Fentress Times Op-Ed

Try That in a Small Town…or what’s happening in Fentress County library?

Try That in a Small Town,”  is a song by Jason Aldean of what can what happen in a small town over bad behavior.  The nuggets of truth add to the humor. 

What about Fentress County?  Have we escaped the craziness of the “blue” states? What about Tennessee’s own “blue” cities?  Oh, you mean places like Nashville and Memphis?  Well, just try that in a small town. Okay.

One of the worse horrors of the last 3 years or so is the blatant and continuous public assault on our children. The media and airwaves have exploded with what used to be X-rated content.  It is becoming normal.  That’s the plan.  It’s called “sexual grooming.”   Legally, the American Bar Association defines sexual grooming as, “a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person’s or organization’s trust with the intent to be sexually abusive.”1   Sexual abuse is not just physical, it is also introducing words, pictures and actions that are not age appropriate.     

So it’s not just from a person, it can be an organization.  Like the charitable foundation of assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky of Penn State University.   The term “grooming” was introduced into the public vocabulary after he was convicted of  the sexual abuse of boys participating in his charitable foundation. 2     

As far back as 2006, the professional medical, “Journal  of Sexual Aggression”  indicates there are many types of  grooming including “grooming of the environment.”3   That means creating an environment for a child that normalizes adult themes.     

Should we be concerned in Fentress County?  Are people or places introducing things of a sexual nature that are not age appropriate?  Well, here’s another question:  Are you comfortable offering free condoms at your public library on open shelving between the front desk and the children’s section?  The library personnel report that they are recipients of donations from an organization called Operation Sharing Tennessee.  The donations are free but must be given away to the public. So if you want free handouts, you must conform to their “rules.”   Sounds fair, just do as you are told and you get free stuff.  This is a step up from lollipops.  Good thing they did not require show and tell.        

Who is really behind this?  Operation Sharing Tennessee is a Facebook page whose website redirects to Appalachian Life Quality Initiative, an arm of Alliance for Better Nonprofits who is a part of the United Way of Greater Knoxville.  All of these are non profits, and a great place to funnel money by people who have an agenda and want to get out a message. The mission of Alliance is “collective impact” and success is measured by “social change.”4   They do not define what social change is. However, their resources include “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion,” the very definition of critical race theory which our Tennessee general assembly outlawed in schools and, governments across the country are demanding the deletion of in public organizations and higher education schools.  Do the ends justify the means?  Is getting free “stuff” worth opening the door to whatever anyone wants to introduce?  Should we consider the source?  Check out Fentress County Library where you can get your free bag of chips, vitamin water, and condoms. There are plenty.






A Silent Hero has been Lost

When I was a young girl, my mother used to say to me, “you don’t have to know ‘why’ about everything!”  Having never grown out of it in spite of my mother’s exasperation,  I’m still asking “why.”  Now I’m asking, “why did John Mark Windle lose the this last 2022 election?”

The last 2 years has seen an upheaval in every area of life.  Our social, emotional, physical and spiritual lives have been turned on end, challenged terribly, and events hurl at us like water out of a fire hydrant,  so hard we cannot concentrate on it all and shut down.  And forget.  People must have forgot what this man has done for the people of the counties he represented- Fentress, Morgan and Overton-  in the Tennessee state legislature for the last 28 years.

Or maybe they never knew.  An influx of people into Tennessee might have voted a straight ticket without knowing the long faithful service of one of  Tennessee’s own.  With no knowledge, people jumped into the “Red wave”.

John Mark’s name was familiar to me only from cards sent to my address within his district for almost 10 years. However, as a transplant, and not involved in county or city affairs, I did not develop a point of reference to get to know him.

That changed last February when as a representative of a new political grassroots group I met John Mark in Nashville during the legislative sessions. We needed to voice our concerns on issues he would be voting on so we went looking for this unknown man who represented half of our county.

Our first experience was his laughter. He read literature we handed on our group as an introduction, ignoring our conversation to read it first. When he immediately saw our Opinion piece on “Will Tennessee Turn Blue?” (1)  he howled with laughter, and it opened a door to knowing a delightful  man.

