Archive for the ‘Texas’ tag
A lot of attention is being given to the fact that residents in all 50 states have filed petitions to secede from the United States.
Daily Caller reports:
By 6:00 a.m. EST Wednesday, more than 675,000 digital signatures appeared on 69 separate secession petitions covering all 50 states, according to a Daily Caller analysis of requests lodged with the White House’s “We the People” online petition system.
Petitions from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas residents have accrued at least 25,000 signatures, the number the Obama administration says it will reward with a staff review of online proposals. (RELATED: Will Texas secede? Petition triggers White House review)
The Texas petition leads all others by a wide margin.
States whose active petitions have not yet reached the 25,000 signature threshold include Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Fourteen states are represented by at least two competing petitions. The extra efforts from two states — Missouri and South Carolina — would add enough petitions to warrant reviews by the Obama administration if they were combined into petitions launched earlier.
As Google notes, web searches for the term “secession” are being run in a number of states:
Conservatives – such as Judge Napolitano and Ron Paul - say that the states have the right to secede. And Texas governor Rick Perry said that Texas has a right to secede (although he counsels against it at the current time).
On the other hand, most liberals say that the Civil War ended the state’s right to secede. Huffington Post is covering the wave of secession petitions … to ridicule them.
Daily Kos suggests that “secessionists can secede by renouncing their citizenship“.
As the Daily Caller notes, liberals have launched their own counter-petitions:
In a … nose-thumbing aimed at Texas’ conservative majority, progressives from the liberal state capital of Austin responded Monday with a petition to secede from their state if Texas as a whole should decide to leave the Union.
Late Tuesday a second group of Texans, this one from Houston, lodged their own White House petition. Secession-minded Texans, they wrote, “are mentally deficient and [we] do not want them representing us. We would like more education in our state to eradicate their disease.”
A group from El Paso, too, wants no part of an independent Texas. “Allow the city of El Paso to secede from the state of Texas,” their petition reads. “El Paso is tired of being a second class city within Texas.”
Yahoo News argues that the petitions are meaningless:
The petitions are little more than symbolic—and nothing new. Similar petitions were filed after the 2004 and 2008 elections.
Libertarian website Lew Rockwell argues in a piece by Ryan McMaken that nothing will come of the current secession attempts, but that the principle is important:
I have no illusions about this latest secession petition phenomenon. Nothing will directly come of this, and the people who are behind it are mostly people who would be singing “God Bless America” at the tops of their lungs had Mitt Romney been elected. On the other hand, it sure has a lot of people talking about secession, which shows that the idea of it remains an important part of the American political consciousness.
The Declaration makes a simple argument:
- Humans have rights from the Creator.
- Governments exist to secure those rights (a debatable assertion but we’ll roll with it).
- When the government fails to secure those rights, we can ditch it and start our own government.
That’s pretty much all it says. If you thought that was true in 1776, when tax rates were 1% and there was no such thing as a the EPA or the FBI or the IRS, why is it not true now? Because we’re so much more free now? And, no, the Declaration did not say that the government is free to violate rights as long as people get to vote on it.
The Declaration establishes that there’s no such thing as treason, and a free government requires the assumption of just secession. Lysander Spooner explains[:]
Thus the whole Revolution [of 1775–1783] turned upon, asserted, and, in theory, established, the right of each and every man, at his discretion, to release himself from the support of the government under which he had lived. And this principle was asserted, not as a right peculiar to themselves, or to that time, or as applicable only to the government then existing; but as a universal right of all men, at all times, and under all circumstances.
Ron Paul says that states have the right so secede … and predicts they will do so when the dollar collapses:
My take has been the same for many years … I believe that America – like the Soviet Union – may break up when corruption and tyranny lead to the break down of basic systems.
For Immediate Release: November 13, 2012
The Texas legislature will take up two bills designed to protect basic civil liberties in the Lone Star State during the 2013 legislative session.
On Monday morning, Rep. David Simpson (R-Longwood) prefiled The Texas Travel Freedom Act (House Bill 80). If passed, the law would make it a criminal act to intentionally touch “the anus, breast, buttocks, or sexual organ of the other person, including touching through clothing,” without probable cause in the process of determining whether to grant someone access to a public venue or means of public transportation.
