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We Can Work It Out - Politics & Philosophy
21 May 2021
3.44pm
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Dark Overlord
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Ron Nasty said

I find the history of US cannabis laws most interesting, @Dark Overlord; their racist roots and outcome. You say, of cannabis:

Also, i’d like to see them talk more about the downsides of recreational marijuana use (which isn’t as bad as harder drugs but is still addictive, terrible for your lungs, dangerous to use while driving, and stunts brain development).

Switch lungs to liver and you’re describing alcohol. I consider them roughly equivalent drugs.

What’s the difference between mental health issues brought about by the (mis)use of alcohol and cannabis?

Yet the use of alcohol is perfectly acceptable, with those for who it becomes a problem treated by the health system, whilst the mere possession of cannabis can lead to criminalisation.

Since both are as damaging, would you support alcohol being made a Schedule I drug as cannabis is? Prohibition didn’t work so well first time around, and isn’t working with cannabis. All of those tax dollars wasted on fighting an unwinnable war, instead of treating those it badly affects within the health system, same as we do for alcohol.

I may have some thoughts on your thoughts about the US education system, really your thoughts on education in general, as most of the Western democracies have similar curriculum, with a few exceptions – like the varying levels of nationalism/patriotism (depending on your view) allowed with school walls.

Ooo, think I’ll definitely have some thoughts…

But, apologies, right now, it’s payday, I have a beer in one hand and a joint in the other (not literally right now… I keep needing to put them down to type…), and am heading into (currently on the third disc) the 31 volume, 62 disc The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions (which it ain’t but what you gonna do? mccartney-shrug_01_gif ) at the beginning of a Beatles weekend.

Some bits of that may, or may not, be true. ahdn_john_08_gifa-hard-days-night-george-10

I like Bill’s Lennon reference, that for any that watch the videos.


  

I agree that there are good reasons for marijuana (and drugs in general for that matter) to remain legal but what’s undeniable is that both alcohol and marijuana are bad for you and our schools should be teaching their students about the dangers of both. As for what should be done about drugs, i think we should abolish the Drug Scheduling act and let the states decide while also having new drug scheduling guidelines that actually make sense:

Level 1: Nothing good can come from using these (MDMA, PCP, Krokodil)

Level 2: Can be medically beneficial but also very dangerous (Cocaine, Heroin, Meth)

Level 3: Can be medically beneficial but also somewhat dangerous (Alcohol, Marijuana, LSD)

Level 4: Okay to use once in awhile but unhealthy to use frequently (Tobacco, Coffee, Monster)

CakeMaestor said
Interesting ideas. Mind if I give a few of my own pointers?

Dark Overlord said
How would you fix our educational system. For me, there’s a lot i’d do:

For math, i’d ban the use of calculators. Using a calculator isn’t that different from just typing the question into Google and i want to ensure that children can do math equations without the use of technology.

I can assure you that this would be an absolute disaster. The main use of calculators is not to help students solve equations, but rather to reduce the amount of time it takes for a single calculation. For example, a simple part of a question where you have to solve 2.5 / 4.325. You would theoretically be able to get a close enough answer, but you might as well use a calculator since it’s much more effecient.

That’s what Google’s for and i think we should have teachers teaching students how to Google math questions. However, doing math in your head is a valuable skill and having students use calculators in math class is like having students write test answers off the teacher’s quiz book.

For English, i’d want to see more emphasis on classic literature like Dracula and Frankenstein, as well as a more diverse set of literature including works from Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

Now, I love literature as much as the next guy, but it pains me to say but…. not a lotta people like reading. It is a travesty, I know. I heard from some of my peers (back when I was actually pretty social) what their thoughts on reading is, and their response is generally “I do respect people that can enjoy it, but it’s not my thing.”. More kids seem to enjoy modern pop culture more than ye olde classics, and I don’t think it’s gonna change. My suggestion is to have English classes have students dissect their favorite parts of modern culture, such as movies and TV shows. This will give them much more enjoyment in classes, while potentially opening the door to other more niche parts of storytelling, like classic literature. For example, a teacher can give a short run down on ‘The Hero’s Journey’, and then have students do an analysis on the shows they watched and then do a presentation to the class. Not sure how it’ll actually work out, but it’s worth a shot, I guess.

That’s where audiobooks come in. Instead of forcing children to read, you can just have them listen to the audiobook and hope they don’t fall asleep.

Also, i want to ensure that ALL Americans can speak English fluently. Don’t get me wrong, i’m fine with people speaking their native language but English is the American language and i want to ensure that immigrants don’t have a language barrier when entering the real world.

For science, i’d like to see a larger emphasis on current discoveries. Also, i’d like to see science cut back and merged with a life skills class that would teach you important life skills like how to pay rent, how to shop at a grocery store, how to file your taxes (for some reason, they never teach you this in school), and how to use an oven.

