Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Courage to Stand Alone Makes Duncan Outstanding on Farm Bill

Frank Nicely said, What?, June 21, 2013 -  

I am at liberty to vote as my conscience and judgment dictates to be right, without the yoke of any party on me… Look at my arms, you will find no party hand-cuff on them. ” ― David Crockett 

These words of Congressman David “Davy” Crockett sadly are more folklore than reality in Congress today.  It is a rare occurrence when a member of the majority party votes against the Speaker of the House.  Thursday, Congressman Jimmy Duncan stood alone as the only Republican among Tennessee’s seven GOP members voting against the near $1 trilliion Farm Bill.

The Senate passed the bill a few days earlier by a wide margin.  Speaker Boehner announced his support.  In fact, the majority of Rep. Duncan’s GOP House Caucus was behind the bill. Still Conservatives, myself included, railed against the pork laden subsidies for corporate farming and anemic curbs on food stamps that account for 80% of the legislation’s costs, with little or nothing to assist small farmers. (link)

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Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn betray conservative values and vote for the Farm Bill

One of the things that most disappoint me about Republican politicians is that they continue to vote against a market economy, free enterprise, and spending restraints when they vote for farm bills that provide price supports for farmers and other protections that insulate farmers from market forces, pay farmers for not farming, and distort agricultural production.

Many farmers and people from areas dependent on agriculture are conservative except, when it come to farm policy and there they want their subsidy and their government safety net just as much as the inner city welfare receipent. They are against other people getting welfare but do not view farm policy in the same light. They oppose increases in the Federal deficit for student loans or mass transit, but not for farm subsidies. They oppose government sponsored health insurance but love government crop insurnace. They oppose government intrusion in their lives except when it come to accepting a government check for not planting crops.  These people in the South and Mid-west who approve of government dictated soviet-style farm policy and agriculture welfare are otherwise conservative and they vote Republican, so Republicans who are othersize conservative support a social welfare, big-government farm policy despite it being inconsistent with core Republican values.

Thrusday, the farm bill that would have spend $940 billion over the next ten years went down in defeat. This is very unusual. In 2008 all but 14 senators and 109 House members voted to overrid President Bush’s veto of the farm bill. The reason this farm bill faile was not because Republicans decided to be consistent and vote against welfare, a growing deficit and cast a vote for free enterprise; it failed because Democrates did not think it spend enough on foods stamps.

In the House 62 Republicans who opposed it for the right reason, joined 172 Democrates who opposed it for the wrong reason and the farm bill was defeated. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 66-27 votes.

In the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander was one of 18 Republicans to support the bill while Senator Corker opposed it.  I am dissappointed in the vote of Lamar Alexander and proud of Senator Corker.  I have supported both and will continue to do so, but am less enthsiastic about Lamar becasue of this vote.  His reelection is almost certainly assured. He could have afforded to vote the right way. He is not going to have a serious challenger from the left.   Maybe, he does think that he voted the right way. Maybe he is not really a beliver in free markets and limited government.  Anyway it is disappointing.

Here is how they voted in the House:

1st – Phil Roe (R) yes
2nd – John J. Duncan, Jr (R) no
3rd – Chuck Fleischmann (R) yes
4th – Scott DesJarlais (R) yes
5th – Jim Cooper (D) no
6th – Diane Black (R) yes
7th – Marsha Blackburn (R) yes
8th – Stephen Fincher (R) yes
9th – Steve Cohen (D) no
I have been a long time fan and supporter of Marsha Blackburn and have often admired her for the stands she has take on issues. She has been one of my favorite Representatives.  I am not going to fall out with someone over one vote, but I am very dissapointed. Also, I am disappointed in Diane Black. The only Representative in the Tennessee delegation who voted the right way for the right reason was Knoxville's John J. Duncan. Maybe John Duncan is someone to watch.

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Gene Wisdom featured in Guardian story.

Gene Wisdom
My friend Gene Wisdom, with whom I went to CPAC this year, is featured in the below article in The Guardian. This article was published March 16th, but it just now came to my attention. Gene Wisdom is a local conservative activist and heads the Conservative Fusion book club. His essay's have appeared in this blog.

Gene Wisdom, a 55-year-old conservative from Nashville, Tennessee, was no fan of Barack Obama. Clutching a book called The Communist, he was waiting eagerly to meet the book's author, Paul Kengor, so that he could sign it. The book, which detailed the life of black American journalist and labour activist Frank Marshall Davis, bore a startling subtitle: "The untold story of Barack Obama's mentor." That worked for Wisdom. "It is very convincing," he said.

