Drug War

The Endless Futile War Against Synthetic Drugs

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New York magazine has a very interesting article by Vanessa Grigoriadis on how the the passions of DIY chemists in a wired wiki world–combined often with the fruits of grey-market globalization–are making this a golden age of new experimental psychedelic and entheogenic drugs:

Diethylstilbestrol Wikipedia
Photo credit: DES Daughter / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

making large batches of these drugs is surprisingly easy. All you have to do is send a CAS number (chemical I.D.) to the one country in the world that's best at making all sorts of weird chemicals, from HGH to soy sauce to the plastic goo that forms Walmart toys—­China. Morris has checked out a couple of Shanghai labs where vendors outsource drug production and says they make other drugs there, like off-market Viagra. "The [Chinese plants] may not be up to the standard of a Merck pharmaceutical manufacturing plant, but many are producing high-purity products, with surprisingly few compounds containing dangerous contaminants" or misidentified ones, he says, describing standing on a shipping dock with barrels of synthetic pot doubtlessly headed for the U.S.

For most underground psychonauts, direct-from-China is now the preferred source of drugs, other than a clandestine chemist who can be trusted, and with China in the picture, there are fewer and fewer of those in the U.S. "Clandestine chemistry is a dying American folk art," says Morris.

Says a law-enforcement official, "China's a mess. We're not going to go over there and just tell them they're dropping the ball. It's being done, but sensitively. It's a monster challenge."

A challenge they are apt, like most drug war challenges, to lose.

Rand Paul makes a cameo appearance in the story later on:

The media storm over [the alleged synthetic "bath salt" cannibal face-eating] attack got so intense that Chuck Schumer, the government's loudest advocate for making these drugs illegal, was able to push a new federal synthetics act past the opposition of Rand Paul and others. In the summer of 2012, Obama signed it into law, making most of the 2C class, as well as a few bath salts and Huffman's drugs, illegal, with manufacture and sale punishable by up to twenty years in prison.

The logic of the government war on drugs people might enjoy is relentlesss and might lead to weird places:

the government may start to take a closer look at this world. The Feds even recently scheduled 2C-N, a necessary intermediate for the manufacture of many synthetic drugs, though it doesn't actually get you high—but it is useful in a synthetics lab. [Hamilton] Morris calls the current situation an "infinite game of cat and mouse," where the government schedules a drug, then chemists race to find a new legal compound. "Three weeks ago, we had our first detection of new derivatives, PB-22 and 5F-PB-22," says Kevin Shanks, a forensic toxicologist in the Midwest. "Quinoline derivatives are uncontrolled by the federal government, and I see them becoming prevalent very quickly." Adds Lapoint, the toxicologist: "Until we can break the model of releasing a new chemical that retains the same affinity for the receptor of an illegal drug but is structurally dissimilar enough that you can avoid getting popped, this is the new normal. Brick-and-mortar quasi-legal head shops are hard enough to stop, but the Internet vendors are fully whack-a-mole … The new drug dealer is the mailman."

Will the cat finally catch the mouse? Some psychonauts fear that the government, in desperation, might take a pharmacodynamic backward approach, looking at the receptor activated by the drug and scheduling backward from there, claiming that any organic molecule that binds to the CB1 receptor and makes you stoned is a schedule 1 drug. But then they'd have to schedule other drugs with CB1 affinity, including Tylenol. And they'd be "banning specific states of consciousness," says Morris. "If the plan weren't so futile, it would be utterly terrifying."

Grigoriadis quoted me in an earlier Rolling Stone feature she wrote in 2006 exploring the modern psychedelic underground, focusing on thought leader and guru Daniel Pinchbeck.

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  1. Who else want’s alt-text?

    Any orgos who can tell us what that is?

    1. Garframmitz *wants.

      Give us an edit button, while you’re at it.

      1. I did a rough iupac name from what i remember earlier this semester and hit google images and looked for a match. I was actually fairly close “(E)-3,4-Bis(p-hydroxyphenyl)-3-hexene” was the actual, i guessed (E)-3,4-p-dihydroxyphenyl-3-hexene.

        anyways, its not a fun drug. causes tumors and all sorts of other crap apparently and doesnt get you high.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diethylstilbestrol

        1. lol and heres this gem.
          “DES has been very successful in treating female canine incontinence stemming from poor sphincter control”

          so if you want to try it you can get some from your vet.

          1. Assuming your vet’s clandestine and on the dl.

    2. Looks like estrogen to me.

      1. its a synthetic estrogen

  2. Wow, lots of articles today, little time to comment.

    How did we miss the one about Rand Paul freaking out, going totally NeoCon overkill, and calling for the droning of all Americans?

    1. Rand has decided he wants to be President and is no longer interested in being the conscience of the Senate.

      1. I was being a little sarcastic. What he actually said wasn’t that bad. But I am again disappointed at his lack of discretion about what he says. I know what he meant, but again, he needs to learn when to keep his damn mouth shut, and stop pandering to NeoCons and SoCons.

        1. What you call pandering, the rest of the world calls good politics. You can’t ever win a general election by telling large portions of your base to shut up and go fuck themselves and vote for you because you know what is good for them.

