published Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Increase in fines may be hardship


Increase in fines may be hardship

The Times Free Press (June 6) reported the city is considering raising the fines for neglected non-residential property from $50 per violation to $500 per day. The fine for neglected residential property would go from $50 to $500 per violation.

While I am sympathetic to owners living in proximity to neglected properties, this seems like an awfully large fine. Many of the persons with neglected properties have limited means to maintain them, and imposing a large fine will only increase their hardship.

Has anyone except me noticed all the neglected city properties? What about the entrance to the Bonny Oaks industrial park? The large plastic spheres have peeling, faded paint. The planters are choked with weeds. It appears the cascading water feature has failed again. Many city and county properties don’t look so hot.

It would appear our city is more concerned with buying property for a homeless shelter, or providing free housing for the undeserving, than keeping people in existing homes. Stunts such as taking the homeless to the movies garner good press for the politicians but prove to be of no substance.


There’s a difference between people

Over the years, I have often marveled over why people see the world differently.

In politics, my tea party friends don’t want to pay any taxes, disdain public secular schools, and they have an unwavering, unbridled faith in religion and unfettered capitalism. Sounds like Plymouth Rock and Jamestown all over again, huh?

But then over the years came the Spaniards, blacks, Irish, Italians, Germans, Portuguese, et al, and we all became “multi-cultural.”

What a conundrum!

No, the South still has identity problems stemming from old antebellum days, and there continues the daily clash between absolutism and relativism. Hence the difference between, say, the Republican-controlled Tennessee Legislature and myself.

I want the whole wide world taught in schools and not just one form of religion or ideology. And I want teachers of Tennessee’s children to be respected and well paid for their service to the community. This is the difference between Republicans and myself.


Daily blood needs are important, too

The beautiful side of humans was on full display in the aftermath of the terrible storm which sent tornadoes tearing through this area.

One aspect of the response was the overwhelming sharing of blood product by so many donors.

More than twice the daily goal of 400 donations was rendered on the day after the tragic natural occurrence.

Now, however, that the sense of urgency has long passed, donations to Blood Assurance have fallen to only about half the required need. This is the more mundane side of human nature.

We must as a caring culture learn to react to daily needs throughout the year for blood and not just during profound emergencies.


ACLU is not a great friend

As our freedoms decline a lot of people think the ACLU is a great friend. Consider what they stand for and how they are financed.

Name one thing they have done to stop drugs and shootings in our schools and neighborhoods. Did you see the mighty ACLU or rich labor unions helping our tornado-torn neighborhoods? No, it was the very ones the ACLU condemns.

It makes no sense to me, Christian or non-Christian, to have a document taken out of our public places that says don’t lie, steal or kill, etc. It seems like a pretty good set of rules for today.

As a senior citizen, no particular party appears to be our friend. We have had no Social Security increase in a while. I believe we are being pushed over the edge. Vote smart, not black or white. Ask what they stand for.


Where is sanity on school board?

So the school board came together in a 6-3 super majority and opted to replace (Superintendent) Dr. Jim Scales, costing taxpayers almost $300 grand.

Given such a plurality, one has to wonder if there isn’t some hidden sanity that has not been revealed to us, even though he is on the short list for Dallas.

We read that the money is coming from the transportation budget, as if there is no greater pressing need for it. So we are forced to conclude that we are just not in the loop and hope that we are being steered to the right destiny.

I do appreciate the budget restraint some of the board members have shown toward the forever mushrooming cost of operating the schools. Year after year we are asked for more. The utopians argue that, after all, it’s for the children and we need this, this, and this and it will only cost you 99 cents a week. We are prone to rebut, “Yeah, life is tough, get used to it.”


Some questions to think about

While I prefer to avoid the political “discussions,” I would like to bring up some concerns over decisions that have been made which deal with the future of our country. If the comments cause people to think, then the goal has been reached.

Question one — photo ID for voting: If people aren’t allowed to vote because they can’t afford the ID process, will those with sufficient monies be allowed to buy their vote?

Question two — Are business moguls holding on to their trillions in reserves (that could be used to provide jobs) in order to avoid helping the present administration look good and plan to dispense it when their cronies are elected? Common laborers spend their earnings and help the economy; hoarders do not.

Question three — How do people, in good conscience, take away benefits earned through FICA but do nothing to cut back the big entitlements for holding an office in government? Do you really need all that staff we pay for?

Question four — Are the “God-fearing” leaders aware they will answer to God for their depriving the less fortunate of some dignity? Those who don’t fear God could care less about their destructive actions.


Cleveland, Tenn.

TVA following wave of the past

I was shocked to learn that TVA is still considering going ahead with Bellefonte. That’s the wave of the past. The wave of the future is Germany, which is committed to going nuclear-free as quickly as possible.

Austria was ahead of the curve in 1975. They had built a nuclear plant and put it to a vote about putting it online. A majority said, “No, thank you.”

In 1978, the Austrian National Assembly passed a law prohibiting the use of nuclear energy.

