Friday, June 22, 2018

"Torn From Their Mothers' Arms..."

Be very careful not to watch "Law and Order" right after your Significant Other has been watching hours of MSNBC, which has been hyping the Border Crisis all day.  It might give you unorthodox ideas.

The story according to the news media is: a bunch of poor-poor refugees, fleeing from Violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, came north to the Texas border, seeking Asylum.  They were greeted by Cruel Immigration Agents of Trump, who promptly arrested the refugees, locked them up, and *Tore The Children From Their Mothers' Arms* and carried them off to hidden prisons all over the country, which the reporters Haven't Been Allowed To See -- and therefore *must* be Abusing the children, possibly even selling them to pedophiles, and in any case isn't keeping very good track of which kid belongs to which adult, so probably won't give them back.  Oooh, Humanitarian Crisis!  Summon the ACLU!  Call in the UN!  Kudos to a firm of lawyers offering to defend for free all government workers who refuse to remove the children for Reasons of Conscience. 

Eventually even Rasty got tired of this, handed over the TV remote-control wand and went off to his studio to deal with his email.  I promptly channel-surfed, seeking something more intelligent, and came across a "Law and Order" re-run.  The story followed the usual pattern: mysterious homicide leads to a white-collar scam perpetrated by rich man whose wife may-or-may-not be in on the scam.  To pressure a confession, the police arrest the wife.  There's a scene where she tries the Weepy Hysteria ploy, wailing: "Who'll take care of the children if I'm in jail?"  A cynical cop replies: "Child Protective Services will pick them up.  We're not going to put them in Rikers with you."

CLICK!!!  Revelation!!

Well, of course US police don't put little kids in adult jails!  CPS takes the kids off to processing centers, and from there the kids get put in foster-homes of various sizes.  Time spent in the processing centers depends on how old the kids are, and what they need.  According to folks who've worked there, the first thing the kids get is identified;  ask their names and parents' names, fingerprint them, nowadays retinal-print and DNA print them.  The kids are usually given cookies and milk during the process.  Next, the kids get washed. 

After that, they get a thorough physical exam -- and clean clothes -- and whatever medical treatment they need.  For Central and South American, African, and Middle-Eastern kids, that usually involves vaccinations, dental treatment, a course of antibiotics, de-lousing, de-fleaing, and worming.  Sometimes it takes more than that, even surgery.  In short, while their parents are in jail, the kids get lots of free healthcare.  There's even an underground system for desperate poor parents of sick kids to visibly 'sneak' across the US border where they know the border patrol is watching, just to get themselves jailed (and whatever healthcare they get there themselves) and get their kids free healthcare from CPS;  even if the lot of them get turned back to wherever they came from, it's often worth the effort just for the medical treatment.  Naturally, the US govt. doesn't want to advertise this arrangement;  it's having enough trouble providing healthcare to its own poor folks.

Once out of the processing centers, the kids usually go to licensed group-homes, usually tax-funded but privately managed households of 20 or fewer residents.  The group-homes are segregated by age and gender, obviously, and the very young children go to specialized "tender age" centers that provide professional care for infants.  For pretty obvious security reasons, the locations of the group-homes and tender-age centers are kept fairly secret -- yes, even from self-righteous, blabbering reporters. 

Needless to add, CPS is always overloaded, overworked, and underfunded.  Yes, the sudden influx of a few thousand kids on the Texas border would have caused amazing stress on the system.  Texas CPS would have had no choice but to send the excess kids to centers in other states.  I seriously doubt, though, that the system would have lost track of the kids -- not even any late-teenagers who might have wanted to run away and get loose in America. 

Another problem which the CPS workers have discovered is that a lot of those kids are not related to the adult "refugees" claiming to be their parents.  The whole "refugee" caper is beginning to look more and more like a set-up, wherein CPS and the border patrol -- and, of course, Trump -- are made to look Terribly Cruel for treating children of "refugee" lawbreakers the same as American citizens.  

So what's the solution, within the restrictions of federal immigration laws -- which, indeed, Trump inherited from Obama?  Especially knowing that, no matter what he does, the media will put the worst possible spin on it?

Well, what he's done is agree, in public, that he won't separate the children from the adult refugees who claim to be their parents anymore.  So far, the best the anti-Trump crowd can do with this is to claim victory for making Trump reverse course on his promised immigration policy.

I suspect that they're celebrating too soon.  If Trump does indeed have the political power to single-handedly suspend parts of the immigration laws and procedures, then he can indeed rejoin the kids to their supposed parents -- and then deport the lot of them, and use the whole incident as leverage to get The Wall built. 

The "refugees" will be shoved back into Mexico, which doesn't want them, so they'll probably be escorted back to the borders of Guatemala.  Guatemala is currently dealing with the aftermath of a 36-year-long war between the government and the Mayan Indians, plus the added crisis of a massive volcanic eruption.  Life in Guatemala isn't very easy right now, but it's definitely possible.  More, with the internal real refugees running from the volcano, there's enough 'confusion' that the returning, failed US-invaders would have no trouble fitting in, even with (now healthy) children in tow.  They wouldn't have to go all the way to Honduras or El Salvador, where the gang-violence is worse. 

The liberal media, of course, will then blame Trump for Sending Children To Certain Death -- but that will focus public attention on those miserable countries to see just why they're "death traps", instead of relying on vague references to "fleeing violence".  The result just might be enough international forces leaning on those wretched countries to finally solve their "violence" problems.  I can see Trump quietly pressuring the involved govt.s to let him send special forces troops into the jungles to hunt up the gangs with spy-drones, and wipe them out with other drones, in practice for going after the Jihadists elsewhere in the world.

Meanwhile, there are already people asking on the Internet just why the media is flapping all this outrage about foreigners, who are basically being treated no differently from Americans who break misdemeanor laws.  I can see the backlash rising already, using the same phrases the media gave everybody: "children torn from their mothers' arms!" 

