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The War on Drugs or the War on Terror: Which would you choose?

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On Eric Olsen’s recent entry, “The Song, Not the Singer: Bush on the War”, Jim Carruthers left the following comment:

“The answer is that you shouldn’t have begun the ‘job’ in Iraq, and the ‘war on terrorism’ is as valid as the ‘war on drugs’ (as this week’s testimony by Ashcroft reveals).”

I seriously don’t see how one can compare the War on Drugs to the War on Terror. That’s like apples and oranges.

I believe that the War on Drugs violates the two tenets of personal responsibility and freedom, which, as a conservative, I hold dear. Marijuana should be as legal as alcohol and tobacco are, and other, harder drugs should be made legally available through health clinics/hospitals to those with addictions (as long as they agree to detox programs). If we legalized marijuana alone, that would take a huge chunk of police time, prisoners and money out of the formula. The War on Drugs can’t work because it doesn’t place trust in people to make the right decisions (instead, it forces it), and limits freedom in the process.

Besides, as a capitalist, it drives me crazy to think of all the free enterprise money that could be made if we legalized cannabis.

Then, of course, there’s the point that if alcohol and tobacco – perhaps the two unhealthiest substances in existence – are legal, it makes no sense to keep marijuana illegal.

I have been to Amsterdam and I have seen first-hand how decriminalizing marijuana and making it available in small amounts in coffeeshops works to free up resources to fight harder, much more lethal drugs. (Of course, again, why should the potential of death deter us from legalizing hard drugs when alcohol and tobacco kill plenty of people by themselves?)

The War on Drugs makes no sense, is hypocritical in light of the legality of alcohol and tobacco, limits freedom of choice, is economically unviable, ties up too many resources and is a disgrace. There, I’ve said it.

With regard to the War on Terror, who asks to be a victim of terror? How is it wrong to launch all our resources available into fighting fanatics hell-bent on exterminating us? Whose freedoms is the War on Terror limiting? Those same fanatics?

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are anaethema to all Islamofascist terrorists. The War on Terror strives to protect these three things that Americans (and other members of the Western free world) should take for granted.

The only way possible to compare the War on Drugs to the War on Terror is to stipulate – correctly – that the former drains resources from the latter. I wish President Bush would see the light, tell John Walters to piss off, slash the DEA and commit their budget toward Homeland Security. We can’t have it both ways. Not only is the War on Drugs irrelevant and immoral, but it cannot exist in tandem with the War on Terror. Eventually, we will have to choose which means more to us.

Actually, perhaps we can compare the two after all: The War on Drugs is a protracted, long-term struggle against freedom of choice and the marketplace. The War on Terror is a protracted, long-term struggle against insane fanatics who want to destroy our freedom and our marketplaces for good. No contest really.

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  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “I seriously don’t see how one can compare the War on Drugs to the War on Terror.”

    Neither are state-based, and thus are not susceptible to a military solution in the way a “real” war with another country is.

    It’s a good analogy, as analogies go.

    Afghanistan was probably “the exception that proves the rule” since the Taliban government gave safe haven and support to Al Qaeda.

    Saudi Arabia follows the rule, even though many individual Saudis support radical Islamists.

  • http://resonation.ca Jim Carruthers

    uhm, thank you I think? One of the points I was making was that your prisons are already full, and you can’t stuff them further with terror (unless “OZ” comes back for another season).

    I think we need a moratorium on the whole “War On …” unless it is the comic strip.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    No problem, Jim. If ever you need someone to shout down the War on Drugs, you can rely on me. Unfortunately, when it comes to almost every other conceivable subject matter, I think we’d end up killing each other.

  • Eric Olsen

    I also deplore the war on drugs, which is really America’s war on itself, and as we learned in Vietnam, when we fight ourselves we can only lose. I also support MEM’s other tenets regarding marijuana in particular: no different from alcohol and tobacco, should be treated very similarly.

    In the case of drugs, the war analogy doesn’t hold, in the war on terror the analogy to war isn’t an analogy at all: it’s a stark reality. There is an enemy, it is very real, and it is a war that must be fought and won on many fronts, including militarily.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “…in the war on terror the analogy to war isn’t an analogy at all …”

    Sure it is.

    This is certainly a major fight but it’s not “war” as “war” is generally understood. Conventional warfare – mass bombings and invasions of countries – isn’t going to work against the radical Islamists.

    If there is to be any hope of success to the extent that some success is possible, we need to appreciate the real nature of the battle. Yes, guns and bombs will very likely be needed, but these zealots are interleaved within the populations of countries, including this one – so who are you going to invade? Fire-power is going to be less important than brain power and an international initiative in every country in the world.

    We should also realize that this “war” will never end – look at Israel and the Palestinians, Spain and the Basques, Ireland and their occupiers … societies have long, long memories. And they seem to never forgive.

  • Eric Olsen

    Hal, I don’t disagree with anything you said, but it is still a war. And rather than invading, a huge part of our task is to avoid invasion.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    And yet that is what those you support do: invade and occupy. And, like the other terrorists, they maim and murder. It’s indecent, to say the very least.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Fire-power is going to be less important than brain power

    Yet so many people still think the man for the job is the man who on last Tuesday began his press conference by saying at the beginning of his commentary:

    “This has been tough weeks in that country.”

  • Eric Olsen

    Unfortunately, his family couldn’t afford speech therapy when he was a lad.

    Natalie, We all have better things to do than police the world, but we won the toss and can’t get anyone else to take over. Until human nature changes, force is the only defense against force, and offensive force is the best way to stop terror.

  • boomcrashbaby

    The Bushs couldn’t afford speech therapy? What college did they send him to again? Community college?

    oh, this are troubled times for we nations.

  • JR

    The Bushs couldn’t afford speech therapy?

    They couldn’t get working class people to pay for it.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Hal has good points – yes, acrimony between certain societies never seems to end – but you can do your best to prevent violence from occurring. When it does occur, as the latest flare-ups in Iraq demonstrate, you might just have to fight fire with fire and then go back to the debating table.

