Born in innocence; cast into chaotic upheaval

Posted by Tom Camfield

If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.—Henry David Thoreau

Meanwhile, that headline above, of course, refers to the illustrated child with wonder in her eyes. The frenetic bedlam of the world into which she has been introduced is represented by those toward whom she seems to be looking here. I have serious concern about her surviving to reach my present age. That would be 2107 when whatever might be left of this planet. She is a poster image for children everywhere.

My mind at the moment is fastened mainly on a combined subject of the planet’s sustenance limitations, ever-increasing population, climate change and migration. And maybe whether scientific knowledge and technology will save or destroy humanity. The current official trend in our national society is inhibiting intelligence, pandering pollution, gratifying greed, disdaining decency, etc. 

Immigration at our southern border epitomizes the state of the world right now, and our own country appears to be dealing with the  situation in more sinful than virtuous ways—sort of like picking up and shaking a crying baby rather than feeding it. 

My mind always sidetracks to my own family whenever Trump begins bellowing about migrants illegally seeking a better life, in some cases just actual survival. My father was born in Canada. I have a grandson born in Thailand, a granddaughter-in-law and a great granddaughter born in Korea. Twice in my Camfield ancestry, my forbears fled this country to improve their lot in Canada—once to Ontario, once to Alberta—some families eventually returning to the U. S. I have a brother-in-law now who has lived many years in Mexico. I had an uncle who spent his working career in Mexico. 

Of course, different times and/or different laws were involved; but in the past, things always seemed to work more smoothly when water was allowed to find its own level. My American ancestors have spent 398 years migrating freely throughout and across this nation and in and out of Canada. But these days I cannot make a spur-of-the-moment visit to my cousin in B. C. because one now needs a passport at the border.

And now our country has Donald Trump. Many of us have “zero tolerance” for him, something he is demanding with regard to illegal immigrants—with his offhand “America First” and “Make America Great Again” he uses to avoid serious thinking about the plight of human kind. It seems so obvious that in his perverted mind it’s actually all about “Trump first” and “Trump the Great.”

Thanks to my granddaughter Caitlin, who I’m happy to say will be voting in November, I’ve been provided with a revealing Internet link: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/07/trumps-office-of-refugee-resettlement-is-budgeting-for-a-surge-in-child-separations.html   Caitlin’s in med school; one way or another, she will be fighting to keep people alive and well in the years ahead.

The lead paragraph of the slate.com article: “The Office of Refugee Resettlement is preparing for the possibility of another surge in family separations. Internal documents obtained by Slate show that ORR has modeled a scenario in which the Trump administration’s border policies could require the detention of thousands more immigrant children.” This story was dated July 10

Meanwhile, “the ORR’s budgeting exercise is premised on the possibility it would need as many as 25,400 beds for immigrant minors by the end of the calendar year,” the story said.

As of this writing, about 11,800 children are in ORR’s care. “Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has stated that somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 of those children were separated from their parents at the border. The remaining children in ORR custody are unaccompanied minors—children who crossed the border without a parent or guardian.”

This all seems almost surreal in the face of other daily news. I first thought the occasional publicity of an Hispanic kid reunited with is mother after after a month or so was some sort of pro-Trump propaganda and lousy journalism. Then I realized such stories just emphasize the despair that has been unnecessarily forced upon people,, many of whom remain separated. The reunions reported in the press should not have been required in the first place. 

BUT WHY this planning ahead for housing so many children separated from their families? The New York Times reported July 14: “The federal judge who ordered the swift reunification of thousands of migrant families chastised the trump administration late Friday [July 13] after it said complying with the judge’s order would increase the risk of harm to children.

“The Health and Human Services department (HHS) outlined a new, more accelerated plan to return roughly 2,500 immigrant children to their parents by a July 26 deadline . . . The judge, Dana Sabraw of U. S. District Court in San Diego, was not moved. ‘Unfortunately, HHS appears to be operating in a vacuum, entirely divorced from the undisputed circumstances of this case,’ he said.”

Sabraw said HHS’s position was inconsistent with explicit statements from top government officials including the president himself (surprise, surprise; our president lies!) that the reunifications were swiftly proceeding.

In conclusion, “the executive order that Trump signed on June 20 purports to end family separation—and reveals that ORR does not seem to be operating on the assumption that the separation policy has truly ended. The budgeting exercise assumes that Trump’s order created a 20-day pause on family separations and that referrals would increase after that 20-day period—that is, after July 10—to 325 immigrant children per day for four weeks. If that estimate is correct, that means an additional 9,100 immigrant children would be detained and housed by the U.S. government in the four weeks beginning Tuesday” [July 10].

I’d just like to add here mention of the the Seven Deadly Sins of lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. Migawd! How those apply to Donald. The battle is extremely difficult these days for the opposing Seven Contrary Virtues of chastity, abstinence, liberality, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.

Power does, indeed, corrupt in cases where it is a main driving force. By contrast, though, it can be a force for good—as was the case with former President Barack Obama. An infuriated Donald Trump, whose own white superiority complex was belittled by black skin in a standout role, remains infuriated and obsessed with erasing all record of  Obama’s altruism and effectiveness on behalf of an entire society. You’ll never be the better man, Donald; you’re not even close You would sacrifice our entire country, and the rest of the world, to your vainglorious ego.

Ignorance is the greatest general enemy of our society at present, and Donald not only exemplifies it but pursues every avenue to perpetuate it, such as his ongoing assault on the American Press. He has managed to a dangerous degree to convince much of the public to vote against its own self-interest. HIs assault on formal education seems aimed at facilitating the young of wealthy conservatives by worsening the lot of public education while supporting charter and privates schools. Assaults on teachers’ unions, crippling college-student loans, etc. Yet he budgeted an increased $50 billion or so to the military this year, and plans are going ahead for a $50-million military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue in his own honor.

ADDENDUM—regarding the Helsinki summit: At what point in providing aid and comfort to the enemy does one become a traitor? I score the outcome of Donald’s blather as Putin 5, Hillary (in absentia) 3 , Trump 0.

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