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Misinformation and Diversion; Rutherford County Government Enters High-Interest Loan Industry

Maybe one result of this year’s election will be the rise of parties other than the two major ones.

Surely voters will soon get tired of hearing Democrats and Republicans talking to each other and next time around demand that Libertarian and Green party candidates be included on the national stage.

Anyone with an internet connection can access more and more quality information without having to receive it filtered from the corporate conglomerate media, which theoretically should be a bad thing for the elitist, power-hungry-type politicians that have dominated the conversation over my lifetime. The people who still rely primarily on the major network news for accurate and balanced information are going away pretty quickly.

Even if having candidates from four or more parties in a debate and mainstream media covering Green and Libertarian ideas with any objectivity and equal time didn’t result in taking control from the seriously fl awed two-party system, imagine the directions the conversations may go if Stein and Johnson were up there with the machine’s two darlings.

Some of the name calling, mudslinging, vague generalities and empty promises that voters have eaten up with fervor over the past year and a half may just be replaced with talk of the nature of self-governance, protecting the environment, classism, inspiring the next generation, fostering pride in ingenuity and entrepreneurship, the corrupt insurance and pharmaceutical industries, how the monetary system and finance works, the serious institutional failings of the education system, how to carry oneself with love, courage and a desire to stand up for the liberty and dignity of all.

The role of mainstream media is not to inform, but to misinform and to divert public attention from important issues and changes decided by the political and economic elites. This is achieved by the technique of distracting the audience with floods of insignificant information, to paraphrase Mr. Noam Chomsky.

Well done, this time around.

There’s plenty of groping, Benghazi, and building a wall. Constructing a wall between nations is important, right?

If God wanted people of different ethnicities and cultures moving freely around the globe, he wouldn’t have created all of those borders between the countries . . .

It’s nice to see our county government get into the high-interest loan game. That’s right, after assuming probation supervision duties earlier this year, the Rutherford County government has taken a page from the playbooks of the high-interest loan companies popping up on every corner that thousands of people in the area must love so much.

So, if someone commits a minor crime, pleads guilty, and has the money to pay the fine, they may do so. If they do not have the cash, the county has a payment plan. Those who can afford it may pay $500 as penalty for their crime. The poor may be in for $1,100 for the same crime. That’s Rutherford County justice.

This system effectively says “if you have the money for your fines and fees, give it to us. If you do not, we’ll finance you, and disguise the 100-plus-percent annual interest you are paying as ‘small’ monthly supervision fees so you don’t realize all at once what a sorry deal you are getting.”

Well, they should have thought about that before they became poor (to paraphrase The Emperor’s New Groove).

Play music, go see a play, lay back and watch the clouds roll by for a few minutes, talk to someone new, jump around.

And especially during this month of thanksgiving, try to live with a spirit of thankfulness for the health, family, friends, food, sun, rain, life experiences and other blessing in your life.

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About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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