Saturday, June 21, 2014


NASHVILLE, TN, June 16, 2014 – Following the revelations that operatives of Barack Obama are

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade, seated,
and, standing from left to right, Justices Janice Holder,
Sharon Lee, William Koch Jr. and Cornelia Clark.
Gary Wade, Cornelia Clark, and Sharon Lee face
retention "elections" in August.
working for the re-election of Tennessee’s Supreme Court Justices, and that liberal financier George Soros and trial lawyers are directing resources toward the same campaign, Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability (TNJA) strongly questioned the judges’ nonexistent nonpartisanship.

“Our justices are already favorites of trial lawyers – have they now added Barack Obama and billionaire George Soros to their fan club?” asked TNJA president Grant Everett Starrett. “What’s it going to take to pierce the smokescreen the Democrats have put up for 40 years to maintain their control over the judiciary? If the judges quack like Democrats, waddle like Democrats, and rule like Democrats, they’re Democrats.”

J. Ammon Smartt, co-founder of TNJA, observed, “The judges may claim a fig leaf of Republican support, but even the Soviet Union found well-compensated unelected local lackeys throughout the captive nations of Eastern Europe to toe the line of Moscow. But where are the Republicans who support the judges who do not have a stake in the outcome? Is something ‘bipartisan’ merely because you can exploit a handful of people of the opposite party to support you?”

If so, in the spirit of bipartisanship, TNJA is happy to direct attention to the statements of two-time Democrat gubernatorial nominee John Jay Hooker, who has received over a million votes from Tennesseans, and has gone on the record saying: “Hopefully, in the two months between now and election day in August, THE PEOPLE will be made aware of their opportunity to defeat ALL Retention-Election Judges.” [John Jay Hooker, 5/29/14]

TNJA listed seven deadly Democrat sins of the judicial candidates:
• Their spokesman appears to be an Obama operative joining a cabal of Democrat personnel on their campaign. The Tennessee Watchdog is reporting that Victoria McCullough, identified as a spokesperson for the three justices up for re-election in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, may have previously served as development chief of staff for Obama’s political organization and worked for the Obama White House. The Tennessee Watchdog also calls out other partisan Democrat members of the judges’ campaign staff. (Tennessee Watchdog, 6/11/14)
• The judges’ handpicked Attorney General refused to join 26 states in challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. (Tennessee Report, 3/2/12)
• The D.C.-based political media firm that designed the Keep Tennessee Courts Fair website specializes in “progressive causes” and works exclusively for Democrats, including Barack Obama, the Democrat National Committee, the national trial lawyers group, the national teachers union, and the SEIU. (MVAR Media Clients)
• George Soros’ Justice at Stake organization is getting involved on the behalf of the three incumbent judges. (Tennessee Watchdog, 6/12/14)
• All three judges were appointed by a Democrat, and screened by a Democrat-dominated committee stacked with trial lawyers.
• Trial lawyers recently lauded Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary Wade as the “2014 Appellate Judge of the Year.” (TN Courts, 5/6/14)
• “[Wade is] a Democrat, a proud Democrat, in the reddest county in Tennessee.” – The Mountain Press, in 2005, also reporting that Wade had raised money for Democrat Ned McWherter. (The Mountain Press, 8/08/05)

“These points constitute demonstrative evidence that the judicial candidates up for reelection are partisan Democrat politicians,” said Starrett. “And yet this is just the tip of the iceberg for why Tennesseans should vote to replace them in August.”

About Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability: TNJA was formed in 2013 to formalize the efforts of conservative attorneys who for years have fought to ensure that our courts actually follow the Constitutions of Tennessee and the United States. A primary goal of TNJA is to promote needed improvements in the judicial system to achieve the fair and impartial administration of justice within an independent judiciary. To that end, we supported the presence of Amendment 2 on the ballot this November and continue to set the record straight with respect to the judiciary. TNJA is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization. Our President is Grant Everett Starrett, an alumnus of Stanford and Vanderbilt Law School. Our Chairman of the Board is J. Ammon Smartt, a corporate attorney and an alumnus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Memphis Law School.

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I am running for this office because of my long-standing commitment to assisting individuals with mental health diagnoses.

by Marian Cheadle Fordcye

Marian Cheadle Fordcye
My name is Marian Cheadle Fordyce and I am running for General Sessions Judge for Division II. While General Sessions Court mostly deals with criminal cases and civil cases up to $25,000, Division II is the mental health court. That means the judge who presides in this courtroom also is charged with the responsibility of supervising 20+ individuals with mental illness in addition to the regular general sessions dockets. I am running for this office because of my long-standing commitment to assisting individuals with mental health diagnoses. This oft forgotten and often neglected portion of our population includes the mentally ill and/or the dual diagnosed having addiction issues in addition to mental health issues.

At present we often use our jail cells as mental health facilities. Not only is this expensive, it does not produce the results that individuals or society need or deserve. Judge Eisenstein has made great leaps in this field, but there is much more to do.

I have developed a plan to incorporate what is working with the present mental health court which serves 200 individuals and expands with Nashville’sever growing population. My vision combinesthe rules of the justice system (which I believe is following the constitution and statute law in an unbiased manner) with proven rehabilitation methods incorporated into the probation conditions placed on these individuals.

In my experience, and I have over 30 years in the mental health field, you not only have to work with proven methods but be actively involved with members of the mental health community to keep abreast of emerging technologies and treatments. This does not entail enabling the mentally ill to escape responsibility for their actions or pouring money into unproven strategies. It requires proper resource allocation and a system that emphasizes personal accountability and a willingness to focus on evidence-based programs.

All this has to be done while making financial sense and with the goal of having persons regain control of their lives, rejoin the workforce and lead productive lives.

The reason I want this position is to build on the strides made by Judge Einstein and to continue the decriminalization of mental health. I believe with my background and experience I can do just that. I helped promote the need for the Mental Health Court and did extensive work in other aspects of this area.

