Monday, May 6, 2019

The War on Drugs is a Failure

 Drug-War.US Logo

The War on Drugs is a ravenous, destructive machine that is laying waste to freedom, justice and fairness in America. 

Our government shows advanced symptoms of being addicted to its own War on Drugs. Like hopeless addicts, our leaders refuse to admit the destructive consequences of their behavior and they habitually increase their drug war dosage with copious injections of cash. They are always looking for a stronger fix, but they can't pay for it so they run-up the nation's debt. Drug enforcement agents often act as judge, jury and executioner, and the media reinforces their negative behavior while they live in denial of their own role, like a co-dependent partner.

News media play up public fears to sell copy. Politicians play upon the same fears while they sell themselves as being "tough on crime." Every year they ban more activities, and pass longer prison sentences, more forfeiture laws, and higher enforcement budgets. The next year they repeat this same ritual. Well-paid bureaucrats scrutinize the legal system for glimmers of compassion, discretion and freedom to close the "loopholes." Drug warriors write anti-*This* acts and omnibus *That* laws and forbid discussion of reform. Human rights violations and conflicts of interest within the prison and law enforcement industries are accepted as a regrettable aspect of fighting the war. Year after year of property seizures; more mothers and fathers in prison; one marijuana arrest every 49 seconds with over 11 million busts served; the biggest law enforcement budgets in history; the most sweeping and intrusive police powers ever...and more on the way.

Lost in all of the anti-drug hysteria is a simple, undeniable fact. Nearly all casual drug users are peaceful and productive members of society. That is, until they become casualties of the Drug War. 

The War on Drugs is a Failure

Is this a news flash to anyone? Philosopher and poet George Santayana said, "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them" and no clearer example can be found to prove his dictum than America's longest war; the insane "War on Drugs." Our government can't win this war and their attempts to hold the line are not only expensive and destructive, they aren't having any real appreciable impact on drug use. As with Prohibition, the War on Drugs has only added to the problems that it was supposed to alleviate. Some drug use may have declined as a result of the government's efforts, but the cost of that decline has been a huge expansion in government, law enforcement and the prison system and a dramatic reduction in personal freedom and privacy rights. 

In the drug war, the pattern has been one step forward, one step back - one trafficking organization smashed, another one formed; one hectare of coca or opium poppy destroyed, another one planted; one dealer imprisoned, another taking his place.

The drug war reflects a political arrogance that the government can solve bad habits by passing laws and sending police out on the streets to arrest the way to an improved society. The collateral damage of this arrogance is clear. It is time to end the drug war, to seek education, treatment, product labeling and testing, and a more orderly yet much less profitable market for the measure of drug usage, which society cannot stem or prevent, with or without force.

The War on Drugs is a War on All of US

Drug laws and drug enforcement began with racial discrimination against minorities and that discrimination continues. Despite roughly equal drug use between blacks and whites, African-Americans are 13 times more likely to go to jail for drugs than whites. In New York, 93% of the people in jail under the draconian Rockefeller drug laws are African-American and Latino. Offering people who use drugs treatment and help instead of incarceration would not only save this country much-needed resources, it would help keep tens of thousands of mothers and fathers out of jail and with their families.

The moronic DEA anti-drug propaganda:

From a DEA propaganda site aimed at teens:
"A word about prohibition: lots of you hear the argument that alcohol prohibition failed---so why are drugs still illegal? Prohibition did work. Alcohol consumption was reduced by almost 60% and incidents of liver cirrhosis and deaths from this disease dropped dramatically"

Huh? "Prohibition did work?" 

This may well be the biggest and most incredible lie the DEA has ever told, and it is most certainly the easiest to refute. 

Cato Institute: Alcohol Prohibition Was A Failure
"National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33)--the "noble experiment"--was undertaken to reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and poorhouses, and improve health and hygiene in America. The results of that experiment clearly indicate that it was a miserable failure on all counts."

"...consumption of alcohol actually rose steadily after an initial drop. Annual per capita consumption had been declining since 1910, reached an all-time low during the depression of 1921, and then began to increase in 1922. Consumption would probably have surpassed pre-Prohibition levels even if Prohibition had not been repealed in 1933."

"Instead of emptying the prisons as its supporters had hoped it would, Prohibition quickly filled the prisons to capacity. Those convicted of additional crimes with victims (burglaries, robberies, and murders), which were due to Prohibition and the black market, were incarcerated largely in city and county jails and state prisons."

"It was hoped that Prohibition would eliminate corrupting influences in society; instead, Prohibition itself became a major source of corruption. Everyone from major politicians to the cop on the beat took bribes from bootleggers, moonshiners, crime bosses, and owners of speakeasies."

"In summary, Prohibition did not achieve its goals. Instead, it added to the problems it was intended to solve and supplanted other ways of addressing problems. The only beneficiaries of Prohibition were bootleggers, crime bosses, and the forces of big government."

Sound familiar? The names have changed but the game is the same. Today it's; "drug dealers, the cartels, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system" who are the only beneficiaries of the Drug War. 

The American Government Lies About Drugs

When you lie to people about the dangers of drugs, you undermine the goal of dissuading people from using drugs. Adults aren't stupid. Children aren't stupid. Once they figure out that you've lied to them, they won't believe anything you say.


There is no dispute about the fact that methamphetamine is a very dangerous drug. The question is how best to reduce it's use. The DEA prefers lies over facts, and in doing so they are making the same mistake that has been made many times with marijuana since it was first prohibited. 

These three statements come from a DEA propaganda site aimed at teens:
"95% of those who try Meth "just one time" get hooked for life"
"95% of those who are hooked on meth became hooked after the first time"
"99 percent of first-time meth users are hooked after the first try"

So the claim is that 95-99% of first-time meth users are hooked for life.
Which is correct?
Answer: None of the above.

National Crime Prevention Council: America's Methamphetamine Problem

"The 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that 4.3 percent of the U.S. population (9.6 million people) have tried methamphetamine at least once, and at least one million had used it in the past year."
Using their figures, 9.6 million people have tried meth, and assuming the worst-case scenario, let's say all of the one million who used methamphetamine in the past year are addicted. That would be an addiction rate of about 10%. But the government is telling kids on it's "meth-is-death" web site that the addiction rate for first time users is 95-99%. One would expect the government to overdramatize a little in our children's interest, but this is such a transparent lie that only the youngest children are likely to believe it. Older "at-risk" children will see right through it and be more likely to discount or question other assertions made on the site. 

Methamphetamine is more addictive than alcohol, but it can also be said that alcohol is far more destructive to American families and society. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's (NIAAA's) 2001-2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) finds that 17.6 million Americans were either dependent on alcohol or misused it in 2001-2002, compared with 13.8 million adults in 1991-1992. The rate of alcohol misuse increased from 3.03 percent of the population to 4.65 percent during the decade, while the rate of alcohol addiction declined from an estimated 4.38 percent of the population to 3.81 percent. There are many more Americans addicted to alcohol than to methamphetamine.  

Marijuana as Medicine

The DEA continues to promote the lie that marijuana has no medicinal value:
"The scientific community has not approved marijuana as medicine."


National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine: The Medical Value of Marijuana

"In conclusion, the available evidence from animal and human studies indicates that cannabinoids can have a substantial analgesic effect."

"Until a nonsmoked rapid-onset cannabinoid drug delivery system becomes available, we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting." 

According to a 2001 national survey of US physicians conducted for the American Society of Addiction Medicine, nearly half of all doctors with an opinion on the subject support legalizing marijuana as a medicine. Moreover, no less than 80 state and national health care organizations – including the American Public Health Association, The American Nurses Association, and The New England Journal of Medicine – support immediate, legal patient access to medical marijuana. 

The FDA Contradicts The National Academy of Sciences

In the ongoing battle over the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the Food and Drug Administration has now shown that ideology can bend almost anything to its will. Recently, the FDA claimed that "no sound scientific studies" supported the medical use of marijuana - flatly contradicting the above review by the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine. Could FDA scientists be so far off as to come up with a completely incorrect reading of the medicinal value of marijuana? Of course not. Right-wing politics have trumped science once again.

My gov't spent $1 trillion on the drug war and all I got was this lousy police state

End the War on Drugs

It's time to end this insane drug war and the only way to do that is for everyone to work to change the drug laws. Get up off of your couch and go to the window and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!"

Actually, a more effective approach is to educate every person you come in contact with--and especially politicians--about the ruinous nature of the war on drugs and the virtues of harm reduction vs. law enforcement. 

If you need more convincing as to the need for direct action, I urge you to visit for information about how the war on drugs and specifically the DEA is killing chronic pain patients by intimidating their doctors. Many millions of people are in extreme pain every single day and they are not able to get the medication they need. Many more people die from not having the prescription pain medications they need, than die from the drug abuse the government is trying to prevent. One of the major causes of those deaths is the overuse and abuse of OTC NSAIDS like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) by people who are desperate for pain relief. 

It can happen to you, or someone you know, especially if you live in a rural area, so please do something right away. Why not today? We need to slow the pendulum's rightward swing down quite a bit before we can even start trying to make it go the other direction. It's not hopeless, but it's not going to happen unless everyone starts pulling their weight.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (26)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.
It's great to be regular
Wow, those people really like laxatives, look how happy they are!

What does douching with DEMURE have to do with your husband?

Douching products might actually bad for you, but in the 1960s, women were douching with Lysol and other products, like Demure, because "every husband wants his wife to be feminine ... in every sense of the word." Apparently, having a vagina wasn't feminine enough.

Loaded -- Don't take chances with Pickups
In Victorian times a “loose woman” meant that her corset wasn't tied that tightly, allowing for easier removal.

How to prospect for Atomic Minerals
The post-World War II Atomic Age spawned one of the more frenzied fads of the fad-crazy 1950s: prospecting for uranium. Geiger counters and all other kinds of equipment for uranium hunting began hitting the marketplace as thousands of miners, prospectors, rock hounds and weekend dabblers hoped to strike it rich.
radiation need not be feared
 This poster was produced at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 1947 to remind personnel of radiation safety practices.
An Electric Massage for Miladay
"Note that the handles of the spoons are insulated with windings of tape, so that all danger of a jolt is eliminated. Apply the spoons to the face..."
So, tape the spoon handles to protect your hands from electric shock and then apply spoons to your face?

Mennen's borated talcum toilet powder   
The Mennen Company was founded in 1878 by Gerhard Heinrich Mennen, an immigrant from Germany. His first product was talcum-based powder, an innovation at the time.  The company was led by several generations of the Mennen family before being sold to Colgate in 1992.

Eveready - I poured a death potion for my sick baby

"My hand shook so in the dark I kept spilling the medicine and I realized I must have light to measure a proper dose...Is it any wonder that I now write to let you know that my husband and I have fresh dated ‘Eveready’ batteries to thank for our baby’s life." Well, that and my timely realization that I shouldn't measure out medicine in the dark.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, the only ads featuring African Americans were racist advertisements that used black caricatures to advertise to white consumers.
Bordens Elsie - If it's Borden's it's got to be good
The Elsie the Cow character was created as a mascot for the Borden Dairy Company in 1936 to symbolize the "perfect dairy product. Elmer the Bull was created in 1940 as the mascot for Elmer's Glue" 
Learn to Mount Birds and Animals

"To all men & boys! Here is fun and profit!"
If you think mounting dead animals is fun then you are probably a little creepy.


Motorola Handie Talkie 
Canadian inventor Donald Hings was the first to create a portable radio system in a backpack. The first handheld walkie-talkie was the AM SCR-536 transceiver made by Motorola in 1941. The use of hand-held radios in WW2, revolutionized the command and control of small squad-size units while improving situational awareness for commanders.
Odorono - wrong deodorant

 "Keeps underarms sweet and dry for up to 3 days"
Odorono’s active ingredient, aluminum chloride, had to be suspended in acid to remain effective.The acid solution meant Odorono could irritate sensitive armpit skin and damage clothing. The antiperspirant was also red-colored, so it would often stain clothing.


How to talk on the Telephone
"When someone calls you, let the person who called end the talk. Of course, if someone talks on and on, you may have to say "I'm sorry, but I have to stop now. Thank you for calling.""
Nigger Boy Licorice
Nigger Boy licorice was first manufactured by National Licorice Pty Ltd, in Melbourne in 1902. Into early 1960s, this offensive brand name was still popular in Australia.
Colgate Fresh
"Colgate wakes Kyle up every morning. Zingy. Minty."
Kyle Rote Jr. played seven seasons in the North American Soccer League
Colgate was the first toothpaste in a collapsible tube, introduced in 1896 in New York City.

Unpleasant Odour is Caused by Underarm Hair
 Actually, body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down sweat.

Doctor Ray Vaughn Pierce 1840 – 1914 manufactured and sold patent medicines, and he established the Invalids' Hotel and Surgical Institute in Buffalo, New York.
Instant Party Doll
"You'll think of a thousand uses for her."
What top hat wearing gentleman in the 1950s wouldn't want an "Instant Party Doll" with measurements of 40-20-40?


Radio Shack

RadioShack began in 1920s Boston as a ham radio shop and sold the first mass produced home computers in the 1970s. The company expanded to 7,000 stores by the 1980s and then began a long, slow decline resulting in them declaring bankruptcy in 2015 and 2017.

Spare Yourself Embarrassment
"Spare Yourself Embarrassment" over clumping salt!
The Morton Salt Company developed a new breakthrough in table salt technology in 1911, by reducing the grain size and adding a small amount of magnesium carbonate, an anti-caking agent.


Panagra - Gay South America
 "Today's man-about-the-world heads for gay South America" where he will find lots of middle-aged men and women.

"No dieting or exercising. Be as slim as you wish. Acts like magic in reducing double chin, abdomen, ungainly ankle, unbecoming wrists, arms and shoulders, large busts, or any superfluous fat on body."
Wash away your fat with our soap made from animal fats!

Black Bandit Italian Stiletto
"Opens With Supersonic Speed"
and creates a sonic boom to scare your attacker.

 Become a witch
 "My husband got the exact job you worked on for him" What? If they're teaching you how to be a witch, shouldn't you be the one who "works on" getting a job for your husband?
Smoking Cartoon Characters
 The perfect gift for impressionable young minds... 
Gold Medal Flour - We Lead - Others Follow
In 1880, at the First Millers International Exhibition, held in Cincinnati, Ohio. Washburn-Crosby Co. took the three top prizes, including the gold medal. As orders poured in for their best blend, they changed the name to Gold Medal Flour. In 1928, Washburn-Crosby President James Ford Bell merged Washburn-Crosby and 28 other mills and named the company General Mills.
Mixer - It's just what I wanted
A mixer? Is that REALLY what you wanted?
Never give an appliance to your wife as a gift -- unless you also sleep with one eye open.

Pep - So you're the town's best sitter outer

"Pah'don me suh! But de young lady sent me to de kitchen for dis Kellogg's PEP. Said you all might be a little short on vitamins."
Black characters in 1950s advertising were always represented as servants and speaking with a "plantation" dialect.
 Lucky Strike - So round, so firm, so fully packed 

The slogan "So round, so firm, so fully packed, so free and easy on the draw" was first heard in 1944 on the Jack Benny radio program.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Funny Vintage Ads (25)

Advertising has always been an interesting way to look at history. But when you see these vintage advertisements, the past seems a lot stranger than you thought.
Maxim Silencer- Shooting Matches in the House
 Because the only down side of shooting firearms in your house is the noise!

Kellogg's Corn Flakes
In 1894, John Harvey Kellogg created corn flakes as a healthy food for the patients of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan where he was superintendent. In 1906 his brother, W.K. Kellogg opened the “Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company" with 44 employees and began manufacturing Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Draft Cow - National Dairy Products Corporation
During World War 2, most Americans contributed to the war effort in one way or another, so the National Dairy Products Corporation wanted to convince everyone that they were doing their part as well.

Medicinal Whiskey

The National Prohibition Act of 1919 included exemptions for doctors wishing to prescribe alcohol to patients. The American Medical Association claimed alcohol could be used to treat 27 different ailments, including asthma and cancer. In fact, writing alcohol prescriptions was simply a good way for doctors and pharmacists to make a few extra bucks.

WD 40 -- Rusty Tool
In 1953, Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry. Working in a small lab in San Diego, California it took them 40 attempts to come up with the original formula they christened WD 40.

Your No.1 reason for Midol

 PMS may make some women irritable, but it doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and tolerance for BS.


Old Gold -- Wa-ta-hun-ee
In 1939, Old Gold Cigarettes commissioned pin-up artist George Petty to create paintings of Indian maidens for an advertising campaign called "Wa-Ta-Hun-Ee!" 

Lux Wont Shrink Wool
 This 1912 ad depicts a Mammy stereotype and her stereotypical "woolly-headed" son.

Miles Nervine helps calm you down
Nervine wasn’t a wonder drug, just a cocktail of one of the oldest class of sedatives – inorganic bromides.  Unfortunately the level of bromide needed to "calm you down" was pretty close to bromine’s toxicity level. When people began using products like Nervine a too often to “settle their nerves” bromine toxicity (“bromism”) cases were at an all-time high.

No Cal Soda

 No-Cal was the first zero-calorie soda and it was initially marketed in the 1950s to diabetics. The Food and Drug Administration's ban of cyclamate sweeteners in 1970, caused No-Cal to lose market share and slowly disappear.

Portrait Pillow

 "Wishing won't make it so but your own Portrait Pillow will help make your dreams come true."

Ipana Tooth Paste - Pink tooth brush

The Bristol-Myers Company first introduced Ipana Toothpaste in 1901. It was the first toothpaste on the market to include disinfectant in its formula. In the 1950s, Bristol-Myers worked with Disney to create a new mascot, Bucky Beaver. Bucky always encouraged viewers to keep on “brusha, brusha, brusha!” using Ipana Toothpaste.

Pond's Extract

Pond’s started out in 1846 as a patent medicine company when Theron T. Pond, a pharmacist from Utica, New York, began selling ‘Golden Treasure’, a homeopathic remedy he developed from witch hazel.

The Magnus Chord Organ Big Book of Easy Funeral Hits

 This is an obvious fake, but it is hilarious!


The Centennial Marble Shooter
 Ancient marbles were simple round stones or clay balls. The first mass-produced toy marbles in the US were made in Akron, Ohio, by by S. C. Dyke, in the early 1890s. In 1903, Martin Frederick Christensen—also of Akron, Ohio—made the first machine-made glass marbles.
"Mibster," is a term for someone who plays marbles.


Charles Atlas - My Free Body-Building Book

Charles Atlas (born Angelo Siciliano; 1892 – 1972) was an Italian-American bodybuilder best remembered as the developer of a bodybuilding method called "Dynamic Tension." He began a landmark advertising campaign featuring his name and likeness in 1922, and the company he started is still in business.

I never struck him before...
This was a strange way to sell insurance. "I never struck him before...and I never want to again. But what else could I do this time?" Try that now and your kid (or one of your neighbors) is likely to call Child Protective Services on you. 
Captain Video Emergency Helmet

For parents who were too cheap to buy their kids authentic Captain Video Emergency Helmets, this article tells them how to make one with "household odds and ends." And what kid wouldn't want to be seen with a cheap knockoff of a popular toy?
Can it be Done?  - car phone

This feature from the 1930s shows very little imagination. Two-way radio communications were already a reality, so why not have a mobile radio link in your car instead of stopping to hook up a wired handset. Perhaps they meant "Can it be done...right now?"

Lane Bryant - Styles for Stout Women
The ready to wear plus-sized clothing business has only existed since the early 20th century. Lane Bryant opened for business in 1904 as a small dressmaking boutique run by Lena Bryant in Manhattan. “Designing models for women who require extra sizes is an art in itself” Lane Bryant announced in a 1919 advertisement.
Multiple Electric Vibrator Massages the Scalp
"FOUR hundred and eighty artificial fingers give the scalp a gentle and beneficial massage... Light in weight, the appliance may easily be self-manipulated...with the aid of two convenient hand grips, while four vibrating disks do their work in unison."


The Playboy Land Yacht
In 1975, Playboy magazine commissioned futurist designer Syd Mead to illustrate the Playboy Land Yacht, a self-driving futuristic bachelor pad on six wheels.

Lysol - She was guilty of one neglect
Lysol ads from the 1950s undermined women's self-confidence. The message was clear: “Ladies — if you don’t douche, you will smell bad, and your husband won’t love you anymore.”
Men who know say no to prostitutes
During World War II, venereal diseases were called “the enemy in your pants,” and soldiers were warned that “your carelessness is their secret weapon.”
Mercedes 8 airbags
Mercedes Benz equates air bags with fun bags for their target demographic of wealthy men aged 30-55.
Eat a Nic-o-cin and Smoke as much as you like
Nicocin Limited claimed the lozenges were made from a "beneficial plant that neutralizes the nicotine and keeps smokers fit."

Lucky Star Chocolate Cigarettes

Internal tobacco industry documents recently made public confirm that tobacco companies cooperated with the makers of candy cigarettes in designing packaging that promoted smoking to children.
Stay dainty each day with Cashmere Bouquet
He gets to smoke his stinky pipe while she worries about possible body odor. Cashmere Bouquet was introduced in 1872 as the first manufactured perfumed toilet soap. It’s still made the old fashioned way, with animal fat and lye.
 You have a beautiful face, but your nose...
 "You have a beautiful face, but your nose" so big it blocks the sun.

 Ipana -- Pink Tooth Brush 

"Today's foods are soft. They fail to give your gums any stimulation. That's why your gums are tender. That's why you find "pink" on your tooth brush."
Wait! So, it's not gum disease?