Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bellevue Republican Breakfast Club special guest Joni Bryan, Founder The 917 Society

Joni Bryan
What: The Bellevue Republican Breakfast Club hosted by Betty Hood.
Who:  Special Guest Joni Bryan, Founder The 917 Society.
When: Saturday, Sept. 2, 2016, 8 a.m
Where:  River Art Studio, 8329 Sawyer Brown Rd

The 917 Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit, exists to empower every 8th grader with the knowledge of their individual freedoms and their very own copy of the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution Project's objective is to provide every Tennessee 8th grader with U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions and to complete an exciting educational video narrated by veteran journalist Nick Clooney and an interactive website. The program is free to participants and seeks to fulfill a 2004 federal unfunded mandate that all schools that receive federal funds are to hold a program on the Constitution, on or around Constitution Day. The 917 Society is also opening up the program for private and homeschool students and expects to reach over 100,000 students this year in Tennessee. The 917 Society has plans to expand into all other states offering this free program to celebrate Constitution Day each September 17th. The Constitution is the one thing that binds us all together no matter our differences.

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Mayor Barry's attack against a basic statement of Evangelical Christian belief

By David French, National Review, August 30, 2017- Don’t ever forget that, for some folks, “separation of church and state” is a half-measure. It’s just a pit stop on the road to de-Christianizing America. It’s a temporary means to a much bigger end. Over the weekend, I was honored to sign a document called the Nashville Statement. It’s a basic declaration of Christian orthodoxy on sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. Its 14 articles can be boiled down to a simple statement: We believe the Bible is the word of God, and the word of God declares that sexual intimacy is reserved for the lifelong union of a man and a woman in marriage. It acknowledges the reality of same-sex attraction as well as the reality of transgender self-conceptions, but denies that God sanctions same-sex sexual activity or a transgendered self-conception that is at odds with biological reality. In other words, it’s basic Christianity.

Sometimes, however, one needs to state the obvious. There are powerful peer and cultural pressures that are pushing Christians to compromise on core principles.

....  Barry’s statement, however, is different. It’s not separation of church and state, it’s a declaration of state against church. (link)

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has created the “Nashville Statement,” stating that marriage is between one man and one woman. ... Barry tweeted Tuesday morning that the “so-called ‘Nashville Statement’ is poorly named and does not represent the inclusive values of the city & people of Nashville.” 

Below is the text of the Nashville Statement. To see the source material and a complete list of initial signatories, follow this  link.
The Nashville Statement 

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves…”
 -Psalm 100:3
Evangelical Christians at the dawn of the twenty-first century find themselves living in a period of historic transition. As Western culture has become increasingly post-Christian, it has embarked upon a massive revision of what it means to be a human being. By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences. The pathway to full and lasting joy through God’s good design for his creatures is thus replaced by the path of shortsighted alternatives that, sooner or later, ruin human life and dishonor God. This secular spirit of our age presents a great challenge to the Christian church. Will the church of the Lord Jesus Christ lose her biblical conviction, clarity, and courage, and blend into the spirit of the age? Or will she hold fast to the word of life, draw courage from Jesus, and unashamedly proclaim his way as the way of life? Will she maintain her clear, counter-cultural witness to a world that seems bent on ruin? We are persuaded that faithfulness in our generation means declaring once again the true story of the world and of our place in it—particularly as male and female. Christian Scripture teaches that there is but one God who alone is Creator and Lord of all. To him alone, every person owes gladhearted thanksgiving, heart-felt praise, and total allegiance. This is the path not only of glorifying God, but of knowing ourselves. To forget our Creator is to forget who we are, for he made us for himself. And we cannot know ourselves truly without truly knowing him who made us. We did not make ourselves. We are not our own. Our true identity, as male and female persons, is given by God. It is not only foolish, but hopeless, to try to make ourselves what God did not create us to be. We believe that God’s design for his creation and his way of salvation serve to bring him the greatest glory and bring us the greatest good. God’s good plan provides us with the greatest freedom. Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it in overflowing measure. He is for us and not against us. Therefore, in the hope of serving Christ’s church and witnessing publicly to the good purposes of God for human sexuality revealed in Christian Scripture, we offer the following affirmations and denials.

Article 1
WE AFFIRM that God has designed marriage to be a covenantal, sexual, procreative, lifelong union of one man and one woman, as husband and wife, and is meant to signify the covenant love between Christ and his bride the church. WE DENY that God has designed marriage to be a homosexual, polygamous, or polyamorous relationship. We also deny that marriage is a mere human contract rather than a covenant made before God.

Article 2 
WE AFFIRM that God’s revealed will for all people is chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. WE DENY that any affections, desires, or commitments ever justify sexual intercourse before or outside marriage; nor do they justify any form of sexual immorality.

Article 3 
WE AFFIRM that God created Adam and Eve, the first human beings, in his own image, equal before God as persons, and distinct as male and female. WE DENY that the divinely ordained differences between male and female render them unequal in dignity or worth.

Article 4 
WE AFFIRM that divinely ordained differences between male and female reflect God’s original creation design and are meant for human good and human flourishing. WE DENY that such differences are a result of the Fall or are a tragedy to be overcome.

Article 5
WE AFFIRM that the differences between male and female reproductive structures are integral to God’s design for self-conception as male or female. WE DENY that physical anomalies or psychological conditions nullify the God-appointed link between biological sex and self-conception as male or female.

Article 6
WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known. WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.

Article 7 
WE AFFIRM that self-conception as male or female should be defined by God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption as revealed in Scripture. WE DENY that adopting a homosexual or transgender self-conception is consistent with God’s holy purposes in creation and redemption.

Article 8 
WE AFFIRM that people who experience sexual attraction for the same sex may live a rich and fruitful life pleasing to God through faith in Jesus Christ, as they, like all Christians, walk in purity of life. WE DENY that sexual attraction for the same sex is part of the natural goodness of God’s original creation, or that it puts a person outside the hope of the gospel.

Article 9 
WE AFFIRM that sin distorts sexual desires by directing them away from the marriage covenant and toward sexual immorality— a distortion that includes both heterosexual and homosexual immorality. WE DENY that an enduring pattern of desire for sexual immorality justifies sexually immoral behavior.

Article 10
WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness. WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.

Article 11 
WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female. WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his imagebearers as male and female.

Article 12
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ gives both merciful pardon and transforming power, and that this pardon and power enable a follower of Jesus to put to death sinful desires and to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ is insufficient to forgive all sexual sins and to give power for holiness to every believer who feels drawn into sexual sin.

Article 13 
WE AFFIRM that the grace of God in Christ enables sinners to forsake transgender selfconceptions and by divine forbearance to accept the God-ordained link between one’s biological sex and one’s self-conception as male or female. WE DENY that the grace of God in Christ sanctions self-conceptions that are at odds with God’s revealed will.

Article 14 
WE AFFIRM that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that through Christ’s death and resurrection forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to every person who repents of sin and trusts in Christ alone as Savior, Lord, and supreme treasure. WE DENY that the Lord’s arm is too short to save or that any sinner is beyond his reach.

On on Friday June 26, 2015, At-large Metro Councilwoman Megan Barry, a Nashville mayoral candidate,
performed the first same sex wedding in Tennessee. 

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Melania Trump’s heels

If I were in an

If I were in an emergency shelter in Houston and First Lady Melania Trumps showed up in a pair of black snakeskin stilettos heels, it would brighten my day and lift my spirits. I love sexy women in stiletto heels. (link to story)

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Joe Carr considers Republican primary challenge against Sen. Bob Corker

Former State Representative Joe Carr who in 2014 ran against Senator Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary and lost and who in 2016 ran against U.S. Rep. Diane Black and lost is considering a primary challenge to Senator Bob Corker.  Carr is a tea party aligned, pro-Trump Republican who has been critical of Bob Corker's criticism of President Trump.

While Corker may be venerable to a challenger to his right, I seriously doubt that Joe Carr can defeat Bob Corker.  To put it mildly, Joe Carr is a fringe candidate with unorthodox views.  While in the State House he introduced a bill that called for the arrest and criminal prosecution of any Federal agent who attempts to enforce certain Federal gun control laws here in the state of Tennessee.  That would have clearly violated the supremacy clause of the Constitution.  He subscribes to the discredited theory of nullification, he believes the First Amendment does not apply to Muslims and the Second Amendment should allow one to carry a gun onto the private property of another regardless of the desires of the property owner. 

Carr says he will make up his mind about challenging Corker sometime after September 14th. Other people considering a challenge to Corker are Andrew Ogles, state director for the Tennessee chapter of Americans for Prosperity, and State Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden. 

For more on this issue see, Joe Carr considers Republican primary challenge against Sen. Bob Corker.

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Thoughts on Charlottesville

Phil Roe
by Phil Roe - Last week, neo-Nazis, KKK members, and other white supremacists came together for a rally in Charlottesville at the heart of the University of Virginia’s campus, which led to the death of a 32-year-old counter protestor, Heather Heyer. We must be clear and unequivocal in rejecting and denouncing this hateful ideology. I am extremely saddened by these acts of violence, bigotry and hate that occurred last Saturday – my heart is still grieved. In order to move forward from this act of domestic terrorism, we must shine light on the darkness and talk openly and honestly about this abhorrent ideology. 

As I said last week in response to this tragedy, racially-motivated intimidation and violence have no place in today’s society, and groups fueled by hate must be condemned in the strongest terms. These groups are not representative of American values. 

While we must be unequivocal in condemning these groups, protest groups on the left, such as Antifa - which advocates violence in response to speech it disagrees with, also escalated the conflict unnecessarily. The right to free speech can lead to discourse that must be condemned, but as a free society we must also be committed to addressing it peaceably.  

When America declared its independence, we aspired to create a nation in which “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” While the path to equality hasn’t always been straight, we can unite around this founding moral principle and become stronger as a country.

Phil Roe represents the First Congressional District of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is physician and co-chair of the House GOP Doctors Caucus and a member of the Health Caucus. Prior to serving in Congress, he served as the Mayor of Johnson City, Tennessee. 

