The tragedy of drugs... and liberalism

Rhonda Bye, once a beautiful model and a talented computer consultant, is dead. She was killed by drugs — heroin and cocaine, reportedly — and by her homeless lifestyle on the streets of San Francisco. She was also killed by  the liberal solution to drug addiction, which is to rely on voluntary treatment and compliance.

Kevin Fagan writes the heartbreaking story of Rhonda Bye in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Except, of course, for the part about liberalism.

Rhonda Bye dropped out of school at the age of 17, and married her sweetheart David Bye. He got her pregnant and the two of them started doing cocaine together — a criminal act, if ever there were one. They were parents, after all, with responsibilities beyond the pleasure centers of their own brains. Other children followed, but so did more drugs.

David Bye killed a man in his native Seattle, apparently while on a drug binge. Rhonda and her husband fled Seattle, and David Bye was arrested in San Francisco. He was eventually convicted and jailed. Deprived of his fix while incarcerated, he remains alive.

Rhonda turned to begging on the street as a homeless person. Despite treatment in the sort of programs offered by liberal San Francisco, she continued her drug abuse. She is now dead at the age of 39.

Take a look at the pictures of this once—beautiful woman, linked in the Chronicle article. Life isn't fair. When the eyes see a beautiful woman, and see that beauty squandered (along with a human life, and the futures of her children), fairly or not, the tragedy is amplified. The face of drug—addicted Rhonda Bye looks very familiar to me. I suspect I have seen her begging on the streets of Berkeley, a short ride on the BART train from San Francisco, and a fertile territory for panhandlers. It is the kind of face that haunts a man, a face full of the evil of self—abuse by drugs.

In the Chronicle account, heroin is treated as a force of nature, able to reach out and grab innocent victims. Human choice and willpower count for nothing.

Heroin is surely a powerful and scary drug. People who fall into its grip need help, but they may also need compulsion. Liberalism, with its emphasis on people as victims, and with its unwillingness to recognize the need for compulsion in treating drug offenders, failed Rhonda Bye and her children.

Tnomas Lifson  3 25 06

Rhonda Bye, once a beautiful model and a talented computer consultant, is dead. She was killed by drugs — heroin and cocaine, reportedly — and by her homeless lifestyle on the streets of San Francisco. She was also killed by  the liberal solution to drug addiction, which is to rely on voluntary treatment and compliance.

Kevin Fagan writes the heartbreaking story of Rhonda Bye in the San Francisco Chronicle today. Except, of course, for the part about liberalism.

Rhonda Bye dropped out of school at the age of 17, and married her sweetheart David Bye. He got her pregnant and the two of them started doing cocaine together — a criminal act, if ever there were one. They were parents, after all, with responsibilities beyond the pleasure centers of their own brains. Other children followed, but so did more drugs.

David Bye killed a man in his native Seattle, apparently while on a drug binge. Rhonda and her husband fled Seattle, and David Bye was arrested in San Francisco. He was eventually convicted and jailed. Deprived of his fix while incarcerated, he remains alive.

Rhonda turned to begging on the street as a homeless person. Despite treatment in the sort of programs offered by liberal San Francisco, she continued her drug abuse. She is now dead at the age of 39.

Take a look at the pictures of this once—beautiful woman, linked in the Chronicle article. Life isn't fair. When the eyes see a beautiful woman, and see that beauty squandered (along with a human life, and the futures of her children), fairly or not, the tragedy is amplified. The face of drug—addicted Rhonda Bye looks very familiar to me. I suspect I have seen her begging on the streets of Berkeley, a short ride on the BART train from San Francisco, and a fertile territory for panhandlers. It is the kind of face that haunts a man, a face full of the evil of self—abuse by drugs.

In the Chronicle account, heroin is treated as a force of nature, able to reach out and grab innocent victims. Human choice and willpower count for nothing.

Heroin is surely a powerful and scary drug. People who fall into its grip need help, but they may also need compulsion. Liberalism, with its emphasis on people as victims, and with its unwillingness to recognize the need for compulsion in treating drug offenders, failed Rhonda Bye and her children.

Tnomas Lifson  3 25 06