Author Archives: Towanda

About Towanda

Towanda was inspired by the warrior woman, ass kicker, alter-ego of Idgie in the southern classic movie Fried Green Tomatoes. She’s a “take no prisoners” kind of gal who lets nothing get in her way. She stands up for what is right even if she’s standing alone. Towanda isn’t shy nor is she afraid to confront the predator politicians who exploit the ignorance and fears of her fellow countrymen and women, her mission is to present the facts, whether you like them or not, so that you can make INFORMED decisions about those you choose to represent your interests in the government both on a local and federal level. Towanda is a true Patriot. In real life, she loves to talk and write about politics in her local, east Tennessee community as well as the rest of the south. She’s on a mission to make the south a better place for everyone. When she’s not on the air talking or writing about politics, she loves to garden, read and take care of all of her critters. Towanda takes pride in her abilities as a gourmet chef and loves to bake and craft, but make no mistake, if you plan to debate her on politics, you’d better come armed with facts as she has no tolerance for conspiracy theories or hate fueled ignorance. Be sure to tune in and don’t be shy…call in and say hello!

No Knee-Jerk Response to ISIS!

DO I think President Obama’s response is weakening us… NO, I don’t.

As a military mother of one, soon to be TWO children (son is fighting for a medical waiver for the US Navy), this is one issue I follow VERY closely and will participate in LOUDLY and well-informed.

First things first. If we can’t afford to take care of our troops when they come home, then we CAN’T afford to go to war! PERIOD. Republicans voted against benefits and aid for our combat vets not once but THREE times over the past several years. How can ANY self-respecting American even THINK about sending more in until we’ve confronted those politicians on THAT issue? What guarantee do we have that they won’t discard them like rag dolls again should we need to send them back into that hell hole?

Secondly, President Obama’s refusal to dance to the beat of the Republican war drums is not making us weaker, it is making us stronger. Our enemy KNOWS that the best way to hurt us is not by flying airplanes into buildings, but by hitting us in our pocketbook and creating division. We’ve accomplished the latter pretty well, on our own…doncha think? Making sure we are able to economically sustain the reaction to whatever action we take is paramount.

Any POTUS that does NOT react with a knee-jerk response to a situation that has the potential of costing us billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of American troops is a good thing.

ISIS is not our every day average terrorist threat. They’re well organized and well funded and extremely brutal. So brutal in fact, that even Al Quaida has disavowed any relationship with them. They’re exploiting the hell out of the power vacuum created when we left, the ongoing civil war in Syria, and the hostility between the different Muslim factions. Unlike other terrorist groups, when ISIS takes over a town they also take over as a governing power bringing food and other services. Like I Said, well organized… And I haven’t even touched on the humanitarian crisis which is already in effect as over 1 million people have fled the fighting. That’s on us as well. The US response to this threat has to be meticulously planned. WE have to have a clearly defined exit-strategy as we can NOT afford to occupy Iraq for another 10+ years.

Anything less than that is nothing more than political grandstanding and would be exploiting the emotions and the ignorance of citizens who do not fully understand the threat we face with ISIS.

The Myth of Police Militarization

Recent events in the media have highlighted the concept of police militarization in our country.  The concept is promulgated by an appetite for viewers and readers. Unfortunately, the media’s appetite for followers doesn’t mean that they are reporting accurately or truthfully. What’s worse is the sheer number of viewers who lack critical thinking skills and have simply fallen for the bullshit. Not only have they fallen for it, they continue to propagate it on social media sites believing that they appear “well informed” to the rest of the world.  I’m not talking about the average, tin-foil hat wearing bunker dweller who is still waiting for the government to microchip us, put us all in FEMA camps, and take away our guns. I’m referring to normally level headed, fact checking, and intelligent people. Overnight the media created thousands of instant law enforcement specialists and even though none of them have a shred of actual experience or knowledge about the topic they’re raging about, they still feel like their opinion is fact.

It’s kind of like seeing a whole bunch of people on Facebook saying, “I’m not a cop, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night”

Yea, instant experts based on CNN Ivy League curriculum.

The news said it and since many people believe THEIR news source is better than the other guys’ news source, it must be true. Fact is, it’s all bullshit and I think I can safely say that the mainstream media has successfully lowered the IQ of the entire nation at least several points.

The following video clip is an example of the total bullshit I’m referring too.

So the phrase of the week for American mainstream “media” is “Police Militarization”. It’s on everyone’s lips and in written articles, Tweets, and Facebook posts everywhere.

What does the term “militarization” even mean?  The word doesn’t exist in the dictionary, the closet definition is the word “militarize”.

According to Merriam-Webster to “militarize” is to give a military quality or character to something.

Now, you would think that people watching these sensationalized “news” reports would stop for just a second and look at the bigger picture.  Militarization is all around us.

wmmilitarize2I recently went into my local Wal-Mart and while passing by the sporting goods department found that a person doesn’t need to actually be in the military or on the police force to be “militarized”. Hell, everything they need is right there in the sporting goods section of the local Wally World.  For the average felon looking to militarize himself, he doesn’t have to even visit the local gun shop and raise suspicions. Wal-Mart has it all.  Such as black tactical vests, t-shirts with built in holsters under each arm, black tactical outfits including tops and bottoms, black knee and elbow pads, tactical belts and vests. Not to mention every conversion for an AR15 (Civilian version of the M16 rifle) which includes expandable stocks, laser sights, rifle scopes, and tactical single point slings which is primarily used by the military.wmmilitarize1

My Wal-Mart is in a rural area so the manager has chosen to carry a huge line of SOG tactical gear.  SOG was named in honor of “a covert US special Ops unit that fought in Vietnam”.  The company now produces, for a civilian market, knives, tactical tools, and tactical wear allowing anyone interested in militarizing the ability to do so with ease.

Wal –Mart also carries an extensive line of Black Hawk tactical products in much the same manner as SOG. Black Hawk offers mostly accessories for tactical weapons and wear.

For those of you with limited knowledge about hunting, black is NOT a color you hunt in. That’s why camouflage has become so popular.

Can’t make it to a local Wal-Mart? No problem. You can purchase all of the above and then some by visiting their website.  Instant militarization.

demilitarizeThere isn’t enough space on this blog for me to address the countless video games that involve tactical and militarized play that influence the military mindset among millions of people.  Pop in a copy of Grand Theft Auto and you can even pretend to shoot police officers. Nice, eh?  Of course, the endless number of action-adventure movies and TV shows that portray civilians using tactical and militarized methods wouldn’t by any chance influence our perception of a country that is steeped in “militarization”.

gun2The other thing that might affect how police do their job is the fringe group of action movie bad-ass wannabees, who were unable to make the cut for the military or police force, but feel that strutting around with their tactical vests and clothes, and AR’s slung over their shoulders while patrolling the local supermarket and terrorizing the locals is somehow a good thing. Never mind the fact that most people can no longer tell the “good guys” from the bad guys.

According to the FBI, in 2012 alone, there were over 52,900 officers assaulted while performing their duties of which over 27% suffered injuries. Where are the news reports about that? There have been very few if any.

Instead, the media chooses to exploit one incident to focus on a non-existent issue which is “Police Militarization”. They Purposely leave out the details of why our police may appear to resemble the military.

Police agencies do resemble the military in that they wear a uniform, have a rank structure, and utilize weapons. In the media’s quest to sensationalize the issue, they have basically taken two plus two and arrived at six.  They have made the everyday act of policing by American law enforcement look like it involves military equipment, military tactics, and a military attitude. They have made the police look like an occupying force rather than a civilian agency created to protect and serve.

Civilian police wear a uniform that requires a badge, a name plate, and a sidearm. The badge worn on the police uniform requires an oath of office, and the officers that wear it are regulated by local, state, and federal laws.  The military wear a uniform and normally requires the carrying of a long gun or machine gun with the soldier taking an oath to the nation to defend it.  The military are required to follow a code of conduct and Articles of the Geneva Convention. The military is trained for combat and trained in combat tactics to kill the enemy.  Civilian police are trained to interact with the American public, to enforce laws, and to utilize force only when necessary. Civilian police are held to a much higher standard in that every action they take is guided by state or federal laws. In fact, their actions are accountable in both criminal and civil court as they can be personally sued as well as criminally prosecuted.

In their quest to purposely misinform and sensationalize the issue, the main stream media have capitalized on the military surplus program. The American military budget is the largest in the world and as a result of two wars over the past 11 years has a huge surplus.  American police traditionally have had limited budgets especially over the past six years during the recession. There is no police administrator, who in their right mind, would not take advantage of the free or loaned equipment made available.