This local country boy grew up in Livingston Tennessee.  His people still populate the various counties nearby.  His roots are deep Democrat.  We got the sense that John Mark identifies with the democrats known as Blue Dog’s from the 1990s which was “ fiscally and socially conservative, representing the center-right in the Democratic Party and themselves as the ‘commonsense’ alternative to political extremism.“ (2)(3)

Last summer, the Democratic party ousted John Mark.  Why? (See, it’s good to ask questions). No one will admit why, even John  Mark.

This author is willing to make a guess– because he voted too conservatively,  contrary to the “political correct”  platform of the new progressive Democratic party.  He mysteriously and abruptly did switch parties in March 2022 to Independent. (4)  And subsequently, for a short time, John Mark was the only Independent in the Tennessee General Assembly.  That’s the ticket he ran on November 8, 2022.

So what did his colleagues at the General Assembly think of him?  He was Chair of the House Ethics Committee. The other legislators trusted him to “judge” them, and punish them for wrongdoing should an occasion arise. Who do you trust to do that in your life?  The safest bet is to pick someone you know who is known to judge fairly, impartially, and justly. 

Trying to find information on John Mark is not easy in the printed records. He is not a man to seek recognition of his deeds. So we decided to talk to local and state leaders who have known him personally in his capacity as representative over the last 28 years.

County Executive Brian Langley of Morgan county knows John Mark well in large part because he worked for the local newspaper as a reporter for many years before his current position.  His biggest impressions are that John Mark is a true “ervant, he goes “above and beyond”  which is well reflected in his concerned for the individual citizens, whom some call “the little guy.”  Byian comments that in general, politicians pay more attention to big projects like highway projects and grants, which are needed. But John Mark was just as concerned that an elderly citizen needed to get her roof fixed.

State representative Kelly Keisling says, “Good men are rare and far between. A good man knows what he stands for, what he ought to do, what he will never do and believes in the principles that he will use to guide his lifw.   In the twelve years that I served in the Tennessee General Assembly with John Mark Windle, this best illustrates the individual that I came to know. A true public servant.”

If you want to judge for yourself, take a look at his record. (5) You can find out how he voted 2006 – 2022.  Take a look and see what you think. And then ask yourself, “what did I base my voting decision on?”

When questioned about his policies John Mark says, “I vote how my constituents want me to vote.”   Would that be the Democrats or the 70% Republican population?   How about the forgotten, salt of the earth, common man?  The one who carries most of the weight of the decisions made in government?  How about the party of “common sense” that seems lost these days.  Perhaps that is who and what John Mark stands for.  And it cost him.  It cost him big time.

We lost a silent hero. One who did not do what is convenient, politically correct or even politically expedient.  We lost a man who stood up for his constituent values, who stood against the tide of partisan popularity, who stood tall in the face of any adversity for his positions, and who stood up for his people of the counties he represented. He will be missed.  

(1) www.tennactiongroup.org

(2)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Dog_Coalition

(3) https://politicaldictionary.com/words/blue-dog-democrats/

 (4) https://tennesseestar.com/2022/04/13/pro-2nd-amendment-state-rep-john-mark-windle-leaves-democrat-party-will-run-for-re-election-as-independent/

(5) https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/24429/john-windle


What About the 4 Proposed Tenn. Constitutional Amendments?

How much do you know about the four Constitutional Amendments you’ll vote on November 8? (1) The wording can be confusing, so here are some things to consider. First and foremost, if you want your vote on the amendments to count, you must vote for governor. In Tennessee, the vote tally for governor (that is total votes for all candidates) is divided by two to determine the break point. According to Article XI, Section 3 of the Tennessee Constitution, (2)  if the number of yes votes on any amendment exceeds 50 percent +1 of the total votes for candidates for governor, the amendment passes and becomes part of the Constitution. If you do NOT vote for a candidate for governor, your ballot counts as a YES for all proposed amendments even if you mark NO on your ballot, according to Rep. Chris Todd (R).

(see References at end of article for more information on each proposed amendment).

Constitutional Amendment #1

Summary:   This amendment would add a new section to article XI of the Tennessee Constitution to make it illegal for any person, corporation, association, or the State of Tennessee or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person because of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization.

Right to work is already a part of Tennessee Code Annotated §50-1-201 (3) and this codifies it, makes it law. So why do we need it? House Speaker Sexton says it will, “ingrain this key principle of Tennessee business into our constitution.” (4) Another lawmaker says this proposal preempts any potential challenge by future democratic politicians.  Support is split along party lines with one republican house member voting with democrats against the amendment.

