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Jay Greeson

Ever look around at your daily life and wonder?

Wonder how things could be better? How things could be different? How things could be more enjoyable?

It's OK, even for those of us who know we are truly blessed to ponder the unknown.

So, news reported by this paper's Tennessee government reporter, Andy Sher, that a certain Left Coast state is boycotting state-funded trips to Tennessee, begs the question: Have you ever faced a problem in your day-to-day world and thought, "Man, how would California handle this?"

Nope? Me neither.

California has boycotted state-funded trips to the Volunteer State because of a state law allowing counselors in our state to decide who they do and do not see.

Debate that issue all you want. Debate the merits of requiring counselors to treat someone they have opposing life views with until you are blue in the face. Debate in such matters is important.

But for one state to think that the point of a travel boycott— as limited as state-funded trips from California to Cookeville or San Francisco to South Pittsburg might be — is something we all should be concerned about.

Who is California to tell us how to live or what to believe?

This is about the power play of a state-funded body withholding taxpayer money to strongarm another state. It is at best puzzling, and at worst disconcerting.

Remember, California is a state that is bankrupt, operating at a deficit that is close to a critical mass, according to The Associated Press, which quoted Gov. Jerry Brown saying there could be a $1.6 billion shortfall, even with keeping the state's expenditures flat at $122.5 billion this year.

So think about that.

We have a state legislature being asked to keep expenditures flat.

We have a state legislature staring at a 10-figure shortfall.

And rather than cutting back for, you know, the betterment of their state, their constituents and their future, this group is going to foist their universal social commentary on a state 2,500 miles to the east.

But then, what do we know compared to the magnificence that is California? I mean, it gave us smog and a full understanding of the Richter scale, Gangsta rap and the hope that someday we could grow up and be a Baldwin brother.

Even the Beverly Hillbillies told us that "Cal-E-forn-I-yah, well, that's the place we want to be."

Well, here's a vote that they keep their bankrupt sensibilities there and we'll Volunteer to do what we can back here.

Deal?

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com. His "Right to the Point" column runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on A2.

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