Category : oppression

If you’ve ever felt like you’re a slave to money, this video will explain quite simply how that is in fact true. It’s the best video on money creation I’ve ever seen.

Be sure to check out all five sections. Here’s part 2.

You knew this was coming…

“Shut up! …Bloody Peasant!”

“Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system!!”


I guess “Don’t tase me, bro!” is the “Help, help! I’m being repressed!” of our generation.

The recent spate of police brutality is no accident. It’s not a freak coincidence, it’s the way it’s always been. Would I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist if I said that the increasing militarization of the police is a carefully shepherded phenomena designed to slowly ensnare us in a web of oppression and fear? Well, I don’t care, because them’s the facts, man!

Four Recent Outrages
You’ve probably heard about the recent tasering of a U of Florida student who tried to ask John Kerry a few questions (but didn’t seem interested in hearing an answer). The kid, Andrew Meyer, was being kind of a dick and he overreacted and basically caused that situation by freaking out (notice how the cops lept into action when he mentioned Skull and Bones). He is now famous for pleading “Don’t Taze me, Bro!” shortly before he had 50,000 volts applied to his nuts.

This kid’s annoying dorkiness doesn’t absolve the police/security folks of responsibility. The fact that they tasered a guy who was subdued and on the ground is reprehensible. If you have six cops surrounding a suspect (who should’ve been escourted out, not arrested) there is absolutely no need to taser him.

Then there’s an older video that just made it on Digg showing a police officer shooting an Air Force security officer at point blank range for no apparent reason. There was an investigation and a trial and — (surprise!) Officer Ivory Webb was cleared on all counts.

Next we have the case of the delinquent granny who was finally brought to justice. Her crime? Not watering her lawn:

Betty Perry is charged with resisting arrest and failing to maintain her landscaping, both misdemeanors.

She was arrested July 6 after failing to give her name to a police officer who visited her home.

During a struggle, Perry fell and injured her nose. She spent more than an hour in a holding cell before police released her.

I bet we all feel safer with Ms. Perry behind bars.

If you think the police can’t top that, think again. Next is the case of the wheelchair-bound schizophrenic:

Officers said they arrived to find Delafield in a wheelchair, armed with two knives and a hammer. Police said the woman was swinging the weapons at family members and police.

Within an hour of her call to 911, Delafield, a wheelchair-bound woman documented to have mental illness, was dead.

Family attorney Rick Alexander said Delafield’s death could have been prevented and that there are four things that jump out at him about the case. “One, she’s in a wheelchair. Two, she’s schizophrenic. Three, they’re using a Taser on a person that’s in a wheelchair, and then four is that they tasered her 10 times for a period of like two minutes,” Alexander said.

According to a police report, one of the officers used her Taser gun nine times for a total of 160 seconds and the other officer discharged his Taser gun once for a total of no more than five seconds.

Now, I’m sure that was a difficult situation, but I fail to see why it was necessary to taser an old woman in a wheelchair. Surely a person who can’t walk can be restrained fairly easily. In fact, we know she was not a threat because the lady cop managed to shock her for a total of 160 seconds — almost 3 minutes. And now she’s dead.

A Fluke Spurt of Stupidity?
So where did I find all of these stories? Did I go to a site dedicated to monitoring police brutality like CopWatch?

No. I found them all on Digg. All on the same page!

Now, this is no doubt more than normal, but it points to a larger problem in our society: The police are out of control.

And that’s exactly the way certain people want it.

The Real Role of Cops
You see, there’s a common misconception about police. Some people (mostly white, middle class folks) think that the police are here to “protect and serve” everybody. But notice that their motto doesn’t say anything about protecting everybody, or even treating everybody equally. It’s conspicuous by its absence, in fact.

The truth is that the police are paid to protect and serve the ruling class and the ruling class mostly needs protection from the underclass.

America is a classist society, just like the U.K. or India. The rich and poor divide is sometimes as stark as the difference between slums and condos. Poor people naturally get angry and even violent when they realize that their situation is completely hopeless. No amount of hard work will get you rich when your only job skills are burger-flipping and bathroom-scrubbing. So sometimes the poor take matters into their own hands and try to steal something from the rich. That’s where the police come in. If you rob a house or steal a car you will be arrested; simple as that.

But what happens when the rich steal from the poor?

For the most part: Nothing. The elite can literally write our laws with a few well-placed campaign contributions. They can make their left illegal while they continually try to box the underclass in with obscene violations of the first amendment like free speech zones. The elite ghettoize our inner cities, offshore our jobs, make helpful drugs illegal, send our children to die in pointless wars, kill all those who stand in their way and terrorize the rest of us with servile propaganda and there’s not a goddamn thing anyone of us can do about it.

Asside from high-profile cases like Enron, the elite are completely free to run wild and reshape society to their liking. And the way they seem to like it is: The rich can do whatever they want, the poor and middle class must be monitored constantly and arrested instantly if they step out line.

The police subconsciously know this. They know that becoming a cop grants them power over others, but they seem to know not to abuse this power when it comes to rich people.

You don’t see a bunch of people in Lexuses getting pulled over on Cops. That’s not because they’re not speeding and not doing anything illegal. I bet there’s a lot of cocaine in a lot of glove compartments in a lot of Lexuses (would that be “Lexi”?). But the cops know better than to fuck with the rich. The rich have lawyers, they have friends in the force, they have resources and most important, they know politicians who can put the squeeze on the captain and get you reassigned to guarding the Taco Bell.

Poor people have none of these connections or resources.

It’s fine with the rich if you want to oppress poor folk; in fact it’s pretty much encouraged. The rich know that by giving the cops special privileges they can secure the fealty of the police. So the police are permitted to act like they own the place as long as they don’t step on the toes of the elite — the only people who outrank the cops in our society.

So the real role of cops in society is to protect the elite from the underclass, which includes the middle class, but the middle class is mostly pacified by TV, material goods and beer. The police are free to get their jollies off by knocking a few heads together as long as they don’t beat up the son of somebody powerful. The elite like how the cops are hated and feared by the poor and respected and feared by the middle class. This gives the elite free reign since the cops fear and respect the upper class, the only group of people more powerful that themselves.

The Militarization of the Police
Gang members know the police as just another gang; a more powerful one, but a gang nonetheless. But the people who control the police (the elite, if you haven’t been paying attention) are increasingly arming the police as if they were a standing army. The militarization of the police has occurred mostly over the last 50 years and is spurred by two bullshit ideological wars: The War on Drugs and the War on Terror.

The police in most major now have enough armament to invade and occupy a small country. Hell, we could’ve sent our cops to Iraq and they probably would have done a better job at containing the populace since they’re more thoroughly trained for that sort of thing than the army. That’s no accident. The cops are an army; an army of the elite. Their enemy, let there be no doubt, is you.

The plan is to make America into a fascist state: Amerika. They started slowly and carefully, and as they’ve gained strength the police have gradually been let off their leash, but the end result is inevitable: a police state.

It’s not like this hasn’t happened before. In the late 1800s and early 1900s this country was consumed by labor strife. The Socialist Party was founded to look after worker’s right and communism was gaining strength because the Robber Barons’ form of capitalism was so completely corrupt that there was no difference between the Government and Big Business (sound familiar?).

Hand of the Oligarchy
The Rockefellers basically controlled this country like it was theirs. When they had labor troubles they simply called in the police. The police busted heads and smashed the ranks of the striking workers and forced them to return to work for pitiful wages. The idea that the police can act as an arm of the Oligarchy is unfortunately not a new one. Things got better for awhile, but now we seem to headed right back to where we were a hundred years ago.

If anything the propaganda is a hundred times better now; many people think the police are there to protect everyone, but that simply isn’t the case. In many poor neighborhoods, if you call the cops they might show up four hours later. The nicer your neighborhood, the quicker the response. Many poor folks don’t even bother calling the cops. This, again, is not a new phenomenon: in fact, that’s how the Mafia got its start. The Italian and Irish Mobs began because a person of Italian or Irish descent could not expect to be treated fairly under the law. They knew that they had to take care of each other or nobody would; certainly the cops were more likely to beat you over the head with a baton than listen to your tale of woe. Like our current gang troubles the Irish Mafia was made possible by Prohibition. When a popular product is made illegal it can be extremely lucrative for those on the wrong side of the law; so much so that they can buy influence on the other side of the law and corrupt the entire system in the process.