The measure also forbids removing a child younger than 18 years of age from the physical custody or control of a parent or guardian. The act would put an end to the most intrusive pat-down searches conducted by the TSA.
“If you walk up to somebody and grab their crotch out on the street, it will land you in jail. Blue uniforms and federal badges don’t grant some goon the power to sexually assault you, or at least they shouldn’t. A person doesn’t forfeit her or his personal dignity or Fourth Amendment protections with the purchase of an airline ticket,” Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said.
The Texas legislature will also consider a bill that would block any attempt to indefinitely detain people in Texas under sections of the National Defense Authorization Act. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) prefiled House Bill 149, which declares: ( more . . . )
In an outrageous repeat of Katrina, the federal government has moved into wildfire-stricken Texas and turned away firefighting trained volunteers who had converged on Bastrop and Smithville to combat the out of control flames.
According to The Gonzales Cannon, federal officials arrived at the scene and assumed command of the operation under the pretense “local officials never made a formal request for volunteers.”
Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson with the U.S. National Interagency Incident Center, confirmed that a federal group comprised of several agencies would be assuming command in Bastrop County.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, FEMA refused to allow volunteer firefighters from around the nation, as well as trucks loaded with donated water, from entering New Orleans as troops, police, and mercenaries went house-to-house confiscating weapons.
Officials in Louisiana accused FEMA of making the situation worse with red tape and a hesitant response immediately after Katrina blasted into the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the Los Angeles Times reported on September 5, 2005.
Alex Jones was contacted on Tuesday by firefighters who confirmed that FEMA is blocking volunteer assistance and has frustrated local attempts through the U.S. Forest Service and its maze of bureaucratic red tape.
The firefighters and other volunteers report that the Forest Service is not responding to their efforts to clear federal hurdles put in the way of a response to the worst fire in Texas history.
In the past, the first line of defense during emergencies was the state National Guard. Since 9/11, however, the federal government has taken control of the Guard away from the states and has merged its operations with the Pentagon.
In 2008, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates commissioned a study proposing recommendations to merge the National Guard and Reserves into the U.S. armed forces.
In January 2010, Obama moved the process forward when he issued an executive order establishing a Council of Governors. “In other words, the Pentagon and Homeland Security will give hand-picked governors their marching orders under the guise of ‘synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States,’ a direct violation of Posse Comitatus,” we wrote at the time.
In 2005, Jefferson Parish President Aaron Broussard told the national media that FEMA and the feds had abandoned New Orleans after the hurricane. He described how trucks with water delivered from Wal-Mart were turned back and FEMA cut emergency communication lines.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen said FEMA’s actions during Katrina amounted to information warfare. “Jamming radio and other communications such as television signals is part of a Pentagon tactic called ‘information blockade’ or ‘technology blockade.’
The tactic is one of a number of such operations that are part of the doctrine of ‘information warfare’ and is one of the psychological operations (PSYOPS) methods used by the US Special Operations Command,” he told Prison Planet.com on September 6, 2005.
It appears FEMA and the feds are attempting a repeat in Texas.
“The mission of FEMA has never in reality been to bring people food and water and help in times of crisis. Alex Jones has attended numerous FEMA drills where the whole point of the exercise is to round people up, break up families and institute a brutal police state crackdown,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote after the devastating storm in the Gulf.
Pressure is building on the north American plate beyond the rocky mountain continental divide. As far north as the Cascadia range in the Pacific Northwest, south east to Yellowstone, then further south east to Georgia, up north to Montreal / New York …
The threat of a new madrid earthquake , in my opinion, goes up ANOTHER notch, with the signs of more activity in the north east, extending along the faults down to Arkansas.
The pressure buildup is extending across the atlantic to the mid-Atlantic ridge, and now showing signs of stress on BOTH sides of the european plate.. the european plate is showing signs of “uptick” in activity.. as far north as south belgium, east towards Poland and south to the mediterranean sea.
Expect anywhere along a plate boundry and anwhere there are active volcanos to experience 5.0 quakes and greater for the next 2 weeks or more.
Also areas where DORMANT volcanos exist .. such as greenbrier Arkansas, Mono Lake California, off the coast of seattle, south belgium / west germany…
Asia, the threat extends from the India Russia border (central india) south east to australia, and bending around the australian continent down to the south pole, right through new zealand, and branching north up to the hot spot of japan.
