Having exhausted attempts at further rational debate, we're now down to violin music and appeasement in discussing what to do about drugs.
Because we've tried half-assing it since...ever, which hasn't worked. And getting serious is simply too hard, too awful, and double-plus ungood. So let's just declare the whole idea silly, and surrender society to the much cheaper and better onslaught of doing Nothing.
The most I can hope for is some diversionary programs that keep non-violent drug users out of prisons. And I don't want to do that because I give a rat's ass about the users. I want to do it because it's expensive to house and feed them in prison. This isn't about empathy. It's about economics. The $31 billion we spent on this failed policy this year. The estimated $1 trillion we have spent since Nixon.Dear Borepatch:
1) How much we spend is no measure of anything but how much we spend.
You've perhaps seen Brewster's Millions? That's the government, at every level, every day for the last century.
And what was the punchline in that flick on how to spend $30M in 30 days, and have nothing to show for it?
You're certainly bright enough to know that without me mentioning it, yet here we are.
And Point of Order!
We spent $31B last year. Let's stipulate that. Nixon, counting on my fingers, was president last 44 years ago. So to have spent $1T on the Slap Fight On Drugs, we'd have to have been spending a great deal less in prior years. And BTW, $31B today is $6B in 1974, the last year Nixon was in office.
And the vast bulk of what's been spent was post-1986, with the whole thing barely even registering from 1971-1985 (and that's the numbers on a bleeding heart "The Drug War Is A Failure" site), by which time the crack cocaine wars nationwide were as epic as anything seen during Prohibition, because of total neglect of this so-called war for 15 years, and after the infrastructure was well-established. And most of the "spending" they list is due to incarceration of a generation of former Uzi-toting narco-warriors at the street level, not grannies scoring an extra Vicodin at the corner for a fin.
So if we're going to talk about economics, probably best to use constant dollars, then or now, and not pull recockulous numbers out of our @$$#$, don'cha think?
2) Using the exact same "logic", I can point to all the cars with flat tires and involved in crashes at the side of the road, and say the experiment with automobiles is futile, and should similarly be abandoned.
I'm pretty sure we spent far more than $30B dollars on highways, and what has it gotten us? Travel is worse, drivers are grumpier, traffic is more congested. It couldn't possibly be, e.g. in just my home state, because we haven't spent enough on freeways, as the state has gone from 15M to 40M people, but Moonbeam, in two different 8-year terms, has halted all spending on freeways for his entire tenures, and diverted those literal billions in gas tax and car tax money to welfare for illegal aliens, could it???
Now, see if you can extrapolate how that's worked for drugs, at the federal level. Maybe look at the budgets for the Coast Guard, Customs, Border Patrol, etc. and see if they've seen the five-thousand-fold increase in the last 50 years as drug traffic has, and then let me know why you think we're not solving the problem.
Or just go down to the sea with a child's shovel and pail, and tell me how long before you solve hauling away all that sand.
The problems are identical.
3) I spent ten years watching caravan after caravan of human dope mules toting 80# dope bundles across the border from Mexico, by walking it here on foot carried on their backs. Real high tech stuff there. O, if only there were some way to stop people from walking here!
In person, on trail cams, and finding the piles of discarded burlap packs after we'd missed them, and they'd handed it off to a vehicle, like the March Of The Mexican Dope Penguins.
It went on for decades before I dropped in, and it's going on now.
90-95% of smuggled drugs get here.
(Except where they can't walk it here, because Big Beautiful Wall!)
Is that level of feckless incompetence your idea of a good college try at stopping it?
Or could we, just maybe, do a wee bit better?
(If I'd known then what I know now, I should have just shot the bastards on the spot. It would have had a more positive effect.)
4) I've already pointed out what an actual war looks like.
Feel free to jump in and tell me when we've ever done anything like that. IIRC, it's currently never, in history. But I'm open to honest discussion and facts I may have missed.
5) 99.99999% of those people in prison for non-violent drug offenses are there at all because they pled to lesser charges to get a reduced sentence, rather than cop to the violent felonies most of them committed, 5, 10, or 200 times prior to that conviction, and to save court costs and not clog the courts forever, D.A.s took them up on it.
