Saturday, June 09, 2012

Dirty sneak attack on Steve Dickerson. Rock on Steve!

Vote Steve Dickerson!
The State Senate needs
some Rock and Roll.
I just got the mail out of my mail box and was greeted by a campaign piece attacking Steve Dickerson, Republican primary candidate for Senate District 20.

No where on the piece does it say who paid for it. It says, "paid for with private funds."  It was mailed first class so there is not a permit number to trace. I don't know who all got it, but even if only Republican voters got it, someone spend a lot of money for this anonymous attack.

On the outside to the mailer, in the space where one would normally find the return address was a bold message "Exposing Steve Dickerson."

Inside, taking 1/3 of tri-fold page was the words, "Member of Obscene Rock Band by Night, Medical Industry's Candidate by Day." The name of his rock and roll band was No Good Deeds. The author of this piece never does say what makes the band "obscene." Now, Ozzy Osborne is obscene, or at least shocking. Madonna is obscene, or at least erotic. I don't know what make No Good Deeds obscene. I guess whoever produced this piece, just thinks all rock and roll is obscene.

Quotes attributed to Dickerson are one that says, "Surrounded by Hot Girls in Good Moods," 2008.  And, "Lets, Just say there is something very rock & roll about a female soldiers legs sticking up in the air as she does a keg stand," 2009.


Quite frankly, I'm not bothered in the least by the above quotes. There is no context to the quotes. Was he being interviewed?  Maybe I am just worldly enough that, I do not find, "hot girls in good moods" to be a scandalous comment. Anyway, that is not a sentence. What was said before the phrase and after? What was being asked?   I would have to say that I have liked "hot girls in good moods." I appreciate "hot girls" and I like for everyone to be in a "good mood." By "hot" girls, I take that to mean attractive, well-groomed, maybe glamorous women exuding a certain sexuality.Yea, I like hot girls.

I would need to know what came before and after the quote about female soldiers. What is a "keg stand"? 

A picture in the piece shows Steve Dickerson from his rock and roll days, using a hand gesture that folds in the thumb and two middle fingers and extends the index finger and little finger. The picture caption reads, "posing with band members for obscene promotional photo."

Is that an obscene gesture? Please, tell me what it is. I think it is sometimes a gang symbol or maybe the Texas Longhorns sports team symbol. It is pretty obscure. Obscene? Not that I know of. Now, if all of the fingers had been extended except the middle finger, as Johnny Cash was once photographed gesturing, then I would accept that it is an obscene gesture. I just don't know that this is an obscene gesture. Anyway, was he cutting up? What is the big deal?

Is this the worst they can find from Steve Dickerson's rock and roll days?  People who have never done anything, don't have records. Anyone who has ever been in a public position can have their record "exposed" and distorted.

Until getting this piece I did not know Steve Dickerson had been in a rock and roll band but I don't think that makes him less worthy of being a candidate. In fact, maybe by rubbing shoulders with people from various backgrounds and various interest, it makes him a better candidate. Maybe he has a deeper understanding of the perspective and concern of a broader segment of the population. Maybe he can relate better.

This is "music city USA."  Maybe, the Senate needs someone who can relate to musicians. The fact that he was once in a rock and roll bands means he is probably not freaked out by people who are a little bohemian, or live a different life style, or were once young, or like to drink beer until late at night and like to dance and have fun. To my way of thinking, that does not disqualify him.

I would rather have a candidate who had once been in a rock and roll band and had broader life experiences  than a candidate who had never left the enclave of Brentwood and never experienced life beyond prep school and church.

The bottom 1/3 of the tri-fold asks, "Are his values conservative enough for you?" 

Yes they are. Steve advocates a for less government, efficient government, lower taxes, constitutional rights, ending Obamacare, a pro-life position, and market solutions to public problems where appropriate.

After getting this piece, I am going to wear my "Steve Dickerson" baseball cap more often and send him another donation. To volunteer in his campaign or send a donation or learn more about Steve Dickerson, go to Steve Dickerson for State Senate.

His opponent should denounce this sneak anonymous attack. 

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Friday, June 08, 2012

Group looks to November for Brady Banks recall vote

A group working to recall Metro Councilman Brady Banks after his arrest for patronizing prostitution will try to put the question on the November ballot, the lead ...

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J. Lee Douglas of 9-12 replies to Tim Rudd in open letter

An open letter to the Rutherford County Republican Executive Committeeman Tim Rudd who has instructed Republican candidates to avoid 912 vetting and debates:

Expecting your Republican candidates to associate exclusively with your party and its political processes may succeed when your leaders are selfless, driven by noble principles and then only when the candidate himself consents to becoming Republican Party property.

 Whenever a candidate’s first loyalty can never be to any group of men, even good men, but always to his God and His principles then your Republican party is always in competition for the devotion of that candidate against an unconquerable foe. You and the GOP should be asking if your candidate is on the right side, not if he’s on your side. 

Having failed to do this, the Republican Party has seen to the election of countless, seemingly ideal individuals who go to DC, the Governor’s mansion or to the State House and turn out to be milquetoast men who have greater willingness for compromise than in defending our highest principles to every foe, including Republicans. At the end, you then reward these lost souls by celebrating them as Statesmen.

