They’re Only ‘Illegals’ if They’re Brown: American Conservatives Welcome Immigrants—Just as Long as They’re White Christians
The key to getting asylum in the United States is to be white, socially conservative, and really into Jesus—or at least that’s the lesson imparted by the US government’s decisionnot to deport a family running away from Germany’s educational system. And conservatives—the same sort who complain about immigrants destroying our culture, insofar as we have one—couldn’t be happier.
Devout Christians Uwe and Hannelore Romeike came to the US in 2008 because they wanted to keep their kids out of school, for religious reasons. Although Germany allows children to attend faith-based schools, those schools must comply with German educational standards—and apparently none of them were devout enough for the Romeikes, who moved to Tennessee after being hit with thousands of dollars in fines by the German government for homeschooling their kids.
“Like the Pilgrims, they fled their homeland yearning for a place where they could be free,”wrote Todd Starnes, a bigot who appears on Fox News, in a recent article on the plight of the Romeikes that gives the unfortunate impression they’re here to spread disease, slaughter the natives, and steal their land. The family of nine’s case has been taken up by all the usual right-wing suspects, from Breitbart to TownHall to the Blaze, Glenn Beck’s bullshit “news” service. The family and its supporters say the German state has no right to indoctrinate their children and to dictate what they can and cannot learn; that right belongs to mom and dad.
Thank God it’s Friday. If the cable-news talking heads had to hyperventilate for one more day about a World War III that’s not going to happen — unless Ukraine decides they’d like to play the Texans in a large-scale re-enactment of the Alamo — they would probably pass out and potentially die, doing irreparable harm to the hairspray industry.
Vladimir Putin certainly never wanted a war. He wanted an order of Crimea for delivery, and that delivery should arrive in a week or so. Granted, there are currently reports that Russian troops arestorming an airbase in Ukraine, and while that’s deeply rude, it’s by no means the beginning of WWIII. And if Putin is averse to war, Barack Obama is positively allergic to the idea, as though he has qualms about bringing civilization to an end.
The West seems determined to talk about this conflict in terms of “escalation” and “de-escalation,” “turning up the heat,” and a lot of other buzz phrases that are a poor fit for facts on the ground. Since the US doesn’t want to increase tensions, it has avoided doing anything with its military. Well, strictly speaking, it’s done three things.
With Crimea’s parliament voting to secede from Ukraine, Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian military installations in the peninsula has moved seaside. The Russian Black Sea Fleet prepared a special operation: the sinking of a decommissioned ship in the middle of Donuzlav Bay in order to prevent traffic in and out of Crimea’s port. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky noticed that the unidentified men in military fatigues had suddenly disappeared from the bases — locals said that they’d gone to obstruct a mission of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from entering the region.
Hell Will Freeze Over Before Chevron Pays for Pollution
When 30,000 Ecuadorian villagers sued Chevron in 1993 for devastating the Amazon with 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, the US-based oil giant’s reply was simple: “We will fight [the lawsuit] until hell freezes over,” said a representative. “And then fight it out on the ice.”
After investigators documented what they call a “Rainforest Chernobyl”—17 million gallons of spilled crude oil, more than 1,000 open waste pits full of toxic waste polluting the drinking water, and thousands of victims of cancer and birth defects—it seemed justice was served for the villagers. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron and demanded the company pay $19 billion in restitution. Ecuador’s Supreme Court later reduced the damages to $9.5 billion but upheld that ruling.
But on Tuesday, a U.S. court effectively overturned the ruling, which means Chevron has won the fight and hell, apparently, has frozen over. They’ve won using what activists say are dirty tactics, including filing a countersuit against the Ecuadorian villagers, claiming they had lied all along about the pollution caused to their properties as part of a shakedown scheme.
Chevron hired a legal team of more than 60 law firms and 2,000 legal professionals to argue that it’s not the villagers who are the victims here—it’s the corporation.
