Bennett Defends Radio Remarks

  Bennett Defends Radio Remarks

Posted by CN Staff on October 01, 2005 at 07:04:26 PT
By Michael A. Fletcher and Brian Faler 
Source: Washington Post 

Washington, D.C. -- Conservative commentator William Bennett yesterday defended comments he made on his radio talk show suggesting that aborting black children would reduce crime, saying he was merely musing about a hypothetical argument and he made plain to listeners that he was not stating his own position.Bennett, a former U.S. education secretary and national drug policy director, is under fire from Democrats, civil rights leaders, black conservatives and, as of yesterday, the White House and the Republican Party for saying Wednesday that "you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down."
He added immediately that such a thing would be "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do."Yesterday, with the storm over these comments intensifying, Bennett released a defiant statement saying critics unfairly had pulled his comment out of context: "A thought experiment about public policy, on national radio, should not have received the condemnations it has."Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, in a statement typical of a parade of similar comments from Democrats, denounced the remarks and called on Bennett to apologize. "Bill Bennett's hateful, inflammatory remarks regarding African Americans are simply inexcusable," he said. ". . . Are these the values of the Republican Party and its conservative allies?"The White House and other Republicans made haste to say that the answer to Dean's question is no. Asked President Bush's reaction to Bennett's remarks, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, "The president believes the comments were not appropriate."Similarly, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, who has been reaching out to African Americans and other minorities, called Bennett's comments "regrettable and inappropriate." But Mehlman also lashed out at liberals whom he accused of engaging in racially divisive rhetoric when it suits their interests: "What's much worse is the hypocrisy . . . from the left."The combative Bennett, whose syndicated radio show airs on the Salem Radio Network, offered no apologies. He explained that his comments came in response to a caller who suggested that Social Security would be in better financial shape if abortion were illegal, leaving more people to pay into the system. Bennett cautioned against making such far-reaching arguments and drove home his point by offering what he called "a noxious hypothetical analogy" to reducing crime by aborting black children.Bennett's statement went on to say that "the whole issue of crime and race" has been on people's minds in light of the situation in New Orleans, and is aired frequently in academic settings. Given that, he called his comments barely noteworthy."Anyone paying attention to this debate should be offended by those who have selectively quoted me, distorted my meaning, and taken out of context the dialogue I engaged in this week," his statement said.Others disagreed. Michelle D. Bernard, senior vice president of the conservative Independent Women's Forum, said Bennett's remarks underscore why many African Americans distrust conservatives even if they share similar values on some social and religious issues."In choosing to use the hypothetical genocide of black children as a way to reduce crime . . ., Bennett shamefully traded on the pervasive stereotype that it is African Americans who are responsible for all of the crime in the United States," she said. "People wonder why black people don't trust . . . notions such as compassionate conservatism, and Bill Bennett just added fuel to the fire the Bush administration has worked hard to put out."Robert Woodson Sr., president of the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, said "it was stupid" for Bennett to even ruminate on such an explosive topic but defended him as a good man. "Sometimes intellectuals become detached from common sense," he said.Note: Republicans Join Criticism of Talk on Race, Abortion and CrimeSource: Washington Post (DC)Author:  Michael A. Fletcher and Brian Faler, Washington Post Staff WritersPublished: Saturday, October 1, 2005; A02Copyright: 2005 Washington Post Contact: letterstoed washpost.comWebsite: Related Articles: 'Top-Floor' Treatment in D.C. for a 'Death of Neglect'

