The Gross National Debt

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In search of rational thinking

Running a newspaper is often too much fun. The most fun part is getting the demands to publish stuff from the fringe element. My all-time favorite so far is stuff from the United States Grand Jury Foreman. That's all I get for identification. In one of the first missives, the GJF "ordered" all newspapers in the United States to publish his manifesto.

I wrote back and suggested he carefully review the First Amendment.

The next manifesto I got was a "request to publish" the information.

Of course, I did not.

Now I get one that's Georgia-based. Here ya go-


GEORGIA DESPERATELY NEEDS A PROHIBITION AMENDMENT.

More and more the good people of Georgia need to back a Prohibition Amendment to stop the escalating deaths and crimes of various kinds since the people were foolishly led to legalize alcoholic drinks placing the making of money above the safety of the people, especially the children. Crime, especially murder, attends the use and sale of alcoholic drinks. The anti-Christian atmosphere in the federal government, the democrat and republican parties, and the news media perhaps has helped alcoholic drinks to take rule over the nation. The people should return to placing a perimeter of life around each child that can not be penetrated by any evil force on earth.

The attempted robbery of a store in Jasper and the robbery at the Waffle House attest to the fall of our towns to crime. Cherokee County inundated in alcoholic drinks outlet stores has almost a crime a day. Alcoholic government officials need to drop their addiction to alcohol and their defense of it. They need to place human lives first and stop the addiction of children. Merchants need to place their love for their neighbors and children first over their greed for money.

Billy Joe Xxxxxx
Georgia Prohibition   

So, I replied-

Been thinking on this for a while. I have some questions:

Given the failure of prohibition of all kinds, how would you enforce this? Can you do it without raising taxes?

Where in the Bible did Jesus use secular authority to enforce sacred edicts? Where did Jesus force religion and its edicts on anyone?

Give the following passages, how is secularly enforced prohibition Biblical? 
Isaiah 1:22
‎1 Timothy 5:24
Proverbs 31:6 
Proverbs 31:7
John 2:1-11
Ecclesiastes 9:7
Psalm 104:14-15

I am aware of the passages wherein it says strong drink is not for rulers and the other passages that warn against being drunk. The issue there is drinking too much. Also know Romans 14:21. I point you to 1 Corinthians 10:27 in response.

I may be wrong about this, please correct me if so, but Jesus led by example. The Bible speaks a lot about leading by example. I can't find any passages that say we should create secular law to enforce religious requirements. How is prohibition leading by example?

Ben

And I got a reply. I trust you are savvy enough to deconstruct this one.

James Xxxxxx' address:Jim Xxxxxx<Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com>, Bill Xxxxxxx's address: Bill Xxxxxxx <xxxxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com>,
Rick Xxxx's address: Rick Xxxx <xxxxxxxxxxx@aol.com>

Prohibition is for the protection of people and for the guidance of children who deserve to live and inherit the nation. If we love people enough, Prohibition is common sense.

According to more expert people in the Prohibition Party, Prohibition did not fail. They can give you statistics to back them up. You can contact Bill Bledsoe of Florida, James Hedges of Pennsylvania, and Rick Knox of Georgia who is running for Secretary of State for Georgia. They convinced me that the opinion that Prohibition failed was not true. There were a lot of top politicians and business people who were addicts to alcohol. They failed Prohibition. Prohibition did not fail. They had the skill and talent to manipulate propaganda and use mind control. They had control of the newsmedia and the glamorous addicts and talented script writers of Hollywood and could shift people's thinking the way they wanted to do it.

One of the myths that come from the people that hated Prohibition was that it caused crime because of the gang wars. But look at Chicago today that leads in deaths and murders. 762 murders in 12 months in AD 2016. This is just one city. The cities simply are not safe for women and children. People addicted to alcohol and just greedy never think of women and children. Their deaths have no meaning. 10,265 men, women, and children were killed in AD 2015 by DUI. 290,000 were injured. These enormous numbers are not as sensational as two bootlegging gangs blazing away with Tommy Guns. The gang clashes happen at one time and are frightening to look at and experience. But the alcohol deaths are spread over the whole nation and happen throughout the year. They are not all seen at one time and are not as scary to us although they kill many times more than the St. Valentine's Day massacre. A terrorist attack at one time that kills maybe about 30 like the one in Turkey is more frightening than the death of 10, 265 people killed by DUI to us.

Enforcing and taxing would take careful study by experts so as to prevent causing unjust damage to anybody.

Jesus came into the world to bring truth to men. He respected the sovereignty of every individual and did not abuse or use his power to violate another person's sovereignty. He respected those in authority over him and advised that people should respect that authority. Roman law and soldiers protected the roads of the empire from bandits and enabled safe travel for people and the movement of vital goods. The Roman Empire roads were the safest in the world. Bandits were quickly dealt with and punished often cruelly. Jesus and his apostles carried a sword. Peter cut off a man's ear when they came to arrest Jesus.

