Thursday, October 06, 2022

Nashville criminal justice advocate who admitted to hiding guns in walls of jail sentenced to 40 years in prison

 Nashville criminal justice advocate who admitted to hiding guns in walls of jail sentenced to 40 years in prison

Rod's Comment: Good!

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Don't lose your Nashville home because of high taxes.

by Rod Williams, October 5, 2022-  It is no secret that property values have soared in Nashville in recent years. Some people who never would have been able to accumulate significant wealth now have a net worth they never dreamed they would have. Homeownership is the major source of wealth for most Americans, and rising home prices can be good news for current homeowners, However, increased home values also have a downside. Many people are in danger of losing their homes due to increased property taxes. 

Property taxes are both a function of the tax rate and a property's value. Increased property values along with a local government that wants to spend more and more mean some people, especially those on a fixed income, may be at risk of losing their home. 

For many people in this situation, there are government programs to help with property taxes. These are mentioned in the below press release from Metro Trustee Erica Gilmore. The two major programs are Tax Freeze and Tax Relief.

For most of my working life, I worked as a housing counselor, helping low-income people become homeowners or helping homeowners in crisis avoid losing their home. One thing I observed during my career is that politically conservative people are much more reluctant to seek help than liberals. That may be because they feel it is hypocritical to ask for government help when they tend to oppose many welfare programs.  Also, people of a conservative persuasion may place a greater value on individual self-reliance and would find it embarrassing to seek help.

Also, I think conservatives or socially middle-class people, especially White socially middle-class people, are often simply often unaware of government programs. For the lower socioeconomic classes, especially members of the Black community, there is much more knowledge of government programs. There are non-profit organizations and Black churches that serve as a source of information and outreach in some communities. This is much less prevalent in other communities. 

Anyone may need help from time to time.  When it comes to tax relief programs, conservatives who need help should not be hesitant to seek it.  After all, you are a victim of liberals who increased your tax taxes; you did not choose higher taxes. Also, I know it should not be this way, but some White people have a view that some assistance programs are only for Black people. Obviously, not so.  

I have contempt for people who make it a lifestyle to chase welfare benefits.  However, sometimes any of us may need help.  I have been unemployed at different points in my life.  I never hesitated to apply for unemployment insurance when I needed it.  That is what is there for, I paid for it when I was working. I was not ashamed to seek it when I needed it.

Please don't let a sense of pride keep you from seeking help that could keep you from losing your home.  You may have to have to swallow some pride in seeking help. Do it. It is better than being homeless and is probably better than burdening your children by asking for help.

One other option for avoiding losing your home that is right for some people is a reverse mortgage. For people who are skrimping to get by but have no childrent to leave an inheritance to, I think a reverse mortgage can be an excellent option.  There are drawbacks to a reverse mortgage and it is not right for everyone.  Before getting one, one should be well informed. Don't rush into it, but don't reject it out of hand. Hud-approved housing counselors who do not have a financial interest in you getting a reverse mortgage can provide unbiased information.  For a list of HUD-approved counselors in your area follow this link and see "Search for a Housing Counselor." 

To those in a position to advise others and who often encounter people in crisis, such as city council members, other elected officials, guidance counselors, pastors, and church leaders, please become aware of these programs.  You do not have to become an expert but be aware enough to tell people these programs exist and where people in need should turn for help. 


From Davidson County Trustee Erica Gilmore: The Office of the Metropolitan Trustee invites you to
the "Disrupt and Dismantle" screening from Soledad O'Brien on Thursday, October 13, 2022. The screening will take place at Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church, 2708 Jefferson Street, Nashville, starting at 11:30 am. 

The docu-series highlights the rise of property taxes and ownership in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, an affluent community similar to Nashville. As highlighted in the docu-series, pressure from investors for property owners to sell their homes is real. Unfortunately, property owners are not always willing to sell, yet it is sometimes challenging to maintain rising property taxes. 

We are here to help and offer resources and solutions to "Keep Nashville Home." We want all Davidson County property owners equipped to make informed decisions about their property. 

Following the screening, we will have a panel discussion with John Manson – Special Counsel; Alisha Haddock – The Housing Fund; Brian Sexton – MDHA; Andrea Barbour – Metro Planning Department; and Dr. Learotha Williams, Jr. – Tennessee State University Professor / Historic Zoning Commissioner.

We look forward to you attending and learning about Tax Freeze and Tax Relief programs, estate planning, and the importance of having a will, including other resources available to Davidson County property owners. For a pre-screening discussion with the panel, tune in Sunday, October 9th, to Let's Talk on 92.1, WQQK, a Cumulus station.  

We are excited to learn about home repair programs offered through MDHA. "The purpose of the Home Repair program is to stabilize and correct health and safety issues, accessibility deficiencies related to health and safety of the occupants, and address lead or asbestos removal, if applicable. Also, systems updated or replaced will be replaced with systems that promote energy," said Sexton. Click the link to learn more about the MDHA Home Repair program.

The Housing Fund will offer resources to aid in "Keeping Nashville Home" Haddock stated, "The Housing Fund offers several programs for homeowners and landlords. Our consumer lending department offers down payment assistance, homebuyer education, money management, home improvement loans, shared equity, and the community loan center. In addition, we offer development lending, focusing on multi-family units, single-family units, and community facilities. We also provide grants such as The Housing Resiliency Fund for property tax relief for homeowners under 120% AMI and landlords providing fair market rent in Davidson County, Covid-19 relief, and the CDFI Fund."

The Housing Resiliency Fund provides property tax relief to eligible homeowners in zip codes 37013, 37206, 37207, 37208, 37211, 37216, and 37218.

Homeowners, click the link to find out if you qualify for The Housing Resiliency Fund. 

The program has expanded its services to assist nonprofit organizations and small landlords of affordable housing units and subsidized rental properties with existing property tax bills. Applications are being accepted.

Landlords, click here:  The Housing Resiliency Fund.

Lastly, Attorney Manson will provide expertise about probate court, including matters related to the administration of a deceased person's estates, including the probating of wills.

This docu-series screening is FREE and open to the public. We ask that you share this information with anyone that may benefit from the many resources available through various programs. 

Please email or call 615-862-6330 for more details.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2022


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Monday, October 03, 2022

Trump threatens McConnell with Death. Uses racist nickname for Elaine Chao. Despicable!

by Rod Williams, Oct. 3, 2020- When you think Trump can't stoop any lower or get any crazier, he does. The above was posted by Trump on his social media platform over the weekend.  This is simply unacceptable.  Some Trumpinistas and Trump apologists will say he is speaking metaphorically and this does not constitute a death threat against McConnell. I think it does. Given how nutty some of Trump's supporters are this is a dangerous post. Some Trumpinistas may take this as a call to assassinate McConnell. 

Trump stood by for hours and did not call off a mob on January 6th that was intend on finding and hanging Vice President Mike Pence. Trump has maniacal followers who will kill in his name and Trump loves them and doesn't care. He encourages them. 

Also, the use of a racist nickname to attack McConnell's wife and Trump's former Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao is despicable. 

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City to modify Planned Parenthood funding bill to remove requirement funding Abortion tourism.

by Rod Williams, Oct. 3, 2022- There is a bill pending before the Metro Council that would provide a half-million dollar grant to Planned Parenthood. Included in the bill is $150,000 that would provide travel assistance for Davidson County residents seeking an abortion outside Tennessee. 

The bill is being changed to remove the funding for travel expenses for residents seeking an abortion. The change comes about because Metro Legal says the bill would violate Title X federal funding requirements which says Title X dollars may not fund abortion or abortion-related services. Planned Parenthood would still get the $500,000 but the specific requirement that $150,000 be used for travel for abortion would be removed.  This is an improvement, but not much of one. I still oppose the bill. We know in the real world how things like this work. Planned Parenthood would fund Abortion tourism with other funds that are now freed up due to the Metro funds. Also, I don't think any organization that advocates for abortion should receive any public funding.

I think it may be time for the State to step in and act to prohibit Metro from funding abortions through the back door.

For more read The Tennessean article, City turns focus of Planned Parenthood grant from abortion access, to birth control

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From right to work to slavery, Tennessee set to vote on four constitutional amendments

 By Jon Styf | The Center Square, Oct. 3, 2022 — Tennessee residents will be asked to vote on four different constitutional amendments.

In order to pass, the amendments will need to receive approval from more than 50% of those voting in the Nov. 8 statewide election after going through an extensive process to reach the ballot.

The four initiatives include a right-to-work amendment, a gubernatorial succession plan, a ban on indentured servitude for those incarcerated, and the end of a law that prevents ministers from being elected to public office.

Several of the amendments are formalizing rules that are already followed, including the rule regarding ministers and the right-to-work amendment.

The rule against ministers holding public office was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1978 but the words were never formally removed from the Tennessee Constitution.

