whats the deal with Y2K???

Discussion in 'World Events' started by dexter, Nov 16, 1999.

  1. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    tiassa,

    First, I never considered my brother to be "evil" - rather, he was "ill"... and his illness was caused by a sustained chemical/physical reaction to a hallucinogenic drug. The way it was explained to me (if I remember correctly) was that, due to a unknown predisposed physical intolerance to the drug, the LSD caused a sustained chemical reaction in his body which created a sustained imbalance in the positive and negative electrical impulses within his brain, thus, causing a sustained distortion in his perception of reality. Although I appreciate what I perceive to be your well-meaning intentions, this was not a case of a drug-induced freedom of inhibitions, which I am very familiar with. This was a severe illness which cost him nearly two decades of his life, in and out of institutions, going from relatives' homes to friends' homes and back again, with no fixed address, living in the streets at times, experiencing manifestations of nearly every psychological disorder known to the medical community.

    I applaud you sincerely, tiassa, for what you did for your friend... Not only out of empathy, but also, because you put in the extra effort needed to make a positive difference in someone's life. Although your friend's pain was most likely very severe, tiassa, after "months" of being there, truly listening to the torture of his soul, hearing the screams, seeing and sharing my brother's agony, physically holding him in the darkness and giving all the love that one human being is capable of giving to another and finally having to accept the reality that my efforts were not truly helping... I sincerely wish that my brother's condition was, relatively speaking, as simple as the psychological condition which you imagine. Although I now realized that only professionals were equipped to deal with the severity of my brother's illness in a manner that could facilitate his functioning in this world, I do not consider my failed "good intentions" (or those of others who tried to help him) as being "evil".

    Second, other than a brief comment about the championing of the legalizatin of drugs, I don't believe that, thus far, I have made any statements which I feel the need to support... with or without prejudice?

    However... Since you asked... Unfortunately, my exposure has been relatively great. I grew up in the Bronx, New York. During my teenage years, drugs hit the street like a thunderstorm with no warning. There was no escaping getting drenched and feeling wet and wild was readily accepted by most in the community, including the police... Although there were those who were arrested for drug-related violent crimes, I do not recall anyone having been arrested for "possession"... All drugs may as well have been legal in the Bronx at that time... All you had to do was pick a drug... any drug... alcohol, marijuana, snappers, amphetamines, barbituates, mescaline, LSD, heroine... a drug of choice was available to all for a small fee... however, the cost in terms of lives of people, some so young that they had barely even truly begun to live, was astronomical.

    Like my brother, many received drug-induced sentences to mental institutions because of unknown predispositions in their reactions to drugs... others were not so lucky as they paid the ultimate price through overdoses and drug-induced hallucinogenic episodes which caused them to take their own lives or the lives of others... Teenagers and young adults were found dead in their bathtubs with needles still sticking out of their arms... or dead in their beds because they stopped breathing after taking the barbituates... You sometimes would wake up in the morning to learn that yet another person was found splattered on the sidewalk after jumping off the roof (or pushing someone else off the roof or out of a window) due to the hallucinogenic distortion in their brain which told them that they could fly... Other teens were found to have been murdered in various ways at the hands of other teens who were so out of it that they thought it would be "cool, man" to see, for example, someone "really hanging" from a pipe in the basement where they "hung out" to get out of the cold in the winter... Suicide was rampant... You would see so many "siezures" that, after a while, you would start to think that they were normal.

    Third... Enough said... I could go on about this for hours. I am sure that you have an anti-thesis for every bit of drug-induced anguish which I have experienced and witnessed in my lifetime. Believe me, I have heard it all before. However, this time, tiassa, I'd really rather not hear it. With many friends and family long gone at what I consider to be far too early an age due to the negative effects of drugs and alcohol and with more than half my extended family in some sort of recovery program or other (thank God), in this case, I'd rather hold onto my "prejucial" position against what is currently considered illegal drugs and controlled substances. As far as I'm concerned, alcohol is already too much for this society to handle adequately.

    Thanks anyway. I'll address your other question concerning Reagan at another time.

    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 07, 1999).]
     
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory ....

    I'm at a loss because yes, you're right that there are terrible places associated with drugs and alcohol. And it's not that I would minimize or dismiss your sense of loss, but I do need to ask ....

    The drugs themselves are to blame?