Whoever put this setup together are not likely to get the results they wanted.

--Leslie <;)))><      





Alchemystudiosink said...

Yeah, this was an issue, from my cursory research was years in the making. At least as far back as the second bush, when the name of the department of immigration had changed and was reconstructed. Though it seems to have carried stuff over from Clinton. Which may have had stuff from the first Bush, and beyond.

I kinda imagine some of these things are like barrels of wine, where politicians put a bunch of problems into the barrels to eventually uncork to attack someone who they don't like once the wine has turned rancid and "We need to do something nooow, for the children!" becomes the call.

I see children being used as both literal and figurative body shields for some people out there.

"We need to ban guns cause The Children!"
"We need to stop global coo.. warm.. climate change for the children!"
"We need to just let people in crossing the boarder illegally for the children!"
"We need to pass this heathcare thing right now for the children!"
"We need to ban violent Video games to save the children!"
"We need to ban bad music to save the children!"

Its funny how many of those examples have the same close knit people too. Music - Tipper Gore, Violent Video Games - Hilary Clinton, Global Warming - Al Gore, Boarder - Bill Clinton.

I've got a feeling that in the end, despite the outrage and the like that they try to pull off "For the Children", they really don't care about them. But they know we do care about people. And they use that to try and attack us.

Paradoctor said...

This was active harm, done by the government, at taxpayer expense, with the usual cronyism, to the most vulnerable, as an innovation, to 'deter' the desperate, and to force political action.

The asylum-seekers were not violating any law; seeking asylum is legal. Those over the border the first time were committing a misdemeanor. Not a child-taking offense. In both cases, taking the children was an enormous injustice.

I grant that jailing the children with the parents for their misdemeanor or legal act would also be an injustice; but it's considerably less evil. "Zero tolerance" is bad news in general; Sessions deliberately took it to its logically insane conclusion.

In addition to the moral odiousness of the mass child-napping, there is the oh-so-Trumpian chaos and administrative incompetence. A judge slapped the bench so hard a pen went flying, and he said that when the cops take your wallet, they give you a receipt; but for these children, nothing.

Sessions scattered those children with the random haste of one disposing of evidence of a crime. Those families are now at the mercy of bureaucratic inefficiency. I suspect that there are many cases of missing documentation; children with identities utterly lost. This is an ongoing disaster, taking a long time to work out, if ever.

But not unprecedented. The Feds have taken brown and black children before. It was dishonorable then and it is dishonorable now.

Nor is this Trump's only crime. He's done plenty, and sort of gotten away with them, so far. But invulnerability of that sort is brittle; a small crack in the dam can become a break. He's already had to backtrack, sort of; but there's more to come, and his sort hates to admit even the slightest mistake.

Unknown said...

Tune: Beatles, "Nowhere Man"

She's a real empty shell
Sitting in her private Hell
Ringing every Pavlov's bell for Hannity.

Once as strong as Sherman tanks
Now she's joined the false flag ranks
Making noise and shooting blanks at everyone.

Empty shell, you're disdainful
I could cry, it's so painful
To see one who was so far above me take such a fall...

Voice that rang with liberty
Now just rings dischordancy
Seeing fake conspiracy up every tree

Empty shell, still smoking
How I wish you were joking
What I see you've done to yourself makes my skin crawl....

She's a real empty shell
Sitting in her private Hell
Hope she hasn't bade farewell to sanity

She's intoned a putrid song
A fish left in the sun too long
How can she have gone so wrong so fast?

Empty shell, you've blow'd up
Find your soul, and reload up
Lest you find time drags you down to dust after all!

She's a real empty shell
Now I take a sad farewell
Until she regains her fell humanity

Until she regains her fell humanity.

Until she regains her fell humanity.

Paradoctor said...

Alchemystudiosink: deride 'protect the children' if you wish, but remember that it is hardwired into the mammalian brain. Of course it's huckstered; but most hucksters know enough to play Dudley Do-Right rather than Snively Whiplash. Evidently there is a glitch in Trump's brain.

I agree that this is a disaster of long preparation. I like your analogy of the rancid wine-barrel full of policy failure, ready to pour on someone sufficiently disliked. The solution is to not be that guy.

I derive perverse comfort from the thought that sex scandals and rancid policies are part of the American system of checks and balances. Anyone royally ambitious enough to piss everyone off will be hit with them.

Paradoctor said...

Leslie: though we disagree on this and that, I have not lost faith in you, as Unknown seems to have. These are passionate and damaging times.

Take comfort in this; you inspired Unknown to sing.

Alchemystudiosink said...

I'll deride it all the time, because it is so huckstered. Too easily people are like "Pictures and audio of a crying child?" and then the follow whatever people say that will 'end this'. But rather than ending it, it extends it, making it worse.

to not be that guy isn't the solution. You just end up with more rancid wine-barrels. Being that guy /is/ the solution. Cause this did not start with trump, but now its exposed. Its out there, airing out for all to see. Meaning its /ending/ with trump.

From what I've dug up on things like the Parkland shooting (Again, ban all the guns for the children) it seems that too was a rancid wine cask. The police had been called out on him multiple times, for a variety of things.

The more trump pisses them off, the more of the wine casks they'll crack open just to destroy him. Cause I have a rather simple philosophy on trump being, Why was the number of diet cokes he drank news? Why do they have to keep editing or bringing out of context footage, images, and the like if he's such a bad bad man? Especially on what is suppose to be 'respectible' news.

At the start of 2017 I'd roll my eyes, or groan at what trump did according to MSM. By the end of 2017, it was now groaning at the MSM for how they tried to spin something of trump. Koi Gate did me in there.

Technomad said...

This whole issue strikes me as the MSM's latest desperate attempt to find something, anything they can whip into a Watergate-level public hysteria to force Trump out of office. The "Trump is not the rightful president!" thing didn't fly. Then they tried "Trump's vulgar and uncouth!" No luck there. Then it was, for a long time, "Trump is Putin's sock puppet!" Now that that's been proven to be a big fat nothingburger, they've lit on this.