    Natalie, it’s obvious the Islamofascists want to invade and control us. If you like being a member of the free world, this is no time to sit back and embrace moral relativism.

    Boomcrashbaby, Bush went to a school called Yale. Ever heard of it? You cannot force your kid, no matter what your power or influence, to graduate from an Ivy League university if the kid in question is truly a dumb-ass. I agree with Eric and others that Bush has a very real speech impediment, yet that does not make him dumb.

  • http://www.unproductivity.com Tom Johnson

    Speech therapy would do him no good. He speaks perfectly well. What he is is not a good public speaker – lots of people have that problem. I have that problem. No speech therapist would solve that problem. I think it’s sad and shocking how quickly people are to assume that just because he stumbles and is visibly uncomfortable with public speaking he is somehow actually stupid. You don’t have to like him, but at least give the guy some credit. Nasty as politicians can be, they don’t get where they are by being stupid.

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    You cannot force your kid, no matter what your power or influence, to graduate from an Ivy League university if the kid in question is truly a dumb-ass.

    no but you CAN get him IN if he’s a dumb-ass…it’s called the legacy system.

  • JR

    Nasty as politicians can be, they don’t get where they are by being stupid.

    No, they get where they are by having connections and money. Bush just happens to be stupid and well-connected.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Bush went to a school called Yale. Ever heard of it?

    Yes, I’ve heard of it and I know he went there. My comment was sarcastic.

    You cannot force your kid, no matter what your power or influence, to graduate from an Ivy League university if the kid in question is truly a dumb-ass.

    Oh, yes you can. You can also get him out of military service. Large numbers of football players graduate with very limited ability to read. Why would that be? MONEY.

  • Eric Olsen

    The “not being able to afford speech therapy” thing was a joke. But Tom is right that it really isn’t his speech, it’s his ability to speak extemporaneously. He is just fine when he works from a prepared text.

    Regarding his intelligence: he is not an intellectual, he is not an academic, he is not especially curious as far as I can tell, and in the past he was a party boy, which took up a lot of his time and attention. But he is not stupid.

  • boomcrashbaby

    The “not being able to afford speech therapy” thing was a joke

    I know. That’s why I responded to it in kind.

    But he is not stupid.

    For all my jokes about his speech, I am sure he is an intellectual being. However, even intellectual beings make errors in judgement and this lock-step mentality that his way to combat terrorism is the best way is really no laughing matter.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Bush has created far more terrorists than there were before we invaded Iraq. While Al Queda might be crumbling right now, it is not being wiped clean. And what good does it do to eradicate the termite colony infesting your house, when in the process you create several more colonies?

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I haven’t seen the Jihadi census that supports that oft made contention, but you have to allow that he’s certainly responsible for killing more terrorists as well.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Precisely; Bush is a terrorist. He is what he claims to hate.

    “Until human nature changes, force is the only defense against force, and offensive force is the best way to stop terror.”

    ‘Offensive force,’ aka terrorism

    “Natalie, it’s obvious the Islamofascists want to invade and control us.”

    The old childhood truism remains the same: Two wrongs don’t make a right. If “they” are wrong when they maim and murder, so are “you.” I trust your enemies see their aims as being as noble as you see yours and those of your, um, “leader.”

    “If you like being a member of the free world…”

    As a matter of fact, this second-class-under-law human born in America (I refuse to insult myself by using the odious word ‘citizen’) doesn’t like being part of what you call the ‘free world.’ This world, your world, disgusts me to the core (as does the world of the Islamofascists [aka Bush’s enemies and fellow terrorists]); I am trapped here until my last breath comes. The plan is to expatriate when possible, but no place is perfect and few places are untainted by what taints your country.

  • boomcrashbaby

    but you have to allow that he’s certainly responsible for killing more terrorists as well.

    He may be killing terrorists, but not at the rate he’s creating them, as recent events all over the middle east attest to.

  • Eric Olsen

    I would not call all the Sunnis caught up in this mob violence in Fallujah and elsewhere “terrorists” in the same sense, although they are currently behaving like it. They are just stupid fucks who don’t know any better and are going to end up dead as a result.

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Again, I’d have to see the aforementioned Jihadi census to buy that argument.

  • JR

    They are just stupid fucks who don’t know any better and are going to end up dead as a result.

    Sometimes I think that describes all of us.

    But yeah, a lot of these Iraqis don’t seem to have put much thought into their actions. And that is quite different than, say, Mohammed Atta.

  • boomcrashbaby

    To think that ‘all’ the terrorists that Bush has created are limited to those fanatics who throw homemade bombs at our convoys is as naive as the presidential philosophy you blindly follow. How many Mohammad Attas have just been created? How can you know? It might be a long time before they act.

    Since doing a google search on the rise of terrorist groups after the war on Iraq was iniatiated turns up a plethoria of info, most of it on liberal sites, which of course must mean the info is irrelevant to many here, here is an article about it from your conservative foxnews.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    “He is just fine when he works from a prepared text.”

    Nice to see that we agree on what I’ve said many a time before:

    Bush is a reader, not a leader.

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    That Fox article is over a year old. Perhaps getting their asses handed to them consistently enough is finally beginning to make some question the righteousness of their cause or whether Allah really is in their corner.

    I’m not really sure I understand your point, I mean, how can you be sure any Attas were “created”? Are you saying that for some reason these people are just more likely to embrace a culture of death and are incapable of making their own moral judgements? I really don’t care about the ones that only think ill of us, it’s the bombthrowers and trigger pullers I’m worried about. Or are you arguing for a policy of pre-emption here? I’m not really clear on that.

  • boomcrashbaby

    That Fox article is over a year old.

    It was the only article on a conservative site that I could find. Liberals cover it extensively, but nobody seems to want to give it any validation then because of the source. You can look it up on google, yourself, if you like.

    Perhaps getting their asses handed to them consistently enough is finally beginning to make some question the righteousness of their cause

    Perhaps someone who is willing to die for their cause, isn’t willing to get beat up for their cause? Is that what I’m reading here?

