A Disgruntled Republican 
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Re: “Someone Make Joe Carr Explain How This Is Constitutional

I understand Joe Carr's fear that given the current climate that the Second Amendment may be trampled upon, but I think his approach for dealing with this fear is the wrong approach.

I am not a constitutional scholar or even a lawyer, but I have read the Constitution. Article VI, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution is known as the Supremacy Clause and it says, "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

While I think the 10th Amendment should be respected and protected, I do not think we can ignore the "supremacy clause" or the "due and proper clause" or the 14th Amendment. They are also part of the constitution.

What I take the supremacy clause to mean is that if Congress passes a law that bans semi-automatic weapons that, that is the supreme law of the land, at least until the Supreme Court rules otherwise. The Second Amendment has been adjudicated on several occasions but is still murky as to what may be a legal weapon to be owned by civilians and what may not be. A ban on fully automatic weapons and other instruments of war such as tanks and flame throwers is presumed to be a legal ban. If one thinks a ban on semi-automatic weapons is unconstitutional and Congress should reimpose such a ban, then the proper course of action for making that argument is in the Courts. I am still open to hearing other arguments but unless a compelling argument is made and if I were in the State Legislature, I would not support Joe Carr's legislation. I do not want Barney arresting federal marshals for enforcing laws passed by Congress.

One thing that is curious about Joe Carr's legislation is that those enforcing the federal law in Tennessee would be guilty only of a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is "not greater than eleven (11) months twenty-nine (29) days in jail or a fine not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both, unless otherwise provided by statute." If Carr really wants to deter Federal agents from enforcing the law in Tennessee, why does he not propose making doing so a Class A felony? I may be missing something. I would welcome an explanation of the logic behind this proposed legislation.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 01/17/2013 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Council Members Bring Resolution Supporting the Clean Air Act

I am still mystified, why this resolution did not get a single "no" vote. I just think that it is out of character for Robert Duvall to urge President Obama "to move swiftly to fully employ and enforce the Clean Air Act," yet he did and so did 35 other council members.

I am still waiting on an explanation of why some otherwise good conservative council members voted for this resolution,

Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 11/17/2012 at 11:57 AM

Re: “People & Places Readers' Poll

The Nashville Scene has come out with their "People and Places Reader's poll, Best of Nashville 2012" issue. Along with categories "BEST THING THAT'S CHANGED IN NASHVILLE IN THE LAST YEAR," which the Scene poll participants said was Nordstrom, (a place I have only been in once and a place I can't afford to shop) and BEST PET WALKER/SITTER' which the Scene poll participants said was Beth Joslin (whoever that is and if I had pet to walk I would walk it myself) is the categories "BEST METRO COUNCIL MEMBER" and "BEST METRO COUNCIL MEMBER YOU'D LIKE TO SEE GONE."

The results are not surprising really. I have in my mind a profile of the readers of the Scene and can predict their opinions. Well, not all of their readers of course. I read it myself, but I read a broad spectrum of stuff. I mostly read the Scene for the listings of art openings, and music performances and to see what good liberals are thinking.

My image of the average Scene reader is a higher than average income, white, pony-tailed, Birkenstock-wearing, latte-grande-sipping, avant-garde-art-loving, pretentious and condescending liberal. He has a dog but pays someone else to walk it. He is someone who sends his children to the best private schools but opposes charter schools and school vouchers. He is an avowed environmentalist and advocates cap and trade, yet has a big carbon foot-print due to owning a big house, a big dog and frequent trips by plane. He thinks society should do more for the downtrodden, but other than buying an occasional newspaper from the homeless guy, never gives anything to charity except when he contributes to WPLN and gets his free WPLN tote bag which he always carries with him to go grocery shopping at Whole Foods.

I have no idea how many people voted in the Scene's poll. They don't tell you. I didn't. I imagine few casual reader like me voted in it but mostly loyal readers who fit the profile I have imagined. Anyway, here are the results:


Megan Barry
Jason Holleman
Peter Westerholm


Robert Duvall
Tony Tenpenny
Eric Crafton

If I would have voted in this poll some of the names could have stayed the same, just switch the categories.

You can see that the voters in the Scene poll have opinions but they are not very informed opinions. Eric has been out of the Council for some time now. Despite being gone already, the voters of the Scene poll list Eric as one they would like to see gone.

Upon learning of being the number one "Best Metro Council Member you'd like to see gone" by voters in the Scene poll, Robert Duvall posted the following on his facebook page.

I don’t read the Nashville Scene. So I didn’t know, until a fellow Councilmember called me today, that I have been named the “Best Councilmember You’d Like to See Gone.”

I had a bit of laugh at that for this reason. When you stand up for the people of your district and go against the wishes of the Belmont Boulevard crowd, you don’t win many points with Nashville’s elite politicians or media.

