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Sponsor of Arizona Anti-Immigrant Legislation Is a Nazi Fellow Traveler

Comment: Arizona is on the verge of passing a law that will legalize racial profiling and make it illegal for immigrants in the state to walk about without proper ID papers, requiring officers of the law to check the papers of someone they think might be in the state illegally.  This has prompted the Cardinal of the Los Angeles Archidoces to compare the law to something the Nazis would pass. One of the co-sponsors of the bill in the AZ legislature appears to be good buddies with Nazis.  That state senator, Russell Pearce, has a long history of things like sending out emails written by the National Alliance and is on excellent terms with a well known local neo-nazi, J.T. Ready.

“Russell Pearce’s Willie Horton: White supremacist J.T. Ready” by Stephen Lemons; Phoenix New Times; 9/22/2007.

. . . . One thing that toupee will not hide is Pearce’s bigotry towards Mexicans, and his unsavory connections to outright neo-fascists, such as Mesa’s J.T. Ready, who recently took part in a neo-Nazi demonstration in downtown Omaha, Nebraska. After the demo, members of the swastika-wearing National Socialist Movement and fellow travelers retired to a local farm where they lit giant swastikas afire, listened to hate-core music, slam-danced, and barbecued a Mexican and an Israeli flag. Ready also keeps a page on the NSM’s NewSaxon.org, a racist MySpace, “for Whites, by Whites.” And he’s attended the local neo-Nazi National Vanguard’s Winterfest event. Reportedly in his Scottish kilt. Ooh-la-la.

Ready’s a supporter of Pearce, and at a June anti-immigration rally at the State Capitol, the prejudiced pair spent almost all of their time with each other. They even appeared smiling and arm-in-arm in photos. In any other state, such damning pics would signal the end of a politician’s career. Here in AZ, they’re shrugged at by those in the nativist movement. That’s because so many nativists see nothing wrong with neo-Nazis or their beliefs, beliefs which dovetail with their own.

But in 2006, when Pearce was caught forwarding an anti-Semitic e-mail to his supporters — an e-mail from the neo-Nazi National Alliance, even Republicans bagged on him. . . .

“L.A. Cardinal: Nazism in Arizona Immigration Bill” [AP]; Google News; 4/20/2010.

The head of the nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese has condemned a proposed Arizona crackdown on illegal immigrants, saying it encourages people to turn on each other in Nazi- and Soviet-style repression.

The measure wrongly assumes that Arizonans “will now shift their total attention to guessing which Latino-looking or foreign-looking person may or may not have proper documents,” Cardinal Roger Mahony said in his blog Sunday — a day before Arizona’s Legislature sent the immigration enforcement measure to the Republican governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer has not indicated whether she will sign the bill, which creates a new state misdemeanor of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document. It would also require officers to determine people’s immigration status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally.

Arizona has an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants. Proponents of the bill say it was prompted by concerns over the cost of providing services to illegal immigrants and by the slaying of an Arizona rancher near the Mexican border this month. Authorities believe he was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant possibly connected to a drug smuggling cartel.

Republican Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who sponsored the bill, has said it will take handcuffs off police and put them on violent criminals. . . .

Discussion

3 comments for “Sponsor of Arizona Anti-Immigrant Legislation Is a Nazi Fellow Traveler”

  1. Russel Pearce: the contemporary eugenicist:

    TPM Livewire
    Arizona GOPer: Women On Welfare Should Be Sterilized

    By Daniel Strauss Published
    September 15, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    Former Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) resigned his position as first vice chairman of the Arizona Republican Party on Sunday amid criticism by prominent Republican candidates of Pearce’s recent comments on sterilization and poor women.

    According to the Arizona Republic, the resignation follows the Arizona Democratic party highlighting Pearce saying on his radio talk program that if he were in charge of Arizona’s public assistance programs “the first thing I’d do is get Norplant, birth control implants, or tubal ligations…Then we’ll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want [to reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job.”

    The Arizona GOP announced that Pearce had stepped down late Sunday, following a number of candidates denouncing Pearce’s remarks.

