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Why drug testing of welfare recipients is a bad idea
03-03-2013, 06:03 AM #1
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
Greetings Kritterboxers!

I am Captain Six. I am the top dog over at STATION.6.UNDERGROUND.

The venture started out as a little blog where I could collect interesting things I found around the web and share with friends. Today I have several authors who use my site as a venue where they can reach the public anonymously, with content you don't usually find in the mainstream, or that is too controversial for them to take big risks on. Soooo, we keep it underground.

We hope that you tune in to our "frequency" and have a look at all of our material.

But as an introduction today, I wanted to share this article which is one of our most popular and tends to kick up a good debate wherever it goes.

Please visit the link to see the article in the original format with supporting links and pics.

Drug Testing Is Bad, Mmmmkay



Quote:On July 1st, Florida became the first state to begin mandatory drug-testing of welfare recipients. While at first glance this may seem to be a great idea, really it is an appeal to emotional rhetoric and typical knee-jerk reaction by the public which sells this bill. Under closer scrutiny, the public would see that this is a terrible idea, more bureaucracy, more government control, with no net gain for the public at large or the taxpayer. So let us look at the reasons, point by point, why drug testing of welfare recipients is actually a very bad idea.


Cost effectiveness

It's not. Plain and simple. The biggest reason that people are supporting this new law is that they believe there will be a major savings to the taxpayer by kicking a bunch of people off of welfare. Even if there were a savings, the voter must make an erroneous assumption that any such savings would grant them any tax relief in the first place or that the money would then be spent on “people who really need it.” But more to the point, this program will be enormously expensive and yet another huge burden on the taxpayers. A Congressional committee found that drug-testing government employees would cost $77,000 for each positive drug test, in 1992 dollars. Is it really worth spending somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred-grand, just to catch one drug user who may be getting twelve-grand a year in benefits?

According to some sources, drug tests may run as high as $75 per test. The average is expected to land around $42 per test. With 100,000 people on the welfare rolls in Florida, you are looking at a cost of $4.2 million to test everyone once a year for the 420. An expense that the very poorest people of the state will be expected to pay up-front, and then be reimbursed later if they pass the drug test. Of course, the cost of the tests are only the tip of the iceberg too, as all of this information will now have to be digested by the welfare bureaucracy. It would probably be conservative to estimate that the true cost might be three times the cost of the actual test itself, when you consider all the different social workers who will have to check and double check the paperwork, meet with recipients, speak with clinics, etcetera. A red-tape nightmare with a very hefty price tag. And for what? Arizona has also considered such a law. They projected they would save a measly $1.7 million by kicking people off of welfare. That is a net loss of $2.5 million to the taxpayer by comparison. And that is of course, if each person were only tested once per year.


Cronyism, Politics for Profit

That net loss by the taxpayer is a gross gain for the drug testing companies. As it turns out, Florida's governor Rick Scott co-founded and owns 70% of Solantic, the company that will be doing the drug-testing on welfare recipients.


False-positives

There is substantial risk that people will test positive for drugs even if they did not take any drugs. A “blank” false-positive, or one that would have come up positive regardless of what the specimen actually contained runs about 5-6%, even if it were distilled water. When you add to that the fact that things like poppy-seed buns, or Mountain Dew can trigger a false-positive, the rate increases to about 15%. Not to mention people who are taking prescription medications. Some sources indicate false-positive rates can run as high as 1 in 2. So there we will see 15-50,000 innocent people kicked off of welfare for using drugs, when in fact they were not drug users at all. A first offense will mean that the applicant can no re-apply for one year. A subsequent failure would bar the applicant from re-applying for another three years.

Will a second test be granted, and at who's expense, to re-test to insure that a false positive was not returned? Double-testing would of course double the cost to $8.4 million. But even granting a second test in an attempt to offset false-positives does not guarantee that innocent people will not by kicked off of welfare, leaving them and their kids to starve in the streets.

You can check out a huge list of substances that will return a false postitive at the link below this quote from AskDocWeb...

What is a false positive? It is a test result that is returned when a substance tests positive for another compound. It is a case of mistaken identity. For example if you eat a couple poppy seed cakes before testing, you can get a positive result for opiates.

The chances of you getting a false positive depends on the quality of the laboratory that does the testing. There seems to be about 1,200 of these labs in the United States currently testing for drugs. Less than a 100 of these meet federal standards and most of the individual states do not regulate drug test labs. The number of false positives returned range from 4% to over 50%, depending on the lab.

