Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Here are some of the more common ways voter fraud can and will occur.

Albert Tieche
by Albert Tieche- Mail-in ballots are an open invitation to cheat. It is like announcing that there will be no police on the interstate to pull over speeders. In both scenarios, most people will obey the law but some will not. It is that simple. Some will cheat. 

Mail-in vs Absentee ballots 

There is a big difference between the procedure for absentee ballots and mail-in ballots. While there is variation from state to state, in Tennessee absentee ballots must be requested by voters. Conversely, mail-in ballots are automatically sent to voters without a request. Here are some specifics about the absentee voting process in Tennessee: 

To vote absentee: 
1. A voter must be a properly registered voter on the county voter database.

2. A voter must request an absentee ballot using a form designed for that purpose. Here is the Davidson County absentee request form. The request forms are filled out by the voter, signed, and returned by mail or fax, or emailed with a scanned signature.
    a. The absentee ballot request form requires the voters identifying information, including their SS number, the reason for requesting the absentee ballot, the address to which the ballot is to be mailed, and the requesting voter’s signature. That signature is matched to the signature on file with the election commission. The election commission then sends out the absentee ballot to the voter along with instructions and a specialized ballot envelope that has places for voter information on it. This return envelope must also be filled out.

3. A voter must complete the ballot, seal it in the provided return envelope and return that in a larger outer envelope. 
    a. When the absentee ballot is received at the county election commission, the information the voter provided on the specialized return envelope is used to verify that the ballot is being properly cast in that particular election BEFORE the envelope is opened. This procedure protects the secrecy of the ballot. A ballot itself can NEVER contain voter information, so verification must be done from the envelope before the ballot is revealed. A team made up of people of both parties examines the envelopes and declares absentee ballots to be accepted or rejected. A different team, again made up of people from both parties, looks at the accepted ballots and tallies the votes. The absentee process opens up an opportunity for voter fraud because the “chain of custody” of the ballot is broken from the time the absentee ballot is received in a voter’s mailbox, until the completed ballot is received back at the election commission. But, that risk of fraud is preferable to denying the vote to a voter who could not get to the polls in their home county on election day or during early voting. It is a cost-benefit analysis. Responsible people designed the absentee process to minimize the opportunities for fraud while also making allowances for those who would be absent. The absentee process works well. 
Voting by Mail

In contrast, vote-by-mail massively expands the number of ballots that are open to fraud. Simply stated, if all voters are sent a mail-in ballot, then all ballots are outside the chain of custody and every single ballot presents an opportunity for fraud. But, it is even worse than that. The number of mail in ballots sent out would be larger than the largest turnout ever in the history of every county that does mail in ballots. Here is why. 

Let’s assume for this discussion that ballots would be mailed to all registered voters. Makes sense, right? There would be no other way to do it. OK. Should ballots be mailed to “inactive” voters, too? What is an inactive voter you ask? “Inactive” is a designation noted on the voter rolls when a voter fails to vote, or contact their election commission, or respond to mailings from the election commission for a number of years. An inactive voter is still a registered voter. But, state law is written to address the fact that the election commission has good reason to believe the voter may have moved, died or otherwise ceased to be an active voter. The inactive voter designation and procedures are in place to prevent voter fraud when a voter’s status is in question. In a vote-by-mail situation, sending ballots to inactive voters, many of whom have moved out of the jurisdiction or died, would be an invitation to voter fraud. Would you mail ballots to inactive voters? Why or why not?

In large elections with high turnout, such as a presidential election, around 70% of registered voters actually vote. That means if ballots are mailed to all registered voters, 30% of the ballots will be mailed to people who would not normally vote. For other elections, the percentage turnout goes much lower, down in to the 25% range. No one likes to talk about it but, at a minimum, about 30% of registered voters, do not vote, even in the hotly contested presidential elections. There is no way to determine in advance, who is not interested in voting. It changes from election to election. With in-person voting, the uninterested voters, a minimum of 30%, simply do not show up to vote. That is how we know they were uninterested in voting. However, if we mail ballots to every registered voter, that huge additional percentage of “unwanted” ballots, (for lack of a better description) would exist outside the chain of custody, and are yet another expansion of the opportunities for voter fraud. If you are mailing to all registered voters, that 30% who were not going to vote, even in the upcoming “most important election of our lives,” as both major parties like to say, will receive ballots that they do not care about. Is that a good idea? 

We know from history that there are several methods to commit voter fraud when there are significant percentages of ballots outside the chain of custody. 

Here are some of the more common ways voter fraud can and will occur. 
1. The day or days that mail out ballots arrive in peoples mailboxes cannot be kept secret. People willing to commit voter fraud can steal ballots from other people’s mailboxes when they are delivered, by the USPS. They can complete the stolen ballots, fraudulently sign them and return them. The fraudulent ballots may, or may not, be detected upon return to the election office. Are you OK with that?

2. “Vote harvesters” can go to those who are not particularly interested in voting (30%) and persuade or intimidate them into casting a vote for the candidate for whom the “harvester” is working and being paid. We know from news reports that people are being trained to do this. Are you confident that no coercion will occur in this scenario? If you think it might happen sometimes, but not much, give me a % of time that coercing another person to vote the way you want is OK. 

3. If unwanted ballots are thrown away in the trash, “vote harvesters” can retrieve those ballots from the trash, fill them out for their preferred candidate and return them. Is that OK?

4. People who are not particularly interested in voting (remember the 30 %?) can sell their votes. You don’t think people would do such a thing? In years past, people often sold their votes for a ½ pint of whiskey. I recommend the book The Secrets of the Hopewell Box by James D. Squires. It documents the breadth and depth of voter fraud in Davidson County, TN in the 1950s. The same things were going on all over the country. The system has been greatly improved since then. Do you want to go back to the old system and the fraud involved in it?

5. Relatives can acquire the ballots of frail or disabled voters, either from the mailbox or from their homes, fill them out and coerce the frail or disabled voter into signing and returning the ballots. If you do not think that can happen, or that it could never change the outcome of an election, may I recommend the book “Injustice” by former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams. He describes how that very thing happened in Noxubee County, Mississippi until the feds stepped in and people went to jail. It should be noted that state officials knew what was happening but failed to act. 

6. Corrupt postal workers can fail to deliver the blank ballots to voters in areas where the voters tend to be one party or the other. Of the 75,000 USPS mail carriers, let’s assume that 99% are perfectly honest and above reproach. That leaves 750 postal carriers who might be tempted to throw away the thousands of ballots they were assigned to deliver in order to assist a candidate for a cash reward. So are you OK if candidates corrupt only 1% of postal workers? How about ½ of 1%?

7. Postal workers can fail to deliver completed ballots back to the election commissions. Same questions as above. 
It comes down to this: What percentage of fraud are you comfortable with in a given election? 5%? 1%? ½ of 1 %. Many elections are won on much smaller margins than that. Over the years, we as a country have tightened up election laws and processes expressly for the purpose of eliminating opportunities for fraud. Why should we revert to a system that opens up massive opportunities for fraud? Another good look at human nature and voter fraud is the movie “The Battle of Athens” which shows how easily humans can justify committing voter fraud. 

