Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The survival of American Democracy may not depend on who is Senator or President, but who is a state's Secretary of State.

Read the full article at this link
BY CHARLOTTE ALTER/PHOENIX, Time, SEPTEMBER 21,2022 - ... Fontes is running for Arizona secretary of state, a typically anonymous role that oversees the tedious details of election administration: training poll workers, managing the statewide voter-registration database, verifying the accuracy of voting machines, and certifying election results. But in 2022, the job has taken on an outsize importance. Fontes’ opponent, Republican Mark Finchem, is an election denier: an avid promoter of former President Donald Trump’s baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen through widespread voter fraud. He is one of many Republicans running to oversee America’s next elections while denying the legitimacy of the last one. ....

The Trumpian Stop the Steal movement is unprecedented for its scale, its longevity, its resistance to established facts, and its embrace of violence as a mechanism to overturn the will of the voters. Proponents believe that the 2020 presidential race was actively stolen, not just that the outcome was unfair. They believe this so strongly that many of them stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop the election’s certification, breaking a nearly 250-year tradition of peacefully transferring power. They believe it even though judges found that more than 60 of Trump’s postelection legal challenges were lacking in merit; even though state and federal investigations have repeatedly found no widespread voter fraud in 2020; and even though Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department, and FBI vouched for the election’s integrity. In Arizona, the Republican-sponsored audit that set out to prove mass voter fraud in the state actually revealed the opposite, uncovering a handful more votes for Biden and fewer for Trump. ...

If any of these candidates win, experts warn, they would possess a broad array of powers to undermine future elections if they don’t like the results. A rogue election official could attempt to prematurely stop the counting of ballots, pervert the Electoral College process, turn over the outcome of the election to partisan state legislators, or simply refuse to certify the result, all while publicly sowing doubt about the validity of the contest. It could present an existential test for American democracy. “If you can’t have trusted, neutral people running our elections, then you don’t really have free and fair elections,” says Lawrence Norden, senior director of the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a law and policy institute. “Then we’re not a functioning democracy anymore.” 

...of 552 Republicans on the ballot in 2022, 201 have stated that the 2020 election was stolen or taken action to overturn the results, and an additional 61 have “raised questions” about the outcome. According to this tally, roughly 60% of American voters will have at least one election denier on their ballot in November. Many of them are running for statewide roles that would oversee the next election. (link to the full article)



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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Stop the next coup attempt by denying election victory to Trumpinista election deniers in Arizona. Support these Democrats.

Support Katie Hobbs
for Governor of Arizona.
 by Rod Williams, September 23, 2022- In looking at the 2022 mid-term election I have determined I cannot support the Republican Party. Not that I will not support any individual Repubicans but I will not support someone just because they are a Republican. I will not support the Party or any subdivision of the Party. To do so is to fund the election of people, some of whom would betray their country if given the chance.  I explained why I cannot support the Republican Party in more detail in a post titled I am suspending my support for the Republican Party

In a nutshell, the reason I cannot support Republicans in 2022 is that support for the claim of the stolen election runs deep in the Republican Party. Coast to coast in races that will determine who will have a role in overseeing, certifying or defending elections, Republican voters nominated Republican candidates who supported overturning the results of the 2020 presidential race. I fear that if given the chance these Republicans would support the next coup attempt.  The 2021 coup attempt failed, among other reasons, because Republican officeholders proved to be patriotic Americans who put fealty to the Constitution and love of country above loyalty to Donald Trump. The current crop of Republicans appears, in many cases, to be Trump loyalists who can not be trusted with the sacred duty of upholding the Constitution.

To me, the number one issue in the 2022 election and way out front of any secondary issue, is fealty to the Constitution and support for the peaceful transfer of power. 

Support Adrian Fontes
for Secretary of State of Arizona
Some of the election deniers nationwide don't really have their heart in the denial and try to avoid taking a position on the issue but will throw a lean bone to the Trumpinistas now and then by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the 2020 election, or an even a leaner bone by saying they support election integrity. I also support election integrity.  I think one should have to prove who one is before voting. I think most voting should be in-person and I oppose same-day voter registration. Much of the liberal press will conflate anyone who supports election integrity with an election denier.  They are not the same thing. Not everyone who is called an election denier is actually an election denier. Many are, however.

While some people called election deniers are not really election deniers and while some election deniers don't have their heart in it but will placate the base by casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election, that is not the case with the election deniers running for office in Arizona. They are the real deal. They are hardcore Trumpinista election deniers.

Arizona is important as are a handful of other swing states.  In 2020, Arizona was one of the states where Trump tried to flip the results of the election. If Donald Trump can put loyalists in control of counting and certifying the election in Arizona and a handful of other states, the next coup attempt may be successful.

Support Kris Mayes for 
Attorney General of Arizona



 In Arizona, the candidate for governor is Kari Lake a former TV personality and an unequivocalelection denier.  Kari Lake has publicly supported, received endorsements from, or accepted campaign contributions from eight of the 11 fake electors in Arizona. These "electors" were chosen by the Trump campaign and other Republican officials and presented as "alternate" electors to vote in place of the state's actual elected electors. (link)

Not only is election denier Kari Lake in a position to take the governorship, two other state offices with roles to play in overseeing, certifying or defending elections, are being sought by election deniers.  One is Secretary of State and the other is Attorney General.

Republican Mark Finchem, who is running for Arizona secretary of state, has deep ties to the Trump coup attempt. Finchem was one of a number of the Arizona state lawmakers who held unofficial "hearing" at a Phoenix hotel on Nov. 30, 2020 at which Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani made unfounded claims of election fraud.  Finchem took part in the "stop the steal" marched at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 and he is a member of the paramilitary Oath Keepers organization whose leader and other members have been charged with seditious conspiracy for their role in the insurrection. One can not get much more Trumpinista than Mark Finchem. If elected Finchem would be the chief of election administration in the state.

Abraham Hamadeh is seeking the office of attorney general. He won the crowded Republican Attorney General primary race after securing Trump’s endorsement. He has said he would not have certified the results of the 2020 election in his state and has said he would use the attorney general’s office to “prosecute crimes of the rigged 2020 election.” (link)

These three people seeking these state offices deserve to be defeated. I am not supporting the opponents of these three Republicans because I agree with them on border security, or right to life, or the second amendment, or any other policy position. I am supporting the opponents of three election deniers because if elected, these three Republicans would be in a position to make the next coup attempt a success. 

All of the above races and the race for Senator where Republican election denier Black Masters is running against Democrat Mark Kelly are close. (link) All four of the contest are in play. 

In the race for governor, Republican Kari Lake's opponent is Democrat Katie Hobbs. A recent Trafalgar Group poll shows Kari Lake slightly ahead with support from 50% of the likely voters and Katie Hobbs with 45.6 %. Money could still make a difference in this race.  Hobbs is a former social worker, State Senator, and Secretary of State of Arizona. You can learn more about Katie Hobbs and make a donation to her campaign at this link

In the race for Secretary of State, Republican Mark Finchem's opponent is Democrat Adrian Fontes. The recent Trafalgar poll shows Mark Finchem ahead with 48% of the vote and Fontes with 41%.  Adrian Fontes is 52 years old and is a sixth-generation Mexican American who can trace his Arizona roots back to 1695. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the father of three daughters. You can learn more about his candidacy and make a contribution at this link.  

