Friday, July 31, 2020

City agrees school board members can criticize ex-Nashville schools director Shawn Joseph

The Tennessean, 7/31/2020 - Three school board members suing the city and Shawn Joseph are free to "say what they wish" about the former Metro Schools director, lawyers for the city and Joseph argue in a new motion seeking to dismiss the lawsuit against them. 


 As a result, a court hearing Friday could bring the lawsuit to an end. 

 Attorneys for Joseph and the city are seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by board members Amy Frogge, Jill Speering and Fran Bush earlier this year over a contract buyout clause they say violates their First Amendment rights. 

 At issue is a section in Joseph's April 2019 severance package that prohibits Joseph, the school board and individual members of the school board from making any "disparaging or defamatory comments" about one another. (Read more)

Rod's Comment:  I am not a fan of  Amy Frogge or Jill Speering, primarily because of their strident opposition to school choice, however, I am pleased to see them stand up for free speech rights. After Shawn Joseph's disastrous stint as Director of Schools, instead of firing him for incompetence and corruption, the Board paid him to go away.  His separation agreement included a $261,250 payout and a non-disparagement clause that said the Board nor members of the School Board would say any bad things about him.  That means some other school district will hire him and the Nashville School Board nor Board members cannot warn the other district that they are about to make a mistake.  I am pleased this was resolved in favor of free speech. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Mayor John Cooper Announces Police Chief Selection Roadmap

Metro press release, 7/28/2020 - Mayor John Cooper today announced a roadmap for selecting Metro Nashville’s new Chief of Police. The process Mayor Cooper has created is designed to engage residents and neighborhoods from across our community to identify the qualities needed in our next Chief of Police. It lays the groundwork for a robust, nationwide search for a new police executive informed by expert advice on recruiting and 21st century policing principles. The goal of this process is to select a new police chief who will make Nashville a model of community engagement and policing innovation. 


 Community Engagement 

This process will provide for extensive, county-wide community engagement. Starting on Monday, Mayor Cooper is inviting all Nashvillians to participate in a brief online survey about their priorities for the next Chief of Police through the Hub, Nashville’s 311 system. The survey includes the following five questions: 
  1. What are the three (3) most important qualities or skills you would like to see in Nashville’s next police chief? 
  2. What would you like to see the next chief accomplish immediately? Over the next 2-3 years? 
  3. What are the most important public safety needs in your neighborhood? 
  4. Please share suggestions you have for improving police services. 
  5. What is your home zip code? 
Directions to the Hub survey can also be found on the Metro website. Residents who lack access to the internet will be able to call 311 and complete the survey by phone. In addition to the Hub survey, the Mayor’s Office will reach out to neighborhood associations to better understand the safety needs and priorities in their neighborhoods. The Mayor’s Office will also conduct engagement sessions with community groups and with police officers. 

Using input from the survey and from these community engagement sessions, the Mayor’s Office will work with the Human Resources Department (HR) to craft a job posting for the position of Chief of Police and to develop interview questions for the review committee and the interview panel, as well as for Mayor Cooper. In mid-August, the position will be posted on Metro Nashville Human Resources’ website for a period of 30 days and advertised with the following organizations: 
  • National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives 
  • Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association 
  • Major City Chiefs Association 
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police 
  • Police Executive Research Forum 
  • National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives 
  • National Black Police Officers Association 
  • FBI National Academy Associates 
In August, Metro Human Resources (HR) will assemble a review committee of diverse individuals with backgrounds in law enforcement and community oversight to assist the department as it scores and rates applicants for the Chief of Police position, in accordance with Nashville Civil Service Guidelines. The review committee will then review the top tiers of qualified candidates and recommend candidates who should advance to the interview process. Metro HR will then forward the committee’s recommended list of finalists to an interview panel that includes a variety of community voices and partners. Finalists advancing to the interview process will interview in Nashville with the interview panel and with Mayor Cooper. With input from the interview panel, Mayor Cooper will select the next Chief of Police, in keeping with guidelines provided by the Metro Nashville Charter. 

Expert assistance 

Mayor Cooper is eager to encourage outstanding police executives from across the nation to apply to this position. To help recruit outstanding candidates, the Metro Human Resources Department has engaged Gary Peterson, President and CEO of Public Sector Search & Consulting, to assist with the search process. Mr. Peterson specializes in police executive searches and has conducted searches in more than 25 cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, and Sacramento, CA. In conjunction with the other recruited outreach noted, Mr. Peterson will conduct targeted outreach to police executives to identify outstanding candidates and encourage them to apply for the position of Chief of Police in Nashville. He will also work with Metro HR and the candidate review committee to ensure that Nashville identifies candidates with a proven track record of innovation and community engagement and a commitment to the principles set forth by President Obama’s Task Force on Twenty-First Century Policing. In addition, Mr. Peterson will also conduct a survey of the current police department. Among the questions Mr. Peterson will ask are the following: What do you think the department does really well? What three (3) things would you change about the department if you could? Describe the kind of leader who you would like to see as your next chief. What do you think the key challenges will be for the new chief? 

Timeline 

Following is the timeline for the Chief of Police selection process: 
Timeframe Activities 
  • July 28:    Mayor’s Office announces roadmap for Chief of Police selection process. Community and neighborhood engagement begins. Consultant begins process of reaching out to potential candidates nationwide. 
  • Early August:     Consultant surveys police officers on job satisfaction, priorities. 
  • Mid-August:     Metro HR and the Mayor’s Office finalize job posting. The position is advertised nationally and posted for 30 days. 
  • Mid-September:     Application period closes. 
  • Late September:     Metro HR scores candidates and meets with review committee narrowing the field to the top finalists for interviews. Metro begins an extensive process of background checks. 
  • October: Finalists visit Nashville to meet with interview panel and the Mayor. Mayor announces Nashville’s new police chief.

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Learn how to start a charter school in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Charter School Center is hosting Charter 101— a comprehensive training for anyone interested in starting a charter school in Tennessee. This training will cover the basics of charter schools, the application process, and potential resource opportunities for schools. There will be two informational sessions for Charter 101: one will be held on August 14 at 10 a.m. and another session will be held in September.  For more information, follow this link.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Nashville Peace Monument restored following attack by vandals.

by Rod Willliams, 7/27/2020  - It is not only statues of Confederate generals that have been hit by vandals across America, targets have included founding fathers and Christopher Columbus and even Miguel de Cervantes the author of Don Quixote, and even abolitionist. If it is old and made of bronze or marble, it is a target.  I assume the thugs who do this are ignorant of what they are destroying and destroy just for the joy of destruction.

Here in Nashville, earlier this month the Nashville Peace Monument was vandalized. Luckily, it was
not toppled and destroyed.  The cost of repairing the damage was about $10,000. Repairs were just compleated. (link)

According to the the Battle of Nashville website, the Battle of Nashville Monument, often referred to as the “Peace Monument,” is a white granite and bronze monument which honors the sacrifices of both Confederate and Union soldiers who fought in the December 15-16,1864 Battle of Nashville, as well as the American soldiers who fought in the World War I (“The Great War”).

Owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission, the monument was commissioned by the Ladies’ Battlefield Association and sculpted by Giuseppe Moretti of Italy. It was originally located just off Franklin Pike and was dedicated on Armistice Day, 1927. That monument's 30-foot obelisk, was destroyed when toppled by a tornado in 1974.  That original location, though it was historically important lost its appeal after construction of a major interchange for Interstate 65 erased the view, both of and from, the original placement.

The monument was relocated to its current location in 1999. The current location is also historically relevant as is explained on the website.  A large “basket oak” tree verified to be a “Witness Tree” by the Tennessee Landmark and Historic Tree Registry is near the monument.

The monument shows two rearing steeds representing the North and the South yoked together by a young man symbolizing all Americans who fought in the Civil War and World War I. The word “UNITY” is inscribed on the banner with which he entwines the horses. The bronze sculpture was said to be fashioned out of melted cannon barrels.

The engraved inscription on the south face of the monument explains the bronze figures as follows: The Spirit Of Youth Holds In Check Contending Forces That Struggled Here In The Fierce Battle Of Nashville, Dec. 16th, 1864, Sealing Forever The Bond Of Union By The Blood Of Our Heroic Dead Of The World War 1917 – 1918.

It is a beautiful work of art and evokes a feeling of solemnness. If you have not visited it, it is a great place to just sit in quite contemplation or have a peaceful picnic lunch.  You may want to visit it soon. If the insurrection continues, the anarchist may destroy it next time they are on a rampage of destruction.  It is impossible to protect all of our many historic churches, building, monuments and works of art from attack. We can only hope that this madness ends soon.

To learn more about Nashville's monuments or make a contribution to the work of the Battle of Nashville Trust, visit this site.


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President Trump: "They want to leave they can leave."



President Trump answers questions from the media concerning a tweet he sent the previous day. "If you're not happy in the U.S., if you complain all the time, very simply – you can leave. You can leave right now."

I applaud the President's message.  It is the way I feel.  I would like to see those who love our enemies leave this country.  I have been lukewarm about Trump from time to time, but today I am an enthusiastic supporter. Trump may have his faults but he loves our country. Like Merle Haggard sang, "If you'r running down our county man, you're walking on the fighting side of me."

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Saturday, July 25, 2020

"Not Real," looks at the fake news of the week.

by Rod Williams, 7/25/2020 - In economics, there is a law, "bad money drives out good money." In information, I fear "false news drives out real news."

I have at times applauded the decline of the major news networks and the rise of alternative sources of news. However, over the last twenty years or so, and at an accelerating rate, we are seeing a dumbing down of America. Part of this can be blamed on the education establishment that has gone from sound education to indoctrination. Most of it however, is more organic and cultural. People are simply not as informed as in a previous age. They have shorter attention spans and they want news that reinforces what they already believe.

We may have the world at our fingertips but people know less about what goes on in the world than in previous generations. We have several 24 hours news channels but if you actually watch them, there is not much news on the news channels. If is across the spectrum too. From far left MSNBC to Fox News, most of the time is taken up with talking heads giving their take on the news of the day. It is bombastic or snarky TV personalities promoting a point of view and demonizing the other side, or a panel of "experts" spending hours talking about something that may be pretty inconsequential.

I think what has happened is that newspapers declined because reading a news paper is reading yesterday's news. CNN is instantaneous news. The format of TV news however is such that people want visuals. As people watch more TV news, their attention span shortens. TV has no time for deep explanations the way a newspaper story can cover the news. As people quit reading newspapers, revenues fell and newspapers had to cut staff and could do less in-depth reporting, so even more people dropped their subscription. Most cities now only have one newspaper and some large cities have no newspapers. That is not good for a democracy.

It is nothing new that a lesser important story gets knocked off the front page when a more important story happens, but it seems to me, that we have reached a point at which we can only pay attention to a couple topics at a time. Take the current news climate. About all we are hearing about is the civil unrest or Covid-19. Those are for sure important topics. But, that is not all that is happening in the world. What is the daily news out of Hong Kong? We are witnessing a democracy with a population of seven and a half million people on the verge of being taken over by a despotic regime. If this happens, we may see millions sent to reeducation camps and thousands killed. There may not be anything we can do about it, but we ought to know about it. We ought to witness it.

When is the last time you saw a news story about Venezuela. It is still there. The last I heard there was a stand off between the dictator and the person the National Assembly declared to be the president. What is the latest? Months ago people had resorted to eating cats and dogs. A recent story I saw on BBC says the fuel shortage is so severe that funeral homes are having trouble getting fuel for hearst to drive bodies to cemeteries. This is a major drama playing out in our backyard and we don't know it.

Back in the decade of the 80's I served in the Metro Council. At that time we had The Tennessean and the Nashville Banner and they would compete for stories. They had real investigative reporters. In addition, each of the three local TV channels had news reporters and radio stations WSM and WLAC had reporters. At an event, there would be a gaggle reporters trying to get a quote. Reporters competed for the "scoop." Now it seems that the coverage is so superficial and the news is mostly press releases sent to the papers. There are not many investigative reporters left.

Local TV news has gotten bad along with the newspapers. If you watch the local news you will see a lot of sports, a weather lesson when all I want to know is it going to rain tomorrow, and a car wreck and a crime. There is very little delving into issues or exposing corruption or scandal.

While news has been on the decline, what has been growing is "fake news." I am appalled at the things reposted on Facebook. And, more and more people get most of their news from social media. People believe lots of things that are simply made up.

A new feature from AP and Nexstar and carried locally by WKRN called "Not Real," looks at the fake news of the week. Here are the fake news items of the past week. You probably saw these stories on Facebook. I saw most of them.

  • There is no coin shortage. Coins get recirculated, they don’t just disappear. The government is trying to usher in a cashless society.  
  • Former President Barack Obama signed the law authorizing federal agents to “snatch” protesters off the streets in Portland, Oregon. 
  •  A video from a 1985 hearing exposes Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for using the N-word, stating: “We already have a n—– mayor, we don’t need any more n—– big shots!” 
  • Black tour buses wrapped with “Black Lives Matter” were seen in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bringing in Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters for protests. 
  • In a July 17 tweet, President Donald Trump says he is “SO MAD” the Pentagon abolished the Confederate flag and calls the flag a symbol of love. 
  • NASA has officially announced a 13th zodiac sign, Ophiuchus, after discovering a new constellation, meaning your zodiac star has changed. 

Don't believe someting just because you read it on Facebook. Check out the source. I try to be careful, but I have on occation clicked "share" without checking a source. If I do post something false, I welcome having it pointed out and if it is false, I will remove it. None of us should want to be gulity of spreading lies.

Stay informed and stay skeptical.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Continued selective enforcement of Covid-19 rules.

by Rod Williams - As of yesterday, Nashville police gave 6,704 mask mandate warnings. Wearing a mask is now mandatory when leaving home according to Order 8 and all gatherings of over 25 people are prohibited (link).