          1. He’s not going to win a POTUS election if he loses the liberty vote. He can’t lose all Libertarians, liberty leaning tea partiers, the youth vote, etc., and count on a dying SoCon and NeoCon demographic to win a POTUS election.

            The GOP just tried that fucking shit, and Romney had better hair.

            1. He is not going to lose the Tea Party vote by being reasonable on the war. The number of actual Republicans who would change their vote based on drones is really small. And liberals will never vote for him no matter what. They don’t care about the issue no matter what they say.

            2. Paul couldn’t win the nomination without them. POTUS would be simply out of the question.

              That said, he can’t do either if he alienates the socons and neocons. He’s walking down a very narrow line in politics, and if he strays to far to either side he’ll loose a good chunk of his national support.

              1. He can’t lose the youth vote, that’s the future for the liberty cause.

                Even if he could win POTUS without thinking about the future, he has still lost. We’ll all lose.

                He needs to sacrifice his aspirations of being POTUS, if that’s what it takes, for the long term future. We’re not there yet, we have lots of work to do, and Rand’s best promise, at this point in time, is as a liberty warrior in the Senate, not as POTUS.

                We’re not there yet. He’s making a big mistake.

                1. the Youth vote is totally overrated. Romney won the under 30 white youth vote. Look it up. What good did it do him?

                  And stop kidding yourself. Very few people give a shit about drones. Almost no one in this country would have cared if the government had drone striked the guys in Boston. That doesn’t make it right. But that is reality. So he isn’t losing anything by doing this. And he is gaining a lot showing people he is different than his dad.

          2. John| 4.23.13 @ 9:02PM |#
            “What you call pandering, the rest of the world calls good politics”

            The RoTW being Santorum? Winning strategy, there!

            1. What does Santorum have to do with this? What are you shreek? If Paul wants to win more than the 28 percent of the vote his dad won, he has to not turn so many people off on this issue. Again, he apparently has decided being the conscience of the Senate is not what he wants.

              1. He’s never going to be POTUS, John. He can be a great Senator. He’s risking being neither, and he’s getting close to betraying the cause of liberty.

                1. Call me when he does. And he very well might be President if he plays his cards right. And meanwhile, there will always be someone pissing and moaning about him selling out. That is how politics works. You can’t get anywhere unless you can compromise.

                  1. Compromising has nothing to do with saying stupid shit, that you don’t have to say.

                    Rand Paul needs some serious coaching.

                    I’ll be right here when he’s POTUS, and we can talk about that.

                  2. Hyperion, I agree that the problem is that he just talks too much. He’s in the media ALL THE DAMN TIME now. Which would be great if he could learn to stay on message and not waffle about when he speaks

                    But I was happy to see that he stood up for the Bill of Rights and said he supported trying the guy as a criminal. And what he said about drones wasn’t too bad and certainly wasn’t a “180-degree reversal” like some asshat was saying. But it just wasn’t what I wanted to hear him say

                    1. It obviously wasn’t a reversal. His argument has always been that in the case of a legitimate, imminent threat you can use a drone. The problem is that the government basically defines anyone who might be a threat at any point as ‘imminent.’

                      What he said wasn’t actually that much different than the argument he was making during the filibuster.

                    2. He basically stated the obvious. If someone attacks the country, we can defend ourselves. Only on this board could that be any kind of a controversial statement.

                    3. Except the example he used was a liquor store holdup O.o

                      Using drones, weaponized or no, for run-of-the-mill crimes is something he should oppose

  3. There is a whole underground where people experiment with micro doses of LSD. Apparently in small doses, LSD doesn’t make you hallucinate but is a very effective anti-depressant.

    1. I believe that anyone should be able to use any substance that they choose. It’s their bodies, and their choice.

      That being said, I would have a real fear, myself, of anything that acts as a long term anti-depressant, like SSRIs, and can cause long term changes in the way the brain functions. I don’t want and refuse to take any drug that I cannot stop taking without freaking out or dying.

      1. That being said, I would have a real fear, myself, of anything that acts as a long term anti-depressant, like SSRIs, and can cause long term changes in the way the brain functions. I don’t want and refuse to take any drug that I cannot stop taking without freaking out or dying.

        Uh, what?

    2. John| 4.23.13 @ 8:52PM |#
      “There is a whole underground where people experiment with micro doses of LSD. Apparently in small doses, LSD doesn’t make you hallucinate but is a very effective anti-depressant.”

      John, it’s pretty doubtful that anyone knew the dose they bought or were handed.
      Nice story, but won’t pass the sniff test.

      1. Run a google search for “mico dose LSD” and look for yourself. It is not an urban myth.

        http://www.bestofyoutoday.com/…..tal-health

        1. John,
          Sorry, going nowhere. No definition of “micro dose”, and what is a “whole underground”?
          C’mon! I *liked* acid when I had an entire day that didn’t need much else done, but I’m sure not proposing it as other than a recreation.

          1. Run the google search. Do I have to do everything for you. You will find stuff like this

            http://www.themorningnews.org/article/the-heretic

            RTFA It will explain everything. There are still legitimate researchers out there doing work with micro doses, which is a dose around a 100 micrograms.