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A morning garden break

Since almost retiring this year, I have had more time to work in the yard and enjoy the flowers.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

President Trump fires back at Sen. Corker with tweet

President Trump fires back at Sen. Corker with tweet

 To view the Corker statement to which President Corker is responding, see this:  Sen. Bob Corker critical of Trump, says he hasn't displayed 'competence' to be successful

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

White House calls Corker's remarks about Trump's competence to lead 'ridiculous'

White House calls Corker's remarks about Trump's competence to lead 'ridiculous'

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Old hatreds made new

by Marion Smith, The Washington Times, August 21, 2017 - Amid the chaos of Charlottesville, two specters from the previous century’s darkest hours have re-emerged. Alongside the well-publicized Nazi symbols on full display during the “Unite the Right” rally, so too were Communist hammers and sickles brandished by the opposing anti-fascist or “Antifa” protesters. Many have rightfully condemned the neo-Nazis and their Ku Klux Klan allies leading Riefenstahl-esque, torchlit processions through our streets, but there has been virtual silence about the neo-Marxists and anarchist comrades hurling bricks and incendiary bombs, all the while refusing to acknowledge communism’s long record of totalitarianism, racism and death.

Lining up against one another in public, clubs and bats in hand, those on the far right and the far left are horrifying replications of our nation’s greatest historical foes. At their respective beginnings in the 1910s and 1930s, both the communists in Russia and the national socialists in Germany comprised tiny minority factions in their countries. But they became the loudest, the best organized and the most violent.

Indeed, 78 years ago this week, Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich and Joseph Stalin’s USSR co-launched World War II by signing a nonaggression pact. Negotiated by Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov and German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, their regimes agreed to conquer Europe by dividing it in half. Fascism and communism ignited a conflict that would consume millions of lives by marching shoulder-to-shoulder into battle.

Within days of signing the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Hitler’s armies invaded Poland. Over the next several months, Stalin invaded Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and the other half of beleaguered Poland. For nearly two years, the Nazi SS and Soviet NKVD (predecessor to the equally-dreaded KGB) intimately collaborated. Soviet secret police, for instance, rounded up German Jews who had escaped to the Soviet Union and handed them over to the SS.

Then in 1941, Hitler broke the pact and attacked the Soviet Union. When the war ended, the Nazi regime was finished, but the Soviet empire lived on—sustained by its domination of Eastern Europe. Partisans in the Baltic forests who had fought occupying Nazi forces promptly repositioned their rifles toward the Red Army. And pro-fascist collaborators slotted seamlessly into the Eastern Bloc’s nascent state security apparatuses.

Even as late as the 1980s, most in the West expected that the Soviet Union—despite its obvious weaknesses—would persist indefinitely. However, refugees from Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and other “captive nations” began organizing protests on Aug. 23, the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, calling it “Black Ribbon Day.” They stressed to the world that Stalin—who was made over by fellow travelers in the West as “Uncle Joe”—was actually an enemy of peace in World War II. They further urged Americans to oppose the Soviet Union, which still controlled much of Central and Eastern Europe.

My Comment: This op-ed can be read in The Washington Times.

I thought President Trumps handling of the Charlottsville violence was tone deaf, insensitive, inarticulate and distracting from advancing his own agenda.  I disagree with the President. I do not think "good people" march under a Nazi flag and shoulder to shoulder with members of the Ku Klux Klan.  I think President Trump picked the wrong time to say something that needed to be said, however.  While "good people" do not march under a Nazi banner, neither do good people march under the banner of the hammer and sickle.  Those who embrace Communism have no moral authority to condemn Nazism. While there may not be moral equivalency between those marching with White nationalist in Charlottsville and those who marched in opposition, there is moral equivalency between Nazism and Communism.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee meets Thursday, August 31st

Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee
Thursday, Aug. 31st at Logan's Steak Restaurant on Elliston Place near Vanderbilt University/West End Avenue

Event starts at 5:30 for networking and the meeting will be held from 6pm - 7pm. The agenda of the meeting is a wake-up call to unite our different groups to secure our freedoms and make our nation and state strong. We will concentrate on issues that affect all our freedoms from religion, healthcare, and constitutional rights insured by the constitution of the United States. 

The speakers will focus on upcoming policies, new legislature, and political issues and their effect on the American People. Our keynote speakers are: State House Representative Susan Lynn and Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall.

Please RSVP to Tony Roberts or Dan Davis

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Rep. Steve Cohen seeks to impeach President Trump after Charlottesville

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Sen. Bob Corker critical of Trump, says he hasn't displayed 'competence' to be successful

If you have not seen this statement from Bob Corker about Trumps handling of the Charlottsville matter, I urge you to watch it. Unfortunately there is a short add prior to the start of the statement.

I am pleased to see this thoughtful measured statement from Senator Bob Corker.  I agree. I agree with Corker that what happened in Charlottsville was repugnant. I agree that making Klansmen and Nazis feel their standing in our nation is enhanced is repugnant. I agree with Croker's critique of Trump's stability and competence.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Report on the Council meeting of 8/15/17: Shulman rhymes, rules not suspended to condemn white supremacy, more time to drink beer passes.

At only 56 minutes long, this is a short meeting and there is not much of anything importance happens. To access the meeting agenda, staff analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link. Here is the meeting summary and the highlights:

Sheri Weiner is elected pro tem of the Council in an uncontested election.  It is the job of this person to conduct the Council meeting is the absence of the vice mayor.

Councilman Jim Shulman whose term as Chairman of the Rules and Confirmation Committee is ending gives a farewell and the committee report in verse. It's cute. See timestamp 4:30.

