What Pills are these Guys Popping?

by Don Boudreaux on July 1, 2011

in Civil Asset Forfeiture, Civil Society, Crime, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Joe Califano and Bill Bennett – the éminences grises of American scolds and busybodies – predict that if drugs were legalized “needle parks” would sprout up like weeds throughout America, each one possibly becoming “a grotesque tourist attraction.”  Let’s assume that this prediction is accurate.  And let’s generously grant also the accuracy of many of Califano’s and Bennett’s other predictions.

We must still ask, as compared to what?  The “what” includes not only whatever difficult-to-measure (but easy to fantasize about) blessings we enjoy as a result of the ‘war on drugs’; the “what” includes also the current observable reality of this ‘war.’

Would needle parks be worse than the lethal violence that is an artifact of the drug war?  (Note that salespeople and delivery drivers for the likes of the Miller Brewing Co. and the Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery do not today, unlike alcohol suppliers during Prohibition, pack heat.)  Would the exercise by some people of the freedom to dissipate their lives with drugs be more wicked than the widespread practice of civil asset forfeiture – a lawless ‘legal’ maneuver, used mainly in the ‘war on drugs,’ by which state and local governments and Uncle Sam routinely steal the property of people merely suspected (though often never convicted) of committing drug offenses?

And would an increase in health problems caused by drug use be more lamentable than the infamous ‘drug war’ exception to the Fourth amendment – an exception that injects government officials with the most dangerously addictive narcotic of all: power?

Anyone who answers ‘yes’ to these questions suffers hallucinations far more bizarre than the wacky mind-distortions induced by LSD or anything else that can be purchased easily today in any city or town in America.

UPDATE: My friend Reuvain Borchardt sends to me, by e-mail, the following line in response to the above: “and don’t forget the drug war exception to federalism by Justice Scalia (Gonzales v. Raich).”  Indeed.  All manner of government lawlessness is fueled by attempts to police against ‘vice.’

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{ 129 comments }

P July 1, 2011 at 10:06 am

I interpret their argument to mean that the only thing that prevents Mr. Califano and Mr. Bennett from becoming addicted to heroin is that it’s illegal.

Personally I have no desire to start shooting up regardless of the legality of it, but some people apparently lack my formidable willpower unless there’s a law protecting them from themselves.

Rob July 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

I think P is correct. Don fails to get the heart of why people oppose drug legalization…..the fear that usage rates will skyrocket and spread quickly into affluent areas. Far too many people are willing to deal with the consequences because they mainly happen elsewhere.

Krishnan July 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

They may agree to legalize it as long as it happens “elsewhere” and if the police and prevent the riff raff from invading their territory … Like how some Republicans seem to want school choice/vouchers – yet do not seem to want to support it for fear that the riff raff may demand they be admitted to their neighborhood schools (seems like that is happening in PA today)

carlsoane July 1, 2011 at 6:45 pm

For that to be true, you’d expect the affluent to be disproportionately against drug legalization. Do you have any data to back that claim up? I can’t find anything that breaks down the demographics of supporters. My anecdotal experience is that most wealthy people think the War on Drugs is a waste.

Rita July 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

One of the drug warriors’ favorite fantasies is the hordes of currently sober citizens just waiting for legalization so they can die in gutters with needles in their arms. The reality is that most people who WOULD use these drugs already do, except, of course, for those subject to random drug tests, who use alcohol instead — alcohol, which is more addictive AND more dangerous than most illegal drugs AND the drug most often associated with violent behavior.

bobbyv July 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

it’s mind boggling that a voting majority have or do smoke marijuana and yet cannot manage to legalize it.

Krishnan July 1, 2011 at 10:43 am

This is a case where “intention” trumps reality … Those that want to keep drugs illegal have “good intentions” (self claim)- and EVEN IF the reality is that by keeping drugs illegal it’s impact is WORSE and that even more people may suffer is is irrelevant to them

tdp July 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

Pot users are probably less likely to vote, even on marijuana bills. Keep in mind aging baby boomers account for 2/3 of America’s registered voters, while many young people, those most likely to support pot legalization, don’t vote at all.

MWG July 1, 2011 at 12:21 pm

“Keep in mind aging baby boomers account for 2/3 of America’s registered voters…”

Would those be the same baby boomers who grew up in the 60s?

Snark aside, many older generations who smoked pot ‘liberally’ in their youth, see today’s weed as even more potent and dangerous. ‘Freedom for me, but not for thee’ I guess…

tdp July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Didn’t say they weren’t hypocrites. What good have the Baby Boomers done for anybody?

MWG July 2, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I actually wasn’t disagreeing with you. Just pointing out the hypocrisy of the boomers.

Gil July 2, 2011 at 4:12 am

Believe it or not (real) hippies were a fiddly minority in the ’60s.

Slappy McFee July 1, 2011 at 10:11 am
Slappy McFee July 1, 2011 at 10:12 am

Whoops
— never mind on my above comment

Kryx July 1, 2011 at 10:16 am

What about the other unseen effects of the drug war? The suffering and deaths cause by suppliers that lace and cut the drugs with dangerous solvents and chemicals which would not be needed if it was made by Pharma. Also, perhaps the worst drugs probably would not be abused if there was access to less potent stuff – ie. injecting bath salts, meth, etc.

vikingvista July 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

Would pharma make them? They don’t make the ethanol or nicotine that are used for recreation. I suspect it would be a more casual industry, similar to brewers, wineries, and tobacco.

MWG July 1, 2011 at 10:41 am

There once was a ‘legitimate’ argument that legalizing drugs would result in an increase of their use. Today, however, the facts are against such an argument.

When Portugal decriminalized drug possession, they saw a decrease in the use of hard drugs. It brought users out of the shadows and they could now seek treatment without the fear of prosecution.

It is time to end this disgusting, anti-constitutional, attack on our civil liberties that is the WOD.

Greg Webb July 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

Joe Califano and Bill Bennett have hallucinations about their ability to save the world by imposing their will on others through government coercion. Apparently, they are not smart enough to learn the lesson of Prohibition so they want to repeat it with drugs instead of alcohol. Also, they, as well as so many others desiring “applause” for their actions to save the world, do not understand economics or its “curious task … to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

Ken July 1, 2011 at 11:22 am

Bennett also wants to reimpose conscription in order to improve social cohesion.

