Thursday, December 23, 2010


Bumped into this at while surfing the 'net. Clearly, this should come with the disclaimer 'your mileage may vary'.  So letting AC Kleinheider go really was a cost saving measure.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Pick a team

As nearly everyone seems to be aware of now, Tennessee's Republican State Executive Committee will be meeting this weekend and discussion of closing the primaries and conventions will come up. Let me add my two cents. I'm all for it. As a Republican in Democrat controlled (for now) Davidson County I completely understand the strategy of cross-party voting. It's all I could do for too many years since Republicans didn't have candidates available.

I think Rod Williams has a strong point when he states that open primaries enable the dominant party to stay dominant. A foundational Republican value is that competition gives us a better and cheaper product. We should support that in our political process also. Look at the Dems this last gubernatorial race...Ned Ray's son didn't have any competition and so we didn't really have a contest. I'm not saying Haslam won't be a good governor, I'm saying that iron sharpens iron and he (and we) might have benefited from a more vigorous battle.

I also understand that each party doesn't pay for these primaries and so there's some who object saying that if taxpayers are paying for these, they should have the freedom to come and go as they please. I'm not a fan of government supporting any political party but it seems a reasonable public service. Much more reasonable than say...oh, another convention center, free parking for green cars or public 'art' of dubious value.

And while, I'm rocking the boat, let's go ahead and make it a bit easier to start a party and get your name on the ballot (that taxpayers are paying for). Having spent a good bit of 2009 fighting to keep the DCRP a Republican (socially AND fiscally conservative) entity I'm also wary of interlopers who, because our system is designed to keep small parties off the ballot, decided to usurp our party as a way around the archaic rules. Too many brand spanking new 'Republicans' showed up at our convention. We had no effective device for ferreting them out and having Republican control over our own convention. Make it easier for them to get their own party started. 

I'll end with what I told the interlopers over and over again, pick a team and stick with it. Don't "join" a team with the express purpose of changing it or manipulating it. The Republican SEC needs to give us a way to bring an end to that very tactic. It's the right thing to do.

TN GOP SEC member Mark Winslow has the actual resolution here. Take a few minutes to read it. Leave Mark a note of support there and then encourage your SEC member to vote for this. resolution.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spoofing the Senator

This had me laughing out loud. I know this former member of the US Army was offended by Sen. Barbara Boxer's  insistence on being called "Senator" instead of the still respectful "ma'am". I'm delighted to see David Zucker's take on this--and just in time for Tuesday's election.

Kerr err...

And here is a perfect example of why so many people have just quit reading The Tennessean newspaper. They can't even get their own facts straight let alone report accurately on the facts out there in the real world. Frankly, they don't need another Democrat shill columnist. They could use several good "copy girls" though.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote for Eric (Crafton)

While we're all busy voting the Republican ticket for political offices from Governor on down there is another election that will take place tomorrow that folks need to know about and weigh in on. The Davidson County Election Commission will interview seven people for the job of Administrator of Elections. This job is political. The person who gets the position serves at the will of the Election Commission and, frankly, that's worked well for Ray Barrett and not so well for Davidson County Republicans who technically have an advantage in the make up of the Commission as a legal result of winning a slim majority in the Tennessee State House. This is a call for those Republicans to act like Republicans and give this job to someone who will not only do the job well, but is actually a strong conservative with solid Republican credentials and support.

I've seen all the resumes submitted. Frankly, many of these folks should never have even applied. Three of them rise to the top as potential candidates. While I supported Buck Dozier for mayor  as the best of the lot in this (for now) Democrat controlled city with some very good ideas,  he's a Democrat and that's a deal breaker for me. Albert Tiche already has some connections to the Election Commission but, frankly, his credentials don't rise to the level of the last and most qualified candidate, Eric Crafton.

The Dems in town will howl in protest that Eric's 'gaming' the system previously for the English First legislation, and a whole host of other baseless charges, means he shouldn't get the job. I'm not listening. To paraphrase their own leader "We won" and the Republicans need to benefit from the spoils of our having won a majority. Eric's conservative Republican bone fides are unquestionable. Eric clearly has an excellent education. But by far what Eric has that the others don't is a clear understanding of the rules and the players. He'll know immediately what to look for and what improvements should be initiated. He's interacted with the system from every angle: voter, candidate, and adversary. Why Eric would want this job is beyond me, but obviously he does and I stand behind him and his application for this job.

See this City Paper link for more info on the process and applicants. See their recent poll of readers at left. Obviously, I'm not alone in my support for Eric Crafton.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Where in the world is Candidate Jim Cooper?

