Monday, September 1, 2014

Grover Norquist is 1st Tuesday guest speaker, September 2.

From Tim Skow of First Tuesday:

2014 1ST TUESDAY members and friends

LABOR DAY historically kicks off campaign season. 
2014 promises to be a BARN BURNER !... and our speaker is right in the middle of it !
Grover Norquist
Since President Reagan asked him to start Americans For Tax Reform ---  
GROVER NORQUIST has been one of the most influential people in Washington DC politics.....  and at affecting political campaigns. 
"Fearless" "Focused" "Driven" "Powerful" "Relentless" "Non-negotiable" "Dangerous"  --  "A Son-of-B$#@ !"  .... are words typically used to describe Mr. Norquist.... and that's by some people who like him !!! 

What those in favor of taxes ..OR .. those who break the infamous TAX PLEDGE ... call him I will not write... but their language will make a Sailor blush !!
On Tuesday, September 2nd... we will call him our Guest Speaker at 1ST TUESDAY !
With $20,000,000 to spend .... and MILLIONS of people who listen to him, Mr. Norquist will be a force in what happens in 2014. His information is as potent as his prickly and renowned sense of humor.  This is a 1ST TUESDAY event that will SELL OUT !!! 
Members and friends get 1st crack at the seats and you are not going to want to miss !
I encourage you to visit the 1ST TUESDAY website [] -- click on the Shopping Cart -- and secure seating for you and guests .... 
[ we know all $$$ after August 10th is for the SEPT 2nd event] 
This will be a MOST memorable DAY !! 
Lunch is $20 for Members and $25 for Guests. IF... we are able to secure him early... there will be a gathering prior like we had with Sen. Rand Paul and others to benefit our Legislative candidates. More details soon.  
AS get 1st shot at 1ST TUESDAY seats. 
Soooo.... Get 'em while they last !!   
and join us at Music City for Marsha on Aug 23rd --- details following this invite ]  

Look forward to seeing you on the 23rd ..AND.. at 1ST TUESDAY on Sept 2nd.

Tim Skow
Host of 1ST TUESDAY 

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Celebratng Labor Day: "Working Man Blues."

I just don't get Labor Day.  Unlike other days that are rooted in our Christian faith, like Christmas or Easter, or rooted in patriotism like Independence Day or Presidents Day or Veterans Day, or celebrate the start of the new year, Labor Day seems like it really has no link to any theme or important event.  To me, working is sort of like eating and sleeping, it is just something you do. We could just as easily celebrate Sleeping Day.  Also, it is not clear what is being honored by Labor Day. With work force participation at a 36 year low, what about the 37% of people who are in the work force age group who are not working?  Is Labor Day for them?  Also, if you work in management, are you still  part of what is celebrated on Labor Day? And what about informal labor, such as housewives and mothers, are they in the group honored on Labor Day?

Actually, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor union movement and is dedicated to  achievements of workers, so working or not, working informally or formally, in management or labor, I guess we can all celebrate the union movement. Since most workers are not part of a union, it seems kind of strange that we have a day set aside to celebrate the union movement. One reason we have Labor Day, is so we don't celebrate the international labor day of May 1, which was a big celebration in the Communist world and is still a day to rally the workers of the world.

I don't mind getting a paid holiday on September 1, it is a long time between July 4th and Veterans day of November 11th, so whatever the excuse for the holiday, I will take it.   On October 13 is Columbus day and it used to be a big holiday, but most people do not get Columbus Day off anymore and political correctness has downplayed Columbus Day. If it was up to me, I would give up Labor Day and take Columbus day but since that is probably not going to happen, I will keep celebrating Labor Day.

One thing I find missing from Labor Day is ways to celebrate it.  Thanksgiving has pilgrims and Indians and turkey, and the 4th of July has fireworks and flags, and Easter has eggs and Easter bunnies and Christmas is the big blowout in decorations and symbols and songs, but there are few Labor Day symbols or Labor Day songs.

