Blog notes

Two items on today’s agenda before I lapse into a comatose state doing a tax return that I’ve been pushing aside for days:

One, I put up a post yesterday called “Marijuana and tyrants” I think. It is a subject I want to address in-depth soon, but wrote that late in the day, and I am never pleased with my writing late in the day and deleted it. It will be back, as I think that the only reason why a basically harmless substance like marijuana is illegal is that its use is so widespread that it allows law enforcement the luxury of selective enforcement, and that this explains the huge disproportion of African-Americans in our prison system. This also tips into the War on Drugs, which I believe evidence shows to be a cover for counterinsurgency abroad and attacks on civil liberties and use of selective law enforcement at home. I’ll give it another shot later this week.

Second, I seriously considered banning a certain well-known person yesterday and this morning, as I don’t want this place to be anything like Cowgirl. But then I thought of a better way: If you use the expression “dude” or “you see” your comment will be queued for moderation. This, I thought, would allow us the opportunity to talk about him using his name, while he would think that he is banned because his comments don’t appear.
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PS: In updating the moderation section to include those phrases, I found the word “Kailey.” I was not aware it was still there, as neither of them are banned. Sorry boys.

32 thoughts on “Blog notes

  1. Four u sea, I’m outraged! But mark, I don’t think I’ll be back. Don’t worry. I’ll just stop by and read without commenting. And yes, you’re right. Our writing is a signature. Hard to imitate someone else’s. Chow!

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      1. I said I won’t write, and I won’t. But I will let my friend say it.

        ‘TERENCE, this is stupid stuff:
        You eat your victuals fast enough;
        There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
        To see the rate you drink your beer.
        But oh, good Lord, the verse you make, 5
        It gives a chap the belly-ache.
        The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
        It sleeps well, the horned head:
        We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
        To hear such tunes as killed the cow. 10
        Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
        Your friends to death before their time
        Moping melancholy mad:
        Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.’

        Why, if ’tis dancing you would be, 15
        There’s brisker pipes than poetry.
        Say, for what were hop-yards meant,
        Or why was Burton built on Trent?
        Oh many a peer of England brews
        Livelier liquor than the Muse, 20
        And malt does more than Milton can
        To justify God’s ways to man.
        Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
        For fellows whom it hurts to think:
        Look into the pewter pot 25
        To see the world as the world’s not.
        And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
        The mischief is that ’twill not last.
        Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
        And left my necktie God knows where, 30
        And carried half way home, or near,
        Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
        Then the world seemed none so bad,
        And I myself a sterling lad;
        And down in lovely muck I’ve lain, 35
        Happy till I woke again.
        Then I saw the morning sky:
        Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
        The world, it was the old world yet,
        I was I, my things were wet, 40
        And nothing now remained to do
        But begin the game anew.

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        1. Interesting. I fear having serious interaction or exchanging harsh words, as has been done in the past, as your mind is cluttered and deluded by drink, and an obit in the Tribune will someday give us all cause for sobriety, wishing we had been kinder to you. Please look after your health, mental and physical.

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          1. Might I be so arrogant as to recommend another good book? I found it a very interesting read on the great depression era, and a true story.

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          2. Just from an outside observer’s point of view, we have here the Democrats using the Tea Party to scare Larry, and the Republicans using Obama-coming-for-your-guns to scare Swede. Don’t either of you feel just a little abused?

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          3. Most guys don’t publicly admit to having little Rugers. You’re more open than I thought about your shortcomings.

            [And I just realized that you won’t get that joke because it is not straightforward.]

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  2. Well I hope you can get that pot article out because I sure would like people to begin discussing ways we can get tens of millions of extra dollars in tax revenues here in Montana, just like Colorado is doing now and Washington will be doing in March.

    What would an extra $40 to $50 in the state’s coffers mean? What would you like to use that for? I bet we could give some to democrats and republicans!

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    1. I think what I wrote above is all that I can write about it. You’ve said it well, and Steve below, and I get all esoteric, talking about selective enforcement when tax revenue seems to be the important matter at hand.

