END THE DRUG WAR!

The following is an article by John Stossel recently featured in the Boston Herald.

“I’m confused. When I walk around busy midtown Manhattan, I often smell marijuana. Despite the crowds, some people smoke weed in public. Usually the police leave them alone, and yet other times they act like a military force engaged in urban combat. This February, cops stormed a Columbia, Mo., home, killed the family dog and terrorized a 7-year-old boy — for what? A tiny quantity of marijuana.

Two years ago, in Prince George’s County, Md., cops raided Cheye Calvo’s home — all because a box of marijuana was randomly shipped to his wife as part of a smuggling operation. Only later did the police learn that Calvo was innocent — and the mayor of that town.

“When this first happened, I assumed it was just a terrible, terrible mistake,” Calvo said. “But the more I looked into it, the more I realized (it was) business as usual that brought the police through our front door. This is just what they do. We just don’t hear about it. The only reason people heard about my story is that I happened to be a clean-cut white mayor.”

Radley Balko of Reason magazine says more than a hundred police SWAT raids are conducted every day. Does the use of illicit drugs really justify the militarization of the police, the violent disregard for our civil liberties and the overpopulation of our prisons? It seems hard to believe.

I understand that people on drugs can do terrible harm — wreck lives and hurt people. But that’s true for alcohol, too. But alcohol prohibition didn’t work. It created Al Capone and organized crime. Now drug prohibition funds nasty Mexican gangs and the Taliban. Is it worth it? I don’t think so.

Everything can be abused, but that doesn’t mean government can stop it, or should try to stop it. Government goes astray when it tries to protect us from ourselves.

Many people fear that if drugs were legal, there would be much more use and abuse. That’s possible, but there is little evidence to support that assumption. In the Netherlands, marijuana has been legal for years. Yet the Dutch are actually less likely to smoke than Americans. Thirty-eight percent of American adolescents have smoked pot, while only 20 percent of Dutch teens have.
One Dutch official told me that “we’ve succeeded in making pot boring.”

By contrast, what good has the drug war done? It’s been 40 years since Richard Nixon declared war on drugs. Since then, government has spent billions and officials keep announcing their “successes.” They are always holding press conferences showing off big drug busts. So it’s not like authorities aren’t trying.

We’ve locked up 2.3 million people, a higher percentage than any other country. That allows China to criticize America’s human-rights record because our prisons are “packed with inmates.”

Yet drugs are still everywhere. The war on drugs wrecks far more lives than drugs do!

Need more proof? Fox News runs stories about Mexican cocaine cartels and marijuana gangs that smuggle drugs into Arizona. Few stop to think that legalization would end the violence. There are no Corona beer smugglers. Beer sellers don’t smuggle. They simply ship their product. Drug laws cause drug crime.

The drug trade moved to Mexico partly because our government funded narcotics police in Colombia and sprayed the growing fields with herbicides. We announced it was a success! We cut way back on the Colombian drug trade.

But so what? All we did was squeeze the balloon. The drug trade moved across the border to Peru, and now it’s moved to Mexico. So the new president of Mexico is squeezing the balloon. Now the trade and the violence are spilling over the border into the United States.

That’s what I call progress. It the kind of progress we don’t need.

Economist Ludwig von Mises wrote: “(O)nce the principle is admitted that it is the duty of the government to protect the individual against his own foolishness … (w)hy not prevent him from reading bad books and bad plays … ? The mischief done by bad ideologies is more pernicious … than that done by narcotic drugs.”

Right on, Ludwig!”- http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/end-the-drug-war.html

Naturally, because Stossel is writing for corporate thugs, his piece lacks the subversive quality of say a Kevin Booth flick. In other words, he doesn’t cite the Government as Vicious and Evil criminals, like they are. But, nonetheless, he makes some key, fundamental points here and the fact that this matter is being questioned in such Right Wing media as the Herald and Faux News, demonstrates that we are moving forward. Yippie!

