W and Poppy--A Bipartisan Consensus: Left and Right agree--we need to win in Afghanistan, and we shouldn't let the war on drugs pervert whatever strategy is best. But, given that much of the Afghan poppy crop is in areas controlled by the Taliban, doesn't a continuing crackdown (if not the insanely inflammatory tactic of aerial spraying) make sense? Drug policy maven Mark Kleiman says no:
Probably the right thing for [Afghan President] Karzai to do, in terms of his government's chances against the Taliban, would be to legalize, or at least tolerate, poppy-growing and heroin refining in the areas of Afghanistan it controls, with the goal of enriching its allies and farmers in loyal areas and undercutting the market for opium from Taliban-controlled areas and thus the Taliban's capacity to benefit its subjects and derive revenue from "taxing" the illicit trade. If that's right, the U.S. should get out of the way.
Kleiman thinks eradicating the Afghan poppy crop wouldn't make much difference in "the level of heroin abuse" anyway. But beating the Taliban should have priority even if it would mean a rise in U.S. heroin abuse, no? ... 5:28 P.M. link
Here's a new way to get publicity for your just-opened film: Get sued by your dry cleaner for defamation. 11:24 A.M.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Japan is Different: If you're a Brentwood or Upper East Side parent and worry that competitiveness among moms is getting out of hand, read this Marie Claire piece and stop worrying. ... 10:42 P.M.
N.Z. Bear Revealed: I was recommending that a friend of mine contact N.Z. Bear a couple of weeks ago when I realized I didn't know his actual name. Now I do. ... 10:28 A.M.
TODAY IN SLATE
One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
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First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”