The Ostensible Reason for Mail-in Ballots

COVID 19 and the need for social distancing is cited as the reason states need to move to mail-in ballots. The claim being made is that there is no way to maintain social distancing while standing in a line on election-day. That may indeed be true. However, two  weeks of early voting renders that concern irrelevant in Tennessee or any other state with early voting. Early voting locations in Tennessee currently produce around one-half of all votes cast in elections. The early voting sites are rarely crowded. “Steady all day” is typically as busy as early voting gets. The busiest times are morning rush hour, evening rush hour and lunch time. These early voting sites can handle significantly more volume they are currently handling while maintaining social distancing. 

In other words, no one needs to wait in line at a crowded poll on election day when early voting is available. In addition, if early voting still seems too risky for older people, who we now know are by far and away the most vulnerable to COVID, it should be noted that in Tennessee, ANYONE over age 60 can request an absentee ballot based on their age alone. That means COVID does not present the obstacle that some are claiming. It is only an excuse to open more opportunities for voter fraud. 

Conclusion 

We as a society, have a set of voting laws that we have agreed on through several hundred years of experience. The election process has been improved over the years and the existing laws work well to minimize opportunities for fraud. It is extremely ill-advised for a society to allow voting laws to be ignored or, to change voting laws that were designed to prevent fraud. A secure election system insures fairness and maintains citizens’ confidence in a civil society. 

Vote-by-mail opens new and large areas for voter fraud. People of both parties who have experience with election procedures and laws know that there are indeed people who will commit voter fraud if given the chance. An election system designed and operated in a manner that prevents opportunities for voter fraud will be trusted. An election system that allows multiple, large, opportunities for voter fraud will erode everyone’s confidence in our system of representative government. Vote-by-mail opens up an opportunity for fraud for every ballot that is mailed. Anyone who understands the voting process knows this. Anyone who does not understand the voting process is too uninformed to be involved in determining voting procedures.

Albert Tieche is retired manufacturing consultant and lives in Madison, TN. He began working as an election-day poll worker in 2002, served as a contact trainer for election-day poll workers and eventually served two years as the Administrator of Elections for Davidson County, TN.

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Monday, October 26, 2020

Take a break and let me show you my yard

These tall yellow flowers are the last thing I will have in bloom.
They are called Swamp Sunflower. They started blooming about
a month ago. They are very hardy and are always the last thing to 
bloom and can withstand a frost if it is not too bad. I have still had 
them blooming as late as Thanksgiving.

by Rod Williams - Take a break from politics and let me show you my yard.  Well, there is really not much to show this time of the year, but I want to show it anyway. 

The Swamp Sunflower may be blooming as late as Thanksgiving and then about March my Primrose will be in bloom.  So, I only have about three months without something in bloom.

Last year due to a storm a big Hackberry tree fell in my neighbors yard and then I had a big old one that was in danger of falling taking out of my yard and then the other neighbor had a big tree fall.  So, my back yard which was very dark is now open to light.  I look forward to having more gardening space.  I have been collecting seeds of Iron Weed, Queen Anne's Lace, Golden Rod and more.  I am going to plant some wild fall flowers and some domestic flowers like Iris and Canna. I also hope to grow some tomatoes and peppers and okra, and some herbs. I still have sufficient shade to grow shade-loving flowers in part of my yard. 

If you want some seeds of what is still in bloom and you know where I live, help yourself. I have a variety of other seeds and love to swap or share.  I will also be thinning some Irises. If interested, contact me. 

A lot of people landscape but few people garden anymore.  I enjoy gardening. It is rewarding to watch something you planted grow. It is good exercise and sooths the soul. I know it is good for my mental health.  


I still have some Zenias in bloom. Also there is a morning
 glory amongst the Zenia. You have to be careful with the
morning glory or they will take over.  By dead-heading and
 watering, I am to extend the period of blooming but it is
about time to pull them up.  If I were more faithful about watering
they would last even longer. Butterflies, bees and birds love the Zenias
and they come in array of color.

.
Swamp Sunflower


This is not from my yard, but I had this in bloom until
recently.  The bloom looks almost the same as the Swamp
Sunflower but it boom about the three weeks before the Swamp
Sunflower. When this flower stops blooming the Swamp Sunflower
starts. It is called a Jerusalem Artichoke . The roots are 
edible but I have never eaten them.

These delicate blue little flowers pop up over night about this time
of the year then die after a few days, but then they will bloom again 
maybe in a warm day in late February or early March. They
grow from a bulb but unfortunately, I forgot the name of these
flowers.  Do you know the name?

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

I think this election will be razor-thin.

Rebecca Ann Burke
By Rebecca Ann Burke - I think this election will be razor-thin. 

The amount of money Liberal millionaires and billionaires have dumped in this race is overwhelming. It is true that money alone does not win a race, but it turns the heads of the undecided voters when they see commercial after commercial shouting the deficiencies of the Trump administration. 

Clinton was a very unlikeable personality, even for Democrats. That played into Trump's hands. Biden is bumbling and probably a crook, but he is not the personality that Clinton is and was. Voters want someone to blame and hold accountable for the Chinese Virus. Doesn't matter that the entire world was shut-down and infected. They feel we are better, it should not happen here. 

If I were President Trump, every time there was a mispronouncement from the "scientists" including Fauci, heads would roll. There is time to do that. I would identify those who let the national strategic stockpile empty without efforts to restock it. Congress has to appropriate the money for it, but people had to send out the alarms, and didn't until it was too late. I would identify a handful and make a public announcement that the President wants accountability and he can no longer put his faith in them, they are terminated. 

I would demote Fauci and make it public. Only the Left really likes him. How can you like someone who led us wrongly, made early pronouncements that were NOT based in science at all. President Trump has to say, I depended on our scientists, they advised me wrongly and I informed the American people of our plan based on their faulty hunches. There has to be accountability. We have scientists who have made careers out of studying viruses with no cures or vaccines after decades. That is no longer acceptable. We need hustlers in charge, those who understand that science AND precision AND rapid response are all equally important. I would demote Fauci, saying that posing for Vanity Fair and throwing out a baseball like a rock star in the middle of the pandemic is unacceptable behavior for someone on whom thousands of lives depended. I am demoting him and placing xyz in charge.

I would, in ten days time, roll out this new health care plan the Republicans claim to have. They misled us up until 2018, and that's why we lost the U.S. House. Paul Ryan led that debacle, claiming if only they had control they would roll out a new plan. It never happened and they had seven years to prepare. I would roll one out NOW and name it the Trump Plan. If we lose, let them steal from the Plan, we still have ownership of solving that problem. When they screw it up, we retake the Oval Office in four years. 

On social justice, I would seal the history books on the President's accomplishments here. I would have the staff identify scores of individuals who SHOULD have their sentences commuted, or early release or pardons given. I would have a group of individuals granted those by Executive Order of the President, every day from now until January. 

Finally, we have unfinished business with the "Dreamers." This is a topic that many Republicans are soft on. I use my 94-year-old, very conservative, life-long Republican father as a barometer of sentiment. He feels it is wrong to deny a path to citizenship for those who were brought here as infants or young children, illegally, by parents illegally entering the country. The President has spoken sympathetically about them, using the granting of a path to citizenship as a bargaining chip for full-scale immigration reform. He never got the reform out of this feckless Congress. It is in the best interest of the Republican Party, that WE be the party that rights that wrong of the Obama years. I would immediately get a proposed Executive Order written with the necessary conditions and issue it now, granting Dreamers, a path to citizenship. I have had them in my classes. They know nothing other than this country. For those who came as youngsters and adolescents (not adults) establish a process for them to come into a location, present evidence of who they are, what they have done while living here and establish a crime-free history. If that is the case, I would treat them as any other immigrant. School them in basic American civics to pass a test and be granted provisional citizenship, dependent on being crime-free and employed for a period of five years. Then, they would get the vote. I would invite them into the Oval Office, and name this the Trump Doctrine. I would want the history books to reflect that our President and our Party corrected that wrong. 

Given the prospect that we might not win re-election for the President, these next few weeks should be about sealing his legacy for the history books. In so doing, we begin the process of sealing loyalty to our party to retake the White House in four years. I don't mean to be a pessimist, I believe in being pragmatic. We will either win in a landslide of unaccounted voters or we will lose. 

Rebecca Ann Buke is an astute political observer and one whose opinion I respect. She served as a member to the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee for District 23 from 2014-2018. She is the past president of America First Federation. The above essay is reposted from Facebook.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Voter fraud is happening now!

Arizona Woman Investigated For Voter Fraud After Video Shows Her Offering to Mail People's Ballot

Newsweek - A woman in Arizona is being investigated for voter fraud after she was caught on home surveillance footage asking to mail people's ballots for them. The Chandler Police Department have warned residents in East Valley to be on high alert as they investigate the women, according to AZ Family CBS News. It comes as people across the U.S. mail their ballots ahead of the November 3 presidential election.

 Nearly 50k Ohio Voters Received Wrong Absentee Ballots, Election Officials Say 
National Review-  Nearly 50,000 voters in Franklin County, Ohio received incorrect absentee ballots, elections officials said Friday, explaining that a glitch had affected one in five ballots of the 240,000 that the state’s most populous county had sent thus far. The error occurred on Saturday afternoon when a setting was changed on a machine that places absentee ballots into mailing envelopes, officials said Thursday. Some of the ballots listed the wrong congressional race while others with the correct race were sent to voters outside the relevant precinct.

Democratic clerk charged with altering nearly 200 midterm elections ballots
The Washington Times - A Democratic city clerk in Michigan who had been honored by the state party for her work was charged this week with multiple felonies related to charges of altering absentee ballots.

 Newsweek- On Wednesday afternoon, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced the arrest of four people allegedly connected to a vote harvesting scheme in the state's 2018 Democratic primary election, including a Democratic victor of that primary. ....

Minneapolis PD Investigating Illegal Ballot Harvesting For Rep. Ilhan Omar 
The Police Tribune - ... Campaign workers explained that they would go around and collect all the ballots from the elderly and fill them out for them. ... Another source said in the video that in the case of younger people and others who didn’t do mail-in ballots, they took them to the polls, told them how to vote, and paid them in cash after they got back in the van after voting.

Six Richmond-area post offices report tampered mailboxes early Monday; could contain election ballots
The Richmond Post Dispatch -Early Monday morning, several U.S. Postal Service offices in the Richmond area reported allegations of tampering with their outside mailboxes. The reported thefts come during the third week of early voting for the upcoming presidential election, including mail-in absentee ballots. At this time, neither the U.S. Postal Service nor the Virginia Department of Elections can confirm if any election mail was in the various boxes. “We believe mail was taken from the tampered boxes,” said Michael Romano, a U.S. Postal Service inspector, in an interview. ....

28 Million Mail-In Ballots Went Missing in Last Four Elections 
Real Clear Politics - Between 2012 and 2018, 28.3 million mail-in ballots remain unaccounted for, according to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission. The missing ballots amount to nearly one in five of all absentee ballots and ballots mailed to voters residing in states that do elections exclusively by mail. 

States and local authorities simply have no idea what happened to these ballots since they were mailed – and the figure of 28 million missing ballots is likely even higher because some areas in the country, notably Chicago, did not respond to the federal agency’s survey questions. This figure does not include ballots that were spoiled, undeliverable, or came back for any reason.

DOJ/FBI Already Uncovering Democrat Voter Fraud in Pennsylvania 
DB Daily update - The U.S. Attorney’s office in Harrisburg, capitol of Pennsylvania, announced on Thursday that, working with the FBI on a tip, it had discovered a small batch of mail-in military ballots that had been discarded by election officials in Luzerne County, whose county seat is the town of Wilkes-Barre. Not surprisingly at all, each and every one of those discarded ballots were cast for Donald Trump. Here is the statement from the DOJ:

[UPDATED] Military Ballots Found in the Trash in Pennsylvania—Most Were Trump Votes
PJ Media - Mail-in ballots from the military serving overseas were found in the trash in Pennsylvania. The ballots were discovered during an investigation into election issues in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. Most of the discarded ballots had been cast for President Trump.


IN AUSTIN, TX, A COUNTY COMMISSIONER AND THREE OTHER ARRESTED FOR 134 COUNTS OF FELONY MAIL IN FRAUD!  
By KLTV Digital Media Staff - A Gregg County commissioner along with three others have been arrested on charges in connection with an organized vote harvesting scheme during the 2018 Democratic primary election. 

 According to Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office, Gregg County commissioner Shannon Brown, Marlena Jackson, Charlie Burns, and DeWayne Ward were arrested. A press release said to increase the pool of ballots needed to swing the race in Brown’s favor, the group targeted young, able-bodied voters to cast ballots by mail by fraudulently claiming the voters were “disabled,” in most cases without the voters' knowledge or consent. Under Texas election law, mail ballots based on disability are specifically reserved for those who are physically ill and cannot vote in-person as a result. 

The release said in total, the state filed 134 felony charges against the four defendants, including engaging in organized election fraud, illegal voting, fraudulent use of an application for a mail-in ballot, unlawful possession of a mail-in ballot, tampering with a governmental record, and election fraud. Penalties for these offenses range from six months in state jail to 99 years in prison.

Confidence in Accuracy of U.S. Election Matches Record Low

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Friday, October 23, 2020

Nashville charter referendum takes aim at soccer stadium project.

 If the Court allows the tax payer protection act proposed charter amendment to go to a referendum, one can expect opponents to pull out all of the stops to defeat it. Everyone who pays attention knows that the proposal rolls back the 34% tax increase recently passed by the Council, but it does much more.  There are five provision in the proposal and while one rolls back the huge tax increase, the other four, one way or another, would impact the fairgrounds soccer deal.  This article by Nate Ray in Tennessee Lookout explains the five provisions in the proposed charter amendment and looks at the people organizing to defeat it should it go to a referendum.  See, Nashville charter referendum takes aim at soccer stadium project. 

