The Internet Has Transformed Modern Divorce
Speaking of ludicrous, your scales seems a bit off. #1 would be more accurate as: While married, have you ever glanced at someone and thought to yourself, "Wow, they're attractive!" or: have you ever been eating delicious cake and think "wow, that pie looks good too"? And the sexual side of your second example would be more like "you were horny one day, so you kidnapped and raped someone and then murdered them so your partner wouldn't find out."
I'd just like to point out that an alternate (and just one of many) perspective on sexual relations beyond those with your partner is: I love my partner's pies and I've even said there's no other pie I'd rather eat. One day, however, someone brought in a pie to the office and I decided to have a slice. Might my partner be hurt to find out that I liked this other pie as much as theirs? Maybe, but then I wouldn't marry someone who's so childish as to believe theirs is the only pie I'll ever want or even try. In the end I'm with them not because I'm a sellout for whomever has the best pie, but because I enjoy the whole process of baking it with my partner.
Hmm the food metaphor is a bit tedious at this point. Maybe I'm just bitter that I didn't get any pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving this year. And that's not a euphemism.
IT Salaries and Hiring Are Up — But Just To 2008 Levels
I'm not advocating giving the rich people a break, far from it but you can't keep expecting to have a fair tax system when half of the people in this country don't pay federal income taxes.
Wow really? Did you even read the article you linked to? Hell, even the title? Here let me help: "The 50% Of Americans Who Don't Pay Income Tax Will NEVER Be A Good Revenue Source"
It's hard to not just copy and paste the whole thing but here are a couple points:
"It’s wrong to rail on the 46 percent of people who don't pay income tax," said Paul Caron, a tax professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. "A fairer analysis takes into account all taxes paid—and by this measure, everyone has tax skin in the game," he said.
"It’s going to hurt the economy more if you raise taxes on the poor than the rich, because the poor spend every penny they’ve got," Williams said. "If you take a dollar away from them in tax credits, that’s a dollar they don’t spend."
Point is, there's absolutely nothing fair about wealth distribution or pay in this country so why should there be a "fair" tax system? Not only is it not going to help the economy or deficit in any way, it's just cruel.
Patch Makes Certain Skin Cancers Disappear
Oh good, you can read Wikipedia. You might be surprised to learn that I can as well. In fact since you failed to actually fully comprehend the first line, I'll repeat it here:
Basal-cell carcinoma (BCC), a skin cancer, is the most common cancer. It rarely metastasizes or kills. However, because it can cause significant destruction and disfigurement by invading surrounding tissues, it is still considered malignant.
So yes, I'm aware that basal cell carcinoma is rarely fatal. However, we're still talking about a serious condition and one that demands something more ethical than a no-op control group. Which was my one and only point. You know, since I was responding to a post more-or-less arguing to throw out ethics since it doesn't allow you to test all conditions. As for your misquote below, may I suggest additional reading, courtesy of Wikipedia?
Patch Makes Certain Skin Cancers Disappear
Except that we're talking about a life-threatening medical condition. This isn't like arthritis medication or ED pills. It's one thing to conduct a study where you give one group a known treatment that improves patients' chances of not dying a painful death by X% and another a new treatment that may or may not do anything. It's quite another to say that whoever gets put in the control group is just SOL. You have to balance ethics with scientific efficacy. Surely you wouldn't suggest an acceptable protocol for a heart attack treatment would be for anyone randomly placed in the control group to have a team of doctors stand there and watch while they died/suffered permanent heart damage? Even if you do find that acceptable, I doubt an ethics review board will agree.
Primary School Girl Told To Stop Photographing and Blogging School Meals
Peanuts are just fine. Not great, not bad, just fine. For the paranoid, there are issues like aflatoxin (not really an issue for peanuts you'll find in the US) and some evidence to suggest that they are atherogenic in other animals, despite their fat profile (personally, the data seems scattered and mostly associated with wacky diets and the like so I'm ignoring it). The good is that they are higher in good poly-/monounsaturated fats than many other common foods and have a decent amount of protein. The bad is that they are fairly high in fat and calories and easy to overeat (at least for me, I love em!).