Obviously some of that equipment has specialized uses. Armored vehicles cannot be used for patrol, but are certainly needed in barricaded or high risk situations where officer and/or civilian safety is an issue. The media has capitalized on everything negative about this equipment and its possible uses. For instance, media reports focused on civilian police use of M16 assault rifles obtained by some departments. These rifles can only be used in specific, high-risk situations such as an active shooter incident or when faced with suspects who are carrying similar weapons.  Officers do not answer routine calls for service with these weapons slung over their shoulders like a soldier. Police have always had shotguns in their patrol cars and these rifles are regarded the same as the shot gun, a special purpose weapon.

With the exception of the extremely rare cases of civil unrest which includes violent looters armed with firearms and other lethal weapons, warrants being served by S.W.A.T. teams on suspects known to be extremely dangerous, and more recently, heavily armed militia who threatened to open fire on federal agents, I’ve yet to see police officers “militarized” in their daily duties.

I’ve witnessed dozens of interactions between police and civilians and never, in any case, have I seen police officers issuing traffic tickets, arresting shop lifters, or responding to various calls equipped like soldiers or executing their duties in tanks, armored Humvees, or anything like it. They arrive in typical patrol cars dressed in the required department uniform, armed with department issue sidearm and other typical police equipment.  The only time I’ve ever seen specialized equipment being used by the police has been in extreme situations that called for it.

Each year in America there are millions of calls to 911 for police assistance. The majority of which do not require use of force of any kind or specialized equipment.  In 2012, Knoxville, Tennessee (population 180,000) answered approximately 330,000 calls for police assistance. Unless the call involved a hostage or barricade situation or a situation where someone was shooting at or had the potential of shooting at officers and civilians, police arrive and address the situation as part of the normal duties expected for their job.

With a social-political influence and steady stream of media reports daily bombarding people with sensationalized, barely half-true information, it’s no wonder the majority of people are totally clueless about the reasons why some police departments obtain surplus military equipment to perform some of their duties.

I’ll close this article with an excellent explanation for why police departments utilize military equipment which was given by Knoxville, Tennessee Police Chief David Rausch.

 

“Militarization” of the Police?

By Chief David Rausch

 

rauschchiefWell before the events in Ferguson, Missouri there have been comments from a number of individuals based on an article referencing the “militarization” of the police. 

What I have read and heard described is the use of specialized “military” equipment by police.  The acquisition of this military equipment and its use on American citizens in our Cities, Counties, and States seems to be what is being questioned.  Recently, images of the deployment of equipment in Ferguson, Missouri and the description of tactics have been described as a “military” deployment and “military” tactics. 

Let me begin by saying that I am not commenting on the situation in Ferguson.  I am not on the ground there, whether as a community member or law enforcement.  Rest assured that the law enforcement community will study this unfortunate situation and it will be used in case studies and training for years to come.

Let me also state that we value our relationship with our community and we work hard to foster that relationship.  At KPD we have a community liaison officer program where an officer is assigned to all community watch organizations on their beat.  These officers meet with these groups regularly and work with the groups to address crime, traffic and disorder issues in the neighborhoods. 

We have an excellent relationship with the civilian review board (PARC – Police Advisory and Review Commission) that is in place to assure that our citizens have options for reporting when they have concerns about the actions of our officers.  We work with PARC in community outreach.  We are very proactive at developing and fostering relationships in our community with official and unofficial leaders. 

All of our Command Staff and many of our officers are actively involved in service organizations in our community by serving on boards of directors and volunteering their time, treasure and talent.  We have an excellent working relationship with the clergy of all faiths in our community.  We conduct Citizen Police Academies to open our doors to the community to see who we are and what we do in Knoxville. 

I want to try to help our residents understand from a law enforcement perspective why certain “military” equipment is obtained by local law enforcement and its value to the safety of our community.

I have been a police officer for over 21 years in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I spent 10 years on the KPD Special Operation Squad (SWAT).  Prior to this, I served 4 years in the U.S. Army in the Military Police Corps working as an MP for 2 years and in Military Corrections for 2 years.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration.  I provide this to hopefully show that I have a base of knowledge on the subject.

Military surplus programs have provided law enforcement surplus equipment for a number of years.  When I first joined the KPD SWAT team we had an armored vehicle from the US Air Force that we had obtained with assistance from the FBI and we shared it with them.  This was the only armored vehicle in the region at that time.  It was a vital piece of equipment that had been used prior to my arrival in the department at an active shooter situation in a nearby County.   The team had to use the vehicle in a rescue and rounds were shot at the officers and hit the vehicle, but not the officers. 

I have also been in this vehicle when our team responded to the incident in Loudon County where Deputy Jason Scott was shot and killed.  I was in the vehicle when we attempted to make contact with the shooter and he fired rounds at us.  Fortunately the rounds did not strike the vehicle as we were not completely confident of the level of ballistic support compared to the suspect’s firepower.  I was grateful for this surplus item from the military and I know my family appreciated that I was protected by it.

We have Kevlar vests that officers wear that are bullet resistant.  This technology was created for our military and we now use it for police officers and others in emergency services.  Officer Derrick White from KPD is with us today because of this technology as he was shot in the middle of his chest by a suspect recently.  That round would have taken his life.  His family is grateful for this “military” technology that we are using.

More recently, KPD has obtained other needed equipment from the military.  We have rifles that we have deployed to specially trained officers on patrol to use in response to situations that may call for that level of need.  Incidents like mass shootings, as we have experienced in Knoxville at a church, a school, and a mall are all certainly situations where these were needed.  Before our obtaining these rifles we were limited in our ability to respond with an equal or greater level of force to what we were facing. 

We have a HUMMV that is “up armored” for use in tactical rescue situations and serving “high risk” warrants where firearms are known or expected and the individual is known to carry and use them.  This has replaced the armored vehicle that I mentioned previously.  We obtained several “off road” motorcycles for our Search and Rescue Team to use in the challenging terrain we have in East Tennessee in cases involving a missing or abducted person.  We have GP Medium tents that can be used for shelter in emergencies.  We have storage containers that we obtained to secure items at our range facility.  These are all items that we obtained without having to use local resources or funds.

We also have equipment that some are calling “military” that we have obtained through the Homeland Security program with grants.  We have robots that are primarily used for recovering explosive devices, but have also been used in tactical situations to gather intelligence and information for decision making.  We have a large fully armored vehicle that can be used in a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical environment that keeps those inside of it safe with fresh air to breathe.  These items were purchased with specific known threats in mind for our region.

You may ask why I have divulged all the equipment that we have.  Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of our having it?  None of this equipment is a secret and we have displayed this equipment at community fairs and events to educate our community on our capability to respond to the threats and to keep us all safe.  These are items provided by our community for our community.

One note on the surplus program.  All of the equipment obtained are items that every taxpayer has already purchased.  If the military were not to provide them to our local communities to meet our needs, they would either be destroyed or provided to military units in other countries that may end up being taken over by a rogue faction (like ISIS) to use to protect that force or against our forces and our allies.  Additionally and importantly, most of this equipment is not used daily in law enforcement operations.  It is on hand for when it is needed for those special situations. 

I have heard questions about the wearing of camouflage, ballistic helmets and tactical vests by officers in an urban environment.  The comments being that this is another sign of “militarization”.  The comment has been that these uniforms are not needed in an urban setting.  Again, these are not uniforms worn by the rank and file, but by specialty units.  Units like SWAT, Bomb Squads, Riot Squads, and Search and Rescue wear tactical equipment and uniforms that are practical for the mission they are specially trained to address. 

In Knoxville, our SWAT team wears OD Green uniforms, Bomb Squad and Riot Squad wear Black uniforms, and our Search and Rescue team wear Beige uniforms.  Each of these uniforms has specific designs for the missions that they perform.  We call them practical and tactical as they are made to withstand the rigors of the missions.  Helmets, tactical vests, and other protective gear are worn to reduce the possibility of injury to the officer.

I wish we were in a society where none of this equipment was necessary, but unfortunately that is not the case.  I believe that our community wants our police officers to be safe, to be able to serve every available day that they can during their career, to keep the peace and provide safety and security.  I know that the families of our officers expect me as the Chief to provide every piece of equipment that I can obtain to keep their loved one safe. 

