Friday, November 30, 2012

Update on what's on the Council Agenda for 12/4/2012

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda. From the agenda you can link to the analysis.

Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just really boring.

Bills on public hearing: Bills on public hearing are usually zoning bills and interest to no one except the immediate neighbors of the proposed rezoning, but code text changes and some other things may also be on public hearing, which can be important. There is one resolution on public hearing concerning the minimum distance for a beer permit and thirteen bills on public hearing. Below are some bills of interest on public hearing .

One of the bills (BL2012-291) amends the code changing the definition of “recycling facility” to clarify that the conversion of material into a fuel product or asphalt is not a permitted function as part of a recycling facility.
Ordinance BL2012-292 amend the code to permit home recording studios to have up to ten clients, customers, musicians, or other visitors come to the property per day. Currently they are only allowed to have one visitor. This being Music City, we should be friendly to the music industry. This seems like a reasonable bill.
Councilman Karen Johnson has several bills concerning Nashboro Village. I have not bothered to fully understand them fully, but anything having to do with Nashboro Village can create controversy. One of the bills would change property zoned residential to a commercial zoning. One would change property now zoned residential to allow a day care facility. It also would change the zoning to allow only a two-story house instead of a four-story as currently zoned. Councilman Johnson apparently is attempting to rezone this against the wishes of the owner, which the Council seldom does. (Read more about this.)
BL2012-313 adds provisions to the code to ensure that the Metropolitan Government is providing adequate accommodations to persons and organizations under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). Basically, if I understand this, it says we will not enforce our zoning ordinances that are inconsistent with the fair housing act or RLUIPA. The impact of this is that we cannot use local zoning to stop someone from building a group home in a neighborhood. That could be a group home for people that are disabled, such as a drug rehab home or home for the mentally challenged. These type homes often run into neighborhood opposition.
There are fourteen resolutions, all of which are on the consent agenda. A resolution is on the consent agenda if it passed the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. However, sometimes things that should be controversial do slip through on the consent agenda, most often bills endorsing some national liberal policy such as urging strict enforcement of the EPA’s regulation of Co2, or bills praising students for demonstrating in favor of gay rights.

Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single voice vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. If one is present and does not ask to be recorded voting "no" then they are assumed to have voted "aye." However, any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda.
Resolution No. RS2012-488 on the consent agenda is part of the sweetheart deal with HCA and that provides $500 per new HCA employee, employed at the new HCA facility to be build on West End.
SUBSTITUTE RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-489 is another bill which is part of the HCA deal. It appropriates a million dollars to the HCA deal. The justification for this is that the corporate relocation of HCA is going to create jobs and those jobs are likely to be filled by individuals residing in the “pocket of poverty.” The pocket of poverty includes the proposed HCA West End development site. This site is just west of Union Station Hotel, just north of Music Row and just northeast a couple blocks from Vanderbilt University. Maybe some of the people who will go to work at the new HCA headquarters will be Vandy graduates, so maybe they are residents of this “pocket of poverty.” I don’t know.
If I was an inquisitive Council member I would want to know the boundaries of this "pocket of poverty." I would want to know if this is money that was supposed to combat poverty but is instead being used to subsidize a well-connected wealthy company that is not likely to hire any really poor people.
None of the other resolutions on the consent agenda appear controversial.

Bills on First reading almost always pass. They are considered as a group and are seldom discussed. First reading is a formality that allows the bill to be considered. Bills are not assigned to committee or analyzed by council staff until after they have passed first reading. Here are bills of interests on first reading.
BILL NO. BL2012-320 by Councilman Claiborne is a follow up to his recent failed attempt to end lifetime subsidized health insurance for future former council members. This bill would not end it but would drastically reduce the subsidy. (read more)
Bills on Second Reading: It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place. Below are bills of interest on second reading.
BILL NO. BL2012-293 is Councilman Duane Dominy’s bill that would require the fair board to issue a request for information (RFI) to gauge interest from the private sector to see if there is a private sector investors that would be willing to preserve our Fairgrounds for current uses and improve the fairgrounds if given a Twenty-Five (25) year lease. I happened to know that there is, in fact. at least one entity that would like to take over and preserve and improve the fairgrounds. The deck is being stacked to destroy the fairgrounds. This bill needs to pass. Those who want to save the fairgrounds should turn out in force to support this bill, but I don't know of any effort to encourage a big turnout. For more on this issue see here and here.
ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-314 provides for a one-time early retirement incentive to employees of the Metropolitan Government eligible to retire before February 28, 2013. The incentive would be a one-time payment of $700 for each year of employment with the Metropolitan Government. As I understand it, metro cannot effectively reorganize and restructure because there are employees in jobs that need to be abolished, combined or redesigned. Also these are the more highly paid Metro employees. If these position were vacant, metro would have more flexibility to restructure and replace higher paid employees with employees with a lower starting salary. This seems to make sense.
Bills on Third Reading: Third Reading is the final reading. If a bill passes third reading it becomes law unless it is vetoed by the Mayor, which has only rarely happened. Below are the bills of interest on third reading.
ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-Bill 294 by Councilman Duane Dominy simply brings a minimum level of accountability and oversight to the purchasing process. This is a bill to watch. It would require all sole-source contracts over $250,000 be approved by the council. Last meeting, after having been defeated in the B & F committee, it passed the Council by a vote of 23 "ayes," and 14 "nos." If this passes, one of the few sole source contracts that would have to come before the council is the city's contract with the Chamber of Commerce for the Partnership 2020 program.
Partnership 2020 is a public-private partnership developed by the chamber whose purpose is to recruit new businesses to the Nashville area. Metro’s appropriation for this program in recent years has been $300,000 a year. While the program serves a ten county area, Metro funds a greater share of the program than the other nine counties combined. Many feel that Metro funds the program, yet the bulk of new relocations to the Nashville area go to surrounding counties. The Chamber has an enormous amount of influence over some council members. It was a tremendous feat that Dominy was able to get this bill through second reading. See if he can push it over the finish line.
BILL NO. BL2012-295 establishing rules for handling the eggs and keeping chickens on school property. On second reading it caused several members take to the floor to speak. However, the bill passed by voice vote so I doubt it will be debated on third reading, but this is a bill of which to be aware. I know it sounds unimportant and boring but apparently it is the basis of some discord between Council members Charlie Tygard and Bo Mitchell. I don't know the real story of what this is all about.
BILL NO. BL2012-297 is part of the HCA sweetheart deal. To learn more about this, see what happened in the B & F committee and what happened on second reading.
There are no memorializing resolutions on the agenda.

