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Drugs are bad, mmmkay?
January 27, 2004 7:24 PM   Subscribe

Rep. Kirk (R), states, that Washington now must fuse counterterrorism and counternarcotics into an inseparable mission. It seemed almost inevitable, but could this indicate use of broad (possibly unconstitutional) anti-terrorism legislation for prosecuting drug users? With Britain downgrading marijuana, and much of the Western world softening on drug use, it seems that the United States won't give up. In fact, they even have Wal-Mart in on the action.
posted by geoff. (58 comments total)

 
While not to seem too alarmist, the article did make a point to say the Pentagon does not want to get bogged down in drug wars. To me, the statement looks like a precursor to apply things like the "Patriot Act" internally. The article also mentions the military ignoring Afghani poppy farms, it will be interesting to see what direction Rep. Kirk's statement takes.

As an aside, any British like to comment on the state of "soft drugs" since the downgrade to Class C? Has there been an outcry or noticeable change in police behavior? Or has the law enforcement been treating marijuana so softly for so long that no noticeable difference is seen?
posted by geoff. at 7:29 PM on January 27, 2004


This is such an unsurprising development.

I pretty much knew it would come to this as soon as they announced and described the 1st (mellow) Patriot Act.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:37 PM on January 27, 2004


Rogue elements of the US government have also been accused of narcotrafficking (Latin American narcotics through Mena, Arkansas (in the 90's) and widespread trafficking throughout Southeast Asia, during the Vietnam War....and then there is Gary Webb's research.....and so on.)

Also - the 2002 Opium crop was the 2nd best ever recorded in Afghan history, or so I've heard by way of the BBC.

Once one moves past the juvenile belief that one's government is always on the side of pure "good", things become interesting.
posted by troutfishing at 7:37 PM on January 27, 2004


That war ... always & ever about whose controlling since it started a thousand years ago in Europe against 'witches' & 'pagans' ... or was it 10,000 yeras ago in Central Asia? is so ... over. But the funding isn't, and so they godda keep trying to step up the F.U.D.
posted by Twang at 7:48 PM on January 27, 2004


but could this indicate use of broad (possibly unconstitutional) anti-terrorism legislation for prosecuting drug users?

Yes. TalkLeft has been keeping an eye on this for awhile now. Get ready for the "Victory Act."

Meanwhile, Canada is going to experiment with giving free heroin to addicts.
posted by homunculus at 7:51 PM on January 27, 2004


War on Drugs + War on Terror + War on Fair Use + War on Religions Not Sanctioned By State = Fascism. There's no other way to spin this. Control out of fear is what this is all about. As Freemen-Kaczinsky-liberal crazy as this may sound, the people of America have got to stand up and say "NO. NO more. Give me liberty or give me death". I'm not defending drug use, but, for pity's sake, the detailing of Americans into legal risk groups and criminal profiles has got to stop.

*Lock and load*
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:51 PM on January 27, 2004


Isn't there a saying about if you give anyone more power, they'll invariably use it? Patriot Act I and II have got to go--the recent declaring of a tiny bit of it unconstitutional is a start.
posted by amberglow at 7:54 PM on January 27, 2004


This isn't new! A man has already been charged with 'manufacture of chemical weapons' under the patriot act for cooking meth.

though it all makes sense to me, lump those unwinnables together.

war on drugs - likelyhood of winning is similiar to winning a war on alcohol.

war on terror - like waging a war on situations in which there is an poor oppressed people without the resources to fight a conventional war.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 7:57 PM on January 27, 2004


*goes and stands beside Wulfgar!*
posted by dorian at 7:58 PM on January 27, 2004


wulfgar - i hope you do not live in america. The way things are going over here, someone could call that sedition and you'd be hauled off someplace - which would be a lovely piece of irony don't you think?

speaking of irony, given its chance of success, id say the VICTORY act is pretty aptly named.

*goes and stands with wulfgar and dorian*
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 8:03 PM on January 27, 2004


wulfgar - i hope you do not live in america.

