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The debate I always wanted to have

In addition to admiring Glenn Greenwald’s powerful writing in opposition to authoritarian trends in government, politics and media, I now have reason to be extremely jealous of him.

For years, I used to dream of the notion of being able to debate Bush’s drug czar John Walters. Ever since 2003, I’ve said that I’d debate him any time, and even pay my own way.

Glenn Greenwald got there first.

Last Thursday at Brown University, I debated former Bush drug czar John Walters on the virtues of drug legalization, and the video is below. The aspect of With Liberty and Justice for Some that has received the most attention is the shield of immunity for elite lawbreaking, but the other side of that rule-of-law evisceration — the incomparably harsh and sprawling penal state America has created for its ordinary citizens — is at least as important, and it is the Drug War that personifies the worst abuses of that punishment system and accounts for much of it.

I began the debate by presenting a 25-minute argument, which was followed by Walters’ doing the same, and the next hour was composed of a quite contentious question-and-answer session with the audience of roughly 300 people. This was a vibrant and confrontational debate that, I think, really underscores the key issues in the controversy and will be worthwhile for anyone with an interest in these questions:

Full video is at the link. Haven’t had time to watch it yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

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20 comments to The debate I always wanted to have

  • claygooding

    Will watch that and I already heard that Glenn owned Walters throughout the debate.

    DEA raids multiple Seattle-area pot dispensaries

    The crack down included dispensaries in Seattle and other locations in King, Pierce and Thurston counties

    http://www.q13fox.com/news/kcpq-dea-raids-seattlearea-pot-dispensaries-20111115,0,6489371.story

    The mighty sword of the federal government is falling,,and there is no sign of victory except to make the cartels richer. I saw a report that said Mexico has a bumper crop this year,,I guess the DEA is insuring that they can sell it.

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  • vickyvampire

    Walters is F**king moron listening to debate he believes regular exposure of any drug long term can turn you into an full blown addict,He does nothing to explain or differentiate dependency on long term use for pain use.
    Oh now he brings up dependency so what these substances make life worth living you moron this is pro-exhibitionists do not get life is short who gives a FUCK except for sado-moralist what we put in our bodies.
    He is saying that these changes in brain create risk factors please life is a risk factor.
    Walters says it not about locking up folks bloody liar.Then how about letting those folks just go to rehab no police record.He’s talking out of both side of his mouth.Bastard.
    Walters keeps talking about drugs making us out of control is that why I’m more productive than ever since I started using for Cannabis to control pain. LIAR.
    Walter TRUMPING DRUG COURTS and a gentleman just shot down all his arguments Walters is has prepared and lies has that moron Hermain Cain that could not about Libya.Good Grief.

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    • claygooding

      Told you I had heard that Walters got owned,,I got stuck at brain changes and had to go barf,,,will go back for finish after I take some medication,,maybe an overdose will be necessary.

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  • tintguy

    Unrelated but why have I heard no news from any reform outlets about the Adderall shortage? Here’s a story from my area: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/29532008/detail.html

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Purdue Pharma sure wouldn’t let that happen. Plenty of Oxycontin for anyone who wants some. They should buy Shire or at least show them how to do the job right.

      I actually had a script for Adderall (racemic amphetamine) in 2006. A script, as in one, as in that shit is speed. Back in the 1970s we had lots and lots of black beauties which were biphetamine IIRC. Those Adderall gave me black beauty flashbacks. Some of my fellow ancients might recall an episode of Taxi when Alex “accidentally” ate some of Reverend Jim’s speed. That was me on Adderall, no doubt.

      Now it isn’t that I don’t like speed, that’s actually why I avoid the stuff, I like it too much. It took me 3 days to eat what that sorry ass doctor said was a 30 day supply. 30 day supply for a chipmunk, maybe.

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      • Windy

        Black beauties, Biphetamine 20s, I remember them fondly, even clean-but-clandestine-lab-meth created by actual chemists can’t hold a candle to that pure clean high from those BBs, plus no burnt out nasal membranes. One would keep me up for three days, and my creativity would blossom, I would focus like a laser on my project, then I’d sleep 12 hours and be good as new. I’m too old for that kind of stuff nowadays, it would likely cause me a heart attack or stroke, but I have my memories and I kept some of my better projects, so no prob.

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  • BestSubHeaderEver

    The DARE Dildo Debacle: Crime Commission President Calls For ‘A Hard Look’ At Backpack Full of Dongs

    “Cason claimed this bag as his until the contents of the bag were discovered,” according to the report, at which time he denied owning it. The dildo-filled backpack, along with the DARE vehicle, was turned over to a lieutenant in the Tangipahoa Sheriff’s Office, according to the NOPD report.

    http://www.tokeofthetown.com/2011/11/dare_unit_pulled_over_carrying_marijuana_also_had.php

    I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation. For example: They were probably having dildo orgies with each other every time they raided someone’s home, shot their dogs, and stole their property. Sick mf’rs. – comment left by ‘Logical’

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  • stayan

    Another prohibitionist caught on video.

    Hopefully this will make the international criminal tribunal to prosecute drug prohibitionists run more smoothly.

