Addicted to an Immoral Substance: Power

by Don Boudreaux on June 17, 2011

in Civil Society, Crime

I’d originally planned to include the following items in my most recent “Some Links” post – the one that mentions that today is the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s declaration of a “war on drugs” war on peaceful people who choose to use intoxicants that the government disapproves of.  But this bit of history in this unconscionable war is so important that it deserves its own post.

Those of you who believe that the so-called “war on drugs” is not a war on peaceful people, pay special attention, for you’ll find evidence that not only is this war waged against peaceful people who choose to use intoxicants that the government disapproves of but also a war waged against peaceful people who do not necessarily use any officially disapproved intoxicants.

Consider the unspeakably horrible experience in early 1997 of Ms. Janneral Denson.  Here’s what I wrote in 1999 about this atrocity.  And here’s Ms. Denson’s own testimony before Congress.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments

comments

63 comments    Share Share    Print    Email

{ 63 comments }

Not Carl Sagan June 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

Don have you seen this latest video from Reason TV?

Nick June 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

I just watched that video myself — it’s hard to stomach. It’s a real joke to claim that we live in a free society when you know this stuff is going on.

vidyohs June 17, 2011 at 10:31 am

70,000 to 80,000 SWAT raids annually. Wonder how much that will increase now that the Dept. of Education has its own SWAT and a large number of viscous hardened loan defaulters to go after?

vidyohs June 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

My memory was jogged and I went back a few weeks to pull this one out of my e-mails. For sheer abuse of power it stands alone:
http://maboulette.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/getting-away-with-murder/

The truth we share in this USA is that as long as we allow government to claim, retain, and exercise such arbitrary random power the freedom you believe you have is just an illusion.

As I have said before here, the collar may be light and the leash long, but you are as much a slave as any other in history. You haven’t felt the wrath of the master yet because you obey; but as the video shows, even that can be not enough. The day comes when, like the gentleman woodcarver, you turn a corner and run into a power mad idiot, drunk on his positional authority, his badge, and his uniform and your obedience is not lightning fast. You’re dead, and the idiot cop walks away free because the government can not afford to have their enforcers seen as in the wrong, that would cause even more problems. This operates the same way as in the military, you see the same “us against them” support for the COC regardless of the egregious actions that have been taken.

David June 17, 2011 at 9:41 am

I don’t understand why Americans put up with it. I don’t understand why every citizen is not absolutely outraged. To be outraged at these things (and TSA and the idiotic light bulb nonsense and everything else) doesn’t require a complex understanding of ethics or a reasoned libertarian political framework – it simply requires that you be human – that you have the most rudimentary sense of right and wrong, the barest remnant of self-respect and empathy and the slightest vestige of whatever primal instinct it is that warns us against those who require our submission.

It has to be said that the current state of affairs is not only a condemnation of the state, it is the result of a massive ethical failure on the part of Americans.

vidyohs June 17, 2011 at 10:41 am

You might well wonder. Back about a year and a half ago the raid (in which the family dog was shot, the wife and children threatened, and the father arrested all for an ounce or so of personal use pot) depicted in the Reason TV video above was discussed and debated here, if you’ll remember.

I sent the link to the video that was complete and solely about that raid, to a friend with whom I work frequently. I also included some of the discussion so she would see it in context to the Cafe’s debates. Because she had exhibited libertarian/conservative attitudes in the past, I thought it would be well received. Not so, not so at all. She e-mailed me back and the e-mail had frost on it. Her response was that maybe it was a bit severe, but the guy brought it on himself by having the pot.

Now, I would hope you understand that my friend is not alone out there in that attitude. They are simply still too invested in their enculturation as a good little obeying and loyal citizens who will turn the blind eye to such SWAT raids, because in their belief they are being done for their benefit, and they aren’t to the point of seeing any other viewpoint. They don’t want to know, they don’t want to face it, therefore they don’t.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

This.

