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Written by Brenda Shoop   
Sunday, 01 April 2007

I am developing several new websites and am looking for some feedback.

One of them is AuntBytes.com. That is where you will find "The Aunts." The Aunts are everyone's favorite aunts. I'm Aunt Brenda and I dispense advice based on logic, reason, research, and experience. 

That is where published propaganda and lies will be exposed for what they are through debate with the authors of the original articles, comments left on other articles, and anywhere our team finds misinformation. Articles may be found by my team or submitted for scrutiny by readers. Sources and references will be checked and the results will be reported back to the original authors and to readers of the website. Here's a good example of what I mean.

Is this something that you would want to know about? Would you be willing to hold up the beliefs you've been "fed" to scrutiny? Wanna' join the Team?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!

 
Letter to Attorney General Gonzales from Reverend Tom Brown PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brenda Shoop   
Tuesday, 06 March 2007

The following is a letter written to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after the A.G.'s office launched its new initiative for 2007. It's called the First Freedom Project referring to the First Amendment protection of religious freedom. Especially interesting is the speech given to the Southern Baptist Convention in Tennessee. This is great news!

Reverend Tom Brown can be found at The First Church of the Magi.

To all our relations. Mitakeoyesay!

Greetings in the name of the most high, Jah Rastafari, ever faithful, ever sure, Jah Rastafari.One Love brethren. 

Greetings Counselor Treene, U.S. Dept. Justice, 

A fellow minister, Rev. Joshua Snider, forwarded information about your project there at the Attorney General's office.  Thank God we finally have this chance to speak of the unspeakable. 

In 1988, several of my community were moved by the Holy Spirit of God to found "Our Church".  Due to the persecution that we have faced from the Pope's armies and their civil authority surrogates since 1188, our original church founders are still in hiding from that 1988 burst of the Spirit upon them.  Like Jonah they have fled into the wilderness and seek to avoid the Voice of God that calls them. 

In 1994 I was called by God to make plain the way for Our Church.  Acting in accordance with my own imperfect overstandings of this, I deeded an acre of my farm to Our Church and 8 others and I founded Our Church Inc., a religious non-profit corporation of the State of Arkansas. 

In August of 1994 I was arrested for growing our sacramental plants on the church property.  Our sacraments are Peyote and Marijuana.  At trial, the court refused to implement RFRA (42 U.S.C. sec. 2000bb et al) as written by Congress and as interpreted by the courts in published opinions prior to my trial. 

At trial all mention of the church was suppressed.  All mention of the federal exemption for religious use of Peyote was suppressed in violation of 21 CFR 1307.31.  When six other church members tried to testify that they also grew the 435 marijuana plants and 3 peyote plants, that testimony was suppressed over my objections.   

Testimony of a federal Compassionate Use Program participant that she is provided with Marijuana for her medical use by the federal government was suppressed.   

All evidence of sincerity of religious establishment and exercise and any evidence of any threat to public health and safety caused by our religious work was suppressed.   

The jury was instructed to not consider any fact that did not prove that I grew marijuana and that growing the marijauana was a violation of federal law without exception. See - Case No. 94-50030-01 Western District of Arkansas, Honorable Franklin Waters; November 28, 29, 30, 1994.

I served my 53 months is federal prison, 48 months of supervised release, and at 60 years of age I am broke, unemployed for 3 years because of the conviction, and at my wits end.  If it weren't for the grace of God, I would not be here to place this complaint to you. 

So, last year 800,000 of my fellow churchpersons were arrested by federal and state police agencies and persecuted for growing, possesing or otherwise having a connection to marijuana.  Of course the federal drug law they claim to enforce provides for all kind of exemptions for manufacturing and using Schedule I drugs like marijuana and peyote, but the blind prohibition mentality of the DEA, police and lawyers has so far prevented any presentation of any religious establishment and exercise facts to any jury considering a violation of the marijuana laws. 

My case is the only case I know of that attempted that prior to the O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal church victory on February 21, 2006 at the Supreme Court.
 

So, where do we go from here?  I represent over 20 million Americans that have been persecuted for their connection to marijuana since federal prohibiiton initiated in 1937.  Yet, the DEA admits that there has been no recorded injury or death caused by marijuana in over 5000 years of recorded history.  (DEA Administrative Law Judge decision, 1988, Marijuana Rescheduling Petition.) 