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Snapshots from outside the Belmont debate hall.

 by Rod Williams- I try to walk at least a couple miles ever day for exercise. Today I decided to walk from my home near Wedgewood and 8th Ave to Belmont University to see what was going on prior to the debate. I donned a "Stand for the Anthem" tee shirt and a MAGA hat and went.  Ever since the start of the BLM insurgency and the increase in people effected by TDS, I have been hesitant to show my colors but thought I would live dangerously today.  I thought there would be a good police presence and it was probably safe to do so.  It was. There was no unpleasant encounters. In fact Trump people and Biden people mingled without incident and actually most people were of good cheer.
Me, Rod Williams

I actually had a blast.  It takes all kinds to make the world go round and there is nothing like politics to bring out society's diversity.  I got there about 3pm and stayed until about 5pm. I did not have conversation with any Biden supporters but engaged several Trump supporters.  There were a few people in BLM shirts and maybe half a dozen people wearing the black uniform of Antifa. Several were sporting the anarchy symbol. There were so few of them they were not threatening. 

The variety of people were interesting. Most people I talked to were local but I met two ladies from Maryland who came down for the event but one of them had a mother who lived here so they came to visit mom too but came at this time to see the event. I also met a couple from Texas.

I love this. He got lots of agreement
There were people flying the gay flag and someone caring a sign "Gays for Trump."  There were some Q-Anon people, people opposing for-profit prisons, people with large gruesome pictures of aborted babies, there were the-end-is-near environmentalist and there was a hellfire and brimstone preacher with amplification telling everyone they were going to hell. 

There were people driving by in pickup trucks sporting large Trump flags. There were people with dogs and people with kids and there was food truck. It was kind of a festive atmosphere. There was a mixture of pretty people and ugly people and all ages and races and sizes. I would say that within about a two block area there were several hundred people but spread out like that is hard to tell. The Biden supporters and the Trump supporters were about equally represented. 

I was interviewed by an attractive blonde with a foreign accent. I did not get which country she was from. Unfortunately, I walked out of my house without my hearing aids and talking through the mask and with an accent I could hardly understand her. Plus, I have a hard time understanding pretty blonds anyway. 

I at first was pleased. I felt special being interviewed.  After a while though I realized I did not need to feel so special.  There was about as many reporters covering the event as spectators and as I watched it seems like half the people there got interviewed by somebody. The reporter who interviewed me was not very informed. She asked if I was a registered Republican or a registered Democrat and I had to explain that in Tennessee we do not have party registration. Also when I said something about the electoral college it was clear she had no clue what I was talking about. 

Here are some pictures of the event. 

If you go to an event and someone offers you a flag to hold
please know what you are holding. The pretty young girl had 
no clue what Q-Anon was. The other women just asked her 
if she wanted to hold the flag. I talked the to older women in the 
"Q" hat.  She was a Q true believer but very pleasant. The young
girl gave her back her flag. 








This guy was interesting. He is 31 years old and is a Nashvillian
and a commodities trader. He described himself as a libertarian but
told me he was voting for Trump but it really didn't matter much 
because we are screwed no matter who is elected. I know enough 
economic theory to follow what he was saying but just barely. He 
was passionate about monetary policy and says current Federal
Reserve policy is setting the US up for an economic collapse.







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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Another win for ballot integrity in Tennessee. Effort to expand mail balloting to all voters fails.

To read The Tennessean article see: Judge dismisses COVID-19 absentee case in favor of state but advocates say there's a win in the end​.

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Trump 2020: A man vs a movement. Why I am voting for Trump


by Rod Williams - In 2016 I did not vote for Donald J. Trump.  I thought he was a joke and even doubted he was a conservative and compared him to a carnival barker.  There was no way I could vote for Hillary Clinton, however, so I cast my vote for an independent candidate.  I had this luxury thanks to the electoral college making my vote insignificant. If Tennessee's 11 votes would have been in doubt, I would have cast my vote for what I viewed as the lesser of two bad choices, however, and would have voted for Donald Trump. 

This year, I still have the luxury of casting a protest vote for a third party or for simply not voting for anyone for President but I am not going to do so.  I am voting for Donald Trump.  It is not that I think Trump has gotten better; it is that Democrats have gotten so much worse.  I feel the morally responsible thing to do, is to cast my vote against the Democrat Party and a movement that I think would destroy America. The embrace of cultural Marxism, the move to defund the police, and the Green New Deal must be stopped.

Maybe, things like the Green New Deal and defunding police and Medicare for all would not be enacted anyway. Maybe, once the Democrats has power, they would regain some common sense and become more responsible. Maybe they would not control the House but for two years and would be unable to accomplish much.  Maybe. But, I am not certain of any of this and don't want to take the chance and trust them with power.  More than just the specific policy positions that I fear, however, is the movement that has taken over the Democrat Party. I do not think America is evil. I don't think "systemic racism" exist in America, and I do not embrace the cancel culture and I love my country. As much as I am voting for Donald Trump I am voting against an evil movement. 

I have often been less than pleased with Trump as president. I am not comfortable with his apparent affinity for dictators for one thing and then there are basic policy differences I have with Trump. I am pleased he has tried to slow illegal immigration but his attempt to cut legal immigration and some of his rhetoric on the topic does not please me.  I am pleased he is attempting to level the playing field on trade with China, but not so pleased he bans import of aluminum from Canada. I am not pleased that he governs just like president Obama with a "pen and a phone," subverting the power of Congress and grabbing power never intended for the executive branch. 

Perhaps more than policy disputes, my problem with Trump is his personality.  He is jerk and a bully, lacks empathy, will not take advise, and will never back down or admit when he is wrong.  He is often his own worst enemy.  Recently he had a chance to distance himself from the nutty and dangerous Q-Anon movement. He didn't accept the gift and instead he demurred claiming he really didn't know much about them. Maybe he doesn't but I can't believe he has not been briefed on them but maybe he tuned out the briefing as critics say he often does. In any event, I am disappointed. In the big scheme of things, however, that is minor compared to what is at stake. Trump often disappoints me and he may not even be a nice man, but he is so preferable to the movement that would destroy America. 

The above video pretty much sums up my view of the choice facing us during this campaign.  Below is the text of the video. 
My name is Tom Klingenstein. I am the chair of the board of the Claremont Institute which is a conservative think tank, managing partner of a New York investment firm and playwright. 

I wish to make three points. First, Trump is the perfect man for these times, not all times, perhaps not most times, but these times. Second, Republicans are not doing a good job explaining the stakes in this election. They must explain, and this is my third point, that the Democratic Party, which has been taken by its radical wing, is leading a revolution. This makes the coming election the most important one since the election of 1860. Let’s begin there. 

Unlike most elections, this one is much more than a contest over particular policies—like health care or taxes. Rather, like the election of 1860, this election is a contest between two competing regimes, or ways of life. Two ways of life that cannot exist peacefully together. 

One way of life, I’ll call it “the traditional American way of life,” is based on individual rights, the rule of law, and a shared understanding of the common good. This way of life values hard work, self-reliance, volunteerism, patriotism, and so on. In this way of life there are no hyphenated Americans. We are all just Americans. Colorblindness is our aspiration. 