However, enforcement is selective and arbritary.  The rules are not enforced against protestors or anything related to the cause of Black civil rights. Last night there was a  'I miss my baby' vigil held for Daniel Hambrick who was killing in an altercation with police two years ago. Photos show people not wearing mask and the gathering was of more than 25 people.

When laws apply to some and not to others based on the official approval of disapproval of the cause, then this breeds contempt for the law.  Equal protection of the law and impartial justice is a halmark of respect for law and order.  The police may still be able to impose their will on pepople by brute force and intimidation.  They may gain compliance but it is out of fear of the consequences of non-compliance, not the voluntary compliance due to respect for the law.  Law needs to be applied impartially.

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Class action lawsuit filed after robocalls push for recall of Mayor John Cooper, property tax hike

Class action lawsuit filed after robocalls push for recall of Mayor John Cooper, property tax hike

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Tennessee GOP U.S. Senate primary remains heated as Sethi challenges Hagerty to debate

Tennessee GOP U.S. Senate primary remains heated as Sethi challenges Hagerty to debate

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Effort to roll back property tax hike fails in the Council

by Rod Williams - At last night's council meeting there was a resolution sponsored  by Robert Swope on the agenda that asked Mayor Cooper to submit a new tax levy by August 15th.  This would not have changed the budgeted dollar amounts. It would have cut no services or programs. It called for rolling back the tax levy to an amount that "dollar for dollar" for what the city is receiving in unrestricted relief funding.  That is, money received from the Federal government for Covid 19 relief that does not have to be spend on Covid-19 expenses.

It failed! This should have been an easy vote. This should have been an no-brainer. What is wrong with our Council? Stay tuned.  I will post how members voted.

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Four Bills aimed at "reforming" Metro police, including the tear gas ban bill, were withdrawn in Metro Council.

by Rod Williams, 7/22/2020 - Four separate bills aimed at changing local law enforcement practices were withdrawn at last night's Council meeting.  One by Councilman Colby Sledge would have banned use of choke holds.  Another bill sponsored by Sharon Hurt would have allowed people interacting with the police the right ask the police officer if his body camera was on and would have required police to answer, “The video is on. How may I serve you?”. Another sponsored by Sharon Hurt would have required police to have annual implicit bias training.

A bill by Emily Benedict would have banned use of tear gas. It only barely passed first reading so was obviously doomed for defeat. Police argued it would take away an important deescalation tool.

For more on this topic see below.
Nashville council withdraws slate of police reform legislation
Metro Council debates several police reform bills and related matters in a lengthy meeting
Nashville council members hear from law enforcement as they weigh police reform bills

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Metro Council appoints Berthena Nabaa-McKinney to Metro Nashville Board of Education

See the source image
Berthena Nabaa-McKinney
by Rod Williams, 7/21/2020 - Tonight the Council had four candidates to choose from to replace Anna Shepherd on the Board of Education. Anna Shepherd passed away in June leaving a vacancy. The race was looked at as a toss-up between community activist John Little and longtime educators Stephanie Bradford and Berthena Nabaa-McKinney.

Little has drawn attention in recent weeks, after State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D Memphis, wrote to the council urging members not to appoint Little. Little is a proponent of school choice. Not surprisingly, the Council did not appoint Little, instead the Council appointed Berthena Nabaa-McKinney.  As is our school board, the Metro Council opposes school choice.

After three rounds of voting Nabaa-McKinney was appointed by a vote of 25-14. The appointment is only for a short time.  In November the remainder of Shepherd's term comes to an end and there will an election to fill this seat.

The candidate with the most union support was Stephanie Bradford. She had the support of the teachers unioin (MNEA), the Service Employees International (SEIU) Union Local 205, and the Central Labor Council of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

For more on this story see:
Metro Council appoints Berthena Nabaa-McKinney to Metro Nashville Board of Education
Metro Council to choose between former educators, charter school advocate for empty school board seat Tuesday
State Rep. Parkinson urges Metro Council not to appoint John Little to school board

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Who are the 3 Dems seeking the nomination to challenge Steve Dickerson. Can a Dem beat Dickerson?

by Rod Williams - Three candidates are seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Senator Steve Dickerson in November.  They are Heidi Campbell, Kimi Abernathy, and Zaia Thombre.  Heidi Campbell is the mayor of the satellite city of Oak Hill and is the most qualified and appears the front runner in the primary election.

Steve Dickerson may be vunerable.  Like the rest of Nashville, the 20th Senatorial district is becoming more liberal.   Hillary Clinton beat out Donald Trump in 2016 in the district and in 2018 Democrat Bob Freeman picked up the House seat in the District that had been Republican Beth Harwell's for many years.  Democrats are salivating over the prospects of picking up this seat. 

In an article in Tennessee Outlook the candidates are profiled and the race analyzed. See, Closely contested Democratic primary foreshadows November showdown for Senate District 20.

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Monday, July 20, 2020

This is who is running for school board and none of them deserve a vote.

by Rod Williams- Our schools are failing. As population has grown in Nashville, the number of children enrolling in Metro Public Schools has been shrinking. Families with school age children are fleeing Metro Schools.  The number of schools on the State list of failing schools is growing.  We had the terrible experience of having Dr. Shawn Joseph as director and the scandals surrounding his administration. And, our School Board routinely votes against school choice. 

We have a School Board election coming up August 6th and five of the nine districts will be electing school board members.  Don't look for things to get better.  I expect things to get worse.  I have listed below the members running for school board and what information I could find about them.  I see no reason to vote for any of them.  When only presented with bad choices, do not feel compelled to vote.  I would recommend skipping these contest or writing in one's own name.

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 1

BARRY BARLOW. Barlow was a 2019 unsuccessful candidate for District 3 of the Nashville Metro Council. I cannot find any more information about him.

Sharon Gentry
SHARON GENTRY. Gentry is the chairman of the School Board and is seeking reelection. She was first elected to the Board in 2008. Gentry is the director of clinical informatics strategic development, innovation, and integration at HCA. She earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Xavier University of Louisiana, a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee State University, and a doctoral degree in education from Tennessee State University. She and her husband have two daughters.

She has overseen the decline in the quality of education and has a record of opposing public school choice and does not deserve to be reelected. See her campaign Facebook page at this link.

Robert Taylor
ROBERT TAYLOR. Robert Taylor was born in Washington, D.C. He attended Fisk University. Taylor's career experince includes working as a Rule 31 Medinator, not that I know what that is. I got this off of Ballopedia. You can visit his website at this link.

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 3 (This is the seat formerly occupied by Jill Speering.)

Brian Hubert
BRIAN HUBERT. Visit his website at this link.  He say, "I will fight against vouchers, budget cuts, and the neglect of our teachers."  That is a reason I would tend to not support him. His website says he is a 2003 graduate of Hunters Lane High School and does not mention any higher education.