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      1. According to the new law an adult can possess up to 6 plants, 3 that are in the budding stage. Which means a couple could have twelve.

        Because of this the price will crater and they’ll be a precipitous decline in tax revenue.

        Unless of course the collectivists start making home visits.

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        1. That’s a very good point, and I bet we’ll see some of that, short-term. Just like I go and buy cigarettes instead of growing my own tobacco, I think long-term a lot of people will go with the ease and convenience of the businesses catering to them.

          I also think that 25% will probably have to be lowered a bit as well to dissuade any dealers still out there who can sell under it. I certainly think it’s interesting to watch what’s unfolding just 400 miles south of our border.

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          1. Cottage industry. Consider this scenario. Your girlfriend baby mama and you are living in some rent assisted home with grandma up stairs and an 18 year old deadbeat/dropout downstairs. You have the full gambit of welfare, EBT cards, WIC, Medicaid, free lunches and breakfasts at the local school for the three kids.

            Down in the basement with the sloth you’re running a 24 plant growing operation which would add to your power bill except the state subsidizes that too.

            A mini legal “Breaking Bad” without cops and murderous thugs.

            Life is good.

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  3. Really enjoying the “supply and demand” demonstration. Thanks Colorado. If right-wing authoritarians of both parties could get off their knee-jerk, idological “dime” on “crime” none of this would have been necessary. A lot of money has been made, and wasted, on “the war on drugs.” Washington is #2. Taking bets on what number Montana will be in the line to follow suit. Will we beat Mississippi and Alabama at something for a change?

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    1. People often say the “War on Drugs” has failed, but I wonder if it succeeds, and that we simply don’t understand its true purpose. Our boys, after all, are busy guarding the poppy crops in Afghanistan for the Wall Street boys.

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      1. I remember when UM was making a bunch of thought posters on September 12, 2001. I wrote on one something about the value of that opium over there. How many billions of dollars has that country’s cash crops produced since 2001? Probably more than before.

        We had a guy come talk to my Central Asia history class in 2008 and he told us how he was driven through fields and fields of marijuana and poppies, just like we’d have wheat here. In 7 years of war there hadn’t been a dent put into the supply.

        That’s big business over there, really their only business. What else are you going to do for a living in Afghanistan? When the choices facing people on the ground are eating and not eating, how are you going to win? Because if they can’t grow that crap they can’t eat. Lot of heroin addicts over there now too.

        This is one thing I won’t blame Steve Daines for. 🙂

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      2. Don’t forget Iran-Contra. The CIA always will look for ways to make and launder money to avoid having to account for it as an appropriation. Wouldn’t surprise me that a lot of that opium is making its way into the U.S. and other western countries, and the proceeds back to some shady mercenary force trying to do something like overthrow Iran… or Syria… or…

        And actually, the ‘War on Drugs” really is a war on drug users. How else could we have a burgeoning private prison system without a bunch of drug users to populate it?

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  4. Farmers need loans in spring to buy seed. Apparently, the only money for seed loans remains the same in Afghanistan. Government corruption is so bad it’s still more reasonable to deal with drug lords. Between Kandahar farms and Kabul markets, not much is left of a load of fruit after government bribes are paid at every checkpoint for “safe passage.”

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  5. Mark, I look forward to discussing your piece on cannabis. Former Missoula resident Dan Baum, author of “Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure” got the money quote from Nixon Aide Haldermann on why they chose to make a war on cannabis. Haldermann said that although they were fully aware that cannabis didn’t present any significant public health threat that you couldn’t outlaw rock music, black people or long hair so they just outlawed the common denominator. In other words they did it because it aided oppression of the young and the black. . It allowed a culture war and a culture war victory for the side of repression.

    For a number of years I reasoned that there were more important issues than the war on cannabis (such as health care reform) and thought that’s where I should spend my limited time.

    I’ve rethought that position and am actually to the point where I don’t believe we will ever win any of the other issues as long as this one gaping lie and injustice is hanging over us daily.