Is it too soon to stop putting people in prison for using a herb that never injured a single human being? 

Is it too soon to stop burning witches for the Pope?

Is it too soon for the federal Department of Justice to actually tell the TRUTH about our churchs and the statutory protections that Congress has provided for their establishment and exercise?

So how do I file a more complete complaint with your office.  I am anxious, these past 14 years, to get this resolved in favor of Truth and Justice.  

Can you help me with that? 

One Love  revtombrown 

We're praying for you at The Green Earth Ministries, Reverend Tom. We'll see an end to the religious persecution SOON!

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 March 2007 )
 
What An Informed Teen Has To Say About The Drug War PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brenda Shoop   
Monday, 26 February 2007

A high school student, Andrew Valencia, comments on the recent Supreme Court decision on medical marijuana.

Reprinted from the Fresno Bee (California) August 7, 2005

COURT'S MARIJUANA DECISION IS WRONG

In accordance with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the state of California has suspended the licensing program that made it legal for its residents to use marijuana for medical purposes.

As a result, more than 120 Californians, most of whom were acting on a doctor's orders, will be stripped of their right to legal access to a proven method of pain treatment. Instead, they will be forced to seek an alternative treatment from among the myriad expensive commercial painkillers, many of which are untested and have costlier side affects than even the most potent strain of pot.

The American public would benefit not only from legalized medicinal marijuana, but from legalized marijuana in general.

One of the principal arguments used in the vilification of marijuana, or cannabis sativa, is that it's a danger to health and to families. But since when does the government have the authority to illegalize anything that is unhealthy?

Furthermore, why has the government singled out cannabis? Is cannabis any more unhealthy to the human body than cigarettes, which have killed more people than any drug in history, and which the American Heart Association calls the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country?

Is cannabis any more unhealthy to the family unit than alcohol, which has broken up more homes than any drug in history -- causing one-third of all divorces, according to Scotland's University of Dundee? If the government can make marijuana illegal simply for health reasons, then it can do the same thing to Big Macs, Snickers, Ben & Jerry's and everything else people enjoy.

Opponents of legalized marijuana are also quick to blame the rise of crime on this drug's use. If you make more things illegal, there will be more people breaking the law. This point is well-illustrated when you consider that organized crime in this country did not flourish until the government criminalized alcohol and forced the need for a large, well-organized criminal infrastructure.

More recently, the prohibition of cannabis showed its dark consequences in Jamaica in the 1980s. Through the help of Ronald Reagan's Caribbean Basin Initiative, the Jamaican marijuana industry was criminalized, opening the door to heroin and cocaine cartels operated by a few wealthy dealers.

In California, three of the top five reasons for which new convicts enter prison deal with the sale or possession of a controlled substance. That's according to prisonactivist.org, an independent activist Web site based in Berkeley. The site also reports that, as a consequence, Californians spend $5.6 billion on prisons each year, compared to $4.3 billion on higher education.

If marijuana dealers were required to have licenses to sell pot, then the same rules that have more or less kept minors from buying alcohol would keep them from buying this drug, too.

And just as bathtub gin cocktail disappeared after the end of Prohibition, so would the cases of marijuana being sold laced with PCP and other hallucinogens. Consumers would be safer, and dealers would be driven to provide a quality product.

Legalized marijuana, therefore, would lead to a safer society.

Andrew Valencia attends Reedley High School

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 March 2007 )
 
Court overrules Church's use of pot as sacrament... PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Bruce Shoop   
Monday, 19 February 2007

Court overrules Church's use of pot as sacrament...

I just had to re-post an entertaining comment I found while reading a story in The Arizona Daily Star regarding a recent ruling against the founders of a Southeastern Arizona Church that was seeking a dismissal of criminal charges for possession of over 100 pounds of marijuana.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 September 2007 )
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Moe C - I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself! PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brenda Shoop   
Sunday, 18 February 2007

This is a great way to explain what is really wrong with the"morals" in America.

People have lost sight of the fact that God want us to forgive.

Wasn't Jesus sent here to not only die for us, but to show us how to live according to God's ways?

Isn't that what Jesus preached and showed us by his own behavior?