I do live in America, and I love this country more than emotion will let me express. Regardless, I was serious about the lock and load.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:12 PM on January 27, 2004


didn't that John Titor guy (as recently mentioned on AskMe) predict a second US civil war, in 2004...?

of course, the scale now of such an act seems impossible compared to the civil war or the revolution. and that's even assuming posse comitatus stays intact.

honestly, it's getting easier and easier to see how the weimar republic disintegrated and the general populace could/would do nothing to stop it from happening.
posted by dorian at 8:14 PM on January 27, 2004


*goes and hides behind wulfgar, dorian and Tryptophan* : >
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on January 27, 2004


having just read the walmart piece:
that walmart is the fucking lamest thing ive read in a while. The first 90% is about how walmart wont sell large amounts of items used in the manufacture of drugs (lithium containing batteries for example) but will still sell fetilizer (AGENT OF TERROR!). The last four sentances then juxtaposes this anti-drug pro-terror stance of walmart's against their poor treatment of its employees.

This was poorly written and lacks a coherant compelling point. ...and all that BEFORE you remember that walmart employees aren't even rounded up by gun toting mercenaries and FORCED to work those rotten jobs.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 8:16 PM on January 27, 2004


much as I despise walmart, I agree that article's attempt at a conclusion was weak.

but it is definitely stupid to limit item amounts, 'specially when this is apparently possible (from boingboing)
posted by dorian at 8:23 PM on January 27, 2004


ugh
posted by PigAlien at 8:37 PM on January 27, 2004


"walmart employees aren't even rounded up by gun toting mercenaries and FORCED to work those rotten jobs."

It still amazes me that many people seem to insist the threat of violence is the only way to coerce people.

There are many ways to coerce people into doing that which they would rather not do. One is to limit their choices. By controlling the playing field, those in power can step back and say, "hey, we didn't force you to do that, don't blame us" when in fact they controlled the circumstances in which a choice could be made and thus in fact did control the decision.

Those working at Walmart for barely minimum wage and no benefits do have guns pointed at their heads. Its just that those guns are called 'unemployment', 'hunger' and 'homelessness'. Logically, if these employees at Walmart could get better jobs somewhere else, they would.
posted by PigAlien at 8:46 PM on January 27, 2004


There is no possible chance of a revolution or civil war. To most people, revolutions and civil wars only occur on television and in movies. We have completely lost that concept in our world view. People talk about it, but they would never do it; it's become an instinctual taboo.
posted by Hildago at 8:50 PM on January 27, 2004


Would it upset anyone if I were to post "Hell in a handbasket" every time an FPP exposes the US government's intention to drive the country to collapse?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on January 27, 2004


pigalien - i think you over estimate walmart. Sure they have the weight to noticably supress inflation, but to claim they could sour the entire job market of the united states leaving the only choice loading frieght at 12:30 at night without benefits? puh-leeze. Stay in school boys and girls.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 8:58 PM on January 27, 2004


There is no possible chance of a revolution or civil war.

Haven't been to Montana recently, have you? There's a whole lot of us that are really pissed off, and armed to the teeth. All we're waiting for is the go signal. Can you say when its coming? I can't. But it sure looks immanent (far more than Saddam's nukes) to me.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:04 PM on January 27, 2004


It's very easy to say you'd do it, but what I'm saying is when it came down to it you wouldn't.
posted by Hildago at 9:18 PM on January 27, 2004


And what I'm saying is, I would. Would you join me ... that is the question.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:21 PM on January 27, 2004


ben franklin would want us to revolt.
posted by shadow45 at 9:25 PM on January 27, 2004


so im sorry to bring this up, but how does this relate to the predominant metafilter opinion that 'guns are bad' and should be illegal. I mean now things are going against you so bad that you want an armed uprising against the government; wouldnt those guns come in handy?
posted by H. Roark at 9:36 PM on January 27, 2004


To clarify, I am now a code yellow risk, Hildago ... just for having posted these words to a fricken website. That I am a large male of dark hair already places me in the suspect group. I attempted to join the military, but was rejected for physical impairment (no hearing in my left ear), even though I was in the top 1 percent on the ASVAB. This also places me in a particular category of suspect leanings. I own books that are on the suspect list, and I have a degree in philosophy with an emphasis on marxism and religion (also considered suspect in Ashcroft's America).

I'm not an idiot. I know what is a danger to myself and those around me. That terrorists will blow my ass up is a remote possibility. That my government will require my obedience is not so clear to me. It's unconstitutional and I will oppose it by whatever means necessary. If the Fed doesn't profile, than I am safe, a good American citizen. But we've been shown that profiling is precisely the mode of action our government is taking. Don't doubt that when they come to take my ass to Gitmo that I'll fight back.
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:44 PM on January 27, 2004


If I was a govt. profiler or whatever they're called, I'd say that people who telegraph their actions (like, by posting them here), aren't the ones to watch out for--I hope they think that way.
posted by amberglow at 9:47 PM on January 27, 2004


It seemed almost inevitable, but could this indicate use of broad (possibly unconstitutional) anti-terrorism legislation for prosecuting drug users?

