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March 2011
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FAIL

Scouring the internet for drug-war-related writing that missed the boat…


In our continuing series of pieces by students we have the rather bizarre waste of space in the Nexus titled Drug Slogan Stinks

“Nice people take drugs.”

These are the words that catch my eye on a recent AIDS Vancouver Island poster. I stop to take another glance at this poster; I re-read the slogan, and, because I’m not high on drugs, thus making me a jerk, I can’t help but think, “Dumbest. Slogan. Ever.” […]

While there’s some truth in saying nice people take drugs, the simple fact is that this statement is too bold and exclusive; it insinuates that only nice people take drugs, which isn’t true, and that only mean people are sober.

Apparently English classes are not taught at this particular college.


Next, we have a professional – Vanda Felbab-Brown, a fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institute – writing for the Houston Chronicle: A smarter drug interdiction policy for Mexico

Ramping up of the campaign against Mexico’s drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) without being truly strategic may satisfy some critics, but it will not enhance the necessary development of law enforcement, justice and corrections institutions in Mexico that are needed to make real headway in ending the Mexican drug wars. Counterproductively, non-strategic action will likely further increase the violence and decrease Mexican public support for the effort in the long term. […]

A key reason for the violence in Mexico is the way interdiction operations have been carried out – focusing the hollowed-out law enforcement and justice sector on high-value targets, such as top capos, and arresting tens of thousands of foot soldiers, while the middle layer of DTO operators has not been severely affected. […]

Expanding targeting to the middle layer needs to become a key feature of the strategy in Mexico, along with a steadfast institutional development and social policies to reduce communities’ vulnerability to crime. Reducing violence equally needs to be integrated into strategy – otherwise, public support in Mexico will continue to weaken and temptations by local officials to strike deals with the narcos will increase.

Note how pathetic the arguments start to sound when the author is unable to consider prohibition as a cause of violence. It always boils down to some form of “we just haven’t been strong enough in our prohibition efforts.”

And yet, a third grader could see the gaping hole in this argument. Even if you remove both the top and the middle of the organization, it still leaves a void to be filled as long as prohibition exists, and it will probably be filled violently.


Finally, an idiot.

It’s almost unfair to take pieces from Cliff Kinkaid’s “Accuracy in Media” site, but here’s an AIM Special Report by Michael P. Temoglie: How State Budget Battles Could Mean More Criminals Back on the Streets

On the surface, the budget fight in Wisconsin has involved issues like collective bargaining and pay increases for public employees. What has been largely ignored is that Governor Scott Walker, who is determined to cut spending, won’t make significant cuts to the prisons. This has made him a special target for liberal commentators. […]

In fact, Walker’s budget would end a Wisconsin program allowing some nonviolent offenders to seek early release from prison, which Republicans had derided as “catch and release.” […]

Walker favors a truth-in-sentencing law that requires prisoners to serve their entire sentence without time taken off for good behavior.

If the liberal unions eventually succeed in Wisconsin and other states and budgets remain out of balance, we can anticipate the liberal left proposing this “cost effective” way of dealing with lawbreakers—“prison reform” through releasing criminals back on the streets. This is the fall-back position when liberals are pressed for budget cuts of their own on the state level.

The appeal of “prison reform” is such that some conservatives have expressed support for it. Ultimately, however, it means reducing the number of criminals in prison. While some public money would be saved, the cost in lives and injuries carried out by criminals back on the streets would be difficult to estimate. The public needs to be on-guard against a renewed push to open the prison gates in the name of saving public money.

That’s right – it’s a conservative call for big government spending on increased incarceration, because apparently we don’t have enough of that going on here. Even non-violent criminals, once released, will apparently resort to violence. By this logic, once we incarcerate anyone for anything, we should never release them.

More Prisons, Less Crime

Otis said that the answer is readily apparent —“when you put in jail the people who commit crime you get less crime. Conversely, when you start releasing them, you will get more crime.”

Of course, this isn’t true – particularly when you factor in the drug war. With the drug war, when you put people in jail you get more crime. Arresting one drug dealer creates a job opening and now you have two.

The whole piece is a rambling 6,000 word nonsensical diatribe with footnotes, slamming judges, invoking the demon name of Soros, regularly tossing out the “liberal” word as an epithet, and calling it all a Special Report.

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15 comments to FAIL

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    More synchronicity: A few weeks ago I was entertaining the notion that the Obama administration would shut down every medical cannabis vendor using 280(e) of the tax code. That rule is that any who run an ongoing business that is primarily concentrated on controlled substances can’t take any business deduction. It was the audit of Harborside Health in Oakland/San Jose that caught my attention then. Today it seems that the IRS has concluded that 280(e) does apply to the dispensaries. I hope I’m wrong about shutting them all down.

    The founder of a Marin County medical marijuana dispensary says the Internal Revenue Service is demanding millions of dollars in back federal taxes following an audit that disallowed its business expense deductions.