The other way of life I call multiculturalism. Others call it “identity politics” or “cultural Marxism” or “Intersectionality”. The multicultural movement, which has taken over the Democratic party, is a revolutionary movement. I do not mean a metaphorical revolution. It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow the American Founding as President Trump said in his excellent Mt. Rushmore speech. Republicans should say the same thing. Republicans everywhere, at every level, and at every opportunity. 

Multiculturalism conceives of society, not as a community of individuals with equal rights but as a collection of cultural identity groups—defined by race, ethnicity, gender, and so forth. According to the multiculturalists, all these identity groups are oppressed by white males. 

Their goal is to have each identity group proportionally represented in all institutions of American society. As should be immediately clear, achieving this proportional representation requires a never-ending redistribution of wealth and power from some groups—and not just from whites—to other groups. Such a massive redistribution can only be achieved by a tyrannical government and like in all tyrannies, one where dissenters are silenced. 

In order to achieve this proportional representation, the Democrats require not just endless affirmative action but genuine socialism, open borders, unrestricted trade, seizing guns, sanctuary cities, and much more. 

The Black Lives Matter/Democrats understand (which Republicans seem not to), that if they are to achieve this policy agenda they must get Americans to change their values, their principles, and the way they understand themselves. They must get us to believe that national borders and colorblindness are racist; that we are not one culture but many; that the most important thing in our history—the thing around which all else pivots—is slavery. More broadly, the multiculturalists must get us to believe that we are unworthy—not just that we have sinned (which of course we have)—but that we are irredeemably sinful, or, in the language of today, “systemically racist.” And sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic and all the other “ists” and phobias. Simply put, multiculturalism must get us to believe we are bad.

This suggests one way to frame the coming election: as a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good and a man, Biden, who is controlled by a movement that believes America is bad. I do not think it is any more complicated than that. 

For the multiculturalist to change traditional values and principles they must destroy, or radically restructure, the institutions that teach those values and principles. The most important of these institutions is family, but also very important is religion, education (which they have mostly destroyed already) and community life, replacing the latter with government bureaucrats. It is here—in these value-teaching institutions—that we see the underpinnings of the Revolution. This is where the real action is. Republicans seem to be missing in action. 

Republicans need to explain that BLM and their Democratic enablers wish to destroy the traditional mother-father family. To substantiate this claim, Republicans have only to point to the BLM mission statement. The mission statement, written by avowed Marxists, also lets us know that BLM holds transgenderism to be the burning issue of our time. Republicans must also explain that religion, because it teaches American values, is also on the chopping block. 

Republicans also must make American see that the taking down of statues is not about removing a few confederate generals; it’s about destroying America’s past, as is the New York Times 1619 Project. The rioters, and their BLM-Democrats enablers, are tearing down the statues even of people like Frederick Douglass who fought against slavery. This is not an accident. It is not collateral damage. Frederick Douglass was a great American. He believed that America in her soul was not racist. He believed in hard work and self-reliance. And because of his embrace of American values the BLM-Democrats have to get rid of him. They must also get rid of Abraham Lincoln, for it is he who best explains what we should aspire to. And it is he who is the best defender of the American Founding. 

In one sense, this election is a referendum on the Founding. Whether America was founded in 1619, as the BLM-Democrats contend, or, in 1776 as Lincoln, and, until recently, all Americans believed. Republicans must make more of political correctness and cancel culture, which, as we have seen so vividly of late, brutally punishes apostates. Who does Twitter think it is, censoring an American president? Republicans simply cannot stand for that. And Republicans must explain, as I earlier explained, that the multiculturalists are trying to get us to believe that we are systemically racist so that we will surrender to their policy agenda. This too must not be allowed to stand. 

The American people need to hear what they know in their hearts: they are not racists. Republicans should stand up and say, “no, America is not racist.” Period. If Americans are systemically anything, it is a systemic commitment to freedom and equal rights for all. Perhaps most importantly, Republicans must say over and over that America is “incredible,” to use President Trump’s adjective of choice. They must remind the American people that, as a friend of mine is fond of saying, America has brought more freedom and more prosperity to more people than any country in the history of mankind. Most Americans know this, but this too they need to hear from their leaders.

In order to make the case that the Democrats are leading a revolution, Republicans must delegitimize Black Lives Matter—the organization, of course, not the sentiment. To BLM and their Democratic enablers, Republicans must say: “Absolutely, black lives matter. They just don’t matter to you. You don’t care about Mr. Floyd, the black businesses you have destroyed, the blacks who are getting killed because you have forced the police to back off. You’re here for destruction. Not black lives, not any lives.” 

After delegitimizing Black Lives Matter, the next step for Republicans is to tie BLM’s revolutionary agenda around the necks of Democrats. The BLM wing of the Democratic party has captured the entire party. Run-of-the-mill Democrats may not agree with all of the BLM agenda but they go-along, so they might as well agree. Joe Biden is one of the go-along Democrats. 

So do not expect all Democrats to sing the BLM tune; even so, most will kneel before them. Listen to Biden. On one occasion Biden said, “Let’s be clear, transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time.” A year ago, Biden may not have even known what transgenderism is. He does not seem to know it, but he has been radicalized. 

Biden now regularly talks about “systemic” racism. On one occasion Biden said, though without evidence, there is “absolutely systemic racism in law enforcement.” “[But] it’s not just in law enforcement,” he continued, “it’s across the board. It’s in housing, it’s in education . . . It’s in everything we do.” 

He is wrong on every count, but if indeed he believes that racism is in “everything we do,” that it is systemic, then he believes, whether he admits or not, that the system must be overturned. Biden does not realize it, but he is calling for the overthrow of the American way of life. I presume that is not his intent, but when the words he is reading off his BLM teleprompter get translated into policy, that will be the consequence — the destruction of the American way of life. 

Biden demurs. There is nothing to fear from Biden says Biden: “Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters?” No, he does not, but what he does look like is a sap. Republicans must make it clear that these are the “Biden riots.” 

This brings me to my last point: Trump. I know President Trump has many faults. I myself sometimes cringe listening to him. Sometimes he is his own worst enemy. He is a braggart, often misinformed, petty, sometimes even vengeful. And more. And yet, we are very lucky to have him. I am almost prepared to say that having him is Providential. How else to explain that we find ourselves with this most unusual, most unpresidential man who has just the attributes most needed for this moment. 

At any other time, he might well have been a bad president. But in these times—these revolutionary times—he is the best president we could have had. He has the indispensable attribute of a leader: courage. As a leader must, he goes where others are afraid to go. And he has common sense, which means he generally wants to go to the right place. 

Above all else, and above anyone else, Trump is committed to America. He is unreservedly, unquestionably pro-America. He feels no guilt for America’s past. He makes no apologies. He concedes nothing. These may not always be the attributes one wants in a President, but in this day of woke guilt they are the most essential things. And Trump has unlimited confidence in America. In this time of national doubt, this too is just what the doctor ordered. He thinks our culture is “incredible” and that’s the way he wants to keep it. 

