Thursday, July 26, 2007


If sanity prevails and drugs are legalized, Rush can come in from the shadows and become an honest, law-abiding citizen once again

Drug War Facts
Annual Causes of Death in the United States

Tobacco 435,000

Poor Diet and Physical Inactivity 365,000

Alcohol 85,000

Microbial Agents 75,000

Toxic Agents 55,000

Motor Vehicle Crashes 26,347

Adverse Reactions to Prescription Drugs 32,000

Suicide 30,622

Incidents Involving Firearms 29,000

Homicide 20,308

Sexual Behaviors 20,000

All Illicit Drug Use, Direct and Indirect 17,000

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs Such As Aspirin 7,600

Marijuana 0


If you want to provoke a conversation at a gathering, suggest that the best way to deal with the drug problem in America is to legalize drugs-- and give away the most addictive drugs for free. You’ll get a stunned gasp, an awkward silence, then a huge negative visceral reaction as if you have just suggested putting a drug dealer in every third grader’s classroom.

The sad truth is that we already have drug dealers in school classrooms. And on street corners. And in suburban homes. And in office buildings. And so forth.

Why? Because government has created the incentive- a huge incentive in most cases- to capitalist entrepreneurs willing to risk a few decades in the slammer for the privilege of selling a product for which the government has granted them a near monopoly status.

We have addicts who are prostituting themselves to get the money to buy crack or heroin. Addicts who will steal from their parents or other relatives, pawn the items, and use the few bucks to buy crack. Addicts who will burglarize homes or stores, shoplift, or mug pedestrians to get the money for drugs.

We have drug wars between gangs in inner cities. We have cartels and huge drug dealing criminal enterprises from the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia to Afghanistan to the high plateaus of South America. Resurging Talibani in Afghanistan, previously wholly opposed to the poppy trade which put heroin in the veins of New York City addicts are now financing their operations from drug smuggling out of that war torn country.

We have tens of thousand of American citizens locked up in our prisons, costing them their freedom and sometimes their lives, whose only crime is to fall prey to the inner demons of the chemical imbalances of their brains. We have AIDS and hepatitis being spread by shared needles of heroin users.

My solution? One that will destroy the drug cartels, end official corruption, free addicts from jail, free the rest of us from being victims of crimes ranging from check forgery to convenience store robbery, save countless lives and tens of billions of tax dollars?

Legalize drugs. All of them. And give the addictive drugs away for free (and through a karmic coincidence, as I type this, appearing on the Colbert Show on Comedy Central is an advocate of marijuana legalization).

Yes, give away addictive drugs for free. But not in the way you might think at first blush.

Build a structure near the local hospital. Each one will have a “Door A” and a “Door B.” Door A is the door an addict knocks on to get any addictive drug he or she desires. As much of it as he or she desires. But the drug has to be administered there (with clean needles and safe, tested, product), used there, and the addict can’t leave while high. While high, he or she will have a room to sit or lie in, movies or videos. Music. Brownies. Whatever. And they can have all the dope they want- can overdose to death if they want. Because we can’t save addicts. Only they can try to save themselves.

Which is where Door B comes in. Door B is treatment. Rehab. Support groups. Al Anon and Narcotics Anonymous. The latest in techniques and technology to wean addicts away from everything ranging from Crank to Crack to Heroin and beyond. The money currently being wasted on locking up addicts, on police, on border security, on international military efforts in a futile effort to roll the rock back up the mountain- all of that will be redirected to buying up the poppies, the coca leaves, the agricultural products which are the prime cash crops in countries from A(fghanistan) to C(olumbia) to P(eru) to T(hailand). Everything possible to help an addict become a productive citizen will be used.

The result will be the end of the spread of diseases from illegal drug use and from prostitution engaged in to buy the drugs. The end of victimless crimes crowding our prisons and bankrupting our taxpayers. The end of drive by shootings by gangs to establish who has the right to wheel and deal drugs on city blocks. The end of hypocrisy as nicotine and alcohol using politicians and drug enforcement agents bark about cracking down on drug related crime by ratcheting up punishments.

It’s a trip all right- a trip towards sanity.

And the non-addictive drugs? Ecstasy? Marijuana? We decriminalize them, tax them, sell them.

