The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'war on drugs'
America's progressives are celebrating, and the rest of the world breathing a collective sigh of relief, as Barack Obama retains the presidency. Obama beat off a challenge from a radicalised Republican Party, so drunk on rage, xenophobia and the heady vapours of Fox News' propaganda that at one point they made whether one is for or against rape into a political litmus test issue. The Republicans, taken over largely by angry old white men fearful of their country being taken over by people unlike them, fielded an entire circus of freakishly hardline candidates (whom they referred to, in what could only be euphemism, as “conservatives”) before settling on Mitt Romney, a billionaire corporate raider of exceptional moral flexibility, whose talents enabled him to repudiate his formerly moderate views and set his guns on Obama's health care law, despite having created the state law which inspired it. In the end, Romney failed to inspire, and so the lesser evil won. To be fair, Obama the lesser evil by a sizeable margin, though in a two-party state as big as the US, there is no way he could be anything but the lesser evil by definition.
And a few more interesting odds and ends about the election and its aftermath:
- Time Magazine has a piece on the Obama campaign's impressive data-mining operation; it seems that everything, from fundraising to campaign advertising, was instrumented, measured and tested and had the hell analysed out of it, almost as if it were a Google product.
- How the Republicans blinded themselves to what was actually happening by virtue of smoking the heady opiates of conspiracy theory and self-delusion:
Before rank-and-file conservatives ask, "What went wrong?", they should ask themselves a question every bit as important: "Why were we the last to realize that things were going wrong for us?"
In conservative fantasy-land, Richard Nixon was a champion of ideological conservatism, tax cuts are the only way to raise revenue, adding neoconservatives to a foreign-policy team reassures American voters, Benghazi was a winning campaign issue, Clint Eastwood's convention speech was a brilliant triumph, and Obama's America is a place where black kids can beat up white kids with impunity. Most conservative pundits know better than this nonsense -- not that they speak up against it. They see criticizing their own side as a sign of disloyalty. I see a coalition that has lost all perspective, partly because there's no cost to broadcasting or publishing inane bullshit. In fact, it's often very profitable. A lot of cynical people have gotten rich broadcasting and publishing red meat for movement conservative consumption.I wonder whether the Republicans will engage with mainstream reality more, or whether they'll reach for the comforting crystal meth of Fox News to help pick themselves up.
- And the fallout from the US Right continues: Donald Trump calls for a revolution and others call for a third party to arise, obviously not having thought that hard about the brutally unforgiving mathematics of a first-past-the-post electoral system.
- Obama's victory has also been a victory for progressive politics in the US: Four states voted to legalise gay marriage, and Wisconsin elected the US's first openly lesbian senator. Meanwhile, Colorado voted to legalise recreational marijuana consumption. Not medical marijuana with its inherent rationalisations, but smoking pot to get high. Of course, the federal government is likely to smack this down, and it'll probably go through the courts for some time, but it could be a big crack in the War On Drugs. On the flipside, the two Republican senatorial candidates who spoke out in favour of rape were soundly defeated, hopefully burying that particular unpleasant lunacy once and for all.
- Speaking of the courts, one of the side-effects of Obama's win is that the task of appointing at least one Supreme Court justice, and possibly as many as three, is likely to fall to him, meaning that the Supreme Court may well shift in a more progressive direction.
- Had America's Muslims voted as they did in 2000, Romney would have won; I wonder what happened...
- And then there's that teenage girl in Georgia who, if Obama won, threatened to move to Australia, which has a Christian president (sort of like the Mormon Mitt Romney and unlike the Christian Barack Obama then?). To be fair, one can forgive a teenager in Georgia for not knowing that Tony Abbott's title is “PM-in-waiting”.
High demand for cocaine in Europe + high prices due to drug prohibition + global trade downturn resulting in glut of cheap cargo jets + Venezuela not cooperating with the War On Drugs = drug cartels buying jumbo jets, packing them with cocaine, flying them to Europe and then torching them, because it makes economic sense:
Fuel and pilots were paid for through wire transfers, suitcases filled with cash and, in one case, a bag containing €260,000 (£220,000) left at a hotel bar. The gang hired a Russian crew to move a newly acquired plane from Moldova to Romania, and then to Guinea.
The gang had access to a private airfield in Guinea, was considering buying its own airport and had sent a team to explore whether it could send direct flights from Bolivia to West Africa, Valencia Arbelaez said in recorded conversations.
The latest threat to America's children is digital drugs, or MP3 files which affect the listener's brain to induce illegal and dangerous states of consciousness. Called "idozers", they're sold from web sites by evil drug dealers:
Some sites provide binaural beats that have innocuous effects. For example, some claim to help you develop extrasensory powers like telepathy and psychokinesis.
Other sites offer therapeutic binaural beats. They help you relax or meditate. Some allegedly help you overcome addiction or anxiety. Others purport to help you lose weight or eliminate gray hair.
However, most sites are more sinister. They sell audio files ("doses") that supposedly mimic the effects of alcohol and marijuana.
But it doesn't end there. You'll find doses that purportedly mimic the effects of LSD, crack, heroin and other hard drugs. There are also doses of a sexual nature. I even found ones that supposedly simulate heaven and hell.It gets worse than is. I have it on very good authority that paedophiles are using similar technologies to remotely molest children with penis-shaped sound waves. There's no evidence to prove it, but it is a scientific fact.
The fact that the audio files are allegedly being "sold" by evil drug dealers is a dead giveaway. If today's kids are willing and able to download the latest movies and music, would they really pay or MP3s alleged to get them high or simulate heaven or hell?