China’s environmental problems have become such an embarrassment to its leadership that the country suddenly finds itself on a war footing. On Wednesday, Premier Li Keqiang, the second-ranked political leader and head of economic policy, formally declared a “war on pollution” in a speech before the annual gathering of the National People’s Congress. The reform is welcome news, but overdue — and the outlook of the strategy Li outlined is about as clear as the morning sky on your run-of-the-mill, suffocating Beijing day.
Li called for the closure of 50,000 small coal-fired furnaces, the removal of 6 million old, emissions-belching vehicles from the streets, and new guidelines for air quality improvement in seriously affected northern Chinese cities. He described the state of Beijing’s air as “nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development.”
The blockade by Russia of Ukrainian military installations in Crimea continues. VICE News correspondent Simon Ostrovsky spoke with families of personnel barricaded inside, who complained about the difficulty of getting food past the pro-Russian protesters outside. Russia’s supporters explained why they want Crimea to separate from Ukraine, and Simon negotiated his way through a Russian checkpoint to interview an officer on the Slavutych, a Ukrainian battleship stuck in the harbor of Sevastopol.
North Korea has been getting some fairly rank press in recent years. And in times of such deplorable slander from the “monopoly capitalist media of the West,” we must seek to heal these wounds of persecution, these sores of injustice, and hereby mount a unified resistance.
Oh worthy warrior of Mt Paekdu
leading the stout hearted partisans of
the mighty KPRA to shatter the chains
of Japanese imperialism, shock brigade of
world fascism, to dispatch
the murderous Japs to their doom
Or so Dermot Hudson might think, the UK’s delegate for the DPRK’s cultural-liaison wing, the Korean Friendship Association (KFA). Hudson is also the poet of the subtle words you just read (but probably didn’t). Now, it’s pretty hard to imagine such dubious sermonizing to come from a white guy brought up in England, and you’d be forgiven for thinking these words are lifted directly from an early Kim Il-sung essay, or even a revered piece of Kim Jong-un cinema. But Hudson is truly impassioned by the unity of the people, the enrichment of the “Juché idea,” and the resistance to “Jap” and US imperialist aggressors. He is equally enamored of the Eternal President Kim Il-sung; of Dear Leader, Respected Leader, Great Leader, Wise Leader, Unique Leader, Great Marshal, Amazing Politician, Savior, Invincible and Ever-Triumphant General Kim Jong-il; and of Marshal, Dear Leader Kim Jong-un (he’s young, and the titles come with time).
In other words, this guy is up shit creek. Naturally, I decided to contact him. He told me about the times he saw Kim Jong-il, the famine, Western media, and the attitude toward weed. I learned, among other things, that Kim Jong-il moved with a “very fast, dignified bearing,” that North Korea is strictly not like Ethiopia in the 70s, and that the Pyongyang metro only costs three cents!
VICE: How did you acquire your position as UK spokesman for the KFA? Dermot Hudson: I had been the chairman of Juche Idea Study Group of England and the vice president of the old Society for Friendship with Korea. I joined KFA in 2001, about six months after it was formed, and was appointed official delegate for the UK by the KFA International Organization Committee.
Have you met either Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un? I did not meet them in person but saw them in the distance. I was within a couple 100 feet of Dear Respected Marshal Kim Jong-un, and I saw great comrade Kim Jong-il at a national meeting in April 2002. He looked younger than he was and moved very fast, with a dignified bearing. I have seen Marshal Kim Jong-un in the distance about four or five times. In April 2012, at a military parade, he waved at the crowd. He looked like a very happy person.
Five members of the feminist group FEMEN demonstrated topless in Times Square this morning against Russia’s actions in Ukraine. This protest was a continuation of the demonstrations which FEMEN has carried out throughout the world this month. They have protested from Paris to Crimea, speaking out against Moscow’s interference in Ukrainian sovereignty.
Crimea’s parliament voted to make the peninsula a full-fledged part of Russia on Thursday, declaring its intention to officially split from Ukraine. Members of the region’s council in Simferopol also voted to move a referendum on the issue up to March 16. Crimea has an ethnic Russian majority, and local politicians have already declared the referendum as a mere formality. The bigger question is what the Kremlin’s reaction will be.