Saturday, October 30, 2021

Legislature takes discretion from district attorneys general

From Tennesee Lookout - The House and Senate both voted Friday for legislation enabling the state attorney general to request courts appoint district attorney pro tems for any district attorney general who makes a blanket statement against prosecuting certain classes of illegal activity. The apparent target? Nashville DA Glenn Funk, who has irked Republican legislators by saying he won't prosecute offenses including small amounts of marijuana possession or anti-LGBTQ bathroom laws. Read more.

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Happy Holloween Comic Book 2021

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1st Tuesday guest Jack Johnson and William Lamberth, Tuesday, November 9.

From Tim Skow:

1ST TUESDAY Members and Friends 

WOW !!!! The aftershocks from Tuesday's Elections are still reverberating! Expect to hear how the fallout will impact Tennessee at 1ST TUESDAY on Tuesday, November 9th with the return of BOTH of our Majority Leaders from the State Legislature, Jack Johnson & William Lamberth. 

Senator Jack Johnson
Rep. William Lamberth
HOT TOPICS will include, but NOT limited to: 
1] Results of the 3 Special Legislative Sessions this fall - FORD plant, Mandates and much Much MUCH more! 
2] What to expect in the upcoming 2022 Legislative Session 
3] REDISTRICTING - the FINAL version of 2020 Census numbers are in - how many area seats are in play? 
4] and then ... there are the Impacts of the HOT RACE for Virginia GOV and its political fallout and 2022 races 
Nobody can tell us more about TN, politics, and what's coming than Jack & William! What a riveting Q&A session it will be !!! 

Looking forward to seeing MANY of you on Tuesday, November 9th at Brentwood's Ludlow & Prime.

As usual - Doors open at 11am with lunch served at 11:25. 
Program at Noon with Q & A over at 1:00 sharp 

In spite of the "soaring BIDEN-flation" ... lunch is still $25 for Members and $30 for Guests [at least for 2021 ] 

Visit our updated 1ST TUESDAY website [] and secure seating for you and your guests! Mark and your calendars, securing seating and pass the word !! 

See you on TUESDAY, November 9th ! 

Tim Skow 
Host of 1ST TUESDAY 

PS -- this is our last meeting to contribute to the Nashville Republican Women TOY FUND DRIVE !! Those who contribute $50 & more to the TN National Guard Toy Fund Drive get their 2022 DUES WAIVED AND THE BEST NEWS .... our website is up and useful going forward !!! Visit our site for seats at 

SEE YOU ... on Tuesday November 9th !! When at website : The GOOD NEWS is the icons on the HOME PAGE work as expected. 
1] Simply CLICK on them that say "PAY LUNCHEON FEE" for lunch and 
2] Then SCROLL down [ past Jack's picture] to secure seating for You & your GUESTS 

SEE YOU ... on Tuesday November 9th


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Presented Without Comment: Rep. John Lewis way S.


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Friday, October 29, 2021

TN bill would require school board members to run based on political party affiliation.

by Rod Williams - One of the bills advancing in the State legislature that is likely to pass is a bill that would make school board elections partisan.  Currently, school boards are non-partisan. 

I understand the impetus for this.  Despite Tennessee being a conservative and Republican state, things like critical race theory and transexual propaganda work themselves into the curriculum. If candidates for the school board run on party labels, it is assumed, you will know what you are getting when you vote for a school board member and the schools will more closely represent the values of the electorate who funds them. Republicans are more likely to oppose those things we do not want to be taught in schools than are Democrats.  Also, Republicans are less indebted to the teachers union and can be more objective about things like fiscal responsibility and school choice than can Democrats beholding to unions. 

I have mixed feelings about this.  Voting as a Republican, already means I have no voice in choosing the county constitutional officers and judges.  Sometimes, if there is no Republican primary or the Republican primary is not really competitive, I do vote as a Democrat.  In Tennessee, we do not have party registration so this is legal. To have a voice, I would rather not have to vote as a Democrat.  Thankfully our Council and School Board and mayor's races are non-partisan and I can vote in those important elections without pretending to be a Democrat.

In recent years the voters of Nashville have become so progressive that we elect progressive school board members who routinely vote for liberal social policy in the schools, oppose school choice, and engage in wildly wasteful spending.  With partisan elections, it will only get worse. Sometimes at least one of the nine school board members may be someone who is mildly centrist and rational.  With partisan elections, we will not get even that. Current at-large Councilman Stever Glover was a member of the school board prior to being elected to the metro council.  He could win that seat in a non-partisan election.  It is doubtful he could have won that seat running as a Republican. 

Nashville's electorate is so far to the left, that perhaps it doesn't matter anyway.  We are going to elect progressives no matter what.  The occasional rational school board member can not impact the direction of our schools. I wish we elected good people with a business sense to serve on the board and political affiliation did not matter.   However in today's culture, unless one is a woke, politically correct, social justice warrior one can not get elected in Davidson County. Having the progressive view on race and transgender policy is more important than being able to read a balance sheet. 

While I have reservations about this bill, I tend to think it is a positive development and reluctantly support it. I just wish it wasn't necessary. 

To read the bill see HB 9072/SB 9009. For other reports on this issue from other sources see link, link, and link. 

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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Remember "Defund the Police?" As crime soars, only 15% of adults want spending for police to decrease

Forty-seven percent of adults believe police spending should be increased, according to a poll released Tuesday amid growing concern about violent crime in the United States. The share of the public who want increased spending is up from 31% in June 2020 and signals a significant shift in the national attitude toward policing, according to an analysis of the Pew Research poll. (read more)

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

NES to automatically take your pocket change unless you opt-out.

by Rod Williams - Starting in January of 2022, NES is going to automatically round up your bill to the nearest dollar amount, the extra money going to fund a program that provides energy-efficient upgrades for low-income people. You might agree with the goal of this program, but automatically enrolling everyone in the program unless they take the time and effort to opt-out is extremely offensive to me.  I am a charitable person and give money to various charities and causes.  However, I might prefer to give to the Nashville Rescue Mission or Alzheimer's research, or Habitat for Humanity, or any number of other charities rather than this one. There are thousands of worthy causes wanting my charitable dollars.