Japan still is due for a VERY large quake.. in the 8.0+ range within the next 2 weeks.
Post glacial rebound effect:
check out scott from believers underground who first proposed this theory to us here on youtube.. he is correct about the effects of PGRE.
No quakes in Australia.. hmm
With the release of results for over 20 states, the 2010 Census has provided some strong indicators as to the real evolution of the country’s demography. In short, they reveal that Americans are continuing to disperse, becoming more ethnically diverse and leaning toward to what might be called “opportunity” regions.
Below is a summary of the most significant findings to date, followed by an assessment of what this all might mean for the coming decade.
Point One: America is becoming more suburban.
For much of the past decade, there has been a constant media drumbeat about the “return to the cities.” Urban real estate interests, environmentalists and planners have widely promoted this idea, and it has been central to the ideology of the Obama administration, the most big-city dominated in at least a half century. “We’ve reached the limits of suburban development,” Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan opined last February, “People are beginning to vote with their feet and come back to the central cities.”
Donavan and others cite such things as the energy price spike in the mid-aughts as well as the mortgage crisis as contributing to the “back to the city” trend. Yet in reality the actual numbers suggest that Donavan and his cronies may need a serious reality check. The Census reveals that, contrary to the “back to the city” rhetoric, suburban growth continues to dominate in most regions of the country, constituting between 80% and 100% of all growth in all but three of the 16 metropolitan areas reporting.
This includes sprawling regions like Houston, “smart growth“ areas like Seattle and Portland (where suburbs accounted for more than 80% of all growth over the decade) and Midwestern regions like St. Louis, which like Chicago saw a sharp decline in the urban population. The only exceptions have been Oklahoma City, Austin or San Antonio, with vast expanses still allowing for much of new development to take place within the city limits.
To be sure, no one should pretend that urban fortunes have sunk to their 1970s nadir. Yet overall, central cities, which accounted for a 11% of metropolitan growth in the 1990s, constituted barely 4% of the growth in the last decade. Some core cities, notably Chicago, have shrunk after making gains in the ’90s. Indeed Chicago — the president’s adopted hometown and the poster child of the urban “comeback” — took what analyst Aaron Renn humorously dubbed “a Census shellacking,” losing some 200,000 people, while the outer suburban ring continued to grow and diversify their populations. The Windy City’s population is now down to the lowest level since the 1910 Census.
Point Two: America is becoming more diverse, and the diversity is spreading.
The racial reordering of America is proceeding apace. Nowhere is this more clear than in Texas, where Hispanic and Asian populations have driven much of the state’s demographic growth. Latinos alone now account for roughly 38% of all Texans. Immigration rates in Dallas and Houston are now higher than for Chicago, Washington, Seattle and Atlanta. Texas, notes long-time observer Candace Evans, is becoming the country’s premier laboratory for promoting a successful diversity.
There are other major shifts in ethnic demographics. For one thing, minorities continue to head to the suburban rings around most major cities. African-Americans and even Latinos may be fleeing places like Chicago, but they continue to move in large numbers to suburban locales in surrounding Illinois counties. , especially south of the city. Others appear to have headed to places like the traditional black-opportunity magnet of Atlanta and or other southern hubs, such as Nashville.
Another trend appears to be the migration of ethnic minorities to areas that, in the past, have been primarily white. This is clear in the thriving Indianapolis area, where the African-American population grew by 28% and the Hispanic population by 161%, or some 56,000 souls. Look for more minority growth in such areas which have the advantage of affordable housing, robust economies and better than average job growth.
3. The Shift to “Opportunity Regions”
As the economy slid in the last years of the decade, population growth slowed, particularly in some Sun Belt states, such as Florida and Nevada, that thrived during the bubble. In contrast newcomers flocked to places, notably in the Texas cities, that offered better prospects. Austin, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas-Ft. Worth regions all grew by 20% or more over the decade.
The key here seems to be affordability and jobs. As economist Mark Sharpe has illustrated, Texas private sector job growth last year was 2.7%, compared with 1% nationally. Unfortunately, unemployment remains over 8%, since of this growth was absorbed by newcomers. In contrast, places with the slowest, or negative growth, tend also to be losing jobs. For example, although the residential population of Chicago’s loop tripled in the past decade to 20,000,the famed business district lost almost 65,000 jobs.
But it’s not just Sun Belt cities that are gaining on places like Chicago. Indianapolis has emerged as a different kind of “opportunity region.” It lacks the dynamism and diversity of the Texas cities, but it has continued to attract people from all over the country, including the surrounding rural or old Rust Belt parts of the state. Overall the Indianapolis region grew nearly 15% over the decade, roughly 50% higher than the national average, as much as Portland and more than Seattle.
In contrast, growth seems to be slowing in some formerly hot areas. Population increases for Seattle, Portland and Denver were around 14%, about half the rate of the previous decade. Part of this may have to do with high unemployment, particularly in Oregon, and high housing prices. Still, these three areas continue to grow much faster than regions such as Chicago, St. Louis or Baltimore where growth struggled in the single digits
Possible Long-term Implications
These shifts suggest that the Obama administration might want to rethink its high-density and urban-oriented strategy. Despite all the media focus on an imagined “back to the city” movement, Americans continue to disperse to “opportunity regions” and toward the suburbs. As a result, expect generally conservative-leaning suburbs and exurbs to gain more power after reapportionment and core city influence to decline further.
Yet the Census numbers also have some unsettling aspects for Republicans. The increasing minority population even in heartland states such as Indiana, not to mention Texas, could undermine GOP gains, particularly if the party listens to its strong nativist wing. Diversification in the suburbs could ultimately turn some of these areas to the center or even left.
The new American generation arising in the census will be increasingly diverse. A growing portion will consist of the children of immigrants, and they will be predominately English-speaking. This suggests a more active and engaged minority population, perhaps susceptible to a pro-growth GOP message and the economy of “opportunity regions” but likely hostile to overtly anti-immigrants posturing.
Whatever your politics or economic interests, the Census suggests that the country is changing in dramatic way– if not always in the ways often predicted by pundits, planners or the media. It usually makes more sense to study the actual numbers, than follow the wishful thinking of largely urban-centric, big-city-based and often quite biased analysts.
This piece originally appeared at Forbes.com
Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com and is a distinguished presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, and an adjunct fellow of the Legatum Institute in London. He is author of The City: A Global History. His newest book is The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, released in February, 2010.
If you want to get a glimpse of the future of the U.S., check out Fort Worth, TX. Never mind the cowboy boots, but you might want to practice your Spanish.
Texas is growing explosively and much of that growth is among Latinos. The latest Census Bureau figures show the Lone Star State grew by 20%, to over 25 million people, recording about a quarter of the nation’s overall growth. The rate of growth was twice the national average. The implications are huge politically, as Texas stands to gain 4 new Congressional seats from this expansion, and Hispanic leaders want in.
A majority of the Hispanic growth came from births to families already living here. While migration from other states and countries contributed about 45%.
The Texas story stands in contrast to the Rust Belt states and the Northeast, where overall growth is minimal. Texas’s Hispanic-fueled growth spurt out-paced the entire countries, helped brace our housing market and our economy.
A close look at Texas growth reveals much about American’s home-buying habits. Rural areas got smaller – few want to live in the boonies of far west Texas while it appears suburban areas won over the most transplants.
But arguably the biggest winner was Ft. Worth, or Cow Town as we call it. Fort Worth grew by a whopping 38.6%, the largest increase in the state, followed by Laredo’s 33%, Austin at 20.4%, and San Antonio at 16%. In contrast the city of Dallas, my home, grew by a scant .8% – a bit deflating to a city all puffed up about a $354 million arts center, a downtown park and greenway, and the $185 million Perot Museum of Nature & Science underway.
Houston remains the state’s largest metropolitan area but sustained growth of only 7.5%, though Harris County – mostly due to growth in the suburbs – grew by 20%. As in Ft. Worth and elsewhere, Hispanics have been the driver, and now comprise 41% of the Harris County population. The biggest growth took place in formerly rural towns just outside the big cities, one-shop stop farmer’s crossings or granaries.
Curtis Tally shakes his head at how fast little Justin, north of Fort Worth, has grown. Subdivisions sprouted up on what was once farmland around his Justin Feed Co. in southern Denton County. From 1891 residents in 2000, Justin has 3,246 today.