That said, I do think the optics on this aren't good, whatever the abstract rights and wrongs may be. This, people, is why we need a wall. And not just any wall. A wall so big, so thick and so permanent that when it's done, Trump can stand on top of it and say to himself:

"George R.R. Martin, I have surpassed thee!"

I also would like to know why "No means no" suddenly doesn't apply when it's a bunch of unwanted, unskilled Central Americans crowding across our borders. If they're afraid of violence in Guatemala, Honduras and other such "Republicas de los Bananas," (gamer reference there), why not stop in Mexico? The climate's more like what they're used to, and they even speak Spanish!

If it were up to me, I'd round up the whole boiling of them and ship them straight to lonely coves in Tierra del Fuego. That's Spanish-speaking, too...and the Chilean and Argentine governments both want more people living there. Win-win!

commtech said...

How do you wake up each morning and look in the mirror and, upon seeing the face of a monster who justifies child kidnapping, rape, and torture, who is willing to put babies in concentration camps, and not vomit from sheer disgust at the sight of yourself? Just wondering.

Paradoctor said...

If Trump's many, and increasing, opponents want to denounce his criminality, then that's a target-rich environment. His method is a firehose of malfeasance; each offense seems trivial, compared to the one right after.

Remember when his not releasing his tax returns seemed a big deal? Well it still is, and on-the-face-of-it evidence for crookedness.

I actually appreciate some of the vulgarity he's let us all have. But there are odd distinctions; 'pussy' is allowed because it's also a cat, but 'c*nt' is forbidden because a political opponent said it. So manners are, as usual, arbitrary self-serving shibboleths demanded by hypocritical control freaks. This is a universal law, equally applicable to SJWs and Trumpettes.

As for the election; he did lose by 3,000,000. I say that the Electoral College is broken. And as for Putin; again the orange conman is acting as guilty as hell.

Mueller has 5 guilty pleas and 17 indictments, with more on the way. I too would like more, sooner; but Mueller's a pro, he's not into instant gratification. Somethingburgers take some time to make, and he's grilling up a juicy one.

A wall? Most undocumented immigrants checked through Customs, then overstayed their visas. Wall irrelevant. Crowding? Immigration is net negative. Criminals? Statistically, immigrants are more law-abiding than natives. And as for deporting them all, whoever 'they' are: how much more are you willing to pay for produce?

Paradoctor said...

I explain it in this fable that I wrote, titled "Frog Stew":

Once upon a time a Frog said to itself, “I admit that there’s a lid on top of this pan; and a flame underneath; and it’s getting warm in here. But why panic now? The water isn’t much hotter than it was not long ago. It would be a lot of work to push aside that lid and escape. I feel all right so far. So why not wait until later?”

Later a Human lifted the lid and saw that dinner was ready.

Moral: Later is too late.

Technomad said...

Not releasing his tax returns? Show me the law that requires it! And, while we're on it, I wouldn't mind seeing Bill Clinton's, and Barack Obama's, college records---which they have refused to make public. Why did Bill have to leave Oxford---are the stories that he was known to have raped a woman, which was covered up because of his Rhodes Scholarship, true? What was Barack Obama's thesis really all about?

Trump may have lost the popular vote, but he won in the Electoral College---you know, that thing that exists so a few coastal metro areas don't get to dictate everything to the rest of the country, and so that the people campaigning for the only national-level elected office have to at least try to campaign everywhere. The Electoral College was not just invented recently by the Evil Republicans. I can understand being disappointed about this, but maybe, next time, not running an addled hag with more entitlement issues than Queen Cersei, and enough skeletons in her closet to keep Forest Lawn in business, might be a good idea. Just sayin'.

For Democrats to accuse anybody at all of criminality is like Tony Soprano waxing wroth about those dirty rotten hoods in the Russian Mafiya. Ken Starr (remember him?) and the Whitewater investigation nailed everybody else involved in that fustercluck, and sent a sitting governor of Arkansas to prison. And how many times has Trump ever been convicted of anything? Hillary's defenders scream that she's never been convicted (although I believe there's more than enough evidence to throw her into Florence ADC for about the next thousand years), so why the double-standard?

Leslie Fish said...

I'm convinced that the best solution is to declare a 10-year moratorium on *all* immigration, no exceptions. People wailing for asylum (why didn't nice compassionate Mexico take them in?) can get a nice compassionate hearing (outside our borders, thank you), and a nice compassionate plane ticket to whatever nice compassionate country will take them in. You say Chile and Argentina want more people? Perfect! We could even pay them a bounty for each refugee they accept.

Why should the US have to take in every harassed poor person in the western hemisphere? Let the other countries do their share. What most people don't realize is that the US now has the *third largest population in the world* -- behind China and India, but well ahead of Indonesia. Our physical and social resources are straining at the seams. We really, really don't need more population.

So no, don't take their kids away; bundle up the kids and the adults and ship them off to Argentina. In fact, whenever we catch an illegal immigrant breaking the law, bundle him/her up and send them off to Argentina too.

And yes, build that damn wall. No, it won't cause a "crisis" in our produce-farming. Anybody who's ever watched "Dirty Jobs" knows that there's no such thing as a job that Americans won't do; there are only wages that an American won't accept. There are plenty of Americans willing to pick lettuce. Frankly, it's cheaper to pay a decent wage to lettuce-pickers than to pay the support of all those not-so-legal immigrants.

And yes, it's a hoot watching the Dems/Progressives screech hysterically about Reps committing sins that they've committed several times over. I wonder if they realize that the voters just might remember those transgressions when the shoe's on the other foot.

Leslie Fish said...

Hmmm, Commtech, please show me evidence that those kids in CPS centers really are being raped and tortured and put in "concentration camps" -- something other than hysterical accusations by the accuse-Trump-of-anything crowd. Show me solid evidence that the refugees' kids are being treated worse than regular American kids taken up by CPS. Do you know anyone who works for CPS, particularly in Texas right now?

