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Addicted to the Drug War
Ludwig von Mises Institute ^ | December 28, 2001 | Ilana Mercer

Posted on 12/30/2001 1:25:13 AM PST by NoCurrentFreeperByThatName

Now that it is being rededicated as part of the war on terrorism, the hapless war on drugs will claim even more liberties and lives than it already has. While omnibus antiterrorism bills were being rammed past pliant populations in the U.S., Canada, and Britain, Tony Blair got on the drug tack by ominously pointing out that the avails from drugs finance roughly 25 percent of the world's terrorist activity.

Blair, whose New Labor is committed to a "curious blend of moralism and utilitarianism" (TLS, September 14), one that has enshrined in law coercive drug testing and compulsory treatment protocols, proclaimed that fighting terrorism must extend to the war on drugs. This implies that the war effort will entail a renewed assault on individuals for their consumption choices.

Last year alone, roughly 1.5 million Americans were arrested on drug charges, most of them for marijuana possession. Sure enough, since September 11, DEA agents have stepped up the savage crackdowns on infirm medical-marijuana users.

There is no denying that the drug trade is a source of revenue for al-Qaida and for armed insurrections the world over. However, had governments not outlawed these substances, profits would not be excessive, and criminals would be looking elsewhere for a quick fix. Had the trade not been outlawed, the $400 billion worth of illegal trade per annum would not be in the hands of a criminal class whose market share is captured with guns.

The avails from drugs, moreover, would be much less likely to be funneled to unsavory causes if the trade were in the hands of legitimate law-abiding business. It is ironic that terrorists owe a debt of gratitude to governments for the solid financial base they enjoy.

Besides indirectly sponsoring terrorism, governments terrorize their citizens in more direct ways. While gangsters fight turf wars with other gangsters in order to maintain their upper hand in the lucrative market of illegal drugs, they don't go out of their way to assault their bread and butter, their drug-consuming clients. Drug dealers are not responsible for the incarceration on any given day of some 500,000 adults--100,000 of whom are nonviolent--in U.S. jails for drug taking. It is not drug lords that carry out unconstitutional assaults on adults because they happen to choose to consume marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, instead of alcohol, nicotine, or prescription drugs. Governments do.

The brutal punishing of adults for the substances they ought to be able to ingest, inhale, or inject at their own peril is based on a parochial and moribund prior restraint argument. Policy wonks have arbitrarily decided that heroin consumption is potentially worse for individual and society than compulsive eating, bunjie jumping, gambling, alcohol consumption, fatty foods, or tobacco. This serves as a justification to trample the constitutional rights of people before the foreseeable harm comes to pass. Considering the extent and severity of its assault on otherwise peaceable people, the state's conduct in the war on drugs befits the conduct of a criminal class, albeit a criminal class that enjoys the protection of the law.

If we accept prior restraint arguments, then apply them we must ad absurdum. We would have to stop all teenagers from driving, all people from eating Twinkies, or all socialist parents from procreating, lest they too sire proponents of state theft. "As soon as we surrender the principle that the state should not interfere in any questions touching on the individual’s mode of life," wrote Ludwig von Mises in 1927, "we end by regulating and restricting the latter down to the smallest details."

SUPPLY AND DEMAND

Despite the libertarian gush over the Hollywood motion picture Traffic, it was simply reiterating what seems obvious to almost all, except to President Bush's new drug czar, John Walters: The war on drugs is a dismal failure. Walters, who backs tough penalties for drug users and opposes the use of marijuana for medical purposes, intends to reinvigorate the flailing war. To make the thing hale and hearty again, the new chief of the U.S. antinarcotics operation has promised to shift the focus of his $20 billion-a-year office to "the demand side of this problem."

The attempts to reduce demand can be traced as far back as the 1917 Harrison Act that outlawed cocaine and other illicit drugs. While the criminal penalties over the decades have become harsher and harsher, demand has actually grown apace. The government spends billions attempting to brainwash children into "Just Saying No" to drugs. In the process it has managed to create not much more than an ever looming forbidden fruit syndrome.

The urge to experiment with psychoactive drugs is seemingly as strong now as when, in "On Liberty," John Stuart Mill argued that the freedom to consume alcohol and opium is one of the most basic civil rights. It is unlikely to cease any time soon. Most moderate users, however, do not become addicts. This is the secret that is concealed by the addiction industry’s hysterical chemical McCarthyism.

