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Tennessee...a lost cause


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Between the Christian right wingnuts who run the state and will pass any legislation that promises to be anti-gay, and the idiots who have chosen to set forth this incredibly stupid law, I see a state in total meltdown. Just look at this:

http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=6848a068-50e7-4d64-8ebc-c34d713d235f

If there is a sudden growth of child abuse after this legislaton is passed we should not be suprised. In far too many poor households both parents work. In far too many households someone is out of work and on welfare. Talk about pressure on a family, since most welfare payments don't begin to pay the bills much less feed a family.

Kids come home from school without books to study and head for the basketball court to get away from mom and dad who are far too depressing to look at. In my opinion, basketball is the number one reason that low income children are failures at school. Everyone wants to be another Michael Jordan...get real, what are the odds? Basketball is synonymous with masturbation because it all feels good until it is over.

So here we have a legislature that will equate a child's failure to pass a school grade with the financial welfare of a family. If daddy doesn't blame the child for a cut in benefits then he's doing drugs. Stupid legislation begats stupid results, but in Tennessee I guess we have to expect that.

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Tennessee lost its grip on reality a while back, in the events that led to the Scopes Evolution Trial in 1925:

'The background event which made possible the Scopes Evolution Trial (known then popularly as "The Monkey Trial") in Dayton, Tennessee in July, 1925 was the passing in March of that year of a statute (Acts of 1925, ch.27) by the Tennessee legislature which made it unlawful for any teacher in any educational institution supported by the public school funds "to teach any theory that denies the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man descended from a lower order of animals." The statute further stated that "any teacher violating this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than one hundred dollars ($100) not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each offense.'

Here are the details describing the trial of poor John Thomas Scopes, a young science teacher who attempted to teach about evolution. The resulting trial gripped the attention of the nation. http://www.rheacounty.com/scopes.html

Anything that the Tennessee legislature has come up with since then has to be viewed with some degree of cynicism.

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Chris, did you read the comments at the link you gave? They reek of what I call the "I'm all right, Jack" syndrome, where the well-to-do have no idea of the desperate circumstances in which, the poor and deprived often find themselves. The lack of compassion startles me.

I know there are people who bleed the system, but setting aside those who don't want to work from those who do and can't find work is different from those who profiteer and rort the system at the corporate level or make their millions from what is in effect slave labour.

As for the children who fail their school work, I'd suggest the education system needs to be evaluated before punishing the parents by diminishing the already inadequate allowance they receive. Special assistance classes for the underprivileged would be of more benefit to the kids, but I guess that is far too 'socialist' for the free market profiteering of the U.S. capitalist system.

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I do like the part of this that encourages the parents to get involved in their kids' education. That is one of the prime factors of a kid being successful in school.

But it sounds draconian, too. Taking money that's desperately needed from a family because the kid doesn't perform puts way too much pressure on the kid, and who's to say why he doesn't perform. It could be a number of reasons, and many could be outside his control.

This seems to be an idea that wasn't rigorously explored before implementation. Like so many goverment programs.

C

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Here's an idea: All Tennessee lawmakers must pass drug tests every month to receive their salaries. All Tennessee lawmakers' kids must earn a 2.5 GPA or they won't be allowed to vote on legislation. All Tennessee lawmakers must wear a wire at all times so we can hear their conversations with donors, lobbyists and each other. (Their movements are to be tracked with cameras at all times too.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Amazing what a confrontation by a little girl can accomplish. Bravo, young lady. Now maybe the legislature can get back to doing something about unemployment and the economy instead of this frivolous BS.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/12/17724692-after-8-year-old-girl-protests-tennessee-senator-drops-bill-that-links-welfare-to-grades?lite&lite=obinsite

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Over the last month I've traveled extensively in Tennessee doing my field engineer thing.

I've actually been impressed by Memphis and Nashville. Not that I had time to be a tourist, the people were friendly and land beautiful.

Maybe some of their politicians are Taliban but the state is alive and well and worth a visit.

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