Archive for January, 2014


Thursday, January 30th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

We loved his voice, we loved his banjo. We loved “Turn, Turn, Turn,” “If I Had a Hammer,” “We Shall Overcome” and all the others he wrote for us. We loved his sense of humor and his uncanny ability to get 3,000 people at Carnegie Hall – mostly strangers to one another – to open their mouths and sing with him. We loved the fact that he was always there. Whether the issue was Vietnam, civil rights, the environment, voting rights, sexism, or the inarguable right of the people of the Hudson Valley to have a swimmable river free of garbage and chemicals, he was there.

But now I go back to something else: a hearing room at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Manhattan 59 years ago, as the House UnAmerican Activities convened for another in its Communist witch hunts. It took extraordinary courage to tell HUAC, in a voice at once polite and defiant, to go to hell. But that is precisely what he did, and for this he would pay.

He was questioned about his political activities, and about the places and events where he had performed. He would not answer. Even more important to HUAC was who was at those meetings and performances. But he would not name names. He said he would answer any questions from the committee about himself or about his songs, but would refuse to discuss individuals.

At one point he was asked about an item that had appeared in 1947 in the Daily Worker. The paper, published by the Communist Party U.S.A., noted that he would be singing at an event called the Allerton Section Housewarming.

Was the Allerton Section part of the Communist party, a committee staffer asked.

“Sir,” he responded, “I refuse to answer that question whether it was a quote from the New York Times or the Vegetarian Journal.”

Francis Walter, the chairman of HUAC, directed him to respond.

And this was his response: “I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this. I would be very glad to tell you my life if you want to hear of it.”

This was the kind of answer to HUAC, and its like-minded friends in the Senate, that had cost countless people in and out of the entertainment industry their jobs and livelihoods.

HUAC members and staffers peppered him repeatedly with questions about the places he sang and the people who attended his music, and he refused to give in.

At one point he said: “I decline to discuss, under compulsion, where I have sung, and who has sung my songs, and who else has sung with me, and the people I have known. I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American. I will tell you about my songs, but I am not interested in telling you who wrote them. I will tell you about my songs, and I am not interested in who listened to them.”

He defined what it is to stand on principle, on honor. His was the kind of declaration that ought to be hung in classrooms, right next to the American flag. He was cited for contempt of Congress for his refusal to talk about his friends and acquaintances, and sentenced to one year in jail. The conviction was tossed on appeal. But the damage was done, and he lost entertainment gigs and was barred from appearing on network television for several years.

We will remember this man for his music, his integrity, and his courage in the darkest of times.

Introducing Bill Hogan

Thursday, January 30th, 2014


God has a plan_color-2


By Bill Hogan

Time for a Change of Climate?

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

By Michael Kaufman

Nanook of the North would feel right at home in Orange County these days but not this Nudnik from Warwick. I would say the bone-chilling cold we’re having is for the birds…. but they’ve all been smart enough to fly south by now, leaving us birdbrained humans behind. What with all the talk about climate change lately I’ve been thinking seriously about making a change in climate of my own. A colleague with similar thoughts found an eight-question quiz in Kiplinger magazine that helps you determine “which place is the right fit.” I gave it a try and frankly I’m still reeling from the outcome.

According to Kiplinger the top place for me is Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Since I don’t know much about the place I did a Google search. The first item on the list was “Teen Shot to Death Walking Down Rocky Mount Street.” That would have been enough for me but Eva-Lynne said, “That could happen anywhere,” so I did some more reading. I learned that Thelonious Monk, one of my all-time favorite jazz musicians hailed from Rocky Mount. There were some other things to like as well, but overall, I don’t think I’d give up Warwick for that place.

Next on the list: Auburn-Opelika, Alabama. I never heard of it but I didn’t bother to look it up. I know I’m not Alabamy bound. (I’d rather hang around with the heebie jeebies in Warwick.) On the other hand, my nephew Steven’s wife Allison’s Aunt Louise seemed happy enough living in Birmingham. I met her at Steven’s wedding years ago. It was the only time I ever heard an old Jewish woman speak with a deep southern drawl. I got such a kick out of it I kept the conversation going just to listen to her talk.

