Friday, November 9, 2012

Outrage and Seeking Solutions

[Photo from]

This is a guest post by my good friend, Art Woodstone.

To Liberals and other Good People:

Don't let our part in Obama's re-election go to our heads, because we are not often that smart; because most of the time we allow ourselves to be politically neutered, restricting ourselves to narrow choices, such as selecting a president.

The question now becomes:  Will we now put serious thought and energy into facing hard facts and into utilizing solutions already available to obviously universal problems?

An illustration:  Most people, or at least those of us with a liberal bent, recognize the immutable connection between oil consumption and global warming, but now that we have developed the ability to frack the enormous store of oily rock lying inches below the surface of American soil, it seems that there is no longer much serious or organized interest (if there ever was) in ending our dependence on oil.

Why is that the case?  Greed, convenience, and stupid, excessive pride all play a part.  And isn't it great that now Americans have, within their borders, the capacity to outproduce all twelve members of OPEC at once?  Of course, "fracking" carries with it another whole set of problems, and we'd have to convince China and Russia and other industrialized nations that it is essential we stop polluting the environment before it's too late.

It may, unfortunately, already be too late, but we don't know that for sure, so why abandon hope?

But let's move on to another problematic issue, to which the solution requires no complicated outside support or complaince:

Drugs.  "Illegal" drugs.

We permit ourselves the luxury of feeling helpless against the forces of ignorance and piety and the self-perpetuating instruments of government and law when it comes to legalizing illegal drugs.  We talk "big" but lack the essential element of change:  outrage at the utter, self-righteous stupidity of it all.

The legalization of drugs has many benefits:

1.  It would go far toward lowering the national debt.
2.  It would certainly diminish, even eliminate, the vast profits realized and laundered by the drug lords.
3.  It would enable the government to tax what were formerly illegal drugs and thus beyond the reach of the tax man.
4.  It would force the disestablishment of the Drug Enforcement Agency.  (While I don't recall exactly how much this agency costs us every year with its investigative and enforcement activities, but it's in the billions of dollars!)
5.  It would dramatically reduce the number of incarcerated people, again at a vast savings to the both the U.S. and state governments.  (A large portion of people languishing in our prisons are there because of drug-related crimes.  I know some people who were imprisoned 20 years after found with a smidgen of marijuana!)
6.  And perhaps the most important thing - it would dramatically lessen the murder rate in the U.S. and around the world.  The human cost of our insane drug policies is incalculable.

While murder will always be an element of human behavior, the same is true of stupidity, ignorance and bias.  And that is why none of the above is likely to happen in our own lifetimes.

But there is hope.  Two states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, which is a good sign because for the first time the barrier between stupidity and sanity has been knocked down which may well lead other governmental entities to re-think drug policies which have had such a deleterious effect on our country.

There is hope, if we move toward that essential element of change - the outrage we feel!

No comments:

opinions powered by