Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DRUGS: Dont ban "P" - Ban "S"

To all those politicians and pharmacists out there demanding the ban of ‘P” - here is another letter of the alphabet you can ban.

Let’s ban “S!”

“S” stands for stupidity, and it should be banned immediately, and without delay!

A ban on pseudoephedrine can be equated to banning the tides by insisting people close their windows at night so they can’t see the moon.

Have the cheerleeders of the War on Drugs learned nothing in the thirty-eight years since that War was declared by Richard Nixon as diversion from other more personal affairs?

If you ban the stuff it doesn’t just go away. Thirty-eight years of “an increasing drug tide” should tell you that. Why do you continue to ignore this fact? It is the elephant in the room.

Have they learned nothing from the results of all the bans? That if you ban particular stuff, it just changes its form.

You make it difficult to import “buddha sticks,” and people bring in heroin instead.

You make it difficult to bring in heroin, and people start making “homebake heroine” made from codeine.

You make it harder to get hold of codeine-based drugs, and people find a way to make the even more virulent ‘P’ out of stuff contained in common cold remedies.

Have they learned nothing from the prevalence of drugs in prisons?

For goodness sake, if you can’t even make them disappear from supposedly the most secure places in the country, then how on earth are you going to make them disappear from people’s more private places?

Milton Friedman (now here’s a guy that should be compulsory reading for all bureaucrats and politicians) proved that prohibition changes the way people use drugs, making many people use stronger, more dangerous variants than they would in a legal market.

During alcohol prohibition, moonshine eclipsed beer; during drug prohibition, crack is eclipsing coke. He called his rule explaining this historical fact “the Iron Law of Prohibition”: the harder the police crack down on a substance, the more concentrated it will become.

What’s next? It’s almost like watching an episode of ‘McGyver.’ Ban all the ingredients you like, but criminals are still going to find a way to make recreational pharmaceuticals using a roll of toilet paper, a lady’s stocking, a tub of shoe polish, and a small bit of blue tack. And the drugs get progressively more virulent each time.

Friedman once told Bush Snr’s drugs tsar Bill Bennett, “You are not mistaken in believing that drugs are a scourge that is devastating our society. Your mistake is failing to recognise that the very measures you favour are a major source of the evils you deplore.” The evils have only got worse since.

Banning pseudoephedrine is just another road down that sorry path. And it will make it damn difficult for all of us presently suffering from cold (and colds) because we haven’t pumped enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to warm us up. ;^)

John Keys says “I understood pseudoephedrine was banned in some American states, and he wanted to know if that would work here.”

Well he doesn’t have to look far to get his information - in Oregon when they banned pseudoephedrine. No surprises. More meth - more meth-related crime.

For Friedman, the solution was stark: take drugs back from criminals and hand them to doctors, pharmacists, and off-licenses. Legalise. Chronic drug use will be a problem whatever we do, but adding a vast layer of criminality, making the drugs more toxic, and squandering $40billion on enforcing prohibition that could be spent on prescription and rehab, only makes the problem worse.

Here is the most important part though!
Drugs are a tragedy for addicts, but criminalising their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike.

Brilliant minds have developed and designed wonderful remedies to make our lives more comfortable in times of discomfort, and mindless morons are insisting they are banned, and we are made to suffer like neanderthals.

Here are some ideas that do not involve banning anything, and do not impact on the lives of innocent people with a cold, who just want the best relief possible for their symptoms.

Chemists get together, and have a duty chemist - criminals will never know where the drugs are going to be the next day.
Security then only needs to be at one venue on any given day.

Make the drugs only available from the Police station, or the Bank, or from dedicated and secure premises

Come on you people use some imagination - mindlessly banning stuff because you are too lazy to give your braincells a workout should be banned.

Ban Stupidity - NOW!

GOD - No!

Atheism is not another 'faith': it is not a primary; it is a conclusion based on the absence of evidence for a supernatural world, and abundant evidence for this one.

There are many kinds of atheist and certainly many reasons for being one, but overall it consists of a refusal to accept the supernatural, an unwillingness to place FAITH above the EVIDENCE of one's own senses, a resolve to believing NOTHING WITHOUT REASONABLE EVIDENCE, and above all a commitment to the existence of which we KNOW and not to the super-existence of our IMAGINATION.

Atheism is not primarily negative; it is not primarily anti-supernatural -- it is instead primarily pro-existence, pro-reason, pro-evidence.

That by the way is not faith -- it's simply accepting the fact of existence, and our means of knowing it: Existence exists. There it is. Existence itself is its own evidence. Fairies at the bottom of the garden do not exist, and there is no evidence that either they or imaginary friends do.

Existence itself requires no proof -- it is the very fact of existence upon which all proofs are based: Existence exists.

Existence itself requires no explanation -- existence is a self-sufficient primary: it is not a product of a supernatural dimension or of a supernatural being or of anything else or anyone else. Existence is not a why, it's an is.

Existence itself is simply all that exists -- there is nothing prior to it; nothing antecedent to it; nothing apart from it -- and no alternative to it.

Existence exists -- and only existence exists -- and both its existence and its nature are irreducible and unalterable.

By contrast, "gods" as traditionally defined are a systematic contradiction of every form of evidence, and every form of valid logical reasoning -- all gods; all forms of supernatural superpower, from Thor to Wotan to Zeus to Io. No valid argument -- no reason -- will get you from existence to non-existence, or from existence to the supernatural, or from existence to a world contradicting existence.
No valid method of inference will enable you to leap from existence to a "super-existence," and nor should it be necessary to try.

Faith -- the means by which one tries to reconcile reason and un-reason, existence and non-existence, evidence and the contradiction of evidence -- is not a means of knowledge, it is a method of rejecting knowledge; it is a means of acting against knowledge, against evidence, against existence.

Faith is not reason. "Faith" designates blind acceptance -- acceptance because it is blind; acceptance because it is unreasonable; acceptance induced in the absence of evidence or even (one might say especially) in contradiction to evidence, in opposition to existence -- acceptance induced by feeling in the absence of either evidence or proof.

Faith is not knowledge, it is an alleged short-cut to knowledge which is only a short-circuit destroying the mind.

As Thomas Jefferson affirmed, " Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear."

I enjoyed this short exchange from Graham Greene's 'catholic' novel, The End of the Affair:

If religionists stopped dreaming of how good it is in heaven, and realised that there was nothing else other than what we have in the real world - they could concentrate on making this world like the fantasy world they dream of!

NOTE: I've quoted from a number of sources, including Bertrand Russell, Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff.

There is no market in New Zealand’s factory schools

When I purchase goods and services, I always attempt to get the best value for my money.

It’s not wise to pay top prices for, faulty or worn out goods.

So why are schools any different?

Why should I not attempt to get the best education for my children that my money can buy?

This is how the government run school system works! Parents are forced into paying top prices, and forced into receiving what they are given, with no option to change or exchange!

For example, can you imagine being called a “zone cheat” because you’ve been to the “wrong” supermarket or service station?

Why are there arbitrarily-drawn zones for schools when we don’t have them for supermarkets or service stations?

Because for privately-delivered services we have something called a market, a place where people can freely bid for the services they wish to purchase, and pricing and supply are set by specialists looking for a place in the market by meeting the needs and wishes of the customers they hope to attract.

There is no market in New Zealand’s factory schools. Instead we have rationing.

In the absence of a market, we have government-imposed rationing by zone; if you want to send your son to Tauranga Boys you will either have to move to the zone, or become a “zone cheat.”

In a market, extra customers are a good thing.

Without markets ... extra customers are a bad thing!

“What’s the difference between a bright, inquisitive
five-year-old, and a dull, stupid nineteen-year- old?
Fourteen years of the British educational system.”
- Bertrand Russell

“School is the advertising agency
which makes you believe that
you need the society as it is.”
- Ivan Illich

music funding

Before I justify the comments I made in my column which has attracted the wrath of the socialists, first I must make it quite clear that I did not say that funding should be for young artists only! That headline was fabricated by a staff member (editor or sub-editor) at the BOP Times.

I brought this to the attention of the editor pointing out that I cannot afford to have words put into my mouth because of the principled stand I make on these issues, and a retraction was printed on page two the following day.

My view on this issue for those that missed that retraction are as follows: "Government funding" - or the redistribution of other peoples money to those who seek it - should not be available to anybody, and that musicians and artists should stand on their own achievements rather than be artificially inflated with other peoples money.

As for everything else, I steadfastly stand by everything I said.

The reason I wrote my column on the subject of Government funding in music and the arts was as follows.

First Margaret Wilson threatened to get involved in the local music scene - a scene that is envied by musicians all around the country and that has prospered and flourished without any government assistance that I am aware of.

Then a BOP Times columnist explained in great depth how much easier it is going to be to get your hands on funding, and the just recently, another BOP Times columnist told us that ratepayers should be forced to pay more to council so they can provide us with a long list of attractions that private enterprise could provide better, more efficiently and without the use of force!

Where were the objections to these immoral and one sided socialist ideologies ? - Not a "baaa" was to be heard!

On any topic if only one side of an argument is presented, how are people to make an informed decision.

Jane Wrightson, chief executive of NZ On Air uses the "Ad populum" fallacy to publicly denounce my statements, ie: the arguer takes advantage of the desire most people have to be liked and to fit in with others and uses that desire to try to get the audience to accept his or her argument. One of the most common versions is the bandwagon fallacy, in which the arguer tries to convince the audience to do or believe something because everyone else (supposedly) does.

Because other columnists seemed to have no qualms in announcing their popularist views, I thought I would let readers know there is a different side of the story

In their constant search for supporters the looters are delving ever more regularly into the vulnerable arts and music fraternity who are generally not overly political people, but who are susceptible to being bribed with promises of wads of other peoples money.

Socialism is a runaway train picking up speed, and getting harder to stop by the day.

I have seen the runaway train and trying to raise the alarm, but it seems most are too interested in watching the ensuing wreck and to do anything about it!

It’s a sorry place we live in when every socialist on a soapbox - demanding to be given other peoples money - is accepted as moral and acceptable behaviour, but one person points out that it is immoral, he is slammed for political grandstanding!

By simply exposing the immorality of a bunch of looters intent on using force on others to get what doesn’t belong to them, I’m accused of political grandstanding!

On top of that, since when did one of the ten commandments - ie “thou shalt not steal” become a political issue since when JC was a boy it has been a“moral” issue?

Graham Clark

Government-run health system

This woman was complainig about the health system - here is my reply

Helen I completely sympathise with the sentiments in your letter, but you must realise that - people in this country do have an option, but they continue to chose a government-run system that advocates healthcare rationing.

If a supermarket advertised they were giving away free food, they would never be able to keep the shelves stocked. The same goes for the Government run health system. The only way they can continue to operate is if they ration the health care.

This is the system New Zealanders continue to demand, and the system they continue to moan about. No matter how much money any government put aside, it would never be enough because they are giving it away free.

You would do just as well to cut the bottom off a bucket, and try and fill it up with water!

It is fact that the majority of New Zealanders are denied the best healthcare available because they are forced to pay for a rationed, government-run system.
With a private healthcare system you would be telling “them” when you “want” treatment instead of waiting for them to say you are sick enough to receive it.
Everything the government is in control of is in crisis mode - thank god they dont run the supermarkets.

Simon Bridges Brownie-point scoring survey

I have as much right to point out the hypocrisy and waste of taxpayers money in Simon Bridges Brownie-point gaining exercise (survey sent out to Tauranga people) as Mary Brooke (local busybody and National party cheerleader) has of being sucked in by it, and if I ever feel the need to write a pointless or boring letter I will consult her for some pointers.

To answer her question though What makes her so sure I did not reply to his survey? I have also written to him personally - and guess what! No response.

This is what you get when you elect politicians who have no principles. Just like when the previous principle-less local national party politician who stood on the steps of parliament and told the crowd to their face that he opposed the anti-smacking bill, but then turned around and voted for it - now look at the mess we are in.

What is the point in spending all that money asking what we think if you are not prepared to do anything about it?

The point is is to suck the public in and make them think you care in order to perpetuate your popularity for the sake of the party.

Try reading the National partys list of principles (yes, they do have one - and see for yourself how they compromise every one of them. Shameless.

Ban on Sunbeds

Why do they bother teaching history in schools?

Nobody learns a damn thing from it - that or they just don’t teach the right history!

What is banning sun beds going to do?

One thing for certain it will not remove peoples desire to use them.

Banning them will have exactly the same result as banning anything else!
(NOTE: If you are one of the mindless ones that screams BAN IT at every opportunity, please replace the word "sunbeds" with your BAN of choice - ie: Cigarettes, tobacco, Pseudoephedrine, Chocolate etc etc)

What is that?

Let me list them for you.

Drive them underground and create a black market for them.
Hand a new business opportunity and monopoly to unscrupulous, unhygenic, un-trained, un-registered operators trading with no responsibility, no guarantees, and no rules.
Create a market for dangerous, home-made, un-regulated, un-tested equipment, because purchasing quality, tested equipment has been outlawed.

Turn schoolgirls, young mothers, healthy young bodybuilders and otherwise law-abiding people into criminals.

The lron law of prohibition guarantees that outlawed goods become smaller (for concealement purposes), more concentrated (for ease of transportation and economy) More expensive (due to the risks taken) and far more dangerous.

The answer lies in Education, and personal responsibility. Instead of rewarding people with free healthcare for putting their lives at risk doing crazy things, make them responsible for their healthcare.

If they wish to partake in dangerous activities, insurance companies will charge them accordingly. People would become better informed, and more careful and whats more, receive the best healthcare available instead of healthcare rationing.