Sunday, August 3, 2014

Legalize All Recreational Drugs

Legalizing all drugs without a plan of action would be drastic but is legalization with licensing and regulation a drastic idea.  The first misconception I would like to address is that I am pro-use because I am for legalization. It isn't the case.  I have a brother who is a heroin addict and it is heartbreaking.  My views on legalization are derived from a very personal question.  "How could my brother have been prevented from being a heroin addict?"

The first thing I realized is that the fact drug distribution possession and use is illegal, it doesn't prevent people from participating in the market on any level.  It is very easy to become a manufacturer, distributor or user of drugs and it shouldn't be.  So, currently the least qualified people manufacture and distribute drugs putting the end user at high risk.  

I realized that regulation could create a safer market.  Drinking a bottle of booze could be life threatening.  Now alcohol is a safe product and the answer is regulation.   Far enough back buying a hamburger at a restaurant could kill you.  The product we consume are made safer because of regulations on food productions and distribution.  The entire success of McD's is that they came up with a consistent product and could reproduce the model across the county.  It wasn't because of the delicious hamburger, it was that the hamburgers were safe and reliable.  It would be better and more cost effective to make sure drugs are as safe to use as possible.

The next thing is that users should be licensed.  This does two things.  When requiring a license you can impose certain restrictions such as users must prove they are using birth control.  That's the big one for me, in this case I am not opposed to forced responsibility.  Either have kids or don't use drugs for awhile.   Just like there are classes of driver's license, classes can exist depending on the type of drugs being used.  The other benefit is that a license really makes the choice to do drugs a thought through process.  Users wouldn't be pressured to do drugs and then immediately have access to them.  They would have to go to a licensing office apply, provided proof they've met requirements to become a user and so on.  It puts at least a few hours between the choice to use and the use. 

People have free will.  Laws can't stop that but if you provide a path to pursue a choice while not making it easy people will be less likely to pursue the path.  By putting the cost of the choice before the action instead of after, less people will end up using drugs and with regulation more safely.  Limit the action and provide a safer market.  Sounds a lot better to me than imprisonment, overdoses and violent crime.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Freedom to Use Drugs

There is no doubt that drugs are bad but our freedom should be limited to the end that we do not destroy each other. Our freedom is violated by the fact that drugs our legal.  People who want to use drugs will.  No number of laws will stop those people from using drugs and making what I would consider to be a bad choice.

The greatest issue I have with laws legalizing drugs is that they actually support the criminal element of the market.  Lives are destroyed buy drugs but more lives are destroyed by subjecting consumers to criminal retailers.  Capital markets and legalization are the answer to solving this issue.

The obvious example is prohibition.  I am going to skip the usual arguments and skip to discussing the product.  During prohibition it was not safe to drink alcohol.  Today there is still a tiny market for moonshine but it really isn't a big issue any more.  Most people prefer to get booze in grocery stores where the product is regulated and safe to drink.   There will always be a criminal element in society but most member of society like to know what they are getting and lead a safe life.  I would include drug users in this category.

I am not saying you should be able to just go down to the grocery store and pick up some heroin.  I recognize that these are very bad drugs.  There would be significant problems if people could use hard recreational drugs in the home.  Where drugs are used should be regulated and there should be safety requirements to follow for businesses distributing drugs.  This would make overdosing less likely and keep abusive behavior away from the rest of society.

I would go as far as requiring a license for the usage of drugs but still providing the right of privacy to the license holder.  This way license holder's may be required to meet specific conditions to use drugs.  For instance the issuing office may require the license holder to use birth control or birth control to be in the drug before it is distributed.  Control as a solution to drug abuse is a much better solution to prohibiting use.

Having said this it is important to acknowledge the more regulations between a consumer and he drug the more likely there will be a black market for the drug.  The key is finding the right balance of regulation and freedom.  Absolute restrictions lead to innocent people getting harmed  Where controlled distribution would lead to a safer society and safer products.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Converting From Atheism but to What?

I have been an Atheist my entire life.  I was raised that way.  Later in life my mother went back to religion and for a long time my father pretended to be Catholic.  My father has gone back to being Atheist.  Even though I knew he was never truly Catholic he tried to get me to become Catholic for a long time.  I think it was to impress his second wife, not sure, she didn't even believe he was Catholic.

Like anyone else I question the world around me and I decided that there is a/are god/gods. I did ask for the some signs and I felt I go them.  I wouldn't say anything miraculous happened but to me it was clear.  Now my issue is that I don't have faith and I don't think I should just pick a religion.  Faith isn't a feeling I understand. I am simply not familiar with having faith.  So I am stuck.

Logically, I live in America where the most common religion is Christianity so that is probably the religion I should pursue but it is very important to get this decision correct.  The other issue I have is that my wife is somewhat Buddhist.  She is not a strong believer but her family is more devout.  She also describe her interactions with Christian people as manipulative and fake.  Apparently, she has had a lot of people in the Chinese community approach her with then intent of converting her and when she didn't reciprocate interest they stopped hanging out with her.  To her it was like they were trying to score brownie points with members of their church by using her.

Then you get to Judaism.  This would be appealing to me because it is really where religion began.  Of the three monotheistic religions this was the first.  Then there's Islam.  The appeal is that the book has never changed, which is the reason behind the existence of the religion.  There is undoubtedly influences of man in both the Torah and the Bible.  Than again there are a lot of contradictory information in the Koran but I don't know how much of this information is bias.  I can also admit because of the probable propaganda I have been subjected to I am biased against being Muslim even thought  I know the least about this religion of the free.

Then there are sects of religions such as Scientology and Latter Day Saints that seem like horse crap to me but I think it important that I remain open to these religions as well.  I have very specific issues with these religions but I don't want to be more insulting that I already I have.   To defend myself a bit I think it important that my audience understands my perspective good and bad.  Please, understand that I do my best to be open minded and I appreciate your patience every time you look past an insulting comment I've made.  I believe that find faith will be a battle and may not be overcome by discussing this with other people.  I simply hope discussion will keep me on a spiritual path to finding specific faith.

At the end of the day I am looking for guidance.  I have tried to be as honest as possible and hope to receive your support in the comment section.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Excel: Don't Use Merge and Center

I hate title creators in Excel who use "Merge & Center".  Yeah, I know you can insert columns and rows now but there are still too many issues.  The sad thing is that this is just the lazy man's option.

There is a much better solution to centering your titles.  Simply select the group of cells you would like your title to be and then right click selecting the format cells option.  Click the "Alignment" tab then in the "Horizontal:" drop down box select "Center Across Selection".  If you have a bunch of titles that need to be centered use F4 after you have gone through the process once.  F4 repeats your last action..  You can also use "Paste Special" and select "Formats".

So if you follow these simple step you will no longer annoy me when you design templates and report in Excel.