By Steve Hunley

Officer, I’m Being Robbed!

Do City of Knoxville police officers make too much money?  That is the inference from a news release by the City Council Movement.  If you haven’t been paying attention, the City Council Movement says its mission is to “strengthen the people’s political power by holding elected officials accountable via organizing, education and participatory democracy.”  Yet in the CCM’s Facebook page, it is pointed out as so few people vote in city elections, the handful of socialists can actually exert some influence and that they have.  Two of Knoxville’s elected council members are “Democratic Socialists”; the distinction between a “Democratic” socialist and a plain old socialist is more aesthetic than real.  Seema Singh and Amelia Parker are the two socialists on the Knoxville City Council.  Now, you can bet your boots these folks have targeted the Knoxville Police Department.  Evidently, the citizens of Knoxville are being robbed by the men and women in blue.  In their most recent press release, the CCM bemoans mayor Indya Kincannon’s abject surrender to the bourgeoise in her budget recommendation.  The author of the screed laments the heartless Kincannon’s failure to “address the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”  The CCM is aghast that out of the city’s $334 million budget, the KPD gets $60 million.  The CCM complains the KPD receives “by far, the largest portion of the city budget, much of this going to the cost of staffing the department.”  The CCM frowns that” KPD officers are the highest paid entry-level employee in the city, starting out at $40,000 a year while regular entry-level city workers start out at around $25,000.”  “KPD has the largest staff of any city governmental unit at 519 employees, while the combined staff total of public service, recreation, and community development is only 354 employees.”  Really?  Do you suppose a city-employed tree trimmer should earn the same salary as a KPD officer?  After all that tree trimmer might be in mortal danger from a really angry woodpecker.  Is a street sweeper in mortal peril from a domestic dispute, bank robbery, or drive-by shooting?  The fact is, these folks just plain don’t like cops.  Amelia Parker has stated again and again how terrified she is by simply seeing a police officer and apparently quite nearly swooned dead away when Mayor Kincannon poked her head out of a police vehicle during a parade.  I reckon as Indya was wearing a mask Ms. Parker might have mistaken the mayor for a train robber.  David Hayes, who ran for and was defeated for the city council last year, has had his own altercations with law enforcement officers. Hayes is a probable candidate to run for city council once again in 2021 against South Knoxville native son Tommy Smith.

Parker stirred up a hornet’s nest recently with a post that was considered by many South Knoxville residents as highly offensive and incendiary.  That post, which was later removed by Councilwoman Parker, was denounced by South Knox Board of Education member Kristi Kristy and former State Rep. Eddie Smith.  South Knoxvillians are already complaining about increasing crime in their neighborhoods and some are asking for increased patrols by the KPD, an effort which Councilman Smith supports.  Homeless people are building camps in South Knoxville and wandering along Chapman Highway and the socialists want to take the tax revenue and build more and more housing for the homeless.  The CCM gnashes their teeth that KPD officers and Fire Department men and women are to receive bonuses under Kincannon’s budget while public service workers get nothing.

As reports of thefts and crime increase, especially in South Knoxville, folks ought to pay more attention to a collection of people who just really don’t like police officers.  The men and women in blue probably ought to do a little organizing themselves.  There isn’t going to be a happy median between the socialists who don’t much believe in enforcing the laws and law enforcement officers.  Because if we don’t really want to enforce the laws, why do we need law enforcement officers?  Who else thinks the City of Knoxville is paying police officers too much money?  Probably Amelia Parker, Seema Singh and David Hayes.  Not me.



Who You Gonna Call?

Speaking of Amelia Parker and the police, the Knoxville News-Sentinel published the councilwoman’s harrowing account of her brush with death.  Naturally, Parker detailed her account of events for her Facebook page, which is pretty much the same thing as recording it for the future use of historians.  Hearing that the KPD was preparing to dismantle an encampment of homeless people near Mechanicsville, Parker immediately sprang into action, you know, like  superheroes do, and hurried to the scene.  Amelia recounted one of the officers supposedly “mocked” her, which left her “shaking” with terror.  Wow, who would mock an elected official or make faces at a lawmaker?

According to a police spokesman, KPD was not attempting to dismantle or otherwise disturb any homeless encampment.  Scott Erland said it was the intent of the KPD officers to be sure everyone was all right, as well as what might be needed at the camp in the future.  Parker immediately complained two KPD officers and two public service workers were not wearing masks.  Councilwoman Parker then lectured the officers after asking them why they weren’t wearing masks.  She said they were violating City of Knoxville policy by attempting to evict the homeless from their camp, except they weren’t, so…  Parker related she was in fear for her life despite her importance.  “Even as a lawmaker, I was scared to tell these two armed, white men what to do,” Parker breathlessly wrote on Facebook.  “I was afraid they would ignore the city council pin on my shirt and the city council ID that I clutched in my hand.”  Amelia is on the city council, understood?  “I felt as if I was risking my life by being there but not because of the global pandemic but because of police.”  Interesting that Amelia thinks as a member of city council she has the right to tell police officers “what to do” in the course of doing their jobs.  Amelia wrote that she worried as the incident unfolded that she would be killed and the white officers would “argue it was a justified murder”, but she bravely “worked to prevent those scenarios” which she apparently instantly computed and configured inside her head.  Parker said her experience was like that of Ahmaud Arbery and described a “white supremacist culture and toxic culture of policing.”  It’s pretty easy to make yourself the hero of the story when you write it yourself.

So, next time someone robs your house, tries to assault or kill you, who you gonna call?  The men and women in blue, or Amelia Parker clutching her city council ID?

A Prize For What???

Mayor Glenn Jacobs, perhaps because he has been a businessman, is doing all he can to re-open the county, as quickly as he can.  In contrast, City of Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon sniffed in a statement, “There is no prize for going fast when it comes to reopening our economy.”  Kincannon, who brags in every other breath about her Ivy league pedigree, has never actually used it.  Nor is Kincannon likely feeling the same kind of pressure as many families and workers throughout the city and county.  The city council thoughtfully gave the incoming mayor a hefty $20,000 pay hike, bringing Kincannon’s salary to around $160,000 annually.  Kincannon’s husband, Ben Barton, works at the University of Tennessee law school and my guess is, he, too, is continuing to draw a mighty fine salary and last I heard, there’s nobody sitting in the classrooms at UT.  So, together Kincannon and company are likely bringing in somewhere around $300,000 or more during the pandemic.  So whether is Indya is out walking her dog or simply having a film crew follow her around for the day, she’s getting paid.  Not so for everybody else, a fact that at least Glenn Jacobs understands.  Aren’t Democrats always supposed to be thinking about the working folk in this country, as well as the less fortunate?  There are all kinds of people who have been furloughed, lost their jobs, or lost their businesses; there are graduating seniors from colleges who have seen their internships evaporate or job offers withdrawn.  There are far too many people who have seen their pensions vaporized, along with their hopes for a decent retirement.  I’d say those folks are at the top of the list right about now.  Indya and Ben are making out all right and I’d say it’s a lot easier to follow a flimsy plan when the money is still rolling in.  I don’t think the Kincannons have to worry about putting food on the table.  Yet another contrast is the fact Glenn Jacobs has donated the salary increase mandated by state law he received to charity for a scholarship for a furloughed county employee’s child.

Follow the plan to the letter, exercise no common sense.  Pretty easy for you to say, Indya.



New York, New York…

Believe it or not, New York state and Florida are roughly the same size as far as population is concerned.  As the national media chases Ron DeSantis, the GOP governor of the Sunshine State, for allowing his state to reopen, they completely ignore the utter incompetence of Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic governor of New York, as well as the sheer lunacy of Bill DeBlasio, the deranged mayor of New York City.  According to the mainstream media, Cuomo has done a bang-up job in New York, despite the fact New York has thirty times the death toll as Florida.  New York has had about 348,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 28,000 deaths.  Florida has had around 46,000 COVID-19 cases and 2,000 deaths.  The population of Florida is 21.5 million folks while New York is home to 19.5 million people.  It was Andrew Cuomo whose state government was sending nursing home residents back to the home with the virus.  Ron DeSantis prohibited nursing home residents who caught the virus from being returned to the nursing home after leaving the hospital.  Nor did Cuomo order the New York subway system to be disinfected – – – and it still ran constantly, 24/7 – – – until May.  Incidentally, how many of you have seen the recovery rate for those under 60 with COVID-19?  99%!  Yes, 99%.