Greg Webb July 1, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Bill Bennett may be a smart guy, but he needs to get over his need for applause and to control.

vikingvista July 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

I wonder which virtue in his book calls for seeking out people who are minding their own business, and employing brute force against them.

Greg Webb July 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Sometimes it’s difficult for “the best and the brightest” to tell the difference between a virtue and a vice.

kyle8 July 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

They are just evil old drug warriors with a lot of blood on their hands. Let us not cede to them the respect due someone making a rational point in a debate.

The truth, ready to all who will see, and well published in book after book, is that the drug war is a horrible, contemptible failure of epic proportions that has caused human suffering, misery and death.

These idiots are no better than Nazi Eugenicists clinging to horrible, discredited theories.

Fake Herzog July 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

I answer yes to all of Don’s questions:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/7_2_a1.html

RC July 1, 2011 at 10:54 am

Glad you brought that up, Fake Herzog. It is really not a “black or white” matter.

STATISTICULOUS July 1, 2011 at 11:49 am

That article is asinine. The right to consume what you desire is a fundamental right which the state has no business regulating. Others are harmed if I eat cheeseburgers 7 days a week and die at a young age, ie my wife and kids suffer, others pay part of the cost etc. But nobody suggests we outlaw that.

Mills principle, which Dalrymple speaks of, is infinitely important precisely because Mills had difficulty with it personally. He writes, “Mill acknowledged that some goals were intrinsically worthier of pursuit than others.” This is why the principle is necessary-each person will have their own interpretation of which goals are “worthiest” of pursuit. This is fine unless it impacts policy. In this case you throw out the principle altogether and allow a few with political power to determine the worthiness of the goals pursued by the many.

BZ July 1, 2011 at 12:27 pm

“But nobody suggests we outlaw that.”

Eeek! Don’t give them ideas dude!

tdp July 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Au contraire. I give you: The City Council of San Francisco and Their Ban on Toys in Happy Meals

Frank33328 July 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

There is still the issue of where to draw boundaries. ANY freedom can be abused. Some people of guns may commit crimes, so we should outlaw guns? Some people with children may abuse them, so we should have state required super vision (or worse)?
The fact that some people that use drugs MAY become dangerous does not logically conclude that we should outlaw, guns, smoking, overeating, free parenting, salt, trans-fat or reading the Koran. The only logical conclusion, the reductio ad absurdum to your position is that ANY freedom is too dangerous to allow and there should be no freedom at all.

Downsize DC July 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

Excellent point about civil asset forfeiture. By itself, forfeiture is too great an evil and is, by itself, sufficient reason to oppose Drug Prohibition.

River July 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Like too many of our ” betters” Mr. Dalrymple thinks society=government and society aka government has the obligation to manage us all. He says every human action impacts others, no man is an island therefore society(again read government) has the obligation and right to control all human action. He thinks Mill’s statement is unworkable fundamentalism. This indeed is a slippery slope on the Road to Serfdom.

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

Well, of course I agree with them. If drugs were legal, I’d drop everything I’m doing and go hang out in a “needle park”. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? I’m just so glad these two fools are standing between me and self-destruction.

tdp July 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Kind of off-topic, but I just posted some data that proves the Reagan tax cuts paid for themselves. :)

RCP in NYC July 1, 2011 at 12:20 pm

If drugs were legalized the only similarity to a tourist attraction is that I would still avoid Avenue D as much as I avoid Times Square.

Glad someone mentioned Portugal. The article also distorts the truth about adolescent marijuana use in the Netherlands, which has one of the lowest rates in Europe.

In NYC, carrying up to 2 grams of marijuana has been decriminalized. The only outrage that I’ve heard expressed by citizens is that the police will engage in stop and frisks then trick people into pulling the two grams out and charging them with a misdemeanor for displaying it in public.

GP Hanner July 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I’ve seen the needle parks in Zurich. Not picture of Switzerland they like to promote.

Seth July 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

“…as compared to what?”

One of the best questions ever, for just about anything.

Whiskey Jim July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

As governments go bankrupt, they will legalize drugs as a source of revenue. Think of the regressive stupidity of government lotteries.

The ideological and vested interests on the war on drugs ultimately do not matter. The unwillingness to cut government spending does.

kyle8 July 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

Government spending is the ultimate addictive drug.

jjoxman July 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Those who want to regulate behavior, on the left or the right, mistake morality for legality. By what right can anyone or any group infringe on the liberty of another to dispose of oneself as one will? Barring aggression towards others, no such right exists.

So what if more people will do drugs when they are legal? That is to say, it is no concern of legality that this will happen. The part that concerns those of us who don’t do drugs is the spillover effect of drug legalization. The probability that the costs will come down after legalization is high. Thus will the price of drugs come down, and thereby drug-related violent crime, such as robbery, will decrease. This is excellent.

None of this has anything whatever to do with the morality of ingesting mind/mood-altering substances. Personally, I’m a simple kind of man so avoid that sort of thing. But others might be up for a kinkier way of life than me. And that’s not of my, or your (any of you) concern.

Babinich July 3, 2011 at 6:12 am

“So what if more people will do drugs when they are legal? That is to say, it is no concern of legality that this will happen. The part that concerns those of us who don’t do drugs is the spillover effect of drug legalization. The probability that the costs will come down after legalization is high. Thus will the price of drugs come down, and thereby drug-related violent crime, such as robbery, will decrease. This is excellent.”

This may not be so excellent; but better than the utter failure the war on drugs have been up to present.

I am also not willing to say that Portugal is the laboratory where total success can be claimed/denied.

Drug use impairs and may potentially pose a risk to those persons in contact with the person under the influence.

Drug use raises the issue of one’s health. If you’re independent enough use substances that alter you physiologically then you should also be independent enough to pay for your own medial care.

To date WOD had costs which turned out to be very poor investments.

Any new strategy will have costs too. Hopefully those costs provide better results.

Fake Herzog July 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

“By what right can anyone or any group infringe on the liberty of another to dispose of oneself as one will? Barring aggression towards others, no such right exists.”

Says who? My political philosophy disagrees.

“There is still the issue of where to draw boundaries. ANY freedom can be abused.”