Er, no. Nothing in the article even remotely hints at this. I do notice that in everyone's rush to stand in the same corner (interesting, and telling, as that is), the actual point the fellow was trying to make is being studiously avoided. And it is a fairly important point:

Al Qaeda has shifted tactics in response to the growing success of the Bush administration's efforts to impede the flow of terrorist funding through it's normal channels.

In stating this, he is merely stating what compliance officers at banks, and FBI financial crimes folks started noticing some time ago - that money-laundering has become a big business, operated by professionals (many with advanced degrees from big business schools). That the people moving large quantities of drugs now outsource the money-laundering function to these professionals. That people in the drug trade are some of the best on earth at both circumventing financial systems, and smuggling things across borders.

The greatest fear some of the FBI folks I talk to have is that terrorists will become tightly allied with drugs lords (not just because it can become an almost unlimited source of funding, but because of their skill at tactics and logistics - an industry that can smuggle billions a year in product across borders can easily get a dirty bomb, or chemical fixin's, into New York or LA). That fact that this is already beginning to happen damn well better disturb the people that are supposed to protect this country.

I work with some of these people (my firm consults with banks on anti-money laundering software and methods). While I doubt many here will believe me, these people don't give a shit whether a hippie smokes a joint ... they do care about the notion that Bin Laden may have discovered a new source of revenue, and may be looking to move towards what the article calls the "retail" side ... because this means he'll not only have money, but a distribution system that, once established, can be used to import all sorts of things in addition to drugs.

The pattern-recognition software and business processes (that Title III of the Patriot Act requires financial firms to use) are actually, to some degree, working. Money conduits are being hampered - terrorist money is, in some cases, being siezed.

National and international finanical firms and law enforcement agencies know pretty clearly who the big players are in narco-trafficing. Their operations are as large as Fortune 1000 companies. They are well organized and successful. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda has been sniffing around the big leagues of that world (though for a couple of reasons, are only getting a lukewarm reception). The Congressman apparently got his eyes opened a bit about some of the realities of trying to stop another 9/11 (though I believe he's seeing some of the picture wrong, or rather, only partially).

But what he's saying does make some reasonable sense. Approaching the drug trade and terrorism as parts of a single larger problem does have some merit (though it also has some problems). A rational discussion about the actual issues involved certainly won't happen in a place where the article is used as an excuse to bash Bush and the Patriot Act (entirely ignoring the salient points in the article itself, and instead focusing things the article is alledged to have implied).

For anyone desiring a fact-based discussion however, perhaps an anecdote might prove illustrative:

The FBI has, of course, completed the financial forensics on the 9/11 attacks. The money to fund it (flight school & etc. cost money) came from accounts in the UAE, into accounts at CitiBank in New York. From there it bounced to other accounts at smaller, regional banks (in South Carolina, if memory serves). The interesting thing is that on 9/10 - a day before the WTC got hit - money that remained in those accounts was wired back to the UAE (if you want to fully understand what "cold-blooded" means ... envision what that Al Qaeda corporate memo must have looked like ... "you're about to be toast - please send any unused money back"). Some of the money did make it back. But one wire (for US $10,000) was stopped before it left the country. Anti-money laundering software at a bank flagged the transaction as being possibly suspicious. What! (you say), the Patriot Act wasn't passed until after 9/11! Correct ... the software that caught this was the stuff largely used to catch drug money laundering.

Still think it's not useful to discuss whether a closer collaboration between anti-drug and anti-terrorism programs might not be such a bad idea?
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:27 PM on January 27, 2004


Midas, I think most of what you say is correct, but I also think that it's largely the drug war that makes the drug trade a potential source of revenue for groups like al Qaeda in the first place. I certainly agree that if they start using the drug trade's infrastructure then we're all in deep(er) shit, but again I think that infrastructure is there largely thanks to drug prohibition, which makes bad people rich and powerful. Supply and demand is unstoppable. For that reason, I also think Canada's experiment I linked above ultimately has a better chance of reducing those revenues than further criminalization would have. And when guys like Hatch and Kent start mixing drugs and terrorism with a tone that sounds like religious righteousness, I fear what effect the escalating drug war will have on society.
posted by homunculus at 10:59 PM on January 27, 2004


While I doubt many here will believe me, these people don't give a shit whether a hippie smokes a joint

And yet this guy went to jail just for selling bongs. And that's nothing compared to what happened to these poor people.
posted by homunculus at 11:05 PM on January 27, 2004


predominant metafilter opinion that 'guns are bad' and should be illegal

Eh? ?!

wulfgar: let us cede Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Alaska, the Yukon, and Washington. It'd be a helluva country.