The irony becomes even greater when law enforcement turns its attentions to the supply side of the problem. In British Columbia, the media commend the Vancouver police force whenever it performs one of its sting operations. But what happens when supply is reduced? Why, prices shoot up. And what happens when prices go up? The potential profit causes a renewed influx of dealers into the trade, resulting in more crime. In the war on drugs, success is failure. A free market in drugs, however, will bring prices down drastically, inclining fewer pushers to enter the trade.

THE COSTS OF ILLEGAL MARKETS

Prohibition--not drug use--is responsible for the current crime and chaos. Prohibition makes the price of drugs far in excess of their cost of production. The production costs of common drugs are low. These chemicals are derived from hardy plants. A poppy is not an orchid. Neither is cannabis a particularly fragile plant. As with other illegal commodities, the price is pushed up by the high costs of circumventing the law as well as by the reduced supply brought on by prohibition. The price of pure heroin for medicinal purposes is a fraction of its street price. The difference amounts to a state subsidy for organized crime.

Again, in British Columbia, policy pundits are perennially alarmed at the flood of extra-potent drugs into Vancouver's East Side area, where drug use is endemic. Last year there were over 200 overdoses. Why the surprise? Prohibition is directly related to the potency of drugs. Given the risks involved in circumventing the law, dealers would rather transport the more potent and lucrative drugs. Reduced to criminals by law and held to ransom by mercenary suppliers, consumers have no recourse to the courts when they are sold adulterated or poisoned substances.

To "deal with supply," it is now the habit of the U.S. to invade foreign countries, to seize property on finding miniscule amounts of dope, to search people willy-nilly, to break into their homes and threaten their safety, even kill them. While the motion picture Traffic did not warrant the gushing praise it got from libertarians, it did provide some sober lines. As the protagonist decreed, "[T]here is no sacred protection of property rights in our country. You grow marijuana on your farm, be it an ounce or an acre of plant, that farm can be seized, that farm can be sold." And you can be killed. . .

The U.S. has been able to make prohibition piety an integral part of its foreign policy. It's quite clear that President Bush’s new warlord and his retinue will preserve the uniquely made-in-America flavor of the war. One of the ploys favored by Walters is the issuance of report cards, certifying or decertifying a nation in accordance with how its drug warriors perform. The U.S.’s drug strategy is predicated on ensuring prohibition is written into every international treaty and properly used as leverage in foreign agreements. Sweeping antiterrorism measures will further bolster these powers.

VOLUNTARY TRANSACTIONS

One question ought to loom large: When a drug purchaser and a drug seller make an exchange, is it voluntary? If it is voluntary, then both parties expect to benefit ex ante. A voluntary exchange is, by definition, always mutually beneficial inasmuch as, at the time of the exchange, the buyer valued the purchase more than the money he paid for it, and the seller valued the money more than the goods he sold.

Writing in the Journal of Business Ethics (1993), economist Walter Block points out that there will always be meddling third parties seeking to circumscribe and circumvent a voluntary activity not to their liking. Some feminists want to stop lovers of pornography from making or consuming it. Other busybodies would like to stop adults from gambling. These third parties have no place in a transaction between consenting adults, unless these transactions infringe directly--not foreseeably--on their property or person.

Any transaction that was at the time of occurrence voluntary, and hence beneficial to the participants, can, retrospectively, be denounced as harmful and regrettable. A litigious culture that shuns personal responsibility facilitates this. Consider the Sicamous, British Columbia, man who bought cocaine from the same dealer for ten years running. The drug consumer is now suing the dealer, alleging dealers "owe a duty of care to their customers." Is this the same kind of care the baker owes the obese buyer, or the local pub owner owes the alcoholic?

If the legislator has no place in a voluntary exchange between adults, what role can the state properly arrogate to itself?

THE ROLE OF THE STATE

The safest--to say nothing of most just--society is one that demands accountability from people, and treats them--so long as they are compos mentis--as if they have "initiative" and free will, for they do. Policymakers, however, don’t get votes for fostering reliance; on the contrary, they get lifelong co-dependence from their voters for getting them off the hook.

Currently, instead of being punished and shamed, the therapeutic state exculpates, treats, and often rewards addicts who commit crimes. Crimes perpetrated under the influence are cast as a disease for which a lesser sentence is meted. Often, criminals like this even go on to become advocates, mainstream role models, and preachers of the gospel of abstinence. It gets worse: state subsidized treatment has the victim, the taxpayer, pay for the ostensible restitution of the criminal. This kind of inversion of the moral order shields the perpetrator from the consequences of his actions and guarantees recidivism.

