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January 2011
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Unreal

Bhutan

Bhutan police can raid homes of smokers in a search for contraband tobacco and are training a special tobacco sniffer dog in a crackdown to honor a promise to become the world’s first smoke-free nation.

Buddhist Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad for one’s karma, banned the sale of tobacco in 2005, but with a thriving tobacco smuggling operation from neighboring India, the ban failed to make much of an impact.

But legislation passed in the new year, granting police powers to enter homes, is set to stub out the habit, threatening five years in jail for shopkeepers selling tobacco and smokers who fail to provide customs receipts for imported cigarettes.

And yes, I checked. This is in Reuters, not the Onion.

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31 comments to Unreal

  • kaptinemo

    When the American tobacco companies began aiming their advertising at the Asian market, I figured that something like this was going to happen…and here it is.

    That Bhutan is practically a vassal state of China, which has a huge tobacco consumption problem, this becomes especially hypocritical…

  • Rhayader

    [sarcasm]
    I’m sure the new police powers will eliminate the stubborn black market instead of serving only to make it more lucrative and more violent. Ratcheting up the war always works.
    [/sarcasm]

  • Maria

    I’m waiting for the day I get online and there’s talk of some town or other banning staying up past 10pm because of the health concerns and proven economic losses associated with sleep deprived worker bees. Because it’s all about the optimal health of the worker bees. At least these enforcers will have tranq guns, so if they shoot your dog he’ll just drool a little. And I don’t even know if I’m joking anymore.

  • darkcycle

    Unreal is right. This is great news…for the tobacco black-marketeers.
    Now, Daddy has to make Peanut-butter toast with the crusts cut off. Without getting peanut-butter on the keyboard….

  • Look for the broccoli brigade laboring under the new Health Care gestapo. They will enforce the minimum cruciferous consumption law to make sure insurance companies pay as little for cancer claims as possible.

  • kaptinemo

    Maria, your jest may be hypothetical, but the basis for it isn’t. It goes all the way back to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution: Capital seeing Labor as fungibles and tools, not people. Oddly enough, it was also the supposed basis for socialism and communism; the workers fighting back against Capital trying to run and/or ruin their lives.

    This is where the ‘productivity’ crap we always hear from the prohibs comes from: the idea of workers as slaves. And Capital still hasn’t ‘got it’ yet that said workers are anything but slaves. Hence this constant bit about ‘lost productivity’ when the US worker is one of the most ‘productive’ workers on the planet. Gotta keep the ‘wageslaves” in line, dontcha know?

  • darkcycle

    Right you are, Kap’n. They see labor as a commodity, albeit, a somewhat troublesome commodity. And that is what the corporate backed “revamping” of education is about. They want to eliminated every vestige of critical thought, and turn the children of this country into good little unthinking automatons. No arts, no science (beyond the applied science necessary to a productive worker, certainly no theory, and no troublesome ones like environmental science, maybe no evolution), no ethnic studies or social justice, ever. Arizona’s already blazing the trail on that one, but Obama’s ed. department is right behind them. And, who needs professional teachers? Let’s just let untrained para-professionals have their way. And we’ll just build more prisons for the children who don’t or can’t learn under those circumstances. While we’re at it, let’s starve the system for money too. Gotta fund the wars and the bailouts, and who needs kids anyway, right? I mean they just get in the way of a good time. Let’s just build a bunch of work-houses and make the little deadbeats carry their own weight and stop being a burden on society. Asha? You listening? (he’s two) Your free-loading days are coming to an end, little buddy….

  • strayan

    China National Tobacco Corporation (Chinese: 中国国家烟草公司) is by sales the largest single manufacturer of tobacco products in the world. It boasts a virtual monopoly in the People’s Republic of China, which accounts for roughly 30% of the world’s total consumption of cigarettes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_National_Tobacco_Corp

  • darkcycle

    Do you suppose the “Bhutan Tobacco Enforcement Agency”, or the “TEA” will begin eradication campaigns in Virginia?

  • ezrydn

    All that misery for what, a damned “title!”

  • darkcycle

    Let’s not underestimate the power of the words “tobacco free”. They’re worth all the home invasions, death, and loss of freedom that we (or they) can stand. What about the chilluns?