Believing that the president is more or less a communist would be surprising in many political circles, including many Republican ones. But Wisdom was not just queuing at another book launch. He was one of the crowd at the largest and most important conservative gathering in the American political calendar, where the outlandish is commonplace. (read more)

I would disagree with the view expressed in the Guardian that says the Conservative Political Action Conference, "fires out scattergun wacky policies in hunt for victory," or "does not do moderation or restraint," or "it appears to maintain only a loose connection with political realities," or "where the outlandish is commonplace."

While the conference is unabashedly conservative, as the name implies, there was very little presence of the nutty right. There were paleoconsevatives, and libertarian conservatives, and religious conservative and conservatives whose primary focus was economics and conservatives whose primary focus was traditional values. However, there were very few right wing nut jobs. There were no racist or right wing militia-types.  There was only one session, out of about two hundred or so, that openly advocated nullification. There was no booth of the John Birch Society or the conspiratorial Alex Jones's Info Wars. There was not even a Glenn Beck booth. There was no seminars on Agenda 21 that I recall, and no talk about FEMA concentration camps.  This was a gathering of mainstream conservative, but a fairly big-tent gathering, and not all conservative agree on all issues, so on some issues there were panelist or speakers who advocated moderation on the issue of abortion or gay marriage or the war on drugs and there were some who ademantly advocated immigration reform while others denounced any immigration reform as amnesty. I think the Guardian wrote their story before attending the convention.

To read more on my experince at CPAC, follow this link

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June 22, 2013 - The Hoeven-Corker amendment has been incorporated into the full text of the immigration bill, which is available here. The key areas that the amendment strengthens and improves are outlined below, and pages where the new language is found in the bill are indicated in parenthesis. UNPRECEDENTED SURGE OF SECURITY AT THE SOUTHERN BORDER (PP. 3-8, 14-36) The amendment contains tangible, concrete triggers which ensure that Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPIs) cannot receive Green Cards until at least 10 years after the enactment of the bill, AND the Secretary of Homeland Security, in con... [continue]

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Friday, June 21, 2013

The Good News of Common Core

Here is an interesting op-ed article by Liberty University English professor Dr. Karen Swallow Prior about how the Common Core reading skills standard is good news for Christians. Rod

by Karen Swallow Prior, Christianity Today, 6/20/2013 - The man behind the Common Core State Standards, a set of robust learning measurements that have the potential to change the state of American education, recently reached out to Christians to discuss the role of literacy in our society.

David Coleman, also the president of the testing organization the College Board, recognized that Christians, as a "people of the book," would take a particular interest in the next generation's ability to read, think, and understand texts. ....
In short, the Common Core standards of reading promise to revitalize the fading art of reading well. For Christians, this is indeed good news.  (read more)

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Video of the Joint Meeting of the Metro Fair Board & TN State Fair Association of 6-19-2013

I nave not yet watched this myself and was not at the meeting. To understand why this may be an important meeting see by previous post at this link:

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Parents show up and protest textbook bias and the method of textbook selection

In Tennessee all agencies of state government "sunset" or go out of business unless periodically renewed by the State Legislature. Normally this is a pretty short and routine process and agencies are routinely reauthorized. Yesterday's meeting of the Joint Government Operations Committee to consider the fate of the Tennessee Textbook Commission was different. Parents and political activist showed up and argued that the process of selecting textbook which may be used in Tennessee's public Schools is flawed and should be changed.

There has long been concern about what many view as a liberal bias in textbooks. This concern picked up steam recently in Williamson County over a textbook that activist claimed was biased against Israel and equated Israeli self defence with Palestinian terrorism. The textbook in question was A Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography, used in a human geography class, an elective in an Advanced Placement course. The specific complaint was a passage that asked students this question: “If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?” 

The protest opposing this textbook was led by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, who heads a Christian Zionist group called Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. She is best know for leading the opposition to the building of a Mosque in Murfreesboro.

The concern expressed by parents at yesterday's Joint Government Operations Committee meeting  however went way beyond concern that text books were biased in favor of Muslims. There was concern that textbooks often show a liberal bais. One Williamson County parent, Hannah Tiblier, said, "There was a section in the social studies book about women in modern day politics - not one word about Condoleezza Rice. It was very swayed toward people with a certain ideology."

I for one would not join Cardoza-Moore in a protest. I, unlike Cordoza-Moore, believe the First Amendment also applies to Muslims and I think the controversial question in a Williamson County textbook quoted above was probably not inappropriate for high school seniors in an advanced placement course who will soon be in college.  I don't, however, doubt that there is liberal bias reflected in text books.  Since academia is dominated by those with a liberal bias, I think it is to be expected that that bias would find its way into textbooks.  I think it is healthy that more scrutiny be given to the content of textbooks used in our public schools and the process used in selecting those textbooks. The Textbook Commission was only renewed for one year and state legislature will continue to study the issue.

