- Counter-Currents - https://counter-currents.com -

What are They Smoking in Washington?

[1]2,648 words

Tucked away into a plandemic relief act, there was an appropriation included toward substance abuse harm reduction programs, with the modest title Notice Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) No. SP-22-001 [2]. The total aid toward that was $30 million — not such a big deal in terms of major government programs, such as a typical spit-in-your-eye war. Given the number of American adults who pay income tax, this means the average working stiff will fork over about 20 cents for it. That’s literal pocket change compared to the thousands of dollars extracted from the average American taxpayer annually for welfare programs, largely benefiting non-whites [3].

Even so, $30 million is a non-trivial amount of lettuce. (If I found that kind of swag as buried pirate treasure, I’d be happy about it.) What would Mussolini have said? A couple of items in the first Fascist Decalogue take a dim view of government waste:

In this spirit, there’s something we can ask about NOFO SP-22-001. Is the public getting its money’s worth?

The subject of harm reduction tends to be controversial, as it tends to walk the fine line between being helpful and enabling. Surfacing recently, one point of contention regarding the grant was that the budget permitted spending on certain equipment and supplies:

It sounds like those “harm reduction vending machines” will have a more interesting selection than the sketchy sundries I’ve seen for sale in the men’s rooms of certain bus stations. Does “safe smoking kits” mean government crack pipes? This became the major point of contention. It sounds like satire, but in Clown World, truth is stranger than fiction.

Thesis

On February 7, the Washington Free Beacon broke a story with the heady title, “Biden Admin To Fund Crack Pipe Distribution To Advance ‘Racial Equity’ [4].” They did some investigation, and found that

[a] spokesman for the agency told the Washington Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and “any illicit substance.”

HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] said the kits aim to reduce the risk of infection when smoking substances with glass pipes, which can lead to infections through cuts and sores. Applicants for the grants are prioritized if they treat a majority of “underserved communities,” including African Americans and “LGBTQ+ persons,” as established under President Joe Biden’s executive order on “advancing racial equity.”

The first sentence was added to the article after initial publication. In the original version, it read:

An HHS spokesman declined to specify what is included in the smoking kits. Similar distribution efforts provide [5] mouthpieces to prevent glass cuts, rubber bands to prevent burns, and filters to minimize the risk of disease.

The emendation suggests that after the story broke, they heard from someone else at the agency who confirmed that crack pipes were part of the deal. After that, this sparked a bit of a ripple. Some center-Right sources such as Lox News [6] and the Washington Examiner [7] brought it up. The controversy led to Congressional debate questioning why it’s the government’s job to help distribute crack pipes.

Antithesis

Then a larger number of mainstream media outlets chimed in to shout down the story. Some of that included the typical sort of prissy faux outrage, one thing that makes Leftists so annoying. The government then denied the embarrassing story, too. This prompted the Washington Free Beacon to write a follow-up story a couple of days later: “After Free Beacon Report White House Says Pipes Won’t Be Included in Taxpayer-Funded Crack ‘Smoking Kits’.” It characterized this as a flip-flop by the government:

Existing smoking kit programs in cities such as Annapolis, Md. [8], New Haven, Conn. [9], San Francisco [10], and Seattle [11] all include smoking pipes.

An HHS spokesman initially confirmed to the Free Beacon that the kits provided through the grant program were designed to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, as well as “any illicit substance.”

After publication of a report on the funding, HHS backtracked in a Tuesday statement that labeled the story “blatant misinformation.” When asked to explain what part of the story was incorrect, a spokesman said the story is “misleading and misinformed” but declined to provide any information to refute the report.

The official word came from Jen Psaki, the Bidet junta’s perky little damage control babe. (Say what you will about her, but redheads always get extra points with me. I still think she’s scrumptious, despite being as liberal as Jimmy Carter’s denture paste. It’s impossible to deny that she’s orders of magnitude hotter than Rachel Levine.) According to USA Today [12] in “What’s inside a safe smoking kit? Behind Biden’s $30 million substance abuse grant,” later updated to the more cumbersome but Narrative-promoting title, “What’s inside a safe smoking kit to stop opioid overdose? No, it’s not a crack pipe,” she said:

“They were never a part of the kit; it was inaccurate reporting.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing Wednesday. “We don’t support federal funding, indirect or direct, for pipes.”