    You make a good point ... "currently considered illegal drugs." Well, black people could once be described as "currently three-fifths of a human being". They changed that law because it was clearly wrong. Women were once considered "currently too stupid to vote". Yes, drugs are a little more complicated a subject than who votes or whether a person is a whole person. But the reason drugs are "currently considered illegal" largely rests in greed. Until 1974, or thereabout, much drug regulation was a commercial issue. I might remind you, for instance, that marihuana became illegal in 1937. Okay ... nylon is introduced at a time whien the Department of Commerce is looking into setting aside federal funds for hemp decorticators (1936). Nylon makes rope. Hemp makes rope. The law that made marihuana de facto illegal was the 1937 Marihuana Tax Stamp Act. Do you remember the Bush administration forbidding the use of marihuana in cancer patients? A pharmaceutical house had come out with yet another synthetic concoction to replace Marinol, which was THC extract. Other drugs have their complications, but the only reason most "currently considered illegal" drugs are regarded as such has nothing to do with crime, chaos, or the decay of social morals. More and more, it seems that keeping drugs illegal is keeping a healthy black market bolstered with a very healthy chaos. And yes, I'm quite aware of marihuana's unique position among illegal drugs. But how are we going to make junkies want to leave the chaos behind by throwing them in prison? How are we going to keep young users from dying if they're sharing needles and using bad stuff cut by unscrupulous people? You know, the GOP, is now manipulating elections over needle exchange ... the day before Colorado's state legislature was to actually vote on endorsing IV needle exchange, the GOP told its people they would all hang out to dry in the next election if they supported the exchange. What is so important about doing the right thing that they can't?

    1.7 million people in federal prisons at the end of 1997 ... 85% of those for drug-related crimes; of that proportion, 3/4 were for distribution or possession ... hardly violent. Those are Dept. of Justice's numbers.

    652,000+ drug arrests in the US in 1998. Again, we see similar proportions on the distribution and possession. That equals one arrest for possession or distribution a minute in 1998. Why is there so much violent drug-related crime? It might (seriously) have something to do with having no bedspace for the violent criminals.

    Again ... it is not my intent to minimize past experience. But I would beg you to consider why the Bronx was in chaos, and whether the Bronx was bad because the kids did drugs or whether the kids did drugs because the Bronx was in chaos.

    There are a number of anti-theses I could make to any number of things you say about the specific psychology of your brother's decline. But I obviously haven't nearly enough resources to begin such an assessment. If I might ... [this is argumentative] ... I could say ... teenager? I know the questions your brother was asking, or at least as you described. But my fundamental psychology changed when I was 13 or 14 in the form of what might have been a stress-induced hallucination (yadda, yadda, yadda). The point here is that I can't assert that this happened to your brother because I don't know him, and didn't know him before or during the transition.

    But neither do you know ten- to twenty-million pot-smokers, or the thousands upon thosands of cokeheads or smack junkies. And you're prohibiting them access to their bodies with your best intentions based on your own set of observations. Those are valid but ...

    Were I to make the same set of observations based on my own drug experiences or those of the people close to me, well ... I think certain controlled substances are great. I don't like cocaine because it costs too much for what it does. I think the world could use a billion less caffeine addicts. Although I smoke cigarettes ... nicotine's a worse idea than a few illegal drugs I know. But I have a personal thing against methamphetamine, and thus against Ecstasy. Clean LSD has treated me very well in cautious, limited use. Psilocybin's been great ... in fact, the only bad experience I ever had there was because my girlfriend wanted to argue that I was paying too much attention to other people (funny, me and paying attention to people is abstract enough an idea when I'm "sober"). Marihuana's been better to me than I can express ... sure it costs too much but hey, that'll be taken care of soon when it's legal. What I'm getting at is that my experience with "currently considered illegal" drugs beats the heck out of my two-year coffee dependency that landed me in the hospital (well, it was coincidental internal bleeding with no impact or detectable ulcer, stacked up with undue psychological stress and dehydration due to coffee intake) or my eight-month stand playing the inside of a beer glass.

    Thus I would conclude that we've got it backwards, and that certain "currently considered illegal" drugs should be legal while we throw alcohol and caffeine out the window for about sixty years. Hey, let 'em drink gasoline if they're dumb enough to think it gets 'em high. But I've had a great time on drugs ... and those observations are as valid as yours.

    And that's where I draw a seemingly arbitrary line. I think caffeine addiction is a pain in the butt ... I take far too much verbal abuse from people who simply haven't had their coffee fix yet. And so, I guarantee, do you. But I won't tell people they can't drink coffee. Once I found out the truth about drugs, the decisions were easy: this can kill me, this won't ... this can kill me, this won't. But I think making certain drugs illegal is exactly the problem. If my observations concerning drugs are valid as well, then where does that leave us? My way people make their own decisions. Your way and people go to jail for stupid reasons and children don't learn how to protect themselves without being scared senseless. That last bit's hard, I know it. But I'm trying to make a very important point about it: You would prohibit people because of your experiences. I would rather let people do what they will so we can get along with more important things.

    Tiassa

    ------------------
    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)

    [This message has been edited by tiassa (edited December 08, 1999).]
     
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  5. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    tiassa,

    I knew my brother before, during and after his "transition". I also knew "The Bronx" (at least the expanded neighborhood I grew up in) before, during and after its transition. In both cases, without a doubt, drugs caused the chaos and demise.