Folks who were looking forward to a debate between Rep. Jim Cooper and Republican candidate David Hall were very disappointed that he chose instead to hang out with Greenway donors on the Shelby Street Bridge instead of actually meeting with constituents and his opponent just weeks before this important election. Those disappointed folks might want to consider the following invitation that was published to many of the East Nashville and Inglewood email lists this afternoon as an alternative venue to speak with their current Congressman.

Dan Heller and Hope Browning, and Shawn and Elizabeth M-K Sullivan invite you to coffee and conversation with

U.S. Representative Jim Cooper

Date: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Riverside Village Courtyard –
The corner of McGavock Avenue and Riverside Drive in the Inglewood neighborhood - 37216
Parking available at Riverside Village, behind M&M Furniture and on the grassy lot at Maxey & McGavock Avenues. Please carpool and/or ride your bike. Bike parking at the courtyard aplenty
Free, casual, family friendly, come and go as your schedule allows.
Refreshments from Mitchell Deli provided.
RSVP: Email elizabethmksullivan at Comcast dot net to RSVP or to ask questions.

Dan Heller has remade that corner into quite a lovely respite for the neighborhood. Even if Jim Cooper is a no show (again) it'll be worth the trip.

Using old math on school budgets

Life as been tremendously busy. I took some time this morning to clear out the Firefox tabs of stuff I intended to get to but just haven't had time to read. Among those was this funny from JUNE! (I told you I was behind.)

Here's a snip from P.J. O'Rourke's "The Weekly Standard" entry for June 21, 2010 entitled "End Them, Don't Mend Them":

There are other numbers that make better sense. As of 2006—of course the numbers are out of date—4,615,000 people were employed full-time by some 13,000 school districts (although if school districts used the same definition of “full-time” as the rest of us the number we’re talking about would be zero). Of these 4,615,000 there are 300,000 “clerical and secretarial staff” filling out No Child Left Behind paperwork and wondering why 64,000 “officials, administrators” aren’t doing it themselves, which they aren’t because they’re busy doing the jobs that 125,000 “principals and assistant principals” can’t because they’re supervising 383,000 “other professional staff” who are flirting with the 483,000 “teachers’ aides” who are spilling trail mix and low-fat yogurt in the teacher’s lounge making a mess for the 726,000 “service workers” to clean up, never mind that the students should be pushing the brooms and swinging the Johnny mops so at least they’d come home with a practical skill and clean the bathroom instead of sitting around comprehending 29 percent of their iPhone text messages and staying awake all night because they can only count 31 percent of sheep.
Enough, however, of outrageous statistics. Let’s generate some pure outrage. Here’s my proposal: Close all the public schools. Send the kids home. Fire the teachers. Sell the buildings. Raze the U.S. Department of Education, leaving not one brick standing upon another and plow the land where it stood with salt.
“Wait a minute,” the earnest liberal says, “we’ve got swell public schools here in Flourishing Heights. The kids take yoga. We just brought in a law school placement coordinator at the junior high. The gym has solar panels on the roof. Our Girls Ultimate Frisbee team is third in the state. The food in the cafeteria is locally grown. And the vending machines dispense carrots and kiwi juice.”
Close them anyway. I’ve got 11,749 reasons. Or, given the Cato report, call it 15,000. Abandon the schools. Gather the kids together in groups of 15.4. Sit them down at your house, or the Moose Lodge, or the VFW Hall or—gasp—a church. Multiply 15.4 by $15,000. That’s $231,000. Subtract a few grand for snacks and cleaning your carpet. What remains is a pay and benefit package of a quarter of a million dollars. Average 2008 public school classroom teacher salary: $51,391. For a quarter of a million dollars you could hire Aristotle. The kids wouldn’t have band practice, but they’d have Aristotle. (Incidentally this worked for Philip of Macedon. His son* did very well.)
Sometimes you just have to laugh about the ridiculousness of the public school system or you will just sit down and cry-- again. The absolute waste of lives and resources should be criminal. It's not. It's rewarded over and over again. We're promised over and over again that THIS new program will fix the system and the children will exit the other end of this sausage factory physically, mentally and spiritually fit for adult responsibilities. They lie. It's broken and it won't be fixed with the same folks in charge using essentially the same tools with new labels. The only answer is more competition. More families voting with their feet and moving to other counties, other systems, staying home or going virtual. More power to them. The system's had far too much for far too long.

