Wednesday, November 26, 2014

MNPS School Board Work Session of Nov. 25th

I have not watched this meeting yet and may or may not get around to it, so if you are interested in what happens at the school board, don't wait for me to watch it for you. This meeting is 2 hours and 21 minutes long. I usually watch meetings in 1.5 time or 2 times the speed and lose little content. If you are not offered the option to watch it in a faster speed, see this link for instructions.

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A Thanksgiving Lesson

As we gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s not only remember the lessons of Plymouth — let’s commit to proclaiming the virtues of self-reliance, property rights and free markets more boldly than ever.  Otherwise we’ll have even less to be thankful about next year.
By Howard Rich — The Separatist Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in November 1620 began their new settlement utilizing overtly communist economic principles.  In addition to common ownership of the land, the Pilgrims farmed corn on a communal plot and divided their harvest evenly amongst themselves.

This is the theoretical Marxist utopia — minus indoor plumbing, NPR, MSNBC and portable electronic devices powered by Solyndra solar panels, naturally.  But did this early communist experiment work?  Did it succeed at putting food on the table?

Not according to William Bradford, an early Pilgrim governor of the colony best known today as the “Father of Thanksgiving.”

The communal arrangement initially employed by the Pilgrims was “found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort,” Bradford wrote in his journal, which was later compiled into Of Plymouth Plantation.

Why did this arrangement fail?  Because as has been the case from time immemorial, the equitable division of inequitably produced assets did not sit well with those whose labors yielded the harvest.
“For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense,” Bradford wrote.

But enmity amongst settlers wasn’t the real problem encountered at Plymouth — it was a shortage of food.  In his book Mayflower: A Story of Courage Community and War historian Nathaniel Philbrick discusses how communal farming and common ownership produced a “disastrous harvest.”

Faced with the prospect of starvation, Bradford “decided that each household should be assigned its own plot to cultivate, with the understanding that each family kept whatever it grew,” according to Philbrick.  Not surprisingly this approach replaced infighting and starvation with harmony and industry — not to mention an abundance of food.

“This had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content,” Bradford wrote.

In other words where top-down planning based on communist ideology failed — the enforcement of private property rights based on free market ideology succeeded.

“The change in attitude was stunning,” Philbrick writes. “Families were now willing to work much harder than they had ever worked before.”

“The Pilgrims had stumbled on the power of capitalism,” Philbrick added, noting that “although the fortunes of the colony still teetered precariously in the years ahead, the inhabitants never again starved.”

As the United States moves further away from its free market foundation this Thanksgiving, the example of Plymouth is worth considering.  It is a cautionary tale — a grim reminder of where the federal government’s present trajectory is going to take our nation.

Already the “fair share” policies of Barack Obama — who is making good on his stated desire to “spread the wealth” around — have failed to produce the promised economic recovery.  In fact America’s central bank is now printing money indefinitely as government’s debt and unfunded liabilities race past the threshold of sustainability.

The result of this “stimulus?”  Income levels are shrinking, joblessness remains chronically high and economic growth is anemic.  And lurking around the corner are massive tax hikes and the full implementation of Obama’s socialized medicine law — both of which will result in additional large-scale shifts from the “makers” to the “takers” in our society.

Incentivizing dependency has clearly failed to stimulate our economy.  From 2000-10, government’s cash assistance to the poor increased by 68 percent — after adjusting for inflation.  Health care assistance increased by 87 percent, housing assistance by 108 percent and food assistance by 139 percent — again, all after adjusting for inflation.  Still, poverty in America climbed from 11.3 to 15.1 percent during that time period.

Government efforts to combat poverty have produced more poverty, in other words — and based on the ongoing entitlement expansion, the worst is likely yet to come.

As we gather together to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let’s not only remember the lessons of Plymouth — let’s commit to proclaiming the virtues of self-reliance, property rights and free markets more boldly than ever.  Otherwise we’ll have even less to be thankful about next year.