There is no telling how often Peter used his sword to chase off bandits. If Christ allowed Peter to defend the Apostles can we not do the same to the women and children of the nation. Are we to keep abandoning them to be slaughtered by those people that have no love for them? Prohibition is a type of political sword with which we defend our friends, families, and neighbors from those debased and drunken people that have no love for them and who do not care if they die. One of the great seductions controlling the American people today is that we love vice ridden celebrities more than less attractive and humble sober neighbors and family members.

Jesus was not of the secular world which he admitted. He made himself equal to his countrymen. He took authority over gravity, storms, diseases, and demons, and death itself when he raised Lazerus from the grave.

The Bible does not condemn what we put in our mouths but only what comes out of it. Prohibition is Peter's sword that protects us from what comes out of the mouth and mind of the drinker of alcohol. When 10, 265 people are killed by the alcohol user in one year, then the need for Prohibition is seen to protect people and stop the slaughter.

Thanks,


Billy Joe Xxxxxx

5 comments:

  1. Billy Joe Parker is correct. Prohibition did not fail, it was actually very successful social policy. Alcohol use was significantly decreased (moderate estimates pointing to averaging at 50% reduction), and the national crime rate decreased by one third. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015071420817
    Furthermore prohibition of many kinds has succeeded. We have prohibitions against acts such as murder and rape. Which even if some violate, it is surely fewer than if such acts were legal, and in any case it states that such actions are not to be tolerated and that there will be consequences for those who try to harm people.
    Furthermore the government has responsibilities of function which justify the need to prohibition alcohol. Firstly, the Declaration of Independence states that governments have the responsibility to protect the inalienable rights of its people. The declaration includes but does not limit these to, Life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Alcohol acts against all three of these things. It is the fourth leading cause of preventable death, killing tens of thousands in this country a year. It is an intoxicant which distorts the functioning of the mind and brain. Even when this doesn't inflict people with alcoholism, the mental distortion creates effects which produce damaging mental attachments and constraints on mental function. Thus, it is destructive to liberty. The mental distortion, physical sickness, destructive behavior, crime, poverty, and abuse which comes from alcohol produces a lot of individual and collective unhappiness. And as Jefferson had argued, the pursuit of happiness means the legitimacy of the government to act to pursue the collective happiness, for which alcohol is destructive.
    The responsibility of the government to prohibit is further backed by the content of the U.S. constitution. In its preamble, the list of functions of the government include promoting the general welfare (which prohibiting alcohol would do by acting to reduce the prominence of a destructive substance and the parasitic industry which promotes it), establish justice (which would include laws prohibiting harmful acts), and to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity (for which alcohol is destructive to the liberty of the drinker, those around them, and their children). Given this, it is consistant with the principles on which this nation is supposed to operate that prohibition should be enacted.
    And for that I would also paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, who had stated that if progress were to be measures by the suffering and harm that is reduced, then the greatest progresses for civilization would be the elimination of slavery and the elimination of alcohol.

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  2. Aaaight, let's tackle this point by point.

    Your main source, Temperance Facts, was published in 1935. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003121528 Later research with access to far more information contradicts much of those findings.

    http://www.nber.org/papers/w3675 - "We find that alcohol consumption fell sharply at the beginning of Prohibition, to approximately 30 percent of its pre-Prohibition level. During the next several years, however, alcohol consumption increased sharply, to about 60-70 percent of its pre-prohibition level." This is born out through many more detailed studies.

    Further prohibition made crime worse - http://www.umich.edu/~eng217/student_projects/nkazmers/organizedcrime2.html

    Murder and rape are violations of another person. We have laws against DUI and etc. However, if I sit in my home and drink to excess, how does that affect you?. If I get behind the wheel of a vehicle while drunk, that affects you.

    What is an inalienable right? I count an inalienable right as having a shot of whisky whenever I want it.

    On the death count, tell the whole story. Alcohol abuse kills many. Responsible use is healthy. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/alcohol-full-story/

    Alcohol affects the mind and body. Yep. So does caffeine, sugar. nicotine and load of over-the-counter medicines. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/prescription-over-counter-medications

    "Even when this doesn't inflict people with alcoholism, the mental distortion creates effects which produce damaging mental attachments and constraints on mental function." Ya lost me. If you're trying to say alcohol functions as a mental suppressant, granted. So do prescription narcotics which are killing people left & right. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/overdose.html Over-the-counter meds also suppress mental activity and affect the brain. http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/18/health/otc-anticholinergic-drugs-dementia/

    Liberty is the right to do as I please, so long as it does not affect someone else, without their permission. I have the right and liberty to enjoy Maker's Mark. My opinion. YMMV and it certainly does.