Last week I went to see Merle Haggard at the Ryman and he put on a great show. I loved it!  Merle Haggard has a great song for Labor Day. He performed it on his show. Here it is:

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Great opportunity for some young college student: 2014 National Conference College Student Scholarship Program

What a great opportunity for some young college student!  I am passing this along because often times there are few people competing for things like this because few people learn about them. Please pass this on if you know of a college student who might be interested. Rod

The Tennessee World Affairs Council in association with the World Affairs Councils of America
is pleased to announce the 2014 National Conference College Student Scholarship Program in Washington, DC Wednesday, November 5 - Friday, November 7, 2014 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row (


Held annually for over two decades, the National Conference engages our leading policy-makers and leaders in a discussion of the critical issues facing the nation. The conference will be held November 5-7, 2014 in Washington, DC at the Fairfax at Embassy Row Hotel. To see a list of confirmed speakers so far, please visit

The 2014 National Conference Agenda will examine: China, the U.S., and Asia; Russia/Eurasia; Cybersecurity; Future of Education; Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest; Food and Water; Global Economic Realignment; Future of Energy; Africa; and Climate Change.

In addition to the daily keynotes and panels the conference attendees will be invited to a foreign embassy reception from among: the Embassy of Mexico, the Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore.

COLLEGE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM: The scholarship, offered by the National Board of the World Affairs Councils of America, includes the registration fee (worth about $500) and $1000 per student to be used towards travel, lodging and/or incidentals. To apply, applicants must be at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in a college in Tennessee.


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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Look what is on your NPT on Monday: A celebration of third trimester abortions and the doctors who perform them.


To complain to WNPT follow this link: or call (615) 259-9325.

Below is my short message to WNPT:

I am very disappointed to see that WNPT is carrying the documentary After Tiller. We should not be humanizing the doctors who perform third trimester abortions, instead we should be humanizing the babies they murder. Please cancel this program.

Please complain to our local PBS station and sign the petition in the link below.

For more information on this documentary, see the following:

Dear Rodney,
We have 72 hours to take a stand against the big abortion lobby.
PBS, a US taxpayer-funded broadcasting network, plans to show a film that worships the idea of late-term abortion and praises the doctors who perform them.
The film, called After Tiller, is set to air Monday, September 1st. Only 72 hours from now.
We must act fast. Please sign the Personhood USA petition to demand that PBS cancel their showing of After Tiller.
After Tiller is a 2013 documentary that follows four abortionists openly perform third-trimester abortions. The title refers to the infamous George Tiller, a chop-shop abortionist who performed late-term abortions until 2009.
The film is designed to 'humanize' these doctors who make their living from slaughtering innocent children who are fully developed and would likely be able to live outside of the womb. 
What about humanizing the babies? This pro-infanticide film spends all of its time sympathizing with the doctors themselves, and gives no thought and no air time to 'humanizing' the children who are being poisoned, stabbed, and dismembered.
The film claims to present the complexities of the difficult decisions facing these women, and the compassion and ethical dilemmas that the doctors and staff face. "Compassion." "Ethical dilemmas." Blowing smoke about what abortion really is: the violent dismemberment of an unborn child!
Be a voice for Personhood and sign the petition to demand that PBS cancel their showing of the pro-late term abortion film, After Tiller.
Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the National Organization of Women are all loudly applauding PBS's decision to air this one-sided film.
In our opinion, PBS has two options: (1) either cancel the showing of "After Tiller" or (if they insist showing it) (2) give equal time to a film that humanizes the innocent children who are aborted, such as "The Silent Scream."
Will you sign this petition to demand that PBS immediately cancel their showing of "After Tiller” this Monday evening, or that they give equal air time and funding to a film that 'humanizes' unborn babies?
Please sign the petition and we will send an e-mail message to Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of Public Broadcasting System with the petition text.
Warmest regards,
Gregory Mertz and the whole CitizenGO team
P.S. -- Time is short. We only have 72 hours to cancel this horrible film from airing to around 300 million people. If we quickly come together, we can stop this. After you sign the petition, can you recruit 5 of your friends to sign too? With your help -- we can do this!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Here are the letters: In a pointed exchange, Tygard and Neighbors address the Vice Mayor kicking Tygard off of Budget and Finance.

Vice Mayor Neighbors
 Earlier this week Vice Mayor Neighbors made committee appointments for the coming year and Councilman Charlie Tygard was not reappointed to Budget and Finance. In my view Charlie Tygard is one of the best members of B&F. I watch most of the Budget and Finance Committee meetings and Charlie Tygard always ask probing questions and makes the Director of Finance or whatever other city official is promoting a bill, explain in detail the impact of any particular proposal.  Sometimes city finance can be complicated.  Councilman Tygard keeps asking questions until what is being proposed is understood. He will not let city official get by with weasel words and generalities.

