Say It Ain’t So: War on Drugs?

Over the past week or two, I noticed a couple national news headlines that made me scratch my head. They are unrelated stories, but the topics are most certainly related.

1. Drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in U.S., data show – L.A. Times

  • So, drugs now kill more people annually than car accidents?! Well, a “War on Drugs,” definitely seems in order. Wait, what, the main culprit is legal, prescription drugs?…oh.
  • “While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. The death toll has doubled in the last decade.”
  • “By contrast, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades.”
  • Prescription “drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.”

Hmmm. Well, The Man must know what he’s doing. Even if legal, prescribed drugs are dangerous killers, at least the drugs we spend billions of dollars fighting, locking up non-violent criminals, and watching our “war” spill over to thousands of deaths in Mexico (and the US) must be immensely dangerous and worth the extreme sacrifice, right?

Enter headline #2…

2. ‘Magic Mushroom’ Drug May Improve Personality Long Term – USA Today,Discover, etc.

  • “Many individuals who took a single dose of psilocybin — the active ingredient in what the drug culture calls “magic mushrooms” — showed alterations in personality characteristics, largely for the better, that persisted for more than a year.”
  • Participants “tended to show increases in the personality dimension known as openness.”
  • “Openness is generally considered a positive characteristic and includes such traits as aesthetic appreciation and sensitivity, imagination, intellectual engagement, and awareness of feelings in themselves and others.”

For real?! This is the culture we live in?!

What’s the goal of the “War on Drugs”? Promote dangerous, addictive drugs created in a laboratory and sold for insane profits that limit our ability to think and act for ourselves, while at the same time locking people up and ruining lives for any interest in naturally occurring plants that have been used for thousands of years and create a sense of well-being and “openness”?

Seems logical. Par for the course for The Man.

I’ll skip the long drawn-out rant. There are a lot of much more qualified ranters on this subject, but I will leave you with this graph. Does something seem wrong with the way we’re currently operating?

American Incarceration Timeline

American Incarceration Timeline


Say It Ain’t So: TSA for Kids

A few weeks ago, I threatened to start a series of posts categorized as “Say It Ain’t So,” where the Dude could wax poetically about the ridiculousness of the world we live in. I was half joking, but I continue to be amazed by ridiculous ridiculousness, so I’ve decided to follow through…for at least one more post.

First it was Kidazania, but now The Man is pulling out all the stops with his craftiness.

Fan of TSA? Like being faced with the great choice of walking through copious amounts radiation so dudes in a back room can look at a naked version of you OR being forcibly groped, just so you can sit in a tin can banging elbows with the dude next to you and not being offered free peanuts?!  Seems like a blast, and definitely something free Americans who demonstrate no threat should be forced to endure in order to travel on a plane.

Right, the terrorists. They attacked by taking over planes before; I’m sure they couldn’t come up with another way to attack if they want to. Perhaps attaching bombs to themselves and blowing up public facilities (without TSA) like they do every day in the Middle East?

We’re so reactionary. Uh oh, caught a shoe bomber. Everyone take their shoes off from now on. Dude, they already tried that…and somehow you stumbled into stopping them. My guess is he must have had a big sign that said “I have a bomb in my shoe.” How about you try to stay a step ahead rather than continually trying to build fear in the populace to cover up your inept attempts to keep people safe.

Or maybe that’s the evil plan. Keep people scared and slowly remove their rights in the name of keeping them safe until we lose the ability, and the will, to say no.

Good luck stopping the “bomb implants” they  are now scaring us with (and by “they” I mean The Man, not the terrorists). How far can we take this? Will we all be getting a surgical procedure in order to board a plane?

If the “terrorists,” whatever that actually means, want to hurt people, they can…in a million different ways. The high school dropouts running the TSA checkpoints are not going to save us.

But they sure as shit will steal your stuff and/or make your grandmother remove her Depends to give a full search…of a clearly dangerous 105 pound, 95 year old woman, in a wheelchair.

But I digress…Say it ain’t so. A toy TSA scanner so every child in America can enjoy the fun it is to scan and search other free, unarmed, and non-dangerous children! Awesome!…and only $14.41 on Amazon!

Seriously, please say it ain’t so. Is the world really this crazy? Then again, that little punk in the picture sure does look like he’s having fun getting searched…maybe I’m the crazy one.

The Man sure is crafty. Is Kidzania using these yet?…they must be.

Update: It’s seems like a full-time job reporting on the blunders of the TSA, and I’m not looking for another job, but this news item was well timed, and too juicy to pass by this morning. Less than 12 hours after writing the above post, this morning’s headline reads: “Lawmakers Blast TSA Over 25k Security Breaches.” Yes, that’s 25,000 security breaches from 2001 to 2011. I feel safer already…good thing we’re giving up our liberties.

Say It Ain’t So: Kidzania

Are we really building “amusement parks” where we are willing to pay for kids to be exposed to mass marketing/consumerism and work in a mini-world as mini-adults?!

It seems like we are. Kidzania hasn’t arrived in the US yet, but it has locations around the world, and could be in your neighborhood soon.

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

Every KidZania is themed as a child-sized replica of a real city, including buildings, shops and theaters, as well as vehicles and pedestrians moving along its streets. In this city, children aged 2 through 14, work in branded activities from bottling Coca-Cola, working in a Crest-sponsored dentist office, and working at a McDonalds restaurant. The children earn KidZos currency while performing the tasks, and the money is kept in the KidZania bank for children to spend at the gift shop and on non-free KidZania activities. The blending of marketing has led The Morning News to dub KidZania as “advertainment”, stating “there is little that’s pretend, and the play revolves around following instructions from the adult Zupervisors.”

Sounds like a blast, right? Pay money to be exposed to marketing and work in menial jobs getting bossed around by Zupervisors for low wages that accumulate in fake banks (that probably lose your money on bad investments) so you can pay for more consumerism. Holy shit?! What’s wrong with us?

Really, I’m going to pay you to allow my kids to wash car windows and pump gas, all while you flash your company logos in our faces?

Adults don’t want to act like adults. Why would we make menial labor and purchasing junk seem like it’s fun for our children? How about some imagination, art, music, reading, physical activity, and god-forbid some non-big-business related fun? A beach perhaps?…and it’s free.

I can feel the brainwashing seeping into our domes…and it’s scary that we’re letting it happen.

Princess, Little Dude, please don’t ask; Kidzania is off limits.

Perhaps “Say It Ain’t So” needs to be a new regular installment for the Dude….an area where I wax poetically about the ways of the world. Eh, maybe not.