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Hartford Courant

Two Women Face Drug Charges After Arrest In Glastonbury

If you want to play the "kids on drugs" card, how would say current drug policies are working?  (Jun 26, 2009 | post #12)

Hartford Courant

Two Women Face Drug Charges After Arrest In Glastonbury

Actually it is the jails and police record that are more likely to ruin their lives than the drugs themselves. Prohibition ruins lives not only by subjecting these young women and millions of other people to the brutalities of jail and the disruptions of employment and family caused by prosecutions. Prohibition also ruins lives by making the drugs and the commerce as dangerous as possible. In a legally regulated market for heroin and other drugs, at least the purity and dosage would be known, preventing most accidental overdoses and poisonings. The commerce would be age-restricted, and thus licensed retailers would have reason to check ID's, presumably refusing these women who are under 21. Organized crime and gangs and other unregulated dealers would be forced out of the market, and the commerce would be removed from residential neighborhoods and into licensed dispensaries or shops offering referrals for counseling or treatment on request. Meanwhile, these arrests are absurd. All charges should be dropped. It is the lawmakers who are criminal here, abdicating their constitutional responsibility to regulate the drug trade, instead pushing it into the chaos and danger of the black market.  (Jun 21, 2009 | post #10)

Hartford Courant

Drug Factory Found In Hartford

Cities serve as centers of commerce not only for their own neighborhoods but for the whole surrounding region. The drug trade is violent and dangerous because it is prohibited and therefore completely unregulated and run by organized crime and local opportunists. The way to take the violence and crime out of the drug commerce is to legally regulate it, replace the gangs and mobs with licensed retailers in dispensaries or stores where referrals for treatment or counseling are always available on request. Replacing prohibition with a legally regulated market would not only take out the crime, it would take the commerce out of residential neighborhoods and streets and make it more difficult for minors to buy or sell drugs. Additionally, legal regulation of the manufacture and labeling of drugs would eliminate most accidental overdoses and poisonings, reducing the harm to individuals and cost to society. Finally, replacing prohibition with regulation would allow the police and courts to focus on the REAL crime: violations of the person or property of others.  (Jun 21, 2009 | post #44)

Hartford Courant

Review: Dave Matthews Band in Hartford Friday

Yup, boring, bland, banal. Can't understand why the kids like him so much. Same thing goes for Phish. No roots, no songs, weak weak weak. Okay, I'm ducking now, so BLAST AWAY!!  (Jun 6, 2009 | post #21)

Hartford Courant

25 Arrests In Hartford-Area Drug Sweep

Exactly. The vacuum will be filled with new dealers and drugs within a few days. Just as alcohol prohibition only made booze and the streets more dangerous, just as it brought children into the commerce, just as it corrupted government and finance --so too does prohibition of other drugs only make the drugs and the streets more dangerous, bring children into the commerce, and corrupt government and finance. If the lawmakers were genuinely concerned with public health and safety, they would replace the black market with a legally regulated market in non-medical drugs. Consumer licenses could be issued so drug users would undertake a minimal drug safety course and then purchase their drugs in a legally-regulated dispensary where counseling and treatment referals were also available. This would result in more educated consumers, take the manufacture and trade in drugs out of criminal organizations and into the light and civility of regulation. Police and court resources would be freed up to concentrate on REAL criminals: those who violate the persons or property of others.  (Jun 5, 2009 | post #161)

Hartford Courant

Solar Panels Saved $3,493

Are you saying we should not also consider the costs of air, water, and land pollution from generation as well as fuel extraction and transport; nuclear waste disposal; oil spill prevention and cleanup; exposure to physical or economic disruption of supply lines; and military intervention to ensure supply? These costs are not included in your current electric bill but very much affect our society.  (May 25, 2009 | post #51)

Hartford Courant

32 Indicted In Drug Conspiracy Case

Actually, you've got it backwards. It is BECAUSE of drug prohibition laws that gangs and organized crime reap $billions$ annually through the drug trade. It is BECAUSE of drug prohibition that gangs have drug-dealing turf wars and violence to resolve contract disputes. It is BECAUSE of drug prohibition laws that the the drug trade incorporates youth as customers, dealers, couriers, lookouts, etc. If INSTEAD the non-medical drug trade were legally regulated, consumers and distributors would be licensed and educated and age-restricted. The drugs would be properly labeled and regulated for purity and dosage, the commerce would be off the streets and rid of violence. The gangs and cartels would lose their revenue and the police would be able to concentrate on the REAL criminals: those who violate the person or property of others.  (May 25, 2009 | post #46)

Hartford Courant

Solar Panels Saved $3,493

Consider the solar lease program. As an example, if you have a $150 monthly electric bill, you can lease a $43,000 system, after rebates and tax credits, for about $105 a month. Years 16-20 would then cost about $30 a month. The panels are warrantied to produce power (usually at least 80%) for 25 years, and in reality will do so for 40+ years at a usable efficiency. http://www.ctsolar lease.com/info/ben efits.php  (May 25, 2009 | post #41)