    Pearce said the comments were a mistaken that had been twisted by the media. He said that during his radio show on Sept. 9 there was “a discussion about the abuses to our welfare system” and he highlighted “comments written by someone else and failed to attribute them to the author.”

    Pearce served as the Arizona Senate president and was the chief sponsor of the state’s harsh immigration law. He was thrown out of office in a recall in 2011, but then was chosen as the first vice chairman of the Arizona GOP the following year.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 15, 2014, 6:38 am
  2. Oh great, look who’s super excited about Donald Trump:

    PRI’s The World

    The white supremacists lining up behind Trump

    This story is a part of
    Global Nation

    August 21, 2015 · 3:30 PM EDT
    By James Edwards

    The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi and white nationalist news website, is throwing its support behind Donald Trump.
    Credit:

    [Screenshot from Daily Stormer website]

    The devil can, indeed, be in the details. And in the case of brothers Scott and Steve Leader of Boston, the details are disturbing.

    Massachusetts State Police arrested the brothers on Wednesday, alleging they urinated on and beat up a homeless man while he was sleeping outside a Boston subway station. The man suffered a broken nose and a large bruise across his torso. Police believe the Leaders targeted the man because he was Hispanic.

    According to the police report, while in custody, Scott Leader told officers, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

    A state trooper also wrote that Scott Leader told police since the victim was Hispanic and homeless, it was all right to attack him.

    Leader Brothers Arrest Report

    Responding to the attack, Trump, who has ignited a storm of controversy due to his comments on undocumented immigrants, told the Boston Globe:

    “It would be a shame…I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

    Trump later softened his tone on Twitter, distancing himself from the attack:

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump

    Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.
    11:35 AM – 21 Aug 2015

    But supporters like the Leader brothers aren’t an exception. Some of those “passionate” backers supporting Trump also include a number of white supremacists.

    Craig Cobb, a white supremacist who in 2013 failed to start a whites-only community in Leith, North Dakota, recently made an unsuccessful attempt to buy property in the North Dakota town of Antler, not far from the US-Canada border. According to Fargo’s WDAY-TV, Cobb wanted to name the town in honor of Trump – either “Trump Creativity” or “Creativity Trump.” The “Creativity” refers to the Creativity Movement, a racist religion that teaches the superiority of the white race.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center has tracked a number of other white nationalists who have been throwing their support behind The Donald. They include:

    * Gregory Hood, a writer who penned an essay in support of Trump for the white nationalist blog Radix. Hood wrote:

    Trump is worth supporting. He is worth supporting because we need a troll. We need someone who can expose the system that rules us as the malevolent and worthless entity it is. We need someone who can break open public debate. We need someone who can expose and heighten the contradictions within the system. And we need someone who can call out the press, the politicians, and the pseudo-intellectuals as the empty shells they are.

    * Brad Griffin, founder of the Occidental Dissent, a website that describes itself as “Pro-White, Pro-South, Pro-Indepdence.” On Trump, Griffin recently wrote:

    Donald Trump isn’t a conservative or a racialist by any stretch of the imagination, but he is a tornado that can inflict a lot of damage upon the two-party system.

    * Jared Taylor, considered one of the leading intellectual voices of the white nationalist movement, praised Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants in a video posted on the website of his American Renaissance journal:

    Americans, real Americans have been dreaming of a candidate who says the obvious, that illegal immigrants from Mexico are a low-rent bunch that includes rapists and murders.

    * Richard Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, called Trump’s criticism of Senator John McCain’s war heroism “revelatory:”

    Trump is ‘divisive’ in that he forces his opponents and rivals to take sides. In this case, he demonstrated that the other GOP candidates are interchangeable cowards and conformists. As an added bonus, he associated them all with an unpopular failed presidential candidate and immigration enthusiast.

    The White Genocide Project, a group whose mission is to raise awareness of the “genocide” of the white race, launched a White House peition demanding President Barack Obama to honor Trump for “opposing white genocide.” The petition only gathered 243 signatures and was closed for not reaching the signature requirements.
    The Daily Stormer, a Neo-Nazi news and commentary website, endorsed Trump for president, writing:

    He is certainly going to be a positive influence on the Republican debates, as the modern Fox News Republican has basically accepted the idea that there is no going back from mass immigration, and Trump is willing to say what most Americans think: it’s time to deport these people. He is also willing to call them out as criminal rapists, murderers and drug dealers.


    Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says Trump’s words and their potential consequences will get worse before it gets better.

    “We have seen repeatedly how this kind of language leads to criminal violence,” Potok says.

    He adds that a figure of authority like Trump making such comments is akin to “permission giving” to supporters like the Leader brothers.

    Well, that was shockingly unsurprising. And as Mark Potok points out, “We have seen repeatedly how this kind of language leads to criminal violence,” which, of course, means there’s probably some more shockingly unsurprising behavior on the way. Perhaps a lot more:

    Rolling Stone
    Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny
    Win or lose, Trump’s campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid
    By Matt Taibbi August 21, 2015

    So two yahoos from Southie in my hometown of Boston severely beat up a Hispanic homeless guy earlier this week. While being arrested, one of the brothers reportedly told police that “Donald Trump was right, all of these illegals need to be deported.”

    When reporters confronted Trump, he hadn’t yet heard about the incident. At first, he said, “That would be a shame.” But right after, he went on:

    “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”

    This is the moment when Donald Trump officially stopped being funny.

    The thing is, even as Donald Trump said and did horrible things during this year’s incredible run at the White House, most sane people took solace in the fact that he could never win. (Although new polls are showing that Hillary’s recent spiral puts this reassuring thought into jeopardy.)

    In fact, most veteran political observers figured that the concrete impact of Trump’s candidacy would be limited in the worst case to destroying the Republican Party as a mainstream political force.

    That made Trump’s run funny, campy even, like a naughty piece of pornographic performance art. After all, what’s more obscene than pissing on the presidency? It seemed even more like camp because the whole shtick was fronted by a veteran reality TV star who might even be in on the joke, although of course the concept was funnier if he wasn’t.

    Trump had the whole country rubbernecking as this preposterous Spaulding Smails caricature of a spoiled rich kid drove the family Rolls (our illustrious electoral process in this metaphor) off the road into a ditch. It was brilliant theater for a while, but the ugliness factor has gotten out of control.

    Trump is probably too dumb to realize it, or maybe he isn’t, but he doesn’t need to win anything to become the most dangerous person in America. He can do plenty of damage just by encouraging people to be as uninhibited in their stupidity as he is..=

    Trump is striking a chord with people who are feeling the squeeze in a less secure world and want to blame someone – the government, immigrants, political correctness, “incompetents,” “dummies,” Megyn Kelly, whoever – for their problems.

    Karl Rove and his acolytes mined a lot of the same resentments to get Republicans elected over the years, but the difference is that Trump’s political style encourages people to do more to express their anger than just vote. The key to his success is a titillating message that those musty old rules about being polite and “saying the right thing” are for losers who lack the heart, courage and Trumpitude to just be who they are.

    His signature moment in a campaign full of them was his exchange in the first debate with Fox’s Kelly. She asked him how anyone with a history of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals” could win a general election against a female candidate like Hillary Clinton.

    “I’ve been challenged by so many people,” Trump answered. “I frankly don’t have time for political correctness. And to be honest with you, the country doesn’t have time either….We don’t win anymore. We lose to China. We lose to Mexico….We lose to everybody.”

    On the surface, Kelly was just doing her job as a journalist, throwing Trump’s most outrageous comments back at him and demanding an explanation.

    But on another level, she was trying to bring Trump to heel. The extraction of the humiliating public apology is one of the media’s most powerful weapons. Someone becomes famous, we dig up dirt on the person, we rub it in his or her nose, and then we demand that the person get down on bended knee and beg forgiveness.

    The Clintons’ 1992 joint interview on 60 Minutes was a classic example, as was Anthony Weiner’s prostration before Andrew Breitbart and Chris Christie’s 107-minute marathon apologia after Bridgegate. The subtext is always the same: If you want power in this country, you must accept the primacy of the press. It’s like paying the cover at the door of the world’s most exclusive club.

