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Kat’s Blog: State Representatives or Modern-Day Snake Oil Salesmen?

Some Tennessee Representatives and Senators seem hellbent on promoting a never- ending stream of bills that serve one purpose, to make the lives of registrants miserable.

There are several state representatives in particular that concoct a constant barrage of new bills aimed specifically at “sex offenders”, bills that appear to be the “bread and butter” of these “representatives of the people.”  If they’ve made it their life’s mission to deny any humanity, any shred of dignity to registrants, they’re doing a fine job.

Perhaps they reason, this is what gets them re-elected. They are modern-day snake-oil salesmen, instead of selling the towns folk magical elixirs that will treat anything from warts to consumption, they sell their “Sex Offender” bills to the public. “Sex” sells. “Sex Offender” garners attention, especially in the bible-belt south. Their shtick is the guarantee that their bill will “keep everyone safer”, when in reality, like the snake-oil salesman, it’s just a line to win over the towns people or in this case, a guarantee of votes for the next election.

Recently I came across TN HB2221/ Rep. W. Lamberth and SB2152/ Senator J. Johnson and couldn’t help but wonder, WHY?

WHY put forth a bill that prohibits a group of people, those convicted of a sexual offense, from being eligible for an alternative to incarceration? Aren’t alternatives to prison, good? Isn’t that what the “representatives of the people” should be striving for, ways to keep our prison population to a minimum, ways to reintegrate people back into society early, ways to control the sky-rocketing costs of incarceration? Isn’t that the reason these people were elected, to do good things, the right things, for all of us?

Under present TN law, an offender who meets all of the following minimum criteria is considered eligible for “punishment” in the community. A) Persons who without this option, would be incarcerated in a correctional institution. B) Persons convicted of property-related or drug/alcohol related felonies or other felonies not involving crimes against the person as provided in title 39, chapter 13, parts 1-5 (which includes assaultive offenses, criminal homicide, kidnapping, false imprisonment, robbery and sexual offenses.) C) Persons convicted of nonviolent felony offenses. D) Persons convicted of felony offenses in which the use or possession of a weapon was not involved. E) Persons who don’t demonstrate a present or past pattern of behavior including violence. F) Persons who do not demonstrate a pattern of committing violent offenses.

Lamberth and Johnson’s bill adds, that to be eligible, the person must: ) Not be convicted of a sexual offense under title 39 , chapter 13, part 5, 2) Not meet the definition of a sex offender or violent sex offender under the Sexual Offender and Violent Sexual Offender Registration, Verification and Tracking Act and, 3) Not be required to serve a sentence of community supervision for life under the present law (which are persons convicted of rape, aggravated rape, aggravated sexual battery, rape of a child or aggravated rape of a child.)

Perhaps if these stereotypical good old boy “representatives of the people” only proposed  bills like this once or twice during the course of their careers, I could forgive their ignorance in not knowing that those accused of sex offenses have a low re-offense rate or that comparing the terms “sex offender” and “violent sex offender” is comparing apples and oranges. That the very definition of “sex offender” has expanded to include offenses that have nothing to do with sex and that a sentence of community supervision for life should “include” not “exclude” those in the community.

Unfortunately for Tennesseans, these select few elected representatives seem focused on continuously presenting bills aimed at making life for anyone convicted of a “sex offense” as difficult as humanly possible. Their snake-oil salesmanship would have you believe that they are the healers, that their bills will benefit and protection their constituents. Like the registry, there’s no truth behind their misrepresentations that bills of this sort make anyone safer. These modern-day snake oil salesmen are slick, their proposed bills peppered with catch-words like “violent sex offender, assault and rape”, words that are sure to elicit fear and garner the immediate support of their peers. And to their credit, this tactic must work, because as often happens, when bills like this reach the Tennessee Senate, representative don’t ask questions, the votes are all “Ayes”, and the bills are passed.

I can’t help but wonder?

What underlying issues do these representatives have that make them seem to despise all registrants?  What kind of sick, twisted pleasure do they get from constantly proposing bills that vilify an entire group of individuals?  Yes, individuals. Each having a separate offense, not all the same, not to be lumped together and automatically excluded because they’ve all been broad- brushed with a “sex offender” label.

What’s made these “representatives of the people” so vindictive?


Need I say more?


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“…they sell their “Sex Offender” bills to the public. “Sex” sells. “Sex Offender” garners attention, especially in the bible-belt south.” The Southern Baptist Convention whom is king in the “bible-belt south” and the word “bible” is properly lower cased, here, because the Baptist have torn out most of the pages out of their Bibles and the Convention are trying to mask over the large number sex offense cases by pretending to be tough on sex offenders.

Votes. That’s what it’s for. Nothing more, nothing less. The same politicians that harp about how much they care for your children would kill and eat your children in front of you if it would get you to vote for them.

Once they get those votes (re-elected), they can focus on more important stuff like letting lobbyists buy them stuff, redecorating their offices for the third time this year, stuffing their roladex, and padding their resumes for the lobbying firm they’ll apply to when they either retire or get voted out.

Hey Kat. I do not know what type of snake oil medicine your taking or the rest of the crew on here but offenses will come. Sure we all should beware of the scribes and Pharisees whether your a christian or what. Sure I hate the whole pretense o this internet ordeal.. Sure all together it has cost people with prison terms. If they are lucky they can get probation but why do they do these things. They are the one’s that are tempting with all this exotic snake oil medicine and than extend bills to get popular votes. Sure… Read more »

Like pine martine to feathered snare. Have you noted Gov. Cuomo of NY was talking gov “cross jurisdictional tracking” of covid 19 carriers on CNN. So obviously the demo-socialists intend to expand their unconstrained use of the database infrastructure. A good way to justify the collection of the people’s lawful associations and peaceful assembly using the “civil” context of public safety as justification. President Eisenhower had something to say about that in his exit speech. His message was a clear warning to the people of what was to come.

@Tim in WI Just to give you a head’s up, yes Eisenhower warned about the industrial military complex, but Ike was more of a socialist than Bernie Sanders ever could hope to be. Eisenhower spearheaded the largest public infrastructure project in us history to the point where they even named the major expressway thru Chicago after the president. He also expanded a 90% tax rate to the rich but it took a democratic president to reverse some of that, it’s the reason why Kennedy is praised by many conservatives for his tax reform and ironically, Eisenhower is often praised by… Read more »

Doc Martin, Let us not mince words. When referring to the M.I.C. The general was offering a caution about a ” technological elite. ” His choice of words drew a necessary distinction between two separate things. 1 M.I.C., the armed forces and their associated gov and civilian support structures. & 2. Technological elite public policy peddlers. Big data brokers and electronic surveillance saints each peddling civil agendas. I too may not pass judgment about his policy or political bend. The best part of being a technological elite however, IS that you’ve got the goods on both sides of the… Read more »

@Doc Martin Just a heads up… 1) The MIC – I like what @Tim in WI surmises for it but you can read more about it and learn it has been in play since the late 1700’s and was coined (1947) before Ike mentioned it in his speech ( The MIC can and does influence things in Congress, DoD, etc which I have seen up close and personal. 2) GI Bill – it expired during Ike’s presidency (1956), but you can read more about it and the history of the idea of it from the 1920’s and 30’s ( for… Read more »

Easy pickins to fill their desks and make it look like they’re earning their pay.

Play the victim card and suddenly you score an “instant win”.

@TS You and Tim are over thinking it. You can post all the links you want and claim someone else came up with the interstate system or say that since it was meant for military purposes, it must not be socialism, really? All VA hospitals are owned by the government and their doctors and nurses work for the government, but I guess since its for military purposes, its not socialism, okay. And I didn’t know taxing the rich 90% under Eisenhower was okay because the economy was good plus they got tax breaks anyways (kind of sounds like today with… Read more »

@Doc, I see your argument and can agree with you in definition about ownership and control, but there are nuances which need to be considered further. The Interstate is not an industry (or are the US Highways for that matter since they came before Interstates). The states control the care and maintenance of the these highways through their states now that the initial system was completed (as detailed in the law) and can apply to receive federal funding to assist with the care, maintenance, and additions to the system through taxes gathered, but it is not an industry by any… Read more »

One benefit advanced technologies lend to war mongers is less loss of life by soldiers, which in turn enables war mongers because less complaints by constituents that would normally constrain them politically are gone. Modern tech has almost eradicated that historical check on power, thus our M.I.C. remain unfettered in modern warfare by the advancement. Technological advancements had made possible the extenuating circumstances in the Middle east which have lasted much longer than any other American war.

Prosecutors or persecutors we all seem to be guilty of something. Serving the public is serving the public not some made up internet with all these schemes and scams. Internet is a useful device in some ways althought we did without it for years even decades and yes life was a bit more simpler.. Talk about snake oil salesman and druming up business by these ordeals. I guess a person can tell what site someone is on today whether its govermental or social. Media today is like a digital that is a virus in itself if one thinks about it,… Read more »

One can hope that these lawmakers and their ilk get a taste of their own medicine at some point, or at least let it hit close to home. Chances are nonzero that someone they love or respect or someone they know (or even among their own ranks) has done something that could land them on the very registry they love so much if discovered. I don’t like to wish ill on anyone, but I must admit it would be incredibly satisfying to see how these lawmakers would squirm if a son, brother, friend, or they themselves wound up accused or… Read more »

Yeah, Registries are the definition of out-of-control, huge government. No one supports small government and Registries. The key impact of Registries is to create busy-work jobs for more big government employees.

Until the “all sex offenders are dangerous” trope is discounted as a fraudulent assertion, the lawmakers will continue to exploit group think and herd mentality claiming it’s “what my constituents want” and “it’s the will of the people” blah.. blah..

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