September 3, 2017

The ‘War on Drugs’ has failed, we must end this drain on resources

Posted in Irish Independent · 84 comments ·
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When the gruesome Francisco Pizarro encountered the extraordinary empire of the Incas in 1532 one of the many things that fascinated him was the Inca’s postal service. The Incas had an elaborate system of runners who ran for up to eights hours from zone to zone bringing messages from the rulers to their subjects. The speed and endurance of these runners amazed the Spaniards. Of course, the runners were chewing cocoa leaves, rudimentary cocaine.

 

A Shaman’s grave excavated in western China dating from 3,000 BC was discovered to have contained significant amounts of cannabis; of course, the ancients used cannabis for recreational purposes.

 

Archaeological evidence indicates that magic mushrooms have been used by people who want to get off their heads since at least 7000 BC.

 

We know that opium was first cultivated for heroin by the Sumerians, the world’s first urban civilization, in about 3,600 BC. It was widely used by the Egyptians, Assyrians, Greeks, Indians and Romans.

 

The evidence is overwhelming: there is something within human nature that encourages some of us to want to distort our brains and alter our reality. Up to now the insistence of the authorities has been that, unlike booze and fags, illegal drug use is a preserve of a tiny minority. This is simply not true. The latest EU report on drug taking estimates that around a quarter of Europe’s adult population has taken an illegal drug in their lifetime.

 

Drug use is as old as religion. It is, whether we like it or not, part of the story of humanity. All efforts to prohibit drug use have failed. So why do we think our present policies will succeed?

 

Let’s have a serious discussion. Is it time to legalise drugs? Why do we go along with a “war on drugs” policy that isn’t working? Why do we slavishly allow criminals to control this business? If making drugs illegal was supposed to stop drug use, it has failed miserably. What is the point of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

 

The reason criminal gangs are killing each other in Ireland is because the drugs business is highly profitable. It’s all about money. Why not make it legal, tax it and eliminate the gangs?

 

Here’s the reality. The war on drugs has failed. What we have now is not the “war on drugs”, but the “war of drugs”, where the profits central to the drug trade are controlled by a small but violent knot of Mafiosi whose illicit cash gives them their power. Take the cash away and they’ll have no power.

 

The war on drugs has failed by any logical economic metric. Prohibition doesn’t work; people take risks and get around prohibition even if it means breaking the law. Despite the so-called “war on drugs”, there are now more drugs available than at any time in human history.

 

Irish people, and indeed people all over the world, are taking more drugs than ever. The policy isn’t working, so stop it. The Mafia came to power in the 1920s in the US because they sold illegal booze, and the fact it was illegal during Prohibition made it more expensive and thus more lucrative. This is so obvious that it doesn’t need explaining.

 

When you make something illegal, but don’t change people’s habits because people use drugs anyway, you drive the trade underground and you push the price up, dramatically.

 

But four other specific implications flow from the high price of drugs. Addicts must shell out hundreds of times the real cost of drugs, so they have to steal to feed their habits. Petty crime goes through the roof. The higher the price, the more crime occurs just to buy the same amount of gear.

 

At the same time, those who deal find themselves carrying extremely valuable goods. Therefore, among the low-level dealers, crime, assault and murder increase because they are carrying extremely valuable cargo.

 

The streets of the city become a battleground for turf among competing dealers. In Ireland, we see what happens when these battles get out of control. When the returns are so substantial, criminals will do anything to dominate the business.

 

When drugs are legalised (and I believe it is a matter of when, not if), their price will collapse, and so will drug-related crime. Users will no longer need to steal to support their habit. Drug-related crime will fall to the same level as off-licence-related crime. When was the last time you heard about a person being shot at an off-licence for a bottle of vodka or being stabbed for a packet of 20 Major?

 

Legalising drugs would also lead to a dramatic and permanent fall in our prison population. The majority of prisoners in Ireland are there because of drug-related crimes.

 

A few years ago, I went to Mountjoy Prison to talk economics to prisoners who were doing the subject in the Leaving Cert. These men were trying to get their act together, which must be almost impossible when you are inside. The vast majority of them were doing time for drug-related offences. These are only offences because, unlike fags and booze, drugs are illegal.

 

If the prisons are clogged up with drug-related offenders, so too must be the courts. Legalising drugs would thus also free up huge resources wasted in the legal system to enforce the war on drugs, which isn’t working at all. And think about the amount of Garda resources that would be available for other work.

 

Maybe the most obvious prize would be that legalising drugs would destroy the drug gangs. There would be no reason for them to be in business. This result alone has to be worth considering. The only reason why these guys kill is because they are making a fortune.

 

Why not accept that prohibition is not stopping people wanting to get out of their heads? We can agonise about why this is, and we can rightly warn families and friends of the dangers of addiction, but making drug use illegal has not reduced drug use. In fact, all the evidence is that drug use is increasing rapidly.

Standing back, we need to accept that the war on drugs is not working at all. It is creating, not stopping, criminality. How many more innocent people will have to be gunned down before we begin this conversation? The economics of this debate are straightforward —  so why not start the discussion?


  1. terence patrick hewett

    In theory destroying the market is viable: but will it work in practice? I have my doubts.

    • yadayada

      The example from history is highway robbery – they could never stamp it out on the roads of old Ireland until someone invented the cheque. The crime became pointless.

    • SMOKEY

      “of course, the runners were chewing cocoa leaves, rudimentary cocaine”, I dont think so. Coca perhaps but not cocoa. If that was the case we would have outlawed mars bars, not a bad idea looking at the fat asses walking around Waterford today.

      • a_tech_hed

        Same argument, very well explained by a retired police officer here:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8yYJ_oV6xk

        Big banks (aka governments) make a sh1t ton of money laundering the dirty drug cash, why would they want drugs legalised?
        https://www.theguardian.com/business/2012/dec/11/hsbc-bank-us-money-laundering

        Who’s going to buy all the illegal guns on the streets if there’s no black market for drugs? Concerned citizens? Doubt it…

        The generalisation is simple, well lobbied industries make lots of money from this chaos, we don’t really have a say. Accept the fact that drugs will not be legalised until every single interaction between lobbyists and government is broadcasted live to all of us. Make politics and government the new reality TV!! What goes on behind closed doors in every government needs to be more transparent.

  2. Patrick

    Either legalise or take the Singapore approach.

    • Deco

      The state complex here does not have a competency level anywhere near that of Singapore. And as far as I know there are no Cocaine addicts in the Singapoream state propaganda organ.

      Well, what about a dual strategy.

      Though, A Singaporean approach to hard drugs like Cocaine, Heroin, and Crystal Meth, and a Portuguese or Swiss approach to Marajuana.

      Essentially, a two pronged method.

      Marajuana smokers can go into a designated park, buy reefs, smoke as much as they wish, lie on the ground, or wander around in their very own ‘safe space’. With at least one such park in every local authority area.

      And then when they are sober enough to walk in a straight line, they are allowed to walk out and go back to normal existence.

      No criminal conviction. In essence, protected to blow their mind.

      And then focus on the other (far more lethal substances).

  3. Mike Lucey

    ‘For Safe and Effective Drug Policy, Look to the Dutch’
    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/safe-and-effective-drug-policy-look-dutch

    Something to consider is that the current drug dealing criminals will look for an alternative source of revenue which will probably be illegal although they could get into the ‘Netherlands’ coffee shops’ business via licensing and become tax paying citizens.

    • “Something to consider is that the current drug dealing criminals will look for an alternative source of revenue which will probably be illegal.”

      Yes Mike, it is called banking and it is LEGAL fraud. It is central banking policies of fraudulent production of money and the fractional reserve policies of the commercial banks who lend what is not owned and charge for it . They have a government granted monopoly on legal tender currency production.

      • Mike Lucey

        Ah! Tony, you never miss a chance and I believe you never should until DMcW at least attempts to take the bull by the horns.

        Even Churchill seems to have owned up before passing on! “Germany’s unforgivable crime before WW2 was its attempt to loosen its economy out of the world trade system and to build up an own exchange system from which the world-finance could not profit anymore. …We butchered the wrong pig.” – Winston Churchill, The Second World War (Bern, 1960)

        I’ve just watched, with great interest, all 10 parts of ‘Europa – The Last Battle’ This is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcH00ZC3Df0

        I’m currently watching ‘An Inconvenient Lie’. Again this 5 part StreamCast raises some interesting perspectives on how an ‘economic system’ is being used to subjugate all except the elites. This is the link, https://realityzone.com/inconvenient-lie-main-page/

        DMcW might well be better served to watch the above listed, rather than House of Cards. It’s far more intriguing ;-)

  4. Agree 100% David. The logic is inescapable.

    • However the business must not be monopolized by government or selected corporations. However it will need some motitoring to ensure quality control.

      • Deco

        I would have it as a monopoly. A state owned monopoly is the one excellent way to drive down business.

        It is one sure way to cause people to think twice :)

        • A state owned business would be similar to the state owned liquor business here in Canada. A remnant from the prohibition years on alcohol.

          Allow free trade on drugs for the benefits of price competition and keep the quality control as a function of a government department so that the purity of the product is maintained. They do a similar monitoring for food products. a major problem is the drug cartel mixes the purity of the product and all of a sudden people drop like flies from overdoses.

          There need to be funded from the profits of the business a system for the addicts to be freed from the addition. so treatment centers need to be in every community where drugs are sold. We still use the word “Drug Store” for a Chemist and Pharmacy.

          I remember a song around the cubs and scout campfire when I was a kid in the 50′s.

          Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue
          Were walking down the avenue…..

          Here is a version
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQUc3YVDEc8

          And another

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPrbSbjpcuk&pbjreload=10

          There are many variants.

  5. Deco

    No discussion about drug consumption in Ireland would be complete, without a reference to the main brewing oligopoly that promotes it’s mind altering, belly bulging, diabetes inducing, liver pollutting “product”.

    If you want to know, who is getting a dangerous level of power, ask yourself who is it that never gets their deserved level of criticism.

    Well, Ireland dominant brewing oligopoly escapes criticism.

    It is obvioous to me that for 30 years, they have managed to get bailed out repeatedly by the hospital system. A HSE that rarely dares to criticize the consumption pattern that makes that oligopoly rich, and makes the working population poor. A consumption pattern that arrests the emotional and personal development of many, and that results in wife beatings, and terrorified kids.

    No apologies. No criticism. Not even a word of dissent.

    Loads of advertising. And the relentless promotion of a brand as being an identification of a country.

    If McDonalds owned America, or Burger King owned the concept of Canada, the rest of the world would laugh, and withing those societies, people who step forward and offer a criticism.

    But none is offered concerning a drugs business that is central to the power system in Ireland, and that influences the cognitive map that is instructed onto the minds of all young people.

    If you want to do something patriotic, I have a suggestion – stop feeding the drug pusher that is ruining your society, with the full approval of it’s inept rulers.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      15 years ago I would have been for legalisation of drugs (as it was the case in Victorian England) but now I am not so sure. To allay any doubts – I don’t take any drugs apart from tea, coffee and occasionally red wine or cognac. I hate the smell of tobacco, and I hate the smell of bad tobacco even more.

      http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2009/11/arguments-against-legalising-drugs.html

      What do yous think about what Mr Hitchens’ wrote about drugs? Can we have a McWilliams v Hitchens debate (with the audience equally split between drug users – so 99% of people walking along the Liffey wooden structure) on drugs? It should open with the Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (interestingly, a song often played in socialist Poland, would you believe!).

      “Well, Ireland dominant brewing oligopoly escapes criticism.”

      Dáil bar is exempt from holding a licence:

      http://www.thejournal.ie/dail-bar-4-1274016-Jan2014/

      http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/varadkar-take-unpaid-dail-bar-bills-from-tds-pay-456204.html

      __________________________________________________________

      Just finished watching the last 20 min of the German main election debate – I missed what they said on foreign policy (like do they want to invade Poland again or only to keep attacking it verbally) because I’m just home and therefore I turned on the Nazi ZDF channel too late.
      Question to Merkel from a viewer: would she support a proposal not to let anyone to Germany without any documents? She answered that this is, in general, not possible.
      Na ja, apart from that 80 % who didn’t have any and still ended up in Schengen Zone.

      Schulz gave an extremely convoluted answer, as befits a psychopath, in which he stressed the need to un-bureaucratise the Germany police and move some of them to other tasks, which I read as “no border” controls. I bet you he was on drugs.

      • Grzegorz Kolodziej

        the audience equally split between drug users and non-drug users (for argument’s sake we will assume this does not include tea, coffee, alcohol, and cava).

  6. redriversix

    Hi all

    Way too much money being made from the drug trade for them to do anything other then keep them illegal

    War on drugs has been failing for years..the above sentence was said to me verbatim by a barrister. I agree with David.

    However , not that that will make much difference.

    if and when they are legalized, this will only occur when Governments have a plan in place to replace the relevant departments and jobs,careers etc that are dependent on a War on drugs.

    what do you think ?

  7. Deco

    I agree with the proposal to allow drug consmption. The War on drugs has failed.

    I would suggest allowing each local authority have one area, where cannabis consumption is allowed, on location, within a defined, limited special location. Cannabis (and only cannabis) to be sold to people, based on their PPS Number, without any questions asked about how much they want. As long as it is consumed within a the defined area. So that people are not driving under the influence on the roads.

    A “safe-space” for going to get spaced.

    Each local authority can decide where on it’s own “pot-zone”. And people can go to that zone, sign a form and purchase marajuana. No criminal record. After a few months the drug gangs will heamorrage revenue. Their solicitors and accountants will go ape. The gang leaders will have to “lay-off” their employees. But let it happen. They are all on welfare, and are killing society.

    There is no way that the cops will tackle the problem based on the current rules. The cops cannot even “police” their own members – let alone the drugs gangs.

  8. Deco

    Portugal also decided that the war on drugs was a failing policy, and decided to reduce consumption by allowing it, rather than by prohibiting it.

    By allowing drug addicts to be in the open, and it was obvious what drugs were doing, consumption gradually decreased.

    The irony, is that if you want to drive down consumption of these abusive, unhealthy substances, you have to organized a managed decline, with people who are consuming them in the open for the rest of the population to able to see up close what happens.

    Drugs actually make people underperform. Pretending that the underperformers are not on drugs does not deal with the problem.

