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Amazing fundraising results

Ron Paul is not just doing well at fundraising on this, his second run at the Presidency. He is raising enough to be a contender. I Just received this information from their campaign:

We are closing in on three important fundraising milestones for the fourth quarter:

– During the third quarter, Fred Thompson raised $9,750,821 to be used during the primary election cycle.

– Not counting money that he loaned to his own campaign, Mitt Romney raised $9,896,719.

– Rudy Giuliani finished with $10,258,019.

Ron Paul is currently at $9,708,791 for the fourth quarter.

We are within reach of passing Fred Thompson today! Will you help us storm past these fundraising totals over a month sooner than they did?

Please make your most generous donation: www.ronpaul2008.com/donate

And don’t forget to watch the live counter on our website as we meet these marks!?

I must admit I never in my wildest dreams expected the Ron Paul campaign to do this well. Do I dare to believe we really will have a libertarian still in the running come the Republican convention?

81 comments to Amazing fundraising results

  • HOORAY!!!

    About time I volunteered.

  • Ron Paul. Sigh. Libertarian, yep, but unfortunately of the crazed uncle variety….

  • Dale Amon

    Your posting seemed rather content free. Do you have any specific policy issues which you take issue with?

  • spidly

    Paul could raise a trillion but will never be a contender. 10% of the population thinks Elvis lives, 10% (maybe) would vote for Paul.

    His actual financial situation is highly suspect. Most of his money has been raised through online “pledges”(Guy Fawkes day, veteran’s day drives) not actual donations or anything like a contractual commitment. If you have any experience with online polls where Paul is a choice you understand what is going on….a few hundred guys in grandma’s basement clicking away.

    don’t feed the trolls

  • Ringo


    In re: online pledges, can you point me to a source on that? If you click Dale’s link, it offers Paypal, Amex, MC, and Visa. Is there a “pledge” part there I’m not seeing or some other gimick to it?


  • Zach

    Well, although I’m not Wind Rider, this might be the sort of thing he’s referring to:

    NAFTA’s superhighway is just one part of a plan to erase the borders between the U.S. and Mexico, called the North American Union. This spawn of powerful special interests, would create a single nation out of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, with a new unelected bureaucracy and money system. Forget about controlling immigration under this scheme.

    — taken from Ron Paul’s Independence and Sovereignty issue page.

    For thinking that it’s possible to replicate the European Union in North America, I have to question Ron Paul’s geopolitical judgement. (How would you get Canada and Mexico to join a union where the United States has 3/4 of the population and 5/6 of the GDP?) For thinking that a cabal of “powerful special interests” are secretly working to create the NAU, I have to question Ron Paul’s sanity. Has the good doctor checked his medication levels?

  • spidly


    there are bunches of these. cant find the big guy fawkes day one but that was a similar deal

    If he gets public funding and then his pledges do not (as they will not) come through, I wonder what happens.

  • spidly

    those were the links for you

  • Did you forget to mention that Fred Thompson only entered the race on September 8th? Therefore, his 3rd quarter fundraising numbers are for LESS THAN ONE MONTH!!

  • Buddy D.C.

    The Guy Fawkes day pledge drive(Link) worked flawlessly.

    The Tea Party(Link) will also go swimmingly.

    You can’t deny Dr Paul’s record achievements.

  • Buddy D.C.

    The Guy Fawkes day pledge drive worked flawlessly.

    The Tea Party will also go swimmingly.

    You can’t deny Dr Paul’s record achievements.

  • ben

    I wonder how long the Ron Paul campaign can keep up this level of ‘donation’ (if he is indeed even receiving the money.) I’m not expert on political campaigns, but it seems a campaign would have to rely equally on grass roots support and donations from more traditional sources like corporations, wealthy individuals, etc. It seems like Paul and his supporters would alienate these more traditional sources of funding. I get the feeling (based on commentary on blogs I read) that the Paul campaign is getting its support primarily from people on the fringe; people who might be ideologically laudable but intellectually vapid.

    I’m not impressed by Paul. Many of his sentiments appeal to me, but he seems to lack concrete ideas or have any plan to enact any of his ideas. He can’t wave a magic wand and make this stuff happen. Do you think either legislature is going to act on any of his proposals?

    His black and white stance on the environment alone is enough for me to swear him off forever. I’m completely opposed to his isolationist foreign policy, his ideas about the federal reserve and the gold standard are silly, and positing a fictional NAU is hilarious.

    As others have pointed out, he could raise a lot more money than he has thus far, and still not be a contender. Because he just isn’t one.

  • As far as most people are concerned all libertarians are loons… I’m not sure Ron Paul helps this perception, but at least he’s flying the small government flag, and that is what is appealing to most people – small government and individual freedom, although oddly the gold bug stuff seems popular too.

    At least he’s showing that there is a libertarian vote out there and that the GOP and Dems are not attracting them.

    Surely its better to at least have someone talking about this in high profile than nothing at all?

  • Tristan: I agree. I just wish it was someone else.

  • James of England

    There’s a lot of libertarian thought in Giuliani’s campaign. Some in Romney’s. It’s harder to find radical libertarian thought in high places, but it’s harder to find radical thought of any kind being terribly successful in national elections. Paul is a great example of a politician who really works on appealing to his base at the cost of any chance of appealing to those who are not excluded from the political process/ society.

  • spidly

    Tristan – Paul is not helping. You see what the first question to Paul on that horrible youtube debate was. It was about the trilateral commission and bilderbergs. That’s the crazed image he’s advancing so yes, it would be better to not have anyone talking about these things at all. Just look at the disgusting places he is getting his support and remember that that will be all people see in the wake of Ron Paul.

    The libertarian party made a big mess of itself here. for years they really had no other message than legal drugs. most of the members on campus were little socialist stoners running around in Che shirts calling themselves libertarian. That’s where the base was and infected the leadership as well.

    They sorta sorta re-found themselves for a while and were as obnoxious as ex-smokers. Now they are courting fringe members again.

    if they’d get real on foreign policy and once and for all stop courting the free drug nutters and other lunatics who agree with 10% of the platform. They damn sure need to stop jumping in and out of the Republican party; either form the (l) caucus in the party and push it right or stay out. getting tired of electing democrats because they run as spoilers after not getting their guy nominated in primaries. that really advances the cause!

  • Dale Amon

    Free drug nutters?????

    Please expound upon how a free society can make any claim whatsoever on your body, how you treat it and what you put into it.

    If I am going to be considered a nutter for loving individualism and REAL liberty, than so be it.

    Anyone for founding Nutters for Liberty?

  • Paul Marks

    How much of the money for the Ron Paul campaign comes from Democrats and non Democrat leftists?

    The longer Ron Paul stays in the race the more damage can be done – for example at the debates (which is why the Moveon.org and Daily Kos people all text in their support after the Fox debates).

    Still leaving aside “let us support the guy who says the war is the fault of the United States – because the more people believe that, the more the Republicans are hit” let us turn to other matters.

    The target of the info seemed to be Fred Thompson “we are are within….”

    So the Ron Paul campaign shares a target with Fox News (unlikely allies – but politics makes strange bed fellows).

    I do not see how any Republican can prosper without the support of Fox News (the hosility of the other networks is a given) so, to be fair, it does not matter what the Ron Paul campaign does – if F.N.C. is hostile it is hard to see Fred Thompson doing well.

    However, it is still a shame – as on everything from hostility to “gun control” to support of entitlement program reform, Thompson is the most pro freedom of the top candidates.

    So the choice will be between Rudy G., Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee.

    Mike Huckabee is a wild tax and spend man (regular Ds and Fs from the Cato Insitute when he was a Governor) and he has not changed.

    I watched the bit of the (wildy rigged) CNN-Youtube debate where he was asked for three specific spending programs he would cut or get rid of – his reply was to talk about the I.R.S..

