Duly Noted

A marked increase in the number of rude, rotten, and outright dangerous drivers is a local thing that my daughter and I, and a scattering of friends have noticed over the last several months. It has been, as my daughter noted, an increased number of Third World drivers, on our local roads. A lot of near-misses, carelessness in lane-changing, ignorance of use of the turn indicators, and a fair amount of road rage… including a shooting on a stretch of the IH-35 on the South Side of the city. While the South Side is largely and traditionally Hispanic, and has neighborhoods in it which have a reputation for being violent, especially after dark, I used to drive clear across town on my daily commute, from the largely Anglo, or white north-east side of town, to the Southside, and I often noticed that the drivers on the South side were a hell of a lot more courteous about allowing merges and lane changes on the IH-35.

One makes of that all what one will, considering the surge of illegal migrants over the southern border and their dispersion hither and yon, either under their own power or with the assistance of our deluded federal government and that of weaponized charities. And yes, they are as illegal as hell, if they have not processed a formal application and been approved for legal residency. Paying vast sums to a human trafficker to enable passage over the border through hostile desert and living in debt peonage to that trafficker for decades afterwards to pay it off – if ever – is not an acceptable substitute for a green card and eventual formal taking the oath of citizenship.

Another unsettling thing noted – in a closed FB group for new moms in San Antonio, my daughter has noted several incidents discussed there, of skeevy Hispanic-appearing young males apparently stalking young women in various large retail outlets – grocery stores, the Burlington Coat outlet among them. The young women are followed aggressively throughout the store and frequently out into the parking lot, and deterred either by waiting husbands and boyfriends, other alert shoppers, or store security – whereupon said skeevy Hispanic-appearing males vanish at speed. It was noted in one discussion that all locations where these incidents were reported were close to major highways through town; a woman taken by force from such a place would be miles away, possibly into another jurisdiction before law-enforcement could be alerted. There haven’t been any such reported abductions in the local news; yet anyway. Still, a worrying trend.

Even more worrying is the suspicion that it wouldn’t be reported in the mainstream establishment news anyway, although there is still some hope for local outlets honestly reporting stories like this, even if we have long written off the nationals, when it comes to crimes committed by representatives of the protected classes.

One last local concern – an uptick in concern on the NextDoor discussion groups about gunshots being heard here and there in the neighborhoods around mine – usually at night. Usually followed by a lament about how it didn’t used to be this way, by residents who have been living here for decades. There is a growing fear of violent crime, of demonstrated actual incidents of thievery from parked vehicles, or packages from off porches, violent homeless, and scary people showing up for no particular reason, ringing doorbells in residential neighborhoods very late at night – and I can’t really judge at this point if it is because there is a growing number of such incidents, or just that now we have a more efficient means of communicating about them. It’s all part of a dark and growing shadow.

Discuss as you wish.

51 thoughts on “Duly Noted”

  1. This should be no surprise with the number of illegals newly distributed in the southwest. We are hearing about more shootings in Tucson, thankfully in the south part of the city which is heavily Hispanic. The leftist Mayor has welcomed illegals and the city bought an empty hotel to house them. When we bought our house five years ago (fleeing CA) I managed to find a voting district that was majority Trump.

  2. “Even more worrying is the suspicion that it wouldn’t be reported in the mainstream establishment news anyway”
    Not suspicion, more like certainty. That Afghan “refugee” r@pe wasn’t covered at all in the MSM, was it? But you can be sure if any American directs an unfriendly gaze at a refugee, it would be The Biggest Story Ever and the poor victim would be invited to the White House where Slow Joe could drool all over them.

    This story, for instance, we can know the race of the assailants by the fact that it’s not mentioned:
    https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/32609877/olympic-gold-medalist-suni-lee-says-was-pepper-sprayed-racist-attack
    “American gymnast and Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee said she was pepper-sprayed in a racist attack last month while out with a group of friends in Los Angeles.”

    Shall we talk about the story of the moment, the Kyle Rittenhouse Circus Trial? The local and state officials let the city of Kenosha burn, let it get taken over by domestic terrorists. And what do we know now? We know the FBI had drones monitoring the situation. In Kenosha? What the heck for? If they’re monitoring some cr@phole like that, where aren’t they? And if they had eyes in the sky, why the heck weren’t they trying to control the ground?
    The obvious conclusion to draw isn’t that the authorities ceded the streets. It’s that Antifa/BLM ARE the street-level forces of the authorities. Go ahead and speculate who the real authorities are, but it’s clear who they use to project their power. Kyle Rittenhouse is being persecuted as an example to the population never to dare to stand up to them, or they’ll be utterly ruined.

  3. Maybe Dan can say more. I’ve not seen more than the usual speeding/right turn from left lane/wrong way driving, but I’ve heard complaints from others who drive farther and more often.

    The rate of auto thefts, and drive-by shootings (sometimes done from those stolen cars), and armed robberies, and fights in the schools–those are up, though the latter you only hear from students since they almost never get reported in the news.

    I haven’t heard gunshots in about a year–I think.

  4. }}} It’s that Antifa/BLM ARE the street-level forces of the authorities.

    The (cough! cough!) Brownshirt Thugs, you mean?

  5. Well, more like whatever the commie street paramilitaries were…

    We’re in a grim situation. Try to square Defund the FBI with opposition to Defund the Police, and normies just won’t get it. They think the FBI is all about going after drug dealers and pedos, when actually it’s all about going after conservatives…

  6. Gavin: the problem. The ones a year ago were an angry guy in a bar parking lot firing in the air to make his displeasure clear–nobody hurt. Something not-quite-fireworks more recently: no clue. I gather drive-by’s happen very fast.

  7. We’re experiencing reverse colonization: foreign cultures are being invited into our country and asked not to assimilate. In fact, assimilation is actively discouraged. So, keep living as if you’re still in a collapsed Third World sh*thole — being those murderous, thieving lifestyle habits with you. Don’t bother trying to adopt First World standards. Everything’s good.

