Until Midterm Elections...

Scott versus Scott

Welcome to our blog. Here we will debate the days most serious topics and allow users the chance to discuss the topics as well. The range of topics will vary, but one thing will remain certain, the debate will rage on. Scott Lesinski is a proud conservative and Scott Jones is a proud liberal. However, the roles will switch on some topics. Stay tuned.

Scott Lesinski is currently an actuarial associate for a large human resources and insurance consulting firm in Saint Louis. He is also an avid student of US history and enjoys following current events, with an eye to their contextual relationship to the past. He is also, in fact, a former student of Mr. Scott Jones. Scott is working toward his FSA credentials, which is akin to earning a PHD in Actuarial Science.

Scott Jones is currently a high school social studies teacher at a high school in suburban St. Louis, MO. He teaches World History, AP American Government and Senior American Foreign Policy. He has a BS. Ed. (Secondary Social Studies) from the University of Missouri - Columbia and a M.A. (History) from Southeast Missouri State University. He is currently working on a dissertation in character education to earn a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Conservatives and Their Attempts to Destroy Freedom in America

One thing about conservative rhetoric that absolutely drives me crazy is the belief that conservatives have a monopoly on protecting freedom, while liberals want to destroy it.

On his radio show on Monday, Rush Limbaugh specifically linked liberalism and the destruction of freedom in America six times. Three of these were direct wording and the other three were implied links.

On this blog, Scott L continues to paint conservatives with this beautiful liberty/freedom loving brush while implicating that I, liberals, wish to destroy freedom in America. For some reason, my desire to regulate where smokers can continue to poison nonsmokers is an attack on the principles of America’s founding.

For lack of a better way to say it – THIS IS OUT AND OUT NUTS!!! (Thanks James Carville).

In fact, if there is a party out there that we need to worry about destroying freedom in America, it is the conservative wing of the Republican Party. While Scott claims the Republican Party can only survive with ideologically pure believers, this party’s attack on freedoms is truly scary.

Here is a list of freedoms liberals wish to protect while Republicans seek to destroy.

Shield Laws

Since the election of Ronald Reagan, conservatives have continued to destroy the freedom of the press by making it more difficult for journalists to protect their anonymous sources.

If Woodward and Bernstein had been working for the Washington Post in 2002, they would’ve been in jail for protecting their anonymous source that helped them break the Watergate story.

Republicans, with help from the handpicked judges they tried these cases before, changed the essence of New York Times v Nixon. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that in order for the government to censor publication prior to publication, it had to prove malicious intent to undermine the intentions of the government.

Since Reagan, the Republicans have worked hard to change this standard. By the mid-2000s, the burden of proof was no longer on the government in order to censor the free press. It was now on the journalist to prove the story to be valid – often, the only way to do so was to name the anonymous source.

The right to a free press – one of the most fundamental rights/freedoms we have in America – is under attack by conservatives who claim bias. I am sorry; bias is not justification for censorship.

Shield Laws – a freedom protected by liberals and attacked by conservatives.

Reproductive Rights

You want to get a conservative’s blood pressure to rise – mention Griswold v Connecticut.

In Griswold, the Supreme Court ruled that the State of Connecticut had no authority to ban married women from buying contraception (the specifically forbade married woman purchasing condoms and doctors prescribing the birth-control pill as well as forbade doctors from discussing these issues with married women).

Activist justices is the argument from conservatives. The right to privacy does not exist in the Constitution so, therefore, the Supreme Court cannot strike down this law of Connecticut.

Let’s follow the logic here. Connecticut passes a law that interferes with a married couple’s private discussions with their doctors concerning child birth and birth control.

I can think of no more private discussion between a husband and a wife. I

I can think of no other place that the government should have no power to regulate/destroy freedom.

By arguing against Griswold, conservatives are arguing that there is no freedom/right that a married couple can have that is subject to government regulation.

The bedroom should be the most private and free place in America. Conservatives think otherwise based on their objections to Griswold.

Reproductive Rights – a freedom protected by liberals and attacked by conservatives.

Marriage for ALL Americans

Let’s get this straight – conservatives do not oppose marriage. They oppose the freedom of gay couples to marry.

If a freedom exists in America, it should be applicable to ALL Americans. If some Americans have the right to marry, then ALL Americans should have the right to marry.

To restrict a freedom from certain groups isn’t a protection of freedom. It is the destruction of freedom. It isn’t illegal to be gay (at least conservatives haven’t won that one yet). Yet, it is illegal in all conservative states for gay people to marry. It is conservatives that are blocking this basic freedom.

