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  #3397  
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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  #3398  
Old November 19th, 2008, 12:43 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Imax,

That was a nice story. I especially liked the ending. But what about a story like this:

John never gambled, used drugs, or visited prostitutes. One day all this became legal. He picked up some pot at the Walgreens, played a few hands of Hold 'Em, and made an appointment with a genital manipulation engineer.
The point is, John made those choices. We advocate personal responsibility when it comes to pregnancy, but somehow believe that the only way to keep a weak-willed wiener like John from destroying his life with drugs and hookers is to tell him he's not allowed. Why is John not responsible for his actions and little Janie (the 17-year-old cheerleader who is carrying the quarterback's accidental son) is?

Hell, I see arguments denying universal health care based on personal responsibility, somehow saying that if you don't have enough money to pay for a liver transplant, it's your own fault, but if you ruin your life with drugs and hookers, you get to blame Merck and the brothel? Screw that. Give me the option to ruin my life, and maybe I'll use a little free will to just decide not to be a loser.

John is a loser. If he can't handle his weed, he needs to stay off the bong. If he's a sex addict and can't manage to walk away from $1000 a night call girls, he needs to lay off the lame whining about how he should never have been allowed to visit them in the first place.

Here's another angle on your argument - shouldn't that argument also be applied to outlaw cigarettes, alcohol, and high fructose corn syrup? I mean, those things hurt people, too, but we can still get them at the corner gas station. Or do you advocate making everything addictive or dangerous illegal, and rather than allowing a free society where people can choose whether or not to harm themselves, we keep our people safe by telling them they can't use anything we don't think they should?
Although I am currently leaning toward the non-legalization of the things in our stories, I wasn't really using my story to make an argument but to simply present another possible perspective.

I agree that John is a loser. So was the Bob of your story. Both are responsible for their actions. (I'm not familiar with Janie, but it sounds like she is responsible too. I'll leave her out of the discussion.) In each case they are both suffering the consequences of some stupid decisions. The only difference is that Bob made his decisions knowing that his actions were considered illegal. John was emboldened to make stupid decisions because his actions were suddenly acceptable by society. But yet, both are stupid and are responsible. There will always be someone ready to take advantage of stupid people and their addictions, be they loan sharks, the tobacco industry or Hasbro (ouch!).

I just don't see drug dealers and loan sharks going anywhere simply because we legalize some drugs and make gambling legal.

Personally, I'd love to see cigarettes be outlawed; I can't stand the smell of those things. But based on that logic they would also have to outlaw dumpsters outside of seafood restaurants.
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  #3399  
Old November 19th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

You know, reading over that post again, I kind of sounded like a jerk. I apologize. That was not my intent.

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  #3400  
Old November 19th, 2008, 02:18 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Raudulfr Shieldcrusher View Post
Did you have to use 'Bob'! Why oh why did you have to use 'Bob'?
Because Bob gets richer with legalized prostitution.

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Originally Posted by InfinityMax View Post
The point is, John made those choices. We advocate personal responsibility when it comes to pregnancy, but somehow believe that the only way to keep a weak-willed wiener like John from destroying his life with drugs and hookers is to tell him he's not allowed. Why is John not responsible for his actions and little Janie (the 17-year-old cheerleader who is carrying the quarterback's accidental son) is?
I think a big difference is the factors of addiction and impact on others. Give someone with addictive tendencies license to try all kinds of addictive "goods", and its throwing gas on a fire. Also those things that impair judgment (or contribute to birth defects/fetal addiction) can have victims. The libertarian part of me completely agrees with legalization. I just have a hard time painting drug use with all the bright happy colors that some do. I also don't think that it will be that easy of a transition, and I think saying we won't be spending all the money on the war on drugs is a gross oversimplification. I think there will be direct costs and related costs that will equal or exceed the cost of the war on drugs.

Quote:
Hell, I see arguments denying universal health care based on personal responsibility, somehow saying that if you don't have enough money to pay for a liver transplant, it's your own fault, but if you ruin your life with drugs and hookers, you get to blame Merck and the brothel? Screw that. Give me the option to ruin my life, and maybe I'll use a little free will to just decide not to be a loser.
Comparing it to universal health care is a bad comparison. If universal health care never happens we don't have to resort to buying illegal health care to get our fix. More often than not someone can get away with not having health care and end up just fine (and healthy).