However, several conservative grassroots groups in Tennessee, who act as watchdogs over the supermajority republican legislature, urge caution over the words “employee organization”  included along with “labor unions.”  This phrasing has no court precedent on the meaning.  It could prohibit any kind of activity besides union.  Further, one constitutional attorney points out that activists use the courts to interpret meaning as they want, which is how the courts redefined ‘liberty’ and gave us Roe vs. Wade.

Rep. Chris Todd (R) asserts that  “employee organization” could be defined later by legislation.   If so, then why would the multitude of attorneys who oversee and fine tune legislative documents leave undefined language in the proposal?  Would you feel comfortable signing a contract with undefined terms?

Altering a document as sacred as our Constitution deserves measured consideration. Further, public debate has been limited as few knew of the posting on the proposals until just recently.

A stated by one commentator, “right to work has persisted by state statue now for 75 years because it works.” (5)  It is a safe guess it will continue to work for another 75 years.

Constitutional Amendment # 2

SummaryThis amendment would add to article III, section 12 of the Tennessee Constitution a process for the temporary exercise of the powers and duties of the governor by the Speaker of the Senate—or the Speaker of the House if there is no Speaker of the Senate in office—when the governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor. While a Speaker is temporarily discharging the powers and duties of the governor, the Speaker would not be required to resign as Speaker or to resign as a member of the legislature; but the Speaker would not be able to preside as Speaker or vote as a member of the legislature. A Speaker who is temporarily discharging the powers and duties of the governor would not get the governor’s salary but would get the Speaker’s salary.  The amendment would also exempt a Speaker who is temporarily discharging the powers and duties of the governor from provisions in the Constitution that would otherwise prohibit the Speaker from exercising the powers of the governor and from simultaneously holding more than one state office.

Currently, the Tennessee Constitution provides that the Lt. Governor would serve as governor, “ in the event of the death, resignation, or removal from office through impeachment and conviction of the governor of Tennessee.” (6) This amendment would add to the Constitution a provision for when the governor would be “unable to discharge the powers and dutiesdue to a temporary situation of either physical or mental disability.  This must be done by constitutional provision only, and as of now, Tennessee is the only state that does not provide for a temporary acting governor.

Constitutional attorneys ask several good questions, including: how and when does a temporary Governor’s status and the powers associated with it to be drawn to a close. (7) And, could this particular procedure could be used to oust the Governor such as when an attempt was made using the 25th Amendment against Trump?

Others ask if this amendment actually gives the Tennessee Executive Branch, not the voters,  the power to replace the governor.  The summary reads in part:  “A majority of the commissioners of administrative departments (may submit) written, signed declaration that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.”  There are no conditions for this “declaration” by these unelected officials!  (8)  A more restrictive clause would be all commissioners, not just a majority.  The governor appoints his cabinet of department administrators,  but it may be prudent and to the people’s benefit to leave this critical decisions to elected officials who are directly responsible to the people.

Constitutional Amendment # 3

Summary:  This amendment would change the current language in article I, section 33 of the Tennessee Constitution, which says that slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a person who has been duly convicted of crime, are forever prohibited in this State. The amendment would delete this current language and replace it with the following language: “Slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an inmate from working when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.”

The new wording, in effect, takes away labor as punishment for a crime, and makes it legal (not lawful) to use inmates for free labor. (9)  Some say CoreCivic— a private prison-owner company which houses 30% of Tennessee prisoners– was involved in writing this amendment. They have a dismal record, which may bring into question the nature of their influence. (10)

Several legislators admit to being unsure of this legislation which was hotly debated on the floor.  While the proposal passed, several lawmakers admit they are unsure how they are going to vote when they go to the polls. (11) Tennessee citizens may question whether the state should pay prisoners to work while also paying for their room and board. Then there is question as what happens with the money.  Should it go to the prisoners, the facility, or to the victims?

Constitutional Amendment # 4

Summary:  This amendment would delete article IX, section 1 of the Tennessee Constitution, which prohibits ministers of the gospel and priests of any denomination from holding a seat in either House of the legislature.