  8. James the Lesser: “the problem.”

    That is unfortunate. But things will change if the Usual Suspects continue to encourage the coarsening of life in the West. There are a lot more of us than there are of the Wild Bunch — and the outcome is certain (although unpleasant) once we get riled up enough to take care of the Usual Suspects and their allies.

    Of course, my views are an outlier — not acceptable in Usual Suspect circles. Back when plane hijackings became a serious issue, I was opposed to hiring a bunch of jackbooted TSA thugs to annoy & inconvenience normal passengers. My proposed solution was instead to arm all passengers.

    At the gangway to the aircraft would be large racks containing a variety of suitable implements. A teenage male might choose a baseball bat, while an old lady might prefer a taser. At the arrival airport, passengers would deposit their weapons back on the rack. And over the entry hatch to the plane would be the immortal words of warning to the would-be hijacker: “Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?”

  9. Some rapper I’ve never heard of just got shot and killed a few miles from here. He was buying cookies, apparently. “Young Dolph.” (Only minority parents can get away naming their son Adolf/ph, I think.)

    A small area has been sealed off, and a crowd is gathering. The local stations have all pre-empted regular programming. Unfortunately the street is a major feeder for the airport and is close to I-40 where traffic has backed up for hours.

    As for fentanyl deaths, they’re closer to flat-out suicide than murder IMO. And if fentanyl helps cleanse the population of lowlifes, why complain? (Tucker Carlson talks about it all the time, BTW.)

  10. No one takes fentanyl on purpose. It’s laced into other drugs. To intentionally kill people. Not to get them addicted, but just to kill them. You are expressing the same idea that many do–those druggies deserve it–but some combination of China and drug cartels straight up murdering 50k+ Americans, even “lowlife” Americans, should not be just shrugged off.

  11. Really? Lots of people take fentanyl and other drugs on purpose, because the drugs make them feel good.

    Fentanyl is a legal drug with legitimate uses; those who choose to muck about in search of the perfect high often pay the price for stupidity.

    I’ve known some illegal drug OD-ers. No loss.

  12. Tragic as the losses are to those that love them, the deaths of the addicted often come as a mercy for everyone involved. It’s cruel to say it, but there it is–You can’t “cure” addiction, not until and unless the addict makes that decision internally, on their own. Forcing it does not work.

    The other thing about this is that there are usually other psychological co-morbidities associated with the addiction. Often, the drugs and drug-seeking behaviors are attempts to self-medicate, and given the state of knowledge we have about what goes on in the brain, I suspect that you do about as much damage as you do good with any of this stuff, to include the legal crap the doctors hand out so blithely.

    It’d be my contention that there really isn’t a gnat’s whisker of difference between some of the doctors I’ve been forced to deal with and a lot of the drug pushers on the street corners. One of my guys came back from Afghanistan with what could euphemistically be termed “issues”. He sought help from the system, and what they wound up doing, without any of us being informed (including his wife…), was basically handing him a bottle of pills, telling him to take ’em for a week or two, and then come back in and talk to the doctor about it.

    Boiled down to a free-form unsupervised experiment in brain chemistry, one that saw him swing from near-catatonic to manic, all without any of us knowing about or understanding the fact that they were medicating the ever-loving hell out of him. Even his wife didn’t know–He was ashamed of being “weak”, and hid the fact that he was even seeing anyone.

    End of the day, that doctor ended my guy’s military career, his marriage, and a bunch of other things, simply through his casual prescription of powerful psychotropics. Having watched that whole thing, and not having known at the beginning what was going on, about all I can say is that if you’re going to start messing around with people’s brains with chemicals, you need to do it in a clinical environment where they are resident, and you need to observe them 24/7. You do not put people undergoing the process of “finding what works” out there in the “wild”, and just let what happens happen. We simply do not know enough about what the hell is going on inside the brain for us to really say what chemical additions or subtractions are going to have what effect–It’s all trial and error, not too far removed from witch-doctery. I would submit that it’s fundamentally stupid to try doing anything like that on your own, and even the way a lot of doctors approach that stuff is highly questionable.

    Lots of the people we’re bewailing here as “lost addicts” are, I am sad to point out, not all that much of a loss. A few hundred years ago, they’d have been too expensive to keep around, and the sad fact is, society would usually eliminate them one way or another. Dysfunction is rewarded with death in nature, and if you’re dysfunctional…?

    Nowadays, of course, we simply elect them to Congress. Much more humane–For them. For the rest of us? Kinda becoming a problem…

  13. “It’s cruel to say it, but there it is–You can’t “cure” addiction, not until and unless the addict makes that decision internally, on their own. Forcing it does not work.”

    My wife and I are starting to bounce ideas off of each other to help exactly these people. The ones who are ready.

  14. There’s little more tiresome than having hyperbole taken seriously. If I said “No one watches CNN” I don’t mean that their viewership is zero. Similarly, of course there are people who take fentanyl to get high. But the catastrophic death numbers are known to be due to fentanyl being put into other drugs in fatal amounts. And if your reaction to that is “good riddance” rather than to recognize that what’s going on is ChiCom revenge for the Opium Wars, then you really need to reevaluate your life choices.

  15. ChiCom revenge for the Opium Wars? Sure, what goes around comes around, and the world can be a very cruel place.

    James the lesser had an excellent question that you have avoided, Brian. Who generally mixes the fatal dose? If you are seriously proposing that large numbers of fine Americans are dying because the Chinee are putting dangerous drugs into legal, prescribed meds, you need to cite a study.

    Boohoo about our precious drug-addicts all you want, it doesn’t change the facts.

    Good riddance to those who make bad choices.

  16. I agree with Kirk that the medical establishment is pill-happy;a major trend of modern American medicine has been toward the magic pill panacea, with some side jaunts into panacea jabs.

    And if the 24/7/365 messaging is that drugs are the answer to our problems (and we all know that IS the message) then weak-minded and weak-willed people (and we all know that’s what our public schools mostly produce) will be trying to get drugs 24/7/365.