    Lynette Shaw of the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana tells the Marin Independent Journal the agency based its decision on a tax code provision that blocks such deductions for illegal drug traffickers.
    http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17596645

    Unfortunately Steve DeAngelo of Harborside concurs with my analysis:

    “Steve DeAngelo, director of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, one of the nation’s largest dispensaries, warned that if the IRS adopts this position towards all medical marijuana businesses, “Every dispensary in the nation, past, present and future is dead.”

    Back in January we had some fun ridiculing Connecticut State Senator Boucher:
    http://www.drugwarrant.com/2011/01/antonietta-toni-boucher-responsible-for-childrens-deaths/

    She’s back in the news today, regurgitating more nonsense and making us all wonder why Mr. Darwin quit doing his job.
    http://newcanaan.patch.com/articles/sen-boucher-calls-decriminalizing-marijuana-a-prescription-for-disaster

  • yang

    It always boils down to some form of “we just haven’t been strong enough in our prohibition efforts.”

    But this is true, if they truly want to win the war on drugs it can be done, it is not an impossible task. Make me the head of the DEA, give me a huge lot of financing and power and I will win the drug war. All we need to do is hugely increase monitoring of people, set up large camps where we’ll collect all the drug offenders and then come up with some cheap way of disposing with them, make a very visible message by executing some VIPs like politicians, their kids or celebrities who’ve sold drugs and finally bomb cartel held areas and make it a full-blown military operation to annihilate them. Needs to be a clear message that no matter who you are or where you’ll be hunted down and it can’t be just jail or a fine because drug users will just keep using drugs either in jail or when they get out of there. There is no point in just bullying and annoying drug users/producers forever, having a drug free world basically means eredicating a very large culture and eredication means exactly what it sounds like.

    Either this or repeal prohibition, anything less is a lost cause.

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    yang, I don’t believe your plan would succeed. You are not calculating corruption/bribery into your plan. The Chinese have been using your plan for at least 6 decades. Yet they still have 20% of their currency test positive for traces of cocaine and no problem trotting out and executing several drug dealers at the end of June each year to celebrate “world anti freedom drug day”.

    You have to answer the question, “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” in order to succeed. That the question is in Latin goes to show how long people have been trying to answer it. So tell us, under your plan, who will guard the guards themselves?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes%3F

  • Duncan20903

    .
    .
    I think we need a World Wrestling Federation cage match to once and for all figure out if it’s Soros or the Koch brothers who are Satan in human form. My money is on the Koch brothers!

  • Servetus

    Michael P. Tremoglie is an authoritarian-minded former Philadelphia cop turned novelist. His 2006 novel, A Sense of Duty, appears to be out of print, and rightly so. In part of an interview that appears at Amazon.com, Tremoglie describes his book as a “novel where cops are fallible, not criminals, where criminals are so by choice, not because they are victims of society, and where the self-appointed centurions of civil liberties are motivated as much by self-interest and bigotry as by righteousness.” Where Amazon lists “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”—the only selection offered is Going Rogue by Sarah Palin.

    Tremoglie’s falling star is prophetic in that his “AIM Special Report” is truly fallible. Prohibition’s stage is far too large for Tremoglie’s tiny little lock’em-up and throw-away-the-key police drama.

    It’s not just about what happens on the streets between cops and gangstas, but also what prohibition does to people’s lives and to international relations. It’s about a corrupting influence that affects city, state, national and international governments. It’s about using the drug laws for everything but their advertised intent. It’s about the alienation prohibition creates between law enforcement and the citizen, between parent and teenager, and among family members. It’s about the corrosive influence of prohibition on constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. It’s about the unneeded expense of a prohibition which accomplishes nothing positive.

    Tremoglie’s world view appears limited to cops and their prey. He should stick to his fanciful fictions and give up writing lengthy essays that pretend he offers a novel interpretation of anything.

  • Intelligent Design

    George Soros is the antichrist hunyuk hunyuk he is an atheist who wanna take away arr ghuuns and legalize dope. Take away our ghuuns legalize dope!!! Giddam librul hippie pot smokin scum with them unions and narcotic marawana lock em all up and throw away the key!! Praise Jesus!

  • ezrydn

    Sure seems like “Logic 101” has been dropped from higher education. Just like “Journalism 101” was replaced by “Cut & Paste 2.0.” Don’t ask questions. You might run across something you’ll actually have to WRITE about.

  • Windy

    Duncan, neither Soros nor the Kochs are “Satan in human form”, first (IMNSHO), there is no such being as Satan/Lucifer/Old Nick/The Devil (or “God”, either, at least not as religions depict such); and second, they are just people who put their money where their mouths and interests are (and aren’t we all?). The Kochs are more libertarian than conservative, they want to end the drug war; and Soros has a bit of libertarian leaning in that he wants to end the drug war, too. We should be supporting their efforts to that end, not maligning them.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      To be honest Windy I’d never heard of the Koch brothers before the Wisconsin thing. I thought the former mayor of New York City had moved to Wisconsin at first. Of course there’s no such thing as the devil. I’m not one of those conflicted atheists that believes in the devil but not god, and I’m certainly not stupid/unethical enough to actually bet on a WWF match. You know those WWF events use a choreographer, right? They’re really professional dancers, not wrestlers. There’s nothing wrong with that if people enjoy it but it would be silly to bet on Fred Astaire vs Ginger Rogers.