Basically it boils down to there being plenty of better, healthier snacks out there but if your choice is between peanuts and sugar processed into some novel new form, don't feel bad about taking the peanuts.
Company Creates a Self-Making Bed
It's not even about the work involved in making the bed. It's about having a brain that's not fundamentally broken. Caring about shit like bed making is a sign that your priorities are entirely screwed up.
Yes! I too have discovered that training and discipline is only for feeble brains. Similarly I have nothing in my apartment except my computer, a cheap mattress, a blanket that I never fold, and some storage bins for clothes that I only wash when I get complaints. Of course I also never workout or do anything but order in because that would take time away from the only thing that matters: code! Seriously, can you believe the stuff people think is important?
Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic
Most of the rest of that list is a bit of a stretch of the imagination to pull out of my post
It's really not though. I pulled all those just by skimming down your comment.
- Women are overly sensitive. The only men that are overly sensitive are gay (or if it's their profession to care/pretend to care). You've already agreed to this one.
- Women are thin skinned. In the context of women being overly sensitive: "Going through life with such a thin skin as to be offended by this sort of stuff is not a good thing" and "... but you as women need to grow thicker skins as you grow up."
- The way women process interpersonal relationships is "crazy." You said: "Guys don't have the same sort of crazy databasing of "everything he's done wrong" that most women seem to have, so we tend to generalize more. " Subtext: The stereotypical male handling of interpersonal relationships is not crazy and therefore, superior.
- Women are too specific about their grievances. You said: "We complain about women, and women complain about men, they're just more specific about it." Each sex complains about the other, however (subtext) the stereotypical woman is more specific about it (i.e. more negative, whereas the stereotypical man brushes these things off).
- Women internalize things incorrectly. You said (paraphrasing due to length): Men often bond and show respect and affection for one another through teasing and insults. The stereotypical woman does not understand this, due to men and women internalizing behaviors differently. Subtext: I'm a man and this behavior seems completely normal to me, thus anyone who doesn't understand must be incorrect.
- Women make the world insane, and sanity can only be achieved by hiding from them. You said: "I should also mention that men throw off the adaptation around other men, and for a long time the internet was 95%+ men in most of its dark corners. Some guys will push back because they're losing one of their few remaining bastions of sanity where they can say what they like." No need for subtext here "few remaining bastions of sanity". There's also an "old boys club" thing here of woman encroaching on a man's domain and keeping them from being "men" that I missed the first time.
- It's acceptable for men to treat women as possessions, or at least discuss them as such. You said: a borderline silly analogy of men to grizzly bears and how grizzly bears "view everything in the world around them as objects to be possessed." You further said that while nearly all men understand that woman are not possessions, it's still OK to pretend like they are as long as no woman are around to hear.
Look my intention here is not be combative or to try to make you look like a misogynist or something. As I said, I believe you made your post with the best of intentions which (unfortunately, for you) made it the perfect target of what I'm trying to say. The point I'm trying to make is that all of this is so completely baked into our culture that it's difficult for men (and many women, even!) to see the problems. The goal is to get you--get anyone!--to look at this and say "hmm, what if he's right?"
I know first hand how hard it is to accept this stuff. It feels like you have to give up fun and harmless jokes and lose out of the feeling of camaraderie with other men joking about taking an us-vs-them approach to women. The first knock on the door of understanding for me was a Sociology 101 course I took in college to (easily, I thought) fill a humanities req. One day the professor said something to the effect of "gender is not intrinsically linked to sex." As you might imagine, I was horrified and nearly left because I thought this must be some sort of psychotic feminist propaganda.