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Calling all Supporters! The Fairgrounds Still Needs You!

From Save Our
Calling all Supporters! 
The Fairgrounds Still Needs You! 

We need your help! There is a Bill being introduced in the Metro Council which is seeking potential investors willing to preserve our Fairgrounds for current uses if given a Twenty-Five (25) year lease.

This Bill will not impact the Master Plan which is underway. We have no control over the Master Plan process. However, the passage of this bill will give us some options to preserve the property with no tax payer dollars as the council considers the fairground's future in the coming months. As supporters of the fairgrounds, we want too ensure our fairgrounds have a bright future!

Please contact your District Councilmember and each of the 5 Council-at-Large members and ask them to support Council Bill 2012-293 on Tuesday, December 4th! You can find a list of council members email address and phone numbers by visiting or you can send an email to all the council members asking them to support the bill at

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Gov. Jan Brewer rejects state-run health exchange for Ariz.

Brewer rejects state-run health exchange for Ariz.

PHOENIX (AP) â Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has decided against creating a state-run health insurance ex...
OK Governor Haslam, it is time to get off the fence an announce you have decided against creating a state-run Obamacare insurance exchange. 

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Krauthammer On Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: "Republicans Ought To Simply Walk Away"

Krauthammer On Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: "Republicans Ought To Simply Walk Away"

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: It's not just a bad deal, this is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offer...

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Forward! Hold on tight! We are going over a Cliff!

I had thought that a little flexibility on the part of Republicans was called for in order to avoid the tax increases and economic damage associated with the so-called “fiscal Cliff.” I was pleased to see Senator Bob Corker float a proposal for raising revenue combined with entitlement reform.

I hoped that by allowing a small amount of revenue enhancement, that we could still hold firm on tax rates and get a significant spending cut. Allowing some revenue enhancement, I thought, would allow the President and the Democrats to save face and deal with the financial crisis, which I thought all people of goodwill really wanted to do.

I could not have been more wrong in my expectation of the President response to this offer at compromise. He has proposed a whopping $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in new spending, and no real cuts. His “cuts” are double counting and sleight of hand tricks and vague promises of future cuts. Instead of moving closer together, he has moved the goal post off the field. He has absolutely no intention of cutting spending. He has not made an offer; he has lobbed an insult. Republicans should refuse to return his phone calls. The House should adjourn for the holidays.

Buckle up! hold on tight! Let’s just go over the Cliff together and to hell with it! 

(For more on the President's proposal and the Republican reaction, read this Washington Post story.) 

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Transportation Solutions for Neighborhoods Conference!

From The Neighborhood Resource Center:


  • How MTA bus routes are determined? 
  • What MTA's Five-Year Plan means for your area?
  • Special transportation projects for neighborhoods? 
  • Traffic problems, traffic calming and sidewalks? 
  • Finding day care, jobs and transportation?
  • Special transportation for youth? For elderly? Info on AccessRide? 
  • The East-West Connector and YOUR neighborhood? 
Transportation Solutions for Neighborhoods Conference! 
Saturday, December 1st 8:30 am to 2:00 pm 
Neighborhoods Resource Center 1312 3rd Ave North Nashville TN, 37208 
No cost to attend – but you must RSVP!
Space is limited! RSVP to Melissa Gordon at or 615-782-8212

Disclaimer: From time to time A Disgruntled Republican may post announcements of interest to the conservative, libertarian, or greater community. Such announcements are posted as a public service to spread awareness and do not necessarily constitute an endorsement. 

The United-Way-funded Neighborhood Resource Center is a Saul-Alinsky-type organization with an obvious liberal bias, yet they often provide quality education programs and training that would benefit any citizen activist regardless of political orientation. 

Liberal most often are successful in advocating for more expansive government and programs that result in a more wasteful inefficient government because they are better at laying the groundwork for what they want and learning out to influence the system. A citizen activist who would like to advocate for more free market approaches to transportation services or influence the future of mass transit in Nashville would benefit by attending this meeting.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Electoral College: Time to Scrap It?

A Debate sponsored by Conservative Fusion.

Gene Wisdom changed the date and time for The Electoral College: Time to Scrap It? 
New date and time: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 7:00 PM

Click here to see the latest changes:

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Should TN set up its own Obamacare health insurance exchange? vote in the poll

The future of a Tennessee health exchange

Gov. Bill Haslam is still weighing whether the state should set up its own health insurance exchange under Obamacare or allow the feds to set one up. How should he decide?

Follow this link to vote in this Nashville Business Journal poll.

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Marsha Blackburn to to serve as Vice Chair of House Energy and Commerce Committee

Press release, Washington, Nov 28 - Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) today was selected by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) to serve as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which has jurisdiction over health care, energy regulation, manufacturing, and telecommunications issues.

“I am honored to have been chosen by Chairman Upton to serve as Vice Chair on the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Blackburn said.  “As we get down to business in the 113th Congress, issue number one will be jobs and the economy. There is a simple formula that works every time: less taxation plus less litigation plus less regulation equals more innovation and job creation.