Zero Fucks Given for jailbirds, or their whiny relatives yawping about how their baby wasn't that bad.
Plus, you know, I know, and Yellow Dog knows that no one, ever got caught and busted for their first puff on their first joint or crack pipe, the first time they tried it, and put in state or federal prison for that. Jean Valjean is a fictional character. So let's stop yapping about "non-violent drug offenders" when all but an infinitesimal fraction of them are far worse than that. I testified once on a guy that pled out to the two counts of auto burglary that I saw him do, and as the detectives explained to me after trial, the D.A. only took the plea after he told about all of the 500 other burglaries he'd admit to having done in just the last two months, on what was already his second strike. (Everyone who believes he started doing them spontaneously 60 days prior, stand on your head.) Oh, and the icing on the cake: he was doing them, per the PD, to get stuff to sell to support his drug habit. Ten burglaries a day or more, when he wasn't too stoned to work. Crimes are like cockroaches: for every one you see, there were ten more you didn't. Or in his case, 500. They don't just appear magically out of thin air either.
And you think if heroin was legally sold, he'd go get a real job to pay for that?
Sh'yeah, when monkeys fly outta my butt.
Which is about the time I'd be willing to pay for giving it away to him for free, too.
And those skyrocketing incarceration rates "just for drugs" also correlate beautiful with the plummeting crime rate over the same period. Consult the relevant statistics.
Three Strikes works. And the death penalty still has a 0% recidivism rate.
Ponying out the three people railroaded for possession of a seed of marijuana (like will be done) and ignoring the literal trainloads of guys in prison for "non-violently" bringing in 80 pounds of dope, gunning down rivals for years, shooting it out with cops, and then pleading to the easy conviction, cuts no ice.
And you and I both know you won't put 24M people in chain gangs. You'll get to a few tens of thousands, which you have for possession anyways in any given month, but you'll actually do something about it besides a citation, and behavior will change. This is why a 40 ft² rudder turns a ship the size of the Empire State Building. You'll see even fewer second offenders, and damned few will need LWOP (which you cleverly glossed over completely in your response) after three times. Those meriting execution will be those who've already harmed people, and by definition, not committed victimless crimes. And you knew all that when you threw up that scarecrow and stuffed the straw in his raggedy clothes.
We've also laid waste to two countries, and toppled regimes in a couple of others, and no one has batted an eye. We've invaded Mexico three times IIRC, and frankly, carpet-bombing the cartels and perpetual kleptocracy there into charcoal would probably get the rest of the country to clamor for annexation and incorporation. At the very least, you'd end drugs coming through by the trainload, and whatever replaced their perpetual socialist nightmare there would be a vast improvement over the last 150 years.
You wouldn't need the draconian police state you decry here, because the cops would have their hands full just dealing with the paddywagon-loads of shitbags they literally trip over 24/7/365 right now. And when you clean up the little dirty corners, the middle of the floor takes care of itself. The same is true for cities. They wouldn't need to be doing all the War On The Constitution things that piss all of us off, because they'd actually be taking the problem children off the street. The crime is that they pass by the obvious causes in order to do no-knock raids on the wrong houses, and you act like doing something means doing more stupid things, rather than doing the obvious.
That's fallacious horseshit of the foulest sort if you want to seriously discuss a topic. So I think you don't.
If you want to abandon rational argument, and cut to sob stories and the typical internet nonsense about this, further debate is clearly a waste of time.
You're tired of seeing us spend $30B/year on what is a pathetically weak and horribly ineffective effort to stop drug use. Because it seems like a lot of money.
(Sorry, but 30B out of 4.3T isn't even three days' expenses. But - what a coincidence! - it's exactly what a Wall would cost. You want to propose shoving all that Drug Slap Fight money into building the entire wall this year, and we can talk about how much we need next year.)
Fair enough. Just say that you want to see that money go to food stamps and more gun laws and $30B worth of other federal horseshit neither you nor I will like instead, like it will, and then own it.
