Sunday, December 31, 2023

New Year's Eve advice from the Rod Williams School for Drunk Driving

by Rod Williams, Dec. 31, 2023 - New Year's Eve is tonight, the number one day of the year for people driving while intoxicated. Many of these people will be people who only occasionally drink and rarely get drunk, so they will not have developed good drunk driving skills.  For these amateurs, I am presenting these tips from the Rod Williams School from Drunk Driving.

(1) Don't Drive drunk. That is the number one tip: don't do it. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else.  If you are lucky and don't kill someone else or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children or visitation rights, a lot of money, and maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. If you do get drunk, Uber or Lyft or get a hotel room or call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you. If at a friend's house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night.  

Lyft and Uber are affordable, fast, and convenient.  By now most people who live an active life have probably used one of these services. If you have not used one of the services however, the way they work is that you page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until you're drunk to try to download the app. Here is a link to the Uber app.

(2) Pick the designated driver before you start drinking.  If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people, then have a designated driver. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.
Despite the above advice, I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk. I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are possibly driving impaired I am providing these below tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(3) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. See the above tips. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(4) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” That is what often happens. If during the evening you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after-dinner liquor with coffee, and a champagne toast, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.

On occasion, but not as often as I would like and certainly not as often as when I younger, I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however, if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight in a four-hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115-pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 100-proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(5) You'r not a kid anymore. As you age, your reaction times can slow down, and you can lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities. Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility. Face it, there are some things you cannot do as well when you are old as you could when you were young.  You may not be safely able to drink as much and drive.

(6)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. In the days before Uber and when you could still park on Broadway, I would visit the honkytonk strip of Lower Broad. I never would park on Broadway, however. I live on the south side of town, so I would park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. That meant I did not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(7) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are may have had enough to register drunk and use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Be aware of this.

(8) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate 
to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(9) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not turned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. This was in a previous car, years ago when headlights did not turn on automatically. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(10)  One crime at a time! Do not commit other crimes while driving drunk. If stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, don't compound your problems by being arrested for drunk driving and something else.  Don't smoke dope while driving drunk. Don't get arrested for drunk driving and for speeding, or possession of a controlled substance, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or soliciting prostitution.

(11) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(12) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passenger's seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(13) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

(14) Don't sleep it off in the car.  Should you find yourself drunk and think a nap will revive you or that you may just spend the night in your car, don't do it. Even if you are not driving, if you are in your car drunk, you can be charged with DUI.  See the guidelines above about alternatives to driving drunk. If you can't take a ride-share or call a friend, and you do end up drunk, it would be better to sleep it off in a doorway or park bench than in your car. 

Rep. Bill Beck
(15) Use your influence to get the charge thrown out. Be a State Representative or other person (link) with important friends who can get a judge to throw out the charge based on lack of probable cause for making the stop. Despite the police seeing you drive with wheels over the lane line and observing the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and inability to walk straight and despite the arresting officer saying you were "absolutely hammered," the judge may rule the arresting officer did not have probable cause for making the stop.

(16) Pray. It can't hurt.

This is a tip suggested by one of the students of the Rod Williams School for Drunk Driving and I am incorporating it into the curriculum.

(17) If you are seeing double, close one eye. 

Stay safe. Drive careful. Happy New Years.

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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Nashville spent nearly $700,000 out of pocket on four lawsuits challenging state laws this year

By Jon Styf, The Center Square, Dec 28, 2023 - Nashville spent nearly $700,000 out of pocket on four lawsuits challenging state laws this year along with 1,645 hours of the department’s time, according to a new report from The Tennessean.

The $682,949 in out-of-pocket expenses included paying for outside counsel, expert witnesses, filing fees and court reporters, the newspaper said.

The Tennessee Attorney General’s Office showed it spent $2,096.08 for court reporters, transcripts and filing fees for the four lawsuits but told the newspaper that it does not track the specific number of hours its attorneys spent on specific cases.

The first law is set to reduce the size of Metro Nashville’s council from 40 to 20 members. It was blocked for the most recent election but set to become law in 2027.

The second was a law intended to stop Nashville’s super-majority requirement for demolition at the Fairgrounds Speedway. The bill was later blocked by a three-judge panel.