Paradoctor said...


Re tax returns: it wasn't illegal for a Presidential candidate to conceal his tax returns, but it was abnormal. I agree that norms aren't laws; in this case because it hadn't occurred to anyone that a candidate would ever be that brazen. After Trump, assuming that the republic survives, there might well be a slew of norms formalized as laws. So what does he have to hide? Such defensive secrecy looks bad and smells bad. It does not cut it for him to whinge "you're not the boss of me"; technically, we _are_ the boss of him. And we, the boss of him, need to know if he working for us or for someone else.

Are you worried about Obama's grad school grades? How would that affect the nation's security? No doubt his thesis is on public record; why not look it up? Compared to Trump, it would be refreshingly intelligent and honest.

Re popular vote: Trump most certainly did lose the popular vote, by about 2,900,000. Despite this he claimed a 'yuge' mandate, plus also the biggest inaugural crowd ever. Both claims clearly false; and it is this gaslighting, this contemptible contempt for plain truth, that has characterized his entire administration, and his entire life.

I agree that Hillary Clinton was a terrible campaigner. As far as corrupt corporate centrism goes, she was run of the mill; but Trump is eccentric, corporate, and extraordinarily corrupt. Sure she had some baggage; but he has nothing but baggage. If she's Queen Cersei, then he's King Joffrey. The fact that 2,900,000 more voters preferred even her to him should say something.

Actually they both lost, in terms most painful to both. She, the technocrat, lost by the political machine's arcane rules. He, the populist, was and remains unpopular. Had she won the EC and he the vote, then by now they would both be quite content. As is, she lost, he lost, America lost, Putin won, and Kim Jong Un won.

Re Electoral College: it is not just broken, it is hacked. Twice in 16 years it has elected unpopular presidents, to the same party. Remember W? Remember 9/11, which his gang failed to prevent despite urgent warnings, and who spent terabux to lose a war? And along the way abandoned an American city? And the loss of civil liberties? And torture? And blowing a hole in the budget? Now consider the orange conman, who is a walking disaster area, utterly without honor or empathy. For details, consult his wife. Previous unpopular presidents were about as bad. The EC is a weak point for the republic, which ought to be repaired. This can be done without constitutional amendment, by enough states agreeing to vote with the popular vote.

Re Starr:
You want a nothingburger? Try the Starr investigation. You want nothing fries with that? Try 'but her emails'. Remember: Trump tweets policy on an insecure phone.

How often has Trump lost in court? Thousands of times. Remember Trump University?

Re the Sopranos:
To me, the analogy is: the D's are the Carmela Soprano party, complicit as hell, and the R's are the Tony Soprano party, guilty as hell. Trump's even _called_ Don!

Paradoctor said...

Commtech assumes that kid-snatchers are guilty until proven innocent. This is prudent, when contemplating the government; for either the people get to call the government guilty until proven innocent, or the government gets to call the people guilty until proven innocent. Who is to be master?

Paradoctor said...

Hiring undocumented immigrants was agribusiness's shortcut. They didn't = and still don't = want to pay Americans with labor rights; nor did they want to invest in robots, which have no rights but still cost money; so they shortcutted to persons with no power at all. Since the growers are the ones with power in the relationship, it is they who should be alpha targets.

Paradoctor said...

The orange conman's latest modest proposal; no due process for immigrants. To efficiency's sake, don't you know. Why should the police bother to determine what's true and lawful when they can just act?

Suppose this goes through. Then what's to stop the next cop who stops you, and doesn't like your attitude, and/or has a quota to fill, from calling you illegal and throwing you to the ICE goons? And then asset-forfeit your car?

Well, maybe you can avoid that. Bribery might work. How much is your freedom - and car - worth? Empty your wallet, maybe? Then smile at the nice policeman?

That sort of thing is routine in tyrannies. That's why we have Amendments 4 and 5.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Nat. No, I think Trump's pulling a clever move here. When Dems holler about him simply denying asylum and turning the refugees back by claiming "No due process!" he can reply: "This is the only way to keep the kids and adults together, and *you demanded it*."

As for bribing cops, heheheh, tell me about it! I used to live in Chicago, where they've got it down to a science -- and, like experienced and intelligent predators, they know enough not to take too much, but to rely on quantity instead of quality. If a cop stops you on the street and demands your ID, you hand him your wallet, with the cash-compartment gaping conveniently open. In the cash compartment, be sure to have a $5 bill, a $10 and a $20. Depending on the severity of whatever crime the cop is charging you with, he'll take one of the bills and hand the rest back, and let you go with a warning. In Latino countries this is called "la mordita", and in Muslim countries, the "jizya". In Chicago, they're still polite enough not to give it an official name.

About those growers and pickers: what I see here in Arizona (there's a working farm two short blocks from my house), the farmers use "determinate" crops --i.e., they all ripen at the same time -- and then hire a driver and combine harvester. It's really impressive to watch a combine machine go through a field of cotton; dead plants go in at one end and baled cotton comes out at the other. Within days the job is done, the combine driver departs, the field is plowed over and the next crop seeded. Yes, there are specialized combine harvesters for other crops, including corn, vegetables, alfalfa, hay, and so on. For a lot of reasons, Arizona farmers would rather hire combines than Mexican pickers.

About the election, remember that one of the original purposes of the Electoral College (as revealed in the founders' papers) was to insure that the people who conducted a federal election were themselves elected. They were supposed to examine candidates, set up polling places, oversee registration and voting, count the votes afterward and declare the winners. Unfortunately, these details weren't spelled out in the Constitution. That's how the business of conducting elections got parceled out to state bureaucracies and private businesses, with the results that we see today. I'd really like to see the EC restored to its original task, so people could see just what it's good for and how it works.


Leslie Fish said...


