Thursday, April 29, 2021


Tennessee Right to Life - Today, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Unborn Life and Liberty Act in both the House and Senate. This bill, which is now headed to Governor Bill Lee to sign, has a two-part purpose. 

In Tennessee law, a person can be charged with fetal homicide for killing a woman and her unborn child regardless of the child’s gestational age. This would mean they would face criminal charges and face those penalties if convicted. However, for a civil lawsuit, Tennessee law currently only allows for wrongful death claims for unborn children past the point of viability. 

The first part of this bill would allow wrongful death claims to be litigated against someone who kills a mother and her unborn child at any stage of development, matching the criminal and civil elements across the state law. The second part of this legislation would also prohibit lawsuits against doctors who fail to discover or disclose a child's medical condition prior to the child's birth. These "wrongful birth" and "wrongful life" lawsuits occur when the parents argue that abortion would have been preferable to birth and life and then seek monetary damages claiming the doctor's breach of duty and omission. 

\“This has been a tremendous year for further defining the humanity of unborn children,” said Will Brewer, lobbyist for Tennessee Right to Life. “Pro-life legislators voted to require the burial or cremation of unborn children, expand the definition of wrongful death victim to include all unborn children and prohibit lawsuits against doctors when parents claim they would have rather aborted their child than give birth,” said Brewer. 

In addition to passing the Life and Liberty Act today, the Tennessee General Assembly also passed the Unborn Child Dignity Act a few weeks ago. 

“We continue to move the needle forward on recognizing unborn children as human beings with these types of bills,” said Stacy Dunn, President of Tennessee Right to Life. “Futhermore, discussion of these bills allowed for educational debate and powerful testimony on the dignity and humanity of unborn children,” said Dunn. “We are grateful to the elected representatives of this State who once again made strong pro-life stands with common sense, effective and constitutional legislation,” said Brewer. 

“We are especially grateful to the bills’ sponsors: Senator Mike Bell, Senator Janice Bowling, Representative Tim Rudd and Representative Jeremy Faison as well as all the co-sponsors and supporters of these bills,” said Brewer.

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Final Passage of Right-to-Work Resolution (SJR 2). Right-to-Work Constitutional Amendment will be on the Nov. 2022 ballot.

By Rod Williams - SJR 2 passed the House today by a vote of 67-24-1. It passed the Senate earlier in the legislative session. 

Tennessee has had a right-to-work law on the books since 1947. This act protects workers from being forced to join a labor union. However, this protection is not secure.  If Democrats ever regain control of State government, our right-to-work law could be repealed.  Also, it is under attack in Congress with the U.S. House’s recent passage of the PRO Act. 

Among other things The PRO Act would reclassify gig workers, with such firms like Lyft, Uber and DoorDash, as employees rather than contractors and would give them the right organize as unions.  

SJR2 will now be on the November 2022 General Election ballot as a proposed amendment to the State Constitution. I am pleased our State legislature passed this resolution and support passage of the proposed constitutional amendment.

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Mayor Cooper Delivers 58th State of Metro Address. Spending money like there is no tommorow.

Mayor Shares Plans to Make Nashville’s Teachers the State’s Highest-Paid, Invest in Affordable Housing, Transportation and First Responders

Metro Nashville press release, 4/29/2021 -  Mayor John Cooper today announced plans to make Nashville’s teachers the state’s highest-paid, triple the city’s dollars for affordable housing and build up Metro’s transportation capacity. 

The mayor called for investments in the Metro employees who served the city through a year of crisis and pledged to implement every-other-week recycling at his State of Metro address, delivered at the Music City Center in a nod to Nashville’s rebound.  That location - once eyed for 1,600 pandemic-time beds - is now a bustling vaccination site as public health restrictions approach a May 14 end.

“Last year’s budget was a crisis budget. This year’s budget is an investment budget,” Mayor Cooper said. “Nashville is on the rise. A city on the rise must rise to the occasion. And, for a city to really work, it must work for everyone – and every neighborhood.” 

Those neighborhood investments include restoring funding for WeGo bus service and hiring 80 additional emergency responders to serve the city.

“It’s a new day in Nashville,” Mayor Cooper said. “We’ve weathered the storm. And we have a new opportunity to rise, together.” 

A “Golden Moment” for Education 
Under Mayor Cooper’s plan, the average Metro teacher’s salary will jump by $6,924. Educators with 8 to 15 years’ experience will receive a $10,880 increase. “A city on the rise must give everyone the opportunity to rise with it. Opportunity starts with education, and an excellent education starts with well-funded schools,” Mayor Cooper said. “We owe it to every child to make investments that match their potential.” Today’s proposed $81 million marks Nashville’s largest operating investment in education. It follows the mayor’s recent, record capital investment for schools and fully funds the School Board’s request for the first time in years. 