            1. John| 4.23.13 @ 9:33PM |#
              …”Do I have to do everything for you”…

              No, John, you have to present EVIDENCE. That does not mean a link to a random site where, if someone looks long and hard enough, someone might find something that supports your CLAIM.
              Now, John, either pull-quote something (and tag it) from at least one of your links that supports your CLAIM, or STFU.
              Here, John, is a link that proves there are conspiracy theories: http://www.wanttoknow.info/conspiracytheories
              You’re overdosing on stupid pills today.

              1. The Morning news article is a long form article explaining the entire history of the research and talking to the guy who is doing it now. What the fuck do you want? Do I have to spoon feed it to you in long form quotes? The article says there is an underground of people out there who are taking daily 100mg doses of the stuff.

                1. Elsewhere Fadiman has been more specific about the logbooks he’s received. One physician reported that micro-dosing got him “in touch with a deep place of ease and beauty.” A vocalist said she could better hear and channel music. In general, study participants functioned normally in their work and relationships, Fadiman has said, but with increased focus, creativity, and emotional clarity. Until he releases his data archive in a comprehensive manner, it is, of course, not possible to scrutinize the validity of his claim.

                  There you go.

                  Thanks for making me span the thread with a wall of text because you are too fucking lazy to RTFA and just admit you were wrong.

              2. Beginning in 2010, an unspecified but growing number of volunteers have taken a micro-dose every third day, while conducting their typical daily routines and maintaining logbooks of their observations. Study enrollment may last for several weeks or longer: There doesn’t appear to be a brightly drawn finish line. After several weeks (or, um?), participants send their logbooks to an email address on Fadiman’s personal website, preferably accompanied by a summary of their overall impressions.

                “Micro-dosing turns out to be a totally different world,” Fadiman extolled. “As someone said, the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day.’ You know, that kind of day when things kind of work. You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”

                1. But he tripped once and wasn’t productive, so it’s only good for recreation John /sarc

            2. 100 mcg of LSD is a micro dose??!

      2. It also helps in dealing with the worst types of headaches (“suicide headaches” as their called). Why are you pretending you know what you’re talking about because you tripped once, Sevo?

  4. “feature she wrote … exploring the modern psychedelic underground”

    Can anyone confirm or deny that this underground exists? I’ve never heard about it (and skinny, nerdy me certainly isn’t out looking himself)?

    1. “Can anyone confirm or deny that this underground exists?”
      She claimed an un-defined “underground”. Who is willing to gripe with an amorphous statement like that.
      In SF in the ’70s, there was a Friday afternoon radio report on drugs. A typical claim was:
      ‘Sample from X in Fremont, presented as cocaine, $X/gram. Not good; meth.’

      1. There’s this group called the Bunk Police that sets up booths at hippie festivals and tests for purity. I get my drugs from the SR though, so they’re all top shelf.

        I’ve tried 2C-B and a couple other of these research chemicals. They are OK but nothing compares to good LSD.

  5. My first stirrings of government hatred occurred when Reagan banned “designer drugs” (MDMA) that I loved.

    I still hate that bastard for it. The others are not much better.

    1. You apparently went to a very dark place thanks to that stuff. It happened to a lot of people in the 80s.

      1. No, it was a very light happy place. MDMA even cures PTSD. The fucking evil government even knows that.

        1. It wouldn’t shock me. All Adderall is is speed. You know that stuff that used to be legal back when everyone was thin? My guess is MDMA will be repackaged under another name and sold to treat some disorder by prescription.

    2. And then in 2008, the Lightbringer swept you off your feet and rekindled your passion for central planning, nanny statism, and a police state.

      1. Quit lying.

        I prefer Obama for the doubling of the stock market and the low inflation rates and the NOT STARTING WARS stuff.

        Little things like that.

        1. Why start wars when you can continue two existing ones and start at least two others that your brain dead supports won’t call wars?

        2. Yeah, little things like enshrining indefinite detention of American citizens into law, quadrupling warrantless wiretaps, extending the PATRIOT Act, prosecuting whistleblowers at a record rate, protecting war criminals, murdering an American citizen, ramping up the Drug War, trying to pass the most restrictive gun control laws since the AWB, etc

          1. And bankrupting the place in the name of medical compassion.
            Asshole deserves the inner circle of hell.

            1. Look, I said I “hated the government” which is perfectly reasonable here.

              But throwing “Reagan” into the mix set you Team Red zealots off. Well, fuck you, Team Red! I don’t play for a team.
              When the GOP nominates a pro-choice SECULARIST I will support that person.

              1. Look, I said I “hated the government” which is perfectly reasonable here.

                Which is why you spend so much time defending the government in every other thread. That’s what set me off. I don’t give a fuck about Reagan. Produce one quote from me defending him or fuck off.

                1. I don’t defend the government. I merely state (correctly) that Obama is better than Bush.

                  Part of him being better is that the GOP is a determined opposition party. The Dems were 100% pussies while Dumbya clowned around.

                  1. The Dems were such pussies.

                    Iraq War? OK. Medicare expansion? Cool! TARP? Fuck yea! PATRIOT SPY ON AMERICA ACT? Go Dubya! Housing subsidies for the poor? Go for it!

                    “We are Democrats and we are pussies!”

                  2. I merely state (correctly) that Obama is better than Bush.

                    Which is why everyone makes fun of you. You wander into every thread where Obama is insulted and you bring up Bush to deflect criticism from him. And then people mock you for your obvious tu quoque invocation and you mistake it for defending Bush. Every. Damn. Time.

