flying too close to the molten pits of hell

Tennessee Lege Can’t Wait to Vote for Bill Exiling Immigrant Teachers

dead legal immigrant mouse teacher

Tennessee! Tennessee’s latest contribution to the world is a bill by a group that invokes the soaring noble bird hero of America, the eagle, in order to keep things nice and white and Christian around here. This time, because unfortunately there have been previous times, this awful group wants to limit the number of foreign-born teachers that the state can employ, as well as the number of textbooks that the heinous organization “sees as favorable to Islam.” The heinous organization is called THE TENNESSEE EAGLE FORUM. These eagle people know what is best for us all, with their big proverbial wings and deadly beaks and great eyesight. And so no one, not even any Democrats, it seems, is that worried about this bill, which is being discussed this week.

The Putting Tennessee First Act, as it shall be named, declares, via Think Progress, that the “state’s chartering authority may not approve schools where more than 3.5 percent of their staff is made up of immigrants, even if they are legal residents of the United States.” Oh, our stars.

This American-only bird club is actually run by a spectacular anti-woman woman named Phyllis Schafly, who says that feminism is “the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today.” So this is going well so far.

The state’s Caucus Chairman Bill Kentron “has thus far denied that religion played any part in his decision to support the bill,” but some other guy, also a Republican, proudly admits that he “believes the bill’s supporters are concerned with Islamist groups infiltrating charter schools.”

As the Tennessean explains, the eagle gang is also behind last year’s ridiculously named Material Support to Designated Entities Act, also known as the Verbal Vomit On Non-Christian Humans Act, which thankfully died but “would have declared some followers of Shariah to be terrorists.”

Delightfully, Democrats “have expressed little opposition to” this new bill, says the Tennessean.

STRANGELY, our man in the closet Stacey Campfield is one of the only people voicing concerns about the bill. He told the Tennessean:

If people are here legally and legally qualified for a job, I have no problem with them. That’s what America is all about.*

*Unless you are gay! Including you, gay eagles! [The Tennessean via Think Progress]

About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville
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      1. Barb

        Baconz! My sister just sent me an e-mail about a retirement community in Crossville, TN. She wants us to retire there together. That aint gonna happen.

    1. Dashboard Buddha

      "Daddy…I beat all of the kids at dodgeball in my 2nd grade class today!"

      "Son, that 'cuz yer 14."

          1. MosesInvests

            Now write it correctly 1000 times, or I'll cut your balls off! (Hey, I mentioned balls-do I get Comment of the Day?)

    1. Nopantsmcgee

      The Screaming Eagle Casino on HWY 9, just past Rick's Automotive, DVD Rental and Bait shop?

    2. Numbat_Dundee

      Sort of everyone really…the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs, the Hohenzollerns, various insurance companies, the Roman Legions, football clubs, proctologists, chicken sexers….

  1. Terry

    "The Putting Tennessee First Act, as it shall be named, declares, via Think Progress, that the “state’s chartering authority may not approve schools where more than 3.5 percent of their staff is made up of immigrants, even if they are legal residents of the United States.” Oh, our stars."

    Yeah, because really what you want to be doing is driving away qualified people who are willing to teach at crappy schools way up back in the hollers.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Jesus, no kidding. Being a teacher in a *good* school is hard enough. But in Tennessee? Yikes! Cue up The Wall by Pink Floyd.

    1. dubyatf

      So, you were reading it as the length of Republican peen compared to the national average?
      But I jest! Everyone knows 3/5 is a gross overestimate. Except in the case of Phyllis Schlafly, who has a monster cock. How old is that slithering Echidna, anyway? Hint to all unemployed Bellepheron types (cups hands around mouth, whispers real loud): "She's AGELESS but not IMMORTAL."
      Where are the mythological Greek heroes when you need them?

    1. sezme

      Do you think it's too much and wish they had chosen something else (in spite of it being an important part of our nation's history that we should never forget)?

      1. Jus_Wonderin

        I agree. Though, would we have that look of surprise on our faces, given what we know about conservatives?

  2. Respitetini

    Delightfully, Democrats “have expressed little opposition to the bill,”

    No, that would require a spine now, wouldn't it?

    1. elviouslyqueer

      Ha, right. There are no Democrats in Tennessee. Here it's a matter of Republicans who like cock or Republicans who like clit.

      1. NewtsChicknNeck

        maybe they don't have a problem with it because it's going to take someone to figure out 3.5% of something is and so ultimately, it's unenforceable. ….wait, no, you're right. no balls, no spines.

  3. actor212

    Because nothing says Amurica like hiring the incompetent!

    After all, furriners will expect "benefits" and "pay raises" and "unions"!

  4. SorosBot

    "state’s chartering authority may not approve schools where more than 3.5 percent of their staff is made up of immigrants"

    Well, there goes a shitload of schools' janitorial staff. I guess this goes hand-in-hand with Newt's "let the kids clean the toilets" plan.

    1. Ruhe

      Maybe. But the next step, obviously, is to pass a bill that prohibits immigrants from attending the schools. Which should make for an interesting debate between those who find immigrant students repugnant and those who find immigrant student-workers "useful". Pure-grain racism versus the pragmatic kind, if you will.

    2. Generation[redacted]

      I'm sure they could get convicted felons on parole to work for the same wages.

    3. NewtsChicknNeck

      back when newt was in school, he just fucked the teacher.*

      *so she could ultimately get gravely ill and he could dump her on her deathbed.

  5. bnerd85

    So the one person dissenting is the batshit crazy guy who thinks not talking about teh gayz means they'll disappear in a poof of glitter and fine linens? Is there a competition among states to race the bottom of the dumbass barrel or something? Did I miss the memo?

    1. Pithaughn

      Since you asked. The current political "climate" ie dragging all candidates dirty laundry out, scrutinizing your first grade teachers choice of car etc. results in anyone who is in the normal range of human to shy away from running for office. We are left with candidates (for the most part ) who are so fanatical they don't care about how their family will be effected. IMO.
      I was on a community committee once to advise the US forest service on what the local "stake holders" thought about their travel plan for the White River Forest. Since I could speak and write in complete sentences (well almost ) several people suggested I run for county commissioner. I asked the county Dem chair about that and he told me my previous use of many different chemicals and "cough" undelivered children (if you get my drift) would be fair game for the opposition. No way I'm putting the wife and kid through that.

      1. bnerd85

        Too true. Sanity automatically opts you out of most mainstream politics these days. Better to hold signs juxtaposing Hitler with Obama and saying Obamacare will lead to a new Holocaust. That's a sure path to a Senate bid!…

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      Link is borked, but I'm guessing it had something to do with a group of Americans who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground….

  6. memzilla

    "The Putting Tennessee First Act," otherwise known as the "Melanin Depreference Act" … because Robert E. Lee had his fingers crossed behind his back at Appomattox. Nyah-nyah!

  7. noodlesalad

    In an ironic twist, only Native Americans would qualify to work. Actually, it wouldn't be ironic, just fucking hilarious.

  8. SayItWithWookies

    This is all a run-up to the bill that'll really fix Tennessee's economy, the No Irish Need Apply Bill of 2013.

  9. FakaktaSouth

    Good Old Rocky Top – hey guys, if you don't want Fundamentalist Radical Muslims coming in to your state, you ought to maybe stop coming up with so many bills that are JUST LIKE SHARIA LAW (but with Jesus!). Islamofascists can't keep up and It is VERY confusing.

    1. prommie

      Why are the Vols always so overrated? Its almost as bad as Notre fucking Dame. The liberal media seems to love them Vols, and spots them 10 places in the poll. But they have never, not in my long lifetime, been able to win a big game against an SEC contender. For 4 years, that was because of a choking dog named Payton, but it kept happening after his choking ass moved on. Was it their terminal boozehound coach? Speaking of which, did you stop at the pharmacy and the liquor store?

      1. FakaktaSouth

        I did get to the stores, and am going to be properly medicated, post haste. (That'll be what's up later when I start slur-typing…not that you'll be here to notice.)
        The Volunteers have had a special place in my heart all my life – that place I keep things I hate the most – but I wish they would stop sucking quite so hard so that it would be fun to kick their asses instead of feeling bad for Derek Dooley. All I can do is steer clear of Tennessee whisk(e)y – I'm a Wild Turkey girl cause Kentucky don't bother me none, or Canadian Mist when I'm feeling cheap and ex-patriot-y…CHEERS!

        1. Boojum

          As one who was raised in Tennessee (born in Virginia, but that's another story), I believe I am qualified to confirm, from my own personal knowledge, that there are people in Tennessee who fit ALL of the stereotypes.

          There are many who don't, but it is hard to get them elected these days.

  10. Schmegeg

    Yes, I would worry that terror groups would infiltrate Tennessee and advocate secession from the country. Oh, Wait.

  11. anniegetyerfun

    Woah, now I haz a sad and have to go visit to get that image out of my head. Thanks, Liz.

  12. TanzbodenKoenig

    In our defense guys, its only in the dry counties that the weirdos who would otherwise be boozing like a normal person have to pass their time starting a race war instead. That or meth

  13. sullivanst

    Mumble mumble Federal government has exercised its right to set a national immigration policy mumble mumble preempts States from interfering mumble mumble

    Mumble mumble unintended consequences mumble mumble maybe shouldn't have been so concerned about breaking the teachers' union mumble mumble

        1. Jus_Wonderin

          Oh, if only Julie Andrews could sing anymore. I'd love to hear that in a grand ole style.

      1. Generation[redacted]

        Is that North Superalabamissippitennetuckygeorgia or South Superalabamissippitennetuckygeorgia?

  14. YasserArraFeck

    Fuck the eagle, let's make the Predator drone the national symbol

  15. OzoneTom

    Most popular lies told in TN:
    1) My truck is paid for.
    2) No one I know is on Food Stamps.
    3) I was just helping that sheep get over the fence.

    1. Boojum

      I remember a guy in Elementary School who, on the bus one day, was extolling the virtues of horse pussy.

  16. elviouslyqueer

    STRANGELY, our man in the closet Stacey Campfield is one of the only people voicing concerns about the bill. He told the Tennessean: "If people are here legally and legally qualified for a job, I have no problem with them. That’s what America is all about."

    Plus, ain't nobody gonna impede Stacey's supply of boy toys professional male escorts luggage lifters. Nobody.

  17. MissTaken

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free

    But stay the fuck out of our schools you dirty immigrants.

      1. WunkRocker

        An' that's on that french lady statue in Noo Yark. Don't count (like all the white maths teachers in TN).

  18. Ruhe

    There are no "gay Eagles" which is why Phyllis' son John isn't in the group. He confirmed his unfortunate orientation and then swore his allegiance to mommy eagle's views. Then the mommy eagle tore his head off and ate him as is nature's way.

      1. Ruhe

        Oh, Schlafly!!! The dry hopped APA is the pinnacle of American brewing…seriously. Pick me up a T-shirt while you're there.

        Thanks for the research too and also.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      Why aren't you speaking out against schools that specifically forbid racist hiring practices? Isn't that racist in itself, to tell people who they can't refuse to hire based on race?

  19. Callyson

    This American-only bird club is actually run by a spectacular anti-woman woman named Phyllis Schafly, who says that feminism is “the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today.”
    Yeah–if it weren't for those uppity womenfolk, those foreigners wouldn't have teaching jobs, because it would be one of the few jobs a woman would be allowed to hold. Of course, she would also be paid less than a male teacher, so that solves the budget deficit too.

  20. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    But if they limit foreign teachers and discussions of Islam in the text books, how will the kids know which way to pray once Obama declares the new Caliphate? Has no one thought of the children?

    1. Boojum

      Yeah, both Title VII and the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit States from such overtly ignit asshattery.

  21. Guppy

    state’s chartering authority may not approve schools where more than 3.5 percent of their staff is made up of immigrants, even if they are legal residents of the United States.

    Can we say "document abuse," boys and girls?

    The state’s Caucus Chairman Bill Kentron “has thus far denied that religion played any part in his decision to support the bill,”

    This is obvious, otherwise they'd have to obey Exodus 22:21 and Leviticus 19:34.

  22. AlaskaGrrl

    What? Is there some contest to see which state can prove themselves the most stupid? Who's going to be the first to pass a law that people wear their underwear on the outside? Rename the days of the weeks? Declare their own system of weights and measures?

    When did we start living in a Monty Python sketch?

    1. prommie

      Those days of the week, they're all named after pagan deities, and Jesus founded this country as a Christian Nation, Under God, Indivisible, so yeah, we maybe ought to rename the days of the week.

        1. Jus_Wonderin

          Let us not forget the Months. I do think we could preserve the nick of Cocktober though.

    2. thebeatgoeson

      Living in a Monty Python skit would be vastly preferable to living in Crackerland, USA.

  23. Joshua Norton

    Putting Tennessee First Act

    Of course now their only experience with science will be from their common-law wife's meth lab.

