I pit the Tennessee State Legislature

Seriously, guys, this is getting out of hand. I winced when you voted to allow people to carry guns in local parks and bars. But, fine, we live in a state where people like their guns. I can easily stay out of bars and if my kids want to go to the park, I’ll just have them wear Kevlar. It’s a democracy and I can handle holding a minority view.

But for fuck’s sake, do you guys ever listen to yourselves? You’d think with 10% unemployment, falling wages, and budget deficits, you might actually do some governing. Really, I have low expectations – I just want you to read the fucking US Constitution, and then explain the following bills. These are all in the newspaper just TODAY:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20110223/NEWS0201/102230378/Tennessee-bill-would-jail-Shariah-followers-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE]Tennessee Bill Would Jail Shariah Followers
A proposed Tennessee law would make following the Islamic code known as Shariah law a felony, punishable by 15 years in jail.

State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, and state Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, introduced the same bill in the Senate and House last week. It calls Shariah law a danger to homeland security and gives the attorney general authority to investigate complaints and decide who’s practicing it.

It exempts peaceful practice of Islam but labels any adherence to Shariah law — which includes religious practices such as feet washing and prayers — as treasonous. It claims Shariah adherents want to replace the Constitution with their religious law. Maybe you’ve never heard of freedom of religion, or somehow don’t understand that any religious laws that violate the Consititution are already illegal, so any bill you pass is just political grandstanding for the racist and ignorant.

Then we we have TN State Senate Passes Health Care Freedom Act.The state Senate has passed a measure that would allow Tennesseans to opt out of the federal health care law.

Under the proposal, a person would be immune from fines or penalties for refusing the health care coverage. Fantastic guys. So when the Federal Government notifies me of the fines I’ll be paying for not getting health care, I can just send them to you and you’ll get it all straightened out? Good luck with that. I’m pretty sure the Supreme Court ruled on nullification at some point around the time that people were shooting each other over slavery. You might want to go back and look at that.

And finally, so as not to be left out of the attention being paid to the good governor in Madison, we have a bill to strip the ability of the teacher’s union to engage in collective bargaining. Several dozen people jammed a corridor at the state legislature Wednesday in an event organized to protest a bill that would strip the Tennessee Education Association of its collective bargaining powers.
Yeah, because those damn teachers are already earning close to $30,000 right out of college! We have one of the worst education records in the country, so let’s make sure teachers can’t get together and ask for better benefits!

Ignorant fuckwits!

My parents are both principals in Sumner county and they’re trying to help organize opposition to the TEA bill. It’s insane. Our schools do a terrible job, so it only makes sense to disincentivize people from becoming teachers.

Hung Mung, my wife was a high school teacher in Sumner county before she decided to stay home with our kids. I hope if this goes forward there will be some organized protests.

I propose a new state slogan:

Tennessee; we’re not Texas, but we’re trying!

I was born and raised in Tennessee. Now I live in Texas.

My parents were both teachers, as is my brother. All still live in Tennessee.

My wife is a teacher here in Texas.

What is it with me and my family choosing to live in the two states in the Union that are least friendly to teachers??


Hey, if y’all need someone to keep your nutjob legislators company, we’ll be glad to send Bobby a few miles north!

Seriously, is there something in the runoff water in the southern Appalachians?

(But at least y’all got to laugh at that Basil guy who ran for Guv last year…)

You do know which state has been growing like gangbusters despite the recession. States could do with a little more Texas, methinks.

Interstingly, the law is on our side in this one. Note that said health care law has been struck down as unconstitutional. And therefore it automatically doesn’t bind anyone.

You may think it stupid, but it very much has a point. It’s a clear message to the federal government.

Well, on that one you’re correct. 1 outta 3 ain’t bad. But to be honest, people do this all the time in every state, for every political persuasion. It’s a neccessary evil fo the democratic system, that it considers stupid laws and public grandstanding alongside more serious ideas.

Sorry, but you’re going to face a tough sell. It’s not really about the money, per se. Rather, people are tired of the collective bargaining and teacher tenure. We (rightly) point out that this is what really is hurting education.

The irony is that teachers may well get better wages if they dropped it. The trade-off is that they will have a loit fewer protections, and will have to justify themselves. Sorry you don’t like it. I understand you don’t think the change is fair.

I agree with two-thirds of the OP’s complaints.

First of all, the consitutionality of the law is still up in the air – three courts have upheld it and two have struck it down, and nothing’s final until SCOTUS chimes in.

But regardless of the ultimate determination, the Tennessee law is stupid. If the health care law is ultimately upheld, the Tennessee law will be null and void; if the health care law is defeated, the state law is moot since no mandate will exist.

Shhh, the Ninth Circuit is bound to get another Pledge of Allegiance case eventually and I want to see the cognitive dissonance caused head asplosions!

CMC fnord!

Your problem is that you keep living in the south. You should move to the north, where you’ll have no such problems. Wisconsin, maybe?

(Oh, and to the southern pride gang and the Texas-isn’t-so-shitty contingent–I’m being fucking facetious. Or maybe factious. Probably feceous.)

Huh? What do the two have to do with each other? Why would any two sets of answers create cognitive dissonance?

Right. Because a sweet, sweet flow of state revenue TOTALLY makes up for a shitty education system for our kids.


What color is the sky on your planet? How exactly will they get better wages if they “drop” it? I can see the conservative legislators and state BoE now:

“They opposed our anti-collective bargaining bill and then backed down. So let’s reward them with a pay raise.”

That ain’t bad.



The idea is that smiling bandit only feels that one appellate court ruling is completely definitive because he agrees with it. So if the 9th circuit ruled the pledge of allegiance was constitutional he’d have to admit it is, or accept that one appeals court does not have final say.

Off-topic, but as a non-American unconversant with your government/legal system… Considering the importance of this bill being settled one way or the other so that argument can stop and life go on, is there any reason why the Supreme Court can’t just give their definitive majority opinion ? Even if it meant locking them up without food or drink for seven nights and seven days ?

Because they have a discretionary docket. The Supreme Court doesn’t take any case it doesn’t want to.*

  • Unless it’s the occasional controversy between states or involving an ambassador or other public minister or consul.

I’m no legal expert, but the cases have to percolate up through the lower courts before it gets to the Supreme Court, which takes time. The mandate to buy insurance doesn’t go into effect until 2014, so there is still time for the wheels of justice to grind slowly.