jpo3136's comment history

jpo3136 said...

During the shutdown in 1995 and 1996, my G.I. Bill was stopped by Representative Gingrich's and the Republican Congress' irresponsible actions. They continually tried to blame President Clinton for failing to comply with their list of demands they titled, "The Contract with America." As they bickered about this, they ignored their obligations to many enlisted veteran's contracts. As a Desert Storm veteran, I found this event to be a morally selective interpretation of the United States' obligation to its enlisted Soldiers.

While it may be seen as an easy victory now, incountry it was hard labor and what looked like a death sentence for us all. Back then, before battle, I was directly told that I would only ". . . leave the battlefield dead or victorious." The United States insisted that the war had to be fought.

Then, when it was time to pay simple benefits, well within their means, Congress refused. They shutdown the government out of arbitrary bickering. That shutdown, combined with a car accident I had, set back my college education for several years.

I survived and eventually graduated, but only after raising again the money it takes to start up the education reimbursement process. There is no compensation or recourse for veterans who may lose critical progress in reimbursement education programs. At one point, I even complained to our local US Attorney's office, asking for help at having been victimized; the US Attorney listened for a moment and then refused to do anything. Many veterans have families and loans beyond their immediate G.I. Bills; for them the consequences are greater yet.

In the meanwhile, I crept by on a paycheck that was within a dollar of minimum wage. I do not feel that these shutdowns are without consequences. I wholeheartedly disagree with the tone of the article above. To this day, I remain bitter at the memory of the selfish conduct of our legislators, particularly the Republicans who so often tout patriotism while underfunding our wartime endeavors.

Throughout it all, and looking back now, I soon wonder just how harshly these shutdowns must affect so many other Americans who need government assistance to survive at all. Considering the selfishness displayed last time, I put little faith in reassurances that government shutdowns cause only cosmetic inconveniences. If the 1995 shutdown, which some people regard as only lasting a few weeks, affected me for several years, then what would another one do? What does this kind of poor conduct do to our old, our sick, our widowed, our handicapped? What does this do to people who need every bit of help they can get just to survive?

These shutdowns do have significant consequences. They directly affect many people for a long time. I know the last one did me.

February 25, 2011 at 10:21 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

We hope the officer recovers. The Police and public service employees of East Ridge have consistently provided swift and thorough attention to their community's needs.

February 25, 2011 at 9:53 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

No one is going to be hurt or killed if the information within such a meeting is shared with the public. There's no practical, defensible reason for trying to hide. Just have the meetings, with reporters and audience there, and carry on. Trying to impose secrecy when there is need for none will only undermine Parks' ability to lead their section of government. Keep the meetings open.

February 25, 2011 at 6:45 a.m.
jpo3136 said...

These people are doing whatever they can to waste and steal water from somewhere else after they drained Hartsfield Lake with their wasteful practices. I hope it screws up their TVA contract so poorly that we get to pull the plug on the entire city of Atlanta.

February 25, 2011 at 6:27 a.m.
jpo3136 said...

Condescending and micromanaging beyond the scope of the Commissioner's elected, not self-appointed, authority is not what we expect. Commissioners need to stay in their lane.

Their conduct so far, particularly in light of their self-annointing, quasi-lawful backdoor deals since November, is totally unacceptable.

Commissioners, get it together. You are not to act like the Mayor of Chattanooga. We need leadership, not more reprehensible selfishness.

I continue to believe that the only way to get some action on this PILOT money is for the School Board to reject all six million dollars of this money. If the Commission thinks that what they're doing is right, when it is obviously not on many levels, then let them wear it. Give them what they want ten times over.

Those PILOT taxes will eventually be found to be just that: taxes. And, when it's determined that these tax sums are actually windfalls, there will be significant debt to pay to the state. By giving the Commissioners what they want now, the School Board would be containing that problem and foisting the responsibility for that ailment back on the Commission.

Denying the definition of taxes is a lawyerly trick which will land us into trouble later. Belittling, instead of leading by example, is not what we expect from these entrenched commercial buddies who somehow got themselves wedged into political office. The School Board appears to be better led and more effective and carrying out its scope of responsibility. The County Commission would do well to learn from then, particularly in the area of the lawful acquisition and transfer of power.

No one is interested in what the County Commission has to say after that despicable business-buddy appointing nonsense last November.

February 25, 2011 at 6:24 a.m.
jpo3136 said...

I just got back from a downtown business near Main and 14th, and there's been more flooding tonight. Without warning, water started gushing up through the toilet. This indicates to me that the overflow problem has somehow begun to overwhelm some kind of nearby sewer line. It started flooding again at about 6:20 p.m. Things are not back to normal.

February 24, 2011 at 8:03 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

It's Thursday night, and more big gushing leaks are popping up a couple of blocks away from the main damage. The water is still flowing. Time for a follow up story.

February 24, 2011 at 7:58 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

And even if the police, TWRA, messed up by letting the survivor drive home, that didn't cause those deaths on the water, either. Trying to say something about the policing after the accident doesn't tell us whether or not this riverboat pilot is guilty of negligent homicide.

What is the TBI doing discussing evidence outside of trial? How is that in the state's best interest? Shouldn't the TBI's procedures be protecting the interests of all of the people of our state? That would include the victims and their survivors. Again, that spectacle does not tell us whether or not that barge pilot is guilty.

We're not told what the smaller boat was doing. Won't that be significant to right of way?

How would whether or not a passenger was drunk be a part of whether or not it's right to get run over by a river barge?

We're not told, by any of the statements above, what was going on in a vessel by the people who had the opportunity to know.

Also, what about inland maritime laws? One of y'all quoted international maritime rules. When I looked it up to check up on it, I came across this one:

That rulebook outlines one set of conditions for "International" and another set for "Inland." Tennessee seems to be inland. What do the inland rules have to say about this? Rule 2 goes on and on about doing whatever is necessary to avoid collision. Does that not apply?

Even though this may be two drunk and one stoned Bubba in a bass boat, they deserve a defense. That includes those who are already dead. These guys deserve a good lawyer. We should not give up on our people just because someone wants to say something negative about them after they died. That's not right and it's not fair.

I'm going to side with the Bubbas in the bass boat, solely because they got run over and now everyone is saying something bad about them. No go. They deserve a fair defense.

February 24, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

I have been up on Snooper's Rock and seen barges creep through the river very slowly, sighting and lighting up the shore with their lamps at night. Pilots know how to go carefully. That's why they're "piloting" the vessel.

It doesn't matter what the conditions are or what the hazard is; that pilot has to make some kind of reasonable effort to see and prepare for the hazards in front of him. That includes a fishing boat standing still.

What's more, if those boaters were inebriated, then all the more that their craft was disabled. The drunker or more stoned we think they were; then the more they were victimized.

Was there any effort at all made by the barge to avoid collision? I suspect we'll find out that this was another day of piloting up the same waterway and not paying attention.

No, I am not a sailor, but I spent enough time in New Orleans to know that it's common for experienced sailors with top notch navigation equipment to mindlessly crash into the Lake Ponchetrain Bridge. At 25 miles long, everyone should know it's there. It gets hit regularly.

Almost always by some worn-out or drunk person who was going the same way he always goes, but one time not paying attention.

The more powerful those vessels are, the more those pilots have on them. This does not mean that the killed victims are at fault. And, it doubly does not mean that their intoxication has anything to do with it.

What's what here is that the barge pilot is expected to control his vessel. No exceptions. We just cannot accept this concept that it is okay for someone with a large watercraft to kill others in collisions repeatedly. The laws of commerce must side with humanity, for it is civilization that they support.

February 24, 2011 at 5:34 p.m.
jpo3136 said...

Vessels are also required to maintain a lookout and post a guard. That large barge cannot force or require anyone else to get out of his way. These rules are based on yielding, not forcing someone else to do something.

The captain of a vessel has no way of knowing what another can or cannot do. It is unreasonable to think that he is capable of controlling anything besides his own vessel.

Even if he thought he was right, he is still responsible for piloting his own vessel. That includes slowing down, and turning right to avoid collisions. You cannot just run other people over because your vessel is larger.

February 24, 2011 at 5:19 p.m.

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