Tag Archive: drugs

Random Drug Testing Students is Wrong. Wrong.

promoted by Rosi

I saw this in Bob Ingle’s blog and my blood starts to boil:

Six Monmouth County high schools may have students be subjected to random drug tests. The Asbury Park Press reported they are part of the Freehold Regional High School District – which includes Colts Neck, Freehold, Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan and Marlboro high schools.

This is something that all sides of the aisle — strict Constitutionalists, conservatives, libertarians, civil libertarians, liberals, people who don’t give a damn — should oppose.  Outright and without reservation.

  • The government forces parents to sent their children to schools (which I support);
  • The government then wants to take these children’s bodily fluids — blood or urine — against their will because they’re in school.

Talk about government overreach.  They can’t force kids to give up their Facebook passwords but can take their urine?  How is it possibly legal to compel attendance, then compel behavior because of that attendance in the absence of any evidence, accusation or suspicion?

We’ve not just gone through the looking glass, but smoked the caterpillar’s hooka and licked the mercury-laced Mad Hatter’s wares.

I completely fail to understand what benefit this would have except to ruin young lives, even young lives who never did drugs at the school when the school has oversight.  If a kid smokes a joint at a non-school party on a Saturday will test positive on a Wednesday.  A kid who gets tested on Wednesday then, knowing she won’t be tested for a while, gets stoned during match class the same daywill pass the test.

And the kids who failed the tests will lose scholarships, get into lesser schools, see job potential dim.  All because of … I don’t really know what.  

We know definitively that Barack Obama did drugs. He’s admitted it.  If a policy like this were in place his life would have been destroyed instead of being an inspiration to so many here in the US and around the world. There are rumors about Bush, and Clinton tried but didn’t inhale.

We all know many of our high school classmates who are now doctors, lawyers, Mayors, Governors, bankers, mothers, fathers, teachers, principals and otherwise contributing to society smoked marijuana in high school.  And probably after.  Should they all have had their futures damaged by government intrusion into their bodily fluids?

And, if we’re honest, many of us smoked in high school as well.  Should your life have been ruined for that?


Chris Christie Only Hates Some Illegal Drugs

Well, why should this bother anybody? After all, Linda McMahon did say recently there’s insufficient evidence that long-term steroid use is much of a risk to your health. And she should know, right? I mean … right? Promoted by Rosi.

So Chris Christie, the purported Governor of the Great State of New Jersey, is taking his “Win one for the GOPper tour” to new climes today:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the latest nationally known politician to get involved in Connecticut’s close Senate race.

The Republican is scheduled to appear with former wrestling executive and GOP candidate Linda McMahon at three campaign rallies on Monday afternoon. The pair is scheduled to make stops in Stamford, Waterbury and Glastonbury.

Many of these men have developed diseases and/or died as a result of anabolic steroid useThis is in support of the same Linda McMahon who made her fortune with Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment with her husband Vince who was indicted in 1993 for distributing illegal anabolic steroids to his independent contractors (AKA employees classified in the way that would screw them the most). As a result Linda took over the WWE and said she would clean it up.

Records provided by Linda McMahon in 2006 to House investigators demonstrated that 40 percent of her wrestlers were still abusing anabolic steroids, more than a decade after the indictments.  The excuses have been that the wrestlers are not employees, but independent contractors, and as such WWE doesn’t control their training regimen.

Tweet of the Day: Rush

This tweet’s bounced around the last couple days or so:

Forbes:there are no scientists in politics? We have Rush Holt,rocket scientist, they have Rush,oxycontin specialist http://t.co/ylBVOzC #p2

and it reminds me of the year Rush Holt was elected to Congress, 1998, when I was on staff. I had my own reasons for working on that campaign, I’ll get to that, but struck me was how interesting his everyday volunteers were. It was common to walk into the kitchen at his Pennington farm to fellow physicists, novelists, truck drivers, Indian restaurant chefs, editors, engineers and teachers licking stamps and folding campaign lit. Also at that table, Helen Holt, the first woman Secretary of State in West Virginia’s history, and Rush’s mother, his late father, Rush Holt, Sr. was the youngest person ever popularly elected to the US Senate. Conversations around that table went on for days, with revolving personnel. My all-time favorite was a 3-day extravaganza: Resolved: All physicists are Democrats and all engineers are Republicans. Discuss.

My Congressman IS a Rocket ScientistVern Ehlers, a Republican (MI-3, he retired from the House in January) was the first research physicist ever elected to Congress. Rush Holt was the second. I remember Holt joking he and Ehlers should start a House Physics Caucus, because all they’d need was a blackboard and chalk. Republican Bill Foster (IL-14) was the third physicist elected to Congress, but he lost his first re-election in November. As far as I know, that makes Holt the only physicist now in Congress. I think he’s also still the only Quaker.

