Saturday, September 12, 2009

The 9-12 Project Parade And Rally, Downtown Fort Worth, September 12, 2009

I participated in the 9-12 Parade, Rally, Protest, and all-around Procession Of The Pissed in downtown Fort Worth today. Much has been written and argued about whether Libertarians have any business aligning themselves with this movement. Go here and read the comments for an overview.
John Spivey, Chair of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party, put in long hours building a parade float for this event. It was to supposed be an Alamo, made of wood and plaster that would frame the float trailer.
And then the rain began.
The plaster for our Alamo is pink when you apply it to a surface. Once it dries, it takes on a very Alamo-ish tan stucco look.
But if it gets wet again, it turns pink.
The Libertarian Party has enough trouble explaining its positions without showing up at a 9-12 Right Wing parade in the middle of Texas with a pink Alamo. So Spivey made an executive decision to nix the float.
We improvised with a few banners on an SUV.

Considering the weather, the turnout was huge. I'd put it between 8-10,000 people. By the time those of us at the back end of the procession started walking, the leaders had already marched through downtown Fort Worth and were crowding the bandstand. I didn't stick around for the speeches, mostly because my feet were wet and the rest of me was damp. Went back to our booth and helped evangelize Glenn Beck's followers for a while.

Here's the crowd gathering around the Fort Worth Convention Center.

This is me with Michael Badnarik, who was the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in 2004. Mr. Badnarik was probably relieved that he didn't have to ride inside a pink Alamo.

Here's John Spivey with Mr. Badnarik.

One of the all-time great Thomas Jefferson quotes.

Starting them young....

One of my favorite parodies:

Unfortunately, this is not a parody. This was the rationale for spending 3/4 of a trillion dollars.

People are starting to catch on to the dangers of printing more and more money to cover government waste: people like this just MIGHT have some money left for themselves.

Here's another one:

If you look closely, this is a "Don't Tread On Me" Tattoo. And yes, I did ask permission before getting a picture.

A John Adams quote:

One of the things that was most refreshing to me about this event.... I only saw one Republican T-shirt. There were a few people milling around with campaign signs for Debra Medina, who is supposedly so rational that Ron Paul likes her. Our booth was near a Rick Perry cubicle that people were ignoring. For the most part, the message of the rally was Leave Me Alone !

See below.

There were a lot of "In God We Trust" signs, but that, along with the ultra-patriotism were the only elements distinguishing this from a libertarian/small government event.

Here's my favorite sign of the day:
The Libertarian Party will also be marching/riding at the Alan Ross Freedom Parade, September 20, in Dallas. This is the annual Gay and Lesbian Rights march. We're bringing our Alamo.

If our Alamo float is dry by the time the Gay Rights parade begins, we're going to spray water on it until it's pink. Look for us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Obama's Healthcare Speech, Liveblogged

Before I start liveblogging this speech, let me get some basic assumptions out of the way.

Cash For Clunkers was supposed to last for three months, but ran out of money in five days. Auto dealers began pulling out of the program rather than go through the hassles of dealing with the government red tape and website crashes.

The Porkulus Bill ($750,000,000,000.00) had to be rushed through Congress in two days. No one had time to read it, because of the fierce moral urgency of NOW. Obama moseyed back from vacation and signed it after it sat on his desk for a couple of days. The stated goal was to immediately pump money into the economy, but so far they've only been able to spend 15% of it. They're saying that some of it won't be kicked back into the hands of campaign donors spent on infrastructure projects until after 2010.

This administration can't even screen their employees properly to be sure they aren't tax cheats. (FYI, I believe that if our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ were on this earth in the year 2009, he would be doing everything possible to keep The Disciples' traveling money safe from Caesar. Just an opinion.) Click here for details.

Now they want to more or less take over a substantial part of the economy, and they promise they're going to get it just right.

Here are my preconceived ideas about insurance. Say a group of 100 homeowners are afraid that their houses are going to burn down. They go to an insurance company, and they say "We're afraid our houses are going to burn down."
The insurance company looks at the charts and graphs, and sees that in the next ten years, only one house out of one hundred houses is likely to burn.
So the company says "If each of you will give me 1/2 % of the value of your home every year, then we'll replace your house if it burns down."
That way, the insurance company can replace a house every two years without going bankrupt. If they get lucky, they won't have to replace any.

Here's the kicker....How much should an insurance charge to include someone whose house has already burned? That is, as soon as the former homeowner write a check for one premium, the insurance company has to build him a new house.
How much would the insurance premium be if you were running the insurance company? Unless you're a total idjit, it would have to be for the cost of a new house.

