Tag Archives: Volkswagon

Gateway To Bigotry

head_in_hands

During this first week of the Sochi Olympics, much of the world has been discussing the oppressive anti-gay laws in Russia. Hear in Tennessee, we have an oppressive gay bill making the rounds by Memphis’ one and only Sen. Brian Kelsey. It has already been coined “Turn the Gays Away” bill.

Here’s what this bill does:

The bill notes that businesses can refuse services and goods only if it furthers a civil union, domestic partnership, or same-sex marriage. The person or business would just have to say it was against their religion. For example, if a same-sex couple wanted a cake for their wedding reception, a bakery could refuse to cater to them.

Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project says the bill is making discrimination legal.

“It’s bad for business,” Cole said. “It’s bad for attracting talent that would be offered a job to come and work for a corporation here in Tennessee. When they see bills like this capturing the headlines, it really reflects poorly on the state.”

A couple of questions to delve further into Kelsey’s bill. The scope of the bill applies to anything that might apply to a big “gay” wedding or partnership, but the bottom line, to quote a comment made at Knox Views, it is another gateway bill into bigotry. We’ve seen this happen before with Sen. Stacy Campfield and his horrendous remarks about the LGBT community with his “Don’t Say Gay” bill. It’s about taking legislative action against civil rights. All men and women are created equal unless they want to get married to each other, then you can say I won’t help you because it’s against my religion?

It is a gateway problem because what happens after this bill? How much money will the state have to pay in legal fees when it gets sued and it will if this goes through.

Many of our legislators are good people, I’m not saying they aren’t. I will say though that they will be will be lumped in with the Campys and Kelseys of the world as long as bills like this keep getting burned to garner headlines and to purposefully discriminate against people. We are all Tennesseans and when the national headlines hit, and they have been plentiful lately, we all look idiotic.

While we are discussing demoralizing legislation, let’s look at some things not being discussed by our elected officials.

And speaking of the state of Tennessee’s finances we read this from the Nashville Post

Halfway through the state’s budget year Tennessee’s revenue collections are $222.7 million in the hole, the Department of Revenue reported Thursday.

Although the department says January has seen the largest growth in tax collections over the last 13 months, revenues fell short $51.6 million from the state’s expectations.

And the only jobs I’m hearing anyone in Nashville and Washington talk about right now is Volkswagon, where it is apparent that the same incentives that the GOP bent over backwards to give to the German auto manufacturer is now being treated with buyer’s remorse.I mean, is Sen. Bo Watson really threatening to pull incentives? Why yes, he did go there.

And finally, we are in our 44th day without Medicaid expansion so there is $110,000,000 down the toilet for the state of Tennessee.

What do Kelsey and Watson have to say about that? I guess they are too busy fighting gay people and unions to have even noticed.

Haslam terrified of democratic process

Terrified of business and workers working together

Terrified of business and workers working together

As workers at the Chattanooga VW plant prepare to for a vote that would decide whether or not the UAW could represent them in the plant, Gov. Haslam is continuing his chicken little dance about the prospect.

Haslam has been clucking about the potential for a union vote in Chattanooga since September, but VW officials don’t seem nearly as alarmed…and for good reason.

VW has a long history of working with unions rather than in opposition to them. Unions are the norm in Germany. The German “works councils” work together with managers to come up with ways to become more efficient and train workers in that new efficiency.

But for some reason, Gov. Haslam is terrified of the model VW has used all over the world coming to Tennessee.

It will “have some ramifications” and “dampen enthusiasm” Haslam has said. But is there any proof of that? We’re talking about one plant in one city where the company itself is not only NOT resisting the vote, but embracing it! Heck, the only enthusiasm for jobs in the state have been when they’ve involved scads of taxpayers dollars for low pay jobs or trying to give state buildings away.

And why is the Governor inserting himself in the way a business wants to conduct business? I mean, can’t they do what they think is best for them? Why is the Governor using his office to interfere with business?

The whining and crying from the Governor’s office has continued on, unabated since the fall…when charges arose that the Governor offered incentives for VW to reject the vote. Haslam denies these charges, but will not release any information about the discussions.

Still, he’s concern trolling the vote…a democratic vote of the workers at the plant to decide…as they have a right to do, if they will participate.

What makes it even more mystifying is that the vote doesn’t change anything about “right to work” rules in the state or guarantee employment.

Why does the Governor have such a big problem with the democratic process?

Bang Your Head Here

I’m just going to say it. There are some elected, and unelected if last week was any indication with the Walt Baker incident, officials that have no damned clue about economic development and job creation.

If we want Volkswagen and other international companies to come here and bring us the jobs we desperately need, we can’t be flipping them off in public to their faces. I’m a hippie liberal. I hate the military-industrial complex as much as the next person. But people in this state need to eat. They need to work. So, you, as a legislator had better put out the welcome mat.

To pretend like we’re in any position to piss off Volkswagen just shows you have no idea how desperately people in this state need jobs.

The sound that you hear which sounds like a hammer banging on an Air-Stream trailer is my head bashing into my desk this morning.

I have a request. Let’s call our elected officials and ask them questions they should know the answer to. Which is how much money is going into the Free and Reduced Lunch program right now in each school district because I think they might see that does tie into job creation. I also think that going here might show certain xenophobic legislators the unemployment numbers and loss of industry in their counties again.

We live in a global economy. Why can’t some of our elected officials remember that?