“I look forward to leading the efforts of my colleagues on the committee as we continue our fight to protect job creators from harmful and economically destructive regulations and identify opportunities to put Americans back to work.”

“Congressman Blackburn has been a rising star since she first arrived in Congress and I’m pleased to see that she has accepted an increased leadership role," said Speaker John Boehner. "Congressman Blackburn’s experience in helping shape energy, healthcare, communications and manufacturing policy will serve Chairman Upton well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee plays an influential role in restoring stability to our economic foundation. It’s important that our conference elevates valued members who work tirelessly for American taxpayers and Congressman Blackburn is without question deserving of such recognition.”

Congratulation Marsha Blackburn, Rod

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National Review: Sen. Bob Corker's Fiscal Cliff Agenda

Some Republicans are ready to throw Bob Corker over a cliff due to his plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. You know who they are: the loud-mouth bombastic talk show host and locally, those who think all other Republicans are "Republican-in-name-only" and that they and their little group of friends are the only real Republicans left.

Well, National Review, founded by William F. Buckley Jr.,which has been the leading publication advocating conservative policies and articulating conservative ideas for over sixty years is complimentary of Bob Corker's plan.  Only the uninformed or idiots could accuse National Review of being part of the liberal RINO establishment.

Here is what National Review has to say about Bob Corker's proposed debt reduction plan.

National Review: Sen. Bob Corker's Fiscal Cliff Agenda: "Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) has outlined a debt reduction proposal in a Washington Post op-ed that [is] certainly very attractive… I think that this is a solid negotiating position for congressional Republicans…Corker has outlined a number of smart, politically viable entitlement reform ideas, and it is essential that any tax compromise be tied to structural entitlement reform.”

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Corker Calls for Fiscal Reform Before End of Year

In an op-ed in Monday's Washington Post and in several television appearances, Senator Bob Corker urged members of Congress from both parties and the White House to negotiate a fiscal reform plan, that raises additional revenue without raising tax rates and that restores solvency to Social Security and Medicare, before the end of the year. 

In the Washington Post, Corker wrote: "I have shared with House and Senate leaders as well as the White House a 242-page bill that, along with other agreed-upon cuts that are to be enacted, would produce $4.5 trillion in fiscal reforms and replace sequestration. While I know this bill can be improved, it shows clearly that we can do what is necessary, today, with relatively simple legislation... The challenge we face isn’t one of intellect, aptitude or time; it’s a test of political courage.” (read more)

On CBS's "This Morning," Corker said: "The fact is, again, we have all the information we need. No Congress is more informed. We created this fiscal cliff. We should solve it…And as long as we have two parties who are willing to do this and have the courage to address these issues, we can do this over the next three or four weeks with ease. And I hope that’s what’s going to happen."


Corker on CNBC's "Squawk Box": Fiscal Reform "Just Takes Courage"

My comment:  I agree with those who say we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. I don't want to see any increase in taxes. However, we are facing a crisis. If the crisis is not resolved, we may suffer more from a lowering of the US bond rating and another recession than we do from a slight increase in tax revenue.  And, we should not ignore that if we do nothing, taxes do increase when we go over the "fiscal cliff." To allow the automatic year-end tax increases and spending cuts to occur is to allow a tax increase.  The effect of inaction, is a vote for a tax increase. 

If we can negotiate and get a lot of spending cuts for a little revenue enhancement without raising the tax rates, then that is better than having the automatic tax increase that will occur with the fiscal cliff. Senator Corker's plan deserves consideration. We do not have to commit economic suicide.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The 11/27/12 School Board Meeting

If you can wait, I will watch it and highlight the important parts and provide a little commentary. Check back for an update.

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Rep. Sherry Jones looking at Tennessee Democratic Party chairmanship

 Rep. Sherry Jones looking at Tennessee Democratic Party chairmanship
 The Tennessean, November 28th, 2012 | by Michael Cass 

State Rep. Sherry Jones, fresh off a big re-election victory, said today that she’s now considering running for the chairmanship of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

“I certainly have the experience,” Jones said. “I have the campaign experience, the fund-raising experience, the people experience to do the things that need to be done for the party.......

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The new December 4, 2012 Metro Council meeting agenda

The new December 4, 2012 Metro Council meeting agenda is now available. You can find the agenda at the link:
Metro Council Agenda

If you can wait, I will read if for you and tell you what is important that is on the agenda. If you just can't wait, here it is.

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Tonight! Totally Transparent Pizza Party and Liberty on the Rocks

From TnReports

A tasty night of training in how to slice away government secrecy!
Panel Includes Tennessee's Top Open Records Experts
  • Kent Flanagan, Director of Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
  • Trent Seibert, News Service
  • Elisha Hodge, JD, Open Records Counsel, State of Tennessee
TNReport is thankful for our event cosponsor, the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

Additional sponsors include:
  • The Beacon Center of Tennessee 
  • Total Consulting Strategies
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Mafiaoza's 2400 12th Ave S
 Please contact Nicole Williams for more information,

Liberty on the Rocks meeting to follow
Immediately following the Transparency seminar, there will be a  Liberty on the Rocks meeting. LOR is social opportunity to meet and talk with other conservatives and libertarians. There is no program. It is just a chance to drink and socialize with like-minded people. We have some pretty good conversations.

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Lt. Gov. Ramsey discusses Opportunity Scholarships

Lt. Gov. Ramsey says time has come for parents to have a choice, particularly for those with children in failing schools.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vote now in the 2012 Lump of Coal Award poll! | Beacon Center of Tennessee

Who is the most irresponsible and/or wasteful public figure?

Vote now in the 2012 Lump of Coal Award poll! | Beacon Center of Tennessee
Help Beacon award its annual dubious distinction to the person or group who, more than any other ove...