    I mean, how can you be sure any Attas were “created”?

    Technically, I can’t prove it as I don’t hang out with that crowd. However logic would only say that those types of mentality have been ‘created’ by the war on Iraq, not just desperate homemade bomb makers. The desperate ones are the ones in Iraq. What about the fundamentalist hardliners in the Phillipines? What about the hardliners in Palestine, Sudan, Saudia Arabia? They aren’t currently desperate. Can we assume they are just shaking their heads in disgust and not being motivated to strategize? Just today I saw on CNN that the Sunni and their most bitter enemies in Iraq are banding together now, forming an alliance, because they have a new common enemy – you and I.

    Are you saying that for some reason these people are just more likely to embrace a culture of death and are incapable of making their own moral judgements?

    Isn’t that what they have done for years? Those Palestians who blow themselves up on Jewish buses, were they not capable of making their own moral judgements? They DID make their own moral judgement. It just wasn’t along the line of what you and I consider moral.

    I really don’t care about the ones that only think ill of us, it’s the bombthrowers and trigger pullers I’m worried about. Or are you arguing for a policy of pre-emption here? I’m not really clear on that.

    I’m arguing for simply considering the fact that maybe Bush’s way to combat terror isn’t the only way OR even the best way. Perhaps, because there are SO many people in this country (and world-wide) who think that he is making things worse, well, just perhaps they are onto something.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    Just as a factiod:

    On “Hardball” a few minutes ago, a guest told us that the Radical Islamsists are no longer using the Twin Towers on their recruitment posters (yes, they use those) and instead are using maps of Iraq.

    I think that tells us something.

  • JR

    Perhaps getting their asses handed to them consistently enough is finally beginning to make some question the righteousness of their cause or whether Allah really is in their corner.

    Actually I think just the opposite is true: losing a straight-up fight is what creates terrorism. People who win at war (like us) are satisfied with so-called legitimate tactics and their results; those who lose on the battlefield resort to sneakier tactics, such as what we call terrorism. And when that doesn’t give sufficient satisfaction, they’ll turn to faith: “Allah will smite them in the next life”. That conveniently disposes of any need for empirical confirmation of their righteousness in this world. The key here is that when people disagree with you, they don’t give up just because you kick them around.

    What you seem to think we should do is to completely break their will to oppose us. I’m not sure that’s possible. Dogs and horses can be “broken”, humans not so much.

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    I failed to communicate clearly so you guys are idiots (insert smiley here). Look, please don’t jump to conclusions about where I’m coming from because I’m challenging your premises.

    BoomCrash, baby, why do you say “your conservative foxnews”, or “the presidential philosophy you blindly follow?” Do you feel the need to personalize this or make gross generalizations? C’mon, you’re better than that.

    I think its certainly a reasonable conclusion that we might be stimulating recruitment but whether or not that is significant is another thing altogether, in my opinion, and here’s why: high attrition rates, little promise for the future, the degraded ability to for groups to train, maintain, and sustain forces. Again, in my opinion, it’s just intellectually lazy to accept a facile analysis of recruitment numbers without considering that there might be offsetting factors.

    Re: Perhaps getting their asses handed to them consistently enough is finally beginning to make some question the righteousness of their cause or whether Allah really is in their corner. No great meaning here, guys, all I’m saying is that most jihadis end up dead and most people don’t want to die.

    I thought Hal’s factoid was pretty interesting, too. So what is the significance of the change in recruitment images? Does it mean that the islamists no longer consider the Sept 11 to be a glorious victory and are desperate to create a new rallying point?

  • boomcrashbaby

    BoomCrash, baby, why do you say “your conservative foxnews”, or “the presidential philosophy you blindly follow?” Do you feel the need to personalize this or make gross generalizations? C’mon, you’re better than that.

    It seems that many people disregard an ideal as having any validity unless it comes from a source they agree with on other issues as well.

    I think its certainly a reasonable conclusion that we might be stimulating recruitment but whether or not that is significant is another thing altogether, in my opinion, and here’s why: high attrition rates, little promise for the future, the degraded ability to for groups to train, maintain, and sustain forces. Again, in my opinion, it’s just intellectually lazy to accept a facile analysis of recruitment numbers without considering that there might be offsetting factors.

    There certainly might be offsetting factors. I think to attempt to brush aside that more Mohammad Attas are being created because of the source of such a thought, is certainly very dangerous, but was the general response I was given.

    What does high attrition rate mean here? I’m quite sure that we have worn down Al Queda substantially. The basic philosophy of a suicide terrorist though, is that they have nothing much to live for.

    For those suicide terrorists who would seem to have something to live for, like the Mohammad Attas who are currently living pretty good in Germany, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, Europe, the United States, etc. what would wearing down Al Queda do to them? Do you think that if Al Queda was being cut down as much as they seem to be now, BEFORE 9/11 that Mohammad Atta would have given up? Or would he have been more adamant in his goals?

    I see far too much applying one’s own ideals and mentality to the terrorists. People say ‘well, they must be giving up because they don’t want to die’. Or ‘maybe Osama released that truce tape because he realizes his days are numbered and he wants to live.’ We are talking about KILLERS. We are talking about a culture that burns and mutilates and dismembers and stomps on it’s enemies. We are talking about an entire group of people, numbering in the millions who have a completely different mindset than we do, a completely different way of life and a completely different culture and a completely different respect for the human body. Any culture that has to cover it’s women up, that believes in murdering people who don’t follow their religion, that thrives on oppression and ignorance of the masses, that tortures and maims it’s own followers and citizens daily is NOT going to be accurately fought by us trying to figure out ‘what would they do?’ by putting OUR perspective and our morality upon their actions.

  • sheri

    so, then what do we do Boom? Give them one free year of psychotherapy?

  • Eric Olsen

    Boom, absolutely exactly right. That is why the only possible approach is to kill or lock up the committed terrorists before they can do more harm and foster freedom and economic development in their home countries to dissuade future terrorists. That is what we are trying to do in Iraq, and the Baathists, Islamofascists hate it. Unfortunately, so do the nationalists and they have got into the mix and that is complicating things greatly.

