The moment Trump lost me

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As the nasty women say, #ImWithHer. Of course, it depends on what the meaning of “her” is. If you consider Jill Stein and Loretta Sanchez the wrong hers, feminism isn’t really your motivation. If you have a problem with my refusing to vote for the right her, fuck you. Remember, I lives here. Can I come in.

In the end, Trump didn’t lose my vote with his “nasty woman” and “bad hombres” comments, which were just more trash talk from a leading public vulgarian, or even with his petulant threat not to respect the outcome of an adverse electoral result, which, if he followed through with it, would provoke a powerful backlash from all the establishment constituencies he’s spent his campaign alienating to hell.

The moment he actually blew it with me was one that, to my knowledge, got absolutely no mainstream press coverage. In the course of carrying on about his yuge Great Wall and its prospective magnificence, he said that the wall needed to be built to stop the heroin from coming in and killing all the decent Americans’ troubled loved ones in forgotten parts of America. I, of course, paraphrased this more eloquently and credibly than Trump himself did. His own formulation was basically, and I paraphrase more closely this time, that we have deadly drugs in this country because we haven’t secured our entire land border with Mexico.

I found these comments especially worrisome and unacceptable in a candidate for high office precisely because Trump did not appear to be cynically pandering to hysterical nitwits. He apparently believed his own bullshit. These junkies’ survivors in deteriorating parts of New Hampshire are not actually his people–that much was pandering on his part–but Trump sounded like he actually believed it feasible to put an end to fatal opiate overdoses by securing the currently unsecured portions of a single land border.

This is total nonsense. The US-Mexico land border is not an indispensable smuggling route for the US drug market. It doesn’t even come close. Walling the border will do nothing to scale up inspections at ports of entry along its length, which are spotty. CBP officers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of passenger and cargo traffic. The sensible ones among them give up on trying to hold back that river in the hope of being alert enough to interdict serious threats to the country. A few dangerous zealots try to take up their slack, trampling on due process and human decency in the course of their personal wars on drugs. Others are corrupt enough to take payoffs from smugglers to allow drug shipments through unmolested. These crooks stir up moral panics whenever they’re arrested for public corruption, but few of them are fundamentally dangerous to anyone: they’re glad to let mere drugs through for a toll, but it’s extremely unlikely that any of them are desperate or psychopathic enough to act positively on bribes to approve shipments of black-market anthrax, sarin, or plutonium. They know that the drugs are mainly sickening and killing Americans who have already made the personal decision, against their better judgment, to use hard drugs.

Securing the aboveground land border will do nothing to secure it underground. Whenever one private subway line into Otay Mesa is discovered and shut down, the cartels build another one. Militarizing a border zone some miles wide, on the assumption (probably far too optimistic) that the cartels would be unable to extend their tunnels an equal number of miles, would be politically impossible. The business lobbies would shit a brick if its members were forced to relocate all their warehouses from a new no-man’s-land worthy of North Korea. Congress, led by local representatives and senators, would nix any plan to relocate long-established residential neighborhoods including San Ysidro and downtown El Paso. Everyone with a stake in the matter would go up in arms, maybe just figuratively, at the prospect of moving suburban retail districts catering to middle-class Mexican shoppers out of a militarized border zone. The whole point of the outlets in San Ysidro is that they’re just an S-curve and a border checkpoint away from Tijuana. NAFTA or no NAFTA, there’s just too much trade to be conducted. No one’s going to stop trading American grain for Mexican citrus and avocados, for example. That shit is crossing the frontier one way or another.

The tunnels are a cat-and-mouse game, or more aptly a cat-and-rat game involving Joe Dirtbag’s not-so-work-ethical farm cats and the overfed, hella R-strategic rat colony they stalk only from time to time. CBP and the Border Patrol are basically forced to wait for the latest phone call from some annoyed property manager that the cartels just bored the third portal into his warehouse in as many quarters. That’s an unwinnable three-dimensional game when it’s being played by Vaisya border agents and Dalit warehouse workers against global elite international drug syndicates.