An attempt to suspend the rules to introduce a late resolution to condemn white supremacy fails.  The sponsor is Councilman Bob Mendez. The rules are to be suspended only in  an emergency. The rules cannot be suspended if two council members object and Councilman Doug Pardue and Councilman Tanaka Vercher object.  I support the objection to suspending the rules. This is not an emergency.  White supremacy will be around in two weeks. To see The Tennessean's report on the issue see Nashville council passes on taking up resolution to condemn white supremacy.

BILL NO. BL2017-829  which would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair is deferred indefinitely, but the sponsor says she is still working on the issue.

BILL BL2017-834 on Second Reading which would amend the time restriction of when beer could be sold or served for on-premises consumption passes.  Under this bill a small number of restaurants could sell beer anytime except from 3AM to 4AM. For an explanation of this see the video at timestamp 23:54.

BILL BL2017-826  on Third Reading, which is a disapproved zoning bill in Scott Davis' district, passes without discussion by  a vote of 28 to 2 with 5 abstentions and 4 not voting. This bill had to have 27 positive votes to pass. I have no opinion on the merits of the rezoning and the only reason I am mentioning this is because it is a disapproved bill and sometimes is hard to get a disproved bill passed.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Triumph of Tailgunner Joe.

Bill Bernstein
by Bill Bernstein - Back in 1976 my father took me to see Woody Allen's new movie, The Front. He had to explain to me what a "blacklist" was and the context of The Front, how Hollywood and the Screen Actors Guild between 1946 and 1957 created a list of actors, writers, directors and producers who could not be employed because of their associations with the Communist Party.  All of this took place in the context of McCarthy's witch hunts during this period.

Eventually people asserted themselves against the idea of boycotting someone for his political beliefs or associations. A blacklisted radio host sued a trade organization for damage and was supported by the liberal stars of that era: Louis Nizer, Edward R Murrow and others. The principle established was: people are entitled to their own beliefs. Even if we find them objectionable. Boycotting and outing are not the American way.

Senator Joe McCarthy died in 1957, a disgraced alcoholic reviled by liberals of the day. But somewhere in Heaven ole Tailgunner Joe must be smiling. His principle of waging economic war on those holding objectionable beliefs has become the new normal. Hardly a day passes without Leftists "outing" people opposing their agenda and having them fired, or Conservatives declaring a boycott of some business or actor due to their objectionable statements. The quaint liberal notions of free speech and free association have been thrown aside. And the range of "objectionable" has grown far beyond McCarthy's era, when yearning for Communist revolution was the standard for shunning. Now supporting views expressed by Candidate Obama in 2007 is enough to get one blacklisted and fired.

Needless to say this stifling of speech and thought will not end well. It never does. People croaking about "diversity" would be well to ask how many Conservatives are in their organization, how many Socialists they rub shoulders with daily. At one time the idea was America was a "marketplace of ideas" where ideas competed for adherents. We had a confidence that American liberal values (that is, Classical Liberalism) would win out eventually. That idea is gone, replaced with rigid lines enforced with sanctions. The resulting groupthink will not make the country stronger. The very opposite.

Bill Bernstein first came to Nashville in 1980 as a freshman at Vanderbilt. After finishing he spent time in graduate schools in Classics. He returned to Nashville in 1992 and has been a firearms dealer and Second Amendment advocate for over a decade

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

(update) What's on the Council agenda for 8/15/17: More time to drink beer and more corporate welfare.

The Metro Council will meet Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at 6:30 PM in the Council chamber at the Metro Courthouse. This will again be a meeting that is more boring than usual. There is nothing on the agenda likely to generate passion or debate. To watch the Council meeting, you can go to the courthouse and watch the meeting in person, or you can watch the broadcast live at Metro Nashville Network's Government TV on Nashville's Comcast Channel 3 and AT&T's U-verse 99 and it is streamed live at the Metro Nashville Network's livestream site. You can catch the meeting the next day (or the day after the next) on the Metro YouTube channel. If can stand the suspense and just wait, I will post the video on this blog the day after or the day after that and provide commentary.

If you are going to watch the Council meeting, you need a copy of the Council agenda and the Council staff analysis or you really will not know what is going on. You can get the agenda and analysis at the highlighted links. This is going to be another boring meeting.  There is not much that will generate passion or controversy on this agenda. Below are the highlights.

Election of President Pro Tem.
The first order of business following the Call to Order and Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, Roll Call, and Approval of Minutes is an election of the Council President Pro Tempore for a one-year term ending August 31, 2018. This person's primary duty is to conduct the meetings in the absence of the vice mayor.  The pro tem also conducts the meeting that precedes the regular council meeting at which council members make announcements. This position is prestigious and sometimes candidates really lobby for it. Others times only one person wants the position and they get it.  Council member Sheri Weiner is the only one seeking the position to my knowledge.

There is one insignificant resolution on public hearing which approves a distance variance for an establishment seeking a beer permit.  There are eight resolutions on the agenda all of which are on the consent agenda. None appear controversial. Two are allowing signs to overhang a sidewalk and most of the others are accepting grants and one is honoring Judge J. Randall Wyatt, Jr. upon his retirement.

Bills on Second Reading
BILL NO. BL2017-829  would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair. Currently if someone runs over your waste container at the back of your house on the alley, or if someone steals it, you the occupant have to pay to replace it. I support this bill. It was on the agenda last meeting but deferred to this meeting.

