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January 30, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

Dopey, Boozy, Smoky—and Stupid - Mark Kleiman of UCLA examines drug policy in general and offers some suggestions [via]
posted by daksya (49 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"And the plan of reform, in politics, sociology or what not, is simply beyond the pale of reason; no change in it or improvement of it will ever make it acheive the impossible. Here, precisely, is what is the matter with most of the notions that go floating about the country, particularly in the field of governmental reform. The trouble with them is not only that they won't and don't work; the trouble with them, more importantly, is that the thing they propose to accomplish is intrinsically, or at all events most probably, beyond accomplishment." -H. L. Mencken, from The Cult of Hope. Prejudices, II, 1920
posted by jet_silver at 11:57 AM on January 30, 2007


The only possible solution? More testing!
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:02 PM on January 30, 2007


At times, I'm tempted to think of Kleiman and his ilk as the worst sort of mid-Twentieth-Century-style technocrats; as a staunch anti-prohibitionist, I want to run away screaming.

But then I read apieces of shit like this, and I figure that we ought not let the good be the enemy of the perfect.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:04 PM on January 30, 2007


You know why we're losing the war on drugs? Because we're not channeling our patented American spirit of capitalism in our efforts. Instead of trying to fight the shipments coming in, we should be figuring out ways to corner the market and drive out the foreign competition, which we've only been funding up until now. Some government pork funneled into Monsanto's pockets should allow us to come up with Super Strains of cannabis, poppies, and coca. We'll initially price it below cost and use already established trade routes to flood every foreign market with the stuff, <conspiracy> like what we did to the Ghettos in the 60's </conspiracy>. Once we've achieved enough market share, we'll start jacking up the prices, OPEC style, and watch the money roll in.

Isn't it about time we started exporting our (drug) problems and being on the black side of the global trade balance sheet? Buy American!
posted by krippledkonscious at 12:27 PM on January 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


This article almost makes me think that there is some problem with the War on Drugs and the way that it is being fought in the US.

There's no problem with it. It is arguably one of the most successful programs in the history of the United States. It has systematically allowed the government to subjugate and disenfranchise large segments of the population along racial and class lines. Aside from extermination, there is no better way to take silence undesirable voices or votes than to lock them inside a prison. With such bold manuevers as disparate sentencing guidelines for crack versus powder cocaine (100-to-1), and increased prison time for drug offences in school zones (because most of the surface areas of the inner cities falls inside a school zone) you are better able to silence minority voters.

But it doesn't just stop with your policing efforts. We've privatized significant portions of our prison system so that we are able increase our profit margin by increasing prison populations. More bodies in cages is more money in your reelection war-chest senator. Not only that, we can put those prisons to work for a fraction of minimum wage and sell those goods back to the government.

And if we decide to let the offenders out of prison, we can increase the likelihood of recidivism. We won't hire felons and we'll require mandatory drug testing at any company that receives government funding (the DOD spends $80k per positive drug test, don'tcha know). If anyone has a drug conviction they won't be able to use government funding to go to college. With any hope, we'll have them back in the system making our shareholders a profit in a year.

But it's all for the children. Gotta protect those children. Yeah the ones without health insurance.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 12:28 PM on January 30, 2007 [11 favorites]


I like his idea of taking away the "drinking license" of people who engage in violence or driving while drunk. It does make a lot more sense then taking away their driver's license. They could still drink occasionally, but not at bars where they might drive home. They would have to drink at home, and probably wouldn't drive.

Other then that, an interesting "moderate" view on reforming drug laws, which are completely irrational. Still, the author seems to have no concern at all about the philosophical or moral arguments against prohibition. He also doesn't even bother trying any quantitative analysis, he simply dismisses the idea of ending prohibition as "not solving our problems." he makes the argument that some drug users behave poorly, but that's not a reason to ban drugs. Instead, when people high on drugs behave in a damaging way, put them in jail for those actions. If they see that the "natural" consequences of their actions while on drugs are harmful, then they would be more likely to want to stop, which the author states is a near prerequisite for curing addiction.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 PM on January 30, 2007


Kwantsar writes "I figure that we ought not let the good be the enemy of the perfect."

Totally. I really enjoyed this piece, even though I also favor an end to prohibition. I though his suggestions for marijuana were especially creative.