Making the program automatic, unless you opt-out is very close to theft, the way I view it.  State law allows this.  I think the law should be changed to prohibit it.

To opt-out log into your NES account online at and switch the Power of Change toggle button to “off.” Customers may also call Customer Relations at (615) 736-6900 and follow the prompts to opt-out through their account.

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Update. Words or terms that I wish I would have created or coined: Nutpicking.

by Rod Williams - Below is a list of words or terms that I wish I would have created or coined.  Some of them you may be familiar with and others may be new.  These are terms I find useful to describe some situation or development that is currently prevalent in society.  When I come across a new one, I will add it to the list. 

Nutpicking: The practice of amplifying the voices of fringe figures and holding them out as representative of your political opponents.

Fake Hate: A hoax or prank, playing on America’s preoccupation with racism to show a member of a racial minority is a victim of a hate crime. These now happen so often they hardly raise an eyebrow and need a special term to describe them.  One can now reasonably question if any incident of hate graffiti is real or fake. An example of "Fake Hate," as related in a Spectator article. "In 2017, racist messages at the US Air Force Academy turned out to be the work of a black cadet. It also happened in South Carolina, when a black individual taped a ‘No blacks allowed’ sign outside a university building." Sometimes it is not graffiti but alleged assaults as in the cases of Jussie Smollett and Tawana Brawley

Compliance Baby: A vehicle created to reduce fees, fines, or taxes, or to qualify for a tax incentive or to meet regulatory requirements or a company's pledge that a certain percentage of their fleet would consist of green vehicles.  These vehicles qualify while doing very little or nothing to reduce emissions.  The $663,623 Ferrari SP90 V-8 with dual turbochargers is such a vehicle. In all-electric mode, it only has a 15.5-mile range.  Almost no one is going to plug it up overnight to get such a small benefit. This new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are essentially "compliance babies." 

Wishcycling: This is what people do when they throw something they think should be recyclable into the recyclable bin, such as a plastic frozen food tray when our recycling policy for plastic only accepts bottles and jars. The item has the universal plastic recycle symbol or says "recyclable," on it so even though it is technically possible to recycle the item, our system does not recycle it.  I guess people think that by putting it in the recycle bin, they will somehow force Metro to recycle it.  Or, maybe they have developed such an aversion to tossing something that is technically recyclable into the garbage container then putting it in the recycle bin causes them moral anguish so they put it in the recycle bin out of an irrational compulsion and to avoid pain. (Sorce link)

Crybully: A crybully is someone who tries to manipulate others into silence by displaying their anguish when someone disagrees with them.  This is how it might work. If you say to an environmentalist crybully that maybe fracking to produce natural gas so we can replace coal-fired power plants with cleaner natural gas-fired power plants is a good idea, the crybully does not engage you in a discussion and tell you why you are wrong. The crybully gets emotional and tells you how hurt they are that you want to destroy the earth.  This tactic can be used to shut up those who disagree with a progressive about healthcare, gun control, racial justice, or almost any topic. The crybully's sensitivity, fragility, and righteous certainty is used to make those with opposing views, keep those views to themselves.  I have seen it in action.

Greenwashing:  Greenwashing is taking public relations credit for a policy that is supposedly "green," when in fact the policy was simply an effort to improve productivity or profit or was simply complying with some mandate.  An example of "greenwashing" was Mayor Cooper touting his environmental record for simply adopting an updated mandatory building code to replace an obsolete building code. 

Rainbow-washing: Pandering to the LGBTQIA+ community by going out of your way to show your support for the community and also, usually, to make a buck.  An example is Burger King wrapping its Whopper in rainbow-colored foil. 

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Monday, October 25, 2021

School Board Campaign Training

Get the skills to wage and win your campaign for school board. You will receive more than 11 hours of the best LI training on topics like how to create a compelling message, how to rally voters, how to handle the media, and much more for a winning campaign.  

When: On-Demand 
Where: Online 
Cost: $25 now at no cost to you for a limited time thanks to Leadership Institute’s generous donors!

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"Hubris" describes our response to the issue of climate change.

Steve Koonin, former Undersecretary for Science in the Obama Administration, challenges the confident assumptions of climate alarmists. The climate is the most complex system on Earth. Is it really possible to project with any precision what it will be like 20, 40, or even 100 years from now?

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Sen. Kelsey indicted for allegedly violating federal campaign finance laws

BY: SAM STOCKARD, Tennessee Lookout - Sen. Brian Kelsey has been indicted by a federal grand juryfor allegedly funneling money from his state campaign account to his congressional campaign, a violation of federal law. 
A federal grand jury in Nashville returned a five-count indictment against Kelsey, 43, a Germantown Republican, on Friday charging him and Nashville social club owner Joshua Smith, 44, with violating multiple campaign finance laws as part of a conspiracy to bolster his 2016 congressional campaign, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. (read more)

The Tennessean - ... Smith owns The Standard, an elite Nashville club that also has operated its own state political action committee. There, the investigators allege, they illegally funneled money into Kelsey’s campaign on one occasion at a private dinner on July 11, 2016. (read more)

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Friday, October 22, 2021

Learn more about charter schools with TCSC's Charter 101

The Tennessee Charter School Center invites you to participate in Charter 101, a comprehensive series of informative sessions for anyone interested in starting a charter school in Tennessee. The Nov. 2 session about Vendor Resources, will include information about, a one-of-a-kind platform guiding school leaders and their boards from application to post-authorization and operating stages through renewal, replication and expansion.

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Charter School Commission Greenlights New Charter in Nashville

The Tennessee Public Charter School Commission has approved a resolution to overturn the Metro Nashville Public School board's denial of Nashville Classical Charter's application to open a second school in West Nashville. Read the entire article here.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021

October meeting of Moms for Liberty, Oct. 28th


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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Get real about Climate Change. Part 4: Admit that the Paris Accords has failed, ditch it, and establish an international mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions.

by Rod Williams - I am convinced that climate change is real and we are running out of time to address it and that thus far our efforts to do so have been anemic, ineffective, symbolic, and even counterproductive. I have opined on why our efforts to combat climate change have been such a failure.  Since what we have been doing is not working, what should we do differently? 

