The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    The Children are Lost and Someone Must Pay

    The stories coming out of Texas this week are horrific and heartbreaking. They're far past maddening and into territory where heads explode.

    No other way to put this: our government has been kidnapping refugee children and hiding them all across the country.

    They move them in the dead of night and won't say where they've gone.

    They refuse to open detention center doors to concerned government officials--the ones who haven't gone over to the dark side and show no signs of budging.

    They won't allow outside cameras or recording devices, releasing instead their own sanitized versions of nice places to incarcerate terrified children.

    They hang "Dear Leader" posters on the walls, showing a smirking Donald Trump alongside a bizarre, irrelevant quote from his book, "The Art of the Deal". ("Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war", in both English and Spanish.)

    We know now that, long before Jeff Sessions told those families they're going to have their kids taken away if they didn't stop fleeing the dangers in their own countries to get to the Land Of The Free And the Home Of The Brave, they were already taking kids away from fleeing refugees.

    Now they have over 2000 of them--some as young as eight months old--and it's as if locusts suddenly appeared in their fields, out of nowhere, thousands of them, all at one time. What is happening??

    It's as if the plan to forcibly remove children from their refugee parents ended at "forcibly remove", followed by TO BE DETERMINED in the middle of a whole lot of white space.

    It's as if they thought nothing bad would happen if they forcibly removed small, helpless human beings from the people who love them and care for them.

    It's as if they thought...

    You know where I'm going with this, right?

    They didn't think.

    They didn't keep accurate records. They know where some of the children are, but not all of them. They sent them off to dozens of locations across the country without a fool-proof paper trail or electronic trail or any other kind of trail, and now that the cockamamie plan to steal kids away from their parents has been whomped to bits by millions of furious, vocal Americans, along with hundreds of members of the press, the clergy, and by God, Congress--all clamoring to know where the kids are-- they've been forced to admit they just don't know.

    In a tone so nonchalant you would think they were talking about missing Kleenex boxes, they admit some of the children--the small children they kidnapped in broad daylight, along with the older ones who came alone many months before--may never be found.

    They're okay with that. In fact, now that the crisis is over, now that they've stopped ripping children away from their families, their job here is done.

    Lights out.

    So today we're on a tear to find those kids. Everyone from governors to mayors to social workers to battle-scarred reporters to those of us who do our best work on Facebook and Twitter--everyone is trying to reunite families who have been torn apart by an American government getting off on teaching terrified refugees a lesson. We're so angry we can barely stand it.

    But what worries me now is the tone set by the punditry. The return of those children is the talk of the town. Every TV pundit is putting together panels to discuss everything from long term psychiatric disorders stemming from separation and incarceration (almost guaranteed) to whether or not Melania meant the kids when she wore the jacket screaming I really don't care. Do U? on a flight to visit the detention centers (who the hell knows?).

    On every panel someone reminds us that there will be some kids who will never (not may never, will never) see their families again. Everyone nods in agreement. Yes. They'll never see their families again.

    Sad face, everyone.

    And then they move on. They MOVE ON.

    I haven't heard a single person talk about punishment. Kidnapping is a crime. Terrorizing refugees is a crime. Sending children off to vanish without a trace is surely a crime.

    Who's going to jail? Is anybody in trouble for this?

    Not that I've seen. And I want to know why.



    Children have been subjected to an extreme form of psychological trauma, comparable to what you might feel. If someone points a gun at your head, screams at you in a language you don’t understand, and takes you away to jail, where you can’t ever get in touch with your family again. This is Trump’s vision of “Greatness”, backed by lots of folks who honor a government that tried to destroy the United States just to keep a whole people, including small children, as their legal property, and still wear its flag. 

    comment at Washington Post.

    Something really sinister about this:

    However, the immigrant children that have come to Michigan were not designated as refugees, Heaton said. 

    Had that been the case, the state's unaccompanied refugee minor program would have required the state to provide family reunification services, per the Children's Foster Care Manual. 

    Bethany Christian Services, an adoption agency where Betsy DeVos was a Senior VP until 2015, and whose history includes investigations into adopting children who weren't orphans, is one of the holding centers in uptight, right wing evangelical Western Michigan.

    Those kids are lost on purpose, and it's happening all across the country.



    It's a win win for Trump and the Republicans if in part due to their past, current and almost certain future abuse and neglect by "the system" even one of these kids commits any crime, or, the GOP dream scenario...... winds up in a gang.


    Sinister ? To some extent. But mostly clueless.. Trump is incapable  of managing a large organization. He never has. Not when he was young enough to maybe learn from experience. Certainly not now when he's too old.

    Never managed a large organization ? The businessman President?

    Correct. He never was a "manager" . A gambler. A "businessman" sort of . Not an  " executive."