Tennessee has had a right-to-work law in place since 1947 and is one of 27 states with such laws, which allow workers across the state to elect whether or not they would like to join a union. Without a law in place, unions can require membership as a condition of employment as they do federally.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is the statewide chairman of the "Yes on 1" supporting the measure with a campaign committee that includes former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

"The right-to-work law simply means you cannot be forced to join a union and pay dues in order to get or keep your job, nothing more," former Tennessee Sen. Brian Kelsey, who sponsored the amendment, wrote last week.

Many, including Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus Press Secretary Brandon Puttbrese, oppose the measure.

"The anti-worker ballot initiative to amend Tennessee’s constitution will further destroy the freedom workers have to negotiate for better pay and benefits," Puttbrese told The Center Square previously. "Policies like this tip the scales of power toward big corporations. That’s not a free market — that’s market manipulation against workers, union and non-union.

"Tennesseans already earn $10,000 less a year than the average American worker. This amendment will only make our low-wage, no-benefit economy worse. We strongly encourage every Tennessean to vote for better wages and benefits by voting NO on Amendment 1."

Tennessee previously did not have a gubernatorial succession plan if a governor was incapacitated. The amendment would temporarily put the state’s lieutenant governor in charge without requiring that person to resign from his or her current post.

A "Yes on 3" campaign with bipartisan support would change the state’s constitution to say "That slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this State. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime."

The state Constitution currently has an exception where work can be required of those convicted of a crime. The "Yes on 3" support includes the mayors of Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Knox County and Chattanooga along with state lawmakers from both parties.

"There is absolutely no place in the world where slavery should exist, and certainly not within the Tennessee State Constitution," said Rep. Bob Freeman, Co-Chair of the Yes On 3 Advisory Board. "I am honored to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues who overwhelmingly share the common belief that 'Words Matter.' This vote is not about left or right, it’s about right or wrong."

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Tennessee's 5th Congressional District race between Ogles, Campbell will take spotlight on Nov. 8

Andy Ogles, left, at the entrance to a voting location
 Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, in Brentwood, Tenn.
By Jon Styf | The Center Square Sep 27, 2022
  — Of Tennessee’s nine congressional seats on the upcoming Nov. 8 ballot, the one expected to get the most attention statewide is the newly drawn 5th Congressional District including some of Nashville.

Republican Andy Ogles, the Maury County mayor, is taking on Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Nashville, in a contest of contrasting ideologies.

Ogles is pro-life, stating "life begins at conception, and we are duty-bound to protect it at every stage until natural death." Campbell, meanwhile, believes that Tennesseans should have the right to choose abortion, saying "everyone should have the freedom to decide what is best for themselves and their families, including when it comes to abortion."

Campbell has also opposed Amendment 1 on the upcoming ballot, which would put right to work in the Tennessee Constitution.

Early voting begins on Oct. 19 for the Nov. 8 election.

Before then, Campbell has been calling for a debate. Those favored to win a race, however, are often less likely to commit to a debate as it is less likely to help their chances than an underdog.

"Voters deserve a public debate from candidates who run for Congress," Campbell said. "Families deserve to hear why he wants to defund public schools, ban abortion nationwide and increase prescription drug costs on seniors. I guess if I had to defend his ugly record, I’d be hiding too."

Ogles, meanwhile, has campaigned for more responsible government spending such as the recent $740 billion spending bill dubbed the Inflation Reduction Act by congressional Democrats despite the fact most Americans believe that it will not reduce inflation.

Spending has increased by $9 trillion, inflation increased by 550%, and food prices are up 13.5% under the Biden administration," Ogles tweeted. "Enough is enough! We must cut wasteful spending, strive toward energy independence, and restore the American supply chain."

Ogles has opposed Biden’s plan to hire 87,000 more Internal Revenue Service agents as part of the bill.

While Campbell won her primary unopposed, Ogles advanced through a crowded field with plenty of drama as three candidates were removed by the state’s Republican Party before the election and one of them — Robby Starbuck — received nearly 2,500 write-in votes to finish fifth in the race behind Ogles, former Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, Kurt Winstead and Jeff Beierlein.

Ogles fared best in the Maury and Williamson county portions of the district with more than 6,500 primary votes in each while Harwell nearly doubled Ogles in the Davidson County portion of the district.

Portions of Wilson, Marshall and Lewis counties are also in the district, which was redrawn this year before U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced he would not run for the seat after Nashville and Davidson County were split between two districts. 

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