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239 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    I agree . It’s such a difficult situation. To think about the criminals, diseases, possibly terrorists coming into the country is upsetting and a huge problem. However I cannot stop thinking about the children…..the children ! That changes the game for me.

  2. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    Those are very real considerations that have to be made, along with the financial and legal issues.
    I will always fall back on humanitarianism because I believe it’s the biblical mandate…but I don’t believe we have to ignore the other concerns, but hear them.

  3. Nonnie says:

    To think of what most of those children have gone through is heartbreaking.

  4. j2theperson says:

    Obviously, you pretty much can’t not feel bad for the children, and you can’t look at the countries these illegal aliens are coming from and not understand why they’re doing it and feel sympathy for them (young and old alike). At the same time, I kind of feel like whenever the US sticks its nose into other peoples business and tries to fix things they never get fixed and possibly become worse, all while costing us a ridiculous amount of money. Beyond that, there are tons and tons of serious problems that actual US citizens and legal US residents are facing that simply aren’t being dealt with. It would be one thing if you were dealing with those problems and also helping people coming here from South America, but when the economy is still horrible, the long-term unemployed are still unable to get jobs, people are losing their healthcare left and right while costs shoot through the roof, the prison system is broken with endemic rape and violence, police brutality and the militarization of our police forces is overlooked and brushed under the rug, and the violence faced by people in inner cities is not being dealt with–to name only a few issues I can think of off the top of my head–I don’t see how we’re in any position to try to help anyone. If we can’t get our own act together; how could we possibly fix things for anyone else?

  5. Nonnie says:

    J2, Yes, you are speaking of serious problems that are so true. I just can’t understand why this is suddenly happening. These thousands of children coming over the border. What has changed? Am I missing something? I’m reading articles that say that churches are not being allowed to help these children, but hearing that CC Bible college campus has been asked to help. Anyone have details?

  6. London says:

    It’s suddenly happening because there’s an election coming up.

  7. Michael says:

    I wasn’t aware that 10 year old Guatemalans could vote.
    This isn’t happening all the sudden…it’s been going on for most of the last year as violence reaches a critical mass in Central America.
    The CCBC is being used as a holding facility…from which the vast majority will be deported.

  8. Nonnie, just because someone asked about the use of the facilities in Murrietta does not mean that the request was made by anyone in authority. The call could have been made by a concerned citizen or a city council person to Brodersen just sizing up options. I doubt that it was a call from DHS.

    London is right, this is pretty much a staged political event and is becoming more and more obvious. It’s almost like these kids were sent from central casting at some movie studio to play a role.

    Why didn’t the parents come? Because it is less sympathetic if it is parents dragging their kids along.

    I looked up ever government website I could think of and I have not found a single government travel warning to any of these Central American countries. On regular travel sights, you find a page that tells you where to be careful so you don’t get robbed, but hey, there are pages like that in LA.

  9. London says:

    I never said ten year old Guatemalans could vote so your snarkiness was really not needed

  10. “I wasn’t aware that 10 year old Guatemalans could vote.”

    It will be staged as Dems = sympathy for “10 year old Guatemalans” // GOP = mean to “10 year old Guatemalans”

  11. Michael says:

    MLD,

    The call was from the government.

  12. Michael says:

    At this juncture, the Democrats are doing no more than I would expect a Republican to.
    Obama is fast tracking deportations.
    If you think that those in favor of immigration reform are pleased with Obama and the Democrats…you haven’t paid much attention.

  13. The call was from the government.

    The city council is the government also.

    Can you link something that show kids are being housed at the Bible College facility – I find nothing.

  14. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I’m going by what Brian said and what I’ve heard from back channels.
    DHS is going to use CCBC temporarily for the buses blocked by protesters.

  15. The CCBC is being used as a holding facility…

    You used the present tense. Which is it?

    What makes anyone think that the protester will allow the busses into the compound?

  16. London says:

    For the record, I was not saying that it would be staged to make democrats look favorable.

  17. Nonnie says:

    So Michael, are you saying that children have been smuggled into the US in these vast numbers and nothing is different right now, other than the public is being made aware of it? I’m completely confused over this whole thing. What grieves me is to think these kids are sitting in holding cells and not being cared for like they should be. I keep thinking of how frightened they must me, and how some are most likely being abused by others. Just so tragic.

  18. Michael says:

    I’m curious to know how a political entity “stages” thousands of juvenile refugees fleeing from violence and poverty and to what end?
    As long as we view this as a game of American political machination is how long we will avoid seeing the real issues and finding real solutions.

  19. Michael says:

    Nonnie,

    These children aren’t being smuggled in.
    They are walking up to the border and surrendering in hope of asylum.
    The media has conflated this with the issues on the border with Mexico…and this is a whole separate set of circumstances.

  20. Babylon's Dread says:

    Local people tell me this is not a new situation just new coverage. They tell me it has been going on at least a decade. They tell me the money allocations are falling off and they tell me the politics are highlighting it. Kids crossing is an industry they say..

  21. The staging has come after they arrive. Have you noticed how DHS & ICE are only allowed to parade around the small children? Equal numbers are gangster looking teens – but they are not the “face” of the situation.

    I would like to see American kids start flowing into Canada from Chicago – more violent than Central America. Just last weekend 84 shooting 12 deaths in Chicago.

  22. Michael says:

    BD,

    The “new” component is the influx from Central America…the Mexican numbers have stayed pretty steady.

  23. I like reading the articles about how everyone is lining up to sue the US because we are not treating the little tykes properly.

  24. Jim says:

    An open border welfare state is not humanitarian, nor is it a Biblical mandate. I would gladly give a large potion of my income to humanitarian efforts, but 30% is taken at gunpoint and squandered. The Church has abdicated her Biblical mandate to the state, which does nothing well.

    Oh wait, politics don’t matter.

    Where are the cities of refuge for American children who live in gang-run, government funded, Democrat Mayor led neighborhoods on Chicago, Baltimore, Philly, etc….

  25. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m not advocating for open borders or a welfare state.

    A few years ago I got hooted off the blog for suggesting that the same issues that were causing the violence in Mexico at the time would soon begin to happen in our own cities.

    I sadly will have the last hoot on that.

    Whether we deport them all or give them all homes, until the underlying causes of the problems are addressed we will have more and more problems and violence.

  26. Jim says:

    Michael,

    We currently live in a welfare state, and the border seems to be functionally open.

    This might be a very simplistic answer, but I think gang violence in N and S America is linked to prohibition.

  27. Michael says:

    Jim,

    In reality, the border is not nearly as open as some are claiming.
    Your comment about prohibition is right on…though it’s only part of the problem, it’s a big part.

  28. Jim says:

    I’m not trying to be argumentative about the welfare state, I just think that it’s extremely contextually relevant.

    If we are apprehending over 50k minors a year, while deporting the 12k Mexican kids, it doesn’t sound like we have a particularly tight border. Do we know if the majority are apprehended? I’m guessing no, but I’m new to the issue.

  29. Michael says:

    Jim,

    Those who are walking up to the border and surrendering are listed as apprehensions.
    They’re not trying to sneak through, they’re acting as refugees looking for asylum.

  30. Jim says:

    Ok. I actually think I knew that, somewhere in the back of my fuzzy mind.

  31. I think you both may be a bit simple on your “cause” of problem.

    Why is there no “shoot ‘em up activity in my neighborhood? I know this goes beyond your area of thought, but have you ever considered that some people, and I don’t mean a small percentage, are just bad apples?

    I know, Christians aren’t suppose to talk like this.

  32. Michael says:

    MLD,

    In recent years, Juarez became known as “Murder City”.
    An invisible line separates it from El Paso…which during the same years had the lowest crime rate in the nation.
    I take it you believe that residents of Juarez are just “bad apples”…and El Paso is full of good ones?
    You think the economic and political policies undergirded by the multi billion dollar drug industry has nothing to do with the problem?
    Are you freaking serious?

  33. Michael,
    I am sure that there is probably a good percentage of my neighbors who buy/use/ and even trade and or sell drugs. For some reason they do it in a non violent fashion.

    What do you say for other areas where the same activities take place and the folks are very violent in their transactions?

  34. Michael says:

    MLD,

    There are a multitude of reasons.
    My guess is that you live in a relatively affluent where the electricity works, the people are employed, and the only avenue for personal revenue isn’t either either drugs or prostitution.
    My guess would be that at the very least, the people in your neighborhood had access to a free, relatively safe high school education.
    That would be my guess..

  35. Michael,
    Clarification on my point – I am talking in the US (based on Jim’s #28 and your amen at #29

    You live in economic despair – are you teetering on the verge of AK-47 violence? I doubt you are and I commend you. Why are you different than the folks in Chicago?

  36. I find myself voicing the same questions and concerns that have come from Jess Jackson the past few days.

    Why not our kids?

