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Radical Incline

War Game

Every time we say never again

Simple two-chord repetition, e.g. Am-Ab.

1.

No war!

 No war!

  No war!

   No war!

Ain't gonna go
  to war no more!

O'course it has 
  been said before.

After bombing,
  blood, and gore,

The cry goes up
  from every shore,

Ain't gonna go
to war no more!
2.

Again!

 Again!

  Again!

   Again!

We'll raise the arms
  and rouse the men.

But war won't be
  like that one then.

Always will it
  be worse when

We plunge into
  the dark again,

Scheming to
  kill other men.
3.

The Bomb!

 The Bomb!

  The Bomb!

   The Bomb!

It could've happened
  in Viet Nam.

One side gets scared,
  an H-Bomb drops.

In twenty minutes,
  mankind stops.

Why not make
  one planet of....

United man,
  United Love....

[repeat 1st verse]

Performed (instrumental) in Mindful Webworkshop #13 - Election 2016, 2016 Nov 4



Radical Incline

Prelude in H Sharp

War-protest folksong from 1980. So much has changed since then!

With a marching beat

   1.
E
Whatcha gonna do about it,

Whatcha gonna do,

When the army of America 
      D
   is comin' after you?

D
Whatcha gonna do about it,

Whatcha gonna say,

When people from the draft board
          E
   try to send you far away?
   2.
E
Whatcha gonna think about it,

How you gonna feel,

When they argue that your draft
              D
   resistance simply isn't real?

D
Whatcha gonna do about it,

Where you gonna go,

If Canada won't take you
           E
   and the prisons overflow?
   3.
E
Wouldja fight in Israel

Or go defend Iran,

Or some supposed vital interest
      D
   in Afghanistan?

D
Deadly germs and killer gas

And anti-matter ray,

Giant solar microwaves
       E
   and mutant DNA...
   4.
E
We can fire lazer beams

And drop a neutron bomb,

All the weapons that we didn't
   D
   have for Viet Nam.

     D
Each war they say is diff'rent

But the people die the same.

Next time they give a war
   they'll say that
     C    B    E
     everybody came!
Nagasaki mushroom cloud



Radical Incline

Declaring Peace

Regarding the 2001-Sep-11 hijackings and attacks on New York City, the Pentagon, and wherever Flight 93 was heading.

1. What have they destroyed? — The true symbols of America can never be destroyed. 2001-Sep-17

2. The World is still at peace. — When a criminal violates the peace of a town, the town is not "at war"; the town is primarily at peace, with a disturbance thereof. 2001-Sep-17

3. The lost sheep: Brotherly love and forgiveness — If your own brother went bad, what attitude toward him would you have? 2001-Sep-25

E-mails of comment sent to peace@mindfulwebworks.com are considered the property of Mindful Webworks, and may be republished in whole or in part. To write me privately, use mindfulguy@mindfulwebworks.com.

1. WHAT HAVE THEY DESTROYED?

What have they destroyed?

What have the villains destroyed? They sought to strike at America. Did they succeed?

Did they put a hole in Manhattan? Did they hit the Pentagon? Yes, yes. They may yet manage to destroy the White House and Congress, too. It's possible, alas. But they cannot touch America. They can only destroy buildings and people.

They cannot destroy our symbols, because symbols do not reside in a statue, a building or a person, no matter how important to us. Everywhere the stars and stripes are flying. Everywhere you hear our anthems being sung. Everywhere prayers are freely prayed, and in a multitude of religions. None of these symbols, these liberties, have been touched or tarnished, all remain as bright as before.

They cannot touch our Government, because however top-heavy the federal government may have become, true American Government remains intact as long as Americans exist. I have my copy of our Constitution. I still know where our local polling place is, don't you? America remains intact. The loss of every federal office and officer would just make us stronger ultimately. Not even the eradication of every one of the fifty united state governments would daunt us, because the head of our Government is the individual citizen.

They cannot destroy our people. I look about me and everywhere I look I see uncowed Americans, reasonably concerned, but not fear-hobbled; saddened but strong, no, stronger than ever. There are a quarter-billion of us. Destroy five thousands and we are still a quarter-billion. Destroy hundreds of thousands of us and we will still be a quarter-billion. Destroy millions of us and we will bury our dead, rebuild from the ashes, and still be America.

