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Tuesday, January 10. 2012
Modern-Day Prohibition - The eternal temptation to ban things that give people pleasure. Stier begins:
The world is full of cranks and zealots who want to make you do whatever they think they should do. From my standpoint, I tend to want people to make up their own minds, and if they want to spend their lives half-stoned on heroin or pot, or fat from ice-cream and pastries, so be it. It's their life and their body.
The list of things of which I disapprove is long, but the list of things I would chose to apply power to prohibit is very short. Murder and theft, for starters.
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Your comments reflect an easy philosophy to endorse. However, you must scratch below the surface.
You fail to realize the fantastic number of dependents that adults have. Virtually all of us have children, etc. during at least a fifteen year or more period in our lives. Also elderly parents, neighbor kids, fellow drivers, workmates, etc.
To equate a grandpa who eats too much ice cream or a mother who has wine with dinner to a dad on ecstacy is really unworkable.
In addition, most of us work, and most of us have to drive there, and even bank tellers and plumbers have a social obligation to be in their right minds when dealing with others - not just pilots and those using heavy machinery.
In short, we do not live on an island, we must normally interact with each other at varying degrees of responsibility, some quite heavy, throughout our lives. To pretend that someone should be allowed to do so while on crack is ridiculous. Sure, if he was in a cabin on the lake all by himself, he'd be hurting no one. But most of us don't live all our lives in a cabin on the lake.
From elder abuse to child neglect to malfeasance at every level to car/bicycle accidents, even falling into a river where others feel quite obligated to pull you out at their own peril: drug abuse destroys us all.
And no, I am not defending drunkenness. Public intoxication is illegal, and should be. For the same reasons.
We have already learned that Prohibition's record for reducing the ills of drunkeness was sketchy at the very best, and that its record for creating other ills is a documented fact.
I am completely persuaded that the cost to society of the few people who would take more drugs is far less than the present cost to society of keeping those drugs illegal.
I would ban casseroles/hot dishes/covered dishes (depending on the region you're from); they are evil.
oh with the exception of tuna casserole (depending on who makes it).
My favourite is a Tuna Casserole 'mit' Rice. You wouldn't be thinking of a ban would you (all in fun)?
I would except Tuna casseroles from the banned substance list
I'm sure you didn't mean to include Ro-Tel cheese dip in your ban.
I do not consider dips to be casseroles.
See I'd be a reasonably benevolent ruler.
You have made choices to support power being used.
The reality that those choices are complicated doesn't excuse the results of fascism prevalent today in American due to the War on Drugs.
Were I Ronald Reagan seeing open warfare in Miami in the early 1980's I might have acted much the same he did, but of course I can never know.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to overemphasize the harmful effects that alcohol has had on society, in exacerbating the following problems: addiction, health problems, crimes of passion, suicide, homicide, rape, drunk driving accidents and deaths, other accidents and deaths, divorce, unfaithfulness, abandonment of families, inability to work--the list goes on and on. Undoubtedly, the irresponsible consumption of no other substance has caused so much harm to so many, including large numbers of non-consumers.
But our choice is not between a society with alcohol (or drugs or whatever) and a society without. Those substances will be present in any case. Our choice is between prohibition or non-prohibition, which describes a legal system, not the presence or absence of the "prohibited" substance.
As soon as meth, crack and heroin are legalized SSI and Medicaid will be inundated with people demanding Disability payments for their addictions and maintenance doses from the government.
I cannot find any reference to it now - it may be an urban legend. I do recall reading that coming out of Prohibition, in the years that followed Americans consumed half the alcohol per person they did before Prohibition. If true, it would perhaps change the equation.
I do know that when it was available, Americans consumed staggering amounts of alcohol in the 19th C. We should perhaps be slow to condemn Carrie Nation and the like. We imagine we know what they were complaining about - a culture that drinks about as much as ours does - and scoff. Yet if it were indeed twice as much...
AVI, I tend to doubt that post-Prohibition alcohol consumption tale. I have read that alcohol consumption was overall very low during Prohibition- which sounds like me to be common sense. But we need some actual figures to get these speculations out of the folk tale genre. Of course, even with figures, they could still be folk tales not connected to reality. After all, nine doctors out of ten prefer Anacin....
The Alcoholic Republic is an interesting discourse on alcohol consumption in the US before the Civil War. Our ancestors had some heavy drinkers among them. As you say, Carrie Nation had her reasons. Though according to the book, the heavy drinking in the US had subsided by the time Carrie Nation came around. It would appear to me she was more continuing a trend than fighting one.
It is interesting that the tee-totaling culture in the US is strongly associated with the South, which is strongly Scots-Irish. The Celts in both Scotland and Ireland have a well-deserved reputation for excess drinking. Which makes the abstinence/prohibition culture of the South make more sense.
"The Celts in both Scotland and Ireland have a well-deserved reputation for excess drinking. Which makes the abstinence/prohibition culture of the South make more sense."
It's why I don't drink. I've seen too much alcoholism in my own Scots-Irish family, including my father and several of his siblings. Plus I'm convinced that drinking and suicide are directly related, which has also happened with frequency with my family members who drank. (Two uncles and an aunt (out of six siblings) and a cousin at last count.)
similar here. I've seen what both alcohol and smoking can do to a person (my mother), and don't want any of it.
She lost a leg (literally) through smoking, albeit indirectly (smoking induced cardiovascular problems caused problems that because they were misdiagnosed let to her leading her leg while in hospital for something completely different). Her personality changed completely because of alcoholism (combined with massive doses of prescription opiates to combat the pain after her amputation).
I do recall reading that coming out of Prohibition, in the years that followed Americans consumed half the alcohol per person they did before Prohibition. If true, it would perhaps change the equation.
I didn't read carefully enough. What you state corresponds to what I had also read: that Prohibition actually did reduce alcohol consumption.
Where we read that- who knows? At CarrieNation.com?
Ban PBS and save the children who fatten while watching TV.
An awful lot of the evil in this world operates on cash it gets from the War on Drugs. Prohibition 1 gave us organized crime, and then came Prohibition 2 (the WoD), in which Genovese and Gambino-friendly politicians such as Pelosi and Biden (both of whom are of course otherwise one hundred percent in favor of all the personal behavior license the people can manage to swallow) get to piously publicly throw a willing br'er rabbit in the briar patch, continually and to the great contraband-cash profit of a shadow world threatening now, after so many years of cash accumulation, to overwhelm the known world order.
and that is the primary reason I wouldn't do illegal substances even had I the desire to which fortunately I don't.
Even though the WoD is radicalizing and organizing the entire American bottom quintile,
...there's still no place in the country where anybody can't get their hands on whatever the contraband drug of choice might be.
The question is, do the high (WoD-derived) street prices lower end-user demand enough to justify the flourishing wealth & power of the pertinent criminal organizations?
I would add "Pedophelia" and 'parental rape" to the list of "murder and theft"