Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do
"I never hurt nobody but myself
and that's nobody's business but my own."
— Billie Holiday
It's taken me too long to review this book because it's taken me far too long to actually read this magnificent book. Everyone in Liberty World knows Peter McWilliams and most of us have shed many a tear for this sensitive, kind, humane, supremely intelligent, humorous author, publisher, and advocate of fundamental personal freedom. For this man.
We cry because so benevolent an individual became one of the most celebrated and brutal victims of the prosecution of victimless crimes. He was literally murdered by the federal government, by men dressed up as legitimate, constitutionally franchised United States' authorities who denied him his property, his freedom, and the medical attention he needed to prevent him from choking to death, June 14, 2000. You can read the story of his barbaric murder by federal officials here. There are a number of sites on Peter, and his own Web page has apparently been left up on the World Wide Web in memory.
Peter's cannabis activism, as evident by Ain't Nobody's Business, was a large part of the government's rationale for killing him: "How dare anyone write a book claiming the drug war is immoral and ineffectual, and that it mercilessly destroys innocent lives."
"We're in a war. People who smoke pot on a casual basis are guilty of treason. They shouldn't be arrested, they should be taken out and shot." — Daryl Gates, former Los Angeles Police Chief (and ultimate whack job)
Peter was a casualty of that war, I'm increasingly convinced not as collateral damage but as a intentional target of the enemy.
In Summer of 2000, I attended the convention of the Libertarian Party, in Anaheim, California. It had only been two weeks since Peter died, and I recall LP party founder David Nolan on the dais literally breaking down conveying to us what a wonderful man Peter was: as a businessman, his compassion for AIDS victims, his courage under his own affliction with that horrible disease, his persistence in the fight for medical marijuana to alleviate human suffering in general, and to top it all off his wonderful, playful sense of life.
Peter never stooped to the brutality of his tormentors; he held to the end that these officials who imposed and applied such draconian restrictions while Peter awaited sentencing were only well-meaning pawns in a silly policy. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." Even though John Stossel managed to air a positive 20/20 segment on Peter's plight shortly before Peter died, virtually no one in the controlled media elevated the story to where it belongs: the saga of Peter McWilliams, late-20th-century Gandhi for personal liberty.
The reason I'd put off reading Nobody's Business for so long is, as a victim of government aggression myself (though negligibly compared to Peter), I knew what he was going to describe. I had first hand knowledge about how the drug war destroys lives—a reasonable estimate is more than the current population of the United States (~300 million) have been the victims of government aggression for victimless crimes in the US during the 20th century—and the thought of revisiting in text this awful condition of unenlightenment depressed the heck out of me. But I needn't have been concerned. Nobody's Business is not only full of facts and anecdotes and, believe it or not, humor, it is full of hope. It's actually a field manual and a voluminous reference for leaders in the heroic fight for personal freedom.
Cutting right to the chase, the following list is more or less transcribed from one of the earlier chapters. McWilliams provides the most comprehensive indictment of government aggression for "sin crimes" you'll ever see:
The remainder of the book expands on each of these areas of analysis. Further, Mr. McWilliams brings to light one gem of factual material after another, with humor and humanity. I challenge anyone to read this book and insist that we persist with our policies against people we want to beat up for disobedience or for just being odd. C'mon folks, lay down the clubs and live up to the American ideal.
McWilliams' spirit lives on and is inspiring hundreds of new Gandhis... for example, moving forward measures for medical marijuana and agricultural hemp. [My personal immediate favorite is NH Coalition for Common Sense, which has recently won an impressive legislative victory for partial decriminalization of marijuana in the Free State.] Law enforcement is now on board nationally with rational, humanitarian drug policy via Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP). [If you haven't had the privilege of seeing former lawman Howard J. Wooldridge in action—either on the road or on the (Capitol) Hill—I encourage you to catch up with him. He visited East Lansing, Michigan, a year ago, and the college kids love him.] Finally, an effort related to repeal of consensual crimes—mainly because the asinine federal government won't remove agricultural hemp from its Schedule I narcotics list—Hemp Industries Association fights the good fight to recultivate a potentially trillion-dollar-a-year industry, agricultural hemp, for family farmers and local independent businesses of all sorts everywhere. [Hemp can provide the raw-wealth engine to clean up and liberate the planet in short order.]
So right arm! Read this book and join the army of enlightenment.
Speaking to the American people, do you really want to succumb to the superstitious dogma of a government system run amok? Do you want to continue to arrest 4,000,000 of your neighbors and incarcerate 750,000 more, EACH YEAR, for crimes that are not crimesl? What sort of madmen would advocate such policies? Or are they mad at all? Perhaps these laws are intended to protect the privileges of a financial elite, or organized crime, or both. Prevent competition. Do you think of that? What's that saying: "Don't steal, it's illegal to compete with the government."
We've just seen in New Hampshire that the power structure is running scared of the truth. When HB 1623 (decrim for small quantities of marijuana) passed the NH house a few days ago, the mayor of Manchester requested that another Manchester public official (who had voted for the measure) resign. But the people have spoken and they realize the emperor wears no clothes; the mayor is probably wishing he never said anything as messages from hundreds if not thousands of citizens are undoubtedly plugging up his electronic inbox with support of the public official who voted for freedom. "We won't be fooled again."
And in conjunction with this achievement on the front lines, I want to close my review with a note courtesy Matt Simon, fearless leader of the NHCommonSense cadre. Pointing to the bizarre response of the mayor of Manchester to HB 1623, Matt cited the following observation from that ultimate defender of liberty himself, Mohandas K. Gandhi:
First they ignore you;
then they ridicule you;
then they attack you;
then you win.
Daryl Gates was right, we are in a war. We're fighting for common sense, freedom, and the Constitution. Treason by out-to-lunch rogue cops and politicians cannot be tolerated; any of these individuals prosecuting wars against consensual activity in the slightest fashion should be taken out and... "nonviolently and peacefully encouraged" to read Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do. (Then lay down their assault rifles and battering rams and retire from public life to manage ant farms or pound sand 24/7.)
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