Monthly Archives: September 2006

War on drugs; another fool’s errand?

Why are some drugs illegal in the US of A? A comment from my other reader, gizo, got me thinking about this. As is almost always the case with me, I have no idea what the actual answer is. I have donned my tinfoil hat, however, and will now try and pierce the mystery.

The easy answer would be that those drugs that are illegal are dangerous. The prisons in the US are full of people who did bad things while under the influence of drugs. They are also full of people who were simply under the influence of drugs, and didn’t do anything more than happen into the wrong place at the wrong time. They are there because they were in possession of drugs, or maybe because they flunked a subsequent drug test. Interestingly, the drug most of the sociopaths that populate our prisons were under the influence of when they did whatever heinous thing they did was alcohol.

Does it make sense to put non-violent citizens who are guilty only of using drugs in places where there is nothing to do but become violent, use drugs, and engage in sex with others of their gender? It certainly doesn’t make much economic sense, unless you’re somehow affiliated with the criminal justice system. If drugs were legal and readily available we could cut the number of lawyers, judges, cops, and prison guards by at least half, and probably much more than that. That would mean we could do something else with all those billions of tax dollars we blow fighting a fight that’s not winnable.

Then there’s the health argument. Lots of unfortunates would die if drugs were legal. They die anyway. Substance abuse is inherently dangerous, legal or not. Deaths due to illegal drugs are a tiny fraction of those resulting directly from the effects of alcohol or cigarette smoking. If drugs were legalized, almost all the crack-heads and meth-monsters would certainly die in short order. But if crack and meth were free, they wouldn’t cause much trouble doing it. We’d have to pay for a bunch of burials the first year. After that we’d be in the black.

I suppose doing much to de-stabilize the drug based economies of South American countries would further empower Marxist like Hugo Chavez. Maybe that’s another reason the government doesn’t consider legalizing drugs. We’d put the entrepreneurial criminals out of business and strengthen the socialist at the same time. I guess that’s a bad thing. At least the cocaine king-pins are capitalist.

8 Comments

Filed under Economics, Medicine, Politics

Willie Nelson busted!

Cops in Louisiana busted the great Willie Nelson and members of his band for marijuana and mushrooms. Apparently he had quite a stash, as befits one of the greatest god-damn men that has ever lived. Let’s hope the cops responsible for this travesty have been laughed off the job already. I realize stupidity is a job requirement, but being stupid enough to arrest Willie, well, that’s just too stupid, even for cops. Those dullards need to be in politics.

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Filed under Celebrities, News

Is America safer?

With the fifth anniverary of the attacks of 9/11, a popular topic among bloggers is “are we safer with five years of the Bush doctrine behind us”. Of course there’s no way of knowing that. The correct question is “do you feel safer”? Well, do you?

Consider the following:

  • The man who instigated 9/11 is alive and well, quite possibly under the protection of our “ally” Pakistan
  • Our buddies the Pakistanis are providing sanctuary for al Qaeda and the Taliban
  • We’ve provided even more F-16 fighting falcons for Pakistan, a nuclear power and one of the most rabidly anti-American nations on earth
  • Our NATO partners are refusing to pony up more troops to counter the re-emergance of the Taliban in Afghanistan
  • Iraq is disintegrating before our very eyes
  • Iran is going nuclear any time now
  • Shia influence is on the rise in the middle east
  • North Korea has gone public with their nuclear program

For some strange reason, I don’t feel especially safe.

Oh, I almost forgot, the Bush administration’s sweetheart deal with a Dubai company to manage our ports. They almost slipped that by us. Who knows what they have gotten by when we were fighting among ourselves and not paying attention? Oh yeah, and there’s the matter of our government’s failure to secure our borders.

Sweet dreams.

11 Comments

Filed under Military, News, Politics, Terrorism

Fact is, who knows?

Do you ever wonder why people believe what they believe? Is it because they like the source of the information? Does some information “resonate” with certain people so it has the proverbial “ring of truth” to it?

Last night I was surfing channels and caught a few minutes of “The Drug Years” on VH1. The segment was about Vietnam and the problem with heroin many vets from that era brought home. Several of the commentators stated matter of factually that the CIA was involved in supplying our men in Vietnam with the drug. It was pretty obvious they (the commentators) believed this, or at least wanted me to. But is there even a shred of truth to it?

There are reports in the media that one third of all Americans believe there is a cover-up surrounding the events of 9/11. I’ve run across more than a few blogs whose authors are convinced that the US was directly involved in the carnage. Israel is another favorite culprit. It’s obvious that most of these bloggers are way out of the mainstream. Not all of them though.

CNN (I know, consider the source) reports regularly that fully half of all Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the attacks of 9/11. To the best of my knowledge, no one more credible than nitwit bloggers has ever suggested such a thing. Iraq involved with al Qaeda is one thing, but being involved in the attacks on the US is quite another.

I, for one, don’t know what to believe. As a result, I generally don’t (believe anything). In particular, if my government says it, it is extremely suspect. Here’s a quick list of the shenanigans politicians have perpetrated in my lifetime.

