TNM vs SBOE Recommendation re Travis Letter

By: Daniel Miller info@texasnationalist.com

One of the major issues about the State Board of Education’s discussion of the recommendation to sanitize the history of the Alamo deals specifically with de-emphasizing Colonel Travis’s famous “Victory or Death” letter. What most do not know is that Alamo history has already been the victim of a political scrub job.

The “Victory or Death” letter wasn’t the only letter that Travis wrote during the siege. In fact, it pales in comparison to another letter that he penned on March 3rd to his friend Jesse Grimes. In the letter Travis clearly explains what truly motivated the Alamo defenders to lay down their lives. Travis’s words and the real sacrifice of the Alamo defenders is politically inconvenient in this climate where all Texian victories and sacrifices are hijacked or suppressed in order to induce cultural amnesia and political compliance in current and future generations of Texans. Never forget that these Texians were the FIRST to give everything for #TEXIT.

“…Let the Convention go on and make a declaration of independence , and we will then understand, and the world will understand, what we are fighting for. If independence is not declared, I shall lay down my arms , and so will the men under my command. But under the flag of independence, we are ready to peril our lives a hundred times a day, and to drive away the monster who is fighting us under a blood-red flag, threatening to murder all prisoners and make Texas a waste desert…If my countrymen do no rally to my relief, I am determined to perish in the defense of this place, and my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect” – W.B. Travis, Commander of the Alamo, to Jesse Grimes, from Béxar, March 3, 1836.

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Texas Voter Rolls MUST be Cleaned Up!

The time for action is NOW. If you do not want our Nov. 6 General Election outcomes to be determined by illegal voters, then you must act now!

Time is running out. With Early Voting only 54 days away, state officials have known about thethousands of illegally registered voters for a long time, but have not acted. At least six elections (Primary, Primary Runoff, local municipal/school board/community college/bond elections and special elections) have come and gone and nothing has been done to remove illegally registered people from Texas voter rolls. There is no excuse for this inaction.

Texas Conservative Grassroots Coalition letter to Governor Abbott:
https://gawtp.com/coalition-project-to-end-voting-by-illegal-aliens-in-progress/

 

Pearland Tea Party spoke with the Governor’s office this morning. He has not released a plan to deal with illegals voting in our coming election and hasn’t informed staff of his plan to release a plan 🙂 Very pleasant conversation, my opinion and name documented. Time for #Texans to call our Gov and AG. They alone can move on this in time for early voting in October. It appears we are the “push” needed.

Some tools to help you:

https://gawtp.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Illegals-Should-Not-Vote-Toolkit-2018.pdf

 

 

 

The Battle of Medina – Texas History

by Tom G Glass

I did not know about the Battle of Medina until just a few years ago. What is mind boggling about that is that it was the bloodiest battle in Texas history, and yet very few know about it. The battle occurred on August 18, 1813.

The battle was a fascinating confluence of the extended fight for independence of Mexico from Spain with early extension of American power under the Monroe Doctrine.

The other fascinating part of this story is that this was the first time that Texas was an independent republic. The first Republic of Texas only lasted for 4 months from April 6, 1813 until the battle on August 18.

The whole independence attempt was kicked off by Jose Bernardo Gutierrez when he was commissioned to seek aid for the Mexican war for independence in Washington, D.C. He met with then Secretary of State, James Monroe. In a move smacking of plausible deniability and Mission Impossible, a U.S. Army Lieutenant, Augustus Magee, third in his class at West Point, resigned his commission in the Army and joined up with Gutierrez to recruit an army of frontiersmen to help Texas win its independence from Spain.

This Gutierrez-Magee expedition kicked off on August 8, 1812. The force captured Nacogdoches, then Trinidad on the Trinity River, then Goliad and the fort there, La Bahia. There was a lot of fighting at Goliad, but finally the force captured San Antonio and Texas declared independence from Spain and became an independent Republic on April 6, 1813.

But then, the empire struck back. Joaquin de Arredondo, the Spanish government leader of the area raised an army around 1,800 men and marched on San Antonio to take on an army of 1,400 made up of militia from San Antonio and surrounding area, the American frontiersmen, some Indians, and deserters from the Spanish Army.

Magee had died of fever during the invasion, so the commander of the republicans was led by a new general, Jose Alvarez de Toledo. Toledo wanted to ambush Arredondo on the way to San Antonio, so the battle was fought in Atascosa County south of San Antonio close to the Medina River in land that was very sandy with intermittent scrub oak.

The battle was a close run thing. At one point the republicans captured several batteries of the royalists and were flanking them, too. Arredondo had issued orders to retreat until a republican defector told him that the republicans were very tired and thirsty from fighting through the sand on the hot August day. But finally, the republicans broke, and it became a slaughter. Only 100 of the 1,400 republicans who went into battle survived. The royalists lost only 55.

The treatment of the people of San Antonio by Arredondo was horrendous. The remains of the republican dead were left to rot on the battlefield and remained there until Mexico finally won its independence in 1821. When the royalists marched into San Antonio after the battle, they pulled 327 local San Antonio men into the streets and shot them. They turned out their children into the streets without parents because the widows were put into a prison where they were repeatedly raped and beaten. Arredondo sent a force to chase down native Tejanos running away and gave them similar treatment when caught. And then they repeated the drill to a lesser extent in Nacogdoches.

This memory must have been burned into the survivors in San Antonio. Knowing this history makes me admire even greater the heroism of Juan Seguin and his Tejano fighters from San Antonio in the 1835-36 revolution, just 22 years later.

And there is one other mind-blowing revelation about this battle. There was a young officer in Arredondo’s royalist army that learned the brutal methods of Arredondo very well. That officer’s name was Santa Anna.

The Crackdown Continues…

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-07/crackdown-continues-twitter-suspends-libertarian-accounts-including-ron-paul

One day after what appeared to be a coordinated attack by media giants Facebook, Apple, Spotify and Google on Alex Jones, whose various social media accounts were banned or suspended in a matter of hours, the crackdown against alternative media figures continued as several Libertarian figures, including the Ron Paul Institute director, found their Twitter accounts suspended.

Justin Raimondo@JustinRaimondo

Two more casualties of the Twitter purge of antiwar voices: @ScottHortonShow, the new editorial director of http://Antiwar.com , and @DanielLMcAdams, director of the Ron Paul Institute.

Are you next?

On Monday, Twitter suspended the editorial director of antiwar.com Scott Horton, former State Department employee Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams, the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute.

Antiwar.com@Antiwarcom

Scott Horton, Peter Van Buren, and Dan McAdams have been suspended from Twitter.
If you go to their accounts, you will see their old tweets, but they are prohibited from making new tweets. They were reported by @KatzOnEarth for criticizing his posts. Please complain to Twitter.

Horton was reportedly disciplined for the use of “improper language” against journalist Jonathan M. Katz, he said in a brief statement, while McAdams was suspended for retweeting him, he said. Past tweets in both accounts were available to the public at the time of the writing, unlike the account of Van Buren, which was fully suspended.

According to TargetLiberty, Horton and McAdams fell victim of Twitter’s suspension algorithm after objecting to Katz’s quarrel with Van Buren over an earlier interview.

Phil Brown@philinexile

Hey @ThomasEWoods , @scotthortonshow can’t tweet out his interview of Peter Van Buren @wemeantwell from last week because Twitter suspended both of their accounts. Can you?https://libertarianinstitute.org/scotthortonshow/8-02-18-peter-van-buren-on-modern-mccarthyism/ 

8/02/18 Peter van Buren on Modern McCarthyism – The Libertarian Institute

Peter van Buren is interviewed on his new article for the American Conservative “Donald Trump is Not the ‘Manchurian Candidate’” and the modern McCarthyism of the neoconservative and establishment…

libertarianinstitute.org

Justin Raimondo@JustinRaimondo

Well, the fun has gone right out of @Twitter for me with the outrageous suspension of @WeMeantWell. @jack, your arbitrariness will be your undoing.

The suspensions come days after Twitter suspended black conservative Candace Owen from Twitter for highlighting the algorithmic hypocrisy of Twitter by replacing the word “white” with “Jewish” in a series of tweets modeled on those by New York Times editor Sarah Jeong.

just after controversial conservative Alex Jones, and his podcast InfoWars, were kicked out from most social media platforms, prompting conservative to accuse the social networks of collusion in a collective crackdown on non-mainstream voices. The Silicon Valley giants were criticized by the US political establishment for failing to prevent alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Meanwhile, critics now say the pressured media giants are engaging in political censorship, using their market dominance and lack of legislated neutrality requirements to target descent voices ahead of the midterm elections.

