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Into the Void:
Recent Unpublished Letters to the Editor

The following are responses that Dr. Mikuriya has submitted to "L:etters to the Editor".  The article that elicited the response precedes each editorial.

The tail trips the dog: the servants rule the master.  Response to a November 26 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

A leap back to the middle ages.  Response to a November 8 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
 
 

Monday, November 8, 1999
©1999 San Francisco Chronicle

`SAFE USE' DRUG PHILOSOPHY IS A STEP BACKWARD

Sue Rusche, Betty Sembler

AS IF parents didn't have enough to worry about. Now comes something called
``reality-based'' drug education, and it's being pushed by the people who
want us to legalize drugs.

These programs call for educators to teach children that they can have
``healthy relationships'' with marijuana, PCP, cocaine, crack and heroin,
and that they can use these drugs ``safely.''

This approach to drug education is one thing that drove adolescent drug use
up in the 1970s to the highest levels in history, from less than 1 percent
in 1962 to 34 percent of adolescents, 65 percent of high school seniors and
70 percent of young adults by 1979.

High levels of drug use among teens also produced high levels of drug abuse,
drug addiction and drug-related deaths. By 1979, 1 in 9 high school seniors
smoked marijuana daily. Many needed drug treatment to stop. And so many
teens died from drug and alcohol-related causes, their age group's life span
actually decreased, while that of all other age groups lengthened.

In response, outraged parents organized some 4,000 drug-prevention groups
nationwide. One of their first battles was to get rid of ``responsible use''
messages and replace them with clear, consistent no-use messages in
drug-education programs, particularly those paid for with tax dollars.

The result? Between 1979 and 1992, regular drug use went down by half among
all ages (from 25 million Americans to 12 million) and by two thirds among
adolescents and young adults.

Now legalization proponents want to change that. The Lindesmith Center and
the San Francisco Medical Society held a ``Just Say Know'' conference in San
Francisco recently to initiate the effort to replace ``no-use'' drug
education with ``safe- use'' programs in schools.

The Lindesmith Center is part of billionaire George Soros' Open Society
Institute in New York. Soros has funded drug-legalization efforts for a
decade. Publicly, proponents deny they want to legalize drugs. They say they
just want to ``reform'' the drug laws. Now they want to reform drug- free
education. The Lindesmith Center recommends the book ``Chocolate to
Morphine: Everything You Need to Know About Mind-Altering Drugs.'' The book
claims there is no such thing as a good or bad drug, just good and bad
relationships with drugs. It says we must teach children how to have good
relationships with harmful, addictive drugs.

The Lindesmith Center introduced its new publication at the conference,
called ``Safety-First: A Reality-Based Approach to Teens, Drugs, and Drug
Education.'' The pamphlet advises parents to ``keep the channels of
communication open, find ways to keep the conversation going, and listen,
listen, listen.''

The pamphlet also tells parents to encourage kids to ``be honest'' about
their drug experiences and that ``there must be no negative repercussions
for their input and honesty.''

Unfortunately, some hard-working, affluent, church-going parents in Georgia
took this advice. Their teenagers did what they wanted with no negative
repercussions from mom or dad. Their 12- and 13-year-olds were free to
smoke, get drunk, get high and engage in group sex. Nobody told them no.

The kids got syphilis. One died driving home drunk from spring break.
Another stabbed a friend. They are called ``The Lost Children of Rockdale
County,'' and the TV news show ``Frontline'' introduced them to us on PBS
this past month.

What can parents do? Set limits for your kids. Set consequences if they
break your rules. Enforce consequences if rules are broken. Love them enough
to be their parents, not their best friends. Be the adults they need to
protect them from the world's dangers. And fight to keep ``safe use'' drug
education out of your schools.

Or be prepared to watch a Frontline sequel a few years from now on ``The
Lost Children of America.''

Sue Rusche is executive director of National Families in Action in Atlanta,
Ga. Betty Sembler is founder of the Drug Free America Foundation in St.
Petersburg, Fla.
 

