War on Drugs Farce Continues Unabated

In unsurprising news, the War on Drugs continues to be farcical disgrace. In the most recent example of ineptitude and futility, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has released a report about an unprecedented rise in the development of new psychoactive substances (NPS). They also admit that the new illicit substances can actually be more dangerous than the ones the US has been attempting to eradicate for decades.

The UNODC reports:

 “This is an alarming drug problem – but the drugs are legal. Sold openly, including via the internet, NPS, which have not been tested for safety, can be far more dangerous than traditional drugs. Street names, such as “spice”, “meow-meow” and “bath salts” mislead young people into believing that they are indulging in low-risk fun. Given the almost infinite scope to alter the chemical structure of NPS, new formulations are outpacing efforts to impose international control. While law enforcement lags behind, criminals have been quick to tap into this lucrative market. The adverse effects and addictive potential of most of these uncontrolled substances are at best poorly understood.”

The irony is that if drugs like marijuana, cocaine and opium were legal and regulated, these new designer drugs probably would never have been created. After all, why buy a substance that can imitate a pot high when you can just pick up some pot? Keeping these drugs illegal ensures a market for alternatives, regardless of how much more dangerous they may be.

The UNODC even admits that there is no way to control these new creations because of the sheer complexity of their chemical structures. However, this won’t stop governments from trying to eliminate these new drugs by using force, the only tool they know. Over 40 states have enacted bans on synthetic cannabinoids alone. This futile game of Whack-a-Drug-Mole goes on.

The War on Drugs exacerbates the problems of illicit substances because it artificially lowers the supply, but can do nothing about the demand. Oriana Zill and Lowell Bergman of PBS’ FRONTLINE “War on Drugs” special explain:

“What keeps the drug industry going is its huge profit margins. Producing drugs is a very cheap process. Like any commodities business the closer you are to the source the cheaper the product. Processed cocaine is available in Colombia for $1500 dollars per kilo and sold on the streets of America for as much as $66,000 a kilo (retail).  Heroin costs $2,600/kilo in Pakistan, but can be sold on the streets of America for $130,000/kilo (retail). And synthetics like  methamphetamine  are often even cheaper to manufacture costing approximately $300 to $500 per kilo to produce in clandestine labs in the US and abroad and sold on US streets for up to $60,000/kilo (retail).”

There is intense competition to sell such a profitable product. The real, underlying problem with illegal drugs isn’t that they are dangerous—alcohol and tobacco are plenty dangerous– it’s that disputes are solved with gang violence rather than corporate lawsuits. It’s not as if Gang A can call the police or file a legal complaint when Gang B does something unseemly. A legal judicial framework is necessary to eliminate the violence now associated with the drug trade. After all, the same brutality was seen during America’s failed experiment with Prohibition in the 1920s when rival mob bosses were fighting for control over hooch. Alcohol is once again legal: When was the last time Coors and Anheuser-Busch had a violent turf war?

Like Prohibition in the 20s, the immense profitability of illicit substances has lead to an explosion in crime. In Mexico alone, drug-related violence claimed the lives of an estimated 60,000 people since 2006. Especially hard hit are journalists who try to shed light on the activity of the cartels. Mexico is the fourth most dangerous country for reporters, ranking behind only Syria, Somalia, and Pakistan. Over 50 have died or disappeared in the past seven years. In 2012, the bodies of two mutilated corpses were found tied up and dangling from a pedestrian bridge in Nuevo Laredo. A sign above them threatens:

“This is going to happen to all of those posting funny things on the Internet. You better fucking pay attention. I’m about to get you.”

Whereas Samsung and Apple intimidate each other through legal action, drug cartels rely on more visceral tactics.

For all that drug war proponents get wrong about the evils of illicit substances, they have inadvertently stumbled onto a profound truth: Marijuana is indeed a gateway drug. However, rather than being an inevitable rung on the ladder to harder drugs, pot is instead almost universally a person’s first entryway into the black market. It teaches people how to find drug dealers and how to negotiate with them. It teaches them the rules of underground markets and how to avoid the police. It teaches and constantly reinforces a contempt for authority.

Some do use this information to seek out new highs, but nowhere near the amount that drug warriors would have one fear. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12th-graders overwhelmingly prefer the softer stuff. The highest level of use in 2012 was alcohol, with 41.5% reporting that they had partaken in the past month. The second highest rate was marijuana with 22.9% having toked in the past 30 days. After that the usage rates nosedive: 1.1% for cocaine, .5% for methamphetamine, and .3% for heroin.

