The World Turned Upside Down

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Check this out: We don’t have a right to be free from being groped by the TSA or stopped and searched for absolutely no specific reason when we’re out driving… but maggots on the public teat can’t be subjected to drug testing as a condition of their welfare because it constitutes an “unreasonable search” –

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge temporarily blocked Florida’s new law that requires welfare applicants to pass a drug test before receiving benefits on Monday, saying it may violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures.

Judge Mary Scriven ruled in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 35-year-old Navy veteran and single father who sought the benefits while finishing his college degree, but refused to take the test. The judge said there was a good chance plaintiff Luis Lebron would succeed in his challenge to the law based on the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from being unfairly searched.

The drug test can reveal a host of private medical facts about the individual, Scriven wrote, adding that she found it “troubling” that the drug tests are not kept confidential like medical records. The results can also be shared with law enforcement officers and a drug abuse hotline.

“This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a ‘far more substantial’ invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases,” said Scriven, who was appointed by President George W. Bush.

The judge also said Florida didn’t show that the drug testing program meets criteria for exceptions to the Fourth Amendment.

The injunction will stay in place until the judge can hold a full hearing on the matter. She didn’t say when that hearing will be scheduled.

More than two-dozen states have also proposed drug-testing recipients of welfare or other government assistance, but Florida was the first state to enact such a law in more than a decade. Should any of those states pass a law and face a court challenge, Scriven’s ultimate ruling would likely serve as a legal precedent.

The law’s proponents include Gov. Rick Scott, who said during his campaign the measure would save $77 million. It’s unclear how he arrived at those figures. A spokesman for the Florida Department of Children and Families deferred all comments to the governor’s office.

“Drug testing welfare recipients is just a common-sense way to ensure that welfare dollars are used to help children and get parents back to work,” said Jackie Schutz, a spokeswoman for Scott. “The governor obviously disagrees with the decision and he will evaluate his options regarding when to appeal.”

Earlier this year, Scott also ordered drug testing of new state workers and spot checks of existing state employees under him. But testing was suspended after the American Civil Liberties Union also challenged that policy in a separate lawsuit.

Nearly 1,600 applicants have refused to take the test since testing began in mid-July, but they aren’t required to say why. Thirty-two applicants failed the test and more than 7,000 have passed, according to the Department of Children and Families. The majority of positives were for marijuana.

State officials said Monday that applicants previously denied benefits for testing positive or refusing the test could reapply immediately. The Department of Children and Families will also approve all pending applications that await drug test results.

Supporters had argued applicants skipped the test because they knew they would have tested positive for drugs. Applicants must pay $25 to $35 for the test and are reimbursed by the state if they pass. It’s unclear if the state has saved money.

Under the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families program, the state gives $180 a month for one person or $364 for a family of four.

Those who test positive for drugs are ineligible for the cash assistance for one year, though passing a drug course can cut that period in half. If they fail a second time, they are ineligible for three years.

Lebron, who is the sole caretaker of his 4-year-old son, said he’s “happy that the judge stood up for me and my rights and said the state can’t act without a reason or suspicion.”

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Any person with a drug problem can go to drug treatment centers and ask for help there.

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  1. I have worked since I was 13 years old. I am now 68 and retired for about a year. I paid for Social Security my entire life. My last job I worked as an Emergency and Trauma RN working 12 hour nights with a 1 1/2 hour drive each way in a 52 bed emergency room where many nights we worked steady all night without time out for lunch or breaks. It was hard and demanding work and I was glad to finally retire from it after 25 years.

    I totally resent being labeled a maggot because I am drawing Social Security. This was a pact that the government made and just because congress chose to gut Social Security to use the money for their own short-sighted interests, they still owe me and people like me the benefits promised. If congress had left the money alone in SS and it was properly managed then the money would certainly have been there for our retirement.

    Due to all the ridiculous shenagins that our government has been pulling and due to my own problems with divorce and re-marriage I need the SS. I cannot afford to retire in the U.S. and particularly in California where I was living. My wife and I have retired to Ecuador where it costs less to live than I payed for utilities in the U.S. I can easily live on the SS here for as long as it lasts. We grow our own food so I know it is organic and healthful. If SS will only last for a few years while we get everything completely set up we will be in good shape for many, many years. I imagine I will draw out of SS much less than I paid in since I don’t expect it to last, but at least it will give me a chance to get settled and ready for whatever comes.

    • I understand your anger; I’m also angry that the government is forcibly stealing money from me each week – so as to provide SS benefits to people I owe no obligation to!

      It’s really simple: You’ve been defrauded (as has everyone else who “paid in” – that is, who had money taken from them). But just as you don’t have the moral right, if mugged, to mug the next guy who comes along to make up for your loss, neither do you have a right to reach into my pocket (using the government to do the actual taking) to make you whole.

      This is the essential evil of our entire system – not just SS.

      Let’s be crystal clear: What SS does is take by force money from Smith to pay Jones a benefit. Smith’s money is gone – spent. There is no account with Smith’s name on it; in order to pay future benefits to Smith, another victim – let’s call him Edwards – must be lined up and forced to hand over money (his money; money that he earned and which no one else has any moral right to) in order to pay those benefits to Smith.

      Thus, we’re all reduced to mutual parasitism at gunpoint.

      Meanwhile, had you been left in peace during your working life – and allowed to keep all that money that was taken from you in “contributions” – you would have a tidy retirement nest egg. Your nest egg. Morally clean. Not taken at gunpoint from your fellow man.

  2. I collect SS retirement benefits. I was disabled in 2007 during a lumbar spinal fusion that failed, causing intractable pain & an ever increasing list of debilitating conditions due to that butcher of a surgeon destroying my chances of recovery. The damage is so bad that no other doctor will even attempt to try to redo it or even remove the broken hardware in my spine, so my life has been reduced to survival in poverty because I cannot work when this physically unstable.
    I lost a 15 year job when my former boss sold his practice that I managed to a medicaid mill piece of trash who has been bilking the government out of millions over the last 20 years-in fact-he also lived alone in & had for sale when he bought our office, a 7 million dollar home in Fairfax Co. Va. Not only did he own several offices in different states, he also had multiple dummy corporations where he engaged in SUTA Dumping. He also deducted taxes from our checks & pocketed them, never reported new employees, issued W2’s & even denied employing us.
    When investigating this garbage I tried to report him to every government watchdog office regarding taxes, Suta dumping, fraud, malpractice, medicaid abuses, on & on…& I got ONE reply-from the IRS. They wanted ME to do THEIR job of investigating & then get back to them! {The average gov. worker salary is 6 figures -for sitting on their asses!}
    I was too busy to do their job though, I had to play lawyer for myself against him when he lied straight out about my losing my job. I won the case. But it’s amazing that as employees are threatened w/ fines &or jail for lying on application for UI benefits, yet scumbags like him can do it & not a single repercussion is even a worry for them. And THOSE are just a few examples of gov. waste & mismanagement I have dealt with in the last 3 years or so.
    On top of that, I could not sue the butcher who maimed me. WHY? Because of a clause in my health insurance policy that states if I did & won, that they will take the ENTIRE award, therefore no lawyers are willing to fight for justice for me & others when it’s a losing proposition for our side, even with a win.
    I am now dependent on heavy class 3 meds that are the only meds that help me function in this godawful constant pain & what ELSE do I deal with? The damned DEA. The “WAR ON DRUGS” that has made drug cartels to street dealers to BIG PHARM & MD’s rich as HELL on my pain, & on others like me. I am a prisoner of pain as are so many others & yet I am treated like scum when I need help from an ER everytime the DEA scares another doc right out of business & leaves me searching for help. The medical bills are incalculable & ever mounting.
    THEN! Medicare kicked in & began deducting another $130.00 a month for 2 coverages I can’t use, so my annual income is less than 16,000.00. YET-I bring in too much money to get assistance in medicaid, food stamps or housing.
    My rent is $500.00 a month. I have no script coverage so my doc & meds are about $650.00 a month. Out of the remaining I have utilities, food, car insurance {My car sits unregistered bc I can’t afford Florida’s over $400.00 fees} & other things…yet I am SO wealthy living on less than half of what I earned I don’t qualify for add’l help? I cannot even afford to buy insurance for what I need insured, scripts & dental!
    So, I do not like to be grouped in with generational welfare system abusers. I am not a maggot. I am 56 & have worked since age 15 paying into the system that is continuing to screw me & all others disabled like me-for all those 35+ years. Especially when I see illegals on the system who bilk it SO easily. Especially since I did things the legal way & had surgery to stop pain so I could continue to support myself & family-was wronged & have no way to regain my previous life.
    What I am now is a guinea pig for BigPharm {I call it PigFarm} & a steady source of revenue for the almighty AMA because there’s not a chance in hell there will be a cure for me.
    And what is REALLY disgusting is that laser surgery was AVAILABLE that is far superior to fusion yet-was never offered to me. WHY? My insurance was Aetna PPO. They pay less to docs than Medicaid. THAT’S why.
    We are subjected to whatever the big 3 above decide we should have in healthcare choices &/or quality of care.
    I feel as duped as the next guy in this country & as I said-don’t call me a maggot. I worked HARD over all those years & earned the benefits I got., but they are so inadequate that I have had to use my retirement money to keep a roof over our heads now since my being fired. I also could no longer collect UI because I could not apply for jobs anymore-so I started the SS Disability process. During that time I had no income, luckily my attorney was brilliant & I had approval in 4 months. I was VERY lucky-most have waited YEARS. I had to move south bc I cannot tolerate cold weather so am now alone here. So much of this didn’t have to be this way if the government were not told what to do by the big 3 & so many more of us COULD have been still productive if the interest in profits were NOT more important than the interests in this country’s working class citizens health & well being.