The author is chairman of Americans for Limited Government.

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How the Metro Council buckled to the SEIU and voted to continue fiscal irresponsibility.

Last week when reporting on what happened on at the November 18th Council meeting, I reported that RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1269 which would extend the term of the Study and Formulating Committee to March 31st, 2015 failed by a vote of 16 in favor and 17 opposed. That immediately ended the work of the committee because without the extension the Committee had to have their work completed by November 19, 2014. I reported that the work of the committee was  not finished and that the Council staff analysis said the extension was needed.  Every five years the mayor has to appoint such a committee to study and make recommendations on employee benefits. I did not know why the term of the Study and Formulating Committee was not extended; now I know.

At the time I opined:

I wish the employee retirement plan would be changed to a Metro defined contribution plan rather than a defined benefit plan, but I don't think that will happen anytime soon. Most private sector plans, if there is any retirement plan, is a defined contribution plan rather than defined benefit. A defined contribution plan is less risky to the employer. A defined contribution plan specifies the employer make contributions on a regular basis and within a set range of options, the employee decides how his contributions will be invested.
Well unbeknownst to me at the time, the Study Committee was considering such a move and to stop them from making a recommendation to move away from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan, the Service International Employees Union Local 205 urged council members to defeat the extension.  If you are still confused by what is the difference between the two retirement plans, a "defined benefit plan" says that after x number of years of service you can retire and draw x number of dollars per month, usually based on a percentage of your salary at the time you retire. 

A defined contribution plan is like a 401K and the city contributes money to it but the plan is the employees and within limits the employee decides where the money is invested and how much risk he wishes to take. No current employees would have been affected by any change in benefit plan policy unless they voluntarily chose to come under the new plan instead of the old plan. Also, any recommendation made by the Study Committee would go back to the Council and would have to be passed by the Council.

According to an article in today's Tennessean, The Study Committee had been working for months with Pew Charitable Trusts to review Metro’s defined-benefit pension plan and retiree health benefits. Pew’s preliminary findings, released in September, raised more concerns with health care obligations than with the state of Metro’s pension system. The city has accumulated $2.3 billion in unfunded costs to cover retiree health benefits.

SEIU feared the study committee would would recommend moving away from Metro’s defined benefit pension plan and was successful in shutting down the work of the committee. Unions like defined plans, because the risk is all born by the employer and it gives the Union power since unions can claim credit for forcing the city to grant generous retirement plans. Also, some employees do better under a defined contribution plan than a defined benefit plan.  Many plans match the contribution of an employee up to a certain limit.  Some employees leave money on the table and do not provide the maximum match.  So, irresponsible employees who are not too bright may be worse off under a defined contribution plan and other employees be much better off.  Unions are generally opposed to different outcomes and want everyone to be rewarded the same regardless of contribution or effort. 

Cities across America are being faced with unsustainable pension obligations and the problem is only going to get worse. Cities will be forced to raise taxes to meet retirement health care and pension obligations. The responsible thing to do is to phase out defined benefit plans and phase in defined contribution plans.

Below is how the Council voted. A fiscally responsible vote was a vote to extend the life of the study committee. The names of Council members in red text are those council members who I normally think of as the "good" council members, several of them self-identify as Republicans or conservative or have usually voted in a responsible manner.
“Ayes” Barry, Garrett, Tygard, Matthews, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Bennett, Claiborne, Allen, Langster, Weiner, Evans, Blalock, Dominy, Todd (16)

“Noes” Harrison, Hunt, Hagar, Glover, Stites, Stanley, Tenpenny, Gilmore, Baker, Holleman, Harmon, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, Duvall, Mitchell (17).

I hate to say that Megan Barry voted for fiscal responsibility and Robert Duvall did not, but that is the way I see it.  It is difficult to say Peter Westerholm cast a conservative vote and that Josh Stites cast a liberal vote but that is what happened. It seems contradictory to vote against tax increases and then vote for policies that are likely to make a future tax increase mandatory. That is hypocritical and having your cake and eating it too.

