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The Daily Radar

Time is short these days; we’re working on a huge web project for MNF-I. I’ll continue blogging as time permits. If I’ve ignored a comment or e-mail it’s not because I didn’t want to answer, I simply haven’t had time to get to every last thing sitting in my in-box. Please forgive me.

Hamas To Target Schools, Hospitals

From Captain’s Quarters, we learn that Hamas is threatening to attack more civilian targets. This is not a departure from the modus operandi of Hamas, merely a threat to escalate.

Hamas has threatened to retaliate for Israel’s response to ongoing Palestinian provocations by committing war crimes. The spokesman for the putative political party’s terrorist wing stated that Hamas will attack schools and hospitals unless Israel unconditionally removes itself from Gaza.

Kidnappings are not self-defensive acts. Hostage takings are not self-defensive acts. Targeting civilians intentionally can in no way be construed as a defensive act.

Mexico Just Says No to Funky Baby Names

My displeasure with the foolishness of government is never ending.

It seems the state was displeased with a rash of tots running around with odd, creative and foreign names, so it decided to issue a reminder of what’s considered appropriate and what isn’t.

I guess now that the Mexican government has solved serious problems like crime, poverty and pollution it is focused on minor problems like what baby names are appropriate.

Pork, pork and more pork

Glenn Reynolds reports on the State of Pork. It’s alive and well.

Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.

Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual “direct payments,” because years ago the land was used to grow rice.

Matthews is not alone. Nationwide, the federal government has paid at least $1.3 billion in subsidies for rice and other crops since 2000 to individuals who do no farming at all, according to an analysis of government records by The Washington Post.

Is that marijauna you’re smoking? Oh never mind, that’s just hypocrisy I smell

Hammer of Truth is talking about a new radio ad asking Americans why our political leaders get away with marijauna use while average Americans go to jail for the same thing.

WASHINGTON D.C. — A potentially controversial new ad campaign from the Marijuana Policy Project names prominent public officials, including President George W. Bush, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Vice President Al Gore, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as having admitted to using marijuana. The ad then asks, “Is it fair to arrest three quarters of a million people a year for doing what presidents and a Supreme Court justice have done?”

Anyone who has visited this blog more than once knows I think the Drug War is a travesty of justice and spittle in the eye of freedom. Adults own their own bodies, or they should in a free country. It’s time to focus on anti-drug education. Ruining addicts’ lives by turning them into violent animals in jail isn’t helping America in any way shape or form.

Rich people get more sleep; have more stress

Boortz references a study that says rich people get more sleep. The study also revealed that while the rich sleep more, poor people spend more of their time engaged in passive leisure activities. Maybe we need a government program to ensure that this mess gets balanced out.

We’ll need a catchy alphabet soup acronym for the new department. Some of my suggestions include:

  • DTM – Department of Time Management
  • TMA – Time Management Agency
  • OLT – Office of Leisure Time

It’s quite obvious that we need balance between the rich and the poor in how people spend their free time.

Comments

shane
Reply

Have you seen the movie Syriana Trevor?

There’s a scene where a CIA officer (George Clooney) is about to die only to be saved by a Hamas mullah.

i got a kick out of that.

Elizabeth
Reply

I don’t remember Hamas in Syriana, but maybe I missed something. I remember Hezbollah…

I absolutely agree that targeting innocent civilians is wrong. I wish Israel would stop targeting schools and hospitals in Palestine. When I was in the West Bank, I saw one Palestinian kindergarten destroyed by Israel; damage from Israeli forces to the only psychiatric hospital available to Palestinians, and a big hole in Bethlehem University–from Israeli artillery.

shane
Reply

You’re right, it was Hezbollah Elizabeth. I dont know HOW I ever confused the two…

Elizabeth
Reply

I don’t know either, considering Hamas is Sunni and Hezbollah is Shiite, and Hamas is in Palestine and Hezbollah is in Lebanon. But, I guess to you they’re just “hadjis.”

I’m sorry, I’m taunting you again…ok: I heard there’s a book called “Arabs and Israel for Dummies” (no I’m serious). If I find and send it to you, will you read it?

Elizabeth
Reply

Got the title wrong: It’s “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Middle East Conflict” although I did find an “Islam for Dummies.”

Trevor
Reply

I can see how it would be easy to confuse Hamas and Hezbollah, since they are both Islamist groups that advocate terrorism as a means of dealing with those pesky Jews.

I’m not sure why you think people should be expected to know the difference between a Shia and a Sunni Muslim Elizabeth, since we can’t even get most of our citizens to bother to vote and the vast majority of us can’t find Iraq on a map.

Shane, I haven’t seen Syriana.

