Saturday, June 25, 2022

MNPS said charter school students can no longer participate in middle school sports leagues.

Rod's Comment: There is no logic to this. It is just petty and mean. Charter schools are public schools and should not be discriminated against.  However, I do not see why even private schools should not be allowed to play in the same sports leagues as public schools. It would be a sporting thing to do.  What about diversity and acceptance and non-discrimination? Public school children should not be denied social interaction with private school or charter school children. After all, someday those poorly educated public school kids will graduate (or not) and work for those kids who went to charter schools or private schools. 

See: Father of charter school student fights MNPS sports mandate.

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Friday, June 24, 2022

Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. My Comment.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Did you know Bill Gates wants you to eat fake meat grown in a peach tree dish? I learned that from Marjorie Taylor Greene.

by Rod Williams, June 23, 2022 - Just when you think Marjorie Taylor Green can't get any nuttier, she does. If you missed it, here it is: Marjorie Taylor Green saying the government wants "surveillance on every part of your life," including on when people are eating a cheeseburger. "Which is very bad because Bill Gates wants you to eat this fake meat that grows in a peach tree dish so you'll probably get a little zap inside your body that'll say 'No, don't eat a real cheeseburger, you need to eat the fake burger,'" 

Her saying "Peach Tree dish" for petri dish is what is getting the most attention and laughs, but I am more concerned that she believes these weird things and serves in the U.S. Congress.  It is not funny.  What is even less funny is that she is an admired Republican celebrity among many Trumpinistas.  Marjorie Taylor Greene is a certifiable dingbat, nut-job. She is an embarrassment. Yet, she was recently re-elected to her office by the voters of Georgian's 14th Congressional district and she is a national celebrity among many Republicans.  The Wilson County Republican Party choose her as their keynote speaker for last year's annual Trump Day Dinner. I guess that tells you something about Wilson County Republicans. 

Marjorie Taylor Greene was one of just eight House lawmakers to vote against seizing assets from Russian oligarchs. Marjorie Taylor Greene was and maybe still is a Q-anon supporter.  She was a regular contributor to a conspiracy website. She has supported almost every right-wing conspiracy theory circulating. She touts the Pizzagate theory, the Clinton Kill-list, mass shootings as a false flag theory, and 9-11 as an inside job theory.  She has advocated executing Democrat politicians.  She has equated the Democrat Party with Nazies. She has likened NATO to Nazies. She continues to claim Trump won the election in a landslide and that the election was stolen.  Her Covid-19 theory is that Dr. Fauci is criminally liable for helping create the virus as a bio-weapon. She says 2018 California wildfires were ignited by some kind of “space laser." She has also spoken to a White nationalist group that praised Hitler and Putin.

Republicans like to poke fun at Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I hate to say it, but Marjorie Taylor Green makes AOC look like a genius. 

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Metro Council passes $3B budget. 12.7% increase over FY2022 budget. Robs Rainy Day Fund for one-time bonus to MNPS support staff. New funding for Homeless services. City living "beyond our means."..

 Metro Council passes $3B budget. 

by STEPHEN ELLIOTT, Nashville Post, JUN 22, 2022 -  The Metro Council on Tuesday voted 31-3 to pass its version of Mayor John Cooper’s budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning July 1. The $2.95 billion funding plan includes some amendments t ... $200,000 study of needs at Nissan Stadium ... strip some funding from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce ...  new housing planner. ...  to fill hundreds of vacant positions in emergency services and development-related departments ... boosting pay for Metro Schools and other Metro employees. (read more)


Nashville created a standalone Office of Homeless Services with a unanimous vote Tuesday night. Homeless services Metro's Homelessness Impact Division is currently housed within Metro Social Services. (read more)


For a good understanding of where the money comes from and where it goes see Citizens' Guide to the Metro Budget.


Metro Council passes $3B operating budget, includes bonus for school support staff

By Vivian Jones, Main Street Nashville, Jun 21, 2022 Updated Jun 22, 2022 - ... Of the $2.95 billion total budget, roughly $1.1 billion will go to Metro Schools — the largest funding allocation in the district’s history. ... The council approved a proposal by council member Delishia Porterfield to allocate $5 million from Metro’s Fund Balance — the rainy day fund — to provide one-time bonus payments for MNPS support staff. ... Mendes said. “If you toss this $5 million on top of it, we are absolutely making the choice to live beyond our means, betting that revenue is going to outperform what the budget is. This isn’t fiscally prudent.” (read more)


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Sen. Bill Powers to Receive Prestigious Small Business Award

Sen. Bill Bowers
NFIB press release, CLARKSVILLE (June 22, 2022) -- The Tennessee office of the National Federation of Independent Business will present the coveted NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award to state Sen. Bill Bowers Thursday in Clarksville.