        3. And of course because he is an ardent defender of the second amendment. gotta love that too.

          Doubling the stock market……sheesh.

    3. Yeah, but you love your God Obama for everything that he bans, or despite it. He would just as soon run you over if you were in the middle of the road, on his way to a campaign fundraider, as he would a toad, but you continue to kiss his ass.

      It’s people like you that are the problem with this country.

      Now go put on your little pink tutu and kiss some more Obama ass, team boy.

      1. I know, you are TEAM RED and cannot stand a classic liberal like me or Ayn Rand hating on the GOP.

        SANTORUM 2016!

        Feel better?

        1. Bwahahhhaaaa!

          Can you be anymore disingenuous?

          Team Red? When have I ever defended Santorum?

          I am as big a critic of the GOP as I am of Dems.

          Get real. Or are you out to outdo Tony?

          1. No he can’t. And he is obsesses with Santorum. He desperately wants to believe that everyone who disagrees with him is a Christfag and a secret SOCONS. The SOCONS to him are like the Jews are to someone who believes in the protocols of the elders of Zion. Look into the face of insanity Hyperion.

              1. BUSHPIG!!

                Let it out shreek. Has Santorum gotten a restraining order on you yet?

                1. He also apparently believes the entire GOP is Rick Santorum, even though Santorum has no hope of being the GOP nominee.

                  Not only that, but Santorum is probably closer to Obama on economic issues than he is to his own party. If anything, Santorum is closer to Shrike’s Godking than he is to us.

                  1. That is what is funny. Santorum would continue all of the crony capitalist shit that Shreek claims to love. Santorum brings out strong and strange feelings in shreek. He loves Santorum but hates himself for doing so.

          2. Listen asshole. You just attacked me for insulting Reagan’s Drug War.

            Fuck you. You are Team Red for that alone. You should have agreed with me when I am right.

          3. Dude, tu quoque is all he knows. Logic is a foreign concept to him.

        2. You compare yourself to Rand. I needed a laugh. Thanks.

          If the 2016 matchup is Santorum/Biden, the Libertarians will win by plurality.

          1. I love Ayn Rand. And she hated Reagan.

            And neither Santorum or Biden are remotely close to classic liberal.

            1. The point.

              Your head.

              1. Shrike loves Ayn Rand so much that he mindlessly sucks up to one of the most pro-state presidents we’ve ever had.

                1. Ayn Rand would have been all about the state forcing people to purchase health insurance and indefinitely detaining them without trial.

                  1. Ayn Rand would have adored TARP.

                2. Long term burial of his head up Obamas arse has caused permanent brain damage.

                3. Ayn Rand would support Obama over any GOP theocrat we have lined up.

                  Or Dumbya. Or Santorum. Or any of the other shitbags the GOP foists on us.

            2. Meanwhile, he admits that Biden, who’s ideologically in sync with Black Jesus, is a statist. Fucking hilarious.

              1. GOP theocrat

                Shrike, the last 4 GOP nominees have been Romney, McCain, Bush, and Bob Dole. In all of those elections, there were far more socially conservative candidates they could have run. Romney, McCain and Dole in particular are not ‘theocrats’ by any stretch of the imagination.

                Face it, the GOP is nowhere near as socially conservative as you claim. Most of the reasons I hate the GOP stem from the fact that they basically use the military for Keynesian purposes and are just as prone to crony politics as the Democrats are. But they are not in any way theocratic.

                1. It’s your state GOP that’s more of a threat from the moral angle. The national-level party simple couldn’t hope to force through the policies the socons want.

                  1. What DK said. At the state level Republicans are often a menace. Not nearly so much at the national level.

                    1. And you can easily deal with state level Republicans by moving to a Republican state where they aren’t that conservative.

                      The GOP is really only terrible in the deep south, where you sometimes get the crazy old codgers that would have been Dixiecrats 40 years ago. You don’t really get that kind of thing if you live in mildly Republican states that aren’t run by the crazies.

                    2. And you can easily deal with state level Republicans by moving to a Republican state where they aren’t that conservative.

                      The GOP is really only terrible in the deep south, where you sometimes get the crazy old codgers that would have been Dixiecrats 40 years ago. You don’t really get that kind of thing if you live in mildly Republican states that aren’t run by the crazies.

  6. Am I the only one who understands that legislators/regulators need to outlaw the probable results of substance use rather than the substance or substance use itself? New synthetic drugs can’t be banned fast enough? Fine. But possessing anything that will likely result in intoxicating effects such as (but not limited to) euphoria, excitement, sensory stimulation, heightened awareness, anxiety, loss of anxiety, geriatric profanity disorder (or GPD) and/or hyperhitlerism is unlawful and punishable to the fullest extent of the penal system.

    1. And just a guess, but I would imagine not everyone who does home chemistry is out to get high. Some of them might be coming up with some pretty cool stuff. But who cares about that. Just kill the entire thing and make them all criminals because someone somewhere might get high.

      1. Certainly makes life harder for a mad scientist.

      2. So WTF if they are out to get high? It’s none of anyone’s fucking business, including hen pecked Congress critters.

        1. You miss the point. yeah who cares if they want to get high. But even if you do care, you are killing a lot of other good stuff to stop it.

