push for sentencing changes underway in Congress

Push for sentencing changes underway in Congress

Tea-Party-MovementWASHINGTON — An unusual alliance of tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress is pursuing major changes in the country’s mandatory sentencing laws.

What’s motivating them are growing concerns about both the fairness of the sentences and the expense of running federal prisons.

The congressional push comes as President Barack Obama and his Cabinet draw attention to the issue of mandatory sentences, particularly for nonviolent drug offenders.

Supporters say mandatory minimum sentences are outdated, lump all offenders into one category and rob judges of the ability to use their own discretion. SOURCE

“An unusual alliance of tea party enthusiasts and liberal leaders in Congress.” That line sends shivers down my spine, and it’s not just because it’s a cold day in North Texas.

I’m sure that my long time readers already know and remember; I have pointed out on a number of occasions how the TEA Party has made what I see as a *left turn* as they have, in many cases, aligned themselves with the Libertarian way of thinking, that being; drugs aren’t all that bad and as long as YOUR drug use doesn’t affect me, it’s YOUR drug use.

I don’t know about ALL TEA Party groups, I would like to think that there are some very Conservative groups out there, but I know 1st hand what happened right here in Rowlett when the TEA Party was taken over by a faux Conservative that turned out to be a VERY Libertarian Ron Paul supporter. The Rowlett TEA Party crashed and burned, simply because Conservatives don’t fall into the crowd that sees illegal drug use as a *no problem* thing.

The Libertarian philosophy of *if it doesn’t hurt me* has been over-played. Drug use hurts us all, whether we want to admit it or not. Habitual drunks hurt us all as well, you see, admit it or not, Libertarians, and any that support their position need to realize, a drug or alcohol impaired person WILL get behind the wheel of an automobile, and then they are a danger to us all.

So, they don’t drink and drive or get doped up and drive and because of that they present NO problems for the general population of America?

What about the emergency medical care they get when an overdose has happened? What about the rehab programs that must be paid for by someone? That someone would be us, you and me, the taxpayer, so don’t even think of telling me that drug or alcohol abuse doesn’t affect us all, it does!

These Libbers and TEA Party enthusiasts complain about antiquated drug laws and sentencing for offenders and the costs of their incarceration, said to range from $21,000 to $33,000 a year per inmate, depending upon the security level of the prison. So let me ask this; WHAT is an innocent human life worth?

What is the life of your Mother, Father, Brother, Sister, friends and loved ones worth to YOU? Where do you draw a line and determine that a life taken by a drunk driver, a narcotics impaired person or an addict looking for money to get his/her next fix is worth *X* amount of dollars and that prison time and mandatory minimum sentencing are just too expensive?

I have little, if ANY use for the Democratic Party or its Libber members, I do NOT hold back on that position and I never will but now I am going to take that position one more step forward; if this is what the TEA Party has become, a group that conspires with Libbers in the Senate and House to do away with mandatory sentencing as they support a lessening of punishment for offenders, then the TEA Party truly has lost its way.

The *rudderless ship* is crashing into the shore. I cut my ties with the TEA Party some time back and I feel comfortable making this statement; I will NEVER again support them in any way.

I hate to say NEVER but once in a while you have to stand on Conservative principles and turn your back on the faux Conservative of the TEA Party!

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21 Responses to Push for sentencing changes underway in Congress

  1. Tex Reynolds says:

    I too have had this argument many times over the last few months with alleged conservatives. They want, no they demand, that Conservatives insert into the GOP platform the abolition of all criminal drug laws especially marijuana.

    While I believe that the Federal statutes banning hemp in all forms is draconian, I suggest that we learn from past mistakes and not rush to legalization of marijuana. There is no current valid field method of determining level of impairment when driving under the influence of marijuana.

    Field sobriety tests are subjective in nature that is the reason for breathalyzers and blood tests. THC is the active ingredient of marijuana and potency varies wildly. Alcohol is sold based on “proof” and requires labeling. To date no State that has approved legal marijuana sales has figured out how to do this. Alcohol production has to meet certain requirements in order to protect the buying public.

