The Weekly Sedition

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Public Messes Compounding Each Other

Current mood: awake

From: Mike Blessing
To: Albuquerque Journal
BCC: mikewb1971 @ Yahoo!, KCUF Media @ Yahoo!, [lpnm-discuss] @ Yahoo!
Date: Tuesday, 28 July 2009 at 4:09 PM (MST)
Subject: Public Messes Compounding Each Other

Re: Public Defecation A Downtown Issue

While Dan McKay’s article points out a problem, it also illustrates larger issues in society, namely the State’s reach into the private lives of everyone, the desire of significant portions of the population for “something for nothing,” the politicians who pander to that desire using tax dollars, and the lack of common sense where politics is concerned.

  1. Untreated waste from the homeless getting into the Rio Grande? Am I supposed to believe that animals such as deer, skunks, coyotes, birds, etc., make sure to leave their waste at places that have the prior approval of the Environment Department? Of course they don’t.
  2. A portajohn being a “attractive spot for drug activity and prostitution” ? Well, that’s what happens when people who desire these activities can’t find a legal way to have their consensual fun. Guess what — the activity being illegal isn’t going to stop them from wanting to partake, and someone else will find a way to make a quick buck providing it. Sanitation, hygiene and personal safety of those involved (and bystanders, too!) comes in second place here.
    But we already know this from our history books (Prohibition of alcohol, 1919-1933), don’t we?
  3. Establish a police presence? The combined headquarters of APD and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department is at 4th and Roma NW — right in the area in question. What more do you need?
  4. Councilor Isaac Benton wants “affordable housing” and “high quality public restrooms.” What he doesn’t say is how he plans to pay for these without either cutting spending from some other program (I offer up the Mayor’s Summer Arts program as an example) and / or raising taxes.

Well, whatever your take on this, this is happening outside the office building where Pete Dinelli, Albuquerque’s “chief public safety officer,” holds court. How good of a job is he doing? There are some that think he’s good enough to be the next Mayor of Albuquerque.

Mike Blessing
Chair, Bernalillo County Libertarian Party
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Who owns you? Who runs your life? Who wipes your ass?
Who should — you or someone else?

KCUF Media, UnIncorporated
Commentary and Opinion for the Undamaged Mind
NOTE — This letter was published in the Albuquerque Journal on Monday, 3 August 2009. The letters editor snipped off the last sentence, but otherwise printed it intact. Here’s the link — Potty Issue Poses Larger Questions.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A Cop Says “Legalize Drugs”

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 2:46 AM

Case for Legalizing Drugs

Getting them where it really hurts – in the wallet!

By Matt Berger

Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Guns and Weapons for Law Enforcement

In the May issue, Dave Street made a compelling argument for maintaining the prohibition of illict drugs. Street was absolutely accurate in his depiction of the downward spiral of the drug user / addict, and the ravages of drugs upon individuals and society. Most likely, Street’s moral convictions are a large part of his desire to see drugs remain illegal, and again, I agree with him. I find recreational use of narcotics morally reprehensible, and have nothing but contempt for such behavior.

The problem, as I see it, is that we’re letting our beliefs get in the way of a pragmatic, effective solution to “the war on drugs.”

The drug trade is an extremely lucrative big business, with returns so high that legions of people are willing to risk life and imprisonment to pursue a career in the supplying of drugs. They are willing to be ruthless, to murder, and even to corrupt governments to carry out their business. On the user level, they are willing to steal, rob, burglarize, and worse, just to keep their supply flowing.

The profits fuel drug cartels at the top, filtering down to dealers and gangs, with endless capital with which to carry out their deeds. Worst of all, it breeds crime, both violent and deadly violent on the streets.

But what would happen to these cartels, dealers and gang-bangers if we were to dry up their financial infrastructure overnight? Surely, they would be reduced to petty thieves and stick-up men without the pay-off.

A quick reference to history will turn up a very close analogy, the heyday of the mobsters during the prohibition years. The mob was at its apex during these years with the money-making machine of supplying illegal booze. When the Volstead Act was repealed, the money dried up, and the Mob was never again to return to its former glory. But then came drugs.

If drugs were legalized, they could be closely regulated and taxed. Prices would be driven down, and the junkie could simply walk into his neighborhood drug store with a script, instead of burglarizing your home, dismantling your air conditioner for copper, carjacking you, or sticking up the liquor store to pay for his habit. The passing around of dirty needles be curtailed. The violent gang-banging dealers in your town would have to subsist on a meager income of low-level crime, and the guns for their drive-by shootings, and the purpose behind them, would wane. The cartels and corrupt governments that thrive on overly inflated cost of drugs brought on by illegalization would also dry up and blow away.

Think about it: The local gang-bangers you stop on a daily basis, rolling in Escalades with wheels and stereo equipment that cost more than the boat you dream of owning when you retire. How do these punks who pay no taxes and punch no clock afford such a lifestyle? It’s because of the multi-billion-dollar enterprise that is the drug trade. No intelligence, education or any other qualifications required, just a willingness to break the law, and hurt and kill people as a price of doing business.

In a perfect world, we could lock up all of the bad guys for as long as they deserved, but we all know cell space is at a premium. Because of this, rapists, pedophiles, robbers and even murderers are getting out in record time to allow for the mandatory sentences of droves upon droves of drug traffickers. We could free up that space to keep the killers, rapists, molesters and the like behind bars, where they belong.

So, would half of the population become junkies? Of course they wouldn’t. Sure, a very small percentage of people would experiment, but for the most part, those who want drugs are getting them now, and those who don’t, aren’t and won’t, just like drinkers and non-drinkers during the prohibition years. That won’t change.

In the end, we can’t stop the users. What we need is a more effective way to end the crime and violence surrounding this insidious culture. We can stop the suppliers and dealers, their guns and violence, and their killing. Perhaps we need to stop thinking in terms of “throwing in the towel” on our moral convictions, and start thinking in terms of reducing crime.

[ Yeah, I know that advocating “we can tax and regulate the stuff” as a rationale for ending Drug Prohibition is pretty piss-poor for anarchist-leaning libertarians. Still, remember that this opinion piece wasn’t published in The Libertarian Enterprise, but in a magazine generally geared to those who are on the “front lines” and actively engaged in fighting the “Drug War” — these are the people who are tasked with arresting you for “possession” and “possession with intent to distribute.” If these folks aren’t willing to continue the fight, then it falls to the admin pukes and finally the Congresscreeps who write these asinine statutes to enforce those same statutes, and we know that most of them are above getting their hands dirty and risking their lives.

For more information about cops opposed to Drug Prohibition, check out the Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) siteMike Blessing ]

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