    We don't always need to experience things personally to know what is good and what is bad. It's O.K. to learn from the mistakes of others at times because in the course of learning certain things through first-hand experience, like drugs, many have killed themselves in the process of "learning". That is why it is O.K. to draw lines and say no sometimes to both your children and society in general.

    For example, your child, who is in middle school, comes home and tells you about the group of high school kids that he came across in the alley. They were playing with a loaded gun. Based on what your child tells you, you realize that these teens were playing Russian Roulette! You say, "Believe me, for your own good, son, stay away from them and do not, under any circumstances, place a loaded revolver to your head and pull the trigger. You will surely die." Your son perceives you to be a "liar" because he has just seen a kid do it and nothing happened to him. So, you go on to explain that what that kid did was very dangerous, that the kid was lucky, but that in most cases, pulling the trigger of a loaded gun pointed at your head would kill you. Well guess what? Your kid actually saw three kids do it and nothing happened to them!!! (To him, these high school kids are as cool as everyone in middle school says they are.) You try and try to explain to your child about the reality and the danger of death which such an act brings about. Based upon what your kid witnessed first hand, there is no way that he is going to believe you. (Besides, all the kids at school say that parents are just a bunch of old farts who tell you lies and really don't know anything!) Do you then say, "O.K., then, go and do what you will... Learn the truth through your own first-hand experience. Put that gun to YOUR head and see what happens! Oh, and by the way... Good luck, kid. And just in case you're not one of the lucky ones... it's been nice knowing you." I think not. I think you TRY to educate your child. If he doesn't get it or refuses to get it, you ask him to trust your judgement. You probably tell him that you love him (and you mean it). Although he might not be able to understand you, you are telling him these things for his own good because you want to keep him safe and out of harm's way. If he cannot bring himself to trust you because his perception has been distorted by what he saw in the alley and by what he has been hearing at school, you draw the line and you say no. If the next day, you find out that he actually participated in the game of Russian Roulette and survived, you would probably counsel him again and discipline him in some way so that he gets the message before he kills himself.

    Referencing your own examples of the use of legal substances such as alcohol, caffiene and nicotine, it should be evident to you that people in general cannot handle "feel good" substances in a responsible and harmless way. In addition, as you pointed out, the harmful affects of addiction usually flow beyond the boundaries of "self" and into the lives of others and the society in which we all live. If it is harm that individual people ultimately want to do to themselves, there's currently plenty of ammunition out there for them to do the job.

    I do agree that treating the drug user is a better alternative than prison. I also applaud clean needle exchange programs. My favorites are those that also have trained counselors available for the addicts who might one day walk in and say that they have decided to pull themselves up and out of the "Valley of Death" and need some help. However, at the same time, I see drug distribution (dealing) as a violent crime... It is a big lie, offering nothing more than a false, temporary sense of well-being... although not the only one of its kind, it usurps (an illegal) profit by destroying and taking the LIVES of our fellow human beings... I have witnessed this violent attack against society first-hand...

    In conclusion, I think that we can agree on the fact that there are certain things which individuals NEED to survive which many do not have. Illegal drugs is NOT one of them. (If you are addicted, of course, you would believe otherwise). So, in my efforts to "help" this world, I think I'll continue to concentrate on helping to provide some of the basics such as food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, jobs for the unemployed and medical assistance for those in need before I start worrying about legalizing drugs or the supposed raw deal that drug dealers are getting (by virtue of their being in prison before every murderer and armed robber is found, arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned. Oh, how unfair life can be!). You can make the "legalization of drugs" and "keeping drug dealers out of prison until all other violent criminals are incarcerated" your contribution if you'd like.

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    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 09, 1999).]
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Truestory ....

    There's a hair or two to split, but I'm following your most recent post a little better than the last few.

    But we're back to a fundamental perspective problem. Quite simply, there is a difference between Russian roulette and drug use. We could start with the odds ... 1 in 6? Or, you could take the child out to a field or shooting range and put a bullet into a piece of wood or blow apart vegetable matter to demonstrate the force of a firearm. "See that? Imagine your head. Bang, splat." With drugs the odds are less definitive. On the one hand, a young basketball star just drafted to the Celtics takes his first line of coke ever, and dies of heart failure. To the other, I once held a job where the man I replaced had died suddenly of shock related to his being allergic to bird droppings. There is not one set of biochemical processes that makes a person allergic to birdsh*t, and another for cocaine. Take your kid out to show him drugs, you're still smashing an egg with a skillett. "Look at the homeless man ... that's what drugs will get you." You might as well say, "Look at the theft, that's what a [derogatory racial designation] gets you." At the moment of that statement, one cannot offer any support other than their parental authority.