Emily Masters
EMILY MASTERS. Visit her website at this link. She is endorsed by the Metro Nashville Education Association, Central Labor Council of Nashville & Middle TN, SEIU Local 205, and Women in Numbers. She served on the PTO board of Dan Mills
Elementary for 7 years. She works as  a freelance fundraising consultant.




SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 5
Christiane Buggs

CHRISTIANE BUGGS. She is seeking reelection running unopposed. She has two Master’s degrees in Education—one in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee State University and the other in Urban Education from Vanderbilt University.  Visit her website at this link.

SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 7

Freda Player-Peters
FREDA PLAYER-PETERS. She is seeking reelection, running unopposed. In September 2019, she was elected to the School Board by the Metro Council to complete the term of  Will Pinkston who resigned his position. Freda Player-Peters was at the time serving as the Nashville Mayor's Office senior legislative liaison.  For more information see this link. To visit her website, follow this link.


SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 9
RUSSELLE ANN BRADBURY

RUSSELLE ANN BRADBURY. To visit her website, follow this link. She has a masters degree in Social Work and a good record of volunteerism. She has the endorsement of Run For Something. FRS "endorses candidates who deeply value inclusion, diversity, and constituent voices, and run grassroots, all-in, progressive campaigns that reflect these values." That is all I need to know.

ABIGAIL TYLOR.  She has
a master’s degree in education and is a former teacher. She commits to fully fund Metro Schools, which means give them whatever amount they ask for. I am not engaging in hyperbole; that is really what that means. She says she will oppose charter schools and vouchers. She has the endorsement of the teachers union (MNEA). To visit her website, follow this link.

There is not much information about these races and candidates are not doing much to distinguish themselves. From what I have learned about the candidates, I do not want any of them elected.

These are the candidates endorsed by SEIU: District 1 – Dr. Sharon Gentry District 3 – Emily Masters District 5 – Christiane Buggs District 7 – Freda Player-Peters  District 9 – Abigail Tylor. This is reason enough to not vote for them.

As to who has the money in these races, as reported in Dad Gone Wild, District 3 candidate Brian Hubert reports $5349.26 in small donations and District 9 candidate Russelle Bradbury is reporting $11,381.59 in contributions.

For more information, see these stories:
Metro Nashville school board candidates discuss reopening, equity, charters during forum
Replay: Nashville School Board candidate forum


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Dr. Manny Calls For Hagerty to Stop Hiding and Debate

Press release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Republican Senate candidate and conservative outsider Dr. Manny Sethi today invited Ambassador Bill Hagerty to join him for a public debate on major issues facing our state and our nation.

 “Early voting has begun, and voters want to hear directly from Ambassador Hagerty and myself, discussing our differences,” said Dr. Manny. “It’s simple, it’s time for Ambassador Hagerty to debate. This is a tight race, and with COVID limiting voter interactions for the last few months, most folks haven’t been able to hear from the candidates directly. This is a great way to allow that to happen, so they can make an educated and informed choice. I look forward to debating him soon.”

“Bill Hagerty is spending millions smearing Manny Sethi. He should stop hiding behind his Super PAC’s false attack ads and face Dr. Sethi like a man,” said Chris Devaney, Campaign Chairman.

Rod's Comment: I have not endorsed a candidate in this race. I think we have two good candidates and would be pleased to have either one of them represent me in the Senate. I don't think you could see daylight between their ideological positions.

"Insider" is a term the less experienced candidate often uses to label a more experienced candidate. I do not find it helpful in telling me what I need to know about a candidate to help me make up my mind about how I will vote. By labellng Hagerty an "insider," Sethi is not winnng any points with me. I have never been persuaded that experience is a bad thing.

In the last race for governor, my vote was Diane Black's to lose and she lost it. I am sick of candidates smearing good people with nitpicky attacks making mountains out of molehills. I normally to do not vote early and doubt I will this time. I will be watching the campaigns. Rather than one of two good candidates wining me over, I suspect that one of the candidates will drive me into the camp of the other by his use of negatives attacks.

The above being said, I must commend Dr. Sethi for being accessible and criticize Mr. Hagerty for not being seen. I have seen Dr. Sethi speak twice at Fist Tuesday and a couple other times at other events and have had other opportunities to see him speak if I had wanted. Hagerty has not spoken to First Tuesday, nor am I aware of other opportunities to see him speak since he announced his candidacy for Senate.  Hagerty may lose my vote simply because he has not been seen.

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

3PM Sunday Property Tax Protest


Sponsored · Paid for by No Tax 4 Nash
 
Image may contain: sky, cloud and outdoor, text that says '3pm Sunday PROPERTY TAX PROTEST 17ZA'
Attention Nashville! This Sunday there will be a Turn-In Petition and Property Tax Protest event at Nissan Stadium at 3pm. Music and celebration of our efforts! Hope to see you there!

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Friday, July 17, 2020

The most honest democrat commercial you will ever see

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If you have not yet signed a recall petition, do so tomorrow!

Who is that masked man collecting signatures for the recall petition at Howard School
By Rod Williams - Yesterday I worked in Bellevue at the Highway 100 Publix grocery store shopping center gathering signatures for the recall petitions, today I worked early voting at the Howard School office complex, and tomorrow I will be working the Antioch library early voting location. It is hot! Stop and say hi.

There will be volunteers working all early voting locations tomorrow. Tomorrow will most likely be the last opportunity to sign a petition to recall the mayor and members of the Council who voted to pass a 34% property tax increase. All petitions  must be turned in to the election commission by 5PM Monday.

For a list of early voting locations, follow this link. For other petition locations, follow this link. If you signed a Change.Org petition to recall the mayor, you still need to sign one of these official petitions.  The Change.Org recall petition is not in the right format to be acceptable to the Election Commission.

If you have been gathering signatures for a recall petitions, you can trun in the petitions to one of the  Notax4Nash volunteers at one of the locations tommorrow.  If you miss that opportunity or want to gather signatures up until the last opportunity, private message Notax4Nash on Facebook or email at info@notax4nash.com to make arrangements to turn in your petition. If  you want to keep working on petitions over the weekend, please go ahead and turn in what signed petitions you already have, tommorrow.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Join Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Manny T-bones and Politics, Saturday, July 18th.


For more information, follow this link

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Early Voting Locations Open

L

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Metro Nashville school board again denies five charter school application appeals, prompts debate among members

The Tennessean -  ...all of which were denied in 7-1 votes, with only board member Fran Bush voting against disapproving the applications.

All five schools denied earlier this year submitted amended applications for review this summer, including:

  • Nashville Collegiate Prep 
  • Ivy Prep Academy 
  • KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Elementary School 
  • KIPP Southeast Nashville College Prep Middle School 
  • KIPP Antioch College Prep High School
Bush spoke favorably about charter school operator, KIPP Nashville. "What I hear from parents are they're very excited about KIPP," Bush said. "I can only speak about Southeast [and] KIPP in my experience. They've been a model steward in our community. They have shown student academic gains. I have not heard one compliant, I've actually heard great things about how KIPP is operating and supporting students." (read more)

Rod's comment: It is almost as if the school board likes failing schools. They would prefer all students get an equally bad education rather than some students get a superior education. It is as if they want to hold back good students so poor students won't look so bad.

