Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Next Stimulus Package?

We cannot afford another "Emergency" Economic Stimulus Bill. Our Congress is acting like College Kids with a credit card we have to pay. Their "emergency" spending is out of control and approaching the amount that the government expects to collect in total tax revenue, before we even pay for the day to day operations of the government.

Drunken Sailors are more thrifty than Our "Representatives." At least Drunken Sailors stop spending when their pockets are empty or they pass out.

And at the same time Multi-Millionaire Executives of the Big Three are asking the hard workers of Tennessee that get paid on average less than $40,000/year to bailout the Employees of Detroit making twice as much. This is nothing short of greed. Before they ask the taxpayers of Tennessee to bail them out, they need to cut back on their own part of the stranglehold that may very well kill the Companies making the cars we love.

Before they reach into the pockets of our workers, they need to spend their own money. Their factory workers are making twice as much and more than the people they are asking to save them from their own excesses. And until, they cut back on their own wages from the top to the bottom, they have no business asking us to pad their wallets.

In less than 12 months, we are seeing the runaway spending of Congress add more than 20% to the Taxpayer Debt. We are seeing them hide it away in "Emergency" spending that adds more in debt than our Nation accumulated in its first 200+ years.

Supporting Evidence:
The Federal Government expects to collect $2.7 Trillion dollars in taxes in 2009 (which started for the government on October 1st, 2008).

Before any "Emergency" Spending bills, such as the CEO Bailout Bill and Economic Stimulus Bills, the 2009 Federal Budget calls for spending $3.1 Trillion.

We all know the Economy is struggling. We feel it. And I've already demonstrated that the average taxpayer paid $1232 plus interest to get that first stimulus check of $0 to $1200.

In October, Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama and Bart Gordon decided to add another $700 Billion to the Spending of the United States in order to bail out their CEO Constituency. They ignored us when we told them "No" and we were given no real option on the ballot of November 4th, 2008 to send Representative Gordon to retirement.

President-Elect Obama has proposed another $800 Billion in "Emergency" Economic Stimulus Bill and we don't know yet whether the Congressman from the 6th District will rubber stamp this move or not.

Those two bills would saddle us with $1.5 Trillion in un budgeted debt at the same time that Congress considers bailing out the Big 3 Automakers and is added to the debt incurred by the first Economic Stimulus Bill that cost us more than it gave us.

When combined with the request from the Big Three and the previous "Stimulus" bill, that's $1.8 Trillion in "Emergency" Spending against Revenues of $2.7 Trillion. And we add that to the $3.1 Trillion for day to day expenses in the 2009 Federal Budget. That's $4.6 Trillion in spending meaning an additional $2.1 Trillion in debt, this year alone.

Our Nation cannot afford to continue these "Emergency" spending bills. The Budget before the "Emergency" was already adding more in debt than it was paying in interest. There must be cuts in spending. Any Common Sense Citizen would understand that we can't spend twice as much as we make.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

The 6th Amendment

They wrote in plain English:

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Rarely do we see any attempts to undermine this right, though I would also relate this to the manners in which our 1st Amendment Rights are responsibly engaged.

As I mentioned in the article on the 1st Amendment, the Press tries our citizens in the Court of Public Opinion. We are the jury in that trial. The journalists play the role of prosecutors and defense and the editors act as the judges, determining what evidence, hearsay, or gossip is provided us.

There exist today objective news media and those that are little more than propaganda of a party, even to the extent of being propaganda of the enemy. See this article:

We are fortunate in that smaller newspapers seem to be more likely to be responsible in their reporting. The larger the newspaper, the less likely it seems to be, to report without bias. But the 1st Amendment does not allow the media to break the law to achieve their financial success. The news media needs to reel in its members. They need to return to responsible reporting.

Unnamed sources should be avoided.
But, there exist two primary means by which this can be implemented: The first is the media returning to ethical standards. The second is the public abandoning those news media that engage in unethical standards. The NY Times and others are already feeling the financial crunch of the realization of the public of their lack of objectivity.

If it ever becomes necessary for legislation to police the press, due to a lack of self-policing, then Our Congressmen must tread very carefully, rationally, not emotionally, ensuring that their laws enhance rather than undermine Our Right to a Free Press. But, if we the people (and the jury) tell our Newsmedia that we expect responsible use of the powerful right to a Free Press, with our words and with our dollars, they will likely respond in a positive manner.

Hopefully, it never becomes necessary for legislation to become involved.

TnTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Among many things, I am grateful to be a Citizen of this Great Nation and to live here in Tennessee amongst some of Our Nations best Citizens.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Simple Man

"I've come to two decisions in life that I've carved in stone. One is that
the lowest form on animal on this planet is a child molester. The
other is that the only good terrorist is a dead terrorist."

-Charlie Daniels

I have to work like a dog to make ends meet.
And there's crooked politicians and crime in the street.
And I'm madder in hell and I ain't gonna take no more.
-I'm a Simple Man, Charlie Daniels
There seems to be something in the Middle Tennessee that allows us to see things more clearly than those of New York and Chicago. Perhaps it is that we're closer to nature. Perhaps it is that we live in harmony with trees and wildlife and they've taken up a life surrounded by concrete.
Perhaps, it is that we know our neighbors and help each other in times of adversity.
I've lived in the big city and I've lived in small towns, but it doesn't take much analysis to know that the politics of the big city are much different than the common sense of the small town.
It's not simply a difference between manufacturing and farming. It's a difference between self-reliance and dependence and a difference between responsibility and lack thereof. It's a difference between government interference and government dependency.
The Chicago Politicians have promised to close Guantanamo Bay, as if that piece of Caribbean beach could have committed crimes. The California Idealists have called for the move for years though they know that the allegations were proven false. The New York Elitists realize that the only cases of "waterboarding" occurred elsewhere against three of the most dangerous terrorists we captured, three terrorists directly involved with the 9/11 attacks.
I wonder if Guantanamo will be Obama's Panama Canal. Will he give away more of what we earned with the blood and sweat of our Troops? Will he give away what was given us for helping to give freedom to the Cubans in 1898?
Did you know that following the Spanish-American War, the Spanish asked us to annex Cuba? That the Cubans stipulated in their Constitution and in their treaty with us that we would rescue them from poor leaders?
In the last few weeks, the efforts of The Party of the last few years, has come to fruition. They have secured the release of Osama Bin Ladin's bodyguard and driver. They gave an enemy combatant the rights of American citizen even while they attempt to erode our own rights. They forced the courts to try a terrorist as they would a criminal. And though war criminals may be tried and held longer, combatants may be held until the cessation of hostilities, as per the Geneva Conventions.
Our Troops have risked life and limb to take terrorists off the streets. Our Troops have upheld the Laws of Land Warfare and the Geneva Conventions, despite fighting an enemy that tortures and beheads civilians. When the enemy has surrendered, their lives were spared. And now Congress and Chicago Politicians, using the Courts, have released these terrorists to kill again.
The Party of New York, Chicago and California is not the party of our fathers. It is not the party of Andrew Jackson. The man our forefathers volunteered to fight under, against the British, would not recognize the DNC of today. Old Hickory would not allow the likes of Pelosi, Reid, and Frank to claim his party.
But there is little chance that the rational members of The Party can reclaim it anytime soon. And until they do, we need to remove the rubber stamp members of our own State Delegation from Congress. For too long, our politicians have realistically believed that the letter behind their name guaranteed them their seat of power. They've taken our vote for granted.
Our politician has become a follower of Pelosi, not a leader reclaiming the honor of his party. If he won't stand up and tell the far left of New York, Chicago, and California "Enough" then we need to stand up and tell him "Enough!" We're sending a Common Sense Citizen to Washington.
TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Economic Development of Middle Tennessee

As Tennessee struggles with 7.2% unemployment, politicians promise job growth plans. In Tennessee, the growth industry has become government jobs as highlighted in an earlier post.

