March 7, 2016

"I always thought it was a little unfair how much she was made fun of for her 'just say no' campaign against drugs."

"I actually think the reminder that you can always just say no can be pretty effective."

I know, I'd been thinking about that myself, just last Saturday, the day before hearing that Nancy Reagan had died. I was blogging about a NYT column telling about women leaving the field of science because they'd received email expressing desire for an intimate relationship and couldn't figure out what to do about it.

These women had never, as far as I could tell, just said no — I'm not interested. The NYT author wrote of the women deciding "[p]erhaps... to ignore the first email," then getting further efforts at closeness from the man, after which "any objection on her part... would seem heartless." I said: "Why isn't it also 'heartless' to deprive this man of the basic information that he is not experiencing a successful response to his attempt to go on a date?" The column author spins out a nightmare: "On and on it goes, and slowly she realizes that he’s not going to stop because he doesn’t have to." I said: "Why is this smart woman so absurdly slow?"

There are, I'm afraid, a lot of people out there who need to be bonked over the head on a regular basis with the stunningly simple advice, "Just say no." It sounds crushingly stupid, but an awful lot of people — including very smart people — become stupid in social situations. These days, there's an effort to pick up the slack left by those who've forgotten the magic of "no," and they'd like to institute a system in which the failure to say "yes" counts as a "no" (and a silent sexual encounter becomes rape).

We wouldn't need such an oppressive, twisted regime if people kept in the front of their head the go-to advice: Just say no.

Nancy was, of course, speaking specifically about drugs...



... and the message looked really ridiculous to those who were already into drugs. I remember some comedian — perhaps Bob Goldthwait — doing a routine about the idea of Keith Richards attempting the "just say no" solution to his all-out addiction. But Nancy was — like most First Ladies — talking to children, and "no" is most effective when you say it early on — to drugs, to sex, to whatever it is you have a right to decline.

Which reminds me of my old motto. Nancy had hers. I have mine: Nothing is a high standard.

I couldn't find the old Keith Richards joke, so here's William S. Burroughs, "Just Say No To Drug Hysteria":

78 comments:

Paco Wové said...

Spot on.

Michael K said...

Nancy Reagan was demonized by the leftist press because she was "square." She was pretty and dressed well. Too well for the taste of the Washington elites who were very "concerned" about the poverty their policies had created. She redid the White House after the Carters had let things get worn and tacky, like his cardigan sweater that allowed him to turn down the heat.

Saying NO to drugs after the 70s was just not sophisticated. I saw the consequences of drugs up close as cocaine made its first appearance as a problem about then. I had young middle class patients asking me if there was any danger in using cocaine because it seemed so innocent. They were experimenting with it in middle class suburbs.

She was right but it was not "cool."

Fernandinande said...

the old Keith Richards joke

This one? "I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police."

traditionalguy said...

Nancy hit home with a Realist message. Hollywood was a long gauntlet of temptations, and only saying no saved you as any realist could tell you...that or doing it down in Cabo, Mexico.

Drug usage was being supported then as the cash flow model for both the CIA and the counter culture. Today it is the business model for the Addiction Therapy Counselling programs.

Support your local dealer, like they do in New Hampshire. Or say yes to a Realist who wants to build a real, enforced, Wall??? Decisions, decisions.

CStanley said...

Yes, and the way you tie this in with consent for sex resonates with me.

Kids should be taught that sex and drugs will have power over them unless they learn early in life to claim the power for themselves. It's important for kids to hear this message from adults other than their parents, because developmentally they are in the process of separating from their parents and have a reflex of avoiding advice that feels like the parents are holding them back from that process. We've gone off the rails with the last couple of generations because the adults in charge have decided that kids are going to engage in these behaviors anyway, so we might as well adjust the messages to permit and even encourage early engagement with sex and drugs. It's tragic.

Laslo Spatula said...

Lessons in Marketing:

"Just Say No": Stupid.

"Just Do It.": Genius.

Further references:

"Be Like Mike."

"Bo Knows."


I am Laslo.

BDNYC said...

Yes when you get right down to it, "just say no" is exactly what legalization advocates claim they are in favor of. They say addiction is a social problem, not a criminal problem, and that we need treatment and education far more than we need incarceration. "Just say no" is education. It is a nagging reminder that you are in control of your life, but it is not a punitive measure.

damikesc said...

Your comment on modern people is sound.

Why can't people just say "no". Some guy sends a date request you don't want? Just say no. The guy won't know unless he asks, so it's not the patriarchy trying to cripple you. It's a guy who wants to get to know you. If it's not mutual, "no" is adequate.

Snowflakes don't like any semblance of unpleasantness that MIGHT impact them. So they use HR and the like.

samanthasmom said...

"Just say no" wasn't a program in a vacuum. Along with saying "no", there were programs for kids about making better choices. I think the sticking point for a lot of lefties was the personal responsibility aspect of learning to say "no". One of the most effective strategies against teen pregnancy is showing young girls they have a lot of choices about their futures, and teen pregnancy throws a monkey wrench into a lot of them. Abstinence programs get made fun of, too, but when they're accompanied by activities that open up a world of possibilities and realistic goals for girls, they can be highly effective. Pitching abstinence to boys isn't nearly as effective, but that doesn't mean you ignore the benefits it has for girls. If your attitude is kids are going to do drugs, have sex, and get pregnant, and it makes more sense to you to deal with how to clean up the messes they make, there's no requirement kids ever learn to say "no" to much of anything.

Carol said...

William S Burroughs - now there's a role model for ya! Typical left wing trustafarian hysteric. I've only read about him and his exploits trying to find the perfect drug to fuck him up forever. Hearing I realize just how messed up he really was.

So glad I learned to say no.

Peter said...

"Just say no" implicitly says drug dependence is not entirely a disease, at least not in the sense that measles, tuberculosis or cancer are diseases.

And that casts doubt on the validity of the medical, therapeutic model of drug dependence and treatment (at least as a full and complete description) as one can't "just say no" to diseases such as measles, tuberculosis, or cancer. Which perhaps provoked a mighty reaction in those heavily invested in this model?

William said...

William S. Burroughs serves far better as a cautionary tale rather than as an advocate for drugs. He had a wretched life, and his intimates had a worse life, albeit considerably shorter.......Why is Nancy Reagan mocked,and William S. Burroughs considered an oracle?

chickelit said...

Here is one of Meade's old screeds voiced as William S. Burroughs: link

Context: The temporary shut down the Althouse Comments.

narciso said...

The guy who shot his wife in a deranged stupor, lets listen to him.

traditionalguy said...

Mankind already had near perfect a drug of choice made for sexual seduction and its pleasures. Has anyone ever heard of Dionysius. And then along came the monks in Champagne region of France who finished perfecting it.

William said...

Someone said that if he ever gets afflicted with a disease, he hopes that it's addiction and not pancreatic cancer.

Will Cate said...

Thank you for making the point that "just say no" was, in fact, a children's campaign. A friend of mine yesterday was trying to tell me how Nancy was an "anti-drug zealot" which I thought was a bit harsh.

glenn said...

Drugs were and still are a multi-billion dollar business in the US. "Just Say No" would have kicked over a bunch of rice bowls.

traditionalguy said...

While we are just saying no, why not stop Tennis Playing like a King did once. And stop Golf, if for no reason other than stopping Trump's cash flow.And finally stop Digital Device usage because it is the Most Addictive Behavior ever known.

Char Char Binks said...

Nancy was justly ridiculed for that. "Just say no" came out of pure ignorance, which is a often good place to start, but usually not a good destination. When told of people whose lives are ruined because of drugs, her question was, "Why don't they just say no?", a fair enough question, but to base a public health campaign on an offhand remark that came from pure ignorance, and from her privileged position above it all, was foolish. There are many reasons people don't just say no, and to ignore them, to pretend they don't exist, could only lead to failure.

MadisonMan said...

It's unfortunate that Just say No was adopted by people who don't vaccinate.

robother said...