It seeded that "what if" though. What if we realized that little girls tease and play in the dirt, just like boys, at least until we beat it out of them by telling them that girls have to be dainty and put on a kind face. What if we treated women as if they were just as capable and intelligent as men? Yes the sexes are different and pretending like there's some unisex isn't going to solve anything. Just toss out the stereotype book. Don't assume that you can't tell a woman the truth because she's too sensitive to handle it. Don't assume that you can never tease or joke around vulgarly with women; you should learn when this is acceptable, however (with friends/family/usually coworkers after hours: ok. Talking about penises, blowjobs, female ass, etc. in public/professional settings: not ok). Progress is being made so now is not the time to give up and say men have done all they can.
Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic
Let's just start with a short list of how you portray women in your post there:
- Women are overly sensitive. The only men that are overly sensitive are gay (or if it's their profession to care/pretend to care).
- Women are thin skinned.
- The way women process interpersonal relationships is "crazy."
- Women are too specific about their grievances.
- Women internalize things incorrectly.
- Women make the world insane, and sanity can only be achieved by hiding from them.
- It's acceptable for men to treat women as possessions, or at least discuss them as such.
- Women are completely foreign.
Really, each one of these deserves at least a good paragraph of exposition but that's more than anyone will read or comprehend. I'm inclined to believe that your post is in earnest and that you didn't even notice writing these things and still may not even see what's wrong with them. That's the true nature of sexism: it's incredibly insidious and it pervades every single aspect of our society. As men, we have been taught since we were little boys about how men and women are different and the myriad ways women are inferior. Not directly, mind you. At least in my own experience, no guardian or role model has come out and said things like "women talk too much" or "they're terrible drivers." No one needed to however, because if you tell a lie enough it becomes the perceived truth and these little lies fly freely and masquerade as "jokes."
So you're right, in a sense, about internalization: what men and women have internalized is quite different. See common "sense" like men are strong, hunters/warriors, dominant and natural leaders. Common "sense" about women is that they're weak/uncoordinated ("you throw like a girl!"), (overly) sensitive, and better at domestic activities. If you stray from these boundaries you are mercilessly attacked by your peers. Men who are sensitive are either gay or not real men. Women who are active or dominant are tomboys, dykes, or just plain bitches. So let me ask you: do you think any of this crap about women is actually true or just "the way it has always been so it must be true?"
Regardless, if you continue to treat and expect women to be completely foreign to you, they will remain so.
Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?
Except for all the new people getting extra tax breaks,
"Extra." You realize you're arguing that it's good and right that currently a certain class of people (opposite-sex couples) has special privileges (tax breaks) that another class (same-sex couples) don't get. If you want to argue it's somehow "not fair" that everyone can now share in that benefit, then take away the tax breaks for everyone if you want it to be fair.
and all the new people forcibly placed on your employers health care package
Oh dear this sounds horrible. Wait, why is my group plan through my employer cheaper than a personal plan for the same coverage? Ah right, the more people that participate, the bigger the available pool.
Christmas Always On Sunday? Researchers Propose New Calendar
Correct. But 0 F is much closer to the mark than 32 F, which is a temperature that most people can still do a good deal of work outside without worrying about frostbite and things like that. Except in unusual circumstances, extended human outdoor activity generally starts getting significantly harder (and requires more care) somewhere around -10F to +10F. 0 F is a reasonable approximation.
So just note your dangerously cold mark as -20 C (-4 F) and be done with it. I hear this all the time when people learn that I use the metric system internally even though I'm an American. They're usually sympathetic saying something like "yeah the metric system makes a lot of sense, but I could never switch for temperatures" and this baffles me. Metric is easier IMO. 0 is (literally) freezing cold, 10 is cool, 20 is comfortable, 30 is hot, 40 is dangerously hot if you don't know what you're doing. People on Slashdot always bring up 0 F >= T <= 32 F but this maps pretty well to -10 C and -20 C as well. But really, 32 F is still a risk for hypothermia and frostbite if you're not already taking precautions so what's the difference?
What Do We Do When the Internet Mob Is Wrong?
