Last week the internet was ablaze with reports of the Dept. of Homeland
InSecurity contracting to obtain license plate tracking information, and then the subsequent canceling of request to contract. Contrary to what many are thinking, that was not a victory for we the people.
It seems as if many people are under the mistaken impression that we dodged a surveillance-bullet when DHS withdrew this solicitation. We didn’t. A national plate tracking database exists, run by Vigilant Solutions, and it is widely used by law enforcement nationwide. The company is currently aggressively defending in court its ability to track anyone it wants, however it wants. If you’d like to see which agencies have access to its rapidly growing database, you can click here and scroll through the drop down menu. Vigilant has helpfully provided a list for all to peruse.
More on the beta testing city for the police state, Los Angeles, CA.
Right on. Everything the government touches it makes more expensive. We’d be way better off if the government would get it’s nose out of everything.
Here’s a humorous, while direct letter to the editor on the employee bonuses.
Item F6 took an interesting turn when Commission Jim Folts pointed out that there was no such parcel of land on the State Comptroller’s website maps. Commissioner Burkhalter, who is running for Juvenile Judge, tabled the motion, only to bring it back up at the end and claim that he had found the parcel on the State’s website. Then the County Purchasing Agent, Theresa Johnson, said that the parcel number was a typo, that the parcel number is 062.25 not 062.65. This made Burkhalter look bad, because he claimed he found something that didn’t exist and said he needed to abstain after misreading the State’s website. That wasn’t the only problem. Commissioner Ron French inquired what the last Assessor’s appraised value was. It was $150,400 in 2010, about half of what the resolution authorized purchasing the land for. More waste from the Sheriff’s Dept. The matter was tabled again. This issue will likely be back.
Commissioner Folts, tried to find out what happened to the wrecked Animal Control vehicle, budget increase item F3. A man in the audience said he knew, but he was not recognized and the Commission passed the purchase of a new vehicle at $24,295, without learning where the wrecked vehicle is.
Today’s article in The Daily Times does a decent job of reporting on part of the meeting. The one thing that doesn’t come across in the context that it was spoken was Karen Miller’s statement about using the children as an excuse for tax increases. She is very much concerned about the children and the people of Blount County. If you want the full story, listen to her comments at the Commission meeting last night, here online.
Candidate comments for the orders of the evening.
Good evening Mr. Chairman. What a beautiful day. After you weather the storm, out comes the beautiful sunshine. The people of Blount County have been weathering a storm on the level of a tornado bearing the burden of $221 million in debt. Tonight you have the opportunity to let the good people of this County to see a little glimmer of sunshine by rejecting this bribe called a bonus.
This bonus is about buying votes. Furthermore, it treats all employees the same, regardless of merit. Communism offers the same pay, regardless of effort. Is that what you want for Blount County? Show the people of Blount County a ray of sunshine by sending all the turn back money to the rainy day fund to weather another storm or better yet, pay down some of this County’s astronomical debt.
Secondly, item F6, approving the purchase of 4 acres of land for $300,000. Does this land contain gold or oil on it? Why would anyone in their right mind spend $300 grand on 4 acres, unless it was sitting on a gold mine?
There are more problems with tonight’s agenda than I can cover in 3 minutes, so I’ll finish with item F8, increasing the sales tax. Haven’t we been there and done that already, multiple times? Didn’t this Commission waste $80,000 last year on a wheel tax referendum? Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The people have spoken several times already. Enough is enough.
Vote down all these spending increases on the agenda tonight and you won’t need a sales tax increase. Then Mr. Chairman and Commissioners, the people of Blount County will finally be able to see a ray of sunshine.
Tona Monroe Candidate for Commission District 7 Seat B
Hey there, my name is Douglas Benton from Alcoa and after reading the paper on Feb 2, about the “GRAND REWARD”, I became…well, sad and disgusted.
I am old now…and looking back, there are lots of things I would do different. There are lots of things I did that were against the law, and thank goodness, I never got caught and went to jail. I have told my share of lies…hidden the truth from people…spun a story in a certain way. These things I wish I could change. Do you ever feel that way? When you are young…you really don’t understand how you are hurting the other person or people…but you know why. Those lies are important now. Every night, when I lay my head on my pillow, I think about what happened that day and re-evaluate the decisions I made. Do you all ever do that? YOU SHOULD !!!
