Saturday, July 13, 2013

Asiana crash-landing TV Report "Identifying" Asiana Pilots. LMAO!

If you have not heard it yet, you have got to listen! This is LMAO-LOL-funny! I love it!

Thanks in part to a rogue intern at the National Transportation Safety Board, KTVU, a local Fox affiliate in the San Francisco Bay area on Friday offered up a cringe-worthy report on the Asiana crash-landing. Here, watch for yourself:  

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Attending the Stateman's Dinner

I enjoyed the Statesman's Dinner last night, the annual Tennessee GOP fundraiser and celebration. At $250 it was the upper limit of my price range for political events, and while there was no free booze or free parking, it was for the cause and there were lots of political celebrities and good speeches and fellowship with fellow Republicans. I did not scramble to take pictures or take notes. I wanted to enjoy the event rather than be in blog reporter mode. Over 1400 people attended the event and it raised almost half a million dollars for the Party.  It was held in the new Music City Center. This was my first time in the Center and it is an impressive building.  I set at the table with Bill and Beth Campbell and we had table on the front row of tables, just a few tables left of the stage. That was great. I much prefer watching the stage than the big screens from the back of the room.

Prior to the start of the dinner their was mingling in a separate room and a cash bar. A Bluegrass band played and I don't know who they were but at events like this the music is background music, not the focus of attention. They were good. I think they were headed by some Tennessee local elected official but I did not get there name and there was no printed program. .I got to speak to and shake hands with Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander and Governor Haslam. I told Senator Corker I appreciated what he was trying to do to abolish Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and told Senator Alexander, I appreciated the work he was doing on trying to fix the student loan debt problem.

The keynote speech was by  U. S. Senator Tim Scott, a Black senator from South Carolina. He gave a good rousing speech. There were several other speeches.  They were short, but a lot of them: Tennessee Party Chairman Chris Devaney, Senator Alexander, Senator Corker, Governor Haslam, and six of Tennessee's seven elected State Representatives. Among the Representatives, I was most impressed by Phil Roe of the First District and Knoxville's John Duncan. They went it district numerical order so Marsha Blackburn was last. After so many speeches, it was tough being last.

One person was recognized from each congressional district as the "statesman" and they were profiled in a video which gave a little biographical sketch of each and told of their political activism. Robert Duvall was the Fifth District's Statesman.

Below is the Tennesseans report of the event and video:

GOP must reconnect with public, senator tells TN Statesmen's Dinner audience 

by Chas Sisk The Tennessean, July 12, 2013 - Freshman U.S. Sen. Tim Scott called on Tennessee Republicans to help their party capture both chambers of Congress next year in a revival-style stump speech Friday night in Nashville.

Scott, the South Carolina lawmaker who earlier this year became the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction, said in the keynote address to the Tennessee Republican Party’s annual Statesmen’s Dinner that the GOP can win back the Senate next year and the White House in 2016. (read more)
This is a four minute sample of Tim Scott's speech. Unfortunately, you have to watch a few seconds of commercial to see the video.  

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Megan Barry kicks off Mayoral campaign

Megan Barry kicks off mayoral campaign with $40000 fund-raising haul
The Tennessean
Her full campaign finance disclosure is due at the Davidson County Election Commission next week. “For a race that's a little bit more than two years away, ...

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

John Duncan is lone House GOP Tennessee vote against the new central planning farm welfare bill.

The House passed a farm bill today and split up the farm-related programs from the food stamp program which is good news. However, they still passed the Soviet-style central planning farm welfare bill without making a single reform. To see how bad the farm bill really is follow this link.

John Duncan
They introduced the bill last night and rushed it though without allowing any amendments to the bill (link). It passed 216-208 with no Democrats supporting it and only twelve Republicans voting against it.  The Democrats voted against it because they did not want to split out the food stamp provision. Twelve Republicans voted against it on principle. It is beyond me to see how anyone who professes to believe in smaller government, holding the line on the growing national debt, and free enterprise could support this bill.

