Saturday, July 31, 2021

It would not be hard to dilute Democratic votes in Nashville by splitting them up among several districts.


By Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman, Rasmussen Reports, Thursday, July 29, 2021-... Nowadays, it is Democrats who wish that the redistricting playing field was more level, especially in Atwater’s native South. ... we’ll be looking at a number of states in the Greater South that voted for Donald Trump by at least double-digit margins. Those are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. ....a state-by-state analysis of each state. ... 

TENNESSEE 
  • Number of seats: 9 (no change from 2010s) 
  • Party breakdown in 2012: 7-2 R 
  • Current party breakdown: 7-2 R 
  • Most overpopulated district: TN-4 (South-Central Tennessee) 
  • Most underpopulated district: TN-9 (Memphis) 
  • Who controls redistricting: Republicans 
2012 control: 
Republicans Going into the 2011 redistricting process, Republicans were riding high in Tennessee. In 2010, they picked up the governorship and turned a 5-4 Democratic majority in the congressional delegation to a solid 7-2 GOP advantage. Importantly, the three seats that Republicans gained seemed solid: they’d all given McCain double-digit wins in 2008, and the GOP freshmen were replacing entrenched Democrats, whose appeal would be hard for future Democratic challengers to replicate. So with Republicans’ existing edge in the delegation, the 2011 redistricting in Tennessee was in large part driven by incumbent, not partisan, considerations. For example, then-Rep. Diane Black (R, TN-6) won her 2010 primary with a 31% plurality — it was not surprising when Rutherford County, where her two main primary opponents fared well, was removed from the district. Though Tennessee Republicans ended up passing a map that preserved their comfortable 7-2 advantage, more aggressive options were considered. 

Hypothetical pro-Republican gerrymander of Tennessee
While Memphis’ TN-9 is heavily Black (radically altering it would have surely result in court challenges), Nashville’s TN-5, which is white-majority, emerged as a possible target. Currently, the three districts that surround TN-5 are all ruby red (each gave Trump at least 67% in 2020), so it would not be hard to dilute Democratic votes in Nashville by splitting them up among several districts. 

In Map 2, Davidson County is split among four districts — the most Democratic of these seats is TN-5, which would have given Trump 57% both times he was on the general election ballot. We used the Cumberland River, which bisects Nashville, as something of a natural guide, but the are many ways to crack the county.

One reason why Republicans didn’t attempt an 8-1 map in 2011 may have been TN-5’s incumbent. Rep. Jim Cooper (D, TN-5), a moderate Democrat who has represented the Nashville area since 2002, used to hold a rural seat earlier in his career, where he was reelected easily in the 1980s and early 1990s. Given Cooper’s record in non-metropolitan parts of the state, it was feasible that he’d hold on in a redder district. But rural Tennessee has continued to shift rightward, and even the strongest statewide Democrats have struggled to find much crossover appeal there. 

Our sources on both sides of the aisle believe that Cooper is in serious danger of seeing his district broken apart, allowing Republicans to likely net an extra seat in Tennessee. From a demographic perspective, many of the state’s fast-growing counties form a crescent around Nashville: Sumner and Wilson counties are in TN-6, Rutherford was moved into TN-4 for 2012, and Williamson County, the state’s wealthiest and most college-educated county, has been in TN-7 since 2002. A decade ago, those four counties had 720,000 residents, or just over the population of a single district — they now claim 860,000 residents, which is 115,000 over the ideal district population. 

On the other extreme, TN-9 has seen the slowest growth, and needs to add roughly 60,000 people — it will likely pick up some suburban Memphis precincts from TN-8, but it should still be around 65% Black. TN-8, which takes in West Tennessee, was amenable to Democrats 15 years ago, but is now a safely red seat, and it probably won’t change as much as the Nashville-area districts. 

The only two counties east of the Nashville area where Joe Biden cracked even 40% of the vote were Knox (Knoxville) and Hamilton (Chattanooga); they anchor TN-2 and TN-3, respectively. While those counties have seen some pro-Democratic trends, both districts contain a handful of deeply red rural counties, so Republicans should feel secure in each. Finally, TN-1 will likely see minimal changes — it’s been nestled in the northeastern corner of the state for essentially the state’s entire history and last elected a Democrat in 1878.

To read the full report follow this link

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The threats against right-to-work are very real

Justin Owen
by Justin Owen, The Beacon Center, July 21, 2021 - This week, the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest unions, kicked off its “Week of Action.” Its main focus is to push the U.S. Senate to join the House of Representatives in passage of the PRO Act, which would drastically alter labor relations in this country. One of the biggest changes would be the elimination of right-to-work laws in 27 states, including Tennessee. Right-to-work has been a fundamental ingredient in our economic success as a state, so a federal override of this important policy would be devastating economically. 

Right-to-work ensures that employees cannot be fired for refusing to join a union and paying dues. Right-to-work protects both those who wish to unionize and those who do not. It’s been the policy of Tennessee since 1947. The PRO Act poses the most direct attack on worker freedom since then. Forcing employees to pay union dues for causes they may not believe in would create a more hostile work environment and give unions a massive handout to fund their radical political agenda. 

Fortunately, not everyone is sitting idly by. Tennessee legislators saw the looming threat against our right-to-work law, which has protected individual workers’ freedoms for more than seven generations. In 2020, lawmakers began the process of giving voters the option to enshrine right-to-work in our state Constitution to defend against these new attacks. 

Amending our state Constitution is not an easy task. Legislators must twice pass a resolution to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, the second time by a two-thirds majority. Earlier this year, the legislature completed its part of the process, and now right-to-work protections will be placed on the November 2022 ballot as Amendment 1. 

If voters ratify Amendment 1 next November, it will send a strong message to Washington that the states—not the federal government—should govern workplace freedom. And it will protect our longstanding right-to-work policy not just for present-day workers, but for generations of workers to come. Unions have gained tremendous influence with the changing of the guard in the Beltway, and they may garner a lot of media attention through their “Week of Action.” But at least here at home in Tennessee, recent actions show that we still believe in the workplace freedom and individual liberty that right-to-work embodies.

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Friday, July 30, 2021

Nashville rents increase sharply over the past month. Nashville rents still more affordable than many comparable cities nationwide

Apartment list - Nashville rents have increased 3.8% over the past month, and have increased sharply by 9.4% in comparison to the same time last year. Currently, median rents in Nashville stand at $1,171 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,350 for a two-bedroom. 