The candidates are:
Finalist #1: Wendy Askins, Upper Cumberland Development District
Finalist #2: Nashville Mayor Karl Dean
Finalist #3: Chattanooga Electric Power Board
Finalist #4: Former Davidson County Clerk John Arriola 

Wow! some good choices. As much as I would like to vote for Dean or Arriola, I think I am going to have to go with Wendy Askins. I followed that story closely and also read the Investigative Audit Report.  The cynical abuse of authority and thievery in that case is appalling and just unbelievable. She lived the opulent lifestyle at tax payers expense taking money intended for poor elderly. I am going to have to vote for Wendy Askins.  Rod

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Metro Council to reconsider cutting lifetime health benefit

Top PhotoMetro Council to reconsider cutting lifetime health benefit

The Tennessean, by Joey Garrison, Nov 27, 2012 -Fresh off a controversial vote that continued heavily subsidized lifetime health benefits for its successors, the Metro Council will soon consider legislation that would dramatically curtail the perk.

Councilman Phil Claiborne, whose bill to end health insurance for most future two-term council members went down in defeat this month by a 23-14 vote, told The Tennessean he plans to file an ordinance today that would instead reduce Metro government’s financial obligation by two-thirds.
DATABASE: Metro employees' salaries FULL ARTICLE »

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Bomb Threats Evacuate 15 County Courthouses

Bomb Threats Evacuate 15 County Courthouses
Bomb threats have evacuated 15 county courthouses across the mid-state on Tuesday.

I wonder what is behind this? Who is responsible? This has got to be more than kids having fun. 

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Judd Matheny dumped as speaker pro tem

In a secret ballot today, the Republican Caucus voted to replace Judd Matheny from his second-in-command post in the House.  They  replaced him with Rep. Curtis Johnson of Clarksville. Since Republicans have a super majority, the Caucus decision is tantamount to the election.  The vote was by secret ballot and vote totals were not made public, so no one knows whether Matheny lost by a single vote or a landslide.

Back in August, Matheny was threatening to mount a campaign to run against Speaker Beth Harwell for her post as Speaker of the House.  Matheny is associated with the more extreme elements of the tea party. They are not necessarily more conservative than other Republicans, but tend to be dogmatic and are prone to embrace conspiracy theories. They helped engineer the defeat of  Debra Maggart in her Republican primary race this year.

Much of the funding for this faction comes from Andrew Miller, a wealthy man who made his fortune in the health care industry. This faction is supportive of the guns-in-parking-lots bill and is concerned about what they see as the spread of Sharia law in Tennessee. Miller heads a group called Tennessee Freedom Coalition which supported various candidates in the primary. He is also a supporter of Lou Ann Zelenik, the anti Muslim zealot, who has tried several times to unseat Republican Representative Diane Black.

Earlier this year when the Department of Economic and Community Development hired a very qualified Tennessee native by the name of Samar Ali, who happened to be a Muslim, the Tennessee Freedom Coalition and the 9-12 group and others expressed angry opposition to Haslam. The 9-12 group took a full-page, $5000 ad in the Tennessean to denounce Haslam and several county parties passed resolutions condemning the hiring of Ms Ali. They feared her employment was a first step to imposing Sharia law in Tennessee. (To learn more about this go here, and here.)

Last year Matheny was the sponsor of a bill that would criminalize the practice of Sharia. Originally the bill was so broadly written that it would have criminalized the most benign of Muslim religious practices. The bill passes after it was rewritten and so watered down that it was pretty much meaningless and would do no harm nor good.

While Speaker pro tem really doesn't do much, and while one should not read too much into this leadership change, I think it is a positive signal that the legislature will more likely focus on important issues such as education reform and economic growth rather than fighting phantom issues such as expansion of gun rights, Agenda 21, and Sharia law.

Compiled from various news sources. To learn more, see here, here and here.

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Beth Harwell wins Unopposed In House GOP Leadership Vote

Harwell Unopposed In House GOP Leadership Vote
House Speaker Beth Harwell is unopposed for another nomination in charge of the lower chamber of the General Assembly as she heads into Monday's Republican leadership vote.

Beth run unopposed in the Republican Caucus and was the caucus choice for Speaker and with a Republican super majority winning the Republican choice is tantamount to election. 

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THDA Chief Grilled for 'Employee Appreciation' Spending

THDA Chief Grilled for 'Employee Appreciation' Spending

Nashville Public Radio State

lawmakers are taking the Tennessee Housing Development Agency to task for ... THDA's new director appeared before the Fiscal Review Committee Monday.

My comment: no comment

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Gov. Bill Haslam at 1st Tuesday Dec. 4th

from Tim Skow

 "Ladies & Gentlemen, the Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam"
Yes, Governor Bill Haslam is coming as our Speaker on Tuesday,  December 4th.
If you want to know where TN is going during the next Legislative Session, I'm sure he will tell us.  And.. NO DOUBT, our noted Q&A Session will be extremely insightful !!   
This VERY special event WILL SELL OUT !
Many of you have already paid 2013 MEMBER dues and got this notice a bit early.  If you haven't done so yet, you can do so via the website now and take advantage of the 2013 MEMBER price for lunch. Please know we will open up seating on a "1st come .. 1st serve" basis after close-of-business on Monday. Once we have pre-sold ALL the seats that our Hosts - Waller/Lansden - now allow, I will have to start a waiting list.
If your schedule allows, please plan to join us at 11:00AM - when we will open the doors for "Coffee & Social time".  With the crowd we will have, there will be many also attending you will want to catch up with !
As usual, we will meet at The Law Offices of Waller/Lansden - 511 Union Street -27th floor.  Remember:  Waller's parking garage is still being worked on, so please plan to find alternate parking for now.
Lunch from Alexander's Catering becomes available at 11:30AM and is now $20 for 2013 MEMBERS....  $25 for Guests ...  and $30 for anyone showing at the door without a prepaid RSVP - [ should we have any room left which is not likely].  
[If you are not already a 2013 MEMBER .. but wish to become one.. or are the Guest of a 2013 MEMBER... let me encourage you to visit our website at promptly. There you can REGISTER on the right side of the Front Page by leaving your Name, Phone & Email address. Going forward you will automatically get 1ST TUESDAY invites, updates and the coming commentaries from prior 1ST TUESDAY speakers. You can also prepay lunch.. be it as a 2013 MEMBER or as a GUEST by clicking on "Shopping Cart"
If you haven't already paid them, and would like your 2013 MEMBER dues to go to the NRW Toy Drive - let me know.. and we will hook up accordingly !
I look forward to hearing from you right about aDEC 4th with Gov. Bill Haslam!
Please join us at 11;00AM .. or as close to it as your schedule allows !
Tim Skow