If rich are to pay taxes to a point where they are on par with upper middle class, or anywhere close to it, then you would not have any rich people at all. There is no incentive to work hard and be filthy rich. No innovation... no competition... no big tax contributions (27%)...
Bullshit. I'm so tired of seeing this bullshit argument. Let's take an example of an absurdly high taxation rate for the rich, say 80%. Someone with a revenue of $1 million is still netting $200,000 there, significantly more than the vast super majority of people can ever earn (even before taxes!). I actually do fairly well for myself, being a skilled knowledge worker and making a few times what the average family of four makes, but I would trade up to that income with an 80% tax rate without the slightest hesitation and I suspect everyone else making under $250,000 would as well. I would make that trade, or even "work hard", to achieve that income level even if offered a 0% tax rate to stay at my current income.
I doubt I need to continue to expound on this for you to see my point. Once the input numbers are high enough, the magnitude of the percentage rate becomes unimportant, relatively speaking. With a high enough income, even grossly unjust taxation rates still yield financial outcomes wildly better than even the most skilled and experienced member of the working class can ever achieve. So yes, there's still plenty of incentive to "work hard" and "compete". Back in reality though, reasonable people aren't demanding that the rich pay some ridiculous 80% of their income in taxes. Just that they pay something proportional to their income as compared with the rest of the populace (i.e. less income inequality).
In case it isn't blindingly obvious, I say "work hard" and "compete" because I reject the notion that anyone not rich enough to build houses out of $100 bills simply isn't working hard enough. I wouldn't be caught dead suggesting that someone struggling to make a living off two jobs simply isn't working as hard as me in my 40-hour-a-week desk job.
Diaspora Co-founder Dies At 22
Basically, not only do I disagree with your argument, but it has no bearing on the point I made.
My argument was directed at and even paraphrased the point you made, which is that "suicide is selfish because it's like saying that my wants are more important than my loved ones' wants." Perhaps that's even true, but my demonstration was to turn that argument back around and it works just as well. What I was hoping to illustrate by that is that phrasing the topic of suicide in terms of selfishness is not helpful or accurate.
It is possible for those who wish someone to not committ suicide to be selfish and for the person committing suicide to be selfish as well.
This should simply reinforce the point that I'm making which is that the selfishness or non-selfishness of a person really has nothing to do with whether or not they will commit suicide, nor with their motivations behind that act.
Diaspora Co-founder Dies At 22
Flip that statement around: claiming that suicide is selfish is proclaiming that the temporary grief I will experience by the suicide of a loved one is more important than the constant suffering of that loved one. Or to put it another way, my wants are more important than the wants of those I love.
It's the same thing. I don't think you can so easily find and take a moral high ground in such a complex philosophical issue. I think most people would agree that anyone contemplating or attempting suicide needs help, I'm just not sure that insulting someone in such a fragile mental state by calling them selfish is very helpful.
Ask Slashdot: GNU/Linux Laptops?
Two-finger swipe is much, much more comfortable to use than edge scrolling because it works from all over the trackpad and from many angles. As for buttons:
- 1-finger tap = left click
- 2-finger tap = right click
- Command tap = middle click
- Fn + arrow up = page up
- Fn + arrow down = page down
- Fn + delete (a.k.a. the backspace key on PC) = delete
- On and on
Really though, it's ubiquitous for a compact keyboard to have a Fn key which does all the above so it's not even learning icky Mac-specific combos. The point is, the Mac trackpad is vastly superior to any other trackpad and nearly as good as a mouse (enough so that I'd guess that most people with MacBooks no longer carry around an extra mouse).
Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)
Is this a joke? Education correlates positively with productive value for society and negatively with burden on society. Put simply, without society paying for childhood education we'll be left with a bunch of drooling half-wits that cost us way more to support than it would to simply give them a K-12 education. If you must see it that way, it's very much self-serving to educate children. In all likelihood, I will never have children of my own so I'm not even talking about it from that angle. Someday when I'm old the current batch of students will be running things and personally, I'd like it if they were at least semi-functional insofar as the average human can be.