And Kleiman does make an excellent point: prohibition works, after a fashion. The vast majority of drug-related social problems are created by alcohol abuse. Prohibition manages to vastly reduce the use of other drugs. It's simply that the collateral costs of that prohibition are unacceptable.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:31 PM on January 30, 2007


Dopey, Boozy, Smoky—and Stupid

I love those guys. I used to visit them all the time.

krippledkonscious: like what we did to the Ghettos in the 60's

And to the Ghettos in the 80s.
"The CIA is investigating the matter further as is the Justice Department. In 1988 the Deputy Director of the CIA, Robert Gates, led a three day investigation into the affair concluding that 'all allegations that the CIA condoned, abetted or participated in narcotics trafficking are absolutely false.'"

Wow! Three whole days!

Robert Gates... Robert Gates... now where have I heard that name before?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:39 PM on January 30, 2007


Fuzzy Monster writes "Robert Gates... Robert Gates... now where have I heard that name before?"

On Wikipedia maybe?
posted by mr_roboto at 12:41 PM on January 30, 2007


He's not the Microsoft guy, though: that's Bill Gates.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:41 PM on January 30, 2007


*snaps fingers* wikipedia! That's it!

He must work there or something.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:45 PM on January 30, 2007


I am pretty lucky, since I've escaped the system while every single one of my friends has been busted at one point or another, no matter they be lawyers, doctors, computer engineers. Mostly, just a fine and/or night(s) in jail. But this is a very serious war on American people and any discussion is a step, if a meagre step. Unfortunately this article still holds to the utterly bullshit concept that drugs=bad. Washington is spinning in his hemp-drenched coffin.

I_am_a_jedi hit it right on the head. This is about control and economics. Almost not at all about drugs or morality. Problem is, realistically, the American government profits so heavily off this war that i can see no end during my lifetime; and an end only with the government's eventual collapse because of such monarchical pograms as the war on drugs.

And this The excesses of the 1960s discredited hallucinogens and largely put an end to what seemed like a promising field of research. reveals a profound ignorance of scientific endeavor.
posted by sarcasman at 1:11 PM on January 30, 2007


Ban verbs, not nouns.
posted by hellphish at 1:15 PM on January 30, 2007


sarcasman: And this The excesses of the 1960s discredited hallucinogens and largely put an end to what seemed like a promising field of research. reveals a profound ignorance of scientific endeavor.

Can you elaborate?
posted by daksya at 1:17 PM on January 30, 2007


But if you're past age 24 or thereabouts, it's really time to put down the bong.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on January 30, 2007


Smoky and Boozy are the worst of the dwarves.
posted by Mister_A at 1:25 PM on January 30, 2007


Massive and protracted crackdowns work, but at intolerable expense in police and court resources. But the same effects can be achieved by using explicit and credible threats of arrest and prosecution instead. High Point, North Carolina, broke up a twenty-year-old crack market by identifying and developing cases against all of the active dealers, calling all of them in for a meeting to tell them that dealing must stop at once, and that anyone who persisted could and would be sent to prison based on evidence already in hand. Any one dealer could have been easily replaced, but when all of them stopped at once the market ground to a halt—and anyone who tried to move into the vacuum made himself a sitting duck for law enforcement.

So, here's my take on this: most rational, even-slightly-left-leaning individuals recognize that our current drug policy is completely untenable, not to mention laughably ineffective and a mechanism of overt discrimination. However, we can't seem to build up critical mass to take this case public; no politician would last a day if he came down with a "Meh, drugs would be much less of a problem if we stopped this completely insane war on them" (er, with a few exceptions, I suppose, but the Republican party is vicious in its attacks on anyone 'soft on drugs,' and enough people are drinking the Kool Aid that it's still an effective smear tactic).

So maybe the smart move is to start proposing radically different drug policy, but policy that still pays lip service to this innate need a lot of folks seem to have to 'think of the children.' This is exactly that kind of plan: if you can prove that you've made progress against the visible parts of the drug trafficking industry (by, say, loudly shutting down the crack houses in your own downtown, even if you didn't have to arrest 500 people to do so), you can avoid the stigma of being soft on drugs, but you can still work to reform the system. So I say, bravo for anyone putting forward this kind of reasoning; it's a pretty solid bridge between the "legalize it!" crowd who can't get anything done outside of their own echo chamber, and the ridiculous enforcement personnel who are turning this into such a clusterfuck in the first place.
posted by Mayor West at 1:36 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


But if you're past age 24 or thereabouts, it's really time to put down the bong.

