Your New Nevada Assembly Speaker…

Update: On November 24, 2014, Nevada Republican Assembly members reversed course and forced out Mr. Hansen from his Speakership nomination in the formal vote in January.

According to an investigation by the Reno News & Review, as summarized in The Atlantic (excerpted below), Nevada State Assembly Speaker-elect Ira Hansen is a full-on neo-Confederate, in his own self-authored and self-recorded words over a two decade period to present:

​The News & Review published excerpts in which he opines, among other things, that women shouldn’t serve in the military “except in certain roles,” that “homosexuals” often downplay the “grossly disproportionate numbers of child molesters, called ‘pederasts,’ which fill their ranks,” and that the Clinton administration was responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. His most eye-opening remarks, however, are about African Americans.

“The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies,” Hansen once wrote in a column about education reform. “For American blacks, being denied choice and forced to attend the failing and inferior government school system is a form of involuntary servitude.” His use of the epithet “negroes” extended beyond historical metaphor to refer to black state legislators and to the current president of the United States.

Hanson’s thoughts on slavery do not end there. “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to,” he once wrote. Paradoxically, Hansen also pays homage to the slaver aristocracy that fought to keep millions of black men, women, and children in chains. When discussing the Confederate battle flag on display in his office, Hansen wrote, “I fly it proudly in honor and in memory of a great cause and my brave ancestors who fought for that cause.”

 
I take it he shares fellow Nevadan Cliven Bundy’s lack of that anti-Confederate spirit the state’s founders so enthusiastically tried to foster as Nevada entered the Union mid-war. They’re clearly bosom buddies in blatant racism and condescension toward Black Americans.

As the News & Review explained, his elevation to power was a long time in the works, despite it coming as a bit of a shock, because of the rise of the party’s radicals in every level of party authority in Nevada, which has been charted for quite some time:

The GOP members passed over Assembly Republican leader Pat Hickey of Reno to choose Hansen. It was treated as a victory for the more radical wing of the party, which took over the Clark County and state party organizations in 2012, cutting presidential candidate Mitt Romney loose from state GOP support.

While members of the GOP caucus talked about a united front, they selected as speaker a legislator who is one of the most contentious public officials in the state. Hansen doesn’t like blacks, gays, Israel, many Republicans, and most Nevadans—he once wrote that newcomers to the state, who constitute four of every five Nevadans, should accept Nevada as it is or leave.

Hansen has opposed Republican presidential nominees Robert Dole and Mitt Romney (“way too liberal”), and other Republicans at lower levels.

 
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Vegas attack was domestic terrorism, tied to Bundy standoff

flag-of-nevadaYesterday’s shooting in a Las Vegas shopping center was an act of domestic terrorism, and the perpetrators were radical anti-government right-wingers with ties to both Neo-Nazism and the nearby Bundy Ranch standoff against the Federal government on public lands in Nevada.

Residents who spoke about the Millers all mentioned the couple’s relationship with Bundy. Oak Tree resident Sue Hale said the two told her they were in Bunkerville during the standoff, which occurred in April after federal authorities began conducting a roundup of Bundy’s cattle. Bundy had defied the government by grazing the cattle on public land without a permit. “Yap, yap, yap. They were always running their mouths,” Hale said.
[…]
After killing the officers, the couple covered the bodies with a cloth displaying the Gadsen, or “Don’t Tread On Me” flag — a Revolutionary War-era symbol that has since been adopted by the tea party. Investigators also found swastikas at the suspects’ apartment.

 
Their social media posts before the attack indicate that they were so hardcore about the Bundy standoff that the Bundys made them leave for making them look bad. The Bundy family denied any connection.


Arsenal For Democracy Radio – Background Discussion on Bundy Ranch Standoff:
Part 1 – Move Your Cows, Bundy – AFD 81


It’s important to call these acts what they are, to end the false dichotomy of how other terrorist attacks (by non-whites, inside or outside the country) are labeled and handled. Ultimately, however, the best way to respond to terrorism is to treat it, without glory, as criminal activity. In the words of L. Paul Bremer in the Reagan State Department’s official policy on counterterrorism:

Another important measure we have developed in our overall strategy is applying the rule of law to terrorists. Terrorists are criminals. They commit criminal actions like murder, kidnapping, and arson, and countries have laws to punish criminals. So a major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are — criminals — and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law, against them.

 
But until then, I don’t want a false double standard where some stuff is called terrorism and some stuff isn’t, depending on the attackers’ skin color or ideologies.

April 21, 2014 – Arsenal For Democracy 81

AFD-logo-470
Description | Topics: Bundy Ranch standoff, Allen West, HBO’s Veep. People: Bill, Nate, Greg, and guest Daniel Fidler.

Talking Points:

– Why Cliven Bundy owes the Federal government a million dollars in back taxes (and why he believes the United States doesn’t have any authority over him)
– What Allen West’s latest anti-Muslim rant tells us about American views on governance and the Framers’ intent
– Political Pop Culture: Why you should be watching HBO’s “Veep,” now in its 3rd season.

Part 1 – Bundy Ranch Standoff:
Part 1 – Move Your Cows, Bundy – AFD 81
Part 2 – Allen West:
Part 2 – Allen West – AFD 81
Part 3 – Daniel Fidler on HBO’s “Veep,” season 3 [Spoiler Alert]:
Part 3 – Veep Review – AFD 81

To get one file for the whole episode, we recommend using one of the subscribe links at the bottom of the post.

Related links

Read more

#MoveYourCows, Bundy

As a preparation for a segment in our upcoming episode of Arsenal For Democracy this week, I’m posting a bit of background information on the case of the Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy who is refusing to pay his grazing fees on Federal land. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently started trying to remove his cattle from the Federal ranges, and this brought in the anti-government militia types, resulting in an impasse.

The core of Bundy’s refusal to pay his grazing fees for over twenty years — that’s how patient the BLM has been — is this claim he makes:

“I abide by all of Nevada state laws. But I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.”

 
He believes the lands belong to the state of Nevada, rather than the Federal government, because he doesn’t accept the latter’s existence in the first place (as we’ll discuss in much greater detail on the episode coming out this Wednesday), and so he feels he doesn’t need to pay any fees.

That position runs into an immediate problem (beyond all the Federal court rulings against him), pointed out in The Atlantic, which is that it’s impossible to claim to be abiding by Nevada’s laws and constitution, because Nevada’s Civil War-era constitution demands fealty to and cooperation with the Federal government above all else:

the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existence, and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.

 
Woops. Time to move your cows or pay up, Bundy.

For the rest of you more law-abiding citizens, check back on Wednesday night for our radio discussion of this situation, which we just recorded tonight. We take this apart from all angles and look at some of the historical circumstances that brought us to this moment.

Update 4/24/14: Listen to the segment below:
Bundy Ranch Standoff:
Part 1 – Move Your Cows, Bundy – AFD 81

Find the rest of the episode here.

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