That's the problem with pre-existing conditions. Insurance is not meant to cover disasters that have already happened. Insurance is to guard against future diasters.

How would you respond if your homeowners insurance premiums doubled because your insurance company started paying for houses that burned before the homeowners bought insurance?
That's what I thought.

You can walk into John Petersmith hospital in Fort Worth, and if you need Free medical care, you can get it there. Granted, the taxpayers are footing the bill, but that's cheaper than letting The Chicago Gang get their tentacles further into the system.
Ok, that's all the disclaimers and full disclosures of prejudices I can think of. Here's The Teleprompter Jesus. Those who want to can hit this link and play Obama Clutch-Phrase Bingo.

BTW, the goal of live-blogging these things is to have them posted the minute the speech is over, just to prove you can think and type that quickly. (Thank you Coalla King, of North Sunflower Academy.) In geek circles, you get extra points for being able to do this.

Michelle O just entered the building. She is surrounded by Kennedys of various sizes, whose late patriarch is sure to be name-checked. I think Michelle is intentionally wearing Jackie O pink.
She Whose Name Is Not Spoken just enetered the building. She tried and failed to do the healthcare reform thing about 15 years ago. She's wearing reddish orange, and can be seen from The Washington Monument.
Brian Williams, Chuck Todd, and David Gregory are speculating about which Republicans could possibly be picked off from the herd and persuaded to betray their country. My guess? All of them, if the money and other goodies are adequate.
They just showed Rahm Emmanuel. One of my goals for this blog is to provoke him into mailing me a dead fish. If you don't know that Emmanuel story, Google it. I don't have time to explain.

Chuck Todd is explaining that there are 5, count 'em, 5 versions of this healthcare bill floating around. That way, no matter what objections you raise to Obama's plan, he can say "that's not in my bill." Brilliant.

Obama just entered the building. I'll say this for him, he knows how to wear a suit. He's shaking hands with Biden and Pelosi. I wonder if "Greater Tuna" Pelosi is going to do her Jack-In-The-Box routine all the way through this speech.

He starts the speech. He's reminding us that the last time he addressed both houses of Congress, we were on the edge. Well, we're still on the edge, but we're another 750 billion dollars in debt. Good work, all of you. We've pulled it back from the brink. If there was a brink.

We didn't come here just to clean up crises. We came here to take your money and give it to our friends. I'm not the first President to take up this cause, but I'm determined to be the last. It's been a century since Teddy Roosevelt called for Healthcare reform. (They still haven't gone free-market and reformed it. I have no idea why not.)

He's listing the reasons why some people can't get insurance. See my prejudices listed above. He's throwing out a bunch of stats that I can't wait for to get ahold of. He's making some good points about how people are hesitant to change jobs because of insurance. Ditto for people being dropped if they get sick. (The solution is to sue the insurance companies until they have a radioactive glow.)

Now he's talking about the high cost. Hit that little link for "Free Market" a couple of paragraphs back.
We're putting a huge cost on taxpayers. We've got to cut costs. Therefore, we're going to have more government involvement in the process. He really is saying this. I'm hearing it with my own ears.
We KNOW we must reform this system.

Okay, here come the Straw Men. There are those on the left who say.... There are those on the right who say.... If you picked point #2 on Clutch-Phrase bingo, you just got points.
Obama says keep what works, rather than start from scratch.

Obama just thanked Congress for "working tirelessly", and NBC cut to a close-up of Charlie Rangel, the most corrupt, tax-evading bastard that God put guts in. Hilarious.

Now he's going to attack the scare tactics. Now is the time to deliver.

3 basic goals: More security and stability for those who have insurance, provide insurance for those who don't, and reduce costs for everybody involved. It's a freakin' Christmas tree, with something for everyone. No one ever has to pay the piper.

If you already have insurance, medicare, medicaid, etc, you don't have to change doctors or anything else. See Bingo point #5.

Now, here's where he goes totally off the rails. UNDER THIS PLAN, IT WILL BE ILLEGAL FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES TO DENY YOU COVERAGE BECAUSE OF A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. In other words, if your house has burned down, you can still get fire insurance, and the insurance company will have to build you a new house. Don't pay premiums until you get sick. They can't deny you coverage ! ! ! I'm dropping my health insurance tomorrow ! ! !

Who the hell is going to pay for this? Does this goober think the rates are going to stay the same for the people who are dumb enough to pay for coverage if this nonsense passes?

They're going to compete for your business. there will be tax credits, etc etc etc. I'm so horrified, I can't even think straight any more.

John "reach across the aisle" McCain just got a standing-O for getting name-dropped.

Obama: if there are affordable options, and people still don't sign up for health insurance, if some workers don't provide healthcare, it hurts us. Unless everyone does their part, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance. Businesses will be required to provide insurance. But small businesses will be exempt. But you CAN'T game the system.

It only works if everybody does their part. And while there remain some significant details to be ironed out.....

(This wasn't intended as a laugh line, but everyone is laughing their asses off. Hilarious.)

Here are some of the key controversies out there, spread by bad, bad, people. Death panels for senior citizens. It's a lie, plain and simple. Every aging Democrat in the room rises to applaud.
No coverage for illegal aliens, no funding for abortions.

Now he gets to "the public option". He says consumers do better when there is "choice" and "competition". I shoulda put this at the beginning of this post. You can't compete with an organization that can print its own money. Totally false use of the word on Obama's part. The post office, Amtrak, etc etc etc woulda gone under years ago if it weren't for government subsidies. And that's what yer gonna see with Obamacare.

I need more Bud Light. Please excuse me for a moment. Whoaaaa there, he said "Let me be clear" ! ! ! That's Clutchphrase Bingo #21, for those of you playing at home.

The public option would only be for those who don't have insurance. He thinks less than 5% of Americans would sign up. And the public option would have to pay for itself with money printed on the spot. Somehow. I know it blows your mind to think the money would just appear, but it will happen.

He just said the word "Progressive", in reference to The Left. I really dislike that use of the word "Progressive". He's refering to ideas that should have died out during Feudalism. We've made a lot of "Progress" since then.

I missed some stuff there while I was ranting about Progressive. Sorry about that. He's gonna make sure no government bureaucrat or insurance exec gets between you and the care you need. He's gonna tell us how we'll pay for all this.

I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future. Period. There will be a provision in the plan that requires more spending cuts if the savings don't materialize.

This man is full of more crap than the latrines at Fort Pemberton.

Most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings in the existing healthcare system.

You know, that might be possible. Let people go to nurses and other practitioners for care. Get the damn lawyers out of it. Go here for details. It'll never happen. Now he's talking about how much waste and care there are in Medicare and Medicaid. They're going to eliminate that waste. Woulda done it sooner, but they wanted to save the waste so it could be eliminated now. During this crisis. I think that's what he said. I'm on beer #5. This is hurting more than I thought it would.

He's going to protect medicare from becoming a private voucher system.
Some places in Utah and someplace else offer costs that are lower than average. Everyone is suddenly going to be like them.

Here's something that bugs me.... Did you know that HALF of all insurance companies offer care that costs less than average? And HALF of them cost more than average? No shit. They really do. Think about it. So don't look at the less than average cost ones like they're special. Half of anything is less than average, half is more than average.

Here's a bone thrown to the Republicans.... He's going to do something about medical malpractice law. We're gonna move forward on letting doctors focus on practice medicine. He's throwing a bone to Bush, saying that they, too, had this idea. Add it all up, and the plan he's proposing will cost 900 billion over ten years. Compare it to the Iraq War, or the tax cuts for the rich. And if you picked # 14 in Clutch-phrase bingo, you just got some points.

My door is always open.
I really hate that phrase. Nobody's door is always open. Not if you're important. Sometimes you're in meetings. Sometimes you're working on something more important that what Joe Blow is worried about.
Now here's some Macho Posturing on the part of our Commander-In-Chief.....
"If you mis-represent what's in this plan, we will call YOU out."

Easy to say, when there IS NOT FREAKIN' PLAN ! ! !

Ok, here's the sentimental Ted Kennedy moment. The Floater is speaking to us from beyond the grave.

Ted Kennedy hoped that this will be the year that healthcare finally passed. It concerns more than material things.....It's a moral issue. Social justice. The character of our country.

Ted Kennedy gave less than 1% of his money to charities. He went to great lengths to shield his fortune from the tax collector. What a freakin' farce.

Those of us who knew Teddy know what drove Teddy. And now I'm going to name-drop three prominent Republicans. Teddy had two children stricken with cancer (close up of Kennedy kids).
That large-heartedness, that willingness to spend other people's money on the things YOU think are important, that's what makes us Americans.

In 1935, there were those who argued that..... (See Clutch Phrase #2)
Too much govt is matched by the perils of too little. Not necessarily true, is it?

He's doing a great closing here. It's emotional B.S., but very well-written. Going faster than I can type. Oh, BTW, most of this won't kick in until after the next Presidential election. Did you know that? And that Congress and most federal employees will be exempt? If you remember those things when listening to this rhetoric, you hear it in a whole new light.

I'm just sayin'.
Thank you, and God Bless America.

Obama Clutch-Phrase Bingo

Here's something handy for anyone wanting to play "Obama Clutch-Phrase Bingo" during the healthcare speech tonight. It's from my Facebook friend Rick Moore:

1. "The time to act is now."
2. "Critics of this plan would have us do nothing."
3. "For too long, we have spent too much money to get too little care."
4. "The current path is unsustainable. Nothing less than a complete overhaul will give Americans the care they deserve."
5. "Under my plan, nothing will change for you and your doctor."
6. "This plan will cover more people, and give better care for everyone."
7. "This plan will spend less money."
8. "This debate has been far too divisive, with proponents losing heart, and opponents losing fingers."

Go to to read Rick's complete list.
And let me give some advice to the kids reading this....Do NOT try to turn this list into a drinking game. Alcohol poisoning is a very real possibility.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Letters written from school to various presidents, a 40-year collection, with apologies to Brenda Kay Sullivan

Someone programmed The Teleprompter Jesus to address the nation's schoolchildren today.
The Department Of Education has sent out some sample lesson plans centered around the speech. The plans include these gems:

*What do you think the president wants us to do?
*Does the speech make you want to do anything?
*Are we able to do what President Obama is asking of us?
*What would you like to tell the president?

The unfortunate business about How You Can Help The President With His Plans has already been purged from the Department Of Education website, and for good reason.

"What would you like to tell the president?"

Do they really want to ask 10th graders that question???? I don't know about you, but after listening to 30 minutes of earnest BigBrotherisms from Obama, followed by another half hour of earnest, wholesome NewSpeak from the teacher, I'd be tempted to contribute to the United States' record drop-out rate.

But when I got back from work tonight, I remembered something. Other teachers of mine have encouraged letters to the president. And since I'm a compulsive pack rat, I was able to dig into my scrapbook for copies of those letters.

Here's one that Mrs. Norwood, my first grade teacher at A.W. James Elementary School in Drew, Mississippi, encouraged me to write way back in 1967:




Even then I had a natural fear of government. Several years went by before another teacher thought we needed to write letters to the president. In 1971, Mrs. Cash, my math teacher at North Sunflower Academy, made us watch a 16mm movie of President Nixon in class. Here's what followed:

Dear Mr. President Nixon,
We watched a movie of you in math today. You said nobody could
raise prices or get pay raises any more. You said we have to stop Inflation.
Wouldn't it be better to stop printing any more money?

I'm in the 4th grade. A girl named Brenda Kay Sullivan that I like is in 3rd grade, but she doesnt like me.
Please try not making new money for a while. If that idea works, can you invite me to The White House for a party? And can I invite Brenda Kay Sullivan? She might like me then.
The Whited Sepulchre,
Merigold, Mississippi

I had forgotten about that one. I don't think our phone ever rang with calls from Washington.

Here's another one from when I was about 15. Inflation was running rampant, and Gerald Ford tried to fight it by encouraging everyone to wear a W.I.N. button. (It stood for "Whip Inflation Now". With God As My Witness, that's how Gerald Ford tried to stop inflation. Giving people buttons.) Coach Johnny Nichols, our history teacher, told us to watch the news one night and then write a letter of encouragement to President Ford. This was the best I could do because my mind was elsewhere:

Mr. President,
Prices are going up on everything. My father says it's because when you suddenly dump a lot more of a valuable thing into a place, the amount its worth goes down. That's what you're doing with money. But if the valuable thing suddenly becomes more scarce, the value of it goes up even higher. Maybe you should start burning money instead of printing it.

Let me put it this way. I want Brenda Kay Sullivan to be my girlfriend and she isn't interested in me. But if I was the only boy in our school, she probably would be interested, because I would be rare. I'd be the only one.

Mary Lynn Godfrey said she wouldn't go out with me if I was the last boy on earth, but I bet she would if all the other guys were dead. Or gay.
That's why I don't think your W.I.N. buttons are going to work.

Just stop printing so much money.
The Whited Sepulchre
Merigold, Mississippi

P.S., the only reason I'm writing this is for the grade.

A few years later, the great Ruby Sue Issa, History-Social Studies teacher extraordinaire, showed us one of the first videotapes we'd ever seen. It was one of President Carter's fireside chats. Mrs. Issa insisted that we write a letter to Mr. Carter about the video.