Now the blacks are the new Irish and they have no pull with the cops, even though many black people are on the force (just like with the Irish). The difference is that the cops look after each other first, regardless of ethnicity. Once you are a cop you belong to a special club which is virtually above the law. As long as you don’t violate the Blue Code of Silence you can expect to reap the rewards of being superior to the underclass.

Tale of the Tasers
The weapons a cop receives are a totem to his power over others. Normal people are not allowed to openly carry dangerous weapons around, especially as the second amendment has been eroded. An officer’s gun identifies him as a member of a powerful group and symbolizes his social superiority and separateness from the masses.

Tasers are the new nightsticks. Cops will use a taser at the drop of a hat because it makes compliance push-button easy. It should be noted that taser are not nonlethal; they are “less lethal” which is how I would describe a knife versus a gun. In no way are tasers harmless; they’ve been responsible for hundreds of deaths in the last few years.

Between tasers, pepper spray, nightsticks and ray guns the police have all sorts of “less lethal” devices to ensure submission. Add in handguns, shotguns and the heavy artillery used by SWAT teams and you have enough firepower to conquer a major rebellion… which seems to be the plan.

The Oligarchy seems to be expecting trouble from us, the unruly populace. I can only wonder why, but perhaps they know how foul and oppressive their policies are. If so, they can’t plead ignorance to our plight; they are in fact responsible for it. The Oligarchy has no love for democracy; they clearly prefer fascism; it’s so much more convenient. Sadly, many Americans agree.

But you know, “oligarchy”, “fascism”, “democracy” and “freedom” are just big, abstract concepts. At the end of the day it all comes down to what we experience in the world. This video is but a small example of the arrogance and violent entitlement that many cops feel:

Cops see their badge as a license to take the law into their own hands. Don’t like the customer service you’ve received? Pepper-spray’em and arrest’em. If any of us did the same thing we would be in jail for a long time, but this cop got off scot free. There’s justice for you; Amerikan-style.

Fuck’em All: Give The Man the Finger!

Man, I wish there was such a chasm. Of course, the rope would’ve been cut a loooong time ago.

The Quebec police thought it would be fun to plant a few fake protesters in the recent Stop the SPP protests in Montebello.

Take a look at the video below. The guy in the suit with the beard is Dave Coles, the president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. He sees a bunch of beefy, 30 year old men dressed up like 17 year old anarchist punks who are clearly trying to provoke the police. He accuses them of being cops and they don’t deny it.

The cops “arrest” the provocateurs, to make it look legitimate, but there is no actual record of their arrest. They were plants, fakes, double agents, provocateurs.

Unlike the chickenshit, corporate-controlled American media, the Canadian media are not afraid to expose underhanded tactics like this, which are clearly inspired by J. Edgar Hoover and COINTELPRO.

The three are confronted by protest organizer Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Coles makes it clear the masked men are not welcome among his group of protesters, whom he describes as mainly grandparents. He urges them to leave and find their own protest location.

Coles also demands that they put down their rocks. Other protesters begin to chime in that the three are really police agents. Several try to snatch the bandanas from their faces.

Rather than leave, the three actually start edging closer to the police line, where they appear to engage in discussions. They eventually push their way past an officer, whereupon other police shove them to the ground and handcuff them.

Late Tuesday, photographs taken by another protester surfaced, showing the trio lying prone on the ground. The photos show the soles of their boots adorned by yellow triangles. A police officer kneeling beside the men has an identical yellow triangle on the sole of his boot.

Kevin Skerrett, a protester with the group Nowar-Paix, said the photos and video together present powerful evidence that the men were actually undercover police officers.

“I think the circumstantial evidence is very powerful,” he said.

The three do not appear to have been arrested or charged with any offence.

Police confirm that only four protesters were arrested during the summit — two men and two women. All have been charged with obstruction and resisting arrest.

Veteran protester Jaggi Singh, who is helping to circulate the video as widely as possible, said all four of those arrested are known to organizers and are genuine protesters.

“But we see very clearly in that video three (other) men being arrested . . . How do (police) account for these three people being taken in, being arrested? Where did they go?” Singh said.

“I have no hesitation in saying they were police agents … and they were caught red-handed.”

The next time you are at a protest or see reports of a protest turning violent, it’s fair to wonder whether it was provoked by undercover cops posing as protestors. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle as the cops claim they need more gear to fight off the protesters that they themselves have planted to sew the seeds of violence. I don’t think it’s unfair to call tactics such as this “fascist” and demand an independent investigation.

A shocking KSLA news report has confirmed the story we first broke last year, that Clergy Response Teams are being trained by the federal government to “quell dissent” and pacify citizens to obey the government in the event of a declaration of martial law. Economic Collapse? Another mass-casualty, false-flag attack? [/digg]

This is incredibly disturbing. Here’s the news clip for those who doubt:

Am I cynical to believe that something terrible will happen either right before or right after the elections (before inauguration)?

If it does, we’ve gotta stick together, organize and resist. This can’t happen to America. It’s like a nightmare you can’t wake up from. pioneered social media and social bookmarking. They helped create a community who believed in the “wisdom of the crowd“, but today the crowd bit back.

After Digg started burying stories and deleting user accounts because of the HD-DVD crack controversy the Digg community hit back the only way they knew how: They took over Digg’s front page. As of 11:15 pm CST, every single story on Digg’s coveted front page has something to do with the suppressed number.

The hexadecimal number ( 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 ) unlocks the DRM copy-protection on HD-DVD discs. HD-DVD is the successor to DVD, which is already cracked. Blu-Ray is apparently affected as well since it also uses the AACS content-scrambling system that was designed to restrict who can watch the next-generation movie discs.

It was revealed that the HD-DVD group was a sponsor of Digg’s podcast. The blatant conflict of interest riled up the Digg community, which has taken the story to other social media sites such as Reddit and even the old standard, Slashdot, which has added digg-like features such as the Firehose.

It’s fair to say the internet community has been in open revolt all day, against a site that was until yesterday a shining example of how Web 2.0 businesses can work — trust your users. Digg has apparently forgotten that lesson and has sided with corporate interests and knee-jerk lawsuit-phobia instead of it’s own users — the people who (literally) make the site work. Unfortunately, it looks like Wikipedia is falling into the same trap (although it often freezes pages during periods of great controversy to prevent editing wars).

With the incredible storm of rebellion racing across the internet there doesn’t seem to be a way out of this mess for Digg. Far from blowing over, the brouhaha appears to be getting worse. Digg’s half-assed attempt at putting out this fire only fanned the flames. It appears Digg might have temporarily blocked new story submisisons, but the link appears to be working now.

Diggers are pointing out the fact that Reddit and Slashdot have not taken down stories concerning the suppressed number, nor have they deleted comments. Because of that it’s looking more and more like a situation that Digg and Digg alone created through heavy-handed policing (which is no doubt allowed by their EULA) and overreaction in general, all of which has led to the current PR shitstorm.

Far from suppressing the number Digg has managed to enshrine it for all time in the annals of internet history. It’s interesting that it happened on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. Hopefully today will long be remembered as the day when the internet community took a stand against the evil DMCA, the law which is at the root of the problem.

Let no one say the social media community is afraid to bite the hand that feeds.

Update (5-2-07): Digg has come to their senses and declared that it will no longer delete posts containing the suppressed number. That’s probably wise since they would’ve had to ban half their users and remove all the stories from their front page for several hours. A little late, but the users have spoken, and Digg finally decided to listen.

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

It's just a string of numbers and letters, right?

A simple, almost random, collection of hexadecimal characters.

No harm could come from posting them, right?

I hope that's the case

Digg has censored this number and any story submissions or comments referencing it have been buried (well, they haven't found all the comments). Peoples' accounts have been deleted simply for submitting it. Amazing, isn't it?...

Makes you wonder why.

This is why.

In a nutshell: It's the processing key for HD-DVD movies, enabling users to crack the DRM and watch the movie on non-approved hardware (like Linux).

Please, spread this number around. The idea of censoring a number is so silly and totalitarian that I can't sit by in idle silence. We have to resist.

Merry Mithras’ Day

We’re all familiar with the story of Mithras, right? He was born of a virgin on December 25th and lay in a manger where he was attended by shepherds who brought gifts. He took a last supper with his followers, died, and then rose to heaven. He was worshiped on Sunday and was often depicted with a halo around his head. You know this guy, right?