    Isopropyl, methanol (wood grain alcohol) and other additives are prohibited from being added to protect the users. It is a proven fact that marijuana (and alcohol) affects brains that are not fully developed i.e. children, teenagers, and yet few States have written prohibitions into their legalization dealing with this subject and the legal responsibility of adults and parents.

    We have laws prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors but pot is fine?

    In the rush to legal marijuana and in the rush to get stoned Libertarians disregard all the lessons we have learned from alcohol, cigarettes and other substances once uncontrolled. If they want to legalize pot for adults first they need to establish rules, testing methods, labeling procedures, growing, packaging, sales procedures, i.e. controls.

    I realize that means more bureaucratic problems but why relearn the lessons of the past. Libertarians appear to want total anarchy with no government control but unfortunately there are too many individuals with little or no comprehension of personal responsibility that endanger the rest of the populace. People who espouse the legalization of recreational drugs without proper controls are proof that a mind on drugs is a terrible thing to waste.

  2. The Right Handed Cowboy says:

    I had this conversation last night with my wife and how just north of us, Colorado legalized recreational use of “WEED”. Will cocaine, heroin be next to be legalized…..?? All of this push in the name of $$$$$ TAXES…

    Sorry, I will never buy in to that..I lost too many friends who died at the hands of DOPERS….

    This is a world that liberals want, a country without borders, all the dope they can smoke, snort or inject without interference from anyone……

    Please feel free to move to another country and leave America alone..just look around and see what life is all about under the Obama regime, it should be enough to make you see what liberalism is all about….it stinks…

  3. Bunkerville says:

    Welcome to the fall of Rome. The similarities are stunning.

  4. TexasFred says:

    But the thing that gets me the most is the fact that *some* in the TEA Party are espousing this bullshit…

  5. NativeSon says:

    “But the thing that gets me the most is the fact that *some* in the TEA Party are espousing this bullshit…” The left knows and operates under the FACT that if you say something loud enough and often enough-most will begin to believe it on face value as fact! (The pro-homo group and the weed group are both at the forefront using this philosophy)…

    Another point in your (excellent) post: “…said to range from $21,000 to $33,000 a year per inmate, depending upon the security level of the prison.” If the libtards would allow-we could DRASTICALLY reduce the cost to incarcerate-make them grow their own food, sew their own clothes, etc. WORKING in prison would reduce the cost to a FEW dollars a day!

    • TexasFred says:

      If they want to eat they have to work… It was that way back when I was a youngster, the Caddo Parish farm actually MADE money because they sold the crops they didn’t use to feed prisoners…

      Air conditioned units, color TV, weights and workout equipment, none of that is a necessity of life, and let’s face it, if nothing else, beans and cornbread is a cheap diet too, even if you can’t *work* them…

      I just can’t understand how ANYONE that claims to be a TEA Party person could be stupid enough to fall for the lies of the left, but I would never have dreamed that the TEA Party would fall for a Ron Paul supporter and embrace the Libertarian mantra either..

  6. dekare says:

    I may be unpopular with my opinion on this. But my current opinion is one of complete freedom. Drugs are not the problem, people are. Drugs don’t get in a car and kill someone, a moron who knows not right from wrong does. Blaming drugs for horrible deaths is quite similar to blaming guns for horrible deaths or blaming 16oz sodas for obesity. These are inanimate objects that need to be treated with moderation and respect, and if misused, will have consequences. I feel I would almost have to fit my thinking into that of a gun grabber to start blaming drugs for what people do…and I do not want to start sounding like them, blaming objects for the acts of people and telling them what they should and should not do.

    Just like every child that is killed by a gun, there are thousands of children that do not die from gun accidents, despite the fact that they live in a home with guns. Well, same for certain drugs. For every child that becomes a heroine addict because of a joint he had in high school, there are thousands that smoked pot and went on to become successful law abiding citizens. I am one of them.

    Now, I am not saying all drugs should be legal, as there are some nasty drugs out there that should not be available to anyone but the absolute experts. Just like the average person should own weapons, no one should be allowed to have missiles or nuclear bombs or poison gases.

    However, if we can rationalize alcohol as being legal, then I sure as heck can see my way to legalizing certain drugs that are no more dangerous.