Right, and that is why we have a representative democracy that passes laws — they draw the boundaries. Do they “screw up” from time to time? Governing is an art, not a science, so of course we are going to screw up. For example, based on the information provided in this post, I would reform the civil asset forfeiture laws; but I wouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater and legalize all drugs.

But I’m a conservative, not a libertarian — but I have a lot of respect for the writing on this website and I always sharpen my economic thinking thanks to Don and Russ. When it comes to politics…not so much.

jjoxman July 1, 2011 at 1:55 pm

On what premises is your political philosophy based? Mine is on two: you own yourself is the first, and that’s actually the only one need here, because it means no one owns you.

jjoxman July 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

“Do they “screw up” from time to time? Governing is an art, not a science, so of course we are going to screw up.”

This highlights the importance of robust institutions, so that “screwing up” is least costly to people. Democracy, by itself, doesn’t do this. Institutions like the constitution help, or the bill of rights, or what have you.

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Yes, well, screwing things is pretty much all I ever notice these “public servants” do. The constitution might as well be toilet paper to them.

Ken July 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Methinks,

Pelosi responds “Are you serious? Are you serious!?”

Phil Hare responds “I don’t worry about the constitution.”

I’m sure there are more.

Regards,
Ken

Whiskey Jim July 1, 2011 at 8:02 pm

If you seen the clip on Dave Matthews criticizing Bachmann’s speech regarding returning to the constitution?

Matthews makes fun of her by saying it is silly to return to some dead people’s antiquated vision that advocated slavery.

The Left hasn’t even begun to fight.

vikingvista July 2, 2011 at 1:29 am

“If you seen the clip on Dave Matthews criticizing Bachmann’s speech”

I never did like his music.

Methinks1776 July 2, 2011 at 10:34 am

Ken,

Ah, yes. Would be funny if we weren’t the victims of these assholes.

Whiskey Jim,

No, I do not watch Chris Mathews. I have better ways to waste my time – like watching videos of cats doing funny things. Far more intellectually stimulating than listening to an idiot spew rubbish in his grating cartoon voice. And he’s not even cute and furry.

Although, someone should point out that it was not Michelle Bachman who was just flabbergasted by The One’s ability to stand up and read off the teleprompter (with no hint of a Negro dialect) to a congress full of white folk as if he was as good as them. For a moment, Mathews almost forgot The One is black and all. As Mr. Methinks likes to say “Who are the teabaggers here?”

STATISTICULOUS July 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Just remember, Fake Herzog, a prohibition on drugs may seem good to you but when you give the state the power to tinker with our freedoms on these grounds, you may find the freedoms you value tinkered with too. People on the left make arguments about gun control that have very similar overtones to those you have made on the drug prohibition issue.
The reason many people have a hard time with the conservative point of view is precisely because of this inconsistency. You seem bent on imposing your will about drugs (and other issues ie abortion and gay marriage) on others while snarling indignantly about the decline of individual freedom.

kyle8 July 2, 2011 at 8:01 am

If you don’t give government control over your life, then it will not matter so much if they “Screw up”.

The war on drugs is a pretty big screw up. I recently saw that one congressman talked about a drug problem he had as a youth, how he overcame it.

But he was just lucky. If the law had got a hold of him before he could clean up his life, he would have ended up behind bars, and propelled into a criminal life. No future political career, and probably no usefulness to society.

How many lives have been ruined in this way?

yet another Dave July 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

@ Fake Herzog

Says who? My political philosophy disagrees.

You’re eagerness to perpetrate violence against those who are harming nobody is not justified (or hidden) by your sloppy and specious arguments.

You are a truly disgusting human being.

Ken July 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Fake,

“My political philosophy disagrees.”

That’s the problem. Too many assholes like you around. You don’t like the way I act, the way I speak, the beliefs I have, so resort to force to get me to act, speak and believe as you do. Instead of acting like a responsible adult, Fake, you resort to the base school yard bully response and hit those you don’t like. Why not try minding your own effing business?

I have smoked pot and dropped acid. During none of those times did I do anything to hurt anyone or put anyone in danger, yet you would strip me of my freedoms and throw me in jail.

You are despicable.

Regards,
Ken

tdp July 1, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Why does the same government that keeps pot illegal subsidize tobacco farmers? Especially since they devote so much more money towards getting kids not to smoke? They could save lots of money by doing away with both programs.

Economiser July 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

*Like*

River July 1, 2011 at 3:02 pm

It seems some conservatives want a nanny state, just different nanny rules on the fridge than the left.

jjoxman July 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Right. Both conservatives and progressives want people to live in a cage designed by their “betters.”

vikingvista July 2, 2011 at 1:31 am

At least liberals are open about their desire for a big intrusive government. Conservatives never stop lying about theirs.

Fake Herzog July 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm

“Right. Both conservatives and progressives want people to live in a cage designed by their “betters.”

Well, no — I believe in representative democracy and I’m willing to abide by the decisions of my neighbors, even if I often think my neighbors are fools.

I also don’t want to live in a “cage”, but tell me who is more free: a group of children playing near the edge of a cliff with no fence to protect them or a group with a fence? As Chesterton used to say, don’t take down a fence unless you know why it was put up in the first place…

Ken July 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Fake,

“a group of children playing near the edge of a cliff with no fence to protect them or a group with a fence?”

Adults aren’t children, dumbass. The fact that you think so clearly contradicts your insistence that you don’t think of yourself as one of the “betters”.

“don’t take down a fence unless you know why it was put up in the first place…”

I know exactly why the drug prohibition “fence” exists, which is why I want it torn down. That fence was erected in the early 20th century by a Frankenstein alliance of bootleggers and baptists.

Regards,
Ken

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

You are on a roll, my friend.

Don’t forget the racist reason that pot was criminalized. It was the favourite drug of Mexicans and God only knows what those crazy Mexicans will do to helpless white women when they get all hopped up on Marijuana!

Ken July 1, 2011 at 4:23 pm

Methinks,

There are dozens if not hundreds of horrid reasons for drug prohibition. I didn’t list racism for the reason that I didn’t list any reason: there are many, all are loathsome and whatever list I came up with was bound to be incomplete.

