Friday, December 31, 2021

New Year's Eve driving tips from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 28, 2021 - New Year's Eve is right around the corner, the number one day of the year for people driving while intoxicated. Many of these people will be people who only occasionally drink and rarely get drunk, so they will not have developed good drunk driving skills.  

This guide from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving is provided to help you improve your drunk driving skills or think about alternatives to drinking and driving. 


(1) Don't Drive drunk. That is the number one tip: don't do it. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else.  If you are lucky and don't kill someone else or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children or visitation rights, a lot of money, and maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. Take a taxi, get a hotel room, call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you. If at a friend's house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night.  

Use ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber. These services are cheap, fast, and convenient.  By now most people who live an active life have probably used one of these services. To use these services you page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until you're drunk to try to download the app. Here is a link to the Uber app.

(2) Pick the designated driver before you start drinking.  If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people, then have a designated driver. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.
 
Despite the above advice I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk. I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are possibly driving impaired I am providing these below tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(3) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. See the above tips. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(4) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” That is what often happens. If during the evening you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after-dinner liquor with coffee, and a champagne toast, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.

On occasion, but not as often as I would like and certainly not as often as when I younger, I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however, if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight in a four-hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115 pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 100 proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(5)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. In the days before Uber and when you could still park on Broadway, I would visit the honkytonk strip of Lower Broad. I never would park on Broadway, however. I live on the south side of town, so I would park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. That meant I did not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(6) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are may have had enough to register drunk and use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Be aware of this.

(7) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(8) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not turned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. This was in a previous car, years ago when headlights did not turn on automatically. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(9)  One crime at a time! Do not commit other crimes while driving drunk. If stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, don't compound your problems by being arrested for drunk driving and somethings else.  Don't smoke dope while driving drunk. Don't get arrested for drunk driving and for speeding, or possession of a controlled substance, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or soliciting prostitution.

(10) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.


(11) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passenger's seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(12) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

(13) Don't sleep it off in the car.  Should you find yourself drunk and think a nap will revive you or that you may just spend the night in your car, don't do it. Even if you are not driving, if you are in your car drunk, you can be charged with DUI.  See the guidelines above about alternatives to driving drunk. If you can't take a ride-share or call a friend, and you do end up drunk, it would be better to sleep it off in a doorway or park bench than in your car. 

Rep. Bill Beck
(14) Use your influence to get the charge thrown out. Be a State Representative or other person (link) with important friends who can get a judge to throw out the charge based on lack of probable cause for making the stop. Despite the police seeing you drive with wheels over the lane line and observing the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and inability to walk straight and a despite the arresting officer saying you were "absolutely hammered," the judge may rule the arresting officer did not have probable cause for making the stop.

(15) Pray. It can't hurt.

(16) Your not a kid anymore. As you age, your reaction times can slow down, you can lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities. Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility. Face, there are some things you cannot do as well when you are old as you could when you were young.  You may not be safely able to drink as much and drive.

This is an additional tip suggested by a student of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

(16) If you are seeing double, close one eye. 

I have never been arrested for drunk driving but I admit I have been guilty of it. I guess I have been lucky. As a young adult, I was more often guilty of it than I have been as an older adult. Nevertheless, from time to time, I still have probably technically met the blood alcohol level for being drunk.

Stay safe. Don't drive drunk. Drive careful. 

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Law-abiding gun owners arm 1,287 criminals this year in Nashville

December 30, 2021, Metro Nashville press release -The MNPD strongly encourages Nashvillians to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables---especially guns, and REMOVE THE KEYS.

So far this year, 1,287 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville. More than 70% of ALL guns reported stolen in 2021 (1,825) were taken from vehicles. Last week, 27 guns were stolen from cars and trucks. Just yesterday, East Precinct community engagement officers recovered two guns in the possession of two male teens, ages 13 & 16. Both guns had been stolen from vehicles.

Going hand in hand with vehicle burglaries is vehicle theft. A review of last week’s stolen vehicle reports in Nashville shows that 70% of the automobiles taken (33 of 47) were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves. Three of the 47 vehicles stolen were left running without the driver present.

Just like guns taken from vehicles, these stolen autos are also routinely involved in criminal activities, including carjackings and robberies.

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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Gideon's Army 'violence interrupter' pleads guilty, faces four years in federal prison for firearms charges

by Rod Williams, Dec. 30, 2021- Charles Brooks, convicted in 2006 on state charges for voluntary

manslaughter, employed by Gideon's Army as a "violence interrupter,"  is facing four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to firearms charges as a result of his role in a shootout in a North Nashville public housing project in April of this year.

The shoot-out occurred at the Cumberland View public housing project where Gideon's Army was supposedly working to end violence.  This housing project has long had a reputation as one of the worst and is sometimes referred to as "Dodge City," or at least it used to be referred to by that name back some years ago when I working as a social worker in the area. My understanding is that it has continued to be a violent neighborhood. Gideon's Army had claimed it had completely eliminated violence in the neighborhood before the shoot-out involving their 'violence interrupter' occurred. 

Gideon's Army is a favored political activist organization among Nashville's progressive elites. Despite exaggerating their success in ending violence and despite anti-White racism rhetoric and calling Meharry College president a "house nigger," the white-guilt-ridden progressive of our city love them.  They have received city funding and their views are taken seriously. As this incident was unfolding the organization was mounting a public-relations campaign to get over $1 million in Metro funding included in the city's 2021-2022 budget for violence interruption.  I will not be surprised if they still do not get funded.

The above story comes from Channel 5 reporting by Phil Williams. Thank you Phil Williams for bringing this to light.  To see a video and read more follow this and this link. 

Below is a previous blog post on Gideon's Army.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gideon's Army tells the public that it's all about justice, peace and harmony. But, buried among social media posts by some of the group's front-line leaders, NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered a controversial side of the politically connected group that most of the public has never seen. 
Those posts include descriptions of white people as being a "pestilence" accidentally unleashed on the world by an ancient scientist, suggestions that police should be made to fear going into Black neighborhoods, even descriptions of Meharry Medical College's highly respected president, Dr. James Hildreth, as a "house n****r." (Read more
Related: 

Many may be mystified that white and middle or upper-class people kowtow, romanticize, and fund radical violent activists, racist thugs. This is nothing new.  The current era is much like the era of the mid 60's to mid 70's.  At that time Hollywood elites and other hip new leftists, what we would now call progressives, did the same thing.  The radical Black Panther Party was a favorite of that era's new leftist.  For an interesting and entertaining work addressing this phenomenon read  Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe.

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Metro Council looks at helping stabilize and sustain businesses that COVID has impacted, but not for White people.

City council members looking to help minority-owned businesses keep their doors open

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021

At least President Biden didn't revive Pajama Boy.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 27, 2021- Say what you want to about Joe Biden, and there is plenty bad to say,
but at least he did not bring out pajama boy to ruin your holiday.  Remember pajama boy?  

As if we were not polarized enough already, in 2013 President Obama introduced pajama boy who, on Christmas mourning, was supposed to educate his ignorant backward parents on the virtues of socialized medicine.

It is hard enough these days to have a family get-together and avoid the landmines of politics without the president of the United States inciting family squabbles.  One must be careful in even talking sports or the weather.  Don't talk cars, for sure.

The Biden Administration is sometimes called Obama's third term.  Well, as a person, I don't think Biden is as bad as Obama. President Biden could have brought out pajama boy as a model for educating your dumb Republican uncle on the advantages of Build Back Better.  He didn't.  Biden may be bad, but he could be worst.  He is just wrong and has some cognitive ability issues but he is not evil. Obama set out to ruin your holiday and cause family conflict; Biden didn't.  

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Rand Paul's "Festivus Report" reveals over $52.6 billion in government waste.

Press release,  December 22, 2021, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), chairman of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight (ETSO) Subcommittee for the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), released his 2021 “Festivus” Report, totaling over $52,598,515,585 billion in government waste.

This marks Dr. Paul’s and the subcommittee’s seventh edition of the Festivus Report as he continues working to alert the American people to how their federal government uses their hard-earned money. 

Sections are broken down into COVID-19 spending, Afghanistan, and Miscellaneous.

You can find Dr. Paul’s 2021 Festivus Report HERE.





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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Expect to hear the term "budget equity" a lot this year when Metro develops a budget. What is it?

by Rod Williams, Dec. 28, 2021 - Progressives have a new tool to use at the local level to redistribute income, slip in Critical Race Theory indoctrination, and impose more progressive policies on their citizens.  This new term and tool are being adopted by progressive cities across America.  

It appears that Budgeting for Equity was a project of Bloomberg Philanthropies and was launched in 2020.  Initially, 30 cities participated in a training session to learn the concept and use of the tool.  "The 30 cities that have been selected to participate in the program, which will run through December 2021, are: Akron (OH), Austin (TX), Birmingham (AL), Chattanooga (TN), Chula Vista (CA), Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Denver (CO), Durham (NC), Fort Collins (CO), Knoxville (TN), Lincoln (NE), Madison (WI), New Orleans (LA), Oakland (CA), Peoria (IL), Philadelphia (PA), Providence (RI), Pueblo (CO), Rochester (NY), Salt Lake City (UT), Savannah (GA), Seattle (WA), Springfield (IL), Stockton (CA), Syracuse (NY), Tacoma (WA), Tampa (FL), Toledo (OH), West Palm Beach (FL)." (link)

Note that Nashville was not one of the original 30, but since the launch of "Budgeting for Equity," by Bloomberg, this concept has spread rapidly beyond the original thirty participating cities. Numerous cities are now incorporating "budget equity" in their budgeting process.

Here is some of what I gleaned about the "budget equity" movement from reading various sources and included are some snippets of the rhetoric. One can expect this to be repeated in Nashville.
  • A BUDGET IS A MORAL DOCUMENT AS WELL AS A FINANCIAL ONE
  • BE SPECIFIC. “Equity” can sound like a broad term. Identify the inequity or disparity you wish to address and how you will address it.  'Our department will create a performance goal for each employee to attend at least 2 equity, diversity, and inclusion related training per year." 
  • Budget Equity Tool (BET) is designed to integrate explicit considerations of racial and economic equity into decisions, including policies, practices, programs and ultimately, the  Departmental budgets.
  • Systemic inequities are entrenched in local governments. And the sheer pervasiveness can make it hard for city leaders to know where to start when making structural changes to how services are delivered or programs are designed. Many local leaders are now looking at their budgets—a city’s most important annual statement about its values and priorities—to address long-standing issues of racial injustice.

For more on the topic see these link, link, link, and link.

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Sunday, December 26, 2021

At Gov. Lee's request, Nashville submits bid to host 2024 Republican National Convention

Dec. 26—NASHVILLE — Tennessee Republicans have high hopes the city of Nashville can win a bid to host their party's national convention here in 2024.

The city is among a group of states now under consideration by the Republican National Committee for the convention, according to Republicans here.

"Stay tuned," Beth Campbell, a Republican National Committee member from Nashville, told executive committee members during a Dec. 4 meeting in Brentwood. "We have a very, very strong chance of securing this convention."

Cautioning that it was "a tall order," Campbell told executive committee members "You know what? We can do this in Tennessee. It's going to be good for the whole state, it's not just Metro Nashville." (read more)

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Saturday, December 25, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021

Tennessee House committee unveils state House legislative map

By Jon Styf | The Center Square Dec 17, 2021  – The Tennessee House Select Committee on Redistricting made public Friday its plan for new state House legislative districts.

The committee heard several publicly submitted plans and responses, along with the House Democrats’ plan, during Friday's meeting before committee Vice Chair Rep. Pat Marsh, R-Shelbyville, introduced the committee's plan.

The House must approve the plan during the General Assembly's upcoming legislative session, which begins in January, before sending the plan onto the Tennessee Senate and Gov. Bill Lee for his signature.

