Your view of time affects your health
Argentina ponders decriminalization of drug use
Money-poor U.S. state and city governments sell bridges and airports
August 6, 2008
USA Today reported yesterday that people’s differing views on time affects their health, wealth and relationships. And CNN reported last Friday that Argentina’s president wants the country to decriminalize personal drug use. Meanwhile Reuters reported Friday that cash-strapped U.S. state and city governments are likely to sell or lease highways, bridges, airports and other assets to investors. Pundits ponder the value of time, money and illicit drug use, while Barack Obama does blow and lays out his plan to spend your money and take America to a time never seen before.
“I feel like I’ve got time under my control and I know that I could run this country myself ever since I read Barack’s book “Dreams From My Father,” where he wrote that he did pot and booze and blow. Now I’m on all that shit and except for occasional delusions of grandeur, I’m all the better for it,” said Halid Mohammad Brown, a junior U.S. Senator wannabee, who expects to rule the free world later this afternoon. “I think drugs should be decriminalized because all they do is make me feel better about the world and my ability to change it. Sure I’ve got little money of my own and I have to depend on racketeers and anti-America haters to fund and support my candidacy, but once I’m in power I can sell U.S. assets to the highest bidder and get my cut. Sure I’m beholden to Tony Rezko, but then who isn’t?”
Not everyone is so sure that taking drugs and selling U.S. bridges and airports is the thing to do regardless of how much time they have on their hands. “America is holding a giant garage sale right now and selling off our morals and ethics in addition to our infrastructure and our future,” said Nancy Dunn-Wright, a middle-aged muscular red-head with a stunning body that meshes well with her outlook. “We’ve got to get this country back in line with the fundamentals it was built on. We’ve wandered off our foundation and like any large building that does that, we’re headed for collapse unless we get back on solid footing. I’m not saying we need to get prudish, but we’ve got to start taking care of our own bridges, not selling them to the Chinese or Arabs, and we’ve got to start executing criminals, feeding hungry kids and going to church. Simple stuff like believing in god and guns again. It’s those formative things that gave this country the chance to be great and when we dump them we dump our future. You can’t build a future on irresponsibility and moral-less grounds. It’s like building a house on a swap. It’s no good. Time is slipping away. We’ve got to go back now while we still can.”
USA Today reported that our attitudes toward time shape every part of our lives, and yet few recognize how this subtle fact can sabotage careers or vault them skyward, wreck marriages and make people happy (or not). A book, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life (Free Press, $27) by Stanford University psychologist Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, research manager at Google, is not a time-management book. In fact, the one-size-fits-all approach of self-help books often fails because it ignores different time perspectives that really drive how people live, Zimbardo says. The authors say some people view themselves as having time to build and develop their careers and trade hard work now for a more enjoyable time in the future. Others want to enjoy life now and trade current opportunities for more freedom and happiness today. They say that when individuals marry and share different time-value perspectives, clashes can occur.
CNN reported that Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner repeated her call last week to decriminalize personal drug use and crack down on traffickers and dealers. The Argentine government is pushing Congress to pass the decriminalization legislation by the end of the year. A poll shows that just 2 percent of Argentines have tried cocaine, but some people believe decriminalization of drugs could result in much wider drug use. Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, said the evidence generally shows that the decriminalization of possession is not clearly associated with any increase in illicit drug use. He said politicians recognize that “you basically need to get those people out of the underground and into health systems.” The concept has gained followers in the United States, too, he said, citing statistics that show two-thirds of Americans support drug treatment instead of jail time for first-time drug offenders. Last Wednesday, US Rep. Barney Frank announced a proposal to end federal penalties for Americans carrying fewer than 100 grams, or almost a quarter-pound, of marijuana.
Reuters reported that cash-strapped U.S. state and city governments are likely to sell or lease more highways, bridges, airports and other assets to investors. The article said the trend is set to pick up speed given worsening budget deficits in state capitals and city halls nationwide. In May a group led by Spain’s Abertis Infraestructuras SA and Citigroup Inc agreed to pay $12.8 billion to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike for 75 years. Other transactions have included the $1.8 billion lease of the Chicago Skyway toll road bridge in 2005 and a $3.8 billion lease of the Indiana Toll Road in 2006 to Cintra-Macquarie, a Spanish-Australian conglomerate. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is preparing to lease Midway Airport this year. There are unconfirmed reports that Governor Arnold Swarchenegger is currently in negotiations to sell or lease the state of California to China. Not everyone is concerned.
“When you’re short cash you pawn stuff, it’s no big deal,” said Johnny Fever-Blister, an ex-DJ who spends an inordinate amount of time surfing the internet looking for used comic books and cigars of questionable origin. “So you sell a state or two, it’s not like we don’t have any left. And they’re still here in the hemisphere. We could probably sell the same bridge or state or road several times without anybody even noticing. How do you think hookers make a living? Not by selling themselves only one time like some women who get married do. The sooner the U.S. understands it should act like hookers and quit running around the world spending lives and treasure being some do-gooder, the quicker we’ll start running the show again. We know everybody wants a piece of our ass. We just need to sell it to them instead of just giving it away. I should teach a class on this stuff.”
In other news, Iran issued a response to the UN Security Council yesterday regarding its willingness to stop its nuclear program and behave itself. Reportedly the Council is studying the response now. Apparently they are still grappling with the variety of possible meanings that the words “up yours” may actually have. No word on how much time they plan to spend contemplating it or how much time to doomsday they think they’ve added by doing blow during their contemplation.
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