I agree that racism was probably a factor in hemp prohibition, but from what I remember the most prominent reason was 3M’s newly patented pulping process to make paper was undermined by the ease with which hemp can be used to manufacture paper. While I think about racism sometimes, the driving factors behind all legislation is money.

In other words it had nothing to do with a fence or a cliff, as Fake would imply.

Regards,
Ken

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Yeah, maybe, but I don’t think you get the public behind criminalizing an enjoyable substance (I suppose – I’ve never tried it) because it’s cutting into 3M’s profit margin :)

Enter fear! The favourite weapon of the politician.

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 4:13 pm

As they’re simultaneously “stealing our jobs”, of course.

MWG July 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm

“I know exactly why the drug prohibition “fence” exists, which is why I want it torn down. That fence was erected in the early 20th century by a Frankenstein alliance of bootleggers and baptists.”

It had a lot to do with fear of black men seducing our virtuous white women, and very LITTLE to do with protecting teh childrenz.

MWG July 2, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Damn, Methinks beat me to it by a long shot.

vikingvista July 2, 2011 at 7:46 pm

And since it was before they won suffrage, the white women didn’t have anything to say about it.

Economiser July 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Fake,

The fence isn’t the issue; the issue is the guys with guns threatening to shoot anyone who crosses the fence, or comes too close to the fence, or who they mistakenly think is coming too close to the fence.

And the cliff itself isn’t dangerous. Rock climbers, nature enthusiasts, and photographers love cliffs. A few people may get too adventureous and fall off the cliff, but most cliff-seekers are aware of the risks and know how to protect themselves.

Economiser July 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

> Fake: “I believe in representative democracy and I’m willing to abide by the decisions of my neighbors, even if I often think my neighbors are fools.”

I don’t think you do believe in pure representative democracy. You don’t believe in 51% of the people voting to kill 49% of the people, and the 49% “willing to abide by” it.

So why do you support 51% of the people deciding that the other 49% can’t engage in voluntary, mutually-agreeable transactions that don’t hurt anyone? Where do you draw the line between supporting the one and not supporting the other?

vikingvista July 1, 2011 at 9:56 pm

You are willing to be compelled by others? Have you also decided to die one day? Perhaps you’ve chosen to sustain your life by breathing oxygen.

If only you would choose to make sense.

cmprostreet July 2, 2011 at 1:45 am

@ Fake Herzog:
“I believe in representative democracy and I’m willing to abide by the decisions of my neighbors, even if I often think my neighbors are fools.”

And what of the neighbors who are not willing to submit to your authority? What of the strangers thousands of miles away, in the plains, the mountains, the arctic, or the Pacific islands who are not willing to follow what you and a coin toss of your neighbors say?

You would seek to have them thrown in jail for daring to disregard the diktats of the “majority,” while they in turn wish only to live their life in peace, free from your influence.

If you voted in favor of criminalizing some act, and exactly 50.00% of the remaining population voted likewise, would you accept that thousands of people would then be imprisoned on your say so- that without your vote, they would be free to go on leaving you alone?

How can shifting just ONE person’s opinion suddenly change the morality of an act? How can the fact that slightly more than half of the people are in favor of a particular outcome justify the use of violence, weapons, and imprisonment to get their way?

Nearly everyone scoffs at moral relativism for the way it utterly breaks down in face of dissent, yet many of those same people fail to see that their love affair for democracy is based on that very principle- one which believes that dissenters do not exist, or have fewer rights, or lack the capacity to make their own decisions.

Over time, through ever-shifting majorities imposing new laws, democracy strips every ordinary citizen of his sovereignty, until all that remains is The State.

Sadly, screaming “it’s for the children!” seems to rapidly accelerate this process, and it’s no coincidence that those with the most direct control of The State are always the ones screaming it loudest and most often.

When it is recognized that it is individuals, not the nebulous concept of “society,” which have rights, these problems are averted, and a consistent worldview is possible.

vikingvista July 4, 2011 at 9:14 am

Very well said. State democracy, like state anything, is a tool to advance statism against the individual. The more decisions brought under the purview of democracy, the less freedom people have.

There is nothing a law or badge or authority or poll has to contribute to a rational moral judgement of one individual’s action against another.

Fake Herzog July 1, 2011 at 5:02 pm

“I don’t think you do believe in pure representative democracy. You don’t believe in 51% of the people voting to kill 49% of the people, and the 49% “willing to abide by” it.”

Not every law passed will be just or moral — I have to decide on a case by case basis on how to respond. For example, if Roe v Wade didn’t exist and some states allowed abortion as they did prior to 1973, those laws would obviously be immoral and many innocent people would be legally allowed to die as they are today — but I still think the right response is to convince the 51% of the error of their ways. The alternative could get very nasty (see e.g. the American Civil War).

jjoxman July 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I see the claim of the illogical mind: “I have to decide on a case by case basis.”

What right does any individual have to life literally as a parasite on someone else? That is what a fetus is: a parasite. On the one hand, one may argue that abortion is a violation of the fetus’ property rights. On the other, one may argue that it is a violation of the woman’s property rights to her body for an unwanted parasite to continue living at her expense.

The only question that need be answered is who is the initial aggressor?

bob33 July 1, 2011 at 8:49 pm

I don’t think pro-lifers (and I would not classify myself as “pro-life”, especially regarding legality) view it as a question of property rights. To put it delicately, they feel that a fetus is a living thing, and to them it is a question of (except in cases of rape) whether someone who voluntarily engages in the act that leads to the creation of the “parasite” can say the only issue is about their property rights when they had a chance to exercise their property rights beforehand (including the use of prophylactics) to prevent the creation of said parasite, but did not do so and have now created something that had no role in its creation as a parasite and will be terminated as a consequence.

Methinks1776 July 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Prophylactics are not 100% effective. This is a long debate and I can actually see the argument on both sides. As John Dewey has said before here on this blog (and I agree), the real question is how we define “baby”. Also don’t think it really has anything to do with anti- or pro- women at all.

I am a woman. I believe everything contained within my body is mine to do with as I please. The fetus has a right to life, but not in my body and at my expense. I have the right to evict any part of my body – and a fetus is definitely part of my body.

