Monday, October 31, 2022

Should everyone vote in this election? Should you vote? Do you have a duty to vote?

by Rod Williams, Oct. 31, 2022 - Soon almost every newspaper in America will recycle their election day editorial urging readers to vote. The Tennessean will likely publish a signed editorial from Michael A. Anastasi saying, "Nashville, it's time to vote; no excuses. Let's get out in force on election day." They have used that title before, so they may give it a new title. The editorial will likely say, "Citizens have a duty to uphold their institutions and participate in the democratic process." David Plaza as editor used that line.  Since this is the first national election since the 2020 Trump coup attempt, the editorial may get more emotional than normal in trying to shame people into voting. 

Should everyone vote? Should you vote? Do you have a duty to vote? Let us take a look at why you should or should not vote.

First of all, if you live in most places in Tennessee your vote is not going to make a difference.  It just isn't. I am a political junkie and I do not know off the top of my head who is running against Bill Lee for Governor.  His election is not in doubt. I will most likely vote and I will vote for Bill Lee, but will one additional vote for Lee matter?  If you are a Democrat, why bother voting for Lee's Democrat challenger who is going to lose in a landslide? The outcome of that contest is not in doubt. So, why should that contest motivate you to vote?

There are a couple competitive races where I care about the outcome and the outcome is in doubt but I do not live in the district where these races are taking place.  I do not live in the 5th Congressional District, but if I did I would certainly vote and I would vote for Andy Ogles. I do not live in Tennessee House of Representatives District 59, but if I did I would certainly vote and I would vote for Michelle Forman. 

I live in Congressional District 7 where Mark Green is going to be elected in a landslide.  I am in Tennessee House District 58 where there is no Republican candidate running for that office. There is little to excite me about this election but I live and breathe public policy and politics. It is my passion and my hobby. I will vote despite little motivation to vote.  But should you? You could be fishing or watching football or going to the zoo with your grandkids, or washing your hair, or straightening your stereo wires. If politics is not your passion and there is little to excite you about the election, why vote? 

You will be told you have an obligation to vote. You do not. Just ask Barack Obama. Before becoming president, as a U. S. Senator, he abstained from voting on very many occasions and on very important issues. He simply voted “Present” time and time again. So, if Barack Obama did not bother to vote while serving in the US Senate, why should you vote?

A lot of people - important people, never bother to vote. You know who Bill Frist, right?  He is a former Tennessee U. S. Senator and was also the Senate majority leader. Before he was elected to public office he didn't vote for 18 years when he could have voted. 

John Edwards? He was a former Senator from North Carolina who almost got the Democratic Party nomination for President a few years ago. He has since been disgraced in a sex scandal. Anyway, until he ran for office he hardly ever voted. My point is, that if famous politicians like Senator Bill Frist, and Senator John Edwards did not bother to vote until they decided to run for office, why don't you just wait until you decide to run for office and then start voting?

Remember some years ago when Obama ran for president and the people who wanted you to vote for him told you that if you did not, that any number of bad things might happen: homes would get foreclosed, unemployment would increase, a war would continue, and we would all die from global warming? Well, people did vote for Obama and all of those things happened anyway, except we did not all die from global warming, but his administration did nothing about global warming so we wouldn't have died from global warming anyway. 

Often the dire things you are told will happen if you don't vote for a particular candidate happen anyway even if you do vote for that candidate and that candidate is elected.  Sometimes dire things you are told will happen if the other candidate is elected, do not happen when that other candidate is elected. My point is that voting a particular way will probably not result in the outcome you are promised will follow that person's election. 

Some people will tell you that not voting is a sign of a weak democracy and a sign that you just don’t care. Well, I am here to tell you that not voting is not a sign of a weak democracy or not caring. You could interpret not voting as a sign that things must be going so well, that people see no reason to vote. When the actions of government are so unimportant that people don’t feel compelled to vote, that is a sign that people must be pretty content and pretty certain that those who do vote will make the right decision. Not voting is a vote of confidence.

Do you have a patriotic duty to vote?  I'm not buying it.  In fact, I don't think one should vote unless one is really informed and confident in one's decision. Don't let anyone tell you it is your patriotic duty to vote. In fact, I think it is unpatriotic to cast an uninformed vote. What if you vote the wrong way and the person you vote for does something to really screw up the world? Do you want that responsibility?

Voting casually without being certain of your vote is wrong. Casting your vote should be a sober, thoughtful decision. Casting an unsure vote is sort of like driving drunk. So, if you don’t feel certain that you are qualified to vote or have adequately studied the issues; please don’t vote. If you haven't been paying attention, don't vote. If you get most of your news from Saturday Night Live and Facebook memes, please don't vote.