For lunch, i want EVERYONE to get a free lunch (i don’t care whether your father makes $1B/year, you’re still covered) and that free lunch won’t contain any nuts, eggs, dairy, fish, soy, or gluten to ensure that no one has an allergic reaction, with being given water instead of milk. Also, we won’t give kids anything they didn’t ask for because we want to minimize food waste and if you force a kid to take a fruit or vegetable with every meal, there’s a good chance they’ll just throw it away.

As for parents deciding to make their own kid’s lunches, that’s fine and they can bring anything they want (with obvious exceptions). However, they’ll be forced to sit in a special room if the food (which’ll be vetted by staff every day) contains nuts, eggs, dairy, fish, soy, or gluten.

Not much of an argument here, though I’d like to know how recent are the current discoveries you are reffering to.

Past 10 years or so.

For gym, there’s not much to change here except that i wouldn’t require students to change their clothes.

Jocks smell, dude.

If the jocks want to impress, they’ll want to change their clothes voluntarily.

However, for health, i’d like to see less emphasis on what to eat and more emphasis on how much to eat and how to offset it with exercise. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually LOSE weight by eating nothing but fast food, as British scientist Phil Mason learned when he continued to lose weight despite eating nothing but McDonalds. Also, i’d like to see them talk more about the downsides of recreational marijuana use (which isn’t as bad as harder drugs but is still addictiveterrible for your lungsdangerous to use while driving, and stunts brain development).

I do very much agree on the marijuana bit, but I don’t think marijuana companies would like the idea too much. Also, not sure if this is true, but I heard that education’s stance on marijuana borderlines on fear-mongering, so I’m not sure if it the downside message needs to be toned down or up.

It’s different from school to school but i find the bit i put in bold very funny because i can’t think of anything worse than having giant corporations control society like how Big Pharma lobbies politicians to ensure that we never have universal healthcare and how the Military Industrial Complex lobbies politicians to keep us in endless wars.

Finally, the statistics on special ed should also be looked into, as 14% of students are currently in special ed, with some areas and demographics being higher than others.

I mean, this one’s not really that controversial. Helping disadvantaged people is always nice.

But the problem is whether or not we’re overidentifying (or underidentifying) these students. When i was in school, ~25% of the boys in my school were considered special ed because they labelled all the tough guys and troublemakers as such. On the contrary, in the south (where there’s ironically a higher population of people with disabilities), they’re less willing to label someone as special ed so it’s very possible that we’re overidentifying in the north and underidentifying in the south but it’d be great if there was a massive study on this to say for sure.

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6 July 2021
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QuarryMan
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Personally, if any drug is going to be illegal, I’d rather it be tobacco. I’ve only smoked out of habit (as opposed to only in a social setting) for probably two weeks of my life, but with the hindsight that comes with having not smoked in quite a while, I honestly can’t see much of the point in it, as far as from the perspective of the user. If you haven’t already built up a tolerance, the most enjoyment you get out of it is a small rush from the nicotine, but if you’re a regular smoker then cigarettes will soon cease to do anything for you other than maybe calm your nerves. That’s very different to cannabis or alcohol, where at the very least you get to have an enjoyable time that lasts for a while. 

What I will say about alcohol, though, is that it’s very concerning how much it contributes to domestic abuse. In the UK, domestic abuse rates go up a great deal on nights where people generally go out drinking, like Fridays and Saturdays, and it goes up even further when there are big football matches on. I’ve enjoyed as much as any English person watching our national team not do terribly for once in the Euros, but it’s a bit disconcerting to remember this stuff every time a match is on.. 

“While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I’m a naysayer and hatchet man in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another - because I choose to live my life in the company of Ghandi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman.”

 

6 July 2021
11.27am
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Dark Overlord
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That’s what i like about tobacco, it doesn’t alter your state of mind.

As for how to deal with drugs, i think we should make alcohol and marijuana illegal again and incarcerate those who use them without a prescription but in Scandinavian-style prisons that are designed to help rehabilitate people instead of American-style prisons where the goal is punishment and i think all nonviolent misdemeanors should be expunged upon completing your sentence so it doesn’t hurt you outside of prison. Also, i think we should allow alcohol and marijuana to be sent through the pharmacies so we shut down stores that sell these items and ensure people who need these drugs get EXACTLY what they need instead of the system we currently have where you can just walk into a liquor store or marijuana dispensary and with the appropriate credentials, get whatever you want.

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6 July 2021
3.32pm
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sir walter raleigh
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Sounds like you’ve never tried tobacco which is good, but nicotine and tobacco definitely alter your state of mind. Not to the same level as alcohol or other drugs, but definitely a noticeable feeling.

