Wednesday, June 29, 2022

July 5 is the Registration Deadline to Vote in the Aug. 4 Election

Press release, NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennesseans who want to cast a ballot in the Aug. 4 State and Federal Primary & State and County General Election must register or update their voter registration before the voter registration deadline on Tuesday, July 5. 

“Going into this 4th of July holiday, I can’t think of a more patriotic thing to do than to register to vote,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “With our convenient online voter registration system, it’s never been easier or safer for Tennesseans to register to vote or update their registration.”

Registering to vote, updating your address or checking your registration status is fast, easy and secure with the Secretary of State’s online voter registration system. Any U.S. citizen with a driver’s license or a photo ID issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security can register online in minutes from any computer or mobile device at GoVoteTN.gov.

Voters can also download a paper voter registration application at GoVoteTN.gov. Completed paper voter registration applications must be mailed to your local county election commission office or submitted in person. Mailed voter registrations must be postmarked by July 5.

Election Day registration is not available in Tennessee.

Early voting for the Aug. 4 election starts Friday, July 15, and runs Monday to Saturday until Saturday, July 30. The deadline to request an absentee by-mail ballot is Thursday, July 28.

However, eligible voters who will be voting absentee by-mail should request the ballot now.

For up-to-date, accurate information about the Aug. 4 election, follow the Secretary of State’s social media channels Twitter: @SecTreHargett, Facebook: Tennessee Secretary of State and Instagram: @tnsecofstate.

For more information about registering to vote, voter eligibility and other Tennessee election details, visit GoVoteTN.gov or call the Division of Elections toll-free at 1-877-850-4959.

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New Bombshell testimony paints Trump as out of control madman believing Mike Pence deserved mob justice.

by Rod Williams, Jan. 29, 2022- Please watch the above short clip.  

I have been dismayed that many Republicans have vowed not to watch the Jan. 6th Congressional hearings and have denounced them as infomercials or a show trial. They have also distorted what a congressional hearing is, dismissing it because it did not follow the same rules as that of a trial. A congressional hearing is information gathering. It finds no "guilt" or innocence. It does not even have to make a recommendation to prosecute or even have to suggest legislative remedies. Those who dismiss the because of the procedure are not like that of a trial know better.  

Unfortunately, there are a lot of Trump loyalists who are true believers. Their mind is closed to believing anything that contradicts what Trump tells them. They are like Jim Jones followers and would drink the Kool-Aid if Trump told them to. By no means is that all Trump supporters but many will not open their minds to the possibility that Trump lied to them and misled them and tried to subvert our democracy.

If the Trump supporters would have watched the hearings would not have seen a bunch of Democrats denouncing Trump but loyal Republicans who love this country calmly telling how Trump tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power.  Almost all of the witnesses have been Republicans. If Republicans who refused to watch would have watched they would have seen that Trump was told time and time again by stalwart conservatives such as former Attorney General Jim Barr that there was no credible evidence of election fraud and how he tried to dissuade Trump from attempts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power.  They would have seen how Trump's own advisor who was pushing the theory that Mike Pence could change the outcome of the election knew he had no legally defensible leg to stand on in making that claim.  They would have seen how numerous courageous Republican state election officials resisted demands by Trump to overturn the election results. We came close to losing our Democracy in the days leading up to January 6th and a violent coup resulted in the murder of Vice President Pence on January 6th.

Yesterday's testimony was the most damaging testimony yet. Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump Chief of Stall Mark Meadows says that Trump was out of control and wanted to march with the protestors to the Capitol, At his rally at the Eclipse he wanted the devices that detect guns entering the area to be removed saying those people were not there to hurt him. He had no concern for Mike Pence's safety. When in the Presidential car he tried to take the wheel from the secret service and demanded they drive him to the Capitol. They refused. 

If you can't sit through hours of the Jan. 6 Congressional testimony, please watch the above short clip.

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The Case for Prosecuting Donald Trump Just Got Much Stronger

New testimony may have produced a smoking gun.

by David French, The Dispatch, Jun 28, 2022- I confess that I’ve been skeptical that the January 6 committee would produce evidence that Donald Trump was directly criminally responsible for the attack on the Capitol. Certainly, he was morally and politically responsible. ... a mob would have stormed the Capitol if he had the basic decency to concede a race he clearly lost. 

At the same time, it’s legally quite difficult to hold a politician responsible for the violence of his followers. ... the primary responsibility for a riot rests with the rioters... .... Yes, Trump urged the mob to “fight like hell” and march on the Capitol, but he also said they should “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard. That caveat was likely enough to spare him from prosecution.

That was yesterday’s analysis. Today’s is different. Because of a courageous woman named Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows. Earlier this afternoon she gave the most extraordinary congressional testimony I’ve ever seen. She testified that the president was so committed to walking to the Capitol with his own supporters that he allegedly tried to grab the wheel of his Secret Service vehicle. She painted the picture of a president utterly out of control, a man so committed to preserving his own power that he approved of the riot and believed that Mike Pence deserved to face mob justice. 

But the most legally significant testimony came in a few key sentences: (link)

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Wall Street Journal: Cassidy Hutchinson Says Trump Demanded to Be Driven to the Capitol on Jan. 6

National Review: ‘They’re Not Here to Hurt Me’: Trump Urged Secret Service to Allow Armed Supporters into January 6 Address, Witness Testifies

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Federal Court Lifts Injunction Against Tennessee Heartbeat Bill, Legislation Allowed to Take Effect

by Cooper Moran, Tennessee Star, June 29, 2022 - A federal court lifted an injunction against Tennessee’s “heartbeat bill” that will implement a six-week abortion ban throughout the state.

The ruling follows a request from Attorney General Herbert Slatery to lift the measure, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. The landmark decision previously established a constitutional right to abortion.

“The 6th Circuit upheld our heartbeat law, marking another significant protection for unborn children in our state. I thank TN Attorney General Slatery for his tireless efforts and commend the Court’s swift action on behalf of Tennessee families,” Governor Bill Lee said in a tweet after the ruling. link

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Radio Host Dave Ramsey Endorses Andy Ogles in TN-5 Race


Radio Host Dave Ramsey Endorses Andy Ogles in TN-5 Race

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Monday, June 27, 2022

Libs to Host School Board Candidates Forum, Tuesday, June 28th.

This is hosted by a bunch of liberal groups. It may be interesting and I am sure the Republican candidates participating in the event would welcome some supporters in the audience.



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Support Michelle Foreman, State House District 59

 

Friend,

Let's get a few things straight. For the record:

  • I am Pro-Life. 
  • I love America. 
  • I support school choice. 
  • I #BacktheBlue. 
  • I reject government overreach and wasteful spending. 

 I am running to make Davidson County a safer and more prosperous place to live, work, and raise a family. I can't do it without you! 

Will you join me Thursday for a fundraiser at Hows Manor in support of my campaign for State Representative District 59?

