Advertisements

[VIDEO] Alcohol Prohibition Was a Dress Rehearsal for the War on Drugs 

“The war on alcohol and the war on drugs were symbiotic campaigns,” says Harvard historian Lisa McGirr, author of The War on Alcohol: Prohibition and the Rise of the American State. “Those two campaigns emerged together, [and] they had the same shared…logic. Many of the same individuals were involved in both campaigns.”
LiquorinSewerNYC

Did alcohol prohibition of the 1920s ever really come to an end, or did it just metastasize into something far more destructive and difficult to abolish—what we casually refer to as “the war on drugs?” McGirr argues that our national ban on booze routed around its own repeal via the 21st Amendment. Ultimately, Prohibition transformed into a worldwide campaign against the drug trade

wttw_1354037018

The ties between drug and alcohol prohibition run deep. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) was established in 1930, only three years prior to Prohibition’s repeal. The FBN employed many of the same officials as the Federal Bureau of Prohibition. And both shared institutional spaces as independent entities within the U.S. Treasury Department. “In some ways,” observes McGirr, “the war never ended.”

Prohibition-Detroit-1920-631.jpg__800x600_q85_crop Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

By the Numbers: How Dangerous Is It to Be a Cop? 

Despite what supporters of police militarization claim, being a cop doesn’t require increasingly deadly kit. It’s not even particularly dangerous.

Daniel Bier writes: Defenders of police militarization, such as that on display in Ferguson, Missouri, often claim that it’s necessary to provide military gear to cops, given how dangerous law enforcement has become.

Indeed, in the name of the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, the federal government has provided thousands of pieces of military-grade body armor, mine-resistant armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, grenade launchers, helicopters, and night-vision goggles to local police and sheriffs. Almost every county in Americahas received equipment from these programs.

But has policing really become so dangerous that we need to arm peace officers like an invading army? The answer is no. It’s never been safer to be a cop.

To start with, few police officers die in the line of duty. Since 1900, only 18,781 police officers have died from any work-related injury. That’s an average of 164 a year. In absolute terms, officer fatalities peaked in 1930 (during alcohol prohibition) at 297, spiking again in the 1970s before steadily declining since.

[Read the full story here, at Foundation for Economic Education]

If you look at police fatalities adjusted for the US population, the decline is even starker. 2013 was the safest year for American policing since 1875.

In 2013, out of approximately 900,000 sworn officersjust 100 died from a job-related injury. That’s about 11.1 per 100,000, or a rate of 0.01%. Read the rest of this entry »


Government Employee Hired To Find Drug Houses, Arrested For Running A Drug House

rsims-300

And she’s making over $53,000 a year off taxpayer money

Emma Colton reports: A Milwaukee government employee whose job was to know the signs of drug houses and report them was arrested and charged this month for running a drug ring out of her own home.

regina3

“Inside the house they found a sandwich bag filled with heroin, 1.5 pounds of weed, multiple guns, ammunition, a digital scale and $3,600 in cash.”

Milwaukee’s Department of Neighborhood Services employ Regina Sims as its property management coordinator to investigate suspected houses of dealing drugs. But after a “citizen witness reported multiple instances of drug dealing going on” at Sims’s house for about a year, according to FOX6, police got a search warrant and found a treasure trove of drugs, weapons and cash.

regina2

“citizen witness reported multiple instances of drug dealing going on at that residence for roughly one year.”

The police told FOX6 that inside the house they found a sandwich bag filled with heroin, 1.5 pounds of weed, multiple guns, ammunition, a digital scale and $3,600 in cash. Read the rest of this entry »


Socialist Utopia: Venezuela’s Food Shortages Trigger Long Lines, Hunger and Looting

Venezuela-long-line

Violent clashes flare in pockets of the country as citizens wait for hours for basics, such as milk and rice.

LA SIBUCARA, Venezuela— Maolis Castro and Kejal Vyas report: Hours after they looted and set fire to a National Guard command post in this sun-baked corner of Venezuela earlier this month, a mob infuriated by worsening food shortages rammed trucks into the smoldering edifice, reducing it mostly to rubble.

“In past years, when oil prices were high, Venezuela’s leftist government flooded markets with subsidized goods ranging from cooking oil to diapers. It gave citizens in border towns like La Sibucara not only access to cheap supplies, but also a source of income as many people trafficked products—including nearly free gasoline—to neighboring Colombia, drawing handsome profits.”