Out of my cold, arthritic fingers! Seriously, I'm not arthritic, but if you are implying cannabis use is merely an immature endeavor to be indulged in by "irresponsible folk," then I strenuously disagree. This is part of the problem, in that people can easily dismiss responsible use as an aberration or myth. There are indeed multitudes of responsible users, but the laws are so draconian that none of us are able to go out and prove how we can enjoy an occasional joint and still be productive, functional members of society.

Unless you maybe you have something against bongs, specifically? Maybe you're more of a pipe person.
posted by krippledkonscious at 1:36 PM on January 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


sarcasman writes "And this The excesses of the 1960s discredited hallucinogens and largely put an end to what seemed like a promising field of research. reveals a profound ignorance of scientific endeavor."

Did you read the whole thing? 'Cause it also includes the following passage:

In light of new scientific evidence, it’s time to forget some of the (false) lessons learned from the paisley-and-Day-Glo “psychedelic” episode and bring the potential benefits of responsible hallucinogen use back into the realm of scientific and policy respectability. If hallucinogens have potential for therapy or performance enhancement, why stifle it? If sincere religious seekers want to accept modest risks of injury by taking potentially dangerous chemicals to induce mystical visions, why forbid them?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:42 PM on January 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


I don't understand why all these liberals are hating on the War on Drugs. I mean, the founding fathers clearly planned for this when they wrote the Constitution. Especially Marijuana. They hated that stuff. It's unfortunate that it took our nation nearly two centuries to figure out that the founding fathers wanted an overwhelmingly powerful federal government which use the Commerce Clause to arbitrarily override States rights.
posted by mullingitover at 1:44 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Another Damned Drug War Death
posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM on January 30, 2007


More Kleiman: Mushrooms and mysticism
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on January 30, 2007


I would like to see drugs legalized for a reason that is a bit different than what I typically hear people say.

I am sick of seeing brainless young males attaining wealth and a desired social status by selling drugs. They get money and are able to buy the things that are important to people in those social circles. The social stigma that is attached to it is gone thanks in a large part to the entertainment industry. It is now cool to be a drug dealer. They get the girls. They get the money. They are respected by their peers. It makes the younger kids in their neighborhood want to be like them, and that is certainly not a good thing.

If drugs were legalized, then those same people would be exposed for being the uneducated, idiotic opportunists that most of them are. They would be laughed at in the neighborhood instead of revered. They would have to find some other way to pay the bills. The younger kids could then look to some other group of people as role models.
posted by flarbuse at 2:23 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


flarbuse writes "If drugs were legalized, then those same people would be exposed for being the uneducated, idiotic opportunists that most of them are."

You want to see drugs legalized 'cause you're jealous of drug dealers? Not a great policy argument, that one.

And anyway, the myth of the wealthy street drug dealer is just that: a myth. The people at the top of an organization might make money, sure, but most dealers earn below the minimum wage and live with their mothers.


What did you think of Kleiman's suggestions for breaking up drug markets and discouraging adolescents from selling?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:34 PM on January 30, 2007


What did you think of Kleiman's suggestions for breaking up drug markets and discouraging adolescents from selling?

It's only applicable to open-air markets. Most pot isn't traded like that, and a lot of drugs are already traded behind closed doors. In practical terms, this will make certain neighborhoods safer, but it won't have much impact on drug use, which is the ultimate target of drug policy. As for support for this tactic, prohibitionists may not like it because it avoids punishing the dealers. On the other side, from a game-theoretic perspective of legalizers, it's a bad move. If you remove the overt signatures of the current policy, then it's ever harder to advocate stronger changes.
posted by daksya at 2:42 PM on January 30, 2007


But if you're past age 24 or thereabouts, it's really time to put down the bong.

Of course, reaching for a six pack/mickey/bottle of prescription drugs is a-ok.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:52 PM on January 30, 2007


But if you're past age 24 or thereabouts, it's really time to put down the bong.