  17. “If you are seriously proposing that large numbers of fine Americans are dying because the Chinee are putting dangerous drugs into legal, prescribed meds, you need to cite a study.”
    LMAO, this is a comment section, not a scientific journal. If this idea is new to you, you live an amazingly sheltered life. Go ahead and google it yourself.
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=fentanyl+lacing&ia=web
    As far as I have ever heard, and I have absolutely zero direct experience with this area, druggies buy stuff from their dealers and then use it, we’re not talking about chemists mixing up their own stuff from scratch, or knowing the exact provenance of it, good grief.

  18. I’ve got addicts in the immediate family, and much as it pains me to say… None of them were sitting at a bus stop and got mugged by some dope-pushing fiend who shoved a bottle or a needle into them.

    All of them made a choice. Some of them made that choice knowing that they were likely inheritors of a genetic background that made addiction a very high likelihood, yet they still chose to pick up the bottle and take that toke. What do you do with that? And, try as everyone who loves them does, nothing helps until and unless they chose to deal with that problem themselves.

    I’ve got a childhood acquaintance, the “kid who had it all”. Great, supportive family who had a really good upper-middle class income, talent, opportunities galore. Dude was recruited out of high school to play baseball for one of the state universities, full-ride scholarship. He was also an utter idiot that was constantly seeking to adjust his brain chemistry through experimentation with drugs and high-risk behavior. He’d wrecked three cars, driving drunk, before he dropped out of college as a sophomore. Mommy and Daddy kept buying him brand-new ones. They were at their wit’s end, trying to keep this wastrel from out of the gutter, and it took a toll on them. I think both went to early graves specifically because of the added stress this wonder-child brought into their lives. His brother and sister were both born without whatever gene complex or acquired mental issues he had, and they both “flew right” straight out of the nest, never having a problem with drugs, alcohol, or “stupid”. Meanwhile…? Yeah.

    I think a lot of the problems with this crap actually comes from the do-gooders. You shelter people from the consequences of their actions, and what do you get? You’ve insulated them from an essential conversation that they need to have with their environment, the one where Mama Nature applies little corrective lessons to their behavior. If you interrupt that conversation by “doing good”, I’m sorry, but the only damn thing you’re really doing is giving yourself the warm fuzzy feeling you get from being the morally superior “helper”. The actual problem? That’s in the head of the addict or alky, and if you keep protecting them from the consequences of their own poor choices, what incentive do they have to make better ones? After all, you’re going to be there to pick them up, again…

    That childhood acquaintance I speak of, up above? Care to guess when and why he corrected his “lifestyle choices”? Yeah; after Mom and Dad were ‘effing bankrupted by him, and in their much-earlier-than-expected graves. Bro and Sis done cut him off; he was literally evicted from the family home and thrown out onto the street the day after his last parental enabler died, his mother. And, lo and behold… Reality spoke to him, and he had to either fly right, or die in a gutter somewhere. After some twenty-plus years of being a waste of skin, he finally got a clue and more-or-less became a productive citizen.

    That old saw about “you have to be cruel to be kind”? There’s a lot of truth to it, but the thing you don’t hear from hardly anyone is just how cruel you can be by being “kind”. When you protect others from consequence, you’re actually short-circuiting a very necessary conversation those people are having with their environment, and that’s far more cruel, in the end, than walking by the idiot and letting them experience the consequences of their poor choices. Try offering one of the “homeless” beggars on the side of the road a job, rather than your hard-earned money; observe the choices they then make. Most of them will tell you to fsck off; they’re right where they want to be, living off the public, able to indulge themselves in whatever vice they choose. And, so long as you keep putting that money in their hands, that’s precisely what they’re going to keep right on doing.

    Charity in a lot of these cases is not actually doing the objects of it a damn bit of good–You’re actually enabling someone else’s self-destruction and poor choices, much as if you were paying them to degrade themselves for your sexual gratification. Everyone likes to think “Oh, what a good person I am, by helping those “less fortunate” than myself…”, but the sad reality is, you’re paying them for performance art just as much as that sick bastard down at the strip club is, when he stuffs dollar bills in that single-mom drug addict’s g-string. The only difference is, when you put that dollar into a panhandler’s cardboard box, you’re doing something that’s more “socially acceptable”, but the reality is? The gratification-at-degradation is all in your head.

    Yeah, I’m an asshole. But, I’m also a realist–And, if you doubt me, try offering one of those “victims of homelessness” a damn job, and watch how they react. Most of them will spit in your face; one out of a hundred might show up for a day, but he’ll steal your tools, refuse to work, and likely wander off because “it’s too hard…”. These people are where they are not because of misfortune, but because they made the choices that put them there. Don’t enable them.

  19. Coupla items
    About the FBI drone over Kenosha: yes, they do it, and with small planes too.
    Run a search for the phrase “gorgon stare”; it’s the original project name, and woo boy are there some stories.
    Re fentanyl: yes it’s actually a prescribed drug. Generally used to basically put someone into a coma. It’s used a lot where they’re on respirator (nudge Covid) and at end stage treatment. (When you have a breathing tube in, they’d rather you didn’t keep trying to pull it out. Cause they hurt.) I remember sitting in the CCU room with my late brother and noticing the word ‘fentanyl’ scrolling across the the dosage drip screen.
    When illegal drugs are cut (called ‘stepping on it’ in the trade, that’s actually how they say it) the use of ‘fenty’ is when you have a batch of dubious stuff, so the attempt is to ‘boost’ it. In a mirror image process, high grade heroin is usually stepped with power baby laxative (again, not kidding here) to smooth the run and expand the quantity, because it’s sold by the dose, after all. No quality control is used beyond the mixing spoon level, and all done by hand.
    I recently caught a note about a ‘sophisticated’ drug lab being busted in Northern Mexico. What made it unusual was they had scale with mixing bowls, and dust masks even. Unheard of. (Try and put you head around that.)

  20. Illegal drug users aren’t the most technically sophisticated types out there…

    But, TBH, the legal ones aren’t a hell of a lot better. I really loved hearing the process used to work out what psychotropics and what dose they were giving my guys for PTSD. “Oh, here’s three milligrams of X; take it for a couple of weeks, come back, let us know how it’s working…”.

    You might think I’m joking, but that’s what they were doing. The “process”, if we might dignify it with that term, worked by having the patient come back in and self-report how the “medications” were helping them… Most of the time, they weren’t even aware of what they were doing, or what behavioral changes were observed by their peers and those living with them. I had one guy go from “normal, but not his usual ebullient self” to outright narcoleptic, then manic, then paranoid, then narcoleptic again, and on and on in a continuing roller-coaster of psychological effects. Not knowing it was medication, we all just assumed he’d either gone schizo on us, or was taking illegal drugs. Even his live-in girlfriend was scared by him, and concerned enough to come in and talk to us about what he was doing. She didn’t want him around explosives or weapons… And, of course, we had no freakin’ clue what was going on with his bi-weekly appointments over at the hospital, ‘cos that’s private, donchaknow…?

    The human mind is fragile enough. I think that a lot of what these idiots are doing, with self-prescribed illegal drugs and officially-prescribed psychotropics is akin to taking a fine Swiss mechanical chronograph, and then trying to adjust the timing on it with a five-pound cross-peen hammer as your only tool.

    We really don’t know enough about the brain, the chemistry, or much of what is really going on inside our heads to be doing this, yet the witch-doctors of the world keep right on ahead with their blithe assurance that they understand and grasp all the nuances of it.

    What’s even worse? Often times, they know that a given drug has serious side-effects in about 90% of the population, and yet they still keep prescribing it, ‘cos it’s generic and cheap. The reality here is that you really shouldn’t be prescribing drugs with known mental effects without taking the subject into a controlled environment and then having them professionally observed and assessed. The meds they gave one of the women who we know as a family friend for her epileptic seizure episode were incredibly “active” in terms of personality and behavior… Went from “normal” sweetheart type to raging psychotic bitch that had to have the police called on her multiple times, and all due to the meds–They got her off of it, and six months later, back to normal.

    If it’s got a psychotropic effect, it should only be administered in residential treatment program, and under strict supervision. Period.

  21. Way to miss the point, Brian. The illegal drug trade is a free-for-all, and black market drugs will be of iffy potency and provenance even before the processes described ably above take place.

    The vast majority of people who OD are involved in exactly the sort of street-drug self-medication Kirk describes–they are willing participants in the system. Or rather they drive the system with their selfishness.

    I drank too much, and smoked a lot of pot and some hash in my younger days, but I also had friends, relatives and acquaintances who played Russian roulette with pills and stuff that can be snorted and injected. Some died very young, others have lived as physical and mental wrecks, and at a cost to productive people whether they straightened up or not.

    The Tai-ping leaders initially imposed the death penalty for opium use, but before long they were using and/or selling it themselves. Mao it is said solved the problem by the same method, in mass.

    We won’t be doing that,

    –Gotta run. Later

  22. Never mind. Apparently it is unanimous here that massive record-breaking drug overdoses due to lacing fentanyl into other illegal drugs is totally A-OK, and not another reason to be concerned about border security. A few murders and other crime is an outrage, tens of thousands of intentionally caused ODs (with many many more not-fatal, and so not counted in that total) is no big deal. I apologize for bringing it up.

  23. Eventually, you run out of the drug-susceptible… Although, it can take quite awhile; note how many alcoholics we still have in the populations whose ancestry includes copious use of alcohol.

    Although, the rate of alcoholism is a lot lower in the European populations, than say… Amerindian. Likewise, the rate of hashish addiction is lower in the regions of the world where that stuff was prevalent. Why? Because there were generations of culling that went into all that. It’s kinda like lactose-intolerance: You breed for something, either by addition or subtraction of those traits from the population, you get more or less of it, depending. Europe drank alcohol for hundreds of generations, starting in early youth. Is it a huge surprise that the survivors are not as prone to alcoholism?

    I’m an asshole to say it, but maybe an alternative to all of this angst would be to encourage early and thorough culling of those who are susceptible…? They’re mostly doing it to themselves, so maybe we ought to just be honest with them, and put out boxes of pre-filled syringes for them: “Here–If you’re a weak-minded fool, take ten, use them, die young and remove your failed genes from the gene pool…”.

    I honestly think that’d be a better approach than what we’re doing. I’d make it all legal, and tell people that they can get whatever they want, subsidized, even–All they have to do is get themselves sterilized and stay out of the public eye.

    Hell, I bet I could get myself immortalized as an utter racist asshole, and probably end drug problems in the inner-city black population, simply by telling them “Hey, here’s your free smack… Go kill yourselves with it, it’s all you’re good for…”. If nothing else, it’d serve as a huge wake-up call for some; for those who’re gonna use, anyway, it’d just speed things up somewhat. I do think it would help reduce the social approval rate, if you were to, say, call in the most successful drug dealers and give them the Presidential Medal for Eliminating Useless African-Americans, or something along those lines. “Thank you for killing off your homies, and making them less of a burden on society…”. You’d do two things at a stroke; eliminate the economic logic for criminal drug dealing, and removing the social cachet for taking the drugs in the first place. Hell, I’d even go so far as to show up at the various venues for rap music and so forth, and hand out awards and public thanks for the artists glorifying that crap, thanking them for their fine work in destroying anything positive in black urban culture…

    Please note: The above is satire, and not reflective of my actual attitude towards any particular ethnic group. Although, I think it would be fun to direct something like that at these assholes who glorify self-destructive behavior…

    I honestly think, though, that if you were willing and able to sacrifice the good opinion of posterity and the present-day “nice and decent folk”, you could probably end drug abuse in about a generation, simply through the use of reverse psychology and ridicule. Right now, acting “black” vs. “white” is held up as the ideal in a lot of the black community, but what they don’t mention is that the “acting black” thing is dramatically and unequivocally self-destructive and counter-productive in a modern society. Hold that up for ridicule and satire…? It’s potential technique. You’d be excoriated for generations, though–Simply for being brutally honest. I don’t know that I’d have the balls, TBH. It would be a lovely image, though–Showing up at the various awards ceremonies to thank the artists for their fine work in tearing down anything positive in their own community.