Charlie Tygard is also one of the most experienced members of the Metro Council.  Term limits, which I think was a mistake and which I did not support, has resulted in a relatively inexperienced Council and has shifted power from the Council to the Mayor and the bureaucracy.  Councilman Tygard is serving his second term as a Councilman-at-large and served several terms as a district councilman.  He has been around long enough to understand how government works. He is the voice of experience on the B&F committee and he is a common sense fiscal conservative who does not want to let the Metro Government over commit itself or engage in risky financial practices.

Councilman Tygard
This failure to reappoint Charlie Tygard to the B&F committee has resulted in Tygard threatening to ask the tough questions from the floor that he would normally ask in Committee. Vice Mayor neighbors does not like that.  She wants the Council meeting to move along at a fast clip and all discussion to take place in committee and the Council to rely upon the recommendations of the committees. 

Here is a copy of the exchanges between the Vice Mayor and the Tygard. The Vice Mayor's letter was to the whole council and then Tygard responded to the Vice Mayor and copied the whole council.

I am not posting the attachment, but if you want to see the complete committee assignments, follow this link. Below is Tygard response.

From: Charlie Tygard 
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 11:18 AM
To: 'Hayes, Roseanne (Council Office)'; 'Council Members'
Cc: 'Neighbors, Diane (Vice Mayor)'; 'Cooper, Jon (Council Office)'
Subject: RE: 2014-2015 Committee List

Vice Mayor Neighbors –
Just so every Council Member understands that this letter is referring to me, I want to address your comments.
I plan to attend every committee meeting of committees I am assigned to. Since you have chosen not to re-appoint me to the Budget & Finance Committee in my final year of Council, and after 12+ years of faithful attendance on this committee, I can only assume that my questions in committee about Metro’s finances were deemed unimportant to you.
I do intend to ask any and all pertinent questions I feel are necessary before spending one dime of taxpayer money. Since I am no longer serving on that committee, I will ask these questions during the Council meeting, if necessary.
And I would remind you that I have always indicated that my expertise to the Council was in two primary areas – financial and parks. Up until this point, you have always respected this request. I was frankly taken aback when receiving my assignments for this year.
It is certainly your prerogative to appoint members of committees as you seem proper. It is my prerogative to ask any and all questions relating to items on the agenda.
Charlie Tygard
I hope Charlie Tygard sticks to his guns. It won't matter if meetings run a little longer.  I can only assume that either the Mayor's office or maybe the Vice Mayor herself did not like someone asking tough  questions.  The tough questions need to be asked.

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Maybe the nutty no-beer-to-go-from-a-mall-with-a-library bill can be repealed.

Sherrie Weiner to seek repeal
Last council meeting the Council passed one of the stupidest bills I can ever remember the Council passing.  As initially introduced it was bad and stupid but then it was amended to make it less bad but more stupid.

Originally the bill would prohibit beer permits from being issued for establishments located within a shopping mall containing a community center or a public library. This would have applied to on premises consumption or to-go beer purchases.  It was amended to permit beer consumption in a mall but it still prohibited off-premises beer sales. Now, how stupid is that? That means that is a grocery store or a drug store is attached to the mall, they cannot sell a six-pack to go, but a person could drink beer at a restaurant in the mall.

The bill was sponsored by Jacobia Dowell, who represents the the old Hickory Hollow mall area, which is now Global Crossings.  The attempted revitalization of the abandoned mall has seen a lot of Metro investment including a new community center, library. and Ice rink. Her view was that these developments would bring families to the area and to keep it family-friendly the mall should not be selling beer. I think that is a stupid argument anyway. Someone have a beer with their meal at the other end of the mall is not going to destroy the atmosphere of the mall.  A beer joint could not be right next door due to the library or community center or the ice rink because the regular beer permit distance requirements would still apply. When the bill was amended to permit on-site consumption but still prohibit purchases of beer for off-site consumption, the bill went from ridiculous to becoming completely asinine.

Jacobia Dowell
Jacobia Dowell was sponsor of no-
beer-to-go-from-a-mall-with-a-library bill
Now people are seeing problems with the bill. The ordinance would apply to any mall that contains a community center or a public library and the council members representing the  Bellevue area are concerned. They are wanting to see the Bellevue mall revitalized and not being able to sell beer to go, may scare off potential businesses that might be considering opening a store in the Bellevue mall. Sherrie Weiner, who voted against the bill last meetings says that she will work to get it repealed.