In the race for Attorney General, Republican Abraham Hamadeh's opponent is Democrat Kris Mayes. The Trafalgar poll shows Hamadeh leading with 50% of the votes of likely voters compared to 41% for Mayes. Kris Mayes is an attorney, a mom, a professor, a former journalist, and was an Arizona Corporation Commissioner. You can learn more about her campaign and make a contribution at this link

I never did think I would be sending money to support Democrats. I agree with Republicans on almost all policy positions, However, I really believe the survival of America as a democracy is on the line.  The 2020 coup attempt failed but the next attempt may very well succeed if Trumpinistas control the election machinery in swing states.  We must stop the next coup attempt.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

 


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Tennessee ranks second for economic freedom in the US, only behind Florida.

 From Cato Institute:

ANALYSIS

Tennessee has long been one of the economically freest states, largely because of its outstanding fiscal policies, but it also used to be one of the personally freest states in the South. That edge disappeared as it became a more stereotypical red state. As a result, Tennessee fell from third in overall freedom in 2001 to seventh in 2012. It has recovered some ground since and is now fourth overall in this year’s index.

The Volunteer State lacks an income tax, and both state and local tax collections fall well below the national average. We show state-level taxes falling from 5.1 percent of adjusted personal income in FY 2007 to 4.2 percent in FY 2014, then rising to 4.4 percent in FY 2017 and falling to a low of 4.1 percent in the latest data. This shift compares to a national average in FY 2020 of 5.7 percent. Local taxes were already below the national average of 3.7 percent in FY 2009, but they fell off a cliff to only 2.5 percent of income now. State and local debt is low at 14.3 percent of income. Government consumption and investment is low at 9.1 percent of income and has been falling for a decade. Government employment is only 10.2 percent of private employment, a big drop since 2010 as the job market has recovered.

Tennessee’s land-use regulations are flexible, and the state has a regulatory takings law. However, eminent domain reform has not gone far. The state put into place a law preventing employers from banning guns on certain company property in 2015. Tennessee is in the top 10 for labor-market freedom, with a right-to-work law, no minimum wage, and relaxed workers’ compensation rules. Unfortunately, E-Verify was mandated in 2011. The managed care model of health coverage has been effectively banned. Mandates are low. Cable and telecommunications have been liberalized. On the downside, the extent of occupational licensure looks rather high, though different indicators give different pictures. Nurse practitioners lost whatever independent scope of practice they had in 2010, but dental hygienists gained some in 2013. The state marginally loosened insurance rate regulation in 2009/10 but restrictions came back in 2018. The state has general and gasoline-specific minimum-markup laws, as well as an anti-price-gouging law, household mover licensing, and a certificate-of-need law for medical facilities. The civil liability system improved to above average with reforms in 2011 to punitive damages.

Tennessee’s criminal justice policies have been improving the past few years, though it still ranks outside the top 30. The crime-adjusted incarceration rate rose steadily from 2000 to 2011 but has been on a downward trend since. It is still above average, but the past two years have seen a good drop. Drug arrest rates and victimless crime arrest rates are also moving in the right direction. The latter is below average. Asset forfeiture is mostly unreformed, but equitable sharing revenue is going in the right direction. Cannabis laws are strict, though a very limited medical marijuana law was enacted in 2021. Tennessee is mediocre on gun rights in our index, but its passage of permitless handgun carry in 2021 has significantly expanded gun freedom in the state. The new Smith & Wesson presence will provide a positive interest group force in the state. Alcohol freedom is now above average because of blue law relaxation in 2017/18. Beer taxes remain excessive. The state has little gambling, though it now has sports betting as of 2019. Educational freedom is slightly below average, but a voucher program was passed in 2019. Private schools and homeschools face significant regulatory burdens. Tobacco freedom is a bit better than average, with relatively low taxes, but new regulations on internet purchase appeared in 2017.

POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Fiscal: Separate spending and tax committees in the legislature, a reform shown to correspond to lower spending over time. Sales taxes are high and could be cut.
  • Regulatory: Repeal the price-gouging law and all minimum-markup laws.
  • Personal: Deregulate private schools and homeschools by removing mandatory approval and teacher licensing for private schools and relaxing annual notification requirements for homeschoolers.
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    Vandy Pediatric Transgender Clinic gives irreversible hormone drugs to kids as young as 13. Gov. Bill Lee Calls for Investigation.

     By  Zach Jewell, Sep 20, 2022, DailyWire.com - Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee has called for an investigation of the Pediatric Transgender Clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) after shocking videos posted by Matt Walsh detailed a doctor’s promotion of “big money maker” transgender surgeries.

    The videos obtained by Walsh also show apparent threats made against medical professionals at VUMC if they objected to the procedures, even for religious reasons. 

    “The ‘pediatric transgender clinic’ at Vanderbilt University Medical Center raises serious moral, ethical and legal concerns,” Lee said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “We should not allow permanent, life-altering decisions that hurt children or policies that suppress religious liberties, all for the purpose of financial gain. We have to protect Tennessee children, and this warrants a thorough investigation.”(link)




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    Tuesday, September 20, 2022

    On banning the use of License Plate Scanner technology for abortion law enforcement, Metro Council vote was 31-0. No abstentions, no "no" votes.

     BL2022-1385

    An ordinance amending Section 13.08.080 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws pertaining to the use of License Plate Scanner (“LPR”) technology to exclude assisting with enforcing laws outlawing abortion or outlawing interstate travel to obtain an abortion as an allowed use of LPRs.

    Council Member Withers moved to pass the bill on third reading, which motion was seconded and approved by the following vote: 

    Yes (31): Mendes, Hurt, Allen, Suara, Toombs, Gamble, Parker, Withers, VanReece, Hancock, Young, Hagar, Evans, Bradford, Sledge, Cash, O'Connell, Roberts, Taylor, Druffel, Murphy, Pulley, Johnston, Nash, Porterfield, Sepulveda, Rutherford, Styles, Lee, Henderson, and Rosenberg; 

    No (0); 

    Abstain (0).  


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    A Gay fairy tale (no pun intended) is in Metro primary school libraries.

    From a Moms for Liberty Davidson County email:

    Rod's Comment: In my view, this book should not be available in school libraries. Libraries cannot offer every book published, so someone must decide what gets carried and what does not.  Woke progressives view failure to shelve a particular book promoting the gay agenda or the critical race theory agenda as "censorship."  Choosing one book over another is not censorship.  Failure to choose to carry a certain book is not "book banning."  

    I do not trust librarians to make the decision of what to place on the shelves and new procedures need to be in place to guide what books make it to the school library shelves. At the primary school level, I favor a policy that would be denounced as "don't say gay."  