(Quick! Tell me how much your taxes dropped with the "Peace Dividend" of gutting the US military after the Cold War. I'll wait.)
But before we surrender unilaterally in the faux-war on drugs, let us know what that's going to cost us every year, forever. Just so we can measure things on a level balance scale, apples to apples.
And then, when you haven't proven your idea would cost less (because it won't, so you cannot), pull a 180, because you have to, like it or not.
Or else just come out and tell us that economics don't matter, facts don't matter, reality doesn't matter, and you aren't going to change your mind because of such petty things as facts and common sense, because it hurts your feelings. And you didn't really mean it in the first place, because it isn't ever going to happen.
If the latter, was this the five-minute argument, or the full half hour?
Wish in one hand, and crap in the other, and tell me which one fills up first.
Either drug use is bad, or it isn't.
Either government has the right to order society such that plagues like that are stopped rather than spread, or it doesn't.
There is a moral component to government, and you can't make everyone happy all the time. Everyone wants to pretend they're good, until it's time to act that way.
You can't look at the evidence, and then claim drug use even now is tolerable, let alone at what it will be when you quit that fight.
Given that conundrum, if I'm going to have to piss on someone's heads, I choose to do that to drug users and drug dealers. I didn't make their choices, they did. Drug use is a choice, not a disease, and fatness isn't caused by forks any more than mass murders are caused by guns. Banning some drugs is no different than confiscating murderers' guns, rather than the Evil Party's crusade to ban all of them.
There are medicinal uses even now for cocaine and opiates, but not for putting them on the snack shelf next to Twinkies. The same caveat applies to marijuana.
And unless you think there's room to add crack, meth, LSD, and everything else to that list, you have to continue the very drug restrictions and faux-war you say are the problem, and the quandary has you baffled, because reality is in conflict with your dogma.
So what it comes down to is whether you have the stomach for the fight, and the courage of convictions when faced with reality, or whether "Too Hard" is a good enough cop out on watching it all slide down the sewer. Like it has been. Like it is. Like it will.
I already pointed out that with most drugs of abuse but alcohol illegal, I've spent 1/3 to 1/2 of my career dealing with drug abusers. Now pot is legal here. In the first fifteen years I worked the ER, I probably never saw two people in the ER for marijuana use problems.
Now that it's not just medicinal, but recreational use that's totally legal here in Califrutopia, it's one patient/night for that, minimum.
Big ERs, small ones, all over the county, in one of the (until this last election) reddest counties in the state.
So I should feel bad for convicts, and make that share of my time wasted on life's fuck-ups doing what they do....what?
And that's if abuse after full decriminalization only doubles or triples the phenomenon. If instead it goes up five- or ten-fold, you're totally f**ked.
And you want to do that because the ER isn't that busy, the wait to be seen is always so short, and we have so much free time there, and national medical costs (borne by you and me, and other people with jobs paying taxes, not by the dope users, ever) are so small, and shrinking every year?
As you responded: "Syrsly?"
"Hey, shame about your stroke, Mrs. Abernathy, all our beds are full of dope addicts, because legalization is saving the feds $30B this year. They must have forgotten to refund you your share. Bummer. Home you can learn to walk on one leg, and get used to tube feedings."
"Mrs. Vega, Timoteo's asthma attack will have to wait, I've got three meth heads tweaking and bugging out, and you'll just have to try sucking air in the lobby a bit longer."
THAT's the solution???
The last guys this bright told us that by putting crazy people on the streets, their costs would go down, and things would be better, and we'd stop incarcerating them unfairly too.
How's that working out for ya?
|If you think incarceration and institutionalization is expensive, |
wait until you see what turning people loose on the streets costs you.
So you'll, of course, pardon me all to hell for noticing the insanity of trying that exact jackassery again now, with drug users, who are so much easier to deal with in the ER than just crazy people.
Like the 90# guy so whacked out on PCP, he pulled the handle out of a refrigerator, and was swinging five pounds of steel with screws sticking out, and standing on his good leg, and swinging his open-fractured bad leg, bending in two places with bone ends sticking out, at me and the county cop, flinging blood everywhere, and tossing my fat ass and that of a 250 cop around like we were toddlers riding on grandpa's back. And not feeling any of it.