A concern here is that, if your company tests for drug usage, they are probably not required to use a certified drug testing lab, which means you have a greater chance of getting a false positive.

http://www.askdocweb.com/falsepositives.html


Ineffectiveness of drug testing, and substance bias

The truth is, drug-testing is actually a very ineffective way of uncovering substance abuse and addiction, especially when done randomly or sporadically. To even hope to be effective, recipients would have to be tested once a month or more. For a whopping total of $50.4 million a year cost to the taxpayer for the tests alone, and now triple that to guess what it will actually cost to process those results through the bureaucracy of Social Services.

Alcohol abuse is probably the most prevalent substance abuse problem in our society today, but welfare cannot test for that for two reasons. Firstly, because alcohol is not illegal and secondly, because it processes out of the system so quickly, unlike marijuana which can stay in the system for up to 30 days. Even the casual user can have lingering traces in the system for 10-13 days. Which makes pot smokers the real target of this witch-hunt among welfare recipients. Not drunks, and not even crack-heads or heroin junkies or meth freaks, since those substances only take a matter of hours to filter out of the system. So Florida is going to spend all of this money to catch pot-heads, while likely turning addicts toward harder, more dangerous drugs which are not so easily detected.

Even with just the pot-heads though, how effective will the testing be? Pot smokers have been getting around drug tests for years, with various methods, including elixirs that can be purchased at you local head-shop or online. I'm sure there are similar tricks available for any drug user. More complex tests will only cost even more money. So clearly, many people who are on welfare and doing drugs will never be detected despite the many many millions that will be spent searching for them.


Stigmatizing the poor

There is a false notion in our society today that people on welfare are there as a matter of choice. While there are certainly examples of people who lie and abuse the system, those instances are much more rare than we are led to believe. Again we can take drug abuse as an example. The popular notion is that most people who are poor and on welfare are drug addicts who simply don't want to work. The facts do not support this notion however. Before Michigan's drug testing of welfare recipients was struck down as un-Constitutional, they found that only 3% of recipients were using hard drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine. That rate is about in line with the general population showing clearly that there is no rampant drug abuse among the poor and disenfranchised. Indeed, another study found that 70% of all drug users in the U.S. were between 18-49 and employed full-time.

Now some might say that if they are employed they have the “right” to do drugs. But by that logic, one must assume that their drug use will not affect their job and finances to the point that they might wind up on welfare in the end thanks to their drug abuse. Which then of course brings up the entire moral basis of even having welfare in the first place.

(Here is an excellent short film about the realities of poverty. It is a little dated in the statistics, but you will get the gist of it anyway I'm sure... )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YYG-f3qYE8


Morality

We as a society have seen fit to put money aside to help our fellow countrymen in their time of need. “Blame” is something that can be thrown around all the livelong day, but at the end of the day we still see a person in dire need of assistance for the basic necessities of life, regardless of the reasons why or how they got there, which more often than not is the result of our nation's terminally flawed economic policy, rather than personal choices. Does that need simply disappear because someone is battling with addiction? Or was their drug addiction necessarily the cause of their economic straits in the first place? Certainly not. As we just noted above, the stigma attached to the poor in regards to drug use is false.

Regardless, it is probably the addict who is most in need of assistance, as much as anyone else suffering from some debilitating disease. Should we kick a homeless vet off of welfare because he chose to join the Army and go to Afghanistan where his legs got blown off? Absolutely not. So we see that choices, mistakes, or anything of the sort is actually irrelevant to the moral question of whether or not a drug user should be given welfare benefits. We do in fact, have a moral obligation to help even the most wretched creatures among us, and the most destitute, regardless of how they got there or what their condition is today.



Forcing the hand is illogical

Simply put, you cannot force people to be, or to do what you believe they should be doing or who you think they should be. All too easy to judge someone else without having walked a mile in their moccasins. There is a long list of medical associations who oppose mandatory drug testing and treatment for any number of reasons.