I had the same experience when talking to friends and family about these raids as well

I’m optimistic that we’ll see an end to the WOD in my lifetime (I’m relatively young). I think momentum is slowly (SLOWLY) moving in that direction, but I’m still shocked and amazed that so many people are still willing to vehemently defend such violent power from the state in the homes of it’s citizens in the name of fighting weed.

Slocum June 17, 2011 at 11:12 am

Because they’re not paying attention and, for most Americans, the chances of it happening to their own families or anyone in their neighborhood is still extremely low. Because there is still a lot of support for the drug war out there. Because this doesn’t divide neatly between Republicans and Democrats, and so a lot of Americans have trouble working up outrage for anything they can’t blame particularly on the ‘evil Rethuglicans’ or ‘evil Dhimmicrats’. Because many Republicans favor being ‘tough on crime’ and are pro law-and-order, and many Democrats are statists generally and are pro government health-nannying (let’s face it anyone one who thinks it’s a good idea to pull people over for not wearing seat belts and to regulate salty snack foods is really unlikely to take a live-and-let-live approach to pot smokers).

David June 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

In other words, massive ethical failure.

Slocum June 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

But it’s not that simple — it’s not as if there is no movement at all. Medical marijuana laws have passed pretty much everywhere they’ve been on the ballot and a sizable majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana:

http://www.economist.com/node/18118857?story_id=18118857

On the other hand, Obama ran on a promise to stop federal raids on pot dispensaries but his justice dept, instead, has intensified them. What’s going on? A big part of the problem is that even when the public decides it’s had it with the drug war, law enforcement agencies will put up tremendous resistance. The drug war is where a lot of their prestige and funding comes from (especially given asset forfeiture laws), and it’s a big part of their identity. Busting ‘drug kingpins’ is what they do, and it’s how they get on the news (and the great thing about ‘drug kingpins’ is that when you take one down, a new takes his place, which is ideal from a law enforcement perspective). Politicians come and go, but rank-and-file LEOs are lifers, and they can (and will) resist change for a long time.

Ken June 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm

David,

A lot of it is just massive propaganda put out by the gov, particularly in schools. People laugh about the movie Reefer Madness, but much of the propaganda surrounding drugs is exactly like this. The message is that if you take one drag of MJ, one hit of LSD, one snort of cocaine, one hit of heroin you will become hopelessly addicted and a criminal. This type of message is started at an early age and never stops.

There isn’t an incentive for anyone anywhere to tell the truth. People who talk honestly about drugs are demonized as people who want Americans to be high all the time. This demonization goes on everywhere.

Regards,
Ken

Not Carl Sagan June 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

From this video how can anyone claim LSD will harm society.

Ken June 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Not Carl,

I’m not claiming it will. I’m merely pointing out that David wants people to be massively unethical, that most are just victims of gov propaganda.

Regards,
Ken

Not Carl Sagan June 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Ken, I didn’t mean to imply that you were claiming it, sorry about that. I just wanted to add the video to show the effects of LSD since you touched on myth of being hopelessly addicted after one use.

Krishnan June 17, 2011 at 9:56 am

This assault on us will continue till the day some politician or his/her son/daughter husband/wife (some close relative) is treated that way before the thugs figure out who that person is …

Till that day, this country will consume itself with doing what it can to search and destroy whatever freedoms we may have

The story is horrifying – the lying by officials is not unexpected. This is what happens when we let Government become GOVERNMENT and accede to them what is rightfully ours.

STATISTICULOUS June 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

This did happen. John Stossel highlighted such a case on his episode on Prohibition, I think. The SWAT, broke in shot his dogs and threatened his family- the head of the family in question was the Mayor of the town.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Krishnan June 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

So, yea, we need to have these SWAT teams go and harass or perhaps kill some innocent bystander who just happens to be politically connected – i.e. the elites that believe that they can tell us how to live our lives – and then perhaps, PERHAPS things may change – till then, we live under tyranny (call it soft or whatever – tyranny it is)

vidyohs June 17, 2011 at 10:20 am

Don, your 1999 piece was excellent in every respect. When freedom of choice is not blocked and is available to all, those who can’t handle it sort themselves out from those that can very quickly, and it is completely evident who is who.

I am totally for freedom of choice being exercised by all, with but one caveat; and, that is that those who make bad choices that harm them will suffer the results and not become an obligation or burden on others.

dsylexic June 17, 2011 at 10:30 am

the bad choice makers may become a burden -but to their own families possibly…families practise socialism at home.parents prefer equal treatment of their children unlike the outside world.the problem arises only when the burden is transferred to unwilling strangers.

Fake Herzog June 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

Don,

Apparently ever since the peaceful Ms. Denson got away back in 1997, she has been busy:

http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Janneral_Denson_5416947/

The problem with Don’s libertarian utopia is hinted at by vidyohs — as John Donne said, “No man is an island entire of itself;”. So when your relatives and friends and neighbors become wasted druggies, they do become an obligation and a burden to us all, not to mention the fact that many drugs just make people on the left-hand side of the bell-curve do more stupid and violent things (think crack).

Call me a power-addicted government junkie if you want, like many great societies of the past (including our own Puritan colonists or the great Victorians) I’ll take a strong dose of ordered liberty any day, including durg laws, over the fantasies of the libertarians.

Don Boudreaux June 17, 2011 at 11:52 am

Where is the ordered liberty brought by the so-called ‘war on drugs’? Do you believe that what we have today is either ordered or liberty?

What Ms. Denson did after her ordeal is of no moment. She might have gone off to become a mass-murderer or a saint or something in between. The fact is, in 1997 there was no evidence that she was violating the drug “laws” – yet she was subjected to treatment that would land a dog-trainer in jail if that trainer treated his dogs that way.

Of course, even IF Ms. Denson had been running drugs, that fact does nothing to justify the treatment that she suffered.

If such events are your idea of ordered liberty, I want none of it.

mdb June 17, 2011 at 12:22 pm

As some one with a brother that is an addict, I have to say your drug war and all the causalities it creates did little to limit his access to drugs. The only thing that limited him was money. As a family member, I will add that helping him puts me at risk, thanks to your drug law. He came to me and asked to borrow my car for job interview – who knows if it was true, but there is no way I can afford to have my car seized if he was going to buy drugs. I am limited in my ability to help by YOU. If you don’t want the responsibilty get the F*ck out of my way of helping my brother.

Slocum June 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

So when your relatives and friends and neighbors become wasted druggies, they do become an obligation and a burden to us all

Society creates a far bigger burden when it arrests, prosecutes, and imprisons (at high cost) peaceful drug users whose lives would NEVER have been ruined by drugs but whose lives ARE ruined by criminal records that make it very difficult for them to find jobs. Most of the people I knew in college — including me — smoked pot at least occasionally. Not one of them became ‘wasted druggies’ — but their lives might really have been wasted had they been caught. What would have happened to Obama had he been caught with the pot or cocaine he admitted to using in his book? Do you think he would still have become a successful politician? Where does a black man in the U.S. with a criminal record usually end up in life?

The drug war has ruined FAR more lives with criminal records than drugs ever could have (and the drug war hasn’t even succeeded in making drugs hard to get). But it has strengthened organized crime, created street violence, caused severe violations of our civil liberties, and has torn apart poorer neighboring countries (Mexico is suffering terribly right now). The drug war is EVIL. People who understand what the drug war is doing and still support it are despicable.

Frank33328 June 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Would you also wage war on: drinking, pornography, gambling, sex outside of marriage, hate speech, the Islamic faith, etc. “No man is an island” can have a lot of interpretations. I could go on with trans-fat, salt, happymeals with toys, 2nd and 3rd hand smoke, CO2, idle-lifestyles, and many many others.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

‘Apparently ever since the peaceful Ms. Denson got away back in 1997, she has been busy:”

So I guess the treatment she received from Customs was justified because she would later go on to commit crimes. Sounds reasonable.

*Shakes head in disgust*

There’s no behavior from the state you statist drug warriors can’t defend.

“Call me a power-addicted government junkie if you want…”

and you are.