Actually, "just say no" is a libertarian approach to the drug problem. It assumes that individuals have a choice, and approaches the problem from that perspective. The Left finds it uncool because they adopt the therapeutic approach, which assumes the opposite; drugs and every other bad lifestyle choice are a product of a damaged condition and/or an unjust society.

A "Just say no" campaign aimed at children should be a prominent part of every legalization regime. But that would be uncool, a hopelessly retrograde notion that people, even children can make free choices.

Michael K said...

"There are many reasons people don't just say no, and to ignore them, to pretend they don't exist, could only lead to failure."

But the first time you have the opportunity to say no is the most important.

Pookie Number 2 said...

There are many reasons people don't just say no, and to ignore them, to pretend they don't exist, could only lead to failure.

That's probably true, but it's only a part of the story. There are also many people that could say no, but don't, because there's very little respect for self-control and self-discipline in our society. "Just say no" was shorthand for that, not a comprehensive strategy for every conceivable situation.

Humperdink said...

Nancy Reagan: "Just say no". Mocked.

Michelle Obama: "No fries for you". What insight! Ahead of her time!

eric said...

It's so hard to say no these days that you can sue later for failure to say no.

For example, if you give your money to Trump university, then give more money and give more money. Instead of just saying no. Even later, when there is a period you can ask for a refund, people don't ask.

We have gone to many Timeshare sales. And each time, they make it very difficult to say no, even though we know we will not be able to afford it even if we thought it was a good deal, which it isn't. Even so, I feel the pressure to say yes.

Instead, we just say no.

Ann Althouse said...

"This one? "I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.""

No, it was an extended routine in which "Just say no" was mocked, using the absurdity of Richards attempting to quit drugs by saying no. The audience ate up the idea that Nancy Reagan was an idiot who didn't understand drugs.

Ann Althouse said...

I've read Keith Richards' autobiography. He most certainly knew he had a problem with drugs.

Michael K said...

"Even so, I feel the pressure to say yes."

Bernie is going to take care of that for one. One deodorant.

Ann Althouse said...

"We have gone to many Timeshare sales. And each time, they make it very difficult to say no, even though we know we will not be able to afford it even if we thought it was a good deal, which it isn't. Even so, I feel the pressure to say yes."

You need to just say know to submitting to sales pitches.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Just say no?

That raises the issue of personal responsibility. Best to avoid.

Where is the role of Government in that? What programs will be created? What proposed budget? How many Government jobs created?

iowan2 said...

I think every book written by successful people includes their personal take on saying NO, alot. It frees them to do their work, and not work for others.

Just say no.

I was talking to a recovering alcoholic, about his struggles to stop. He said a simple piece of advise given to him was, Dont by booze. You can't drink if you dont buy. While mind numbing simple, it is very effective.

kjbe said...

"...the idea of Keith Richards attempting the "just say no" solution to his all-out addiction. But Nancy was — like most First Ladies — talking to children, and "no" is most effective when you say it early on — to drugs, to sex, to whatever it is you have a right to decline. "

Yeah, even with kids, that's not going to stop an addiction.


"While mind numbing simple, it is very effective."

To make you a dry drunk, perhaps.

jr565 said...

Just say no is perfectly sound advice. Since every instance of drug use involves someone just saying yes. in the case of drug addicts its harder to just say no, but then the argument should be "should have said no. Now you are a pitiful wreck of a human being"
It all revolves around choice and responsibility.
If someone takes a lethal dose of a drug and realizes right before they die that they probably just killed themselves I'm sure they say to themselves "i should have said no to that particular hit". They should have said no to begin with.

And this is not just true for drugs but sex as well. If you don't want aids, just say no. Don't engage in the risky behavior that might lead to aids, and you probably wont get it.
Just say no to cigarettes. If you think cancer is caused by smoking, then why would you say yes?
Personal resonsibility is your perogative. If you aren't responsible for yourself, do you think we should be?

CStanley said...

Blogger eric said...
It's so hard to say no these days that you can sue later for failure to say no.

For example, if you give your money to Trump university, then give more money and give more money. Instead of just saying no. Even later, when there is a period you can ask for a refund, people don't ask.

