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How the simple-minded are led like lemmings off the cliff

Heckled during speech, Mexico’s president defends drug war

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has once again clashed with a citizen angry about the effects of the country’s drug war, this time during a speech in which a man in the audience shouted, “How many more dead?” [...]

“The deaths in the country are because of the criminal organizations, criminal organizations that are recruiting young people like you, for addictions, for criminal gangs, to kill other young people,” Calderon responded.

“If you or others presume that the Mexican government — my government — would cross its arms and watch as they attack the young people of Mexico, as they kidnap them, as they extort them, you are very mistaken.”

The audience, mostly men and women in business suits, applauded enthusiastically. Many gave him a standing ovation.

Subsequent reports said Moreno had announced his plans to challenge Calderon on his Facebook account. After the event in Guadalajara, the man was surrounded by audience members who scolded him, one report said.

This is a follow-up to the previous post about “evil.”

The man interrupting was asking a question loaded with content, dealing with such things as policy options, international agreements, proper use of military, how to respond to violence without increasing the violence, etc.

What he got in response from President Calderon was a calculatedly childish good-vs-evil (and therefore nothing more to discuss) response.

It’s the same as the “if you don’t support prohibition, you want to surrender” meme. It’s purpose is to falsely eliminate the existence of any other options. If it’s evil, you must fight it. It blocks even discussing ways of stopping or reducing the “evil” through other means (that might actually work!)

It is absolutely offensive for President Calderon to imply that the interrupter would want his government to “cross its arms and watch as they attack the young people of Mexico, as they kidnap them, as they extort them.” In fact, that’s why he was speaking up. He wants his government to actually do something that will work, instead of doing something that fuels more violence.

And yet, with Calderon’s good-vs-evil words, the simple-minded people in suits gave him a standing ovation and scolded the poor man who truly wanted to know “How many more dead?”

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50 comments to How the simple-minded are led like lemmings off the cliff

  • claygooding

    The tale wags the dog and as displayed in our debates every week on TV now,the ability to turn away harm from failed policies is what makes a good politician,,look how Neutered Grinch made John Anderson look bad for questioning his shortcomings on family values.

    And the crowd cheered that worthless peice of crap.

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    • Brandon E.

      That frustrated me beyond belief. It’s scary that some of these people genuinely thinks he gives a damn about them, or that he’d do anything more than enrich himself further at the taxpayer’s expense. That, and start a war or two, first with a country that doesn’t even have a air force.

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  • Vote For Cthulu The Greater of Two Evils

    Calderon had his ‘bring em on’ moment when he was first elected well the cartels brought it on. Reading some online articles yesterday about Mexican police packing up and moving away after a few of their number were killed in their homes by cartels.

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  • Francis

    “If you or others presume that the Mexican government —my government —would cross its arms and watch as they attack the young people of Mexico, as they kidnap them, as they extort them, you are very mistaken.”

    Who expects them to cross their arms and watch? Given the level of corruption in Mexico’s government (corruption that is in no small part fueled by the drug war), I expect them to join in.

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  • kant

    @Pete

    I think you’re missing another important aspect of Calderon’s response. It’s the repetitive “Our policies aren’t failing. They’re working. We just need more commitment and we’ll finally win!”

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    • kaptinemo

      Man, you can’t get any plainer than that. A century worth of forlorn hopes. A century of foolish, naive, logically unrealistic expectations in the face of reality.

      Every activist should keep that link handy when debating (the normally cowardly) prohibs. Ask them in front of the public if they think we need to take another century and spend (extrapolating from the estimated cost of drug prohibition these past 40 years) 2.5 Trillion more on top of the 1 trillion already wasted on this farce.

      I doubt the fence-sitting public would be receptive to that, when placed in the context of universal fiscal suffering…

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    • stayan

      It’s just one knock-out blow after the other.

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  • darkcycle

    That really takes some balls. It’s common knowledge Calderone id the official face of the Sinaloas. That man was risking everything to just ask that question.

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  • thelbert

    forlorn hope doesn’t mean what most people think it does: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forlorn_hope: i personally like my verloren hoop armed with reason and love. all the people on the couch are the forlorn hope of the drug reform movement. armed with brains that can differentiate truth from lies, we can defeat armies of ignorance. it’s as simple as that. the reason we have people sleeping rough this winter isn’t just an economic downturn, it’s a hundred years or more of elitist leadership. nonviolent resistance will win over vicious ignorance. the man posing the question to calderone was part of the forlorn hope, bravo, amigo.

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    • divadab

      When will all the casualties of the forlorn hope obtain their just reward?