Dale
Reply

Regarding your comments on drug use: Were you the person God asked “where is your brother Abel”? Did you reply “Am I my brother’s keeper?” ( I know, you are a deist but you get my point.)

Allowing conditions to exist that creates a government-sanctioned environment of drug addiction is wrong. Would you allow Marlboro to advertise marijuana? Pfizer to advertise pre-filled disposable cocaine syringes? OR Glaxo Smith Kline to advertise heroin addiction as a weight loss program?

Would you permit these things to be sold in the local 7-11? How about allowing adults to use these in the presence of their children or providing them to their children?

There is a moral component of government to promote the general welfare of its citizens. Permitting the development and integration of drug use into society is not acceptable.

alisa
Reply

I am curious as to how much government funding went into the research that generated the report on the division of time management between rich and poor folks. (rolling eyes)

Elizabeth
Reply

Do you guys ever talk to actual Iraqis? I think it would be a real shame to spend all that time in another country, and not learn about the people, culture and religion.

Trevor
Reply

Most of the troops work with Iraqis in one form or another. I work closely with them in the same office space. I can’t reveal much about them because they would be murdered for cooperating. This saddens me, but it is a fact of survival here.

We regularly eat with our Iraqi co-workers and they are treated as equals. They bring us local food sometimes and we talk about culture.

Believe me, there is lots of talking and mutual respect going on between Americans and Iraqis.

Trevor
Reply

Dale,

I believe that adults are adults. I don’t want them nannied. Bad choices have consequences. People have to learn that somehow.

What’s next? You want to have the government monitor and control everyone’s diet? For every “moral component” of government, you are taking a choice away from an adult. I prefer to have the choices, along with an increased risk.

You seem to prefer a safe, controlled life with fewer choices. And I welcome your right to that sort of thing, as long as it isn’t impeding on my choices. Increasingly, I find decisions made by others impede on the path I’ve chosen to walk in life.

Here’s the thing Dale; I don’t have any need or desire to control others who aren’t trying to hurt me. If Marlboro wants to sell marijuana, I would prefer that they do it versus the kid with the cheap piece on the corner. You have a choice which companies you patronize.

The government shouldn’t be in the business of sanctioning or not sanctioning anything. They’re only supposed to be there to ensure the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. How we achieve those things, or fail to achieve them, should be left up to the people.

Elizabeth
Reply

The problem with the argument to legalize marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc. is that the abuse of those drugs doesn’t just hurt the person using them. If that were true, they would already be legal. It leads to crime, especially armed robbery, burglary, fraud, etc. as well as disease (HIV/AIDS), and child abuse and neglect. Society has a vested interest in preventing those ills. And making drugs legal wouldn’t make them cheaper, really. Because people develop tolerances to drugs, and demand more of them. Addicts will pay whatever, and the “drug” companies will charge as much as they can. Not to mention that the cost of advertising and marketing brands will add to the costs.

Trevor
Reply

The problem with the argument to legalize marijuana, cocaine, heroin etc. is that the abuse of those drugs doesn’t just hurt the person using them. If that were true, they would already be legal.

Right, like alchohol and cigarettes don’t hurt anyone excpet the user, which is why they are legal. Like weighing 800 pounds only hurts the fatty, unless they happen to fall on you. Let’s disassemble the next part of your argument for government ownership of people’s bodies…

It leads to crime, especially armed robbery, burglary, fraud, etc. as well as disease (HIV/AIDS), and child abuse and neglect.

Gay sex leads to HIV. Solution – ban it. Straight sex can lead to HIV – ban it. Parents lead to child abuse – ban them. And on and on. The primary reasons why banned substances are motivators for robbery is because they are unaffordable. That’s an artifical construct of the Drug War. Unban the substances and let the market decide. Are you scared of a national epidemic? It won’t happen. Cocaine was plenty legal in this country a little more than a century ago, and only a small percentage of the population used it. People aren’t waiting for drugs to become legal before they try them. Those who have an interest do it anyhow.

Addicts will pay whatever, and the “drug” companies will charge as much as they can. Not to mention that the cost of advertising and marketing brands will add to the costs.

I wonder how much it costs to market the Drug War? Those ads I always see on TV paid for by the ONDCP certainly aren’t free. I’m helping to pay for them.

Here’s my solution to the drug problem – legalize banned substances. Tax them. Use the tax revenues to pay for free treatment for any addict who wants it. Get rid of all the government agencies that currently waste American taxpayer funds turning human beings into animals while violating their civil rights, which I recall you being concerned about recently Elizabeth.