Most of all, they can never subdue the true Spirit of America. The American Spirit is not just American, but divine, because it is the same universal spirit which opposes tyranny, bullies, and terrormongers anywhere in our world. The American ideals have inspired one people after another to strive for a better world for themselves and their children.

What was damaged? Not America but the world. Every government, every business in the world was tied in to those towers which fell. It was truly a World Trade Center. It was an attack upon the World.

Who was killed in the attack? When the toll is told, we will find that people who died were natively from or descended from every nation, every walk of life, every religion in the world. It was an attack upon Humanity.

Originally posted on the web 2001 Sep 17.

2. The World is still at peace.

The world is not at war. We should talk of war no longer. Leave war in the 20th Century. We cannot afford war in the world anymore. As the wise man says, War is over.

The World is a city now, a great single country. Lacking universal government, nations nonetheless manage to get along as if we had one world union. We have to. World War of the 20th Century teaches us that the profits of war are now outweighed by the losses, so the "businessmen' who run the nations don't want to risk infrastructure evaporation. There is also a small cadre of those who just think peace is a good idea, considering.

When nation-states keep the peace among one another, a kind of true self-government is achieved. A true international government exists in the mutual spirit of disengagement from overt conflict, at the very least, and many nations, such as the North American and European, are particularly fraternal. Without losing national pride, affiliated states are effectively one "government," by yielding national sovereignty to the superior sovereignty of peace and mutual benefit.

The rivalry of the neighboring states of Oklahoma and Texas is played out in sports events, political posturings, and other competitions which, however crude some may seem at times, are superior to making war upon one another. The rivalry of nations cannot erupt into war on any world scale anymore, lest we all perish.

When a criminal violates the peace of a town, the town is not "at war." The town is primarily at peace, with a disturbance thereof.

The criminals who disrupt the peace and disrespect order, property, life and person, these disturbers are apprehended, if possible, but stopped by some means, and peace resumes.

Those brave souls who face the criminals for us all, we call peace officers because they restore peace.

Groups of thugs, gangs, represent retrograde direction in social evolution. Effectively they are petty underground fiefdoms, sub-governments deriving their sovereignty from their invisibility, their separation from above-ground societies.

But "battles" against crime and "wars" against organized crime, or that most outrageous aberration of government, the "war on drugs," actually play into the hands of the enemy. The public rhetoric empowers the myth of these social deviants. If we regard them as deviants, we diminish them. If we wage war, we reduce ourselves to their level. Therefore, we restore peace.

Rather than call for retribution, civilized people execute justice. Our confidence in the righteousness of civilized justice, however poorly we may do at it most of the time, is what separates us from the petty Hitlers. We are at peace.

They may war against us, but we strive only to restore peace and civilization.

They strive to destroy innocents but we endeavor to rehabilitate, at least ideally, or simply incarcerate, if necessary, executing only the completely irredeemable sociopath. Ideally.

Ideally, we would know how to treat minds better than we do today and such extreme deviance and executions would be unthinkable.

Ideally, we would convict only the truly guilty, and would be truly interested only that they be restrained until truly rehabilitated, and prisons and injustice such as we know today will be unthinkable. Some day. Someday laws will be fairer, judges wiser, justice more just, as we strive to achieve these impossible ideals.

We are, it's true, far from our ideal.

But we do not abandon Law because we fail to achieve our ideals. We do not abolish government simply for human flaws. Laws and courts, even the World Court, all represent humankind, seeking to emulate our ideals of government, justice, civilization, and peace. Whatever the flaws in our system, when some
madman opens fire in a public place, when some thief, rapist, murderer is stopped, civilized people applaud, and salute the noble souls who put their lives on the live for civilization. They restore peace for us, a divine gift.

When the officers of the peace of the nations of the world eliminate these current disturbers of world peace, we likewise will appreciate their service, for they wage peace.

Originally posted on the web 2001 Sep 17.

3. The Lost Sheep: Brotherly love and forgiveness

If your own brother went bad, what attitude toward him would you have?

