Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tools of the Ruling Class?

Last week I complained how the police, or at least their management, such as California police chiefs were pushing hard against freedom with their campaign to ban open carry. In the comments, I was told not to confuse the rank and file with police management. OK, but what is up with police chiefs these days? Their desire to emulate East Germans is getting a little frightening. From the NC based News-Observer:

Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

The state sheriff's association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people's medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

The point of the whole exercise, apparently, is to determine who has too many prescriptions for pain meds from multiple doctors. Are these guys trying to muscle in on Obamacare style cost containment? Maybe, but they claim they are going to prevent deaths from overdose. At the end of the article, the sheriffs say they are open to compromise. Here isEddie Caldwell, lobbyist for the N.C. Sheriff's Association:
"There's a middle ground where the sheriffs and their personnel working on these drug abuse cases get the information they need in a way that protects the privacy of that information," he said. "No one wants every officer in the state to be able to log on and look it up."
Ya think? Then why the hell is that you proposed in the first place. And it isn't it a little creepy that the sheriffs have their own lobbyists? Allowing law enforcement to get organized through unions and lobbyists appears to be a bad idea. As a federal employee, I am forbidden to lobby the Congress on behalf of my workplace. Similar laws should apply to the states.

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