    So the choice is between R.G. and M.R.

    In all policy areas Fred Thompson is better than either – but it seems that fate (or rather Fox news and the pro freedom activists going to Ron Paul) have decided against him.

    So perhaps Dale should write a post examining the policy positions and record of R.G. and M.R. – as that seems to be the choice (although this is irritating).

    Writing stuff about Ron Paul is just a waste of time – at least it is for anyone who can read opinion polls and knows that Iowa is on January 3rd and the whole thing is de facto over on Feburary 5th.

  • RAB

    I’m perfectly prepared to pay for them Spidly, provided I am free to, but the best shit on the Planet isn’t going to be enough to convince me that Paul has a snowballs chance of winning even the nomination.
    Image and charisma are very important as well as policy. Paul dont got any.

  • Dale Amon

    We may be approaching a tipping point for our ideas, and Ron Paul is part of that. There will be nationwide ads. A generation has grown up with the internet and knows what we stand for. Put them together and you might just see the beginning of revolutionary change.

    There are conservatives who just want to slow government down a bit, or among the more wild eyed, set it back to more like it was when they were a child. They will mouth agreement with some libertarian ideas for just so long as we are not a threat to the status quo. They don’t like Ron because he wants to make drastic changes.

    There are libertarians who subconsciously like being losers. The idea that their beliefs might become a part of the mainstream is a frightening thing because they won’t be wild-eyed radicals any more and they gain their identify from being a card carrying outsider. They don’t like Ron Paul because he has already surpassed the most we have ever been able to do in terms of national media, fund raising, campaign structure, you name it. God forbid if the great unwashed masses might share our ideas!

    Some of us however, just want to win.

  • Resident Alien

    Ron Paul is clearly doing way better than expected at raising money. And, in this part of Florida he is winning the bumper sticker war. In the past two weeks I have seen 10+ Ron Paul bumper stickers. The only other Republican candidate I saw on a bumper sticker was a single Mitt Romney one.

    Sure Ron Paul is a bit of a nutter, but he is popularizing the idea of liberty as the solution to problems rather than government. Above all, we should not underestimate the potential mobilization of the non-voting majority we could get from a candidate who openly favours ending the war on drugs.

    The You tube debate was seriously stupid. I would have loved to hear Ron’s answer to the black father and son from Philly asking about crime and drug violence or about corn subsidies.

  • Midwesterner

    What Ron Paul signifies is not any hope that he has of reaching the White House, but rather that disgruntled libertarians are ready to put up, and will not be shut up.

    Somebody, I forget who at this point, pointed out that Ron Paul is to the libertarians in society what Pat Robertson was to the religious fundamentalists in the eighties, an early alarm that there is a new player at the table and it is ready to play rough. While Pat himself never went anywhere politically, the movement he represented went on to become an extremely powerful player in Washington.

    Ron Paul will not go farther than a surprisingly good showing in this race, but the movement that he represents (it hurts me to say that, I personally think he’s nuts) has none the less arrived. And we will play rough. His support is a lot more real than I first thought. I have had anti-war pro-business democrats tell me they thought he was pretty good.

    I just wish he was trustworthy to deal with Iranian nuclear development, Pakistani nukes, Syria’s apparent attempt to cut straight to building a bomb, NKs successful detonation of a nuclear bomb, China’s intent to appropriate every living being and piece of real estate within its ever greater reach, and, in short, the very small world we live on.

    Believing we can live in peace by minding our own business is like believing one can be safe in a confined space with others who are dueling with hand grenades. While I vigorously oppose spreading ‘democracy’ (I don’t even want it here) believing we can withdraw from the rest of the world is suicidal.

    While I will remain a strong Fred supporter, it is obvious to me that Paul’s strong showing is a very seriously good omen.

  • Writing stuff about Ron Paul is just a waste of time – at least it is for anyone who can read opinion polls and knows that Iowa is on January 3rd and the whole thing is de facto over on Feburary 5th.

    I don’t think the goal is to win the White House this time ’round – at least, is isn’t for me. Anyone who thinks a libertarian-minded candidate, no matter how sane, has a prayer of winning national elections at this point is kidding himself.

    The immediate goal for me is building libertarian-minded voters into a block the major parties can bargain with for votes – the same way they bargain with Al Sharpton, the Unions, and a whole host of other people who affect my life but shouldn’t.

    Preferably, this would be done through the Libertarian Party – but they’ve been … oh, how to put this … somewhat ineffective at getting our message out.

    Ron Paul is doing what no libertarian politician in my lifetime has been able to: he’s grabbing and keeping a place in the spotlight.

    If the Republicans lose the White House this time, it will mean at least two, probably 4, years of serious pain. But there will be a silver lining at the end in that Bush and the neocons will have been appropriately punished, and the Republican Party will be in the mood to start over and “re-imagine” itself, as the current buzzword goes.

    If Ron Paul can have shown the party bosses that there is a small-government voting block that they need to reach out to, so much the better.

    Frankly, the best realistic scenario I can imagine now is that Ron Paul does reasonably well – let’s say 3rd place – in a handful of primaries, but ends up losing the nomination. He then runs as an independent of some kind – or possibly as the LP candidate. The Republicans then do on to lose the White House, and some analysts blame this on Ron Paul.

    Bad for the present, but golden for 2012.

  • Dale Amon

    Actually I am not sure what some of you are talking about. Those debates use pre-set questioners to inject things that particular candidates want asked to make one or more of their opponents look bad. I think a much better example of Ron Paul on TV is his Jay Leno appearance:


    I found it quite entertaining and I think he did a marvelous job.

    I near p*ssed myself over his VERY flat tax line…

  • Dale Amon

    James of England: Yes, there is some libertarian leaning advice going into the Guliani campaign. In fact, one of his advisors is a long time reader of Samizdata.

    Perhaps if Guliani finds himself in a serious horse-race with Ron Paul he will see the light and take a better stand on the Second Amendment and a few other things.

    The better Ron does, the more the unprincipled old style politicos will find it in their interest to mouth the words… and words do have power. If they get said enough time by enough people…

  • Dale Amon

    PS: The donations counter at the Ron Paul site has passed $10M…
    Watching it can be addicting. Let’s see, what is the total amount we have raised in the LP for presidential elections since 1976? I’ll bet Ron will beat it all, even if corrected for inflation, before this is over.

  • spidly

    Free drug nutters?????

    Please expound upon how a free society can make any claim whatsoever on your body, how you treat it and what you put into it.>

    Don’t much care what you put in your body but before any legalization there has to be other reforms like:

    *Private industry able to fire and never have to pay for treatment if employee pisses dirty.
    *Employee coming up dirty after any sort of accident is solely liable for damages to himself and others – employer able to recoup damages from employee
    *Someone committing a crime while high not only does not get to plea diminished capacity, non compos mentis, or any such thing – the penalty doubles, including killing him twice if necessary.
    *Tweekers just get shot on sight
    *evidence of use discredits court testimony
    *users barred from public employment, government contracts
    *No tax funded benefits for anyone pissing dirty under any circumstance. Private charity supporting an addict is civilly liable for the addicts actions. Charity liable if addict dies while using.
    *If someone stumbles onto my property drunk or high or spun, I get to assume he is a danger and deadly force is authorized.
    *neighborhoods not bound to citywide regulations on public intoxication (or lack thereof) – private security allowed to detain visibly intoxicated (at offenders expense) when they stumble into my neighborhood
    *return of civil commitments

    basically, if someone wants to bang up in granny’s basement, spam the polls, pledge non-existent money, and delude themselves into believing The Ron Paul Revolution is nigh, fine.
    I don’t want to support some guy who uses the freedom over his own body to have his limbs electively removed. And I don’t want to be next to the guy who has set his trigger pull to 4 ounces. There’s free and then there is criminally stupid.

