Up for Debate: State lawmakers' perks

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 1:10am

What perks should or shouldn't state lawmakers receive? Do they deserve all of the ones they get now?

130 Comments on this post:

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 11:18

I didn't really know how full of "IT" Ben wasuntil reading his last few comments! According to Ben, blow up all the "liberals" with that mini 14 he is so fond of & everything wrong in this World, would be fixed.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 11:21

BenDover said

"When obesity is the leading sign of poverty in your nation, I think you've pretty much got it whipped."

Have you priced eating healthy in this country? Or ever heard of "food deserts" in urban areas? Talked about ignorance based on class isolation!

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 11:28

I didn't say that at all. You don't see any of these whiz-bang society advancing technologies coming out of third-world hell-holes either though. There's a system that works and there's a system that doesn't and economic prosperity, best advanced with free market capitalism, is the best friend of the environment, society's health, nourishment and the arts; because it gives us the luxury to truly consider all of these things.

I have not advanced a pure capital model as your strawman suggests. There is a great need for limited government and the various programs society is willing to support. What I have said is that we are tending away from a model that is better. I think if everyone shared meaningfully in the cost of government I would be fine with whatever society decided was a good use of our collective resources. That's not the case now and you guys have the golden goose... the one upon which all altruism, government or otherwise, is dependent; by the throat and you're shaking him hard.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 11:35

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 11:30
"Talked about ignorance based on class isolation!"


Ben you have that MO covered!

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 11:36


At least have the decency to educate yourself on the issue of food deserts before you shoot off your big mouth....

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 11:45

Hi everyone!
brrrrk, where would you consider, in Nashville, to be a food desert?

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 11:51

Where I work, the only person with insurance is my boss (& his spouse) and we pay 100% of the premium and this year it is almost $10k for the year. That's nearly 1/2 my salary and I have no insurance. I need to have a procedure done that folks with insurance can now get for FREE, as a "Wellness Benefit." I can't get it for free and can't afford to get it done right now. What is a person supposed to do?

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 11:55

Ben, even in Kroger in my 'hood, organic, natural and healthy foods are waaay more than the 'regular' versions. However, ANYONE can eat healthily if they want to. It doesn't have to be organic, etc...the problem is, everything keeps going up in price. It makes it hard for someone to eat, period.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 11:56

MamaG said

"Hi everyone!
brrrrk, where would you consider, in Nashville, to be a food desert?"

I would consider the area around the JC Napier Homes to be a small example here in Nashville. I used to work for an inventory service and we used to inventory that small grocery store across from the homes.... the quality of the food was always somewhat suspect and was generally overpriced, and the store owner knew he could get away with it. And when your options of transportation are somewhat limited, your capacity to venture out of the immediate area is limited. Has downtown Nashville gotten better over the years... yes, but still there are parts of this city where having access to decent grocery stores is limited and shopping for good food is a challenge....

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 12:03

Hi MamaG, long time, no hear! Hope you & that son are fine & where is he now?

Organic foods, IMO are way over rated & over priced. In growing season, I buy lots from locals rather than the big groceries.

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:09

Hi bfra! Yep, both doing great, thanks. He's still in Hot 'Lanta right now but he's planning to do his first semester of his senior year in Japan. That means he will leave this Jul or Aug to go. Can you believe he's already a senior in college?? i can barely get my head around that! Thanks for asking--and you, how have you been doing?

My problem with organic foods is, how do we really know where it was grown or how? We have to trust but, do we really trust? I don't. If I don't grow it in my yard, I'm not sure about it! LOL

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:11

Yes, I agree with you brrrrk. There are several 'spots' of that throughout the city.

We all have to eat anyway, so it seems to come to a matter of choice. I can choose a can of chef-boy-ardee or I can choose a box of frozen spinach, or peas, or any kind of veggie. My point is, I have to get to a store somehow for necessities, such as milk and bread, for example, but I might choose to get something quick and simple to fix over a healthier choice. Maybe living here, I don't see the bigger picture of it all. It seems better nutritional education might help too. I know what I should or should not eat but I may choose to eat it anyway...