Now, I know how things work.  A person who campaigned for a council member may have come to that member and asked for him to vote to not expand the Study Committee and he does so. Or, out of animosity to the Mayor or friendship with the Mayor one may have cast a vote a certain way without regards to the merit of the issue.  Or, if  one was endorsed by the SEIU,  he may feel he owes them.  Those Council members who voted the wrong way have a chance to redeem themselves.  Mayor Dean says he plans to resubmit names of the five-member committee for reappointment, setting up a new council vote Dec. 16. I hope the Council does the fiscally responsible thing and votes to allow the Study Committee to continue their work.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Female teacher has sex with student at Pearl-Cohn

A first-year female teacher at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School is being accused of having sex with a male students.  Details are not yet available. 

Is this an epidemic or what? It seems like this is a fairly common occurrence.  One thing I have noticed is that most of the teachers who abuse these poor children are damn hot. When I was in school it seems like I never had any hot teachers. Also, some of the predators are multiple rapist and had more than one student as a lover. Several of these incidents happened here in Tennessee.

Here is a sampling of some of the incidents and pictures of the predators.  Also, keep in mind that these are not clamor shots; some of these pictures may be photos taken after they were confronted about their crime and they may not have looked their best.

Pamela Rogers Turner
Pamela Rogers Turner, 27: Former model and beauty-pageant contestant also taught at Centertown Elementary School in McMinnville, Tenn. She was arrested in February 2005 for allegedly having a three-month sexual relationship with a 13-year-old boy. She resigned her teaching position and was charged with 15 counts of sexual battery and 13 counts of statutory rape. Originally sentenced to 270 days in August 2005, she got in additional trouble in April 2006 for sending text messages, nude photos, and sex videos of herself to the same boy while using her father’s cellphone. In July 2006, she was sentenced to serve eight years for violating her probation, and in January 2007, was given an additional two years for sending the photos.

Sandra Binkley, 35: The Portland, Tenn., High School teacher was charged Sept. 25, 2008, with statutory rape by an authority figure as the result of sexual contact with a 17-year-old boy during school hours. A week later, two more students came forward claiming they had had a sexual encounter, also, on and off campus.

Amy McElhenney
Amy McElhenney, 25: Charged with having a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old male student, the 25-year-old Hebron High School Spanish teacher and former Miss Texas contestant will not be serving any jail time after a Denton County, Texas, grand jury refused to issue an indictment in September 2006. While the age of consent in Texas is 17 years, a state law bans sexual relationships between educators and students even if the student is of legal age and the relationship is consensual. She could have faced 20 years in prison if indicted and convicted.

Angela Comer
Angela Comer, 26: Middle-school teacher from Tompkinsville, Ky., fled with her alleged lover, her 14-year-old male student, before being tracked down in Mexico where she reportedly planned to marry the boy. Comer later claimed she was forced at gunpoint by the boy to go to Mexico. She was indicted in January 2006 for illegal sex acts with a minor and returned to Kentucky. Charges included felony custodial interference, two counts of third-degree sodomy and four counts of unlawful transaction with a minor relating to sexual acts. On May 9, 2007, Comer pleaded guilty to one-count of third-degree sodomy, and was slated to serve 10 years in prison as part of a plea agreement.

Cynthia Horvath
Cynthia Horvath, 45: Former English teacher and cheer coach at Warner Christian Academy in South Daytona Beach, Fla. was arrested Oct. 22, 2008, on charges related to an ongoing sexual relationship with a 17-year-old male student. Police reports say most of the senior class at the school knew there was something going on and it was finally students who told a staff member about the affair and the school told police. Horvath is married and has a 17-year-old son who attends Warner Christian.

Melissa Dawn McCord
Melissa Dawn McCord, 35: Special education teacher at West Carroll
Elementary in Atwood, Tenn., faces several charges, including statutory rape by an authority figure after being arrested on Jan. 29, 2009. Police say a 14-year-old junior high student, who had dated McCord’s daughter, reported the woman had performed oral sex on him at a city park on two occasions. The police report said the teenager’s parents had several text conversations between McCord and the boy in their possession.

