Drug Testing- a significant cause of unemployment?

A sobering article in the New York Times today: Hiring Hurdle: Finding Workers Who Can Pass a Drug Test .

The sad irony is that alcohol use and abuse is the biggest drug problem in the work world. From impairment on the job, to being hungover on the job, to missed days of work due to the after effects of alcohol use. And alcohol and tobacco use are two of the largest cost factors in empolyer provided health inurance programs.

And yet- drug testing and criminal background checks disenfranchise millions of americans from finding or keeping a job because of marijuana use – even though it often has zero do do with impairment on the job.

Most illegal drugs can only be tested for for 1-3 days after use. Marijuana however can tested for for 2 weeks or more after use.

Increasingly, as soth societal mores as well as laws are relaxed on marijuana, we see more and more people choosing a joint in the evening rather then a drink (or 7). And also increaingly using cannabis to ease their pains, to sleep better, etc.

And increasingly we see people being barred from finding or keeping jobs. Even though they are never impaired on the job. And despite numerous studies in the past showing cannabis users tend to be more productive and safer employees in general. (not being hungover from alcohol, sleeping-aids, pain meds etc, and missing fewer days of work).

Add to this the reality that millions of americans, especially minorities, have criminal convictions for non-violent drug offenses, many of which would not be illegal in their state today, that also serves as a hurdle to employment.

Drug testing is an antiquated system that does little to protect the employer, employees, or society..and has little bearing on the reality of the problem.Something needs to change.

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Ebola Meth

So apparently a small police department in Texas apparently posted a warning to Facebook that meth (and heroin) supplies were possibly contanimated with Ebola, and should be brought to the station for testing. Resulting apparently in one arrest.

This disturbs me on so many levels. They consider it funny, and compare to some of the stings ( “you won a lottery” etc ) that they sometimes use to trick wanted people into showing up.

But this is something far more sinister. Potentially lethal contamination of a drug- legal or not- is not something to joke about. Nor is a devestating communicable disease such as Ebola.

This completely undermines the trust and the public safety role of the police. And shows a total disregard for the health and safety of a considerable portion of the population solely because they choose to use a drug that happens to be illegal, and yet in many ways is no worse then alcohol or tobacco.

Kind of goes back to the mentality of my first post here- Drug Addicts Deserve to Die

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Fear… “them”

When this election cycle we were hearing constantly abiut “them” – them being the Hispanics/Latinos. Bringing disease. Stealing Jobs. Burdening our government services. Being murderers, rapists, and drug dealers. And how we must round them all up. Deport or jail them. Build a giant wall (and make Mexico pay for it). And of course- the implication that this “simple” step would go a long way towards “making America great again”.

And of course, we’ve also heard the same about another “them”. The Muslims. Who me bar from entering the country. Whose Mosques we must infiltrate and surveil. Whose neighborhoods must be patrolled.

And we’ve also heard undercurrents about a whole host of “thems”… socialists, liberals, LGBT’s, “thugs”, the list goes on.

And as we see the 3 leading GOP nominees exhibit extremely authoritarian tendencies, I can’t help but think of the famous piece by Martin Niemoller – “First they Came… ”  :

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Posted in common sense, donald trump, gay rights, immigration, politics, social, socialism | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Will Trump End Up Proving the Founding Fathers Right?

The people do not elect the president of the US – the Electoral College does. And while there are numerous reasons why it was set up this way- a main reason was the fear that an eneducated and uninformed populace could be taken advantage of by a dangerous but charismatic candidate.

Currently 29 states, in theory, bind their Electors to vote according to the popular vote. 21 states have no such rules.

And even in the states that, in theory, bind their electors, violating this is generally, at worst, a misdemeanor and a small fine. And legal scholars generally agree that, if challenged, the binding of electors by states would be held unconstitutional.

So, regardless of how the next months turn out- we could find ourselves in a situation where we don’t know who is president until the electoral vote is certified in early 2017. And quite possibly, a nightmare situation where a candidate challenged the election – choosing a state with a court most to their liking, in hopes that without a majority in the Supreme Court- the lower court ruling would stand.