There, no moral discussion needed (a blessing since any that puts "moral right" and "fruit of someone else's labor" in the same sentence will always devolved into some mind-bending justification for how it is noble to exploit human beings).
Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Are you kidding me? Your argument is that if gays want to serve openly in the military they have to submit to sexual harassment? No one would tolerate a serviceman calling out "show us your tits, honey" to a servicewoman but it's ok for a guy to grab his crotch and say "yeah I bet you'd love to get your lips on this, wouldn't you fag?"
Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
18-25 year olds are going to be fucking like rabbits;
There, got rid of some unnecessary specificity for you.
most gay guys consider that to be the number one selling point of being gay.
This is bullshit. Sure, it's significantly easier as a MSM to find a partner willing to skip the pretense of dinner times whatever number is currently socially acceptable, but the idea that most gay guys are having sex with multiple partners a night is pure fantasy. Hell, as far as I know it was hetero kids that came up with FWB.
If you actually observed for a minute instead of just dismissing homosexually, you'd find that most homos are just like most heteros. We all like to sleep around when we're young but we also want to find a stable relationship with a partner. Of course, when your society discourages you from forming or keeping those relationships, yeah you kind of are just left with cheap sex to fill the void.
You won't hear much about it, just like you don't hear about the problems with integrating females. After all, all units have disciplinary problems, and they deal with them all the time. The difference is simply that when there are more problems, your command spends more time doing legal paperwork and less time working on training. You have more soldiers who are not pulling their weight. You lose camaraderie and get bickering and politics. I think that's been a major problem with our support units and, notably, we have been moving towards using contractors for support jobs far more than we used to. I can't see how we're going to insulate our combat units from this change.
The bottom line is that this is a social experiment being performed that will result in people dying. It's a privilege to serve, not a right, and not one that's worth a single person dying.
No you probably won't hear much about it, but because it won't be that big of a deal (or at least, it doesn't have to be--I don't doubt the homo-haters will try). This is not a "social experiment." As always with social progress, we've let others do the hard experimentation for us so all we have to do is take the empirical evidence. Yes, such human rights pioneers such as China and South Africa allow homosexuals to serve in the military.
Even the Israeli army (who few would dispute that operate in an extremely stressful and hostile environment) can manage it:
In a comprehensive review of interviews with all known experts on homosexuality in the IDF in 2004, researchers were not able to find any data suggesting that Israel’s decision to lift its gay ban undermined operational effectiveness, combat readiness, unit cohesion or morale. In this security-conscious country where the military is considered to be essential to the continued existence of the nation, the decision to include sexual minorities has not harmed IDF effectiveness. In addition, while no official statistics are available for harassment rates of sexual minorities in the IDF, scholars, military officials and representatives of gay organizations alike assert that vicious harassment is rare.
Interestingly, they also seem to realize that the real security threat is not from openly gay service men and women, but the closeted ones:
Israel takes the position that gays in the closet (those who, for example, may have informed their superiors of their sexual orientation, but on a confidential basis) cannot get security-sensitive jobs while those who are out can work anywhere.
So, it would seem that gays serving openly will result in fewer people dying.
Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Someone call the faaabulaaance, this man needs a humor injection, stat.
Seriously though, how do you cope in this fucked up world with so little?
Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
These puritanical beliefs about gender, nudity, and sex just need to die already. The amount of psychological and sociological harm they have inflicted, and continue to inflict, is simply unfathomable. As is so common, you conflate nudity with sex, but there are so many shades of grey in between. You might even say they're not even on the same scale because sex does not require nudity, and nudity does not require that sex take place (except in the puritanical mindset where the only time a person should see another naked is when they're having sex and even then, we'd best just pretend the whole thing never happened).