Trump not only thinks America is incredible, he knows we are in a fight for our lives. And despite what one hears ad nauseum from the Democrats, Trump is perhaps among the least racist presidents we have ever had. Trump is not defending the white way of life; he is defending the American way of life, a colorblind way of life which is open to anyone who is willing to embrace it. 

If we want to save our country, then we should support him—unequivocally. I am. I think this election is that important, and I think Trump is that good. I hope you agree. 

Remember, Trump versus Biden is the choice between a man who believes America is good and a man who is controlled by a movement which believes America is bad. 
About Tom Klingenstein Tom Klingenstein is a principal in the investment firm of Cohen, Klingenstein, LLC and the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Claremont Institute.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

A win and a loss for ballot integrity in Tennessee and why we need a ninths justice on the Supreme Court.

by Rod Williams - There was one win and one loss for ballot integrity in Tennessee last week.  


The loss: 
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs which included the Equity Alliance and the Tennessee AFL-CIO. Tennessee requires that first time voters have to vote in person and can not vote absentee.  To me, it makes sense that election officials want to see if this new voters is an actual person.  The Court blocked that rule. To read the ruling follow this link

The Win:
The 6th Circuit Court of appeal upheld the process of the State for matching signatures on absentee ballots with the signature on file. 

Plaintiffs in this case was mostly the same as in the above case. The Plaintiffs argued Tennessee's process was flawed. The current process they say leaves too much room for human error and the possibility of wrongly rejected ballots. They argue that when a ballot is rejected that the person submitting the ballot be notified and have time to correct the problem. The State argued that that was not possible given time restrains and that it was not a serious problem since few absentee ballots are rejected for that purpose. 

The Court rejected the plaintiff's case on procedural issues because the plaintiffs did not have an actual case of someone who had been harmed by this practice.  To read The Tennessean story on this follow this link

The need to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
This two cases indicate the importance of filling the current Supreme Court vacancy as soon as possible.  If in either of these cases, if the same issue should come before a different district court and that court ruled the other way, then it would be up to the Supreme Court to decide the issue.  If the Supreme Court vote is a tie on an issue then the lower court decision stands.  Which means in one district a law is upheld and in another it is struck down.  This would add fuel to the fire of allocations of a stolen election and would further increase the likelihood of what I see as a potential for a Democrat coup, should the election outcome be undetermined or to close to call.  This situation would give Democrats cover for challenging the legitimacy of a Trump narrow win. There are other issues surrounding ballot integrity working their way through the courts. There is bound to be conflicting rulings from different districts. Without the Court to settle these issues there is more room for Democrat governors and the House of Representatives to make mischief and engineer a coup.

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Monday, October 19, 2020

Nashville BLM "mural" has already been vandalized.

 by Rod Williams - As I predicted, the

Nashville, tire tracks on
the BLM mural
Nashville BLM "mural" has already been vandalized.  This time it was with tire tracks and it occurred less than 24 hours after the mural was completed.   The article reporting this is not clear on how tire tracks on a street constitute vandalism,  however.  The picture of the tire tracks show tracks running the length of the mural along the bottom half of the installation. The truck could not have been "laying down rubber" for that length.  Is it done by braking and skidding to a stop? I don't know how one makes tires leave tracks.  Does one apply something to the tires?  Is it just oil, or does one apply paint to the tires.  I have no idea how this is done. Please explain if one knows how this is done.

Since the start of the BLM uprising, vandalism has been a tool of the insurrection. Many feel that vandalism is a legitimate form of protest and expressing frustration.  All across America, almost no one has been arrested for mere vandalism although clean up cost can run into the thousands of dollars.  Seldom is anyone arrested even for property destruction, arson, are looting. Governments have routinely ignored and tolerated these crimes, however one is more likely to be arrested for arson than simple vandalism.  Simple spray paint vandalism can be expensive to clean.  When vandals spray-painted "BLM" and a little other graffiti on Nashville's Peace monument it cost $10,000 to remove it (link)

NY, NY: Vandals hit BLM mural outside
Trump Tower for 3rd time.
While  I do not condone vandalism, no matter the target, I am very concerned that government is selective about which vandalism they are willing to tolerate and which they punish.  This is much the same thing we have seen with our own local governments in response to the Covid-19 rules.  Thousands of  BLM members protest in downtown Nashville and the mayor even encourages people to attend the protest and show their support.  No one is arrested for being in a crowd larger than authorized, for marching without a permits, for failure to social distance or failure to wear a mask.  However, a religious outdoor gathering occurs in Nashville and the city vows to investigate and punish those responsible for the gathering (link).  The same with vandalism.  The city stands by and watches spray-paint of buildings and monument happen and no one is arrested and yet police investigate tire tracks on on the road that "vandalizes" a BLM "mural."  I know that if one is caught vandalizing the BLM mural, they will be treated differently than those vandalizing downtown building. How serious a crime is treated depends on who is committing the crime, the reason and the target. Approved groups get a pass.

BLM "murals" have been painted in cities across America and vandalism of these murals is common. Below are some news articles on the topic of vandalism of BLM murals.

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Civil Unrest advisory: East Nashville, Oct. 17th, all day.

Civil Unrest advisory: Please be mindful to avoid East Nashville today where there is BLM mural painting party. While promoted as peaceful event, any gathering of this nature has the potential to turn violent. If you must travel in that vicinity, it is advised that one be prepared for self defense. 


This advisory also extends to I-24 on the east side of town in the vicinity of Main St, between approximately Shelby Ave and Spring St. If the rhetoric at the BLM mural painting party incites the crowd, the insurgents may decide blocking interstate traffic would be a good target for taking out their frustration. 

The danger of civil unrest is heightened by a large number of women effected by Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) who are ending their separate march at the BLM mural painting party location. People with TDS are incapably of rational thinking and may be aggressive but more likely to be a threat to themselves by stepping into a lane of traffic as a means of protest. If you must be on the roadways and encounter people with TDS walking into the roadway, try to avoid hitting them. Remember they are blinded by hatred to President Trump and are incapably of rational thought.

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Women with TDS march and then join the BLM mural painting party

Power Together Tennessee Women's March kicks off in Cumberland Park


The Tennessean Hundreds of people, in Middle Tennessee took to the streets late Saturday morning for a Women's March. ... Power Together Tennessee, the area march host, said the message is “to send an unmistakable message of our fierce opposition to Trump and his agenda" including his effort to fill the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.

The march is slated to end at the unveiling of Black Lives Matter mural on Woodland Street in East Nashville. ...

"I am marching because if we don’t demand change, our republic may not exist. I am marching because our democracy is on the line, said Yayne Abeba, Power Together Women’s March organizer.

.... the group wrote it would march in force "to send a clear message that we will not allow Trump and the GOP to endanger our lives any longer.

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Judge dismisses lawsuit aimed at stopping Nashville MLS stadium. State Fair to move to Wilson County

Judge dismisses lawsuit aimed at stopping Nashville MLS stadium construction

The Tennessean - ... Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle dismissed the lawsuit from Save Our Fairgrounds on Tuesday with prejudice — meaning plaintiffs may not re-file the case. 