    Trump wouldn’t pay the tab. Not only was he not wrong for saying those things, he explained, but holding in thoughts like that is bad for America. That’s why we don’t win anymore, why we lose to China and to Mexico (how are we losing to Mexico again?). He was saying that hiding forbidden thoughts about women or immigrants or whoever isn’t just annoying, but bad for America.

    It’s not exactly telling people to get out there and beat people with metal rods. But when your response to news that a couple of jackasses just invoked your name when they beat the crap out of a homeless guy is to salute your “passionate” followers who “love this country,” you’ve gone next-level.

    The political right in America has been flirting with dangerous ideas for a while now, particularly on issues involving immigrants and minorities. But in the last few years the rhetoric has gotten particularly crazy.

    Why there’s suddenly this surge of hatred for immigrants is sort of a mystery. Why Donald Trump, who’s probably never even interacted with an undocumented immigrant in a non-commercial capacity, in particular should care so much about this issue is even more obscure. (Did he trip over an immigrant on his way to the Cincinnati housing development his father gave him as a young man?)

    Most likely, immigrants are just collateral damage in Trump’s performance art routine, which is an absurd ritualistic celebration of the coiffed hotshot endlessly triumphing over dirty losers and weaklings.

    Trump isn’t really a politician, of course. He’s a strongman act, a ridiculous parody of a Nietzschean superman. His followers get off on watching this guy with (allegedly) $10 billion and a busty mute broad on his arm defy every political and social convention and get away with it.

    People are tired of rules and tired of having to pay lip service to decorum. They want to stop having to watch what they say and think and just get “crazy,” as Thomas Friedman would put it.

    Trump’s campaign is giving people permission to do just that. It’s hard to say this word in conjunction with such a sexually unappealing person, but his message is a powerful aphrodisiac. Fu ck everything, fu ck everyone. Fu ck immigrants and fu ck their filthy lice-ridden kids. And fu ck you if you don’t like me saying so.

    Those of us who think polls and primaries and debates are any match for that are pretty naive. America has been trending stupid for a long time. Now the stupid wants out of its cage, and Trump is urging it on. There are a lot of ways this can go wrong, no matter who wins in 2016.

    “I will say, the people that are following me are very passionate. They love this country. They want this country to be great again. But they are very passionate. I will say that.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 22, 2015, 12:32 pm
  3. With the Donald Trump phenomena showing now signs of abating, it might be tempting to assume that illegal immigration is basically guaranteed to be a top tier electoral issue in the 2016 elections. And that’s likely the case if Donald Trump does indeed end up being the GOP nominee since he’s made building “The Trump Wall” along the US/Mexican border and mass deportations a top theme of his campaign.

    But it’s worth noting that, according to a poll conducted last month, immigration wasn’t even remotely the top issue for GOP primary voters, let alone Americans in general. Instead, based on the poll’s results, it’s pretty clear that the GOP’s expected 2016 campaign of fear is going to have to rely on more than just fear of undocumented Mexican immigrants. Undocumented Mexican immigrants that happen to be members of ISIS and infected with Ebola are probably what we should expect. Not that we should actually expected Ebola-infected Mexican ISIS members to actually cross the border, but we should still probably expect frequent dire warnings that they could:

    Mother jones
    Sorry Donald, Most Republicans Don’t Actually Care That Much About Illegal Immigration

    —By Kevin Drum
    | Mon Jul. 27, 2015 5:32 PM EDT

    Greg Sargent has an item today noting that by a 63-34 percent margin in a new CNN poll, Republicans believe the main focus of immigration policy should be stopping the flow of illegal immigration and deporting the illegal immigrants who are already here. No big surprise there. But when I clicked over to the poll itself I found a couple of things related to immigration that were kind of interesting.

    First, CNN asked “Just your best guess, do you think the number of immigrants coming to the United States illegally has increased or decreased in the last few years?” Among Republicans, 83 percent thought it had increased. Granted, asking about the “last few years” is a little ambiguous, but if you assume at a minimum that it means less than a decade, then 83 percent of Republicans are woefully misinformed. As you can see from the Pew data on the right, the illegal immigrant population dropped considerably in 2008 and 2009 and has been basically flat ever since.

    (By the way, among Democrats 61 percent think immigration has increased. That’s a little better, but still not exactly a proud moment in voter awareness. It isn’t just Fox News that’s keeping us all misinformed.)