    • Hi Kathy,

      This is a horrible story; I’m sorry you had to go through all of this. And your points about the system are spot on. I agree with you that one of the worst aspects is the way they impoverish us, directly (via the “contributions”) and indirectly (via the needlessly hiked-up costs of things like medicine etc. that happen as a result of the bureaucracy, waste and fraud. I also agree that you’re not in the same class as the “maggots” who are looking to game the system because your intentions are honorable. Still – and I know this is not going to be what you want to hear – SS benefits are the result of threatening your fellow men with violence and so the same thing as any other type of transfer payment, even though your intentions are honorable. You were robbed – just like every other person who has been forced to “contribute” to SS. Your money is as gone as the money a street thug took from his last victim. Does your misfortune (does anyone’s misfortune) give them the moral right to use force (via the government or otherwise) to victimize some other person in order to make up for their loss? I don’t see how it does.

      There is a great deal of real need out there; people who are suffering through no fault of theirs – bad luck or bad times. It is right to feel empathy; wonderful to want to want to help. But is it right to use force against others – to threaten to put them in a cage, to take their rightful property, to direct possibly lethal violence against them – in order to to compel them to help or punish them if they decline to help?

      I don’t see how it can ever be.

      Moreover, once you make an exception – once using force to “help” another for any reason is accepted – a precedent has been established – and the principle accepted. And once that happens, we eventually get to where we are now, the full-bloom transfer state, with each of us using the force of the state to feed off our neighbors and make them do “x” because we think it’s good or safe or efficient, etc. It is no longer possible to draw a line in the sand and say this far and no farther. After all, “need” is open-ended and impossible to objectively define. But rights are possible to objectively define – and defend. If we want to define and defend them. It really is an either-or situation. Either you believe that is never morally permissible to threaten other people with violence who have done you no wrong – or you don’t. If you do, then you have every right to resent those who would use force. And if you don’t, the you no longer have any moral basis for resenting threats directed against you.

      I don’t want a society based on violence – and I’d like to be in a position to argue against it, without being accused of hypocrisy – and that is why I tell it like it us about SS, even though I know a great many people do not want to hear what I have to say.

  3. Having read through most of this thread, first, I am against drug testing of people receiving government benefits. In my opinion, the drug laws are unconstitutional, the war on drugs is unconstitutional, therefore, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    In a better economy, I would be against most welfare and food stamps, however, in this day and age, things are so screwed up, we actually do need these programs.

    The libertarian doctrine of free trade has wrecked the economy and productive capacity of this country. Over 110,000 factories have closed their doors since 1972 with over 40,000 closing since Jackboot Clinton left office in January 2001. It is important to note that these trends were in place a long time before NAFTA and the GATT agreements were enacted in 1993 and 1994.

    When I graduated from college in 1986, the only jobs that were really taking off were defense (ie government ) industry jobs. I started my career at General Dynamics at Fort Worth. Never did I have a more mind numbing, boring existence as I did there. At the end of it all, I wanted to shoot myself. More than half of the jobs that I have had were related to government, something that I, as a paleo-conservative with a libertarian bent, am not proud of at all. It was either work them or starve. I choose to eat. I am lucky enough to be in the oil industry and am finally at ease with what I am doing.

    Back to free trade and how it all relates to this welfare issue…. If we had adopted a protectionist stance, we would likely still have those 110,000 factories, jobs would be available and likely many of those people receiving aid would be shamed into working. They would likely be looked on with disdain as they collected their government check instead of a private paycheck.

    I don’t like paying 30% of my income to this dysfunctional, abbarent and illegitimate government, however, I can’t blame the people for taking the bennies if they can. The government has truly fucked the people hard over the last 40 years. Most people placidly go along. I am not endorsing welfare or anything like it, but I understand it.

    Until we toss free trade in a landfill, bury it, and build our industries back, we are not going to come out of this ditch. All of this talk about cutting this and that from the budget is the equivalent of fiddling while the damned building burns to the ground. In addition, we have cut taxes 8 times since Reagan cut the top rates from 70 to 50 percent in 1981-1983. Cutting taxes is great, but we have had 5 recessions since, so its no cure at all.

    I must admit, though, I am growing resentful of a system that has taken more than $150,000 from my pay over the last 25 years and given us the TSA, the Department of Homeland Security, VIPR roadblocks, section 8 housing, bad schools and the IRS. It’s time to throw the whole damned thing in the woods.

    • There is no free trade. What is called free trade is neither free trade nor libertarian. It is managed trade. Trade managed for the purpose of dismantling the USA’s manufacturing base and the benefit of those doing the management and who they do it for.

      Also a libertarian world would not have the conditions that make China and other nations so cheap to make things in, that is the government created conditions that allow for exploitation of people by running roughshod over their rights.

      Sure, they would still have cheap labor but it would be in proportion to their productivity. Americans would be more productive and automation would preserve higher paying US based manufacturing. Sure it would be fewer people per factory, per unit of production, but with a true free market capitalism environment there would be a lot more businesses and a lot more factories to make up for it.

      But instead of free market, the USA went fascist, corporatist, crony capitalist. Competition is restricted. Who can be certain businesses is restricted. There are high barriers to entry. Licenses. approval from government, etc and so on. Can’t even sell ice cream made in your kitchen with fresh ingredients these days. Hot dog cart? Nope. Laws against selling any place near where someone else has a spot or restaurant. Manufacturing business? well ask Mr. Melon.

      So what killed the economy? The people who have power. There wasn’t any free market to begin with, so it’s not the cause. The unfree market is.

      Oh, I forget… what about the real world where China is still unfair to its people and so on? Well I believe the USA can beat China. I’ve seen many vendors do so. But conditions in the USA often prevent it. Fixed costs of taxes, regulatory issues, and so on. Labor costs can be solved with capital equipment. New businesses and innovation can replace those where low skill labor cost dominate and are lost to overseas. But we can’t have that because if you want a new business these days you better get friends in government… otherwise government has given your competitor a big fat loan or grant. Or maybe sees you as a target to extract wealth from. Or your competitor has a law passed to put you out of business. So people stop bothering to try. The nation becomes poorer.

      So it goes.

      Someday maybe there will be a place where a free market is tried.

      • I agree with most of what you say. My position is this – you can’t have free trade with unfree countries. Corporations and government have been the main beneficiaries of the managed trade system we have now in place.

        I agree that we need to end the fed, throw the bankers underground, and spend the next 4 years repealing counterproductive regulations on business and individuals. I believe that would help, but the cold hard fact is that you cannot compete against slave labor. No amount of public education, free market or anything like that will prevent the obese brain dead, sugar addled Americun from buying the cheapest shit possible at Wal-Mart and Home Depot, which puts their neighbors out of work. They will travel to the edge of town to save 50 cents on a lousy hammer made in China.

        The constitution allows the federal government to impose tariffs and excise taxes on goods coming into this country for a reason. Prior to the 1900’s, it was the primary way the government was funded. Tariffs were not perfect, but they allowed the country to grow into the worlds largest economy by the 1920s.

        I believe in free markets, but you can’t compete with unfree people. The founders knew it.

        • I’m with Swamp on this one.

          In principle, I’m a free trader. It works great when people are trading freely in the context of a free economy and a free political system.

          But as Swamp observes, what we have is labor arbitrage. Corporations exploiting the unfree economies of other countries that have unfree political systems.

          The primary beneficiary here is the corporate/investor class. Everyone else – including the Chinese workers – is screwed over. The Chinese worker, for example, is not getting a fair price for his labor since the product of that labor is simply exported (at huge mark-up) to a foreign country, while he is paid a literal pittance. The foreign consumer (us), meanwhile, gets “low cost” goods – but at the cost of declining wages and lost job opportunities. Hardly a bargain.

          I have long argued that two of the great stumbling blocks to an effective Libertarian political platform are a failure to acknowledge that human nature is not perfect (hence, the need for the rule of law to deal with not-perfect humans) and (extrapolating from this) that free trade is only possible (morally) between free people and free systems.

          • The problem is that protective tariffs introduce the concept of government protecting those businesses it favors from competition. This causes market distortions. For instance, the domestic sugar industry is protected with high tariffs. Not only do we pay more for sugar but we get the horrible HFCS substituted for sugar. (Also helps that corn is subsidized) Not only that but cheap ethanol from sugar cane also has high tariffs. So we get energy negative corn ethanol.

            People also work to avoid the tariffs. Sugar has been made into candies and then boiled back out and it could still be sold for less than the market price in the USA for a profit.