    If I am going to be considered a nutter for loving individualism and REAL liberty, than so be it.

    Anyone for founding Nutters for Liberty?

    Paul has that covered already.

  • Spidly,

    I assume you want the same rules for alcohol, caffeine and presecription drugs?

  • RAB

    Don’t much care what you put in your body but before any legalization there has to be other reforms like:

    Rather think you do son!
    Churchill won the second world war pissed.

  • RAB

    Oh and my father in law only managed to get through D Day with a large dose of Speed at his elbow.
    Had he nodded off whilst killing Germans who were desperately trying to kill him…
    Well the world may have been a place none of us might like, or exist in for long…

  • spidly

    My uncle got landed in hospital for the bulk of the war after a german shell caught him wide awake and un-stoned in the bulge. But then large doses of speed and killing sort of go together. The ex was a tweeker, miraculously she only managed to kill herself 2 years ago but her sister did beat some guy’s head in with hammer (yes he died). Give a tweeker cheap speed and they are all the more dangerous.

    Churchill won the war?

    Even if we were to concede your point, it is the exception that proves the rule. Want you to demand your cardiologist get über-pissed before your bypass ’cause Dammit, Churchill….

    I assume you want the same rules for alcohol, caffeine and presecription drugs?

    Posted by ResidentAlien at December 1, 2007 03:18 AM

    You bet. If someone’s fibromyalgia or whatever is so bad they’re gobbling opiates all day, what sort of job should they have? How about if they drive your kid’s school bus? How about they fly the skycrane dropping 10 ton bundles of material into the construction going on next to your office?

    And if anyone wants to give me the old “you don’t see people smoking pot and fighting or crashing cars” well BS. You just got high with a much different bunch than I did or you were smoking shake and oregano and not getting properly baked.

    You consider caffeine an intoxicant?

  • spidly

    Dale Amon

    BTW, I think it was fairly clear what I meant by the free drug nutters were the “Che idolizing libertarian” worried about nothing but legalizing drugs (and how to get other people to support them while they got high).

    really, if people want to use it is their thing, but there has to be a lot of protections for employers and a lot of leeway for communities to set their own standards. New Orleans is brilliant fun for a bit but there is no way I’d live there. Amsterdam is a depressing rat hole, I never care to go back, and I don’t want a few people deciding my town has to behave as they do there because we’re endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of a really good buzz. Especially if among the unmentioned others, is the right to fall in the gutter and shoot one’s trousers or the right to wizz into the storm drain in front of the elementary school. There has to be some way for me to live in a community with different standards.

    I don’t think someone who believes the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate drugs is a free drug nutter.

  • Nick M

    Have you lost the plot? I have often heard Ron Paul accused of being a bit nuts but you seem to be a bit of a single-issue obsessive. I appreciate you have your reasons but they’re your reasons.

    I don’t think someone who believes the federal government has no constitutional authority to regulate drugs is a free drug nutter.

    I don’t want a few people deciding my town has to behave as they do there because we’re endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of a really good buzz.

    New Orleans is brilliant fun for a bit

    Does not compute when taken together. The US has a long history of local legislation. I mean, hell you’ve got dry towns and you’ve got Vegas. I rather enjoyed Amsterdam. I didn’t get loaded, I went to the Rijksmuseum.

  • Wow, the big government “conservatives” have really gotten to this site.

    Why is it worse to rob, rape, or murder somebody while high then to do the same while sober? Either way, the crime is robbery, rape, or murder. Deal with it.

    I cannot imagine that if I’m killed by some crazed “IslamoMuslims are going to take over the world and impose sharia law globally” lunatic, and there turns out to be some sort of afterlife, that I would take any consolation from his having been a sober lunatic at the time. I am quite sure that my family would receive no consolation from it.

    As for Paul’s crazed ideas, wow:

    * Commodity based money, introduced through allowing competition with the Federal Reserve (by eliminating capital gains on monetary metals and legal tender laws — otherwise known as Gresham’s laws)
    * Small Government
    * Eliminate the Department of Education
    * Eliminate the Department of Energy
    * Eliminate Federal Gun Control
    * Eliminate Federal control of Medicine
    * Concerning ourselves with American freedom, rather than Iraqi Freedom
    * Eliminate the Income Tax
    * Allow young people to opt out of Social Security

    This is pretty crazy stuff. My god, he doesn’t even want to replace the Income Tax with a sales tax … he wants to replace it with FREEDOM. What a nut.

  • Actually, I think that spidly makes a very good point. People should be free to ruin their lives if they wish, but the rest of us should not be affected by this. Of course, in a truly libertarian society many of the points that he mentioned would be built into the system anyway (although I would certainly take issue with some of them). Problem is, if drugs are legalized as things stand right now, we could face yet another case of unintended consequences. I really don’t have enough information to comment on Ron Paul supporters, but there is another end to this single issue stick: people who yell “free drugs” are often the same people who expect free health care when they piss themselves beyond the point of return.

  • By the way, the “fake fundraising” canard should be addressed. Here is how it works:

    1) I signed up, in October, at thisnovember5th.com. At this point, I was just a “pledger”. I was never asked what amount I would donate, and nothing was reflected in Paul’s fund-raising numbers. I was just a “subscriber” to their mailing list. No money was raised by the site, they clearly said that all donations should be made directly at RonPaul2008.com

    2) On November 5th, in honor of ‘V for Vendetta’, and (to a lesser extent) the only man to enter Parliament with honest intentions, I went directly to Ron Paul’s site, and made a donation by credit card. At this point, and not before, my money was included in Ron Paul’s numbers.

    There was no option to “promise” to give money and not deliver it immediately, except that I was on the mailing list at “this November 5th”.

    As for “teaparty07.org”, I receive email from them now. They do not include a dollar amount of money raised so far, because the tea party people have no idea how much each individual on their list will donate, nor whether all will donate. There is, however, a note showing the number of people on their list. Well over 20,000 so far.

  • Dale Amon

    A bit intemperate in tone Rich, but I (mostly) agree, other than on issues of war, as do many others from my circles. That’s why a lot of us will support Ron *IN SPITE OF* his foreign policy.

    A free country will be in much better shape to take on the teddy bear bashers than one which is taxed and policed into poverty and slavery.

  • RAB

    Well Spidly, we will agree to differ on this one.
    You have obviously had some pretty bad experiences with drugs and drug users.
    I would legalise all drugs and of course if you do not wish to employ persons who indulge, then of course that is your right.
    However I do hope you are not fond of music and literature, for your bookshelves and record collection must be rather sparse, cos a lot of those cats were really high on drugs.

  • RAB:

    for your bookshelves and record collection must be rather sparse, cos a lot of those cats were really high on drugs.

    What does that have to do with anything? Those cats wrote their books and music on their own time and their own dime (so I hope). It really should make no difference to us whether they were on drugs or not.

  • RAB

    It was a response to Spidlys rather draconian attitude.
    No evidence accepted by users etc.
    I cannot imagine Spidly would appreciate the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner or Sgt Peppers say, knowing how they had been produced. Indeed he may be of the opinion that they should be prevented from being sold.

  • spidly

    you want your life or property to depend on the testimony of some who was baked?

    so you’ve come around to not forcing me to employ users, now can you take the next tiny little step and say that there should be areas where people can use, and areas where they cannot.
    Or is everyone forced to abide by your rule?everyone has to live like you? mighty authoritarian of you.
    can I build a strip club or a brothel or a legal shooting gallery (heroin) next to your house, or would you be in favor of some sort of zoning?

    it is a tiny little step….take it ….you can be a BIG GOVERNMENT NEOCON…come on, come on…

    and yes the no music or books thing was a silly non sequitur on your part. and the idea that I’m a big government neocon because I think drug policy should revert to the states….*gaze*. but when people are that invested in something, people will make such stupid statements.

    here’s more evidence that I’m a big government neocon. I think the 2nd is the only amendment that clearly prohibits both the state and federal government from infringing on a right, but the idea of RPG’s on the market with no paperwork would probably not be the best idea. Chemical weapons should stay off the market all together.