  24. Mumbletypeg

    The sad thing is — as I was reminding myself upon loading this afternoon's *audio* post from RS earlier — Tennessee and Al Gore Jr. once upon a time both had boasting rights. Al Gore Sr. put himself through night law school and entered politics relatively young. Departed his position in the chamber to enlist in the military, WTH. Resisted pressure to sign the 1956 "Southern Manifesto" — of the traditionally Confederate states caving to that pressure, only 3 legislators– Gore & another Tennessean plus LBJ — balked.
    Point is, while these were positive chinks in the old-guard armor that had held the state frozen from progress for so long, subsequent decades have clouded whatever bipartisan comaraderie and fence-mending that kept riffs from permanently scarring TN's heritage. Lots of turmoil surrounding TVA implementation and highway development didn't block advancement, ultimately..
    I grew up there seeing plenty of social stratification along socio-econ/ racial lines. Now here's a resurgence of homophobic target practice identifying a new brand of decoy, great, with the occasional outlier in the form of anti-gay-crusader Campfield. If he's staying level-headed about this vile Eagle-whatnot proposal then let him be heard. After all, Gore Sr.'s voting record was anything but impeccable. But so help me if this state lets itself undo what little pockets of progress have made baby-steps toward fulfilling, for the sake of bigoted egotism and odious notoriety.

  25. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    On a state level, my beloved Tennessee has legislated some of the goddamndest things since 2010.

  26. StarsUponThars

    Take us back, Phyllis: "What I am defending is the real rights of women. A woman should have the right to be in the home as a wife and mother." — Phyllis Schlafly

    1. LagunaB

      Phyllis Schlafly had a law degree and started a publishing company. Not really being at home cooking, now was she?

  27. BarackMyWorld

    Proving once again that you don't have to be able to spell "xenophobic" to be xenophobic. Hell, if anything there's a reverse correlation.

  28. nirrti_rachelle

    I thought it was conservatives' strategy to bust unions by hiring immigrants who'd work for shit wages. My home state of Tennessee is too backwards to even get that part right.

  29. savethispatient

    As a green card holder, I'm not exactly sure where my rights end and a citizen's rights start, but I'm pretty sure apart from voting they're basically the same. Which makes this law totally unconstitutional, no?

    1. Chichikovovich

      As a former green card holder, I can tell you that you'd be surprised what can be done to you that can't be done to a citizen. Check out the Supreme Court decision Flemming v. Nestor for starters, if you've been paying into Social Security. There is a lot of stuff like that, which is among the things that prompted me to finally take US citizenship.

      1. Fukui-sanYesOta

        I've been wondering about this as well, since I'm finally eligible to apply for true citizenship.

        All this "no taxation without representation" nonsense doesn't really apply to us Resident Aliens.

    1. DerrickWildcat

      A wise decision sir.
      The bird in question is not an, "Eagle" It is more than likely a Red-tailed Hawk.
      A very noble and interesting bird nonetheless. The interesting thing about Red-tailed Hawks is that there are Dark Morphs ( Harlen's Hawks), and Light Morphs (Krider's Hawks.) To make things even more interesting (and confusing) is that are Light morphs of the Dark Morphs and Dark Morphs of the Light Morphs!

  30. SorosBot

    And yes, I remembered from law school that the Supreme Court ruled on this quite some time ago, and found that state discrimination against non-citizens is generally unconstitutional, with an exception "for officers who participate directly in the formulation, execution, or review of broad public policy perform functions that go to the heart of representative government". It took me forever to find the case – thank you so much, Google and Bing, for always prioritizing recently updated pages over old ones, regardless of relevance; but here it is, Sugarman v Dougall:

    And this was an 8-1 decision, decided way back in 1973; so yes this proposed law is blatantly unconstitutional.

  31. dubyatf

    THIS is what happens when you mix Constitutionally protected personal freedoms the like of which the world has never seen with a vastly uneducated, intellectually incurious populace.
    If all the world's nations were in high school, the US would be that really stupid, powerfully built star football player that nobody likes but they grudgingly admire for his size and abilities. And ballz. And the rest of the nations are the honor students (Germany, Japan), nerds (India, China), popular pretty kids (Norway, Sweden) et al, who give USA a wide, respectful berth and rejoice in every shoulder or head the USA takes to the solar plexus. Meanwhile, England is the little runty guy that attaches himself like a remora to USA's sac.
    The bully has no friends, just quislings. Everyone else despises him. Then when graduation rolls around (eminent; see "world's fastest growing economies"-hint: we're not on the list) and the summer comes and goes, the big bully is just another has-been, whose kids will end up working for the kids he pushed around back in the days when he was, only in his own mind, soaring like an eagle.
    I vote for the Massive National Return to Sanity and Restore Our Reputation Act, wherein a gargantuan hydraulic lift is secretly erected and placed under a corner of the Left Coast. Then on the day before the 2012 election, everyone who is NOT affiliated with the Tea Party, with any militia, hate group (this would naturally include Fox and the entire Murdoch enterprise), HMO or Bank board of directors, Clear Channel, and anyone who has EVER read for any reason other than to laugh or induce vomiting will lash him or herself to the nearest tree at the sounding of a pre-determined signal. It will probably be the sound of reasoned debate, since this is provably a sound that none of the above can hear. When the hydraulic lift, equipped as it is with a mega-amped version of
    Tesla's earthquake machine, is activated it will pick up and then proceed to shake holy fuck out of the entire country until every last Tennessee Eagle/Bircher/Tea Bagger/Evangelical "Christian"/NRA fanatic (I could go on, but at some point today I should probably get dressed) has been deposited in the Atlantic–temporary as their stay may be, 'cause don't more sharks hang out in the Atlantic than the Pacific? If I'm wrong about that the MROSAROR Act should be immediately amended to install the lift on the East Coast–where they can be all they CAN be. Floaters. Then chum.
    But, ahem. It's not as if I've given it any thought.

      1. dubyatf

        You are so right!
        5 cups of coffee + agitation + trying to comment using an iPad = Fail.
        The defense calls coolhandnuke. Mr. Nuke, please tell the court what you said yesterday.
        Nuke: "Sometimes you just gotta go a bit crazy to regain your sanity."
        Serially, I apologize.
        Take heart. The electricity's gonna be shut off the day after tomorrow. Every cloud, et.cetera. Sure, it will suck for me, but you, happily, will be spared any more insane rambling sans paragraph breaks.
        La barbe d'un homme est sur le feu et un autre homme warms ses mains cela.
        C'est la vie, bébé.

  32. Limeylizzie

    OT sort of, MrLimeylizzie has decided he wants a new Mercedes, we have one that is 15 years old, so off we go to the Mercedes dealer in Glendale, CA, and this really lovely salesman is giving us the business and we are checking out cars and we get to an 'S" Class and Jack . of course, has to sit in it and starts cracking wise about how it looks as if he works for the government, it was a black 4 door, and the salesman says 'And there's room in the trunk for Obama", the two of us just let rip about how we felt about Barry ,and Jack , who grew up in Salt Lake City, just went off about how the Mormons run that town and how they are all like mediocre middle-management types and how they should not be running the government. Poor salesman person didn't know what to do , but he did hand us his card and his name was…..Oscar Zapata! What the fuck? I fucking hate it when people whose loyalties should lie with the working-class vote against them. Sorry to ramble on but it made me crazy .

      1. Limeylizzie

        Well, before he said that Jack whispered to me “I could just write a cheque today”, however he did not do that!

        1. Fukui-sanYesOta

          Those new S-classes are seriously nice. Senor Zapata just stiffed himself out of a nice commission by being a dipshit.

          1. Fukui-sanYesOta

            Best way to buy; bought mine with that "Certified Pre-owned" Mercedes guarantee, which is excellent.

          2. Limeylizzie

            It was only a year-old and had been leased so it was in great shape and was “only” $50K.

    1. commiegirl

      Why the salesman would have such poor judgment as to think that would necessarily work in California is beyond me. Of course, it's a Mercedes dealership, so it probably works a lot.

      1. Limeylizzie

        I know, isn't that nutty? We were gobsmacked, still it was Glendale not the Beverly Hills dealership.

  33. mrbubb

    Jesus. The whole head *and* spinal cord?! Jesus, that's hard-core. That thing is going to haunt me for weeks.

  34. Numbat_Dundee

    My dream of moving from Australia to the US and teaching evolution in rural Tennessee is shattered.

  35. ttommyunger

    Tennessee, also first in: Long-distance spitting, butt-fucking farm animals, incest, mouth-breathing, booger-picking and ass scratching in public.

  36. GemlikeFlame

    Let's see, eagles are a bird of prey that prefer carrion to live animals under the weight limit of four pounds. They preferentially steal prey from other raptors. So, what we have here is a species that prefers roadkill to live meat, will steal food from other species rather than hunt it themselves, and picks on small animals if there's no other choice.

    Sounds like a Tennessee republican to me. I do think Ben Franklin had it right, the turkey should have been the national bird. They're incredibly stupid, but have at least one redeeming characteristic, one gave its life to make Sarah Palin look like the bloodthirsty moron that she really is.

  37. DahBoner

    They still teach the Bible in Tennessee?

    Don't trim your beard?

    Don't pick up sticks in your yard on Saturday?

  38. freakishlywrong

    Srsly. These awful fucks thrive on glittery hate. We've got another fiddy years of Cheny,for fuck's sake.

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