Vote for traditional values?

I do not claim to have a great understanding of the complexities of US state government elections. However the results of the recent round have had some surprising – and welcome – results.

Values

Values

Particularly the 2:1 defeat of the anti-discrimination bill in Houston that would have, among other provisions, apparently allowed men to enter women’s toilets in public buildings and work places.

Ohio voters rejected a proposal to legalise marijuana use.

Dare we hope that these results signal a swing of the pendulum back towards common sense and good core values?

I have written before that my attitude to homosexuality and homosexuals is one of live and let live. I don’t believe they or any other group that is different from the majority should be discriminated against any more than I think they should receive preferential or privileged treatment.

However, just as I and most people, do not broadcast our sexual orientation and activities, I do not really want to hear about yours if you suddenly decide to tell the world about them. The fact that an athlete or celebrity feels the need to publicise his or her “coming out” or metamorphosis from a him to a her, a her to a him or somewhere in between, has about as much interest to me as the parliamentary proceedings in Kazakstan.

I also believe that if a business prefers not to deal with homosexuals, followers of certain religions, green, blue or purple people, one or other of the genders, seniors, juniors or any other definable group, that is their choice, they should not be prosecuted for their decisions. In a free enterprise society, market forces will soon decide whether those decisions are wise or not.

With the mob mentality of those involved in digital lynching by social media, it takes a very thick skin (and often big reserves of cash) to make a stand for one’s beliefs and values. Particularly if the flocks of vultures, predatory lawyers, bureaucrats  and “human rights” activists believe they can ruin your business or cast you in the role of anti something or other.

I do not believe that laws should be changed to make it easier for people to get and smoke marijuana. With huge resources being devoted to stopping people smoking tobacco, which is still legal, it seems ludicrous to me that any governments should want to encourage the use of marijuana. A substance both addictive and impairing.

However, it seems the authorities have already lost the war on drugs, setting up safe injection sites and supplying drug paraphernalia is as clear a symbol of surrender as actually providing free drugs. As a taxpayer, I ask whether it makes sense to waste law enforcer’s time on trying to enforce a policy rendered ineffective by attitudes in government and certain segments of society.

Either drug use is deemed illegal with users, producers and traffickers aggressively prosecuted, or concede that the war has been lost, change the laws and stop wasting taxpayers funds fighting an ineffectual battle.

Perhaps those resources could be better used fighting serious crime, with marijuana use controlled by licensing, taxation and the same aggressive anti-smoking advertising campaigns directed at tobacco.

So, although I agree with Ohio voters that marijuana use should not be legalised, I am afraid that the battle has already been conceded.

That’s my take on the election results, I see them as a slight return to the good, basic core values that have made Western democracies great. I hope it is not just wishful thinking.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

image from Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

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  7 comments for “Vote for traditional values?

  1. November 8, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Peter,

    As it said, there is more to the story. I happen to be living in Ohio as this push to legalize marijuana took place.

    The “more to the story,” as it played out on TV ads, were two factions.

    The group that had put together a monopoly on who could grow weed, manufacture pot laced candy and foods and the other side who opposed the whole idea of these kinds of child luring food products from hitting the streets.

    A large business consortium was ahead of the curve and drafted a bill that would give them a clear corner on the market.

    Professionals who deal with the fallout of this kind of irrational focus, where money made is at the expense of others in the community, raised the alarm in due time to have this madness stalled.

    It is said to come up for a vote next time.

    Thank goodness this bill was turned down.

    I am not opposed to the legalization of pot. It has a place and a need for those with illnesses I hope I never experience. Then build an organization/businesses that reflects to serve the medical need group and decriminalize recreational use. In my estimation this Ohio bill went a little too far in its marketing prowess.

    I could not agree with you more, that common sense prevailed with this Ohio bill, Especially under these circumstances.

    Nancy

  2. Roberta
    November 9, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    As an Ohioan I don’t think pot will ever be legalized in Ohio. Ohio is very conservative.

    I too see a bit of common sense peeking from behind the curtain. Too many people have seen the real agenda of the far, far left and they do not like what they have seen. I think the worm may be turning. Just in the nick of time I think.

    The coming Presidential election will be THE most important in my life time. (age 69) If we do not get next year’s election right there may be no more United States of America and no more of the greatest Constitution ever written.

    • Peter
      November 10, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      Good to hear from you Nancy and thank you for your comment. I suspected that there might be a profit motive behind the bill but had no idea how it might be manipulated. Hope your new venture is going well.

    • Peter
      November 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Even though I do not live in your country, Roberta, I agree 100% with the comment in your last paragraph. Let’s hope you are right about the worm turning in the nick of time.

  3. November 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t have time, at the moment, for a long and thoughtful reply – but you know you’ll get one.

    I just have one question, first, Peter: Do you drink and/or approve of alcohol use?

    • Peter
      November 10, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      Why did I feel sure I would get a long and thoughtful reply Holly? I look forward to it and will appreciate it as I do all your replies – even if I do not always agree with your points of view.

      Answering your question will be as fraught with danger as answering the age old “Do you still beat your wife” question. Any answer or even a “no comment” will get the responder into trouble.

