What would Liam Neeson do?


Say he got word that some terrorist had kidnapped hundreds of babies and was holding them hostage until the government met his ransom demands — and he’s no piker, he’s asking for tens of billions of dollars.

Well, I’m a little disappointed that no action hero has stepped forward to deal with this situation.

Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis. The government also plans to open a fourth shelter to house hundreds of young migrant children in Houston, where city leaders denounced the move Tuesday.

Since the White House announced its zero tolerance policy in early May, more than 2,300 children have been taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, resulting in a new influx of young children requiring government care.

Rachel Maddow has the response I would make, because I’m no action hero either.

Comments

  1. Ed Seedhouse says

    So what we have here is, surely, a crime against humanity if there ever was one. America, land of the genocides (Canada included).

  2. Ed Seedhouse says

    Also, Rachel’s moment should be on every T.V. screen for the next two weeks. You go girl!

  3. Susan Montgomery says

    In my heart of hearts, I want to believe that the swaggering jackoffs that glibly talk about “showing them furriners that ‘Merica means business” now grasp the human cost of turning campaign braggadocio into actual policy.

    They won’t, obviously, but I can dream.

  4. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    What many don’t understand is that they don’t think of these babies, their siblings or their mothers and fathers as human beings with feelings, hopes, fears etc. as we have them. I don’t believe there are this many sociopaths, so many people without any empathy not just in charge, but doing the actual deeds. The only way that a feeling person can handle something like this, is if you deny the people you do this to their humanity, consider them subhuman. It’s how an entire country could send their neighbours into concentration camps: Germans during the Nazi regime weren’t all sociopaths, either. But they denied the humanity of their victims to deal with what inhuman things they wanted done to them.

  5. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Ad 4: And that’s why not everybody will choke up when thinking or talking about this. If one thinks of this as happening to other people, it’s hard not to choke up. Think of them as… not that… and it’s easier to justify, easier to handle.

  6. indianajones says

    For mine Susan (et al I assume here) it is not even the swaggering jackoffs you refer to that I find hardest to understand. There are people at the pointiest of pointy ends of this policy who are physically taking children off the parents. How do you be that person carrying a screaming toddler away? What is going on inside that guys head when he was cracking orchestra jokes? What do you even say to your fellow parent and/or your own kids on the way out the door to go to work when you all know what that day at the office is going to involve?

  7. teawithbertrand says

    For those who weren’t watching, Rachel’s whole first act tonight was “They Want This,” the point being that Trump and his base are feeding off of the outrage caused by this policy and see it as in their political best interests. The cruelty’s a feature, not a bug.

    You’re tougher than me, Rachel. I was in tears last night when you played that audio tape.

  8. Mark Jacobson says

    @ 4 Saganite: Through moral deference, I think most of these agents of evil avoid thinking about it at all, or at the very least avoid letting their thoughts influence their actions. The Milgram experiment didn’t require dehumanization. It made it easier, but it didn’t require it.

  9. ridana says

    A lot of the comments I see on various news sites are people blaming the parents for putting their children in this situation. “What kind of loving parent would put their children in such danger by bringing them here, knowing what they will face?” is the general sentiment, rather than asking “Why are we the danger they will face?”

    There is a real disconnect in information going on here, where a lot of people think this situation involves people caught sneaking across the border to Take Our Jerbs™, rather than people turning to Border Patrol asking for asylum because where they came from is even more dangerous and they can’t afford to wait there to see if it gets better.

  10. chigau (違う) says

    I don’t do newsfeeds or twitter or whatever but usually there are a wad of celebrities saying stuff about this kind of stuff that I usually read here.
    Where are they?

  11. Susan Montgomery says

    @indianajones As for those people, I don’t know whether to damn or pity them. The human mind is a powerful engine of self-delusion and there are always ways for even the best people to rationalize any horror (cite: the entirety of human history). And, assuming this doesn’t get a “mulligan” it’s going to be these people taking the brunt of the punishment while those who gave the orders avoid any accountability.

