Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lies, errors and exaggerations, but mainly lies

I understand that in many cases the people who do approve of the family separations don't view it in the same light. There is a fundamental difference in perception. I understand that better after catching a short bit of Lars Larson. I hope to do some deconstruction there.

I will probably refer to some things that I have heard in other places. Some of the things he has said are not original to him. For example, I think Ann Coulter is saying the "human shield" thing too. I don't know if she is the source, but that might be worth finding out.

One pretty amazing thing is that the amount of time I spend listening is about the time it takes to move one load of laundry from the washing machine into the dryer and put a second load into the washer. A shocking amount of falsehood can be crammed into these few minutes.

The interesting rhetorical point is that Larson used some examples before to give plausibility to what was coming, except that they were completely implausible. He said that there are magic words to use with law enforcement. For example, if you are caught with a stolen car you can say that a friend loaned it to you and you don't remember the name of the friend, and they will let you go. Another good one is that you can say that you swallowed your drugs if you are taken on, well, presumably drug charges, but I suppose if that one works it should work on anything.

I hate to think it might be at all necessary to point out the flaws in these arguments, but just in case, no, those are not magic words. If you can name a friend who loaned you the stolen car, the police might call that person in, and maybe if they have a record and you don't, you might not be charged as an accessory. And while there certainly are some notable cases of police withholding medical aid, assuming that they do take you to get your stomach pumped - while it might be easier to escape from a hospital than a holding cell - police have nonetheless successfully been able to maintain custody of people getting medical treatment many times.

I have noticed more conservative criticism of law enforcement lately, so maybe those examples play into that - they are not always only trying to accomplish one thing. Regardless, these are shockingly stupid examples that should tell you not to trust anything the speaker says.

And this is what follows: the magical excuse to give for illegally crossing the border is that you feared for your life, but also no one wants to arrest little kids, so the coyotes who cross just grab some kids to take along as insurance. That way they probably aren't even related, so the separation is no big deal.

Shades of false flags and crisis actors! But as stupid and fake as it sounds, Tom Cotton is using it to say that not separating families will increase child trafficking.

I understand if the second part of Larson's theory sounds worse. You can think of the recording of the children's cries, and the father who killed himself, and so many examples telling you that these are families in anguish. I feel that too. It is still important to point out that taking fear for one's life and turning it into a magic excuse to get away with something instead of an actual reason that people will take long and dangerous journeys is also an important part of the dehumanization.

Hearing someone confidently state those views is pretty horrible. Right now I actually have more contempt for Larson than for Limbaugh (which will probably only last until the next time I hear Limbaugh), but later yesterday Larson was only doubling down on it. Today he was talking about how they are getting better care and better supervision and meals. Now it's a favor to the children to detain them.

Clearly the children don't know, based on their crying. Even if I hadn't seen (and posted) that article about inadequate resources for supervision, though, if you have a detained teenager teaching the other detained children how to change diapers, that implies there is not adequate support.

Taking care of children can be hard under good circumstances. It doesn't get easier when you shove a lot of traumatized children together into a place that is not designed for caring for children. That's when you might end up having inadequate heating or cooling, or putting the kids in cages.

There is plenty of information out there, and a lot of it is lies. It tends to fall on one side of the political spectrum, and yet there are some problems on the other side too, and that's something else I need to get to tomorrow. For now...


Monday, June 18, 2018

Family values hypocrisy?

I had just convinced myself that I should put off that one thread I was trying to pick back up, get back to blogging about books and movies, and not pick up on all of that again until I finish my post-election reading. After all, the subject matter was related. But I think that was wrong.

Many of you may be horrified by the forced separation of families by immigration. That is understandable. It cruelly adds trauma to people who have already been through enough. It runs the risk of permanent separation, as young children (like a breast-feeding four month old baby) may not even know their family names yet, and even with older children who remember their former addresses, it is questionable whether that home is still there and whether their parents would make it back there. When you send a woman back to Guatemala without her child, I question whether they could ever be reunited:


It doesn't even have the questionable benefit of being efficient. It is much easier to have detained parents care for their own children than to hire and train enough people to adequately meet required ratios even without factoring in language differences and the effects of trauma.


In short, there are a lot of horrible things about this, where the horror is a feature not a bug, and it makes the mind recoil. So many of you may be horrified, and if you are a regular reader of this blog you probably are, but there are many people who are fine with it.



I wondered about that. For the candidate who ran on racism and where we have seen racist incidents increasing, it's kind of not surprising, but it still feels like there should be some push back. For the people who voted for Trump because Democrats are okay with killing babies, shouldn't at least some of them be upset about babies being torn for their families and held in empty Wal-marts and tent cities with inadequate supervision that would be enough to cause severe permanent psychological trauma even assuming that no other abuse happens (which given everything is very unlikely)?

Apparently not.

It is easy to be horrified by the people too. Tomorrow I want to spend some time on how they can justify it. Those justifications are way off, which leads us into another problem area, and then we will be getting closer to what I have been trying to say.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Band Review: 18th & Addison

18th & Addison is a New Jersey rock band with some punk and pop roots.

Overall enjoyable, there is also an earnest quality to their music, especially with songs like "My Old Skin" where relatable emotions come through. They feel free to pull from other influences as well, as on the mellow and touching "Fix Me Again".

The band is a joint effort of Tom Kunzman and Kait DiBenedetto. Although both sing, it is especially refreshing to hear DiBenedetto's voice, and something that sets 18th & Addison apart from similar bands.

18th & Assison just released the 4 song EP Vultures, with plans for more shows on the way.




Thursday, June 14, 2018

Band Review: Ya Ya Logic

Ya Ya Logic is a band from West Malvern. They self describe as drawing upon alt rock, punk, and prog. To my ears, part of it reminds me of garage rock, but when the harpsichord kicks in, like on "Cage Bird", that sends me more specifically to The Doors.

Okay, they're probably not quite as weird as The Doors could get, but it's kind of nice to hear some of those elements back in play. Start with "Cage Bird" to see if you hear it to, then listen to "Boom Town" for a counterpoint. If that works for you, you'll probably enjoy the rest of the Own the World album.

Fans of The Paul and John might also enjoy.





Monday, June 11, 2018


I'm not sure I won't do regular posts this week, but current activities include finishing up three online classes, preparing study material for a Spanish file, and trying to sterilize every surface in the house just in case Norovirus is still lurking somewhere. Ironically, one of the common Spanish homework and test items is a blog post. They're hip.

Anyway, I'm around, lots going on, and normal, then.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Band Review: Pure Colors

Pure Colors is basically techno, I guess. There is a lot of mixing, and when dialogue gets added to the music it reminds me a little of what Plug88 was doing, only that was more interesting. Some of Plug88's samples came from Gorillaz, but they can be a lot more fun. I have not been finding Pure Colors interesting or fun.

It sounds like a lot of his process is to be experimental, and there may be a lack of focus in the approach that could be fine-tuned, but as of now I cannot recommend.





Thursday, June 07, 2018

Band Review: Francesco Liccari

Francesco Liccari's 2016 EP Raw Notes starts with the track "Long Winter", and I think in that way shoots Liccari in the foot.

Just under five minutes, the dismal tune does have something in common with a long, cold, and hopeless season. It then colors the rest of the EP, which is not quite as dreary.

It might have worked better as the closing track, but I suppose it depends on what you want to say. I think Liccari's downbeat manner is generally intentional. In some ways, opening with "Long Winter" could act as a positive, because it all gets better after that.

But somehow it doesn't feel that way.

This might be a good fit for Smashing Pumpkins fans.