Sanctions against sanctuary cities should not be sanctioned

It’s a bit odd to be writing about this right after President Trump’s audaciously Nixonian firing of the FBI director — the third time this president has fired an official currently in charge of an investigation into the possible criminal activities of this president. But there’s a common thread here: White nationalist hegemony is incompatible with constitutional democracy. [Read more…]

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Sanctuary and ‘civil disobedience’ (part 2)

This is the difference between Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman. Parks effectively and strategically practiced civil disobedience. She broke an unjust law, submitting to her arrest and prosecution, and thereby helped to spark a public debate and a mass movement that ultimately changed and corrected that unjust law. Harriet Tubman broke an unjust law — many unjust laws — but she was compelled not to get caught doing so, for her own sake and for the sake of those she rescued. [Read more…]

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Sanctuary and ‘civil disobedience’ (part 1)

Sanctuary is an old idea, existing since ancient times. Over thousands of years, the idea and practice has evolved, but it endures today. And in all that time, in all its various forms in various cultures, one thing has always been true of the refuge provided by the practice of sanctuary: It has been lawful and legal, a legitimate assertion of jurisdiction and not a form of “civil disobedience.” [Read more…]

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I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered

Wherein I’m not confident that the makers of “Kong: Skull Island” really understand the dynamics of ecology, evolution, or island biogeography. And speaking of insular dwarfism, here are some recent stories about the strange priorities and disastrous economic effects of anti-immigrant Trumpism. [Read more…]

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Don’t let the rain make you unhappy

“An Unbelievable Story of Rape” by Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller has been awarded a Pulitzer prize. This is correct. If you haven’t read it, go read it now. Also: UC Davis and the Streisand effect; trespassing vs. civil disobedience; James Dobson worries about demographic purity; and a pop-music artifact that makes me smile. [Read more…]

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Religious right will hold breath, turn blue, if DOMA overturned

“We will not stand by,” the statement harrumphs. But, actually, yes, yes they will. Standing by is exactly what they will do because that is all they can do. This doesn’t affect them. It doesn’t harm them. It doesn’t compel them to do anything. It doesn’t compel them not to do anything. All they can possibly mean by “We will not stand by” is that “We will assume a posture of extreme indignation and offendedness while standing by.” [Read more…]

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Pat Buchanan joins Manhattan Declarers in ‘civil disobedience’ fappery

Pat Buchanan takes a break from race-baiting to pledge his support for “civil disobedience” against marriage equality. Like all the other pundits advocating this, he is unable to explain just how this would work. [Read more…]

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Religious right still doesn’t know what ‘civil disobedience’ means

Civil disobedience can be a powerful tool of nonviolent change, but it is really only appropriate or effective in response to an unjust legal prohibition. It does not apply easily or work well as a protest against what one regards as an unjust lack of legal prohibition. It’s hard to disobey a law that grants permission. [Read more…]

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