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Who gets their stuff?

I asked this question back in 2016 when Trump vowed as a candidate to send all the immigrants packing.

According to the Washington Post, he’s now just about to fulfill that vow.

My question is meant for the Niles types out there. You know, the ones who are wed to their 401ks and get all hard thinking about taking the fight to someone or some country that’s not instantly complying with Trump’s World Wide Wrestling diplomacy.

Here are more questions:

Where are all those migrants going to go once they are arrested?

What happens to their American born children? Do they get swept up too? That would likely trigger judicial injunctions. Would they stay with their parents? WHERE would they stay with their parents?

Would they get left behind? Where would all those little American children get left behind? On the street? Who will feed them, house then, make sure no one hurts them?

If you were an American born kid of migrant parents and you saw the sudden panic on your parents’ faces in the last 24 hours, how would you focus on your spelling test tomorrow? How could you even sleep?

Where do all the migrants go?

How are they transported there?

Can they bring sleeping bags or any other belongings?

Do we immediately dump them over the border? If the migrant isn’t Mexican and the Mexican government refuses to repatriate who isn’t a patriot, does the migrant have to wait somewhere?

Where is the waiting facility?

Is it safe?

Is there access to clean drinking water? Unspoiled food? Medical care? Are migrants entitled to any of that since we suspended our obligations to international human rights agreements?

Do we make them pay off their detention? Doing what? Migrant farm work for border state farmers? Yeah, make them pay for their detention by making them pick celery or peaches. For free!

Who gets their stuff?

What if a migrant owns a home or a business? What if they’ve put many years into their American Dream? Do we seize their assets? Give them a receipt? Take their stuff? Their cars, TVs, kids bunk beds, propane grills, restaurant equipment, construction tools, lawnmowers, edgers, trees and flowers?

Do we throw 21 year old students out of summer classes? Uproot them from thei internships, part time barista jobs?

How much human misery are we willing to commit in order to feel that our tender feelings of disrespect have been assuaged?

If Trump goes through with this, he’s going to have to do it by potentially creating dead bodies. And some of them won’t be migrants.


Someone is breaking the glass on this administration.

First it was the president getting caught not knowing that his national intelligence apparatus was infiltrating the Russians and then leaking that to the NYTimes.

Then there was the story of Trump admin officials notifying the State Department that we weren’t planning on enforcing sanctions the first week the Trumpers took over in 2017.

Now, someone is leaking the plans to round up migrants.

I think that there is mounting evidence that the 25th amendment is about to be invoked or that there are parties on the inside that feel like hostages who desperately want help.


MoveOn, maybe this is not the best week to ask about presidential primaries.

Have you considered organizing mass protests?

Yeah, do something useful.


OooOOOoooo, Snap! That’s going to leave marks.

Somebody’s campaign should hire her for the debates.


Happy Father’s Day! Take some time to play with your dad if you still have one. There are some truly excellent fathers out there. They are the reason why many of us women haven’t totally given up on men.

My dad was a really good guy. Not perfect. But decent, capable of learning from his mistakes, loving, and always treated each of his kids fairly.

He also cheated at Monopoly.

He made awesome omelets and fudge, and was that silly crazy dad who ran around on the front yard letting the little neighborhood kids try to catch him, laughing like a maniac the whole time.

Go make your dad laugh.


Some of you may already be familiar with Amber Scorah. A few years ago, she wrote in the NYTimes about her son’s death on his first day of daycare. The cause of death is still a mystery but Amber’s anguish was complicated by the American labor system that forced her back to work before she or her son were ready. She wasn’t allowed to work from home, her leave was up and her family’s benefits depended on her working.

That story by itself makes Amber a notable figure in our zeitgeist.

Now, she’s written a book about what preceded her son’s death. Amber Scorah was a Jehovah’s Witness. Her new book, Leaving the Witness, is a memoir of growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness, being disfellowshipped for having sex (self-reporting), living in China, and finally listening to her own beliefs in a different language.

I’m putting it on my wish list.

In the meantime, you can listen to John Dehlin’s excellent podcast, Mormon Stories, for a recent interview with Amber. Put it on your phone this afternoon for a five sponge listen (number of sponges is roughly equivalent to how much you will forget you’re doing cleaning chores while listening.)