Midas: fersure, what you say is very correct. As long as drug manufacturers, dealers, and users are heavily prosecuted, a system will exist to circumvent the law, and this system will be used for other nefarious purposes including terrorism.

The USA can approach this problem one of two ways:

It can throw yet more money at the "drug problem" and track and imprison more of its citizens (might as well, I suppose; the US already has the highest incarceration rate of any non-totalitarian country!).

Or it can change its drug laws in a manner that eliminates the need for systems to circumvent the law.

Those people who, IMO, have their heads screwed on right see the incarceration rates as completely insane, see the need for harm reduction programs, and desire drug law reform.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:25 PM on January 27, 2004


I was going to get all snarky and ask MidasMulligan if he thought there was another way to reduce the profit the terrorists could reap from the drug trade. I guess I get all cynical when someone has an economic interest in a political agenda. Today it is the war on terror, before it was the war on drugs. Is there going to be a war on money? (Drug, terror, or corporate?)
posted by Eekacat at 11:25 PM on January 27, 2004


One should take a look at homunculous's "these poor people" link.

Real people, really innocent, are dying, and their families suffering, because the US government is insane about drugs.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:28 PM on January 27, 2004


I don't think its bad at all to look at drugs and terrorism as a confluence of problems. The same procedures, personal, and routes used to funnel one product (drugs) into western nations, can easily be used to funnel another (terrorists/weapons). However, the answer is a complex one.

We should not make the "war on drugs" a military campaign. Rather, we should look at the entire anti-drug effort, legalize and regulate some drugs (pot) decriminalize others, etc. By making drugs an absolute evil in terms of government policy, we have forced drug merchants into the same murky underworld inhabited by terrorists. The answer is to allow drugs to emerge from this underwold, rather than pursue them with military force.
posted by pjgulliver at 11:50 PM on January 27, 2004


man.. so many cool user names in this thread! I wanna change mine to "Ragnar Danneskold"...

Midas makes a good point if you take as a premise that drugs should be illegal. You could short cut the whole 'money laundering algorithms' deal if they were legal in the first place.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 12:18 AM on January 28, 2004


The assertion that "heroin is the No. 1 financial asset of Osama bin Laden" is surprising to me. But the idea that al Qaeda will use existing drug networks to smuggle WMD seems a stretch. I can't see any of the various drug kingpins around the world being too enthusiastic about giving the world's most wanted man or his organisation unregulated access to what I assume is extremely hard earnt and savagely protected. What possible benefit to the traffickers could offset the potential collapse of economies which earn them billions of dollars a year?
posted by Onanist at 12:45 AM on January 28, 2004


Funny, I thought the no 1 financial asset of OBL was Saudi Arabia?
posted by CrazyJub at 4:21 AM on January 28, 2004


Re: Wall Mrat(sic) having item limits: This she could answer. The camera batteries contain lithium. It is an ingredient used in the illegal manufacture of the drug, methamphetamine, or crystal meth.

Is the above true. The ingredients I'm familiar in using to make the drugs they describe come from the pharmacy, sinus medicine & the pool supply, acid.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:37 AM on January 28, 2004


Although it may seem logical to frame the debate on tWAT using an economic point of view to some, I would contest that this is only one aspect, possibly not an important one.
The 1993 bombing of the WTO building in New York required very little financial backing. Where there is a will there is a way.
The drug trafficers (or more specifically, dealers) stand to benefit from increased terror, just as the rest of the consumerist leisure industry does, as escapism becomes more desirable. There is no stopping the black economy, money has no conscience, many people see it as a route to success and power.
The legality of trades and financial activities is fairly arbitrary, IMHO. There are plenty of 'legal' enterprises that endanger the health and future of the global population and environment, whilst there are plenty of 'illegal' enterprises that would benefit. Drug barons build housing projects, government agencies partake of gun running and drug running.
Is there any successful example of prohibition to refer to?
posted by asok at 6:46 AM on January 28, 2004


Wulfgar - I'm standing with you, too. Can we include South Dakota in the secession states?