  37. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I am in economic despair.
    I am also an old white guy in ill health with a deep commitment to my faith living in a safe, pretty rural, environment.
    I have a whole lifetime that has educated me against such things.

  38. Michael says:

    I think we should worry about our kids as well…because I think many of the same issues are causing our problems here.

  39. Steve Wright says:

    I grew up in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s and knew there were certain areas that I, as a white kid, did not ever want to show my face. Once I got my license and started driving around, a wrong turn literally could cost you your life

    For that matter, even in my home of Glendale there were certain areas that I could not be without risk. We played ball in a couple parks where, if a night game, the kids did not go to the bathrooms without parental supervision.

    This is not new at all, and frankly, back in the 1980s, it really was not a drug issue either – at least in my situation.

    I certainly see the role of drugs today in the gangs and racism, but drugs are plenty easy to come by in MLD’s area, or mine – but there is not nearly the level of violence either.

    One thing I would add about legalizing drugs, just as with open borders, we can’t have the welfare state and drug legalization – which is the fatal flaw in libertarian support for legalization.

  40. Jim says:

    Sorry-I blame liberals for our inner city problems. Stick public housing in the middle of a “good” area, and you see the same behavior. Throwing other people’s money at the poor has been a complete failure.

  41. Jim says:

    “One thing I would add about legalizing drugs, just as with open borders, we can’t have the welfare state and drug legalization – which is the fatal flaw in libertarian support for legalization.”

    Steve, please explain.

  42. I will say this in the end – I do believe we should take care of the kids who are here and in our house and let the Feds sort them out. However, I would throw up the Parking Lot Full sign and turn away all newcomers.

  43. pstrmike says:

    Deer are not worse that rats. That’s plain stupidity. They can be a real problem on the roads. I had to take some rather quick maneuvers on my bike to keep from hitting two of them once. Good thing there wasn’t any traffic coming the other way. Unfortunately, they also attract cougars, which are in abundance here.

    We had a huge five pointer (we count one side here) lay down on our back porch one Thanksgiving. He rested for about 45 minutes and then went his way. I’ve never understood hunting for the sake of a trophy.

  44. Bob says:

    I think MLD’s statement about bad apples is either a justification of the doctrine of election or this quote:

    On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
    “…human weeds,’ ‘reckless breeders,’ ‘spawning… human beings who never should have been born.” Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization

    Personally I find it a bit reprehensible to consider anyone lost and a bad apple. But I also know they have a choice to change, even without the help of God. Also where one is born does matter, as Steve has pointed out.

  45. Michael says:

    pstermike,

    I’ve never seen so many as I’ve seen this year…and then I saw a cougar strolling through downtown Jacksonville a month or so ago…

  46. Michael says:

    Bob,

    MLD is a Lutheran.
    I am a Calvinist.
    I am the one with the doctrine of election you don’t like and I find it reprehensible that you would link his statement with my doctrine.

  47. In Mississippi, the deer population is under control.
    Being back in state for a year, I have only had one incident of a deer running in front of my car.
    We have deer in our backyard here. A doe and a fawn. They eat the wild stuff on the back of the property.
    I myself don’t hunt, but a lot of friends and families do.
    Most people I know are not getting deer for trophies, they are filling the freezers.
    People that don;t have a lot of money to spend at the grocery store find hunting to be a blessing.
    My freezer has a lot of deer meat from family sharing.

    The Black Hills of South Dakota were another matter though. I had at least three incidents a week of deer running in front of my car. The first week I lived in South Dakota, I counted started counting a deer herd in a valley and stopped at past a hundred ’cause it was getting ridiculous.
    I saw dead deer on the side of the road all the time there.

    Proper thinning of the herds is essential for a healthy population and public safety.

    This was no metaphor for anything else, just talking about it, ’cause my Dad and I were discussing it today.

  48. Steve Wright says:

    Jim, what I meant was if drugs are legalized there will be consequences as individuals do not handle that freedom properly. Now, as I understand libertarianism, the idea is that if the person only harms himself, then it is not the gov business, but if he harms another, then he can be prosecuted.

    But what happens if a drug addict loses his job due to his drug usage – I am not talking about being high at work, but just being a flake and eventually being let go for not being a dependable employee. The employer may not even know the guy is a user.

    So, how much unemployment benefits should he get from the taxpayer – under libertarianism there would not be an unemployment benefit to start with, but there is today…and it is entrenched…and so legalizing drugs may make sense in a libertarian context when all factors are run by the libertarian political POV, but to leave the present welfare state intact while going libertarian for drug policies is a mistake.

    It’s like if we eliminated social security…which I favor…but we can’t just do it unilaterally in a moment without a gradual phase in because too many people base their lives on the rules as they are.

    Now, there is an alternative to libertarian drug policies. Dealers given a life sentence to hard labor, with the possibility of execution for the worst of them. Users caught with the stuff sentenced to hard labor UNLESS they turn in the guy they bought it from. I know there is not a chance of any of this happening, but it is based on the fact that God was wise enough in His law to include a lot of capital crimes for behavior He wanted eradicated from the land.

    I don’t feel any need or guilt to apologize for the death penalty under Mosaic Law for any of the crimes. In fact, the wisdom of God shines forth.

  49. Jim says:

    Thanks Steve. You believe that legalization will lead to increased usage. I’ll not argue the point.

    I don’t apologize for the Mosaic Law, but I’m very grateful that God, in His wisdom nullified it.

    I kinda think your last statement was extreme for the sake of being extreme.

  50. Bob,
    Why do you play the race card? – “On blacks, immigrants and indigents:” Just as many whites are violent bad apples. You may not know any – God sure did / does – as he opens the earth and swallows them up.

    If as you say there are no lost or bad apples, then why do you say “But I also know they have a choice to change, even without the help of God. ” What do they need to change from if they aren’t bad.

    Do as the wise Xenia suggested – “look out your window.”

  51. And Bob, I want you to know, that I don’t want 50,000 white Canadian kids coming across our Northern borders

  52. passin through says:

    So the next time I have to work on Sunday, I should get the death penalty?

  53. Michael says:

    So we stop a multi hundred billion market economy by killing it’s participants.
    That’s what the Mexican army does with the money we give them…they just pull into rehab centers and start shooting for 15 minutes.
    Sometimes they make mistakes and slaughter kids celebrating soccer games, though.
    If you legalize, you treat drug abuse as a public health issue.
    If people break laws while intoxicated, you prosecute them just as we do now if they’re drunk.

    The people who would love Steve’s plan are the ones who always oppose legalization…the private prison industry and the prison guard unions.

    Prohibition has failed…and the sooner we face that, the sooner we make real solutions.

  54. I was watching one segment of the local news talk about a giant bust of marijuana and edible marijuana goods in Memphis and it shown through the news to be “bad”, but then they have a segment where there is a school somewhere up north that teaches growing techniques for marijuana and show it in a “good” light. This was in the space of 10 minutes.
    This national schizophrenia on marijuana at least has to stop.

  55. Steve Wright says:

    My “plan” was for large dealers…our prisons are filled with users, and small time dealers who deal only to feed their own habits. And as I said, my issue was not with people breaking laws but with the welfare state.

    I refuse to equate prohibition with booze, with drug laws today. Apples and oranges entirely.

    My point about the Mosaic Law was that God knew if you want to eliminate behavior, one way to do it was the ultimate penalty. There are some nations today where people don’t dare to try and deal because they would face the same.

    I was not suggesting bringing back the Mosaic Law.

  56. I don’t have a problem with legalization, but I do want to know what Michael considers handling it ‘like a public health issue’?

    Does that involve irresponsible people dipping into the public’s funds to support their irresponsible lifestyle?

    I got such a kick out of the guy in Washington who was first in line to buy legalized pot – he lit up, his boss saw him on TV, drug tested him and fired him. LOL funny 🙂

  57. Steve Wright says:

    The biggest increase in drug usage in America. Legal prescription drug abuse Heavily taxed and regulated, legal, complete with its own black market and gang warfare.

    Jim was pithy and concise a few weeks ago when he wrote “You can have open borders or a welfare state but not both”

    That is my view on drug legalization. Pick one or the other but not both.

    All the theory of people taking responsibility for what they put into their bodies is bogus as long as America otherwise looks as it looks today with the welfare state.

    I am not proposing becoming Singapore either by the way……..

  58. Michael says:

    Our prisons are full.
    We have more of our population locked up than any other developed nation.
    We’ve spent more than a trillion dollars on the war on drugs…and today they are cheaper, purer, and more available than before.

  59. Steve Wright says:

    Like I said, I am not a supporter of incarceration for addicts and addicts who deal to support their addiction. And that is a large number of the prison population. Add to that those who commit a crime to support their addictions.

