Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, January 7, 2012


Matthew 25:  31-46

 ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ --Jesus, Son of God

There they go again and again and again.

It's always the poor and the powerless who get the GOP's attention when they need to pander for votes.  Florida's much disliked governor, Rick Scott, tried this in his state--forcing people who receive state assistance to pee in a cup to prove they aren't on drugs.  Luckily sanity prevailed, and a federal judge ruled that piece of mean-spirited theater was unConstitutional.

But that didn't stop others in the GOP trying to pile onto the least of their brethern. (Do these people actually read the book they say is the inerrant Word of God?)

What is it about "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me" don't they get?

Curiously, the GOPer are not asking any other entities that receive government subsidies/assistance/perks (oil companies, farmers, corporate CEOs who take all sorts of US government deductions to fatten their bottom line, and the most flagrant--US Congresswomen and Congressmen, whose US government perks would make a sultan blush) to prove they aren't on drugs.

You can go HERE to see which states in the good ole USof A are falling in love with harassing the poor and the powerless. 


Sue said...

The crazies on the right, the Religious Right, are so full of hate for Liberals and our ungodly lifestyles they tune out God and his commands. They never present facts when arguing what a failure the president has been, it's all about Democratic versus Republican. Republicans are pure, they work hard for their money, they don't do drugs therefore they don't need pee tests, BUT lazy welfare recipient Liberals are the scum of the earth, drug users, non-working assholes, we are the reason God turned his back on America, we are the reason for Americas bad reputation around the globe...Blah Blah Blah and LOL! I despise them...

Jerry Critter said...

If the religious right actually followed the teaching in the bible, they all would be liberals.

Rational Nation USA said...

Actually Shaw I have no problem with this, if done ethically. Let me explain

For tax dollars to go to support drug use by abusers in essence makes everybody an enabler. This is not a good thing by any rational judgement.

However, if used to gather data that would indicate abuse is present, thus giving opportunities for intervention makes sense IMO.

If am individual who tested positive more than twice, to pick a number that seems reasonable, and refuses treatment they would be cut off from further assistance.

Following the acceptance of intervention if the recipient fails the test aid is cit off.

At some point individuals mist accept responsibility for their individual and independent decisions.

This is a subject near and dear to me because as a manager I must deal with it in the workplace. There are realities that must be dealt with. Forward thinking companies have EAP's or Employee Assistance Programs. Why shouldn't welfare offer the same.

Perhaps they do. I just haven't had time to research it.

Shaw Kenawe said...

You've missed the point, RN.

Nowhere in your hypothetical do you suggest CEOs of companies that receive corporate welfare pee in a cup.

Why pick on the poor and powerless only? Plenty of well-to-do receive largess from the government, including our Congress people.

To single out only the poor and powerless is cruel and monsterously prejudiced.

I'm surprised you think the government should be involved in this at all.

billy pilgrim said...

shaw - i'm not very happy with the dirty hit marchand put on the only tralfamadorian in the league, sami SALO!

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw, my dear. You miss the point.

And for the record, since I missed pointing it out, the prior company I worked for had random drug testing, all should. Workplace safety you know.

The point... Management had to pee in the cup as well. In fact I was the manager of one of their facilities and I specifically requested that I be tested with the first group of employees sent out. Just don't you think?

The model - 10% of each facility monthly. A positive got you on the watch list and you were retested after your entrance into counseling. You could then be retested whenever the company deemed appropriate and/or necessary, for up to three years.

Frankly from a philosophical and limited government perspective I don't think the government should be involved. Nor do I think the taxpayers should subsidize and enable drug abuse.

Just playing the devils advocate. There is such a thing as tough love. Tax payer subsidizing a drug users abuse is not the way to correct the situation.

Mine might be if you think about it long enough.

Shaw Kenawe said...

billy, I live in a part of Boston just next to "The Gaaahdin" and the fans are not in a good mood.

I thought "sami salo!" was Tralfamadorian for "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

RN, according to news reports from Florida papers, the percentage of those tested who were on drugs was way below the general population average. IOW, those receiving assistance had a lower average drug use.

And what sort of drugs were tested?

Prescription drugs are legal, though I know they're abused, but how does the government know who is taking them for medical reasons and who is not?

It is a sticky wicket. Private corporations have the right to test drugs. I don't believe the government should.

It's like the free speech thing:

Private businesses and individuals can censor speech. The government can't. It's unConstitutional.

And testing people for drug use without probable cause is unConstitutional.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw - Interesting indeed. Limited government is not just a "thing" with conservatives. By your statements you are advocating limited government with respect to individual liberties.

On the other hand you advocate deep government intrusion with respect to regulation, taxes, social engineering and etc.

I advocate for government restraint in taxation, regulation, and social engineering while actually agreeing with your statements with respect to the exercise (hypothetical I believe you termed it} we just went through.

Folks indeed have more in common when they sit down and discuss than perhaps originally envisioned.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN: "On the other hand you advocate deep government intrusion with respect to regulation, taxes, social engineering and etc."

Could you point out where, exactly, I've said the above in this post?


S.W. Anderson said...

I'm sure I left a comment on this. I wonder if it's in moderation or if Blospot got me again.