            What I am getting at is that protectionism creates its own set of problems and distortions. Let’s say senator X is paid off by some foreign corporation or some american that has an interest in a foreign supply of goods. We get new tariff laws that favor his imports over other people’s. Once this power exists to protect individual businesses or industries (as it does today) government will exploit it. Also keep in mind what government did with tariff power in the 19th century that was a major cause of the southern states breaking away and thus the war that followed. Real free trade is not a problem if we are free. If we are free and they aren’t we will have the innovative edge. Forever. Most profit comes from the ‘new’ high margin product. If this means we give up non-automatable old low margin product so be it. The upside is having the harder to make new high margin stuff and a lot more of it. Which can be exported to more than offset the imports.

            The reason people get the cheapest thing possible is because their earnings and savings are being undermined by inflation. Inflation that pays for the wars, the welfare state, the bankster bailouts, and so on. If it wasn’t for the cheap imported stuff americans would feel this inflation. If we had a free society and China and others did not we would not be living under these monetary conditions and goods from those places would be less attractive. The penny would be worth something and thus the ability to undercut price would be much more limited.
            It’s a multi-part scam, where protectionism is part of it. Calling for it continues to benefit those in government and close to it.

          • Eric I agree on your point of “labor arbitrage” (great term BTW), but I disagree that tariffs are the only way out.

            Principles and ethics should guide your purchase decisions; as swamprat says, spend the extra 50 cents on the frikkin’ American hammer!

            That is NOT to say “Buy American Always”; what I am saying is “don’t knowingly buy slave labor”. If the Finnish hammer is cheaper than the American one, by all means get it.

            Even though they’re probably watermelons and somewhat socialist touchy-feely, I am encouraged by the traction many “fair trade” organizations have achieved.

            If more goods were vetted by third party “no slave labor involved” companies, we could buy goods made with honest labor from whomever is able to produce them most efficiently–and ethically, WITHOUT gubmint coercion.

            I realize this means people would actually have to make conscious purchase decisions; but there are many of us, and growing.

          • methylamine reminds me of something. Having actual free trade causes more problems with foreign tyrannies than anything the war machine and embargos and other nonsense can do. It makes tyrants deny people stuff. People LOVE stuff.

            For instance, Iran’s government can point to the evil americans who block their trade. What if they took my idea? Free trade of -all- consumer, medical, and food goods. Make Iran’s government deny their people stuff. Who’s the bad guy then?

            It is often said that the USSR fell not because of the cold war but because people were denied blue jeans and other stuff. Trade destroys tyranny. That’s why tryanny aims to destroy and restrict trade. That’s why we have ‘managed trade’ that destroys instead of (real) free trade that builds.

            I’ve learned that V8 american cars are popular in Iran. ’70s F-Bodies especially. What if there wasn’t a trade embargo? ‘the great satan’ becomes ‘the builder of muscle cars’. Trade makes people friends. It’s easy to hate the people that bomb you. It’s difficult to hate someone who makes something you enjoy.

            I like lots of imported stuff. (mostly food, wine, beer, candy, etc) Thankfully I can get a fair amount made locally thanks to immigration and a large metro area. But some still comes from oversees. I’d hate to be stuck with american corporate food. But a government that can use protectionism can very well put an end to not only the imported food but the locally made food. All in favor of the corporate giants that are cozy with government.

            Trade is good. It makes things better for people everywhere. Being a good example will do far more to convert the world to freedom than turning into a fascist police state that spreads democracy at the barrel of a gun ever will.

  4. I never knew there were so many stupid people in this country. Anybody holding a class “C” license must be prepared to take a random drug test at any time in order to keep their license. Employers, large and small, require drug tests in order to protect their companies from liability that an employee may expose them from being on drugs. It’s also a Workman’s Comp issue. If you don’t want to be subjected to possibly having to take a drug test; then don’t apply for a class “C” license, don’t apply to any company that requires them, it goes on and on. If you don’t want to take a drug test, then don’t apply for any kind of government assistance that takes money from people working their asses off to keep their head above water to people who stick their thumbs up their behinds. Are there those few who have special circumstances, sure; but they are far and few between. Don’t like the requirements set forth to receive government freebie’s? Then get a fricking job; so you can get tested there. No matter what, you’re going to be tested, because it’s against the law to take illicit, illegal drugs. As for the test itself; they only test for those things in question, the test is VERY specific and it doesn’t expose any other “sensitive” information that would cause any heartache to anyone; so you lost that argument. It’s only those who are in the wrong that are against it; if I’m told that I can only have a government freebie if I take a drug test, then I have to think it over and figure out if it’s worth the “intrusion” into my life. Hey, the fricking government freebie maggots are “intruding” on my life by taking my tax money; they’re just going to have to suck it up and take the test if they want my tax money.

  5. If your concerns the 4th amendment, the judge certainly has a point. Do companies that require a job applicant to pass a drug screen pass the results of said drug screen on to the police? But, on the other hand, it is my understanding that if I am aware of a crime being committed (i.e. robbing the local 7-11) and do not report it, I’m legally guilty of conspiracy to commit that crime.
    If your issue is Welfare funds being used to purchase or subsidize the purchase of recreational drugs, don’t the people paying the bill have every right to assure that it does not happen? And since doing so is a violation of the rules by which one receives said funds, isn’t it the obligation of government to interdict such a violation?

    • John, the root issue is that no one other than you, has a right to the fruits of your labor. When someone becomes a ward of the state, then they are violating our rights by accepting property that was taken from us under duress. Once they’ve crossed that line, then they forfeit their own rights. In other words, terms and conditions now apply. If you don’t like said terms and conditions, don’t get in the system.

      I understand the judge’s 4th Amendment argument and if these were just people walking down the street, minding their own business and the DEA started doing random urinalysis she’d be quite right. The problem is these parasites are being given preferential treatment. Then those of us that are still productive are supposed to cower down, tuck our tails and lick the hands of those that would oppress us to keep our jobs. At one utility I worked for, they did indeed have a policy to turn you over to the sheriff’s department if you tested positive in a random urinalysis. Needless to say, you were terminated as well. But no one forced you to take the job in the first place. And no one is forcing these people onto the dole.

      • Quite true and I agree with you 100%. My primary point was that mixing issues tends to confuse the conversation. I believe that it could also be quite reasonable for those receiving welfare to be disallowed smoking material and alcohol as well. Neither is food and both are unhealthy (another cost to the tax payer), but such policies will never be allowed due to the liberals love of the “Nanny State” and their shameless use of “white guilt” to keep it in place.

  6. I see no problem with people getting paid from anyone taking a drug test. There are many companies including the fed and local governements that have a drug free requirement for work. If we come up positive for illegal drugs we get terminated.

    I fail to see the difference if a person getting welfare is subject to the same requirements as most people working are. Fail the test your out. I always find it funny it is ok to sit on your butt and get welfare for doing basically nothing and not have to work for it in some form. It boggles my mind because someone is on welfare or some form of governement assistace it is an invasion of privacy for them to take a drug test, yet most people in the community work and still have to meet the requirement. There is no invasion of privacy. You want to get paid stay clean pretty simple.

    • I was just thinking the exact same thing. I work hard for my money, if I fail a drug test I’m terminated. Yet, according to Nick, it’s okay if the maggots do drugs on our dime. Get real!

    • Yup. It’s amazing that Nick or anyone else would take umbrage at someone receiving taxpayer dollars being subject to “terms and conditions” as the price of receiving those dollars. If Nick has a teenaged kid, I doubt he would just give the kid a car with no conditions, or before the kid met some conditions first.

      Is this somewhat degrading for the recipient of taxpayer dollars? Hell yes. And it should be. People should only be receiving assistance as an absolute last resort – and be eager to get off assistance as soon as possible. A little inducement is no bad thing, sez me.

    • The real issue is that we’re attempting to pick up one of the enemy’s weapons and use it against them. The state has declared war on inanimate chemical compounds and by extension us, not for our health and safety, that’s a facade. The real issue is for the state’s nosey busy-bodies to be able to search our vehicles, review our bank records, listen to our phone calls, confiscate our property, deny us jobs and even lock us in a cage with impunity. After they run you through the mill, you’ve lost the right to keep and bear arms (to vote too, but that’s less important). Once you been “processed” you’re less than a citizen.

      Welfare, as well as all public largesse, recipients are a useful voting bloc. If you catch them with dope, they get “processed” and they no longer vote. Furthermore, many will drop off the dole rather than give up the dope; more voters gone. Worse yet, the department of socialist services will have fewer “clients”, which means smaller buildings, less budget money and fewer employees. Their own weapon really would work against them and they can’t have that.

      BureaucRATs are always worried that the paying members of society will figure out that we don’t need them. So they have to give their “clients” incentives to stay in the system and keep their case load high or they may have to find a new job.

      So let’s put this in perspective: the people of Florida want to cut their tax bill by weeding out the parasites on public assistance. The judge disagrees with the people of Florida and decides that putting conditions on public assistance violates the “rights” of the recipients. I guess she doesn’t understand that rights are limited to those things that we can do without incurring involuntarily costs to our neighbors. So much for “democracy”.

  7. This drug test for indigents is hogwash. Of course indigents are more likely to use drugs than the general population. If they can’t smoke pot or use what else they’ll drink. You know they can’t afford SUV’s, Caribbean cruises or fancy restaurants.

      • Apparently the recipients of these cards get a cash allowance under some circumstances. My wife found an article documenting where these cards have been used to access ATMs for cash: Disney World, upscale hotels, cruise ships, casinos, to name a few. I guess the poverty stricken are “entitled” to a little vacation time too, huh?

