"Anyone with a criminal record is a second class citizen in the U.S. It's near impossible to get a job when you have to check the convicted felon box. Felons can't go back to school unless they pay OUT OF POCKET. No scholarships, no loans."
Really? I know convicted felons who, WHILE IN PRISON, refused to join the Aryan Brotherhood, the Bloods, or the Crips, or play "Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me," on a small violin they could have fashioned out of FREE toothbrushes, dental floss and fake wood from the yard picnic bench.
Instead, they enrolled in the FREE TAXPAYER SUPPORTED High School, College, Masters, Doctorate and Law Degree programs and left the prison system with something more in their pocket than a toothbrush that sounded worse than an untuned plastic ukelele.
Unfortunately, due to the Tennessee Sentencing Guideline System, a convicted triple murderer, who was already on parole for his first 2 rapes/murders, both committed during a 15 kilo heroin deal rip-off that just happened to occur while he drove drunk, in a stolen van, down I-75 (South) with his four un-child-supported kids (Who were not in Child Restraint Devices) would not get enough actual time in prison to complete the initial TDOC GED course (Even with a taxpayer supported tutor.)
It should be noted that had he been shakin' and bakin' 3 grams of Meth and simultaneously distributing child porn on the internet, he maybe would have gotten enough time to get through the 11th Grade module.
From my view as a street level law enforcement officer, as opposed to the view from a classroom level (Protected by armed guards), or an environmentally controlled office cubicle (Protected by armed guards), I know that there are many convicted felons who did their time, paid their dues, were realistically remorseful and turned their lives around. I would wager those paths were not easy and were not handed to these folks. I bet they all started in minimum wage jobs, with little education or skills. Most I know have ended up raising fine families, making a decent living and actually contributing to society, instead of existing as a parasite. As my Swedish mother would say, "It took some gumption."
President Obama just pardoned a local formerly felonious fellow who did the right thing, pulled himself out of the abyss he found himself in and did exceptionally well for the rest of his life as the TFP recently reported. Dude had some 'Gumption.'
This fact is so common it is rarely news anymore.
I will give Mr. Cook kudos for actually standing up for his opinion (However flawed and unrealistic it is) in a 'Comment' section, unlike pretty much all of the rest of staff TFP opinionators.
For more on the subject: http://sceniccity.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=police&action=display&thread=31777
"If a factory were to appear today offering 500 entry-level jobs, they'd be gone by tomorrow. Gang membership would drop by half; honest paychecks taking the place of the streets."
Can you say, "VW?"
Other than Ms. Robin Smith's inane opinion piece entitled, "RELIGIOUS RELATIVIST", Mr. Cook's unsupportable, ivory tower and illogical statement was absolutely the most ignorant, unrealistic, irresponsible, dishonest and uninformed statement I have read in several weeks.
(And I regularly read David Tulis' blog, President Obama's press releases, all SCOTUS opinions and most inter-departmental memos.)
Then I read this show stopper.....
"I know you're out there, eyeing the newspaper. Certain people -- on the streets and near them -- have said: be careful what you write. People, in jail and out, are reading."
How's that, "Don't don't don't don't don't. Please don't" tepid and cowardly request working out for ya, Mr. Cook?
Maybe, Mr. Cook, if you added, "Pretty, pretty, please, with sugar on top quit killing, maiming, raping and robbing folks 'cause we're raising the minimum wage to $85 per hour and we are asking nicely?"
Mr. Cook's, and Ms. Smith's, grammar are perfect, their speling and punctuation (periods, and such) is admirable and they are both wordy and eloquent.
I just wish they'd write something meaningful, plan something demonstrably effective or at least offer just one thing, other than words, that was actually informative or educational.
I bet most of the people who voted 'yes', or 'no', in that poll, or read this opinion piece, have ever talked to a single gang member in their life.
"Potential contributing citizens?"
When your latest booking photo is used to accompany a news article about your violent death, you may not have much 'potential' in the first place.
Write-in candidates and fireworks sales in Georgia seem to be really important to the editorial staff at the TFP?
Thanks for discussing hard-hitting, life-altering, political, down home issues. Issues that actually impact the rest of us taxpayers, and former subscribers to the TFP, in the 'Drew's Spews'
The Dollar General has a sale on? Marry that into the TFP inspired, and alleged, rampant LE abuse of Dollar General shoppers and you may sell a paper!
ELVIS COSTELLO Alison 1977
One more thing..... At least the Knox News, the Tennessean and the Memphis Commercial Appeal media folks actually participate in their discussion forum. And, they allow editorial comments on all news articles.
A refreshing concept the TFP feels is too burdensome and above them, as they look down from their ivory tower, so they've issued a blanket censor on any view. The real reporters, editors and staff, at the aforementioned media outlets, eloquently either defend their position, or change their minds, and subsequently converse with their detractors, and their supporters.
Actual DIALOGUE seems to be lost at the TFP. Makes me wonder how confident they are in their reporting, their stated opinions and their position on important things.
More here: http://sceniccity.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=police&action=display&thread=31666
Big Cat Diary is fixing to come on the TV, so I'll adjourn to the lounge......
"They'll rally their friends, neighbors, and anyone else they can conjure up to come after you."
Look here, Jack..... Won't be the first TFP FOIA demand on my 500+ page personnel file. I've always said, "Innocence is one's best defense." If they want to waste another $74.53, feel free. (They could've read the same stuff for free on here, and other readily accessed internets sources.)
"Not at all surprising other local media outlets have suddenly become silent on this subject. Traditionally, southern media has always been either indifferent, complicit or co-conspirators wherever these type injustices were taking place."
'Silence,' by the other local media, could mean one of two things...
(A)The entire other local media is complicit in covering up for all, allegedly endemic, local cop's misdeeds, or...
(B)The local LE misdeeds are so rare, that the very few instances, that local LE brought to light in the first place, are a such non-story (To the rest of the non-tabloid, professional and conscientious, media) that they are just a blip on the ticker, right before the Traffic and Weather reports.
"Mr. Austin, TCrash is presently having a meltdown and is already calling for a boycott of your newspaper because of this ediotorial, before the ink has completely dried."
My last official meltdown occurred several months ago when I met my new, and future, ex-wife.
Does ink really 'dry' on the internets?'