Next up: Greenville, North Carolina. At least I’ve heard of it. From Googling I learned that it is “the 10th largest city in North Carolina“; and the “health, entertainment, and educational hub of North Carolina’s Tidewater and Coastal Plain.” I’ve heard of Tidewater: The Mets used to have a Triple-A team there, the Tidewater Tides. Greenville seems to be near the beach, which is a plus. But I was turned off when I went to the official home page, which carries the heading, “Greenville, NC: Dedicated to providing all citizens with quality services in an open, ethical manner, insuring a community of distinction for the future.” I almost fell asleep reading that. I prefer something more direct and to the point such as, “Florida, NY: Home of Jimmy Sturr, the Polka King.”

The next one was a nonstarter: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (See Auburn-Opelika.)  And last but not altogether least on the Kiplinger list of places supposedly the right fit for me: Goldsboro, North Carolina! Yes, Goldsboro, described by Wikipedia as “best known as home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.” I never heard of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (but I used to work with a fine fellow named Seymour Joseph). The county seat of Wayne County, Goldsboro is located about 43 miles southwest of the aforementioned Greenville (meaning farther from the beach. Feh!); and 55 miles southeast of Raleigh, the state capital. Big deal.

I’m not knocking any of those towns. Maybe they’re all swell places to live. They’re certainly a lot warmer than Warwick. But are they the right fit for me? I don’t think so. I’m not leaving Warwick any time soon. And as far as I’m concerned the Kiplinger quiz is guano. But see what it comes up with for you.

Michael can be reached at


Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 01/24/14

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014
Blue New Mexico Mountains

Blue New Mexico Mountains

By Carrie Jacobson

Out here in the West, the open skies call to me. The huge empty spaces speak my name. When I am up in the high desert, I can feel the elevation, feel the rush of height and the pleasure of knowing that I am nearly in the sky.

Out here in the West, you can see the future coming, as you stand solidly in the present. You can watch the storms move in. You can hear the train whistle before you see it. You can watch the cars and trucks on the road for miles and miles before they hit the horizon.

Some people would find it lonely, I think. It is easy to feel solitary, easy to feel alone. But I don’t find it lonely. I find it simple and spare and open.  A place for short sentences, long stories and solid truth. I love being here. I love painting here.

The Old Ball Game

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

It is very cold this morning, but the snow turned out to be less catastrophic than anticipated. The sun is shining, the sky is a rich blue and a few minutes ago a guy on the radio uttered one of the lovelier phrases in the English language.

“Pitchers and catchers,” he said, and it turns out that after today it’s just 13 days until the start of spring training for the throwers and receivers. The Arizona Diamondbacks report on Feb. 6, the Mets on Feb. 15 and the Bronx team on Feb. 14. All this means that winter will soon be over; never mind what the calendar or the meteorologists say.

Several days after pitchers and catchers report, the position players arrive for spring training. Then, on March 30 there’s an opening-day game with Los Angeles playing Washington in Sydney, Australia. The traditional opening day will be on the 31st. VIPs will toss first pitches, some people with questionable ability will sing the national anthem, the cheering will commence when the vocalists reach “o’er the land of the free,” umpires will cry out “Play Ball!” and there will be happiness in the land.

Now is a wonderful time of year. For one thing, it proves that we’ve survived another winter, this one more frigid than most. It is a time to think about the next six months in our futures and to at least consider the possibility that all will be well.

For Mets fans, however, it is tinged with the aroma of disappointment. It’s a time of welcome, but of fear and slight resignation as well. In other words, a year like most other years for followers of the Mets. As in so many summers past we stand at the cusp of another season of hope, rage and ultimately (in all likelihood) grave disappointment. But wait, this is baseball and therefore we hope. Miracles happen in this game. Maybe this will be the year of surprise and delight. Maybe this is the year of another miracle in Flushing. God knows we deserve it. God knows we need it.

I love the game: a double play, a bunt (rare nowadays) that catches the infielders glued in place, a game-ending home run in the bottom of the ninth, a perfectly executed hit and run, the long afternoon of a pitcher refusing, inning after inning, to give up a first hit. Or, just sitting in the warm sun of spring. That’s another thing I like about baseball – the day games early in the season and into summer when you can sit and talk, have a beer and take in that sun.