    2. Hyperhitlerism isn’t a real disease, it’s merely undiagnosed autism.

    1. Oh boy. How long until some asshole in Congress seizes on this as an excuse for internet restrictions?

      1. CISPA is still up for a vote in the Senate…so until it reaches the docket, I’d say.

        1. Well, CISPA came along before this. So, I expect them to come up with something even worse.

          1. Oh, boy!

    2. Yes and no. It is scary in that there is no way to stop open source terror. But it is better in the sense that without being connected and supported by a larger network, a terrorist is unlikely to get off a really devastating attack. I think the damage ceiling on open source terror is pretty low.

      1. But it is better in the sense that without being connected and supported by a larger network, a terrorist is unlikely to get off a really devastating attack.

        If you click on the second link and read some of Robb’s posts (and I highly recommend his book Brave New War), you’ll see how depressingly easy it is to develop and conduct biological terrorism and infrastructure destruction.

        Think of it in costs. for the price of a few pressure cookers and scrap metal, they made the U.S. government spend 10s, if not close to 100s of millions of dollars. Do you think those 9000 cops work for free?

        1. Those cops would have been on duty anyway. And people have always had the ability to to make small bombs. But the pressure cookers are not going to take down a bridge or a building.

          The biological stuff is a concern. But it is harder to weaponize that stuff than it seems. Germs tend to die when exposed to the air. To actually get anthrax into a form that were it can be airborne and dangerous takes a lot of know how. It is not something two losers are going to do in their basement.

          At the very least you would have to be a biology grad student and have a good lab. Doable for sure. But not as easy as what these guys did. Could it happen? Sure. But it is not that likely.

          1. At the very least you would have to be a biology grad student and have a good lab. Doable for sure. But not as easy as what these guys did. Could it happen? Sure. But it is not that likely.

            Oh, you must mean Dr. Aafia Siddiqui!

            1. If it was that easy, someone would have already done it. It is not like we don’t have a lot of enemies or making biological weapons is any kind of new technology.

              1. If it was that easy, someone would have already done it.

                Assuming facts not in evidence. Why hasn’t anyone attacked a security checkpoint with a bomb? It would be the easiest way to get a large group of captive victims.

                1. Depends on how you define large? And there are thousands of different places were a well placed bomb would kill large numbers of people. A bomb at a ball game or a large outdoor gathering would kill many more than at a security check point. Not only would you get the direst casualties you would also get people running over each other trying to get away. But that hasn’t happened either. Why? Because it is not as easy to build a bomb as you think it is and there are fewer people out there actually willing to do it as you think there are.

                  1. Sneaking a small bomb (say, medium bag of black powder) would have been ridiculously easy at my high school. Set it off during an assembly, and you’d have dozens of casualties.

                    But there really aren’t that many people trying to kill civilians. The ones who succeed get a lot of press, but that overshadows the millions of people who aren’t killed over years and years of time.

                  2. A bomb at a ball game or a large outdoor gathering would kill many more than at a security check point.

                    ???

                    Most of those places have security checkpoints. The checkpoints are easy to bomb. Not as easy to get a bomb past them.

                    Because it is not as easy to build a bomb as you think it is

                    Horsepucky. It’s trivial. Look at how many people are making synthetic drugs. That shit’s a lot harder. And there are literally thousands of people in the US who have the knowledge and equipment in their garage to create biological weapons. The fact is, (as Herr Doktor said) that there aren’t that many people trying to kill civilians.

                    If there were, no amount of security theater would matter.

        2. “If you click on the second link and read some of Robb’s posts (and I highly recommend his book Brave New War), you’ll see how depressingly easy it is to develop and conduct biological terrorism and infrastructure destruction.”

          Not going for it, HM. Every reduction in friction to produce terrorism is exactly balanced by the same reduction in friction to reduce it.

          1. That and it is really hard to kill people. Even when countries like Iraq and Iran have used chemical and biological weapons, it hasn’t resulted in the number of deaths they hoped for. The wind blows it away, people run, the stuff isn’t as potent you thought it would be, the delivery system fails.

            1. You’re thinking one big massive event.

              For open-source warfare, think the death by a thousand cuts. Or in the case of typical American overreaction, death by hundred cuts.

              1. Death by a thousand cuts takes people. And they don’t have those. It is hard to find people who are motivated and willing to be terrorists. And when you do find them they are rarely anything but disgruntled losers like these guys were. Real, smart dangerous people who are willing to be terrorists are one in millions.

                Yeah, if large numbers of people blow a gasket in this country and decide to start blowing shit up, we are in a lot of trouble But that has always been true.

                1. John’s got a valid point.

                  This is also why it would be very difficult for the American government to become legitimately and violently tyrannical. If suddenly there were thousands of people willing to do this shit, the American government is fucked. As it stands now though, there simply are not enough people in America who are willing to do this stuff.

                2. It is hard to find people who are motivated and willing to be terrorists. And when you do find them they are rarely anything but disgruntled losers like these guys were. Real, smart dangerous people who are willing to be terrorists are one in millions

                  Perhaps, but that’s only because our country is so large, geographically speaking. But still, at what those disgruntled losers did. 5 dead and 180-something maimed, at least 100s of thousands of dollars spent, and our civil liberties in greater danger. We are quite fortunate that our enemies are so dumb.