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Brad Staats arrested on assault charge

Congressional candidate Brad Staats arrested on assault charge

by Michael Cass, The Tennessean, Nov 26, 2012 -Less than three weeks after completing a losing bid for Congress, Republican nominee Brad Staats was arrested on a domestic assault charge after allegedly slapping his wife, Bethany. (link)  

My Comment 
I am having a hard time believing this.  I don't know them well, but I have interacted with them some in the campaign.  They seem so much in love and seemed to be such a model family.  They had a new baby born just days before the election. 

I know the current wisdom is to always to believe the charge in a case like this. I am going to withhold judgement and assume the accused is innocent until proven guilty. 

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thousands of cancer patients are being denied access to better treatment

Is this be likely future of American health care?

Thousands 'not getting the best cancer treatment because of lack of doctors trained to use latest radiotherapy technology'

  • Thousands of cancer patients are being denied access to better treatment because of a lack of trained doctors, according to an ‘alarming’ Government report.
  • One in four cancer patients who receive radiotherapy in hospitals would benefit from the latest techniques But only four cancer centres out of 50 in England are currently offering the treatment.

By Jo Macfarlane,, 24 November 2012

One in four cancer patients who receive radiotherapy in hospitals would benefit from the latest techniques, but some hospitals do not offer the treatment or provide it for only 0.1 per cent of sufferers, officials say.

But a Department of Health report found that only four cancer centres out of 50 in England offer the treatment to all those who might benefit, because many specialists are not trained in how to administer it. Read more

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Deadline for magnet and charter schools, Nov. 30

The deadline for applying to Nashville's optional schools, including magnet and charter schools, is Friday, November 30. You can find more information at, or call 615-259-4636 to speak with an academic counselor.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Thinking about the guns in trunks issue again

GOP Leaders Seek To Avoid Repeat Of Gun Law Fight
Leaders in the Tennessee Statehouse are hoping for what they call a reasonable solution to a legislative fight over a bill seeking to guarantee employees the ability to store firearms in cars parked at work. more

GOP leaders seek to avoid repeat of gun law fight  

...Frank Niceley, a Strawberry Plains Republican who moved from the House to the Senate in this month’s elections. Niceley said he’s hesitant to go along with Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey’s call to quickly pass a compromise on the gun bill and move on to other issues.

“If we allow them to come in here and pass a bill right off the bat, we’re telling the other lobbyists the way to get things done is through fear and intimidation,” he said.

 Niceley said he would allow employees to store weapons in their cars if he owned a factory, but that such decisions should be left to each business.

“If a property owner tells someone you can’t bring a yo-yo on your property —much less a gun — you can’t bring it on that property,” he said.  

My Commentary

I agree with Nicely.

After the defeat of Debra Maggart at the hands of the NRA, the gun lobby has shown that no one is safe if they dare cross them. Still, the legislature should not buckle to the radical fringe on a matter of principle . At some point in the past, the NRA stood for the constitutional right to bear arms. No more. Now, they want gun owners to have rights that are not protected by the constitution. Now, they want to impose their will on others and trample the property rights of others.

The NRA is not a pro-second amendment lobby anymore; they are a gun rights lobby. There is a difference. The second amendment protects our right to bear arms from government infringement. The second amendment is a protection against government, not your neighbor who does not want guns on his property. To argue that the right to carry a gun onto your employer's property is a second amendment issue is equivalent to arguing that to compel the Tennessean to publish your letter to the editor is a first amendment issue.

Nevertheless,  It seems that there should be some way around this issue, without trampling private property rights and extending gun rights beyond those protected by the constitution. I would like to see what Ramsey's compromise looks like. If your gun is concealed in the trunk of your car, how would an employer ever know? They are not going to do a detailed search of every car entering their parking lot. It is impractical.

Does one's employer have the right to search an employee's private vehicle when it is driven onto his parking lot. As a condition of employment, if one gives his employer the right to search his car such as by initialing a policy statement, then the employer may have the right to search an employee's car.  Otherwise it is questionable. The website Findlaw says, "If it's your personal car, then probably not. If your employer believes that you have dangerous or illegal materials in your car, they should call the police rather than searching the car themselves."

If an employer has that right, should he?  Should he be permitted to force you to give up an expectation of privacy as a condition of employment? I do recognize that rights may at times be in conflict and few rights are absolute.  I do not think that an employer should be allowed to force you to surrender all of your rights as a condition's of employment. I object to a policy that says you can be subject to random drug test by your employer. Maybe for school bus drivers or airline pilots or some professions engaged in dangerous work, that may be reasonable, but not for most people. Yet, many employers, as a condition of employment, have employees agree to a policy that says they are subject to random drug test. That seems more of an invasion of my privacy than a search of my vehicle.

Rather than expanding the right of gun owners to carry a gun onto the property of another, maybe we need to examine what expectation of privacy an employee should have. What right does an employer have to determine if you are or are not storing a gun in your car?  Could an employer not maintain the right to prohibit guns on his property, yet have some sort of don't ask-don't tell policy about who has a gun in his car.  And should not an employee have a reasonable expectation that his car is not subject to search by his employer? 