Dr. Mikuriya replies:
November 10, 1999

A leap back to the middle ages

Safe Use Drug Philosophy is a Step Backward by Sue Rusche and Betty Sembler (11-8-99) updates the demonology of this career prohibitionist duo. The dangers of straying from the hypocritical dogma and communicating directly and honestly of parent and child projected by these advocates are pure stupidity. The encouragement of hypocritical lying and dissimulation as a role model is morally indefensible that, unfortunately, epitomizes the War on Drugs. Worse, it guarantees harm to the next generations. A pharmacological version of the rusty coat hanger era of reproductive misinformation, these satanic queens of denial and apologists for hypocrisy and ignorance attack those who attempt to interpose fact.

Attempts to tar and feather Andrew Weil, M.D., widely respected author of From Chocolate to Morphine, George Soros, the Lindemith Center, and the San Francisco Medical Society exemplify the viciousness of these career hypocrites. Their parasitic opportunism to gain prominence and publicity through this bashing is demonization at its contemporary worst.

The dissimulating harpies play bait and switch manipulative hyperbole throwing in drunken disinhibition and its harmful consequences with other drugs. This binary portrayal imposes a moralistic model that is irrational and wrong as compared to the harm reduction model based upon science and fact. The Rusche Sembler direction forward is actually a leap backward into the middle ages of demonology and animism.  They celebrate the tricentennial demons of the Salem witch trials.

They are effective at doing Satan's work under guise of righteousness while bearing false witness and encouraging others to be immoral and act stupidly.

Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.

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San Francisco Chronicle
November 26, 1999

Guards Union Raps Lockyer
Fund-raising flyer calls politicians `enemies'
By Pamela J. Podger
Chronicle Staff Writer

