Reading, Writing, and Urination

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Today in Dallas the Office of National Drug Control Policy is holding the first of four "summits" aimed at encouraging random drug testing of students. "Because of its success in the schools that have tried it, more and more schools are adding random student drug testing to their existing drug prevention programs," says ONDCP Director John Walters.

It's not clear how Walters defines success. As the Drug Policy Alliance and the ACLU note, "The first large-scale national study on student drug testing found no difference in rates of drug use between schools that have drug testing programs and those that do not."

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  1. Success is defined as training students to think they have no right to even the smallest degree of privacy.

  2. I think they define success by number of students expelled.

  3. That’s the nature of “program”. The success of a government “program” is, by nature, based on the continuance and perpetuation of the program itself. “Success” of a particular program means that the program’s existence is no longer justified; this is failure in the eyes of the beast. Self-perpetuation is the name of the game. Just enough progress to justify continuation, but not enough to justify shutting it down. Welcome to the world of beaurocracy.

  4. “Sucess” is the number of pee-tests administistered.

  5. I would expect that drug-testing of youth would increase drug use, since the authorities would be giving drugs another seal of the disapproval. Anything to stick it to The Man.

    Heck, if there were a way to do alcohol testing, there’d be even more drunken high school students.

  6. Evan,

    Great post. One could easily take that word for word and apply to almost any program.

  7. I have a step daughter in High School. I tell you, these kids today are crazy with the Instant Messaging. They can have conversations with several people at a time, as compared to us fossils who, back in the day, had to fight over one land-line to talk to one person.

    I’m a little bugged because I’m always having to kick the girl off my computer, but I see this as a good thing. If these kids are constantly interacting and sharing ideas, I am hoping that this will guard against the creeping fascism. Hoping.

  8. Mr Nice…want to be careful with the sunny optimism? We’re trying to have a pity party here.

  9. Text messaging has already been used to bring down one corrupt government, so the possibility that communication technology is an effective measure against tyranny is already out there.

    As to the governments recent fascination with pee: Baseball players is one thing, but I would imagine that parents would stand up against their kids being force to pee in a cup…oh wait, they’ve already been neutered by the public school system.

  10. I would expect that drug-testing of youth would increase drug use, since the authorities would be giving drugs another seal of the disapproval

    Oh, yeah, that’s right, because…umm…before they started administering these tests, I don’t think it was very clear as to where the “authorities” stood on drug use. I’m sure the kids were walking around wondering, “what does the principle think about drug use?”

    Good thing they administered these tests, to clarify where they stood on this issue, given how ambiguous they were before.

    ZZZZZAP! Back here in reality, it’s quite obvious to anyone with half a brain that any figure of “authority” in this country toes the “drugs are bad, mmkay” line, and makes no secret about it. When I was in high school, I couldn’t go 5 minutes without hearing/seeing some sort of anti-drug propaganda. And that was 10 years ago. I can’t imagine how much worse it is now. They probably put wallpaper in all the classrooms with the repeating pattern of “drugs are bad, mmmkay?”

  11. If these kids are constantly interacting and sharing ideas, I am hoping that this will guard against the creeping fascism. Hoping.

    Just hope the ideas they’re sharing are not the “creeping fascism”. 🙂

  12. “want to be careful with the sunny optimism? We’re trying to have a pity party here.”

    Yeah.. this is so unlike me. It must be the spring weather 🙂

  13. Re: the federal government’s move to crackdown on baseball….

    I wonder if President Bush had to pee in a cup before he threw out the first pitch at the Nationals’ game last week.

  14. The thing that is the most troubling about this kind of stuff is that the more it happens, the more these kids become desensitized to it. Do you really think that after a lifetime of being told what to wear, what to say, and being forced to urinate in a cup that these kids will suddenly wake up at 18 and assert their civil rights?

  15. Frankly, how can these school districts afford to randomly test thousands of students? There was the California school district, sorry can’t remember which one right now, that ended testing because they spent something like $150,000 to find 3 students who smoked pot sometime in the last month.

