Posted by: quiscus | July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011

1.  It certainly is in the U.S.:

“Democracy in steep decline around the world”

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/middle-east/democracy-in-steep-decline-around-the-world

2.  “For Only $10 Million Dollars, We Could Put the Petrochemical Pesticide Industry Out of Business

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/for-only-10-million-dollars-we-could.html

3.  “We Have Forgotten What the Ancient Sumerians and Babylonians, the Early Jews and Christians, the Founding Fathers and Even Napolean Bonaparte Knew About Money”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/we-have-forgotten-what-ancient.html

4.  “Goldman Bet Against Entire European Nations – Who Were Clients – the Same Way It Bet Against Its Subprime Mortgage Clients

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/07/goldman-bet-against-its-european.html

5.  “Ten Years Ago Portugal Legalized All Drugs — What Happened Next?

When the nation legalized all drugs within its borders, most critics predicted disaster. But a decade later, drug use has plunged dramatically.

The government in Portugal has no plans to back down. Although the Netherlands is the European country most associated with liberal drug laws, it has already been ten years since Portugal became the first European nation to take the brave step of decriminalizing possession of all drugs within its borders—from marijuana to heroin, and everything in between. This controversial move went into effect in June of 2001, in response to the country’s spiraling HIV/AIDS statistics. While many critics in the poor and largely conservative country attacked the sea change in drug policy, fearing it would lead to drug tourism while simultaneously worsening the country’s already shockingly high rate of hard drug use, a report published in 2009 by the Cato Institute tells a different story. Glenn Greenwald, the attorney and author who conducted the research, told Time: “Judging by every metric, drug decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success. It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country.”

For those looking for clues about how the U.S. government can tackle its domestic drug problem, the figures are enticing. Following decriminalization, Portugal eventually found itself with the lowest rates of marijuana usage in people over 15 in the EU: about 10%. Compare this to the 40% of people over 12 who regularly smoke pot in the U.S., a country with some of the most punitive drugs laws in the developed world. Drug use of all kinds has declined in Portugal: Lifetime use among seventh to ninth graders fell from 14.01% to 10.6%.  Lifetime heroin use among 16-18 year olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%.  And what about those horrific HIV infection rates that prompted the move in the first place? HIV infection rates among drug users fell by an incredible 17%, while drug related deaths were reduced by more than half. “There is no doubt that the phenomenon of addiction is in decline in Portugal,” said Joao Goulao, President of the Institute of Drugs and Drugs Addiction, at a press conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the law.

We’re not holding our breath that the Portuguese example will lead to any kind of abrupt about-face in America’s  own sputtering drug war, which is still sputtering steadily along at a cost of trillions a year.”
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28603.htm

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