“like many great societies of the past (including our own Puritan colonists or the great Victorians)”

You do know that the noble George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both marijuana farmers, right?

“I’ll take a strong dose of ordered liberty any day, including durg laws, over the fantasies of the libertarians.”

Yes, because that’s what we get with the WOD, right? Slavery is freedom, up is down, left is right, etc….

I’m assuming you’re a conservative, but your views are no different than leftists like Naomi Klein who believe we must be ‘forced to be free’.

nailheadtom June 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Our own Puritan colonists (examples of a great society of the past) thought it was a good idea to hang witches and did so, with the acquiescence of the British government.

STATISTICULOUS June 17, 2011 at 4:29 pm

“So when your relatives and friends and neighbors become wasted druggies, they do become an obligation and a burden to us all”
-Fake Herzog

Are they not a similar burden when we divert law enforcement resources to prosecute them? How about when we jail them at tax payer’s expense.
I heard Anne Coulter make this same ridiculous argument. Drug users are a burden now because we use so many resources to arrest, try and detain them.

STATISTICULOUS June 17, 2011 at 4:30 pm

thumbs down to me for not reading Slocum’s response first. You nailed it friend.

Mao_Dung June 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

It’s okay if capitalists wage war on their employees by forcing them to take random drug tests, but not okay for the government to do it. Any capitalist that forces a worker to give a urine sample should be forced to drink it.

Capitalist insurers force you to give blood samples to see if you have HIV. Capitalist banks take people’s personal data to determine if you are a good credit risk.

Capitalists will destroy you if it might save them one penny.

The government is doing the bidding of capitalists in the drug war.

Look in the mirror. Libertarians started the war on drugs because they support capitalists in all their liberty-crushing activities.

Mao_Dung June 17, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Libertarians also started the war on the environment because of their unwavering support of polluting capitalists.

Nick June 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Both of your claims are unsupported by any evidence. Why do you waste our time?

Mao_Dung June 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

You waste time, too. The big drug company’s hate competition from the common people, so they use the big stick of government to brutally fight the drug war so they can keep their monopoly. The AMA is also a culprit.

Mao_Dung June 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Just try to “fix” your damaged credit rating that may determine your financial, economic future. You will see who has ultimate power over your life. It is rotten capitalist scum.

Mao_Dung June 17, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Libertarians support BP after the monstrous, hideous environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. I read their apologies and they sicken me as much as the actual pollution. The evidence is out their everywhere about nefarious libertarian polices and practices. You are brainwashed and too blind to see the evidences. Sad for you.

SaulOhio June 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm

First, look up the definition of the word “force”.

dullgeek June 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm

This is an unfortunate example. I agree with the conclusion: that were these stupid laws not in place, this injustice would not have happened.

Unfortunately, the laws are in place, and the customs officers charged to enforce those laws are not given authority to ignore them. When they reasonably suspect – as they did with Janneral Denson – that drugs are being trafficed they are have no choice but to enforce those laws.

And lest you think that there was no reasonable suspicion, read the 11th Circuit’s ruling on the lawsuit that followed Ms Denson’s detention.
http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200515572.pdf

My point: the people at fault here are not the customs agents who enforced this. It’s the foolish legislators who made this law, who are immune from such civil liability. Thus leaving them with the accounability for the wrong done to Ms Denson, but no way for Ms Denson to hold them to it.

Don Boudreaux June 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I’m sorry, but the example is an excellent one. Precisely BECAUSE the (so-called) “laws” give the Customs officials authority and ‘reason’ to search Ms. Denson and to pump laxatives into her body mean that the “laws” that are part and parcel of the ‘drug war’ are despicable.

Precisely BECAUSE the “laws” prompt ‘law’-enforcement officials to single out people like Ms. Denson – and precisely BECAUSE the ‘laws’ permit these officials to intrude so horrifically into the bodies even of people who ARE ‘guilty’ of carrying drugs – is what makes the case of Ms. Denson such a good one to reveal the vileness of the ‘drug war.’

dullgeek June 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I don’t disagree with any of that. However you’ve got a tough case to make to a section of the population who will be sympathetic to the people enforcing the law. They’re going to look at what the officers did and find it reasonable – as the 11th circuit did.