In June 2009, a solar power plant was put into operation at the site of this historic nuclear reactor. A total of 1,000 photovoltaic panels on the facade, the roof, and surrounding areas were installed and now provide clean and sustainable energy.

From radioactive beams to sunbeams — a global symbol for environmentally friendly and sustainable energy for the future.

Bellefonte? No, thank you.


Weiner’s behavior more than ‘mistake’

The dictionary defines “mistake,” in part, as an error, misconception or misunderstanding, to understand wrongly, to recognize or identify incorrectly. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner and much of the media insist upon identifying his recent deviant behavior as a “mistake.”

How could his behavior be merely a mistake in a nation where the society often describes itself as moral? His actions could only be considered a mistake by those who are immoral or amoral. Why can we not define his recent actions for exactly what they are? If we are a moral nation his behavior can only be immoral and pornographic accompanied by lies and hypocrisy.

Our national conscience has become so seared by euphemisms that we no longer recognize reality and right from wrong. Think of the consequences if we substitute the word “mistake” for “immoral”? What then will a “mistake” become?

According to Daniel Patrick Moynihan, former New York senator, the radicals of the ’60s did not merely seek acceptance of their deviant behavior. They also campaigned to define traditionally normal behavior deviant. Thus he coined the phrase “defining deviancy down.”


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moon4kat said...

Jim Orrison's letter makes an excellent point with Question Two. Why aren't big corporations spending money and putting people to work? They're "uncertain" about the economy?
Oh, the poor nervous nellies, too "uncertain" to invest in America while they are making billions in annual profits for passive investors. I, too, suspect they they have a partisan political agenda designed to promote more corporate control at the expense of the American people.

June 12, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
bookworm said...

Dear Valentine: Your concept of 'moral' may be a bit limited. I surely don't condone what Weiner has done, but how many 'average citizens' like you or me are guilty of fooling around on the internet. It is an established fact that there is no privacy in the electronic age, but just the same there are no headhunters like Andrew Brightbart monitoring our facebook page night and day. If Weiner is good to his constituants and honestly tries to help them any way he can, then basically he is still a good man at heart and deserves to stay in Congress. We are too hypocritical.

June 12, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
Rational1 said...

Mr. Bodine, Your points are well articulated. Conservatives only deal in absolutes: it is either black or white literally, figuratively, or racially. There is no nuance in conservative thinking. It is this absolutism that keeps them entrenched and captive to a failed economic and fiscal policy that spells doom for the nation. It is this absolutism that is laying the foundation for the destruction of the middle class (now known as the working poor) in America. They are trapped in a cocoon of ideology.

June 12, 2011 at 2:02 p.m.
sangaree said...

moon4kat, because they want this president to fail. They really do believe teh American people are so dumb that they'll fall for the ruse. They want the American people to become so desperate that they'll be willing to work for migrant workers salary. Georgia already has a plan to place Georgians who lost their jobs to work in the fields picking crop at piece labor salaries. Meaning the individual will have to pick a certain amount of crop in order to be paid above a certain salary if at all.

It's happened before. It's a part of American history to have fellow Americans fighting one another and dying in the streets over jobs.

June 12, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.
ceeweed said...

It is all by design, Oh sangaree! I couldn't agree with you more. All the money and power is shared between a very limited few at the top. Their wealth is mind boggling. They consider a millionaire to be ghetto trash. They own both sides of the aisle in D.C. They could give a rat's ass about abortion, gay rights, or separation of church and state. They are bemused to witness working Americans turning on each other... They know that, regardless of which party is in power, they will always get their way....Meanwhile, We Americans are being duped right out of the middle class. As if all we have to worry about is some New York politician's weiner.

June 12, 2011 at 4:14 p.m.
chioK_V said...

Mr. Jim Howard I couldn't agree with you any more. This fiasco of higher fines for code alleged violations is just another way to steal citizens property away from them because the other way didn't work when they found out it was illegal and had the DOJ breathing down their sorry arses. So now they create ordinances to ravish the citizens further, and steal their homes away from them. Those five hundred dollar fines are going to add up simply because the property owner isn't going to be able to pay them. Then the courts will step in and place a lien on the property and, from there, start proceedings to condemn homeowner's property. Once the property is condemned and taken away, they will allow their crony friends to buy the property for pennies on a dollar. Who will, then go in and do some patch up work and sell the property to some unsuspecting oaf for a hundredk+. Those crony friends will get to laugh all the way to the bank. All of this will look legal on paper because of the recently ordinances put into place, until challenged again. What they're banking on is that most of the homeowners can't financially afford good legal representation, so many will be force to forfeit their homes. It's a nasty game with serious consequences. One that has been pushed by these neighborhood associations. The lone individual who took a stand and fought for poor property owners rights years back by getting the DOJ involvied was threatened and forced to leave town. He wasn't even orginally from this country and believe in all those "rights" Americans cherish. Then he put those "rights" to the test. Chattanooga failed.

June 12, 2011 at 4:37 p.m.
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