questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

Guess what..

Posted in Uncategorized by questionabletopic on Monday, June 27, 2011

В связи с тем, что мне пришло уведомление о неуплате штрафа, мой сегодняшний день был отведен изучению юридических последствий отказа от этого. Меня не на шутку увлекли несколько статей; считаю, их стоит показать вам:

1. Общая стоимость применения смертной казни в штате Калифорния за 30 лет – чуть более $300 млн.
2. Исследование, проведенное в штате Миссури, показало, что осужденные афро-американки с более темной кожей получали более строгие приговоры (этот аспект также влияет на возможность получения высоких постов на работе).
3. Исследование, проведенное в штате Миссури, показало, что в штатах, где применяют смертную казнь, насильственная преступность выше на 48%~100% чем в штатах, где ее не применяют.
4. А для того, чтобы показать что правосудие – это химера, я покажу вам картинку и дам вам две статьи: о воровстве $100 и хищении $3 млрд.

“I rest my case.”, – как скажет мой адвокат во время спича à la “защита Чубакки“.

Advertisements

Live Free And Die – NYTimes.com

Posted in anthropology, health by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Live Free And Die

During the Bush years, every time a new estimate of life expectancy came out I would get letters saying “Hah! You say things are terrible, so how come life expectancy is rising, huh?” This was, of course, stupid: medicine continues to progress, the long-term decline in smoking has reduced lung cancer, etc.. Life expectancy is rising just about everywhere in the world; sharing in that trend is no big achievement.

On the other hand, failing to share in that trend IS a big achievement, in a bad way. And via Kevin Drum, we have this:

 

 

I guess the geography of the decline speaks for itself.

via Live Free And Die – NYTimes.com.

Tagged with:

The Price of Prohibition

Posted in debate, government, health, politics by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Forty years after Nixon declared war on drugs, it’s time to give peace a chance.

Forty years ago this Friday, President Richard Nixon announced that “public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse.” Declaring that “the problem has assumed the dimensions of a national emergency,” he asked Congress for money to “wage a new, all-out offensive,” a crusade he would later call a “global war on the drug menace.”

The war on drugs ended in May 2009, when President Obama’s newly appointed drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske, said he planned to stop calling it that. Or so Kerlikowske claims. “We certainly ended the drug war now almost two years ago,” he told Seattle’s PBS station last March, “in the first interview that I did.” If you watch the exchange on YouTube, you can see he said this with a straight face.

In reality, of course, Richard Nixon did not start the war on drugs, and Barack Obama, who in 2004 called it “an utter failure,” did not end it. The war on drugs will continue as long as the government insists on getting between people and the intoxicants they want. And while it is heartening to hear a growing chorus of prominent critics decry the enormous collateral damage caused by this policy, few seem prepared to give peace a chance by renouncing the use of force to impose arbitrary pharmacological preferences.

“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” a recent report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy concludes. “Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.” Each year that we fail to face this reality, the report says, “billions of dollars are wasted on ineffective programs,” “millions of citizens are sent to prison unnecessarily,” and “hundreds of thousands of people die from preventable overdoses and diseases.”

Neither Order Nor Liberty

Not only does the “war on drugs” war on peaceful people (only some of whom use intoxicants that the government disapproves of) create its own unattractive and dangerous artifacts, it also encourages people to rat on their neighbors.  (HT Mary O’Grady)

Some people call this war on peaceful people (only some of whom use intoxicants that the government disapproves of) a source of ordered liberty.  I call it tyranny – and it’s tyranny that doesn’t even deliver on its marquis promise: it creates disorder as it batters liberty.

See, by the way, Mark Perry’s stats on U.S. incarceration rates.  “Ordered liberty” my arse.

 
Call Off the Global Drug War

By JIMMY CARTER

IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders. IN an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.

Not only has this excessive punishment destroyed the lives of millions of young people and their families (disproportionately minorities), but it is wreaking havoc on state and local budgets. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out that, in 1980, 10 percent of his state’s budget went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons; in 2010, almost 11 percent went to prisons and only 7.5 percent to higher education.

Tagged with:

A history lesson for Alan Meltzer

Posted in Uncategorized by questionabletopic on Monday, June 13, 2011

Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog

From today’s Times:

Besides, no country facing enormous budget deficits, rapid growth in the money supply and the prospect of a sustained currency devaluation as we are has ever experienced deflation. These factors are harbingers of inflation.