American Public Health Association, National Association of Social
Workers, Inc., National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
Counselors, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National
Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Association of Maternal and
Child Health Programs, National Health Law Project, National Association
on Alcohol, Drugs and Disability, Inc., National Advocates for Pregnant
Women, National Black Women’s Health Project, Legal Action Center,
National Welfare Rights Union, Youth Law Center, Juvenile Law Center,
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.

http://www.aclu.org/files/FilesPDFs/marc..._22_01.pdf


But perhaps the most glaringly obvious reason is that the addict must want to get better. Forcing someone into the streets, starving them, forcing them into a rehab program that they have no interest in is counterproductive and only compounds the addicts justification for their addiction. It will not make them better, it will not help them to become a productive member of society, it will not address the reasons why the addict turned to substance abuse in the first place.

Instead, the end result of forcing the hand will be an increase in criminality as these addicts will only become more desperate than ever. So we can pay to give addicts the basic necessities of life while they try to find their way to their own destiny and hopefully a moment of clarity where they might recover and once again be productive members of society. Or, we can pay to house and feed them in prisons after they have robbed or killed you or someone you love. Keep in mind too, that the U.S. already has the largest prison population in the world, housing a full 25% of the total global prison population.


Constitutionality

Now we come to the very bedrock of what it means to be an American citizen, with the promise of liberty as prescribed by the Founding Fathers in our beloved Constitution. In 2003 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in the case of Marchwinski v. Howard ruled that the state of Michigan's policy for mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients violated our Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure.

Some have argued that if we can be drug-tested at work, then the government has the right to drug-test welfare recipients. Again though, this is an illogical apples and oranges comparison. Aside from my own personal opinion that even employers should not be able to test workers without cause, a private company or employer is not the government. You have a choice to go work somewhere else. You have the choice to boycott the company that drug tests their employees. Granting the government this power over all the people of this country is a very dangerous precedent.

It is important to keep in mind here, that this isn't just about welfare recipients. This is about the balance of power between government intrusion into our own personal lives and liberty. This is about your rights, not just the rights of some pot-head buying Doritos with food stamps. You never know when you might be in need of welfare or some other public assistance of some kind. Indeed, this sentiment is echoed by U.S. District Court Judge Victoria Roberts when she ruled ruled that the state's rationale for testing welfare recipients...

“...could be used for testing the parents of all children who received Medicaid, State Emergency Relief, educational grants or loans, public education or any other benefit from that State.”

The ACLU adds...

Indeed, any of the justifications put forth to subject welfare recipients to random drug testing would also by logical extension apply to the entirety of our population that receives some public benefit and/or that is a parent. It is clear that our constitution – and common sense – would object to the random drug testing of this large group of people, making the drug testing of an equally absurd category of people – welfare recipients – unconstitutional as well.

We can even take it a step further and see that the government might use such a precedent to shove us down a slippery slope where you would have to pay for and submit to a drug test for any transaction at the DMV, or any time you are arrested, ticketed, even questioned by police. And then how long before it gets to the point where the government begins drawing blood from whoever they please, and profiling your DNA? How long then before you are forced to be implanted with a government chip that tracks your every movement and every word you say?

Sound far-fetched? If you had told me ten years ago that the government would be molesting children at airports under the guise of looking for bombs I would have told you that you were insane. And I am the police-state conspiracy nut. You can bet that if this is allowed to stand in Florida, the government will use that precedent to get into your life in ways you never imagined.

In conclusion, it is my humble opinion that rather than finding new and clever ways to ğck over the poor, they need to start finding ways to do more to help the poor. Namely, creating more jobs and better paying jobs. The government needs to take responsibility for their failures, rather than spending even more tax dollars to try to sweep the problems under the carpet. There is no reason why in the richest, most powerful country in the world anyone should want for the most very basic necessities of life, no matter who they are.




“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
-James Madison

"To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not." ~Thomas Paine

"What good fortune for governments that the people do not think." -Adolf Hitler


For further consideration:

Drug Testing, Give Me One Good Reason

Economic Bill of Rights

Unemployed forced to clean subways

Prison labor re-education camps for welfare recipients


Join the new Facebook page at this LINK.

UPDATE:



The numbers are in. 2% of Floridians applying for emergency assistance tested positive for drugs. Another 2% refused to take the test. So how does that pan out in dollars? What is the taxpayer "saving" with this program?

Net savings to the state -- $3,400 to $8,200 annually on one month's worth of rejected applicants. Over 12 months, the money saved on all rejected applicants would add up to $40,800-$98,400 for the cash assistance program that state analysts have predicted will cost $178 million this fiscal year...