  9. Ryan321

    Granted opting for outright decriminalisation would significantly decrease irelands drug related crime and even violent crime to some degree. But i think we are ignoring a major function of the law, and that is to discourage or encourage , in this case discourage. If the law wasn’t a major deterrent to use drugs then I believe everyone would be strung out on cocaine or wired on MDMA every Friday night, as is the case with alcohol and cigarettes. Despite alcohols potentially severe mind and body altering consequences, consumption still lingers very much in the mainstream.Why is that? Well i hypothesise that the reason for this is cultural indoctrination. Now not the sort where i’m going against the establishment or preaching that we’ve all been brainwashed into the love of booziness. But i’m talking about what is perceived to be acceptable. We have grown up or at least I have, watching my parents drink alcohol nonchalantly.Their disregard for its repercussions, and many others has surely played has played a role in the creation of our Irish drinking culture. The law draws a fine line(most of the time i might add) as to whats acceptable and what isn’t , especially for our young people. When it is legal , your average joe might decide that one line of stardust just wont hurt. When it isn’t, Not only would do have to put your personal safety on the line, you may also have to deal with some legal consequences on your pursuit of ephemeral happiness. Having attended the longitude festival this year i can assure you that there is a large populace of mega pupiled adolescents who are more than willing to inhale the nose candy without thought for there own well being. While they are a demographic, I concur that they are in no way the majority. Should prohibition run its course, I am sure that cocaine ,ecstacy and a catalogue of other hallucinogens would become emblematic of jamborees such as longitude and possibly every day Irish life.

  10. Subscribe from Tobago – just sat down in my house in Tobago after a 12 hour flight and thd mosquitos are biting me already!

    • Glad you had a safe flight.
      Hot here as the 28 today will be 30 highs the next couple of days. not much of the igloos are left. blame global warming or the central bankers, or chem trails or. …..We will have to live in teepees instead.

    • jaysus

      Best of luck getting through the coming hurricane season, looks scary.

  11. Tull McAdoo

    Yes Bro, I’m starting to see it.

    Me sitting back in the Hogan Stand at Croker, smoking hash, feeling all cool, watching my main man Joey C ( that’s big Joe Canning) bringing it. Michael D sitting two rows down lighting up some mean Moroccan shit…….yo Mickey D now that’s what I be talking about dog………

    The GAA President and some clergy snorting some lines off the big drum from the Artane Boy’s Band…….

    Why on an occasion like this it’s time to draw out McFadden and Whitehead……..take it away boy’s. Goodnight Ireland. Sleep Well and their ain’t no stooping us now….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8MmGL5PHxA

  12. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    Interesting letter in today’s Sunday Independent.

    “The long, healthy life of our forebears

    Sir — I recently visited my grandfather’s grave. He was born on a small farm in 1879 and never moved away from that place. He lived in a house that had no BER rating or no central heating.

    He drank untreated water from the local well and raw, unpasteurised milk from his cows. Anything he ever ate did not carry a ‘best before’ date. He lifted eight-stone sacks of flour on his back and his main mode of transport was his horse and cart, but he also cycled over 30 miles to attend football matches.

    He never had a vaccination for any illness. The anti-flu injection had not been discovered and he never saw the inside of a hospital. In today’s terms he did everything possible to shorten his life. Yet, without access to an environmental health officer or a health and safety officer, amazingly, he lived to the ripe old age of 89 years. He was not alone, as many of his contemporaries also enjoyed health and longevity. On leaving the cemetery, I asked myself: ‘where did it all go wrong?’

    James Harnett”

    ___________________________________________________________________

    “The modernist object does not possess inner life; only internal conflicts.” Nicolás Gómez Dávila
    ___________________________________________________________________

    I can say the same about my forebears, and even about myself – I never had the flu despite eating snow as a child (I don’t know why I remember I really liked it and would always cry when the snow started to melt): that is until I started attending school and doctors, and then I would have heavy flu 2-3 times a year, and sore throat for 1/4 of the year.

    My grandmother and my grandfather were never seriously ill and never had flu despite my grandfather living in a forest (in resistance movement).

    It was basically after my family started availing of modern medicine (my grandma would only use herbs) and the latest discoveries in the science of hygiene that they started developing, one by one, serious illnesses.

    Btw, pasteurised lager is yuck (and it’s nearly all pasteurised). As a child, I tried milk straight from a cow a few times, sadly because I was born and raised in a very urbanised area, I didn’t like it.

    As to drugs, the story is that before WWII, people in villages used poppy-seeds to make small children sleep (as I child, I loved them).

  13. Deco

    We had a prominent public figure on the state propaganda quango, consuming high levels of mind altering substances for two decades. And nobody in that propaganda quango would dare speak about the problem.

    Yet, everybody in Malahide, Howth, and environs knew about it.

    The gardai new about it. And they never arrested him. He was the most lucrative person in the state to stick in the slammer, and stay silent about.

    And HSE personnel knew about it.

    In the end, he was skint.

    Even though he earned vast sums of money.

    And there was an organized official silence about it. Because it would tell the truth about those in the state system.

    And the manner in which people were being screwed.

    • coldblow

      Another example would be the trial of the two Italian personal assistants accused by Nigella Lawson and her husband of stealing from their credit card. We learnt that Nigella used cocaine and cannabis. Indeed I seem to recall her sharing joints with her teenage daughter. And the Italians got off. If the drug laws were enforced people like these would be brought to justice and that would not do.

  14. goldbug

    @DAVID

    -> THIS IS ONLY HALF OF THE ARGUMENT

    -> IT CAN BE SUMMED UP

    -> “REMOVE A LAW IF VERY PROFITABLE TO BREAK IT”

    => CRIME THAT NEEDS LOW SKILL & GIVES HIGH RETURN

    => CAUSES TURF WARS

    .
    .
    .

    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE REASONS TO KEEP THE LAWS?

    -> DO THEY PROTECT ENOUGH TO OUTWEIGH THE COSTS?

    -> YOU CANT STOP SOMEONE WHO WANTS THEM -> CORRECT

    => BUT DO LAWS PROTECT MANY FROM HARMFUL ADDICTION?

    .
    .
    .

    CAN WE APPLY THIS RULE TO OTHER CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?

    -> A SIMPLE WAY TO REDUCE PRISON POPULATION TO ZERO

    => REMOVE ALL LAWS?

  15. coldblow

    As there has never been a war on drugs then it cannot have been said to have failed.

    Peter Hitchens published “The War We Never Fought” five years ago and proves it. Any chance of seriously tackling illegal drugs was lost when Jim Callaghan’s rather half-hearted attempts to do so were out-manoeuvred. The Wootton Report of 1969 classed cannabis (without any scientific backing) as a less dangerous drug compared to others and it also recommended that the stator penalty of imprisonment for its possession be removed. Around the same time many of the great and the good in British society supported the famous advertisement in the Times calling for cannabis to be legalized. Signatories included David Dimbleby, Francis Crick, Jonathan Aitken MP, Briand Waldron MP, Graham Greene and the Beatles (I think Paul McCartney largely paid for it). Hitchens says that they could be described as the Central Committee of the Cultural Revolution.

    Since then penalties have been progressively (pun unintentional) watered down and the police have been very reluctant to prosecute. Indeed it is a long time since they introduced the so-called ‘cannabis warning’, whereby they won’t arrest for possession, let alone prosecute. This was introduced on their own initiative and without the sanction of, or even notifying, Parliament. Penalties and their enforcement in relation to other drugs were similarly diluted over the same period.

    It is unlikely that anyone has been actually imprisoned for drug possession. Rather criminals have been prosecuted for other crimes (crimes that the police felt like fighting) and drug possession was merely included on the charge sheet. They just do not want to know.

    I would be amazed if the situation in any different here. I mentioned the afters of a wedding in Galway that I attended while on holiday here forty years ago where me and my brother were the only ones not smoking the stuff. A day or two earlier I overheard someone say that it was the national sport here.

    The war on drugs has been pursued against the criminal suppliers even if the criminal users have been let off the hook. There is some mysterious transubstantiation whereby it is Bad in the hands of the Evil Traffickers yet Good (or at least neutral) in those of the Vicitms who use it.

    Popular culture has been steeped in drugs. I always think of the film Serpico from the 70s where the hero (based on a real-life policeman who reported corruption by his colleagues) was seen relaxing with a joint in the company of his lover. This is one of the odd things about the world these days. While many don’t take drugs and worry about their children taking them their views are not represented by politicians, media (but of course), judges and police. And those who do approve of them and take them pay lip service to social conventions. In the past, when I used to watch the telly, and there would be a studio discussion about drugs, say on the LLS, I used to wonder how many of the respectable looking citizens in the audience politely applauding this point or that used drugs themselves and connived with and supported the vicious underworld that supplied them.

    A revealing incident happened in 2000 when the Conservative shadow Home Sec, Anne Widdecombe, proposed a £100 fine for possession. While it would also carry the stigma of a criminal record it was far more modest than what even the Wootton Report called for. Yet her socially liberal shadow cabinet colleagues conspired to undermine her, many revealing to the press how they too had smoked cannabis in their student days (“agaes ago now”). This was a career risk on their part but they believed it was the right thing to do. The problem is that the majority of the Tory membership, at least at the time, did not share that belief.This has been the pattern with every part of the progressive agenda, which has been pursued recklessly but with determination by our elite, elected and unelected, without any regard to the wishes of those they govern and preach at. Such is the power of the fantasy.

    Japan enforces its drug laws rigorously and as a consequence drug use is low. The Portuguese case (as Grzegorz mentions above) does not support David’s argument.

    De facto use is quite separate from de iure use. Legalization would be disastrous and lead to increased use. This is just at a time where the dangers it poses for mental health are beginning to become known. Hitchens has noted (and I can vouch for it) that the overwhelming majority of the low-lifes who have perpetrated terrorist outrages in recent years were regular cannabis users, or taking illegal drugs or legal tranquillisers.

    I have been listening to this same lame but insistent line of argument all my life now.
    David leaves opium off his list. Has he not read of the damage it did to China in the 19th century? How ab out the disastrous conssequences of widespread use of cannabis in countries like Egypt in the earlier part of the last century (from memory).

    “Let’s have a serious discussion.”

    This line made me laugh out loud. Part of this was that I knew it was coming. It is used to introduce every serious move to further the progressive agenda. The thing is that there is never a serious discussion. There is barely any discussion at all. Hitchens’s book was barely reviewed when it was published (and then only to dismiss it out of hand) almost certainly because it proves that the fantasists are yet again utterly wrong, if not engaged in conscious deceit. When is the last time anyone read an article in the press, heard one on the radio, or watched one on the television, where a contrary view is argued? Not only about this subject but all the others too?

    There will be no discussion. There never is, especially in this country. Only propaganda. The very idea that there can be a meaningful exchange of views only shows once again how out of touch David and his friends really are.

    • Thank you for your perspective, coldblow
      I believe that criminalizing the users is the wrong approach. It allows the control of the illicit drug market to be in the hands of criminals who are largely unassailable. Huge money is involved. The criminal banking cartel is involved.

      https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/dont-believe-the-hype/

      I too dabbled at some point, many years ago, but quickly realized the danger I was in and stopped usage of all or any drug including prescriptions by medical authority.

      Recently I fell off the wagon. Last Spring I ripped my back and was in extreme pain with muscle spasm down the legs . I struggled to walk at all and was hunched backed and crippled when I did.

      I saw doctors, 5 in 5 days, all who prescribed drugs as painkillers. I went to physiotherapists and acupuncturists. None had a clue what to do and I was not diagnosed to see what had happened. I was prescribed pain killers. I did not realize at first they contained opioids. On the third day I had a reaction and briefly passed out and was an emergency case for hauling off to hospital on a stretcher and ambulance. After release I decided to not take pain killers. (They did nothing to reduce the pain either). The resulting headaches were extreme for four days. I was already hooked. I prevailed and the headaches disappeared.

      I kept moving and as active as I could. I did stretching exercises and after thee months I am largely OK. I have some back stiffness but basically recovered. The only person who agreed with what I did was a chiropractor I have known for 30 years. “Move it or lose it, Tony. Motion is lotion “. Everyone else had told me to be inactive.

      There is an opioid crisis in BC and elsewhere and in my opinion is largely generated from prescription drugs. If I had become hooked as I was about to be I could easily have had to revert to illicit suppliers to maintain my habit. It would have consumed me.

      We live in dangerous times. I maintain that the only route to health is good food and exercise and a strong will to do so.

      Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not to use drugs is a personal one beyond the power of regulation unless we use the Singapore option as mentioned by goldbug. Legalize the use and then prohibit users from having the right to drive. Driving under the influence…. is a crime and needs to be enforced. Operating equipment and machinery of any kind would be the same IMO. Corporations would be justified in asking for drug free performance from their employees. Smoking is prohibited in the workplace and public enclosed spaces, and so should every other substance detrimental to the behavior of people.

      • coldblow

        Tony

        It does not make any sense. The state intervenes in the lives of citizens more and more and (I would guess) rarely to the benefit of anyone. The smoking ban is enforced quite firmly, isn’t it? When it was first introduced certain zealous individuals were quick to report drivers of work vehicles for smoking a fag. And there is no shortage of moralizing, be it ‘obesity’ or anything else. Why is it all about personal choice and lifestyle in certain things but not in others?

        Individual choices have a direct affect on the lives of the people living around the individual and family members. It is bad enough with the booze in this country without adding another bad habit. Alcohol is firmly rooted in the culture and would be difficult to eradicate, even if this were desirable (I don’t think it would be). Cannabis is a recent arrival, from an useless alien culture and it should be banned if a majority of people think that way. It is a guess now whether a majority still do want that (they certainly used to). I think it is probably still the case – just.

        • I have the opinion that people can do whatever they wish for themselves or to themselves.
          It is when what they do affects me that I have right to demand a certain code of behavior. Others smoking impinges on my right to clean fresh air as they pollute it by their behavior. In addition I do not like the smell of the smoke and the residual stink left in hair and clothing. It is much the same for people who use overbearing cheap perfume.
          Again if people are driving and operating public equipment I want to know they are sane and properly possessed of the requisite skills.
          For the same reason for example I agree that the building codes be enforced as a standard of competency.

          There needs to be regulation to enforce the purity of the product. Then let people buy what they want.

          If people want to blast their body and mind with drugs, be my guest , but do not ask me to pick up your pieces after the destruction. If they want help to recover then I agree to that. It all starts and and ends with the will of the individual.

          • Spot on Tony, I was just about to write something similar but you saved me the time.

          • coldblow

            I don’t agree with the argument that anyone can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect other people. This is aside from the fact that something which is a highly immoral, even evil thing, will necessarily affect others, including friends and family. Aside also from the message it sends out to others: there is no shared set of values, do what you like as long as it does not affect others. Even if it did not affect others if a person is engaged in an activity as immoral as drug taking it should sanctioned by society, by law if possible.