Japan’s lost decade:

INSERT DESCRIPTION
Source: IMF, OECD

Freakonomics Quorum: Why, During a Bad Economy, Does Crime Continue to Fall?

Posted in amazing, anthropology, facts by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The FBI recently announced that the number of violent crimes fell 5.5 percent in 2010, with property crimes falling 2.8 percent. This extends the dramatic reduction in crime that began in the 1990s. The Times declared that criminologists were baffled by the news, and Levitt was baffled by their bafflement:

Apparently, everyone expected crime to rise because of the weak economy, which I find strange, because there is zero evidence of any relationship between violent crime and the economy, and a relatively weak one between property crime and the economy. Plus, relative to 2009, the economy in 2010 was substantially improved.

We spent an entire chapter in Freakonomics exploring the factors that do and do not seem to have brought down the rate of violent crime in the U.S. In short, factors that matter include: number of police; number of prisoners; changes in drug markets; and the availability of abortion. And those that don’t seem to much matter: the economy; innovative policing strategies; most gun laws; capital punishment; and demographics.There is of course no reason for anyone to have complete confidence in the arguments we presented, even if they were more empirical than most arguments about crime. Still, as Levitt said in the excerpt above, it is surprising that so many people seem wedded to the view that the economy drives violent crime even when the evidence supports the contrary.

via Freakonomics » Freakonomics Quorum: Why, During a Bad Economy, Does Crime Continue to Fall?.

Капитал-тоталитаризм. Цель власти — власть.

Posted in Uncategorized by questionabletopic on Monday, June 6, 2011

Тавистокская психологическая война против человечества, как основа антиутопии Оруэлла.

«Им можно предоставить интеллектуальную свободу,
потому что интеллекта у них нет» 
Там же

 Еще в 1922 г. В.Липпман (советник президента Вудро Вильсона) в  культовой книге «Общественное мнение» определил его следующим образом: картинки внутри голов человеческих существ, картинки самих себя и других, потребностей и целей, отношений и есть Общественное Мнение с заглавных букв. Липпман, как представитель этноса исторически не обладающего государственным мышлением, считал что национальное планирование является крайне вредным, а потому интересовался манипулятивными практиками, при помощи которых можно изменять природу человека. Он первым перевел Фрейда на английский язык, служа в Первую Мировую в Британском штабе Психологической Войны и Пропаганды в Веллингтон Хаус вместе с Э. Бернесом, племянником Фрейда, создателем компании «Мэдисон авеню», специализирующиеся на рекламе манипулирующей личностью.

Книга Липпмана была опубликована почти синхронно с работой Фрейда «Психология масс». Тавистокский центр уже тогда сделал фундаментальный вывод: использование террора делает человека подобным ребенку, отключая рационально-критическую функцию мышления, при этом эмоциональный отклик становится предсказуемым и выгодным для манипулятора. Поэтому, контроль за уровнями тревожности личности позволяет контролировать большие социальные группы. При этом манипуляторы исходят из фрейдовского представления о человеке как чувствующем звере, креативность которого можно свести к невротическим и эротическим импульсам, наполняющим ум каждый раз заново рисуемыми картинками. Липпман предположил, что люди просто мечтают свести сложные проблемы к простейшим решениям  с тем, чтобы верить в то, во что как им кажется, верят окружающие. Такой упрощенный образ тотемного человека экстраполируется на человека современного»[1]. 

звідси: martinis09.livejournal.com

4 More Brutal Prison Stories To Keep You Scared Straight Out Of Jail

Posted in anthropology, opinion, opinions, story by questionabletopic on Wednesday, June 1, 2011

4 More Brutal Prison Stories To Keep You Scared Straight Out Of Jail | Caveman Circus.

Here are 4 more brutal stories that will help you understand the vicious and predatory environment of prison. All these stories aren’t isolated events, in all honesty they are commonplace in an environment where murderers, robbers, gangsters and the like congregate. For all those likely headed in the direction of prison, if you don’t have a clear understanding of what really goes on in there; the politics, the power struggles, the power moves, the chess game, the weapons, the drugs, the racial barrier, respect, people with life sentences with nothing to lose, the people that really run the prison….you’ll be fucked, figuratively and literally. Watch carefully.

Tagged with: