Monday, 3 September 2007

Jamie Whyte on "Drugs"

".........The real question is not whether drug use has costs. Every activity has. The question is whether these costs exceed the benefits of drug use. It is easy to show that they do not, but we should first recognise what the main benefit is. This should be obvious but, for some reason, nobody involved in “the drugs debate” ever mentions it. The main benefit of taking drugs is that it is pleasurable. In fact, it can be incredibly pleasurable. That is why people do it."

"And also why it is good for them. Drug users are simply people for whom the pleasure outweighs the risk of death, illness, addiction and all the rest. In other words, they are people for whom the benefits of drug use exceed the costs. They wouldn’t be drug users otherwise. The same is not true of everyone. Some value health more and pleasure less. For them, drug taking would deliver a net loss. Fine: these people would not take drugs even if they were legal."

".........legislators systematically discount the benefits of drugs. It is not enough that people value something. To count it as a benefit, our betters in Westminster must deem it worthwhile. And they do not consider getting high to be worthwhile."

"It is not concern for our welfare that explains the illegality of drug use. It is bigotry."

(Jamie Whyte January 2, 2006 in the Times)

plus a report from march 2007:

Illegal drugs can be harmless, report says

a wide-ranging two-year study of Britain's drug laws concluded today that "The evidence suggests that a majority of people who use drugs are able to use them without harming themselves or others. They are able, in that sense, to 'manage' their drug use ... The harmless use of illegal drugs is thus possible, indeed common,"

Describing the Misuse of Drugs Act as unwieldy and inflexible, the report says: "It sends people to prison who should not be there. It forces people into treatment who do not need it"

"Drugs policy should, like our policy on alcohol and tobacco, seek to regulate use and prevent harm rather than to prohibit use altogether,"

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Public Relations and BLOGS

A PR droid said.....

"Our job is to get even "challenging" people like you to write, say and/or do what our clients and companies want -- of your own volition -- and not even realize that you're doing it. If you are telling us that you only want information from people whose views you like and trust, then we'll just reach you through them and you'll never be the wiser."

(a comment on Tom Coates' "This is not a brothel..." over on flickr)

and an extract from a post by Tom Coates on the subject...

"you'd be surprised the pressure that you can receive to deform what you write to serve other people's best interests. And it needs to be said, quite apart from my own personal irritation with these people, they are actively trying every day to commandeer the conversations that you are having out there by fair means or foul to serve their needs more effectively. They do it by offering perks, holding or withholding access to people or things and by making people feel privileged by giving them gifts or treats."


A bbc report says that the "German government plans to spy on Terror Suspects by deploying malicious e-mails."

"The e-mails would contain Trojans - software that secretly installs itself on suspects' computers, allowing agents to search the hard drives."

"The measure would form part of a new anti-terrorism bill."

What next, Trojans that plant evidence?