Yeah, right. We probably couldn't fit all of the adult, professional pot smokers in the Superdome. The current pot use rates run at about 5% of the over-12 American population. Not an insignificant number, and certainly not insignificant enough to justify this kind of crap stereotype.

It's this attitude right here that perpetuates the War on Drugs. So long as we can pretend as though marijuana smokers are all immature stoners rather than normal people, some of whom are doctors and lawyers, we're not likely to stop locking up the population. Sad to say that people during Prohibition probably had a more realistic idea of the demographics of illegal use than most Americans do today...
posted by vorfeed at 3:07 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


daksya writes "n the other side, from a game-theoretic perspective of legalizers, it's a bad move. If you remove the overt signatures of the current policy, then it's ever harder to advocate stronger changes."

OK; I see where you're coming from here, but I think there are a couple of problems with this perspective. First of all, it's letting better be the enemy of good enough again. We're never going to get an elimination of prohibition, but a more humane enforcement strategy is a real gain. Second, the "overt signatures of the current policy" are not interpreted by most members of the public as results of the policy, but as dangers of the drugs themselves. I think this is one reason that you'll find many more people in favor of marijuana legalization than in favor of "hard drug" legalization: since you don't see stoners looking for a fix on the street, or the drug being sold in dangerous open-air markets (for the most part, at least), it seems less dangerous. If we can make other drugs seem more like marijuana (sales transactions and use in private, for instance), we'll create a stronger sentiment for their legalization.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:13 PM on January 30, 2007


While prohibition clearly reduces drug abuse (otherwise there wouldn’t be several times as many abusers of alcohol as of all illicit drugs combined),...

This guy has even been infected with the compartmentalized thinking of the anti-drug industry: alcohol abuse is not drug abuse! No, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc. are all evil, nasty drugs. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a gift from the good fairies. So, you see, prohibition works. Well, not if you are concerned about abuse of all drugs, not just the ones you've made illegal. There is zero evidence that prohibition has one iota of impact on the total number of drug abusers. It (along with a lot of socialization) can shift the abuse to different chemical agents.

The irony is that alcohol is by far the most phsiologically dangerous of the drugs of abuse (after cigarettes, it is the most dangerous of all psychoactive drugs; however, cigarettes can't be abused, as simple use suffices to bring about all their harm). Not only does chronic overuse lead to severe and multiple medical problems, but it tends to debilitate the intoxicated to a great enough extent that they are a danger to themselves and others, more so than the prohibited drugs (by and large; PCP is one exception).

Anyway, not withstanding this bit of fuzzy logic, I think any way we can move toward ending prohibition and treating drug abuse socially and medically rather than legally is a boon to us all.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:24 PM on January 30, 2007


Dopey, Boozy, Smoky—and Stupid

The other three dwarves are Greasy, Terrry, and (of course) Doc.
(yep, them’s metaphors)

Interesting piece. Some nifty ideas there. Many should be implimented. As far back as I can research most of the war on drugs is poor social engineering. I mean people, culturally, don’t want to be hassled like this in the first place. It’s an artificial construct propped up by a vocal minority, duped by the folks with the vested interests in it (as i_am_a_Jedi sed).
posted by Smedleyman at 3:29 PM on January 30, 2007


Mental Wimp writes "This guy has even been infected with the compartmentalized thinking of the anti-drug industry: alcohol abuse is not drug abuse!"

What the hell did you read? Because the piece I read, the one written by Mark Kleiman and linked in the post at the head of the thread, contains the following paragraph:

And alcohol is a drug, one that ranks high along most dimensions of risk. Among intoxicants (that is, excluding caffeine and nicotine), alcohol abuse accounts for more than three-quarters of total substance abuse in the United States, and for more death, illness, crime, violence and arrests than all illicit drugs combined. A drug abuse control policy that ignores alcohol is as defective as a naval policy that ignores the Pacific.

