North Carolina Sheriffs Demand Access To State Records on Citizen Prescriptions

Sheriffs in North Carolina are demanding access to state computer records identifying anyone in the state with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances. The obvious intrusion into the privacy of citizens is being justified as potentially allowing police to make more drug arrests.

The dragnet would pull in thirty percent of the citizens who have at least one prescription for a controlled substance. That is nearly 2.5 million people.

Such a proposal should result in public outcry and recrimination. However, the legislature is considering the request.

It is astonishing that we have come to a point where such a demand is considered plausible. We are quickly turning into a fishbowl society where every aspect of our lives remain under government surveillance and monitoring. This is a change in our country, which is based, as stated by Louis Brandeis, “the right to be left alone.” There are any number of things that can make it easier for the government including total access to financial and medical records as well as discretionary searches and seizures. Privacy often loses when “balanced” against claims of crime fighting. As citizens become more accustomed to government intrusion, it makes further intrusions possible. The Katz test premises the right of the government to engage in warrantless surveillance on the “reasonable expectation of privacy of citizens.” As those expectations fall, the power of the government increases — creating a downward spiral.

Privacy remains an abstraction that fades away in the presence of “tough on crime” rhetoric. What concerns me is that an association of sheriffs would have so little appreciation for core privacy values and traditions. As Brandeis observed in his dissenting opinion in Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928):

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.

Source: News Observer

Jonathan Turley

71 thoughts on “North Carolina Sheriffs Demand Access To State Records on Citizen Prescriptions

  1. Class 2 or higher Controlled substances are already required to be filed with the state. But then again, I hear that there is a cop (former) that paid for sex with drugs and other items….maybe its a new Vice squad squeeze……Just for grins, I wonder how many time Rushs’ would appear……

  2. All too often, law enforcement and prosecutors do not have a clue. I recall seeing a story on TV a few years ago about a fellow with severe back pain. As I recall, he was confined to a wheelchair. He was prosecuted for ‘intent to distribute’ because he had so much pain medication in his possession. He was sent to prison and now, in prison, he lives in the department of corrections medical facility where he is on MORE medications for his pain than he was in the free world.

    The prosecutor was interviewed and came across as a self righteous prig who is still convinced the prosecution was justifiable because no one ought to have that much pain medication around unless they are dealing.

    This story should scare the hell out of every cancer and pain patient in the country. Doctors are already frightened that they will have the gendarmes show up at their office and perp walk them out through their crowded waiting room in handcuffs.

    All this makes it harder and harder for legitimate pain patients to get medication for palliative relief from suffering.

  3. Make more drug busts based on what exactly? The presumption that the Sheriff’s Department know better than someone’s doctor what medications they should be taking? I didn’t know they were handing out medical degrees with badges these days. Especially since one requires years of schooling followed by the Hippocratic Oath and the other only requires you to be willing to shoot someone and act like a thug under the color of state authority.

    Quite simply for even considering the matter, the legislature of North Carolina and their Sheriffs deserves a firm and hearty “Fuck you, you meddlesome busybody pricks.”

    Mind. Your. Own. Business.

    And be prepared for the HIPPA challenges.

  4. Buddha is Angry about this one.

    It’s bad enough that insurance companies are allowed to practice medicine without a license, but law enforcement?

    Police State Thuggery.

  5. Buddha,

    The cops want permission to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no recourse what so ever.

    I can already see the new law enforcement vehicles that they will be coming out with in the next five to ten years, which will all be heavily technology driven, having this database active in real time as they drive around neighboorhoods, etc… They want to be able to keep an eye on these potential “criminals,” er, hm, patients. They are already scanning license plates in some squad cars in real time. The more information added to the GPS-based database system the better, right?

    And don’t forget about those “no refusal” blood draws down in Texas. Officers taking the citizenry’s blood by force right on the side of the road. They love playing doctor.

    Get a grip, America. It’s time to JUST SAY NO to new power grabs and privacy invasions.

  6. This is what you get when you spend hundreds of millions of dollars over decades pushing hysterical anti-drug propaganda and tens of billions over decades building a totally out of control war on drugs bureaucracy.

    Wait until law enforcement follows the new military habit of shopping out their duties (read drug busts) to mercenary groups akin to Xe.

    Civil control of this country is disintegrating at an amazing pace.