A third law changing who had the power to nominate members of the Nashville Airport Authority board was also blocked. The bill intended to move authority for nominees from Nashville’s mayor to an eight-member board with two appointees each for the mayor, governor, House speaker and Senate speaker is unconstitutional and that new board is now vacated.

A similar bill changing appointments for Nashville’s Metropolitan Sports Authority is currently blocked through a temporary restraining order, the paper reported.

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50 Year Old Advice Still True Today

Click pic to see video.


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Friday, December 29, 2023

Ginny Welsch is lone Council member to oppose terrorist fighting tools for the Metro Police Department

by Rod Williams, Dec. 28, 2023- At the most recent Metro Council meeting, the Council approved the acceptance of a Homeland Security Grant of $740,450 that will provide the city with new equipment for the Office of Emergency Management and the Metro Police Department. The grant also included training in use of the equipment. The purpose of the grant was to "fund efforts to prevent, prepare for, protect against, and respond to acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events."

Among the equipment funded are atmospheric monitors, handheld spectrometers, pneumatic tools, portable radios and a Boston Dynamics Spot Robot. Usually accepting a grant from the Federal or State government is not controversial. Metro accepts grants almost every meeting. 

The part of this grant that was controversial was "Spot."  The robotic dog has specialized sensors that can detect possible chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats from a safe distance and is capable of investigating suspicious packages and suspected explosives. 

I am pleased to see Metro get this equipment including Spot.  We live in a dangerous world. It has been 21 years since 9-11. I am not going to surprised when we are next hit with a terrorist attack.  With our national borders unsecured and about 2 million unknown people walking into our country every year, I do not expect the next big attack to be airplanes flying into buildings but an attack on a well-attended public gathering by people who walked across the border. Events like Nashville's New Year's Eve bash would make prime targets. 

We do not only have a threat of international terrorism aiming at big targets to be concerned about, but we have the growing threat of home-grown antisemitic terrorist that are making threats against synagogues as well as a growing danger from right-wing anti-government groups. If a mysterious package is found planted in a local synagogue, I would much prefer being able to send in a robotic dog to investigate than a police officer.

Durning the debate on the resolution, Council Member Jordan Huffman explained the importance of the robotic dog for the MNPD’s hazardous device unit: "This will be utilized by the hazardous device unit by MNPD. I stated before that there have been over 300 [individual] bomb threats this year. If one of those is actually a bomb, then what we’re doing here tonight is worth it."

Huffman went on to explain the use for the atmospheric monitors, which he said will be placed in and around large crowds during events in Nashville to detect any harmful substances like anthrax that could potentially be thrown into the air.

Approval of this grant seems like a no-brainer to me. Why the opposition? Opponents apparently fear the robotic dog will be used to attack people and to spy on people. Watch the above video to see the debate. 

Ginny Welsch
cast lone vote against 
bomb-sniffing robot
District 22 Council Member Sheri Winer made a passionate plea for passing the resolution referencing the bomb threat that was made to Congregation Micah synagogue the weekend prior to the council meeting.

“My grandson and I are Jewish, as many of you in the room are,” said Weiner.  “I got a phone call as I’m walking out the door to take [him] to Sunday school, and my son-in-law with a quivering voice says to me, ‘Don’t take him, they’ve closed Sunday school.’ There was a bomb threat.”

Despite the resolution being thoroughly discussed and approved in committee, a move was made to defer action on the resolution. The move to defer failed by a vote of 15 in favor and 24 against. After more discussion the measure passed overwhelmingly with only one "no" vote and four abstentions.  District 12 Council Member Ginny Welsch was the only "no" vote. 

That Ginny Welsch would vote no is no surprise. While we have a lot of left-leaning progressives serving in the Metro Council, thankfully there is only one Ginny Welsch. While the Council is liberal, it is not totally nuts.  Ginny Welsch is by far the most radical member of the Metro Council. She has a consistent history of attempting to defund the police and votes against the police at every opportunity. There is no vote that she could cast that would surprise me. In 2020 she sponsored a budget amendment that would have slashed the funding for the Police by 40%.  Thankfully, she is one of a kind and no one is following her lead. She did not speak during the debate on the bill. 