Two years ago in a debate sponsored by 912 in your Congressional District 6, the eventual winner, Representative Diane Black, to me and 200 other citizens took an oath with her raised right hand and she affirmed that her loyalty would first be to small government principles and to the people of her district always before loyalty to the Republican Party.

Disappointingly, that well known conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, gave Mrs. Black an indigestible voting score of 64 for her first year. Sixty-four! Speaker Boehner would have rewarded her Republican caucus cooperation with a score of 99 or higher, I'm certain. Hearing of our vocal disappointment, Mrs. Black sent her office scurrying to try and calm us down before her reputation could suffer harm.

We wonder, since she represents you and your county GOP, did any of you have a come-to-Jesus talk with Mrs. Black? If the domain of Republican candidates falls within your jurisdiction, what action were you prepared to take? When the largest American political party silently is more attentive to its bureaucratic rules and self imposed regulations than it is to electing qualified persons who can and will protect and defend the Constitution against America’s enemies, both foreign and domestic, then it becomes the absolute duty for every good citizen to insert himself into the political process for the good of country. Damn the worthless party line, the greatest country of all time is at great risk. Your lines and prejudices blur your loyalties.
If yours and the GOP across America had done its duty, only the tea party of 1773 Boston would today be known.

Mr. Rudd, 912 Project Tennessee has held classes on the Constitution, and in-depth American history, held numerous debates to highlight the strong and weak candidates. We have vetted and brought attention to the good and inferior school board members and county commissioners. Already, we have replaced some of the worst. We ignore the lines that you draw because those lines have kept you inside, away from the people where the work is happening.

For over a month now, we’ve known the thinking on imminent domain of your candidate Richard Garvin. Do you consider knowing the answer to such a question as important for your job as spokesperson for the Rutherford County GOP? The people are interested in such issues and deserve these candidates’ opinions. Will you now provide them? We have for three years.

Mr. Rudd, the reason 2010 was a bell weather year for the election of conservatives was not because of the GOP. It was and shall continue to be the work of liberty groups like ours. We offer an organized, ground game approach to our efforts that is rarely seen in a 44 member GOP office on Main Street, USA.
Your letter to candidates typifies the words of Orrin Hatch who despises groups like ours. 9-12 Project Tennessee only exists because the GOP has failed to historically educate and motivate its members and the rest of America. This failure is compounded by the politically correct resistance of the GOP to attend to those despised Godly, moral values that led to America being blessed as a people. You seek to be moral without the source of all morality. 

We are glad that you asked your Republican candidates to not participate with us because it draws a line and forces them to decide if as Americans they belong to the Republican Party or to the higher principles of freedom. Thank you for making our work easier.

We don’t seek to antagonize you but you have not shown us a hand of friendship and grace but one of passive aggression. When our goals are not separated by party lines, we are willing to work with anyone choosing our 9 principles and 12 values.


J. Lee Douglas for 912 Project Tennessee
For more see: 

Local Republicans divided over conservative organizations

Tim Rudd: I am not picking a fight with 9-12.

Who does Tim Rudd work for and is that the reason for the 9-12 letter?

A split in conservative ranks: Why is Tim Rudd picking a fight with 9/12?



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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Local Republicans divided over conservative organizations

Tempers flared at the Rutherford County Republican Executive Committee meeting Tuesday night at party headquarters in downtown Murfreesboro.

After Jake Robinson, a local conservative and husband of Rutherford County Register of Deeds Heather Dawbarn, asked the committee about an e-mail by County Executive Committeeman Tim Rudd, tempers exploded and the meeting nearly turned into a riot, one witness said. (read more)

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Update: What Happened at the June 5th Council Meeting: budget passes on 2nd reading.

 06/05/12 Council Meeting

This is the council meeting of June 5th. This meeting includes the lengthy public hearing on the budget which is on second reading. This meeting is over five hours long! Below are the highlights.

