J Thom 
Member since Jan 23, 2018



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Re: “Public Money, Private Schools

There's a good chance I will send my kids to private school in Shelby County. That said, I 100% oppose this legislation. If not for the fact those who voted for it in counties and school districts unaffected should have abstained and allow the legislators from only Shelby & Davidson Counties vote (that would have been an overwhelming 21-3 failure vote on the vouchers though, gasp!), I would also note it is the role of the legislators not to advocate for private entities, but to fix government and education provided by government in TN (aka public education). If public education is a broken system, it's not the role of legislators to advocate for private education interests (even if they interest me as a private citizen, who doesn't have an obligation to the state and constituents as an elected office holder), but rather it is the role of legislators to enact laws to fix the broken public education system. For example, providing public teachers greater autonomy on the curriculum in the classroom is an option, or if the secular nature of public education is a problem, greater options for Bible education courses (albeit not mandated, but simply optional) is something the legislators can consider.

I do understand the counter argument not addressed in this opinion column, that those would send their children to private education are still paying for the public education systems through taxes and don't get that money back, even though they aren't taking advantage of that public education system. This returns some of that money to those, albeit limited to the low-income earners, but aside from the aforementioned point, it is also unbecoming to designate that option to only two counties in the entire state, against the vast majority of the will of legislators and constituents in those affected counties.

I hope other citizens of TN in those rural counties will see how your legislators voted to use your tax dollars, in ways that are not in your direct interests, and remember that on voting day in 2020. With a better legislating environment, it is my sincere passion a new TN General Assembly will take up legislation on the first day of that session to revoke this bill and all it's contents.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by J Thom on 07/18/2019 at 9:19 AM

Re: “Lemoyne-Owen Professor's Brandon Webber Comments Draw Ire

Even as someone who tends to side with the officers on this and believes Tami Sawyer is horrible for the city, I completely condemn this professor's comments as well. It's never a good idea to exit your vehicle and brandish a weapon in front of officers, esp. US Marshals, though as a young 20 yr old I'm sure Brandon Webber may have not fully understood that, but the fact is his life is lost (regardless of any poor decisions made to have led to this point) and his family and friends are hurting, regardless of how much people want to associate them to the mob outburst from last week, and calling someone child-like names (f****** idiot) does nothing to help anything. Even if that was for just Graves' own family/friends, why would they get any kick out of reading that? It wasn't like it was funny at all. Graves' just created a mess for himself, and he's going to have a hard time paying for that.

As for the city, the best thing they can do now is, while of course continuing to enforce the law, develop a plan for local MPD officers to volunteer in the Frayser community. Read to youth at the local Frayser Community Center, Frayser-area libraries, and Frayser Elementary Schools when school is back in session this fall. Demonstrate to the Frayser youth that officers' jobs are to protect them, help them, and serve them as they do all our local communities, not to attack them. If they can get Shelby County to do the same with the SCSO deputies, that could be a valuable first step at building trust in our communities, and who knows? Maybe it could lead to encourage these young children later in life to rethink any criminal behavior and continue their education and find ways to be valuable contributors back in their communities. We can solve the problem together, if we work together!

6 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by J Thom on 06/18/2019 at 8:59 AM

Re: “'Say His Name #BrandonWebber:' Memphis Responds to Officer-Involved Shooting

Pretty sure I lost all respect ever held for Tami Sawyer for the reckless, irresponsible response on this situation, and I hope for goodness sakes she'll issue an apology to the city, and likely do the right thing and drop out of the mayoral race, which she just doomed with this irresponsible attack on law enforcement, and defense of someone who was attacking a US Marshal.

I get it, his family and friends are hurting and outraged and that's fine. What's not fine is causing a riot and attacking law environment, who isn't there trying to tell anyone not to be outraged, but just trying to keep things under control and forced to wear riot gear and disperse tear gas just to make that happen.

If I'm law enforcement, and someone rams my car and gets out threatening me with a gun, you'd better believe I'd shoot them too! I'm sorry he has family, but dude, be there for your kids and wife and support them, don't attack law enforcement and get yourself killed. You don't get killed by being respectful and complying. It's just that simple!

Tami Sawyer is a cancer for Memphis, and a cancer to the Black Community!

19 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by J Thom on 06/13/2019 at 4:55 PM

Re: “The Casada Controversy

It is not only discussion of removal as Speaker or even resignation from his House seat at stake, but if evidence of the wiretapping of offices of House members from the Democratic party and white noise from his own office is found, Casada will likely be arrested on felony charges. Hard to see him getting away from that one.

The odd thing is that fellow House members of the Rep. caucus and Gov. Lee himself are reticent to share their response on the matter. Why are they covering for this guy? There is a Rep. super majority in the House and they will clearly have a Speaker of their own party (envisions of a Kent Williams scenario will never happen). It's not like Casada is so special in any way, and the reluctance to speak is hurting the public trust and the Rep. party as a whole in TN. No idea what they think they'll accomplish.

No corporate PAC or nonprofit is going to donate to Casada's campaign fund moving forward without the threat of public embarrassment. Why does the party wish to go the way of embarrassment themselves? Rather than speak up, denounce this crook, and move forward with a real statesman/stateswoman to lead as Speaker.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by J Thom on 05/09/2019 at 11:11 AM

Re: “Forum Aims to Stop Abortion-Ban Bill

Some of the prior mean-spirited comments, which likely could have only come from kids under the age of 15 based on the assessment of their maturity level, really don't contribute anything to reasonable, public discourse. Sorry, but the whole tough guy mentality and telling people to shut up in such a threatening way doesn't really have any effect through the internet, lol.

And men absolutely should be accountable for their role in causing any pregnancy, just as the life of that precious child should be loved and protected, that itself is an excellent point.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by J Thom on 04/03/2019 at 8:03 PM

Re: “Forum Aims to Stop Abortion-Ban Bill

@CL, it's totally cool if you disagree with my perspective, and I'm happy to discuss/debate respectfully, but it's glaringly obvious you cherry picked my examples and focused on nothing else.

I understand this is such a difficult and personal topic, and certainly was not one where I intended to isolate a political party, or a non-profit organization in our community, but I did share my perspective in a most honest way possible and I regret nothing of sharing high hopes/aspirational goals of people from any background, including ones for whom the thought of abortion may have been considered during their conception.

9 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by J Thom on 04/03/2019 at 9:58 AM

Re: “Forum Aims to Stop Abortion-Ban Bill

@CL, please reread my comment in it's entirety and if you wish to speak on a more adult level, I'm happy to engage in the dialog.

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by J Thom on 04/03/2019 at 8:24 AM

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