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Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Philippine Murder Exposes Corrupt Police

Choi Kyung Jin, the widow of Korean National Jee Ick Joo, and their househelp Marissa Morquicho at the Senate Hearing on Tokhang for Ransom. INQUIRER PHOTO/ALEXIS CORPUZ
A Philippine Murder Exposes Corrupt Police is the title of a story on the front page of The Wall Street Journal this morning. It's just another chapter in the abysmal story of the War On Drugs. But dang it, if you are getting to get me riled, I'm going to rant, so I sent this to the editors:
    The War On Drugs is the most evil criminal conspiracy operating in the world today. It is promoted by organizations operating on both sides of the law. It employs ignorant do-gooders as shills to sell their line of bullshit. And it is all done in order to maximize the profits that can be made from selling drugs.
    Can anything be done to eliminate this evil conspiracy? Probably not, not as long the majority of the elite continue to support it, and why wouldn't they? It keeps a large percentage of them afloat, financially speaking.
    Some people believe that letting people have unfettered access to drugs would result in all kinds of horrors and even the complete collapse of society and Western Civilization. I'm sorry, how is that any different from what we have now? Oh, right. Now we have enormous profits making a few people very wealthy,
    There are some benefits to the War On Drugs. The promise of conflict and physical violence attracts a certain kind of person. Employing these people in this war keeps them occupied, and if they are occupied, we know where they are, more or less, but more importantly, they are not out looking to cause some other kind of trouble which may be even worse. Hard to imagine what that might be, illegal dumping of toxic waste maybe? Smuggling nuclear weapons to countries run by psychotic heads-of-state?
    What would our society look like if drugs were deregulated? Well, some of the people running the illegal drug business would adapt to running a legal business, but the enormous profits would vanish. You would be able to buy heroin at Walmart, which could make make your daily fix akin to buying a cup of coffee and would not require knocking over a dozen 7-11's.
    Would more people take drugs? Undoubtedly. Would more people die from overdoses? That's debatable. If you are buying legal drugs that are clearly marked with the dosage, you would no longer have the excuse of not knowing how much you are taking.
    The is a big campaign going on right now to reduce the number of deaths due to an overdose from opiates. I am not sure accidental overdoses are all that accidental. Many people are taking opiates to cope with chronic, severe pain. Sometimes the recommended dose is not enough, and sometimes people get tired of having chronic, severe pain and decide to disregard the 'safe, recommended dose' guidelines. Not to mention the hopeless economic situation some people on the fringes of society are in.
    The big problem I see is that the vast number of people employed in controlling the distribution of illegal drugs would be out of work, which would likely raise the unemployment rate, which would have a negative impact on the economy, and we can't have that.
    What we need is some kind of project that could put a large number of people to work doing something constructive. If we can't find anything better, we could bring back the Egyptian Sun God and start building pyramids again. I suspect that is unlikely to happen. But if we don't find something better for these people to do, some demagogue might come along and incite them to fight a war.
    Oh, wait, that's where we are now.
I looked for a version of the story that wasn't hidden behind a paywall and the only site that had one that I recognized was Wikipedia. I also found this cogent observation about corruption in the Philippines. It's pretty good.

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