Tag Archives: Tennessee

In Tennessee, Holding Hands Is Illegal

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Tennessee State Rep. John Deberry

No TOUCH! Holding hands will get you pregnant.  At least that’s what was passed in the Tennessee state legislature.  The bill seeks to curb what was described as “gateway sexual activity.”  A term that wasn’t articulately defined by the bill’s supporters, thus becoming the “no-holding hands” bill.  However, I must chuckle at the “gateway sexual activity” label.  That’s just as moronic as as restless leg syndrome. This whole circus is really a two year ordeal.  It centered on a classroom demonstration about safe oral sex with a sex toy ( take a wild guess), demonstrated by an anti-AIDS group.  Yes, a condom was involved and moralists cried foul.

Tennessee has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country even with the previous abstinence only education program.  Now, that bill has been given a shot of steroids with this new legislation. Granted, the group that demonstrated the safe oral sex has agreed that perhaps they went over the line, but this new attempt to legislate morality is beyond absurd.  I had a comprehensive sexual education in high school with my peers and we had a whopping zero teen pregnancies by the end of my high school days.  One of my best friends from college who attended Octorara High School in Pennsylvania had an abstinence program that accounted for multiple teen pregnancies before his senior year.

In all, the bill would allow parents to take legal action against educators who promote such immoral activity with the penalty of a $500 fine.

As Lucas L. Johnson II of Associated Press wrote:

Elizabeth Nash, state issues manager for the institute, said state lawmakers across the country began considering more comprehensive sex education programs that talked about abstinence, but also included contraception, about 10 years ago. Despite declining pregnancy rates around the country, Nash said, there’s been a shift by states over the past two years to promote abstinence-only education…”Our perspective is that comprehensive sex education is appropriate and necessary for young people,” she said. “What we know … from the research is that comprehensive sex education works. It delays sexual activity, it reduces the number of partners teens have, and it increases contraceptive use. There is very little in the way of any rigorous research that shows that abstinence education has any of these long-term benefits.”

However,  “Democratic Rep. John Deberry supported the new limits on what can be covered in sex ed class as a way to help teenagers from going too far. He said. “when individuals are touching one another’s intimate parts … this is sexual activity that has its ultimate goal of penetration,” said the Memphis Democrat and minister.”  I would say that is a logical fallacy.  It doesn’t always lead to that.  This is the same logic used to define marijuana as a “gateway drug.”  I say I started with baby formula, then I went to juice, then to soda, and now I drink beer.

When you hear about attempts to legislate morality or gateway theory it should be subject to extreme skepticism.  I liken a gateway theory to the Domino Theory we used to fight communism.  It was logically flawed, demonstratively wrong, and cost thousands of American lives and billions of dollars.  This is a big government move.  It is trying to regulate daily activity of Americans’ lives and it’s wrong.

Tennessee partners with TSA

Drivers and bus riders in the Volunteer state will soon have more to deal with than traffic tie-ups. But don’t worry, citizens, it’s all in the name of safety and security.

Tennessee’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security has partnered with the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA), the agency now infamous for excessive body searches of small children and little old ladies in wheelchairs.

Operation VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) is not a response to a particular known threat department Commissioner Bill Gibbons said on Tuesday in a press release. The effort is instead meant to deter and detect activity through a visible state-wide presence.

VIPR includes several other state and federal agencies teamed together to catch or prevent terrorists at the state’s truck weight/inspection stations and bus stations in two of the largest cities, Knoxville and Nashville. The release didn’t say why neither Memphis nor Chattanooga, both metropolitan areas with several interstate routes, were not included.

VIPR is also intended to make the public aware of the First Observer Highway Security Program, a national initiative that uses truck driver volunteers to report suspicious behaviors while driving.

The joint operation is a first to use this kind of presence across a state. It’s unknown at this time if TSA intends to step up searches of private autos at some future point.

Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina Viewed as Best States for Business

California, New York and Illinois Ranked as Worst for Business

NEW YORK, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — TexasNorth Carolina and South Carolina are viewed as having the best business climates among the 50 states, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released here today.

The poll pinpointed California, New York and Illinois as the U.S. states with the least favorable business climates.

Conducted by Development Counsellors International (DCI) every three years, the “Winning Strategies in Economic Development Marketing” survey has tracked trends in economic development since its inception in 1996.

“With the battle for business more intense than ever, states and their economic development organizations need to pay close attention to the results of this survey,” said DCI President Andrew T. Levine. “Whether accurate or misguided, perceptions about a location’s business climate often play a crucial role in site selection decisions and where companies invest money and create jobs.”

Nearly half (46%) of the 322 corporate executive who responded to the survey indicated that their firm would make a location decision in the next 24 months – whether a move, expansion or consolidation of a manufacturing plant, offices, distribution center or other facilities. More than half (51%) said that they would outsource a portion of the site selection process to a real estate broker or site selection consultant.

Texas was the clear-cut favorite among the respondents to the survey, with 49.4% naming the Lone Starstate as having one of the most favorable business climates in the nation. North Carolina ranked second with 27.8%; South Carolina has 14.3% of the votes. Texas and North Carolina have consistently landed in the top spots since the survey began more than a decade ago. Texas has held the #1 ranking since 1999, while North Carolina has been #2 since 2002. South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida have frequently traded top positions in the survey and 2011 marks the return of South Carolina to the #3 slot.

When asked why they selected the states they did as being best for business, the corporate executives frequently cited low operating costs and a pro-business climate. In the 2008 survey, more executives pointed to the availability of a strong workforce than they did in 2011.

For the fourth consecutive time, California was deemed as having the least favorable business climate, with 70.5% of the responses. New York was named second most frequently with 46.5%, followed byIllinois (24.4%) Taxes, high costs and “anti-business climate/regulation” spurred most of the negative opinions.

The comprehensive survey also asked a series of questions to divine the most effective economic development marketing tools, the leading sources of information that influence executive perceptions of a community’s business climate and the most important factors in business location decisions.

DCI conducted the survey online, polling a random selection of C-level executives at U.S. companies with annual revenues of $25 million or more. The survey was augmented by 250 location advisors/consultants.

For a free copy of the full “Winning Strategies” survey report or an executive summary, visit www.aboutdci.com/winning-strategies.

Best States for Business

1. Texas 49.4%
2. North Carolina 27.8%
3. South Carolina 14.3%

Worst States For Business

1. California 70.5%
2. New York 46.5%
3. Illinois 24.4%

As Homeschooling Goes Mainstream, 2012 Regional Homeschool Conventions Announced

CINCINNATI, Sept. 6, 2011 — In the face of widespread budget cuts and one-size-fits-all teaching in public schools, families from all walks of life are turning to homeschooling in record numbers. In recognition of that growth, Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. has planned five regional homeschool conventions for 2012 — and with dozens of renowned speakers, hundreds of homeschooling workshops and over 200 curriculum exhibitors at each convention, Great Homeschool Conventions aims to put homeschool resources within reach of every homeschooling family.

“The five regional convention sites allow GHC to provide home education information and resources to homeschool parents nationwide,” stated Mary Jo Dean, a homeschool parent who, with her husband, Brennan, founded Great Homeschool Conventions, Inc. in 2006. “We are excited to see homeschooling growing so dramatically, and we look forward to providing parents with the information and encouragement they need to have successful homeschooling experiences.”

To that end, GHC’s regional homeschool conventions will be held throughout the country to make them accessible to as many homeschooling families as possible. The conventions kick off in the spring at theSoutheast Homeschool Convention in Greenville, S.C., March 22-24, 2012, followed by the Mid South Homeschool Convention in Memphis, Tenn., April 12-14, 2012, and the Midwest Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio, April 19-21, 2012. For homeschool families in the West, GHC has scheduled the California Homeschool Convention May 24-26, 2012, in Long Beach, Calif. The season wraps up with the Northeast Homeschool Convention in Hartford, Conn., June 14-16, 2012.

Those attending the GHC regional homeschool conferences will find camaraderie, support, entertainment, and a wealth of practical information. The conferences’ featured speakers include Chuck Colson, Andrew Pudewa, Diana Waring, Dr. Jay Wile, Amanda Bennett, David Hazel, Dr. Carol Reynolds, Todd Wilson, Sonya Shafer, John Stonestreet, Dr. Susan Wise Bauer, Pastor Tedd Tripp, John Rosemond, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Carl Kerby, Dr. Jobe Martin, and over 20 other homeschool experts. Musicians and comedians will be on hand at each convention to provide family-friendly evening entertainment.

But the meat of the conferences is in the workshops. Parent-teachers can choose the workshops that are most appropriate for their families in subjects like math, science, language arts and music at all educational levels, along with workshops in special topics, including learning styles, gifted children, special needs and unit studies. Parents can also participate in workshop tracks covering creation apologetics and parenting, while teens and parents alike can attend the Teen Worldview Track, led by Summit Ministries of Colorado staff and speakers.

“All homeschool and unschool families are welcome at the GHC regional homeschool conventions,” said Dean. “We look forward to meeting more homeschoolers and hearing about their struggles and successes in home education.”

Register for any of the GHC regional homeschool conventions and learn more at http://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com.