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February 18, 2014

Shocking Ignorance in High Places

When the youthful Barack Obama surged into national prominence as Senator-elect from Illinois in 2004 I, like many others, quickly saw him as "presidential timber." His election in 2008 seemed to validate my hopes, although his first term failed my expectations by a wide margin. I remained in his corner in 2012 for the simple reason that I saw the GOP candidate's repeated endorsement of his Mormon faith as a crippling handicap in terms of my dominant issue: the many global harms being inflicted on our species by the American "War on Drugs."

That was because my advocacy of cannabis legalization had also sensitized me to the fact that the US– despite its many unique accomplishments– has also been guilty of several protracted injustices (slavery, segregation, and racism). Some readers may now be thinking: "wait a minute, didn't we save the world from Hitler in World War two?" Yes; but that was self-preservation, not altruism. Others could now be thinking, "this nut wants to legalize marijuana! I'm outta here!" before clicking off to another screen.

To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, we are a species sparated by a common genome. Another way to think about our conundrum is that despite the ultimate Darwinian revelation that anatomically modern humans are a single species with DNA allowing us to reproduce almost at will, individual humans, including some raised in the same culture– or even the same family– can respond to differences in belief, even in opinion– by killing themselves or each other. While we don't know how Neanderthals, our most recent hominid predecessors, responded to emotional stress, we know that in modern times, whole religious communities strenuously deny that evolution took place at all or prefer some variant, including different religious views on that issue.

Now I realize that my expectations for Obama had been set much too high. Just because he'd smoked weed avidly as a member of the choom gang, didn't mean he understood its benefits in terms of his paternal deprivation any more than Steve Jobs did when he was an avid pot user.

In some respects, Obama is simply another lawyer, his Harvard degree and the Presidency of their Law Review notwithstanding. He recently revealed himself, in an interview by CNN's TV Jake Tapper, as woefully ignorant of the drug war's legal basis and its history; not to mention American Presidential history. Also that he had probably not even read the Controlled Substances Act. Nevertheless, I'm glad he's in the White House because now that his shortcomings on drug policy are finally being exposed, there's time to embarrass him into doing the right thing for the sake of his historical legacy.

I'll explain what I mean by "paternal deprivation" and how I was tipped off to it in the next entry. I'll also return to the Tapper interview to explain what President #44 doesn't know about #37 and just how he's been conned by the most successful scam in history.

Unfortunately, he's had a lot of company.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at February 18, 2014 04:33 AM