Sunday, February 28, 2016


Reality TV this weekend, America's drug of choice. Stephen Curry last night. Salt. Lake. City. Last. Night.  Oscars tonight - what's fact, what's fiction. 32,000 for Trump/Sessions in Alabama. Apple/FBI. Supreme Court. White House. Oval Office. Only in America. What a country. 

The documentary of Dub - a former Utah sheriff and SWAT innovator. Today, Dub cheerfully reconstructs crime scenes - including the raid by his own SWAT on his own son-in-law. (Apple) In this scene from the film, Dub reconstructs a crime scene firefight inside the home of a US Army veteran suspected of growing marijuana.

"America" - who exactly isn't yet 100% confirmed - found time to name Appalachia the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) of 2015, according to Huntington News this Saturday (2/27/2016). The paper implies it was the Executive Office of the President. I am not yet able to source independent corroboration - except via LA HIDTA Twitter handle. Checked Google. Checked Nor am I am able to source a press release from the City of Huntington congratulating HIDTA (city). My assumption is that the award is legit but the "media signal" is weak. That said, the details of this 2016 webpage are pretty amazing. Right down to the Underwood Law Offices in the left rail ad strip.  

Assuming that the Appalachia HIDTA did in These were the 28 candidates. 

White House (source)

Purple Appalachia block took top billing 2015. "The Appalachia HIDTA was established in 1998, and its region consists of 65 counties in Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia." Huntington News Feb 2016. Huntington sits on I-64 east "downstream" from Lexington, Louisville, and St Louis/Chicago arterial commercial traffic from Mexico. Huntington is a LEAD city - modeled on law enforcement assisted diversion (hence, LEAD) programs for repeat criminal justice offenders in Seattle, Washington. Appalachia is the same HIDTA into which Obama rolled in October 2015 (White House). FY2017 Obama allocated $1.1B to portfolio to "combat" opioids and opioid dependents (White House); the whole Office of National Drug Control Policy budget is ~$31B - up about a $1B over 2016 (again, White House).

It it is appropriate to understand these states as high intensity drug trafficking areas.

Trends in Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics and Heroin (source)

The Appalachian high intensity drug market includes Harlan County. HIDTA distributes drug test kits through the Harlan sheriff with a request that parents return a questionnaire indicating outcomes and enumerating positive drugs (true story)  Kentucky State Police contributed the HIDTA executive director in 2011 (Lexington Hearld). Tragically documented in Oxyana (Dunne 2013) and Dreamland (Quinones 2015). The map below locates Portsmouth, Ohio and Huntington, West Virginia along the Ohio River - the hydrologic border between Ohio and Kentucky.

These maps also frame the geopolitics of distressed American communities and the rise Donald Trump. GOP Convention headed for Cleveland. Happy Super Tuesday, 2016.

Interactive New York Times Map of Trump Support (December 2015)

No comments:

Post a Comment