    Not only are our prisons full, but our coffers are empty (actually filled with debt instruments owed to others)….

    I think the so-called war on drugs is a joke because in war you do not hesitate to kill the enemy…which goes back to the death penalty argument I made earlier.

  60. Jean says:

    When considering public policy issues and exercising our vote for candidates that promote various positions regarding public policy, I believe Christians should embrace policies that do the most good for, while doing the least harm to, the citizenry. The debate about the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, heroin or cocaine coming in from across our border is an interesting test case.

    Michael, apparently argues that our country is doing more harm through the war on drugs than would be the case if these or a subset of them were legalized. That’s a theory worth considering.

    However, I would like to propose another course of action. When if the US said to Mexico and the other Latin American countries which engage in the drug trade that the US will no longer trade with or engage in any economic development or cooperation with any country which allows its drugs to be exported into the US? I’m talking about a litmus test, not a give it your best effort standard. The US is the largest economy in the world. I would bet that the threat of the US completely cutting these countries off if they continue to profit off the drug trade with the US would be a significant deterrence.

    For too long, in my opinion, the US has been too pragmatic and money hungry at the expense of morality when it comes to international trade, and I would like to see our country walk the walk of its professed principles even when it hits some multinational company in the pocket book and/or the WalMart shopper.

  61. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Let me enlighten you.
    NAFTA exacerbated these issues a hundred fold by putting the small farmers and ranchers in these countries out of business.

    Mexico has three major sources of income.
    The first is oil.
    The oil fields are expected to be dry within a decade or so.
    The second is remittances…money sent back to Mexico from those working in the U.S.
    The third is drugs.

    Take away the drug trade and the whole economy collapses.

    In addition, just for sport…go look up how the Reagan administration funded the Contras after Congress cut him off.

    Google Gary Webb… who they hounded until he shot himself in the head.

  62. “some multinational company in the pocket book and/or the WalMart shopper”

    Actually the Wal Mart employee would be hit the hardest..

  63. Jean says:

    Michael, are you suggesting that allowing our citizens to be poisoned by Mexican drugs is preferable to the collapse of the Mexican economy?

    MLD, please feel free to add the Wal Mart employee to my list if that’s how you see it.

  64. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I’m saying that our citizens seek poison to the tune of 50 billion a year.

    You cannot stop that size of a market economy, you can only seize it.

    I’m saying that we need to look at all our economic policies with these countries…all these migrants would prefer to stay home if possible.

    It’s not possible right now and we’re part of the reason why.

  65. Michael says:

    Linda,

    We were one of those countries that turned a boatload of Jews away.

    For once, we agree completely on your # 67. 🙂

  66. Michael says:

    For those unfamiliar with Gary Webb…

    “Gary Stephen Webb (August 31, 1955 – December 10, 2004) was an American investigative reporter best known for his 1996 Dark Alliance series of articles written for the San Jose Mercury News and later published as a book. In the three-part series, Webb investigated Nicaraguans linked to the CIA-backed Contras who had smuggled cocaine into the U.S. Their smuggled cocaine was distributed as crack cocaine in Los Angeles, with the profits funneled back to the Contras. Webb also alleged that this influx of Nicaraguan-supplied cocaine sparked, and significantly fueled, the widespread crack cocaine epidemic that swept through many U.S. cities during the 1980s. According to Webb, the CIA was aware of the cocaine transactions and the large shipments of drugs into the U.S. by Contra personnel. Webb charged that the Reagan administration shielded inner-city drug dealers from prosecution in order to raise money for the Contras, especially after Congress passed the Boland Amendment, which prohibited direct Contra funding.”

    Webb was crucified by the press and his own paper…but CIA documents released after his death have vindicated him.

    Our government supports the drug trade when convenient…and it’s rarely been inconvenient.

  67. Jean says:

    Michael, I’m not saying my proposal would work, but only that it should be tried before yours. The problem with legalizing recreational use of mind altering drugs is that, for example, the dead victim (and his/her parents, children and/or spouse) of a car accident caused by an intoxicated or high user has no effective remedy under law. You can do whatever you want to the offender, but you can’t bring back mom or dad or son or daughter. That is my fundamental problem with many positions of the libertarians.

    God ordained governments for our own good. Public safety is a virtuous principle. Public safety by its nature requires certain limitations of individual liberty.

  68. Linda Pappas says:

    My heartfelt apologies in posting a person’s name. I should have reread a post I made elsewhere and deleted this part out. Michael, I will repost with the correction.

    Here is my comment without referencing it.

    Some thoughts: Being American is not synonymous with being a Christian, nor is having certain rights given by the constitution, laws, and civil codes. However, as a Christian we are to take all things into consideration and in this, know that God’s Word supersede anything that goes against that which would put any innocent child into peril. The issue is what will happened to these children.

    As for things being so crazy everywhere, within our borders and outside of it, consider the economic collapse that has been going on since 2007, all over the world. People are suffering greatly everywhere and as people become unemployed, it does affect everything else–even more so in countries where the economy was pretty bad to begin with.

    Historically speaking, many Jewish children were being sent out by their parents when they could not afford the cost of a passport and passage for themselves. For most of the era of Hitler, most countries rejected these children, simply because of the stigma attached to being a Jew. Some ships were not even permitted to dock in the harbors of entries, nor would they permit fresh water and food to be taken out to them. Many perished because of this. My ultimate question is: what would Jesus have done. My second question would be: what are we sending these children back into?

  69. Michael says:

    Jean,

    It will never be tried because too many people on both sides of the border make too much money from it.
    Foremost among those has been every Mexican president over the last half century…

  70. Jean says:

    Michael. your #69 is deeply troubling and actually supports my POV from my #63. Over the years, our foreign policy has been repugnant.

  71. Jean says:

    Michael, #72, then either Christians stand up or America is screwed. We will smoke ourselves into the history books just like Rome.

  72. Michael says:

    Jean,

    My # 69 has many, many companion stories.
    There are more than a few economists who believe that the only thing that saved the world from complete economic collapse in 2008 was drug money…cash that never stopped flowing for a second.

  73. Michael says:

    What should Christians do?

    Most believe the rhetoric that comes out of Washington and the media…and very few would have any idea who the hell Gary Webb was.
    Gary Webb told us all we needed to know about the “war on drugs”.

  74. Jean says:

    Michael, #75, I hear you, but for me there are times in life when “pick up your cross” actually means something, something painful. We simply can’t condone or contribute to the ruining of God’s creation or of his image bearers, no matter the cost. We must at every turn be pro-life, even when there are costs.

    Please don’t take this as a personal attack. I don’t mean for a second to suggest that you are that which I am against. You probably see things from a different angle, and I’m listening to everything you’re saying.

  75. Linda Pappas says:

    #67 due editing, is now, #72—thanks, Michael.

  76. Steve Wright says:

    What should Christians do?

    1) Stop using

    2) Share the gospel to other addicts, spreading the message that Christ can set them free

    3) Minister to the needs of the repentant addict in the name of Christ, while not helping in the slightest the unrepentant addict, because there are far too many people who need help and want to get right with God that we can spend our limited resources on (our = the church)

    I do all three.

  77. Steve Wright says:

    I should add that repentance is a process, so when I say not help in the slightest I am not suggesting one refuses to feed or shelter someone who might also be high.

  78. Michael says:

    The majority of illegal drug users in this country are not addicts.
    They are recreational users.

  79. Jean says:

    Steve, I don’t think this is what you mean, but reading your #79 carefully, one could interpret your advise as follows:

    2) share the gospel with other addicts;

    3) (a) If they repent minister to their needs in the name of Christ; or

    3) (b) if they don’t repent, don’t help them in the slightest.

    So, under this paradigm, are we suppose to require repentance before ministering to an addict’s needs?

    If this is not your advice, could you clarify?

  80. Michael says:

    Jean,

    You haven’t offended me here yet.
    My only point is that these matters are very complex and there are no easy answers.
    There will be no answers if we keep buying the lies we’ve swallowed about the whole mess.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    Maybe a subset to point 2 is to say that the gospel should cause a Christian to forsake recreational use (which was my point 1).

    Jean, as I sought to clarify, maybe instead of help I should have used the word enable – and this is where the leading of God is essential, as anyone who has ever had to deal with an addict knows all too well

  82. Jean says:

    Michael, do you think any of my assumptions or principles are built on lies that I’ve bought? You’ve studied this much more than me, so It’s entirely possible that I’m missing something.

    I don’t suggest for a moment that the issues are not complex, although I find a certain amount of clarity in what the bible offers me. One of the best moments I’ve had on this blog is when someone mocked me for treating the bible as a manual for living. If only I could live that out on a daily basis.

  83. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I have to be real careful…I get so caught up in this stuff that I literally make myself sick.
    It affects my friends and Trey really negatively when I get back into it.
    I respect greatly your desire to use the Bible as your way of walking through life.
    The whole border narrative/ drug war is talked about without any regard for history, corruption, or multi national economics…at least not in the popular media and by politicians.
    The whole narrative is thus a shell of truth stuffed full of lies and half truths.
    When Xenia actually agreed to read one book about it I sat here and cried.
    That’s how frustrated I am with the whole thing.
    I understand your concerns and wish to God we didn’t have to make these kind of choices.

  84. Jim says:

    Michael whipped out the big guns by bringing up Webb/CIA. Bravo!

    The entire scheme is a farce. Local LEOs get Fed $, buy the tools of war at pennies on the million to use on our streets, and seize the spoils of war. All in the name of the war on drugs.

    I really like my local Sheriff, but I don’t like his dept using stingray in my neighborhood, tricking my phone into thinking it’s a cell tower. All in the name of the war on drugs.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-hi-tech-police-surveillance-the-stingray-cell-phone-spying-device/5331165

  85. Jean says:

    Steve, I think “enable” is a good word. My church is across the street from a homeless shelter, which houses and feeds not only the poor (e.g., the unemployed family), but also the mentally ill and those folks who are long term homeless. We serve some of these folks and some of them wander over to the church. It’s often a challenge to ascertain whether a well intentioned helping hand might instead enable a drug or alcohol or cigarette purchase. The longer some of these people are in the “system” the more entrenched their minds get into their situation and the harder it is for the social service worker or faith based worker to intervene in a meaningful manner.

    It can be heart breaking for volunteers who are trying to help someone seemingly more than the person himself/herself wants the help. I don’t even know if the word “wants” is fair. There’s such a lack of trust and self esteem with many poor people that helpers probably have in some cases unrealistic expectations as to outcomes or timelines.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  86. Michael says:

    Jim,

    He’s one of my heroes…and his story messed me up forever.
    I might have known if anyone would have known about him, it would be you. 🙂

  87. Jim says:

    Steve is correct in one respect to apples/oranges and alcohol/drug prohibition.

    Alcohol prohibition was legal, as the constitution was amended. The FedGov has no constitutional authority to prohibit the use of drugs in Florida.

  88. Jim says:

    Michael,

    I’m a fan of truth-telling “subversives” everywhere 🙂

    When someone in my party who I’ll probably vote for says “Reagan Republican”, I want to puke.

  89. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, the churches in this area, including mine, have fed the homeless for 20 years and the city coupled with a few of those churches (not mine) have decided to change all that and forcing a “if you want help we will work with you on our terms” sort of program. It is doomed for failure, has eliminated all reference to Jesus Christ, and really is just another gov program with a private sector wrapper.

    So yeah, sometimes it takes time for the Lord to work in the heart of someone in such a situation…I believe that and we have shown that over the years…

  90. Michael says:

    Jim,

    I’m grateful for you…truly.

  91. Steve Wright says:

    Serious question to Michael (and anyone else)…lets assume we legalize pot, coke, heroin, and meth

    That Pfizer, Glaxo and whoever else start to manufacture and distribute…

    Won’t the cartels start (continue) their war of terrorism to drive such companies out of business? Surely they aren’t just going to quietly surrender because America changes its laws.

  92. Michael says:

    Steve,

    The cartels are able to operate with impunity because they are in countries where they have bought off the politicians and the law and are now the de facto government in many areas.

    We’re not quite there yet.

    Some of the cartels are already expanding outside the drug market and specialize in extortion and taking over small business and oil fields.

    The cartels operating in the U.S. could be easily destroyed on our soil.

    The ramifications in Mexico and Central America would be a whole different story…the whole region would be in crisis immediately.

  93. Jean says:

    Maybe it’s my upbringing on a lot of scifi movies and books, but it scares me to think of everyone running around with easy legal access to mind altering drugs. Life’s often hard, and if you talk with someone who grew up among the “greatest generation” they will tell you that life can be damn hard. What kind of society will we inhabit if people can run to the medicine cabinet every time they feel the urge? I personally have a hard time buying into the “recreational” use rationale, because I think there are biological addiction concerns.

    So, are there any other options, other than what have thus far been proposed?

  94. What kind of society will we inhabit if people can run to the medicine cabinet every time they feel the urge?
    ______________________
    Already happening. See Steve’s above about prescription drugs.

  95. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Alcohol is already legal.
    The American public is already spending somewhere around 50 billion a year on illegal drugs.
    50 billion.
    We can regulate that and keep the profits or we can keep supporting cartels.

  96. Jean says:

    Michael, should our nation profit off of vice? Admittedly that includes alcohol and gambling (and in Nevada prostitution), but the principle is the same. Can Christians support laws that profit off of vice?

  97. Steve Wright says:

    I am convinced that every penny we get back in taxes will be offset by increased gov spending due to the additional problems….now if we reform program eligibility for those whose need is related to their drug use….but that would never happen either.

  98. Michael says:

    Jean,

    My main concern in this issue is to stop the violence that has taken at least 60,000 lives in Mexico since 2008 and untold thousands in other countries.
    I want to see the poor person in Mexico and Central America have the option to stay home and farm rather than be forced into an American owned factory for slave wages.
    I want those kids at our border to be able to live in their homelands without fear of violence and loss of life.
    The only way that can happen is if we address these issues head on.
    Our nation profits from many unholy things and unholy ways…I can’t change that.
    I can advocate for the ones Christ died for that suffer because of our habits.

  99. Xenia says:

    69 Nicaragua and the Contras.

    A while back, the Evangelical school I used to work for had it’s yearly fund raising dinner and that year’s guest speaker was Oliver North. I refused to attend. and chewed out the principal as well.

    (My husband’s family is from Nicaragua, which is why are cared about this.)

  100. Steve,
    Governments are too shortsighted to see that.
    All they will see is that CO and WA have new tax revenues and they don’t have these new revenues.
    Governments have their own addiction.
    Tax money and all the things they can do with it.

    Even though I am torn over the issue of drug legalization, I see marijuana as inevitable now.

    Best to quit worrying over how to stop it and say how do we deal with it when it happens.

  101. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Good on you! 🙂

  102. Michael says:

    I simply hate the thought of legalization.
    Hate it…even pot.
    However, it’s use and abuse is a reality and there is no changing that.

  103. Xenia says:

    I agree with Michael on this topic.

    A few years ago I wrote a paper for school on the murders in Ciudad Juarez (300+ women, mostly young women who worked in the maquiladoras) and that changed how I felt about the whole subject. And the book Michael recommended, ditto. And the next book plan to read is Murder City (although I’ve read that the situation in Juarez has improved). I do care about this whole thing but I don’t know what to do about any of it other than cringe at some things I hear people say.

    Now it is certainly true that Latin America is capable of producing its own troubles without the help of the United States but the truth is, we use those people like they are the N word we are not allowed to say.

  104. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    The violence in Juarez has abated to a degree…but the overall violence in Mexico hasn’t.
    There are signs that Juarez could explode again…

  105. Jean says:

    Michael, #101, It appears that you have done the cost benefit analysis, so your heart is in the right place. I agree that all life is sacred and we shouldn’t value one over another. Thank you for interacting with me on this important issue.

  106. Michael says:

    “Now it is certainly true that Latin America is capable of producing its own troubles without the help of the United States but the truth is, we use those people like they are the N word we are not allowed to say.”

    I’ve wanted to say that for five years…thank you and amen.

  107. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Thank you for listening and putting up with me. 🙂

  108. I found out after the fact that all 3 of my kids messed around with drugs (not just pot) in high school… then they got bored.
    Perhaps everyone would just get bored with them if we stopped trying to stop them.

    I have no problem with people walking around in mind and attitude altered states as I find most people repulsive in their natural state.

  109. Steve Wright says:

    I mean this with all my heart. All this discussion is akin to arranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Michael is right, The demand is massive. There are two ways to curb the demand. The first is public shame. In concentration with a withdrawal of gov money and aid for drug users, there would need to be a concentrated effort from the majority of celebrities to actively discourage their fans to use drugs. Much like the condom campaign in the AIDS 80s, where even movies began to focus on condoms – where it just was not cool to have sex without a condom. Of course, the current message from pop culture is the opposite for drugs. It is glamorized in all the R-rated comedies, in music, in interviews etc. It is the epitome of cool

    So the 2nd way, and the only way, is a true spiritual revival. Something like the Welsh revival – or for that matter another Jesus movement but on steroids (pun intended)

    Which is maybe why our one marching order to the unsaved world is to preach the gospel.

  110. Jean says:

    Michael, #110, are you kidding? There’s no putting up with you. It’s more like the small town Iowa guy catching a moment with Gamaliel 🙂 No, I’m serious.