        I was on a field service job in Brooklyn, NY a few years ago. The guys on the job site thought it would be funny to send me to a strip mall in the middle of the projects for lunch one day. The people living there really are poor. Some of them (not all) couldn’t afford to drive new Beemers and Hummers. Nosiree, a lot of them were relegated to the dismal prospect of driving 3 and even 4 year old Lincolns, Acuras and dare I say it, Buicks! The tragedy! The shame of it!

        I don’t drive anything nearly as nice as what I saw parked around “public housing” in Brooklyn. It’s always wonderful to see your tax money being spent so wisely…to buy votes, that is.

        • The EBT card really gets my back up – because it’s specifically designed to mimic a credit card; that is, to hide the fact that the person is on the taxpayers’ dole. To make them appear to be buying things with their money, like the rest of us. To normalize welfare. Apparently, it hurts the self-esteem of welfare recipients to have to produce food stamps. People might notice….

          • The Illinois Link Card is *VERY* Obvious. Sure it’s a card but anyone in line can clearly see what it is. While making it more ‘normal’ is part of it, the core is the additional control that comes with the cards. But first there need to be abuses to get the ball rolling. So for now the cards can be used for all sorts of things the productive who pay the taxes might object to.

            The early 20th century ideas of top down management of all of society have not gone away and are very much alive. Just too subtle for most people to see or grasp. This of course makes them all the more effective.

            BTW, anyone review animal Farm lately?
            Read the description of “Clover” 🙂

      • I was standing in line at Whole Foods recently when the “customer” in front of me whipped out a Lone Star card (the food stamp card in Texas) to pay.

        His basket contained:
        * three 8-ounce buckets of gourmet olives
        * gourmet rye bread
        * a prepared lunch

        I’m so tired of this crap that I mustered some indignation and confronted him:
        “Is that a Lone Star card?”
        “uh, yeah”
        “You’re kidding me? You’re buying THAT stuff with MY money? So I have to pay for my lunch, AND yours, and you’re supposedly poor but you’re shopping HERE for LUXURY foods?”

        This (quite obese) lout skulked away without another word.

        The cashier flashed me a huge smile when he’d left. It’s one of the few chances I’ve had to actually confront one of these parasites in person.

        Actually, THAT is one key flaw in gubmint “charity”–the lack of personal accountability. Before socialism here, a wealth of private charities and a network of churches looked after the truly needy. It was person-to-person, voluntary, and accountable…AND IT WORKED.

        • Good job Methylamine! I have a friend in Texas that does something similar. When he sees one ahead of him in the cashier’s line paying with “the card” he simply says “You’re welcome!” He says the normal response is “Whut?” or “Hunh?” Then he explains it to them (his wife is embarrassed by this, but he does it anyway). If we don’t tell ’em they won’t know.

          I’ve proposed on many occasions that food stamp, welfare, WIC, public housing and SSDI recipients’ names and addresses should be published on the web and in the local paper. If you’re truly poverty stricken, then your neighbors will know who actually needs their help. If you’re on the dole scamming the system, then your neighbors will also know who’s stealing from them. Then the appropriate amount of ridicule, ostracism and legal action can be applied to the miscreants. If you don’t like that, don’t get on the dole.

          When I was young, there was a stigma attached to accepting any kind of charity, public or private. Many of the poor people I knew were too proud to accept a handout. They’d work hard, dirty jobs to avoid it. If you wanted to help them, you put money in an envelope anonymously, and taped it to their door (I know for a fact this was done). Social pressure kept the majority of the deadbeats off the dole.

          The system we have now is designed to keep the recipients anonymous and encourage them to vote for people that will be very generous with other people’s money. Calling tax-feeders out publicly, as methylamine has done, is a good start to turning this around at the individual level. Posting our experiences here is a good way to expose and embarrass the tax-feeders at the public level. Remember; when you evoke an emotional response from a member of the cloverite camp, you’ve hit a nerve! Do it enough times, they might start acting like the twelve monkeys and quit trying to climb the welfare ladder.

    • You’re right. The real problem is the redistributionist policies themselves. If John is not robbed to “help” Paul, then John has no business (or right) to pester Paul about what he does with his money. The problem – the natural resentment – arises when John is robbed to “help” Paul and then finds out that Paul is spending his (that is, John’s) money on “x” or “y.” Whether it’s drugs or pizza or a lawnmower – doesn’t matter. The point is that Paul is spending someone else’s money; money he has no moral right to – and John is rightfully indignant.

  8. You lack the courage of your convictions. When you are called out, you cover your butt by making grand pronouncements, but you conspicuously avoid answering specific questions to flesh out your actual beliefs.

    I’m sorry you and your ally don’t like the Hitler quote. Or Stalin. Or Castro. But these are the sort of statist tyrants who refer to people as “maggots,” and like you they do it for a very specific reason: to dehumanize those so named. This sort of language has a nasty lineage, and no decent person would refer to anyone in such terms. Bizarrely, you believe the people who you detest “literally” become “maggots,” just as the Nazi’s convinced themselves that Jews were literally vermin. I can understand why you don’t quote any libertarian intellectuals, because you show no evidence of being the sort of person who reads extensively and subjects his views to careful scrutiny. Given your willingness to cede oppressive power to the state, you fail in the most elementary sense to demonstrate that you are a libertarian. Like a lot of people, you want freedom for yourself and can find reasons why others should be subjected to state violence.

    • I’m sorry, but you’re just not making any sense. Maybe others will chime in?

      Is this a cage fight?

      I’ve said repeatedly that I oppose the idea of using the state’s police power to take from Smith to give to Jones; that Smith has every right to be upset about it – and to resent what Jones does with Smith’s money. You seem to have trouble grasping this elementary Libertarian principle – without which Libertarianism is meaningless.

      On the “maggot” stuff and Hitler comparison:

      So, let’s see… I’m a mass murderer of innocent people because I object to people who take what’s not theirs and then object when I object to what they do with my money.

      Whatever you are, man, you are not a Libertarian!

      • Eric, I’d say we have another member of the Gil and Clover ilk. Perhaps an agent provocateur sent to do the job Gil was incapable of? Do they ever give up?

        Nicolas has a fixation on establishing the legitimacy of thought solely on one’s ability to quote Libertarian scholars. He apparently has no comprehension that to be libertarian is defined by independent thought. He may well be a (L)ibertarian (the capital L, impotent, third party variety) as opposed to a (l)ibertarian subscribing to the the ideals of individual liberty and non-intervention / non-aggression. He’s unreasonable and other than being potentially useful as a catalyst for further discussion, doesn’t seem to belong here.

  9. Eric, I’m curious what libertarian intellectual, if any, provides the foundation for your beliefs on this topic. Can you name one (dead or alive) who would support the forced drug testing you advocate?

    • My quoting anyone is not the issue, Nick.

      Neither is the issue forced drug testing – as such. The issue is forcible transfer payments; the taking of Smith’s rightful property in order to give it to Jones. This is what I oppose. It merely adds insult to injury, having had one’s rightful property taken by force, to discover that property has been used to fund the recipient’s drug habit. The welfare recipient’s business becomes my business the moment he sticks his hands in my pocket.

      I’ll quote Jefferson, who said (words to the effect) that to compel a man to furnish money for the propagation of ideas he abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

      Just so.

      Or, put in plainer language: I don’t give a damn what you do, so long as it’s not on my nickle.

      I don’t want to test or control or even pester any free man. But one is no longer free when one accept the property of another, taken from him by force.

      • OK, so you can’t identify any libertarian thinkers who have shared your belief that government has legitimate power to forcibly drug test people.

        You also refuse to identify who is to be subjected to government force and in what circumstances. I’ll ask again: Can the government insist that farmers who accept crop subsidies be drug tested? Bankers who accepted TARP dollars? Executives at GM?

        You love the emotive soaring rhetoric, but you aren’t much on details.

        • You’re being evasive. I don’t need to quote anyone to make a point. The point either stands on its merits or it does not. Respond to the point, please.

          I’ve been very specific, Nick. No one – no one – is entitled to live off anyone else by force. Period. That is the issue here.

          The rest follows from this.

          Stop taking money that is not yours by right and those who rightfully own that money will have no basis for interfering with what you buy (with your money) or how you spend your time – and so on.

          You seem to be defending welfare – coercive wealth transfer. That people are entitled to the property of others, to dispose of as they see fit – no strings attached.

          Is that your position?

            • Dude, I have answered your questions at length, several times! The only thing I have not done is quote “Libertarian intellectuals” – which has no bearing on the point at issue.

              And, once again, look who’s name calling.

            • PS: You seem very adamant in your defense of people living off the rightful property of others, who, whether they’re aware of it or not, are in cahoots with the state, helping to create and sustain a society built on mutual coercive parasitism rather than voluntary cooperation and free exchange.

              I think we have a fresh Clover!

          • Eric, I’m not sure what exactly it is. Some of these clovers come out the gates blazing and even seem pretty smart. They come, vent, don’t back up their position worth a darn, and then dip. Then we get the garden variety clovers that just won’t leave. Shit makes me laugh. Guess I’ll just wait patiently for the next Fresh Clover!