The practice of prohibiting clergy from serving in public office came from English law to prevent “dual office-holding.”  Thirteen states initially banned clergy from serving in public office in the drafting of their constitutions, but only Tennessee and Maryland kept this provision in their constitutions going into the 20th century. (12)

In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on behalf of a Baptist minister from Chattanooga that this provision violated his First Amendment right by forcing him to choose between exercising his spiritual calling and participating in a public capacity. (13)  Therefore, this provision has already been invalidated, and the change simply aligns the language of the state constitution with current interpretations of the U.S. Constitution.  Rep. Johnny Shaw is a minister and a member of the TN General Assembly.

Many church-goers believe conservative values and morals are demonstrated in priests and ministers and they are therefore ideally positioned to represent a population.(14) However, an oath to the Constitution must be taken upon entering office.  Some may question whether taking this oath conflicts with the oath of office of the ministry.  Christian scripture includes, “do not swear an oath at all.”(15)   Further, a question of “two masters” may inhibit decision-making by creating conflicts of interests.  Pastors, by definition, are those whose duty is to spread the word of God and shepherd followers seeking spiritual guidance. They are to be dedicated to studying and preaching. (16)  Would holding both offices create a potential distraction for either one of the other? Ultimately, any minister, priest or officious religious representative and a congregation must decide how important this really is and where or how loyalties lie.


  1. https://sos.tn.gov/announcements/proposed-constitutional-amendments
  2. https://law.justia.com/constitution/tennessee/article-xi/section
  3. https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/workforce/documents/majorpublications/requiredposters/Right-to-Work-Poster.pdf
  4. https://tennesseestar.com/2021/04/30/constitutional-amendment-establishing-right-to-work-regardless-of-union-membership-passed-by-tennessee-general-assembly/
  5. https://tennesseestands.org/commentary/the-yes-on-1-right-to-work-amendment-deserves-a-bit-of-review-before-you-head-to-the-polls-on-november-8th/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieutenant_Governor_of_Tennessee
  7. See #2 above.
  8. https://wethepeoplev50.com/blog/f/corrupt-amendments-to-our-beloved-tennessee-constitution
  9. See #8 above.
  10. https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2019/jul/16/corecivic-prisons-tennessee-have-twice-many-murders-four-times-homicide-rate-state-run-facilities/
  11. This author is witness to these comments.
  12. https://ballotpedia.org/Tennessee_Constitutional_Amendment_4,_Remove_Religious_Minister_Disqualification_Amendment_(2022)
  13. https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/738/mcdaniel-v-paty
  14. https://churchleaders.com/pastors/pastor-articles/261864-well-church-understand-role-pastor.html
  15. Matthew 5:33-37 NASB
  16. https://work.chron.com/duties-responsibilities-pastors-12586.html

Caution Needed by Fentress County School Board over Electric Buses

by Anne Beckett

This article is in response to the June 22 article in Fentress Times, “Electric Dreams and Harsh Realities.”

The article did a good job of assessing a potential benefit of electric vehicle buses for Fentress County schools. However, new studies bring to light other serious issues to consider. 

Electric vehicles (EVs) are still arriving upon the scene, and the demanding conversion from gas powered vehicles imposed upon us by the current federal administration is questionable as it creates additional demand on our already overburdened, and primarily fossil-fueled, electric grid, among other reasons.

This article will address research that indicates electric vehicles are not better for the environment and have more quality issues than gas-powered ones.

The current administration is in a push to convert the U.S. to electric vehicles.  However, only 20% of our energy needs are “renewable”, such as wind turbine. That means we are currently 80% dependent upon so called “fossil fuels” such as gasoline, coal, natural gas. Therefore, the comparison between electric and gas powered vehicles is really a comparison between burning gasoline or using a mix of coal and natural gas to produce electricity for an electric vehicle.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that EVs are worse for the environment than gas-powered ones.  EVs are not emissions-free:  charging an EV increases electricity demand — which is mostly provided by coal plants.  (Viva la coal!)  If the current administration’s plan is for EVs to reduce reliance on what is termed fossil fuels it is based on false pretenses and is going to fail miserably.

The argument over environment issues cannot be made if coal is the most used source to produce electricity. So where is the benefit? 

However, there are worse and bigger issues against electric vehicles.

J.D. Powers produces an annual “U.S. Initial Quality Study,” and has for the last 36 years. In their most recent study they compared the number of quality issues among electric, hybrids and gas-powered vehicles.  Per 100 vehicles (PP100), electric had 240 quality issues PP100, hybrids had 239 PP100 and gas had 175 PP100 quality issues.  Some of the issues are due to technical complexity which increases the likelihood of problems.  EVs are meant to “transform us in the era of the smart cars,” according to the article. So they are loaded with technologies like Bluetooth, touchscreen, and apps including remote door locks and battery charge. 