“I appreciate members of the first-ever bipartisan Select Committee on Redistricting for their thorough efforts in formulating a fair and constitutional plan, representing the distinctive voice of all Tennesseans,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton tweeted about the process. “Our committee effectively engaged the public as part of a months-long open and inclusive process that resulted in the first House proposal ever released before the start of a new legislative session. I look forward to continued engagement from both the public and our members as this proposal travels through an equally transparent House committee process.”

The committee’s map shows 30 counties would be split between districts, while seven districts would include a pair of incumbents based on current addresses listed for members of the House.

The map also would create eight districts with no incumbents.

Ethics Counsel Doug Himes presented the responses to the district plans, including a response to the Democrats’ plan, which was presented by Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville. Freeman took exception to the analysis Himes presented because several House members have announced they will not be running for reelection while two others have moved from the home listed in the legislative directory.

“House Republicans have adopted an unconstitutional, racially and politically gerrymandered map that minimizes minority voting strength and splits dozens of communities statewide,” Tennessee Senate Democrats tweeted. “Mostly in service of petty personal grievances. And the Senate majority hasn’t released a map.”

One of the proposed districts that includes two incumbents is that of Rep. London Lamar, D-Memphis, and Rep. Torrey Harris, D-Memphis.

“I’m sad to report that [Tennessee Republicans have] proposed a map that will eliminate [Harris'] district and draw him into my district 91. It’s unfortunate that your two youngest representatives are being pitted against each other while it’s possible to maintain all our districts,” Lamar tweeted. “I will continue to advocate to maintain or districts until we vote on the map when session resumes in January. We don’t want to cut out Tennessee’s next generation of leaders.”

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

Councilman Freddie O'Connell to be Garbage Man Freddie.

 

Also see, Curbside recycling pickup suspended. I would like to know if our recyclables were going to the landfill anyway. 

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Curbside recycling pickup suspended. I would like to know if our recyclables were going to the landfill anyway.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 22, 2021- I have often thought that if I had the capacity, either the extra energy myself or a paid reporter, I would like to find out the truth about Metro's curbside recycling.  Well, I don't have a reporter, and doing that piece of investigative reporting has never reached the top of my priority list, but still, I have questions I would like to have answers to about Metro's recycling. Once, I wrote an email to the director of our recycling program but got evasive non-answers to the questions I asked, and never followed up to get straight answers. 

I don't know, but I suspect Nashville's recycling is wishcycling.  If I could get answers, I would want to know how much it costs to dispose of a ton of garbage in a landfill.  I would want to know how much we have to pay to get someone to take a ton of our recyclables.  What is the real net difference?  Is landfilling cheaper than recycling?  I don't know.  Do our recyclables often end up in the landfill anyway? If so, how often?  I would like to know.  I know we do pay for companies to take our recyclables.  At one time, it is my understanding, a company paid us for our recyclables. 

The reason I suspect that our recycling program may be a scam and simply wishcycling is because it often is in other places.  A report out of Seattle Washington says over 2000 tops of paper collected as recyclables were landfilled.  This is not that uncommon.  One sees stories like this from all across the nation.  The problem is that China has, for the most part, stopped accepting plastics and paper for recycling and China was the world's number one customer for them. 

In an article appearing in The Huffington PostThe Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go To Landfills, this situation of recyclable actually not being recycled is reported. Similar stories have appeared in The New York Times and other major publications.

This week, The Tennessean reports, Nashville suspends recycling pickup services as trash collection woes sap Metro resources. The article says that Metro recycling trucks and staff are being reassigned to trash collection due to growing trash collection delays caused by staffing and fleet issues.  The article explains how we got in such a mess that the garbage is not being collected. The article says this is a temporary suspension of the curbside pickup but gives no clue as to how long it may be before curbside is resumed. 