Marriage for ALL – a freedom protected by liberals and attacked by conservatives.

Drugs

This is probably the most controversial one (or maybe I’m being na├»ve about the others as Scott as pointed out about my views of the world on other posts).

I think here is it would be good to define the word freedom. Friedrich August von Hayek defines freedom as “the absence of interference with the sovereignty of an individual by the use of coercion or aggression.”

He further maintains that “the opposite of a free society is a totalitarian state, which highly restricts political freedom in order to regulate almost every aspect of behavior. In this sense ‘freedom’ refers solely to the relation of humans to other humans, and the only infringement on it is coercion by humans.”

Hayek lays out this principle using the ideas of the great political philosophers in Freedom and Coercion, edited by David Miller. It isn't a bad read. Some good philosophers writing about freedom and the lack thereof. It is a meaty read, however.

I think this is a good starting point for the discussion here. I, along with many liberals, favor the legalization and/or decriminalizing drugs that are currently illegal (i.e. marijuana, cocaine, LSD, heroin, etc).

Again, what someone does in the privacy of their own homes in no one’s business, especially not the government’s (I would like to point out here that I am not opposed to gun ownership in the home…Use in public places is another story).

This is true freedom. But what about problems associated with drugs?

Our problems with drugs are associated with the legality of them. When Amsterdam approved the use of many drugs in certain areas of the city, drug use dropped (tourists are another issue).

When Britain decriminalized heroin, LSD, cocaine, marijuana, the use of these drugs dropped significantly.

On top of that, both regions report that those who have CHOSEN to use these drugs have become more responsible in the usage (i.e. driving, etc).

I have heard many conservatives argue that we need to keep these drugs illegal because we need to protect people from themselves.

…and conservatives call liberals the ones who want to create a nanny state.

Let’s not even get into the fact that we already have many harmful drugs that are legal in America – nicotine, alcohol, and prescription drugs easily obtained through a friendly doctor.

Allow some drugs, but criminalize others – a conservative nanny state.

Drugs – a freedom protected by liberals and attacked by conservatives.

--

I could mention a few others, but I think my point has been made here. Unlike what Rush Limbaugh says, liberals are not a group that wants to destroy freedom in America.

Sure we might see property rights (especially in the area of money) in a different light that conservatives, but that doesn’t make us the group that is about destroying freedom in America.

We might see health care as a fundamental right that should be readily available to all American, but that doesn’t make us the group that is about destroying freedom in America.

We might see pollution as something we need to face directly in the nation, but that doesn’t make us the group that is about destroying freedom in America.

When it comes to freedom, I am stuck in the ideas related to morality as the great Western thinkers have been putting forth since the Athenians began asking for answers to the big questions.

What I do to myself is neither moral nor immoral. Morality requires the existence of others in the decision. True freedom is having the choice to do whatever I want to and for myself. True morality is acting in a way that never brings harm to the other. Existence is somewhere in between.

The freedom we talk about in America is our attempt as a society to create a system of government that perfectly balance the freedom of the self and the obligation to others.

Conservatives have their ideas on how to do this perfectly. Liberals have theirs.

NEITHER HAS THE END GOAL OF DESTROYING FREEDOM IN AMERICA.

Conservatives need to learn this lesson and stop with the stupid and wrong attacks on liberals concerning freedom in America.

After all, when a conservatives points their finger at a liberal, remember there are three more pointing back at them.

18 comments:

  1. Also, when it comes to taxation and liberal support for progressive taxation, conservatives get all upset about it and claim the only fair tax is a flat tax and progressive taxation is violation of people's freedom.

    Here's a quote.

    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion"

    The author of the quote - Adam Smith.
    The book the quote is found - The Wealth of Nations.

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  2. In addition, conservatives get upset about Lawrence v. Texas, which said that a State does not have the power to prohibit two consentual adults from having the freedom to engage in gay sex within the privacy of thier own homes.

    Again, conservatives attempting to take free choice away from individuals.

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  3. Some of these, especially the reproductive rights, are quite a stretch. I would have to say that most conservatives aren't against the use of a condom. The problem lies with aborting a human life which would be AFTER conception.

    As a disclosure, I don't know anything about the Shield Laws but if you have a reliable truthful source why do they need to be anonymous anyway? I'm not for the freedom to just make stuff up and say it's the truth.