  24. @Brian,

    You don’t risk exposure to fentanyl if you don’t first seek illegal drugs. This is a point you don’t seem to grasp–And, the rest of us are at a point where tolerance for the self-indulgent and essentially useless is reaching an end. Seen what Seattle, or any other major West-coast city looks like, these days? Because of the “coddle the addicted” mentality that you’re espousing?

    I decry self-destruction, no matter how it is achieved. But, if you’re gonna do it, I can’t do a thing to stop you. So, have at it.

    That’s my attitude, in a nutshell. I don’t like that people are wrecking their lives, but I’m not gonna sign up to be their keepers. You want to turn the rest of the “unenlightened” into domestic animals that you then have to care for? Have at it; don’t expect my help or approval. It’s a fool’s game, in the end.

    Up to me? I’d make the use of Narcan illegal, except in legitimate cases of inadvertent exposure to things like Fentanyl. Let them weed themselves out of the population, if that’s what they’re all hell-bent on doing; I can’t stop them, I can’t fix them, and until I achieve omniscience and omnipotence as some godlike entity, I’m going to continue to remain aware of my limitations. I think it’s the height of arrogance to assume that kind of authority over others, which is what you’re doing when you advocate for idiocies like “drug treatment programs”, precisely none of which have worked.

    We’d all be better off if we simply legalized everything, and made the user pay the full price for their idiocies. OD? Too bad, so sad… About all I’d do is make access dependent on age, after having to sit through a full course of instruction about the effects, and then tell people that access to free drugs of whatever sort is only available after you have yourself sterilized and then give up your right to vote. You want to give up on life? Fine; we’re just going to require that you pay the price, and you don’t get to make anyone else pay for it. Including children.

  25. “This is a point you don’t seem to grasp” And there you go, as always, with your gratuitous insults. I “grasp” that point completely. You seem unable to “grasp” what I am actually saying. Go ahead and argue with your hallucination of what I’ve said some more, I’m done with this.

  26. You make it abundantly clear that you don’t hold the actual drug user responsible for their choices. It’s all someone else’s fault–The nasty Chinese, the foolish politicians who don’t maintain a sealed border.

    Final analysis? Ain’t none of those “evildoers” putting the needle into the arms of these feckless morons. You don’t “catch” Fentanyl inadvertently, and it’s not being snuck into people’s breakfast cereal. It’s all dysfunctional people abusing chemicals of their own volition and free will. I don’t stand much of a risk of being killed by a fentanyl overdose because I don’t take recreational drugs, and if I do get exposed to it because of someone else doing that? The convoluted path that would have to take would be painfully contrived.

    Don’t want to die of a Fentanyl overdose? Don’t take illegal drugs. Simple problem, simple solution. And, before you go bewailing the “loss to society”? I know some of these people; brute fact? Their deaths would be a net gain; I could worry less about the petty theft problems and having them run me off the road, driving drunk. Hell, you’re starting to convince me that the smart money would be subsidizing these people’s early deaths through free drugs. I’d imagine the rest of us would be able to get on with our lives without having to worry about having to clean up the needles and human feces off the sidewalks of our public venues… Probably reduce a lot of policing budgets, as well.

  27. Kirk: “It’s all dysfunctional people abusing chemicals of their own volition and free will.”

    Certainly that is a large part of it. We all have ‘agency’ and can make our own decisions. But the other side of the drug problem is that the Ruling Class have destroyed large parts of the economy. 60,000 or 70,000 factories offshored — Yeah! for Free Trade. Some of the guys who would have worked in those factories learned to code, probably more of them got jobs at the DMV, and a very large number of them found themselves out on the street with no hope. Brian mentioned in an earlier thread the devastation in small town America — and the evidence of that is undeniable.

    We would all like to think that when/if life craps on us, we roll with the punches and struggle on. But it is understandable that some of us human beings, when denied dignity and hope, will turn to self-destructive behavior like drugs.

    Short version — fix the economy and the drug problem will likely decline dramatically.

    I don’t know enough about how China recovered from their English-driven serious opium problem, but have got the impression that the process involved a lot of summary executions. It would be interesting to learn more about how China broke the back of that problem — maybe Cousin Eddie could shed some light on the history?

  28. It’s always interesting to hear someone come up with crap that doesn’t pass either the test of logic or consistency.

    So… What you’re actually saying here is that the workers of Red State America have no agency, and are basically kept domesticated animals, incapable of fending for themselves? You do realize that, yes? You’re basically saying that it is to be deplored that their keepers aren’t taking care of them, and that as a natural consequence, they’ve resorted to drugs and alcohol, spiraling into self-destruction. It’s not their fault; they have no agency, bear no responsibility for their acts which led them to that state.

    If I said that about some other class or group, like… Say, perhaps blacks? Would I be a bigot? A racist?

    You make your own choices in life. Nobody is forcing you to take that drink, shoot that drug into your arm. You can either suffer the vicissitudes of life, or you can deal with them. It’s no different than the days of yore, when the enclosures were going on in Scotland and Ireland: You could chose to be the passive victim of changing times, or you could get off your ass and go find opportunity and useful work, elsewhere. It’s no damn different today; you’re not “owed a living” by anyone, and if your labor isn’t valuable enough to keep your job profitable when compared against some Chinese peasant who was treading water in a rice paddy two weeks before he got hired at the factory…? What the hell does that tell us about you?