...The as-yet uncalculated cost of staff hours and other resources that DCF has had to spend on implementing the program may wipe out most or all of the apparent savings.


Full article at: Tampa Bay Online

"First they came..."

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
after all I was not a trade unionist.

When they locked up the uncurables,
I did not speak out;
after all I was not sick.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

-Attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.


Read more: http://stationsixunderground.blogspot.co...z2MRT0As40

STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 06:18 AM #2
Octo Mother Superior
Posts:42,601 Threads:1,469 Joined:Feb 2011
Or you could just ask about our advertising rates. coffeetime.gif
03-03-2013, 06:26 AM #3
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 06:18 AM)Octo Wrote:  Or you could just ask about our advertising rates. coffeetime.gif


Oh stop. It's a legit topic which is why I shared the entire article instead of just a link or snippet.

Reading an article in the original format is better anyway, to see the proper indents and italics and stuff. But I wanted to share the whole thing for lazy people, like the pot-smokers lol.

STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 06:27 AM #4
UniqueStranger Art in my heart
Posts:14,881 Threads:420 Joined:Jun 2012
Well, it's an obvious answer isn't it? wtf2.gif
03-03-2013, 06:32 AM #5
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 06:27 AM)UniqueStranger Wrote:  Well, it's an obvious answer isn't it? wtf2.gif


Not so obvious to a lot of people. I happen to be a Republican myself but I can't stand that so many of my own friends and fellow right-wingers are for this crap.

STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 07:24 AM #6
Wicked Oblivion Member
Posts:10,776 Threads:720 Joined:Oct 2012
I certainly would like to know if the money thats forcibly extorted from my blood and sweat paycheck is being spent on drugs to get welfare recipients so stoned their unable to work and or just too damn lazy to work,but able to get a free ride while having their cake and eating it too and so heres what i say to those i'm made to pay for without a choice or say in the matter..."Cant work huh? "Heres a f####n shovel! "Go dig a ditch! "Anyone can do that and thats real f####n work!...Then watch how scared they get at the thought of having to actually do real hard work and see how fast their suddenly able to go out and quickly find a nice little job somewhere...
03-03-2013, 07:44 AM #7
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 07:24 AM)Beyond Smolensk Wrote:  I certainly would like to know if the money thats forcibly extorted from my blood and sweat paycheck is being spent on drugs to get welfare recipients so stoned their unable to work and or just too damn lazy to work,but able to get a free ride while having their cake and eating it too and so heres what i say to those i'm made to pay for without a choice or say in the matter..."Cant work huh? "Heres a f####n shovel! "Go dig a ditch! "Anyone can do that and thats real f####n work!...Then watch how scared they get at the thought of having to actually do real hard work and see how fast their suddenly able to go out and quickly find a nice little job somewhere...


"Somewhere" like where? You must have missed the memo. For every job available in America, there are 4 applicants.

You also clearly missed several other key points in the article, regarding things like addiction, the 4th Amendment, the fact that only 2% of people on welfare actually use drugs, and MOST OF ALL.... that drug testing costs BILLIONS of dollars MORE than it will ever save.

Please at least read the article to avoid making an ass of yourself with uninformed commentary.

STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 07:51 AM #8
Wicked Oblivion Member
Posts:10,776 Threads:720 Joined:Oct 2012
(03-03-2013, 07:44 AM)Captain Six Wrote:  
(03-03-2013, 07:24 AM)Beyond Smolensk Wrote:  I certainly would like to know if the money thats forcibly extorted from my blood and sweat paycheck is being spent on drugs to get welfare recipients so stoned their unable to work and or just too damn lazy to work,but able to get a free ride while having their cake and eating it too and so heres what i say to those i'm made to pay for without a choice or say in the matter..."Cant work huh? "Heres a f####n shovel! "Go dig a ditch! "Anyone can do that and thats real f####n work!...Then watch how scared they get at the thought of having to actually do real hard work and see how fast their suddenly able to go out and quickly find a nice little job somewhere...


"Somewhere" like where? You must have missed the memo. For every job available in America, there are 4 applicants.

You also clearly missed several other key points in the article, regarding things like addiction, the 4th Amendment, the fact that only 2% of people on welfare actually use drugs, and MOST OF ALL.... that drug testing costs BILLIONS of dollars MORE than it will ever save.

Please at least read the article to avoid making an ass of yourself with uninformed commentary.