(and, please email me Wulfgar!)
posted by yesster at 7:21 AM on January 28, 2004


From a sociological point of view, I see the "War on Drugs" as having evolved.

At first, it had the same roots as alcohol prohibition: the 'Nasty Nellies', often religious fanatics, who hated and feared things which gave pleasure without equal and opposite (or greater) amounts of pain.

But over time, it has become "strictly business". That is, illegal drugs take money away from the "legitimate" pharmaceutical industry, an obscene oligopoly if there ever was one.

Drugs also take away from "productivity", that bizarre golden calf worshipped by so many ardent, fanatical capitalists. "Productivity" to them justifies *any* horrific violation of workers, dehumanization and slavishness. It is their god. People are expendable, as long as you save their RFID chip implant for accounting and tax purposes.
posted by kablam at 7:29 AM on January 28, 2004


isn't it opium money that goes to Osama too?
posted by amberglow at 8:05 AM on January 28, 2004


In other recent news, the Dept. of Homeland Security has established a Hollywood liason office, and Japanese scientists have crossed pigs with spinach.
posted by troutfishing at 10:00 AM on January 28, 2004


I'm pretty sure no northwest secession plan can go forward without including Oregon. We're too wacky not to bring along
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:19 AM on January 28, 2004


"The War Against Terrorism" = TWAT. Good one, asok!

kablam: marijuana was banned for several reasons, including racism (those 1910s-30s "jazz-playin' voodoo nigras," so popular with the white girls; the newspaper articles of the day are simply shocking in their characterisation of blacks and black culture) and corporate cronyism -- not of the pharmacuetical industry, but of the cotton and pulp industries.

I believe prohibition is continued for several reasons: first, the humiliation of admitting it was wrong; second, racism and classism -- the only ones getting jailed for possession are black and/or poor; third, corporate pressure, still from the cotton and pulp industries, and also from the alcohol and pharmaceutical companies; and, fourth, the momentum of the drug law enforcement industry, which is loathe to give up their power and income. Oh, and fifth, pressure from the criminal underworld, which relies on the drug laws for their profits.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 AM on January 28, 2004


five fresh fish: wulfgar: let us cede Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Alaska, the Yukon, and Washington. It'd be a helluva country.

yessterWulfgar - I'm standing with you, too. Can we include South Dakota in the secession states?

Let do it. We could include North Dakota, Saskatchewan and the North West Territory as well. Long live the Free Republics of North West America. Let's invite Hawaii as well, we'll need somewhere to vacation.

Anyone not see this expansion of powers coming? For a past example of bad laws going worse take a look at RICO. What was supposed to be an initative to combat organised crime has turned into a giant payday for enforcement agancies at the expense of harmless citizens who may have as little as a single pot plant or rent a room to a relative who has a couple grams of coke.

There are lots of crime groups out there who aren't top of the heap and would like to be. What better way than to accept a large cash infusion from bin Laden. Alcohol prohibition is what gave the Mafia families all there power and they are still going strong 70 years later.

The only redeeming feature of PATRIOT is it has an expiry date. I hope they do not renew it.
posted by Mitheral at 10:45 AM on January 28, 2004


To leap back into my earlier tangent...

"Sure they have the weight to noticably supress inflation, but to claim they could sour the entire job market of the united states leaving the only choice loading frieght at 12:30 at night without benefits? puh-leeze."


The fact remains that most people who work at Walmart would take better jobs if they were available. Walmart doesn't have to be responsible for this, Walmart is just the benefactor.

Because of the employment environment in this country, and our country's attitude towards the working poor, these people have little choice of where to work, regardless of whether they have guns pointed at their heads or not.

You can label me whatever you like. I prefer to believe I'm a good capitalist. However, I also believe that those who work hard for a living deserve a living wage. After all, how would the company realize all those fantastic returns and productivity without the hard workers we treat like shit.

We value the owner's equity more than we value the lives of those who create the equity for the owners. I'd like to see the shareholders in Walmart try and run the operation all by themselves.
posted by PigAlien at 10:47 AM on January 28, 2004


how does this relate to the predominant metafilter opinion that 'guns are bad' and should be illegal. I mean now things are going against you so bad that you want an armed uprising against the government; wouldnt those guns come in handy?