Something else worth mentioning about cross-border smuggling is that gun running is a huge problem, but one overwhelmingly affecting Mexico, not the United States. The US has a patchwork of generally lax gun control laws, with the federal government allowing state and local governments to permit the lawful sale and possession of everything up through light anti-aircraft artillery (e.g., 50 caliber “guns”) and no realistic way to stop the interstate smuggling of weapons. Mexico has a strict federal gun control regime featuring remand on arrival for practicing ammosexuals, regardless of their citizenship. When this gets covered in the US press, it’s usually by way of Fox and Friends having a mad that some US citizen gun nut got arrested and jailed in Tijuana just because he tried to enter Mexico with a loaded assault rifle. #SupportOurTroops #ThankYouForYourService The same talking heads show noticeably less concern about the denial of consular access for Mexican citizens facing death sentences in the United States, or about due process in general for foreigners whose home country long ago abolished the death penalty and whose supreme court recently ruled sentences of longer than forty years unconstitutional. The point is that there are conscientious Mexican officials who try to keep black-market arms out of their country, even though they have colleagues who are too corrupt to give a damn and not nearly enough natural law and sheer manpower on their side to back up Mexico’s positive law against the Sinaloa Cartel leaving a police squad’s heads in a burlap bag on the side of some highway into Juarez. The other point is that these guns are causing far more fatal collateral damage in Mexico than black-market drugs passing through Mexico are causing in the United States.

If the land border were secured in three dimensions to margins that the Los Angeles subway system would be unable to span and all ports of entry were manned 24/7 by A Teams with dozens of drug dogs, there would still be no way in hell to secure the maritime borders against drug-running speedboats. Smugglers have taken to using flat-bottomed powerboats capable of outrunning Coast Guard cutters to drop drug shipments on the San Luis Obispo County coast in the middle of the night. The US Coast Guard is not a boat-deprived agency. It knows how to do a hardcore cool change on zero notice on seas heavy enough to distress Panamax freighters. This doesn’t matter. The drug-runners just wait until the seas are calm and the coast is literally clear and they do their thing. Leon Bridges may be on 92.5: The Krush (still not the Central Coast’s favorite listen-in-prison station) within fifteen minutes of my driving within its broadcasting range, but he is not on the bridge. He’d probably figure that’s an awfully fast and choppy ride, but they don’t care whether he likes the way they sail their ship, now, or whether the Coast Guard does.

No one is securing the Pacific Coast against every panga whose crew has a plan to beach it for a minute or two, throw some bales overboard, and gun it the fuck back into international waters. No one, for that matter, will secure the Diplomatic Mail, which has been used in the past to ship drugs into the Homeland with full immunity. No one will secure gateside airport operations against crooks in ground support positions longer than it takes a drug syndicate to buy off a crook or place its operatives at SkyChef. Not all that much drug smuggling is done by C-Team semiprofessionals like the Bali Nine who tape product to their torsos or swallow a bunch of condoms like fucking idiots. The syndicates have brain trusts who know which airport employees are able to bypass customs because they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs efficiently if they weren’t trusted to come and go from secure areas.

There are always opportunities to corrupt military personnel, too. Fat Leonard pulled it off, after all. If a greasy Ronal Serpas body double running a regional defense contractor in Southeast Asia can buy off American admirals with escorts and nice dinners, there’s no way the drug syndicates can’t establish equally profitable back channels In the Navy (TM). CBP can’t realistically sweep an aircraft carrier for drugs. Hardly anyone there is zealous enough to try, and if they did, they might cross the threshold at which sailors remind them that they have some fucking guns on this ship, too.

Bottom line: we are not keeping drugs out of this country. It ain’t happening.

By the way, I doubt anyone knows yet the extent to which government agents or assets are deliberately adulterating black-market opiate supplies in the hope of scaring the public away from drugs and punishing those who aren’t duly intimidated by their scare tactics. It’s a matter of historical record that the US government deliberately poisoned liquor during Prohibition, causing thousands of deaths, and much of the current prescription opiate supply in the United States is deliberately adulterated with weak adjunct painkillers that are known to be more chronically toxic than opiates. Frankly, moral busybodies in the vice squads have a stronger motive to adulterate drug supplies than do dealers, who have reasons not to want to be connected to dead junkies, even if their market contains many addicts who have a weird, morbid fascination with bad dope sets. Many dealers prefer to do business with recreational users anyway, so that they don’t have jonesing addicts calling them at all hours and cursing them out in the hope of getting an emergency delivery.

If Trump were serious about reducing drug overdose deaths, he’d be talking about funding for treatment programs, not about standing athwart the border like William F. Buckley amped up on coke–a drug that the Donald himself is widely reputed to enjoy as a pre-debate pick-me-up.

****

Speaking of drugs, the Secret Service just went bitching to the Brahmins about how they can’t staff up because their applicant pool used Adderall to get through college, among other moralizing complaints. LOL. Also illegal Napster downloads and embarrassing e-mails to friends.