To do this successfully, we have to have the equipment that I have described.  While it is from the military, it is not being used against our residents in an aggressive or oppressive manner and most of it is only used in the most serious and volatile situations to protect our community and our officers.

The use of “tear gas” and other “less lethal” options is a police tactic, not a military tactic, to control crowds during civil unrest and disorder.  When I was in the military they did not teach me to use “tear gas” or other “less lethal” methods preparing for war.  They taught me to throw grenades and shoot the enemy.  In basic training we were not taught to discern between “good guys” and “bad guys” as anyone that would be in front of us would be the enemy and we understood that they wanted to kill us.  We were taught to kill the enemy. 

That is not the way I was taught in the Police Academy.  I was taught that we must never use deadly force on anyone that is not an imminent threat to our lives or the lives of others.  We were taught that you must control every round that you fire and understand that every round that you fire is intended to stop the threat and you are accountable for every round. 

We were taught that we work with and for our community to keep it safe from those who choose to violate the laws and who are seeking to create victims. We were taught to foster partnerships and collaborate with residents to enhance our ability to maintain the peace and create a safe community.  In other words, we are one with our community and together we will prevent, solve, and control crime.

When it comes to the deployment of equipment by the police, the rule that we always apply is that you only deploy what you are authorized and willing to use for the safety of all involved.  Please keep in mind the reasons for a tactical response.  Protests where rocks and bottles are thrown, bombs are thrown, and bullets are fired at law enforcement and first responders require a special response.  These actions are not peaceful, they are criminal and they are violent. 

They require a different response than an officer in their everyday uniform as they are not everyday actions.  They require officers with specialized training to address these threats and specialized equipment to protect the residents, the officers, and the community. 

The response is not a “military” action, but a tactical one.  The officers use the lowest level of force to enforce the laws and attempt to regain control and peace for the community.  They do this with much restraint and use of less lethal options which includes “tear gas”.  Remember that these actions are a law enforcement RESPONSE to the actions of those who are causing problems.

Another fact that is important in this debate is that the military in the last two wars has sought out training in law enforcement tactics as they have been put into situations similar to what law enforcement faces by having to police both Afghanistan and Iraq. 

My intent in this narrative is to hopefully explain the “why” police departments have “military” equipment and to express how we are not using “military” tactics.  We only have equipment that allows us to address the changing threats that we face in our communities to keep our residents and our officers safe.  This equipment is saving additional taxpayer dollars and improving the safety of our communities.  This equipment is not changing the mindset or the tactics of daily policing.  It is providing law enforcement needed protection for those special situations that call for special equipment. 

Law enforcement professionals understand that we must work with our communities to be effective and successful.  We are not an occupying force and our neighbors are not our enemies.  I am concerned that “militarization” commentary will hamper the ability of law enforcement to obtain needed equipment from the surplus program. 

I hope that our members of Congress and our President will not let the “buzz word” play into their decisions on this program and that they will ask those of us in law enforcement what we have and how we use it.  If they will do this, they will also learn the value of the program for the safety of all of us.

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All information in this article is copyrighted.  No part of this article may be reprinted or published without permission from the author. All permissions to use must be obtained in writing by emailing southernblueberry@gmail.com    ** Permission to use the letter by Chief Rausch can be obtained by contacting the Knoxville Police Department at 1-865-215-7000.

America’s Ignorance Problem :: Beyond Race and Anti-Police Sentiment

I’ve followed the situation involving the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO for several days now and I’ve come to the conclusion that once again mainstream media has created an out-of-control shit storm.

My opinion isn’t going to sit well with many of you, but nonetheless, it’s my opinion and I’m going to share it.  I didn’t form this opinion with ease, I came to it after many hours of observation, digging through tons of media reports, and a lot of CRITICAL thinking, which seems to have totally abandon many of the people weighing in on this issue.

Let me start by saying that without a doubt, I believe this country has a serious issue with race. ESPECIALLY in the south.  I know my southern friends aren’t going to like that, but I’m saying it the way I see it.  I’ve lived north and I’ve lived in the melting pot of diversity that is known as South Florida and I’ve lived in places in between.  No doubt racism exists everywhere, but I’ve NEVER experienced racism at the PROFOUND levels that I’ve witnessed here in the Deep South. Until I moved here 12 years ago, I had no idea that racism still existed on this level. Not until I witnessed it and actually experienced it while out with black friends.  It’s VILE and contradicts everything people here claim to be i.e. Bible Belt Christians filled with God’s love.  I see nothing of the sort.

If that bothers you, then I suggest you examine yourself to see if you might be reflecting what you oppose in my statement. It’s on YOU.

For the last 6 years I’ve listened to far-right politicians spew hatred for minorities while using fear to turn their brainless constituency against their fellow American’s simply because they are black. I’ve heard the jokes about watermelon being grown on the White House lawn, I’ve seen my “Christian” friends post memes on Facebook of the president portrayed as a monkey and effigy’s of him hanging by a rope on front lawn trees.  I’ve heard the word ni**er used more times in the past 6 years than I have my entire life.

The fact is, racism is a serious issue in this country. It’s especially an issue right here in the south. It always has been. Many people here have been conditioned to hate anything and everything that is different. This isn’t an opinion, it’s a fact. I’ve experienced it.  I’m originally from New York and of Italian/Sicilian decent.

Ask me how many times a week I’m referred to as Yankee?

Go ahead. Ask me.

I’ve lost count and when I lost count, I lost my patience and any sense of decorum. MY response to those who refer to me as a Yankee is this:

“We kicked your ass once, would you like to step outside and go ‘round a second time?”

To date, no one has taken me up on my offer and I pity the fool that does. I’ve had it with being treated differently because of where I’m from and what country my relatives descended from. If I’m WHITE and go through this, I can only IMAGINE what it’s like to be black.

The other thing that amazes me here in the south is that people believe that all blacks are welfare queens living off the government their entire lives.  I hate to burst your bubble people, but you’re wrong.

According to SNAP – The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (U.S. food stamp program), of the 47 million people receiving food stamps, 43% are white and 33% are black with the remaining 19% being Hispanic, 2 percent Asian and the remainder Native American.

So for the past 6-years, the bullshit statements coming from right-wing politicians that claim black people are welfare queens, is just that. BULL SHIT.   Those of you who’ve adopted the attitude that blacks are welfare queens should probably start thinking for yourselves and verifying the things you believe before you climb up on that high-horse.

Racism isn’t a law enforcement issue, it’s a PEOPLE issue whose fires have been stoked and revived by extreme right-wing politicians, ass-sore over the fact that they lost an election to a black man and fanned by people who listen to the bullshit being spewed by these idiot politicians. They prefer to hate others because they are different and because they’re too dumb to stop and realize that their skin color doesn’t make them better than anyone, even if they HAVE been conditioned to believe that.

In the past week, some of the comments coming from the prejudice and ignorant among us are reflective of their lack of intelligence. For instance:

“Deport all ni**ers back to Africa”

“Look at the animals tearing up the city because one of their own got what he deserved”

“All ni**ers re animals, just look at them rioting in the street, they should all be locked up”

 

Oh really?

So then, what do you make of this picture?

whiteriot

 

Or this one…

 

pemnnstateriots2_centreDailyNews

Those WHITE kids, mostly Penn State students, are rioting and destroying the shit out of everything in site after Penn State Coach Joe Paterno was fired.  I guess that kind of response is OK when a college loses a coach, but people protesting a violation of their civil rights and what they perceive as the senseless murder of one of the members of their community is totally unacceptable because they’re black.

Am I right?

On the other hand, the image below of what appears to be gang-bangers with their saggy pants, rag-heads and Molotov cocktails are what police have had to deal with in Ferguson.

 

fergusonriots1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Should police officers have stood down and waited for whatever these guys were planning in their anti-police rage? The majority of the protesters in Ferguson WERE peaceful and some even stood in front of the trouble makers and tried to stop them, but the bad apples tainted the whole tree.

Realistically, in these situations there are ALWAYS trouble makers. You know, the few who take things too far. The ones who fire up the mob and get them to start destroying businesses and vehicles and take advantage of an already emotionally charged crowd to justify looting and blatant lawlessness. What does smashing the windows of a Nike store and looting it dry have to do with the death of Michael Brown?  How did burning down a gas station, destroying businesses and stealing merchandise justify a possible wrongful death of a 19-year old kid? I asked the same question about the kids rioting at Penn State. How did doing tens of thousands of dollars in damage help their cause?

It didn’t. Their mob mentality and rage were simply an excuse to take advantage of a situation while using peaceful protests to get way with acting like animals.