    Oh yes I’m that controlling! almost fascist!

    *double gaze*

  • The fact that there’s even a debate on this site as to Ron Paul’s suitableness … wow. Just, wow. In the face of a collection of fake Republican candidates, meant only to give the appearance of some kind of competition when the whole thing is just Hillary’s drawn-out coronation, you’d think a candidate who espoused the views this site claims to hold, who actually offers a real alternative to TweedleR and TweedeD, I would have thought there would be a little more, oh, enthusiasm for Paul’s campaign here.

    And spidly, just why are you even hanging out at a libertarian blog? Can you name one libertarian belief that you actually hold? Or is it just cleaner than calling yourself the neocon that you so transparently are?

  • RAB

    Good heavens Spidly, calm down.
    All I said was I would legalise all drugs. Nothing about driving while smashed or you being a big Government Neocon.
    What have brothels and strip clubs got to do with anything?They are completely different issues.
    Let’s take a for instance here.
    A person has just been to the pub. Had a few pints and a spliff. Next door there is a bank robbery going on. The person witnesses it.He can give an accurate description of the perps, indeed he recognises one as being someone he knows. You are going to discount his evidence?
    My comment on music and lit, was a teensy bit over the top, but even that, considering that Government would love to have a Law that prevents the above bank robber, once caught convicted and done his time, from writing a book about his experiences, to prevent him from “Profiting” from his crime. As far as I can see the two are not related. The penalty has been paid and nobody is forced to buy the book.
    But which of us is over the top here?

    Tweekers just get shot on sight

    Shall we agree to disagree?

  • Nick M

    I have no idea what the hell your point was in that last comment. Take a chill pill… And then please state what you think without the confusing sarcasm. I for one am interested because your previous comments on other threads have been concise and understandable.

  • Dale Amon

    Matt: That’s what Samizdata is all about. I, from my high perch as an Editor Of The Realm, may pontificate on the front page (ie tell everyone to support Ron Paul)… but our readership is perfectly welcome to pile on me and each other so long as their discussion does not become ad hominem, and is of an order that would be acceptable if we were physically present and sitting in Perry’s living room.

    So don’t be surprised that you will find a multitude of differing opinions here. So long as people are (mostly) polite, do not try to dominate the discussion (or try to use us for their pulpit), and offer intelligent discourse, all ideas are welcome here.

  • Nick M

    I don’t know much about Dr Paul but I read his wikipedia entry and his policies (apart from a rather naive foreign policy) seemed by and large OK. Why is he so frequently accused of being “nuts” or something similar? I’m guessing this is largely because of his rather disparate collection of supporters, some of whom are a rather odd bunch. And no Dale that doesn’t mean you.

    I sincerely hope that wasn’t a spliff in a British pub because that would be smoking in a public place and thoroughly, heinously illegal. Actually I think the punishment for it is harsher than the caution you’d get away with for possession of a small quantity of a class C substance.

  • Nick: look him up on Youtube, and tell me what you think.

    RAB, about witnesses: yes, especially if there is a witness with an opposing testimony, who happened to be sober at the time. I see nothing wrong with getting pissed, at least when it is not done on a regular basis. Personally, I tried it a couple of times, and found the whole experience somewhat overrated, but that’s just me. I am just saying that when a grown up person does that, they should be prepared to accept the consequences, one of them being that the soundness of their judgment while under influence may be questioned by others.

    I’m with you on shooting (or rather not shooting) tweekers.

  • Nick M

    Just watched RP on Leno and he just seems a twinkly old chap. He doesn’t appear raving mad or anything. He doesn’t seem like a politico, mind.

  • Ron Paul is certainly less visibly crazed than Ross Perot or some of the Tory Eurosceptics.

  • Nick, Try this. I did not say “raving mad”, just loony, or whatever the mildest of terms there is in English. I would say “maybe it’s just me”, but apparently there are many others that get this impression of him. It really comes down to his voice, speech style, body language – things like that. He certainly does come across as a nice enough guy, though.

  • Oh, and i agree that he could be described as a milder version of Perot, personality wise.

  • RAB

    Alisa, I have spent more time in Criminal Courts trying to pick out the truth from fiction or illusion than perhaps most posters here.
    Testimony on Murder, Rape, and robbery perpertrated by persons who were inevitably high on something or the other, and witnessed by those who were similarly slurred.
    The question is one of degree.
    Spidly seems to think that one joint diqualifies you from all credibility. That somehow you are off with the fairies and have no idea what’s going on. This is just not true. Conciousness is a variable even amongst the so called stone cold sober.
    The very worst drug on earth for totally fucking up both yourself and those around you is Booze. And it is totally legal. If you cant remember what happened the night before, then you have been drinking not smoking or snorting.
    On a lighter note.(I apologise in advance for this one. Old Carry On… joke)
    So you have got drunk a couple of times and found it over-rated.
    How about other earthly pleasures?
    Only child is he? 😉
    As to the proper subject matter, ie Mr Paul.
    He will not win anything I’m afraid, and may well put Libertarianism back a bit in the eyes of the general public.
    He may twinkle Nick, but he sure dont shine.

  • Nick M

    I still don’t get it. His foreign policy might be a bit huh? but he just seems like an elderly bloke to me. Ross Perot did seem really unhinged though. I dunno maybe I’m judging by UK standards – we have very ugly politicos over here and more than a small number of them are utterly demented. RP may not shine but so what!

  • RAB

    So what, means he wont win the Lottery except by the same luck as the rest of us.
    It’s an old story but at the dawning of our media controlled age, there was a debate between Nixon and JFK.
    It was transmitted live on radio and tv .
    The radio audience thought that Nixon had won because they were concentrating on the words and couldn’t see his face.
    The TV audience thought that JFK won because they could.Could they remember the words? Who knows now.
    Nixon looked unkempt irritable and shifty.
    JFK cool young vibrant and the future.
    Image matters. This is now a totally televisual age.
    Paul comes over as too old and yes like the slightly mad uncle in the east wing.
    Clinton didn’t win on policy you know, but sheer charisma. Give that man a cigar!

  • How about other earthly pleasures?

    I enjoy a good meal:-)

    You have a point on the testimony thing. In any case, all drugs should be legalized, but there should be other reforms to go hand in hand with that.

  • RAB

    Quite agree Alisa.
    But let’s get rid of the criminality attached to illegal drugs and we’ll cut crime by 2/3rds.
    Now then, do you know how to play dirty Mese? 🙂

  • Nick M

    Fair enough RAB, but… It wouldn’t matter to me and it shouldn’t matter to you either. Having said all that perhaps I’m a little odd in that I fail to detect the alleged “good looks” and “charisma” of Obama.

    Yeah, I know the Nixon/Kennedy story- “5 o’clock shadow lost Nixon the election by a whisker and all that”.

  • Nick M

    Just remembered something. This is how my wife judges politicos and I guess I do as well. Would you lend them a tenner?

    I would lend Dr Paul a tenner. I know full well I wouldn’t get it back from Gordon Brown. I would lend Anne Widdicombe a tenner. I wouldn’t lend Hillary Clinton one.

  • RAB:

    But let’s get rid of the criminality attached to illegal drugs and we’ll cut crime by 2/3rds.

    Actually, I have been having second thoughts on this lately. The big question for me is whether legalizing drugs would significantly increase the number of addicts. You know how we always talk about the law of unintended consequences applied to statist legislation. Well, the thing is, that same law applies to everyone else as well, including libertarians.

  • Dirty meze? Do I have to go rent “Midnight Express” now?

