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expatriate's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

I think in a lot of ways I'd be Libertarian except for a couple things -- the party's tolerance of drugs and isolationist beliefs. But I think they have their thumb on an increasingly strong sentiment in this country...people want to exercise the right to self-determination free of government control, and they're becoming tired of working hard just to give it to someone who doesn't. Years ago, that was a huge part of Reagan's Republican party. It still is a big part of the conservative (not necessarily Republican) core, and I think the Republican party would be well served to embrace Libertarianism's constitutionalist beliefs.

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Re: Airline Attack

This country was founded upon isolationist beliefs. Even George Washington's farewell speech after his presidency warned our future leaders about involvment in foreign affairs and caution about foreign involvement in the US. Whether or not we should go back to that policy is debatable. I have many mixed ideas about it myself. All I know is that the USA has done 100 times more good for this world than any other superpower has done before us. For all that this country has done for lesser developing countries, all we get is a stiff kick in the nuts, even by some of our own citizens.

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Re: Airline Attack

I agree to a point Expat. My beliefs lean to the Libertarian. I vote (except in the primaries) Republican as I generaly see the more conservative candidate as the lesser of two evils, not because I love everything about him or her. I also see the practical side of things and that voting for a third party is generaly a vote for the opposition. As to the tolerance on drugs of Libertarians, it's not that drug use is supported so much that individual rights ARE supported even when it's something we don't like. Sound familiar? Like maybe what we've been trying to teach anti-gun liberals about our rights? As to agreeing with everything about a party, I disagree with my wife all the time and I married her. Nothing is perfect until you can form your own party with yourself as candidate. I do it all the time and no one votes for me! The idea is called real-politic as I'm sure you know. It means sometimes we have to compromise, to get what we need or want. What we CAN do vs. what we would like to do. I believe in individual rights, even to the point of allowing something I despise personally, as long as it hurts no one else. I think that once again we truly need a few more Political parties to balance the two obvious failures we currently have.
When you think about it the difference between us and the old Soviet Union is that we have the constitution and bill of rights and we get one more choice in an election than they had.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

I disagree that our nation was founded on isolationist beliefs. We learned that as early as 1783, when Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean threatened our shipping. In 1784, Congress allocated funds to pay tribute to the pirates, but the cost of the treaties was excessive. During negotiations in 1785, the American ambassador asked Tripoli's ambassador what grounds they had for making war against a nation that had done them no injury. The ambassador's response? It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.

The US, deep in debt and still recovering from the revolution, continued to pay a million dollars a year to the Barbary nations. This issue was key to Congress authorizing creation of a navy in accordance with the new constitution in 1789, but it wasn't until 1794 that the first frigates were built. Tribute payments continued in the meantime, and by 1800 the US government was paying 20 percent of its revenues to the pirates in ransom and tributes.

The Marine Corps Hymn includes the reference to "the shores of Tripoli" due to action against the pirates in 1804.

So while it may have been America's hope of living in peace after the revolution, it became quickly apparent that it had to stand up for itself abroad in order to be respected. This lesson has been underscored again and again throughout history, from the War of 1812 to World War I to World War II. Given America's economic and diplomatic strength, its absence from the world stage has always led to increasing chaos and aggression.

Funny you should mention the Soviets, Bunny. Actually, the Soviet Constitution of 1936 included a bill of rights. See if this doesn't sound familiar. Of particular note is Article 120's right to universal health care:

http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/36cons04.html#chap10

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Re: Airline Attack
BunnySlayer wrote:
As to the tolerance on drugs of Libertarians, it's not that drug use is supported so much that individual rights ARE supported even when it's something we don't like. Sound familiar? Like maybe what we've been trying to teach anti-gun liberals about our rights?
It means sometimes we have to compromise, to get what we need or want. What we CAN do vs. what we would like to do. I believe in individual rights, even to the point of allowing something I despise personally, as long as it hurts no one else. I think that once again we truly need a few more Political parties to balance the two obvious failures we currently have.
When you think about it the difference between us and the old Soviet Union is that we have the constitution and bill of rights and we get one more choice in an election than they had.

