Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Secret Knowledge on the Dismantling of American Culture by David Mamet

David Mamet has written a great book exploring his conversion from a liberal to a conservative. Mr. Mamet is a highly successful playwright, screen writer, film director and essayist. His films include The Untouchables, The verdict, and Wag the Dog. His plays include American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross for which we won the Pulitzer prize.

Mr. Mamet's books is a story not so much of his becoming a conservative but discovering he was a conservative. He reveals that until about eight years ago at the age of sixty he never questioned the "tribal assumption" that Capitalism was bad. He never examined the things he said he believed. Coming from a liberal culture that supposedly is open-mined and values diversity he says he had never known a conservative or read a conservative author or been introduced to a conservative idea. Liberalism was the only acceptable point of view and he did not question it.

Upon examination of the things he thought he believed he discovered they did not hold up. As a liberal he says he had been living in a state of ignorance and unexamined illusion and calling it "compassion." Liberalism he says is like a religion, the tenants of which cannot be proved but its capacity for waste and destruction can be demonstrated. Central to the tenets of liberalism is the assertion that evil does not exist and that all conflict can be attributed to a lack of understanding. He describes liberals as privileged adolescents, screaming "it's not fair" but says he came to the conclusion that is not government's job to determine what is fair but to determine what is just.

In thirty-nine short essays he touches on everything from his Jewish heritage, the concepts of merit and fairness and justice, the phoniness and selective outrage of feminism, how higher education in the liberal arts and social sciences indoctrinates one in liberalism by rewarding regurgitation of liberal dogma, why liberals celebrate Che Guevara but not Charles Manson, the roll of the family, to how institutions naturally evolved. For those of us familiar with the works of Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Thomas Sowell and Whittaker Chambers it is joyful to hear from one who recently discovered them for the first time and is discovering new truths and gaining new insight.

I highly recommend this book. It will help you understand why liberals think the way they do and give you hope that they can change.

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Tennessee Football Coach fired for making Anti-Obama song

When You're Holding A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Nail

Music City is full of songwriters, hoping to land that big break. But a now former Middle school football coach in Williamson County said writing a politically-charged country song got him fired, after it rubbed a few parents the wrong way.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Sen. Corker on Voting to End $6 Billion in Taxpayer-Funded Ethanol Subsidies

Sen. Corker discusses his support for an amendment to end taxpayer subsidies for domestic ethanol production and tariffs on ethanol imports.

In supporting the amendment, Sen. Corker said, “For a long time, these massive taxpayer subsidies have been a senseless, egregious and costly market distortion that our country cannot afford. You know you’ve got a bad policy when the very people benefiting from it are now saying it's ridiculous and want it to end. By ending both the subsidies and the corresponding import barriers to ethanol, we can save $6 billion and restore market forces to a fully mature market.” The Senate passed the amendment by a vote of 73 to 27.

I am pleased to learn that this amendment also ends tariffs on ethanol imports. This tariff on imported ethanol is nothing but protectionism and is anti-environmental in the extreme. Imported ethanol is mostly made from sugarcane which is more efficient than corn-based ethanol, does not contribute to starvation in the third world or the dead area in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kudos to Senator Corker for supporting this amendment.

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Ending the Ethanol Subsidy, Finally

Yesterday, the Senate voted to eliminate the $5 billion-a-year subsidy given to oil refiners for blending ethanol into gasoline. It is about damn time. It is about time we stopped subsidizing big corporations.

We should have never subsidized ethanol. Ethanol is harmful to the environment, does virtually nothing to curtail CO2 emissions and the diversion of food to ethanol production is creating starvation around the world. Even the Sierra Club argues that corn-based ethanol isn't any cleaner than gasoline. We should end all subsidies for ethanol and revoke the ethanol additive mandate. (Read more on ethanol)

The bill to end ethanol subsidy is not yet law. It has not yet passed the House and President Obama is threatening a veto if it passes. We can only hope the House will follow through and Congress with have the fortitude to stand up to the President and end an insane and wasteful program. This is a start.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

West Nashville Summit: Councilman Charlie Tygard

Rise and Shine
for the
West Nashville Eggs and Bacon Summit
with Special Guest

 Councilman Charlie Tygard

Councilman Tygrd will be speaking on the issues facing Metro government and his reelection campaign. To learn more about Charlie Tygard follow this link: Charlie Tygard Council at Large.