By: yogiman on 3/5/13 at 12:17

Well, fellas,

It's been a pretty good nation until we got the congress we're stuck with now. This "take it home" attitude got into place several decades ago when the legislators found the voters to be suckers and keep them in office with their "it's mine" attitudes.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 12:24

MamaG - I'm fine! Japan is great place, I have an aunt there & visit occasionally. As to the food, I do not buy into all this organic stuff. I guess, I need to be shown.

By: yogiman on 3/5/13 at 12:36

Well, MamaG,

Eat more beans. One of the best and cheapest foods you can eat.

And take a little sage advice which I know you don't believe; put 2 tablespoons of castor oil in your pot of beans about 20 minutes before they're done. That will take the gas out of them and you won't taste it. Heck, if someone else put it in your pot you wouldn't even know it.

And yeah, to all you doubters, try it one time without letting anyone know you did it. Better nourishment without too many 'poots'.

Heck, it would even work for you, Loner.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 12:39

MamaG said

"My problem with organic foods is, how do we really know where it was grown or how? We have to trust but, do we really trust? I don't. If I don't grow it in my yard, I'm not sure about it! LOL"

Personally I prefer local farm raised over organic.... but then again, I have the "wheels" to make that doable. When I first moved down here from PA, buying ANY kind of produce was a huge adjustment.... no one ever went to the grocery store for produce or fruit unless you absolutely had to. And even now the local farmers market in Pa. (even in the bigger cities) puts our local market to shame....

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:40

Glad to hear it, bfra. I know he will love it there. He went with his high school on one of those EF tours once and he knew when he came home that he would definitely be going back. Now he has several years in of studying the language and hopes to go over there and teach. Right now, he's talking about getting his master's first, then going. You know how things change.......

Yep, I'm more worried about chickens on steroids or hormones or whatever it is. Some of them look like they've been pumped up by Hans and Franz! I also don't like buying fruit that is not planted, picked, processed and packaged in the USA. I see no reason to even sell canned peaches from Indonesia or wherever, here in the US. (No offense to Indonesians or anyone else!)

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:43

yogiman, I'm born and raised in the south. I eat beans regularly. Castor oil has no place in my pot! I am going to try a new trick of putting baking soda in my water when I boil eggs this week. Supposed to make them easier to peel. Will let you know if it works. But castor oil, no way, ho's say!

By: gdiafante on 3/5/13 at 12:45

The reason there's no good unprocessed food in the hood is because NO ONE CAN AFFORD IT.

Fixed that for ya. It's a helluva lot more expensive and time consuming to eat healthy, two things that are quite likely to be considered as a luxury "in the hood". Of all the dumbass theories you've come up with, that may be the worst.

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:47

brrrrk, I agree and locally, I have more trust in how it is being grown and I feel like I am helping my fellow Tennesseans and other nearby farmers. It may not be as big as PA but, it's better than nothing.
We always have a small garden with just a few things. I've learned to can, make jellies and preserves, put things in the freezer and so forth. I love it although I hate gardening! LOL I just like the rewards of it! ha!

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 12:50

brrrrk, I was thinking of the little community of Bellshire, which just lost their small mom & pop type grocery store. The nearest stores from that area (Dickerson Rd/OHB) are in Goodlettsville, or over on Gallatin Rd, at the Kroger. I believe they recently closed the Kroger at the corner of Dickerson and Ewing/Broadmoor, or if not they plan to do so.

By: yogiman on 3/5/13 at 1:08

Believe me, MomaG, you won't know that castor oil is in your pot. I learned that from a CD of recipes and a Indian woman made the comment on it where it had been passed down to her from generations.

Well, being curious, I tried one pot and I've been using it ever since. Maybe my old cast iron pot is what's making it work.