I appreciate that others feel differently about it and I am sympathetic to their point of view. However, If the other point of view is that the fetus is human life and has a right to life, how does forcing it to pay with its life for the rape of the mother fit into that point of view? Also, when it’s a choice between the mother or the fetus, the pro-lifers are always on the side of the fetus, even if it means almost certain death of the mother and the spouse and other family members of the woman decide they would rather terminate the pregnancy.

What bothers me most of all about this whole abortion thing is the busy-bodies on both sides!!

Ken July 2, 2011 at 12:30 am

Methinks,

“a fetus is definitely part of my body.”

This is wrong. The parts that make up your body have your genetic make up. A fetus has a unique genetic make up different from yours.

“If the other point of view is that the fetus is human life and has a right to life, how does forcing it to pay with its life for the rape of the mother fit into that point of view?”

What are you asking here? The first part of the sentence confuses the second. The point is that the fetus is a human life and as such has a right to life. How does keeping the mother from killing it “forcing it to pay with its life”?

“when it’s a choice between the mother or the fetus”

As far as I know there hasn’t been an abortion EVER as a response to a mother vs. fetus situation. It’s an easy enough situation to imagine, but it’s a myth, an excuse that mother’s get their doctors to say to ease their conscience for killing their child.

“What bothers me most of all about this whole abortion thing is the busy-bodies on both sides!!”

Because one side is talking about human life and the right to life, while the other denies a fetus is a human life, thus not having any rights. Keeping people from killing other people isn’t being a “busy-body”. It’s being a good person.

Regards,
Ken

Gil July 2, 2011 at 4:27 am

Actually, Ken the Rothbardian alternative can give the foetus human status but the mother is simply ejecting a trespasser. Rothbard said that property owners can eject people off their property even if the trespasser will die, e.g. child abandonment.

Methinks1776 July 2, 2011 at 10:42 am

Ken,

I’m not getting into this debate with you here. We disagree.

As for the rape issue, read Bob’s post again.

vikingvista July 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm

The real issue is how we define “rights” versus how we define “values”.

bob33 July 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

nobody supports banning abortion in case of rape.

tdp July 4, 2011 at 3:26 pm

To Ken: A fetus can’t feel pain until about halfway through the pregnancy, so it isn’t going to suffer when it “pays with its life” at that point. It isn’t yet a fully developed person early in the pregnancy so I don’t think it can be given fully human rights at that point, unique DNA or not.

Ken July 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

tdp,

“A fetus can’t feel pain until about halfway through the pregnancy, so it isn’t going to suffer when it “pays with its life” at that point.”

Is this really your defense of abortion? That when killed the fetus can’t feel pain? You know if I took a sword and swung it to chop off your head, hitting the spine first, you won’t feel any pain either, therefore, I can conclude since you didn’t suffer, therefore you’re not paying with your life?

“It isn’t yet a fully developed person early in the pregnancy so I don’t think it can be given fully human rights”

A two year old isn’t a fully developed person either, but somehow it’s accorded the human right to life. But I guess as long YOU don’t think it’s a real life, then fuck, just kill the damn thing and be done with it, amaright?

Regards,
Ken

vikingvista July 4, 2011 at 10:13 am

The only rights involved are those of the mother and those who would choose to interfere with her actions. A fetus is simply incapable of the latter, no matter how passionately people love it.

carlsoane July 1, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Yikes! I hope you’re not an ob/gyn.

bob33 July 1, 2011 at 9:29 pm

??????? I was trying to play devil’s advocate and explain the pro-life line of reasoning because while I don’t agree with them I don’t think they are anti-woman the way they are frequently made out to be.

jjoxman July 2, 2011 at 8:48 am

I think he was talking to me.

vikingvista July 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

A fetus is incapable of violating its mother’s rights, and visa versa.

wolfgang July 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

My views on the morality of the thing are dependent on whether it was preventable (didn’t use any sort of birth control) or a freak accident or crime (broken prophylactic, rape), but I would never discuss the subject in person. Legally it can’t be banned because it will just drive people to back alley clinics. You cannot legislate morality, and because of the debate about whether or not a fetus is a person, it must be left to an individual moral choice since it cannot officially be classified as “murder”.

vikingvista July 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm

My concern is how discussion of the abortion issue from all sides corrupts the pivotally important concept of natural rights. No matter how horrifying it may be to destroy a fetus, in no objective sense of the term can a fetus be construed to have natural rights. People let their values and emotions cloud their reasoning on the matter. Natural rights is as pitiless and unconcerned with the feelings of people (although it is a function of individuals’ values) as the laws of physics. It is entirely a matter of capacity for communication and behavior. Love does not impart rights, and nucleic acids, are not the source of the concept. All of the empirical evidence necessary for the understanding and implementation of rights was available to people and widely used millenia before Watson and Crick.

Methinks1776 July 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

Yes, Viking! LIKE.

Economiser July 1, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Luckily for the rest of us, your “case by case” decision-making isn’t binding.

Ken July 2, 2011 at 12:39 am

Fake,

” I have to decide on a case by case basis”

Roe v Wade wasn’t legislation passed. It was a court decision made by 9 people who weren’t elected to office. In other words, pretty much the complete opposite of democracy.

Would you be in favor of reviving slavery if 51% of the population believed it was a good idea?

The idea of majority rule democracy without limits is for the addled mind not capable of thinking clearly, as well as NOT being the government we have in the US at the federal level.

The federal government was clearly designed as a democratic republic of limited government powers. Meaning, not only does the majority NOT rule, but without changing the constitution, an event requiring far more than a simple majority, the federal government only has a limited number of legal powers.

Regards,
Ken

Gil July 2, 2011 at 4:29 am

Would debt and prison slavery be okay for you if the slave owners claimed that the slaves were acquired via free market processes?

Then again who argues for “unlimited democracy”? Needing a girl, tin man and lion to go with your straw man?

Ken July 3, 2011 at 1:53 am

Gil,

“Then again who argues for “unlimited democracy”?”

Are you serious? This is precisely what Fake is arguing in favor of and something muirgeo regularly argues in favor of. I guess you missed the whole ” I still think the right response is to convince the 51% of the error of their ways” meaning that Fake is in favor of unlimited democracy. He fully acknowledged that “[n]ot every law passed will be just or moral” when defending unlimited democracy.

