The escalating Republican war on immigrants

Extremist rhetoric about what should be done about undocumented immigrants in the US seems to have become the norm in the Republican primary race with all the candidates vying to not be seen as ‘soft’ on the issue. For a long time they had managed to do their usual tap dance of keeping their proposals and language vague and woolly enough to appease their base while not totally alienating the Hispanic vote. That was until Donald Trump blew up that strategy.
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Positive steps in Ferguson

The death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August of last year was one of the major flashpoints involving aggressive policing that triggered a closer examination of the abuses that arise when police are used as revenue generators, with people being stopped, arrested, fined, losing their licenses, and jailed for minor violations. These can have devastating effects, especially for poorer people who may not have the ready resources to immediately pay whatever initial fine is levied on them, and end up in a nightmare of escalating penalties
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Family disagreements over same-sex marriage

Over the weekend I attended a wedding in Toronto and while there took the opportunity to visit a cousin of mine, his wife, and their adult son. It was an enjoyable visit and we discussed various topics, especially around the elections that are being held on October 19 in Canada and the permanent elections that are the feature of the US. They of course wanted to discuss the Donald Trump phenomenon.
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The next hurdle for the LGBT equality movement

Many people are not aware that in most states, members of the LGBT community, even though they can now marry, lack any legal protection from being fired or otherwise discriminated against. John Oliver on his show Last Week Tonight discussed the need to pass federal legislation to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In a question that he posed to all the people running for president, only Democrats Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee said they would support such legislation. The others did not respond.
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A plan to end police abuse

The issue of police brutality in the US has become a major issue and I too have been hitting on the issue hard and calling for reforms. But what reforms exactly? Now comes along something called Campaign Zero that has articulated 10 steps that can be taken towards the goal of ending police violence. The graphic giving the names of the 10 steps is below but if you go to the above website, each box is a hyperlink that takes you to a page that gives detailed policy recommendations.
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David Cay Johnston on Donald Trump’s shady activities

Economics writer David Cay Johnson is a long-time Donald Trump watcher and in an interview on Democracy Now! says that there are a whole lot of unsavory elements in the way that he has done business, using undocumented labor, kickbacks, union-busting, tax-avoidance, corporate welfare, and others. Johnson lists 21 questions that should be asked of him.
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The birthright citizenship controversy

Donald Trump has raised the stakes in the Republican party’s discussion about immigration by calling for the end of so-called ‘birthright citizenship’ that automatically confers US citizenship to anyone born within US jurisdiction irrespective of the status of their families. This move by him, coupled with his idea of forcible removal of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants, has raised the nativist stance of the party to a whole new level.
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