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Well I'll be damned.  Tall Paul says "Decriminalize, Regulate Heroin, Cocaine"?

MEXICO CITY—A commission composed mostly of former world leaders will recommend Tuesday that governments move beyond legalizing marijuana and decriminalize and regulate the use of most other illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

The international drug-control system is broken, says a report to be released Tuesday in New York by the Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Of course it's broken.

It isn't, and never honestly was about public health.  Oh sure, that's how it was sold -- but that's how damn near everything is sold these days, irrespective of the truth.

Never mind that public health is a chimera when we're not talking about communicable disease.  Nobody "catches" drugs; you use them intentionally.

Nor can you tell me that the US Government truly disapproves.  If they did they would have literally put Wachovia out of business for laundering massive amounts of drug money -- transfers they had to know were illegal at the time.  Instead they got a hand-slap.

No, what the government didn't like is that it didn't get its tribute -- that is, tax revenue.  And that*****es the government off.

I've long advocated treating drug addiction the same way we treat alcohol or tobacco addiction, because all are in fact the same thing: All of them suck, all of them are dangerous but all should be a choice that an adult is free to make, living with the consequences of having done so.

None of them are worthy of putting someone in a cage over.

This does not excuse committing violence, of course; if you do that drugged or not you should be prosecuted.  But again, the crime there is the violence, not the drugs.

Will we see an honest debate on this point?  I doubt it -- but that it's coming from people like Paul Volcker adds quite a bit of intellectual muscle to the debate.

It's about damn time.

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The preliminary report is out on the MH17 crash.

There are clear indications of a high-energy fragmentation weapon (that is, a missile with a proximity fuse) impact on the wreckage.  The photos are clear and convincing evidence that the plane was hit by such a missile and broke up in midair.  Conclusive, no, but convincing, yes.

The BBC says there was such a launcher in the area and Russians controlled it at the time (in addition there were other reports contemporary with the downing of rebels thinking they had hit a Ukranian military aircraft.)

Nevermind that it's incompatible with reason that the Ukranian government would have fired on a plane traveling from west to east (not from Russia, but rather from the EU) as such a plane was obviously not Russian, and the rebels had no aircraft of their own.

There you have it folks -- pretty much as I expected to find from the preliminary information.

Oh Vlad.... your dudes appear to have shot a civilian airliner -- accidental or not, the evidence looks pretty solid.

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I've noticed a few things of late.....

I'm an observer of people, by and large.  I'm the guy who sits and talks with the bartender, or simply sits back and appears to be reading some article on my phone while sipping my Rum & Diet.

I peruse dozens of news sources daily, filtering all with a rather jaundiced eye, as most are horribly biased and many are intentionally dishonest.

But through all of this I've noted a shift -- one that I've seen before, but this time it's more-pervasive, more arrogant, and just generally worse.

It's the destruction of civil order, to be blunt, and the haughty arrogance that one ought to be cheering on what is happening around us.  The so-called recovery.  The roaring stock market.  The whipping out of the plastic card instead of the Jackson for even the most-mundane, and many of those cards are not even credit or debit cards -- they're welfare cards.

People getting mugged in places where it formerly never would have occurred.  Crimes of opportunity, they say.  No... crimes of lack of civility.

The knock-out game you've probably heard of.  What you probably haven't heard, unless you pay attention, is that it's not just a band of black thugs rolling someone for grins that way -- it's also a white guy rolling a woman walking to her car in a place where she feels quite safe -- just because he can, not because he needs to or even because he has lewd behavior on his mind.  The only reason he targets her is that he figures she's unarmed, coming out of a bar where she can't legally carry her gun and have a drink.

The rip-offs and swindles have reached the point that nobody has a reason to respect the law, and the percentage who choose not to is going up -- rapidly.  That $9,000 bandage in a hospital?  It ought to be a felony, but it's an un-indicted and unpunished one, and for each of those another person decides to mug a woman coming out of a bar.  $60,000 for two $100 vials of scorpion anti-venom?  That's good for a dozen more muggings, a home invasion and a rape.  The guy "fixing" TVs that preys on an old guy with a nice television that's out of warranty and takes him for $500, enough for him to have just gone down to WalMart and bought another one?  Maybe he decides to get some of his money back from some random victim on the way home when he can't get the cops interested in arresting the shopkeeper.