* Alexander The Great

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting the shaft

Paying the bills and actually took a moment to read the "Power Notes" included with the Nashville Electric Service bill.  It's no surprise to me that TVA and NES want to raise rates. It's no surprise that NES want to start using 'smart metering' and 'time of use' rates. What was a surprise was their assertion that it costs more (or less) to produce power at some times of the year. When did it get more expensive to mine coal in the summer and winter? Did they start heating and cooling those shafts? Are they paying miners more so they'll not take vacations and be available  during peak AC and heating times to keep that ore flowing through power plants? Are they having to compete with Ocoee river rafters for use of water for hydro-electric power? Wonder if those TVA and NES offices are conserving all they can and set at 78 and 68 degrees.

This was telling also: "TVA hopes to avoid or delay construction of costly new power plants." Yeah, let's delay providing customers more of what they want and need. Let's make sure they never see any clean and cheap nuclear facilities. Ignore those French power plants. Never mind we need to create jobs and power industries that will do the hiring. No more power plants for Tennesseans.

Seems like the depression is what fueled TVA's inception. Seems like someone forgot, in this current depression that fuel is essential for job building and family finances.

During his 1980 Labor Day speech at New Jersey's Liberty State Park, Republican presidential nominee Ronald Reagan listed the economic failures of his opponent, President Jimmy Carter. With the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, Reagan used the moment to respond to Carter, who had accused Reagan of misusing the term "depression" to describe a recession that began in January of that year. "Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well, if it's a definition he wants, I'll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter  loses his." Newsweek
Here's another family trying to hold on through the Obama, Pelosi and Reid administration.  We lost a job, half our retirement and now we can look forward to higher electric rates.  Here's another Reagan quote...slightly altered:

Are you better off than you were 2 years ago? Absolutely NOT!

Looking forward to recovery starting in November when voters start kicking out Dems and RINOS and Barak Obama loses his job. It can't come soon enough for us. 

Dancing votes, I guess.

WRKN...the word is ballot. It's about voting not dancing.  Dr. Shelley clearly said "ballot".  In this day and age of jobs being hard to come by...seems like this proofreader needs to be more careful. In the meantime...

I'm glad to see some churches taking on this ruling. When a candidate clearly violates a Biblical position, I'm all for pastors informing their congregations of such violations. This whole dance of creating 'non-partisan' educational documents to be handed out to congregations in lieu of plainly speaking the truth is a huge waste of effort. And, frankly, lots of folks are tired of this 'Johnson Amendment' being unfairly applied like recent testimony from Christopher Coates revealed regarding Department of Justice decisions not to pursue voter intimidation cases. If any church preaches that one party is holier than another, they're walking in plenty of error as it is, but pointing out where individual politicians, individual legislation and specific actions of our government violate Biblical standards is part of the mandate of The Church to speak the truth and protect the innocent and the poor.

We have a Constitution that makes no mention of any right being a one way street. It's past time to make that case and take back this part of our freedom of religion.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dogs in restaurants

I believe I now know how the folks who were/are adamantly against guns in restaurants feel.  Nashville Council Lady Karen Bennett has offered a bill to allow dogs in the outdoor dining areas of restaurants. The City Paper has some of the details here. Here's the actual bill BL2010-761. I'm going to be as wary of those restaurants as some people are about entering one that allows guns. And like them, I won't be dining there. 

It does no good for anyone to tell me that little "Fifi" won't bite...I don't trust your dog, don't want to be around your dog and don't believe in 'fur kids'. Dogs are unpredictable. They cannot be controlled absolutely.  Allowing them in close public quarters where the unexpected happens is asking for trouble. The only dogs I trust half-way are guide dogs who are specifically trained to handle, appropriately, the unexpected.

Frankly, I'll feel safer with gun carriers than dogs. No gun is going to get startled by the clattering of a dropped tray, or take offense at some small child innocently tugging on its tail. It'll stay in its holster, it won't be petted by the server who then brings me my food, it won't smell bad or drool.  And based on my own experience, someone is going to need to leave the dog at the table and head into the restaurant for some reason: use the rest room, refill their salad plate, take a moment to say high to a friend and the dog will be unattended. Actually, I'm betting that if the dog is small enough, they'll carry it in with them and be highly offended if you dare to give them the hairy eye-ball for doing so.

And I fully expect cries of discrimination coming from cat, parakeet and iguana owners across the county. 

No, this bill is not a good idea. But if Metro Council insists on passing this bill, make sure I can see the "Dogs are Welcome" sign from the street so I can move right on by.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Falling Man

On this day, if your heart can handle it, I strongly suggest viewing the hour plus documentary "The Falling Man". On that morning, as I made the bed and casually watched Good Morning America, I literally dropped to my knees when I saw these people falling. I don't want to remember the horror I felt, let alone be reminded of the unspeakable, unknowable fear I could only imagine they were experiencing. It was terrifying. It was an act of war. It is why they must must never be allowed to build a rabat anywhere near that land-- in this land. It was evil. It still is evil. We cannot make nice with it. Understand it. Accommodate it. It must die or we will.

Hat tip: Thanks to Kelsey Grammer's new for introducing me to this.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Never gonna stand for this

Another TEA Party song from Nashville. On this Labor Day a reminder to politicians to listen to" the man living by the plow". Really like the recitation of Declaration snips. Catchy tune too.  Sorry, you'll have 11 seconds of Janeane Garofalo schooling us on what we do and do not know and who we are. That'll get yer engine started.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

GMA adds fuel to the mosque fire

Good Morning America lied to America this morning. No surprise to some of you, I'm sure. 

Their report just after 7:00 am this morning on the Murfreesboro mosque construction site shamefully contained misinformation that will only fuel more dangerous ill will. While the talking head stated the fire was determined by officials to be arson the video showed a picture of a firefighter in full gear among building rubble and showed a white building block building with smoke stains around a window with the word "Mosque" on the building. This is a severe misrepresentation of the actual event which occurred in a cleared lot with no buildings at all let alone rubble. I expect showing a burned dump truck isn't as exciting as they needed so someone decided to enhance the story. The problem is those visuals were a lie that will be remembered. Unfortunately, I'm unable to find the video at the ABC News or GMA site or I'd embed it here for you all to view and judge for yourselves.

It's one thing for some idiot to torch a dump truck and another for what used to be a trusted news source to add fuel to a serious situation that locals are trying to work out in a civilized manner.

It's reporting like this that explains why I hardly turn on the networks anymore.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lacking big girl panties, Murray sues

I've been waiting for this other shoe to drop. Former Councilwoman Pam Murray was too quiet after her ouster. She was suspiciously quiet, for her own usual conduct. It's been nearly a year and so the filing deadline was coming due. According to this morning's City Paper she's suing the very citizens that did us a favor and pushed to get rid of her. Defamation of character is the charge. The City Paper hosts the actual filing here.

And as if we need more proof of her incompetence, and those that support her, her attorney's filing calls Jamie Hollin "Hollins" and in the boilerplated section describing the defendants the Mike Peden section states "Defendant Hollins was an active participant with Defendant Hollins".

Pam Murray's conduct in this community was appalling and she provided plenty of legitimate ammunition to use against her in this battle.

The search box for this blog on the left column will bring up quite a few posts on the battle a year ago between Murray and her own constituents.
  • Yes, there was opposition to the zoning Murray was supporting. 
  • Yes it would have negatively impacted many of the property owners in that district. Since when it is unlawful to object to bad landlords and political donors getting sweetheart zoning deals? 
  • The lawsuit points out these folks met in 'late evenings'.  Most likely because they had real jobs that kept them busy during the day.
  • The lawsuit states Murray's friends in West Africa read about her shenanigans.
  • Does Murray still have her Detroit job? Then what does it matter if someone complained to her employer?
  • Murray has suffered humiliation, distress and embarrassment as a result of her ouster. Well, she should have. It was embarrassing behavior and she should have felt humiliated for not doing her job well.
Anyone can sue anyone for anything. Let's hope this is assigned to a judge who'll toss it out as being without merit.

Murray needs to put her big girl panties on and move on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

CeCe Heil on Fox & Friends this AM

CeCe Heil is running for the 5th Congressional seat here in Tennessee. This morning she was among three "Mama Grizzlies" featured on Fox & Friends this morning. These women were so concerned about bad politicians disassembling their children's futures they decided to run for political office. They "raised their heads up from [their] family calendar and wondered what happened to the country".

In this quick three minute video we hardly get a decent introduction and I'd like to hear much more from each of them. It's encouraging to know they're out there, also fighting to take the country back. Good on them all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do it for the children

There was a  heart-wrenching post on the East Nashville list the other day. A woman who had seen first hand a family's interaction with our juvenile justice system shared briefly a family's experience in fighting the system to get help for their child.  I posted the following to the list but because the list is a deliberately politically left-leaning one, my post was not approved. I've no doubt that most of those folks will vote for the liberal courthouse contender because he's got a D after his name and they hate Eric Crafton to such a degree that they're willing to sacrifice more children to their political ideology--their own Sophie's choice. Regardless, I'm hoping there are people with ears to hear and so I post my comments here.

Just a reminder....there is currently an election to install a new Juvenile Court Clerk. Those of you appalled at the way the system is run might want to seriously consider who will be in charge. While some folks think it's just a paperwork job, and that's important, the office could serve the children much better.

Operation Helping Hands
   The Juvenile Court Clerk's office doesn't have to be just about administration, although a professionally run, service oriented office is the Clerk's primary function and will be my top priority. However, I think the Clerk's office could do so much more, like helping the most vulnerable segment of our society - our at risk children.

   You may be surprised to know that there are over 13,000 active cases in our Juvenile Court System. This is the equivalent of 1 out of every 6 of our public school students! When I talked with Juvenile Court Judge Betty Green recently, she explained that 90% of these children have one or more of the following: emotional, psychological, educational, or physical needs. If nothing changes, these children won't be graduating from high school, but into our adult prison system.

   With my volunteer-based program called Operation Helping Hands, we will evaluate and provide these children with the support they need. This will enable us to determine whether or not these children are performing at the proper level academically, whether they are having vision or hearing problems, if they are having trouble at home, or if they just simply need someone to talk to. Once their specific challenges are identified, these children will receive the services or training they need to get back on track.

   Help me help them by voting for me on August 5th, early voting begins July 16th.  Together we can set a new standard of integrity and leadership in public service. Together we truly can make a difference. 


Eric Crafton
Eric Crafton and his Save Our Students was spot on pointing out that MNPS wasn't doing as well as [former Superintendent Pedro] Garcia et al said they were. Several years later MNPS was/is under State oversight. I believe Eric's right again about what can be done to help these children.

I'll add that if you looked at this election with the cold eye of an HR manager...Eric's resume is far and away the better one. Vandy educated, managerial experience and a proven record of advocating for children.

Early voting is now open. Monday satellite voting locations are open. for voting information. Please, get out and vote for Eric. He is the better man for the job.

Monday, July 12, 2010

She was robbed...and so were we

And this video clearly demonstrates why we need honest patriots to work our polls. Here is a granddaughter of a MA governor charging her own Democrat party with failing to investigate clear violations of voter intimidation. Clinton supporters were barred from voting. When we have our own Attorney General Eric Holder et al complicit in allowing voter intimidation despite clear video showing intimidation every bit as evil as any in our past we have a serious problem.  Here's the link to "We will not be silenced 2008" where you can find the whole documentary.

The integrity of the vote is essential. Please contact the Davidson County Election Commission to get trained as a poll worker--it actually pays about $90 a day. OR contact your favorite candidate and ask to be a poll watcher for them. Surely we can agree that we all want to make sure that whoever wins wins fairly.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Changes: New Orleans good; NEA wants a do-over

This from CitizenLink a part of the Focus on the Family group. Nice contrast of what the NEA thought they were buying and what they actually got. They're not happy campers.

And when you're done viewing that video check out the video via Taxing Tennessee about the change that Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans schools from Great silver lining.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

TX Textbooks: Tn State BOE member speaks in Madison Saturday

Saturday morning at the Davidson County Republican Party’s regular Madison Bacon & Eggs Summit will feature a woman that may be of interest to many of you. Along with District 5 Congressional Candidate Bob Schwartz, Cynthia Dunbar of the Texas BOE will be speaking. 

Ms Dunbar ( ) is a constitutional scholar and is the author of “One Nation Under God (How the Left is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great)”. As an elected member of the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) she helped lead the fight to insure that history books used in the Texas school system accurately present the Judeo-Christian heritage of America and present a proper understanding of the founding principles of our county. Since Texas is one of the largest purchasers of school text books, the textbooks written to satisfy Texas are often used in the rest of the nation.
There was a LOT of consternation over this vote by the Texas BOE with all sorts of accusations and fears about it coming (or not coming) to a school near you. Here’s a rare opportunity to hear first hand testimony of what actually took place. I encourage those of you in the area to consider attending.

This Saturday morning, Madison Piccadilly 8:30, for a great breakfast at a bargain rate, and at 9:00 the meeting begins. This is on Gallatin Road between Old Hickory and Due West. Actually in the Madison Square Shopping Center.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What planet is he on?

“If somebody wants to maintain a street that’s filled with pawn shops, brightly lit fluorescent signs on 20-foot polls, negligible landscaping and little if any design review, then we just live on two different planets,” Jameson  CM Mike Jameson (Dist. 6-East Nashville)   said." Nashville City Paper
The Gallatin Road Improvement Plan (GRIP) went much further than Jameson states in the quote above. Maybe he said more and the reporter failed to include it. Regardless, when a perfectly sound building (Sunny Gables in Inglewood pictured at left) cannot be re-purposed because improvements exceed an arbitrary dollar amount something is wrong.

No one who has followed CM Jamie Hollin (Dist. 5-East Nashville)  should be surprised by his move. And this is a LONG way from supporting pawn shops and fluorescent signs and certainly light year's away from that area's former Council Rep. Pam Murray's support for spot rezoning a fire trap for a financial donor to her campaign.

Face it folks. Each of these councilmen are advocating for their constituents. The fact is that the two sides of Gallatin Road are still 'different planets'.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A bunch of companies

 Attention Tennessean proofreaders! Which is it? 15 or 16 companies vying for MNPS custodial contracts? Since the Tennessean doesn't bother to actually LIST the 15/16 companies we can't just do the kindergarten counting ourselves AND we cannot help the BOE vet these companies either. HUGE lack of actual news reporting here. Maybe the winning company can start by cleaning up after the proofreaders.
The district's staff custodians and groundskeepers have objected to the plan. They could face pay cuts and significant changes in their retirement and health insurance benefits.
Yeah, I'd object too if my job were on the line but *could* does not equal would or cuts. There are going to be changes but most workers realize that there are trade offs. Maybe less pay but more scheduling freedom. Maybe less health benefits but maybe I was paying for a plan that didn't fit me and now I'll get one that does. Maybe a different supervisor---bonus!

Life in the competitive market can be tough, but changes do not have to equal all bad.

For MNPS upsides will include being able to hold the winning bidder responsible for doing background checks and the contract winner having to foot the liability bill if something does go wrong with those background checks or are they are proven to be negligent in maintenance. MNPS, as we've recently read, is burning through its self-insured liability account at a record pace. Taxpayers will benefit by those awards coming out of someone else's deep pockets. (This assumes that the BOE will actually include these protections in the contract and it won't be a replication of former Superintendent Pedro Garcia's 'Get Out of Jail Free' contract.)

Then maybe MNPS can focus on EDUCATION and not these side issues.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Makes her yes yes and her no no

Fellow Tennessee blogger Dan Cleary writes regarding Sarah Palin's recent activity on behalf of her former running mate AZ Senator John McCain. Dan lays it out very clearly why McCain doesn't deserve conservative support. He gives Palin credit for her loyalty and asks: "Does personal loyalty trump conservative principles for Sarah Palin?"

I'll bite and answer no. From way over here it looks like J.D.Hayworth is a strong candidate and I doubt Palin's support will result in a real numbers change. What Cleary doesn't mention is the importance of a person's word being their bond. I remember when Reagan was running for president and we had Americans being held hostage in Iran. I remember the strong words of Reagan about the situation. I remember that it was obvious the Iranians believed him and while Reagan was being sworn in as President the Iranians were finalizing their release of those hostages. I remember the world being afraid we were going to elect another cowboy in Bush #43. They poked the bear and got 'shock and awe'. What every American president must have in dealing with the world, with the issues here at home, is the reputation for making their yes yes and their no no. I'm  tired of politicians and their rhetoric. I'm tired of their slippery ways. I welcome leaders that will say X, mean X and actually do X.

The political payback is done. She's paid her debt and now Palin will move on with more wisdom about endorsements. Regardless, I will remember, as Cleary, implies, you make the best decisions you can based on what you know at that moment in time. I'm not looking for an all knowing God who'll meet all my needs...I've already got one. I'm hoping to find honest men and women who will protect my rights and freedoms and so my children's futures. I've no doubt Palin is one of those.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Charter poll

It's still early and this City Paper poll could flip but I'm encouraged to see this strong lead for charter proponents. The old way has failed for too many children. Way past time to free up educators to actually get the job done 'for the children'.

If you haven't read CM Jamie Hollin's "Structural Racism" post...take the time now. Here it is.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tax dollars against tax payers

After viewing the video on HB3065 I'm wondering what the real objection is. I suspect the bill, which simply states:

Notwithstanding subsection (l), no public funds shall be allotted or expended
to support or oppose any referendum in this state.

is a problem for Chamber of Commerce's because they want that lobbying money. The question that seemed to derail the effort was about funds given by governments to support other Chamber work. Could taxpayer funds given to Chambers for one thing be deemed a violation of this law? We'll leave the discussion about the appropriateness of that action for another time. The fact is that other organizations and entities have no problem fulfilling the mandates they have to keep designated funds separate. Every law firm in town knows not to co-mingle funds. Every church in town understands that money's designated for specific purposes must be carefully accounted for. Even Planned Parenthood understands that in order to play their financial shell game they've got to keep the money they get from government separate from the money that actually performs abortions. Why is this separation of funds too hard for the businessmen at the Chamber of Commerce?

Rep. Campfield's bill makes sense. When the citizens of this county got together to force a vote on the Music City Center we had to fight against the city's use of our tax dollars to persuade fellow citizens to vote for it. The ability of the city to use OUR wallets to put us in debt and take more money from OUR wallets is a conflict of interest that must be eliminated.