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Comment #50 posted by Sukoi on October 03, 2005 at 18:57:12 PT
Thanks Kapt and Mayan
Both of you will contribute immensely and afterall, changing minds is what is needed right? Kapt, you've got mail at that forum and Mayan, you will too in a minute. You guys rock as does everyone here at CNews!!!
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Comment #49 posted by runderwo on October 03, 2005 at 17:50:00 PT
sorry guys
I'm really not trying to say meth is good or that people should do meth. Simply that the fact of the matter is that people do meth, and that it is so easy to get that anyone who would ever do it is already doing it. Starting from that point is where I go from when determining what policy would minimize the associated harm. Yes, in a perfect world from a harm reduction perspective they would not touch meth and use cannabis instead. Perhaps they have good reasons for using meth, perhaps not. But playing ostrich on the issue isn't going to reduce overall harm.I guess it depends if your goal is to reduce harm, or to discourage people from using non-herbal medicine. I have no stance on that which is why I don't view meth use or use of other hard drugs as an inherent problem like 'herbalist' types might. Only when it harms others or begins to measurable harm the user is when intervention should be necessary, in my opinion. And that is why prohibition is not justified, because clearly prohibition is the cause of clandestine meth labs that create hazmat sites and destroy children's lives. The ROOT cause is people that want meth, but prohibition is something we can control - people wanting meth is not something we can control.I'm not meaning to offend anyone here who has lost a loved one to meth. I almost lost one to heroin and cocaine, but I try not to let that cloud my reasoning. I am aware that this thread is far off topic so I'll just kill it here.
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Comment #48 posted by runruff on October 03, 2005 at 10:09:00 PT:
I Claudius.
Kapt, I saw the series. Also read the books, "I Claudius" and "Claudius The God". By Graves. The series was great. The Books were better. Great line from the series !Namaste
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Comment #47 posted by mayan on October 03, 2005 at 05:34:47 PT
Just went over and put in my two cents. Darwin's Friend is an arrogant a**hole!
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Comment #46 posted by kaptinemo on October 03, 2005 at 03:39:28 PT:
Okay, Sukoi, I'm there
Just threw my hat in the ring. But judging from the comments there, you have several "Jakes" running loose, and their skulls seem as impervious to rational dialog and as prone to circular logic as "Jake's" is. But I'll give it a go.For the curious, you might want to have a look here: It's the forum that Sukoi has been posting in lately. You'll have to use the links on the lower right to advance to the latest postings.
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Comment #45 posted by Sukoi on October 02, 2005 at 19:12:39 PT
Kapt, I forgot to tell you that I only have one email account, only one!!! 
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Comment #44 posted by Sukoi on October 02, 2005 at 19:10:10 PT
Okay, I just sant you what i sent you earlier but in reverse order. Please respond via email.
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Comment #43 posted by kaptinemo on October 02, 2005 at 16:16:42 PT:
Sukoi, you'll have to try again
It's still putting your email in the Bulk Folder; can you use another email address?
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Comment #42 posted by rchandar on October 02, 2005 at 16:04:14 PT:
hey folks...
...remember al campamanis? That's what Bennett sounds like.--rchandar
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Comment #41 posted by Jim Lunsford on October 02, 2005 at 15:50:22 PT
Legalization isn't condoning...
it's simply admitting that people use the substance, and that if they are legalized they can get the social support they need to deal with their own demons. Prohibition increases the use of the controlled substance and inhibits treatment. Many people turn to these harder drugs as they truly don't have any hope in their lives, or are simply dis-believing that it could affect them. After all, weren't they lied to about cannabis? 
  I've done meth as well, and I can see how it's addictive powers can take over a life, but with a legalized and regulated and refined marketplace structure for it, their will be treatment and true drug education. Thereby lowering use of the drug with it's legalization. Cannabis is different in that it would increase consumption, but that would be a good thing. Take care all, Rev Jim
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Comment #40 posted by lombar on October 02, 2005 at 13:14:58 PT