    The reason drug legalization becomes incredibly important is that even DARE's own data demonstrates a connection between the drug war and drug-related crime. What was so important about the 1972 Bureau of Narcotics report to Congress regarding marihuana that it had to be scrapped, the Bureau dissolved and replaced with the Drug Enforcement Agency? Could it be that the study demonstrated that marihuana was less of a major health risk than pollution in an urban society? Perhaps it was the assertion that the majority of drug-related violent crime only exists because the drug is illegal--eliminate the black market and you eliminate its share of the peripheral miseries it supports. Maybe, just maybe, the effort to keep kids/people away from drugs is creating all of the reasons the effort advocates? I just can't imagine Bob from the local liquor store pimping out women who want to buy legalized pot.

    You know, school prayer advocates point to Supreme Court decisions separating church and state as a major downturn in the social structure. It isn't so much that I expect you to agree with that position, but it is a common one in society and worth addressing. Because I could dredge up my own statistics and point to the fact that, until 1937, human beings lived in relatively close proximity with certain plants. I think I can show that America, at least, has gone downhill as regards its social values since then. To apply a principle fairly, I could say it is the removal of marihuana from society that has contributed to our downfall. (I'm just getting after the principle of how people construct their arguments ... we both know too much was wrong too many years ago to hold the Supreme Court or Harry Anslinger responsible for social decay.)

    It's a frustrating thing because certain substances, currently illegal, should be regulated anywhere between tobbacco and prescription degrees. But people won't hear of it because they're illegal. But the reasons why these substances are illegal are disingenuous. I might remind you that the bulk of literature calling for the end of Alcohol Prohibition concerned itself with the rise of gangster violence supporting an alcoholic black market.

    You know, there's a guy serving 25 to life for the illegal possession of a single Tylox pill. 350mg acetamenophen, 50 mg coedine. 25 years. The reason for this is simply that drug laws reflect no other law enforcement effort in the nation's history. Consider for a second your constitutional rights:

    * An officer conducts an search made legal by a DEA profile (there are enough of these to cover every single American and every tourist or immigrant coming into our borders). He finds in your pocket less than a gram of marihuana, and finds in the jacket around your waist a plastic pill-bottle containing a single Tylox. The Tylox belongs to your associate, who is present with you. In fact, the jacket belongs to your associate, and their ID is inside the jacket. The court concluded the following: Minor in Possession 12 years prior; marihuana possession; opiate possessin (we'll get to that); intent to distribute (you cannot defend yourself against this charge); unauthorized possession of a prescription drug. Okay, that's the rap. You ready for the reasons? Marihuana possession: mandatory minimum--the court cannot consider specific weight, cannot consider circumstances of use. Opiate possession: synthetic opiates are considered the same as street heroin for sentencing purposes, despite the objections of the medical community. Intent to distribute: most states have distribution laws--if you are convicted carrying an illegal drug in more than a single container, you are automatically subject to a distribution charge ... there is no defense for this allowed, which seems to suspend due process. Unauthorized possession of a prescription drug: apparently, the associate (suspect's girlfriend) could not persuade the court to believe she had taken off her jacket inside a rock concert and asked her boyfriend to tie it around her waist. The bulk of his sentence, though, surrounds three issues: an MIP when he was in high school ... strangely, even in New Jersey, where he was convicted, that MIP would not be considered if he was on trial for armed robbery; the distribution charge, which I've explained the problems with; and then there's something called carrier weight laws. Okay ... 350mg of acetamenophen + 50 mg of coedine ... what does that equal? Tylenol and 50 mg of coedine. Unless you're under arrest. Weigh the whole weight of the pill plus the container it's in ... synthetic medicinal opiates as heroin for sentencing purposes equals Intent to Distribute in excess of a gram of raw heroin. His story, and several others, are available at Families Against Mandatory Minimums, http://www.famm.org .

    Now, my question is ... look at how much of the above logic seems exceptional. All of that twisting of reality to nail one guy with some bud and a high-powered analgesic. And we perform this mission while all of those starving crime victims go on starving amid violent crime.

    * Peter McWilliams was arrested by the feds for conspiracy to grow marihuana. Under California Prop 215, he legally purchased growing equipment to raise marihuana to assist his fight ... he's fighting AIDS. He was arrested for DONATING his equipment to the California Cannabis Buyers' Co-Op a week after Janet Reno announced that the feds would ignore 215 and continue to arrest medicinal distributors in California. After his arrest, he was denied the full course of his AIDS and cancer medications for four days, and denied an attorney during that whole time. As a final insult, however, the judge has decided that the jury will not be allowed to hear evidence or arguments concerning medical marijuana, and the jury will not be allowed to know that Mr McWilliams has AIDS. And all of this to fight the good fight. http://www.drcnet.org is following the story, as well as a few legalization-oriented websites.

    Again ... what GOOD is being accomplished here? These are not what I would consider isolated incidents ... it is the state of the Drug War. Did you know that there are enough profiles to give police the right to search your person and possessions merely because you exited an airport? There's one for if you leave by taxi, one if you leave by bus, one if you leave by private car, one if you leave by rented limo, one if you leave on foot. There's a profile that suspends search-and-seizure rights if you stop in the airport and call someone on a pay phone. Cel phone? They wrote ANOTHER profile.

    Consider this idea: the majority of the evil you see in "illegal" drugs comes from the fact that they are illegal. Period. The whole thing's a mess. The status quo should allow people to hurt themselves senseless if there's a question about the ethics of prohibition. We don't really know the full effect of evil music or sexy TV on kids ... I don't see the antiexpressionist view very clearly, but I can no more say that there is no effect at all than they could say there is. But, since we don't know, does that mean we should ban free expression? After all, we don't know how much our words are hurting ourselves or the people around us. If we invoke the rules of the Drug War while we figure out if it was Miami Vice that turned kids bad or maybe poor communication, parental hypocrisy, or other factors ... well, we'd have to ban television. It's a ridiculous state of affairs. The War Against Drugs perpetuates itself.

    And you're right ... there are more important things ... but you did remind me that you founded an organizaiton helped keep kids away from drugs. That might be the most demonstrable example I've ever had handed to me. What was important about that was that most people in the 80's who fought youth drug use LIED to them. And that's what I was wondering about in your case, whether you employed the truth or the party line. Consider a Partnership for a Drug Free America spot in the early nineties: "How to tell if your child is on marihuana or cocaine". Funny, the "symptoms" they described resembled the pubescent chaos quite typical to developing teens. One of the "symptoms" was: "If your child's appetite diminishes suddenly", while another was, "If your child's appetite increases suddenly." They mixed the two drugs' "symptoms" in order to create a blanket image that showed any normal teenager could possibly be on drugs. And what's worse is they're separate "symptoms". I do not get frenetic when stoned. Robin Williams said of stoners: "Guess what, Captain Herbalife! You've just macramed your ass to the sofa!" That was not the case when I tried cocaine. Characteristic behavior of chronic stoners and chronic cokeheads do NOT look the same. The ad was deceptive, unclear, and only served to widen the breach between confused kids and obtuse parents.

    All of it ... 62 years of lies ... "Reefer Madness", "The Devil's Weed", Scott Baio in "Stoned" .... It's all based on lies .... In fact, given today's drug problem, I would ask if you agree with Pot Prohibitionist Extraordinaire, Harry Anslinger, who reminded Congress: "With opium we have a Jekyll and Hyde effect; marihuana is all the terror of Mr Hyde with none of the benevolence of the good Doctor." Or perhaps, "Marihuana, sir, is not dangerous in the same context as a cornered rattlesnake." Perhaps we should take a second look at the 1972 report .... Perhaps it was only coincidence that Nixon did not like that report, and thus scrap it, and would later, during his administration's troubles, declare a "War Against Drugs" as a rallying cry to the nation.

    So I would propose, in like spirit, that you are certainly willing to do your good, and create more crime, and create more misery, and continue to contribute to a massive social tragedy. If you like, that is.

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    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  8. truestory Registered Senior Member

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    1,122
    tiassa,


    I refer to this excerpt from your post:

    To be clear, the organization offered wholesome recreational activity for children who would otherwise be idle in the streets and exposed to street drugs, street violence and street crime. The organization's purpose was to organize, sponsor, support and supervise such activities and focused on the positive nature of its purpose... the discussion of drugs, violence and crime were not functions of this youth organization.

    In reference to your passion for and knowledge of drug laws... As you know, generally speaking, I do not share your extreme concern in regards to these matters. Perhaps marihuana is not even as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco??? You know what, tiassa, I DON'T CARE because society doesn't need these substances to survive. Those such as yourself (if I am understanding your use of drugs correctly) who are so much in need that you choose to break the law on a regular basis to get and use your stuff, know the current consequences. If you think it's so important, that you'd rather fight that battle while watching people and families go homeless and hungry, then that's your choice. Sounds pretty selfish to me, though.

    In reference to your final paragraph:

    According to your logic, by my choosing to focus on helping to feed, clothe, provide shelter, jobs and medical treatment for the needy rather than on trying to change the laws so that drugs can be made more accessible and possibly less expensive for indulgers like yourself, I am creating more crime, more misery and I am contributing to massive social tragedy... Hah! Thanks for the laugh... What, tiassa, were you smokin' when you came up with that one?
     
