Friday, July 03, 2015

Jody Ball seeks Council-at-large seat in August 6th election.

Jody Ball
Press Release- He is one of the nation’s leading advocates for medical claims, claim administration and billing filed out of the parameters of the amounts allowed by law. His business is a cost containment company that specializes in the reduction of medical billing for government and private entities. He is a defender of the constitution and a conservative. He agrees and stands firm on the 10th Amendment to protect local classrooms, and individual freedom.

A husband and father, Jody Ball understands the importance of preserving Constitutional traditional values like faith, family and freedom for future generations. That’s why as a former law enforcement officer and current local business owner, Ball has made protecting children, public safety, families and values the focus of his platform and candidacy for office paying special attention to the local transportation system, roads and schools. While the for mentioned in-part perhaps in part is a state and federal issue, they start at the local level with local elected officials making decisions that affects every walk of life. If elected by the people he will promise to evaluate and consider each and every request made to his office and or will address the concern and support on such agenda items as necessary. This is a requirement of any candidate running for office. His goal is to keep Nashville one of the most livable cities in the nation.

One thing he will not do is not make promises he cannot possibly keep while seeking office and or once elected.

A native Tennesseean, Jody Ball was born and raised in Nashville. He moved to Austin, Texas where he attended Southwest Texas State University studying criminal law and became a peace officer licensed by the State of Texas. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor for the University of Houston and has been a guest speaker to 2nd year law students at the University of Texas. He is an insurance adjuster and investigative instructor licensed by the State of Texas and has been interviewed by several major investigative news shows such as 20/20, The History Channel and the TV series Case Closed. Since moving back home to Nashville 14 years ago he has become a successful business and home owners. He and his wife Jennifer live in the Donelson area with their son, Arron and daughter Scarlett.

A posting of an announcement does not constitute an endorsement. I will post an announcement of any  candidate for office in the August 6th election who sends a press release. Send to Rod

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Thursday, July 02, 2015

Gov. Bill Haslam: Nothing is more important than getting education right.

Governor Bill Haslam
Press Release from Gov. Bill Haslam- Nothing is more important than getting education right, and we’ve had a good month in terms of our work to help Tennessee students graduate high school, obtain a postsecondary degree and be successful in the workforce.

TCAP Results
The 2015 TCAP (Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program) results released last week show how far we’ve come since we raised the bar for Tennessee K-12 education. Here are a few highlights:

  • Since we took office in 2011, 131,000 more students are on grade level in math and nearly 60,000 more students are on grade level in science. 
  • In 2011, less than one-third of students were performing at grade level in Algebra II. This year more than 54 percent of students reached the proficiency mark. In fact, every single grade showed gains in math this year, resulting in 22,000 more students on grade level in just one year. 
  • Our high school subject scores increased in all seven tested content areas across English language arts, math and science. 
  • This year we also narrowed the size of achievement gaps in all subjects for our historically underperforming minority students and our economically disadvantaged students.

While there is a lot to celebrate in terms of how far we have come, we’re also examining our results to determine where we need to improve. This year’s scores show we need to push harder than ever to ensure our students hit the mark in reading in early grades and that will be an area of focus going forward. Click here to see highlights from our announcement.

Governor's Teacher Cabinet
As we continue to build on the success we’ve seen in our schools over the past four years, we want to hear from teachers about what is working and what needs improvement. In December I announced plans for the Governor’s Teacher Cabinet to provide another way to hear from teachers who are in front of a class every day. This month we announced the 18 Tennessee teachers who will meet quarterly with Education Commissioner Candice McQueen and me to share information from their classrooms, advise us on policy considerations and provide a direct line of communication to schools and communities. To read the names of the teachers and learn more about the cabinet, click here.

TCATs Key to Drive to 55 
This month I’ve been traveling around the state to highlight the important role our Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs) are playing in the Drive to 55 – our effort to increase the number of Tennesseans with a post-secondary degree or certificate to 55 percent by 2025. (You can click here to see some clips from my visits.)

The budget for 2015-16 includes funding for new equipment to meet job training needs in high demand programs at TCATs across the state. Our 27 TCATs have a great track record of success – an 80 percent graduation rate and an 85 percent job placement rate across the system – and as a state we want to allocate resources strategically, where those funds can be most effective. Tennessee Reconnect is a last-dollar scholarship program that allows adults to attend a TCAT free of tuition and fees. Over 10,000 Tennesseans have applied to the Reconnect program, and adults can still sign up at their local TCAT.

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Public Schools, Politics & Money.

Susan Curlee
by Susan Curlee

Two things are certain when the state legislature convenes again: conservatives will oppose a fuel tax increase in Tennessee and Senator Frank Niceley will introduce legislation to elect school superintendents. On the first issue, it is a no brainer. On the second, maybe the state really does need a full-vetting of the issue.

Since taking office as a member of the Williamson County School Board, I have identified activity from within the organization that clearly has no place in public education. This activity is highly political in nature, attacking not only candidates running for office, but also elected officials. Sadly, this activity also extended to members of the community who did not share the same views and opinions as a small, vocal minority. As questions about this activity were asked, attacks escalated to public meetings, social media, and in the local press by those who dared to raise the questions. These tactics did not silence the debate, rather it confirmed it was something that needed to be exposed and addressed.

In my community, the activity originally centered around a group formed to influence outcomes of recent elections, Williamson Strong. This is not my personal opinion, this is a fact as the Registry of Election Finance determined they acted as an unregistered political action committee (PAC) during last year's school board election and were guilty of violating Tennessee campaign finance law. At the center of this activity is the current superintendent. His involvement is public record because he and others used his official WCS email address to communicate their intent. As a matter of fact, the most damning evidence submitted to the election commission came directly from Dr. Looney’s own emails where he acted in his official capacity as superintendent.

Unfortunate as it is, this is not the only political activity of our superintendent. His engagement in political activity extends to his membership in the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS). According to TOSS Minutes from September and November of 2013, our superintendent brought forth both the discussion and motion to form a PAC. Keep in mind, Dr. Looney’s dues of $6000/yr are paid by Williamson County taxpayers. Our superintendent generously offered to contribute the first $1000. The simple math is this: if all 141 school superintendents contributed $1000, it would allow this organization $141,000 a year for undisclosed political activity. Are TOSS strategic partners, businesses that contribute $2000 - $25,000+ also contributing? Would those dollars be used in future school board or state legislative races? If any superintendent is so passionate about politics, then perhaps they should go into politics professionally and not dabble in politics at the expense of their district taxpayers---a position that Senator Niceley’s asserts by continuously advocating for an elected superintendent.

Why is all of this important? In 1992, both Republicans and Democrats in Tennessee supported phasing out elected superintendents and instituting a system where superintendents are appointed by locally elected school boards. The intent was to refocus the efforts of superintendents, making their primary focus the education of children, not politics. If a superintendent has the ability to influence the election of a school board, the superintendent will wield incontestable and domineering influence over that board, his very employer. With that amount of control and influence, it will lead not toward accountability and transparency, but a dictatorship by one individual. This is unacceptable for a publicly funded institution. It also makes school system employees unwilling pawns in the political game. I would welcome both the acknowledgement and renunciation of past political involvement, as well as an abandonment of future activity by Dr. Looney in order to move forward in our community. Failure to do this gives those who support an elected superintendent further ammunition.

My sworn obligation as a Williamson County School Board Member is to ensure resources intended for educating our children are spent appropriately, not toward personal or political agendas. Our schools, teachers, and children should never be pawns or victims of any political or personal agendas. Our tax dollars should definitely not be paying for such distractions. The indisputable fact is an educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government will benefit our community and state---but not when the deck is stacked against them.

With the ever increasing demands made of our teachers and students, it is absolutely imperative we keep our focus and efforts on the classroom. Lifelong learning does not center around one superintendent, appointed or elected. Learning happens in the classroom, led by teachers who are passionate about what they do, making that connection with students, one child at a time. As a parent with children in public schools, I have a vested interest and fully intend to continue to fight for such a noble cause.

What are your thoughts on political activities by appointed superintendents? Does Senator Niceley make a valid argument? Transparency cannot be just another political buzzword. We should make public the money connections between special interests and those in office. It is the only defense citizens have against those trying to game the system.

Susan Curlee is the District 12 representative on the Williamson County School Board. She filed the ethic complaint against Williamson Strong and the Registry of Election Finance voted to fine Williamson Strong a total of $5,000, on two counts: failure to register as a PAC and failure to file campaign expenditures. For more on the issue, see this link, this link, and this link.    