* * *

In a scathing op-ed on Tuesday, Nigel Farage wrote that “while many on the libertarian right and within the conservative movement have their issues with Alex Jones and InfoWars, this week’s announcement by YouTube, Facebook, Apple, and Spotify represents a concerted effort of proscription and censorship that could just as soon see any of us confined to the dustbin of social media history.

These platforms that claim to be “open” and in favor of “free speech” are now routinely targeting — whether by human intervention or not — the views and expressions of conservatives and anti-globalists.

This is why they no longer even fit the bill of “platforms.” They are publishers in the same way we regard news outlets as publishers. They may use more machine learning and automation, but their systems clearly take editorial positions. We need to hold them to account in the same way we do any other publisher.

Farage then accused social media giants of being corporatist:

That they cannot profess to be neutral, open platforms while being illiberal, dictatorial, and hiding behind the visage of a private corporation (which are more often than not in bed with governments around the world at the very highest levels).

This isn’t capitalism. It’s corporatism.

He concludes that the real interference in “US democracy” comes not from Russia, but from some of its most powerful corporations which now yield more power in some cases than the government itself: “This isn’t “liberal democracy” as they keep pretending. It’s autocracy.”

“…for those that don’t take issue with the latest censorship of right-wingers by big social media — unless we take a stand now, who knows where it could end.

Apple, Spotify, Facebook & YouTube Ban InfoWars

Whether you are a fan of Alex Jones and InfoWars or not, this should chill you.

The Real Reason…

THE “BATTLES OF BEXAR”

By John Dalton

It was December 5, 1835. The “Army of Texas” had the city of San Antonio de Bexar under seige since October. Burleson, the commanding General wanted to withdraw…but Colonel Ben Milam had persuaded the commanders to attack.

Some Texicans did not have muskets. Ball and powder were all but non-existent, as was morale. One soldier wrote home that “we all could feel our bellies against our back bones”, referring to pangs of hunger.

But these men were there for Texas…..and Texas gets inside of her sons and daughters and draws out a kind of commitment and loyalty like no other place on earth.

So, the morning of the 5th…. Ben Milam stood up on a tree stump, waived his hat at the assembled Texian Army of 300 souls….and said

“WHO WILL FOLLOW OLD BEN MILAM INTO BEXAR?”

The men all followed.

Within five days, the Mexican Army under General Cos had been vanquished.

Ben Milam was dead…killed by a sniper’s bullet…..BUT, the Mexican Army had been sent packing from Texas.

 

For the first time in history…………Texas was free. Milam, Burleson, and Bowie confronted Cos and around 800 Mexican soldiers to win the blessings of Liberty for Texas.

Today, another Texian army confronts the forces arrayed against Texas at the Alamo Plaza. These nefarious forces seek to denigrate the sole gravestone to all the Heroes of the Alamo: the Cenotaph.

“WHO WILL FOLLOW OLD BEN MILAM INTO BEXAR?”

So today, friends, who will follow the likes of Lee Spencer WhiteTeresa BeckmeyerRay MyersRandy Dunning, and a host of other Texas Patriots into Bexar.

Alamo Plaza…..10 am.

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Ignoble

Words By John Dalton

***NOTICE*** Tomorrow, July 28th, at 10:00 am there will be a Rally at Alamo Plaza. This Rally is the starting point for the fight of People of Texas to oppose the desecration of the Cenotaph dedicated in 1940 for the Heroes of the Alamo.

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IGNOBLE /ig nobel/ adjective 1. Not honorable in character or purpose.

There are no crosses row on row that mark their passing into glory.
Santa Anna roared, ”pile their bodies up and burn them”. Black smoke boiling to the winter sky. The stench.

IGNOBLE.

Almost one year later, Seguin returned with orders: ”locate and inter the bodies of the Defenders of the Alamo”.
With heavy heart he did his duty. Three great funeral pyres whose ashes, bits and bones he buried in a nearby peach orchard.
No gravestone marked their passing. They were just the unknown dead and nothing more.

IGNOBLE.

100 years would pass…the State of Texas, that owed its very life to these brave men, remembered. A Cenotaph. An empty grave to mark the deaths of these immortals. The only gravestone for these valiant.

Now almost 80 years on…..move it. It obscures the view. It does not fit our narrative. 10,000 years of history. The battle was but 13 days.

IGNOBLE.

We have a place. On Market Street….where buses roar and Samuel Gomphers stands. Let’s hide it there….away from curious eyes. No, it doesn’t matter what these men did…or that Texas owes them her very life. Their death and memorial are an inconvenient truth.
Why honor them? They are long dead. They interfere with the image of the “New” San Antonio. The “New” Alamo. The “New” Texas.
Why honor them? All they did was die. They did not destroy Santa Anna’s army. They did not stop the onslaught. They died. Nothing more.

IGNOBLE.

It is true that they died. All of them. Women, children, and a slave or two was all that was left the Alamo.
Santa Anna despised them, as much as some do, today. Pirates…nothing more.

IGNOBLE.

Yet these men laid down their lives to buy time. A few days. Gather troops and train. Flee to the east. Pick our ground. Attack. Vanquish.
All because these men laid down their lives for 13 precious days.
These volunteers…they sacrificed themselves that Texas might live.
She still lives today……because of them.

NOBLE

Tomorrow, July 28th, at 10:00 am there will be a Rally at Alamo Plaza. This Rally is the starting point for the fight of People of Texas to oppose the desecration of the Cenotaph dedicated in 1940 for the Heroes of the Alamo.

The Land Commissioner and the City Council of San Antonio want to move the Cenotaph.

We, the People of Texas, must oppose this IGNOBLE act in every way possible!

2018 RPT Convention ReCap

 

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Hosted by CLTP

Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:30 pm – 8:20 pm

Location: Webster Civic Center 311 Pennsylvania St Webster, TX 77598

Details: From trial electronic voting (preparing for Convention 2020) to SREC races across the state to minority reports voted up and down to the hotly-contested Chairman’s race; the 2018 RPT State Convention had it all. If you missed it CLTP hosts SD11 SREC Woman Tanya Robertson and SREC Man JT Edwards along with SD11 Caucus Chair Scott Bowen as they bring it home to you! Our SD11 officials and a guest soon to be announced will give you the ups and downs of the RollerCoaster ride that was Convention 2018. Don’t miss it!

UPDATE *** Did you know the RPT Convention wasn’t the only political convention held this summer? Tx Rep Briscoe Cain visited that “other” convention and provides the “dessert” portion of our event. #DontMissEntertainment

 

Eye to Eye? Commonality?

The Bipartisan Platform: Why haven’t we accomplished the things we all agree should be done?

SD11 Senate District Chair Scott Bowen finds common ground between the Republican Party of Texas platform and the Texas Democratic Party platform.

scott bowen
Scott Bowen

As a delegate to the Republican Party of Texas convention, I was honored to testify before platform committees, vote on amendments, and be part of the process of developing the party’s stance on important issues for the coming biennium. Reading the Democratic equivalent confirms that the other party has a much different vision for society and government. However, I was surprised to find several areas of common ground between the two.

The 182 men and women elected to the next legislative session, and the 38 sent to represent this state in the U.S. Congress, will all approach their posts with their own priorities as well as those of their respective parties. I hope, though, that they can set aside some time to come together and quickly accomplish the things both parties agree would be beneficial to the state of Texas. In this article, I’ll detail several issues where both party platforms completely agree. Remember that it’s possible for two groups of people to see the world in very different ways, and yet approach the same conclusion—that often speaks to the urgency of action to solve that problem. It’s a lot to ask for both parties to set aside their differences and avoid using these issues to gain advantage over each other, but if we can do it, you’re about to see just how much can be accomplished, especially for the most vulnerable Texans among us.

State-Level Planks

No Jail for Non-Jailable Offenses

Democrats make it clear in several of their criminal justice planks that they want to keep people out of jail for low-level crimes, or crimes that would only be punishable by fines. The Republican platform explicitly calls upon the Texas Legislature “to end the practice of jailing individuals for offenses for which jail is not an allowable consequence under the law.”