Sincerely,

Michelle Foreman

Host Committee:

Lee Beaman

Representative Clark Boyd

Sandra and Michael Gallagher

Lulu and John Elam

Majority Leader William Lamberth

Karen Moore

Dr. Tracy Miller

Jeremy Reed

Joe Scarlett

*at time of printing

Thursday, June 30th, 6:00-7:30 p.m. at:

Hows Manor, 7401 Huntwick Trl. Nashville, 37221

Reply or text (901.258.9557) to RSVP

Donate

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Saturday, June 25, 2022

MNPS said charter school students can no longer participate in middle school sports leagues.

Rod's Comment: There is no logic to this. It is just petty and mean. Charter schools are public schools and should not be discriminated against.  However, I do not see why even private schools should not be allowed to play in the same sports leagues as public schools. It would be a sporting thing to do.  What about diversity and acceptance and non-discrimination? Public school children should not be denied social interaction with private school or charter school children. After all, someday those poorly educated public school kids will graduate (or not) and work for those kids who went to charter schools or private schools. 

See: Father of charter school student fights MNPS sports mandate.

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Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. My Comment.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Did you know Bill Gates wants you to eat fake meat grown in a peach tree dish? I learned that from Marjorie Taylor Greene.

by Rod Williams, June 23, 2022 - Just when you think Marjorie Taylor Green can't get any nuttier, she does. If you missed it, here it is: Marjorie Taylor Green saying the government wants "surveillance on every part of your life," including on when people are eating a cheeseburger. "Which is very bad because Bill Gates wants you to eat this fake meat that grows in a peach tree dish so you'll probably get a little zap inside your body that'll say 'No, don't eat a real cheeseburger, you need to eat the fake burger,'" 

Her saying "Peach Tree dish" for petri dish is what is getting the most attention and laughs, but I am more concerned that she believes these weird things and serves in the U.S. Congress.  It is not funny.  What is even less funny is that she is an admired Republican celebrity among many Trumpinistas.  Marjorie Taylor Greene is a certifiable dingbat, nut-job. She is an embarrassment. Yet, she was recently re-elected to her office by the voters of Georgian's 14th Congressional district and she is a national celebrity among many Republicans.  The Wilson County Republican Party choose her as their keynote speaker for last year's annual Trump Day Dinner. I guess that tells you something about Wilson County Republicans. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of just eight House lawmakers to vote against seizing assets from Russian oligarchs. Marjorie Taylor Greene was and maybe still is a Q-anon supporter.  She was a regular contributor to a conspiracy website. She has supported almost every right-wing conspiracy theory circulating. She touts the Pizzagate theory, the Clinton Kill-list, mass shootings as a false flag theory, and 9-11 as an inside job theory.  She has advocated executing Democrat politicians.  She has equated the Democrat Party with Nazies. She has likened NATO to Nazies. She continues to claim Trump won the election in a landslide and that the election was stolen.  Her Covid-19 theory is that Dr. Fauci is criminally liable for helping create the virus as a bio-weapon. She says 2018 California wildfires were ignited by some kind of “space laser." She has also spoken to a White nationalist group that praised Hitler and Putin.

Republicans like to poke fun at Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I hate to say it, but Marjorie Taylor Green makes AOC look like a genius. 


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Metro Council passes $3B budget. 12.7% increase over FY2022 budget. Robs Rainy Day Fund for one-time bonus to MNPS support staff. New funding for Homeless services. City living "beyond our means."..

 Metro Council passes $3B budget. 

by STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Nashville Post, JUN 22, 2022 -  The Metro Council on Tuesday voted 31-3 to pass its version of Mayor John Cooper’s budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The $2.95 billion funding plan includes some amendments t ... $200,000 study of needs at Nissan Stadium ... strip some funding from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce ...  new housing planner. ...  to fill hundreds of vacant positions in emergency services and development-related departments ... boosting pay for Metro Schools and other Metro employees. (read more)

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Nashville created a standalone Office of Homeless Services with a unanimous vote Tuesday night. Homeless services Metro's Homelessness Impact Division is currently housed within Metro Social Services. (read more)

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For a good understanding of where the money comes from and where it goes see Citizens' Guide to the Metro Budget.

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Metro Council passes $3B operating budget, includes bonus for school support staff

By Vivian Jones, Main Street Nashville, Jun 21, 2022 Updated Jun 22, 2022 - ... Of the $2.95 billion total budget, roughly $1.1 billion will go to Metro Schools — the largest funding allocation in the district’s history. ... The council approved a proposal by council member Delishia Porterfield to allocate $5 million from Metro’s Fund Balance — the rainy day fund — to provide one-time bonus payments for MNPS support staff. ... Mendes said. “If you toss this $5 million on top of it, we are absolutely making the choice to live beyond our means, betting that revenue is going to outperform what the budget is. This isn’t fiscally prudent.” (read more)

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Sen. Bill Powers to Receive Prestigious Small Business Award

Sen. Bill Bowers
NFIB press release, CLARKSVILLE (June 22, 2022) -- The Tennessee office of the National Federation of Independent Business will present the coveted NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award to state Sen. Bill Bowers Thursday in Clarksville.

The Guardian of Small Business award is the most prestigious honor that NFIB bestows on elected officials in recognition of their efforts to support small business. "Senator Powers not only has an exceptional lifetime voting record with NFIB but also has remained very committed to the passage of pro-small business policies in the Tennessee Senate," NFIB State Director Jim Brown said. "He sponsored and passed the Tennessee Business Fairness Act, important legislation protecting small business, in 2021." 

     WHO: State Sen. Bill Powers, NFIB State Director Jim Brown, NFIB Tennessee Leadership Council member David Berggren and area small business owners

     WHAT: Presentation of NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business Award to Sen. Powers

     WHEN: Thursday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m.

     WHERE: The Furniture Connection corporate office, Red Knight Distribution Center, 2125 International Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37040 

NFIB is the nation's leading small business advocacy organization. To learn more about NFIB in Tennessee, visit www.NFIB.com/TN and follow @NFIB_TN on Twitter. 

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Contribute Online: MichelleForeman.com

or mail a check payable to Committee to Elect Michelle Foreman: P.O. Box 58082, Nashville, TN 37205

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Donald Trump teases 2024 presidential run at Faith and Freedom conference in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As religious conservatives gathered this week at a sprawling resort near the Grand Ole Opry House, Nikki Haley pressed the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” crowd to look to the future. “It’s up to us to deliver a new birth of patriotism,” said Haley, the former South Carolina governor who was ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump. “And together with you, and with trust in God, I pledge to answer that call and inspire our country once again,” she said, sounding like a White House candidate herself. 

Trump spoke from the same stage Friday, making his first public appearance since the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection began to lay bare his desperate attempts to remain in power. It presented harrowing video footage and searing testimony, including accounts from Trump’s close associates and members of his family. 