      However, never being afraid to enter the fray, I will take my chances.

      I rarely drink alcohol now and have not done for over 10 years. In my earlier life, during my time in the military and during my corporate management career I regularly drank beer, wine and spirits, on rare occasions, more than was sensible.

      My reasons for cutting it out were: Economic, health and since moving to Canada, to avoid running foul of the provision that the police in this country can suspend a driver’s licence even if the level of alcohol in his or her blood is below the legal limit. That arbitrary power in the hands of individual police officers, is to me, something out of a fascist regime’s policy manual. Rather make it zero alcohol in a drivers blood stream and everyone knows where they stand.

      I can live happily without alcohol, since giving up smoking, without tobacco and certainly without marijuana or other mind- altering drugs.

      So do I approve of alcohol use? Yes, in moderation. Yes that is a hypocritical view because of my stated opposition to the legalising of more drugs. The caveat being that alcohol has been more or less acceptable for human consumption in many cultures, for thousands of years. I do not believe widespread use of other drugs has. Yes, opium, khat and other drugs have been used in certain cultures for varying periods of time, but not as extensively in the western world as alcohol.

      I do not profess to know all the answers to the drug problem.

      The main point I was trying to make in my post was that why on the one hand are our societies spending so much energy on stamping out tobacco smoking which is legal and at the same time clamouring to legalise the smoking (and ingesting by other means) of another drug which is both impairing and addictive.

  4. November 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Here’s the “more to the story” about Houston’s HERO Ordinance. Its opponents turned it into “the bathroom ordinance” in much the same way, I suspect, the opponents of the Equal Rights Amendment promulgated fears about “unisex bathrooms,” years ago, if women were allowed to enter certain professions or get equal pay for equal work. It was an idiotic distraction from what the ordinance was designed to do, which is to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of characteristics in City employment, City services, City contracting practices, housing, public accommodations and private employment.”

    It would not have repealed or modified the following law currently in effect:

    Sec. 28-20. – Entering restrooms of opposite sex.
    It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly and intentionally enter any public restroom designated for the exclusive use of the sex opposite to such person’s sex without the permission of the owner, tenant, manager, lessee or other person in charge of the premises, in a manner calculated to cause a disturbance.

    What characteristics, specifically, WOULD have been protected against discrimination by the ordinance?

    Sex, Race, Color, Ethnicity, National origin, Age, Familial status, Marital status, Military status, Religion, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Genetic Information, Gender Identity, and Pregnancy.

    That’s right – it would have made MILITARY STATUS and GENETIC INFORMATION protected characteristics, too. But by all means, let’s make it about BATHROOMS, for crying out loud.

    Which of these things do you think are fair game for discriminatory hiring practices, Peter?

    Before you claim some sort of religious liberty objection, the following would have been exceptions to the new law, anyway: Private clubs; Religious organizations; Private schools; Federal, State, County, or other Local Government Entity; and Senior citizen and military discounts.

    Lord knows, if you’re really that worried about who’s in the lavatory with you, there’s a church within walking distance just about everywhere in the Greater Houston area.

    Source:
    http://www.houequality.com/what_does_this_ordinance_do
    http://www.houequality.com/what_are_protected_characteristics_of_the_ordinance

    I appreciate your honesty and directly answering my question about alcohol, Peter.

    I, too, have no problem with alcohol IN MODERATION, and I have had a drink within the last two weeks. I will probably have one tonight. That said, I could live without it. I do take issue with those who don’t see the hypocrisy of defending alcohol use while vociferously decrying marijuana use (especially when they would prohibit its use for medical purposes). I don’t care much what adults do that is likely to hurt them – and only them. Alcohol, unfortunately, is not one of those things. It hurts others, when it’s abused. I agree that it is the abuse that causes harm that should be punished; I think that the punishment is astonishingly and appallingly light in this country. I feel the same way about cigarettes. They are injurious – as a former smoker and the daughter of a (deceased) smoker, I know this. If not lung cancer, then COPD is a likely result of years of smoking cigarettes. I don’t know the risks of smoking marijuana, but in both cases, the harm to others may or may not be significant, and I would advocate for ways to mitigate that harm (protecting others from exposure to second-hand smoke; increased insurance premiums to offset increased costs of short and long term medical care, etc.). I would not advocate an outright ban of either. These three things, I think, are on a par. Few people drive stoned; more drunks kill people from behind the wheel than do potheads. (As one friend of mine put it, drunks tend to run right through red lights; stoners tend to stop on green.)

    Again, this doesn’t affect me, personally: I don’t use marijuana at all. I just recognize that all the money we’ve poured into the “War on Drugs” and all the anti-drug education programs and keeping people who’ve committed minor drug offenses in jail is bleeding us dry and accomplishing nothing. When it comes right down to it, I think conservatives ought to get behind the legalization of marijuana as a way to raise revenues through a “vice tax” while eliminating costly problems of enforcement of current drug laws. Focus on the bigger issues and problems. I would not suggest legalizing cocaine or PCP.

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