Ending Debtor’s Prison

The Democratic platform calls for “ending the practice of sending poor people to jail or prison for inability to pay fines and court costs.” The Republican platform goes a step further, asking the Legislature to end incarceration of individuals who cannot pay “tickets, fines, and fees for class C misdemeanors, including traffic violations.”

Age of Criminal Responsibility

Both parties explicitly call for the age of criminal prosecution or responsibility to be raised from 17 to 18.

Consent During Traffic Stops

The Republican platform calls upon the Legislature to “require officers to get written or recorded consent (i.e. body cams) to conduct a search and inform motorists that they can decline to give such consent.” The Democratic platform uses almost the same words, asking to require officers to “get written or recorded consent prior to conducting a search during traffic stops and require them to inform people of their right to decline such consent.”

Ending Civil Asset Forfeiture

The Democratic platform calls for “ensuring civil asset forfeiture only upon a criminal conviction.” The Republican platform calls for the abolition of civil asset forfeiture using the same language, and requests that the Party make this one of its legislative priorities for the 2019 legislative session.

Eliminating 3-Tier Alcohol Distribution

The Democratic platform contains strong free-market language defending the rights of craft brewers: “Democrats support modernizing the TABC’s 3 tier system because Texas’s craft breweries create jobs, encourage tourism, grow the economy, revitalize communities and add incremental tax revenues. Democrats support legislation allowing craft breweries to enjoy the same rights as their competitors in every state that allow them to sell and market their products directly from their breweries to consumers for take-home consumption, and ensure fairness in distribution across the state.” Cheers to that. For their part, Republicans “urge the Texas Legislature to adopt legislation eliminating the mandatory three-tier system of alcohol production, distribution, and retail. Texans should have the freedom to purchase alcohol directly from manufacturers, just as any other retail product.”

Reducing/Ending “Robin Hood”

The Democratic platform calls for the state to “equitably reduce reliance on ‘Robin Hood’ recapture.” The Republican platform goes a step further, stating that Republicans “oppose the ‘Robin Hood’ system of public school finance and believe the Texas Legislature, not the courts, should determine the amount of money spent on public education and the distribution thereof.” While both parties likely come at this issue from different angles and have very different visions for what school finance in Texas should look like at the state level, it is clear that neither party is happy with the status quo produced by the “Robin Hood” program and support its reduction or elimination.

Mental Health

The Republican platform calls upon the Legislature to provide “appropriate funding for the improvement of mental health services for children and adolescents,” especially emphasizing training for people who touch the life of a child in the foster care system and trauma-informed care. The Democratic platform offers several suggestions for this, asking for the number of treatment facilities to be increased and for community-based mental health services for children and adults.

Medical Marijuana

Republicans call upon the Legislature to “improve the 2015 Compassionate Use Act to allow doctors to determine the appropriate use of cannabis to certified patients.” Democrats call for “the immediate legalization of medical cannabis use.”

Rape Prevention and Prosecution

The Republican Platform calls for the passage of “Abby’s Law,” which requires prosecution of rapists within 90 days, prioritizes victims’ safety and justice, requires the state to “establish a standard protocol to be followed in regards to claims of sexual assault,” and requires that “the funding of rape kit processing where the assailant is unknown will be continuous with mandatory annual reporting to ensure that the money is being allocated for this intent.” While the Democratic platform is not as specific, it supports “strong enforcement of Texas laws to hold offenders accountable and increase the likelihood that victims will come forward to report these crimes” and calls for training programs for all professionals involved in the reporting of sexual crimes.

Sexual Harassment

The Republican platform calls for a “zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment,” but does not specify a group for this to apply to. The Democratic platform addresses sexual harassment in several planks, and specifically calls for a policy to be adopted in the Texas House and Texas Senate that could include significant penalties such as censure or expulsion.

Eliminating Chapter 313 Property Tax Abatements

The Democratic platform calls for “eliminating tax loopholes and unproductive special breaks, such as Chapter 313 agreements, to simplify the tax system and provide revenue for essential services.” Republicans “support repealing Tax Code Chapter 313 school property tax abatements.”

Eliminating the Driver Responsibility Program

The Democratic Platform calls for “stabilizing trauma center funding by repealing the Driver Responsibility Program fees, which many Texans cannot afford and never pay, and replacing the funding [by] other budgetary means,” while the Republican platform focuses on the Texans affected: “we call upon the Texas Legislature to abolish the Driver Responsibility Program and to immediately restore the driver licenses of the citizens whose licenses were suspended by the DRP and to cancel their debt.”

Elimination of Special Funds

Both parties call for the elimination of certain special funds, but they target different ones. The Democrats object to the Texas Enterprise Fund, referring to it as a “corporate slush fund that rewards businesses owned by political cronies and contributors, despite their failure to meet hiring targets and other program requirements.” The Republican platform calls for the Legislature to abolish the Events Trust Fund program and the Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which also meet that description. Perhaps as a compromise, we can end all three.

Public Information Act/Trade Secrets

The platforms have suspiciously identical language about this: they both, in these exact words, “support legislation that would close contractor and trade secret loopholes in the Texas Public Information Act, while providing due process protections for private companies wishing to keep trade secrets private.”

Home and Community-Based Services

Both platforms call for the Legislature to support HCBS. The Democrats call for HCBS funding to “follow the person” in cases of long-term care. Republicans see this as a pro-life measure, presumably directed at mothers who may be considering abortion for children who would be born with special needs, and ask to “enact language to apply additional protections and to address any loopholes that fail to protect or provide appropriate home and community-based alternatives for children and adults with disabilities, in addition to providing families with information about life-affirming social and medical services available to them in Texas as alternatives to abortion and costly institutional care.”

Mandatory E-Verify

While the Democratic platform generally advocates for less stringent enforcement of laws against illegal immigration, it does include this plank: Democrats “support strict enforcement and appropriate punishment against those who exploit undocumented workers rather than targeting the workers themselves.” Republicans agree with this approach, asking for Texas to eliminate the employment magnet by “requiring all employers to screen new hires through the free E-Verify system to prevent the hiring of illegal aliens and of anyone not legally authorized to work in the U.S.” Nothing in the Republican platform calls for the targeting of workers who are illegal immigrants—responsibility for these enforcement actions would come down entirely upon employers, as it should.

Legalization of Hemp

The Democratic Platform supports “the legalization of hemp for agricultural purposes.” The Republican Platform recognizes “industrial hemp as a valuable agricultural commodity,” and urges the Legislature to “pass legislation allowing cultivation, manufacture, and sale of industrial hemp and hemp products.”

Opposition to Eminent Domain by Private Entities

The Democratic platform states that “the protection of private property is a cornerstone of freedom and liberty and is central to the Texas Constitution,” and includes strong and detailed language opposing eminent domain by private corporations, allowing condemnation “only where necessary, and only for needed projects such as transportation and utilities that serve a clear public interest.” It also supports an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would eliminate the ability for private entities to “exercise the powers of eminent domain in condemnation of private property” and ensure “all entities seeking eminent domain authority should be required, before any eminent domain is exercised, to prove that they are deserving of condemnation authority and prove that their project serves the public good.” The Republican platform calls for eminent domain to “exclude the seizure of private property for private economic development or increased tax revenue.”

Federal Planks

Marijuana/Cannabis Schedule

Both parties call for Congress to remove cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Democrats want it removed entirely (and in the interim, to cease enforcement of federal laws regarding cannabis in states that allow it), and Republicans want to move it to Schedule 2.

Trade Policy

The Democratic platform opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and opposes “free trade” proposals which “hurt American jobs and workers, the environment, and the American consumer.” Democrats “support fair trade deals to bring back and protect Texas and American jobs.” While Republicans “support free trade as a necessary component of American capitalism and of the United States’ influence in the world,” Republicans oppose the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Republicans also demand “the immediate withdrawal” from NAFTA and CAFTA.

The Republican Party Platform can be read here: https://www.texasgop.org/platform/. The Democratic Party Platform can be read here: https://www.txdemocrats.org/our-party/texas-democratic-party-platform/. I would encourage every politically-interested Texan to read both.

Scott Bowen
Senate District 11 Chairman
Harris County Republican Party

BORDER POLICY AND THE SINISTER ELEMENT

“The kids are used as pawns by smugglers and traffickers,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Let’s just pause to think about this statistic: a 314% increase in adults showing up with kids that are not a family unit. Those are traffickers. Those are smugglers. That is MS-13. They are criminals. They are abusers.”

Over the past two weeks, a chorus of voices has demanded an end to a policy that has seen adults and children separated at the border as they await processing by immigration officials. Across the mainstream news media, immigration officials are depicted as unnecessarily stripping children away from their parents, leaving families separated and traumatized.

But many reacting to the situation forget there is a sinister element involved at our southern border. And it is that sinister element that makes a solution to these problems very challenging.

For many Americans, being separated from their child by immigration officials is the worst thing they can imagine. But for many of those entering this country across our southern border, such a hardship scarcely qualifies amongst the worst things they’ve already experienced, much less imagined.

Liberals in knee-jerk fashion have called for an immediate stop to the policy of separating children and adults at the border. Current law prohibits immigration officials from housing adults and children together, so the only immediate solution would be a return to a policy known as “catch and release.”

Under the terms of a decades-old court ruling, immigration officials are prohibited from jailing children as they await immigration proceedings. That ruling led to decisions by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations to release children and adults into the public as they awaited hearings. That “catch and release” policy was recently reversed by the Trump administration which recognized that it effectively encouraged further illegal immigration and made children more vulnerable to exploitation by gangs and smugglers.

For families who are legitimately seeking political asylum, there must be a better solution than separation and detention. Thankfully, Sen. Ted Cruz is out this week with a policy proposal to keep families together while also expediting processing so that quick and appropriate decisions can be made.

But it is essential to remember that not every child paired with an adult who comes across our southern border does so as a family. Mixed amongst the legitimate asylum-seekers is a sinister element— those who are trafficking children into this country for exploitation.

“The kids are used as pawns by smugglers and traffickers,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Let’s just pause to think about this statistic: a 314% increase in adults showing up with kids that are not a family unit. Those are traffickers. Those are smugglers. That is MS-13. They are criminals. They are abusers.”

A return to catch and release would mean the release of adults and children before any hearing and before any determination that the pair are, in fact, related. Human smugglers could be released, along with the victims they claim as their children. That’s not acceptable.

But even this matter is more complicated than it first appears.

According to DHS, 10,000 of the 12,000 minors currently detained at the border are “unaccompanied” and didn’t enter this country with a parent. Many are appalled to imagine parents placing their children in the hands of smugglers and sending them away, often to be raped and abused on the journey northward.

But yet again, they fail to recognize the sinister element involved in the dilemma faced by some parents in Central America.

In El Salvador, many parents are forced to make a nightmarish choice: send their teenage daughter north alone, likely to be raped during the journey, or have her stay and be taken as a sex slave by the terrorist gangs that control the country. It is the same with the boys: flee, and accept all of the danger that entails, or stay, and be pushed into a war zone and likely killed.

Crafting policy that fulfills American values of upholding the rule of law by deterring illegal immigration and human trafficking while sheltering legitimate asylum-seekers and keeping families united is a difficult proposition. Cruz’s bill appears to be the best one on the table at this time.

Americans of all political persuasions empathize with the difficult situation those in Central America  face, but if the rule of law is cast aside and the borders are flung open, the streets of Houston could become as dangerous as those in El Salvador. The individuals who work for border and law enforcement, as well as those in the halls of Congress, have a duty to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Crafting successful public policy is an arduous process on its own, but it is made harder by the sinister element in Washington.

One of the most startling facts about modern American government is that the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, who served as the third most powerful person in Washington from 1999-2007, was a serial child molester and was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for his offenses.

It is well-recognized that power attracts megalomaniacal personalities. Without naming names or pointing fingers about something that is inherently difficult to prove, the fact remains that some not-insignificant minority of those in power in Washington operate with sinister motives and are not interested in the well-being of children. This makes the job of crafting policy that protects the weakest amongst us all the more difficult.

Americans can find a solution to the crisis at the southern border that protects children and families and upholds the rule of law. But it will require many Americans to snap out of their middle-class, suburban mentalities and realize that these matters are more complicated—and the world is a grittier place—than they may care to admit.