BILL BL2017-834  would amend the time restriction of when beer could not be sold or served

for on-premises consumption.  Now, beer cannot be sold or served between the hours of 3AM and 6AM Monday thorough Saturday and 3AM to 10AM on Sunday by an establishment with a beer permit.  This would allow it to be sold or consumed anytime except for one hour a day, 3AM to 4AM. This came about due a change in State law allowing establishments with a liquor license to sell liquor anytime except that one hour.  If we do not change our beer law, then an establishment with a liquor license could sell mixed drinks or shots of tequila from 4AM to 6AM but not beer. Beer is not regulated by the State but by local governments.  I support this bill but think we should just go ahead and make it available 'round the clock. I wish someone would offer an amendment to that effect. 

BILL BL2017-836 is a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) deal for the Keystone Automotive Industries to build an administrative office.  This is the kind of corporate welfare that almost all cities engage in.  We will in effect be subsidizing this company about $1.23 million and they promise to create 120 new jobs. That is a little over $10K per job. I would hope the Council would reject this.  For more on this, read the bill and see the staff analysis.

BILL BL2017-837  authorizes the acquisition of property for the purpose of building a new Metropolitan Nashville Police Precinct on Murfressboro Rd.

Bills on Third Reading
There are 23 bills on Third Reading and almost all are rezoning bills.  The only bill of interest is  BILL BL2017-826  which is a disapproved bill in Scott Davis' district.  I have no opinion on the bill but am simply calling attention to it because it is disapproved.  It takes 27 votes in favor to pass a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission. Some in the media and some neighborhood activist types think the Council should never pass a disapproved bill.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Bill Lee advocates for school vouchers in Beacon Center interview.

In a live stream Facebook interview Thursday August 10 with the Beacon Center of Tennessee,  gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee advocated for more school choice saying he would support school vouchers and "be a strong advocate for school choice in every area of the state."  He also said he would support removing barriers to work such as unnecessary licensing requirements for some professions and he would support stronger work requirements for those on public assistance. He also advocates for criminal justice reform. You can watch the full interview at this link.  There is some dead air time at the start of the video and the interview starts at timestamp 1:45.

The Beacon Center has invited all of the candidates for governor to a live Facebook interview.  Scheduled interviews are as follows:
Mae Beavers, Friday, August 25th, 2:45 PM CT
Randy Boyd, Tuesday, September 12th, 2 PM CT

One may participate in the interview by submitting questions while the interview is in progress or emailing questions in advance to  along with your name and the city or town in which you live.

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Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare

Ikea came to Memphis with great fanfare thanks in large part to a  $9.6 million subsidy.  How is that just to the independent furniture stores in the Memphis area.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Caffeinated Conservatives meets Saturday Aug 19th.


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Southeast Nashville Conservatives' Breakfast, Saturday August 19th

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Being an illegal alien does not make one a criminal.

Writing in today's Tennessean, immigration control advocate Donna Locke had me nodding my head in agreement and saying, "I glad someone is saying that."  This is the first sentence of her essay that elicited my positive response:

In response to recent reporting and commentary, it's worth noting that our country now contains a multitude of people devoted to erasing all distinctions between illegal aliens and legal immigrants and between non-citizens and citizens.
She is exactly right.  In newspapers and radio and TV reports, legal and illegal immigrants are lumped together and simply called "immigrants."  There ought to be a distinction.  I do not believe the erasing of the distinction is without intent. The intent is to change the way we think about the issue.  It is part of the liberal agenda.  Not that I think mainstream media people get their marching orders daily from a secret bunker in the basement of the New York Times, but the groupthink of liberalism causes some words to fall out of fashion.  Politically correct people just do not use certain terms and one of them is "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant." 

Using the term "illegal alien" is like using the term "Negro;" it is just something that enlighten educated sensitive people do not do.  It is the way "gay" has replaced homosexual. Journalist, I think, see it as their job to influence the way people think about things. They see it as their job to make people better.  Using the term "illegal alien" is sort of like calling an unwed mother an "unwed mother" rather than a "single mother."  It is impolite and by changing the terminology, the way people think about things can be changed. The closest mainstream media people can come to drawing a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants is in using the term "undocumented immigrant," and they only use that term reluctantly when necessary to understand the content of the story.

After eliciting my head nodding agreement in the first sentence, Ms Locke started to lose me in the second sentence when she wrote:
We see every conceivable effort to hide and deny the words "illegal" and "criminal" in regard to foreigners who entered our country without our government's permission or remained here after their legal visas expired. 
She then went on to say:
As for attempts to paint illegal aliens as noncriminals, illegal entry and visa overstay are criminal, deportable offenses, and U.S. immigration courts can put these offenders into detention (prison) and sentence them to serve time till they're deported.
Calling all illegal aliens "criminals," is as offensive and agenda driven as is erasing the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. By labeling all illegal aliens as criminals, it puts in the same category those who simply over stayed a visa with those who are M-13 gang members or rapist. It is an agenda driven attempt to demonize all illegal aliens and influence the way we think about them. Actually, illegal aliens commit less crime than the average American.  This is fact and one can look it up. 

What is a criminal? If a friend said of a mutual acquaintance, "Well, you know he is a criminal."  I would think the person had committed a serious crime.  I would think he committed armed robbery or burglary or embezzled funds or defrauded someone.  Those who use the term "criminal" to define someone who overstayed a visa or illegally entered the country will defend calling the illegal aliens "criminals" by saying, they entered the country illegally so by definition they are criminals.