        While California's correctional officers guard dangerous convicts like
Sirhan Sirhan and Charles Manson, the true ``bad guys'' are the state's top
prosecutor, senators and others in key posts, according to the prison
guards union.
        After years of cozy relations and shared largesse with former Gov. Pete
Wilson and other Republicans, the powerful union has fired off a missive on
high-ranking Democrats in a campaign to raise membership dues and finance
an ambitious package of goals.
        A glossy eight-page brochure mailed recently to the union's 28,000 members
depicts California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Democratic Sens.
John Vasconcellos of San Jose and Richard Polanco of Los Angeles and
Oakland Mayor and former Gov. Jerry Brown as ``powerful enemies'' who
threaten the union's gains in salary and safety.
        Don Novey, the politically savvy president of the California Correctional
Peace Officers Association, said the brochure holds politicians accountable
for their words.
        The union, which already rakes in about $16.8 million in annual dues,
hopes to raise an additional $2 million with the proposed increase. Those
dues will help finance the ``Goold Shield,'' an ambitious 25-point package
of legislation and other reforms to make the profession ``battle-ready for
the new century.''
        The union typically lavishes funds on key politicians, including about $2
million to help elect Gov. Gray Davis.
        Politicians cited in the brochure were baffled by the strategy and said it
could sour relations in the forthcoming legislative session. They were
singled out for their comments on cutting prison spending, expanding inmate
rights or gaining new powers to press charges against correctional officers.
        ``Lockyer is very disappointed. We estimate we've defended several hundred
prison guards in inmate lawsuits in 1999,'' said Nathan Barankin, a
spokesman for the attorney general. ``When you're talking about Bill
Lockyer, you're talking about a guy who has lived and breathed union
politics and labor solidarity for 30 years.''
        Novey said he is not creating bogeymen to mobilize rank-and-file members.
Instead, Novey said, he is enlightening correctional officers about the
mind-set of some politicians.
        ``My job is to educate the people in this line of work that there are
certain politicians who would rather hug an inmate than an officer,'' Novey
said.
        Polanco's comments on prison guards -- ``It's the toughest beating in the
state, not the toughest beat'' -- surfaced in the Sacramento News & Review
in October. He was referring to allegations of brutality by guards against
inmate
        Correctional officers have taken a drubbing over the past few years after
news accounts of misconduct and coverup at Corcoran State Prison and other
institutions. Several Corcoran guards were cleared recently in a Kings
County court on criminal charges of aiding and abetting the sodomy of an
inmate.
        Novey said Polanco's remarks show how politicians fail to appreciate the
dangers faced by officers, including 11 who were injured in inmate riots
Monday at High Desert State Prison in Susanville.
        Novey said the union's executive vice president, Mike Jimenez, is touting
the Gold Shield plan as he visits California's 33 state prisons. Any dues
increase would require majority approval and independent certification.
``You've got to go about it the right way and run it like a campaign,''
Novey said.
        But the politicians said the campaign is both mean-spirited and puzzling.
        The union won a new contract with the California Department of Corrections
in the twilight hours of the last legislative session, but the governor
killed a $2 million item for state-paid legal defense of guards after
Polanco and Vasconcellos called him.
        Vasconcellos, who met in August with Novey on prison issues, said the
brochures use several of his quotes lifted out of context. He said he has
built bridges with the union since 1992, when it contributed $75,000 to his
opponent. He plans to respond by sending a letter to Novey next week.
        ``The misleading character of the quotes says more about them than it does
about me. I will do my job with my own integrity. They won't cause me to
retaliate,'' Vasconcellos said.
        Polanco spokesman Bill Mabie said one irony is that the senator has worked
on bills that are part of the union's new goals.
        ``I think it is easier to rally troops if you establish and demonize an
enemy,'' Mabie said. ``They want more money for their Gold Shield plan,
which would increase funds for both lobbying and legal work.''
        Brown, who is quoted as saying guards were earning $14,400 a year when he
was governor in 1980 and now receive an average $44,000 salary, was
characterized as wanting to cut prison spending. A spokesman for the
Oakland mayor declined to comment, and Brown was traveling and unavailable.
Brown has no power to cut state prison spending in his current post.
        Fresno private investigator Tom Quinn, also singled out in the flyer, said
the union has been emboldened by recent court rulings that have cleared
officers of wrongdoing. ``This brochure is dripping with militarism,'' he
said. ``It looks like a tool for recruiting Delta Force members.''

Dr. Mikuriya Replies:
November 27, 1999

The tail trips the dog: the servants rule the masters.  Prison guard union attacks politicians over defense fund AP 11-27-99 Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle

And you thought that the process of government consisted of electing legislators who pass laws that civil servants implement and enforce. Wrong.

The brazen attack by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association on Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Senator John Vasconcellos should be a wake up call to examine the structure and process of government where the servants come to rule the masters- the people of the state of California.

Protected by civil service the state employee special interest groups represented by their lobbyists significantly affect and alter both legislation and implementation. Don Novey the CCPOA president rationalizes his hit brochure as wanting accountability from the politicians. Excuse me. In the private sector institutional accountability exists that is painfully missing from certain sectors of civil service. The criminal justice system is a shameful and dangerous example of government run amok. Censorship and secrecy enables endemic corruption, abuse and absence of accountability. The burgeoning California prison industrial complex rivals the health care and education service sectors in political clout. As unions go, the CCPOA is no friend of labor with their competitive Prison Blues industrial operations.

The glaring lack of functional control over institutions by legislative and judicial entities represents a crisis in governance and a threat to society. Hopefully, legislators will develop corrective measures to enable realization of intent of deliberated policy. One reform would be the inclusion of Planning and Management Systems and Outcome Management Overview disciplines utilized by the city of Sunnyvale advocated by the Legislative Analystís Office.

Unless these substantive changes are achieved, California will continue to suffer from this stupidity epidemic from resources diverted from education and health to the PIC. The consequent deficit in human resources motivates legislation to drain brains from other countries with immigration restriction exemption.

Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.

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Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D.     Biography   Cannabis  Drug Policy   Social Policy