    The second interesting question was one that asked about which issues were most important. This kind of thing always has to be taken with a grain of salt, but even so it’s a little surprising how little Republicans actually care about immigration. For all the attention it’s gotten from Donald Trump, only 9 percent said it was their most important issue, the lowest showing of any of the issues CNN asked about. The economy and terrorism/foreign policy were far and away the biggest worries among Republicans. Also surprisingly, health care didn’t register very high either. The tea party may be yelling endlessly about the need to repeal the worst law since the Fugitive Slave Act, but among all Republicans, only a few rate it as a critical issue.

    So….immigration and Obamacare probably aren’t going to be gigantic issues this year among Republicans—or in the general election. As usual, the economy will be #1, and #2 will probably be terrorism and foreign policy in general.

    “For all the attention it’s gotten from Donald Trump, only 9 percent said it was their most important issue, the lowest showing of any of the issues CNN asked about. The economy and terrorism/foreign policy were far and away the biggest worries among Republicans”
    Ebola ISIS anchor babies here we come! Again! Even if the immigrants themselves aren’t actually coming anymore.

    And while undocumented immigration has basically been flat for years, it is worth noting that there really is a rather massive, and growing, risk out there that truly could cause a massive surge in immigration into places like the US not just from Mexico but basically anywhere. It’s not an immediate risk, but in another few decades or so it really could be. And thanks to our current policies, it’s less of a “risk” and more of an “inevitability”.

    But it’s not necessarily unavoidable, with much depending on the decisions we make today and in the coming years. So it’s a topic that could be quite a potent political cudgel for any politician scheming to turn border security into political gold. Will Donald Trump or any of his fellow GOPers embrace this risk as a national challenge worth facing and overcoming in order to ward off future floods of desperate impoverished immigrants with nothing to lose? Hmmm…:

    Los Angeles Times
    Climate change linked to possible mass Mexican migration to U.S.
    Lower crop yields and agricultural production could drive as many as 6.7 million across the border by 2080, a study finds.

    July 26, 2010|By Anna Gorman,

    Climbing temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and increase droughts, floods, heat waves and wildfires.

    Now, scientists are predicting another consequence of climate change: mass migration to the United States.

    Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico, according to a study published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The number could amount to 10% of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65.

    “Assuming that the climate projections are correct, gradually over the next several decades heading toward the end of the century, it becomes one of the more important factors in driving Mexicans across the border, all other things being equal,” said study author Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

    Of course, Oppenheimer acknowledged, all things will not remain equal. Changes could occur in U.S. immigration and border policy or in Mexico’s economy and its reliance on agriculture. But he said this was a simplified first step in studying the effect of global warming on migration.

    “Our primary objectives were, No. 1, to give policymakers something to think about and, No. 2, to give researchers a spur to start answering some of the more complicated questions,” Oppenheimer said.

    Oppenheimer teamed up with two economists, Alan B. Krueger and Shuaizhang Feng, to study the connection between agricultural decline and migration. They looked at Mexican emigration, crop yield and climate data from 1995 to 2005 to make estimates about the next 70 years.

    In the past, Oppenheimer said, Mexican farmers from rural areas fled to the United States when they could no longer grow their crops. If the rising temperatures dry out the land and reduce yield as expected, many more farmers could do the same.

    Philip Martin, an expert in agricultural economics at UC Davis, said that he hadn’t read the study but that making estimates based solely on climate change was virtually impossible.

    “It is just awfully hard to separate climate change from the many, many other factors that affect people’s decisions whether to stay in agriculture or move,” he said.

    According to the study, other countries and regions dependent on agriculture could also see a similar exodus. Among the areas mentioned are much of Africa, India, Bangladesh and Latin America.

    But Massey expressed skepticism about generalizing to other countries, because Mexico and the U.S. have a 60-year migrant history and share a 2,000-mile border. Mexico is also well connected to the U.S. labor demand through social networks.

    “When economic shocks like climate change hit other developing countries … displacements from the countryside may happen, but they are not likely to produce so many international migrants,” Massey said.