The article list drop-off recycling locations where one may take their recyclables. I won't be doing so.  I need some assurances that when collected as recyclables, they will not be landfilled anyway.  And, I need assurances that if they are recycled that it is worth my gas money and time to do it.  I am civic-minded and don't mind doing something for the public good, but my time is valuable.  If it takes me three gallons of gas a week and three hours of my time to recycle and only saves the city $3 it is not a wise use of my time. 

I am not opposed to recycling I just wanted it to be a rational thing to do.  A long time ago before Metro had curbside recycling I volunteered many a Saturday morning at a recycling drop-off site, helping people dispose of their recyclables and making sure they were properly sorted and did not contaminate the whole batch.  I do recycle now. I also compost and a lot of my paper waste gets composted instead of placed in the recycle bin.  I like to garden and am now retired and have this year stepped up my gardening game.  With time to do it, I started composting my kitchen waste, and yard waste.  Recently, I added paper waste. The worms seem to really like cardboard. (If interested in composting see this video: How to compost.)

I support recycling if it makes sense. I will do it myself if it makes sense to me.  I will support the city's recycling program if convinced it makes economic sense for the city and is not all for show and nothing more than an exercise to make people simply feel virtuous. 


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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Metro Budget 101 Series: How Does the City Spend Money? Schools

 Metro Budget 101 Series: How Does the City Spend Money? Schools

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Student loan forgiveness is the poor subsidizing the wealthy. How is that fair?

by Rod Williams, Dec. 22, 2021 - I am convinced that liberals only pretend to care about poor people.  The cynical side of me thinks they want to keep poor people poor so they will keep voting Democrat.  One has to look no further than the various welfare programs to see how their affect it to keep poor people poor. And inflation, which hits those with less disposable income the hardest helps keep poor people trapped in poverty.  And an overtaxed and overregulated economy is less dynamic and provides less opportunity for people to pull themselves out of poverty.


Maybe, however, Democrats really do love poor people and that is why they favor policies that keep people poor and create more poor people. 

When it comes to student loan forgiveness, there is nothing that could be more unfair to poor people. 
Median career earnings for a bachelor’s degree holder are $1.28 million in 2018 dollars. ... At the median, career earnings for a bachelor’s degree graduate are more than twice as high as for someone with only a high school diploma or GED, roughly 70 percent higher than for someone with some college but no degree, and more than 45 percent higher than for someone with an associate degree. (link)

With student debt forgiveness the person with only a high school education is taxed to help someone who has a college education. How is that fair? How can any fair-minded person support such a policy?


 




































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House redistricting to eliminate five Democratic incumbents in urban Tennessee. Dems freak out.

 by Yue Stella Yu, The Tennessean, Dec. 17,2021 -Tennessee House Redistricting Committee on Friday unveiled — and voted to advance — its own draft state House map that would eliminate five Democratic incumbents who face re-election in 2022.

The plan, if approved by the legislature, would further solidify the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly and diminish Democratic influence. 

The map, presented for the first time in public and immediately passed by the committee Friday, would lump nine Democratic incumbents in urban areas such as Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis in four districts.

Six Republicans are paired together under the new district lines, .... House Democratic Caucus Chairman Vincent Dixie, D-Nashville, said the redistricting process reflects Republicans' efforts to "rig" the elections. ... most partisan and racially motivated process that I've been involved in since I have been in the legislature," Dixie said. ... 

 It preserves 13 majority-minority districts statewide ... In Nashville, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, and Rep. Jason Potts, D-Nashville, are drawn into House District 52, represented by Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville. Clemmons represents House District 55, which covers west Davidson County. Potts is not up for re-election in 2022, leaving Clemmons and Stewart potential competitors. (read it all)


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Tennessee's newly drawn congressional district boundaries will be revealed next month

 Republican reps keep quiet on Nashville's redistricting future

... U.S. Rep. Mark Green has gone on the record expressing his opposition to dividing Nashville among multiple Republican House members.

.... State Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville, who serves on the House redistricting committee, tells Axios the 5th district is likely to be divided among Republicans.

... Green was quoted in the Nashville Post in September calling the concept of an 8-1 map "greedy" and "a bad idea." He warned splitting Nashville and its liberal voters into suburban districts could backfire in future election cycles.