    Yes, kids will die, and lives will be ruined, but that is the price of freedom. To have absolute protection of all children from drug use involves a level of govt intrustion I shudder to think about. If someone wants to throw their life away to become a burnout, then that is their choice. Some kids die tragically because guns are legal, but that does not mean we should outlaw guns. Same for certain drugs.

    Should we take steps to save someone from himself? Well, that is the job of family and friends…not the govt. I would not stop a person from skydiving if they wanted to as it is their choice to do as they want, even if disagree with it, and this activity greatly increases the chance of them dying. Why would I stop a person from smoking pot for the same reason. It’s a free country (or at least it used to be).

    I guess my true sentiment is freedom and responsibility for the individual, and most importantly, the govt needs to mind its own business. Yes consequences to our actions are much greater, but that is the result of great freedom. Someone should be allowed to become as greatly successful and soar as high as they can, or crash and burn to the lowest of lows, that is what freedom of choice gives us.

    I do not want people hurt, but it is not the job of the govt to save the individual from himself. Now, if someone wants to take their drug use into the area of harming others, such as robbery, DUI, or violent behavior, etc., well then, there are rules on the books for that and there are consequences that should be very harsh. In fact, I would be much tougher on those idiots that have harmed others due to their drug use, just as I would with those that abuse their right to own a firearm. The punishment would be greatly enhanced. But to put a person in jail because he smoked or possessed a certain drug makes little sense to me. I find it difficult to accept that the govt is helping someone by throwing him in prison.

    I guess my true sentiment is there are drugs that are no more harmful then alcohol, and if we as a society can justify the acceptance of alcohol, then certain classes of drugs should be just as easily acceptable. If we take the stance that all drugs are bad, that all things harmful or mind altering are evil and should be banned, than we need to ban alcohol, cigarettes, coffee, chocolate, 16oz softdrinks, transfats, etc. as all of these are in some way bad for the individual. For me, when the govt acts to protect me from myself, very little good comes from it. We don’t want the govt telling us we can’t have 16oz softdrinks, well, then don’t tell me I can’t use something that is no consequence to others. Any argument used to justify outlawing drugs can be used to justify the banning of cookies and ice cream. Hundreds of thousands of people are treated for heart disease and obesity issues every year at great expense to all of us. Should we ban everyone, or even just certain irresponsible people from buying a pint of haagan daaz? How many children begin of life of obesity and social isolation due to that first cookie they had at the age of 3? Is this cookie a gateway to a horrible life and therefore, made illegal?

    So, to repeat myself, I believe in freedom to do what I want as long as I do not harm anyone else. Most of all, I do not want my supposed betters deciding for me what I should or should not do, because they deem it so. Our founding fathers, from what I have read, may have smoked a littel weed now and again, and for all I know, was the very reason Jefferson was able to write so creatively and put together the greatest document in the world. Heck, even the Beatles attribute their creativity to a little weed now and again. How sad would the world be without these things?

    In the end, I strongly believe in a conservative govt, a conservative fiscal attitude, conservative spending, but no govt should embrace conservative social engineering. How someone lives their life is an individual choice of everyone in We The People.

    Again, just my opinion…I may be wrong…but it is mine.

    I almost find it hypocritical to allow the legalization of alcohol, but say pot is bad. IMO, alcohol is a much worse drug and should be outlawed way before pot should be.

    And for the record, I don’t use illegal drugs nor do I drink. Not that I am against any of it, I just don’t like the feelings they produce nor the taste.

    With great freedom comes great responsibility. It’s your life. I don’t want anyone hurt, but I really really don’t want the nanny govt to control me.

    • TexasFred says:

      And THAT is a fine example of a person that has embraced the Libertarian mantra…

      No one has said a thing about the government controlling you, this is about illegal drugs and the penalty for having or using them… Use them and face the consequences, hurt one of my loved ones and I come after you with a vengeance so incredibly violent you’ll WISH the government were controlling you…

      Yes, you ARE wrong… And that is MY opinion…

      • dekare says:

        Fred, I do agree with you on the fact that if anyone harms my loved ones, regardless of their mental condtion caused by anything, I would probably end up in prison for what I would do to them.