Mithraism precedes Christianity by as much as 1,400 years. Much of the myth of Christianity appears to have been grafted onto Mithraism in order to make it more palatable to the Roman Empire at large, which had adopted Mithraism as one of many state religions. Roman Emperor Constantine was a follower of Mithras before he added Christianity to the list of religions he ascribed to. It was Constantine who moved worship day of Christianity to Sunday (previously it was Saturday, springing from Christianity’s Jewish roots) and declared that Jesus’ real, official, because-I-said-so birthday was December 25th. Constantine decided this in 313 AD without any evidence. It was just more convenient to stick it on Mithras’ Day, which as already an important holiday in Rome because it corresponded to important days in Sol Invictus and Saturnalia. December 25th is important to pagans because it was clear that the sun was returning by then, after months of the days growing colder and shorter. By December 25th, court astrologers could assure the Emperor that yes, the sun had decided to return. The head priest of Mithras was called papa or pope.

So when you’re celebrating Christmas this holiday, don’t forget to sacrifice a bull for Mithras. After all, he is the true origin of many of the rituals that Christians celebrate every year. Jesus, it’s worth noting, venerated Saturday as his holy day. Jesus was probably born in February or September and he was not born of a virgin. But in order to compete in the crowded marketplace of faith in 300 AD you pretty much had to be born of a virgin. Oh, and Jesus was probably not very keen on the Romans since they had conquered his people and forced them to worship strange gods (like Mithras). In fact, the whole point of becoming a messiah was so he could throw off the yoke of Roman oppression. Something to think about for all the Roman Catholics out there.

[digg] America’s drug tsar raised the stakes on drug testing in schools yesterday, suggesting that it could come to be seen as normal required and “responsible behaviour” in the same way that some US schools routinely test all pupils for tuberculosis.

read more | digg story [/digg]

Yes, but they don’t arrest the students who test positive for tuberculosis. What an idiotic thing to say. There’s more idiocy:

Mr Walters said cannabis use was not just a matter of personal choice and the expression of freedom in the same way as a preference for clothes and hairstyles. “We’re still living as if substance abuse is a fashion statement,” he said.

Taking a strong line against marijuana was “not being judgmental but showing that we care”.

In other news: down is up, freedom is slavery and war is peace.

So by “care” he means “ruin the student’s life”, right?

Caring for him seems to involve random, unconstitutional, invasive searches of bodily fluids, a draconian, fear-based atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust, combined with a desire to put people in jail for as long as murderers because they may have used a plant that grows freely across the world. Am I getting this correctly?

Man, I would hate to be Walter’s kid.

His string of sheer stupidity continues into the land of awful analogies:

The US policies were based on scientific evidence – some of it from the UK – that cannabis was linked to psychosis and schizophrenia. “We have a particular problem of our attitudes towards cannabis which hinders policy and hinders people going into treatment,” he said.

“The attitude is that it’s only marijuana. It doesn’t help if your kids are playing Russian roulette that they are using a smaller calibre weapon.”

This is some grade A bullshit, folks. As the Drug Czar he (probably) knows that cannabis is entirely non-fatal. It can’t kill you. When you overdose on it, you fall asleep and wake up with a headache. Aspirin, meanwhile, can kill you. Alcohol kills you. Cigs kill you. Cannabis does not. In fact, the only way to die from cannabis is to get several hundred pounds of it, pack it up tight, suspend it from a height, and drop it on your head. In other words: blunt force.

Before I move on, notice where he talks about treatment in the quote above. Now, let’s proceed to his next quote wherein he reveals even more hypocrisy:

Permitting such harm reduction measures gave the impression that “society allows a stance of it’s OK to be an addict”, he said.

Oh, I get it. Being an addict is bad and you should be arrested!! But what about treatment? Oh, maybe Walter’s idea of treatment is spending 10 years in jail. How compassionate. Most sane, non-hateful people are gravitating to the idea of addiction as disease/disorder. The D.C. Establishment is the only group of people I know of pushing the idea of addict as criminal.