The wishes and well being of the people in my district come first. Always have. Always will. When the numbers don’t add up on huge new projects, no matter how shinny and exciting they may be, I will ask how we intend to pay for it without adding to the burden of the taxpayers. When my constituents ask me to oppose a property tax increase in a down economy, I will oppose it. When the opinion of my district is different than politicians and media, well, sorry guys. My district wins.

That is how I have conducted myself as a Councilman. It hasn’t won me friends among the cocktail crowd. But they don’t matter. What matters are good jobs and new opportunities for OUR part of Nashville. I have fought for that on the council and will fight for that in the State House.

I congratulate Robert Duvall on his distinction on being disliked by the Scene poll participants. Sometimes you can know a person by the enemies they make.

0 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 10/20/2012 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Silence of the Lambs: Why Won't GOP Leaders Denounce Bigotry?

Gail Kerr in today's Tennessean exposes the right wing fringe that has gained influence in the Republican Party. Since access to the Tennessean on-line is now restricted to subscribers, (or at lease I think access is now restricted) you may not be able to see the article.

Below is an excerpt from the article Hate-filled GOP fringe bullies its own:

... a small segment of the nuttiest members of the GOP, controlled by the tea party and the National Rifle Association, is hellbent on revenge against GOP leaders who don’t share its narrow agenda. It is an agenda based on hate.

They hate gays. They hate Muslims. They hate the United Nations. They hate anyone who reasonably believes business owners’ property rights trump free-wheeling gun rights. And, apparently, they hate the idea of Tennessee growing jobs. Because if you saw this sort of bigotry spewing out of a state, why would you want to locate your new plant there?

She reports how Bill Haslam has become a target of this fringe and that ten county Republican Parties have passed resolutions condemning Haslam for the hiring of a Muslim women to an important post in his administration.

I agree with much of Gail's concern. I agree with her when she says this fringe is the "nuttiest members of the GOP." We have some real loonies in the Party and some of them have gained positions of influence. There are primarily three different issue that motivate this fringe: Agenda 21, Islam and Sharia law, and gun rights. The three issues have created three different fringe factions but there is some overlap.

The Agenda 21 people can range from those who have a mild concern to real kooks. Agenda 21 is a 20 year old UN study that encourages sustainability. Those who are fearful of Agenda 21 believe it is a plan to take away private property rights, take away our cars and drastically change the American way of life. The more extreme of the anti-Agenda 21 people believe it is a plot to kill 96% of the world’s population by poisoning them with aspartame and fluoride. Anti-Agenda 21 people see elements of the plot in everything from mass transit to planning and zoning, to reintroduction of Wolves into the wild, to traffic roundabouts to bikeways, greenways, traffic calming and wide shady sidewalks. The John Birch Society is the group behind the anti-Agenda 21 campaign. The John Birch Society was denounced by William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater in the early 70’s and was pretty much driven from the Party and had almost disappeared but with the advent of the tea party movement has made a comeback.

The people in the anti-Muslim or anti-Sharia movement believe the Quaran and Sunna must be taken literally and they believe that all Muslims are called upon to lie and deceive and make war on all non-Muslims. They do not consider Islam a religion but consider it a political ideology and many believe the First Amendment should not apply to Muslims. They do not believe that one can be a Muslim and be a loyal American. They think all Muslims are potential terrorist and Mosques are terrorist training centers. Looking at what is happening in Europe and the threat of radical Islam throughout the world, I understand their concern and think we should be vigilant. However, not all of Islam is monolithic, immigrant Muslim will assimilate and moderate and of course Muslims are covered under the First Amendment.

The gun rights people are mad because the guns is parking lots bill did not pass. Obviously the second Amendment is a protection against government and not a protection against your employer. The Second Amendment does not mandate that you be allowed to carry your gun onto the property of another without that person's permission, but that is the position the gun rights activist take. How one can adopt such a distorted view of a basic constitutional right, I do not understand.

I think all of these factions have the potential to be dangerous and I think they are all wrong. I agree they are “bullying” in their tactics, especially the gun nuts who are seeking to make an example out of Debra Maggart. Political activism and expressing a political opinion or petitioning the government is not in itself "bullying"however.

I do not agree with Kerr and I do not think the people who make up these faction are “hate-filled.” They are misguided and their logic is faulty but in general they are good people. I fear some of the anti-Sharia hysteria could attract the haters who may decide to commit vigilante justice upon perceived terrorist-in-waiting, but the people I know in the anti-Sharia movement are not themselves bad people.

Gail Kerr in her article also mentions an anti-gay element to this fringe movement. I have not seen that. Many conservatives look upon homosexuality at a deviancy and most support traditional marriage, but I do not hear anyone spending a lot of time or energy or placing much focus on the issue of homosexuality.

Kerr also implies this fringe movement to be racist when she says that they hate anyone who looks differently and when she quotes someone who says, “Forty years ago, these same people would be as upset if the governor hired a black person.” I can tell you with certainty, this fringe movement is not racist. I think we are over racism in America. A local leader of the anti-Sharia movement is a well-know local radio personality who happens to be African-American. The tea party and the Republican Party are well integrated and I see no vestige of racism in either. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former presidential candidate Herman Cain. and Florida Representative Allen West are prominent African Americans deeply admired by many who consider themselves part of the tea party. It is simply wrong and maybe even evidence of being "hate-filled" to call the tea party or this fringe we are speaking about "racist."

I also know Kerr to be wrong when she says this fringe is "controlled by the tea party." The tea party is not a party or an organization. There is no membership or structure to the tea party. There are numerous tea party organizations, but no "Tea Party." The tea party can't control anything. You can't join and you can't be kicked out. People self identify as part of the tea party. It is a movement, not an entity.

While I am concerned about the radical fringe that has gained prominence in the Republican Party, one thing to keep in mind is that it is a fringe. The tea party brought a lot of new people into the Party, most motivated by opposition to Obamacare, run away deficit spending and an expanding role of government. Most members who think of themselves as part of the tea party never became full time activist. They attended a few rallies, expressed their displeasure and waited for the next opportunity to vote. They may have given money to a candidate or went door to door for a candidate, but most never became part of this fringe I have described.

Also to keep this in perspective, the Occupy movement was much nuttier than the nuttiest of the tea party. All kinds of kooks tied themselves to the Occupy movement including Nazis, Communist, anarchist and every permutation of leftist wacko nut job and conspiracy theorist. The Democrats were blessed in that the Occupy movement did not hang around long enough to gain prominence in the Democratic Party. It was a flash in the pan that disappeared.

Another factor to consider in order to keep this in perspective is that a small group who believe anything could take over either one of the major parties at the county level. In some counties, people have to be begged to take the available seats on the County Executive Committee. In some counties, a voting bloc of a dozen could take over the Party. Because a certain County party passes a resolution does not mean that, that resolution is reflective of the way Republicans think in that county.

Despite being embarrassed by the Kerr article and despite thinking she got much of it wrong, I am not disappointed to see her article published. I have been wondering how much longer what has been happening in the Republican Party could just be ignored. The grownups and sane people need to retake the Party. Good Republicans need to run for position in the county Parties. The bullies need to be stood up to, as is happening when Republican leaders rally around Debra Maggart. The John Birch Society led conspiracy theorist need to be stood up do as they were when Governor Haslam refused to sign that silly resolution concerning Agenda 21.

I hope the fringe has seen their best day and are now in retreat. I hope the John Birch Society, with their tin foil hats firmly in place, will go back to meeting in secret. I think the Republican Party will be Ok. I think sanity will prevail. At least, I hope so.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 07/19/2012 at 5:51 PM

Re: “Jail Time Added to Anti-Occupy Nashville Bill; 'You Need to be Peed On,' Lawmaker Tells Protesters

Ok, Occupy! Don't be intimidated! Resist the effort to be moved. Lock arms and sing together, "I shall not be, I shall not be moved, I shall not be, I shall not be moved." Wiggle your little fingers in a message of consensus to not be moved. You can continue your occupation in jail for up to one year! Do it! Don't fade away! Show 'em what your made of. Occupy the jail! Occupy the jail!

8 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 02/07/2012 at 3:53 PM

Re: “It's Groundhog Day! GOP Messing with Teachers Again

Is is not basic that if you borrow money you have to pay it back? How is requiring repayment of a debt "messing" with someone? If you are working as a teacher is there any reason why you should not be repaying your student loans?

According to the Nashville Scene and State Democrats, Republicans are picking on teachers by requiring them to repay their student loans. I think everyone should repay their debts if they are able. If former students are not working they can get deferments of their debt. If they are working then repaying student loans is one of those bills that have to be paid. I still think teachers should also be good role models. Deadbeat teachers who won't repay borrowed money are not good role models and should not be teaching. Yank their certificate!

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 02/03/2012 at 10:35 AM

Re: “MTSU Poll Confirms Middle Tennessee Has Nothing Against Muslims

I do not understand why people are finding these poll results comforting. I do not take comfort in a poll that says 66% of the people believe Muslims should have the same rights as other Americans. I find it alarming that only 66% of the people support basic constitutional rights. I would be alarmed if only 66% of the people believe we have a right to bear arms. If 66% of the people thought the police should have to have warrant before searching your home, I would express it as “only 66%” of the people believe in the 4th Amendment.

Posted by A Disgruntled Republican on 10/15/2010 at 10:35 AM

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