    Deciding what books to carry and who gets to make that decision can be complicated. There are fundamentalist Christians I would not want making the decision. My dad would have prohibited any books in which alcohol was mentioned or evolution. I would not have wanted him picking the books for the school library. 

     I applaud Moms for Liberty for letting parents know what is going on in public schools. 

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    Nashville council passes law barring license plate reader use for anti-abortion law enforcement

    by Cassandra Stephenson, The Tennessean, Sept 7, 2022- Law enforcement will not be permitted to use license plate reader technology in Nashville to enforce any laws criminalizing abortion, the city's council decided Tuesday.

    The council separately deferred a $500,000 allocation of Metro funds toward a grant providing "comprehensive sex education," "safer sex supplies" and support for resident access to out-of-state procedures.

    These items are Metro Council's latest actions intended to insulate Davidson County residents who "choose to explore any reproductive rights options" from harm under the state's recent abortion ban. ... The council passed an ordinance in August restricting LPR use for assistance with immigration enforcement.(link)

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    Monday, September 19, 2022

    Who is the richest billionaire in Tennessee?

    37. Tennessee | Thomas Frist Jr. & family

    City: Nashville

    Net Worth: $15.6 Billion

    Rank: 126

    Source Of Wealth: Hospitals

    Frist, a former Air Force surgeon, cofounded Hospital Corp. of America with his father in 1968. Frist doesn’t hold a position within the company, but two of his sons have board seats. (link)

     

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    Please stop a Trumpinista supporter of the big lie from taking office. Support Lisa Murkowski in Alaska.

    Kelly Tshibaka vs. Lisa Murkowski
    by Rod Williams, Sept. 19, 2022- Since suspending my support for the Republican Party and determining that the most important issue facing the country is stopping those who supported the 2021 coup attempt, and those likely to support the next coup attempt, from holding office, I have been looking for places to place my political dollars where they would do the most good to achieve that end. 

    The Senate race in Alaska is one race where I am contributing money. While Lisa Murkowski is more liberal than I am on some issues, she supports the peaceful transfer of power.  Her opponent is Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka who promotes the big lie about the stolen 2020 election

    In Alaska, the top four primary candidates, regardless of party, face each other in a runoff. Both Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski and Trump-backed Republican Kelly Tshibaka are in the runoff and are the top two contenders. A new recent poll shows Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rev. Kelly Tshibaka in a dead heat.  

    Please help stop the next coup attempt and contribute to the campaign of Lisa Murkowski. 

    Donate here


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    Set Her Free-Dilara needs both parents in her life.

    Lydia A Hubbell and Dilara Gider
    by Rod Williams, Sept. 19, 2022- Bad things happen to good people and justice is often elusive and life is not fair. The story of how Lydia A Hubbell came to have her daughter totally cut out of her life is a heartbreaking story.  I have gotten to know Lydia well, and know her to be a good person.  I have read the court filing in her case and have watched videos of court proceedings.  While often, there are two sides to a story, I can see absolutely no justification for why Lydia was totally cut off from her daughter. When Lydia lost joint custody and then visitation, she tried for supervised visitation and could not even get that. 

    The only thing I can figure out is that the father of her child, Sinan Gider is an evil person who was willing to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to achieve his goal of cutting Lydia out of his child's life. Lydia is low-income and has limited resources. Lydia lost because she was simply out-lawyered.

    Lydia has refused to meekly accept the reality that she is prohibited from contact with her daughter and has gone to jail for such things as protesting in front of her child's school and for violating a restraining order. One of those occurrences was when she had gone months with no contact.  She did not know if her daughter was dead or alive or even still in the state or the country. Authorities would not make a wellness check or give her any information.  Lydia went to the house to confirm her daughter was still alive and there, and went to jail for the offense.

    Don't think something similar could not happen to you.  While the rights of fathers are more secure now than when I was fighting for visitation with my daughter 35 years ago, there are still parents who are cut out of their child's life for no valid reason and DHS continues to unjustly take children from parents. Ever since I had to fight for visitation with my daughter, the issue of parental rights and the government's abuse of children has been an issue of concern for me. Your right to parent your child is a fragile right that you could lose at any time. 

    A current issue that should concern civil libertarians is that Lydia is prohibited from even mentioning Sinan Gider's name or even posting public documents that mention him. Regardless of the custody issues at hand and other related issues, such a blanket gag order should be concerning to anyone who values free speech. 

    Lydia does not have any information about her child. There have been times when the father was ordered to bring her to court but he did not and was not punished for not doing so.  The last Lydia knew her daughter attended Meigs school. Lydia is prohibited from finding out the status of her daughter. She is prohibited from contacting the school.  She would love to know how her daughter is doing in school, if she is still at Meigs, if she is well adjusted, what activities she is involved in and any snippet of information she could glean. 

    Anyone interested in learning more about this miscarriage of justice and offering moral support to Lydia can follow her on her membership Facebook page at Set Her Free-Dilara needs both parents.  Also, one can follow Lydia on her public Facebook page at Lydia Hubbell

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    Sunday, September 18, 2022

    Hold Onto Your Wallet When Quincy McKnight Runs For Mayor

    Hattie Bryant
    by Hattie Bryant, Sept. 15, 2022 - Quincy McKnight said when he quit his race for the 5th Congressional seat that he will run for mayor of Nashville so heads up, hold on to your wallet.  Quincy has branded himself as a business owner and as one who wants to serve in public office. It’s not even 2023 yet, the year when we get a chance to elect a new mayor, and he’s taken two men who thought they were friends to the cleaners.  These are men I’ll call Joe and Tom.  

    Quincy asked both men for loans for “just one week” and now months later all they have from Quincy is a list of lies.

    Quincy told both Joe and Tom, "We (Covenant Pay Partners) need a one-week bridge loan. We have just received a check from a customer for $900,000 and our bank needs some time to check it out."  

    Joe is a known political operative and was introduced to Quincy by a well-meaning neighbor.  The neighbor was impressed by Quincy; everyone is for the first 10 minutes.  Little did Joe know that by agreeing to run Quincy’s super PAC for his mayoral race that the short-lived relationship could end up in court. 

    A few weeks after meeting for the first time, Quincy, using the $900,000-check-on-hold excuse, convinced Joe to loan him $26,000 for just one week to help him pay for his upcoming wedding.  Now many weeks have passed that have been full of excuses but no loan repayment.  Quincy has even promised to return the loan soon with 300% interest.  

    Fed up with Quincy, Joe has been calling all the men he knows who have given Quincy donations for campaigns in the past to expose Quincy’s criminal behavior.  Guess what? At the time of this writing, Quincy is no longer running for mayor. Quincy texted to Joe on June 13, “You calling Glenn (Funk our DA) and Steve (Smith the owner of Tootsie’s) is fine.  Screw politics.  I don’t care. You already know I’m not running. I don’t need those people any longer.”

    Glenn Funk and Steve Smith please take note: Quincy doesn’t need you anymore.

    What Quincy needs is a one-week bridge loan of $120,000 to make payroll.