I mean, Jesus fucking Christ, I understand you don't like the drug war. I don't like it either. But I at least bothered to fucking read the article we're discussing.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:36 PM on January 30, 2007


You people are pissing me off. I'm guessing fully 50% of the people commenting in this thread didn't bother reading the link at all, and another 20% gave it a cursory skim.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:40 PM on January 30, 2007


As for this guy's suggestions, I think they're mostly positive. If the Drug War were like this, we'd have a better country -- probably not as big an improvement as we'd get if we eliminated prohibition entirely, but still an improvement. His ideas about alcohol and marijuana are particularly clever, especially his "no-drinking license" for DUI offenders.
posted by vorfeed at 3:53 PM on January 30, 2007


mr_roboto

Sorry that you are so angry. The quote was directly from the article. Yes, he intellectually understands that alcohol is a drug, but he reflexively defends the concept of prohibition by ignoring that fact in the quoted phrase. If you'd care to read the article, you'll see that I didn't take it out of context, that he really was saying that the fact that alcohol abuse is greater than "drug abuse", prohibition undeniably works. It does help, you see, to actually read the article.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:53 PM on January 30, 2007


Mental Wimp writes "If you'd care to read the article, you'll see that I didn't take it out of context, that he really was saying that the fact that alcohol abuse is greater than 'drug abuse', prohibition undeniably works."

If you think that this sentiment at all reflects the complexity of his argument then, well, user names and all.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:56 PM on January 30, 2007


Dealing is a much riskier activity, yet one that still enjoys a certain glamour in some neighbourhoods. That glamour could be dulled by introducing some facts about what most dealers actually earn (less than minimum wage) and how likely they are to get shot, jailed or addicted. Even a modest degree of success would be well worth the effort.

This why I laugh every time the cops announce the street value of the pot they seize when busting grow ops. It's like advertising to try and convince people to set up a grow op. What other investment gives you hundreds of percent or return on a annual basis?
posted by Mitheral at 3:58 PM on January 30, 2007


mr_roboto

No, I don't think it reflects the complexity of his arguments, and, in fact, I think that any attempts such as his to move us away from strictly fighting the problem through criminalization and toward treating it as a social and medical problem are good.

In the post that upset you, I was just pointing out that he, at this point and some others, uses rather faulty logic. This logic was reflected in your comment earlier in the thread, where you agreed with his assertion that prohibition undeniably works. I happen to think it doesn't, and his "evidence" embodied in my quote is not evidence for it working. It must appear to be to him, and the only way I can make sense of the phrase "...prohibition clearly reduces drug abuse..." is if he doesn't mean alcohol abuse when he says drug abuse.

Perhaps your agreement with his assertion doesn't depend upon his arguments. If so, I would be interested in what evidence or logic persuades you. I have done a bit of research in this area and I have found no persuasive evidence myself, but I can't claim to know all there is to know about it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:08 PM on January 30, 2007


It's pretty awful, but I've been thinking a lot recently that a pretty sizable portion of the American population actually likes to see other people suffer -- they enjoy seeing other people in jail or dead, particularly if these people look or act different or disagree with them.

That would certainly explain why the US has been at war somewhere or other for over 60 years -- the country as a whole rather likes warfare and killing. And it would explain why the country has been at war on drugs for 90 years: it's a steady supply of suffering.

Sorry. Ignore me. I'm still kinda reeling from this article.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:31 PM on January 30, 2007


I've been thinking a lot recently that a pretty sizable portion of the American population actually likes to see other people suffer

There might be something to that... but in this case, I think the main problem is our unique conflation of law and justice. Mainstream American morality considers execution of the law to be the same as justice. If a given person breaks The Law, that makes them A Criminal, and worthy of Punishment. Law-Breaking Criminals are all deserving of Punishment, regardless of how egregious either the law or the punishment may be. This is why you'll see people defending, say, a life sentence for smoking pot while on parole for a minor crime -- because being on parole for anything makes one a Prior Criminal, and after all, The Law does provide life sentences for Prior Criminals who Should Have Known Better.

This is why I'm convinced that drug users need to be humanized before any progress will be made. Those of us who are "in the closet" about our drug use are only furthering this attitude... because, of course, the other side of the coin is that Our Friends And Family can never be Criminals. Why, there must be some mistake, some mitigating circumstance! Suddenly, when it's your family up against the wall, the word "justice" has a meaning again. I'm the cynical type, but I've seen this attitude change enough times to believe that widespread, open defiance of the drug laws, across every spectrum of society, might just be enough to change some minds in this country.