  • boomcrashbaby

    sheri, I don’t think any of us has the perfect answer to that, but if it were my responsibility to attempt to fight terrorism here in the U.S., this is what I would do:

    (and honestly, I would appreciate approval AND/OR criticism from anybody, no matter the source, I am always willing to learn. There is no one perspective that fits all humans, I already know that, even if many others will never be able to see it.)

    First, I would acknowledge that not everybody on this planet wants an American democracy to live under. Of course, this does not mean they want to be subject to torture chambers, rape rooms and all that, but it isn’t an either/or world. Maya Angelou says I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, it’s a good title if the poem might not exactly fit, the title sure does. Not everybody wants freedom as we know it. Some people want to be given direction. Some people are born followers.

    Second, I would make sure that the U.S. does not impose it’s culture on the rest of the world. I think this is our biggest mistake. Saudi teens might like blue jeans, Big Macs and P Diddy, and it certainly can make some of us rich, but it comes at a very high price. It is counter to all that they have known for thousands of years and in my humble opinion is the biggest cause of anti-Americanism. I’m all for capitalism, but it’s capitalism without considering the consequences.

    Thirdly, I would acknowledge that there will always be dictators, tyrants and terrorists. There will always be people who have to be in control, often brutally. Personally, I think for 4 years, America has been under a regime, I’ve seen far too many losses of personal freedoms in this country. But that’s another story. This doesn’t mean we just accept dictators as legitimate and allow things to continue, but it certainly is wrong to just go knock them down militarily because we perceive them as the bad guy against freedom.

    We have to look at the anti-American sentiment that was prevalent before 9/11. Why was it? The perception was that America was trampling over the middle east for oil, abusing their culture, abusing their way of life and profiting off their resources. I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment, certainly no Middle Easterners feel the same way about OPEC, but they certainly do feel that way about us. I would look at long term solutions to countering this anti-American sentiment. I think it would take at least one or two generations to successfully combat it. It’s pretty ingrained. Personally, I think the internet has got to be the deadliest weapon against terrorism. While they are using it as a tool, so can we, to reach those within these nations. Granted, most don’t have net access, but those that do, we can reach and they can spread the word. The internet can be one tool, a powerful tool, but certainly not the only tool. Knowledge is the primary key to fighting terrorism, not bullets. In the meantime, we do need to protect ourself, and can do so offensively, however becoming the bully is not the best way to achieve that goal. Evenmoreso, it completely undermines the long-term goal.

    Does anybody really know EXACTLY what type of government we are creating over there? Does anybody really know exactly what type of government the Iraqis want? Their religion is their way of life. Do they even want separation of church and state? If not, then how can one have a democracy? Basically, I think to combat terrorism, is to listen to the PEOPLE over there. Not the terrorists, the PEOPLE. Are we listening to the people? Currently, I would have to say no, else the 12 year olds over there wouldn’t be stomping on our dead bodies. We need to understand why an individual would choose to become a terrorist. Then we need to eradicate that need. I don’t think putting a Starbucks on every street corner is going to work. Nowhere in Bush’s gameplan has anybody heard of a long term solution to combat anti-American sentiment. As long as that sentiment remains, there will always be an Al Queda. Instead, the responses you will find on this board are similar to those of Bush and Rumsfield. “Who cares what they think over there?”

  • Eric Olsen

    Very briefly, you are exactly wrong, I think, about our culture and about freedom. The more our culture is spread throughout the world the better. We don’t need or want to replace anyone’s culture with our own, but our ideals are disseminated most appealingly through our culture and it is our ideals we want to spread.

    All people want and deserve to be free, but many still have to learn what it means.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Boom, absolutely exactly right.

    Well, I agree with this comment 100%.

    That is why the only possible approach is to kill or lock up the committed terrorists before they can do more harm and foster freedom and economic development in their home countries to dissuade future terrorists.

    I agree with dealing with committed terrorists this way. After all, they did declare war on us, so such treatment is justified. I also agree that economic development and some sort of freedom (although it may not be freedom as we know it, they are of a different culture after all) is key to success.

    That is what we are trying to do in Iraq, and the Baathists, Islamofascists hate it. Unfortunately, so do the nationalists and they have got into the mix and that is complicating things greatly.

    Unfortunately, this is too short sighted and does not address anti-America sentiment held by millions upon millions over there who do not fit into any of the above groups, most of who are not even in Iraq. It probably won’t be possible for us to come to an agreement on a solution without the acknowledgement that perhaps the Bush/Rumsfield/Rice regime made a grave tactical mistake.

  • sheri

    Part of our culture includes the religious tolerance of all religions, including Islam. A person is free here to CHOOSE whether or not he wants to eat a Big Mac. This is the idea. Not to force them to our way of life, but enable them to decide for themselves.

    And yes, Boom, evil will always exist.

  • boomcrashbaby

    The more our culture is spread throughout the world the better.

    So all they need is Lil Kim shakin her booty in their face. Okay.

    our ideals are disseminated most appealingly through our culture

    Our culture is an Enron mentality, our culture is the disrespect for the family unit with over 50% of married couples committing adultery. Our culture is MTV, short attention spans, obesity, overindulgence, the glorification of violence and the shame of sex, Judge Judy, COPS, Jerry Springer and bigger environmentally destructive SUV’s. Now let’s go impose it on the rest of the world.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Part of our culture includes the religious tolerance of all religions

    THAT is certainly open for debate!

  • Eric Olsen

    Our popular culture includes those things (where did you get the 50% adultery rate? that’s a grotesque exaggeration) and a vast number of other things much more edifying as well. Your view of our culture is amazingly negative – have you been attending anti-globalization rallies?

    When you have freedom you have a wild array of competing and even contradicting expressions – it’s up to the individual to pick and choose what works for him/her. The key is to have the choices.