  • When the council adjourns, it adjourns to June 12, 2012 at 6pm for consideration of the capitol improvement meeting and any other matter the vice mayor may deem appropriate. 
  • Reappointment of Mr. Brian Winfrey to the troubled Transportation Licensing commission is deferred. Why? I don't know. 
  • The first bill on public hearing is the capital improvement's budget. This appropriates no money. It is a planning document and establishes priority for proposed capital improvemeents. This hearing starts at 8:43 and ends at 15:26. The principal of Stratford speaks in favor of improvement of that school. The capital improvements budget is approved and rereferred to the Budget and Finance Committee.
  • The vice mayor explains that if a majority of the council votes against the operating budget or abstains the Mayors budget automatically goes into effect.
  • Proponents of the Mayor's proposed operating budget starts at 15:55. One after the other people plead for approval of the budget. Proponents plead for a yes vote because they advocate for headstart, for all services, for better schools, for paramedics, for the arts, for a summer writing program, lots of advocates for public transportation, and to get a pay raise.   Many are metro employees. Lots of policemen and lots of teachers speak.  Below are some of the more interesting examples of testimony of those in favor of the budget.
    • Robert Weaver, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police.(21:25)
    • David Peters, a business man with Universal Robotics. He is with the Chamber's report card project. (22:30)
    • Doug ? with the Auto Diesel College. Pro mass transit. Students have no cars. Pro public safety.
    • Bert Matthews, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He gives the address of the chamber but not his address. Should he have been allowed to speak? Favors mass transit and support of the Chamber.
    • Ginger Cook, president of the Realtors. Again, she give the address of the organization but not her address. Is she a Nashvillian?
    • Jane, Ellis, Chair of the Nashville arts.(1:22:28)
    • Steven Entre representing the Greater Nashville Hospitality industry. (1:45:10)
    • Eric Cole, a former council member. (1:51:00)   
  • The opponent of the tax increase start speaking at 1:54:10)
    • Burce McNealage (?). Watch this one. He is a real estate investor buying lots of slum property and turning them into nice places to live. This is a person who has been active in the anti tax movement.  
    • Ken Jakes, citizen activist and former candidate for Metro Council. (1:57:30) He argues we do not need a department of internal audit. Very good. He argues against the arts. Is that art, he ask after giving a couple examples of bad art.
    • Bob Ries, candidate for Congress. We should be expanding the tax base, not the tax rate.  (2:11:53)
    • Daniel Lewis, Chairman of the Davidson County Libertarian Party. Taxation is theft! China, a communist country, is privatizing transportation. Many functions of government could be privatized. (2:17:43)
    • Dan Davis, a Metro School teacher and the Vice Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party. Great job! Watch this one. The city's liabilities exceed it's assets. (2:21:27)
    • Lonnie Spivak, a former candidate for Congress and a leader of the tea party in Nashville. He addresses how much more we spend on education than surrounding counties. Where are the teachers. Too many chiefs, not enough Indians. (2:29:34)
    • Ken Marrero, blogger at Blue Collar Muse and local tea party leader. Great passionate speech. "I am not an ATM."  (3:00:47)
    • Connie Hunter, former school board member. (3:05:36
    • Ed Zeigler. Ed is humorous. Good plea against the increase.(3:24:32)
The public hearing ends at 3:29:20, The budget passes on a voice vote and is referred back to the Budget and Finance committee. Also, the tax levy is passed and referred back to committee.

In other Council action: 

There is a public hearing on a Granny White Pike area zoning bill (BILL NO. BL2012-151) that would interest no one but those in the vicinity. It last an hour. I pity the folks who came to speak on this zoning bill who had to sit through the public hearing on the budget. I think the Council needs to change their rules so public hearing on zoning bills do not occur on the same night as public hearing on the budget. The bill was approved on second meeting and Councilman Todd said he would defer it one meeting on third reading.

A bunch of bills are appropriately passed on the consent agenda, (281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 290, 291, 292, 293, 295, 297, 298, 299).

Several bills, such as bills to adopt an employee pay plan and bills that would issue bonds are deferred to follow the outcome of the budget.  

Three proposed charter amendments (278 and 278 and 298) are deferred indefinitely.  

original post 6/5/2012
Outside the Council Chamber about 6:30 PM

I just finished watching the Council hearing on the budget. It passed unanimously on a voice vote, as it should have. Had the combined majority either abstained or voted "no" the mayor's budget would have become law. The council had to pass this budget tonight. That is the way the charter requires it. The budget is now passed on second reading and referred back to the budget committee. It is amendable on third reading.

I arrived at the council chamber about 5:15 but by the time I got there the chamber was already full and about 200 people were on the mezzanine unable to get in the chamber. I had my remarks prepared and fully intended to speak. However, I had my wife Louella and her caregiver and our friend Sue with me. Louella has Alzheimer's and we had not had dinner and Louella got antsy. The pros got to speak first. By 7PM there was a very long line of "pros" waiting to speak and I knew it would be a very long, long time before I would get to speak and I had to leave.  I did get a chance to speak to my Council member and a couple others I know and I urged them to oppose the Mayors budget. I went home and watched the rest of the hearing on channel 3. The budget hearing was not over until about 10PM.

The people who spoke, for the most part, made intelligent and thoughtful remarks. Most of the "pros" were Metro employees who wanted the promised 4% salary increase or those who benefit from doing business with Metro or whose industry benefits from more Metro spending.  However, some of the "pros" were people who genuinely think Nashville needs more funding to move forward, especially people who believe we need more funding for schools. I disagree with them, but respectfully disagree. I think they are simply wrong; not bad people.

I was very impressed by the quality of comments from our side of the issue. I know many of these people and I was impressed. Connie Hunter, former school board member; Ken Marrero, blogger at Blue Collar Muse, tea party leader and a Davidson County Republican Executive Committee member; Ken Jakes, citizen activist and former candidate for Metro Council; Bob Ries, a candidate for the 5th Congressional District; Lonnie Spivak, former candidate for the 5th Congressional district and tea party leader; Ed Zeagler, a former member of the Davidson County Republican Party Executive Committee who's remarks were not only good but humorous; Daniel Lewis, Chairman of the Davidson County Libertarian Party; Dan Davis, Vice Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party; and others. I am proud of these people. I am not only proud of these people, but pleased that so many citizens cared enough to come out and miss a meal and stay late to be heard.