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SEIU Local 205 announces their endorsments for August 6th election. A Guide for whom not to support.

From SEIU -The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 205 announces their endorsed candidates for Nashville’s Metro Council elections to be held on August 10, 2015.

The candidates were interviewed and chosen by a committee of rank and file members of our union.  The members of this committee are Davidson County residents who work for Metro Government or for Metro schools.

If there were more than three candidates in a district race, the committee decided to wait until the runoff to give an endorsement.  The committee also decided to wait until the runoff to endorse for the At-Large races.

The endorsed candidates are:
Mayor             Bill Freeman
Vice-Mayor    David Briley
District 5         Sara Martin
District 7         Anthony Davis
District 16       Tony Tenpenny
District 20       Mary Carolyn Roberts
District 21       Ed Kindall
District 23      Mina Johnson
District 24      Kathleen Murphy
District 26      Jeremy Elrod
District 27      Clement Ledbetter
District 28      Tanaka Vercher
District 29      Karen Johnson
District 32      Jacobia Dowell
District 33      Jimmy Gafford
District 34      Steve Butler
District 35      Dave Rosenberg

My Comment: The SEIU is predisposed to support candidates who oppose innovation, cost saving measures, and who favor higher taxes. Except for Tony Tennpenny, whom I support, I would use this list as a guide of whom not to support.  In most cases, the SEIU has endorsed the most liberal candidates running. Rod

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

President Obama Should Support School Choice in Tennessee

Press Release, NASHVILLE, TN, July 1, 2015 - The Tennessee Federation for Children released the following statement in response to President Obama's visit to Stratton Elementary School:

"President Obama's speech at Stratton Elementary in Madison should serve as a reminder that thousands of students and families in the Metro Nashville Public School system are begging for an alternative to the school that's been assigned to them," said Tony Niknejad of the Tennessee Federation for Children. "With 15 MNPS schools classified as failing by the state, the President has an opportunity to take a stand in favor of allowing students trapped in those schools to leave through the opportunity scholarship program. The program pending in the state legislature has received bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, and is favored by 25,000 families in Memphis and nearly 60 percent of voters. Legislators who are on the fence will have the next several months to make their decision. But students at these failing schools cannot wait much longer:

  • Bailey STEM Magnet Middle
  • Brick Church Middle School
  • Buena Vista Elementary Enhanced Option School
  • Inglewood Elementary School
  • Jere Baxter Middle School
  • Joelton Middle School
  • John B Whitsitt Elementary School
  • Kirkpatrick Elementary Enhanced Option School
  • Napier Elementary Enhancement Option School
  • Neely's Bend Middle School
  • Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School
  • Ross Elementary School
  • Robert Churchwell Museum Magnet Elementary School
  • Madison Middle School
  • The Cohn School"

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Why the "local hire" amendment is a bad idea.

When presented with the opportunity to sign the petition to put the 'local hire' amendment on the August ballot, I declined.  I thought it was a bad idea at the time and I now think it is even a worst idea. It sounds good: What it would do is require than any Metro project valued at over $100,000 would have to have a work force made up of 40% local people.

I logically knew and intuitively knew this was a bad idea and that protectionism and "buy Local" programs seldom deliver the results they promise. Now, Ralph Schultz, President of the Chamber of Commerce has giving us specific reasons why it is a bad idea.

Writing in The Tennessean yesterday, Schultz pointed out that there is a labor shortage in Nashville. More than half of all current Nashville workers reside outside of Davidson County. A chamber report called "vital signs" published in 2014 projects a shortage of nearly 18,000 workers in Nashville by next year and a 35,000 worker shortage by 2021 unless steps are taken to change that.

While Schultz does not say it; I will.  It is possible to have a labor shortage and unemployed people at the same time. There  are people who dropped out of high school, have criminal records, have no skills, and do not have an aptitude for work.  There are people that are not qualified to do the jobs that need doing. Some people are not only not worth the minimum wage, some people have a negative work value- you would rather them not work for you even it they worked for free.

One thing that makes the "local hire" bill even worst than I originally thought it to be is that it cannot apply to out-of-state contractors. That is stated in Schultz's article but not explained. The reason "local hire" laws cannot apply to out of state contractors is due to the Privileges and Immunities Clause in Article IV of the US Constitution. This clause says, "The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states." That means we cannot say that a job must be filed by someone from Tennessee. The effect of this is that if the amendment passes we could refuse to hire people from Mt. Juliet or Watertown or Fairview or Springhill but not people from New Jersey or Michigan.

Schultz also points out that if the charter amendment passes, it will require painstaking calculations on the part of contractors and construction delays and will lead to drastic increases in the cost of projects. In another article on the topic, someone pointed out that this amendment could force companies to hire unqualified people to work on their jobs which could present a safety issue.  Someone I spoke to about this said that in order to meet the 40% requirement that companies would simply hire "bodies" to fill the quota, thus drastically driving up the labor cost of tax-payer funded construction projects.

Amendment 3, the "local hire" amendment, needs to be defeated.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rep. Black Statement says President Obama picked wrong place to push Obamacare

“The President has picked the wrong location to take a victory lap on the Supreme Court’s irresponsible ruling”

Diane Black
Washington, DC, Congressman Diane Black Press Release, June 29,2015 – Today Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) released the following statement on President Obama’s upcoming visit to Tennessee to discuss Obamacare

"If Obamacare was the success this President claims it is, it would not have landed at the Supreme Court on three separate occasions to begin with and he would not be traveling cross country to rally support for the failing law five years after it was enacted,” said Congressman Diane Black. “I don’t know what the President will say during his visit to the Volunteer State, but no amount of spin can change the fact that Obamacare is failing to live up to its most basic promises and is hurting too many Tennesseans.”

Congressman Black added, “During his visit to Tennessee, perhaps President Obama will explain why Obamacare customers in our state have been told to expect a 36 percent premium increase next year, despite the President’s promise that his law would save families an average of $2,500 per year. Or maybe he will address the 28,000 Tennesseans who lost their insurance coverage in a single day despite his pledge that ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’ Whatever the case, the President has picked the wrong location to take a victory lap on the Supreme Court’s irresponsible ruling and my conservative colleagues and I will not relent in the fight to fully repeal Obamacare.”

Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. She has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and serves on the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Nashville SEIU supports charter amendment for smaller council, expanded terms.

"Choose smaller Metro Nashville council, no term limits," is the title given an op-ed in the Tennessean written by Mr. Doug Collier, who is the president of SEIU Local 205. I assume the title was written by the staff of the Tennessean, not Mr. Doug Collier. The charter amendment which will be on the August 7th ballot calls for reducing the Council to 26 seats and expanding the number of terms a council member may serve from two to three; not "no term limits."

 Unless you subscribe to The Tennessean, you can't read their stuff online as they have finally put it behind a pay wall. In this piece, Mr. Collier laments that metro employee salary increases have not kept pace with inflation but says, "those budget constraints haven’t stopped councilmembers from rubber-stamping virtually every major capital project Mayor Dean has proposed."

He is critical of tax giveaways like Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) deals which mean that a lot of the new construction downtown does not put much more money in city coffers. He calls it "corporate welfare." I agree.

He says the Council is not responsive to the needs of metro employee's because only being able to serve two terms, they do not have to fight to be reelected and do not have to be responsive. He also says the size of the Council is a problem, saying that a small council, "like a small classroom — enhances that learning process and allows them to come up the curve quickly."

I am sure there are a lot of things I disagree with the SEIU about, but I agree with Mr. Collier in supporting reducing the size of the Council and expanding terms. It is an advantage to have people in the Council with institutional knowledge, who remembers how certain things came to be. Also, with a large body it is easier for one not to step up and really study the issues and do the hard work of the Council. When you are one in a group of forty it is easier skip the committee meetings than when you are one of a smaller group.

The bureaucracy is permanent and a department head can snow a new council member and the bureaucracy answers to the mayor, not the Council. The goal of a department head is always to have a bigger budget and more employees. No department head tries shrink his department and have fewer employees.

It takes a while to actually learn how government functions and to know when someone is being truthful with you. Term limits and a large Council, make for a weak Council and a strong mayor. That is not the most important change I would make to shift the balance of power to the Council, but it is a step in the right direction.

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Tuesday, July 7th is the last day to register to vote, in order to vote in the August 6th election

If you are not registered to vote, Tuesday, July 7th is the last day to do so, in order to vote in the August 6th election to vote for the next mayor, vice mayor, council members at-large, district council members and three proposed charter amendments.

While there are several places where one my pick up voter registration forms, since Tuesday is the last day to register, there is not time to register by mail. To register in person, go to the Davidson County Election Commission office at one of these two locations:

  • Election Commission Main Office: 1417 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217.
  • Satellite Election Commission Office in the Howard School office complex,  800 2nd Avenue South,  4th Floor,  Nashville, TN 37210
The hours of operation for these facilities is 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Be sure and bring identification with you. Only U.S. citizens may register. Convicted felons may not register. Occasionally people not eligible to register get registered at the Division of Motor Vehicles when applying for or renewing auto tags or drivers license.  Even if someone mistakenly registered a person to vote, it is still a felony for that person to cast a vote if not eligible to vote.

If you were once registered to vote and have not voted in a while, it may be possible that your voter registration has been purged. To check the status of your voter registration, follow this link.

All voters must  present a Tennessee or federal ID containing the voter’s name and photograph when voting at the polls, whether voting early or on Election Day.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

1st Tuesday guest is State Party Chairman Ryan Hayes. RSVP by Monday

From Tim Skow,

1ST TUESDAY members and friends,

In addition to new State Party Chairman Ryan Haynes, also making his first visit to 1ST TUESDAY will be Brent Wiles, new State Director for US Senator Bob Corker !

Brent has agreed to join us early enough for Coffee and Social time [doors open at 11AM]. Here's your chance to make sure Senator Corker hears what you're thinking. NO DOUBT, during our noted Q&A session, you can expect some questions to come up that Brent will be sharing the latest insights on from Senator Corker.

Needless to say.... with SO MUCH going on this summer -- Metro elections, events in Washington DC and news about prepping for local State House races in 2016 -- Tuesday will be a memorable day at 1ST TUESDAY.

A couple of VERY important reminders....

1] With our new caterer we MUST order lunch on Monday, so if you're planning to come, please secure your seats promptly at our 1ST TUESDAY website at 1st Tuesday ... and click on "Join Us"

2] Our County Party PICNIC is next Sunday, July 12th. Details below. Please make plans to join in and bring family and friends with you !!

Mark your calendars, secure your ticket and invite those you know for both Tuesday and Sunday !! Hit me with an RSVP ... or email .. if there are questions to address.

See you Tuesday !

Tim Skow
 Host of 1ST TUESDAY

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Charlie Daniels: my honest feelings on the Confederate flag.

Charlie Daniels
Reposted from Charlie Daniels Soap Box - The recent senseless act of slaughter in a church in Charleston, South Carolina awakened America to the ever present lunacy and evil that walks among us and has also reopened some old wounds and deep feelings on both sides of a long festering situation.

Before I go any farther with this piece, I wish to express my love and admiration for the people of Charleston who have, in the face of immense pain, shown a restraint and a common sense seldom seen in tragic situations involving race.

When I saw the pictures of the people who had been murdered I made the statement, "I know these people", which I didn't mean literally, but figuratively, in that they were the kind of Christian people I have been around all my life, worked with and sat in the pews of churches with.

Salt of the earth folks, who not only professed to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but lived their faith every day of their lives. The kind of people you want to have praying for you, the kind who know how to put their arms around a hurting person and comfort and console.

The kind of people who raised their families to turn to Almighty God in times of trouble and heartbreak, proven by the forgiving words spoken by family members in court to the monster who had wantonly murdered their loved ones.

As in all Satan inspired iniquity, God has the ability to bring great good and in this situation, the people of Charleston South Carolina have shown the world what being a Christian is all about and the depth of common sense and class that exists in that community.

I feel sure that a jury of peers in South Carolina will see that Dylann Roof gets what’s coming to him and justice will be served and meted out to the full extent of the law.

In relation to the main crux of my column today I would like to relate an experience I had in a Midwestern city when the band was appearing with the local symphony orchestra. In the evening before the show started, one of the venue staff came to me and said, "There is a gentleman out front who is offended by the confederate flag on your piano".

I responded that we didn't have a Confederate flag painted on our piano. The upshot of the whole thing was that Taz, our keyboard player, had an American flag and a Tennessee flag with the flagstaffs crossed on the front of his piano with a drawing of his namesake, a cartoon Tasmanian Devil, and the phrase "Yessiree, Tennessee" painted under it.

The point I'm making is that this gentleman was probably the kind of person who looks for something to be offended about and sees things that aren't even there in an attempt to find something.  Of course the situation concerning the Confederate flag in Charleston is a much more serious situation with justifiable feelings that go back a century and a half, and the problem has the potential to be a racially divisive one.

The bottom line is that the flag in question represents one thing to some people and another thing to others.  Far be it from me to advise the people of South Carolina or any other state as to what they should fly over their capitol buildings or anywhere else in the state for that matter, but I truly hate to see the opportunists move in and create a symbol of hate out of a simple piece of cloth.

Of course we know most politicians are going to chime in and glean whatever political hay that is available, but, in my book, the corporate rush to rid their shelves of anything with the Confederate battle flag on it is pure hypocrisy.

If they felt that deeply about the subject, they should have done something years ago and I notice they have no problem accepting the profits from the merchandise they have on hand. I have received many requests to do interviews on this subject and had a lot of tweets asking me to comment, but I declined, wanting to take the time to explain my feelings in detail, without having to answer other people's loaded questions or express myself in 140-character limit of Twitter.

This will have the potential to be lengthy, so bear with me and I will try my best to relate my honest feelings on the Confederate flag in question which was actually the battle flag carried by several Confederate army regiments, and not the official flag of the Confederacy.

I was born in 1936, a mere 71 years after the Civil War ended when the South was looked upon by what seemed to be a majority of the Northern States as an inbred, backward, uneducated, slow-talking and slower-thinking people, with low morals and a propensity for incest.

This was in the days before television and about all the folks up North knew about Southerners was what they heard and there were a lot of people who took great pleasure in proliferating the myth, and some still do it to this day.  As you might suppose, people in the South bitterly resented this attitude of superiority and in some quarters the words “damn” and “Yankee” became one word and a somewhat fierce type of Southern pride came into being. The Confederate battle flag was a sign of defiance, a sign of pride, a declaration of a geographical area that you were proud to be from. That’s all it is to me and all it ever has ever been to me.

I can’t speak for all, but I know in my heart that most Southerners feel the same way.  I have no desire to reinstate the Confederacy, I oppose slavery as vehemently as any man and I believe that every human being, regardless of the color of their skin is just as valuable as I am and deserves the exact same rights and advantages as I do.

I feel that this controversy desperately needs to be settled without federal interference and input from race baiters like Al Sharpton, that it's up to the individual states as to what they allow to be a part of their public image, what the majority of the people of any given state want should, in my opinion, be their policy.

Unfortunately, the Confederate battle flag has been adopted by hate groups - and individuals like Dylann Roof - to supposedly represent them and their hateful view of the races. Please believe me when I say that, to the overwhelming majority of Southerners, the flag represents no such thing, but is simply a banner denoting an area of the nation and one's pride in living there. I know there will be those who will take these words of mine, try to twist them or call them insincere and try to make what I've said here some kind of anti-black racial statement, but I tell everybody who reads this article, I came up in the days of cruel racial prejudice and Jim Crow laws, when the courts were tilted against any black man, the segregated educational system was inferior and opportunities for blacks to advance were almost nonexistent.

I lived through the useless cruelty of those days and did not get my feelings out of some sensitivity class or social studies course, but made my own decisions out of experience and disgust.  I hold no ill feelings and have no axes to grind with my brothers and sisters of any color. The same God made us, the same God will judge us, and I pray that He will intervene in the deep racial divide we have in this nation and make each person – black or white - see each other for what we truly are, human beings, no better, no worse.

It's time to do away with labels, Caucasian-American, African-American, Asian-American, Native American and so forth.  How about just a simple "AMERICAN"?

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem. God Bless America.