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Wednesday, December 27, 2023

If you were forced to build a public sidewalk or a make payment to the in-lieu of sidewalk fund, you are eligible for a refund.

 by Rod Williams, Dec. 27, 2023- If you were forced to build a public sidewalk or a make a payment to the in-lieu of sidewalk fund, you are eligible for a refund. Follow this link to claim your refund. 

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

U.S. national debt soars in 2023; per-taxpayer burden reaches $100,000

By Casey Harper, The Center Square, Dec.26, 2023- The U.S. national debt continued to soar in 2023, surpassing $33 trillion.

It's still rising rapidly.

The U.S. Treasury Department estimates the national debt at $33.87 trillion, but the deficit figures for December could put the figure over $34 trillion.

For fiscal year 2023, which began on Oct. 1, 2022, and ended Sept. 30, 2023, the deficit rose about $1.7 trillion. The federal government spent $6.13 trillion while total revenue was only $4.44 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

While the Treasury normally tracks the deficit by the fiscal year, a look at the monthly Treasury Department reports shows the federal government borrowed about $1.65 trillion this calendar year, not counting the unreleased data from December.

Deficits have spiked in recent years, topping a trillion dollars per year during the COVID-19 pandemic. While deficits have decreased from that peak, they still remain higher than before the pandemic began.

As The Center Square previously reported, the rough debt estimate and rough U.S. population estimate means every American would owe about $100,000 just to pay off the debt in full and not including ongoing operations of the federal government.

Interest payments on the national debt alone will soon be the biggest expense for the federal government. Several federal programs face insolvency in the coming decade, such as the trust funds for Medicare, Social Security and highway maintenance.

Federal projections show the national debt will be twice as large as the U.S. economy within 30 years.

“By the end of 2023, federal debt held by the public equals 98 percent of GDP,” the U.S. Congressional Budget Office said in July. “Debt then rises in relation to GDP: It surpasses its historical high in 2029, when it reaches 107 percent of GDP, and climbs to 181 percent of GDP by 2053.”

Experts did celebrate the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, a bipartisan bill the president signed in June that cut spending over the next 10 years.

“In 2023, Congress and the President approved $1.3 trillion of ten-year deficit reduction – consisting of more than $1.6 trillion of savings and roughly $350 billion of costs,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said in a statement. “This has been a monumental year for fiscal policy with the enactment of the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Act – the largest deficit reduction measure implemented in a dozen years.”

Despite the growing burden on taxpayers, the federal debt has not been a primary topic of debate among 2024 presidential candidates.

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Saturday, December 23, 2023

Which School earned an "A" and which school earned and "F." Here is the grade earned by each school in Davidson County.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 23, 2023- This week the Tennessee Department of Education delivered its long awaited first letter score report on every public school in the state, except for a handful with insufficient data to be graded. 

I am pleased to see this information made available in this simple to understand format. Similar to how a classroom letter grades provide a snapshot of student learning, school letter grades allow one to see how well schools are serving students. One can hear from other parents or friends that a school is "excellent" or "pretty good," or "terrible:" this letter grade is not based on impressions but hard data. Thankfully, this score does not include factors like diversity or sports programs or nebulous social factors. This letter grade score rates the school's academics. It measures if students are learning.

To look behind the curtain and see the factors that go into the letter grade or to see the grades of all schools across the state, follow this link

There are 160 public schools in Nashville. Of that number there are 14 with an F grade and 13 with an A grade. Most fall in between. Our Nashville schools are worse than the state average but, if it is any consolation, we are not as bad as Memphis-Shelby County. Below is the list of all the schools in Davidson County and the grade given each school. For more news and analysis of the data see link, link, and link.

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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Tennessee A-F letter grades are out: 1-in-4 schools could face action, audits

by Rachel Wegner, The Tennessean, Dec. 21, 2023- More than a quarter of Tennessee's public K-12 schools could face corrective action and audits from the state after receiving Ds or Fs under a new grading system.

Tennessee released letter grades for every public K-12 school in the state on Thursday, putting a law first passed in 2016 into effect. ... The grading system has stirred controversy since its inception. Advocates say letter grades are a simpler, more transparent way for parents to understand school performance. 

Opponents say the new system unfairly favors proficiency on standardized tests, instead of overall academic growth from year to year, making it harder for schools to earn As or Bs. Some have raised concerns that the grades will further stigmatize public schools, and others have pointed to the underfunding of those schools. (Read more)

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Metro Settles Claim, pays Nashville Rescue Mission and others $214K reimbursement for forcing public sidewalk construction.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 21, 2023- At this past Tuesday's Council meeting, the Metro Council passed aresolution settling the claims of the Nashville Rescue Mission and several others in an amount totaling of $213,966.13. The claim arose out of Nashville's sidewalk ordinance which forced property owners to build public sidewalks in front of their property when they substantially remodeled or developed their property. That policy, thanks to a lawsuit brought by The Beacon Center of Nashville, was ruled unconstitutional.  Nashville Rescue Mission got the largest reimbursement in the amount of $80,134.06. Metro Legal recommended the city settle the claims. 

Nashville Rescue Mission is the local agency doing more to serve the homeless than any other agency in town. It describes itself like this: Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community committed to helping those who are hungry, hurting, and experiencing homelessness by providing programs and services that focus on a person’s entire life—physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. Our goal is to restore the whole person through a Christian approach that helps someone experiencing homelessness or struggling with addiction learn how God loves them and gain the biblical insight they need to lead a productive life.

Nashville Rescue Mission is good stewards of the money they receive, and they get no government funding. Nashville Rescue Mission serves close to 1,600 meals a day to those who are hungry, hurting, and experiencing homelessness in the community. This includes three hot meals a day, 365 days a year. They house an average of 800 men, women, and children each night.  

$80,134.06 will buy a lot of hot meals. 

If you are someone you know were forced to build a sidewalk, you may be eligible for reimbursement. To file for reimbursement, follow this link

If you are feeling charitable this holiday season, I can think of no organization more deserving of support than the Nashville Rescue Mission. 

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Nashville’s Real GDP Growth Ranks 2nd Highest in the US

From the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Dec. 21, 2023- Recently, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce released data on GDP growth in the Middle Tennessee Economy. This blog post explores these findings in greater detail.

The bureau of economic analysis (BEA) released figures for GDP at the metro and county level December 7th for 2022. GDP or gross domestic product is the value of the output of the goods and services produced by an economy. It’s an important indicator into how the economy is performing and is especially relevant given the rise in interest rates in recent months.

The chart above shows how the economy has performed in the last few years. GDP shrunk in 2020 due the economic shutdown brought by the pandemic and has quickly recovered.

Nashville’s economy was not as impacted by the pandemic-induced recession as much as the nation. A major strength of Nashville’s economy is its diversity which means that the impacts of national recessions are softened in the Nashville region. Recessions are shallower in Nashville and the local economy recovers relatively quickly. The evidence for this ability to absorb recessions is in the next chart.

Real GDP Growth 2021 - 2022
GDP Change from 2021 to 2022 adjusted for inflation
Top 50 Metros with at least 1M in population

How does Nashville’s GDP growth rank?

Looking at gross GDP, Nashville ranks 6th highest growth rate from 2021 – 2022. However, when we adjust for inflation, Nashville ranks 2nd highest in the country with metros with at least 1M in population. (Read more)

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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

What's on the Council agenda for Dec. 19th.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 19, 2023-  Below is the email newsletter report on the Council agenda provided by Rae Keohane. Rae is a local active Republican.  She reads and studies each Metro Council agenda and shares her opinion on items of interest and shares her email to those on an email distribution list. Having done this myself in the past, I know how time consuming this can be. If you would like to be included on Rae's email distribution list, contact her at In addition to her reporting on the Council, Rae is a facilitator of the Nashville Conservatives breakfast group. 




Since you will be voting on several matters of concern below is my opinion and questions about some matters before you tonight

I would appreciate some responses to my questions.

I spend a few hours on this each meeting I would appreciate a response to my questions.

and many others will be WATCHING you all on TV! 


RS2023-131 I SUPPORT With one question do we have data on how many people have been gainfully employed by participating in this program?   A resolution authorizing the Metropolitan Mayor to execute an Interlocal Agreement for the Northern Middle Tennessee Local Workforce Development Area in accordance with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

RS2023-132 I SUPPORT A resolution authorizing the Metropolitan Department of Water and Sewerage Services to transfer control of two parcels of property to the Metropolitan Government.

RS2023-133 I SUPPORT A resolution amending Ordinance No. BL2023-1690, as amended, to provide a stormwater capacity fee appeal process and to amend the applicability of the new section 15.64.035 of the Metropolitan Code.

RS2023-141 If I am reading this correctly, we are paying $6 million for a 5 year contract to service copier, printers and other office machines. Has anyone done an analysis of how many times each machine has to be serviced? Has anyone provided and analyzed how many machines this covers? This data could then be compared to whether or not this is a good deal for the TAXPAYERS! This is the kind of analysis my department had to do as part of operations in my former company.  A resolution approving a contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and RJ Young Company LLC, to provide multifunction devices, copiers, printers, related devices and services for Metro General Services Department.

RS2023-142 I missed the cost of this agreement it is not in the analysis? A resolution accepting the terms of a cooperative purchasing master agreement for mailing equipment, supplies and maintenance services for the General Services Department.

RS2023-143 I SUPPORT A resolution accepting a grant from the Friends of Metro Animal Care and Control to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to provide funding for emergency medical care for shelter animals and the Pet Pantry, a component of the Safety Net Program.

RS2023-144-145-146-147-148-155 I SUPPORT A resolution approving amendments three and four to a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the Metropolitan Government, acting by and through the Metropolitan Board of Health, to provide for the prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of HIV/AIDS and to administer a Minority AIDS Initiative program.

RS2023-xxx( Evans) I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT!  A resolution authorizing the waiver of certain permit fees for the repair or rebuilding of property damaged as a result of the December 9, 2023 tornado.

BL2023-81 ANOTHER SOLE SOURCE CONTRACT?? $25 MILLION for 5 years are you serious?  I see commercials for security/hosting systems for commercial and personal all the time.  PC MATIC IS AN AMERICAN COMPANY WHICH provides these services has anyone investigated this option?  I mean it is not like the company that does this needs to be in Nashville or even Tennessee!  An ordinance approving a sole source contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and Carahsoft Technology Corporation, to provide hosting and security services for, and licensing and support services for departmental systems.

BL2023-1 ANOTHER $10 MILLION FOR 5 YEARS I am STILL not sure why this is a sole source contract there are many companies who provide these services and I am sure some of those companies are in TENNESSEE. Maybe you can ask these folks to make it easier to search for past legislation on the website. An ordinance approving the contract between the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (“Metro”) and Net Tango, Inc., to provide website maintenance and development support for Metro’s website,, and for other Metro governmental agency or department websites, as needed, and which will replace the expiring contract between the parties (contract number 432814). 

BL2023-60 I SUPPORT.  An ordinance to amend Title 17 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws, the Zoning Ordinance of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, by changing from RS5 to R6 zoning for property located at 2400 Buchanan Street, at the northwest corner of 24th Avenue North and Buchanan Street and located within a Contextual Overlay District (0.26 acres), all of which is described herein (Proposal No. 2023Z-077PR-001).

BL2023-70 I SUPPORT!  An ordinance to amend Section 13.08.040 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws related to the offering of merchandise for sale on or near public property.

Just in this agenda you are spending $41 MILLION TAXPAYER DOLLARS in SOLE SOURCE CONTRACTS FOR the next 5 YEARS.  And that is without counting the $47 million for NES TO CHANGE LIGHTBULBS!   You know a million here a million there and it adds up to real money!


I renew my objection to the NES I am absolutely furious over this $47 million contract how many years will it take to recoup so-called SAVINGS by changing to LED bulbs?????????????????

 This should not have been approved and I think I brought that up when the matter was before you all earlier this year and what did I get CRICKETS not one of you responded.

 Nashville has a SPENDING problem and a management problem not a too little tax problem.


As always thanks for your time and attention.


Below is the report on the Council agenda as published in the Pamphleteer. 


Tonight’s meeting will kick off with a few appointments and reappointments: William H. Freeman is set to remain a board member of the Airport Authority amidst ongoing legal battles. Meanwhile, John P. Nefflen, a litigation attorney and former musician, is up for appointment to the Arts Commission, where he’ll hopefully do something about the missing grants. Another notable appointee on the list is a former council member and current associate director at BMI, Jeff Syracuse: if approved, he’ll be a part of the new Music, Film, and Entertainment Commission.


Another payout just shy of a quarter million dollars to cover a few more claims regarding the unconstitutional sidewalk bill, will be on the agenda tonight, as well as the usual affordable housing-related legislation alongside lengthy discussions regarding HIV/AIDS funding and Metro water/sewer use fees.

Other notable items include a bill concerning the Central East Bank Redevelopment Area’s sewage infrastructure, a resolution to integrate an Adaptive Signal System downtown to address traffic congestion, and a late-filed resolution waiving permit fees for those rebuilding damaged property in light of last week’s tornadoes.


Lastly, the Nashville Electric Service may make an appearance tonight; yesterday, representatives from the utility provider dropped into multiple committee meetings to address the Tennessee Lookout’s recent article about their no-bid contract with Memphis-based Path for the installation of 55,000 LED streetlights.

During yesterday’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee meeting, Vice President of T&D operations at NES, Vaughan Charles, defended their decision. Charles explained that had NES introduced a bidding process, it may have delayed the city’s transition to LEDs by up to two and a half years.

“NES had done our very best job at trying to figure out what we think this cost was going to be if NES were to perform this work ourselves,” said Charles. “So between having this vendor who had demonstrated their capabilities, and their ability to complete this project, their estimates were 10 percent less than what NES had had.”

Not only did representatives defend their no-bid decision with Path, they explained how converting sooner will result in safer streets because smart LED lamps are brighter and alert NES when they go out—something the current fixtures don’t do.

NDOT Director Diana Alarcon also clarified that the sooner LEDs replace the current high sodium lighting used, the sooner the energy prices to illuminate Music City will go down. “There's probably roughly 60 percent savings once you convert from an HPS light fixture,” added Joey Streisal, Sr. Associate Engineer with NES.

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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Republicans, Rape, Moms for Liberty, and Threesomes

by Rod Williams, Dec. 17, 2023- What a mess is going on in Florida. The Florida Republican Party State Chairman, Christian Ziegler, has been accused of raping a woman who claims to have been involved in a long-term threesome relationship with Christian Ziegler and his wife Bridget Ziegler.  That is bad. It gets worse.

Bridget Ziegler is co-founder of Moms for Liberty. Moms for Liberty, if you are not familiar with the organization, is a group that focuses on removing books they consider inappropriate from school curriculum and school libraries and resisting the teaching of Critical Race Theory inspired ideology and promotion of what they see as the gay agenda.

I am unsure of how I feel about the organization. I have mixed views. I don't think school classrooms should fly the Pride rainbow flag and teach that Heather Has Two Mommies. Some of the books Moms have exposed and opposed are age inappropriate, in my view. On the other hand, some of what Moms would eliminate from school libraries should not be removed. Where the Crawdads Sing should be available. Kids with the interest and reading skills to read it can handle the material. Also, some of the Moms supporters have been rowdy and disruptive at school board meetings. In any event, the organization is viewed as supporters of morality and family values pushing back against an immoral education system. 

Bridget Ziegler also serves on the Sarasota’s school board, a position she won with Gov. DeSantis's endorsement. She is also serves on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District that governs Walt Disney World. This is a position she was appointed to by DeSantis after he went after Disney World for opposing his so-called "Don't say gay" bill which prevented schools from teaching about homosexuality in the lower grades. 

This is messy. It could impact DeSantis's faltering run for the Republican presidential nomination, ruin the reputation and the influence of Mons for Liberty, and hurt the conservative cause nationally.

This is all titillation and interesting but sad. I am pretty tolerant of people's private sexual practices. I don't much care what one does in private, I just prefer they not try to force others to approve. What I don't like is hypocrisy.  I feel much the way I felt when I learned Jimmy Swagart frequented prostitutes. People with their own perversions should not be preaching morality. 