Now, it is up to the Council. I hope the Council will develop an alternative to the Mayors budget which does not increase taxes. Realistically, I expect some tax increase. The challenge of the opponents is to craft an alternative to the Mayor's budget. While I hope that the alternative is a no tax increase budget, to get a majority will probably require some compromise which is greater than no increase but less than the mayor's requested 13% increase. Unfortunately, the charter gives an edge to proponents.

As soon as the video of the meeting is available I will post it and provide notations to what I see as the best comments, so you can see the best parts and skip the rest. Stay tuned for updates.  

Here are my prepared remarks that I did not get to give: 
 My name is Rod Williams of 758 Roycroft Pl, Nashville. As a former member of this body I appreciate the difficult task you face.  I know the challenges you face in passing a no tax increase budget but I urge you do to so. 
Of the proposed 13% tax hike, 44% is slated to go to schools.  The largest part of that additional money for schools is a proposed increase in the starting salary for teachers, raising that starting salary to $40,00.  We are told starting salaries for teachers are too low in Davidson County. We are told that without raising the starting salary, we will lose teachers to other school districts.

I do not believe this. The facts do not support that argument.  

Thirty-nine of 133 districts do pay a higher starting salary. That means 93 of 133 school districts pay a lower starting salary.

For those that pay a higher starting salary, how much more do they pay? The one immediately above Nashville in starting salary pays $119 more per year. That is $2.23 more per per week.  Of the next seven, they pay less than $500 dollars a year more. Not much difference.

Where are the better paying districts? Only one, Murfressboro City schools, is in this vicinity. Those paying more include Memphis and Sevier County and Maryville City and other districts which are over 200 miles away. Several others including Bristol city, Johnson City and Kingsport are more than 300 miles away. Those are not our competitors.

There are a lot of reasons people choose to live and work where that do.  I do not believe we are losing talented educators to other districts.  If we are, it is not due to starting salaries of our teachers.

We are always told a tax increase is "for the children." I am not buying it. Please do not pass the mayor's budget.  Thank you.

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Come celebrate Marsha's 60th birthday

You're Invited!

She's hittin' the high notes!

Come celebrate Marsha's 60th birthday with a jazz brunch

Sunday, June 10
12.30 - 2 pm
D1 Sports
7115 South Springs Drive
Franklin, Tennessee

This is going to be good! You don't want to miss it!

RSVP Today!

Honorary Hosts
The Honorable Glen CasadaThe Honorable Jack Johnson
The Honorable Charles Sargent
Heather and Robbie BealKathy and Ted Danner
Mindy and Lance McAlindonApril and Brandon Ryan
Mary Kate and Josh Brown

David Adamson Rogers Anderson
Jennifer and Ward Baker Tanya and Jerry Barlar
Debbie McMillan Barrett Jean Barwick
Kelley and Lee Beaman Natalie and Wade Benz
Laura Bond Beverly and Kenneth Burger
Beth and Bill Campbell Diana Day and Alan Cartee
Deaver and Chaz Corzine Lena and Joey Davis
A.K. Dettwiller Marc Driskill, ASCAP
Rose and Doug Grindstaff Ashley and Douglas Henry
Tea Hoffman Kerry and Rob Ivy
Judy and Donny Jackson Rita Jorgenson
Jen and Mike Knotts Bonnie and Kevin Kookogey
Donna and Howard Lange Shalia and Monty Lankford
Sandi and Tom Lawless Kathleen Starnes and Larry Maxwell
Joanna McIntosh Tami and Andy Miller
Laurie Cardoza-Moore and Stan Moore Karen Morgan
Lisa and William Morgan Becky Pair
Cheryl Petty Kathryn and Kevin Phillips
Sherry and Judson Phillips Casey and Glenn Preston
Frances and Jim Redd Candace and Alan Revelette
LaRawn and Richard Rhea Lynda and Jack Stone
Sharon Strange Phyllis Streiff
Trish and Walter Strickland Laura and George Thompson
Jeannie and Michael Whited Kate Yeager
Janie and Bob Yeager

Paid for by Blackburn for Congress
4916 Thoroughbred Lane, Suite 4916 | Brentwood, TN 37027

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Council budget hearings: Metro Nashville Public Schools

06/06/12 MNPS

This is the School Board hearing. I have not yet watched it but I have read enough live tweets to know that the council does ask some hard questions. As soon as I have had a chance to watch it I will provide commentary. Since 44% of the 13% increase is slated to go to schools and since, should the council decide to deny the the school board their budget request, the school board has the option of calling a referendum to put their request to the people, this is the the budget to watch. Unless the Council is willing to stand up to the Public Schools, their is no hope of avoiding a tax increase.

Here is the City Paper's report of the MNPS council hearing: Register to Metro Council: Higher teacher pay would send 'clear message'

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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Rejoicing in my daughter's wedding

Rachel reading her wedding vows
Last week my daughter Rachel got married in a beautiful ceremony in Chattanooga at Crabtree Farm. The setting was rustic, yet classy. Crabtree Farm is a non-profit farm and for three years Rachel and her fiancee Joshua were members, exchanging their labor for produce. The farm is a very special place for them.

Joshua Bennett is the son of Jeff and Jodie Bennett of Madison Mississippi. Joshua is a find young man and he and Rachel have dated for almost four years. Last fall, they had a three-month adventure touring and living in Peru. Joshua, like Rachel, has an adventurous spirit. They are madly in love and I could not be more pleased.