Quote:
<snip>
Here's another angle on your argument - shouldn't that argument also be applied to outlaw cigarettes, alcohol, and high fructose corn syrup? I mean, those things hurt people, too, but we can still get them at the corner gas station. Or do you advocate making everything addictive or dangerous illegal, and rather than allowing a free society where people can choose whether or not to harm themselves, we keep our people safe by telling them they can't use anything we don't think they should?
Alcohol and cigarettes IMHO should also be outlawed. I know that it will never happen, but I think that they should be using that same logic. High fructose corn syrup doesn't fly with me because it is a "good" that causes much less harm than a beer with a meal does when consumed in appropriate amounts. High fructose corn syrup is not something that can have a pronounced effect on behaviour like the others do. I'd rather it wasn't used, but I'm not going to brand it that big of a problem.
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  #3401  
Old November 19th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by InfinityMax View Post
You know, reading over that post again, I kind of sounded like a jerk. I apologize. That was not my intent.
I didn't hear any "jerk" in your post. At least not that one...

totally just kidding.
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  #3402  
Old November 19th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Thanks for keeping an awesome evolving discussion going guys. I love to see the back and forth here. Also, the drug discussion reminded me of a pretty cool flash app I found a while ago.

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/conte...ugs/mouse.html

It's called mouse party, and it shows simplified representations of the effect of different recreational drugs on the reward pathways in your brain. Nifty for the neurologically curious...
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  #3403  
Old November 19th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

An aside:

One of the influences in my own political thinking was a book I read about a decade ago called Ain't Nobody's Business if you Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in a Free Society by Peter McWilliams. The book's title pretty much tells you what it is about, and the chapter set up was short, easy to read, and perfect for those "quiet reflection" times that we all have, especially after eating a bean burrito. Well, it just so happens that the full text of the book is available for free on his website, at this address: http://www.mcwilliams.com/books/books/aint/ and I highly recommend that anyone of any political stripe take a few minutes to click over there, read the overview, then pick a subject of interest and read that chapter too.

Carry on.

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  #3404  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:00 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

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Originally Posted by Agent Minivann View Post
I think a big difference is the factors of addiction and impact on others. Give someone with addictive tendencies license to try all kinds of addictive "goods", and its throwing gas on a fire. Also those things that impair judgment (or contribute to birth defects/fetal addiction) can have victims. The libertarian part of me completely agrees with legalization. I just have a hard time painting drug use with all the bright happy colors that some do. I also don't think that it will be that easy of a transition, and I think saying we won't be spending all the money on the war on drugs is a gross oversimplification. I think there will be direct costs and related costs that will equal or exceed the cost of the war on drugs.
You're absolutely right. Drugs aren't all that awesome. Marijuana has a tendency to completely drain an otherwise normal person of all ambition. If we were to make it legal to get stoned, there would almost certainly be more stoners, and they would be worthless dweebs who can't even be bothered to get laid. And then they don't breed, and we call this 'evolution.'

OK, in all seriousness, you're right - legalizing drugs would result in more drug use. Just like legalizing alcohol resulted in more drinking. But it would allow people the opportunity to make their own choice about what to do with their lives, rather than having Uncle Sam tell them they're not smart enough to make their own choices (and for the record, an awful lot of people are not smart enough, but they should still have the freedom to make that call for themselves).

Prostitution... OK, I don't see a downside to legalized prostitution. Or gambling. It's so ludicrously easy to gamble already that I don't see why you don't just make it more convenient. You can go to off-track betting parlors in Indianapolis. You can go to Indian casinos in Oklahoma. You can take a gambling cruise. I could drive three hours and be in Shreveport, where there are lots of casinos. Why bother to make it illegal when you're allowing it all over the place?

Quote:
Comparing it to universal health care is a bad comparison. If universal health care never happens we don't have to resort to buying illegal health care to get our fix. More often than not someone can get away with not having health care and end up just fine (and healthy).
Of course I see the difference between legalizing weed and getting us all the medical care we need. My point is that the same people who claim that if you're not able to see a doctor, it's because of a failure to accept personal responsibility - these people don't want to let you get high or pay for tail. I'm not comparing universal health care to legal weed. I'm just saying that if you're arguing personal responsibility, legal weeds are a much more appropriate place to argue that. There are plenty of reasons a person might not be able to afford health care that are absolutely not his fault; there are few reasons I can think of that getting stoned can be blamed on anyone else.