Stacy L. Hopkins
Stacy L. Hopkins, 28: Physical-education teacher and basketball coach at Arlington High School in Shelby County, Tenn., was arrested May, 5, 2011, after allegedly having sex with two male students and texting them nude photos of herself. The students, both under age 18 at the time of the alleged incidents, told school officials they had sexual intercourse with Hopkins. The teacher told investigators she taught both students and admitted to the crimes.

Summer M. Hansen
 Summer Michelle Hansen, 31: Special-education teacher at Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., was charged Aug. 13, 2013, with having sex with five students and sending the boys sexual text messages and nude photographs of herself. Hansen faces 16 felony counts and could receive up to 13 years in prison if convicted. Court documents show Hansen was suspected of engaging in sexual intercourse and oral sex with the boys on campus and at one victim’s home as far back as May 2012. All five boys were students at the school, but none was a student of Hansen. One student,17, told detectives Hansen had been exchanging sexual text messages with him, some attached to revealing and nude photographs. The teacher allegedly said she wanted to give him a “prize” for doing well in a baseball game. She kept him after class in Saturday school and, after all of the other students had left, began kissing him, and engaged in sex acts, the boy claimed. Hansen, through her attorney, has denied the allegations.

For dozens more stories of this nature, follow this link

I can't fathom what would make an attractive women such as Pamela Rogers Truner want to have sex with a 13-year-old boy. Is it a mental illness? Is it stunted emotional development? Has this always happened and just not been reported or is this a new phenomenon?

I know that situations of this nature are treated the same as if the sexes were reversed and it is just as much of a crime if a 31-year-old female teacher like Summer Hansen has sex with five male students as it would me if a 31-year-old male teacher had sex with five female students. I, however, do not feel the same about it.  If a 31-year-old male had sex with five female students, I would feel outrage and want him to go to prison for a very long time. Pamela Rogers Truner's victim was only 13-years-old. If a 27-year-old male teacher had sex with a 13-year-old girl, I would be feel very differently about it than I do Pamela Rogers Truner having sex with a 13-year-old boy.  If I had a 13-year-old daughter who was a victim of a male teacher's sexual advances I know I would feel differently about it than if I had a 13-year-old son who was Pamela Rogers Truner's victim. I know there may be emotional damage to the 13-year-old boy, but somehow it just does not seem as bad. If a male teacher took advantage of my 13-year-old daughter, I would want to kill him.

I know that we cannot condone any teacher of either sex having sex with students and I don't, but I admit I have a double standard about this.  We are supposed to pretend that we are equally outraged regardless of the sex of the predator and victims and it is just not politically correct not to think the crime is equally reprehensible regardless of the sex of the parties involved.  I can't always explain my double standard but I admit it.  In many ways I think male and female are different. I think a double standard may be rooted in nature. I am going to say something totally politically incorrect but I bet I am not the only male who feels this way:  When I was a teenager, I wish I would have been a victim of a teacher like Pamela Rogers Turner or Summer Michelle Hansen.

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Rick Womick says Beth Harwell has "compromised our trust," and has been "insincere" and "unethical."

In his campaign for Speaker of the House, Representative Rick Womick has come out very critical of  current speaker Beth Harwell. In a letter to fellow members of the House of Representatives he says she has shown "a lack of accountability to the members of the Caucus," that she has "compromised our trust," and has been "insincere" and "unethical." Below is the letter. The underlining is mine.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mayor Karl Dean on President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration

Press Release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean today released this statement following President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.

"I am proud that Nashville is a welcoming place that recognizes the many contributions of the New Americans who have chosen to make our city their home. Immigrants and refugees make Nashville stronger and more vibrant. Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but until they do, the President's action will allow some families in Nashville to participate more fully in our community.