We have gone to many Timeshare sales. And each time, they make it very difficult to say no, even though we know we will not be able to afford it even if we thought it was a good deal, which it isn't. Even so, I feel the pressure to say yes.

Instead, we just say no.


So Donald Trump is like those annoying marketers trying to sell me timeshares. No thanks, Donald. I am not buying your steaks, your vodka, your real estate course, or your candidacy.

Ignorance is Bliss said...


Reminds me of the Steve Martin budget advice in the SNL skit
Don't buy stuff you cannot afford

jr565 said...

Speaking of William S. Burroughs. lets talk about him and in particular one of his stories. The Junky's christmas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Junky%27s_Christmas

lets go through the wikipedia plot outline.
"Penniless and withdrawing from opiates, Danny emerges from a 72-hour stay in a police holding cell. Hoping to make enough money to buy his next hit of heroin, he scours the streets looking for something to steal."

Why is he penniless? because he's a junky. he is so desparate he literally has no money to scrape together and after getting out of a police holding cell (probably for intoxication or some crime that occured while he was high or looking for drugs) he then goes on a desparate search to raise money for his next fix. And not able to raise money, he then goes looking for something to steal.
THat is not a positive characterization. That is a cautionary tale. Clearly, this particular individual should have said no, at the beginning.And at countless times along the way to the begining of the story.
But oh, there's a happy ending. He finally scores some morphine. But then right before he takes it he hears cries from the other room. The person there is in pain from kidney stones and the doctors aren't coming. So he gives the guy his morphine which releaves his pain.
And then his good deed gives him the same feeling he'd have if had taken heroin.
Merry Christmas!
What's going to happen the next day when he wakes up? Yup, he's going to be looking for a fix. he wont have any money. He will need to steal or con to get morphine. Rinse and repeat until he finally says no and cleans up his act or he drops dead from an overdose.

elkh1 said...

"I actually think the reminder that you can always just say no can be pretty effective."

Not effective at all if you are Progressives who want to exert control over other people but can't exert self control.

jr565 said...

kjbe wrote:
Yeah, even with kids, that's not going to stop an addiction.

It is if they follow the advice. By default.

coupe said...

Clown: Hey kid, come here, and put your arm in this meat grinder!
Kid: no!

Clown: Hey kid, come here and smoke some of this shit.
Kid: ok!

Kids don't know that drugs are the meat grinder for the brain (liver, etc).

jr565 said...

" The first step for an addict is to realize they have a problem and then once they realize they have a problem then they can ask for help and begin to work on their addiction and start their new life in recover" its cliched advice. But its basically how everyone describes drug addiction. Addicts have to come to the realization that they have a problem. That requires them saying no. Just say no.If you are an addict its certainly harder to do, but you have to do it if you want to actually not have a drug problem.

jr565 said...

No one is ever a heroin addict who didn't say yes to heroin. NO one.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Strange new respect...

Matt said...

I was a kid during the "Just Say No" campaign. I took it as a message to "Just Say No" to even trying drugs. I did say "no" and have never even tried drugs (nor cigarettes, for that matter). I know of others who did as I did. Whenever I saw a celebrity mocking "Just Say No", I just considered them a weak loser who wants others to copy their bad choices to help justify their own bad choices.

As a kid, I couldn't articulate my befuddlement with drugs. Now, I can sum it up easily: there is no upside to trying drugs. Zero. Absolutely nothing to gain. Your BEST case scenario is to try it once, hate it and never be tempted to try again. If that is your best case scenario, then what's the point?

Bay Area Guy said...

"Just say No" -- was simple, modest, inexpensive and reasonably effective.

Those who mocked it at the time were 2 groups of the liberal elite: (1) those who liked and used drugs, and (2) enablers of the first group.

Most normal, well-adjusted folks recognized that doing drugs as a teenager was a terrible, self-destructive practice.



holdfast said...

It was absolutely sound advice to give to kids - even if it would stop 10% of potential drug-users from trying, that's a huge savings in lives and money.

Once someone is an addict, it's a much more complicated, and expensive, problem, and it's not solvable by a simple slogan. But it is presentable.