What is “debt and prison slavery”? I do think prisoners should be put to work. Their rights have been revoked through due process of law.

As to would I think slavery would be okay if they were a result of free market processes, you’re going to have to clarify. As far as I know almost all slaves throughout history were enslaved, i.e., forced into slavery, i.e., NOT through market forces. There have also been those who have sold themselves into slavery. I do support pretty much any voluntary contract to which people freely agree; however, I do not support treating people as property and as such, I do not support people selling themselves into slavery.

Regards,
Ken

Warren Smith July 1, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Will all vice be made illegal? Gambling and casinos? Or will we selectively target just the other fellow’s need for governance?

tdp July 1, 2011 at 9:41 pm

No, because Harry Reid needs legalized gambling to get his pork barrel spending in.

Bob July 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Recently in Long Island, NY a prescription drug addicted maniac executed several people while carrying out an armed robbery of a pharmacy to obtain the drugs he craved due to being denied access to them as reported by the local NYC media. Of course it is a terrible waste of life and my condolences to those involved. It makes me wonder if drugs were available to those foolish enough to do them for whatever reason, would this tragedy have occurred? I am also pondering whether if NY gun laws weren’t so restrictive and one of the victims was packing would the plight of the victims have been better?

tdp July 1, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Some disasters cannot be prevented, despite the attempts to put padding on every aspect of human existence. Which makes me think how easy it would be to be a king in the Middle Ages. As long as you pacified the nobility and didn’t actively murder your subjects, expectations were pretty low.

Babinich July 1, 2011 at 10:38 pm

“Would needle parks be worse than the lethal violence that is an artifact of the drug war?”

Love ya Don but lets not quantify bad outcomes.

As yourself the question Henry Hazlitt asked: What are the long term effects of this policy, not only on the special interest group, but on all groups?

Gil July 2, 2011 at 4:34 am

I would certainly argue drug use should go up if it were all legalised. It was probably the daring minority who defied the 18th Amendment with the jealous majority looking on. Most people drink alcohol nowadays precisely because it’s legal and the producers are legally responsible for bad booze.

kyle8 July 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

I agree that use of previously proscribed drugs would increase. I do not agree that overall drug use would significantly increase.

The experience in other places seems to show that pot use goes up a lot, but a lot of that is pot tourism. Hard drug use at first increases and then decreases. But overall addiction rates, if you include alcohol, do not rise significantly.

Remember that alcohol is a substitute for other drugs.

MWG July 2, 2011 at 6:05 pm

The facts are against you. The use of hard drugs decreased when they were decriminalized in Portugal.

Bill July 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

I guess these guys think it’s okay that police routinely break down doors in the middle of the night and kill people. This is how the government “insures domestic tranquility” by killing people. Funny thing is somehow this “war” is considered to be within the bounds constitution. I guess they’re just “promoting the general welfare” when the kill people. We are living in an insane asylum and it is being run by the inmates.

Fake Herzog July 2, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Just a couple of quick comments:

1) Ken says, “The federal government was clearly designed as a democratic republic of limited government powers. Meaning, not only does the majority NOT rule, but without changing the constitution, an event requiring far more than a simple majority, the federal government only has a limited number of legal powers.”

Thanks for the civics lesson. Look, I’m not the one with the problem concerning our democratic republic of limited government powers. I like the U.S. Constitution. I just don’t think it gives adults unlimited license to do whatever they want with their lives — we disagree about the extent of what those “limited government powers” entail. I will say that I’m a big fan of federalism because of my Catholic belief in subsidiarity — so I want the lowest competent level of government to be in charge of local decisions.

That will often mean local governments will make decisions I don’t like. For example I can be quite libertarian when it comes to economics (on some issues) and here in Chicago there was the usual resistance to opening a Walmart in the city. The City Council used zoning laws and threatened to pass a “living wage” ordinance if Walmart moved into the city with multiple stores. A compromise was reached and Mayor Daley actually did have to veto the “living wage” ordinance and to this day we only have two Walmarts in all of Chicago.

So I think this situation is foolish and unwise but there is nothing unjust or somehow fundamentally unfair — unless you think the right to buy and sell whatever you want wherever you want trumps all other political rights. I don’t think our Constitution says that and I don’t think good political philosophy argues for such an outcome.

But that is just one example — the broader idea is I’m not a crazed libertarian ideologue who judges every law as to whether or not it could somehow inconvenience my lifestyle.

2) Vox Day is taking apart Henry Hazlitt on free trade — worth a read if you get a chance. I provided the relevant links in a previous post but for some reason Don didn’t approve my comment. Maybe he didn’t like my idea of him debating Vox on the subject of free trade.

3) More generally, on the subject of our rights — I don’t think any of them come from our fellow citizens — they come from God. But since we live here on Earth and need a system to come up with rules and regulations to live with one another, I tend to think consent of the governed is a good starting point. How that works from a practical standpoint — there are many systems of representative democracy that seem to work reasonably well — I’m obviously biased in favor of the American system. I will say that “mob rule” generally is a recipe for disaster.

Methinks1776 July 3, 2011 at 12:26 am

No, Fake, you are not a crazed libertarian – defined as a person who just wants to allow you to make decisions for your own life. No, you’re definitely not one of those.

You’re a crazed meddler with a weird willingness to also be a serf. I guess if your betters decide that Wal-Mart can’t operate in Chicago, then who are you to get upset about it, eh?

You might want to ease up on the conspiracy theories. Don didn’t stick your comment in moderation. Comments with more than one link automatically go into moderation and they die there because there is no moderator.

MWG July 3, 2011 at 1:46 am

Fake appears to be the right’s version of muirgeo.

Frank33328 July 3, 2011 at 7:05 am

That’s not fair, muirgeo may be wrong but at least he is internally consistent (most of the time).

Methinks1776 July 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

Yes, Muirdiot is consistently an idiot. However, I do agree that MWG isn’t being quite fair. Unlike Muirdiot, Fake is capable of writing in complete sentences and at least his thoughts follow some kind of logic.

MWG July 3, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Methinks,

My comment had more to do with both Fake’s and Muir’s belief and faith in the ‘Power of the People’ through democracy, and less to do with grammatical ability.