I detest the business of baseball: the fact that if you take a kid to a game and add up the price of parking, tickets, a pennant or other souvenir, maybe a scorecard, a round of hot dogs and drinks, maybe something more substantial as the game progresses, you spend enough money to have made a mortgage payment. And it irks me that the slowest, clumsiest, most inept players demand salaries in the millions and that part of those salaries are partially underwritten by you and me when we buy tickets.

But it’s baseball and I can forgive a lot when the reward is to watch players execute those plays that I can only wish I could duplicate.

Because it is winter heading into spring, it’s a time of remembrance as well. It may be 59 summers since the Dodgers of Brooklyn defeated the Bronx team in the ’55 World Series, but still I am shocked when I look up the Brooklyn roster of 1955 and realize that of the 32 players listed, only nine are living.

That fabled infield of Reese, Robinson, Gilliam and Hodges, gone.

The outfield of Furillo, Snider and Amoros, gone.

Our catcher, Campanella, gone.

Among the pitchers, Podres, Labine, Loes, all gone. But the great Don Newcombe (who pitched a 27-7 season), Carl Erskine, Roger Craig, the kid Sandy Koufax (“the kid” is 78), Tommy Lasorda and Ed Roebuck are with us.

Why do I go back to these guys every spring? Why do I think of them almost as members of my working class family? That’s a subject for deeper thinking and another column.

Wait ‘til next year.


Pick Any Number but Make it 18,314

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

By Gretchen Gibbs

Governor Christie got himself in trouble over the traffic jam his aides created at the George Washington Bridge partly because emergency vehicles could not get through and because there was the possibility that one 90-year old woman might have died because she did not get to the hospital in time.

We take death seriously in this country. Or do we? I recently finished reading The Healing of America by H.R. Reid, which I highly recommend. I have been avoiding the debate about Obamacare because it is so complicated and so partisan. But Reid, a long-time correspondent for The Washington Post, both explains the Affordable Care Act and presents health care in a straightforward way. He went from country to country with his bad shoulder to see what different health systems would prescribe and charge. In the U.S., doctors recommended a total shoulder replacement, a procedure with many potential side effects and a cost of about $10,000. In India, however, Reid stayed at a clinic for $42 a night, including food and treatments, and found the massage and herbal remedies reduced the pain and increased the mobility of his shoulder.

Reid’s central point is that health care is a moral issue. We are the only industrialized country that does not provide universal health care and which apparently does not believe that health care is a basic human right to which all are entitled. Our constitution says that all of us have a right to life, but apparently we don’t really believe that. When people do not have health care, they can die.

Reid cites a study done in 2000 about the number of preventable deaths that occurred each year because 30 million people did not have health care. The number was 18,314. A similar study, done in 2009 when there were more than 45 million uninsured people, estimated the number to be 44,789.

To be conservative, let us use the smaller number, and let us remember it: 18,314. How should we react when we hear that 18,314 of our citizens die needlessly every year? When approximately 3,000 people were killed at Pearl Harbor, we entered World War II, with an enormous cost of money and lives. When about an equal number were killed on 9/11, we started another costly war.

So when do we begin the war on insurance companies? Our health care plans are not really so different from those in other countries, like Germany and Japan, which also have insurance companies. But rates for procedures are set by the governments of those countries. Only in America do insurance companies make profits, and of course the incentive when you are trying to maximize profits is to charge a lot for everything and to deny care rather than to offer it. Incidentally, this also makes our health care the most expensive of any developed nation as well as about the least effective. We spend 16.5 percent of our GDP on health care (vs. 8.1 percent in Japan), while, according to the World Health Organization, we rank 37th in quality and fairness of the system, behind Costa Rica. We rank 24th in the world in average life expectancy.

I have learned more about Obamacare, and I can see there are good and bad features. Some constraints on insurance companies (good), some burdens on some individuals who will see their payments increase and who have to negotiate a lot of red tape (bad). For me, the biggest plus is that by 2019, 32 million more people will have health insurance, both through Medicaid and through private insurers. Of course, the estimate is that 23 million will be uninsured. There still will be needless deaths of Americans running into the thousands, but we should be cutting down that 18,314 number.

So when are we going to be a real democracy with equal rights for all, with a moral regard for our fellow citizens, and eliminate all those deaths?