To read more about this issue and yesterday's meeting see the following reports:
News Channel 4, Parents, activists push TN lawmakers for change in textbooks.
The City Paper,  State lawmakers consider tweaking how panel reviews textbooks

To view the proceedings of the  Joint Government Operations Committee meeting follow this link: The meeting is three and half hours long. To view the portion concerning the Textbook Commisstion jump to 1:12:35 in the video. At 2:07:05, Ms Cardoza-Moore testifies. She offers, what I think are some valid examples of bais.  At 2:44:55, Ms Julie West, President of Parents for Truth in Education offers even more examples of bias, included a degrogatory description of capitalism, and praise for China's one-child policy. One thing that is clear from the committee hearing testimony is that it would almost be impossible for reviewers to actually read and adequately analyze each of the books they are charged with reveiwing in the amount of time allotted. Also, there are too view bidders submitting books and publishers are rushed to produce books that align with the state outcome testing standards.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lamar Alexander: Obama appointments unconstitutional

by Lamar Alexander and Phil Roe, USA Today, June 20, 2013- On January 4, 2012, President Obama made three so-called recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was not in recess. These appointments were unprecedented—no other president has made recess appointments while the Senate was in session.

A year later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously held that the president's appointments violated the Constitution.
The president should withdraw these two nominations and submit new names for the Senate to consider. Until then, our legislation should be passed into law to provide certainty to the businesses and workers who rely on a functioning NLRB and to protect against the unrestrained tyranny of the executive branch of government. (link)

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Commentary and Video of the June 18th Council Meeting

If you want to follow along with the agenda, the council staff analysis, and my analysis follow this link. This is a very short and boring meeting at only 32 and a half minutes. There is no point in watching the video.

Confirmation of Mayor's appointees to Boards and Commissions: Hundreds of people serve our city by serving as members of boards and commissions. These citizens serve without pay and often without recognition, simply because they care about our city. In most cases the Mayor appoints the members and the Council confirms them. These commissions can be quite powerful. The Council really is a pretty weak body. One of the few powers they have is the power of the budget and another is the power to approve the Mayor's appointees to these unelected bodies. The Council almost never rejects a mayor's appointee. Our weak Council does not use the opportunities they are given to impact city policy, they just rubber stamp whatever the Mayor wants. I am coming to the conclusion that we only need one council member, since all forty almost always vote the same way.

Tonight they approved all appointments to Boards and Commissions. These nominees all got unanimous recommendations from the Rules and Confirmations committee and they were approved unanimously by the Council on voice votes. Nominees included a person to the scandal ridden NES, one to the troubled Farmers Market, and several appointees to the Human Relation Commission.

The HRC is the Metro agency dominated by homosexuals, leftist, and atheist and whose mission is to promote political correctness and liberal causes. The HCA sponsors the Youth Pavilion at the annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Pride Festival. I was hoping a conservative member of the Council would have voted against those appointees who approve of the HRC's sponsorship of the Youth Pavilion at the GLBT Pride event. Also, until some balance comes to the HRC by appointing some normal people to the commission, I think all appointees should be rejected. To read more about this issue, follow this link.

Resolutions on the Consent agenda: All resolutions were on the consent agenda except for late resolutions. A resolution is put on the consent agenda if it is likely to be non-controversial and it stays on the consent agenda if it passes the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters. Any member of the body however may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda. I did not see any items on the consent agenda that I thought needed to be pulled but thought someone might take the opportunity to beat up on the election commission by pulling RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-725 which approved a sole source contract with a company for maintenance and support services for the election commission’s existing voter registration system. I did not think it should have been pulled but thought some liberal member of the Council might have taken the opportunity to beat up on the Election Commission.

Late Resolutions: RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-743 extended the free parking programs for environmentally friendly vehicles and for vehicle owners that purchase carbon offsets. I would have voted against it if I were in the Council. There are a lot of other people more deserving of free parking than someone with enough money to afford an environmentally-friendly vehicle. Any one of our thirty-nine council members could have stopped this bill by objecting to its consideration as a late resolution, but none did. It passed the committees to which it was assigned and passed the Council unanimously by voice vote. To learn more about this issue and read The Tennessean's coverage, follow this link. The other late resolutions were insignificant.

Bill on First Reading: There are only three and the sponsor defers indefinitely one of them. That bill is a bill that would have set new requirement for landlords in disposing of evicted tenants property.

Bills on Second Reading: The following is the only bill on second reading that I found of interest. ORDINANCE NO. BL2013-433 requires that all fees collected for having an extra garbage cart be used for recycling. Tim Garrett explains the logic of this bill, but I am still not convinced. I do not know why recycling should have a designated source of funding. In my view, funding for recycling should be subject to the Mayor's and Council's budgetary process just like everything else. It passes unanimously.