    That’s the other damn thing–People constantly decry the “poor education” on offer in public schools here in the US, these days. I’ve done it myself, but you know what? The real issue here isn’t the piss-poor teachers or the schools, it’s the parents and students who accept those low standards, thinking that if they can force an “A” out of a teacher ‘cos reasons, when they really don’t know jack about the subject…? Whose bloody fault is that? The schools, or the people tolerating that sort of thing, and encouraging it in their own kids? Or, worse yet, who’re so apathetic about raising their own children that they’ve signed off on someone else ensuring that they’re properly educated to compete in this world of ours?

    Root cause of all this? It’s not just the elites who “sent those jobs away”, it’s all of us who tolerated them doing that, who want the cheap Chinese crap out of Walmart instead of the more expensive US-made products, and who’ve tolerated the lax standards in the schools along with everything else.

    You want to begin assigning blame, my experience has always been that going after externals and excoriating them ain’t usually to anyone’s benefit, at least in terms of solving a problem. In the case we’re talking about, while there are a lot of contributing factors going into the drug “crisis”, the final responsibility lies, as always, in the individual. You had to make a choice to wind up a gin-sotted wastrel in the slums of London; it’s no damn different today. Blaming some nebulous set of other parties to excuse the piss-poor choices that all drug and alcohol abusers have made is just another example of that “soft bigotry of low expectations”. Of course white trash Middle America is self-destructing; we’ve taken away the largesse their betters blessed them with, and they’re unable to cope without their keepers around to provide for them.

    That’s the essence of what your argument amounts to. Do you see that?

    The drug problem is a symptom, and a symptom of a far deeper problem in American society. It’s an expression of a certain learned helplessness, one that’s been deliberately taught in order to enable the would-be slavemasters of modern society. They want apathetic, compliant minions down below their exalted ranks, so they’ve worked as best they can to inculcate that helplessness, that excuse-driven mentality you’re espousing here. Who has the ability to put a stop to this crap? All of us; we just need to quit buying cheap crap from Walmart, and stop voting for the crooks we keep sending back to Congress every election. We’ve tolerated this situation growing up around us, and that’s our own damn fault, collectively. The individual choices we’ve made? They’re now grown to be significant, and it’s time we acknowledge them and deal with the implications. Those jobs that went to China ain’t coming back, because Joe and Jane America didn’t pay attention in school, didn’t take the hard classes, and had parents who raised them to be entitled little brats who don’t want to work at anything harder than staring at a screen.

  29. And if fentanyl helps cleanse the population of lowlifes, why complain?

    Those interested can watch Scott Adams’ video recounting his son’s death by overdose.

  30. We know the FBI had drones monitoring the situation. In Kenosha? What the heck for?

    I like Vox’s theory that Rittenhouse was being stalked/ setup by an FBI-Antfa conspiracy.

  31. My guess is the feds were monitoring their street shock troops, yes. Kyle’s being railroaded to dissuade anyone else from daring to stand up to them.

  32. Thanks ErisGuy, I wasn’t aware of Scott Adams connection to the fentanyl overdose epidemic.
    For those interested in watching, here is a link to his account:
    https://www.pscp.tv/ScottAdamsSays/1YpKkLZqvqAGj
    He talks about it for the first 17 minutes or so. My only criticism of his narrative is when he states that he admires Xi. This behavior happens because the Chinese leadership allows it to happen, as does our own government. They are all corrupt to their very core.

  33. Kirk: “Who has the ability to put a stop to this crap? All of us … We’ve tolerated this situation growing up around us, and that’s our own damn fault, collectively.”

    I would be tempted to agree with you, Kirk. But the last time on a previous thread when I suggested that we all collectively might be responsible for the mess around us, someone — someone you know well — told me to “go screw myself”. But that was then, and this is now. What is different?

  34. The Wikipedia entry on Opium in China is pretty good. Leave aside the Brits and Yanks, there was eventually a huge domestic demand and supply–by the mid-1800s. The Chinese government– and eventually every regional or factional player that contended after 1911–both discouraged and were dependent on the trade.

    Somewhat like the situation in the USSR in 1986: the gummint knew that the population were a bunch of desperate drunks, but the taxes on the gummint hooch were a major source of revenue.

    As I mentioned, Mao damped the problem down somewhat by radical measures, but I’d have to be smoking something to think that they’ve licked the problem in the long term any more than we have.

    I don’t have any great, humane solutions to our current shitty situation, and my own life in the vicinity of druggies has made me callous. So be it.

  35. Well, given that my initial comment that started this off was about the Opium Wars, where the Chinese wanted to stamp out the opium trade and the British wanted to flood China with opium, I don’t think we can really “leave aside the Brits”…you’ve skipped the actual relevant parts of the history.

  36. No, Gavin, what you specifically said in that thread was that we old people were responsible, all by ourselves. Not “everybody”, specifically the old people who somehow made all this crap happen, and deserved getting screwed because they somehow benefited from it.

    Which is part and parcel with the way you like to find scapegoats and assign “responsibility” here. It’s a two-way street; those pitiable rednecks whose “jerbs were losted” bear no responsibility for anything; they’re just hapless victims. The drug epidemic is someone else’s fault. Bad things happen to everyone, eventually; how you deal with it is up to them, nobody else.

    The fact that you somehow manage to conflate these things is incredible. You want to absolve the drug addicted and willfully ill-educated Red State types for their lost economic opportunities driving them to drug and drink, but at the same time, you also want to blame us “old people” for somehow having had involvement in making “all of this happen” so we get it “good and hard”. The hypocritical selection of who you feel sorry for is telling; it’s the dysfunctional druggie who we should pity, ‘cos some vast impersonal forces disenfranchised their life-style, while we ought to blame and ridicule a different set (in your mind, at least–I think you’d find that there’s a lot of cross-connection between the two groups, in reality…) for things they didn’t have a damn thing to do with.

    So, which is it? You claim my thinking is muddled and confused, but from where I’m sitting, yours is flatly schizophrenic.

    In the end, drug and alcohol addiction are individual choices made by individuals. You can’t fix addiction from the outside, and more than 90% of the time, even offering them the tools is a waste of time. Supporting them in their folly is to compound their folly sevenfold; true compassion would be to let the natural consequences fall where they may, and pray that enlightenment somehow comes to these benighted souls, and then do as much as you can to help them once they’ve demonstrated their sincerity.