The incident was just one of numerous violent clashes that have flared in pockets around the country in recent weeks as Venezuelans wait for hours in long supermarket lines for basics like milk and rice. Shortages have made hunger a palpable concern for many Wayuu Indians who live here at the northern tip of Venezuela’s 1,300-mile border with Colombia.

Nat-guard-wsj

“We are going very hungry here and the children are suffering a lot.”

—María Palma, 55, of La Sibucara

The soldiers had been deployed to stem rampant food smuggling and price speculation, which President Nicolás Maduro blames for triple-digit inflation and scarcity. But after they seize contraband goods, the troops themselves often become targets of increasingly desperate people.

“Food-supply problems in Venezuela underscore the increasingly precarious situation for Mr. Maduro’s socialist government, which according to the latest poll by Datanálisis is preferred by less than 20% of voters ahead of Dec. 6 parliamentary elections.”

“What’s certain is that we are going very hungry here and the children are suffering a lot,” said María Palma, a 55-year-old grandmother who on a recent blistering hot day had been standing in line at the grocery store since 3 a.m. before walking away empty-handed at midday.

National-Guard-WSJ

“If people aren’t outside protesting, they’re outside standing in line for goods.”

—Marco Ponce, head of the Venezuela Observatory of Social Conflict

In a national survey, the pollster Consultores 21 found 30% of Venezuelans eating two or fewer meals a day during the second quarter of this year, up from 20% in the first quarter. Around 70% of people in the study also said they had stopped buying some basic food item because it had become unavailable or too expensive.

gettyimages-sanders

An authentic socialist candidate soars in popularity in the U.S., the citizens of Venezuela are feeling the Bern

“They’re committing treason against our country, taking food and crossing the border.”

—National Guard Gen. Manuel Graterol

Food-supply problems in Venezuela underscore the increasingly precarious situation for Mr. Maduro’s socialist government, which according to the latest poll by Datanálisis is preferred by less than 20% of voters ahead of Dec. 6 parliamentary elections. The critical situation threatens to plunge South America’s largest oil exporter into a wave of civil unrest reminiscent of last year’s nationwide demonstrations seeking Mr. Maduro’s ouster.

[Read the full story here, at WSJ]

“It’s a national crisis,” said Marco Ponce, head of the Venezuela Observatory of Social Conflict, noting that unlike the political protests of last year, residents are now taking to the streets demanding social rights. Read the rest of this entry »


Study: More Pilots Testing Positive For Drugs

New York Scenic Shots

Tests of pilots killed in plane crashes over more than two decades show an increasing use of both legal and illegal drugs, including some that could impair flying, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The tests also revealed increased pilot use of all kinds of drugs, including drugs that could impair a pilot’s functioning as well as drugs used to treat potentially impairing conditions such as seizure disorders and psychiatric illness.”

The study examined toxicology reports for almost 6,700 pilots killed in crashes from 1990 to 2012. Not only did the share of pilots testing positive for a drug increase over that period, but the share of pilots who tested positive for multiple drugs increased as well. Pilots testing positive for at least one drug increased from 9.6 percent to 39 percent, while positive tests for two drugs rose from 2 percent to 20 percent and three drugs from zero to 8.3 percent.

Over the same period, new drugs were coming into use and the U.S. population was aging, creating greater demand for drugs. The toxicology tests “reflect tends in the general population and likely indicate a significant increase in drug use” by pilots as well, the study said. Read the rest of this entry »


Hong Kong Customs Nets Record Cocaine Haul, Seizing 60 Kilograms of the Drug

Hong Kong customs seized a record haul of cocaine at its international airport this week, foiling two passengers who tried to smuggle 58 million Hong Kong dollars (US$7.5 million) worth of the drug in their luggage.

One 35-year-old man arrived Tuesday from São Paulo, Brazil, after transiting in Beijing with 48 kilograms (105 pounds) of cocaine wrapped in quilts inside his suitcases, the largest amount ever seized from an individual passenger in the city’s history. A 22-year-old female traveler on the same flight was also discovered to be carrying 12 kilograms of cocaine inside false compartments of four backpacks stowed in her suitcase. They two were arrested and charged with drug trafficking.

Not including Tuesday’s cases, customs officers have seized more than HK$50 million worth of cocaine at the airport this year, found sewn into jacket linings or stuffed into shopping bags and laptop cases. On Monday, airport customs officers found about HK$1.92 million worth of the drug inside layers of silicone rubber, which were in turn tucked inside handbags, two cushions and a wall map shipped by air mail from Uruguay.

Read the rest of this entry »