From a local perspective, our Mayor's Office of New Americans will work with our nonprofit partners to help immigrants access the information they need. In the coming months, we will have resources available at New Americans Corners that are located at Metro branch libraries and community centers throughout Davidson County."

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The Weekly Standard examines Common Core

I knew about Tennessee's Race to the Top education reform effort before I knew it was part of the implementation of Common Core. As a close observer of current events I have known that education has being reformed as long as I can remember. I remember Governor Alexander's reform effort called "Teacher's Career latter" or something like that, that encouraged teachers to go back to school and get more education. I remember when phonics was dropped and the prevailing wisdom was that students should learn to read before they learned the alphabet. I remember an experiment with open class rooms where students from different grades and classrooms were in one very big room without walls dividing the class rooms. I thought that was one of the dumbest ideas of which I ever heard. And, of course, we all know about George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind." Despite constant education reform, American education has continued to decline. While at one time America was near the top as one of the countries with the most educated population, our educational ranking in the world has continued to drop. 

When Common Core came alone I was all on board early.  Maybe it is because of my own experience as a child. In my first five years of school, I was in five different schools.  On my first day of school in the fourth grade, the teacher handed out a math work sheet.  This is easy, I thought. I completed it but did not know that it was multiplication instead of addition.  In this south Knoxville school, they had learned multiplication in the third grade; in the school I had attended in the third grade we had not been exposed to multiplication. It was a humiliating and a scary experience for a nine year old boy.

We are a very mobile society.  It seems to make sense to me that their should be some standard that says, in this grade you should learn this. Also, the standard should be high so that America's place in the world does not continue to slip. We need an educated work force. Our standards are too low and many do not graduate ready for a career or college. Common Core seem to me to beef up the standards and requires a uniform minimum standard so that a student in Alabama is learning pretty much the same thing that a child in Massachusetts is leaning in a specific grade.  The standards also require critical thinking.  I also liked that the standard was voluntary and that it originated with the states and not the federal government.

When the political campaign against Common Core started, at first it seemed that it was being led by the populist conspiracy-theory-prone right wing fringe and I did not take the criticism seriously.  After the Heritage Foundation and other more mainstream conservative groups began campaigning against Common Core however, I took a second look.  I have read the criticisms bit still do not find a legitimate reason to oppose common core. So much of the criticism of Common Core appears misplaced. An inappropriate reading selection or a teaching method is discovered and opponents of Common Core point to that and offer it as an example of what is wrong with Common Core. Often it has nothing to do with Common Core.

The populist right united with teachers unions appear to be gaining ground in defeating Common Core and Tennessee seems to be on the verge of abandoning Common Core as have several other states.  While most on the populist right are waging the war on Common Core, the mainstream conservatives are, for the most part, acquiescing, and not defending it.

I was pleased to find this article by Andrew Ferguson who is a senior editor at the Weakly Standard that defends Common Core and explains the battle against it.  The Weekly Standard is a major conservative publication. Below are excerpts. I encourage you to follow the link and read the full article.

The Common Core Commotion 

Most of the criticism of the Standards has come from the populist right, and the revolt of conservative parents against the pet project of a national educationist elite is genuine, spontaneous, and probably inevitable. But if you move beyond the clouds of jargon, and the compulsory gestures toward “critical thinking” and “metacognitive skills,” you will begin to spy something more interesting. There’s much in the Standards to reassure an educational traditionalist—a vein of subversion. At several points, Common Core is clearly intended as a stay against the runaway enthusiasms of educationist dogma.

The Standards insist schools’ (unspecified) curriculums be “content-rich”—meaning that they should teach something rather than nothing. They even go so far as to require students to read Shakespeare, the Preamble and First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and works of Greek mythology. Phonics is the chief means of teaching reading in Common Core, rejecting the notorious “whole language” method first taken up in the 1970s and—research shows!—a likely culprit in the decline in reading scores. The Standards discourage the use of calculators, particularly in early grades where it has become a popular substitute for acquiring basic math. The Standards require memorization of multiplication tables as an important step in learning arithmetic, striking a blow against “fuzzy math.” Faddish notions like “visual literacy” are nowhere to be found.