Some people will tell you that if you don’t vote you have no right to complain. I don't know who started that lie. It is just not true. By not voting, you are not giving up the right to complain.

Voting is difficult. It is very complicated to figure out how to do it right. The new electronic machines are real difficult to figure out and anyway, with the electronic machines, how do your even know your vote is counted? Also, the lines are often really long and it can take a lot of your time. And, it might rain. 

If you are a big Trump supporter and believe the 2020 election was stolen, then why would you bother voting? If the 2020 election was stolen, then what has changed to make you have confidence in the 2022 election? The "insiders" and the "deep state" are only going to allow the people they want to be elected, to be elected. Right? 

You do know that if you vote, you will probably get called to jury duty? Also, I understand that this year immigration officials will be at the voting places looking for illegal immigrants. There are always a lot of police at the voting places too. A lot of outstanding warrants are served on Election Day. Voter registration records are public records so the police know who will be voting so it is easy pickings to serve warrants. I have heard that officials also stake out the voting place to look for people who are behind on their child support.

So, if I were you, and I didn't feel well-informed on the issues and qualified to make a very important decision that will have an important impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,  I just wouldn’t vote. 

I have never believed that a large voter turnout of uninformed people makes for a stronger democracy. I would prefer fewer people vote who are informed rather than masses of people who are not informed.  I wish a lot of people would not vote.

I don’t want you to vote. You see, if you don’t vote, my vote carries more weight. If only 33% of the people vote, it is like I am voting for three people; if 50% of the people vote it is like I am voting for only two people. I don’t want you to dilute my vote. Let me vote for you. I have studied the issues. I am qualified to vote.

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Happy Halloween Comic book


 









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Friday, October 28, 2022

Please remember to feel White guilt and shame for being an American this Thanksgiving season.

From the email newsletter of Council member Nancy VanReese:  

Acknowledgment for Thanksgiving

Please consider adding this statement to your Thanksgiving moment of gratitude and acknowledgments.

The land we call home is the ancestral territory and vibrant hunting ground of the Cherokee and Shawnee tribal nations. We recognize and respect Indigenous People as the traditional stewards of this land and continue today to contribute to the life of this city. We honor their stories – told and untold - and the people of the past, present, and future who have greatly contributed to this land's sacredness. We also must take a moment to recognize the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory.

We also acknowledge the painful history experienced by Black people in our community and their significant contributions on and around this land. In particular, we recognize the humanity of enslaved Black people who built our city’s economy. 

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022

'Truth in Accounting' ranks Tennesse 7th best managed state with a truly balanced budget and a Taxpayer Surplus of $5,800.

by Rod Williams, Oct. 26, 2022- The nonpartisan accounting watchdog organization, Truth in Accounting (TIA), released its thirteenth annual ‘Financial State of the States’ report on Tuesday describing the weak financial condition of many states. Thirty-one of our nation's 50 states do not have enough money to pay their bills. Luckily, Tennessee is not one of them. 

Forty-nine of the fifty states have a requirement that the state balance its budget but states avoid doing so by fuzzy accounting. Basically, state elected officials do not include the true cost of government in their budget calculations. States balance budgets by using accounting tricks such as the following:

  • Inflating revenue assumptions
  • Counting borrowed money as income 
  • Understating the true costs of government
  • Delaying the payment of current bills until the start of the next fiscal year so they aren’t included in the budget calculations 

In their report, TIA divides the amount of funds needed to pay bills by the number of state taxpayers to produce what it calls the Taxpayer Burden. If a state has money available after all bills are considered, that surplus amount is likewise divided by the number of taxpayers to come up with the Taxpayer Surplus. The states are then ranked based on these calculations.  Tennessee is ranked as the seventh most financially responsible state in the nation with a Taxpayer Surplus of $5,800.

Below are pages from the report regarding Tennessee:


For more on the methodology of TIA, a ranking of the states, and more, see the full report at this link



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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

 


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Free Markets to Free the World?

 

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Gov. Lee says schoolchildren won't be required to get COVID-19 vaccine

 By Jon Styf, The Center Square, Oct 24, 2022 - Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee wants to be clear that Tennessee’s schoolchildren will not be required to take a COVID-19 vaccination to attend school.

"I’ve always said mandates are the wrong approach, & TN has led in pushing back on federal covid vaccine requirements," Lee wrote on Twitter. "Thanks to our work with the General Assembly, TN families won’t be impacted by today’s CDC vote. We'll continue to stand for TN children & for personal freedom."

Lee’s note came after the Centers for Disease Control's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the COVID-19 vaccine on federal child immunization lists.

The recommendations caused 12 other states to sign a letter last week asking the committee to reverse course on its recommendation.

"While most vaccines prevent the vaccinated individual from getting the disease in the first place and stop the spread of the disease, the COVID-19 vaccine does neither," the attorneys general wrote in their letter.

