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Tuesday, July 13, 2010
This news out of San Francisco should surprise no one. When Wisconsin is banning smoking in public places, the outlawing of pop, candy, and whatever else people enjoy is sure to follow in the liberal bastions of this once-great country. Can anyone spot the Orwellian word in the spokesman's statement?
"It's entirely appropriate and not at all intrusive for city government to take steps to discourage the sale of sugary sodas on city property."


B.C. McWhite said...

Darius, do you favor the legalization of marijuana? Or heroin, for that matter? If not, why not? Isn't that where your logic should lead?

Chris A said...

The term "legalization" pertaining to drugs is misleading because it suggests that the government has the authority to outlaw them in the first place, which it does not. During prohibition the government understood that outlawing alcohol was illegal. That's why they amended the Constitution to make a special exception.

Outlawing drugs just contributes to glamorizing them, and it helps the CIA reap serious profits as they corner the market by cutting out their competition using the long arm of the law.

Darius said...

Good comments, Chris. I largely agree with you except perhaps on the last point, since that gets into conspiracy theories of which I have little knowledge or interest.

PB, that is a good question, and you are right, logically, I should probably be in favor of legalizing most illicit drugs... just as you should, logically, be in favor of banning homosexual acts, drinking, and McDonald's, among other things. The principle behind my positions on these issues is based on the freedom that Christ offers. He didn't come to coerce us into the Kingdom or get his followers to coerce others into being "good" people. In fact, doing that actually tends to make people more hell-bound than ever. Jesus freely offers salvation to all who will repent and believe. Upon that freedom, our founding fathers built this country. They saw what church-states did with dictatorial power.

It is a good... nay, VERY good thing to give people as much freedom and say over their own lives as possible. God makes this very point when He says that He desires mercy, not sacrifice. Just as He doesn't want people feeling compelled merely out of fear or law to serve Him and do good, I don't see the Bible making a case for me trying to force others to obey His law (except when it negatively affects someone else). God prescribed a very precise job description for governments... primarily, it involves keeping the civil peace and defending against foreign enemies. Jesus never said "tax others and give their money to the poor." He never promoted coercion as a method for making people good.

Darius said...

So to get back to your question... yes, I should favor the legalization of drugs. And I do. Like Chris pointed out, it is not for man to say what is illegal and what is not. That's not our right, but it doesn't stop us from trying to be our own gods.

Now, let me give a stipulation regarding drug legalization which takes me a step back from the libertarian view. While I in theory want drugs to be legal, I am not so sure that the process required to legalize them can be done well without causing more problems than it would solve. In other words, the water balloon is popped and there's no putting the water back into it. At this point in time, there is such a drug trade built up that legalizing it in one country at a time here or there would only cause more problems in those countries where it was now legal. As Dalrymple effectively argues (, places like Amsterdam where drugs are largely legal (at least that is the de facto state of things) are some of the most squalid cities because all of the drug markets know they can come there and operate freely while still supplying a black market elsewhere. Rats to the cheese, if you will.

So, until someone can effectively show me that legalization can be done well without causing serious harm, I'm pragmatically against it while ideologically for it. The "War on Drugs" has been an epic failure. Whole countries have been consumed and destroyed because governments in the last several centuries decided that they knew what was best for their citizens. Imagine what Mexico and Columbia would be like today if drugs were legal. By banning them, a basic principle of free market economics sprouted up: in Dalrymple's words, "simple reflection tells us that a supply invariably grows up to meet a demand; and when the demand is widespread, suppression is useless. Indeed, it is harmful, since—by raising the price of the commodity in question—it raises the profits of middlemen, which gives them an even more powerful incentive to stimulate demand further. The vast profits to be made from cocaine and heroin—which, were it not for their illegality, would be cheap and easily affordable even by the poorest in affluent societies—exert a deeply corrupting effect on producers, distributors, consumers, and law enforcers alike." That last part speaks to Chris' comment about the CIA's alleged involvement in propping up the drug trade.

Want to truly destroy the drug trade? Legalize it across the globe. Prices would plummet, and criminals would have to find new lines of work to support themselves. However, like I've already said, as a conservative I'm not into social experiments, and legalizing drugs across the board would be a doozy of one.

Darius said...

And to get back to my question from the other day which you never answered... wouldn't you logically favor banning all sorts of now-legal actions and behavior? After all, I know you don't view modern-day science as a higher authority than God, and since you said that the primary basis (besides your own comfort) for your support of recent bans on smoking in restaurants and other privately-owned businesses was that smoking is bad for both the health of the smoker as well as that of those around the smoker (we'll leave aside the dubious nature of the science behind that latter assumption), wouldn't you also favor giving governments the authority to ban things that are not only unhealthy physically according to the current (yet ever-changing) scientific consensus but also behavior that is spiritually dangerous? After all, if we're not to fear those who can kill the body but He who can destroy the soul, doesn't it stand to reason that soul-warping sins like homosexuality (which also happens to be very bad for one's health), lying, and gossip are much worse than lung-fouling cultural "sins" like smoking? Why not ban them all?

Chris A said...

Darius, are you honestly saying that CIA drug dealing is a conspiracy theory? Iran Contra ring any bells? Actually this goes all the way back to the OSS.

Even Wikipedia has quite a bit of undisputed information about it. And the CIA has a back door into Wikipedia to alter anything they want to. Believe me, my friend. I know a little about this.

Darius said...

Fine, Chris, the CIA has smuggled drugs. It's a side issue here though. :)

Chris A said...

I agree that if we are talking about your original topic, it is a side issue. But if we are talking about the legalization of drugs, it is anything but. Of course, there are FBI, DEA, local police, and "common" criminals on the take too, but that is small time in comparison.

Not only has CIA dealt drugs, it continues to do so, which is a major source of black budget funding - not to mention personal wealth of those involved. To believe otherwise would require one to assume, by some miracle, they have decided not to make all the money they've been making for so long, or they have developed a conscience or something. They're heavily linked to the prison industry as well, which puts them in a position not only to make money on the wholesale of drugs, but also they make money on the incarceration of people stupid enough to use and sell them. Its win/win for them.

So when you have an alleged libertarian presidential candidate, Bob Barr, who spews out a bunch of nonsense and disinformation along with a very basic libertarian platform overshadowed by a heavy War on Drugs stance - a guy who just happens to be former CIA, there is a reason why.

CIA doesn't want drug decriminalization. And they have people in various branches of government and in the [Mockingbird](look it up) media that will see to it that it doesn't happen - if they have anything to do with it. They may not be able to stave off decriminalization of marijuana because of economic reasons (tax revenue), which alone wouldn't really hurt their business, but would potentially lead to the eventual decriminalization of heroin and cocaine, which would definitely not be good for business.

Chris A said...

And this just in... Not really, but if I would have told you this a couple of years ago (and I could have), I wouldn't have had the evidence to back it up. CIA is not the only untouchable group in the drug trade. Ever heard of Wachovia? How about Bank of America? Wells Fargo? These are the major players helping to launder the money.

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
Disciplines of a Godly Man
Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
Respectable Sins
The Kite Runner
Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
Machete Season: The Killers in Rwanda Speak
A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a missional, evangelical, post/protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist/calvinist, ... anabaptist/anglican, metho
Show Them No Mercy
The Lord of the Rings
Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
The Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
The Chronicles of Narnia
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