You are NOT telling the taxpayers that WE are ~208 MILLION dollars IN DEBT. YOU ARE LYING TO THE TAXPAYERS !!! Does that bother you? Are you grown-up enough where the LIES start to bother you?
I have been coming to these meetings for a couple of years now and I watch a couple of concerned citizens come before you and express their opinion…and then, you vote the way you want…without thinking about what the people want. Why do you think they voted you here?…because they trust you to make the RIGHT decision. The truth is…you don’t care.
BlountCounty employees earn a good living…paid for by the taxpayers. They get a CADILLAC health plan that cost us TAXPAYERS “900 and something dollars a month per employee”…Mr. Vinyard couldn’t even give me a correct dollar amount last week in the Budget Meeting. To me, that is a GIFT…THAT KEEPS ON GIVING !!!! I don’t know anyone, in the private sector that is paying $25/month for their health plan. And with this governmental takeover of our healthcare system…Obamacare…everyone I know is paying double and some are paying triple for their plan. A friend of ours came in from Los Angeles on Wednesday, and we started talking about Obamacare…and he told me that his plan WAS $316/month with a $1k deductible and no copay…now it is $1,367/month with a $9k deductible and a $50 co-pay. “If you like your health plan…you can keep it” . Obummer also said that every family would save around $2,500/year on their health plans. These are the biggest lies of the century!
Did he learn to lie from you all or did you learn to lie from him. No one trusts you all to do the right thing…that’s why they don’t come to these meetings. They hate watching liers!!!
Mayor Mitchell, why DIDN’T you put in the article that BlountCounty was ~208 MILLION dollars in debt…instead of having them print “This resulted in a $2.3 million turn back from appropriations in the general fund” and “according to the state Comptroller’s Office’s audit, the county ended fiscal year 2012-2013 with an $11.4 million fund balance”. Talk about spinning some BULL. I AM VERY ANGRY NOW!!! WE ARE AROUND 208 MILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT AND YOU WANT TO GIVE AWAY ANOTHER 543 THOUSAND DOLLARS OF MY MONEY…FOR WHAT???…FOR VOTES???? STOP GIVING AWAY OUR MONEY!
Douglas Benton Candidate for Commission District 2 Seat B
Douglas Benton’s comments off the agenda
I knew you would pass the $543 thousand dollar “GIFT”. That’s why we call you the “bobbing heads of Blount County”…you can’t say no. Mr. Mayor, here you go again, giving away our money. A couple of months ago you were going to give the Park Service a chunk of our money for the government shutdown…and you didn’t even have the Commission’s approval…now you have given away ½ million dollars of the taxpayers money to buy votes from the employees of Blount County. If you want to give them a gift…pull out your wallet.
I can’t wait for the Property Tax increase coming next year. You are going to whine and say “its for the kids”…or “we’re going to have to lay off thousands of employees”…or something ridiculous like that. I wish it was a law that you had to let the citizens vote on every expenditure over $25 thousand dollars. That might stop you spending our BORROWED money…that you don’t have. Or did you forget that we are ~208 MILLION dollars in debt? And Mr. Vineyard….DEBT IS DEBT !!!!!!!!!
There is a simple way to solve this problem. All a State has to do is repeal the plate requirement for motor vehicles. Some States are talking about cutting water off to the NSA. Why should people be tagged like cattle when they travel? Cut the plates off, problem solved. Instead the Tennessee General Assembly is looking to steal more money by upping seat belt fines. More of that tough of crime garbage from Republicans.
Last week I wrote Bob Ramsey about radioactive polonium in hydrofluorosilicic acid. Here’s the response that I received.
“After reading the article, I am forwarding it to our health staff for evaluation. Thanks”
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 7:18 PM
Subject: Radiation poisoning from hydrofluorosilicic acid
Hello Rep. Bob Ramsey D.D.S.,
Do you still support poisoning us against our will when the crap (hydrofluorsilic acid) being dumped in our water is contaminated with radioactive polonium?
Seriously, what else would it take being found in this industrial waste for you to say the benefit of possibly preventing some tooth decay (which actually makes it harder to see tooth decay on x-rays) is out weighed by all the harmful CRAP that comes with it? Would people have to turn neon green first and grow a 3rd physical eye before you no longer claim your saving their teeth by poisoning them?