  12. methuseus says

    @Susan Montgomery:

    As for those people, I don’t know whether to damn or pity them.

    I personally would say “Damn them.” Even before I had children, I would have sat down and cried after the first attempt to separate parent and child. I wouldn’t have the strength of will to actually quit, but I would just not do the job.
    As others have said, they have to not even see these people as humans in order to separate them like this. The average person would have trouble separating most mammal infants and toddlers (equivalent) from their parents, let alone humans from their parents/children.

  13. unclefrogy says

    I wonder what Malcolm X would have to say about our dear leader and his regime
    uncle frogy

  14. Susan Montgomery says

    @methuseus It doesn’t happen all at once. I recommend a book called “Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me) for a detailed look at how this corruption grows slowly, almost imperceptibly. A question I would like to ask is why these people are so corrupted already that it doesn’t prove to be a problem.

  15. indianajones says

    I would tend to go with ‘whatever makes it most likely that these people and others like them knock that shit off and never do it again’

  16. blf says

    A lot of the comments I see on various news sites are people blaming the parents for putting their children in this situation. What kind of loving parent would put their children in such danger by bringing them here, knowing what they will face? is the general sentiment…

    As noted in a previous comment, that is one of the (many) angles being spouted by the nazis’s propagandist machinery. Others include:

    ● Trying to draw an analogy with the jailing of Paul Manafort: officially been separated from his family.

    ● Essentially summer camps.

    ● They want to lock up Eric [Trump]. They want to lock up Don Jr and they want to lock up Ivanka, and they’ve done nothing wrong. And now they’re upset because illegal alien families are being broken up?

    ● We separate children from their parents when we send them off to war, or imprison them. So while this is a nice talking point it’s a terrible argument.

    And on and on and on. Including outright lies, such as circulating a picture of Syrian children, in Syria, holding guns, and all-but-saying these are the children being separated from their families.

  17. Dunc says

    Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis.

    If you want to know how this turns out in the end, ask the Romanians.

  18. blf says

    I don’t do newsfeeds or twitter or whatever but usually there are a wad of celebrities saying stuff about this kind of stuff that I usually read here.
    Where are they?

    Dunno about twittering, fracebork, and the other Russian media (a possible clew right there (semi-snark)), but they are there; e.g., Bruce Springsteen denounces ‘inhumane’ border policy during show:

    […]
    After a lengthy, unscripted condemnation, Springsteen, who has in recent presidential elections campaigned for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, told his audience at New York’s Walter Kerr theatre: “For 146 shows, I have played pretty much the same set every night. Tonight demands something different.”

    He then played a version of The Ghost of Tom Joad, a protest song he recorded in 1995, inspired by the character from John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Instead of Steinbeck’s dust bowl images of 1930s poverty, the Springsteen song draws on modern images of homelessness and inequality, including the lyric: “Wherever somebody’s fighting for a place to stand / Or a decent job or a helping hand / Wherever somebody’s struggling to be free / Look in their eyes, Ma, and you’ll see me.”
    […]

    Also, some people are threatening to stop producing for Fox, Child separations: TV makers threaten to boycott ‘evil’ Fox over coverage. Some have actually done something, e.g.:

    [Seth] MacFarlanem creator of the television show Family Guy, which airs on Fox, responded to comments by Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson that viewers should not believe anything they learn from rivals, tweeting: “It’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.” He has tweeted extensively in opposition to the immigration policy and on Tuesday donated $2.5m to the National Public Radio news organisation. [He twitteringed:]

    In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe shit, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.

    What I am mostly seeing in the reliable press are “heavyweight” actions — Governors recalling the National Guard from border harassment duties; condemnations from the UN, Amnesty International, and various governments (e.g., Ireland); the ACLU suing; New York state also suing (New York to sue Trump over treatment of immigrant families); and similar. Also, Facebook campaign to help separated children seeks $1,500 but gets $7.5m:

    […]
    A campaign to reunite families separated at the US border due to Trump’s immigration policies, has raised $7.5m in four days, the largest fundraiser Facebook has ever seen.

    The campaign, “Reunite an immigrant parent with their child”, is raising money for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (Raices), a Texas-based non-profit that provides legal advice and support for immigrants.

    The campaign page said all money raised was going to “directly fund the bond to get parents out of detention and reunited with their children while they await court proceedings” and to “ensure legal representation for every child in Texas’ immigration courts”, citing the high rate of children who faced the court system unrepresented last year.

    […]

    Facebook has increased its focus on charitable giving on social media. In November, they waived all fees for non-profits looking to run fundraisers, so 100% of donations raised on the platform go to the charity.

    Ok, kudos to Facebook on that last point.

    There are also reports of competent lawyers donating their time, etc…

    A group noticeably absent are the frothing xian wannabe-theocrats, A moral crisis grips the US border. Yet the religious right is shamefully silent.

  19. Ichthyic says

    FWIW, the current misinformation campaign being pushed by the right is that the policy of separating families that apply for assylum was created by Democrats.

    this, is an outright lie. the only policy ever set up was to deal with children that showed up at the border WITHOUT parents, in order to figure out how to reconnect them with parents.

    there never, ever was a policy of separation, especially in response to assylum seeking, which bluntly put, is actually illegal by our own laws (the separating assylum seekers).

    no, this “policy” came directly from the mouth of one of Cheeto Mussolini’s own picks for the Dept. of Homeland Security (which I still say needs to be immediately abolished in entirety), John Kelly.

    https://scontent.fakl1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/35431157_1811691812472300_7601207458031206400_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeGNDbuPYwPNESeT1LGtzAd_1x1pFaN6jluHObywBR4SMHhuhrC10n9NB16nyXDEnaXY5V_UzidpFNDxD9HG36mAW5339z-Y2TKYLyhXAdkvZw&oh=2bc274301bae6f4d9d79fccfe8f68e14&oe=5BEC016D

    don’t know if that will come through or not, but it’s a screenshot of John Kelly describing his new policy on Mar 6, 2017.

  20. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    “Not cages, they look to me like fenced pens”, he said on Fux News.
    You know synonyms are synonymous, ie mean the same. Stop trying to confuse the issue with word games.

    These people are coming here, desperate to provide safety to their children, willing to do the jobs left empty by resident Americans, harvesting crops etc. and when lining up at the single legal entry door, are turned away, go away, and resort to nearby doors left open with “no entry” above them and LEO lying in wait at honey trap to round up more bargaining chips hot their sacred leeder [sic].
    This whole thing is making me sick. I’mnoffbyo barf

  21. says

    teawithbertrand @ #7:

    For those who weren’t watching, Rachel’s whole first act tonight was “They Want This,” the point being that Trump and his base are feeding off of the outrage caused by this policy and see it as in their political best interests. The cruelty’s a feature, not a bug.

    You’re tougher than me, Rachel. I was in tears last night when you played that audio tape.

    Prior to seeing the clip in the OP online this morning, I had only seen Maddow’s first block, “They Want This.” In it, she shows a clip from Fox earlier in the night where a guest on a panel mentions the report of a 10-year-old girl with Down Syndrome being separated from her mother and brother, and Cory Lewandowski responds “Womp womp” (the host just sat there like a blank-faced soulless jerk, because Fox). Talking about that sickening callousness and then being hit with the AP report was a lot.

  22. JoeBuddha says

    I think it’s time to call these “detention centers” what they really are. Concentration camps. For fucking children. There are no fuckiing words.

  23. says

    The GOP’s #1 operating rule is a form of Blamecasting (their favorite activity): “If you can point to someone else, in some other time, who did a thing vaguely similar to what you’ve just been caught doing, then you’re off the hook and can keep doing it.”

