Archive for the 'General Politics' category

The Obama Administration's 2013 National Drug Control Strategy

Apr 24 2013 Published by under General Politics, Public Health

The ONDCP has been twittering up a storm about the release of the latest National Drug Control Strategy document [ PDF ].

The website touts five bullet points:

  • Prevent drug use before it ever begins through education
  • Expand access to treatment for Americans struggling with addiction
  • Reform our criminal justice system
  • Support Americans in recovery

Whether you think the Obama ONDCP has changed quickly enough for your liking or not, there has clearly been a change in the rhetoric compared with past...all the way back to the Reagan ONDCP. Rhetoric such as this....

While law enforcement will always play a vital role in protecting our communities from drug-related crime and violence, we simply cannot incarcerate our way out of the drug problem. Put simply, an enforcement-centric “war on drugs” approach to drug policy is counterproductive, inefficient, and costly. At the other extreme, drug legalization also runs counter to a public health and safety approach to drug policy. The more Americans use drugs, the higher the health, safety, productivity, and criminal justice costs we all have to bear.

...differs very clearly from the prior ONDCP approaches. Even McCaffrey, as conversant as he was with the science*, still leaned heavily toward the punitive side.

Naturally, I am best pleased that they have a section entitled "The Science":

Throughout much of the last century, scientists studying drug abuse labored in the shadows of powerful myths and misconceptions about the nature of addiction. When science began to study addictive behavior in the 1930s, people addicted to drugs were thought to be morally flawed and lacking in willpower. Those views shaped society's responses to drug abuse, treating it as a moral failing rather than a health problem, which led to an emphasis on punitive rather than preventative and therapeutic responses.

And I would say that we still labor under a great deal of resistance, even though the hard edges may have morphed. We hear people trying to parse "only psychological" addiction from "physiological" addiction...what is this if not more of the "moral failing" argument? We also have attempts to define some substances (and non-substance reinforcers) as being out of consideration for genuine addiction.....again, a similar discounting of the science related to addiction. If you grasp the fact that addictions are disruptions of reward pathways, and that there are a limited set of final-common-mechanisms for reward in the brain then it is no surprise that anything which trips the reward triggers has the potential to cause disruption.

Today, thanks to significant advances in neuroscience, our Nation's responses to drug abuse have begun to change. Groundbreaking discoveries about the brain have revolutionized our understanding of drug addiction, enabling us to respond more effectively to the problem.

Science demonstrates that addiction is a disease of the brain—a disease that can be prevented and treated, and from which people can recover.

Well yes...buuuuuut. Our ability to prevent and treat still has a long way to go. And this, I recognize fully, contributes to public misunderstanding. After all, if it is a disease, surely we must have very specific and mechanistically coherent treatments, right? We don't, for the most part, and so skepticism over the assertion of "a disease of the brain" will continue.

*He was the first Drug Czar I heard address a scientific audience. He was impressive. They guy that came after him during the Bush administration was...not.

3 responses so far

9 measly bucks per hour

Feb 13 2013 Published by under General Politics


40 hr week (thank you liberal progressive commie America haters....almost 100 years on and America is still not destroyed)

52 weeks per year (yes I know but those should be 2 weeks of paid vacation, dammit)


that's pre-tax.

The current US Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour gets you $15,080 annual. Pre-tax. And let's face it, without vacation time.

21 responses so far

In a rare moment of clarity, NRA flack LaPierre makes huge Freudian slip

Dec 21 2012 Published by under FWDAOTI, General Politics

From this transcript of his remarks:

Isn't fantasizing about killing people as a way to get your kicks really the filthiest form of pornography?

And there we have it. The full reveal.

For the slower members of the audience, or those reading after too many explainer from Comradde Physioproffe.

all these delusional right-wing microdicke Republican gun fetishists ... we all know that their real goal has nothing to with preventing the slaughter of kindergartners, and everything to do with delusional phallic power fantasies to compensate for their real-world angry white d00d ineffectual dicklessness.

So yeah, LaPierre was talking about videogame fans...but dude. Fruedian slip much? Who the hell would compare GrandTheftAuto to porn unless he was popping a chubbie thinking about blowing people away in a hail of semiautomatic fire from his M-16 imitating AR-15 "sporting rifle"? And you know who those people are?

for Sporting Purposes only.

Honestly. Tell me there isn't something wrong with these folks.

8 responses so far

Some data on simple possession raps for three of my Readers

Dec 21 2012 Published by under Cannabis, General Politics

This is from a bit by David Frum:


14 responses so far

NIH small business awards per capita by State

Dec 20 2012 Published by under #FWDAOTI, FWDAOTI, General Politics, NIH funding

hmm. looks just like the political Red State / Blue State division, doesn't it?

Only in this case the government largesse is going preferentially to the Blue, instead of the Red. (Also see this).

The Blue states are getting more government investment in Small Business, the Red ones more government investment in, well, the dole. Interesting, isn't it?

via Rock Talk blog.

4 responses so far

Presumption of vocational impairment

Dec 08 2012 Published by under Cannabis, Drug Abuse Science, General Politics

Per this article, the question of private employers dealing with off-hours behavior deemed legal by the State.

Gee... If we only had some way to determine if users of marijuana are likely to be vocationally impaired. If only there were some way to get that information. So that we could come up with some guidelines. And do things based on reasonable approximations of fact rather than agenda based random reaction (on either side).

Wouldn't that be useful?

What? What's that you say?


25 responses so far


Nov 07 2012 Published by under General Politics

I actually believed, until recently, that the "our internal polling shows..." routine was just part of the spin machine. That at worst the campaign might keep the candidate fooled to keep his confidence up.

But that for realzies the campaigns wanted to operate on the best possible polling data.

So they could know where to devote resources, where to fly the candidate for speechifying and all that.

99 responses so far

Voting Day in the US

Nov 06 2012 Published by under General Politics

Did you, my US Readers?

I hope so.

I voted on a number of things this year. For Obama to continue as President, obviously. A few nearly-uncontested other races and a few where it matters. The odd ballot initiative.

My Congress Critter race was made easier for professional interests are increasingly at odds with my usual preferences and luckily I don't have to deal with my recent quandry over voting for a Critter that I think is an idiot anymore. Small favors.

A local election or two were so bad that I had to write in someone else. I don't like to protest vote all that much but it really was called for in this case. My own party's candidate sucked that bad.

Ballot initiative type raise $$ support for stuff that should be coming from taxes. Sound familiar? Naturally, this can't happen anymore in these here U-nited States so we're left with this. Stupid ballot initiatives begging one special flower government role after another. Hoping to twang enough heartstrings to push this one over the line to get some funds for an overdue reason. Yeah, I vote for these anyway.

Only two real hold-your-nose votes for me. Social issues, that kind of thing. Biggies, really. So it matters. But the options on each side are suboptimal. Nobody said voting was supposed to be easy though.

If you are a USian and are reading this, make sure you've voted, eh? It all matters, even the easy stuff.

20 responses so far

Your Republican Party thinks quite a lot about rape

Oct 25 2012 Published by under #FWDAOTI, AntiFeminist Asshole, General Politics

Via brain wrap at DailyKos


Obama has a better approach

9 responses so far

Middle income

Sep 14 2012 Published by under #FWDAOTI, Anger, General Politics

Romney has really done it this time.

Stephanopoulos: Is $100,000 middle income?

Romney: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.

Where the middle is approximately the 96th-98th percentile apparently....

37 responses so far

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