When I was at University of Michigan, the best learning experience I had was in a class I had no business in, Physics of Music. It was an advanced class, and I was struggling with simple concepts everyone else walked in the door with. I was 17. But the prof personally pulled me through by spending massive time on dumb me, just for the sheer pleasure of watching me grasp concepts in science he thought were thrilling. I passed. And on the last day, he told me why he spent so much time making sure I didn’t fail, even though I was a theater major; because “science is wonderful, and scientists can see all kinds of possibilities other people sometimes miss, because of the way we’re trained to find facts. And that’s something the world needs more of.” I never forgot that, and I agree, and it’s one of the reasons I went to work there.

Rush Holt is still un-slick, still speaks more slowly than other people in politics. But his approach to the issues decided on in the House still represent me better than my own congressman, Leonard Lance (I was redistricted out of NJ-12, into NJ-7).

who can speak with some experience about the need to restore science to its rightful place, who said during the dark days of the Bush 43’s presidency, the United States Congress’ Nerd in Chief

Quote of the Day: “That’s why these people are in Jail”

Somehow I missed this one from the testimony of Department of Corrections Commissioner Gary Lanigan before the Senate Budget Committee last Thursday when asked about gang activity in NJ prisons:

“do we have a gang problem? Yes. Do we have a violence problem? Yes. Do we have a drug problem? Yes. That’s why these people are in jail! Are there gang members in prison? Absolutely yes, but are they in control of the prison? Absolutely not!”

Despite Lanigan’s statements to the contrary, a 2009 report from the State Commission of Investigation came out just a year ago called Gangland behind Bars talking about how and why gangs thrive in NJ prisons. He’s back up testifying on Monday before the Assembly Budget committee, so we’ll see what he has to say about the situation to them, as he’ll probably be asked more questions about this.  

Good Government is essential for Food Safety

For us consumers, the Bush years brought us food scare after scare: spinach, tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, peanut butter — even pet food.  Some died and more got sick, but let’s not forget that for already struggling farmers a nationwide ban on their products can devastate their livelihood. The great work done by our local New Jersey farmers, who are the fourth-largest spinach producers in America, didn’t help them when one negligent farm in San Benito County, California put spinach contamined with deadly E. Coli on the market.  Growers saved a little money on taxes, and a little time with inspectors, and then lost far more than they ever saved.  Today President Barack Obama devoted his Weekly Address to food safety:

There are certain things only a government can do. And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe and don?t cause us harm.

Everyone has a story of government red tape, and as April 15 approaches we will all grumble over our taxes, but three decades of conservative exploition of these resentments has culminated in a government that does not function properly. These failures mean that everyone is poorer than we would otherwise be. Carol H. once compared today’s situation to 1906’s The Jungle. Watch President Obama’s video, as he outlines his plans to protect the food and drug supply:

Time to Reform a Broken Justice System

Tom Moran chides Governor Corzine for not doing enough to stop the violence. Two of the suspects in the execution-style murders of three Newark students had been previously charged with violent offenses, but were out on the streets anyway. Gun control laws may help, he says, but our entire criminal justice system is in need of overhaul:

For one, he could change the drug laws so that we stop flooding the system with nonviolent offenders. That would allow cops, prosecutors and judges to focus on cases like these murders. And it would free up space in our prisons for the robbers, rapists and killers.

“Our system of justice is just not made for the volume of cases we have today,” says Barnett Hoffman, a retired judge from Middlesex County and chairman of the state’s criminal sentencing commission. “It would be helpful to concentrate on the violent offenses.”

New Jersey is way behind the curve on this. Nonviolent drug offenders occupy about one-third of our prison beds, the highest portion in the nation. Even Texas diverts more drug offenders into cheaper and more effective treatment programs.

Moran is right, and Mayor Cory Booker has also been saying these things for a while:

Our nation is not expending all of these national resources on violent offenders. The majority of the Americans clogging our courts and prisons are nonviolent offenders primarily engaged in the use, sale or distribution of drugs. Violent or not, offenders should face punishment — whether they throw litter on a Newark street or come to a Newark street to buy heroin. But when the punishment perpetuates the problem, when it destroys lives instead of correcting them, when it saps taxpayers of their precious resources, when it perpetuates the hideous legacy of racial injustice, when it aggravates cycles of poverty and undermines the very principles we seek to uphold, we must seek change.

As Moran points out, any such changes to our justice system will inevitably draw charges of being “soft on drugs.” The reality is that those lacking the courage to change a broken system that perpetuates violence are failing the victims of violent crimes, the overburdened police and the taxpayers.