Of course, these days, it might also be enough to get half the country thrown in the gulag... but who knows, maybe it's not too late.
posted by vorfeed at 4:58 PM on January 30, 2007


Speaking as somebody who has been an active anti-prohibitionist for over twenty years now, I can find a lot to quibble about in Kleiman's writing, but if all of the US drugs research establishment was as smart, as honest and as rigorous in their thinking as he is, the world would be a far, far better place.

In practical terms, this will make certain neighborhoods safer, but it won't have much impact on drug use, which is the ultimate target of drug policy.

This may be true of the USA, but in the rest of the world, we recognize that that's an unrealistic goal and so have adopted a more pragmatic approach. Drug policy today has a range of objectives, including making neighbourhoods and communities safer, reducing crime, reducing the prevalence of drug-related problems, etc., etc.

Here in the UK, many of the most interesting developments in New Labour's drug policy -- particularly around enforcement -- came directly from Kleiman's work.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:14 PM on January 30, 2007


It must appear to be to him, and the only way I can make sense of the phrase "...prohibition clearly reduces drug abuse..." is if he doesn't mean alcohol abuse when he says drug abuse.

You're reading an awful lot into that. All I took it to mean is that prohibition reduces use of the particular drug(s) being prohibited.
posted by juv3nal at 5:19 PM on January 30, 2007


I do not like a lot of points this article makes (I think more regulation in other areas leads us to the same fallacy that got us in the situation we are in, that is we can create a solution for a diverse populace and solution for a diverse country). That said he did have moments of lucidity:

Alcohol, for example, constitutes a major violence-and-disorder problem in Britain, but not in Italy.

Public policy needs to target the individual and not treat everyone the same. This is hard to codify and comes across as being soft on drugs, political suicide.

From a simple utilitarian perspective it looks as if the model of Western Europe (highly regulate but basically legalize soft drugs, provide medical help for hard drug use) creates more freedoms and choices for people while at the same time lowering the amount of problem users.

Clearly we cannot devise a Platonic policy on drugs, so let us stop trying and try to just do the best we can without moralizing the issue. Governments are terrible when they moralize.
posted by geoff. at 5:25 PM on January 30, 2007


Peter McDermott put it much better than, pragmatism should always be the goal in such situations.
posted by geoff. at 5:27 PM on January 30, 2007


I am sick of seeing brainless young males attaining wealth and a desired social status by selling drugs.

What are you talking about? The majority of drug dealers are dirt poor
posted by delmoi at 5:32 PM on January 30, 2007


I've been thinking a lot recently that a pretty sizable portion of the American population actually likes to see other people suffer

Duh.
posted by delmoi at 5:33 PM on January 30, 2007


This is why I'm convinced that drug users need to be humanized before any progress will be made.

I wish when people wrote articles about the drug war they wouldn't pretend that they are noon users and writing from a completely unbiased perspective. From his glowing review of hallucinogens it's obvious that Klieman likes to take a hit of acid every once in awhile. Own up to it man.

There were some good ideas in the article, but a BEER TAX? fuck no.
posted by afu at 9:40 PM on January 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's pretty obvious that the "drug war" is doing just what it was designed to do: put a lot of people in jail, give authorities (governments and corporations) the right to invade people's private lives, and funnel tons of money into "fixing" a problem that will never be solved.

Same with Iraq - it's not supposed to be "won" - it's supposed to last as long as possible and cost as much as possible so that all of those weapons makers and "cost plus" contractors can keep racking up profits.

And the "war on terror" is never supposed to be "won." It's supposed to last for the rest of our lives and give the government, and the corporations who own the government, carte blanche rights to humiliate, pester, and blackball anybody who so much as grumbles a word of protest.
posted by rougy at 11:02 PM on January 30, 2007


"It's pretty awful, but I've been thinking a lot recently that a pretty sizable portion of the American population actually likes to see other people suffer...."

I was just thinking the same thing myself today.
posted by rougy at 11:05 PM on January 30, 2007


I like this article just for the section that begins:

"Some of the claims below are deliberately controversial, but only in terms of common public discourse. They are not controversial in a scientific sense."

This part I would consider valuable to share with those whose thoughts on drug issues lean on a crutch of myth and exaggerated social perception.
posted by hermitosis at 9:24 AM on January 31, 2007


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