Thursday, June 06, 2013

Liberty Lines, June 6, 2013- Farwell's new "Drug Dog"

(Published in the Farwell TX / Texico NM State Line Tribune, 6-6-2013)

We can debate the merits of the failed War on Politically Incorrect Drugs 'til the cows come home, but my observation is that prohibition- for "the common good", "for the children", or "for your own good"- always brings negative consequences.

In fact, I think the evidence is clear that the current prohibition, and the enforcement efforts related to it, have destroyed more lives (and trampled more liberty in the process) than all the drug abuse that has occurred since humans first discovered that ingesting certain substances made them feel different than normal.

And now I see that Farwell is joining the ignoble ranks of those who use trained dogs to "alert" on these forbidden substances.

It's faulty "science".  Yes, the "drug dogs" are trained to alert to the smell of drugs or similar odors, but dogs have a strong desire to please their pack leader.  This quickly translates into "I'll say I smell something because I know that's what my Alpha wants".  Even imperceptible unconscious signals quickly train the dog to do what is wanted.  Just like magic, you get the excuse you needed to violate the Fourth (and Ninth) Amendment- with the dishonest collusion of the Supreme Court.

Can dunking witches be far behind?

In past societies witches were "discovered" using similarly questionable tactics.  Burn the accused with red-hot iron, and if they survive unharmed, they are innocent.  Or tie them up and toss them in the cow pond; if they sink they are innocent, if they float they are guilty and can then be killed without burdening your conscience.  "They had it coming."  Everyone "knows" it's reliable, because the authorities insist it is.

Do I think abusing drugs is a good idea?  No.  I think it's stupid.  But abusing "law" and violating liberty in the name of criminalizing drug use is even worse.

These trained dogs are just for the convenience of the police and are damaging to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness- which are the only justifications any government can ever have for existing.  When society is structured for the benefit of police, it is a police state.  This has no place in Farwell, or anywhere else liberty is given lip service.



  1. I had a well trained German Shepherd that I could get to start barking and acting alert by saying "What's that?" That dogs barking can be used to put people in jail is absurd.

  2. Just as a matter of science Kent, do you trust alerts for tracker or bomb detecting dogs? I don't see how you can rule one in and the others out just cus you don't like the ends the dogs are put to. The dogs themselves got no stake in this, they're just doing what they're trained to do. When i was a volunteer firefighter i helped search for a lost elderly walk away nursing home resident for two hours. The tracker dog found her in less than a half hour, at night, in the rain. Maybe it was just luck but i was and remain impressed.

  3. KenK- It all comes down to the motivation of the dog's handler. If tracker or bomb sniffing dogs' handlers had motivation to get a positive response from the dog regardless of reality, then I wouldn't trust them either. But that motivation isn't usually there.

    My only experience with a tracker dog left me underwhelmed.

    Several years ago, near where I lived at the time in rural Colorado, there was an attempted bank heist and then the killing of a LEO who tried to stop the fleeing burglars. Obviously The Law went nuts. They brought in "Yogi", a famous tracking dog from Denver, who tracked the fugitives close to 100 miles, over the mountain pass to the east where he lost the trail. The couple was featured on America's Most Wanted and it was A Big Deal. Months later their bodies were found (by a corpse dog) a couple hundred feet from where they had shot the LEO, under a tree where they had shot themselves. They had never even been on the road toward the pass, having come from a totally different direction, over a pass to the south. But, I think the dog was picking up on what his handlers wanted him to do, and it overpowered what his senses told him.

  4. Some years ago, we had a "training" session at a local school where the children in the anti-drug program were shown how dogs could alert on any of the students or teachers cars which had drugs inside. The dogs alerted on a car, and then the L.E.O's ran the plates, it turned out to be a teacher's car. The cops went inside the school and dragged the teacher out of class and made her open her trunk which revealed a bag of dogfood that was torn open. Turns out it was the same brand the cops fed their dogs. No apologies were issued, the cops just took their dogs and left. - pbru

  5. Human government, as well as human law enforcement, is a form or sorcery.

    Psychopaths in charge hate competition. They might not come to "dunking witches", but the equivalent is given life in the drug "war". It gives collectivist types the license to practice shamanism openly with the applause of the superstitious masses.


  6. Well when you're trying to find a lost child at night Sam, that "sorcery" often works pretty well. In a perfect world cheap and easily operated drones with heat sensors and night vision would be better and more scientifically valid than a dog's nose, but at this point in time dogs are way cheaper and which is an important consideration in a small community. It would be best of all to eliminate the crazed drug laws that even make this a problem, but I suspect we agree on that already.