Category Archives: Drug War

UPDATE III: Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim? (Left-Liberal Discourse)

Addiction, BAB's A List, Canada, Drug War, Education, Etiquette, Left-Liberalism, Pop-Psychology, Pseudoscience, Psychiatry

Justin Trudeau is no genius, but he seems to limp along despite what some would consider a traumatic childhood. This Barely a Blog exclusive features Stanton Peele, America’s leading, liberal addiction counterculturist, and fellow crusader against the Drug War.

Is Justin Trudeau a Trauma Victim?
By Stanton Peele

Justin Trudeau seems to be a highly successful survivor of what might be considered a traumatic childhood.

I am often cited for my opposition to famed Vancouver addiction doctor Gabor Maté’s trauma theory of addiction—that all addiction can be traced back to childhood trauma, and vice versa. Maté believes such trauma causes permanent brain damage. I find Gabor’s theory reductive, pessimistic, and fatalistic. Most people, after all, outgrow their childhood traumas, as they do their addictions. (I have argued with Gabor about all of this.)

This debate was brought to mind for me by Justin Trudeau’s election as Canada’s prime minister. Mr. Trudeau, after all, didn’t have a happy childhood. We know this because his mother has written about their fractured family life. Margaret Trudeau, herself the daughter of a Vancouver MP, was depicted as a flower-child. She met Pierre Trudeau when she was 18 and he was the Minister of Defense. She married the much older Mr. Trudeau when she was 22 after Pierre became PM.

Her married experience was deeply unhappy. Despite remaining married for 13 years and having three children together, the couple were habitually at odds; they separated after a half-dozen years of marriage and Margret pursued for a time a jet-set lifestyle. Margaret was often at loose ends both during the marriage and afterwards, as she has described in several memoirs, and was hospitalized for “mental illness.”

There are perhaps three theories for Margaret’s psychological problems: that mental disorders have nothing to do with people’s life experience or personality but are simply inbred, that she was always flighty and unstable. Or, finally, that being in a high-profile marriage with a stern, controlling man thirty years her senior was the worst possible situation for someone with Margaret’s disposition. Or maybe it was all three.

“From the day I became Mrs. Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a glass panel was gently lowered into place around me, like a patient in a mental hospital who is no longer considered able to make decisions and who cannot be exposed to a harsh light.”

Not very good to hear, or to experience, coming from your mother.

But Justin seems to have weathered this all rather well. In fact, he seems to be the beneficiary of both his parents’ distinctive assets. In the first place, you need to be intelligent and ambitious to become prime minister of a major nation. [Presumably, Stanton, what you say would apply, by logical extension, to George Bush and other dynastic rulers? Justin Trudeau is a rich boy like Jeb Bush, born to privilege, including easy access to the office of PM—ILANA.]

Yet Justin wears these traits well. He doesn’t seem to think of himself as above everyone else (an attitude his father often conveyed). He, as observers have noted, meets and mingles with everybody and considers every citizen and resident of Canada a person on par with himself. This openness and absence of inflated self-importance would seem to come from his mother.

Margaret Trudeau has weathered her own storms, as she wrote in her most recent memoir, published in 2015, The Time of My Life: Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future. I know everyone, Canadian or otherwise, has good feelings about this resolution for Mrs. Trudeau. It seems that people are often able to find their own successful level given the opportunity and support to do so.

Meanwhile, Justin’s becoming PM must be quite a source of pride and achievement for her. The two remain extremely close: a picture of an adoring mother and her newly elected son gazing lovingly at one another affirm this impression. (Pierre died ten years ago.)

For his part, Justin does not present himself as an injured victim, the unhappy product of an unhappy marriage. He seems to have born these stresses, thrust on him as a child through absolutely no desire or effort of his own, without resentment. True, he didn’t immediately rise to the top of society, first working as a bouncer, a boxer, a Santa-shopper, and a snowboard instructor before entering politics. [So would you and yours bounce around the world in a zen-like state if you had the family fortune to fall back on—ILANA.]

On the other hand, becoming Canada’s Prime Minister at age 43 (his father was elected at age 48) doesn’t exactly put him in the slow lane, either. Justin has never given the impression that he feels like an abandoned child, or the son of broken marriage or a traumatic childhood. He seems to recognize and appreciate, rather, that he had a privileged upbringing involving parents with disparate, but distinctive, gifts.

It’s all a matter of outlook, isn’t it?

In particular, Justin didn’t become a drug addict. Rather, unlike the scion of another famous political family who opposes pot legalization due to his own drug problems, Patrick Kennedy, Justin favors marijuana legalization. This attitude too seems to have come from his mother. Margaret was once charged with possession of marijuana for having a package of weed delivered to her home. “I took to marijuana like a duck took to water,” she said.

I don’t think she smokes now.

Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., is the author (with Ilse Thompson) of Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict. His Life Process Program is available online. His book Addiction-Proof Your Child is a model for the emerging area of harm reduction in addiction prevention. Stanton has been innovating in the addiction field since writing Love and Addiction with Archie Brodsky, He has been a pioneer in noting addiction across substances and activities, in creating harm reduction therapy, and in the nondisease understanding of addiction, as well as in formulating practical, life-management approaches to treatment and self-help. He has published 12 books, and has won career awards from the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies and Drug Policy Alliance. His website is

UPDATE I: Response to Facebook comments:

We libertarians apply the same set of principles without bias to the political class. Justin Trudeau is manifestly moronic, as is “W” (Jeb is not nearly as dumb as “W” and Justin). All are entitled brats. So what if Justin’s mom and dad fought. Let them all decamp to Africa to experience real suffering. Stanton Peele is, however, hardcore in Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control. A very rigorous book.

UPDATE II: Unable, or unprepared, to courteously address my readers, as to the uneven standards implied in a column submitted by himself to Barely a Blog, Stanton Peele writes:

Liana – Can you remove the piece from your website? It was a bad match, I fear.

The snootiness.

My reply:

The name is ILANA.

And no—not after the time spent inputting, adding links (as you, Stanton, did not provide HTML code) and editing text.

One would think you’d be more appreciative of the feature and the generous mention and promotion of your seminal book, Diseasing.

Unseemly behavior.

ILANA Mercer
Author, Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa
Columnist, WND’s longest-standing, paleolibertarian weekly column,
Contributor, The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine & UK’s Libertarian Alliance,
Fellow, Jerusalem Institute for market Studies (JIMS)

UPDATE III (11/1): Jack Kerwick uses precision-guided words and phrases—a “scandalous degree of unprofessionalism and hyper-emotionality,” “academic conformity,” “abuse of power”—to describe the anti-intellectual atmosphere during his Ph.D “sentence” at Temple University, dominated by left-liberals who won’t brook dissent (like the encounter above).

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The #RossUlbricht Outrage

Drug War, Law, Natural Law

Not content with stealing a young man’s life and property, and subjecting him to a Stalinist show trial, during which due process was denied—the federal government has sentenced Ross Ulbricht, innocent in natural law, to life in prison. The operator of Silk Road had been in the business of facilitating voluntary, victimless trade in drugs, online. Via The New York Times:

… Mr. Ulbricht’s novel high-tech drug bazaar operated in a hidden part of the Internet sometimes known as the dark web, which allowed deals to be made anonymously and out of the reach of law enforcement. In Silk Road’s nearly three years of operation, over 1.5 million transactions were carried out involving several thousand seller accounts and more than 100,000 buyer accounts, the authorities have said. Transactions were made using the virtual currency Bitcoin …

Note that the sentencing judge, Federal District Court Katherine B. Forrest, saw fit to deliver a sermon at sentencing: “What you did in connection with Silk Road was terribly destructive to our social fabric.”

“Free Ross Ulbricht, Proprietor Of Silk Road”
“Addicted To The Drug War”

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Now For Some Real News: Indonesian Executions

Drug War, Journalism

Away from the American “news” media’s lazy, solipsistic navel-gazing in Baltimore, Indonesia has gone ahead and executed eight out of nine prisoners for drug-related offenses. Al Jazeera:

… A firing squad in Indonesia has shot Australian drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran together with six out of seven other alleged narcotics traffickers. Their deaths have caused an international outcry.

Over the past few days, the foreign ministers of Australia, Brazil, France, and the Philippines had all expressed their dismay over their nationals’ imminent execution. …


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Ted Cruz And The Loretta Lynch Confirmation

Conservatism, Drug War, Elections, Law, Republicans, Uncategorized

Claiming that the cloture vote was “the only one that mattered,” the staff of Ted Cruz excused the senator’s conspicuous absence from the Senate’s final vote, today, to confirm Loretta Lynch for attorney general. Cruz was probably “en route to Texas” for a fundraiser.

Who am I to argue with Ted Cruz on Constitutional matters? He’s a superb scholar on that front. It is, however, fair to point out that Cruz’ failure to register a vote on this final and ghastly nomination was unseemly.

Eric Holder’s only redeeming feature as attorney general was that he put a crimp in the War on Drugs and in “mass incarceration.”

Lynch was actually a drug prosecutor. The other thing Lynch had no shame in doing was shaking down banks: she extracted a “US$7 billion settlement” from Citigroup.

“The Senate later voted 56-43 to confirm Lynch. Cruz was the only member of the chamber not to vote.” (Politico)

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Free Ross Ulbricht, Proprietor Of Silk Road

Criminal Injustice, Drug War, Justice, Law, Private Property

He operated through “the ‘Dark Web,’ a network of computer servers around the world accessed only through The Onion Router or TOR” (USA Today). He facilitated voluntary, victimless trade in drugs, online. He is “Ross Ulbricht, the operator of Silk Road, a sprawling underground Internet drug bazaar.”