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Report on the 11/20/12 Metro Council Meeting

Congratulation to Duane Dominy on his victory and leadership

This meeting is just slightly over an hour long.

The Council is usually opened by a prayer by a local minister who is the guest of one of the Council members. This opening invocation is offered by Michael Hunter Ochs who is the guest of Sherri Weiner and it is not really a prayer but a promo for a concert and the performance of a song co-written by a Jew, a Muslim and a Christian, the Christian being Michael Hunter Ochs. The singer makes a plea for tolerance and the better treatment of Muslims in the Nashville area. The performance is a little long for an opening prayer running 4 1/2 minutes.

Other awards and recognitions take up the first fifteen minutes of the council meeting, including an award to Jane Alvis, Chair of the Metro Arts Commission. This award is used as an opportunity to praise Ms Alvis and government subsidy of public art.

There are no bills on public hearings.

There are thirteen resolutions on the consent agenda. Resolutions are on the consent agenda if no one votes against them in committee. However, any council member may ask a bill be pulled off of the consent agenda. None of the bill on the consent agenda are controversial and in my view are appropriately on the consent agenda.

Two resolutions concerning the HCA deal (488 and 489) had received all positive votes from the Budget and Finance Committee but they are deferred one meeting in order to track the bill on the same topic.

All bills on first reading pass without discussion. This is usually the norm. Bills are not sent to committee until after first reading. First reading is no more than a vote to allow a bill to be considered.

Last council meeting, Council member Moore invoked a council rule that kept Duane Dominy's Bill BL2012-293 from passing so it was back on first reading this time. This bill would require the city to consider Request for Proposals from private developers to operate the fairgrounds. The establishment does not want this bill to see the light of day. I was afraid there would be further attempts to sidetrack this bill, this meeting. All who want to keep the fairgrounds should carefully follow this issue and rally around Duane Dominy. The deck is being stacked to destroy the fairgrounds. For more on this bill follow this link.

Bills on Second reading:

What I thought would be a routine bill (ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-295) establishing rules for handling the eggs and keeping chickens on school property causes several members take to the floor to speak. Charlie Tygard is riled. He says he has been called a "law breaker," apparently referring to the previous comment made by Bo Mitchell. He praises and defends Bellevue Middle School's gardening program and feels that program has been unfairly attacked. Apparently there is more going on than meets the eye regarding this issue. (see 23:18- 29:50)

Councilman Duane Dominy takes to the floor to explain his bill that would require the Council to approve the city's annual contract with the Chamber for the Partnership 2020 program (BILL NO. BL2012-241) which was deferred indefinitely, and BILL NO. BL2012-294 which would require all sole-source contracts over $250,000 be approved by the council.

Bill 294 had failed the B&F committee by a vote of 3 for, 4 against, and 5 abstaining. This bill simply brings a minimum level of accountability and oversight to the purchasing process. I do not understand the opposition except that the Chamber has an enormous amount of influence over some council members. Over the last three years, there have only been eight such contracts. In a move that surprised me, Bo Mitchell sides with Dominy on this issue. Megan Barry speaks against it. It passes by a vote of 23 "ayes," and 14 "nos!" (For the discussion see 34:02- 42:24).

Given that the bill was defeated in the B&F committee, I did not expect this bill to pass. This was a good bill and deserved to pass. Congratulations Duane Dominy! He must have been doing a lot of lobbying his fellow council members to achieve this victory. Here is how the council voted:
“Ayes” Tygard, Banks, Bennett, Pardue, Stites, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Allen, Gilmore, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Blalock, Dominy, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Dowell, Duvall, Todd, Mitchell (23).
“Noes” Barry, Steine, Garrett, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Pridemore, Moore, Baker, Langster (14). All other bills on second reading and all bills on third reading pass without discussion.

Memorial Resolutions:

Memorializing resolutions do not have the force of law and are often not taken very seriously and often they do nothing more than congratulate a sports team for a victory or a person for being honored or congratulate a person on their retirement. The Council staff does not even analyze memorial resolutions. However, memorializing resolutions do represent the will of the Council and when they advocate a policy position they should be taken very seriously. Last council meeting, unfortunately, some of our most conservative members of the council voted for memorializing resolutions endorsing the EPA's regulation of Co2 which is an authority the EPA was never given but just assumed and which gives the EPA enormous control over the economy, including the right to stop industrial development and dictate power plan and auto emissions. Later some council members told me their vote did not really reflect their view.

There are two memorial resolutions on this agenda both by Councilman Stanley, one urging the school system and the other urging MTA to make "a top priority program the replacement of the entire fleet of public buses powered by diesel combustion engines with hybrid-electric buses." While these bills end up passing, I am pleased that they did not sail through unopposed.

I would prefer all of our buses be electric or hybrid, but replacing buses cost money. I don't like being behind a diesel bus no more than the next person but there may be other things that may have greater priority and in my view, no bus should be replaced until it has outlived its useful life.

Duane Dominy takes to the floor and argues against the resolutions. I congratulate those Council members who took a stand and had their opposition recorded. (To see the discussion see 52:02 - 1:02:10)

Here is the vote on 459, the school bus resolution:
”Ayes:” Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Westerholm, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Gilmore, Evans, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Bedne, Todd, Mitchell (17);
“Noes:” Tygard, Scott Davis, Anthony Davis, Bennett, Pridemore, Pardue, Stites, Moore, Allen, Baker, Langster, Dominy, Dowell, Duvall (14);
“Abstaining:” Garrett, Johnson, Potts (3).
Here is the vote on 460, the MTA bus resolution.
 ”Ayes:” Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Bennett, Stanley, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Evans, Holleman, Harmon, Blalock, Johnson, Potts, Bedne (24);
“Noes:” Tygard, Pridemore, Pardue, Stites, Dominy, Dowell, Duvall (7);
“Abstaining:” Garrett, Todd, Mitchell (3).

