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November 2011
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More of this, please

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KMPH News has learned that the state sent out notices to 1,200 drug agents, dozens of them in the Central Valley: get ready to get out.

Reality sinking in?

Senior Special Agent Ben Buford says the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement is losing 20 out of 23 local drug agents. Statewide, 180 received warning notices. […]

“The worst case scenario is actually happening…I’m angry…it makes no sense…it was surgical in nature. Why? I can’t answer that question,” he said.

Well maybe with the rest of the economy in the crapper, there isn’t an unlimited amount of money to spend on a war that doesn’t do anything but make things worse.

Faced with a $71 million cut to the Department of Justice, [Attorney General Kamala] Harris said she wasn’t able to restore funding to drug and gang task forces.

This might actually require them to… prioritize.

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31 comments to More of this, please

  • Francis

    I like the opening sentence: “California’s drug war is about to get harder to win.” Um… how does that work? Is it going to be three times as impossible or only twice? (Hopefully the author intended the irony.)

    • Francis

      On the other hand, I’d say this news is evidence that the war IS being won. Oh, wait… which side are you on?

  • Peter

    “the drug war just got harder to win…,” as if that was ever a possibility…

  • Thud!

    also applicable:

    Spank! Burn! Doh!

  • Ziggy

    Oh and are they up in arms… words like armaggedon, crippple, Mexican cartels running amok on the streets of Marin… They must restore the CNE or we might as well put up the white flag of surrender and run.

    The sad part about this, the cuts were surgical, they were pet projects that people get behind so that AG can get her money back. This isn’t common sense, we have limited resources, let’s spend them where we want. This is politics. Let’s get people riled up.

    And riled up she’s got them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they get most if not all their funding back.

    • kaptinemo

      The only way they can get ‘their’ funding back…is to beg from the Feds, who just haven’t gotten around to realizing the same thing that local and State governments have already been painfully schooled in, and that is economics doesn’t care what you think or want. And sooner or later it gets its’ way.

      The Feds have been playing sugar daddy for DrugWarriors for a long time, inflating the currency to monstrous size in order to maintain the fiction of solvency…and to ‘give’ (OUR!) money away to DrugWarriors, who piss it away buying Armored Personnel Carriers and other such crap. But now, all these ‘grants’ made to State and local governments to maintain the DrugWar will have to be justified to increasingly angry citizens who want to know why things like Unemployment and food stamps cannot be funded, but .50 cal sniper rifles for Barney Fife are.

      I wish I could attend the local council meetings where the pinch is being felt the hardest. Any reformer could make some very useful suggestions as to where the money Officer Jack Boot has been wasting could be better spent.

      • Ziggy

        Or reappropriate some funds from the California General Fund… and believe me, they’re whining like this as some last grasp at saving their jobs. It’s an all out assault on the media to push their stories. They’re in every California paper, everyone one of them full of doom and gloom. If that’s not politicking for you job then I am mistaken.

        They lost funding from the California budget, not the feds, so they’re going to keep pushing the CA legislature to fund the CA DOJ’s task force and they have until the end of the year to do it.

      • … aye Kap, tis a treacherous time and there are bills due (on many levels). Eat the rich, as the man said…

        The constant theme that runs thru my head is what the fuck happened? Where the hell did that “land of the free” I was raised to be so proud of living in, go? Sweet land of liberty my ass. That idea was hijacked – thus the 1% now owning 90%.

        The ideal escaped us somewhere back there. Gotta get mine became the motto and the majority were fooled into believing googaws meant something and because googaws became so available – so what if they’re cheap crap – folks became content in the facade of a fanciful fantasy that has become a poverty far more threatening to our collective well being than any other of the myriad problems we face.

        And finally there may be a discontent growing in the public enough to move them off their obese behinds and take this country back, and stand for the ideal.

