Saturday, August 3, 2019

Why I Need to Be Here. And There. And Everywhere

The last time I wrote here was in April, when I announced I was leaving and probably wouldn't be back. Well, here I am. The truth is, I missed this place. I spent more than 10 years here, so it's hard not to come back to see how it's doing.  I come back often to read the stories in my "Necessary Voices" sidebar, and I sometimes grab an old story from my archives to revise for my Medium pages (See below). I love coming back here. It's like home, even though it's no longer my office.

I'm writing almost exclusively on Medium now, and it's pretty satisfying. I'm building a readership there, which is what every writer wants, and it's almost like having my own blog. Almost.

I've started my own Medium publication, Indelible Ink, and I'm editing and publishing stories by other writers, as well as my own.

I publish a periodic newsletter promoting those great writers who honor me by writing in my pub. It's here if you want to take a look.

The increased attention at Medium has given me the confidence to push further and start sending things out to paying venues again. I hadn't done that in years. (I'm working with an editor at Huffington Post this week on a non-political piece that requires some editing but will be published soon. I can't tell you how excited that little triumph makes me. It's really kind of pathetic. )

I don't write as much about politics, and that's by design. I  needed that break after so many years of trying to save us from ourselves without making even a tiny dent. When the realization hit, it hit hard--I was wasting my time, and nobody even noticed.

So, yes, I'm whining a bit, but I'll get over it. I can't see myself ever going back to a 24-hour-a-day concentration on Trump and the failings of America. But I have to say something. Terrible things are happening, and I can't avoid them. I know me. I just can't.

It feels good writing here again. I missed the old place. But I haven't left the neighborhood. I'm just up the street, so how about coming to visit me there?  I'll be back here now and then, just for old time's sake.

Monday, April 22, 2019

It's Spring and I'm Blossoming Somewhere Else

Spring comes to our yard

Hi, loyal readers, it's me. (You still there?  Hello??)  I know. I haven't been spending much time here and so neither have you. I don't blame you. The truth is, I've found another place.

A place where writers gather, along with readers. Because after all this time of going it alone I'm finding I miss my community. I need that interaction, that commiseration when things go wrong, that cheering on when things go well. I need them.

But I need readers even more.

So it's time to move on.

Cut River Bridge

Oh, you've all been nothing but kind, but the truth is, I don't always know you're here. I needed to get away from the Trump nightmare for a while and I did that. I'm writing about other things now,  including writing about writing--my first, my own true love. Writing.

I won't say I'll never write about politics again. Who would I be kidding? I sweat politics, even when I'm not talking about it. But if I do it, I probably won't be doing it from here. This door is closing.

I'm sad about that. This has been my headquarters for more than 10 years and it served its purpose, but it's a house, not a home. The life has gone out of it, just as the oomph has gone out of me when it comes to politics. I started this blog to talk about politics and now I no longer want to do that.

For those of you who come here for the sidebar links at Necessary Voices, you'll still find them here. They're all pretty great. I'll be reading them, too.

I'm temporarily headquartered over at Medium now, but I'm spreading my wings, sending out pieces to other places and not relying on any one blog, on any one website. I'm excited and I hope you'll come along with me.

I'm keeping my other blog, Constant Commoner, open for a while, but mainly I'll be at Medium.

This blog will be my archives now, unless I can't stand it and I change my mind and open the doors again. (Which could happen. I'm only closing it, I'm not locking it.)

Ready to fly

You can also follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. I'll always be there. I think.

I'm thinking about starting a newsletter but it's at the very beginning stages. In the  meantime, you can write me at ramonasvoices dot com. I love mail! Keep in touch!

So here I go. Wish me luck. And thanks again. 💘

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Political PTSD is Real. I'm Living Proof

It has come to this: I can no longer call myself a writer. Trump has broken me down. I'm a basket case trying to follow the illogical, the stupid, the crazy, the nonsensical, the sheer volume of lies and strutting and demagoging and denying and. . .

I can't do it. I can't. For months now I've been reduced to 280 character bleatings on Twitter--when I'm not annoying my friends and family all to hell with my spitting and sputtering and useless hollering, trying to explain how I'm FEELING throughout all of this.

You want to know how I'm feeling? (I know you didn't ask and you're just here because you saw that title and you're curious, but this is about ME now. Okay? And yes, I used ellipses separated by spaces in that first paragraph. Stop the damn judging!)