I am disappointed in all but one of the members of our Republican delegation, but I am especially disappointed in Marsha Blackburn who has always been one of my favorite legislators. I expected better from her.  John Duncan of Knoxville, was the only Republican member of the Tennessee delegation to vote against it. He is my new favorite Tennessee legislator. To see how representatives voted, follow this link

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July 15th Nashville Event - Mark Krikorian, Immigration Expert

From Ken Marraro, Blue Collar Muse:

Yesterday I asked you to save the date of Monday, July 15th at 7PM to hear Mark Krikorian, the Executive Director of the Immigration think-tank Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) in NASHVILLE. We have a location, at last!

 We're meeting at The Cave Showcase at 600 9th Avenue South. The location is downtown in The Gulch, on the corner of 9th Ave South and Gleaves St, just a half mile or so from the roundabout at the new Music City Center. Map hereThe entrance is on Gleaves St, right at the corner of the building. Many thanks to Bob Ries for helping to secure the venue!

Parking is free all along Gleaves St and in the parking lots for both businesses on the corner of 9th and Gleaves; The French Confection and Bongo Java's office/Lucy Blu.

We'll start at 6:30 and run until 8:30. Mark will begin his remarks at 7PM. Please consider having dinner and/or drinks at The Cave that evening. The event is free to attend. However, The Cave is hoping to cover costs by having their kitchen and bar open. They are being nice to us. Let's return the favor. The time before and after the event will be great for networking, catching up with old friends or just mingling.

Our guest, Mark Krikorian, regularly appears on the news shows, both cable and network, along with writing extensively in national media, both print and online and does radio, too. All on the topic of Immigration. If you have not heard of him, you can find his bio here.

Please plan to attend. Feel free to bring a guest. Immigration has been on everyone's radar for weeks. Mark promises to bring both expert information and strategic recommendations as well.

Please pass this on to interested patriots and groups, too. Let's fill the room and find out what the real scoop is on Immigration as well as what we can do about it.

Finally, if you plan to attend, please shoot me a quick RSVP here. I'd hate to have space for only 50 if 500 of you intend to come ...

For Liberty ...

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BEAT LAMAR to Invite Challengers to Speak at Statewide Candidate Forums

By CHQ Staff, 7/11/13 -... the BEAT LAMAR project will invite potential challengers to Senator Lamar Alexander to make their case to grassroots activists at BEAT LAMAR candidate forums in five locations across Tennessee beginning on August 31 and ending on September 28.....

Nashville---Saturday, August 31, co-hosted by a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups organized by Eric Stamper, co-founder of the Sumner United for Responsible Government. Location and time: TBD (link)

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Williamson County says textbook is OK

The effort led by Christian Zionist  Laurie Cardoza-Moore to have an advanced placement geography textbook removed from the Williamson County Schools has failed. The committee appointed to review the book said it was not anti-Semitic. However, the textbook publisher said that future print editions and all digital editions of the book would remove the offending passage that asked students to distinguish between Palestinian terrorism and Israeli military action. To read The Tennessean story follow this link.

While I would not follow Ms Cardoza-Moore into battle, I do think more scrutiny should be given to the text book selection process. Some good may come from the hornets nest she stirred. A state legislative house hearing earlier this year revealed that the textbook review committee has an almost impossible task to review textbooks in the time allotted and evidence of liberal bias in textbooks was presented.

Since academia has a well-documented liberal bias, I would be surprised if liberal bias did not find its way into text books. As Rep. Glen Casada points out, we have text books that praise  Mao Zedong and say that capitalism is the primary cause of poverty in the world. We should no more tolerate that than we would tolerate a text book that praised Adolf Hitler.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

School Board Meeting of July 9th with video and commentary featuring the proposal to dismiss teacher Sherrie Martin.

This meeting is one hour and 35 minutes long.The School Board produces great agendas. You can see all of the documents the members of the board sees. Here is the link to the 94-page July 9, 2013 Agenda.

During the awards and recognitions segment, Maplewood Teacher Megan Lawrence is honored for heroic action in saving a student's life. (see 2:05)

Public Comments:
Seven parents speak on behalf of Sherrie Martin, the Teacher at Lockeland Design Center who is facing dismissal. The process of evaluating Ms. Martin is called biased and flawed. Parents heap praise on Ms Martin for her teaching ability. (22:03-41:45) (To see the Tennessean's report of this issue, see the link at the end of this report.)