      Damn the enemy is strong, and with our flipping money!

      Overgrow, your doings in stealth: the enemy cannot hold, besieged in their citadel of lies and unjust dominion!

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      • thelbert

        we have to grow our own rewards. a war crimes tribunal is in order. wrist slaps just don’t seem to make an impression on the authoritarian mind. confiscation of ill gotten drug war gains and cancellation of pensions for narks wouldn’t be too harsh. they can get honest work just like the rest of us.

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  • Dante

    This is also common in America.

    Politicians choose their speaking venues based upon the availability of a friendly audience. When such an audience is lacking, or worse, the speech is cancelled.

    They are gutless vampires, one and all.

    Can’t wait until the rest of America realizes, as all here do, who the real threat to our children is (are?).

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    • Maria

      Age old tradition. Whenever a person of power, or their handlers, know they are towing an unpopular/wrong line, gather and most often feed/bribe/get drunk a mass of pawns who will cheer them on.

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  • Cold Blooded

    It’s simple-minded and that’s why it’s hard to beat. People think “Drugs are bad therefore they must be illegal.” Well it’s actually drug abuse that is bad and making them illegal has terrible consequences. That’s harder to articulate, no matter how true it is.

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  • thelbert

    here’s a little chestnut out of the memory hole:http://www.truth-out.org/what-i-know/1328142871

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    • Nice

      “The fight is worth waging because these things matter, and I intend to give the years I have left to that fight, no matter the outcome. Sooner or later, we will prevail.”

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  • Chris

    http://www.newser.com/article/d9sl4fu00/pot-smoker-wins-case-when-ore-ag-says-marijuana-drying-on-clothes-hangers-wasnt-yet-usable.html

    So they won a case arguing that drying branches were not yet usable, and won. The Michigan law has nearly the same wording. Can you imagine if dispensaries started stocking branches instead of buds? That would be a good sign.

    “It’s turned into a Cheech and Chong movie. `Up In Smoke,’ man,” said Medford police Chief Tim George, whose officers arrested Brewer in 2009. “We are swimming in weed.”

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  • Scott

    A very religious friend of mine, whose son seriously abused heroin, gave me the most serious look and said, “Heroin is the devil’s drug and we must do whatever we can to get rid of it.”

    Even though we were debating the issue in private, I can mentally hear the standing ovation such a statement would receive.

    While I did counter that statement with something similar to what I’m writing below (the war on drugs is unconstitutional, ineffective, destructive, expensive, etc.), after thinking about it, I wish I countered with the following response tactic.

    Does “whatever we can” include making a deal with the devil? Would you make a deal with the devil to get rid of the devil’s drug?

    “We the people” have sold our national soul to legalize the war on drugs. We allow our public servants to irrationally apply the Commerce Clause to ban the mere possession of heroin. To abandon rationality is to abandon law.

    What we did is amazingly worse than making a deal with the devil. Had we made such a deal, at least the devil would have gotten rid of heroin.

    We just gave the devil our national soul, so a bunch of people with a serious financial interest in demonizing certain drugs could profit.

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    • ConnieCornflake

      When dealing with this specific subject I normally use all or part of the following ‘Boiler Plate’:

      Transform’s outstanding book titled, After the War on Drugs: Blueprints for Regulation, provides specific proposals for how drugs could be regulated in the real world. The book is available for free online. If you would like to read it then here it is: http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm

      And here’s some info on Swiss Heroin-assisted treatment (HAT)

      http://www.bag.admin.ch/themen/drogen/00042/00629/00798/01191/index.html?lang=en

      At the end of 2009, 1356 patients were undergoing HAT at 21 outpatient centers and in 2 prisons.

      HAT is now being carried out at centres in Basle, Bern, Biel, Brugg, Burgdorf, Chur, Geneva, Horgen, Lucerne, Olten, Reinach, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thun, Winterthur, Wetzikon, Zug, Zürich and in two prisons Oberschöngrün (canton Solthurn) and Realtà (canton Graubünden).

      Results

      In many cases, patients’ physical and mental health has improved, their housing situation has become considerably more stable, and they have gradually managed to find employment. Numerous participants have managed to reduce their debts. In most cases, contacts with addicts and the drug scene have decreased. Consumption of non-prescribed substances declined significantly in the course of treatment.

      Dramatic changes have been seen in the situation regarding crime. While the proportion of patients who obtained their income from illegal or borderline activities at the time of enrollment was 70%, the figure after 18 months of HAT was only 10%.