Anyway, the reaction to "Just Say No" was just another instance of the Dems/Left/MSM flexing its cultural muscles to make sure that all things conservative are treated as either evil or a joke. OF course, that's why the MFM loves Trump so much - he's their perfect caricature of a conservative - by their lights he's a joke AND he's evil.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Training young people to abstain from behavior that's risky and has little upside long-term seems like a pretty common sense idea, but from what I see it's pretty controversial these days.

Unknown said...

"Nothing is a high standard." Sounds profound in that I don't know what that means. So I Googled it and got nothing. I don't know what that means.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Nothing is a high standard" = "The show is about nothing" (Seinfeld & Costanza pitching NBC)

Brando said...

What exactly should a First Lady have said about drugs? "Stay close to the methadone clinic"? "Don't bogart the weed"? Telling kids to avoid drugs is a perfectly noncontroversial message, and yet because a lot of people decided they didn't like Nancy Reagan, they were going to mock her for it. This is a lot like people criticizing Michelle Obama for pushing healthy eating. It's a very "First Lady" sort of thing to do, and preferable to when Hillary actually tried to make complex health care policy and failed miserably.

damikesc said...

But the first time you have the opportunity to say no is the most important.

Yup. No matter what else happens, you can't become addicted to cocaine/heroin/what have you if you don't use it in the first place. It is, 100%, a behavior, not a disease.

Yeah, even with kids, that's not going to stop an addiction.

How does one get addicted with never using the drug in the first place?

Jonathan Graehl said...

"You *CAN* just say no" is great. They should have sold it that way. It's your choice. We're not saying you have to say no. But here's some people who wish they had said no because of these consequences ...

What made it a joke for me was the video arcade splash screens w/ some sort of FBI seal "just say no" / "winners don't do drugs" (but not the equivalent "only losers do drugs" - why?).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Unknown said...

Sounds profound in that I don't know what that means.

The Professor usually phrases it as 'Better than nothing' is a high standard. As in, many of the actions taken because we have to do something cause more harm than good. Doing nothing would be better. Thus, you should only do something if it is better than nothing.

Cog said...

Nike was doing its "Just Do It" campaign so it was kind of clever for Nancy to have her "Just Say No" campaign.

jr565 said...

again from William S. Burroughs (since he saw fit to mock "just say no":

“The question is frequently asked: Why does a man become a drug addict?
The answer is that he usually does not intend to become an addict. You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all. And you don’t really know what junk sickness is until you have had several habits. It took me almost six months to get my first habit, and then the withdrawal symptoms were mild. I think it no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict.
The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity. I drifted along taking shots when I could score. I ended up hooked. (Junky, Prologue, p. xxxviii)”


so according to Burroughs it takes months and months of taking drugs before you become addicted to them. And people start taking them for no discernible reason. OVer and over. If there is no reason to really start them, why not say no in the first place? Or at any time prior to the point you become addicted.

"Most addicts I have talked to report a similar experience. They did not start using drugs for any reason they can remember. They just drifted along until they got hooked. If you have never been addicted, you can have no clear idea what it means to need junk with the addict’s special need. You don’t decide to be an addict. One morning you wake up sick and you’re an addict. "
Oh, one morning you just wake up sick and addicted? his own words suggest he made a conscious choice over and over again to take drugs until he became addicted. So if you make a conscious choice to do it, you can also make a conscious choice NOT to do it. Burroughs should have made that choice. then again, had he not, would he have been successful as a writer. I can't answer that.
Most junkies do not go on to become William S. Burroughs though. They are just the people in his stories that rob to get a fix.
Rather than mocking "just say no" he should have said "Do you not know what it means to need junk with the addicts special need? to try to dissuade others from having that special need themselves. Which they cultivate over long periods of conscious choices.

Anonymous said...

Great observation that applies to lots of different social interactions. The one that popped to my mind is parents. I'm amazed how many parents can't seem to tell their children "no." (Instead: "Let's make a better choice!" "We don't do that!" "Can you stop, sweetie?" "That's no nice!") Looking a child in the eyes, using your deepest stern voice, and simply saying "No" is vastly more effective.
(This is "Jessica." Didn't feel like signing out of my husband's google account to comment...)