Octopus said...

The incidence of illegal drug use among the general population is 7%. The incidence among tested recipients on unemployment: < 2%.

Point 1 – Research shows that drug testing is a waste of time and taxpayer money, to the extant that the cost of administering drug tests far exceeds the amount of money saved and/or recovered.

Point 2 – Random drug testing for purposes of receiving earned benefits (not to be confused with random drug testing for purposes of operational safety) violates at least two or more provisions of the U.S. Constitution: Unreasonable search and discrimination against a specific class of citizens. It can also be argued that random drug testing implies an illegal suspicion of guilt. Note: Social security recipients cannot be denied benefits due to illicit drug use or criminal history. The same of concept of law applies to recipients of unemployment benefits.

Point 3 – As a waste of time and taxpayer money, this issue is designed to be a political distraction and a talking point by political hacks that hate all forms of social disbursements. In other words, it is a form of implied defamation designed to disenfranchise a segment of the population, and mask an attempt to undermine the social safety net – just like bogus attempts to privatize Social Security and dismantle Medicare.

Among conservatives who pretend to value freedom and liberty (and quote the Constitution as if it were Scripture), I find their attitudes on this issue to be especially shocking. To express my contempt for this attitude in blunt terms, I regard it as hypocritical, unethical, and immoral.

billy pilgrim said...

as a cracker factory manager i would not want to drug test my employees. there are formal performance evaluations throughout the year that measure a person's performance. i'm sure some of my better performing employees smoke a little pot on their own time.

drug testing would become a distraction that would probably distract people from their tasks as they bitch, gossip and speculate about results.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I checked my spam folder and my emails that come from comments that are deposited on this blog. The only comment I have is in the post below this one. If you posted one here, Blogger may have eaten it. I have no copy of it in my spam or in my email. Hope you come back and give us your opinion on this.

Sorry about that.

Shaw Kenawe said...


Thank you for your clear and accurate comment. Testing Americans who receive unemployment benefits is unAmerican and plain mean-spirited.


It is a waste of time and money.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw - You didn't. The point was made from what your positions have generally been with respect to taxes, regulation and general government involvement by the government in the lives of people.

Given the broader context of my comment as I said there ain't that big of difference between our positions on the specific issue of this post.

I believe I used the words devils advocate.

Shaw Kenawe said...

RN, I have never written a post favoring "deep government intrusion with respect to regulation, taxes, social engineering and etc."

You won't find anything like that on this blog. I'm a Liberal who believes we all need to pay our fair share of taxes--that's the price we pay for living in this country. I agree with regulations that prohibit companies from polluting the air our children breathe or endangering the food and drugs we ingest. Social engineering? If you mean allowing gay people the same rights as straights, I'm am guilty of supporting equal opportunity under the Constitution for all Americans.

Rational Nation USA said...

Shaw - Thank you for clarifying, my apology for any over reach.

As to gays etc., well my stance is clear on these issues. They are well published. You can take me at my word or you can read my post today on this issue. Suffice to say they are very close to yours I'm fairly sure.

Octopus said...

Auntie Shaw,
Forcing unemployed persons to pee in a cup as a condition of receiving benefits is such an affront to human rights and dignity, the legislators should be impeached and held accountable for crimes against humanity. That's how livid I feel over this issue.

Shaw Kenawe said...


The GOP's obsession with piling humiliation onto hardship is just another example of their hypocrisy.

The candidates try to out-Jesus one another, all the while ignoring what the GOP's true credo is: "I got mine; screw you!"

Tim said...

I will up the ante and say that I think that it should be illegal to do any drug testing without probable cause, whether it be by the government or the private sector. Of course, there should be certain exceptions in the name of safety and national security. If a person is doing his job what business is it of an employer what he does when off duty? If said person shows up for work intoxicated then by all means test him and fire him, but why does my employer have a right to monitor by personal private life away from the workplace? I have taken several drug tests in my life while in the military and as a condition of hiring, and at my current position for a background check, and I find the whole thing very demeaning.

Why must we give up our freedoms and constitutional rights merely to be hired by a private employer?

Octopus said...

An addendum to my comment above (on January 7, 2012 8:41 PM):

Point 4 – Drug testing is an inexact science that yields false positives for many types of lawfully prescribed medications, thus placing an onerous burden on test subjects who will be deemed guilty and denied benefits unless/until they can prove otherwise.

Point 5 – There is an element of political chicanery and corruption in this despicable exercise. The governor of the State of Florida, a strong proponent of drug testing, owns stock in the company that performs the tests. There is an inherent conflict-of-interest when any public official advocates a policy change that is tantamount to self-dealing. These details are never reported in the news – especially right-wing media such as Fox.

Jerry Critter said...

Your point 5 is similar to Chertoff and his airport scanners.

Malcolm said...

I was disappointed to find out that over 80% of the readers at MLive (a Michigan online news source) said that it's OK to drug test welfare recipients. However, that disappointment was tempered by the response of a commenter with the username "alittlethisalittlethat". They suggested testing anyone who receives money from tax dollars, adding that stereotyping an entire group or class of citizens because of a few bad examples allows hypocrisy and prejudice to run wild.

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