In the News 7/3/07

Candidates have all filed for City Elections. Nothing really exciting or unexpected here. Some good Jill Carter coverage, I suppose.

Many disenfranchised citizens finally had their voting rights restored yesterday. Ex-felons were able to register to vote in Maryland yesterday. One very small step in reducing recidivism.

Confirming what I already knew to be true, the Examiner reports that Zero-tolerance policing doesn't cut the murder rate. Good stuff, time to move forward with new ideas.

Or perhaps some old ideas? Though the piece has a determined "feel good" affect to it, I still think its important. This is the outcome of the Mayor placing detectives on foot patrols, at least in the short term. What do you think? The story makes it sound rather impressive in it's simplicity.


Just a quick note or two

1. I can only hope that if/when I get convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, I have a buddy in the White House to commute my sentence and group of wacko followers to pay my $250,000 fine.

This guy certainly didn't.

Neither did this lady, despite her "poor memory."

The judge increased her sentence because her testimony substantially interfered with justice at Perry's trials and because she testified falsely at her own trial, when she claimed her earlier testimony was a mistake caused by poor memory, the statement said.

Am I saying these people deserved commutations? Hell no. They deserve to be in jail, just like Scooter Libby.

2. I found the research paper I referred to in the UN post below. I only have a hard copy, but I am going to try to either type it out again (and make some much needed edits and updates), or find a digital copy.

For starters, any conservative UN haters should enjoy reading the Introduction to the Controlled Substances Act, where it states:

The United States has joined with other countries in executing an international treaty, entitled the Convention on Psychotropic Substances and signed at Vienna, Austria, on February 21, 1971, which is designed to establish suitable controls over the manufacture, distribution, transfer, and use of certain psychotropic substances. The Convention is not self-executing, and the obligations of the United States thereunder may only be performed pursuant to appropriate legislation. It is the intent of the Congress that the amendments made by this Act, together with existing law, will enable the United States to meet all of its obligations under the Convention and that no further legislation will be necessary for that purpose.

Thats right, even if the US wanted to change our drug laws, we would be constrained by this wonderfully inept treaty.

Anyone who knows squat about globalization and international relations will certainly enjoy this:

The Congress has long recognized the danger involved in the manufacture, distribution, and use of certain psychotropic substances for nonscientific and nonmedical purposes, and has provided strong and effective legislation to control illicit trafficking and to regulate legitimate uses of psychotropic substances in this country. Abuse of psychotropic substances has become a phenomenon common to many countries, however, and is not confined to national borders. It is, therefore, essential that the United States cooperate with other nations in establishing effective controls over international traffic in such substances.

Its just hilarious to think that any sort of "international law" is going to constrain criminal organizations or even legal multi-national corporations when so much profit is involved. Multi-national corporations comply with international law, treaties, and trade agreements because in most cases because those laws cater, or at least do not significantly restrict their ability to do business. Its also important to note that many signatories to said treaty, including Peru, Columbia and Bolivia, are significant drug exporting nations. In 1987, over 15 years after signing the treaty, cocaine accounted for over 50% of Bolivia's export economy. Of course, back here in the US, citizens are buying drugs like hotcakes. Then, there are the nations that simply didn't sign the treaty, or have no interest in obeying it. Afghanistan makes a lot of heroin, particularly since the Taliban fell (even a dictatorship can't fully destroy the drug trade). Many nations serve as havens for drug money, such as Panama or the Cayman Islands, some individual syndicates are known to be hold over $10 billion in drug trafficking assets. It is hard to tell whether the criminals became multi-national drug operations, or the multi-national drug operations became criminal. However, with international and national law as it is now, the existence of these criminal operations, will be guaranteed for the foreseeable future.

And Mayor Dixon is talking about beefed up foot patrols. Others are talking about shutting down blocks and stopping and frisking and arresting and paroling and arresting and clearing the corner and arresting and three strikes and your are out and .. and.. and.. and doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result is a sign of mental defect.

Though he hasn't a chance in hell, the socialist candidate for Mayor has a good idea. It doesn't go far enough though.

I want the profitability taken out of the drug game in Baltimore. I want real jobs and better schools to take the place of the drug game and the violent mindset it has played the largest part in inspiring. I want drugs like heroin and cocaine to be produced by hospitals and sent to licensed locations for their sale/distribution. I want the drug dealers to be left on the corner with no one left to sell to be because down at the hospital, or the drug distribution center, the drugs are safer, cheaper and more consistent is better.

And yeah, I want the "drug war" to continue for a few more years, but it will be more of a war against illegal sale of drugs (which of course, will no longer be profitable). Possession of all drugs should be legal. Impairment while driving or operating machinery is still illegal, and the consumption of these substances, much like alcohol must occur on private property or inside of a licensed business. Drugs such as hallucinogens, party drugs such as MDMA, and marijuana, should in my opinion be fully legalized, heavily regulated, heavily taxed, and be sold only at licensed locations.

Would illegal dealers continue to try to sell their product, possibly to the many who may at first be distrustful of the legal distribution process? Of course. Would police and the community have a significant hand up in cleaning up the streets? If the state and the government are truly effective in severely reducing the profitability of the drug trade, then the answer is most definitely yes.

This became more than a quick note, and for that I am truly sorry.