Meeting at  
365 White Bridge Pike, Nashville
Saturday, June 18
Fellowship, Dutch Treat Breakfast 8:30 AM, meeting 9:00 AM
Moderator: Matt Nemeth

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Southeast Breakfast Summit features Ken Jakes and Eric Crafton

Rise and Shine
for the
Southeast Davidson County Breakfast Summit
(formerly known as the Priest Lake Pastry and Politics)
with special guest

Councilman Eric Crafton 
Representative Jim Gotto
Speaking on issues facing Metro Government and the pending Metro Council elections. 

Councilman Robert Duvall moderating 

Saturday, June 18, 2011
Fellowship, Pastry and Coffee 8:30 AM, meeting 9:00 AM
Southeast Davidson County Breakfast Summit
Meets at
The Spirit of Life Church
 3646 Murfreesboro Pike
Antioch, TN

 Please RSVP at for food planning purposes.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Electric Cars may be worse for the enviornment than Gas guzzlers.

Should Metro Council repeal free parking for battery powered cars?

A new study out of England commissioned by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, which is jointly funded by the British government and the car industry, has found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tons of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tons for a similar gas powered car. If one changes the mileage assumptions just a little, the gas guzzler is actually less polluting than the electric car. Since the electric car cannot go but about 90 miles on a charge, it may not be driven as much as a comparable gas-powered vehicle and if that is true the gas-powered vehicle is actually more environmentally friendly than the electric car. (read more)

Now, if one is only measuring tail-pipe emissions the electric car wins by a country mile, but if one considers the cost of producing the two vehicles then the gas powered car wins by a big margin. Nearly half the pollution from an electric car over the full life of the car comes before the vehicle has been driven a single mile. The reason for this is that the batteries to power the electric cars result in production of a massive amount of CO2. If one assumes the electric car must at some point have its batteries replaced then, the gas car wins again. Over time of course, the CO2 necessary to produce the batteries could come down, but for now one can not conclude that battery powered cars are any more environmentally friendly than than gas powered cars. 

I do not expect this to make a lot of difference to many environmentalist who are into symbolic acts that make themselves feel good. After all, many are still clinging to ethanol, which causes a large “dead” section in the Gulf or Mexico, produces almost no net carbon reduction, and causes higher food prices and starvation in third world countries.

Based on this new study, should the Metro Council not repeal the recently passed electric car free parking benefit? I did not like that enactment anyway. Anyone who can afford a new $32,000 car does not need to have their parking paid for by the rest of us including the unemployed and poor people. If we can now rationally conclude that battery powered cars are no more environmentally friendly than gas powered cars should poor people pay the parking fee for privileged  environmentalist so they can feel smug and self righteous?

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Reception for Council Candidate Dave Patterson

Middle TN Conservatives and Friends of Dave Patterson
invite you to a reception in support of

The Honorable Beth Harwell
Speaker, TN House of Representatives

THURSDAY, JUNE 16th, 2011
6-8 p.m.
167 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, TN
$50/person or $100/couple
Please RSVP 615.364.0422 or
My wife and I will be attending this event and urge you do so. Dave Patterson is a great guy and the kind of person we need in the Metro Council.  He is smart, articulate, thoughtful and cares about his community, Nashville and his Country. He will be a leader in the council, he is a commonsense conservative, and he is not afraid to identify himself as a Republican.

In addition to supporting a good cause, political fund raisers are fun. Come mingle with other like-minded people and enjoy food and beverage and good conversation. While you can never be sure what the evening holds, most of these fund-raisers have an open bar and food. The Standard has absolutely wonderful h'orderves. You have probably seen The Standard. It is on 8th ave North (Rosa Parks) and is a brick Victorian historic home next to Southern Baptist offices near the Billy Graham statue.  Fifty dollars is not really a lot to spend for a fun evening. Join the Party and help elect a good man to the Metro Council.