    As far as the Marriage Laws are concerned I think I tend to agree more with the end of Scott L's previous post or one of his comments.

    And the Drug issue, that's a pretty bold move on your part to say you're for drug use. There's a reason drugs are classified as controlled substances. It is because they are addictive and even under the close watch of a doctor and pharmacist can still become addictive. So, I guess now if I want some Vicodin for my headache I should just be able to walk over to aisle 10 and grab a bottle that's sitting right next to the Advil and Tylenol. Actually, I'm feeling a little depressed, maybe I'll just head down to my local Walgreens and buy a bottle of Xanax to go along with my Vicodin. The reason these drugs are illegal is because they are so highly addictive.

    Now, on to the end of your post...I was able to keep my composure until I read this.

    "We might see health care as a fundamental right that should be readily available to all American, but that doesn’t make us the group that is about destroying freedom in America."

    Are you serious? This is the BIGGEST destruction of freedom! Don't disguise it as a fundamental right! When I don't have the freedom to choose anything but a public government option THAT IS NOT FREEDOM!!! When the government can then tell me what I can and can't eat and what I can and can't do because they're the ones providing me with my healthcare, THAT IS NOT FREEDOM!!!

    "We might see pollution as something we need to face directly in the nation, but that doesn’t make us the group that is about destroying freedom in America."

    Again, comon! If you think Cap and Trade isn't another one of the BIGGEST power grabs then you didn't absorb ANY of Scott L's post on the Cap and Trade bill! Since we have already discussed this I'll let you go back to the archives to review.

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  4. Some thoughts:

    Regarding the marriage issue, I am becoming more libertarian. Here is the way I see it, you tell me what I've got wrong:

    Currently, married couples have favorable tax treatment under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). They are also afforded several "familial" privileges such as automatic reversion of estates in the case of death, right to be present at death bed in hospital, etc. There may be other ways in which marriage (the traditional kind, "heterosexual marriage") receives beneficial treatment from governments of which I'm not currently aware, but that at least, is the summary.

    The main thrust of the homosexual marriage movement seems to be wanting this same kind of benefit from the government and wanting to be recognized as "married".

    Now, I don't want the government telling ANY religious institution that they have to marry two people who are gay when it goes against expressed Church doctrine, but I'm not so sure that is really the problem. You see, in the traditional sense, everyone has the right to marry, its just that as defined in America by our history, "marriage" has been one man - one woman. Look at our Puritan founding for example. The vast majority of original settlers to America were Christian and believed this way.

    So to call two homosexuals "married" seems only to mean "married as recognized by the government". I know that we do have in some states "Civil Unions", which is just a way of bestowing government benefits without calling it marriage, but that seems to be not enough for the homosexual lobby. My preference would be for us to do one of the following:

    Insofar as government is concerned, rename everything "civil union" or "civil partnership", whatever, come up with something PC sounding. Then when a married couple gets certified by the government, they can sign their partnership documents and go about their married way. When gays get "married", they get the same benefits from the government and go about their way.

    My point being, marriage, at least to most conservatives and I think most Americans, has, at its core, a religious meaning. If homosexuals want to found a church that recognizes homosexual marriage the same as heterosexual marriage and get married, fine by me.

    The other option would be for the government to bestow no benefits whatsoever in the form of taxes so as to not meddle at all with our private lives in that realm.

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  5. I think Wardo nailed the illegal drug question perfectly. WTF would we need pharmacists or prescriptions at all?

    I have heard the arguments in favor of marijuana, both in its taxable revenue possibilities and its recreational uses. My fear is in the "slippery slope" of the other drugs that would become legalized if we move down this track. Marijuana, while mind-altering and very bad for your brain, is not as chemically addictive as heroin or cocaine. Scott, those drugs can cause complete addiction with ONE use and the cravings can get so intense people will stop at nothing to get their next fix. You argue in favor of enacting smoking bans for the good of the public, but you argue against controlling substances so addictive they can make killers out of otherwise normal people. Contradiction? If killers is to harsh...too much hyperbole, perhaps, then larcenists at the least. In any case, the REALLY bad drugs not only ruin lives, which I argue IS bad for society as a whole, they can cause negative externalities to spill out on the law abiding public in the event somebody is hard up for cash and needs their next fix. That's why I'm in favor of keeping certain substances banned.

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  6. I don't know wtf that Griswold case is really all about but if its as straight forward as you put it, I disagree. If married women want to buy condoms and be proactive in their reproductive lives, fine by me. In fact, I'd much rather that than abortion or even the morning after pill. That doesn't speak for all conservatives.