The drug war is inexpensive and ineffective. I challenge anyone to show me data the proves otherwise. Show me how 40 years of the Drug War has made our nation a better place to live.

SK
Reply

“The drug war is inexpensive and ineffective.”

Change that to EXPENSIVE and ineffective and I’ll agree with you. :)

Elizabeth
Reply

Trevor, hate to tell you this, but yet again, you are discussing a subject about which I am vastly more knowledgeable than you are. I was a substance abuse counselor for 5 and a half years, and when I was a journalist, I specialized in criminal justice issues. Let me tell you how addicts get into treatment: They get into trouble. People don’t suddenly decide, wow, I really like smoking crack/shooting heroin/smoking pot every day but I know it’s bad for me, so I’m going to check into a drug treatment program. No. They have to “hit bottom.” Usually this means one of the following: Losing a job, losing a spouse, becoming homeless, getting arrested. In my experience as a counselor, losing the spouse and getting arrested are the biggies. I’ve seen people who were greatly helped by their arrests and incarcerations, because that’s what got them into treatment. Of course arrests and incarceration cost money, but compared to what? Compared to the hospital and pharmacy bills for treating someone for AIDS? Of course Trevor, we already know that you have no sympathy for sick people. The world you seem to want to live in is some type of jungle with each man/woman out for himself, fending off the starving and the drug-addicted with their own personal weapon that they carry everywhere, blowing peoples’ heads off in self-defense, while working 80 hours a week for a corporation owned by a few super-wealthy people in order to pay a mortgage on a two bedroom house. It sounds like a paranoid science fiction novel to me, although it could become true I guess, especially if more people start thinking like you.

As for alcohol and cigarettes, in fact we do have lots of laws regulating these. And do they work? To some extent. Drunk driving fatalities have fallen partly because the legal drinking age was raised. As for treatment slots–Trevor, I can tell you there is no shortage of treatment programs. We don’t need to tax cocaine and heroin to pay for treatment.As for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, they do little as far as I can tell. Certainly, the money spent by them and the DEA, etc., is a fraction of what we spend on useless and obsolete weapons systems, and standing armies in countries we have no business being in.

Elizabeth
Reply

Oh, and about sex and parenting: Sex doesn’t necessarily lead to HIV. Only unprotected sex leads to HIV. Actually, knowingly infecting someone with HIV is illegal. As for parenting: I believe we should license people to be parents, the same way we license people to drive cars and own guns. Being a parent is a bigger responsibility than driving a car or owning a gun. And by the way, being a bad parent is illegal already. Child endangerment and assault are crimes, punishable by jail time.

Trevor
Reply

Elizabeth,

Please don’t make presumptions about how much I know. I have intimate knowledge of long term drug treatment programs; I was a counselor in a program for two years. I also have an RN for a mother; she has been working with drug addicts for nearly 10 years.

Saying I have no sympathy for sick people is ridiculous. You don’t know me that well, so please don’t presume that because I complain my tax rates are too high and that my tax dollars are misused, I’m a cold-hearted prick who enjoys watching people die in gutters. The government has very little sympathy for sick people, as far as I’m concerned. That’s why I am arguing to end the Drug War. The Drug War does very little to help drug addicts or their family members.

Let’s stay focused on one topic at a time, if we can. Rather than talk about my paranoid science fiction world, let’s discuss whether the Drug War is working. Are we winning? I don’t think so. Drug use is not going down. Despite the federal government spending billions every year to “fight drugs”, demand and use is only going up.

What’s your solution?

Elizabeth
Reply

There’s no point in fighting a “Drug War” and I never said there was. I don’t believe in the anti-drug government propaganda that article discusses because people don’t become drug addicts from peer pressure. They might experiment with drugs from peer pressure, but they become addicts because they have deficits in their ego structure…that is a topic beyond the scope of this blog…I also don’t believe in military aid we give to countries such as Colombia to “fight drugs” because the money is spent to kill people and spray insecticide…I merely said I don’t believe in legalizing drugs like cocaine, heroin and marijuana because if we do, we will just see worse health and social problems than we do now.

Dale
Reply

Well, Trevor, if America adopts the attitude that drugs are okay, this will launch the next set of Opium Wars. You might want to see what happens when companies can make addicts of people by reading up a bit on what happened in China.
Not a pretty picture.
If I had my way, I would seal our border, use agressive interrogation techniques on any non-citizens caught smuggling, and incarcerate all non-citizens in the drug trades in foreign countries. I would put any American convicted by jury of smuggling drugs into the US in the same foreign jails.
Amercian citizen users would get different treatment, of course. Foreigners caught using would be deported to their home countries.