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Join the Revolution! Don't mow! Let a thousand flowers (grasses, weeds) bloom!

I have never understood the fetish for a perfect lawn. I know some people spend a lot of money to have the perfect lawn. They fertilized and water and aerate and de-thatch and rake with the goal of having a yard that looks like a putting green. A dandelion is a crisis.

That is not me. In my view a lawn should not look like a carpet. A perfect lawn is boring.  I like a lawn of mixed shades of green and splashes of color and texture. In the spring I like the rosy-purple haze of henbit. I like those patches of waxy little yellow flowers and I like the violet of violets.

I always mowed less often than most people but in the last few years, I have stopped mowing all together. The last time my mower broke I just decided to not get it fixed and go natural. Most of my yard is shaded so grass does not grow well anyway.  I have let ground cover and flowers and selected " weeds" take most of my yard and I weed-eat a very small section. Parts of my lawn are in flowers like irises and other parts are in day Lilly. Other parts are monkey grass. I also have a sprinkling of trillium and wood poppy and Jacobs ladder and Virginia bluebells and other wild flowers that I once knew the name of but I have forgotten.

Parts of my backyard are really wild. I do not consider it overgrown but think of it as my "nature preserve." I have a "green yard," by having a less perfectly green yard. While my yard is no doubt more kind to the planet than is the perfect lawn, I really did not set out to do lawn care in this fashion out of any environmental ethic, but out an aesthetic. I like it.

If you think you agree with me, go ahead and Do It! Join the Revolution! Don't mow! Go "Green!" Not mowing your yard can be sort like the rebellion of another era in not cutting your hair. Reject conformity! Sure, your neighbors may call you an eccentric but I don't mind the label. Accept me for who I am, not my perfect lawn. Let a thousand flowers (grasses, weeds) bloom!

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God on Lawn Care

Author unknown

GOD: Frank, you know all about the earth’s gardens and nature. What’s going on? Where are all the dandelions, violets, and milkweeds I started eons ago? That was a perfect no-maintenance garden plan: plants growing in any type of soil, withstanding drought and multiplying with abandon. Blossom nectar attracted butterflies, honey bees and songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now instead of all these green rectangles.

ST. FRANCIS: It's the Suburbanites tribes that settled there, Lord. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.?    
G: But that's so boring. Not colorful. Doesn't attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and worms and is sensitive to temperatures. Do Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?    

ST. F: Apparently. They take great pains to grow it and keep it green, beginning each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning pop-up lawn plants.?      
G: Spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make Suburbanites happy.? 
ST. F: Apparently not. As soon as it grows, they cut it - sometimes twice a week.

G: Cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. F: Not exactly. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

G: Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

ST. F: Just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

G: Let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow? And when it does, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?
ST. F: Yes sir.
G: Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer with less rain and more heat. That surely slows the grass growth and saves a lot of work.
ST. F: You aren't going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to grow it, mow it, and pay to get rid of it.

G: What nonsense. Well at least they kept some trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. Trees grow spring leaves providing beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, leaves fall to the ground forming a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect trees and bushes. It's a natural cycle of life.

ST. F: You better sit down, Lord. Suburbanites have drawn a new life cycle. When the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.
G: No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose? 

ST. F: They buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

G: Where do they get this mulch?

ST. F: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

G: Enough! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE: ”Dumb and Dumber,” Lord. It's all about....?
G: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.

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Home Grown Tomatoes

Yesterday I got the first tomato out of my garden. There is nothing like home grown tomatoes. Here is a Guy Clark tribute to home grown tomatoes.

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TN Planned Parenthood chapters stripped of all federal funding

Jun. 11, 2011,  Chas Sisk, The Tennessean

The Metro Public Health Department will take over a $335,000 federal grant for family planning services, after a campaign to strip the funding from Planned Parenthood.

Metro Health Director William Paul said in a letter Friday that his department will accept all federal money set aside for family planning in Davidson County. The money had previously been split between Metro and Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. (link)

Comment: Fantastic! Thank you to the state legislature and to Governor Haslam for making this happen. 

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