            • It’s weird! That Nick dude just dropped a few bombs and fled. Gil won’t go away, no matter what. The original Clover hasn’t posted in months. Maybe they’re all the same guy!

          • Dom, when I first started reading Nicolas Martin’s posts, a strange feeling hit me: this is Gil not playing dumb or using poor grammar. I could be wrong (and have been many times), but I’m not so sure this is a hit and run. I suspect the perp may be lurking nearby to watch the results of a different approach. Gil seems to know considerably more about libertarianism than he lets on to. Just a thought…

        • The point is the hypocrisy of the state. The government is more than willing to destroy the lives of productive people who do not receive the resources of others for daring to use one of many drugs the government doesn’t approve of or not obeying some edict or another. Meanwhile the government and its courts time and time again decide that those who are dependents of the state and other people useful to maintaining its power can avoid many of those difficulties.
          Hell, thanks to what I believe to be government insistence I had to be drug tested for a -JOB- in the productive sector. I suppose it was because some part of the giant corporation got a government contract now and then even though I had -nothing- to do with that.

  10. Jeez. Interesting stuff between Eric and Nick, but…jeez. My two cents? Maggots make great bait for fishing. Also, Nick…those Hitler references are tedious. And insulting. Please find another comparison. Regards to all.

    • It got a little heated!

      I think the main thing here that Nick’s missing – or overstepping, I should say – is that the problems we’ve been arguing about, including the animosity between people, goes away if force is taken out of the equation. Helping someone else because you want to is ennobling; it makes you feel good, especially when you know the person (or their situation). But when you’re threatened with violence, you (naturally, in my opinion) get angry and resentful, not just toward the agency doing the bully work but toward the recipient(s), too.

      Nick may not believe this, but I hold no ill will toward my fellow man. I passionately defend his (and my) right to be left alone, unless we somehow violate the rights of others. I (we, my wife and I) help our neighbors – and do so happily. But I’d feel very differently if I were forced to help them, as I suspect (or hope) Nick would also.

      I would never seek to control what anyone does with their body, their money, their time, etc. – provided they’re not causing harm to anyone else.

      Nick is mad that I am angry about welfare recipients objecting to drug testing and claims I am a hypocrite because I don’t object to conditions being attached to welfare. What I really object to is government policies that put us both (the welfare recipient and us – taxpayers) in this awful position, that leads to mutual antagonism and, ultimately, dehumanizes us all.

      I apologize for the overheated rhetoric, Nick – but I hope the above helps you understand where I’m coming from.

    • Historical references that are apt should be and will be used, even if you find them tedious, Richard. I also referred to Stalin and Castro, which you do not mention. Who do the quotes insult? The person who uses exactly the same term in the same way? Apparently you do not think it insulting to refer to recipients of government checks — which is to say most Americans — as maggots since you did not say you do.

      There is no “non-aggression” in having the state impose drug tests on anyone. Government-imposed drug testing is naked violence, and you, Eric, desire to see that violence used against people have committed no crime in the sense that a libertarian would define crime.

      You have provided no guideline for who loses his liberty due to accepting government money. As I’ve said, this applies to most Americans, and show no unwillingness to define any limits to this drug testing. Should SS recipients be subject to drug tests? Farmers who receive crop subsidies? Bank execs who receive bailouts? Workers for companies with government contracts?

      Any why stop at drug tests? Shouldn’t recipients of government largess be subject to other controls and surveillance? Draw a line where it is clear who loses his rights, and for what? Should adults who have children on welfare be subject to forced sterilization? Mandatory abortion?

      I don’t have the slightest animosity or heat, as you put it. I’m quite calmly questioning your willingness to strip citizens of their rights and empower the state to push forward with violent intrusions in the name of the war on drugs. I’ve never encountered someone who claimed on one had to be a radical libertarian, while on the other hand supported forced drug tests of people not charged with crimes. Your rationale is apparently that people (all? some?) who accept government money are guilty of crimes against morality and humanity.

      • Quoting Hitler, Stalin, or Che in America today on a forum such as this simply adds to the overheated political rhetoric, in which you apparently delight. I am done. If you reply, you become the definition of tedious. Regards.

        • It’s pretty weak. (the Hitler shout-down.)

          According to Nick’s logic, one is a Nazi if one objects to one’s money being taken to help finance someone else’s drug use – and (as a result of understandable anger) calls the user a dirtbag or a maggot.

          I don’t get it, either.

      • You talk of hypocrisy, take umbrage at my use of certain terms, then use similar pejoratives to describe me! You’ve called me a poseur – and compared me to a mass murderer – because I get mad that some people are living off others, using the police power of government, and may be using that money (my money, that I work hard for; that’s my property; that I could have used for my own purposes, by right) to buy drugs!

        It’s a weird train of thought, man.

        PS: I don’t know who made you the Fuhrer of Libertarian thought, but I do know that Libertarians are opposed to all forms of coercive wealth transfer – programs such as welfare – which by definition rely on state-sanctioned violence. You’re simply wrong on this score. No Libertarian I know – anointed intellectual or otherwise – would ever claim that welfare is morally legitimate, or that it’s somehow morally wrong to take umbrage at being compelled to fund it, or that those who receive it are entitled to it, no strings attached.

  11. I have stated my objections, and you have chosen to ignore every one. Like many who use language to dehumanize, you absurdly believe that becoming a welfare recipient “does indeed turn us into maggots — literally.”* This belief you share with Hitler, who wrote in Mein Kampf:

    “Was there any form of filth or crime…without at least one Jew involved in it. If you cut even cautiously into such a sore, you find like a maggot in a rotting body, often dazzled by the sudden light – a Jew.”

    and Stalin:

    “Stalin fondly referred to such useful idiots as his ‘maggots.'”

    Castro is quoted as referring to “capitalist maggots.”

    Unsurprisingly, when people don’t behave as you think they should, you enthusiastically support the right of the state to strip them of their humanity and rights. Your ideology is statism masquerading as libertarianism. You don’t doubt the authority of the state of control the bodies of its subjects. You support the war on drugs, so long as it is conducted against people you define as “maggots.”

    “In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined.” — Thomas Szasz

    * maggot |ˈmagət| a soft-bodied legless larva, esp. that of a fly found in decaying matter. — Oxford American Dictionary

    • Nick, I responded to each one… what did I neglect?

      Is there anything wrong with having contempt for thieves? Parasites? Irresponsible people? People who believe they have a right to use force to compel other people to “help” them?

      Would you refrain from being impolite to a street thug threatening you with violence? Would you regard it as bad form to refer to him using certain terms after the fact?


      How, exactly, am I statist for advocating non-aggression? For defending the right of us all to be free from the threat of physical violence merely for wishing to be left in peace? For advocating voluntarism and cooperation; free exchange – rather than coercion and violence?

      This is perhaps the most bizarre argument I’ve ever come across!

      I’m not trying to be mean – or flip.

      I am trying to defend a moral principle.

      This does not mean I don’t have sympathy for people in need; it does mean I reject the idea that they have a right to threaten me with violence in order to ameliorate their suffering. Etc.

      You turn the whole thing upside down. You accuse me of being a statist for being angry that my rightful property is being taken away from me against my will to help provide material benefits to total strangers – and chide me for being even angrier that my money may be used to provide things like drugs to these random strangers.

      I pointed out that I want the state to restrict its activities to the maintenance of order via the rule of law (protecting people from aggression and fraud, etc.) but I’m somehow essentially a socialist (or worse, a Nazi) because I get pissed not only that my money is taken from me but that it often ends up being used to feed some moocher’s drug habit – or reproductive habits.

      Odd stuff!

    • Actually Nicolas, Eric has responded to you point for point. You, having some absurd “axe to grind”, choose to ignore what he’s attempting to impart to you. You are almost certainly of the Gil and Clover ilk (although considerably more literate and articulate than the former).

      Part of liberty is free speech. Free speech (or rather the free exchange of ideas) is often offensive to many people. The truth is also offensive to some, but that does not make it a falsehood. You can say anything you like about me, my wife, even my mother and I will defend your right to do so. I might find it offensive and choose to walk away. As long as you don’t try to physically stop me, we’ll be okay.

      Eric chooses to describe social parasites as maggots. So what? I disagree with him. I think he’s being too generous. Then again, I’ve had to stand in line behind their fat, dolled up asses in the grocery store, buying food I couldn’t afford, with money I earned, for about eight years longer than he has. That could have something to do with my outlook, dontcha think? (Apparently not)

      Exactly what branch of government did you say you were “employed” by?

      • Isn’t “freedom of speech” supposed to mean the government can’t make laws prohibiting which is different from individuals who are free to censor?

        • I am not completely sure what you (Gil) are saying to us.

          Amendment I

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          My understanding is that the government is not permitted to make laws that limit speech of individuals. (except in specific cases such as shouting fire in a crowded theatre)

          • Boothe implies in his second paragraph that freedom of speech is some sort of right that no one can ever infringe upon. I believe Libertarians would not agree and say private individuals can infringe on others’ speech because private freedom of speech is in a fact duty on others to listen as well as refrain from censoring.

            • Clover, the problem here is you just don’t understand the concept of rights.

              It is not an infringement of the right of free speech to decline to provide a forum, at your expense, using your property (etc.) to a speaker. It is an infringement on the right of free speech to deny the right of the speaker to say what he wishes in his newspaper, on his web site, and so on.