Well get in line, because I don't know how I'm feeling and until I do, anything I write here is gibberish, likely to change as the seconds change on that clock on the wall mocking me for wasting so much time trying to make sense of feelings when any feelings of a powerless old liberal woman are laughable in this new America whizzing along, leaving me so far behind I might as well be a speck on the horizon, a dust mote, a dot at the end of a sentence nobody wants to read.

Did that sound like I'm feeling sorry for myself?  Damn right I am. When I started this thing 10 years ago I thought you people would listen to me. I thought if I put words into somewhat complete sentences that didn't always suck at punctuation and grammar you would pay attention. I thought I had something to say.

I did have something to say but it turns out Donald Trump was elected anyway. I was on the side that lost the battle and I hate that. Anything I've written since then has been in protest to Donald Trump. A total waste of time. He's still president, and I'm still sitting here wondering where I went wrong. Why couldn't I make a difference?  Was it something I said? Or didn't say?

So now you're thinking, who the hell does she think she is? Nobody could make a difference. Not Eugene Robinson, not Sarah Kendzior, Not Steve Schmidt, not Robert Reich, not Elizabeth Warren, not Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, not Rachel Maddow, not any of those other people whose names escape me right now, since I'm in the throes of a PTSD flare-up. Fill in the blanks. There were literally hundreds of voices out there warning against a Trump presidency, using the American language for all it's worth--smart, elegant, forceful, jeering, demanding, begging. Using facts as cudgels, as swords, as bright beams of light--all for nothing.

Now we're in the midst of a government shutdown, in effect for over a month, and real people are in real pain, trying to stay safe while the monster is still at large, still out there breathing fire, still creating such chaos nobody knows what to do.

And that's the least of what's happened over the past two years. They tore kids from their parents' arms and put them in cages. They "lost" some of them. They're sending people back to countries where their deaths are inevitable. We're on the verge of forgetting that. That's how bad things are.

It's as if we're at that point in a horror novel where the village is under attack and everybody is still at the hand-wringing stage. They're all yelling, getting out their torches and pitchforks, but nobody has a real plan.

 He's out there breathing fire and nobody has a plan.

Because they've never seen anything like it and they didn't prepare for this. And on top of everything else, they have to fight those few crazy citizens who think the monster is a good guy and everyone else is over-reacting.

 If this were fiction, this is where it would start to get interesting.

 So okay, that's it then. Gotta go. I'm scaring myself again. And besides that, I'm not a writer anymore.

(Cross-posted at Medium, where you can clap as many times as you want. So please clap. Thank you.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Hello Civility, Goodbye Rage

I'm sick to death of having to see, hear, and worry about Donald Trump.  I'm sick of having to wonder how we got here, living in a country where a ludicrous, ignorant madman is in power, where the party in power is turning a blind eye, and where midterm elections are only days away and we're still not sure the good guys will win.

We're living through times so crazy we couldn't even imagine them three short years ago. We were different people before Trump crashed through seemingly impenetrable barriers to get to the White House. We were nicer. Now even the best of us have become loud-mouthed name-callers. We use F-bombs and C-words as safety valves. We look to settle arguments by twisting knives in already gaping wounds. We work hard at it, to the point of neglecting real issues.

 We spend hours on Facebook and Twitter savoring the need to turn the air blue. We can't get through the day without using CAPS and exclamations (!!!!!!), posting links and memes intended to satisfy our rage--as if that's even possible.

We gladly follow people whose strength lies in clever insults, expressing the kind of vitriol we say we're working against. When they insult fellow followers who dare to disagree with them we give them a pass, hoping against hope we never say anything they might take wrong. (You know who you are, Twitter denizens.)

I don't want that anymore. I don't want to do it anymore. (Because, yes, I have.) I want to be among people who fight for decency by being civil. I want to go back to being strong without being cruel. There's enough cruelty out there without it stinking up my own circles.

On both Facebook and Twitter, I'm dropping or blocking people who use rage as their only tool. I don't want to be around them anymore. Rage is contagious, it's exhausting, it's meaningless in the long run.

Rage is a catalyst. It's never a solution.

I'm not going to drop either Facebook or Twitter. Wouldn't think of it. In times when we need more than smoke signals to get to the truth, both sites become useful war rooms.

But I'm tired of fighting the good fight through muck and mire. Starting today, I'm looking for civil warriors. No name-callers, no body-shamers, no sniffy moralists with axes to grind.

I'll see how it goes.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Kavanaugh Didn't Have to Happen

I'm sickened by the vote to make Brett Kavanaugh the new Supreme Court justice. I know you are, too. The Republicans clinched it, and they want us to know there is no action, no protest strong enough against them. We can't win. They hold all the power and they're looking for more.

