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Monday, Jan. 23, 2017

The state of your union

Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010, at 3:08 PM

Depending on when you read this, President Obama will either be speaking or have already spoken about the alleged State of the Union, which may be in an overall much different state than your personal state.

I'd like to hear something that may mean more money in our pockets, however it can occur. I'll believe it if it actually happens at some point.

A preview indicates Obama will call for more bipartisanship that won't actually happen. Getting along just isn't Washington's nature.

Here's my take on what the country needs:

* A cautious approach on rebuilding the economy, with an emphasis on only buying what you can actually afford. That goes for both individuals and the government, and it can pay dividends later.

* Focus military efforts on fighting terrorism. If a country doesn't want us there and we have no reason to be there, get out.

* Any health care changes should be focused on what's best for the patient, not on political ideology.

* Halt all government aid for any industry whose executives receive large salaries and bonuses while workers suffer.

What's your state -- and what do you want?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

What I want from my government. In a word, LESS.

Less government to me means less entitlements, taxes, bailouts, mandates, special interest legislation, less government control and more freedom.

Obama keeps trying to tell the people what he thinks they want to hear and not listening to, and obeying, what they are saying.

The Democrats at large are the same way. They did not see the lesson given to them by Scott Brown in Mass.

The Republican rebuttal did at least acknowledge and spoke about it. Will they obey the people?? I have my doubts!

I wanted the state of the union address to be a REPORT TO US, the people, on the state of the union. Facts like employment numbers, debt and budget reports, state of military and foreign affairs, health care bill status and plans, strengths and weakness of our nation and leaders, etc..

What we got was a slanted view of the state of Obama's agenda and more campaign rhetoric.

Like you, I will believe if and when it happens.

Otherwise, it was just more of the same.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 12:15 PM

I would like a return to the constitution, plain and simple.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 12:42 PM

I would like a return to the constitution, plain and simple.

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 12:42 PM

I canadd a second to that.. from outonthefarm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 1:30 PM

MY money back

-- Posted by glenf770 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:16 PM

i want the government to stop entitlement programs, they are rewarding folks for being lazy. I work hard for what I have and now I work hard for all the folks on welfare and extended unemployment and whatever else the gov't gives away. we need a gov't that providrs for the defense of the country and elimanate all of the free giveaways.

-- Posted by glenf770 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:23 PM

I want our government to stop punishing success while rewarding failure.

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 3:44 PM

Glen, if you get laid off will you accept unemployment? If you by no fault of your own lose your job, and can not get another one that pays (or two) enough to provide will you accept government aide till you can get back on your feet? When you retire are you going to go on social security? Have you ever accepted any government benefits? Did you send your stimulus check back?

Do you back what you say with actions?

I am in no way defending bums or crooks that lie and abuse the system. But I do stand by good honest hard working people who have had the bottom fall out and need a bridge to get back on their feet.

The state of country is in trouble, we as a nation need to come together and help her heal. We can not keep selling out to the corporate greed that is eating us little guys alive.

If a business goes out and leaves many unemployed they are not failures, and it is not a reward they are looking for. As far as bank bail outs yes that was a crime against hard working people.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 4:21 PM

-- Posted by wonderwhy

You are aware that over 50% of the U.S. budget goes toward entitlement programs?


I agree that TARP and the bailouts were ridiculous, but let's be honest about where most of the waste goes.

The bailouts were a one time thing (I surely hope), but entitlements are every day, year after year,....FOR DECADES!

If we let businesses that make unsound decisions fail (and I believe we should have) why should individuals be different?

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 4:28 PM

Mike my comment about businesses going out was not in reference to the businesses but rather only those who have lost jobs as a result. I do not claim to have an opinion on what to do about the businesses. My point there was only that we have a lot of hard working, honorable people out there whom at times in their life may need a bit of assistance to bridge them over if the bottom falls out like it has recently for many. I do not defend those who are expecting a life long free ride and will scam any way they can to get it. I know many people who have needed assistance at one time or another who would never want it but had no choice at the time.

We also have many people out there blowing wind about programs, yet they themselves would be right there at the front of the unemployment line if they lost THEIR job, in the social security office if THEY were disabled, and did not think twice when they cashed the stimulus check they received . They just do not comprehend the double standards they present with their actions in relation to their words.

Without some of the assistance programs we have in place there would be an over abundance of homeless and desperate people that would quite possibly cause even more problems for our country than the ones who abuse system do now. That does not make the abuse OK. I personally think that if we cold find a way to attach personal accountability, expectations and requirements with the assistance ( school, community service, or even simple self improvement similar in order to collect their checks).Insist on time limits and learning requirements to continue getting help. I realize this is a very simplistic train of thought, but to just hand over money like we do is a dis-service to everyone. It wastes our money and only serves to keep them trapped where they are with out hope. I have seen it happen to too many people, people tend to take the easiest route in many instances, if it becomes harder to stay on assistance than to get out on their own they will take the easier of the two. But this is just my thought on the matter.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 6:37 PM

High rates of inflation and high cost of producing product is directly influenced by corporate greed. Most rank and file banking employees do not make much more than $8 to $10 per hour and usually limited benefits. Auto workers do not make $70 per hour as the Limbaugh crowd want you to believe. It is easy to blame the high cost of labor on the working men and women. Recent hearings revealed the real cause of low profits and high cost of production. Have you ever wondered what the interest rate on your house or car would be if 4 to 5 million bonuses were applied to lowering interest rates. How much less would an automobile cost is exorbant bonuses were eliminated, then there would be some real money in our pockets. The government regulates everyting except big corporate bosses, the medical business, and lawyers.

-- Posted by chs61 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 6:49 PM

High rates of inflation and high cost of producing product is directly influenced by corporate greed. Most rank and file banking employees do not make much more than $8 to $10 per hour and usually limited benefits. Auto workers do not make $70 per hour as the Limbaugh crowd want you to believe. It is easy to blame the high cost of labor on the working men and women. Recent hearings revealed the real cause of low profits and high cost of production. Have you ever wondered what the interest rate on your house or car would be if 4 to 5 million bonuses were applied to lowering interest rates. How much less would an automobile cost if exorbant bonuses were eliminated, then there would be some real money in our pockets. The government regulates everyting except big corporate bosses, the medical business, and lawyers.

-- Posted by chs61 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 6:50 PM

The government does regulate medical business, it called Medicare DRG's, the means by which it is determined how much hospitals and MD's are paid for services.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:45 PM

I am going to sound like a broken record. The FEDERAL government needs to out of everything, except for protecting our country.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:47 PM


I didnt receive a stimulus check on this go around. There is also quite a difference between a stimulus check and an entitlement program. considering thet I pay about 20K per year in taxes and the last stimulus check was only about a $1,000 I consider that a VERY minimal refund and not an entitlement, not to mention that it had to be claimed on taxes as income that year. So, to answer you question, yes I cashed thew check and I would do it again.

-- Posted by glenf770 on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 9:22 AM

And this is why I consider myself a conservative-liberal; I agree with most things already posted. Especially David Melson's statements.

I do, however, think government needs MORE involvement in some programs. I know I'll get flak for this, but this country is too large, and the world economy too accessible, to allow certain industries (oil) to regulate new technologies and cleaner alternatives because then THEY would lose money. Today, in America, almost every industry relies on it for transportation. It needs to be absorbed and regulated, in my opinion, in the capacity that any other "utility" is regulated; it is a refined natural resource being used to provide infrastructure stability - like the other utilities (natural gas, electricity, water).

I believe there should be significant, fiscal penalties for moving a company out of the U.S. to have people in Mumbai do the work. ESPECIALLY as I hate needing to repeat myself six times to get the non-native speaker to understand what I just said, distinctly, was the reason for me calling the TECHNICAL support "no-help" line...

The unemployment extensions are a temporary thing, based on the extraordinary circumstances.

You may have a hard time believing this (or perhaps not), but I deleted about ten paragraphs from this post... :p

Here's what gets me; because I worked hard enough to earn the maximum unemployment compensation, I don't qualify for food stamps - even though my expenses outstrip my monthly income by $300. Thank goodness I understand how to be frugal, and save my money. But because I'm not 22 with 4 kids, and have been a responsible, earning member of my community, I come second to those who demonstrate laziness and irresponsibility at every turn.

I agree with Tattoos & Scars - why is it that if I don't contribute to the community, it feels an obligation to support me into perpetuity; but if I'm qualified and trying to stand on my own, it feels the need to pull the chair out from under me if I want to sit and catch my breath for a minute?

The worst part about people that depend on entitlement, and have all sorts of wonderful justifications for why they're entitled, is the excuses / tales I've heard:

"I can't believe that the welfare people want me to go down and work for FREE for some agency! It's like slave labor! Just because they give me $150 don't mean they can just work me and not even PAY me for that work!" (No, really; I've been told this...)

"I can't afford rent without mama's help, and may sell my extra food stamps for my cigarettes and booze, but at least I have a new computer, because I got my tax refund early for those six weeks I worked at that fast food place last year!" (Paraphrased)

"I'm trying to get on disability for my depression; I've been too depressed to work for the past two years, since my husband left me. We lost the apartment, and a power surge took away all the electronics I used to spend my day enjoying!"

And so on...

Okay, sore topic.

At least I cut out a lot of extraneous extra stuff that (believe me) WAS cluttering this post...

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 6:04 PM

glenf770, yes a bit of difference , but not much. All you did was "justify" why the check you cashed was ok and others from the government are not. Bums do not need to be enabled true. You never answered if you would except social security if you were disabled, or unemployment if your job fell out from under you, my guess is you your hand would be out, and you would find some way to justify why it was ok for YOU to do so. It is always easy for us to judge a situation when we are not challenged by it , when we only see what we choose to from the out side. There is a good saying to think about -- do not judge a person till you have walked a mile in their shoes. I din;t know your life or why you judge the way you do, but I do know a lot of people who are or have been on assistance. Moat are hard working honorable people down on their luck, butt some are just bums who need a kick in the butt. We need to be big enough and caring enough to be able to see the difference between the two.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 1:28 PM

..."How much less would an automobile cost is exorbant bonuses were eliminated, then there would be some real money in our pockets. The government regulates everyting except big corporate bosses, the medical business, and lawyers."

-- Posted by chs61 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 6:49 PM

How safe would that car be if it were not for the high paid engineers? How advanced would they be if the manufacturers did not offer bonuses for ingenuity? How many less employees would the front office need if Unions did not attempt to strangle the owners? How much more could each employee be paid if they are paid my merit rather than the entitlement to equal pay dictated by Unions. How many more jobs would there be if the corporations were allowed to conduct business and be left alone? 100,000's if not millions.

Are you suggesting that if a person starts a business then it grows and grows to the point it is a mega corporation that the owners of the business do not have the right to reward the talent and guidance of the CEO for his work? that should solely be at the discretion of the stock holders or owner. Now, I am not talking about a company that has taken "bail out" money . Those companies should have to stand or fall on their ability to produce, manage and reinvest. I do not think a single penny of tax payer money should have ever been spent. Many will say "if the bail out had not taken place then many big companies would have died" I said let them die. It should be the survival of the fittest.

I am talking about a self made business. Many complain that a company will not pay the employees on par with the bottom line. Why should they? The owners did not ask the employees to work for free for a few years then "if" the company makes it they will share in the bounty. If the workers had then I could see the complaint. It was the owners that risk their money and years of their life to build a business and PROFIT from the endeavor. That has been the building blocks of this country. I can not see how anyone sees PFOFIT as a four letter word. I can see a complaint being valid if the company, bank or even individuals takes money from the government that they have not paid in as a form of tax or other forced deduction. In that case as a tax payer I should have the right to complain and suggest how each recipient spend the money he or she receives from the stimulus plan,welfare, government assistance...right? I mean the logic is the same. Many of you say the companies took our money now we have the right to dictate terms. I may be wrong and I will stand to be corrected....outonthefarm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 9:27 PM

We need to be big enough and caring enough to be able to see the difference between the two.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 1:28 PM

Amen, but what is your thoughts on the segment of the population that receives 50% of the federal budget. If you see a corporation blowing 50% of its budget on bonuses for its Exec's would you say we need to be big enough to just accept it. Really, Obama should practice what he preaches. If he issued and "executive mandate" that, all the can work, had to, in the public works, peace corps, disaster relief or any number of civic programs maybe then the recipients may think it better to work for a wage rather than a pittance.

It is kinda like the old story if the little red hen asking "who will help me make the bread and everyone saying not I" then when the hen gathers the wheat, mixes the dough, then gathers the wood, starts the fire and bakes the bread everyone wants a piece and cries its not fair you have hot bread and I have none.

The problem is no one wants to get their hands dirty and make the bread they just want to get fat off others work. That is just a fact from...outonthefarm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 9:48 PM

outonthefarm, I'm not sure I understand your question, but if I do, then the corporations in my sight are lower than the ones taking advantage of welfare. They should not be ALLOWED to abuse the tax payers money either. They are worse because they know better, where as many of the poorer abusers are victims of the way they were raised and basically need to be educated ( they won't admit that). With some "motivation" mandatory classes or community service to offset the money they are "given" most of those who are truly able to earn living should come around. The big shots out their getting their millions in bonus money off our backs, well they are the type whom are just greedy and don't care.

Kinda like if they won't get out and help do what it takes to make the bread let them clean up the manure some place and they will in the future prefer to help with the bread :) It is said by those who seem to know that only when it is easier to change a bad behavior than it is to continue it will people change it. True this won't work with many.

WE need to remember though that a lot of people on assistance are there not by choice, and only temporarily till they can get back on their feet. And some are honestly disabled, and do need the help. These people don't "choose" and would prefer to be out their doing an honest days work and earning their way. They don't like having to be dependent on others.That is why I say we need to be able to see the difference and be big enough and caring enough to know the difference. Sadly we have those who would clump them all into one group and call them all lazy blood sucking bums. They are not willing or unable to care or understand.

We could put such a high tax on the greedy bonuses to cover the greedy welfare abusers and balance each other out. ( just a joke )

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 10:25 AM

Unfortunately,we can be pennywise and pound foolish.

We can pay thousands of dollars to house someone in a coronary care unit (or pay for years of assistance for the outcome of multiple strokes) or pay a little for them to have a dollar a day pill for hypertension,education on how to manage their health ,exercise programs and the means to get and prepare food appropriate to their diet.

AM,your hypothetical cases could do without banes such as cigarettes and booze but the depressed person may need those electronics to combat the effects of a disease that cripples mind,body and spirit.

Counselling and prescriptions can be a Godsend but the laptop that lets her work at home,continue her education and communicate with others at her own pace can undo the effects of that isolation.

Because of her "toys",she can make purchases,bank online,receive mail,talk to friends,read books and do research at any time without leaving home.

She can be entertained by music and stories and stimulate her mind by games.

She can hone her social skills and eye-hand co-ordination,etc. while finding ways to be productive within the context of her impairment.

She may not be able to shake off the physical and psychic agony and fatigue enough to do medical transcriptions,garden or sell handmade goods on Etsy-then,again,she might.

That X-box,that iPod,that mp3 player,e-reader or laptop may smack of luxury just as much as a hot tub,golf-cart or "space-age" mattress might.

But,if they help the person pull out of their disease and compensate for their limitations,they might be worth it.

We can let such a person stay home,ignored and miserable until they lose all they have or "snap out of it."

OR,we can give them all the medical,legal and educational support we can to help them stay/become self-sufficient and celebrate any therapy (such as an assistance animal or computer) that can give comfort and healing and isn't apt to damage their brain,heart or liver with overdose or continued use.

I agree that we need to distinguish between those who *can't* and those who won't-especially in matters of life skills such as household management and literacy.

Too many people remain "useless eaters" because they don't know how (or why) to be anything else.

As has been said,most WANT to matter and to be productive.

They want to measure their lives by what they have and what they can do rather than by what they lack.

Those who CHOOSE a negative or non-productive life can accept the consequences (leaving more for the rest of us) or they can meet society's demands and complain about the burdens of maturity and responsibility on their own time.

If people were *required* to have certain levels of self-sufficiency or live in an "assisted living" environment,we wouldn't have so many humans out there unable to function as normal adults and drifting about with no decent job or home,no support system and no adequate responses to their needs.

A long-lasting hand-up is more efficient than a hand-out and while we need not give a would-be fisherman a bass boat with heated seats and TiVo,a lesson in how to fish,pole and bait would do more than cabbage and carrot subsidies for their slaw.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 1:14 PM

Wonder.... I think you missed my point. I am saying that those that can need to. Those that can't because of a true disability should be helped. The problem is that there are a large group that just will not. It is not the place of our government or community to placate those that either will not or manuver around working. I do have a community spirit and have spent thousands of my dollars to assist those who can't . But that should be by my choice and not by mandate. It is as simple as my analogy of the little red hen. There a millions of able body I dividuals that simply set aroun waiting for their hand out of the bread. There is another saying " you can give a man a fish and fees him for the day, you can teach him to fish and he can eat forever. It's time people fished for themsleves.... Just saying.... Outonthefarm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 5:19 PM

Actually I did understand you, and the point I made was we need to make it to their interest to work by removing the "sit on your butt" option. It's not going to happen that all aide is going to just stop for the ones who won't while we keep needed help to those truely in need. We can not wave a magic wand and instantly separate the two. Some are very tricky in deed and play the loop holes like a fiddle. Some are able but due to factors we can not wave away they are unprepared to do make it on their own at this time. To put "incentives" ( requirements) to insist on personal enrichment that will prepare them to achieve Independence , put time limits on how long they have, lessen the aide gradually to allow them to work into that independence over say a 2 - 3 year period depending on what they are able to do. This is way is just an example of a possible plan that can work. To just yank out the help out from under them with out preparing them will compound the problem of homeless and the underemployed thus just shifting one problem into another. I know a lot of people from where I lived years ago, whom are a product of this generational dependably. That is all they know, all they have seen and what they were raised to expect. They do not know anything else to just go do it and succeed. They have neither the skills or the confidence . I am not referring to gettoes, back woods or inner city. All towns have their lower income areas, by law they all must have a certian percentage of low income housing available. In a way you could call them the lost population. They are left for the most part unnoticed, the children are practically inadvisable to the population. They are not encouraged to succeed, or get involved. Yea they have their token programs such as free lunch and resource classes for underachievers, these just stigmatize the children and single them out as "those kids" they learn early on to feel inferior to the " better kids". They learn their place in the social ladder young, and grow to accept it. They have nothing to tell them other wise. This is what we are dealing with in a lot of instances, they are not bad people, they are not bums or even lazy. They are just products of the generations before them, it is as simple as that. I think it's referee to as "learned dependence". It's easy for people to look down on them , to judge them harshly, and to just shun them they are different, they don't dress right, don;t have good communication skills, they do not present themselves in the manner those raised with money do. Few do find mentors who will lead them out the rut but many never do, they just accept it as is. These are the ones that need to be motivated and guided with education, and even prodded with mandatory life skill training. How to be independent, how to run a household, run a budget, and the things we "just know" because we have seen it our whole lives growing up. I am not offering them pity only understanding. The way I see it we do them just as much of an injustice not expecting them to break the cycle as they do us by staying in it. The difference is we have the tools to help them find their way out, in many cases they don;t know the tools exists. I know many people who have been able to break out. And it is like you have quoted, we need to teach them to fish, not just throw fish at them. But I take it a little further, in that until they are good enough at fishing we need to give them a grace period, ease them into it over a short period of time. It does no good to give the pole tell them how to bait the hook , and then watch them starve while they learn to apply the lessons they learn. hey need the chance to learn, and gain the confidence to apply it. Unless people have actually seen, and known people in these situations they often time are juding by what they know, how they were raised, their experiences with out realizing those they are judging do not have the same foundation to work off of, many are starting in quick sand in comparison to the sound foundation those who judge are coming from.

In a perfect world we would all be wonderful and nobody would need assistant. We would all have home lives growing up to prepare us to to the same. But as we all know this is the real world and far from perfect.

Be grateful you are not a product of that rut many are born into, or that if you were you were able to rise above it. Many just do not have the tools to do so ( training, backing and opportunity).

I am not saying that we should endlessly coddle and spoil anyone. But rather we can provide those capable, the learning,opportunity and choices to those that need it. Basic k-12 schools teach a lot but they do not teach the basic living skills children learn from growing up in homes that are rich in those skills. And they do not put the structure and incentive to help them want to do it. If a person is in need assistance and the only way they are going to get it is by becoming involved in learning how to get past that need, my guess is they are going to be a lot more interested in learning or find another way to care for themselves.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 1:02 AM

"Yea they have their token programs such as free lunch and resource classes for underachievers, these just stigmatize the children and single them out as "those kids" they learn early on to feel inferior to the " better kids"."

Um, resource is, to my understanding, where Tennessee schools shuffle the learning impaired, not the underachievers. The issue in small communities, like Community H.S., is that they don't empower those kids to learn around their disabilities, but rather encourage them to plan on working menial tasks / labor jobs when they graduate with their token diploma.

"We didn't leave any children behind," they'll say; "we just didn't teach them how to get ahead."

If someone is justifiably learning impaired, and has enough disabilities to qualify for the program, they need to go to the Department of Rehabilitation in Shelbyville, on Railroad Avenue (931-685-5019), and seek evaluation by one of the counselors there. Any documentation they have will be needed. The purpose of the center is to provide basic vocational training to qualified individuals.

As well, if they have serious disabling qualifications; such as blindness, quadriplegic, fully deaf, downs syndrome, brain trauma, etc; whether by birth of by accident; they can gain skills in both vocational training and self-assisted living. Through the Dept. of Rehab., which is NOT part of corrections, they may qualify for the residency program in Smyrna, at the Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC).

TRC is a full-service dormitory facility that educates its clients in vocational skills, life-living skills, and adjusting to their disabilities. They have excellent programs for helping victims of brain trauma in accidents adjust to their continued life (which I hope someone makes known to the family of the young lady who survived that crash at 231 & 86); and for training those who are blind / going blind with adjustment, through a peer-training program.

Some of the staff are control-freaks, as they're used to most of their clients never having been on their own (as many of them have not, really). But the majority there is helpful and strive to make the place a positive learning experience, that encourages its clients to succeed.

Safety, tolerance and courtesy are the rules there, not the exception. And they have a well-trained security staff to ensure the student-clients are not at risk from the community. The facility could use assistance from the community, however, if anyone is part of a company that is looking to reinvest into a program that makes a real difference in the lives of others.

As for people that live off of unemployment and brag about not having had to work for the past two years, as they're still getting a check; those people I believe need to be rounded up and pushed out of the nest. It's irritating when you're making calls every week, trying to get a job, and competing for the very few available in your industry; and then meet someone who's proud in their achievement of remaining gainfully unemployed.

I am now on NINE state registries for employment:

Highway Maintenance Worker 1

Eligibility Counselor 1

Insurance Benefits Analyst 1

Forestry Aide 2

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor 1

Industrial Hygienist 1

Fire Safety Specialist 1

Environmental Specialist 3

Environmental Specialist 1

And just applied to three more last week:

Occupational Safety Specialist 1

Statistical Analyst 2

Transportation Management Center Operator

To date, I have had interviews for two (FA-2 & EC-1), the latter of which I was unofficially informed the candidate had already been selected before the interview invitations were sent out - even though such practice is against the laws of TN

This coming up week I'll interview for another one (ES-1).

I had interviewed with Tyson in August for a waste-water operator position, but they made no selection at that time; they opened the position recently, for maybe 5 days total, but didn't include in their considerations those who had applied last time. This indicates to me they already had someone positioned for the job, but had to advertise it publicly, briefly, to comply with State oversight.

I have the education to do Health & Safety in an industrial setting, but not the direct experience; all of my environmental experience is in consulting, not plant management.

It's rather frustrating to have the skills and training to do multiple types of jobs, but still not get anywhere as I don't know who to reach at those facilities to make it happen.

It'd be awesome if a State manager were to look at that summary and think, "Hey, I want a sharp guy like that working for us!" And then pull from the appropriate registry, specific to Bedford County; on several of those I'm high enough on the rating that I should be pulled into that applicant pool. Or even some City HR manager.

I won't hold my breath though - I don't know the people who make those decisions out here.

I know most people are disinterested in this personal stuff, but I felt like putting it "out there" - just in case it can help. Both for myself (as applicable), and those who might benefit from the DoR / TRC programs.

The 'state of my union' can be summed up in one word: frustration.

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Sat, Feb 6, 2010, at 11:00 PM

AM, you said "Um, resource is, to my understanding, where Tennessee schools shuffle the learning impaired, not the underachievers"

It is the shuffling of the learning impaired that turns many of them into underachievers.

This is a subject close to my heart, it is a blog that I feel could be very helpful to parents with children currently in the above cycle. I do know that the state many people find their union in has been effected strongly due to the lack of proper education they have received.

Maybe someone who can will open an exchange to discuss the state of education available to those who are lost in the system. A chance for those who don't know what is available and don't know how to access it to find some hope. I wish when my kids were in school I would have had some kind of a network to turn to. They would have been spared a lot of misery and abuse in the schools had I been better informed. I was a very proactive parent but at the time it was much harder to find the information and the people needed to back the students.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Sun, Feb 7, 2010, at 12:08 PM


I only knew to look for the TN equivalent because of my experience in CA, and we only found out about that program because one of my mom's friends worked in that department. He also advised me on how to go through the University's program to acquire the aid, as opposed to the waiting list I'd be on if I applied directly to the department.

I never had any issues in high school or junior college; it was at the jam-packed university level, where only one way of course instruction is applied to seminars housing 50 to 100 students at once; that I actually had a crushing academic experience. And that the difference in how I acquire and retain information became evident. :p

Here it became an issue for me as the gal I dated for my first 4.5 yrs in TN graduated in the resource program. And I'll agree with you; she was taught to underachieve, and depend on others (hey, she ended up with me, right? :p) But that was also because of the low expectations her own family has for her.


I had written a bunch of stuff about her progression towards where she is now, but realized it's not my story to tell. And more to the point, would be an EXCELLENT community-uplifting and informative piece for someone at the T-G to actually write. I don't know who would be the person to submit that to, though.

She hasn't finished in her growth, but she's one of those people that it'd be nice to see get some recognition for what she's endured so far. I am still her friend because I admire her strength; even when she sometimes drives me nuts. :p

I've known her, and her family, my entire Tennessee-lifetime.

She is the "poster child" of that forgotten stereotype that the Politically-Correct Tennessee would like to sweep under the proverbial rug; and is also the story of a journey towards self-respect, and seeking to be 'more like everybody else'. She doesn't want to rely on the system; she wants to work for herself.

What I'd like to see is more commitment from our community to use the graduates of the TRC program for entry-level employment; these people deserve and would appreciate an opportunity to demonstrate themselves. And more than that, I'd like to see the TRC program be more involved with its clients in those jobs, and their success at those companies.

They have rights for reasonable accommodation under the ADA legislation; if somebody is documented with a disability, and are hired with that disability being fully disclosed, they can't be terminated for how it limits them - unless it's causing safety / legal considerations that cannot be resolved through reasonable modification / counseling of their duties.

I do know a few of these resources, and how to find them; but if you know someone who'd benefit from that kind of program the most, they really need to contact someone at the Department of Rehabilitation office in their hometown. The DoR will also help them apply for SSI, if that is applicable to their case needs.

I'd just like to see the TN program get more media attention, so it'll get more funding. You currently need three levels of life-changing disability to qualify for the program. If my friend hadn't become deaf in one ear, she wouldn't have qualified, most likely. And what TN offers in ways of assistance is limited; they don't have the resources to put everybody through a technical education program, for instance.

Tennessee seems to like to make promises of assistance, and then push you out the door before they're finished, and get you to sign something saying you accept this failure and it's not their responsibility.

Community H.S. had my friend's mom sign paperwork acknowledging that her daughter was unteachable, and it wasn't a shortcoming of fault of the school that she hadn't learned up to State standards; this released them from No Child Left Behind backlash, and also from any legal responsibility to her education. Knowing her mom, I doubt she understood at all the implications being made by that piece of paper.

TRC promised to teach her how to drive, and to get a medical concern addressed. The day after her graduation from the Smyrna program, they told her it was no longer their responsibility; they even moved up her date as she was progressing so quickly in the program. She wasn't given an option to remain until they finished that obligation that had been a part of her plan contract. They also provided for her medication while in residence, and did not ensure she'd have some type of coverage when she got out of the program.

CoverTN is currently not accepting new applicants, so that's out.

If someone knows how she can get some type of coverage, with no income, that'd be greatly appreciated.

-- Posted by Analytical Mindset on Sun, Feb 7, 2010, at 8:43 PM


Keep your eyes open for the Tyson waste-water position.

I do not know if they will re-fill that position or what the details may be but I do know that it was recently vacated. I cannot remember exactly how long ago (6 weeks maybe)the person left but just wanted to give you a heads up anyway.

-- Posted by gottago on Mon, Feb 8, 2010, at 2:46 PM

"..............I am not saying that we should endlessly coddle and spoil anyone. But rather we can provide those capable, the learning,opportunity and choices to those that need it. Basic k-12 schools teach a lot but they do not teach the basic living skills children learn from growing up in homes that are rich in those skills. And they do not put the structure and incentive to help them want to do it. If a person is in need assistance and the only way they are going to get it is by becoming involved in learning how to get past that need, my guess is they are going to be a lot more interested in learning or find another way to care for themselves."

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Fri, Feb 5, 2010, at 1:02 AM

I agree to a point. But anytime something is broken and unable or unwilling to move for years the first steps are painful. My comments are, as much, to the waist of funding, that has and continues to be squandered, by those who will not work. I understand the social economic- environmental quagmire and argument. And yes, I was a product of the local school system and came from a home that was economically challenged.( That means poor for the politically correct). I had neither the guidance or support from my teacher, community or curriculum provided to me in a K-12 program . The fact is many of the very people that, in your opinion, should have formed a safety net for poor folks like me were busy trying to make there own way in life, raise their kids and just get by paying their bills.

No one stepped up and said "you can do it", the fact is no one even said I should. To that end no one had the right, or, obligation to assist me in or, to, tell me I could break the cycle of poverty. I believe it has been the governments interjection of mandates that "we all have the same standard of living" that has cause that goal ( to live the american dream) to me missed by everyone of the individuals of which you speak. It would seem you are saying we now have an obligation to "coddle" their heirs with further assistance because .....we have spoon fed their families in earlier generations? Really? Please!

I would think this situation is more akin to having a alcoholic or drug addict in the family and everyone saying "oh the poor dear, you know his mother/ father / someone had the same problem" and then simply hands them another drink. Anytime we the tax payer or family member act as an enabler or codependent we do more harm to those that can help themselves. Just as an alcoholic or drug addict must decide he/she wants to be clean. this "group" of individuals must decide they want to earn their way. Only by self awareness and self application will the cycle of this generation of "impoverished" will change their own coarse and position in life.

I have said it before, and have demonstrated it in my daily actions. I am all for helping those with a real impairment of birth or of actual debilitating injury or illness that prohibits them from contributing to society and themselves. I am not however willing to give 60% of my income to those who some would think need drive the same car or have the same clothes as I have, just so they feel better about themselves. The fact is I am a prime example of someone who pulled himself up by his own boot straps and was able to ferret out a good life for me an my family and contribute to my fellow man.

I would rather close my business and send the dozen or so employees I have home with a good severance package than let this administration rob me of what I have worked, fought and sweat over for so many years. I bet I am not the only business owner that feels that way. Many feel it is time to get out and let the pieces fall where they may.

I will close with this. I understand that any company that received bail out funds should be under the gun to produce, repay and recover all funds to the American people. However, I disagree that our government has the right to interceed into a private business and mandate that a salary cap be placed on anyone. If my CEO proves to me he is worth a 100 million in bonuses it is not your or anyones place to say a word.If I have a business that I have built by my own hand and have been fortunate enough to survive the learning curve to get there ,it is right that I should have to pay penalty for success in the form of higher taxes than a smaller business?

There is an age old truth, when taxes go up so does the cost of everything and the very people you want to have assistance pay the price. Currently my companies jointly donate over 100k a year to local charities. These charities help those who cannot or will not help themselves. Where do you think I will start cutting cost if I am hit with a penalty income tax of 60%. It will not be with the employees who come to work day in and day out with head aches and back aches. I like so many that already have, will cut out what is given away.

Last how much of the 100k that I will end up paying in a penalty tax do you think the current administration will send back to Shelbyville? We both know that answer....))))

I fear the closer we (America) comes to becoming a democracy, and moving further away from being the republic for which we were founded, we lessen the chance this country has of remaining.... Just the view from outonthefarm

-- Posted by outonthefarm on Tue, Feb 9, 2010, at 9:31 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.