    • DdC

      they are just people
      who put their money where their mouths and interests are…

      …and Jeffrey Dahmer had an eating disorder…

      It’s I’d love to buy the world a coke… not
      Koch would love to buy the world…

      The Koch Brothers are the evil
      that the right only hopes to make George Soros.
      ~ Dave Budge,
      The Evil Koch Brothers, 2.24.11

      “As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there’s a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged,
      and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
      ~ Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

      “…the Kochs will happily put their money behind candidates and intellectuals who agree with their economic agenda but disagree with their social agenda. They will never put their money behind candidates or intellectuals of whom the reverse is true.”
      ~ Jonathan Chait, reason.com

      “The Koch brothers are certainly skilled strategists and tacticians in the political game. One of their standard tactics has been the creation of front groups that work to push their agenda and attack those who oppose their goals. These groups tend to have positive sounding names like “Americans for Prosperity” and also tend to try to create the illusion that they are the natural product of grass root movements and popular support.

      While it makes sense for the Koch brothers to target those trying to protect workers or the environment (or, as they probably see it, people who are a threat to their bottom line) it might seem odd for them to set their front groups against teachers. This attack has also been taken up by the fine folks at Fox (who, some might say, are fine corporate sock puppets).”
      ~ The Koch Brothers’ War on Education

      Pure evil
      The solution is simple. Eat the rich.
      GOPervert Tea Baggers for Oxy Fauxnews
      Victims of Teabog rhetoric?

      “Hello, Anonymous calling
      for the enemies of democracy.
      Are the Koch Brothers in?”

      It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch—the billionaire owners of Koch Industries—have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.

      Hackers Take Down Koch Brothers’ Americans For Prosperity Website

      The right-wing billionaires’open war on everyday Americans
      Koch Industries, the private company of the billionaire Koch brothers Charles and David, is an oil and gas, chemicals, cattle, forestry, and synthetics giant — and also a major force for punishing Main Street Americans. Charles and David Koch (pronounced “coke”) have directed many millions of their shared $43 billion net worth into a vast propaganda machine that’s corrupting American politics in order to reward their pollution-based enterprise.
      The Kochs vs. Mainstreet

      Koch Brothers Key Political Employee Has Dark And Disturbing Past
      Following Mr. Phillips’ career is like tiptoeing through some of the most notable political dirty tricks and lobbying scandals in modern history. When you lay down with dogs you will surely wake up with fleas.

      Here is a sampling of some of Phillips’ ‘greatest hits’.

      In 1997, Phillips hooked up with Christian Coalition boss, Ralph Reed, to create Century Strategies, a political strategy and direct marketing group. The firm advertised themselves as being dedicated to mounting ‘grassroots lobbying campaigns’ and exploiting their ability to impact on legislation by using their strong connections to the leaders in the Christian community.

      The new business got off to a nice start when Karl Rove referred their first major corporate client – Enron.

      Is the Soros-funded Dope Lobby in Blood Libel Plot?
      Billionaire financier George Soros has thrown his money behind California’s marijuana legalization measure with a $1 million donation a week before the vote. The contribution reported Tuesday by The Sacramento Bee is the single biggest donation from an individual other than Oakland medical marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee, the main sponsor of Proposition 19.

  • paul

    This is the trouble with Republicans. Now that they are firmly in control of Wisconsin, a step that was necessary to break the power of the unions bleeding the state dry, they are going to run the rest of their agenda.

    While there are some Republicans that understand the destructive power of the drug war, most still do not. We can expect pure republican governments to choose to cut prisons last, not first.

  • Jaques Corbeau

    I think I have to defend Simpson’s use of the English language.

    Of course “Nice people take drugs.” is intended to convey the meaning: “Drugs are sometimes being taking by nice people”.
    But I think the wording is ambiguous and could also be read as: “If someone is a nice person, then they take drugs”. The if-then interpretation would be the only possible one for the sentence “Apples grow on apple trees”. The drug policy slogan allows both the some-reading and the deterministic if-then-reading.

    That being said, she probably chose her way of understanding it quite intentionally.

    (Correct me if I’m wrong, I’m not a native English speaker. I’m German, despite my French pseudonym.)

  • John

    They heard all the hippies exclaiming “Schools, not prisons!” and that’s all they needed to seal the deal….

  • Servetus

    “…enhance the necessary development of law enforcement, justice and corrections institutions in Mexico that are needed to make real headway in ending the Mexican drug wars.”—Vanda Felbab-Brown.

    Real headway? United States prohibitionists have pushed the same idiotic enforcement agenda against drugs for the last 80-years. There’s been no ‘headway’ other than to create a doddering framework for a police state apparatus that’s so incapable it can’t even keep illegal drugs out of prisons. As with all police states, critical enforcement does manage to cripple a number of American civil liberties.

    Certain ideals are impossible to achieve. History is clear that enforcing government and theocratic based prohibitions against things people really want never works, whether it’s drugs or heretical books that criticize religions and inquisitions.