Of course it's not your fault, exactly, these ideas are beaten into our consciousness from a very early age. Children have no inherent aversion to nudity, it's a learned behavior from their parents (who rightfully should teach them what is and is not appropriate). However, that teaching often starts creeping into other areas where it's ok to be naked like the privacy of own's room, the bathroom, or the locker room. We're told to keep the blinds closed and cover up because "someone might see you." Our brains fill in the missing dots: it's bad for someone to see us naked, the only time we should be naked is having sex, therefore anyone that sees us naked is immediately overcome with the urge to grope us.
That's simply not the case, and I think you know it. The proposed problem (if it even exists) is not sexual tension, but adults (and supposedly professionals) behaving like impetuous adolescents. The only thing that really marks a difference between a post-pubescent adolescent and an adult is wisdom and maturity, the maturity to understand and cope with things like having your feelings hurt or, as gross as you might find it, that gay guy or that fat girl find you attractive.
So no, DADT is not a reasonable policy, as it is not based in reason. If you actually believe that the policy has anything to do with the "shower problem," you've bought into the bigotry, even if you aren't a bigot yourself. It's obvious to everyone that homosexuals are no less capable a soldier than heterosexuals (and in some cases, more apt than their straight counterparts due to their proclivity to do things like study foreign languages). So tossing a good solider out because they're gay is something most people can use their faculties of reason to say that's wrong and stupid. Oh, but "they might see you naked in the shower," and just like that, people's brains shut off.
Sure, I'll admit that I like the gym shower because it's a great place to see a lot of attractive men without their clothes on. However, it's more on the level of looking at art, or a landscape view on a hike because just as those straight guys have no interest in sex with me, I have no interest in sex with them because there is no reciprocation of that sexual attraction. There's no sexual tension there unless you're the one bringing it to the table. It's the same for most straight guys too: they'll admire that passing beauty in the short skirt but it's nothing for their girlfriend/wife to get upset over. It's not as if the second their spouse turns her back they're going to run over and start hitting on the girl.
I'm glad you brought up the "shower problem" though, because in my mind it really underlines just how discriminatory the policy is. Statistically speaking, your average military man is already showering with one or two other men who could potentially be sexually interested in poor ol' Joe Hetero. Somehow it's not a problem now but it will be once everyone "knows" which among them is interested in dudes? I say "knows" because as other servicemen have pointed out in this topic, it's typically not that hard to figure out ("gaydar" isn't magic, after all) and not that big of a secret anyway. So what you're really saying is that it's demonstrably not a problem but you want to reserve the right to oppress the homos by holding the threat of a dishonorable discharge over their heads. Yet, if a private organization were to take up such a policy it wouldn't stand, not even for a minute.
DADT simply is a bigoted policy, there's just no getting around it (even if it was well intentioned). It's an attempt to put a demographic in a box and label it as "different." Oh sure, we as a culture in general embrace the individual and the different, but there are certain "differents" out there that just don't deserve the same respect or rights, no? That's what you've said after all, is that your "right" to not feel imagined sexual tension is more important than the right of another to be themselves and actually express their existence as a sexual being. I suppose we should also curb free speech because I've probably violated your "right" to not get your feelings hurt by me calling your beliefs bigoted.
It's not even effective because like so many social policies based on placing people into neat little categories, the weakness is that human beings are not so neat and simple. Your fear is a dude checking you out in the shower, and you've sorted that into neat little boxes of hetero (going to stare at the ceiling) and homo (going to drool). The problem is, sexuality isn't black and white and even the idea that a straight guy doesn't take a peak is absurd. Just look at the straight guys that shower at the gym with half a hardon even knowing they're more likely to encounter a gay guy at the gym than most anywhere else in their daily life. Another example of where it breaks down is me: up til now you've probably assumed I'm gay by the things I've said, but I'm bi. Even if you discount the straight guys checking you out the first time you shower together, and feel safe because you've kicked out the openly gay guy, you're forgetting the large percentage of people who have some degree of bisexuality even if they're not far enough towards the middle to call themselves bi like me. Just because someone shows you pictures of his smokin' hot girlfriend and how he loves her tits doesn't mean he doesn't also like your penis.