    Whatever the downside of being  a corporate executive  it graduates people who can get  things done. Partly because they've  learned -usually  by first getting it wrong- that before you issue an Executive Order  instructing somebody to do something  first  ask her if she can..  She just might know  more than you. And besides if you want  his help during a crash landing, better make  sure he's aboard at take  off.

    Of course since all his ideas are stupid , evil or both  we're lucky he's incompetent as well. 



    Flav, you made me realize how it has been somewhat forgotten that he sold himself as the great executive manager character of "Apprentice" and that was some help in his win. Those of us who already had the impression of him as a horse's ass and saw no need to investigate further, didn't even bother to check out whether that was true or not . We learned after the sad fact much more horse's ass stuff about The Donald, more than we ever wanted to know! But in the end it is so ironic, it is as you say we're lucky he's incompetent as well. 

    Strikes me that this sort of belongs on one of my absurdities threads, but the latest one is already plenty full in short order.

    Who's clueless...?

    Trump is put where he is by Russia, anti-democratic American and foreign plutocrats, and right wing media to mismanage and weaken government. Pruitt at EPA, DeVos at Education, Mulvaney to destroy Consumer Protection, State Department hemorrhaging experienced personnel, Carson at Housing, the Trump picks are not there to be good managers...! 

    Bankrupt the Treasury with huge deficit expanding tax cuts on GOP donors and multinationals, unravel and defund the social safety net, weaken the nation's institutions, further divide the country, put political discourse in the gutter and shatter alliances and trust with our allies.

    I still think it's a point of contention whether Russia got what it was expecting (beyond some chaos that is.) We can't really know for sure for a while yet at the very least and I've seen convincing arguments all over the map on it so far.

    Wall St., corporate America, they seem to be happy but I think that might be this Congress that they are happy with,and that Mnuchin is still at Treasury and do not  attribute this economy to the skills of Trump, rather, many probably fear his incompetence. Especially if you do big picture and not last week, i.e., the 15 of the Trump Business Advisory Council quitting en mass, Gary Cohen, Rex Tillerson and his recent speech, etc. I'd be willing to bet they'd be sooo happy to see a President Pence replacement. I also think we are also going to see a lot of complaining very soon from corporate America about wily nily crazy tariffs unless Kudlow, once back on the job, can convince him to quiet down.

    And in the end, all in all it's a big reminder for me that the president does not really have a lot of power in our system (except for appointing Supremes), or that's how it always used to be until we got one who's only real skill is to troll the media and direct the news cycle away from reality. Congress is still everyone's #1 important vote, a pity that more never thought so in the past.

    You frankly seem more apathetic, amused, rather than concerned, about it all.

    Nah, that's too neat. Everything is not connected to everything else. It's tempting to think that. Particularly about the bad stuff but a lot of what happens is the  result of uncoordinated random actions. Which we attempt to force into a pattern so we can get a handle on it.

    Tolstoy amused himself ( I hope) with a fable that goes like this.

    Time and again Napolean intended to invade England. Told his closest allies it would happen. Ordered the planning begin. Nothing. There were storms or whatever.

    Conversely a time came when he too  decided on the ever popular invade plan  Poland ( join the club! ) Crossed  the border. Then the hapless  country . To its opposite side. 

    How to celebrate his Polish success ?

    A parade.

    Of course !

    So came a beautiful  June afternoon. A perfect day for an invasion! N stood on a hill overlooking the Vistula listening to the  bands playing below  and returning salutes from  the elegantly dressed troops. . Behind Marshall whomever on a handsome horse (watch where you're stepping!)

    As they marched- parallel to the river -they came to a bridge. To Russia. 

    Marshall X looked up at Nappy on the bluff ,nodded his head to east in a questioning way ,( I leave it to you to imagine what a " questioning " nod would have looked like in 1812).

    Nap nodded  back,  "Yes" .

    The rest is history. 





    Storms? There was a full-court British naval press going on, including the Brits keeping the French pent up in port for years, and then foiling Villeneuve and the Spanish's rendezvous with other forces at Brest. Nap was more experienced on land than at sea, so 1000 miles to Moscow was more doable. Still, even there an early spring, ice floes and lots of mud did him in - ruined by fair weather, hèlás!

    He is basically admitting here today that it really hurt him with his own base by pretending it wasn't his fault And with them, he'll get away with it, he doesn't pay for anything because the hardcore fan base is a delusional minority. They listen to his version of things rather than to the "faux news".

    Yes, it's a cult of personality. But the seeds of it are in our previous cult of personality/charisma presidential campaigns, i.e., Obama or RFK or Saint Ronnie is gonna be a savior, women swoon, etc.  This is a problem built into our system. The difference now is the much enhanced ability for people to go much further and deeper into echo chambers of support for alternative reality based on one person, the whole presidential fandom thing is much more dangerous.

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