        One of those ironclad clauses in the human contract specifically states that any society that grows and prospers suffers myopia – and falls. Those societies that kept essential cultural values intact had the softer landings… we are falling and only by holding onto principles over profit and reclaiming that land of the free moniker will we land softly. Lady Liberty needs a hand lads and lasses…

        And the officers of the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement are exactly some of the people who NEED to lose their jobs.

        Here a month or so ago there was a cop in NorCal in an article who stated he thought they were interdicting maybe 10% of the illegal grows in CA. 10%… I never passed anything with a 10%…

        How big a failure must this Prohibition become before we call it what it is?

  • kaptinemo

    Steamrollers are very, very slow. They were built that way on purpose. They are meant to provide very, very slow application of crushing force.

    The economy works the same way. When things turn bad, it takes a while for the change to register further down the line. But in the end the effects are like that of a steamroller; very, very slow application of crushing force. In this case, the force is applied to budgets. And that includes police budgets. The once-sacred cow is being sized up by budgetary butchers armed with recession-sharpened knives.

    The gravy days are over, prohibs. The economy is doing what you lacked the moral force to do; now the choice has been taken entirely out of your hands. Now you’ll have to compete with all those government organizations which are becoming incraesingly more important due to them actually being needed, whereas your functions…aren’t

    The War on Drugs has always been a ‘rich man’s hobby’, and this country certainly isn’t rich anymore…at least, 99% of it isn’t. The War on Drugs has always commanded a champagne budget…and now we can’t even afford beer.

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      Back in the day we used to say that the US Economy is an aircraft carrier, not a speedboat. Quite frankly we’re still likely responding to George W Bush issued driving directions.

      Damn them torpedoes. Full speed ahead?

      • kaptinemo

        Actually, Duncan, this is a long, loooooong overdue correction. This goes all the way back to the middle of the last century.

        There was a reason why money was tied to gold to back it up. The Founders understood the mechanics of money and banking quite well, and knew what happened when you broke the link between actual wealth and the paper it represented. That’s why so many of them were against a central bank, because that’s what central banks inevitably do.

        Anybody who has done any research on this issue knows that when that happens, crashes follow like sunset follows sunrise. Unless, of course, you ‘prime the pump’…like with wars. But that only delays the inevitable correction. Sooner or later, things get so strained that nothing can maintain the system, and it crashes and burns, usually with catastrophic results. And that’s where we are now.

        The time has come for triage, but the idiot pols in Warshington are still running on that inertia, thinking that because things are okay in the imperial capitol that things aren’t going to Hell in a handbasket elsewhere.

        They’re still playing games, thinking that they can continue messing with wholly inadequate squirt bottles while there’s a firestorm raging outside. They haven’t been made to realize yet just how out of touch they are. Which is why they’re still funding things like the DrugWar when they should be using the money wasted on it to mend the social safety net before we all need it.

  • Servetus

    The California drug agents joining the unemployment lines in 2012 are about to discover for themselves that consuming drugs and having no job is better than having a job and not using drugs.

  • claygooding

    come on depression..I have never known a government more in need of it.

  • Leonard Junior

    I’m sure the pigs will squeal till the trough is overflowing again, but this is great news for the moment.

    • kaptinemo

      The problem with trying to fill the trough again is that Uncle Sam is the one doing the filling. And he’s tapped out.

      There’s this dynamic called inertia at work. Things have been going swimmingly for the prohibs. Everything went their way. They got all they asked for, without question, because all they had to do was their little fetish dance about (image of DrugWarrior jumping up and down and wildly gesticulating like a witch doctor, waving all manner of LE paraphenalia) ‘the children, the children the children!’ and the spigots were opened, and the taxpayer provided goodies spilled down the trough.

      But the money they’ve gotten was inflated currency. And that inflation cannot continue. Uncle has to pull back hard, and soon. It’s that or crash and burn as a country.

      And that means the prioritization that Pete mentioned. Prioritization that will increasingly see greater and greater public scrutiny. And that’s bad news for the prohibs. Because they’ve never actually had to really, truly defend their budgets. They just stuck their snouts in that trough and inhaled.

