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(A letter to Madam Speaker Harwell personally, with copies to our area lawmakers)
January 22, 2015

Hon. Madam Speaker, esteemed Majority Leader McCormick, and Knox and Anderson County area lawmakers,

In 2009, Americans took to the streets protesting Obamacare before it even passed, launching a tidal wave of popular opposition of a depth and a ferocity not seen for decades. Please do not underestimate it.

Rather than waning, the outrage has only grown. Now that we’ve seen the lies that sold Obamacare exposed, the people are furious. Those facing tax penalties, increased premiums and canceled policies are incensed. Americans resent this monstrous intrusion, dishonestly passed on false promises, and the sentiment is even stronger in Tennessee. We do not want Obamacare imposed on us, not any part of it, and politicians have felt our wrath every election since. Health care policy belongs at home.

My group has seen and considered the Governor’s ‘Insure Tennessee’ waiver application. We’ve also reviewed several studies in favor which tabulate all the ‘benefits’ as if the money fell from the sky, yet which account for none of the costs.

We oppose the expansion and will be communicating—and energetically collaborating—with groups across the state, for the reasons below.

Despite the Governor’s sincere efforts to make a silk purse of it, there’s no escaping the facts: any TennCare expansion (‘ObamaCaid’) is still socialized medicine imposed on our state, still the camel’s nose under the tent. It’s still a federal poverty program for people who are not poor[1]; still strips the state of its policy prerogatives; and still makes a large portion of our population—and our politics—permanent 90% wards of the federal government. Adding insult to injury, the feds don’t even have the money they’ve promised—they’re borrowing just to keep their lights on, and borrowing it from us.
[1] By definition, 138% of Federal Poverty Level (the eligibility limit) is not ‘poor.’

It’s indisputable that an expansion relinquishes our legislature’s control over our health policy concerning those citizens. It does likewise for those to be added later. But besides surrendering this sovereignty to Washington’s bureaucrats, it’s also a trap. Should the Governor negotiate a legally enforceable escape clause—a dubious prospect—it would be politically impossible to exercise it. The Obama Administration’s Jonathan Grubers are gleefully counting on that.

Next, the fact that our taxes are supporting other states’ expansions—the blackmail argument—is not a sound reason to adopt a health policy, much less twist ourselves into knots to accommodate the ACA. Setting states against each other vying for each other’s health care money is simply another of the unAffordable Care Act’s cynical ploys, another reason to press for its repeal.

Notably, in all this debate I’ve not heard even one person suggest that obliging the state of Tennessee to provide health insurance to able-bodied middle-income workers is a good idea, yet that is exactly what’s being proposed.

Nor have I heard even one person suggest, if Tennesseans ever (unaccountably) concluded the state of Tennessee should provide health insurance to able-bodied middle-income workers, that we should finance such a program by having Washington tax us, set the rules, then give us part back. That would be the most wasteful, inflexible, inhumane, and cumbersome approach possible.

Whether to subject these Tennesseans and Tennesseans as a whole to national socialized medicine by parts is perhaps one of the most momentous decisions this General Assembly will ever face, and the General Assembly is facing it now.

We object most strenuously on every front—we do not wish these rights ceded to the federal government. This is not a proper role for the federal government, not their domain, not a constitutional function of the federal government, and it’s also not an intelligent means to enact, fund, or administer a health policy. ObamaCaid is coerced, dishonestly indirectly funded with taxes, tricks and gimmicks, on Washington’s terms.

If we want programs let them be enacted here, honestly paid, on our terms. That’s better, and it’s also the right way.

(For the Speaker’s convenience I’ve appended some of the educational materials we’re distributing to our members, below. This material includes links to various authoritative articles and references.)

With greatest respect,
James Arthur

Vice Chair
The Knoxville Tea Party
“Smaller government
that lives within its means
and adheres to the Constitution”

Date: Saturday, January 17, 2015
Times: 8:30 AM ‐ 4 PM

Location: Bradbury Community Center 3343 Buttermilk Rd., Kingston, TN 37763

Cost: $45.00 Contact: Emily Bowers, Email – contact@shatteringamericastrance.com or call ‐ 518 376‐9494

This 6 ½‐hour workshop shows you how to:

Explain ‘hot’ topics in terms that convince, not divide


Dismantle the ‘conservative’ stereotype Expand your group’s influence


Speak about property rights, healthcare and education in terms that turn left and right into allies


Create arguments that compel people to unite and act


Convince public officials to listen, understand and act


Make liars and bullies look nonsensical


“Shattering America’s Trance” is about spreading the news the media ignores.

Tomorrow afternoon, 6/15/2013, at the Lavender Festival in Oak Ridge, the outreach chairman for Plan East Tennessee (PlanET) will be presenting a program for attendees of the festival.  PlanET is a “regional partnership” of community and county leaders charged with allegedly “asking input” from the community as to how to deal with future growth and development in a way that “reflects our vision and values.”

Sounds fantastic!  But what is PlanET, really?  Similar organizations are springing up all over the country and are in different phases of development.  Do they seek information from the community or carefully guide the community toward a preplanned agenda?

The TLA strongly encourages each and every person to carefully “do their own due diligence”  by educating themselves on this important trend of sustainable development, or “smart growth”.

Several documents are available on the web from organizations such as Freedom Advocates and American Policy.  Two simple, yet comprehensive, documents that are frequently referenced can be viewed/downloaded directly for easy reference:  Georgia Agenda 21 and Understanding Sustainable Development.

Ask questions.  Lead and don’t be led.

The Sevier County Tea Party will be hosting Mr. Glenn Jacobs at their June meeting to be held at the Sevierville Civic Center.