Bills on Third Reading: None were significant and they all pass.

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Rick Williams talks to Caffeinated Conservatives about the ARC BRT

This Saturday!

Rick Williams
Come learn and share your opinions about the big issues facing Nashville. This month, we have Rick Williams coming to tell us about his part in the fight against the Mayor's proposed $210 million bus route that will remove three lanes of traffic on West End and put the city in ever more debt. Rick has made numerous appearances on the Ralph Bristol morning show on 99.7 FM to get the word out and to let people know what we can do to get involved, and as an old political hand, he has some stories to tell! If you've heard Rick speak on this before, you will still want to come to this meeting, because he has discovered new information that may explain why Mayor Dean is trying to get the taxpayers of Davidson County into even more debt over some concrete bus stops.

WHEN: June 22nd at 2 PM
WHERE: Portland Brew East (1921 Eastland Ave in Nashville), and when you go inside, look for the sign that says "Caffeinated Conservatives"
WHAT: Hear what Rick Williams has to say, agree or disagree, and enjoy great coffee and conversation with fellow political junkies!

Bring your opinions and a friend! Hope to see you there!

Stephen Clements and Terry Torre

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Alexander tells Reid, change the fillibuster rule and welcome Yucca Mountain

(Washington, DC) — A Republican lawmaker says if Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to change the Senate’s filibuster rule, the stalled nuclear waste dump in Nevada would be revived.
Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander says, “a vote to end the filibuster is a vote to complete Yucca Mountain.”

Alexander says if Democrats repeal the 60-vote threshold, a “bipartisan majority” would vote to...(link)

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Signs Point To Big Support For A Conservative Challenger To Senator Alexander, says Conservative HQ.

By CHQ Staff, 6/19/13 - The results are in from last weekend's canvas by the Real Conservatives National Committee's BEAT LAMAR project -- and they are very encouraging to any conservative contemplating taking on establishment Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of ...(link)

My Comment: You can't beat somebody with nobody and everybody who's anybody has already signed on as co-chairmen of Lamar's campaign. I don't think anyone can mount a credible campaign against Lamar. Also, Tennessee Republicans are pretty mainstream conservative and pretty independent and I think they are comfortable with Lamar.  Also, we have open primaries and lots of independents will vote in the Republican primary if there is an interesting contest, since the Democrats will probably not even mount a serious challenger, let alone two that could make a Democrat primary interesting. The independents who will vote in a Republican primary tend to be more moderate than the party activist. I just don't think Lamar has anything to worry about.

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Glendale Babtist Ch. Muslim interfaith event to be countered by Bill Warner of Political Islam.

From Tennessee Freedom Coalition:

Rod -

On Thursday evening at
Glendale Baptist Church, the Nashville-based interfaith group Family of Abraham is hosting a discussion entitled "Human Rights, Civil Liberties, and Religious Freedom." The event begins at 7pm, is located at 1202 Glendale Lane, and is free of charge.

Blanche Cook, a Federal Prosecutor with the US Attorney General's office will be speaking, followed by a panel discussion that includes local muslim activist Remziya Suleyman of the American Center for Outreach and Hedy Weinberg of the ACLU of Tennessee.

This group has held interfaith events throughout the city of Nashville, each with considerable positive coverage by the Tennessean. Bill Warner, of has long been speaking out about the dangers of radical Islam. He plans to attend the meeting on Thursday evening and silently hand out a flier to those in attendance.  The content of the flier is included below. First, a message from Andy Miller, Chairman of the TFC.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking at an event in Dallas that Frank Gaffney Jr. set up with about 45-50 prominent business leaders about educating and working with State Legislators on issues regarding the Political Nature of Islam. At that event was a Pastor named Rafael Cruz... Yes, Senator Ted Cruz' Father. After the event he and I talked for close to an hour and a half and he told me that one of if not the most irresponsible and dangerous groups leading folks astray regarding Islam's Agenda were America's Clergy. He specifically brought up the "Family of Abraham" Interfaith Events and made it clear to me that when a Pastor or Preacher knows so little about another religion's tenets or its clearly stated agenda and professes that "We pray to the same God" or that "Allah and God" are one in the same that they are not only leading their flock dangerously astray but are actually delivering them into the hands of Evil.

I see Pastor Cruz as completely right and correct. I stand with him and will speak the same. Anyone that can so blindly and recklessly mislead so many is in some respects more dangerous than the Evil Ideology that they pretend to understand.

Strong Words? You bet. Read the Koran!  Understand how it Works!  But also the Sira and Hadiths... Read the "Reliance of the Traveller"!  Know how abrogation works within the Koran. Understand what it is to be a Kafir and know that you are one.

But stop pretending that a Supremacist Ideology that sees us all as dirty, filthy subhumans that they can effectively do whatever they choose, including rob, rape and murder, has any interest in "Being a part of your Family". Because he is compelled by "Allah" to either convert you or end your life. Sound like your God?  Not mine, either.

A voice for the Voiceless

Our Demands:
  • We demand a voice for the Kafir political class, particularly in matter of government. This includes education and law enforcement.
  • We demand a voice for the martyrs of jihad.
  • We demand a voice for those who suffer under political Sharia— apostates, women, artists, gays, free thinkers.
  • We demand that those who claim leadership and speak about Islam know the Islamic political doctrine found in the Koran and the Sunna.
A Challenge:
We will debate any person or team
Resolved: there is good in Islam for the Kafir.
We hold that the resolution is false and will debate anyone who affirms the resolution.
Denying Human Rights
The doctrine of political Islam and the Sharia deny basic human rights as found the UN Declaration of 1947. Under the Sharia humans are not equal.
  • There are different political/legal classes in Islam based on gender and religion. 
  • There is no freedom of consciousness, since apostates from Islam may be murdered.
  • There is no freedom of religion, since the Sharia dictates all public behavior, including religious behavior.
  • There is no freedom of speech due to blasphemy laws that greatly restrict what can be said.
  • Artists, writers and intellectuals are not free to do anything that offends Islam.
  • Political speech is forbidden that offends Islam.

We have seen events like this for the last 11 years in Nashville and they all have several things in common. There is only one voice allowed, that of religious Islam and its apologists. Islam is presented in the form of the Muslim experience. Since the Muslims are good, then by implication—Islam is good.
There is never a voice from those who are persecuted under the jihad laws of the Sharia. Every year thousands of Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus and others are murdered because they are non- Muslims, called Kafirs.
There is never a voice from a non- Muslim (Kafir) who has knowledge about Islam, Sharia and the history of Islam. Those who hold views of any view other than—Islam is wonderful —are condemned as immoral and bigots and, as such, are not heard.
There is no voice for the victims of Sharia laws—abused women, apostates, persecuted artists, gays and writers.
There are two manifestations of Islam—religious and political. The voice of political Islam is censored. We only hear about religious Islam.
Questions from the floor are not allowed. Real discourse is forbidden.
Federal Government
But we do have new voice tonight— the Federal government. This is the second time in two weeks that the DOJ (Department of Justice) has appeared in a Tennessee forum about Islam that does not allow a voice of the victims, reason and knowledge to be heard.
Why is DOJ inserting itself into what it sees as a religious matter?
Will there be DOJ forums centered on Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and Jews where Kafir voices can be heard?
To the Christians:
Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and other religions are persecuted by jihad. But, Christians are more persecuted than anyone else. Last year over 100,000 Christians died at the hands of Muslims and there have been 60 million Christians killed by jihad in the last 1400 years.
When will these martyrs be given a voice in your church?
Family of Abraham
The early Koran speaks well of both Jews and Christians. But those verses are abrogated by these later verses:
5:51 Oh, believers, do not take the Jews or Christians as friends. They are but one another's friends. If any one of you take them for his friends, he surely is one of them. Allah will not guide the evildoers.
This is the final and ruling verse about Christians and Jews:
9:29 Make war on those who have received the Scriptures [Jews and Christians] but do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day. They do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden. The Christians and Jews do not follow the religion of truth until they submit and pay the poll tax [jizya], and they are humiliated.

My Comment: I will be unable to attend, as I have prior obligation (drinking beer at Liberty on the Rocks). If anyone attends, please give me a report of what happens.

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Metro Council Meeting of June 18, 2013

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Corker: Further Reduction Of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Without Modernization First Could Amount To “Unilateral Disarmament”

The Chattanoogan, June 19, 2013 - Responding to President Barack Obama's speech in Berlin signaling further reduction of U.S. nuclear forces, Senator Bob Corker, R-Tn., the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, on Wednesday said any additional limitations of the U.S. nuclear arsenal without first fulfilling commitments to modernization of existing forces could amount to “unilateral disarmament.”  ...(link)

Remarks by President Obama at the Brandenburg Gate: I've determined we can cut 1/3 of nukes.

Excerpts from White House press release- Peace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons -- no matter how distant that dream may be.  And so, as President, I've strengthened our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and reduced the number and role of America’s nuclear weapons.  Because of the New START Treaty, we’re on track to cut American and Russian deployed nuclear warheads to their lowest levels since the 1950s.  (Applause.)

But we have more work to do.  So today, I’m announcing additional steps forward.  After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.  And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.  (Applause.)

