Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Regardless of your opinion on the war, it's important to support the troops. If you have books you don't want (Yes, I'm looking at you ;) send them here.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer,
who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves under the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag. -Father Denis Edward O'Brien
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." -George Orwell
This is the best educated army in history and they're all volunteers.
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Well this article has a (mistaken IMO,) very political slant but it makes a really good point. Why are we spending billions of dollars each year prosecuting consensual crimes when our schools, social services, and national security suffer from lack of funding? Imagine what would happen to smuggling if drugs were legalized. If drugs could be grown, imported, and sold under FDA supervision, purity and strength guaranteed. And taxed. Let's not forget taxes. If drugs were legalized and the financial burden of addiction paid with taxes wouldn't that be a better solution than letting the money bleed out into the pockets of drug lords?
And that's without even considering the continuing erosion of civil liberties that the drug war has wrought. The damage that's been done to the fourth amendment in the name of drug enforcement is reprehensible.
Think about what social pressure has done with cigarettes and tell me that it's impossible to argue against the use of a legal product. Or Alcohol and DWI. I think it's entirely feasible to legalize drugs without implying social sanction. Just create a clear legal understanding that actions which affect others will be dealt with, and a social understanding that it's a stupid thing to do.
No one seriously suggests that cigarettes be banned. What makes illicit drugs different? The crime associated with them is a factor of the artificially high price and underground nature of the black market. They're mood altering but so is alcohol. They're hideously addictive but so are cigarettes. The motivation behind the drug war is jackbooted paternalism at its worst. 'For your own good' has never been an acceptable rationale for coercion.
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