Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On futility...

"If the government can't keep drugs away from inmates who are locked in steel cages, surrounded by barbed wire, watched by armed guards, drug-tested, strip-searched, X-rayed, and videotaped – how can it possibly stop the flow of drugs to an entire nation?"

– Ron Crickenberger


  1. What an excellent quote :)

    Thanks for sharing

  2. For a steady stream of quotes to choose from: http://www.QuotationsPage.com/

    They have two primary feeds:

    Given the scope of this evil war on drugs, it's not too hard to see how many of the quotes fit:

    R. Buckminster Fuller
    "Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."

    John F. Kennedy
    "Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain."

    Richard M. Nixon
    "Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too."

    Eric Hoffer
    "It is when power is wedded to chronic fear that it becomes formidable."

    Ernest Benn
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy."

    Mark Twain
    "He had discovered a great law of human action, without knowing it - namely, that in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only necessary to make the thing difficult to obtain."

    William Penn
    "A good End cannot sanctifie evil Means; nor must we ever do Evil, that Good may come of it."

    Upton Sinclair
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

    Henry Kissinger
    "The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."

    Martin Luther King Jr.
    "Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."

    Benjamin Disraeli
    "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct."

    Laurence J. Peter
    "Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."

    Henry David Thoreau
    "Men have become the tools of their tools."

    Chuck Reid
    "In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is."

    James Thurber
    "There are two kinds of light--the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures." (This one makes me think of that college kid who was shot as SWAT busted down his door and shined their lights on him; he raised his hands to see who the hell was breaking in, and they shot him for it!)

    C. P. Snow
    "When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion."

    Mark Twain
    "In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."

  3. George Orwell
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

    Jane Goodall
    "Change happens by listening and then starting a dialogue with the people who are doing something you don't believe is right." (This of course explains why the Drug Czar and Border Czar were no-shows recently. And why we have the intelligence to try talk with them. Also why for the Drug Warriors there is no conversation about drugs, only deafness and jail.)

    Chuck Palahniuk
    "The things you own end up owning you." (Think love of confiscating belongings & money, being able to barge in any place any time and not being held accountable, etc…)

    Carlos Castaneda
    "Self-importance is our greatest enemy. Think about it - what weakens us is feeling offended by the deeds and misdeeds of our fellowmen. Our self-importance requires that we spend most of our lives offended by someone."

    Elie Wiesel
    "Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself."

    George Eliot
    "The scornful nostril and the high head gather not the odors that lie on the track of truth."

    Sylvia Robinson
    "Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go."

    Eric Hoffer
    "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power." (Those with absolute faith in their absolute power; as they stomp the world to pieces, making the rest of us pay for it.)

    H. L. Mencken
    "To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!"

    Edward R. Murrow
    "When the politicians complain that TV turns the proceedings into a circus, it should be made clear that the circus was already there, and that TV has merely demonstrated that not all the performers are well trained." (We can see this is dated, now politicians are apt performers too! Rolling up sleeves when visiting disasters, etc…)

    and on and on. Worth subscribing to the feeds for a few quotes per day you can cull!

  4. Hah, there was a line almost exactly like this in The Wire during the second season after a rash of heroin poisoning deaths in prison. The warden expressed the same idea: if the War on Drugs can't be won in prison, then where on Earth could it possibly be won?

    Speaking of The Wire, is Edward Burns involved in any way with LEAP? He's an ex-cop from Baltimore, and anyone who watches the show will know that he's no prohibitionist. Just curious.

  5. R.I.P. Ron... gone but never forgotten.

  6. Christians Against Prohibition - thanks for the quotes. I especially like the one by Nixon (obviously he knew something that others didn't at the time!)

    Rhayader - The Wire is one of my all time favourite shows, especially the first three seasons. As for Ed Burns, he is not a speaker for LEAP but I know that he is aware of the organization. Ed Burns and LEAP Executive Director Jack Cole were both on a panel at an ACLU event in Atlanta two years ago called ""Undercover, Unreliable and Unaddressed: Reconsidering the Use of Informants in Drug Law Enforcement"

    From the article, Anti-Snitch Conference:

    The Wire producer Ed Burns acknowledged the relevance of racism and the drug war but was inclined to blame mass incarceration on the loss of manufacturing jobs. "When the jobs disappear, the drugs come," he said. "We are doing all of this because there are no jobs."

    This one particular comment aside, I think overall Burns supports the idea of regulating heroin, cocaine and other drugs.

  7. You bet David! That's why I forked them over, so everyone could copy/paste which ever ones fit in their presentations. :-)

    In retrospect, it seems I could have reordered a few to facilitate a flow to them, but…

    I see the links are inactive. Here are the two feeds:

    Quote of the Day
    Motivational Quote of the Day

  8. Cool, thanks for getting back to me David.

    Although I do have a small gripe: you said you especially liked the first 3 seasons? While those seasons were of course fantastic, I think season 4 was the pinnacle of the show. The whole series overall should be watched by anyone interested in the problems of modern urban America, of which drugs are obviously a major component.

    Anyway, thanks again for getting back to me, good to hear that Burns is speaking publicly about this stuff even if he isn't a card-carrying LEAPer.


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