Thursday Thoughts

From William Wordsworth via The Muscleheaded Blog:

 

“The human mind is capable of excitement without the application of gross and violent stimulants, and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this.”

 

Sadly, about 7.5% of all Americans aged 18 and older, or almost 19 million people, have a substance abuse problem. Even more sad is that almost a million Americans under the age of 18 have a substance abuse problem. Maybe I shouldn’t reveal this about a person with whom I no longer associate, but the sibling from whom I have been estranged for years has substance abuse issues. These exacerbate this person’s innate anti-social, even sociopathic, tendencies.

Legalizing marijuana is not going to decrease the number of people with problems. Contrary to the delusions of drug “advocates” most people do not use marijuana, cocaine, etc. because they are illegal. The best available evidence indicates that after the passage of the 18th Amendment, the “Prohibition” Amendment, consumption of alcohol initially decreased by two-thirds. Even though alcohol consumption then increased until the Amendment was repealed, it was still about a third below pre-Prohibition levels at the time of repeal. Most people don’t want to risk legal punishment, period.

According to a study cited here, the total annual economic cost of substance abuse in the US, including alcohol, is $1.45 TRILLION. We ALL suffer from the effects of substance abuse. As a point of reference, that estimated loss is more than the annual GDP of Australia, which is hardly a poor nation.

By the way, many of those 19 million adults have children. A large number of the “kids who go hungry” are hungry because their parents are abusing drugs, including alcohol.

Thanks to Chris, author of The Muscleheaded Blog, for bringing Wordsworth’s remark to our attention.

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Reader David Banner (not his real name) texted me this URL of a review of the C8 Corvette from someone who is most decidedly NOT a fan of General Motors. (I apologize for linking to YouTube, part of the Evil Empire.) SavageScotty could not have been more effusive in his praise for the car. He was particularly impressed by the car’s handling and ride and by the automatic transmission.

David Banner also texted his opinion that if the C8 Corvette had a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge it would be sold out at three times the Corvette MSRP. I have long thought that the Corvette is the best performance car in the world, dollar for dollar, and has been for a long time. Many American cars are and have been meh, but tarring the Corvette with the narrow-minded self-hating American brush is inappropriate, like virtually all manifestations of blind adherence to any ideology.

When I first started working in baseball, most of my supervisors thought I “put” bad numbers on players I inherently disliked for some reason. They didn’t understand that my “opinion” of a player’s ability was based on the best and most objective assessment of his performance that I could muster. I am not calling the Corvette a great car because I own one, I own Corvettes because the evidence that they are great cars, and great bargains for what they do, is overwhelming. Yes, another C8 photo to follow:

 

See the source image

 

From Automobile Magazine

 

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