Drug use is a choice and a private one. If people should be arrested, it is only for crimes they perpetrate against another’s person and property. The correct solution is to visit the full force of the law on anyone who commits a crime against another's person or property. If an addict tosses a used needle in a public park, and a toddler steps on it, the addict must be made accountable for reckless endangerment. If the victim gets Hepatitis B or HIV--both diseases that can kill--the addict is complicit in attempted murder.

Incidentally, many libertarians have no difficulty stating that parks ought to be privatized in order to avoid the eventuality I describe. But they refuse to concede that, since the existence of public property is a reality, it is incumbent on government to manage this property as if it were private. These libertarians err on the side of libertinism by supporting the right of a bum to intimidate library-going children, or the right of the user to dispose publicly of his intravenous weapons.

When an employer is free to exercise property rights, he can implement a policy of compulsory testing as a prerequisite for employment. Should he refuse employment to a user, the user is free to either look elsewhere or quit the habit. In contrast to the state, members of the community cannot, unless they violate the law, take away a person’s liberty or interfere with the integrity of his person or property. With its protected species and anti-discrimination regulation, the state disrupts the market’s self-correcting mechanism.

The State must then exert its only mandate, and that is to protect people and their property from incurring unprovoked harm. Acting for the state, the criminal justice system must stop ameliorating punishment with a disease label or treatment protocol. Once the secular liberal state retreats from managing what people ingest, inhale, or inject, it will fall, once again, to custom and religion to reinvigorate those informal checks on behavior the therapeutic state has undermined. Shame, loss of face, being denied membership, excommunication, counseling, and support are some of the ways moral communities have, in previous eras, kept their members in check.

ADDICTION: VICE OR DISEASE?

The film Traffic grows heavy with portent when the protagonist takes a few drinks before dinner. In an attempt at some foolish equivalencies, or slippery-slope error, it's implied that the hard-working--if vocationally misguided--father's predinner drinks are on a par with the addiction of his slack-jawed teen. "We are all out of control" is the hysterical message. Neither is it without significance that Traffic ends with the twelve-step session. Had Oprah Winfrey made a grand entrée, the scene could not have been more endorsing of the disease model of addiction. Lost in the hysteria is that most people, even when they help themselves regularly to a joint or indulge in a few drinks, choose not to descend into the addiction abyss or turn their backs on life's responsibilities.

On the issue of drugs, adherents of the left and right appear incapable of coming down from a shared high. Prohibitionists unanimously support outlawry, coerced treatment protocols (incidentally, the success the proponents of this treatment claim for it is no argument in its favor), and deny that people are capable of making conscious choices. Both hawk and harm-reductionist dove believe addiction is not a problem of behavior, but a disease as organic as cancer or diabetes.

There are, however, no genetic markers that distinguish the addict from the moderate user or the nonuser. There is no inherited mechanism that leads a person to be unable to control his substance use, to go on tremendous binges, or to leave off his connection to people and environments in order to consume a substance. The scientific evidence for brain-based addiction theories is shabby.

When people take drugs, their brain functioning changes. When they have sex, cuddle their toddler, or eat chocolate, similar changes occur in the same brain centers. Do changes in the brain tell us anything about the person’s behavior or its motivation? Hardly. Can we draw conclusions about whether the connubially preoccupied is addicted to sex from the fact that certain centers in the brain--the very same centers that react when drugs are taken--perk up when said individual has sex? Of course not. When people recover from addiction--by any means at all--their brain functioning changes once again. This does not amount to saying that addiction is organic or biological in the sense that appendicitis or diabetes is.

Everything we do involves our brains, and brains alter their physical structure and functioning in response to the environment. We could just as well say that learning French is a biological accomplishment, though most of us would rather call it an intellectual achievement (John Winston Bush, Ph.D., unpublished Letter-to-an-Editor, SSCP Listserve).

Identifying activities as stimulating the cerebral pleasure centers fails to explain why people find different things pleasurable and why different people react in destructive, addictive ways to some of these things, while others incorporate them into a balanced overall lifestyle ("Medical Mumbo Jumbo Does not Explain Addiction," Ilana Mercer, The Calgary Herald, 2000).

REDUCING DRUG ADDICTION

Reducing addiction lies in withdrawing the perverse incentives that reinforce the maladaptive behavior. To use twelve-step locution, free treatment programs are "enablers." The dismal failure of state programs launched by the addiction industry and the high rates of recidivism alert us again and again to the fact that addicts quit when they decide to. And they are more likely to be nudged in that direction when made to shoulder the consequences of their lifestyle.