He spent much of his speech blasting the committee’s efforts as politically motivated and insisting he’d done nothing wrong. In the face of the video and allies’ accounts, he still said, “What you’re seeing is a complete and total lie. It’s a complete and total fraud.” He claimed footage had been selectively edited and downplayed the insurrection as “a simple protest that got out hand.” 
And he made sure to tease his own plans. “One of the most urgent tasks facing the next Republican president — I wonder who that will be,” Trump said at one point, prompting a standing ovation and chants of “USA!” “Would anybody like me to run for president?” he asked the crowd, (link)

Rod's Comment: “Would anybody like me to run for president?” Not me! Please, just go away!  

I will never vote for Donald Trump again.  I did not in 2016 but did in 2020.  It was the worst vote I ever cast. Trump makes Nixon look like a choir boy. 

I could never be a Democrat but I would gamble that we could better survive another four years under a Democrat than eight more years under Donald Trump. I fear of where Donald Trump might take us.  He apparently has no values and no certain consistent views. He is a loose cannon. Who knows? He might throw his weight behind Putin's aggression to save us from wokeness and transgender athletes.  He may go all out on a trade war and lead the US into a major depression. He may imprison his critics and suspend liberties.

I also fear Trump would never lose another election. After four more years, he certainly would not lose a reelection bid. He will make sure he has a vice president who will do his bidding and declare him the 2028 winner. He could declare himself President for Life. If he is too old to run in 2028, he might want to anoint his heir. By then he may have consolidated his power to such an extent that he could issue a decree suspending the Constitution and his followers would rejoice. He has created a cult of personality and many of his followers would follow wherever he leads. 

That a man who has been immoral in business dealing, married several times, cheats on his wife, bangs porn stars, and brags about grabbing women by the pussy, is the keynote speaker at a "faith" gathering tells you of Trump's seductive power. Many of Trump's followers would drink Jim Jones Kool-Aid. 

In eight years,  Trump may have bent the military to do his bidding. He may have made Proud Boy leaders the new Army generals. We know he has no qualms about heading a coup. If not for Mike Pence's courage Trump would illegally be in office today, despite overwhelmingly losing an election. His next coup attempt will succeed. I see Trump as a dangerous megalomaniac.  His loyal followers have faith in Donald Trump and have abandoned reason.  

Trump needs to go away, be indited, become too ill to run, or die. 

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Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett Arrested on DUI Charge. He was not a graduate of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

 The Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

Tennessee Secretary of State Arrested on DUI Charge

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Banning the AR-15 is not an option.

by Rod Williams, 6-16-2022 - I am not a legal scholar and I am not an attorney and I don't even play one on TV, but I do research and read and reason.  My research has led me to conclude that it is most likely not possible to ban the AR-15 rifle. I will explain why and provide resources for anyone interested in doing their own research.

The use of the AR-15 in mass shootings

Before getting into that argument, however, let us look at the reason why there is such a clamor to ban this particular weapon. It has been the weapon of choice in several mass shootings including the recent school shooting in Uvalde Texas in which 19 children were slaughtered and was the weapon of choice at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. These horrific horrors focus the public's attention. Here is a partial list of shootings involving AR-15-type weapons.

  • May 24, 2022:shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde leaves 19 children and two adults dead.
  • Feb. 14, 2018: Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida leaves 17 people dead.
  • Oct. 1, 2017: The Las Vegas slaughter of 58 people.
  • Nov. 5, 2017: The Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that claimed 26 lives.
  • June 12, 2016: The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 dead.
  • Dec. 2, 2015: The San Bernardino, Calif., shooting that killed 14 people.
  • Dec. 14, 2012: The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that took 27 lives.
Outside of the use in mass shootings, the AR-15 is not the weapon of choice for most other violent actions such as robbery, suicide, or gang warfare. Statistically, it is not the most deadly weapon in circulation. 

This type of weapon is sometimes called an "assault rifle, and of course, it is not. It is a semi-automatic weapon and firing fully automatic is not an option. And, the "AR" in AR-15 does not stand for "Assult Rifle," as is sometimes said by uninformed people. If you want to know more about this type of weapon, just Google it. There are numerous sites that explain what it is. 

Given that the AR-15 weapon is the weapon of choice for slaughtering innocent young school children, I understand the desire to ban it. I could be persuaded it should be banned if I believed it was possible to do so. It is probably not possible, however.

Why, unlike other developed democracies, America cannot just ban private gun ownership.

When having a discussion with someone over a recent tragedy of a school shooting, you may hear someone say we should be like Great Britain, or Canada, or Australia and ban the private ownership of all weapons or a particular weapon. They may ask why if these countries can do it we can't do it?  That they ask the questions illustrates how our education system fails to educate people on the nature of our system of government and our history. When you respond that these countries do not have a Second Amendment, your response will most likely be met with anger and some dismissive comment.

The nature of our rights

Before delving into the specifics of the Second Amendment, I would like to address the nature of our liberties in general. America is exceptional in many ways and one way is that our conception of rights is different from the way rights are understood in many other nations.  First of all, let us make a distinction between a "rights" as some benefit or service or claim against the government to which you are entitled and liberties. If your state constitution says the government will provide public education you may say you have the right to a public education. Whether providing free health care, or education, or old age pensions is proper or not is not the question, but assuming it is proper, that kind of "right" is categorically different than a liberty.  

That many cannot distinguish the difference between an entitlement and a liberty should be of no surprise. The 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights list as rights many liberties we could all agree upon but it then lists "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services."  Those are not liberties, they are claims against society; they are entitlements. For this discussion, let us talk about "rights" that are clearly liberties.

Many people see rights as a grant from the government that the government will not do certain things to people. That is the way many people in other nations earned their rights, They compelled concessions from the government.  That is not the American conception of rights. 

Also, many people believe the Constitution grants us certain rights. It does not. The Constitution confirms and codifies our rights. We have more rights than just those listed in the Bill of Rights. The founders just couldn't think of them all so the Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." And, the Tenth Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The Declaration of Independences explains the sources of our rights thusly: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Government can abuse our rights, government can keep us from exercising our rights, but our rights are "unalienable."  They are unable to be taken away. When people live under tyranny we do not say their rights are not violated simply because the government decrees they do not have a certain right. We recognize that a right has been violated. 

Our rights are natural rights. Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or constitutions of a government or the customs or habits of any particular culture or people. Thre are universal, basic, and fundamental.

What are these natural rights? Well, we have a right to our thoughts and opinions, and beliefs, we have the right to not be imprisoned unjustly, we have the right to privacy, and we have the right to self-preservation to name just a few. From the inalienable natural right of self-defense comes the Second Amendment.

Understanding the Second Amendment

This is the wording of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 

What does that mean?  The fact that there are two clauses to the amendment has caused some to argue that the first clause, the prefatory clause, mentioning "a well-regulated militia," means this right means nothing more than that the armed forces or the national guard shall have the right to carry weapons. 