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

State Of Tennessee Purchases Virgin Falls

An iconic Tennessee waterfall now belongs to the state. ...  The 1,551-acre tract in White County that contains Virgin Falls had been privately owned since the 1970s, though the state had leased it. more

Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation  negotiated and optioned the property on the State’s behalf. If not for their effort, this natural wonder might have been lost as a park forever. My sister Kathleen Williams is the executive director of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation and is responsible for saving many Tennessee treasures. I am proud of the work she does. To learn more about Virgin Falls and the work of TPGF, follow this link

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Rock at Plymouth

This is the "Reason and Prayer" I will be sharing this evening at our family Thanksgiving dinner.  May we all return to the Rock at Plymouth. Jer Dunlap

The Rock at Plymouth
 A Reason and Prayer

According to history and legend, they first placed their foot there. They, of course, are the Pilgrims who made the daunting voyage in rickety ships of wood and tar, crossing the vast ocean for one reason - liberty. Many who began the voyage fought sickness and freezing temperatures. Sixty-five days after their voyage began; the 110 individuals finally heard the words, "land ho."

 They arrived at a place rough and wild that promised them a new start, a new way in which to conduct their lives. This was their New World. We can only imagine as they stepped onto that now infamous landing spot, they simply sighed or wept reflecting that the deep price paid during the voyage was now deeply worth those first few steps. Freedom had been found.

So here we find ourselves today, celebrating a national holiday first commissioned by President Abraham Lincoln. The same President who sometime later, dedicating a National Cemetery for the lost of war would say, "A government of the people, by the people, for the people shall never perish." While freedom today may appear to be slipping through our fingers, may we be quick to remember that the rights we have, the liberty we proclaim, derive from the ferocious Hands of God.

Those Pilgrims understood this best. For the voyage they had made, that first winter in the New World that cost them so much in terms of human life, was all for one simple reason - freedom, religious freedom. So today, we offer this prayer:
Oh God our Help in ages past, our Hope for years to come,
We bow our heads today not for simple a blessing of a feast,
We bow our heads today for a magnificent blessing - of freedom.

In these times Lord, may we focus on the simple gifts.
While the ocean of the times may seem large and our boat so small,
we know that the same God of the Pilgrims is the same God who guides our ship today.

Today as we pray, may we return to that Rock at Plymouth, remembering that all it takes for freedom to prevail, is the work of a few.

And may the Rock at Plymouth symbolize a greater Rock Whose steps have gone before us. From Him, all freedom is given. And to Him, all Thanksgiving is due.

Now like never before, our Nation that began at Plymouth needs You the Rock of Ages. Return to us that which we have forgotten, that which we shall never again take for granted - freedom. And if called upon, "be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant, my feet!"*

*"The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe

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Presentation slides and audience questions from the Nov. 7 Fairgrounds Master Plan public meeting are now online

I attended the November presentation. If you missed it, you didn't miss much. As I reported at the time and prior, the skids are being greased to destroy the fairgrounds. This is the dog and pony show to show how undesirable and expensive the 'keep the fairgrounds' option is. It is all here. Rod

Consultants on Phase 1 of the Fairgrounds Master Plan presented highlights of their preliminary report at a public meeting November 7. Phase 1, the “Fair and Events Analysis,” addresses potential fairgrounds and event uses for the Fairgrounds property. The consultants’ presentation slides are posted below, along with audience questions and consultant responses.
The second and final phase of the study will determine the highest and best scenario for mixed–use redevelopment of the site, and compare that with the analysis presented in Phase 1 to generate a “Recommended Master Plan.”  The Fairgrounds Master Plan Study is being done at the Metro Council’s direction, and the Council will make the final decision on the Fairgrounds site’s future.

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Update on 11/19/12 Budget & Finance Committee Meeting

Watch the HCA discussion

This meeting is just under an hour. One learns a lot more about the important issues facing the city by watching the B&F committee meeting than they do by watching the council meeting.

The HCA discussion is the first item on the agenda and all three bills concerning the HCA deal are discussed together. Anyone wanting to know more about this deal should watch this discussion. A presentation is made explaining where the upfront money will come from (a UDAG grant fund) and why we are doing this and how it will benefit the city. This development is subsidized in two ways: property tax abatement and a payment for new employees HCA will have working at this site who do not now work in Davidson County.

Watch this and learn why the Palmer Lake is in a “pocket of poverty.” Yes, that area close to Vanderbilt University and Music Row and on West End, just down the street from multi-million dollar hotels, just a couple blocks from Union Station is a “pocket of poverty.” We will pay the developer $500 per “incremental Davidson County position.” I myself do not see how this benefits the community or the city government. Those jobs are jobs that are now in Williamson County. We do not have a payroll tax so how does having these people work in Davidson County benefit us? I doubt many of them will be moving into the county if they already have homes in Williamson County. They are not moving; their job is moving a few miles away.

If this development occurs, the site will generate considerably more property tax for the city than it does now. However, the pressure on infrastructure and the cost of providing services to new development is not calculated into the equation. There seems to be an assumption that growing the tax base is always a good thing, yet no one stops to consider that bigger cities almost always have higher tax rates than smaller cities. There seems to be almost a fetish for growth that I am not sure is well founded. 

 I am still not sure, how I would vote on this if I had a vote. I abhor this practice of enticing businesses to develop in your area by paying them to do so. Unfortunately, this is the way things are done now. If other communities are paying someone to move to their county, then if we don’t play the game, then we lose. However, I am still not convinced that growth, just for the sake of growth is a good thing. Also, eventually, something would develop to fill that hole in the ground if HCA does not build there. Assuming the economy develops and the convention center is a success, someone else would eventually want that prime piece of property for hotel or office building.