  • skootercat

    In the 90’s I worked in Romania and there they had stories of Ceaucescu controlling the factory town workers by shutting the power off at 10 PM. Resulting in lots of babies! I guess its not so much different than UK pubs closing at 10 PM on work days.

  • denmark


    It should actually read:
    “Buddhist Bhutan, where smoking is considered bad karma.”

    Which is not true in my world. All Saints have said throughout the Ages everything in moderation.

    This ban and police action they’re going to allow, NOW that IS BAD Karma.

    Everything in moderation.

  • darkcycle

    DEA emergency ban on “Spice” and K2 does NOT take effect:
    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/2011/jan/13/dea_emergency_ban_synthetic_mari

  • paul

    Jailing people for smoking tobacco is also bad kharma. I think the Bhutan government is downright heroic, taking on all that bad kharma for jailing people in order to save them from their own bad kharma from smoking.

  • strayan

    Heh, I hope in their effort to ban all cannabinoids they get around to banning the ultimate cannabinoid containing gateway drug – breast milk (my mum got me well hooked).

  • Cliff

    Dude, your troll fu is not only weak, it is totally irrelevant to this topic. Take your weak jabs at Obama over to Daily Kos, where they’ll rip you a new one, or go to Red State and laugh it up, whatever. We have more important things to discuss here than what you think of a tragic event and what President Obama felt was necessary. We don’t care about what you think about Obama.

    We don’t deal with President Obama’s daily routine duties here other than to call him and his minions out regarding their continuation of the demonstrably failed war on some drugs and President Obama’s promise to end it.

    I think most commenters here get it that Obama is pretty much the same as Bush and that’s about as far as it goes. If you have something to say about the expanding war on drugs, then please have your say, if not find some other blog to troll, you are not welcome here.

    Disclaimer; I didn’t vote for Obama, or Bush or Clinton or Bush or Reagan. I just want civil, relevant discussions.

  • Rhayader

    Cliffy I don’t give a rip what you think either so put that in your pipe and suck on it real hard. I don’t need your advice on web pages either so keep it where the sun doesn’t go.

    Haha, just unspeakably lame trash talking right there. What does it is that strange combination of aggressiveness and the reliance on the sorts of catch phrases my grandmother uses.

  • Sheriff Joe's Drug War Panzer Divisions

    WTF you gonna do about it doper?

  • darkcycle

    What fun, Trolls.

  • darkcycle

    Supreme Court to debate warrantless searches; has this been covered? Was I sleeping or something?:
    http://stopthedrugwar.org/speakeasy/2011/jan/13/supreme_court_debates_warrantles

  • Duncan20903

    So in other words, you support and advocate nothing but losers for POTUS, right Cliff? Well I’ve done even better than that since I never voted for Carter either. I would have not voted for him twice but I was only 16 in 1976. I swear to god I don’t know what I’d do if I ever voted for the winner in an election. Not only are all the candidates I support losers, they’re so far removed from the possibility of winning that they don’t even get their vote totals reported in the MSM the day after the election. Though to my great shame an personal horror in hindsight, I very nearly voted for Mr. yOmama in 2008.

  • Crap imitation of a lobotomized troll

    All you dopeheads are social deviants who are responsible for the decay of American morality and the national shortage of deep-fried Twinkies.

  • darkcycle

    Hey, what gives? Cliff, you picking up trolls at other sites and transmitting them to us? That’s a little like giving your wife a venerial disease…
    Can’t you provoke some intelligent trolls? I mean it might be entertaining, but the dumb ones just flail.

  • FYI —

    Yes, we did have a troll incursion last night. I would have been happy to keep their comments if they were even about drug policy, but once I saw that they were apparently just part of some wider effort (likely some kind of right-wing spam machine), I started trashing them. That may make some responding comments seem a little strange.

    Cliff is right. This is about drug policy — it’s not a merely a left vs. right reflexive thing. There’s plenty of reason to criticize Obama and his administration on drug policy and authoritarian policy, and we do it all the time, just as we did Bush and his administration.

    But trying to find ways to attack his speech at a memorial is the most childish and reprehensible thing you could do. Did the trolls read his speech? It’s probably one of the better things he’s done in this administration. He specifically cautioned against making rush judgements without knowledge (like the rush by David Frum in his stupid piece suggesting marijuana was the cause of the shooting).