This is the sixth straight month that the city has seen rent increases after a decline in January. Nashville's year-over-year rent growth lags the state average of 12.6%, as well as the national average of 10.3%.

 




To read the report follow this link


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Mix and Mingle, Sat., July 31st, Bold Patriot Brewery, 10AM

 




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Metro Planning Readies for Redistricting, Launches Website and Survey

Metro press release, 7/26/2021- As the U.S. Census Bureau finalizes data from the 2020 Census, the Metro Nashville Planning Department is preparing to re-establish boundaries for Metro Council and Metro School Board districts. Today, the Metro Planning Department launched a new redistricting website aimed at educating and engaging the community in this important process. 

The website, redistrict.nashville.gov, includes a Redistricting Interest and Community Mapping survey, a timeline of the process, frequently asked questions, and a map of how council and school board districts have changed as Nashville has continued to grow. 

Metro Planning is beginning community engagement before receiving updated population totals from the U.S. Census Bureau to give the community time to learn about the process. However, it will not begin preparing new district lines until that data is available. 

“In addition to things like balanced populations and compactness, we can also think about how people in the county think about their neighborhoods and communities, which is why we want to hear from residents” said Greg Claxton, Planning Manager. “There’s no denying that Nashville is growing, and our process is guided in foundational principles to ensure we see equity in representation across Davidson County.” 

Every ten years, after the U.S. Census data is released, Metro Nashville must review and analyze the data to ensure districts are balanced in population and follow traditional redistricting criteria. 

The Metro Charter assigns responsibility for redistricting to the Planning Commission, which will make its recommendation to the Metro Council for adoption. These recommendations will only pertain to Metro Council and Metro School districts and will not impact school attendance zones or State or Federal representations. 

Residents are encouraged to take the survey now. There will also be opportunities to participate in public workshops later this fall. Metro Planning will continue to work with Metro Council and Metro School Board members to help keep communities informed on the process, as well as share public engagement events.

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Monday, July 26, 2021

Train to be a poll watcher

Over the next several months the Davidson County Republican Party will be conducting classes to train individuals on Poll Watching. The next training class will be: 

Date: Saturday, August 7, 2021 
Time: 9:00am until 11:00am 
Where: Bold Patriot Institute 410 39th Avenue North Nashville, TN 37203 

If you are interested in being trained to be a Poll Watcher, please send us your contact information to: RSVP to Hattie Bryant.

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What We Can Do About Critical Race Theory [Exclusive Interview With Senator Marsha Blackburn]

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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Tennessee Republican Party Statesmen's Dinner featuring House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy

 

Click here to order your ticket.

Join me for the 44th Annual Statesmen's Dinner with Leader Kevin McCarthy on July 31st at Music City Center, Downtown Nashville! Receptions will begin at 5:00 pm with the Dinner and Program starting at 6:00pm. Attire is Business Professional. If ordering multiple tickets or table host, please list the attendee names in the comments box separated by a comma. Note: If you would like to purchase a sponsorship level, please contact Amy Lewis at amy@tngop.org or 615-269-4260.

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Robby Starbuck, candidate for 5th Congressional District, guest speaker at Mom's for Liberty, July 27

 


The Moms for Liberty has been described as one of the fastest-growing and most robustly organized groups… which is focused on creating a nation-wide watch-dog network to monitor school boards. Moms For Liberty (which also welcomes dads and other stakeholders), was chartered about 5 months ago in Florida and has since grown to 20k members, with 44 chapters in 19 states, and hundreds of chapter applications currently in queue. Moms for Liberty for Davidson County is joining with the group Tennessee Stands to have a social get-to-gather on Saturday, July 31st. at the Bold Patriot Brewing Company, 410 39th Avenue North, Nashville 37122

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Over development is not why we are seeing more coyotes in the city.

by Rod Williams - Popular explanations of historical or everyday occurrences are so often just wrong.  Accepted wisdom is often the result of an expression of faulty logic that is repeated over and over until everyone just knows it is true.  It seems to me that most people do not think very deeply and are not very rational. Also, it seems most people seem to think that an uninformed opinion is as valid as an informed opinion. They don't trust or believe the experts. They tend to believe as fact things that conform to or support their faith, or values, ideology, or world view.  They trust their prejudices. Many seem to take pride in their ignorance. "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with facts," seems to be their motto. 

There are of course the conspiracy stuff such as the stuff believed by The Nation of Islam, Q Anon, the John Birch Society, or other cults.  There are people who believe the government bombed the levies and caused the flooding in New Orleans, that the moon landing was staged, that 9-11 was an inside job. And, some people believe Marilyn Monrow, Elvis Prestley and JFK are alive and well living in some hidden location. We can dismiss this stuff as just extreme or delusional thinking. But believing wrong stuff is not restricted to the extreme wrong stuff.  People believe that if you would just dredge the creek, that would solve the flooding problem.  Despite no evidence to support it, many still believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen. While she is likely wasting her breath (or keystrokes) I was pleased to see Michael CF explain that the increase in coyote sightings is not because their habitat is being destroyed by development.


Coyote sneaks into Nashville's Music City Center | WZTV


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Don't be an idiot. Get vaccinated. TDH: 98%+ of COVID deaths, 97% of hospitalizations are now among unvaccinated

TDH: 98%+ of COVID deaths, 97% of hospitalizations are now among unvaccinated

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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Nashville named best city for first-time homebuyers

If Nashville is ranked number 1, we are in a world of hurt.  The American dream is dead. 

By Jason Thomas and Meg Wrather – Nashville Business Journal, Jul 19, 2021- A new study by financial technology company SmartAsset reveals that Nashville is the best city in the country for first-time homebuyers. Nashville came in at No. 1 on SmartAsset's ranking, which considered 163 of the largest U.S. cities and analyzed 12 metrics across four major categories: home market favorability, affordability, livability and employment. (link)

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Tennessee ranked third-best state for retirement

Bankrate, a New York-based consumer financial services company, conducted the study using a variety of metrics to rank each state from best to worst places to retire.  Florida is second and Georgia ranks as the best.

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Don't be stupid. Get the vaccine. Best wishes to Phil Valentine.

 


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Friday, July 23, 2021

Jim Cooper - Odessa Kelly race heats up. Kelly is a viable challenger.

Raises $300K. Her campaign gets national attention.