  111. Jean says:

    Steve, If we’re voting, I’ll pray for option 2.

  112. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Thank you, you’re very kind.
    I just study hard about the things I care about…

  113. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    Oliver North was simply obeying orders. He wasn’t so much a hero as he was an errand boy.

  114. Xenia says:

    Just obeying orders. Where have we heard that before.

  115. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    Ever spend a day in the uniform?

  116. Jim says:

    Honorable men do not obey dishonorable orders. Evil wrapped in a flag is still evil.

  117. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    Jim,
    Were you in the military during the 80’s?

  118. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    and BTW, this has NOTHING to do with the flag in spite of the nonsense that was sold in the media ……. it was about staying out of Kansas…. you obviously don’t get it

  119. Steve Wright says:

    Honorable men do not obey dishonorable orders
    ——————————————
    I understand what Jim is saying, but that sure is a slippery slope in the real world of military chain of command. D-Day was a suicide mission for a guaranteed few thousand of men with no guarantee of success. If a handful of commanding officers thought the orders, dishonorable, then it would not have succeeded.

    A thousand similar examples could apply.

  120. Jim says:

    Pastor Laurie,

    I graduated from High School in 1976. Except as a career choice, why would I have joined the service? Where would I have been sent to fight?

    Can I assume you’re asking in response to criticism of Ollie? I don’t want to connect dots that don’t exist, but I’ve been asked this question before, and then told that I either don’t have the right to criticize, or that I wouldn’t understand.

    I have a lengthy response to that statement, so please don’t say it.

  121. Xenia says:

    118

    Yes, I was in the US Navy.

    I also have a conscience.

  122. Just so people know, Oliver North was not involved in the cocaine dealings with the Contras.

    North’s involvement was in getting Israel to sell weapons to Iran who was at war with Iraq at the time. Selling the arms was to help free some Americans held hostage somewhere – when that fell through North used the profits to send to the Contras.

    For a Lt Colonel, North went far beyond his rank – but think how cleaver to get Israel to sell weapons to their enemy and turn around those profits to fight off Russian backed communism in Latin America.

  123. Bob says:

    Michaelmand MLD

    I’ve had a really long day and have seen God at work in it..

    The point of my quote from Sanger is to let you know I find such talk of bad apples and such a slippery slope towards the thing which started, “Planned Parenthood,” Margaret Sanger.

    Michael I know you seem to feel different but I’ve heard Calvinist blow off people as un-elect like MLD did saying there were just bad apples.

    I admit I fight the thoughts of selfishness and the racist tones behind it. Why should I look out the window and see bad apples and yet these are the people,God created to be out my window.

    I don’t want to slide down the slippery slope of racism or any other prejudice. I believe the scriptures teach, and it pays off in the end, loving the bad apples! Who knows maybe by loving them in some way they will be more .

  124. Mark says:

    Legalization of drugs is the worst solution possible. We’ve eradicated nicotine use over the last 30 yrs. we can do the same with drugs. I don’t want to come back here in five years and argue with folks over thier Christian liberty to alter thier minds with heroin cocaine and pot and still maintain deep fellowship with Christ. That is impossible. We went through this with the Jesus movement. It became clear that narcotics and true deep faith are incompatible

  125. “We’ve eradicated nicotine use”

    Please….as a former smoker let me tell you people are smoking everywhere.

  126. Solomon Rodriguez says:

    Jesus in my view would embrace those children and feed them and heal them. We as Christians should have a heart for those children not reject them. Our Kingdom is in Heaven not here so we shouldnt be so worried that our tax money will fund this.

  127. Mark says:

    Statistics confirm. CDC estimates tobacco use peaked in. ’60s at close to 45%. Now hovering at 18% and declining. CDC goal 12%. That is significant. Achieved by painting smoker as unwanted outcast. Relegating smokers to outdoor “pens” like animals (except casinos of course). Need to take same approach with drugs. Make it uncool. Stop coddling addicts. I believe wholeheartedly in treatment but chronic relapsers should face consequences. Also heroin is too cheap and too available and too pure. Heroin possession should b treated like illegal gun possession. We need stronger disincentives. I deal with drug addiction in my family and my own life. It is not a victimless crime. It is devastating to families especially children. Legalization will make it worse not better. There is no such thing as recreational use of heroin cocaine or opioids. That’s a myth

  128. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I honestly can’t take you seriously anymore.
    You’re whole blogging contribution has been to oppose me on what I’ve written about CC and in this conference they got up and confirmed what I’ve been saying all along.
    There are no comments from you on those threads…no acknowledgement of your error, no apology for your tone toward me, no nothing.
    That’s pretty weak sauce…really weak sauce.

  129. Michael says:

    Heroin use, possession, and sale is already a felony offense.
    We have an epidemic of use in this country.
    The prisons are full…maybe we should start asking questions about why we are so determined to self medicate ourselves to death.

  130. Michael says:

    What is basically being argued here is that we’ve already curbed the use and abuse of a legal drug through education.
    That’s an excellent argument for legalization.

  131. Mark says:

    Michael. I will no longer engage u regarding the CC movement. I have nothing to apologize for. This website is not the place for me to engage re CC when the majority of posters here are anti-CC or have no vested vested interest in CC. I was not wrong about anything. CC will continue with thier distinctives. The cutting edge modern technology embraced at the conference and the outreach to youth has been part Oc CC since the beginning. Nothing radical there. I watched the entire conference and was extremely blessed by the teachings.

  132. Mark says:

    Legalization of drugs is an issue I can engage on. There is little doubt that legalization will only increase use. Is anyone prepared to argue otherwise? No Christian should embrace an idol that separates us from God regardless of perceived political or social benefits.

  133. Michael says:

    Mark,

    What an embarrassing response.
    The division in the movement was addressed in the first thirty seconds of it opening…division you have claimed does not exist and that you have claimed I made up out of whole cloth.
    You simply can’t be honest enough to admit that you have been unfair and in error.
    You may want to think on that.

  134. Michael says:

    Where in the world have I advocated Christians taking drugs?
    What nonsense…

  135. Mark says:

    Michael if u think you deserve an apology for my tone than I apologize. U know that I will stand up for CC when I believe it unfairly attacked. U are guilty of that on a regular basis (just reference your disingenuous characterization of Damian Kyles message). U want radical change in CC. U want the movement to embrace Calvinism and discard pre trib rapture. That’s some other church but it will never b CC. I am too close to this situation to comment further on CC on this blog. I will continue to engage on other issues and try to check my tone.

  136. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I want the movement to embrace accountability.
    I could care less whether it “embraces Calvinism”…that a old, stupid lie I’ve refuted a hundred times.
    I think the doctrine of the pretrib rapture is a joke…but it’s not my problem if people believe in it.
    My whole intent has been to stop abuses.
    Period.

  137. Mark says:

    Michael I have NEVER claimed there was no division in CC. I have NEVER claimed u made if up. I HAVE maintained that there is no imminent SPLIT and that there will b no massive exodus. I have also objected to your continual focus on CC problems without any attempt to recognize the vibrant life of the movement worldwide

  138. Mark says:

    I also did not say u encouraged that Christians use drugs. To restate my premise: a Christian should not b in favor of society legalizing or condoning sin or other activities ( which some may argue are not sin) that separate us from God. Whether it b gay marriage or narcotics. We should b encouraging the unsaved to embrace Christ – and I’ve found that is much harder when the individual is engaged in activities that the world condones.

  139. Mark says:

    By the way Michael I believe I’m having a conversation here. Just because I disagree with u does not mean we r adversaries. I will make sure to post also the next time I agree with u just to prove it

  140. Jim says:

    Two fallacies.

    1) Legalization will increase usage.

    2) Proponents of legalization are pro-drug.

    #1 Is an uninformed opinion, with no zero confirming data.

    #2 is easy to verify by asking the second question. As former hard-core druggy/boozer, I pretty much hate both, but no longer add the caveat when I state my position.

  141. Michael says:

    I got irritated, so I had to leave.
    Jim, both good points.

    What “activities” separate us from God?
    Half the old CC leadership have testimonies about coming to Christ when they were fried on something…

  142. Michael,
    Regarding your 134.
    “What is basically being argued here is that we’ve already curbed the use and abuse of a legal drug through education.
    That’s an excellent argument for legalization.”

    What I saw on the news yesterday made me realize that education can be rolled back quickly and I believe they are in the middle of it right now.
    Years of “Just say no” become weeks of “It’s ok”

    News segment one: Major marijuana drug bust and show incredulous neighbors and overall tone is how bad it all is.
    News segment two: People go to school to learn to grow marijuana and benefit from it.

    It is things like that that make me realize that the question of legalization is not cut and dried. That any drug can probably be “shined up”

  143. Jim,
    My last post applies to your #144.
    Education being rolled back, which I see happening the past year, may result in increased use.

