More Syria

I thought Assad would be gone by now. With all the violence he has ordered, losing may not be an option. It seems that as long as Russia supports him, and China on the Security Council, he might hold on. The Kofe Annan peace process might have been expected to work. He did such a great job with Rwanda.

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It’s been pointed out that the only reason Assad is still around is that Syrians didn’t have weapons. They are getting them now. It won’t be long.

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Tehran and Pyongyang

It seems that one is as crazy as the other. Only Tehran seems bent on inciting Israel to war. Indeed, war should be here soon.

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Losing the drug war

OK, if we didn’t like drugs, there would be no drug trade. We do, so there is. Poor people in the growing regions grow drugs to make money. Importers import and make unusable (except for buying governments) sums. Street dealers deal for understandable sums and often end up in the hoosegow. The American powers-that-be incarcerate at ridiculous and unjust rates. It isn’t just young black males that have a reasonable expectation of incarceration. Even rednecks and housewives get slammed in the poky. In the latter cases, probably not for grass. In retail, you talk to many more people than you might care to (I do anyway) and among the under 25s , respect for cops is very low. They do respect the threat involved. Sort of like being followed by your friendly Highway Man, uh, Highway Patrolman.

Is it time to legalize grass? Yep. Will it improve society? Nope. It will reduce the prison population. Repealing Prohibition didn’t rid us of the Mob, it just made a lot of people more relaxed about living in the Mob controlled environment.

Just off the top of my head, I wonder if the drug trade has reduced domestic terrorism. Homegrown anarchic antisocial types may be drawn into the drug trade before their spinning eyeballs lead them into the real dark. Whatever.

So, farmers grow the stuff because they can make a little money, or because they are coerced. Importers import for the obscene profit. The routes have been long established. Air America. Noriega. The Taliban had put the kibosh on the poppies until we invaded. I don’t know whether it’s Air America, or if the Taliban ( or the warlords ) need the scratch.

As far as the pipeline up the Americas to here, well, if a drug cartel tells someone to let convoys come through and the guy is unsure, a proposition might be made. “Don’t allow the shipments and we will turn your family into fish food, douse you you with gasoline and set you on fire. Allow the the shipments and we’ll give you a quarter million dollars a year in cash.” A butt-scratching moment for sure. But just a moment. ‘ The Untouchables’ are a pretty rare breed, and Wal-Mart is now selling the movie for $5..

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Republicans in 2012

The Republicans seem to feel they’ll win in 2012 if they chop up our already meager safety net, as well as threaten unions, pensions, and all manner of deals agreed upon over the years. This in the face of growing inflation and a real possibility of recession returning, if not worse. This is setting the poor against the declining middle class. It is also Magical Thinking.

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Democrats say raising taxes is a needful thing to balance the budget. Given the growing inflation, whether acknowledged or not, and our continuing recession, whether acknowledged or not, this isn’t only harmful, it’s Magical Thinking.

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Dallas Mavericks: Champs

Congratulations to the Mavericks and their owner, Mark Cuban. It should be no surprise. Mr. Cuban proved he could manage a Dairy Queen, though he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. But the Mavs are an old team. They hadn’t in all their years found anyone they could beat. Ever. And then there was the Heat. The Dallas Mavericks are N.B.A. champions. The Heat shouldn’t be too glum. They like themselves sufficiently, whether or not anyone else does, and I heard a report that ‘The Biggest Loser’ TV people are holding a casting call in Miami in just a few weeks. The Heat should be a lock for that.

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