Why are pols above the law?
With the current behavior of our politicians, you might have made a joke about drug testing them, but you can’t do it for real, thanks to the Supreme Court who ruled a Georgia law requiring candidates to submit to a drug test before being put on the ballot was unconstitutional.
A lieutenant governor who passed his test sued to get the bill thrown out by arguing it infringed on their Fourth Amendment rights against suspicionless drug testing. In agreeing with him, Justice Ginsburg wrote, in the 8-1 decision, “There is no evidence of a drug problem with the states’ candidates.”
Where is the suspicion for job applicants who are subjected to this invasion of privacy? The response: “These officials don’t perform high-risk, safety-sensitive tasks.” I wonder how citizens feel about their low opinion of our safety and risk from someone abusing public office.
Your argument against drugs says they impair judgment and decision making. Among other things, how does this not affect public office? Can addiction lead to corruption with the lure of unaccounted-for money? The decision said, “When the threat to public safety is not genuine and real, the Fourth Amendment precludes any unreasonable search.”
U.S. law does not consider testing without grounds for suspicion as an unwarranted intrusion. People who take pain medication for a chronic condition are being subjected to drug tests to make sure they are not selling them. No suspicion is needed. I’m sure there are other cases.
Justice Rehnquist in his dissent said that the courts are saying the candidates are subject to so much public scrutiny that they can claim some Fourth Amendment protection from the test because of privacy. The test specimen could be taken to the candidate’s doctor. Unreasonable search, how? No citizen gets this kind of special treatment. The most they can get is choice of time.
The court conceded this, but turned it around saying that a candidate can clean up before the test. If that’s grounds to not do it, what stops a job applicant from doing the same thing?
Justice Rehnquist closed by saying, “One may be sure that if the test were random and therefore apt to ensnare more users, the court would fault it for its intrusiveness.”
The court and the politicians of this country have forgotten that “a leader leads by example whether they intend to or not” and this outcome shows they see themselves above the laws they hold the citizens of this country to and are nothing more than arrogant, elitist politicians.
— Mike Travelstead
Help needed to ease conditions
I recently learned that mothers and children are living without air-conditioning in their upstairs quarters of the Conner Center. Though the Conner Center has air-conditioners, its monthly electric bills are at the maximum of the budget. I believe if Wabash Valley residents were aware of this they would be saddened by the already difficult circumstances of mothers and their children and want to help.
Perhaps there are those who could donate to better these women’s and children’s living conditions. Possibly some Wabash Valley residents could help and in turn acquire a tax write off.
Maybe some can do fundraisers that could help as well.
For donations, please contact Rev. Long at the Conner Center or Rev. Timothy Fagg at the Light House Mission. Thank you, Wabash Valley.
— Lynn Davidson
Teach, don’t indoctrinate
First of all, let me say that I have listened to Ronn Mott on his radio programs over the years.
I always considered him to be a humorist, philosopher and historian. I always thought of him as well-informed and entertaining. That is until now.
Your attack on the charter school system was as vicious as anything I have read for a while.
Let’s look at a few things: You state “when you mix politics with education, no good is going to come from it.” You are so right. The federal government controls the education in the “public schools”. Guess what, Mr. Mott, that is the same thing. Our public schools are controlled by the ultra-liberal government, why is that OK? All politicians need to stay out of the school system. Both sides of any argument must be judged by the same rules and guidelines.
What makes a well-educated person? That sounds like a very simple question. The question is simple, but the answer is quite complex. In fact, there are as many answers as there are people.
Government does not understand this. They determine a mold and then hammer everyone into the same mold. That won’t work.
Mr. Mott, your vicious attack has been turned right around and used on the public school system. Both systems are far from perfect. All of our schools through college should teach students and help them develop, not indoctrinate.
In the future, apply the same same standards to both sides of a question.
— Joe DeLorme
Why are pols above the law?
EDITORIAL: Exploring the road to better health
The Indiana 8th Congressional District exemplifies the importance of the Hoosier Health Care Tour conducted by two doctors who also serve as lawmakers — one on the state level, the other in Washington, D.C.
Readers’ Forum: April 21, 2014
Navigating our freedom, rightsa rocky ride
We need to think about farming
Living the dream
Earth Day receives its share of under-your-breath criticism.
EDITORIAL: Pondering the jail problem
Our compliments to Vigo County Councilman Mark D. Bird for taking the time and investing the thought and energy into writing his detailed letter to the editor on the topic of the county’s jail, published in this newspaper on April 13.
FLASHPOINT: Newspapers and baseball: Two great institutions are evolving
There are few aspects of American life that are the same today as they were 100 years ago. Two of them are newspapers and baseball.
Readers’ Forum: April 20, 2014
Testing still best way to measure
Addressing issues of inequality
Perfect blend of attributes
An outstanding choice for judge
No excuses for Benghazi tragedy
RONN MOTT: Spring activities settle into northside park
Some say young love blossoms like the flowers in the spring. It must be spring, because we witnessed the first wedding ceremony performed in the Collett Park gazebo on a recent Saturday.
EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911
Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.
FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction
A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.
RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!
The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)
EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust
Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.
Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014
• A blessing from our young folks
• Confidence in judge candidate
EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes
The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.
Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014
• Mott’s rant on global warming
• Salvation through the Indian way
RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman
In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.
LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars
My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.
Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014
Sound choice for county judge
Giving your car the care it needs
Park restrooms should be open
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)
Honors for outstanding women
Sprucing up around the wetlands
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014
Alternatives to ‘injustice’
EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti
Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.
MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy
Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.
ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.
Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014
• An attack of hypocrisy
• New jail not a good idea
• Thinking about the next election
• Being positive a tremendous asset
• Work status a matter of value
FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government
In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.
Death Notice: April 13, 2014
GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success
The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.
RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future
I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman
When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.
Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014
• An appeal for organic farming
• Kesler best choice for judge position
RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces
I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.
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