At the same time, we’ll work with our NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian tactical weapons in Europe.  And we can forge a new international framework for peaceful nuclear power, and reject the nuclear weaponization that North Korea and Iran may be seeking. (link)

My Comment: I supported the last New Start treaty primarily because it was supported by the last six Republican Secretaries of State. I trust them, more than I trust the critics of Start. I also think the World would be a safer place with fewer nuclear weapons. However, along with approval of the last Start treaty, we were supposed to spend up to $85 billion dollars to test and modernize our nuclear arsenal.  Unless that has been done, we should not begin negotiations on further reductions. I'm glad we have Bob Corker as ranking Republican member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

One thing that continues to gall me about President Obama is his arrogance. Instead of saying, "I've determined...," why not say, "We have determined that a reduction of one-third of the ....," or why not say, "The State Department has concluded.." or "in the opinion of our arms control experts..."

There is a difference between self confidence and arrogance.  Obama is arrogant. "I've determined" sounds like the statement of an emperor.

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We will continue to pay the bill so wealthy environmentalist can park free

Tonight the Council voted to let the rest of us continue to subsidize those with expensive enviormentally-friendly vehicles, so they can park for free downtown.

by Michael Cass, The Tennessean, June 18, 2013 - Nashville residents with environmentally friendly vehicles will be able to keep parking for free at downtown meters after the Metro Council voted Tuesday to extend the program indefinitely. (read more)

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Conservative scores from the Heritage Foundation: Corker 53, Alexander 47, Jim Cooper 33.

This is a great tool from the Heritage Foundation. You can sort and filter the information several different ways. Here is the link:

One interesting observation is that there is very little overlap. There are only a handful of Republicans that are more liberal than the most conservative Democrat.  The most liberal Republican is Representative Chris Gibbons of New York with a score of 23.  The most conservative Democrat is Rep. Jim Cooper with a score of 33. 

Among Republican Senators Lamar Alexander scores a 47, the same score awarded Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, making him more liberal than John McCain or  Senator Bob Corker each with a score of 53. Of the 41 Republican Senators only 3 are rated as more liberal than Alexander.

I find it interesting that Senator Lindsey Graham, who conservatives love to hate, has a respectable score of 59.

Only three Senators scored a perfect 100 and they are Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Lee. 

It is worth keeping in mind that this scoring is based on only 19 votes. Someone else may have chosen different issues and the scores may have been different. Also, if I was doing the scoring I would give more weight to some issues than to others. If you go to the site you can see the issues included in the scoring matrix and see how any representative or senator voted on that particular issue.

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Liberty on the Rocks moved location to Dan McGuinness Pub

From Liberty on the Rocks:

Liberty on the Rocks @ Dan McGuinness June 20th, 5:30pm – 9:00pm

Hold on to your butts, everyone, we're changing things up. Our usual haunt, Mafiaoza's, is outta commission due to some renovation work, so we're moving over to Dan McGuinness this month. Happy Hour lasts until 7pm so get there early.

Whoa! Holy moly do we have lots to discuss this month! Did you hear about that high school dropout who basically pantsed the entire United States security apparatus? How embarrassing, right? For real though, Ed Snowden's actions are world-changing, no debate about that, but there's plenty to debate around everything else about it.

Meanwhile, other stuff happened this month too. Indiana made it legal for its citizens to defend their property from criminals, even if those criminals happen to be cops. The government of Turkey decided that protesting the building of a shopping mall is an offense worthy of violent oppression. Finally, it seems that our beloved Governor, Mr. Haslam, may have been blessed with quite the windfall recently.

So come on out to Dan McGuinness starting at 5:30pm! http://www.danmcguinnesspub.comnashville  

When: Thursday, June 20th 5:30pm

Where: 1538 Demonbreun Street Nashville, TN 37203

Just ask the hostess for Liberty on the Rocks or look for our logo on the tables. As always your friends, family, coworkers are welcome so forward the message! Visit to find Liberty on the Rocks in your area and sign up for email reminders

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Corker blocks Afghan war funds over CIA 'ghost money' program

By Carlo Muñoz, The Hill, 6/17/13 - Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is blocking millions in State Department funds for Afghanistan, until President Obama discloses details abut the CIA's decade-long effort to funnel cash to Afghan leaders, including President Hamid Karzai.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations panel has put a hold on $75 million in government aid to Kabul “until such time as I receive sufficient information" on the CIA program, Corker said Monday. (read more)

My Comment: With so many scandals, it is hard to focus on all of them. With Bengazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives, the Obamacare shakedown, and massive spying on Americans, it is easy to let something slip by, but this should not fall through the cracks.

While supposedly trying to build a democratic nation in Afghanistan we have undermined democracy by funneling many million to Karzai and his friends. CIA funds have reportedly fueled the rampant corruption and fraud that has plagued Karzai's government since the war began. I applaud Senator Corker for sticking with this issue. I would normally not be in favor of cutting off funding to an ally at a critical juncture in which we are preparing to hand over full control of security operations to them.  However, if the only thing keeping the Karzai government in power is "waking around money," then they will fall anyway when the money runs out. We need ansewers and a full acounting!

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What do you want for the future of Nashville?

For some months now, Nashville has been in the process of developing a plan for Nashville for the next twenty-five years. If your goal for Nashville is privatization, lower taxes, less government, keeping the fairgrounds, abolishing the Human Relations Commission, Charter Schools, or something else, please speak up. You can rest assured those who want a Nashville to be a microcosm of California are speaking up. Planned or not, change will occur. If future bureaucrats and elected officials do not hear from you then they will assume the majority agree with whatever plan comes out of the Nashville Next planning process. The following is from NashvilleNext:
Please take a short survey and share your thoughts with us!

We've just published a new NashvilleNext Community Survey, and we hope you'll take a few moments to tell us what you think. Click here to get started now.

Thanks, and we're looking forward to hearing your feedback.
This is an open, transparent process, yet the "progressive" element has been dominating the input. Too often conservatives sit on the sidelines and then complain that they had no input. Please get involved. 

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Ron Paul is coming to Nahville

August 23rd and 24th, Downtown Sheraton, "A Night of Clarity."

The following is from the website:

“A Century of the Central Bank” 

The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, was established in late 1913 marking this year its 100th anniversary. Coming on the heels of the 1907 financial panic, the Fed was supposed to tame the wildcat free market. Acting as a lender of last resort, the Fed was supposed to deliver a less volatile, more consistent growth. Did the Fed deliver on this promise? History speaks for itself. Both the Great Depression and our current "Great Recession" occurred on the Fed's watch. Beyond the macro instability, the Fed has destroyed the value of the dollar, which has lost more than 95 percent of its purchasing power since 1913. In addition, the Fed acts as the Treasury’s banker, absorbing whatever debt Uncle Sam can’t foist off on the public. The obvious result: an explosion in the size and scope of the federal government, through its programs of domestic welfare programs and foreign warfare. Is all hope lost? What can the individual family or small business owner do in this environment? Come to the Night of Clarity to learn the problem—and solutions—from some of the country’s top scholars and speakers.
To see an interesting vedio and to learn more follow this link:

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The Ron Paul endorsed anti Federal Reserve film "Silver Circle" coming soon.

From Barry Donegan:

Here's the event page for the upcoming #Nashville showing of the Ron Paul endorsed anti Federal Reserve film Silver Circle Movie! Said #RonPaul of Silver Circle, "I am very excited about Silver Circle, which spreads the message of liberty and sound money via an exciting tale of a future where the Federal Reserve has killed the dollar, the US economy has collapsed, and the federal government has slid into complete authoritarianism. Fortunately, a brave band of rebels works to restore liberty and undermine the Federal Reserve’s power via an alternative currency."

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Poetry Break: A Fathers Day poem.

Dad's memories will always be there

by Ken Jakes

I miss my Dad, I miss him more each day.

I miss my Dad, and the simple things he'd say.
When he met you, he'd ask you " how are you peculating " ?
He'd respond back to you without even waiting.
" I'm peculating pretty goooooooood. "
I knew that response was coming and understood.
My Dad greeted everyone with a smile upon his face.
And, I never even wondered, I knew he was saved by God's Grace.
He lived it in his life, and I knew God held him a special place.
I cherish those fond memories of that smile upon his face.
He was wounded many times in battle, he was American to the core.
And he would get upset when someone would disgrace the Flag, he adored.
Though money wasn't abundant, he supplied our family all its needs.
And he taught me though he may not have known, in all his good deeds
How lucky I am to have had him for my Father, and my love will never end.
He was much more then my Father, you could even call him friend.
In his later years he would tell Mom, " Its time for Ken to come in the door "
For he knew that I would be there, if just for a moment or more.
Dad, told me many times, how proud he was of me as a son.
But to have had a Father like Leonard Jakes, I was the lucky one.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

What's on the Council Agenda for June 18th analysis and summary

You can get your own copy of the Metro council meeting agenda at this link: Metro Council Agenda. You can find the analysis at this link: Metro Council Agenda Analysis. Council meetings can be really, really boring if you don't know what the Council is voting on. With an agenda and analysis, they are just boring. This should be a short meeting.

Confirmation of Appointments: We have a strong mayor form of government and the Council has limited means to impact government. One of the powers that the Council does have is the power to approve or reject the Mayor's appointments to boards and commissions. This is power that the Council almost never exercises; instead it rubber stamps the Mayor appointments without questioning the appointees of their position on issues or suitability for the appointment. I wish the Council would exercise this power.