Clancy. Damn, pops. Yes, law enforcement agencies end up with staffing and recruiting shortfalls when they reject otherwise highly qualified applicants in order to grandstand about the evils of drug use. I saw enough weird-ass shit in the two days and ninety pages I spent trying to become a San Diego police officer not to blame this on the applicant pool. We weren’t the main source of weirdness there, from what I could tell. And I missed the really creepy parts. I didn’t make it to the polygraph or the appointing authority interview.

If you make the cut for a Secret Service polygraph, you, too, can be escorted from the building by G-men for admitting to past off-label stimulant use while the colleagues whose ranks you were not allowed to join protect high officials in a state of near exhaustion and, if they’ve earned enough seniority, acute intoxication. This is the same agency whose senior agents, including the second-in-command of the presidential protective detail, got away with this, and it recruiters have zero tolerance for applicants who once used disfavored stimulants to stay awake. #StayWoke. Driving drunk across Washington and crashing a government car through police tape at the scene of an active bomb investigation means that your buddy the watch commander orders his junior subordinates to let you go home and sleep it off, but a history of using semilegal stimulants in an effort to stay focused and vigilant for long stretches of hard work is an automatic disqualifying factor for a job requiring its agents to stay focused and vigilant for long stretches.

I’m not all for Adderall. The time I took it, because an idiot psychologist who didn’t listen to my history of symptoms prescribed it to me for ADHD, I immediately came down with a ridiculous case of ADHD. I’d lie on my bed throwing a bouncy ball at the ceiling for half an hour straight, itching to start a five-mile hike through the State Game Lands at 10:30 pm, then go into the kitchen and break down in tears for no particular reason. On the other hand, if other users are able to calibrate their doses more effectively (probably because they’ve kept the damn outpatient mental health professionals out of the fray), they’re probably onto something.

Regardless, students go to such insane extremes to get schoolwork done because high school and college in Bougiekistan today are insane. I didn’t even try because I’d gotten so totally fucked up on Adderall the one time I tried it that I’d quit it mid-course against medical (sic) advice, and I suppose my grades suffered as a result. If my career also suffered, that’s a reason to reform the graduate recruitment process, not an argument for my retroactively using a crazy hard drug that had fucked me the hell up at the low end of its therapeutic range.

Even so, I am not on the Secret Service’s side when it tries to punish behavior that the home and school environments of its most sought-after applicants aggressively encouraged. I might be young (well, not that young), but I ain’t stupid. I doubt that barely over one percent of its applicant pool is qualified to start its academy. That pool is too hotep to include so many incorrigible fuckups who would gain nothing from even more hotep training and command regimes. The Secret Service and the substance-abusing moral parasites overseeing it in Congress are responsible for its staffing and recruitment shortfalls.

The Denver Police Department ran into a similar problem a few years ago when it discovered that thirty percent of its applicants had a history of recreational cocaine use, and not the worst thirty percent. The proposed solution, last I heard about it, was to stop being so fucking absolute about past coke use. The rationale behind this, which more police departments should consider, is that the DPD had other recruitment, training, and supervisory protocols in place to avoid deploying a bunch of raging acute cokeheads, and that there were worse red flags in other, less based parts of the applicant pool (including anabolic steroids, if the recruiters knew what they were doing).

Of course this sort of stance is controversial in law enforcement. Decades ago, NSA polygraphers got one of its future defectors to Soviet Russia to admit to bestiality with a chicken. This didn’t reflect badly just on the reformed chickenfucker; it also reflected badly on the animal vice squad for being sick enough to even discuss such a thing. Normal people don’t go there. Only trusted law enforcement insiders are that sick.

I don’t support the shortstaffing of the Secret Service’s Uniformed Division or protective details. I do support the shortstaffing of its polygraphy units. Everyone of those creeps should leave work every day thinking, why the fuck am I interrogating decent people about this shit; what the hell am I doing with my life. If the Secret Service can’t figure out how to select and train agents who are hotep enough to be, or else to get, mentally and physically fit for duty without interrogating them about illegal downloads of (((copyrighted media))) as teenagers (LOL!), painstakingly calibrated self-medication in college for peak curricular and extracurricular performance, unapproved internet fappy hour, and poor chat room etiquette, its recruitment, training, and command processes are useless. Of course, Washington is swarming with hypocritical, grandstanding assholes who just have to use their positions of official power to force federal law enforcement agencies to make statements about the wrongfulness of drug use in their recruitment processes. Federal law enforcement is one of the easiest targets for moral busybodies to use as a platform to publicly set their favored pecking order.