This ignores history and the term "right of the people" in the primary clause of the amendment. Most scholars and those with knowledge of the history of the Revolutionary war period and the development of the Constitution understand the Second Amendment to grant the individual the right to bear arms. 

In discussing the Second Amendment, one may have heard advocates of the Second Amendment say, the purpose of the Second Amendment is not for hunting, or target practice and not even for personal protection from criminals but so people can defend themselves against a tyrannical government. The prefatory clause reflects the accuracy of this view.  

The Articles of Confederation had been a failure and needed to be replaced. The Constitution was designed to form a more powerful central government. Yet many feared such a strong central government.  They feared that a strong Federal government would become tyrannical. They feared a standing army and saw the citizens' militia as a defense against a politicized standing army. Thus the phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State."  The militia was understood to be all able-bodied male citizens. That a justification was offered as to why we needed such a right to be enshrined in the Constitution does not negate the right of the people to bear arms. 

While most scholars viewed the Second Amendment as recognizing an individual right to possess firearms, there has been a minority view that has argued that the right is a collective right and simply recognized the right of citizens to form militias. That argument was addressed in the case of  DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER.  

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER.  

In 2008 in District of Columbia v Heller, the court affirmed that the right to possess weapons is an individual right. The case involved residents of the federal District of Columbia who asked the court to enjoin enforcement of three provisions of the district’s Firearms Control Regulation Act (1975) that banned the registration of handguns, prohibited the carrying of unlicensed handguns, and required that lawfully stored firearms be disassembled or locked to prevent firing. The court did so. In addition, the court went further. Until this ruling, the Supreme Court had never ruled on the question of if the 2nd Amendment was an individual right. 

The Supreme Court said the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia. Also, "the right does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes."

The term "those in common use for lawful purposes," would undoubtedly make banning an AR-15 illegal. The AR-15 is in common use for lawful purposes.

The ruling does not say that there could be no restrictions or regulations of firearms. This is what it said

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. 

So, while the public and their elected representatives may want to ban the AR-15 or some other weapon "in common use for lawful purposes,' they cannot. That does not however rule out reasonable regulation.

What Could be done?

Quite frankly, I have been leaning toward support for an AR-15 ban if it were legal to do so. If not a ban, I could support raising the age to purchase such a weapon to age 21. There is nothing enshrined in common law or the constitution that establishes the age of majority at age 18. Up until 1970, 18-year-old did not have the right to vote.  Still, 18-year-olds cannot purchase alcohol or cigarettes. 

A waiting period to take possession after the weapon is purchased may be an option. I do not know if banning high-capacity magazines would be legal. Probably not. High-capacity magazines are in common use for a lawful purpose.  Such a ban would no doubt be challenged. 

For those who want an outright ban, you may not like it but that is not currently an option. However, the ruling in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER was 5 to 4  and a future case could reverse the ruling. That is highly unlikely now that more conservatives are on the court than in 2008. Even if liberals pack the Court or a future president has the occasion to change the balance of the Court, even a liberal court does not see itself as a political body that follows opinion polls. Such a case would have to find a nuanced argument that would justify overturning a previous ruling of the Court. Even if the Court had a liberal majority, it would likely be years before a case would reach the Court that could result in a ruling to overturn the current ruling of the Court.

The only option I can see for banning the AR-15 is to amend the Constitution. No matter how much one may wish to just ignore the Constitution, that can not happen. 

Those who want to ban the AR-15 will need to amend the Constitution and repeal the 2nd Amendment or modify the 2nd Amendment to permit the banning of certain weapons. Amending the Constitution is not easy. It has only happened 27 times. First, you need to get supermajorities in Congress, that is two-thirds in both the House and the Senate. That is not likely to happen anytime soon.  Even if you get a joint resolution proposing to amend the constitution through Congress, you still need to get the amendment ratified by three-fourths of the states. That's 38 states. There would have to be an unrepresented change in the political makeup of State Governments for that to happen. 

Like it or not, the AR-15 is not likely to be banned. 

For more on this topic, consult the following: 


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Thursday, June 16, 2022

Republicans react to revelations of Tump's attempted coup.



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Trump Voters Need a New Direction

 He might have been the only Republican who could beat Hillary in 2016. But he’s a sure loser in 2024.

By Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2022 - This is what I tell Trump voters when they ask. It’s my general view on future paths.

I start with the obvious. I never meet Americans who love America more than Trump people do. ...

...Six or seven years ago they had a piercing, bottom-line insight that smart people told them was crazy. 

Now we jump to this moment, to the Jan. 6 committee and the testimony—under oath—of Mr. Trump’s loyalists, who worked for him in the White House and led his 2020 re-election effort. What they said in essence—and again, under oath—is that the idea the election was stolen was all made up, pure fiction, a deliberate lie aimed at overturning the election.

This was an act against the Constitution, against the formal and informal arrangements and traditions better people had labored to maintain for more than two centuries.

The president’s people had told him he hadn’t won. On election night, according to one witness, everyone said so but an “inebriated” Rudy Giuliani. But a drunk Rudy wasn’t enough, so Mr. Trump looked around for kooks, crooks and freaks. He didn’t have to look far because America has lots of them, and Trumpworld more than most.

Their efforts were knocked down in the courts by Trump-appointed judges and rebuffed in the states by Republican officials. Mr. Trump tried to get his vice president to go along, but he refused. (read more)

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Terror on the Prairie staring Gina Carano.

 

Gina Carano makes her return in this gritty new western and original feature film by The Daily Wire.

Disney canceled Gina Carano for wrongthink. But Disney's loss was Daily Wire's gain. Daily Wire swiftly picked up Gina to produce and star in our next project. 

And it's officially here. WATCH NOW

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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

2022 ROAD TO MAJORITY CONFERENCE TO BE HELD JUNE 16-18 IN NASHVILLE, TN, to feature former president Donald Trump as keynote speaker.

by Rod Williams, June 14, 2022 - Former President Donald Trump will, unfortunately, be the keynote speaker at this weekend's Road to Majority Policy Conference in Nashville. The event will take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Other conservative leaders speaking at the conference include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Fox News' Jeanine Pirro, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Tennessee Sens. Bill Hagerty and Marsha Blackburn will also be present. 

As the editor of A Disgruntled Republican, I often post items that I think may be of interest to the conservative, Republican, libertarian, or the greater community. Posting an announcement of an event does not necessarily indicate an endorsement.  I will not be attending as I am boycotting all events featuring former President Donald Trump, who attempted to block the peaceful transfer of power and has undermined our Democracy by constantly spreading the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen. In my view, Donald Trump is a disgrace and does not deserve to be honored.  Also, I can not get very enthused about seeing our own senators Hagerty and Blackburn who recently disgracefully voted against funding to allow Ukraine the means to defend itself against a Russian invasion. 


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Important message from Moms for Liberty. Please attend tonight's School Board meeting.

