Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Friday, November 04, 2005

Moral judgment / War on Drugs

I read an article on memetics recently that brought to my mind the following question. How well does the claim that Christianity is necessary for moral judgment fit with "Jesus"' admonition of "judge not lest ye be judged" and his calls for "universal love" ?

I'm gonna go ahead and say, once again, that presuppositionalists are full of it.

Norm Stamper, ex-police chief of Seattle, has a lot of interesting things to say about the War on Drugs (to which both the anti-individualism of statism and Christianity's anti-worldly attitude have made big contributions) :

Lasting far longer than any other of our national conflicts, the drug war has been prosecuted with equal vigor by Republican and Democratic administrations, with one president after another — Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush — delivering sanctimonious sermons, squandering vast sums of taxpayer money and cheerleading law enforcers from the safety of the sidelines.

It's not a stretch to conclude that our draconian approach to drug use is the most injurious domestic policy since slavery. (...) In 1980, 580,900 Americans were arrested on drug charges. By 2003, that figure had ballooned to 1,678,200. We're making more arrests for drug offenses than for murder, manslaughter, forcible rape and aggravated assault combined. Feel safer?

I've witnessed the devastating effects of open-air drug markets in residential neighborhoods: children recruited as runners, mules and lookouts; drug dealers and innocent citizens shot dead in firefights between rival traffickers bent on protecting or expanding their markets; dedicated narcotics officers tortured and killed in the line of duty; prisons filled with nonviolent drug offenders; and drug-related foreign policies that foster political instability, wreak health and environmental disasters, and make life even tougher for indigenous subsistence farmers in places such as Latin America and Afghanistan. All because we like our drugs — and can't have them without breaking the law.

Don't miss the second part of my "Roman chat" series, below. Thank you !

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At 11/04/2005 9:23 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Not to bring up Penn and Teller again unnecessarily, but they've got a great episode on the War on Drugs, too.

At 11/04/2005 11:31 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Thats intense. Its so sad too, to see that all the American presidents just blindly go along with the rhetoric of the drug war.

I honestly cant figure out if all these presidents 1) REALLY think the drug war is a GOOD idea, or 2) Pretend its a good idea to get more votes.

Too many Americans actually believe the drug war is good policy. Most Californians dont (whew!) but California is a very unique state compared to the rest of America.

*sigh* why are so many people still so damn stupid? Are we still so primitive????

At 11/04/2005 1:10 PM, Blogger RichieGB declaimed...

I would like to see the numbers on how much money floats around because of the war on drugs. How much of the police's business consists of it, how many gov't employees have a job solely because of it, etc. It could be that the machine is simply too large for a single politician to risk his career dismantling.

At 11/04/2005 1:36 PM, Blogger Enlightenment declaimed...

Why don't we call the drug war what it really is? The War on The Constitution? The sad trend started when I was in high school in the 1980s. Little by little my generation became used to the idea that random srearches, police dogs, and snitch laws were somehow in keeping with the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments.

Sadly, the lesson learned was that the Bill of Rights doesn't matter; that police were always right; that being accused meant you were guilty etc.

Having learned this lesson in high school, my generation and subsequent generations went on to accept random searches, illegal searches, random drug testing, wire taps, etc. as accapetable practices and procedures.

And the irony in all of this is that we keep spending more and more money on the War Against The Constitution and the only thing that happens is that alienated youths discover new ways and new substances on which to get high, while the drug problem gets progressively worse. And why wouldn't it? The drug war itself is creating the very black market in which the drug gangs can function.

We learned nothing from Prohibition. But then again, you need to remember that there are definite benefits from the drug war.

1. It helps to sound tough during an election cycle.

2. It benefits the prison industry and the the law enforcvement industry, both of which receive state and federal funding to conduct the War Against the Constitution.

3. It servces the mostly White Establishment, which seems to believe that it benefits by locking away a disproportionate number of minority "offenders."

Okay. Maybe I have it wrong. Maybe we should call it "The War Against Society In General."

Another irony. In the Catholic-Fundamentalist controlled area of Southeastern Wisconsin, where I live, the drug of choice is meth ampehetimine, which is easily produced at a local level and readily availlable to our local kids. Which of course means that we are now going to treat innocent customers like criminals and make them ID themselves, or sign some kind of loopy register whenever they purchase over the counter cold and flu medication.

And to make matters even more interesting,we have a few antidrug pastors in the area who preach about the evils of drug abuse, but who will not substitute grapejuice for recovering alcoholics. Their reasoning is that they can't vary from what Christ did or taught in the New Testament, coupled with a foolish belief that a weekly or twice weekly drink of wine won't ruin a recovery.

At 11/04/2005 1:38 PM, Blogger Enlightenment declaimed...

NOTE: enforcvement should read enforcement. DUHHHH on my part.

At 11/05/2005 8:32 AM, Blogger Niels declaimed...

Wow. I didn't know the extent of the situation. Great comments. Little left to say apart from: death to coercion, hail libertarianism.

At 11/05/2005 6:06 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

I concur with the comments of richiegb. I have been saying for many years that if this is a war, where are the body bags? The whole bloated infrastructure is geared toward picking up small fry and end-users. To actually stop the flow of drugs would be to jeopardize all of the jobs that the project has created. Jobs above the "grunt" level look pretty cushy to me. There is also an added incentive to keep the drugs flowing: under the Regan administration, the government gets to send in the Jack-boots to confiscate everything you have if you are busted for dealing. This makes the government partially dependant on the revenue received from these raids, and as complacent in drug trafficking as they are in the sale of tobacco and alcohol.

Disband the DEA! Put law enforcement back in the hands of the local police, and stop funding government agencies with blood money.



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