Nothing humanly possible can stop them when they're on a mission. They own us. Lock, stock, and barrel. The thought of making us miserable comforts them.

Millions of people protested this vote. Thousands of lawyers warned against it. Twenty four hundred law professors warned against him. An ex-Supreme Court justice, John Paul Stevens, warned against him, citing Kavanaugh's temperament, if nothing else. Judges, senators, representatives, governors, mayors, women's groups, the ACLU, dozens of newspaper editorial pages--all begged the Senate to vote no on Kavanaugh.

Every Republican in the Senate gave them no heed, including Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, who all pretended it was a decision most wrenching for them. In the end, two of the three did what they were always going to do--they gave him their vote. Murkowski voted "present" in order to protect the "yes" vote of an absent Senator.  They weren't cowards, they were collaborators.

In doing their dirty work, they twisted the knife already long embedded into Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford's gut by publicly scolding her for causing so much trouble.

In the end, with no proof of his innocence, with still unchallenged money problems, with only a handful of requested documents provided to the Democrats, with hair-raising real-time public rages, with biases against anyone not leaning to the Right, all while waving his entitlement like a huge red flag, the Republicans, to a person, opted to push through Brett Kavanaugh.

He lied under oath, behaved like a child, battered the committee with preppie privilege, and snarled at anyone who asked him something he didn't want to answer. And none of it mattered.

Trump got to put through TWO Supreme Court justices, one of whom was clearly unfit and unqualified, the other one almost sure to go along with killing off Roe v Wade.

So, yes, I'm going there, and to hell with anyone who feels offended: None of this would have happened if Hillary Clinton were President. None of this would have happened it the Democrats had taken hold of Congress. The Republicans are gloating while we, their opposition, are pained and embarrassed and scared.

Terrified children separated from their parents wouldn't be crying in cages.

Insidious Russian influence would have been nipped in the bud.

The vicious Religious Right would be mere voices in the wilderness.

We would be kinder, gentler, more inclined to work on essentials like health, welfare, foreign relations, and infrastructure.

Corruption in our government wouldn't be rampant.

And Donald Trump would go on being a buffoon, but without an ounce of power.

This is wrong. So wrong. Everything about Trump's regime is wrong, but our fight against him gets us nowhere.

We'll have a chance at fixing some of this in November. All that's required of us is to vote.

We have to vote Democratic.

If you just can't do it, and the Republicans win again, they won't thank you. When they're done with you, you'll be right back where you were before. Or worse.

Right back with the rest of us.

And we won't be happy to see you.

If you're still not convinced, take a look at this message from our "president":

This is what absolute power without care or conscience looks like. We have the power to change this.  It starts in the voting booth. Vote as if this is our last chance.  It just might be.

(Cross-posted at Crooks & Liars)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Culture of Rape is over. Get The Hell Out of Our Way

I'll make this short and to the point: If you're a man and you've ever tried to undress a woman when she didn't want you to, if you've ever forced her legs apart, manhandled her, scared her into submission, tried to shame or coerce her into having sex with you--if you've ever used force to get your way?  You're either a rapist who succeeded or a rapist who failed.

The Department of Justice describes rape this way:
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” 
We're now, thankfully, coming into an age where women can feel safe coming forward with their stories. For centuries, that hasn't been the case. In certain countries, even in modern times, rape is used as punishment or retribution. It's because rape is an abomination. The worst kind of violation. The thing every woman fears.

Rape is a violation, and so is attempted rape. If it has never happened to you, you can't even begin to understand the trauma it causes. You don't need to understand it. You only need to accept it.

If you caused it, own it. No matter how long it takes, no matter when it happened--own it. You did this. You.

We're talking about this now because we just came off of a Senate hearing where Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump's candidate for Supreme Court justice, was called on to respond to attempted rape accusations by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The incident happened more than 30 years ago, when both of them were teenagers.  Kavanaugh, now a circuit court judge, says it didn't happen. Dr. Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, says it's seared into her brain and she'll never forget it.

The description of that assault is excruciating. Imagine sitting before millions of people having to tell that story, knowing before you even begin that viewers by the millions--including half the committee before you--all of them men--likely won't believe you.

Then remember that there are millions of other women who know that, too--that they won't be believed, that they'll be told to get over it--and will feel safer keeping their secrets to themselves. It'll haunt them forever but that's the price they'll pay not to have to be shamed again. And the worst of it? The person who did this to them will go free.  No guilt, no shame. It'll be as if it never happened.

There's a long-standing culture that says men should be able to satisfy their sexual needs. Women are there to do that. Sometimes they have to be "convinced". The male sex drive is strong, so when it gets out of hand we can't blame them. (The dark side of this is that when women are willing sex players they're considered whores and sluts. Boys and men have more respect for the females who fight them off than they do for the females who enjoy sex as much as they do.)

Cultures change and now this one must, too. If you're a man working to keep women in the place you've designated for them, we're coming after you. You will not be safe from us. Women are rising up, working to eradicate abuse and the ensuing shame. The blowback--as expected--is going to be fierce.

We're ready.

Now get the hell out of our way.

Cross-posted at Medium and Crooks & Liars

Sunday, September 9, 2018

America's Fault Lines: How Trump Thrives

I haven't written here for a long time, but it's not my fault.

Somebody's to blame and I'm going to find out who it is.
I'll check on it and get back to you.  I promise.

So, we're good?  Okay, moving on:

Donald Trump is president of the United States (I know!) and the reason he's president is because  nobody in the entire country cared about the little people left behind when the gazillionaires took over until the billionaire with bigly ideas came along.

We might have had Hillary as president! Think of that! Thank goodness for those emails! Nobody liked her, anyway.

More than a year and a half in, Trump is still president but it's okay because the Democrats are wusses and it's a tough world out there. Nobody likes them, anyway.

Trump is a congenital liar and a verifiable weirdo but a whole bunch of Americans seem to like that in a president. It can't be them. It must be us.

Vladimir Putin might be pulling Trump's strings but Obamacare is dead in the water and poor people won't be allowed to game the system, so that's something. Right?

They're separating refugee families, kidnapping their kids, losing them and adopting them out, but it has to be done to send a message that asylum in America is not available to brown people.

We have to put up with Trump and his regime because if we don't we might be stuck with judges who just don't get it that atheists, non-Christians, gays, blacks, browns, blues, women, poor people, sick people, and all-around non-Republicans don't have a place here, either.

The stock market is up! We're doing great! Okay, maybe not you or me, but that guy over there is ecstatic. Well, no, of course he's not one of us, but look how happy he is!

The UN, NATO...those outsiders are sucking us dry! And how about that China, folks? North Korea? Venezuela? Iran? England? France? And now CANADA! It's a good thing Trump came along when he did. You have to admit, nobody handles those foreigners like our guy.

Big guns, massacres, and the NRA. It's America. We have a right to shoot ourselves up, no matter what the second Amendment says about well-regulated militias or some such.

Flint, Puerto Rico, New Jersey? Terrible what happened to them but can they quit whining? After all we've done for them?

Lots of people are writing bad things about Trump and his administration. Just awful.  Books, articles, essays, blogs...all against the president the most like Lincoln on this earth. This man who has the best words and hires the best people and who alone can fix us. The American press--enemies of the people--can't stand his success.They're so jealous.

And then there's God. God has taken to shining His countenance upon Donald Trump. I'm having a hard time with this one, too, but the people saying it swear on their dog-eared bibles that that's what God has told them. So let me ask you--has God ever spoken to you like that? No? Me, neither. I rest their case.

But the kicker is abortion. Yes, lets just say it. It's the be-all, end-all perfect scapegoat and the thing that cements Donald Trump in his cushy digs inside our White House.  If we could just eradicate abortions we wouldn't be where we are right now.

But everybody loves the president. He's the most successful president ever.


And if he's impeached it's the voters' fault for not voting to keep him safe from Democrats.

Democrats who, we all know, are wusses, snowflakes, losers, and getting meaner by the day.  Really, really crooked, those people.

The whole thing is silly. There's nothing wrong here. It'll be fine. It'll be better than fine. It'll be so great!

As Dear Leader says--and I quote: "Stick with us. Don't believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. What you're seeing and what you're reading is not what's happening."

So in closing I'd just like to say I'm not responsible for anything you've just read here. The truth is, I hardly know this person. Met her once or twice. Maybe had my picture taken with her. But that's it.

(Cross-posted at Crooks & Liars and Medium)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Hanging On To Our Independence on the Fourth Of July

This year, 2018, has been a trying one, but I don't have to tell you. This Independence Day feels like the last of the best for the country I love and have called home for 80 years. It's hard for me to celebrate when I'm in a constant rage over the barbarism the Trump regime inflicts on us hour by hour, day by day.