Jim Cooper
by Holly McCall, Tennessee Lookout, JULY 23, 2021-
  ... Making it rain: Cooper raised just over $580,000; Kelly raised just over $300,000. Both are credible numbers, but the numbers need some context. One tenet of politics is that a candidate needs to make an impressive showing with their first disclosure, lest he or she be written off as non-competitive. Kelly did that. 
Odessa Kelly

To raise $300,000 as a first-time candidate is impressive, particularly so given she’s running against a long-time incumbent..... Kelly got money from actress Jane Fonda, Metro Nashville Education Association President Amanda Kail, public housing advocates Eddie Latimer and Kay Bowers, and Judge Rachel Bell. ...  

Virtually every member of Middle Tennessee’s Democratic establishment gave more than $100 to Cooper. Kelly received a few contributions of over $100 from Young Democrats, including a labor organizer and two legislative staff members, but no donations from prominent Democrats. ...  She has scored the endorsements of a half dozen of Nashville’s 40 council members, including Sean Parker, who also serves in a role on her campaign staff. ....

For her part, Kelly is a stronger candidate than Keeda Haynes, Cooper’s last primary challenger. Haynes had a compelling backstory but lacked the deep and broad community ties of Kelly, who has a warm charisma that makes you feel you’ve known her forever upon your first meeting. A graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools and Tennessee State University, where she played basketball, Kelly has worked for Metro Parks and now directs Stand Up Nashville, a pro-labor organization. All of that is to say that if Haynes could swing almost 40% of the 2020 primary vote to Cooper’s 57%, it’s feasible that Kelly could pick up an additional 8% to close the gap. ... the outcome of the 2022 primary is anyone’s guess. (Read the full story at this link.) 

Rod's comment: While if my only choice were between Cooper and Kelly as our next congressman, I would favor Cooper, it would not be by much. I will not be voting in the Dem primary to save Cooper from a candidate even further to the left. For one thing, the Democrat mainstream is so far to the left now, that it doesn't much matter if a Democrat is more like Cooper or more like Kelly.  Cooper is sometimes called a "moderate," but he votes in lockstep with his party.  Also, while at one time, Cooper may have been fiscally conservative and he once warned of massive deficit spending and the national debt, he no longer speaks of those concerns.  About the only difference between a moderate Democrat and a Democratic Socialist Democrat is style, demeanor, and rhetoric.  The moderate Democrats are more boring.

In fact, in this Democrat contest, I am favoring Kelly.  If the Republican primary is boring, I may vote in the Democrat primary and actually vote for Kelly. Why?  because I think a Republican could stand a better chance of beating Kelly in the general election than they could of beating Cooper. Kelly would be the weaker candidate.  In a general election contest, some undecided or persuadable voters may be more likely to be persuaded to vote Republican if the candidate is Kelly than if it is the boring but known Jim Cooper. Cooper doesn't scare voters; Kelly may.

Between now and the election, the Republican legislature will be redrawing district boundaries. If boundaries are redrawn to add a few more rural and conservative voters to the 5th, and if Republicans nominate a serious candidate who cannot credibly be smeared as a Trumpinista, Republicans may stand a chance of winning the 5th.  A lot can happen between now and then but I am glad to see Cooper have a viable challenger.  

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Is Gov. Bill Lee running for president? Bill Freeman says he is.

by BILL FREEMAN, The Nashville Scene, JUL 22, 2021 -You may not see his name on any of the potential-presidential-candidate listings, but multiple sources close to Gov. Bill Lee have told me it is a “100 percent certainty” that he will be making a run for the White House in 2024. Even if he doesn’t make it to the Oval Office, they say, he’d be interested in being vice president — but these are jobs that require the governor to increase his national recognition. 


Perhaps this explains why Lee found it necessary to go to the Texas-Mexico border recently, .... (For more of this Lee-bashing story, follow this link.)

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Thursday, July 22, 2021

Do strict state gun policies reduce gun violence. (Gun talk #6)

by Rod Williams- In looking at the issue of gun violence, one thing seems safe to say, strict local gun control policies have little impact on the level of gun violence. Well, what about state gun policies?  Do strict state gun laws have an impact on the level of gun violence?  

Across the nation, the level of restrictions on guns varies greatly.  A website called Inverse, reports that according to the State Firearm Laws database maintained by the Boston University School of Public Health, the following states, at only four each, have the fewest gun laws:
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Alaska 
The states with the most gun laws, with 106 and 100, respectively are:
  • California
  • Massachusetts
What are we talking about when we talk about state gun laws? Here are some of the most common. 
  • Bans on "assault weapons" and large-capacity magazines.
  • Background checks, more stringent than the federal requirement. 
  • Banning the sale of guns to "high-risk" individuals, such as those with mental health issues or a history of violence. 
  • Buyer regulation such as requiring a license to purchase a gun or even receive a gift of a gun from a family member or restricting the number of guns a single buyer may purchase or requiring registration of the gun. 
  • Possession and carry regulations, such as rules on where one may carry, and carry permits for concealed weapons or open carry.
  • Domestic violence laws such as laws prohibiting one convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun or even one with a restraining order. 
These are some of the most popular gun laws advocated by those who want more gun laws. To see which states have which gun laws in the categories listed above, follow this link.  (For much more on the gun laws in the various states see this link and this link.) 

So, if state gun laws are effective, states with more gun laws should show less gun violence. What does the evidence show? World Population Review, a credible source of information that analyzes all kinds of data and statistics to make the information accessible and understandable, has looked at the data on states with the most and least gun deaths (link).  Here is what the data shows:

The five states with the highest gun death rates are:
  • Alaska - 24.4 deaths per 100,000
  • Mississippi - 24.2 deaths per 100,000
  • Wyoming - 22.3 deaths per 100,000
  • New Mexico - 22.3 deaths per 100,000
  • Alabama - 22.2 deaths per 100,000
The five states with the lowest gun death rates are:
  • Massachusetts - 3.4 deaths per 100,000
  • New York - 3.9 deaths per 100,000
  • New Jersey - 4.1 deaths per 100,000
  • Hawaii - 4.4 deaths per 100,000
  • Rhode Island - 4.6 deaths per 100,000
Notice this about the above data:
  • Alaska is one of the states with the highest gun death rate and also the fewest gun laws.
  • Massachusetts is one of the states with the lowest gun death rate and most gun laws. 
That would support the argument that more gun laws result in a lower gun death rate. 