Currently, we don't have free-market insurance. It is legally impermissible to exclude or refuse to insure certain risky populations. Some self-destructive behavior has acquired disability status and hence is legally protected. If insurers cannot transfer to the addict the full costs of the risk he poses, they must make those of us who choose to watch our diets, exercise, and refrain from smoking or drug taking the repository for these costs. Legislative interference ensures we subsidize the lifestyle of the smoker, compulsive eater, drinker, and addict.

Over and above the immorality of forceful wealth distribution, socialized schemes (like the Canadian healthcare system) distribute wealth from the risk averse to the reckless, stealing from responsible adults, and rewarding the rash and imprudent.

Insurance on the free market would restore the right to discriminate between risk groups. With such discrimination comes the incentive on the part of the insured to avoid lifestyles or behaviors that incur costs.

If a society wishes to persist in pursuing a worldview where misdeeds are parlayed as diseases--where the thief is considered a kleptomaniac, the arsonist a pyromaniac, and the promiscuous a sex addict--it must at the very least stop forcing the majority of people to sponsor this deviance. In the absence of distribution schemes, these behaviors will become less prevalent.

CONCLUSION

A free market in drugs, aver the determinists, will bring prices down drastically and send demand rocketing, causing rampant addiction. These conclusions are based on assumptions not in evidence: There is no indication that, prior to prohibition, people flocked to the opium dens in proportionally greater numbers than contemporary addicts flock to the crack houses. In the same vein that biological hardwiring fails to explain this vice, addiction cannot be understood as a mere byproduct of environmental exigencies.

Try as the egalitarians do to whittle down the differences between people to simple schedules of reinforcement, they invariably fail. Not being laboratory rats, human behavior is mediated by--and cannot be explained without reference to--values, conscious choices, and probity of character or lack thereof.

Conversely, because drug taking--like most things--involves elements of choice, it would be inaccurate to blame the dire situation of addicts entirely on the absence of a competitive market. The impeded accessibility of drugs is not insignificant in the plight of the user. But, absent drugs, a person with such proclivities may well branch into other antisocial behavior.

It is not unreasonable to postulate, however, that, were addicts able to purchase drugs at market prices, and were they not forced to structure their lives around obtaining a fix, criminal conduct among users would be considerably reduced. These pragmatic predictions aside, prohibition is unconscionable and should no longer be finessed.


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: wodlist
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To: Roscoe


1,201 posted on 01/01/2002 7:47:43 PM PST by Zon
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To: Texasforever
Don't necessarily disagree with you, but even before the 14th amendment the states were still restricted by the Bill of Rights.
1,202 posted on 01/01/2002 7:47:49 PM PST by AKbear
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To: donh
Does that mean the IRS can regulate if or where you can work?

Ask Al Capone.

1,203 posted on 01/01/2002 7:48:57 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: Roscoe
Your application for membership in the Illuminati will be mailed to you in the morning.

Is this where I order the ostrich quill jackboots? I take a size 10 1/2, and I over-pronate on my right foot like a big dog so they'll need to be orthopedic.

1,204 posted on 01/01/2002 7:49:18 PM PST by strela
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To: Roscoe
I don't have problem here. You do.
1,205 posted on 01/01/2002 7:49:50 PM PST by tpaine
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To: Zon
On behalf of FReerepublic and the providers of it's bandwidth I would like to be the first to congratulate you on your posting of what has to be a 20 meg gif..
1,206 posted on 01/01/2002 7:51:04 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Texasforever
You're mistaking the 7th amendment with the 17th I believe. The appointment of senators wasn't in the original bill of rights it was in the constitution itself.
1,207 posted on 01/01/2002 7:51:46 PM PST by Demidog
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To: Demidog
Simply not true. The Supreme Court of Georgia in fact ruled that the second amendment applied to them well before the 14th was ratified. The 14th amendment remedied a particularly racist ruling by Justice Teney and his band of revisionists.

One state supreme court decision does not a precedent set. As to the 14th I agree, it was enacted for a very narrow reason but has been used with the broadest interpretation to almost completely gut the 10th amendment.

1,208 posted on 01/01/2002 7:52:10 PM PST by Texasforever
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To: AKbear
Don't necessarily disagree with you, but even before the 14th amendment the states were still restricted by the Bill of Rights.

Only so far as their state constitutions were in conflict.

1,209 posted on 01/01/2002 7:53:55 PM PST by Texasforever
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To: Roscoe
Al capone was convicted on tax evasion charges. What did this have to do with his line of work?
1,210 posted on 01/01/2002 7:54:14 PM PST by Demidog
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To: Texasforever
Only so far as their state constitutions were in conflict.