            As it stands we have a state which (egged on by a deranged media and complicit public officials and politicians) interferes in matters it has no business in but is strangely coy in other matters which are very serious. Grzegorz’s list of common offences in Irish courts below illustrates this, and the serious offences which are ignored.

            Your argument is interesting in a way. Not in that it is remotely original (I have heard it all through my life, or at least since the age of about thirteen, when the Cultural Revolution got the upper hand) but because it is a novel idea when set against what men have believed for millenia. Seen from that angle it has the mark of utopian thinking. That nearly everyone is using it supports this.

            Would you really say that to your own child or be happy if he did whatever he felt like as long as it didn’t hurt anyone else?

          • coldblow
            The alternative is a dictorship of moral authority deciding what everyone must do or else.
            There are responsibilities to look after others inherent in the family structure. There are obligations imposed on one as soon as there is involvement with others.
            I have an obligation to drive my vehicle as safely as possible. That means keeping it in good running order. good brakes etc.
            The driver should be in good running order too. That means in good physical condition, with good reflex, eyes and ears. Much better condition , in fact, than the average driver today who is overweight, over medicated, out of condition, and should not be behind the wheel as they are a potential menace.
            Doing as one likes, but doing no harm to others, is actually a responsible position and hard to perform.
            It involves individual responsibility and accountability largely missing in today’s society. It also precludes robbery, theft, and violence, something which most governments are very good at, while most of the citizens are very good at receiving the largess and booty provided by such governance.
            Being able to do as one wishes while doing no harm to others is a highly moral principled position to take.

          • coldblow

            Tony

            One problem with your position is that I cannot imagine a typical user of cannabis being remotely interested in the needs of others or in shouldering any responsibility of any kind. Remember, this is an individual who, in the pursuit of selfish pleasure, gambles with his own health and ignores the worries of his family, who deliberately befuddles his senses or seeks an illicit euphoria, who consciously breaks a reasonable law and supports criminality, who behaves furtively and sneakily, and who is a hypocrite by behaving in public as if he is a upright citizen while sniggering in private with his friends.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            I have to say that my position on the posts above is mixed. On the one hand, I still have in my mind the picture of the 19th century conservative England where all the drugs were allowed (Gladstone used to add opium to his tea and then speak for hours) and the English society was doing just fine.

            But but but

            To compare that with today’s society, a serious examination would have to be made that would answer the fundamental question: what difference there was between the Victorians and our societies that there was no limitation on buying drugs (or poison, for that matter) in pharmacies in Victorian times, yet their society didn’t fall apart?
            While the hippie culture – backed by the savings of the Eisenhower era US baby-booming prosperity of the hippie parents – degenerated within less than 5 years into a Charles Manson kind of types, ending up with the wisest of the hippies becoming yuppies and the most stupid of them becoming bums?

            On the other hand, I would be with Coldblow regarding the side-effects of using drugs, including soft drugs, are actually widely underplayed in the media, which, I agree, has been covertly or overtly promoting the drug culture: here is a link to a program showing precisely this, which plays into Coldblow’s hands (all other episodes of that series are not really worth watching but this one is):

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2GjY8DN-7I

            And this was not limited to or even initiated by the US:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE9kjulz1VU

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HXMHdhQL_8
            ____________________________________________

            Also, I would rather agree with Coldblow when he writes that:

            “I don’t agree with the argument that anyone can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect other people. This is aside from the fact that something which is a highly immoral, even evil thing, will necessarily affect others, including friends and family. Aside also from the message it sends out to others: there is no shared set of values, do what you like as long as it does not affect others.”

            The above principle, similar to the “no harm principle” (in philosophy best known from J.S.Mill – although it predates even Christianity – and his famous essay “On Liberty”), has some serious drawbacks or limitations that didn’t occur to Tony or Adam.

            1. How do we define “affects me”? Everything around me affects me this way or another, so this must defined somehow, and Tony does offer such definition: “I have right to demand a certain code of behavior.” – which poses the following question: who decides what the accepted code of behavior is?
            For example, for hippies the accepted code of behaviour is very different than for the Biblical Evangelists; and yuppies have a different code of behaviour to both of them.

            In a book by the philosopher Joel Feinberg entitled, “Offence to Others”, he discusses a thought experiment whereby the reader is assumed to be a passenger on a crowded bus (that you can leave of course, but that would be inconvenient and there’s not another seat to move to). Feinberg relates a set of examples, each more offensive than its predecessor, which take place in full view of the passengers:
            - horrible smells,
            - migraine inducing lights,
            - intolerable noises
            - people eating live insects,
            - people eating each other’s vomit and so on (anyone who is curious what on earth might be more repulsive than that is encourage to get his book and read the chapter called ” Disgust and Revulsion” – he catalogs them all in 31 distinct illustrations).

            All those actions are offensive, so the question is which ones can be tolerated in public and who decides on that?
            For western conservatists, the answer is easy: the Bible or legal traditions/customs (or both) – but post Mill liberals have a really hard time answering that questions (that is those who thought about it in first place).

            Lord Devlin for example admits no distinction between public and private actions, and maintains that private morality – if widely adopted – can become public morality; just as treasonable acts, plotted in private, can eventually adversely affect society so immoral acts, conducted in private, can become similarly antisocial.

            This does not, in my opinion, refute the Mill’s principle, however, Mill’s implicit assumption that it’s possible to undertake an action in such a way that it won’t affect anyone else is called into question by Lord Devlin.

            2. To that, Tony might say: it is acceptable to anything that does not harm others.
            But this does not answer the question, but merely substitutes the lack of answer to the question “who decides what the accepted code of behavior is?” into a question “who decides what the harm is?”
            For example, for some the state of mind and personality changes affected by the long-term marijuana use constitute harm to both the marijuana users and to their families and friends; to others though, these effects (shortened attentions spam and a slightly unbalanced personality, among others) are desirable (not least to advertisers and politicians because people who are dumb – and long-term marijuana usage does lower your IQ which is the reason no top chess players use it – would buy more stupid products and would be easier to manipulate).

            It’s notable that no definition of ‘harm’ is to be found in Mill’s “On Liberty” (merely some exemptions), and without an adequate definition of “harm” it becomes difficult to derive to a meaningful definition of “criminal offence”.

            Yesterday, as I was answering Coldblow on drugs on my lunch brake, a gang of teenagers was having a loud and stupid conversation in the library – this is an acceptable code of behaviour in libraries (and all other public places) in Ireland that happens every day (not in libraries in Poland, and even not on buses); but even in Ireland, it is acceptable for most, but not acceptable for others (although those who don’t accept that usually have no guts to act, because this chimes with the golden rule of behaviour in Ireland: p r e t e n d).

            So

            who decides what is the acceptable code of behaviour – the majority of fools? But in that case, is it not a
            t y r a n n y (of a majority)?

            Btw, speaking of my yesterday’s comment: I know that large quantities of drugs found are for sale and not personal usage, but I did give an example of a woman getting a suspended sentence for possession alone of small amounts too – besides, I was strapped on time and last but not least – it is hard to quickly find court sentences (fines usually), dear Coldblow, for a possession and possession only of small amounts of drugs, because there are not sensational enough to be written about in newspapers (that someone was fined by 300 euro) – but believe you me, there are such cases and most of the Irish legal system is completely clogged with stupid things like cannabis, TV license or stealing 20 euro worth of goods, while those who burglar, assault or steal 5 million euro are usually not caught at all and if they are, they get a suspended sentence at the most (plus a social worker who will forever care about them and their accommodation).

            So when Coldblow writes that:

            “One problem with your position is that I cannot imagine a typical user of cannabis being remotely interested in the needs of others or in shouldering any responsibility of any kind. Remember, this is an individual who, in the pursuit of selfish pleasure, gambles with his own health and ignores the worries of his family, who deliberately befuddles his senses or seeks an illicit euphoria, who consciously breaks a reasonable law and supports criminality, who behaves furtively and sneakily, and who is a hypocrite by behaving in public as if he is a upright citizen while sniggering in private with his friends.”, and especially when he writes ““Let’s have a serious discussion.”
            This line made me laugh out loud. Part of this was that I knew it was coming. It is used to introduce every serious move to further the progressive agenda. The thing is that there is never a serious discussion. There is barely any discussion at all. Hitchens’s book was barely reviewed when it was published (and then only to dismiss it out of hand) almost certainly because it proves that the fantasists are yet again utterly wrong, if not engaged in conscious deceit. When is the last time anyone read an article in the press, heard one on the radio, or watched one on the television, where a contrary view is argued? Not only about this subject but all the others too?
            There will be no discussion. There never is, especially in this country. Only propaganda.”
            - this put a smile to my face – that ” this chimes with Ryszard Legutko’s fourth argument from his essay “What’s Wrong With Liberalism?”:

            “Fourth Argument
            Many liberals, particularly in recent decades, while never ceasing to preach the superiority of pluralism, have in fact been propagating a dualistic vision of the world: on the one hand, they see pluralism, on the other, what they consider pluralism’s antithesis, which they sometimes call monism. This dichotomy is believed to describe not only the modern world but the entirety of human history, past and future. For liberals, the claim that in the human drama there have always been two antagonists—pluralists and monists—has acquired the status of a dogma, more self-evident than the Ten Commandments. The pluralists are, of course, the liberals. The monists are ayatollahs, Adolf Hitlers, Christian fundamentalists, Catholic integrists, Islamists, conservatives, and many more. Tertium non datur. Whoever does not belong to the camp of the pluralists, the camp of the liberals, will inevitably find himself sooner or later in the camp of their enemies.
            Let us take a well-known but very bad essay by Isaiah Berlin, “Two Concepts of Liberty,” where pluralism is exemplified by “negative liberty” and monism by “positive liberty.” In that essay Berlin argues that those who defend the notion of positive liberty are in fact propounding a theory that justifies political authoritarianism, perhaps even totalitarianism. If, for instance, someone maintains that the human soul consists of two parts—i.e., higher and lower, rational and non-rational—and that the former should control the latter, then he intentionally or unintentionally opens the possibility that a certain institution or group of people will claim the right to take power and, in the name of the higher part of the human soul, impose one ideological and political system on another group representing the lower part of the soul. As it is easy to see, Berlin employs here a slippery slope argument, perhaps the most often used argument in this context, which says that monistic philosophies all lead, sooner or later, to disastrous political consequences by sanctioning discrimination, domination, and other equally reprehensible practices.
            The only problem with this argument is that to the group of “monists” belong all the greatest and the most important philosophers, from Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, to Hegel and Husserl. The dualistic perspective of the pluralists leads to discrediting what is most valuable in philosophy itself, and surprisingly, this act of discrediting is done in the name of “freedom” and “plurality.” Once this dualistic perspective becomes accepted as legitimate, it must entail intellectual degradation similar to what we once had in Marxism, where the entirety of human thought was also divided between two currents: materialism (which was good) and idealism (which was bad). There is no point in studying the “bad” part—whether monism or idealism—unless one either subscribes to the well-known critique of it, or else defends the “bad” part by indicating that it has some elements of the “good” part (pluralism or materialism). Studying the “bad” part for reasons that have nothing to do with the dichotomy makes no sense.
            This also explains the liberals’ tendency to make sweeping judgments, positive or negative, about everything in the past, present, and future. This tendency derives from the simple criterion which they so often apply, and which is essentially political. The liberals do not analyze whether this or that theory is true or false, whether this or that moral position is good or bad, but whether those positions are politically safe—that is, whether they are not too monistic and therefore too authoritarian. And because in the light of the slippery slope argument nothing (other than liberalism) is safe, and because all non-trivial propositions may be placed on the slippery slope, the liberals are moral busybodies, never ceasing to warn, reprimand, condemn, praise, or lament.”

          • coldblow

            Grzegorz

            I was hoping you might intervene from a philosophical perspective. I had in fact read your extract from Legutko with care a few weeks ago and I meant to ask you if the full piece (five points?) is readily available on the internet so I can save it into my ‘pending’ folder. (I have a number of folders on my computer, apart from the biggest by far – languages – and they include psychology, articles, misc, anticlericalism, computer (for fixing the computer), classical (music), music, global warming, introverts extraverts, Savile, atheism, pseudoscience and fake news. Pending is for things I haven’t thought about where to classify them.) It would be handy to have Legutko’s arguments memorized because he summarizes it as well as anyone I have seen.

            I would not have dared made that last argument to Tony even two years ago because it is such a frontal challenge to conventional wisdom. It was just too tempting not to do it. (As an eleven year old I tripped up a classmate as he was summoned by the French teacher for a taste of the slipper on his backside. It was dramatic and as he sauntered half-insolently past my desk in the front row I simply could not resist the urge to trip him up. I got the slipper too but it was all good fun and part of the theatre of the classroom. That reminds me of the bit in the Tin Drum where someone or other is tempted beyond what he could stand to dive from the top board into the blue swimming pool (and execution), or some such metaphor.)

            If you are right about people being sentenced for small amounts of drugs (and not because the Gardaí were after them for other offences and this was all they could pin on them, or because they were habitual reoffenders (recidivists)) then if the media find out there will be high drama. My instinct tells me there is more to it than that as it seems like a quaint relic of a long departed era, like some long-forgotten medieval law against singing on a Thursday. Prosecutions for non-payment of tv licences I would definitely expect at is fits in with the authoritarian, conformist spirit of the age. I expect ‘hate crimes’ to be punished more severely in future – perhaps. Another form of crime singled out would be water protest.

            That is an excellent excerpt from Legutko and he puts his finger (I think – I’ll have to read it again) on something that strikes intelligent observers of the modern scene, the millenarian-like division of mankind into sheep and goats. At one point in that German 68 video Goetz Aly explicitly states the parallels between the 68ers and their Nazi parents: “dieses Utopismus, dieses Freund-Feind Denken”. Klaus Theweleit loses it at around 20mins where he argues with Aly’s point that by 1968 the ‘holocaust’ had a low profile in Germany. “Read Wikipedia!” He does the same later on: “Are you [Aly] defending Franco, one of history’s greatest mass murderers.” He says earlier that “faktisch ist faktisch” (or something like that) yet what he says about Franco is utterly untrue. By “the quiet man” you probably mean the philosopher. He lost me right at the start when he begins with: “There are many reasons for 1968.” Yawn!

