It will be interesting to see how that plays out

gandle(4 NE)August 17, 2011

In our local weekly paper there is an article about the county commissioners deciding that anyone that receives county assistance must have a mandatory drug test. You fail, no assistance. I forsee legal problems, but agree with the idea.

In the strange but true column there is an item that says bet you didn't know that there is an obscure law in England that states it is illegal to approach a reigning monarch within 300 yards unless you are wearing stockings. I'll try to remember that next time we visit the UK

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pris(8B TX)

What about extenuating circumstances? Such as druggies with children? Drug addicts would rather do drugs than eat but unfortunately, the children need to be taken care of. Maybe they need to also remove the children until they can pass a drug test also.

Years ago I read an article about old outdated laws still on the books and it's amazing what some of them were. One had something about where an Indian could ride or walk down the street without getting shot. Don't know if that one was true or not. Seemed a little outlandish to me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 1:57PM
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agnespuffin

There are some new ones being enacted that make one pause and think a little.

An Airport close to us is thinking about charging planes to land. It seems they need the extra money to pay for some improvements on the run ways.

A fee to land? Does the pilot just throw the money out the window?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 3:21PM
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rob333

I admit, I haven't given it enough thought, but why not drug test? You're not the only place, I hear. I'll have to dig deeper.

Pris, what about the kids who only get to eat at school? Do we help them during the summer? There are some really poor people out there. We need to help more than just the drug users' children.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 5:12PM
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calliope(6)

First one must make the assumption that living on a 'food stamp' budget is not adequate to keep a family with children fed. If one considers a month to be 4.5 weeks that means the weekly food budget for a totally indigent family of two in Ohio is $81. You most certainly can feed two people on $81 a week and provide them a balanced and nutritious diet. I keep my weekly budget for two around $50 and that includes pet food and household supplies. But I consider careful planning and actually cooking from staples part of my responsibility. You can eat extremely well on $81 considering that breakfast and lunch are provided by the school and the only meals the child would be taking at home are on weekends and the summer holiday.

I'm not saying it's easy, but it's doable enough that no child should go hungry and without decent food under the system. It becomes a matter of priorities and people don't always make the right choices. I have been so poor at times in my life, I wondered if I'd have to make the decision to eat or put gas in my car to get to work. So, I've been there and done that and not looking down my nose at poor people. What I am saying is that some strings may have to be attached to ensure that right choices are made and this one seems to be saying that funds geared toward assistance to needy families be used for good choices and crack isn't one of them. There is no way on the face of the earth a family on assistance can afford illegal drugs unless the monies intended on protecting the children are mis-used or crime is involved or both. And any child living in that situation is a victim of the worst kind of child abuse and it's a given that some sort of intervention is needed. Good screening tool. Is it descriminatory? No more than the drug test I had to take when I got my last job. If it's legal in order to work to make money, it should also be legal if one doesn't have to work to make money and all points in-between.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 7:32PM
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shilty(6)

I don't have a single objection to anything anyone has said here - but I would like to draw it out a bit.

There is not enough money, earned or given, among the poor in this country to fund the drug cartels in the middle east and Mexico. They are getting large bucks from large pockets, and much of the drug addiction in this country is from prescription drugs, with the compliance of drug manufacturers, Drs. and druggists.

If we pass a law, or grandfather one in that drug tests recipients of public aid among the very poor, don't we need one for the rich and mighty as well? If the rich donate to charity, they get a bigger tax deduction than a poor person donating the same amount, that's public money that would be otherwise paid were it not for our largess. If a worker earns more than they can use, they can shelter it at less tax, or defer it at no tax for many years; again, public money they will pay someday that they reserve the right to invest until then. The higher income workers only pay FICA on a portion of their earnings, but the working poor pay it on every dime they make. True - they may end up paying into it far more than they will collect - but many of the working poor that pay FICA on every dime they make don't always live to collect all they paid in either. We give huge tax breaks - public money - to multi-national corporations where the booze and tobacco - two drugs with debilitating effect on our economy - and many other drugs of choice can flow freely, among those more likely to support the drug cartels than the working poor in this country, because we don't require they get a drug test to withhold money otherwise owed the public treasury.

So what would be fair? Drug tests for everyone that gets largess and privilege from public funds in order that they shall all have equal protection under the law?

Well, yes, its much more convenient to do the drug tests on the poor, than it is to demand it from the rich as well. After all, we can hand the poor a cup and send them to the bathroom down the hall when they come in to make their personal plea for assistance, which the wealthy do not have to do to get it.

And since the purpose wold be to ensure that public funds do not buy drugs, and since the poor in this country cannot be what is keeping the drug cartels in business, should we not also try to do drug tests on every worker, anyone who makes enough to qualify for largess from public coffers, all who shelter and defer or have incomes above the normal?

What wold best give all of us equal protection under the law?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 10:11AM
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rob333

What wold best give all of us equal protection under the law?

That's the crux of the problem. It's one thing for a private business owner to drug test indvidual workers for their protection and the publics', truly, but it's quite another horse, one of a very different color, when it's the government testing one select group. I don't think it'll fly. And it shouldn't. Too Big Brother-ish for me.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:33PM
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west_gardener

I was curious about this issue. So I Googled and found the link below. How are the county commissioners going to pay for this program and ." The person would also be referred to a drug treatment program." Hm, NE has "free" drug treatment programs ready and waiting? How about the children? NE county commissioners are ready to take care of the children?

Here is a link that might be useful: Drug Testing in NE

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 7:39PM
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calliope(6)

I can certainly see your points, and they have merit. I have a lot of ambivalence about the social problems we have and our difficulties in sorting them out and making the changes we need to make them fair, humane, and worth the expense we pump into them because it's a given we're going to be forced soon to sort the wheat from the chaff in how to move forward with less funding but still maintain the safety nets and human compassion.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 3:17PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

No matter what kind of checks and tests we have people will find a way to get around them. I have been on a housing board for many years and it is amazing what people can come up with to cheat the system. What bothers me is these people fraud HUD of say $2000 over three years, and they have to pay it back or get kicked off the program. And that less than a $100 a month probably just enabled them to eat a little better or get some basics. but the big corporations rip off billions by figuring out ways to not pay taxes and and that is legal.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 6:53PM
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coconut_nj

A lot of people will surely be watching how this all plays out in NE and Fla and whoever else has passed this. There are so many issues attached and and not attached. How will it actually work, how much will it cost? And of course the issues of big corps and big money skipping their tax burdens is perhaps not attached but....at least equally not fair.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 7:01PM
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