  7. Nal,

    I think you are correct about that. He was the first Jew on the court. He hailed from Kentucky and was very familiar with intrusive behavior of the police. He spent time in Russia and Germany. Six of Stalins staunches supporters were Jewish. Ya see what happened to them. He was also aware many year before most Americans of the atrocity going on in Germany. If memory serves me correctly he was inspired by an uncle that was closely aligned with getting Lincoln nominated and elected. I think it was Dewaltz or something like that.

    The next good one that would have had a difficult time is Benjamin Cardozo whose family was not only Jewish, but catch this Portuguese. He probably couldn’t even get on the short list because if memory serves me he did not go to Harvard or Yale but to some unprecedented school call Columbia.

    Earl Warren one of my hero’s is to be saved for another chapter and verse.

  8. culheath
    1, September 10, 2010 at 10:37 am
    This is what you get when you spend hundreds of millions of dollars over decades pushing hysterical anti-drug propaganda and tens of billions over decades building a totally out of control war on drugs bureaucracy.

    Wait until law enforcement follows the new military habit of shopping out their duties (read drug busts) to mercenary groups akin to Xe.

    Civil control of this country is disintegrating at an amazing pace.

    ===========================================================

    Hear … hear

    And everything Buddha said

  9. Buddha,

    Maybe the sheriffs just want to get the “good stuff” without payin’ for it!

    I suppose the sheriffs don’t already have enough crimes to investigate–so they have to go looking for some?????

  10. Repression often cloaks itself in the disguise of high-minded, safety-first rhetoric. Isn’t that how the Bushies sold their ill-named, cowardly and unconstitutional Patriots’ Act.

  11. Given the ever blatant and ever increasing Constitutional violations, obeying the law is rapidly becoming optional in accordance with the social compact.

    You keep violating We the People’s Constitutional rights and our duty to government to comply rapidly slides down that slippery slope too, Washington.

    Stop encroaching on our Civil Rights!
    Restore habeas corpus!
    Restore the rule of law now!
    Repeal the Patriot Act!
    Arrest and try those who have tortured in Our name!
    Reign in the overreaching Executive Branch!

    Because if you don’t?

    Why should We the People care what government says? The rulers of any given system ultimately only rule at the consent of the governed. Ask Marie Antoinette if you doubt this historical lesson. No where in the Constitution does it grant the President the right to violate our rights and act like an Imperial Dictator. If you think it does? Learn to the contrary the hard way.

    When justice is finally had, I’ll be the one saying, “I told you so, you myopic self-interested egoist venal career politician dumbasses.”

    Buddha is Not Amused and justice is still a pendulum.

    See South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission or the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal for a historical example.

    Keep on the road of trampling the citizens in the “name of security” you’re on, Washington, and you’ll be seeing a replay soon enough.

    It’s time to dismantle both the GOP and the DNC for their abuses.

  12. There there.

    I’m sure Slarti will find justification for all this too.

    After all, we are living in a bad economy you know.

  13. “Why should We the People care what government says? The rulers of any given system ultimately only rule at the consent of the governed. Ask Marie Antoinette if you doubt this historical lesson. No where in the Constitution does it grant the President the right to violate our rights and act like an Imperial Dictator. If you think it does? Learn to the contrary the hard way.” (Buddha)

    Reposted for emphasis!

  14. This abomination is the illegitimate offspring of “Reefer Madness” and the Patriot Act. Since we have established a doctrine of constitutional immunity for the actions of the federal executive branch, it is only natural that the states will wish to adopt the same standards.

  15. Mike A:

    let us repeal the Patriot Act and quickly. I would like to see “reefer” legalized as well, I can turn my 1 acre into some green cash. I wonder how hard it is to grow cannabis? And the yield per acre.

  16. All the worst repression is perpetrated in the service of some supposed “greater good.” Obscenity Laws, Drug Laws, Immigration Laws, Terrorism Lawa are put in place to protect us from ourselves, or from a manufactured “bogey man” that purportedly will destroy society as we know it. All of the great tyrants in history have used unreasoned fear to solidify their control.

    When it comes to the “War on Drugs” its’ history lies in the repeal of prohibition in the 30’s and the fear of job loss by a man named Harry J. Anslinger, who convinced people that marijuana and hemp were threatening our youth with degradation. He was nobly aided by W.R. Hearst who fear that hemp-based paper would make his vast ownership of wood forests valueless. In any event it made good copy for his tabloids. Good old Hollywood was enlisted, as were radio and crime fiction.