Hartford Courant

Solar Panels Saved $3,493

Considering the immediate and long-term blood and treasure costs of our oil wars are not included at the pump price, considering the many excess $Billions$ in oil company profits because royalties and tax revenues due to this country’s tax payers were never collected by the Bush Administration Interior Dept., I believe your comments would apply on a much bigger scale to the huge costs of petroleum fuel --MUCH bigger than the pump price. And this doesn't even include the environmental costs our petro thirst exacts from us and our world, which solar (and other renewable energy technologies) can virtually eliminate.  (May 25, 2009 | post #8)

Hartford Courant

Manchester Man Faces Drug Charges

The lawmakers are the REAL criminals here: their prohibition laws are not only hypocritical and arbitrary culture war (they enjoy their deadly addictive alcohol and tobacco while jailing others for preferring different deadly addictive drugs), they also endanger public health and public safety by abdicating their constitutional duty to regulate commerce. As a result of the lawmakers' abdication of their constitutional duty to regulate the drug trade, consumers are unnecessarily exposed to adulterations and dosage vagaries. As a result of the lawmakers' abdication of their constitutional duty to regulate the drug trade, consumers and distributors are denied access to the courts to settle contract disputes --even the milk trade would become violent and dangerous if the product and its commerce were blocked from all regulation and mediation. No surprise then that the drug war has made our streets and neighborhoods more dangerous, consumers more subject to unintended overdose or poisoning, and our children much opportunity to buy and sell drugs in a market the lawmakers have deliberately refused to regulate.  (May 23, 2009 | post #26)

Hartford Courant

32 Indicted In Drug Conspiracy Case

Yes, Tommy, the Supreme Court decides the government's interpretation of the Constitution. But to the extent they do so in an absurd or unjust way --or, to the extent the Constitution itself addresses questions of justice or rights-- is the extent they undermine their own legitimacy, their own credibility and relevance to the judgements the rest of us make on the same issues. When the Constitution and the Supreme Court upheld slavery (the 3/5 clause; Dred Scott decision, etc), the Constitution and the Supreme Court showed themselves to be tools of exploiters of men, making a lie of the promise of "liberty and justice for all." When the Supreme Court upheld segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson, they showed themselves to be political tools of an unjust majority, and, significantly, also to be WRONG in the retrospective view of a later Supreme Court that, beginning with Brown V. Board of Education, reversed itself on segregation and began ordering desegregation. So my argument is that the Supreme Court may indeed define the law at the moment, but the Court has always reflected the political pressures coming from the larger society, that the Court is not infallible or irreversible, and that the Court has obviously been wrong when reviewed from the standpoint of later sensibilities. And that is a process that will hopefully be repeated to end this horrible drug war that, as Clarence Thomas has argued, reveals that "the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers." And in the meantime, it is the duty of we patriotic citizens, who actually care about human freedom and limited government and "justice for all," to argue for an end to the present hypocritical, unjust arbitrary culture war police state (aka "drug war"). Replacing drug prohibition with a legally-regulated, age-restricted market market will not only restore legitimacy to the Supreme Court's view (and the Executive's execution) of the limits of the commerce clause; it will also make our streets and neighborhoods and kids safer by taking the drug commerce out of the black market and into the light of regulation, which is the proper role of government in this issue.  (May 23, 2009 | post #28)

Hartford Courant

Don't Try Installing Solar Water Heater Yourself

Thanks Gary for the excellent webpage on solar thermal systems! There is enough solar energy resource in the USA to virtually eliminate our consumption of petroleum as fuel. Petroleum is too valuable for that, it should be reserved for petrochemical manufacturing. Clean renewables like solar and wind and tidal and geothermal could be used to not only get us out of the endless wars of oil imperialism but also improve the environment. With a new Manhattan Project to develop renewable domestic energy sources, the US economy could develop technologies and products worthy of export while eliminating the oil wars.  (May 22, 2009 | post #2)

Hartford Courant

32 Indicted In Drug Conspiracy Case

It was Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas in his dissenting opinion on GONZALES V. RAICH who said using the interstate commerce clause to prohibit growing mj on your own property for your own consumption means there are no real limits to govt power at all. In that case, the woman's medical marijuana was never bought or sold, never crossed state lines and had no "demonstrable " effect on the national market for marijuana. Judge Thomas said "If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything," including "quilting bees, clothes drives and potluck suppers." Thus "the federal government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers." Here is the Wikipedia article on that ruling: http://en.wikipedi a.org/wiki/Gonzale s_v._Raich Here is Justice Thomas' dissent: http://www.law.cor nell.edu/supct/htm l/03-1454.ZD1.html Finally, laws should protect others from being subjected to harm from those that may endanger them. And just as ending alcohol prohibition did not therefore make it legal to commit crimes against the persons or property of others, neither would replacing drug prohibition with a regulated market.  (May 22, 2009 | post #13)