So what exactly is in these kits?

“A safe smoking kit may contain alcohol swabs, lip balm, other materials to promote hygiene and reduce the transmission of diseases like HIV and hepatitis,” Psaki said in a briefing Wednesday.

At least that statement came off without any revealing Freudian slips [13]. Granted, it’s true that crack pipes get very hot and may therefore cause burns. After all, their purpose is to vaporize Satan’s boogers for inhalation.

[14]

You can buy Greg Johnson’s The Year America Died here. [15]

Still, the official statement leaves some unanswered questions. What are these “other materials,” for starters? Although lip balm is great for kissing cute redheads, is it reliable protection against infection for burnt or broken skin? If alcohol is effective against HIV, then why don’t doctors soak reusable syringes in alcohol like they used to do until four decades ago? Moreover, if someone gets burnt by lighting a free alcohol swab on fire while cleaning a smoldering crack pipe, can the crackhead sue the gummint?

So far, there’s been no official word from Hunter Bidet [16], who certainly has the qualifications for being the junta’s drug czar. However, there has been some speculation [17] about his opinion. This could end up being significant; he knows how this Satan’s boogers business works. Moreover, say what you will about the spoiled rich kid and his personal life, he’s the brains of the operation by default.

Synthesis

Was the program as originally conceived to have included crack pipes? The NOFO SP-22-001 document doesn’t clarify one way or the other what was or wasn’t included, which leaves us with a “maybe.” So we’re pretty much back to where we started. However, as the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, a number of existing municipal “safe smoking kit” programs did include crack pipes, so such a thing wouldn’t have been unprecedented. It’s entirely possible that this is what was intended by the HHS, until political fallout made them reverse course and deny it.

Their initial article (as updated) did mention speaking with an HHS official who confirmed that crack pipes were included. Granted, this basically involves the “anonymous sources in the Pentagon” problem, and the Washington Free Beacon is a partisan source. It’ll therefore be difficult for them to convince any doubters, unless they have that in an e-mail or a recording. On the other hand, the mainstream media has been such a pack of liars that I would hesitate to believe their denials and “fact checking” about it even if all of their editors and directors were to take a solemn oath on the Talmud.

Although there’s not enough to prove the crack pipe matter one way or another to a standard of absolute certitude, the NOFO SP-22-001 document did very specifically mention syringes. Since that’s another delivery device for illicit hard drugs, it’s still in the same ballpark. When the federal government distributes dope paraphernalia contrary to the laws that several states have against doing so, it could be entering ticklish legal territory.

Is the public getting its money’s worth?

There seems to be a large overlap between what this program buys with what existing sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics do. They already perform testing for crotch critters, and probably provide hepatitis A/B vaccination. As far as condom distribution goes, this ground has been covered before. It’s a product that’s easily obtainable and isn’t terribly expensive. (I bet the STD clinics will have a few to hand out as well, if one is tight on cash but has a hot date coming up.) Instead of creating a new government initiative to channel funds for this, I propose a new initiative to supersede NOFO SP-22-001: the “I Buy My Condoms, You Buy Your Condoms” program.

In the spirit of the IBMC-YBYC Program, I also say that people can buy their own lip balm and alcohol swabs. If someone is too dead broke to afford very small-ticket items like that, it’s a pretty good sign that one’s crack or meth problem has gone completely out of control, as such personal afflictions tend to do. That would be as good a time as any to do a cost/benefit analysis about that dope habit.

How about actual drug paraphernalia? Again, the program does potentially cover syringes for junkies, although this dope delivery device has raised little controversy. The tweakers and meth heads don’t need to feel terribly deprived even if they won’t get free pipes, however. One of my old friends was a former crackhead, and once while we were at a gas station, she pointed out how they were selling disguised paraphernalia. One such item was a fake flower arrangement bound with a glass tube suitable for smoking Satan’s boogers. So private enterprise already has that one covered. Capitalism for the win! [18] I can already buy my own crack pipe, and you can buy your own crack pipe, if one is so inclined. I recommend against it, however, since abusing hard drugs makes people act like Gollum and eventually look the part, too.