    With their multiple-pronged lie, “Obama passed (#1) a law (#2) that you can do this (#3),” they have satisfied their #1 rule and can now go back to throwing infants in Kiddie Kamp with what passes for a clear conscience over there.

  24. Snarki, child of Loki says

    At this point, Trump voters should be treated like the Germans that voted for Hitler, back in 1932.

  25. Doubting Thomas says

    How long before the epidemics of childhood diseases start sweeping these baby jails? Guessing a large percentage of kidnapped children are unvaccinated.

  26. rietpluim says

    At this point, Trump voters should be treated like the Germans that voted for Hitler, back in 1932.

    Which means that the US will start a global war, millions of people will die, economies will collapse, and in the end the US will pay for all of it.
    That would be bad. We’d better avoid it, if we can.
    The only speck of light I see, is that in the end Germany became one of the most democratic and civilized countries in the world.

  27. anchor says

    The crime? FAMILIES seeking a decent life. PARENTS with their CHILDREN.

    So, take a long hard look, Amurika: those are the “very bad hombres” you heard tell about! They obviously must be, otherwise they wouldn’t have to be treated so harshly. How else can one dissuade these “very bad hombres” from pursuing their dreams of “infesting” our country? Why, you separate the kids from the parents and put them in “tender age” cages. That’ll show ’em, by God! Then if anybody objects, blame anybody and everybody else for forcing them to do it.

    Evil psychopathic fascist Nazi lying bastards.

  28. blf says

    From the Gruniad’s live blog, Trump doubles down on family separation policy as ‘tender age’ shelters stoke outrage (15:55 mark, slight edits for formatting reasons (not marked)):

    Late-night hosts continue to discuss the backlash to family separation, and last night, The Daily Show suggested another form of activism: having people who oppose family separation call Fox News.

    “Get on the phone and call the people who can do something about this. I’m not talking about Congress,” host Trevor Noah said. “I’m talking about the policy makers at Fox News”: 1-888-369-4762

    CNN senior editor Alex Koppelman noted on Monday that the story was missing from Fox News’s headlines:

    Story of kids being separated from their parents is number one on basically every major news site right now — except on the front page of [link redacted], where it might as well not exist.

    When I checked, that’s essentially true. Compared to the US subpage at the Grauniad’s International site, e.g., where eight of the top ten “most viewed” articles are about the concentration camps, there is nothing (two(?) of many many stories). One (Warning: faux news link), Kevin Costner slams Trump’s border immigration policies, says he’s ‘not recognizing America right now’, touches what is happening, albeit it’s in the “Entertainment” section and is mostly about Mr Costner’s current project:

    […] “Separating people with no plan, when those children can’t even speak English. Can you imagine the terror? Besides just being separated? So we have to do better. We’ve been about more, we can be about more and right now we are acting really small.”

    Costner joins a group of celebrities — including Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Willie Nelson — in publicly denouncing the border policy.
    […]

    I have not verified the above-quouted faux excerpt, but it seems plausible. More to the point, this “Entertainment” article was about the only — and earliest listed — mention at the site. It never explains or references what “the border policy” is, albeit since they’d probably misrepresent it (see @17 & @21), that is perhaps a “good” thing.

  29. Ragutis says

    I can’t believe the number of excuses I’m seeing from the Right blaming the parents for bringing their children along to “break the law”.

    These parents are friggin seeking SANCTUARY FFS. They aren’t flocking here to steal all the good hotel housekeeping and residential landscaping gigs red-blooded Amuricans are clamoring for. They’re just hoping to give their kids a chance.

    Fuck Trump. Fuck “Voice for Women” Ivanka. Fuck all the spineless Republicans “infesting” Capitol Hill. It’s a good thing you’ve kept Guantanamo open, because nobody else has done more to terrorize, to harm this nation and erode its purported values than you. I hope you enjoy those chain link cells as much as these poor children have. Just think of the taxpayer dollars you’ll save not needing a tanning bed, Donald. I can’t believe that acts you’ve treat so cavalierly can bring out what I feel to be the absolute worst, most hateful in me. I shudder to think how I might feel if your inhumanity somehow sinks to even lower depths.

