Pubdate: Mon, 19 Apr 2004
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Copyright: 2004 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: James E. Gierach


In the 1950s as a young student, I grew accustomed to the addition to the
Pledge of Allegiance of ''under God'' that my classmates and I recited
daily. And about once a year, we crawled under our desks in recognition that
during the Cold War, we might be bombed, and the safest place was ''under

Today, we wage a war on drugs and ourselves, endlessly trying one new
strategy after another to make the war work and enjoin people from doing
what they will with themselves. To that end, public officials have placed
the citizenry ''under surveillance.'' They erect police cameras that can
sense bullets flying through air, monitor people living out there, blue
lights blinking in stare and give proof through the night that Prohibition
was still there.

And if the cameras don't get you, then the drug-sniffing dogs during a
traffic stop might. And if the drug-sniffing dogs don't get you, then the
drug testing of your hair, saliva and sweat at work or school might [''Drug
tests may use hair, saliva, sweat samples,'' news story, April 7].

Two decades after 1984, public officials who support the ''Big Brother''
drug war might give consideration to the further modification of the Pledge
of Allegiance to provide ''under God and under surveillance,'' with liberty
and justice for all -- ''more or less.''

James E. Gierach, Oak Lawn
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