  9. JMitch Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    129
    Truestory,
    As a former and still occaisional drug user, this is where I have to speak up. Plain and simple, the drug laws in this country are unfair. There's nothing wrong with using drugs. legalization of pot would undoubtedly reduce the violence associated with drugs, and decriminalize a just action. You might not see it that way. But as far as civil liberties go, the government has no business in telling me what I can and can't smoke as long as I don't interfere with or endanger others. Certain people will always abuse substances, legal or not That's just human nature. That being said, the government should step in and regulate drugs to make them safe (ie. dosages and purity) and remove the covert and unpredictable context of them. It's only fair for the government to allow a non-dangerous alternative to alcohol. In large doses; alcohol kills, severly impairs judgment, and makes some people violent. Smoke too many bong hits, and you wake up several hours later with a headache.

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    ( Of course though, this argument is for all illegal drugs but I wanted to use this example)

    I think it's great if you help the needy and the homeless, but drug laws ARE a social tragedy as well. How can the courts justify the paroling of violent offenders (such as rapists) to make room for a dude whole sold a pound of weed? I honestly don't know.
    And I'll just end this rant right here before I pass out on the keys. zzzzz zzzzzzzz....zzzzzz.
     
  10. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    JMitch,

    Wow! I'm sure I'll never cease to be amazed by the things that motivate some people.

    I have decided not to waste any more time with the wasted on the subject of drugs. I'll leave you and tiassa to commiserate with each other.

    Bye!

    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 12, 1999).]
     
  11. JMitch Registered Senior Member

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    129
    Tiassa-- Sorry I drove truestory away. That's my inadvertent specialty.
     
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,317
    Truestory--

    Sorry the kitchen was too hot. If you do come back to read a few, though ... there's a few things I'd like to respond to.

    In other words, you said nothing to the kids about drug use? And that's helping, by your context? Not once did that organization EVER mention drugs? Only diversion therapy and so forth? I'll draw no conclusions on those statements of yours, because regardless of how often you complain that I'm misinterpreting you, there is no interpretation of your summary of that organization's purpose that makes sense. Unless it can be said that, at no time, did the subject of drugs come up, which leads to several arguments even I don't want to waste my time on.

    * "You know what, tiassa, I DON'T CARE because society doesn't need these substances to survive."

    You know what, Truestory? You're right. And we DON'T need God, either. Not in the territorial, domineering, propagandous form that modern, mainstream, American Christianity has wrought on the civilization. By the way, tell the tribal nations whose economies and subsistence linked integrally to hemp that the UN's plan to extinct the entire genus "Cannabis" from the earth that society doesn't need it. Carl Sagan once pointed out that Cannabis might have been among the first intentional, domesticated crops. Rope, cloth, salve, food, oil. Tell me a plant that does it all ... In "The Emperor Wears No Clothes", Jack Herer included a 1930's pre-prohibition advertisement that demonstrated the components of a car, made entirely from hemp ... tires, panels, frame, upholstery, fuel, and engine block. Gee, I would love to know for sure that this is possible ... but I can't because the people who have, in the past, told me the same things about the Drug War that you are fond of reminding me, have done everything in their power to make such research illegal. In 1992 we had a pot initiative in Oregon. The winning prohibitionist logic centered around the idea that there was no credible evidence to support the libertarian stance. Well and fine, except the prohibitionist tradition has been to keep that research illegal. It seems to me the world would be better off if humans were deeply associated with hemp. It has plenty of uses besides the fun ones. But that's not important, is it?

    And yes, Truestory ... you are creating more crime and misery. As long as three hundred-million Americans are still fighting about who's screwing who, and who's smoking what ... as long as one limited, interpretive standard is proper for everyone, yes, those who advocate such a hideously paradoxical standard are doing nothing except lending to the evil they seek to destroy. (Oh, and the dealer said the stuff was called "White Lightning", perhaps a holdover affectation from his cocaine-snorting days ... it was nice and crystalline and soft and sticky and smelled more wonderful than a rose garden. Otherwise, it smoked okay ... I've had better.)

    So go forth and teach your children with lies ... just do me a favor: when the faithful are all at odds over what's proper and right for everyone else, leave the smart ones out of it. In other words, don't start taking things away from everyone else just because of greed, ignorance, apathy, or arrogance. Just because one segment of the society doesn't get it, they do not automatically earn the right to interfere in everyone else's lives.

    And remember that creed: "I'm telling a lie, I'm telling a lie, I'm telling a lie ... guess what, I think I'm helping!"

    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    35,317
    JMitch--

    You didn't drive Truestory away. Truestory drove Truestory away.

    Although it does look better, for the record, when a Specialist is driving the last of the nails.

    Thank you for your words in that little debate ... while I appreciate the comeraderie, I had been hoping not to drag everyone else into this one. But, we seemed out on a tangent and she handed me that little example.

    So I hope you didn't find the field to cluttered at your arrival ... reckless armies leave unnecessary waste.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    "Let us not launch the boat until the ground is wet." (Khaavren of Castlerock)
     
  14. BigC Registered Senior Member

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    111
    So what's the deal with Y2K anyways? I mean there's such a hype over it that I will probably be afraid to even leave the house for a week or so.