Trevor
Reply

Dale,

America has already adopted the attitude that drugs are OK. We use them to fix every minor pain and ache. We use them to make our penises hard. We use them to keep our hearts beating in rhythm.

The real question here is whether or not you trust adults to choose their own drugs, and self-regulate the use of those drugs. Obviously, you do not.

I do. People need to be able to make their own choices, good or bad. I personally would prefer that those human beings who want to kill themselves be allowed to do so – as far as I am concerned they own their own bodies. Our current approach to the problem simply isn’t working.

Elizabeth,

I completely agree with you regarding providing military aid to other nations to “fight drugs.” I am totally against such activities, partly because we are fighting free markets and partly because using the military to try and battle people’s addictions reminds me of how we used to treat sick people by draining all their blood; it’s stupid and it often kills the patient instead of helping.

Trevor
Reply

I used to think licensing parents was a good idea. Then I realized that driver’s licenses do next to nothing to ensure I am surrounded by good, safe, responsible drivers. In fact, driver’s licenses are now used for many purposes that have nothing to do with driving, just as the Social Security number is now a de facto identification number for everything we do. I wonder how a parent’s license would become perverted over time. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Not to mention that free nations do not license child birth. What you are talking about is socialism. Europe is more receptive to such ideas than the United States is, and I will work to keep it that way.

Socialism is just an excuse for the mob to take things they haven’t earned from people who have worked for them.

Elizabeth
Reply

Trevor, how do you know that drivers’ licenses do “next to nothing”? Often when I read a news story about a car crash, I read that the person responsible had a suspended license. The problem is that our system doesn’t do enough to keep unlicensed drivers off the road (that would take more police), and we aren’t hard enough on drunk drivers, who should serve jail time (which would definitely take them off the road).

The purpose of licensing parents wouldn’t necessarily be to prevent them from having children. Rather it would be like a screening to identify families that are likely to have problems with abuse, neglect, alcoholism, etc. and provide some type of early intervention. Haven’t you read enough news stories about abused children who were living with drug addicted and alcoholic parents who neglected and abused them for months and years before someone figured out what was going wrong? Believe me, these people did not start having problems AFTER they started having children.

Dale
Reply

I think you are only looking at drugs from a user viewpoint. There must be an industry to support it,too. When legal, drugs can be advertised, allowed to be displayed, and companies can compete to lower user costs and increase sales. Commpanies can put forth billions of dollars to make specialty drugs for foods to give you a high when ingested. Put cocaine back in Coke,too, I think.
Why do you think Americans can choose their drug use responsibly when they won’t even eat their vegetables?
Today we have to scour the ingredients to learn if peanuts are in the product, if it has Olestra, if it has too many carbs, etc. Why would you think legalizing drug use would be any different? Would there be some type of drug purity laws to keep them out of foods? Some restrictions on which foods could have which drugs in them?
Let us keep recreational drugs illegal and out of normal society.

Trevor
Reply

Elizabeth,

Driver’s licenses do next to nothing to improve the driving of the people around me. I base my statement completely on my own driving experience. More police huh? Who is going to pay for that. Are you willing to authorize random stop and search points to ensure everyone on the road has a valid license? Drunk drivers do serve jail time in most states. That’s where they learn to be violent and move to harder drugs, in my opinion.

Let’s pretend licensing parents is an option. Who is going to install the vaginal lockboxes that ensure our fine, fine bureaucrats have administrative control over each womb in America? I don’t want that job and I don’t want to play any role in nailing more nails into the coffin of American liberty.

People should be free to make choices, good or bad. You seem to want a world where choices are regulated and suppressed and everyone lives a bland, safe and ultimately very unfulfilling life. That’s just my take.

Trevor
Reply

I think you are only looking at drugs from a user viewpoint. There must be an industry to support it,too. When legal, drugs can be advertised, allowed to be displayed, and companies can compete to lower user costs and increase sales. Commpanies can put forth billions of dollars to make specialty drugs for foods to give you a high when ingested. Put cocaine back in Coke,too, I think.

That would be very unlikely due to social pressure and general community standards. A company like Coke would be no more likely to reintroduce cocaine into their flagship product then they would be to use naked streetwalkers in an ad to sell Coke.

Dale are you worried that our civilization will be plunged into darkness because of legal recreational drug use? I think that illegal recreational drug use is much worse than the alternative. It creates high prices, artificial danger and ensures that quality control will always be iffy.

And people will keep doing what they want to do, no matter how much you might wish otherwise. You cannot fight human nature – yet. I’m sure one day that some folks with good intentions and a low liberty quotient will insist we all get government monitored control devices installed in our brains for our own good.

Maybe even in our lifetime.

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