Received by email, Tuesday, June 4th


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Against Gun Idolatry by David French

Armed demonstrators protest outside of the Michigan state
capital building on January 17, 2021 in Lansing,
Michigan. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.)
by David French, The Dispatch, Jun 5 - I remember the first essay I ever wrote for The Atlantic. Four years ago, they reached out to me and asked me to write about American gun culture from a conservative perspective. I took the responsibility seriously. I knew most readers disagreed with me vehemently, and while I didn’t expect them to necessarily change their minds, I did want them to understand why my family owns guns and what “gun culture” meant to us.

The story began with the first time we faced a threat at our own house. A man blocked our driveway with his car and walked up to Nancy and our kids while they were playing outside. He demanded to see me. I was away, at work. 

It was a terrifying moment. (link)

Rod's Comment: I recommend this thought-provoking article to those who are concerned about gun violence and the Second Amendment.  All arguments about an issue do not neatly fit in a Facebook meme or a bumper sticker. I could not summarize and excerpt and do this well-reasoned, thought-provoking article justice. Please read.

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Report: Tennessee has lowest unfunded pension liabilities per capita in U.S.

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Jun 13, 2022 -  Tennessee again had the lowest unfunded pension liabilities in the U.S., according to the new rankings from the American Legislative Executive Council.

But that liability grew from $6,345.77 per capita in 2011 to $8,511.92 per capita in the new 2022 rankings.

Connecticut, Illinois and Alaska had the highest unfunded liabilities per capita with Alaska holding the 50th ranking with $42,829.

Tennessee also was atop the list in unfunded liabilities as a percentage of gross state product at 15.47% while Indiana was second at 18.33% and Mississippi was worst at 80.85%.

"This year we found that there are $8.2 trillion unfunded liabilities in state pension plans," ALEC Vice President of Policy and study author Lee Schalk explained.

The study uses a risk-free discount rate (the rate of return on a pension plan’s investments), expressed as a percentage to determine the value of liabilities that these funds must pay in the coming decades.

This discount rate used by ALEC to determine pension liability is based on the yields of U.S. Treasury Bonds (down to 1.13% from 2.34% due to historically low interest rates) and a fixed discount rate of 4.5% that is considerably lower than the discount rate expectations of most pension funds. Tennessee's fund has an expected discount rate of 7.25%. 

The report is the sixth edition of ALEC’s annual report, which looks at government pension plans and their assets and liabilities. The report says that the liabilities account for "$25,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States."

Tennessee ranked 16th in its overall liability with $58.8 billion in unfunded pension liability. Vermont was the lowest at $14.4 billion while California has promised $1.5 trillion in unfunded liabilities.

"If the CEOs and CFOs in the private sector signed off on financial statements with the accounting used by state and local governments, they’d be in prison," said Jonathan Williams, ALEC's Executive Vice President of Policy. "That is the kind of Enron-style accounting, unfortunately, that has gone on for far too long in state and local governments. And so our report cuts through some of the bad accounting and really gives an apples-to-apples comparison on how states are funding, or in many cases unfortunately not funding, the pension obligations."

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Monday, June 13, 2022

Tennessee Supreme Court declines to rehear school Education Savings Account case

by Rod Williams, June 13, 2022- The Tennessee Supreme Court in May ruled in favor of Tennessee's Education Savings Account program.

The ESA program would allow parents to use funds intended to educate their child at schools other than government monopoly schools.  It is a way to give families much-needed choice on where their children learn. 

The ESA program is a three-year pilot program approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2019.

Eligible students must be a member of a household with an annual income for the previous year that does not exceed twice the federal income eligibility guidelines for free lunch.

Metro Nashville and Shelby County governments filed a petition asking the court to rehear the case.

The Tennessee Supreme Court has declined to rehear the case challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee's Education Savings Account program. 

For the Tennessean's take, follow this link. To learn more about the program, follow this link.

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Sunday, June 12, 2022

First Tuesday Proudly Presents Senator RICK SCOTT Fri, Jun 17, 1:00 PM

 First Tuesday Proudly Presents 


Senator RICK SCOTT

1st Tuesday is proud to welcome Sen Rick Scott to Nashville. Rick Scott was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Rick Scott served two terms as the 45th Governor of Florida.

Join us for lunch and learn about the Senator's American Rescue Plan!

LET'S RESCUE AMERICA TOGETHER!

YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS LUNCHEON!

Fri, Jun 17, 1:00 PM,  Ludlow & Prime, 330 Franklin Rd Suite 226B, Brentwood, TN 37027

RSVP


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Ten Republicans join Democrats to pass common sense gun reform.

by Rod Williams, 6/12/2022 - A bipartisan group of senators announced today that they had reached a deal that would address gun violence. With ten Republicans signing on to the deal, the proposal could have enough Republican support to withstand a filibuster. 

Looking at what the proposal would do, it is hard to call this a "gun control bill."  It primarily provides for improved "red flag' laws, more mental health funding, and funding for enhanced school safety. 

Unfortunately, I suspect that many in the gun rights movement have a knee-jerk "give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile" view.  I hope many see this as a reasonable response to a serious problem. I am afraid they won't. 

I hope I am wrong, but I expect the NRA, and other gun rights groups, to pull out all of the stops to peel off enough Republicans to kill the measure. Those Republicans who have left the gun rights reservation will be subject to enormous pressure. No doubt they will be bombarded with a lobbying campaign and threats of being primaried. If the gun lobby is not successful in killing the bill, no doubt they will try to water it down to where it only provides funding for mental health and school security initiatives. I hope I am wrong,  Watertered down too much and Democrats may reject it as insignificant widow dressing. 

Even if not watered down, there is also a chance that die-hard gun control advocates will see this as insufficiently robust and refuse to support it. Not included in the proposal is raising the minimum age for the purchase of AK-15 style semiautomatic weapons from 18 to 21 which was advocated by President Biden. Nor is a ban on "assault rifles" or high-capacity magazines included, which many advocates of gun restrictions want.  

I hope the Republicans who have come out in support of this proposal will stand firm. I hope more Republicans will join them.  I hope Democrats do not make their vision of the perfect become the enemy of the good. Even if this is not a perfect proposal, it is a start.  I have reached the conclusion that now is the time, actually pass the time, to pass reasonable legislation to address the epidemic of gun violence, especially the horror of mass school shootings. 

I know this want stop all shootings. I know the bad guys will still have their guns. Nevertheless, this could reduce horrific school shootings. It won't do much to stop the weekly carnage in Chicago, but it may stop the next Uvalde.

This is not a "gun-grab," or a trampling of the Second Amendment, although I suspect to hear that from bombastic conservative radio talk show host and Fox News.  Here is what we know is in the legislative proposal at this time:
  • A federal grant program that would encourage states to implement “red flag” laws.  This would allow authorities to keep guns away from people found by a judge to represent a potential threat to themselves or others., 
  • A federal criminal background check, called Enhanced Review Process, for gun buyers under 21 which would include a mandatory search of juvenile justice and mental health records for the first time.
  • A ban on gun sales to domestic violence offenders beyond just spouses. Now the domestic violence ban only applies to spouses. 
  • A clarification of which gun sellers are required to register as federal firearms dealers and therefore required to run background checks on their customers.
  • The establishment of new federal offenses related to gun trafficking.
  • New federal funding for mental health care and school security programs.
This is progress. I hope it passes. 