There is certainly an impact on businesses and hence employment from government policies and the work of our elected officials. It can be positive or negative. It can strangle business development or help it to flourish.

The current crop of Congressional leaders has made promises to stick it to the man, to force Employers to spend more on each employee, while the President-elect promises 2.5 Million new jobs across the Nation. Though I'm sure we've all experienced an Employer we could not respect, an overbearing boss we didn't like, we must consider the realities.
That which effects our Employers effects how many employees they can and will hire or lay off. When we "stick it to the man," we are sticking it to our businesses and hence the employees of those businesses. We are shooting our selves in the foot when we support the slogans of politicians that undermine our businesses.

But, let's look at what we can do: Buy local whenever possible. When you make your purchases in the town square, it supports local business. It builds business in your town. As business grows, they add employees. And those business owners are your neighbors. As their business expands, they too increase their purchases, building other local business and employment.
But buying locally also increases the finances of our local government. A portion of the sales tax goes to our local governments. The more it brings in from the sales tax, the less it will have to pay for services with increased property taxes.

Buying local is a cycle that will improve your life by increasing employment near your home while decreasing your cost in gasoline to both shop and to work. It keeps our money close to home and increases the opportunity for you to take that step into business ownership.
But what can I do to help improve our economies and employment? I too can buy local and I do.

Though I am a common citizen as are you, I have to look forward to how I can positively effect employment and business, if elected. There are a lot of ifs in between me and that but it is prudent to begin the process. As such, I have sent an invitation to open a dialogue with our Chambers of Commerce. Not only do they have their finger on the pulse of the issues effecting our local businesses, but they are a key part of attracting new employers to our area.

The growth of industry and employment in Alabama is a demonstration of how elected officials can have a positive effect on economic development.
In Middle Tennessee, we have all of the right components to attract top notch employers and businesses. Our Chambers of Commerce continue to work towards the economic success of our citizens and businesses. We have hard-workers with good ethics. We have a strategic location.

Neither I, nor any politician, can realistically promise job growth of a specific number in a certain number of years. Economists may be able to predict job growth but politicians cannot guarantee it. Elected Officials can do much to encourage economic development, or to implement policies that stifle it.

It will be my policy to consult with those effected and experienced in their specialities when developing positions and legislation rather than ignoring those that have been performing in that arena for their entire life. That means consulting with the leaders of local business on things that effect the ability of our small businesses to grow. It means working with our local Chambers of Commerce when they are working to bring jobs to our area.

Government must be responsive to the governed. Representatives should be responsible to their constituents, not their Washington contributors.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

An example of a time when our elected officials should be lending a hand to our Chambers of Commerce:

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The 5th Amendment

It is important that we know the bounds placed on our Federal Government and local governments to ensure the freedoms and liberty of Our Citizens.

It is the 5th Amendment that seems to be misused today by the ACLU and far left to free those that would harm Our Citizens, those that make no distinction between attacks on Our Troops and the murder of Our Citizens. It protects us from Government Land Grabs.

The 5th Amendment protects Our Citizens from baseless accusations. It protects us from "double jeopardy," from prosecutors that might otherwise try us over and over for an allegation we've been proven innocent of. It does not afford protection to enemy combatants sworn to the murder of Our Citizens. It does not afford protection to enemy combatants captured on the field of battle.

Enemy Prisoners of War are afforded protections under the Geneva Conventions. They may be held until the cessation of hostilities, longer if they are convicted of War Crimes. Our Troops zealously uphold the Geneva Convention.

But our current class of politicians and the media which support them have led us to believe that a place can take on the character of a criminal, that somehow Guantanamo Bay is in itself denying the "Constitutional Rights" of an enemy unprotected by the Constitution and sworn to destroy it.

Our Enemies know they cannot defeat our Military on the battlefield but realize they can use our freedoms and rights against us. The enemy we fight on the battlefield is not our only enemy. They have found allies with other enemies. They have found allies in tyrants abroad and idealists in America.

The politicians of NY, CA, & Chicago have risen to power on an endorsement of defeatism, on the embracement of the idealism that war can be banished despite the realities of evil in this world. They have capitalized on the hope of the youth that violence can be banished.

And here in Tennessee, we must brace ourselves for the absolute power provided The Party led astray by Hillary, Pelosi, Reid, & Obama. We recognize that politicians of our own state empower and follow the far left leadership of New York elitists and California Radicals that hi-jacked a party which once represented the people.

We have only hope that our entire delegation to Congress will join the minority in opposing the wave of imposition of government into our lives. But hope alone is not enough. We will have to be vigilant not only to what Congress attempts to impose at the behest of a Chicago politician, but also if our own politicians rubber stamp those impositions on us.

Our Constitution guarantees the Rights and Freedoms of Our Citizens, not the enemies of Our Freedoms. Our Representatives need to display the Common Sense to realize they represent the American People, not the enemy.

Our Forefathers wrote in plain English. Our Congressmen should return to it.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Ground Zero of the Taylor Explosion

Shortly after this exploratory campaign was born, I was asked for more information on me, the person. I explained it would come out in time, that the issues are more important than the people running, more important than either Bart Gordon or myself. This is about the people of Middle Tennessee, not the person sent to Washington. It is about whether we send a Representative or a Politician to Congress.

To know who oneself, one must also know their history and the history of their family. And that history is the history of Middle Tennessee.

I spent much of the weekend reviewing the latest work, A Few More Taylors, 2003,
of Ms. Ardis Taylor of North Dakota. She devoted decades of her life to objectively ferreting out the family history of her husband Harve and some of her favorite stories come from Middle Tennessee.

Ms. Ardis has published 4 books over the decades, including Taylor Legends, William Taylor Sr., & On the Taylor Trail at least two of which are over 400 pages. Whether a history buff or a family member, these are great books that tell the history of the family and the area.

There are comedies and tragedies in our trails. She noted the Southern Grace in her travels here, whether that of Thomas Webb, civil servant who opened his home during the Jamboree, or my relatives inviting her in to sit a spell for some tall tales of Taylors long gone. She was able to dispel myths and learn legends.

It is the story of America and DeKalb County is "Ground Zero of the Taylor Explosion." About 1806, my ancestors arrived at Indian Creek and Sink Creek, down in the hollers where few would bother them. It wasn't long until David Taylor was asked to be the constable, and accepted. It had only been a few decades since many of the same Taylors had likely fought with Colonel Francis Marion, made famous a few years ago in the movie, The Patriot, with Mel Gibson.

It appears that this was the 5th, 6th & 7th Generation of Taylors seeking out a new frontier that arrived in today's DeKalb County.

When Andrew Jackson called for Troops, so many Taylors answered the call that it is still difficult to discern which John Taylor fell prey to disease on the way home from the Battle of New Orleans and which one survived another 5 years.

And Tennessee proved to be at the center of the Civil War. Taylors volunteered or were drafted to both sides of the Conflict to the tune of 1,028 from Tennessee alone, 200 to the Union and 828 to the Confederacy. That's quite significant when we realize there were only 1,003,000 residents of Tennessee at the time. Many members of the family had moved to Illinois and 848 Taylors were added to the rolls of the Union there.

The decision as to which side had little to do with slavery. The Tennessee Taylor ancestors had turned against the practice before the Nation fought for independence.

Tennessee continues to be at the center of Common Sense and the center of Our Nation and Taylors continue to be a reflection of Tennessee. We generally prefer to provide the hard labor, food, and protection of the Nation, rather than to stand in the spotlight of political life.

We prefer to lead progress rather than stand in its way. Though it seems most of our ancestral land now lies below the lakes of the TVA, I have yet to find protests of Taylors in that loss of land. The land of Indian Creek is under the Western parts of Center Hill Lake and it appears that Sink Creek is under the same waters in Southeastern DeKalb County.

Meanwhile the land granted our Ancestors along Cold Water Creek in Elbert County, Georgia following the War for Independence seems to be under another lake created by the TVA.

But a family cannot grow this big and contribute for so long without some notables attaining their claim to fame. Long dispelled as myth, there may now be some credibility to the stories of a distant relationship to not only President Zachary Taylor but also President James Madison. And it seems that Johnny Cash is a very distant cousin.

And these relations go back to the earliest of Taylors here in the New World, back to when George Taylor arrived around 1635, from Cumberland County, England to Virginia, the frontier of the day. We are not a perfect family, but we are an American family. It seems a distant Uncle of the Tennessee Taylors inspired the first divorce in the Colonies.

We are a Tennessee family. We include as cousins Meltons, Jennings, Smiths, Brewers, Hights, Morgans, Womacks, Johnsons, Lumpkins, and Selfs, though I haven't found any Gores or Gordons. Chances are that if you turn over enough rocks in your family tree, you'll find a Taylor.

Reverend Rowland Taylor may or may not be related to us, but he certainly demonstrated the independent streak of standing up for his beliefs when he took on the Catholic Church in 1555 and preached from the Bible given him by his wife's Uncle William Tyndale. And though William Taylor, Sr of Virginia and Tennessee, may have been one of the early Baptists, Rev. Brookings Taylor spread the word in the Christ Church.

When the Nation calls, we continue to volunteer. When Our Neighbors or Family are in need, we lend a hand. We believe in Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. We believe in Self-Determination in Faith as well as Life. We may not agree with the choices of others, but we believe they should be free to choose their own path and reap the rewards or risk the failures of their endeavors.

We are Independent in nature, though our names are listed on the rolls of the Democrats and the Republicans. We prefer Common Sense to book smarts. We prefer Farmers to Lawyers. We prefer Representatives to Politicians. We prefer Charities to Government Handouts. We'd rather be the one giving a hand up than the one receiving a handout, because next time it may be us that needs a helping hand.

We'd rather get less money for an honest day's work than more money for sitting around. But we need a Representative, instead of a Politician, to lead Our Congress back to the Common Sense our forefathers founded this Nation on.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

An Open Dialogue

From Shelbyville:

TNTaylor nice website, good information to see from someone. I like to see open dialogue and it shows you being proactive. Very nicely worded. Wish you had a better design though; the content is good though.

Thank you for the input. We are at the beginning stages of this effort and I do put great emphasis on hearing from the Citizens of Our District. Our next representative should be reflective of us, in character, on the issues, and in his thinking. This website should likewise be reflective of us.

As this transforms from an exploratory nature into a viable campaign, the website itself will evolve. I welcome all to weigh in on the features that will make it most useful to you.

Viability: There is little potential for outspending the incumbent. He is the best financed member of the House from Tennessee. His campaign war chest begins at $1 Million as he had little need to campaign at all in 2008.

For this bid to be viable, the People of Petersburg, the Taxpayers of Trousdale, the Citizens of Cannon and Cookeville must speak out. For this to move forward, the issues and ideas published here need to be embraced by my fellow citizens.

I am asking not for your hard earned dollars to finance a campaign. I am asking for something more important. I am asking for your input into the issues. I am asking that if you like the content, you pass it on to others.

If our citizens are to take back Congress, as is their Constitutional right, it will be at the grass roots level. We have entered a new age of technology, which allows for greater responsiveness to, greater input from, and greater discussion with the Represented and the Representatives.

It is time to put a Common Sense Citizen in Congress. It is time for a Responsive Representative that reflects our people.

TNTaylor©2007-2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The 3rd Amendment

The dialogue is beginning to open and I'm happy to answer your desires and questions.

A reader emails:

"First off, what happened to the 3rd amendment....I can't for the life of me
remember what it concerns. I only noticed you hit 1, 2 and then 4."

This is a reasonable question. The 3rd Amendment is also important but does not in any way seem to be in jeopardy:

Amendment III
No soldier shall, in time of peace be
quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war,
but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The last time the 3rd Amendment really came into play was during the Civil War, when the homes of our Ancestors were used by both sides of the Conflict. And that is the reason why it is addressed so seldom that we don't immediately recall its subject.

The reader goes on:

"Earmarks.....I am confused on these. More to the point, I am confused on
how the examples you gave directly impact TN.... I sure as heck don't want money
from my state being diverted to and used by NYC!!!"

I don't want my money being sent to NYC lobbyists either!

Earmarks are designed to be confusing. Some are straightforward and beneficial but others only appear to be either. The primary purpose of earmarks is to "bring the money back home" and they are only viewed as pork when the money is going elsewhere.

The problem arises in that for Middle Tennessee to get back 87 cents of our taxpayers money, Our "Representatives" also have to support the earmarks of their colleagues. It impacts Tennessee in that of the $119.62 of the average taxpayers money spent in earmarks, we only get 87 cents back. No matter how noble the cause we spend that 87 cents, it costs us $119.62 to get it.

The solution is to end ALL earmarks. If a spending bill cannot be passed on its own, it should not be attached to bills that have little to do with it.

The solution is to return governance to the lowest effective levels possible. Our Federal Government has overstepped its Constitutional bounds in several areas. The reason is the addiction to power. The more things controlled at the Federal Level, the more taxes it must collect, and the more power the Government has. But the more taxes collected by the Federal Government, the less there is available from the taxpayer to fund our local and state governments and to fund our charities of choice.

But our local governments are more efficient and more responsive to us. We have greater power at the local level because our vote is one of thousands rather than one of hundreds of millions. We can meet and know our mayors and council members.

But before we can return the Constitutional powers to our state and local governments, we must vote in members of Congress that will reduce rather than increase the power grabbing ways of the Federal Government.

How do Earmarks to New York, California, & Chicago effect the Taxpayers of Tennessee? Those earmarks are the price paid to get the earmarks for Tennessee. Those earmarks are paid for with YOUR tax dollars because our "Representatives" voted for them in return for their support of our 87 cents.

They effect us because we are paying less in Interest on the Debt than we are adding to the National Debt. And each of these earmarks are adding to the National Debt and hence to the interest we must pay on the debt every year. We have to cut spending and a moratorium on earmarks is a good place to start.

The People of Tennessee would be benefited by reducing Federal spending by their portion of the $119.62 in all earmarks even though we would still lose our 87 cents in earmarks. We would be better served by $119.62 less in Federal taxes and $8.70 more in State taxes. We would have ten times the funding for the same programs for 7.3% of the cost. We would have greater control over the money taxed from our hard work.

And hopefully this Common Sense Citizen can better communicate this but any time there is confusion, please feel free to ask. I know the numbers can be boring and I do wonder how many of those numbers our Congressmen actually look at before they commit you to pay them. They are simply nickel and diming us into bankruptcy but their generosity with our money knows few bounds when their Corporate Sponsors hold out their hands.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Spending Your Money!

Earmarks come at a cost. To get those earmarks that make one popular for bringing the money home, you have to give to others that wish to build their popularity at home. "You scratch my back or I won't scratch your back."

Never let it be said Our Tennessee Representatives are not generous.

We are sending money to the Abyssinian Development Corporation in Harlem. Congress sent $143,000 to the Corporation. Nickels and Dimes in comparison to what we pay in interest alone on the National Debt, but is it really the best use of our money when we borrow more money than we pay in interest?

True, that amount won't cover the organizations lobbyist expenses but when rich Senators like Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer have the power to make the Taxpayers of Tennessee pay, why would they dip into their own pockets to fund the millions it costs to run an organization that has tens of millions of dollars in NY real estate?

A Non-Profit Organization like that needs money to help offset the $180,000 they paid to lobby for a Speedway on Staten Island, New York and to lobby HUD to return their status. Or was it to help fund the $30,000 lobbyist bill to get the Medicaid rates changed by the Office of Management & Budget? Or the money they needed to pay lobbyists to the Fire Marshall's office?

No, none of these were listed as justification by the Senators, but the Lobbyist bills for ADC are 12 pages long and in the Millions and we are footing the bill, because for MTSU to get 87 cents of your taxdollars back, our delegation is spending $119.62 for their NY taskmasters and others that demand a toll for projects like this one.

With $7.76+ Million dollars in rental income classified as Section 8, they need money to lobby the HUD to keep their government money rolling in.

And that is why we need to send a Common Sense Congressman from Tennessee to say "NO!" The Citizens of Celina should not be forced to pay for Multi-Million dollar projects in New York nor for the lobbyists that get them approved by NY City Commissioners.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tax & Spend

Did we send Representatives to Congress or did we give a Credit Card to a College Kid?

There are 303,824,640 American Citizens as of July 2008 according to the CIA Factbook. An estimated 45.4% of Americans are taxpayers. An estimated 20.1% are under 15 and another 12.7% are over 64. Though 153,100,000 Americans are capable of entering the workforce, only about 137,936,400 Citizens are paying for the operation of our government.

So, when we start dividing up the cost of Congress' Spending Sprees, it's not the cost per citizen but the cost per taxpayer. The Federal Government collects $9,000 per citizen but of that only $5,749.00 is noticeable (Federal Withholding, 1/2 of Social Security and 1/2 of Medicare Taxes). The rest comes in hidden taxes, in higher costs of goods (Corporate taxes, Excise Taxes, Tariffs, Gasoline Taxes, Death Taxes, and Tobacco Taxes are all passed on to consumers.)

But it's much worse than that.
The Federal Government collects $19,911.50 per Taxpayer. The Federal Legislature spends $22,475.95 per Taxpayer. In other words, each taxpayer adds $2,564.45 in debt in 2009. Where does your money go?

$19,911.50 taxes per taxpayer to the Government
$22,475.95 spent per taxpayer by Congress.
$ 1,885.08 paid on Debt Interest.
$ 4,668.82 Social Security
$ 3,698.23 DoD: The Defense of the Nation
$ 2,957.89 Medicare
$ 1,623.93 Medicaid (partially matched by state funds)
$ 2,609.90 Unemployment & Welfare payments
$ 1,232.55 paid out for Economic Stimulus Bill (the check for $300 to $1,200 you received.)
$ 1,052.66 GWOT
$ 510.38 Dept of Health & Human Services
$ 429.18 Dept of Education
$ 324.79 Veterans' Administration
$ 279.11 HUD
$ 277.66 State Department/Diplomacy
$ 272.59 Homeland Security
$ 181.24 Dept of Energy
$ 150.79 Dept of Agriculture
$ 147.17 Justice Department (FBI/Attorney General)
$ 127.60 NASA
$ 90.62 Dept of Treasury (Money Counters)
$ 34.07 Legislative Branch
(and other Departments such as the EPA, Department of Labor, etc.)

Hidden in the figures above are "earmarks." Earmarks are specific spending that may or may not have anything to do with the Department to which it is budgeted. A classic example is the money in the Emergency Defense spending bill earmarked for New Orleans and other domestic spending. While it may or may not have been warranted spending, it was not Defense and should not be labeled as part of the DoD budget.

There were 2,275 earmarks on the DoD budget for $7.8 Billion. While these are added to the official costs of defending our Citizens, our Economy, and our way of life, they don't necessarily have anything to do with Defense.

There were 11,524 earmarks costing $16.5+ Billion in 2008 and much of the popularity of Representative Gordon came from his earmarks for Middle Tennessee, but our entire delegation was only able to garner $120.6 Million in Tennessee earmarks.

To get these goodies, Our Congressmen must support the earmarks of others. For the $119.62 per taxpayer in Earmarks, Tennessee received back $0.87 per taxpayer.

Meanwhile, the People of Petersburg have been forced to help pay the $192,000 to the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago, IL as earmarked by Rep Rahm Emanuel, proposed Chief of Staff to Barack Obama.

And though Auburntown residents will be forced to Beg for Cannon County to get back funds they paid in, another $192,000 was earmarked for an afterschool program at the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos, CA.

Congress has become like a teenager with their first credit card, a card they don't have to pay. While everyone would like to have such a card, the taxpayers of Tennessee have to pay the bill. We have to reel in the spending habits of the children we have sent off to Washington.

Was that Stimulus Check you received really worth $1232.55? And you'll be paying the interest for decades to get that check. It costs the taxpayer a lot of money to send our money to Washington, a lot more than we get back after the bureacrats are paid to collect it, to count it, to process it and then to hear our local civil servants beg for some of it to come back.

And that $2609.90 in Unemployment & Welfare you're paying would equal $38,547.61/year for 9,339,100 Americans that were not working. I don't know anyone getting a $741.30 week Unemployment check so that money is going elsewhere. About 2/3rds of that is going elsewhere.

Now, I'm not an accountant. I'm just a Tennessee Veteran that knows a little math, but I do know that we can't afford to keep adding to our debt and hence our interest payments. I do know that it isn't financially responsible to keep adding to what the taxpayer is forced to pay. I know we have to cut spending.

Any Common Sense Congressman would understand this. A Common Sense Congressman would stand against the Waste of Washington. A Common Sense Congressman would recognize that it is a poor return on investment to pay $119.62 for an 87 cent paycheck.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The 4th Amendment & FISA

There are often very emotional arguments made about this Right.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The question arises as to how to protect Our Citizens from criminals, terrorists, and from "big brother." Our Military and Law Enforcement are professionals that respect the Rights of Our Citizens. When one of their own do not uphold their values, the damage to their reputations is paralleled by the damage done that citizen.

But abuses do occur on occasion and in those instances, they deserve the same rights of presumption of innocence until proven guilty and a fair trial. The reaction from their former colleagues is likely to be greater than that from outside the community.

The events of the Murrah Building bombing and of 9/11 brought terrorism to our shores. While these are the most known and largest incidents of attacks against the American People by enemies previously little known to our people, they are not the first nor the last attacks against the citizenry.

Many of our leaders had ignored a threat that refused to be ignored. Osama had declared war on us twice including in 1998 but his threat was ignored.

A colleague was called to a Counter-Terrorism conference following 9/11. Top members of many agencies were there and asked: "Why are they suddenly attacking us?" My colleague responded that there was nothing sudden about it, but that they had ignored the attacks on our diplomats and Troops for decades. He reminded them of the USS Cole, the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Beirut Bombings & Kidnappings, the attacks on our Embassies in Kenya & Tanzania and more.

Congress formed The 9/11 Commission which identified many holes in our security & intelligence fields. And even as one of the best example of bi-partisanship in Congress was assembling their findings, the Intelligence and Law Enforcement communities were already taking actions to overcome the shortfalls.

One important thing that came out of this was FISA. Much has been said about it but when it came time to review it in Congress, they instead interrogated Roger Clemens about whether or not he was at a party ten years ago and why there was blood on his pants in an elevator one day a decade ago.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is of great importance to our security but has the potential for abuse of the 4th Amendment. Logic and Common Sense in accordance with the Bill of Rights should dictate the debate, not emotional partisanship and slogans. Our Representatives have a sworn duty to uphold the Constitution while also providing the ability of Our Military, Law Enforcement, & Intelligence communities to protect us from those that desire to harm our people.

Rather than waste taxpayer dollars with investigations that should be conducted by Law Enforcement, Congress should have been ensuring that FISA protected Americans' 4th Amendment rights without alerting terrorists to surveillance. FISA legislation was necessary because the Administration of the 90's had made it near impossible to prevent an attack that the FBI knew was being planned. FISA provided for judicial review of cases for surveillance of terrorists.

FISA in part says:

‘(a) Authorization- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon the issuance of an order in accordance with subsection (i)(3) or a determination under subsection (c)(2), the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.
‘(b) Limitations- An acquisition authorized under subsection (a)--
‘(1) may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States;
‘(2) may not intentionally target a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States if the purpose of such acquisition is to target a particular, known person reasonably believed to be in the United States;
‘(3) may not intentionally target a United States person reasonably
believed to be located outside the United States
‘(4) may not intentionally acquire any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of the acquisition to be located in the United States; and
‘(5) shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

And makes provisions for surveillance if warranted, while requiring a Court Order:

‘(a) Jurisdiction of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court-
‘(1) IN GENERAL- The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court shall have jurisdiction to review an application and to enter an order approving the targeting of a United States person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information, if the acquisition constitutes electronic surveillance or the acquisition of stored electronic communications or stored electronic data that requires an order under this Act, and such acquisition is conducted within the United States.

I will not tell you that FISA is perfect, but if you wish to read the entire bill, you can find it here:

It is of great importance that Our Rights be protected while we walk that fine line between protecting our Nation and our Citizens from threats and protecting our Citizens from abuses of power. This is one of the many reasons we pay Our Representatives; to closely examine laws proposed by politicians. This is the reason we must be carefully examine the character and trustworthiness of those to whom we give our votes.

This is the reason Members of Congress swear to uphold the Constitution. It is disparaging that so many that sit in their seats are more interested in their Party, retention of Power, and blatant Partisanship, rather than the business of Our Nation.

But if Americans are going to regain their rightful place in governance, it will be one seat of Congress at a time. It will be through voting in those that take their oaths to heart. We, in Middle Tennessee do not have the opportunity to vote out Senator Reid, Representative Frank or Speaker Pelosi, but we do have the opportunity to put a Common Sense Citizen in Congress, a Veteran that will work against further erosion of the Constitution, that will oppose the radical leadership of California and Chicago.
TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Job Creation & Government

When the economy turns south, the people look for someone to blame. When a worker is laid off, they want to know what caused them to take back from the Unemployment Insurance (tax) they paid into through their employers. In such times as these we often blame the government but what is the government's role in job creation?

Congress does have the ability to influence the economy and governments do have a role in creating an environment that will create jobs. And in times like these, we see examples of not only the natural cycle of economies, but also how governments effect those cycles.

There are basically two things a government can do to spur an economy, as taught me by my Economics Professor: Spend More or Tax Less.

In September, the Nation saw unemployment rates hold steady at 6.1% while Tennessee saw rates jump to 7.2% and Alabama rates declined to 4.9% in August. Meanwhile Michigan is very different and experiencing harder times with an 8.7% unemployment rate.

“The downturn in the national economy is affecting all states,” said Commissioner Neeley. “Tennessee, like the rest of the nation, is experiencing job losses across all industries. There were some small gains in education and health services and local government education jobs.”

The business survey shows August-to-September gains in government employment, increasing by 10,700.

The Governor (Riley) also noted in his remarks that Alabama was one of only five states in the nation that saw its unemployment rate drop last month. The state’s August unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent, while the national rate increased to 6.1 percent.

Tennessee and Alabama are not significantly different regionally nor in our workers, but there is a profound difference in the number of workers employed. The difference between our states is the manner in which our governments approach job creation. Governor Bob Riley has aggressively sought to attract business to his state and created an environment friendly to new businesses. Governor Bredesen has added more government workers.

Economies are driven by workers and consumers, and their perceptions and emotions. Investors attempt to predict the emotions of consumers on the Stock Market and create perceptions and emotions that drive the market.

But financial hardships are very real. We feel them as we pay our monthly bills. Investors feel them when they are on the wrong side of the mad herd called Wall Street. Politicians capitalize on those emotions and/or realities at the ballot box.

In Tennessee, we have great workers and thrifty consumers. Our people are not the problem. The problem is that our politicians have played on our emotions to legislate financial irresponsibility.

The Party told us we were "racists" for expecting banks to make good loans that could be repaid. The Party told us we were "uncaring" for expecting our neighbors to manage their finances and pay their own bills and only buy things they could afford. The Party told us we were "unpatriotic" to not want to pay more taxes. The Party told us that they would make our tax invisible to us by making the Corporations pay it before they passed on those costs to us.

The Party is wrong about us. Tennesseans are Generous, Responsible, and Hard-Working. We are Patriotic and Self-Reliant. When adversity hits our neighbors, we help, but when financially irresponsible politicians demand more money from our sweat, we tell them "No."

Why are Foreign Automakers moving their plants to Alabama and are Automakers successful in Tennessee while General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford seem to withering on the vine in Michigan? The Michigan government has created an environment hostile to business while the Alabama government has created one conducive to business. As a result, taxes are lower in the South, employment is higher and businesses continue to seek out places with good workers to employ.

I do hope that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler survive their hard times. I own or have owned products from each of them. But the outlook is dismal. They are being strangled by their inability to reduce costs. And I can not justify spending twice as much on a truck than my father paid for the house I grew up in.

Taxes effect us whether Congress hides them or not. We pay them either in higher costs at the cash register or decreased income from our employers. The answer in these trying economic times is not more taxes. The answer is not more government spending. We know best what to spend our hard earned money on.

And while it may seem fitting to stick "the corporations" with more taxes, it not only gets paid by workers and consumers, but reduces incentives for employers to open new factories and offices, reducing employment and hence paychecks. The Job Creation role of government must take into account the competition of other governments to attract employers.

And when our politicians tell us to add a Trillion dollars to our debt to bailout the economy, we must ask them whether we are bailing out CEO's and their multi-million dollar golden parachutes, or the workers. And when a politician votes for a CEO bailout as did the Representative of the 6th district, against Our Will, we have a right to an explanation as to why our hard earned money should be given to fat executives to spend on resorts. And when we find that explanation lacking, we have a right to change Our Representative to Congress.

If we continue along the path we are on, government will continue to grow. It is already the largest growth sector in our State economy. We do not wish to have a choice between a government job or a government handout, but that is the direction our politicians are taking us.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


This Nation was built on Immigrants. The hardiest men and women of the world crossed the oceans to achieve great success in a Nation that limited their achievements only by their own imagination, hard work, and ambition. They proudly shed their former loyalties and embraced Our Nation, Our Language, & Our Ideals.

And it was Teddy Roosevelt who noted a rising issue: "There are no hyphenated Americans. You are either an American or you're not."

Our ancestors came to the Tennessee Valley to achieve even greater opportunity with less government interference and more self-determination.

The world of today is different than the day of Davy Crockett. We have, because of our great freedoms, become a highly successful Nation. Much of the world still desires to come to our shores. Today, we have an estimated 18-21 Million Illegal Immigrants in our Nation and The Party in Power is doing nothing to stem the flow, nothing to send them home. On the contrary, they seem to be doing everything to encourage more.

This is not a question of racism. These illegals may be primarily Hispanic, but also included are Europeans, Arabs, Asians & Africans and even Canadians. Many are hard working members of our workforce, but they are illegal.

Our immigration policy can not be enforced while we have no means to control who comes here. We should still welcome the best and brightest to our Nation. We should still welcome the ambitious that wish to pledge their allegiance to our freedoms and Our Nation, but we must be selective. We need not accept those that would do us harm nor those that wish to turn our Nation into their failed state.

Our immigration policy must be responsive to Our Needs. It should not allow for entire industries to be overtaken and put Americans on the unemployment rolls. When we have more workers than jobs, Immigration must be curtailed. When we have more jobs than Americans, we should be selective.

Illegal Immigration must be stopped before we can even have an immigration policy. We must build the Southern Fence because that is from where the flood is coming. And with ambitious, hard working Latinos also come drug runners and criminals. Our Law Enforcement Officers should be encouraged to send back those they find, not restricted from reporting their presence during the commission of crimes.

At a time of economic downturn, The Party in Power has chosen to give CEO's a Trillion Dollars but has steadfastly refused to pay for controlling our Borders. Congress believes they can fool the American People. They commit the Nation but withhold the funds. We have seen this as they sent Our Military to Iraq and then attempted to blackmail Our Nation by withholding the budget for tools and people the General needed. We have seen this in their approval of the Fence but not the funds to build it.

The fringes of the extremes control The Party in Power. Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi & Barack Obama have not only the reins of Government but the Whip to keep their membership in line. The Party of Kennedy is not the Party of Obama. When Our Forefathers embraced the DNC, it was very different than it is today.

The New York Elitists, California Idealists, and Chicago Politicians are firmly in control of The Party in Power and continue to roadblock prevention and enable illegals. Given their resistance to Voter Registration and Identification while they enable Illegal Immigration, I question their motives particularly in the aftermath of ACORN allegations. As one Middle Tennessee Resident observed, some in the lines could not even understand the questions of a reporter about the election, because they didn't speak English.

The Party in Power roadblocks Border Security and Election Integrity while promoting CEO bailouts and Illegal Immigrant use of our taxpayer money. They investigate Baseball Parties while ignoring National Security.

Our Congress is out of control and it is time we sent a Common Sense Veteran, a true Representative of the People of Middle Tennessee to remind them of what this Nation was built on, a Common Sense Citizen that understands why so many wish to come here.

It is time that Our Federal Government got back to National Business rather than Baseball Parties, propping up the golden parachutes of failed CEO's, and enabling Illegals. It is time that the American People again attained their rightful place in governance.
TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Power of Your Vote

Many Registered Voters did not vote in 2008. In Macon County, more than 6400 (46%) people chose to stay home rather than cast a vote for anyone this year. In Putnam county 4,704 people that took the time to vote, refused to vote for Congressman. Another 14,653 registered voters decided they had better things to do, meaning 45.7% of those that could vote chose not to vote for Congressman.
I'm not sure I completely blame them. The results seemed obvious before we went to the ballot box. There was no real opposition to Gordon, the polls showed Obama would win despite our desires, and Lamar Alexander had all the support he needed to return.

Turnout across the district was higher than ever, with 193,854 citizens turning out to vote for at least one candidate, but we have more than 450,000 adults in the district. Does your vote really count? Yes, it does.

It counts less when compared to the millions voting for President than it does in choosing Our Senators and more when choosing Our Representative to the House than the Senator of Tennessee. And though we had little choice in 2008, we will have a real choice in 2010. Though there will likely be fewer voters when the highest office chosen is between Rep Gordon and myself, it counts more.

But even more important are the lower levels of government. You are much more likely to know your Mayor than your President. Your vote has more power when choosing your Councilman than your Congressman. Your opinion has more weight and hence more influence the lower the level of government.

While I wish to hear your opinions, issues, and concerns, I urge you to get to know the positions of all that ask you to trust them to govern. It is not enough to know the letter behind their name. I urge you to vote for the best person for the job, the one you trust most to represent your concerns, particularly in your local elections.

And we must also consider the most effective level of government for all roles of government. Clearly, some things can only be done at the Federal Level, such as Our National Defense, but do we want California and New York involved in Our Schools? Do we want our hard-earned tax dollars paying for ACORN and the politicization of Chicago Schools?

If I must choose between tax money sent to Washington or sent to Nashville, I'll choose Nashville. If I must choose between tax money sent to Nashville or Gainsboro, I'll choose Gainsboro. Why? You have more control over the Gainsboro Government and how it spends its money than you do over Washington. Local Elections are important, more important than many realize. There are fewer middlemen between you and your city budget than you and the national budget.

Government must be returned to the lowest level that can govern. The governed have the most power at the lowest level. Our federal government is out of control and that is why we must send a Common Sense Congressman to Washington. But we must also vote in the best members of our communities to every level of government.

No longer should we allow our politicians to believe that their party membership means an automatic return to power. We do have a choice in the next election and I hope that every eligible voter goes to the ballot box and casts ONE vote for the person they trust most. I hope to earn your trust in the upcoming two years and that having earned your trust, that you will find it worth your time to go to the ballot box and cast your vote.

I can not tell you to or expect you to trust me. It must be earned. I will not claim to be an honest politician. I am reluctantly running for political office and I trust neither a person who has to tell me they are honest nor a politician that tells me to trust them. Honesty is proven daily in awkward situations and trust is proven daily in things that might not otherwise be known.

But, investigate your choices in representatives to all levels of government. Register to vote and do so.
TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

Education & Experience

There is no substitute for Experience. No amount of education can substitute for the knowledge gained from doing.

A truly enlightening time in my life was my experience in Africa. It taught me lessons on many subjects, including politics. I was able to see the ineffectiveness of the UN and the corruption of politicians in its raw state.

The complexities necessary to fool the educated people of the United States were not necessary and not used there. The people there placed trust in the educated elites and the elites used that trust to betray the people. Many well-meaning people of Europe and America were there to "help" these "poor, uneducated" people but their methods often made things worse, not better.

While they gave out food, they robbed the farmers of their income and while robbing the farmers of income, they robbed the land of its farms. The well-meaning Westerners stole the self-respect by creating an environment of begging, with "free."

When people do not earn but are given, they become dependent on the giver. When they lose their ability to earn, they lose their self-respect. "It is better to give than to receive." Giving empowers those that do and has the power to enslave those that receive.

Those well-meaning Westerners pitied the people of Africa but they did not respect them. They feared the people of Africa but did not listen to them. They threw cash out of the windows of their cars but would not shake the hands of Africans. They thought they were better than the people they were "helping."

A person is not better than another because of their education, their bank account, or their job. We each have a part in the Success of Our Nation. Our Farmers are important. Our Plumbers are important. Our Carpenters are important. And when it comes time to decide on Agriculture, it's a good idea to bring in Farmers for advice, not just a Harvard Law Graduate.

Our politicians continue to tell us that they want to help us. They tell us they will help us by spending the money we earn better than we can. They tell us they will help us by giving us "free" stuff paid for with our sweat. They tell us they know best the morals our children should learn. They tell us we need to be ruled by Chicago Politicians chosen by NY elitists paid for by California Celebrities. And they warn their members to get their shots before they come see us at NASCAR races.

So, the next time a politician offers you something for "free," ask them how expensive that really is. Ask them how many of your tax dollars it will take to pay the bureaucrats they'll pay before they give you back your "free" stuff. And when they claim it will only cost $4 per American for a $5 trinket, ask them how many Americans are paying how much and who gets the trinket. You'll often find that you are being asked to pay $4 for you and each member of your family while also adding interest to the debt and seeing an able but lazy man get a trinket for his vote.

We are supposed to have a Government of the People for the People, but we instead have entrenched Washington Insiders who think they can fool us. It is time to send some good old Tennessee Common Sense to Washington. It is time to send a Veteran to Congress that will call a plumber, not a lawyer, when the pipes are leaking.

Supporting Our Troops Decisively

Education prepares one to capitalize on Experience, but there is no substitute for Experience.

In the Military, We constantly trained for a job we as a Nation and as Soldiers hoped would never be needed. We have the best trained and best equipped Military in the world. Having worked with troops of other Nations, I can tell you that we have the best Military in the World, with only our allies able to challenge that ranking. There is only one force in the World that can defeat Our Military: The US Congress.

Our Volunteer force is a key part of that. Our Military is Professional and upholds the Law of Land Warfare. We have taken Honor in Uniform to the highest of levels.

When I joined the Army, there were few Viet Nam Veterans left in it and they garnered great respect. We hoped that we could learn from their experience. A few years later, we gained some of that experience in Desert Storm. And by the time we went to Afghanistan, there were few Desert Storm Veterans still in. Today, most of Our Military has experience in warfare.

Our Generals have trained for decades and are experienced in leading men on the battlefield. No amount of intelligence nor learning can substitute for that experience and training. It doesn't matter if one is a genius and graduated the top of his Harvard Law Class if he is not the General on The Ground, he has no business dictating the tactics of the mountains of Afghanistan.

The mean streets of Washington are distant from those of Baghdad and Bagram. The air-conditioned offices of DC do not substitute for the realities of Kandahar, Kabul, and the Hindu Kush.