Their particular form of gleeful inhumanity (See Jon Stewart) is a desecration of all we honor and hold dear in this country--and it's only getting worse.

This is not the New America, it's not Trump's America, it's not Old Testament God's America, it's a corruption of the constitutional, democratic social order we're still working to get right.

They want to erase all we've accomplished and start all over again, turning our attempts at democracy into a toxic combination of oligarchy, theocracy, and kleptocracy by establishing what must look to the outside world like a stunningly insane kakistocracy.

It's not going to happen.

The United States doesn't abduct children from their parents, it doesn't collude with our enemies, it doesn't smash safety nets and social norms, it doesn't turn a middle class into peons, it doesn't deliberately dumb down generations of kids, it doesn't deny its citizens health care or safety measures, it doesn't sell off treasured public lands, it doesn't abide rank stupidity or vicious hate among its chosen leaders.

We have a long history of resistance to tyranny, and this is the day we've set aside to recognize our independence and our self-worth. Until now, we've never had a president who so hated all we stand for he spent hours of each day in the White House sending messages meant to demean and insult citizens and leaders of the country he is supposed to lead.  Never.

When we declared our independence from England in 1776, we sent a message of defiance to a certain king who, uncannily, sought to force us into the same kind of submission Donald Trump is working to do today.

It reads in  part:
The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world. 
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them. 
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only. 
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people. 
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within. 
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands. 
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers. 
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. 
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance. 
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: 
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world: 
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent: 
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury: 
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments: 
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever. 
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

It's almost as if Trump and his enablers took these parts of our Declaration to mean this is how it should be done.  It's not the first time they've gotten the workings of our government wrong.

So on this July Fourth, let's mark this day the day we gain our independence from Donald Trump and his kind--the day we say "no more".

We've been through this before; we can do it again.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Trouble at the Red Hen

I've been thinking a lot about the Red Hen controversy--about whether Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the restaurant, should have told Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment. No guesswork for me.  I'm on the side of Stephanie Wilkinson. 

I've heard the back-and-forths, the calls for civility, the need to allow everyone the ability to at least eat a meal in peace. I get it. I'm not completely on the same page as those people who ran both Kirstjen Nielsen and Stephen Miller out of  Mexican Restaurants last week. I understand their rage but I can't get behind them. Could be an age thing. Could be that I'm more inclined to hit them where they work and not where they eat. (Though eating at a Mexican restaurant right after lying about being mean to Central American refugee kids takes some whatever-the-Spanish-word-is-for-chutzpah.)

But when I read Stephanie Wilkinson's explanation, I found it both honest and poignant. 
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson said. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
Her main concern was for the feelings of her employees, some of them gay or immigrants, and she spent many crucial minutes asking them what they wanted her to do before she finally asked Sarah Sanders to step outside. She did it privately, not wanting to create a scene, and she didn't insult, lecture, or demand. She simply asked Sanders to leave, explaining to her that she felt her restaurant had certain standards to uphold and Sanders didn't fit them.

I love that she gave her employees that much respect, no doubt knowing the impact this might have. She didn't broadcast it, an employee did, but there was no guarantee Sarah Sanders wouldn't have done it herself. Wilkinson had to know this would be big, but she did it, anyway.

I'm not a big fan of attempts at public humiliation. I think too often the reasons for doing it, as admirable as they may seem, get lost in the ensuing and often phony uproar over civility and manners. But we're at a point where civility and manners are only expected from one side--our side--while their side sees any attempt at decorum as an exploitable sign of weakness. 

For the past two years we've been battered by nastiness and outright hatred. We're still being told to turn the other cheek, as if that's what it'll take to make us smile again. It isn't. Turning the other cheek doesn't feel good. This feels good.

Asking Sarah Sanders to leave a restaurant won't hurt her feelings. It won't affect her psyche.  But our rage over lost children and terrorized parents has to have an outlet. Cheering the ousting of a hated member of a hated president's cabinet is a moment we might need. It doesn't make us "just like them". It makes us human.

(Cross-posted at Crooks & Liars)

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Children are Lost and Someone Must Pay

The stories coming out of Texas this week are horrific and heartbreaking. They're so far past maddening they've now entered territory where heads explode.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's as if they thought...

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

They didn't think.

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

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

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

Lights out.

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

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

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

Sad face, everyone.

And then they move on. They MOVE ON.

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

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

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

(Cross-posted at Dagblog, Medium, and Crooks & Liars)