Monday, June 13, 2005

Supporting the Liberation of Iraq

In the pursuit of a safer world where citizens determine their own government and destiny, some ask, "Why Iraq? Who's to say where we start? What about North Korea? What about Iran? What about Syria?" They've got the right list. We had to start somewhere, so why not Iraq?

Saddam for decades showed a willingness and propensity for depriving and murdering hundreds of thousands of his own citizens. In a country that is one of the world's richest in history and oil, the cultural infrastructure was destroyed instead of improved. Physical infrastructure was addressed only where it benefited the regime. Yes, even while Saddam had America's realpolitik support in his war against Iran, a country newly dangerous to us, he continued to gas his citizens rather than recognize their God-given right to determine their own fate.

Saddam was a monster that someone had to stop. I require no other reason to support his demise. His neighbors, in the name of Arab Identity and from fear of their own repressed citizens, refused. Europeans, who suffer a lack of moral clarity, couldn't. Russia, just recovering from the death of Soviet communism, could not be trusted nor showed a desire to solve the problem. Only America could stop Saddam.

In 1988, I voted for President George H. W. Bush. Then in 1992, for two reasons, I did not. One reason I didn't vote for President Bush's re-election was his inability to effectively address the recession in either real or bully pulpit cheerleading terms.

The other reason was Bush 41 did not have the balls to finish the fight during the Gulf War. Ejecting Iraq from Kuwait was an honorable mission expertly executed. Colin Powell's coalition was masterfully constructed. But not marching to Baghdad and capturing Saddam in 1991 with or without Arab support, allowing Saddam's army access to the air by deadly helicopter, then failing to support the native revolt against the Baathists sentenced tens of thousands more innocent Iraqis to death, and prolonged the struggle in Iraq right through the present day.

The war we are fighting in Iraq today is an honorable mission of utmost importance, but it is a war only made necessary by Bush 41's failure. Though I have significant disagreements with the current president, I am glad George W. Bush has the balls his father lacked to finish the job in Iraq.

Marijuana is not Medicine

The US Supreme Court recently rejected California's "medical marijuana" law. Some have argued that this oversteps states' right, others that it's insensitive to people who are suffering illness.

Idealists worried about federal meddling in local drug laws have years of regulations, case law, and precedent to fight. The federal government has been involved in regulating both legal and illegal drug use for more than a century. That involvement does not need to end.

The true ulterior motive behind "medical marijuana" laws is the surreptitious legalization of recreational drugs. The claim that marijuana smoke is the only substance that increases appetite for patients with AIDS or on chemotherapy is specious. Some claim a pill would be immediately regurgitated if swallowed without a bong hit. They conveniently overlook the success of inhalers and nebulizers to effectively administer medicines. The attempt to legalize pot on the backs of the terminally ill is crass.

I am a federalist, but I am also a conservative. Governments at the state and federal levels do have a role in regulating drug use.

I am also a libertarian. Those who want recreational drugs legalized should simply be honest about it and work to change state and federal laws. The government could license, tax and regulate recreational drugs with laws similar to those that apply to alcohol, tobacco, or prescription drugs. Drug manufacturers would turn illicit growers, traders and vendors into industry assets overnight. Drug companies would make the content and acquisition of recreational drugs safer; police, prisons and the courts would be able to better focus on fighting violent crime; and the profit motive would reduce potencies to the level of a smooth buzz, no more addictive or impairing than alcohol or nicotine. Recovery services such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous already exist to deal with substance abuse and dependency.

I don't use illegal recreational drugs, so I'm not motivated to be active in legalizing them other than to say I believe the rule of law is one of the most important aspects of our culture: as long as something is illegal, it should not be done. Breaking the law is not an acceptable tactic in changing the law.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Blogging Hiatus

I haven't posted for a while. Here's my explanation: blogs are getting out of control with personal attacks, piling on, and basically not adding to a constructive conversation.

Sure blogs have introduced much needed media criticism, and have been responsible for exposing some important bias that would otherwise be whitewashed over: Raines at the NY Times, or forged memos from CBS. But other topics border on talk-radio bitterness. Who cares if a bald, gay hustler is also a reporter for a conservative web site? Why does the whole nation need to beat up on him? Who cares if some stupid, obscure professor (who even I have commented on below) is an offensive, stark raving mad Marxist poser? When the president of an ivy league university (who I've also commented on) suggests that we should be open to any and all reasons why women aren't in more science and math roles, why does immediate knee-jerk opposition to even thinking about the issue need to be heard around the world?

Blogs that allow reader comments on their stories are the worst perpetrators of the personal attack piling on. Just try wading through the conspiracy ravings at the Democratic Underground, the me-too-ism at Lucianne, the personal attacks on AmericaBLOG, the invasion of privacy at BlogActive. Yahoos simply want to pile on and post rants that generally run counter to a sane discussion of any issue. In those comments you'll find the worst of personal attacks, posting personal information, and harassment. It's just useless noise.

I started this blog not to rail against the idiot of the day, but just to put out ideas I'd been thinking through for a while. That's why I don't typically link to other news stories. That's why I intended this to be a low-volume blog. That's why I don't let folks comment on my posts via machine. I would love to hear constructive feedback about my ideas. But sorry dear reader, the signal to noise ratio is too low on the internet.