published Friday, February 1st, 2013

Drew's views

HEADLINE: Former Sen. Roy Herron to lead Tennessee Democrats

THE RECAP: Former state Sen. Roy Herron became the Tennessee Democratic Party's new chairman Saturday, winning a solid majority of executive committee members' votes despite criticism he is too conservative on some issues such as abortion.

The 59-year-old Dresden attorney edged Dave Garrison, a Nashville attorney, for the post. Garrison was backed by most of the state's Democratic leaders.

DREW'S VIEW: Herron's election is further evidence of the Tennessee Democratic Party's serious state of disarray.

While Republicans face demographic and cultural challenges that may continue to whittle their power nationally, in Tennessee a schism that divides the Democrats by sex, race, geography and religion will almost certainly marginalize the party for a decades to come.

By electing Herron, a rural pro-life Yellow Dog Democrat known for his support of the NRA, charter schools and English-only driver's license exams, to run their party, the Democrats appear to be attempting to out-conservative the Republicans. In fact, Herron is such a milquetoast prototypical older white guy that Tennessee Republicans would have known better than to elect him out of fear of alienating young, female and minority supporters.

The liberal branch of the Tennessee Democratic Party is openly disgusted with Herron's election. There have been even been grumblings about the possibility of creating a progressive third party in Tennessee.

The more marginalized the tax and spend, pro-union, anti-gun progressive extremists are in Tennessee, the better. There is, however, a legitimate need in this state for a strong voice to advance discussions about gay rights, more reasonable drug laws, immigration, new approaches to nonviolent offenders and alternatives to the death penalty. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party's incompetence and infighting has all but silenced those much-needed discussions.


HEADLINE: Tennessee sex traffic hotline receives few calls

THE RECAP: Though a 2011 study reported more than 100 people were victims of sex trafficking in Hamilton County, as of this week a statewide hotline had received just 28 phone calls in over a year.

DREW'S VIEW: Sex trafficking is a terrible crime. It's also a serious problem ... somewhere. Just not in the Chattanooga area.

The 2011 survey, a joint publication between Vanderbilt University and the TBI, is a scientifically invalid compilation of best guesses from social workers and nonprofit leaders. In reality, area law enforcement officials have had exactly one recorded case of sex trafficking -- ever. That was a recent situation in which an out-of-state prostitute was held captive by her pimp -- hardly the image of a teenage girl abducted from a developing country that we all associate with the crime of sex trafficking

Area law enforcement personnel must remain vigilant to ensure that sex trafficking does not become a serious issue in Tennessee, and work to intercept sex trafficking victims when they are shuttled through our area en route to places where the crime is more prevalent.

The reality is Chattanoogans can rest easy, our daughters and granddaughters will not fall prey to human traffickers. With only 28 calls in 15 months to a statewide sex trafficking hotline and one reported case ever in Hamilton County, it seems sex trafficking concerns in our area are more of a media invention and a ploy for nonprofits to scare people into donating than an actual problem.


HEADLINE: Russell King reappointed to Erlanger board

THE RECAP: Chattanooga attorney Russell King, who has served on Erlanger's board for nearly 12 of the past 24 years, was reappointed Tuesday by Hamilton County's chancery judges for another term on the current 12-member board.

DREW'S VIEW: Just as state legislators began to debate over the best way to overhaul the embattled hospital and revamp its disastrous board of directors, King was reappointed to serve another four year term.

Why anyone who has been on the board during the mismanagement of Erlanger in recent years is retained remains a mystery.

It's stunning that a hospital with revenues of a half-billion dollars annually can lose roughly $1 million a month over the past year and a half -- even given the challenges of providing tens of millions of dollars in uncompensated care each year.

But the hospital is government-owned and taxpayer-subsidized. That means no one is sufficiently motivated to make sure the hospital is fiscally responsible or even solvent. After all, when the hospital loses money, it's not the board members who pay, it's the taxpayers.

Erlanger's failures are even more predictable considering the hospital has people such as Kim White on its board. White, you may remember, was at the center of a cronyism controversy first exposed by the Free Press editorial page last Sunday. As the president of the River City Company, White directed catering business from River City-managed venues to a catering company owned by River City's Director of Creative Strategies and her husband.

Sadly, with no incentive to operate efficiently and people like White leading the way, it is not surprising that the hospital, which is so important to our community, often fails to serve both patients and taxpayers well.