      Each year, between 180 and 200 patients discontinue HAT. Of these patients, 35-45% are transferred to methadone maintenance, and 23-27% to abstinence-based treatment.

      The average costs per patient-day at outpatient treatment centers in 1998 came to CHF 51. The overall economic benefit – based on savings in criminal investigations and prison terms and on improvements in health – was calculated to be CHF 96. After deduction of costs, the net benefit is CHF 45 per patient-day.

      .

      And/Or, I suggest they Google ‘European Heroin Maintenance’

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    • kaptinemo

      If you want to have some fun, I am currently engaged in debating a Know-Nothing. Seriously, a KNOW. NOTHING. The degree of ignorance is almost painful, but it’s being blathered with such a shameless lack of self-awareness, it’s worthy of ridicule.

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      • Jose

        Kap’n, I have read an re-read that thread. Not sure how to take on a Know Nothing of that nature. A sado-moralist might be swayed but an individual that perceives the drug war as a success in social engineering is a tough nut to crack. However, thank you for keeping these cretins on the defensive.

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        • SorryI'mLate

          Although (as a side-effect) it does occasionally happen, the objective is not to convince your opponent, but to convince the audience as to who is in possession of the facts.

          I’m on my way!

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      • Dante

        Kap’n said:
        “If you want to have some fun, I am currently engaged in debating a Know-Nothing. Seriously, a KNOW. NOTHING. The degree of ignorance is almost painful, but it’s being blathered with such a shameless lack of self-awareness, it’s worthy of ridicule.”

        Good luck, but remember the old saying: Never get in a fight with a pig and roll around in the mud. You will get filthy, the pig won’t learn anything and pigs happen to like rolling in the mud.

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        • kaptinemo

          Dante, I’m not concerned with getting dirty, as I’ve been in the trenches for maybe 20 years now. The trick is to keep in mind that you can always wash up later, but the prohib ‘pigs’ will never be able to wash the stains of their perfidy from their hides…ever. They have too much to atone for.

          (Wolf’s grin) And I really do like the taste of freshly slaughtered and properly cooked bacon. Yummm! (Burp! Oh! Excuse me! Uh, could you pass the toothpicks, please? Got a piece of prohib stuck in my teeth…)

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  • Big M

    This is completely beside the point, but lemmings do not commit mass suicide. That myth was started by the 1958 Disney documentary White Wilderness, and the whole thing was deliberately staged.

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    • thelbert

      thanks for the heads-up. looks like walt killed bambi’s mom just to make us cry. no wonder employees of walt disney co. call it mauschwitz

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  • Servetus

    Calderon is probably getting political pressure from the U.S. to put on a happy face regarding the Mexico Drug War. It isn’t working. The answer he gave would satisfy no one other than some lobotomized prohib.

    The pressures the DEA applies can be more direct. In Montana, the DEA investigated a state legislator for her medical marijuana views:

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/dea-investigates-montana-state-legislator-medical-marijuana-views-222007610.html

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    • StopRightThereBuddy!!!

      A Lobotomized citizen would be justified in taking offense at being associated with a low-life scummy prohibitionist.

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      • Duncan20903

        Dammit. The reason I’ve been pricing a lobotomy is because I thought shit would stop bothering me. I just can’t win for losing.

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  • Servetus

    Here’s another example of political force being used against Florida State Senator Mike Fasano (R) for his strong opposition to privatizing the state’s prison system, a plan favored by Florida Governor Rick Scott (R).

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2012/02/03/417189/florida-republican-stripped-of-senate-chairmanship-for-opposing-prison-privatization-scheme/

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  • Duncan20903

    Medical marijuana a first step toward legalization
    Sheesh, Alabama, who’da thunk it?

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    • Gondid

      .

      I posted the following, but it hasn’t passed the moderator yet:

      I most firmly disagree!

      “We need to throw a few more trillion dollars at this. Give the police total power and proper weapons – like Death-Rays that work on large crowds. Take away forever what’s left of everybody’s stupid rights and liberties. Indulge ourselves in even more wishful thinking or bizarre pseudo-science, then, before more hippies or the pathetically ill & dying get a chance to corrupt and endanger our truly pure and caring society with their evil plants, send all our children to Newt’s Moon Colony of re-education.

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  • Sorry for being so off-topic, but this just popped up in my news reader.

    Teen Marijuana Use Up, Drinking Down

    Normally I really like Professor Hanson’s writing, research, and collection of information; he specializes in alcohol. But he has begun writing about “drugged driving” and I wish someone who knows more than I do would write him and get him links to studies to read, so he could correct — what I believe to be — his stilted and incorrect analysis and conclusions.

