Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Musings: Utterly Intoxicated

The sky was a mosaic of gray, pink, white, coral and gold, all swirled together onto a soft baby blue background and crowned by the rapidly shrinking moon, which turned from gold to silver to white, right before my eyes, as morning pushed the last vestiges of night from the sky.

Koko and I slipped out for a short walk between the rain showers that first arrived around 7 p.m. and then returned frequently throughout the night, escorted each time by a cool, refreshing breeze. The taro leaves were adorned with rain drops, and the air was scented with plumeria, mock orange and wet earth.

I don’t know about Koko, but I find that quiet, pre-dawn time utterly intoxicating, filling me with a profound sense of joy, peace and wonderment that has never been produced by any drug. And it’s out there every day, free and legal, just waiting for us to imbibe.

I noticed the Honolulu Advertiser has a story this morning on the HSTA’s reluctance to do widespread random drug testing of teachers, citing its concern over constitutional rights. The paper reports:

[HSTA President Roger] Takabayashi said lawyers have advised the union leadership that random drug testing of all teachers would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which protects against "unreasonable search and seizures."

"We want to make sure that whatever method is agreed to, it can withstand the constitutional challenge we know we're going to get," Takabayashi said.

It seems to me a prudent approach to take, as the whole idea of drug testing teachers is a colossal waste of money that could be better used for other purposes. It was forced upon the teachers by the Lingle Administration, which was simply moving in lockstep with a Republican mindset that seeks continually to invade the privacy of American citizens, right down to monitoring our bodily fluids. Teachers should have been given a well-deserved raise without also having to promise to piss in a cup, and I hope the HSTA can successfully challenge the provision.

More disturbing, as always, were the comments that followed the story, with the majority of those who posted advocating for the drug tests.

It just goes to show how thoroughly brainwashed people have become on this issue. There’s absolutely no proof that widespread drug testing, which now generates millions in revenues for the companies that perform these “services,” has resulted in decreased drug use or fewer people intoxicated on the job.

It has, however, produced a whole new industry for beating these tests, right down to a fake penis that releases pure pee of the right temperature, suitable for those who are watched during piss tests. This product, which is one of many, just goes to show how meaningless this entire exercise has become.

Yet in their usual sheeplike way, so many Americans have just bought unquestioningly into the shibai of enhanced “public safety” that these tests supposedly provide. And then instead of asking, ‘why are we testing all these workers and has it made any difference?’ they chime in with, ‘well, if all these other workers are being tested, why not the teachers?’

Perhaps one of these days we’ll take a closer look at why America, as a nation, is the world’s largest consumer of drugs (both legal and illegal) and why we have so many people locked up for this activity. Or, maybe we won’t. Denial is such a popular pastime in the US of A.

At least Obama has promised that if he’s elected President, he won’t allow the federal government to harass medical marijuana patients or challenge states that have passed such laws, including Hawaii. And that's a big step in the right direction.


Larry said...

There's a war on drugs because it's insanely profitable. It's not for anyone's health.

People are locked up in prison because it's insanely profitable to do that. It hasn't reduced crime (if they wanted to reduce crime, they'd legalize drugs, wouldn't they?). Look at the statistics on racial disparity in prisons and you can understand that there is an opportunity to make money through racism that few seem to object to. We are not out demonstrating in the streets about the inequity. We're not.

We are sheep. Are we counting on Obama to change us into something else? No, we can only expect that he might change himself.

Katy said...

I agree with Larry - important points!

Several months ago I attended an ACLU gathering to hear lawyers discuss the implications of random drug testing for teachers.

One point raised had never crossed my mind: privacy rights are predicated on the reasonable expectation of privacy. As a new generation's expectations of privacy are lowered by seeing teachers drug-tested and lockers randomly searched, our society's privacy rights are subsequently eroded accordingly! To me, this is much more important than the talk of drugs and drug abuse, which is just another trendy fear tactic.

Thanks to Joan for taking a stand - this is a very important topic.

Anonymous said...

"The Whizzinator" site; http://www.whizzinator.com/ also sells dehydrated urine and heater packs, not just the fake penii. It's the magic of the free market!

Larry said...

Someone should get this vital information to the HSTA just in case.

Anonymous said...

If they want to do mandatory drug testing, let them do it on the politicians. Not that it would be any more successful at stopping drug abuse than any of the other crock-o'-crap fixes that the "War on Drugs" has achieved over the last 80 years, but it would make for some gut-chucklingly funny TV news coverage.

Current events being what they are, we could use the laughs.

Pete Antonson said...

I too was sickened by the comment section with this story. There were several who said " so and so public emloyees do it so why shouldn't you?" Well, my response is that those fighting it, mainly the teachers, are less a bunch of spineless jellyfish who meekly submitted to such demeaning treatment with limited efficacy. Shame on those who do!
Nationwide, the teachers unions are among the last with any clout. This is why they are targeted.
I admit my bias. I was once in a targeted union. Now, in addition to working with long term care at Wilcox, I am on a public school faculty; but, in a union different from the teachers. I support them completely.
I was beyond astonished at the courts upholding these procedures. the only thing more astonishing has been confiscating drug related property before trial. The teachers are a vangard for this issue and deserve your support. The opposition deserves the opposite.

Anonymous said...

I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue.

When landlords turn the drunken bee
Out of the foxglove's door,
When butterflies renounce their drams,
I shall but drink the more!

Till seraphs swing their snowy hats,
And saints to windows run,
To see the little tippler
Leaning against the sun!

Emily Dickinson

Anonymous said...

Candy is dandy,
But liquor is quicker.

-- Anon

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than an frontal lobomoty.

-- Anon

HE: "You're ugly!"

SHE: "You're drunk!!"

HE: "In the morning I'll be sober again, but you'll still be ugly!"

-- WC Fields (?)

God gave us beer to show that he loves us.

-- Ben Franklin