Is Steve King a racist, a xenophobe, or both?

Here’s Representative Steve King’s latest:

King made the remark on Twitter when he shared a story by the Voice of Europe website about far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to end Muslim immigration and ban the Quran and who has called Moroccan immigrants “scum.”

“Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny,” wrote King, 67, who represents a state that is nearly 90 percent white. “We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

The article also reminds us of a previous statement:

“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about,” he said. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

Both of these statements are racist and ignorant–Americans have been complaining about immigrants ruining the United States since the beginning of the US, it’s just the groups that have changed (so, it used to be that Catholics, and Steve King is Catholic, used to be the ones who would ruin American civilization).

And since King has been racist and xenophobic for years, anyone who votes for him is either also racist and/or xenophobic or doesn’t mind electing a person that is.

Invasion

Ok, the picture didn’t come out all that well but this cloud actually did somewhat look like a spaceship:

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Don’t worry though, it couldn’t happen here.

Priorities

As a follow up to this post, there’s this:

In late July, immigration officials stopped receiving and deporting women and children from the Artesia facility after a chicken pox quarantine. They resumed immigration removal flights to Central America on Aug. 7.

Since then, officials have deported 71 mothers and children from the Artesia center, said Leticia Zamarripa, a spokeswoman with Department of Homeland Security.

Immigration officials halted the intake and removals of detainees at the facility “out of an abundance of caution,” after a resident was diagnosed with chicken pox.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement takes the health, safety and welfare of those in our care seriously and is committed to ensuring that all ICE detainees receive timely and appropriate medical treatment,” Zamarripa said in a prepared statement.

It would be a shame if one of the children that was sent back to, perhaps, be killed had chicken pox.

Thailand and democracy

It is somewhat refreshing when the oligarchs explicitly say they’re against democracy, such as in Thailand:

The protesters are led by former lawmaker Suthep Thaugsuban, who has vowed to overthrow Yingluck’s government, accusing it of widespread corruption, incompetence, and of effectively buying the votes of millions of people through a series of government assistance programs.

Suthep represents the traditional Thai elite, a loose confederation of royalists, top bureaucrats, businesspeople and high-ranking military officers. He is demanding the creation of a non-elected “People’s Council” that would replace Yingluck’s administration, which swept into power in a landslide election two years ago.

Suthep has said that the prime minister’s resignation would not be enough to end the crisis. He has also rejected any new election because he knows the opposition would likely be soundly defeated. Various incarnations of Yingluck’s party, which has massive support among poor and rural voters, have won every election the country has held since 2001.

That really puts comments such as this into context:

“Everybody in Thailand has to take a side. If you want to be a free man, you must come out. If you decide to be Thaksin’s slave for the rest of your life, stay at home.”

He asked civil servants to go on strike and join the people’s massive demonstrations despite a reported attempt by the government to block them.

“We will organise a countrywide uprising to take back our sovereignty. Provincial people should move to the city halls in their respective provinces to block civil servants from entering their offices. Students should also rise up in unison to reject the Thaksin regime.”

“We’ll be slaves if we don’t win. There is no other alternative. The nine of us are willing to accept the insurrection charges. Let us wait until December 9 to see who will be defeated. That is the end. There should be no more damages and casualties in the country.”

As an aside, it seems that it’s really a bad time to be in the area if you’re Muslim:

As thousands of Rohingya flee Myanmar to escape religious persecution, a Reuters investigation in three countries has uncovered a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

The Rohingya are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in a series of camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay thousands of dollars to release them. Reporters located three such camps – two based on the testimony of Rohingya held there, and a third by trekking to the site, heavily guarded, near a village called Baan Klong Tor.

Thousands of Rohingya have passed through this tropical gulag. An untold number have died there. Some have been murdered by camp guards or have perished from dehydration or disease, survivors said in interviews.

Filibusters

So, the Democrats finally got fed up enough with the obstructions of the Republicans that they have gotten rid of the filibuster for executive nominations outside of the Supreme Court. Kevin Drum has a post with three charts that show how bad it has gotten (I have a post that gives the number of filibusters here). The Boston Globe article throws this in:

Republicans also warned that Thursday’s provocation would spill over into other issues, preventing cooperation at a time when major budget and key defense issues are on the agenda.

The problem is that Republicans haven’t been cooperating at all, so there’s not much to lose for Democrats. Let me repeat my line from the end of this post:

President Obama was easily elected on a platform centered on national healthcare, near the beginning of the worst recession in 70 years brought on be reckless and illegal actions. Still, Republicans were not willing to negotiate with him at all on national healthcare, regulating the banks, or helping end the recession.

On a side note, today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. I was born earlier in the year so obviously don’t remember it directly but it does still have relevance to today:

However much Dallas wanted to distance itself from its “city of hate” label, the reputation did not surface in a vacuum. The early 1960s saw a strident, extreme brand of conservatism emerge in Dallas, which retained vestiges of the Jim Crow, segregated South amid a growing, national civil rights movement.

“It was a toxic element. Unfortunately, it became visible,” said Val Imm Bashour, society editor of the Dallas Times Herald in 1963. “It’s like all things that are radical. You know, it’s sort of like the bombings that you all had in Boston. There are just these elements that get carried away and will do anything that they feel accomplishes their purpose.”

Bashour saw one of the most publicized episodes of that vitriol firsthand, less than a month before Kennedy’s visit.

While Bashour interviewed Adlai Stevenson, the US ambassador to the United Nations, one of 100 angry protesters used a sign to strike the two-time Democratic nominee for president on the head. Another spat at him.

After the assault, Stevenson was heard to say, “Are these human beings, or are these animals?”

The spasms of hate did not target only Northerners deemed too liberal, or socialist, or even Communist by extremists in a city that had become a Southwestern headquarters for the radical-right John Birch Society.

Three years earlier, after Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas had agreed to become Kennedy’s running mate, he and his wife, Lady Bird, were accosted by a screaming crowd as they arrived at the Adolphus Hotel here.

Nearby stood Representative Bruce Alger, a Republican from Dallas, hoisting a sign that read, “LBJ Sold Out to Yankee Socialists.”

It shows that there have always been radical right conservatives who would try almost anything to stop the liberal agenda (not anything, Oswald had nothing to do with them). Kennedy was trying to get a national health plan passed (Medicare) just as Obama did, they called Kennedy the same type of names that they do Obama (socialist, un-American (since he was Catholic)) and there was even a right-wing party that was making waves (the John Birch Society back then). There are differences (for example, the conservatives back then were almost as likely to be Democrats), but it’s good to remember that we got past it–of course, the country got worse for awhile with Vietnam and Watergate, but ignore that for now.

Galaxy NGC-3185

Since I’m on vacation and travelling, I’m not posting much. So as a placeholder, here’s a galaxy (Credit: European Space Agency/NASA/Hubble ):

potw1326a_0_0

Help Oklahoma

Given the terrible tornado in Oklahoma, it is again a good time to donate to relief efforts. The American Red Cross and the United Way are two good places, but are plenty of others.

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