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Three Russian Space Shot Deaths-- Pre-Gagarin?

MagusZero Re:"reds" less offensive then? (160 comments)

I am old enough to remember. Red was more derogatory back then. It was definitely better dead than Red! There was hardly a greater insult than to call someone a Commie.

The 60s were very different from today. For example, most Americans thought that accepting welfare was shameful and an indication of personal failure. It was also expected that you could travel at will, free of government surveillance. Employment drug tests would have been unimaginable. An abortion was thought about in the same sort of way as an attempted suicide.

I also remember segregated facilities and the integration of schools through bussing. I knew Charlie Smith, a man who had been a slave and who had been freed by Lincoln.

While some things are very much better today (such as race relations and technology), overall I would say that things are not as good as they were. As a country, today we are very much less free and live in much greater fear largely due to the War on Drugs and the inescapable flow of information.

By "inescapable flow of information" I am talking about the fact that it is now possible to terrify 280M people by putting a report of a neighborhood mugging on CNN. There is one sort of fear you experience when living in a "duck and cover" society but it is largely impersonal and you trust that "they" will make everything alright in the end. It is a completely different sort of fear living in a "drug crazed Columbine uni-bomber" sort of society where no one can protect you (or more importantly, your kids) without effectively locking everyone up.

As far as the War on Drugs is concerned, it has been a complete failure. It has failed to stop the use and distribution of drugs; it has destroyed hundreds of thousands of lives by giving otherwise innocent kids criminal drug records (thereby rendering them largely unemployable); and it has resulted in a police state the likes of which would have been unimaginable in the 60s, even when what was at stake was the possible annihilation of the world.

Having experienced both, I would take a Cold War over a Drug War any day. I have given up on people getting smarter.

more than 13 years ago


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