Enter the criminal syndicate known as Uncle Sam. It had outlawed the commerce Mr. Ulbricht had facilitated between consenting adults. In order to catch Ulbricht, Uncle Sam put to work its vast resources, culled from robbing us, its subjects. Now, federal agents are auctioning off Ulbricht’s private property, which is tantamount to legalized theft.

Federal agents shut down the Silk Road site in October 2013 and seized 29,655 bitcoins, now worth about $7.2 million, from the Silk Road server where buyers and sellers stored the currency. The government also seized 144,336 bitcoins, now worth $35 million, from Ulbricht’s computers. A judge in January ordered the sale of Ulbricht’s bitcoins.

The March 5 sale is the federal government’s third bitcoin auction stemming from its Silk Road prosecution. The federal agency will accept e-mail bids from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5. Bidders must pre-register by March 2 (USA Today).

Not content with stealing a young man’s life and property, the federal government has subjected Ross Ulbricht to a Stalinist show trial, during which due process was practically denied. Via Target Liberty:

The following statement has been issued by the family of Ross Ulbricht, who was recently convicted of being the mastermind of Silk Road:

Ross’ trial is now over.

We were shocked — horrified really — at how unfair it was. Day four saw a reversal from when we last wrote you. Before that we expected evidence favorable to Ross would continue to be presented, and the complete story told.

Instead, the government’s own exculpatory evidence was suppressed; defense witnesses were blocked from testifying; and Ross’ attorney was hamstrung, unable to effectively cross examine government witnesses. It was a one-sided presentation that suppressed facts essential to Ross’ defense.

This is a good overview from Forbes, read here. You can also read about the trial here, and about Ross during the trial here. We will continue to post more.

Ross’ attorney said he will appeal. This is not over! We believe it’s essential for everyone to have a fair trial. When a trial isn’t fair, it is a threat to us all.

Meanwhile, this is a very hard time for Ross and our family. Thanks to everyone who has reached out to us. Your love and support mean so much.

Please send Ross a note. It’s easy to feel cut off and despairing in prison. We know it will help him to hear from you. His address is below.

NEW YORK, NY 10007

As always, this is an expensive fight. We are facing a mountain of debt from the trial and need funds to pursue the appeal. Please spread the word, and donate if you can.

Thank you,

The Ulbricht family


“Addicted To The Drug War.”

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Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race

Barack Obama, Drug War, Fascism, Justice, Law, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Race, Racism, Ron Paul

“Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Police brutality? Yes! Militarization of the police force? You bet! “A Government of Wolves”? Yes again! “The Rise of the Warrior Cop”? No doubt! But racism? Nonsense on stilts! So why have some libertarians applied this rhetoric to the murder-by-cop of black teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri? The same people who would argue against color-coded hate-crime legislation—and rightly so, for a crime is a crime, no matter the skin pigment of perp or prey—would have you believe that it is possible to differentiate a racist from a non-racist shooting or beating.

Predictably, BBC News had taken a more analytical look at the “unrest in Ferguson,” pointing out that liberal outrage had centered on what the left sees as racial injustice. Libertarian anger, conversely, connected “the perceived overreaction by militarized local law enforcement to a critique of the heavy-handed power of government.”

As its libertarian stand-bearers, the BBC chose from the ranks of establishment, libertarian-leaning conservatives. Still, the ideological bifurcation applied was sound. With some exceptions, libertarians have consistently warned about a police state rising; the left has played at identity politics, appealing to its unappeasable base.

As refreshingly clever as its commentators are, BBC is inexact. The very embodiment of political opportunism, Sen. Rand Paul has managed to straddle liberal and libertarian narratives, vaporizing as follows:

“… Anyone who thinks that race does not still, even if inadvertently, skew the application of criminal justice in this country is just not paying close enough attention. …”

The senator from Kentucky is considered “one of the leading figures in today’s libertarian movement.” Even so, on matters libertarian, Rand Paul is a political pragmatist; not the purist his father is. Alas, Rand has imbibed at home some unfortunate, crowd-pleasing habits—the leftist penchant for accusing law enforcement of racism. In 2012, in particular, during the debate between Republican presidential front-runners, in Manchester, New Hampshire, Ron Paul lurched to the left, implicating racism in the unequal outcomes meted by American justice:

“How many times have you seen the white rich person get the electric chair?” he asked. “If we really want to be concerned with racism … we ought to look at the drug laws.”

Laws prohibiting the individual from purchasing, selling, ingesting, inhaling and injecting drugs ought to be repudiated and repealed on the grounds that they are wrong, not racist. But statism is not necessarily racism. Drug laws ensnare more blacks, because blacks are more likely to violate them by dealing in drugs or engaging in violence around commerce in drugs, not necessarily because cops are racists. …

Read the rest of the column. “Rand Paul Opportunistic—And Wrong—On Race” is now on WND.

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