hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Friday, June 14, 2002
You seem to be saying that vehement opponents of the
drug war believe that being a drug addict is just
another, perfectly acceptable, lifestyle choice.
That's not it at all.

I believe that drug abuse is a sin, not a crime. And
while I have no problem with active governmental
efforts to reduce sin, I believe branding personal
sins (as opposed to violence, stealing, etc.) as
*crimes* on par with stealing and raping is a much
more dangerous impulse to a freedom-loving people than
sin itself.

As for the moral distinction between dealing and
using, I don't feel any moral distinction between
some nice college students buying drugs and some inner
city shlub selling them. Besides, I don't see many
Drug War Proponents attacking tobacco and alchohol
companies, even though their products kill many more
people, including children, than hard drugs do. What
should really boil the blood of any honest person is
that the tobacco industry even blocked the development
of a safer cigarette, because that would imply that,
heaven forfend, their previous products may have
been less-than-perfectly safe.

Likewise, obesity and too much television and internet
consumption, pornographic and otherwise, harm a lot
more lives than drugs do. Imagine a War on Television,
with Laurie Dhue as the seductive Television Dealer
and Roger Ailes as the Television Lord!

Whether on pragmatic or moral grounds, the War on
(certain) Drugs has become a far greater threat to
American interests and values than the drugs

Read Eric Schosser's articles in the Atlantic. for an
anti-Drug War take.

Or if you want to read a perspective that is both Pro
and Anti Drug War at the same time, read Vincent
Bugliosi's "The Phoenix Solution: Getting Serious
About Winning America's War on Drugs"