The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

The Roots of Trump’s Policy of Separating Children from Parents

So, you’ve all heard about this by now.

It is, obviously, a terrible crime. And yeah, evil.

It is an extension of Obama’s policy of holding families (without splitting them up, but still in terrible conditions). If you want to understand the link, read this Twitter thread.

It is also not worse than what the US did to Libya or Iraq, or is helping do, right now, to Yemen, because all of those war crimes include plenty of family separation (by killing the parents) in addition to other crimes.

However, I am gratified to see that for many Americans, there is a crime too evil, if it is shoved in their face at a close enough distance.

For those who wish to oppose this, the blockades of ICE facilities (not letting anyone in or out) are most likely to work, in my opinion. Also most likely to get you beaten and arrested, of course.

I think there’s a decent chance of reversal on this, because it’s getting through the Republican media bubble and actually bothering many of Trump’s core supporters. Even Evangelical churches and pastors are coming out against it.

But the problem with the US isn’t that bad policies have never been defeated, it’s that the trend towards worse and worse has never ended.

And the problem with the #Resistance is that its theory of how Trump happened amounts to freestanding racism because these people are just bad people. It wasn’t caused by anything, oh no, because to explain by, say, pointing out its economic roots would be to excuse it. And they just want a bunch of neoliberals back in.

If Democrats win, and start actually heading in a good direction, rather than slowing some things down and accelerating others (like Obama, who made immigration handling worse, ramped up drone murders, and was the most harsh President on whistleblowers in US history, and far worse on civil liberties overall than Bush) then any Republican defeat doesn’t really matter, except in terms of moving from the fast escalator to hell to the slow one.

But this requires acknowledging that Obama was a bad President who oversaw shitty policies and did tons of evil. And so was Bill Clinton. And Hillary was the prime motivating force convincing Obama to destroy Libya, among other crimes.

The inability to see the road that got the US to where it is, means that it will be hard to turn the US around, and start moving towards a better, by which I mean morally “gooder” US.

More on this later. In the meantime, if you want to stop this, this is a body on the gears moment. But don’t do it unless you understand the risk to yourself and your loved ones.

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Visiting the Hospital in Canada


The Class War: The Rich Won and the End of NeoLiberal Capitalism


  1. someofparts

    Hope you are feeling better.

    America is evil beyond redemption. Trump is doing the world a favor by hastening the day when the rest of the world isolates this horrible, horrible place to endure the economic death it so richly deserves. It is a big barrel of rotten apples. Anything that falls into it becomes a rotten and perverse parody of whatever good thing it had been originally.

  2. Tom

    I have zero sympathy. These parents knowingly broke the law after it was announced that it would be rigorously enforced, they endangered their children by crossing illegally into the desert where many children have died making the crossing.

    Also many of these “parents” are not actually parents but Child Traffickers. Such scum deserve all that is coming to them.

    Also this outrage is ridiculous. We separate criminals from their children while they are in detention and no outrage is expressed over that and it is perfectly legal and correct.

    The blame is squarely on the those illegally entering the US with children. Since the children are minors, they are separated as they aren’t being charged and placed in a processing area before DHS can take charge of them in their facilities before Fostering them out. ICE does not have the facilities for children and hence why initially they are put in cages till DHS can take them and provide health screening, etc. They also confirm whether the children are being trafficked or not as well. If the former, they try to find the kid’s parents and repatriate the kid or if that is not possible, foster the kid out. This is where the kids end up once DHS takes charge of them. Due to the Backlog, they are setting up more stations at US military bases which allows them to use the military logistics network to provide services to these kids.

    If Congress wants this to stop, they need to fund the wall so the only way across the border is through proper entry points for legal visitors and illegal visitors can be turned right around before they enter US soil.

  3. John

    For the whole 20th Century the Imperial US forces f*cked over Central and South America. Of course most ignorant Trumpanzees do not know about the Monroe Doctrine. The chickens have been coming home to roost for a good while now. Breaking up families running from gang death squads is evil. It will not end well. Just wait until the internally displaced climate refugees get on the move. We are learning how to manage that now. Do we go the Nazi/Israeli route? Or find a kinder, gentler, less fearful way?

  4. Ian Welsh

    My goodness Tom. Not sure I would have let that comment thru under comment moderation, but I’ll leave it in place so people can see the arguments.


    1) most asylum seekers are not child traffickers. Ridiculous.
    2) the law does not require it, it is policy.
    3) Seeking asylum is not a criminal act under either US or International Law.

    This is a choice, and an evil one.

  5. “However, I am gratified to see that for many Americans, there is a crime too evil, if it is shoved in their face at a close enough distance.”

    I think you have made a false assumption here. I am most certainly not a Trump supporter, there is nothing about him which I find even tolerable, but neither am I stupid. The motivation for this “outrage” is an anti-Trump bias, and media coverage is part of the campaign against Trump.