These are the ten Republicans who have signed on to the proposal: John Cornyn (R-TX), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA) Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Pat Toomey (R-PA). 

These are good people. I pray they have the courage to not waiver. May God bless them. 



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Friday, June 10, 2022

More take-away from The House January 6 Committee hearings.

As reported by The Dispatch:

The House January 6 committee held its first televised hearing last night, presenting a blow-by-blow account of the post-election assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory. In her opening remarks, GOP Rep. Liz Cheney revealed a number of previously unreported developments: that a number of Republican members of Congress sought preemptive pardons in the wake of the assault for their roles in attempting to overturn the election; that it was Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, who assumed the task of marshaling federal law enforcement to respond to the attack; and that Trump had mused during the assault that the rioters threatening violence against Pence might have the right idea.

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I agree. Rod Williams

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Robby Starbuck is off the Republican Primary ballot. Supreme Court rules against him, vacates the Judge Perkins ruling of June 3rd.

Robby Starbuck
by Rod Williams, June 10, 2022- Robby Starbuck had until 10AM Thursday to file a response with the Tennessee Supreme Cout to a petition requesting that the Court of Appeals vacate Judge Perkins’ June 3rd that placed Starbuck back on the primary ballot last week and ruled that the Tennessee Republican Party violated the Open Meetings Act by holding a closed-door meeting to kick him off of the ballot. 

Starbuck responded in a timely manner. In his response, Starbuck argues that the petition should be denied because the factual basis for it is incorrect and that "it is doubtful that this Court has jurisdiction to grant such a petition." 

The Supreme Court ruled against Starbuck. Here is the Court's conclusion:

The order of the trial court granting Mr. Starbuck a temporary injunction is vacated,
and the case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this 
opinion. The Appellants’ motion to stay the injunction pending appeal, as well as the State 
Officials’ petition for a common law writ of certiorari and supersedeas, are denied as moot. 
This Opinion is not subject to rehearing under Tennessee Rule of Appellate 
Procedure 39, and the Clerk is directed to certify this Opinion as final and to immediately 
issue the mandate. Costs on appeal are taxed to Mr. Starbuck, for which execution may issue if necessary.

So, Robby Starbuck will not be on the Republican primary ballot. Of course, if he chose to do so, he could run as an independent.

To read the ruling follow this link.

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Take-aways from the January 6 Committee prime-time hearing

by Rod Williams, June 10, 2022 - I watched the Jan. 6th hearing last night.  I know many Republicans did not. Fox News, the network of choice of most Republicans, did not even carry it. A lot of Republican elected officials and right-wing talk show hosts vowed they would not watch it. The mindset of many Republicans is that the election was stolen, the insurrection was justified, my mind is made up, and don't confuse me with facts. 

So if you missed it and are the least curious about what was revealed, here are excerpts from a post by Jim Geraghty appearing in National Review today.

By and large, the committee told us what we already knew: Donald Trump simply could not accept any scenario in which he legitimately lost the 2020 election; he was — and judging by the furious statement he issued last night, still is — in an all-consuming state of intractable psychological denial. He immediately concluded that Biden’s win was illegitimate, with no evidence, and set about doing everything possible to disrupt the transfer of power. He wouldn’t listen to any evidence or facts, even when those facts were presented by longtime allies, and he would listen to anyone who told him what he wanted to hear, no matter how self-evidently unhinged they were. 

I found one of the most compelling portions of the hearing the testimony of former attorney general Jim Barr.  He was in office at the time of the riot. In his testimony, Barr says he told President Trump the idea of a stolen election was "bullshit."  He said he looked for evidence and could find no evidence of significant electoral fraud. He couldn't find it then and nothing in the last year and a half has changed his mind.  Also, I found it interesting, that Trump's daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump said she accepted Barr's conclusion that the 2020 election wasn't stolen.

More from the Geraghtsy piece:

Wyoming representative Liz Cheney reminded viewers that President Trump never expressed any disapproval of the bloody riot on Capitol Hill that day; in fact, he justified it, and contended on Twitter that lawmakers on Capitol Hill deserved it: “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” 

What I get from the Jan. 6th hearing is that Trump approved of the attack and if the mob would have murdered Mike Pense, as some were set on doing, Trump would have applauded the action. Future hearings are likely to make the case that the attack was planned in advance and that there was coordination between the Oath Keepers, The Proud Boys, and the Trump administration. 

I am convinced that Trump is guilty as hell of trying to subvert our Democracy.  Geraghty raises an important question, however.

The current contention is that Donald Trump led an insurrection against his own government, attempted to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, and brought violence and bloodshed to the legislative branch — but somehow, he did all of that without violating any U.S. laws.

If a U.S. president tries to disrupt the actions of another branch of government through brute force and the direction of enraged mob violence, is the proper consequence a prime-time congressional hearing where various lawmakers and witnesses denounce him? Or is the proper consequence charging him with a crime?

I urge Republicans to watch the hearings. 

 


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Thursday, June 9, 2022

Update on the Robby Starbuck ballot access battle. Robby’s legal team has until 10:00am in the morning, Thursday, to file a response to move to vacate the June 3rd order.

by Rod Williams, June 8, 2022- Here is an update on the Robby Starbuck ballot access saga.

As it stands now, the Tennessee Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, and Commissioner of Elections, Mark Goins, on June 7th filed a petition for Common Law Writ of Certiorari and Supersedeas, requesting that the Court of Appeals vacate Judge Perkins’ June 3rd order. That was the order that placed Starbuck back on the primary ballot last week and ruled that the Tennessee Republican Party violated the Open Meetings Act by holding a closed-door meeting to kick him off of the ballot. 

Further, concurrent on the 7th the Tennessee Republican Party filed a motion for the TN Supreme Court to Assume Jurisdiction pursuant to the Court’s Rule 48. Earlier today the Supreme Court granted the motion for them to assume jurisdiction of the case.  They have given Robby’s legal team until 10:00am in the morning, Thursday, to file a response.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2022

House Passes Democrats’ Gun Measures as Senate Talks Continue. House Votes to Increase Semi-Automatic Rifle Purchase Age to 21

by Siobhan Hughes, Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2022 -WASHINGTON—The Democratic-controlled House passed a broad package of measures intended to reduce gun violence, while parents and other witnesses shaken by mass shootings in their communities beseeched lawmakers at a congressional hearing to act to prevent further deaths.