 "[T]he Court concludes that the Plaintiffs have not proven that the construction and operation of the Development on the Fairgrounds Nashville Property is ultra vires, a breach of fiduciary duty or violates the Metro Charter," Lyle wrote in her 64-page opinion. "The evidence showed that there is no intent or design of Metro or the Intervening Defendants to destroy or eliminate the Existing Uses."  ....

She dismissed the group's claim that the project would interfere with a fair,
ruling construction and operation of the stadium at the fairgrounds could co-exist and the stadium and the mixed-use building would actually help the event. 

However, the Tennessee State Fair and Exposition Commission unanimously approved Monday a recommendation to make the Wilson County Fair the new site for the Tennessee State Fair.

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

It is despicable actions like this that makes me question Trump's fitness to serve.


by Rod Williams - The above is a retweet by President Trump that alleges that Joe Biden and President Obama may have had Seal team 6 killed. They were the team that took out Osama Ben Laden.  Except, the author of the tweet doesn't believe Osama Ben Laden was killed and that President Obama had to have the Seal team killed to cover up the deception that he was killed.  This is sick stuff.  This come from an article in Forbes, and the shown tweet is a retweet by Trump from an account with a history of promoting the Q-Anon conspiracy theory. This is not the first time President Trump has peddled Q-Anon sick nonsense. 

It is crap like this that makes it hard to like Trump. He retweets crazy stuff from a nut-job group.  Why does he do it. There is not enough of them to worry about their vote. Anyway, where are they going to go? Maybe stay home and not vote? So, if he gets a few nuts to vote for him who might have otherwise stayed home, by posting the tweet, more sane people who were wavering will go the other way. Not only is this an unwise political calculation but it is just wrong. 

We should not be encouraging crazy people. This is off in the far fringe of we-faked-the-moon-landing, Elvis-Marilyn-and-JFK-are-not-really-dead-but-living-in-a-secret-resort-somewhere, 9-11-was-an-inside-job, big-foot and space aliens. They make Chemtrail people look perfectly normal. They make the John Birch Society look like history scholars. They are off the charts.  They believe that Hillary Clinton and a lot of other leading Democrats are part of a vast conspiracy composed of people who are pedophiles and cannibals.  Do I believe Hillary is a crook who engaged in pay-for-play and pedaled influence? Yes.  Do I believe the Clintons enriched themselves under the guise of helping poor Haitians? Yes. Do I believe Bill Clinton was a rapist and harasser of women and Hillary enabled and covered up for him? Yes. Do I believe Hillary is one of he leaders of a massive pedophile and cannibalism ring with tentacles throughout the Federal government? NO!

Does Trump really believe this or does he just see something and without thinking and say, "yea, that sounds believable," and hits tweet without knowing the source of what he is tweeting or who is behind the conspiracy he is tweeting? Is he a believer or just irresponsible? I don't know. One excuse offered by his supporters is that he just does this to antagonize the mainstream press and liberals, that he likes to watch their heads explode. They understand Trump, they say, and I don't. I am not buying that argument. 

From time to time I question Trump's fitness to serve. Does he have the judgement or the values to be president?  If he would not do crazy stuff like this, I could like him a whole lot better. I liked the Trump of the Mount Rushmore speech and the Republican convention, but not the Trump who is pedaling Q-Anon. 

I know the big picture is more important than this issue: standing up to China, peace in the middle-east, maintaining American energy independence, curtailing the unelected bureaucratic elites, saving the economic progress of minorities, American economic well being, preserving the second amendment, appointing jurist who believe the courts should not make policy, preserving the electoral college, securing our borders, stopping the insanity of the Green New Deal, stopping the defunding of police, stopping "Medicare for All," stopping packing the Supreme Court, and ending the Antifa/BLM insurgency.  Those are important. What is a few crazy tweets compare to the future of our country hanging in the balance? 

However, his support for Q-anon is hard to swallow. I guess a lot of my Republican friends are not bothered by this. If you are a Trumper, let me ask you why this does not bother you: (1) I am bothered by it, but I ignore it because I don't want to diminish his reelection chances by condemning it, (2) I see the game he is playing and he does this just to keep the establishment liberals head's reeling, (3) I believe the stuff he tweets and there really is a cabal of pedophiles and cannibals deeply entrenched in the 'deep state,' or (4) some other rationale. Why is this OK?

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How to Steal an Election: Mail-In Ballots

 


What’s the difference between absentee balloting and universal mail-in balloting? The latter might sound like a great idea, but is it really? Eric Eggers of the Government Accountability Institute answers this vitally important question.

 

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Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How Republicans deny people the right to vote.



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Early Voting Starts Today, Oct. 14th

 



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Liberty on the Rocks - Nashville, Thursday, October 15, 2020, 5:30 PM

 

Who: A group of people, numbering anywhere between 8 and 25, who love liberty and who range in age from 18 to 80, and who vary in occupation from students to laborers to attorney's and businessmen, who are generally labeled "right of center" and may call themselves, libertarian, tea party, Republican, conservative, constitutionalists, Objectivist, and an occasional anarcho-capitalist.

What: Liberty on the Rocks is a get-together that involves eating and drinking and talking and respectfully disagreeing and exchanging of ideas usually about some political topic (but not always political) which could be the upcoming election, or Mayor Cooper's handling of the response to Corona and the massive tax increase, other news of the day, or foreign policy, or the monetary system, or the roll of the family and gay marriage, or legalization of drugs or prostitution, or the welfare state, or education reform, or criminal justice and prison reform, or the death penalty, or immigration policy, or morality and values, or the current civil unrest, or just whatever topic one brings up. No prayer, no pledge, no speaker, no program. 

When: Thursday, October 15 from 5:30 or whenever people arrive which starts about 5:30  until everyone leaves which usually means people start leaving about 8:30, but sometime later but you can come as late or leave as early as you please.  

Where: Southside Kitchen and Pub, 2190 Nolensville PK, Nashville, TN.

Why: For the enjoyment of good conversation with like-minded people or at least mostly sensible people.

To RSVP or map follow this link.  If you fail to RSVP, just show up. No big deal. 

Time to get back to socialism- socializing. Since the onset of the nasty virus, attendance at these events has dropped. Don't let these monthly get togethers fade away. 

First Beer on me. If you are new to Liberty on the Rocks and will be attending this Thursday for the first time, or the first time in a long time, let me know and the first round is on me. Rod Williams

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Professor Brian Fitzpatrick guest speak of the Bastiat Society of Nashville, Wednesday, October 14th


AIER's Bastiat Society of Nashville invites you to join us tomorrow, October 14th, at 6:00pm for an in-person event with Professor Brian Fitzpatrick. The unexpected opportunity for President Trump to nominate a third judge - Amy Coney Barrett - to the Supreme Court brings to the forefront differing judicial interpretation approaches (e.g. originalism, textualism) and other key issues impacting the confirmation process, not the least of which is the impact of a nominee's religion. 

Professor Fitzpatrick, who has clerked for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (a Justice who was known for strong opinions on these issues), will highlight the issues impacting the confirmation process that is currently underway. The Bastiat Society of Nashville's speaker series is co-sponsored by The Beacon Center of Tennessee & The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) (affiliated with Middle Tennessee State University). This co-sponsorship does not necessarily constitute endorsement of the speakers' positions on the issues discussed. 