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Monday, December 20, 2021

Mayor’s Aide Courtney Pogue on Frustrations, Priorities for Nashville Neighborhoods

Courtney Pogue
by Rod Williams, Dec. 20, 2021-  In an article in the Nashville Scene today, Stephen Elliott interviews Courtney Pogue, Mayor John Cooper’s director of economic and community development for about the last nine months  Pogue expresses his frustration about a lack of direction in city government and a tendency to focus on newsmaking economic development deals — like those with Oracle or Amazon — rather than the kind of work that can bring grocery stores or other vital businesses to underserved neighborhoods. 

 He says the city does not really have a community development strategy for the city. The city follows the lead of the Chamber and focuses on big deals but there has been no focus on small business development. 

I am not so sure, the city should even be steering development.  We should avoid overtaxing businesses so they will want to open or expand in Nashville, we should provide good police protection so businesses can safely function and provide quality education so we have a good workforce and the city should do the other things that constitute good governance and then essentially let the market determine who gets the grocery stores.

This is an interesting article.  I think it is rare to find someone who serves at the pleasure of the mayor be so blunt in what amounts to criticism of his boss. To read the article follow this link

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Sunday, December 19, 2021

Tennessee ranked 3rd for election integrity.

From Heritage. Org, Dec. 19, 2021- Every citizen's vote is sacred. The vote is how we guarantee that our government remains of the people, by the people, and for the people. Americans need and deserve elections that they can trust. Legitimate voters should be able to vote in privacy without being harassed, secure in the knowledge that their vote will not be lost, stolen, altered, or negated by a vote cast by an illegitimate voter. Americans need and deserve a transparent system in which fraud can be easily detected and false allegations of fraud can be easily dispelled. Americans need and deserve a system in which it is easy to vote and hard to cheat.

In order to help voters, state legislators, election officials, and all Americans who are interested in ensuring a fair and secure election process, The Heritage Foundation has published this Election Integrity Scorecard, which compares the election laws and regulations of each state and the District of Columbia that affect the security and integrity of the process to the Foundation's best-practices recommendations. 

....

In 2012, the Pew Foundation released a report on the voter registration systems maintained by the states. The report found that:

  • Approximately 24 million—one in every eight—voter registrations were either no longer valid or significantly inaccurate.
  • More than 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as voters.
  • Approximately 2.75 million individuals were registered in more than one state.
....
In 2020, the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) released a similar report, Critical Condition: American Voter Rolls Filled with Errors, Dead Voters, and Duplicate Registrations, using an even bigger database of voter registration and voter history information obtained from 42 states covering the 2016 and 2018 elections. Like GAI, PILF supplemented the state registration information by using other commercial and government databases such as credit agencies and the Social Security Administration’s Master Death Index to obtain unique identifiers and sift out as many “false positives” as possible when comparing the data.

PILF’s comparison of the state data, also using a conservative matching program, revealed that:
  • 8,360 individuals registered and voted in two different states during the 2018 election.
  • Votes were recorded for 7,890 deceased individuals in the 2016 election and 6,718 deceased individuals in the 2018 election.
  • 43,760 individuals who registered more than once at the same address in the same state voted twice in the 2016 election, and 37,889 individuals registered more than once at the same address cast two votes in the 2018 election. Thousands of these duplicate votes were cast using mail-in or absentee ballots.
  • 5,500 individuals registered at two different addresses in the same state and voted twice in the 2018 election.
  • Votes were recorded in the 2018 election for 34,000 individuals who were registered at nonresidential, commercial addresses such as gas stations, casinos, and restaurants.
(For more, follow this link.)
















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Friday, December 17, 2021

2021 Pork Report: 12 Recipes for Government Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

The Beacon Center, December 15, 2021 - The Beacon Center is proud to release its “recipe book”
themed Tennessee Pork Report, revealing hundreds of millions of dollars in government waste, fraud, and abuse.