A copper tosses an explosive onto a sleeping child in Detroit, and another one does the same thing near Atlanta, both doing grievous injury or worse, neither of the alleged suspects are in the house, and no indictments are issued against the assaulting parties -- that is, the cops.  All of these crimes are seen by millions of people and just 1 in 1,000 of them decides that since there is no law that punishes such things they deserve to take something as minor as a pack of smokes or a bottle of booze they don't have any money to buy.  The next day we have more muggings and robberies.  Maybe a pack of cheap cigars gets ripped off out of a store, but that guy gets shot at from the back and, when he tries to surrender, he's drilled.

Of course the apologists come out of the woodwork and immediately try to brand the dead guy as a thug.  Maybe he was, and maybe he wasn't.  But that doesn't matter; if he was surrendering and you shoot him it's still homicide.  Now we have people who never met him and aren't locals, who have no grudge to bear, who's only contact with him was a short while prior as they were doing work outside in the vicinity, stating that's what they saw.  And yet still, no arrest, because there are certain people for whom the law doesn't apply -- even when the act in question facially appears to be homicide.

We know what came of that, of course -- much more lawlessness, and fast too.  How can you be surprised when the above example was put forth for acceptable conduct?

What comes next?  A cop in Ferguson gets video taped pointing an assault rifle at an unarmed citizen bearing nothing more than a video camera, threatening openly to shoot him -- and identifies himself as "go **** yourself" when asked, on tape.  How many more people decided that day to say "**** the police and **** the law" from that specific incident when said cop wasn't immediately arrested and charged with felony assault?  You'll never know, but I'll bet it's greater than one.

If any of this was an isolated incident then it might be explainable, and containable.  But it's not.  The ripoffs and robberies occur daily in virtually every single hospital in this country, and among most medical providers generally.  The billing of someone $10,000 for a service that wasn't performed is systematic, not an accident.  It is not apologized for when it happens it is instead defended.  The nation's business paper of record runs no fewer than three pieces all featuring the same crap within a couple of days (there was another yesterday, by the way) and not one mentions the blatant cartel-based robbery that underpins the entire medical industry.

Companies set up "red light" cameras to supposedly improve public safety but at the same time shorten the yellows to intentionally create violations that must occur due to the laws of physics, then profit from those who travel upon that road and have no physical means of defense.  Other companies ticket you for violations that never happened, such as "speeding" in a school zone when the school is closed and thus the zone does not apply.  When caught there are occasional refunds -- sometimes -- but never is the party responsible identified, prosecuted for fraud and imprisoned. Both get (unconstitutional) waivers from the protection that any issue at controversy in excess of $20 is permitted a trial by jury where you could show intentional malice in their act.  Instead you're forced to cough up tens or even hundreds of dollars.

Other companies make consumer products that they know will fail a couple of years out -- with a one year warranty.  I have a stereo receiver that I use for music off my computer that is more than two decades old.  It works perfectly.  Today you're lucky to get a couple of years out of anything, and it's intentional.  It's also nearly across-the-board.

Our government swindles you every single day with deficit spending, destroying your purchasing power.  You cheer for your food stamps and how "compassionate" we are, and in fact you hear it in virtually every "mainstream" church.  It's all a lie; there's no compassion involved in robbing people of their dignity and their ability to provide for themselves a nickel at a time.

Speaking of churches, have you ever wondered about their proclamations of an afterlife?  Nobody has ever come back to tell us that it's real, of course, whether it's the puffery of Heaven or the fires of Hell.  In my cynical hours spent with various spirits of the liquid sort I have occasionally mused on whether that is an intentional lie conjured by men as a means of trying to convince the common parishioner not to take revenge in the here and now when his boy is butt****ed in the rectory or some other grievous insult has been perpetrated against him or his family.  After all logic says that a dying man finds no deterrence even when confronted with a death sentence by the civil authorities, and when the church has conspired with said civil authorities to rob the common man in their mentally deranged version of Robin Hood......