The above charts are from 2019. Since then the trends
have continued and accelerated.
A major thing we need to do is to admit the Paris Accords is a failure, ditch it and establish a global order that incentivizes greenhouse gas reductions. People and countries respond better to incentives and disincentives than exhortations to do the right thing. 

Any one country cannot solve the problem of climate change. No matter how certain we are that climate change is real, we will not be able to solve the problem alone and without some mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions by other countries. If the US and the developed world reduce their emissions while China and other countries build new coal-fired power plants and dirty steel mills, we are losing economically while also losing the battle to curtail global warming. China can increase its production of greenhouse gases faster than we can reduce ours.

Currently, the international approach to address climate change is the Paris Climate Accords. The goal of this agreement is to keep the rise in global temperature to less than 2 °C of pre-industrial levels. To do this, there would have to be a substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions so that by about the year 2050 we have reached net-zero emissions.  Net-zero emissions means any carbon emissions that do occur are offset by processes that remove carbon or offset by other changes that result in reductions of greenhouse gases. So, if we increase the world's forest that could offset some emissions elsewhere, but if more people switch to battery-powered cars or give up their cars, that would offset some emissions elsewhere also.  The level of total emissions is to be reduced until there is net-zero emissions. 

Under the Paris Agreement, each country that is a party to the agreement must establish a plan and state a goal for how much reduction they will achieve and then regularly report on the progress they are making in meeting their plan. Every five years each country comes up with a new plan.  There is no mechanism that forces a country to set specific emissions targets, but the agreement calls for each target to show progress in greenhouse emission reduction over the previous targets. 

There are other provisions of the agreement that call for wealthy countries to give aid to developing countries for abatement and adaptation and other provisions, but the greenhouse reduction portion of the agreement is the most important part. It should be pointed out that not only is the Paris Agreement not binding on any nation beyond the requirements stated above but what is sometimes called a "treaty," is not even really a treaty.  It has never been ratified by Congress. The US is a party to the agreement by executive order.

So how is the Paris Accord doing in achieving its goal? The title of this WSJ article sums it up: World Off Track to Meet Paris Climate Targets, U.N. Says. Below are some excerpts.  The highlighting is mine.

The Paris Agreement called for governments to limit the rise in global temperatures to close to 1.5 degrees Celsius and required them to update their environmental plans repeatedly to hit the target. Friday’s report is expected to serve as a starting point for negotiations in Glasgow over how much the world needs to cut emissions and which countries need to do more. 

 Economies around the world have been rapidly adopting solar panels, wind turbines and other low-emission technologies, but scientists say the shift from fossil fuels hasn’t been happening nearly fast enough to stop rising sea levels, more frequent and powerful storms and other impacts of climate change. 

China, the world’s biggest emitter, and India, the second-most populous nation, have yet to submit updated emission reduction plans to the U.N., so Friday’s report doesn’t include plans they have announced but not formally submitted. Chinese President Xi Jinping said in December that China was aiming to get 25% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 and become carbon neutral before 2060. The world stands little chance of hitting the Paris climate target without China updating the last climate plan it submitted to the U.N., which dates from 2016, according to the U.N. report. Global greenhouse gas emissions are expected to have risen by 16% by 2030 compared with 2010, based on the climate plans submitted by the end of July, the U.N. said. 

 “The 16% increase is a huge cause of concern," said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of U.N. Climate Change. “It is in sharp contrast with the calls by science for rapid, sustained and large-scale emission reductions to prevent the most severe climate consequences and suffering, especially of the most vulnerable, throughout the world."  

China and India are expected to see greenhouse gases grow strongly in the coming years, given surging economic growth. The Biden administration and the European Union have called for China to begin cutting emissions sooner. The U.N. report also notes that many of the emissions plans submitted by developing countries are contingent on receiving financing that the developed world pledged to them under the Paris accord.

This is alarming. We are increasing greenhouse gases instead of decreasing them and the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases has not even presented its required plan. Countries won't even present rosy scenario pie-in-the-sky optimistic projections.  They have stopped even pretending we will slow climate change.  Can we admit that the Paris Agreement has been a failure?

If we admit it is a failure, we need to replace it with something that works.  Replace it with what?  I, of course, do not know exactly with what, but here are some elements that I think would be essential to any plan that works.

The U. S. must take the lead.  We are the essential country.  Not much good occurs in the world when we are on the sidelines.  We are the wealthiest, one of the world's largest trading partners, the greatest military power, the most innovative, and the top provider of foreign aid to the world.  Also, we are the world's worst emitter of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis.  However, our numbers are going down, while many other country's numbers, especially China's, are going up.  We should exert our influence, lead by example, and throw our weight around.

We need to focus on a plan that involves only the important countries of the world, instead of trying to get all of the nations of the world to come together and each do their part.  Forget the United Nations, for now. We need to focus on addressing the issue where the action is.  We need an intense focus on the G-7 or maybe the G-20. The G-7 accounts for 60% of global wealth and we share common values.  If the seven wealthiest democracies can agree on an approach, we can exert a lot of influence and apply a lot of pressure on the rest of the world.  

Use international commerce to influence behavior.  I am a "free-trader."  I believe in the theory of comparative advantage and I do not want to ignite a trade war. However, "free trade" is a relative term.  It has never meant that anyone could import anything they wanted.  We do not import cars without catalytic converters. Gibson Guitar cannot import exotic woods except in limited quality with proof of origin.  We do not legally import fentanyl or cocaine. We monitor fishing and ban the import of products harvested by overfishing.  We ban the import of ivory, except in rare circumstances. A lot of trade is restricted to meet health, safety, human rights, and environmental objectives.  Certain products produced using dirty methods could be banned outright, such as Chinese steel produced using the old process of blast furnaces, for example.