This year’s infamous Pork of the Year “winner” was Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS). MNPS entered into an $18 million no-bid contract with Meharry Medical College Ventures which produced a $1.8 million website with all the visual appeal and functionality of AskJeeves.com. Experts say this website should have cost no more than $75,000. 

As if the no-bid contract and lighting tax dollars on fire weren’t bad enough, at the same time the city of Nashville decided to shut down schools because in-person learning was too dangerous due to COVID, MNPS partnered with the YMCA to have…in-person learning for children of Metro School employees and students from K-5th grade.

Other 2021 Pork Report entries included:

  • $702 million government-owned broadband plan in Knoxville, despite 98% of Knoxville residents having multiple choices in broadband internet.
  • A $20 million (and counting) taxpayer gift to build a waterpark in Jackson.
  • Davidson’s County continued “emissions testing” tax grab that was deemed unnecessary by both the state legislature and the EPA.
  • Hamilton County’s $16 million purchase of nearly 2,200 acres to turn into a manufacturing hub, yet only about one-third of the land is ready for development.

The 2021 Pork Report comes from state and local budgets, media reports, state audits, and independent research conducted by Beacon Center staff and scholars. You can read the full report here.

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Pork of the Year: Over-Stuffed Baked Apples. Metro Nashville Public School's COVID Favoritism and $18 Million No-Bid Contract with Meharry Medical Ventures

 








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Rick Perry Pitched Meadows On Plan To Steal Election Even Before Results Were In

by Rod Williams, Dec. 17, 2021 - Shame, shame, and embarrassment. The evidence is overwhelming and continues to mount that there was an attempt by and on behalf of Donald Trump to steal the Nov. 2020 election.  I don't know that there is enough evidence of treason to convict anyone of the crime, but the conspirators should go down in history as traitors who attempted a coup, and they should not be welcome in polite society. Their names should be removed from buildings and if they have highways or bridges named after them, those structures should be renamed.  They should be shunned and treated as shameful embarrassments. 

I was not surprised that there was a coup attempt following the 2020 election. I had a bad feeling that we would see violence and maybe a coup attempt following the election, but I badly missed how it would play out.  I thought President Trump would win the election and there would be a coup attempt from the left.  Liberals hated Trump with such a passion and many thought of him as the next Hitler.  If one is stopping the next Hitler then a coup is justified.

I always thought that if there ever was a coup, or attempted coup, in America it would come from the left.  Liberals, I reasoned, do not really love America the way conservatives do.  They scoff at patriotism and they see the Constitution as not much more than an impediment to the enactment of the general will.  Conservatives, on the other hand, are patriots and they revere our republican form of government, liberty and order, and the constitution. 

As it turned out, conservatives (Republicans or those who have co-opted the label "conservative,") are willing to defile the constitution and illegally seize power.  What is labeled as "conservatives" today consists of people who are no better than progressives.  Trumpinistas, including former Governor Rick Perry, assuming the allegation is true, are traitors who plotted to betray their country. 

Please see the following excerpted article. There is always the possibility that this article is untrue or that Perry was framed.  I hope that is the case, but I don't expect that to be the case.  Click on the title below to read the full article.

CNN: Rick Perry Pitched Meadows On Plan To Steal Election Even Before Results Were In

By Josh Kovensky, December 17, 2021-  Investigators on the Jan. 6 Committee believe that former Energy Secretary Rick Perry authored a Nov. 4 text to Mark Meadows suggesting that three state legislatures overrule their voters and cast electoral votes for Trump, CNN reports.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) presented the text on Tuesday night, which reads: “HERE’s an AGRESSIVE (sic) STRATEGY: Why can t (sic) the states of GA NC PENN and other R controlled state houses declare this is BS (where conflicts and election not called that night) and just send their own electors to vote and have it go to the SCOTUS.”

Perry sent the text on Nov. 4, one day after the election was held and as votes in key states were still being counted.

... the plan resembles what Trump would partly spend the following two months doing: trying to pressure state legislatures into sending Trump, and not Biden, electors to Congress, regardless of their vote counts. 