The Christie Follies

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

Listening to Chris Christie you might have gotten the impression that the passive voice in English grammar was invented specifically for politicians whose actions have been shown to be less than admirable.

A week after his Oscar-worthy performance as best actor in a press conference (as he fired one aide, severely disrupted the careers of some others, and told us over and over how humiliated and heart broken he was by their actions), Christie was back before the cameras to deliver his state of the state message to the legislature.

During this sequel, Christie did what politicians – Nixon, Clinton, Reagan et al. – do when they’re caught in unpleasant situations and must confess but do not wish to take the blame.

And thus, the passive voice.

Early in the state of the state, Christie felt he had to do a little more breast beating and then get back to business. But he was unable to get himself to say, “I made a mistake” and take the rap. And clearly he wasn’t about to follow up with details of that “mistake.” Yet in shifting blame to his staff, he conceded that he’s not much of an overseer of that staff.

“I made a mistake” is a good, solid declarative sentence. But for Christie it would have been a little too good, too solid, too declarative.

(Cue the passive voice, please.)

“Mistakes were clearly made,” Christie said, which made him look foolish to anyone who’s been following story and who wanted an explanation that starts in the good old first person. Check sources and you find that not only have a huge band of politicians used the passive voice but they all use it to say the same thing: Mistakes were made. Of course there have been some politicians who’d never resort to the artificial silence of the passive voice. For example, can you imagine Harry Truman – the sign on his desk proclaimed “The buck stops here” – announcing “A bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.”

The Christie Show never stops. There was his decision to identify the four days of politically inspired traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge as a “mistake.” In fact, it was not a “mistake.” It was a subversion of the political process, especially that part of the system that identifies someone in Christie’s high office as governor of all the people, not just the ones who voted for him.

Remember, this mess came about in Fort Lee because the Democratic mayor Mark Sokolich – the “little Serbian,” according to another foot-in-mouth by Christie staff when he really is a rather tall Croat – was not about to endorse Christie, a Republican, for a second term.

If Christie had an ounce of integrity, he wouldn’t have spent the last couple of weeks issuing his faux apologies, informing us of his broken heart and his humiliation, and then flying up to Fort Lee to make amends with Mayor Sokolich.

Instead, because of the incredible disruption he and his staff caused with their two-bit terrorism on the bridge, Christie could have addressed the people most immediately affected by the lane closings. Which is to say he could have stood on the pedestrian walkway on the upper level of the bridge and held up a sign reading, “I’m Governor Christie and I apologize for the trouble I caused you during those four days of horrible traffic jams I inflicted on you back in September. Please forgive me.”

But, knowing Christie, the sign’s message would have begun “Trouble was caused.”

Lastly, in case bridge users just didn’t understand how, uh, sincere Christie was at his news conference and in the state of the state, he slammed us over our heads with his supposedly contrite promise that he – actually, he said “we” – would cooperate with “all appropriate inquiries” into the lane closings.

All appropriate inquiries? Has anyone informed the feds that their investigations of the GWB lane closings will be subject to Christie’s definition of “appropriate?”

Carrie’s Painting of the Week – 01/10/14

Thursday, January 9th, 2014
Kicking Up Dust Oil on canvas, 30x30

Kicking Up Dust
Oil on canvas, 30×30

By Carrie Jacobson

Like Jeff Page, I find it impossible to escape the pull of the blank calendar. I’ve tried not making resolutions – but truth be told, I like making them. I like the idea of a fresh start, no matter how artificial it may be.
But I’m determined to make resolutions that matter – and which I can keep. So I have three for 2014.
1. Focus on gratitude. I am grateful every day, and I can, should, must and will bring that gratitude to the front of my being. The days in which I do focus on gratitude are inevitably more interesting, more rich and more fulfilling.
2. Stop leaving the recyclables next to the sink, where I’ve rinsed them out. Walk the 20 steps to the recycle bin whenever I rinse, and put the clean cans, jars and bottles in it right away. This is one of my most annoying habits. It is one I detest in myself, and one that I can change easily.
3. Make more soup.  Soup is great on all sorts of levels, the spiritual, the culinary, the metaphorical. It makes me shop differently. I buy different – and cheaper! – cuts of meat and poultry, because it will be delicious today, and then will go to great use in soup.
Soup uses all the leftovers, too, turning stuff I used to throw away into stuff that’s delicious and healthy and smells great all day.
This week, I made soup with the bones of our Thanksgiving turkey, which I froze after Thanksgiving. I also used a couple of chicken carcasses, one from a chicken we cooked, one from an already-bought chicken. I’d frozen those bones, too.
I added some roasted vegetables I froze from our Thanksgiving dinner, and the remaining vegetables and pork from our Christmas dinner. We had some odds and ends of this and that that – sausage from Sunday breakfast, the tail end of some ham we had last week, and a turkey kielbasa I found in the meat drawer.
In the afternoon, while I was painting, I cooked potatoes and carrots and onions in the oven, and added them, too. Tossed in some beans, some canned corn and some broccoli I froze this fall, from a neighbor’s garden, and we have an icebox full of fabulous soup.
I love making something from nothing – and especially, making something delicious from nothing.
If that’s not a resolution to treasure and to keep, I don’t know what is!

The Paradox of Resolutions

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By Gretchen Gibbs

What to make of the failure of our New Year’s and other resolutions? I would argue that when we resolve to change our behavior there is a basic paradox that makes it difficult. The harder we try to make ourselves conform to a goal we desire, the less successful we are likely to be. This is particularly true when the body is involved. That is, you may succeed in a resolution to stop seeing someone in an unhealthy relationship, but it’s unlikely that you could successfully resolve not to be attracted to that person.

Most resolutions, especially the ones that fail, tend to involve making a change in our bodies. The most common are to eat less, exercise more, or give up smoking or drinking. I would love to resolve not to be afraid of mice any longer. I can tell myself 20 reasons why mice cannot hurt me, but I know the instant I see one of those skinny tails a shriek will break through my throat. Think of how hard it is to make one’s self fall asleep, and on the other hand, how hard it is to stay awake when one is on the verge of sleep. The body has a mind of its own, so to speak. The more we try to diet, the more appealing that chocolate chip cookie is. It seems as though intentionality brings up the mind-body problem, and the body always wins.

This summer I took a 10-year old girl for a banana split. I began to think about how many banana splits I’d had in my own long life, and concluded it was about three. I made a resolution that I wanted to eat more ice cream. Now there’s an easy resolution, you are thinking. Well, I did get to the Bellvale Creamery in Warwick a few times, and my refrigerator contains a pint of my favorite Coffee Heath Bar Crunch, but in fact I didn’t overdo the ice cream. Something about making ice cream a “good” thing rather than a fatty, sugary weight gainer did the trick, and the body didn’t want it any more than a nice helping of broccoli. Now if I had resolved to give up ice cream, I would probably have eaten quarts more.

Psychologists define will power as the ability to give up the short-term goal for a more desirable long- term goal. In other words, with will power, one can eschew the chocolate chip cookie for the long-term loss of 10 pounds. Studies on will power began with children who were offered a small candy bar the day of the study versus a larger bar the next day. One thing this finding illustrates is that you need to have a really big goal to motivate the resolution. I might well take the small candy bar because I could stop at the store on the way home and buy as big a candy bar as I liked. A big goal for weight loss for many people, especially women, is a wedding. Women seem to find it easy to lose 10 pounds before a wedding even though the weight goes right back on afterwards. Looking svelte at a wedding is apparently an important long-term goal, and people can give up the small candy bar and the cookies for it. Similarly, many (though not all) people can give up smoking if they find out they will otherwise drastically shorten their lives.

If you are going to make resolutions, here are some pointers that you probably don’t want.

–Be sure you have a long-term goal you really care about. Otherwise, you won’t give up the cookies.

–Try to be specific. Don’t resolve to get more exercise; resolve to walk a mile a day.

–Break the resolution down into small steps. Try to find a way to measure it. A chart, perhaps.

–Make it as enjoyable as you can. What you really want is for the activity itself to become rewarding, so you don’t have to keep thinking about the long-term goal. When I want to lose weight, I don’t give up foods, I try to eat five or more fruits and vegetables a day. I like fruits and vegetables, and eating more is a pleasure, not a hardship. If you are going to walk, be sure you have a route you enjoy, and think ahead of time about how you will handle bad weather. Don’t say you’ll walk regardless if you know you won’t.

