Thursday, August 12, 2010

American Power And Rhetorical Cowardice

Regular readers may remember my recent post lamenting my conservative counterpart Donald Douglas of American Power's failure, both intellectual and testicular, to even minimally address my arguments in favor of the decriminalization of illicit narcotics, cannabis in particular. I think "loser" and "pile of shit" adequately sum up his entire rebuttal on that count, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that he has once again avoided making any type of intellectual argument in favor of his position in lieu of rhetorical avoidance and tired hyperbole in his post, "Legalizing Cocaine?":

JBW's jonesin' for some kind of debate --- any debate, I guess --- but frankly it seems useless trying to respond to some effete leftist "libertarian" who at most can string together "NANNY STATE", "NANNY STATE", NANNY STATE" until you've had just about enough of that faux intellectualism to last a lifetime. Not only that, JBW's calling for the decriminalization of cocaine, which I can't see how that's going to improve society much. But hey, JBW thinks he knows everything, and apparently that includes all the things I've seen and experienced in my few decades on this Great Green Earth.

That said, just read Sandy Banks' essay at LAT, "
The crack epidemic's toxic legacy." Perhaps reducing some of the harsher criminal sentencing guidelines will ease historical racial disparities (putting aside the causes), but Banks isn't going in for full-blown decriminalization, not by a long shot:

[I've decided not to include the rather long LA Times article Don pastes into his post. It mostly consists of anecdotal stories of drug abuse and addiction and the crime and violence that follow from such behaviour and our government's current drug policy. You can read the whole article at this link.]

Be sure to check
the Times' skid row series as well.

No doubt Mr. "Libertarian" JBW's down with that kind extreme pain, dislocation, and hopelessness as well.

First of all, when have I advocated for the specific legalization of cocaine during our current back and forth about drug legalization? Not in the post Don links to above in which I call him an intellectual coward, nor in the post before that in which I respond to his whining about factory farming of medical cannabis in Oakland, nor even in the year old post in which I refute Don's specific and personal assertion that cannabis is inherently evil and thus destroys every life it touches. Now it is true that I do advocate for a policy of blanket (or nearly so, obviously depending on certain outside societal factors and conditions) drug legalization in the United States but to bring that particular point up now in the face of several posts specifically advocating for the legalization of cannabis smacks of desperation and avoidance.

Also, (and I don't think I need to explain this point to most people reading this but Don might be as well so here it is) calling assertions about an encroaching nanny state philosophy of government "faux intellectualism" without supporting that supposition with any kind of cogent argumentation is the height of literal irony. True, if one were to view the world through the narrow lens of black or white thinking (such as a five-year-old does, for instance) then I can see how Don might think that legalizing cocaine would be bad for society but one would also have to completely ignore all of the negative consequences of our federal government's current war on drugs and the net effect this has on society as well, which Don is of course all too happy to do.

But my favorite part of this post is Don's continued insistence, albeit indirectly this time, that I should somehow embrace him as some type of mentor based on his 13-14 years seniority of me. I hate to disappoint the guy but I've tried this particular song and dance in the patriarchal sense twice in my life and the results were less than stellar both times: my father ignored me until he was on his death bed and my step-father was a serial dick throughout my childhood, so I'm sure I can be excused for not embracing the intellectual arguments of someone who consistently calls me a loser or worse. Plus, when it comes to the topic at hand I usually adhere to the sage advice of comedian and admitted drug user Doug Stanhope:
There's only two types of people who are against drugs: the people who have never done drugs and the people who really sucked at doing drugs.
Based on what I've seen of Don he himself falls squarely within the former category while his arguments against legalization seem to fall squarely within the latter, which means that to my mind all the things he's supposedly seen and experienced in his few decades on this Great Green Earth amount to exactly jack shit when it comes to this particular issue. I'm sorry but merely stating that "drugs are bad" is hardly an intellectual argument, no matter how many idiots you've known who've abused said drugs and ruined their lives in the process and further saying that I'm "down with that kind extreme pain, dislocation, and hopelessness" is just another straw man argument that ignores the mountain of evidence of extreme pain, dislocation and hopelessness that similarly results from our country's continued failed war on drugs.

One of these policy positions on drug legalization advocates for personal freedom and individual responsibility for one's own actions; the other advocates for an oppressive nanny state government that would deny those same freedoms and responsibilities in favor of laws that intrude upon people's personal lives and punish adults for indulging in sometimes personally destructive behaviour in the guise of protecting them and the rest of society from themselves. Guess which type of world view Don endorses. I'll say it again: intellectual coward, and much more, conservative: my white ass.


JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Sorry JBW. Gotta go with Don on this one. How can you argue with "loser" and "pile of shit"?

I just hope my boy doesn't read this and decide he wants to be like Don instead of you. Of course then again, his thesis for a political science degree would be a lot easier. Just type "Loser and pile of shit" and he's in. Gets a great job at a community college where he can work for and mother fuck government on his blog all day. Far easier than all that anthropolgy stuff he'd have to remember.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of good reasons for keeping many drugs illegal, but there are far more better reasons for calling you a loser.

Suck it, Trebek.

JBW said...

From what I hear your boy seems too smart to become a hack prof like Don, T101. Keep him on the straight and narrow: vino and blogging, blogging and vino. I foresee good things.

JBW said...

True perhaps on both counts one L, all I'm asking the man to do is list and defend them. Now I'll take "ape tit" for 400, Alex.

AmPowerBlog said...

"[Because I'm an intellectual coward who projects my failures onto my enemies] I've decided not to include the rather long LA Times article Don pastes into his post. It mostly consists of anecdotal stories of drug abuse and addiction and the crime and violence that follow from such behaviour and our government's current drug policy."

JBW said...

LOL! Yes Don, it's my own irrationality about the drug war and my own need for a protector government that I'm just foisting upon you. Please unburden me of my inadequacies! And "intellectual coward" is my pet name for you, dumpling. Better to stick with "loser" and "pile of shit", they sound more natural coming out of your mouth.