While gadget lovers may have fun with new ‘toys,’ most Americans prefer to use traditional gas vehicles because of “charging logistics, driving distance and maintenance costs.”  (Speaking of maintenance, owners of the 2014 Ford Focus will  have inoperable vehicles if and when the battery needs replacement: the cost would be $11,000, but batteries are no longer available.) 

Batteries for electric vehicles continue to be a problem. First, batteries are very expensive and not reusable. When they die, disposal in a landfill is problematic, as lithium batteries aren’t stable. They can cause fires that sometimes smolder for years. Toxic fumes are released, which not only are dangerous to breathe but can contribute to global warming. This defeats the original purpose of the EV.

Electric vehicles also contribute to the “greenhouse” effect they are supposed to be helping. This starts with the mining process. The process of mining the raw materials for the batteries releases CO2 emissions. Then these raw materials must be refined before they can be used in batteries; this causes more emissions.

The batteries for EVs require graphite. And there many problems with that.  China is the biggest producer of lithium-ion batteries and their precursor materials, especially graphite. So in effect, America is supporting an industry dominated and controlled by a hostile foreign power.  The “plan” to convert to EVs will enrich the Chinese Community party at the expense of the environment and U.S. Taxpayers.

A hybrid auto battery uses 22 pounds of graphite;  EVs demand 110 pounds of graphite.   Graphite production produces significant pollution.  China had to shut down production in their city of greatest graphite output.  Graphite dust is toxic whether inhaled or leached into the water supply. Worse, hydrochloric acid is used to process mined graphite into a usable form. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and damaging to ALL forms of life.

In its 2022 report, the U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey reports that in 2021, over 70 percent of the global cobalt production came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The problem, according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, is that dust from cobalt mines often contains toxic metals such as uranium, and these mines may contain sulfur minerals that can generate sulfuric acid. When exposed to air or water, sulfuric acid can lead to acid mine drainage, polluting rivers and drinking water for hundreds of years. And, up to 40,000 children are estimated to be working in these mines under slave labor conditions.

Further, reports around the nation about vehicles bursting into flame should bring great concerns.  These are potentially due to the lithium-ion batteries.  More time is needed to determine if this is going to be a regular occurrence.

Electric vehicles may be more a part of a socialistic utopian dream than scientific reality.  Based on current research and experience, it may be a better idea to exercise patience as well as caution before jumping onboard with electric buses.  Further, it is never good to own the first of anything new. Wait until all the bugs are known, and a track record has been established. No matter how good it looks financially for now, even with “free” grant money, the “hidden charges” could bring buyers’ remorse with no recourse.

References for this article:

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/electric-car-battery-replacement-costs-more-than-car/ (This link was used for the quote on American’s preferring gas powered cars. It has since been removed.)

Sign Up For Legislative Alerts!

Will Tennessee Turn Blue? Tennessee is being targeted by the Left! The 2022 Legislative Session is critical with explosive issues about key freedoms being decided by the end of April. Our legislators are being bombarded by the opposition to approve radical agendas. What do you think about the following bills?:

• Do you want illegal immigrants to vote in Tennessee?
• Do you want K-12 textbooks to promote gay/lesbian and transgender lifestyles?
• Do you want covid vaccines mandatory for your K-12 children?
• Do you want laws that protect your medical and religious exemptions in the workplace?
• Do you want laws that keep churches open during pandemics?
• Do you want to be assured that our voting system is secure?

These key issues and others will be decided by the end of April with or without your input. Do you want your voice heard? Conservative voices are barely at a whisper. Legislators do count your calls and emails! And our elected men and women on the front lines want our help and support as they fight to make a difference.

Tennessee Action Group partners with other organizations and legislators to monitor upcoming bills. We send Alerts within 48 hours of voting – when calls and emails are most critical.

For Alerts that update on bills and how to contact your state legislators, sign up at:

A Look at Public Education Purpose and Oversight

What do you want your child to learn in school? Do you want an emphasis on basic education? Or do you want public schools to oversee his/her mental health “needs?” (1)

The Tennessee Commissioner of Education Penny Schwinn, after her appointment in 2019, implemented a 5-year plan to focus on students’ emotional needs called the “whole child” approach. (2) Schwinn says educators have identified “emotional needs” as a top concern. Is that why you send your child to school?

