No Privacy For NASA Employees. Good Thing Too.

4 10 2007

Yet another argument over privacy has hopefully been put to rest in the US. One would think that after it became known that the Virginia Tech massacres occured precisely because of “information silos”, created by the broad interpretation of a “right to privacy” that has no legitimate constitutional basis (I have yet to see a valid argument in support of the Supreme Court jurisprudence that created this right), that people would realise that where lives are at stake, the right causes more harm than good. Privacy should not come at the expense of lives.

Although I do recognise the concerns that drug use history could be used as the basis for any drugs-based prosecutions, the state was made to give assurances that this would not be the case. Even if it were, that judge would still be able to throw out such evidence on 4th amendment grounds, or due process concerns.

Ultimately the key is that right to life, when balanced against those concerns, must surely trump them. There’s no point ensuring people have a right to due process if they’re dead. What use is privacy to a corpse I ask?


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4 responses

5 10 2007
Pribek

I know a lot of people that refuse to apply for jobs because they will be drug tested, have background checks and credit checks run on them. Of course, these are not government jobs; they are in the private sector.
An example of what’s going on; A good friend of mine was fired by a garbage hauling company because he tested positive for pot. He then, got a job as a custodion at the local elementary school because, the school doesn’t test.
What would you rather have, a dope fiend processing trash or, a dope fiend in close contact with your kids all day?
“Personal freedoms” and “right to privacy” are buzzwords; talking points. They are phrases that are promoted for agenda and of hollow meaning.
If you are engaging in an activity that will be reflected in a drug test or background check, you are not acting in a personal or private fashion. So, once again, it comes down to personal choice and common sense.
I read today, that Bruce Springsteen feels that wiretapping, among other things, is un-American.
Obviously, the “founding fathers” had no knowledge of phones. I grew up in a rural are where phones were all party lines; everybody could hear what everybody else was saying. Therefore, you didn’t talk about drug deals and the like.
Simply put-if you want a “right to privacy”, stay private.
The actual rights that are guaranteed (inalienable) are not in the “living document”, they are in the declaration: Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness

5 10 2007
Mr President

Well put, as always. I agree with every word. That story about the refuse collection and school got me thinking, should drug tests be compulsory for any job involving children? I know background checks are normally done for anyone working at schools after cases of caretakers (janitors I believe they’re called out there) kidnapping kids to abuse them.

5 10 2007
Pribek

I don’t know that there is any official stance on drug testing for school employees. I do know that the fellow I talked about earlier, specifically went to seek a job at the school because he had the knowledge that they did not test. And, that went for teachers and even bus drivers as well. This was a few years ago too so, that policy may be different now. It may be something that differs from district to district or state to state.
I just wonder how often this kind of thing happens, where a person will opt for some type of public service instead of a corporate job because of drug testing.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with someone choosing to use recreational drugs. The key point is, once again, the word choice. I also don’t have a problem with an employer using whatever means he chooses to find out about who he is hiring.
In the case of government jobs, like the people at NASA and teachers, postal workers etc., “We the people” are the employer and if “we” decide to drug test, so be it. Ironically, that would involve things like standing up to the teachers union and we haven’t demonstated much of a taste for that.

5 10 2007
Jayne d'Arcy

Drug testing and background checks at schools is sporadic; it isn’t done here in Washington, but a few schools in California began doing it after reports of teachers sleeping with kids, Columbine, etc.

I’ve had two jobs where I was submitted to a background check, fingerprinting AND random drug testing. I didn’t like it, but didn’t have a problem with it. I didn’t have anything to hide.

Where I see a problem with this is when there are no checks and balances in place. We are in the Electronic Data Age, but there’s no way for data to be uncorruptible, or positively accurate. One missed digit in a social security number and you could wind up being Ahmadinejad’s second cousin. Eat a trayful of poppyseed muffins the night before, and you’re forever labeled a drug addict.

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