    What do you all think is going to happen if anything?

    My greatest fear is the people themselves not the Y2K 'bug'. Seeing since we're the ones who caused the problem in the first place.
     
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,317
    Thank you for the return to topic. Briefly, to avoid superflouous protest, let me simply say that I think things should be alright.

    I believe that any apocalyptic disaster we suffer will be of our own, conscious manufacturing. Maybe the lights will blink out for a couple of minutes. But it's up to everyone else to panic.

    Frankly, I hope a couple of financial institutions suffer major problems. After all, the businessmen who make computers knew this would be a problem when they built the earliest transistor computers. I find it odd that millenial apocalypse is so popular a myth that even our commercial institutions had to walk right into it.

    I was 9 years old when I learned about what Y2k meant in terms of computers. It remains a mystery to me why it took fifteen years beyond that for the US to get serious about it.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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    "Religion isn't dead either. The AntiChrist will have access to computers, television, radio, and compact disc. If he walks among us already, the chances are that he has a walkman. I just hope it's not Christ himself, disillusioned after two thousand years in a cosmic sitting room full of magazines and cheeseplants, turned malignant and rotting in despair at the way his message has been perverted." (Robyn Hitchcock, 11/1987)
     
  16. Zapper Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    46
    Tiassa


    I've been working as a programmer for Maine Frame Computers (opposed to desk computers) since the early 1970's and maybe I can help you understand a little.

    When I started the storage needed to store the data was quite expensive compared to other costs like employee salary's, etc. And when you have large quantities of data coming in with dates , this can eat up great quantities space (dollars).

    For example, Insurance Policy records might have a begin and ending policy date, birth date of the policy holder, birth dates of dependents, and date the transaction was added to the file. Assuming one policy holder has one dependant then there are five dates that have the century and year ( 5 dates X 4 digits for the year = 20 digits of data to store in storage ). To save space many, probably most companies decided all that they needed was the year and that the century could be dropped. So instead of putting 01/01/1998 in the records, 01/01/98 was put in (minis the dashes) . For each record entered ten digits of storage was saved. When you process thousands, or millions of records per year you can see this saved a great deal of storage space ( dollars ).

    Also it was assumed in the beginning's of these huge files that the procedures would be around only a few years and that the problem could be addressed when the procedure was redone. But what actually has happened is that there are thousands of these procedures that remained unchanged because they still function as well today as they did fifteen years ago. So now we have a crises with old files and procedures that only have the two digit year.

    In the 1980's when hardware prices (storage, computers, etc.) went down the problem still continued because of the time involved in designing new procedures, and salary's were now considered more costly than in the past. So it was put off until the crises came up a few years ago.

    If my writing skills, and vocabulary we were better I'd show you why a two digit year ( opposed to a four digit year) causes such problems. Also I don't want to drag this out, since I haven't read all the reply's and this may already have been posted in the past.

    Hope it helps.
     
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    35,317
    Zapper--

    Thanks for the recap. I'm familiar with much of that. What I'm getting at, though, considers a couple of different periods.

    The idea has been present, at least, since the 1950's, when punchcard data needed to be abbreviated because its capacity could be held in the palm of your hand. Even in 1982, though, it seemed astonishing to me that we used two-digit dates not as a convention but because of limitations. And the computer industry, since then, has grown exponentially.

    That paragraph at the end of my post, though, merely explains why I would hope for certain commercial chaos, that's all. It is, I admit, a harsh regard, but it's a "get-what-you-deserve" sort of thing. I mean, my first official Y2K meeting was in mid-1997. The insurance company I was with gave six programmers 13.4 million lines of code to review and fix, and that was to ensure the central bulk of their business. Two and a half years to do that, and then they get to turn their attention to subsidiary divisions and dealing with the agents' Y2k concerns. I mean, I wouldn't wish these poor programmers failure, but if the company has major system problems, I will smile.

    Just a perspective I picked up: It's only recently, and from one source, that I've heard the billions of dollars spent on Y2k nationwide referred to as wasted. The common theory among the public seems to be that this money goes to creating jobs. The company I'm presently with sells Y2K insurance ... I've seen the policies, we're going to make a bloody killing as a business. (I think it's bogus, but that doesn't really matter ....) What happens when we consider the financial aspect ... doesn't the computer industry seem to reap the benefit of its own error? And what stake does my insurance company have in promoting the idea of a coming disaster? But that's actually beside the point.

