The War on Drugs

We’ve long claimed the death and destruction caused by the war on drugs could be pared down to a bare minimum by 1.) legalizing drugs, and 2.) the government stepping in to manage the drug marketplace. That, of course, is not something our thoroughly corrupt political class wants to hear; they’re all pretty much making a financial killing the way things stand, and all that bribe/hush money would disappear were we to come to our senses.

Though it doesn’t get much play by the MSM, others tend to agree…

In an interview with The Independent, Rolles, who has previously served as an adviser to the Global Commission on Drugs, argues that the “most striking thing about the war on drugs is its spectacular failings on its own terms”.

He says the idea behind the policy was to eradicate drugs from the globe in order to create a drug-free world by 2008, with the official slogan of the 1998 UN conference on the world drug problem being: “A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It.”

“Not only did that not happen but actually things continued to get worse so drug markets were founded, prevalence increased and all the problems related to drug use and illegal drug markets increased as well,” Rolles says. “For a policy that is specifically trying to eradicate drugs from the world, it has overseen the most rapid expansion of drug use in human history.”

The policy has instead backfired, he points out, leading to the creation of an “enormous illegal market where hundreds of billions every year are controlled by violent gangsters. So we have all of this crime and violence, both on UK city streets and around the world, which is fuelled by the illegal drug trade. We don’t have those issues with legal drugs. We don’t have tobacconists gunning each other down in the streets. All the problems associated with the vast illegal drug trade are essentially a result of prohibition.”

Instead of protecting the health of the public, the war on drugs has made drugs more dangerous, Rolles maintains. “It’s not deterring youth. It’s not preventing availability of access to drugs. It’s actually making drugs more dangerous.

“All drugs are fundamentally risky but when they’re produced and supplied through an illegal market they become more risky. People don’t know how strong they are, people don’t know what’s in them, their potency can vary wildly. All of the things that that the war on drugs is supposedly achieving in terms of protecting our health or protecting us from crime, it’s actually doing the opposite.” 1

Samatha Bee’s take on the subject…

The War on Drugs

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  1. One of the very few unqualified “good” bits Comey revealed yesterday may put paid to Sessions as AG. Though, if true, there’s nothing to stop OMP from naming someone far worse in his stead, as seems to be his pattern.

Lees and Orts

And so the blood-letting begins:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to offer some employees a buyout program to reduce staff, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters, as President Donald Trump proposes slashing the agency’s budget and workforce to reduce regulation.

The memo sent by acting Deputy Administrator Mike Flynn on Thursday said the agency wants to complete the buyout program by September. It did not give a dollar figure for the buyouts or say how many employees it hoped would take the offer.

The memo was sent to all employees at the same time EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt joined Trump at the White House to announce that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

“Early outs and buy outs … can help us realign our workforce to meet changing mission requirements and move toward new models of work,” the memo said. “The authority encourages voluntary separations and helps the Agency complete workforce restructuring with minimal disruption to the workforce.”

The EPA would see the biggest cuts of any federal agency in Trump’s 2018 budget proposal, with a 31 percent reduction in budget and the elimination of over 3,200 employees. The EPA employs about 15,000 people.

Lees and Orts

It took them fucking long enough!

Kansas Gov. Brownback’s tax experiment comes to end, as legislature overturns veto.

When Kansas Governor Sam Brownback launched his experiment, he told Kansans that it would be an injection of adrenaline and that the economy would come roaring back to life. But after 5 years, the economy struggles and the state budget is a disaster. Speaking from the Senate floor tonight, Sen. Dennings (R-Overland Park) spoke out in favor of overturning the Governor’s veto and ending the tax experiment. ‘This was a mistake,’ and noted that it was his mistake, and he was prepared to break out the mop and start cleaning it up. For Governor Brownback, the overturn of his tax plan represents the ultimate rebuke of a governor. Unlike Democratic governors in states with Supermajority Republicans who have faced veto override, Governor Brownback would assume immunity – the State House & Senate are both super majority Republican. But the Republicans have seen enough. Sen. Hardy (R-Salina) made the case: ‘The people in this state have had it. Either we pay the bill now or we pay a bigger bill later.’ ”

Lees and Orts

Lees and Orts

In prepared testimony released on the eve of his appearance Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI director James B. Comey placed President Trump in the gunsights of a federal criminal investigation, laying out evidence sufficient for a case of obstruction of justice.

Comey proved what Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers carefully avoided admitting in their testimony 1on Wednesday — that the president had specifically attempted to shut off at least a major piece of what Trump calls the “Russia thing,” the investigation into the misleading statements by fired national security adviser Michael Flynn concerning his role in dealings with the Russians. This kind of presidential intervention in a pending criminal investigation has not been seen, to my knowledge, since the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate.

Well…duh!

Lees and Orts

Everyone who joins the FBI takes their Oath of Office. They have a web page dedicated to presenting and explaining that oath; the following bit of that is both instructive and timely:

It is significant that we take an oath to support and defend the Constitution and not an individual leader, ruler, office, or entity. This is true for the simple reason that the Constitution is based on lasting principles of sound government that provide balance, stability, and consistency through time. A government based on individuals—who are inconsistent, fallible, and often prone to error—too easily leads to tyranny on the one extreme or anarchy on the other. The founding fathers sought to avoid these extremes and create a balanced government based on constitutional principles.

Something to muse over today while Comey testifies.

Lees and Orts

Lees and Orts

A little gem from back in the day – the first American spacewalk, launched June 3rd, 1965.

Lees and Orts

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  1. Think for a moment about the reaction Clinton would have received had she told the Benghazi committee that a question was “too inappropriate” to answer. Coats and Rogers’ testimony is treasonous.

Chris Wray – The Torturer’s Lawyer

By now you’ve heard that Chris Wray has been singled out by OMP to be the next FBI Director, n’est-ce pas?

But do you also know that Wray is all up in the ACLU’s torture database, with scads of completely redacted documents with his name on them?

One assumes if what he was doing was above board, the documents wouldn’t need to be cleansed.

He should make a great FBI director.

Or, you know…somthin’.

Chris Wray - The Torturer's Lawyer

Poverty Causes Addiction

One of the ways this theory was first established is through rat experiments – ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advert by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The advert explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.”

…a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently? So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did…

…Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for fifty-seven days — if anything can hook you, it’s that. Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is — again — striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them. (The full references to all the studies I am discussing are in the book.)

We’d note two things:

First, it’s been obvious for decades the addiction crisis is driven by poverty and its attendant misery in the lives of ordinary Americans. And that poverty has always been an official government policy.

Second, you don’t have to be Carnac the Magnificent to see the parallels between the current US opioid epidemic and the explosion in drug and alcohol abuse in the Soviet Union. 1

Poverty Causes Addiction

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  1. For those with poor/no memory, this happened just prior to the USSR’s collapse. We’re jes’ sayin’…

Au Courant

This week’s au courant links:

And finally, have some Baddabing Baddaboom:

Au Courant

Not Practical

George A. Sorial
Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Counsel
The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue New York, NY  10022

Dear Mr. Sorial:

Thank you for your letter on May 11, 2017, responding to the Committee’s bipartisan request on April 21, 2017, for documents about steps the Trump Organization is taking relating to the President’s promise to donate to the Treasury all profits that his hotel makes from foreign governments.

Unfortunately, your meager response does not include the vast majority of documents we requested in our letter.  Instead, you provided only a single document—a glossy, eight-page pamphlet that contains a total of 40 sentences—and an email forwarding this pamphlet to various Trump Organization entities.  This pamphlet raises grave concerns about the President’s refusal to comply with the Constitution merely because he believes it is “impractical” and could “diminish the guest experience of our brand.”

Complying with the United States Constitution is not an optional exercise, but a requirement for serving as our nation’s President.  If President Trump believes that identifying all of the prohibited foreign emoluments he is currently receiving would be too challenging or would harm his business ventures, his options are to divest his ownership or submit a proposal to Congress to ask for our consent. 1

If it was not crystal clear before this point, it should now be beyond obvious that OMP, as well as his campaign staff, were compromised by and/or are still colluding with Russia.

It is also manifestly evident the ReThugs in Congress, the majority party, have not done a single thing about said calamity. As to why, but really? We all know “why”: the ReThugs, already among America’s richest citizens, are counting on OMP to assist them in a money grab worthy of the Borgias – a tax cut aimed at the wealthy. Put another way, the wealthy ReThugs could care less that Russia is pulling OMP‘s strings if that results in lower taxes for their masters and more bribes for them. it’s that simple.

When I was a lad, hell, even a decade ago, this would be considered treason.

Wake up, people.

Not Practical

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  1. The full document can be read here.

Ketamine Pigeon

Customs officials in Kuwait have apprehended a pigeon carrying drugs in a miniature backpack, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai reports. A total of 178 pills were found in the fabric pocket attached to its back.

The bird was caught near the customs building in Abdali, close to the border with Iraq.

An al-Rai journalist said the drugs were a form of ketamine, an anaesthetic (sic) also used as an illegal party drug. 1

Abdullah Fahmi told the BBC that customs officials already knew pigeons were being used to smuggle drugs, but this was the first time they had caught a bird in the act.

Filing this one under felony stupid; homing pigeons usually know only a couple of places to go, and then where to return.

It’s that return part that’s problematic…

Ketamine Pigeon

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  1. Mater recently took a spill that caused her to reach out with right arm to break her fall. Instead she broke both her radius and ulna at the wrist, with the radius nearly bulging nearly through her skin. At the ER they offered her the choice of a local or ketamine while they reset the bones; she chose the trip and had no memory when she “came to” of how we came to be in the ER, much less why she had a splint on her left arm.