We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, March 7. 2014
Can you guess which offense puts the most Americans in federal prison?
Idiot government policy is the real answer.
The Next Ailes: Newsmax's Chris Ruddy Preps TV Rival to Fox News
RadioShack Still Stuck in the '80s
Staples to Close 225 North American Stores – Radio Shack to Close 1100 Stores
Why is American internet so slow? The country that literally invented the internet
ABC, CBS Exclude Scientists Critical of Global Warming for More Than 1,300 Days
No disagreement allowed? So what about this?
Ralph Peters: "Putin Is Not Crazy Or Delusional; Our President And This Administration Are Delusional"
Amusing: A Maddow in MSNBCland
Would be amusing satire except it is too true: How Hard Will We Be on the Post-Obama President?
Almost satire: A Letter From Cass Sunstein
Paul Ryan Should Keep Talking About Poverty, Even If it Annoys the New York Times
Michael Milken: How Housing Policy Hurts the Middle Class - Many buyers decided that the largest-possible house was a better idea than a retirement fund or a child's education.
Free Speech for bigots and obnoxious pranksters?
CBS Exclude Scientists Critical of Global Warming for More Than 1,300
Days - See more at:
Tracked: Mar 09, 09:14
Tracked: Mar 09, 09:44
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Which offense puts most people behind bars? I already knew the answer was drugs; but, that they call it a "victimless" crime is the real idiocy.
It would be victimless, if it were not criminalized. Except for the foolish abuser, of course.
Drug abuse will never go away,
Since they only give a vague overview of the crime being related to 'drugs,' we don't know what the true offenses were. I consider a drug dealer who provides illegal drugs to minors and other vulnerable people to be a criminal, and I would want that person in prison. Also, drug-related crimes are connected to a lot of other crimes, such as murder, prostitution, etc. I do not think those are 'victimless.'
The assumption by the commenter and the original post is that these are ONLY drug possession charges. There is nothing in the graph that shows that to be true.
BTW, there was a news report the other day that mention DUI (pot-related, not alcohol) was up 300% in the last 10 years (I think that was the statistic). That is also not a victimless crime.
Respectfully, it's not just the abuser who suffers - ask the kids who are abandoned and abused by parents who are so focused on their next "fix" that they cannot function ... or the family that goes on state support because the head of the household cannot hold a job due to repeated absence or poor performance (not to speak of safety issues caused by working under the influence).
At the same time I'm sick of the horrific violence integral to the illegal drug trade and the billions we spend fighting it ... maybe the answer is complete legalization but let's not pretend that there are not painful and expensive consequences for everyone connected to the abuser whether the drug use is legal or not, and that we all will pay for it to some degree or another.
Of course, if legalized, the government will want their cut of the revenue, plus regulation out the you-know-what, so we would have a shiny new set of enforcement agencies and bureaucracies sticking their fingers into our lives. Gotta make sure those joints were produced under sanitary conditions!
Guess I'll have to say it again...the primary unstated purpose of drug laws is a means to put antisocial and typically violent black man out of circulation during their prime crime ages.
It is tragic and not a pleasant thing to think about, but it is not that hard to understand.
As others have noted, it is NOT a victimless crime. It is usually young men who want to smoke weed without being harassed by the cops who make the most "fuss" about drug laws. Those lucky enough to have governors for fathers, see the drug laws in their states liberalized after they (the kid) have been repeatedly arrested for drugs and drug related crime.
Pot smokers driving is impaired (in different ways to boozers, but impaired nevertheless) and this makes them a hazard on the roads.
Parents and spouses whose loved one is zoned out may prefer a fully present person in their lives. Of course, if the person is a jerk, they may like them self-medicating. Kids of potsmokers are likelier to smoke and do less well in school. At least in my kids' high schools, the losers smoked and NONE of the Talented and gifted did (except possibly a couple of normal teenaged rebellion experiments to discover they didn't like it).
The smoke in weed has substances in it that are far more damaging to the lungs than nicotine cigarettes (unfiltered too). Its second hand smoke is worse for those around the smoker than that of regular cigarettes.
Studies have looked at the links between regular pot smoking and earlier incidence of first episodes of schizophrenic psychosis and bipolar disorder (tho self medicating to calm oneself, may muddy the stat).
I agree that criminalizing drug use (like Prohibition) had some awful inintended consequences, and my conservative spouse and I have long argued for legalization, but with huge reservations.
It's important to distinguish between drugs, and the ways that different populations using them support their habits. Because those issues won't go away with legalization. A spoiled white kid with lots of money may seem to be using drugs in a victimless way because he doesn't have to mug someone (possibly maim and kill them) to supply their habit. But they can kill people in car accidents, destroy relationships, cost their parents or the state thousands in extra medical care, and diminish themselves spiritually and intellectually. A poor kid would still mug someone to BUY LEGAL stuff, because an addict is an addict, and drugs would never be cheap.
Also, one could argue that heroin would be victimless if legal because it makes people happy vegetables who won't fight for their political or economic interests, and who won't protest injustice (the conspiracy theory argument for drugs being pushed in the 1960s on angry young minority men).
But other drugs like meth make people irritable, angry and often murderous on the drug or off it. Just ask the people around me in NH why they need their guns. It isn't only for hunting, it's to protect themselves and their property from the meth heads (ah, capitalism, the only way rural losers can start a business is cooking up meth).