Charlie Daniels

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The other hate symbol that is popular among liberals is the image of Che Cuevara

We the Individuals's photo."The blacks, those magnificent examples of the African race who have maintained their racial purity thanks to their lack of an affinity with bathing, have seen their territory invaded by a new kind of slave: the Portuguese. And the two ancient races have now begun a hard life together, fraught with bickering and squabbles. Discrimination and poverty unite them in the daily fight for survival but their different ways of approaching life separate them completely: The black is indolent and a dreamer; spending his meager wage on frivolity or drink; the European has a tradition of work and saving, which has pursued him as far as this corner of America and drives him to advance himself, even independently of his own individual aspirations." - Ché Guevara

My friend Daniel Lewis posted the above to Facebook. It is worth sharing.  Like the peace sign, the other  hate symbol that is popular among liberals is the image of Che Cuevara which I find more offensive than the Confederate flag. Rod

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By what authority were our Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights taken away for a July 4th celebration?

The following was posted to Facebook by former Councilman Randy Foster:

The following are among the posted rules for the July 4th event downtown in downtown Nashville: "Will my personal items be searched? All personal items are subject to search. Random searches will occur." Pray tell me who has authorized the suspension of the 4th Amendment and upon what basis? What are the bounds of the affected zone?
I also note that the online rules state: "No Guns, Knives, Other Weapons or Dangerous Devices of Any Kind." How is this consistent with Tennessee's laws on carrying firearms? Will carrying my pocketknife be criminal? Upon what basis is this being done, and just what are the limits of the cutlery exclusion zone?
Just wondering...
Friends on the Metro Council, can you make inquiry on my behalf and, perhaps, enlighten me?
Good question! By what authority were our Second Amendment and Fourth Amendment rights taken away? 

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Bill Freeman wants a $12 minimum wage for Nashville

Mayoral candidate Bill Freeman has proposed a $12 minimum wage for Nashville, the effect of which would be to keep poor people poor and decrease opportunity for entry level jobs.

Freeman has proposed rising the minimum wage from $7.25, which is the current federal minimum, to $12 an hour. Thankfully, it is unlikely that out Republican controlled state legislature would permit Nashville to establish it's own minimum wage.

The effect of a minimum wage increase to $12 an hour would be that many jobs that now pay lower than that minimum would simply disappear, the way service station attendant jobs and bag boy jobs, which included loading your groceries in your car, disappeared long ago.  The number of people employed in the fast food industry would shrink as automated ordering and paying would increase. Many employees would see their hours cut. Another effect would be that a lot of things we purchase would increase in price.

Unfortunately, many people are not worth $12 an hour but finding a minimum wage job gives them an opportunity to learn work skills and develop work habits which opens the door for better paying jobs later. Increasing the minimum wage is cutting off the lower rungs of the latter of opportunity for the poor.

Freeman is the first mayoral candidate to openly campaign for an increase in the minimum wage but Megan Barry has spoken favorably of a local minimum wage and has said $11.04 an hour would constitute a "living wage."  I think the other candidates should out bid Freeman. Megan Barry should say she wants people to have more than just a "living wage," that working people deserve some luxuries and entertainment and other pleasures of life also and that she thinks a $15.50 minimum wage is about right. Then Kane or Rebrovick or Gentry should say, no, that is still niggardly, it is unfair that their are any poor people. Make it $17 an hours, or $18 an hour, or $20 an hour.

I know! The area median income for a single person in Nashville is $44,800. Divide that by 52 weeks and divide that by 40 hours and that comes to $21.54 an hour. Make the minimum wage $21.54 and hour and Bingo!, we have ended poverty and all people make at least the median income!

To read the Tennessean report on Freeman's proposal follow this link.

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Bill Freeman makes a LOT of $$, but all of the mayoral canididates do OK.

The Tennesssean had an article this morning reporting on the results of an examination of the tax return of all of the mayoral candidates.  All of the candidates voluntarily released their income tax returns. All except Howard Gentry are married and filed joint returns, so the income is for both husband and wife except for Gentry. Here is the adjusted gross income for each of the candidates ranked from most income to least:

Bill Feeman: $2,412,451
Linda Eskind Rebrovick: $963,883
David Fox: $643,254
Charles Robert Bone: $255,282
Megan Barry: $243,144
Jeremy Kane: $227,596
Howard Gentry: $130,522
 Bill Freeman make a lot of money and all of them make a lot more than the average person.  I don't really think that is important and is not one of the criteria that would influence me in determining for whom I vote. However I do like knowing, just in a nosy sort of curious way, not that I think it is an important fact.  To read the full Tennessean article follow this link.

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