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    • stayan

      A look into the future…

      …Malcolm Kyle’s greatest contribution to the world was his dogged pursuit of prohibitionists who escaped punishment at the end of the drug war. Some of the most prominent and heinous architects of drug prohibition simply got on with their lives, and some were the recipients of largesse (like John Walters) — jobs, travel assistance, even money and government protection — that was denied to the people who endured the cruelty of their policies (mostly poor black bastards and third-world-looking folks). We tend to forget that for every high-ranking sadistic drug prohibitionist who was imprisoned after the war, thousands more who assisted them directly (through action) or indirectly (through silence) were never even called to account.

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  • Francis

    “I have met so many people who have graduated from drug court treatment who have said, ‘The day I was arrested was the luckiest day of my life. It saved my life. I got through it, I got sober and I got my life back,'” Walters said.

    Well, I’m convinced. I mean, I’m sure you couldn’t find anyone who would say the opposite, that the day they got arrested was the worst day of their life. You know, the day they lost their job, their freedom, the day they were locked in a cage with some very, very unpleasant characters. Maybe the day that armed thugs broke into their home and terrorized their family. Maybe the day that the family dog was shot in front of their children. Maybe the day their children were taken away from them. Maybe the day they lost their home and life savings. The day that they were branded as a criminal and their future employment prospects were permanently impaired. Nope, everyone who’s ever been arrested on drug charges learns to love Big Brother.

    (And obviously criminal prohibition is THE ONLY WAY that people would or could ever get help for addiction. So really, what other choice do we have?)

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    • pt

      I think the real question is how many of those people would have said that if they werent talking to a cop. I mean who is gonna stand in front of the former drug czar and say, “Y’all took my entire life away when I was hurting absolutely no one! I’m going back to the drugs, you can keep your worthless drug courts!” Ofcourse they are going to cover their ass on the back end.

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    • darkcycle

      Damn, Francis. Don’t hold back now,…well said!

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Mr. Walters is an idiot. Of course the sycophants are going to be inclined to stroke him. They trotted out recaptured runaway slaves who thanked their masters for saving them.

      Let’s get an accurate count Mr. Walters. I double dong DARE you!
      ———-
      It seems today’s comments are exploring the XXX aspect of life for some unknown reason. We need to be careful about giving The Wiggler any ideas.

      Oh no! Too late!

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  • Mr.Wiggle

    Oh but i tell you something.That Walters mmm mmm mmm,is one sexy sexy man,boy would i like to get my pecker wrapped around his mouth,steam his glasses up like he’s pumping a steam engine locomotive..CHOO CHOO.then blast my hot sticky,legal narcodic juices all in his mouth <not giving him a chance to breathe.Swallow it Johnny boy..I tell you what. cause nothing gets him off like arresting innocences and turning them to victims,labeling criminal.just like a kit kat bar. give me a break.walters…. the day will come when he gets his social raping he deserves.for the rape he's commited on america
    .. hot sticky justice yummy

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  • Mr.Wiggle

    Oh but i tell you something.That Walters mmm mmm mmm,is one sexy sexy man,boy would i like to get my pecker wrapped around his mouth,steam his glasses up like he’s pumping a steam engine locomotive..CHOO CHOO.then blast my hot sticky,legal narcodic juices all in his mouth <not giving him a chance to breathe.Swallow it Johnny boy..I tell you what. cause nothing gets him off like arresting innocences and turning them to victims,labeling criminal.just like a kit kat bar. give me a break.walters…. the day will come when he gets his social raping he deserves.for the rape he's commited on america
    .. hot sticky justice yummy

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      The wiggler seems to get everything bass ackward. The mouth wraps around the member, not vice versa old man.

      From “the more things change, the more they stay the same” file, here’s a classic from the early 1800s:

      Although the temperance movement claimed Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745/46-1813) as one of its primary inspirations, he actually promoted moderation rather than prohibition. The temperance movement often had difficulty getting facts right.

      http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/FunFacts/Prohibition.html

      It certainly appears that the wiggle dude is a traditionalist through and through.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      What’s with all the double talk today?

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  • The drug war is flawed public policy. Half of what we spend on law enforcement, the courts and the prisons is drug related. Nothing productive has been achieved from the drug war in the past forty years, further evidence that prohibition and criminal penalties don’t deter drug use. Rather, they create black markets where disputes are settled with guns instead of by courts – not to mention militarizing the police and criminalizing people who engage in non-violent consensual transactions. It is time to end the epic failure known as the war on drugs. More commentary and coverage at http://SpatialOrientation.com/tag/drug-war

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  • Jake

    Just finished watching the video. Walters ‘statistics’ and ‘arguments’ are too easy to see through when one is familiar with the topic.. my worry is that he speaks very well, plays to emotions and quotes bullshit convincing-looking stats.. all done with a soft voice and reassuring manner, that I’m sure will reinforce many know-nothings views or tip some fence-sitters.

    I guess we have to, as Glenn said, help/make people realise that the war on drugs is actually worse than the drugs themselves before we see real change… thankfully, many are, slowly, starting to wake up..

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  • NorCalNative

    The video of Glenn and former drug czar Walters is a great example of how intellectually bankrupt the prohibitionist’s are.

    If Walter’s actually had a brain I think his best move would have been simply to apologize for being in the same room as Greenwald.

    It’s hard to win a war when facts, evidence, and logic have no legitimate place in the argument.

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