Charters have had a pretty good record of winning when appealing Metro Schools Board denials to the State. I, of course, do not know the virtues of all of these schools that have applied for charters but I do know I have zero confidence in the Metro School Board to fairly evaluate a charter school application. I hope the State overrules Metro when Metro denies a charter to deserving schools. Charters have a had a good track record of winning on appeal.  I wish the State would just remove Metro School Board from the equation and Charters could apply directly to the State.

For several years, Metro school enrollment has been declining as Davidson County population has been growing. How is that possible? People with school age children are not settling in Nashville. Nashville may be a fun place for a single person or a young childless couple but when people have children and settle down, the surrounding counties look awfully appealing. With the whopper of a tax increase just passed and failing schools, more people will flee the county. The wealthy who can afford the tax increase and can afford private schools will stay and the poor are often stuck here with no means to leave. We are seeing a hollowing out of the populations with the middle class fleeing leaving the poor and the wealthy.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Download the Recall Petition! Recall the mayor and Council members who voted for the 34% tax hike.

Petitions must be turned in by next weekend, in time for the organizer to submit them to the election commission by the end of the business day Monday July 20th.


Download the recall petitons at this link.

Mail your completed petition to:
NoTax4Nash
P.O. Box 210976
Nashville, TN 37221
 Or
Stop by one of the many locations we have available. Locations
Also sign the petition to amend the Metro Charter.

The NASHVILLE TAXPAYER PROTECTION ACT will:

  • LIMIT PROPERTY TAX RATE INCREASES to no more than 2% a year.
  • BAN GIVE-AWAY OF OUR PARKS, GREENWAYS, OR PUBLIC LANDS. 
  • REQUIRE BONDS OF OVER $15 MILLION BE APPROVED BY THE PUBLIC IN A REFERENDUM. 
  • PROTECT TAX PAYERES FROM FAILED PROMICES. Failed Promises: If a professional sports team leaves Nashville, or ceases playing professional games for more than twenty-four (24) months, all facilities and related commercial development shall revert to the people, and all related contracts shall be terminated, including land leased from the Nashville Fairgrounds.
Download the Taxpaer Protection Act petition at this link. 

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Friday, July 10, 2020

You can now make music at home in Music City

Justin Owen
BY JUSTIN OWEN, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Beacon Center of Tennessee - As one of our best one liners, for years we have said that “it is illegal to make music at home in Music City.” Nashville, a city most known for bootstrapping fledgling musicians, imposed the nation’s most stringent ban on home businesses. No one—including recording studios—could operate a home business that saw even a single client in the home. In late 2017, Beacon and our friends at the Institute of Justice teamed up with two home business owners to fight back against this egregious law.

Lij Shaw had operated a successful home studio, recording for the likes of Jack White, Wilco, Adele, and the Zac Brown Band. But when a neighbor was denied his own home business permit, he filed a complaint against Lij, shutting his business down despite no actual violations of traffic, noise (I mean, it is a sound-proof room we’re talking about), or any other laws.

Pat Raynor, a lifelong hairstylist, sought to work from home after her husband Harold passed away after a decade-long battle with a debilitating medical condition left Pat with extensive medical bills. She undertook an expensive renovation to her home to open up a hair salon that met all of Tennessee’s health and safety standards and would welcome just a few clients a day. Then one day, she too was threatened with fines unless she stowed away her scissors.

Unfortunately, we did not win in court. And while we are currently appealing the ruling, there has been an even quicker breakthrough. In an age when more Americans are working from home than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this became a pivotal moment for change. Why on earth did it make sense for the government to force some people to work from home while simultaneously banning others from doing so?

Finally rectifying this wrong, the Metro Nashville Council voted last night to allow home businesses, with some reasonable restrictions on the number of clients one can see each day, along with parking, noise, signage, and other limitations. This new law protects the residential character of our neighborhoods while allowing thousands of businesses to legally operate from home. After all, isn’t that the American Dream?

Kudos to the 26 Council members—led by Dave Rosenberg—for fighting to defend that dream in a time when having a source of income is both more difficult to come by and more important than it ever has been. And kudos to Lij and Pat (who is cutting my hair in her home salon next week) for their long and difficult journey to freedom, not just for themselves but also for thousands of their fellow Nashvillians.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Metro Council debates several police reform bills and related matters in a lengthy meeting

by Rod Williams- On Tuesday night July 7, the Council took up several bills relating to police use of force and other bills that relate to police procedures. Here they are:

Bill BL2020-329  which would prohibit the use of tear gas by law enforcement, passed on first reading. It passed by a vote of 19 yeses,  13 nos and 10 abstaining. That means it will fail if it makes it to third reading and no one changes their vote between now and then.  It takes 21 votes for something to pass on third reading.  Some of the "yes" votes may turn into abstentions or "nos."  Most bills pass first reading without discussion.  First reading is often viewed as simply allowing a bill to be considered.  Bills on first are not explained by council staff in the analysis and they have not been to committee.  Probably some of the "yes" votes were not votes on the merits but a vote to allow the bill to be considered. Many members of the Council probably feel it is simply bad manners to vote against a bill on first reading. If I were serving in the Council I would have voted "no" on this, but in general think of first reading as a formality.  I do not hold it against someone for voting "yes" on first reading. Tear gas is seldom used and without the tear gas option, police might have to use more lethel measues to combat mob violence. Council member Emily Bennett is the sponsor of this bill.

Bill BL2020-330 would give "residents the first right of question during a civic engagement with law enforcement." They could ask "a police officer if his/her body camera is recording, and require the officer to respond appropriately." This passed on first reading. This sounds reasonable to me. If I had a vote I would have voted in favor on first reading but would withold judgement on the merits of the bill until second reading.

Bill BL2020-331 on first reading would requre that "every Metropolitan police officer who has any engagement with the public shall receive implicit bias training at least once per year using curriculum developed by the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission.” If I had a vote, I would have voted for this on first reading but could not support this. I have a problem giving the Metro Human Relations Commission the authority to develop the curriculum.  Maybe there is a national curriculum that could be adopted from some respected national agency.  I just do not trust the Human Relations Commission.  This needs some study and discussion.

Bill BL2020-148 on second reading would "prohibit contracts with private operators of detention facilities." I am unsure what happened to this. CoreCivic has had enough of the city threatening to end their relationship with the company and just the day before this was on second reading said to the city that they were  tired of being "used as a punching bag by political opportunists," and put the city on notice they were going to phase out their provision of services to the city.  To progressives "for profit" is a dirty word but often government comes out ahead contracting for services rather than providing the services themselves. Government is reluctant to layoff people when the situation should recommend it and government workers with civil service protection are difficult to discipline. Also, by contracting, government can avoid the upfront cost of building new facilities. I oppose this bill and think we should be doing more contracting for services, not less, but "people not profits," and "no private prisons" has become a left-wing rallying cry.