Do I think the blacks in our nation are being racially targeted? Absolutely,  I do. But, in cases like Ferguson, I think the image and cause of the peaceful protesters is being tainted by the trouble makers and as a result, the racists will brand ALL of the blacks participating as animals, the same way the nation branded the white kids rioting over their coach being fired as animals. That’s how they were acting.

It just so happens that there is a racial undertone in this country which has created a powder keg and we can’t blame THAT on police. Militarized or not. It falls SQUARELY on the shoulders of the individuals who feel it’s OK to treat people of a different color like less than human. People CHOOSE to be racist. PERIOD.

Here’s the part where I stand for what I believe in even if it means I’m standing alone.  The anti-police rhetoric is unacceptable. I refuse to partake in it and I have a problem with those who do.  If this means you don’t want to be my friend, well, then I guess I’m going to lose some “friends”, so be it.

Since EVERYONE has instantly become an expert on law enforcement these past few days, I feel it’s only fair that I get to throw in my 2-cents on the issue. For those that don’t already know, I’m married to a 36-year veteran of law enforcement who currently serves his community as a violent crimes/homicide detective. I think I’m a qualified, simply by direct association, to address this issue. For the past 14 years, I’ve lived with a cop that has worked on just about every level of law enforcement possible during his THIRTY-SIX year career. From patrol, to investigations. My husband was a state Special Agent Supervisor who investigated all types of crimes, including those involving corrupt cops.  He and the men and women he works with, as well as most cops in this nation, take the civil rights of the people VERY seriously.

The lynch mob, anti-police mentality many of you are adopting is no less than pure bullshit.

Are there bad cops out there?

Hell yea there are.

We’ve all had run-ins with guys with badges whose egos make them think they have the right to be an asshole. Even police officers have run-ins with these guys. Every department has them. Hell, every profession has them. From clergy to medical doctors, to politicians and everything in between. There are those who think their profession gives them the right to treat people badly. And they do.

Police are no exception. In some cases, the power they’ve been given goes to their head.  Many police are former military and often times forget they aren’t an occupying force and aren’t on the streets as soldiers, but as servants – there to protect, not to invade.

However, what the public fails to realize is that these days, the streets are a LOT like war zones. NONE of the people I’ve talked to that have an anti-cop attitude have ever served one single day on any police force. Not one.

They make their assumptions based on what they see on television shows and the always bad, rarely good reports from the media.  These people now believe that they are experts on law enforcement without EVER having spent a day walking in the shoes of an actual cop OR, they’ve made their judgments based on a bad experience with law enforcement.

Of the 1.2 million law enforcement officers in this country, All but a handful of them are good and do a great job at serving the communities they’ve been given the privilege of serving. So, when I see stupid Facebook posts and memes declaring that you don’t want to have to be worried about being shot walking down the street my instant reaction is to remind those of you posting such incredibly stupid bullshit is that 99.99999% of the people in this country DON’T get shot walking down the street.  Nor do they have to worry about it.  MOST people are law abiding citizens and don’t have to worry about negative interactions with the police.  So why are some of you making such STUPID statements?

It’s clear that many of you have listened to extremely one-sided media reports about how bad our police have become, or you visit websites like Cop Block which only presents ONE SIDE of any given story.  And here I thought some of you were smarter than that.

How about we suspend all law enforcement officers from performing their duties for the next 5 days? Let’s see how many anti-police memes you post on your Facebook wall then.  Maybe you can summon the militia to come protect you and your community from the bad guys?  I’m sure Cliven Bundy can spare a few guys who are just dying to take over the law enforcement duties of our nation.

If you’re one of the idiots who feels that so long as you’re armed to the teeth with guns and an attitude you can just handle your own policing.

I say have at it.

Let’s see how far you get with the criminals who have you out gunned and out manned. And please be sure not to trample anyone’s civil rights in the process. While you’re at it, you may want to brush up on the countless laws you need to enforce even the ones you don’t agree with because after all, you didn’t make them, but now you’ll be responsible for enforcing them. I’m sure YouTube will have some excellent videos on how to handle traffic stops so you don’t get yourself killed, how to approach a suspect for something minor not knowing if he just committed a major crime, maybe even murder and has no idea you’re stopping him for a broken tail light…yea, there’s training for how to make sure you don’t get yourself killed while still making sure you don’t violate anyone’s rights.

If you’re part of the crowd who thinks there’s way too many laws to begin with and you’ll just enforce the ones YOU feel are just, then screw it! We’ll have a free for all and hope YOUR laws don’t conflict with your neighbor’s laws or the laws of the guy around the block.

You think the nation would be a better place without police? Don’t call them when you’re being carjacked, or your home is being invaded, or you’re being assaulted or raped.  Deal with it yourselves.

Your shitty attitude against ALL police because of the actions of a few bad ones is making it far too dangerous for our police officers. As someone who actually understands law enforcement better than most of you spewing your garbage, I feel that the safety of the other 1.1999+ MILLION police officers that do it RIGHT every day is far more important than your media fueled, mob mentality.

Do I think any cop should get away with shooting someone in cold blood?  Nope. I don’t. But I REFUSE to join the lynch mob until I’ve heard ALL of the evidence and that includes the information about witnesses, the so called victim, and the officer who fired the bullet.

I especially want to see it when the victim strong arm robbed a convenience store hours before and has a history of being a violent, wannabe gang member. It still doesn’t mean I believe he should have been shot for no good reason, but it damn well makes me want to see the EVIDENCE before I crucify the police officer who shot him. And the color of EITHER of their skin is of no importance to me.

If you don’t like the way our police operate, then it’s up to YOU to demand changes in your community, but as with everything else, Americans are complacent. My guess is as with everything else, you’ll go on with your busy lives and remember that for some reason or another, you just don’t like the police.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Loves the Legal Little Children

I don’t think I could have said it any better….

Margaret and Helen

helen-mug1  FROM HELEN:

Margaret, our good Christian Governor down here in Texas, Rick Perry, said he would use his executive authority to activate up to 1,000 National Guard troops to help secure the Texas border region against “criminal aliens.”   Criminal Aliens being Spanish for children, I think.  My Spanish isn’t so good so you might want to look that up.   These are children who were not aborted so Texas just doesn’t have room for them… or compassion.  In Spanish I believe the word for compassion is… well I’m not sure what it is but I am sure that good Christian Perry knows.

Last year, Perry spoke to the Faith and Freedom Coalition about his own Christian faith and how God taught him to abandon his own selfish pride.

“Nothing less than the example of our savior inspires me as I speak to you today,” Perry said. He then read Philippians 2:5-8, in which Paul…

View original post 271 more words

Attention Conservative Christians: You want God back in our Nation? Start with Yourselves.

This message is for those “Christians” who say they want God “back” in our nation. Although I no longer label myself a Christian as I refuse to align myself with such hate and hypocrisy that now accompanies that label. I believe this message is appropriate at this time.

Recently I read a news story about a yet another southern town that had voted to inscribe the words “In God We Trust” on a public building.  Supporters of this action were all Conservative “Christians” who believe that we need to “put God back into our country”.

Honestly, I didn’t know He left.

Also, which version based on which interpretation of which Bible are we putting back? And who gets to decide?

In-God-We-Trust-SlideIt appears that a great deal of folks who think they’re Christians believe that God has been removed from our nation and the only way to get Him back is to splash “In God We Trust” on public buildings everywhere, or to force Christian prayer at public gatherings and government meetings. They try to make laws that allow REAL Christians the right to discriminate and ostracize anyone that disagrees with them or lives differently. And oh yes… ONLY Christian leaders who will make laws that are based on the Christian Bible. So much for the Constitution or Democracy.  The Christian right has decided that we should be a theocracy.

I guess if God sees all that He’ll come back regardless of how His followers behave or treat others. All it takes is some words on a building and laws and BANG! He’s as good as back.

Um…I don’t think so.

Christians Conservatives in America have totally missed the most important part of the Bible which they love to cherry pick when arguing their points.

God. The Creator. Whatever you refer to Him as, is NOT some external force waiting for signs on buildings to show up… if you REALLY knew your Bible as well as you insist you do, then you would know this.

The kingdom of God, Jesus replied, is not something people will be able to see and point to.