The late afternoon wedding was attended by about 140 people and took place outdoors in the shade of two large poplar trees. The farm was transformed for the wedding with stings of small white lights and candles creating a romantic glow. The potting shed became the bar serving signature drinks of bourbon highballs and raspberry lemonade and other choices.

The barn was the buffet line and after the meal, became the dance floor. A large white tent adjoining the barn was where we ate and celebrated after the wedding. The tables were decorated with linen table cloths, some of them antiques I am sure. Each table was decorated with a beautiful bouquet.  The wedding flowers were created by my sister, Rebecca Mandel, who is a talented florist. The flowers were beautiful.

The food was delicious with barbecue all the side dishes and several great salads. The barbecue was absolutely some of the best I ever ate. The wedding cake was a carrot cake and there was a table laden with desserts providing lots of desert choices. Everything was just wonderful!

The only think that could have been better is if it had been a little cooler.  It was a hot day, but that did not put a damper on the party. People ate, drank, socialized and danced until after midnight.
Dancing at my daughter's wedding

It was a pleasure to meet Joshua's family and so many of Rachel and Joshua's friends and to share this joyous occasion with my extended family. The day before the wedding we had the wedding rehearsal and helped decorate the farm and set up the chairs and in the evening we had the rehearsal dinner.  I rented a restored old Victorian house in Chattanooga which Louella and I shared with our friend Sue and my sister Rebecca and her husband Dale.  It was a wonderful weekend.

My sister Kathleen Williams conducted the ceremony. Below is the text of her homily.

"Rejoice ever more. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks."

Words from 1 Thessalonians 5:16. Words to live by.

Kathleen Williams-Mooradian and Joshua Bennett
If you both apply this to your life and to your marriage, you will be forever blessed. You will be happy and fulfilled.

Rejoice ever more. It’s not about a natural disposition – although it comes more naturally to some of us. But for most people it takes practice. So…practice rejoicing. Make it a habit. When you feel happy, say it.

Ask yourself every day. What am I happy about? What am I excited about? What am I enjoying? Don’t allow yourself to ask the opposite – don’t look for trouble. Troubles will find you. Look for joy. Share it with your husband or wife. Share it with your friends and family. Give joy away. Smile. Rejoicing is contagious. It makes it pleasurable to live with the other person – to wake up to them every day.

 And there is so much to rejoice about -- wonderful, wonderful, life. And what wonderful lives are being joined here today. Already rich with experiences to brighten a lifetime.

Purchasing passion fruit from a street-side stand in Kensington Market, Toronto. Tiny little crackles of sound as they opened the orange skin, and slurped the fruit down. Rachel says, "It was beautiful and sensual and in that moment they knew there was a whole world of treats to experience and that we wanted to know of them together."

Camping in the woods and fresh water swims in cold cricks. Hikes along the humid Tennessee forest floor. Heavenly.

Allie Stafford and Allen Hartley provided the music
Biking across a totally empty beach at Sapelo Island and stopping for a swim and then an impromptu picnic on found fresh grapefruits.

Or Cooking in Cusco, Peru. Winding through cobblestone streets to shop colorful Andean markets, marveling at all the fresh produce and then sharing scrumptious fare.

Hiking through the Andes, to white fields of drying salt, and most recently the triumph of touring with Joshua’s music across the eastern united states. These experiences are exotic and rare but Rachel and Joshua also know how to relish the simplest experiences …again to use Rachel’s beautiful words: they are blessed by the everyday … "a normal Saturday morning that holds wonder."

When you have been this blessed, it’s wrong to despair. So Rejoice.

Take time to Rejoice in the everyday life …This green meadow – these broad trees. These loved ones around you now and those far away and some now departed whose love we still feel. Oh wondrous life.

Oh wondrous love. Rejoice in it always and be glad. And your marriage will be blessed.

Pray without ceasing. I don’t understand it and I know that it doesn’t cure all the disease or suffering, or wars, or bad news that bombards us every day. But I know that there is a place you can go – call it the heart of God – the spirit of the Universe – call it Love. There all suffering ceases.

Toast of the bride and groom.
Seek comfort even if it just means being still. Quieting the mind. To find the heart. In Psalms 46:10 the verse says, “Be Still and know that I am God.”

Go to the woods where I know you two feel this most profoundly. Where Moses and Jesus and John the Baptist went too. Go to the river. Get washed in the waters. Go to the wilderness. It soothes. There you can always find a fresh start, cleansing, peace.

Poet and farmer Wendell Berry Says: “Come into the peace of wild things…into the presence of still waters…and rest in the grace of the world and be free.”

One of the greatest Americans - Conservationist John Muir felt all “hard money-gaining, material thoughts loosen and sink off and out of sight, and says: one is free from oneself and made captive to the fresh wildness and beauty, obeying it as necessarily as unconscious sun-bathed plants.”
“Leaving no place for the old fears in a spirit filled to its capacity with wonder.”

Pray or Meditate on your aspirations for your family. For you work. For your health. Know what you are praying for. Pray for strength to accomplish your dreams. Pray for peace. Pray for each other. Pray for your marriage.