"To say you will never support something means that future developments are irrelevant to you - that isn't a very open minded way of looking at things and it honestly surprises me. "Your judgement is in error. If there are 'legitimate' uses of meth then doctors will prescribe it. Not everybody is 'perfect' and above 'addiction' and most people should be sheparded away from the dark side of any drug. We should teach our children to avoid foolish pursuits, and the state SHOULD police dangerous behavior. Now you want to be able to pop a couple bennies on the weekend with a few beers because you might believe you can handle it, maybe you can. I'll never support a free-for-all for drugs and its not because of supporting prohibition. It's because it is irresponsible and dangerous. Ultimately, you may be correct, the 'drug' store of the future will have a whole new meaning, in the 'cheap crack,crank, and jib for everybody' days may be the solution to the 'drug' problem which is a political problem really, but that can take a few more generations for all I care. Declaring all drugs legal tomorrow may make things worse, it may make things better, but we'll never know because no government will ever do it. If my mind seems closed it is from many years of experience with drugs, I have seen first hand the destructive capacity, a few dead friends will close your mind too(yes, they reaped the fruit of their own acts but the survivors always wonder 'what if we had dragged them to detox' along with sorrow). Having cheap pure drugs would not have changed that. There is NO WAY I could ever advocate easy access to hard drugs outside a clinical environment.Pushing for legalizing all drugs just hurts efforts to legalize the one the should be legal...cannabis(herb - not drug)! It does not help sway the people who fight the drug war to suggest that little 21 year old Bobby should be able to go down to wal-greens and pick up some china white for the weekend, it plays right into their hand.Why mess with deadly poisons when you can just grow a nice non-toxic herb like cannabis? I am for harm reduction, not easy-to-get cheap hard drugs. The harms caused by cannabis prohibition far and away outweigh any harms (debatable to non-existent to actually helpful) caused by cannabis. I am not so certain that is true of the other drugs. 
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Comment #39 posted by FoM on October 02, 2005 at 11:30:57 PT
Cannabis being illegal is a moral issue. That's why the site is called cannabis news. I never was interested in hard drug issues. They just aren't the same thing to me.Cannabis is a good medicine and that's why I got involved in this because of my son never being allowed to use Cannabis when he was wasting away from having Aids.
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Comment #38 posted by runderwo on October 02, 2005 at 11:22:05 PT
In the thousands? According to SAMHSA:"Based on SAMHSA's 2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.4 million persons aged 12 or older (0.6% of the population) had used methamphetamine in the past year"FoM, I don't know what you're getting at. What if someone overdoses on aspirin or an antidepressant or whatever? There will be an investigation as to whether or not the manufacturer included the appropriate warnings, time-release mechanisms, purity, and things like that. If the manufacturer is found to be negligent, they will be open to a suit from someone on behalf of the dead or disabled individual.To say you will never support something means that future developments are irrelevant to you - that isn't a very open minded way of looking at things and it honestly surprises me. How many people said they would never use marijuana after hearing the government propaganda, and went to their grave with a closed mind and supporting a soulless prohibition.The argument regarding meth is far less of a moral one and more of a practical one. But that does not mean it is beyond consideration that legitimate users should be accomodated and shepherded away from the dark side of meth, in order to lessen the overall harm associated with meth and other speed drugs.
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Comment #37 posted by FoM on October 02, 2005 at 08:26:55 PT
I agree with you.
Radio For Neil Young Fans
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Comment #36 posted by lombar on October 02, 2005 at 08:22:07 PT
Politics is a euphemism for BS.
I don't think we have to worry too much about all drugs being legalized. Cannabis is a herb that millions use, despite prohibition. The numbers of users of the other drugs is reckoned only in the thousands. They are not likely to form political action groups, organizations like NORML, or MPP, and have so many lobbying for change. Ultimately, decriminalizing all drugs would be better for society but allowing free access to the harder drugs is unrealistic. Nor would the many vested interests allow it. If I can buy meth, how about anti-biotics? There's been many times I could have skipped the doctor and gone right for the anti-biotic? The 'gatekeepers' of drugs are not going to allow the paradigm to shift that far. I would be quite happy to just remove the stigma associated with cannabis, others may feel they should be able to buy crack with their coffee, or herion for pain relief, that's fine. If we could just get the politics out of drugs and pain relief, doctors would prescribe whatever you need. Whatever else happens with drugs, the drug war has to end. Society is STILL losing.
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Comment #35 posted by Sukoi on October 02, 2005 at 06:08:45 PT
... did you ever change your email settings? You've got mail again.
