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Very reasonable points.
The point of the article is that Hart is trying to stimulate a better-informed, less reactionary dialogue about these drugs.
- it is easier to demonize less popular drugs such as crack cocaine and methamphetamine, which in the public mind are still linked, as marijuana once was, with addiction, madness, and violence.
He isn't recommending meth, just trying to get people to try and separate drug from person from environment and realize that these all play a role in how a user interacts with a drug.
- His studies found that cocaine and methamphetamine do increase heart rate and blood pressure, but the effect of typical doses is not dangerous in otherwise healthy people. He argues that research linking meth to brain damage confuses correlation with causation and fails to show that meth users’ cognitive capabilities are outside the normal range.
- The aesthetic appearance of chemical structure has absolutely nothing to do with the effect of a drug.
This is true and there are indeed important distinctions between the two drugs, but the similar structure is what causes them to have such similar effects. His point in saying they have the 'same effects', likely an exaggeration not to be found in his published work, is to emphasize that the violence and insanity often associated with meth is much more related to the circumstances of its use, not inherent properties of the drug itself.
As for why he didn't include heroin, it seems he's just focusing on amphetamines and the specific set of misconceptions about them. Heroin doesn't bring to mind the same picture of an amphetamine-fueled maniac. It's true that meth and heroin are probably pretty close on the addiction and life-destroying side and ideally he would discuss opiates in general as well, but it seems to me he's just focusing on what he knows and on doing one thing at a time, rather than trying to explain these complicated and controversial topics at once, potentially confusing his audience.
> The enemy in Starship Troopers is clearly, obviously, unconditionally hostile. The nuance necessary to paint anything like satire across the story is wiped out by the fact that "the bugs" are super-stupid-crazy bad.
> As the United Citizen Federation expanded its territory across the Galaxy, it came into contact with the Arachnid Species covering an area of it. The Federation initially considered the Arachnids to be a less advanced civilization, however, to avoid conflict, the region of space the Arachnids had colonized was Quarantined to prevent any humans settling within it. Despite this unofficial colonies were created, on Arachnid planets often ending in the Arachnid attacks of these poorly defended colonies leading to massacres such as at Port Joe Smith. In response to these intrusions into Arachnid colonies, the Arachnids launched an Meteor Attack on Buenos Aires. This led to the Bug War, and the Second Bug War.
Perhaps the bug response was an overreaction, but the human's response, a full-scale war with intent of complete xenocide, was orders of magnitude more so.
Perhaps this point was made a little too subtly, perhaps it was just subtle enough. Personally I didn't find the movie very subtle satire at all, but if the movie was a satire subtle enough to fool as many as it did, to me that just makes it better satire to me.