And then rest. Depok Chopra says: Spending time in nature will give you access to infinite creativity, freedom and bliss. It’s about appreciation for the Here and Now. And it’s for strength.

Even though my faith is weak and I cannot define sometimes what or who I pray to I seek the “quiet room. The holy presence." The spirit that will aid me in all we share and do. And do your best to believe that as Jesus says, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Prayer will bring peace to your marriage … a peace that passeth understanding.

In everything give thanks. Count your blessings. Be present. Give thanks. Ask yourself – what am I thankful for.

Believe it or not – someday when it’s not your wedding day, and the laundry is backed up and the bills have yet to be paid or worse can’t be paid and you find something wrong with the other person, it’s so helpful to also be thankful and to have this habit developed every day. It’s a reserve you can draw on.

I’m so thankful that my husband of 25 years this past month is so faithful, so smart, so respectful, such a good father, kind, and good to look at. The bills or laundry become so unimportant when weighed against all those great attributes.

And sometimes it’s okay to be sad about the things you find disappointment in. No –one will meet every expectation, all the time. Allow yourself to be sad about some things so the other person doesn’t have to be perfect to satisfy you.

And say how thankful you are often. And say thank you. Good manners make good room mates. Thank you honey -- Goes a long way toward making a good marriage.

In the book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, author Annie Dillard studies God and nature for a year and at the end even though she acknowledges the violence and cruelty of nature… of life, she exhorts us all to: "Go your way and your left foot says 'Glory' and your right foot says 'Amen'; in and out of Shadow Creek, upstream and down, exultant, in a daze, dancing, to the twin silver trumpets of praise."

If you Rejoice evermore - pray without ceasing. and give thanks. Life and your marriage will be Blessed.

The Williams Family

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Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey proud of conservation project

Nature Conservancy and state charting new path with Doe Mountain acquisition

By Morgan Simmons,, Monday, June 4, 2012

MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. — One of the best ways to experience Doe Mountain is from the top of a retired Forest Service fire tower on one of the mountain's main peaks. (read more)
There is a small segment of the conservative movement that thinks we do not need to preserve any more natural treasures. There is a small segment that, because of differences of opinion with some environmentalist, have taken the position that all environmentalism is evil. There is a nutty fringe that thinks preserving beautiful vistas and natural rivers and wildlife habitats and wilderness areas are part of a diabolical plot called Agenda 21 and that by embracing nature we are embracing surrendering national sovereignty and private property rights. I am glad our state Republican leadership is not part of that nutty fringe.

I am a conservative and a conservationist. I want to preserve the natural beauty of our state.  I am proud of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Governor Bill Haslam and most of our elected state officials, Republican and Democrat, who are also conservationist and value preserving the natural beauty of our state and saving our natural treasures for future generations.

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Monday, June 04, 2012

Update: The June 5th Council meeting? The Budget.

This will be one of the most important Council meetings in a very, very long time. The Mayor's budget (ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-154) will be on second reading and there will be a public hearing. Usually Council Meeting are very, very boring and only a political junkie like me would watch them. This should be entertaining and heated. If you only watch one council meeting a year, watch this one. If you want to stop a tax increase, attend!

What I expect to happen is that the Council will hold the hearing on the budget and then defer it. Expect to hear teachers, policemen, Metro employees, art lovers, park lovers, library lovers and people who think of themselves as friends of education, and other "good government" types and liberals to argue that we need a tax increase to move this city forward.

Expect homeowners and tax payers and conservatives and tea party types to argue that a tax increase will cause people and businesses to move out of the county or chose not to move here in the first place. They will argue we cannot afford a tax increase.

If I get a chance to speak I will argue against a tax increase. In property taxes, it cost a homeowner almost twice as much to live within Davidson County as it does in an adjoining county. The adjoining counties, generally have less crime and better schools and one can still enjoy the benefits provided by the city of Nashville. One can drive to Nashville to enjoy the entertainment and fine restaurants and all else, yet avoid the taxes. I think a tax increase will drive out the middle class. I oppose it.

If you have an opinion, one way or the other about whether or not we should raise taxes, this is your chance to be heard. Show up! Put in your two cents worth. I do not know how the vice mayor will handle it, if hundreds of people want to speak. Will she ban repetitive testimony?  Will she impose a time limit?  Will she arbitrarily cut off the public hearing after a certain amount of time? I don't know.

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda. From the agenda you can link to the analysis. 

Here is what to look for other than the budget:

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-159: This ordinance adopts the capital improvements budget for 2012-2013 through 2017-2018.The capital improvements budget is not really a budget but a planning document and does not in itself appropriate any money. All capital projects must be provided for in this document before a capital improvement can be approved by the council, except in the case of a public emergency. This document ranks projects, so one can still be against a tax hike and advocate that your favorite public improvement be ranked high. There will be a public hearing on the capital improvements budget.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-153: If you have noticed that in certain parts of town, that two fine looking single family homes are connected by a portion of a structure that looks like it could be no more than a narrow hall, the reason is a codes requirement that says duplexes in these districts must be attached. This ordinance amends the Metro zoning code to delete the requirement that two-family dwellings in the historic overlays be physically connected.  The connection requirement would remain for properties located outside of a historic zoning overlay. This ordinance has been approved by the planning commission. This is a common sense ordinance that ought to pass. This will be on public hearing. I do not expect opposition.

RESOLUTION NOS. RS2012-273 THROUGH RS2012-275 concern raises for metro employees. These will be deferred. If the Mayor's budget does not pass, there would not be money to fund these so the decision on the budget needs to be made before passing a raise for Metro employees.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2012-276 authorizes GSD general obligation bonds to provide funding for various projects contained in the mayor’s 2012-2013 capital spending plan. Like the above resolution, this one will be deferred until after the council decides what to do with the budget.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-155 on third reading adopts the property tax levy for fiscal year 2012-2013. The Metropolitan Charter provides that the council’s next order of business upon adopting the annual operating budget must be to adopt a tax levy that fully funds the operating budget, so this will be deferred.

ORDINANCE NO. BL2012-156 amends the Metro code to shift the collection authority for certain taxes from the county clerk to the department of finance. The reason for this is that John Arriola has not been transferring these funds to Metro. This is a good bill. Until Arriola is removed from office, he needs to be trusted with as little of Metro's money as possible. The mayor’s proposed budget includes a $157,300 reduction in the county clerk’s budget for the transfer of two Full Time Equivalent positions as a result of this ordinance. So, Arriola no longer would provide this service, but he would no longer be paid for providing it.

There may be a couple more bill that are tied to the outcome of the budget, that will be deferred to track the budget.

I have read the agenda and the analysis, but do not find anything else that looks very interesting. I am providing a less detailed analysis of this agenda on this occasion than I usually due because of time constraints, but I have read it and see nothing else that is controversial.

Remember, this is your chance to let your voice be heard.  Show up at the Court House to get a tee shirt showing your opposition to the tax increase.  Opponents of the tax hike will be meeting at the front entrance of the court house starting about 4:30.  Once the chamber is full, no more people will be permitted entrance.  The proponents of a tax increase are expected to also arrive early to take the available seats, so to get a seat in the chamber and a chance to speak during the public hearing, arrive early.

The Please note that signs are prohibited in the council chambers but one may wear buttons or shirts with messages. Cheers and applause are prohibited in the chamber. If the crowd gets too rowdy, the the Vice Mayor my clear the chamber. Please be respectful of those with whom you disagree and constrain your enthusiasm for those with whom you agree. I hope to see you there.

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Call Dean’s office and say NO TAX!!!

 from B. J. Zeagler
Dean’s administration, which called the volume of emails “a modest number for an issue like this,” said it still believes the balance of public opinion tilts toward the tax increase.
Call Dean’s office and say NO TAX!!!
Mayor Karl Dean
Phone (615) 862-6000

We can STOP the 13% Nashville Property Tax Hike.

The next extremely critical step is showing up in large numbers at the Metro Council Meeting on Tuesday June 5th at 4:30pm.

We will be there starting at 4:30pm Tuesday June 5th at the Front Entrance to the Metro Courthouse with T-shirts available so you can tell Karl Dean and the Council NO PROPERTY TAX HIKE.
Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend. There will also be a public hearing at the Tuesday Council Meeting where anyone who chooses to can tell the council how they feel about the 13% Tax Hike. Most importantly, PLEASE JOIN US. The council meeting will start at approx 6:30 PM but it is VERY IMPORTANT that we get there early enough to get seats in the council chamber.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Tim Rudd: I am not picking a fight with 9-12.

Below is the reply I receive from Tim Rudd in response to my post, "Why is Tim Rudd picking a fight with 9-12:"


First of all let me say that neither I or anyone else in the Republican Party is picking a fight with 9/12 or anyone else. I made no threats or derogatory statements against 9/12 or any other organization. I am simply defending my Party's right to control its own selection process.

We have welcomed members of non-partisan organizations that openly say they are Republican to be involved in the GOP, its committees, as officers and to volunteer in campaigns. The 9/12 group is made up of many fine people of which many are my friends. I know the negative and confrontational tactics of a few 9/12ers do not represent the views of most 9/12ers I know. From the response and the comments of certain 9/12 leaders, they are attacking me, not vise versa. This is most unfortunate.

Unlike single issue non-partisan groups like the NRA, Right To Life, Anti-Tax organizations, 9/12 has a wide array of issues and causes. The group is made up of Democrats, Republicans and Independents and have supported candidates from a broad spectrum of ideologies. Nine-Twelve has never considered itself Republican. I ask that any and all non-Republican organizations respect our rules, our process and our right to select our own Party nominee. Once we have put forth our nominees for the general election, all people and non-partisan organizations can select between Republican, Democrat and Independent candidates. 

It would be morally and ethically wrong for people who do not consider themselves to be a Republican to vote in our primary or in any way to interfere in our process. For individuals who are Republican, I encourage them to join us and become involved in our Party's process.


Tim Rudd

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Who does Tim Rudd work for and is that the reason for the 9-12 letter?

Yesterday, I reported that Tim Rudd a member of the Republican Party State Executive Committee had sent out a letter to candidates and elected officials urging them to boycott a vetting process and debate being sponsored by the local 9-12 Project group. I said I was surprised to see a Republican in his position pick a fight with nine-twelvers and I said that I did not know if the letter from Rudd represented only his opinion or if this was a move by the Republican Party establishment to retaliate against this 9-12 group for some of their criticism of elected Republicans.

