Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ideas in disorder about corruption and “thou shall not” stuff

These are rather interesting subjects that are generally looked at with both hypocrisy and an AWOL sense of reality.

One always look at Africa and South America as the pits when it comes to corruption and no one talks about what’s going on in so called “more civilized” countries. There are official organizations that rate nations and it confirms what everybody thinks: that Brazil… but that Switzerland….

In many countries, to try to make corruption totally disappear from one day to the next is not possible. What is different in 3d world rot and western rot is a matter of common sense. Not all corrupt practices are the same. Let’s say that a buyer negotiates the best quality product or services, gets the best price and after all that squeezes something for himself. That’s one thing. It is rotten, that lady should be fired but the consequences are not that grave. The job is done and can even be done well. We could call that “intelligent” corruption. That’s the kind of things one could find in countries like Switzerland or the US.
When somebody starts by the “under the table” and uses whatever is left to buy the goods or services, there is less money to do the job and therefore quality is diminished. This can create serious problems: the plane crashes because maintenance was sloppy, the building burns because the wiring was substandard, or whatever.

It would seem more reasonable to FIRST try to educate 3d world politicians or business peoples to become more sophisticated in there rotten behavior rather than tell them :”Don’t do it”. I am not sure how it could be done since saying it condones corruption..

Second subject:

Christian education makes people want to take absolute stands that have never worked. Prostitution is a “nono” but only in the books. It has existed for thousands of years and will still exist in the future. Alcool was a “nono” in the US and mostly because of that, the Mafias came into existence in the US. When it became legal to drink it was too late and the Mafia had already been created. Same with drugs: The fact of making Marihuana and Cocaine illegal has created Columbian and Mexican drug cartels who have now unbelievable cash resources. At the end of the day there are more drug consumers now than ever. The system does not work. Prisons are overcrowded with drug offenders at a cost of 25K$ per head per year. If there are 2 millions people in jail in the US, at least 80% are there for drug offenses. The cost of jailing these folks is then in the neighborhood of 40 billions USD per year! Let’s compare this cost with the meager 3’000USD per head spent by some States like Arizona on children’s education…
We must add to this the cost of the various law enforcement agencies and their losing battles: City polices, County Sheriffs, State polices and various federal agencies. A few more billions dollars. Why can’t we legalize all this, control it and tax the hell out of it. Besides that, there is absolutely no control on the quality of the products bought from the friendly local pushers. Kids (and adults) buy things in total darkness. There is no quality control department here. A few years back a journalist from the French magazine Actuel made purchases of cocaine in various parts of Paris and had them tested by a laboratory. The results showed that none of the sample had more than 19% of cocaine and that in most cases no “high” could really be obtained because there was not enough of the drug. From a parent or medical point of view that would be good. However the fillers that constituted the 80 % of the purchase were as varied as dangerous in some cases. There was: flour, rice powder, talcum powder, sugar but also ground glass, detergent and other nasty things. The results would probably be the same in any big city in the US.

Back to forbidding things. The pope telling Catholics that they are not allowed to use condoms is in the same vein: telling people not to do things that they will do anyway is not realistic. The worst is still the fact of pastors or congressmen that are violently opposed to homosexuality in their speech but are in fact gay themselves: Pastor Ted Haggard, Pastor Paul Barnes, Congressman Mark Foley and others, not caught yet.

I think the reason folks like forbidding things is that they first want to forbid what they are afraid of. The most frightening being “temptation” .

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