While some people are able to be moderate in their habits, and they can probably use drugs recreationally and safely, all alcoholics and drug addicts started out as "normal" users. It's a spectrum.
Obviously, my boring opinions are just those of a mom who told her kids she'd kick them out of the house if they ever did drugs or drank underage (they obeyed my rules, as I'm a velociraptor mom). And we can't prevent people (except our kids, sometimes) from doing things that are harmful. I am NOT for a Nanny state. But don't tell me drugs are victimless...that makes me see red. In the name of liberty, we allow horrible vice to survive (think gambling, or arresting prostitutes rather than the immoral johns patronising them for example). That doesn't make me say give up liberty, but don't tell me vice is harmless.
So, tho I think some drug laws should be liberalized, it's for the same reason abortion should be legal. Sometimes an evil, harmful thing that destroys the children of God must be legal to avoid further evils. And because God gave us free will to choose the good over evil. But it doesn't mean we should pretend the things (abortion, drugs) are anything good. Also, I think it is wicked that rich white kids get off the ones we have now (with Daddy's expensive lawyer) while poor minorities get stuck in jail for the same offence. The inequality bothers me, in our system of all the justice that money can buy.
"So how did America fall behind"
It didn't, it isn't, and another alleged "tech" article that shouldn't make it past the average HS English Comp class.
The only real "issue" currently facing more/higher speed internet access in the US is the idiotic "Telecom Act" - which needs to be tossed on the ash heap of history - ASAP.
I don't believe that the housing debacle of the last 30 years was driven by Americans wanting 'bigger' houses. What they wanted was to get away from the crime and corruption of the inner city. What they wanted was good schools outside of the reach of corrupted teacher's unions. What they wanted was yards to use because they no longer felt safe in public parks, because the powers in charge did not think ahead and make space for public parks--like Seattle. What they wanted was an enclosed space that provided for each member of the family to engage in the hobby of their choice so that they were cocooned from the growing threat of violence in their cities.
Most importantly what happened was the building industry's response to those needs--bigger houses in the suburbs. Bigger=more profit.
Land used to be cheap. Prior to maybe the late 60s or early 70s, land was inexpensive. When land prices rose sharply, especially in certain high-growth areas like D.C. or California, people started to turn to building bigger homes on smaller lots. If the land is too pricey, why not put the money into the house?
I lived in both places...and you will see people spending money on a perfectly good older home on a nice-sized lot. They will then tear down the house and build a McMansion as close to the edges of the property as code allows.
If land were cheaper, I am thinking you would not see this growth in home size. Just speculation....
That's got to be a factor, I agree, but I can't doubt that people put too much money into their houses in response to tax incentives and homestead protection. How else to explain the many families with no retirement or other savings to speak of, in homes two or three times as big as the ones they (or their parents) grew up in?
Ralph Peters: Stating the obvious that won't show up in the NYT, WaPo, or on the Alphabets.
Sultan: Leftists do well when they are sneaky and use subterfuge. AhYup; that they do. That's what they're good at.
Paul Ryan Should Keep Talking About Poverty, Even If it Annoys the New York Times: Not "Even", but "Especially".
Hey, we need a new SAT. This is the Centennial of the "test of lower order thinking for the lower orders". Shouldn't a get back to the basics be the least we do to celebrate a 100 years of the promotion of lower order thinking?
And besides, it is great irony, all the prepping and studying for a purported "aptitude" test. Now if you forgive me, I must study for my liver test tomorrow.
As anyone who owns a house knows, it is easier and cheaper to build new than to upgrade the old with new technology. So countries that didn't have good infrastructure for communications are doing better.
No need to wean people off old methods. Egypt and other places in Africa have better cell coverage and networks than the U.S. Simply because there were not entrenched interests to assume to offerings while trying to maintain their cash cow. Nor government phone service taxes that must be preserved by the regulators.
Since you can't tell a cycle from a trend with data short compared to the cycle, you can't tell if it's warming or cooling, or when it will change to the reverse.
That's just a fact about eigenvalues that even climate scientists can't get around. It's purely mathematics.
Scientists don't know what they claim to know, is the strong result.
But hysteria pays, news/grant fact.
Set up the discriminating matrix for a trend and a half dozen really long cycles. The eigenvalues explode. In fact as you're setting it up, you will remark to yourself, "You know, this system is really going to be ill-conditioned." It's obvious even before finding an eigenvalue package.
Sines of long period are very nearly identical, as are cosines. You only see the first term in the taylor series, and the explosion to dig out the second term ruins every attempt.
Google tells me that today is International Women's Day--I thought I might provide MF readers with this insight:
and ask the question: are feminists in the US today capable of murder? According to Aristotle when you destroy a human's ability to work at the thing they love the most, either as employment (best reward) or as hobby--you commit murder. It is my belief that the liberal women of the democratic party are no different than these gals in Germany during those times. Thus the term femnazi has come into our vocabulary, perhaps for good reason.
Interesting to note the current discussion around ADD in boys. It seems that the politically correct teachers who for the past 15/20 years have been demanding that energetic young boys be put on medication may have been force feeding them a female hormone--d'ya think this might have something to do with this: