Thursday, May 25, 2017

ACLU: “Sanctuary Cities” Law Wrongheaded, Racist, Undemocratic and Un-Texan

by Nomad


On the issue of the new laws banning "sanctuary cities" in Texas, there's a showdown on the calendar between the state, civil rights groups and city governments.


ACLU and the Strike of Pecan Shellers

When 12,000 pecan shellers- mostly Hispanic women- went on strike in San Antonio in January 1938, one of the effects of that three-month labor action was the formation of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

At that time, Texas was famous for its pecan production and accounted for nearly half of the nation's pecan production. The center of that production was- you guessed it- San Antonio. It might have been a big business but there wasn't much of a trickle down effect for the workers.
The pecan-shelling industry was one of the lowest-paid industries in the United States, with a typical wage ranging between two and three dollars a week. In addition that, the fine brown dust of the pecan shells was the suspected cause of the high rates of tuberculosis in San Antonio. 

When workers demanded better working conditions and something closer to a living wage, local law enforcement cracked down on the picketers despite their right to free speech and free assembly. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Brookings' Elaine Kamarck Explains the Delicate Process of Impeachment

by Nomad


One of the helpful things a blog like Nomadic Politics can do is to provide its readers with accurate information on complicated or misunderstood issues. This, in turn, can lay the foundation for an intelligent discussion based on informed opinions.

One topic which is much talked about but rarely explained in depth is the topic of the impeachment pf the president. In US history, there have been only three times this constitutional provision has been attempted.

Elaine Kamarck is, as senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at Brookings and the founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management, an esteemed authority on the way things work in politics and government.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Goodness of Gardening: Renewing our Spirits and Urban Spaces

 by Endless Summer


The Need to Refuel

First, let me say a big thank you to Nomad for allowing us to continue this community here in this space he so graciously hosts. And thank him for giving me the opportunity to communicate with the community through this post.

The 2016 election has brought us a set of challenges unlike most of us have seen in our lifetimes. Daily, we see Trump and the GOP rend the fabric of our democratic society, and the pace and breadth of the assault threatens to overwhelm us. Trumpression is real, and most of us have expressed it here in our comments. So I asked Nomad if I might write a post with the intention of uplifting the community, and he obliged.

Resistance, no matter the form it takes, requires fuel. Whether it’s marching in protests, calling and writing lawmakers, attending organizational meetings, it takes a lot out of you. It’s fatiguing, not to mention infuriating, to have finished a round of phone calls to lawmakers, only to check twitter and see another abomination unleashed on us. It’s been just over 100 days and I’m exhausted. I know y’all are too, so let’s refuel.

I think of refueling, or some say self-care, as feeding the soul; the things we can do each day that bring us joy and generally make the world a better place.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Presidential Pardons and the Question of Justice

by Nomad


As reported a couple of months ago, one of the last official acts of President Obama was to commute the remainder of Chelsea Manning's 35-year sentence.
On Wednesday, Manning walked out of the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, bringing to a conclusion, as the New York Times called, "one of the most extraordinary criminal cases in American history over the leaking of government secrets to the public."

Manning and Snowden

The other day I was reading an online discussion regarding the subject of presidential pardons. Specifically, the topic was whether President Obama was right in pardoning Chelsea Manning and not pardoning former National Security Agency contractor  Edward Snowden. 

Snowden, who currently lives in exile in Russia,  faces charges under the Espionage Act of 1918, a law the constitutionality of which has been contested ever since it was enacted. 
Among other things, that law makes it a crime to convey information with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the armed forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies during wartime.  

The campaign to pardon Snowden picked up momentum after Oliver Stone's film but sputtered and ran out of gas. Indeed, all members of  House Select Committee on Intelligence, (13 Republicans and nine Democrats, ) sent a letter to the White House urging against a pardon for Snowden.

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