    As for the litany of issues next listed, this goes back to alcohol abuse, not responsible consumption. Tell the whole story.

    As to Mr. Jefferson, http://famguardian.org/subjects/politics/thomasjefferson/jeff0650.htm. The majority believes alcoholic beverages are acceptable. This is born out repeatedly by alcohol referendums that are approved by voters. http://www.thelancasternews.com/content/voters-pass-sunday-alcohol-referendum Lots more like that. Tell the whole story.

    If the Constitution allows, as you say, the prohibition of "a destructive substance and the parasitic industry" then we have much greater concerns than alcohol. For instance, tobacco kills more people than alcohol and not too long ago, it was subsidized by the government. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jun/29/george-will/claims-smoking-kills-more-people-annually-other-da/ Tell the whole story.

    "...the greatest progresses for civilization ... the elimination of alcohol." As noted above, we have far worse concerns that alcohol. Further, http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/13/honest-abe-wasn-t-honest-about-drinking-lincoln-s-alcohol-fueled-diplomacy.html "Lincoln staunchly denied Douglas’ accusation and always claimed that people could purchase liquor at his store but not consume it there." And, "Despite Lincoln’s assurances that he never operated a grocery/bar, a document has surfaced which shows that Lincoln and his partner William Berry had the necessary paperwork to sell booze for immediate consumption."

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  3. First I would quote John Locke "Though this be state of liberty,yet it is not a state of license... a man has no right to destroy himself"
    Locke also goes on to describe that the inalienable rights of man cannot contradict, and liberty cannot include with is contrary to other rights or to natural law.
    Alcohol is destructive toward life. It is by its vary nature a toxin, which contrary to your claims, causes harm in any amount. It likewise contradicts the most vital of Sungarian inalienable rights, which are the right to lead a moral existence and the sanctity of the personhood.
    Liberty is not the right to do as you please. What you are describing is license and is also caprice. Combined they form a tyranny of caprice, which enslaves the individual to compulsive desire. Actual liberty comprises of individual to be as they ought and to be free to act a agent within the direction of morality and reason which comprises their nature. To this end, the state has a legitimacy to employ into its actions, things which act to preserve actual liberty, from the tyranny of caprice.
    To help illustrate this, here a paraphrasing of Jean Jacques Rousseau. A man walks to bridge to find it damages, and realizing that the bridge would fall if walked on, turns and walks back. On his way we sees another person walking toward the bridge. He warns them of the bridge, but the person refuses to believe them and continues to walk to it. Before the person steps on the bridge, he tackles them. The other man is angry and accuses him of violating his liberty. But once he is calmed and brought back to his reason, he is shown that the bridge was indeed broken. It is their seen that rather than being an attackers of his liberty, that the man had rather been a savior of his liberty.
    To return to the crime matter, it is you is not holding the whole story. The reduction in alcohol fueled crime reduced the crime rate, by greater amount than the bootleggers committed. Furthermore, it is not exactly fair to blame a law for the actions of those violating it, by that logic, the law against theft would be blamed for encouraging theft.
    As to that line about how your actions effect me, it doesn't have to. Becouse your actions effect you, you are person who has the right to have their wellbeing protected, even if do not want to be, you are a member of the same society, and as we live under the same democratic republic, which has an obligation to protect your vital welfare, I have a very legitimate reasons to seek to produce laws to aid in your wellbeing.
    Though if you want me to give ways you are effecting others I will. One you, by using alcohol are distorting your own mind, the changes of which effect your actions, which often do effect other people. By purchasing alcohol, you are funding an industry which profits of harming people, and which has a financial interest in encouraging alcohol use. You are complicit with a system which harms people. In the past, the slave owners who didn't whip, or mutilate, or rape their slaves, were still effectively supporting a system which allowed others to do those things.
    The historical examples of Lincoln and Jefferson were to give example of the ideas. The history of our nations is filled with shortfalls, which we have worked to remedy. Jefferson, owned slaves, which contradicted the ideals of the nation, and thus the nation had to work to eliminate slavery. Likewise, the principle of human welfare, life, and promoting the general good has been contradicted by alcohol and the alcohol system, and the progress of this nation will involve eliminating the alcohol system.
    So because tobacco kills more people than alcohol, we should ignore those killed by alcohol? No, that is a false dichotomy, you don't just have to tackle one issue or the other, or one issue at a time, you can tackle both issues. The Prohibition Party, in addition to opposing alcohol, has oppose various other harmful things, while it has also campaigned for various progressive reforms such as women suffrage.

