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Offlinedrfrei
journeyman
Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 51
Last seen: 13 years, 5 months
whats wrong?
    #1623315 - 06/10/03 11:00 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Whats wrong with America? Well, less here than in some places, and more than in some places, but lets start by looking at the four things that neither party wants to change:

drug war

energy dependence on monopoly style energy sources (oil, coal, stuff you have to dig up or build a billion dollar building for)

actual real live honest to god campaign finance reform and corruption laws

changing the voting laws so it is easier for people to be informed and to be able to vote.

More about each of these individually will be posted, but these are the things neither party will touch (though at times they mention them). Why is that, and why is it not being covered in the media at all when all of these issues need at least to be regularly examined? These ARE NOT SIDE ISSUES! THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES WE FACE TODAY AND NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THEM!
(nobody in the government politic, anyway).


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Anonymous

Re: whats wrong? [Re: drfrei]
    #1623363 - 06/10/03 11:29 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

drug war

yep, it needs to go.

energy dependence on monopoly style energy sources (oil, coal, stuff you have to dig up or build a billion dollar building for)

i'm not sure what you mean by 'monopoly style'. there are dozens of petroleum and coal companies in the world.

right now, fossil fuels are the most profitable source of energy. until that changes, don't expect to see a shift from fossil fuels to renewable resources.

actual real live honest to god campaign finance reform and corruption laws

what do you suggest?

changing the voting laws so it is easier for people to be informed and to be able to vote.

ah... now even ignorance can be eliminated through legislation?


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Offlinedrfrei
journeyman
Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 51
Last seen: 13 years, 5 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: ]
    #1623411 - 06/10/03 12:03 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

'monopoly style' energy sources are those in which it is so expensive to produce (or in this case dig up) the energy that the current number of producers are all there will be. There are hundreds of refineries, but there are few enough people who have the resources to dig up the crude (or the coal) so that it is a monopoly, with price setting built into the system itself. The only reason other energy sources are so expensive is because they are produced on such a limited scale. If the government said and meant that we were going to switch to a hydrogen fuel cell based energy system, that would change and you would destroy the energy monopoly. Anyone that could afford a plant to build hydrogen fuel cells would be able to compete; there would be no limited resource as a predicate for the production of that energy source.

As far as ideas on changing the way campaign finance reform works, look at the 2 percent posting for some ideas. I'm not suure on that one, it would take a lot of thought.


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Anonymous

Re: whats wrong? [Re: drfrei]
    #1623416 - 06/10/03 12:07 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

i think you're a little confused about the definition of 'monopoly'. oil producers are each one of many companies selling the same product as the others and trying to beat the competition by competetive pricing. this is known as 'pure competition' and is as far from a 'monopoly' as it gets.


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Offlinedrfrei
journeyman
Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 51
Last seen: 13 years, 5 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: ]
    #1623503 - 06/10/03 01:06 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

actually, through organizations (such as OPEC) and due to the extremely limited number of companies that can actually afford to dig oil and coal up, there is a small core network of people/companies that control production and pricing of the product. That is the definition of monopoly, because those companies do not compete - they decide what the price is on a united front.

This is called price fixing and it is supposedly illegal and a by product of monopolies. As well, I would like your definition of 'many' as regards to how many companies supply crude oil. In the US, I think there are actually only three.

Keep in mind, I am not referring to gasoline producers, but the actualy suppliers of crude oil. That is where the monopoly exists, because only that small set of companies can afford to produce the crude oil. Even if there were ten such companies, if they price fix and control production that is a monopoly.


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InvisibleEdame
gone

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Re: whats wrong? [Re: drfrei]
    #1623603 - 06/10/03 02:00 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

OPEC is a cartel rather than a monopoly, there's a difference. I'm hoping that the so called 'hydrogen economy' will take off in a big way, but it's a mammoth task and if people don't wake up soon and realise that fossil fuels aren't going to last much longer, then it may be too late.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


Edited by Edame (06/10/03 02:02 PM)


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OfflineSev
Astropath
Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 1,426
Loc: NY
Last seen: 2 years, 6 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Edame]
    #1624591 - 06/10/03 09:47 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

The 'hydrogen economy' won't take off because you need energy to make hydrogen -- which, currently, we mostly get from petrochemical or nuclear sources. (One can also make hydrogen directly from oil and gas, but this is still relying on a nonrenewable resource.) This might help reduce pollution in metropolitan areas, but it really won't do all that much for the earth in a long run.

There are, however, some interesting new technologies that're on the horizon. One is a new tech that could massively increase the efficiency of solar energy production. I won't get into the details, but basically, it's a way to cheaply 'up-shift' or 'down-shift' light -- visible light could be converted to microwave with minimal loss, and microwave antennas are really easy to make, and are very efficient.

Another very interesting tech (which was covered in Discover magazine a few months ago) is a process which will convert almost any organic waste into oil (very similar to heating oil or diesel), gas, and minerals. This means a lot because we could start using biomass instead of petrochemicals. When you grow and burn biomass, you take out some CO2 from the air, and then you put it back in -- the level stays constant. When you burn petrochemicals, you take stuff out of the ground, burn it, and put CO2 in the air -- the levels of C02 keep rising. Also, the oil from this process should be much cleaner than the oil from the ground, so you have less in the way of sulfur and stuff.