Perhaps most impressively, at least in language arts, the Standards require students to read and write ever larger amounts of nonfiction as they move toward their high school diploma. Anyone familiar with the soupy “young adult” novels fed to middle- and high-school students should be delighted. Writing assignments, in tandem with more rigorous reading, move away from mere self-expression—commonly the focus of writing all the way through high school—to the accumulation of evidence and detail in the service of arguments. The architect of the Language Arts Standards, an educationist called David Coleman, explained this shift in a speech in 2011. He lamented that the most common form of writing in high school these days is “personal writing.”

......The populist campaign against the Standards has been scattershot: Sometimes they are criticized for being unrealistically demanding, at other times for being too soft. Even Common Core’s insistence on making the Constitution part of any sound curriculum has been attacked as insidious. Recall that students will be required to read only the Preamble and the First Amendment. That is, they will stop reading before they reach the Second Amendment and the guarantee of gun rights.

Coincidence? Many activists think not.

The conservative case, as seen in videos and blogs posted on countless websites, relies heavily on misinformation—tall tales and urban legends advanced by people who should know better. Revulsion at the educationist project predates Common Core by many decades. It is grounded in countless genuine examples of faddish textbooks and politicized curriculums. For the last few years, however, Common Core has been blamed for all of them. Textbook marketers and lesson-plan designers are happy to help. Their market, after all, isn’t parents but fellow educationists on state and local school boards that control purchasing budgets. Once Common Core was established as the future (for now) of education, the marketers knew the phrase was catnip. Every educational product imaginable now bears the label “common core,” whether it’s inspired by the Standards or not. A search of books for sale on shows more than 12,000 bearing the words “common core” in their titles. Many were produced long before the Standards were even a twinkle in an educationist’s eye.

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Davidson County Young Republicans meet Tuesday Nov. 25th.

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Reps. Diane Black and Ted Poe and Respond to President's Amnesty Plan, Introduce the Separation of Powers Act

Rep. Diane Black
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Congressman Diane Black (TN-06) and Congressman  Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced the Separation of Powers Act.  This legislation would prohibit the use of funds for granting deferred action or other immigration relief to aliens not lawfully present in the United States.

“President Obama will regret this decision,” said Congressman Black. “The American public has loudly voiced their objections to the President circumventing Congress like this, and now President Obama has ignored the will of the people and set a terrible precedent for future Administrations. In doing so he has also reversed his own previous position on the limits of his power, further degrading his credibility and disgracing his Administration. My colleagues and I will explore our options to stop this overreach and restore the proper Constitutional balance to our government – this legislation is an important start.”

“Time and again this lawless administration has defied Congress in order to unilaterally implement its own agenda,” said Rep. Poe. “The President’s latest edict announcing that he will disregard immigration law, rewrite the rules and grant amnesty and work permits to millions of foreign nationals is just the latest illegal act. These actions are motivated by politics, not people. This legislation will allow Congress to exercise its 'check' on an out-of-control White House that treats the Constitution as a mere suggestion, not the law of the land.”

The Separation of Powers Act:
1.      Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to grant parole or deferred action to any alien other than for reasons permitted under current law; and
2.      Prohibits any funds from being appropriated or otherwise made available to provide work permits or green cards to aliens who are currently unlawfully in the U.S.

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Congratulations Councilman Ludye Wallace on your election as President of the Nashville NAACP. Keep Ludye on Duty!

From left to right: VP Brenda Gilmore, President Ludye Wallace,
secretary Sheryl Allen.  Vernon Winfrey with Rev Enoch  Fuzz
Former Councilman Ludye Wallace was elected President of the Nashville NAACP this week. 