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            To deal with your questions and points one by one in an orderly and short manner:

            1. The vast majority of Legutko’s writings – and there are many – are not translated and not available on the internet, in any language – the peak of his writing was the 1990s – there was a year when I had conversations with him every week! – then he entered politics; some of his stuff is available on Google Books, but only small excerpts).
            Nevertheless, I have it in my files as I have done a lot of typing (my folders are named: “Audiobooks”; “Cars”; “Economy”; “Files Not To Delete”; “Chess”; “Documentary”; “Geopolitics”; “History”; “Ireland”; “My Clients”; “Military”; “Movies”; “Music”; “Philosophy”; “Polish Politics”; “Practical Tips”; “Translations”; “US Politics”).

            Having said that, I did manage to find the full essay for you on the internet, and here it is:

            https://isistatic.org/journal-archive/ma/50_01/legutko.pdf

            I think however that the essays which would interest you even more are his essays on Multiculturalism and Hippies; these are not available on the internet as far as I know, and I don’t have them typed either (I have them in a book which I have in Poland).
            In order to read them, you would need to buy the whole book in Amazon, which is very expensive and maybe even out of stock:

            https://www.amazon.com/Society-Department-Store-Reflections-Millennium/dp/0739103717

            This is the book from which the essay I quoted from comes from, and if you did buy it and read it, this might be the most important book you would ever read (it changed my position from libertarianism to conservatism – this and my conversations with Legutko – and all essays in it are as good as the one I quoted).

            2. “(and not because the Gardaí were after them for other offences and this was all they could pin on them, or because they were habitual reoffenders (recidivists)) ” – well, there is a lot of that too, of course.

            My point is that these people are immediately fined with high fines (and as they are usually caught driving, their fines come on top of drivers license being confiscated for a while – even if that makes them unemployed for the next couple of years) but I’ve seen plenty of cases where there was no traffic offence (most Irish court cases are traffic offences, in Poland dealt with below the District Court level) and a hefty fine for possession of small quantities.

            The same cannot be said about impudent, unrepented, smirky criminals who are a pain in the ass for everyone in the local community and all they get s – if they are unlucky – community work or a suspended sentence; maybe 6 months at the worst (I’m talking about people with 40+ convictions).

            This, in my opinion, is a result of a completely wrong assumption that they – the criminals with 40 convictions

            a) can be resocialised – this is a naive view harking back to Rousseau and then reinforced by Marxism; while some criminals can be and should be resocialised, most I deal with cannot be resocialised, and giving them mild penalties like 6 months or a year only (but usually nothing at all apart from fien they would pay from robbing someone else) raises their value in their criminal milieux and among lassies who fancy criminal types.

            and b) that being in prison for 6 months is a penalty for those 24-year-olds (it ain’t: it’s great for winter in the property crisis ridden Ireland, where the prison diet is more caloric of what the students eat, and so is the free medical care – and you don’t have to worry about the future (they live in social housing anyway) because they want to be criminals.

            For the penalty to fulfill its role of crime prevention, it would have to be of such kind that it would make the criminal ashamed and disrespected by nasty girls rather than respected as “da man who did da Judge” (most those burglars or thieves smirk in court when they turn back while pretending being devastated while in the witness box).

            In my opinion, the best and most effective penalty that would shame the criminals would be public caning, pillorying or – in especially drastic cases – death by hanging (publicly).

            This should be combined with common gun ownership so that the criminals would fear to attack someone because they won’t be sure if he or she has a gun (in a non-gun culture, like Ireland, shootings are more often because the criminals will always get guns so this gives them an enormous advantage and encouragement).

            Combined with that should be a practice of some towns in the US whereby the police would actually pay you an award if you shoot someone who burglars into your house because you are doing police’ job (there are even some towns in the US where owning a gun is compulsory and these have the least gun crimes – the most gun crimes in the US occur in the states with strict gun laws like New York or in no-guns campuses/schools.

            I’m not only talking the talk – I’m a very active member of a gun lobby in Poland with 400,000 members and we have managed to change gun legislation over there; I’m hoping to achieve the same in Ireland in the future and I promise you, if implemented, this will scare the bejaysus out of the drug dealers in Ireland selling drugs to school kids (I know that Derry Bogside has a grass-root movement like that, with promising results – although I also heard that sometimes they make unacceptable mistakes there, shooting the wrong people: still – with all that conflict in NI in the background, ROI somehow managed to have twice the NI gun homicides and 6 times of England and Wales).

            It is a pity that – as is my understanding – you live in Kerry because if you lived elsewhere here in Ireland, I could contact you with people who meet up in their time off and organise their own shooting ranges to practice shooting, which is what every secondary school child in Ireland should do as it teaches great self-control and emotional stability.

            This way of thinking has been hitherto alien to the lethargic, hedonistic and PC-dumbed down Irish society who lost its survival instincts, but I think that the invasion of Islam and nearing transformation of the Carolingian Europe into Caliphates and Emirates might wake up the Irish nation and open it up to reinstating the gun culture and re-learning practical skills such as cooking and tailoring; for as Arthur Schopenhauer said in hiis 1819 opus magnum “Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung” (“The World as Will and Representation”):

            “Der Wahrheit zu Theil ward, der nur ein kurzes Siegesfest beschieden ist, zwischen den beiden langen Zeiträumen, wo sie als paradox verdammt und als trivial geringgeschätzt wird.”

            “To truth only a brief celebration of victory is allowed between the two long periods during which it is condemned as paradoxical, or disparaged as trivial.”

            In Ireland, someone criticising hedonism, liberalism (in the 20th-century sense), LGBT state-sponsored lobbies, George Soros, the climate change lobby, Carolingian Europe or advocating gun ownership is condemned; that was in Poland too, in the late 1980s/1990s, when Poland was reveling in the new-fangled liberalism and libertarianism that came from the West, while the Polish Left was feasting on authors like John Rawls or the whole myth of the “Scandinavian way”.

            But Poland has made an effort to digest those fashionable schools of thought, and – while not totally rejecting them – develop a highly critical approach.

            This effort was not made in Ireland, probably because of the deeply ingrained in the Irish psyche tendency never to say “no” and not say what one really thinks, which – if such attitude is maintained for too long – results in an developing an inability to think (as illustrated in the TCD Brexit “debate” where not only all the panelists and all the audience had the same opinion – but despite that being a “debate”, no one was interested in hearing a different opinion (audience was asked to raised hands, and everyone apart from me was anti-Brexit: and I wasn’t even pro-Brexit – but there was no option other than Brexit Yes or Brexit No – so I raised my hand for Brexit Yes – and everyone looked at me as if I just farted).

            As a result of that critical thinking effort not being made, Ireland is still stuck in the 1990s “hurray-we-got-rid-of-the-nuns-and-now-we-can-take-drugs” adolescent thinking, while Poland jumped onto the next Schopenhauerian stage of the truth once ridiculed now being actually trivial.

            You might think that this applies to topics that are politically incorrect.

            Well, try to organise a debate in Ireland on non-political topic like “Why the Irish eat so little fish and have so few fish recipies?”! (in Poland such debates are constant – should we do this rather than that?) – You won’t be able to because such a debate would disturb a prevailing drive to be complacent.

            You say:
            “From your extended list I can at least imagine a discussion about the Commonwealth, public transport and QE.”
            - well, I can imagine that too – so why there never was any???!

            “Éamonn Ó Cuív proposed Ireland joining the Commonwealth a few years ago.”
            Yes, and this was chatted over on Mariane Finucane show for 3 minutes by her and her guests on the “hi-hi-hi, ha-ha-ha” lines, whereupon Marian Finucane said “there is this wonderful book written by Michelle Obama”, and spoke about it for the next 15 minutes, which was interrupted by 5 minutes of world’s most stupid commercials paid by TV licence money, 2 minutes of all news from the entire world, Ireland and Kerry, and followed by 20 minutes of in-depth analysis of some insignificant GAA game that the majority of people in Ireland and no one abroad care about – only to be completed by a report of some football game from the bottom of the English Premier League.

            The much milder alternative to corporal punishment to shame the criminal – not mild enough though – is that the Irish TV news would show, as they do in Poland, that when the most notorious drug dealers are arrested by the special police units in their flats, this is shown on Polish news when they are lying down on the floor with the pants down, so that their self-esteem is gone forever because no one would fear a mafia boss who shitted himself out of fear.

            That there are criminals (minority – but I’ve definitely met some) that are so inherently evil (usually by concupiscence, which is a form of lack of governing yourself) who cannot be resocialised, this was believed by many philosophers who were both theists and atheists.

            For example, St Augustine wrote in his about the tainted human nature:
            ” Fettered by the flesh’s morbid impulse and lethal sweetness, I dragged my chain, but was afraid to be free of it.”
            Augustine, The Confessions, 6.21

            St Thomas Aquinas ponders over the will of the criminals in Article 2 of Question 98 of his Summae Theologiae:

            “Article 2. Whether the damned repent of the evil they have done?

            Objection 1. It would seem that the damned never repent of the evil they have done. For Bernard says on the Canticle [Cf. De Consideratione v, 12; De Gratia et Libero Arbitrio ix] that “the damned ever consent to the evil they have done.” Therefore they never repent of the sins they have committed.

            Objection 2. Further, to wish one had not sinned is a good will. But the damned will never have a good will. Therefore the damned will never wish they had not sinned: and thus the same conclusion follows as above.

            Objection 3. Further, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii), “death is to man what their fall was to the angels.” But the angel’s will is irrevocable after his fall, so that he cannot withdraw from the choice whereby he previously sinned [Cf. I:64:2]. Therefore the damned also cannot repent of the sins committed by them.

            Objection 4. Further, the wickedness of the damned in hell will be greater than that of sinners in the world. Now in this world some sinners repent not of the sins they have committed, either through blindness of mind, as heretics, or through obstinacy, as those “who are glad when they have done evil, and rejoice in most wicked things” (Proverbs 2:14). Therefore, etc.

            On the contrary, It is said of the damned (Wisdom 5:3): “Repenting within themselves [Vulgate: 'Saying within themselves, repenting'].”

            Further, the Philosopher says (Ethic. ix, 4) that “the wicked are full of repentance; for afterwards they are sorry for that in which previously they took pleasure.” Therefore the damned, being most wicked, repent all the more.

            I answer that, A person may repent of sin in two ways: in one way directly, in another way indirectly. He repents of a sin directly who hates sin as such: and he repents indirectly who hates it on account of something connected with it, for instance punishment or something of that kind. Accordingly the wicked will not repent of their sins directly, because consent in the malice of sin will remain in them; but they will repent indirectly, inasmuch as they will suffer from the punishment inflicted on them for sin.

            Reply to Objection 1. The damned will wickedness, but shun punishment: and thus indirectly they repent of wickedness committed.

            Reply to Objection 2. To wish one had not sinned on account of the shamefulness of vice is a good will: but this will not be in the wicked.

            Reply to Objection 3. It will be possible for the damned to repent of their sins without turning their will away from sin, because in their sins they will shun, not what they heretofore desired, but something else, namely the punishment.

            Reply to Objection 4. However obstinate men may be in this world, they repent of the sins indirectly, if they be punished for them. Thus Augustine says (Q83, qu. 36): “We see the most savage beasts are deterred from the greatest pleasures by fear of pain.”

            //////////////////////////

            While Arthur Schopenhauer (atheist) writes on human nature (in “On Human Nature”; “Character”:

            “Men who aspire to a happy, a brilliant and a long life, instead of to a virtuous one, are like foolish actors who want to be always having the great parts — the parts that are marked by splendour and triumph. They fail to see that the important thing is not what or how much, but how they act.

            Since a man does not alter, and his moral character remains absolutely the same all through his life; since he must play out the part which he has received, without the least deviation from the character; since neither experience, nor philosophy, nor religion can effect any improvement in him, the question arises, What is the meaning of life at all? To what purpose is it played, this farce in which everything that is essential is irrevocably fixed and determined?

            It is played that a man may come to understand himself, that he may see what it is that he seeks and has sought to be; what he wants, and what, therefore, he is. This is a knowledge which must be imparted to him from without. Life is to man, in other words, to will, what chemical re-agents are to the body: it is only by life that a man reveals what he is, and it is only in so far as he reveals himself that he exists at all.

            Life is the manifestation of character, of the something that we understand by that word; and it is not in life, but outside of it, and outside time, that character undergoes alteration, as a result of the self-knowledge which life gives. Life is only the mirror into which a man gazes not in order that he may get a reflection of himself, but that he may come to understand himself by that reflection; that he may see what it is that the mirror shows. Life is the proof sheet, in which the compositors’ errors are brought to light. How they become visible, and whether the type is large or small, are matters of no consequence. Neither in the externals of life nor in the course of history is there any significance; for as it is all one whether an error occurs in the large type or in the small, so it is all one, as regards the essence of the matter, whether an evil disposition is mirrored as a conqueror of the world or a common swindler or ill-natured egoist. In one case he is seen of all men; in the other, perhaps only of himself; but that he should see himself is what signifies.
            Therefore if egoism has a firm hold of a man and masters him, whether it be in the form of joy, or triumph, or lust, or hope, or frantic grief, or annoyance, or anger, or fear, or suspicion, or passion of any kind — he is in the devil’s clutches and how he got into them does not matter. What is needful is that he should make haste to get out of them; and here, again, it does not matter how.

            I have described character as theoretically an act of will lying beyond time, of which life in time, or character in action, is the development. For matters of practical life we all possess the one as well as the other; for we are constituted of them both. Character modifies our life more than we think, and it is to a certain extent true that every man is the architect of his own fortune. No doubt it seems as if our lot were assigned to us almost entirely from without, and imparted to us in something of the same way in which a melody outside us reaches the ear. But on looking back over our past, we see at once that our life consists of mere variations on one and the same theme, namely, our character, and that the same fundamental bass sounds through it all. This is an experience which a man can and must make in and by himself.

            Not only a man’s life, but his intellect too, may be possessed of a clear and definite character, so far as his intellect is applied to matters of theory. It is not every man, however, who has an intellect of this kind; for any such definite individuality as I mean is genius — an original view of the world, which presupposes an absolutely exceptional individuality, which is the essence of genius. A man’s intellectual character is the theme on which all his works are variations. In an essay which I wrote in Weimar I called it the knack by which every genius produces his works, however various. This intellectual character determines the physiognomy of men of genius — what I might call the theoretical physiognomy — and gives it that distinguished expression which is chiefly seen in the eyes and the forehead. In the case of ordinary men the physiognomy presents no more than a weak analogy with the physiognomy of genius. On the other hand, all men possess the practical physiognomy, the stamp of will, of practical character, of moral disposition; and it shows itself chiefly in the mouth.