What? your threads headline is about drug testing welfare recipients and thats what i'm talking about,so hows that making an ass out of myself?

The guy down the street from me,whos about 35 years old,receives around $400 dollars a week from social security,because he says he cant work,which is a lie,theres nothing physically wrong with him and he also receives a rent voucher which pays most of his rent and several hundred dollars in food stamps every month and oh yeah, all his health problems including dental is free and i know for a fact he buys coke and weed with his extra welfare cash,money thats sucked outta the pay checks of those who work and so drug test the lazy lying bastard...
03-03-2013, 08:02 AM #9
Wicked Oblivion Member
Posts:10,776 Threads:720 Joined:Oct 2012
Anyone can say anything they want in my threads and i dont care at all and if a thread didnt veer a little to the left and a little to the right,where would it go and how long would it last? nowhere and not long...

I mean wtf? i have a thread thats about say time travel and theres comments that end up discussing hot dogs or something and so what?
03-03-2013, 08:10 AM #10
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 07:51 AM)Beyond Smolensk Wrote:  What? your threads headline is about drug testing welfare recipients and thats what i'm talking about,so hows that making an ass out of myself?

You should have taken the time to read the article. It addressed your concerns without me having to regurgitate the info in a personally addressed response.


(03-03-2013, 07:51 AM)Beyond Smolensk Wrote:  The guy down the street from me,whos about 35 years old,receives around $400 dollars a week from social security,because he says he cant work,which is a lie,theres nothing physically wrong with him and he also receives a rent voucher which pays most of his rent and several hundred dollars in food stamps every month and oh yeah,all his health problems including dental is free and i know for a fact he buys coke and weed with his extra welfare cash,money thats sucked outta the pay checks of those who work and so drug test the lazy lying bastard...


Social Security is not welfare.

If he is lying, that is fraud, which is illegal and he can be prosecuted. Unless you are a doctor or can otherwise prove his condition is false, there is no basis for your claim. Furthermore, physical incapacitation is not the only measure of disability. For example, my brother suffers from acute PTSD and is unable to work. Yet he may be seen out in his yard playing with his kids, putting steaks on the grill, and shoveling snow from his driveway.

There is no such thing as "extra" welfare cash. What welfare pays is not even enough to live on, much less have extra.

I am not saying that he doesn't use drugs, just that he is not using your tax dollars to do it. The poor use black market trade to support drug habits, and even to get things they need which are NOT provided by welfare.

I saw a thread the other day in another forum where a person had to commit foodstamp fraud in order to get money to purchase badly needed prescription medicine that was not covered by their insurance, even though it certainly should have been as it could have cost the person his life without it.


STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 08:12 AM #11
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 08:02 AM)Beyond Smolensk Wrote:  Anyone can say anything they want in my threads and i dont care at all and if a thread didnt veer a little to the left and a little to the right,where would it go and how long would it last? nowhere and not long...

I mean wtf? i have a thread thats about say time travel and theres comments that end up discussing hot dogs or something and so what?


I hear ya, thread drift happens. But at least take the time to give the article a once over. The article itself is the subject of the thread as much as the topic of drug testing in general.

STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 11:09 AM #12
whaler Double Smoked Timbit
Posts:509 Threads:35 Joined:Dec 2012
soooo......... what is the colour of the number 4 ?
rofl.gif
03-03-2013, 12:04 PM #13
Captain Six Member
Posts:80 Threads:6 Joined:Mar 2013
(03-03-2013, 11:09 AM)whaler Wrote:  soooo......... what is the colour of the number 4 ?
rofl.gif


42.




STATION.6.UNDERGROUND - "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality." ~Dante Aleghieri


03-03-2013, 04:27 PM #14
Shadow Mrs. Buckwheat
Posts:12,782 Threads:1,182 Joined:Feb 2011
reading.gif Interesting, did you write that Captain Six? Good job. Nice to see someone going beyond the misconceptions of welfare. This is slightly o/t but relevant in how it shows the irrational approach of 'authority' to mj.

http://kritterbox.com/showthread.php?tid=11341
03-03-2013, 05:32 PM #15
KILLUMINATI Made Ya Look!!
Posts:4,764 Threads:1,046 Joined:Jun 2012
I live in FLorida where people trade their ebt card for pills so I think it is a good thing to test people. If they're using then they should have a choice either get help or get a job to support their habit.



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