Saturday, November 05, 2011

Who Would Make Better Neighbors

From Man Mountain Molehill via e-mail.

Who would you rather have for neighbors?
pot heads
pill heads
puritan witch-hunting nutjobs

Which echos Robert Heinlein:

“Political tags–such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth–are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”


Justthisguy said...

Oh, alcoholics, no question, as long as I get to vet them first:

No mean drunks, no weepy drunks, just happy drunks like me. I think I really am one of those people who is better company when he has a couple or three in him than when he is sober.

Some day we should meet and have you buy me a couple or three, and you could judge for yourself. Snork!

RavingDave said...

The question presupposes a specific ground state. (The current one.) Should conditions change, the witch hunting puritans might actually be useful.

Prior to anti-biotics, associating with people of "low moral character" could get you killed by diseases which were far less prevalent in the prudish witch hunter societies.

But yeah, in these temporary times of plenty, what matter it to any of us that someone is an addict likely mooching off the government?

RavingDave said...

Apart from that, I thought I would put this in front of you and see if you still dismiss what I consider to be the obvious connection.

Nothing but boys, and so many counts! (40)

M. Simon said...

Well. I suppose that since the worst addiction is to alcohol we need to go back and ban it again.

I can't find it right now but I was reading that alcohol is the #1 date rape drug. Something like 80% of the date rapes occur under its influence.

Here is the wiki:

Alcohol remains the most commonly used date rape drug,[4] being readily available as well as legal. Many assailants use alcohol because their victims often willingly imbibe it, and can be encouraged to drink enough to lose inhibitions or consciousness. Even if the victim agrees to sex, the act may be considered rape in some jurisdictions if the victim's judgment was impaired or incapacitated by alcohol. Some assailants have committed "rapes of convenience" whereby they have assaulted a victim after he or she had become unconscious from drinking too much.[5] A study in the UK found that only 2 percent of a pool of 1,014 rape victims had their drinks spiked with sedatives.[6][7]

M. Simon said...

The stats are similar for child abuse and alcohol. Spousal abuse and alcohol. etc.

Banning alcohol will clear up at least 80% of the problem. Wouldn't it?

You are so into fixing things by banning substances I can't for the life of me figure out why you are not an anti-alcohol jihadi. In fact it would seem to me that you should focus totally on alcohol for the time being since it is such a major problem.


BTW alcohol is these days considered to have no medical use. The drugs that you are after actually do. Cocaine is a local anesthetic. And legal for it. The military is testing opiates for use against PTSD. And pot is in fact the most useful for that although work is being done by the NIDA to use MDMA for that purpose.

And what do we know about legal opiates? You can't stop the flow of them into the illegal market.

None of these problems is fixed by prohibition of any kind.

So what can be done? Just legalize and at least get rid of some of the criminals that are running the country.

"The Latin American drug cartels have stretched their tentacles much deeper into our lives than most people believe. It's possible they are calling the shots at all levels of government." - William Colby, former CIA Director, 1995

At this point in time I assume any politician who supports prohibition is in the pay of the cartels.


For most people prohibition is not reasoned it is emotional.

Because the true facts we have about all this stuff are:

1. Prohibition doesn't fix it
2. Prohibition is a vector for spreading use (see alcohol prohibition and women)
3. Prohibition supports criminals (we are already seeing this with the current quasi prohibition on tobacco)


BTW since most use is hidden due to prohibition you have no idea what fraction of users are mooching off government and how many are leading productive lives. The productive are going to be especially secretive.

On top of that because prohibition attacks the youth especially hard you drive them into the hands of the Democrats because the youth feel they are more friendly to their experimentation. Not true in my opinion but that is the zeitgeist.

In fact I believe if we ended prohibition the Democrats would be kaput. For you it would be akin to taking a large loss in order to win the war. Hard problems are require hard choices.

I'd rather live in a nation that had 10% addicts to one that is 100% socialist/crony capitalist (fascist)/run by criminal cartels.


I'd trade 100,000 addicts for another Steve Jobs. Or William Halsted. Or Carl Sagan. Or even people 1/10th as good. By those criteria we have accounted for ALL the addicts in America.