            Since character, so far as we understand its nature, is above and beyond time, it cannot undergo any change under the influence of life. But although it must necessarily remain the same always, it requires time to unfold itself and show the very diverse aspects which it may possess. For character consists of two factors: one, the will-to-live itself, blind impulse, so-called impetuosity; the other, the restraint which the will acquires when it comes to understand the world; and the world, again, is itself will. A man may begin by following the craving of desire, until he comes to see how hollow and unreal a thing is life, how deceitful are its pleasures, what horrible aspects it possesses; and this it is that makes people hermits, penitents, Magdalenes. Nevertheless it is to be observed that no such change from a life of great indulgence in pleasure to one of resignation is possible, except to the man who of his own accord renounces pleasure. A really bad life cannot be changed into a virtuous one. The most beautiful soul, before it comes to know life from its horrible side, may eagerly drink the sweets of life and remain innocent. But it cannot commit a bad action; it cannot cause others suffering to do a pleasure to itself, for in that case it would see clearly what it would be doing; and whatever be its youth and inexperience it perceives the sufferings of others as clearly as its own pleasures. That is why one bad action is a guarantee that numberless others will be committed as soon as circumstances give occasion for them. Somebody once remarked to me, with entire justice, that every man had something very good and humane in his disposition, and also something very bad and malignant; and that according as he was moved one or the other of them made its appearance. The sight of others’ suffering arouses, not only in different men, but in one and the same man, at one moment an inexhaustible sympathy, at another a certain satisfaction; and this satisfaction may increase until it becomes the cruellest delight in pain. I observe in myself that at one moment I regard all mankind with heartfelt pity, at another with the greatest indifference, on occasion with hatred, nay, with a positive enjoyment of their pain.

            All this shows very clearly that we are possessed of two different, nay, absolutely contradictory, ways of regarding the world: one according to the principle of individuation, which exhibits all creatures as entire strangers to us, as definitely not ourselves. We can have no feelings for them but those of indifference, envy, hatred, and delight that they suffer. The other way of regarding the world is in accordance with what I may call the Tat-twam-asi — this-is-thyself principle. All creatures are exhibited as identical with ourselves; and so it is pity and love which the sight of them arouses.

            The one method separates individuals by impassable barriers; the other removes the barrier and brings the individuals together. The one makes us feel, in regard to every man, that is what I am; the other, that is not what I am. But it is remarkable that while the sight of another’s suffering makes us feel our identity with him, and arouses our pity, this is not so with the sight of another’s happiness. Then we almost always feel some envy; and even though we may have no such feeling in certain cases — as, for instance, when our friends are happy — yet the interest which we take in their happiness is of a weak description, and cannot compare with the sympathy which we feel with their suffering. Is this because we recognise all happiness to be a delusion, or an impediment to true welfare? No! I am inclined to think that it is because the sight of the pleasure, or the possessions, which are denied to us, arouses envy; that is to say, the wish that we, and not the other, had that pleasure or those possessions.

            It is only the first way of looking at the world which is founded on any demonstrable reason.

            The other is, as it were, the gate out of this world; it has no attestation beyond itself, unless it be the very abstract and difficult proof which my doctrine supplies.

            Why the first way predominates in one man, and the second in another — though perhaps it does not exclusively predominate in any man; why the one or the other emerges according as the will is moved — these are deep problems. The paths of night and day are close together:

            [Greek: Engus gar nuktos de kai aematos eisi keleuthoi.]

            It is a fact that there is a great and original difference between one empirical character and another; and it is a difference which, at bottom, rests upon the relation of the individual’s will to his intellectual faculty. This relation is finally determined by the degree of will in his father and of intellect in his mother; and the union of father and mother is for the most part an affair of chance. This would all mean a revolting injustice in the nature of the world, if it were not that the difference between parents and son is phenomenal only and all chance is, at bottom, necessity.

            As regards the freedom of the will, if it were the case that the will manifested itself in a single act alone, it would be a free act. But the will manifests itself in a course of life, that is to say, in a series of acts.

            Every one of these acts, therefore, is determined as a part of a complete whole, and cannot happen otherwise than it does happen. On the other hand, the whole series is free; it is simply the manifestation of an individualised will.
            If a man feels inclined to commit a bad action and refrains, he is kept back either

            (1) by fear of punishment or vengeance; or

            (2) by superstition in other words, fear of punishment in a future life; or

            (3) by the feeling of sympathy, including general charity; or

            (4) by the feeling of honour, in other words, the fear of shame; or

            (5) by the feeling of justice, that is, an objective attachment to fidelity and good-faith, coupled with a resolve to hold them sacred, because they are the foundation of all free intercourse between man and man, and therefore often of advantage to himself as well.

            This last thought, not indeed as a thought, but as a mere feeling, influences people very frequently. It is this that often compels a man of honour, when some great but unjust advantage is offered him, to reject it with contempt and proudly exclaim: I am an honourable man! For otherwise how should a poor man, confronted with the property which chance or even some worse agency has bestowed on the rich, whose very existence it is that makes him poor, feel so much sincere respect for this property, that he refuses to touch it even in his need; and although he has a prospect of escaping punishment, what other thought is it that can be at the bottom of such a man’s honesty? He is resolved not to separate himself from the great community of honourable people who have the earth in possession, and whose laws are recognised everywhere. He knows that a single dishonest act will ostracise and proscribe him from that society for ever. No! a man will spend money on any soil that yields him good fruit, and he will make sacrifices for it.

            With a good action — that, every action in which a man’s own advantage is ostensibly subordinated to another’s — the motive is either

            (1) self-interest, kept in the background; or

            (2) superstition, in other words, self-interest in the form of reward in another life; or

            (3) sympathy; or

            (4) the desire to lend a helping hand, in other words, attachment to the maxim that we should assist one another in need, and the wish to maintain this maxim, in view of the presumption that some day we ourselves may find it serve our turn.

            For what Kant calls a good action done from motives of duty and for the sake of duty, there is, as will be seen, no room at all. Kant himself declares it to be doubtful whether an action was ever determined by pure motives of duty alone. I affirm most certainly that no action was ever so done; it is mere babble; there is nothing in it that could really act as a motive to any man. When he shelters himself behind verbiage of that sort, he is always actuated by one of the four motives which I have described. Among these it is obviously sympathy alone which is quite genuine and sincere.

            Good and bad apply to character only à potiori; that is to say, we prefer the good to the bad; but, absolutely, there is no such distinction. The difference arises at the point which lies between subordinating one’s own advantage to that of another, and not subordinating it. If a man keeps to the exact middle, he is just. But most men go an inch in their regard for others’ welfare to twenty yards in regard for their own.
            The source of good and of bad character, so far as we have any real knowledge of it, lies in this, that with the bad character the thought of the external world, and especially of the living creatures in it, is accompanied — all the more, the greater the resemblance between them and the individual self — by a constant feeling of not I, not I, not I.

            Contrarily, with the good character (both being assumed to exist in a high degree) the same thought has for its accompaniment, like a fundamental bass, a constant feeling of I, I, I. From this spring benevolence and a disposition to help all men, and at the same time a cheerful, confident and tranquil frame of mind, the opposite of that which accompanies the bad character.

            The difference, however, is only phenomenal, although it is a difference which is radical. But now we come to the hardest of all problems: How is it that, while the will, as the thing-in-itself, is identical, and from a metaphysical point of view one and the same in all its manifestations, there is nevertheless such an enormous difference between one character and another? — the malicious, diabolical wickedness of the one, and set off against it, the goodness of the other, showing all the more conspicuously. How is it that we get a Tiberius, a Caligula, a Carcalla, a Domitian, a Nero; and on the other hand, the Antonines, Titus, Hadrian, Nerva? How is it that among the animals, nay, in a higher species, in individual animals, there is a like difference? — the malignity of the cat most strongly developed in the tiger; the spite of the monkey; on the other hand, goodness, fidelity and love in the dog and the elephant. It is obvious that the principle of wickedness in the brute is the same as in man.
            We may to some extent modify the difficulty of the problem by observing that the whole difference is in the end only one of degree. In every living creature, the fundamental propensities and instincts all exist, but they exist in very different degrees and proportions. This, however, is not enough to explain the facts.
            We must fall back upon the intellect and its relation to the will; it is the only explanation that remains. A man’s intellect, however, by no means stands in any direct and obvious relation with the goodness of his character. We may, it is true, discriminate between two kinds of intellect: between understanding, as the apprehension of relation in accordance with the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and cognition, a faculty akin to genius, which acts more directly, is independent of this law, and passes beyond the Principle of Individuation. The latter is the faculty which apprehends Ideas, and it is the faculty which has to do with morality. But even this explanation leaves much to be desired. Fine minds are seldom fine souls was the correct observation of Jean Paul; although they are never the contrary. Lord Bacon, who, to be sure, was less a fine soul than a fine mind, was a scoundrel.

            I have declared space and time to be part of the Principle of Individuation, as it is only space and time that make the multiplicity of similar objects a possibility. But multiplicity itself also admits of variety; multiplicity and diversity are not only quantitative, but also qualitative. How is it that there is such a thing as qualitative diversity, especially in ethical matters? Or have I fallen into an error the opposite of that in which Leibnitz fell with his identitas indiscernibilium?
            The chief cause of intellectual diversity is to be found in the brain and nervous system. This is a fact which somewhat lessens the obscurity of the subject. With the brutes the intellect and the brain are strictly adapted to their aims and needs. With man alone there is now and then, by way of exception, a superfluity, which, if it is abundant, may yield genius. But ethical diversity, it seems, proceeds immediately from the will. Otherwise ethical character would not be above and beyond time, as it is only in the individual that intellect and will are united. The will is above and beyond time, and eternal; and character is innate; that is to say, it is sprung from the same eternity, and therefore it does not admit of any but a transcendental explanation.

            Perhaps some one will come after me who will throw light into this dark abyss.”

          • @ coldblow

            One problem with your position is that I cannot imagine a typical user of cannabis being remotely interested in the needs of others or in shouldering any responsibility of any kind.
            —————
            They consciously break what you consider a reasonable law but
            Many are not interested but many pot smokers do assume great responsibilities but who are recreational users..
            —————
            Remember, this is an individual who, in the pursuit of selfish pleasure, gambles with his own health and ignores the worries of his family, who deliberately befuddles his senses
            ———————————-
            a user may indeed not care about the worries of his family, but you do not specify if this is an adult in charge of a family or a juvenile who disdains parental authority.
            —————————————-
            or seeks an illicit euphoria, who consciously breaks a reasonable law and supports criminality,
            ——————————–
            Only because it is made illegal. If the law were repealed there would be no criminality, nothing to break and no illicit behavior.
            ————————————–

            who behaves furtively and sneakily, and who is a hypocrite by behaving in public as if he is a upright citizen while sniggering in private with his friends.
            —————-
            Because the law is considered by them to be an ass. Why is your opinion that it is a reasonable law any more valid than they who declare the law to be unenforceable and bad law.

            One man’s meat is another man’s poison. If a person wants to drive while stoned then lock’em up.

    • Grzegorz Kolodziej

      I have to say though that although I agree with you in general, I would disagree that “indeed it is a long time since they introduced the so-called ‘cannabis warning’, whereby they won’t arrest for possession, let alone prosecute.” – when it comes to Ireland.

      In Ireland, prosecutions for cannabis possession are very frequent – they usually end up in a fine, but I saw custodial sentences too, and not necessarily of the “gangsta” types (i.e. very nice, young Irish girl, a chef, no previous convictions – 3 months in prison for cannabis usage).

      In general, there are 3 things where you are likely to be prosecuted in Ireland:
      1. Rubbish (even if you leave it at the recycling centre but it is the wrong kind – btw, in Germany the supermarkets are legally obliged to take all the packaging you don’t need – even though they have one of the lowest profit margins there and one of the highest in Ireland: higher than the same branches in the UK).
      2. TV license.
      3. Cannabis possession.
      4. Traffic offences.

      These 4 make up 95% of all cases in my local court

      As to things like mugging, robbery, theft – you can do it 50 times and still not go to prison (I see such cases very often – in fact it is extremely rare they end up in prison for more than 6 months – and bear in mind: the standard of living in Irish prisons is f a r higher than in most of Dublin’s rented accommodation if your wage is up to 400 euro). I’d say that Ireland is a strange case where not having a proper police force is coupled in extremely mild sentence for serious assaults, the result being that the criminality rates are much higher here than in Poland (permissive drug and alcohol culture may also play into that).

      Btw, I wonder if you have heard of that case in Rimini in Italy where a gang of four Africans assaulted a Polish couple, brutally beat up a husband (with an intention to kill) and were raping his bride all night (this was the last day of their honeymoon). Their leader was a “refugee” from Congo who, despite being “in need”, owned a new Audi R8 and was known for visiting expensive night clubs and wearing designer clothing.

      In saying that, I cannot stress enough that I have a much bigger contempt for the stupid western societies (well, I should say the stupid part of them: but that’s more than 50%, judging on how they vote or don’t vote) who permit that to happen (i.e. the 160,000 strong demonstration in Barcelona, Catalunya demanding more “refugees” who won’t attack us “because we are nice to them”, followed by a terror attack on women and children; Barcelona’s spokesperson was a lady who earlier on, advocating communism, pissed on the street in public in protest).

      Or that case from last week – a 97-year-old priest attacked by a “refugee” in the church during mass, and people in his church calling the police instead of stopping his beating.

      Perhaps societies so dumb deserve to be extinct or turned into slaves?
      Which makes me think: did you hear that the Dwarf who rebuked the Irish authorities for not taking enough Jihadists will have another go at his Presidency?

      • coldblow

        Thanks for the clarification, Grzeg. Are these people charged with cannabis possession and cannabis possession alone? I find that hard to believe? How do he Gardaí know they have it on them? I have never been stopped and searched ever, either here or in England (except possibly going to football matches, a long time ago).

        I don’t know if you ever followed the Amanda Knox case. If so, this should be of interest:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCaO1pY5QBE

        At the start Leosini gets Guede (a refugee from West Africa) onto her side but later (say by part 4 or 5) she sticks it to him. His story is unbelievable. The comments are interesting: many posters claim he must be guilty because he is an African immigrant.