If your brother went mad, adopting insane political or religious beliefs, and in his confusion taking actions which were clearly criminal, what would you want for him? If he had done murder, what would you ask of God for your brother's sake?

First of all, if you are a decent person, whose filial love did not make you blind to the welfare of others, you would want your brother stopped, for his own sake that his score of evil acts would not continue to grow, and for the sake of his victims. You would understand that he had to be stopped by whatever it took, but you (and all decent citizens) would prefer him stopped with minimal force or injury.

Second of all, you would pray for his correction. You would not wish revenge upon him. You would not wish him to suffer eye-for-eye for his misdeeds. You would know there is no value to such vengeance, it is only returning evil for evil. You may despise the evil that enthralls your sibling's mind, but if you see any salvageable aspect, you pray for that soul. Externally, whether Society imposes some "punishment" upon the criminal is irrelevant to his actual spiritual status. Whether your brother is in prison or out is not as important as his internal state. For violating social peace, Society merely imprisons the body, but for choosing to remain outside the unity of the fellowship of all loving people, the consequence is eternal. Unless you have adjudged your brother to be irredeemably iniquitous (and who can so judge?), you prefer your brother to reform, and you pray for your brother to reject the ways of evil and to join the family of love. When that happens, a brother is released from a prison worse than any devised by humankind, and no material bars matter to a soul that has truly been reborn to the spirit of fellowship.

Third, if we are mature spiritually, then when a brother does come to the holy fold, we forgive as God does, completely. We not only welcome him, we welcome him free from condemnation for past error, free from any desire for retribution, thinking not of past evils but of the glorious eternal future of work together as a family under God.

Being human, such divine forgiveness can be difficult. As inspired as the early Christians were, I can imagine that more than a few were troubled at the rise within their ranks of Paul, formerly a hunter and killer of Christians and now claiming to have been inspired by the Jesus he never met in the flesh, and found difficulty in absolving him of responsibility for his own acts. But from what we can glean from what might be his writings, it seems that whatever human feelings like guilt or remorse Paul might have harbored for his former murderous ways, he left it utterly behind. He seems clearly to have accepted forgiveness and was interested only in the progress of Christ's message. By sad contrast, when Judas Iscariot fully realized the consequences of his misdeeds, his remorse and guilt (and no doubt a large measure of ego-driven shame and embarrassment) drove him to the final cowardly act of suicide; historically, we see a kind of inevitable justice in Judas' self-destructive end, but if Judas had only looked in his heart at that time, looked to the Teacher with whom he had spent years, he might have seen that loving, understanding, pitying God-man who handed him the sop and said, completely without condemnation, go do what you must do. He might have found the same kind of forgiveness that Paul understood, might have reformed even after having betrayed God, might even have been a worthy teacher himself as Paul became, all the more worthy for, like Paul, finding salvation after having done such horrible evil and thus knowing all the more the infinite love and mercy of our Creator-parent. And, yes, historically, we today would be forced to accept the betrayer's salvation even as we so readily accept the salvation of the leader of those who stoned Stephen to death.

When harm is done to one person by another, the animal lust in us cries for vengeance. The Palestinian suicide bombers blow up an Israeli pizza parlor and the Israelis launch a missile attack on a Palestinian police station which inspires more Palestinian terrorism which inspires more acts of Israeli vengeance. Substitute the Irish, the Sri Lankans, or for that matter the Hatfields and the McCoys, it's still the same, the desire for revenge, revenge, and revenge. And because we are faulty, passionate, half-grown mortal souls, we may have more willingness to forgive our brother at a distance, for robbing banks or doing harm to strangers, and find it much more difficult when he does something nearly unforgivable, like hitting your mother. Animallike rage screams to call down fire upon the heads of our perceived enemies immediately; it is only that quiet whisper of the spirit within us that asks us to understand, even to be patient. When we reason like true sons of God, we do not cry vengeance. The nature of forgiveness lies in our understanding that, as a rule, those who do evil are merely spiritually blinded and have no idea what they're doing, from a true spiritual perspective. The AmerIndian is supposed to have taught, walk a ways in the other fellow's moccasins, and Jesus voiced forgiveness for his killers even as they nailed him to the cross because he effectively walked in their sandals, saw their confusion and ignorance for what it was. Of most evil people, it seems true, they don't know what they're doing; so while we pray for an absolute end to their evil deeds, we do not pray for the extinguishment of those who are ignorant of the spirit but rather we pray for their enlightenment.

