Monday, August 04, 2003


Ever since I saved a baby robin who was stuck in a garage in 1980, I've been having uncanny bird experiences. Last summer I woke up one day and there was a baby grackle stuck between the curtain and my bedroom window. Both times, they sat on my finger and let me bring them outside. But those are long stories.

Tonight was not that dramatic but unearthly all the same. I worked late and with the weather still dripping gray here in lovely downtown Noho; the twilight came early. The swallows were out in force and I stopped in the Depot parking lot to watch them. The lot was almost empty and I stood stock still in the open space. Swallows are such show offs; they knew I paying attention. I was suddenly surrounded by a frenzy of gliding shadows, their white bellies shining under sharp black wings. It was like being in the middle of a tornado. They were flying a foot away at shoulder height and at intervals of a foot or so all the way up and all the way out. There had to be at least 40 of them.

Maybe I should have been scared a la Hitchcock, but I wasn't at all. It felt like a gift from the universe. A force field protecting me from the perils ahead on the path. I'm taking it as a good omen.


CNN is running a poll tonight on Lou Dobbs page. The wording is so ambiguous my first impulse was to vote yes.

Yes, they could be doing more to win the war. They could stop fighting it with herbicides and jail sentences and use common sense and harm reduction instead. I voted no on the public perception theory. The people who would believe this poll as gospel truth are not going to get the subtleties. Those folks are the ones I'm always trying to reach. They form the core of the neo-cons hold on power and cracking that base could go a long way towards fracturing the prohibition.

I voted in the poll at about 9:00. Note the disclaimer at the end of the results. That way they can downplay it if they don't like the outcome.

Should the United States be doing more to win the war
on drugs?

Yes 25% 299 votes

No 71% 865 votes

Maybe 4% 54 votes
Total: 1218 votes

This QuickVote is not scientific and reflects the
opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen
to participate. The results cannot be assumed to
represent the opinions of Internet users in general,
nor the public as a whole. The QuickVote sponsor is
not responsible for content, functionality or the
opinions expressed therein.



Links of the day come courtesy of Preston Peet has a great eye for the news that matters and today's left bar offers a study in contrasts. Your favorite drug thug and mine, John Walters, declared victory in his inhumane herbicidal campaign against indigineous Columbians. Old JW says the 2 billion the US poured into this campaign "produced an 11.5-percent reduction, we believe, in overall cultivation and production capability of cocaine in the world". He goes on to claim a 50 percent reduction within the next year.

Guess he's hoping no one sees this article by Ted Galen Carpenter at the Cato Institute. He says:

There are ample reasons to be skeptical. For example, even as coca production declines in Colombia, it is on the rise in neighboring Peru, which had been hailed as one of the "supply side" successes in the mid- and late 1990s. Moreover, there are signs of increased coca production in several of Colombia's neighbors, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil -- countries that up to this time have not been major factors in the drug trade.

He further notes that the human costs have been the local population plunging back into poverty, an increase in poppy production and the price of cocaine has not increased on the street. Feels a lot more like a human rights violation against the Latin Americans and an excuse to provide US military aid to protect US oil interests, than a supply reduction to me.


Last word and quote of the day ironically comes from Lou Dobb's site:

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
- P.J. O'Rourke


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