        My above is discussing an activity where no one else if personally or physically harmed. If someone has a joint in the privacy of their own home, and does not rob anyone to get money to buy it, or drives in a vehicle while impaired from it, then where is the crime?

        My argument comes down to responsibility. If someone acts prudently in the use of drugs deemed by the govt as illegal, then who’s business is that? Again, if they act irresponsible, then by all means, they should be punished severely. But the punishment should be the act they committed in doing such harm…not the use of the drug. Just like a gun. If someone uses their firearms responsibly, then what is the problem. But is someone uses a gun to harm someone else, then we punish them. But we punish the wrongful act that caused the harm. Not the use or possession of the firearm. Same for certain drugs in my opinion.

        One of my points is why are some drugs illegal and some not and what superior knowledge does a politician have that lets him say what is good for me and what is forbidden. Alcohol, caffeine, and other stimulants or depressives are legal and may even be worse for people than marijuana, yet they are legal. There are so many things that are bad for us that are still perfectly legal, like transfats, sugars, sodas, and so on, yet, if any politician tried to pass a law forbidding us from these harmful items, we would have a fit, and rightfully so.

        Who put themselves in charge of deciding for me what was legal and what was not, for my own protection, in doing something that harms no one else. I will say that I have seen more lives ruined by alcohol than say marijuana. And we have all heard of people drinking themselves to death, or some college kids dying of alcohol poisoning. But I have never heard of someone dying from overdosing on pot, not that it may not have happened. If we passed a law on everything that resulted in harm to someone, we would all be in jail. There has to be a line drawn between the extreme and the common sense stuff.

        Now, if someone under the influence does something stupid and harms anyone, then by all means, the govt ought to do the maximum amount of punishment deserved. If a person wants to smoke pot, then they must do so responsibly. Just like owning and using a firearm, there is an expectation of responsibility. The moment someone acts stupidly, be it firing a rifle at a building, or driving a vehicle after doing a few lines of coke, then they deserve what the law says they have coming. But we punish the negative action, not the use or possession.

        At one time, in history, living with a person of the opposite sex while not married or having premarital sex was a crime and punishment was extreme. At one time, mentioning the earth revolved around the sun was punishable by prison. At one time, a man could own a cannon, and not register it, and that was perfectly fine. And even quite recently, the use or possession of alcohol was illegal and punishable by prison.

        Today, we laugh at how stupid these laws were in forbidding people from something and remark at how extremely severe the punishment was for something that today is considered quite legal and normal. I believe that one day, they will laugh at how we used to try and control use of certain drugs, and how horrible it was to throw someone in prison for the simple act of possessing certain drugs.

        Remember, the only reason certain things are illegal is because some group of politicians got together under the guise of protecting us, and made laws, making criminals out of honest citizens.

        At one time, marijuana or other minor drugs were legal, and how silly it must have seen at first when the first law was created to halt the use of it. But today, these laws seem quite serious and have very serious consequences. Kind of like how silly it seems today that laws are made to ban transfats or overly-large sodas. If we don’t put our foot down, years from now, people may come to believe that these things are really dangerous and rightfully kept out of the hands of simple minded subjects, who need protecting from themselves, or worse, for the children.

        At one time, men smoked tobacco, baseball players used tobacco, and it was everywhere, done by everyone, and it was cool. Today, they are proposing laws to make it illegal to smoke even in the privacy of your own home. Now yes, I agree that smoking is not the best for a person’s health, but look at how perverted our politicians have become in their efforts to control people from smoking. Somewhere along the way, sensible legislation and common sense was removed from the process. Sadly, this is almost always what govt turns into. I do not want a govt making making laws on social issues.

        Finally, look at the mess that has been created by the govt trying desparately to keep certain drugs off the streets. Can anyone say we have gotten our money’s worth in this costly effort in the war on drugs? Can anyone tell me that these efforts have made even a dent in the use of these drugs?

        I love Reagan, but his just say “no” policy was a dismal failure. It did make everyone feel good, and it made everyone think that the problem could be solved, but the fact is, just like prohibition, it did way more harm than good. If anyone can tell me straight up that prohibition was a success, I will concede. But for me, the current war on certain drugs is no different than out govt’s war on alcohol almost a century ago.