  • RAB

    Nick, It doesn’t matter to me.
    I vote on policies and positions.
    Cameron looks good right now with all the shit hitting the fan for the Brown shoes dont make it Party (it aint NULab anymore) but I still wont vote for him.
    I speak as I have done from the beginning of this thread and many others, of the way others see things, not myself.
    I will do a Charlie Chaplin, savouring the nails and all if Ron Paul gets even the nomination for the Republicans.

  • Paul Marks


    In theory 2012 is golden (I seem to remember writing that myself somewhere).

    A new cenus in 2010 means a a chance to take the House.

    Most of the Senators up in 2012 are Democrats – so a chance to take the Senate also.

    And if Mrs Clinton has really messed things up for four years all would seem well for free market candidates – Bush and his “compassionate” (i.e. wild spending – it is not really “compassionate” or “generious” to spend the money of OTHER PEOPLE) conservativism having been discredited.


    H. Clinton will not be doing nothing – and neither will the other leading Democrats.

    The Democrats have changed – the old belief (and it was a real belief) in free speech is no longer there.

    Bill Clinton was rather lazy and laid back (in more ways than one) – Hillary is not.

    People will only turn against the left if the case is made to them.

    Not on a few websites – but in the “old fashioned” media of television, radio and print.

    The primary objective of the new left is to control the media (the influence of Gramsci is very strong – via their education in various universities).

    So talk radio will be destroyed – the “fairness doctrine” will do that.

    And it will not stop there.

    For all its faults Fox News still gives a platform for some fairly pro free market forces – as does the Wall Street Journal.

    However, threats of tax and regulatory action will mean that News International will “make a deal”.

    Also ABC will make a deal (remember how it backed down over “The Path to 9/11” and Mrs Clinton was not even in power yet) – so no more John Stossel on 20/20

    Small magazines like “Human Events” (and Rich Paul there are anti Iraq war writers on H.E. as well as pro Iraw war writers) will be dealt with in other ways – for example the Postal Service has already changed the rules on charges, in order to hit magazines like Human Events and help magazines like Time (and Bush is still supposedly in power).

    “This is all paranoia”.

    No – the modern left, educated in the 1960’s is totalitarian. H. Clinton is a totalitarian – the lady believes in shaping public opinion by having a “Progressive consensus” in the media and “education system”.

    So what looks like a golden chance in 2012 may not be so.

    Dale Amon and Rich Paul:

    You are wrong on two counts.

    Firstly Ron Paul is NOT generally going round arguing for rolling back the Welfare State – I remember him being given a wonderful opportunity to do so in one of the debates.

    He was asked a question about Medicare – but instread of really attacking Medicare he started attacking greedy companies (and so on) instead. Fine to keep up the support of the Moveon.org and DailyKos types, but not for spreading the word about libertarianism.

    So he is not “laying the foundations” for anything.

    And, of course, he has no chance what-so-ever.

    Still I expect him to carry on till New Hampshire – that would be logical, it is his “stongest” (i.e. least weak) state.

    So either the former Mayor of New York or the former Governor of Massachusetts will be the candidate.

    This is partly because many free market activists have been wasting their time with Ron Paul.

  • spidly

    rab; the silly thing is I’m sure we agree an most things. I am a hayek, von mises, friedman kind of guy and do agree with Paul on a lot of things. His foreign policy is crap and makes him a non-starter, well…. and the 9-11 truther stuff as well as the north american union nonsense, AND the trilateral jewish banker bilderberg conspiracy loopy-ness.

    dept education – gone
    social security (federally imposed ponzi scheme) – end it
    homeland security – gone
    dept agriculture – not the feds problem
    medicare and medicaid – a waste
    ATF – agreed with NRA, jack booted nazis
    min.wage – not the feds business
    compulsory union – nope, open shops everywhere
    what the federal government may and may not do is clear to see in Article I section 8

    but from what I gather is when it comes to drugs, you would deny me the right of association (the right to disassociate being implicit). You would compel me to associate with junkies and tweekers and seemingly would deny that the constitution allows states or the people to decide these matters. You do it over there – and I’ll wait here and see how that works out for you.

    I dont really understand the thinking behind legalizing every drug and making gross public intoxication normal other than maybe people think it’ll be just like college for the whole world. ya know, like everyone will go out on the weekend for a pint with the gang then a few shrooms before the electric light show then back to the pad for some bong hits and Leonard Cohen to cap off the evening.

    the reality is it is not like that for most people. Yes I lived with and amongst addicts and that really colors my perception (dose of reality with a big clue by 4 kind of shakes the platitudinous dreamworld right out). I also lived in the middle of North Portland in 1990+ when it was crack central. legalizing that crap would not come to any good. crackheads are not criminals because of prohibition they are criminal because the are unable to do any productive work in very short order and find alternative means to support themselves. same with tweekers – they rob for the hell of it as well. And I dunno if you’ve ever been around someone that is in amphetamine psychosis but damn they are dangerous and a 72 hour hold just gets them ready for the next round. Knew junkies that got by for a good long while but not forever.

    I was an EMT at a detox/drunk tank for a while. Saw the same guys over and over. they’d come in withdrawals after they’d soiled themselves, we’d clean them up, get them some clothes, and give them money out of our own pockets to get a 40 so they wouldn’t die. legally we had no way to force them to check into the hospital to get thru the DT’s. That’s not policy. Others just got dragged in once every few days when they got out of line or passed out in the street. we’d hold them overnight and cut them loose. Legally we had no way to keep them and stop them from making a huge chunk of downtown dangerous disgusting and unlivable. that’s not policy. even so, I’m fine if you want that, just not in my town.

    so, yeah…. it’s depressing when you agree with so many things but you bring up an issue and get labeled a trotskyite democrat yadda yadda yadda.. especially when I’m saying you can go for it but keep it away from me…been there done that and I can tell you where it’ll end. And of course, shooting all tweekers is hyperbole but if you look on the thread about metal robbing the idea of hanging thieves is brought up and nobody gets called a neocon. I dunno who’s stealing scrap and peeling off people’s aluminum siding in the UK, but here it’s tweekers.

    A DA would be loath to put you on the stand after a pint and some doobage. eyewitness testimony is dodgy when it comes from a stone cold sober person and justice would not be served by you fingering the wrong guy. putting you on the stand would damage the DA’s case even if you did get it right.

    oh yeah, dunno if you have had the opportunity to visit Christiania or Istegade in Copenhagen, but I’ll these places were very different in the 80’s than they are today as just turning a blind eye to what was going on there was not working out so much. Istegade is trying to yuppify while Christania has developed something like CCR’s for self lefty loons and battles with the criminality – banned heroin, photography, pushed the hash out of the main square and erected that stupid little playground, restricted squatting in the “free city,” regulating the falafel carts…….. they’re just learning the hard way.

  • spidly

    Paul doing the quasi-courting of neo-nazis kinda rules him out for me too.

    oh yeah, Think the “free” city of Christania has a building council or some damn retarded thing to exclude people they don’t like and protect their squats from squatters. It’s a bitch when you have to face reality. At least they have to kick in for utilities now. Oh well, it’ll all be condos some day and the hypocrite hippies will face assimilation

  • Nick M

    Ah the progressive consensus! OK, Paul, I am on the warpath to reclaim “Liberal” and I’m also (to a lesser extent) on the warpath over “progressive” because the road to serfdom doesn’t seem like progress to me. But heh, I’m just as reactionary as you, right?

    That’s not taking the mickey, well not out of Paul* anyway.

    My take on the “progressive consensus” is that these people were commies (or similar – the ultra-left is way more schismatic than libertarians!) in their youth and they’ve developed into something else, something rather more fascist** but they have carried over their techniques from their commie days and their fervent belief that they are a special cadre and their end not only justifies but almost sanctifies their means.