  • boomcrashbaby

    A person is free here to CHOOSE whether or not he wants to eat a Big Mac. This is the idea. Not to force them to our way of life, but enable them to decide for themselves.

    And the decision would be fairly made when the choice is between Ahmed’s Rice Barn, owned by a man who makes 30 dollars a year competing against McDonalds who can spend 3 million a year on advertising/promotions/give aways, et. al.? Perhaps Ahmed’s just needs to install a camel-thru?

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    At this point, I see that the only contribution of value that I can make is the following:

    “MARS, BITCHES!”

  • boomcrashbaby

    (where did you get the 50% adultery rate? that’s a grotesque exaggeration)

    You are correct, I meant divorce. Another aspect of our culture that is now no big deal to us, but unthinkable to them.

    Your view of our culture is amazingly negative – have you been attending anti-globalization rallies?

    No, I think we have a lot of good in our culture, but that wasn’t the point. The point was that we are going to impose our culture on them, whether they want it or not, because we know what’s best for them. OUR way of life, not theirs.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t know where “impose” comes from – why shouldn’t everyone on earth have the same options regarding access to popular culture that we have? Like I said, everyone is free to pick and choose. I personally hate McDonald’s, so I don’t eat there – this very website is about picking and choosing from the vast array of options that are out there.

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Actually, divorce really isn’t that big a deal to them and rather simple, something to the effect of saying “I break with thee” three times and poof! You’re divorced! Where it becomes problematic for them is when it’s the wife that wants the divorce from the husband.

  • boomcrashbaby

    why shouldn’t everyone on earth have the same options regarding access to popular culture that we have?

    I can’t answer that, because it’s not my place to determine what everyone in the world should have.

    Like I said, everyone is free to pick and choose. I personally hate McDonald’s, so I don’t eat there – this very website is about picking and choosing from the vast array of options that are out there.

    And I am grateful for the choices that we have here in America. And I think this website is absolutely fantastic and I personally thank you for creating it.

    We are talking about culture, not government, so keep that in mind with what I’m about to say:

    They already have their culture. I think it is wrong and presumptuous for us to decide their culture isn’t all that great for them, and for us to Americanize it. To best combat terrorism is to combat anti-American sentiment. So the solution to combat anti-American sentiment is to Americanize the world? Sorry, I disagree. On a humorous note – think of what that would do to the travel industry. If you are tired of your Blockbuster Video and McDonalds here in suburbia, you can always travel to the Middle East where they have….Blockbuster Video and McDonalds.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    ‘I don’t know where “impose” comes from’

    Well,let’see …

    Maybe 160,000 US troops in the Iraqi theatre?

    Or neocons saying “Neoconservatives believe in using American might to promote American ideals abroad”?

    There’s lots more but that should be enough.

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    Our cultural tradition in the US has been traditionally anti-homosexual. Why should we work to change that?

  • http://shortstrangetrip.org Joe

    And, please, that’s a rhetorical question and doesn’t reflect my personal viewpoint.

  • Eric Olsen

    Look at this another way: why is it okay for Japan to have access to all our stuff – from which they pick and choose and modify to their heart’s content – and not Saudi Arabia? Japan hasn’t lost its own culture.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Eric Olsen: “All people want and deserve to be free, but many still have to learn what it means … [L]ook at this another way: why is it okay for Japan to have access to all our stuff – from which they pick and choose and modify to their heart’s content – and not Saudi Arabia? Japan hasn’t lost its own culture.

    Good for you Eric. I don’t think Starbucks and McDonald’s should be the symbols of American capitalism and culture, but it’s the ideals, the Spirit of our Founding Fathers (allowing for 21st, not 18th, century thinking), that should be the American values being dispersed. Living in England as I do (I’m married to a Brit; otherwise I’d still be living here), the English love to say that the only culture the Americans have promoted abroad is that of fast-food. They’re right.

    Boomcrashbaby: “I’m all for capitalism, but it’s capitalism without considering the consequences … [I] don’t think putting a Starbucks on every street corner is going to work.”

    I agree with you, Boom, that capitalism isn’t wrong but shouldn’t be the main focus. Democracy leads to capitalism, not vice versa. Unfortunately, American businesses/corporations are too eager to get in before people have even accepted “the American way,” and that’s a huge source of conflict and anti-American sentiment.

  • sheri

    Nah. I haven’t heard anything about Blockbuster going into business over there. Let them decide what they want to be part of their culture.

    And you mean to tell me that a member of the Amish faith can waiver the draft, based on his religious belief, and that’s not tolerance? It’s almost downright protective.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I agree with you, Boom, that capitalism isn’t wrong but shouldn’t be the main focus. Democracy leads to capitalism, not vice versa. Unfortunately, American businesses/corporations are too eager to get in before people have even accepted “the American way,” and that’s a huge source of conflict and anti-American sentiment.

    OhMyGod, someone actually understands me. And a conservative to boot. What has Europe done to you?

    sheri, you said:
    And you mean to tell me that a member of the Amish faith can waiver the draft, based on his religious belief, and that’s not tolerance? It’s almost downright protective.

    But originally you said the ‘religious tolerance of religions’, but your example is the government tolerance of religions. There is a difference, although less so than before the regime took control of this country.

  • sheri

    And in no way do I think this country is perfect. You’re right, big business hurts the little man. But all small business failures can not be blamed on that. Sometimes,it’s due to just plain bad business sense.

  • sheri

    OK, well, I haven’t seen any Americans harming the Amish, and protestin their religion. Instead, like good Americans, we think they are quite charming, and like to visit and take their picture :0)

  • boomcrashbaby

    Sheri, with Bush’s faith-based initatives shelling out millions to Christian based organizations to preach their gospel to the downtrodden, and 0 to the Amish religion, I’d suggest taking lots of pictures as my estimate is that within one generation the Amish will have been absorbed into the larger Christian mass, and those pictures will have great historical value. But that’s a different story.

  • boomcrashbaby

    And in no way do I think this country is perfect. You’re right, big business hurts the little man. But all small business failures can not be blamed on that. Sometimes,it’s due to just plain bad business sense.