This just isn't true. Their constitutions could not be in conflict with the bill of rights. The tenth amendment pretty much lays out the fact that the reserved rights of the people cannot be abbrogated by the states.

1,211 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:09 PM PST by Demidog
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To: Roscoe
Roscoe, the only hatred I have in me is towards those who would destroy my country and the Constitution. Liberals have for years, "interpreted" the Constitution to mean things that it never had, nor was ever intended to mean. Using the commerce clause has meant legislating things that the founders never meant it to regulate, up to and including carrying guns within 1000 yards of a school. Using the general welfare clause, they have passed laws in which they take money from producers and give it to the takers.

You are just one minor one in a looooong line of usurpers.

1,212 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:12 PM PST by AKbear
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To: Demidog

Absolutely nothing..

Capone's indictment for Tax Evasion actually had more to do with a lack of evidence than anything.

1,213 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:26 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
In a purely Libertarian society what is to prevent atrocities like public beastality? Or drug dealing? (Provided the individual in question owns both the land and the drugs or the animal) Basically, that was the question..

As for drug dealing, if the individual was selling to a consenting adult, then there's nothing the community can or should do. The buyer and the seller are adults, and are thus free to make any choices they wish, provided those choices don't violate the rights of another.

If the drug sales were to a child, that is another matter. Children do not have the intellectual or emotional faculties necessary to comprehend the consequences of drug use, and therefore a child may not consent to their purchase and use. Hence an adult selling drugs to a child is doing so in the absence of consent which could only have been offered by the child's rights custodian (usually the parent). Such a drug sale may be morally restricted, regardless of where it took place.

Now in the instance of beastility, provided the beastial behavior was not in public view, then the answer to that problem in a free society would be intense and overwhelming economic and social pressure, on the part of the offended community.

In short, such a person should be shunned. This is usually enough to curtail such behavior.

If the beastial sexual behavior (or any sexual behavior) were intentionally displayed to the public who could not reasonably traverse without encountering it, then I think an argument could be made that psychological duress was inflicted upon those who had to witness such actions, and a civil remedy was in order.

1,214 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:30 PM PST by OWK
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To: Demidog
You're mistaking the 7th amendment with the 17th I believe.

The 17th amendment was to allow for popular vote of Senators. So my reference was correct.

1,215 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:35 PM PST by Texasforever
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To: Texasforever
Actually, when the Senators were selected by the Governor and/or state legislature, they were beholden to the states while they were in the senate. They watched out for the interests of their state AGAINST FedGov. The House was supposed to watch out for the rest of us. It was another form of check and balance. Now there are NO restraints against fedgov. Repealing the 17th amendment would repair that and make state Sovereignty a reality again, far more than it is now.
1,216 posted on 01/01/2002 7:56:47 PM PST by dcwusmc
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To: Jhoffa_
I was answering your dreams about making my wife into a prostitute on the post that was pulled.

Of which you are well aware, you hypocrite.

1,217 posted on 01/01/2002 7:57:40 PM PST by tpaine
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To: Jhoffa_
On behalf of FReerepublic and the providers of it's bandwidth I would like to be the first to congratulate you on your posting of what has to be a 20 meg gif..

614 kb ...It figures that you'd be off by nearly a factor of 18 . The graphs really do fly on the face of your arguments. Just like tried to weasel word your way out of the ostracism database issue.

1,218 posted on 01/01/2002 7:58:14 PM PST by Zon
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To: OWK
Basically, that was the question..

As the example was originally put, it involved captive audiences of schoolchildren exposed to the property where the cow-poking occured. I recommend going back and looking at it, rather than trusting a summary.

1,219 posted on 01/01/2002 7:59:13 PM PST by donh
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To: Texasforever
One state supreme court decision does not a precedent set.

Yes it does when coupled with various other State rulings which say the same thing. The only change in State interpretations of the bill of rights has been in the same manner that Teney and his gang decided to rule and that was that certain folks weren't citizens.

As a matter of fact the racist "non-citizen" doctrine that Teney used to relegate Dred SCot to sub-human status was borrowed from State Supreme Court rulings. See "The Racist Roots of Gun Control" by Clayton E Cramer for proof.

1,220 posted on 01/01/2002 7:59:27 PM PST by Demidog
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To: Texasforever
Ok, but if the state constitution didn't have the protection from unreasonable search and seizures, then the Bill of Rights kicks in. Either way, you still have that protection.

Using the 21st amendment as a foundation for a drug war still violates the 4th, 5th, and 9th amendments, or the same protecions from the states constitutions. Either way, a drug war could not be fought without violating rights.