Bill BL2020-321 on second reading requires members of the Metropolitan Council to receive disaster preparedness/response training and active shooter training.  I have never had the actice shooter training myself but know someone who has.  This persons is very progressive but has a sensitivity to the difficulty police have in making split second decisions as to shoot or not shoot.  I think it should be required for all member of the Council and wish it was required for members of the police oversight board. I hope this passed.

Bill BL2020-322 on second reading would "prohibit the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department from hiring police officers who were previously fired or under investigation by another law enforcement agency for malfeasance or use of force." This is a good bill. It was defered.

Bill BL2020-323 on second reading says, "The chief of police shall incorporate the following policies regarding use of force in any regulation concerning the conduct of officers: A. Officers shall use de-escalation tactics such as verbal warnings and advisements before resorting to force. B. Officers shall not use any form of chokehold nor stranglehold. C. Any officer who is present and observes another officer utilizing force when it is not reasonably necessary shall intervene to impede the use of unreasonable force. D. Officers shall report any use of force against civilians when any civilian is injured, complains of injury in the presence of officers, or complains of pain continuing beyond the use of physical force." My view is that this attempt to micromanage the officer's conduct in the field when confronting an immediate threat to his life, goes too far.
While trying to subdue a person who is trying to kill you, I don't think we should  be telling an officer which techniques are or are not permitted. If I had a vote, I might could be persuaded, but I would have to be persuaded that this is a good idea. My inclination is to oppose this. I think part A should be satisfied with, "Drop the gun!" However, parts C and D seem reasonable.  It was deferred.

Once the minutes are posted, I will check the status of those I am unsure about and report if they passed or did not pass. Check back. For more on this, see this link, link, and this link.


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Let's take a break. Let me show you my yard.















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Monday, July 6, 2020

Charlie Daniels dies at age 83, RIP

by Rod Williams - Charlie Daniels is dead at the age of 83. Rest in Peace.

Charlile Daniels holds a warm place in my heart. I am sorry to hear of his death. As I have gotten older, I have seen more and more people die off that I admired or respected. Some of them, I didn't know much more about them than that their music has spoken to my soul. Others, I knew their mind. Some, I admired for their impact on the world, others because, not even knowing me, they helped make it thorough the night. Ronald Reagan, I loved because, in my view, he was the person most responsible for ending Communism and throwing it onto the dust bin of history, liberating a third of the world from slavery, saving the rest of us from a destiny of living under totalitarian tyranny, and saving us from nuclear annihilation.

I know it is a mixed bag of chracters but in my Rest-in-Pease Hall of Fame is Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, George Jones, and now, Charlie Daniels. There may have been others that caused me a twinge of sadness and a moment of reflection, but for those I listed above, it was like I lost a good friend.

Those much younger than me may not know of Charlie Daniels other than that he was an aging country star. He was more. Charlie Daniels was pivotal. He let music out of its genre boxes and let people appreciate a range of musical styles. He introduced a generation to country music and they didn't know they liked country music.

I have always been a country music fan. I never related, except maybe for short periods hear and there, to the popular music of my era. Yea, the Beatles were OK, but I never loved The Beatles. I have always loved county music. However, I really do have an appreciation of almost all music. For a while I said I could appreciate all music except opera. Well, at one point about the mid 90's I was driving home and had pubic radio on because I always liked NPR news. Following the news, an opera performance came on and I did not change the station and when I got home, I realized I had been listening for maybe thirty minutes and I thought, I really enjoyed that. I then started listening to opera. I would go to the library and check out opera CDs and many of the CDs would have English translations of he lyrics. Country music and opera have a lot in common. Opera is often about ubrequited love, and unbelievable heartbreak and longing and maudlin pathos. I went through about a six months period where I explored and leaned about opera and learned to appreciate it.

I never did develop a love of the Ellla Fitzgerald-type improvisational scat signing or the instrumental progressive dissonant jazz, but I did develop an appreciation for lots of jazz. I really have developed an appreciation for almost all types of music, except for rap and I just can't get into it. So, I appreciate almost all kinds of music. Back to Charlie Daniels.

In the mid 70's I was attending college and loving it. I was late to go to college, I never had an adult to encourage me and somehow thought that college was for a different class of people. You might say I had an inferiority complex. I did enroll in college thanks to the GI bill and learned that I was a whole lot smarter than I had given myself credit for and loved learning. I was married at the time and then out of the blue, my wife left me and filed for divorce. I was devastated. I took it hard. I had to move out of my home and moved closer to college.

Money was tight and I got by on the GI bill and working odd jobs at day labor and working part-time as needed with a moving company. I had to live as cheaply as possible and rented an apartment between a red-neck couple and a bunch of guy whose hosehold composition was constantly changing but who were worthless red-neck hard rock fans and dope heads. Living in close quarters, I became friends with a class of people I had never known before. I had known poor people, but these were a subset of poor people that you might call "white trash." During this time living among degenerate poverty-stricken, hard-rock-loving, petty thieves and losers and dealing with heartbreak and lonliness  and somstimes experiencing bouts of depression, I was also growing intellecutrally, exhilarated by learning, meeting new friends in addition to my neighbors, exploring new ideas, and having new adventures. I studied harder than I had to.  It was rewarding to get A's.  It boosted by ego and if I was going to argue with my teachers, I had to know what I was talking about. Durning this tremultous period, which also included some excessive drinking and use of pot, Charlie Daniels provided the soundtrack to my life.

I was always conservative politically, but during this time I became somewhat of an  individualist, that some might classify as neo-hippy. I wore blue swede cowboys boots and had longish hair. I was active in College Republicans but was not the chamber-of-commerce-in-waiting type Republican. I started a chapter of Young American for Freedom on campus and wrote a regular editorial for the student newspaper. I was kind of a trouble maker and aruged with my professors. I never considered myself a libertarian but was at this time, maybe a "libertarian-Republican?" Someone once said a libertarian is a Republican who smokes dope. I was kind of that person.

 About this time in the mid-70's Southern Rock became a popular form of music. For those who may not be familiar, it was a mix of blues, country, and rock with a defiant attitude and an expresson of regional pride. I guess the heyday was about 1972 to about 1982 or so.  I loved the music. It spoke to me. The genre was kind of broad and ranged from ZZ Top and 38 special to Credence Clearwarter to Charlie Daniels. I still loved County music, but I was listening more and more to Southern Rock. I tended toward the country end of the spectrum and in addition to Charlie Daniels I loved Wet Willie and the Marshal Tucker band. I had albums by these artist and wore them out.