Now, as to my opinions on the drug war: Yeah, it needs to go. With alcohol, you can make up to 100 gallons of the stuff per year for your own consumption. Make drugs like that -- you can grow a certain amount for your own use, and if you want to sell it, you need a permit. This would decriminalize almost all of the 'soft' drugs (except the lab-made ones like LSD.) I personally think that refined drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc, ought to remain illegal.

Campaign reform? Definitely. I'd like to see, as part of FCC regulation, the stations all having to give a block of time during the pre-election period, during prime time, for the candidates to present themselves. Don't allow any spending at all for campaigns -- they get the mandated time, and that's it. Provide mailing service, and free duplication services, for all parties -- they get to send a several page mailing to every single household in America, once per election, for free. And that's it. Don't allow parties, private or public, to take out ads for or against any parties. That eliminates the influence of money and corporations, or at least seriously cripples it.

I think, however, you missed the main thing that's wrong with today's society. It's consumer-driven -- and the companies that sell the products want to drive the consumers to consume. So you are pressured to buy tons of shit you don't need, and there is incentive for the companies that produce the products not to make anything that'll last too long. Oh my god! Your car's 5 years old! Why are you driving that piece of shit? Get a new one! I blame capitalism -- I'm convinced that it's not a long-term solution for a whole planet, or even a major nation. Don't ask me what I'd put in its place -- I don't know. I don't know if something else -can- be put in its place at this point.


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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InvisibleObserver
Stranger

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 175
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1624632 - 06/10/03 10:03 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

I personally think that refined drugs like cocaine, heroin, etc, ought to remain illegal.




You had me agreeing with you until I read this.

For example: I've personally never tried cocaine and don't see myself ever doing it, but why should I be imprisoned if I decide to do so? Just because you believe it's a bad drug?

What's your logic here?


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OfflineSev
Astropath
Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 1,426
Loc: NY
Last seen: 2 years, 6 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Observer]
    #1624668 - 06/10/03 10:15 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Frankly, because most of the refined drugs are highly addictive -and- damaging to the system. Perhaps they could be decriminalised, but I don't think they should be legalized.

Also, the "anything you can grow" clause conveniently eliminates most of the common, highly destructive drugs, and includes only a few drugs that have problems like that. (The primary one being Opium -- secondaries are things that most people wouldn't do if they could get legal stuff, like Datura, Amanita mushrooms, etc.)

The main thing here isn't to imprison the people who do use it -- it's to allow the softer-core drugs so that people don't use the hard-core ones, and provide incentives for those who do want to use drugs (there's always a certain percentage of the population...) to do those soft-core drugs instead of the hard-core ones.


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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InvisibleObserver
Stranger

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 175
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1624709 - 06/10/03 10:32 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Frankly, because most of the refined drugs are highly addictive -and- damaging to the system. Perhaps they could be decriminalised, but I don't think they should be legalized.




By your standards, alcohol and tobacco should not be legal anymore and we should use the coercive power of the government to punish people who use/make drugs that you disapprove of. That is an illogical position for me to accept.


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InvisibleObserver
Stranger

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 175
Re: whats wrong? [Re: drfrei]
    #1624773 - 06/10/03 10:48 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Sorry for jacking your thread man...


Peace


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OfflineSev
Astropath
Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 1,426
Loc: NY
Last seen: 2 years, 6 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Observer]
    #1624822 - 06/10/03 11:02 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Well, alcohol isn't really highly addictive, unless you have a genetic propensity for addiction to alcohol, and get indoctrinated with abusive habits -- this generally happens in high school and college.  Cigarettes, however, are rather insanely addictive, and don't even give you much of a high.  (Someone I know who kicked a heroin habit commented that kicking a tobacco habit was more difficult.) 

However, both of these would be legal under my standard -- you can grow tobacco, and you can grow alcohol.  (Well, you grow the yeast, and the alcohol is the byproduct.) 

The main reason that I can see for making certain drugs illegal is because they are unusually damaging to the body -and- are highly addictive.  I suppose high addictivity (...is that a word?...) along with being something that takes you out of commission for an extended period of time is also something that is damaging to society, but this is a lesser aspect. 

The ones that are addictive and damaging to the body put a high burden on society to take care of the damage they do to themselves, either directly though government programs that help addicts or the needy (be it economically or medically), or indirectly though increased insurance premiums.  When an addictive substance enters the equation, especially if it's highly physically addictive in addition to psychologically addictive, a person's free will is curtailed, and the curtailment of free will -- and thus responsibility -- is harmful to a free society.  (Not that we have one of those now, but,  hey, we're talking about making changes and ideals, right?)  People think they can 'handle' it -- no one starts out wanting to be an addict -- but they wind up addicted nonetheless.  Oh, sure, not all of them ... but a significant proportion.

Similarly, there are those substances which are addictive and put you out of commission for an extended period -- these too are harmful to society.  For example, who cares if someone goes and gets all out of their mind on opium every night?  That's his choice, right?  But what if he's got a wife, or is a single father?  I hate to say "you have to think of the children," but in this case, you really do. 