People who have studied the issue reach the same conclusion.  The Senate Committee on the Judiciary issued a statement from Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the committee that stated,  States With Weak Gun Laws Suffer From More Gun Violence. Here are some studies Senator Feinstein references to support her contention.
  • A study by the Center for American Progress found the 10 states with the weakest gun laws (Kansas, Mississippi, Wyoming, Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, Vermont and Missouri) had three times more gun violence than the 10 states with the toughest gun laws (California, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware).
  • One John Hopkins University study found that when Connecticut implemented a requirement to have a permit to purchase a gun, gun homicides dropped by 40 percent. When Missouri repealed a similar law, gun homicides rose 25 percent.
One may not like Senator Feinstein for any number of reasons and one may reject calls for more gun regulation because of philosophical reasons, but the information she sighted can not be just dismissed because Senator Feinstein quoted it. The Center for American Progress and John Hopkins, do not just make up facts.

Other reputable sources also looked at the data and come to the same conclusion that more gun control results in (or at least correlates with) fewer gun deaths. Here are some other studies:







In looking at any data set, one should be mindful of the difference between causation and correlation. Remember that people who carry cigarette lighters have more incidents of lung cancer.  Other factors that may influence the findings in the reports sighted above are the demographics of the state, the number of guns in circulation, the effectiveness of the enforcement of the laws on the books, the guns laws of adjacent states, and the culture of the state.  

If one looked for patterns one may find that states with high levels of auto accidents have more gun fatalities or one may find that a state with more obesity has less gun violence. Just because data correlates does indicate a cause nor does it dictate one reach a certain conclusion.  Having stated the above caveat, however, the data causes me to recognize that states with more gun laws have fewer gun deaths.

For more in this series of articles on gun violence see the following:


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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

We should welcome those fleeing tyranny. Refugees from Cuba, Afghanistan and Hong Kong should be given priority.

by Rod Williams - The Biden administration is planning to temporarily house about 2,500 Afghan refugees at Fort Lee in Virginia, with expansion to other military bases possible in the future, U.S. officials announced on Monday. 

Fort Lee, an army post just south of Richmond, will serve as a way-station for Afghans who have passed the State Department’s screening for special immigrant visas. This group includes interpreters and others who worked alongside American troops in Afghanistan, along with their families, all of whom are targeted by the Taliban.

I approve of this policy.  Those who threw their lot in with the Americas and now are targeted for retaliation should not be abandoned.  Unfortunately, we can not save everyone.  Parents who sent their young girls to school, believing a new day was dawning in Afganistan and embraced a future free from radical Islamic tyranny may pay the ultimate price for daring to oppose the Taliban.   Those who can flee the country, if the Taliban begins a program of retaliation, should be granted amnesty in America.  We owe it to them.

As Cubans dare demonstrate for freedom, the Biden administration is taking a hard line on Cuban refugees.  The Biden administration has said in no uncertain terms, that those who manage to reach the US by sea will be apprehended by the US Coast Guard and taken back to Cuba. That is the equivalent of signing their death warrant. Those fleeing Cuban who request political asylum will be referred to third countries for resettlement and will not be allowed to enter the United States.

Shame on Biden!  That is a despicable policy. He has opened the southern border to those from Mexico and the northern triangle.  Why the discrepancy?  Is he afraid Cuban refugees will become Republican voters?  We should welcome those fleeing Cuba and rescue them at sea.  In addition to accepting those with a legitimate claim to political asylum from Afganistan and Cuba, as China continues to tighten the screws in Hong Kong, we should accept refugees from there.

We cannot just open our doors to every person seeking a better economic opportunity but we should welcome those fleeing tyranny. 

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Arise Freedom Tour- 2021, July 21, Brentwood

 


Scott McKay former competitive bodybuilder turned wellness industry entrepreneur
Leigh Dundas- Scientologist and outspoken anti-vaxxer and anti-mask. 
Sacha Stonea British New Age influencer and conspiracy theory promoter

As the author of A Disgruntled Republican I often post items that I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian, or the greater community. Posting of a press release or an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement. Rod

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TBI Report: 2020 deadliest year for murder in Tennessee since 2002

TBI Report: 2020 deadliest year for murder in Tennessee since 2002

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Best state to retire: Tennessee ranks No. 3 in nation

 

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Tennessee Supreme Court to hear Nashville music producer, hairstylist case against city

 Fox 17, July 14, 2021, NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A Nashville music producer and a hairstylist will see their case against the City of Nashville go before the Tennessee Supreme Court. 

 Elijah "Lij" Shaw has been recording and producing music in Music City for acts that include Zac Brown Band, Mumford & Sons, Wilco, and Tori Amos. Since 2005, he's done it from his home's detached garage he converted into a professional, soundproof studio dubbed "The Toy Box Studio." That all came to a halt in September 2015 when Lij received a cease-and-desist letter from the city. According to court documents originally filed, Lij ...(continue reading)

Who would have thought it would be illegal to make music in Nashville?

Institute For Justice, 2017 - Elijah “Lij” Shaw, a single father and lifelong record producer, moved to Nashville in 1991. He has recorded nationally renowned, Grammy Award-winning performers such as John Oates, Jack White, Wilco, Adele, and the Zac Brown Band.[15] 

He’s been living in the same house in East Nashville since he bought it in 2000. When his daughter Sarayah was born in 2005, he was inspired to take charge of his work life and find a way to better support his family. So he invested thousands of dollars to convert his detached garage into The Toy Box Studio: a professionally soundproofed recording studio where he could record his musician clients on his own property, all while remaining close to Sarayah as she grew up. It was a perfect setup. 

Well-respected musicians use The Toy Box Studio—the 2015 Grammy winner for Best Roots Gospel Album was mixed there[16]—and Lij operated for 10 years without incident. His soundproofed studio can’t be seen or heard from the street, and his clients park in his driveway. None of his neighbors have ever complained to him about traffic or noise. But now Nashville is threatening to destroy Lij’s investment and uproot him from his neighborhood. 

In September 2015, Lij opened his mailbox to a letter from the Nashville government ordering him to cease and desist the operation of his home recording studio. A month later, an officer from the Nashville Codes Department called and ordered him to shut down his business or be taken to court. Lij was able to ward off an inspection by agreeing to take his address down from his website, but the officer warned that if Codes ever caught him recording in his studio—or even podcasting—he would be taken to court and shut down.

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Former Mayor David Briley announces bid for circuit court judge

Former Mayor David Briley announces bid for circuit court judge

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

Tennessee is the 11th least productive state in America

24/7 Wall St., June 17, 2017 - ... Using data on both total productivity and total hours worked, 24/7 Wall St. calculated labor productivity in each state. ... Improvements and differences in productivity from state to state can be due to a number of factors, including technological advancements, capital available to workers, and the workforce's education and skill level. These are the most and least productive states in America.



 (For the full story and list, follow this link)

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Friday, July 16, 2021

Wendy Hancock found guilty of custodial interference. Attorney Connie Reguli will now go on trial.

Weny Hancock and
Connie Reguli
by Rod Williams- July 15, 2021- Yesterday in Franklin Tennessee, Wendy Hancock was found guilty of the crime of custodial interference.  I had, prior to the trial in a previous post, said that family law attorney and Department of Children's Services critic Connie Reguli was on trial.  She was not, but the trial could have determined her fate.

The person on trial was Wendy Hancock.  She was charged with custodial interference and Connie was her attorney at the time. Connie was charged with accessory to custodial interference or abetting custodial interference or facilitating custodial interference or some such charge.  If Wendy would have been found not guilty, then charges would have been dropped against Connie because that would mean there was no custodial interference and thus no crime to which Connie would have been an accessory. Unfortunately, in my view, Wendy was found guilty. Connie will now go on trial.  

I attended the last day of the three-day trial. I got to see the attorneys argue the wording of the charges to the jury and watch closing arguments. While I missed the first two days of the proceeding, I had a close friend, Lydia Hubbell, who attended and she took good notes and gave me detailed reports of what happened, also, another friend, Jeni Bokhari gave me reports on what she observed.  I also watched various videos and read social media reports from others who attended the trial and feel I have a pretty good understanding of the case. 

Here is the essence of what this was all about as far as I can tell.  In 2019 Wendy Hancock, a single mother of a teen boy and a pre-teen girl was having problems with her out-of-control son. He was doing drugs, skipping school, and would not mind.  Wendy asked the state to intervene.  They took the child and put him in foster care.  He, in retaliation, told State authorities that his mother was a bad mother and was dealing drugs. The state then took action to remove Wendy's daughter and place her in foster care also.  By all accounts, there was no truth to the charges against Wendy and there was no indication that Wendy's daughter was in any danger, was being neglected, or otherwise in an unsafe environment. 

This is where the charge of custodial interference gets confusing.  Wendy had participated in an investigation that led up to the order to take her daughter.  She anticipated an order was to be issued to take her child.  She sought the help of attorney Connie Reguli. At some point, she knew or assumed an order to take her daughter had been issued but she had not been served. She avoided service. She fled her home in Lebanon and stayed a couple days with relatives in Watertown.  She stayed a couple nights in a motel.  She put her cell phone on "airplane mode," so it would not be tracked.  

She went to see her attorney and, I think, spend a night at Connie's home in Brentwood.  I am not clear on how, but somehow the Williamson County sheriff tracked her down at Ms Regali's house and took the child, and arrested both the mother, Wendy, and the attorney Connie Regali. 

In defense of Wendy's actions, it was pointed out that the order to take the child into custody did not specify a date by which she must surrender the child or a place to do so.  Also, Connie Reguli called the DCS office numerous times to say she was representing Ms. Hancock, and would someone please call her.  She was wanting to accommodate the surrender of the child in a less traumatic fashion than having law enforcement take her into custody. No one returned her call.

Why was the mother and Connie Reguli arrested? Many believe it is because Connie Reguli is a thorn in the side of DHS and this was revenge for her activism.  Ms Reguli has represented numerous parents in custody battles and has represented parents who have had their children removed by DHS.  She has become a national leader in the parental rights movement.  She does videos on the topic, has been a featured speaker at conferences across the county, and has testified before state legislative bodies. Connie Reguli believes Wendy was a victim of the State's effort to take revenge on her.  During the trial, the prosecutor objected to any attempt by Ms Reguli to make this point and the judge would not let her do much more than answer yes-no questions. Several observers of the trial told me, it was terrible the way Ms Reguli was treated in court.

I believe the charge that this fiasco was revenge against Ms Reguli. Listening to closing arguments, I can see how the jury could have found Ms Hancock guilty as charged. However, in my view, she should never have been charged. Once charged, the charges should have been dropped.  She had no intent to permanently avoid surrendering her child; she was a mother in distress about having her child taken and stalled for time hoping her lawyer could stop it from happening.  Wendy was never ruled an unfit mother. She was forced to take numerous drug tests which she always passed and after her daughter was in foster care for six months, she was returned to her mother. 

This trial did not get mainstream press news coverage but it should have.  It is being widely reported on social media.  Several people came from across the country to observe the trial. Among those attending was Jennifer Winn, an outspoken and passionate family rights activist who was a gubernatorial candidate in her home state of Kansas, and investigative journalist, Terri LaPoint, from Alabama.  Parents and grandparents who have had negative experiences in family court and advocate for child welfare and family court reform who were in attendance came from Texas, Georgia, and from several counties in Tennessee.

Now that Wendy Hancock has been found guilty, the State will proceed with the charges against Connie Reguli.  If found guilty, Connie would lose the ability to practice law.  I have no doubt, that even if she does lose her ability to practice law, that Connie Reguli will remain a fierce advocate for families. 

While there are cases in which children need to be removed from a home and while the state has an interest in protecting children, the state often fails.  Children or too often removed from homes without just cause, judges will sign anything DHS puts in front of them, parents are powerless to oppose DHS, proceedings in DHS custody cases are conducted in closed court and parents rights are often not protected, and children sometimes die in foster care or are abused.  Even if not mistreated in foster care, they may be in several foster homes in a short period of time being required to change schools several times in the year. In my view, children should only be removed from a home in rare circumstances.  If necessary to remove a child because a situation may be dangerous, then that determination should be made quickly and the child reunited with their parents as soon as possible. 

Part of the problem causing so many children to be taken from their parents is that government funding is often contingent upon showing results.  To get more funding, state agencies must show the federal government or the state agency must show the state legislature they are being productive and that means removing children from their homes.  I have heard many tales of children being taken from parents when it was unjustified.  Even if parents are not great parents, unless a child is in danger if it remains in that environment, children should not be taken from their parents. 

I hope when Connie Reguli goes to trial, it gets mainstream press coverage.  Her trial could help shed light on a problem that needs it. 

For more on this story see these links: Family Forward Project with video reports,  Connie Reguli's Facebook page, Jennifer Winn's Facebook page with video interviews of the day of the trial and more, link.



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(Correction) Connie Reguli, Middle Tennessee attourney, DCS critic, active Republican, goes on trail July 12.

by Rod Williams, July 8, 2021- If you are active in middle Tennesee conservative and Republican political activities you probably have met Connie Reguli.  She is an attorney who practices family law.  She is a regular attendee at First Tuesday and other Republican gatherings.  At the recent contentious convention of the Tennessee Republican Assembly, she served as the legal advisor for the convention. 

Connie Reguli also heads a national group called Family Forward Foundation. The mission statement of the organization says: "The Family Forward Foundation is a national organization dedicated to the rights of familial integrity, and the rights of parents and children to be free from unreasonable intrusion of the government, as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution."  

Connie Reguli has been an outspoken critic of the Department of Children's Services and has testified before state lawmakers, calling for DCS reform. She also is a national spokesman for children and parental rights and often speaks at conferences across the country. 

Connie Reguli will be in court on Monday, July 12, in Williamson County.  Being in court is common for a lawyer, however, in this instance, Reguli is not defending an accused or representing a client, she is on trial. 

In July, 2019 Connie was representing Wendy Hancock who was fighting DCS in an attempt to regain custody of her children.  Connie had let Wendy and one of her children move in with her or maybe Wendy was just visiting Connie to discuss her case. Available information reports it both ways.  In any event, Connie Hancock had an outstanding warrant and she was arrested at Connie's house and Connie was charged with a crime.  She was arrested for "custodial interference."

Connie says she was doing nothing more than assuring her client's due process rights were protected. Connie claims her arrest is retaliation for her role as a critic of DHS calling for reform. 

Connie posted to Facebook, "So for y'all who watched this debacle....the case goes to the jury on Monday, July 12, at 9:00 in the Williamson County Courthouse. We should let FOX news local know. It is a public court, so anyone who wants to wander in can do so. I know I have a few who wanted to and can show up. 135 4th Ave. N, Franklin TN,"

From what I can gather, Connie Reguli was arrested for doing no more than what a good lawyer should do to represent their client. Having heard horror stories about how DCS fails to protect children and how abusive the system can be of the rights of parents, I tend to believe Connie's charge that she is a victim of DCS retaliation.  I think I will attend her jury trial.  

For more on this story see, link, link, link, link, link.

Correction, July 15, 2021 -It was not Connie Reguli who was on trial. It was Wendy Handcock. She was charged with custodial interference and Connie was her attorney at the time.  Connie was charged with accessory to custodial interference or abetting custodial interference or some such charge. Connie had to testify at Wendy's trial.  If Wendy would have been found not guilty, then charges would have been dropped against Connie because that would mean there was no custodial interference and thus no crime to which Connie would have been an accessory. Wendy was found guilty.  Connie will now go on trial. Look for an update. 

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ARE TENNESSEE’S GUN LAWS BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL REGARDING 18-20 YEAR OLDS? (Gun talk #5)

by John Harris, Tennessee Firearms Association, July 14, 2021 - A Fourth Circuit federal appeals court issued a ruling on July 13, 2021, in Hirschfield v. BATFE, et al, 4th Cir. No: 19-2250 (linked below) which addressed the issue of when do constitutionally protected rights under the 2nd Amendment attach. That appellate court concluded that the rights attach at age 18 – not age 21 – and struck down a portion of federal law that prohibits transfers by federal firearms dealers of handguns to those under age 21. 

As Tennessee Firearms Association has argued, the court found that those rights attach at a minimum by age 18. The court’s introductory paragraph states: 

 When do constitutional rights vest? At 18 or 21? 16 or 25? Why not 13 or 33? In the law, a line must sometimes be drawn. But there must be a reason why constitutional rights cannot be enjoyed until a certain age. Our nation’s most cherished constitutional rights vest no later than 18. And the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms is no different.

Plaintiffs seek an injunction and a declaratory judgment that several federal laws and regulations that prevent federally licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to any 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old violate the Second Amendment. We first find that 18-year-olds possess Second Amendment rights. They enjoy almost every other constitutional right, and they were required at the time of the Founding to serve in the militia and furnish their own weapons. We then ask, as our precedent requires, whether the government has met its burden to justify its infringement of those rights under the appropriate level of scrutiny. To justify this restriction, Congress used disproportionate crime rates to craft over-inclusive laws that restrict the rights of overwhelmingly law-abiding citizens. And in doing so, Congress focused on purchases from licensed dealers without establishing those dealers as the source of the guns 18- to 20-year-olds use to commit crimes. So we hold that the challenged federal laws and regulations are unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Despite the weighty interest in reducing crime and violence, we refuse to relegate either the Second Amendment or 18- to 20-year-olds to a second-class status. Hirschfield, p. 3 

As the court continued to examine the historical question of whether those of at least 18 years of age had the rights to arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment in the early years of our states and nation, it concluded that they did. 
Looking through this historical lens to the text and structure of the Constitution reveals that 18- to 20-year-olds have Second Amendment rights. Virtually every other constitutional right applies whatever the age. And the Second Amendment is no different. The militia laws in force at the time of ratification uniformly required those 18 and older to join the militia and bring their own arms. While some historical restrictions existed, none support finding that 18-year-olds lack rights under the Second Amendment. 

As with any matter of constitutional interpretation, “our inquiry begins with the text of the Constitution.” Altman v. City of High Point, 330 F.3d 194, 200 (4th Cir. 2003). Both the text and structure of the Second Amendment, along with its place within the Constitution as a whole, reveal that it protects 18- to 20-year-olds. First, nothing in the text of the Second Amendment limits its application by age. Second, the most analogous rights to the Second Amendment, those in the First and Fourth Amendments, similarly contain no age limits. Third, most other constitutional rights are not age limited. And fourth, the few rights that may not apply to those under 18 or that change by age are not analogous to the Second Amendment, and most of those rights become applicable at age 18, not 21. Hirschfield, p. 24 
As the analysis continues the Court, as did the TFA when advocating for constitutional carry for those 18 and up this year in Tennessee, also considered the historical significance of militia duty and service and concluded that at a minimum those 18 years of age and up were both subject to the militia call and also its requirement to respond with their own arms. 
The historical evidence from the Founding shows that 18- to 20-year-olds are protected by the Second Amendment. Founding-era militia laws provide powerful historical evidence. Near the time of ratification, the federal government and every state required 18-year-old men to be part of the militia and bring their own arms. See Heller, 554 U.S. at 596, 627. This evidences the Founding public’s understanding that the “militia,” and thus the Second Amendment, encompassed 18-year-olds. 