I was never baptized as a Witness but I lived like one until I was 17. Many of us JW kids could write books about how our lives were affected by this religion. I think that Amber’s is going to be the first that reaches a general audience. It sounds like a real page turner.

One notable thing: Amber did not go back to the witnesses after the death of her baby. She didn’t need them. She found there was enough kindness and compassion in the world.


One more thing: John Dehlin is a clinical psychologist as well as a famous ex-Mormon. He describes shunning as a form of psychological torture. Scorah says it’s emotional blackmail. It’s morally wrong for a religion to use it as a form of social control.

It’s also wrong when any other person uses it as a form of social control. Malicious gossip, playing the victim, relentless bad mouthing, forcing people to choose sides and stirring up resentment between family members can also lead to a form of social ostracism that is almost worse because it serves only the self and not a religious doctrine. How do you know when they’re the perpetrator and not the victim? Look at how many people they force you to avoid because of their feelings. As if no one else in the world has feelings.

If you want people to respect you, this is not the way to do it. I’d go into more detail but I’ll stop there.

Some people behave horribly and get away with it. They shouldn’t. And I’m not talking about the JWs in the family.

More on social ostracism from another Ex-JW, Lloyd Evans:

The reason I won’t be voting for Trump

I would not have thought that I needed to say this but I’m not voting for Trump in 2020 because he has made no attempt to represent me or work for my priorities.

It’s obvious that a politician who refuses to acknowledge the things you find important should not get your vote. In the case of Donald Trump, I have no idea what his objectives are but I don’t like what I see.

Also, he’s benefiting from an economy he did nothing to shore up and which is mysteriously defying the pull of gravity. I trust others to do a much better job on the economy for the long term.

Finally, he is disrespectful and hostile to the rights of women and is making our lives more difficult.

Such a man doesn’t deserve women’s votes.

This is not a novel concept.


The same goes for others in the Dem coalition. If you can’t get your head out of the white guy’s ass, don’t ask me for my vote.

But seriously, the above was written for the Niles types who seem to think that their 401k is the ONLY thing that matters in life.

It’s not. Plus, we’ve seen how stock market crashes go. It ain’t pretty. One day you’re rich on paper, the next you’re waiting for social security to kick in like the rest of us.

There’s more to good leadership than whether you just happen to be in the Oval Office (probably illegally, the more you open your mouth around reporters) when the economy is trundling along due to a boost from your predecessor, massive deleveraging of pension plans by almost every company, and a ruthless, gut wrenching servicing of shareholders to the detriment of every other stakeholder.

Sooner or later, that flame is going to use up all its fuel and burn out. Then what will you have? An ugly ill-tempered 74 year old Soviet style autocrat who beats his flabby chest a lot about Tarriffs, immigrants and crazy North Korean dictators and then does nothing about any of that stuff except increase the General misery of the world non-white guy by non-white guy.

A blurb from a blurb that summarizes this moment in our country’s history.

I saw this excerpt from an Atlantic post this morning on Eschaton. I’ve been trying to find a way of articulating it.

Here it is:

Whatever their disagreements, the leaders of both the populist and establishment wings of the Republican Party have concluded that they cannot be allowed to lose power simply because a majority of American voters do not wish them to wield it. 


I’ve wanted to go to a town hall for Senator Pat Toomey and ask him one question: “If we want to vote you out of office, how many different ways are you going to try to sabotage our right to do that?”

If you followed the stupid ways the Pennsylvania Republicans attempted to solidify their chokehold on the district maps last year, you would have gotten the feeling that they considered their dominance permanent and any attempt to allow for a more dynamic representation was unthinkable. They were prepared to impeach the PA Supreme Court that Ruled that the Republican district map was unconstitutional because it enforced inequality and diluted the strength of any voter not a Republican.

I was gobstopped by the utter shamelessness and lack of self awareness. The PA Republicans were willing to take extreme measures to make sure that more than half of the voters in their state were not represented according to their actual votes.

Just think of that. They were aggressive, ruthless and hostile to voters who didn’t vote for them. We kind of expect that politicians will represent everyone. But the goal of the PA Republicans was to explicitly disenfranchise as many non-Republican voters as possible.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Republican Senate and Mitch McConnell are blocking any bills focusing on election security in light of the hostile actions of the Russians in support of one candidate.