  144. Mark says:

    Jim said legalization will increase usage is” An uninformed opinion, with no zero confirming data.” No need to make it personal Jim (i.e. uninformed opinion) but we have evidence. When crack cocaine was cheap and available usage skyrocketed. Today heroine is cheap and available and usage has skyrocketed. I truly cannot believe that I arguing with Christians who advocate that dangerous addictive killing drugs like heroin cocaine and meth be made readily available to our citizens? Doesn’t anybody see what’s wrong with this picture?

  145. Michael says:

    Derek,

    Marijuana has been culturally accepted by a large portion of the population since the 60’s.
    What we are seeing now is the legal system catching up with social acceptance.

    I don’t believe there is any way to “shine up” heroin or meth…the stuff is simply horrible.

    I hate pot, hate the smell of pot, and people that are high on pot make me want to slap them silly.

    Those are my personal convictions and prejudices…alcohol is a far more deadly drug and I have enough in the house to float a small boat.

  146. Mark says:

    Michael do you hold to the belief that when you are engaged in besetting and unrepentant sin u r separated from Fellowship with God ?

  147. Mark, It is already readily available you just contradicted yourself in your #148.

  148. Michael says:

    Mark,

    The point is that this stuff is already readily available…and completely out of control.
    Regulating it may offer us better controls and opportunities to educate people while crippling organized crime.

  149. Michael says:

    Mark,

    According to my Bible, nothing can separate us from the love of God.

  150. Michael,
    You have to admit though, now the media is in on the “shine up”
    That was not so, as much, before legalization in a few states.
    Now there are tons of stories that are, to my view, made to “shine up” marijuana’s image.

    Why?
    More people smoking means more tax revenue for the governments.
    Everyone is subconsciously or consciously on board with this.
    This is all about the tax money.
    Usage among teenagers is up in CO.
    But, hey, the state government is getting its cut.
    Everyone, governments and media is in for a penny, in for a pound.

  151. Mark says:

    No Derek I didn’t. There is a difference between accessing drugs thru the current subculture and accessing legally. Michael there is no comparison whatsoever between ALCHOHOL and drugs. The vast majority of folks that use ALCHOHOL do not become intoxicated ( remember we already had this conversation). The WHOLE POINT of using drugs is to get intoxicated. There’s no such thing as getting a little buzz off heroin or cocaine or meth.

  152. Mark says:

    Michael I did not say the love of God. I said fellowship. U know what I’m talking about. Stop playing games

  153. Michael says:

    Derek,

    Perhaps…I’m not sure its all about tax dollars though.
    The other thing is that marijuana and it’s by products have significant medicinal benefits that people want access to.

  154. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I’m not playing games, I don’t accept your theological constructions.
    The Christian in sin is subject to the discipline of God, which may include a lack of awareness of fellowship with God, but God hasn’t gone anywhere.
    The believer is in Christ…and that is a permanent fellowship with God.

  155. Michael says:

    Mark,

    No one here is advocating for the use of drugs.
    No one.
    We don’t have to do so…people take them to the tune of fifty billion dollars worth a year.
    We are advocating things to stop the poverty and violence in our neighbors to the south and in our cities here.
    We are advocating doing things that take the money away from criminals.
    We are advocating being honest about our problem and looking for solutions.
    It’s complex, it’s difficult, and there are no easy answers.

  156. I have little faith in the governments ability to manage this.
    We just need to know how we, as Christians do.
    I believe Steve is right, this will result in more costs for the government.

    Like I said, I don;t have a clue where to come down on this issue.
    I don’t smoke pot and never have. I don’t intend to in the future.
    However, pot smokers can grow their own and not have to participate in drug crime by having to steal for their habit.
    I know a lot of people that smoke pot and they are not ultimately really bad people.
    I think the drug laws for users is too strict and needs to be reformed or done away with.

    Which way to go?

    I don’t know.

  157. Michael says:

    In the Old Testament God regulated things that He didn’t approve of.
    Slavery, polygamy, etc… even divorce was granted due to hardness of heart, not divine approval.
    Sometimes, the best we can do is try to regulate things we don’t approve of to minimize the damage they can do.
    It’s a Christian thing to do…

  158. Mark says:

    So what’s next? Prostitution legal? Sex with minors ? People are doing it more than ever. It’s full of crime. So lets just make it legal. U cannot separate advocacy of legalization from advocacy of use. Because if u fight for legalizing you r fighting for increased use. There r two opposing opinions here. It is a tough issue. But the guys on the front lines – law enforcement- come down solidly against legalization. If it reduced crime don’t u think they’d b for it?

  159. Jim says:

    I could list the 20 sins of the drug war, from local police militarization to the massive incarceration of poor blacks, basically ensuring a life of poverty. It’s really not worth the effort.

    We hate something so it should be illegal on a federal level. I’m a republican. I get it.

    There is no founding principle of this once great nation that jives with the temperance league nanny state drug policies of today.

  160. Jean says:

    #154, I do think Derek has an interesting point about the tax implications. Once the tax dollars start flowing in, a conflict of interest arises between the government’s responsibility to provide for the public welfare and competing spending priorities. I’ve observed this with gambling and the casinos, with tobacco, and I assume the same will happen with legalization of drugs. The sad thing is that it’s always the poor who fair the worst.

  161. Jim says:

    Mark,

    The drug war is a budget bonanza for local law enforcement.

  162. Michael says:

    Mark,

    Local police love the money and weapons they get from the Feds…this country has been radically militarized.
    I most certainly can separate legalization from advocacy…I simply refuse to be crammed into these black and white categories, nor do most thinking people.
    We’re talking about regulating a market economy that takes thousands of lives a year and has thrown Mexico and Central America into political chaos.

    Piety isn’t going to end the problem.

  163. Michael says:

    Jim and I are of one mind this morning… 🙂

  164. Mark says:

    Minimize the damage? R u kidding me? How many OD funerals have u been to? How many relatives have borrowed or stole from u to buy drugs? If it is regulated do u honestly believe this 50 b crime industry will just walk away? Don’t b so naive.

  165. Mark says:

    Good discussion. But I guess I’m in the wrong place if people here believe law enforcement consider drug abuse a “budget bonanza”. And that we have created a police state. I have family and friends in law enforcement and resent anything that would impugn thier heroism

  166. Jean says:

    Mark, nobody personally likes the legalization option, least of all Michael, but what some are saying is that the war on drugs has been lost, and now it’s time to try something different, which in the aggregate will do less harm than the harm caused by the status quo. Do you have a better idea?

  167. Michael says:

    I’m not naive.
    If you legalize drugs, you also must utterly crush those who defy regulation.
    Cartel bosses aren’t going to become greeters at Wal Mart the day after prohibition is lifted.
    What they will do is either participate in the regulated economy or they will look to other criminal activities to support themselves.
    What is naive is to think that piety will somehow change a multi national market economy.
    What is simply sinful is to actually think that any pastor in this country hasn’t been touched by drug abuse issues.

  168. Michael says:

    Mark,

    You’re unbelievable.
    No one here…absolutely no one…has impugned local law enforcement.

  169. Mark,
    I can impugn them if you wish.
    I know plenty of stories.
    Cops are not all good guys.

  170. Michael says:

    SWAT teams have become the para military arms of the Feds war on drugs.
    The abuses are many and well documented.

  171. Mark says:

    Michael you stated LOCAL law enforcement love the money and weapons they get from the Feds and that police have become radically militarized. Your implication was that this is all because of the war on drugs. I stated a fact. Law enforcement opposes legalization. You and Jim replied that basically cops love illegal drug abuse because it keeps them busy and funded. I am not that cynical. I believe cops r dedicated to eradicating illegal drugs and they need the funding to accomplish this. I’m not advocating piety. I’m advocating making drug users outcasts and criminals. Making drug use have consequences. Phase in gradually a sustem that will severely disincent drug use. Disqualify drug users from public benefits. Don’t loan them money. Don’t give them jobs. Make drug use unacceptable in our society. It wi take time and b painful but its better than legitimizing drugs

  172. Jim says:

    “No one here…absolutely no one…has impugned local law enforcement.”
    ———

    I have, in regards to their view of the drug war. They have a vested interest in it. Very small towns are now sporting MRAPs, and when boys have toys, we’re going to play with them.

    Sheriff Taylor has become GI Joe, and I don’t like it in my town.

  173. Michael says:

    Mark,

    I refuse to engage with you after your deeply insulting and offensive comments about what I’ve experienced personally in regard to this matter.
    You utterly refuse to take responsibility for your words.
    I will allow you to speak your mind,but be aware that the gloves are off and my fuse is lit.

  174. Jim says:

    Mark, no one said that cop like drug abuse. We’re talking about the govt’s war on drugs.