President Carter,

What do you mean, we're suffering from "Malaise" ????
I'm 18 and I have my whole life ahead of me, my father is paying me minimum wage for 40 hour weeks on the farm, and I've got a girlfriend ! ! I've got a car ! !
Malaise? Malaise?
Speak for yourself, Mr. Peanut.
Also, my girlfriend, Brenda Kay Sullivan, thinks you look like a nerd giving speeches in those cardigan sweaters. You have the same job that George Washington held. Please put on a suit.
The Whited Sepulchre
Merigold, Mississippi

P.S. - I read that interview you did, the one where you confessed that you sometimes have lust in your heart? The interview wasn't very interesting, but the pictures in that magazine were GREAT !

After that, I was out of high school and didn't have to write any more letters for grades. That doesn't mean the letters stopped, though. Here's a masterpiece of honesty from the early 80's. I have no idea why I have a copy. Maybe the Tri-Delts didn't mail mine with everyone else's:

Dear President Reagan,

My girlfriend at Delta State University is a Tri-Delt, and politically they're all somewhere off to the right of Barry Goldwater. A lot of them have bumperstickers that say "voTe", and the "T" looks like a Christian cross. As if Jesus taught that we should always try to get government involved.
The Tri-Delts are insisting that their pledges and their boyfriends write you a get-well-soon card. Brenda Kay Sullivan, my girlfriend, is hell-bent on being a Tri-Delt, and she's insisted that I write this.

Well, I'm sorry you got shot, and I hope you get well soon. Otherwise, George Bush will be president, and I can't imagine that working out well.
The Whited Sepulchre
Cleveland, MS

I was out of school soon after that. No more letters. But guess what we found while cleaning out The Aggie's room after she went back to college a couple of weeks ago? Yep, a letter to the President, written in 1999:

Dear President Clinton,

Mr. Graham is my teacher at St. Paul Lutheran and he says we need to ask you a question in a letter. Here is my question. Whenever you are on TV my Dad starts saying WAS SHE WORTH IT, BILL? WAS SHE WORTH IT, BILL??
What is my Dad talking about? He won't tell me.
The Future Aggie

P.S. When I grow up, I want to go to Texas A&M for college because that's where Michael is going. My Dad says a boyfriend is not a good enough reason to go there. I think he had a girlfriend in school that didn't work out. He says it's something called Buyer's Remorse.
Do people ever feel that way after they vote for a President?


Thanks to Stephen Smith at "A Beginner's Guide To Freedom" for the picture of the W.I.N. button. Stephen is the only person I've ever met who remembers WIN buttons
And to mis-quote Jimmy Durante, "Good Night, Brenda Kay Sullivan, wherever you are...."

A hypothetical question about "The Open Sewer Of Misinformation"

I try to Tivo most of the Sunday a.m. political talk shows.
This doesn't help my blood pressure.
One particular exchange, supposedly about throwing Greenery Czar Van Jones overboard, had me throwing stuff at the TV with more force than usual. I was almost relieved when I discovered that most of the Blogosphere was already posting about it.
I LOVE me some YouTube....

Tom Brokaw and Thomas (No More Huge Houses - Except Mine) Friedman are shown here lamenting that the internet is an open sewer of misinformation. They mourn because nothing is vetted any more. They tear their garments and smear black ashes on their foreheads because no one can reign in the internet.
They did just about everything but discuss why the MSM ignored the unfolding Van Jones debacle until the White House told Jones to volunteer to depart.
Have they ever, ever, ever considered that the Mainstream Media might owe some of its decline to the perception that they are in the tank for Big Gubmint?

Here are some other links on this sad decline, courtesy of Gateway Pundit:

Now, that (the video) is good comedy!
What makes it even more hysterical is that they all take themselves so seriously.
Too much.

The New York Times will publish their first print report on the Van Jones scandal tomorrow morning... more than 36 hours after (Jones) left the White House.
They refused to report on the story until the Mumia Abu Jamal-supporting Truther was long, long gone.
Good work, guys.

Related... Mark Hemingway has more thoughts at The Corner:

While Glenn Beck and others in the conservative commentariat had been shining a light on Jones' radical past for a while, the revelations that finally sunk Jones were broken by Gateway Pundit and other bloggers. Not that long ago, the idea that a guy Googling in the basement would be capable of bringing down a White House staffer would have been a story in and of itself. I suppose some might think this sort of thing is old hat five years after Rathergate, but I also suspect that this aspect of the story will be largely ignored because it makes the MSM look very, very bad.
Actually, I was Googling upstairs at the time.

