Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Radical Republican: When the GOP Championed the 14th Amendment

by Nomad

One idea that many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around is how the platforms of the two major political parties in America have dramatically shifted over the last 150 years. 

This historical fact is brought into sharper focus with the recent talk by Republican Donald Trump about the possibility of repealing the 14th Amendment and citizen birth rights provisions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

With the Party in Disarray and Denial, the GOP has Become America's Zombie Party

by Nomad

After 2012, the Republican National Committee performed an "autopsy" on what went wrong. So many good ideas were suggested. By the looks of things, nothing has changed. Following the skillful autopsy, the GOP patient has become a political zombie. 

In the grim weeks following the Republican disaster in 2012, many in the top echelons of the Republican Party called for a concise heart-searching about what exactly is wrong with the Grand Old Party. 

Priebus' Call for Soul-Searching
The first and the hardest part of any rehabilitation was admitting there was a problem. The time had come to make that initial step. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" at that time
"In order to get back in the game, you've got to look at and do a full autopsy of what happened."
Not a bad idea. Something had to be done to stop the decline. Denial was no longer an option.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Make Sense of a Senseless Act of Violence

by Nomad

Whenever there is a senseless act of violence against the innocent, many of us struggle to find the means to cope, or some kind of an appropriate response. That often seems like an impossible feat.

by Source (WP:NFCC#4).
On February 10, 2015, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23,  and his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21,and her 19-year old sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were brutally murdered in their Chapel Hill, North Carolina home. 

All three died of gun shot wounds inflicted by their neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, a 46-year-old former car parts salesman. (Reportedly the motive for the triple murder was a dispute about a parking space.

Barakat and his wife were both students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, enrolled in the School for Dentistry. Last Monday Barakat would have begun his third year there and his wife would have followed her husband with her first year dentistry school. 
A senseless tragedy, there's no doubt about that. The question is: is there ever an appropriate response to such an event? It is too easy to match hate with hate, ignorance with ignorance, or perhaps worse, simply to shake one's head and move on.
How can we not surrender to despair?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Photo: Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Meets A Fan Close Up

by Nomad

Republican front-runner in the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump, drew large and enthusiastic crowds at an Alabama rally. At this point, his opponents must be scratching their heads in dismay.

A Triumphant Trump
Last Friday, Republican President Candidate Donald Trump spoke before an impressive crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump people said the number at the rally was around 40,000 but others figures suggested about half of that.
Should you have the stomach for it, you can find a video of the full speech at this link.

At one point in his long, free-form and somewhat rambling speech, he suggested that the candidates like JEB would be swayed by their mega-donors and special interests when it came to trade talks. Trump brought the crowd to its collective feet by asking them:
Who would you rather have negotiating with China, Japan Mexico, any of them, Trump or Jeb Bush?"
They roared "Trump! Trump! Trump!" "Trump-ism" seems to be triumphant.. for the moment.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sleeping on the Streets: DOJ Challenges the Constitutionality of Anti-Homelessness Ordinances

by Nomad

Otherwise ignored by mainstream media, the Washington Post picked up an interesting news article the other day regarding homelessness and a DOJ challenge the local ordinances against vagancy.  

To Be Without a Home, Like a Complete Unknown
Boise, like many US cities, passed an ordinance which banned sleeping or camping in public places. That city is by no means unique.

The usual knee-jerk reaction to a visible and embarrassing problem has been to find a way to make it a criminal offense. The idea is basically if we can't prevent it, we can make it illegal and then we can make it invisible.

According to last year's report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, a survey of 187 cities found that:
  • 24% of cities impose city-wide bans on begging in public.
  • 76% of cities prohibit begging in particular public places.
  • 33% of cities make it illegal to loiter in public throughout an entire city.
  • 65% of cities prohibit the activity in particular public places.
  • 53% of cities prohibit sitting or lying down in particular public places.
  • 43% of cities prohibit sleeping in vehicles.
  •  9% of cities prohibit sharing of food
A recent study by UC Berkeley School of Law noted that more Californian cities have enacted more anti-vagrancy laws than in any other part of the country. with Los Angeles and San Francisco topping the list.
The laws restrict anything from panhandling to sharing food with a homeless person to sitting in public spaces.