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2021 Pork Report: Beale Street Irish Car Bombs. Billion Dollar Handout for Ford to Move to West Tennessee Megasite

 





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2021 Pork Report: Exhaust Smoked Ham with Nashville-Hot Honey Glaze. A Tax Dollar Grab through Outdated Emissions Testing

 


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2021 Pork Report: On-Your-Pillow Chocolate Mint. Shelby County Commission's Emergency-Fund Grant to Workers they Sidelined During COVID.

 


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2021 Pork Report: Garlic and Wild Leek Park-Boiled Potatoes. A Taxpayer-Funded Gift to the Construction of a Waterpark in Jackson

 



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2021 Pork Report: Air-Fryer Roasted Chestnuts. Shelby County Schools' $25 million Contract to Improve Air Quality.

 


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2021 Pork Report: Grab the Money and Go Snack Mix. Governor Lee's Program that Paid for Tourists to Visit Select Tennessee Cities

 


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2021 Pork Report: Nutty Theater Popcorn Balls. Clarksville's Decision to Pay for a Performing Arts Center and then Raise Property Taxes

 



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2021 Pork Report: Field Greens with Lemony Breadcrumbs. Hamilton County's $16 Million Purchase of Mostly Unusable Land

 


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2021 Pork Report: Utility-Charred Knoxellini. A Needless Government-Run Broadband Plan from the Knoxville Utility Board

 



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2021 Pork Report: Game-Day Chicken Wings with Caviar. The Nashville Event Marketing Fund Committee's Continued Funding of Events that Only Benefit the Rich


 

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2021 Pork Report: Cranberry-Orange Ballpaark Pretzels. Debt-Funded Baseball Fields and Taxpayer Waste in Johnson City


 

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

Tennessee has collected $1.2B more than estimated in revenue this fiscal year

By Jon Styf | The Center Square,  Dec 13, 2021 - Tennessee has collected nearly $1.2 billion more than budgeted in revenue so far this fiscal year, according to numbers released Monday from Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Butch Eley.

The revenue collections mainly come from state taxes, such as sales and corporate tax, along with fees.

Tennessee collected $1.4 billion in revenue in November; nearly 22% higher than what was collected in November 2020.

The Tennessee State Funding Board determines revenue estimates and can adjust the estimates during the fiscal year. Additional funds brought in by the state can be appropriated to state projects, which is what happened with the recent special session to approve $884 million in incentives for Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck development in west Tennessee.

Tennessee beat its initial budgeted estimates by $3.1 billion last fiscal year and beat its revised estimates by $2.1 billion, according to Sycamore Institute.

September has represented the largest overage of tax collections compared with estimates this year at $378 million more than estimated.

“We continue to be encouraged by the strong sales and corporate tax growth exhibited in the month of November,” Eley said. “Sales tax receipt growth, which represents taxable sales activity in October, remained elevated for the month even as the state begins to compare similar collections that were higher in the past year due to recently enacted internet and remote sales tax laws. All other taxes, taken as a group, exceeded the November estimate as well.

“While the economic progress and revenue growth the state has experienced year-to-date has been remarkable, we remain concerned over the sustainability of such high growth rates and will continue to monitor economic activity and revenue trends to ensure fiscal stability.”

Tennessee collected $182.3 million more than estimated in sales taxes during November, while the general fund collected $266.4 million more than estimated.

The state has collected $1.189 billion more than estimated through four months on the fiscal year, on an accrual basis, with $1.112 billion more in the general fund and $77 million more than estimated in four other funds that receive sales taxes.

Franchise and excise taxes were $81.8 million more than estimated for the month and are $401.4 million more than estimated for the fiscal year.

Gasoline and motor fuel taxes were $4 million more than the budgeted estimate of $101.1 million and are $14.1 million more than estimated for the year.

Other totals collected that beat estimates were: tobacco tax ($1.8 million above), privilege tax ($10.7 million above), business tax ($900,000 above) and mixed drink, or liquor-by-the-drink, taxes ($7 million above).

Vehicle registration fees ($900,000 less) were below estimates.

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