1,221 posted on 01/01/2002 8:00:41 PM PST by AKbear
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To: OWK

I fail to see where this breaches your "No force, no fraud" rule.

It would seem to fall under the "property right's" category.

I mean, after all.. who is "Government" to define what's moral and what's not? Who are they to tell you what you can and cannot do on your own property?

1,222 posted on 01/01/2002 8:00:47 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Texasforever
Sorry about that. I thought you had written 7th.
1,223 posted on 01/01/2002 8:02:47 PM PST by Demidog
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To: tpaine

Actually, I was not aware of the content of that paticular posting..

But, go ahead and wrap yourself in tin foil if it makes you feel better..

Or, you could try immitating OWK, Don h, Demidog or one of your more "balanced" Libertarian counterparts..

I don't see their posts vanishing..

1,224 posted on 01/01/2002 8:04:17 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
The remedy to this problem is to recognize that it is possible to rape an animal and that it is a crime. Yes, it seems odd that one would say killing an animal is more acceptable than having sex with it. However, I do think that animals are to be afforded a semblance of respect and if we can arrest a man for cruelty to animals then certainly bestaility would be cruelty.
1,225 posted on 01/01/2002 8:05:54 PM PST by Demidog
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To: AKbear
Roscoe, the only hatred I have in me is towards those who would destroy my country and the Constitution.

Like George Washington and the Founding Fathers? I'll take the real Constitution over the imaginary one you've propounded.

1,226 posted on 01/01/2002 8:06:38 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: Demidog

Doesn't this fly right in the face of the Libertarian concept of Property Right's though?

I mean, hey.. your animal.. Who is Government to tell you how to use it?

1,227 posted on 01/01/2002 8:07:54 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
I mean, after all.. who is "Government" to define what's moral and what's not? Who are they to tell you what you can and cannot do on your own property?

You seem to misunderstand the notion of "civil remedy".

A civil action, is not a criminal action. Government would not move (in this specific situation) to restrain the individual's actions.

Instead, individuals who were actually harmed (psychologically or otherwise) by the action in question, would state their case before a civil court, and seek monetary damages pursuant to the harm caused.

The payment of civil damages to the injured parties by the offender, would do far more to curtail his activities than does the current "slap on the wrist" of a judicial system we have today.

1,228 posted on 01/01/2002 8:09:46 PM PST by OWK
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To: Roscoe
Does that mean the IRS can regulate if or where you can work?

Ask Al Capone.

I asked you. Does the IRS have the legal right to control if and where you work? If the IRS wasn't prosecuting a genuine case of tax evasion against Al Capone, but actually intended to curtail where and if he worked, than they were ILLEGALLY controlling where and if he worked, quite outside their legal charter, now weren't they?

1,229 posted on 01/01/2002 8:10:42 PM PST by donh
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To: Jhoffa_; yall
Look, you and I both know that as soon as a hole is punched in the Libertarian ideology that it cannot stand up..

--- So? Show us the hole, you dolt. Punch away.
979 posted by tpaine

Why can't I make your wife a prostitute, or screw a goat in front of your kids, or sell them drugs?
What are you gonna do TPaine? Pass a Law? - #982

-------------------------------------

Here is your original idiotic "question", --- that would supposedly punch a hole in libertarian thought.

What a joke.

1,230 posted on 01/01/2002 8:11:35 PM PST by tpaine
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To: Jhoffa_
I fail to see where this breaches your "No force, no fraud" rule.

You and failure are go hand in hand.

It would seem to fall under the "property right's" category.

Only a person can be a victim. If a person has been harmed they may file a claim ageist the agressor.  In regard to initiation of force, fraud and coercion used against a person, I offer this... The ultimate purpose of the jury is to decide if harm has been done to the person claiming to be a victim and to what extent the person has been harmed. All jurors will be informed that they have the option of jury nullification. Objective law; The Point Law  nullifies agenda law and ego law.

1,231 posted on 01/01/2002 8:11:49 PM PST by Zon
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To: AKbear
Using the 21st amendment as a foundation for a drug war still violates the 4th, 5th, and 9th amendments, or the same protecions from the states constitutions. Either way, a drug war could not be fought without violating rights.

Then you are saying that the 21st amendment is "unconstitutional"?

1,232 posted on 01/01/2002 8:12:05 PM PST by Texasforever
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To: Texasforever
I still wonder why it is wrong to elect senators instead of them being appointed.

