The EU

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quote of the Day

Here is a comment by someone who thinks and writes about this kind of stuff:
How well have our wars against nouns been going? OK, now al Qaeda is a notion, an idea. So was the object of the global war on "terror."

I hereby take up shield and lance and charge at other vague nouns, such as "fear" or "poverty" or, even, "drugs." How have those wars gone?
I think this anonymous writer has captured something.  I think that in particular, the "war on drugs" is going to come around and bite us, and bite us hard, here in the US in the next decade.

Regards  —  Cliff


The New Englander said...

...And thankfully, I think a growing number of people are seeing that, too.

Less than one ounce of marijuana is already decriminalized in Massachusetts. While no legislative movement would've had the guts to risk being "pro-drugs" the people spoke overwhelmingly for this two autumns ago.

Municipalities and courts have been saved the hassle of so many criminal proceedings for something that should never have been treated that way in the first place.

From what I hear from friends who live in California, marijuana is already de facto decriminalized in much of that state, too.

AG Holder has said he'll respect local laws with respect to medicinal marijuana and the threat of federal raids.

The percentage of Americans who support decriminalization of marijuana is higher than it's been since the Ford Administration.

I can't speak to other drugs, which actually carry addiction and overdose risks, but at least in this one case I think we're getting it right.

Craig H said...

I ascribe to the "follow the money" school of thought when it comes to war, business competition, or just about any other conflict. Almost without exception, the folks who win generally do so by besting their adversary's resources and/or means of support, while preserving and enriching their own. (In my way of thinking, nobody had to give the Gettysburg Address to resolve the American Civil War--the economic disparity between the two sides was going to do it eventually just about no matter what).

Wars on nouns need this approach just as critically as other kinds. Legalizing something (pot today, booze after prohibition, you name it) instangly eliminates the economic resources of the criminals who would otherwise flood our society with the ills of it. In the case of drugs, you'd even instantly stabilize the entire countries of Mexico and Columbia, and, I might add, the tottering state of Honduras which is a major conduit between the two.

It has always continued to distress me, from the moment the towers came down, to realize that our economy could endure a disaster of that proportion EVERY MONTH more cheaply in terms of both dollars and lives than waging this so-called "war on terror". Worse, that that, the people who knocked them down can't even build a building themselves, and without our opposing them to help them raise money and conscripts, they'd be powerless and forgotten in very short order.

It's the most profoundly stupid tactic any army makes--to target their opposite side ahead of their means of supply.

ncrossland said...

Two thoughts come to mind based on the reponses given thus far. First, "Illiterate guy with a mortar tube in a donkey cart taking on (rather successfully and infinitely more inexpensively) the most modern and well equiped Army on earth."

Second, the war on drugs. I submit that the costs to society of a complete legalization of drugs would be far less than by making them illegal and then funding this picayune "war" on drugs. Like alcohol, gambling, and so on, of course there will be addiction, so we deal with it, but I suggest that ACTUAL drug use will go down.....and think of all that tax revenue that could flow into the Federal treasury. I still laugh about states fighting casinos as "bad influences" while our Indian brothers are having trouble finding places to spend the money. Pogo was right....."We have met the enemy and he is us."



Ron Smits said...

Maybe, just maybe we need a "War on Fear"? Pessimism seems to reign these days on both sides of the aisle. And there is little humor in public life, unless you find infidelity or throwing shoes or statues humorous. I say "bah humbug" and let's get on with it. Enough with the fear, enough with the half-empty glass. It's time to see the brightness in our futures and make it happen. After all, 'tis the season.......

C R Krieger said...

I am all for going on a hope and change expedition, as soon as I finish my term paper on Who Started World War I.  I am especially for the hope part.

While some argue that hope is not a method, I think it is.  Hope goes with a positive attitude and that positive attitude helps bring along success.

Regards  —  Cliff