If that inconveniences the Chamber of Commerces...well tough nuggies.

HB3065 is scheduled for the State and Local Government Committee's Election sub-committee on Tuesday. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How much money?

So what's your system's real per-pupil cost? The CATO report doesn't mention any system in Tennessee but the video below sure makes you wonder how accurate the numbers are that are being reported to taxpayers.

(Hat tip: Red Hat Rob)

Congressional Calvinball

After viewing the video below (hat tip Sarah Palin) my children 'deemed' the effort Calvinball. I'm proud of those homeschooled kids.

Other kids' games are all such a bore!
They've gotta have rules and they gotta keep score!
Calvinball is better by far!
It's never the same! It's always bizarre!
You don't need a team or a referee!
You know that it's great, 'cause it's named after me!
—The Calvinball theme song

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Active Words for free

Great news! ActiveWords now has a free version. Just what we all needed in this economy-- a free tool to increase our productivity. Do yourself a favor on this snowbound weekend and download ActiveWords Free. You'll probably end up going ahead and buying the plus version but even the Free version will be so useful you'll not regret taking the time to discover how much more you can do with this great tool. I've been using ActiveWords since 2005. I've gotten so used to the convenience of a few keystrokes doing so much that I find myself a bit frustrated when using other computers. Why isn't this standard in operating systems? The customization is addicting and so helpful. The license allows installation on your desktop and laptop.  Wanna know how this mother of four manages to get so much done? Here's one part of the answer: ActiveWords.

I type "ronramsey" and double space to get the html code: A HREF="">Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville)  and get a hyperlinked Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville)  automatically.

Misspellings are automatically corrected--recieve automatically becomes receive.

When someone emails asking for the council rep's contact info I type "contactbennett" and  her contact info is printed out:

Council Lady Karen Bennett
Council District 8
Home (615) 228-8107
Office (615) 291-6708
106 Alhambra Circle
Nashville, TN 37207 

I can type in a few letters and open web pages, start programs, plug in stock paragraphs when answering email. l don't retype long URL's anymore I type "start" and send folks to and I'm not using half of its features and the ActiveWords community creates useful add-ins, makes them available and lets you know when via Twitter.

They've also got an Enterprise version for entire companies to utilize.

Check it out:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bonuses: Not for thee but for me

Ummm...can someone explain to me how the Democrats can be so against Wall Street incentive bonuses but back their own bonus plan for winning back the Tennessee House and Senate?

iPad thoughts

Well, the big announcement was yesterday. Apple introduced it's new tablet PC called the iPad. It's a big iPod Touch but it's NEW! and IMPROVED! and 'truly magical'.  Sounds like they've stolen from the Obama campaign. Steve Jobs was happy to compare his tablet with God's. No problem with pride there. Of course, when Moses came down from the mountain with the tablets he found his market had moved on to something else while he was gone.

Watching the Apple promotional videos let me know pretty quickly it's not something I'll be hankering for anytime soon. My Palm T|X and my Toshiba laptop are a better combination for my life. The big downside to the iPad is you HAVE to hold it. No kickstand of any kind to let it sit on the table so you can read and eat breakfast or type with both hands. Not one woman in the promo videos. Maybe these geeks don't know any and that may explain why no one clued them into the fact that women have an alternative definition for 'pads'.*

I'll admit I didn't watch the entire more than one hour keynote speech by Jobs but scrolling through didn't reveal anyone dropping the iPad from the table top to show 'it keeps on ticking', demonstrating its scratch resistance or showing how it'll survive spilled lattes or Apple Kool-aid but then maybe I missed its auto hovering capability and force field defense.

The fact that they seem to think that iPad users will be reading the NY Times, Time Magazine and Ted Kennedy's autobiography seems just the icing on the 'PASS' cake.

Hat tip: Julie

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Free in Tennessee

German homeschoolers recently won a huge court battle and have been granted asylum here in Tennessee. See the Forbes AP coverage and HSLDA's version.

When a culture demands uniformity from its citizens what options do nonconformists have? In Germany...none. And so the citizen, after fighting all the way to the top of the legal chain, has no choice but to flee. The German government's concern wasn't the actual education of the children. Their concern was that this family--homeschoolers generally--was creating a 'parallel society' and that could not be tolerated. Consider how that cultural uniformity turned out 60 years ago and thank these folks for the reminder of what free should mean.

Memphis judge Lawrence O. Burman wrote:  “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore, they are eligible for asylum…and the court will grant asylum.”

The lesson we need to take from their plight is to take a serious look at our own education system's death grip on education choices. Oh sure, you have all sorts of 'choices' but all of them are controlled in some form or fashion by the secular, union run/bought, 'we credential our own' system. If we're a free society...where's our education freedom? What is our government run system trying to suppress?

Photo from Commercial Appeal which only has a footnote about this decision. Here's their previous coverage.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Marriage of State and Union

The Heritage Foundation crunches the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics info on unions in the US.

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that a majority of American union members now work for the government. The pattern of unions adding members in government while losing members in the private sector accelerated during the recession. The typical union member now works in the Post Office, not on the assembly line.
 In fact 3 times the number of union workers are postal employees vs. auto workers.  
The average worker for a state or local government earns $39.83 an hour in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector.
 All of this leads to unions being HUGE supporters of bigger government and higher taxes to increase their share of the job market and union membership.  AND this is unsustainable when union membership gets you a free pass from Congressional tax increases because the union members are right there while the regulations and taxes are being written and the rest of us are at work trying to pay for it all. And it perpetuates a vicious and ugly cycle. The larger government gets the higher the taxes, which makes it harder on private business so they have to lay off employees, the less  private sector workers have to take care of their families the more they end up depending upon government the larger government gets...eventually we will run out of other people's money. This sort of relationship used to be called a conflict of interest. Now's it just par for the course.
If you want to keep more money in your family budget, it's even more important to look for the 'union label'.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tourists were turned away

This frigid week has resulted in four (4) water main breaks in downtown Nashville. There have been 50 across the county according to the Tennessean. WSMV tells us an event had to be moved from downtown because of flooding and sidewalk buckling. Dozens of downtown businesses were shuttered due to lack of water and electricity. The Hilton Hotel was without power also. Fox17 has the best pictures and quote "Tourists were turned away."

One station reports that this hasn't been this bad in 20 years. That's not really that long a period of time and our mains are only getting older. We cannot ignore the fact that our water mains are old and need to be repaired. No one really wants our infrastructure crews out in frigid weather which only compounds already dangerous and expensive work.

A conversation with an emergency worker causes me to ask why a billion dollars will be committed for the Music City Center when there may not be adequate water service for emergency services once it's built. And no one can sell a convention center if the big gamble will be if we can provide essential services reliably. What's the good of having a brand spanking new facility if we cannot fight a fire in the facility because our water delivery system is too old? What sort of liability will Nashville be put in when we chose to invite people here and failed to be good stewards of the water system to ensure they were safe? If we don't want to bite the bullet now and really fix things... when will we? And if there is no better time to build a convention center because borrowing and labor is relatively cheap why isn't this the best time to invest in our city's essential services instead?

UPDATE: A 5th main breaks downtown per NewsChannel 5.

"Things that have been frozen start to thaw out and shift again," said Sonia Harvat [Metro Water spokesman]. "You know, the water temperature is still very cold so we do expect to start to realize a lot more breaks as the temperatures rise."
(Emphasis added.)

UPDATE II: Does Nashville still have any of those wooden pipes carrying water?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Magic MCC numbers

Three minutes of 'magic' numbers on the Music City Center. The wording scrolls by pretty fast but that matches the warp speed at which we're expected to approve this debacle and it perfectly matches the "Whoa, wait a minute here" frustration of the community that is looking for council members to stop this freight train. I have a basic rule...the faster the salesman talks the more quickly I leave the deal in the dust.

Tuesday, January 19 the council votes on this. They need to hear from you. They need encouragement to stand against another instance of generational theft.

Email them:
Sign the petition, if you haven't already:
Attend a community meeting and ask them why we should spend a billion dollars on a convention center while we're stuck with a new sewer tax, schools are leaking, we have more homeless or whatever the issue is in your neighborhood.

Upcoming Community Meetings:
Jan. 6
Council members Anna Page and Sandra Moore host community meeting at Coleman Park, 734 Thompson Lane, 6 pm

Jan. 7 Council members Carl Burch, Phil Claiborne, Jim Gotto, Darren Jernigan, and Bruce Stanley host community meeting at Hermitage Police Precinct, 7-9 pm

Jan. 7 Council members Eric Crafton and Emily Evans host community meeting at Belleve Middle School, 6:30-8pm

Jan. 11 Metro Council holds special public hearing at Metro Courthouse. 6:30-8pm

Jan. 12 Council members Jason Holleman, Sean McGuire, and Kristine LaLonde host community meeting at West End Middle School, 7-8:30pm

Jan. 12 Council members Mike Jameson, Karen Bennett, Erik Cole, and Jamie Hollin host community meeting at East Police Precinct, 6-8pm