Oh yes. You’ve got to be 18 to be a drug user- same as with alcohol and cigarettes. And I won’t be complaining if the age limit for all such toxic substances is raised to 19, or 20, or 21.

My proposal isn’t far fetched. It will work. And it will happen- guaranteed. Not this year, next year, or ten years from now. But 20, 50, 100, 500 years? At some point, sanity will prevail. No doubt about it. How much are we willing to pay until then?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

USA Today letter published 7/12/07- Getting out of Iraq

Not likely a welcoming gesture to U. S. troops who are part of the "surge."

Dear Jim,
Way cool!
What you write?

Nothing new. Let me know what you think of their edited version. Here's the original:

Dear Editor:

President Bush has once again asserted that the United States can’t leave Iraq before we achieve victory because “the terrorists” would follow us home. The biggest problem with this absurd analysis is the failure to consider what many military commanders on the ground in Iraq have long since concluded: American troops are the catalyst for much of the violence occurring there. If we can't even garner the support of the victims of the violence-- most of whom would vote to send America's military home tomorrow-- then we can't possibly achieve a military solution to the violent civil war which has taken Iraq far over the precipice of being a failed state.

There is one simple and obvious solution to the issue of the security of Iraq-- a solution which also addresses the harm being done to the interests of the United States. We need to replace American troops in Iraq with Arabic speaking Muslim peacekeepers. Both Jordan and Egypt are long standing U.S. allies in the region, and both have professional armies which would do a far better job of quelling violence without inflaming Islamic jihadists. We should pay those countries whatever it would take to defray the costs of rotating their armies in to relieve ours. Whatever the bill would be, it would be a bargain compared to the hundreds of billions we have flat out wasted over the last four years. By replacing our English speaking, mostly Christian troops with soldiers able to communicate verbally and empathize culturally with Iraqis, we will be taking the first steps towards ending the anarchy and the hell on earth which our actions have brought to that country.


Swap U.S. troops

James Finkelstein - Albany, Ga.

President Bush has said that U.S. troops can't leave Iraq before they achieve victory because the terrorists would follow the troops home.

But Bush is failing to consider what many military commanders on the ground in Iraq already know: American troops are the catalyst for much of the violence occurring in Iraq.

If the United States can't even garner the support of the victims of the violence, then it can't possibly end a violent civil war. The United States needs to replace U.S. troops in Iraq with Arabic-speaking, Muslim peacekeepers.

Both Jordan and Egypt are long standing U.S. allies in the region. They have professional armies that would do a far better job of quelling violence without inflaming Islamic jihadists.

The United States should pay those countries whatever it costs to do this. It would be a bargain compared with the hundreds of billions we have wasted over the past four years.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Bush Bumperstickers for 2007

1. Bush: End of an Error
2. That's OK, I Wasn't Using My Civil Liberties Anyway
3. Let's Fix Democracy in this Country First
4. If You Want a Nation Ruled By Religion, Move to Iran
5. Bush. Like a Rock. Only Dumber.
6. If You Can Read This, You're Not Our President
7. Of Course It Hurts: You're Getting Screwed by an Elephant
8. Hey, Bush Supporters: Embarrassed Yet?
9. George Bush: Creating the Terrorists Our Kids Will Have to Fight
10. Impeachment: It's Not Just for Blow Jobs Anymore
11. America: One Nation, Under Surveillance
12. They Call Him "W" So He Can Spell It
13. Whose God Do You Kill For?
14. Jail to the Chief
15. No, Seriously, Why Did We Invade Iraq?
16. Bush: God's Way of Proving Intelligent Design is Full Of Crap
17. Bad President! No Banana.
18. We Need a President Who's Fluent In At Least One Language
19. We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them
20. Is It Vietnam Yet?
21. Bush Doesn't Care About White People, Either
22. Where Are We Going? And Why Are We In This Hand basket?
23. You Elected Him. You Deserve Him.
24. Dubya, Your Dad Shoulda Pulled Out, Too
25. When Bush Took Office, Gas Was $1.46
26. Pray For Impeachment
27. The Republican Party: Our Bridge to the 11th Century
28. What Part of "Bush Lied" Don't You Understand?
29. One Nation Under Clod
30. 2004: Embarrassed 2005: Horrified 2006: Terrified
31. Bush Never Exhaled
32. At Least Nixon Resigned