  175. Jim says:

    BTW Mark, you don’t hold a monopoly on pain caused by drug abuse, nor are you the only one here with friends and family in law enforcement.

  176. Mark,
    That MRAP thing has been disturbing me for a while. People need to act on a local level and get the SWAT tactics toned down.
    Things like what happen in this article, which happen FAR more often in the War on Drugs than we are generally told about, should disturb all Americans.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/24/a_swat_team_blew_a_hole_in_my_2_year_old_son/

  177. Michael says:

    The war on drugs is over forty years long now.
    The prisons are full.
    When they do get out of prison, they basically are outcasts with little hope of good employment.
    It hasn’t worked.
    Period.

  178. Jim,
    The MRAP thing is disturbing. The SWAT tactics used needlessly are disturbing.
    Things like this article, which happen far more often in the War on Drugs than we are generally told about, should disturb all Americans.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/24/a_swat_team_blew_a_hole_in_my_2_year_old_son/

    Read and realize that some things don’t have to happen.
    Was that whole thing worth a SWAT raid.

  179. Michael says:

    Jim,

    Is the CATO Institute a reputable source?
    There have a ton of stuff about the militarization of the drug war…

  180. Try Radley Balko, a reporter for the Washington Post.
    I don’t agree with him 100% on everything, but his articles on police militarization and abuse are spot on.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/pb/radley-balko

  181. Michael says:

    Derek,

    We’re having some site issues…

  182. Jim says:

    Michael,

    I’m addicted to Cato, and therefore biased. It’s like asking Sarah Palin about Fox news 🙂

  183. Michael says:

    Jim,

    That’s good to know…I just wanted to make sure I could read and post their research with a measure of confidence.

  184. Xenia says:

    My little town bought an urban assault vehicle a few years ago. On at least one occasion it roared up to the wrong house and scared the residents half to death. Even w/o the tank, they seem to regularly invade the wrong house. The FBI is known for hitting the wrong house and shooting all the dogs before the big “Ooops.”

  185. Jim says:

    OK-I forgot that they ran policemisconduct.net. They always link to original sources, so it’s hard to claim a bias there.

  186. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Those stories seem to be happening with more frequency.
    Yet…the drugs are cheaper, purer, and more easily available than ever.
    Strange disconnect there…

  187. Jim,
    Thanks for that link to PoliceMisconduct.Net.
    I had not seen it before.
    Now it is bookmarked.

  188. Xenia says:

    Now that I think about it, the Army pretty much gave our town that tank.

    That’s a little worrisome, in the light of the last dozen or so posts. I didn’t make the connection.

  189. Xenia says:

    Maybe what we have is an MRAP. I don’t know if it’s the same thing as an urban assault vehicle or not. I have not personally seen it with my own eyes and believe me, I’ve been looking for it. I suspect it’s being stored on the old Ft. Ord base which is adjacent to our town and is has who knows what hidden in its thousands of abandoned buildings.

    At the time we got it, our town was experiencing quite a lot of gang-related violence, which I have to admit, has abated. My curiosity has been aroused and I’m going to poke around and see where the beast is being stored, when it was last used, etc.

    Localism.

  190. Pastor Brian David Laurie says:

    @124
    “I have a lengthy response to that statement, so please don’t say it.”

    For goodness sake, Jim, get over yourself. If you have something to say, then say it. I’ve already told you that unless you’ve spent time in the uniform and have been given certain orders to carry out, then you don’t get it. That was obvious by your response to me, that is, you have no real ideal what I am talking about. This would be like me trying to school you on issues within SGM. So go ahead and rant if you want, I done talking with you about this.

    @125
    Then should have a better grasp on this. I don’t care if you don’t like LtCol North, I may very well share your sentiment, that was not my point. There something about duty that must transcend our own world view even if it means living with certain violations of our conscience……… and I may very well be a bit more to the left of center than you are.

  191. Jim says:

    Derek,

    I hang out on a gun forum, and a couple of guys were posting cops behaving badly stories every day. They were basically shouted down by everyone, including me, as one can only take so much of these stories. No one is going to run as Sheriff with a soft on drugs platform, so the feeling of impotence can lead to despair.

    I love my sheriff, as he is one of six who stood against the Florida Sheriff’s Assn this year, as they opposed NRA/Florida Carry legislative initiatives.

    But he’s hooked on the toys at his disposal, including stingray.

  192. Xenia,
    With the draw down of forces overseas, the military is giving tons of Police and Sheriffs Departments these vehicles.
    I had one last deployment, a MaxxPro.
    This should not happen. These vehicles were made for combat, not domestic law enforcement. Cops do not need a crew served weapon mount. They are not fighting against IED’s which is the primary purpose these vehicles were made.
    It is up to locals to say no.

  193. Jim says:

    Pastor Laurie,

    I guess I wasn’t paying attention, which is probably a hint. I’ll try to get over myself, while enjoying our lack of engagement.

  194. Xenia says:

    There something about duty that must transcend our own world view<<<

    Absolutely not. My world view is that of a follower of Jesus Christ and that is not going to change no matter what group I have sworn (temporary) allegiance to..

    When I was in the Navy I always had in the back of my mind that I adhered to a higher standard (Christianity) than the Navy did and that I might be given an order that I could not in good conscience obey and that I was ready to go to jail (the brig, in my case) if it came to that.

  195. Here is a picture of two MRAP’s from my last deployment.
    Mine is the closest one.
    http://slantedview.tumblr.com/image/6630273697

    I see no reason domestic law enforcement needs these.

  196. Xenia says:

    I just can’t imagine our local cops (who, on the whole, I admire) have been properly trained to operate those things. The idea, as explained in the local paper, is that it’s too dangerous to knock on the front door of a known drug/gang house so they drive up (across the yard, again oops if you’ve got the wrong house) right up to the front door and threaten the inhabitants, which probably includes little kids. Maybe my town came to its senses because I haven’t heard of the behemoth being used lately. Gonna look into the whole thing and I’ll report back.

  197. Jim says:

    Derek,

    Plenty of combat veterans agree with you. In the circles I run with, the combat vets are the most adamant about this.

  198. Xenia says:

    I am currently reading a bio of Heinrich Himmler. I don’t have any patience at the moment for “I was just following orders.” (I know, I know, throwing the Nazis into the conversation evokes Godwin’s Law.)

  199. Mark says:

    Michael get over yourself. I was not implying that u had never seen death or destruction from drug abuse. I was asking u and everyone else about your own experiences to remind u the damage these drugs do. The drugs do the damage. Not the buying and selling. The damage will continue whether buying and selling is legal or not. And I maintain there will b increased drug use with legalization. But all of this is a moot point. No US govt will ever legalize hard drugs in our lifetime and the CO and WA experiments will fail as soon as teen and adolescent pot use starts escalating- which early reports say is already happening

  200. Xenia says:

    I have to agree with Mark’s 203 (except for the “Michael get over yourself” part.)

  201. Michael says:

    Mark,

    You are clueless.
    The buying and selling has turned this hemisphere into a war zone along with our own inner cities.
    If you can’t see or understand that, then I can have more helpful conversations with my cat.

  202. Xenia,
    They are not good for deployment of men in close quarters. If the enemy is at a distance, maybe.
    The thing is mainly used overseas for convoy security operations.
    It is good for standoff operations where you want to use a crew served weapon to engage at a distance to protect a convoy.
    They protect against IED’s, through a combination of things that I don’t feel comfortable discussing here as I am not sure how much I know about them is classified.
    If you are trained correctly, they are good for protecting the riders from attacks.

    They are basically a tool for an environment of insurgency.

  203. Xenia says:

    Derek, I think the mildest, least hysterical take on this is that the US Army has a surplus of them and is passing them out to small towns just to get rid of them. The most alarmist take is that the government has something very sinister planned and all those people I thought were nuts, talking about their black helicopters, plastic coffins and concentration camps are right. I just moved a small increment from mild to alarmed.

  204. Xenia says:

    We have a Lenco BearCat

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenco_BearCat

    Our town’s name is even listed in the article.

  205. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Your #208 is exactly what I’m going through now…I hate to think like that, but the desire to completely militarize the border has me wondering along those same lines…

  206. Xenia,
    The ongoing revelations of the NSA have made me not so quick to dismiss conspiracy theorists.
    People that I thought wore tin foil hats for years gained more cred after Edward Snowden.

    That said, I don’t think the Local law enforcement is in some conspiracy.
    I think Jim is right.
    They are addicted to all things military. But, it is not healthy to feed these people on doses of paramilitarism. It gives them unhealthy mindsets that I see a lot. An us vs. them attitude. A protect me and my cop brethren at all cost attitude.
    This becomes most pronounced in their paramilitary operations and ends sometimes with dead guilty or innocent people who should not have been raided in the first place, because the offense was trivial or location was wrong. Afterwards, the cops predictably say, “Well, at the end of the day, I have to make sure my guys get home alive.”