Didn't Jesus use stories to explain these ways?
He was trying desperately to help us "get it." Some still haven't. Sad.


If we all really honestly believed that we are forgiven by God, then we wouldn't have such a difficult time forgiving others and just plain old letting others be.

I wish I had written the below, but I really couldn't have come close....

"People who don't believe are more moral(ly intolerant) because they know they can't simply ask for divine forgiveness."

Wow! Kudos to Moe C on the Discussion Forum at azstarnet.com.!!!

Aunt Brenda

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 March 2007 )
 
Big Big Government by ABC's John Stossel PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Brenda Shoop   
Wednesday, 14 February 2007

****Note from Aunt Brenda**** This is a story that ran on TownHall.com a few weeks ago. It is a good overview of the problems caused by the so-called War on Drugs.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Two weeks ago, U.S. drug agents launched raids on 11 medical-marijuana centers in Los Angeles County. The U.S. attorney's office says they violated the laws against cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

Whatever happened to America's federal system, which recognized the states as "laboratories of democracy"?

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 11 states (Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington) have eliminated the penalties for physician-approved possession of marijuana by seriously ill patients. In those states people with AIDS and other catastrophic diseases may either grow their own marijuana or get it from registered dispensaries.

But the U.S. government says its drug laws trump the states' laws, and in 2005, the Supreme Court agreed.

This is not the way it was supposed to work. The constitutional plan presented in the Federalist Papers delegated only a few powers to the federal government, with the rest reserved to the states. The system was hailed for its genius. Instead of having decisions made in the center -- where errors would harm the entire country -- most policies would be determined in a decentralized environment. A mistake in California would affect only Californians. New Yorkers, Ohioans, and others could try something else. Everyone would learn and benefit from the various experiments.

It made a lot of sense. It still does. Too bad the idea is being tossed on the trash heap by big-government Republicans and their DEA goons.

Drug prohibition -- like alcohol prohibition -- is a silly idea, as the late free-market economist Milton Friedman often pointed out. Something doesn't go away just because the government decrees it illegal. It simply goes underground. Then a black market creates worse problems. Since sellers cannot rely on police to protect their property, they arm themselves, form gangs, charge monopoly prices, and kill their competitors. Buyers steal to pay the high prices.

Alcohol prohibition in the 1920s gave America Al Capone and organized crime. Drug prohibition has given us South American and Asian cartels that finance terrorism. Even the government admits that the heroin trade bankrolls terrorists. Prohibition's exorbitant black-market prices make that possible. In the United States, drug prohibition spawns gangs that are sometimes better armed than the police. Drug prohibition does more harm than drugs.

The war on drugs hasn't even accomplished what it promised to do. Drugs are abundant and cheaper than ever. "ABC News" reported last month, "marijuana is the U.S.'s most valuable crop. The report, 'Marijuana Production in the United States,' by marijuana policy researcher Jon Gettman, concludes that despite massive eradication efforts at the hands of the federal government, 'marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the national economy.'"

The destructive failure of the drug war is why it makes so much sense to let states experiment, which 11 of them have done with medical marijuana.

Legalizing only medical marijuana brings its own problems. For one thing, it invites state authorities to monitor the practice of medicine to make sure doctors don't prescribe pot promiscuously.

But government officials shouldn't be the judges of what is and isn't medicine. That should be left to medical researchers, doctors, and patients. The effectiveness of medicine is too dependent on individual circumstances and biochemistry. One size does not fit all, so politicians and bureaucrats should butt out.

More fundamentally, why should only people whom the state defines as sick be able to use marijuana? This is supposed to be a free country, and in a free country adults should have the right to ingest whatever they want. A drug user who harms someone else should be punished, but a peaceful user should be left alone.

Despite my reservations about medical marijuana, the states' experimentation is still better than a brutal federal one-size-fits-all crackdown. There is no role here for the federal government. If the people of a state want to experiment by loosening drug prohibition, that should be their right. Washington should mind its own business. The feds and rest of us should watch. We might learn something.

John Stossel is an award-winning news correspondent and author of Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity: Get Out the Shovel--Why Everything You Know is Wrong.

Be the first to read John Stossel's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.

Last Updated ( Friday, 09 March 2007 )
 
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