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Comment #34 posted by mayan on October 02, 2005 at 05:54:59 PT
Philly parents want $3M Bennett pact aborted: one, Billy!
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Comment #33 posted by Dankhank on October 02, 2005 at 04:24:20 PT
In the interest of fairness and accuracy, illegal Meth/Ice whatever ... is vaporised, not smoked. The product is heated, not burned.
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Comment #32 posted by kaptinemo on October 02, 2005 at 03:35:53 PT:
"Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud,
...hatch out!" One of my favorite lines from the old BBC series "I, Claudius". Roman Emperror Claudius is old, and drunk amd looking back on his past with a feeling that, since things have been quiet for a long time, trouble must be coming, so he makes that statement.Mr. Bennett, the official S***ter Of Wisdom and (faux) Morality of the Republicans, has just made a Freaudian slip regarding how he and his party feel about African-Americans. After all, he could have simply said "lower income families", or "inner city families" or even "single parent families" and the rank-and-file would have picked up on the 'code words' and divined that he was indeed talking about African-Americans and they all would have sagely nodded amongst themselves and smiled unctuously at those who 'didn't get it' that that was the intent.But, no, he went and said it, outright. A rare and telling moment of candor.It reminds me of something that was said about the so-called "Weed and Seed" program for inner cities; the idea that you 'weed out' drug dealers as it they were crabgrass and dandelions. Dan Baum, in his excellent book, "Smoke And Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure" gives an example of the reaction of police officers to the new program: looking at several African-American kids playing basketball, a White policemen says "That's how we'll take care of those people". I leave to the reader's imagination as to how said cop would like 'take care' of 'those people'. (It's always 'those people' with prohibitionists.)Bennett's statement should surprise no one; this kind of political Freudian slip has happened occasionally these past 10 years or more. Every now and then, some Republican functionary will, when feeling safe amongst his own and able to 'let his hair down', lets loose with a verbal racial gaffe which leads one to believe that this is a commonly shared attitude amongst the Party members. For example, Michigan State Rep. John Pappageorge's comments at a Republican county meeting in July 2004 : "If we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a tough time in this election cycle." (Tranlsation: suppress the *African-American* polity's vote.) A practice that seems to be at the forefront of Republican strategy in election years by making it as difficult as possible for African-Americans to vote, given the myriad examples of seeming voter harassment that has taken place these last 3 elections have affected largely those whose skin contains a lot of melannin.The poisons of the racial origin of the muddy DrugWar are starting to hatch out. But this time, more and more of the minority persuasion of this country are becoming wise to it: Black State Legislators Condemn Drug War, Seek Alternatives Very soon, what was once the seemingly eternal and Immovable Object of the DrugWar will meet the Irrestiable Force of African-American's anger at being its' primary target will result in turning that anger into political action. The day prominent African-Americans join together and call out the DrugWar for what it is and demand its' dismantling is the day its' death-knell will be sounded. You can bet the likes of Karl Rove know this very well.
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Comment #31 posted by Jim Lunsford on October 02, 2005 at 00:12:24 PT
On All Victimless Crimes
such as drug use, prostitution, BASE jumping, etc., I am all in favor of it being legal. After all, Spinoza said something like "Any law that harms no one other than the person breaking the law, is to be laughed at". In short, it doesn't really matter to me if someone shoots up heroin, or smokes crack or meth, or whatever. As long as they are of legal age, and afforded the social infrastructure (i.e. education, opportunity, etc.) then they should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as it doesn't endanger anyone else. In other words, I guess I am a true Republican conservative. I don't approve of meth either, I just believe that all forms of prohibition against such "crimes" are counter productive at best.
  I think that a society that put it's money into social programs which would help to produce a truly educated and abundant society would not need such a draconian system of government as we have here in the US. On the politica parties, I despise both the dems and the pubes. They are both the parties of the whores our society demands of it's government. When will people learn that the only purpose of government is to oppress the people? Personally, I render unto ceaser exactly what he deserves, only my contempt. Jefferson must be rolling in his grave at the spinelessness of our citizenry. 
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Comment #30 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 22:30:46 PT