H.Roark, I can't find the threads I have in mind, but I seem to remember that there is a fairly sizable number of Mefites who are pro-2nd amendment, many of whom would describe themselves as liberals, myself included. Hell, the majority of my friends, all as liberal as they come, are pro-2nd amendment. The simplistic formula of gun control = liberal doesn't necessarily apply here.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:18 AM on January 28, 2004


the highest incarceration rate of any non-totalitarian country

Begs the question, doesn't it?
posted by norm at 11:26 AM on January 28, 2004


Count me among people who could be considered "liberal" who are fine with guns. While I would never own a handgun myself, I wouldn't mind a good .22 rifle.
posted by drezdn at 11:34 AM on January 28, 2004


I'm pro firearm as well, and I'm Canadian so I'm so liberal I'm practically a Communist.
posted by Mitheral at 1:26 PM on January 28, 2004


PigAlien - funny you should bring up our country's attitude about employment.

Every job you creat needs to feed a small family
workers deserve benefits
vacation
smoke breaks
health coverage
minimum wage

And damnit they will have it!

then these same people BALK when employers move overseas where the labor force isn't so demanding. You realize that employers don't owe anyone shit right? You are trying to take a relationship (employer to employee) that used to be entirely consentual and making portions of it compulsary for the employer. don't be surprised then they decide end the relationship.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:17 PM on January 28, 2004


(that is not to say that employers don't try to add stipulations as well - drug testing for example. Nothing stops you from finding an employer who will accept what you have to offer on your terms, just as they have found employees who will accept what they have to offer on their terms.)
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:24 PM on January 28, 2004


" You realize that employers don't owe anyone shit right?"

I agree with you completely, Tryptophan, but so what? My original statement stands true. Just because employers are willing to ship jobs overseas where the employees don't complain as much doesn't make that treatment right or acceptable.

I work for myself and hope to have my own business someday with employees. I will give those employees full benefits, good paid vacation time, bonuses and profit sharing -- and I will have a successful business. I know that because when you care about the people around you, they care about you and will not allow you to fail.

The fact of the matter still stands - owners of businesses put their own equity at a higher priority than the lives of those who provide that equity to them.

There will always be rich and poor in the world. There will always be those who are lazy and/or stupid. There are also those who are full of greed, avarice and a lust for power. Their goal will always be to maintain the status quo.

I am curious as to why those who are so ready to leave the poor in their condition are willing to give those with excessive wealth and power a free pass.
posted by PigAlien at 2:39 PM on January 28, 2004


PigAlien - we now have two points to agree on "when you care about the people around you, they care about you and will not allow you to fail."

I work for a steelmill with this weird progressive ideology. Im bottom rung Information technology worker and i get treated like a prince. The mill workers fair much better than I even - and we are one of the few mills on the west coast still making a good profit in the midst of alot of red ink in the steel business. why? happy employees are better employees.

but i don't kid myself - they don't treat me well cause they like me, or because they care about me personally - its good for business.

however, this sort of thing can't be FORCED on employers, nor should you defame an employer who chooses not to. If you and I are right, they lose out on the posible earnings and they lose out on the self respecting employees they could have had other wise. let each man get what he deserves. in a free and open society, unless someone is literally violating your constitutional rights, you can't really bitch - just don't deal with them.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 2:55 PM on January 28, 2004


The simplistic formula of gun control = liberal doesn't necessarily apply here.

Definitely not on Metafilter, but I don't even know if it works so well in the US in general. This notion of liberals as pro-gun control was forged before any meaningful gun control had taken place. After the assault weapons ban in the mid-90's a fair number of people had gotten what they wanted. I have to say I've never met these theoretical people who think that ll guns should be illegal, and in all my life I've met maybe 2 people who think that most guns should be illegal.

A lot of people, my self included, are anti-NRA. And it is their talking points that have allowed the perception of liberals as gun-haters to come to be. The NRA is not simply fighting to preserve the 2nd Amendment, they are actively and agressively shilling to serve the interests of the specific firearm manufacturers. It would be like if the ACLU said, "And what better way to practice free speech than with a MegoBlaster brand Megophone!" The right to bear arms is not infringed by trigger-locks or other (expensive) safety mechanisms, nor is it particularly protected by the exemption of firearms from PATRIOT ACT provisions that are applied to freaking libraries and bookstores.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:59 PM on January 28, 2004


I am now a code yellow risk
Terror Alert Level
posted by homunculus at 4:32 PM on January 28, 2004


"Rep. Kirk (R), states, that Washington now must fuse counterterrorism and counternarcotics into an inseparable mission." If they would only add 'tooth decay' into that mission, they could count me in.
posted by troutfishing at 8:47 PM on January 28, 2004


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