William Chadwick said...

Better that anti-drug people (like me) tell people "Just say 'No' to drugs" than swinging the Mailed Fist and forcing them not to take drugs. If only "liberals" (and by "liberals" I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping government sniffers and State fellators") would just start a "Just say 'No' to the Free Market" campaign. Anti-capitalists could just stop buying things from hated Big Business, then pool all their money and use it to help poor people. And then (and this is the key point) LEAVE THE REST OF US THE HELL ALONE!

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...
"This one? "I've never had a problem with drugs. I've had problems with the police.""

No, it was an extended routine in which "Just say no" was mocked, using the absurdity of Richards attempting to quit drugs by saying no. The audience ate up the idea that Nancy Reagan was an idiot who didn't understand drugs.


I don't think she ever believed that simply saying "no" was sufficient to help someone quit drugs. Her goal was to get kids to say "no" to starting taking drugs. If followed, it's 100% effective. No one becomes an alcoholic by taking a single drink. With the possible exception of crack, I doubt many people become full-fledged drug addicts by using drugs once. If you don't start, you can't become addicted unless you were born to a drug-addicted mother.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Maybe it would be better for the non-interested women to have someone else let him know. Some women turn these approaches away by pretending to have a boyfriend, but that's not good. Maybe the best way women can resist is just to stay away.

Sammy Finkelman said...

jr565 said...3/7/16, 11:07 AM

No one is ever a heroin addict who didn't say yes to heroin. NO one.

That was then. Nowadays many people get started by filling a prescription, getting addicted, having their prescriptions cut off, and switching to cheaper heroin. (cheaper tahn black market prescrioton drugs at any rate)



Big Mike said...

Bottom line is that press hated Nancy Reagan, and whether she had "just say 'no'" or any other cause, she'd have been mocked. And if she didn't have a cause, she'd have been mocked for not having a cause. The press also hated Rosalynn Carter, for no good reason. Yet they apparently adored -- still adore -- a worthless person like Hillary Clinton. Go figure.

OTOH, the press knew better than to tangle with Barbara Bush. So they aren't completely stupid.

damikesc said...

That was then. Nowadays many people get started by filling a prescription, getting addicted, having their prescriptions cut off, and switching to cheaper heroin. (cheaper tahn black market prescrioton drugs at any rate)

Your prescription being "cut off" is when you've used all of the prescribed amount. no cutting off involved. It's simply a "prescription". Few have unlimited refills and none of those have a tendency towards addiction.

If a guy has one refill of, say, Demerol and uses that refill --- he wasn't cut off. He used the prescription. If he wants more, he is making a conscious choice to be a junkie.

He's free to do that --- but I do resent being asked to support them.

Sammy Finkelman said...

traditionalguy said...3/7/16, 9:06 AM

Drug usage was being supported then as the cash flow model for both the CIA

Not true. Not true. That was the BIG LIE. It was the number 1 cover story of people in organized crime in the 1980s. They were really members of the Outfit, but they used CIA cover.

and the counter culture.

I don't know. Maybe some people made money off of it, but they weren't the principle drug dealers.

Today it is the business model for the Addiction Therapy Counselling programs.

???


Seeing Red said...

I remember reading the "Just Say No" campaign actually was effective.

Douglas said...

Just a reminder that the "Just Say No" defense to hostile takeovers is still being debated and litigated.

Rhythm and Balls said...

That's because you don't know anything about drugs. Or much else.

There's nothing wrong with her campaign, per se.

The outrage is that they convinced themselves to see it as salvation for going completely tyrannical with a DEA that viewed abuse as a criminal problem ONLY, and not the medical problem that it is, if it's even going to be called a problem.

We have the highest incarceration rates and populations in the world, we've decimated the African American community of men for a single non-violent "offense" of self-harm, we've removed sentencing discretion, we made vastly disparate penalties for "black" drugs and "white" drugs, we've militarized our police forces in an effort to see the community as the enemy, we've created a culture of police brutality that shoots and assaults first, before asking questions later, we've prevented the states and their economies from growing and profiting handsomely off a plant with no known lethal overdoses and a safer side-effect profile than any recreational, medicinal or illicit substance known.

