Category Archives: Drug War

Friday round up


Quotes That Caught My Eye
Eric Hoffer

  • The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility.
  • We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.
  • It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.

Ambrose Bierce

  • Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
  • There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know.
  • To be positive: To be mistaken at the top of one’s voice.

H.L. Mencken

  • An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
  • Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
  • Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
  • Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
  • I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
  • It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
  • Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
  • The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.

Well worth watching

On a related note, everyone should check out the most recent BloggingHeads, which features a very interesting dialogue between James Pinkerton and Mickey Kaus. Very good bigthink about the future (and a lovely new term, technological determinism) and immigration.

One quibble is that he reiterates the theory held by most people, which is that we could reduce illegal immigration to a trickle without much effort by building a wall. It’s similar to the thought that we could win the drug war if only we tried harder.

The government can’t keep drugs out of prisons, and the Soviets had the biggest police state in history, and they had tremendous drug problems. It’s ridiculous to think while we can’t successfully ban inanimate objects, we can successfully ban animate ones.

I imagine we’ll do what we’re doing with the drug war, which is spend a lot of money and civil liberties to create self-perpetuating interest groups (much like the classic bootleggers and Baptists unions of the prohibition era) and to deal with the actual problems as poorly as possible.

For the record I think sanctions on employers is the most effective way of dealing with the total number of illegal immigrants (not that it will do that much) and the main thing we should be doing (if we insist on some collective action) is to rapidly Americanize the immigrants that are here. Put simply, we need to change the Mexicans living here into Americans of Hispanic descent and throw this whole notion of multiculturalism away (the illegal immigrants did).

Random thoughts

  • A pretty significant alliance between the US and India. You would think that this would be much bigger news, especially given the rivalry between India and Pakistan and India and China.
  • Convictions in the East St Louis voter fraud trial – no surprise there really (it was all on tape). That also should have been much bigger news.
  • In South Korea (the most web connected country in the world), a woman doesn’t clean up after her dog and achieves blog infamy within one day. Start the link chain here.
  • The Rhode Island Legislature has voted to legalize medical marijuana, without even the pressure of a voter initiative. One wonder when principal-agent theory becomes something the media talks about.
  • Free Individualist Stickers – I’m pleasantly surprised by the move to brevity in bumper stickers as seen in the gold and blue “=” stickers one can see on cars in my neighborhood. The guy linked is giving out free “i” stickers (for individualism). Judging from his blog he’s a Randian of some sort and a fellow IHS seminar attendee.
  • Exposure Manager (run by a Winds of Change blogger apparently) is offering a deal to Instapundit readers.

Shaking my faith in the role of women in society

Whenever I need to feel smugly superior I read the “Woman to Woman” feature in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, where a pretentious left-leaning woman debates a cloying right-leaning woman. Naturally I was interested in this weeks topic Should medical marijuana be legalized?

The left starts out with an irrelevant racial remark, then takes the remark back, taking up about half of her column, and then somehow using up all of her remaining space to issue a strawman attack at religion (why? Who knows), then closes with

While some argue medical marijuana can be addictive, few would contend it has the same dependency risk as the medications hospitals routinely administer for debilitating pain. Conservatives aren’t clamoring for hospitals to turn off the morphine drip for dying cancer patients because there?s a heroin problem in the world. But they want to draw a line in the sand over medical marijuana? Please. Show me the logic.

Which is to say….. Well, I’m not sure exactly. Marijuana is being treated differently than heroin, which is not the same thing as marijuana? Is that actually a reason?

And quote frankly, how can she miss the actual strong arguments in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, namely, federalism, wasted government resources, the fact that none of the “dangers” of marijuana apply to say, 60 year old cancer patients, the chilling effect this has on medical research and treatment, the loss of privacy, etc.

That was the logical cesspool that is left-leaning Diane Glass. Then she gets topped by right- leaning Shaunti Feldhahn. She leads with a personal story, then closes with

I suspect that pro-medical marijuana opinions are less about ensuring the availability of treatments unavailable anywhere else, and more about legally getting high.

When I oppose legalizing backyard marijuana, I am not being heartless toward those with chronic conditions who use it to relieve their suffering. By championing other effective, controlled options, I am trying to spare other individuals and the public health the even greater suffering from, yes, that ‘slippery slope’ that countless of us have experienced firsthand: that marijuana is not a harmless drug and its use can go terribly awry.

To answer her ad hominen attack, I support the legalization of medical marijuana, and I have no interest in getting high, legally or otherwise.

As for her closing paragraph, it so uniformly ridiculous I don’t know where to begin. None of the problems associated with marijuana as a “gateway” drug (even if you believe in that as a concept) apply to the people who would take medical marijuana.

What combination of circumstances would have to exist for her statement to be true, accurate and altruistic? You would have to have cancer patients who have no interest in selecting the best treatment for their cancer, who are utterly incapable of differentiating between treatments like Marinol (incidentally, Marinol must be swallowed and kept down for a prolonged period of time, not the easiest thing to do during chemotherapy) and smoked marijuana.

It would also have to be true that outsiders, with no specific knowledge of the medical condition in question would know more about the cancer and the patient than the patient and his/her doctor. They would also have to be more concerned about this patient than the patient himself.

It would also have to be true that the same dangers that exist with marijuana as a “gateway” drug (even if you believe in the concept) apply to a 60 year old woman with breast cancer the same way they apply to 17 year old angst ridden teenagers. And what substance doesn’t have the potential to go “terribly awry”?

This turned into quite a little rant.