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Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 1) 152

From your link: "We haven't found some miracle cure," Goulão says. Still, taking stock after nearly 12 years, his conclusion is, "Decriminalization hasn't made the problem worse."

So let's be daring and take a chance and at least decriminalize possession and stop making criminals out of our kids. (And remember, alcohol is the most destructive drug on the planet.)

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 1) 152

The waron drugs is a colossal failure, but like a mental patient banging his head against a wall hoping the pain will stop, we keep fighting the un-winnable war. I just googled "Would making all drugs legal be bad?" and found lots of links, this is from one...

When the drug-drenched nation (of Portugal) legalized all drugs within its borders, most critics predicted disaster. Instead drug use has plunged dramatically.

Drug related deaths fell by 50%

The government in Portugal has no plans to back down. Although the Netherlands is the European country most associated with liberal drug laws, it has already been ten years since Portugal became the first European nation to take the brave step of decriminalizing possession of all drugs within its borders—from marijuana to heroin, and everything in between. This controversial move went into effect in June of 2001, in response to the country’s spiraling HIV/AIDS statistics. While many critics in the poor and largely conservative country attacked the sea change in drug policy, fearing it would lead to drug tourism while simultaneously worsening the country’s already shockingly high rate of hard drug use, a report published in 2009 by the Cato Institute tells a different story. Glenn Greenwald, the attorney and author who conducted the research, told Time: “Judging by every metric, drug decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success. It has enabled the Portuguese government to manage and control the drug problem far better than virtually every other Western country."

Back in 2001, Portugal had the highest rate of HIV among injecting drug users in the European Union—an incredible 2,000 new cases a year, in a country with a population of just 10 million. Despite the predictable controversy the move stirred up at home and abroad, the Portuguese government felt there was no other way they could effectively quell this ballooning problem. While here in the U.S. calls for full drug decriminalization are still dismissed as something of a fringe concern, the Portuguese decided to do it, and have been quietly getting on with it now for a decade. Surprisingly, most credible reports appear to show that decriminalization has been a staggering success.

The DEA sees it a bit differently. Portugal, they say, was a disaster, with heroin and HIV rates out of control. "Portugal's addict population and the problems that go along with addiction continue to increase," the DEA maintains. "In an effort to reduce the number of addicts in the prison system, the Portuguese government has an enacted some radical policies in the last few years with the eventual decriminalization of all illicit drugs in July of 2001."

However, as Greenwald concludes: "By freeing its citizens from the fear of prosecution and imprisonment for drug usage, Portugal has dramatically improved its ability to encourage drug addicts to avail themselves of treatment. The resources that were previously devoted to prosecuting and imprisoning drug addicts are now available to provide treatment programs to addicts." Under the perfect system, treatment would also be voluntary, but as an alternative to jail, mandatory treatment save money. But for now, "the majority of EU states have rates that are double and triple the rate for post-decriminalization Portugal," Greenwald says.

The last link is "Twelve reasons why drugs should be legalized", and seems to be a well written explanation. Drug users know how to get drugs and always will. So let them, as long as they're only harming themselves, where is the problem?

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 1) 152

The fact that drugs are illegal is the true problem.

It's a problem. But making them legal trades one set of problems in for another set of problems. Countries that have tried legalization in various ways aren't what I'd call "problem-free."

True. Legalizing takes drug gangs out of the equation, lowers crime rates, and makes addiction less of a stigma and more of a treatable health problem. Take all the unemployed police, prison guards and lawyers legalization would bring and train them to be drug counselors. Turn the empty jails into factories. Then celebrate freedom of choice.

Comment: Re:Not underwhelms, a little off predicted target. (Score 3, Interesting) 394

by SternisheFan (#48915333) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms
Long Island N.Y. has over 5 million people living there, and is car-centric. The predicted warnings of heavy snow caused almost all businesses and schools to shut down today, which probably saved many lives. About ten years ago two inches of snow paralyzed N.Y.City because they weren't prepared for it (upstaters had a good laugh then).