Schwinn’s “concerns” included an attempt to send someone to see every child in TN to conduct “well-being” checks as a “new government initiative.” (3) Are you ready to have a stranger knock on your door to check on your child’s “well-being”? If a child simply uses the word ”uncomfortable” in an interview with a state worker it can incur bureaucratic intervention.

In 1963, a Tennessean congressman entered a list of communist goals into the congressional record. Centralizing governmental control over education is goal #34. (4) Are we headed there?

Gov. Lee appointed Schwinn without her submitting a resume or receiving any legislative overview or support. The legislature has voiced repeated concerns about her policies and actions (for 3 years) threatening a “no confidence” vote on her even as Governor Lee continues to support her. (5)(6) 
Schwinn, a native Californian, signed a state plan in 2021 to submit TN schools to federal oversight. Look for masks and vaccine mandates this Spring, and then call your legislator and ask why. For further details see our website. (7)

(1) http://stand.org/washington/blog/2013/02/12/what-does-basic-education-mean

(2) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2019/11/5/21109209/whole-child-among-tennessee-s-new-priorities-amid-concerns-about-student-mental-health

(3) http://www.silentnomorepublications.com/Money/files/Communist_Goals_1963.pdf

(4) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2020/8/27/21404921/tennessee-lawmakers-want-answers-from-schwinn-after-fallout-over-child-well-being-checks

(5) https://www.parispi.net/opinion/columns/article_255b39ce-5ab2-11eb-909c-c7df41e31c55.html

(6) https://tn.chalkbeat.org/2020/9/10/21431460/gov-bill-lee-reasserts-support-of-education- commissioner-penny-schwinn-i-am-pleased-with-her-work 

(7)  On Telegram, look for “”The Great Takedown-TNDOEChat” to get all federal documents on how the federal government is planning a complete take down of education in Tennessee.  Expect masks and vaccine mandates by late Spring if TN is participating.

Appeared in January 26, 2022 Fentress Times

Duty to Oppose IIllegal Immigration in TN

Last June the TN legislature formed a committee to study illegal immigration in the state. They concluded their investigation but have not issued the final report.(1)

Committee member Senator Richard Briggs of Knoxville admits Tennessee has illegal immigrants, but says, “It is primarily a federally created problem.” He says Congress needs to take action. Congress is not acting. Why isn’t Tennessee?

Tennessee can not depend on Congress to protect its citizens from federally-permitted illegal activity.  Read the TN Constitution. (2)  It is the job of the state legislators to make laws to protect the citizens of Tennessee.

Sen. Briggs admits that Tennessee has an illegal immigration problem. But he says we are “not in crisis.” Really? Is crisis needed before any action is taken?

The federal government has zero transparency and is unwilling to communicate on any level with Tennessee. The feds have created an illegal problem, and our legislators’ job is to stop it at the border of Tennessee.

The issue is not about immigrants. It’s about illegal immigrants. And by doing nothing, TN is  participating in illegal activity. At the very least, start with laws to penalize business contracts with companies that transport illegals, as Florida’s Gov. DeSantis has done. Or, as Florida is also doing, budget $8 million to bus illegal immigrants to Biden’s Delaware. (3)

Your voice does matter. Call or write Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Kelly Kiesling to make sure committee members submit bills to penalize illegal immigration activity.

(1) https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/tennessee-senators-fear-little-can-be-done-to-curb-illegal-immigration-within-state/

(2) https://www.capitol.tn.gov/about/docs/TN-Constitution.pdf

(3) https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/12/13/desantis-seeks-8m-to-bus-illegal-aliens-out-of-florida-to-bidens-delaware-obamas-marthas-vineyard/

ADDENDUM: Report Issued https://tennesseeconservativenews.com/joint-study-committee-on-refugee-issues-releases-final-review-and-recommendations/

Appeared in January 12, 2022 Fentress Times

Who Rules Tennessee?