Hartford Courant

32 Indicted In Drug Conspiracy Case

EXCELLENT point here, though not exactly as you mean it. The fact is, Congress DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY to prohibit what drugs people possess or ingest. Drug prohibition is an abdication of the government's constitutional duty to regulate commerce. In that sense, the criminal charge of "possession of drugs" is itself unconstitutional. Neither the Congress nor any other branch of the federal government has the Constitutional power to prohibit the sale, possesion, or use of drugs, nor to decide which drugs an individual may consume. The Constitutional govt role in the drug trade would be to regulate the manufacture and distribution of drugs, something very different from prohibiting such. To briefly illustrate the Constitutional problem with drug prohibitions, let's skim the history. The Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 (first restrictive federal drug law) was allowed by the Supreme Court only as a revenue measure, as opposed to a prohibitionary measure, which was Congress' actual intent and which had been the law's function. The Harrison Act was the legal basis of federal drug control (supplemented by the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act , also based on revenue-generating powers) until the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which replaced the Harrison Act. The 1970 CSA, contrary to its predecessors, rested not on the revenue powers of Congress, but rather on the power to regulate interstate commerce. But neither power --revenue nor commerce-- seems to justify the prohibition of drugs per se: how could production and sale all within the same state be thus prohibited by Congress? Or planting a seed in your yard and consuming the bud at home all by that one person --where is the commerce in that? This prohibition of drugs by the federal govt defies the limits of its Constitutional authority! Even alcohol prohibition itself shows the unconstitutionalit y of the Controlled Substances Act. Why else did alcohol require a Constitutional AMENDMENT? And even then, the Volstead Act and the 18th Amendment differed from the various drug prohibition laws: the Volstead Act did not actually prohibit possession or use of alcoholic beverages, only the transport and sale thereof. Doesn't this show that the congress of that time recognized the simple fact that congress DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY to prohibit what drugs people possess or ingest? That obvious fact has been forgotten by later Congresses in the name of culture wars against the users of the "wrong" drugs. Now, presumably these men were charged under state rather than federal law, thus sidestepping my argument of why prohibition laws are unconstitutional at the federal level. Nonetheless, because most states have passed laws that mirror the federal Controlled Substances Act, and have virtually always followed the principle that a state can add restrictions to the federal Act, but almost never reverses or reduces them. In this way, state drug prohibition laws are rooted in the unconstitutional federal CSA prohibition law.  (May 22, 2009 | post #11)

Hartford Courant

Police Seize Marijuana In Vernon Raid

All prosecutions for the absurd "crime" of adults selling or possessing drugs are a violation of the inalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To anyone who genuinely values human freedom (not just freedom to live out their own prejudices that deny freedom to others), the drug war represents a sinister premise: you do not have ownership over your own body; that you don’t have the right to decide what you’ll do with your body, with your property and with your life. The position of the drug warriors is that you should be in jail if you decide to do something with your body that they don’t approve of. That is not freedom and that is totally repugnant to the ideals of a free society.... Freedom in America is an illusion enjoyed only by those conforming to mainstream "legal" drug cultures (alcohol, tobacco, Viagra, Prosac, etc). The drug war is turning us into a police state, as seen in the fact that the USA imprisons more people for drug law violations than all of western Europe, with a much larger population, incarcerates for all offenses. Alcohol prohibition caused huge problems and was therefore repealed. Yet alcohol will always be a much bigger problem than marijuana because it is a more dangerous and harmful drug than marijuana. Many marijuana consumers prefer marijuana precisely because it is a milder drug than alcohol. To the extent that the law steers people away from cannabis and towards alcohol, the law undermines public health and safety. Perhaps more importantly, the inconsistency of the drug laws relative to the actual harms and dangers of drugs shows the law to be arbitrary, a culture war rather than a genuine public health policy. And of course a lot of careers are being made on the drug war, so organized economic interests grow around the policy and support it despite the disastrous consequences for public health and public safety and human freedom.  (May 22, 2009 | post #8)

Q & A with timemachinist

Headline:

Fallen Angel

Hometown:

New England

Neighborhood:

I get around

Local Favorites:

Fallafel and Indian restaurants

I Belong To:

no one.

When I'm Not on Topix:

I'm still happy.

Read My Forum Posts Because:

they correct the CNN-Fox News monolith.

I'm Listening To:

Shostakovich Sym # 9

Read This Book:

Immanuel Wallerstein: "Utopistics"; also Chalmers Johnson: "Sorrows of Empire"

Favorite Things:

my son, friends, music, books, my bike, running, canoeing, history.

On My Mind:

the future is coming right out of the present.

Blog / Website / Homepage:

http://www.counterpunch.org/

I Believe In:

Love, progress, people, reason and compassion. Also human rights, freedom of thought and expression, democratic control of and lawful limitations on power (public and private), a mixed economy of market and socialism, and a transparent system of constitutional, representative government in which the equal rights and opportunities of all citizens are protected by law. Finally, make peace through justice and forgiveness.