Ongoing US involvement in Iraq and our failure to finish the job in Afghanistan may one day make the list, but in my mind those have more to do with incompetence than dishonesty.

Are you a believer?

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Filed under Liars, Military, News, Politics

Americans can save themselves

All is not well in the Age of Bullshit. The politicians are steadily degrading our way of life. All the while the people fuss about silly issues that tend to be framed in liberal and conservative terms. We the people are distracted. Those that depend on corporations to keep them informed are utterly clueless. Do I think the glass is half empty? Maybe. I just saw nitwits on CNN discussing the CBS Evening News. One old hag’s primary concern with the broadcast was Katie Couric’s choice of clothing and her apparent dependence on notes during interviews. Maybe the glass is completely empty. When those supposedly in-the-know are in fact utterly clueless, and corporations are our de facto governors and gatekeepers, we’ve got problems.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, let me clue you in. Our political system is broken. The politicians and the corporations are, for the most part, operating within the system. Nevertheless our government is completely corrupt. Thomas Sowell wrote these words:

Government is corrupted whenever it is diverted from its avowed purpose and directed toward some other goal, especially goals that conflict with its purpose.

Mr. Sowell is a conservative columnist and I don’t necessarily agree with his politics. There is no denying, however, that he’s a smart guy and fine writer. He spells out the need for term limit(s) in this column. You may not agree with all his ideas, but if you can put your politics aside long enough to read between the lines you’ll realize Sowell is right about term limits. They are our only hope of salvation.

Unfortunately getting the politicians to enact term limits is a practical impossibility. Maybe it can be done without having to refresh the tree of liberty, but I doubt it. There is, however, a much simpler solution than trying to pressure hopelessly corrupt politicians into relinquishing power. We can take the power from them. We the people have the power to impose term limits with our votes. For that to happen, Americans will have to realize that the greatest danger facing this nation is that posed by our leaders, the professional political class. We the people can effectively neuter these monsters by simply voting for challengers as a matter of principle in all elections.

If the majority of voters embraced a policy of voting only for challengers, it would make Democrats and Republicans of us all. The polarized nature of today’s politics would rapidly disappear. With the hope of re-election removed, elected officials could do what was best for the country, knowing that they themselves were going to have to live with the choices they made as soon as their term expired.

UPDATE: Alas, my Thomas Sowell bubble has been burst by a well-educated blogger. chrisfm, in the comments of this post, pointed out to me that the founding fathers were in fact professional politicians, contrary to what Mr. Sowell stated in the column I cited. Damn! Now I’m down another hero. That only leaves Duane Allman and Hef. 11/15/06

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Filed under News, Politics, Term limits

Political commercials on the people’s airwaves

It hasn’t taken long for me to become sick of the commercials this political season. I don’t care for politicians. I think those at the national level should be hanged for treason. All of them. I hold the smaller time models in only slightly higher regard. They should be sent somewhere, China maybe, to be re-educated.

That politicians sell the people out so their rich buddies can make money in the stock market is bad enough. But coming into my house, uninvited, in the form of television commercials, and subjecting me to their bullshit? For the most part, I like commercials. It’s obvious the truly talented are working in advertising, and not writing scripts for the crap passing for entertainment these days. Political commercials, though, are insulting. Degrading. Infuriating. They suck the big one, just like the candidates themselves!

It’s high time the American people did whatever it takes to rid the airwaves of the political bullshit sold to the simple in the form of campaign commercials. They are a detriment to something, if only my fragile peace of mind. We the people own the airwaves. We need to do away with this bullshit, even if it means amending the constitution. Should hunting the politicians down and killing them prove more practical, that option should be pursued.

4 Comments

Filed under Advertising, Politics

USC to take title from Texas in rematch

Considering what happened in week one, I’m making my first bullshit prediction of the 2006 college football season. Based on what I saw, and what tends to happen with the polls, I think it’s very likely we’ll see USC defeat Texas to win all the marbles in a rematch of last years championship game. If Texas gets by Ohio State, and they should, I don’t see anything but poor coaching on Texas’ part, or the long arm of the law, stopping another clash of the paper-tigers. USC may be the real thing, but since they don’t play anybody, unless you consider the over-rated Notre Dame somebody, we’ll never know for sure. If Texas played in the SEC, they’d be doing good to lose just two. I’d give the Longhorns next to no chance against either Miami or Florida State.

I believe the eventual SEC champ, Miami, and Florida State will be, in reality, the finest teams in the country. (Ohio State too, if they manage to remain unscathed this season). Unfortunately the SEC champ will have at least one, and probably two loses. Florida State may go in undefeated, but if they have to play Miami again in the conference championship, they’ll be doing very well to walk away. Additionally, they have too far to climb in the polls, which almost certainly shouldn’t be taken until the second week of October, at the earliest.

Texas and USC are already in place to go the distance again. USC will leap West Virginia, even if the Mountaineers remain undefeated. If Ohio State beats Texas, look for them to lose to USC in the big one.

An undefeated SEC champ, Iowa, and Oklahoma are potential flies in the ointment.

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Filed under Sports