Gears, How The Fuck Do They Work?

Howie has an interesting link to a piece on Obama and the drug war. Everybody go read it but please come back, because I’m going to nerd out on you about the graphic that illustrates it.

So, OK, there are 4 gears. But one of them, the CIA gear, isn’t part of what I’m getting at here. Just look at the bank gear, the prison gear, and the money gear. They’re interlocked. And you can’t have an odd number of interlocking gears.

Each gear turns the gear next to it the opposite way that it goes. So if the money gear is going clockwise, it will turn the bank gear counterclockwise that will turn the prison gear clockwise and it will go back and turn the money gear counterclockwise. So now that gear wants to go both clockwise and counterclockwise. So instead of a clockwork, it’s just a few unmoving gears.

Or maybe they’re not meant to be interlocking and they’re just meant to symbolize different gears in a larger machine. Then they should be further spaced out.


  1. 1

    Tea for everyone spews:

    If the Debt gear is going clockwise…I like that one, it is running so fast that the spring will soon bust.

    Tax the Rich as Buffett says, and it will only take 514 year to pay off the 2011 deficit!

    Real Progress

  2. 2


    While I appreciate Howie’s sentiments, that is just a crap graphic in so many ways. The whole point about the gear train not working is true enough, the graphic completely ignores its whole teeth meshing problem. I could get even geekier, but that’s enough.

  3. 9

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    Those gears work as well as the war on drugs.

    Yeah, just like the usefulness of a screen door in a submarine!