You are correct that there does seem to be some method to fake’s madness, but his belief that our rights should be handed over to some democratic majority is just as wrong as muir’s belief in the same.

tdp July 3, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Fake Herzog is enamored of Rousseau’s concept of the General Will, while muirgeo is enamored of the idea that politicians and bureaucrats should get to take resources from productive people and piss them away on useless endeavors that increase their own power and screw over the “disadvantaged” more than they do the “privileged”.

Ken July 3, 2011 at 2:09 am

Fake,

“Look, I’m not the one with the problem concerning our democratic republic of limited government powers.”

Of course you are. You want to allow any law be passed so long as 51% of Americans support this.

“I just don’t think it gives adults unlimited license to do whatever they want with their lives”

No one’s claiming this. I have always claimed that freedom ends with physically damaging someone else and someone else’s property and fraud.

“I don’t think our Constitution says that and I don’t think good political philosophy argues for such an outcome.”

Of course it does. It explicitly says that any power not directly and explicitly granted to the federal government in the constitution is reserved to the states and people. The basic arguments against the bill of rights was that the constitution should not enumerate the rights of people, but the powers of the government. Any attempt to enumerate the right of people will ultimately result in idiotic statements that say people don’t have right such and such because it’s not written in the constitution. The writers of the constitution knew full well about people like you. People who would say that people don’t have the right “to buy and sell whatever you want wherever you want” because it’s not in the constitution. The constitution is NOT about the rights people have, but the limited powers the government has.

“I’m not a crazed libertarian ideologue who judges every law as to whether or not it could somehow inconvenience my lifestyle.”

I’m not talking about convenience. I’m talking about liberty. People have the right to liberty of their own life. I don’t support legalization of drugs because I want to get high and it’s inconvenient for me to be involved in an illegal trade. I support it because I do not have the right to restrict other people’s access to drugs, alcohol, food, housing, etc. Get a clue.

“for some reason Don didn’t approve my comment”

I’m sure your comments were not censored. If one of your comments don’t appear, likely your screwed up or the internet ate your comment. Don and Russ have a pretty good policy about letting people say whatever dumb shit that comes out of their brains. It’s what libertarians do.

Regards,
Ken

Reuvain Borchardt July 2, 2011 at 11:57 pm

here is a great video of Milton Friedman explaining why drugs should be legalized (Don linked to it some time back on another blog post on this topic) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY

Fake Herzog July 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

“It explicitly says that any power not directly and explicitly granted to the federal government in the constitution is reserved to the states and people.”

Meaning…the states and people are free to govern themselves as they see fit.

“People have the right to liberty of their own life.”

Says who?

P.S. Methinks1776 — thanks for the advice on multiple links. I’ll restrict myself to one link from now on. The next time Don posts on free trade I’ll be sure to include a link from Vox Day’s blog.

cmprostreet July 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

“The next time Don posts on free trade I’ll be sure to include a link from Vox Day’s blog.”

You mean like his “Unpossible!” post where he makes the same mistake muirgeo keeps making by believing that green pieces of paper sitting in an account somewhere represent actual resources which are being tied up?

He thinks that US companies keeping some of their cash overseas rather than paying the US government to be allowed to bring their own cash back within its borders somehow completely refutes the fact that if you trade goods or services in exchange for US dollars, you must eventually want to do something with those dollars.

I doubt someone who believes that…

1) Idle money requires consuming actual physical resources
2) Jobs are a good rather than a cost
3) Five years = eternity
4) Taxes on repatriated money = complete absence of government barriers

…could coherently debate anything with Don regarding free trade. He could probably debate a politician or a toaster, but not a serious economist or a microwave.

In fact, now that I think about it, please encourage Don to address Vox Day’ writings on free trade. It should be as fun as it was with Ian Fletcher.

Ken July 3, 2011 at 2:49 pm

“the states and people are free to govern themselves as they see fit.”

Govern in a limited fashion. The 14th amendment is most explicit about it, but again, even the states are limited in power and cannot arbitrarily limit everyone’s liberty by a simple majority.

“Says who?”

As you’ve recognized before, rights don’t come from people. You specifically say ” I don’t think any [rights] come from our fellow citizens”. Funny how as soon as a right comes up that you don’t like, all the sudden rights come from the consent of your fellow citizens.

Try a little consistency.

Regards,
Ken

vikingvista July 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm

But rights are only relevant insofar as an entity can choose to recognize them. There are no rights in lonely Crusoe’s world, though values are plentiful.

Fake Herzog July 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm

“As you’ve recognized before, rights don’t come from people.”

And as I keep noticing, you ignore my question — you like to talk about abstract ideas, e.g. “[p]eople have the right to liberty of their own life.” But it is unclear to me where you think these ideas come from or why you think I should listen you vs. the goofy left-wing Walmart hater down the street.

Until we lay out our political philosophy and realize that some philosophies are more coherent than others, we won’t get very far with each other.

But I doubt we’ll convince each other in Don’s comboxes, although I’m sure we’ll both keep trying :-)

Ken July 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Fake,

“And as I keep noticing, you ignore my question”

What question? Where rights come from? Humans have natural rights deriving from mere humanity, something you interpret as coming from god. It doesn’t really matter where they come from. What matters is that they are inviolable and can only be denied through due process, i.e., being a criminal and being prosecuted as such, not someone in a minority group, subject to the whim of the majority.

You don’t have to listen to me, or the idiot lefty down the street. What you do have to do is leave me alone and let me live my life. Unless I am actively hurting someone or someone else’s stuff, what I do with my own life, body, and property is none of your business. An idea you can’t seem to wrap your head around.

And you can talk philosophy all you want, but you’re not very good at it. You contradict yourself, even in the same breath. If you can’t think logically, it doesn’t matter how much we lay out our philosophies.

You claim that rights come from god, then when anyone else talks about rights you ask according to who. You claim that rights come from god, but then claim that all rights have to have your consent or the consent of the majority, basically negating the meaning of right.

Are you claiming the power of god to declare what is and isnt’ a right and how should and shouldn’t have a right? Or do you simply use religion as an excuse to be a tyrant?

You claim to believe in representative democracy, then claim that a simple majority is enough to pass ANY law. And in the same breath that you talk about democracy, you bring up Roe v. Wade, a decidedly non-democratic government action.