Then came these striking words:

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)

“Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” 1 John 4:4

You want to know why God seems to be absent to so MANY of you? I’ll tell you why.

angrybible-shutterstockGod is UNABLE to live in the hardened hearts of such vile, hate-filled, hypocritical, bigoted, fear-filled, monsters that call themselves Christian. There’s NO ROOM for Him in your hearts! It’s filled with the hate of the world and untested, unverified, beliefs that you’ve adopted and believe to be true.

God isn’t absent to all of us and to those that think He is, It’s not because we don’t put words on a building, display the 10 Commandment in public places, or because we don’t force people to pray at public gatherings and government meetings. It’s because you’ve replaced Him in your heart, with hate. If you were to meet Jesus Christ today, you’d reject him as a scummy Liberal.  And THAT’S a FACT. You stand for everything He was not.

Jesus made it clear in Matthew 7:21-23; 25:11, that MANY would be self-deceived. It doesn’t say that a FEW will be deceived, but MANY.

YOU are part of the MANY Jesus refers to as being deceived.  I’ll bet you right now, at this very moment, you are thinking of the most hateful response you can to that statement. Am I right?  If so, your hate is what drives you…not the love of our Creator.

You, the one calling for GOD to be put BACK in government, schools, laws, etc. are unable to see Him because your hate has blinded you. And instead of shutting your mouths and opening your hearts, you let the hate continue to drive and guide you. You’re not the “Light upon the hill” (Mat.5:14) you were expected to be, quite the opposite in fact. Outside of the walls you’ve built around yourselves, more and more people are turning away because they don’t want to be associated with so much ignorance and hate.

When did you forget that God wants to be INVITED into man’s heart and not forced via laws or you insisting that YOUR version of Him be crammed down everyone’s throat?

imagesYou’ve listened to wolves in sheep’s clothing in the form of politicians and preachers tell you what you SHOULD be thinking. You started thinking it with no testing or verification of the facts or even observation to see if it was a love based directive or if it was a directive to get you to hate others based on a difference of beliefs or to earn a vote.  You’ve been conditioned this way so that you can be CONTROLLED and exploited.  And it worked! How often do you actually TEST or VERIFY what the people you listen to for guidance, faith or politics, say?

Based on the behavior of almost ALL of the Christians I know, the answer to that question would be NEVER.  You just take it at face value and believe it.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4

Instead of blaming yourselves for your failure to walk the talk you preach, you’ll blame everyone else or accuse them of not being “real Christians”. Right?

You are responsible for what you CHOOSE to believe and no one else. And YOU are responsible for the actions and words that have caused SO MANY to flee and reject ANY message from God. Your churches are not growing, they’re consolidating.

Wonder why?

corpsponsorsYou support the money changers, the modern day Pharisees and Sadducees and worship the people in your pulpits and on your televisions and talk radio shows. They fill that place in your heart that USED to belong to God, with hate and dissension and they do it with mis-interpreted Bible scriptures and twisted words to help you justify it. And it’s easier to hate your enemy than it is to try and love them. To people like yourselves, the hate is comfortable now.

You’ve twisted and cherry picked your Bible to allow demeaning and subjugation of women and children because the man in the pulpit and the “Christian” politicians use the Bible to manipulate you. You know it’s wrong, but you allow fear and ignorance to be your guide.

You support politicians and corporations that destroy our planet.

You use MAN MADE religion to justify hating others because they are different. God didn’t create religion MAN did. History is there for you to study and test, but you refuse to do it. You simply take the word of the person in the pulpit with no question because you’re afraid of what you’ve been told will happen if you question it.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

You’ve abandon the message of your Savior and stopped reading the red words. Those denoted quotations direct you to love your enemies and one another, feed the poor, shelter the homeless and instead you search for scripture that justifies your hate and intolerance. You twist it to fit your vile position. You help evil men wipe out years of progress for the minorities among us and piously believe that that’s OK.  Somewhere in your version of Christianity, you’ve come to believe that you’re better than others.

punditsYou glue yourselves to Fox News pundits and hate-talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, all paid by the thieves sent to rob you, and you absorb every misinterpreted, ungodly, word and directive and then live it to the max.

You hate everything and everyone they told you to hate. You believe their lies and when people who care about you try to show you the truth, you hate them too.

You’ve taken politicians at face value and simply believe them when they say they are “good Christians” even while their actions past and present, prove they are anything but! You continue to believe them without question because the hatred in your heart prevents you from doing anything else.

You spread false stories, rumors, and gossip about people with Liberal or different views, never stopping long enough to actually see what it is you hate, or to listen to what THEY believe. All you know is that Sean Hannity said they’re evil, so they must be.

You now live to hate instead of living to love. And your pride prevents you from even seeing it. And you wonder WHY it seems to YOU like God is absent from our Nation?

YOU follow blindly and resent those of us who refuse too.

The same people that control you with fear have convinced you that you should NEVER question anything about the Bible.  They’ll tell you what its true meaning is and what you should believe. You put more faith in man than you do a Creator that gave you a brain, discernment, and the directive to question and test EVERYTHING. You vehemently defend your failure in this area and insult those who DO test everything and measure it with discernment. You become combative with those who have found some things to be lacking or untrue.


images (1)REAL Christians don’t sit back and watch and even support groups of men and women hell bent on destroying our nation. Real Christians don’t put the “right” for every wacko to have a gun over the lives of innocent people. Real Christians NEVER support politicians who claim to be Godly, but continue to punish the poor, needy, elderly and Veterans while making their rich friends richer.

Real Christians test these things and fight for those unable to fight for themselves. They do it without telling everyone how Christian they are.

There is NO sign of God within those that support a political party that claims to be Christian, but whose EVERY actions are anything but. God SURELY isn’t residing within people that support the same politicians that have convinced them that the poor and needy are to blame and shouldn’t be helped unless they help themselves.  Jesus never screened the people He helped, not even the Roman Centurion, or the prostitute, or the lepers. He just helped them. The ones who keep proclaiming that they’re Christian and want God back in their nation are nothing more than tools for the evil among us. They allow their ignorance to be exploited while they’re used to further an evil agenda that they failed to test because the enemy slapped the God label on it.

YOU were given the responsibility of The Great Commission.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations Matthew 28:16-20

And you’ve failed miserably. People are fleeing the church in record numbers and rejecting the message you were given to carry into the world. And you only have yourselves to blame because God no longer lives within YOU.

Instead of listening to those who disagree with you to try to understand what went wrong, you continue to follow the most evil among you while refusing to believe that it is YOU who has removed God from our nation. it is not the liberals, or the Muslims, or the non-believers.  It’s YOU, the ones that boast loudest about being Christian.

HE that is IN the WORLD now takes the place of HE who should own your heart.

You sold your hearts to Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Rielly and the ones who fill your pulpits with recycled, watered down messages filled with misinterpreted scriptures that tell you it’s OK to hate.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  1 John 4

You failed to test the spirits as your Savior directed you to do and then you wonder why God is nowhere to be found. If He can’t be found in the heart of those who claim to follow him devoutly, then words on a building and public prayers and forced laws isn’t going to bring Him back.

I believe that most of you reading this are too far gone to truly hear the message, instead you’re probably thinking of what “the other guy did” to take God out of our nation… right? To that I say… EXAMINE he that is in you….   One of two things can be found. The first is love and an open heart prepared to listen, the other is hate and pride that needs to “defend” against what has been said.

You want God back in your nation? How about you invite him back into your own hearts first? You might find that He never left for many of us… you simply couldn’t see Him through your hate. If the politicians who’ve won your support have promised to “bring God back into the nation” you might want to remind yourself that the only one who can bring God back IS YOU! There isn’t a politician alive that can deliver on that promise.

 


 

In closing, I’d like to share my reason for leaving the church and rejecting most of its followers.   I was in Christian ministry for 11 years, wrote several books and ran a large online community for women in need.

After 11 years of dealing with people who claimed to be Christ like and watching them do things that were anything BUT Christ like, I walked away from all of it. I found that today’s church isn’t serving God. False followers are filled with hate and fear and driven by profound ignorance. Pastors continue to re-dress the same messages and they are no longer attracting people they are simply retaining them. Young people find no hope in the Christian message being spread today. 

I align myself with Liberal views because they compliment my mission to help others regardless of their ability to help themselves. I question tradition because tradition isn’t always a good thing and when it isn’t I fight to change it. I refuse to let predator politicians distract me with moral issues that have no business in politics while they rape my country and enslave my countrymen to their wealthy corporate masters.  I believe that as a citizen of this nation it’s my responsibility to help those in need when I can. I believe that our country is a country of laws based on The Constitution and politicians did NOT put their hands on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible, they put their hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. I believe that everyone has the right to worship who they want and none of us has the right to force it on the rest of us. 