The Guardian of Small Business award is the most prestigious honor that NFIB bestows on elected officials in recognition of their efforts to support small business. "Senator Powers not only has an exceptional lifetime voting record with NFIB but also has remained very committed to the passage of pro-small business policies in the Tennessee Senate," NFIB State Director Jim Brown said. "He sponsored and passed the Tennessee Business Fairness Act, important legislation protecting small business, in 2021." 

     WHO: State Sen. Bill Powers, NFIB State Director Jim Brown, NFIB Tennessee Leadership Council member David Berggren and area small business owners

     WHAT: Presentation of NFIB’s Guardian of Small Business Award to Sen. Powers

     WHEN: Thursday, June 23, at 1:30 p.m.

     WHERE: The Furniture Connection corporate office, Red Knight Distribution Center, 2125 International Blvd., Clarksville, TN 37040 

NFIB is the nation's leading small business advocacy organization. To learn more about NFIB in Tennessee, visit and follow @NFIB_TN on Twitter. 

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Contribute Online:

or mail a check payable to Committee to Elect Michelle Foreman: P.O. Box 58082, Nashville, TN 37205

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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Donald Trump teases 2024 presidential run at Faith and Freedom conference in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — As religious conservatives gathered this week at a sprawling resort near the Grand Ole Opry House, Nikki Haley pressed the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” crowd to look to the future. “It’s up to us to deliver a new birth of patriotism,” said Haley, the former South Carolina governor who was ambassador to the United Nations under President Donald Trump. “And together with you, and with trust in God, I pledge to answer that call and inspire our country once again,” she said, sounding like a White House candidate herself. 

Trump spoke from the same stage Friday, making his first public appearance since the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection began to lay bare his desperate attempts to remain in power. It presented harrowing video footage and searing testimony, including accounts from Trump’s close associates and members of his family. 

He spent much of his speech blasting the committee’s efforts as politically motivated and insisting he’d done nothing wrong. In the face of the video and allies’ accounts, he still said, “What you’re seeing is a complete and total lie. It’s a complete and total fraud.” He claimed footage had been selectively edited and downplayed the insurrection as “a simple protest that got out hand.” 
And he made sure to tease his own plans. “One of the most urgent tasks facing the next Republican president — I wonder who that will be,” Trump said at one point, prompting a standing ovation and chants of “USA!” “Would anybody like me to run for president?” he asked the crowd, (link)

Rod's Comment: “Would anybody like me to run for president?” Not me! Please, just go away!  

I will never vote for Donald Trump again.  I did not in 2016 but did in 2020.  It was the worst vote I ever cast. Trump makes Nixon look like a choir boy. 

I could never be a Democrat but I would gamble that we could better survive another four years under a Democrat than eight more years under Donald Trump. I fear of where Donald Trump might take us.  He apparently has no values and no certain consistent views. He is a loose cannon. Who knows? He might throw his weight behind Putin's aggression to save us from wokeness and transgender athletes.  He may go all out on a trade war and lead the US into a major depression. He may imprison his critics and suspend liberties.

I also fear Trump would never lose another election. After four more years, he certainly would not lose a reelection bid. He will make sure he has a vice president who will do his bidding and declare him the 2028 winner. He could declare himself President for Life. If he is too old to run in 2028, he might want to anoint his heir. By then he may have consolidated his power to such an extent that he could issue a decree suspending the Constitution and his followers would rejoice. He has created a cult of personality and many of his followers would follow wherever he leads. 

That a man who has been immoral in business dealing, married several times, cheats on his wife, bangs porn stars, and brags about grabbing women by the pussy, is the keynote speaker at a "faith" gathering tells you of Trump's seductive power. Many of Trump's followers would drink Jim Jones Kool-Aid. 

In eight years,  Trump may have bent the military to do his bidding. He may have made Proud Boy leaders the new Army generals. We know he has no qualms about heading a coup. If not for Mike Pence's courage Trump would illegally be in office today, despite overwhelmingly losing an election. His next coup attempt will succeed. I see Trump as a dangerous megalomaniac.  His loyal followers have faith in Donald Trump and have abandoned reason.  

Trump needs to go away, be indited, become too ill to run, or die. 

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Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett Arrested on DUI Charge. He was not a graduate of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

 The Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

Tennessee Secretary of State Arrested on DUI Charge

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Banning the AR-15 is not an option.

by Rod Williams, 6-16-2022 - I am not a legal scholar and I am not an attorney and I don't even play one on TV, but I do research and read and reason.  My research has led me to conclude that it is most likely not possible to ban the AR-15 rifle. I will explain why and provide resources for anyone interested in doing their own research.

The use of the AR-15 in mass shootings

Before getting into that argument, however, let us look at the reason why there is such a clamor to ban this particular weapon. It has been the weapon of choice in several mass shootings including the recent school shooting in Uvalde Texas in which 19 children were slaughtered and was the weapon of choice at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. These horrific horrors focus the public's attention. Here is a partial list of shootings involving AR-15-type weapons.

  • May 24, 2022:shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde leaves 19 children and two adults dead.
  • Feb. 14, 2018: Shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida leaves 17 people dead.
  • Oct. 1, 2017: The Las Vegas slaughter of 58 people.
  • Nov. 5, 2017: The Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that claimed 26 lives.
  • June 12, 2016: The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 dead.
  • Dec. 2, 2015: The San Bernardino, Calif., shooting that killed 14 people.
  • Dec. 14, 2012: The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that took 27 lives.
Outside of the use in mass shootings, the AR-15 is not the weapon of choice for most other violent actions such as robbery, suicide, or gang warfare. Statistically, it is not the most deadly weapon in circulation. 

This type of weapon is sometimes called an "assault rifle, and of course, it is not. It is a semi-automatic weapon and firing fully automatic is not an option. And, the "AR" in AR-15 does not stand for "Assult Rifle," as is sometimes said by uninformed people. If you want to know more about this type of weapon, just Google it. There are numerous sites that explain what it is. 

Given that the AR-15 weapon is the weapon of choice for slaughtering innocent young school children, I understand the desire to ban it. I could be persuaded it should be banned if I believed it was possible to do so. It is probably not possible, however.

Why, unlike other developed democracies, America cannot just ban private gun ownership.

When having a discussion with someone over a recent tragedy of a school shooting, you may hear someone say we should be like Great Britain, or Canada, or Australia and ban the private ownership of all weapons or a particular weapon. They may ask why if these countries can do it we can't do it?  That they ask the questions illustrates how our education system fails to educate people on the nature of our system of government and our history. When you respond that these countries do not have a Second Amendment, your response will most likely be met with anger and some dismissive comment.

The nature of our rights

Before delving into the specifics of the Second Amendment, I would like to address the nature of our liberties in general. America is exceptional in many ways and one way is that our conception of rights is different from the way rights are understood in many other nations.  First of all, let us make a distinction between a "rights" as some benefit or service or claim against the government to which you are entitled and liberties. If your state constitution says the government will provide public education you may say you have the right to a public education. Whether providing free health care, or education, or old age pensions is proper or not is not the question, but assuming it is proper, that kind of "right" is categorically different than a liberty.  

That many cannot distinguish the difference between an entitlement and a liberty should be of no surprise. The 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights list as rights many liberties we could all agree upon but it then lists "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services."  Those are not liberties, they are claims against society; they are entitlements. For this discussion, let us talk about "rights" that are clearly liberties.

Many people see rights as a grant from the government that the government will not do certain things to people. That is the way many people in other nations earned their rights, They compelled concessions from the government.  That is not the American conception of rights. 

Also, many people believe the Constitution grants us certain rights. It does not. The Constitution confirms and codifies our rights. We have more rights than just those listed in the Bill of Rights. The founders just couldn't think of them all so the Ninth Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." And, the Tenth Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The Declaration of Independences explains the sources of our rights thusly: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Government can abuse our rights, government can keep us from exercising our rights, but our rights are "unalienable."  They are unable to be taken away. When people live under tyranny we do not say their rights are not violated simply because the government decrees they do not have a certain right. We recognize that a right has been violated. 

Our rights are natural rights. Natural rights are those that are not dependent on the laws or constitutions of a government or the customs or habits of any particular culture or people. Thre are universal, basic, and fundamental.

What are these natural rights? Well, we have a right to our thoughts and opinions, and beliefs, we have the right to not be imprisoned unjustly, we have the right to privacy, and we have the right to self-preservation to name just a few. From the inalienable natural right of self-defense comes the Second Amendment.