        • coldblow

          Correction: “must be innocent”

        • coldblow

          If you don’t know the case Knox was portrayed in the press as a cold and calculating libertine. The Italian police seem to have been convinced that Knox and her Italian boyfriend had indulged in sex games together with Guede and then killed Meredith Kerchner because of a row about money. It brings Clouseau to mind, and (more recently) Operation Yewtree and the other cases in Britain. Many posters claim to ‘know’ Knox was guilty because of her cold, callous (etc etc) manner. Look at Guede’s story. It is unbelievable. Knox and Sollecito were later released, and a good thing too.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          “Are these people charged with cannabis possession and cannabis possession alone?” – yes, on the cannabis possession alone.
          I mean these charges come usually, though not exclusively, as a result of traffic offences, but there are plenty of cases when the car was stopped not for a traffic offence but because of the suspected cannabis possession.
          Also, bear in mind that Gardai can actually raid your home if they suspect that you have drugs at home though they would not bother if someone just smokes a pot (still: did it ever puzzle you why we see so many helicopters over peoples home in Ireland?).
          I know that for a fact because I always try to figure out when my cases come in (they are not listed in my court; I mean they are, but the list is hidden and sometimes I don’t grab it on time) after tons of traffic offences.
          With those traffic offences, you usually get one cannabis possession case.
          No, Coldblow, people do get a fine very often in Ireland for smoking pot.
          In fact – not that I am like totally in favour of drugs legalisation (and certainly not the new inventions – do people don’t know how lethal some of them are?) – but think yourself: a girl got a 3 months custodial sentence for smoking pot and a guy got 6 months custodial sentence for attacking someone with a hammer in a daylight, in the city centre.
          Another guy, who tried to rob me with a gun and balaclava (this was many years ago) – which he didn’t succeed – was released on bail and I am not sure if he even got a custodial sentence after all. I remember that many years later I came across him in a court and at that time had like 60 small convictions in his CV.
          I mean: is this a joke or what?
          I don’t know why Ireland is so peculiar in that (very strict policies on TV racket and debts – yet no armed police, no gun ownership – yet your chances of being shot are 6 times of those in England).
          Foreign tourist see those junkies allowed to bother people on O’Connell St and all those fake beggars and shake their head in disbelief – and tourism is one of Ireland’s main industries.
          In fact, I had the opportunity to talk to the Austrian Ambassador and the first thing he said that the amount of random violence in this country shocked him when he arrived (he did arrive though before the “refugees” arrived in Vienna – and the Red Dwarf wants 10,000 of them – what doesn’t he take 10 to his f….g house? What the shame that guy is for the image of Ireland that Che-Guevara and Castro lover: jeez, I’d rather have Miriam – and you can rest assured that I am not talking as her fan so I don’t).
          Are you listening, Leo?

          • coldblow

            Grzeg, running short on time. I expected that those done for cannabis possession had been stopped for something else. I find it very hard to believe that a young women would be imprisoned for cannabis use ONLY, unless they couldn’t pin the crime on them that they wanted to, and which she deserved, and had no other weapon. So much so that I frankly don’t believe it. A young woman would consider herself unlucky to be locked up for premeditated murder. (It is a different story for Catholic nuns who get life for something they didn’t do: Nora Wall.)

            Why would the Guards stop a car for suspected cannabis possession instead of, say, possession with intent to deal, involving known suspects? Why would they crack down on possession if in Britain they do the very opposite, seeing that Ireland is even more pc? Whey are people, including public figures, so blasé about drug use (eg Eamon Dunphy about cocaine) if there were the slightest risk that they would be arrested? It does not make sense.

            Your assessment of what crimes are pursued and which ones ignored rings true., I thought there would be more prosecutions for drunkenness and public order offences though.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            ““Are these people charged with cannabis possession and cannabis possession alone?” – yes, on the cannabis possession alone.” – well, technically it was at work as it was on her lunch break, but still. I can furnish you with further details if you want – obviously not here in public as that wouldn’t do her any good.

            “A young woman would consider herself unlucky to be locked up for premeditated murder.” – that’s e x a c t l y my point – 3 months for smoking pot at lunch and 6 months for hitting someone at his head with a small hammer on street – that’s less than people would have spent for not paying small debts.

            “Why would the Guards stop a car for suspected cannabis possession?” – maybe I didn’t express myself clearly, due to my e-mail being written late: Gardai routinely check drivers for alcohol usage and other stuff. Sometimes they suspect cannabis possession – like when you can clearly smell it. If you don’t believe it, spend a day in any district court: I would be shocked if, out of 100-200 cases you would not come across someone being fined for cannabis – any random day (and I live in a supposedly posh area – Ireland most or second most expensive district court jurisdiction so I can only imagine what that would be in other counties).

            That Gardai can raid your house if they suspect you are growing pot – that’s in the statues. That, I agree, is rare (partly because they do it by helicopters).

            _________________

            “(It is a different story for Catholic nuns who get life for something they didn’t do: Nora Wall.)” – yes but we both agree on that. Still, Ireland is an oasis of fairness and freedom compared to Germany when you can go to prison for simply teaching true history (and I don’t mean Holocaust), and not only
            you c a n go, but people did go.
            For example, do you remember that column David wrote on Wahabism? In Germany, that would probably be jail – I mean for posting it on Facebook, because no paper in Germany would probably print that article, at least not for the last few months since Merkel-Zuckenberg censorship agreement.

            “seeing that Ireland is even more pc? ” – it is and it isn’t.
            Of course, in most aspects, Ireland is more PC (“refugees”). On the other hand, The Daily Mail and Peter Hitchens have censored me a few times for posting a stuff I would routinely post here, i.e. on WWII true history (that is they only allowed censored versions of my comments).

            “I thought there would be more prosecutions for drunkenness and public order offences though.” – which is something I am really passionate about Ireland’s leniency to some public order offences, in particular:
            - burglary
            - mugging
            - small theft
            - shooting a random person
            - manslaugher
            - murder

            It’s not as bad as in Norway where Breivik resides in a 3 room apartment (with great food and entertainment) unavailable to most Irish graduates, but still.
            The law needs to be changed and modeled on some of the US law.
            The Irish establishment shamelessly prides itself of its liberal and no-gun culture, but it is at loss to explain why manslaughter and murder rates far exceed here Poland, England or Texas.

            It’s customary to hear in Irish courts: previous convictions? 40. Sentence: suspended or fine.

            The homicide and burglaries rates are the elephant in the room no one is talking about on RTE/TV3 – and it started to SKYROCKET precisely after they had banned firearms.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Just to illustrate it, Coldblow: the average real time you would spend in Irish jail for murder is 7 years: well, considering this is how long the recession lasted, it’s a great way of fighting homelessness, isn’t isn’t it (especially because outside of jail you don’t get rent-free accommodation with free, caloric food, methadone program, free gym and no fees if you want to do a degree.

            As to other western countries, the rapists of the Polish girl (who probably wanted to murder her because they’ve thrown her into the sea after the ordeal) will probably get 3 years.

            As the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has said in her post-terror attack speech: “Europe, where are you going? Do you want to mourn your children every day, Europe? Europe, wake up!”.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            Oh btw – the family of the criminals who raped the Polish girl and tortured her husband was in Italy illegally. Their father was also in Italy illegally, was deported and came back! But who cares about petty things such as law (i.e. Germany’s bullying V4 and threatening them with penalties because they didn’t want to breach the Schengen Zone agreement and the Dublin Regulation).

          • coldblow

            Grzegorz

            I did not misunderstand you. Your list of offences, for example, was what I expected. We agree on most things, nearly everything, of course, but I think it is interesting where we differ, which is why I am pursuing it.

            Your proposal above about a Hitchens vs McWilliams debate about drugs is an excellent idea. After all, David says it is time we had a serious conversation. The trouble of course is that he does not want a serious conversation. He would not take on Hitchens because he knows he would likely lose. If he did RTE (assuming it would be them doing it) would skew it against Hitchens with the moderator being partisan. The audience would not be evenly split.

            The reason for this and all the rest is because the Irish media are hopelessly caught up in the liberal fantasy (or so-called ‘liberal’ as you pointed out earlier: I think Fennell (The Postcapitalist Condition) sees the new kind of ‘liberalism’ as arriving with Roosevelt’s New Deal, when he brought in his “dreamy professors”, unknown liberal of the new, utopian kind like Hopkins. Which brings me to one of the few quotes (from Al Smith, at the time) I remember from my History degree: “Who is Hopkins? Who is Wallace? And, in the name of all that is good and holy, who is Tugwell and where did he blow from?”) That only leaves a few brave sould like David Quinn. The Irish media are utterly, utterly useless, and worse than useless as they do far more harm than good. It is not so much that they are spineless (although they are) but they don’t even have the wit or the imagination to notice what is going on.

            Anyway, Hitchens would not debate about drugs here as he sees his main (even sole) concern being Britain, although he did debate with the Irish about atheism in Trinity College. Which Irish journalist would go head to head with David? Waters has retired, claiming (perhaps correctly)that journalism is irredeemably corrupt. They finally got rid of Myers (one of the very few to speak out against the treatment of Nora Wall (before it was proved that her accusers had been lying, and that the main witness had actually been classified as an unreliable witness following her performance in an earlier fraudulent rape case)).

            Just speaking of Hitchens, in a recent article linking to an interview with the Conservative Woman (I think) magazine or journal he was asked why he had noticed something (about the Diana fuss twenty years ago) that nobody else did. His reply was that he can’t help it if others cannot see what is under their nose. This is crucial. It is a matter of perception. They simply do not see. I attribute this (as you know) to the extraordinary power of the pc fantasy.

            I still find it impossible to believe that anyone (least of all a woman) would be imprisoned for cannabis possession only, I really do. As David has remarked in his writing open smoking of cannabis was common even in his own youth, and as I said earlier it was apparently the national sport in the west of Ireland in the late 70s. The rituals (keeping your voice down, carefully watching around as you pass on the goods to your friend, the paranoia) were just part of the fun. It was like drinking on Good Friday. In one hotel in Waterville you could here them giggling away inside the darkened bar from fifty yards down the street. And (according to my brother in law) half of them doing this would normally barely touch the drink during the rest of the year.

            I probably agree with you about guns. Back in the late 80s and early 90s murders came into the news. Before then they had been extremely rare. The body of one woman was found in the boot of a car in the carpark of Athlone railway station. As we drove around the country me and my wife (this is the colloquial way of saying it, not ‘my wife and I’) would remark on various villages were notorious murders had been committed. That would not happen nowadays as the map has been filled in and nobody pays much attention any more.

            In his book about police and the justice system Hitchens notes that not only has the prison population in Britain exploded but that it is much worse than that. If people were imprisoned for offences that you would have got locked up for in Edwardian times there would be millions behind bars: coarse language in public, sleeping rough, drunkenness in public. Another point he makes is the chaos and lawlessness within the gaols where it is a Darwinian struggle between the strong and the weak. This obviously plays into the hands of the professional criminals and is a disgrace. I imagine Ireland is no better.

            Finally my estimation is that Ireland is more pc than Britain. I think this holds true of all the small countries of the Atlantic seaboard. In Hitchens’s case the MoS moderators censor the comments, although he will also do it himself if they miss something. On the other hand I don’t think he always sees (although I could be wrong) that the ‘Community’ team (another Orwellian word) censor themselves. He says that comments are barred if they break the law. The difference between Ireland and Britain is that the institutions of othe latter are much stronger, although they have been seriously undermined in recent decades. In Ireland the mob really does rule: the press is almost wholly committed to pc orthodoxy, the judiciary show little evidence of independent thought and the politicians are also on-message. There are still pockets of resistance in Britain. This blog is unusual, and it is very much to David’s credit. Andrew Mooney often used to go on about the possibility of him being banned, but I always thought (from the very start) that I’d be banned if anyone. Indeed, I thought last week that David had got sick of the constant (justified) criticism and banned the lot of us. A bigger problem on blogs is how to stop them being ruined by the mentally disturbed, often posting under multiple identities, who outrage and bore in equal measure.

          • coldblow

            Just to add this about your comment about those illegal immigrants in Italy. I mentioned the Rudy Guede case because the Amanda Knox case got a lot of publicity. Guede’s father was from West Africa (Ivory Coast I think). Apparently young Rudy was living happily there but his father had gone to Italy. I can’t think of any way he could have entered the country apart from seeking asylum with the usual lies and excuses. One day his aunt told his mother that five-year-old Rudy had to go to Italy to live with his father because he would have a better life there. His mother was (apparently) powerless to prevent this. (Do you believe this, by the way? Me neither.)

            When he got there he was neglected by his father, who was reportedly taken up with a string of different girlfriends. His father returned to the Ivory Coast in the end. (How is that if he was forced to seek asylum in the first place because his life was in danger, or whatever? You mentioned a while back this phenomenon of successful asylum seekers returning to their home countries on holiday.)

            Anyway, Guede’s dna was all over the dead girl. His story was that he had met her the previous night and had arranged to call round. The reason for the dna is that they got intimate but he had to rush off to the toilet because he had a stomach problem. The murdered girl’s friends did not remember seeing Guede the previous night, and certainly not him talking to, and kissing, the girl (Meredith Kerchner). He was in the toilet listening to loud music while the murder took place. Then he heard something and went out to investigate. He saw a strange man (obviously meant to be Knox’s boyfriend, Sollicito) who said something like: “Negro trovato, culpato trovato” – Black man found, culprit found. (Guede obviously saw his best hope of acquittal in playing the race card – probably a good decision.) His fingerprints were found all over the bloody body. His footprints in blood were also in the room. He didn’t climb up the outside and break a window to get into the house, he said. No, she had let him in herself. The broken window was staged from the inside to make it look like someone had broken in (he, and various Inspector Clouseaus in the polizia had claimed).

            He then ran off to Germany. (“I was only twenty and didn’t know what I was doing.”) Oh yes, he said that Kerchner was trying to say something as she coughed and spluttered her life out. So to make sense of her disjointed words he tried to write them down (as anyone would do) on the wall in Kerchner’s blood.

            Finally, as to the Mickeleen’s call to admit 10k Syrian refugees I notice that Swedish economist Tino Sanandaji estimated the cost of Norway integrating 10k Syrian refugees at 20 billion euros. Sanandaji is a Kurd and an immigrant himself so he can say things that native Swedes are not allowed to say, such as the fact that their immigration policy is insane. He says it because he believes it is true and, I suppose, because someone ought to say it for that reason.

            Our media, and no-one’s media, will not report the likes of Sanandaji because they are caught up in the collective fantasy. Let’s legalize cannabis instead.

          • Grzegorz Kolodziej

            “After all, David says it is time we had a serious conversation. The trouble of course is that he does not want a serious conversation.” – I think that the main problem is who would host such debate and where.
            Have you ever come across any serious debate of anything in Ireland where two sides would have been given equal talk time and the audience would be split roughly 50-50?
            I cannot think of even one such event: not only on controversial things like abortion, gay marriage, united Ireland, neutrality, gun ownership or drugs but even less controversial things such as Brexit, QE, EU, Commonwealth, does God exist, trade unionism, evolution, public transport, you name it.

            I remember listening to a TCD debate on Brexit where not only all panelists were anti-Brexit, but also all audience too; the only votum separatum was mine (and I wasn’t even 100% pro-Brexit, less than David was anyway (who btw was wrong that Britain would quickly get a Norwegian style deal, and so was Hitchens and I was right: neither they will get it quickly nor it won’t be Norwegian style) – I just wanted to present arguments for both sides and I wasn’t allow to speak or ask question (and that was the only “serious” public debate on Brexit Ireland had, except maybe for Mr Farage’s debate in UCD).

            So the problem in Ireland is not a lack of debates on things that are not PC but the lack of debates on anything other than GAA.

            All my Irish friends tell me that I am making a fundamental mistake while having a social chit-chat: I’m talking substance. “this is not socially acceptable here, and especially if you talk substance with strangers.”

            “I still find it impossible to believe that anyone (least of all a woman) would be imprisoned for cannabis possession only, I really do.”

            http://www.donegaldaily.com/2017/06/22/jail-for-letterkenny-man-found-in-possession-of-e2700-worth-of-drugs/

            https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/half-of-serious-drugs-cases-result-in-5-10-year-jail-terms-1.1785698

            http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/stop-wasting-police-resources-drugs-2836459-Jun2016/

            “As David has remarked in his writing open smoking of cannabis was common even in his own youth, and as I said earlier it was apparently the national sport in the west of Ireland in the late 70s.” – does David know that cannabis in his youth was totally different in his youth to what kids are sold now (it is 10-15 times stronger)?

          • coldblow

            Grzegorz

            Good points. I’ll get the Donegal man out of the way first. €27k – that would be for supply rather than personal use surely, and as you know, while the Victim is Innocent (either a victim of his upbringing or an innocent young person merely ‘experimenting’) the Supplier is Evil. I looked up a couple of cases. One in Co. Wicklow for 3 women who got suspended sentences for possession of heroin (claimed it was for personal use).

            Serious debate is very unlikely, certainly not on the subjects such as immigration which have been judged to be beyond the pale and which it is therefore not permissible to discuss. Hitchens debated atheism at Trinity College but I don’t think we will ever see such a discussion in the mainstream media, at least in the short to medium term future, although George Hook apparently discusses ‘hot’ topics on his radio show. Hitchens got a cordial reception from Atheist Ireland and Ivan Bakic, but a homegrown participant would be unlikely to. From your extended list I can at least imagine a discussion about the Commonwealth, public transport and QE. Éamonn Ó Cuív proposed Ireland joining the Commonwealth a few years ago.

            The LLS with Tubridy is relentlessly pursuing the liberal agenda, or at least was in the last season.

            Actually, Vincent Brown discussed immigration a couple of times. This for example:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVjDRnqHy5c&index=29&list=PLiR4zENhL93r8WrsQsIGQpmqGBFQvffdM

            There are some others on The Big Taboo YT channel.

            Actually this is the one I meant.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqhmcvQUZgc&list=PLiR4zENhL93r8WrsQsIGQpmqGBFQvffdM&index=41

            What happens in Ireland that opposing speakers are invited on to discussion programmes not to argue (as John Waters describes) but to fulfil a ritual where they are the cliché villains.

            The argument that serious issues should not be discussed in social conversation is false. I don’t believe this was always the case. In his early (late 80s I think) book, Dancing At The Crossroads, John Waters talks about the difference between the politically correct line coming out of RTE (Gay Byrne’s radio programme) and what ordinary people talked about in his native Roscommon as he drove around in his father’s postal van. (I mentioned before that my father had worked together with his father in the Castlrea sorting office, and John would have been driving around the place my mother is from.) The point here being that people in the country of course discussed serious matters in the course of their social interaction. Where else can you discuss serious matters?

      • coldblow

        Grzeg

        Spanish demonstrations can be very silly. Do you remember the hundreds of thousands who turned out after the Madrid train bombing when they thought it was all ETA’s fault?

        As for Mickileen, I was happy enough for Galway to have won, UNTIL I spotted him at the end.

        • Grzegorz Kolodziej

          Yes, I do remember it.
          Well, all previous terror attacks were ETA, so hard to say whether it was ideological or the first suspect.
          Do you remember that famous race in Silverstone when the Irish priests invaded the circuit on Hanger Straight?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_a_urdgrl2E

          When Sir Ashley (I lived in his castle at the time) was told about it, he was convinced that it was me “because it’s something that only he would do”, and he was genuinely surprised and relieved that I didn’t come back from Silverstone in a police car :-) LOL.

          So maybe it was the same with blaming ETA.
          Btw, I remember that Juan Pablo Montoya said in the post-race interview that he knew that the invader was insane because he had a banner with some quotes yet the quotes were written in a really small font ;-)

          and this was the first serious signal for the Jihadists that it’s enough to carry out one small terror attack to change the election results in the country of the size of Spain (before the attacks, the People’s Party was leading – then we had Zapaterism: Zapatero was at the time the most extreme left politicians in Europe). He was the first who started to implement all Genderist’ anti-scientific shamanism into practice. Zapatero was so far left that Tony Blair looks like Tea Party compared to him.
          Actually, that’s wrong – there were two European politicians before Zapatero which were as far left as him: Mitterand wanted to emulate the Soviet Russia’s economic model and such disastrous were the results that he had to do a U-turn after a year, and Joschka Fischer in Germany was as far left.
          Which reminds me – I watched that 3SAT debate on the 1968 myth but it was a let-down.
          All debaters bar one were talking about their 1968 experience as if it was something so noble as taking part in the Battle of England or Witold Pilecki’s heroics: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13415529-the-auschwitz-volunteer

          The words they used the most were “tolerance” (reminder: tolerance actually means accepting the existence you dislike, not availing of state funding for things that you like anyway – German cities finance the communist extreme centres) and “openness” (Alan Bloom and Ryszard Legutko are the most articulate writers on these two concepts – from an anti-liberal perspective – although be careful when you criticise liberalism as such because what you actually mean is not classical liberalism but the 20th century, post-John Stuart Mill and post-Popperian liberalism appropriated by Marxism – did you know that one of the fathers of liberalism, John Locke, didn’t tolerate atheists in his liberal state project because his argument was that atheists don’t believe in sanctity so how are they expected to honour the sanctity of contracts based on trust?).

          The one who was critical of 1968 was very shy about, and he was constantly asked by the moderator questions like: “but what positives do you see in the 1968 movement in Germany?”.

          That reminds me of my history teacher at school who was a communist (even in the 1990s!). She was shaking her head on my exam listening to me how Lenin was brought to Russia by the German intelligence and finally interrupted me by asking in the front of everyone: “and what positives of the Bolshevik Revolution can you name?” – “that in the 1930s Stalin exterminated almost the entire Polish Communist Party”, I answered with conviction in my voice and gestures.

          • coldblow

            John Waters said that when he was met with teachers at his daughter’s prospective school he was told that the ethos was to be tolerant of this and tolerant of this. He asked them “So what does my daughter have that other people can be tolerant about?”

            The critic of 1968 in that video is Gotz Aly (I wrote my own assessment in the comments – I am pretty sure my original one was deleted because the man who put the video up didn’t like me poking fun at his idols.) Aly’s book is called Unser Kampf and old 68ers took to the streets (as it were) to have it (and him) banned. Klaus Theweleit seems to argue (I’m pretty sure he does) that they did not force their university teachers into retirement. All they wanted was the right to criticize their teaching and the lecturers retired of their own free will!

            As for Eta they are just another bunch of dangerous utopians. I am sure that if the protesters had known it was the Arabs and not the Basques who had killed all those people there wouldn’t have been so many of them out on the street and they wouldn’t have been so sanctimonious about it.

            We came back to our little house in the shadows of St Teresa’s Gardens (off Cork Street) one evening to find the bottom of the front door missing and a guard waiting inside for our return. They had happened to be driving round the corner when the drug addict from St Teresa’s, after smashing the glass door, had the new television set of ours out onto the footpath (the house had no front yard, like in Coronation Street). It turned out the culprit already had a long string of offences waiting to be dealt with (16 if memory serves). A local glass fitter came out at short notice and was high himself on some substance but at least he turned up. (He put the new glass on upside-down, but you had to look closely to notice). As he worked he told me about various ‘character’ who passed by, on their way from, or to, some mischief or other. He said he had been called out to Frawleys (remember that department store on Thomas Street?) to fix a skylight which had been broken by two young delinquents who were (of course) also high as kites. He told me it was surreal. The police arrested them and he was called in to fix the glass in the skylight. While he was working the youths came back a second time and they all had a pleasant conversation. Hitchens thinks the police are worse than useless. He says if he caught a burglar in his own house he’d make him a cup of tea and ask him to sign a statement that he had not harmed him.

            There is no thinking here in the press. It is all pretend. Why doesn’t David talk about it rather than waffling on about legalizing narcotics?

  16. As an aside. China moves to replace the US petro dollar for trade and to replace it with a gold backed Yuan. Gold is now moving to be money yet again.

    http://investmentresearchdynamics.com/china-begins-to-reset-the-worlds-reserve-currency-system/

    • Mike Lucey

      Tony, Along with the article, you should read the comment/assessment by ‘JJ’ about four comments down. To me, he talks a lot of practical sense. The Chinese are not stupid in any way. They are playing the ‘long game’ with regard to taking down the ‘petrodollar’.

      • jj suggests that the US ran out of gold while the value was 35 and ounce as they could not afford to buy any more at that price.
        It seems to me that the US ran out of gold , because they printed unlimited amounts of paper that they redeemed at a set price that was also way lower than market value. They tried to have their cake and eat it too.

        It is assumed that in order to have a growing economy there must be a growing money supply. This is incorrect. A money like gold will always be sufficient as it is infinitely divisible. In other words it just takes less gold to buy the same goods if it has to stretch further. Secondly the money once used as a medium of exchange is not consumed but is ready to perform that function over and over again. The speed at which it does that is called the velocity.

        if the US had left the value of gold as determined by the market, the exchange value in USD would have fluctuated and likely risen to multiples of 35. Thus the redemption of the gold in exchange for USD would have taken more and more dollars per ounce as the inflation of the dollar was reflected in the exchange rate.

        Thus much less gold would have been redeemed than was the case. Also goods bought by the US from foreigners would have required more and more dollars and would have created high inflation in the US that would have curtailed US consumption of goods they could only acquire with payment of more and more dollars they could not afford.

        By setting the gold exchange rate at a fixed amount the US exported its inflation abroad while paying for the goods and services with gold which was quickly gone. (22,000 tonnes to 8000 tonnes from 1944 to 1971).

        After 1971 they continued to print more USD for nothing with which they bought hard goods. In other words the US took goods in exchange for an irredeemable IOU

        China is aware and knows that the world will not readily accept a worthless IOU fiat currency but will only deliver goods to those who guarantee payment in real spendable money.
        Thus china has accumulated the largest stash of gold in the world at knock down artificially cheap prices while the western governments have tried to protect their currency by demeaning and denigrating gold.

        When china has all the gold it can collect by these methods (China likely agreed to the artificial low prices as it suited their long term plan , and also likely took part in issuing paper derivative shorts that helped to drive down the price of physical) it will reverse the process. The US will be found to have no gold. The nations that us the US vaults as a surrogate for their own will find their gold long gone or owned by another. Hypothicated, is the term, to another.

        All of a sudden world trade will be backed by currencies backed by gold and the USD value of gold will, all of a sudden, be many times higher than present. This will reflect the diminished value of the dollar rather than the increased value of the gold, but that could be any price you want to name. It is called hyperinflation of the US as reflected in the huge volume of unwanted US currency that will flood back to the US from abroad.

        The US has been going broke for the last two generations and all of a sudden they will be. (apologies the Hemingway)

      • The total amount of all gold ever mined is from $7 to $9 trillion at today’s prices. Where are they going to get the gold from? –jj

        When the market value of gold reasserts itself the total value of all the gold ever mined will be whatever price is required to liquidate the world’s debts. It is the only way to balance the books.
        Lets assume that the debts are at 1000 trillion or a quadrillion. That would require the price of gold to be 100 times its current price in USD. That is roughly 1300 times 100 or $130,000 per ounce. Not possible you say? Ask Zimbabwe or Venezuela or indeed Wehrmacht Germany.

        To answer the question of jj. Where are we going to get the gold from?
        There is always enough gold, it just depends on the price.

        Gold is the money of rulers. He who has the gold rules.

  17. Grzegorz Kolodziej

    I’ve just watched this very sad documentary on Ireland’s property crisis from April this year and it’s so scary that I cannot sleep:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4XrOGuAdWo&t=80s

    It’s really worth watching. Oh my God, this is the scariest thing I’ve seen since I’ve seen the ball lightning right in the front of me as a child. Oh this will haunt me – especially that homeless man who used to work for an IT company. Yes, I remember those viewing queues when I moved to Dublin in 2006 and I found it really, really sickening when the young and jaded potential landlord told me “maybe I’ll call you if you’re lucky” offering a room for, if I remember correctly, 900.
    Oh Ireland, will you ever learn.

    • michaelcoughlan

      Hi Grzegorz,

      A very worthwhile post well done. Can I respectfully suggest the following;

      Refer to the crisis for what it is; a banking and administrative crisis. Ireland is awash in abandoned houses Grez, People who want to build houses are emigrating and people who want to buy houses are emigrating also.

      Think about what I just said.

      Michael.

  18. https://realityzone.com/inconvenient-lie-day-1-03853/

    Tim Ball on deception, lies, truth and propaganda and climate change.

  19. Addicted to credit? When credit is withdrawn the the resulting withdrawal sicknesses will be a sight to behold.
    ——————————————————————

    “”The central banks’ prescription for boosting the economy out of the Great Recession has been: print $15 trillion worth of fiat credit to purchase distressed bank assets, dramatically reduce debt service costs for both the public and private sectors, and to vastly inflate asset prices so as to create a trickle down wealth effect. But now, central banks are in the process of reversing that very same wealth effect that temporarily and artificially boosted global GDP.