      Not any more. Now, they’ll have to beg…along with all the other groups that want taxpayer funding, when more and more former taxpayers are in desperate need of that money. And when compared with, say, the department that handles Unemployment or school lunches, departments that actually do help people, any pol that wants to keep his or her job will make damn sure that the REAL public service organizations get the lion’s share of the remaining revenues.

      I keep saying this: When the choice comes down to whether parents want their kids lectured about drugs or whether they want those kids fed, clothed, sheltered and educated, it won’t take much time for them to decide. It happened during alcohol Prohibition; it will happen again as things get even tighter.

      • Duncan20903

        .
        .
        If it’s really important why can’t they take a voluntary pay cut?

      • Paul

        The endgame approaches. Not because we have persuaded the drug warriors they’re wrong, but because the state is finally, at long last, completely broke.

  • claygooding

    no more eradication teams,,less bonus drug money from the feds,,less ground intelligence for federal agents to use means more tax dollars for federal agents doing their own investigating,,,is this the proverbial shit rolling uphill effect?

  • claygooding

    I wait with salivation and extreme anticipation to see next years crop!

  • Bailey

    I’m wondering if people here would support police task forces that aren’t drug focused. Don’t misunderstand, I’m happy to see this one go. We all know how tied up police budgets (and corruption) are with prohibitionist policy.

    Still I think multi-jurisdictional task forces have a place in areas like gang violence or human trafficking. Are others in favor of this outside of drug enforcement?

    • darkcycle

      “Gang Violence” is Drug Warrior slang for “Drug law enforcement aimed specifically at poor communities and people of color”
      And when is the last time you were approached in a parking lot by a guy asking if you wanted to buy a sex-slave?
      Maybe it’d be better if we focused on the basic premise that the Police exist to make society safer in general. Instead of forming task forces which will automatically start seeking to justify their existence, whether or not a problem actually exists?
      The idea of a police force that serves the general good seems to be lost. Society was well served by the beat cop who knew every face in the neighborhood and what they were up to.

  • DdC

    Early release proposed for crack cocaine offenders
    Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. backs an early release proposal to retroactively correct sentence disparities between crack and powder cocaine offenders. The plan, which would apply to 5,500 prisoners, would take effect Nov. 1.

    Inmates freed after crack penalties are eased
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Antwain Black was facing a few more years in Leavenworth for dealing crack. But on Tuesday, he returned home to Illinois, a free man.
    500 leave prison on day 1 of crack sentence easing
    WASHINGTON – The Federal Bureau of Prisons says more than 500 people were released from custody Tuesday as a result of new, lowered sentences for crack cocaine crimes.

    California Budget Cuts Threaten Marijuana Eradication Efforts
    The summertime hunt for covert marijuana growing operations in California could be seriously scaled back next year unless state officials find a way to restore $1 million of lost funding.

  • Ben

    Great comment on that article:

    “California’s drug war is about to get harder to win.” And they were sooo close, too.

  • vickyvampire

    LMAO suffer you morons now go out and get a real job that’s right bye bye and don’t let the door kick you in the ass.

  • claygooding

    If the potheads get loose,,they can ride shotgun guard on a Twinkie truck.

  • Paul

    I know it is not the Christian way to take pleasure in another’s pain, but I just can’t help but feel a surge of joy at this news. Welcome to the unemployment line, sweeties!

    • Duncan20903

      .
      .
      What in the world are you talking about? The Christians perfected the concept of revenge and even turned it into a pre-emptive procedure.

      Religionists can be some of the cruelest, most despicable assholes in this life.

  • free radical

    Na na na na … na na na na… hey hey hey … goodbye!

  • When the Tulia scandal broke in 1999, Texas had 53 of these grant-funded regional narcotics task forces employing some 700 narcotics officers. Rick Perry de-funded them in 2006 to much weeping and gnashing of teeth, but crime continued to decline throughout the state and at this point nobody but those who worked for or with them even recall they existed in Texas. Their focus on busting low-level users and street dealers did nothing to improve public safety. I say scrap ’em all.