published Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Making laws with abandon

There is no shortage of vital issues for Tennessee's Legislature to be considering right now. With state tax revenue visibly recovering from the Great Recession -- revenues for the past seven straight months have generated $238 million more than at this point last year -- lawmakers and Gov. Bill Haslam should be thinking about restoring vital funding cut last year from children's services, education and health care. Neglected state infrastructure needs should also be on the table.

But those aren't state government's priorities.

Haslam is busy pushing a dicey program to incentivize economic development by giving taxpayer dollars -- that is to say, real cash -- to companies to induce them to locate or expand in Tennessee. He has not yet offered a cogent reason why the state's regular lucrative tax abatements are not enough, nor has he competently explained why the business people who would get taxpayers' cash should not be identified.

His majority Republican lawmakers, having slashed teachers' tenure and negotiation rights, now are trying to reduce the state lottery's college scholarship HOPE grants to "marginally" qualified students from $4,000 to $2,000 a year. Of course, that would cheat students who typically need scholarship aid the most, and it would mainly benefit students whose parents, neighborhoods and income generally provide them with best possible high school options.

With reason and fairness out the door, other major legislative initiatives range from the wacky to the destructive to the dangerous. In one of the wackiest actions ever to take place in the Legislature (true, we're overlooking the infamous right-to-eat road-kill bill a few years ago that made the Tennessee Legislature an instantaneous laughing-stock), Republicans overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week denouncing a 20-year-old United Nations proposal to support sustainable development.

They claimed the proposal, which simply advocates sensible restraint of environmental and natural resource exploitation as the world's population booms, is actually a nefarious U.N. plot to somehow legalize, through our own state and local governments, the massive unconstitutional taking of our private property rights.

Who knew?

If there's a lawmaker who believes Tennesseans are so gullible as to fall for sneaky wordsmithing to make bad ideas about private or public property look good, it's State Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey.

He's still pushing the Senate to adopt a destructive, Machiavellian mountain-top removal coal mining bill that would claim there that mountain-top removal does not actually occur if the coal mining companies -- after they've blown away a mountain top and stripped the coal -- can bulldoze back the massive debris of the mountain-top they have exploded and shape it into an "approximate original contour" of the real mountain before it was destroyed. We're not making this up.

Apparently some of Ramsey's legislative and coal-mining cronies realize this isn't a tenable redefinition of mountain-top removal mining, which already has been permitted for 13 mountain-tops in Tennessee -- up from five over the past five years in which opponents have pushed to ban it. That's forced Ramsey to tactically delay to vote on his pet project until April 2.

As for bills truly dangerous to the public, the Senate is still considering a bill written by the National Rifle Association to give Tennesseans with gun-carry permits the legal right to store firearms in a vehicle and park it anywhere they could otherwise park, even in the parking lots of employers and institutions that ban firearms on their private property to protect all employees.

Tennessee's major businesses, among many others, rightly object. But the NRA and its law-making lackeys are legendarily myopic and stubborn. Sen. Mike Faulk, in arguing for the bill recently, asked whether giving employers the right to ban items from cars in their parking lots might also let them ban Bibles from the glove compartment. Bullets vs. Bibles. Go figure.

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bookworm said...

What in the sam hill does hording guns in your vehicle have in common with Jesus and the New Testament? What planet do these people come from? What have they put in the drinking water in Nashville? Do we actually pay these elected officials to make Tennesseans the laughing stock nationwide? Believe me, these people are surefire candidates for involuntary commitment.

March 20, 2012 at 4:43 a.m.
Rtazmann said...

most of them have nothing to do with the people i heard one of the talking about a lobbyist that was happy a certain bill to be passed and of the laws concerning properties and issues having to do with the congress men....boy we are blessed..

March 20, 2012 at 5:12 a.m.
EaTn said...

Employers have the constitutional right to ban anything they please from their parking lots, just like you and I have a right to ban anything we please from our property. If we make exceptions for employer property, how long will it be until all our property rights are taken away? I'd think the right-wingers would be the last to water down this basic right.

March 20, 2012 at 6:18 a.m.
joneses said...

My car is a continuation of my house and it is no ones business what I keep in my car as long as it is legal. A gun in my house is not illegal nor is a gun in my car. My employer can make all the rules they want but the gun stays. If my employer attempts to search my car I will find another employer that believes in America versus some communist obama regime. It is that simple.

March 20, 2012 at 6:39 a.m.
bookworm said...

Joneses: You love guns, but what are you afraid of? Your car may be a continuation of your house, then O.K. But when you put your car on other people's property, then it is their right on their own property to make you leave their premises. Otherwise you would be guilty then of criminal tresspassing and have to be jailed. Point is, just as you have a right to your guns, I have a right to be free from your guns.

March 20, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.
conservative said...

Since I have a carry permit I will leave my gun at home when I go to work, wink, wink.

March 20, 2012 at 8:58 a.m.

The law preventing people from taking their guns to work will only restrict honest men. Criminals who are hell-bent on breaking the law against murder won't think twice about a stupid rule against guns.

Bookworm, you don't have any rights not granted to you by the honest men around you. Any dishonest man can take those rights from you at any moment in your utopian suicide chamber. If you and no one around you has a gun when a nutcase comes around, how many bullets do you plan on blocking with declarations of your rights?

March 20, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.
timbo said...

I am conservative as they come but I have another take on thing about guns in a private businesses parking lots.

The government has no right to allow or disallow whether or not someone has a gun on my property. For example, in my business I will allow it. We all hunt and shoot and it is common to have a gun in your car. If my next door business owner wants to restrict his employees from having a gun in their car, that is his business. I my employees do something I don't like, I will fire them and the problem is solved.

We have the right to control our on property period. End of story. I don't need a bunch of conservative posers telling me what to do any more than I need a bunch of psycho liberal government lovers telling me what to do.

Both sides seem to want government to impose their will on the individual when it is convenient to do so. Stay out of my business,...both of you.

March 20, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
timbo said...

As far as the rest of this idiotic diatribe by Harry Austin, I say bull_ _ _ t.

Little Harry said, "With reason and fairness out the door, other major legislative initiatives range from the wacky to the destructive to the dangerous. In one of the wackiest actions ever to take place in the Legislature (true, we're overlooking the infamous right-to-eat road-kill bill a few years ago that made the Tennessee Legislature an instantaneous laughing-stock), Republicans overwhelmingly passed a resolution last week denouncing a 20-year-old United Nations proposal to support sustainable development."

First of all, THERE IS NOTHING ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH WACKIER THAN AGENDA 21.

It is so wacky and so controversial he wouldn't even call it by name. It is the dumbest thing anyone could ever support. It eliminates property rights, advocates reducing the population to a few million (Would little Harry murder the rest?) and generally destroys the bill of rights. No sane person would ever subject the population to this foolishness. Just because people like Harry want to hide its true nature and hide it in this silly premise that anyone who opposes this is not sophisticated can all go to hell.

Harry Austin and these smug liberals who like to depict conservatives as stupid and backward absolutely show the opposite. If you want to see what would happen to this planet under liberal rule, just watch the movie "Idiocracy." Harry Austin would be the first dumb butt to say, "It's got electrolytes." Watch the movie and you'll get it.

Bravo to the Republican House and Senate. If Harry Austin doesn't like you, you have to be doing something right.

March 20, 2012 at 12:15 p.m.
chet123 said...

THE BOTTOM OF THE BARRELL.....WHO ELSE WOULD BE STUPID ENOUGH TO CREATE A ROAD KILL BILL.....RIGHT TO EAT ROAD KILL!!!!!REALL AMAZING...AND THESE FOOL PROMOTE STATE ABILITY TO GOVERNED

March 20, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.
chet123 said...

CONSERVATIVE...I PERSONALLY KNOW FOOLS LIKE YOU...THE ONLY THING YOU GOING TO DO WITH THAT GUN IS SHOOT YOUR WIFE.....THEN PUNK OUT LIKE A SISSY......WHINEEEEE! WHINEEEEEE!...I DIDNT DO IT WHINEEEEE!

March 20, 2012 at 7:04 p.m.
joneses said...

Dummycrats are the only people I know of that thinks failures are successes. Amazing.

The Obama administration’s energy policy chief on Tuesday gave himself an A for controlling gas prices that have reached a record high at pumps across the country. Energy Secretary Steven Chu made the comment during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/03/20/chu-gives-himself-high-marks-on-gas-prices-drawing-criticism/?test=latestnews#ixzz1pk91UidK

March 21, 2012 at 5:50 a.m.
chet123 said...

JONESES....YOU AND ALL YOUR SOUTHERN BAPTIST HYPOCRITE ONLY HAVE TO LOOK INWARD.....I KNOW YOU HATE FACT AS "RICK1" PROVE THAT BY IGNORING THAT GAS SPIKE HAPPENS UNDER REPUBLICAN CONTROL CONGRESS....I WILL NOT LET YOU OFF THE HOOK.....YOU CAN PLAY YOUR GAMES ALL DAY LONG BUT I WILL CONSTANTLY REMIND YOU THAT GAS SPIKE HAPPEN ON REPUBLICAN CONTROL CONGRESS WATCH......SO YOU CAN TALK ABOUT ITS OBAMA FAULT ALL YOU WANT...TELL ALL THE LIES YOU WISH....BUT I'M GOING TO BRING YOU BACK TO THE FACT THAT "GAS SPIKES HAPPEN UNDER REPUBLICAN CONTROL CONGRESS

I WILL CONSTANTLY REMIND YOUR "TONE DEAF" BUTT KISSING OF RICH AND GREEDY THAT YOUR PARTY ARE THE FOOT-STOOL FOR THE BIG OIL, ALSO I WILL REMIND YOUR THAT REPUBLICAN CONGRESS HAVE "SUBPOENA POWER"....LET ME REMIND YOU AGAIN...SINCE YOU ARE "TONE DEAF"!......LISTEN CAREFULLY

JONESES ARE YOU STILL THERE OR HAVE YOU RAN OFF LIKE A LITTLE BOY....I SAID REPUBLICAN CONGRESS HAVE SUBPOENA POWER....WHY DONT "REPUBLICAN CONTROL CONGRESS"....I WILL SAY THIS AGAIN..I WANT YOU WORKING-CLASS REPUBLICAN TO LISTEN CAREFULLY..WHY DONT THE REPUBLICAN CONTROLL CONGRESS SUBPOENA THE BIG OIL EXECUTIVE HHHHmmmm??? SUBPOENA THE BIG OIL EXECUTIVES WHO RECEIVES HUNDREDS'S OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS PER YEAR ON AWARD BONUSES ALONG WITH 20,30,40, MILLIONS IN SALARIES....ARE YOU AFRAID?????

THE LAST TIME THEY WERE SUBPOENA....NANCY PELOSI WAS SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE(DEMOCRATS WERE IN CONTROL OF CONGRESS...THE THEY THREATED TO NATIONALIZED THE OIL INDUCTRY...IMMEDIATELY GAS PRICES DROPPED....SHE SEEN TO HAVE MORE BACKBONE THAN THE MEN OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY...WHAT DO THE REPUBLICAN DO????..NOT A DARE THING WHEN IN CHARGE...THEY JUST POINT FINGERS AT THEIR FAVORITE ESCAPE GOAT(OBAMA)OBAMA THIS,OBAMATHAT,OBAMA,OBAMA,OBAMA..REPUBLICAN CANT GOVERNED BECAUSE THEY ARE OWN BY THE RICH AND GREEDY....I REMEMBER THE BIG BAD REPUBLICAN WIMPING LIKE A LITTLE GIRL HA HA HA.....THEY WERE DEFENDING THE BIG OIL..HA HA HA......

JONESES YOU ARE CONSISTENT DURING ONE THING..."KISSING THE BUTT OF RICH AND GREEDY"

March 21, 2012 at 9:01 a.m.

Wow. As psychotic as ever chet123.

March 21, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
timbo said...

chet123...What is an "escape goat?"

March 21, 2012 at 10:39 a.m.

If you were very short and light, you might be able to ride a goat. Maybe that's it?

March 21, 2012 at 3:45 p.m.
Rtazmann said...

LAWS WITH RECKLESS ABANDON,,,I WOULD SAY MORE LIKE IGNORANT ABANDON. I WATCHED THE LEGISLATORS DEBATE MORE ABOUT DOGS RIDING IN THEIR OWNERS LAP RATHER THAN THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE A NEED TO GET MEDICAL MARIJUANA BROUGHT INTO THE MAINSTREAM OF TN....WHAT YEAR DOES TN. PLAN ON JOINING THE 21ST CENTURY?,,TRUST ME ON THIS ,,,THERE IS MORE METH HERE THAN MARIJUANA AND IT'S NOT LEGAL..NOW WHO SEES REALITY FOR WHAT IT IS??

April 4, 2012 at 4:12 p.m.
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