Feds Waste Money On Ads

Feds Waste Money On Ads
Posted by CN Staff on March 08, 2003 at 07:48:01 PT
By Bryan Register, Daily Texan Columnist
Source: Daily Texan 
The federal government has shown a lot of commercials lately. Consider the spot that's been running in theaters. Four stoned guys repeatedly pull up to a drive-thru and shout things that strike them as funny through the intercom. Each time they get to the intercom, a child on a bike rides across the path between the drive-thru and the street - apparently the kid rides around the block in exactly the time it takes the four potheads to drive around the generic fast food joint. After discovering that they don't have any money, the driver punches the accelerator as the kid on the bike cycles back for his predictable demise. Screen goes black as potheads panic and hit the brakes. We hear crashing metal. Text informs us that marijuana slows reaction time.
Still think marijuana's harmless? Well, yes, actually. Only a crack addict from a commercial couldn't see through this one. First, marijuana does not cause aggressive behavior, so punching the accelerator is out of character. Second, the same commercial done with teenagers who were drunk rather than stoned would have been more accurate, but we would have immediately grasped the problem with its implicit argument that any substance that slows your reaction time should be illegal. Any argument for banning marijuana that would work just as well as an argument for banning alcohol is a bad one, since we learned not to ban alcohol.Consider "The Visit," a commercial that's so bad that it needed a title and got to run during the Super Bowl. (Remember, your tax money is funding Dr. Goebbels's latest masterworks, and it takes a lot of tax money to buy commercial time during the Super Bowl.) This one starts with a lone subway passenger reading the newspaper. The lights black out for a second, and when they come back on, he's surrounded by the ghosts of the victims of drug dealers. They explain that by buying drugs, our subway passenger has caused innumerable rapes and deaths of torture and is funding terrorism. They briefly relate their individual tales of woe. The lights black out. Still think buying drugs is harmless? Again, yes. One must be a victim of state-run education to not see what's gone wrong in this ad. (Even the government's television crack addicts can see through this one.) Here, the government is trying to get innocent drug users to adopt the guilt for the drug warriors' own crimes.Black markets lead to violence for two reasons. First, in a black market, information about alternate suppliers is an artificially scarce good. That allows each supplier to act as a monopolist, which drives up prices and leads to violence by suppliers trying to maintain their local monopolies and by consumers trying to get the cash necessary for the artificially expensive goods. Second, because the black market is not governed by law, there is no means to enforce agreements other than violence. This leads to an atmosphere of distrust in which preemptive strikes are used to ensure cooperation. The violence of the black market in drugs is the result of the illegality of the substances, not of their inherent (and wildly exaggerated) addictiveness.When the new ads ask whether we still think that drugs are harmless, they are attacking those of us that think that drugs aren't harmful enough to justify outlawing them. That is, the government isn't trying to get people not to use drugs, it's pushing some laws on us with our own money. "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech," but it will require us to fund propaganda that tries to persuade us of lies that have caused the deaths of thousands and the pointless incarceration of millions. You are being forced to pay to be lied to.Finally, consider one of the patriotic ads that the Ad Council, a non profit private organization, aired late last year. A young man in a library approaches the desk and asks for help finding a few books. The librarian coldly informs him that these books are not available. The young man, suddenly realizing why, says that he didn't know. She demands his name. As he tries to run, two men in black come from the background to disappear him. (Maybe his name was "Jose Padilla.") The image is replaced with text asking, "What if America ... weren't America?"A better question would have been, "What do we do now that America isn't America?": The situation depicted in the ad isn't hypothetical. According to Section 215 of the Nuremberg Law - sorry, the USA PATRIOT Act - "The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or a designee of the Director ... may make an application for an order requiring the production of any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents and other items) for an investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities ..." As the American Library Association noticed, that includes a record of the books you check out from a library or buy at a bookstore. You might want to rethink that study of Arab culture; checking out the Koran might get you an FBI file. Section 215 further explains that your librarian must keep to himself the fact that he has helped the U.S. government violate your constitutional right to privacy: "No person shall disclose to any other person ... that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section." This means that we'll never know to what degree the government is using this new power. The Justice Department has rejected a number of requests made under the Freedom of Information Act that the number - not the targets, just the number - of warrants for library records be made public.This provision requires that librarians violate their professional ethics: Point III of the American Library Association's Code of Ethics says that "We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted." Not any more, you don't. That was back in America.Register is a philosophy graduate student. Source: Daily Texan (TX Edu)Author: Bryan Register, Daily Texan ColumnistPublished: March 07, 2003Copyright: 2003 Daily TexanContact: texaned Articles:Anti-Drug Messages Clouded in Smoke? Ads Deceive Youth Kids Ignore Anti-Drug Ads 
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Comment #8 posted by observer on March 09, 2003 at 10:36:21 PT
''forced to pay to be lied to''
''When the new ads ask whether we still think that drugs are harmless, they are attacking those of us that think that drugs aren't harmful enough to justify outlawing them. That is, the government isn't trying to get people not to use drugs, it's pushing some laws on us with our own money. "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech," but it will require us to fund propaganda that tries to persuade us of lies that have caused the deaths of thousands and the pointless incarceration of millions. You are being forced to pay to be lied to.''This is right on target. Too bad this is in a little college paper and too bad the Washington Post, the NY Times, the LA Times won't come out and admit this. Then again, the very function of government-propaganda outlets like the Wastington Post, the NY Times and the LA Times, ABC, CBS, NBS, Fox et al. *is* to lie to you, and get you to accept ever-increasing government control over your life. Track breaking drug propaganda news with Mapinc's bot!
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Comment #7 posted by charmed quark on March 08, 2003 at 12:16:03 PT
Yes, it is a cultre war
Nice article. I think the most interesting part is that the writer is stating that the drug ads are aimed more at getting voters to not try to overturn the current drugs laws,rather than to get teenagers not to use drugs.And, yes, the war on marijuana is nothing but a culture war. Pot never would have been made illegal in the 30s except to attack certain ethnic groups. The "war on drugs" was started in the 70's to attack anti-war college students.The latest Ashcroft attack on bongs is another example. He's attacking the culture of art glass assoicated with the marijuana culture. It has nothing to do with preventing drug abuse, but is a supression of an art form that Ashcroft hates.-Pete
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Comment #6 posted by lag on March 08, 2003 at 11:16:45 PT
Stupid Commie Hippies
Is what they might as well be saying in these ads. This article really brought something to my mind...and maybe others have seen this for awhile. The recent increase in marijuana ads coupled with the raid on places that sell "drug paraphenelia" in a huge attack on our culture, the culture of non-violent, peace loving people. Wasn't it the same deal during the vietnam war? I don't really know, my vietnam war history is a little minimal, but in a sense, I feel like I am living through it right now.This is a great article...because it draws in parallel the lies that our government now seems to have the right to tell us from two different points of view. I think I have discovered why some people have such hatred of us supposed 'conspiracy theorists' who think the government is out to get you. First off, I think we have significant past precedence to help us understand to trust your government, especially one as whacked as this one, is the height of ignorance...Enron is an excellent example. Heck, even our forefathers knew governments can't necessarily remain trusted and wrote that concept into the Declaration of Independence. Why do people see that as insane, they think we pull conspiracies out of our ass? There is past precedence...but the ultimate answer I think is that people are just too afraid (too lazy? too content?) to look at the truth. In a video production class I took, I dissected the first 10 minutes of Raising Arizona and analyzed each shot. I made comments on lighting and stuff that astounded one of my classmates. He could not believe that anyone would consciously have made the decisions to place the camera or lights at a certain angle, or in a certain spot to achieve some sort of emotion or visual connection with the emotions behind the scenes. That's the same type of thinking that prevents people from believing that people would go through so much trouble to manipulate events for their favor, such as seen with big business and politicians, the death of the Constitution as it has been known for the past 200+ years, and the ramping up of the war on marijuana.
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Comment #5 posted by Virgil on March 08, 2003 at 10:17:22 PT
The shear number of ads...
has to bring up the question that the beer commercials before it made popular- What's up? Anybody would wonder why the government would be pissing away hundreds of millions of dollars aimed almost exclusively at cannabis. Why indeed. The question is looming and when the answer starts circulating it is not going to be pretty for our fundamentalist administration.It has to do with the big lie. The lie has to be so big as first to be uncomprehendable. Then you must repeat it over and over again without cessation. The meth problem is going to blow the roof off the whole thing. The real horrors of substance abuse are being ignored by the monomoniacal attack on cannabis. People are asking real questions and only getting s;pganed answers that don't address the real problems. It is fantacy land meets reality time as the fundamentalist have angered the world and embarrassed all all of us.I would think that a counter by some reform agencey would be "Honesty is the best policy" because the lies are completely unacceptable. Zero tolerance for lies and zero tolerance for zero tolerance. And zero tolerance for Asscroft and Walters and the fool he rode up on. Impeach Busch and Cheney.
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Comment #4 posted by i420 on March 08, 2003 at 08:53:54 PT
What comes around goes around...
These ads are a krock and EVERYBODY knows it.
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Comment #3 posted by pokesmotter on March 08, 2003 at 08:49:18 PT:
bigger trend
one thing i have been noticing is that articles like this one from texas have been popping up all over the country. it leads me to believe the bigger trend that respect for our government and its drug laws is eroding; slowly but surely.
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Comment #2 posted by Truth on March 08, 2003 at 08:37:08 PT
When will they learn?
Another death by prohibition.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 08, 2003 at 08:22:54 PT
How The Drug War Kills or Injures
Hi Everyone,I found this article but because the young man's name is in the article I'm not comfortable posting it on the front page but I wanted you all to see it. Man Jumps from 11th Floor 
Police: UNCC freshman was being arrested in dorm room when he dove out window.Robert Moore, Staff WriterMarch 8, 2003A UNC Charlotte freshman jumped from his 11th-floor dormitory window Friday afternoon as police tried to arrest him, officials said.Adam Stephens, 19, was in handcuffs as he descended head-first into bushes below, witnesses and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.Stevens was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center where he was in critical condition late Friday.At least two Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers and at least two campus police officers were inside the student's room on the top floor of Moore Hall, authorities said. They'd been inside the student's room for at least an hour executing a court-ordered search warrant, police said.Police did not make a copy of the warrant available or say exactly what was found in the rare campus search. The student, who is from New York, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, authorities said.
 Complete Article:
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