Understanding the Second Amendment

This is the wording of the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." 

What does that mean?  The fact that there are two clauses to the amendment has caused some to argue that the first clause, the prefatory clause, mentioning "a well-regulated militia," means this right means nothing more than that the armed forces or the national guard shall have the right to carry weapons. 

This ignores history and the term "right of the people" in the primary clause of the amendment. Most scholars and those with knowledge of the history of the Revolutionary war period and the development of the Constitution understand the Second Amendment to grant the individual the right to bear arms. 

In discussing the Second Amendment, one may have heard advocates of the Second Amendment say, the purpose of the Second Amendment is not for hunting, or target practice and not even for personal protection from criminals but so people can defend themselves against a tyrannical government. The prefatory clause reflects the accuracy of this view.  

The Articles of Confederation had been a failure and needed to be replaced. The Constitution was designed to form a more powerful central government. Yet many feared such a strong central government.  They feared that a strong Federal government would become tyrannical. They feared a standing army and saw the citizens' militia as a defense against a politicized standing army. Thus the phrase, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State."  The militia was understood to be all able-bodied male citizens. That a justification was offered as to why we needed such a right to be enshrined in the Constitution does not negate the right of the people to bear arms. 

While most scholars viewed the Second Amendment as recognizing an individual right to possess firearms, there has been a minority view that has argued that the right is a collective right and simply recognized the right of citizens to form militias. That argument was addressed in the case of  DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER.  


In 2008 in District of Columbia v Heller, the court affirmed that the right to possess weapons is an individual right. The case involved residents of the federal District of Columbia who asked the court to enjoin enforcement of three provisions of the district’s Firearms Control Regulation Act (1975) that banned the registration of handguns, prohibited the carrying of unlicensed handguns, and required that lawfully stored firearms be disassembled or locked to prevent firing. The court did so. In addition, the court went further. Until this ruling, the Supreme Court had never ruled on the question of if the 2nd Amendment was an individual right. 

The Supreme Court said the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia. Also, "the right does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes."

The term "those in common use for lawful purposes," would undoubtedly make banning an AR-15 illegal. The AR-15 is in common use for lawful purposes.

The ruling does not say that there could be no restrictions or regulations of firearms. This is what it said

Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court's opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. 

So, while the public and their elected representatives may want to ban the AR-15 or some other weapon "in common use for lawful purposes,' they cannot. That does not however rule out reasonable regulation.

What Could be done?

Quite frankly, I have been leaning toward support for an AR-15 ban if it were legal to do so. If not a ban, I could support raising the age to purchase such a weapon to age 21. There is nothing enshrined in common law or the constitution that establishes the age of majority at age 18. Up until 1970, 18-year-old did not have the right to vote.  Still, 18-year-olds cannot purchase alcohol or cigarettes. 

A waiting period to take possession after the weapon is purchased may be an option. I do not know if banning high-capacity magazines would be legal. Probably not. High-capacity magazines are in common use for a lawful purpose.  Such a ban would no doubt be challenged. 

For those who want an outright ban, you may not like it but that is not currently an option. However, the ruling in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER was 5 to 4  and a future case could reverse the ruling. That is highly unlikely now that more conservatives are on the court than in 2008. Even if liberals pack the Court or a future president has the occasion to change the balance of the Court, even a liberal court does not see itself as a political body that follows opinion polls. Such a case would have to find a nuanced argument that would justify overturning a previous ruling of the Court. Even if the Court had a liberal majority, it would likely be years before a case would reach the Court that could result in a ruling to overturn the current ruling of the Court.

The only option I can see for banning the AR-15 is to amend the Constitution. No matter how much one may wish to just ignore the Constitution, that can not happen. 

Those who want to ban the AR-15 will need to amend the Constitution and repeal the 2nd Amendment or modify the 2nd Amendment to permit the banning of certain weapons. Amending the Constitution is not easy. It has only happened 27 times. First, you need to get supermajorities in Congress, that is two-thirds in both the House and the Senate. That is not likely to happen anytime soon.  Even if you get a joint resolution proposing to amend the constitution through Congress, you still need to get the amendment ratified by three-fourths of the states. That's 38 states. There would have to be an unrepresented change in the political makeup of State Governments for that to happen. 

Like it or not, the AR-15 is not likely to be banned. 

For more on this topic, consult the following: 

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