    This country, in every state including deeply blue states, has been separating children from their parents because the parent has broken a law, and has been doing so on a large scale for many decades. No one has ever claimed that the practice is “unAmerican” and the media has ignored it until they could use it as a weapon against Trump.

    The “policy” of which you speak is that the administration will no longer fail to enforce laws passed by Congress that a) persons entering without permission will be detained until asylum requests can be reviewed in a court and b) children cannot be detained in facilities containing adults. Previous administrations did not enforce those laws because they did not want to, but the constitution does not give the executive branch permission to pick and choose which laws it will enforce.

    Your point three is correct, but entering the country without permission before asking for asylum is a criminal act. The law requires that the seeker of asylum do so first, and then enter the country only after such asylum has been granted.

  6. Willy

    The most rational rationalization I’ve heard, of white evangelical support for Trump, is that he’s being employed by God to do his dirtywork. He’s fighting for evangelical causes in ways the moral evangelicals themselves could not. It’s like paying Satan to work for Jesus – trickin’ the trickster to fight for what’s good and right. Or some shit.

    If Trump has to try and scapegoat the Democrats as the cause these children pens, to force them to get what he wants, it’s the Lords will, somehow. I’m finding it amazing how many possibilities there can be when a sanctioned sociopath is in power.

  7. Chiron

    Trump will win in 2020, Russiagate damaged the Democrats more than Trump or GOP, the only thing that really matters is the israel lobby and Trump have them on their side, the Dems would never dare to attack the Israeli lobby directly.

  8. Let me be clear, I do not approve of the policy of separating children from their parents. I do not approve of doing it at the border, and I do not approve of it as it has been practiced throughout the nation for decades. There is a great deal about our border policy that I find despicable.

    But let’s not be naive and pretend that this media and political crusade has anything to do with some great moral cause of “saving the children.” It does not. It is a cudgel being used to bludgeon Trump and anyone who dares to speak in support of him.

  9. tony


    Alas, Americans have nuclear weapons and a huge army. Once the supply chains fall apart other nations will have to help them just to keep the nukes from falling into wrong hands.

  10. Thank you. This is what I’ve been trying to tell people.

  11. NR

    Ian, I wouldn’t be so dismissive about the racism that was behind Trump in the 2016 election, and is still behind him today. This has been documented in many places, like here for example:

    Yes, the Democratic party is a neoliberal mess right now. Yes, Obama pushed several policies that ended up being bad for the country and the world.

    But none of that changes the role that racism played in Trump’s victory.

    58% of Republicans approve of the Trump administration torturing children by removing them from their families. And let’s not pretend that it’s for any other reason than because those children and their families are brown.

  12. ponderer

    On one hand this situation is pretty terrible, but the drive in the media is obviously identity politics. I’m pretty sure if we ran the numbers we could come up with 2000 children murdered per month for the MIC. Supported by both part parties without comment for the most part in the media who are ‘shocked!’ that our bureaucracy could be so cruel as to take children from their parents though we’ve been doing it since we were colonies. Never mind as bad as these people have it, we have people here already that face the same amount of suffering. I’m speaking specifically to domestic violence. The death squads are supported bipartisan, Pelosi’s only real regret is that they missed some. Now, the flyover people don’t like immigration, having been the tool of robber barron’s since forever.. Bunch of sad sacks that don’t vote the way we like and who would have guessed, another chance to call them racists and rally behind the Democrats. I’m having a hard time falling for it these days though.

    Standard neo-libral playbook, guilt them into taking refuges you create so you can lower wages for everyone and play the ol’ “I just don’t know if we’ll have money for Social Security” game in the next news cycle. Honestly, the parents and children would be better off if we shipped them to Canada. I’m sure they’d be welcomed. There are jobs, health care, nice people, and you don’t have to worry about the heat. We’d save money on incarceration, the refugee’s would get less guns and mass shootings. It’s a win-win.

    I agree it’s evil, but it seems like its a lesser evil. That’s like catnip to a neo-libral Dem.

  13. Ché Pasa

    The US was founded in Original Sin — black chattel slavery and Native American dispossession and genocide — so don’t anybody fool yourselves that this “began with Obama”. It did not. Trump is not just carrying on Obama policy nor enforcing “Democrat law.” This is utter bullshit.

    But it is also a classic BigLie that if repeated often enough becomes The Truth, right?

    It doesn’t really matter if Dems are using the current uproar over migrant family separations at the border as a political cudgel. It is a political issue. As if it weren’t obvious, Trump and his followers are using it as a political cudgel. Of course they are; they and the Dems are out to achieve political objectives. It’s an identity thing with politicians and political parties or so I’m told.

