The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






Editorial for THE PEOPLE

What do you think?

editorial for The People by Pete Edwards

Who's in the workhouse?

Bradley County Sheriff Tim Gobble was on a sure-fire reputation saver when he announced his plan for a workhouse where non-violent prisoners could be put to work. He is not stupid, working inmates has always been popular with the general public. Nothing irritates taxpayers more than watching incarcerated wrongdoers being mollycoddled while in jail, so Sheriff Gobble should be commended for his suggestion.

But wait! What is this I hear? It will cost taxpayers money up-front before savings can be made putting prisoners to work. Why is it that when government claims to be saving money it always requires the spending of vast amounts of additional funds before savings materialize? 

It is claimed that a new workhouse facility will need to be constructed by converting part of the newly built jail and that additional supervision funds may be necessary. Hold on to your pockets folks, I suspect you are about to get mugged - again.

Our new sheriff could take a page from the book of  the tough and popular Arizona Sheriff,  Joe Arpaio, who is famous for his tent city holding facility in the desert which houses most of Maricopa County's jail population. This sheriff does not believe in pampering prisoners, in fact he makes them wear pink uniforms and feeds them for less than 20 cents a meal. No outside catering service and 81 cent meals for his prisoners. He gives prisoners the bare necessities to house them humanely and to encourage them not to return. He has successfully fought off liberal activists who believe prisoners should be treated better than US armed forces personnel in Iraq. He is a model from which all Tennessee sheriffs could benefit. Arpaio is a local hero to the taxpayer and voter and has become a legend for his no-frills approach to jail administration.

If asked to get Bradley County on track he would likely utilize an existing government property and have the prisoners themselves modify it for workhouse use at little or no cost to the taxpayer. After all, putting prisoners to work is the prime objective. Why do the work for them?

The county commission has just offered for sale the old Waterville school on Dalton Pike. The school building itself is solid but in need of repair and is not suitable for business use without major remodeling. Because of this the old school is unlikely to

Pete Edwards
Editor - Publisher

"What do you think" Continued

reach a sale price that the structure is worth, so will probably be almost given away to a local property speculator. I can just see the glint in Arpaio's eye if he were Bradley County Sheriff. Before you could say "bologna sandwich" he would be seeking donations of paint and brushes and that old school building would be transformed into a functioning workhouse by the prisoners themselves - with no extra funding. It may even be possible to recycle un-needed household paint. Any paint would improve the building's appearance over what it is now and it wouldn't need to be color coordinated. 

The building was until a few years ago suitable for local children, so it can't be in that bad of a condition. It has restroom facilities and presumably a usable kitchen, is already surrounded with a metal fence and is close to the the new justice center. It could possibly make an adequate workhouse and with the repair work done by inmates, be a more saleable property if it were ever vacated. All this is possible but to make it happen it would take someone who respects the taxpayer and believes in making prisoners pay for their keep.

Looking back at Bradley County Corrections over the previous decade, it is clear it has become a drain on public resources, is non productive for the community, financially inefficient and ineffective as a criminal deterrent. Sheriff Gobble has a golden opportunity to change the way housing prisoners is approached and it may still be possible to change the public's perception of pampering prisoners in Bradley County.

That's what I think. What do you think?

Danger from within

Once again it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security, originally established to protect Americans against outside terrorist attack, is targeting millions of ordinary American citizens as a possible terrorist threat. And this has been done secretly for at least four years, with the data stored without public oversight for possibly 40 years in the future. Conceivably it won't be long before everyone is on the threat list, apart from the list keepers that is, whoever they are. The secret list rates your level as a security threat but you are not permitted to see your rating, correct errors in the file or even know if you have been targeted. Now that's scary.

If our government, or rather the faceless Department of Homeland Security bureaucrat is investigating ordinary citizens that have done nothing more threatening than taking a vacation abroad or doing business with a foreign company, then it is not beyond belief that they are also investigating those that publicly disagree with them or run for elected office on a platform they disagree with.

It is not beyond belief that they are investigating ordinary citizens for their political beliefs or their religious beliefs or their financial standing or their zip code, the books and newspapers they read or the movies they watch and the products they buy. You can be sure they are monitoring your internet usage even though all this surveillance is illegal and unnecessary. As the law stands, warrantless surveillance is unlawful for US law enforcement unless they can claim it is necessary for national security, at which time the checks and balances afforded under the US Constitution disappear. If you complain, then you will in all probability be investigated and put on the list. It's for national security you know!

It is my opinion that the Department of Homeland Security has quickly metamorphed into an organization that will probably become the biggest threat to the American people and the US constitution ever faced by this nation. The biggest threat to the American way of life, and our unique American freedoms that are the envy of peoples around the world. Much more of a threat than the WW2 German and Japanese war machines. More of a threat than the whole technologically inferior Muslim world. More dangerous than any nuclear attack, because after an attack from overseas the United States would undoubtedly survive to rebuild as before. But if the Department of Homeland Security continue on their present unfettered course, they could have the power to silence all objectors and remove all opposition to their actions with secret arrests, and who knows, secret executions. All in the name of national security.

An overreaction you say. Who is to stop them if you are on the list and it is deemed necessary? You can imagine what a catastrophe this would be and it is quietly becoming a reality. Yes, it is for real.

If this organization can clandestinely investigate ordinary citizens and intimidate them with a secret list without a court order or public oversight and for no legitimate reason other than a perceived possibility of terrorism, then they become the ultimate threat to America. The invincible enemy, much more dangerous than any foreign power or terrorist group could ever be. The Department of Homeland Security if allowed to continue, would truly become the enemy within, in its most dangerous and insidious form for this free United States. The Department of Homeland Security have already evolved into the American equivalent of the KGB. What next?

Although this editor will most certainly be put on the list for expressing his concerns publicly, I feel strongly enough to risk this likelihood.  More people need to speak out to end this dangerous practice and to protect what few freedoms we have left.

That's what I think. What do you think?