Thanks, I guess that isn't what I mean. I mean who will be responsible if someone snorts or shoots Meth and dies? What pharmaceutical company would risk it? It's the method of ingestion that makes Meth much more dangerous then a diet pill (amphetamine). When a substance is broken down in the digestive system it doesn't pack the wallop that snorting, shooting or smoking does. See what I mean?
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on October 01, 2005 at 22:19:46 PT

Probably, if a person overdosed, it would be the same thing as if they overdosed on aspirin or Tylenol. They wouldn't have a law suit to bring if they misused it or had a fatal allergic reaction to it. You can't sue Planters or Peter Pan because of your allergy to peanuts. Clear warning labels, of course, would be a necessity.
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 20:11:11 PT

I will never support anything concerning Meth because I know it's danger but I want to ask you a question. Let's say it's legal and controlled. When a person dies from using the drug who can the family of the person sue? If a person dies from a legal drug now they can sue and win.
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Comment #27 posted by runderwo on October 01, 2005 at 19:50:56 PT

We are confusing addiction and dependence here. Dependence is a component of addiction characterized by tolerance and withdrawal. If you chewed enough coca leaves or drank enough poppy tea, you would become as dependent as someone who injected or snorted the same quantity. The difference is the onset of the pleasurable "rush", the reinforcing component. Being dependent on the drug to stave off withdrawal symptoms is not the same as being dependent on it to obtain pleasure, and both conditions can simultaneously exist.Regarding refined variants of natural drugs that provide that rush better than the natural state: Thrill seeking individuals by nature are going to seek the most intense rush possible. Only the threat of consequences will turn them away, and for some not even the consequences are deterrent enough. These individuals are self-destructive. Let's confine them to their own little corner and let them destroy themselves if they are dead set on it. The best we can do is offer them help and protect others from them. What we should not be doing is allowing these individuals to define a mainstream market by cutting off legitimate responsible users from the preparations most suited for legitimate, responsible use. And that is exactly what we are doing with methamphetamine. It's not like anyone is pushing it; it sells itself by virtue of its utilitarian aspects as well as its thrill seeking aspects. Unfortunately, it is far too easy with black market meth to cross over from the utilitarian to the thrill seeking, and that is the road to destruction at the hands of meth.Meth is never going to go away until people realize injected and snorted meth is simply bad news, and until our society places less of a value on workaholism. The sooner we realize this and partition off legitimate use from illegitimate/dangerous use, the better off we will all be.And yes, people still distill spirits on their own. So what? Doing so does not pose a danger to the neighbors or the children who live in the house. The point of selling meth over the counter is to remove any possible profit motive for these dangerous labs to make it. When the profit motive does not exist, the existence of such labs will be minimized.A similar argument exists for cocaine and heroin to stop funneling money to terrorist groups around the world; if we keep it in the country, we can use it to treat addicts and fund law enforcement. If we send that moeny around the world instead, we are sending it to terrorists who will attack free countries, and we also are leaving ourselves with a negative economy because we have to pay for treatment (and incarceration) ourselves, instead of with the taxes that would accompany the sale of the drug in a legalized, regulated environment.
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 17:26:11 PT