    That doesn’t make the wrongness of what’s going on go away. It doesn’t absolve Trump and his henchmen and women of culpability. What Obama did was what he did and much of it was wrong. He was heavily criticized when he was in office. What Trump is doing is what he’s doing and a whole lot of it is wrong; some of it is evil. And he is being heavily criticized as he should be.

    The treatment of immigrants to this country has always been conflicted and a source of conflict.

    Some Natives welcomed the Euro-American settlers, many others did not. In the end, whether they welcomed them or not, they suffered. Allowing the settlers in or being conquered by them meant devastation and in some cases extermination of the Native peoples.

    Wave after wave of European settlers came; each wave was treated badly by those who arrived earlier. My Irish ancestors faced intense prejudice and mob violence when they tried to settle in Ohio.

    The current effort to keep most Latin American immigrants out, to terrorize those already here, to take their children (and lose them? Sell them? Who knows?) has roots not in the Obama regime, but in the conquest of the Southwest by the US in the 1840s. What we see now is a direct consequence of what was going on then. It’s happened over and over and over again, and each time it is as wrong as the last time.

    Likely it will happen again after the current passion and cruelty passes. It’s hard wired in the culture.

    What we must do now is say clearly the policy of separating migrant children from their parents on apprehension is wrong and must stop — just as family separation was wrong in previous iterations, from slavery times to Indian boarding schools and beyond. The law is not the source of this particular moral abomination, but if it were, it would be our duty to oppose the law, even (shudder) to defy it and those who follow their orders to enforce it.


  14. Wyoming

    Bill H

    “But let’s not be naive and pretend that this media and political crusade has anything to do with some great moral cause of “saving the children.” It does not. It is a cudgel being used to bludgeon Trump and anyone who dares to speak in support of him.”

    The naivety is yours not the rest of us. I live in one of the most red places in America and there are loads of Republicans incensed with this immoral policy. It is not just that the ‘policy’ is not actual law, or that the Bible does not justify this (looking at you Mr. Racist Sessions), but more to the fact that this policy was deliberately put in place as a way of trying to exert leverage upon the Democrats. This means that, all the lying aside, that Trump deliberately chose to harm children as a tool being used to gain political advantage.

    This is not just wrong and immoral. It is evil pure and simple. No person who holds real religious views or has any reasonable sense of morality can see it any other way.

    You and Tom need to do some soul searching. If the two of you have no limits at all, as it would appear, then you have little to offer your country or civilization.

  15. ponderer

    an addendum. Trump supporters believe immigration is harmful to them. A rational viewer would concur, setting aside other moral or ethical concerns. This scandal like many before will only endear him to his base. It won’t have any effect on Democrats, they were always going to vote democrat. Independents, who have fared poorly, will support him on this as well. He’ll probably double-down as it’s one of the few things he can tout that he has done for his voters. Assuming the economy is in the same mess if not worse in 2020, there isn’t much else he can deliver on. The MIC will probably pull off something with Iran in the next two years so the wars and interventions, everything else, probably won’t help much.
    The prime Evil remains the neo-Liberals in the D party. Like 2016, only Sanders can defeat Trump. Remember the 2nd most popular politician in America is a Republican. The first is Sanders. It’s time people started recognizing that the rot in our system is the “lesser evils” we’ve let run wild.

  16. bob mcmanus

    Thanks for linking to that thread which I read earlier today, for the immigration/Obama policy substance within it, but also because although it is brutally painful to read very deeply, for the light it shows on internal Democratic dissension. I don’t think I can take being called racist, misogynist, Trump-enabler, and Putin-puppet anymore for trying to push the party left. Maybe there is a way to do that by staying positive and without criticizing any Democrats or Democratic policies, which in a way seems to be what the Clintonites in the thread are demanding. As always, the Clintonites will attack Sanders and Leftish policies, so it gets hard.

    But it’s not about me, I suppose, although too fragile and vulnerable to put my body on the line. And terrified of casual conversations with the Democrats who would standing next to me at the protest. Yeah, terrified, I have been baited past my breaking point.

    Anyway, this is some agonizing soul-searching about the upcoming midterms from Counterpunch.

    I doubt this policy will stand long, although both Trump and Miller seem to think this civil war will help them in November. And it may be a negotiating tactic. We’ll see.

  17. Hugh

    One of the keys to the efficacy of propaganda is to confuse one thing with a dozen others unrelated.

    Entering the US illegally for the first time is a misdemeanor.

    Children are separated from parents in the US, usually in state courts, if the parents represent a danger to their children or if they have been convicted of a crime, usually a felony, and are in prison. Even so there are visitation rights.

    Asylum seekers are different from economic migrants, both legally and numerically. What we are talking about at the US-Mexico border are a few thousand asylum seekers whose status is protected both by US and international law. Economic migrants are ten to a hundred times more common. Most of these fly into the US and overstay their visas. A border wall would do nothing to change this.