In my opinion, some substances can be used responsibly with some reliability -- tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, shrooms ... lots of different things.  They are either nonaddictive, so a person can choose not to use them, or minimially debilitative when used responsibly -- and since they are minimally addictive, they can be used responsibly by most of the population.

Other drugs -- crack, PCP, meth, many others -- are addictive, damaging, and/or debilitative.  Of course, there are minimally addictive or damaging lab-made or refined drugs, but I find that the distinction I made -- you can grow it -- keeps most of the most damaging things illegal and most of the less troublesome things legal.  There are of course things on both sides of the line that are troublesome -- opium, for example, would be legal, though it is a rather debilitative drug.  LSD and DMT are less troublesome refined or lab-made drugs, but would still not be legal under this criteria. 

*shrugs*  I think somewhere you need to draw the line.  I tried to draw it in the most reasonable and least debatable place.  :wink:




--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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OfflineSev
Astropath
Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 1,426
Loc: NY
Last seen: 2 years, 6 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1624825 - 06/10/03 11:03 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Hrm, yeah, I guess I should apologize too, though it is technically related since he did talk about legalisation.  :smile:


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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InvisibleObserver
Stranger

Registered: 01/26/03
Posts: 175
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1625274 - 06/11/03 01:07 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

I appreciate your effort put into the debate. But let me state that because some (not all) people who use cocaine, pcp, etc. turn into full-blown addicts doesn't justify punishment by the government. This is the central issue that you're not addressing, "drawing a line" to you equals imprisonment to the guy who makes LSD/DMT in reality. Throwing people in cages for crimes that are not crimes.

That is all...


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Invisible1stimer
Religion=Rape
Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1,280
Loc: Amerika
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1625795 - 06/11/03 08:11 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

you are leaving out the fact that legality does not effect usage. all it does is create a black market and mass hysteria and misinformation and tainted drugs and a stigma around the use. Your problem is labeling drugs good and bad.


--------------------
ash dingy donker mo gollyhopper patty popiton rockstop bueno mayo riggedy jig bobber johnathan pattywhacker gogboob t-shirt monkey.

There is such emotion in the distortion.


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Anonymous

Re: whats wrong? [Re: Sev]
    #1625962 - 06/11/03 10:45 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

cigarettes are more addictive than all illegal drugs with the exception of crack cocaine.

heroin and morphine are non-toxic.

The ones that are addictive and damaging to the body put a high burden on society to take care of the damage they do to themselves, either directly though government programs that help addicts or the needy (be it economically or medically), or indirectly though increased insurance premiums.

we currently have the same percentage of our population addicted to hard drugs as we did right before they made 'hard' drugs illegal.

there should be no government programs to help addicts. personal freedom and responsibility here, not a nanny for a government please.

drug laws create problems, they never solve them.


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: whats wrong? [Re: ]
    #1626045 - 06/11/03 11:38 AM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

heroin and morphine are non-toxic




heroin is non-toxic? This is news to me and many others who have died from it.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Anonymous

Re: whats wrong? [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1626075 - 06/11/03 12:05 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

by non-toxic what i mean is that in normal doses it causes no damage to tissues or cells. too much can kill you of course, but a lifetime of morphine addiction will not damage your body (a lifetime of sticking needles in your veins might though).

for instance, cocaine can kill you if you overdose, but even if you don't, it will still burn up your nasal passages more and more with every dose.

alcohol will kill brain cells and be a strain on the liver and kidneys, even in moderation.

drinking a cup of poppy tea every night will land you with a morphine addiction, but no bodily harm aside from that.


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Invisible1stimer
Religion=Rape
Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 1,280
Loc: Amerika
Re: whats wrong? [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1626138 - 06/11/03 12:48 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

in normal doses, opiates have been proven to make one live longer.


--------------------
ash dingy donker mo gollyhopper patty popiton rockstop bueno mayo riggedy jig bobber johnathan pattywhacker gogboob t-shirt monkey.

There is such emotion in the distortion.


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Offlinedrfrei
journeyman
Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 51
Last seen: 13 years, 5 months
Re: whats wrong? [Re: 1stimer]
    #1626187 - 06/11/03 01:15 PM (13 years, 10 months ago)

Aside from a person's free decision to go to hell in his own way, the obvious effect of legalizing more socially shunned (hard) drugs is that it takes the industry of the drugs (which is not going to go away) and it hands it right to the criminals. The same with decriminalization. If the point is to better our society, we cannot willingly turn over an entire industry to people who are regulated in absolutely no way. That leads to corruption and all kinds of other problems, not the least of which is disenfranchisement, a growing belief by the young people of this country that the government will lie to them about everything (as they always lie about drugs and the drugwar), an uncertain strength and quality control of the drugs themselves (which would otherwise be regulated), and the fact that American policies are actively destroying countries in which the government of that country has to turn crop growth over to cirminals. Our problems with the drug war are nothing compared to South America's problems with the drug war.

But in the end, hard drugs are just like soft drugs - it is a matter of choice for each individual, and the government has no right telling me what I can do with my private life!


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