L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 204, December 23, 2002
You must have copied a Clinton or Nixion speach, you have parroted the totalitarian line perfectly. The same twisted logic and arguement that individuals drug use cost the collective. I'm sure that you know and are ignoring the experience of European countries which have legalised drug usage leads to much less related crime. Following your illogic, the government should outlaw obesity and punish those who do not exersize properly, the number one cause of insurance claims.
You are no doubt a Republican, you believe that government force can solve all the problems of humanity. Republicans claim to be the opposite of Democrats who want to redistribute income, actually that's lip service and not real, Republicans just claim to have better methods of redistribution. Republicans love big brother even more than D's, and wail and cry at the thought of any restrictions of goverment power. You have the mentality of a slave! Keep your chains polished, your masters will love you for it.
John A. Lappart [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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First off, I applaud your attempt to explain your position on drug legalization. It is the single most rational, persuasive arguement I have yet heard. I don't agree with it, but it was well thought out and well written.
The problem I have with your argueemnt is that if you look at history, you have little support for the theroy that durg use would go up if it was legalized. Drugs such as marijuana, opium, morphine and heroin were legal att he turn of the century. Most drug stores stocked at least morphine and a child could buy it over the counter with no perscription. Yet it was only a very small fringe that abused the drugs. And even out of those who abused them, many could be accounted for as people who started using morphine or heroin for a legitimate purpose (as a painkiller for a serious injury) and then became hooked on it.
Currently, we have far less addictive painkillers than those two. And even if they made all drugs legal tomorrow, I seriously doubt that they would go so far as to make them immediately available without perscription. And even if they did, few if any drug stores would begin stocking them. Even those that did would likely keep them behind the counter where an individual would have to aske the pharmicist for them.
Yes, some few stores would carry them. And it would be easier than it is now for an addict to obtain them. Which, coupled with the removal of the risk that is associated with an illegal item, would drive the price down. With lower prices, many addicts would find themselves able to afford thier habit on low wage jobs. With the stigma removed, many insurance companies would offer coverage for programs to kick those addictions, much like they cover alcohol rehabilitation and smoking cessation. Even when insurance didn't cover it, many current addicts would be more willing to seek help quiting once they didn't have to worry about being arrested if they tried.
So all in all, I would expect that there would be fewer people addicted to drugs within the first year, and that number would decrease every year untill it reached some small percentage of the population.
Jeff Colonnesi [email@example.com]
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In his letter, "Why Legalize Drug Use?", Mr. Gross seems to miss a few points. He states that "every political group is trying to inflict its morality on everyone else." He seems to be forgetting the non- aggression principle. The object is not to impose our morality on everyone else, but to let everyone enjoy their own form of morality and standards without fear of government penalty.
In a libertarian society, there would be no welfare, insurance might or might not be provided by employers, needles wouldn't be reused, so the AIDS threat would not be an issue, ad nauseum. Just as today, some alcohol rehab costs are covered by insurance, so would drug rehab. In that context, he might be footing some of the bill, just as others would be footing the bill for some of his medical care.
What Mr. Gross misses, however, is the increased liberty he would have by ending the war on drugs. Lower costs of police protection, faster criminal trials, less people in prison and on probation, less crime in general, and less government interference.
Just as the end of alcohol prohibition did not result in a great increase in alcoholism, neither would the end of the war on (some) drugs result in an upsweep of drug abuse.
As in all decisions, there is an up and down side, or if you prefer, risk vs. benefits. The ending of the war on drug has far greater benefits than risks.
Dennis Kabaczy [firstname.lastname@example.org
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In TLE#203, Brian Gross questions the efficacy of decriminalizating drugs on the basis that doing so will increase usage, leading to greater "costs to society" dealing with the resultant freeloading, criminal and negligent actions of the users.
Among the problems with Mr. Gross's analysis is that he assumes as an axiom that drug use will increase. His assumptions deserve attention.
Prior to the wave of prohibitions after the 17th Amendment was ratified, many of the drugs that surround us now were commonly available. Opium, marijuana, cocain (from which we get "Coca Cola") and the like. I have read that a small percentage of the population at that time could have been considered "addicted", approximately equal to what is addicted at this time. In order for Mr. Gross to be correct, human nature must have changed during the period of prohibition.
Right now, I see no lack of drugs being available. School age people get drugs as easily or even easier than their elders, their prohibition for "legal" use having made non-standard distribution methods the rule rather than the exception. The issue of "ease of availablity" is a straw-man argument.
Illegality also fosters violence and gang warfare, issues upon which Al Capone could lecture us at length. The more ruthless and cunning the operator(s), the more successful their illegal business enterprises. If present day gang- and drug-related crimes are removed from the calculations, America ends up near the top of the most peaceful and safe countries in the world. It is the very illegality of the drugs which creates the violence and "law enforcement" costs Mr. Gross abhores.
With the dangers of distributing product in an environment of prohibition, two major problems exist that would not exist were drugs decriminalized: Cost and Quality Control.
Costs soar because of the measures required to move the illegal product. All costs of doing business are always passed on to the consumer. To pay these absurd charges for common weeds and plant extracts, Mr. Gross correctly cites the property and violent crimes that some few addicts resort to. Like with any competition in an open market, prices would quickly reach levels where addicts could afford them on minimum wage jobs. Or, simply grow your own. No need to spend lots of money on heat shielding and grow-lamps to hide it, it's a weed.
Quality control is abhorant under prohibition. The addict cannot know from one batch to the next whether they will get enough in their usual "hit", or if that same quantity will put them in a coma. Always at issue is whether their violent criminal supplier cut their product with things like baking soda or Drano(tm).
This all reflects directly on the abstract "cost to society" which Mr. Gross asserts will increase with the decriminalization of "drugs". I see no supporting evidence for this conclusion. Each cost-increasing factor is in fact reduced.
In response to the "welfare" issue, Mr. Gross misses the obvious: Make being clean and sober a condition of welfare payments (or eliminate them altogether, my preference). This simple bit of social engineering is already common, a fact of which Mr. Gross might not be aware.
Curt Howland [Howland@Priss.com]
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RE Letter from Brian Gross, TLE 203: I don't think Brian goes far enough. There's a much more sinister thing, something so destructive and costly to society that it should, under no circumstances, be legal.
In western societies, heart disease is one of the biggest killers, and all those fatty foods, especially hamburgers, contribute directly to this. The drain on the public purse is incredible, whether it be through the health system, welfare to support the chronically obese, or the drain on the efficiency of private enterprise by an unhealthy population. These were all points brought up by Mr Gross.
Clearly, hamburgers are a public menace, and a drain on hard working vegetarians, vegans and Hindus. Obviously, it's a travesty of justice that they're legal. People just have to accept that they must sacrifice some of their own freedoms for the greater good, even if they are eating hamburgers in their own homes and not relying on any government handouts. We need a united front, and these responsible hamburger eaters just water down the message. Hamburgers are bad.
Yeah, I know the government would secretly be involved in the hamburger trade, and some junk food would be legal because of corporate links with politicians, but don't bother me with details. Hamburgers are the enemy here.
Wait a minute though...
Outlawing hamburgers would not stop their consumption. People would still eat them. However, as a result of their prohibition, organised crime would get involved in their manufacture and distribution. We'd have turf wars over beef patties. This would cost billions each year in the Battle on Beef Patties. Furthermore, prices of hamburgers would sky rocket. Because many people would still want their hamburgers, they would resort to petty crime in order to finance their hamburger habits. All of this would require still further billions to round up the tens of thousands of junk food junkies and imprison them. Of course, quality and purity of the hamburgers would go down too. You never know what they might mix into the beef patties. This would further burden the health system, not to mention be a huge cost to human life.
Still, hamburgers are bad. We need to remember that, and under no circumstances should they be legal.
Caleb Paul [email@example.com]
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Just some quick comments, observations;
Hhummm...if it's immoral to steal, is it O.K. to be forced - at gunpoint - by a benevolent government to pay for "illegal immigrant" medical care and schooling, indigent care, unemployment "compensation," etc., etc., ad nauseam?
The point here completely escapes me. If the "product cost" refers to drug costs, decriminalizing drug use will of course reduce product costs. Even the highly vaunted ninth circus court of appeals hasn't yet rescinded the law of supply and demand.
But we do see the problem; the notion that some self-important busybodies have any idea what is "good for" everyone else is the problem. If I ever am granted a single wish by a genie, it will be that the do-gooders of the world leave me the hell alone.
Doug Spittler [firstname.lastname@example.org]
In the spirit of giving this Holiday Season I would be more than happy to donate our proposed share of the DC debacle entirely to the State of Maryland. Chief Moose can take over police operations and the Kennedy Townsend-Glendenning corrupt socialist machine of gun control and pandering race based politics should fit in perfectly with current DC political ideology.
Frankly, we don't want DC here. We have enough trouble with Fairfax County and it's surrounding pro nanny state enclaves. Maybe we Virginians can toss those areas in as a little "lagniappe" to sweeten the pot a bit.
Dennis Baron [BludyRed@aol.com]
re: THE TLE "CREDO"
How about the slight rewording below? The definition intrinsically includes delegation of initiation while eliminating the perceived problems with 'avocation'.
In regards to [ Mimbreno Chiracahua's letter]
Oh, I don't think so.
Even if what is discussed did come about, there are so many ways to spoof the system:
Spend cash only (refuse the use of credit/debit cards).
When using the net, use an annonimizer, or use a device at the local public library. In fact, use their computer to send yourself a couple of thousand e-mails using pictures from the net, or news stories, and then go home and delete them!
I reckon it would take even the best programmed and fastest machine to process for intelligence of import, more time just to sift through the intentional garbage, than to collect any aspect of what they seek. If they must construct a dossier on everyone, then let's be sure to stuff that hummer to such a degree that it becomes overburdening to even consider maintaining it.