These Founding-era militia laws illuminate the broader individual right enshrined in the Second Amendment. Id. at 600–03. The phrase “[a] well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” augments the individual “right of the people” and helps us understand its scope and resolve ambiguities. Id. at 577–78, 595–99. 

… The third purpose of the militia is closely related: to act as a check on a tyrannical government. Many feared that a standing army would be used to disarm and oppress the people. The militia democratized self-defense and gave the people an important check on and voice in government action. In order to serve these purposes, a wide swath of the public had to be armed. Hirschfield, pp. 29-32.
Ultimately, the court struck down as unconstitutional that portion of federal law that restricts the sale by FFLs to those 18-20 of handguns and handgun ammunition. We expect that this is not the end but that the case will be further appealed yet it is the trend in which federal courts, particularly those with conservative, constitutionally focused justices, are headed. 

So, what does this mean here in Tennessee? 

Tennessee allows individuals 18 and up to purchase and possess handguns. The restriction that applies to those 18-20 on purchasing from a licensed dealer is actually a federal prohibition on the dealers that prohibit them from “transferring” handguns and handgun ammo to those under age 21. But both state and federal law is clear that an individual 18-20 can purchase a handgun and ammo in a “casual sale” from another private individual. 

But let’s look specifically at Tennessee’s handgun permitting laws and now the new permitless carry law by Governor Lee. Those laws prohibit 18-20 year olds from obtaining the permits or from qualifying under the permitless carry qualifications (with the “pandering” exception given to those in the military or retired from it). See, TCA 39-17-1307(g), 39-17-1351 and 39-17-1366. 

If the Fourth Circuit’s analysis is correct that those 18 and up have rights that are protected by the 2nd Amendment from government infringement, then isn’t this statutory scheme in Tennessee just another massive infringement on the rights of citizens? Are these laws, to the extent that they infringe those rights, unconstitutional? If they are unconstitutional restrictions on constitutionally protected rights, do they give rise to perhaps federal civil rights claims under 18 USC 1983? The answer is apparently yes.

Tennessee Firearms Association has asserted that real constitutional carry must apply to everyone 18 and up who can legally possess a firearm. Two separate bills were filed in 2021 that would have recognized that right – but both of those bills were opposed by the Governor, apparently opposed by the NRA, and clearly opposed by enough Republican legislators that they never saw a floor vote in either the House or the Senate. TFA, GOA, and NAGR all supported true constitutional carry efforts that would have applied to those 18 and up in 2021. 

As the Fourth Circuit noted in quoting James Madison at p. 34 of the opinion, one of the purposes of the 2nd Amendment, the armed citizens and the unorganized (that it – not under government authority) militia is to form a “barrier” against tyranny in domestic government. That those 18 and up were not just entrusted with that duty but compelled to provide it under risk of criminal prosecution makes clear that the right to arms as protected by the 2nd Amendment exists fully and without restraint in an 18 year just as it does in a 21 or 25 or 30 year old. 

We must be demanding that Tennessee’s law which continues to infringe rights of Tennesseans and other citizens be purged from our laws. We have an obligation as citizens, to the full extent as discussed by James Madison, to compel government to remove these infringements or we have the duty to move forward as that barrier against tyranny of domestic government which duty and function lies at the very core of the type of governments that the Founding Fathers created and that today’s political parties work so hard to dilute.

Rod's Comment:  I cannot disagree with the logic of this article.  It certainly appears that the 2nd amendment applies to 18-year-olds.  If the right to bear arms was not a right, but just a policy preference, I would prefer that 18-year-olds not possess guns.  We prohibit 18-years-olds from purchasing alcohol and tobacco.  That is a policy preference.  One does not have a constitutional right to purchase alcohol or tobacco, however.  A policy preference cannot trump a right.  To impose a policy that violates a right, the right must be abridged.  The way to do that is to amend the constitution.  My view is that we must follow the constitution even if it means policies I may disagree with are permitted. 

For more on the issue of guns, see the following: 




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Another day, another gun death. Metro PD: 1 dead, 1 injured in Cane Ridge Road shooting. Business as usual.

Metro PD: 1 dead, 1 injured in Cane Ridge Road shooting

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

The best is yet to come, A night with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sat., August 7,

 


Purchase tickets here. 

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Take back Nashville, Davidson County Republican Party, Tea Punch Party, July 15th




Do you live in Davidson County South Region? (Metro Council Districts 4, 25, 26, 27 & 34) 
This Thursday, July 15th, the DCRP be holding a grass roots Tea Punch event for South Region Republicans who want to get involved and make a difference in Davidson County. 

Due to space limitations, this event will be focused on those Districts in the South Region.  Additional events are being planned for other Regions, so, if you do not live in the South Region. be on the lookout for those announcements.

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Another day, another gun death in Nashville. 8-year-old dies after accident with gun at Goodlettsville home. Business as Usual.

8-year-old dies after accident with gun at Goodlettsville home

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NFIB Files Brief in Case That Would Provide Vital Tax Relief for TN, KY Small Businesses

NFIB Press release, NASHVILLE (July 12, 2021) — The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has filed an amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky supporting Kentucky and Tennessee in their challenge to the provision of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 that would prevent states from using federal funds for state tax relief for small business owners. 


“Small businesses are still struggling to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and need as much financial relief as possible,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.  “Congress passed the American Rescue Plan to relieve some of the financial pressure caused by the pandemic, but a provision that blocks Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states from cutting taxes is eroding state sovereignty and hurts local businesses.” 

Earlier, Kentucky and Tennessee filed a lawsuit questioning Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen over part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act that prevents states from using the funds they receive from the law to offset tax cuts. 

NFIB Tennessee State Director Jim Brown said, “With our rebounding economy, Tennessee demonstrated prowess last year in allocating federal relief funds to commonsense tax relief policies. The extraordinary restrictions in the most recent federal legislation should be removed so our state has the flexibility to establish tax policies that will help continue our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

NFIB Kentucky State Director Tom Underwood said, “Small businesses are still trying to recover from the COVID-19 downturn. They can’t afford to pay higher taxes. Kentucky needs the freedom to spend the money from the American Rescue Plan in a way that makes sense for Kentucky.” 