“Throughout my career at Metro Schools, I’ve never seen such a strong commitment and support from a Mayor for our public schools and the teaching profession,” said Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle. “Mayor Cooper’s proposed record investment will allow the district to retain and recruit great teachers who want to make a difference in the lives and academic success of students and who simply want their compensation to reflect the value they bring to our city and the residents who call Nashville home,” she added. 

Building Up Metro’s Transportation Workforce Capacity 
Four months after Metro Council adopted the mayor’s transportation plan, Nashville has secured upward of $15 million in state and federal funding to pay for it. With more potential funding on the way, a local Department of Transportation (DoT) is now as essential in Nashville as it has been in peer cities. A proposed $3.5 million will operationalize a local DoT – including a new traffic management center – doubling the number of Metro employees who are focused on calming traffic, timing traffic signals more efficiently, building bike lanes and meeting the mayor’s directive to cut sidewalk-construction times in half. Meanwhile, another $25 million will restore funding for WeGo bus service, which Metro subsidized last year using one-time federal relief dollars. 

Sharpening Nashville’s Affordable Housing Tools 
After convening an Affordable Housing Task Force, the mayor today proposed immediate action on five of their recommendations: His proposal triples the city’s affordable housing dollars: 
  • $2.5 million more to the Barnes Fund 
  • $20 million in American Rescue Plan dollars to develop affordable units – including $10 million for the Barnes Fund and $10 million to seed a Catalyst Housing Fund 
Mayor Cooper also announced plans to build affordable housing on Metro-owned property located on 24th Ave. N. in a process that will include robust community input. Meanwhile, a payment in lieu of taxes program will encourage affordable housing participation from the private sector in an increasingly expensive building environment. And Courtney Pogue, named after a national search as the mayor’s Economic Development chief, will chart a master plan for tying economic development to affordable housing – as well as education, workforce development and small business growth. 

A Community Response to Community Safety 
  • After a year that proved how much Nashville relies on its first responders, Mayor Cooper proposed: $460,000 to increase the Office of Emergency Management’s operating budget by 49 percent 
  • $9.8 million to hire 40 new firefighters and 20 new emergency medical technicians (EMTs) 
  • $12.2 million to hire 48 new law enforcement officers for Nashville’s new Southeast police precinct, including 8 sergeants for body camera evaluation 
Another $1.1 million will increase funding for Metro’s Office of Family Safety by 62 percent. Nashville is one of only two cities in the U.S. with its own, dedicated department to serve victims of interpersonal violence. Last year, client visits to this office jumped by 29 percent. Meanwhile, Ron Johnson, Metro’s first community safety coordinator, will oversee a recently allocated $2 million in community safety innovation and partnership grants for neighborhood groups working to prevent gun and other violent crimes. Johnson, known as a lifelong coalition builder, will support these groups. 

Meeting Nashville’s Growing Needs: 
Investing in Metro’s Workforce The mayor proposed funding Metro’s employee pay plan with an investment of more than $30.4 million. As a percentage of Nashville’s population, Metro General Government has fewer employees than it did a decade ago. Nonetheless, city employees are efficiently delivering neighborhood services – for example, speeding up 9-1-1 answer times by 26 percent, filling potholes in 3.3 days and picking up 99.75 percent of the city’s trash and recycling on time. 

Protecting Our Climate and Environment 
Mayor Cooper proposed increasing Metro’s residential recycling from once to twice a month – another step toward cutting the city’s carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, generating 35 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025 and reaching 100 percent renewable energy in 20 years. “Last year’s budget crisis prevented us from being able to act on this initiative,” he said. “But it’s time to commit to more frequent recycling service to divert waste from our landfills. Sustainability is more than a priority for Metro – it is a promise to create a future that is worthy of our children.” 

Next Steps 
The mayor will submit his operating budget plan for Fiscal Year 2022 on Friday, April 30. It goes before Metro Council for consideration and approval.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Farmer Williams at work in his urban homestead.

 I have been to Farmers Co-op and I've got the cap to prove it.

Since retiring I have upped by gardening game.  Today, I went to the Farmers Co-op for the very first time in my life since I was a child and I also bought my first pair of overalls. 

I  really like Farmers Co-op.  For those just buying ornamental flowers, Home Depo has them beat, but for seeds, sets, and 6-pack of veggie plants, Farmer's has them beat.  Plus, it is fun to see what all is to be had, including tools and overalls, at the Co-op.

The Davison County Farmers Co-op is on Dickerson Road.  If you are a back yard gardener, I highly recommend at trip to the Co-op. 

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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

"How President Joe Biden’s policies are contributing to the immigration crisis." Tennessean Op-ed by Raul Lopez.

Raul Lopez is the executive director for Latinos for Tennessee, a group committed to promoting faith, family, freedom and fiscal responsibility to the Latino community living in Tennessee. 

 How President Joe Biden’s policies are contributing to the immigration crisis 

Raul Lopez
by Raul Lopez -
The images from the U.S.-Mexico border are heartbreaking. As a father of six, it pains me to see images of families with small children filled with fear and uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring. 

As a refugee from Communist Cuba, the crisis at the border brings back memories of what my family and I faced when we first got to the U.S. But unlike the situation my family and I faced, the current immigration situation we are seeing at the border is completely predictable. 

... According to one estimate, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a sharp increase of unaccompanied children from 5,858 in January of this year, to 9,457 in February — or a 61% increase. According to the same analysis, this was the largest one-month percentage increase since 2010! ... Under Trump’s leadership, the U.S. demanded that migrants seeking asylum into our country wait in Mexico while their case was being considered. ... Rather than keep in places policies that were deterring would be immigrants from making the long treacherous journey north, President Joe Biden rescinded former President Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy. Predictably, word spread. Migrants knew that with the change in administration, once again all they needed do was to make it to the U.S. (link)

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Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee to sponsor an event, "Let's have a conversation."

Conservative Groups of Middle Tennessee will host an event, "Let's have a conversation."  

What: A conversation among conservatives on the strong points of the last election and how conservatives can unite to win elections.
When:  April 29, 2021, 5:30-7:30pm.
Where: Pies by Gigi, 330 Franklin Ste. 906D, Brentwood, TN. 37027
Who: Representatives from different conservative entities. 
  • Dr. David Black representing the Bible Project, 
  • Leader Gilbert Ramirez representing the Pilipino Chamber and the brave work actions of the Police Department, 
  • Michelle Forman from Tennessee Republican Assembly, 
  • Bobbie Partray from Eagle Forum,
Please RSVP to Tony Roberts ( Dan Davis ( Sandy Wells (

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Join The Bastiat Society of Nashville on April 29th | "Where Have All the Capitalists Gone?" with Richard Salsman

Dear Rod,

AIER's Bastiat Society of Nashville invites you to join us on April 29th at 6:00pm for an in-person event with AIER Senior Fellow Richard Salsman

The past two decades have seen a widening, intensifying hostility toward capitalism, even though few people can even define it. Capitalism has become a scapegoat for a range of personal displeasures and societal ills. Not long ago, in the 1980s and 1990s, respect for capitalism was increasing and spreading; in the middle of those decades (1989-1991), the U.S.S.R. collapsed and the Cold War ended peacefully, with freer systems (U.S. and U.K.) the obvious winners. Yet this victory for liberty has been derided by so-called intellectuals as "neo-liberalism." 

The last two decades have seen a tragic revival of anti-capitalist ideologies and practices, including Marxism, Keynesianism protectionism, nationalism, and racism. What explains this? How can it be fixed? Who were the pro-capitalist champions that created the 1980s and 1990s? Do they exist today? Where have they gone? Dr. Salsman answers these important questions. The key point: capitalism requires a moral defense, not merely an economic one. 

The Bastiat Society of Nashville's speaker series is co-sponsored by The Beacon Center of Tennessee & The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) (affiliated with Middle Tennessee State University). This co-sponsorship does not necessarily constitute endorsement of the speakers' positions on the issues discussed. 

Ticket Prices: 
$0 for Founding Members 
$10 for Annual Members 
$20 for Non-Members $0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. Those who register with a non- .edu email address will be unregistered and asked to purchase tickets at full price. 

Registration Required. Let us know if you're coming.
More about the speaker: 
Dr. Richard M. Salsman is an assistant professor of political economy at Duke University, founder and president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc., a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a banker at the Bank of New York and Citibank and an economist at Wainwright Economics, Inc. Dr. Salsman has authored three books: Breaking the Banks: Central Banking Problems and Free Banking Solutions (1990), Gold and Liberty (1995), and The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence (2017). His next book, Where Have all the Capitalists Gone? (2021) will be published by the American Institute for Economic Research. Dr. Salsman has authored a dozen chapters and scores of articles. His work has appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Reason Papers, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, the Economist, the Financial Post, the Intellectual Activist, and The Objective Standard. Dr. Salsman earned his B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College (1981), his M.A. in economics from New York University (1988), and his Ph.D. in political economy from Duke University (2012).

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These Are the 25 Most Affordable Places to Live in the U.S. #6 Memphis, #9 Knoxville and #11 Jackson.

1. Buffalo, New York 

2. Harlingen, Texas 

3. Kalamazoo, Michigan 

4. Joplin, Missouri 

5. Amarillo, Texas
6. Memphis, Tennessee   
If you’re walking in Memphis, you may notice just how inexpensive their housing market is. The average home price is around $261,000 and apartments go for rent for around $350 less than the national average. According to Rent Cafe, the national average rent hit $1,468 in February 2020.

Unemployment rates in Memphis are pretty high (about 11.9 percent) though there are a decent amount of job opportunities nearby. A 2020 study by Property Shark found that $250K, about the average home price in Memphis, can buy about 3,324 square feet. Comparatively, that’s 10 times the space the same amount of money can buy you in San Francisco. According to information pulled by Updater, Memphis (along with Oklahoma City and Knoxville, too), gained more residents than it lost residents during the pandemic and most of the increase of move-ins happened between June and August 2020. Updater adds that this trend is in line with other cities that gained a lot of residents this year, too, including Denver, Austin, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. 

Another pro? Tennessee also has no income taxes, though it does have a 7 percent sales tax and a 6 percent hall tax on interest and dividends.

7. Conway, Arkansas 

8. Fayetteville, Arkansas 

9. Knoxville, Tennessee 
Tennessee ranks high when it comes to getting the best bang for your buck in terms of cost of living and Knoxville is no exception. Transportation, groceries, housing-related expenses, and amenities are just a few of the things that are significantly more affordable here than in other cities. Knoxville has a median home value of $139,900 and in general, the city’s cost of living is 16.8 percent below the national average. Those who live in Tennessee already (Knoxville included) will tell you that one of the great benefits to living there is the scenery, wildlife, and access to the great outdoors. After all, Knoxville is located in the Great Smoky Mountains. 

10. Anniston, Alabama 

11. Jackson, Tennessee 
If you’re looking at other cities in Tennessee, Jackson, TN is not far from Memphis and also makes the list of cheapest cities to live in the U.S. With an average cost of living that’s 15.6 percent less than the national average, the key reasons to consider Jackson are its relatively low health care expenses and housing-related expenses. In terms of entertainment and things to do, there are plenty of museums nearby as well as distilleries and wineries, parks, and even farmer’s markets just a stone’s throw away.

To read the article, follow this link.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Tennessee Senate Passes Bill to Prohibit “No-Knock” raids, ban choke-holds and other reforms.

by Rod Williams - Last  Monday, the Tennessee Senate passed SB1380, a bill that would prohibit “no-knock” warrants, and in the House the bill has advanced and is on the Criminal Justice Committee calendar for April 26th. The full Senate voted in favor, 33-0.

I am pleased with this development.  The House should pass the bill and the governor should sign it.  With the police shooting and BLM riots, it seems most people have retreated to their respective corners and are either waving the "defund the police," banner or the "support the police" banner.  If I had to choose, I would be in the "support the police" camp but we don't have to fall in line with one camp or the other. There are reasonable reforms that need to be enacted. Reasonable people should be willing to admit that policing can be improved and not afraid to pass legislation that addresses legitimate concerns.  

If I was sitting at home and someone knocked down my door and ran in screaming, even if they were screaming "police," I would shoot to kill if I had the opportunity.  It seems that in reaction to the demands of the left, that many on the right have become advocates of police state tactics and defenders of any actions taken by the police.   Remember Ruby Ridge and Waco?  A few years ago conservatives were skeptical of police power and were not afraid to question police actions.  Now, it seems the default position of many conservatives is to assume the police are always right and to support a more powerful and intrusive police presence and to deny there is any need for reform.  

SB1380 would make several reforms in addition to banning "no-knock" warrants.  Among the other things in the bill, the proposed law would also ban choke-holds, require police to develop de-escalation policies and training, protect police who file complaints against other officers or who cooperate with investigations of other police or who intervene to stop a fellow officer from using excessive force.   The new law also requires police to develop new policies that curtail incidents or police shooting from or at moving cars or bicycles. 

I am proud of our Republican dominated Senate for taking this action.  There are more that should be done.  Qualified immunity should be examined and civil asset forfeiture should be banned.  Supporting the police should not blind one to the need for reform.  Advocating for law and order is not the same as supporting policies that curtail civil liberties and support for police-state policies.  

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