In addition to an outright ban in trade in certain products, a mechanism could be established that favored countries that were reducing their overall greenhouse emissions.  We could use the current most favored nation regime and the World Trade Organization or establish a new regime using that model. 

I know this would not be easy to achieve but the approach of Paris is a failed approach.  We can't fix it. We need something stronger.

For more essays in this series see the following:

Get real about Climate Change. Part 1: Climate change is an established fact and time is running out to do anything about it.

Get real about Climate Change. Part 2: So far what we are doing about climate change is ineffective, anemic, symbolic, or counterproductive.

Get real about Climate Change. Part 3: Why are efforts to combat climate change such a failure?
Get real about Climate Change. Part 4: Admit that the Paris Accords has failed, ditch it, and establish an international mechanism to foster greenhouse reductions.

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Immigrant Rights Group Pushes For Removal Of Raul Lopez From School-Funding Committee

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] – Immigration advocates are pushing for

Raul Lopez
Governor Lee to replace the chair of the subcommittee tasked with reviewing school funding for English Language Learners, claiming he is a promoter of anti-immigration policies. Raul Lopez, who is Latino, was appointed by Governor Lee. 

This appointment has the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) up in arms. The group released a statement last Thursday, denouncing Lopez, saying that he will only cause additional trouble for students. (read more)

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Metro Party-Poopers to ban alcohol, regulate party buses.

Someone is having fun and we must stop them! 

What to know ahead of the final vote on Nashville's party
vehicle regulation bill.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Are former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and former U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi running for

From The Daily Lookout:

Former Tennessean reporter Kirk Bado, now with National
Journal, flagged an interesting tidbit: A number of domains have been purchased in the names of former Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and former U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Manny Sethi. To wit, the following have been purchased:,, and among others.
Not coincidentally, Harwell and Sethi are both mentioned as potential candidates for Congress in District 5, should the seat be reconfigured in the redistricting process.

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Monday, October 18, 2021

I Pledge Allegiance Tour featuring Diamond and Silk, Oct. 22, 2021


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Beacon's Heroes event. Wed. Nov. 3, 2021

Wednesday, November 3, 2021 
Where: Mere Bulles, 5201 Maryland Way, Brentwood, TN 
Time: 5:30 pm until 7 pm 

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Bastiat Society presents Phil Magness, author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique,” November 2nd

About this event 
AIER’s Bastiat Society program in Nashville will host an event with Phil Magness, Senior Research Faculty and Interim Research and Education Director at the American Institute for Economic Research. The New York Times’s 1619 Project has received accolades including a Pulitzer Prize for its attempt to refocus the history of the United States upon the horrific legacy of slavery. In doing so however, the Times came under intense scrutiny for misrepresenting historical evidence and adapting its analysis to advance anti-capitalist political objectives in the present day. 

Phil Magness, author of “The 1619 Project: A Critique,” will evaluate the merits and problems with the 1619 Project’s narrative. 

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 an endorsement of the speakers’ positions on the issues discussed. 

6:00 - 6:30 PM: Networking 
6:30 - 7:15 PM: Presentation 
7:15 - 7:30 PM: Q&A 

Ticket Prices: $0 for Founding Members $10 for Annual Members $20 for Non-Members $0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. 

More about the speaker: 
Phillip W. Magness is Senior Research Faculty and Interim Research and Education Director at the American Institute for Economic Research. He holds a PhD and MPP from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas (Houston). Prior to joining AIER, Dr. Magness spent over a decade teaching public policy, economics, and international trade at institutions including American University, George Mason University, and Berry College. Magness’s work encompasses the economic history of the United States and Atlantic world, with specializations in the economic dimensions of slavery and racial discrimination, the history of taxation, and measurements of economic inequality over time. He also maintains active research interest in higher education policy and the history of economic thought. In addition to his scholarship, Magness’s popular writings have appeared in numerous venues including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, Reason, National Review, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

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Williamson Families PAC Kickoff, Tuesday November 2nd


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Sunday, October 17, 2021

TDOE Announces Chairs of 18 Education Funding Review Subcommittees; Conversations to Explore Student-Based Investment Strategy

Chairs Will Lead Critical Discussions Representative of Tennessee Values 

Press release, Wednesday, Nashville, TN, October 13, 2021- Today, the Tennessee Department of Education announced the chairs for the 18 education funding review subcommittees, who will lead conversations on how to create a student-focused investment strategy from the lens of the state’s students, families, educators, district and school leaders, higher education partners, elected officials, business leaders, and education stakeholders. 

Last week, Governor Lee called for a full review of the state’s funding formula for public education to focus on a student investment strategy that emphasizes all students rather than systems, empowers parents to engage in their child’s education and outcomes, ensures all students are prepared for postsecondary success, and reflects Tennesseans’ values. 

"All stakeholders that have a hand in a child’s education and the future of Tennessee are integral to these conversations on exploring a funding strategy that emphasizes the needs of all students, and we want to provide all Tennesseans a seat at the table to make their voices heard,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “Now is the time for bold action for our kids—to ensure we are doing everything in our power to serve them well, which starts with how we fund their educational journey. We are delighted to welcome these state and national experts to lead conversations on how we can develop a student-focused funding strategy in Tennessee.” 