Exactly like Prohibition in the 1920s, current drug policy actively makes drug use more dangerous than it would be otherwise. For most high school students, it is dramatically easier to buy pot rather than alcohol for the blindingly simple reason that drug dealers don’t check for IDs. Another sinister aspect of prohibition is the lack of quality control. Pure coke or heroin can be cut with myriad substances in order to stretch the dealer’s supply and increase profits. Often these drugs are mixed with harmless products like baking soda, but not always. Dealers around the country have recently been cutting their heroin with fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller. The combination is extremely potent and often deadly. Since 2006, hundreds of deaths in Chicago alone have been attributed to this potentiality lethal combination.

By keeping business deals securely in the black market, drug prohibition ensures that users are at the whim of their providers. They certainly can’t call the cops if a dealer spikes his supply. Their only real recourse is to either shut their mouths or try to deal out some street justice, which only further exacerbates the problems of prohibition.

It’s time to end the damaging and pointless War on Drugs. While we’re at it, maybe we can end all wars against nouns. The War on Poverty and the War on Terror don’t seem to be terribly successful either, do they?

 

Sources:

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/frontpage/2013/June/2013-world-drug-report-stability-in-use-of-traditional-drugs-alarming-rise-in-new-psychoactive-substances.html

http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/justice/synthetic-drug-threats.aspx

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/special/math.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/mexico-deadly-journalists-targeted-cartels-article-1.1334310

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10681249

http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/monitoring-future/trends-in-prevalence-various-drugs

http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130607/CITYANDREGION/130609332/1002

NOT Another 9-11 Article (rolls eyes*)

 

You know him. Maybe you are him. The casual acquaintance, not quite friend, he saunters forward, dilated pupils scanning over each of his shoulders, iPad casually out and ready, a knowing smile forming a crest of righteously pompous paranoia across his stubbled jaw, beads of youthfully enthusiastic perspiration clinging to his hipster handlebar mustache, and, beaming with false solidarity, he presses play:

 

 

Half-way through the clip, he starts digging through his leather “Tool” wallet and pulls out five pre-creased bills to further baffle you with (below).

Ok, great, I’ve seen this stuff before. So was 9-11 an inside job? Maybe just allowed to happen for private agendas? It’s old played-out news, and, most likely, your mind was made up long ago. The more important question no one seems to be asking is, “why should we give a shit?”

Woah woah woah!! You can’t mean that?

I do. Absolutely. And if I do my job here, hopefully you’ll be shrugging with indifference as well by the end of this article, and the world can be a happier place with just a few more rainbows and baby unicorn farts. Come follow me on this fanciful rollercoaster ride, enjoy all the benefits of “disregarding bad news.”

Where we stand

Today, 36%  of Americans either are certain or pretty sure that 9-11 was an inside job. So, this is not some fringe group of loonies, but a rather hefty chunk of “we the people,” not to mention the masses on the fence open-minded to the idea. The countless YouTube links circulating Facebook are everywhere so the question has been posed to just about everyone by now. If we can all unite for a moment and assume the very worst, “9-11 was our government killing its own people,” that’s exactly why we need to knock this right the hell off. Terrorism is bad, but thinking about terrorism is far worse…

Check it out

We’ve seen the documentaries, and the documentaries refuting the documentaries, and even the refutations of the refutations blah blah blah.

There is a natural rhythm to peering down the rabbit hole. First is the rush of finding something sensational; it triggers this carnal craving to be “in the know”. Then, once the initial high of learning something edgy wears off, the specific details slowly fade away from our memories and we’re left with only a few linchpin ideas. These are the singular points that, at least to us, are utterly irrefutable. The linchpin is a beautiful mental process that allows us to unburden and feel righteous in our opinion, free wonder about other things.

On the official story believer’s side of the case is the old, “how could that many people possibly keep something this big a secret?” Then, to the conspiracy theorists, all they need are 2 words, “building 7,” and the argument is over. In either case, it’s like an atheist preaching to a born-again; it always ends in a, “well I just have faith,” and a perforated stress-ulcer coupled with bloody stool.

I mean something far greater than apathy when I say this: once you quit giving a shit, it’ll all be roses. I promise.

The motives

Whoever the group responsible, there is a wide array of believed motives. Conspirators say Iraq war, oil, create enemy, repeal rights, globalization, fear agenda. Meanwhile, official storyers say… umm… “They hate freedom” or something, U.S.’s Saudi Arabia presence, sanctions on Iraq. Whoever the culprits, whatever the aim, each of these explanations shares a common bond; they all hide under the same umbrella: “propaganda.” There is some message that attack was designed to send. There was a message, and that is part of why we need to stop caring…

See, the mind of the conspiracy theorist is an interesting place. They tend to be the more curious amongst us, believing themselves more open to the truth than others. Whether their world view is ever validated or not, there have always been a segment of the people who don’t buy the “official line.” Be it JFK, the moon landing, Lincoln, freemason founding fathers, or “God” is a mistranslation for “Aliens,” alternative explanations of history abound.