I wonder what the provenance of this absurdity is. Could it be a particularly desperate RIAA-instigated black-ops campaign to bring the full force of the War On Drugs to bear against uncontrolled file-sharing and/or lock down the internet?
The Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification has banned the postapocalyptic war game Fallout 3 (which is rated M in the US), not because of the realistic gore but because, in allowing the player to use the painkiller morphine, it promotes drug use.
Alternet's top ten drug war stories of 2003, from Our Appointed Sonsofbitches in Afghanistan overseeing bumper opium crops to the human and ecological costs of US-backed illegal biological warfare in Narcolombia, to the usual mistaken-identity police raids and high-level hypocrisy:
The total number of marijuana arrests far exceeded the total number of arrests for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Of those charged with marijuana violations, 88 percent were charged with possession only. The remaining 12 percent were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes cultivation for personal and medical use.
With America incarcerating the highest percentage of its own citizens of any nation in history, Former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese suggests tapping prison labor as a way to slow the exodus of jobs overseas.
Well, at least when the oil runs out in the next decade, they can harness America's booming prison population and replace oil-fired generators with treadmills full of marijuana smokers, MP3 pirates and disenfranchised black voters from Florida. Call it planning ahead.
Last year, scientific journal Science published a study which showed that just one dose of Ecstasy (MDMA) can cause irreversible brain damage and premature Parkinson's disease. The piece was picked up on to give impetus to laws prosecuting dance party organisers for not enforcing a drug-free environment. Now it emerges that the experiment was a sham; the substance injected into the hapless monkeys in the experiment was not MDMA but methamphetamine; the result of mislabelled test tubes. Oops! Though I bet that prohibitionist zealots and prison industry lobbyists will keep trotting this experiment out as "proof" that we need more draconian anti-drug laws, confident that the average voter isn't going to have a foolproof scorecard of just what has been discredited.
Conspiracy theory of the day: is the Bush administration drawing up plans to
put Prozac in the water supply to head off the mass protests that are inevitable when Bush
steals wins his second term and continues screwing things up?
(via New World Disorder)
They noted that since the election of George Bush, the use of Prozac has increased by 30% and it was the opinion of this board of Department of Defense psychologists that if Bush has another term in office, it could lead to mass depression in the United States, wherein suicide and homicide rates could continue to rise.
There is also a memorandum from the FBI, expressing concerns about this -- that if Bush is allowed a second term in office, there could be not only an economic depression but also a mass psychological depression in the United States.
And then there's the connection between financial statistics and violent crime:
There's another reason why the Department of Defense wants to put Prozac in the water supply. The Department of Justice has begun to notice a very disquieting correlation - a rapid and tremendous increase in violent crime over the last six months. These include murders, kidnapping, rapes, and assaults, and this has occurred in correspondence with the time when people get their IRA and 4o1(K) statements.
Of course, they could just legalise marijuana and encourage everybody to toke up. It's remarkably useful for making people passive and docile, increasing snack food consumption (thus patriotically boosting the profits of companies like RJ Reynolds and Mars) -- and it has that countercultural cachet of rebellion and underground culture which will make some of those most prone to oppose The Man self-medicate into compliance. (The Netherlands, where cannabis is all but legal, has had surprisingly nonviolent international football matches, some believe due to the effects of all the hooligans taking advantage of the local ganja bars and getting mellow.)
Though, of course, it won't happen; the War On Drugs fundamentalists in the Republican party (and US government as a whole) are too committed to their ideology. Though it could be achieved surreptitiously; for example preventing the police from arresting cannabis growers, or even having the CIA start funneling high-grade skunk to the suburbs (as they allegedly did with crack cocaine in the inner cities). That would have the advantage of not risking diluting marijuana's underground cachet.
At the same time, synthetic cannabinol-based medications without the fundie-scaring image of Marihuana ("The weed with roots in Hell!"), and a milder buzz, could be developed and put on the market, all profits going to Republican-donating drug/food companies. Perhaps a genetically-engineered THC-bearing tobacco strain could be developed to get around the ban, ending up in "extreme cigz" for pierced, wallet-chained mooks.
The World's Leading Nation: In the US, 3% of the population are in gaol or on probation; most of these are convicted of drug-related crimes. Perhaps in a few years' time, Howard's Australia will end up following this lead, with massive prison cities in the desert housing hundreds of thousands of inmates, mostly those on the wrong side of morality legislation. (via rotten.com)
As the hardline government of the United States redoubles its' crusade against the evil of marijuana, medical marijuana users are seeking asylum in Canada. (While some US states have ruled medical marijuana to be legal, the federal government is zealously prosecuting all involved in its provision. And with all those FBI agents assigned to the War On Drugs and son-of-COINTELPRO, makes you wonder who's actually doing something about boring old-fashioned crimes like murder and robbery.)
You've heard of the research unanimously pointing to ecstasy causing long-term brain damage? Well, apparently much of that is propaganda, with experiments being compromised to give politically useful results, and contradictory research being frozen out of journals.
As the former hippie-trail resort town of Byron Bay bcomes fashionably popular with mainstream people with respectable jobs and kids and such, the police have acted to make it safe for suburban normalcy, and tackling the town's runaway marijuana smoking problem. This they are doing by cracking down on cannabis possession with sniffer dog patrols, searching suspected drug fiends in the streets. Naturally, the dreadlocked and drugfucked hippie types that have frequented the formerly easygoing town for decades aren't pleased, and are planning to protest what they consider an erosion of their civil liberties. (Or perhaps the goal is to get them to move to Nimbin, thus making room for people with more money to spend?)