    Unlike yourself, I’m an experienced cannabis user. That is to say, I’m one of the 15% to 20% of the population of cannabis experimenters who actually likes the “stoned” effects caused by Delta-9 THC, one of the many active ingredients in the cannabis plant and the one most responsible for the effects.

    Think about that for a minute. The truth of the matter is,in my anecdotal opinion, that most people who have actually experienced “getting stoned” don’t particularly enjoy it or don’t enjoy it enough to do it very often. The idea that everybody wants to or will get stoned is ridicules. .

    As a political subject, changing the laws barring production, transfer, and use of cannabis are very similar issues to gay marriage, in that it indirectly effects almost everyone but only directly effects a rather small minority of the population. Just as you point out, it really doesn’t effect you personally. That’s true of a lot of people. And just like homosexuality was, cannabis is used to destroy people, to damage reputations, and to blackmail people. Cannabis prohibition always leads to corruption as long as the money is so big because of the prohibition regime.

    It leads to corruption here and abroad. which leads us to a gangster class exerting political and military pressure on governments and civilians.

    The drug wars relationship to US foreign policy is everywhere. From Columbia to Afghanistan to Burma to Thailand to Vietnam to California, to Florida, spooks abound. i mean our spooks. Our intelligence services and their ancillaries. And they are a thriving active part of the scene.

    Planes that were last month doing renditions to the Baltics are this month running coke out of Columbia via Mexico to the US.

    Meanwhile, back home, black people can’t go to school because they can’t get a loan because they got busted for cannabis production, transfer, or possession. It’s insane since cannabis has been around for millennium and hasn’t led to problems until our government changed things and tried to outlaw it. Then the problems started.

    At this point the only possible way out is legalization and regulation. I say that only because it allows the terrified and uncertain masses, exposed for so long to relentless propaganda, to come to terms with cannabis as a fact of life.

    My guess is it will become almost worthless, kind of like carrots or tomatillos or chiles or even wine grapes. After a few years of selective breeding we should see lots of northern outdoor early flowering varieties so that people can grow outside over summer with an extended spring indoors, just like tomatoes or chiles. Certain varieties will work even if all varieties are out of our climate zone.

    How many mob guys are growing wine grapes? Probably a few. Hopefully it keeps them out of trouble. It will profoundly change current economics in that the end result will be much less money removed from the economy by prohibition. Money that goes into hidden cultivation and distribution and consumption will instead be available for other uses.

    If the Feds try to bust anyone in Colo, it will be the largest or nearly so producers/retailers, and it will be stated that it’s because they are not in compliance on trans state sales or it’s tracking scheme is faulty (diversion of product) , or some such.

    My bet is that some people may be out of compliance with state law and that would make them better targets.

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    1. That pretty well sums up what I wanted to write, but with better detail and clarity. The Haldeman quote is gold, right from the source, even though Chomsky claims that pot laws were originally intended to keep the Hispanics under control earlier in the century. (Stop, you’re both right?) I did a rewrite yesterday and was again unsatisfied and set it aside. With your permission I’ll quote freely from this comment, with attribution, of course. Let me know.

      Part of the problem is that I blended two related subjects, pot laws as selective law enforcement, and the War on Drugs, used for that purpose but for a much larger one abroad (counterinsurgency in Colombia, for example). Then there is the stupidly obvious out-in-the-open bizarre situation in Afghanistan where the poppy crop, eliminated by the Taliban, has thrived with the arrival of the Americans, and is not only tolerated, but protected. Hints that “part” of the money makes it to Wall Street are just tippy-toeing around the subject. There is lots reporting out there on the subject, but I’ve only got a smattering of it scattered about, and could be wrong. You know, like always.

      It’s a very big subject, best for the little blogger to break it down and do more reading before coming to grips. But what you wrote above is a good starting point for the cannibas aspect.

      Mt

      (PS – it’s nice to have outside serious input.)

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