    In fact, check out Cliff Kinkaid’s second piece on this issue, where he bizarrely accuses the media of giving Obama a free pass on the “lies” in his speech — those lies being that we don’t know why this happened when it’s (in Kinkaid’s mind) proven that marijuana caused it.)

  • darkcycle

    Kinkaid is a piece of work. Seems to think he’s solved it, he does. Why, oh why do you suppose the comments thread is off on that one?

  • Maria

    Hitler did it. He caused the shooting.
    (One of his last set of victims? Hardly, there will always fucks inspired by that fuck.)

    Seems I can’t handle this stuff anymore without gallows humor. But to me laying the blame on Hitler makes about as much sense as saying Palin inspired the guy, or drugs exacerbated his mental condition, or tequila raped his brain cells, or he watched one to many creepy Youtube videos, or he read a little too much Nietzsche, or it’s ’cause he’s a godless atheist, or because citizens can own guns, or it’s all because his daddy didn’t love him enough or diddled him as a boy, or, or, or…

    It’s terrifying how blindly people want a clear cut answer to why the event happened. They can’t face the world. That it is ultimately out of their control and that everything in this guys life came to create him and that moment. They can’t accept that there are real insane bastards in it.

    There needs to be that simple THING, a clear cut, uncomplicated material concept to which all our governing Estates can point to, to hold up and say; THIS is IT. Dear citizens, dear fellow worker bees. Fear no more because THIS is why a bunch of random innocents are dead. THIS is why that man turned into a monster. See IT? Understand it? Good. Now allow us to kill it. We will rend it limb from limb, tear it apart, and remove it from our life. So that we may protect all us moral men and women from its corruption.

  • Cliff

    Sorry guys, I saw trolly troll begging for some attention and I told it to go somewhere where its troll fu will be appreciated. I should know better, but its snarky poke at that funeral / memorial really got me going. Pete is right, that was the best thing Obama could do. Some people just can’t help showing off how big a jerk they can be at the expense of others.

  • DdC

    Don’t be too hard on Kincaid, he’s just following his butt buddies oxy rush and becky. It’s an old GOPervert tradition to criticize memorial services. Since they’re mostly progressives getting shot since Kennedy. Except for Rayguns, but he was too burned out to even realize it was Boosh doin’ the shooting. This tragedy is obviously caused by Sista Sarah Palin. How can anyone have any doubt? She should have known giving “marihuana” to a gun toting wingnut. It just had no chance of turning out good. It probably caused emotion and republicans not having any experience with such hormonal secretions, the wingnut lashed out at the first woman he saw. She made him swell up and Cliffy wasn’t around, what could the poor boy do?

    I also saw Kincaids church trying to memorize at the memorial but they wouldn’t let them in. Westboro Bastards protesting dead people has to be Cliffy’s highlight. I saw his other butt buddy Frum on C-Span with Travis Smiley and a panel of GOP and Progressives. Frum said we have too much transparency and the panel started laughing. His eyes sunk back and teared up like he was a 7 year old kid and his classmates just saw him wet his pants. Terror hovered over his head as they didn’t realize he was serious, must have been a shocker. When the panel finally came to the realization that this guy meant what he said they just scowled and harumphed. I missed the first part so I don’t know if he ranted about pot. Probably knows that would have ended his credibility before he began. So good, I hope Frum and Kinky are happy living in their lonely little fantasy world. Hope Palin learned she has to check boys mental states out before getting them stoned. Maybe stick to boys closer her age, than her maturity.

    Can’t anyone teach the GOPers how to shoot? When I was 12, I hunted as a kid, my first gun was a 20 gauge single shot, boys gun they called it. Now these kids have clips holding over 30 rounds. Poor markmanship won’t improve that way. Hell if you’re that bad a shot you might as well hunt from an airplane. Or just go to safeway.

    Physician Promotes Pros of Pot
    Local physician and former UCSB Psychology professor Dr. David Bearman is calling on the federal government to fund research of cannabis-based medicines.

  • Farnham the sober

    Beware of those who interfere and try to “help” you on a personal spiritual journey instead of allowing you or giving you the tools to help yourself. They are called demons and will FORCE you to obey. They love the negative energy you give them – fear. Makes them feel in control. Isn’t the lust for power a spiritual transgression?

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