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3 The Racing of American Society: Race Functioning as a Verb before Signifying as a Noun

john a. powell Indiana University Press ePub

THREE

The Racing of American Society

RACE FUNCTIONING AS A VERB BEFORE SIGNIFYING AS A NOUN

O, yes, I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath – America will be!

Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again”

Myth is facts of the mind made manifest in a fiction of matter.

Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti

The color-blind and multiracial issues are but two of the problems we encounter in our efforts to understand race in a consistent and disciplined way. Michael Omi, an important voice in this effort, identifies several others, including the difficulties scientists encounter when attempting to apply ostensibly objective analytical criteria to a concept that has no scientific reality yet a powerful social one – a concept that is instrumental in shaping our individual and collective identities.1 Indeed, even within particular analytical frameworks, different sets of understandings and beliefs about race abound. Once recognized, these theories can provide useful insights into the nature of the work necessary to come to terms with race and racism in our society.

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Medium 9781623491376

8. Who Regulates Water Use?

Porter, Charles R. Texas A&M University Press ePub

WHO REGULATES WATER USE?

The rights to water and the conditions under which it may be used are further complicated in Texas because they are directly and indirectly subject to the jurisdiction of a myriad of governmental agencies, including these:

• Texas Commission on Environmental Quality;

• Texas Parks and Wildlife Department;

• one or more of the 99 groundwater conservation districts across the state;

• other special districts, such as the Edwards Aquifer Authority and the Houston-Galveston Subsidence District;

• municipalities, some of which are very powerful and influential, such as the San Antonio Water System (SAWS);

• river authorities, such as the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA)

• US Fish and Wildlife Service;

• US Environmental Protection Agency;

• rules of the Watermaster Program in Texas;

• rules and regulations of irrigation districts around Texas; and

• Texas Water Development Board.

This chapter, for the purposes of clarity and space, discusses in detail GCDs, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, the Watermaster Program, and the river authorities, with focus on the LCRA. Keep in mind that each municipality and many counties may also exert some jurisdiction over water in their areas. Some federal agencies have supralegal authority over the state agencies, but since the federal agencies are rarely involved in the day-to-day permitting and water management, detail about their activities is not included. I do mention, where appropriate, the significant effect of the federal agencies on any one water management and allocation situation statewide. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has an impact on water management policies mostly through the wildlife management plans it supports statewide.

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Medium 9781626562691

4 “Only Her First Bid”

Schenwar, Maya Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

I’ve got the prison thing down pat. I can get by in here. I’m not ready to die out there.

Kayla, spring of 2013

Eventually, some friends of Kayla’s do put up the $500 to get her out, and we return to a stasis of daily unpredictability. I check my phone compulsively, always anticipating word of a new arrest. The winter wears on, and I offer Kayla limp, token gestures of concern. I ask around about jobs at local restaurants, pick up some papers for her at the methadone clinic, say, “You can do it!” As I say this, I’m not exactly sure what “it” means.

We meet for lunch in late March, three months since she was last in jail, five months until the birth of her baby. Kayla moves and speaks—when she speaks—with an undercurrent of hopeless nausea. When I ask how things are going, she says “horrible.” I toss out a feeble comment about how the pizza place down the street has tacked up a “We’re Hiring” sign. Kayla nods and makes a note on her hand. She’s probably indulging me. A couple of weeks ago, she applied for a job at a home supply store, and they loved her and told her she had it, and then they did a background check. Bam. Of course, the odds were not in her favor. Recent Illinois statistics aren’t available, but in New York, 70 percent of parolees are not employed.1

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Medium 9781626562080

CHAPTER 1 Science and Law

Capra, Fritjof Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In our broad sweep through Western intellectual history, we shall encounter many great scientists and great jurists—on some occasions even embodied in the same person—whose ideas shaped the coevolution of the concepts of the laws of nature and of human laws. To tell this story clearly we first need to unravel some common misconceptions about the similarities and differences between science and jurisprudence.

Both science and law include a theoretical and an applied component. Applied science produces, among other things, technology—the development of specific technical capabilities. Thus science and technology operate in two strongly connected but quite separate domains, and actually technology often takes on a life of its own.

A similar phenomenon occurs in law. A clear distinction exists between legal theory and legal practice.1 On the one hand, legal theory (also known as jurisprudence, or the philosophy of law) is a theoretical inquiry into legal phenomena. Human laws are the subject matter of jurisprudence just as the laws of nature are the subject matter of science. Legal practice, on the other hand, corresponds to technology in many ways. Like technology, it has a life quite autonomous from legal science, and lawyers sometimes distinguish between “law in books” and “law in action.”2

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Medium 9781623491376

5. Water: Shared Ownership

Porter, Charles R. Texas A&M University Press ePub

WATER: SHARED OWNERSHIP

States neighboring Texas claim ownership of their surface water and groundwater. The states share surface water, from major boundary rivers to hundreds of streams and creeks. The Red River and the Sabine River form part of our boundaries with Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Texas shares transboundary aquifers with New Mexico, and the Rio Grande springs from Colorado and New Mexico headwaters. In any dispute between states over surface water, the only court with jurisdiction is the United States Supreme Court.

OKLAHOMA, ARKANSAS, LOUISIANA, AND NEW MEXICO

To date there have been few disputes with our neighboring states other than some boundary disputes with Oklahoma as the Red River meanders—disputes concerning oil and gas reserve locations. The Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana is located in the wet area of the state in relation to rainfall, so the potential for disputes over water issues is lessened. However, the Sabine springs from headwaters in Texas, and any diversion of Sabine flow would certainly concern Louisiana, as any diversion of the Sabine on the Louisiana side would Texas. The Canadian River flows through the Texas Panhandle from New Mexico through a large part of Oklahoma. Any diversions by New Mexico and/or Texas concern Oklahoma. In the early twentieth century the Elephant Butte Reservoir on the Rio Grande caused quite a debate, but Texas and New Mexico came to agreement and the reservoir was built.

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