    What we are seeing is child abuse. Just because it is being cheered on by President Trump, AG Sessions, Chief of Staff Kelly, and DHS Secretary Nielsen, doesn’t mean that everyone involved in this, including them, aren’t committing crimes. Like everything else this group does, it is poorly organized to the point of cruelty. Each of them has a different explanation and they are all lies. The idea that these guys give a shit about the rule of law is beyond laughable.

  18. scruff

    I have zero sympathy. These parents knowingly broke the law

    Yeah, ok, but aren’t you kind of dismissing proportional response out of hand? Illegal immigrants are typically coming to America in search of greater economic prospects than their homeland, and their presence here isn’t causing anything nearly so bad as the trauma that comes from forcefully separating parents and children. If you break the law by speeding, would that justify the cutting of your achilles tendon in your right foot?

    America is evil beyond redemption

    Probably, but American exceptionalism is bad whether it’s about the good value of America or the bad value of America. Wild guess here, but the reason this blog focuses mostly on America and secondarily on other primarily English-speaking countries is that Ian doesn’t live in or next to China, Russia or Germany. I’m not saying this to try to shame your judgment – which I think is correct – but rather to point out that the actual problem that needs to be fixed is deeper than this one instance, and that even if America should somehow be broken up into whatever you think a good result would be, the actual problem would still be out there ruining the world.

  19. BlizzardOfOzzz

    DHS press conference

    To claim asylum you have to show up at a port of entry. You can’t sneak in and then claim asylum when you’re caught (which is no doubt what various non-profits / smuggling crime syndicates coach them to do). People who show up at a port of entry and claim asylum are not arrested, and thus not separated from their child/unrelated minor/kidnapping victim.

    The executive’s job (sworn in the oath of office) is to uphold the laws, not make them up on the fly or selectively enforce them. The courts/congress have determined that catch-and-deport is illegal. The only other option would be catch-and-release (ie, de facto open borders).

  20. Hugh

    Re Sessions’ invocation of Romans 13, Paul was making a very particular, and fairly specious, argument to Christians not to provoke the Romans. He argues that the brutal Roman authorities should be obeyed because all authority flows from God and that therefore they are instituted by God, that is art of God’s plan. Yet it is interesting that, as a former tax collector, the only specific Roman act he counsels is paying your taxes.

    He then goes on and takes it into the Christian context: Obey the commandments. Oh yeah, and love thy neighbor because love is the fulfillment of the law. Oh yeah, and the end times are at hand so don’t fret over details.

    As others have noted, the obey the authorities argument was used by Lutherans to justify obeying the Nazis and by slaveowners to justify slavery. It is interesting too that the conservative Sessions is identifying with the Romans and not the Christians they were persecuting. Ironic much?

  21. Dan D

    Tom said:

    I have zero sympathy.

    Yes, we know, that’s the whole problem with your whole blighted movement.

  22. Ian Welsh

    Of course racism is part of what is behind Trump.

    But why is there so much racism and why is it such a determining force of elections now in such an ugly way?

    (Not that it didn’t matter before: Reagan ran on racism. But there were things he coldn’t/wouldn’t do. Like this shit.)

  23. The roots are in the Kansas boarding schools, a hundred and fifty years ago.

    This I know to be true: those children will remember, and their children. Unto the seventh generation.

  24. bob mcmanus

    But why is there so much racism and why is it such a determining force of elections now in such an ugly way?

    To paraphrase from my most recent kerfuffle:” I don’t care about Bob’s politics, knowledge, policy positions, or activism…I care how he speaks to me.”

    Politics have now become entirely interpersonal.

    Examples are obvious everywhere. Sanders history on civil rights, or that his policies were better for blacks didn’t matter, at all, what mattered how he treated particular black persons who got in his face. Obama could do almost anything he wanted. What’s important about Trump is his behavior to individuals or as individuals interpret his general behavior as reflecting and “recognizing and respecting” them. Macron demands a little kid use his title.

    This isn’t clientalism, this is grassroots and bottom-up. Methodological individualism is reaching a peak.

    Policy or outcome doesn’t matter except as expression, fashion, and sorting mechanism. Spectacles generated constantly are means to intensify and accelerate the process.

  25. bob mcmanus

    “Identity politics” is not a means of generating a class consciousness or mass movement, it is a tool of discipline and control on the lowest interpersonal level. It provides power to individuals over other individuals in everyday life.

    Policy and outcomes no longer matter. Deal.

  26. bob mcmanus

    Sorry. Last one.

    “Obamacare sucks” is always and only an insult or compliment to the person you say it to. Saying it to each other here is flattering, saying it to Clinton Democrats is a personal insult. Obviously the truth is irrelevant, or connects in complicated ways.