        No good has ever come from a govt making laws to protect us from ourselves, and almost every bad law has begun with the saying “It’s for the protection of our children”. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And I do not want a moralistic politician telling me what I should or should not do when my actions harm no one. And for the record, I do not use drugs, nor do I drink. Not because I am self righteous, I just don’t like the effects or the taste. But I feel it is the right of no man to tell another what he can or cannot do, when no one is harmed.

      • SinEater says:

        TexasFred -
        I have a lot of respect for your opinions and I see you tirelessly working to fight gun grabbers all over the internet.
        This is going to make you angry.
        You are taking almost exactly the same philosophical viewpoint of the gun grabbers when talking about drugs.
        There are hundreds of thousands of people who drink responsibly every day.
        There are _thousands_ who cause accidents and hurt or kill people every year. You cannot punish the many for the actions of the few.
        Compare and contrast:
        There are hundreds of thousands who use firearms correctly and safely every day.
        There are _thousands_ who cause accidents and hurt or kill people every year.
        You cannot punish the many for the actions of the few.

        The overall problem is one of crime.
        Making the use of pot a crime is not a solution. Making the use of alcohol a crime created all of the evil of Prohibition in the 1930s. Now we have all of the evil of the Drug War of the 1980s and 1990s and 2000s.
        If people are going to use drugs, they are going to use drugs. Let them get them from a doctor and a pharmacist instead of the little monkey on the street.
        Let them get real drugs that have been measured and tested for purity from a reputable source.
        Let them pay taxes to use those drugs; and let those taxes from the drugs be used to pay for medical costs and criminal conviction costs and all of the other costs you are concerned with.
        People drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol now. People use guns irresponsibly or criminally now.
        The difference is that where guns are legal, things are regularized and there is less crime.
        When alcohol was made legal, the crime rate drastically dropped.
        Legalize ALL of the drugs and let people get them from a pharmacy. Let these people shoot up in their own home, or smoke crack in their own home, or smoke weed in their own home. That way they won’t be out and about trying to score, or robbing houses or hurting people to get money to score, or driving around stoned or high because they can’t go home stoned or high.
        At least half of the attraction for people to use drugs is simply because they are illegal. Mainstream alchohol and the use was not as romantic so it wasn’t coveted as much.
        Mainstream the drugs and doctors can monitor prescriptions and keep track of people who have real problems.
        Also you won’t have to worry about overdoses as much because the product will be metered.

  7. TomR,armed in Texas says:

    Drugs, along with crooked politicians and liberals, have destroyed the moral fabric of America. Since the early to mid 60′s, America has changed from a free, capitalist, religiously moral, educated country to an overly regulated, globalist, amoral nation of divided factions with divided allegiences. I don’t see things improving. Drugs are too easy to abuse and there are now too many folks with compromised self control.

    There still are a lot of good people with good moral values, but modern (un)education, popular amoral entertainment, a misleading biased media, a false economy based on debt, proliferation of drugs and completely amoral career politicians are Romanizing us. My only question is, will we collapse incrementaly as has been happening our will it be a rapid implosion

  8. NativeSon says:

    Cigarettes contain a few dozen known carcinogens and THEY have become the worst thing one can do in public (other than speak out against faggots)…A marihuana cigarette somewhere in the neighborhood of 510 (or more depending upon what has been sprayed on it during its growth) Which is uncontrolled (unlike regular tobacco)…just my .02…

  9. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    Another reason I am a partial and not a full Libertarian. Two MAJOR points of contention with me, because I’m in LE and I see the results every day:

    1. I do NOT believe in the legalization of all drugs, and
    2. I do NOT believe in open borders

    I may be creaking and ancient, but my job and those troops around me and society itself see the results.

    At least DeKare is honest and making a consistent argument.

    I am also honest in my thinking.