    A woman who does straight commission sales for Covenant Pay Partners which is owned 51% by Quincy introduced her hard-working friend, the man I call Tom, to Quincy for the purposes of a short-term lending opportunity.  Tom was skeptical, but when he asked her if the deal was solid, she reassured him, “It is 10,000 percent solid.”  With that vote of confidence, Tom met Quincy on the morning of April 4th in Quincy’s office at Covenant Pay Partners.  Quincy told Tom, “We need a one-week bridge loan of $120,000 to make payroll.  We have just received a check from a customer for $900,000 but our bank has a temporary hold on the check due to its size.  It should clear in another 24-48 hours, and we’ll pay you right back, by the end of the week at the latest.  Near the end of their meeting, Quincy was even audacious enough to joke that he had to make good on payroll obligations because “you just don’t mess with people’s money.”

    Keep in mind, Covenant Pay Partners may have no more than three on a payroll as the salespeople are 1099s. Keep in mind that paying commissions late simply means the company is using its salespeople as a bank.  

    Quincy, and many others I might add, use running for office to build the brand of their businesses and even to enjoy some lifestyle choices that their regular income might not support.  Donations can be funny money and donors like to dote on their favorites.  Please read about Quincy McKnight's past runs for public office which resulted in him running into brick walls and taking donor cash on the run.  (Add links to other articles)

    When Quincy told me over the phone that he is a very wealthy man with a trust fund,  I intuited he was lying and here's new evidence my gut is right.  

    Tom was trying to make sure his friend got paid her commissions and trusted that Covenant Pay Partners is a business run by the businessmen you can read about on the website, https://covenantpay.com/about-us/. Dan Percey and Quincy McKnight look like they are doing good by doing right. Too bad this is not the case.

    Too bad also that Tom wired the money to Quincy’s personal account, not to Covenant Pay Partners account, as was represented during their meeting.  This could mean that Dan Percey has no idea that Quincy is using CPP as a cover to defraud friends for personal use--not to save the business from failure.

    These two one-week loans have not been paid back and now 20+ weeks have passed and Quincy has been served notice that Tom has filed a lawsuit seeking his $120K plus damages.  

    Since being served, Quincy has been spending time in Ft. Lauderdale but we hear he is back in Nashville now trying to borrow more money to pay his Ft. Lauderdale rent before he is evicted.  I am also being told that Dan Percey is now aware that Quincy has scammed 12 victims out of a total of $1.5 million.

    Looks like Quincy McKnight is a fraud committing fraud. The gift to all of us is more truth is rising about a man who is gifted at posing, posturing, and pretending.  Just maybe the handsome and ever charming Quincy is out of politics.

    Yet, we have on tape Quincy saying, "When I run for mayor, I hope none of the women I have been with come forward because I've been with a lot of women."  Maybe I take it back.  Let him run. Let's hear from the women!  Just remember my advice is don’t give him a penny and for sure don’t give him a one-week loan.

    Hattie Bryant is the District 19 Chair for the Davidson County Republican Party.  Learn more about her at Where soulcare meets healthcare.


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    Who are the Republican senators who voted against election certification?

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 18, 2022- I have determined I cannot support Republican candidates for office who participated in the Trump coup attempt or those who continue to support the big lie of the stolen election. In my view, anyone who voted against certifying the 2020 election results is unfit for holding office. Also, anyone who continues to spread the big lie of a stolen election should not be trusted with power. They can be assumed to be supporters of the next coup attempt. The peaceful transfer of power is an essential, fundamental, foundational principle of democratic rule. 

    Since I cannot support Republicans who supported the coup attempt or support those likely to support the next coup attempt, I am doing research as part of my effort to determine where I should put my political dollars this season. In a post, I am suspending my support for the Republican Party, I explained why I would not be supporting generic Republicans.  Since then, I have been scrambling to find sane Republicans worthy of support.  Also, for the first time in my life, I am seeking to support Democrats who may be able to defeat Republicans who supported Trump's coup attempt. There is no clearing house giving me the information I want and research is slow, so I may be spending very little money on campaign giving this season, in a year when I was prepared to give more than ever. 

    Six Republican U. S. Senators voted against certifying the election results from Arizona and seven voted against certifying the election results from Michigan. Many more were planning to vote against certification but after the Capital riot of January 6, they changed their mind and voted for certification. 

    These are the eight senators who voted against certification:

    • Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  He is next up for reelection in 2024.
    • Missouri Senator Josh Hawley. He not only voted against certifying the 2020 election but was the loan U.S. Senate to vote against allowing Sweden and Finland to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He is a hero to the Trumpinistas and is mentioned as a 2024 presidential candidate should Trump not run. Unfortunately, Josh Hawley isn’t up for reelection in the 2022 Midterms.
    • Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. Her current term ends on January 3, 2027.
    • Kansas Senator Roger Marshall.  Marshall is next up for reelection in 2026.
    • Louisiana Senator John Kennedy. Senator Kennedy is up for reelection. Senator Kennedy has been one of my favorite Republican senators, but anyone who supported Trump's coup attempt is unworthy of office.  Despite almost daily email and text fundraising appeals from the Kennedy campaign, Kennedy's campaign is ahead by a country mile (as Kennedy might express it) and does not need any additional funding.  Unfortunately, Kennedy is so far ahead that there is no way his opponent can win the election. In a recent poll, Kennedy was favored by 53% of the poll respondents and his Democrat challenger by only 14%. It is not even close, so I will not be wasting money supporting Kennedy's opponent. If his opponent, had a chance, I would support his opponent.
    • Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville is next up for reelection in 2026
    • Florida Senator Rick Scott. Scott is next up for reelection in 2024.
    • Wyoming Senator Cynthia Lummis.  Lummis is next up for reelection in 2026.
    As you can see, this research has been a wasted effort. Only one of the eight is up for election in these mid-terms and he does not have a viable challenger. If anyone has come across a sane patriotic Republican worthy of supporting or an opportunity to fund a Democrat who stands a chance of defeating a Trumpinista Republican, please share it here, or email me at Rodwilliams47@yahoo.com.

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    Who is running for Mayor of Nashville in 2023?

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 17, 2022- Below is a rundown on who is likely running for Nashville mayor in 2023. This list comes from a recent article in The Tennesseean, an article in Axios Nashville, an article in The Nashville Scene, and other sources. These are listed in subjective order of the likelihood that they will seek the office and the seriousness that one should take their candidacy.

    Mayor John Cooper has yet to announce whether he plans to run for reelection in 2023. He is fundraising and has appointed a treasurer for the 2023 race. It can be assumed he is running. 

    Freddie O'Connell: District 19 Council member Freddie O'Connell has served two terms representing this downtown district. He has pushed for improved transit infrastructure and increased affordable housing as well as services for Nashvillians experiencing homelessness. He has announced he is running. (link)

    Matt Wiltshire: He previously served as economic development director under three mayoral administrations and most recently served as a public-private partnership coordinator for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. He is a declared candidate.

    Hal Cato: He is one of Nashville's most prominent nonprofit executives, serving as CEO of Thistle Farms, a faith-based program that helps women who are victims of human trafficking. (link)

    Sharon Hurt: She is a term-limited Councilmember-at-large and retired as CEO of the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), (link)

    Jim Gingrich: He is a former top executive at AllianceBernstein.

