Saturday, September 26, 2009

And another post with some "drug facts," which are, generally, interesting insofar as the "pictures in our heads" almost never reflect reality. Rather, they reflect the propaganda that the government and others - see below - have spread, like horse manure, among us. Another drug fact: When Richard Nixon declared "war on drugs" in 1969, more Americans died falling down stairs than died from the ingestion of both legal and illegal drugs. Why a "war on drugs?" Because Nixon had promised "law and order" and he discovered that a "war on drugs" was one of the best ways to fulfill that promise, even though drugs represented almost no threat at all to either the law or to order. Such is the state of our politics, a politics based on fears, even on irrational fears. But then what better way to maintain in society a sense of impending doom which allows those in power to exercise that power as they see fit.

And another reason for a war on drugs? Consider the following quote about Richard Nixon from the diary of H.R. Haldeman, one of Nixon's confidants:

“’[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.’” H.R. Haldeman to his diary. [Smoke and Mirrors, 13]

“By 1989 scientists had had four years to study the phenomenon of ‘crack babies’ and some were backing off from their initially alarming reports. Ira Chasnoff, the Chicago doctor whose 1985 article in The New England Journal of Medicine started the crack-baby panic, now cautioned that crack was only a small part of the problem for small, undernourished, and sickly babies. Pregnant women were sixteen times more likely to use alcohol than crack, and unlike cocaine, alcohol has proven fetus-damaging effects. Chasnoff and other researchers cautioned that the lives of poor, crack-using women were bad for babies in so many ways that there was no way to isolate crack as the primary cause of their infants’ health problems. . . . Prenatal care – and the insurance to pay for it – was and is a better predictor of a newborn’s health than whether the mother smokes crack. ‘In the end,’ Florida health officials concluded in 1985, ‘it is safer for a baby to be born to a drug-abusing, anemic, or a diabetic mother who visits the doctor throughout her pregnancy than to be born to a normal woman who does not.’ . . . Researchers of human ‘crack babies’ furthermore found that the effects of cocaine wore off within a few months and that such babies who were well fed, loved, and properly stimulated could recover completely.
“Yet the myth of the ‘crack baby’ grew ever larger. Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer dismissed ‘crack babies’ in 1988 as a ‘biological underclass who biological inferiority is stamped at birth.’ Boston University president John Silber criticized ‘spending immense amounts on crack babies who won’t ever achieve the intellectual development to have consciousness of God.’ The New York Times declared ‘crack babies’ unable to ‘make friends, knowing right from wrong, control their impulses, gain insight, concentrate on tasks, and feel and return love.’ Even Rolling Stone condemned ‘crack babies’ as ‘like no others, brain damaged in ways yet unknown, oblivious to any affection.’” [Smoke and Mirrors, 267-68]

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