See here: I don't know how many of you reading this know of the Enigma machine used during WWII and before, to decode message traffic between the German forces.
BUT, and here's the main point - the ONLY reason that Enigma was able to succeed, was that the Germans sent messages ONLY when they needed to.
If instead, the Germans had sent a continuous train of trash between actual messages, Enigma would have taken a Royal SHIT. Remember that aspect more than anything else: quantity kill quality every day of the week.
If you must send e-mail, send a hash of several lines before and after the relevant message, and if you have PGP or something like it, send even more garbage.
Personally, I use Eudora, and it has a ROT 13 utility.
Check this out:
Va ertneqf gb gur nobir?
Everything from "In regards ..." to "Check this out:" has been rotated 13 alphabetic characters - except numbers and punctuation, which you can play with by agreement.
Further, use another security program to hash that as well.
I say let's send each other 30 or more spoof e-mails a day, which contain nothing of importance, and which serve no other purpose than to clog the system so thoroughly as to make it totally useless. Further? Make those e-mails 50 to 100K in length so that their memory gets used up even quicker.
Everybody complains about spam. Well, have you ever thought about using the disgusting to achieve the seemingly unattainable? What are e-mail filters for? Use them with glee!
There is NOTHING that they can do, that we can't do better. Besides, check this out: let's suppose they DO hire a whole bunch of foreign programmers. What's to say that THOSE people won't have an agenda themselves, and who's to say that those people can't be convinced to play the game?
All it would take is to convince them that once the finished product is complete, that every world government would either be given that program to spy on their own citizens, or they could seek to buy it.
What right thinking man or woman would seek to cut his/her own throat?
There are more ways around the system, than you can shake a stick at.
I say: Let the socialist/fascist pipe dream begin! We'll stuff that pipe with so much effluvia as to make it burst!
E.J. Totty [email@example.com]
In response to Mr. Bussjaeger's [article], a suggestion. I work in a relatively anti-gun environment, that being a hospital run clinic. I was once offered an award for arranging a gun safety program (Eddie Eagle) then was told by the hospital PR people they wouldn't publicize it. I am a Physician Assistant working in family practice. I treat children, adolescents, adults, and the "seasoned citizens." Every day I wear a tie. Every day my tie tac is a replica of a firearm. I have a Glock 17, a Smith and Wesson auto, an M-1 Garand and and an M-16. Every day I wear a tie, one of these lapel pins is on it. Every day I get asked by someone about my tie tac.
People in the office expect it. Patients, especially the children, ask about it. They know me, they trust me, and they respect me. No one has criticized me for it (yet).
It is not much, but I have gotten more questions and comments by doing that, and let more people know that I am a responsible citizen, and a gun owner, simply by wearing a tie tac.
Dennis Kabaczy [firstname.lastname@example.org
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I do the same thing, sans tie. That's what gave me the idea for Gun Owner Day. I'm merely suggesting that we all wear something on February 10th to stand out.
I have one those Glock pins, too. Unfortunately, I had to sell my real Glock.
Carl Bussjaeger [email@example.com]
People imprisoned for various crimes often lose their rights as punishment, such as voting, travel (they're in prison!) and owning firearms.
It is my personal opinion that if an individual has done their time, they aught to be restored to being full citizens. While in prison, on the other hand, they are not strictly speaking "citizens" with rights at all.
I believe that particular extended punishments, such as Michael Milken's restriction to never engage in stock trading, or Kevin Miknick(sp?)'s not getting near a computer, are apropriate for individuals and their specific crimes. To create blanket prohibitions, such as the American "no vote, no gun for life", is abhorant to the very concept of individual responsibility. Individuals are not groups.
Does that answer your question?
Curt Howland [Howland@priss.com]
Dear Mr. Bass,
Your missive has an astounding number of errors in it. I do address the personal liability involved in choosing to "force" a child to a doctor based on your own opinions. Aparently you missed that.
I bring up the word hypocrite, for an individual who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. Since this is what you present as a possibility, it is your idea to disprove. If you don't like hypocrisy, then do not act in a hypocritical manner. Someone who is not a hypocrite does not speak one way and act another, calling themselves "libertarian" or any other label. I respect honest individuals, who stand up for their beliefs be they statist or libertarian.
As to your comment that the power to tax in the constitution is in fact "force", I couldn't agree more. Ayn Rand did not like libertarians, because she believed that a minimum "force initiating" state was a requirement, and the libertarian non-initiation of force eliminates the state entirely if taken to its logical extreme.
This is why I do not support the constitution as an end point. It is merely a milestone, just as the various US governments could be considered prior to 1912, or before 1861. A milestone pretty much erased by the state as it exists now, but still a powerful discussion of the concept of limited government.
Personally, I prefer the Declaration of Independence.
Curt Howland [Howland@Priss.com]
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