Politicians are NOT Generals and nothing in Washington can substitute for the knowledge of the battlefield Our Generals experience. Our Politicians have committed us to war. They owe Our Generals and Our Troops the full support to Succeed in what they have asked of Our Military.

When a Veteran becomes a Politician, he brings many experiences to Washington, but the most important is the knowledge that he is not a General. The Battlefield Commander must be afforded the tools, the people, and the equipment to get the job done.

A Combat Veteran understands what he is asking of Our Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers, Sons, & Daughters. A Combat Veteran has risked all and sacrificed much in keeping this Nation Free. When he weighs the question of asking the same of the next generation, he does so with the knowledge of how much is being asked and against the threat that is posed. But once committed, he understands the Nation and Our Politicians must be behind Our Troops and provide them the tools to succeed.

When you ask our troops their thoughts on the War, one of the loudest complaints is that the News is not telling the whole story. The News does not tell of Our Successes. The News does not tell of Our Generosity. The News does not tell of Our Honor.

This has led to a false perception that things are worse than they are. It has allowed for our politicians to use Our Troops for political gain. They have used the sympathies of the American People to undermine the very thing they claim to be supporting. The politicians of California and New York have held hostage the Defense Budget for political gain. And lock step with them, have been the party adherents who have become their followers, not our leaders.

What we see in Washington today is akin to a Freshman Art student telling our seasoned Farmers to plant their seeds in January because we need to send vegetables to the stores in March, while at the same time dictating the type of equipment to be used, because they read an article in Outdoor Living.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day

We have 58,010 Veterans in the 6th District. Hopefully every member of the District had an opportunity to demonstrate their gratitude to one or more of Our Veterans. I'm proud of the patriotism of Our District. I'm proud to know that when our Nation calls, Tennessee and Our District come through. I'm proud that we honor Our Veterans.

The Cannon Wire has done a great job of covering the celebrations:

I remember walking into the Cannon County Courthouse for the first time and seeing the walls covered with pictures and lists of medals and accomplishments of Our Veterans. They've somehow managed to find more wallspace despite pictures so abundant that the frames are like wallpaper. The town square in Woodbury will always be special to me. They don't know me though they've seen me at my best and at my worst. They are to be commended for their friendly and helpful attitude.

Woodbury is the center of our State and the center of Our District. It is representative of Middle Tennessee: friendly, responsive, and caring. Our Civil Servants in the Cannon County Courthouse demonstrate the Southern Grace we are known for. Our Federal Bureacrats could learn a lot from them. If the VA were as gracious as are our civil servants in Cannon County are, there would be no complaints in our newspapers.

But today was a day to honor Our Veterans and many across the district did so. It was not just Woodbury. Shelbyville invites Veterans to their schools as well as do so many other schools, cities, and counties. My nieces and nephews have asked me to come many times.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The 1st Amendment

When a man swears on his life to protect a document, it is a good idea to have an idea of what that piece of paper is and what makes it worth his life. Whereas the Constitution itself defines the roles and responsibilities of the branches of government, it is the Bill of Rights which makes it important enough to protect with the lives of the Troops.

Bill of Rights
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or
the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government
for a redress of grievances.

Each Amendment in the Bill of Rights is important. Amongst other things, this one protects the right of the people to be wrong. It protects free speech, no matter its offensiveness. And it protects free speech in various environments, in protests, in news media, and in religion specifically.

Across our District we have many denominations of Christianity and we have a few of other religions. Each of us is guaranteed protection to practice our religion, our faith, & our beliefs without persecution, prosecution, or interference. This is limited only in that we do not have the right to harm others in those rights. We do not have the right to interfere in the rights of others to do the same.

With rights come responsibilities. We have the right to a free press and the press has the responsibility to wield their tremendous power justly. Journalists are the lawyers in the Court of Public Opinion and Editors are the Judges. They should conduct themselves with the same level of ethics in rules of evidence as is required of our court system.

Journalists put forth a case for or against our fellow citizens, for or against our employers, for or against our politicians. Editors have the responsibility to filter the words of their journalists of unprovable accusations. We, the people, are the jury that decides the public backlash for or against those that fail to live up to morals and values we expect of civilized society in America.

We are blessed in Middle Tennessee that we have journalists of greater ethics than do the larger papers. It seems the smaller the newspaper, the more ethical its staff. As readership has dwindled for the largest of papers, sensationalism and political activism has increased. Some well-known and previously respected newspapers have lost the public trust because they have become little more than gossip columns preaching a party.

With rights come responsibilities. We do not have the right to use our rights to trample the rights of others. The best example of this is the Westboro Gang. I do not call them by the name they claim because they do not act as Christians. They abuse the 1st Amendment to attack the rights of others in their time of grief.

This very week, the Westboro Gang has planned to disrupt the fair city of Huntsville in their time of mourning.

They do have a right to be wrong. They have a right to believe in their misguided hatred. They have a right to speak about their hatred. They have a right to their religion. They have a right to protest.

They do NOT have a right to interfere in the rights of others to practice religion. They do NOT have a right to spread their hatred without response from good citizens of our Nation. They do NOT have the right to disrupt church services of other and of funerals.

The question then is how do we respect the rights afforded All Americans without allowing some to trample the rights of others. The first line of defense must come from Our Citizens. Every form of hatred, including this one, can be combated with Free Speech. When good men and women stand up and demonstrate with their own speech that hate is not tolerated in their own names it has a positive effect.

But the Westboro Gang desire public attention more than anything else. Our media have to weigh the reward they give to the Westboro Gang for their negative actions versus the public's need and right to know. It is a difficult decision, or should be, for our editors, producers, and publishers.

Our Baptist churches have a right to seek legal counsel over the damage done to their good names by a group that does not reflect their values, but claims their name. That is a matter for the church leadership, their lawyers and the courts.

But how does this fall into role of government and our representatives? We must protect the rights of the 1st Amendment as well as demand the responsibilities. We must protect the rights of the victims of the Westboro Gang without squashing the rights of Americans to the 1st Amendment.

Most cities have specific requirements for permits to public gatherings. I would urge our municipal politicians and governments to apply these judiciously and fairly. We have laws that govern trespass and interference with funerals. When these laws are broken, our prosecutors should give the criminals a fair trial.

The 1st Amendment does not afford us the right to break laws in its name. A religious adherent does not have a 1st Amendment right to behead someone. A journalist does not have a right to break into a person's house. The leader of a protest does not have a right to incite a riot.

So, after reviewing the laws already on the books, we may need to implement legislation that protects the rights of Americans from the infringement of others. But this is a slippery path which can only be taken with great care. It must be based on protecting the rights of Americans, not only from the government, but also from abuse of other citizens.

It can not be such as has been proposed in the past. Free Speech cannot be stifled under "hate speech" laws. Non-offensive speech needs no protection. But our rights do not afford us the right to practice them on the property of others. Prudence and character mean that some words are voluntarily stricken from my usage, but that does not mean that I have the right to make it illegal for you to use.

Faith and belief mean that we each hold certain values and morals and that should not be infringed by those of other denominations or religions or lack thereof.

In the first amendment, we can also find a very Christian belief in the right to self-determination, the fundamental belief that every American should determine their own path to the after-life, that none can be forced to believe as do we, that none can be forced to the path we believe to lead to eternity.

In the first amendment, we find the right to be wrong and to let the world know that we are but we also find the right of others to tell us we are wrong.

Our Representatives in Government pledge to uphold the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. Our Troops pledge to protect the US Constitution with their lives, from all enemies, foreign & domestic. There is no time frame placed on these pledges. It does not expire.

Our Constitution provides most importantly for our ability to change our government, peaceably, every two years. It is time that we put people in office those who have protected it with their lives and will uphold it with their responsibilities.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Personal Information & An Open Dialogue

After reading what I've put out so far, I was asked: "Is your name really Tennessee Taylor?"

Yes, my name is really Taylor. And over the next two years, much more information will be presented as to which Taylor I am. We will get to know each other and you'll receive more of my history and experiences, but right now, it's more important to me to listen to you and to address the issues and my thought processes on how to deal with them.