    For someone who values his name, his “brand” so much, you’ve got to be a fucking idiot not to realize how your presidency will be viewed/taught for the rest of American history. By the time Barron graduates from college, his surname will be a curse, an albatross around his neck. Good thing he’ll have his inheritance to live on. Something millions of others won’t, and will suffer for, thanks to you.

  30. blf says

    How can we ignore child refugees facing cruelty and toxic stress?:

    Former child refugee Marcelo Venegas writes about the inhumanity of separating immigrant children from their parents at the US border […]

    I survived the infamous Villa Grimaldi concentration camp and torture centre in Santiago, Chile, as a baby […]. My father was also detained there. He describes my captivity as the one thing that broke him down even though he suffered all types of depraved torture at the hands of Pinochet’s bloody regime. I was reunited with my mother in Sweden, where we lived in a refugee camp, and then we came to England when I was four. We moved to the US when I was nine years old.

    I have not slept much lately as more immigrant children are ripped from their parents at the US border […] This particularly cruel and inhuman tactic of separating children from their parents has been used from dictatorships to slavery. A sick justification was given by the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, invoking God to uphold an inhumane zero-tolerance law.

    Paediatricians who have visited the migrant children at the border describe the effects of the separation and incarceration as “irreparable harm” from the “toxic stress” that disrupts a child’s brain development. I call it PTSD or “soul pain” that can be irreversible. We live in nefarious times. The White House policy adviser Stephen Miller, who came up with the “Muslim ban”, was instrumental in convincing Donald Trump to enact his racist border policy. Miller is but a modern-day Joseph Goebbels, or a Jaime Guzmán under Pinochet.

    There is no justification ever for ripping families apart or incarcerating children. As a doctor and as a parent I speak out. And so should the whole country before we transform into 1933 Germany or 1973 Chile. I have lived the haunting trauma of this first-hand.

  31. stark says

    This is how it ends – the American ideals I thought I grew up with – through being inured to the constant horrors slowly ramping up every week. I wish I could say it’s the beginning of the end but we all know it’s been going for awhile now. There are no mass protests in the street. No large groups of enraged citizenry demanding an end to this. A year ago, I believe there might have been. A year ago I could have imagined people marching on the centers where these kids are being held. Not now. Apathy has set in. Another day in America, another horror unleashed, but hey, at least the stock market is up, Right?! Right.

    I’m guilty of it too. I’m numbed by watching what I thought to be the values of my nation stripped away and systematically destroyed for the last 18 months (longer to be fair, but openly now like never before). I’m horrified at the neighbors and family members I see embracing the xenophobia, hate, and lies. I’m aghast that I never saw this in them before – for surely it was already there, this is nothing that newly arrived.

    I was naive.

    I know our history. I thought we had learned from it, we were growing past it (though with a long way to go yet). I was wrong. Many haven’t learned. They just kept quiet with their hatred. Now I’m one of them – I hate: not the immigrants, not the minorities, not the vulnerable… I hate the people that espouse hatred of the “other”. Some would say that’s OK…but it isn’t – because hatred is always about the “other”, its just a matter of definition – and it always leads to destruction.

    I despair for my country. I despair for it’s soul though I now know that the soul I hoped it had, never was.

    Children are being ripped from their parents at my border. They are being placed in warehouse, in cages, like so much livestock. It foreshadows a future that looks far too much like the worst of our past.

    This is America.

  32. blf says

    Trump is 100% right: David Horowitz, the thinker who sponsored Stephen Miller:

    […]
    David Horowitz […] was feeling defensive on behalf of his friend and protege Stephen Miller, the 32-year-old architect of Donald Trump’s immigration policy.