Quite frankly, Walters doesn’t really have to make sense. Nobody really listens to him and it’s not his job to make logical, coherent arguments. He’s just an ideological attack dog. His job is to viciously defend the position staked out by his masters, much like how a junkyard dog guards his turf. The dog doesn’t ask why and neither does Walters.

Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know why: The CIA. If drugs aren’t illegal the CIA won’t be able to make the obscene profits necessary to fund its black ops. Drugs smuggling is only worth your time if drugs are a valuable commodity. If drugs are legal, they monetary value will drop by 90%, easy.

So we can thank the CIA for making it necessary to have a Drug Czar, who has turned around and endorsed mandatory drug testing for every single student. This guy might’ve heard of the “presumption of innocence” but obviously he didn’t like the idea much. I also suspect that he’s not a big fan of the 4th amendment. It’s so much easier to rule people when everyone’s treated like a potential criminal.

Goddamn Fascist.

Title says it all. Here’s the story from the Central Valley IndyMedia:

As I’m filling out my name and address on the petition I notice that the young lady is filling out a very official looking form. Probably just the ballot initiative form, I think to myself. Then, she says “is it OK if I register you as a Republican?” “What?!?” I say “yes, I do mind! What are you doing?” She says that if I register Republican she will get an extra 10 cents. But, I complain, “I don’t want to re-register.” She explains that this is just to update the records for the County Clerks office. I repeat that “I do not want or need to update my records.” I am repeatedly told that it is OK and that they just want to update my voter registration records. She also tells me that she is working for the Republican party, being paid hourly, and that the ploy about the “10 cent bonus” was not accurate.

This Republican party employee goes on to tell me that she is there to attract people to the table that is set up in Fresno’s Courthouse Park, and that the legalize marijuana petition is just a prop. She confirmed that there is no ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. She said that the petition will be given to an elected official in Sacramento. I have my doubts about that.

Man, who can you trust when the Republican Party lets you down? [snort!] [snort!]

It looks like the Republicans are desperately using every trick in the book to make people register as Republicans so that their electoral ploys this November will look more plausible. I’ll keep an eye for any of these fake campaigns in my neck of the woods.

At least the Republicans know how popular their drug policy is; which is to say, not at all! Both parties remain committed to the continuation of the failed War on Drugs, despite its unpopularity with voters. Gee, sounds a bit like Iraq, doesn’t it?

These ideological wars aren’t waged because they’re popular — though they may be at the start — they are waged to serve as a distraction and a power amplification conduit. The distraction part is obvious, but the power conduit part is less recognized. These wars transfer massive amounts of political, financial and military power to certain people within the government; that is the point of these wars. Bush/Cheney’s wartime expansion of executive power is the prototypical example for this type of power amplification, and it is repeated down the chain of command, at least where it’s relevant. The Dept. of Education hasn’t gained much power from the War in Iraq. But the Drug Czar, the FBI, DEA and the CIA have all benefitted hugely from the War on Drugs.

Of course, the fact that the War on Drugs and the War in Iraq don’t make sense from a rational point of view also constitutes an unanncounced War on Logic. Many of the neocons’ statements seem to portend an upcoming War on Reality. We can only guess at what comes after that. Perhaps a War on Everybody is in the works?

Before that war, we’ve got a series of additional wars that need waging. The War on Syria and the long-awaited War on Iran are coming down the pipeline shortly. What other wars will we need after that? Well, perhaps a War on Every Other Islamic Nation will be needed because I suspect they will assume they’re next even if they aren’t. And who can blame them? We’ve been invading Islamic nations for awhile now. If we go into Iran and Syria that will make 4 that we’ve taken out in the last half-decade.

War, war, war!! It’s a dirty business, but it hasn’t to be waged, doesn’t it?

Well, what about the power amplification conduit I mentioned earlier? What about the incredible amount of power we’ve transferred to the Pentagon, the White House, NSA, CIA and all the corporations helping them wage the war? Doesn’t it seem clear that they are addicted to power? They constantly need more of it. They feed, but they’re still hungry. More power!

When does it end?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. It ends with the War on Everybody.

AlterNet’s Norm Stamper calls for legalization to end the growing violence in Mexico and in America caused by drug prohibition:

In the mid-’90s, the Arellano brothers’ drug cartel ruled Tijuana, perched atop the hierarchy of Mexico’s multibillion dollar illegal drug trafficking industry. Using cars, planes and trucks — and an intimate knowledge of NAFTA — the Arellanos transported hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine into American cities.