There is one person being appointed to the Farmers Market and one to the Fair Board. I wish that someone would question the appointee to the Farmers Market Board and get assurances he thinks the Farmers Market should follow the law and that he would be aggressive in cleaning up the mess at Farmers Market and make the entity self supporting and improve management practices. I would hope someone would ask the appointee to the Fair Board if he supports keeping the fairgrounds.

There are three reappointments and one new appointment to the Human Relations Commission. This is an agency whose purpose is to promote political correctness and a liberal agenda. There is little they do that either needs to be done by government or could not be done by another agency. One thing the HRC does is sponsor the Youth Pavilion at the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Festival (link). This annual event occurred this past weekend. I wish the appointees would be asked if they think this is proper role for government. If they do, I would vote against them. I would like for all appointees to be rejected until at least half of the 17 members of the HRC are moderate to conservative. We have atheist, gays and left wing activist on the board. It would be nice to have some normal people. Here are the appointees.

  • Reappointment of Mr. Mark Baugh for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Appointment of Mr. Johnathan Giles for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Reappointment of Ms. Alistair Newbern for a term expiring April 18, 2016. 
  • Reappointment of Mr. Don Peterson for a term expiring April 18, 2016.

There are no bills on public hearing.

There are eighteen resolutions all of which are on the consent agenda at this time. A resolution is put on the consent agenda if it is likely to be non-controversial and it stays on the consent agenda if it passes the committees to which it was assigned unanimously. Bills on the consent agenda are usually not controversial and tend to be routine matters, such as accepting grants from the Federal or State Government or authorizing the Department of Law to settle claims against the city or appropriating money from the 4% fund. Resolutions on the consent agenda are passed by a single vote of the Council rather than being considered individually. However, any member of the body may have a bill pulled off of the consent agenda but I don't expect that to happen.

The only resolution that may be controversial is RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-725 which approves a sole source contract with a company for maintenance and support services for the election commission’s existing voter registration system. Sole source contracts may be awarded when there is only one source for the product or service, however all sole source contracts over $250,000 must to be approved by the council by resolution. Someone may make an issue of this simply because of the controversies surrounding the Election Commission make the agency subject to greater scrutiny.

There is a late resolution (RESOLUTION NO. RS2013-743) that extends the free parking programs for environmentally friendly vehicles and for vehicle owners that purchase carbon offsets. I would vote against it if I were in the Council. There are a lot of other people more deserving of free parking than someone with enough money to afford an environmentally friendly vehicle. The reason this bill is being considered as a late resolution is because the program sunsets unless extended by July 1. It take unanimous consent to consider a late resolution. I hope someone withholds their consent.

Bills on First reading almost always pass. They are considered as a group and are seldom discussed. First reading is a formality that allows the bill to be considered. Bills are not assigned to committee or analyzed by council staff until after they have passed first reading. I have not carefully reviewed the bills on first reading, but will before second reading. There are fourteen bills on first reading.

Bills on Second Reading: It is on Second reading, after bills have been to committee, that discussion usually takes place. There are eleven bills on second reading. None of them seem terribly important and most of them are for the purchasing of easement. Below are a couple of interest.

  • ORDINANCE NO. BL2013-433 would require that all fees collected for having an extra garbage cart be used for recycling. Why should recycling have a designated source of funding? Funding for recycling should be subject to the Mayor's and Council's budgetary process just like everything else. 
  • ORDINANCE NO. BL2013 makes it easier to "boot" your car and raises the fee booting companies can charge. Bills on Third Reading: Third Reading is the final reading. If a bill passes third reading it becomes law unless it is vetoed by the Mayor, which has only rarely happened. There are only four bills on third reading and they are not significant and I don't expect any of them to generate controversy.

There is one memorializing resolution, but it is not controversial.

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How your tax dollars encourgage kids to be gay

Today was the 25th annual Gay, Lesbian Bisexual, and Transgender festival in Nashville and thousands attended.  The Metro Human Relations Commission sponsored the Youth Pavilion at the event.

I am offended.  I do not think our tax dollars should be used to normalize a gay lifestyle among young people.  I don't really care if the GLBT community want to have a big street party but oppose Metro's promotion of the gay lifestyle, especially among the youth of our community. I am sure Metro would not sponsor an abstinence themed event if some group like Family Action Council of Tennessee was sponsoring a downtown celebration, but somehow it is deemed appropriate to host the Youth Pavilion at an event celebrating deviancy.

At Metro Human Relations Commission Youth Pavilion, young people could, "'Come take pictures and answer the question 'I have PRIDE because_________' or  'What Queer means to me in 6 words or less.'”

To learn more about the event go to To see the Metro Human Relations promotion of the event go to To see how Metro Human Relations Commissions advocates for gay marriage and everything gay, visit this site, To view the classroom indotrination promoted by the HRC, follow this link.

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