HEADLINE: Israel conducts rare airstrike on Syria

THE RECAP: Israel conducted an airstrike on a military target inside Syria near the border with Lebanon, foreign officials and Syrian state TV said Wednesday.

DREW'S VIEW: Isn't it odd that when Israel shoots a missile, it is called an "airstrike," but when a missile is shot at Israel, it's called an "attack?"

"Drew's views" is a weekly roundup of Free Press opinions about topics that appeared in the Times Free Press over the past week. Follow Drew on Twitter: @Drews_Views.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
gjuster said...

When it comes to Israel - the reporting of the media is amazingly one sided. Syria is killing thousands of their own people, Egypt is going down quickly with the Muslim Brotherhood, Libya attacks over a video (wait turns out they were wrong, though the "perpetrator" is still in jail). The answer to the middle east is easy. Every one around Israel accept that Israel has the right to live peacefully and Israel won't bother anyone. Arabs live far better in Israel that they do in the Arab countries.

February 1, 2013 at 7:11 a.m.
conservative said...

"DREW'S VIEW: Isn't it odd that when Israel shoots a missile, it is called an "airstrike," but when a missile is shot at Israel, it's called an "attack?""

Nothing odd at all Israel used planes!

February 1, 2013 at 9:25 a.m.
librul said...

Israel is a cancer on planet Earth... and a prime reason for this:

In Amerika Law No Longer Exists

-- the extermination of truth

By: Paul Craig Roberts| January 31, 2013 |


In the 21st century Americans have experienced an extraordinary collapse in the rule of law and in their constitutional protections. Today American citizens, once a free people protected by law, can be assassinated and detained in prison indefinitely without any evidence being presented to a court of their guilt, and they can be sentenced to prison on the basis of secret testimony by anonymous witnesses not subject to cross examination. The US “justice system” has been transformed by the Bush/Obama regime into the ”justice system” of Gestapo Germany and Stalinist Russia. There is no difference.

In an article available here: Stephen Downs, formerly Chief Attorney with the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and Kathy Manley, a criminal defense attorney and member of the New York Civil Liberties Union, report on how the US government destroyed a charity, the Holy Land Foundation, which provided money for feeding the poor and for building schools and hospitals in Palestine.

The charity, aware of the perils of being based in the US and doing anything for Palestinians, relied on the US State Department and the US Department of Justice (sic) for guidance on where to send humanitarian aid. The charity sent its aid to the same aid committees in Palestine that the US Agency for International Development and the UN used to distribute aid to the Palestinians.

In the first trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the US government admitted that none of the charity’s donations had gone to terrorist organizations, and the federal prosecutors failed to achieve a conviction. So the prosecutors tried the charity again.

In the second trial, the judge permitted the prosecutors to call an “anonymous expert” to tell the jury that some of the committees used by USAID and the UN and approved by the US Department of State were controlled by Hamas, the elected government of Palestine that Israel requires the US government to brand as “terrorist.”

As Downs and Manley point out, an “anonymous expert” cannot “be challenged because he is unknown.” There cannot be a cross examination. The “expert” could be anyone--someone paid to lie to the jury, a Jew who believes all help to Palestinians comprises “aid to terrorists,” or a member of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service that has throughly infiltrated the US according to US intelligence experts.

PART 2 below ...

February 1, 2013 at 10:27 a.m.
librul said...

Paul Craig Roberts, Part 2:

Injustices are everywhere, the authors admit, so why is this important to you? The answer is that the due process clause of the US Constitution requires that criminal laws give fair notice as to what conduct is prohibited. According to Downs and Manley, the Holy Land Foundation followed the US State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations and avoided all contact with organizations on the list, but were indicted and convicted regardless. This tells us that federal prosecutors are viciously corrupt and that jurors are so inept and propagandized that they are useless to defendants.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan and a former editor of the Wall Street Journal.


February 1, 2013 at 10:28 a.m.
librul said...

Forgot to include Part 3...:

The US Supreme Court refused to review this most blatant case of wrongful conviction. By so doing, the US Supreme Court established that the court, like the US House of Representatives, the US Senate, and the executive branch, is not only a servant of the police state but also a servant of Israel and supports the destruction of the Palestinians by designating aid to Palestine as an act of terrorism.