Exponential functions are funny things.  They always appear to be harmless and the consequences outliers when they begin, but math tells us that's never true.  Medicare and Medicaid, two of the greatest scams ever foisted on the American people and the states, forming the backbone of the medical ripoff artists in this nation, began that way.  So has the Federal Debt and the destruction of your purchasing power that has come with it, along with the impact of ZIRP -- an "emergency measure" that now, six years hence, looks more like someone's well-used catbox than a thought-out response to an emergent situation.

I was recently sent an email by someone I recognize from commenting here in the past asking at what rate of case expansion would you be concerned over Ebola in the US?  The sender cited a well-known internet site that loves to play charts and numbers, but frequently hypes reality; if they'd been right about either Fukushima or the BP spill I'd be dead at least twice by now, but somehow my fingers are still working.  (I haven't checked to see if I glow in the dark recently.)

I decided against replying to him because I had already answered the question in a recent Ticker -- at no rate of expansion do I care as long as I live in America, provided the virus does not mutate.  If it does, and becomes easily airborne-transmissible then we're ****ed and your only defense is to have enough supplies to "bug in" for six months or more until it burns itself out -- and kills a third of the population in the process. 99% of the people in the country will wind up rolling the dice on being in that 33%, because virtually nobody is equipped to, on short notice, "bug in" that way.  Yet that is the only means of protecting yourself against such a viral agent that's on the loose and has that sort of lethal profile -- bolt the door, refuse to open it, and shoot anyone who tries to break in.

But this same exponential situation applies to the lawless nature of our society today among the so-called elites, whether they be doctors, hospital administrators, politicians or cops.  

There is a point where the "lesson" they are teaching to all of us with their willful refusal to follow the law and the blatant flaunting of it, even at the minor level I saw just this last evening with a Sheriff that drove through an intersection in front of me with his iPhone plastered on his ear, becomes an exponentially-learned lesson.

The opportunity to stop the exponential expansion of lawless behavior expires at that point.

It is not too late today to put a stop to this, if we all demand it and are willing to enforce that demand.  However, if you think you can simply collect your little bit of the skim and ignore the rest, sitting on your ass or even benefiting from it, you're wrong.  When that exponential point is reached you will, without question or exception, become food.

Math never lies -- or sleeps.

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2014-09-08 22:21 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 209 references

So you still think doctors are the good guys in the medical racket?

Well, then consider this -- it's just one word that makes the difference between legal and illegal....

After Ms. Mallory forwarded his query to BlueWave's Messrs. Johnson and Dent, Mr. Johnson emailed: "Fyi To all I want to refocus that this is an ph fee not a draw fee. One word makes it legal the other illegal."

It's not what you do, it's what you say.

If you say one thing, it's legal.  If you say another, it's not.

I thought it what you did that made something legal or not rather than that you called it?

Oh, what is "it" in this case?

A medical testing lab that, according to some allegations, has been paying kickbacks to doctors for using it.

You decide whether the described amount was for "postage and handling" or whether it was (irrespective of how worded) for referring the test to them -- and pay close attention how much was "reimbursed" for said "p&h" and whether that reasonably corresponds with, well, actual postage and handling.

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Well, except for perhaps a little market-rigging....

The banks communicated using electronic chat rooms and other means of private communication, typically submitting identical rate quotes beginning at least in 2009, the Alaska fund said.


“This could not have happened without some form of advanced coordination,” the Alaska fund said in its complaint, filed in a federal court in Manhattan. “Even if reporting banks always responded similarly to market conditions, the odds against contributors unilaterally submitting the exact same quotes down to the thousandth of a basis point are astronomical. Yet, this happened almost every single day between at least 2009 and December 2012.”

Gee, nothing to see here, move right along.

There's no way that people would submit different quotes if they weren't coordinating, right?  Every gasoline store charges exactly the same, every gallon of milk, dozen eggs, pound of beef -- all exactly the same.

And this is all natural market forces?

Hoh hoh hoh.....

Who was involved?  Pick a name, any name:

The fund also named as defendants Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), BNP Paribas SA (BNP), HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBA), Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN), UBS (UBSN), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), Nomura Holdings Inc. (8604), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and ICAP.

But remember, nobody committed any crimes.

So said Gary Johnson, among others.


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