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: Take control on icy roads
Weather-related news reports have been punctuated the past couple weeks by gut-wrenching stories of death and serious injuries in vehicular accidents on the roadways. No part of our state and region have escaped these sad stories in which icy or snow-covered roadways have led to terrible tragedies.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 18, 2013
RONN MOTT: Media merry-go-round
One day David Wire was there doing his job as Chief Meteorologist at WTHI-TV, then one day shortly after, he was gone.
LIZ CIANCONE: Nothing like the silence of a winter snowfall
I’m not a big fan of cold and snow, but …
TRIBUNE-STAR EDITORIAL: Reprieve from partisan battle
Compromise, unfortunately, has all too frequently been interpreted as a dirty word in American politics.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 16, 2013
Leadership from Ritz is lacking
Raising the bar
Around coffeeshops, kitchen tables and office watercoolers, Hoosiers have cussed and discussed the federal health care law.
EDITORIAL: Negatives outweigh positives of business property tax cut
A tax cut benefits the payer of that tax.
People relying on the services provided by the tax feel the negative impact of the cut.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Auto bailout all but forgotten as sales surge
When President Obama orchestrated the multibillion-dollar bailout of the U.S. auto industry in 2009 — GM and Chrysler were headed into bankruptcy, Ford was struggling — his many critics derided it as either a nefarious socialist plot or an attempt to buy the votes of autoworkers about to lose their jobs.
FLASHPOINT: America’s major policy shift on Iran
In a recent address to the nation, President Barack Obama acknowledged Iran “has been unwilling to meet its obligations to the international community.” In the same speech the president vowed to “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 15, 2013
Work to save jobs in manufacturing
Great story on visit to Debs home
Health care signup positive experience
Help America by buying America
Have a fiscally sound Christmas
T’is the season to be thankful
Suspend Muslim immigration now
RONN MOTT: Thanks to those who go ‘extra’ mile
Many an old movie will show you a newsboy … he’s standing on a corner or in the middle of a block yelling, “Extra, extra, read all about it!”
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 14, 2013
The treatment of American Indians was unjust
Thanks for help
Editorial: Racing with momentum
The news from the NCAA on Wednesday was very, very good. Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Championship Course will host the 2014 and 2016 national cross country championships and the 2017 Great Lakes Regional, one of the feeder regionals for the national championship foot races.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 13, 2013
Let voters speak on marriage ban
High praise for those who help
RONN MOTT: Christmas 2013
Sitting on the front porch in my favorite chair, I began to count the buds and flowers on the Christmas cactus that is on the porch all year. The legend is it will bloom for Christmas and true to the legend this cactus has bloomed consistently around the Christmas season. I counted 40 buds and flowers and I stopped when I reached 40 with more left on the plant. I guess without hesitation that means Christmas is for sure about to arrive.
Editorial: Intriguing option for ISU towers
It’s appropriate that Indiana State University’s Recycling Center on North Ninth Street sits in the shadow of two hulking, well-used, 15-story towers that, if things develop as they might, could themselves be recycled rather than imploded.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 12, 2013
Noteworthy in the news: Another landmark for Pat Rady
A few weeks ago, Pat Rady embarked on his 50th year as a head basketball coach. Last weekend, he punctuated his landmark season at Cloverdale High School in Putnam County with the 724th victory of his stellar career, a mark that makes him the second winningest coach — and tops among active coaches — in Indiana basketball. It’s a remarkable achievement, and he appears to be going strong.
- Readers’ Forum: Dec. 11, 2013
RONN MOTT: Seeds from the same tree
Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India before the turn of the 20th Century, went to England to study law and decided to settle in South Africa, and he did for 20 years. His work in South Africa was involved in the right of his Indian neighbors to have equal access to civil rights. He also worked for the indigenous people as well. When the people of India became restive during the early days of World War I, Gandhi came home.
READERS’ FORUM: Dec. 10, 2013
• Proud of diploma from McLean HS
• Sports could use drone’s eye view
• Another great downtown fest
• ISU’s silence is disappointing
MS. TAKES: Important date passes by without much notice
Recently we were asked to share our memories of the Kennedy assassination. Folks were interviewed for television or radio, or were asked to recall exactly what they were doing when they got word that our president had been murdered.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Lack of vaccinations puts children, community at risk
U.S. vaccination programs appear to have become a victim of their own success. Because many parents have never experienced the effects of childhood diseases such as mumps or measles — let alone polio — they don’t always appreciate the health risks the diseases pose and the continuing need for vaccinations.
Readers’ Forum: Dec. 9, 2013
Remove politics from education
Bill Walton, Larry Bird visit Eugene V. Debs Museum
There’s an essay-type question that shows up on history exams, college applications, “Saturday Night Live” skits and quite possibly requests for platinum credit cards.
FLASHPOINT: Dealing with hunger requires less rhetoric, more action
In November, millions of families in Indiana and across the nation saw their Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits cut through a planned phase-out of a temporary increase in funding that originally took place during the 2009 recession.
READER FORUM: Dec. 8, 2013
• Diving in to pool project
• A timely review of food basics
• Name-calling shows sad state of our politics
• Republicans their own worst enemy
• Full attack on common sense
EDITORIAL: Refusing to accept injustice, Mandela made world a better place
Injustice seldom ceases easily. Humans rationalize entrenched systems of persecution. Oppressed people or ideas get painted as a danger to the peaceful social order — the status quo. Cast in that image, inequality appears acceptable, even necessary, to the masses.
GUEST EDITORIAL: Congress now free from the threat of too much work
The headline on the Congress-watching newspaper Politico said it all: “Done.”
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- Editorial: Take control on icy roads