Each of the 18 subcommittees, composed of 8-10 members, will be led by a chair who is tasked with capturing ideas and feedback based in the unique perspective of the stakeholder group or respective topic area they serve. Additionally, each chair is a trusted advocate to responsibly collect and share feedback and suggestions for a student-based funding approach. The chairs for each of the subcommittees are: 

Student Engagement Subcommittee 
Chair: Elizabeth Brown, State President, Future Business Leaders of America – Tennessee; Senior, Coffee County High School 

Students with Disabilities and Gifted Students Subcommittee 
Chair: Commissioner Brad Turner, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 

English Learner Subcommittee 
Chair: Raul Lopez, Executive Director, Latinos for Tennessee 

Economically Disadvantaged and Highly Mobile Students Subcommittee 
Chair: Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN 

Parent Choice and Voice Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Derwin Sisnett, Commissioner, Tennessee Public Charter School Commission 

Teacher Advisory Subcommittee
Chair: Morgan Rankin, 2021-22 Teacher of the Year, Johnson City Schools 

Principal Advisory Subcommittee 
Chair: Farrah Griffith, Principal, White County Schools School System 

Personnel Subcommittee 
Chair: Steve Starnes, Director of Schools, Greeneville City Schools School System 

Leadership Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Danny Weeks, Director of Schools, Dickson County Schools 

Rural and Small District Subcommittee 
Chair: Janet Ayers, President, The Ayers Foundation 

Suburban Districts, Municipals, and Fast-Growing Communities Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Ted Horrell, Director of Schools, Lakeland School System 

Urban District Subcommittee 
Chair: Cato Johnson, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Public Policy/Regulatory Affairs, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare 

Higher Education and Post-Secondary Readiness Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Youlanda Jones, President, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology- Covington, Ripley, and Newbern Post-Secondary 

Readiness and the Business Community Subcommittee 
Chair: Randy Boyd, President, University of Tennessee System 

Chambers of Commerce and Industry Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Jared Bigham, Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce 

Education Foundations Subcommittee 
Chair: Dr. Dan Challener, President, Public Education Foundation 

Regional Collectives and Advocacy Subcommittee 
Co-Chairs: Scott Niswonger, Chairman and Founder, Niswonger Foundation, and Dr. Nancy Dishner, President and CEO, Niswonger Foundation 

Fiscal Responsibility Subcommittee
Chair: Justin Owen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Beacon Center of Tennessee 

The state’s engagement includes a central steering committee composed of statewide policymakers and 18 subcommittees, in addition to a committee of national experts, regional meetings of county commissioners and school board members, public engagement representatives, and an opportunity for public comment through a formal survey later in the fall. Over the next three months, the subcommittees will meet twice a month, either in person or virtually. All associated committee meeting materials, including recordings and minutes, will be posted here. Steering committee and subcommittee members will be released in the coming days. 

“Few students have had the opportunity to serve in the development of a student-centered school funding strategy. I am honored to be chosen, especially as a current student,” said Elizabeth Brown, State President, Future Business Leaders of America – Tennessee; Senior, Coffee County High School.
“Every Tennessean impacts public education and should be at the table. I will proudly assist as a subcommittee chair, working alongside student leaders from across Tennessee to ensure that students have the educators and supports needed for every level of education.” 

“Nothing is more important than serving our children, and I am excited to see the state review how we fund public education,” said Cato Johnson, Senior Vice President of Public Policy/Regulatory Affairs & Chief of Staff, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare System. “It is critical that our focus is on ensuring we do the best we can to prepare our students for the future and that must start now. Removing barriers to future success for all Tennessee children is something I am proud to be a part of, and I am thrilled to see these conversations take place across the state to support our students and education in this great state."

“The natural alignment between education and economic development is undeniable, and that begins with building a robust funding structure for our state’s public schools,” said University of Tennessee System President Randy Boyd. “It is also critical that we continue the important work of the Drive to 55 by increasing the number of Tennesseans with post-secondary degrees to 55 percent by 2025. Each percentage we miss translates into a percentage of our population that will either be unemployed or underemployed in the years to come. Tennesseans are relying on our best efforts to create a student-centered approach to school funding, helping to ensure our children are ready for college, career, and life.” 

"Serving Tennessee students and the future leaders of our state should be our top priority, and I am thrilled to focus on exploring a more student-focused education funding strategy to ensure all their needs are met," said Commissioner Brad Turner, Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. "I am honored to serve my state as a subcommittee chair to lead conversations and share feedback from fellow Tennesseans who care about our children and setting them up for success, which ultimately sets our state up for success." 

“I’m honored to facilitate the engagement of Tennessee principals as school, community, and instructional leaders to discuss how every school should be equipped to meet the comprehensive needs of all our students,” said Farrah Griffith, Principal, White County Middle School. “The expertise of principals and their ability to engage families as part of this school funding formula review process is essential to the development of a well-informed strategy for our state moving forward.” 

“Providing access to much-needed resources for our rural communities in Tennessee is essential to the future of our students and our state, and I am proud to serve as a leading voice in these conversations to focus on how to match our students’ needs with our education funding strategy,” said Janet Ayers, President, Ayers Foundation. “Now is the time to act on behalf of our students and continue building on the influx on new businesses and industries coming to Tennessee to ensure they are workforce ready and prepared for post-secondary success.” 

Justin Owen
"How we fund students is important to their future success, and doing that in a fiscally responsible way to ensure we are good stewards of taxpayers' funds is critical for the sustainability and future of our state," said Justin Owen, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Beacon Center of Tennessee. "This process matters because we must balance the interests of all Tennesseans and ensure the dollars we spend go towards measurable educational outcomes. We look forward to finding a strategy that will best serve the students, families, and taxpayers of our entire state." 

"Our state has been a leader in academic achievement and innovation to provide access to essential resources and supports for our students and educators, and it is time to review our education funding strategy to ensure it reflects these ambitious goals and the trajectory of acceleration for our state," said Dr. Danny Weeks, Director of Schools, Dickson County Schools. "I am honored to serve as a chair to lead these critical conversations amongst fellow district and school leaders to dig in and discuss how we can best support our communities." 

“The statewide engagement of a student-centered school funding strategy is a profound moment for our state impacting the prosperity of Tennessee students, families, and communities for generations,” said Nancy Dishner, President and CEO, Niswonger Foundation. “Scott Niswonger and I are proud to do all we can to support this critically important work.” 