The House bill, approved 223 to 204 largely along party lines, pulls together a series of gun measures that have backing in the Democratic Party but little support among Republicans, making the proposal a nonstarter in the evenly split Senate, where 60 votes are required to advance most legislation. Senate negotiators are working on a narrower set of proposals, centered on school security, supporting state red-flag laws and adding juvenile records to background checks, to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people. (link)

#

House Votes to Increase Semi-Automatic Rifle Purchase Age to 21

National Review, June 8. 2022- On Wednesday, as part of a slate of bills aimed at curbing mass shootings and gun violence, the House voted to increase the age required to purchase a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21.

The vote was 228 to 199, with ten Republicans joining Democrats in supporting the measure. Those GOP members were Representatives Fitzpatrick, Gonzalez, Jacobs, Katko, Kinzinger, Malliotakis, Salazar, Smith, Turner, and Upton. (link)

Rod's Comment: I support increasing the age to purchase AR-15 type weapons to age 21. I will have more to say on the issue in a future post. It is time for sensible legislation to reduce gun violence. 

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Metro Council meeting on new schools budget highlighted by emotional employee testimonies

 By Rebecca Cardenas, Jun. 8, 2022, NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Nashville mayor’s budget proposal will face another vote before it receives final approval and dozens of Nashvillians voiced their input on Tuesday night.

The nearly 5-hour Metro Council meeting adjourned after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, with nearly two hours taken up by public comment. Story after story of Metro employees struggling to make ends meet in an increasingly expensive city were told.

As it stands, the nearly $3 billion budget includes a fully funded school budget, affordable housing, cost-of-living increases for Metro employees and additional funding for the Department of Transportation. (link)

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State Supreme Court granted an appeal of a lower court's decision that put Robby Starbuck back on the Republican primary ballot. Robby is probably going to get kicked off the ballot again.

Robby Starbuck
by Rod Williams, June 8, 2022- Today the State Supreme Court granted to the State of Tennessee an appeal of a lower court's decision that put Robby Starbuck back on the Republican primary ballot. The appeal was filed yesterday and granted today. Starbuck was placed back on the primary ballot last week after a county court ruled that the Tennessee Republican Party violated the Open Meetings Act by holding a closed-door meeting to kick him off of the ballot.

Signatories on the petition include Tennessee Republican officials such as Attorney General Herb Slatery.

Now, I assume Bobby Starbuck will answer the appeal quickly and the Supreme Court will quickly reach a decision. I suspect the decision will again remove Starbucks from the ballot. 

Stay tuned for an update. 

While Robby Starbuck did not gain former President Trump's endorsement, Robby seems more Trumpinista than the candidate Trump did endorse. Starbuck has the support of Senator Rand Paul, was a speaker at CPAC, and has appeared on Fox News and other national talk shows. There is national interest in his campaign.

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06/07/22 Council Announcements and Meeting including Budget Public Hearing.

by Rod Williams- Budget hearings start at timestap1:05.  First, is the Capital Improvement Budget which is actually not a budget and appropriates no money but is a prioritized wish list with sources of funding identified. Nevertheless, it is an important piece of legislation. If the public or a Council member wants a project developed, it must first be in the Capital Improvements Budget. 

Following the CIB there is the hearing on the operating budget. The budget proposal for $2.97 billion is a no-tax-increase budget but is an increase of 12.1% in spending over the current year's budget. The budget reflects $319.6 million in new revenue. 

Surprise, surprise, a lot of people want Metro to spend more money. Having served in the Council and observed the Council for decades, I have observed that liberals are always active and speak out for more funding and support higher taxes while conservatives only attend the public hearings and call for austerity and cutting waste when there is a large tax increase on the table. 

No wonder local government grows bigger and bigger all of the time and at a rate of growth bigger than the population growth.  I wish there was a local equivalent of the Beacon Center, which operates at the State level, to monitor Metro government and advocate for common-sense reforms, privatization, improved efficiency, and lowering of taxes.  

All of the interest and firepower are on the liberal side of the equation. The advocates of more taxes and spending have a build-in constituency consisting of Metro employees and their families. This general constituency for bigger government then has its pressure groups such as the teachers union, the Firefighters Union, and the Fraternal Oder of Police. Then, each interest has its advocacy groups such as Friends of the Library or Friends or the Parks or a particular park, or parents groups. Also, often the Better Business Bureau and the League of Women Voters can be advocates of greater spending. Now, we have a bunch of progressive local organizations, many with ties to national organizations, pushing for more government. There is no advocacy group for cutting taxes, greater government efficiency, and cutting waste.

While conservatives often mouth platitudes quoting Thomas Jefferson, "The government closest to the people serves the people best," they don't act like they believe it. Liberals make things happen at the local level and ensure that we continue to waste local money and always ask for more;conservatives stay home.

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Social Security Benefit Cuts Coming by 2035 | Craig Eyermann

Social Security Benefit Cuts Coming by 2035 | Craig Eyermann: Good news! Instead of going broke in 2033, Social Security's Old Age and Survivors' Insurance (OASI) trust fund will run out of money in 2034. If the program's Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund is diverted to pay retirement benefits, it will last until 2035! That's the latest projection from Social Security's trustees, who released their 2022

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In Nashville the median price for a residential single-family home was $498,785 in May, up from $400,000 a year ago.

(link

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Tennessee files petition to appeal a lower court's decision that put Robby Starbuck back on the GOP ballot

Robby Starbuck
By Madeleine Hubbard, Just the News, June 7, 2022 - The State of Tennessee filed a petition on Tuesday to appeal a lower court's decision that put Robby Starbuck back on the Republican primary ballot. Starbuck was placed back on the primary ballot last week after a county court ruled that the Tennessee Republican Party violated the Open Meetings Act by holding a closed-door meeting to kick him off of the ballot.

Signatories on the petition include Tennessee Republican officials such as Attorney General Herb Slatery. (link)


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Monday, June 6, 2022

Gov. Lee Issues Executive Order to Enhance School Safety

 State will evaluate school security and use of resources, encourage parents to engage

Office of the Governor Press release, June 06, 2022 , NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee will sign an executive order directing accountability measures for school safety and an evaluation of training for Tennessee law enforcement. The order also establishes additional resources to support parents, teachers and law enforcement in improving school security practices.

“Parents need to have full confidence that their children are safe at school, and thankfully, Tennessee has built a firm foundation with our practical approach to securing schools, recognizing crisis and providing confidential reporting of any suspicious activity,” said Gov. Lee. “This order strengthens accountability and transparency around existing school safety planning and assures Tennessee parents that our efforts to protect students and teachers will continue.”

Governor Lee will sign Executive Order 97 to enhance school safety across Tennessee and promote engagement with parents, schools and law enforcement.

For Parents

Creates a School Safety Resources and Engagement Guide to provide parents with information regarding how to effectively engage and advocate for safe conditions at their child’s school, including how to report suspicious or concerning activity through the SafeTN App, access mental health resources for their child and inquire about building security and compliance at their child’s school.