What that means is, if a small powerful group of the world’s elite was responsible for 9-11, they knew full-well that some would shout “bullshit.” It’s a matter of human nature. So don’t you think, just maybe, if they knew how you’d react, that might have been part of the plan?…

I hope you can bear with me here. Remember, we’re still assuming the “truthers” are right.

Since the 60’s, the idea of “the man” has been all but ubiquitous, but in the last decade especially, an overwhelming shift in perspective has occurred to where it’s now just assumed common knowledge that “your government is out to get you,” like some unspoken rule. FEMA camps, chemtrails, illuminati symbols, clips of cops beating rioters all flood through our bandwidth. Ideas that would have gotten one ostracized a decade ago are now commonplace. politicians are corrupt, the news is filled with lies, food is poison and breathing causes cancer, so cynicism seems to be justified, but let me ask you this: How bad was 9-11 really?

Even the “they” out to get you isn’t out to get you.

3000 people died that day. That’s terrible, but not really (how dare you?). Nearly 3000 people have died since you started reading this article.

But those weren’t Americans so it’s not as important? Or, those were largely natural causes (circle of life)?

The callous truth is, in spite of all the hype, the numbers are a speck of rubble amidst the heap of steel and concrete that is human mortality. Being blown up by a terrorist is terrifying (hence the name), but not only are you more likely to die slipping in the shower than you are to die in a terrorist attack, you are 4,167 times more likely (where’s the war on hygiene?).

From this angle, the attack itself was not a big deal. I’m sorry to all the victims and their families, but for God’s sake, I’m just as sorry to the 3000 people who are killed each year by hippos. Perhaps this is too large of heartless a leap to take, but our own cops do more damage than that.

 

It’s no longer just a game!!!

“Mission accomplished”

Here’s what I’m suggesting: the result has been accomplished. Even If our own government were the orchestrators of 9-11 (again, maybe so, maybe not), it absolutely doesn’t matter.

The numbers are so small they are inconsequential. If the government attacks its own people, you should worry about it if you also expect to be struck by lightning while holding a winning lottery ticket; it could happen, but it won’t.

The dwindling baby-boomers who still trust FOX-news may fear terrorist, but the internet doesn’t. The internet, though, is afraid. We are afraid of something far worse…

If these elusive shadow men really run the show, the larger game was not anything tangible, but the propaganda campaign that followed, where we now collectively fear our government. That was the aim. The result has been this massive uneasiness on the collective mind of the people that the one’s they were supposed to rely on were out to get them, and that is far scarier.

Pissed off guys in caves with access to box cutters is not a threat to a heavily armed nation. But a group who controls the riot police, watches all the satellites, monitors your browsing history, and owns the judicial system is trying to kill you… that’s scary.

Guess what, my friends; they aren’t. 3000 people. Whoever it was killed just enough to make it seem plausible that they are killing us. They aren’t. They just aren’t. Do serial killers exist? Of course. Will you be skinned and made into a lampshade at some point this week? Absolutely not!!!

Now I can already hear the backlash. “He must be working for the man. They got to Qwizx, too.” Or, “What about the FEMA camps, flying drones, and U.S. citizens put on no-fly lists or labeled terrorists without trial?”

Yep. Those are things alright. So what? The only thing that’s changed is now we know about it. Far worse things have happened and will continue to, because that is part of the human condition. Say thank you to the internet for being a check on the villains of the world’s nefarious bullshit. You are just as safe you were before you did a Google search for codex alimentarius, but now you are aware.

Wherever you stand, if we could go ahead and give every last benefit of the doubt, and assume the most extreme explanation is the right one: some race of hyper-intelligent aliens is controlling humanity through the media and orchestrated 9-11 as a false flag operation to scare the population into an Orwellian state so they can harvest our soul energy to create a negative-polarity Hell universe (heavy heavy stuff)… still… they killed only 3000.

They want you scared; there’s nothing to be scared of. When you “expose the truth” you’re really the one spreading the fear. The very powers you’re trying to expose, you are doing their job for them.

We have the power to make this world a better place, and it only takes one simple step: Just shut the hell up already, and play some ultimate Frisbee. Things are good.

Sources:

9/11 Predicted in Movies

Coincidence or Conspiracy?