Raul Lopez
“As the son of Cuban refugees who knows firsthand the challenges that come with learning a new language, I am honored to accept the governor’s invitation to chair the English Language learner Subcommittee. Although we have been making considerable strides in recent years, far too many Tennessee students are struggling to keep pace – a crisis only exacerbated by the challenges of learning in a global pandemic,” said Raul Lopez, Executive Director, Latinos for Tennessee. “I am particularly excited about Gov. Lee’s proposal to redesign public school funding in the state. Instead of funding institutions and physical buildings, this administration is prioritizing the specific funding needs of customized learning and instruction. I’d like to thank the governor for his vote of confidence in me and look forward to serving the people of Tennessee in my capacity as the chair of the English Language learner Subcommittee.” 

“I applaud Governor Lee, Commissioner Schwinn, and our legislative leaders for looking at ways we can modernize the state's approach to school funding. We need a bold student-centered approach that respects the individual needs of families and children, and that responds to what we have learned during the pandemic so all kids can reach their fullest potential,” said Victor Evans, Executive Director, TennesseeCAN. “I look forward to helping lead that discussion as the chair of the subcommittee zeroing in on the needs of economically disadvantaged and highly-mobile students who were most at risk of falling behind academically before the pandemic and who need our help now more than ever." 

"Now is the time to begin these critically important conversations to explore a new education funding strategy on how we ensure our students are prepared for success on day one of their educational journey," said Dr. Ted Horrell, Superintendent, Lakeland School System. "I am honored to serve as the chair of a subcommittee and represent fellow education leaders and stakeholders who all have the same goal in mind- to ensure the needs of our students, educators, schools, and communities are met and taken into account during these discussions." 

"Addressing our educational funding strategy can have tremendous benefits for students to be able to explore the vast number of workforce opportunities available to them," said Dr. Youlanda Jones, President, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology - Covington, Ripley, and Newbern. "This work provides us a chance to improve the lives of these students by giving them access to explore future careers and the pathways available. This will go a long way towards meeting Tennessee's future workforce needs and goals." 

“As a former charter school operator, I understand how critical it is to ensure funding is distributed equitably to all students,” said Dr. Derwin Sisnett, Commissioner, Tennessee Public Charter School Commission. “I am grateful for this opportunity from Governor Lee and Commissioner Schwinn to provide a voice for our students, parents, and communities on what their needs are and how we can best support them as we explore possibilities for a new funding strategy.” 

“This is our moment as a state to intentionally review and take action around how we equip schools with the educators and wraparound supports needed to meet the aspirations we have for all Tennessee students,” said Steve Starnes, Director of Schools, Greeneville City Schools. “I look forward to engaging school system leaders to inform a school funding model that will meet the needs of Tennessee students enabling them to succeed in postsecondary and the workforce.” 

"Finding a way to fund education that empowers students and gives them future post-secondary opportunities is critical across rural Tennessee," said Dr. Jared Bigham, Senior Advisor on Workforce & Rural Initiatives, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. "Leveling the playing field for these students so they can access the resources and supports they need to be ready for the modern workforce will build stronger communities and our state’s pipeline to continue bringing much-needed business and industry to rural communities in our state."

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Robby Starbuck Volunteer Training

Robby Starbuck 2022 Volunteer Training & Strategy Session on October 20th at 6:15PM. For registration, follow this link.

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Metro Planning Department release initial draft of redistricting map


For much more on the topic of Metro Council and Metro School Board redistricting and to see a schedule of where and when one may view the maps in-person follow this link

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15 "Men," mostly Hispanic and other minority men, Charged in Undercover Sex Trafficking Operation

by Rod Williams - A two-day undercover operation on Wednesday and Thursday by MNPD Human Trafficking detectives, with the assistance of the TBI and Homeland Security Investigations resulted in 15 men being charged with trafficking for a commercial sex act: 

  • Charence Smith, 49, of Clarksville; 
  • Arthur Burnett, 51, of Clarksville; 
  • Kendall Kendrick, 28, of Nashville; 
  • Jumapili Lumumba, 29, of Nashville; 
  • Gabriel Soto Adame, 33, of Nashville; 
  • Aroldo Garcia, 25, of Nashville; 
  • Marqueze Parrish, 20, of Nashville; 
  • William Moore, 55, of Nashville; 
  • Antwan Davis, 21, of Nashville; 
  • Uchenna Ugwu, 37, of Nashville; 
  • Minor Gabriel Perez, 22, of Lebanon; 
  • James White, 57, of Greenbrier; 
  • Alex Patel, 20, of Nashville; 
  • Luis Antonio Lopez, 45, of Nashville; 
  • Johnny Ardon Gozales, 38, of Sevierville. 
The men responded to a Nashville hotel in response to internet ads posted by undercover officers who portrayed themselves as 16-year-old females.

The above is from a Metro press release.  Government agencies nor the news media will tell you the race, nor ethnicity, nor nationality, nor immigration status of the arrested.  I guess is it considered racist
or prejudiced to even wonder about such a thing.  I think, however, inquiring minds would like to know. I always would like to know that when I read a story like this.  I like it when the press posts the mug shot of the arrested. 

Antwan Davis
Based on names I am assuming that six of the men are Hispanic, two are of Indian or Pakistani nationality and one is African. There is no way to know the immigration status, so everyone can make their own assumptions in the absence of that information. There is no way to know the race of the men involved.  I am assuming "Antwan" is Black. "Charence" maybe Black also.  I don't see any other obviously Afrocentric names in the mix, so I am assuming the other three are white Americans.

Thankfully the press release did tell us that "men" were charged, not just "persons."  I keep expecting political correctness to make it improper to tell us the gender of the people involved. I am surprised we are not there yet. To even wonder as to the gender, is that not sexist? 

Update:  WKRN News 2 has posted the mug shots. You can see them at this link

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Biden Suddenly Loves Frackers

 After waging war on the industry, Biden wants its help to reduce gas prices. 

By The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2021 - Falling poll numbers concentrate the presidential mind, and the result can be startling. Look no further than this nominee for headline of the year from Politico this week: “ Biden team asks oil industry for help to tame gas prices.” Stranger things have happened, but we can’t recall one. 