    Rep. Bob Freeman:  He is the District 56 Representative and son of Bill Freeman. Bill Freeman is Chairman of Freeman Webb, Inc. a real estate investment, management, and brokerage company. Bill Freeman is a mover and shaker in Nashville and a major fundraiser for the Democratic Party. If Bob Freeman runs, money would be no object and Bill Freeman could call in a lot of IOU's on Bob's behalf. 

    Odessa Kelly: She is a local activist progressive Black woman who is currently running for Congress against U.S. Rep. Mark Green. Assuming she loses in this Republican district, she may enter the race for mayor.  There is a constituency for a more radical candidate. She probably could not win an election for mayor but may pull off enough of the progressive vote to open a path for someone else to present a serious challenge to presumed front-runner John Cooper.

    Quincy McKnight: He is a Black Republican who run for but then dropped out of the GOP 5th congressional race saying he planned to run for mayor. To read criticism of Quincy McKnight published in this blog follow this link.  While he could be a spoiler, if he actually runs, I doubt he would be a serious contender. 

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    Wednesday, September 14, 2022

    Blackburn: People Who Have Less Money Due to Inflation Will Pay off Loans of High-Income PhDs and Doctors

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    Former Governor Bill Haslam Lauches new Podcast, "You might be right."

    From Bill Haslam:

     Dear Friends,

    I am excited to tell you about a project I have been working on with Phil Bredesen and the Baker Center at the University of Tennessee: a new podcast called “You Might be Right.”  The first episode is out today – and you can listen here.

    The show’s name – You Might be Right – comes from Sen. Baker’s famous quote that “the other fellow might be right” and draws inspiration from his understanding that partisanship is a way to test ideas, yet it should never be so firm that we aren’t open to listening to other points of view. Unfortunately, today in politics, it’s more about winning arguments than problem solving. The goal of this podcast is to have thoughtful discussions on practical solutions to many of the challenging topics we are facing in our country.

    In this first episode, Phil and I are joined by conservative author and commentator David French, along with Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education and founder of a gun violence prevention nonprofit, as we discuss avenues to reduce gun violence.

     We invite you to listen and sign up for notifications of future episodes through our website at youmightberight.org. You can also follow and subscribe to the show on podcast platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Stitcher.

     In the coming weeks, we will release new episodes featuring guests such as Paul Ryan, Al Gore, Lamar Alexander, Nancy-Ann DeParle, and other experts as we explore topics like climate change, affordable housing, national debt, and charter schools.

     I’m learning a lot from these conversations and am grateful to Phil, the Baker Center, and all our guests for helping make this possible. I hope you’ll tune in – and that you’ll hear something new and think, at least once, “you might be right.”

    Bill Haslam

    Rod's Comment: I am pleased to see this development, and look forward to the podcast.  We need to lower the temperature of partisan animosity. Maybe this will help do that. Respectful conversation is a virtue;  not a capitulation to evil. Good manners and being willing to talk are essential for civil society. Unfortunately, a daily dose of MSNBC or Fox News makes one close their mind to even being curious about what the other side is thinking.  Even if the other guy is wrong, it does not hurt to try to understand what he is saying, and the motivation for saying it.  And sometimes you may need to say, "you might be right." 

    In my view, Bill Haslam was a great governor. He has been quiet since leaving office. I am glad to see him reenter the political arena and hope his podcast is well done, interesting, and a success. 

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    Monday, September 12, 2022



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    Saturday, September 10, 2022

    Support of false election claims runs deep in 2022 GOP field

     By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, AP, September 8, 2022- ... Nearly 1 in 3 Republican candidates for statewide offices that play a role in overseeing, certifying or defending elections supported overturning the results of the 2020 presidential race, according to an Associated Press review. ...They include contenders from one end of the country to the other, often in pivotal swing states, for positions that are the linchpins of democracy. In Michigan, Kristina Karamo, a community college professor who signed an affidavit to a lawsuit seeking to throw out President Joe Biden’s win, is running to be the state’s top elections official. In Arizona, GOP candidates for the three top statewide offices all backed setting aside Biden’s victory in their state. ...

    Of the 86 Republican candidates vying for those positions in 37 states in the fall, one-third have echoed Trump’s lies about widespread fraud costing him reelection, according to the AP review. Only 40% would directly say Biden was legitimately elected.

    Rod's Comment: And that is why I am suspending my support for the Republican Party.

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    Friday, September 9, 2022

    I am suspending my support for the Republican Party.

    by Rod Williams, September 9, 2022- I am suspending my support for the Republican Party.  I will not be sending any money to the RNC, the Republican Governor's Association, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee or any other organization or branch of the Republican Party whose purpose is to elect anyone as long as they are a Republican.  I just can't do that anymore.

    This comes at a time when I was prepared to greatly increase my political contributions.  I am financially secure and am getting old and my money will outlive me.  Even leaving my one child and grandson a nice inheritance, I still have money left over.  I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. To me, that means weakening liberalism and left-wing ideologies and seeing the defeat of the Democratic Party agenda.  I want to support a future in which liberty, individualism, a market economy, limited government, respect for traditional western values, and constitutional rights are preserved and an America that takes a bold leadership role in the world opposing tyranny. I want America to continue to be that shining city on a hill. I want America to continue to be the last best hope of mankind.

    Supporting these things was always consistent with support for the Republican Party. I no longer see it that way. I have not changed.  I still support the values I have always supported.  What has changed is the Republican Party. The Republican Party has become the party of Trump. Donald Trump is firmly in control. In recent Republican primaries, most of the candidates endorsed by Donald Trump won their primaries. Even those candidates who did not gain Trump's endorsement tried to position themselves as the true Trumpinista in the race. Principled and sane Republicans, for the most part, lost.  

    One of the scariest things happening is that in some swing states where Trump claimed the election was stolen, the party’s nominees for key positions in the states’ administration of elections support Trump's claim that the 2020 election was stolen. When these people control the levers of power I suspect they will "find" enough votes to swing the next election to Trump or they will send an alternative slate of Trump electors to the electoral college. I cannot support these people being the ones responsible for a free and fair election. 

    The premise that after a fair election, the legitimate Electoral College winner becomes the president-elect should not be controversial. That should be a bedrock principle that both Democrats and Republicans accept.  Republicans no longer do.  I cannot contribute money to candidates who do not accept that bedrock principle.

    I had hoped the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol would cause Republicans to distance themselves from former President Trump. It did not happen. Despite lack of evidence that the 2020 election was stolen, the claim that it was stolen has become an article of faith among many Republicans. Republicans have suspended reason. Republicans no longer reason; they emote and believe. The Republican Party has become more like a cult than a political party. Republicans have thrown principles under the bus. All that matters anymore is supporting Donald Trump. I would never have believed it.  