Managing Bad News in Social Media: A Case Study on Domino’s Pizza Crisis

Why the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Won’t Go Away

9/11 Loose Change (Full Length)

Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists

9/11 Truthers: Meet the Scholars for 9/11 Truth

9/11 Free for All– Debunking Popular Mechanics

How Convenient! The Epistemic Rationale of Self-Validating Belief Systems

Why the Human Brain is Designed to Distrust

John Kerry: Building 7 was Deliberately Demolished

Taliban Says 9/11 Attacks Were Excuse for ‘Illegal’ War

On Anniversary, Iran’s Ahmadinejad says U.S. Planned 9/11 Attacks

The Enemy-Industrial Complex

What’s the Takeaway from September 11th?

Globalization, Terrorism, and Democracy: 9/11 and its Aftermath

President Bush Addresses the Nation

Motives for the September 11 Attacks

Understanding the Iraq Sanctions

Why People Believe in Conspiracies

10 Best JFK Assassination Conspiracies

The Moon Landings Were Faked

Lincoln Assassination Theories: A Simple Conspiracy or a Grand Conspiracy?

Famous Freemasons

www.sitchin.com

FEMA Camps and the Threat of Martial Law Didn’t Start with Obama

What Chemtrails Really Are

The Illuminati: Symbols, Signs, Meanings, & History Revealed

Savage Beating of Protestors by Greek Riot Police

Scientists Calculate Odd Ways to Die

10 Incredibly Bizarre Death Statistics

You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer Than a Terrorist

The Culture of Fear

Gun Ownership Statistics and Demographics

The Five Most Terrifying Civilizations in the History of the World

Google

Aliens Blamed for September 11 by Conspiracy Fans

How the Illuminati Exert Control Through the Media

History of American False Flag Operations

Orwellian

Unholy Experiment: Alien Greys and Soul Harvesting

The Illuminati Conspiracy Against God

Good News Beats Bad News on Social Networks

Unsweet Dreams: Nightmares and Health

You’re naked. In front of people you know and respect (and all your archenemies). Everyone is pointing and laughing in that over-the-top, full-body way that you imagine laugh track audiences do. You are humiliated beyond belief and take a step back, wishing the ground would swallow you whole. Oh, and there was a surprise staircase behind you which you didn’t know about earlier. Off you go, tumbling into the vast, unending abyss—WHAM! You’re awake.

How’s your pulse—probably speedwalking, right? A little out of breath? Unnerved? Slightly sweaty? Maybe you gotta pee. You should probably take care of that, first.

According to the Mayo Clinic,

Nightmares are common. They may begin in childhood and tend to decrease after about age 10. However, some people have them as teens or adults, or throughout their lives.

Until age 13, boys and girls have nightmares in equal numbers. At age 13, nightmares become more prevalent in girls than boys.

At 24, I can safely say I look to be one of those people who will have nightmares throughout my life. It’s okay to be jealous. WebMD lists several reasons why adults might experience this free horror show, and some of the reasons might be surprising.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also commonly causes people to experience chronic, recurrent nightmares.

Other causes include stress, anxiety, depression, fevered illness, withdrawal from drugs and medication (whether prescription or recreational) and sleep deprivation. Surprisingly enough, late-night snacking also made the list! According to the Mayo Clinic:

For some, eating right before bed—and the resulting boost in metabolism and brain activity—leads to nightmares.

Although for the most part, having nightmares appears to be one of those relatively harmless quirks of living, chronic nightmares can be problematic for your health. Particularly for those who already suffer from some level of anxiety or depression, nightmares can cause them further distress and psychological ill effects. Also, though there hasn’t been enough research done, nor is the relationship fully understood, there is some correlation between nightmares and suicide. When nightmares lead to sleep deprivation, you’re looking at a host of other issues including heart disease and obesity.

Though it might seem new-age and trendy, deep breathing exercises before bed have been proven to help. This is not to say they eliminate nightmares, but if you’re someone who suffers from the after hours acid trip often, try it and see if it lessens the frequency. If you’re having the same recurring nightmare every time, rehearsing a better ending before bed can actually lead to a different ending in your sleep. Again, I know this can sound kooky, but when you go to sleep and repeatedly see your loved ones slaughtered, suddenly, a few minutes of coaching your mind to understand that “it turns out, we were just playing zombies!” seems totally worth it. Harvard psychologist Deirdre Barrett first described this “image rehearsal” technique in her 1996 book Trauma and Dreams. Research has concluded that this technique is effective in reducing the occurrence of nightmares.

So the next time you find your mental faculties trapped in an abandoned carnival late at night and that giant clown with razor teeth and harpy claws riding a unicycle of death while wielding a bloodied machete advances upon you, just think about a positive outcome instead.
Sources:

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nightmares/DS01010
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/nightmares-in-adults
Trauma and Dreams: http://www.amazon.com/Trauma-Dreams-Deirdre-Barrett/dp/0674006909
Case series utilizing exposure, relaxation, and rescripting therapy: impact on nightmares, sleep quality, and psychological distress: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15984916