  37. The illicit synthetic opioids coming from China are almost certainly coming from the same plants that make the licit. It’s not something you make in a kitchen. The question is whether or not the diversion occurs as a matter of government policy. This is complicated by the fact that it can’t exist at all without at least some sort of forbearance from some officials. So, are they following orders from some higher level or bought and payed for?

    It’s not likely that China can avoid a major problem from domestic consumption of these drugs. If it did, it would be the first time in history.

  38. well the opium came from india, initially, ghazipur was the chief refinery of such, and the brits wanted the tea, one might say the chinese wanted the industry, because they saw it as an end to spread Mao’s doctrine, maybe robber baron capitalism was the only model, they recognized, that was my earlier default,

  39. Brian, we all agree that as a matter of historical fact the Brits and Yanks used force to serve and eventually enlarge Chinese demand for opium. So what? Basic capitalism. And we all agree that the Chinese at all levels were as corruptible as anyone else when it came to easy money. So what? Basic human nature.

    In the modern world, it is American demand that drives the trade, not Chinese demand (yet) and in Chinese eyes what they’re doing is justified. If we can’t stop it, that’s on us–they aren’t bombarding our ports and seizing choice islands, just restoring balance to the relationship.

    We are very much like late imperial China now. The elites ignore reality with ideology and personal power-tripping, the lowest groups flee into drugs, and the average doofus exists only to be taxed.

    That’s on us.

  40. There’s an ignored point in all the crap about the Brits “forcing” opium on the Chinese: The Chinese Imperial government had banned trade with anyone outside the Middle Kingdom, while at the same time, selling mass quantities of tea and other Chinese products to outsiders for cash. There was a huge cash flow problem brought on by this, world-wide, and the economies outside China were being damaged by all that silver being sucked into the Chinese maw.

    In order to get at that silver, they had to find something that the Chinese would buy, soooo… Yeah. The Europeans were assholes for selling drugs that they knew were going to be abused, but you also have to include the fact that the Chinese Imperial authorities were being assholes, too–And, that had the state of affairs persisted that the Chinese wanted, you’d have likely seen world-wide economic problems that probably would have caused as much dislocation or death as the Opium Wars did. Just outside China.

    As usual, though, the authoritarians lost out, and China lost its monopoly on things like tea and porcelain–Their trade intransigence led to first losing the monopoly they’d had on silk, then tea and porcelain. And, all for the same reasons.

    There are lessons to be learned, there, though not necessarily the ones that everyone is taught in the conventional wisdoms of the day.

  41. The porcelain monopoly was broken by a German pretend-alchemist rather than armed force or seizure of Chinese secrets. Fascinating story.

    No argument with the gist of Kirk’s observations–the self-imposed intellectual sclerosis of imperial China, after some really amazing and early accomplishments. Joseph Needham, (who I know was a Red so spare me) as a historian helped the Chinese recover their own history in science and tech, and to alert those with the wit to see that the Chinese people were no dullards and yokels, but sophisticated technologists and engineers and long-term planners.

  42. Kirk: “from where I’m sitting, yours is flatly schizophrenic.”

    Kirk, what has happened, man? Used to be your comments were interesting, well-stated, informative. I respected you. Now you sound more like one of those old guys standing on the corner, rambling and shouting at the passing cars. This is not you — at least, not the way you used to be.

    I really hope you can recover your equilibrium. Until then, there is not much point in talking with you.

  43. Gavin, I haven’t changed a whit. What’s perhaps changed is that we’ve veered into subjects and areas where my opinions differ from yours, and because of that, you perceive a change in my thinking. I assure you, there isn’t one.

    I find some of the things you’ve said recently to be both ill-thought out, and entirely at odds with other things you’ve said. The dichotomy between your statements about the mass of us “old-timers” deserving whatever they get “because reasons” and your near-simultaneous crocodile tears for the red-state “victims” of economic dislocation are what I find bizarre and inconsistent. I’m not a fan of judging individuals by their class characteristics, and I find lumping all of those people into victim groups rather insulting. Just like we supposed “Boomers” get blamed for every vice perpetrated by generations of mendacious politicians before and during our era of primacy, lumping all of the economically dislocated into some feckless mob of domesticated animals that the tax farmer elites no longer find fashionable to support is neither accurate nor helpful.

    End of the day, there is only one person responsible for anyone’s fate: Themselves. You make the choice, you pay the price. Certainly, there are externals, but those have always been there. Those economically dislocated types taking up drugs and alcohol to cope? Let’s be brutally honest: They had it really good, for a really long time, here in the US. There was never anything to guarantee that would continue on forever, and the fact that many of those people sat on their asses and didn’t do anything to maintain competitiveness with their peers overseas…? That they signed up for near-criminal extortion rackets masquerading as unions? Whose fault was that?

    In the end, it all comes down to cause and effect. The effects you’re experiencing today are caused by choices you made years ago, and to bewail the piper’s due now that it’s come time to pay him is unproductive as hell.

    I always get a laugh whenever I hear someone from one of the “other generations” bewailing the Boomers–The so-called Greatest Generation excoriates them, but then again… Who raised that generation, again? Who got the ball rolling with entitlements like Social Security? Yep; those same folks. All making their choices, and now all suffering the consequences. They raised those kids, spoiled them with all the things that they didn’t have, eased their way in the world… And, what did they wind up with? Boomers.

    And, of course, as I’ve often pointed out, it’s all a lot of bullshit–Not least because not every person born in the Boom generation was a selfish narcissist, either. Thinking in these terms of class, generation, and group is occasionally valuable, but it has got to be remembered that the mass isn’t the individual, and you cannot condemn a man for things he never did himself, even if he’s a member of a group that is notorious for that behavior.