About Plants
When I was a very small child I remember my mother telling me about plants and not to eat them. I thought it was funny. Who would eat a plant I thought. She said that some plants have pretty berries but they are poisonous if I would eat them so don't she said. I believe that plants should have warnings as to potential problems. 
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Comment #25 posted by charmed quark on October 01, 2005 at 17:18:30 PT

plant-based drugs
I was on the west coast of Canada a while back. The neighbor was an elderly lady whose yard was jam-packed with opium poppies. Apparently these are either legal there or nobody cares. I asked her if she grew them for their color. She said no, they were medicine. She made tea out of them when she couldn't sleep. She said it was a gentle but effective sleep aid. A very different animal than heroin, I think most of us would agree. Just like chewing cocoa leaves. Or drinking cannabis tea.I think it should be legal to grow any herb you want as long as you grow it in a manner that the more dangerous ones don't present too much danger to children ( like Castor beans, perhaps). If someone wants to go to the trouble of refining them into a potent drug for their own use, well, that's their business.I think it's fine to have laws regulating, maybe banning, the selling of these refined products. But I think doctors and/or clinics should always have access to them for treating addicts.That's just my feel about all this. I think drugs like meth are pretty nasty and I certainly don't want them sold next to the cigarettes. Of course, I consider tobacco one of the most addicting and deadly drugs out there, and it is only lightly refined. With alcohol, a pretty natural drug, a close second. Meth probably pales next to this combo. So I am confused about what the best market solution is - free or controlled. But when it comes to growing botanicals, I have no confusion whatsoever: let it grow!-CQ
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Comment #24 posted by global_warming on October 01, 2005 at 15:59:19 PT

WOW Comments 5 and 6
"The prohibition of cannabis is a big mistake that is contributing to the drug problems. It is based wholly on falsehoods and hypocrisy which totally destroys the message that there are dangerous drugs that should be avoided for you own benefit, forget society. I know I know...I'm preaching to the choir .... Cheers!"Thank You and Amengwstill standing by the river
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Comment #23 posted by mayan on October 01, 2005 at 15:53:35 PT

Sure, Bennett's analogy was way out of line, but is anyone really surprised? Sadly, I only expect such comments from swine such as Bennet. It may just be a distraction.Let's see, two stolen presidential elections, government complicity in 9/11, an illegal,preemptive war waged in our name with our money,increased persecution of medical cannabis patients...if only folks were as outraged by the things that are even more outrageous. It wouldn't surprise me if his comments were timed just to keep the media distracted from the fledgling civil war in Iraq, the downfall of DeLay and Frist and also Bush's and Congress' plummeting poll numbers. Bennett is a loser. I don't need another reason to know that to be true.
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Comment #22 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 14:54:21 PT

But he didn't bet the Milk Money Million faces of our boy BillToday I purchased a $5 lottery ticket. According to Bill, that must make be morally bankrupt. He dumped about 8 million sneaking in and out the back doors of Las Vegas casinos. I think of the ads on the boob tube, "What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas". How come they didn't keep him.Clowns to the Left of me, & Jokers to the Right

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Comment #21 posted by JHarshaw on October 01, 2005 at 14:46:23 PT

O. T.
Anybody here use PayPal?
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Comment #20 posted by rchandar on October 01, 2005 at 14:28:02 PT:

i'm going to say, 'see I told you so...'
...a few years early. Remember when Bennett was Head of the Department of Education, had that best-selling book about modern morals? It's just a reminder, folks. When these right-wing people fulfil and end their terms of public responsibility and sit by the fireplace, these kinds of ridiculous statements just kind of flow from their mouths. it's a reminder about what you elected, made yourself bedfellows with.(Compare that with Clinton, now doing everything he can to help homeless and hungry Third World kids healthier and more prosperous).--rchandar
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Comment #19 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 14:18:30 PT

IQ Levels
"Sometimes intellectuals become detached from common sense,"
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Comment #18 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 14:13:50 PT

Most of life usually is black or white, but sometimes there are many shades of gray that enter the picture. It's how people deal with things when the clouds start gathering & blocking out the light is of big concern to me.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 13:50:00 PT