Campaigning has been a whole adventure I did not anticipate and I feel at times the message and the purpose of the court are drowned in politics. I understand the process; it just is a hard and challenging time and often has me question what exactly would be the best way to get the most qualified judges to serve Nashville.

My family helped found Nashville and I desire to contribute in making it continue to grow and thrive.

I did not choose mental health as a plan, but it has been the path along which I have been led, and I am grateful for those individuals I have gotten to work with over the years; so, win or lose I will continue to serve those who suffer from mental health or substance abuse problems.

A couple of weeks ago I was a bit overcome with the politics of the election and went and sat in the chapel at St. George’s by myself for quite some time turning this election over to my higher power God, and realized whatever will happen is part of His Plan. My part is doing my best each and every day, turning over the result to Him.

I am very proud (wish my father was here to see) to run as a Republican and grateful to expose my passion and the plight of so many to the Nashville community.

To learn more about Ms Fordyce and her campaign for Judge or to make a contribution go to Forydce For Judge.

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Friday, June 20, 2014

What happend at the Council Meeting of 6/17/2014: The Gay Nashville meeting.

To get your own copy of the agenda, the Council staff analysis and to read my commentary about the agenda, follow this link. Council meeting are not as boring if you know what is going on.
BILL NO. BL2014-774 775, and  779 are taken out of order and considered first.

BILL NO. BL2014-774  is the mayor's operating budget for $1,891,647,000. This budget is $79 million greater than the current operating budget. This bill is substituted with the Council version of the budget that makes minor tweaks to the mayor's budget. Council member Stein takes a few minutes to explain the budget changes and as expected the budget passes. No one votes in opposition. A "no" vote would have been a vote against the Council version of the budget, which in effect would have been a vote for the Mayor's version of the budget.  If the Council does not pass their own budget, the Mayor's budget is the budget by default.

BILL NO. BL2014- is the tax levy and it passes. 

BILL NO. BL2014-  is the bill to extend metro benefits to same-sex couples. (For the discussion time stamp 15:35-32.24). Sponsor Westerholm makes a four minute speech in favor of the bill casting it as a continuation of expansion of civil rights. Claiborne speaks in opposition focusing on the economic impact which is estimated between a low of $400,000 a year to over $2 million a year. He moves to defer the vote until an actuarial study can be done to determine the true cost. That move is tabled by a vote of  26 to 10. Three members were absent and from what I can gather they legitimately were absent due a vacation in the case of Karen Bennett, who voted to abstain when the bill was on second reading, and family emergencies in the case of Weiner and Stites. Stites was a leading opponent when the bill was on second reading and Weiner was also absent last meeting but assured me she opposed the bill. Three members voted against the motion to table the motion to defer who did not vote against the final bill. Those three additional votes were Blalock, Standly, and Charlie Tygard. While, I don't give them a lot of credit, at lease they did vote to not pass the bill this meeting.

Back on the original bill there is more discussion. Pridemore  speaks against it based on moral values. This bill passes with the following vote:  “Ayes” Barry, Steine, Garrett, Tygard, Maynard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Stanley, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Langster, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Todd, Mitchell (27) “Noes” Pridemore, Pardue, Glover, Claiborne, Tenpenny, Dominy, Duvall (7); “Abstaining” Blalock, Dowell (2).

This is a very disappointing outcome. I am very disappointed in Republicans Charlie Tygard and Carter Todd who voted for this bill and in Davette Blalock who abstained. I am also disappointed in the Bible-believing Christian pastors in this community who did not take a stand against it and the other social conservatives. If those who support traditional values had worked as hard against this bill as the homosexual community did in favor of it, it could have been defeated. The social conservatives simply did not join the fight. I commend all of those brave council members who voted "no."

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1126 which is the first step toward the sale of up to $275 million in GSD General Obligation bonds to fund various projects in the 2014-2015 Capital Improvements Budget passes as expected.

 SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2014-715  on third reading waives the fees for application and advertising of rezoning of property when the request is made by a councilmen under certain circumstances. Basically this would apply when a whole area is being rezoned, such as when a neighborhood is being zoned from residential which allows duplexes to single unit only residential, or when a conservation overlay is being proposed for a neighborhood. The fees associated with this type rezoning can come to several thousand dollars. This bill is strongly favored by organized neighborhood groups who often cannot raise that kind of money and who feel they should not have to do so to get a zoning change for their neighborhood. The planning commission voted against this. The Director of Finance has refused to certify it as to the availability of funds saying it could cost the city up to $150,000 a year.  This bill required 27 votes to pass the Council since it was disapproved by the Planning Commission and it got 33 votes. Only Council member Sandra Moore abstained and no one voted "no." I am pleased to see the Council hang together and beat the Mayor on something.

BILL NO. BL2014-769 on third reading allows a second dwelling to build on residential lots of over 15,000 square feet or lots with alley access. One of the units would have to be owner occupied.  The smaller unit could not be over 700 square feet in living area. Some neighborhood groups oppose this bill. I support it.

Nashville is expected to have significant growth over the next few years.  If we are going to avoid Atlanta-type urban sprawl we must have greater density. If we want successful mass transit we need greater density. Also we are seeing a lot of "affordable" housing units destroyed and replaced with much larger homes.  This replacing of small homes with larger homes is good for the tax base but it means people of modest income are being forced out of the city.  Many of the housing units that would be build under this bill would be affordable. Another reason I support this bill is that there is often a need for one's aging parents or underemployed children to have this type of housing.

A Nashville tall skinny duplex

BILL NO. BL2014-770 on third reading to allow two detached units on a single lot instead of the requirement that they share a common wall is deferred and rereferred to the Planning and Zoning Committee. The bill would also restrict how tall and skinny a building could be. I generally am in support of this, but hope that the Board of Zoning appeal would have lee way regarding the height restrictions.

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Councilman Robert Duvall, Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party, call for Moreland to resign.

Statement From Davidson County Republican Party Chairman Robert Duvall -

Robert Duvall
 "Over the past forty -­‐ eight hours, the Davidson County Republican Party has watched the controversy surrounding Judge Casey Moreland with growing concern. We decided to withhold judgment until Judge Moreland came forward and availed himself of the opportunity to explain his questionable decision to waive the required twelve hour "cooling off" period in a domestic violence case. His decision resulted in a second assault by the perpetrator on the same victim. 

Now that Judge Moreland has broken his public silence on the issue, the Davidson County Republican Party is compelled to add our voice to those calling for him to step down from the General Sessions bench. 

With his statements to television media, Judge Moreland has proven he does not fully grasp the grave repercussions of his attitude toward this domestic violence case; choosing rather to engage Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson in a public spat. 

Where we hoped and expected to see honest contrition for an exceptionally poor decision, we instead witnessed an embarrassing public display of personal animosity that diminishes respect for the bench and damages public faith in our system. 

Domestic abuse degrades its victims, cheapens respect for women and shames our society. Until leaders we expect to set the s tandard understand that fact and join a sincere effort to end violence, we as a community will suffer. We commend Chief Anderson for his leadership in calling attention to this issue and appreciate his willingness to jolt the courthouse into action. 

The Davidson County Republican Party calls upon Judge Moreland to resign and allow for a replacement to his seat who will protect victims of domestic violence, perform their duties with honor and restore trust in Nashville's courts

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Report from the Republican Party Picnic. Joe Carr speaks. Staw Poll results not tallied.

Kim Hudgins Brewer, Kathleen Starnes, Jim Gotto,  Carol Gotto,
Valerie Levay, Michelle Norris and Connie Butler Hunter
Campaign signs galore, and red, white and blue bunting, smiles, handshakes, and politician kissing babies and handing out campaign fans and brochures and trying to get you to wear their campaign stickers was the order of the day, as Davidson County Republicans gathered today for the well-attended annual Party picnic at the Ellington Agricultural Center. Before and after the official program, people mingled and visited the booths of candidates and those promoting causes. It was great to meet the candidates and catch up with old friends I had not seen in a while. Attendees ate hot dogs and hamburgers and drank sweet tea and listened as Party Chairman Robert Duvall gave a report on the status of the Party and Party achievements and listened to dignitaries and candidates speeches.

The key note address was by Governor Winfield Dunn, elder statesman of the Party and a man loved
Rod Williams (me) and Bob Swartz
and admired by all. He spoke of his pride in witnessing the growth of the Party in Tennessee and especially in Davidson County which most pundits have always considered a lost cause for Republicans.  Also addressing the gathering was Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and Senator Steve Dickerson. Senator Dickerson also served as master of ceremonies and time keeper for the many speeches delivered by candidates.

I am hesitant to start naming candidates because, I will leave some out but there was a bunch of them. Each was given a couple minutes to speak. There are more Republican candidates for Judge in Davidson County than anytime since reconstruction. Candidates for Judge include Adam Dread running for General Sessions Judge,  Marian Fordyce for General Sessions,  Sabrina Orr candidate for Chancellor, and Jim Roberts also for Chancellor. The judges are
Adam Dread
all Republican candidates for their office in the upcoming General Election August 7th. Although they may be running for an office with the same title, they are running in different divisions, not against each other and one can vote for all of them against their
Senator Steve Dickerson
Democratic opponent. While all positions are important, the position of Chancellor can be extremely important especially here in Davidson County. Any suit involving the State Government would go before a Nashville Chancellor since this is the site of State governments and this court may deal with constitutional issues. If we can elect a person who shares our conservative philosophy to this court there is the potential of that person having a big impact.

Candidates running for the nomination for the District 21 House seat are  Mwafaq Aljabbary, Diana Cuellar, Quincy McKnight. Republicans may some times be criticized as the party of old white men, but in the District 21st race, Aljabbary is a Muslim originally from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Cuellar is a Hispanic female and McKnight is an African-American. The winner of that contest will most likely face Democrat Jeff Yarbro in a contest for an open seat.

Running for the nomination to challenge Jim Cooper in the 5th Congressional District is Chris Carter, Bob Ries, and "Big John" Smith. Jim Gotto is running to reclaim a seat he lost by less than a hundred votes out of about 24.000 votes cast in 2012.  He has a great chance to retake that seat. John Wang, a Chinese immigrant who came to America with nothing and has done very well for himself and is motivated to preserve the American Dream for others is the candidate for State House in District 53. In district 51 Brian L. Mason and 20-year old Joshua Rawlings are competing for the nomination. And, in Senate District 19 Sterlina Inez Brady is seeking the seat occupied by Democrat Thelma Harper. Other candidates include Toni Kenton running for County Court Clerk, and  Bob Swartz running for a seat on the Party Executive Committee and I may have missed some.
Stacy Ries sings the Bob Ries
campaign jingle to introduce her
dad, Bob Ries

Receiving the Winfield Dunn Statesman award this year, given to someone who has made an exceptional contribution to the Party was Betty Hood. Betty is the organizer of the extremely successful Bellevue Republican Breakfast Group and tirelessly volunteers for candidates and serves the Party anytime she is called upon. Previous recipients of this honor are Tootie Haskins, Pat Carl and myself.

For supporters of Joe Carr, the highlight of the event was his presence and speech near the close of the event. The victory of tea party challenger David Brat over Eric Cantor in Virginia has been a shot in the arm to the Carr campaign and has energized his supporters.

Unfortunately, this great event was marred by a conflict involving the straw poll. Every year attendees vote in a straw poll stating their position a select number of issues and choosing between competing Republicans for office.  The most anticipated straw poll result this year was the contest between Alexander and Joe Carr. I don't know the details of exactly what happened but understand someone alleged ballot box stuffing. The ballot counting was being led by Mark Rodgers and someone questioned his integrity and it was reported that there was a heated exchange. Rodgers had about four or five people helping him count ballots and one of them was wearing an Alexander tee shirt. Someone alleged that that was improper for an Alexander supporter to be helping count ballots. Where one would have find a vote counter without a preference at a Republican picnic, I don't know.  In any event, it is my understanding that the straw poll was not tallied and ballot counting was terminated. Chairman Duvall made an announcement that the result of the straw poll would be delayed and we would be notified of the results of the straw poll by email or on the party website. I suspect we will be hearing more about this and I will update when I know more.