    How interpersonal relationships aggregate frex on social media is something we are still studying.

    The people who internalized “the personal is political” fifty years ago have advantages and skills.

  27. bob mcmanus

    Okay, one more to show how this connects.

    Is my hanging here with Ian and Hugh gonna to help get the kids out of the child broiler?

    Wouldn’t hanging out at Lawyers, Guns and Money and writing in such a way that that crowd really really likes me, and subtly and respectfully promoting my policy preferences, be massively more effective?

    Isn’t hanging here personally and in a way intentionally, insulting to the LGM crowd?

  28. @Che Pasa and Wyoming

    Of course Trump’s move is political. Arguing such does not in any way prove that his opponents are driven by noble motives. It is entirely possible, and I assert it is the case here, that both sides have mud on their skirts well above their knees. A pox on both their houses.

    Trump loves to do things that will make his opponents go batshit crazy. And, Wyoming, don’t think that Republicans are not included in “his opponents.” They are the “establishment.”

    And the establishment never fails to oblige him, casting aside everything that even resembles sanity. Nancy Pelosi is comparing our southern border to Auschwitz, for god’s sake.

  29. highrpm

    Dan D:

    you have sympathy.

    Yes, we know, that’s the whole problem with your whole blighted movement.

  30. darms

    Frankly am a bit shocked by some of the racist/nativist replies I see here. Immigrants never took my job (H1-Bs, perhaps), instead they did the work I would not/could not do. Open borders are the only humane way to deal w/this.

  31. bob mcmanus

    Today’s announced Republican budget begins in a big way the end of Medicare, along with trillions of other cuts. Not that the child broiler is just distraction, but good diversions are never trivial.

    My bet: the budget will get passed, and the killing of Medicare will not be reversed in a Democratic administration, although something pretty and profitable will get done

  32. different clue

    @bob mcmanus,

    Nixon is said to have perfected the art of the “non-denial denial”. And the DLC Democrats have perfected the art of the “non-opposal opposal”.

    The Republicans all by themselves may have the brute-force majority to pass their budget. But if they don’t, the Catfood Clintonites in office will make very sure that enough Catfood Clintonites are detailed to vote with the Republicans to get that budget passed . . . with just enough Catfood Clintonites “non-opposal opposing” it in public to lend a cardboard-replica appearance of credibility to the Catfood Clintonite party. That libetarian journalist who used to work at the Guardian whose name I forget called it ” the rotating villains and rotating heroes” trick.

    About racism in the election . . . many little differences added up and every little difference can claim that IT was THE CRUCIAL difference. One such group of ESPECIALLY CRUCIAL difference-makers would be the two-time Obama voters who turned around and voted for Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan. They smelled the Clinton and they smelled the Trump, and the Trump smelled like The Lesser Evil. So they voted for it.

    Another group of ESPECIALLY CRUCIAL difference makers might be the northern urban black voters who avoided voting this election. Black non-voters in Milwaukee apparently outnumbers the margin-making difference of Trump voters in Wisconsin. Why did those black non-voters non-vote? Here are three links about that.

    and here is a long and somewhat tedious you-tube by leftist Jimmy Dore about why the Milwaukee blacks did not vote. If you can endure the tediosity, you might find the material informative. One of my many take-aways is that part of the Racism which mattered in this election was the Billary Clintonite racism of long-decades standing . . . which finally earned its long-delayed backlash from the non-voting black voters from Milwaukee. Here is the link.

  33. Heliopause

    It’s the same problem, time after time, issue after issue. Will center-liberals and elite media care about it when it is 85% as bad under the next Democratic administration? Will they care about it 85% as much? Even half as much?

  34. Herman

    There is a lot of blame to go around. Certainly there is a racist and nativist element within Trump’s base but would it be so virulent without the economic problems that many Americans face? Partisan Democrats like to make fun of “economic anxiety” as if it is totally unrelated to nativism but I find this hard to believe. It is easy for affluent liberals to practice telescopic philanthropy because they usually do not experience the downsides of immigration. If anything they benefit from cheap labor in the form of nannies, cooks, landscapers and other hired help. For poorer Americans they will face more competition for jobs and likely have their public services and schools burdened with more costs.

    Trump’s immigration policies are cruel and ham-fisted and likely won’t solve the immigration problem. Neither party has any interest in solving the problem because they benefit from the issue. Republicans make all sorts of noise about immigration to rile up the nativist portion of their base while turning a blind eye to the fact that their business allies love cheap labor. Democrats are cynically using the immigration issue as part of their identity politics campaign, hoping that demographic change will help them ride into office without actually doing anything to improve the lives of working Americans.

    At this rate America is going to become a racially and ethnically balkanized cyberpunk dystopia. Both parties seem dead set on a politics based on racial/ethnic blocs, which is never a good thing. I expect racial polarization and hatred to get worse in the future while conditions for ordinary working Americans continue to decline.