    Forgotten in all this was that heroin was developed in the 1910’s as a cure for the “morphine scourge” sweeping the nation.
    Curiously, those to be most feared represented the lower, or darker classes, who were waiting to “prey upon” the pristine white population. Of course forgotten in all this was that we gave our aircraft crews “speed” to help them stay awake.

    It is estimated that about 60 to 80% of our “noble” cowboys and western settlers were serious alcoholics. Today of course they are held up as the apotheosis of the America Dream of the rugged individual.

    As others here have cogently stated in rounding out our picture of this, we are merely seeing the expansion of a Police State in the US that will shortly rival the KGB and behave little differently.

  17. Mike S.,

    Did not DuPont also want some of the action as well. Something about nylon roping and the Navy…the service people that actually used the rope hated it because the salt water rotted it quicker. I think it was much broader than Hearst but he had the ability to get the good word out…..this was also about the time that they made the sticky hand grenades..they worked wonders in blowing things up, the only problem was getting them out of your hand. This brilliant ideal did not last too long.

  18. Buddha: I’m not sure a HIPAA challenge would fly. There’s a clause in there which states, “Covered entities may use and disclose protected health information without individual authorization as required by law (including by statute, regulation, or court orders).”

    Basically, privacy is protected by law… until they say it isn’t.

  19. Dredd,

    To which the counter would be that absent compelling proof of specific wrongdoing, the state law fails for being unconstitutionally vague and tantamount to a fishing expedition by law enforcement across the body of patients within the state in toto that usurps each individual patients 4th Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. What starts as a HIPPA challenge could end up being a Constitutional challenge. Of course, you could open with the 4th Amendment and cut to the chase as well. But whatever opens the door to court scrutiny is good with me.

  20. I listen to right wing talk radio (being a conservative of sorts) and I am seriously worried that they are whipping the country into a frenzy of anti-Islamic sentiment. It is very troubling, nothing good is going to come from anti-Islamic rhetoric. I have Muslim friends and I am actually worried for their safety.

    I find myself turning it off more and more, I am embarrassed by these people. I don’t say this lightly either.

  21. Byron,
    “And Falls Church VA put a gps tracking device on a car without a warrent.

    The police state is upon us and growing.”

    _________

    It’s already here, we’re just watching it’s refinement waiting to see where the citizen push-back (if any) comes from. I believe that. I no longer believe we have a Constitutional Democracy and with easily hackable, unverifiable electronic voting machines I don’t think it’s even a democracy. I think the 200 election closed the door on that conceit.

    It would be interesting to know if N.C. has confiscation laws, does the state get to confiscate the property of drug felons? Maybe the state (and the police who undoubtedly get a cut) has maxed out other drug profit taking and is looking to expand its profit venue. I would not doubt it for a minute. It is entirely consistent with the ‘government as a business’ model being pushed by the wingers and entirely in tune with the corporate model we see at work around us and pervading every aspect of our lives. With states in the financial straights they are currently this may be nothing more than opening a new revenue stream.

    The bottom line is always the bottom line.

  22. What sheriffs in North Carolina are attempting to do will be institutionalized as the new national health care bill is implemented. We can be sure that medical records – including prescription information – will be widely available to government employees as well as the fortune 500 set despite current assurances to the contrary.

    The reason sheriffs would have a particular fondness for access to prescription drug databases today is due to the laws allowing law enforcement to seize cash and property associated with these so-called crimes.

    Last year I talked about our vanishing privacy:

    As we continue to build databases to force citizens to stand naked in front of the State, there’s much we can look forward to:

    1. Access to electronic health care records. Should an officer have more latitude with self defense measures (like use of a Taser), when dealing with individuals who have been prescribed anti-anxiety medications, or other psychotropic drugs? When it’s in the database, I can see that precedent-setting case coming shortly thereafter.

    Any database lookup by a government employee should require a biometric identifier from the employee, date and time stamp, and be reported to the individual investigated within 30 days of the transaction. Only transparency will arrest the growing government abuse of private information.

  23. Pete,

    I may bullshit about a lot of things, but one thing I will not bullshit about is lame brain ideals that have made military contractors wealthy….

    I have an interesting question and hopefully someone can answer it. Walt Disney, had a mustache, right? How come the Walt Disney Company will not hire anyone with facial hair? Query me that one?