By saying that anyone who does something illegal is a criminal, then we are all criminals.  With a vast bureaucratic state with bureaucrats empowered to promulgate rules which are in effect laws, I doubt there is no one not guilty of breaking some law. I can think of two laws I am guilty of violating right now and that does not include the driving offenses of which I have been guilty.

If someone said of a mutual acquaintance, "Well, you know he is a criminal." I would not think that he is someone who littered, jaywalked, ran a red light, or engaged in home sharing without the proper permit. I would not even think of someone found guilty of drunk driving or soliciting a prostitute or guilty of procession of marijuana as a criminal.

Entering the Country illegal or overstaying a visa is a federal misdemeanor. It is more like jaywalking than breaking and entering.

Here is a list of some other federal misdemeanors.
  • Transportation of water hyacinth
  • Failure to pay legal child support obligations
  • Desecration of the flag of the United States
  • Wearing a military ribbon or medal to which one is not entitled
  • Fraudulently using the 4-H Club emblem 
  • Unauthorized use of the "Smokey Bear" character or name
  • Transportation of fireworks into a state prohibiting the sale or use of fireworks
  • Hunting, trapping, or fishing on Indian land without a permit.
Would you call someone who transported water hyacinth a criminal? Would you call neighbor who bought home a bunch of Georgia fireworks a criminal?

I am not defending illegal immigration, but find it just as offensive to paint all illegal aliens as criminals as I do to erase the distinction between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. 

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sen. Mark Green rules out 2018 GOP primary challenge to Corker

Green rules out 2018 GOP primary challenge to Corker

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Audit of Knowles Assisted Living Center reveals $400,000 in missing funds

DA alerted to missing funds at Metro assisted living center

by Nate Rau, USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee - An audit revealing over $400,000 in unaccounted spending by a Metro contractor has been forwarded to the District Attorney's Office for possible criminal investigation, multiple sources told The Tennessean. The audit of Knowles Assisted Living Center, released on July 18, was requested by the Metro Council after an array of questions were raised about the operator's finances and an affiliated real estate deal. ....

The audit, conducted by the Metro Internal Auditor, identified at least $334,636 in funds spent without the notation of a business purpose in Autumn Hills' records. The audit found an additional $99,443 in ATM withdrawals from patients' personal trust fund accounts, which comes from social security checks and is supposed to be used for entertainment, snacks and other personal expenses. (read more)

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The Nashville Scene sums up the governor's race

The Nashville Scene sums up the governor's race at this point in time and I think the analysis is fairly accurate. The article looks at which segment of the electorate will support which candidate, especially among the Democrats in the race between former Nashville mayor Karl Dean and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.

The author says of Senator Mae Beavers, "State Sen. Mae Beavers is probably going to keep things entertaining, but she is not going to be governor."  I think that is accurate. Mae Beavers is too far outside the mainstream to be a serious candidate and she does not have the deep pockets to fund a viable statewide race. To read the Scene piece follow this link

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"Infighting hits GOP in governor's race," reports seems exaggerated.

 I attended Senator Jack Johnson's Boots, Beans and Barbecue event on Sunday and as always enjoyed it. The music by the Austin Brothers who play real country music with covers of Merle Haggard and George Jones and Ray Price play my kind of music. The barbecue from Martins Barbecue is as good as any barbecue I have had. It was a pleasure to speak to Senator Johnson and thank him for keeping Nashville government from going off the deep end and to encourage him to keep Nashville on a short leach. It was a pleasure to see old friends and meet new people and talk politics.

The program this year was a presentation from all of the Republican candidates for governor except for Randy Boyd who was unable to attend the event. I have previously heard speeches by Senator Mae Beavers, Speaker Beth Harwell, and U.S Congressman Diane Black.  It was my first time to hear from Bill Lee.  Each speaker spoke from four to eight minutes.  I really did not see the speeches as an attack on their opponents.  No one mentioned the other by name or spoke ill of their competitors and I did listen closely. The tone was not anger. The room was not filled with tension. Sure, there are differences among the candidates and they tried to distinguish themselves from their opponents but if you were there you did not leave with the same impression you would have had of the event if you only know what you read in the paper.

If you read of the event from the AP coverage, you would have thought it was a free for all blood fest. Below are excepts from the AP story which was carried in newspapers across the county.

 San Francisco Chronicle- ...U.S. Rep. Diane Black on Sunday took aim at what she described as "weak-kneed" Republicans in Congress — and inside the state Capitol, where rival candidate Beth Harwell is speaker of the House.

"We can find ... Republicans who are too weak or too meek right here in Nashville," said Black. "Folks, the people of Tennessee did not give us the majority to be meek." "That's the job of our next governor: To lead the state in a way with a firm hand (and) a strong spine," she said. "What Tennessee needs is a strong leader."

...State Sen. Mae Beavers of Mt. Juliet said in her remarks that she decided to join the race after fielding calls from supporters who said they wanted a "good conservative in the governor's race."
While the candidates did say those things, you expect candidates seeking office to try to distinguish themselves from their opponents. I think to characterize the speeches as "infighting" or "targeting each other," is a misrepresentation of what happened. 

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The Bastiat Society meets Aug 10th. Presents "Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare.'

The Bastiat Society will present the Beacon Center of Tennessee's first ever documentary at our August meeting. Come watch the 20 minute film, Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare, and learn how the practice of corporate welfare hurts our state's small and local businesses.