The letter went on to state that the recommendation could undermine the public’s faith in the CDC’s recommendations.

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Sumner County School Board Votes To Keep Book Featuring “BLM Propaganda”

 

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Sunday, October 23, 2022


 

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Saturday, October 22, 2022

 

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Thursday, October 20, 2022

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee given 'D' grade by Cato Institute for spending and taxing policies

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Oct 13, 2022  — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee was given a "D" by the Cato Institute in its annual Fiscal Report Card on America’s Governors.

Lee’s ranking was based on his spending and taxing record, including this year’s Tennessee budget, which included $500 million toward a new Tennessee Titans stadium. The state has also agreed to giving sales tax to the team at both its stadium and a 130-acre still-to-be-determined plot set for development around the stadium.

"He scored fairly poorly in this report because of large spending increases and a lackluster record on taxes," the report said. "He proposed large general fund budget increases the past three years, and in 2022, the budget jumped 21 percent."

Lee also led a push last year to give $884 million in incentives to Ford for its planned $5.6 billion electric truck plant outside of Memphis. This year, the state did remove doctors and osteopathic physicians from its privilege tax.

"In 2019, Lee signed legislation removing 15 occupations from Tennessee’s privilege tax, which is a $400 annual tax on people in certain occupations," the report said. "In 2020, he signed legislation requiring online out-of-state retailers to collect state sales taxes. Unlike similar legislation in other states, the higher sales tax revenues from the Tennessee bill were not used to cut taxes elsewhere."

The report also cited a one-month grocery tax holiday in August along with a one-year moratoriums on state individual vehicle registration fees along with sales tax on gun safes.

Cato Institute gave an "A" grade to Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, Brad Little of Idaho, and Doug Ducey of Arizona. All are Republicans.

It gave an "F" grade to Tim Walz of Minnesota, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, J. B. Pritzker of Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Kate Brown of Oregon, Gavin Newsom of California, and Jay Inslee of Washington. All are Democrats.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has no plans to participate in a debate against his Democratic opponent, ..

 ... whose name I won't mention. I do not want to give name recognition to this person that almost no one even knows is running.  When one has only token opposition, it is not in one's interest to engage in debate. Not that this unnamed Democrat won't get some votes.  There are a lot of Democrats who will vote for any Democrat even if they have never heard of him.  A debate could only hurt the better-known candidate. If Democrats want a debate, they need serious candidates. 

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Tennessee methodically moves toward total elimination of professional privilege tax

By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Oct 6, 2022 - Tennessee lawmakers eliminated another sector of privilege tax this year with the removal of physicians and osteopathic physicians from the $400 annual state licensing tax.

But many are pushing for the remaining professional privilege taxes to end in Tennessee.

"This is not the elimination of it for all professions, which I think is the goal for this body and has been the goal of this member, certainly," Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon said when the most recent bill was passed. "But it is continuing on the track and the pathway to the ultimate elimination of this privilege tax."

The removal of physicians is expected to have a $9.7 million annual financial impact for the state, which collected $691 million in privilege tax last fiscal year above the $495 million budgeted for the year.

Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma, said that she was met with surprise when she proposed a bill to eliminate the tax completely 10 years ago as the professional privilege taxes continued in lieu of a state income tax. She said the privilege taxes were not expected to last long.

"It has certainly lasted a long time," Bowling said.

"We need to eliminate all the ones left," Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, said during discussion of the most recent eliminations.

The remaining privilege taxes are $400 annual payments, due June 1, for lobbyists, attorneys and agents, broker-dealers, and investment advisors.

In this year’s budget, Tennessee included a $500 million payment toward a new Tennessee Titans stadium along with creating a one-month grocery tax holiday in August and one-year moratorium on personal vehicle and autocycle state registration fees.

Tennessee collected $4.6 billion more than budgeted last fiscal year in taxes and fees.

"With the billions that have been over-collected to balloon our state surplus lawmakers should be looking to cut taxes on Tennesseans permanently," said Tori Venable, Tennessee State Director for Americans for Prosperity. "They should start with repealing the Privilege Tax – in a state that has constitutionally banned the income tax it is appalling that anyone should have to pay for the "privilege" of working in their chosen profession. After repealing any remaining unjust or unconstitutional taxes, they should look to permanently reduce the sales tax on food."

The Legislature also approved $884 million in incentives for Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck plant near Memphis during a special session last fall.

"All of us collectively agree that the goal is to completely do away with this (privilege) tax," said Rep. William Lamberth, R-Portland. "It should never have been put in to begin with and on every single profession, we’re gradually doing it the same way we do in Tennessee … very responsible and reasonable and methodical as we cut taxes down."