    Please, this is very important.

    Thanks in advance, Drew.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      There’s not much hope if he really believes “Drugged Drivers Outnumber Drunk Drivers 7.4 to One on Weekend Nights.” I’m too strung out from dealing with these people. I’m sure I’ll be back to work as soon as the swelling subsides. If you like, here’s SAMHSA “drugged” driving 2002-2009

      Significant because the Alaska Court of Appeals in 2002 struck down the law implemented by the prohibitionists’ favorite ballot initiative when Alaska re-criminalized cannabis in 1990. So pot in Alaska went from legal to illegal from 1991 to 2002. It went back to legal in 2002, the very same 2002 in which SAMHSA started their study. Alaska joined California and Hawaii in posting statistically significant reductions in the incidence of drugged driving between 2002 and 2009. Alaska also happens to be the #1 State for the rate of people who choose to enjoy cannabis.

      Hawaii passed medical in 2000. Not a big contributer but the Know Nothings swore that “drugged” driving would skyrocket. Those guys never are deterred for even a heartbeat for being wrong, wrong, wrong.

      California passed the Medical Marijuana Program Act (AKA SB-420) in 2003 legalizing dispensaries, offering patients actual protection from arrest, and a subsequent increase in the number of residents claiming the protection of the law skyrocketing from ~50,000 to somewhere between 750,000 and 1.125 million in 2011 according to numbers compiled by California NORML.

      The States that claim the lion’s share of this Country’s patients all passed their laws between 1998 and 2004. There was not a single State that suffered a statistically significant increase in the incidence of “drugged” driving in the SAMHSA study linked above.

      Francis’ Law is a bitch.

      If you want to copy and paste the above, paraphrase it in your own words, pick and choose parts please feel free. I like the SAMHSA study better than the recent statistics on fatal accidents because we really have enjoyed an incredible increase in car safety. Reality is that today’s drunken buffoon is much more likely to survive his impairment. I know the people who did the study accounted for that but go ahead and try to explain that nuance to a Know Nothing prohibitionist. I’d rather bang my head on this granite counter.

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    • CloggingInHuddersfield

      I just tried to post most of everything I had but it didn’t get past the Spam-Filter – too many links.

      I’ve now mailed it all to him directly. It may not help though as he’s probably already made up his mind on this.

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      • Thank you Duncan20903 and CloggingInHuddersfield!

        I must say, however, that the professor is hardly a prohibitionist. As a matter of fact he wrote http://AlcoholFacts.org which is an amazing exposé on some VERY high profile neo-prohibitionists and the insanity they are up to. He takes them to task over their blatant lies, and points out that even after being confronted with their lies, they don’t stop but keep on repeating them. He points out the insane amount of money, in particular the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, pours into prohibitionist ads. and forming prohibitionist groups. They “spent over a quarter of a billion (that’s billion, not million) dollars ($265,000,000.00) in just four years alone further developing and funding a nation-wide network of anti-alcohol organizations, centers, activist leaders, and opinion writers…”

        This is why I wanted him to get some good facts and research, because I have a feeling he would respect them vs. a single person’s anecdote of how she, as a teen, drove badly due to trying to smoke at the same time.

        ALthough anecdotal evidence is not always wrong, maybe someone can get him together with Dr. Grinspoon for some hands-on empirical studies. :-)

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  • darkcycle

    The granite feels nice and cool on your forehead…

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  • Francis

    California Regulate Marijuana Like Wine ballot initiative polling at 62%-35%?!

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  • ezrydn

    Any bets as to how long out of office it’ll be before we hear Calderon call for legalization? I give him 6 months.

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    • Duncan20903

      .
      .

      11 months not a second sooner. Or later.

      You of all people should know his term ends in December. There’s heavy betting on which country he’s going to settle in after leaving office. Not many people are betting on “Mexico” for some reason. Gosh, so convenient and he already has “citizenship” too. I guess after killing all those people he’s worried about “ghosts” and being “haunted”…or is it “hunted”? I always get those two things confused.

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      • ezrydn

        And, 6 mos after December is June. Fox should have had time to get to him by then. Plus, remember, HE didn’t kill all “those” people. The cartels did most of the splitting and boiling.

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        • Duncan20903

          Quite right. We must diligently apply ourselves to using the correct words to express ourselves accurately. My bad, I’ll amend.

          ——>”I guess after getting all of those people killed, he’s worried about “ghosts” and being “haunted”…or is it “hunted”? I always get those two things confused.”

          Toodles!

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