I am anticipating some additional pictures made by a professional photographer.  Many of the pictures I took are of poor quality and are not posted. Please look for an update.

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Chief Anderson blast Judge Casey Moreland. Megan Barry calls on Moreland to resign.

In case you missed the story, a man named David A. Chase beat his girlfriend and was arrested and sent to jail. Instead of serving the required 12-hour cooling off period, he was released almost immediately by order of Davidson County general sessions judge Casey Mooreland. Chase went back to the house he shared with the girlfriend and beat her again.

Judge Moreland said he had made a mistake and apologized. "Other than the victim, nobody feels any worse than I do about what happened," said Moreland. Police Chief Steve Anderson wrote a memo critical of Judge Moreland saying, "There is a distinct difference in regret for doing something that is clearly wrong, and regret for getting caught doing something that is clearly wrong." Chief Anderson said there had been other similar incidents and nothing changes.

Moreland has been on the bench since 1995. In the recent Democrat primary, he ran unopposed and does not have a Republican opponent in the August 7th General Election. Too bad. While it is difficult to win a write-in campaign, in this case a good candidate running a write-in campaign might stand a chance of winning.

Today, Council member Megan Barry who is running for mayor issued a press release calling on Judge Moreland to resign. While I am not a fan of Megan Barry, in this case I think she is right. Moreland should resign.

For more on this story, follow this link. Below is a copy of Megan Barry's press release calling on Moreland to resign.

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Tennessee Freedom Coalition presents Brigitte Gabriel, June 23rd


Rod -If you hope to meet and hear Brigitte Gabriel speak in Nashville, you need to reserve your tickets very soon. They are moving quickly. Gabriel is the founder of "ACT! for America" and a best-selling author, and she will be speaking in Nashville on June 23rd at 7:00pm at Woodmont Bible Church.
We recommend that everyone attend this free event. In order to make this event free, ACT! for America's Middle Tennessee chapter is sponsoring this event with co-sponsorship from our organization.
Please share this event with your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and anyone else that might like to be part of this special evening. We hope to see you there.
Tennessee Freedom Coalition, Board of Directors

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Thoughts on the vertically challenged being offended by Bob Corker's use of a banned word.

In case you missed it, Bob Corker used "the m word." That is not a typo. I did not mean "the n word"; but "the m word": "midget."  He used the word to criticize his colleagues on the Senate Banking Committee for their over reliance on the Congressional Budget Office.

I do not know when the word "midget" became an offensive word. I have used it saying someone was "the tallest midget in the room," meaning the person may have been the most qualified of a group of unqualified people and only looked good by comparison. Well, one is not supposed to use the word "midget," under any circumstances, in any context.

"Today, no matter in what context it is used, the word dehumanizes and objectifies people of short stature," Little People of America President Gary Arnold said in objecting to Corkers use of the word "midget." The group also said the term was embarrassing and insulting and a slur.

Give me a break. We have become so overly sensitive that it is ridiculous. "Person of short stature" does not convey the same concept as "midget."  Once we have become sensitized to not use the term "midget," then the term "short person" or even "little people" may be the next banned term.

Look at how the term for a retarded person has changed. Did you cringe at the use of "retarded person" just then? Why? It is a perfectly good word but it is out of fashion. It is considered a pejorative term, or a slur or insensitive. "Retarded" was widely used and was a respectable word for a long time. It replaced words that became offensive such as "idiot," "imbecile," or "moron." Then, for some reason it was no longer an acceptable term. Other terms started being used to describe retarded people such as "slow," "mentally challenged," "special needs," "special," "person with an intellectual disability," and "learning difficulties." Now, I think the acceptable term, assuming it has not changed in the last few days,  is "intellectually challenged." It seems that as soon as people learn to use the right term, that it is changed. I guess if we run out of new words to call the same old thing, we can just start over.

The term "homosexual" is almost forbidden and now almost everyone uses the term "gay." "Queer" is obviously pejorative, but "homosexual?" What is wrong with the word "homosexual?" How did "gay" come to mean homosexual? When you sing the Christmas song about "don we now our gay apparel," or you talking about someone dressing in drag? Gay had a meaning long before it meant homosexual, but now that good word can no longer be used in any other context. The word was hijacked.

"Nigger" is certainly offensive and should never be used, that is, unless used by a Black person in a rap song or in a comedy routine or when used in a friendly fashion, one Black person speaking to another Black person.  I just don't understand that. Why is it not offensive when used in a rap song but is offensive when used by a white person? What happens when a white person sings the rap song? I guess white people better not sing rap songs.

I also find it ridiculous that we can not even say the word "nigger" when factually quoting what some white bigot may have called a Black person. We say he called him the "n word." We must say, "The rap song contains '"the n word.'" We cannot say, "The rap song contains the word '"nigger.'" We are so sensitive that we can not even use the word in quotations when quoting another? That is just ridiculous. 

Why did the term "Negro" become forbidden? There is still the Negro College Fund, but "Negro" is a word that is hardly ever used anymore. That is a shame. It is a perfectly good word.  "Negro" seems a more accurate description of Negros than African-American. Not all Negroes are American and not all Africans are Negro.  Northern Africa is populated by Arabic people. The word "Negro" refers to the race of people and can include African-Americans as well as the Negro indigenous people of Africa or European Negros or Caribbean Negros. "Black" I guess is inclusive of all people of African Negro descent, but what was wrong with "Negro?"

And, what about "colored people?" The NAACP is still the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but other than that I can't think of any time the word "colored" is used anymore. It used to be a polite term and regularly in use. The use of the term "Person of Color," I think, takes the cake for ridiculousness. "Colored people" is a bad term but "people of color" is a good term? Please explain that logic.

Even some very descriptive good words become politically incorrect. The word "poor" is hardly ever used. We hear the term "economically disadvantaged," "the disadvantaged," "low income." There is nothing wrong with the word "poor." I was once "poor." I was not "financially embarrassed" or "short of funds" of "low income" or "disadvantaged." For several years I was poor.

A few years ago, I was attending a housing conference at Fall Creek Falls State Park called "Housing for All," the focus of which was on how to provide a variety of housing types for people who are mentally disabled. ("Mentally challenged?") We were staying in the lodge and eating in the lodge restaurant. One night the menu featured "crazy chicken" night. The restaurant was serving chicken cooked a variety of ways, such as fried chicken, broiled chicken, baked chicken, chicken with rice, and maybe more. The group I was with complained. They found the term "crazy chicken" offensive. They made a big deal out of it and complained to the Tennessee Parks department. I don't know if "crazy chicken night" was discontinued or not. Now, that is just way too sensitive.

I do not use racial slurs and I don't want to be offensive. I conform and use the word "Black" or "African-American" when referring to a person of the Negro race. I try to use the most recent term when referring to people with limited mental capacity.  I am not ready to stop using the term "homosexual" or "poor" however, and I am not going to refer to illegal aliens as "undocumented workers" and I still think Patsy Cline's version of Willie Nelson's "Crazy" is one of the best songs ever recorded.  I will still use the term "midget" when it best says what I am trying to say. I am not gong to stubbornly hold on to the old term when a new term becomes the norm, but I may be one of the last to change.

Bob Corker apologized for using the word "midget" saying, "I sincerely apologize for what was a poor word choice and in no way meant to offend anyone." That is about what I would have said in his shoes, but what I would have liked to have said is, "You people are too damn sensitive! Grow a thicker skin. Get over it."

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bill Beck will stay on the ballot.

The Election Commission voted unanimously today to leave Bill Beck on the ballot, saying he meets the requirements for residency.

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Donelson - Hermitage Conservative Breakfast Club Saturday June 28th to discuss "Yes on 1."

Where: SHONEY'S, 546 Donelson Pike, Donelson, TN 37214
When: Saturday, June 28, 2014, 8:30 am - Dutch Treat - Breakfast & Social 9:00 am - 10:15 am Meeting Guest Speaker(s): Lorene Steffes to discuss the"Yes on 1" program concerning the proposed Constitutional Amendment for the November 4, 2014 General Election Ballot.

Also we will ask Republican Candidates running in the August primary to discuss their current concerns and other items of interest to the Donelson - Hermitage - Old Hickory community.

Host: Jim Garrett Please contact Jim Garrett if you are a candidate and would like to be on the agenda.

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"Heal yourself on a Tennessee trail," by Kathleen Williams

Cummins Falls
Kathleen Williams is Founder and Executive Director of the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation. TPGF has been responsible for saving numerous waterfalls, beautiful vistas, and critical habitats and helping place thousands of acres of land in conservation easements. I reported on the dedication of Cummins Falls in this blog in May of 2012.  Cummins Falls has got to be one of the most beautiful spots on earth. When I die, I think that is where I would like my ashes to be scattered.

Since saving Cummins Falls, TPGF was instrumental in saving Virgin Falls, a water fall that falls out on one cave and into another. It is unique in that it has no upstream or downstream. Many people thought this fall was already protected but it was not. The State had a long-term lease on the property that was set to expire. The falls could have been lost to public use, it not for the work of TPGF.  I have never visited the falls myself but look forward to doing so.

Virgin Falls
Tennessee conservatives who love nature should get behind the work of TPGF. TPGF is privately funded and has no condemnation authority, or coercive authority of any kind, yet has saved many of Tennessee's natural treasures. Kathleen Williams is my sister and I am extremely proud of the work she is doing.

Kathleen Williams
by Kathleen Williams, Tennessee Voices, The Tennessean, June 6, 2014 - For a healthier path, get on
a trail. Preferably hike in an old forest or near water to get all the benefits. Breathe in the ancient air. One hundred twenty chemical compounds — many unknown — will lower your blood pressure, your diabetes will improve, your mood or attitude will be transformed, you will think more clearly. You’ll be less stressed, more creative, more affectionate, playful, even elated. And you’ll live longer. (link)

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Southeast Nashville Conservative Breakfast, Sat. June 21.

Where: Shoney's (Antioch), Bell Road @ Cane Ridge Road, I-24E Bell Road Exit

When: Saturday, June 21, 2014, Breakfast/Social (8:30 am - 9:00 am),Meeting (9:00 am - 10:00 am)
Guest Speaker(s): U.S. House Candidates Chris Carter, Bob Ries, "Big" John Smith

U.S. Senate Candidates: Lamar Alexander*, Joe Carr*,
*Due to scheduling conflicts, both Senator Alexander and State Representative Joe Carr have advised they will be represented by key campaign members.
Remember:  Early Voting begins  July 18!
Hosts: Robert Duvall & Pat Carl

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How the Council voted on same-sex Metro benefits & who simply did not vote.

On July 3rd the Metro Council passed a bill on second reading that would extend metro benefits to the domestic partner of same-sex couples.  The measure is estimated to cost between $400,000 and $900,000 a year.  While the cost is reason enough to oppose the measure, in my view a more compelling reason is that we should not be normalizing what is a perverted life style.  We should not treat as if married, two homosexuals who live together.  If we wanted to say that any two people who share a household and have financial entanglement could be treated the same as a married couple, then I would have less problem with the bill.  I am sure that among Metro's employees, there is a son caring for his elderly mother who lives with him, or there is a mother carrying for her disabled son who lives wither her, or there are two "old maids" who share expenses but do not share sex. If we want to extend this service to people who may be dependent on each other, why is it contingent that they have a sexual relationship?

The vote to approve the bill was 25 in favor, 6 opposed, and 3 voting to abstain.

 BILL NO. BL2014-779

An ordinance amending Title 3 of the Metropolitan Code to provide domestic partner benefits for Metropolitan Government employees. The bill was approved by the Budget and Finance Committee and Personnel-Public Information-Human Resources-Housing Committees. Mr. Westerholm moved to pass the bill on second reading, which motion was seconded and adopted by a the following roll call vote: “Ayes” Barry, Steine, Garrett, Tygard, Matthews, Harrison, Hunt, Banks, Scott Davis, Westerholm, Anthony Davis, Stanley, Moore, Allen, Gilmore, Baker, Evans, Holleman, McGuire, Harmon, Johnson, Potts, Bedne, Todd, Mitchell (25); “Noes” Pridemore, Pardue, Glover, Stites, Claiborne, Dominy (6); “Abstaining” Bennett, Blalock, Dowell (3).
Bill Pridemore
voted NO
Doug Pardue
voted NO
I am extremely proud of those six who voted "No" and want to put a picture with the face.  I am especially proud of the stand and comments made by Josh Sites.
Josh Stites
voted NO
Steve Glover
voted NO
Phil Clairborne
voted NO
Duane Dominy
voted NO
Three Council members voted to abstain. I do not understand a vote to abstain.  I think on controversial issues one should get off the fence and state how they stand.  Sometimes one votes to abstain when they have a conflict of interest. If a council member works for a company that is seeking a zone change, then a vote to abstain is appropriate, or if one has some other conflict of interest. On a bill like these there is no logic to a vote to abstain. Of the three abstentions  Karen Bennett and Davette Blalock who are both Republicans are very disappointing. I am not familiar enough with Jacobia Dowell to know how she would have voted, had she voted. I emailed Karen Bennett and Davette Blalock to give them a chance to tell me why they abstained, but I did not hear from either of them.

 Here are the pictures of those who chose to not take a stand and voted to abstain. 
Jacobia Dowell
Karen Bennett
Davette Blalock

Twenty-five of the Council members voted "yes."  Many of them are obviously liberals and I am not surprised. Some of them I don't know well enough to have guessed how they would have voted. Some of them however disappoint me in how they voted. Maybe my evaluation of them was wrong, but these are the Councilman who disappointment. I am especially disappointing in Charlie Tygerd, and Carter Todd both of whom are Republicans.  

Here are the "yes" votes that either surprised me or disappointed me.

Charlie Tygard
voted YES
Emily Evans
voted YES
Carter Todd
voted YES
Tim Garrett
voted YES

There is one vacancy in the Council and Council Member Edith Langster was absent for the whole meeting. Other Council Member who did not vote at all and were present at least for part of the meeting were Jerry Maynard, Tony Tenpenny, Sheri Weiner and Robert Duvall. I do not know if Mr. Maynard was present for this vote or not. This vote was near the end of agenda and the meeting was almost five hours long, so he may have not been present and had a legitimate reason.  I did speak to Councilman Tenpenny, Sheri Weiner, and Robert Duvall. They all had left the meeting early with very legitimate reason. Council member Sheri Weiner had a health issue and Councilman Robert Duvall and Councilman Tony Tenpenny had family emergencies. I won't go into details but they all did what they needed to do by leaving early. All three told me that had they been there they would have been "no" votes and that they will continue to oppose this effort.

As disappointing as I am in those who I expected to be "no's" who voted yes and those who abstained, I am disappointed in the Christian community and those who advocate traditional values. The Social Conservatives were AWOL on this issue. Had the three who abstained voted "no" and the two of the four disappointing "yes's" voted "no" and Weiner, Tenpenny and Duvall been present, the vote would have been to 23 to 14. If there would have been a campaign from advocates of traditional values to stop this, I believe five more votes could have been switched and it could have been killed. An outpouring of opposition could still stop this between now and June 17th.

If anyone, I mentioned in this blog post would like to explain your vote or your abstention, please feel free to leave a comment, or email me and I will post your explanation.

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Parenting Magazine says Nashville the 3rd best city for families

Thinking I live in one of the best cities in the United States, I am pleased to see Nashville make all of the top ten list. I was a little surprised however to see Nashville make the top ten list for best place for families.  I thought being best place to party and best place to listen to live music might disqualify us from being considered as best place for families, but the honor is justified. Except for our magnet schools and charter schools, our schools are not the best and we are one of the places most likely to run over a pedestrian, and we have long commute times from the suburbs, but we have great parks, green ways, museums, lots of active church communities, family-friendly neighbor festivals most weekends, lots of history, and a lot of the live music events that are not rowdy affairs, and we are within a day trip of some of the nations most wonderful natural treasures. While gang activity and youth crime makes the news, it is generally restricted to the Black inner city and our gang problem is less than in other cities our size. Nashville is a diverse city economically and culturally and a great place for artist, young professionals, party animals, retired people, and families.

Parents based there rating on U.S. Census data, FBI crime statistics, reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and ratings from Here is what they had to say:

3. Nashville, Tenn.
Known as Music City, Nashville is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which features musical artifacts and changing exhibits. It also has the Grand Ole Opry, which honors the biggest stars of the genre. Non-fans of country music still have plenty to enjoy. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts has exhibits that change every six to eight weeks. It features hands-on crafts, classes and interactive areas for kids. Get a lesson in American history at a national historical landmark by visiting The Hermitage, President Andrew Jackson's Greek Revival mansion, built in 1821. Take a closer look at the man gracing the $20 bill through his 1,000-acre estate.

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Metro Council passes passes homosexual domestic partner employee benefits bill.

As expected, on third and final reading, the Metro Council passed the same-sex domestic partner employee benefits bill last night. The vote was 27 for, 7 against and 3 abstentions. Three people were absent or just chose to not vote at all.

The picture to the left from News Channel 5 shows who voted which way. Two Republican Council members, Carter Todd and Charlie Tygerd, voted in favor of the bill.  Republican Council member Davette Blalock abstained from voting. All three of the not voting or absent Council members were Republican members of the Council.  Josh Stites led the charge against the bill when it was on second reading, but Karen Bennett voted to abstain when the bill was on second reading. There was no effort on the part of the Bible-believing Christian or social conservative community to stop the bill's passage. The homosexual community worked hard to pass the bill.

The Tennessean reports, "... but some council members spoke out strongly against the policy before the vote. Councilman Bill Pridemore said his and his constituents' values would be 'compromised' by the idea, and Councilman Phil Claiborne moved to defer the final vote indefinitely, citing budgetary concerns. But Councilman Lonnell Matthews moved to table Claiborne's motion, and the council agreed.'"

Below is the WZTV FOX 17 report on the vote.

As expected the Council also passed the $1.89 billion budget which did not call for a tax increase.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

TNGOP Announces First Featured Candidates for Red to the Roots Program

With One Month Until Early Voting, Republican Party Begins Highlighting Its Rising Stars
NASHVILLE, Tenn.—In many ways, 2014 has already been a banner year for the Tennessee Republican Party.

Chairman Chris Devaney developed a new staff model that put in place Regional Political Directors across the state to build up county parties and advise candidates, the TNGOP hired a statewide Engagement Director to build bridges for the Party in new and non-traditional Republican communities, and the Party has seen more candidates run for office as Republicans than ever before.

Today, with one month to go until early voting begins for the August election, the Party now takes the next step to make 2014 a historic year.

Chairman Devaney named State Representative Ryan Williams (R--Cookeville) as the Chair of Red to the Roots and, together, the two released the names of the first five Republicans to be "featured candidates" in the 2014 election cycle.

These candidates have all met criteria for mobilizing support, engaging voters, and helping to build the Republican Party in their communities. The TNGOP will announce additional featured candidates in the coming weeks.

The names of the candidates are:
Amy Weirich – the current incumbent and Republican nominee for Shelby County District Attorney.
Brent Cooper – the Republican nominee for District Attorney in the 22nd Judicial District (Giles, Lawrence, Maury, Wayne Counties).
Sheena Ramsey Tinsley - the Republican nominee for Register of Deeds in Sullivan County.
John Wang – the Republican nominee for State House in the 53rd District (Davidson).
Carma Dennis McGee – the incumbent and Republican nominee for Chancellor in the 24th Judicial District (Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin, Henry Counties).
Devaney remarked, “Representative Williams has done an outstanding job as a legislator and as a dynamic leader for Putnam County. I'm proud he is leading our statewide effort to elect more Republicans. I believe these featured candidates will follow in his footsteps and I am proud to support such a talented and diverse group of leaders."
Williams added, "2014 presents a tremendous opportunity to build on the momentum the Party has seen under Chairman Devaney's leadership. We've highlighted these first four candidates because they are all committed to making a real difference in their communities--be it for jobs, safety, or equal protection of the law. They have each done a remarkable job listening to the concerns of voters and will do their part to build an opportunity society here in Tennessee where every individual has the chance to make their lives better.”

By being named featured candidates, the Tennessee Republican Party encourages supporters, donors, and activists to get behind these Republican nominees.
Red to the Roots is a program designed to elect more Republicans at the county and judicial level, while bolstering support for GOP legislative candidates.
2014 has already witnessed more Republicans running for office than ever before in Tennessee.
District Attorney General Weirich’s website.
Brent Cooper’s website.
Sheena Ramsey Tinsley's website.
John Wang’s website.
Chancellor McGee’s website.
Link to TNGOP Release.

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Tell your Councilman to vote "no" on same-sex Metro benefits.

Tell your Councilman to vote "no" on same-sex Metro benefits.
In a recent Tennessean article one Councilman is quoted as saying he had not received a single call about the same-sex domestic partners benefit bill. The homosexual community has been vocal in support of this bill and unfortunately advocates of traditional values have been silent.

When this bill was on Second Reading two Republicans, Carter Todd and Charlie Tygard, actually voted for it and two others, Karen Bennett and Davette Blalock, abstained. To see how all members of the council voted follow this link: How the Council voted on same-sex Metro benefits & who simply did not vote.

To email your councilman, follow this link and you may email all councilmen or just your own councilman with the click of a button. If you do not know who your councilman is, there is a tool where you can enter your address and the website will tell you who is your council member.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Davidson County Republican Party Straw Poll released: Alexander barely beats Carr

Following the Davidson County Republican Party picnic, I reported that a dispute involving the counting of ballots in the straw poll had led to the results of the straw poll not being released. I have not heard anything else about that dispute and now the result are made public.

  • For U. S. Senator: Lamar Alexander 115, Joe Carr 108, Flinn 3, Undecided 7
  • For 5th Congressional District: Bob Ries 128, John Smith 43, Carter 10, Undecided 39, other 1, Steve Dickerson 1
  • For Nashville Mayor: Megan Barry 23, Bone 3, Kenneth Eaton 34, Fox 29, Freeman 6, Daron Hall 27, Other 10, undecided 3, Charlie Tygard 1, Kane 15

Those voting in the poll overwhelmingly oppose the AMP and they support all three proposed State constitutional amendments. To see the complete vote tally, follow this link.

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Election Commission to hear residency challenge to Bill Beck running in District 51.

Bill Beck
At a special called meeting of the Davidson County Election Commission tomorrow, the Commission will be considering a residency challenge to the candidacy of Bill Beck who is seeking the Democrat nomination for the 51st House District seat.

District 51 is the House District seat being held by Mike Turner who is not seeking reelection. Other Democrats seeking that nomination are Jennifer Buck Wallace, former executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party, and Stephen Fotopulos, the former Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition executive director. Wallace has the endorsement of Craig Fitzhugh, the State House Minority Leader.  Beck, a local attorney, has the support of former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Sheriff Daron Hall, former Senator Joe Haynes and former Judge Barbara Haynes.

In the Republican primary, Brian L. Mason and Joshua Rawlings are competing for the nomination. I do not know who filed the challenge. The Election Commission meets Wednesday, June 18th at 3PM at the Davidson County Election Commission offices at 1417 Murfreesboro Pike.

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What's on the Council agenda for June 17th: The budget and benefits for same-sex couples.

To get your own copy of the Council agenda and the council staff analysis, follow these link: Metro Council agenda and staff analysis .

The big item on the agenda is the budget which does not raise taxes but is $79 million more than last year's budget. The other important item is benefits for same-sex couples.

Below are the Resolutions of interest. 

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1126   is the first step in the sale of up to $275 million in GSD General Obligation bonds to fund various projects in the 2014-2015 Capital Improvements Budget including $110 million of school projects and $17 million for sidewalks. To see more of what is included see the staff analysis and the attachment. I would not expect any "no" votes unless something comes up in Budget and Finance.

I wish someone in the Council was willing to take on the Mayor specifically over sidewalks. The public wants sidewalks. We spend a lot of money for sidewalks and get very little sidewalk expansion. I have witnessed perfectly good (well not "perfectly" good, but very good) sidewalks that only had small cracks ripped out and replaced. We are replacing good sidewalks rather than extending sidewalks. The only way the Council can exert any influence on the Mayor is by exercising the power of the purse.  I wish a Council member would move to take sidewalk funding out of this budget and I wish the Council would hold hearings on Metro's sidewalk priorities and policies and only fund sidewalk expansion after being assured that we would get sidewalk expansion out of the additional funding.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1127 RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1128, and

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1129  adopts new pay plans for most Metro employees, giving them a raise.

RESOLUTION NO. RS2014-1131 is a contract with a company regarding vehicle electric charging stations. Metro supplies the electricity and space for charging stations and a private company manages them and Metro gets a share of the fees the company charges or profit the company makes. I hope someone on B &F is looking closely at this. Anything "green" is so cool that often the details don't get a lot of scrutiny.  The former company that had this contract was funded by the Federal stimulus money and since has gone bankrupt.

There is nothing of much interest among the bills on Second Reading.

Below are bills on Third and Final reading

SUBSTITUTE BILL NO. BL2014-715  waives the fees for application and advertising of rezoning of property when the request is made by a councilmen under certain circumstances. Basically this would apply when a whole area is being rezoned, such as when a neighborhood is being zoned from residential which allows duplexes to single unit only residential, or when a conservation overlay is being proposed for a neighborhood. The fees associated with this type rezoning can come to several thousand dollars. This bill is strongly favored by organized neighborhood groups who often cannot raise that kind of money and who feel they should not have to do so to get a zoning change for their neighborhood. The planning commission voted against this. The Director of Finance has refused to certify it as to the availability of funds saying it could cost the city up to $150,000 a year.  This bill requires 27 votes to pass the Council since it was disapproved by the Planning Commission.

BILL NO. BL2014-769 allows a second dwelling to build on residential lots of over 15,000 square feet or lots with alley access. One of the units would have to be owner occupied.  The smaller unit could not be over 700 square feet in living area. Some neighborhood groups oppose this bill. I support it.

Nashville is expected to have significant growth over the next few years.  If we are going to avoid Atlanta-type urban sprawl we must have greater density. If we want successful mass transit we need greater density. Also we are seeing a lot of "affordable" housing units destroyed and replaced with much larger homes.  This replacing of small homes with larger homes is good for the tax base but it means people of modest income are being forced out of the city.  Many of the housing units that would be build under this bill would be affordable. Another reason I support this bill is that there is often a need for one's aging parents or underemployed children to have this type of housing.

BILL NO. BL2014-770 would allow two detached units on a single lot instead of the requirement that they share a common wall. The bill would also restrict how tall and skinny a building could be. I generally am in support of this, but hope that the Board of Zoning appeal would have lee way regarding the height restrictions.

BILL NO. BL2014-774  This is the mayor's operating budget for $1,891,647,000. Under this budget the tax rate will not increase but revenues are expected to increase substantially. This budget is $79 million greater than the current operating budget. This budget will be substituted with a Council version of the budget that makes minor tweaks to the mayor's budget.        
 BILL NO. BL2014-775 is the tax levy.   

BILL NO. BL2014-779   is the bill that would extend metro benefits to same-sex couples. To see who voted for it and against it when it was on second reading follow this link.  This bill will cost the city between $400,000 and $900,000 a year and it treats two homosexuals the same as a married couple. In my view we should not be normalizing what as always been considered a deviant lifestyle.  I am very disappointing that two Republican members of the Council abstained when it was on second reading and two voted for the bill. If Republicans vote exactly like Democrats, why do we bother trying to get Republicans elected to the Council?

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Mary Pierce vs Becky Sharpe in School Board District 8 race. Future of Charter Schools is dividing issue.

Green Hills school board race a battleground for charter school fight

by Joey Garrison, The Tennessean, July 17, 2014 -  Green Hills has become this summer’s battleground for a debate on charter schools that only seems to grow louder.

Its leading actors are two mothers in their 40s competing for the Metro Nashville Board of Education District 8, a largely affluent swath that lacks a single charter school but where some parents have sought one in the past.

And while one of the candidates, Becky Sharpe, believes she’s been miscast as a charter skeptic, stakeholders began drawing lines months ago between contenders who overlap in many other areas.
Her opponent, Mary Pierce, is a favorite of a pro-charter crowd that is......(read more)

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Domestic benefits, budget lead Metro Council agenda

by Michael Cass, The Tennessean, June 15, 2013 - Look for Metro Council members to do something they do every year and something they’ve never done before when they meet Tuesday.
The agenda for the 6:30 p.m. meeting includes the adoption of a budget for the year starting July 1 and a plan to extend health insurance and other benefits to domestic partners of Metro employees. (read more)

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Poetry Break: Dad's memories will always be there, by Ken Jakes

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 than 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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