  24. “How come the Walt Disney Company will not hire anyone with facial hair?”

    What is “Because fascists are really good at the whole ‘do as I say, not as I do’ philosophy.”

    I’ll take “Highly Overrated Americans” again for $500, Alex.

  25. Buddha: Cool. I hope the challenge would fly. As both a physician and (sometimes) a patient, I think the loopholes in HIPAA are big enough to drive a mack truck through.

  26. Anonymously Yours

    I have an interesting question and hopefully someone can answer it. Walt Disney, had a mustache, right? How come the Walt Disney Company will not hire anyone with facial hair? Query me that one?

    ==============================================================

    Lice?

  27. even people who wear the costumes are not allowed facial hair. go figure. this is amerika, only porn stars and hippies have facial hair.

  28. On topic, I’m in favor of transparency in everything. I’d make all records and data public, I wouldn’t care if it were issues of universal security.

    I bet many sheriffs and cops would indeed appear quite high up the list for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances, nobody is that slow and apathic.

    On the other hand I know that many of ’em could really use some Prozac when on the job too, as evidenced daily by JT. Short tempered wise-asses and power don’t mix.

  29. “On topic, I’m in favor of transparency in everything. I’d make all records and data public, I wouldn’t care if it were issues of universal security.”
    —————————–
    Dude, that would be so irresponsible.

    Courts and cops and ‘controlling’ forces are motivated by fear and thereby need to impose that on others…most citizens, are motivated by a different factor that is expressed in behaviors and expectations of trust. While there are mitigating factors…instability in a society will elevate the fear, which gets ‘communicated’ to those who trust, who then fear, which comforts the controllers…it is a cycle of abuse…and it is not healthy for children and other living things…..

  30. lottakatz:

    I have a question. the right thinks the left is to blame and the left thinks the right is to blame. If that is the case who the f*ck is actually doing this sh*t? If you listen to one side at a time it is the other side that is the cause and cases can be made by each for each as the cause.

    Are we being manipulated by something beyond left and right? Or is it that the right wants to control morality and the left wants to control economics and so in a way each side is correct in their assessment of the other?

    The people are in a vice grip of opposing ideologies, both ultimately totalitarian in nature. It appears that the idea of political and economic freedom being corollaries is correct. Both are necessary for a free society, either one or the other is insufficient for liberty.

  31. “The people are in a vice grip of opposing ideologies, both ultimately totalitarian in nature. It appears that the idea of political and economic freedom being corollaries is correct. Both are necessary for a free society, either one or the other is insufficient for liberty.”
    ———————————-
    I don’t disagree w/this Byron. There certainly is an internal struggle but I don’t think it is necessarily ‘totalitarian’when the fundamentalists are out of the equation. It could be creative. There is no doubt in my mind that it has a lot to do with progressiveness vrs. stagnation. Moving forward or degenerating to n old feudal or fascist state. We have plumbed to death the ‘old ways’ and the new infrastructure has to be reflective of ways that are inclusive and work for everyone…not just the wealthy few on the backs of the working poor. And I personally don’t think we have to give up our Democracy or or Freedoms to acheive it.

  32. Woosty:

    I don’t understand how the rich ride on the backs of the poor? Aren’t the poor usually poor for a reason? I understand that some people just have bad luck but to say the rich ride on the backs of the working poor is not what happens in reality.

    Maybe it happened in the 1840’s when Marx developed his philosophy but I don’t know how you can say it today. Most skilled labor makes a decent wage and most unskilled labor works at menial jobs because that is all they are qualified to do. The rich do not prevent the poor from obtaining a skill set that is marketable or doing other things to better their lives.

    To blame the rich or anyone else for that matter is to absolve people of responsibility for improper decisions they have made in the course of their lives. I could have gone to medical school or veterinary college had I studied harder, did wealthy doctors make me go party when I should have been studying?

    Even educated people get taken advantage of by people who have superior knowledge. “Knowledge is power” is a powerful concept, the rich typically have superior knowledge and/or people who they pay to have whatever knowledge is necessary for success. The poor have access to that knowledge as well in the form of books and the Internet.

    Did Bill Gates become rich on the backs of poor people? I don’t think so, he also made a good many people wealthy and made it possible for people like me to run small businesses very efficiently.

    Fortunately or unfortunately society needs people who are able to create wealth. If it was easy everyone would be doing it but it isn’t and people like you and me and poor people need rich people who can afford our services and pay taxes to run government.