    I have already mentioned around here the extent to which the BBC in particular censors comments it dislikes. I believe that this is fair comment considering how the BBC is funded.

    *Marx not Ron, Paul not Karl.

    **Third way and all that.

  • Spidly: can you help me with my big question? I mean, can you think about it dispassionately, and tell me, based on your experience, whether legalizing drugs will significantly increase the numbers of addicts, and why? Surely you cannot deny that all the terrible things you describe are happening regardless of the current prohibition?

  • RAB

    Well I’m glad we are coming together here Spidly.
    Your otherwise list is pretty fine by me.
    Now then on drugs.
    The laws on drugs prior to about the 1930’s, when an international Convention managed to outlaw “Pot” when nobody had ever heard of it, got hold, well there was no problem.
    I have stayed in Hayworth, where the Bronte’s lived and died.
    The ladies wrote books and brother Brandreth was legs akimbo behind the sofa on Laudinam.
    This was normal behavior for Victorians. Indeed up until this point in time, the water being unsafe to drink, most people were either thirsty or half pissed all the time.
    I tried to get the same deal from the same shop, but it wasn’t on offer anymore for some reason.
    Even Queen Victoria was a sex and drugs addict.
    The sex because she loved it, and the drugs because they helped with the period pains.
    My point here being, legalise it and we will see how much of a problem it is. Because the main problem right now is how to finance your habit, not help you to get one.
    Shut down the criminal gangs with guns etc that run this industry By making the whole thing cheap and irrelevant like it was in Victorian times and you just might find that the problem blows away (all puns intended by the way).Lets face it. If I want to buy a couple of hundred weight of Potatos, I dont need the paid services of a couple of armed minders adding to the retail price. With the same weight of weed etc I do.
    Prohibition in the USA led to the invention of organised crime. The crime didn’t stay with booze though did it?
    Nope. Once organised, Crime is like any other business. Looking for other fresh markets.
    Legalise it. See what happens. We can always criminalise it again if we are daft enough.

  • spidly

    Alisa, yes criminalization has decreased addiction. When I was in the hood in the early 90’s crack was of course illegal but only nominally. The big problem in Oregon back then was there was no jail space for the tsunami or criminality that came with crack. They were handing out tickets Burglary and this is not hyperbole. people were seriously getting ticketed 5 times a month for such offenses and laughing when they got failure to appear bench warrants…Oooooo, another ticket next time I get caught.

    North Portland was run by the dealers and lawless, though the crack houses imposed their own sort of law. Police would raid the crack house across the street 2 or 3 times a year and it’d be open again in 2 or 3 days with the same guys running it and the same ten year olds standing lookout on the street corners all night. Apts across the streets had a few drive bys…dead guy on my sidewalk…shooting at Humbolt elementary…whacked junkie whores jumping in your car a lights on Union Blvd…..just insane.

    built prisons and locked them up. passed mandatory sentences so lefty judges couldn’t kick these guys loose and it is not anything like it was – anywhere in portland. we had a mini-version of what went on in NY with Rudy. Addiction rates are way down. Crime is way down.

    Father in law is addictions councilor at OHSU and we do not agree on much. He likes the condos for winos scheme they have in Seattle and other risk minimization crap. But he’ll say that for speed and crack, you need a minimum of 1 year forcible treatment to give these guys any hope of getting clean surviving to 40 and criminalization is needed. You can take the stance that they’ll kill themselves off but it does not work because they, like most everyone else, breed – but in great numbers because they are irresponsible addicts..

    I had custody of 3 kids while my mother in law FINALLY got busted and was in treatment at NARA for a year and then in halfway house for another year. What the niece and nephews went through was insane, and you can’t believe how many times I filed complaints (years) with CSD trying to get them pulled. CSD actually went to the house a number of times and saw the squalor (not exaggerating) they lived in but would not remove them. Positive there was molestation by “friends” of my mother in law. She finally had to get busted for Robbery, possession of stolen goods, etc……..before she was forced into treatment to avoid prison. meanwhile 3 daughters were addicts (one later committing murder, my ex OD-ing alone with her 4 year old while hubby was in prison), the two nephews too young to use but have a lot of problems. Drugs are a victimless crime don’t you know. Can’t pull the kids for a personal choice!

    one of my neighbors, James, in N Portland used to come by and try to sell me stolen goods when he wasn’t trying to rob me or break into the garage to get high. He tried to sell me a chainsaw and while showing me that it worked showed me the “throttle” which was clearly marked CHOKE… James was something like 22 – 25 but looked like he was 50. ABSOLUTELY no hope for him unless he were taken off the streets, forcibly cleaned up and made to read. Abslolutely no doubt that he would spend his life victimizing others to get his crack as he had no other means to make a living. absolutely no doubt that if crack grew on trees he would be robbing for beer money and gas for the crappy honda motorcycle he’d wreck all over. Damn thing wasn’t even street legal. but nobody went to jail for squat unless it was really really bad. I had scores of these guys living all around me. Pretty sure James is dead but I don’t know how many mini-james he left behind.

    I dunno. I suppose if you wanted to pick them up after they commit a crime, sterilize them, and give them all the dope they want and a place to die in you could reduce addiction that way. Don’t want to get all that touchy feely but that is hardly compassionate or humane. Either is letting bums sleep on the street in their own urine and vomit. annoys me too, like I want to step over them. I would rather have a tough love approach to straighten up my neighborhood.

    I don’t want to build hugely expensive condos to house winos while lettling them drink in order to save on hospital and incarceration costs – that plan failed ’cause they go to the hospital more and still do stupid crap to get in trouble and cost the public a LOT more money.

    Got to go see Van Halen now. NOT Van Hagar.

  • Nick M

    You’ve clearly had a very rough time because of drugs. I am sorry for that. I do appreciate that drugs can screw people up very badly. But you have to appreciate that your experience is unusually bad. I have in all my years only seen one drug-user come to a sticky end (at least temporarily) and I have been one (the usual and a hint of LSD and whizz) and known many, many others. This guy was cracked and smoked skunk the same way I smoke cigarettes. Whether his psychosis was due to the weed is open to debate but I suspect the weed just wasn’t doing him any favours considering he was just absolutely nucking futz anyway. He was sectioned. I have no idea what happened to him in the end. Maybe he’s still dysfunctional and maybe not.

    All I know is the absolutely worst thing I ever did as a result of being stoned was get a curry and decided it was a really good idea to scatter Gummi Bears (well near enough – UK equivalent) on top. I say “worst” but I really enjoyed it at the time.

    I think we have to be very careful about the criminalization aspect because it tends to make people outlaws from regular society, from regular work. I hardly believe that helps.

    I think a distinction has to be made between addiction and recreation. The addict may not be an autonomous moral agent but the recreational user is. This is one of the reasons why I’ve never tried, and never would try crack, crystal meth or heroin.

  • spidly

    David Lee Roth Makes Van Halen. felt like going to a high school reunion. lots of big hair flipping. more to my wife’s taste but fun anyway.

    Nick, true enough about the difference between recreation and addiction. the big point with criminalization of meth, heroin, crack is that occasional recreation just doesn’t really happen in my experience. the guys doing meth or heroin in high school have died or will soon or are in jail for something. some of us tried it a couple times and moved on, fortunately. If it were taken seriously people would be sent to long term treatment when caught for possession. The problem is we wait until the users get caught for something that warrants serious time before even thinking about making them sober up. by the time they are caught they’ve usually committed hundreds of serious crimes. probably better to piss test people when they’re caught speeding and catch it before they dick up a lot of other peoples lives.

