"The Wondering Jew"
2001-03-01 - 21:48 MST
March 1, 2001
Well, here it is near 9:50 PM and Diaryland just let me in. From early evening on it said it didn't know me, at least it would not accept my Diaryland name and password. I kept getting the boxes to put name and password in -- which I would do -- and just get the empty boxes back again. So much for that.
Where was I ? Early on I had several things to gabble about that were on top of my mental list, now my mentals are gone along with the lists on file.
A lady I respect (Democrat I suppose) who seems to be about one of the most common sense columnists I have ever read says things I agree with in much better words than I can ever muster. Molly Ivins of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A day or two ago she published a column in our local paper, it was entitled, "War on drugs an abject failure." She says in part, "We have a million people in prison here on drug charges - - - - - more than the entire prison population of Western Europe." "Federal spending has increased from $ 1 billion dollars in 1980 to $ 20 billion dollars on the drug war last year . . . . . and the states spend even more."
She goes on to say,"55% of drug defendants are low level offenders such as mules or street dealers, only 11 % are classified as high level dealers." ". . . .Bureau of Prisons budget has increased by 1350 % - from $ 220 million dollars in 1986 to about $ 3.19 billion dollars in 1997."
She comes up with another popper, "One of the most outrageous aspects of this is the seizure of property. During a 10 month national survey, it was discovered that 80 % of the people who had property forefeited were never charged with a crime. The US Supreme Court has ruled that it is legal to take property from an owner who had NO KNOWLEDGE (caps mine) of its illegal use. There is no presumption of innocence, no right to an attorney and no objection to hearsay. The Burden Of Proof of innocence is on the property owner."
Then, "For all the money, time and hysteria spent on the problem of illegal drugs, all illegal drugs combined kill about 4,500 Americans a year - - 1 % of the number killed by alcohol and tobacco." She goes on to speak about the differences between sentencings, "Powder cocaine and crack cocaine are two forms of the same drug with exactly the same active ingredient. The average sentence for low-level and first-time offenders for trafficking crack is 10 years and six months; that's 59 % longer than the average sentence for RAPISTS." (caps again mine)
She ends her perceptive column with."So we are looking at a colossal, stupefying, incredibly expensive failure. Don't you think it's high time that we stopped pouring good money after bad ?"
So much of what she says has been said before in other words, but with the same meaning. Suppose you give a ride to a fellow worker, who you think is an upright, honest person. You get pulled over by a cop, for what ever reason, and he deems it necessary to search you both (unreasonable search and seizure ? HAH !) The upper echelon comes up with some doozies to field that ball. What is the euphemism they use, or one of them ? Probable cause. So, any how, he finds a bit of crack cocaine on the person of your rider. Your rider is hauled off to the slammer, you are not charged, but your vehicle is forefeited according to law.
You, an innocent and hard working father of two or six kids or the only support of an aged and sick mother, now have no way to get to and from work, no money to hire a lawyer to help get your car back and you live too far out to ride public transportation to work.
This sort of thing happens to residences too.(makes me shiver to think about it). I have also read about a law man or two, who to boost their arrest record would palm a bit of crack and claim they found it on the so called "perp."
Seems like the whole picture has not been brought out. Looks to me that soon the prisons will be built back to back, every working person will be an employee of a commercial prison company. The ever increasing tax money going out in all directions with little or no result.
I have been told that I have a good memory. I think I do. I remember seeing in the News Reels, footage of the brewery busts where the barrels were brought out to the curbs and the heads bashed in, man what a sight, foam everywhere. But in the hallowed halls of the Federal Government the high octane stuff was available to those on the inside, and to our foreign visitors.
Seems to me that I read that the Seagrams fortune was amassed in the beginning by the illegal running of booze across the great lakes into the US during Prohibition.
Organized crime grew by leaps and bounds during Prohibition. There lived a person here whose money came from illegal booze, who was at one time an Ambassador, who was father to some very fine sons.
What does that say to me ?
I was a smoker, hooked, at the age of eight. Why ? Because we smart ass kids knew it was a no-no in the eyes of the adults, that it was neat to put one over on the establishment, that we were, what do they call it ? Players, yeah ! So we did it, even after being told by the older guys that once you got the habit you were forever hooked. Learning to inhale was a step up in the rites of our passage.
From a very early age I remember going with my folks to visit. Every house where we stopped pop, ice tea, lemonade or hot chocolate was given to us kids, while the grownups sipped booze in one of its forms or another. Home made wine in many varieties and qualities, home brew, boot leg hard liquor of dubious quality and purity would be served, and seldom would anyone refuse a drink. The timid would take a sip or two and leave an almost full glass when they left. But . . . . no one refused. My idea ? Human nature, forbid something to a person and it will be sampled. Maybe not by you. . . . . . but the percentages are high that people will do what is illegal if they think it will be fun.
The only people who I despise are the ones who sold patent medicine so loaded with alcohol that poor 70 year old Aunt Suzie had to have her fix of her patent medicine in increasing quantities. That sort of thing is despicable.
The only suggestion I have is to raise your children by example to be right and do right. And to card young ones. Then after they are raised it should be up to them the direction they want to go, as it was in the old Wild West way of,"Name your poison, pardner." Seriously, I do not think this stuff should be illegal, it only makes it more expensive to the user and also more attractive. But do punish crimes committed under the influence stringently. Most laws on the books are already sufficient if enforced.
Legalize it and the fields of South America will eventually be planted with nourishing crops. The big wigs of this country of ours will cease to get their bribery money and have to do something that makes sense, in my opinion.
Although I was taken care of through my HMO when I was an alcoholic -- I still feel that there should be no public money for treatment spent on addicts such as me, including HMO money. HMO money is still being spent on me due to my heart and lung condition now, caused by years of smoking -- another addiction. Mea culpa
Sounds nutty, doesn't it ? Well dammit, the other way is NOT working worth a damn now, anybody have a better idea ? ? ? ? ?
So after thinking about this most of the evening I guess all I can say is, Heck . . . . . . .0 comments so far