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May 2004
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Getting… the point

Thanks to David for pointing out a somewhat strange report about Haiti.
I hadn’t been aware of News Central TV before this. Apparently they’re trying to be some kind of national news network. I’m not impressed. They’ve got this guy named Mark Hyman who gives you “The Point” — apparently while missing it by a mile.
In a recent “Point,” he talks about Haiti and the departure of Aristide (spoken with the animation of a piece of wood):

A welcomed development since his departure is the drop in illegal drug shipments through Haiti and into the U.S. Robert Charles, head of the U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, reported that drug traffickers thrived in Haiti because of political instability, economic hardships and corruption. Charles credits the new Haitian government, foreign troop presence and increased interdiction efforts for stopping the drug flow. …

Successful efforts to reduce the flow is good news for combating drug trafficking in the U.S.

And that’s The Point.

I’m Mark Hyman.

Is that the point? I’m wondering if what the New York Times reported might be at least a partial point…

Difficult as it may be to believe, people here say, life in the poorest nation in the hemisphere has gotten worse in the past two months.

The fact that people are starving and the price of rice has doubled might be an important point.
But why bother about the people when you’ve got drugs to stop? That’s certainly the view of foreign policy moron Robert Charles. Fortunately, not that many people take him seriously. I’ve already shown you his stupidity regarding Afghanistan.
I have another question for Mark Hyman. What does this “successful efforts to reduce the flow” mean? Has there been any evidence that drugs are less available? How do you successfully “reduce the flow”? How about the DEA seizing one million tons of cocaine? Well they did more than that between 1986 and 2002 with no apparent effect. What is the “point” of attempting to reduce the flow?
I’m going to give Mark a free lesson in drug economics:
Think of drug supply as a river, and drug demand as gravity. As long as there is gravity, the water in the river will find a way to flow. You can divert it and it goes around. You can take out buckets of water, but there’s always more coming. Focusing on drug flow in Haiti is stupid and (as long as people are starving) criminal.
Hey, Mark! Still think you know the point?

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