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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?

Tennessee.

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 all things have a purpose but this sex registry and this crafty internet method is not biblical. It is as vain as cutting off one’s fingers.

Wow talk about a millstone around someones neck and drowned in the sea. I would hate to induce anyone by this internet encounter with something like this. Seems they can call themselves Christians but they have their certain things to do and internet trickery is not one of them. Its like a camalfuage to entrapt with this snake oil medicine and it seems popular for the voters. Well this contri virus is not pupular and its telling the nations they better get their house in order as a little with righteousness is better than none at all.

Saddles,
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 progressives for his socialist policies including the GI bill providing free college to all veterans. And that’s just a fraction of public social policies that Eisenhower put into place. Now I’m not saying all those policies are good or bad, but you have to know that both parties (including Trump & GOP) have their hands in the cookie jar when it comes to socialist policies.

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.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhower%27s_farewell_address#The_speech

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 eisle! Look at the invasion of Ipads into kids hands by SCHOOLS! Meanwhile the Chinese kids kick or kids ASSES in general making their kids use a $2 wooden abacus!
Despite the marketing “smart phones” do not make people smarter!The

The adoption of the sex offender registries was far more about the potential government uses of the database driven machines than safety, precisely because SOR IS GOV policy rendering the individual human’s ( citizen) privacy subservient to the needs of gov database machine as a civil policy.

Selling folks out to corporate lords is hardly new state n American history. Only this time (SOR) it involved a game changer, a tilt in the playing feild, it is a factor in the complete reset in the notion of a constitutional republic. For and by the machine rather than the people. Control the messages the sheep will follow.

Every firm or company that has embraced the machine has resulted in less human labor needed. That holds true for every sector except government, which clearly results the inverse effect of more necessary labor costs. How many sex offender registration agents are there in the USA?

@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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex). 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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Bill) for those troops who returned from WWI while being installed in place during FDRs presidency (1944). Many troops have benefited from the iterations of it over the years, including me.

3) The Interstate system – if you are a student of military history, you will learn this was an idea long before Ike was POTUS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interstate_Highway_System) but he did witness the need for such a system from his military experiences CONUS and in the ETO at SHAEF.

4) Was Ike a socialist or more so than Comrade Bernie? No, but you can read here the article to which some could say you drew your comments from: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2015/1115/Was-Eisenhower-more-of-a-socialist-than-Bernie-Sanders A high tax rate does not mean one is a socialist to pay for things either. “Eisenhower explained it this way: The super rich could avoid the high taxes by investing their money in things that make America stronger. If they wanted to avoid high taxes, he said they could invest in business expansions and higher employee wages. They could give a million or two to tax-exempt non-profits that feed, house and clothe poor people of America, among other things. They did some of that, but the Eisenhower years generated enough taxes to launch and complete the labyrinth of interstate highways, the largest road project America had ever seen…” (Eisenhower proved higher tax rates could work, https://apnews.com/2184e9f18f6f4acca1ed007bdcdca818)

BTW, Ike just continued many of the New Deal policies that FDR put into place: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_of_Dwight_D._Eisenhower

Does that make FDR a socialist? (Rhetorical question because it is beyond the scope of this forum’s original content)

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 all the close the loophole mantra) Maybe the economy was good and deficits were lower because the Eisenhower govt continued soaking the rich for money to carry out the same Roosevelt/Truman policy of post war creation & investment in public institutions and infrastructure. The definition of socialism is government ownership and control of industry. The military is a industry. The interstate system is an in industry. The FHA, VA loan system run by the govt is a banking industry. GI Bill is a govt run free college grant system-all things if not started by, but carried on by Eisenhower. Heck, “comrade Bernie” just wants to expand some of those programs to everyone else and get back to the 40% top rate under Reagan, but I guess that makes him some “comrade pinko commie.” No, I don’t need to read the works of some “expert” on military history-it’s all socialism to me-just the kind they support. But I do suggest you talk with TRUE libertarians, not the phony Rand Paul types, and ask them if the military industry is socialism. They’ll tell you if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck.

@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 stretch. Does it make the states socialist since they do this work (or the counties or the cities for that matter)? What private entity is going to provide roads for all to use without a way to pay for them? Do not forget, commerce is a big player when it comes to these highways, much bigger than the military (who does benefit).

GI Bill – is not a free college grant system. Military members today must pay into it one way (wearing the uniform is the first way) or another financially (was $1,200 over 12 mos when I paid in) and usually with time provided in return by the member through commitments to serve to pay back the financial investment or have served time in uniform. There are trades to it for both the member and the military overall where both parties are happy in the end. However, no one has to use it while in uniform if they don’t want and it is not the only way to get an education while in uniform. Yes, the USG owns that system, but it is not available to all. Does that make it socialist? No. It is on par with a company who provides educational benefits for their employees today.

The VA and FHA are not banking systems, but ways to help people get financial assistance for homes in particular situations where eligibility must be met and do not have to be used either. When I used VA loans twice, I did not take money out from the VA, but had my loan guaranteed by them with easier entrance requirements to getting a loan and through a regular private bank. Yes, the USG owns these systems, but what regular US bank would offer the same T&Cs with eligibility requirements? None. Does it make it socialist for the USG to offer these since they own them? No. They have the financial power to do it and can take it away just as fast as they provided it.

As for the US military, they provide “peace through strength”, but can’t do it without the help of industrial partners to accomplish that goal through funding by the USG. The ideal Ike was going for was (and saw) to protect the USG from the influential nature of military related industries who watched the bottom line financially with the proposal and potential procurement of unnecessary systems to escalate a race with the USSR that was already escalating.

Under your definition, the professional military person of every nation, tribe, dynasty, etc in history is socialistic because that is who they provide services for in allegiance where a person at the top is governing those below and owns them for their time in service (unless conscripted of course). Sounds like a two-way street to me or as we say today, an all-volunteer military.

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, but in the long run if a person has a beef with anyone confirmation is better than fightening a person that wants to pull a fast one over this internet issue. Call it gag justice and the right amount of spice. Yes snake oil salesman will do that if you don’t understand their game. Pulling a fast one on someone by law enforcement by this internet is a bit underhanded and they will suffer in the long run

Cross jurisdictional tracking is just that tracking and that is for a specific purpose. What do they want to track. Why do they want to track. Nothing can stop mother nature or an act of God if you want to call this virus that. All I am saying is demoncrats and Republicans are all guilty of something and so are judges in this whole corupt system of ?? internet justice by these snake oil salesman. Sounds one sided to me. And one thought a coin had two sides. If snake oil cures anything than it helps clean out a person’s personal bank account if thats the case or were is the warning or the beware of this fake inducement. What a sales pitch.

Oh and Harry sin is sin no matter how you look at it. We all are sinners or should the punishment fit the crrime for cussing out their boss or playing opperation sex lure.

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 convicted of a sex offense.

The phrase “thou doth protest too much” comes to mind.

And not to get too political here, but I find it ironic that these people usually claim to be “small government” types, while working tirelessly to grow it.

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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