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Old 02-19-04   #1
madsen
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Congress Is Considering $23 Million For Student Drug Testing

Write Your Member Of Congress Today And Tell Them To Stop This Orwellian Legislation

Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) and uber-drug warrior Mark Souder (R IN) have introduced HR 3720, the "Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act." If passed, this bill would provide $23 million to schools willing to implement random drug testing of all students. President Bush sees student drug testing as a key component of his re-election campaign, so if we are to defeat this bill, NORML supporters need to act quickly.

Random drug testing in schools has little impact on combatting youth drug use, and is an embarrassing and unjustifiable intrusion in students' lives. While President Bush credits school drug testing with a decline in teenage drug use in recent years, the latest Monitoring the Future study showed that usage rates declined equally in schools with and without drug testing programs.

At a time when many of our nation's public schools face severe overcrowding, a lack of books and outdated facilities, it is unwise to spend $23 million of taxpayer money requiring students to pee in a cup. NORML, Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU and numerous other organizations will be working hard to oppose this legislation in the coming months - but we need your help!

Please take two minutes to send a pre-written letter to your member of the U.S. House of Representatives, urging him/her to oppose the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.


Click here to contact your congressmen
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Old 02-19-04   #2
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What's with the hatred toward Orwel?
Even, I think, JLB has mocked or ridiculed Orwel, or Orwellian attitudes.

So...yeah..wtf is with it? Is it horrible and wrong or what?
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Old 02-19-04   #3
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Go read Orwell's book "1984".
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Old 02-21-04   #4
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It's essentially a book written in 1948 about a communist state. Orwell was once a communist (I think he fought in Spain?) but became completely disillusioned with what communism actually became. 'Big Brother' is a kind of Stalin figure whose face is plastered on huge posters all across the country. Everyone's room has a camera in it. Lives are totally controlled and regulated. Eventually it become clear that thoughts are effectively regulated as well. Well worth a read.
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Old 02-21-04   #5
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However, it has been extened into the ultimate metaphor for state control. People have been come so obessed with personal freedom to do whatever the hell they want, that the notion of community (which essentially needs good governance) has been sidelined.

The book has been a curse on society for the past 50 years. As people instead of taking it to mean that one should be more aware and active in government in order to make it less oppresive, mor eeffective and more free (A part of the communisitc ideal) and instead read it to mean that the sate is the enemy.

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Old 02-21-04   #6
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Neon, you work for your government don't you? I read that Britain was putting cameras up on all of the streets to "protect people", you don't see the parallel here with "1984"?
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Old 02-22-04   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arty
It's essentially a book written in 1948 about a communist state. Orwell was once a communist (I think he fought in Spain?) but became completely disillusioned with what communism actually became. 'Big Brother' is a kind of Stalin figure whose face is plastered on huge posters all across the country. Everyone's room has a camera in it. Lives are totally controlled and regulated. Eventually it become clear that thoughts are effectively regulated as well. Well worth a read.
Arty,.. I don't usually disagree with you,..
but to be 'semantically' correct;

'George Orwell' was actually the 'Pen Name' (Same as a "Stage name") for the writer; Eric Arthur Blair.
!984 is more of a satire look at attacking the Totalitarian State - Not necessarily a Communist/Socialist state - or even 'Orwell's' vision of a Totalitarian state in existance in 1984 (considering the book was written in the 1930's.)

anyway, I found this of more insight;
Quote:
George Orwell 1903-1950

The British author George Orwell, pen name of Eric Arthur Blair, b. Motihari, India, June 25, 1903, d. London, Jan. 21, 1950, achieved prominence in the late 1940s as the author of two brilliant satires attacking totalitarianism. Familiarity with the novels, documentaries, essays, and criticism he wrote during the 1930s and later has since established him as one of the most important and influential voices of the century.

Orwell's parents were members of the Indian Civil Service, and, after an education at Eton College in England, Orwell joined (1922) the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, an experience that later found expression in the novel Burmese Days (1934). His first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (193, was a nonfictional account--moving and comic at the same time--of several years of self-imposed poverty he had experienced after leaving Burma. He published three other novels in the 1930s: A Clergyman's Daughter (1935), Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936), and Coming Up for Air (1939). His major works of the period were two documentaries: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), a detailed, sympathetic, and yet objective study of the lives of nearly impoverished miners in the Lancashire town of Wigan; and Homage to Catalonia (1938), which recounts his experiences fighting for the Loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. Orwell was wounded, and, when the Communists attempted to eliminate their allies on the far left, fought against them and was forced to flee for his life.

Orwell's two best-known books reflect his lifelong distrust of autocratic government, whether of the left or right: Animal Farm (1945), a modern beast-fable attacking Stalinism, and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), a dystopian novel setting forth his fears of an intrusively bureaucratized state of the future. The pair of novels brought him his first fame and almost his only remuneration as a writer. His wartime work for the BBC (published in the collections George Orwell: The Lost Writings, and The War Commentaries) gave him a solid taste of bureaucratic hypocrisy and may have provided the inspiration for his invention of "newspeak," the truth-denying language of Big Brother's rule in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Orwell's reputation rests not only on his political shrewdness and his sharp satires but also on his marvelously clear style and on his superb essays, which rank with the best ever written. "Politics and the English Language" (1950), which links authoritarianism with linguistic decay, has been widely influential. The four-volume Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell was published in 1968.