God warned his people about the danger of being ruled by a king, that is, one man. (1) Our country was founded on a division of powers to try and keep the same thing from happening. (2)

On March 11, 2020, Governor Bill Lee declared a State of Emergency with a lengthy executive order restricting life activities, including shutting down commerce, businesses and schools. (3, 4)

Tennessee statutes allow a state of emergency for 60 days in which time Gov. Lee can make temporary regulations called executive orders. (5) The state of emergency lasted 21 months.

During this time, the members of the General Assembly were unable to weigh in on any of these decisions. Instead, Gov. Lee ruled over covid restrictions through 62 executive orders.

The legislature is a coequal branch of government with exclusive responsiblity for making laws. (7) Several bills were submitted to limit a state of emergency and failed to pass. (8) We depend on our 133 representatives to juggle the many needs of Tennessee’s 6.9 million citizens.

The true definition of the word “emergency” is “an unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention.” A situation lasting 21 months is no longer an emergency.

Other states have more than 300 pending actions by their legislatures over governor’s powers. (9) (10) In January, its time for the Tennessee General Assembly to limit Gov. Lee’s ability to maintain a state of emergency. Thirty days is long enough. Call the offices of Sen. Ken Yager and Rep. Kelly Kiesling and let them know we depend upon them to ensure these limits are enacted.


Senator Ken Yager:  Email,  www.kenyager.com ; Phone (615) 741-1449

Rep. Kelly Kiesling: Email, rep.kelly.keisling@capitol.tn.gov
Phone (615) 741-6852


(1) Samuel 8:10-18

(2) https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers-an-overview.aspx

(3) Tennessee EO22 Lee_0.pdf

(4) https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/tennessee/tn-code/tennessee_code_58-2-110

(5) The duration of the protection provided by this subsection (l) shall not
exceed thirty (30) days, but may be extended by the governor by executive order
for an additional thirty (30) days, if required to ensure the provision of
emergency medical services in response to the catastrophic or major disaster.

(6) (HB9081, HB9029,
SP9024, HB 9072, HB1235, SB1169).

(7) https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/covid-cases-soar-gop-state-lawmakers-keep-fighting-limit-governors-n1247801

(8) https://www.etymonline.com/word/Emergency

(9) https://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/legislative-oversight-of-executive-orders.aspx

Legislative chambers in at least 47 states, Guam and Puerto Rico introduced or considered more than 300 bills or resolutions in 2021 that provide expressly for legislative involvement in and oversight of governors’ or executive actions during the Covid-19 pandemic or other emergencies. These actions include legislation that relates to legislatures’  ability to meet in special session. (For other legislation changing emergency management laws or other laws related to COVID-19, see NCSL’s COVID-19 database.)

(10) https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2021/05/opinion-legislators-must-rein-in-governors-unchecked-emergency-power.html

Hospitals should not keep families from loved ones

Medical personnel should not have the right to keep families away from their loved ones in the hospital.

In November, Tennessee law makers added a new statute in the special session bill (HB9076) forbidding separation from a family member while in the hospital during a covid emergency time. (1)(2)

However, Governor Lee wants to change this law in January, so it only applies to patients during end of life. (3)

No patient deserves to be separated from family even during a national or state emergency.

Hospitals are facing drastic shortages of personnel. Across the nation additional medical personnel are needed to fill 35% more jobs than last year.

In a time of crisis, when demands on skilled care are higher, patients need to have a family member present at all times. Particularly during covid, conflict and confusion can arise between families and doctors over treatment options. Families have a right to be present and involved in all decision-making. (4)

Further, isolation under any conditions threatens recovery. Stress, depression, loneliness and hopelessness can undermine treatment. Isolation is particularly dangerous for the elderly. (5)

Lawmakers in Nashville will be considering a change to the new law in January which currently requires hospitals to let a family member stay in the room. Our loved ones are depending on us to be their voice.

We have 30 days to call and write Gov. Lee, Sen. Ken Yager, Rep. Kelly Kiesling and Speaker Cameron Sexton, and tell them to keep this law as it is and allow one person to stay with a patient in the hospital.


Governor Bill Lee: Email, (615) 741-2001

Senator Ken Yager:  Email,  www.kenyager.com ; Phone (615) 741-1449

Speaker Cameron Sexton: Email Phone (615) 741-2343


(1) https://legiscan.com/TN/text/HB9077/2021; 14-6-104,CH 5, Sec 12b)


(3) https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=search&v=306710587943186

(4) (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hiring-crisis-health-care-job-postings-spike-35-george-anders/)


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