    I don’t put pot in the some category. The heavy smokers I knew sort of stopped growing up the day they started smoking and have mixed success on staying off public assistance. sorry but you shouldn’t get public assistance if you wake and bake. I spent my junior year stoned and I know for a fact you can’t drive for shit when you’ve hit the bong a few times and of course it didn’t stop us from doing it. hey who moved the stop sign back 50 yards. oh damn I’ve been staring at the speedometer for 10 minutes and I don’t know where I am. Yet we were mobile and did plenty bad.

    remember watching a shed burndown the road when a wood pile caught on fire. when the house became involved after 1/2 hour or so we figured out what was going on; the sliding glass door was not the fireplace and we should call the fire dept. that’s Humboldt bud for ya. no way I would be able to testify that it was or was not mickey mouse that robbed the bank after we smoked out, and I only know I had a junior year because I remember my senior year. You must have crap weed where you are.

    acid well that’s just real giddy gameshow and should be in every box of cracker jacks. maybe not, but I really did like it. just haven’t really had the time in 15 years or so to set aside to fry. gotta work and all and pay for my stoner buddies on welfare. Gotta pay for the EITC (G_d that makes me mad) for the tweeker moms I knew – they gotta go to vegas and/or buy drugs and lose their food stamps for a few months because it’s counted as income and they forget that every year. damn it.

    CHL renewed and valid for four more years

    oh well, that should be the end of all that for a couple years anyway.

    I’ll pay off this house and move to property at the ass end of Vernonia and fly my don’t tread on me flag in my heavily fortified compound in the woods.

  • Thanks spidly – food for thought.

  • Nick M

    To be honest I’m not sure that legislation makes the blindest difference to use of crack or crystal meth. They are so obviously very bad things that I honestly can’t understand the mentality of going down that route. It’s almost as though they shouldn’t even need to be illegal to stop folk taking them. Crystal meth hasn’t really taken off in the UK though we do have the insanity of wobbly eggs.

  • The problem is we wait until the users get caught for something that warrants serious time before even thinking about making them sober up. by the time they are caught they’ve usually committed hundreds of serious crimes. probably better to piss test people when they’re caught speeding and catch it before they dick up a lot of other peoples lives.

    The detail that’s being left out here is that a lot of the “serious crimes” they commit are done because (a) they need money to pay blackmarket drug prices and (b) they have already crossed the line to criminality by doing the stuff in the first place and thus have diminished disincentive.

    This detail is crucial.

    However, I agree that any transition to legal drugs needs to be thought out and shouldn’t be done overnight.

    My personal suggestion for a transitional period: we could have government monopoly stores for the hard stuff for three years. (Marijuana should be legalized outright; I am not talking about it here.) Rather like the ABC system in North Carolina or the Systembolaget in Sweden. This would allow the government a chance to monitor addicts for a couple of years, which would go a long way to calming the nerves of people like spidly. At the same time, the government stores could keep their prices low enough to drive a lot of bad guys out of business, or at least slash their profits to the point where crime wouldn’t pay as much (and so wouldn’t be done as much). Best of all, this would turn the financial burden of the current War on Drugs into a plus column on government rolls. No doubt the pols would find a way to spend it on something useless, but I would still appreciate the tax reduction.

    Serial killers may be psychopaths, but the drug industry is pure business. Remove the financial incentive, and huge amounts of crime go away. It really is that simple.

  • Dale Amon

    As much as I’d like to say just legalize it and let the market sort it out, I do see the good sense in your plan. Given the world we live in, those dealers are likely to deal harshly with the competition. I could well imagine legal stores being burnt out; owners being blown up in their cars or given a few broken bones as a warning or just outright shot in a drive by.

    You need a halfway house that can take the non-market heat for long enough to drive the criminals out of business. Once the lower ends of the criminal retail chain are bankrupt you can start the transition to a real free market. The boys on top won’t bother much because they have vast fortunes and won’t waste money on something that is unprofitable; it’s the bottom part of the chain that will fight and kill to keep their territories.

    So I agree with you. It might even take a little longer than 3 years to make sure the old network is really dead, but other than that…

  • Paul Marks


    In is not Ron Paul who is trying to hook up with the neoNazis – it is some staff people of his. Ron Paul is not saying “get my essays into neo Nazi journals” any more than he is saying “get the 9/11 truthers to follow me around, to boost the numbers of people waving my name on sticks” – it is the staff.

    No doubt the same staffers who are advising him to vote for lots of stuff that he would never normally vote for.

    After Ron Paul is defeated the New Hampshire Primary I am hopeing for a big clear out of Ron Paul’s office – and then, I believe, he will go back to being the very good Congressman he once was.

    Nick M.

    The left have had the word “Progressive” (big “P”) in the United States for over a hundred years.

    So when Senator Hillary Clinton calls herself a “Progressive” she is only telling the truth (although, by the standards of a century ago, the lady is a very extreme Progressive) – even down to the “Social Gospel” (as opposed to life after physical death) stuff in religion and the “It takes a village” collectivist ideolgy.

    Hillary was a good student – the young lady soaked up everything she was taught in college. That is why Senator Clinton is a totalitarian – that is what someone becomes if they soak up everything a modern liberal arts education teaches them.

    Ludwig Von Mises noted many decades ago that it was the most intelligent and hard working students who tended to be most collectivist.

    There intelligence and hard work took them to the logical conclusions of the doctrines they were being taught.

    “But surely their intelligence would lead them to doubt the doctrines” – no it does not work that way.

    There is a big difference between the type of mind that solves problems (takes things to their logical conclusions) and the type of mind that questions whether these are the correct “problems” at all (doubts the first principles).

  • spidly

    have to disagree with the idea that prohibition causes crime. crack and meth addicts in particular can have loads of dope and money and do violent strange things. I lived with it. the 2nd problem is that the addict is not employable. even if the costs were low (crack is cheap already) you have to get the money somewhere. there’s PLENTY of crime among the alcoholic homeless street crowd. property crimes, assaults, theft robbery….

  • have to disagree with the idea that prohibition causes crime. crack and meth addicts in particular can have loads of dope and money and do violent strange things.

    No doubt. Just as wealthy people sometimes get pissed drunk on perfectly legal alcohol and do violent and strange things. Drug use continues despite government prohibition. Perhaps you find that shocking; I find it obvious.

    The issue is whether prohibition contributes violence and crime on top of what we would expect from the drugs themselves. Common sense says it does. Under prohibition, in addition to the crimes that people would have committed under the influence anyway – they now have to commit even more to pay the black market prices (which are exorbitant). In addition, because the market is so lucrative (since it is a black market which nevertheless enjoys high demand), there is associated organized crime violence that would not otherwise exist. But perhaps the biggest factor is that by prohibiting their hobbies you make criminals out of otherwise productive people. Once you have crossed the line into criminality (and the penalties for mere possession in the United States are quite stiff, so by mere usage of cocaine, heroin et al you do cross that line), your disincentive to commit additional crimes is much lower.

    I lived with it

    OK – so you’re the Sarah Brady of prohibition. That doesn’t help me. The only common denominator I can see in all of your stories, in fact, is that government prohibition was 100% INeffective at preventing your friends from getting hooked. And indeed, I have never met a person who passed on crack or heroin because it is illegal. They pass on it for the same reason I pass on it: because it is extremely unhealthy and unsafe.

    the 2nd problem is that the addict is not employable.

    It seems to me that this is true whether or not there is prohibition, so this is not convincing without more discussion. For my side – I would say that even crimes committed by “unemployable” addicts would be less frequent under a free market system for drugs simply because these addicts would no longer be paying black market prices. Their lifestyles would still require a certain amount of crime, I suppose, but much less of it than they currently require. I do not think there would be greater numbers of addicts under a free market approach, and what addicts there are now would find it easier to get help. Best of all, the “overhead” of organized crime would have vanished. So yes, there will continue to be “unemployable” addicts under a free market approach, but they will cause less damage, as will the drugs trade in general.