Had Enough 
Thank you and everyone for talking about these issues. Life just isn't black and white. We live in so many shades of grey.
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Comment #16 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 13:32:49 PT

Worth Knowing About
Contaminated Liquor Kills 14 In India the Beat Goes On
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Comment #15 posted by AlvinCool on October 01, 2005 at 13:12:25 PT

runderwo comment #9
I can't agree with your comments about plants. Sure opium comes from poppies and cocaine comes from coca, we all know that. The problem comes from the refinment of those plants into a completely different product. Chewing coca leaves has been done for thousands of years without a problem, but when we decided to refine it to a much higer degree we encounter addiction. The same principle applies to opium. Cannabis is the only one of the three that can be used in it's original format in a safe and useful manner and even if you try to boil it down it will not come out addictive and harmful to a fatal degree.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 12:55:32 PT

I know that I look at the Meth issue differently then some people but it's just how I see it. Did ending alcohol prohibition stop illegal stills? There will always be people that will try to make it cheaper and with less hassles. 
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Comment #13 posted by goneposthole on October 01, 2005 at 12:37:20 PT

Republicans want abortion illegal
Isn't Bill Bennet being somewhat hypocritical here? Republicans, the mighty moral 'holier than thou' ones, want Roe v. Wade overturned. Here is a neocon, a so-called 'Republican' advocating abortion. Hypocrites R Us should be the real name of the jokers who now call themselves 'Republicans.' I have a better idea. It would have been better if all Republicans would have been aborted starting some sixty-eight years ago. Crime would be non-existent.It will be a better world with the 'Republicans' out of the way. The sooner, the better. It is time to start to ignore anything they have to say. They don't merit discussion.Reefer time
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Comment #12 posted by runderwo on October 01, 2005 at 12:23:06 PT

Meth is an amphetamine. There is very little difference between meth and other amphetamines except for the threshold dosage. Given amphetamines over the counter, meth is easy to synthesize, but again you are leaving that job to untrained cooks in residential areas. Selling meth over the counter would satisfy the demand for legitimate users; for illegimate uses, it would remove the dangerous meth derivation labs from residential areas, and ensure that the illegimate user's supply is not contaminated with poisonous chemicals. Yes, it is a bad idea to get high off meth. Unfortunately, it seems to be an even worse idea to attempt to enforce a prohibition on it.
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Comment #11 posted by runderwo on October 01, 2005 at 12:17:49 PT

I wanted to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. He did make it clear that his statement was not suggesting a course of action, so fine, he has clarified that he does not intend to have black babies aborted. But he did not contradict the original statement, which is that aborting black babies would reduce the crime rate. This is by definition a racist comment. He did not say aborting inner city or lower class babies would reduce the crime rate. He said black babies. That is the problem I have with his statement.He may try to wiggle out of it by saying that well, since the black crime rate is very high, then it follows that aborting black babies would reduce the crime rate. There are several problems with this argument. First, it is a post hoc fallacy. Just because the black crime rate is very high does not imply that the nature of being black causes you to commit crimes, and there is no obvious evidence to suggest causation there. Second, this doesn't take into account profiling tactics which subject minorities to higher arrest and incarceration rates. Finally, maybe the crime rate is actually fixed given a particular level of law enforcement, and reducing the number of black youths will only create more opportunities for white youths to become hoodlums.All in all, it was a ridiculous proposition, even in jest, and I think it is fair to criticize him harshly. He should be apologizing for such a comment, not trying to justify it. But it's all about damage control and saving face in modern politics.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 12:11:38 PT

My opinion about Meth comes from my own personal experience from back in the 70s. This is a bad drug and I think the answer is to loosen up on amphetamines like it was many years ago. People got into Meth because it was hard to get diet pills if you weren't overweight.Snorting and shooting speed is the thing that causes the problems and now maybe today smoking it too. 
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Comment #9 posted by runderwo on October 01, 2005 at 12:10:27 PT