    Therefore, by the middle of next year–at the very latest —we should experience unprecedented currency, equity and bond market chaos, which will be a trenchant change from today’s era of absent volatility. The vast majority of investors have fully embraced the passive buy and hold strategy due to confidence in governments and central banks. That misplaced confidence is the biggest bubble of all.”"

    Michael Pento is the President and Founder of Pento Portfolio Strategies,

    • Another opinion on the credit addicted US. fixed as they are on buying goods with borrowed money created by a computer from nothing the US will have major withdrawal symptoms.

      From GATA’s good friend Hank Fellerman…

      Essay

      Hello Bill,

      I know a lot of people with an interest in gold wonder if the manipulation will ever end. The bullion banks, supported by the US and allied governments have used various devices to tamper with gold. That’s been US policy since April 25, 1974 when Secretary of State Henry Kissinger established the policy. The State Department released the transcript of a meeting between Kissinger and his economic staff to discuss the role of gold in the post modified gold standard era. A staffer asks Kissinger how to deal with a country that doesn’t follow US dictates on gold. Kissinger says, “We”ll bust them.” The word bust is a euphemism for destroy. The quote is found at about page 237 of the transcript, which is at this link:

      https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1969- 76v31/d63

      Its no wonder people give up on gold. After 43 years of controlling the market it seems like it could go on forever, or at least for the rest of our lives. If some outside force doesn’t enter the picture the manipulation could go on for generations.

      After World War II American businesses controlled their markets. Detroit and Pittsburg dominated cars and steel. It often seemed these industrial giants, with their money and power, were beyond challenge and that was the normal order of things. In 1967 Harvard economist and historian John Kenneth Galbraith, the smartest economist of his time, published The New Industrial State, which perfectly described how the system worked. However, even Galbraith couldn’t see that in the next decade the system would be torn apart and the great US manufactures would be dethroned. He didn’t foresee the arrival of foreigners, in this case the Japanese, who would show US firms were no longer competitive.

      The American government will soon loose control of the gold market, as the governments of China and Russia know the score. They know how the US and its confederates operate. And these foreigners are in a position to do something about it.

      Controlling the price of gold is the foundation of the American government, economy, financial markets and military power. China and Russia will end this American scheme because to fail means the US will dominate the world at their expense. Success means the American government and people will be forced to live by the same rules as everyone else in the world.

      I’ve written about this before in an essay at the Matisse Table dated December 1, 2016, titled “Hank Fellerman… Letter From Hank Fellerman to Bill Murphy.” I won’t repeat the arguments from that essay.

      The world economy is unbalanced and unfair. People around the world go into factories and make things with all the effort and risk that entails. Americans buy the output of those factories with computer generated X’s and O’s. If foreigners want to import something they must export goods of equal or greater value. Americans pay for imports with computer generated money. So to “defeat” the US, China and Russia only have to see that America lives by the same rules as the rest of the world. “Victory” for the US means the existing system continues.

      The Census Bureau records the US trade (Balance of Payments Basis) for the years 1960 to 2016:

      https://www.census.gov/foreign- trade/statistics/historical/gands.pdf

      In the old days foreign governments could exchange their dollar holdings for gold, which limited the deficits the US could run. From 1960 – 1971 the US ran an average trade surplus of $2.5 billion. Nixon closing the gold window freed Americans from the market discipline foreigners had to follow. In the twelve years ending in 2016, the US had an average trade deficit of $566 billion. Control of the gold price makes this condition possible.

      (I want to point out something I don’t fully understand. US gold holdings have not been audited since Eisenhower was President in about 1954. At the time the US held about 22,000 tons of gold. When Nixon closed the gold window in 1971, only seventeen years later, that number was down to 8,000 tons. If the US ran average trade surpluses of about $2.5 billion we should have accumulated foreigners’ currency, debt and gold. Something besides world trade was going on. By some means massive amounts of US currency went overseas that greatly exceeded the trade surpluses. It was this money that foreign governments exchanged for gold. If a reader knows what happened please submit it to the Café. Though I’m not an economist I’ve read a lot of books on economics and economic history. Nothing I’ve read addresses this issue.)

      The US military is the most powerful and advanced force in world history. I don’t know if our service members are braver, smarter and more patriotic than those of other countries. However, the Pentagon is so powerful because it has so much money to spend. America’s global reach is all about the money. And here is where foreigners can defeat the US military without firing a shot.

      It is useful to follow the foreign press as we get an idea as to their thinking and learn what influential foreigners are telling their own people. A recent story in Tass.com has Sergey Glazyev telling a Russian audience, “As soon as we and China dump the dollar, it will be the end of the US’ military might”.

      Look up the man and he certainly appears to be a mover and shaker in Russia. He is probably not lying to his audience but reporting on a strategy already adopted and in the process of being implemented. The Tass.com story is at this link:

      http://tass.com/politics/942643

      The only important fact with US military spending is that we spend so much more than any other country. It’s much easier for the US to have a big military budget as the government is in large part spending computer generated X’s and O’s. In contrast, Canada must fund its military with money generated by the productive economy, which represents real economic sacrifice by the Canadian people. So its no surprise that Canada’s military spending is 1% of GDP while the US spends 3.3% of GDP on the Pentagon.

      When the US looses control of gold and has to follow the same rules as every other country the purchasing power of US military spending will drop by 30%-50% (in my opinion.)

      Of course, the US will remain a great military power. The missiles on the Trident submarines alone would kill most of the people in China and Russia. What the US will loose is the ability to project military power around the world. The US would field at least 30% fewer service members, aircraft and ships. While the Defense Department would still be able to defend America it would loose the ability to project massive military power anywhere in the world. The American people will not fund the military at its present level if they have to pay for it the way Canadians do.

      At this point the US government has few options to prevent China and Russia from forcing America to live by the rules other countries are forced to follow, the main one being that to import something a country must export goods of equal or greater value. Starting a war with those two nuclear powers would do the trick, but I hope it doesn’t come to that.

      Hank Fellerman

  20. bilimori

    Bilimori.

    This is a shameful article by DMcW, I see no moral space between him and the British suppliers of product for the Chinese opium dens.

    All drugs impair judgement, some for a short time, some eventually will impair forever.

    A Philosopher in Economics should be striving to help society find the road to a national Utopia ( Eutopia?). Not to advocate policies that will make drugs cheaper and legal.

    Legal drugs ?, OK for airline pilots, bus drivers, school teachers, police, food preparers, jurors, fourteen-year-olds, etc.,etc., to use whenever?

    What kind of society will we be in thirty years or so? Is the good clean life not worth fighting or?

    We need a debate not on legalizing drugs but on defining a society for which we would all fight. A War, not for cheap permissible drugs but a war for a good society fought through the continual condemnation of drugs.

  21. Deco

    For a very useful assessment of the current debacle in NI, a read of Eoghan Harris (yes, he is a very controversial figure) might prove useful.

    With regard to the article, can the Irish state fight off both the corporate empire, with Marxist revolutionary footsoldiers, posting as a social democratic party, and the drugs empires ?

    I would argue, that given the state of the gardai, it is not possible.

    So, we need a non-standard approach to de-escalation of the drugs problem, so as to prevent the state being eventually taken over by PSF.

    I regard marajuana as an un-safe substance. It is in fact, very dangerous to the individuals who consume it. However, the problem is one of pragmatism. the current policy is failing abysmally.

  22. Deco

    Coveney is in Belfast, almost apologising for having an opinion, when in fact the opinion is useless.

    If really wanted to do something useful, he would castigate the Northern nationalists for supporting a criminal racket masquerading as a political party.

    • Deco

      Coveney is looking like a fool, trying to get PSF into power in Belfast, and trying to keep them out of power in Dublin.

      He lacks the backbone to stand up and say what badly needs to be said about the conartists that he is making look credible.

      The MoJ is an even bigger waste of space.

      There is a mountain of scandal underneath PSF.

    • Deco

      SF have an ambition – to turn Ireland into a Central American style banana republic, with bandana wearing paramilitaries influencing decision making, and loads of empty useless Marxist rhetoric.

      And millions off shore in hidden accounts. Except they have already taken a short cut to that objective.

      Where is the media to investigate the massive commercial empire of the pretend left wing party machine that talks about “equality” whilst hiding a fortune ?

      Has the media no courage ?

      • Truthist

        Why not these posing-patriots”apprehend + arrest” Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet [ President of European Central Bank ] when he arrived in Dublin upon they knowing courtesy of then Minister for Finance Michael Noonan quickly revealing to the Irish Nation that Trichet threatened the ECB would arrange for b..mbing of Dublin were “Irish State burn the Bond-Holders [ as passionately advised by DMW in Seminal Advise #2 ]” ?

  23. Deco

    The economic policies being pursued currently are clueless.

    http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.ie/2017/09/the-insanity-of-pushing-inflation.html

    They are also designed to benefit those in corporate and state power – or close to either.

    This is the relentless centralization of power and money that is occurring on our system currently.

  24. Mike Lucey

    Surely, a way to handle the drug issue might be to decriminalise but at the same time publicly record all purchasers via a digital means.

    Of course purchasers should only be allowed to buy some agreed amount for personal use otherwise the drugs could be sold on to users that want to remain off the purchaser/user list.

    A system like this might discourage startup users as the consequences could effect future job prospects and such but such a system would still encourage a criminal element to supply ‘off record ‘ drugs. However, existing heavy users would at least have a reasonable cost supply thus lessening user crime and the profits of the criminal drug industry.

    As I said in an earlier post, we will always have a criminal white collar, blue collar and no collar element in society. It’s simply the nature of humankind.

    I’ve recently heard that this figure is around 15% of the broad population …. sounds about right to me.

  25. What are the limits?
    “Mom I’m having a heroin party this weekend”
    “OK honey”
    The war on drugs is absolutely not working.
    The alter argument to the mafia example you used, whereby they made serious money during prohibition, is the one time in history where the mafia was on its knees and almost eradicated.
    That was the Mussolini era.
    The solutions are left wing legalise / right wing enforcement and draconian laws
    The war will always be lost on the fence of the centre.
    So as a society.
    Do we want drugs?
    Or no?
    That will indeed be an interesting discussion in the current global political climate.

  26. Truthist

    Drugs should not be legalised ;
    Drugs harm society.

    Parts of the push for the legalisation of drugs :

    1.

    1.1
    Drugs loosen sexual inhibitions

    1.2
    Drugs enable people to be unwillingly controlled Re; their sexual integrity by other people

    1.3
    Drugs enable people to become sexually corrupted ;
    Part of the conspiracy by the elite & individuals acting on their own personal motivation TO HOMOSEXUALIZE THE YOUTH

    1.4
    Drugs enable people to become sexually compromised

    PERVERTS WANT ALL OF ABOVE IN THEIR TARGETS

    SPY-MASTERS WANT ALL OF ABOVE IN THEIR TARGETS

    2.
    The persons involved in the drug-trade would make much more profits were drugs legalised ;
    Because :
    drug-use by “existing drug-users would escalate
    drug-use by “very most likely persons who were drugs illegal would never try drugs” would happen

    3.
    Powerful rich families — incl. in Irish State — wish to :

    3.1
    rid their family members of criminal records for having got sentenced for :

    3.1.1
    drug importation

    3.1.2
    drug pushing

    3.1.3
    drug dealing

    3.1.4
    currency-laundering for drug-biz. persons

    3.1.5
    committing assaults, eg. “sexual” assaults, under the influence of drug use ;
    Whereby, if drugs were legalised ;
    ==>

    3.1.5.1
    their criminal record may be retrospectively absolved ;

    ………………………………………..

    PRIOR :

    1st EVENT

    1st_AR_Y
    3.1.5.1.1
    Having committed illegal consumption of drugs ;
    Thus ;
    “Actus Reus” X ? ; Yes !

    1st_MR_Y
    3.1.5.1.2
    Having criminal intention to consume drugs ;
    Thus ;
    “Menus Reus” X ? ; Yes !

    2nd EVENT

    2nd_AR_Y
    3.1.5.1.2
    Having committed assault ;
    Thus ;
    “Actus Reus” Y ? ; Yes !

    2nd_MR_N
    3.1.5.1.2
    Not having criminal intention to commit assault ;
    Because of
    3.1.5.1.1
    Having committed illegal consumption of drugs
    Thus ;
    “Menus Reus” Y ? ; No !

    OVERALL JUDGEMENT ;
    Guilty of Assault because of ;

    1st EVENT
    1st_AR_Y
    +
    1st_MR_Y

    AND

    2nd EVENT
    2nd_AR_Y
    +
    2nd_MR_N

    …………………………………..

    NOW ;
    Following successful Appeal through the Courts or by mass Clemency [ I lazy to look up the special applicable term ]

    OVERALL JUDGEMENT ;
    NOT Guilty of Assault because of ;

    1st EVENT
    1st_AR_N
    +
    1st_MR_N

    AND

    2nd EVENT
    2nd_AR_Y
    +
    2nd_MR_N

    …………………………………………………………….

    I could go on with many more interesting reasons for the push to legalise drugs …

    Alas, … a Lass beckons

    ………………………………………………………….

    I am of the belief that there needs to be set tiers of Criminal Ofences
    Perhaps 5 Tiers

    Tier 1 :
    Murder [ incl. Abortion ], Manslaughter, Treason [ e.g.s Directing the Irish Nation to pay the Private Debt of Private Banks to Foreign Creditors, conspiring to coerce indigenous Irish into partaking in process of getting SS Photo ID Card + associated SS Database ], Drug Pushing, Drug Dealing, Conspiring to profit with Drug Pushing, Conspiring to profit with Drug Dealing, Rape, inter alia

    Tier 2 ;
    Consumption of Drugs ; Class A

    Tier 3 ;
    Consumption of Drugs ; Class B

  27. Truthist

    Of course, there is the much admired official Duterte of The Philippines current response to the Drugs Crisis ;
    But, shooting to kill is immoral.
    And, … another “But, ” ;

    http://aanirfan.blogspot.com/2017/09/drug-lord-duterte.html

  28. Truthist

    Drug addiction is a symptom of the pain that the person experiences because “something vital is missing” & / or “something wrong is being carried [ this obviously includes the drug-addiction itself ]” with that person, & the challenge of facing these “Lackings” & / or “Baggage” is avoided by the person habitually using drugs.

    Perhaps these 2 links offer insight & solutions of current Lackings & Baggage :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O1cmw8BeRk

    https://www.technologyreview.com/s/608580/eliminating-the-human/amp/
    This Link is from David Byrne ;
    Famous musician-composer of Talking Heads

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