  35. different clue

    ( My lonely comment sits and weeps in moderation). . . . .

  36. Willy

    Immigrants never took my job (H1-Bs, perhaps), instead they did the work I would not/could not do. Open borders are the only humane way to deal w/this.

    Undocumented immigrants took the jobs my nephews could have done, H1-Bs took away friends/relatives jobs, and outsourcing took my job. But who cares about the needs of mine and my own, as long as you get yours.

    From a practical perspective, the authorized caging of small refugee children is not what our ailing culture needs.

  37. Hugh

    My take. So Trump signs an Executive Order rescinding his diktat separating children from parents, but he still wants to incarcerate those children along with their parents. This would violate the settlement between respondents and the DOJ as a result of the Supreme Court in Reno v. Flores (1993). I would note that Flores concerned unaccompanied minors and the decision penned by Scalia hammered the respondents (those suing the DOJ). It was rather O’Connor’s qualified concurrence that established the basis of the settlement:

    “I join the Court’s opinion and write separately simply to clarify that in my view these children have a constitutionally protected interest in freedom from institutional confinement. That interest lies within the core of the Due Process Clause.”

    This idea completely undercuts Trump’s EO incarcerating minors together with their parents, and renders it a non-starter. There are other cons. If minors were held at army bases, the feds would not have to adhere to state and local standards on child care. And as has been pointed out by many in the media, no provision has been made for reuniting children already separated with their parents.

  38. Ché Pasa

    Ah but “the law is the law and must be enforced in full.” Of course that’s horse manure, but it makes a good sound bite. Oh so very tough.

    But it’s meaningless. Laws are subject to interpretation, discretion, and change. They can be and are defied, protested, ignored, and overturned. Who is — and isn’t — subject to full (or any) enforcement is a matter of race, power, money, gender, and connections. The Law is applied unequally and always has been.

    So long as it isn’t your ox being gored, why should you care what happens to someone else in the clutches of The Law, right?

    So El Caudillo issues an edict, a diktat as it were, countermanding his previous order regarding the little children and their migrant parents, and voila! The issue of family separations at the border is solved. In reality, it’s made worse, but that’s how these things tend to go. There will be court challenges taking forever to resolve, many of the children already separated from their families will never be reunited, and the families held together in detention camps — for as long as that is allowed– may find themselves in near permanent limbo.

    The cries will fade and we’ll go on to the next outrage/crisis. Which is no doubt already in the boiling pot.

    Ending this regime does not mean ending the cycles of woe that are in motion. The wheel may turn a little slower after these freaks are gone, but the wheel will still turn.

  39. someofparts

    I wonder if the emphasis on racism from the neoliberal oligarchs isn’t a form of misdirection. Yes there is racism and no, it is absolutely not confined to the poor. But maybe the real boogeyman these days is a new form of bigotry – massive and vicious hatred of the poor by the self-serving 10% who know they got rich by screwing everyone else. Those non-voting, angry millions don’t hate immigrants, they return the hatred the privileged show them with interest.

  40. Billikin

    Now that Trump has backed off, but problems still remain, a word or two on the immigration hysteria behind it all and the economics.

    First, immigration from Mexico and Latin America is not now a problem. In recent years that net immigration has been close to zero. About as many people are crossing the border in each direction. The Wall is a symbolic gesture.

    Second, the economic stagnation of the working class in the US is a real problem, but it is more the result of income being siphoned off at the top than from jobs being taken at the bottom. Not that the two phenomena are not related, but it is the people at the top who have the power. Tax breaks for the rich do not induce them to create jobs at home. If they did, their increasing incomes in the past 40 years would have had the same effect. It did not. The people in power are playing the working class and immigrants against each other. Both groups lose.

    Third, the fact that the US, among other developed countries, has too low a birth rate to replace its population means that it needs immigrants to maintain its economy. So the present problem of immigration is nil, and the future problem is to increase immigration.

  41. Willy

    I’m becoming convinced that Pence is a Disney animatronic. The emotionless grin… the non-blinking stare… the slow mechanical head nodding… whenever we see him standing behind Trump while he delivers the usual inane powerspeak. I beginning to suspect that the real Pence is caged somewhere, possibly with a bunch of kids, sobbing to his handlers: “Why am I here?”

    But that’s beside the point. Attacks on institutions of skepticism, logic and rational thought, often coming in astroturf form, aimed at the most susceptible of the mob, usually do seem to originate from the oligarchic hive. If this is so, these few vile people seem to know what they’re doing, at least in the manipulative sense.