If you love your brother, what you would want would be his salvation. In the short term, you would want his dark trespasses ended. In the long term, you would pray he be brought to the light, to share in the eternal future with us, working together in the universally united spiritual Family of all loving people. Jesus prayed that we forgive our neighbors as ourselves, and in this simple phrase lies a great truth. We are all evil, confused, impartial, not yet perfected, to greater or lesser degree. Some of us stand at the pinnacle of our world's spiritual progress and others remain back at the base of barbarism, and from such wide perspective, good people can see exactly how wrong bad people are. From the perspective of Deity, however, the two may be practically indistinguishable. Excluding (perhaps) those rare saints who have truly achieved God-consciousness in the mortal life, the best of us are so incomplete, so spiritually impoverished, so young in the spirit that we are in danger of succumbing to pride if we think ourselves better than even a Hitler or a Stalin. The reasonable basis for spiritual injunctions against judging another's soul, against vengeance, is that we, too, may find ourselves before the higher judges, and learn the ultimate meaning of "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others."

Do what we must do. Stop those who violate the peace, using only necessary force. We entrust Power to civil Authorities because an impartial policeman is trained to enforce the law and eschew vendetta and an impartial judge is less likely to corrupt justice with passion. On those rare occasions when police become incensed, as when one of their own is killed, it is understandable in human terms that in response one of the officers might be more inclined to extract vengeance rather than simply enforce the law, but their passion violates the contract society has made which puts Power in impartial hands. Good authorities excuse themselves from cases where their personal interests threaten their impartiality, lest their wisdom might be bent by lust.

The nature of war used to be vengeful and hateful. Despising and denigrating the enemy were par for the course even in World War II and in the later 20th-Century brushfire wars against the "Commies." We caricatured races and peoples in order to remove their humanity and we incited passion to hate and kill this inhuman enemy in our soldiers. War has been valued as good. War has been a way of life for most of humanity down through history, and wiping out the enemy was considered honorable for the tribe. But people given a taste of peace know better. The nature of defending peace from its disturbers is the opposite of the passions of war. Peaceful people don't hate the enemy, we merely want to stop them. We don't caricature them but rather see them for just what they are. We don't dehumanize them for our propaganda purposes but we do put them on wanted posters as necessary. We don't want to kill them for revenge; ideally, we want them to simply accept the social contract and live in peace as simple good neighbors everywhere do with one another, relegating any conflicts to higher courts when problems exceed our own abilities to deal with them dispassionately and reasonably. If we want our armies to wage peace, they must be taught to be skilled, intelligent police forces, trained not to be warriors but to be peace officers.

I write this on 25-September. It has been two weeks since fanatics destroyed four planeloads of people, flattened several buildings full of people. I read of people crying war! war! I read of people crying, peace! peace! As ever, the division of hawk and dove is unrealistic and both attitudes have right and wrong to them. The dove says, pray for their salvation, don't fight them, don't reply to violence with violence. The hawk responds with the need for violence, the passion for vengeance. Militants do make it possible for pacifists to keep praying to the God of one's choice, as police help make it more possible for us all to enjoy our daily life. But pacifists also serve to remind us of the Peace for which we're supposed to be fighting, and the true nature of Jesus-like forgiveness we must hold in our hearts toward evildoers even if we lamentably must use deadly force to stop the evil. We must incorporate the best of both into each of us. We must be passionate only for peace, forgiveness, and true justice. We must be dispassionate in the execution of our duties to protect ourselves as a society.

