best television show ever
The Wire's writers on the War on Drugs:
Our leaders? There aren't any politicians — Democrat or Republican — willing to speak truth on this. Instead, politicians compete to prove themselves more draconian than thou, to embrace America's most profound and enduring policy failure.
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right," wrote Thomas Paine when he called for civil disobedience against monarchy — the flawed national policy of his day. In a similar spirit, we offer a small idea that is, perhaps, no small idea. It will not solve the drug problem, nor will it heal all civic wounds. It does not yet address questions of how the resources spent warring with our poor over drug use might be better spent on treatment or education or job training, or anything else that might begin to restore those places in America where the only economic engine remaining is the illegal drug economy. It doesn't resolve the myriad complexities that a retreat from war to sanity will require. All it does is open a range of intricate, paradoxical issues. But this is what we can do — and what we will do.
If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.
Since the 3 possible Republican candidates are all running on platforms made up of slightly varied amounts of limiting civil liberties, war, torture, and pigfuckery they're all out of consideration for this endorsement. The one Republican I agree with on several issues is likely a racist nutbag and so he's out also.
On the Democrat side of things, the candidate I most agree with (according to several online tests) has already dropped out and was not going to get many votes anyway. So that leaves Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama and between the two I definitely choose Obama.
- Stealing Life a long New Yorker piece on David Simon
- New York Times piece on the marriage Donnie Andrews and Fran Boyd
- Down to 'The Wire': It's a Wrap for Gritty TV Series
- an interview with David Simon by David Mills, a writer for the Wire, the Corner, and one of the best episodes of Homicide. See also part 2