You claim not to think of yourself as one of the betters to whom power should be reserved to tell others what they can and can’t do with their own life and property, but then go on to talk about the bell curve and how those on the left side of that bell curve aren’t fit to run their own lives. And you insist on comparing adults to children. If that’s not elitist rhetoric, thinking of yourself as one of those betters, then what is?

You claim to be economically libertarian, but propose to use force to prevent adults from buying products you don’t like.

Your inconsistency and inability to think logically about the consequences of your own actions and thoughts will prevent you from any deep understanding. All of your proclamation are mere prejudice, wrapped in weak and pathetic rationalization of those prejudices.

I am well aware that people do and will do things I don’t like. The primary difference between you and me is that I don’t substitute my preferences for a moral compass and criminalize actions that I don’t like. Illegality should be reserved only for actions that actively hurt other people or property.

You aren’t the good person you seem to think you are.

Regards,
Ken

Fake Herzog July 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Ken,

You say:

“You don’t have to listen to me, or the idiot lefty down the street. What you do have to do is leave me alone and let me live my life. Unless I am actively hurting someone or someone else’s stuff, what I do with my own life, body, and property is none of your business. An idea you can’t seem to wrap your head around.”

And you are right — I can’t get my head around this idea because I don’t believe in it. And so we are back to square one — whose idea of government should we believe in. I have been arguing that our current system of government is one I can get behind — a system of government that argues via the Declaration of Independence that we are born with certain “inalienable rights” by the nature of our divine birth and as a result these rights should be safeguarded by the government we find ourselves living under.

However, citizens in the government also have a certain latitude in formulating laws as to how they want to live with each other and we just disagree about the scope of our current Constitution and what latitude it gives our fellow citizens to meddle with our “life, body, and property.” Obviously I don’t think our Constitution as currently written is as libertarian as you think it is.

Many of your other comments are either not relevant to the discussion or attacking straw men. I’m sure we’ll meet again.

yet another Dave July 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

Fake,

Why do you think it’s acceptable to inflict violence on a person who is harming nobody?

Fake Herzog July 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Our disagreement is over whether or not so called “victimless crimes” are indeed victimless.

We just disagree about whether or not the drug addict is “harming” anyone besides himself.

yet another Dave July 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

So you believe every instance of drug use necessarily results in harm to non-participants?

Ken July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

“We just disagree about whether or not the drug addict”

Your blatant assumption that anyone who uses drugs is a drug addict is glaringly wrong. Off the top of my head, I can think of only a handful of my friends who do not drink, yet NONE of them are alcoholics. Even the alcoholics I do know lead a pretty standard life, holding down a job, having a family, just unable to remain sober for most of the day.

Do you really think it’s different for other drugs? My mind changed about drugs at a job I had just after the navy. The majority of people I worked with toked up at least once a week, where another 10-20% did coke weekly or biweekly. They ALL held down their jobs and many had families.

Even if they didn’t, are you really claiming that jailing people for doing drugs actually makes drug users’ and their families’ lives better? Are you really so stupid that you claim arresting people, throwing them in jail, breaking up families, giving people rap sheets, or even killing them, helps them and their families?

Regards,
Ken

Ken July 5, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Edit: Off the top of my head, I can think of only a handful of my friends who do not drink, yet NONE of my other friends are alcoholics.

yet another Dave July 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm

In your reply to Ken you said you don’t believe “Unless I am actively hurting someone or someone else’s stuff, what I do with my own life, body, and property is none of your business.”

In other words, you’re perfectly amenable to inflicting violence on a person who is harming nobody. When I asked you why you think this is acceptable, you changed the subject with this:

Our disagreement is over whether or not so called “victimless crimes” are indeed victimless.
We just disagree about whether or not the drug addict is “harming” anyone besides himself.

It looks to me like you are simply rationalizing your prejudices.

Victimless crimes would include drug use and prostitution, neither of which necessarily cause harm to non-participants. Most drug users are not addicts as you so blithely assume. In fact, the vast majority of drug use events cause no harm to any non-participant. I’m less versed in prostitution statistics, but certainly many such transactions inflict no harm on non-participants. Denying this requires an absurd definition of harm – is that why you put harming in quotes?

So either you claim the absurd or you argue for prohibition because [insert activity you disapprove of here] sometimes causes harm to non-participants. Well, why stop there? Common activities such as driving, playing baseball, and even cooking sometimes harm non-participants.

Do you advocate making those activities illegal? I doubt it – you’ll no doubt assert that [insert activity you disapprove of here] is different for some reason, but that just proves you’re rationalizing you prejudices.

Ken July 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm

“one I can get behind — a system of government that argues via the Declaration of Independence that we are born with certain “inalienable rights””

That’s exactly the point. Care to list those “inalienable rights”? The three explicitly mentioned at “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. Did you see the second one? LIBERTY!

So again, reading comprehension fail. Or is liberty only at your consent and thus you don’t even believe what you say?

Regards,
Ken

Fake Herzog July 5, 2011 at 1:21 pm

See my response above — the trick is in defining liberty, although I think the Constitution did a pretty good job as a start. Obviously, as the battle over Supreme Court appointments and the intellectual battle over their decisions rages on, the Constitution is only a start…

Ken July 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Fake,

There’s no “trick” to defining liberty, except for people like you who just don’t like other people and the way they live. You just want to use police force to make people act the way YOU define acceptable, when the reality is that unless someone is hurting you, breaking your stuff, or defrauding you it’s none of your business. If I want to toke up in my house, and get it on with three women, it’s none of your business.

However, you seem to derive pleasure from sending armed masked goons to my house, break down the door, throw flash bangs, and hall me and those three women off to jail. News flash, genius, THAT is far more harmful than toking up and having sex.

All of your arguments have been used before. They are arguments of oppression. They legitimized abominations like slavery, Jim Crow and other laws designed to oppress blacks, Chinese, women, Jews, gays, etc. You lack the ability to separate your preferences from actual morality. The fact that someone doesn’t like Muslims or premarital sex or dropping acid, like you, doesn’t make it okay for you to make those actions illegal.

Regards,
Ken

ArrowSmith July 4, 2011 at 1:14 pm

A bunch of “needle parks” is infinitely preferable to the current insane “war on drugs”.

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