Quote:
Alcohol and cigarettes IMHO should also be outlawed. I know that it will never happen, but I think that they should be using that same logic. High fructose corn syrup doesn't fly with me because it is a "good" that causes much less harm than a beer with a meal does when consumed in appropriate amounts. High fructose corn syrup is not something that can have a pronounced effect on behaviour like the others do. I'd rather it wasn't used, but I'm not going to brand it that big of a problem.
High fructose corn syrup was a joke. Cuz there's all those commercials where the guy goes, 'you know what they say about it', and the other guy says, 'what', and the first guy can't come up with anything.

And if my smokes become illegal, or my Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout, I'll take up a life of crime to get them. Not because I'm addicted (though in the case of smoking, I totally am), but because I'll be so angry about having someone else tell me I can't smoke a cigar and drink a dark beer.

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  #3405  
Old November 19th, 2008, 11:11 PM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Um, I know quite a few 'stoners' and the majority of them are productive members of society. In fact, I used to be one, and I held a high level research and engineering job. In fact, the most brilliant engineer I've ever met, a giant among giants, was a hopeless dope fiend who used his kid's 'tinkle' to pass drug tests.

I think that probably 30% of the country smokes pot, and honestly I'd rather have a country of potheads that are chillin' and playing video games over a bunch of drunk assholes shooting at each other, beating up their kids/wife, and killing people with DUIs.

I can tell you that I've beat more than a few people's asses because alcohol was involved (in fact, I've hit a guy in the face with a 1.75l of Smirnoff....alcohol was DIRECTLY involved there...) but I've NEVER, EVER gotten high and caused anyone, but the guy behind me on the highway who wanted to drive faster, any trouble.

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  #3406  
Old November 20th, 2008, 12:28 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

Yeah, OK, I've known plenty of stoners, and some of them were able to smoke lots of weed and still be pretty useful. And none of them were violent. Drunks, on the other hand - man, have I seen some violent drunks.

That 'seen' might have been misspelled. It's possible the 's' should have been a 'b'.

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  #3407  
Old November 20th, 2008, 12:51 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

It doesn't matter what the effects of said drug of choice are. What matters is that whatever somebody else does, as long as it creates no victims, is none of our business! I've met stone sober people who were violent ashholes, and it is not illegal to be an ashhole.

There was a study recently about cell phones and driving that showed that yacking on your freakin cell phone while driving gave you the driving ability of a severely impaired drunk driver. In other words, cell phones are just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Stairways in schools kill and injure more kids each year than guns in schools.

We spend so much time, money, and attention on crap that really should have less attention. 30 billion dollars a year on consentual victimless crimes. We actually create criminals where we don't need them. We bust prostitutes left and right, but let people yack on their phones while driving. But who is more dangerous? Who is more likely to kill you and your family? It just doesn't add up.


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  #3408  
Old November 20th, 2008, 01:26 AM
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Re: Race for the presidency political discussion thread

You're exactly right Grungebob, my man. I am SO SO proof that driving and cellphoning (or writing emails/texting) is SO bad. I almost clipped a median at 80 today because I was trying to type a response to a customer.

As for TALKING on the phone, I'm fine with that. It's the LOOKING at the phone I think gets people in trouble...I refuse to use one of those "I'm Far Less Important Than I Am Trying To Be" Bluetooths that the morons walk around town with these days. I have one, but it SUCKS, so I just yap with the thing on speakerphone.

With a sales job, 90% of what I do is email and on the phone, so being able to do this really makes or breaks me. I think if you're observed TEXTING, TYPING, or otherwise you should be ticketed...er...I should be ticketed, but just talking is fine by me, even without a headset. I think it's like anything else, after a small breaking-in period people will just add talking and driving safely to their repertoire of skills like "Chew Gum And Walk" and "Rub Belly And Pat Head". Most people will be fine, but there's always that group that doesn't get it.

Then again, those folks may be a hazard anyway!

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