This shit will endure until the drugs community asserts itself to the same extent that the LGBT, etc. lobby has asserted itself in recent decades. This is why we have openly gay cops and police applicants today, while the Vermont State Police was the only agency I could find, back when I was seriously angling to become a cop, with a drug disqualification policy as sensible as no puff-snort-shoot in the past year, and it’s still considered unreasonably sexually deviant to look at naughty pictures of sexually mature teenagers who might well have been married with a child or two had they been that age in the midcentury, let alone to consort with prostitutes.

Remember, the prudent thing to do is to already be on the force before raping Celeste Guap. Blue privilege won’t wait for you if you don’t first wait for it.

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2 thoughts on “The moment Trump lost me

  1. I hate to be put in the position of playing devil’s advocate for Trump, since he has so many, but just as a rational possibility, maybe he was trying to draw a connection between random immigration per se and domestic drug use. There probably is one, such that some sense of national unity and/or reduced crime might indirectly result in fewer people self-alleviating that empty feeling, or better, that they go the proper route and pay three times extra for a less effective, more dangerous product from their duly licensed physician.

    I don’t think so–I think you’re right, and that he probably believes preventing physical carrying over part of the physical border by physical people will stop something–but I could be wrong.

    Of course, from the drug-transportation Local 408’s point of view, it could give leverage to the everyday working mule if the job gets even 0.01% more complicated, permitting, uh, unionization and specialization and the retention of committed workers, or maybe even benefits. That could also be nonsense since I just finished reading one of those really long essays about how sex workers need to unionize, legalize, and get proper court and corporate backing in order to prevent (sic) exploitative working conditions.

    I like Jill Stein’s theoretically anti-Fed/anti-invasions platform as a foil to Hillary’s binarily opposed platform, but I can’t bring myself to accept Jill’s idea of creating a worldwide team of heavily armed planeteers who will reduce my paycheck upon pain of death in order to plant trees in Bolivia to produce carbon credits that will offset Tyson Farms’ chicken-friendly “whole planet” initiative, which latter I will have also paid for via payroll deduction at the employer level.

    • That’s an interesting alternative take on Trump’s comments, and I wish he had such a sense of nuance, but just can’t believe it. Like so many of his comments, his Katie-bar-the-door stance on drug smuggling had all the subtlety and nuance of an ax to the head. I doubt there was any deeper thought informing it. It sounded totally detached from everything he’s said about the alienation of working-class communities. I actually would have been more supportive of him had that comment sounded like a dogwhistle. Instead, it sounded idiotic. Trump was the last candidate I was willing to argue against on account of idiocy (because, in spite of my historic Democratic leanings, I cannot trust the Clintons after any examination or reflection), but he pulled it off in the end. That was the point where I realized, to my own great disappointment, that he wasn’t just playing a dumbass on TV, but fundamentally was one on important policy matters.

      I’m not all that enthusiastic about Stein, either, although I’ve warmed up to her and Baraka over the past month or two and strongly support her stance on whistleblowers and civil liberties. The potential for statist overreach that you describe is definitely there, but I doubt Stein’s left-authoritarian tendencies are as dangerous as Clinton’s, or even as dangerous as Trump’s whatever-the-fuck-authoritarian tendencies. If I recall correctly, her position on sex work is meddlesome and unworkable, but that’s nothing new (Tom Dart, Kamala Harris, etc.). More generally, I don’t think Stein would be inclined to pursue the crazier parts of her agenda at the expense of the saner ones. That’s a real threat with Trump and an overwhelming threat with Clinton. The Clinton team won’t stop being pissant towards Sanders, no matter how sincerely he tries to do the Team of Rivals shit, because his are the constituencies that their crowd has spent the entire adulthood of the Baby Boomers throwing under the bus.

      TL;DR: It’s still a fucking dogshit election, as it has been since June.

      Please tell me you read that sex work legalization essay for work. A woman should get paid to do a thing like that. A man, too. The hooker I’ve been seeing told me that she had to send bikers after the Section Eight Eminem wannabes who were trying to buffalo her into their pimping service by stalking her and burgling her property. By turning the main town whore and all her friends against them, these gentlemen remain pimps only in their own imaginations. In a decriminalized regime, she could have sent cops after them instead. She very much liked what I told her about the soft decrim regime in Vancouver, and from everything I can tell most hookers would rather have recourse to a sex work liaison officer from the local PD than to Dennis Hof.

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