I think its a bad example because I think you’re going to end up fighting stupid battles that are beside your point. I think most will come to the defense of agents based on the reasonableness of their actions & you’ll spend all your time arguing that rather than getting to your point which is that this law hurts people.

SS Agents June 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm

We were only following orders!

jjoxman June 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

It is the duty of every person to weigh following the laws prescribed against one’s own morality. The customs officials who followed the laws were also following their morality. Therefore they are fully culpable for their actions, both legally and morally.

rmv June 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

And the trigger happy cops who’ve killed hundreds of innocent people while playing soldier on American streets are only doing their jobs, too. They can’t be held responsible for their actions.

Shoot a civilian? Get paid vacatio–excuse me, administrative leave.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 3:58 pm

rmv,

You’ve inadvertently demonstrated just how bad the WOD has permeated the minds of average people by using the term ‘civilian’.

The term civilian is used to distinguish those who are not members of a military from those who are. It is absolutely clear that members of police forces around the country see themselves as soldiers fighting a war on crime. This is evident from tactics used (See 70k to 80k no-knock raids/yr.) to even their uniforms. The WOD fuels this mentality.

rmv June 17, 2011 at 5:35 pm

The use of civilian was very much intentional.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I stand corrected.

Fake Herzog June 17, 2011 at 3:55 pm

mdb,

Your brother is not who we are trying to “help” with the WOD — we are trying to help create more of your brothers. If you don’t think making certain drugs illegal helps reduce their usage, I have a couple of Nigerian oil wells I’d like your help investing in…please visit my website for all the details.

Frank33328,

“Would you also wage war on: drinking, pornography, gambling, sex outside of marriage, hate speech, the Islamic faith, etc.”

I take each case separately — no to drinking, yes to pornography, mixed feelings about gambling, yes to sex outside of marriage, no to hate speech (I like the First Amendment), yes to the Islamic faith (although there are practical limits that would govern my war). I hope that helps.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 4:05 pm

“If you don’t think making certain drugs illegal helps reduce their usage, I have a couple of Nigerian oil wells I’d like your help investing in…”

If you think making certain drugs legal would necessarily increase their usage… you’d be wrong.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

“I take each case separately — no to drinking, yes to pornography, mixed feelings about gambling, yes to sex outside of marriage, no to hate speech (I like the First Amendment), yes to the Islamic faith (although there are practical limits that would govern my war). I hope that helps.”

Would someone please think about teh CHILDRENZ!!!!1!!!!111!!!!

Don Boudreaux June 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

You would wage a war on sex outside of marriage? And you – who claim to “like the First Amendment” – would wage war also on the Islamic faith?

Sentiments such as yours – that they can be sincerely held by flesh-and-blood people – are precisely why government should be very strictly limited. Power in hands such as yours would create hell on earth.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Your reply was better than mine.

Dave June 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

The point is not that I, or Fake Herzog, or anybody else in particular “knows what’s best,” the point is that WE, as a society, get to decide what kind of society WE are going to have. And WE have to make our decisions based on the really real world that’s out there, not some Libertopia that exists only in George Mason University’s faculty lounge.

Ken June 17, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Fake,

“Your brother is not who we are trying to “help” with the WOD — we are trying to help create more of your brothers.”

How does throwing mdb’s brother in jail for using a substance you don’t like helping to “create more of [mdb's] brothers”?

“If you don’t think making certain drugs illegal helps reduce their usage”

Can you prove that it make drugs legal will increase their usage? And so what if more people use drugs? What would be wrong with that? Every single one of my friends drink alcohol. Many friends I used to have used drugs regularly, like cocain, heroin, and LSD, and particularly weed. None were out of control. None were addicted, even though usage was high (weekly for most, almost daily for weed). All held down well paying jobs (more than $60K in Austin and Seattle) and many had solid marriages and good kids. The most damaging part of using drugs now is the damage caused by the legal system, which has been built by people like you Fake Herzog. Like splitting up marriages and orphaning children. Ask Joel Guerena about it.