    So at least based on that 2010 study, if Mexico is fried to a crisp people might seek life elsewhere. Seems reasonable. Although, as the many skeptical comments from other researchers suggested, extrapolating mass migration movements 70 years from now based on climate projections isn’t exactly easy to do. After all, it’s just one study. But, of course, it wasn’t the only study to find a link between climate change and mass migrations and some of those other studies aren’t simply projecting climate change-induced mass human migration near the end of the 21st century. According to a report published last year in Nature Climate Change, in some parts of the world it’s already happening:

    Smithsonian Magazine
    Climate Change Is Already Causing Mass Human Migration
    When temperatures are high, Pakistani men are 11 times more likely to move out of town

    By Colin Schultz
    smithsonian.com
    January 29, 2014

    There are a lot of reasons people move: for work, for love, for the draw of the big city or the quiet of nature. But as the world continues to warm, it’s expected that global climate change will become another factor driving people to move: to dodge coastal erosion and sea level rise, to follow changes in rainfall, to avoid strengthening storms. Climate change is already inducing marine animals to migrate, and according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, it’s starting to make people move, too.

    For the past 21 years, researchers have been studying the migration patterns of people in Pakistan. (Similar studies are done in America—that’s how we know that most emigrants from New York are going to Florida.) Migration data in hand, the scientists, led by the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Valerie Mueller, measured the relationship between Pakistanis’ movements and changes in a handful of environmental variables, from the quantity and timing of rainfall, to temperature, the strength of the annual monsoon and the occurrence of floods.

    “This approach reveals a complex migratory response that is not fully consistent with common narratives of climate-induced migration,” the scientists wrote in their report.

    Traditionally, scientists have assumed that it is big, catastrophic natural disasters that drive people to pack up and leave. But as with those who hunker down in Tornado Alley, the researchers found that even though Pakistan is prone to extreme floods, like the devastating 2010 floods that affected 20 million people and forced 14 million to move temporarily, flooding in general has little effect on where people chose to live long-term.

    Instead, they found, high temperatures, particularly during the spring and winter farming season, were the dominant driver of mass migration. It’s not that it suddenly became too hot for people to live. But as temperature and weather patterns change, previously productive ground may become uneconomical to work. High heat wipes out the farming economy, the researchers suggest, causing Pakistani men to pack up and leave for greener pastures.

    “Thus, we are left with an overall picture that heat stress—not high rainfall, flooding, or moisture—is most strongly associated with migration. The risk of a male, non-migrant moving out of the village is 11 times more likely when exposed to temperature values in the fourth quartile,” they wrote.

    Yes, it appears that humans, known for our proverbial ‘frog in boiling pot of water’ ability to adjust to steadily worsening conditions, really will jump out of the pot if it gets too hot:

    Traditionally, scientists have assumed that it is big, catastrophic natural disasters that drive people to pack up and leave….

    Instead, they found, high temperatures, particularly during the spring and winter farming season, were the dominant driver of mass migration. It’s not that it suddenly became too hot for people to live. But as temperature and weather patterns change, previously productive ground may become uneconomical to work. High heat wipes out the farming economy, the researchers suggest, causing Pakistani men to pack up and leave for greener pastures.

    And while none of this should be surprising, you pretty much never hear politicians anywhere suggesting that we’re probably heading into an era where mass migrations involving totally desperate climate refugees are just going to be part of the New Normal. A broken climate isn’t exactly the type of thing that ‘regime change’ can fix (we should probably add that to the list).

    So with all that in mind, perhaps it might be worth letting Mr. Trump know that there’s another opportunity for him to do his now-signature blending of far-right and “Old school” policy-prescriptions in manner that would very much be in keeping with his “I’m really going to stick it to the Mexicans, and I’m not like all those other politicians”-campaign theme. After all, if Trump can lead national GOP polls the way he does despite calling for higher taxes on the rich and universal healthcare simply by catering to the GOP base’s intense xenophobia, who knows what else he can do.

    So here’s what Trump needs to do: If he’s going to dedicate his campaign to building a wall with Mexico, ok, it’s still a crazy, horrible plan, but let’s make it a useful crazy plan so maybe it’s a little less horrible and might actually help Mexico. And everyone else. Let’s Build the Trump Wall…out of the CO2 in the atmosphere that’s going to be causing all those mass migrations:

    MIT Technology Review
    Researcher Demonstrates How to Suck Carbon from the Air, Make Stuff from It

    A novel electrochemical process sequesters carbon in the form of a versatile building material.

    By Mike Orcutt on August 19, 2015

    A new method for taking carbon dioxide directly from the air and converting it to oxygen and nanoscale fibers made of carbon could lead to an inexpensive way to make a valuable building material—and may even serve as a weapon against climate change.

    Carbon fibers are increasingly being used as a structural material by industries like aerospace and automotive, which value its strength and light weight. The useful attributes of carbon fibers, which also include electrical conductivity, are enhanced at the nanoscale, says Stuart Licht, a professor of chemistry at George Washington University. The problem is that it’s very expensive to make carbon fibers, much less nanofibers. Licht says his group’s newly demonstrated technology, which both captures the carbon dioxide from the air and employs an electrochemical process to convert it to carbon nanofibers and oxygen, is more efficient and potentially a lot cheaper than existing methods.

    But it’s more than just a simpler, less expensive way of making a high value product. It’s also a “means of storing and sequestering carbon dioxide in a useful manner, a stable manner, and in a compact manner,” says Licht. He points out that if the process is powered by renewable energy, the result is a net removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In a recent demonstration, his group used a unique concentrated solar power system, which makes use of infrared sunlight as well as visible light to generate the large amount of heat needed to run the desired reaction.

    The researchers demonstrated the ability to make a variety of different nanofiber shapes and diameters by adjusting specific growth conditions, such as the amount of current applied at specific points of time, and the composition of the various ingredients used in the process. They also showed they could make very uniform fibers. Licht says the mechanisms underlying the formation of the fibers still need to be better understood, and says he’s confident the group can keep developing a greater degree of control over the nature of the fibers it makes.

    As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.

    Of course this would require a huge increase in demand for carbon nanofibers. Licht believes the material’s properties, especially the fact that it is so lightweight and also very strong, will spur greater and greater use as the cost comes down, and he thinks his new process can help with that. Imagine that carbon fiber composites eventually replace steel, aluminum, and even concrete as a building material, he says. “At that point, there could be sufficient use of this that it’s actually acting as a significant repository of carbon.”

    “As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.”
    Ok, so that was pretty damn awesome. At least, it might be awesome if the technology actually ends up working as promised. And if it this done pan out, the whole damn planet could be in store for a new field of manufacturing where, instead of digging up the ground for mining materials, we just suck it out of the atmosphere.

    Now here’s the kicker: Who better to lead this revolution than Donald Trump? Ok, lots of people are actually more qualified, but within the contemporary GOP and US political climate, is ANYONE more qualified than Donald Trump to lead the nation into embrace CO2-sucking technology? Sure, he would have to admit that man-made climate change and elevated atmospheric CO2 levels are a real issue, which could be problem for someone in the midst of a GOP primary, but is ANYONE less vulnerable than Trump to the blowback the comes with breaking GOP taboos? He’s pretty much been doing that with impunity and it hasn’t hurt him so far.

    Who knows, while we should all really be hoping that something as senseless as “The Great Trump Wall” doesn’t actually happen, if Donald Trump actually made the carbon nanofiber CO2-sucking technology part of his campaign platform and got the GOP base on board with actually embracing green-technology as part of the economy of tomorrow, he might actually end up doing Mexico, and the whole world, a bit of a favor.

    Granted, it might not be possible to get Trump to acknowledge the realities of climate change, but what if he could repackage it as part of his War on Mexico campaign? Would that work? These are the guys of bizarre questions we get to ask now that a reality TV star/billionaire has capture the hearts and minds of the GOP base and almost immediately starts defying the conventional wisdom of what is politically possible.
    When something like the Trump phenomena happens, some sort of GOP realignment and rebranding isn’t entirely out of the question. Could a Trump help the GOP rebrand itself as a party of green future-tech and science? Probably not, but it’s possible. We’ll see.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | August 24, 2015, 6:43 pm

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