I am glad to see the council deferred these bills. This is one of those things that if I was making a decision on, I would need more time to think about.

In other committee business, Duane Dominy’s bill requiring the Chambers Partnership 2020 contract to be approved by resolution of the Council is deferred indefinitely, due to a technical reason concerning a discrepancy between the caption and the body of the bill. A new bill addressing this topic will be drafted and introduced. Dominy’ similar bill requiring all single-source contracts of over $250,000 be approved by the Council fails by a vote of 3 for, 4 against and 5 abstaining. Council Member Megan Barry and Ronnie Stein present arguments against the bill and Charlie Tygard defends the bill.

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Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission to Meet Nov. 28

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission will meet Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. CST in the Ed Jones Auditorium at Ellington Agricultural Center, located at 440 Hogan Road in Nashville.
The commission will review and approve previous meeting minutes, consider approving an operator for the 2013 Tennessee State Fair and discuss plans for developing criteria for selecting future fair operators. The meeting is open to the public.

The Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission was created by the Tennessee General Assembly earlier this year to select and supervise a Tennessee not for profit corporation for the purpose of operating a fair or exposition, and to grant exclusive use of the name “Tennessee State Fair” or “Tennessee State Exposition.”

The commission comprises nine members including the commissioners of Agriculture, Tourist Development and Economic and Community Development; the University of Tennessee Dean of Extension; the president of the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation; an appointee by the mayor of the host county; and, three appointees by the governor.

For more information, contact the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5103.

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HCA incentives take step forward, to be decided next month

The Tennessean, by Joey Garrison, Nov 20, 2012- Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed $66 million incentive package for Nashville-based HCA took a step forward Tuesday, setting up a definitive December vote on the private hospital chain’s plans to relocate its headquarters to new office towers on West End Avenue.

Without discussion, the council approved on a second of three votes an ordinance that outlines a 100 percent property tax abatement for up to 20 years, capped at $3 million per year. Meanwhile, the council delayed voting on two other elements of Dean’s proposal— a $500 incentive grant per employee over seven years and a one-time $1,000,000 relocation fee.

The council opted to consider the deals all at once at its Dec. 4 meeting.(link)

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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.

Reposted from

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Tennessean on Metro Council maintains lifetime health benefits for members

Council health-care vote callous

Opinion Editorials, Nov 19, 2012-    Nashville Metro Council voted 23-14 last week to continue its lifetime access to cheap health insurance, a benefit earned after just eight years of service (two terms) on a body that meets twice a month and pays $15,000 a year.

 The vote, on a bill proposed by Councilman Phil Claiborne, illustrates the widening disconnect between elected officials and the people they serve and employ.

Metro Council's selfish vote on health care benefits isn't fooling anyone

by Gail Kerr, Nov 18, 2012- Last month, the Metro Council voted that new city employees, when they retire, will have to pay 75 percent of their health care premiums, depending on their years of service.

The council is about to vote to restrict pension benefits for city employees with less than 20 years of service. Yet, shamelessly and self-servingly last week, the council overwhelmingly reaffirmed they are eligible for health care for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives.

That’s right. You and I will pay for health care for council members and their spouses who opt in until the day they die.

Metro Council maintains lifetime health benefits for members

by Joey Garrison, Nov 13, 2012-  Heavily subsidized lifetime health care benefits for Metro Council members –– a controversial perk for earning one of the 40 elected seats –– will continue on for the city’s future representatives as well as those currently in office.

 The Metro Council voted 23-14 Tuesday to defeat legislation on a third and final reading that would have ended or significantly reduced the benefit for future council members depending on their number of years served. The vote saw council conservatives and progressives intermingled on both sides of the issue.

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Conservative Fusion to read The The Tyranny of Cliches, by Jonah Goldberg

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 7:00 PM to

Needs a location  (I will host unless we get a better offer. Rod)
From Gene Wisdom, event organizer:

We earlier discussed his bestseller Liberal Fascism, which exposed liberalism's intellectual ties to fascism, a doctrine of the Left, not the Right. Goldberg has an excellent way in his books and other writings of being able to look deeply into a subject with both great wit and keen insight. It is my belief that part of making oneself a better conservative is developing a clear understanding of liberalism. Goldberg does that by showing us the liberal emperor has no clothes, and that there is very little intellectual substance to it.

Book Description from

May 1, 2012
The bestselling author of Liberal Fascism dismantles the progressive myths that are passed-off as wisdom in our schools, media and politics.

According to Jonah Goldberg, if the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist, the greatest trick liberals ever pulled was convincing themselves that they’re not ideological.

Today, “objective” journalists, academics and “moderate” politicians peddle some of the most radical arguments by hiding them in homespun aphorisms.  Barack Obama casts himself as a disciple of reason and sticks to one refrain above all others: he’s a pragmatist, opposed to the ideology and dogma of the right, solely concerned with “what works.” And today’s liberals follow his lead, spouting countless clichés such as:
  • One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter: Sure, if the other man is an idiot. Was Martin Luther King Jr. a terrorist? Was Bin Laden a freedom fighter?
  • Violence never solves anything: Really? It solved our problems with the British empire and ended slavery.
  • Better ten guilty men go free than one innocent man suffer: So you won’t mind if those ten guilty men move next door to you?
  • Diversity is strength: Cool.The NBA should have a quota for midgets and one-legged point guards!
  • We need complete separation of church and state: In other words all expressions of faith should be barred from politics …except when they support liberal programs.
With humor and passion, Goldberg dismantles these and many other Trojan Horses that liberals use to cheat in the war of ideas. He shows that the grand Progressive tradition of denying an ideological agenda while pursuing it vigorously under the false-flag of reasonableness is alive and well.  And he reveals how this dangerous game may lead us further down the path of self-destruction.

There is time to order the book and join us. Please do. We chat and socialize for about thirty minutes and then get down to some serious discussion. Rod

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