    Regarding the end of your post, I'm with Wardo here.

    C'mon! You know full well Conservatives do not have as our goal the prevention of getting healthcare by minorities or any other group. You also know full well Conservatives are very UNhappy with the status quo, and that the Propagandist-in-Chief is totally full of BS when he condemns "those who just say no and have no ideas (paraphrase)". The Republicans put forth a 230 page bill yesterday that has many, if not all, of the ideas that you and I hashed out on this blog Scott. Tax incentives for HSAs, allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, tort reform to keep malpractice insurance and thus costs low. I get so offended when my side is condemned for having no ideas, we have them, your side just won't listen!

    We want access to care for all Americans as well, we just have a different way (a much more sustainable, cost effective, and efficient way). Our way brings down the cost of care to consumers, it puts individuals in charge of their own healthcare choices. I'd say conservatives are promoting freedom in this realm big-time baby.

    Nancy Pelosi dropped a 1,990 page healthcare time bomb on us last week. Nobody has read it. Nobody will read it (except maybe Betsy McCoughy). There's no way it takes that many trees to print a truly effective healthcare plan. The House plan has, as its goal, the elimination of private health insurance. You will be FORCED onto a public plan and the government will then have every right to control all aspects of our lives because everything we do is related to our health and they're paying.

    That, my friend, is most certainly NOT promoting any kind of "freedom" I want here in America.

    As far as claiming this moral high ground regarding the environment...get off it. Man-made global warming is a made up hoax all for the purpose of getting us to sign on to these draconian tax increases and reduction in our freedoms. Limbaugh got it right when he said that the evironmental movement became the home of dislodged communists after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    It seems while you may be more concerned with social freedom, I am more concerned with economic freedom. The two can go hand in hand. Its called "The US Constitution".

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  7. Scott and Wardo,

    You talk about the slippery slope on the drug issue. Yet, you have no problem using the exact same thing when it comes to the environment and health care. Same slippery slope.

    Wardo you say, "It is because they are addictive and even under the close watch of a doctor and pharmacist can still become addictive."

    Funny how some of our substances that fit these descriptions are legal (i.e. nicotine and alcohol.)

    Look, I know conservatives get all upset when a liberal points out their abuses on the idea of freedom. For some reason they think they have a monopoly on the protection of freedom. You fit into the exact response I was expecting.

    Responding to real issues with hyperbole to distract the reader from the real issue - Conservatives want to limit freedoms just as much as they claim liberals do. It just depends on the issue at hand.

    By the way gentlemen, when I posted about the environment, I was even thinking about global warming (you jumped assumed I was - nice job reading). Oh, a liberal is talking about the environment, it must be about the global warming thing. Nice job jumping to conclusion with your own hyperbole not even on the topic.

    I was referring to the attempts by conservatives to open our national parks to loggers and such.

    I was talking about strict regulations when it comes to what can be allowed to drain off into our drinking water sources.

    I was talking about clean air initiatives so that people who choose to live in larger cities (because that is where their job is), can breathe easier in summer. I am talking about ground level ozone and not global temperature change.

    Not even talking about global warming. Try reading (Wardo - if YOU read the archive, you'd know I was silent on the issue of cap and trade. Think and learn before spouting off - the only thing I mentioned was my concern for ground level ozone issues, which is part of what I am talking about here.

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  8. Scott -

    Here is a question I really want answered.

    If conservatives are for reform and such on health care as you claim, why then have they voted every time in committees with a health care bill against repealing the anti-trust exemptions that insurance companies currently have.

    On top of that, I have heard several conservatives in Congress (can't think of the names right now - will look it up) say they will never support repealing this status.

    If you say you are so for competition to solve the problems, the how come Republicans are attempting to stop a real fix to the anti-competition nature of our current system?

    This is truly something that makes no logical sense to me. Please help.

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  9. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gm81TTE7a0EUL9JlzVML1dnH2N2gD9BOVCSO0

    This is my source for the anti-trust issue. The Republican DID NOT include repealing anti-trust legislation.

    Please tell me that Republicans voted in committee voted against this simply because they didn't want to be attached with the Pelosi-Reid bill and they are actually in favor of this competition increasing proposal.

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  10. And this is part of an editoral from the New Jersey Star Ledger might add some truth to the real debate over the Baucus bill.

    "Republicans originally insisted their only objections were that the cost would be too high and that a federal-run public option would lead to a government takeover of health care.

    The bare-bones Baucus bill out of the Senate Finance committee meets both objections. It contains no public option and, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, would even produce a small budget surplus. No matter. Republicans still say “no.”

    The insurance industry lobbyists are even more devious. They’d have you believe they’re the soul of compromise, eager to huddle with the White House and congressional Democrats to fashion a much-needed health insurance reform. And they were, for a time. But there was a catch — call it Catch 22 billion or some profit figure in that neighborhood.

    The reform measure had to contain a mandate requiring millions of currently uninsured individuals — especially the young and healthy — to buy insurance, a multibillion dollar bonanza for the industry. And to ensure that none escaped the mandate net, the plan had to include a hefty penalty for those who balk.

    Getting as many of the uninsured covered as possible makes sense. Only by spreading the risk widely is there any hope for reducing the growth rate of health insurance. But Democrats, fearing it would be too big a burden for lower income families, cut the penalty sharply.
    And that’s apparently a deal-breaker for the insurers.

    The industry struck back with a shot that now seems an own-goal. It trotted out a “study” it said proved the Baucus bill would drive up costs, not lower them. Alas, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, author of the study, quickly pointed out that it had been asked by the industry to evaluate only a small portion of the bill — and not sections designed to generate revenue and lower costs. Oops!

    The industry’s patent deception caused even the League of Women Voters to blow its nonpartisan top. It sponsored a 30-second TV ad condemning the tactics of health reform opponents (a.k.a the insurance industry and the GOP)."

    Again, as I stated in the post - the health care issue is a moral one to me and the Republicans are seeking to misinform Americans on the topic. That, too, is freedom killing.

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  11. BTW, Scott. If the Republicans are so in favor of reform and opposed to the status quo, where was this bill from the Republicans from 2001-2007. If I remember correctly, they controlled BOTH houses of Congress and the White House. Hmmmm....

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  12. "Some of these, especially the reproductive rights, are quite a stretch. I would have to say that most conservatives aren't against the use of a condom. The problem lies with aborting a human life which would be AFTER conception."

    Griswold has nothing to do with this. Your opinions on Roe v. Wade are independent of Griswold. I know Roe was based on the ideas of medical privacy found in Griswold, but debate on Griswold is independent of Roe. Argue the point, not the red herring.


    "As a disclosure, I don't know anything about the Shield Laws but if you have a reliable truthful source why do they need to be anonymous anyway? I'm not for the freedom to just make stuff up and say it's the truth."

    The idea of using sources not wishing to be disclosed is a practice that is at the core of a free and independent press (i know the bias issue, but that is not our topic here). If you are witness to wrongdoing but afraid of retribution, you will not tell your story. If it were today, Watergate could not be investigated. I know Watergate is an issue sensitive to Republicans, but the investigation is probably one of the best pieces of investigative journalism ever. Without the anonymous source, they wouldn't have been able to uncover what they did.

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  13. "You talk about the slippery slope on the drug issue. Yet, you have no problem using the exact same thing when it comes to the environment and health care. Same slippery slope."

    I'm not sure how what I said about drugs and the slippery slope relate to the environment and healthcare in this context. Where were you going with this comment?

    On the drug issue, all I can say is if you really think nicotine and alcohol are the same as heroin, meth, and cocaine then we can't have a reasonable debate about drugs. I can have A beer (or even several) and not be addicted. I can smoke A cigar and never do it again. Many times, you do meth once and your life is utterly ruined. There is a huge difference. Trying to claim that common sense people wanting to keep those drugs off the street is an undue strain on your freedom is pretty ridiculous. I know what you're saying, but we live in the real world, not a debate society, and those drugs can kill with one dose. I still point out your argument in favor of enacting smoking bans for "the greater good" but you seem to see no harmful externality in the legalization and use of C-1 controlled substances.

    Please explain where I used hyperbole to distract from the "issues". If I read what I wrote, it looks like I offered a pretty reasoned approach to gay marriage and offered reasonable explanations for my position on keeping really bad drugs illegal.

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  14. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2006/06/22/69707.htm


    I have to go to bed soon...exam day tomorrow morning! But here is one link I found from the insurance journal that had both sides of the argument over the McCarran Ferguson act of 1945, which is what provides insurance companies their Federal Antitrust Exemption.