                  1. yes we are and not numerous. But even if they are neither, it sucks but it is not an unsolvable problem. Places like Peru and Northern Ireland had large numbers of smart and motivated terrorists running around for decades and society didn’t collapse.

                    1. Places like Peru and Northern Ireland had large numbers of smart and motivated terrorists running around for decades and society didn’t collapse.

                      But they didn’t want society to collapse…they were trying to take the place over, so that probably limited their options.

                  2. We are quite fortunate that our enemies are so dumb.

                    Goddamn right. At least one of the brothers had a gun, even though he wasn’t supposed to. What they could have done is gotten another gun, went into a school and killed everyone in sight.

                    Boom. You butcher another 30 kids in a school, thus further terrifying the parents of this country. Gun control is a massive wedge issue in America, so you reignite the incredible amount of tension between the left and the right over gun right issues. Not only have you spread terror in a way the Boston Bombing simply won’t, but you turn state against state and Republican against Democrat over one of the most contentious issues in American politics.

                    The fact that terrorists don’t do things like this is proof that they are, in fact, total morons. Thank God smart people don’t become terrorists.

                    1. Goddamn right. At least one of the brothers had a gun, even though he wasn’t supposed to. What they could have done is gotten another gun, went into a school and killed everyone in sight.

                      And considering, until a few days ago, when people thought “Chechen terrorist” they thought of Beslan, it’s triple stupid.

                3. John| 4.23.13 @ 9:50PM |#
                  …”smart dangerous people who are willing to be terrorists are one in millions.”

                  If not, we’d be in far more trouble.

            2. Indeed. Nerve agent chemical weapons, which are organophosphates, are oily substances which don’t vaporize well. The “weapons” delivery systems of these atomize (spray) the material into the air, and still it doesn’t do much. See: the Amu Shinrikyo or whatever attack on the Tokyo subway, they sprayed that stuff in closed, (relatively) small subway tunnels, and only 5 people died.

          2. Every reduction in friction to produce terrorism is exactly balanced by the same reduction in friction to reduce it.

            In an ideal world, yes. And Robb’s central thesis is that; however, he also points out that counter-terrorism efforts and civil defence around the world tend to be top-heavy, centralized affairs that are neither resilient enough or can adapt quickly enough to the decentralized, 4th gen warfare tactics of modern non-state actors.

            1. That is probably true. But the problem is that the non state actors ability to do damage is fairly small all things considered.

            2. “In an ideal world, yes. And Robb’s central thesis is that; however, he also points out that counter-terrorism efforts and civil defence around the world tend to be top-heavy, centralized affairs”

              Yep, and the solution is…?

              1. What Robb argues for, and admit that will never happen because there’s too much damn money to be made the other way, is for resilient, self-sufficient, networked communities. For example, instead of producing massive amounts of power in one place and then transporting it via a power grid that can collapse like dominos if one node in the series is cut, communities can generate smaller amounts of power locally and, being networked, distribute it across the grid. That way the power grid is more robust and less likely to have a catastrophic chain of failures.

                1. Yeah, but why not just make the grid resilient? You don’t have to build a power plant in every town to do that.

                  1. Yeah, but why not just make the grid resilient? You don’t have to build a power plant in every town to do that.

                    Every town? No. More places than we currently have? Yes. (Even wetlands!)

                2. I can say with all of the expertise of a solidly mediocre research microbiologist that John is basically right. Producing and packaging and maintaining biological agents is very very hard and expensive. You’ll probably fail.

                  1. If it were easy Cytotoxic, Iran and Iraq would have totally murdered each other’s populations.

                  2. Producing and packaging and maintaining biological agents is very very hard and expensive. You’ll probably fail.

                    Really? I think it could be quite easy. I think it might go like this:

                    Abu Humar: Brother Ali, put on this mask and breath this in.
                    Ali: What are you putting in me?
                    Abu Humar: Y. pestis, the pneumonic plague. Now here is your ticket to New York. Get on that plane and sneeze a lot, inshallah
                    Ali: Allah akbar! The kafir will have breathed their last!

                    1. 1) We got antibiotics for plague.

                      2) Only pneumonic plague is contagious person-to-person. No telling if Ali will get blood plague or pneumonic.

                    2. 1) We got antibiotics for plague.

                      Well again…the key word is “terror,” even if the infected don’t die, terror has been sown.

                      No telling if Ali will get blood plague or pneumonic.

                      I defer to your expertise. What would be a good candidate for the scenario I described?

                    3. The ‘seed an spread’ scenario? H7N9 is my favorite right now for Epidemic Doom porn. Terrorism or no, that shit IS going to get real. Drug resistant active TB would work but the terror factor might be pretty iffy. Bacterial meningitis can be contagious like a mofo and deadly too but that would be really difficult to get right for timing. So variable.

                      I am flattered you defer to me but again I have to point out the ‘solidly mediocre’ disclaimer I left. My expertise is pretty…narrow.

                    4. H7N9? Fuck, don’t get me started. Every 3 months, I have to deal with a new group of Chinese, fresh off the plane. The regular old colds and coughs they infect me with are bad enough (as an asthmatic, they go straight to the lungs with me, usually)…but, I live in fear of being the first wave to get hit with that if it comes here.