    I don’t think that you see that a lot of the things you’ve said of late are very similar to the whole BLM schtick–Blame “Whitey”, no matter what. Doesn’t matter if said “Whitey” has a genealogy that says none of his ancestors came to North America before 1890, and that they were all Eastern European serfs, by all means, he’s white, he’s responsible for slavery. Never mind that this other “evil white man” has family who was bankrupted supporting abolition; had family members that died fighting beside free black men in the regiments of freedmen that they paid to raise, or that they’d fought slavery tooth and nail… They’re white; they’re evil, and they deserve to suffer for the sins of others.

    Whether you see it or not, that’s precisely what you’ve been doing. And, that’s why I’ve called bullshit on you, when I see it.

  44. All of us; we just need to quit buying cheap crap from Walmart…

    Recently I deliberately made an effort to find straws not made in China. I checked various stores, including Walmart, and the usual online retailer.

    I found none. This included fancy metal straws and cheap plastic. Every single time I picked up a box of straws in the store or could check on Amazon they were invariably made in China.

    Every single time.

    I humbly submit that the answer to our problems is more complicated than to stop buying stuff from Walmart.

  45. Xennady: “I humbly submit that the answer to our problems is more complicated than to stop buying stuff from Walmart.”

    Your experience with the absence from the market-place of non-Chinese-made straws could be replicated across whole swaths of products, both nice-to-haves and must-haves. Try checking the origin of nails or nuts & bolts as an example.

    The problem is both complicated & simple. We have tolerated our Political Class driving industry offshore through over-regulation, massively complicated taxation rules, and arrogant “Free Trade” practices. Unwinding that mess would be complicated and cause a lot of distress to parts of the population — not just to then-unneeded regulators, lawyers, and tax accountants. But first We The People would have to demand that the mess be unwound — and there are no real signs of that happening. Yet!

    An interesting question is whether we dug ourselves into this hole through stupidity & short-sightedness — or whether the Chinese Communist Party saw an opportunity and grasped it with both hands? As Sun Tzu said, the real Art of War is to win without fighting. To which the CCP might add, even if winning takes decades.

  46. Some of us are assigning to the CCP a level of competence and omniscience never encountered in history and certainly never associated with communist regimes.

    Look at recent reactions to covid there. A major port shut down for a week because of a single case. Every container delayed cost Chinese businesses because they won’t be paid until they get where they’re supposed to be. Many survive on the equivalent of pay check to pay check. The shipping delays are probably putting some out of business, possibly many.

    Winny the Xi decided that Australia was getting uppity and decided to punish them by banning imports of Australian coal. This lead to dozens of ships drifting off the coast of China, full of coal while electricity was being curtailed by lack of fuel. The Australians didn’t really care because the coal had already been paid for by the Chinese purchasers and they just had more to sell to their other customers.

    The Chinese “miracle” occurred in spite of the CCP, or more accurately, because the CCP largely ignored it on purpose. The evidence is that Xi is even better at screwing things up than Biden.

  47. MCS: “The evidence is that Xi is even better at screwing things up than Biden.”

    Come now! Where is our pride? Our Biden is definitely the biggest global screw-up! It is the last thing left where the US is #1.

    Competence is in limited supply in this world, and China is presumably no exception. However, it is interesting how the bad things that happen in China — like closing a port down — seem to cause even bigger problems in the import-dependent US. Yes, those Chinese actions cost China some hardship, but so far their people are not burning down their cities and rioting (unlike some other countries). And let’s not forget that whatever difficulties the CCP’s acts are causing to the Chinese people, they are trivial compared to the costs of starting a kinetic war instead of a trade war.

    Barry Naughton’s assessment is that China’s great economic advance occurred during the decades when the CCP de-emphasized industrial policy and central planning. Xi has been restoring central planning. We will have to see what the consequences are. Of course, we in the US are also suffering from the effects of central planning — we just don’t call Direction from the Swamp central planning.

    https://dusselpeters.com/CECHIMEX/Naughton2021_Industrial_Policy_in_China_CECHIMEX.pdf

  48. The root of the Chinese problem is that they can’t change course without enormous dislocation. The various flavors of imperial dynasty they had all kept right on going up until the moment that the whole thing collapsed around them.

    Here in the US, I would have to point out that we’ve got a bit of a track record for reinvention and ability to route around massive governmental stupidity. Do note that FDR did far more invasive things, like confiscate all the gold bullion in the country from private holders, replacing it with essentially worthless fiat currency. What he did then was about as big a dislocation as it would be for Biden to confiscate everyone’s 401k plans, and the end state of FDR’s meddling was…? It all got undone, eventually. We spun around madly for a few years, and then equilibrium obtained. And, far more peacefully and in a far more orderly fashion than China ever managed at the turn of a dynasty.

    The more control you exert, the worse the explosion will be when it eventually spins out of control. Mark my words: China will become a huge ‘effing mess in a couple of years, if they keep going down Xi’s path. Most of the already-present economic issues they have are there precisely because the state refused to accept reality, and allow for actual investment–So, people had to put their savings into property, property that didn’t need to be developed in the first place. State intervention caused massive economic distortions, and had that state intervention not been in the way, China would be a far more prosperous and stable country today.

    Unfortunately, that’s not the lesson Xi has taken from the last seventy years of Communist misrule. China will eventually collapse under the weight of Communist Party BS, just like the US will eventually crumble under the weight of Democratic/Republican Party malfeasance. The difference is, however, that the US has a track record for managing to reinvent itself and pull out of these situations, while China stays loyal to whatever dynasty is in charge, until the facts in evidence can no longer be ignored by the populace. This is called “losing the mandate of heaven”, and instead of there being a simple election and peaceful transition, it’s usually accompanied by mass death and famine.

    The CCP will eventually kill itself, after it’s become clear that it’s killed it’s golden egg-laying goose. From there? I have no idea; the history of China is replete with this episodic rise, stagnation, and eventual collapse. All usually driven by the egos of the control-freak types running the place, who wouldn’t know good governance if it rose up from the dead and bit them.

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