Inflamed as we have been by the sudden, cowardly, hideous act of mass murder, it will take great restraint, great wisdom, to act as a world police force of a more advanced civilization. As a world of peace-loving nations, we must battle the old evils of conflicting nationalisms, tribalisms, and theocrazies. We are the armed policeman who must swallow passion and honorably bring to justice his brother who stabbed our mother in the back. Whatever our feelings, we must act carefully. We must remain civilized. I will be half a century old next year, and I see more of this kind of intelligent restraint than I can recall in any past call for "war," but I am concerned that we may not yet be civilized enough to defend peace and prevent actual war. It is an amazing, precarious age. Ancient lunacies are armed with the most advanced weapons and incredible cunning, at the same time that much of the world has enjoyed a long period of practical peace which could ultimately be verging on a permanent state of world unity. Most of all I fear that our progress could all be lost if we are all dragged back down to the level of the lunatics. Like Paul's, salvation is a change of mind that changes everything in our universe. In thinking of ourselves (collectively as part of a world society acting through our assigned officers) as enforcers of peace, without letting patriotic passion overrule our reason or our higher values, and without propagandistic denigration of our "enemies" as the "d'evil," then we do what we must, but as we do it, our true attitude toward our misguided neighbors is forgiving, even an attitude of filial devotion, love.




Radical Incline

The Golden Rule and Prohibition

Countering common erroneous arguments for prohibitionism; the Golden Rule as the foundation for good law.

Various arguments are commonly presented for prohibition. I will briefly address the error of each of these common arguments, and then address the single principle which should govern thinking in the matter of addressing private, personal recreational substance use in a free society.

Erroneous arguments and concepts concerning substance use

Drug users are individuals, not a class

The terms drug "abuse" and drug "use" are, today, often used interchangeably. Reference is made to "drug abusers" as if all recreational substance users are chronic abusers. Thinking of all users of all substances as a monolithic group denies the range of individual behaviors and choices. Categorizing so many with the label "drug abusers" stigmatizes all users as if they were a single type. The peaceful weekend pot-smoker is classed (and jailed) with the violent crack addict. Carrie Nation and her ilk sought to (and did, for a while) outlaw alcohol, unconcerned that this lumped together the occasional peaceful wine-sipper with the abusive habitual alcoholic.

Groups do not choose to use drugs. Individuals do.

The argument from socialized medicine

The cost of drug abuse to the system of socialized medicine is often cited as a justification for drug prohibitions.

These are not problems if individuals are made to bear the personal responsibility for any consequences of their choices. The personal cost of acts of intoxicated transgression would be borne by the individual in a non-socialist society. True, there is a social cost of policing required for the transgressions of many intoxicated individuals. However, in a society where prohibitions were not exacerbating black markets and exaggerating the frequency, attractions, and treatment of drug abuse, such policing would be on an entirely different scale than our current madness. The period between the Eighteenth and Twenty-First Amendments to the American Constitution is a lesson which has yet to be learned.

The argument from insurance costs

As with socialized medical costs, another justification often used for drug prohibitions is the effect upon insurance rates.

Repercussions to insurance costs of those who use drugs are a fault of a poorly-structured insurance industry. Insurance companies have the responsibility to their customers to make sure their insurance payments are not thus abused. The fire insurer should make sure that buildings are adequately fireproofed. Consider the parallels of insurance companies which offer discounts to non-smokers, or non-drinkers.

The argument from potentially increased abuse

Some hold that drug use, and drug abuse, are likely to increase if prohibitions are repealed. Although data is limited, indications from alcohol prohibition indicate that the attraction of "forbidden fruit" brought some to alcohol who otherwise may not have been that attracted. It's difficult to gauge, because so many changes in society (changes in church and family) accompanied the alcohol prohibition era and the subsequent other-drug prohibition era. But it seems that alcohol use did increase due to prohibition and then increased again with repeal.

That alcoholism may increase because alcohol is legal is not an argument for reinstituting Prohibition thereof; it is an argument for increased education and social pressure by non-governmental groups (family, doctors, church, businesses). A stable society tends to reduce the anxieties which lead to such drug abuse, while Prohibition de-stabilizes society. The call for prohibition actually worsens the situation it is intended to amend. We have grand historical proof in the alcohol prohibition era and the current other-substances prohibition era that the solution of prohibition has exactly the opposite effect from solving drug abuse problems.

The argument from majority opinion

In the United States of America, Constitutional guarantees, intended to protect minority opinions in a democratic society, are meaningless if society does not maintain the guarantees. But the intended protections should apply even when the majority holds that some speech, religion, or other private liberty should be suppressed.