  42. Hugh

    Ché Pasa, when Trump talks about the law, it is to laugh. He spent his whole career in New York real estate where the business model is based on fraud, bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, mob connections, and flouting labor and immigration laws. It’s not did he or didn’t he break the law. He broke the law every damn day, –and he got away with it. Why? because law is for us rubes, not the Donald. So we get this weird spectacle of the Lawbreaker-in-Chief railing against lawbreakers: zero tolerance, defenseless four month olds and their parents cast as dangerous gang members who must be crushed, and all done with a straight face and not a hint of self-awareness.

  43. someofparts

    When it comes to taking children from families, what about welfare reform? When a young mother can’t afford to care for her child what happens? If she is lucky she has a family she can turn to, but if she were that lucky she wouldn’t be unable to feed her child in the first place.

    That child, those children, will be taken from their mother, and the children and their heartbroken mother will suffer in precisely the way that our clanging public opportunists are so suddenly noticing refugee families will suffer when they get the same treatment. Leveraging children against the most vulnerable women in the community is a longstanding policy that enjoys wide public support.

  44. Hugh

    Embarrassing, Paul came from a family of tentmakers. Matthew was the tax collector. Paul before his conversion did take part in the persecution of Christians, including Stephen.

  45. Ché Pasa

    “The Law” has no doubt been aware of Trump family criminality for decades; for whatever reason, The Law has looked the other way. They’ve been allowed to get away with god knows what-all over the years, and the criminal dossier on them must run to several volumes by now. Yes, it’s rich that Trump and his enablers invoke the sanctity of “The Law” to justify their cruelties, but then, haven’t their kind always done that, and haven’t they (almost) always gotten away with it?

    In order for them to stay immune from The Law for as long as they have, they must be providing “necessary things” for their patrons, and those patrons must be able to wield power where and when it matters. A big part of what they provide is entertainment, the ongoing spectacle.

    But there’s got to be more, much more.

  46. BlizzardOfOzzz

    Why does Middle America support Trump on immigration? Total mystery! Paging Willy: ethics lecture needed.

  47. BlizzardOfOzzz

    So when you admit refugees from countries known for violence and rape, how do you know you’re getting the victims? Maybe you’re getting the rapists (you are). Paging Che Pasa to explain why laws are, like, not even real maaaaan.

  48. different clue

    If you are getting mothers and per-adolescent children, you can be confident that those mothers and pre-adolescent children are non-rapists.

    The population among which to look for incoming rapists would be young-to-middle-aged men, most likely single. Do the governments in the countries they come from have enough marginal functionality to know which of them might be rapists or rape suspects if given the names? What per cent of incoming refugees from Central America are rapists? Does anyone have any figures on that?

  49. Hugh

    Quinnipiac, CBS, and CNN all have polls out showing 2/3 of Americans disapprove of Trump’s policy of separating children from their parents at the border.

    CBS 62/35
    CNN 67/28
    Quinnipiac 67/19

    The real question is how the other third can justify this.

  50. BlizzardOfOzzz

    dc, it’s unethical to discriminate against people whose only crime is having temporarily misplaced their documents, such as birth certificate and arrest warrant(s) for rape.

    I just wanna know the ethics of providing sanctuary to those seeking asylum from rape, rape indictment(s), and/or 3 children and a husband with a good job.

  51. jonst

    Ché Pasa, your “original sin” is the “big lie”. And a simplistic one at that. Out of the mind of freshman in his or her first course. A big putrid lie….a lie the Left specializes in, although the right has dabbled with it to….from a biological perspective. There is no such thing as “original sin”, except in a twisted mind seeking moral superiority over simply human beings.

    Anyone that condemns mankind, or a part of mankind, like you do, is sad to me.

  52. Ché Pasa

    The United States was founded in the Original Sins of black chattel slavery and Native American genocide and spent a good deal of its history perpetuating them.

    Do you deny it?

  53. different clue


    People in flight from serious threat of death ( such as people targeted by gang members in el Salvador) may leave in such haste as to not take ( or not even have) birth certificates, arrest records and such things.

    Is there any reason to think that women and pre-adolescent children could be rapists and would have conveniently forgotten arrest records showing that they are?

    What per cent of the young and middle-aged single men coming over might be rapists in their home country? Are there any general facts and figures on percentages? And how would that be relevant to the women and pre-adolescent children in question here?

  54. jonst

    Che Pas, yes, I deny that the imagined concept of “Original Sin” is relevant here. I also deny your implication when using the word “founded”. The US was “founded” on a lot dynamics. Slavery was one of them. It was an element. Not THEE element.

    I do not judge ‘times’ by my standards today. I think it silly and hypocritical to do that.

    And even if I did, look at the past through such tainted standards, I would not employ the words “Original Sin” given the general meaning of the term.

    Compared to the rest of the world, taking the very long view, the US looks pretty good to me. Far from perfect…..but good.