BTW life in prison is way too good for that serial child rapist.

Let me add that my dad was an alcoholic. He used to get drunk and then find excuses to beat me. He later gave up alcohol (I was in my 40s) and begged my forgiveness. Which he got. Because he had changed and I figured out how to (mostly) fix the problems the abuse caused.

M. Simon said...

Let me go further. It is my considered opinion that the Democrats keep prohibition alive since it is an especially good recruiting tool. By age 20 or so something like 50% of the kids try pot.

If we could take away just half of those and their sympathizers the Republicans would never lose another election (on the national level at least).

You know where my political sympathies lie. And yet a whole lot of Republicans in Illinois either no voted or voted for Obama over Keyes. I was one of them. And I knew EXACTLY what I was doing.

If the Republicans stopped running moral crusades and stuck to fiscal sanity they might win another 5% to 10% of the vote. Which would make them unbeatable.

I can't tell you how many times I have read online "if the Republicans stopped with the moral crusades I'd vote for them."

The choice is stark: Moral crusades lead to fiscal insanity when it comes to voting. So would you be willing to give up your moral crusades to regain fiscal sanity? There is a reason the Republicans are called the stupid party.

Justthisguy said...

My particular neurochemistry seems to make pot worse for me than booze, IMHO. Please do not press me about how I know this, mmmkay?

Oh! M. Simon? Did you not mention, a while back, a liberty or two you had in Olongapo City, of which you don't remember much except for a vague feeling of having had a good time?

'sokay, you were a Sailor at the time, in the service of our country, and I forgive you.

M. Simon said...

Actually I remember everything about Olongapo City including my girlfriend there (Olympia Mela).

I was a drinking sailor. Not a drunken sailor. I hung out at the more refined joints. You know, the places officers went. Better class of bar girls. And the food was good too.

My bar girl and I corresponded for years after that until the connection sort of trailed off.

Justthisguy said...

Dang, Sir!

I shoulda known you could hold yer likker.

You Jews are famous for that! [Runs away, dodging and jinking.]

What's more important; how's it going with that weird new Old Guys' chip?

M. Simon said...

It is going well. Slower than I would like. But isn't that always the case.

Justthisguy said...

No, really! I'm serious! That seems like a very interesting new gizmo. If I had any money past myfood, catfood, and electricityfood, I would send you some to work on that.

As far as landlordfood goes at the moment, I am hiding and keeping a low profile.

All the best, Jtg.

M. Simon said...


I have barely enough to do the job. Which is usually all the universe gives you when there is important work at hand.

RavingDave said...

Simon, you didn't address either of my points, you just charged into a side discussion on alcohol and prohibition.

As I see a trivial connection between the one subject versus the others, I am befuddled as to how to discuss anything else with you.

Ah, well, I like you anyway. Keep up the good fight! :)

M. Simon said...


Alcohol is pertinent because it shows the folly of prohibition. It is also pertinent because, had you studied the matter, you would know that a very significant fraction of alcohol abusers abuse other drugs as well.

From what I can tell from the above links polydrug use runs about 50% of those in trouble with alcohol.

RavingDave said...

You may have thought we were talking about prohibition. *I* thought we were talking about evolution.

I pointed out that with the current ground state conditions, it is tolerable to have the pot-heads and the alcoholics, but with differing ground conditions, (such as in Georgian England) it would be better to have prudish witch hunters.

As conditions evolve, the responses to them need to evolve as well. What suits survival at one point, won't necessarily suit it at another point. This is why nature has a tendency to throw as wide a net as possible in the form of diversity. The conditions under which life must endure are constantly changing.

M. Simon said...

Turning a whole generation of kids against the system

M. Simon said...

I too was taking about evolution. The Conservatives of America are so intent on their moral crusades that they drive away voters that they need to win elections and get our fiscal house in order.

Evolution in action. Or karma if you like.

Justthisguy said...

Oh, yeah! to M. Simon's last comment. I think I might be slightly autistic but even I can see that those guys are right clueless when it comes to knowing how the generality of humans actually think.

Or, rather, don't think.