    Former President Trump not only continues to promote the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen and Republicans fall in line, but it is worse than that. Trump advocates that he immediately be reinstalled as president of the United States. There is absolutely no constitutional basis for such a course of action. It doesn't matter; Republicans still support him. That would be a dictatorship and many Republicans now apparently support a Trump dictatorship.

    I cannot continue to support a political party that is okay with a violent attempt to overturn a free and fair election and continues to peddle claims that the 2020 election was stolen. I cannot support a political party that supports someone who wants to take office contrary to constitutional provisions.  I cannot support the Republican Party as long as the Republican Party is the Party of Trump.

    If Trump were to secure the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and run against a progressive Democrat, I will have to support the progressive Democrat.  A progressive Democrat would work to undermine our Democracy also, I have no doubt. However, as long as the Democrat advocates democratic methods of undermining our democracy, I would take the risk that we can survive four years of Democratic Party governance and that the pendulum would swing back in four years.  I think American democracy could survive four years under a Democrat president.  I am not sure our democracy could survive four more years under a Trump presidency.  

    Does this mean I want Republicans to be defeated in the 2022 mid-term?  Not exactly. I want state-level Republicans in states like Arizona and Wisconsin who could, and likely would flip a Trump loss into a Trump win to be defeated.  In the House and Senate, I want not a red wave but a red trickle.  I want just enough Republicans to win to achieve gridlock and keep the Democrats from passing the Democrat Party agenda. 

    Does this mean I am no longer a Republican?  No. I am still a Republican.  I will continue to be active in the Republican Party and I will continue to speak out and will work to support sane Republican and hope the Party rediscovers its moral compass. In the 2024 Republican contest for a Republican nominee, I will support the Republican candidate most likely to keep Donald Trump from being the 2024 party nominee.

    Does this mean I will not be giving any money to candidates or Republican organizations? No. I will be selective, however. When I can identify a sane mainstream Republican, I will give money to that candidate directly. I may give money to our State Party and County Party. Tennessee Republicans are no risk to election integrity since our state is not in play. We are solidly Red so there is no temptation to defy the will of the voters.  I want to keep Tennesee a strong Republican state and do not want to weaken the State Party. The County Party is weak and I would like to see it strengthened.  It is not in a position to do much to advance Trumpism.

    I will be doing research and in swing states where there is a competitive race between a Trumpinista Republican and a Democrat for those key positions in the states’ administration of elections, I will be sending money to the Democrat. I do not trust Trumpinistas with being in charge of election integrity.

    Also, I will be increasing my support for conservative institutions, think tanks, and issue-oriented organizations. In an age of Trumpism, it may be more important to keep alive the rich tradition of conservative thought and to advance conservative policies than it is to focus on the next election. 

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    Thursday, September 8, 2022

    Donald Trump Is Still a Lunatic

    Whether Trump’s belief that he won in 2020 and will soon be reinstated as president is genuine or not, it makes him unfit for office.

    By CHARLES C. W. COOKE, National Review, September 1, 2022 - On Truth Social this week, Donald Trump, in response to the news that the FBI had disgracefully put pressure on Facebook to suppress the true story of Hunter Biden’s laptop, insisted that he must be immediately reinstalled as president of the United States. “REMEDY: Declare the rightful winner,” Trump wrote. “Or, and this would be the minimal solution, declare the 2020 Election irreparably compromised and have a new Election, immediately!” ...

    It is increasingly tempting to ignore these outbursts of constitutionally illiterate election-trutherism as a distraction. Certainly, if one wishes to, one can write them off as a mere sideshow — as the detached and irrelevant ravings of an unemployed septuagenarian has-been. At this point, one might say, Trump is just another Crazy Uncle with a social-media account. ...

    But the thing is: None of that is really true, is it? Donald Trump has been talking like this for 18 months now. He is not some Crazy Uncle; he is the most likely person to be the next Republican nominee for president — and, for that matter, the next president. ... that what Trump is saying in response on his failing social-media platform is nuts. ... 

    For his direct attack on Congress’s constitutional powers — and his repeated attempts to rewrite the Twelfth Amendment — Donald Trump should have been impeached and convicted. (Read more)

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    Sunday, September 4, 2022

    Happy Labor Day. Here's a song for the working man.

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    White-guilt libs scammed by BLM. Black Lives Matter leader accused of stealing $10M from organization.

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 4, 2022- When the BLM riots erupted across the country, some of us watched in horror as random white people were pulled from cars and beaten, as courthouses and police stations and police cars were set on fire, as police were assassinated, and businesses were looted and buned.

    Armchair libs excused the violence. They put BLM yard signs in their yard to show solidarity with the insurrectionist criminals and they opened their pocketbooks, giving millions to the BLM organization. 
    Needless to say, not feeling any white guilt myself and believing in law and order, I was not among those who encouraged the mayhem by contributing to the BLM cause. I have close family who did.

    From the very first there were signs the BLM outrage was used to scam liberals.  There is a long history libs being scammed by political activists and libs financing the people who would like to kill them and take their wealth. A good book on this topic is from 1970, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe. Not much has changed.

    Now, the BLM scam is more fully coming to light. A large part of the money donated to BLM went to enrich the leaders of BLM.  A coalition of 26 Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapters has accused the organization’s foundation head, Shalomyah Bowers, of “unjust enrichment,” specifically the theft of $10 million in charitable contributions.

    This is the part I like. Guess what Bowers's response is? He denies he engaged in financial misconduct and says that the BLM grassroots network is complicit in "systemic racism" in launching litigation against him. Systemic racism is the default explanation for every failure of the Black community and misdeed of Blacks. Fewer Black kids graduate high school? Systemic racism. Lower homeownership rates for Black Americans? Systemic racism?  More Blacks in prison? Systemic racism. Greater rates of poverty among Blacks? Systemic racism. More Blacks arrested for crime than Whites? Systemic racism. Fewer Black brain surgeons than White brain surgeons? Systemic racism.  A Black leader of a Black revolutionary group embezzles money and is sued for doing so? Systemic racism, of course.

    I generally hate to see people scammed, although in this case, I am pleased. It couldn't happen to more deserving people for one thing.  And, secondly, I would rather see the leaders rip off the movement than use the funds to bus rioters from city to city to burn and kill.  I would rather see the money used to fund a luxurious lifestyle for a few leaders of the movement rather than see the money used to bail rioters out of jail. For more on the topic see link, link, and link.



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    Saturday, September 3, 2022

    Biden's speech was the wrong setting, the wrong tone, the wrong props, the wrong message and a missed opportunity.

    by Rod Williams, Sept. 3, 2022-  Watching Biden's speech to the nation on Thursday night, even before he opened his mouth, I thought, "this is weird."  The lighting looked like lighting for a horror movie. Who came up with this lighting, I wondered. The weird lighting was my first impression and it got worse from there.

    Usually, a presidential prime-time speech to the nation is about something new and something of substance. I was expecting a new policy toward Ukraine or Taiwan or something really stupid like the imposition of wage and price controls.  Instead what we got was a campaign speech. 

