John K Clark (
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 08:08:27 -0800 (PST)


On Sat, 15 Feb 1997 Gregory Houston <> Wrote:

>Our government truly does provoke violence. We sold Suddham Hussein
>many of his weapons.

You put me in the very unusual position of defending the government of the
USA. Suddham's weapons were made in the USSR, France and China, I can't think
of any major weapon system that was made in America.

>Our government supplies drugs to inner cities. This has been
>reported in many newspapers lately.

You will have to look long and hard to find somebody who has more contempt
for "our" government or any government than me, but that accusation is made
in many of the same newspapers that report on alien UFO abductions and crying
statues, and is just about as reliable. Government commits enough real life
horrors, there is no need to invent them.

>We would reduce a great deal of violence by:
>1. Make drugs of all kinds legal.

Agreed. We should also be able to buy any medicine without a prescription.

>2. Stop selling and/or giving arms to third world countries.

Don't give them away certainly, but if somebody has the money it will be very
difficult to stop them from getting any weapon they want. I worry a lot about
the tens of thousands of H-bombs in the former USSR and the fact that the
people in charge of their security make the equivalent of 50$ a month.

>3. The United States should cease intervening in the affairs of
>other countries entirely.

That would be a good start, after that if we could get the government to quit
intervening in domestic affairs too then things would be great.

>4. Add emotive education in our public and private schools.

Just get rid of public schools and let private schools do as they please.

>5. Take 3/4 of the unbelievable sum we spend on the military and use
>that for personalized criminal reform rather than sending people to
>prisons as they exist today.

I have a better idea, give the money back to the people the government stole
it from and let the individual decide how best to spend it.

>Lets stop putting people in an environment which only magnifies
>their violent urges.

It would be different if we knew how to engineer a personality, then we could
get rid of the violent urges in even the worst criminal, but we don't and
there is no point in pretending that we do. No matter how much money you
throw at the problem, prison will always be a dreadful environment because
we're putting bad people where they don't want to be. We concentrate the most
horrible monsters we can find on this planet into one tiny area, make sure
they can't leave and then expect them to reform. That is not realistic.

Prisons are only good for two things, to warehouse criminals so they can't
commit violent crimes in the outside world, and as a deterrent. Time works in
our favor, for reasons not well understood people tend to become less violent
when they get older.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i