Charlie Daniels really spoke to me. My favorite albums for a long time was Fire on the Mountain. I still probably know the words to every song on the album. My favorite song on the album was "Long Haired County Boy." If you listen to it, it has kind of a defiant populist libertarianism to the lyrics. Here are the lyrics.:

People say I'm no good and crazy as a loon
'Cause I get stoned in the morning
And get drunk in the afternoon
Kinda like my old blue tick hound
I like to lay around in the shade
And I ain't got no money but I damn sure got it made

'Cause I ain't asking nobody for nothin'
If I cant get it on my own
If you don't like the way I'm livin'
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone

Preacher man talking on T.V.
Puttin' down the rock and roll
Wants me to send a donation
'Cause he's worried about my soul
He said Jesus walked on the water
And I know that it's true
But sometimes I think that preacherman
Would like to do a little walking too

But I ain't asking nobody for nothin'
If I cant get it on my own
If you don't like the way I'm livin'
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone

A poor girl wants to marry
And a rich girl wants to flirt
A rich man goes to college
And a poor man goes to work
A drunkard wants another drink of wine
And a politician wants a vote
I don't want much of nothin' at all
But I will take another toke

But I ain't asking nobody for nothin'
If I can't get it on my own
If you don't like the way I'm livin'
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone

After college, I moved to Nashville and for years attended the annual Charlie Daniel's Jams. These were events I looked forward to all year long. These were happenings; concerts that lasted from about six in the evening to the next morning. Daniels opened the shows to rousing applause by saying, "Ain't it great to be alive and be in Tennessee." It was exhilarating.

These were rowdy affairs. At this time, the authorities did not even try to stop people from smoking dope at concerts and pepple would sneak in booze and the occational fire cracker would explode.  While the majority of music was "southern rock," the guest included everyone form Roy Acuff to Izaak Pearlman to James Brown. James Brown was a treat. I know now that seeing a Confederate battle flag causes woke progressives to have a meltdown. Charlie Daniels Jam's were peppered with people waving Confederate flags. James Brown performed and didn't let it bother him. Brown came on stage wearing a big cape, and made a big production of his appearance- not a modest bone in his body. He preformed and preformed and sweated and was energetic. He refused to stop performing and faked having to be dragged off stage. The Charlie Daniels Confederate-battle-flag-waving-crowd loved James Brown!

After Southern Rock faded as a genre, some bands began being marketed as rock and some just faded away or hung on, on the strength of their former glory without a musical home. Charlie Daniels became part of country music again from which he originated and still toured and recorded up until his death. Daniels became a vocal proponent of the conservative and christian points of view in later years. His website contained an editorial page, called "soap box" where he pontificated on the issues of the day. He we a patriot and an avid proponent of veterans. I was pleased to see him become an outspoken conservative but it would have been fine with me if he would have left the lyrics alone that said he would, "take another toke."

I am saddened by the passing of Charlie Daniels. Rest in Peace.

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I Am A White Man And I'm Sorry

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Sunday, July 5, 2020

An Independence Day message from the Chairman

For me today is a day of reflection, thankfulness, and reverence. Reflection on life in these United States of American as viewed by me for over three-quarters of a century. Thankfulness for the friends I have now, have had in the past, and will have in the future.

And for the opportunities afforded me along that journey. Reverence for the founding fathers who helped create this country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to make it what it is today. Today, I was with a group who read the entire Declaration of Independence penned on July 4, 1776. I would encourage each of you to take the time to read it for yourselves.

Four years ago, on July 4, 2016, I wrote the following:

"And for support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Devine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." With these words fifty-six men declared these States to be free and independent States. Would you have the same guts to be one of the 56 or 560 or 5600 or 56,000 or 56,000,000?"
I ask you the same question today! Today, I think it is safe to say I am a basket case of emotions; pride for what I feel this country is and has accomplished; patriotism for the greatness of the backbone people that make this country strong and resilient; fear for when I look at the youth of today for what our education system has not taught them about the history of this country and the direction I see the youth turning for the future; and anger for what I see as a group of people trying to destroy the moral fiber of our society and the history of what, I perceive, we are.

Several weeks ago, I quoted the words of Edward Everett Hale who is credited for saying, "I am one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do."

As I look around Davidson County, I feel that should be the creed of each and every one of us who call ourselves Republican. Join me in that effort? For each of you, I wish for you and your families an incredibly HAPPY and SAFE 4th of July Holiday.

James B. Garrett Chairman,
Davidson County Republican Party

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55 demonstrators taken into custody at State Capitol

by Rod Williams - I am pleased to see the State moving to restore law and order. If you missed the story, follow this link.

Troopers were able to take back the steps and replace the gates that had been moved.

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Saturday, July 4, 2020

President Trump speaks at Mount Rushmore.



by Rod Williams - President Trump gave the best speech of his presidency! At a time when cultural Marxist would blast Mt. Rushmore to smithereens it they had their way, when leftist anarchist are tearing down our country and toppling our country's monuments, President Trump chose Mt. Rushmore as the backdrop to give his 4th of July speech. This speech may go down in history as one of the best Presidential speeches ever delivered, unless it is those who want to destroy America end up being the ones who write that history.

This speech, at times brought a lump to my throat and made me want to stand and cheer. This is the speech that needed to be given during these troubling times when America's culture, history, and institutions are under attack like very few times in our history.

Here is the full text of President Donald Trump's speech at South Dakota's 2020 Mount Rushmore Fireworks Celebration in Keystone, South Dakota:

Well, thank you very much. And Gov. Noem, Secretary Bernhardt — very much appreciate it — members of Congress, distinguished guests, and a very special hello to South Dakota.

As we begin this Fourth of July weekend, the first lady and I wish each and every one of you a very, very Happy Independence Day. Thank you.

Let us show our appreciation to the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force for inspiring us with that magnificent display of American air power – and of course, our gratitude, as always, to the legendary and very talented Blue Angels. Thank you very much.

Let us also send our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders, and the doctors, nurses, and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus. They're working hard. I want to thank them very, very much.

We're grateful as well to your state's Congressional delegation: Sens. John Thune — John, thank you very much — Sen. Mike Rounds — thank you, Mike — and Dusty Johnson, Congressman. Hi, Dusty. Thank you. And all others with us tonight from Congress, thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it.

There could be no better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible, majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived.

Today, we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt.

I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world: This monument will never be desecrated — these heroes will never be defaced, their legacy will never, ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.

We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations: July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride. Every American family should cheer with delight. And every American patriot should be filled with joy, because each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world, and it will soon be greater than ever before.

Our Founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America. And no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation.

It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence. They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said: "All men are created equal."

These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our Founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights — given [to] us by our Creator in Heaven. And that which God has given us, we will allow no one, ever, to take away — ever.

Seventeen seventy-six represented the culmination of thousands of years of western civilization and the triumph not only of spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason.

And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure.

Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them.

One of their political weapons is "Cancel Culture" — driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America. This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly. We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life.

In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.

Make no mistake: this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.

To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

[Man in the crowd shouts: Not on my watch!]

True. That's very true, actually.

That is why I am deploying federal law enforcement to protect our monuments, arrest the rioters, and prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

I am pleased to report that yesterday, federal agents arrested the suspected ringleader of the attack on the statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C. — — and, in addition, hundreds more have been arrested.

Under the executive order I signed last week — pertaining to the Veterans' Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act and other laws — people who damage or deface federal statues or monuments will get a minimum of 10 years in prison. And obviously, that includes our beautiful Mount Rushmore.