    The thing is, I agree with much of Biden's criticism of Trump. It is clear Trump tried to hold on to power despite losing an election.  I agree that Trumpism is a danger to our democracy.  That is why I will never vote for Trump again. Also, I am being more circumspect with my financial support for Republicans. I do not want to see Republicans elected who would support the appointment of fake electors or Republicans in Congress who would only recognize an election result if their candidate won.  

    Despite my agreement with some of what Biden said, this was the wrong setting, the wrong tone, and said by the wrong person with the wrong props.  Instead of convincing Republicans that Trump is evil, I suspect the speech drove some wafering Republicans back into the Trump camp. The speech was not unifying; it was divisive. 

    The use of Marines as a backdrop only reinforces the impression many Republicans have that government is an enemy of the people used to penalize legitimate opinions. Many Republicans already view the CIA, FBI, Secret Service, and IRS as part of police state forces used to suppress opposition to the deep state. The use of Marines reinforces that view. The president is both the leader of our nation and the leader of a political party.  The two roles should be kept distinct and that can be difficult. Deciding not to use Marines as a backdrop should have been easy. 

    With a different tone, sitting, props and lighting, the speech could have been salvaged had the President been a little more balanced.  A denunciation of political violence across the board would have provided some balance. The BLM/Antifa riots that occurred across the nation were not that long ago and Democrats excused it, encouraged it, and embraced it. To denounce the January 6th Capitol riot while not denouncing other recent politically motivated violence is hypocritical. 

    One thing Biden could have done to keep this from being a purely Trump-bashing political speech was to denounce the Democrat Party policy of working to nominate the most radical election-denying Republicans. In the recent primary, Democratic campaign groups have spent more than $46 million to boost candidates who support former President Donald Trump and his claim of a stolen election. I know their reasoning is that election-denying Trumpinista Republicans will be easier to defeat than moderate mainstream Republicans.  If we end up with more Marjorie Taylor Greens in Congress as opposed to Liz Cheneys, one can thank the Democrats.  Biden should have called out those across the board who put loyalty to party or an individual above loyalty to country.

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    Friday, September 2, 2022

    Breakfast Club meets Sat. Sept 3rd. To feature Hispanic conservative leaders.

     

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    Republicans Maintain 5-Point Lead in Congressional Ballot

    Friday, September 02, 2022 - The 2022 midterm elections are now 67 days away, and Republicans still have a five-point lead in their bid to recapture control of Congress.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that, if the elections for Congress were held today, 47% of Likely U.S. Voters would vote for the Republican candidate, while 42% would vote for the Democrat. Just three percent (3%) would vote for some other candidate, but another eight percent (8%) are not sure. 

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    Wednesday, August 31, 2022

    15-year-old Zacchaeus Johnson is charged in Juvenile Court with shooting death of another young teen. Yes, it is a gun problem.

    by Rod Williams, Aug. 30, 2022- Metro Nashville police report that 15-year-old Zacchaeus Johnson is charged in Juvenile Court with criminal homicide for Sunday’s 5:50 p.m. fatal shooting of another young teen, Antonio Baker Jr., 16, in a parking lot in the 500 block of South 5th Street in the James Cayce public housing development. A drug-related robbery motive is under investigation.

    Baker, of Dew Street, was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he died. Johnson, of Summer Place, fled the scene but was later taken into custody in Clarksville, Tennessee. The investigation continues into others who were present at the time of the shooting.

    The police do not speculate as to how a 15-year-old got access to a gun. It is so common that young thugs are armed that it is not noteworthy. It is not difficult for teens to acquire guns. So far this year, 912 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville. Eighteen guns were stolen from cars and trucks last week.  Guns are sold and traded among young criminals. 

    Responsible gun owners do not leave an unsecured gun in a vehicle and certainly not an unlocked vehicle. Unfortunately, there are a lot of irresponsible gun owners. Guns are expensive and why people would leave them unsecured in a vehicle, especially an unlocked vehicle I do not know. 

    In my view, it is time to make it a crime to fail to properly secure a weapon. Many gun rights advocates will oppose such a suggestion.  When such is proposed, they will say that the reason weapons are left in vehicles is because there are so many places one can not take a gun, such as schools, and airports, and bars, and banks, and courts, and places of employment, that gun owners have no choice except to leave their guns in their car.  They may advocate that such restrictions be lifted and prohibited.  My view is that those are reasonable places to restrict guns or, in the case of employers it is a decision properly made by individual employers.  Also, I would doubt that many of those guns are stolen from the parking lots of airports or courthouses or some of the other locations mentioned.   Most likely they are stolen from cars in driveways or from cars parked on the street in front of the owner's home. 

    Another response is that instead of restrictions on guns we should focus on arresting criminals as if insufficient policing is the problem.  One may disagree about the number of police we need and how policing should be focused but that is simply an evasion to avoid recognizing the problem of irresponsible gun owners being the suppliers of weapons to street criminals. 

    Another response of opponents of any rules regulating the securing of weapons is to wax nostalgic. When they were in high school, they will tell you, they kept their hunting rifle in the locker at school or on a gun rack in their pickup truck parked at school and there was no problem. 

    Opponents of rules mandating the proper securing of weapons may advocate we need to return prayer and bible reading to the classroom.  They may blame the rise in crime on the welfare state and out-of-wedlock births.  I may agree with some of their diagnosis of society's ills but that does not mean we should not deal with the real immediate problem of too many guns easily finding their way into the hands of criminals. Pining for "the good ole days" does not address a real problem we have today.  

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    Irresponsible gun owners armed up to 912 thugs in Nashville so far this year.

    Metro Press Release, Nashville, August 30, 2022 - The MNPD strongly encourages Nashvillians to lock their automobile doors, secure any valuables---especially guns, and REMOVE THE KEYS.

    So far this year, 912 guns have been stolen from vehicles in Nashville. Nearly 70% of ALL guns reported stolen in 2022 (1,324) were taken from vehicles. Last week, 18 guns were stolen from cars and trucks.

    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 (50 of 71) were easy targets because the keys were left inside or made available to thieves.

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

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    Nashville rated as one of top 5 places to buy a home in the U.S.

     By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Aug.30, 2022 - Nashville was rated as the fifth-best real estate market in the country in a new report from WalletHub.

    The finance website rated the country’s top 300 cities based upon 17 factors to gauge the current environment based upon everything from building permits to property appreciation to affordability.

    Nashville’s current market was ranked fifth but its affordability was ranked 77th. Murfreesboro, meanwhile, ranked 13th overall with the 17th best market for real estate and ranking eighth for affordability.

    Knoxville was 97th and Memphis was ranked 220th on the list.

    Overall, the national real estate market is slowing as home sales dropped 19.3% year over year in July, according to Redfin. Meanwhile, the pace of increasing home prices has slowed to 7.7% after two years of double digit percentage increases.

    "Nashville, where 32.3% of homes for sale had price drops, represents the typical metro area in July: Half the metros in this analysis had a higher share of price drops, and half had a lower share of price drops," Redfin’s report said.

    Knoxville, meanwhile, saw 28.3% of its homes drop in price while Memphis had 28.0% drop its price.

