click to enlarge
Here at the legislature, another exciting week is starting in typically fine fashion. Lobbyists are fanning out across the Capitol to curry favor, reporters are nodding off in their chairs in their gritty little cubicles, and our lovable legislators are trying really hard to trample civil liberties. Why do they hate our freedoms? Courtesy of the ACLU, here's a sampling of such bills on this week's agenda somewhere in the legislative system:
* Rep. Joe Towns' celebrated bill to makes wearing pants below the waistline a misdemeanor criminal offense. It's a violation of freedom of expression and encourages racial profiling, but so what? We're tired of looking at butt cracks.
* Sen. Bill Ketron's omnibus attack on immigrants. It requires drivers' license exams to be in English and makes adults provide proof that they are legally in the U.S. before receiving public benefits. There's more. This fabulous bill also allows employers to require workers to speak English and requires them to verify employment eligibility through the federal electronic work authorization verification service, which is riddled with data errors.
* If Ketron's bill isn't comprehensive enough for you, how about this one from Rep. Stacey Campfield? It starts from the beginning, prohibiting birth certificates for a child of an illegal immigrant mother unless the father is a U.S. citizen and he provides a written agreement for financial support of the child until age 18.
* Campfield's at it again with his "Don't Say Gay" bill, which prevents teachers, school counselors and other school administrators from providing "any instruction or materials discussing sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."
* The truly creepy Rep. Joel Hensley wants to take away Title X federal funds from non-profit health care clinics in Tennessee, such as Planned Parenthood, leaving an estimated 12,000 women and men in Tennessee without services.
* Rep. Les Winningham wants to force children to undergo random drug tests to participate in school extracurricular activities, even if there is no reason to suspect the student has used drugs.