Below is a copy of the bill and a list of how Council members voted. I am disappointing in some of the "good" councilmen who showed lack of common sense and voted for this nutty bill but pleased to see that six of the seven "no" votes were from the "good" councilmen. Hopefully all of the Council can redeem themselves for voting for such a stupid bill when the repeal bill is introduced.

BILL NO. BL2014-840 
“Ayes”: Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Pridemore, Pardue, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Dowell, Duvall, Todd (24).
“Noes”:  Garrett, Tygard, Glover, Weiner, Evans, Dominy, Mitchell (7)
“Abstaining”: Barry, Steine, Bennett, Johnson, Potts (5).

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

The most 'American' U.S. city? Try Nashville

by Lance Williams, The Tennessean, Aug. 28, 2014 - Most of us would agree that Nashville is anything but an average city, but a new study shows that Nashville is the most "American" of U.S. metro areas.

By using that description, the study from WalletHub says that Nashville's demographics most closely mirror the U.S. average as a whole.  (link)

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Who got which Committee assignments in the Metro Council.

Below is the Council committee assignments for the coming year. For what it is worth, I have highlighted those Council members whom I think of as the "good" councilmen.  My list of  "good" councilmen are council members who are socially or fiscally conservative.  There are other council members who may be great at constituent service and who I personally like and who may be good council members if judged by different criteria. I mean, I like Karen Johnson, and Walter Hunt and Fabian Bedne and a lot of the others but they would not claim to be conservatives. Some I have listed, I am just assuming are more conservative than most of their colleagues simply because they are identified as Republican; they may not be.  I think there is only one Councilman who has never disappointing me by the way he has voted, so by me listing a councilman as one of the "good" councilmen does not mean I always agree with that person. Also, it is worth noting that there are only a handful of issues where political ideology matters. Anyway, my listing as "good" is more of an impression than a data-based assessment, so take it with a grain of salt.  If I missed someone or you disagree with some of my evaluation, feel free to voice your opinion. Rod

Budget And Finance (13)

  • Pridemore, Bill, Chair
  • Baker, Buddy
  • Bennett, Karen
  • Davis, Anthony
  • Dowell, Jacobia
  • Garrett, Tim
  • Glover, Steve
  • Langster, Edith Taylor
  • Maynard, Jerry
  • Moore, Sandra
  • Pardue, Doug
  • Steine, Ronnie
  • Weiner, Sheri  
Tim Garrett will be the voice of experience and reason on this committee. B&F is the most important committee of the Council.

Charter Revision (8): Johnson, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Banks, Brady; Blalock, Davette; Dowell, Jacobia; Garrett, Tim; Holleman, Jason; Steine, Ronnie

Codes, Fair And Farmer's Market (9): Dowell, Jacobia, Chair; Barry, Megan; Bedne, Fabian Evans, Emily; Holleman, Jason; Moore, Sandra.

There are a lot of problems with Farmers Market. It still can not break even and must be subsidized. There are still those who want to do away with the Farigrounds and sell the property to developers. This could be an important committee.

Convention, Tourism And Public Entertainment Facilities (9): Banks, Brady, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Garrett, Tim; Glover, Steve; Harmon, Chris; Hunt, Walter; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason Westerholm, Peter.
This is an important committee. Again I am glad to see Tim Garrett on this committee.
Education (10): Moore, Sandra, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Claiborne, Phil; Glover, Steve; Matthews, Lonnell; Mitchell, Bo; Potts, Jason; Stanley, Bruce; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter.

Federal Grants Review (7): Westerholm, Peter; Chair; Davis, Anthony; Davis, Scott; Gilmore, Erica; Harrison, Frank; Langster, Edith Taylor; Moore, Sandra.

Health, Hospitals And Social Services (10): Gilmore, Erica, Chair; Davis, Scott; Duvall, Robert; Harmon, Chris; Harrison, Frank; Holleman, Jason; Hunt, Walter; Langster, Edith Taylor; Maynard, Jerry; Tygard, Charlie.

Parks, Library And Recreation (10): Bennett, Karen, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Claiborne, Phil; Duvall, Robert; Hagar, Larry; Holleman, Jason; Stites, Josh; Tenpenny, Tony; Todd, Carter; Tygard, Charlie. 

Personnel - Public Information - Human Relations - Housing (10): Weiner, Sheri, Chair; Banks, Brady; Davis, Scott; Evans, Emily; Johnson, Karen; Matthews, Lonnell; Maynard, Jerry; Potts, Jason; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

Human Relations is the agency responsible for promoting political correctness and sponsors the Youth Pavilion at the annual Nashville gay pride festival. Maybe Josh Stites, one of my favorite councilmen, can can exert some influence to end that practice and maybe work to abolish the agency.