I believe in fighting for the basic human rights of those coming to our country the same way someone fought for the rights of my descendants to be here. I love my imperfect government because it has done me right more than it has done me wrong. I’ll continue to work to improve it because that’s my responsibility as an American.

I don’t look forward to or believe in a Christian Armageddon when the world will end because I love this world and most things in it and I love my life and most people in it. The following comes close to what I stand for. 

6274819_orig

Jeremy Faison :: Predator Politician or Just Incompetent?

This article is part of a multi-part series on the politicians representing the east Tennessee region. To return to the main page of this series. Click here.

 Jeremy Faison “The Conservative”

I started my research with Jeremy Faison (R) District 11.

Jeremy FaisonI want to like the guy, I really do. He’s likable, but my experience tells me that he’s just another under educated, misinformed, party-first politician.  My research, and his LACK of any substantial effort and actions shows me that he’s not FOR the people he’s been elected to represent.

 

This guy is a party politics first, people and country second kind of politician. 

Don’t let the charismatic personality, raised on a farm, dedicated “man of God”, and devoted family man facade fool you. In my opinion, Jeremy Faison has done little or nothing to improve the lives of those he represents.

Faison represents District 11 in east Tennessee which includes Cocke, Greene, and Jefferson counties. District 11 is one of the poorest in the state. My focus for this essay is mainly Cocke County. In Cocke County, about one-third of the constituency receives food stamps and or other government assistance.

Faison does little to hide his contempt for people with progressive views as well as those who receive government assistance which is kind of ironic since he “represents” one of the poorest districts in the state. Additionally, his ignorance and lack of political savvy make him unaware of the fact that regardless of which party he falls in line with, he is still responsible and accountable to ALL of his constituents, regardless of their party affiliation and stance on the issues. It’s his JOB to listen to EVERYONE he represents. Instead, using conspiracy theories and extremist propaganda, he manipulates people to work against their own best interest and that of their families and hopes that those of us who know better will simply go away if he ignores us hard enough. And all the while, he continues to do a whole lot of nothing for the people of Cocke County. We continue to be steeped in poverty,  poor education, and limited health care options. Our meth problem is an embarrassment and it seems as if we’re regressing instead of moving forward.

His campaign slogan is: “Your ears at home, your voice in Nashville”

Ears at home?  I call bullshit on that statement. And the only one he seems to be a voice for is the gun lobby. I haven’t read ONE bill that he’s sponsored to improve or advance education and he’s AGAINST healthcare per his voting record and the rhetoric he spews!

Ears at home…HA! I, as well as many others, have personally approached Faison on numerous occasions and asked him questions about serious issues like education, jobs, and healthcare, specifically women’s healthcare issues. To date, I’ve never gotten a straight answer to any of my questions and it seems I’m not alone.

Mr. Faison has a reputation for avoiding those questions that require him to have solid answers about THE most important issues. You know, answers that people NEED in order to make their lives better.  Instead, he skirts the issue or worse…several people I’ve talked to have claimed that he simply walks away from the person asking the question without responding at all.

So much for “Ears at home”

And don’t try and gain any insight by visiting his Facebook or Twitter pages because all you’ll find there is rhetoric and conspiracy theory based opinions and the requisite Bible scriptures, and prop shots with flags and kids and descriptions of his perfect life and reflections of his perfect ideology that ALL  predator politicians use to convince their followers that they are good, wholesome, God-fearing “Christians” even though their actions prove otherwise.

Mr. Faison cloaks himself in the “Southern, Christian, 2nd Amendment defending, Constitution protecting, pro-life, Conservative” persona while supporting extremist, anti-government, anti-police, nut-jobs like Anthony Gucciardi (see the video on Faisons website under Disarmed: A History of Gun Control) who follows even bigger nut job, Alex Jones…

Yes, THAT Alex Jones, hero of the Las Vegas Cop Killers, Jared and Amanda Miller who ambushed two young police officers eating lunch as well as an innocent citizen who attempted to stop them. Take some time and research the ideology of Anthony Gucciardi.

Is a person who aligns himself with these types of people who we really want representing us in this district?  This is not representative of the ideology of most people in Cocke County, people that pride themselves for being humble, hospitable, faith filled, tradition loving, and caring about ones neighbors. Our police are our friends and many of us know our officers well and love and care for them like family members. We DON’T align ourselves with people who wish to do our police officers harm, EVER!

To get a clear picture of what Faison believes, just listen to him spout off his unverified, completely false,  liberal conspiracies about the coming Obama communism plot to destroy the country (it’s been 6 years since this rumor began). He claims to be “pro-life”, but is really pro-birth with a side of “let me invade your vagina and tell you what to do with your body based on my warped religious beliefs”. If that doesn’t do it for you, ask him his stance about gay children bullied to the point of suicide where his comments put him on the national map for being one of the biggest douche bags to ever get elected, earning a spot right next to the even bigger douche, Stacey Campfield.

Go ahead, Google it and see for yourself. Here’s just ONE of many links to the story as well as a video of Faison making a total ass out of himself. Check out the guy in the background as he listens to Faison alienate a few thousand voters.

 

“We can’t continue to legislate everything. We’ve had some horrible things happen in America and in our state, and there’s children that have actually committed suicide, but I will submit to you today that they did not commit suicide because of somebody bullying them. They committed suicide because they were not instilled the proper principles of where their self-esteem came from at home.” – Jeremy Faison

So basically, with his VERY limited education, Jeremy was able to diagnose a troubled child he’s NEVER met, with no observation, mixed with EXTREMELY warped beliefs. From now on, if any of your children are bullied in school or elsewhere, it’s your fault because you didn’t instill the proper principles or self-esteem.  It’s NOT the bullies fault…obviously if they were confident enough to be a bully, they must have been instilled with the proper principles. It takes a LOT of self-esteem to bully another person. A LOT!

Why isn’t this guy on Dr. Phil?

I’m not sure which version of Christianity Jeremy distorted to accommodate those views, but it doesn’t reflect the Christian values of the people in Cocke County that I know. Actually, many of the people I’ve talked with had NO IDEA that Faison made such incredibly cruel and heartless remarks and were appalled when they actually saw it for themselves.

It was only after unprecedented backlash that Fasion issued an apology.

“After reviewing my comments on the House Floor today, I regret what was a poor choice of words. My true intent was to protect children from becoming criminals. Suicide has touched my family, and I would never want a parent or family member to feel they were responsible for such an unimaginable tragedy.” 

As is the case with ALL predator politicians, Faison exploits the ignorance of the people in his district by emotionally firing them up and distracting them with the least important issues facing Cocke County citizens. He uses fear mongering and debunked conspiracy theories about the big, bad, liberal, government coming for your guns and Bibles. He tells people that their suffering isn’t a result of his blatant incompetence, distorted, hate motivated, views and LACK of action, but that those gun hating, Commie, Socialist, liberal bastards are to blame.

This asshat bases his entire platform on misinforming his constituents with DEBUNKED information and conspiracy theories KNOWING that they will most likely never check the facts and when he’s confronted with someone who DOES actually check the facts, he ignores them and walks away.

Jeremy avoids addressing SERIOUS issues, like how Tennessee ranks at the top of the list for poverty, unemployment, low wages, worst healthcare, corruption, domestic abuse, obesity, meth addiction, crime, lack of education, and low information voters. And let’s not forget high teen pregnancy and repeat teen pregnancy rates, highest tax on FOOD,  and especially the fact that Tennessee residents also receive the most in government assistance like food stamps. This is because politicians like him are too busy whoring themselves out to the NRA and big corporations.  They’re too busy playing party politics to actually DO ANYTHING about the decades old problems that continue to plague our state and our county.  He has the balls to blame liberals for these issues.

Um.. the last time I checked, Tennessee has a MAJORITY of REPUBLICANS in the legislature.

And get this… Conservative politicians charge some of the poorest people in the country 9.75% on their groceries and have for years, and Liberals are to blame? So… how exactly does that work? Did the Liberals force you to enact that tax? Is there a reason why in all of your Chritianness you are unable to repeal such a harsh tax on the most needy and vulnerable in our country? Or could it be that the corporate welfare you’ve given to so many companies that have cost the people of Tennessee MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in revenue has to be made up some way?  Put it on the backs of the poor, working class, and the ignorant and then blame the other guy.

VERY, VERY Biblical. I’m trying to see Christ in that, but seriously, I’ve got nothing.

Seems to me that Mr. Faison either doesn’t understand the basic concepts of economics, doesn’t care, or simply doesn’t want his constituency to know what a colossal failure he and his fellow conservatives have been. The best way to distract his constituents from his failures and lack of action is to fire them up over non-issues like guns and religion and fleece them while they’re looking the other way.  Isn’t that what he’s basically allowing and participating in? All while openly despising the very people he’s oppressing, but promising to work for? How is this in any of our best interest? How is this making Cocke County a better place? How has this helped the people help themselves?

Electing this guy was like opening the door to the hen-house and letting the fox in.

Faison has made no bones about his hate for “Social Justice”. To hear him speak, you’d come away believing that he despises those who are less fortunate and need help to literally survive. This makes me wonder WHY he chose to represent one of the poorest districts in the state.

The poverty rate in Cocke County hovers around 26% with unemployment hovering at around 7.7%. As of June 2014, there are 11,480 people in Cocke County receiving SNAP (food stamps), that’s UP over 150 people since he took office and accounts for almost ONE THIRD of the population in our county.  The rest of his district hasn’t fared much better.

Faison has been overheard verbalizing his total disdain for those who receive welfare assistance. He represents 3 counties in which over a THIRD of the population receives food stamps but he despises those that receive said help. You can verify those statistics directly with the Tennessee Department of Human Services by clicking here.

He makes no bones about his feelings on the matter and even went so far as to post them on his Facebook page a while back in which a reader copied and then wrote a letter to the Newport Plain Talk about. Faison removed the post shortly after the paper made it public.

His post which was later taken down said:

“My dislike for “social justice” is growing! What ever happened to…?

Don’t work? Don’t eat!

You broke it? You fix it!

Parents… Take care of your children!

Children…. Obey your parents!”

You can read the full letter to the NPT which includes a continuation of his bizarre rant by clicking here.

His beliefs are Don’t work? don’t eat!”  

How very Christ like.  And how many of you have heard this rhetoric from him and other “Conservatives” and adopted it as your own belief? How will you twist the Bible to accommodate such a VILE attitude towards people? And what part of that reflects Christ?

What about the people that DO work, but are unable to make ends meet? Like Veterans, the elderly, and those unable to work. And what about those who work for companies like  Wal-Mart and still can’t afford to make ends meet? The company makes more than most of the American population COMBINED, but still pays their employees poverty wages and WE the PEOPLE supplement them with our tax dollars via food stamps and healthcare. Do they count? Or does he just see everyone who receives food stamps as lazy slackers? One third of the county is an awful lot of lazy slackers. And I wonder if he splashes that dashing smile across his face when he speaks to those slackers who receive food stamps in order to win a vote?

Why hasn’t Jeremy stood up against corporate welfare queens like Wal-Mart to demand better pay for those he represents?

Of course, if he were actually DOING HIS JOB and trying to bring more jobs to our area, there would be fewer people for him to despise for free loading. Right? And if he were doing his job, people wouldn’t need to go out of county to work.  Almost 80% of my friends and neighbors work OUT of Cocke County because a job in a fast-food restaurant or other minimum wage position just won’t cut it.

If you receive any type of government assistance like SNAP, disability, WIC, Tenn Care, etc. and you voted for or are planning to vote for Jeremy Faison… you’re shooting yourself and your family in the foot. The loyalty you’re showing him is NOT reciprocated. He hasn’t done much to help you help yourself and actually holds contempt for those of you needing help.

Ask Jeremy what 3 things he’s done to help those in Cocke County help themselves…Ask him what he’s done to bring jobs into the area, or to improve our education system, or what he’s done to help the NUMEROUS uninsured sick people here.

Jeremy is all for lower taxes and smaller government and especially personal responsibility.

The FACT of the matter is, when  politicians boast about “lower taxes” they aren’t talking about us, the little guy, they are talking about the corporations. Lower corporate taxes are NOT helping us, they helping us stay at the top of the list as one of the poorest states in the nation. The wealth doesn’t trickle down, it never has. The FACT that corporations are raking in RECORD profits while wages are stagnant is proof of this. Politicians pushing for lower corporate taxes are not working FOR the people!

A strong tax base is necessary for a prosperous state.  Our state  takes more in federal dollars than we give back. The revenue we take in can not support what we have let alone any improvements. So for all of his talk about “smaller government” the people of Cocke County would be screwed without the help of the federal government.

Ask Jeremy how he would generate revenue to feed the 11,000+ people on food stamps without the help of the federal government. Go ahead, I dare you. Ask him.

When politicians speak of smaller government, they are usually referring to less government regulation for big corporations that don’t want to pay their fair share in taxes, want little or no restrictions on how they treat our environment and natural resources and little or no regulation on how they treat their employees.

wolfThe whole “business friendly” bullshit that Jeremy and his cronies in Nashville spout about, is a distraction from the real issues. They pass laws that allow corporations to operate in our state for dirt cheap, making us one of the most “business friendly states in the country”, but at the same time we win the prize for the LOWEST wages in the country! This isn’t an opinion, it is a VERIFIABLE fact and they count on YOUR ignorance and lack of knowledge to get away with it. And Jeremy counts on the loyalty and trust of his community to further this agenda.

This ideology is KEEPING Cocke County and the rest of the district seeped in POVERTY and suffering. THAT’S A FACT.  Jeremy works FOR US, NOT for the corporations that throw money at him for campaign contributions.

The next time you hear Jeremy brag about his Bush Brothers & Company deal, ask him how much it cost the people of Tennessee and HOLD him to his answer. THEN verify it.

While I’m on this subject, I encourage you to research what “Right to Work” really means. Put aside everything you’ve been told by the politicians who told you this was a good thing for you and for a moment, and with an open mind go and see for yourself how calling something “Right to Work” is anything but GOOD for WE THE PEOPLE.  Be sure to look at the opposing views on this issue and compare it to the conditions here in Tennessee. I have nothing to gain by encouraging you to think for yourself… but the politicians and their corporate masters have PLENTY to lose when you do!

With regards to taxes, WE THE PEOPLE are still paying MORE than our fair share, including 9.75% on FOOD.  OF the 9 states that collect tax on groceries Tennessee has the HIGHEST rate.  Talk about sacrificing yourself to predator politicians. I’m still waiting for Jeremy to fight that battle as hard as he fought for the gun lobby on NON EXISTENT ISSUES.

nra-PuppettsFaison is known for his rabid pro-gun stance and he’s a hero with the NRA. He fights REALLY REALLY hard to protect his constituents from an issue that DOESN’T EXIST.  No one is trying to take your guns. Obama has NEVER said he was coming for your guns and after 6 and half YEARS, the rhetoric coming from the paranoid, predator politicians, who use this issue to distract low information voters is now stale. Even the dumbest, most paranoid, bunker dwellers know this. The few crazy Liberal politicians that suggested it after the Sandy Hook massacre were shut down quicker than they had time to even talk about it, but that didn’t stop Jeremy from going on a disinformation campaign using conspiracy theories and debunked information. He went balls to the wall on gun rights, because we need as much freedom as possible when it comes to guns. AS MUCH as possible. Never mind that in ALL polls over 80% and in some polls 90% of the AMERICAN people want safer, ENFORCEABLE, sensible, gun legislation to keep their families from being the victim of a gun free-for-all that is costing thousands of innocent lives each year. Almost everyone I spoke to in Cocke County about this issue agreed with the exception of a few who are still waiting on those Obama FEMA camps and microchips.

Jeremy has put his heart and Christian soul into making sure everyone can have guns.

This issue has added 0 Jobs, has done NOTHING to improve our health care, pill and meth addiction crisis, or improve our education system here in Cocke County, and since any type of required training in the proper and safe handling of guns might infringe the right to bear arms, screw education. Jeremy joins an ever-growing list of NRA backed sell-outs who blatantly distort the Constitution he claims to revere in order to SELL GUNS for a campaign contribution. PERIOD.