Encourages parents, families and the local community to engage in school safety and partner with law enforcement to promote the habits and practices that help ensure school building security against unauthorized intruders. By implementing simple practices, such as ensuring a single point of entry and multiple points of exit, securing vestibules and other access points, and reporting suspicious activity, communities have the ability to vastly increase the security of their local school.

For Schools

Directs Tennessee state agencies to provide additional guidance to help local school districts (LEAs) implement existing school safety law, which requires that each public school conduct an annual school security assessment and submit a school safety plan to the Tennessee school safety center. This guidance will include:

  • An increase in periodic audits of Tennessee local school security assessments and school safety plans, including but not limited to random in-person verification by state officials of a school’s implementation of the approved assessment;
  • A set of best practices for school leaders to enhance building security and safety against an unauthorized intruder; and
  • Information for district and local government leadership regarding financial resources for school safety available through state programs and the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act (TISA).

Updates the state School Safety Plan Template for LEAs to be published no later than July 1, 2022 and include greater detail on:

  • A description of deficiencies identified by the LEA when conducting the school security assessment;
  • A description of district spending on building security and other school safety initiatives and how such expenditures mitigate the identified deficiencies; and
  • Designation of the district’s single point of contact for school safety matters.

Ensures LEAs receive guidance from the State Fire Marshal’s Office and other state agencies regarding how to appropriately improve school building security, while maintaining emergency egress and safeguarding of life and property from the hazards of fire and explosion.

Directs the Department of Education to request permission from the federal government for districts to use existing federal ESSER funds to conduct a fulsome, independent safety assessment, including the identification of necessary facility upgrades. The Department will report to the Governor on which districts utilize that flexibility, if approved.

Directs the Department of Education to identify regional staff to support school safety in LEAs through repurposing existing staff to focus on safety, mental health, and family and community engagement.

Develops additional training and educational materials regarding school safety for educators, school leaders and staff, no later than August 1, 2022.

For Law Enforcement

Directs the Department of Commerce & Insurance, through TLETA, to evaluate and assess law enforcement training standards and recommend expansions, improvements, or enhancements to existing training for active-shooter scenarios, and provide a report to the Governor, no later than July 1, 2022, with recommendations to expand its availability to local law enforcement agencies and related education stakeholders.

Directs the Department of Commerce & Insurance to review the use of armed security guards in non-public schools and, with the Department of Safety & Homeland Security, report to the Governor regarding the need for active-shooter training for armed guards.

Calls for new strategies to expand local and state law enforcement agencies by increasing the number of Tennesseans exploring and pursuing careers in law enforcement.

Previous actions to strengthen school safety:

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Sunday, June 5, 2022

National Geographic names Nashville a top place to visit in June

by Rod Williams, June 5 2022- I am a proud Nashvillian and feel pride when Nashville is recognized and honored. I must admit, however, that I wish so many people had not discovered Nashville. I liked it better maybe ten or fifteen years ago. Still, it is a great place to live. There are other places, I would like to visit, maybe visit for six months, but there is no other place I would rather call home.  I love this town. 

I love country music and the music scene. I don't do it as much now as in the past, but I have followed the music scene for decades and have been blown away by the discovery of new artists or cover bands that have mastered the classics while giving the songs their own interpretation. There is always a good concert and undiscovered talent playing small bars and writer's nights where you can hear the songwriters sing their songs before they are hits by someone else.  While lots of locals, express hatred of lower Broadway, I love it.  I like the crowds, the energy, the music, the neon, and the bridesmaid's parties and I don't mind the party buses and pedal taverns, nor the scooters.  I like seeing people have fun. I may be an old man, but I am still young at heart.

I love that we are the State capital and one is close to where the big decisions in our state are made. Despite being dominated by a liberal power structure and becoming increasingly woke, there is a vibrant conservative political scene with seminars, breakfast groups, First Tuesday, Bastiat Society, Jack Johnson's Barbeque, Mark Green's Fish Fry, Beacon Center events, various fundraisers, workshops, seminars, rallies, and demonstrations.  I thrive on politics and ideas. Here my desire for intellectual stimulation and my desire to be part of making a difference is met.  I am currently not doing much of that due to a health condition keeping me mostly at home, but I look forward to soon rejoining the world.  I would be bored in a town without the political environment of Nashville. 

I like the art scene and the art crawls and the galleries and museums. I like our beautiful parks and greenways and lakes. I like the big band dances in the park, I like the neighborhood celebrations, the Celebration of Cultures festival, the Centennial Park Craft Festival, the Southern Festival of Books and more.  I love food and Nashville has about any kind of food you would want and plenty of it, and award-winning chefs. I like the craft breweries and coffee shops. I like the colleges and universities where you can hear a concert, or watch a play, or just walk through a beautiful campus and feel smarter by osmosis. 

If one wants to complain there is plenty to complain about; much of the new residential architecture is ugly and replaces stately homes, the cost of housing, homelessness, high taxes, pandering to criminals, celebrations of deviance, crime, and poor schools. However, to keep some of that in perspective, among our poor schools are some excellent schools and one can live in the Nashville area yet live in an adjoining county where schools are generally much better.  Poor schools admittedly are a drawback for parents of school-age children. It kind of comes with the territory in a liberal city I think and I am not so sure that our schools are worse than other cities our size. 

The price of housing is not only a Nashville problem but a problem among all developed countries. Part of the problem is government-created, but when you live in a desirable city and lots of people with money want to live there, housing prices go up. Our homeless problem is not nearly as bad as some other cities our size.  I am concerned as we get more "woke," the problem will get worse, but so far we have done better than many places our size in dealing with the problem.

One could focus on these problems and high crime and high taxes, but I still think overall, Nashville is a great place to live. And, it is a great place to visit. Nashville came in at the top of the list in National Geographic's Where to travel in June: five of the best destinations.

Look what company we are in. Here's the list:

  1. Nashville, TN
  2. Pembrokeshire, Wales
  3. Malaysian, Borneo
  4. Sweden
  5. Cusco, Peru

That is some pretty fine company. Note that we are the only US city to make the cut. The article praises CMA Fest, Bonnaroo, and Musicians' Corner.  

I am proud of this recognition.  However, sometimes I wish we would get less recognition. I met a new neighbor yesterday. In making her acquaintance I asked what brought her to Nashville. She told me she had a job where she could work from home and live anywhere.  A couple years ago, she came to Nashville as a tourist and fell in love with the city. When thinking of where to settle down, she said she visited several other cities and didn't find any place she liked as much as Nashville.  

I have a fear, that as we get more visitors we will find more people who fall in love with the city and move here. I have a concern that at some point so many newcomers will be here, that the city will change and lose its character. I hope it does not become a generic big city without a soul. With growth may come even more taxes, more traffic congestion, higher housing prices, and more crime.  Also, many of the liberal woke moving here may make Nashville more like the place they fled.

Maybe all of this recognition is not a good thing. Still, I cannot help but feel pride. 




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