I've fought uphill battles in the past. I've been part of success when we were told "that can never happen." And have no doubt, I realize this is an uphill battle. Representative Gordon is a popular candidate that has done many good things and received a lot of positive press.

On the other hand, we have good people in Middle Tennessee and we deserve a choice between two good candidates. The winner of the 2010 election should earn your vote, your trust, and your respect. As we move forward, I hope that I can earn that as well as that of Representative Gordon. I hope we can open up an honest debate on the issues and an open dialogue with you.

For now, I prefer to avoid the distraction of my personal experiences. This is not about me. It is not about Representative Gordon. It is about the people of the 6th District, their concerns and their issues. It is about what is best for the 6th District, for Tennessee, and for the Nation.

I would hope that we'll open a dialogue between the people of the district, in comments and in email, and one that is willing to represent you in Washington. Your name will be published only if you authorize it.

No, I'm not a fan of Washington. The biggest deterrent to a bid to run is the amount of time I'd have to spend there. I don't like the cold. I don't like the hot air inside the Capitol Building. I don't like the two-faced personalities of those that work there. But it's important to Tennessee and the Nation that we have good Representatives there, willing and able to stand up to the New York Elitists, the Chicago Machine, and the Hollywood Idealists as well as the Washington Insiders.

It's time for some good old fashioned Tennessee Common Sense in Congress.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Living In The Big Time

After watching the Big & Rich video "Big Time," I reflect on just how pertinent those words are to Middle Tennessee, Our Citizens, and this potential campaign.

Keep in mind that Big & Rich have not yet in any way endorsed this campaign. John Rich has demonstrated his love for this Nation and his gratitude to Our Veterans & Troops. Perhaps, in the future, he'll allow us the use of his material, but until he authorizes it, I have to respect his property:

When you meet me, I may be driving my beat up old work truck. I wanted a workhorse that I wouldn't be worried about dinging up. It has a strong drivetrain that takes no issue with pulling a trailer full of rock, lumber, or trees. It ain't pretty but it gets the job.

Or I may be on the Harley, enjoying the backroads of our District. It's the only new vehicle I've owned. My reward to myself for my time in Afghanistan. At 40+ miles per gallon, it's great during times of high gas prices and it's therapeutic. I find few things more relaxing than taking in the sights and smells of our farms and forests.

When I saddle up, I'm not in a hurry, so if you are, I'll try to find a place to let you pass.

I'm a simple man but that does not mean I'm a stupid man. I look at the convulutated difficult language that Congress passes as legislation and know that it's unnecessary. There is little valid reason for the lawyeresque language they write into law. I can only imagine that its designed to keep us in the dark as to what they're up to.

My decades in the Military helps me interpret the stuff but I ask you, how did a few Senators write 450+ pages of legalese in 2 days? How many of our Senators and Representatives actually had time to read the measures they voted into law? Why did these Used Car Salesmen push it through with such urgency when Our Citizens had seen the "crisis" coming for months and years? Why should banks in NYC be forced to accept the money loaned from China and collected with interest from Smithville?

The same elitist politicians that tell us that we aren't smart enough to choose our own retirement investments have created a US Taxpayer Investment Fund, buying up banks with tax money. We have a Chicago Politician telling us we need to be able to sell our investments more readily at the very time that stocks are cheap. At the very time that Warren Buffett is buying the best companies on the market at rock bottom prices, our "representatives" are using OUR money and charging us interest on it to buy the worst investments on Wall Street.

We are now the shareholders in banks, whether we like it or not. But unlike most shareholders, we have no vote in how things are ran or even if we wanted to be owners of the company. We have no say in how they use our money or if they use it for their high paid executives to hobnob at British or Californian resorts. We cannot fire the executives that caused the mess nor stop them from collecting millions in "golden parachutes" while they did. We were unable in 2008 to fire the politicians that forced this down our throats.

And they are telling us that we have not only the duty to pay our own mortgages but also the mortgages of those that don't pay their own!? Why should our responsible citizens who pay their bills on time be taxed more so that those that don't pay their bills on time are rewarded?

If I told you that your neighbors were in need and that we asked each to throw what we can into the kitty to help them out, the Citizens of Our District would do so. But if I told you we collected $3.2 Million and after paying the bureacrats and shysters that got our neighbors into the mess, we'd have $320,000 to help, you'd tell me to get lost. We are a caring and generous people but we're a bit smarter with our money than that. But that is what Our Government is forcing us to do.

These economic policies of Washington would be like a farmer going out to his field and finding the weakest bull and the weakest cows and using them as his breeding program while taking the best and strongest to the slaughterhouse. It would be like a forest owner cutting down his oak for firewood he didn't need and replanting it with Sumac.

Yes, it costs money to run a government. There is a need to collect taxes. But the goal of government should not be to become our Nation's primary provider of employment. Our citizens should not have to work 2-4 days a week to pay the salaries of bureacrats, politicians and government.

We need to look at the roles and responsibilities of governments. We need to identify what should be provided at what level of government most efficiently. We need to bring government spending under control and that means cutting the waste of a bloated government overstepping its bounds and interfering in our lives unnecessarily. But the citizens of Sparta should not be paying for Chicago Students to be indoctrinated in a particular political ideology.

The Cookeville High School should not be forced to use the textbooks legislated by California. And yes, when the State of California bans words from the authorized textbooks of its school system, it effects the textbooks available for schools the Cookeville Schoolboard can purchase.

Would you prefer to send your tax dollars to Washington to divide up between Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, paying the bureacrats that collect it, audit it, count it, and choose where to send it or would you prefer to send your tax dollars directly to the SchoolBoard that you have chosen to administer Our Children's Schools?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Party Affiliation

The 6th District has a strong affiliation with the Democratic Party. While I could declare membership therein and would have the strongest potential for success or I could declare membership in the Republican Party and be nearly assured a place on the ballot in November 2010, neither would be fair to the Citizens of the 6th District.

For too long, our politicians have been beholden to their parties. Our Next Representative must place the people of this district ahead of the likes of Senator Harry Reid, Representive Nancy Pelosi, Representative Barney Frank as well as their sponsors such as Hollywood's Sean Penn and New York's George Soros.

Our Representatives should not feel that the letter behind their name assures them of their retention of power. Representative Bart Gordon ran an ad in the 2008 campaign season claiming his support from Republicans, Democrats, & Independents. I would hope that he will demonstrate his support for Common Sense and a true Representative of the District through an endorsement of this Independent.

I run as an Independent, because both parties have some positive and some negative positions on their platform. Neither party can fully represent my positions nor the Citizens of Our District.

The Representative of Woodbury should not feel compelled to vote for CEO bailouts of big NYC banks. The Representative of McMinnville should not be forced to support Barney Frank's call to cut the Military. The Representative of Murfreesboro should not sell us the partisanship of legislation because the party presented one while the opposition presented another. The Representative of Cookeville should be afforded the opportunity to truthfully tell us that each bill has positive and negative points and find a compromise between the parties that best serves Our Veterans and Our Troops.

When the Representative of Auburntown addresses the issues, he should be free from partisanship, explaining the reasons he opposed or supported legislation.

Does that make the campaign for office more difficult? Yes, many of our citizens have come to trust a particular party. It is easy to vote simply along the lines of a party rather than research the positions and the character of the candidates.

In the purest form of Democracy, every citizen would vote on every piece of legislation. In Our Democracy, a Republic, we choose Representatives to know, to research, to read and to understand the legislation which they are making into laws. Whether we realize it or not, we are placing a tremendous amount of trust in the man (or woman) we send to Washington.

That trust has been betrayed. Our Politicians have become more interested in retention of power and hence the attainment of campaign war chests and therefore the pandering to special interests, corporations, and Washington lobbyists.

As one family member told me, we haven't had true Representatives in Washington of our Citizens in Decades. Let's change that.