Refer: http://www.levity.com/corduroy/orwell.htm



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Old 02-22-04   #8
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That was indeed a pen-name, but 1984 was written in 1948, not the 1930s (your article gives its publication date of 1949).

The state that he wrote about may refer to any totalitarian state, but it was inspired by his dissillusionment with communism, as he realised that Russia had become effectively like any other totalitarian state. Big Brother is deliberately described to look like Stalin. Animal Farm more clearly illustrates his views of communism, as it is directly allegorical. I personally think that communism was a bigger influence on him than fascism, though his target is all such regimes - he calls one of the pigs in Animal Farm Napoleon, despite the book's direct allegory to communism.
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Old 02-22-04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonwraith
The book has been a curse on society for the past 50 years.
Only for those who pine for pervasive state control. For the rest of us, the book has been a great boon. Rarely has a novel had such positive effect on society. To the extent we don't resemble Oceania, 1984 deserves some credit.

Quote:
read it to mean that the sate is the enemy.
In totalitarian countries, the state IS the enemy.

The book's greatest virtue is in so clearly describing and revealing what power lust is about, and how dictatorships dehumanize their subjects.
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Old 02-22-04   #10
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Returning to the thread's primary theme, I personally think drug testing kids is a horribly bad idea.

Civil rights must be fought for by each new generation. But how does the current set of children grow up desiring to fight for their liberty? IMO, they develop a visceral (as opposed to intellectual) inclination towards a particular civil right by living it through childhood.

But the affection for the right can be erased in the same manner. If you force kids to submit to the indignities of involuntary testing, you cultivate a generation of adults who have no visceral attachment to the right of privacy. They accept the realities of their universe (i.e., authority has the right to this procedure, rather than _I_ have a right to privacy) and thus grow up not valuing this civil right.

Then later, those same kids turn into voters who can be easily talked out of that set of rights. They will not fight fo maintain that set of rights.

There's no question that's how the UK lost its right to keep and bear arms. And random drug child testing in the US will create a nation of voters who will not defend the 4th and 5th Amendment against government predation.
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Old 02-28-04   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madsen
Neon, you work for your government don't you? I read that Britain was putting cameras up on all of the streets to "protect people", you don't see the parallel here with "1984"?
I'm a Lawyer who has done work for the Government.

The cameras wathcing people on the streets has cut crime and increased conviction rate. They're not beaming straight into your living room so no, I don't see the problem and I don't see the parrallel.

They are factually similar, but they are 1 million miles apart. All the CCTV cameras do is help the police locate trouble and cirme and deal with it or sometimes prevent it.

Neon
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Old 02-28-04   #12
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I've no objections to the planned testing if it could be shown to have any effect, but it seems that it won't.

Therefor surely the $23 Million could be better spent on making sure the kids were adaquately disciplined and that the teachers could teach without fear.

Neon
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Old 02-28-04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neonwraith
The cameras wathcing people on the streets has cut crime and increased conviction rate. They're not beaming straight into your living room so no, I don't see the problem and I don't see the parrallel.
The harm in them is that the next generation of adults who grow up in your society will have lower standards for privacy and a greater acceptance that invasion of privacy is normal, that telescreens everywhere are normal. Thus they may -- this is purely my opinion -- fight less hard to defend their privacy from the next governmental demagogue who would invade privacy or restrict some other right more.

Rights are understood and defended viscerally, not intellectually.
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Old 02-28-04   #14
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But now you're getting back to the notion of government intervention in the private life.

We are precisely the society Orwell warned about. Not because we accept certain things such as the CCTV cameras or other things, but because as a world wide society we are too lazy to do anyhting to fight it.

In the US/UK, Voting turnout is the lowest it has ever been. People do not get involved in polotics and instead let people forcefeed them hours and hours of soaps and docu-soaps and reality TV and let their minds turn to mush while they fail to involve themselves in hard hitting issues.

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And heaven punishes desires
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If wishing damns us, you and I
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Come then we may at least enjoy
Some pleasure for our punishment..."

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Old 02-28-04   #15
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"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding." -- Justice Louis Brandeis,1928
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Old 02-29-04   #16
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I'd take $23 million to help me pay for college. Yeah, that'd be nice.
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Old 03-02-04   #17
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$23 million??????????
thats a lot of money, just think of all the poor kids the us could put through college with that??
If you ask me its an unjustifiable waste of cash!!!

ps: 1984 as far as i understand was written about a totalitarian not a communist state
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Old 03-02-04   #18
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RE. 1984. Totalitarian and communist aren't mutually exclusive, particularly for Orwell. Big Brother is Stalin more or less, the guy with the Jewish name that they're all supposed to hate is Trotsky etc, but there's also lots of allusions to fascist stuff as well. I say it's more inspired by communism because a) fascism had been defeated when he wrote it b) his disillusionment with communism was one of his big themes. But I agree, it's not as definitely referential to communism as Animal Farm.
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