And Hillary was more than just a terrible campaigner; she had a shady history which even the most sympathetic news media couldn't spin clean. The majority of Trump voters weren't voting for Trump so much as they were voting against Hillary. I thought of a cleaner way to do that, and voted straight Libertarian ticket. So did a lot of other people, which is why the LP got enough votes last election attract the attention of the news media, who actually showed the Libertarian poll results on the 10 o'clock news.

As for Commtech's knee-jerk assumption (that if the media aren't watching, there *must* be all sorts of horrors going on), I can think of one way that the rumor could have started. Interview one 9-year-old backwoods Honduran kid in a CPS center, and get something like this: "First the gringos dragged me away from Uncle Jose -- oops, I'm supposed to call him 'Papa' -- and they put me in this big bright building. Then they took all my clothes off! That's 'rape', isn't it? Then they poured all this sweet-smelling foamy water all over me and rubbed me all over -- that's 'rape', right? -- and afterward my skin was a lot lighter, that's 'racism', right? Then they held me still and poked me with needles and did strange things to my teeth so now they feel a lot smoother -- that's 'torture', yes? -- and they made me swallow all these pills -- that's 'drug abuse', no? Then they put me in strange new clothes -- that's robbing me of my culture. But because I prayed to the Blessed Virgin, I now feel a lot stronger and healthier, so I will speak out against all this abuse!" I'm sure that a kitten or puppy getting vaccinated would have similar things to say about veterinarians.

As for Unknown's filk, it's so far removed in reality from either my situation or what I wrote, that I honestly thought he'd written it for Angela Merkhel, though I couldn't quite see the connection. Well, if he wants to filk, I'll give him another:

TTTO: "Eleanor Rigby"

Ahhhh, look at all Pwecious Feewings.
Ahhhh, look at all the lazy thinkers.

Gullible Liberal, blindly believing in only MSNBC,
He gets it free.
Passionate snowflake, swallows ten stories and won't even verify once,
Sign of a dunce.

All the lazy thinkers, how do they get so proud?
All those Pwecious Feewings, why must they be so loud?

Leslie Fish said...

Phew! And consider this one:

No, you do *not* want to put kids in adult jails!

Leslie Fish said...

And here's another:

"Clash Daily" has conservative biases, but they quote verification for this story.

jimf said...

Note that this policy was begun under Obama...and there were a dearth of protests at that time

Alchemystudiosink said...

Not to mention from earlier this year. Or if we want to go back to obama's era

Technomad said...

I want to know what the hell it takes to convince people who think with their feelz that this is not the Gilded Age, the United States can not absorb all the Central Americans who want to come here, and that that GODDAMN poem on that stupid statue in New York harbor is not, and never was, the law of the land.

Paradoctor said...


Going by economic-concentration statistics, this is the Second Gilded Age. For decades essentially all the gains of a growing economy has gone to the 1%. That is why everyone else is fighting each other for the crumbs.

The country can afford democracy and a growing middle class recruited from ambitious wretched masses; and it can almost afford plutocracy and class division masked by xenophobia; but it cannot at all afford both.

So your angry feelings about a poem are misdirected. Remember: _you_ are not a 1%er.

Paradoctor said...

You mock 'feewings', which as near as I can tell is distress at witnessing malice, mocked as a weakness; this under the tuff-guy theory that nothing matters. But though the tuff think tuffness is strength, others do not see it that way.

I too thought at first that the song you mock was about Merkel, or maybe one of Trump's women. The former is furious, the latter are all deeply unhappy. Look at Huckabee-Sander's face, or Melania's. But no, the song references fish. And close reading of it shows that the writer loved and admired you, but is deeply disappointed in what the writer sees as serious mistakes on your part. It is a break-up song.

I still have faith in you, but I too am concerned, especially when you use 'compassionate' as a sneer. Once I had a similar disagreement with my father - a truly tough man. He had the habit of sneering at 'good intentions'. One fine day I stood up to him about this. I said, "I agree that good intentions do not justify bad results. But though it is good to condemn bad thinking and bad results, I refuse - I categorically refuse - to condemn good intentions as such. You will stop doing so, or this conversation is over." My dear old Dad, who was tough but smart, recognized a stiffened spine and acquiesced. He never dissed good intentions, as such, ever again.

But he never stopped criticizing stupidity. Once I chided him, "Are you furious at folly? Then you'll be furious forever." That too calmed him down.

Technomad said...

Paradoctor: How do you know I'm not a 1%er? For all you know of me, I might spend my evenings and weekends riding with the local Sons-of-Anarchy-alikes, and look undressed without my club colors on my back, my Harley between my legs, and a half-dressed cutie sitting behind me in the saddle.

Daniel said...

I do not think "good intentions" not backed up by good thinking are worthy of the name. If you have good intentions, but cannot be bothered to properly think through the practical side and likely consequences of what it is that you intend, then you do not have good intentions. "Good intentions" of that kind deserve all the mockery good and bad people alike can dish out.

(That is an impersonal you and a general musing, not intended as a dig at anyone involved in this discussion.)

Paradoctor said...

Technomad: I meant economic 1%er. I can tell that you are not that sort of 1%er because you are pissed, not smug.

Harley? You mean the company that the orange conman is chasing out of the country with his trade war?

Daniel: Your point is taken; good thinking is necessary, along with the good intentions. But the good intentions are also necessary, and not worthy of critique in themselves. One with poorly-thought-out good intentions might be set straight with some friendly warnings and advice. One with bad intentions deserves warnings less friendly.

That said: my dad once groused that if you must choose between a crook and a fool, then hire the crook; for you can police a crook but a fool is a force of nature. (He said this after a workman installed the front doorknob too low.)

Alchemystudiosink said...

Nary a man nor woman who does evil for evils sake. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and mortared with ignorance.

Basically, if you ask people who are doing evil, you'll find that hardly any of them will have bad intentions. Its not a saturday morning cartoon where you've got skeletor sitting around on the bone throne for his legions of evil to crush the accursed he-man.

If you asked people during the Salem witch trials of they were had bad intentions, they'd say nay. For they didn't. To them, they had to get rid of the monster that the preachers told them. That information was about spread through their circles of gossip.

People with truely good intentions, not platitudes spoken after getting caught doing evil, never really need to justify themselves with "I had good intentions! I wasn't meaning to do wrong!" And the reason, is cause if they do need justify anything, they don't need to use feelings. They can use the facts.

There is a particular story about good intentions that I had seen back when I was in hawaii at a small little shop over there. This story has struck with me ever since then.

A man found a cocoon of handing on a small bush and as I watched a small opening appeared in the cocoon and inside was a butterfly trying to get out.
He watched the butterfly for hours as he struggled and struggled to squeeze his body through the tiny hole that he had made in the cocoon.
Then the butterfly stopped, as if it was stuck, as if it could not get out and it could not go any further.
Then the man decided to help the butterfly out.
I have taken a pair of scissors and snipped off some of the cocoon making the opening much bigger.
The butterfly then emerged easily, but it was not as it should be, it had a swollen body and small shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it, expect that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, though this never happened.
The butterfly then spent the rest of its life crawling around with shriveled wings and it was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and did not understand was that the small hole in the cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through this opening was nature's way of forcing the fluid from the swollen body into its wings so that the wings could then unfold and enable the butterfly for flight.
The Story of the Man and the Butterfly - Author Unknown.

Its the reason I never trust "For the Children" causes, especially in politics. Why I try to avoid being led entirely by my emotions.

I've seen references to something called the Big Damn Hero Complex.

Basically its an addiction to "doing good", where they might start with virtue signally nothingburger issues. Because it feels good to do so even though they didn't have to give up anything. Slowly though that begins to move its way into doing things. Protests, etc. Maybe virtue signally harder issues.All the while their ego inflates

Somewhere along the line the line of thinking becomes "If I'm doing good, then anyone opposing me must be doing evil." So they begin to justify acts of violence and the like. The thought that they're evil never crosses their mind, because they can't be. They're doing "good" after all.

It begins to devolve further. Now its not just who opposes them, its also those who don't join them in the fight against the "forces of darkness" are also arbiters evil. Along with this is starting to no long view the people who oppose them as human, but some sort of inhuman monster, making their consciousness clear when they bring lethal violence against those who oppose them.

Alchemystudiosink said...

Have you ever for once, stopped to consider Legal Immigrants trying to get into the system? Cause that is where my compassion lies at. People who are actually standing in line, trying to go through the proper channels to become a legal citizen.

Like with drug addicts, giving in to them and helping them sedate the addiction doesn't help them. Its just enables them to continue. Sometimes you've got to call the cops on them, try to get them into rehab, or something. Something that on the surface looks pretty mean.

Which reminds me of the lady in Wisconsin. and how she was targeted for being a nazi. Imagine if she died or was left permanently damaged because someone with good intentions came in trying to get rid of the evil nazi.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Alc. On the case of that woman who was witch-hunted with the anonymous Nazi flag, it's pretty clear that the Peace flag which appeared a few days later was meant as an apology. All this suggests to me that the sticking a Nazi flag on her building was not a prank but an *experiment*; the flagger stuck the flag up purely to see what would happen. Well, he/she/they sure found out! What particularly strikes me about this caper is that *nobody* bothered to go knock on the door and politely ask the woman just why there was a Nazi flag hung up on her house; the local righteous parlor-pinks just knee-jerk attacked. That's what scares me: the sheer mindless hysteria of the supposed Liberals! I'm seeing this craziness on the TV news shows too. I swear, if the MSNBC pundits stepped in dog-shit, they's swear that Trump put it there. The Dems and their cronies don't seem to realize that, aside from their own hard-core followers, most people are getting alienated rather than manipulated. The GOP is definitely moribund -- probably won't outlive Trump's administration -- but the Dems are rapidly committing political suicide too.

I'm reminded of a line from an old movie ("National Velvet"): "It's better to do the right thing for the wrong reason than the wrong thing for the right reason."

Technomad said...

Harley-Davidson was saved from following Indian Motorcycles into extinction by the tariffs that Ronald Reagan put in place on foreign motorcycles (as well, I will admit, as a change in management and a renewed emphasis on quality control).

And having them set up factories overseas will mean that foreigners will get the Harley experience more cheaply. Quite a few Japanese auto manufacturers have factories and plants here in the US, and that doesn't mean they've shut down their home islands factories.

(Personally, although I am a motorcycle enthusiast, I am not wild about Harley-Davidson, the company. Hunter S. Thompson pointed out in his Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga that it took real ineptitude to screw up as badly as they had by the mid-1960s when they were the only motorcycle manufacturer in the country. They couldn't get their so-called minds around the fact that a lot of people wanted motorized two-wheeled transport, but didn't want big, burly, snarling hogs. When the Japanese started bringing in smaller, lighter, easier-to-use, beginner-friendlier motorcycles, they were soon eating Harley's lunch. Their quality control issues during the years of AMF control didn't help any..."Harley, Harley, made of tin, ride it out and push it in.")

Daniel said...

Paradoctor: I think we may just have a mismatch in our initial reactions to this matter. Personally I've seen "but they had good intentions!" used to defend all too many evil and foolish projects (those of the Bolsheviks and the Nazis come to mind, but it is by no means confined to them), so do not tend to think highly of the phrase as it appears in common usage. But of course actual good intentions are important, and I can see how someone might be annoyed at kneejerk reactions that appear to condemn them as such. However, it is probably fair to assume that most people who dislike that phrase don't actually mean that you must never wish to do good, as that would be patently absurd.

As for crooks and fools, that is a very familiar idiom. I wonder where it originated. It seems very common here in Russia - we certainly have had no shortage of either. Unfortunately, there are worse people out there than either crooks or fools, and they almost always cover themselves - and are covered by their well-wishers - with protestations of their good intentions.