–Social support. Resolve to walk a mile a day with your friend Caroline – it always helps to have companionship and somebody else who knows it’s hard. Studies find just communicating one’s progress to somebody else increases the likelihood that you’ll carry out the resolution.

–Give yourself some rewards between short-term and long-term. It’s hard to walk a mile a day with a vague goal of better health and some weight loss coming in a year. I was inspired to write this about resolutions after reading Jeff Page’s Zest piece two weeks ago, in which among other resolutions he formed was the intention to give up Spider Solitaire. As a Spider Solitaire addict myself, I wouldn’t dream of trying to give it up. It’s too much fun. Instead, I try to use it as a reward. So, I might play Spider for the amount of time it takes me to walk a mile.

–Recent findings show that will power is strengthened by ingesting small amounts of glucose! So treats are good rewards for carrying out resolutions.

–Forgive yourself your lapses. If you fail, just start again. Everybody fails; that’s the paradox. No point in beating yourself up as well as having failed to complete the resolution. Studies show that we have a limited amount of will power and it runs out.

–Also believing in the power of one’s will helps it work. You can change your behavior and even your whole life if you want to, and avoid falling into the paradox of trying to rule your body with your mind.

Need Help? Leave a Specimen

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By Jeffrey Page

In the Sixties the great Phil Ochs believed that Mississippi should find another country to be part of. Nowadays the state that could do us all a favor by taking a walk is Florida.

At issue is an odious state law that tramples the Fourth Amendment by requiring anyone who applies for public assistance to submit to drug testing. A trace of heroin, cocaine or marijuana in your urine would disqualify you from getting help through welfare. As far as I can make out, it doesn’t matter if you live alone or if you’re the parent of a bunch of children who have that habit of asking for a meal three times a day. Smoke a joint or snort a line and your kids can go hungry, and maybe you could even lose your apartment.

Florida Governor Rick Scott defended his Dickensian dirty-urine bill by noting that it was designed to assist families and taxpayers. On one hand, he said, “Any illegal drug use in a family is harmful and even abusive to a child.” On the other hand, harm and abuse are inflicted on a child when her mom or dad doesn’t have the money to put a healthy meal on the table, all because the parent failed the drug test.

Meanwhile there doesn’t even seem to be much if a drug/welfare problem in Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reported that during a three-month period last year, a grand total of 32 people (out of 21,000) failed the drug test. Another 1,600 declined to take the test.

Scott’s clean urine crusade is not aimed at all Floridians. He has not suggested that people wanting driver’s licenses, or seeking elective office, or registering at the public library, or applying for unemployment insurance, or signing up for Social Security and Medicare be drug tested. These last two are federal programs which I mention because Scott was elected with Tea Party support and has been mentioned as a 2016 possibility.

Neither human kindness nor the Constitution get in Rick Scott’s way because he doesn’t understand one basic fact. Unlike many fathers in Florida, Scott doesn’t have to worry about his two children ever going hungry. Not when their dad spent $75 million of his own money to get elected in 2010. Various sources suggest his net worth was about $218 million that year. How difficult was it to struggle along after spending $75 million? Not so difficult since Scott rejected his $130,000 salary as governor and takes an annual pay of 1 cent.

This is a man who fails to understand that not all Floridians are rich, fat and happy. What he most likely does understand is that most people applying for welfare probably don’t have the wherewithal to challenge his foul ball of a regulation.

But with the help of the ACLU, one man – the dad of an 8-year old son – sued the state. An obscure federal district judge in Central Florida saw right through the law’s ignorance of the Fourth Amendment and tore it apart.

As 2013 ended, Judge Mary S. Scriven ruled that Scott’s law was unconstitutional and a violation of those Fourth Amendment protections.

Scriven said the collection of an applicant’s urine “entails intrusion into a highly personal bodily function,” and that intrusion also “extends well beyond the initial passing of urine,” according to a report in the Sentinel.

She concluded that Scott’s drug testing, which she described as “suspicionless,” amounts to a search and reminded the state that proper searches and seizures are based on “probable cause.”

Incidentally, Mary S. Scriven was nominated to the federal bench in 2008 by President George W. Bush.