When the majority held that slavery should be legal, that didn't make slavery moral or right. One of the reasons we have a Bill of Rights is an attempt (now largely vitiated) to protect us from just such abuse by the majority. The lesson of repeal of the twenty-first amendment should be universally applied, not just to alcohol, but to all comparable recreational substance use.

The Golden Rule and Prohibition

Prohibition condemns (presumes guilty until proven guilty) all users on the basis of the possibility that an individual's personal choice may affect society negatively. Such inappropriate grouping is a truly dangerous "drug" — a narcotic habit of thought — which ignores individual responsibility for one's actions.

The Golden Rule has several aspects. The older, passive form: Don't do to others what you would not have done unto you; the higher, active form: Do unto others what you would have done unto you; and the highest form: Love one another as God loves. At any level, wisdom is required. A stupid man might be attracted to a woman in lust and by attacking her sexually think he is applying the "Do unto others" rule. I presume my readers understand that he is not. I offer this illustration simply to show that wisdom is required in interpretation and action, and there are many more subtle and less easily discernable interpretation questions in dealing with such a general rule. Socialism is like that misguided lust-driven man, attempting to do unto others "for their own good" in violation of personal liberty.

One rule, the Golden Rule, is the principle "upon which hang all the laws," in good government. The Golden Rule is the basis for the social compact, and the succinct argument against drug prohibition. If using drugs constitutes a sin, that is between the individual and the Almighty's appointed Judges. If one uses drugs and transgresses upon another, by stealing, threatening, or the like, then that is a matter for earthly judges. Drinking a beer is legal. Driving dangerously (drunk or not, but especially drunk) is illegal. These comport with the Golden Rule. Smoking a joint ought, by parallel, to be legal. If someone wants to trash his or her own body and mind with nicotine, caffine, refined sugar, red meat, heroin, cocaine, sniffing gasoline or glue, that ought to be an individual adult choice. Don't force me to breath, drink, or shoot your drugs, and you're welcome to them. Come near my family in a demented state, or attempt to induce my children to doing such drugs, and you are subject to the consequences of my defense!

The Golden Rule is respect for one another. As it's been put, the right to swing your fist ends where the other fellow's nose begins (or more accurately, where you threaten the other fellow's nose). Don't do to others what you would not have done unto you. The thief, bully, and tyrant seek to take license (impose their will) at the expense of another, violating the liberty of another to be free from theft, threat, and force.

Not all people always live in harmony with their neighbors, of course. Many people live in relative harmony, many would never violate the liberty of another. Policing, in one form or another, is only necessary to control those who violate the Golden Rule of mutual respect for life, liberty, and property.

The Golden Rule social compact is simple, even if instances and enforcement are not always cut-and-dried. The right to blow your smoke ends where my nose begins. If a heroin user can maintain with a money hole in his arm and without violating the rights of others (and some do), it's not others' problem. When one crosses the line into theft, threat, or violence, whether or not drugs are involved the crime is transgression, not substance use. Drinking is legal and reasonably so; the drunk driver weaving down the road, the drunk vomiting on my shoes, the drunk and abusive spouse or parent, these violate the rule. Only an arbitrary social attitude (and the politicking profiteers and propagandists of both legal booze and illegal other substances) differentiates between this drug and others.

In summary:

Use should be a free personal choice.

Abuse is a personal, mental, and medical problem, for individual, family, church, or business.

Criminality — transgression against others — involving use or abuse — is still criminality, but use or even abuse in and of itself should not be.

This page was discovered to have been linked in a comment on BlogCritics.org, although it only seems to be visible with JavaScript off.

Related Mindful Webworks:
Prohibition fuels gangsterism —It's not drugs but PROHIBITION which provides the fuel for the modern equivalent of rum-runner profits and Al Capones.
Independent Religionist's Liberty — are USA Constitutional liberties not being extended to non-aligned religionists?
Repeal! / Repeal Heals — not only is the so-called war on drugs utterly unwinnable, it is in its very conception a
perversion of the important purposes of good government. The way to personal or social health is positive.
A run-in with Officer Green"WHAT'S THAT SMELL??" scowled Officer Green, and ordered me out of my car.
Head Shop — Cartoons, songs, and more regarding the appeal of indulgences and the consequences of desire.