    Agreed. And personally, I do think this country is the greatest on earth. But with anything great, or should I say anything American, we tend to overdo things, including our mistakes.

  • sheri

    But Amish is christian based to start with. And I doubt if they would take any money from the government. I don’t know that, but I would think they wouldn’t.

    Speaking of historical value, I have noticed the increase in value of Americana antiquities. I wondered if there were those who saw it being worth much more in the future due to …what? It could just be me, cos I haven’t been knowledgeable of such things for very long.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Boomcrashbaby: “OhMyGod, someone actually understands me. And a conservative to boot. What has Europe done to you? … [A]nd personally, I do think this country is the greatest on earth. But with anything great, or should I say anything American, we tend to overdo things, including our mistakes.”

    Boom, having read the great many comments from you here in this thread, I realized that you aren’t quite the flaming extreme left-winger I orginally had you pegged out to be. A lot of your points I found myself respecting, if not agreeing with – and yes, there are some I do agree with. Americans can take things too far; I think we assume everyone wants our culture, and they don’t. I don’t think every country needs the American stamp of approval. I think we’re valiantly doing in Iraq what needed to be done, and if we remain unwavering and stay the course, we can eventually transform life there. I don’t want Iraq to be an American satellite – we’d be doing the same thing we accused the U.S.S.R. of doing – but we need to see that Iraq is America-friendly.

    I was quite stridently attacked by an unnamed fellow BC writer a month ago when I posted my “Decrying the Afghanistan War” post, and at one point the writer in question lamented, in between throwing obscenities at me, “I’m sick of taking the unpatriotic label!” My immediate thought was, when all you do is decry America, its leaders, its people, help bring down the morale of its soldiers, give in to all the negative propaganda, etc. etc., why should you be surprised that you are viewed as unpatriotic? Indeed, I thought, perhaps if the writer in question – and all writers of her ilk – wrote one, just one, entry clarifying their love for their country, it would go a long way toward them not being misunderstood. I still believe a lot of Lefties are very anti-American at heart as well as in word.

    But, Boom, you are not one of them. You have done what a lot of liberals haven’t bothered to do. You’ve spelled out your faith in America as well as your fears and I respect that.

    By the way, Europe’s done nothing to me. I’m a proud American who rightly gets embarrassed everytime some Brit or European interprets McDonald’s=America. That’s all. Our country means a lot more than that.

  • boomcrashbaby

    But Amish is christian based to start with.

    That was an example, because you had brought up the Amish. How much money did the Moonies get? The Wiccans? The Jewish? The Buddhists? The Islamic charities? It doesn’t matter the religion discussed here, the point was missed.

  • boomcrashbaby

    Thank you Mark.

    I’d consider myself an extreme left-winger when it comes to civil rights, equality, freedom of speech and separation of church and state. Beyond that, I hold moderate values and some conservative ones, in regards to capitalism, the right to bear arms, etc. Kind of my own melting pot, I guess.

    In terms of those who speak loudly and constantly about anti-Americanism or anti-conservative values or whatever, I think it comes from having to shout for so loud and so long, that it becomes almost instinctual or maybe an auto-reflex is a better term. Then when a moderate, or a tolerant conservative speaks up, they automatically get shouted down. But I’ve seen far far too many conservatives equally close minded and that should be acknowledged. They just don’t shout, but they are equally close minded.

    My insistance on finding out the exact cause of the anti-American sentiment and then tackling it from the source, is precisely because of my love for this country. It’s a love I hold, but not a love I want to force on others. (wow, that statement could apply to a lot in my life).

    I do think we have to stay the course in Iraq, because we are there now. I’ve never been one to advocate just leaving the country. That would be disasterous for America AND even more importantly for the Iraqis. However, when I make a mistake, I will say “I stand corrected”, as I have done more than once on this board alone. I CANNOT respect a president who cannot do the same. But I still love this country and I’m still willing to fight for it, in the ways that I am allowed.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    MEM: I don’t want Iraq to be an American satellite – we’d be doing the same thing we accused the U.S.S.R. of doing – but we need to see that Iraq is America-friendly.

    Care to offer a guess as to how the world, particularly the Islamic portion, sees what’s going on?

  • sheri

    I got your point Boom. And I don’t know how much( and who ) each group got. My original intention was to show the diversity of our culture.

  • Roger

    I have never read a more pathetic and stupid waste of words than Mark Mannings post.

    You are comparing Apples and Oranges you idiot. Try living in a city with two (2) Methadone clinics. They are replete with drug seeking theives.

    If you don’t already know I work in the Private Investigating field. You would not beleive how many of these OxyContin/Herion Junkie addicts are constantly being arrested for theft to support their new euphoria’s like Methamphetamine “aka Crank”.

    Get your burned out weed smoking brain out of your ass.

  • Chris Kent

    Roger,

    You have got to stop mincing your words man. Say what you really feel! Sheesh….

    Nice to have you back……

  • boomcrashbaby

    You would not beleive how many of these OxyContin/Herion Junkie addicts are constantly being arrested for theft to support their new euphoria’s like Methamphetamine “aka Crank”.

    And if they were given supervised access to handle their addictions while being put through detox programs, it would put you out of a job, wouldn’t it?

    Better to fill the prisons with addicts than to give them treatment, huh?

  • Chris Kent

    Now BCB,

    We all know Roger would prefer to lock up these sores and throw away the key….Hell, that’s the American way…..

  • Roger

    Methadone is considered detox / maintenence. The problem is that while it controls withdrwals, people soon seek the “good times” and find something to produce a “high”.

    Supervised access to handle their addictions? Bullshit!

    I personally have more than thirty differtent pictures and/or video where kids are living in homes where “meth-crank” is being made.

    Is it alright to put your kids in an environment where fire fighters have to wear chemical suits to clear your contaminated home? Or, is it okay to leave your kids sleeping at 4am so you can go wait in line at the Methadone clinic in an effort to get in and out quickly? (“Quickly” being one and a half to two hours based on accurate findings).