In the film, you will hear from two Memphis furniture store owners and discover the difficulties they faced when a large competitor was given a vast sum of money by the government to open up down the road. After the screening, the Beacon Center's President & CEO Justin Owen will host a discussion on the topic of corporate welfare in our state.

6:00 pm Happy Hour & Networking

6:30 pm Rigged: The Injustice of Corporate Welfare

7:00 pm Discussion with Beacon Center President & CEO Justin Owen on Corporate Welfare in Tennessee

Events are free but please register here!

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Councilman Brett Withers sees a blow up doll

Metro Councilman Brett Withers has made a big deal out of a blow up doll in the window of a Short Term Rental Unit in east Nashville.  He saw it, took a cell phone picture and threatened to sic codes on the property owner.  The property is not in a residential neighborhood but on Main street in East Nashville.

I agree the blow up doll is in bad taste, but not everything in bad taste needs to be prohibited.  First Amendment rights of free expression are more valuable than someone else not being offended. 

Councilman Bret Withers
I am offended by lots of things, for example, saggy pants and rap music and people who sit too long when the red light changes because they are checking their cell phone and strongly opinionated people who are poorly informed.  I am offended by the normalization of deviant behavior and a whole lot of other things. Seeing a blow up doll is not on my list of the top one hundred things that offend me.  Anyway, I don't want to prohibit all the things that offend me or punish those who offend. To live in a free society, we have to tolerate a lot of tasteless and offensive stuff.

I don't really think that a blow up doll is something to get all worked up about.  The physical attributes of a blow up doll are not nearly as well done as those of a Barbie Doll.  Barbie dolls are widely available and the clothes come off. I bet Withers has never seen a nude Barbie doll and they are in schools and children's bedrooms all over America. Don't tell him.  I wonder if Withers has ever seen a nude mannequin? They are more realistic looking than a blow up doll.  I wonder if  Withers thinks we ought to put skirts on table legs? A blow up doll is not titillating. These almost life size dolls are sometimes called "sex dolls," but I doubt anyone actually has sex with them.  I think they are more of gag novelty items than a sex toy.

Anyway, Councilman Withers' blowing out of proportion the display of a blow up doll has generated a lot of criticism of Withers on social media. Here is what the website had to say:
Councilman Brett Withers Gets Bitchy Over Boobs

Oh Brett Withers, you never cease to amaze embarrass us. It was bound to happen at some point. An openly gay man in East Nashville was bound to eventually snap over fake boobs. No one expected they would be attached to a blow-up sex doll, though. That’s exactly what happened on Friday. You would think a councilman charged with a DUI, who has a life partner that was charged with growing marijuana with 1,000 ft of a school, would be just a little more laid back and chill about a set of fake boobs in a window. (read more)

To see the Channel 5 report on the issue follow this link.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Wilson County Republican Party membership meeting August 12th

We will eat breakfast at 8:45 am and the speakers will start at 9:30 am. This will be a very informative meeting you won't want to miss.

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Craig Fitzhugh to run for governor of Tennessee, setting up contested Democratic primary

Craig Fitzhugh
Graig Fitzhugh, the last remaining rural Democrat serving in the State legislature, is jumping into the race for the Democrat nomination to run for governor challenging former Nashville mayor Karl Dean. Fitzhugh has served in the State house for 23 years.  Karl Dean is looked upon by some Democrats as too business friendly and has created some Democrat enemies due to his support of charter schools.  Fitzhugh is viewed as  more of a labor union-friendly traditional Democrat.  The two candidates will present a contrast in style; Dean is former mayor of an urban center and a transplant to Tennessee and Fitzhugh is a folksy small-town banker with deep Tennessee roots.  Dean has a campaign war chest of about $1.2 million and Fitzhugh has only about $12,000.  Democratic fundraiser and wealthy Nashville businessman Bill Freeman is backing Fitzhugh. To read The Tennessean article from where I gleamed this information, follow this link.

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4 GOP contenders who could replace U.S. Rep. Diane Black in Congress

With Diane Black running for Governor several people will be looking at running for her 6th Congressional District seat.  The Tennessean list Mark Green, Judd Matheny, Scottie Hell Hughes and John Ross as potential candidates.  You can read the Tennessean article at this link.

Also see, Scottie Nell Hughes may run for Congress if Diane Black enters governor's race.

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State Senator Jack Johnson's 11th Annual Boots and Jeans, BBQ and Beans event Sunday August 6th.

Please join State Senator Jack Johnson for his 11th Annual Boots and Jeans, BBQ and Beans event with Special Guests the Republican Candidates for Governor of Tennessee. BBQ provided by Martin's BBQ and music by Charlie Richards & the Austin Brothers.
For ticket information follow this link.

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Friday, August 4, 2017

An enjoyable evening at the TNGOP Statemen's Dinner where VP MIke Pence was the keynote speaker.

I had an enjoyable evening at the Tennessee Republican Party's Statesman's Dinner last night.  Luckily people arrived early enough and arrival times were staggered enough so there was no problem getting through security to get into the event.  I arrived about 5PM for the event which started at 6:30.  I enjoyed mingling and talking to other Republicans and people I had not seen in a while, while enjoying an overpriced $10 class of wine. I saw Diane Black and chatted with her and I saw Beth Harwell.  I don't if the other candidates for governor were there but their people had a presence handing out campaign stickers.