  55. BlizzardOfOzzz

    dc – “not a rapist” is a very low bar wouldn’t you say? Are there any other qualities you might want to screen in a prospective fellow citizen? For example, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to reward any homophobe racist bigot Yahtzees. Maybe implicit bias tests should be a part of the application. Maybe screen an X-rated man love video too – better not flinch, Jose!

  56. different clue

    @Blizzard OfOzzz,

    I wish I had a mind fast enough to keep up with you as you try changing the subject from second to second to second. I guess I am still stuck on what you wrote a second ago.

    Here’s what you wrote a second ago.

    ” BlizzardOfOzzz PERMALINK
    June 22, 2018
    dc, it’s unethical to discriminate against people whose only crime is having temporarily misplaced their documents, such as birth certificate and arrest warrant(s) for rape.

    I just wanna know the ethics of providing sanctuary to those seeking asylum from rape, rape indictment(s), and/or 3 children and a husband with a good job.”

    And since I can’t keep up with you as you try changing the subject from second to second to second . . . I can only repeat a third time the question your first comments still leave me with.

    Ready? Here goes . . .

    “different clue PERMALINK
    June 22, 2018

    People in flight from serious threat of death ( such as people targeted by gang members in el Salvador) may leave in such haste as to not take ( or not even have) birth certificates, arrest records and such things.

    Is there any reason to think that women and pre-adolescent children could be rapists and would have conveniently forgotten arrest records showing that they are?

    What per cent of the young and middle-aged single men coming over might be rapists in their home country? Are there any general facts and figures on percentages? And how would that be relevant to the women and pre-adolescent children in question here? “

  57. BlizzardOfOzzz

    Well dc, I appreciate you as a man of exquisite skepticism, that you are unable to make any tentative judgement before SCIENCE has lent its weight to the subject. I could cite you a review of peer-reviewed reviews by Scheckelhoffer and Diamondstein (2015) entitled “What is the Ratio of Rapists to Rapees seeking Asylum at the Mexican Border, and are they all in San Francisco right now re-enacting their Rapes? (yes) and why the Real Problem is White Supremacy.” But what is the point, really? Remember that old chestnut of jurisprudence: it is better to grant asylum to 100 Mexican rapists than to deny asylum to one Mexican mother from abandoning her middle class family to pursue the American Dream of indentured labor.

  58. Willy

    I could cite you a review of peer-reviewed reviews by Scheckelhoffer and Diamondstein (2015) entitled “What is the Ratio of Rapists to Rapees seeking Asylum at the Mexican Border…

    No you could not.

    BOO’s belief in science goes as far as ‘proving’ that you’re on the other team and calling “I know you are but what am I” a peer review.

    Not very compelling.

  59. different clue


    I note with disappointment that you still dodge and avoid my basic question . . . namely, how many of the mothers with pre-adolescent children which are the particular subject of this post . . . are rapists? My common sense tells me that none of them are, so I wondered why you brought up the subject of incoming rapists with regard to women and pre-adolescent children. Because my mind is very linear, and my thinking is slow, careful and ploddingly ponderous; I still wonder that exact same thing. And your latest response still leaves my same old question exactly unanswered.

    I must admit to having an irony defficiency and probably a sarcasm deficit as well, but I think your reply is meant to be sarcastic. If it is, might I suggest that you are missing an opportunity to offer some genuine thinking based on genuine evidence for the membership here of seekers-after-knowledge to consider in a real and meaningful way. Presenting such reality-based factual information might earn you enough respect so as to gain you a hearing for your unorthodox-to-say-the-least views on different things and stuff. Are you going to let such an opportunity pass you by?

    Sarcasts are a dime-a-dozen on the web. A dime-a-dozen works out to be roughly 0.83 cents per sarcast. Do you really want to be one of those dime-a-dozen people to whom others sometimes derisively say ” Eight tenths of a penny for your thoughts . . . ” ?

  60. Willy

    Sometimes it seems like one side wants to let em all in regardless of how illegal they are, while the other side wants to keep ‘The Other’ ones out regardless of how legal they are.

    Is this yet another episode of “Senseless Debate Designed To Keep The Focus Off The Things Elites Are Doing To America That Are Ruining Everybody Else’s Lives” ?

    Whatever happened to Trump’s hopeful-changeful anti-elite messaging anyways?

  61. A1

    Ian – does the Mexican elite not have any agency in this issue?

    Given the Mexican elite spends lots of time in the US it appears pressure could be put on them during there border crossings to motivate them to be part of a solution. I think having rich Mexicans having to smuggle themselves across the border would do wonders for the ability to reach a solution.

    Ian – you do want a solution don’t you? Or do you just want to complain?

  62. Hugh

    There are these things called rule of law and due process. So no, you can’t beat up on the Mexican rich like them or not to solve your problems without doing fundamental damage to your society. What we need are realistic, legal policies, not temper tantrums.

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