01 December 2010

thoughts

I'm not sure what the big deal one way or the other on Wikileaks is. Most of the information released in each data dump hasn't been that surprising to experts or people who follow these things. There are occasionally some new gleanings (like that the US pressured other governments not to prosecute against illegal activities taken by covert operatives in the name of "war on terror"), but it's usually bland stuff.

What is most strange is the people most willing to impose powerful tools of government surveillance on citizens are among the most willing to oppose broad releases of (usually banal) government activities. Because of course it would make no sense for us to have any checks and balances as the general public being made aware of what exactly the government thinks it should be up to.

I can't say I'm surprised that the general, mainstream press thinks this is a bad thing either. But then, they still think blogging, in the form of blog entries of journalism, is a bad thing.

Alongside the actual fake wars, there's this actual fake war on meth. I've seen some more measured ideas on how to handle drug abuse and legalisation, but the more this issue comes up, the more the costs of prohibition seem to mount up as obvious and easily avoidable relative to the costs of social drug use and addiction. We can assume that there might be some additional costs of drug abuse in a world with legalised narcotics, but we already know for certain there are quite substantial costs for making them illegal to trade and produce. Meanwhile we have various experiments with decriminalisation and legalisation around the globe that have not resulted in sputtering societies of potheads (in much the same way that scare mongering school children about drugs has not produced the same outcome of millions of addicts and shiftless losers), to suggest that if there are costs to such a policy, these are manageable and far more easily controlled under existing laws (like those against violence or reckless vehicular use or the physical abuse of other family members) than the costs of interdiction and prohibition policies. Which seem to serve far from defeating and weakening our foes (drug dealers, etc) to enrich them instead.

I'd rather see a policy that doesn't have a giant profit margin that has to be defended with public violence in impoverished communities not only in America but across the globe (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, Afghanistan, etc) personally.
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