  • spidly

    OK so your the Gump of drug policy. Crack and meth are not alcohol. Crack and Meth don’t really lend themselves to occasional use, progression to addiction occurs very quickly. euphoria, increased energy, insomnia, irritability, panic, increased libido, memory loss, aggression, violence, psychotic behavior, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations.

    just like alcohol, yep yep. pissed off, paranoid, euphoric violent, psychotics, with delusions of invincibility – oh yeah and they don’t pass out for 5 to 14 days. I know it might surprise you but all chemicals are not created equal so you can’t sell arsenic cola though it is a gross violation of our freedoms.
    BBC to Portland. Multnomah is my county

  • Crack and meth are not alcohol.

    No one said they were. Analogies function by comparing an essential characteristic of one thing with an essential characteristic of the other – not by implying that the two things being compared are in all ways the same.

    Crack and Meth don’t really lend themselves to occasional use,

    Which is one of the main reasons that level-headed people steer clear of them. One of the dangers of alcohol, in fact, is that it seems to lend itself to occasional use, but is actually more addictive (for some people) than they are aware. Thus, otherwise level-headed people find themselves much more than occasional users in a very short time. Another associated problem with alcohol is that people often think they are using it responsibly but have in fact drunk past their limit (because it is often difficult to know one’s limit – especially for new or occasional users). They then get into fights, drive drunk and end up killing someone or hurting themselves, beating their wives or doing a whole category of other violent and socially unacceptable criminal things. People on crack and meth can at least predict that they will be dangerous under the influence and take steps to minimize the damage. The danger of alcohol is that people often don’t know ahead of time that they are going to be as inebriated and out of control as they end up being.

    In any case, the point of yours that I was responding to was this:

    have to disagree with the idea that prohibition causes crime. crack and meth addicts in particular can have loads of dope and money and do violent strange things.

    You’re right that crack and meth addicts do violent and strange things – but alcohol addicts do violent and strange things too. The overall point being that I am quite aware that not all drug-related crime is associated with prohibition, but that you are sidestepping the issue of the great amount of drug-related crime that is associated with prohibition.

    Indeed, the legacy of alcohol prohibition is that alcohol use went down only slightly during those years, but crime associated with its use increased greatly – in no small part because the ban was effective against responsible users of alcohol but – unsurprisingly – ineffective against the others. I strongly suspect that that is the situation we are in with prohibition of other drugs now. That is, the usage rates are barely affected (if at all) by prohibition, but associated crime is higher than it would be if the substances were legal.

    Critical points in my comment that you have failed to address:

    (1) Since the government policies that you advocate clearly did not help any of the friends that you continue to bring up, I think we would all be very interested in hearing why you support a policy that treats people you purport to care about as criminals while apparently doing nothing to help them – not even the bare minimum of discouraging them to stay off the stuff in the first place. Your stories are helpful in convincing us to choose not to use the stuff; they are wholly unconvincing as an argument that prohibition is effective in combating their abuse.

    (2) You have said nothing about the effects of prohibition on the crime rate, preferring, instead, to state what was already obvious to everyone: that people under the influence of drugs sometimes commit crimes. Do you, in fact, have any reason to believe that prohibition is having a net beneficial effect on the crime rate? Points you will need to address include: the very real problem of organized crime that results from the drug trade, the very real problem of the increase in crime that accompanies the inflated prices addicts pay for their drugs, the very real problem of making criminals of people who have indulged in these drugs recreationally at parties but are not otherwise addicted or in any way harmful to society (yes, they exist in large numbers – I myself have many friends who meet this description – though I admit that they are all occasional cocaine users. I cannot speak to meth or heroin.), the very real problem of diminished disincentive to commit crimes on the part of people who find themselves made criminals by these statutes, the very real problem of the extreme difficulty of getting help and readjusting to life in the “normal” world after becoming addicted under a system that considers you a felon for making the single mistake of getting addicted, and the very real problem of abuse that results from the need to buy these substances in larger quantities than one normally might because of the need to buy them on the sly and the tendency to use them in group settings.

    All of these issues were either specifically raised or strongly implied in my last comment. I am interested in your responses. Another point that is relevant but was not raised in my last comment that you might consider addressing is all the problems and risks associated with the lack of product transparency in black markets (namely, people get stuff laced with often harmful impurities or have difficulty controlling their usage rates because they are not always sure exactly what they’re buying).

    While it is obvious that you are a strong supporter of prohibition for all (or at least most) drugs currently prohibited, you have done little in the way of advancing rational arguments for prohibition. What you have done instead is told us stories about your friends and given detailed descriptions of what being under the influence of these drugs is like. These things are interesting, but they are not public policy arguments. There is a reason the testimonial fallacy is a fallacy.

  • Midwesterner


    I have a comment to insert in this discussion. I had relative die in her forties of a adult life time of drug abuse. She did not die of an overdose. She died of total systemic failure resulting from chronic drug use.

    How did she benefit from being labeled a criminal? What help to her was it to have the danger of prosecutions and forced testimony placed between her and medical care? How did the threat of compelling her to reveal sources for her drugs help her to find care? How did forcing her to associate with other addicts (habit supporting dealers) and career choice criminals (non-using dealers) help to cure her addiction?

    She was a very kind person whether sober or not. She cannot be there for her daughter. She will never see her grandchildren. She never harmed anyone except by the neglect that comes from addiction taking over one’s life. Her husband tried to help her as best he could, but he was married to a criminal. And that status as a criminal had to temper all of their choices.

    ‘Addicts = criminals’ is no way to help addicts.

    On this site, most of us believe that there is a moral goodness to assisting addicts by our own personal acts. But the criminalization of drugs is nothing more or less than the collectivization of personal responsibility. I oppose drug criminalization for two reasons. First and morally, because it is a collectivization of the individual and that is always wrong both as a goal and a means. Secondly, because good intentions do not absolve negative real consequences.

    We live in a society where we are daily decrying the avalanche of negative consequences coming from the self proclaimed good intentions of our socialist leaders. Drug use is not the one single case in which we should ignore the reality of the consequences of this collectivization process.

    The facts and background you bring to this discussion are very wrenching. You appear to have much to contribute to discussions of drug criminalization. But the information that you have brought so far has, if anything, strengthened my belief in the ultimate failure of collectivized responses to protect any individual, good intentions or not.

    I for one, think you are a very good fit for the ad hoc think tank that is Samizdata. I much enjoy your comments and the thoughts behind them. I strongly suspect that your opinions on drug criminalization will begin to align with the opinions you express in most other spheres. In any transition from collective to individual responsibility, one thing I think is very important is to pay close and cautious attention to the transition process. It is one thing to be lost while hiking and see your destination across a torrent of rushing water. But only an idiot would assume walking in a straight line is the best way to get there. You sound like you would be a very informed guide for that transition.

    I hope that you eventually come to agree with most of us and the rest of your own opinions that collectivization of personal responsibility is wrong in this sphere as well, and at the point you see that, you can help us exploring what is the best way to reach an individual based treatment of addicts effects on those around them. It must be a framework that allows friends and family to assist without having to weave their efforts through a net of criminality and at some point it must be recognized that self destruction by drugs is no morally different than self destruction by dangerous sports or by sedentary deterioration. Either the body belongs to its person or to the state.

  • Paul Marks

    If prohibition worked I would put libertarian principle aside and support it – I hate the damage that drugs do that much.

    But as Midwesterner and others have pointed out – it does not work.

    Of course an American (although not an Englishman like me) has to put more than libertarian principle aside if he is to support Federal prohibition of various drugs.

    The laws against booze were Constitutional because of the 18th Amendent (since repealed) – there has been no Constitutional Amendment to give Congress the power to ban any other drug.

    As for back door bans “we will not give State X money unless it bans the use of such-and-such a drug” – that just shows how the unconstitutional practice of the Federal government funding State governments (or imposing spending mandates upon them) leads to blackmail (and, no, such blackmail is never going to be restricted to the “War on Drugs”).