Planning, Zoning And Historical (13)
  • Hunt, Walter, Chair
  • Bedne, Fabian
  • Blalock, Davette
  • Claiborne, Phil
  • Davis, Scott
  • Dominy, Duane
  • Gilmore, Erica
  • Hagar, Larry
  • Harrison, Frank
  • Johnson, Karen
  • McGuire, Sean
  • Tenpenny, Tony
  • Westerholm, Peter

This is one of the most time consuming committees of the council. Councilmen on this committee have to work real hard on what I usually find to be boring issues. Next to Budget and Finance however it is considered one of the most important committees.

Public Safety - Beer And Regulated Beverages (10): Baker, Buddy, Chair; Blalock, Davette; Evans, Emily; Gilmore, Erica; Johnson, Karen; Langster, Edith Taylor; Matthews, Lonnell; McGuire, Sean; Pardue, Doug; Stanley, Bruce.

Public Works (9) Davis, Anthony, Chair; Allen, Burkley; Barry, Megan; Bennett, Karen; Dominy, Duane; Dowell, Jacobia; McGuire, Sean; Stanley, Bruce; Westerholm, Pete.

Rules - Confirmations - Public Elections (9): Harmon, Chris, Chair; Baker,Buddy; Banks, Brady; Barry, Megan; Davis,Anthony; Mitchell, Bo; Pridemore, Bill; Steine, Ronnie; Stites, Josh.

This could be an important committee. All appointees to boards and commissions must come before this committee for a recommendation on confirmation. A councilman could exert influence by questioning appointees about their position on policy.  As an example, if someone is being appointed to the Human Relations Committee, a member of this committee could question them and if they support the city hosting a youth pavilion at the annual gay pride festival, the councilman could vote against their confirmation. Or, if they are unaware or unconcerned about the corruption at NES, they may deserve a "no" vote.  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the committee simply serves as a rubber stamp for the mayor and does not exert the influence it could have.

Traffic, Parking And Transportation (8): Harrison, Frank, Chair; Bedne, Fabian; Dominy, Duane; Duvall, Robert; Garrett, Tim; Hagar, Larry; Pardue, Doug; Todd, Carter.

With the unsettled AMP issue, this committee could be influential. Several of the members of this committee are critical of AMP.

None of the more outspoken conservatives on the Council, such as Robert Duvall, Duane Dominy, or Josh Stites got a chairmanship.  On the other hand, liberal Council member Megan Barry who is running for Mayor and could benefit from some TV face time did not get a chairmanship.

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Charlie Tygard not reassigned to Budget and Finance. Pledges to ask the tough questions from the Council Floor.

Charlie Tygard
Charlie Tygard, in my view, is one of the best  members of the Metro Council.  When it comes to fiscal matters he ask the insightful, probing questions that I want someone to ask.  He is often the lone voice raising concern about Metro's pension liability or debt capacity or getting the details about financial deals.  Knowing Charlie Tygard is on the Budget and Finance Committee, I feel that decisions made by the Council are probably usually fiscally sound or at least more sound than they would otherwise be.

When committee assignments were made this week for the coming year, Charlie Tygard was not reassigned to the Budget and Finance Committee. I guess Charlie Tygard has asked too many hard questions and someone does not want him on that committee. Knowing this was going to happen, he had let it be known that if he did not get the assignment, he would ask his questions from the  council floor. Vice Mayor Neighbors has tried to keep council meetings moving at a fast clip and have all real discussion take place in committee meetings. That is one reason Council meetings are so boring. The vice mayor is not pleased by Charlie's intention to ask questions from the floor.

I have written Charlie a word of encouragement  urging him to stick to his guns and ask the hard questions that should be asked whether he is on the B&F committee or not.  Charlie is term limited and I think he would make a great Mayor and I wish he would run for that office.  If he is not ready to run for Mayor, I would love to see him run for the office of Vice Mayor. He has been elected county-wide as a councilman-at-large and I think he could run a strong race for vice mayor. As vice mayor he would be the one making the committee assignments and the voters of Davidson County could have his expertise for possibly eight more years. 

This story was reported in the Tennessean and you can read about it at this link: Vice mayor, councilman at odds over committee snub.

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