By: yogiman on 3/5/13 at 1:12

By the way, MamaG, how much backing soda are you going to put in your eggs. I've been looking for an "easy peel" for years.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 1:17

MamaG - Be sure you tell yogi about that "backing soda" LOL!

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 1:18

Do you think this is what Bobby Jindal was referring to when he said the GOP had to stop being the "stupid party"?

ACORN, In New GOP Budget Bill, Would Be Defunded Again, Even Though It No Longer Exists


By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 1:22

Do you guys actually know any poor people?

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 1:31

Yogi, I think it was 1/2 tsp but I'll find out and let you know for sure. Still just can't get up the jibs to try castor oil in my beans. I usually just roll the farts out of mine before I cook them! LOL! That's a secret family tradition "passed" down from generation to generation!


Ben, I don't consider myself to be wealthy or even well-off. Certainly my pay scale reflects I am close to poor. I know plenty of people who don't have as much as I do, so I would say, "Yes," I do know poor people. Do you?

By: gdiafante on 3/5/13 at 1:31

What an asinine question, Ben.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 1:36

BenDover said

"Do you guys actually know any poor people?"

I guess as a Libertarian it's hard to understand how or why someone would actually care about the less fortunate..... even if the reality is that poverty doesn't just effect the "poor"; it effects everyone, including Libertarians. There but for the grace of God.......

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 1:40

gdiafante said

"What an asinine question, Ben."

Are you surprised? I'm not........

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 1:40

Yogi, I can't find my friends' post on FB right now but, I would try anywhere from 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Also, one lady I know doesn't peel them. She cuts them right into and scoops the eggs out that way, with a spoon. I don't know if that works well or not but I might try it! Good luck and next time I'm here, let me know if anything worked for you.

Take care everyone and hope to be back and play one day soon! Nice chatting with you all! ;-)

By: Kosh III on 3/5/13 at 1:40

I eat mostly vegan and buy organic when I can get it.
Organic is usually more expensive; 69 cents per
pound for organic bananas as opposed to non-organic at 54 cents; at Kroger.
This is an acceptable price but for some it's not.
I pay almost double for organic apples because if you eat
100 non-organic apples; 99 will have pesticides.

It's not easy to find everything or even most organic.
Kroger has the widest selection of organic in my part of town;
much better than Publix. Going to Trader Joe's is not an option
because it's in Green Hills. I don't have a half-day to waste
sitting in traffic.

I do grow some items but it's time consuming; maybe if I can
ever retire I can grow enough.....

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 1:43

Kosh, there is a new restaurant (and other vegan options) here on the East side. It's called Khan's Desserts and they also have sandwiches. All vegan, all natural, yummy looking stuff. Plan to try it next weekend when son is home. We also have the Wild Cow (which I mistakenly call the Mad Cow all the time!) and others...if you haven't tried any of them yet, check it out sometime!

By: MamaG on 3/5/13 at 1:45


By: Kosh III on 3/5/13 at 1:45

"By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 1:22
Do you guys actually know any poor people?"

Yes. Though my family was comfortable, I grew up in a ETn county that had and still has plenty of people in poverty. I had high school
friends who still used an outhouse and lived in shacks. Dirt-poor is entirely accurate.
I still know poor people.

By: gdiafante on 3/5/13 at 1:48

You should probably just shut your hole now, Ben. With each post you just dig yourself deeper.

By: Kosh III on 3/5/13 at 2:00

This has jogged a memory:
I had a cousin, substantially older than I, he was
never the sharpest knife in the drawer; barely literate.
He was injured in WWII, could not work again beyond odd jobs. He scraped byon a tiny pension and didn't have electricity and running water until the 60s when he got it due to LBJ's (mostly successful) war on poverty.

