Sunday, April 27, 2008

Decriminalizing drugs

Monday, April 21, 2008 4:00 AM
Commentary: Drugs in America

Thanks, Sharon Harris makes some very good points in her speech. My concern would be the increased number of drug addicts driving under the influence. Other than that, I agree with her position.

I have long thought about this drug problem in America and it seems to me one answer would be a Greenback Cashless Society.

I would suggest introducing 1, 5, and 10 dollar gold coins for small purchases such as bread, milk, cigarettes and gratuity tips. All others purchases would be made electronically, by Debit or Credit card.

All forgery would cease and it would save billions of dollars making paper money. This would put drug growers and drug dealers out of business.

There would be an increase in credit card and identity theft. However, a few changes in banking regulation would make tracing much easier.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Don

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Don:

Decriminalizing drugs should not have the effect of increasing drug usage, addiction, or an increase of driving under the influence. It will not lessen the desire of those who now rely on drugs for recreation or for those who are addicted to them, either. Decriminalizing drugs will bring about a new way of thinking about drugs: drug users are not criminals; the evil doers who exploit addictions are criminals. Decriminalizing drugs will take the criminal element out of the disease of addiction; although I am sure there will be somewhat of a black market for them.

The real problem is addiction, and that is a medical problem. That is where our focus should be, just as with alcohol, tobacco, gambling, eating and so many other ways in which humans become obsessive.

There are two problems I have with the evolution to a cashless society.

1. The potential for a greater loss of privacy, security, and freedom is a real probability.

Homeland Security has issued guidelines for a national ID known as the Real ID Act that will create a single database that marries the DMV with the Department of Homeland Security. The Real ID Act is in process for inception in May of 2008 (“The Real ID Act, slipped into an emergency federal funding bill without hearings, originally required states to begin issuing the ID documents by May 2008”). I see a future that will marry the DMV, the DHS, and the personal history of Americans -- medical, financial that would include credit history, or anything else the government might want to know about us -- into one single tool for their use: a Federal ID Card.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Tim Sparapani, said that “the bill increases government access to data on Americans and amplifies the risk of identity theft, without providing significant security benefits.”

With the promotion of a cashless society, an increase use of credit cards only plays into the hands of our government who sees a need to reduce our freedoms in order to control us. There eventually will be one card designed to be used to acquire credit and driving licensure; that same one card would include health insurance data, medical data, and everything and anything that the government, employers, creditors, and others feel they need to know about any American.

We should be concerned, especially with the enlightenment of our government’s willingness to circumvent our laws with federal wire taps, the issuance of national security letters, circumvent the writ of Habeas Corpus, and the willingness to use torture to acquire information. The saddest part is that neither Americans nor Congress have been able to curtail these unacceptable policies. In an unacceptable number of cases America’s leadership and Americans don’t see anything sinister or unmoral in these policies.

2. There is no cost associated with fiat money, except in some indirect, not out of pocket ways. One works for the dollar and spends the dollar in whatever way one feels it is appropriate, and if they keep the dollar under the mattress it will generate no cost to them. Credit and debit card usage is associated with fees, and credit cards charge usury interest rates (although legal some of these interest rates would be considered illegal 30 years ago). It would put unacceptable burdens on the poor, or those who don’t have the where-with-all to manage the disciplinary commitment that credit or debit cards demand.

A cashless society would additionally contribute to our national debtor status and to our problems with overextended credit. As it is now, the amount of debt generated is used as a basis for printing additional fiat dollars and generating loans. Debt is used as a tool by the Fed and government to manipulate our economy. Debt is used by government and others to coerce in order to control Americans and the poor are to be kept poor for the same reasons. Today it is practically impossible to live without generating debt; in some cases the good old American dollar is not acceptable. Just look at the problems Americans have today living within this paradigm of credit. A cashless society would simply foster even greater very severe societal ills. Our whole economy is fueled by waste and destruction, consumption and handouts; not investment. War is the capitalist cash cow because war is about waste, destruction, and consumption.

A cashless society would only contribute to our economic quagmire.

I don’t know the comparative cost of printing money versus plastic cards, but I do know that plastic is a derivative of oil, and we all know how that has inflated.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A choice of candidate

It seems to me that there are not significant differences in views between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. They are socialist; they both see war as a necessary ingredient of foreign policy. My perception is that the differences between the two boil down to differences in means and methods, style, gender, and rhetoric.

