Peace is the Death of War – R. Lee Wrights

 

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BURNET, Texas (May 26, 2012) – When I began my quest for the Libertarian presidential nomination, my staff and I were committed to making the campaign about more than just winning the nomination. We determined that whoever was the nominee, the message of the Libertarian Party in 2012 would be “Stop All War,” and that message would be heard in all 50 states. To that end, we pledged 10 percent of all donations to insure ballot access, and began The Million Vote March project to achieve a historic first for the Libertarian Party.

As I have said from the beginning, this is not about Lee Wrights. It’s about the Libertarian Party and the libertarian message of peace, prosperity and progress. While the campaign for the nomination is over, the campaign to Stop All War, to gain 50-state ballot access, and to win one million votes for the Libertarian candidate for president continues. It must continue. Not only because it’s what my staff and I have pledged to do, but because it’s right for the Libertarian Party and it’s right for America.

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#StopAllWar

 

Lee Wrights on the Profits of Peace

 

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Most discussions about the costs of war focus on two numbers, the cost in dollars and cents and the more profound and heartbreaking cost in lives. Yet even as depressing as these numbers are, the figures discussed rarely encompass the whole truth. Over many generations those in power have learned there are benefits to keeping the populace as ignorant as possible when it comes to the true costs of war.

American politicians never talk about all the people killed in war, just American service members. Everyone else who is killed, even Americans arbitrarily classified as “enemy combatants,” are marginalized as mere collateral damage. Dollar costs consider only the “official” Defense Department budget, not the funds scattered and hidden throughout the federal budget. And the tally sheet deliberately excludes the cost of caring for the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines physically and emotionally scarred by war.

The Eisenhower Study Group at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies has compiled a comprehensive study of the human, economic, social and political costs of war. It’s available online. As you might imagine, the real numbers of wars we are presently involved in are staggering and stunning: more than 224,000 lives lost, more than 365,000 wounded, and in excess of seven million refugees.

The total estimated cost to the American taxpayer for our current wars is $3-4 trillion dollars through 2020 — plus an additional $1 trillion just to pay the interest on the money borrowed to fund war. Funding war by borrowing money is one of the devices politicians have devised to pay for war, particularly for unpopular wars. This means our children must pay tomorrow for the wars we are involved in today.

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War Breeds War. Peace Breeds Prosperity

Decriminalizing drugs will save lives and money – Lee Wrights

Whenever anyone suggests that the War on Drugs is a failure and it is time to decriminalize most drugs, they are immediately accused of wanting to allow anyone, even “the children” to use and abuse drugs. The moral busybodies scream, “If we legalize drugs, people will drive while stoned, we’ll have tens of thousand of addicts who’ll become parasites on society, we’ll have drug babies, and millions will die!” But that’s what we have now—and the War on Drugs, not the drugs themselves are largely to blame.

This is a typical tactic used by those who have no sane, reasonable or factual argument to defend their view; when the facts aren’t on your side, attack the other side, question their motives, demonize them, and never, ever admit they may hold sincere beliefs. Like most Americans, I believe the War on Drugs is a failure and should end. Do I want children to use drugs? Of course not; not my children, not anyone’s children. Nor do I want anyone, especially children, to eat foods that are not good for them, to drive too fast, or to stand out in the cold until they come down with pneumonia. But I am not willing to use force to stop them, or throw them in jail if they persist in such behavior.

There is no question that decriminalizing drugs will not only save lives, it will save money. The federal government spent more than $15 billion dollars in 2010 on the War on Drugs according to Office of National Drug Control Policy (“National Drug Control Strategy: FY2010 Budget Summary,” Washington, DC: 2009, p. 15.). That’s at a rate of about $500 per second, as calculated by Drug Sense, the award-winning non-profit group incorporated in 1995 to inform citizens and encourage involvement in drug policy reform, in their Drug War Clock.

Drug legalization could cut government spending by about $41.3 billion annually, according to a recent report issued by the Cato Institute. About $25.7 billion of this savings could be made by state and local governments. One city has already realized such savings. Philadelphia stopped arresting small time marijuana consumers, imposing a fine and mandatory drug-awareness classes instead, and saved more than $2 million, according to the Philadelphia News (“D.A.: Philly’s new pot policy just makes sense … and saves dollars,” July 8, 2011).   In addition, states (in 2007) spent $6.2 billion keeping people in prison for drug offenses and an estimated $6.3 million on federal prisons, where 55 percent of the inmates are incarcerated for drug offenses. While these figures are merely small drops in the bucket when it comes to skyrocketing federal spending and out-of-control federal debt, stopping this wasteful spending would be a small step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, a stumbling block to any step in the right direction is the myth that ending the War on Drugs will result in an increase of drug use. This lie is reported as fact even though quite the opposite has been shown to be true in real life.   For example, Portugal’s experience demonstrated that usage, especially among teens, actually dropped (“Drug Decriminalization in Portugal: Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies“).

Read the rest via Decriminalizing drugs will save lives and money | Liberty For All.