More... Jonah Goldberg added this on today's "Meet the Press" discussion, via HotAir:

One of Friedman's key take-aways from this whole affair is that too many people will self-censor themselves so they can get government jobs. What a tragedy that fewer people will support cop-killers and anti-American conspiracy groups because of poor Van Jones chilling effect on the culture.
Still More... Kausfiles points to this from Noah Silverman:

Readers of the print edition of The New York Times will never have heard of the presidential appointee so controversial the President had to dump him. Is this a milestone in the decline of the NYT?

Some of you are reading this, and asking yourselves "Who is Van Jones, and why does he matter?"
Well, ask yourself another question. Are you going to find out by going to The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or The New York Times?
Or are you going to dive into the "open sewer of misinformation" and do a Google search?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Harming In The Name Of Helping, from Jeff Daiell

From Jeff Daiell, a fellow Libertarian. I really can't think of anything to add to this:

This day, Labor Day, is the perfect day to reflect on how harshly Government deals with the working class and the poor.

Frederic Bastiat said, "The state is the great fiction by which everyone attempts to live at the expense of everyone else". It is also the great reality by which the privileged and the powerful become more privileged and powerful at the expense of small businesses and Labor.

How much higher would the standard of living of working men and women be were their tax burden not so high? Income tax, sales tax, property tax, both paid directly to Government and in the form of higher prices on goods and services, all reduce that standard.

How much higher would the real incomes of men and women in the workforce be were there no laws and regulations reducing (in some cases, eliminating) competition among businesses, when such reduced competition means fewer jobs and thus lower wages?

How much farther up the income ladder could the children of working individuals rise were education a matter for the private sector, given that government schools favor the children of the already-affluent?

How much healthier would members of the working class be if government did not restrict entry into the healing professions, making health care and health insurance unaffordable to so many?

How much safer would working-class neighborhoods be if authorities did not legislate what substances we may or may not ingest, given that such legislation benefits organized crime and reduces the ability of law enforcement to combat murder, rape, burglary, and child molestation?

There are so many more examples, but the point is: Government works on behalf of the wealthy and works against the rest of us -- small businesses, the middle class, Labor, and the poor.

So next year, vote to protect working men and women, by voting to eliminate the statutes and regulations that harm them; vote to benefit the employed by moving politicians and bureaucrats into the ranks of the un-employed.

For Texas and Liberty,

Jeff Daiell

Go here to read Mr. Daiell's blog.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Weekly Radley - Another warm and fuzzy drug war moment

From the incomparable Radley Balko comes this video of one of the drug war's latest casualties:

For the love of God, why can't they let the poor guy fire one up? Do the pharmaceutical companies not make any money on weed? Do we need to give them some patents?
Or is The War On Drugs as profitable for certain government entities as The War On Terror is for others?
I remember hearing about a huge banner at Fort Worth's General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin military aircraft plant. It was put up soon after the Cold War "ended", and it said "PEACE SUCKS". I dunno if it really existed, but the story reflects the job losses that Fort Worth went through as a result of not having Commies to bomb.
Overall, though, the short-lived peace was very good for us.

Can you imagine the job losses in law enforcement if marijuana was suddenly legal?
Can you imagine the income loss to Drug Lords all over the world?
Can you imagine peace and quiet breaking out along the Texas-Mexico border?

When the U.S. got a wild hair and decided to prohibit alcohol, we experienced a crime wave no one had ever seen before. Bootleggers like Capone and (ahem) Kennedy grew filthy rich by meeting the demands of ordinary citizens. Little old ladies started making bathtub gin. Speakeasies abounded. Since the enterprise fell outside the law, organized crime swarmed in to fill the gap. It got ugly.
Fortunately, people could remember what it was like before Prohibition, and the insane experiment was abandoned after a decade or so.

There aren't many people around who remember marijuana being legal. But they would assure us there was very little drug-related violence associated with the weed.
Because there was no money in it.

My friend John Spivey has a good argument for those who worry about "what would happen to the kids" if marijuana use was de-criminalized, or legalized. Spivey and I can't remember a time when weed wasn't available for sale at our respective High Schools. We agree that the same situation exists in our kids' schools. The demand is there, the penalties for selling to minors are severe, but the profit is massive.

Legalize it. The demand will still be there, the penalties for selling to minors will still be severe, but the huge profit margin will go away.

Which system will most effectively keep marijuana away from the kids?