And as for expectations of either party going away any time soon, I am afraid they can hang on for a long time through sheer inertia. The Libertarian result in 2016 was historically impressive, but it was far below what a lot of people expected at the time, as I recall. (I followed American news very closely then.) Both parties still have armies of supporters. It doesn't matter how little sense their rhetoric and policies make so long as their politicians can keep getting reelected.

Leslie Fish said...

The Libertarians and independents have to start small, gaining offices in local elections, then county, then state, before they'll be ready to win at the federal level. They've started that here in AZ, and I have no reason to doubt that they'll continue. The Big Two will hang on longest at the federal level, simply because people will continue to vote *against* particular candidates, and assume that they have only one other choice which can manage that. This will change at about the time that Libertarians/Independents/etc. start getting a noticeable number of fed. representatives and senators.

Paradoctor said...

Or you could try invading the two parties. The L's tried that with the R's; but there they and the theocrats found themselves junior to the oligarchs. The theocrats ran a successful rebellion, but found themselves in the cult of a man who despises all their professed beliefs, thus proving that they had been hypocrites all along. The L's, who are merely voiceless in the R/Trump party, are relatively lucky.

Bernie Sanders and Ocasion-Cortez are doing a democratic-socialist invasion of the D's, with surprizing results. They are strong in the primaries, but have yet to overcome the corporate-centrist-sellout D establishment.

Paradoctor said...

Daniel: Of course the road to Hell is paved with good intentions; but so is the road out of Hell. It's the same road. The difference is knowing which way you're going on it; that's where you find the need for good thinking.

But it's not entirely true that everyone justifies themselves as well-intentioned. Anything is permitted against 'bad guys'; through this moral loophole all sorts of evil intentions slip out.

Once upon a time, the Devil whispered to the King, "They are bad, so we should be worse. I do not exist right here, in you, but I do exist, over there, in them."

Paradoctor said...

Temptation of Innocence
an Underfable

Once upon a time, the Devil whispered to the King, "Your enemies are bad, so you ought to be worse. Let me help you."
The King said, "But you're the Devil."
The Devil said, "I do not exist right here, in you, but I do exist, over there, in them." Then he seemed to disappear.
Ten years later the King stood, his hands cuffed behind him, before the tribunal of his enemies. He told the presiding Judge, "But my intentions were good."
The Judge replied, "Except to all but you."
The King said, "My methods were moderate."
The Judge said, "Except for breaking every law."
The King said, "I did good at every opportunity."
The Judge said, "You did well, not good." Then he pronounced sentence.
On the King's headstone they engraved his last words:
"The Devil Made Me Do It".

Commit your _own_ crimes.

Paradoctor said...

Whoops, I'm late to the Keep Families Together rally at Civic Center. Gotta run.

Paradoctor said...

I went there, now I'm back.
A big crowd, lots of speakers and signs, also a drumming circle. I took photos and gave away $0 bills.
I'm glad I went.

Leslie Fish said...

Here's something else to consider:


Daniel said...

"But it's not entirely true that everyone justifies themselves as well-intentioned. Anything is permitted against 'bad guys'; through this moral loophole all sorts of evil intentions slip out."

Granted, but is that really so different? I think most people who use that loophole have to convince themselves first that they are good or at least basically okay, while their enemies are bad and therefore nothing done against them is wrong. (Punch a Nazi, anyone? Of course, that is a very minor example.)

There certainly are some people who don't bother justifying themselves with good intentions or identifying themselves with goodness, to others if not to themselves. Nietzche comes to mind, and even moreso some of his fans. But they are very rare among those who make history, especially these days. Movements in particular seem to require a great deal of self-righteousness to sustain them, so their leaders have to at least pretend to be acting out of some high ideas rather than out of honest hatred and contempt for rules and lives.

Not that honesty about such things makes them any better.

Technomad said...

The news media in this country are about as open to both sides of a story as the Pyongyang Daily. Ever since at least FDR's time, they have been manned, top-to-bottom, by Democrats or people farther left than the Democratic Party mainstream; a conservative or Republican in a newsroom is well-advised to hide his light under a bushel and keep his opinions on the QT, if he wants to keep his job.

I'm old enough to remember Watergate---and my take, then and now, was that the news media had, in effect, mounted a coup d'├ętat to get rid of a president they hated, using, as their excuse, stuff that had been going on in DC since FDR's time, at least. I noticed how rapidly the conversation about "Washington illegalities" was cut off when people started digging up skeletons from the years under the sainted JFK, or even the less-saintly LBJ. It's often not remembered, but LBJ's political bacon was saved by the JFK assassination---his associate, Bobby Baker, was being investigated for all sorts of illegalities, and it looked like LBJ's goose was well and truly cooked. After Dallas, though, he was untouchable. Between being a Democrat and being a sitting President, the news media lost all interest in bringing him down.

The media-filth are now trying to find anything at all they can use to drive Trump from office. The fact that they would then get "President Pence," who's much, much more of a right-winger and doesn't have Trump's itchy Twitter finger, is of no consequence. They had invested huge emotional capital in "President Hillary Clinton," and not getting what they wanted drove them nearly insane. The fact that Trump couldn't care less what they think of him adds fuel to their frenzy. This "Trump is mean to illegal immigrants, WAAAH!" thing is just the latest thing they've tried.

Paradoctor said...

I am glad that the Feds have at least kept orderly records of its child-knapping. So now they do not have the excuse of incompetence; they can obey the judge's reunification orders promptly, and therefore must, under law. But watch them instead play Kafka's Castle.

Just so. Alas, tribalistic hypocrisy is hard-wired into us, Homo Semi-Sapiens. Malice gushes out towards the convenient Other whenever it can. It is the return of the repressed. Demagogues, such as the orange one, exploit this species-wide glitch; they betray the people by piratical policy, then blame the resulting pain on those bad guys over there. The people correctly sense attack, but counterattack in the wrong direction. It's a sweet scam, which works fine until it doesn't.

The newspapers are staffed by lefties but run by righties. There have always been dissident outlets; these of course get smaller megaphones; that's SOP. And then there's Fox, which is Pravda, not pravda.

LBJ went way too easy on Nixon about his private-negotiations dirty trick. LBJ called it treason, correctly, but did nothing because he didn't want that much trouble. Earlier LBJ backed off on full investigation of the JFK assassination when the CIA bamboozled him into thinking it was a Cuban action, and LBJ didn't want nuclear war. So LBJ wussed out twice! Mighty is DC.

I suspect that even the sell-out Dem leadership does not give one tiny little shit about Hillary by now. She ran, she blew it, next contestant! Of course I may be wrong, and if they run her again, then that's that for me; Libertarians or Greens from then on.

I figure that, in gaming terms, Trump is Chaotic Evil and Pence is Lawful Evil. Which evil is lesser? Well, as the rabbi Yeshua once wisecracked, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. I am reasonably confident that Pence is involved in Trump's corruption and betrayal; he's in it up to his halo; so he might go down with Trump, or at least be politically crippled thereafter. I promise that, when they drag Trump out of the Oval Office in cuffs or a straitjacket, I will remove the IMPEACH TRUMP sign from my car, and replace it with an IMPEACH PENCE sign. Sufficient unto the day is the gaslighter thereof.

Trump has made plenty of enemies all over. He's good at that, because he's his own worst enemy. Those closest to him suffer the most; look at his staff, and his wife, and his base. So I would not be at all surprised if there is organized action against him.

Re the state-kidnapped children: the longshoreman-philosopher Eric Hoffer once snarked that the people rebel, not at the cruelty of the state, but at its weakness. I think his joke is cynical and incomplete. My completely-cynical reading is that, from the state's point of view, popular rebellion is a crime; and crime has three parts; motive, method, and opportunity. The cruelty of the state provides motives for rebellion; the stupidity of the state provides methods for rebellion; and the weakness of the state provides opportunities for rebellion. What Trump showed, by choosing to separate families, was not just cruelty and stupidity, but also weakness. He acts like he is afraid of sucking infants. Wussitude supreme.

Paradoctor said...

"Suckling" infants. Oof.

Paradoctor said...

And by the way, rebels beware; for the state is perverse as well as cruel, stupid, and weak; and the perversity of the state turns rebellions into a new state.

Technomad said...

The people who own the news media may well be right-of-center personally, but they exercise little control over day-to-day operations. And the editors, who do, are products of the newsroom and steeped in its culture. They can do a lot to slant the news merely by deciding which pieces to give full attention to, and which to bury as fast as they can, or just not run.

Remember the whole Black Hawk Down mess? That whole mission was set in motion by one photographer's pitiful picture of a Somali child. There was never anything in Somalia worth the life of one American. Thanks, photographer! And the pictures that tug at the heartstrings of the hemorrhaging-valentine crowd are carefully selected, cropped and (if necessary) Photoshopped for maximum impact. The Democratic Party doesn't like Americans, so they've decided to follow Bertolt Brecht's advice in his poem, about how the people have lost the confidence of the Party, so the Party will dissolve the people and elect a new one.

I would like to know just when it became the task of the United States to allow the corrupt regimes who misadminister the dystopias south of our border to continue in their ways, by bleeding off their excess populations. And why "No means NO!" suddenly doesn't apply here.

A lot of people love to wail and wail about how we used to take in all-comers. Yes, we did. Back then, we had a huge frontier to absorb people, no welfare state, and no ethnic lobbies pushing people to stay unassimilated.

Leslie Fish said...

Scary facts surfacing:

They know exactly where the kids are; the problem is that a lot of the adults who brought them in are *no relation to them at all*. The officials are already beginning to whisper about "child trafficking". When the whole truth gets out, this scandal is going to look a lot uglier for the "refugees" than for Trump & Co.

Paradoctor said...

Like I said: so they cannot plead incompetence. Given the chaos that the families are fleeing, I would not be surprised if there are, say, kids traveling with inlaws, their birth parents having been killed by gangs. You speculate child trafficking; I counter-speculate that is being done by the gov't, to the children they abducted. But I am willing to bet a whole $0 bill that most of those families are what they say they are. 23andMe is donating DNA testing kits, after being asked to do so by my Rep., Jackie Speier.

The owners don't get involved in the newsroom? Ask Gary Webb, who broke the CIA-crack story, which ended his career. Owners control; that's the point.

It is true that there are _some_ Americans that most D's do not like; for instance king-wannabees like the Koch brothers, or a certain orange demagogue, bigot and traitor; but as for Americans in general, the D's can wave that flag pretty well. They don't care for the Stars and Bars, or the Swastika, and they never waved those at any of their rallies; nor called those who do fine people.

Riddle me this: what do the Stars and Bars, the Swastika, and the Hammer and Sickle have in common? They were all beaten by the Stars and Stripes.

Leslie Fish said...

The problem is that one thing Trump does have is a knack for driving Dems to raving extremes -- like that loudly Latino politician who's calling for an end to the ICE, not seeming to realize that ICE is *not* the Border Patrol. Another thing he's good at, maybe with just that "fine people" flattery, is luring the troglodyte-reactionaries out of the woodwork -- then hiring-and-firing them with machine-gun rapidity. He's cutting an equal swath through both of the Big Two parties, at which I -- Libertarian -- can only giggle. I'd love nothing better than to see the Big Two lose immense numbers of local and state offices to the Libertarians, the independents, and even the Greens at the mid-term elections.

I still maintain that our best immigration policy would be an extendable 10-year moratorium on *all* immigration to the US, and let all those "asylum seeking" cases go to nice compassionate Canada instead. Most people don't realize that the US has the *third largest population in the world*, and we really don't need any more.