Very true Bunny. I'm not one to advocate the use of drugs for recreational purposes, but I do believe in individual rights. People have a right to choose how they want to live their own lives. Of course people are far better off if they get the proper direction and upbringing early in life. I only see the use of alcoholic beverages as different from some drugs because liquor has been legal with us going back to our founding. Because alcohol and tobacco have been legal they have been taxed and regulated, this is the only reason why I believe we view them differently that pot or some other drugs. Though the effects of both pot and alcohol are generally the same if abused. Plus we have to keep in mind that from the early part of the 20th century going back to our founding, certain narcodics and drugs were generally very easily available to anyone without much regulation. I'm talking stuff like heroin, morphine, pot, and cocain derivatives. Despite this, we were never know back then as a country of druggies or stoners, which tells me that use and abuse of this stuff must not have been much of a problem among the majority of the population. Our nations flags were often made from hemp in those days, hemp canvas is superior to cotton canvas.

As far as Isolationist beliefs go expat. It may not have been an official policy adopted by our first leaders, but it surely was a belief held high by many of them, including our first president. Of course certain ideals sometimes turn out to be not so practical under some situations. I'm not totally convinced that Isolationism is the way to go, it sounds good in theory, but may be detrimental to our country's interests if adopted as policy.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

Maybe I could've said it better. Our country may have been founded on a dream of isolationism, but reality is that it just isn't possible.

As for drugs, I agree that although the physiological effects may be similar, our country has not equated alcohol and drugs in cultural terms. Drugs have never had the social acceptance that alcohol has. But I'll also admit to having a skewed perspective -- I've seen some heartbreaking cases involving drug use, and it's never the user that pays the price; it's always the innocent people close to them. Seeing a young mother helping her 2 year old daughter through excruciating cancer treatments to save her vision is bad enough -- but seeing that mother trying to cope with that while dealing with a husband that abandoned them at the hospital two weeks ago to run up $300 in bad checks every day on a crack binge really changes your perspective on human suffering. The answer isn't to legalize crack.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

I agree. Hardcore drugs should never be legalized nor accepted culturaly for recreational use. The results of such use are never good. There is a long history that proves that. I won't list those drugs here as I'm sure we all know what they are.

As far as medical marijuana goes, the vast majority of people pushing for it don't need it medically. They simply want it legalized so they can enjoy it recreationally and be legal doing so. I don't advocate the use of drugs. I don't use them and never have even experimented with any of them, and I don't plan on starting now. But, I do know and have known quite a few people over the years who have used or use pot recreationally. Having said that I will admit that I have no problem with marijuana use and don't see it as any different that alcohol use. The majority of people who use it can do so without abusing it, but just like anything else, it can be and is abused by some. Truth is that if pot were to be legalized tomorrow I seriously doubt that we would see an increase in it's use. People who normally wouldn't use pot wouldn't suddenly decide to take it up just because it's legal. Those who do it illegally now will be the same number of people doing it legally then. Only thing that will change is that it will be taxed, probably pretty heavily. That means more revenue going into the deep pockets of all those fancy politicians and the federal government.......oh hell, now that I think about it, it's probably a good idea if we don't legalize marijuana. Think Confused

expatriate's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

IMO pot is the perfect liberal drug. Consider the classic pothead: not that intelligent and no ambition whatsoever.

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Re: Airline Attack
expatriate wrote:
IMO pot is the perfect liberal drug. Consider the classic pothead: not that intelligent and no ambition whatsoever.

No argument there. I must say however that crimminalizing something has never prevented or even slowed it's use. Use prohibition as an example. I'm not advocating legalization I'm just saying our current policies are a dismal failure. Additionaly we are financing drug lords and their violence in many third world countries which has now spilled over into our boarders. Legalization across the board may not be the answer, but the system we currently have obviously isn't either. As harsh as this sounds, possibly the darwinistic theories apply here.Some people are simply going to self-destruct no matter what the vehicle they use. Possibly we are wasting recources attempting to prevent the inevitable with some people. Those who want help should get it. Those who wish to self-implode will.

expatriate's picture
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Re: Airline Attack

Sorry, but I just can't buy that argument. Criminalizing things obviously does prevent or slow things. If I throw my hands up and think it doesn't do anything, then by rights I should give up enforcing all kinds of things. Nobody obeys speed limits, so why not get rid of them? We spend billions on border security and people still get through, so why not just give up and let 'em all in? Given the money and effort we spend chasing down tax evaders, why not just do away with the IRS?

There's a reason the marijuana crowd likes to make that argument -- it fits the mindset: it's too hard...just f**k it, man.

Legalizing things (or simply stopping enforcement) suggests social and moral acceptance. If society no longer holds to its belief that something is wrong, then it starts to become right. The downfall of many a civilization began with changing morality that embraced previously unacceptable activities. And as I said, my experience has been it's not just a matter of people self destructing -- it's the people around them they destroy. Drugs are not a victimless crime.

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