The purpose of the Senate was to act as a check against the House. House members were elected by the people and Senators were elected by state legislatures. It was believed this would curtail the consolidation of power in the federal government. It would not be in the best interest of state legislators to elect Senators who would subjugate state rights. They'd be cutting their own throats politically to do so. Since Senators are now elected directly by the people there is no check against federal power grabs other than the people themselves.

1,233 posted on 01/01/2002 8:12:56 PM PST by Alan Chapman
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To: OWK
I see..

But, doesn't this open the door to "town councils" and "blue laws" and such?

I mean, if your neighbors can get together and decide how you should behave.. ?!?

Remember, people like L Ron Hubbard sued to harass and to drain his opponents financially.. He didn't do it to "win" the suit by any means.

1,234 posted on 01/01/2002 8:13:00 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Jhoffa_
Doesn't this fly right in the face of the Libertarian concept of Property Right's though?

Not really. Bestiality is an initiated act of aggression that has no beneficial purpose. If I raise sheep and slaughter the lambs, I am providing sustainence for others while rightfully receiving remuneration for my hard work and care.

If I commit an act of bestiality in public I am neither providing life to my fellow man (meat) or treating the animal with respect. I have committed a crime and should be punished.

1,235 posted on 01/01/2002 8:13:29 PM PST by Demidog
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To: Roscoe
Yes, like George Washington. And Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and many other founders.

Violations of the Constitution, no matter who it is perpetrated by, must be condemned. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It must be adhered to, or if you disagree with what it says, change it. The mechanisms where put in for changing it for a reason. They realized it was not perfect. In fact, they admitted that in the debates and in the Federalist Papers.

But words mean things, Roscoe. The words of the Constitution mean things. They restrict the government from abusing the rights, the unalienable rights, of it's citizens.

If you choose to ignore the words of the Constitution, you will lead us to that thing you rail about all the time: anarchy.

1,236 posted on 01/01/2002 8:14:02 PM PST by AKbear
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To: Jhoffa_
********************************************************

Scenario #1: While having his morning coffee, Marvin Middleclass happens to glance out his dining room window. His neighbor, Wally Whackjob, after digging a latrine in the front yard, uses it.

Marvin makes a telephone call, and soon Calvin Clipboard of the health department pays a visit. Whackjob tells Clipboard that there is a Constitutional right to keep an open latrine, then yells, "Personal property! Freedom!!!!" Clipboard writes Whackjob a citation, and tells him if the open latrine isn't filled in, the city will take care of it in and send him a bill.

No warrant, no trial.

*******************************************************

Scenario #2: While having his morning coffee, Marvin Middleclass happens to glance out his dining room window. His neighbor, Wally Whackjob, after digging a latrine in the front yard, uses it.

Marvin makes a telephone call, and eventually Zachary Zealot of the Libertarian Justice Services pays a visit. After talking to Whackjob, Zachary confronts Marvin. Taking a last drag from his roach, Zealot flicks it into the stinking latrine on the other side of the fence where it sizzles out. Turning his glassy glare towards Middleclass, Zealot says, "Hey, Man! It's like his property, so quit hassling him!! And don't call us no more!!! If you have a problem, take it to court!!!!"

*******************************************************

1,237 posted on 01/01/2002 8:14:19 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: tpaine

The question was worthy of the audience.. In this case, you TPaine.

Now, go change your foil.. you are beginning to smell.

1,238 posted on 01/01/2002 8:15:16 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: AKbear
Violations of the Constitution

I'll take the real Constitution over the imaginary one you've propounded.

1,239 posted on 01/01/2002 8:15:26 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: Texasforever
No. But you can't pick and choose which amendments to the Constitution to use. You have to take into consideration all of them.
1,240 posted on 01/01/2002 8:16:45 PM PST by AKbear
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To: Demidog
...initiated act of aggression that has no beneficial purpose...

Interesting mutation of Libertarian doctrine.

1,241 posted on 01/01/2002 8:18:25 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: Demidog

Okay, well.. As in the past, I think we will have to disagree. (and, I agree with you about the "bossie" thing, believe it or not)

Because I really find this twist confusing.. I mean, who defines "beneficial purpose"

1,242 posted on 01/01/2002 8:18:45 PM PST by Jhoffa_
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To: Texasforever
I have seen that debate several times on the forum but I haven't studied it enough to have formed an opinion. I still wonder why it is wrong to elect senators instead of them being appointed.

The popular election of senators makes the upper house of the US Congress a direct federal body, instead of a body which represents the interests of the state legislatures.