  • Roger

    I’ll tell ya Chris, it’s not the Marijuana that’s the problem.

    In most every jurisdiction it cost a mere $200.00 to $400.00 fine for simple possession charge, for a first offense DUI the cost and fines start at $600.00 to $900.00 plus $1,500.00 to 3,000.00 for attorney fees.

    If it takes a genius to figure out the other drug matters then they need to go back to high school.

  • sheri

    Roger, why do you spell marijauna with a capital M? Just curious.

  • Roger

    Sheri, thanks for the quiz. Mainly it’s because so many people refer to these names like Marijuana and Methamphetamine as proper names.

    It depends on the context in which it is used, or if it’s in a court document.

    I take it you are only in sixth grade Sheri.

  • sheri

    No. I asked a question, and you answered it. Real simple. Thank You

  • boomcrashbaby

    I personally have more than thirty differtent pictures and/or video where kids are living in homes where “meth-crank” is being made.

    How creepy. Do you look at them occasionally for reinforcement of your beliefs? That would make sense.

    Roger, I do not dispute that addictions can destroy lives and can kill. Nobody, I believe, would dispute that. Right now, I’m too busy to look up actual statistics on the web (cooking lasagna), but there’s some countries over in Europe that do exactly what MEM proposed in terms of supervised drug distribution during detox programs. Norway or Denmark, I think. I haven’t heard any reports of it failing, else they wouldn’t be continuing. Perhaps some modification needs to be done to the idea, but I do not think that addiction = criminal. I think addiction can lead to criminal behavior. It’s different. And it needs to be looked at from an objective viewpoint in order to handle the crisis. Somehow, I don’t think objectivity is in your realm in this issue.

    Is it alright to put your kids in an environment where fire fighters have to wear chemical suits to clear your contaminated home?

    Of course not, Roger. And absolutely nobody suggested that. And I have been accused of exaggeration. Wow.

    Or, is it okay to leave your kids sleeping at 4am so you can go wait in line at the Methadone clinic in an effort to get in and out quickly?

    No, it’s better to wake them up at 4 a.m., preferably banging on their toy drums, right by their ears. Geez, Roger, this type of program IS ALREADY IN PLACE in European countries and I haven’t seen any reports of it being unsuccessful. Find me a report that it’s unsuccessful and then maybe I’ll support your idea of putting all doobie smokers in prison right next to the murderers, so they can learn all they need to know about reality for when they are released from prison. — Don’t we already have more people in prisons than any other country in the world? Yes, we do. It’s because we lock addicts up with people who are just plain criminals. And because we don’t treat the addiction, it only gets worse when they get out of prison, which costs us more money, that we don’t have. Not everybody thinks an endless loop is productive.

    Criminal behaviour like theft, I do believe is punishable by law. I don’t recall anywhere in this thread where ANYONE suggested otherwise.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    I take it Roger has missed the new edict forbidding insulting BCs and visitors to this site.

  • Chris Kent

    Natalie, from here on out I shall refer to you as “Blogcritics Social Cop.” I shall tie a nice pink bow for you to wear…..

  • Roger

    About #75, I get this video and pics as a part of my work. That is typically what is expected from a PI. Most of the stuff is in the hands of Attorneys.

    Further there is nothing for crank heads or cocaine addicts like Methadone for opiate addicts. As far as the Europeon countries, please like me to so info. I’d really be interested in checking out their protcols for handling addicts.

    Sorry Natalie but I was just stating a fact. Quit crying over what you interprut as an insult.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Wow, I finally snagged me a Prohibitionist!

    Roger, perhaps if you’d troubled to read any of my other comments and entries, you’d find that I was pro-Iraq War, pro-W.o.T, pro-Bush, and pro-America. In other words, I’m not the burned-out, weed-smoking hippy you have interpreted me as – you presumptious, insulting jackass (sorry, Natalie and Eric. Had to be said).

    Do you care to explain why it’s OK to get drunk – for alcohol to be legal and to buy and drink as much of it as we like – but not to purchase marijuana as you can do in any coffeeshop in the Netherlands?

    The legalization of harder drugs is actually a grey area for me. I realize the deadly, life-shattering potential of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, et al. But, if we took Holland’s experiment with soft drugs, we can see that it works: Dutch law enforcement is free to tackle the harder drugs.

    Boomcrashbaby and Chris Kent are right: We just want to lock drug users up and throw away the key. When you get sent to jail for ten years for possession of a lousy gram of marijuana, and watch rapists, pedophiles, muggers get release long before you, there IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE SYSTEM! (And I say this as a very law-and-order type of guy.)

    I have no sympathy for dealers. They are criminals. But if we legalized marijuana, tossing that out of the equation, that would take a huge chunk of the dealers’ black market, and we could concentrate, as Holland does, on tackling harder drugs.

    I still believe giving treatment to hard drug users, legally, is the best solution.

    Bill Buckley and Rich Lowry, both of them prominent conservatives, agree with me. But I suppose they’re just burned-out, weed-smoking hippies with their heads up their asses too, eh, Roger?

    You can take your prohibitionist, punish-drug-users-to-the-max attitudes and preach it to someone stupid enough to take it seriously. You will get absolutely no quarter from me. This phoney “War on Drugs” is bullshit – always has been, always will be, and has destroyed far more lives than drugs themselves ever did.

  • Roger

    I’m sorry if I rubbed you the wrong way Mark. Weed isn’t the problem. I smoked for a number of years and slowly grew tired of it. I agree on the alcohol issue. It is ten times as deadly as pot for the user and non user. It is the other I have problems with.

    My family, friends and myself have had numerous problems with theiving, criminal addicts. Further I work as an Independent PI in mostly child custody and domestic matters. Based on all of my experiences personal,and professional (which is probably more than all of the regulars on here put together)unfortunately at least 70% of all speed and opiate addicts are hopeless. Not as people,but the fact that their lives have deteriorated to the point they have been through treatment time and again and still continue.