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 2:19

You know guys... I'm personally OK with those struggling people strolling in to the J.C. Napier market and plopping down, for Habibi or Abdul, their EBT card for some HoHos, a Honeybun and a hot cup of coffee so they can save their Contributor earnings for lottery tickets and malt liquor; but if you think it's a good idea to limit the EBT to unprocessed Meats, Veggies and Fruits I''m game to give it a try. I'm surprised Michelle Obama hasn't put out the mandate for it yet.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 2:30

gdiafante said

"You should probably just shut your hole now, Ben. With each post you just dig yourself deeper."

It appears that ugly Ben has shown himself..... may his inhumanity and lack of concern towards others return itself as it often does. Ironically what Ben doesn't seem to get is that by helping others, you eventually help yourself; it might not happen today, or tomorrow, or even in several years, but it happens...... In the words of Southern rockers, Wet Willie.....

Everything that you do,
Will come back to you

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 2:30

Ben must hang out in the J.C. Napier market to know so much about what goes on there. Ben is that where you use your EBT card the most? Doesn't it get kinda rough there after dark? Oh Well! That is close to where Ben lives.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 2:34

Ben I wouldn't recommend going in that area packing your pet glock 9mm or your bam bam, mini 14, they might get used on you.

By: Kosh III on 3/5/13 at 2:37


I've heard of Khan's but not tried it yet.

Wild Cow. Been there twice: nice food, cramped tables and chairs that looked like they'd break at any moment. Plus the music was louder than some discos.

Sunflower Cafe in Berry Hill is a great locally sourced vegetarian restaurant. I also go to Woodlands, vegetarian Indian food with a fabulous lunch time buffet. Going there for dinner tomorrow night with a group of vegans.

By: yogiman on 3/5/13 at 2:39

Darn, I wish I was as perfect as you think you are bfra. Hell, I would never make an error either if this darn machine would edit my writing better.

How did you make it into perfectionism? Or are those simple 'computer errors' I see in your posts?

By: Loner on 3/5/13 at 2:40

Ben...your prayers may have been answered...Jeb Bush has just released a new book and he is making Presidential noises for 2016.


Ah, 2016 - Battle of the Dynasties. It's the Bush family versus the Clinton family as Dynastic Democracy replaces the obsolete, representative, constitutional stuff. The Founders might pull the plug on their dubious experiment at this point.

This country has devolved into a mega-banana-republic....it's disgusting.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 2:40

yogi - Try "barking soda", it might work better. LOL

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 2:44

I guess the question is which scenario about the Napier market... yours of a single mom pining away about her lack of access to organic carrots and rutabagas for her growing babies; or mine of a high demand for Ho Ho's, Funions, malt liquor and lottery tickets -- which most accurately depicts the scene of this little small oasis in your food desert.

By: bfra on 3/5/13 at 2:48

Ben - Do you daydream a lot or just make up stuff to put on the board? You definitely fail on being funny!

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 3:06

I usually hold it back a little bfra until someone says something so colossally moronic like 'food deserts' as if society's oppressing these people rather than just selling them what they want to buy.

In theory if we limited the EBT to unprocessed meats, veggies, and fruits would there not be a huge demand for these products in the very deserts you decry?

The problem is that the level of outrage from the very people you purport to want to help would be deafening... as would the call to not sell Alcohol or lottery tickets in markets that make the majority of their other sales on EBT cards.

Again, I'm fine with the Ho Ho' s and Moon Pies on EBT... and them buying malt liquor, cigarettes and lottery tickets with their HoBo stash that they bum while assuring tourists never return to our fine city.

I'm just suggesting the one scenario that would give you your Shanghai and Illustrating why there is no way in hell it'll ever happen because your 'deserts' demand driven and not whitey trying to oppress the brothers.

By: brrrrk on 3/5/13 at 3:08

bfra saidof

"Ben - Do you daydream a lot or just make up stuff to put on the board? You definitely fail on being funny!"

Conservatives never make good humorists because the basis of good humor is in act of "punching up", or at the very least being self deprecating.... But Ben, he loves to "punch down".

By: BenDover on 3/5/13 at 3:09

Shanghai -> Shangri La