The opium poppy is a plant, it grows in the ground just like cannabis.  And so does coca. And DMT is obtained from grinding up several different South American plants. Somehow I don't think we would be as enthusiastic to apply that same chain of reasoning to those plants.
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Comment #8 posted by runderwo on October 01, 2005 at 12:06:12 PT

Meth is a poor choice of drug to get 'high' off. That does not mean it is necessarily dangerous and/or toxic when used correctly. Many people who are introduced into the "underworld" of homemade, injected speed are people who want it for very practical reasons, the same reasons it was sold over the counter for many years. Since it is not sold in a pill form on the black market, the rush of snorting or injecting it is unavoidable. That rush is what reinforces the drug taking behavior. In pill form, this rush does not exist unless the user goes out of his way to crush up the pill and snort it.People who want to get high on meth are going to get high and destroy their lives no matter what we do, how much money we spend, how toxic the home cooked substance is, and how many unintended consequences we tolerate as we fight a war on it. A harm reduction approach would make speed available behind the counter at pharmacies so that people who use it for utilitarian purposes are distanced as far away as possible from the nightmare underworld of black market meth.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 11:47:49 PT

All I can say is preach on. Even the choir needs to be lifted up.
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Comment #6 posted by lombar on October 01, 2005 at 11:42:04 PT

I, too, really don't want to see methamphetamine sold beside alcohol. I really only want them to legalize cannabis, its a plant, its just fine totally unrefined. The powders, like alcohol require refinement which is the hand of man, so to speak. I think a lot of the hard drug markets would dry up with a legal cannabis market. Hard drug users like herion users should have clinics to get their stuff, not a free for all, as you say. The most important thing is to get the police out of the drug problems except where truly needed, the current system is counterproductive. Nobody should start using crystal, it is truly the poison that the claim pot to be. Except for the gateway effect, most of the reefer madness lies actually do apply to meth. Brain damage, harsh addiction, bad teeth, killed liver, stressed heart, bad skin, lesions, etc. There are people drooling for the rest of their lives in institutions because they got hooked up on meth. It causes many deaths as well. I think the only reason I never tried it was the stories my brother told me when I was young. Without scaring me, he scared me. He talked about his experiences and some of his dead friends. I believed him... I have since seen the effects first hand.The prohibition of cannabis is a big mistake that is contributing to the drug problems. It is based wholly on falsehoods and hypocrisy which totally destroys the message that there are dangerous drugs that should be avoided for you own benefit, forget society. I know I know...I'm preaching to the choir ....
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 10:51:49 PT

Crime and Poverty
I'm not a person who uses the word legalization because it always means a free for all and I don't agree with that philosophy. I do believe that the reason why so many black people are selling hard drugs is because it's the only way to make enough money to live. Without jobs drugs are the only alternative to having absolutely no money. We need money to eat, to have a place to lay our head down at night and be warm in the winter. Legalization won't solve those problems but looking at why drug crime goes on is one that we really need to look at seriously.
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Comment #4 posted by Max Flowers on October 01, 2005 at 09:34:06 PT

I always knew he was a total moron and bigot
Nice of him to prove me right.Now of course we'll hear the other "sicko Bill", O'Reilly that is, condemn Bennett on his show even though in private I know he is capable of saying the same kind of thing (or worse?). He's a little less sloppy than Bennett though.One more dark ugly blot on the record of the "compassionate conservatives." I bet they're all deleting his name from their little black books full of right-wing minions for hire.
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Comment #3 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 07:40:31 PT

The Wall Street Journal Thursday, September 7, 1989An Open Letter to Bill Bennet
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on October 01, 2005 at 07:38:28 PT

Maybe Mr. Bennett Should Watch This Video
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Comment #1 posted by Had Enough on October 01, 2005 at 07:36:05 PT

The Most Moral Man in America
Oh No!!! It's Mr. Bill
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