Radical Incline

Repeal!

The so-called war on drugs is utterly unwinnable and in its very conception perverts the purposes of good government.

Repeal!

[Published in the [*]Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise 1997 Mar 25.]

1997 March 16

Editor, the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
P.O. Box 1278
Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74005

Editor:

I write to take issue, respectfully, with a recent Examiner editorial opinion. We are not by any reasonable measure winning the war on drugs, and whatever statistical blips may so indicate cannot compare with decades of continuing social self-destruction. Indeed, not only is the so-called war on drugs utterly unwinnable, it is in its very conception a perversion of the important purposes of good government, an approach more suited to totalitarian governments we have always opposed than to our bastion of liberty.

Drug abuse is an individual, personal, and medical problem with social repercussions, but it should never have been made a criminal activity in and of itself. Whether the drugs in question are relatively soft like coffee and marijuana, or relatively hard like alcohol or heroin, we will never be able to stop their acquisition and use, and a government ostensibly of personal liberty and social responsibility should not even try!

The hypocrisy, dangers, corruption, and social destruction caused by Prohibition is written in our very Constitution, and in the dark history between the 18th and 21st Amendments. Although you can see it even right there in such as the historic-reprint pages of the Examiner and the Tulsa World, Americans have refused to learn this hard lesson of history. Many evil and powerful vested interests are allied with the misguided well-intentioned successors of Carrie Nation to give us an era of modern equivalents to the rum runners, poison bathtub gins, speakeasies, and all a hundred times worse than back then. Prohibition inevitably magnifies, rather than alleviates, the social problems which drug abuse can create.

We have learned the proper approach to the problem of alcoholism is to treat the alcoholic, and adjudge the drunk driver or public inebrient, without making a criminal of the individual drinker. Repeal did not do away with the problems of alcohol abuse, but society suffers infinitely less from legalization and regulation than it does from prohibition, which is tantamount to law abuse.

We must abandon the "win the drug war" prohibitionist propaganda which supports gangsterism, invites corruption, undermines drug-awareness education efforts, and criminalizes non-threatening private adult behaviors. We must embrace the legal models we have evolved for dealing with alcohol and tobacco and apply those models to all these currently-illegal substances. Turn our "drug warriors" back into peace officers, end the obliteration of our precious Constitutional rights, end the threat to personal privacy and to familial and social stability, and release us from the burdens of a perverse, protracted, unwinnable civil conflict. As families stood up and protested in a previous generation, let our cry be: REPEAL!

Repeal Heals

1997 March 27

Editor, the [*]Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise
P.O. Box 1278
Bartlesville, Oklahoma 74005

Editor, it's humbling to have one of my many swelled-headed opinions see print in our esteemed local paper, but my writing skills are poor if my call for repeal deserves the depressing headline "Lost Cause." Folks are weak, the toll of substance abuse terrible. Yet, in the spirit of the original editorial, I do see that we are making continuing progress in education efforts, franker and better-informed health-care approaches. Family, community, and congregation should continue to employ every tool in the arsenal of our families, educators, doctors, ministers to heal the sick in habit and educate for healthy spirits. In our "crusade for health," the social reform of repeal abandons a weapon which backfires. Repeal heals, amending the law to be just, consistent, conforming with the Golden Rule. History and faith both teach: the way to personal or social health is positive, peaceful yet powerful. This week most especially, I'm reminded that the best health habits come from strength of faith. Say not lost, but just cause!

Related Mindful Webworks:
Prohibition fuels gangsterism —It's not drugs but PROHIBITION which provides the fuel for the modern equivalent of rum-runner profits and Al Capones.
Independent Religionist's Liberty — Are USA Constitutional liberties not being extended to non-aligned religionists?
The Golden Rule and Prohibition — Countering common erroneous arguments for prohibitionism and applying the Golden Rule
A run-in with Officer Green"WHAT'S THAT SMELL??" scowled Officer Green, and ordered me out of my car.
Head Shop — Cartoons, songs, and more regarding the appeal of indulgences and the consequences of desire.



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