Comment: Re:Someone will always be butthurt (Score 3, Informative) 394

by SternisheFan (#48915029) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

It doesn't matter what the mayor's office does to prepare for an emergency, there will always be someone there to say they were wrong to do it.

In N.Y., Gov. Cuomo didn't want a repeat of last year when people got trapped overnight in a snowstorm on the Long Island Expressway, so he shut it and all unnecessary road travel down, which was later lifted. Politicians know to act proactively when it comes to acts of Mother Nature, or suffer the backlash of voters later.

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 2) 152

At the time, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and his rich pals created a dis-information campaign against hemp, demonizing it as a real threat to society, when in fact they themselves felt their paper companies were threatened by the possibility of hemp taking over. Today we still live under the laws created then, and are burdened by them.

+ - Just Switch to Linux if You Want to Download Lots of Freeware-> 1

Submitted by SternisheFan
SternisheFan (2529412) writes "From How to

There’s a systemic problem in the Windows software ecosystem. It’s not just a handful of websites, or a handful of bad programs. Practically every piece of freeware is stuffed with junk. If you try to avoid freeware sites and just Google something like “VLC download,” you’ll be pointed straight at adware-filled junk installers too.

Linux has its problems, and it’s not ideal for anyone. Want to play every single PC game that comes out? You need Windows. Need a specific desktop program that only runs on Windows? Yeah, you need Windows by definition — although you could always run those programs in a virtual machine if you don’t mind the additional complexity.

But Linux is an ideal place to be for freeware-lovers. Do you love downloading programs and testing them out? Seriously, switch to Linux now. Linux Mint is very good, although Ubuntu is definitely popular — and there are lots of other Linux distributions, too."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Cam-tastic (Score 5, Insightful) 152

Education and drug treatment is key to the drug problem, not draconian laws that jail and destroy the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens. Make all drug use legal so the cost is not prohibitive, and you will see a huge drop in crimes like burglaries and car theft and many others. Let's let Darwin's law sort out those who can't properly use them. Alcohol is a legal drug, been declared a drug by the FDA for over 30 years now. How did prohibition work out? Oh yeah, made millions for the mob and hootch runners, and didn't solve anything, later repealed. You want to be a coke/heroin/meth head? Go for it, just know how life destroying it is to you and the people around you. Want to fly a plane or drive a bus/car/taxi/ or any job that requires being sober? Be a good parent to your kids? No, of course you can't be an addict to any substance and be able to do those things. Lose your job, kids, whatever, and go live your life of addiction. The heavy drugs do own the user, this is true. That's the price to be paid for not wanting to live a decent life. But to have heavy handed laws that target citizens for personal drug use is asinine, and not productive for society. Smoke a joint, eat a brownie, shoot heroin, that's all fine. As long as no one else is affected in any negative way by your personal conduct, there's no problem except for the user.

Comment: Re:Preposterous (Score 2) 152

Of course, DEA deflated themselves the footballs to distracte public from this news. *sigh*

What's with the sigh? I never suggested that anyone in a 3 letter agency purposely sent agents to deflate footballs. However when a simple news story, or whatever TV show, takes over the publics attention, it keeps said public from seeing and hearing about issues that do matter.

+ - Kim Dotcom offers up secure 'Skype Killer' voice chat->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Kim Dotcom, the controversial German expat living in New Zealand whose file-sharing site was busted by U.S. federal agents, has launched an end-to-end encrypted voice and video chat service that operates through the browser called MegaChat, which will now be available for free to the 15 million registered users of his file-sharing service Mega.

MegaChat aims to provide an alternative to the current voice and video chat services which Dotcom himself has accused of cooperating with government snooping. "No U.S.-based online service provider can be trusted with your data," Dotcom once claimed. "Skype has no choice. They must provide the U.S. government with backdoors."

However, Dotcom has also claimed that there are backdoors in Chrome and Firefox, so if you are using them to browse, how can he guarantee end-to-end encryption? And while Mega is great for file sharing, its track record for security is a little dubious. Right after its launch, there was criticism of the implementation of the site's security, from cross-site scripting flaws to poorly implemented encryption, and later it was found that Mega passwords could be extracted with basic hacking tools."

Link to Original Source

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos