Tag Archives: Tennessee

Today In Corporate Personhood

What’s that line from the last presidential election? I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one? Yeah, that:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The truck-stop company owned by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam may have put the worst behind it after federal attorneys agreed not to prosecute Pilot Flying J for cheating customers.

In an agreement with prosecutors, the nation’s largest diesel retailer acknowledges that employees cheated trucking companies out of promised fuel rebates and discounts. Prosecutors said Monday that Pilot has agreed to pay a $92 million penalty, which is within the range of what the company would pay if convicted at trial.

Corporations have Constitutional rights like freedom of speech and freedom of religion but they have no responsibilities. Ain’t that just peachy.

4 Comments

Filed under Bill Haslam, corporations, Tennessee

Take That, Bob Corker: VW Chattanooga Has UAW AND SUV

Oh, my! Major Tennessee Republican FAIL: On Friday, the United Auto Workers established a local union to represent workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.

Today Volkswagen announced the Chattanooga plant will manufacture VW’s new SUV line, a move expected to bring some 1,350 jobs to Tennessee.

Suck on that, Bob Corker.

(For more on this, read here, here, here and here.

[UPDATE]:

Trying to make lemonade out of this huge bag of lemons they’ve been handed, right-wingers are saying there’s no way that Volkswagen will ever recognize the new UAW local in Chattanooga. Really? I beg to differ:

First, the February vote was a narrow loss — 53 percent to 47 percent — and the result showed strong support among workers, despite heavy opposition from outside groups and Tennessee legislators.

Second, the UAW said it already had signed cards from a majority of the workers prior to the election, saying they favored representation.

I have no doubt in my mind that the UAW would have won that February election had it not been for outside interference from the likes of Sen. Bob Corker and right-wing cheap labor groups.

I suspect that unionization, like Obamacare, is one of those things people actually like once they’ve lived with it for a while. That’s when they realize it’s not the path to ruin/Fascism/Socialism/FEMA death camps they’ve been told it is by the Fox News crowd but, in fact, something that actually benefits people. And that’s why Republicans like Bob Corker and Bill Haslam have been shitting bricks over this VW plant for the past year.

34 Comments

Filed under Sen. Bob Corker, Tennessee, Tennessee politics, unions

Two Americas, Addict/New Mom Edition

Two Americas. In one America, we arrest new mothers whose newborns test positive for drugs and charge them with assault (even though in this case, the drug our new mother used is not covered under the law through which she was charged. Weird, that.)

In another America, affluent moms hire “sobriety coaches” to help them stay clean and sober:

Once consigned to Hollywood entourages to keep celebrities on the straight and narrow (and out of rehab), sobriety coaches, also known as sober companions and recovery therapists, are being hired by well-heeled mothers from the Upper East Side to the beachfront homes of Boca Raton, Fla.

Blame the rigors of being an urban mother. “Raising kids is stressful to begin with,” said Mary Karr, the best-selling writer who lives in Greenwich Village, who related her grueling recovery in her 2009 memoir “Lit: A Memoir.” “The new supermoms have to be thin and rich and successful, so there’s all this extra stress,” she said. “It’s loathsome.”

“Addiction is a disease of isolation,” added Ms. Karr, 59, who has a 28-year-old son (she starts “Lit” with an open letter to him). “I would have loved to have someone come over and help me not get drunk.”

It’s not just the extra glasses of pinot or rosé. Cosmopolitan mothers these days are also reaching for Adderall (the multitasker’s best friend), Percocet (the antidote to the taxing trifecta of marriage, children and career) and Ambien (that bedtime staple), not to mention a cocktail of other drugs that high-strung mothers also have at their disposal.

And by the time these mothers realize they need help, they don’t exactly have the time or wherewithal to check into rehab or attend 12-step meetings. In addition, they want more privacy, the better to avoid the judgment and stigma that mothers with addiction face.

It is worth noting that the story of Mallory Loyola appeared in the news section of TV station WBIR. Mary Karr’s story appeared in the “Fashion & Style” section of the Sunday New York Times.

In one America an addicted mom is arrested and charged with assault, held on $2,000 bond, with her picture plastered all over the news. In another America well-heeled moms who “don’t have time” for rehab and 12-step meetings and need to avoid the stigma of drug addiction to preserve their social status hire “sobriety coaches” to hold their hands and tell them it’s okay to be stressed-out about having to be thin and beautiful. Such an impossible standard, who can blame them for reaching for the Percocet now and then? Poor things.

I honestly do not want to hear from another one of these Special Snowflakes who melt under the stress of their privileged lives. If Mallory Loyola has to have her face plastered across the news and now has a criminal record and is charged with assault, then so should Tamara Mellon, Mary Karr, “Jeanne” the anonymous Fortune 500 marketing exec, and all the rest. Alternately, if Jeanne et. al. get the compassion, understanding and personal attention that comes from hiring a coach, then why shouldn’t Mallory Loyola?

Says “Jeanne The Fortune 500 marketing exec”:

“I was my daughter’s age when my dad came out as an alcoholic,” said Jeanne, a marketing executive, who spent her youth going to Alateen, an offshoot of A.A. meetings for teenage family members. “I never thought that would be me,” she said. Rehab was not a viable option. “What working mom can be away for 30 to 60 days?” she added. “And how would I explain it?”

So she hired Natasha Silver Bell, 38, a sobriety coach on the Upper East Side, who is a divorced mother and former addict. Jeanne has been seeing Ms. Silver Bell once a week for the last four months, paying roughly $2o0 for an hour sit-down session, which also grants calling or texting privileges. “I liked that I could do it without disrupting my schedule,” Jeanne said.

And yet, we expect the Mallory Loyolas of the country to make time for it, explain it, etc., nor do we afford them the anonymity and privacy that Jeanne so cherishes.

Forgive me if this injustice rubs me the wrong way.

7 Comments

Filed under healthcare, Tennessee

Your State Under Republican Rule

Hey, Gov. Bill Haslam: you might want to rethink that whole “we can’t afford the virtually free Medicaid expansion” deal the Feds are offering:

Crews were called to the Advance Auto Parts on Nolensville Pike after the robbery occurred around 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to a release from the Metro Nashville Police Department.

With a black mask concealing his face and a semiautomatic pistol in hand, he demanded money from a cash register. He allegedly repeatedly told the clerk “my girl’s got cancer, I need this money,” police said.

After the cashier complied, police said, the suspect fled on foot near the Full Gospel Mission Church.

I swear to God, Republicans have no clue how to run a government. On the other hand, I guess they’re wishing/hoping that cashier had been armed so he could “stand his ground” and shoot and kill the guy. Problem solved!

Republicans don’t care about people, plain and simple. They don’t care about black people, poor people, sick people, or anyone who’s either not a fetus or or a person of the “corporate” person.

Looks like it’s time for me to amend my “Top Signs Your Healthcare System Is Broken” list and add #6: when people rob you at gunpoint to pay for their girl’s cancer treatment.

I’m sick to death of Republicans driving people to desperation because they’ve never had to wonder where their next meal is coming from and assume everyone who does is just lazy. Fucking fuckers.

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Filed under healthcare, Nashville, Republican Party, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Tennessee Gun Report

Two accidental shootings reported this week. Freedom.

• July 8, 2014:

Donate $10 to Robert Dalton’s campaign for Lewisburg public defender, and you have a chance to win a pistol. Needless to say, the fundraiser appears to run afoul of state laws regulating raffles and games of chance. Oops.

• July 7, 2014:

A Chattanooga four-year-old is in critical condition after being shot in the chest by a BB gun owned by a teenaged neighbor. BB guns are not benign, says the hospital’s Pediatric Injury Prevention Coordinator Coy Ellis:

He says the emergency room sees between eight to ten children a month with similar injuries.

“Well they can be as severe as you can imagine,” Ellis explains. Over the years he says BB guns have developed, becoming more powerful.

“Handheld firearms have a muzzle velocity of about 850 feet per second. Some of these non powdered guns, BB guns and things like that, they travel about 50 percent of that. You’re talking about 450 feet per second,” says Ellis.

At that speed a shot from a BB or pellet gun can be fatal. Nation wide BB gun shootings average four deaths a year. The Consumer Products and Safety Commission advice those under 16 not use them. “However, there’s no regulation as far as that goes,” Ellis says. Most of the responsibility must lie on the parents who allow their children to have them.

No regulation. Because, Reasons.

• July 5, 2014:

A Nolensville man learned the hard way that what goes up must come down:

Authorities determined a weapon discharged into the air, ultimately striking the unidentified man ni the upper calf.

Yeee-haw. Also, “a weapon discharged into the air”? Really? All by itsownself? Someone didn’t fire it into the air? Heh. Guess guns really DO shoot people? Yes, or no? Nice use of the passive-voice gun dodge there.

• July 1, 2014:

Nine guns were stolen from a Chattanooga pawn shop, and are now on the black market, available to be used in violent crimes in Chicago and other places around the country. Brilliant.

This happens ALL the damn time, people. Why is there not a requirement that guns be kept in a safe overnight? Jewelry stores do it all the time.

• June 27, 2014:

A responsible gun owner responsibly forgot their gun in a carry-on bag at Memphis International airport.

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Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Checking In With NASH

It was almost a year ago that the country’s first “city-centric” investment fund, an ETF comprised entirely of Nashville-based companies, made its debut. At the time I called it “the stupidest investment idea ever” and also noted that,

You know your investment idea sucks when Arthur Laffer “loves” the idea…

.. and also:

I know I’m just a dumb housewife, not an investment genius like the bigwigs behind this idea, but what is the magic of having companies from diverse business sectors all lumped into one ETF just because they’re based out of Nashville? What does Dollar General have to do with HCA? The fund’s founders say:

The partners say Nashville’s position as an “it” city for business makes it an ideal candidate to launch the unique ETF.

This made no sense to me whatsoever, and it still doesn’t. It struck me as nothing more than a civic marketing campaign involving some local hotshots with too much extra money lying in their overstuffed sofa cushions which they didn’t mind throwing away. That’s fine if you can afford it, but there are some investment-ignorant people out there who actually buy this horseshit who probably can’t afford to lose their retirement money on what is basically a marketing ploy by the local Chamber of Commerce.

But what do I know. So, was the NASH ETF really a lousy idea? Let’s take a look-see:

NASH

NASH opened at $25 per share. Today it’s at $27.88. Its range: $23.75-$28 a share. YTD Return: a whopping 1.10% (inflation rate for May 2014 was 2.13%). Meanwhile, the markets as a whole have been booming. For example:

The NASDAQ composite is up 6.80%:

NASDAQ

The S&P 500 is up nearly 7%:

S&P500

While even the Dow has been up 2,56%:

DOW

Again, I’m no genius about this stuff, maybe I’m missing something, but it still seems like this was a stupid idea and Arthur Laffer is still an economic dunce.

5 Comments

Filed under Nashville, Tennessee, Wall Street

Tennessee Gun Report

Down in Georgia, gun loons celebrated their new “guns everywhere” law going into effect by almost shooting each other. Huzzah! Here in Tennessee we have some new gun laws that went into effect July 1, too, notably the “guns-in-cars” bill. Expect to hear more stories about road-rage incidents escalating into gun violence, gun injuries, and guns stolen from cars. Not that we don’t have enough of this shit as it is. But Republicans are morons and refuse to learn from their mistakes because Reasons.

This week’s gun report has one accidental shooting and the usual amount of stupid.

• June 30, 2014:

1- A Nashville man playing with a gun accidentally shot himself in the arm.

2- From Memphis, this headline wins the Gun Report:

Two men with only three working legs between them try to rob gun store

They were unsuccessful.

3- A Weakley County man was arrested for stealing guns, specifically guns

“…stolen from cars and homes in and around the city of Martin.”

I don’t get the stealing guns from cars thing. If you’re leaving your gun in your car then you’re an irresponsible asshole and you should be cited. What kind of moron is to fucking lazy to remove their gun from their car in the first place? Oh, right, the kind who is so chickenshit he can’t drive from point A to point B unless he’s armed because PARANOIA. Can’t tall you how many of these idiots leave their guns in their cars unlocked, too. Dumbasses.

• June 27, 2014:

Check out this Jonesborough wackkjob with a messiah complex. He’s a real piece of work.

• June 26, 2014:

Despite Facebook’s claims to have shut down its gun trade, Tennessee’s Tri-Cities Gun Swap group is still going strong. This is where you can trade an AK-47 for a jet ski, no background checks required, because Freedom.

10 Comments

Filed under gun control, Tennessee

Today In Church And State

[UPDATE]:

As of Saturday, June 28, the McKnight campaign signs are gone, but the stuff on the church sign is still there.

—————————————————-

Just saw this on my way home from the grocery store this morning:

Nice Tax-Exempt Status You've Got There. Shame If Anything Happened To It

Nice Tax-Exempt Status You’ve Got There. Shame If Anything Happened To It

Amendment One is an anti-abortion measure. I had to Google this McKnight fellow, but he’s a big-time right-to-lifer.

This church isn’t too far from my house. I’ve always referred to it as the Wingnut Bible Church because their signs are always advertising some wingnutty seminar or program: “End-Times Prophecy,” “Justice Sunday” and crap like that. Every July Fourth they put about a dozen or so ginormous American flags on their property, because Jesus was an American and a Founder and Christian Nation and Shut Up. But I’ve never seen them outright politick like this before.

I’m not a lawyer, definitely not a Constitutional one, but I’m pretty sure the IRS frowns on these kinds of outright political endorsements from tax-exempt churches. Don’t they?

18 Comments

Filed under abortion, church and state, Nashville, religion, religious fundamentalism, Tennessee

Tennessee Gun Report

I thought we might make it a week without an accidental shooting but, alas, no. Also, I haven’t really checked the reports this week, so there may be others I haven’t heard about which will have to wait for next week.

• June 18, 2014:

A Murfreesboro woman accidentally fired her gun inside her apartment while trying to put the safety on. The woman’s baby was asleep in the same room, but fortunately was unhurt.

• June 17, 2014:

Someone shot up a Murfreesboro judge’s home, and no one knows why.

• June 12, 2014:

A mass shooting plot at Volunteer High School in Rogersville was discovered and thwarted. The alleged plotters were teenagers obsessed with the Columbine shootings.

• June 10, 2014:

File this one under no good deed goes unpunished:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A good samaritan is assaulted by an elderly man while trying to help him change his tire in Nashville.

The victim offered to help the 65-year-old man change his flat tire at a local Walmart parking lot in Nashville on June 6. However, according to Metro police, the elderly man, due to his intoxication level, began to argue with the victim and make insults and threats.

The suspect, John Bowers, then grabbed a 9MM Smith and Wesson handgun from his car. The victim saw this and lunged on the elderly man, grabbed the pistol from his hand and slammed him to the ground, according to the police affidavit.

Armed society, polite society, lather, rinse, repeat.

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Filed under gun control, gun violence, Tennessee

Enduring Myths

Oh, how people love, love, love their fantasy narratives. Like this one:

“This is something you do not see in rural southern Tennessee. You just don’t see armed hostages,” said Weigel.

Bullshit. I read half a dozen rural Tennessee newspapers every week and I see stories like this one all the time. It’s that myth of “rural American values” (or “real American values,” if you prefer.) It doesn’t exist. You’re no better or worse than your city cousins, Real America. You’ve got the meth, and the boredom, and whooo-boy do y’all have the crazies. Like this small town guy accused of murder and cannibalism.

This is not a story you see in the big city. In the big city, someone shoots you because they want your stuff. This is a crime I understand. They do not take you out so they can have a side of human with their Bud Lite.

And let me tell you, as someone who has lived both in major metropolitan areas and small-town America? There is waaay more crazy stuff going on in rural America.

Myth number two:

“If the criminals feel that more people are armed and that more people might be set up to protect their selves, they may steer away from those places and go somewhere where they don’t feel they have direct harm in their way,” said Weigel.

Dude, you’re a moron. Criminals don’t think logically or rationally. This guy in the CVS incident started out shoplifting at Walmart, was called out, grabbed his gun and ran into the CVS and took a pharmacist hostage. That’s someone who is not exactly clear on their thinking. They’re not gonna stop and go, “gee, hmm, might be some armed folks in that pharmacy, better not do this.” As a police officer once told me: criminals are stupid. That’s why they have that job. They can’t do anything else.

Myth number three:

“You can see across the country it’s a growing trend which is unfortunate,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Jimmy Brown. “Yesterday we were very fortunate. We are very lucky.”

No, actually, the growing trend across the country is that violent crime rates are down, not up. And they’ve been going down for decades.

But don’t let facts stand in the way of a beloved narrative.

12 Comments

Filed under gun control, gun violence, Tennessee