Interesting times…

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Is Trump Capable of Speaking in Complete Sentences?

The more I hear this man, and the more transcripts I read, the more I am dumbfounded by his apparent inability to speak in complete and cognizant sentences.

To be clear- I don’t think is the same level of nonsensical talking we hear from the likes of Sarah Palin. I have a feeling this is something he actually cultivated in his career. Given his long and sordid history of short lived or failed business ventures. His many projects that have fallen through- enriching him and leaving investors out millions. His penchant for leaving the boards of his companies just before bankruptcy is announced… I really think his speech is intentional. A way to say things that the people he is dealing with want to hear, without actually locking himself into actually having said them.

I think every utterance is designed to give people what they want to hear- while at the same time giving him the ability to say, (honestly, in his mind at least) that that is not what he actually said.

And at this point- I really have no idea what “The Donald” actually believes on a single subject (other then his own greatness of course. And even on that- I would argue, so much of this is about him desperately wanting to believe that- but being very, very insecure).

Strange times….

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One way or another, this darkness has got to give

A line from the Grateful Deads “New Speedway Boogie” . Penned by lyricist Ropert Hunter- according to him in response to a damning piece about Altamont by rock critic Ralph Gleason.

The Dead were never really openly political. But after they played this for a few years and shelved it they brought it back in 91 during Bush Sr and the first Gulf war.

It’s been going through my mind a LOT lately. Seems to fit the times yet again. As does their only other really overtly political songs: Throwing Stones and We Can Run But We Can’t Hide

Full lyrics- courtesy David Dodd.

Please don’t dominate the rap Jack
if you got nothing new to say
If you please don’t back up the track
This train got to run today

Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
Heard some say better run away
Others say you better stand still

Now I don’t know but I been told
it’s hard to run with the weight of gold
Other hand I heard it said
it’s just as hard with the weight of lead

Who can deny? Who can deny?
it’s not just a change in style
One step done and another begun
in I wonder how many miles?

Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
Things went down we don’t understand
but I think in time we will

Now I don’t know but I been told
in the heat of the sun a man died of cold
Do we keep on coming or stand and wait
with the sun so dark and the hour so late?

You can’t overlook the lack Jack
of any other highway to ride
It’s got no signs or dividing lines
and very few rules to guide

Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill
I saw things getting out of hand
I guess they always will

I don’t know but I been told
if the horse don’t pull you got to carry the load
I don’t know whose back’s that strong
Maybe find out before too long

One way or another
One way or another
One way or another
this darkness got to give
One way or another
One way or another
One way or another
this darkness got to give

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How Would trump Pay for a General Election Run?

Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t really seen press coverage of this- nor comments from his rivals.

We all know Trump has been bragging that he is paying for his  candidacy himself (more or less true so far), so he won’t be beholden to any “interests”. Which has helped garner a lot of support as an “outsider”.

But let’s be clear. Trump is NOT wealthy enough to finance his own campaign through the general election.

So just how does he plan on financing his run? Anyone? He’s likely to be cut off from much of the normal GOP funding.

I see a few options:

  1. If there’s truth to the idea he doesn’t really want to be president but was just on a powertrip- he could self fund/ take small donations from supporters…and federal matching funds. He would be wildly outspent…and likely loose. Which may serve him well- not having to deal with being president- while continuing to be able to rail against the corruption in politics.
  2. He starts raking in money from whomever he can. Plenty of people- from the neo-nazis and aryan nation to the multitude of, ahem, “businessman” of his ilk would love to have one of their own as president.
  3. Well, not really sure if there is a 3. But if anyone can up with a maybe, possibly legal scheme to raise lots of money (and sue, sue, sue anyone who challenges them) it’s probably Trump. Maybe a fund to “distribute” federal holdings to his supporters? How many millions would the Grand Canyon raise? A seat on a NASA mission? How much am I bid for Vice President? That ope Supreme Court seat?
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