When I served in the Metro Council in the 1980's, I served with Ludye Wallace. While I occasionally disagreed with Ludye on issues of preferential treatment for minority contractors and such, those type issue actually seldom arose. Ludye was one of the best Council members with whom I served. He was often an opponent of higher taxes and cronyism.  While an advocate for the Black community, Ludye was not a firebrand. He was reasonable, and if you disagreed with him and could not support him on an issue, he never took it personally and you might be allies on the next issue.  Councilman Wallace was a master at parliamentary procedure and I learned a lot from him.  Use of parliamentary procedure is often like playing chess and Wallace knew how to do it. Ludye Wallace was also one of my best friends on the Council and when I was going through some personal stuff, he was very supportive and encouraging.

Congratulations Councilman Ludye Wallace on your election as President of the Nashville NAACP.  Keep Ludye on Duty!

Officers of the local charters of the NAACP serve without pay. Other elected member of the Nashville NAACP include Brenda Gilmore who serves both in the Metro Council and as a member of the State Legislature, Secretary Sheryl Allen,  and Vernon Winfrey with whom I also served in the Metro Council and who is the father of Oprah Winfrey.

Pictured in the photo with the new board members of the NAACP is Reverent Enoch Fuss pastor of Corinthian Missionary Baptist a large and influential African-American church here in Nashville.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Legislators request Haslam to file lawsuit against Obama's illegal amnesty

State Rep. Andy Holt, (R- Dresden)
State Sen. Mae Beavers,  (R- Mt. Juliet)
Press Release, NASHVILLE,  November 21, 2014-- On Friday, in response to President Obama's plan to take executive action on illegal immigration reform, two Tennessee legislators are filing a Joint Resolution requesting Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) file a lawsuit against the Obama Administration on behalf of the state.

"Article II of the United States Constitution is explicitly clear on the powers vested within the Executive Branch. President Obama lacks the authority to execute even the slightest change in policy. The Constitution delegates President Obama the power to make suggestions concerning policy and nothing more," said State Representative Andy Holt (R- Dresden) Thursday night after President Obama delivered a prime-time speech announcing his plan of action. "Anything beyond making suggestions is an illegal usurpation of undelegated power, and we simply cannot allow it to go unchecked."

The two legislators are citing the commandeering of state resources, which would be required to execute the President's Executive Order, and the lack of enforcement of deportation statutes as warrant for legal recourse.

"President Obama's moves are a dangerous and insidious display of blatant abuse of power. Tennesseans will not stand for it, and I am here to demand the integrity of our Constitution and our state is protected," said State Senator Mae Beavers (R- Mt. Juliet). "As state legislators, we have a constitutional responsibility to ensure our state is not illegally commandeered by the federal government."

Holt and Beavers cite 180 years of Supreme Court precedent protecting state governments from the federal commandeering of resources.

"Illegally assigning millions of illegal immigrants what equates to pseudo de jure citizenship will cost Tennessee incalculable tax-payer dollars," said Beavers. "Not even Congress has the power place this undue burden on Tennessee tax-payers, so it's unclear why President Obama, acting alone, believes he has the authority to do so. Let me be clear-- he doesn't."

"The United States Supreme Court has been very clear concerning the commandeering of state resources by means of federal legislation and initiatives through coercion," said Holt. "For more than 180 years the Court has explicitly repudiated such acts of commandeering in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, New York v. United States, Printz v. United States, and most recently in NFIB v. Sebelius."

Both legislators believe the need for reform exists, but that it must be delivered by legal means.

"Our immigration system is wrecked, and I doubt anyone denies that. However, we are a nation of laws, not men, and we must work together to resolve these issues while maintaining the integrity of our Republic," said Holt.

Holt will draft and sponsor the House Resolution, and Beavers will carry it in the Senate.


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Don't compare Reagan and Bush executive action on immigration to the dictatorial actions of President Obama. There is a major difference.