                3. Heroic Mulatto| 4.23.13 @ 9:49PM |#
                  “What Robb argues for, and admit that will never happen because there’s too much damn money to be made the other way,”

                  So Robb argues for government-controlled grids? And you’re happy?

                  1. So Robb argues for government-controlled grids? And you’re happy?

                    Huh? Where do you get that?

    3. “Earlier this year, al Qaeda formally announced that it had adopted open source warfare (a new, extremely potent theory of 21st Century warfare that makes it possible for a large number of small autonomous groups to defeat much larger enemies)”

      Is this sorta like the innertubes get girrls raped from people who use the innertubes!?!?

      1. I really had thought that we learned the lesson a few hundred years ago that a small, extremely determined group of people could bring down the most powerful army in the world.

        How fast we forget.

        Also, leave the fucking Muslims alone, and don’t invite them to live here, while at the same time killing their families overseas.

        Yeah, I know a lot of people here don’t like that word blowback, but it’s real.

        1. Yeah, I know a lot of people here don’t like that word blowback, but it’s real.

          Yeah. That’s why AQ in Iran supported a plot to bomb Canadian trains. It’s blowback for Canada’s intevention in Iran oppressing AQ in New Diet Coca Pepsi Failure 33 Object

          Makes as much sense as the Faith of Nonintervention normally does.

          1. You’re just going to ignore blowback, no matter what, Cyto, because it doesn’t fit your world view.

            I was just asking my wife earlier today, wtf Spain ever did to the Muslims?

            But if you really start to analyze it, and think without bias, you’ll realize that the entire western world feels like a threat to the Islamic culture.

            It doesn’t matter what you think of that culture, when you try to analyze it without bias, you will see that they feel threatened by the west because they don’t want our culture forced on them, they want to live their own version of reality, of their own choosing.

            People can’t understand this, and I don’t know why it’s so hard to step outside of the box and look at it from another perspective.

            1. I was just asking my wife earlier today, wtf Spain ever did to the Muslims?

              That’s hilarious!

            2. I was just asking my wife earlier today, wtf Spain ever did to the Muslims?

              Please tell me that’s irony.

              1. Oh, you talking about that little thing that started with the Moors?

                Didn’t they kiss and make up?

                1. You want the long story or the short one?

                  I’m currently playing the Almoravids in Crusader Kings II and I’m trying to capture all of Spain…so I’ve been steeping myself in the history of Al-Andalus.

                  1. Watch out for the one who is to come, named Cortez, he’s a badass.

                    1. It pisses me off that I haven’t encountered El Cid in game yet.

            3. HOLY SHIT IT’S A BREAKTHROUGH and I’m sure synthetic drugs were almost as big a factor as me.

              Why yes Hyperion, it’s a cultural issue. Islamic terrorists hate America and the west for their culture. Being occupied is no big deal the whole ME is one big ‘got occupation?’ zone. Islamists hate America chiefly because they perceive her as the flagship of that which they hate most: freedom.

              The actual ‘blowback’ that occurs outside actual warzones is vanishingly small. The attack on the French embassy in Tripoli may actually be one such example. Some lost homegrown extremists from Chechnya are not.

              1. America chiefly because they perceive her as the flagship of that which they hate most: freedom.

                Ok, Dr. Boosh.

                You know that don’t sound any less silly than it did 12 years ago?

                1. It’s the truth like it or not. Take it up with Sayyid Qutb if you’re going to whine about it.

                  On his return to Egypt, Qutb published an article entitled “The America that I Have Seen.” He was critical of many things he had observed in the United States: its materialism, individual freedoms, economic system, racism, brutal boxing matches, “poor” haircuts,[4] superficiality in conversations and friendships,[23] restrictions on divorce, enthusiasm for sports, lack of artistic feeling,[23] “animal-like” mixing of the sexes (which “went on even in churches”),[24] and strong support for the new Israeli state.[25]

                  1. Stupid Reason won’t let me include the Wiki link because it’s longer than 50 characters.

                2. You know that don’t sound any less silly than it did 12 years ago?

                  While it’s certainly not the whole basis for Muslim antipathy towards the West, it is at least a large part of it. Some things we consider basic freedoms (like freedom of speech, including criticism of Islam), they see as signs of decadence and immorality.

                  1. Some things we consider basic freedoms (like freedom of speech, including criticism of Islam), they see as signs of decadence and immorality.

                    So do Democrats and Republicans, whom I fear much more than the scary Islamic boogeymen under my bed.

        2. Hyperion| 4.23.13 @ 9:50PM |#
          “I really had thought that we learned the lesson a few hundred years ago that a small, extremely determined group of people could bring down the most powerful army in the world.”

          Nope. We learned (re Vietnam) that the public in a nation such as the US wou;d not accept what it took to ‘bring down’ that group.

      2. Paperless 1960s and 1970s Soviet terrorism. Some, like the Weather Underground, got funding and formal training, others just jumped in on their own.

        Same thing without paper pamphlets.

        1. As I said on another thread, these guys did the same thing Bill Ayers wanted to do. They were just better bomb builders.