The Nancy Reagan mindset was ignorance masquerading as gentle redirection as a cover for brutality. And as an adult I can't say how ashamed I am to admit that as a kid, I bought into everything she said.

Shame on her, no matter how many cyber shrines you want to build to her.

JCC said...

I have known - to some degree - literally thousands of addicts. BTW, that includes growing up around lots of alcoholism. All of the clinics, visits to the ER, counselors, support groups, interventions, stays in rehab and the like are useless and a waste of time and money until the individual with the substance abuse issue decides it's time to stop abusing the substance of choice. Period. In other words, the guest of honor has to "just say no" before all the rest will be of any assistance at all.

On the personal and individual level, it's easy to feel sorry for the addict. But when considering the problem as it affects our society, I think it's time for some harsh reality. So, save all the sympathetic, weepy bullsh*t being offered to addicts, and rather, extend it for the victims of those with the abuse problems. That would be the families, the DUI accident survivors, those who are crime victims who have their cars ripped, their houses burglarized, the fruits of their hard work stolen. Or maybe the rest of us - the taxpayers - who don't abuse substances but have to support those who do.

"Just say no" is perferctly workable, either before or after the substance abuse starts.

Christine Mills said...

Good God. Am I living in a world of snowflakes? I had, at twelve years old, decided that should I receive an unwanted advance I would politely decline. Should my polite decline be ignored, and further unwanted and perhaps physical advances continue, I would punch said person in the throat.

jr565 said...

Rhythm and Balls wrote:
That's because you don't know anything about drugs. Or much else.

There's nothing wrong with her campaign, per se.

The outrage is that they convinced themselves to see it as salvation for going completely tyrannical with a DEA that viewed abuse as a criminal problem ONLY, and not the medical problem that it is, if it's even going to be called a problem.

We have the highest incarceration rates and populations in the world, we've decimated the African American community of men for a single non-violent "offense" of self-harm, we've removed sentencing discretion, we made vastly disparate penalties for "black" drugs and "white" drugs, we've militarized our police forces in an effort to see the community as the enemy, we've created a culture of police brutality that shoots and assaults first, before asking questions later, we've prevented the states and their economies from growing and profiting handsomely off a plant with no known lethal overdoses and a safer side-effect profile than any recreational, medicinal or illicit substance known.

The Nancy Reagan mindset was ignorance masquerading as gentle redirection as a cover for brutality. And as an adult I can't say how ashamed I am to admit that as a kid, I bought into everything she said.

Shame on her, no matter how many cyber shrines you want to build to her.

shame on HER? What about Hillary Clinton? Her husband oversaw the greatest expansion of prisons and incarceration of black people in our lifetime. Mandatory minimum sentences, three strikes you're out. Greatly expanded by Clinton.

Unlike Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton is running for president TODAY.

jr565 said...

Here's Clinton's handiwork. Hillary was supportive of this expansion of the prison population (read - black people)

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/13/the_clinton_dynastys_horrific_legacy_how_tough_on_crime_politics_built_the_worlds_largest_prison/

jr565 said...

"In doing so, it said, he left a record that did not square with his rhetoric on such topics as easing mandatory sentences.

While calling as recently as last fall for a review of the nation's prison policies, Clinton presided over an administration that, in its first term, saw an additional 277,000 prisoners incarcerated in federal and state facilities, according to the study. That number compared with 243,000 prisoners during Bush's four years in office and 129,000 during Reagan's first four years in office.

During Clinton's eight-year tenure, the total population of federal and state prisons combined rose by 673,000 inmates--235,000 more than during Reagan's two terms.

In California, the state prison population rose from 105,467 in 1992 to 161,401 as of last June, according to California Department of Correction figures.

Although most of the national increase in incarceration occurred in state-run prisons, the study found that the number of prisoners under federal jurisdiction doubled during the Clinton years and grew more than during the previous 12 years of Republican control of the White House.