I still don't know.  However, Matthew Hurt writing in his blog reports that Tim Rudd is a paid consultant for Dawn White, operating under the name "Stones River Strategies." Matthew has documents to support his claim. Matthew theorizes that the move against 9-12 was a move to help Dawn White.

Dawn White is a candidate for the new 37th House District seat, the same seat being sought by Richard Garvin, Jr.  It is my understanding that Garvin is the candidate favored by the more tea party oriented Republicans and White is the candidate supported by the more traditional party establishment Republicans. Stay tuned, more to follow.

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We can STOP the 13% Nashville Property Tax Hike.

An Important Message from Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike
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An Important Message from
Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike
Dear Neighbor,

We can STOP the 13% Nashville Property Tax Hike.

The next extremely critical step is showing up in large numbers at the Metro Council Meeting on Tuesday June 5th at 4:30pm.
We will be there starting at 4:30pm Tuesday June 5th at the Front Entrance to the Metro Courthouse with T-shirts available so you can tell Karl Dean and the Council NO PROPERTY TAX HIKE.
Please mark your calendar and make plans to attend. There will also be a public hearing at the Tuesday Council Meeting where anyone who chooses to can tell the council how they feel about the 13% Tax Hike. Most importantly, PLEASE JOIN US. The council meeting will start at approx 6PM but it is VERY IMPORTANT that we get there early enough to get seats in the council chamber.

If you would like to take action before the Tuesday Council Meeting Please CALL as many council members as possible (numbers listed below) and let them know politely but firmly how you feel. You can simply leave a message on their answering machine and say, "I am ___and I live at___ and I am asking you to vote NO on Mayor Dean's Tax increase." Below are all the numbers.

  Council Members At Large represent ALL Nashville Citizens
  Megan BARRY    480-3008
  Ronnie STEINE     385-9757
  Tim GARRETT   859-1047
  Charlie TYGARD   646-3295
  Jerry MAYNARD   942-6233
  District - Council Member - ZIP - Phone
  1. Lonnell MATTHEWS, Jr  - 37218 -  876-2319
  2. Frank HARRISON  -  37207  -  228-7693
  3. Walter HUNT - 37189  -  876-3367
  4. Brady BANKS  -  37027 - 663-1037
  5. Scott DAVIS  - 37207 -  554-9730
  6. Peter WESTERHOLM  - 37206  - 429-4042
  7. Anthony DAVIS  -  37206 -  775-8746
  8. Karen BENNETT  -  37207 -  228-8107
  9. Bill PRIDEMORE -  37115  -  915-1419
  10. Doug PARDUE  - 37072  - 859-9370
  11. Darren JERNIGAN -  37138 -  847-8483
  12. Steve GLOVER  -  37076  -  883-1378
  13. Josh STITES  -  37214  -  583-9271
  14. Bruce STANLEY   37214   889-6697
  15. Phil CLAIBORNE  - 37214 -  889-2907
  16. Toney TENPENNY  -  37211 -  506-2016
  17. Sandra MOORE  -  37204  -  386-9246
  18. Burkley ALLEN  - 37205  -  383-6604
  19. Erica GILMORE  -  37208  -  248-8852
  20. Buddy BAKER  -  37209  -  356-0714
  21. Edith LANGSTER  -  37208  -  320-5783
  22. Sheri WEINER  -  37221  -  347-7544
  23. Emily EVANS  - 37205  -  356-6294
  24. Jason HOLLEMAN  -  37209  - 269-6365
  25. Sean McGUIRE  -  37215  -  260-2634
  26. Chris HARMON -  37211 -  405-7132
  27. Davette BLALOCK  -  37211 -  831-5525
  28. Duane DOMINY  -  37013  -  831-0774
  29. Karen JOHNSON  -  37013  -  977-6721
  30. Jason POTTS  -  37211 -  332-0568
  31. Fabian BEDNE  - 37211  -  829-6226
  32. Jacobia DOWELL -  37013  -  731-3177
  33. Robert DUVALL  -  37013  -  862-6780
  34. Carter TODD  -  37215  -  305-8903
  35. Bo MITCHELL  -  37221 -  477-6718  

Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike
2714 Jefferson Street
Nashville, TN 37208
This email was sent to you by Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike.
Our mailing address is:
Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike
2714 Jefferson Street
Nashville, TN 37208

Add us to your address book

If you also got this email or saw it posted somewhere and wondered who "Nashville Citizens Against the Tax Hike" were, it is the Nashville Tea Party. Call the number and you will get a recorded message saying "welcome to the Nashville Tea Party" and you will get the voice of  Ben Cunningham. 2714 Jefferson Street is the address of Jefferson Manor Apartment. The May 10th event near Opryland was organized by the Nashville Tea Party and the event on at Limelight on Thursday was advertised as hosted by the Facebook group "Homeowners Against a Property Tax Hike." I don't know why this is being put out under a new name, not that any of this matters, but I was curious and thought others may be.  

The important thing is that we make the phone calls and show up on Tuesday night.

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