Routine Governance Issues including approval of the minutes of the last meeting, awarding contracts and change orders to contracts, and approval of settlements and other such stuff takes only about five minutes.

Recommendation to Certify Dismissal Charges for Sherrie Martin starts with a report by Dr. Register. The issue before the board is not to approve dismissal of Ms. Martin but only to certify the charges. Then, if the charges are proven true they would warrant Ms Martin's dismissal and she would have the opportunity to have a hearing before an impartial hearing officer. Parents would be permitted to provide testimony at that hearing. If, Ms Martin disagreed with the outcome of that hearing, then she could still go before the board to plead her case. A court reporter would record the hearing and the board could review what occurred at the hearing.

To see the letter regarding the charges, go to page 79 - 83 in the agenda. She is charged with shouting at students, with texting and checking text messages while administered a test, with speaking in a demeaning manner to students, and with failure to change her behavior. Board member Amy Frogge advocates for the teacher. The vote to certify the charges fails by a vote of four to four. Those voting against certification are Sharon Shentry, Jo Ann Brandon, Jill Spearing and Amy Frogge. Those voting in favor are Alissa Kim, Will Pinkerton, Anna Shepard, and Michael Hayes. (see 46:35-1:02:25)

If I had been on the board, I would have voted to certify. Beyond that however, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that it is so difficult to dismiss an employee. If regular public schools are ever going to have the same kind of impressive success as charter schools or private schools, we will have to have strong administrators and local school autonomy. In my view, the principle should have almost, if not the sole, authority to hire and fire and promote teachers. Individual principals should be held accountable for the performance of his school and he should hold teachers accountable. While we may never get there, we should move in that direction.

The Board votes in favor of a Motion to Conduct a Comprehensive Review of the 2013-2014 Operating Budget.

A Resolution to Evaluate Number of High Stakes Tests Administered to students is deferred one meeting.

During the Directors Report, the Cambridge Program, associated with Cambridge University is explained. This program offers three national and international college-preparatory programs. More than 6000 schools in 160 countries participate in the program. To learn more, see page 86 of the agenda and 1:04:45 in the video.

The Board continues to consider a "balanced calendar" and on Wednesday, July 24th at 5PM there will be a meeting to discuss three proposals.

Below is a Tennessean report about last night's school board meeting:

Nashville school board retains teacher who faced dismissal under new evaluation system

 An award-winning Nashville schoolteacher, flagged by her principal for deficiencies, will remain employed at Metro despite the superintendent’s recommendation that she be fired.(link)

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Senate Committee passes act to make LGBT a protected class

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions passed a bill 15 to 7 today to ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

If I were an employer looking to hire a person, I would not ask a person about their sexual orientation. I would favor a don't ask-don't tell policy. Unless the person told me they were gay, I wouldn't know. "Gender identity" however would be harder to deal with. I would not want a dude in drag waiting on customers.  And a dude in drag may make other employees uncomfortable no matter which restroom he (she) used.

In reality, non-discrimination means special privileges and preferential treatment. To prove they don't discriminate, fire departments will give preferential treatment to gays should this bill pass.. Employers to protect themselves from charges of discrimination will be required to prove they have a quota of gays.  Also, non-discrimination will most likely mean you have to hire the ugly hairy-legged man in drag who uses the women's restroom. I do not want the government forcing Hobby Lobby to hire men in drag.

All Democrats supported the bill, along with three Republicans: Sens. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Orrin Hatch (Utah). The Republicans who voted no included Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Richard Burr (N.C.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Roberts (Kansas) and Tim Scott (S.C.).(link)

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Brenda Lenard running against Lamar Alexander

While there is still no viable, qualified candidate running against Lamar Alexander, in addition to the professional wrestler guy, another candidate has thrown her hat in the ring. The other candidate is Brenda Lenard. She is a Black single mother of three raised in a public housing project in Atlanta, and a graduate student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She has never held elective office. In 2012 she ran against Bob Corker.  A group called InvestigativeCheck claims she is a convicted felon guilty of writing bad checks and she had been guilty of "abusive filing" of bankruptcies. That story was published in the Daily Caller and other publications. Her campaign said of the the claim, it is "blatant erroneous and defamation of character."

You can visit her website at this link: Brenda Lenard for United States Senate.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Just how bad is the Farm bill that Lamar Alexander and Marsha Blackburn supported?

One of the things that most disappoint me about Republican politicians is their continued support for the Farm Bill. Year after year, they vote for a budget-busting, welfare bill that violates Republican values of smaller government, reducing the deficit and free enterprise. It is an unprincipled vote to buy the support of farmers. They throw principles out the window and support a farm policy that more closely resembles Soviet-style central planning rather than free enterprise. How they can vote for a program that violates everything they claim to stand for is beyond me.

In Tennessee Bob Corker voted against it in the Senate, but Lamar Alexander voted for it.  In the House, where it failed, among the Tennessee Republican delegation only John Duncan voted against it.  Yes, conservative darling Marsha Blackburn voted for it, also. The two Democrats in the Tennessee delegation voted against it, but they voted against it because they wanted more appropriated for food stamps. 

To see just how bad of a bill the Farm Bill is, see the following article from The Heritage Foundation, April 8, 2013:

7 Ugly Truths About the House Farm Bill

The recently defeated House farm bill was fundamentally flawed. The House can now fix these flaws by going back to the drawing board and developing real reforms. To adopt necessary reforms, the House needs to separate food stamps from the farm programs and consider each on its own merit in two distinct bills.

Splitting the bill is not the end of the process, though—it’s just the start of the process.
As the House moves forward, it helps to look back at just some of the ugly truths about the House farm bill:
  1. Costly. The House would have spent more than President Obama and the Senate on the costliest farm program: crop insurance. In fact, Obama would have cut costs by close to $12 billion, while the House would have added about $9 billion.
  2. Anti-reform. The House bill would have done nothing to address the skyrocketing costs of crop insurance, such as placing a cap on the amount of subsidies that farmers can receive or developing a means test. In fact, the House rejected an amendment that would have made such common-sense reforms.
  3. Pro-Christmas tree tax. The House bill that was considered on the floor would have lifted a stay that blocked the United States Department of Agriculture from taxing Christmas tree producers and importers. When the full House had a chance to reject this tax by keeping the stay, it overwhelmingly supported the Christmas tree tax. It also would have done nothing to repeal the other comparable 19 check-off taxes that exist in law.
  4. Pro-corporate welfare. One of the most egregious “farm” programs is the Market Access Program. Taxpayers are forced to subsidize the overseas marketing of wealthy companies. The House overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have eliminated this program. If this wasn’t bad enough, the House also overwhelmingly rejected an amendment that would have eliminated a program that promotes farmers markets.
  5. Guaranteed payments. The House bill would have set up a “reference price program,” which was sold as covering only major losses for farmers. In fact, the program was even more generous than the Senate program and would have effectively guaranteed payments to some farmers as soon the bill became law.
  6. Provided extreme protection for farmers. The House bill would have pushed what is called a shallow loss program, helping to guarantee most revenue for farmers. The concept of a safety net for farmers who suffer significant losses would have been trumped by a new model of protecting farmers from virtually all risk. Even the American Farm Bureau Federation in a 2011 letter expressed concern about shallow loss programs: “A shallow loss program is a drastic departure from any previous farm policy design. Federal farm programs have traditionally existed to help farmers survive large, systemic losses. Shallow losses, however, can arise from a variety of systemic or individual sources and do not typically jeopardize the survival of a farm operation.”
  7. Anti-consumer. The bill would have maintained the sugar and dairy programs that restrict supplies in order to drive up both sugar and dairy prices. Sugar prices have consistently been two to three times higher than world prices. The Government Accountability Office analyzed the dairy program and found that between 1998 and 2004, U.S. butter prices were more than double international prices and that U.S. cheese prices were up to 58 percent higher than international prices.
The farm bill should move away from subsidies and toward free-market policies. Without government intervention, farmers and ranchers can be freed up to best use their land and make decisions based on their needs, not on government edict.

I could support a qualified, viable challenger of any incumbent who voted for the Farm Bill if they would make that vote an issue in their campaign and pledge to vote against the Farm Bill. Maybe John Duncan ought to consider a challenge of Lamar Alexander. I would support him.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

TDOT not yet on board with BRT West End AMP

From Nashville Public Radio:

TDOT Commissioner John Schroer points out that the route technically runs on state highways and would reduce the number of lanes for cars as well as restrict some left turns.

“We’ve got to make sure everything keeps the flow of traffic moving. Because even though they do have a bus going there, we also have a lot of cars – not only going up and down West End, but crossing West End.” (link)

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1st District Rep. Phil Roe questions if President has authority to pick and choose which law to enforce

From a Fox News story:

The administration announced early last week that it was delaying by one year a requirement that large employers offer access to health insurance. Officials described the delay as a common-sense concession to businesses who complained the rules were too onerous, and maintained the Treasury Department was within its right.

"This action raises a lot of questions about whether the Obama administration can simply ignore the law when it's convenient for them," Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., said in a statement.

He said he's asked the Congressional Research Service to "investigate" that issue -- "because I don't think any president has the authority to pick and choose what parts of law to follow."(link)

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"Confronting the Common Core" vedio is now available


Rod -

We are excited to share this news with you.

April 30, 2013 the Tennessee Freedom Coalition participated in the event "Confronting the Common Core." Recently, the video from that event became available.

Because this issue is of such great importance to the people of Tennessee, we at the Tennessee Freedom Coalition ask that you would share this video via email, facebook, twitter, and any other way you share important information. The future of our children's education depends on getting the word out about this critical issue

Click here to go to the YouTube page where all 12 video are hosted.

Here is a message from Kevin Kookogey, the leader of this event.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

With apologies for the unexpected lengthy delay (we can thank the IRS for that!), we have finally uploaded the video from our April 30, 2013, "Confronting the Common Core" event.  The link is below.

Due to this footage being shot from one still camera straight-on from the back of the room, the presentation is not up to our standards in either audio or visual quality.  But we were working within the confines of our budget and could only do so much with the raw material provided to us at the end of the night by our production team. 

Nevertheless, the content is there in a sequence of separate segments for each speaker and/or each subject matter of the evening. 

My thanks again to everyone who attended and to our sponsors for making this event possible. 

All my best,
Kevin Kookogey
The Board of Directors
Tennessee Freedom Coalition 

From time to time this blog may post information that I think would be of interest to the conservative, libertarian, or greater community. Such information is posted as a public service and the fact that I post it should not construed as an endorsement. As it relates to Common Core, I tend to think Common Core is a positive education reform. For other post on the topic of Common Core, follow this link. Rod  

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All-of-the-Above Energy Policy is the Only Answer, says Rep. Phil Roe

by Congressmen Phil Roe, M.D. First Congressional District, Tennessee 

On Tuesday, President Obama unveiled his aggressive plan to address climate change. It comes as no surprise that the president plans to implement these changes without Congressional input and approval. While some American families are struggling to put food on the table, this misguided plan will raise energy costs, continue the president’s war on the coal industry and cost billions of dollars. I agree that we must be good stewards of the environment, but this plan is not the answer.

Many believe greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to the gradual warming of our planet and changing of our climate. If America stopped all carbon emissions, however, the global temperature would decrease by only .08 degrees Celsius by 2050. Whatever one believes about climate change, we should all be able to agree that we shouldn’t inflict catastrophic damage on our economy, but the president’s proposal could do just that.

In 2009, the president pushed a similar plan that would have established a cap and trade system to curb carbon emissions. Anyone who flips on a light switch, turns up the thermostat, fills up the gas tank or purchases an American-made product would have been forced to pay higher energy bills thanks to this new tax increase. Some estimates show that American families could have paid more than $3,000 per year in higher energy prices. Fortunately, the Senate didn’t agree to this plan, but now the president is trying to implement this plan through regulation.

President Obama touts the administration’s “success in doubling America’s use of wind, solar and geothermal energy” but fails to mention what his energy policies have done to a very important industry in America: coal. In 2012, U.S. carbon emissions may have fallen to the lowest level in two decades, but the number of jobs in the Kentucky coal industry fell to the lowest numbers in half a century. According to the Heritage Foundation, if the current regulations pushed by the administration on the coal industry stand, more than 500,000 jobs will be lost. But these regulations won’t just harm the coal industry, Americans could see their electricity prices increase by roughly 20 percent. The fact is, coal is cleaner than ever before, and provides a reliable, safe electricity option. We must look at cost-benefit analysis. Still, coal isn’t the only energy option we should be exploring and fostering to create jobs in this country.

The president has yet to give the Keystone XL pipeline the green light, opting to put the demands of environmentalists ahead of the needs of working Americans. Earlier this year, the president’s own State Department released its review of the Keystone project, and raised no major objections to the pipeline. The report also said any of the alternative options to get oil from Canada could be more harmful to the environment than the pipeline.

There is no one source of energy that will leave America energy secure. We must pursue a true all-of-the-above energy policy that includes nuclear, natural gas, coal, and oil in addition to renewable energy like wind, solar and hydro. But we must encourage this development in a way that makes sense, and we should do it without massive government subsidies that favor one form of energy over another.

When I was mayor of Johnson City, we conducted an energy audit. We made simple, commonsense investments. As we were becoming a more energy-efficient city, we were also saving taxpayer dollars. To name a few changes we made, we began replacing burned-out intersection stoplights with light emitting diodes (LEDs). While LEDs are more costly on the front end, they’re brighter, safer, last longer and use less energy, resulting in a net savings of tax dollars. We also built a pipeline to turn methane from our landfill into electricity for the VA facility in Mountain City. Today, that facility is heated and cooled at no cost to the taxpayer. Additionally, we replaced some city vehicles with hybrids, which helped lower the fuel cost line item in our budget. I believe these are the kinds of changes we should be making nationwide, not pushing burdensome regulations that will harm, not help, American families. We can do better.

Please rest assured I will continue to monitor the president’s proposal. I will also support a commonsense, all-of-the-above energy plan.

Feel free to contact my office if we can be of assistance to you or your family. Our contact information can be found on our website,

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Tennessee battle looms over common core

Are Common Core standards the next GOP battleground? 

By Andrea Zelinski, City Paper, July 7, 2013- .....

Conservatives on the far right are vocal with their worry that the government is trying to nationalize education, glean private information from students’ standardized tests, and then stick taxpayers with the bill.
At the state level, leaders including Gov. Bill Haslam point out the state has “come out pretty strong” in support of the Common Core, and he plans to keep it that way.
“We are developing an army, and we have over 700 people on it now who can mobilize when we need to put pressure on our legislators,” said Katherine Hudgins, a chief organizer for Tennessee Against Common Core and a political activist for the 9/12 Project and an officer with the Rutherford County Tea Party. “We will join forces with anybody of any stripe that has the same political concern.”

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NashvilleNext Meeting tonight: Be the "NashvilleNext Mayor." Let your voice be heard!

Help decide what our city should focus on as we create a plan for Metro Nashville's future - by joining the discussion at a series of public meetings around Metro Nashville during July.  All meetings except the last one will be held from 5:30 - 8:30 pm.
Monday, July 8: Casa Azafran
2195 Nolensville Pike map
Tuesday, July 9: Fifty Forward Center at Madison Station
301 Madison Street, Madison map
Monday, July 15: Crossings Event Center
5130 Hickory Hollow Parkway, Antioch map
Thursday, July 18: The Temple - Congregation Ohabai Sholom
5015 Harding Pike map
Tuesday, July 23: North Police Precinct
2231 26th Avenue North map
Saturday, July 27, 10:00 am - 12:30 pm: Sonny West Conference Center
Howard Office Building (formerly Howard School), 700 Second Avenue South map

Please attend and offer your input for school choice, holding the line on taxes, ending price-fixing, ending abuse of eminent domain,  ending corruptions (such as at NES), ending Nashville's picking of winners and losers and crony capitalism.  You can be sure that liberals will be out in force. If only liberal voices are heard then planners will assume Nashville wants what those voices say. Be heard!

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Is $46 billion too much Border Security? Maybe we need a picemeal approch.

Senate Plan to Militarize Border Draws Backlash

Time, July 8, 2013- ... "In an unexpected wrinkle, even authorities on the border are balking, saying the influx of agents could create more problems than it would solve." (link)

My thoughts: I had previously taken the position that  we need comprehensive immigration reform and that the Senate bill that passed was probably the best bill we could hope for. I am having second thoughts. I still think we need a plan to find out who is here and we need some sort of guest worker program and we need to secure the border. I still think we need immigration reform, but unlike our Metro Council which unanimously thinks we need "comprehensive" immigration reform, I am not so sure it needs to be comprehensive. 

We have lived with between 11 million and 20 million illegal immigrants in the country for about 20 years now. A little longer with our dysfunctional, broken immigration system will not hurt anything. Maybe we need a piecemeal approach. First, beef up the border until it is relatively secure. Second, institute a mandatory e-verify system. Third, institute a guest worker program for new immigrants who apply for it and enter the country legally. Then, deal with those who are already here illegally hoping that with two and three above in place, many of them will self deport. So, I am thinking, secure the borders first then look at the next steps.

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Senator Tim Scott, Keynote Speaker at Statesmen's Dinner

Senator Tim Scott
The 2013 Statesmen's Dinner is quickly approaching. On Friday evening, July 12th, U.S. Senator Tim Scott will be the featured keynote speaker. He'll be joined on stage by Governor Bill Haslam, U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, as well as our entire congressional delegation and state leaders.

What: 2013 Statesmen's Dinner featuring U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)
When: Friday, July 12th at 6:30pm
Where: Music City Center 

201 Fifth Avenue South
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

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Has Senator Jim Summerville withdrawn his support of Lamar Alexander?

On Channel 2's This Week, Steve Gill said that Senator Jim Summerville and Senator Mark Green had withdrawn their support from the reelection of Senator Lamar Alexander. I also see that claim on couple of websites. One is the websites is that of the Summer County Tea Party in an article by J. Lee Douglas of the 9.12 Tennessee group. The other website is quoting the Summer County Tea Party post.

A spokesman for Senator Green has issued a statement saying that Senator Green would not be appearing at a July 20th appearance with Senator Alexander because he had out of state guest in town “He and Senator Alexander are friends,” said the spokesperson. “Obviously, some have read more into this than there is and he wanted to make sure that you had the facts on it.” (link)

I can find no confirmation of the claim that Senator Summerville as withdrawn his support. I have emailed Senator Summerville asking him for confirmation of this claim. If he has done so, he has done so quietly. If I get a response or find other information that confirms or contradicts this I will update.

Correction: In a previous version of this post I had mistakenly confused Senator Mark Green with another Senator with the first name "Mark." It is now corrected. I regret the error and am please to set the record straight.

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

On CPAN's Book TV: "Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America"

I hope some of you watched this program on CSPAN's Book TV, "Global Crossings: Immigration, Civilization, and America." The author, Alvaro Vargas Llosa, debunks some of the myths about immigration such as that immigrants drive down American wages, that today's immigrants do not assimilate as did immigrants of the past, or that today's immigrants from Mexico or more "foreign" than immigrants of the past. He makes the argument that we need both high skilled and low skilled immigrants to keep America prosperous and growing.

The programs was a presentation of the Cato Institute. Mr. Llosa is a Senior Fellow of The Center on Global Prosperity at the Independent Institute.

The program is now available on-line and you can watch it at this link

Below is a review of the book.

Migration has been happening, in varying forms, for millennia but it still elicits fear and mistrust, and not just on the part of the “receiving” society. Communities from where people migrate often disapprove of the migrants' decision and consider it treacherous. The recent reawakening of the debate about migration in the new millennium has evoked intense emotion particularly in the United States and Europe.
Global Crossings cuts through the jungle of myth, falsehood and misrepresentation that dominates the debate, clarifying the causes and consequences of human migration. Why do millions of people continue to risk their lives, and oftentimes lose it, in the pursuit of a chance to establish themselves in a foreign land?

The book first looks at the immigrant experience, which connects the present to the past, and America to the rest of the world, and explores who migrants are and why they move. The conduct of migrants today is no different than that of migrants in the past. And contrary to the claims by immigration critics, the patterns of contemporary migration do not differ fundamentally from those of other epochs. - See more at:

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