    I know I am preaching to the choir here, but will the ONDCP ever find reality? At least the drug addicts in the world taste reality every now and then!

  16. I wonder if President Bush had to pee in a cup before he threw out the first pitch at the Nationals’ game last week.

    Hey, yeah, what’s with that?

    I mean, here we’re talking about drug testing schoolkids, but here’s a guy who can destroy civilization as we know it with the push of a button, and we have no way of knowing he’s not some kind of dope fiend. How ’bout testin him?

    Think once a week? On National TV? The public has a right to know that it is SAFE!

    (Did I add enough emphasis to show how ALARMED I am?) 🙂

  17. Not just President Bush, but Congress and the whole Supreme Court too (they’ll discover a right to privacy REAL quick if that became law). I would have loved to seen Sammy Sosa say, “All I do is hit a ball with a bat. You make laws and war, we need to make sure our lives and people are safe. Will all of Congress please submit to monthly drug tests?”

    All of this, of course, will be stated through his translator. 🙂

  18. Someone in CA should get a referendum started that drug tests all elected officials.

  19. …(they’ll discover a right to privacy REAL quick if that became law)…

    Yea, they’ll have floodlights on tryin’ t’eliminate them “penumbras”.

  20. On the other hand, if using steroids would help Congress and the President do their jobs more effectively, I am all for it.

  21. Yes, it’s true.
    The security of the free world does, in fact, necessitate mandatory weekly drug testing for all elected and appointed gov’t officials, from the POTUS and Supremes on down.
    And especially strict testing for everyone employed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, DEA, or FDA.
    I’m entirely fucking serious.
    I wish I had a clue how to force this issue onto the national political front-burner.
    Too bad the only folks who seem to understand the need for this policy are self-marginalized libertarian cranks like myself….
    It is SUCH telling hypocrisy when the most intrusive oversight is only EVER inflicted on the least powerful members of our society.

  22. It’s 4-20. I’m gonna schmoke some weed and drink a beer.

  23. That’s the nature of “program”. The success of a government “program” is, by nature, based on the continuance and perpetuation of the program itself. “Success” of a particular program means that the program’s existence is no longer justified; this is failure in the eyes of the beast. Self-perpetuation is the name of the game. Just enough progress to justify continuation, but not enough to justify shutting it down. Welcome to the world of beaurocracy.

    Evan Williams, that was an incredibly astute post. How are you so smart?! I mean, damn, boyee!

  24. Not just President Bush, but Congress and the whole Supreme Court too (they’ll discover a right to privacy REAL quick if that became law).

    Sadly, they wouldn’t. They’d rule that there is “no compelling state interest” to justify testing the Supreme Court, but that there is a “compelling state interest” to justify testing high school students.

  25. I’m thinking there’s room for some shady guerrilla activism here:

    Step 1: Claim you’ve illicitly obtained samples of some smarmy, puritanical public official’s urine or blood by, say, raiding his doctor’s office in the dead of night. (Stage such a raid, if possible.)
    Step 2: Claim you’ve had the urine or blood tested, and it turned up positive for heroin or whatever.
    Forge whatever crap is necessary to make it all look plausible, and flood all MSM and blogosphere contacts with press-releases to make sure you get some airplay.
    Step 3: Sit back and watch your target twist in the wind as he invokes ever-less-plausible excuses to NOT get publicly tested.
    “But, Senator So-and-so, just to set the record straight, won’t you agree to provide a urine sample to Reuters, or the AP?”
    Repeat ad nauseum, against whatever hypocritical prohibitionist politicians deserve it, or until you get caught.

    I won’t be trying this myself, but I sure wouldn’t be sorry if someone else took this idea and ran with it!

  26. Sadly, they wouldn’t. They’d rule that there is “no compelling state interest” to justify testing the Supreme Court, but that there is a “compelling state interest” to justify testing high school students.

    It doesn’t matter if there’s a compelling state interest or not. The Constitution lists the reasons for which Supreme Court Justices can be removed from office, and “failing to take a drug test” isn’t on the list. So the likely Supreme Court response to a law mandating drug testing of Supreme Court justices would be to simply ignore it.

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