  33. Byron,
    I’d like to respond but can’t at the moment. I will later. You are correct….it isn’t just the poor that get screwed ;)

    And it isn’t just the ‘rich’ that do the screwing….we sure can talk about ‘power’ … I don’t believe it is knowledge that is the great divider at the moment…

  34. There are costs to every transaction.

    Every transaction has a function that can be modeled.

    Profits don’t magically appear.

    They are siphoned away from a market.

    A market is a populace bound to an area as defined by the limits of the chain of distribution.

    The rest should be evident.

    Since populations are people, those in the 1% making the most profits are taking most from the populace and the latest data shows by a significantly disproportionate figure than since the Depression.

    “‘The incomes of the top 400 American households soared to a new record high in dollars and as a share of all income in 2007, while the income tax rates they paid fell to a record low.’

    Between 2006 and 2007, according to the IRS, the average income of the country’s 400 top taxpayers rose 31%, from $263.3 million to $344.8 million. At the same time, their effective income tax rate declined more than half a percentage point, from 17.17% in 2006 to 16.62% in 2007.

    That’s all of a piece with trends documented by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty, whose research into global income patterns shows that between 1992 and 2007, America’s 400 richest households increased their average income by 399%, while the bottom 90% of the country’s households gained just 13%. (Those percentages, by the way, reflect inflation-adjusted dollars.)” (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/24/opinion/la-oe-rutten24-2010feb24)

    Let’s look at that, shall we?

    399%.

    13%.

    The rest should be self-evident.

    Any light dawning on the fundamental nature of the relationship between capitol and labor yet, Byron?

    The perfect analog model is found in the animal kingdom in the for of semi-beneficial parasites: Organisms that in an appropriate proportion and/or location provide benefit to the host organism, but in the wrong proportion and/or location can kill the host organism and thus the environment that sustains them.

  35. The problem with the World is it is not a true free market. People should be able to take as much graft as humanly possible and never be prosecuted. This is the definition of a really free market. How much can I take and not give back. I have mine screw you and yours’ Free Market.

  36. “The problem with the World is it is not a true free market. People should be able to take as much graft as humanly possible and never be prosecuted. This is the definition of a really free market.”
    ————————————
    I’d say we’re there.

    Byron….what Buddha said. I couldn’t say it better. But here is a thought…(from Monica K.)

    “The US Census Bureau’s latest report has determined that from the years 2000-2008, corporations have spent over 3 Trillion dollars [up from the previous $1T] oversees to build factories and put to work people not in the USA. …It is in our country’s best interest for you to stand with President Obama and not let your ethics be manipulated by republicans who do not care about 95% of the working class nor the middle-class; whom they seem to ignore! Tell me, how are the republicans going to “create jobs” for Americans; Americans who live in America, by allowing tax cuts to huge corporations and their billionaire CEO’s who build their companies oversees? ”
    ———————————–
    and Byron you say; “To blame the rich or anyone else for that matter is to absolve people of responsibility for improper decisions they have made in the course of their lives. ”
    I would agree with you except that implies a level playing field. I remember my attempt at investing in Krispy Kreme…I knew it would fly, I did the ‘homework’ I knew the demographic, I knew the numbers…it was a good opening stock. I was not allowed to buy! All the ‘front row seaters’ got first dibs and bottom prices….I suppose I could have bought AFTER they ran the stock up…this is 1 example of our current ‘market’ and the ‘superior knowlege’ at play….which looks a whole lot like who you know, and not what you know…which is more like power perverte than simple sexy power ;)
    now, gotta go…LOTR’s is on and that is truly sacrosanct…

  37. The Constitution under direct attack by the military.

    “Pentagon aims to buy up book

    By Peter Finn and Greg Miller
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, September 10, 2010

    The Defense Department is attempting to buy the entire first printing – 10,000 copies – of a memoir by a controversial former Defense Intelligence Agency officer so that the book can be destroyed, according to military and other sources.”

  38. And now?

    More poor people.

    Poverty Rate In U.S. Saw Record Increase In 2009: 1 In 7 Americans Are Poor

    “WASHINGTON — The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

    Census figures for 2009 – the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat’s presidency – are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

    It’s unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase – from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent – would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

    “The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there,” Obama said Friday at a White House news conference. He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, “If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle.”

    Interviews with six demographers who closely track poverty trends found wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.