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 made funds available to states if and only if states agree to not pass any laws or take any administrative actions that decrease their net revenue, whether that decrease comes through tax credits, rebates, reductions in tax credits, or new or expanded deductions. 

NFIB believes the court should block this unprecedented tax mandate and grant the states’ motion for a preliminary injunction. 

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in over 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Another day, another shoot-out in Nashville. 100 shots exchanged behind Hillsboro Village. One dead. Business as usual.

 

Neighbors calling for change after shootout behind Hillsboro Village-area business

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Save Nashville Now files lawsuit against Election Commission to stop referendum

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Save Nashville Now, a group fighting a Metro charter amendment referendum to restrict the Metro Council from enacting property tax increases, has filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County Election Commission. 


After a ruling in Davidson County Chancery Court, the election commission canceled the referendum originally set for July and rescheduled it for September. (read more)

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Monday, July 12, 2021

Eighteen Men Arrested, including Matthew Brewer, a youth pastor at Fairfield Baptist Church in Hickman County. Charged with Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor.

TBI Newsroom, July 12, SPRING HILL – A two-day joint undercover operation by special agents
with the TBI Human Trafficking Unit, the Spring Hill Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the office of 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper has resulted in the arrest of eighteen men accused of seeking illicit sex from minors. 

Over a two-day period beginning July 8th, as part of an undercover investigation aimed at addressing human trafficking in Middle Tennessee, authorities placed several decoy advertisements on websites known to be linked to prostitution and commercial sex cases. The focus of the operation was to identify and recover potential victims of human trafficking as well as identify those seeking to engage in commercial sex acts with minors. 

As a result of the operation, authorities arrested eighteen men and booked them into the Maury County Jail. The investigation remains ongoing, with additional charges pending. 
  • Georgie George (DOB 11/26/95), Clarksville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Marvin Sparkman (DOB 1/26/92), Columbia, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Steven McCanless (DOB 1/16/95), Culleoka, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Ketankumar Patel (DOB 4/5/68), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Ivan Ashley (DOB 8/20/71), Dania, FL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • David Christopher May (DOB 9/25/94), Fayetteville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Andrew Myung Kim (DOB 12/2/82), Franklin, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Bryce Lawson (DOB 7/2/97), Charles, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Jeremiah McSpaddin (DOB 1/31/85), Spring Hill, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Brian Mitchell (DOB 8/5/70), Thompson’s Station, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Nabi Rahman (DOB 3/5/88), Nashville, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Patrick Harris (DOB 4/9/89), Murfreesboro, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Matthew Brewer (DOB 2/27/74), Centerville, TN: Solicitation of a Minor 
  • Suleiman Musa Osman (DOB 1/1/83), Chattanooga, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Juan Gabriel Hernandez Eufracio (DOB 8/29/84), Huntsville, AL: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Pablo Godines Cervantes (DOB 5/17/70), Columbia, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor
  • Haojie Wang (DOB 2/25/89), Brentwood, TN: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
  • Luis Diaz-Mendez (DOB 4/17/94), Baton Rouge, LA: Patronizing Prostitution from a Minor 
The operation also had the support of End Slavery Tennessee, which works to provide services to survivors of human trafficking. Information about human trafficking and TBI’s efforts to address this type of crime can be found online at www.ITHasToStop.com.

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Strict local gun policies aren’t effective in reducing gun violence. (Gun talk #4)

by Rod Williams- In looking at the issue of gun violence, one thing seems safe to say, strict local gun control policies have little impact on the level of gun violence. 

Statista Research Department recently compiled a list of the world's 50 most dangerous cities with a population of over 100,000, by murder rates (link).

While most of the world's most dangerous cities are located in Latin America where violence is caused in great part by drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and gang wars, four American cities are on the list.  They are St. Louis, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit. 

The pro-gun group American Association for Firearms Advocacy said that among the U. S. cities with the strictest gun laws are New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.  Note that Baltimore is on both the list of cities with the strictest gun laws and the list of the 50 most dangerous cities in the world. 

While the Statista Research listed four American cities as the world's most dangerous, any number of list of America's most dangerous cities include on their list the city of Chicago.  As reported in the Washington Post, Illinois ranks 8th for the toughest gun laws in the country and in addition, Chicago also bans what is commonly called "assault weapons."  Having relatively strict local gun laws does not keep Chicago off of the list of deadly places.  Actually, while Chicago has the most murders of any city in America, it has a lot of people and is not among the top ten cities with a high murder rate.  Some list ranks it as the 18th worst.  Still, I think the point is valid that relatively strict gun control policies do not stop Chicago from having a large number of murders.  The Washington Post article does say that some states with lax gun control policies have cities with high murder rates, but the evidence seems slim that there is a cause and effect.

Washington D.C has had a high murder rate for a long time despite having had a ban on handguns.  When the ban was lifted, murder rates dropped.  I am not suggesting that the removal of the ban on handguns led to the decline in the murder rate, but lifting the ban did not cause an increase in the murder rate. 

While some cities with strict gun laws have high murder rates, New Orleans has a high murder rate and Lousianna has some of the laxest gun laws in the nation. There seems to be no pattern. 

From my look at the data, I can only conclude that local gun control laws are ineffective at impacting the rate of gun violence.  Any effort to impact the incidents of murder and gun violence by passing local gun control laws is a waste of time.  Doing so may make some people feel good but even if strong local gun control laws are passed, it won't accomplish much. Also, there are limits to what a local government can do even if they want to.  Cities do not have the authority to impose gun control policies more strict than what their state will permit.  Also, ever since the District of Columbia v. Heller Supreme Court decision, cities cannot just ban handguns, even if their state would permit a city to do so.  

In looking at any data as I have done above it is wise to keep in mind that people who carry cigarette lighters have higher incidents of lung cancer.  Correlation does not equal cause and effect.  Also, in making comparisons between one time and another time or one place and another place, one cannot hold the other variables constant. 

Having reached the conclusion that local gun control laws are ineffective and efforts to pass them are a waste of time, that is not to ignore reasons why that is so.  Our cities have city limits but not walls or border controls.  We can move freely in this country and even if a city could ban guns, that would not stop someone from bringing guns into the city.  Also, what is on the books, may not be as important as how stringently it is enforced.  I think even the most adamant gun control advocate would have to concede that not many members of the criminal element would voluntarily surrender their gun even if a city could and did ban possessing a gun. 

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