“no to drinking”

why? What’s so different about alcohol that you would allow it, but not cocaine? Are you completely unaware, that even when all drugs were legal, the drug that caused, and still causes, the most damage is alcohol? Why so inconsistent?

“yes to pornography”

Why? Do you really not like consenting adults having sex? What are you afraid of?

“mixed feelings about gambling”

Why? Are adults to stupid to handle their own money? If so, what makes you think you’re not being stupid by telling others how to handle their own money?

“yes to sex outside of marriage”

Why? Do you not believe in liberty? If a person is not free to use their bodies how they wish, how can they be free at all?

“no to hate speech (I like the First Amendment), yes to the Islamic faith (although there are practical limits that would govern my war).”

You do realize that the first amendment protects religion as well right? Here is the entire first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So which is it? Do you like the first amendment or not?

Regards,
Ken

MWG June 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm

““I take each case separately — no to drinking, yes to pornography, mixed feelings about gambling, yes to sex outside of marriage, no to hate speech (I like the First Amendment), yes to the Islamic faith (although there are practical limits that would govern my war).”

The more I read this the more I have to laugh at the irony. Someone who claims we should fight a ‘war on the Islamic faith’ holds some of the same beliefs (particularly as it relates to sex) that you’ll only find in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Damn threaded comments and the Authoritarians that enforce them. The above comment was meant for Fake Herzog.

Nick June 17, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Fake Herzog holds some of the scariest opinions I’ve ever read. It’s tempting to write him off as just doing it for shock value.

MWG June 17, 2011 at 4:47 pm

It’s tempting, except that I come from a very conservative (and somewhat religious) family who (though not quite as explicitly) hold similar beliefs.

STATISTICULOUS June 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Can we wage a war on craziness, starting with Fake Herzog?

MWG June 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm

@STAT

Why not? It’s for the children!

WhiskeyJim June 17, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Logic suggests that Hanna Arendt and the Milgram experiments told us all we needed to know about the eventual utility of the War on Drugs, among other things.

Fake Herzog June 17, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Nick,

Check out my website (especially some of my blogroll links) — you’ll quickly find out I’m not alone (thank God). The funny thing is, I come here because I really respect Don’s opinions about economics and his writing in general. However, he tends to get so silly and dogmatic about certain subjects that I begin to question whether or not he knows what the heck he is talking about even when it comes to economics.

For example, I was generally I free trade supporter and then I started reading Vox Day on the subject and I realized that Don (and most libertarians) treat free trade just like they treat many other questions of political economy — totally divorced from reality. Sure free trade would work if workers could quickly adapt to the changes that trade imposed on them; but in the real world, when we deal with flesh and blood human beings who often fall on the left-hand side of the bell curve, we find that they don’t do such a good job of adapting and can’t easily move to China or Malaysia for a great job opportunity.

I don’t want to get side-tracked on that subject — I’d love to read or watch Don and Vox go at it in a debate. But hopefully you get my drift — I don’t think Don’s political analysis is realistic.

As for Ken and MWG — I don’t think either of you understand the Constitution very well or understand the Islamic religion very well. I’d be happy to explain either topic to you if you had an honest question. Meanwhile, I notice MWG seems to be particularly cynical about laws enacted to protect children, as if this shouldn’t be an important concern for society (i.e. figuring out how to thrive into the future). I tend to take our responsibility to future generations seriously and I’m concerned about how our kids will grow up and flourish. My contention is that they will do best in a world that values them, that has a low tolerance for nonsense like sex outside of marriage, and that cultivates the best of Western civilization, which obviously includes Christianity. What’s the counter argument?

Ken June 18, 2011 at 12:23 am

Fake,

“Sure free trade would work if workers could quickly adapt to the changes that trade imposed on them”

So worker are just stupid and need you to adapt for them? And you have such faith in bureaucrats and government officials to “quickly adapt to the changes”? Are you for real? And you say Don and all libertarians are divorced from reality.

