Friday, June 03, 2011

The pee-in-this-cup-please Tea Party Conservatives

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has instituted a new drug testing policy and many tea party conservatives are cheering. People who say they believe in small government and who claim they love the constitution are cheering.

Florida’s new drug testing policy has two parts. All new hires for state jobs must pee in a cup as part of the job application process and once hired, they may at anytime be subject to a random drug test. The second part applies to welfare applicants and requires all adults applying for welfare assistance to undergo drug screening.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly held that government-mandated drug testing is a "search" governed by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. The fourth amendment reads,  "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" and requires that the government have "probable cause" before a search warrant is authorized.

Random drug testing of people is not people, “being secure in their persons."  It is a search without any suspicion of wrong doing.  Without any suspicion that one has done anything wrong, to require a person submit his body fluids for government inspection seems like a much greater offense to our liberties than say, being forced to purchase health insurance.  Many conservatives, as are many liberals, are very selective about which parts of the constitution they really like. Many tea party conservatives love the second amendment but just don’t care that much for the 1st and 4th.

Many conservatives embraced the“show-me-your-papers” bill in Arizona before it was amended. They supported the original version when it allowed police to demand papers of anyone who had “contact” with the police. Many conservatives also opposed the right of Muslims to build a mosque in Murfressboro, going as far as to argue the First Amendment did not apply to Muslims, since Islam is not really a religion. Now, many conservatives are cheering this new Florida drug testing law. 

Do not get me wrong.  I think welfare rolls should be drastically reduced.  I understand the frustration of seeing people rewarded for making poor decisions. I think we should pick up where welfare reform left off and continue the phasing out of welfare. I realize that drug and alcohol abuse and crime is widespread in many public housing projects and welfare communities. That, however does not justify, a major expansion of government and constitutional violations as being carried out by Governor Rick Scott.

Government expansion and ignoring the Constitution is a slippery slope.  If welfare applicants can be required to pee in a cup to apply for welfare assistance, you may be next.  The same logic that applies to recipients of welfare could be applied to recipients of other government hand-outs.  Applicants for subsidized student loans, for recipients of FEMA natural disaster grants, for unemployment compensation or Social Security may be next. If you accept drug screening for state job applicants and welfare recipients as reasonable, what is going to be your principled argument of why you should be exempt when they apply it to you?

If you support this kind of intrusive, police-state government, fine; just don’t hand me that line about how much you love limited government and the constitution.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Professor Carol Swain to visit Bellvue Breakfast Club

SATURDAY, June 4, 2011
8:00 AM  BREAKFAST (Dutch)
7114 HWY 70 SOUTH
(same shopping center as TJMaxx & CVS Pharmacy)

                                                      Special Guest
Carol Swain            
                                Professor Carol Swain
                         Current Prof of Political Science @ Vanderbilt,
                     Seen on Hannity on the "Great, Great American Panel"
                                           Author of "Be the People"
Meet your Metro Council candidate for the 35th District,
-Tonya Jones-

Thanks for your support!
Betty Hood

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Sidewalks to nowhere

This is not Nashville, but it could be.  I love sidewalks and bike paths and green ways but do we have to build sidewalks so stupidly?

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Romney supports ethanol subsidy

If I needed one more reason to oppose Mitt Romney's candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination, he gave it to me. "I support the subsidy of ethanol.  I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution in this country," Romney told a gathering in Iowa. (link)

Romney has no principles. He can not really believe that. Almost everyone agrees that ethanol has been a failure. Corn for ethanol competing with corn for food has led to higher corn prices and this has led to hunger in the third world. The increase in corn production has led to an increase in pollutant run-offs which has created a large dead area in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It takes almost as much energy to produce a unit of ethanol energy as the energy produced. And, corn-based ethanol may be a greater contributor to global warming than oil. Corn-based ethanol is an inefficient source of fuel and would not exist without government subsidies and protectionism.

Even Al Gore has come out and admitted ethanol was a mistake and he has said the only reason he supported it as a senator and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination was to gain the support of Tennessee and Iowa farmers.

We should be eliminating all subsidy for agriculture. Most farm subsidies are welfare for rich Hollywood "farmers" and Wall Street "farmers" and large corporate agricultural interest. Subsidies distort the market place and should be ended. With the government borrowing forty cents of every dollar it spends, we must get serious about cutting unnecessary spending.  Agricultural subsidies are not only unnecessary, they are counter productive. While all agricultural subsidies are bad, ethanol subsidy is just nuts! If one is not willing to cut ethanol subsidies, what are they willing to cut?

In many ways Republicans or no better than Democrats when it comes to pandering to their welfare constitutincy, they just have a different set of recipients of government handouts. I am looking for a candidate who will take a principled stand for less government and fiscal and economic sanity.  Romney is not that candidate.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day: Arlington by Trace Adkins

A beautiful tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.

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Debra Maggart: hero to conservatives and villain to liberals.

There was a great profile of Representative Debra Maggart in this morning's Tennessean.

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