They enlisted U.S. drug gangs. In 1993, in my last days as San Diego’s assistant police chief, the local gang Calle Treinte was implicated in the Arellano-inspired killing of Cardinal Juan Jesus Posadas Ocampo. The Arellanos bribed officials on both sides of the border, spending over $75 million annually on the Mexican side alone, to grease their illicit trafficking.

And they enforced their rule not just with murder but with torture. If Steven Soderbergh’s gritty 2000 film “Traffic” caused you to squirm in your seat, the real-life story of Mexican drug dealing is even more disquieting. The brothers once kidnapped a rival’s wife and children. With videotape running, they tossed two of the kids off a bridge, then sent their competitor a copy of the tape, along with the severed head of his wife. Another double-crosser had his skull crushed in a compression vice. And who can forget the carne asada BBQs, where the Arellanos would roast entire families over flaming tires?

Whenever you hear horrible stories like this one, remember who is at least partly to blame for this situation: Politicians who support drug prohibition because they think it makes them look “tough on crime” when the policies they support are actually just tough on liberty. Prohibition simply creates attractive (black) markets for criminals and sociopaths. If drugs were legal, they would be under the control of Walgreens, not the Arellano brothers.

Illegal drugs are expensive precisely because they are illegal. The products themselves are worthless weeds — cannabis (marijuana), poppies (heroin), coca (cocaine) — or dirt-cheap pharmaceuticals and “precursors” used, for example, in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Yet today, marijuana is worth as much as gold, heroin more than uranium, cocaine somewhere in between. It is the U.S.’s prohibition of these drugs that has spawned an ever-expanding international industry of torture, murder and corruption. In other words, we are the source of Mexico’s “drug problem.”

The remedy is as obvious as it is urgent: legalization.

Regulated legalization of all drugs — with stiffened penalties for driving impaired or furnishing to kids — would bring an immediate halt to the violence. How? By (1) dramatically reducing the cost of these drugs, (2) shifting massive enforcement resources to prevention and treatment and (3) driving drug dealers out of business: no product, no profit, no incentive. In an ideal world, Mexico and the United States would move to repeal prohibition simultaneously (along with Canada). But even if we moved unilaterally, sweeping and lasting improvements to public safety (and public health) would be felt on both sides of the border. (Tragically and predictably, just as Mexico’s parliament was about to reform its U.S.-modeled drug laws, the Bush administration stepped in, pressuring President Vicente Fox to abandon the enlightened position he’d championed for two years.)

Stamper makes an excellent and well-thought-out call for legalization, but he’s missing part of the puzzle. The missing piece helps to explain why legalization won’t happen any time soon: The government is well aware of the problems caused by drug prohibition and that’s exactly the way they want it. They don’t want crime free cities (how could they strip us of our rights and frighten us if our cities are peaceful?), they don’t want cheap recreational drugs (how else could they make so much money without informing Congress of where it came from?) and they certainly don’t want to get rid of drug dealers (how else could they arrest any black person at any time?).

The elephant in the room has a kilo of coke jammed up his trunk and none of us are supposed to mention that fact. The Bush Crime Family has depended on the income delivered by drugs for years. This shouldn’t come as a surprise if you know that George Bush Senior (“Poppy Bush” as he is called) used to be the Director the CIA, an organization that is notorious for smuggling drugs, protecting drug kingpins, selling drugs to fund black ops and generally behaving like a bunch of state-sponsored terrorists… cause that’s what they are.

The CIA needs drugs to be illegal. They have to fund their illegal, terroristic black ops somehow: How are we supposed to assassinate foreign leaders, execute coup d’États, prop up right-wing dictators and generally spread fear around the globe if some goddamn hippies are goin’ around talking about drug legalization?! What the fuck?! Don’t you know how hard it is to spread fascism and evil without a slushfund?

Good point. America, the choice is soooo much harder than it seems: If we legalize drugs we might inadvertantly make the CIA less evil and impede its ability to launch terrorist attacks against its enemies, foreign and domestic! Oh noooo!!!!!