Let freedom ring!
Last year, I wrote a satirical email to Rep. Bob Ramsey regarding chocolate being more effective than chemicals containing fluoride in protecting teeth. I received the following response:
“We are looking for the same results, less decay. This may be a good avenue to that end, and I have sent the suggestion to our staff as well as the TDA administration. Thanks”
Sent from my iPad
As you can see, he forwards it to others, not taking a position either time.
Here’s the response that Richard Hutchens received from Ramsey regarding UT’s Sex Week last year.
Richard Hutchens recently wrote Representative Ramsey on a couple of issues. Ramsey’s response and Hutchens’ initial email are included fyi.
To: Richard Hutchens
Subject: Re: Please Co-Sponsor End of Forced Annexation in TN Act
Date: Mon, 17 Feb 2014 03:21:27 +0000
1. Sovereignty resides with the citizens
2. Governments are instituted among men to secure their unalienable rights…
3. Legitimate Governments derive their just Powers from Consent of the Governed.
The recent political edition of why did the chicken cross the road joke, in which I added my own response, was posted on Stacey Campfield’s blog. You can see Bob’s thoughtful response.
Last year when Richard Hutchens sent Bob Ramsey concerning the problems with the Blount County Republican Party, he received the same response.
Perhaps you see a pattern in these responses.
This is the response that I received from Rep. Bob Ramsey. My follow-up is on top of the response, so you may wish to work your way up, rather than down. No UT official’s name was provided, which I assume was redacted by Bob.
What exactly are student speaker fees? Who pays these fees? Are students, who don’t support this, required to pay fees which ultimately contribute to funding this filth?
Are members of the public, free to use the University of Tennessee campus to promote any filth they desire, so long as the filth isn’t illegal activities?
Let freedom ring!
From: “Bob Ramsey” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 6:26pm
Subject: RE: University of Tennessee – Public university Sex Week to teach masturbation, when orgasms are a ‘political act’
My letter to the editor was published today. Click here to read more on the subject of Grand Jury reform. Earlier this year, a local activist was dismissed from jury duty, demonstrating the need for judicial reform.
From Jon Roland:
The following are the standards that a grand jury system must satisfy to comply with the original understanding of that term used in the U.S. Constitution:
- Selected at random from the general public, with perhaps some filtering, but without “stacking”.
- Selection by a neutral party (not the judge or prosecutor).
- Size of 23.
- Decision by 12.
- Election of foreperson by the members.
- Term of service long enough to learn how to do it.
- Limits on terms of service to avoid entrenchment.
- Adequate training of grand jurors.
- Prevention of undue influence by interested parties, especially judge or prosecutors.
- Secrecy of grand jury deliberations, while they are going on, but with allowance of disclosures in their presentments.
- Enough time to examine each case, or enough grand juries.
- No impediment to access by public to members to present complaints or give testimony, except for reasonable scheduling.
- Acceptance of any person, not just a professional prosecutor, being appointed to prosecute a case by the grand jury granting him an indictment.
- Acceptance that a grand jury indictment removes official immunity from criminal prosecution.
- Acceptance that a grand jury finding of sufficient evidence of misconduct removes official immunity from civil prosecution.
- Establishment of rule that a grand jury must determine whether a court has jurisdiction before returning an indictment for that court.
- Avoidance of excessive or abusive use of grand jury to harass, intimidate, discredit, or injure persons.
- Prevention of misuse during trials of evidence obtained by grand jury.
-- ---------------------------------------------------------- Constitution Society http://constitution.org 2900 W Anderson Ln C-200-322 twitter.com/lex_rex Austin, TX 78757 512/299-5001 email@example.com ----------------------------------------------------------
Picking which companies get incentives and which ones don’t amounts to fascism. http://knoxblogs.com/humphreyhill/2014/02/10/republicans-threaten-end-vw-incentives-workers-vote-union-chattanooga/
Businesses should be treated equally under the law. But in today’s society, get konnected with Big G and you can make a pile of money.
1% cut? Oh my gosh… the sky will now fall.
Meanwhile, the corporate hacks in Congress made sure to keep us poisoned and pacified with plenty of fluoride.
Here’s an idea that will save lives and a pile of money. Get cops off the streets.