    He’s a very smart young man, Horowitz said in an expletive-laden phone interview with the Guardian. Here’s the issue: should America, like every other fucking country in the world, particularly Mexico, have borders? That’s the issue. And the Democrats have just demagogued it to make it anti-immigrant. It’s bullshit.

    [… Jeff] Sessions and Miller share more than policy views: they share a mutual friend in Horowitz, who first met Miller when the younger man was still in high school, spoke at Duke University at Miller’s invitation in 2006, and who ultimately put Miller forward for a job in Sessions’s office when Sessions was a senator from Alabama.

    Miller, Sessions and […] Steve Bannon, were together at a 2014 awards ceremony in Florida hosted by Horowitz, who separately conferred an award on Bannon after he left his role as chief White House strategist.

    [… T]he astringency of Horowitz’s rhetoric on immigration and other issues, which has won him censure for extremist speech by the Southern Poverty Law Center, is readily recognizable from the podium in the White House briefing room, on television on the lips of Trump proxies such as the former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and in the policy of family separation at the southern border.

    In an echo of a lie advanced by Trump, Horowitz denied that such a policy was in place, despite an explicit announcement of the policy by Sessions in April and elaborations by various administration figures since.

    It’s not a policy of family separation, said Horowitz. It’s the government’s hands are tied by Obama and the Democrats, so if a kid gets in, everybody gets in. It’s disgusting. It’s an abusive exploitation of these kids.

    While Horowitz’s most incendiary rhetoric these days aims at America’s racial and gender divides — he has said that women have different aptitudes than men in math […] and attacked African Americans killed by police as criminals who prey on black people — he is quick to lay down fire on the immigration issue, and to defend Miller.

    “There’s a fucking lynching going on here, and there’s a wolfpack that your newspaper is part of,” Horowitz said. […]

    Of his efforts to get Miller a job on Capitol Hill after Miller graduated from Duke, he said: I recommended Steve to Sessions. Steve’s a brilliant guy, he’s been working on immigration policy, it’s very clear that his view of immigration is exactly what it has been in this country for 200 years until Ted Kennedy revised all the fuckin’ laws. The Democrats did this. You can’t have a country with no borders. Trump is 100% right.

    Few share Horowitz’s view of Miller as a historic centrist on immigration, however, including Republicans on Capitol Hill. “As long as Stephen Miller’s in charge of negotiating immigration we’re going nowhere,” the Republican senator Lindsey Graham told an interviewer in January. “He’s been an outlier for years.”

    […]

  33. Phrenomythic Productions says

    When are the reactionaries coming in screeching Maddow is a “crisis actor”?

  34. petesh says

    Which means that the US will start a global war, millions of people will die, economies will collapse …

    There absolutely is a non-trivial chance of this happening.

    … and in the end the US will pay for all of it.

    If you had said, “in the end the U.S. will be impoverished, cast out and treated as a pariah,” I might have agreed. You may have meant that but your choice of words was at least unfortunate.

  35. blf says

    When are the reactionaries coming in screeching Maddow is a “crisis actor”?

    Five hours ago, maybe — browsing the account, and heavily based on what is retwitteringed, they are a wingnut.

    No, strike the “maybe”. They are a loon — the preceding twittering: Liberals are showing their true colors, openly at war with law enforcement to the point of wanting to terrorize ICE employees. Whatever they do here they will do to local police later.

  36. Ichthyic says

    The only speck of light I see, is that in the end Germany became one of the most democratic and civilized countries in the world.

    I can tell you exactly why.

    the vast bulk of their authoritarian leaning personalities were simply wiped out in the war.

    they got 2 generations of basically no authoritarians running for government positions.

    you can do the same thing without the slaughter though. it’s just that non-authoritarians must actually participate more in government, and run for office themselves.

    but, that won’t happen.

    so… there will be blood, and an entire generation of authoritarians who were lied to about who their enemy really was, will end up being slaughtered, again. This is our history, all of us, across the world, for as long as there have been humans.

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