    Thank you, again ....
    Tiassa

    ------------------
    "Religion isn't dead either. The AntiChrist will have access to computers, television, radio, and compact disc. If he walks among us already, the chances are that he has a walkman. I just hope it's not Christ himself, disillusioned after two thousand years in a cosmic sitting room full of magazines and cheeseplants, turned malignant and rotting in despair at the way his message has been perverted." (Robyn Hitchcock, 11/1987)
     
  18. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    the following was written by Alex Heard, executive editor of Wired magazine and author of Apocalypse Pretty Soon. I copied it off of http://www.slate.com/diary/99-12-20/diary.asp?iMsg=1.

    This is one of the most rational approaches I've seen yet.

    [This message has been edited by Oxygen (edited December 23, 1999).]
     
  19. 666 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    378
    Tiassa,

    Try to look at it from a different point of view. It might help you understand why business men can completly ignore this untill the last second.

    I work as a computer tech. and rotuniely have to feild calls such as "What is RAM?". With all my technical knowlage I can't seem to find a way to explain this in understandable terms to a first time buyer. A buiness man doesn't have the time to learn the technical aspects of computers. With all the day to day minnor crashes that happen how is he to know that yet another "bug" isn't just another minnor crash? The only way he can hope to understand is by listening to his IT department. Problem... Most people who understand the technical asspect of computers, like myself, have a hard time putting it accross in a way the non technical can understand. Then you have those who just won't listen. Then through in the finacial asspect and it gets worse. The whole non technical asspect of the Y2k problem boils down to improper communication. We can creat new technology to make it easyer to deliver our messages but if those who understand can't find the words to explain what is going on in a way that those who don't understand can understand, the technology is worthless.

    We can help to solve this problem by having a advisory staff to suplement the IT departments. So the IT departments can focus upon day to day issues and implamnet new tech. While the advisory staff, who would be trained not only in the tchnical asspects of computers, but in communication and finance. All this so the big wigs, the ones who make all the choices, understand and the tech's who have to focus all time and energy on technical issues can. This leaves the IT advisors, who don't have to be trained deeply in computers, but just enough to give them a fundamental grasp, to help the big wigs.

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    My life could have been black and white, but I had to color it.

    [This message has been edited by 666 (edited December 23, 1999).]
     
  20. truestory Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,122
    As far as computer systems go, I anticipate some temporary disruptions in business, commerce and communication systems.

    Some might get a taste of the revenge that they seek. In the world of finance, yes, there could be some problems if individual institutions do not have their act together. A mild example would be: If a financial institution's computer program assesses inactivity fees based on the last activity date and the last activity date reads 1900 rather than 2000, then a client could be charged inactivity fees in error, creating a client-base full of unhappy campers... some institutions could lose part of their client-base, if they are unforgiving. On the other hand, a loan payment with a final due date of 12/31/99 might be interpreted as paid before the due date if paid on 1/2/2000 and the system reads it as 1/2/1900. In that case, the financial institution's computer system would not assess late fees and the institution's revenues would be diminished unless the program was corrected immediately and re-run or unless each account could be identified and corrected manually. Things could get interesting... Keep an eye on your accounts, if you have any!

    On a couple of more serious notes, let us hope and pray that there are no false readings in less-than-sufficiently-monitored intercontinental ballistic missile systems and other systems of destruction around the world. There could be no turning back in the case of an erroneous defense system launch, for example.

    Let us also hope and pray that terrorists do not force any Y2K destiny. According to Washington (AP), 12/23/99, "Persistent fears that terrorists may strike are impelling federal authorities to enhance security even while urging Americans not to panic. 'We are doing everything we possibly can,' President Clinton told an anxious nation Wednesday.

    Federal buildings are getting extra protection and security at airports is being tightened as investigators seek links between an Algerian arrested last week in Washington State to the loosely knit terrorism operation headed by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan.

    The Algerian, 32 year-old Ahmed Ressam, intercepted in Port Angeles, Wash., after crossing the Canadian border, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Seattle. He was charged last week with using false identification at a border crossing in addition to smuggling nitroglycerin in his car.

    President Clinton advised Americans to 'go about their holidays and enjoy themselves and make the most of it,' but at the same time, 'to just be aware of their circumstances, and if they see anything suspicious to report it immediately.'

    'Panic is not in our vocabulary,' said State Department deputy spokesman James B. Foley even as he again cautioned Americans abroad to be vigilant and avoid crowds and said, 'We have information that leads us to conclude that terrorists may be planning attacks around the world.' "

    May God bless you all and keep you safe!!!


    [This message has been edited by truestory (edited December 26, 1999).]
     
  21. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    This morning I heard on the radio that the government says that everything is fine and we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

    And that scares me most of all!

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  22. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    This morning I heard on the radio that the government says that everything is fine and we have absolutely nothing to worry about.

    And that scares me most of all!

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  23. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,478
    AHHHHHH! Y2K! SYSTEM MALFUNCTION!!!! AAHHHHHHHH! (Oops, minor glitch. False alarm! Everybody go back to bed!)

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