So to make a (very) long story short, it really doesn't require some imaginary future where there is no sexuality (and I'm sure I'm not the only one who prays nothing of the sort ever happens), it just requires people to treat each other with respect and act like adults. If someone can't do that, they need to be disciplined accordingly, not because they're gay or straight. You might be surprised how far a little respect can go. If you were to approach me as an adult (and thereby demonstrate some respect for me, instead of trying to get me fired behind my back), take me aside, and say "look I know you're gay and I don't really have a problem with that, but it still makes me a little uncomfortable in the shower" I would return the show of respect by working something out, whether that be being in the shower room at different times or simply never looking in your direction (but really, it's a shower, not a sightseeing trip--get in, scrub up, and get out).
Judge Berates Prosecutors In Xbox Modding Trial
You can try the "extreme cases" argument, but you gotta understand this is an "uncommon" endpoint and by the time you hit 13 it's "less than common" and then 15 is "common."
Do you have a citation for this? I do:
In 2009, 10.0 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were current illicit drug users (Figure 2.6): 7.3 percent used marijuana, 3.1 percent engaged in nonmedical use of prescription-type psychotherapeutics, 1.0 percent used inhalants, 0.9 percent used hallucinogens, and 0.3 percent used cocaine.
0.3 percent is hardly "common."
Mid-teens hard drug users are oddly more common than mid-20s hard drug users; college kids seem to stabilize on marijuana, but high school kids want to try heroin.
No, no they are not. From the same reference:
Rates of current use of illicit drugs in 2009 were higher for young adults aged 18 to 25 (21.2 percent) than for youths aged 12 to 17 (10.0 percent) and adults aged 26 or older (6.3 percent). Among young adults, 18.1 percent used marijuana in the past month, 6.3 percent used prescription-type drugs nonmedically, 1.8 percent used hallucinogens, and 1.4 percent used cocaine
As for heroin, the average age of active and first time users has always been higher than that of any other hard drug.
There is a large overlap in the people that bitch about how bad HFCS is for your health and those that want to stand against drug prohibition. I understand the difference between HFCS being "forced" on you ... and cocaine being "voluntary"; but it's still a strange position.
I'm not convinced that there is a large overlap in these two groups but even if so, how is it a strange position? It seems to be a logical extension of the right to control one's own body. That said, I disagree that HFCS is forced upon anyone and is (as I myself found out) surprisingly easy to avoid.
Then you find the people that are against cigarettes but for legalized marijuana and cocaine, and one can only assume they're retarded.
One can only assume you're making shit up, because I've never heard someone say cigarettes should be banned in one breath and to legalize marijuana and hard drugs in the next. Perhaps you're confusing the issue with smoking in public places? There you have the previous situation where one is being deprived of the right to control what enters their own body because you cannot avoid breathing in the smoke (or at least it goes well beyond any sort of reasonability).
Esoteric arguments about peoples' conflicting stances aside, there's a severe ethical problem with selling someone a simple poison with no benefit to get their money in your pocket. Cigarettes gradually damage your health and the "benefit" you get from initial nicotine high quickly fades into "tolerance" and "cravings"; good tobacco at least is enjoyable, and less toxic.
Indeed, let's just throw out the whole drug debate and label it an "esoteric argument" and just declare that drugs are a severe ethical problem. Or not. You may recall that the entire debate largely is an ethical, "esoteric" one. Namely, is it ethical to allow someone to purposefully damage their health and is it ethical to control such actions through force of law?
Alcohol is the same way, a horrible substance with little benefit (although some significant in low daily dose); but good beer and good wine cannot be de-alcoholized without destroying the flavor and/or texture as well.
What makes it a "horrible substance?" As you point out (however subdued), alcohol does have such benefits as lowering overall mortality when consumed around the one drink per day level, not to mention the social benefits. More importantly, what's your point here? That you would bring back Prohibition if beer and wine could be made alcohol free?