O, yes, more of that, every day until I retire, please, sir.
This is why discussions of the problem always derail, and it's been two years since I've last bothered.
People who favor appeasement will never admit that their way is inevitably going to be a monstrously bigger fail, More! Harder! Faster! than the worst excess of the government's Slap Fight On Drugs, because they're just sure that doing nothing has got to be better than doing something, because Ayn Rand said it was so, or some other imaginary reasons.
And all those collateral damage casualties when the war on drugs becomes appeasement on drugs are to them, exactly as to Stalin, "just a statistic".
You want to claim the moral high ground because less government is better, always.
I notice virtually No One (with the caveat "sane" helpfully added) tries to make the argument for less government at Omaha Beach.
Or Belleau Wood. Or the Battle of Britain. Or at the Angle at Gettysburg in the face of Pickett's Charge. Or on Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal. Or at the Dong Ha Bridge in Easter of '72. Or along the Korean DMZ. Or at Yorktown.
It perhaps slipped notice, but those were all government employees there. Don't you wish there had been less of them?
WTF, Libertardians of Internetland, cat got your tongue?
Where's your Small/No Government god now??
Yell louder; maybe he can't hear you.
Or he's busy on the toilet.
Those were actual wars. Tell the class, and show your work, how less government would have been better there. As opposed to faux wars on poverty, inflation, or drugs.
And if less government wasn't the answer then, and actually fighting a war against those who'd happily destroy your society was justified, explain why that level of engagement isn't justified now?
And why is it that the vast majority of people who think like that just want their pot legalized?
(Sorry that's not you, and about that 98% correlation, but your allies are your allies. Your circus, your monkeys.)
You don't want to be Singapore or Saudi Arabia on drugs?
Advocate for being Amsterdam.
Just don't BMW when you get what you're asking for, good and hard.
And own every casualty and caustic attack on civilization from the plague of drug use, because you'd rather look the other way than stomp on it. Open the gates of Troy, and bring in that shiny Trojan horse, then go and have a celebratory party. The war's over.
Kitty Genovese gets killed every day, I guess. Quite a brave, new world.
At least the Killing Fields and hordes of boat people finally got Jane Fonda to STFU about communism after she was so epically wrong.
So, how many skulls before that happens for the drug legalization crowd, and will there be anyone still around to notice afterwards?
And let's all recall that history doesn't repeat, but it rhymes. Historically, the next stop after appeasement is Dunkirk.
So, where were you planning to go when you lose your continent this time around?
Just out to sea?
Asking for a friend.
Because that's the point where your philosophical desire for small government no matter what becomes a suicide pact.
You want to do fewer cavity searches on innocent men? Fewer no-knock warrants on the wrong house, or shooting dogs, or whacking decent people trying to get a good night's sleep when the SWAT team kicks the door in? I'm fine with that. My goal with "fewer" would be "none". I'm pretty damned certain we could ratchet up law enforcement's collective IQ, from beat cop to chiefs and national directors, and solve that problem. Something in the low 90s would suffice.
We can winnow out that obvious chaff without raising the white flag, throwing out the whole program, or burning up billions of dollars on stupid ineffectual enforcement, and substituting things that solve the problem and remove the incorrigible from society, rather than doing nothing, or less than what we're doing now, or just doing the same stupid sh*t over and over from inertia and laziness.
But quitting? Quitting just gets you nothing you'd want, orders of magnitude more of what you don't want, and cements failure into permanence, while demoralizing everyone trying to make a difference. It turns a setback into a rout, and makes an error into a biblical catastrophe, and a Shakespearean tragedy.
Especially in light of this being a nation of some 600M guns, and trillions of rounds of ammo.
If government refuses to get a handle on this, people have a historical habit of eventually stepping up and solving things on their own. Even in carteltopia Mexico. The history of the same in the U.S. is long and distinguished.
And won't that be fun, and oh so much better than judicial law and order?