  207. Xenia says:

    That said, I don’t think the Local law enforcement is in some conspiracy<<<

    I don't either. I suspect that stupid BearCat was foisted upon on local PD.

  208. All I can say on the Bearcat, is that we did not use it overseas.
    I think it may be made only for domestic law enforcement use.

  209. Xenia says:

    The black helicopter people include the old Ft. Ord as a site for already-built concentration camps. It’s got 15 thousand+ of acres of wilderness so who knows. I always laughed at those people. Now I am willing to at least listen with one ear.

  210. That one hits close to home, X.
    I definitely differ with them on concentration camps.
    When my unit was training to go to Bosnia in 2000, I learned some things about conspiracy theorists.
    In the national forest area that Camp Shelby, MS uses for training, they built us a Forward Operating Base to use for training. We lived on it for a month and ran simulated missions. we had real people from Bosnia to act as roleplayers and we had signs in the Serbo-Croatian everywhere, cyrillic script at times.
    Well, because it is a national forest anyone could come there. Someone took pictures of the base and signs and they showed up on a conspiracy theorist website.
    http://www.infowars.com/detcampletter.html

    Of course it became a “detention camp” and foreign troops built it. All lies and if this guy lived near there he knew it.
    The “portable prison” was our mobile PX where we could by food and necessities.
    SFOR means Stabilization Force and was the name of the mission in Bosnia-Herzgovina.

    I still wont believe much of what Alex Jones says because I personally emailed him explaining and as you can see, it still is on the internet.

  211. Click the links to photos on the bottom of the link to see where I spent some of my summer in 2000.

  212. Xenia says:

    Derek, upon surfing around the net a little bit I discovered that what they are calling detention camps in Ft. Ord is in fact a fake town used to train troops for urban warfare which we could all see from the road if we looked hard enough. So not so sinister after all, at least in the case of that particular place.

  213. I the government needed to make detention camps they could throw them up quickly. No need to plan so far in advance.

    They were still using that one at Camp Shelby from 2000 to 2009.
    We just recycled it for Iraq and Afghanistan missions and added more sites in the forest.
    We had units from all over the country coming to Camp Shelby to train because we were a deployment center and had really great facilities for everything from convoy to urban warfare training.
    There was never any other reason it was there.

  214. Xenia says:

    Fort Ord (which is just a few blocks up the hill from my house) is a pretty spooky place. Here’s a typical scene:

    http://ppcdn.500px.org/16506181/b8dba0fa01a6d44cc366f07770b5198723b7a803/5.jpg

  215. When I was in the Army, we all wanted to be stationed at Ft. Ord – the 60s and on the beach. 🙂

  216. And there we go – in the 70s Ft Ord housed up to 50,000 troops … and now we are looking for a place to house 50,000 (oh what the heck I will appease Michael) refugees. My vote, send them all to Monterrey CA.

  217. If it has a lot of buildings like that, it would make an excellent urban warfare site.

  218. Xenia says:

    Most of the old army buildings have fallen to pieces and are being torn down and carted away. A few of them have been salvaged. CSUMB has converted some of the buildings into nice classrooms (my husband has his office in one and teaches in another.) Most of the buildings couldn’t be salvaged. There’s still huge areas of non-residential buildings that are covered with barbed wire. The father you get away from the university and the new shopping center, the spookier the place is, sort of Chernobyl-like. But I have a vivid imagination.

  219. Xenia says:

    It has hundreds of building like that but fewer each year as they are torn down and carted away.

    Some were salvaged and are in use by Cal State Monterey Bay. My husband’s office is in one and his classroom is in another.

    The further away you get from the university and the new shopping center the spookier it gets, sort of Chernobyl-like. I have a vivid imagination.

  220. Xenia says:

    uh oh, one post didn’t make it so I wrote another one w/ the same material.

    Sorry bout that.

    Off to a BBQ!

  221. The department has used the vehicle to serve warrants on potentially violent suspects, Henley said. Without it, an officer would have to approach a residence on foot or in a patrol car.

    Trust me, driving up in a loud MRAP and then trying to get a squad out of that “one man at a time” door in the back and down those cruddy stairs on it is worse than approaching by stealth on foot.
    Raids almost invariably happen at night to use the element of surprise anyways.
    The most dangerous time is entry when the suspect is awakened and might grab a gun and start shooting.
    The best thing to remember in a raid is “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast” That will serve you better than an MRAP.

  222. Jim says:

    Derek,

    You’re giving me the creeps. My afore mentioned friends say the same thing about tactics.

  223. Xenia says:

    http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_26155732/couple-sue-after-mistaken-swat-raid-target-at

    (I hope the link works. Newspaper websites have unreliable links sometimes)

    ^^^^ This story is the headline for our local paper today. A SWAT team invaded a home in nearby Salinas, grabbed the grandparents they found inside, dragged them outside, made they lie face down on the cement driveway (even though the grandpa was a very sick man, a dialysis patient), ran inside, grabbed the 14 year old granddaughter who was crying, threatened to make things even worse if she didn’t cough up somebody named Omar and even after they realized they had RAIDED THE WRONG HOUSE kept everyone outside for 2 hours.

    This story didn’t involve an Urban Assault Vehicle, although Salinas has one.

  224. Michael says:

    Xenia,

    Wow…thank you for that.

  225. Xenia says:

    You’re welcome, Michael.

    Upon reading the lawsuit, I see they did roar up to the residence in some kind of assault vehicle.

    This house is in the same neighborhood as the Greek Church we used to attend so I am familiar with the area. It’s a very nice neighborhood, not wealthy but very solidly middle class with well-kept lawns, etc. I point this out so folks will realize this can happen to anyone, not just people who live on the wrong side of town.

  226. Michael says:

    This militarization of local police and the border is far scarier to me than any other political boogyman…

  227. Xenia says:

    TV cop shows always show the heroes invading homes with guns in the most extreme manner. They have a clue, they get a warrant, they assemble the squad, they kick down the door and they invade the home as if they were invading Iraq. I wonder how many local cops watch these shows and take their cue from this behavior.

  228. Jean says:

    I’m not defending the police, but I’m not surprised either. Aside from the drug war, with everyone in the US invited to arm-up with almost any conceivable type and number of personal weapons, of any caliber with any type of bullets and magazines you can imagine, the police have to maintain a qualitative edge in firepower superiority. Any house they may approach may be a armory.

    That’s part and parcel with the American fascination with guns. I don’t know where this is social experiment is going to end up, but as I indicated before, there are forces in this country sowing distrust in our institutions of government, including law enforcement, with the effect (whether intentional or not) of tearing them down.

    There are certainly issues with law enforcement that need addressing, but the answer isn’t going to be everyone being their own law enforcement. That’s anarchy.

  229. Xenia says:

    I tell you what Jean, there have been enough cases around here of the police getting the wrong address (including the house right across the street) that when the dog barks, I lock her up in a bedroom before I go see who’s at the door (or before the door is kicked down) because if it’s the cops they might shoot her dead. I’ve lived in this crime-ridden town for 40 years almost and I have never been overly worried about the criminals breaking in but I am worried about the cops experiencing another “clerical error” and busting in with guns blazing.

  230. Jean says:

    Sounds awful Xenia. I would love to get your opinion of this article, which came out 2 days ago:

    http://news.yahoo.com/online-rants-rightwing-extremism-fuel-fears-for-us-cops-225012920.html;_ylt=A0LEV0GcvMZTkGQAjZdXNyoA

  231. Xenia says:

    Jean, please. I am not in favor of cop-killing nor do I affiliate myself with those who do. I don’t see any need to comment further on that article.

    We don’t have guns at our house. We don’t like guns. We are not right-wingers.

  232. Jean says:

    Xenia, I wasn’t associating you with that article. I am simply putting out some of the issues that police are facing, not making excuses for the police, but offering additional information for people to consider as they process the increasing violence which is plaguing our country.

  233. Xenia says:

    Ok, Jean, I understand.

    At the moment, all my sympathies are with that family in Salinas.

    The Salinas police Dept. has been under fire lately for the large number of death-by-cop that has occurred recently. The people of Salinas are not to happy with their police dept. these days, believe me.

    I get what you are saying, that any house could be an arsenal. But what the cops are doing is transferring all the danger of police work from themselves onto the civilian population. Sort of like drone warfare, in a way. And as with drones, there are mistakes made and innocent people are hurt.

  234. Jean says:

    I hear you loud and clear. One thing that’s especially troubling about the report you linked is that this wasn’t a case of one or two cops who went off the rails; this was a planned operation, which must have been planned in advance at a relatively high level by people not under duress. So, this was their “rational” plan. Not good!

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