Seriously, aside from what Fox news, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, Sean Hannity and the other main stream media shills have told you,  what bills have been presented to ban responsible, law-abiding citizen from owning a gun?  I’ll wait right here while you go and check that. Or, I’ll tell you how many.  ZERO. The problem doesn’t exist.  It’s another non-issue used to distract you. And it worked.

nraWe’ve now got gun legislation that not only expands everyone’s right to have a gun in their car, something that responsible, people with concealed carry permits were ALREADY allowed to do, but it NOW includes the meth and crack heads with no felony record or conviction, the domestic abuser who has no restrictions, the stalkers, the mentally ill, and anyone who basically shouldn’t have a gun, but just hasn’t been convicted of a felony or had his right to bear arms revoked by a court of law.  So now, when you’re driving down the road, you have to hope that an individual who is taking FULL advantage of this new freedom, isn’t going to go all road rage on you for cutting him off, or that some crack head looking for a victim isn’t going to just shoot first. The only thing this law managed to do is to make the rest of us who are responsible enough to own guns legally, constantly worry about those who have no business with them, but because they’ve not had their privileges revoked via felony conviction or the like, they can now keep a gun in their car at anytime .  Not to mention, the massive amount of risk added to our already targeted police officers dealing with a new wave of anti-police rhetoric thanks to people like Jeremy Faison and those he supports i.e. Alex Jones, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the other anti-police loud mouths.

TinFoilHatAreaOnlyWhile Jeremy was patting himself on the back about his success at outsmarting those invisible, Liberal, ninja, gun-takers (that don’t exist) you stopped thinking about his lack of action on jobs, education, and health care. But you do have the right to have a gun in your car to make your commute to your non-existent, or low wage job, in total paranoia about a problem that DOES NOT EXIST.  How many people have been shot, in Tennessee, on their way to work in the last 10 years?

Does Jeremy hand out free tin-foil hats at his campaign events?

I feel safer already. And Whoooo Wheeee! These guns SURE do taste good!!! I’m still having a hard time finding a job outside of law-enforcement, armed security, or the military where my gun will actually help me gain employment. On the upside, the accidental shootings will keep those in healthcare busy. Victims with no job or Tenn Care will just have to suck it up because our District Representative, Jeremy Faison, doesn’t like free healthcare OR slackers.  Just throw some peroxide and a band-aid on it and it’ll be fine and this should be no excuse for you not to find a job.

Well done Jeremy, well done. You sure improved ALL of our lives with that one!

That’s not all.

Jeremy has stood with his other “Conservative” buddies in denying ALL Tennessee residents affordable health care.  Again, he regurgitates DUBUNKED information and conspiracy theories and counts on your ignorance to support his stance in preventing YOU and YOUR FAMILY from having access to much-needed, affordable health care. But at the same time, he despises you for taking government handouts like FREE health care via Tenn Care IF you’re poor enough to qualify.

Of course, uninsured people using the local emergency room as a clinic that WE THE PEOPLE pay for anyway, is a much better alternative than having a family doctor for preventative care and health maintenance or specialized care for cancer, or other life destroying illnesses. Of the 95 counties in Tennessee, Cocke County is ranked 85th on the list for health. (Source)

Yea, we don’t need affordable healthcare.

On one hand Jeremy thinks freeloaders suck, and if you don’t have healthcare get a job because taxpayers shouldn’t pay for those slackers who are too lazy to work or find a job that provides benefits. On the other hand, he doesn’t believe the government should make you responsible for your healthcare by making it affordable.  Yea, the Insurance companies can’t stick it up our asses anymore, but hey… making sure everyone is healthy is SOCIALISM! Doncha know!  Like I said, I don’t know which version of Christianity he and his cronies distort to fit those beliefs, but they aren’t fooling me.

myth-debunked-001His decision to vote against expanding Medicaid is not only fiscally irresponsible for the state of Tennessee, it’s costing lives. MOST of what you have been told by conservative politicians about the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare is NOT TRUE.  I implore you to do your research, ask questions, send me an email if you want, but STOP TAKING THEM AT THEIR WORD, they are lying to you and keeping you and your family from the health care you as a human being are ENTITLED too!  If they can fight for multi-billion dollar corporations to avoid paying taxes, they can damn well make sure that YOU have quality health care. It’s your CONSTITUTIONAL right…FIGHT FOR IT! And stop believing the lies they are telling you in order to protect their corporate masters. You have NOTHING to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.  Click here to see some of the myths about Obamacare – The Affordable Care Act debunked.  

Note- FactCheck.org is a non partisan fact checking site sponsored by the Annenburg Public Policy Center. 

I was unable to find any significant achievements that bettered the lives of those who live in Cocke County during Jeremy’s time in office. Don’t take my word for it… click here to actually see what Jeremy has done to put food on your table, create jobs, improve the education choices in his district, and make a way for affordable healthcare, etc.  If I’ve missed something, please feel free to share it with me and after verification, I’ll GLADLY share it.

The bottom line is this. Jeremy moved to Cocke County from Florida in 2006. He only sees many of the people of Cocke County as slackers and free loaders. He assumes that ALL of the people here are ignorant and that’ll make it easy to continue taking advantage of those who trust him.  Jeremy is a predator politician who exploits the loyalty and trust of his community to further his own agenda.

Personally, I care about my family and friends more than I care about his political agenda and I want my community to be a well-informed, well-educated, prosperous one. That’s MY agenda.

I’m not voting for Jeremy. He didn’t earn nor does he deserve my vote.

It’s UNACCEPTABLE for ONE FOURTH of the people in my town to LIVE IN POVERTY! The people of Cocke County deserve way better and although it may take some time for those of us who care to convince and reeducate those who have been misled, we’re going to look out for our own and rid ourselves, once and for all, of the predator politicians who keep the people of Cocke County in this situation.

In fairness, if Jeremy has a response to any of the things I’ve written here, I’ll gladly publish them ONCE the information he gives has been VERIFIED FACTUAL and unlike Jeremy, I’ll provide the source of my information.  I’ll gladly allow him to rebut any of the things I’ve taken issue with.

If you have questions, comments or would like to add to this essay, please email me at southernblueberry@gmail.com

 

The Real Deal on East Tennessee Politicians

This is the first of a multi-part series on the politicians representing the east Tennessee region. I’ve been asked why I’m taking such a harsh stance against the politicians in this area and my response is this:

I’m frustrated with the lack of leadership from our elected officials. PUBLIC OFFICE IS A PUBLIC TRUST. Many in the current crop of elected officials have failed to earn our trust. 

I’m tired of being a responsible, hard working, tax-paying citizen with NO representation or voice. I’m tired of them insulting my intelligence by using debunked information, conspiracy theories, and flat out lies to divide us and prevent us from noticing that they are NOT working in our best interest. I’m extremely fed-up with the arrogance of our elected officials in thinking that THEY deserve anything less than being held ACCOUNTABLE and responsible. They’ve forgotten that THEY work for US. NOT the other way around. We are not here to be used as tools to further their personal agendas or to slave ourselves and our children out to their corporate masters for low wages and no benefits.  I am no longer going to sit back and watch the people in my town be exploited based on misinformation. And finally, I am tired of digging beneath the surface and finding that many of these self-proclaimed “Conservatives” are anything but. They align themselves with anti-government, anti-police, extremists and try to dumb down their constituency with fear, hate, false faith, and non-existent issues in order to distract and fleece them.

I’ve decided to take a closer look at my local representatives and those running against them to learn what each politician has done, or plans to do to better the lives of their constituents. For the past 6 years we’ve heard our elected officials continuously blame Washington D.C. for our troubles, but when I began the vetting process for the mid-term elections to decide who I’d be casting my ballots for, I found that ALMOST ALL of the problems we’re dealing with in my area are created by, or ignored by LOCAL or state level politicians.

My question is: What are they trying to distract us from and why?  I have come to the conclusion that when local politicians blame Washington, D.C. for a lack of progress, it almost always means that they’ve failed to do their job and need to divert attention away from their failures in order to be re-elected. They count on people being uneducated in the way local, state, and federal government works and take advantage of that ignorance. Additionally, these same politicians have purposely misled the citizens and conditioned them using fear, misinformation, and outright lies to be some of the most low-information, misinformed voters in the nation and while the people believe these predators are working for them, the VERIFIABLE FACTS show that they are actually working against their best interest and that of their families and friends.

Enough is enough, it’s time to educate the people of Cocke and surrounding counties so that they can make better choices when it comes to electing those that represent them.

Politicians who represent low-information, misinformed voters are the ones who need to be watched closest. There’s a reason why they want their constituency dumbed down. When others come along and point this out, these politicians instantly go on attack and will usually stop at nothing to discredit those who are exposing them.  My advice is to listen to what those exposing them have to say. There is ALWAYS truth in it. ALWAYS.

I’m starting my series in Cocke County, my hometown.  First on the list is…

Jeremy FaisonJeremy Faison (R) District 11 Representative