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoor
Connie Hunter and Rod Williams enjoying something funny.
The event started on time and Governor Bill Haslam made introductory remarks, touting the success of his administration, and he introduced Vice President Mike Pence.  He explained how he had gotten to know Mike Pence when Pence was governor of Indiana and spoke of their friendship and the respect he had for the man.

In Vice Presidents Pence's speech he spoke of the successes of the Trump presidency including the appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the approval of the Keystone pipeline, the roll back of numerous regulations, starting the process of building up the military, and getting out of the Paris climate accord. He said their were more achievements coming, including adequate funding for the military, rebuilding our alliances, securing the border, and tax reform.  He said repeal and replacement of Obamacare would happen yet. The Tennessean gives a good report of the speech and the event which  you can read at this link and this link. The Tennessean also post 54 pictures from the event.

Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor
I enjoyed being at the table with Martha Brown, Melissa
Smithson, Connie Hunter and John Wang and his wife and family.
The Tennessean reports that some illegal aliens were outside the convention center protesting Turmp's immigration policy, but until reading in the paper this morning, I did not know of any protest.  I don't think anyone attending the event was aware of the protestors.

The meal was just OK.  Of course that is not why you pay $250 to attend an event like this. The meal is never anything great at these type events.  I think it is hard to prepare a great meals for 2,000 people.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the event early to relieve my invalid wife's sitter and missed the performance by Ricky Scaggs.

This is a "Thank you" email I received today from the TNGOP.
Good Afternoon,
Last night's Statesmen's Dinner was definately one to remember. We at the Tennessee Republican Party want to personally thank all 2,000 people that came out and made the night a success. 
We would also like to say congratulations again to all of the award recipiants last night:
Howard Baker Award - Governor Winfield Dunn
Statesman of the Year Awards:
  • 1st District - Roger Greene
  • 2nd District - Pete DeBusk
  • 3rd District - Tony Sanders
  • 4th District - Scottie Poarch
  • 5th District - Mayor Bob Rial
  • 6th District - John Roberts
  • 7th District - Peggy Daniel
  • 8th District - Shannon Haynes
  • 9th District - Barbara Thornton
With the help of all of our donors, volunteers and activists, we are getting ready to elect Republicans across the state next fall! 
When we have supporters like you, together, the Republican Party in Tennessee will continue growing and building on the sweeping victories of 2016. Together We will continue moving Tennessee forward!
Thank you for all you do,
Tennessee Republican Party

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What happened at the Aug 1 Council meeting? Nothing of significance. Bill to ban decorative rope lighting withdrawn.

If you are going to watch the meeting, you would benefit from a program.  To access the agenda, staff analysis and my commentary on the agenda, follow this link. Below are the meeting highlights.

Bills on Public Hearing.

BILL NO. BL2017-704 would ban rope lighting on a property that adjoins an arterial and collector street everywhere in Davidson County except in the core of downtown Nashville.  This is withdrawn.

BILL NO. BL2017-798 is a rezoning bill in Councilman Syracuse's district. It changes the zoning on a piece of property from RS20 to SP zoning to  to permit an accessory hair salon. It is disapproved by the Planning Commission and that is the only reason I am pointing out this bill.  About a dozen people, neighbors and clients speak in favor. About the same number speak against . One of those speaking against is John Stern, head of the Neighborhood Alliance. Another is neighborhood activist and former Council member John Summers. Councilman Syracurse moves to approve the bill but ask the Council to vote "no."  That is unusual.  It the sponsor opposes it, he should have refused to sponsor it, in my opinion or should have withdrawn it.  He says it is an inappropriate use of SP and agrees with the Planning Commissions disapproval. It fails on a roll call machine vote of  none in favor, 34 "no"s, and two abstentions. 

BILL NO. BL2017-826  in Councilman's Scott's district is a disapproved bill. No one speaks on either side. It passes.
RESOLUTION NO. RS2017-812 is a proposal to make an application for an HIV and STD Prevention in Youth Grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials to provide funding to develop an implementation plan to prevent HIV and sexually transmitted diseases in youth using Centers for Disease Control school based approaches in collaboration with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. At the request of the Committee it is deferred indefinitely. Why, I don't know. 

Bills on Second Reading:

BILL NO. BL2017-687 establishes a process and procedure for naming public buildings, structures and spaces of the Metropolitan Government.  I like this.  I think usually you should have to be dead before you get something named after you. This was deferred from May 2nd and again deferred July 6th at the request of the sponsor to this meeting. It is deferred indefinitely, which means it is killed. The sponsor says he is working with the Historical Commission on this topic and will introduce a new bill that addressees this issue.

BILL NO. BL2017-829  would require the Department of Public Works to replace, at no cost to the homeowner, government-supplied waste containers that are stolen, lost, or damaged beyond repair. Currently if someone runs over your waste container at the back of your house on the alley, or if someone steels it, the homeowner has to pay to replace it. I do not think that is fair. I support this bill. It is deferred one meeting.
Bills on Third Reading: The only one of interest is BILL NO. BL2017-719  which is only important because it is a bill disapproved by the Planning Commission.  It changes from R6 to SP zoning on property located at 2407 Brasher Avenue to allow a recording studio. The sponsor points out that this recording studio has been there for 25 years. The bill is deferred to the first meeting in September. It will take 27 votes to pass.  

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