  10. Bloviating Zeppelin says:

    Let me point out another little niggling aspect:

    My department was stupid enough to suck into the federal tit for dollars by agreeing to contract with DC for ICE inmates. ICE inmates do NOT speak English unless it’s to make note of the fact that they have more rights than YOU do. Trust me when I tell you they know the word DETAINEE. They have more rights than American inmates and know every one of them. If their food isn’t hot enough, if their clothes aren’t pressed perfects, here come the federal grievances.

    You would vomit if you or the public knew just how much, with kid gloves, these assholes had to be treated: like American Generals, Perfumed Princes.


  11. Wayne says:

    Fred, the post was good but the comments greater. I don’t consider myself a libertarian and I am a tea party believer in taxed enough already. I agree with you about the organized tea party factions that try to coerce donations for their particular brand of same. I and many of my fellows are of the opinion that the TEA party is a spiritual movement ( not to be confused by any religious affiliation or dogma), as it is ingrained in me, my upbringing, to pledge allegiance to the flag, honor of father and mother and protect and defend the Constitution of the USA. I early in life learned and still practice the 12 points of Scout Law, if you know what I mean. It’s a shame that the Scouts have taken such a hit as they have.

  12. dekare says:

    Another thought that occurred to me on reading the comments. My comment here has nothing to do with my other comments at all, nor do I want to make a point, but simply an observation that has come to me that I would like to stir around in my head.

    So much has been blamed for the decay of our society, such as drug use, crime, rampant youth, gambling and so on.

    Alcohol was always available, but did not become the horrible society wrecking drink until politicians made a point of telling us, and declaring war against alcohol. Yes, alcohol harms certain people who fail to drink responsibly, but those people will always find something to wreck their lives. To me, prohibition made more problems then alcohol itself.

    Guns have around since the creation of our great country, and somehow, they did not seem to be a huge issue until politicians made it one in the 1920′s when they had to go up against the crime syndicates who were armed to the teeth and were outgunned and getting their asses handed to them.

    Drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, and others, have been around since the days of George Washington, yet there never seemed to be a huge issue nor do I read of stories of society decay in the use of these, until politicians made a huge deal about it and declared a war on drugs, all in the name of protecting me.

    And as for gambling, it has been around since I bet grog bet gunk two round pebbles he couldn’t kill a wooly mammoth with a wood spear. And yet, until politicians made it illegal, was it really a huge issue in destroying society?

    I think I see the common denominator here. It’s is not any item that has lead to the destruction of society, as these items have been around for centuries, without devastating effects. It’s politicians wanting to control us. And how do they do it. Well how have they alwasy done it. Pick something to make evil, and use it as a weapon for control. Get the ignorant masses to rally your cause, because they like to be involved, feel important, and think they are doing something good. Pick something that is hard for an honest man to stand behind. I mean, what does the average person say when some politicians come at them “So you like it when (drugs, guns, alcohol,gambling, etc. and fill in the blank) kills children and ruins family?”

    Politicians make a point of marginalizing anyone that tries to stand up for whatever the activity these politicians want to control. And it works. Lots of stupid people who believe anything politicians tell them will gladly cast stones at those that try to stand up for freedom.

    For politicians, they have been using the same procedure for whatever fancies their cause. And just like dominoes, these activities or object become demonized and outlawed.

    So, I guess my thought process here has led me to believe that it is not drugs, guns or gambling, or alcohol, or transfats, or whatever the next big vice or virtue that will be picked is bad…or good. They just exist. It is people being irresponsbile, and EVIL politicians using the bad decisions of the few to control the many. Whether it is to buy votes, bring about taxes and higher taxes, control of the masses or just plain make a name for himself and make himself feel good, it’s all nonsense.

    Just my thoughts, no argument intended.

    And for the record, I blame hippies for all of society’s ills today. We should have laced their pot with stricknine when we had the chance. (That’s a joke…maybe)

    • SinEater says:

      I agree one hundred percent.
      There was a point in time when dancing was blamed for society’s ills. And at one point prostitution in brothels was blamed for society’s ills.
      The problem lies in politicians seeking to control people and lying and marginalizing groups of people (like gun owners) to do that.

  13. Petermc3 says:

    This was as well thought out as Obalamacare. One glaring difference though, it was available to all prospective purchasers at a fair price…: )

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