        2. Austrian Anarchy| 4.23.13 @ 9:51PM |#
          “Paperless 1960s and 1970s Soviet terrorism. Some, like the Weather Underground, got funding and formal training, others just jumped in on their own.
          Same thing without paper pamphlets.”

          Yep, and exactly the same level of danger.

  7. OT:

    United States of America more racist and bigoted than ever.

    If there is any doubt that the United States of America is more racist and bigoted than ever before, read this.

    Applications for the welfare program known as WorkFirst would need to pass a drug test before enrolling in the program under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday night.

    The measure, which passed 35-15, now goes to the House.

    This measure was passed in North Carolina today, demonstrating a prejudicial attitude towards their lower income citizens.

    Tha fuck?

    1. Yes, clearly that’s worse than an angry mob dragging a young Black man out of his home, torturing him, hanging him from a tree, and then displaying his corpse as a grizzly trophy.

      Clearly.

      1. *grisly damn autocorrect.

        1. Fucking racist grizzlies always bigoted towards black bears.

          1. Don’t get me started on those polar bears.

            1. Polar bears are the fault of the Canuckistanians. Especially the Quebeckistanians, half those fuckers can’t even speak Canadian!

              Blame Canada!

              1. it is impossible to hate on Polar bears

      2. Yeah, I love that about the left. We’re supposedly super sexist nowadays because it’s hard to get an abortion in North Dakota.

        Of course, women are allowed to do virtually any job they want, and the majority of college students are now female.

        Who cares about that though? Didn’t you hear what I said about abortions? WE’RE MORE SEXIST THAN EVER BEFORE!

    2. This is just more bullshit.

      The test that people need to pass in order to receive welfare is a ‘I am totally unable to work and no one will help me’ test.

    3. Since when do black people use more drugs than white people?

      RACIST!!

      1. Dammit. You beat me by a second.

      2. They apparently get arrested for it more.

        Not sure why that is.

        But it could be because whitey doesn’t stand on the street corner yelling about every single personal thing that they do, all day long, even though they are talking to the other person on a cell phone.

        Just a thought.

        Also, I’ve never walked the streets in inner city Balmer.

        1. But it could be because whitey doesn’t stand on the street corner yelling about every single personal thing that they do, all day long, even though they are talking to the other person on a cell phone.

          They don’t? Clearly you have never stood in line next to a single White woman gabbing to her friend.

          1. Well, there is that, except that they just talk incessantly for hours on end, apparently without the need to draw a single breath. So most more sentient creatures have just tuned them out.

          2. Yeah, Hyperion obviously doesn’t know about the bane of my existence, Fat White Girl on Her Cell Phone.

            You see, the FWGHCP is a nefarious creature. She only breaks out the cell phone when she’s sitting two rows in front of you on a train, or when you’re in line at the movies. She then talks to another FWGHCP at some other location in the loudest voice possible. Inevitably the conversation turns to drugs, drinking or the Fat What Girl on Her Cell Phone’s vagina.

            1. Irish, apparently you pay much more attention to what fat white girls are saying on their phones, than I do.

              1. THEY’RE SO FUCKING LOUD!

          3. It is funny. Black people are obviously much more greatly affected by this but the fact that they are arrested more for drugs is because of racist cops. Liberals and logic are like cats and water.

            1. Or the fact that they are standing out on the street or driving around the city in a black Infinity, with big chrome wheels, raising hell all night, instead of like whitey, sitting at home in mommies basement, surfin pr0n, while getting high.

              Just ask Tony how this works.

              1. That’s true.

              2. Hyperion| 4.23.13 @ 10:16PM |#
                “Or the fact that they are standing out on the street or driving around the city in a black Infinity, with big chrome wheels, raising hell all night…”

                Sarc, right?

                1. You don’t live in Balmer, do you?

    4. If anything, the person who wrote that post is incredibly racist.

      Why does he assume the people doing drugs will all be black?

      1. Don’t expect anyone to call him on it

      2. Umm…read this article and you tell me.

    5. The stupid…it hurts

  8. Liam Gallagher ‘drunkenly tried to ride a dog

  9. Sloopy:

    here’s how you handle ducks

  10. Why, if our chidlins can be getting high off it, we gots to ban it, ya see.

    And, By God, if we have’s to ban everything, then so be it!

    1. no child has ever gotten high off paying attention and sitting still!

  11. Most scientists prefer to work on legal things they can talk about. If drugs were legalized there would be competition to produce *safer* drugs, and *antidotes* for drugs. Imagine if a drug was designed along with its antidote “sober up pill” that would limit the damage of those that otherwise would engage in tasks while impaired. They could even be designed to lead people to breath out some trace chemical while on the drug to have their cars detect it and suggest they “take a sober up pill first”. (suggest, not require, there may be emergencies where being slightly impaired is a lesser evil vs. driving a few blocks on an empty street).

    1. There is simply too much money in keeping certain substances illegal. Sadly, we live in a society where cash trumps common sense. Power and money are far more addictive than heroin or meth.

  12. Eventually, the law will simply read:

    “As an American citizen are not allowed to possess, use or cause to be used any substance that: (1) might give you a glimpse behind the frail and subjective nature of consensus reality (2) will cause you to stop focusing on being a good consumer / wage slave for any length of time. mmmm-kay?

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