For nine months President Biden has been pursuing policies to squeeze oil-and-gas producers to limit production and eventually go out of business. Having begged OPEC in vain to boost oil production, Mr. Biden is now having to suffer the humiliation of beseeching an American industry he vilifies as destroying the planet to save the day. (read more)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Money. com list Franklin, Hendersonville and La Vergne as among top places to live.

by Rod Williams - has issued its 35th annual list of top places to live.  Three Tennessee cities make the cut and all are suburbs of Nashville. They are all part of the Nashville MSA. The cities are Franklin at number three in the nation, Hendersonville at number 16 and La Vergne at 26th.

The ranking highlights the places where "job growth is rising, home prices are affordable, and the quality of life shines."  Most of the criteria I certainly agree with such as cost of living, affordable housing, opportunities for fun, and a low crime rate.  

Here is what Money says about Franklin. 
To read the report on Hendersonville, follow this link.  To read the profile of La Vergne, follow this link

Congratulation Franklin, Hendersonville and La Vergne!

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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Will Nashville become the Mecca of conservative influence in America?

by Rod Williams - Conservative social media platform Parler is moving its headquarters from Nevada to Nashville.  This follows the move of  The Daily Wire from Los Angeles to Nashville in November 2020. Turning Point USA, I think, is still officially headquartered in Pheonix Arizona but has a large operation here in Nashville.  This follows the move to Nashville of such conservative luminaries as economist Author Laffer, the creator of the "Laffer Curve;" Belmont School of Law Dean and former Bush Attorney General, Alberto Gonzoles; and former Lieutenant Governor of California Mike Crub, who has become a a civic leader and benefactor of Belmont University, Vanderbilt and Rhodes College in Memphis. 

The Belle Meade zip code is one of the top zip codes in the nation for contributions to Republican candidates across the nation. The state of Tennessee is one of the best ran states in the nation and votes reliably Republican.  With Nashville already being the home of the Southern Baptist Convention and the country music industry, elements of which are friendly to conservative values, and Nashville being home to national conservative radio personalities like the late Phil Valentine and money management guru Dave Ramsey and Nashville's own Carol Swain, and conservative columnist David French, Nashville may be poised to become the center of the conservative movement in America.  I doubt this would stop Nashville from electing ultra progressives to our school board and Metro Council, but it would be nice to live in the Mecca of American conservatism. 

I would welcome Fox News and National Review's relocation. 

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Knox mayor Glenn Jacobs says "kids are being used as fodder to further a political agenda." Criticizes federal order mandating universal masking in Knox County Schools. County forced to violate ADA.

"I’d like to talk about the federal order mandating universal masking in Knox County Schools. Since Schools are the target of this order, my office does not technically have standing in this case, but I cannot ignore the calls from the hundreds of residents and parents who have reached out to me, expressing their disappointment with this situation. 

Further, I won’t stop speaking up on behalf of these students and their families who feel as if they aren’t being heard when they speak for themselves. When Judge Greer mandated this edict, he did so with the intent of protecting students with certain disabilities, and I truly believe that was his intent. I do not believe that he would knowingly cause harm. However, this order makes it impossible to serve the needs of hundreds if not thousands of other students with special needs, and In doing so, has forced the schools to actively violate 504 and IEP plans which are in place to ensure that those students have reasonable accommodations to meet their needs, none of which have been made available to them in the ten days they were forced to sit in isolation rooms or at home. 

He said his mandate was based on ADA, but instead it forces the school system to violate ADA requirements. Judge Greer asked the schools to provide a list of suggested medical masking exemptions for his consideration. The schools submitted that list on September 29th. Since the medical exemption list was submitted, The Court has said nothing. Meaning the schools must continue operating in this horrifically unjust status quo. For many students masking is simply not an option. This injunction is Actively hurting them; which is in direct opposition of what the plaintiff’s case claims to be doing in the name of ADA. 

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that the plaintiff’s attorneys are based out of Jackson and Chattanooga and their arguments are being supported by the D.C.-based litigation non-profit Democracy First. This group was founded and is managed by high-level Democratic Party operatives with significant ties to Hillary Clinton. People like John Podesta who was Bill Clinton’s presidential Chief of Staff and Chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Their main goal is to advance a political agenda that removes the ability of parents to determine what is best for their child. They are instigating filings in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Texas, and Memphis, and they’re making a mess of things in Knox County without care or acknowledgement of the potentially irreparable harm they are doing to so many of our students. In other words, are kids are being used as fodder to further a political agenda. 

I believe the elected members of the Board of Education are fully qualified and capable of determining what is best for Knox County schools, and that they should continue making the decisions that impact students most. Judge Greer should allow them to do so. I ask that he also respond to the motions filed by the Law Department, stop allowing politically motivated out-of-towners to bog the system down with briefs, share a specific timeline for the advancement of this case, and provide a comprehensive plan to the schools for how best to serve all their students. Acting swiftly and objectively in this case is the only way around appearing as if the litigation is anything other than an attempt to push a political agenda at the expense of the very children this order claims to protect."

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Monday, October 11, 2021

Blackburn Confronts DOJ Defying Deputy AG Over Deployment Of FBI Against School Parents

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Dr. Carol Swain Joins Texas Public Policy Foundation as Distinguished Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies

Oct. 8, 2021 - The Texas Public Policy Foundation has announced that Dr. Carol Swain, highly accomplished professor formerly at Vanderbilt University and Princeton University, has joined the Foundation as Distinguished Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies. Swain has extensive experience in American politics, race relations, and immigration reform, having held political appointments in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. In 2011, she founded the Be The People Project to educate Americans about conservative values and principles. Swain is the author of 11 books and is regularly published in major media outlets, as well as being featured in documentaries and in television appearances.

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Happy Indigenous Peoples Day


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A belated "Happy Death of Che Guevara Day."


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Sunday, October 10, 2021

How the Violent Crime Rate in Tennessee Compares to Other States

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square, Oct 4, 2021 - Violent crime -- a broad category of offenses that includes rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide -- is on the rise in the United States. According to FBI data, there were a total of 1.3 million violent offenses reported in 2020, or 388 for every 100,000 people -- a 5% increase from 2019. 