Hillary has a significant political history where Obama does not. Therefore, Hillary carries a lot of political baggage where Obama carries less. However to acquire the change that I expect, a president would need to start without political baggage – he/she would need a clean slate. I don’t know if that is possible.

John McCain is a militarist and warrior. There will be no significant change if he is elected president. Despite all the controversy over just how conservative he is, he is, nevertheless, a Republican and conservative, and we will have more of so-called “compassionate conservatism” if he is elected.

They all seem to have addressed and have a handle on the issues that concern Americans most. The ways and means of getting there are different, and America’s vote for president will obviously come down to whether America’s collective ideology is conservative, liberal or somewhere in-between, not so much as to whether they are Republican or Democrat.

All of the candidates use the word change in their political mantra, but it has not one bit of authentic meaning.

None of the candidates will be willing to explore the radical, thinking outside-of-the-box kind of change that needs to take place. No American is willing to support the necessary risk that embraces all change.

A herculean task needs to be undertaken: a change in the American mindset. Changes in our attitude and ways of thinking about God, religion, morality, and what it means to be human and our purpose in life. New ways of thinking in areas such as economics, education, foreign relations, war, government, health care, globalization, energy, environment, justice, and our constitution.

We have had the same fundamental problems since the founding of the United States; we have the same problems now, and will continue to have the same plethora and hodgepodge of problems for years to come as long as we continue on our nation’s current path.

Effective and long lasting change is in nature evolutionary and cannot be effectively implemented with coercion. So, I am not looking for extraordinary change -- revolution or anarchy -- just new ways of thinking that will lead to change in the areas mentioned leading to a culture of peace. After all is said and done, world peace is the ultimate.

That being said, we will have historic, pivotal, and evolutionary change, an indication that America is embracing new ways of thinking, if either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton become President of the United States.

I understand why your choice of Hillary Clinton for President.

For me: I just don’t know.

In my view, if we only had a Hillary or Obama expressing the views of Ron Paul, I would have a candidate that for whom I would seriously consider giving my vote. Ron Paul was on the right track; however, he could not articulate those views in such a way that would excite the electorate – libertarians need to have someone who would bring gravitas to their views and thread them to current issues. Ron Paul did not frame the libertarian view in a way that was comprehensive; he seemed to continue with clich├ęs such as “printing money out of thin air.” Ron Paul would not be a good president and provide effective leadership precisely because he lacked the charisma and presentation skills of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Libertarianism is a philosophy and achieving it is going to be a process. It would be contradictory to the philosophy if it were to be accomplished in any other way.

The Casualties of War

“We've all heard that great definition of insanity: Insanity is keeping on doing the same thing and expecting different results. That's what we've been doing. Throwing more money and more lives at the problem and expecting things to get better. They won't until we end this insanity.” Sharon Harris

The Casualties of War is a very comprehensive article written by Sharon Harris on the War on Drugs.

I highly recommend its reading.

This is not only true of the War on Drugs, but as an aside, it is also true of the Iraq War – it’s a very good, simple argument as to why we should get out of Iraq.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Body of War

We wage war in the name of Jesus Christ/Muhammad/God.

Christians support war because the bible says there will always be war. They believe that God is on their side, just as people of the Muslim faith believe God is on theirs. All religions believe that God is on their side and only on their side.

We unconsciously wage war because we associate God with our patriotism, our nationalism, and our militarism.

We wage war because we ignorantly believe in the lies put forth by our government, and in our current quagmire because we have believed in the untruths of our god fearing, jingoistic, born again Christian, President George W. Bush.

Americans become infuriated when people like Reverend Wright use “God Damn” in their rhetoric of abhorrence to America’s hypocrisy. It’s not the substance of what is said, but rather the audacity to use “God Damn” in the rhetoric. Well … “God Damn” America and George Bush for what he has done to people like Tomas Young. There are many of them, American as well as others.

In the words of Phil Donahue, Body of War:

To all the main-streamers in the press who supported the invasion of Iraq, to the pundits who continue to talk tough while other people's kids die, to all the merry warriors who recruited Jesus to assist them in this massive foreign policy blunder -

I have a soldier for you.

Before the next President swaggers to the cameras challenging the enemy to "Bring it on," before the next Congress votes another War Resolution, my hope is that all these heavy breathing, lap top bombers take a moment to meet the First Cavalry's Honorably Discharged United States Army Specialist - Tomas Young.