    Should those estimates hold true, some 45 million people in this country, or more than 1 in 7, were poor last year. It would be the highest single-year increase since the government began calculating poverty figures in 1959. The previous high was in 1980 when the rate jumped 1.3 percentage points to 13 percent during the energy crisis.”
    _____

    Again, those numbers were top 400 wealthiest households income up by 399%.

    The bottom 90% incomes up by only 13%.

    It’s rare I find a number or set of numbers that makes me feel physically ill.

  39. why are people surprised?

    why is the news this morning touting an ‘expanding’ economy?

    It sounds like the same tricks use to report the jobless benefits/job loss statistics. Once people drop off the rolls
    they are no longer reflecte in these types of self-serving statistics. It is insanity using anything but the total beginning base-line inclusive if you want a true statistical reflection….. What oes that say about the current ‘expansion’?

    I think what the poverty numbers show…expansion of poverty…and more trickonomics…

  40. “Are we being manipulated by something beyond left and right?”

    Byron,
    I know you to be intelligent. If you would only ponder the truth of this question, without the distractions of your pre-suppositions of economics, politics and morality, you would have the ability to see the world as it really is and thus move beyond the manipulations you’ve so easily fallen into.

  41. AY,
    DuPont is a good add. If we allowed the economic exploitation of hemp and its potential products the US may return to our former position as a viable economic entity.

  42. Buddha:

    could it be that the income increase is because they have/had a bunch of money invested in the stock market and that income is not from labor but from increase in stock prices and dividends?

    But are they parasites? They provided, by virtue of their wealth, funds for many companies to increase their wealth by virtue of capital improvements. Thus increasing dividends and stock prices so the rest of us could also enjoy larger returns.

  43. Byron,

    “could it be that the income increase is because they have/had a bunch of money invested in the stock market and that income is not from labor but from increase in stock prices and dividends?”

    Wishful thinking. CEO compensation totaled $598 million at the 50 companies that laid off the most workers.

    “But are they parasites? They provided, by virtue of their wealth, funds for many companies to increase their wealth by virtue of capital improvements. Thus increasing dividends and stock prices so the rest of us could also enjoy larger returns.”

    More wishful thinking. Although some stocks are indeed soaring it is irrelevant as according to research done at USC 90% of the populace owns 18.8% of the outstanding stock while the top 1% owns 38.3% of outstanding stock. The news is also replete with examples of how capitol improvements that are being made are not being used to create jobs and address the shrinking buying capacity of consumers, but rather to increase automation and thereby fuel job losses.

  44. So are planned economies even on limited scales the true enemy or is it corruption by special interests that is truly bringing down the house, Byron?

    a href=”http://www.huffingtonpost.com/janet-tavakoli/goldman-sachs-bullies-on_b_713908.html”>Goldman Sachs: Bullies on the Block

    You keep speaking of an “enemy” (planned economies) that doesn’t exist in this country.

    I’m speaking of a very real enemy that does exist – special interest corruption (and as specifically related to market manipulations by private for profit interests).

    Personally, I prefer to address the demonstrable thief in the house rather than the fictitious boogey man under the bed.

  45. Byron The “Chicago Tribune” was an extremely republican newspaper in 1934. My mother read “Chicago Daily News” when I was a child. We just avoided the Bush depression.

  46. OMG!! I JUST saw a “blurp” on CNN (funny, because I CANNOT stand the talking heads) but there it was… Sheriffs in North Carolina want… WTF?? Where do you even start with this sh!7?? With this type of opression I won’t need to wipe myself. Oh wait, yes I will and THEN pay a penalty for using one square too many (or is it one less?) Where does this end? I really could answer that but it would require waaayyy too many people to pull their heads out and wake up.

  47. In a related update, legislators continue to press for broad access to medical records by police. From Georgia:

    “We don’t have a searchable database that sheriffs and law enforcement can go in and see who has been buying meth products and who has been buying an excessive amount of pills,” Weldon said at the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce’s Good Morning Dalton breakfast.

    “We’ve got a problem going up and down I-75, and our kids are being exposed to a lot of pharmaceutical drugs. We need to limit that,” Weldon said.

    He said the database would include the names of those who buy over-the-counter medications that can be used to make methamphetamine as well as those who buy prescription drugs.

    Weldon said law enforcement officials will not need a warrant to search the database but they will not have “unfettered” access to medical records.

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