    From what I gather, insurance companies were exempted from Federal law only to be put under state regulation. This allowed for groups like the ISO Insurance Services Office, to publish loss rates and other actuarial materials to be used by smaller insurance companies that don't have credible data from their own loss experience. It seems like there is a good reason to keep insurance companies from under federal antitrust regulation. Its not that they aren't regulated for monopolies, just that the Feds are in charge of it, the states are. There is some opinion on both sides on how to proceed. I need more time to research, but I'm sure there is a good reason for it. Whether it still is a relevant reason, I don't know, but I'm sure its not as black and white as you make it out...perhaps a little gray area? :)

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  15. Good luck on the test - let me know the results. I know you've been studying your rear off for it.

    The hyperbole and slippery slope claim was at Wardo - Sorry if I didn't make it clear.

    Your right, the gay marriage issue was a reasoned and well put stance.

    On the drug issue, I am really in the middle. Drugs like marijuana, which have no different affect on people than nicotine and alcohol are demonized by the right as much as harder and more addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.

    I am not for the absolute legalization of all drugs as Wardo claimed in his slippery slope counter. What drugs, when done in the privacy of our homes, should people be allowed to freely use? What drugs, when done in public and used responsibily, should people be allowed to freely use? What drugs are so harmful to the individual that we need to take the freedom to use them away?

    These are the big questions concerning. The point of using it was due to the fact every time I have attempted to have a discussion with a conservative on the issue, they never engage and instead just start mumbling about gateway drugs and other incoherent babble.

    Here is my list as I see it and I would love to hear other ideas

    Drugs that should be legal/decriminalized:

    Alcohol, Nicotine, Marijuana, and anything that has a known medical benefit (we would probably also have to have a discussion on what those are as well).

    Drugs that should remain illegal (but we should do a better job helping those with problems with these)

    Heroin, LSD, Meth, and the others in this class that have no known medical benefit and/or are so unbelievably addictive as to render the user hopelessly addicted (even though nicotine is the most addictive legal substance around).

    Drugs I am not sure on how to proceed...

    Cocaine.

    We need to, as a nation, have a serious discussion on the war on drugs. Not only has it failed, it had also led to serious violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments in the name of protecting society.

    I believe the conservatives believe that if you give people freedom, then only good things will come of it. Yet, why not trust people to do the right thing on this issue?

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  16. "By the way gentlemen, when I posted about the environment, I was even thinking about global warming (you jumped assumed I was - nice job reading). Oh, a liberal is talking about the environment, it must be about the global warming thing. Nice job jumping to conclusion with your own hyperbole not even on the topic."

    By the way, when you post on a topic you are talking about conservatives in federal government, no?

    Ok, take a look at your guys in the government. The liberals. What is their fix for the environment? CAP AND TRADE!!! Based on GLOBAL WARMING! Just because you aren't as far left as those in government doesn't mean they aren't.

    "Griswold has nothing to do with this. Your opinions on Roe v. Wade are independent of Griswold. I know Roe was based on the ideas of medical privacy found in Griswold, but debate on Griswold is independent of Roe. Argue the point, not the red herring."

    I know Roe v. Wade and Griswold are separate. I was merely pointing out that a majority of conservatives probably aren't against condoms since it's before conception.

    "(but we should do a better job helping those with problems with these)"

    Soooo....protect people from themselves...hmmm, just what you argued against.

    On the drug front - "You fit into the exact response I was expecting."

    And you responded exactly the way I knew you would. Scott already touched on the fact that you can have a beer or a cigar and not be addicted.

    As far as having marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, you're still going to have to have a prescription for it and if you grow it and smoke it and don't have a prescription for it, you're in posession of a controlled substance illegally.

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  17. "We need to, as a nation, have a serious discussion on the war on drugs. Not only has it failed, it had also led to serious violations of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments in the name of protecting society."

    If we're going to evaluate the war on drugs because it has failed, we ought to likewise examine the War on Poverty, because it too, has failed.

    I think you'll agree that despite the trillions of dollars we, as a nation, have redistributed from wealthy and middle class Americans to poor Americans, we still seem to have this poverty problem.

    I think it may be time to try a new way. Wealth redistribution does not solve the problem of poverty...it merely tries to mask the symptoms. I think a new post on this may be in the works. Stay tuned.

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  18. I agree that the War on Poverty has failed as well.

    I think I've stated this before - there are only three ways that are effective in combating poverty. Or, in other words, allowed people to improve their plot in life on generation at a time.

    They are...EDUCATION, EDUCATION AND EDUCATION.

    Scott - so long as your upcoming post adequately deals with education beyond the band aid of vouchers, then I look forward to the post.

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