The uptick was led by a spike in homicide. The number of murders surged by nearly 30%, from 16,669 in 2019 to 21,570 in 2020, the largest year-over-year increase on record. The spike in murders came during a year of national turmoil marked by coronavirus lockdowns, mass protests against police misconduct, and a sharp rise in gun sales. Despite the increase, the national violent crime rate remains well below the highs reported in the 1990s. 

Still, crime is ultimately a local phenomenon, and in some parts of the country, violence is much more common than in others. Tennessee's violent crime rate of 673 incidents per 100,000 people is the highest of any state in the South and third highest nationwide. The state's violent crime rate climbed by 13.0% in 2020, more than double the national increase. Violence in Tennessee is highly concentrated in certain cities. For example, the violent crime rate of 1,359 incidents for every 100,000 people in the Memphis metro area is the highest of any metro area in the United States. 

All crime data used in this story is from the FBI and is for the year 2020.

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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Nashville Fed Soc: Tennessee Redistricting - How Does It Work?

Tennessee Redistricting: How Does It Work? 
John Ryder Attorney at Harris Shelton PLLC 

Event Details 
Date: Monday, October 18th, 2021. 
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT 
Location: Hilton Nashville - Downtown 121 4th Ave S Nashville, TN 37201 

CLE credit will be available. 
Paid parking is available on site and free parking is available in the surrounding area.

To RSVP: Click Here 

Price: $15 (members), $30 (non-members) Includes lunch and refreshments Note: If you would like to pay with cash or check, please email Grant Starrett at 

About John 
John Ryder's practice is split between two divergent areas of law: commercial litigation and election law. He has significant experience representing secured lenders, unsecured creditors’ committees, trustees and debtors in the bankruptcy process. He has participated in a number of major bankruptcies including The Julien Companies (the largest bankruptcy ever filed in the Western District of Tennessee), Microwave Products, Wexner & Jacobson, Wang’s, XpertTune and Braniff, to name a few. Mr. Ryder has also served as Receiver for Beale Street Historic District, Avery Outdoors, Inc and First American Monetary Consultants. In addition, Mr. Ryder is knowledgeable in the area of election law, having represented clients in numerous cases involving redistricting matters and election contests, as well as defending clients before the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance. Currently, he is litigation counsel for the Shelby County Election Commission. He has taught Election Law as an Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Law.

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Friday, October 8, 2021

K-12 funding formula (BEP) to be replaced with new student-focused approach

Gov. Bill Lee wants to change how Tennessee funds schools, taking aim at the formula used since 1992

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Metro Nashville Public Schools Host Mandatory Transgender Training For School Administrators


Read the story at this link

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

From Tim Skow: 

TN State Attorney General
Herbert Slatery! 

1ST TUESDAY Members and Friends !

The news is finally GOOD NEWS ... and there is a fair amount of it !!

These days, one of the busiest men in ALL of Tennessee is TN State Attorney General Herbert Slatery!  

But, the first bit of GOOD NEWS is that AG Slatery has been able to adjust his schedule and has found he can make time on Thursday, October 21st to return to 1ST TUESDAY !! 

There are SLEW of topics and legal fights breaking these days involving the State of Tennessee, multiple States vs. the Federal Government, the Biden Administration and MORE on the immediate horizon that will impact your life and/or the lives of many you know !!!  The list includes, but is not limited to:

1] Public schools and our students - be it ..... Biden Admin trying to push schools to push agendas and masks on students ...... OR .... fallout from the State Legislature passing legislation to pull State funds from schools caught including the tenants of Critical Race Theory in classrooms,,, OR ... fights from heated School Board meetings? 
Can you say "LAW SUITS " ?? 

2] Redistricting legal actions coming - Democrats aim to hold all 10 of State House seats in Nashville. Dems say they plan to challenge the lines Republican draw for the State Legislature and the 5th District Congressional seat. 
Can you say "LAW SUITS to follow" ?? 

 3] FACEBOOK .... Anyone see TN Senator Marsha Blackburn grilling the Big Tech Executives this year? Word is that multiple States are teeing up to sue Facebook on variety of counts seeking damages. Guess who will do that? 
Can you say "LAW SUITS to follow" ?? 


I promise that 1ST TUESDAY is going to be ZESTY !!

As has been the case since Covid-19 hit, we will meet at Brentwood's LUDLOW & PRIME [ 330 Franklin Road 
Doors open at 11AM. Lunch will be served at 11:30 with Programs starting at Noon. Q&A ends at 1:00PM sharp.

Lunch is $25 for Members and $30 for Guests. Please visit the following link / shopping cart to secure seating for you and Guests. Feel free to share this event with others! We expect this to be a VERY popular event !!!

NOW ... about our 1ST TUESDAY website and most importantly our website shopping cart.

In short, we have finally be able to determine that it is NOT me, nor is it 1ST TUESDAY who owns our website!! Technically, it is our website designer still showing on the records as "the official owner" of our 1ST TUESDAY website according to the WIX platform the website is built on. Once our site was operational, she then pointed all transactions via our website for lunches, dues and more through card processing firm named STRIPE. 
[ a large firm with HQ in California that ONLY communicates via email ]

After over 2 years of flawless operations, our dozens of credit card transaction for August event never landed in our 1ST TUESDAY bank account !! Neither WIX nor STRIPE recognize me or acknowledge to know our bank or anyone other than the lady who originated our 1ST TUESDAY website. 

She now refuses to assist. We have since learned she has torpedoed other clients she built websites for as well.
We are still trying to figure out if there is some way to rehabilitate the website and shopping cart. But for the short term, 1ST TUESDAY invites and link to our NEW Shopping Cart [ that we control ] will be coming to you via EMAIL, Facebook invites and other sources, but prepayments for lunch will be with this embedded link till further notice.

Thanks for ALL so many of you continue to do to support 1ST TUESDAY !!
We look forward to having you on Thursday, OCT 21st with Tennessee State AG Herb Slatery !!!

Looking forward to seeing you at LUDLOW & PRIME !!

Tim Skow

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