“but in the real world, when we deal with flesh and blood human beings who often fall on the left-hand side of the bell curve”

So now just doubling down on how stupid people are, but are totally ignoring the fact that the current unpleasantness in our economy has been directly caused by people who fall on the right side of the bell curve. The problem with these very smart people is that they get the very wrong impression that since they know a lot and are supersmart, they know exactly what’s best for all the other 310,000,000 people in this country (and the other 6,000,000,000). They don’t know their own limitations on knowledge, think they know what they are doing, and now we get a crumbling economy. All done by those on the right side of the bell curve.

This is the best evidence yet that people, even on those on the left side of the bell curve, should be left alone, even by those on the right side of the bell curve.

“we find that they don’t do such a good job of adapting and can’t easily move to China or Malaysia for a great job opportunity.”

Because those job opportunities suck. The people in this country who someone like you would consider poor, those in the bottom quintile of the income distribution, would be considered affluent in either one of those countries. In other words it’s better to be a “poor” person in the US, than a “rich” one in China or Malaysia. Workers actually know this and stay here.

But hopefully you get my drift”

I get your drift and it stinks. You’re super smart and know what’s good for people, no matter how much they disagree with you. After all, don’t these people just know that you’re on the right side of the bell curve, so automatically are a better person and a far better equiped to make decision that affect their lives better than they can. Right?

“I don’t think either of you understand the Constitution very well or understand the Islamic religion very well.”

I understand the constitution as well as you and certainly know what it says about religion, including the Islamic religion. Just because it’s a shitty violent religion doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional. I know it seems quain to think that when the constitution has the phrase “Congress shall make no law”, I like some sort of simpleton believe it means congress shall make no law.

“Meanwhile, I notice MWG seems to be particularly cynical about laws enacted to protect children, as if this shouldn’t be an important concern for society”

Primarily because they typically aren’t about protecting children. They’re typically about busy bodies who think they’re from the right side of the bell curve who think they know best, so interfere into family lives and personal lives at will, with no thought of how this leads to a break down of a family.

“I tend to take our responsibility to future generations”

Worry about your own kids and we’ll worry about ours. Bees wax, mind it.

“My contention is that they will do best in a world that values them, that has a low tolerance for nonsense like sex outside of marriage, and that cultivates the best of Western civilization, which obviously includes Christianity. What’s the counter argument?”

The counter argument is PERSONAL liberty and PERSONAL responsibility are the values in western civilization that set us apart making us exceptional. Christianity’s values are only any good because they were wrapped around the greek tradition of free thought, personal liberty, justice for all, and equality. You disrespecting the sanctity of the individual defiles the basis of western tradition.

Regards,
Ken

Dan J June 18, 2011 at 12:34 am

Does it really make sense to engage FH? Don’t feed the bears. While there mat be some temptation or ET value, views such as that are very few and far between. The grand wizard called, he wants his hood back. Keep in mind, that someone might look to harm Roberts, Boudreaux, and other contributors by adding filthy content. Leftists have no boundaries.

Fake Herzog June 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Dan J,

You are so clever calling me a racist with your sophisticated reference to the KKK — I wish I could be as enlightened and witty as you and easily dismiss others whose arguments made me uncomfortable (because they were true).

yet another Dave June 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

FH – do you claim you’re not a racist? If so, please explain the second paragraph of this comment from the Neither Order Nor Liberty” thread:

Fake Herzog June 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm
MWG,

When I see charts of rising incarceration rates, my heart starts beating faster with joy! However, that last chart seems hinky and I wouldn’t trust anything put out by the lefty Center for Economic and Policy Research without checking and double checking their sources and data.

Anyway, given that the U.S. has more blacks and Hispanics than most first world countries, I would expect our incarceration rates to be higher (if we want to keep crime down). South Africa will descend into civil war or anarchy if they can’t figure out how to crack down on their black criminals.

Previous post:

Next post: