Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Should Knox Co. Be Renamed Inertia?

There is an unholy mess in government in Knox County since their charter was never properly filed (for reasons of "I dunno") and just about everything enacted since then is in question as well. Voters everywhere can learn a tremendous lesson in the current state of disaster, chiefly that citizens must never assume it's all okay and that the principles of inertia are too often the dominant form of governing today.

Here's an excellent definition that applies:

Physics. The tendency of a body to resist acceleration; the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of a body in straight line motion to stay in motion in a straight line unless acted on by an outside force.

2. Resistance or disinclination to motion, action, or change: the inertia of an entrenched bureaucracy.

Too often government locally and nationally lumbers along under inertia, aka Business As Usual. Those who dare to question or examine the actions or inactions are vilified as the Anti-Whatever. Here in Hamblen County, we at least enjoy the ability to watch via re-broadcast on Charter Communications Channels the county commission meetings, though there are efforts by some to end that. More than 10 years after creating a government and education channel, the Morristown City Government continues to refuse air a single second of their monthly 4 pm meetings.

A lesson from Knox: even having the camera eye and the mainstream media on government, whopping failures exist.

First rate examinations of the issues can be found at KnoxViews, and No Silence Here notes that bloggers have taken command, swooping down like Al Haig did all those years ago since it's all up for grabs now.

via Rikki at KnoxViews:

The will of Knox County's citizens has been persistently subverted by negligence and disregard, and [Chancellor] Weaver's ruling is just one more slap in the face. It is now too late to salvage this year's elections. Already defective in execution, they will now be defective in outcome. Office holders complicit in subverting the public interest will be awarded with continued power for as long as they can drag out the appeals process, and our elections, already tainted by big money, ballot manipulation and the two-party straightjacket, will degrade further toward becoming complete charades.

Eighteen years of governing called into question by this ruling. That's just pathetic.

Again, such things occur locally and otherwise. Morristown is notorious for issuing voter referendums under the "non-binding resolution" form of government, which allows them to proceed with whatever they wish despite any public vote to the contrary.

At the state level, increases in lifetime pensions for officials are granted in off-hours voting, with the allowance of some votes to be cast in the name of representatives who aren't even in the room, much less in Nashville.

The bottom line seems to be: We the people just means We the few who live in perpetual inertia.


  1. carpenterjd3:09 PM

    Great post! You get to include a little tidbit from Physic 101. The troubling part about governmental inertia in our "democracy" is that, in theory, it shouldn't happen because the will of the people should be what pushes the force of gov't. Too often though we are given a sleight of hand that causes us to heed the "horrors" of same sex marriage, abortion, immigration,etc. Or any other issue that can serve to keep the populace ignorant of what is truly happening.

    I keep thinking back to ST:TNG ". . .inertial dampeners are failing".

  2. star trek geek alert!! heh heh.

  3. Brother Mike6:05 PM

    I must come to the defence of my friend, John Weaver. If he ruled the Knox County Charter to be invalid, he did so because it is, not out of some conspiritorial desire to subvert the will of the people.

    If ever there were a straight arrow on the bench, it's John Weaver. If Rikki wants to blame someone, and I agree that there is plenty to go around, blame the members of the Charter Commission and other county officials who screwed up all those years ago. Blaming John Weaver is just blaming the namer.

  4. well, let me point to Rikki's comment that the ruling was "just one more slap" in a vast series of failures, yes much blame to go around.

    if the documentation was never properly submitted, then i think Chancellor Weaver had little option other than ruling as he did, though Rikki's full post notes certain inconsistencies in the opinion.

    the sheer fiasco quality of the recent election madness, not to mention 18 years of utter incompetence allowing all the errors to grow and worsen, is truly insulting and worse, deeply dangerous. it indicates zero comprehension of governmental operations by those charged with governing.

    if i were a resident of Knox co, i'd be more than a small bit outraged at large numbers of local and state officials. the overwhelming amount of ignorance and apathy which allowed for mistake after mistake to pile up for 18 years is a travesty.

    i included Rikki's last paragraph to incite interest in reading the entire post. Chancellor Weaver opined the will of the voters had been trashed.

  5. alloyd41:47 PM

    It's my job to cover the Knox Co. government mess. I can't make much headway because those in "power" can't give me any answers. I think most governmental bodies in the US are so screwed up I'm ready for total anarchy. Yet all we get is inertia because American Idol is on TV or the i-pod has more entertainment value.
    In Las Vegas (where I lived for 10 years) Oscar Goodman is mayor. He made a huge and successful career as a lawyer for mobsters. He's not apologetic about it and everyone knew it before the election. He won by a landslide.
    In Knox County you have pretty boys in expensive suits smiling their vacant smiles without any sense of how to proceed, except to file appeals. I'm sick of it.