Intersectionality on crack

Let’s not forget that the program was created with the goal of promoting “equity.” It states the requirement to write up “a behavioral health disparity impact statement” within a couple months of receiving funds. What does that mean?

Behavioral health equity refers to the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders. Advancing health equity involves ensuring that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. In conjunction with quality services, this involves addressing social determinants of health (SDOH), such as employment and housing stability, insurance status, proximity to services, culturally responsive care – all of which have an impact on behavioral health outcomes.

Okay, that sounds fair enough, doesn’t it? If the idea merely is about serving all comers, no matter what their personal characteristics are, however, then what’s the deal with the behavioral health disparity impact statement? If your needle exchange and smoking kit distribution center is as welcoming to someone with zero intersectionality points as it is to a Chinese lesbian in a wheelchair, then what kind of disparate impact could be going on?

This pernicious “equity” rhetoric is a disturbing sign. It is an example of bait-and-switch terminology [19] which ostensibly means one thing but is used in another way. “Equity” sounds like it’s about fairness when it really means equality of results and the expectation thereof. When reality intrudes, then the next step is using government power with the intent to drag all groups down to the same level. Here’s the usual script:

It’s doubtful that NOFO SP-22-001 is going to have much effect on society other than magically making $30 million of our taxes vanish into thin air. However, if it actually does any good, rest assured that white dopers trying to get clean will be put at the back of the line.

Procrustes would be proud

This part of NOFO SP-22-001 is based on Executive Order 13985 [21]. That innocuously generic name sounds rather like some diktat from the pages of Atlas Shrugged, in which the hopelessly incompetent Leftist government tries to stabilize itself by performing another massive power grab, resulting in more inept thrashing around and foundering. (Sometimes life imitates art!) The title is “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” Doesn’t that just warm your heart? Abbreviated, this would be AREASFUCTTFG, which vaguely sounds like “Let’s go, Brandon.”

I’m rather curious as to which of Resident Bidet’s handlers wrote Executive Order 13985. Given the Commander-In-Cheat’s cognitive deficits, he can’t even read a teleprompter reliably; much less understand the document he signed when he was installed. Fortunately, it’s not very long, even if the fedspeak makes it a slog. Section 5 mandates government departments to create an “equity assessment” indicating areas in which the department might fall short. (Surely that’s the point of the “behavioral health disparity impact statement” required in NOFO SP-22-001.) Such essays in general will be an impressive make-work project for Leftist busybodies in Washington.

On a wider scope, the AREASFUCTTFG executive order is a gob of liberal mush promoting “an ambitious whole-of-government equity agenda that matches the scale of the opportunities and challenges that we face.” This is on behalf of

individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

Sad to say, among this list of protected ethnicities and identity groups, the Bidet junta wasn’t progressive enough to name bronies, furries, dual identifying beings, and otherkin. Will the persecution never end?

More seriously, those who want to see how deep this “equity” rabbit hole goes can consult the writings of Ibram X. Kendi for details about anti-racism as a totalitarian ideology [22]. The problem is that this is no longer just puffery from skintellectuals given a soapbox by the mainstream media. This is what The System now officially considers a desirable outcome. Executive Order 13985 isn’t binding on merely some half-baked drug treatment program; it applies to the entire federal government. Sections 6 and 7 of AREASFUCTTFG are about “Allocating Federal Resources to Advance Fairness and Opportunity” and “Promoting Equitable Delivery of Government Benefits and Equitable Opportunities.” You know what that means.

*  *  *

Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate $120 or more per year.

To get full access to all content behind the paywall, sign up here:

Fill out this field ONLY if you want to be included in our Paywall Insiders Chat. Keep in mind that membership is open to paywall subscribers only, but there is no further vetting. If you do not want your phone number to be visible to the group, check your profile privacy settings before joining.

Paywall Gift Subscriptions

[23]If you are already behind the paywall and want to share the benefits, Counter-Currents also offers paywall gift subscriptions. We need just five things from you:

To register, just fill out this form and we will walk you through the payment and registration process. There are a number of different payment options.