Hicks Vid of the Day

This is a different segment, because it is not Hicks himself doing a routine, but rather fellow Stand Up Joe Rogan discussing his opinions on Dennis Leary stealing Hicks’ material and how the Dark Poet inspired his own career. I dig the Boston anecdote.

Great Chomsky Quote

“The United States hasn’t faced a threat probably since the War of 1812.” Noam Chomsky, 1994 from Demystifying Democracy, here is a link for the interview.
http://www.chomsky.info/interviews/1995—-.htm

What do y’all think of that statement? Naturally, in light of the tragedy on 911 it makes you question such a thing (as you should normally anyway), but I probably agree with Noam. I don’t know enought about my history to point to the War of 1812, but certainly the fact that we have a massive military budget for defense from possible threating forces is a joke. Now, like everyone else I don’t want to see another 911, of course. But, to me, that doesn’t constitute as a “threat” as in a threat to the preservation of our entire nation and/or government as it is for some other countries. The attack on 911 was murder on a grand scale and the perpetrators should be held accountable, but that doesn’t appear to be an objective of our goverment, sadly. So, I highly doubt we have to worry about another coutnry threating our overall security, but how do we prevent future, heinous, acts of terror? Well, we stop committing terror ourselves. What do other people think about Chomsky’s quote and my little rant?

Pete Doherty Arrested

P4K
Doherty has been arrested in England for allegedly providing the drugs that led to the overdose death of Robin Whitehead, a filmmaker and heiress.

Whitehead, whose great uncle was the late billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, was working on a documentary about Doherty when she died in her London apartment in January, apparently of a heroin overdose. TMZ reports that Doherty maintains his innocence, and he’s currently out on bail.

I was listening to Babyshambles “Fuck Forever” when I heard the news. Not really surprising since there is a one in five chance that Doherty will appear in the news on any given day.

Leonard Peltier Compilation

Pitchfork
In 1995, a benefit album to raise funds to fight the allegedly wrongful imprisonment of convicted murderer Leonard Peltier was supposed to come out on Columbia. The record– dubbed Exiled in the Land of the Free— was to feature feature rare, live, and unreleased tracks from Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, Superchunk, Mike Watt, Josh Homme, and more. (Via Billboard.) Well, the compilation never came out, and everyone moved on.

Well, almost everyone, apparently. American Indian Movement member Peltier is still in prison for killing two FBI agents. And now a former Columbia employee has made a website that offers the whole album to download for free, in the hopes of inspiring support for the cause.

Leonard Peltier, it’s tough.

Subversive Book Club Review: Hell’s Angels

Author: Hunter S. Thompson
Full Title: Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs
Year: 1966
Grade: A/A-
Comments/ Why Subversive?: Thank God for Hunter S. Thompson. Being a major Thompson fan, I am of course massively biased in my opinion; in other words, whenever reading his works, I can never find anything bad to say about them, even if I know they exist, I feel like his writing is so superb and entertaining (the most entertaining perhaps) it eliminates any flaws. This was Thompson’s breakthrough hit and introduced the world to the off the walls, up and close, brazen and savagely honest, Gonzo “journalist.” Though, Gonzo guys and girls should know, that said style is not utilized in this work, but the sarcasm and brutality are all there. Clearly, Thompson is unique in that few other media players would sacrifice their souls by riding with the Hell’s Angels for over a year to attain a personal look at the Outlaw, Criminal Gang. And he does just that, we are taken on an unsettling trip into the seedy, scummy underbelly of the Angels’: Gang Rapes, Murder, Theft, Riots, and the whole nine. The violent gang in many ways are just as American as the Cunningham’s, just “more honest,” as Thompson would say. They are individualists (though Thompson disagrees with this), do as they feel and stand up for what they think is right; basically the flipside of the Lone Ranger, Old Western Cowboy type, who stands for justice. Without a doubt, the Angels are a fascinating crew, the Ugly, Low Life of America.

Chris