              Do you grasp the distinction?

          • If Boothe had a blog and I posted filth about his wife would he really defend it and not delete it? If he would then it would be argued he’s not really for freedom of speech. For government-hating Libertarians (redundant?) “freedom of speech” doesn’t really exist.

            • Clover, freedom of speech does not mean Boothe or anyone else is obligated to provide you the means to air your views. Example: This is my web site. If I wish, I have every right to delete or edit anything you post – or prevent you from posting at all – with or without your consent. I am not violating your free speech rights by so doing. You have no right to violate a right; that is, you have no right to use my property to spread your views.

              Gawd this is tiresome!

        • Yes, exactly. Freedom of speech means you’re free to speak, or write, as you wish. It does not mean someone else owes you a platform, or the means to disseminate your views. It does not mean you have a right to force someone else to allow you to speak (or write) using (or on) their private property, etc.

            • “However considering a Libertarian society is one where everything is in private hands then there’s no freedom of speech.”

              The most idiotic thing you’ve posted yet.

              You’re free (in a free society) to produce a pamphlet, start a web site, write a book (and try to sell it). To state your opinions/viewson any subject, no matter how obnoxious or even fallacious, without threat of being fined, arrested or imprisoned for so doing (provided, of course, that you are not stating your views on someone else’s property or demanding that they provide you a forum).

              That is free speech, Clover.

          • That’s totally false Gil. True liberty would allow you to start your own newspaper, publish pamphlets, post a blog, build a website or even come up with your own new method of disseminating information. In fact you have that freedom (at least for now). You would also have the right to limit or censor what others were allowed to say through your venue. Since we also have the right to freedom of association, I could choose to patronize your venue or not as I see fit.

            It’s when people who disagree with you use the force of government to coerce you into publishing or broadcasting views you disagree with through your own venue that freedom is lost. If a bureaucRAT decides I have to give people I disagree with equal time to voice opinions I stand opposed to, that is a violation of my rights, not theirs.

            You are quite right on one point: if you attempted to publish nasty things about my wife or anyone else for that matter, through my venue, I would most probably deny you access to do so. Which is exercising my right to freedom of association. By extension I also have the right not to interact or associate with people I don’t agree with or like.

            Don’t confuse government license, privilege and preferential treatment with rights. Rights are solely those things that you can do that do not impose involuntary costs on your neighbors. If what you’re doing costs me anything I don’t agree to, it’s not your right!

    • Oh, dear…I’m afraid we have a Godwin’s Rule violation.
      The thread shall end now.

      Nick it seems the body of your objection centers around the label “maggot”, and its dehumanizing and collectivizing implications. Then what DOES one call people who behave like parasites, very consciously and willingly?

      We’re all losing sight of another key point:
      Why is the 4th amendment so well-protected in this case, when it’s so blithely ignored in every other sphere?

      Raise your hands if you’re familiar with the Cloward-Piven strategy.

    • Ah yes, out comes the Hitler / Racist / Fill in the blank Metaphor….Emote much?

      “you enthusiastically support the right of the state to strip them of their humanity and rights.”

      Oh fer Christ sakes….News flash sparky, WELFARE/ PUBLIC ASSITANCE is not a “RIGHT”, it is an entitlement, given via government fiat, taken from those who produce a tangible output and given to those that don’t. It is that simple. What part of this don’t you understand? These people have no more RIGHT to mine or yours or anyone’s earnings then they do to the crown jewels.

      I would submit to you the following, but you seem akin to arguing with an old tree stump, seeking to make it once again grow into a mighty oak, so I fear to waste valuable bandwidth on you but so be it.

      The state strips no one of their so called “humanity”. Those on the public dole have for the majority of them already and in most cases WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY conceded their humanity to the devil (state) mostly by being willing for whatever reason to belly up to the public feeding trough.

      I’m reminded of the well documented case of the grandmother who instructed her grand daughter to have another child, so that she could adopt yet another “child in need” solely for the purpose of gaining yet more money each month for her personal gain. She told this child she was the “breadwinner” of the family. Where is the humanity in that? We’re producing a society of baby factories now? There are laws against puppy factories in almost all 50 states, yet no laws against this sort of outrage?

      So tell me again, Who’s stripping who of their humanity sir? The state? Me? The author of this blog? I think not. They do it to themselves. As I said a majority of these people have already sold their humanity for the promise of some government checks and cheese.

      Call them maggots, leeches, slackers, lazy, it matters not. Their humanity left the building long ago. It is what it is, and in most cases the titles are not only deserved, but very much warranted.

      When you reach such a station in life where you can or will not provide for yourself, unless in the cases of overwhelming catastrophic illness or infirmary, you have in fact “sold your soul to the devil” the devil being the state. You sold your very humanity, the freedom of it’s essence long before the “state” had any chance to strip you of it, and hence you’ve now arrived at this junction in a wholly miserable existence

      50 years of a war on poverty and “the great social experiment” illustrates this point quite clearly, it has produced next to nothing.

      Granted, There are a smattering of examples out there; Cinderella stories of the “poor and downtrodden” rising to the challenges of life, embracing the essence of it and succeeding beyond their wildest dreams, reclaiming their very humanity and freedom from the slavery of the state, I grant that point.

      But the proof is there, look around you, the overwhelming status of those that have given up their humanity to become mindless drones of the welfare state is one of sloth, ignorance greed, selfishness, and dishonor.

      I don’t feel disdain, or hate for these souls, I feel sad mostly because they simply for whatever reason cannot see that life is what you make of it, life is fleeting and should be lived, not just experienced. They do not live. They exist. They die, they leave no legacy, they live no lasting impressions, the simply like a candle, extinguish.

      Perhaps “maggot” is overarching in it’s reach.

      Maybe it’s too harsh to call a fellow man a maggot, I grant the point. But be that as it may, again, 50+ years of trying to raise people up, to lift them from the chains they seem so willing to shackle themselves with by ceding their humanity to the all giving state, the siren call of drugs, or whatever myriad of reasons they can come up with to justify their existence ..has failed. What do we call them then? Pillars of humanity? Great examples for our children to emulate? I think not.

      • I especially like:

        “The state strips no one of their so called “humanity”. Those on the public dole have for the majority of them already and in most cases WILLINGLY and KNOWINGLY conceded their humanity to the devil (state) mostly by being willing for whatever reason to belly up to the public feeding trough.”


        Once you’re aware of the nature of the thing – what welfare actually is – one ought to be repelled and literally do anything to avoid being a part of it.

        Most people, I suspect, would never pull a gun on someone or threaten to beat them up if they didn’t provide them with dinner, or “health care” – yet many of these same people think the same thing is ok when it’s done for them, by the government, through a “system.”

        It is this attitude that must be challenged – and corrected – if we’re ever gonna get anywhere.

  12. Old topic, same conclusion: the gov is taking money from Peter’s dinner table to give it to Paul so Paul can buy booze and butts. Welfare fraud is millions of dollars a year.

    Not to mention the opportunity cost of the money taken and subsequent loss in economic growth. Not to mention the dependency that is being created which is of course an age old gov tactic: give the people what they want and then threaten to take it away when they don’t obey. Not to mention the gov. debt that will crowd out future economic growth. Not to mention the old cliche’ that if the gov. doesn’t help the poor that they will be dying in the streets b/c people don’t care. Well if the people don’t care and the gov is of and by the people then the gov doesn’t care either.

    Old, old argument and same uneducated responses by people who believe they have some right to tell others what to do based on what they “feel” is right, rather than what is.

    • Hi Don,


      I have no issue with drugs – as such – “legal” or otherwise. If a person wishes to grow/smoke pot (as an example) on his own land, in his own home, then it is none of my business or yours – or the government’s.

      Right? I think (I hope) we agree. Also that Nick agrees.

      The moral (and legal-criminal) problem arises when a person’s actions violate the rights of others. A person does not have the right to grow pot on my land if I did not give him permission to do so. He does not have the right to smoke pot in my house, if I did not give him permission. More broadly, a person does not have the right to a government check – that is, to money that was taken by force from others who owe him nothing (beyond goodwill and “live and let live”). He certainly does not have the right to take that money and go buy pot with it.

      You’re absolutely right that welfare (and so on) has morphed into an atrocity. One can perhaps make an argument for some sort of program that provides aid to people who are through no fault of their own temporarily down on their luck, etc. But as everyone knows, we have legions of people who have been on the dole their entire lives; who breed hordes of children they can’t afford (because Uncle will pay) and who have no intention whatever of ever giving it up. I call these creatures maggots because that’s what they are.

      • Eric, you and I agree on the vast majority of things, but as much as I hate to, I have to correct you. Maggots serve a useful purpose; they clean up the organic detritus and excrement that would otherwise despoil our environment. The majority of tax-feeders are nothing more than the pin worms, tape worms and hook worms that bleed us of our prosperity and peace of mind. I expect you to apologize to the next group of maggots you see in a heap of road-kill. 😉

      • Agreed Eric on the rights of others, of course.

        I still disagree with any gov run social program regardless of the recipient’s situation. The recipient’s situation is irrelevant. That’s the problem. Feelings and passion cloud morality and reason and justice. How is the gov forcibly taking money from one person to give it to someone else of their choosing a moral sum game? How is violating one persons rights (immoral) to do what the gov decides is moral ( and usually isn’t) the right thing to do? How can you fight what you see as immorality with immorality?