Nearly 60% of those sentenced to federal prison during the Clinton administration are serving time for drug offenses, the study said. The total number of people in federal prison on drug charges--63,448--is 62% more than the number in 1990.

The dramatic increase in prison populations was attributable to several factors, Schiraldi said, including the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which earmarked $30.2 billion over six years for, among other things, new state prisons. One condition for receiving the federal funds, he noted, was that states scale back early paroles and adopt sentencing policies requiring that inmates serve more time in prison.

Also contributing to the increase, Schiraldi said, were tougher three-strikes sentencing laws adopted in more than 20 states, including California, during 1994 and 1995."



You were saying Rhythm and Balls? You want to pin this on Reagan. Let's have. Discussion about how the first black president and democratic golden boy put all the black people in jail.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

"These women had never, as far as I could tell, just said no — I'm not interested. "

It reminds me of Bertie Wooster's problems with becoming engaged. He can't quite tell them that he hasn't actually proposed, whatever they may believe, necessitating a great many schemes by Jeeves and a round-the-world cruise or two until things blow over.

damikesc said...

The outrage is that they convinced themselves to see it as salvation for going completely tyrannical with a DEA that viewed abuse as a criminal problem ONLY, and not the medical problem that it is, if it's even going to be called a problem.

In the end, if "no" was said, there'd have been no problem. The whole "It's a sickness" mantra ignores is that this is a medical problem caused SOLELY be behavior and personal choices and it cannot be fixed until that user decides to stop. Nothing can be done without the user wanting to stop.

It's a BEHAVIOR issue. Period. And her advice was to avoid the problem in the first place. It's borderline criminal to not support that.


And let's remember WHY we had mandatory minimums. There were judges giving sentences that were insultingly small for the crime committed. It was a reaction to the judiciary failing to do its job.

Laura said...

And drug addiction and its associated problems just so happen to start without a little "yes"?

I must have missed that Hollywood documentary, "Night of the Flying Tainted Needles," the harrowing tale of how magically powered dirty needles spiked illicit drug usage in the slums of Los Angeles. Or any of the other related documentaries, such as "The Aliens Who Forced Us to Toil in Their Meth Labs," and "I Know My Dealer's Quality Control is Reflected in Her Slum Decor."

Laura said...

And why are tobacco advertisements bad, but movies which show illicit drug use with no consequences good? I get the PSA on the horrors of smoking, but watch the wonders of toking in the movie.

A smoke is a smoke, non?

JCC said...

R & B -
A rational discussion of "black" cocaine - crack - and "white cocaine - powder - is OK. The difference is that any drug which can be smoked and introduced via the lungs is inherently more addictive, which explains BTW the more recent epidemic of heroin addiction. The old Mexican brown was too impure to be smoked. The newer version is more refined and can be smoked like crack. Anyway, that crack was far more dangerous and addictive than coke in its powered form was the rationale for making the penalties more harsh. It had nothing to do with the respective ethnicity of the suspect population.

As for drug abuse being a criminal problem, you must certainly know that there is no such thing as a crackhead who doesn't steal to support his/her habit, unless you know some millionaire addicts. I don't. The average crackhead probably has to commit a couple of burglaries or thefts a day, every day, to support his pipe. So, about 700 or 800 times a year, the crackhead victimizes some innocent person, usually another poor inhabitant of the same crappy neighborhood who can least afford to lose a few bucks or anything else. Being a crackhead is not a victimless crime, and maintaining that is a position of ignorance or perfidy.

Min man laws happened because stupid or dishonest judges in thrall to the defense bar kept turning loose the same criminals over and over. Judges don't live in those crappy neighborhoods where most of the crimes happen, and they get their donations and their job security from other lawyers, who make their money defending people, not prosecuting them.

Want to know why we have some many people in prison? Our crime rates are at an all time low. Works for me.

Ken B said...

Just say no wasn't mocked for being ineffective with a drug problem. It was mocked for assuming drug use is a problem. It was mocked by people who thought drug use was great, and cool, and what the best people did. Burroughs for example.

Kirk Parker said...

Brando,

We criticize Michelle O. for her "healthy eating" bullshit because it isn't actually healthy.