Friday, May 25, 2018

Memorial Day Weekend Reading

1.  This is an informative article on what may have happened to those 1500 minors lost by the refugee resettlement office.  Some of the news is good, i.e., that these children are lost only in the sense that the refugee resettlement office didn't keep tabs on them once they were relocated, so that many of them could be quite safe.  On the other hand, the ones who ran away or some of those who were placed with strangers may not be safe.

The Trump administration's decision to separate parents from children at the border* (in the absence of visas etc.) is going to make things much worse, however, because a) there will be many more children who must be placed somewhere and b) because these children are likely to be younger than unaccompanied minors, and therefore more vulnerable.

2.  Another interesting article on Trump's immigration policies, this time about his relationship with Kirstjen Nielsen**, the Homeland Security Secretary.  I particularly liked this quote:

It remains unclear, according to several people familiar with the situation, how much longer the relationship can last, but the strains illustrate the difficulty faced by Trump subordinates who are tasked with delivering policy solutions to match his most soaring promises.
The president has a very rudimentary understanding of what the border is all about and how you secure it,” said a former Department of Homeland Security staffer who worked closely with Nielsen. “And she’s also not one of the border fire-eaters that have his ear right now.
“She’s in an impossible, no-win situation.”

Bolds are mine, and stress the sentence which really is not a bug but a feature:  Many who voted for Trump are equally ignorant of immigration policies, and Trump needs to deliver to that group.

3.  Several political "firsts" for women have happened recently.  Stacey Abrams, in Georgia,  became the first African-American woman nominated by a major party to be the governor of a state. 

Barbara D. Underwood became the first female New York state attorney general, though for a dismal reason:  The resignation of Eric T. Schneiderman who has been accused of sexual (or, rather, physical and sexual) violence against his past partners.

More generally, many more women have entered politics since the 2016 election.  One of the silver linings of the Trump cloud (the biggest cloud, the best cloud, of course).

4.  Jordan Peterson's past mentor now regrets that mentoring.  

5.  Exit polls from the Irish abortion referendum strongly suggest that abortion will become more legal in Ireland which currently has extremely restrictive laws about abortion.  I take that as good news.

6.  The honeysuckle is flowering in my garden.  I planted it for the scent which is evocative, one of those scents which you cannot smell if you actively try.  You must wait patiently and then — for a few seconds — you smell it and almost understand the minds of the night-feeding hawk moths, its major lovers (pollinators).  Solomon's seals share both the flowering time and the evocative nature of their scents.  To catch it in the spring air you must go out at nightfall.


* A horrible and heartless decision.  This should go without saying, but these days it must be said.

** The relationship may not be bad just because Trump gets angry at anyone not showing proper allegiance to him and his beliefs, but also because Nielsen is a woman.