Mr. Jacobs, who is well known as professional wrestler, Kane, is a growing voice in conservative economic thought and policy.  He will be sharing his views of a strong centralized government that was espoused by Alexander Hamilton vs. Thomas Jefferson’s idea of a decentralized local government.   “Of course, I come down on Jefferson’s side.”, says Jacobs, “Jefferson believed that political power should be in the hands of the People, and that state and local governments were more easily controlled than a strong national government espoused by Hamilton.  Unfortunately, Hamilton’s vision eventually triumphed.”

Jacobs has obtained recent national attention with his assault on the the internet sales tax mandate, known by its misleading title as the “Marketplace Fairness Act.”  He has thrown down a challenge to Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey to a debate about this important issue.  There have been rumors that Mr. Jacobs is considering the possibility of exploring the idea of contesting Lamar Alexander’s US Senate seat in 2014.  He is a founding member of the Tennessee Liberty Alliance.

This meeting will take place on June 20th at 6:30pm.  The Seiverville Civic Center is located at 200 Gary Wade Blvd in Seiverville, Tennessee.  For directions, CLICK HERE.  Spread the word.  This is sure to be an interesting and revealing meeting!

Former IRS Agent Sherry Peel Jackson, who spent nearly four years in prison for failing to file her income tax returns, chose her words carefully Monday night.

A self-styled “political prisoner,” the Georgia author and financial consultant still maintains her innocence and she still questions the government’s authority to levy a federal income tax.

She claimed that after speaking out publicly with other tax defiers, the judge was against her from the get-go, the jurors too fearful to deliver anything other than the guilty verdicts that sent her to a federal prison camp for women in Florida.

“When you’re too visible to kill, that’s what they do to shut you up,” said Jackson, 50, during her presentation to the Knoxville Patriots’ meeting at the Mandarin House restaurant in North Knoxville.


A reader from New Jersey, who is familiar with the intersection in question, forwarded the link below. The article details the upsetting results after installing red-light cameras at the busy intersection of Route 1 with Bakers Basin Road/Franklin Corner Road.  See article from New Jersey HERE.

It documents that the number of accidents over equal 7-month periods increased from 25 before camera installation to 49 after red-light cameras were installed. A simple statistical analysis shows that the difference is significant at the 99.6% confidence level. That leads one to conclude that there was a systematic change at that intersection causing the 96% increase in the accident rate. The most obvious systematic change that could account for the significant increase in the accident rate is the installation of red-light cameras.

If you read the article in the link above, you will note that the increase in the accident rate was mainly due to a higher frequency of rear-end collisions. That is consistent with virtually all the comprehensive and competent studies that have been reported on the impact of red-light cameras, as referenced in other articles on the TLA web site ( SEE HERE ). Those studies document that red-light cameras yield an insignificant reduction in right-angle collisions, but cause a significant increase in rear-end collisions.

Another point noticed in the New Jersey experience is that the majority of revenue from the camera automated traffic tickets comes from right turns on red, i.e., not coming to a complete stop before the stop line. In 2011, the State of Tennessee passed a law making it unlawful for red-light cameras to issue traffic tickets for right turns on red lights. Across Tennessee, red-light camera revenues dropped precipitously, because the vast majority of camera ticket revenue came from right turns on red. Ironically, right turns on red were not causing accidents in proportion to the ticket volume. In other words, drivers were not unsafely making right turns on red, even though they may not have come to a complete stop over the camera sensors.

There is copious, sound evidence that red light cameras do not improve safety at intersections. Yet, red-light camera companies and municipalities continue to pursue them, as if that evidence did not exist. Why? Because the cameras generate revenue. This is a money-making scheme perpetrated on drivers by local governments and red-light camera companies in the fallacious name of safety.

Dale Gedcke B.Eng., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Marketing & Technical Consultant

Over the past thirty years the community of Bethel, Tenn. has been in the middle of an annexation debate in some form or fashion. Bethel sits between Norris and Clinton, Tenn. Both cities have looked to annex ‘Bethel Unincorporated’ during those thirty years. Recently the city of Norris voted to annex two pieces of property within the Bethel community. During the annexation hearing many spoke out against the city of Norris and their attempt. They see that Norris may look to their property in the future and see it as income. Regardless of the vast opposition the City decided to annex anyway. Most people that reside in Bethel say that they just want to be left alone and do not want annexation from either Norris or Clinton.

The Tennessee Liberty Alliance sees this as an issue that would affect others in the state as well. There may be more to this than just a neighbor and business owner losing some property rights. Also, in attendance, during the annexation meeting was Mike Carberry. Mike is the Comprehensive Planning Manager for the Knoxville-Knox County Metropolitan Planning Commission. Mike might possibly live in the Norris area. However there were two other gentlemen there who participated in the PlanET forums, acted as regular attendees and were actually government employees within planning and zoning departments. The MPC holds the contract for PlanET (Covers Anderson, Knox, Union, Loudon, & Blount cos.). A regional plan for establishing so called ‘sustainable’ communities.

The Norris 25 year comprehensive plan will be available for review. We look to produce solutions so that your property rights will be upheld for generations to come.

All of this will be fleshed out and covered in a town hall meeting. Location and time is listed below.

Oct. 25, 2012 6:30pm-8:30pm
Norris City Building 20
Chestnut Drive
Norris, Tennessee 37828


The TLA Board will meet at Panera Bread in Turkey Creek on Thursday, September 20 at 7:00 P.M. The address is: 11361 Parkside Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934. For more information contact Richard Esparza at richard@tnliberty.org.

"Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."
...Thomas Jefferson