Our people have a great memory. They will never forget the destruction of statues and monuments to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionists, and many others.

The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets of cities that are run by liberal Democrats, in every case, is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions.

Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.

This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore. They defile the memory of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt. Today, we will set history and history's record straight.

Before these figures were immortalized in stone, they were American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known. Tonight, I will tell you and, most importantly, the youth of our nation, the true stories of these great, great men. From head to toe, George Washington represented the strength, grace, and dignity of the American people. From a small volunteer force of citizen farmers, he created the Continental Army out of nothing and rallied them to stand against the most powerful military on Earth.

Through eight long years, through the brutal winter at Valley Forge, through setback after setback on the field of battle, he led those patriots to ultimate triumph. When the Army had dwindled to a few thousand men at Christmas of 1776, when defeat seemed absolutely certain, he took what remained of his forces on a daring nighttime crossing of the Delaware River.

They marched through nine miles of frigid darkness, many without boots on their feet, leaving a trail of blood in the snow. In the morning, they seized victory at Trenton. After forcing the surrender of the most powerful empire on the planet at Yorktown, General Washington did not claim power, but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen.

When called upon again, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and was unanimously elected our first President. When he stepped down after two terms, his former adversary King George called him "the greatest man of the age." He remains first in our hearts to this day. For as long as Americans love this land, we will honor and cherish the father of our country, George Washington. He will never be removed, abolished, and most of all, he will never be forgotten.

Thomas Jefferson — the great Thomas Jefferson — was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia's constitution, and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment.

After serving as the first Secretary of State, and then Vice President, he was elected to the Presidency. He ordered American warriors to crush the Barbary pirates, he doubled the size of our nation with the Louisiana Purchase, and he sent the famous explorers Lewis and Clark into the west on a daring expedition to the Pacific Ocean.

He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities, and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom, Thomas Jefferson. And he, too, will never, ever be abandoned by us.

Abraham Lincoln, the savior of our union, was a self-taught country lawyer who grew up in a log cabin on the American frontier.

The first Republican President, he rose to high office from obscurity, based on a force and clarity of his anti-slavery convictions. Very, very strong convictions.

He signed the law that built the Transcontinental Railroad; he signed the Homestead Act, given to some incredible scholars — as simply defined, ordinary citizens free land to settle anywhere in the American West; and he led the country through the darkest hours of American history, giving every ounce of strength that he had to ensure that government of the people, by the people, and for the people did not perish from this Earth.

He served as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces during our bloodiest war, the struggle that saved our union and extinguished the evil of slavery. Over 600,000 died in that war; more than 20,000 were killed or wounded in a single day at Antietam. At Gettysburg, 157 years ago, the Union bravely withstood an assault of nearly 15,000 men and threw back Pickett’s charge.

Lincoln won the Civil War; he issued the Emancipation Proclamation; he led the passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery for all time — and ultimately, his determination to preserve our nation and our union cost him his life. For as long as we live, Americans will uphold and revere the immortal memory of President Abraham Lincoln.

Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. He saw the towering grandeur of America’s mission in the world and he pursued it with overwhelming energy and zeal.

As a Lieutenant Colonel during the Spanish-American War, he led the famous Rough Riders to defeat the enemy at San Juan Hill. He cleaned up corruption as Police Commissioner of New York City, then served as the Governor of New York, Vice President, and at 42 years old, became the youngest-ever President of the United States.

He sent our great new naval fleet around the globe to announce America’s arrival as a world power. He gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon; he oversaw the construction of the awe-inspiring Panama Canal; and he is the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was — American freedom personified in full. The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful, and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.

No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart. Can't have it. No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future. The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance, and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of repression, domination, and exclusion.

They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.

[Crowd member: We love you!] Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

We will state the truth in full, without apology: We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on Earth.

We are proud of the fact — that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and we understand — that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world.

We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life.

We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders. And we are building the wall.

We remember that governments exist to protect the safety and happiness of their own people. A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first. It's time.

We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion, and creed. Every child, of every color — born and unborn — is made in the holy image of God.

We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture.

We embrace tolerance, not prejudice.

We support the courageous men and women of law enforcement. We will never abolish our police or our great Second Amendment, which gives us the right to keep and bear arms.

We believe that our children should be taught to love their country, honor our history, and respect our great American flag.

We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God.

This is who we are. This is what we believe. And these are the values that will guide us as we strive to build an even better and greater future. Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity, so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America's destiny. In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country, and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America, their goal is the end of America.

In its place, they want power for themselves. But just as patriots did in centuries past, the American people will stand in their way — and we will win, and win quickly and with great dignity.

We will never let them rip America's heroes from our monuments, or from our hearts. By tearing down Washington and Jefferson, these radicals would tear down the very heritage for which men gave their lives to win the Civil War; they would erase the memory that inspired those soldiers to go to their deaths, singing these words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic: "As He died to make men Holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on."

They would tear down the principles that propelled the abolition of slavery in America and, ultimately, around the world, ending an evil institution that had plagued humanity for thousands and thousands of years. Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream, and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights. They would tear down the beliefs, culture, and identity that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the Earth.

My fellow Americans, it is time to speak up loudly and strongly and powerfully and defend the integrity of our country.

It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors. It is time. It is time to plant our flag and protect the greatest of this nation, for citizens of every race, in every city, and every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes.

Here tonight, before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago: that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.

We will proclaim the ideals of the Declaration of Independence, and we will never surrender the spirit and the courage and the cause of July 4th, 1776. Upon this ground, we will stand firm and unwavering. In the face of lies meant to divide us, demoralize us, and diminish us, we will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free.

We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King, when he said that the Founders had signed "a promissory note" to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. Those ideals are so important to us — the founding ideals. He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage.

Above all, our children, from every community, must be taught that to be American is to inherit the spirit of the most adventurous and confident people ever to walk the face of the Earth.

Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies and even into the stars.

We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright Brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen — Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton — Gen. George Patton — the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Mohammad Ali. And only America could have produced them all. No other place.

We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed a spectacular dream — it was called: Las Vegas, in the Nevada desert; who built up Miami from the Florida marsh; and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the Internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the Moon — and one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars.

We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra — the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F-150 — and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

Americans must never lose sight of this miraculous story. You should never lose sight of it, because nobody has ever done it like we have done it. So today, under the authority vested in me as President of the United States — I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past. I am signing an executive order to establish the National Garden of American Heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.

From this night and from this magnificent place, let us go forward united in our purpose and re-dedicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down. They will know that in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected; we will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for, for so many years, and that our enemies fear — because we will never forget that American freedom exists for American greatness. And that's what we have: American greatness.

Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all.

My fellow citizens: America's destiny is in our sights. America's heroes are embedded in our hearts. America's future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen: the best is yet to come.

This has been a great honor for the first lady and myself to be with you. I love your state. I love this country. I'd like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July. To all, God bless you, God bless your families, God bless our great military, and God bless America. Thank you very much.

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