        Only an individual can morally, reasonably and justifiably decide if a person’s “situation” warrants their money. Anything else, regardless how small or good intended is wrong.

        • Amen, exactly.

          One of the most pernicious effects of government “help” is that it has eroded natural, freely given charity – which in turn works better than government “help” because the people involved have control over what is given, to whom, when and under what conditions. They probably also know the people they’re helping, as you mention. So they are aware of the situation and better able to suss out BS and cut-off people who are just mooching vs. people who really do need a temporary hand.

          But probably the worst thing is the corrosive effect coercive redistributionist policies have had on ordinary human goodwill. We now have to see one another, to a great extent, as potential liabilities; the neighbor who wants to see the tax on real estate jacked up to fund schools for his kids; the “activist” who thinks “the community” needs a homeless shelter – and so on.

          Our own financial security get compromised; we have obligations imposed on us by people we don’t even know and to whom we (morally speaking) don’t owe anything, beyond civility and goodwill.

          The initiation of force is (to use some pop culture terminology) of the Dark Side. Nothing good can come of it.

          • Not to mention that many ‘recipients’ develop using the welfare system into a science and then teach that to their kids so they can milk the rest of us too!

  13. I neglected your most glaring hypocrisy. You oppose drug laws, do you not? So, what right does the state have to tell anyone — even welfare recipients — what drugs he can use? Every person who receives (or has received) government money forfeits his right to self-ownership. How slippery is that slope? Presumably that includes all people receiving retirement checks, unemployment checks, welfare, is employed by government at any level, and who benefits indirectly (as spouse or child) or such people. In other words, you believe the government has the right to drug test most Americans even though you pretend to oppose the drug laws. As socialized medicine descends upon us, and virtually every one of us has at least some of our medical care funded by government, it will have the authority — which you support — to drug test virtually every one of us “maggots.” Yours is a strange brand of anti-statism which leads inexorably to totalitarianism, because in your faux libertarianism we do not own our own bodies.

    • It’s not hypocrisy when they are taking my money!

      With my money comes my conditions.

      Do you really think some maggot moocher living off my money has the right to use drugs purchased with my money, no questions asked?? Fuck that! I see these maggots (with dey keey-uds, usually, too) at the store all the damn time buying food I can’t afford because of the taxes I have to pay – to “help” these bastards eat better food than I can afford. Now you want me to look the other way when they buy a bag of dope (or booze or whatever) so they can “relax” – on my nickle! – and watch Beavis & Butthead? Seriously?

      Do you consider it a violation of a renter’s rights when a landlord sets forth conditions for living in his rental unit? The renter is free to not rent from that landlord – just as a person on the government dole is free to decline the “benefits” he is being given (at the expense of his victim – no, victims) if he does not like the terms and conditions.

      Of course, I’d rather that no individual be able to use the police power of the state to force me (and you) to “help” him at gunpoint. And then, of course, I’d support that person’s right to be left the hell alone – including left alone from having to take a drug test.

      The “slippery slope” is not rejecting out of hand any form of coercive transfer payment, which does indeed turn us into maggots – literally. A maggot is a creature that feeds off another.

      You’re absolutely right that anyone who accepts “help” from the government – that is, from his fellow men, against their will, at gunpoint – has no business espousing Libertarianism.

    • Nicolas, you can’t possibly be this stupid. C’mon. I had to submit to a drug test in order to get my job, which “entitled” me to the “privilege” of helping provide for these parasites you seem to consider disenfranchised and vulnerable. That being the case, I can at least expect the recipients of the fruits of my labor (not their own) to meet the same requirements imposed on me to obtain the means to provide for them. You’re damned right they own their own bodies and as Eric correctly pointed out they are more than entitled to “privacy” as long as they aren’t asking for my wallet (which they aren’t entitled to do anyway).It is only by virtue of government force and coercion these tax-feeders can get away with stealing from the rest of us.

      Here’s how it works Nicolas: One of my coworkers came home from fishing. An attractive young woman in her mid-twenties from the Section 8 housing (welfare housing, in case you’re sheltered) down the street approached him. She wanted to know if he’d like to buy some groceries for fifty cents on the dollar. He asked her how that works. She said her EBT card (the modern equivalent to food stamps to prevent fraud) had just been recharged and she’d be happy to go with him to Wal-Mart and buy whatever groceries he wanted for half the value in cash. To his credit, he told her she should give him the groceries and some cash on top of it, since he’d already paid for them oncee! She got pissed and stomped off. Imagine that!

      So what do you reckon she was going to do with that money Nicolas? Send it to a charity in India? If I were a gambling man, I’d put my money on…..a bag of pot, some beer and a carton of cigarettes. You know what, if you’re truly needy you’ll buy food. You won’t ask one of the people that provided your food to buy it back from you.

      So let’s put this in perspective: I go to work. I do my job, I do it well and everyone likes my work. I take the money and buy a substance that the government arbitrarily determines to be illegal and consume it. No one knows except me. My employer makes me pee in a cup which I agreed to when I took the job. I test positive and they fire me, thereby depriving me of my livelihood. That’s not an invasion of my privacy even though I didn’t do it on company time or on their property? Do you think you can follow this to its logical conclusion?

      On the other hand, we have a woman on welfare taking money she didn’t work for, having children she can’t afford, selling the food we’re giving her at a substantial loss and buying who knows what with the money. But we can’t make her submit to a drug test as a condition of receiving our stolen property because it would invade her privacy? Are you daft or what?

  14. Your logic mirrors that of the socialists you claim to disdain. They also assert that anyone who receives government money — e.g., private schools, Boy Scouts, religious organizations — forfeits the right to be free of government regulations and scrutiny. The difference is that the leftists don’t claim to want less intrusive government while you do. They are more honest.

    Terms like “maggot” are intended to dehumanize by removing moral agency from the people being derogated. Such terminology is endemic to totalitarianism, but foreign to libertarianism. Maggots are not individuals.

    Of all the important libertarian/anti-statist thinkers, I can’t think of one who resorted to such base rhetoric, excepting possibly Ayn Rand, whose treatment of even people close to her was contemptible. You can search Mises, Szasz, Rothbard, Madison, Hayek, Gandhi, Paul, Thoreau, Spooner, Bastiat, Spencer, Tucker, Hazlitt, Block, Nock, Chodorov, and others, and you will not find such disgraceful rhetoric. You will find it in the rhetoric of the Soviets, Maoists, and Nazis, however. The reason is that libertarians view humans as moral agents, while statists do not.

    It is absurd and dishonest to suggest that people who receive government paychecks are using government force. They are not. Most welfare state dollars go to people who are as hapless and powerless as any taxpayer. They no more use violence to obtain their checks than you do to use government roads — which I assume you do not renounce. The system is in place, and Americans have money taken from them by government during their working lives. They then receive “benefits” when they retire, without which many would simply starve. I don’t like the system, it isn’t a moral system, but I don’t hold humanity in such contempt, and arrogantly display my alleged moral superiority, as you do. I do not want disabled people to starve within the framework of the welfare state.

    I think you as a poseur, a hypocrite. I think you stop at intersections, despite the fact that the roads you are on are government controlled. I think you drive on those roads — constructed with stolen money — without guilt. You benefit from government violence and theft. I don’t think it would be hard to show that you benefit from government projects — albeit unwillingly — in many ways. We all know that the Internet began as a government project, yet here you are.

    I’m a Rothbardian libertarian, more or less, so I don’t approve of the present arrangement. But I recognize that civilization depends on mutual respect and compassion, even toward people whose behavior I don’t find exemplary. They are not maggots, they are human beings, and they are caught up in the same statist web as the rest of us.

    As for the rest of your boasting, it is nothing more than cheap talk. If the day comes when you have to choose between calling a government fire department or watching your house burn down; calling a government ambulance or dying of cardiac arrest; or between cashing your SS check and starving, we will see how consistent you are.

    To borrow a phrase: any government big enough to put its hand in the pockets of welfare recipients is big enough to pick the pockets of the rest of us.

    • I agree some people are hapless and unaware; but there are also millions of (yes) maggots. Feeders and parasites. You know this is true. People who believe they are entitled to live off others; that they have a “right” to health care, a job, Social Security – etc. I call them what they are.

      The starting point of our moral renewal must be acceptance of the moral principle that none of us has the right to force others to provide them material benefits. Do you disagree?

      You write:

      “It is absurd and dishonest to suggest that people who receive government paychecks are using government force.”

      In what way? Is it not a fact that the money which finances these benefits is provided by the explicit threat of force and violence? Am I misinformed? If I decline to “contribute” and pay my “fair share” what will the consequences be? A polite demurral? Or will men with uniforms and guns come to my home? You tell me…

      If this makes me a poseur/hypocrite – well, I’m baffled.

      Yes, I use the roads – paid for with motor fuels excise taxes, which I freely (and abundantly) pay.

      I don’t collect SS or any other form of government dole. And I never will. I’ve taken steps to assure our financial solvency on my own nickle. We own our place – the only “payment” we have is the annual “rent” (property tax) that (once again) we’re compelled to pay at the point of a gun.

