Technically, it is still legal to paddle in Tennessee schools, but in most schools, it isn't done. The reason for this is, a certain segment of the population is so militantly against it, they sue schools for paddling. So, let me see if I understand their concept of progress. We don't paddle children any more, so they get so unruly we have to use tasers. Um... right.
It's only fitting. It seems to me, there are no newspapers in the state that can name all of the candidates for governor either. I've not seen a lot of articles on Baryon Binkley, myself, James Reesor, June Griffin, or Brandon Dodds. We don't benefit from the long established political ties, the Democrats and Republicans do. They haven even pushed one of their own to the outside. They ignore Joe Kirkpatrick even though he's doing better than Gibbons in many respects. This is why the newspaper industry is becoming less and less relevant. The average person is tired of these long existing political ties, many of which are shared by both parties, but the newspaper industry continues to report on the candidates that benefit from those ties. Ward Cammack cited these ties as a reason he dropped out of the race. Initially, he benefited from them, but when the elites within the Democrat party decided they didn't want him to win, they told donors to stop donating to his campaign. Funds dried up for Cammack. Jim Kyle cited public hostility toward his campaign as his reason for dropping out. At least the newspapers reported on this. However, they still refuse to report on independent candidates. Talk radio, on the other hand, continues to give interviews to independent candidates. I've personally been on half a dozen radio stations, and I know some of the other candidates such as Brandon Dodds has been as well.
Just look at this race to the top bill. I was very vocal in opposition to it. SCORE endorsed it. SCORE shut me out of their forum as a result, even though I had the signature of other independent candidates. Even Ramsey was proud about the bill passing the committee with a nearly unanimous (bi partisan) vote. Today, WBIR ran an article from USA Today, which said 78% of teachers thought pay and tenure should be decided locally, not at the state or federal level. In other words, in this case 78% of the people polled agreed with my stand, and disagreed with the near unanimous stand of Democrats and Republicans. The news being reported does not reflect the interests of the people.
I have been studying meteorology at one level or another for about 25 years. I've studies astronomy much of that time. Here is a paper I wrote on the subject. I ask at least one skeptic of global warming and one supporter of global warming to read this and post what you think.
This paper is 18 pages long, so it's worth a teaser to get you to read it. I am the only person I know of who has made a link between the subsurface solar jet streams and global climate. I even offer a counter argument to the effect of rotational velocity of the sun and sunspot activity. I also investigate a paper from the Council of Foreign Relations on this subject. I think it is safe to say, you will not see a paper like this written by any other candidate in this race.
Tenn Care is 28% of the state's budget. That's second only to education at 44% of the state's budget. Two programs account for almost 3/4 of all of the state's expenses. Furthermore, the debt rose from $2.63 billion at the beginning of the Sundquist administration to $4.49 billion in 2008. If you add in municipalities those numbers go from $9.85 billion to $38.39 billion. Furthermore, the state is using rainy day funds, and at the beginning of 2011, just when the next guy takes office, $1 billion/year of federal funds come out of the budget due to the expiration of all of these deals Bredesen has cut with W and Hussein. I ask you... You have three choices, tax and spend, borrow and spend, or cut something. What do you choose?
Everyone is focusing on Democrats and Republicans. You see this? The deals crossed administrations. Although, most of them do come from the 2009 stimulus bill. Just another article on KNS tonight is Pinkston (democrat) is joining Frist (republican) on SCORE.
I heard a fellow on the radio saying smoking should be banned, because it effects his insurance rate. If someone had a broken down car in their front yard, that can hurt property values. If someone puts a prefabricated home on his lot, that can hurt property values as well. The fact of the matter is, many things we do effects others. The fact smoking raises insurance prices effects the smoker as well. The backlash from this takes away the smoker's personal freedom to simply enjoy a cigarette. Where do we draw the line? Overweight people are barred from jobs, because they effect insurance rates? It's happening in Japan. The government starts taxing burgers and fries, because they are deemed unhealthy? California and New York are already doing that. This is one reason why I'm coming out against sin taxes. I don't smoke nor drink myself, but I can see the writing on the wall. It is a matter of time before I am penalized, through taxes or other means, for the simple vices, I enjoy.
Two other points I should make. Some people are just big people. I'm 220 pounds, but my heart rate is 56, blood pressure is 116/78, and cholesterol is 143. I'm healthy, but the charts say I should weigh 185. I don't want someone telling me to loose weight. Other times, people are overweight, because something is seriously wrong. Thyroid problems can cause this. That's the second point. People are being ostracized for medical conditions over which they have no control. Sin taxes are about 3% or 4% of the state revenue. The lottery is another 1%. These budget changes are not insurmountable.
The work a teacher does is more than a test score. I've already heard teachers who teach disabled or less tallented students say this unfairly effects them. Who's going to teach the students who may have an 80 IQ rather than 130 IQ? If some bureaucrat in Nashville is going to make the decisions based on test scores, rather than knowing the situation on the ground, no one is going to want to teach these students. Everything is about test scores any more. Who ever challenges a class with a much harder than normal test, then work on that? I used to have teachers, who would make tests which weren't meant to be finished, because the teacher wanted to know what I did know, not what I didn't. You can't do that if a bureaucrat hundreds of miles from home is looking at the results of a test. This is wrong. The Democrats and Republicans are no different. They keep wanting to fix things from their high and mighty posts in Nashville and Washington. I know Chattanooga has had a hard time with their schools, but this should be a local issue. The people should have the authority to fix their own problems, vote in or out school board members who go to the same churches and send their children to the same schools. The locally elected school boards should do the work and be held accountable. This governance from hundreds of miles away is why so few have an interest in local politics any more. If the school boards need help to fix a problem, they should ask the state to help, the state shouldn't tell the school boards, you have a problem, this is what you are going to do, we changed the laws to make you comply. This is just wrong.
There is no difference between Democrats and Republicans in this regard. I think this is the primary reason SCORE does not want me in their debate in just a few days. Those with established political ties don't want to hear from those interested in putting this authority back in the hands of the people.