This is a post regarding 2 recent thought processes I had between yesterday and today. Since both are reletivly small pieces I will throw them both together.
A day or so ago, there was an early morning blackout here in the city I live (Brandon). Im not absolutely sure of the specifics, but apparently a car nailed a hydro pole, which kick started a bit of a chain reaction, which left half the city in the dark, for various amounts of time.
It happened at around 6am. Normally I would likely have been sleeping at that time, but a late night coffee or 2 had me up, so I was watching a show in bed on the computer (no, not porn lol). With no lights on at the time, and being on a laptop, I would not have even noticed the outage, had I not been streaming the show (of course, it happened just before the good part of the show). At first I thought it was my connection acting up at first, but I soon realized that all the solid and blinking lights of the technological gadgets around me (dvr, cable modem, wifi router, alarm clock) were dark.
Though I was annoyed at first, after powering off all my battery operated devices (to conserve the power, just incase), I realized that it was quiet and dark. Peaceful.
Though the outage only lasted a half hour or so, I didn’t really mind it. That is, minus the fact that the DVR has been nothing but a glorified cable box since coming back on-line.
The War On ______________________-
I find it interesting how many in society today, like to take on subjects that they disagree with for any reason, by throwing the term “War” into it. The War on drugs, The war on piracy, the war on Christmas are only 3 of the more famous ones of recent years.
On the surface, one would think it to be a good tactic, because it vilifies the targeted group in the eyes of third parties, without any information about the targeted group even needing to be relayed. After all, if your going to “war” against something, than it must be pretty bad.
And in some cases, a few things that we go to “war” against, are justified. For example, the war on drugs is somewhat justified, when you look at the nasty addictive affects of some substances. But now it seems like every group with a beef with something or other, has to go to “war” against the offending subject (for example, the War On Christmas).
Besides the whole hijacking of the term “war” for silly purposes , even the more justified causes, often leave a lot to be desired. One of the bigger ones in this regard, is the war on drugs.
This legislation is riddled with problems though and though, but that is a whole other post in itself. My problem is more with, how this battle (since it is a war), is fought and carried out.
When it comes to the war on drugs, one can not have an honest conversation about it, without pointing out the benefactors of the system as it stands now. One of them, being the private prison system of the US. Continued minor drug arrests ensure a steady flow of revenue into said facilities. And of course there are the legalized recreational and pharmaceutical drug interests. The legalization of marijuana, and other drugs possibly, is not good for there business if people find natures best herb, is a good alternative to whats been available to them previously. Keep in mind that the drug aspect is only a part of the whole picture. If you take hemp into account (which has a laundry list of potential practical uses), the list of conflicting interests gets even longer.
So we know some of the benefactors to the war on drugs. Now lets look at the other side of the fence.
One of the groups that suffers at the hand of the war on drugs, is pretty much anyone who gets caught up in it, by being busted for possession. Not just because of the likely prison trip, but also because of the permanent record that one is stuck with afterwards. And of course, there is the fact that most of the people caught in this problem, happen to be minority populations.
And then there is the bigger picture, with the costs associated with the fight coming out of the pockets of tax payers. Billions spent on essentially, an eternal game of whack-a-mole.
One of the more obvious examples of this, was on a CNBC program I seen a year or so back, about the business behind marijuana. One part that stuck out to me, showed how a small part of the KY DEA had the sole job of flying over the forests of the state, and picking off what outdoor grow sites that they found.
Of course, the group itself thought there task made perfect sense. Even though in reality, its about as futile as pissing into the wind and trying not to get splashed. Spending billions on equipment and wages, just to make a little dent in the “problems” caused by a mostly harmless plant.
Another “war” that has grown more well known in the last decade or so, alongside the growth of dsl and cable broadband, is the one against digital piracy.
Let me first say, that I am not even sure why the term “piracy” was attached to these online activities. When I think of a pirate, Black beard, or the pirates from Captain Philip’s come to mind. Not the people that download the movie.
But even though I don’t like the term, ill use it, since its the most well known terminology.
I am not going to go much in depth into the subject, but just focus on how the battle is fought.
For example, recently the MPAA scored a victory by getting popular torrent search engine ISOhunt to shut down. But despite shutting down one of the more popular web addresses associated with digital piracy, there was not even a dent in the problem of digital piracy. Because like marijuana plants in the forests of the deep south, for every 1 you cut down, there are 10 or more to replace it.
Where you stand in terms of the justification of either of the above “wars” (as well as others) is not as important, as the tactic itself.
When it comes to the war on drugs, if the goal is elimination of these substances, for the health and safety of the public, then it should have been seen as a failure a long time ago. Otherwise law abiding people are being stuck with permanent records for minor drug offenses, tax payers are footing billions of dollars in expenses. And yet, the drug problem never EVER gets any better. The only thing that does change, is the nastiness of the drugs available. A recent example being Krokodil, a nasty combination of codeine and gasoline/oil, which originated in Russia.
If a business model is getting a company minimal (or no) results, then that model is not going to be utilized for long. If any government organization is having minimal or no impact, then it will not be operating in that way for very long. Which is why I have to ask, why does the DEA get a free pass?
And on a general level, why do we keep going to “war” with things, when that tactic is clearly not working?