Your liberal friends or family may post to Facebook a graphic like this one, such as my liberal sister-in-law did, that says Obama's Executive Order on amnesty is no different than the executive amnesty granted by Reagan or Bush.  This is going to be the primary line of defense to charges that Obama was acting more like a King than a president. I expect to hear this repeated often.

Don't believe it.  Obama's amnesty really was unprecedented and unconstitutional.  Obama's amnesty was going against the will of the Congress.  Reagan and Bush's executive orders on immigration were to fulfill the desire of Congress. They made administrative corrections designed to carry out congressional intent. For a more detailed examination of the differences between executive action of Reagan and Bush on immigration and the dictatorial actions of President Obama, read this article: Obama’s Unilateral Amnesty Really Will Be Unprecedented—and Unconstitutional.

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Tennessee Lawmakers respond to Obama's Executive Order on Amnesty.

Lamar Alexander
Senator Lamar Alexander:    Our founders did not want a king, and the American people don't want a president who acts like one. Our immigration system is broken, and our border is a mess. The president should be working with Congress to secure the border and create a system of legal immigration not disregarding the rule of law and the will of the American people.

Bob Corker
Senator Bob Corker:     The president is not acting in strength, he is acting in weakness.
This decision makes it clear that the president doesn't have the ability and willingness to lead by rolling up his sleeves and doing the hard work to reach a consensus that is in the best interest of our country.
The president is blatantly ignoring the rule of law and Congress' constitutional role, and I could not be more disappointed. Congress has to respond, but the response should be prudent and we should not lose sight of the fact that our job over the next two years is to enact policies that will make our nation stronger.

Jim Cooper
Rep. Jim Cooper, 5th District Democrat: President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do if Congress did not act. Comprehensive immigration reform already cleared the Senate with 14 Republicans, including both of Tennessee's senators. Speaker Boehner should allow the House to vote on the bill. There's still time before the end of the year.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, 7th District Republican:  After months of
Marsha Blackburn
crafting comprehensive immigration reform behind closed doors and delaying it to shield Democrats up for re-election, the self-proclaimed most transparent administration in history is finally announcing the scope of its lawless amnesty. The president's decision to nullify the immigration laws of this country through executive action will hurt our economy, lead to more unemployed American citizens and make us less secure. It signals that America is an "open borders" society with no rules governing entrance except those announced through royal decree.

Diane Black
Rep. Diane Black, 6th District Republican:  Once again, President Obama is prioritizing election-year politics and illegal immigrants ahead of the rule of law and the American people.  His policy change amounts to back-door amnesty that will be funded on the backs of hard-working, law-abiding Americans. When unemployment remains above 8 percent, for some reason the President thinks it's a good idea to add hundreds of thousands of new people to the job market to compete with Americans for jobs. That's insulting to the millions of unemployed Americans. I have sent a letter to the President calling on him to reverse his decision. As long as the decision stands, I will pursue all means necessary whether that’s through legislation or the court system to fight this outrageous power-grab by the President.

John Duncan
Rep. John Duncan, 2nd District Republican: There is a right way to do things, and there is a wrong way to do things. This is the wrong way. President Obama has said on several occasions in the past that executive orders are the wrong way to fix immigration and that he isn't a king, but now this is exactly what he is trying to do.
With unemployment and underemployment rates still high and so many millions of people who have given up looking for work, it is not a good move to bring in millions more people from other countries.
Rest assured, there will be a strong and coordinated response from the Congress to stop this unconstitutional overreach of power.

Scott DesJarlais
 Rep. Scott DesJarlais, 4th District Republican:  President Obama's decision to act unilaterally on immigration shows a blatant disregard for the constitutional checks and balances upon which our government was founded and sets a troubling precedent for the use of executive power. Congress has the sole authority to create and amend laws, with the president's duty being to faithfully execute those laws. Although he might wish otherwise, the Constitution does not give President Obama the authority to circumvent Congress simply because existing immigration laws conflict with his particular ideology. My colleagues and I will be reviewing all available options afforded to Congress to prevent this usurpation of power and preserve our rule of law.

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