      I’m sorry that my candid and blunt talk has annoyed you, but the reality of our system is much uglier than my mere words.

    • Gosh Nicolas, the gubmint boys are hiring a little better class of prick these days. Unlike Gil, you seem reasonably intelligent. Misguided, but intelligent nonetheless.

      Okay. First of all social security (more aptly termed socialist slavery) is indeed a Ponzi scheme as you appear aware of. As I have pointed out to my parents, I want them to use it, every dime they can get and Medicare too. Because my dad has paid in since WW II and the “maggots” in government misappropriated it and spent it on things that it was never intended for. I also know it won’t be there when I reach retirement age (or the money will have been inflated to the point that the value of it will be a pitance). I’ve had good jobs since I got out of the military in 1981 and paid in the maximum to SS nearly every year since. I’m paying for my parents, not putting it away for my future because it’s already been spent by the crooks in D.C. Any questions?

      Do I think my parents are “maggots”? Of course not, they were duped into participating in a system all their working lives designed to put all of us on the government plantation. People who defraud the system and those who refuse to enforce fraud laws against them are indeed “maggots” or actually much worse, since maggots operate purely on instinct. Those who defraud the system and the SS administrators the allow it to happen know what they’re doing.

      So, let’s qualify those who might be “maggots”: I had a neighbor for nearly eight years that has been on SSDI from the time he was 23 years old until now. He “hurt his back” as a bag boy in a grocery store. At 31 years old he was able to climb a tree with a running chainsaw, operate an ATV, a bulldozer, a tractor, a track loader and even mow a five acre field with a push mower (Meth’s amazing isn’t it?). He was also able to steal gasoline out of my shed, pipe and angle iron off my utitlity trailer and stalk my wife when I was on the road working to help pay his way. Apparently a good sized portion of my earnings wasn’t enough.

      He had a group of friends that worked with him….buying pseudo-ephedrine at the local convenience stores and cooking meth. He was also growing a pretty good dope crop every year. Now I don’t believe in the criminalizaion of drugs. But if someone is manufacturing and selling drugs, then we shouldn’t be expected to give them a chunk of our paycheck to pay their way and to buy the 30 acres they’re living on! (That’s right, his SSDI check went to pay for the land he’d bought. That should make you feel better.)

      Here’s the kicker: When I contacted the Social Security Administration about this and told them I had videotaped evidence of fraud, they informed me there was nothing they could do. They claimed they didn’t have the money or manpower to enforce the fraud laws. Of course they didn’t bother to mention that the size fo their office buildings, budget and manning are based on the number of “clients” they “serve”. Hmmm.

      So, I will agree with you that people like that aren’t maggots. Atually, scumbags like that are far worse than maggots, because maggots actually clean up decaying flesh and feces. A parasite of this type lives off the productivity of his fellow countrymen by virtue of the threat of government force at the expense of those that have previously paid in. Otherwise, no one in their right mind would hand their money over to the likes of him.

      So Nicolas, let’s get this out of the way right now. What do you do for a living?

    • At any given point in time there will always be some people who are in need of charity for various reasons. No one in his right mind would challenge that assumption. A major problem arose, however, when government programs overshadowed formerly privately run and financed charities with a bureaucratized top down entitlement system. The old time tested tie between visible improvements in personal behavior and help issued in different forms was for the most part discarded as old fashioned. Any time a person accepts government money for the unearned he is really lending sanction to the moral correctness of using government as an armed agent to rob Peter to pay Paul. It makes no difference whether or not one has personally connected the intellectual dots. I’m beginning to think that the same could even be said for voting because so much of what government does involves transferring wealth using force or threat of force. In a practical sense voting sanctions government’s predatory license to steal. Welfare is bread thrown at the rabble to keep them submissive and compliant while the vault is looted by much much bigger inside players. Serious money seems to be headed upward these days to the upper one percent. The middle class is shrinking along with the economy.

    • The hapless who get government checks and those who think that charity by threat of the government is moral are mobilized as a group of voters to keep the status quo in power. That’s why these programs exist. to solidify power. By and large those on the receiving end have no problem with the government threatening those who do not pay with violence, but most if not all will insist that there is no violence behind it. Just watch when a rich enough ‘tax cheat’ is discovered.

      If you add up everyone who gets a government check either through some form of welfare, contract (defense, construction, security, prisons, etc), or as an employee there is only a minority left that is producing the actual wealth that is taken to write all those checks.

      This is not sustainable. It is going to collapse. the question is when.

      • In addition to not being sustainable economically, it has turned us against one another, destroyed goodwill between men. A society based on force and fraud cannot survive.

    • Most Libertarians agree with the concept that everything should be privatised and governments(/consitutions/laws) abolished. If the market won’t do it, it’s not worth doing.

      • Some, Clover. Most who believe as you describe are in fact anarchists – that is, advocates of no government.

        I support the type of government generally known as a constitutional republic. That is, a government with strictly defined and strictly limited authority, beyond which it may not transgress. Such a government consists, in the main, of protecting people against physical violence and fraud via the rule of law – including courts to mediate disputes and a prison system for removing violent predators from society, etc. And also of organizing a national defense. Both functions could be funded via general sales/use taxes (so, no assault on any individual; taxes in effect become voluntary, or as close to it as is probably possible). But no income tax; no taxes on property. Real ownership. Real freedom.

        Wouldn’t it be a nice change?

        • Not some, most, Libertarians are anarchists. Some Libertarians such as you give lip service to “minimalist” government but in fact want Anarchism because you can’t argue the case that there are things the government’s good at. Why can’t the free market provide better crime prevention, defence from invaders and private roads over government? Why can’t people pay their own way in everything instead of socialising their costs onto others? Since government has a monopoly on law-making and its enforcement it can’t properly calculate the best solutions yet provides plenty of opportunity for corruption.

          • Wrong, Clover. You don’t get to change definitions to suit your view. Anarchism and Libertarianism have things in common but are not the same things. You write that I “ fact want Anarchism because you can’t argue the case that there are things the government’s good at.”

            Again, you either can’t read or just aren’t very intelligent. I’ve repeatedly said I favor the rule of law; that is, an ordered system for ensuring that legitimate contracts are enforceable, that people are protected against physical violence and fraud and for removing those who commit violent acts from society, as well as a system of national defense – all funded by tariffs/user fees and sales taxes, none of of which necessarily transgress on the rights of anyone. This could all be encompassed by a strictly limited, constitution republic or loose confederation.

            I differ philosophically from anarchists, who want no government a all, because while I hold that as an ideal and believe it would be possible if all men were basically good I accept as a reality that some men are not good – often, far from good – and some mechanism for dealing with them is probably inevitable and even essential.

            I’m not going to waste my time on the remainder of your post, which contains the usual gibberish and package-dealing.

          • You whine about how taxes are theft and law is disguised thuggery and, ultimately, government can’t calculate because isn’t a profit-making system. You constantly complain about the laws being arbitrary, the police as being brutal thugs, the government and soldiers starting wars for their own sake – so government is curently doing poorly in the law-enforcement and national defence areas.


          • Government is needed only for 3 things, to protect society from internal threats (like harmful criminals), to protect society from outside threats (like harmful invaders) and to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of members of society (the justice system). Nothing more is needed, society can take care of its own problems outside of these 3 things. Look at history when public servants were there to serve the public, not beat them up. Before major Govt interference and taxes began, the USA was a great society. Now it is a country of the weakened ruled by bullies and greed. Some Libertarians my feel like getting rid of all government like Anarchists would like to happen but surely none of them believe that society can function without some form of government to provide protection from the exact types of people who are now governing American society!

          • Anarchist-Libertarians believe only the marketplace can provide services to deal with crime because they have to compete against others to secure profits whereas government has a monopoly and overcharges and underdelivers.

  15. Government has no right to invade the bodies of anyone, save some violent criminals. Enlarging the power of government to intrude is not the path to abolition of welfarism.

    I object to referring to people as “maggots.” Many people who receive government checks are elderly and some are severely disabled. There is no reason to employ the rhetoric of the Nazis (“life unworthy of life,” “vermin,” “maggots”) to describe people of whom one disapproves. In truth, many people who receive government handouts are in no more position to control their fates than those who are paying taxes. Most workers who paid into the Social Security Ponzi scheme get back a fraction of what they would receive in a privatized system. But the fact that they get more than they paid is a consequence of a system they do not control, and does not make them deserving of being labelled “maggots.”

    It is likely that Eric Peters will one day receive Social Security checks. On that day does he assume the identity of a maggot?

    • Please.

      First point: If someone is using the government to force me at gunpoint to provide for their “welfare” then they are maggots in my book. Second point: Their “welfare” should indeed be conditional – if they don’t like it, then they should quit sticking their damn paws into my pockets.

      I’ll defend to the utmost an individual’s right to privacy, to be free of government harassment… until he starts using the government to harass (or steal from) me or any other person.

      No one has any right to live off anyone else by force – period. Being old or being sick does not confer a right to threaten others with violence to make them “help” you. Voluntary charity – helping others out of a moral desire to do so – that’s magnificent. But when you start talking about “helping” Joe by threatening Ed with guns and prison, then you have lost any moral standing in my book.

      PS: I will happily renounce any future claim to SS “benefits” – which means, I don’t want someone else’s rightful property taken from them at gunpoint for my benefit.


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