This just drives another nail in the coffin of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. The Republican Party has become the party of America First isolationist and making nice with dictators, the party of conspiracy theories, the party that supports subverting the constitution, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power, the party of con men, charlatans, opportunist, crooks, liars, and carnival barker showmen. Maybe it is good this is happening. Maybe all of the ugly needs to come out now, so the party will have a hard landing and can then be revived as the traditional pre-Trump Party Republican Party or maybe a new Party will emerge to replace the Republican. 

For more on the mess in Florida see link, link, link.


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Saturday, December 16, 2023

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was pure Culture War Propaganda

by Rod Williams, Dec. 16, 2023- Last month the Metro Council passed a resolution recognizing November 20th as Transgender Day of Remembrance. The resolution not only passed with all in favor except for one member not voting, 39 of the 40 members co-sponsored the resolution. 

Among the "whereas's" justifying the resolution are these:

 WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council recognizes that transgender members of our society are disproportionately affected by hate crimes and violence, and experience myriad challenges in their daily lives, including discrimination, disproportionately high levels of unemployment, and limited access to health care; and

WHEREAS, in 2019 the American Medical Association declared violence against the transgender community to be an epidemic; and

WHEREAS, the Human Rights Campaign reports that in 2023, there have been at least 25 transgender or gender nonconforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the United States; and

WHEREAS, at least 74% of known victims of anti-transgender violence in 2017-2018 were misgendered in initial police or media reports surrounding their deaths; and

National Review, Jan. 2024, p6

What about that violence against transgender people being "an epidemic" and trans people being "disproportionately affected by hate crimes and violence?"  National Review reports that 1.6 million people identify as trans. With 26 trans people killed last year, that is a rate of .9 per 100,000. That is unfortunate but hardly an epidemic.  I don't know how many homeless people met a violent death last year, but the rate was probably greater than .9 per 100,000.  The rate of left-handed people who met a violent death last year may have been greater than .9 per 100,000.

Also, not all of those trans people who met a violent death, were necessarily innocent victims. As an example, don't forget the Covenant School shooter was a trans person who met a violent death. Several may have been the aggressor not the victim in violent encounters. 

As to trans people being "misgendered," that is non-sense. Gender is determined by biological sex. Gender is what you are, not what you think you are. If gender and sex or not the same and if gender is all in your head and you are the gender you choose to be, after you are deceased you have no thought in your head. After you are dead the police cannot ask you your gender.  Police may have a hard time determining if someone is a cross-dressing male or a male-to-female trans. And what about the "gender fluid," the police may not know what gender the person was feeling like on that particular day. Transgender may be descriptive but is not a sex. Maybe the police report has a box for "sex," not a box for "gender."  To misgender would be to call a person with a penis a female. 

RS2023-99, was pure propaganda. Here is how the Council voted: 

The resolution was approved by the Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee. Council Member Hill moved to adopt the resolution and that all members voting in the affirmative be listed as a cosponsor, which motion was seconded and approved by the following vote: Yes (39): Suara, Porterfield, Evans-Segall, Allen, Hill, Kimbrough, Toombs, Gamble, Cortese, Parker, Capp, Benedict, Harrell, Hancock, Webb, Evans, Bradford, Huffman, Gregg, Welsch, Vo, Cash, Kupin, Horton, Taylor, Weiner, Druffel, Gadd, Preptit, Johnston, Nash, Benton, Ellis, Sepulveda, Rutherford, Styles, Lee, Ewing, and Spain; No (0); Abstain (0).

You will note that the only member not to be recorded as voting for and sponsoring the resolution is Jeff Eslick. I commend him.   It should be noted, however, that not voting is not the same as abstaining. Abstaining is a conscious decision not to vote on an item and being recorded as doing so.  Simply not voting may mean the council member was distracted, not present for the meeting or that part of the meeting, had gone to the bathroom, or was sitting on his hands.

I am disappointed in people that I think of as conservatives for voting for this piece of propaganda, people like Cortney Johnson and Thom Druffel, and I am not too surprised but disappointed in Sherri Weiner and a couple of others. It is time the few conservatives on the Council started voting like conservatives. 

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