It’s not surprising that the citizenship question was added to the census.

It’s not surprising that Donald thinks he can accept stolen emails from foreign sources without any repercussions.

This is who they are. YOU do not have the right to get rid of them.

If the economy suddenly goes sour next year because of all the stupid things the Trump administration has done, and you think it’s time for them to go, too bad. That’s a choice that will be taken away from you in any way possible.

If there’s no rule against it, the Republicans will do whatever they want to stay in power. If there is a rule against it, they’ll count on their justice department to slow walk any accountability.

That’s how they roll.

If Democrats don’t pull out the big guns pretty soon, they’re going to become an EX Party, pining for the fjords.

Playing nice doesn’t work anymore. Being civil and rule abiding is just going to result in a Darwin Award.

Things that should be obvious.

Nancy Pelosi isn’t returning Mark Zuckerberg’s calls.

Let’s just be honest here. Mark Zuckerberg has to have known way back before 2016 that Facebook was vulnerable to misinformation campaigns because WE knew it here. Facebook news falls into that category that JK Rowling wrote about in one of the Harry Potter books:

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain

There are too many unidentifiable things running around Facebook thinking and pretending to be your friend. This wasn’t rocket surgery. It was Facebook leaving itself wiiiiiiide open to exploitation for profit. They might have thought Americans were smarter than we turned out to be. But right wing takeovers and nationalism took us by surprise because we have no natural immunity to it. Even Great Britain, which really should know better, got snookered by the Brexit campaign.

Anyway, Nancy is not amused at the viral video of her sounding drunk that zipped around Facebook. To some extent, it’s the part of the job if you’re a public servant. There are plenty of Trump follies. Nevertheless, Zuckerberg has to try harder to rein in Facebook’s baser and more dangerous flaws before the campaign season and the Pelosi video shows that he’s not trying nearly hard enough.

According to the article:

The altered video’s dissemination highlights the way that viral misinformation could shape public perceptions in the run-up to next year’s election. Spreaders of misinformation don’t need sophisticated technology to go viral and crude manipulations can be used to undermine an opponent.

In declining to remove the video, Facebook cited a long-standing policy of not banning false information. While independent fact-checking groups that have contracts with the social network, Lead Stories and PolitiFact, deemed the video “false,” the company said in a statement that it does not have a “policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true.”

Time to revise that policy. Toot sweet.


Here’s a twofer:

Mike Doyle has been trying for a couple of years now to reinstate Net Neutrality. We should all be concerned that our internet providers have the power now to slow down or disrupt the news we choose to receive. Can this be used during campaign season? Let’s put it this way, if there’s no law against it, we can be fairly confident that it will be used against us for the shareholders’ greater good. Where there is profit to be mined and no regulation, self interest will prevail.

Doyle is also pointing out that the bill to restore Net Neutrality passed the house but like many other bills that Americans want passed has stalled in the Senate. Mitch McConnell is going to let legislation pile up indefinitely. Or until the Republican Senate is voter out.

Here’s another popular bill that Mitch is holding up:

This is McConnell’s definition of getting things done and bipartisanship. It’s intentional. Because why would he want to make government better? It’s not in his agenda.

You know what this place needs? A MAKEOVER

Hi Confucians. I took a look in the tip jar yesterday and was surprised to see that somebodies had added to it. Thank you for your generosity, somebodies! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Then I thought, this is enough money to buy an upgrade on WordPress. We could replace the furniture, paint the place, maybe even get IBW that comment editor he’s had on his wish list (I can’t promise anything yet. Gotta check what’s under the hood).

Whaddya say, people? Change is good. It forces us to adapt and thrive. Ok, so the Trump era is not the kind of environmental stress we needed but we have to work with what we’ve got.

The election year is bearing down on us. Before you know it, the group candidate events are going to start. We have trends to watch, memes to track, bullshit to counter. I’m sure all of you have ideas about what would make a good upgrade.

Put your ideas in the comments and we can talk about them. Heck, maybe we can even have an online meeting about them.

Here are some things we might want to add;

  1. Editors and contributors.
  2. Trend trackers
  3. Spiffy new theme (colors? Columns?)
  4. Podcast

Have at it, people. I’d like to see if we can get a prototype up by the middle of July.