Most people look at this as an issue of politics (i.e. "we could get more republicans in office if..."), but that isn't it at all.

It's really an issue of power distribution and corrpution. Under the original system, senators served at the discretion of the state legislatures, and could be recalled at any time. If they failed to represent the interests of their state, then they got the axe.

But under a popular election scheme, the senator from Rhode Island, has the opportunity to in effect, sell his vote on that fat juicy defense contract in Washington State, in exchange for a nice comfortable campaign contribution. Or perhaps he's faced with a question of whether to extend federal power, or to preserve power for the states. His actions do not necessarily serve the interests of his state, and he doesn't really care. His existence is driven by popular election concerns, and not the concerns of protecting the power of his state's legislature.

The 17th amendment has eroded the balance of power between state and fed, every bit as much as the 14th... and has served to destroy the idea of a small and limited federal government.

1,243 posted on 01/01/2002 8:20:54 PM PST by OWK
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To: Roscoe
You wouldn't know the real Constitution if it came up and bit you on the a$$. That is obvious because the copy of the Constitution I have doesn't say "do what ever you want, because words mean whatever you want them to mean." Yours obviously does.
1,244 posted on 01/01/2002 8:21:04 PM PST by AKbear
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To: Roscoe
If you wanna take the "real" Constitution, fine with me. ENFORCE ALL OF IT, especially the Bill of RIGHTS, you know, those wacky things the founders put there to LIMIT GOVERNMENT to its sole LEGITIMATE function, to PROTECT the people, NOT make war on them. You do that, I have no problem. However, fair warning to JBTs in the audience: You break down MY door, I get to shoot you! Stupidity SHOULD hurt!
1,245 posted on 01/01/2002 8:23:28 PM PST by dcwusmc
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To: AKbear
No. But you can't pick and choose which amendments to the Constitution to use. You have to take into consideration all of them.

This is a serious question...If States are subject to the Federal Bill of Rights, why have any state constitutions at all?

1,246 posted on 01/01/2002 8:24:10 PM PST by Texasforever
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To: AKbear
You wouldn't know the real Constitution if it came up and bit you on the a$$.

The Constitution doesn't bite, save perhaps in drug induced hallucinations.

1,247 posted on 01/01/2002 8:24:18 PM PST by Roscoe
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To: Jhoffa_
Just your own weasel breath backing upon you, me boyo.

-- You have fooled no one here with your fake 'sweet reason' in your last series of posts. You are as big a libertarian hating basher as your other compadres.

1,248 posted on 01/01/2002 8:24:32 PM PST by tpaine
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To: Jhoffa_
But, doesn't this open the door to "town councils" and "blue laws" and such? I mean, if your neighbors can get together and decide how you should behave.. ?!?

You seem to be missing the point.

The neighbors are not morally entitled to decide how others behave. They are entitled only to decide if individuals have caused harm to others, and to restrain and punish that harm.

See the difference?

1,249 posted on 01/01/2002 8:24:40 PM PST by OWK
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To: AKbear; Roscoe
Let's call this one: Deconstructing Roscoe.

So I send Roscoe FreepMail asking if he is a narc. I expect to be ignored. Instead I get a reply that goes "Dont's send me FreepMail. First warning." Oooooooooo! He's going to tell my mamma I'm a baaaaad boy. Naturally, I send a reply asking why. I can hardly wait for the response.

In the meanwhile, let's see what's on Roscoe's Freeper page. Interesting! An ad for a Black Republican ex-Marine running for California state assembly. Ironically, the very sort of guy most Freepers would be campaigning for. So what's Roscoe got to do with this guy?

Most politicians who hang out on FR see FR and Freepers as an important resource. Yet Roscoe is very shy about whether he is a cop or running for office. Looking further into the bio we see: Ex manager at several retail stores (probably had to supervise stoned slackers). Law degree from someplace I never heard of. Ex cop (so it was probably the kind of degree cops get). Well, we can guess being a cop in Cali can give you a pretty orthodox view of the Drug War. So maybe Roscoe IS this guy. Or a relative. "Roscoe" sounds like a plausible brother or cousin.

Well, it makes me feel a lot more sympathetic to Roscoe. Let's assume he's family to this Black ex-Marine Republican state assembly candidate. Probably grew up in an environment where referring to the Constitution rather than more proximate rules is being a wise-ass. Might be a cop, too, given his (limited) legal education. That would explain the lack of ability to question fundamentals. One thing cops are not about is self-doubt.

So Roscoe, feel free to tell us how close we are.

1,250 posted on 01/01/2002 8:25:12 PM PST by eno_
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