GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS

John A. Quayle blueoval at SGI.NET
Fri Sep 15 18:06:14 MDT 2000


           GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS
           by James W. Harris

Drug Submarine Proves Folly of War on Drugs

    Wednesday, September 6, 2000 should go down in history as the date that
everyone finally realized the War on Drugs will never, ever work.

    On that date, police in Colombia stumbled onto a half-built submarine -
being assembled for drug smugglers.

         The sub was found in a warehouse outside the capitol, Bogota -
7,500 feet up in the Andes Mountain. Fully 210 miles from the nearest seaport.

         The sub was 100 feet long, extremely strong, and very high-tech.
Finished, it would have been capable of crossing entire oceans, submerging
fully 100 meters under the surface, and rising anywhere to drop off up to
200 tons of cocaine.

          Even the Colombian navy admits it lacks the expertise to build a
sub of such quality. A Navy expert described it as "unmistakably of superb
naval construction." Clues indicate Russian engineers may have been
involved, and Americans as well.

          Even veteran Drug Warriors were stunned at the discovery.
Smugglers have used passenger ships, planes and tunnels to smuggle drugs...
but no one had ever suspected something like this. The warehouse was empty,
and no arrests were made.

          The tremendous profits of drug smuggling - a result of Drug
Prohibition, of course - have created the incentive for such innovations,
and provide the funding. And as long as Drug Prohibition continues, there
will be huge profits to be made from meeting that demand...and people
willing to go to extraordinary lengths to make the extraordinary profits.

    (Source: Associated Press, September 8 2000)

Kids Must Get Licenses for Toy Guns

    It sounds like something out of a parody of political correctness. But
it's real.

    Kids as young as four in New Zealand are being forced to
    apply for "licenses" before being allowed to play with toy
    guns.

    The idea started at a kindergarten in Nelson, South Island.
    And, according to London's Daily Telegraph newspaper, the
    idea is "spreading rapidly."

    Upon applying to school officials for the license, children
    are asked questions. They must tell why they want the toy
    gun. If they say they want to "shoot" endangered animals,
    they are lectured on why this cannot be done. If they want to
    play cops and robbers, they are told that New Zealand police
    are generally unarmed, so shooting is forbidden. Acceptable
    uses include: euthanasia of an injured horse, and hunting
    possums (regarded as a pest in New Zealand). Sounds like a
    lot of fun, doesn't it?

    Before being granted a license, children must also learn
    rules about guns. "The first rule is that you never point a
    gun at anybody," says the teacher who conceived the plan.

    If granted the license, children must carry it on their
    person when they play games involving guns. According to the
    Daily Telegraph, "Police have given the scheme their tacit
    approval."

    (Source: The Daily Telegraph, London)

Born to Regulate

    Marthe Kent is director of the Occupational Safety and Health
    Administration [OSHA] safety standards program and heads
    OSHA's controversial ergonomics program.

    In an interview in May in the trade journal of the American
    Industrial Hygiene Association, Kent gushed ecstatically
    about her destiny to control others, and the sheer
    intoxicating thrill of exercising that power:

    "I absolutely love it. I was born to regulate. I don't know
    why, but that's very true. So as long as I'm regulating, I'm
    happyIf you put out a reg, it matters. I think that's really
    where the thrill comes from. And it is a thrill; it's a
    high."

    (Source: News of the Weird; thanks to Christopher Burleson)

The U.S. Drug War Gulag

    A study by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) reports that
    the United State has almost 500,000 of its citizens
    incarcerated on non-violent drug charges. The study is
    entitled "Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug
    Offenders in the United States."

    The study estimates that there are 458,131 non-violent drug
    offenders behind bars in the U.S. For perspective, that is
    far more than the entire prison population of the European
    Union *for all crimes combined* (356,626) -- and the EU has
    100 million more citizens than the U.S.

    While the U.S. has only 5% of the world's population, it has
    25% of the total number of prisoners in the entire world -
    two million of the eight million prisoners worldwide. The
    Drug War plays a major role in this.

    Of the almost $40 billion the U.S. will spend on prisons and
    jails in the year 2000, $9.4 billion is to imprison those
    458,131 nonviolent drug offenders.

    There are astounding racial disparities. Black Americans are
    being imprisoned for drug offenses at a rate 14 times that of
    white Americans. The numbers are even worse for young drug
    offenders. Young whites are incarcerated at a rate of 30 per
    100,000; young blacks 511 per 100,000. (1996 figures.)

    Every year since 1988, the number of drug offenders
    imprisoned has exceeded the number of violent offenders
    behind bars.

    (Sources: Justice Policy Institute; Drug Policy Foundation)

Conservatives on Drug Legalization

      "it is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that
      it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal
      with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our
      resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and
      penal procedures associated with police states. We all
      agree on movement towards legalization, even though we may
      differ on just how far."

      -- the editors of America's leading conservative magazine
      (founded by William F. Buckley Jr.), National Review,
      February 12, 1996.

    * * *

    "Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" writer James W.
    Harris is co-editor of the Liberator Online. His articles
    have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including
    The Nation, Reason, The Freeman, the National Taxpayers
    Union's Dollars and Sense, the Atlanta Constitution, and many
    more. He has been a Finalist in the Mencken Awards, given by
    the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in
    Support of Liberty."
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