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Monday, October 17, 2022

 


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Sunday, October 16, 2022

First Tuesday Welcomes Congressman Mark Green, Mon. Oct. 17

Congressman Mark Green

 

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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Republican Andy Ogles Has a Proven Conservative Track Record and deserves support.

Andy Ogles
by Rod Williams, Oct. 14, 2020- I am supporting Andy Ogles for the 5th Congressional District.  I am not in his district so can't vote for him, but I just sent a modest donation to his campaign. Supporting Republicans is nothing new; I always support Republicans. I am a lifelong conservative activist and the Republican Party best reflects my values and position on issues. My political allegiance has never been in doubt. 

This year, however, I have been more cautious about whom I support. On any checklist of issues, I agree with Republicans more than Democrats on all issues except one. I support the Constitutional peaceful transfer of power and oppose coup attempts. For me, this is the most important issue in this election. Despite no proof that the 2020 election was stolen, many Republican candidates continue to claim it was and refuse to condemn the attempted coup.  I cannot support these candidates. 

Some states are on the verge of putting in office people who supported the fake electors ploy or who are affiliated with militant groups that participated in the January 6th violent attempt to stop the certification of election results. I have contributed to the campaign of the Democrat opponent of some of these Republicans.  For the first time ever, I think this election cycle, I probably sent more money to Democrat candidates than Republican candidates. 

I am late deciding to support Ogles. I did not know where he stood on the issue that is most important to me. I have followed the campaign closely, however, and I have not heard Andy Ogles defend the Trump coup attempt or deny that Biden legitimately won the 2020 election. Ogles has been silent on this issue as far as I know.  I wish he would openly condemn the coup attempt, but I will accept silence.

Andy Ogles has a proven conservative record and I support his candidacy.  The following article profiles Andy Ogles and examines his record.

Prospective Incoming Republican Andy Ogles Has a Proven Conservative Track Record

by Adam Radman, Townhall, Oct 08, 2022- Election Day is a month away and most pundits expect Republicans to take back the House and possibly the Senate. A Morning Consult poll reveals that the electorate currently trusts Republicans more to handle the economy.

Who could have guessed record-high inflation and 87,000 new IRS agents are not what voters want from their elected officials while the country recovers from a pandemic? While one shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch, it’s worth taking an early look at some of the new faces and personalities likely to prevail in November and arrive on Capitol Hill come January.

An examination of the prospective incoming class of new Republicans in Congress shows the GOP House caucus is poised to get some valuable new additions. 

Take Andy Ogles, the Republican nominee in Tennessee's fifth congressional district. Ogles, who was nicknamed Tennessee’s most conservative mayor, won a fiercely competitive GOP primary in Tennessee's Fifth congressional district, which included former House Speaker Beth Harwell and Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead.

... Ogles can tout the fact that he played a key role in improving Tennessee’s tax climate, ... On the campaign trail, Ogles focuses on issues like government accountability, transparency, sanctity of life, and the Second Amendment. He's concerned with government overspending and government reform. Ogles signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in May during the Republican primary, committing to voters in writing to oppose and vote against all income tax hikes while in Congress. ... Ogles is expected to become a conservative leader in Congress in short order. ...  Ogles has a proven track record of accomplishment. (read it all)

For more about Andy Ogles visit his website

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Friday, October 14, 2022

These are the 13 Council Members who voted against funding Planned Parenthood

Rod Williams, Oct. 14, 2022- On Tuesday, October 4, the Metro Council voted to grant to Planned Parenthood a half-million dollars.  To read more about that, follow this link. The vote was 19 to 13 and three abstentions. 

These are the members who voted "no," voting against the grant. Some of these members are term-limited and can not seek reelection but some can. Some may seek higher office.   These people deserve to be thanked and supported. 

Voting "No" (13): Allen, Hall, Swope, Hancock, Young, Evans, Bradford, Druffel, Pulley, Johnston, Nash, Vercher, and Rutherford.
















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Thursday, October 13, 2022

These are the 19 Council Members who voted to fund Planned Parenthood.

Rod Williams, Oct. 13, 2022- On Tuesday, October 4, the Metro Council voted to grant to Planned Parenthood a half-million dollars.  To read more about that, follow this link. The vote was 19 to 13 and three abstentions. 

These are the members who voted "yes," voting in favor of the grant. Some of these members are term-limited and can not seek reelection but some can. Some are seeking higher office. Syracuse is seeking an at-large seat and Freddie O'Connell wants to be mayor.  These people deserve to be defeated. 

Yes (19): Mendes, Suara, Toombs, Parker, Withers, VanReece, Syracuse, Welsch, Sledge, Cash, O'Connell, Roberts, Hausser, Murphy, Porterfield, Sepulveda, Styles, Lee, and Rosenberg.
























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