"We were selling seed for pastures; now we’re selling seeds for lawns," Tally, 74, who has been in business in Justin since 1958, told the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
If you think that’s amazing, wait ‘till you get to Fate, Texas, 25 minutes east of Dallas on Interstate 30. Ten years ago you would have missed Fate, a town of 500 so small the utility invoicing was done on postcards if you blinked while driving. Today, Fate is the fastest-growing town in the state, with 6,357 residents – an increase of 1,179%! Residents who live there say it’s far enough away from Dallas to be in the country, but still close to the big city. Fate draws many first time homebuyers who are starting families (home prices range from $50,000 to $300,000) Here’s what Fate resident Tina Nelson told The Dallas Morning News:
“My kids can go ride bikes all day long and I don’t have to worry too much about where they are,” said Tina. “It’s like the 1950s (here) the sun goes down and everyone’s porch light comes on.”
On the western side of Lake Ray Hubbard, a few minutes from Fate and slightly closer to Dallas is Sunnyvale, another fast-growing little hick town where professionals are building $2 million dollar homes on a 124 acre family ranch turned into home sites called St James Park. They send their children to a two-year old, $50 million public school with the highest ratings in the state.
The young man building homes on the 49 two acre estate sites is Jojy Koshy of Atrium Fine Homes. At 31, Jojy holds a masters in business from the University of Texas and tells me, with pride, how his parents immigrated to the Dallas suburb of Plano in 1986 from India.
“My parents instilled a strong work ethic in us,” he says. “I know this market is challenging, but I believe that if I work longer, harder, and keep our clients completely satisfied, we will have a great business.”
It’s the same story across the state. The Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio filled in with development as the cities merged closer to becoming one big schizophrenic metropolis. The string of counties along the Rio Grande, anchored by Brownsville and McAllen have been growing, and may be beneficiaries of the crime wave south of the border. A sharp Dallas Realtor took out an ad in the Monterrey newspaper advertising homes for sale in Dallas and snagged several buyers. Even the wife of the Monterrey mayor moved to a Dallas suburb, escaping the cartel and seeking to be closer to her family here.
Aside from escaping death in Mexico, what is driving people to Texas? Start with our rising star, Fort Worth. The city has both a cowboy pizzazz personality and a lower crime rate than Dallas. Fort Worth’s arts district has overshadowed Dallas’s for years, and the neighborhoods offer true community – places where the kids can still walk, not be bussed, to school. Rose Bowl winner Texas Christian University is on the upswing, downtown is charmingly vibrant, and an urban renaissance is taking hold on the city’s western edge called West 7th.
What are people seeking in Texas? I’d call it quality of life with room for upward mobility: affordable homes with mortgage payments that leave some money for recreation, good public schools for their kids and generally less onerous tax regime.
Yet with our many gains, Texas faces great challenges. The state has the third-highest teenage pregnancy rate in the nation, which is actually an improvement from last year, when we were number two. There are a rising number of children are living in poverty in Texas. Many of these children may be anchor babies born to illegal immigrants who cross the border to ensure their children and ultimately, themselves, citizenship. In 2006, 70% of the women who gave birth at Dallas County’s Parkland Memorial Hospital were illegal immigrants.
Increasingly, Latinos, illegal or not, take those babies home to the suburbs. Texas suburbs are no longer lily-white. This is true in working class places like Bedford, Texas, outside Fort Worth, where the black population has almost doubled. In affluent Southlake, the population this decade shifted from 95 percent Anglo down to 88 percent. Looking for a great selection of Asian food? You’ll starve (or go broke) in downtown Dallas. Go north to Carrollton, Texas where you’ll find a 78,000 square foot Super H Mart in what was once a Mervyns department store. Inside you’ll find seven types of gray, fuzzy, Chinese long, acorn, spaghetti, butternut, and kombucha squash eight food stalls said to rival any of those found in Seoul and Singapore, two cities known for their gourmet street food. Manduguk, anyone?
The new Texans are coming here not just to live, but to dig in economically.
In the end, we are seeing the birth of a Texas that is neither the white bread, big hair idyll of the cultural conservatives or the free market dystopia imagined by liberals. It is becoming more diverse, without losing its capitalist energy. With all its blemishes, the emerging Texas may well become the model for how America evolves in the coming decades.
Candy Evans is an independent journalist based in Dallas, Texas, She covers Texas for AOL’s HousingWatch and blogs at secondshelters.com.
Photo by Rick