Your tax dollars at work

Here in SoCal, we’re enjoying temps in the eighties. It’s dry and sunny and hard to believe the other side of the country is in the midst of an epic disaster. I’m happy to report my son is weathering the storm in San Francisco; he emailed from Stanford‘s library. I hope everyone else makes it through the night unhurt and unscathed.

This morning I stepped onto the deck intending to feed our resident scrub jays and heard the roar of a helicopter overhead, I mean right over my head. Our street sort of borders on an undeveloped hilly area and there’s also an elementary school across another street. Sometimes really bad traffic accident victims are transported here and picked up by an air ambulance that lands on the playground. However, this helicopter looked like a huge military one and with all the weather turmoil on the east coast and what seems to be a surge in crime locally, I thought this was the beginning of the end. We’ve all heard the dire predictions of the Mayan calendar, right? The helicopter circled a couple times, diving ever closer, and landed at the school playground. It was unbelievably loud! Were we under attack?

I ran out the front door and across the street with my camera. About a dozen cars had stopped to watch what was happening. It was then that I noticed the entire student body was outside on the far field, sitting “criss cross applesauce” on the grass. There were police cars and white police S.W.A.T. vans surrounding the helicopter. I asked a neighbor what was going on and she told me it was part of the drug program. Drugs not hugs or hugs not drugs, something like that. In case you were wondering, here’s where some of your our tax dollars are going. I have no idea how much it costs to send a military helicopter from either Miramar Naval Air Station or Camp Pendleton and the police officers were diverted from the actual job of preventing crime. Do you believe that this has any effect at all on future drug consumption and/or selling of drugs? As a former teacher and a mom, I say no, but I’m a bit jaded with regards to the whole “Just Say No to Drugs” propaganda. I have a hard time believing that anyone has not tried drugs or not sold drugs because they were forced to attend a couple of assemblies or colored a worksheet or two. I believe it’s the home environment that makes a positive difference and it’s peers that influence our kids, too. I guess I’m kind of curmudgeonly resenting the use of our military and police to scare these kids straight, and I’m not convinced it’s a good use of my tax dollars.