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    Replies
    1. "First I would quote John Locke 'Though this be state of liberty,yet it is not a state of license... a man has no right to destroy himself.'" This is not the whole story regarding Mr. Locke.

      https://www.ohio.edu/ethics/tag/right-to-lifeliberty/

      Since we're talking philosophy, "There is no legitimate governmental interest in protecting people from themselves." http://www.szasz.com/undergraduate/carrcapstone.pdf See also John Stuart Mill.

      Also, we have a fundamental disagreement. If a man has no right to destroy himself, he does not have liberty. Merriam-Webster, "Define liberty: the state or condition of people who are able to act and speak freely."

      "It is by its vary nature a toxin, which contrary to your claims, causes harm in any amount." I posted links to research. Empirical evidence. Believe as you wish. Reality is under no obligation to conform itself to your expectations or mine.

      "Sungarian inalienable rights … the right to lead a moral existence." Not clear on what you mean by "Sungarian." Regardless, your morals are yours. Mine are mine. They may agree, overlap or be wildly disparate. As long as you are not affecting me and mine and others without their permission, I do not care what your morals are. Should you try to impose your morals on me, against my will, you have further reduced my liberty.

      "…direction of morality and reason which comprises their nature." What is moral to you is immoral to others and vice versa. There is no universally agreed standard of morality.

      I say caprice is liberty.

      "Before the person steps on the bridge, he tackles them. The other man is angry…" Exactly. I'd be mad about being assaulted to. The rest of this statement presumes much too much. What was the second man's intent? Was he deaf? Could an intervention be staged without a tackle? The rest of the Rousseau paraphrase makes assumptions not born out by the introduction. Further, the second man was warned. To me, that is entirely enough. I draw your attention to a much more vicious killers than alcohol - tobacco (more below), prescription narcotics and more. The very containers of tobacco contain many warnings about what can happen to a person who ingests tobacco. Yet people continue to do use it. Under your analogy, it is permissible to rip the snuff or chewing tobacco out of a person's mouth or hose them down with a fire extinguisher. That is assault.

      On the matter of crime, the preponderance of empirical evidence is what I rely on.

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    2. "Becouse your actions effect you, you are person who has the right to have their wellbeing protected, even if do not want to be.." Oh no. I reject that concept. Statutory and case law are clear on this one. Adults have the right to engage in risky behavior. By way of example, they have the right to reject life-saving medical attention. http://www.rbs2.com/rrmt.pdf

      To say my well being has to be protected, even against my will, is totalitarian. That is not liberty nor a representative republic in which we live in the US.

      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanton-peele/alcohol-addiction-were-th_b_610598.html

      http://www.history.org/foundation/journal/holiday07/drink.cfm

      http://reason.com/archives/2014/02/22/george-washington-boozehound

      "The pursuit of Happiness." Combined with the word liberty, this means exactly than I can do as I wish provided it does not affect you again your will.

      "Consent of the governed." "Consent of the governed", in this case, means alcohol is legal. Repeated referendums across the nation have the "governed" voice their opinion in favor.

      "I have a very legitimate reasons to seek to produce laws to aid in your wellbeing." Legitimate to you. Not to me.

      Further, if you seek to impose your morals on me, then I have the right to impose mine on you. Daffodils - http://porkbrainsandmilkgravy.blogspot.com/2015/08/daffodils-new-meaning-for-old-word.html

      "As to that line about how your actions effect me, it doesn't have to." You don't have the unfettered right to control my actions. Under the definition of liberty, I get to do it, if it does not affect you. Again, see Daffodils above.

      To other statements:

      1) I await your proof that my alcohol consumption has any effect on anyone else. Specifically me, since we're phrasing it this way.

      2) As for the alcohol industry harming others, no. Actions cause harm harm. Alcohol is inert and no more capable of harm than a rock until action is applied. It requires action, which includes human intervention to be a causative matter in a human life.

      3) "You are complicit with a system which harms people." No. A system, if alcohol can be such, is inert until acted upon.

      4) "In the past, the slave owners who didn't whip, or mutilate, or rape their slaves, were still effectively supporting a system which allowed others to do those things." Yes. And by taking away my liberties, you are in effect making a slave of me by forcing me to do your bidding.

      As to Lincoln and Jefferson and ideas, please continue. For each such idea put forward, another idea contradicts it.

      ".. the progress of this nation will involve eliminating the alcohol system." We have again a fundamental disagreement. Also, this is not born out by the historical record.
      http://reason.com/archives/2014/02/22/george-washington-boozehound

      http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31741615

      On your last point re: Tobacco. Conceded, except it is not a false dichotomy nor did I ever suggest ignoring it.

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