 Registration Required. Let us know if you're coming.

Register here

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Thousands attend "unpermitted" "Worship Protest" in Nashville on Sunday. Metro officials investigate and threaten punishment.

by Rod Williams - There was a massive "worship protest" in the park in front of the Metro Courthouse on Sunday.  Thousands attended. Sean Feucht, a guy I have never heard of until now, was the organizer of the event.  He is based out of California and apparently has a massive following in evangelical Christian circles. He has had similar events at cities across America. I am usually pretty attuned to what is happening in conservative, Republican, or libertarian circles in Nashville but did not know this event was planned.  I am not nearly as attuned to the Christian community as I am the right-of-center political community. This was primarily, it seems, a religious event rather than a political event but addressed political issues. 

Part of the message of the protest was racial reconciliation. A participant at the even by the name of McKibben is quoted in the Tennessean as saying that one of the messages that stood out to her from the event was that of racial reconciliation. This has long been a staple of evangelical, especially charismatic, Christianity.  Feucht has expressed opposition to the BLM movement but approves of the sentiment.  He has let protest in opposition to BLM. "We can’t let our God-given empathy get hijacked by a dark movement with hidden agendas",  he has said on Facebook, according to The Tennessean

The Tennessean and local government leaders and some mainstream Christian faith leaders have expressed concern over the large gathering with minimal social distancing and many not wearing mask.  This is so hypocritical.  Local officials said the event took place without a permit and the city was investigating and would pursue appropriate penalties against the organizer. 

This is the heights of hypocrisy.  Time and time again BLM has protested in Nashville and even closed streets with no permit.  David Plazas community engagement editor for the Tennessean, editorialized about how irresponsible Feucht's event was. He has not so editorialized when thousands of BLM protestors took to the streets. This is an example of how our liberties are at stake. When favored groups can have a protest without a permit but groups not favored are suppose to get a permit, we are less free. When the government urges people to join the unpermitted protest of a favored group but threatens to take punitive action against an unfavored group for a protest, we are not free.   Either a permit is required for a protest or it is not. Equality under the law is a basic tenant of democratic systems.  I will gladly attend a unpermitted protest about the selective enforcement of law and government having one set of rules for favored groups and another set of rules for unfavored groups. 

For more info on this see the following: link, link, Rogue Pandemic Preacher Brings ‘Superspreader’ Terror to Nashville.

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Happy Columbus Day!


Columbus was Awesome 

Let's be honest, few would do what he did. 
Oh, and the indigenous peoples were guilty of the same stuff. 

by David Foley, reposted from Intellectual Takeout - Yes, it’s in vogue to forsake our Western heritage, to see dead, white men as evil barbarians. But let’s be honest, the reason they’ve been celebrated is because what they did, despite their sins, was incredible. Columbus is certainly one of those men. 

In an age when many teenage Americans are too terrified to even state their opinion in a high school class for fear of getting a bad grade and not getting into college, Columbus was already sailing the ocean blue, with reports that he went as far as the coast of Guinea in West Africa – that’s several thousand nautical miles from his home port! 

Dirt poor and already denied twice, Columbus finally won over Queen Isabella of Spain who then infuenced her husband, King Ferdinand, to support the expedition across the Atlantic. And so it was on August 3, 1492, that Admiral Columbus set sail into the great unknown with a squadron of tiny ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. 

Now, put yourself into the expedition. In looking back, modern man seems tempted to harshly judge every sin of a man whom the current culture has chosen to be against, while failing to judge the whole man and what he accomplished. How many today would have the courage of not just Columbus, but of the other 120 men aboard those little ships (at most, 60 feet long) to sail into the unknown, likely to fail and even to die? 

Here’s the famous poem (forgotten by today’s educators) by Joaquin Miller that captures what it must have been like on that long voyage across the Atlantic: 

Columbus 
by Joaquin Miller 

Behind him lay the gray Azores, 
Behind the Gates of Hercules; 
Before him not the ghost of shores, 
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now must we pray, 
For lo! The very stars are gone. 
Brave Adm’r’l, speak, what shall I say?” 
“Why, say: ‘Sail on! Sail on! And on!’” 

“My men grow mutinous day by day; 
My men grow ghastly wan and weak.” 
Be stout mate thought of home; a spray 
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek. 
“What shall I say, brave Adm’r’l, say, 
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?” 
“Why, you shall say, at break of day: 
‘Sail on! Sail on! Sail on! And on!’” 

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow, 
Until at last the blanched mate said: 
“Why, now not even God would know 
Should I and all my men fall dead. 
These very winds forget their way, 
For God from these dread seas is gone. 
Now speak, brave Adm’r’l; speak and say” 
He said: “Sail on! Sail on! And on!” 

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate: 
“This mad sea shows his teeth to-night; 
He curls his lips, he lies in wait, 
With lifted teeth, as if to bite: 
Brave Adm’r’l, say but one good word; 
What shall we do when hope is gone?” 
The words leapt like a leaping sword: 
“Sail on! Sail on! Sail on! And on!” 

Then pale and worn, he kept his deck, 
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night 
Of all dark nights! And then a speck-
A light! A Light! A light! A light! 
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled! 
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn. 
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! Sail on!” 

And so it was on October 12 that Columbus and his men landed in what is now called the West Indies. Such a story should be remembered and celebrated. 

As for Columbus and the native populations, the story is mixed. It would appear from the historical record that Columbus was quite kind and protective of the Arawak tribe at the location of his first landing. On his second voyage, he came in contact with the Carib tribe, which had been attacking and plundering the Arawak tribe, driving it into isolation and stealing its women and children, as well as initiating acts of cannibalism. Columbus saw the Caribs as natural enemies. But it was the Arawaks and other tribes that massacred his men that he le behind. Aer that, the violence kicked o and there were certainly terrible abuses by both the native populations and the Europeans.

Without a doubt, Columbus did some horrible things, including sending natives back to Spain as slaves who ironically were not treated as such initially. Should he be celebrated for some of his later deeds? Probably not. And so the complexities of history and the imperfections of men reveal themselves to us. But that is also the case of the native populations. 

Today, any number of classrooms and cities celebrate “Indigenous People’s Day” or some such thing as a way to repent of Columbus’ and the West’s sins of conquest. And yet, when we look at the historical record of indigenous peoples, they were no less blood thirsty (often more so) than the Europeans. Indeed, they conquered and enslaved each other with great frequency. 

If it is the case that the Europeans and Columbus are to be reviled for conquering and enslaving, then should we not hold the indigenous peoples to the same standard? If it was fair for them to conquer each other, then what was wrong with the Europeans conquering and spreading their civilization? Since the Europeans and the indigenous peoples shared in their sins against their fellow men, on this day feel no guilt in celebrating Columbus and his intrepid voyage across the Atlantic. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a giant among men.

Devin Foley is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Charlemagne Institute, which operates Intellectual Takeout, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, and the Alcuin Internship.

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