As for incarceration, I could not disagree more that marijuana users should be put in prison. The war on drugs is based in ignorance and racism, a real life conspiracy going back to Nixon’s presidency to villainize anti-war protestors and racial minorities. The fact that THC-? is legal in all states but THC just shows how little the government knows and how stupid their laws are.

Life is short, people should be free to smoke and drink to their hearts delight. If they get a DUI or face domestic abuse charges, they should be arrested. The act of using should not be a crime. Preventing domestic violence and unneeded death is good but prohibition is rooted in government oppression 

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6 July 2021
6.09pm
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QuarryMan said
Personally, if any drug is going to be illegal, I’d rather it be tobacco. I’ve only smoked out of habit (as opposed to only in a social setting) for probably two weeks of my life, but with the hindsight that comes with having not smoked in quite a while, I honestly can’t see much of the point in it, as far as from the perspective of the user. If you haven’t already built up a tolerance, the most enjoyment you get out of it is a small rush from the nicotine, but if you’re a regular smoker then cigarettes will soon cease to do anything for you other than maybe calm your nerves. That’s very different to cannabis or alcohol, where at the very least you get to have an enjoyable time that lasts for a while. 

The problem with smoking cigs or marijuana regularly is that not smoking it eventually causes the anxiety or stress that smoking it relieves you of. So people think it helps them, but really they wouldn’t even need it if they didn’t have an addiction to it. 

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6 July 2021
8.02pm
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Dark Overlord
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sir walter raleigh said
Sounds like you’ve never tried tobacco which is good, but nicotine and tobacco definitely alter your state of mind. Not to the same level as alcohol or other drugs, but definitely a noticeable feeling.

I like smoking a cigar once every couple of months and i don’t notice any high, it’s just relaxing.

As for incarceration, I could not disagree more that marijuana users should be put in prison. The war on drugs is based in ignorance and racism, a real life conspiracy going back to Nixon’s presidency to villainize anti-war protestors and racial minorities. The fact that THC-? is legal in all states but THC just shows how little the government knows and how stupid their laws are.

While it’s true that anti-drug laws have racist roots, a lot of things have racist roots or were done in a racist manner yet very few are against government housing (which was given to whites only via FDR’s New Deal), computers (revolutionized by the Nazis), or Western Democracy (originally meant exclusively for white men who own land). Hell, the same party that went to war because they didn’t want to give up their slaves nominated our first black president.

With that being said, we should enforce these laws in a colorblind fashion to ensure that people of color aren’t being disproportionately being arrested for using illicit substances but if we have stricter hiring measures in place to ensure that racists and hyperviolent individuals don’t become cops, i think it can be done.

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6 July 2021
9.40pm
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Von Bontee
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How are you so consistently wrong about everything, Dark Overlord? a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

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7 July 2021
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Dark Overlord said
As for how to deal with drugs, i think we should make alcohol and marijuana illegal again

  

you trying to bring the mafia back?

’cause this is how you bring the mafia back

anyways, all drugs (yes, even the hard ones) should be, at the very least, decriminalized imo

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7 July 2021
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Dark Overlord said

I like smoking a cigar once every couple of months and i don’t notice any high, it’s just relaxing.

Lmao, that ‘relaxing’ feeling IS the high. I don’t know if there’s a formal name for it, but around me we call it a niccy rush. Anyways, my point was that the enjoyment of the rush is in no way worth it considering that a) it becomes less noticeable the more you smoke and b) the costs of addiction are baaaaad.

Anyways, weren’t you claiming to be a ‘Rand Paul style libertarian’ a few months ago, @Dark Overlord ? It feels like your political outlook completely changes every two weeks. 

While it’s true that anti-drug laws have racist roots, a lot of things have racist roots or were done in a racist manner yet very few are against government housing (which was given to whites only via FDR’s New Deal), computers (revolutionized by the Nazis), or Western Democracy (originally meant exclusively for white men who own land). Hell, the same party that went to war because they didn’t want to give up their slaves nominated our first black president.

… It’s almost like it’s possible to have a nuanced view on these issues. It’s not contradictory to both believe that US housing policy has historically had the effects of entrenching racial hierarchies and that the provision of public housing can be a positive thing for society with effects like the reduction of homelessness. Similarly, while we can acknowledge that our democracies have serious problems from their exclusionary past to their present choking with donor money, that doesn’t inherently mean that democracy itself is a bad thing. The common thread is that all these things have positive outcomes for society even if there are downsides, so it’s really a case of trying to fix the bad things and not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Strict drug laws, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any positive effects on society except arguably in the cases of the hardest drugs. I’d really recommend you read the book ‘The New Jim Crow’, DO, it’s not too long and it will likely dispel any naivety you have about well meaning drug laws. 