What this means for you is that your involvement in legal transactions or associations can be declared ex post facto by secret witnesses to be criminal involvements. The criminality of your past behavior can now be established, according to Downs and Manley, by “anonymous experts,” mouthpieces for the government prosecutors who cannot “be confronted or cross-examined within the meaning of the 6th Amendment.”

Downs and Manley write: “The implications are enormous. The government can now criminalize political, religious and social ideology and speech. Donating to peace groups, participating in protests, attending church, mosque or synagogue, entertaining friends, and posting material on the Internet, for example, could later be found to be illegal because of ‘associations,’ manufactured by anonymous experts, which in some way allegedly support designated terrorist organizations one has never heard of.”

The authors could have added that if the government wants to get you, all it has to do is to declare that someone or some organization somewhere in your past was connected in a vague undefined way with terrorism. The government’s assertion suffices. No proof is needed. The brainwashed jury will not protect you.

Be prepared in the next year or two for all criticism of “our freedom and democracy” government to be shut down. In Amerika, truth is about to be exterminated.

February 1, 2013 at 10:51 a.m.
gjuster said...

That's right a democratic society that's America's only friend in the region is the cancer on earth. I assume your solution to the Jewish problem is the same as all other despots throughout history - kill the Jews. Oh that's right, you don't actually have to be a despot, just one of the many terrorist groups in the middle east whose goal is to kill all the Jews. Israel isn't perfect, but then what country is, especially one that is surrounded with people whose #1 goal is to drive all the Jews into the sea. I repeat my statement - Arabs living in Israel are better treated and live better than the Arabs living in Arab countries. They even get to vote in Israeli elections.

February 1, 2013 at 2:03 p.m.
librul said...

Democratic society my arse.

I suppose there's nothing to be done with people who won't stop looking at the world through a keyhole.

February 1, 2013 at 2:17 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Orthodox Jews will often hire goyim (non-Jews) to do work on the Sabbath that the orthodox Jews are prohibited to do by their religious beliefs.

America has been hired full-time by the Israeli war-hawks to do that work. McCain, Grahman, Inhofe, Rubio, and many others in Congress are the goyims.

Israel has the capability to defend itself and has the right to do so. But I wouldn't send one America serviceman to protect Netanyahu and his band of economic and political extremists.

Not one dollar for foreign aid for Israel nor for Saudia Arabia, nor Iraq, nor Egypt. Certainly no American lives nor the US military mercenaries paid for by tax dollars.

It's time Israel works out its own continuing problems. I wish the best for the Israeli people as well as the Palestinians who want peace. Let the madmen on both sides fight it out with each other.

But no blood or money from America.

February 1, 2013 at 2:21 p.m.
gjuster said...

Perhaps if we stop funding the Arab countries, Israel could make it without America's money. Not sure what makes Netanyahu an economic or political extremeist. If you mean being extreme so that you don't get killed by true madmen - then I guess that makes me extreme too

February 1, 2013 at 3:25 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

Netanyahu is clamoring for US involvement in Israel's own problems.

Bebe is like the small, brash kid, who's willing to bully others and start fights, then cries for his Uncles to help him whip 'the bad guys.'

Netanyahu is that bully as was Ariel Sharon.

Who need's friends like that? Israel has fanatics just as kill crazy as some Arabs, Palestinians, and Iranians.

But let those countries work it out. It's not now in America's greater interest to be a supporter of "Israel, Right or Wrong" anymore than it is to say "America, Right or Wrong."

February 1, 2013 at 3:44 p.m.
shen said...

Libya attacks over a video (wait turns out they were wrong, though the "perpetrator" is still in jail).

They weren't wrong. It turns out there were several protests going on that day, one was over that video.

Hitler didn't target just any Jew. At least, at the beginning he didn't. He targeted a certain ethnic Jew he often described as dark and beady eyed. Likely the Mediterranean Jew, whose skin is darker. Fact: Hitler had Jews serving in his military.

February 2, 2013 at 8:02 a.m.
gjuster said...

Fairmon - don't know that your facts are correct, since there weren't many Jews left to serve in the military when Hitler got done with his final solution - but based upon your response - Hilter wasn't so bad - he only targeted dark and beady eyed Jews. This administration specifically blamed the video for the Ambassador and three others dying - they should be in jail, not the idiot video producer.

February 2, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.
gjuster said...

Sorry - I meant Shen - Also - are you saying it was OK for Muslims to violently protest over the video - that is a rational response?

February 2, 2013 at 9:35 p.m.
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