In Drugs, Cuba Topics, the U.S. Is Isolated at Summit of the Americas

Drug war, including legalization, hot topic at Summit of the Americas – CNN.com.

“Obama voiced his view that legalizing drugs isn’t a valid option in the United States twice on Saturday — first during a meeting of business leaders alongside Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Santos and later during the event’s opening day session.”

I ask: Why? We are not winning the drug war. In fact, we are not winning any war but we kept on getting  in trouble because it is good business – for some; not necessarily for the county. And also because our leaders are not the ones doing the fighting nor are their kids. No wonder Milton Friedman, the economic adviser and ideologist of the Reagan administration, considered ending the military draft his greatest achievement.  The voluntary army makes war less disturbing among the high circles at tea time.

I digressed a bit. Back to the drug issue: With less than 5% of the world population, we have 25% of the prisoners of the world – that is counting all the bad guys such as North Korea, Burma, Cuba, etc. Does the lyric “the land of the free” in our National Anthem still apply?

From a Ron Paul website:

# 1 United States: 2,019,234 prisoners
# 2 China: 1,549,000 prisoners
# 3 Russia: 846,967 prisoners
# 4 India: 313,635 prisoners
# 5 Brazil: 308,304 prisoners
# 6 Thailand: 213,815 prisoners
# 7 Ukraine: 198,386 prisoners

And per capita:

# 1 United States: 715 per 100,000 people
# 2 Russia: 584 per 100,000 people
# 3 Belarus: 554 per 100,000 people
# 4 Palau: 523 per 100,000 people
# 5 Belize: 459 per 100,000 people
# 6 Suriname: 437 per 100,000 people
# 7 Dominica: 420 per 100,000 people

Drug legalization has gained traction in Central America, which is being squeezed between the suppliers to the south and the consumers to the north. Mexico is in a virtual state of civil war, notably in the northern region near the U.S. border. The cartels get their arms from across the Rio Grande. Even peaceful Costa Rica is beginning to feel the effect of the drug traffic and its president recently called for the legalization of pot.

President Obama’s best reason to oppose legalization (of anything) is that we have prohibited those substances for such a long time that is almost a tradition now. The man who promised “Change you can Believe in” has brought very little of it. And his likely opponent, Romney, is not any better; possibly worse.

If elected governor  in 2013, I intend to propose the decriminalization of marijuana sale and use in New Jersey – with the exception of the established radius around schools. However, under federal law, it will still be a crime. The N.J. Police will not chase you but the US DEA will if my proposal is adopted. I also intend to pardon a number of non-violent drug prisoners, notably those arrested because of possession of pot, now in N.J. jails.

I don’t think New Jersey is ready for more than that at the moment.

As for admitting Cuba back in the OAS and the entire US policy toward Cuba, I will just say this: It has become another traditional policy that does not take us anywhere but we have no imagination or courage to change it. The US embargo was a big problem for us in the opposition inside. We had no supply lines because of it. We were abandoned. Castro, on the other hand, has used it for propaganda purposes with great success for 52 years.

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A must-read for a leader

The Instability of Inequality – Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate.

Excellent condensation of the evolution of the socio-economic model in the West since the Bolshevik Revolution.

In the end, our main problem is that our politicians of both parties are above all interested in their own political survival.

And as the game is played today, that takes money; lots of it.

We must re-establish the social balance, and keep it.

David Stockman: “Obama folded like a lawn chair, republicans irresponsible”

http://money.cnn.com/video/news/2011/08/02/n_stockman_slams_debt_deal.cnnmoney/

The former budget director during the Reagan years decries the debt deal and blasts republicans for being “credit card republicans and irresponsible.”