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7 July 2021
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In other news, it looks like Brazil’s far-right President Bolsonaro is in serious trouble for the elections next year. His COVID response has gone from bad to worse – like Trump, he’s consistently downplayed the threat of the virus, promoted dubious ‘easy cures’ for it, and refused to back measures like social distancing, all of which have led to a death toll of over 500,000 people, a number second only to the US. He’s also in hot water for his tolerance of multinational corporations destroying the Amazon rainforest, and more recently, a series of corruption allegations that have emerged, seriously damaging the image he cultivated in his campaign as the anti-corruption candidate. 

The good news is that Brazil’s ex-President Lula Da Silva, who was imprisoned on since-debunked corruption charges in 2018 and released, has begun warming up for what looks like a run against Bolsonaro, and is already polling extremely well against him, with some polls even having him up 70-30%. For those sceptical about Lula, a few facts about him are enough to get an idea of what he’s about. He rose to prominence as a union leader running a popular campaign against Brazil’s military dictatorship in order to restore democracy, and was eventually elected to the presidency in 2002. During his time as President, his social programmes like Bolsa Familia and Fome Zero are credited with lifting as many as thirty to forty MILLION people out of poverty – he became known as “the most popular politician in the world” (the words of Obama) and left office with approval ratings over 80%.

After leaving office, his popularity declined as corruption scandals engulfed the presidency of his successor, Dilma Rousseff, eventually leading to her impeachment and the election of Bolsonaro in 2018, and he himself was found guilty of corruption based on charges of money laundering and bribery. However, it has seen been revealed that the judge who sentenced him, Sergio Moro, conspired with the leader of the anti-corruption Lava Jato campaign to convict Lula in order to prevent his candidacy in the 2018 election, and indeed Moro himself has taken a position in the Bolsonaro administration, which some have suggested is the result of a pre-agreement. It has since been ruled that Lula’s imprisonment was unlawful due to his having a pending appeal, and his convictions have been nullified by a judge arguing that Lula was charged by a court that didn’t have proper jurisdiction over his case, restoring his political rights and leaving him free to run in 2022. 

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“While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I’m a naysayer and hatchet man in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another - because I choose to live my life in the company of Ghandi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman.”

 

7 July 2021
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Dark Overlord
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Von Bontee said
How are you so consistently wrong about everything, Dark Overlord? a-hard-days-night-ringo-14

You can disagree with someone without anyone being wrong, right. I could just as easily argue that you’re consistently wrong because you disagree with me on numerous issues but i don’t because that would imply that my opinion is superior to all others when in reality, morality is subjective.

QuarryMan said
Anyways, weren’t you claiming to be a ‘Rand Paul style libertarian’ a few months ago, @Dark Overlord ? It feels like your political outlook completely changes every two weeks.

I can see why you feel that way but i can explain:

1. While i’m far-right socially, i’m center-left economically, so while i agree with George W. Bush socially, i also support things like universal healthcare and UBI that would be typically associated with those on the left, which can come off as confusing.

2. I do support Ron Paul-style libertarianism on issues like the PATRIOT Act and the War On Terror and Ron Paul is more socially conservative than other libertarians, which i really like. Also, i think many things (including drugs) should be left to the states to decide. This way, i can make West Virginia my utopia while those who view my utopia as a dystopia can turn California into their own utopia.

3. COVID (and the government’s response to it) made me have a MASSIVE political transformation and things like this don’t happen overnight. When this pandemic started, i was a libertarian leaning Bernie Bro. Now, i’m an America First conservative who believes we need a massive government to preserve family values and help those in need with a strong and secure social safety net.

… It’s almost like it’s possible to have a nuanced view on these issues. It’s not contradictory to both believe that US housing policy has historically had the effects of entrenching racial hierarchies and that the provision of public housing can be a positive thing for society with effects like the reduction of homelessness. Similarly, while we can acknowledge that our democracies have serious problems from their exclusionary past to their present choking with donor money, that doesn’t inherently mean that democracy itself is a bad thing. The common thread is that all these things have positive outcomes for society even if there are downsides, so it’s really a case of trying to fix the bad things and not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Strict drug laws, on the other hand, don’t seem to have any positive effects on society except arguably in the cases of the hardest drugs. I’d really recommend you read the book ‘The New Jim Crow’, DO, it’s not too long and it will likely dispel any naivety you have about well meaning drug laws.

That’s because our prisons are designed to punish instead of rehabilitate. If we had prisons like this, i’m sure locking people up for drug possession would be much more effective:

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11 July 2021
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“While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I’m a naysayer and hatchet man in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I’ll gladly take another - because I choose to live my life in the company of Ghandi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. I love you, Sheriff Truman.”

 

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