    I’m sorry but I have no compassion for a woman who leaves a 6, 8, and 12 year old in bed alone at 4am while she waits n line to get her fix. Further it isn’t very productive to a childs learning ability to get up that early with mom and then go to school at 8am.

    I’ll say this as well. Whethter it has been a custody battle due to a drug addicted parent, or a spouse spending $200.00 a day on meth (crank), there is a 90% success rate with my clients due to the evidence I’ve gathered.

    Maybe sometime when I know such a court hearing is taking place you can come and present the Judge with your findings along with your portfolio and slidshow on the “Great European Way to treat Addicts.

  • Roger

    Info please! Someone please post some ligit links to the European way of treating Opiate and Methamphetamine addicts, and the ways the addict criminals are handled! Got some info Mark?

  • boomcrashbaby

    Roger, here’s some good places to start from the Euro MethNetwork. Keep in mind, I said I don’t know if it was a success or not, so am not sure what you are about to delve into, but would be interested to know what you think of their alternatives to treating addicts as criminals.

    source 1
    source 2

  • Roger

    I appreciate the effort but as I stated above I am very familiar with Methadone treatment. In fact this so called “European protocol is no different than the US version. 60mg to 120mg daily is standard.

    What do you do when these people are stabalized from the severe withdrwals and start seeking the “high or head buzz” again?

    Enter Methamphetamine!!!

    Give me a proven treatment for that and the “dual user”.

  • Roger

    Besides, that 1995 looking web-site/page looked less than professional. That type of page could be put together in under an hour.

    I want to see a professional site put together by European Countries and / or government.

    Put up or shut up!!!

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    BCB, I recommend not wasting your valuable time and effort. What’s the point? Just agree to disagree and do something that is actually productive and likely to produce positive change.

  • Roger

    I’m sorry Natalie but I personally know people in a drug addicted compromising situation. All I want is information. Legit info! Got a problem with that?

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Roger, if I come across any info., I will gladly let you have it. I am not an expert on European solutions to treating addicts and I have not pretended to be.

    I believe what I believe: and that is, treating is better than jail. America is a safe nation for all the prisons we build, but why stuff them with drug users? That’s why we have overcrowding.

    As conservative as I am, I just simply believe in showing compassion towards drug users. Here’s the thing: I admire anyone who can turn down a drug, for the same reason that I respect one who doesn’t drink. I have never smoked tobacco, for which I have respect for myself. Drugs can be bad and harmful and no-one should do them. However, I don’t want the government treating me as badly as a murderer simply because I stupidly got addicted to heroin or meth. I’m not a liberal softie, but I do take the American approach and attitude to drugs seriously and think it needs another, and far fresher, look. I do tend to side with liberals and libertarians on the drug issue.

    When I get some info, Roger, I’ll e-mail you some. Right now, I only write from my beliefs and an inherited Buckleyite philosophy. And thanks for the apology.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    I reiterate my statement to BCB.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I hear you Natalie. Basically the War On Drugs isn’t my beef, so I don’t know the best way to fight it, nor do I have links. I do know other countries have tried other means, but haven’t cared enough to research any deeper than that. My plate is already full. Basically, I spoke up though because I do agree with the original comment by MEM at the very top of this thread that what we do have in place already is a failure. One doesn’t have to do any research to see that. From the addict to the taxpayer, we all lose.

  • Roger

    I think some people see drug dealers and addicts as one in the same. It is the dealers and trafficers that are getting 10, 20 and even life.

    I currently know five severly drug addicted people. None of them have been in jail for no longer than 90 days, and that wasn’t for drug usage. It was for a crime commited while under the influence of a narcotic.

    All have been in extensive inpatient treatment centers no less than four times and one as many as six. Some at the taxpayers expense.

    I just don’t think it is fair to say people are being housed in prison just because they are drug addicted. In my line of work as well as my personal life I have been aquainted with around 35 to 40 addicts, all have commited at least two or more crimes.

    Damn, it’s like meth labs are popping up like ant hills all over the US. That is addiction and a crime rolled in to one. What the hell do you do?

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    Roger, the government has already taken a step toward trying to crack down on the meth problem by putting pseudoephedrine-containing cold medicines behind the counter. Sudafed and similar products can now be purchased one box at a time. Though I was very annoyed and affronted by this at first, I can now see the point. In England, you can only get pseudoephedrine from behind the counter, and the same with codeine-containing medicines in France: Behind the counter and only one box per purchase.

    I’m not saying this is an instant problem solver, but it’s a start.

  • Roger

    In the states I’ve recently traveled you could easily get more than one box. Certainly if you had a buggy full that would be a red flag.

    The troubling thing is that there are numerous ways to make it. They first banned the regular ephedrine because that was the easiest way to make it.

    There are several ways to cook that shit, one is using Drain-O. I think it turns out greenish and is called “Christmas Tree” meth.

    When I was in high school a little weed was all we did. Now it’s Ecxtasy and now dextromethorphan.

  • boomcrashbaby

    I think by removing the chemicals needed to make a certain drug, from society, will only lead to the black market creating yet another drug.

    Drugs are a high. And I believe a high is an attempt to escape from reality. Perhaps the best way to fight the war is to study the reason why more and more people feel the need to escape from reality. Trying to stop each method as it crops up sounds like a losing battle to me.

  • http://nightdragon.diaryland.com Mark Edward Manning

    BCB: Drugs are a high. And I believe a high is an attempt to escape from reality. Perhaps the best way to fight the war is to study the reason why more and more people feel the need to escape from reality.

    Too true, Boom, too true. That is the very essence of why people do drugs.

    Roger: When I was in high school a little weed was all we did. Now it’s Ecxtasy and now dextromethorphan.

    I hear you, Roger. People chug down bottles of Robitussin for the DMX, which has hallucinogenic properties similar to those of acid. We cannot ban every chemical under the sun, however, in the attempt to keep illegal drug manufacturing from occurring (as with meth). Whether we favor the War on Drugs or not, I think we can all agree with your sentiment about recreational drugs in that they seem to have gotten much harder.