By Steve Hunley

Comprehensive Mental Health-Drug Treatment Center Needed For Knox And Surrounding Counties

Knox County Commissioner Kyle Ward has certainly created a lot of conversation when he lobbed the resolution asking for the State of Tennessee to consider helping Knox County and Knoxville to fund a mental health/treatment facility for our community.  Ward has also caused some heads to blow off by saying the money allocated for the “pedestrian” bridge to nowhere should be reallocated for something that actually does something for the people paying for it: the taxpayers of Knoxville and Knox County.  That has caused some clutching of pearls, not a few gasps, and one or two, cries of anguish.  That has been compounded by Kyle Ward having pointed to the fact the University of Tennessee, which is demanding the bridge across Neyland Drive to come out precisely at Neyland Stadium, could be paid for by UT.  Lord have mercy!  Ward noted the billion dollars in recent years spent by UT in renovating and rebuilding the campus.  Worse still, Ward said UT takes in some $80 million from football revenue, but expects Knox County, Knoxville, and the State of Tennessee to pay for a bridge that would largely, if truth be told, be built for the Vol Navy.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs has politely said the county isn’t giving any money for the bridge and Indya Kincannon was surprised when Joe Biden’s federal government told her and Knoxville’s government to go chase themselves.

Ward has already caught the attention of several state legislators who are all in to try and acquire funding, including state Senator Becky Duncan Massey and state Representative Dave Wright.

There are already two bridges spanning Neyland Drive now and one can count on one hand the number of students who walk across them to go to class at UT.  Kyle Ward’s suggestion is the first really meaningful effort to do something about the homeless problem by either government.  Knox County is the only one of the four big urban counties not to have a mental health/treatment facility.  Such a facility would be a godsend, especially as Knox County prepares to open its drug court.  That goes hand-in-hand with the homeless problem as addiction is a primary cause for homelessness in many instances.  The time for finger-painting workshops and chicken salad on a croissant meeting has come and gone.  A former member of military intelligence, Kyle Ward is doing the thing that is most unusual in government, whether it is federal, state or local; he is doing something practical that will make things better.  It’s a wonder!


Charlie Kirk Right On This One

Like most of us, Charlie Kirk isn’t without his critics, but in a recent column he proposes an intriguing question.  Kirk begins his column by posing a truth: “When politicians are tempted to prosecute their enemies for political reasons, they must fear the same thing happening to them.”  Kirk points out there are 27 Republican attorneys general, while there are 23 Democrat attorneys general.

It is indisputably true that justice in this country is more unequal and twisted than ever before.  It is also clear that the Left is weaponizing the Justice Department to persecute and prosecute its ideological opponents.  The Left is openly doing its best to criminalize its opponents, which is as authoritarian as it gets in a society.  The Communists in the Soviet Union and China, as well as Hitler’s Nazis, criminalized their opposition before eliminating it entirely.

To be clear, this is not only about Donald Trump, it is about misusing the American system of justice as tyrants have used their own in totalitarian societies.  In their eternal wisdom, the framers of our Constitution devised the three branches of government, making them equal, yet separate.  That has allowed the United States to function properly for more than 200 years.  Presidents who overreach can be rebuked by either or both Congress and the Judiciary.

Certainly, Charlie Kirk has been known to say some controversial things, but just about everything uttered by everybody is now controversial to somebody.  Kirk says it is time for conservatives and Republicans to stop sitting idly by and begin to take action.   Kirk asks if Donald Trump can be pursued legally in what are deep blue jurisdictions, why can’t deep ruby red jurisdictions start their own pursuit of Hunter Biden and the Biden crime family?   According to various reports, somewhere between $20 – $50 million has flowed into Biden bank accounts from foreign countries.  Hunter was receiving $83,000 per month from Burisma. As Charlie Kirk points out, the GOP attorney general in Florida could get some answers to the tens of thousands of dollars spent by Hunter Biden on prostitutes obtained through Ekaterina Moreva, who is a madam based in that state.

Kirk suggests a variety of topics and persons GOP attorneys general could indict and prosecute, including the First Brother, James Biden, who appears to have been engaged in selling the family name.  Alejandro Mayorkas should be indicted for “abetting human trafficking” Kirk suggests, which is a pretty interesting idea.  Kirk also suggests a thorough investigation of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, which he says took in $90 million in its first year of operation.  Among its purchases was a $6 million mansion in Los Angeles it tried to justify by stating it could be used by Black social media folks or perhaps a “safe house.”  As Kirk pointed out, the real use of the house was for BML founder Patrisse Cullors herself.  Kirk is right in noting the offices of state attorneys general prosecute scams that misuse funds collected for one purpose and utilized for another all the time.

If suggesting voter fraud and stolen elections is a crime, then there could be a slew of indictments issued by Republican state attorneys general, beginning with Hillary Clinton, who said the 2016 election was stolen from her.  Next would-be Stacy Abrams, who insisted for years that she was the rightful governor of Georgia.  Indict any commentator on MSNBC and CNN who said the 2016 election was stolen.  Indict every Democrat congressman who said the same thing.

I tend to think Kirk is right and if the Left thinks Republicans are going to sit quietly in the corner and do what they are told or eat a mile of crap and do nothing, they are badly mistaken.  As Kirk puts it, the Left’s “Investigate first, define crimes later” can be effectively used by just about any enterprising lawyer fresh out of law school.  God knows Fani Willis, Alvin Bragg, and Jack Smith are no great shakes.  Jonathan Skermetti, the attorney general for Tennessee, is a real lawyer and quite capable, too.

Congressman Tim Burchett says it’s time to take the gloves off and I think he’s right.  What it all comes down to is bullying and we all know bullies will keep bullying until someone hits them back.

Knoxville Icon Bob Black Passes Away

Bob Black passed away last week, a victim of Alzheimer’s, according to his daughter Kelley Black Seymour.  Ms. Seymour announced her Dad’s passing on Facebook.

Bob Black has been called a “legendary” figure in the Fulton community by some local media outlets.  This is one instance where the title is not only apt, but also accurate.  An educator coach, and administrator for more than 50 years, it is impossible to calculate the impact Bob Black had on the lives of the students he taught and mentored.  Black was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2008, as well as the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame four years later.

Bob Black lived a life of community service and his loss to his family, friends and students is deeply felt.  Put quite simply, Bob was not only a great guy, but also a wonderful man.  Black’s passing is a very real loss to our community.

The Knoxville Focus family extends our abiding sorrow for the loss of a great man.  In a forest of leaders, Bob Black stood towering over most.