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    Gov. Lee Announces School Safety Actions


    NASHVILLE, Tenn., Tuesday, August 30, 2022 – Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released a video update on key actions the Lee administration has taken to enhance school safety following Executive Order 97, which directed state agencies to engage parents, increase transparency and collaborate with local law enforcement and school districts. 

    “Our administration has taken meaningful steps to further strengthen school safety in Tennessee by engaging parents, evaluating security measures and strengthening partnerships with law enforcement,” said Lee. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our children, and I thank Tennesseans for doing their part as we continue our coordinated effort to protect students and teachers across the state.” 

    The Lee administration has taken the following actions to further enhance school safety across Tennessee and promote engagement with parents, schools and law enforcement: 

    Engaging Parents · 
    • More than 10,000 Tennesseans are using the Safe TN app, a free resource to quickly and confidentially report safety concerns at a child’s school, with a record 2,000 downloads this month
    • Expanded School-Based Behavioral Health Liaisons to cover all 95 counties
    • Mobile crisis providers are available to families across the state and can be reached by dialing ‘988’ 
    Securing Schools
    • Every Tennessee school has completed a physical school security assessment – a total of 1,838 schools · More than two-thirds of school districts – 104 districts – have participated in school safety training
    • Frequent, unannounced checks are being prioritized to see that school doors latch and precautions are in place
    • Every school district has received an updated School Safety Plan Template 
    Partnering with Law Enforcement
    • State and local law enforcement have collaborated to provide proven, hands-on active shooter training courses in each Grand Division 
    • Updated training has been provided to more than 600 School Resource Officers
    • Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers are building stronger relationships with local school leadership 
    In the coming months, additional resources will be made available to support parents, teachers, and law enforcement in improving school security practices. Future actions will include
    • Tennessee parents and schools will have access to a new School Safety Resource and Engagement Guide
    • School districts will receive updated building security standards 
    • State and local law enforcement will be supported through improved recruitment and training efforts

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    Thursday, August 25, 2022

    Student loan debt relief could worsen inflation and 5 Reasons Why Student Loan Forgiveness Is a Bad Idea

    by Rod Williams, August 25, 2022- It is immoral to tax poor people who never went to college to pay the debt of wealthier people who borrowed money to go to college and that is what student loan forgiveness does. The research has been done and that is a fact.  Student loan forgiveness is unfair to the parent who sacrificed to send their child to college. It is unfair to the students who worked their way through college, or the students who borrowed but repaid their student loans. 

    Forgiving the debt of students who went to college for four or more years and partied and made unwise decisions about what to study is a moral hazard.  A "moral hazard' exists when an incentive increases one's exposure to risk because one does not bear the full costs of that risk. If someone chooses to take on massive amounts of debt to get a worthless or nearly worthless degree, they should pay the consequences of that decision. If not, then there is no incentive to make wiser decisions.

    In my view, there needs to be massive reform of higher education.  While the student experience is a fun and enriching experience, it is not necessary to attend college on campus in a traditional setting to master the course material.  Higher education, in my view, should take advantage of technology and encourage more online learning and testing at testing sites. I am a lifelong learner and have taken many of the classes offered by Great Courses.  The world's best teachers teach many of these courses. By taking online courses such as those offered by Great Courses, along with supplemental reading, online or phone consultation, and testing one could become every bit as educated as the student who sits in a classroom. One does not have to be in a classroom to learn.  A campus experience is still desirable but should be an option instead of mandatory. A combination of online learning and campus learning should evolve as a new norm. 

    The more student loans the government guarantees, the less incentive educational institutions have to hold the line on cost and the less incentive there is for education reform. Not everyone should qualify for a student loan. The qualifications for a student loan should be risk-based. Student loans should be evaluated for the risk the same way car loans or home loans are evaluated. Also, not everyone should be shamed or persuaded to attend college. Trade schools should be presented as a respectable alternative to traditional college.

    In addition to the moral hazard of student loan forgiveness, the incentive it provides for increasing the cost of higher education, and the basic unfairness of it, there are other reasons.  Recently, Congress passed a bill called The Inflation Reduction Act, which may or may not reduce inflation but most likely will have minimal impact.  If it actually would reduce inflation, as some argue, then student loan forgiveness underminds any inflation reduction in the bill.  

    Fox Business News reports that Larry Summers warns student loan debt relief could worsen inflation. Larry Summers is a Harvard University professor who served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations Here is an excerpt from that article:

    Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers on Monday warned the Biden administration against "unreasonably generous" student loan relief, arguing that additional spending could exacerbate the ongoing inflation crisis. ...

    "I hope the Administration does not contribute to inflation macro economically by offering unreasonably generous student loan relief or micro economically by encouraging college tuition increases," he wrote in a series of tweets.

    Writing in Forbes, Zack Friedman gives 5 Reasons Why Student Loan Forgiveness Is A Bad Idea. Zack Friedman is a highly credentialed Wall Street money manager, best-selling author, and the Founder & CEO of Mentor (mentormoney.com), a leading online financial marketplace.  In the article, he concurs with and summarizes the analysis of Senator Roy Blunt who gave a speech on the Senate floor opposing President Biden's proposal for student debt forgiveness.  I am not going to give the details of each of the five reasons, but am listing them below. For details, follow this link

    1. Student loan forgiveness disproportionately benefits wealthier Americans.

    2. Biden doesn’t have the legal authority to cancel student loans

    3. Biden has shown no commitment to wide-scale student loan forgiveness

    4. Biden should lower inflation rather than cancel student loans, which can increase inflation

    5. Student loan forgiveness won’t lower the cost of college

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    The Bastiat Society of Nashville presents "How Covid Exposed a Moral Sickness- and Almost Everyone is Infected."


    AIER’s Bastiat Society program in Nashville will host an in-person event with Ben Bayer, Fellow and Director of Content at the Ayn Rand Institute.

    During the Covid pandemic, people on the political left generally favored stricter pandemic controls (lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, etc.) and other statist economic measures in the name of the public good and usually criticized their opponents as “selfish.” The evidence suggests their policy decisions were not driven by any corruption or conspiracy, but by the moral values they openly championed. Importantly, this doesn’t mean their policies were justified or excusable. If those policies were unjust and destructive, it’s a sign that there is something flawed about the moral values that actually motivated them: the values of selfless sacrifice that are regarded as commonplace on both the left and right. This talk will explore how the Covid pandemic put pressure on American politicians, left and right, to reveal their true core values, what it really means to act on those values, the fundamental problems with these values, and a rational alternative.

    Schedule:

    • 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. Those who register with a non-.edu email address will be unregistered and asked to purchase tickets at full price.

    Location: Richland Country Club, 1 Club Drive, Nashville, TN 37215

    More about the speaker:

    Ben Bayer is a fellow and director of content at the Ayn Rand Institute. He teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center and gives talks and interviews for ARI. He writes and edits for ARI’s online publication, New Ideal. Bayer holds a PhD in philosophy (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and among other positions, was a visiting assistant professor at Loyola University in New Orleans for seven years. His writing focuses primarily on the application of philosophy to contemporary cultural and political controversies.

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