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Dear God’s Gift to America,

As the Christmas holiday approaches, and your first year in office comes to a close with a mammoth tax cut for the wealthy and crumbs for the rest of us, I find myself thinking about:

  • young American citizens whose deported mothers or fathers won’t be able to watch them opening presents on Christmas day
  • DREAMERS whose lives are in limbo because you’ve ended their protection
  • victims of mass shootings and other gun violence whose numbers increase daily while you do nothing to address this deadly epidemic
  • women you’ve sexually molested or harassed and now defame as liars
  • the destruction of pristine wilderness areas your administration has opened to fossil fuel extraction
  • victims of hate crimes perpetrated by neo-Nazi’s, white supremacists, and religious extremists emboldened by your words and deeds
  • those who must forego health insurance, or suffer barely affordable premiums, now that you’ve sabotaged Obamacare
  • children who will lose life-saving medical care without CHIP funding
  • your unending assault on truth, scientific knowledge, basic decency, democratic institutions, and American values
  • weakened protections against toxic chemicals, air and water pollution, workplace and food-safety violations, and Wall Street greed
  • refugees fleeing war, oppression, famine, and gang violence who now find the door to America slammed tightly shut
  • adult women and girls in third-world countries deprived of needed health care due to drastic cuts in the US contribution to the United Nations Population Fund
  • human beings and animals everwhere whose lives and habitats are threatened because of climate change you call a hoax
  • a heavily polarized nation you show zero interest in uniting

It therefore seems fitting to wish you, Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka, and Jared — grifters all — something for Christmas that the five of you have given to so many others: indigestion, gas, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, heart palpitations, and nightmares.

And if Santa is in a particularly generous mood this year: backed-up toilets at Mar-a-Lago.

Now that would be a wonderful Christmas present for the American people.

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If you’re an un- or under-employed sadist, consider applying for a job with the Department of Homeland Security. You’d be a perfect fit for its workplace culture.

In late October, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy immediately after emergency gall bladder surgery. Her crime? Being brought to this country illegally as an infant. Perhaps it was an effort to top what a sister agency, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, had done earlier in the month — rejecting dozens, if not more, DACA renewal applications because the post office had somehow managed to delay delivery of them for weeks until after the October 5th deadline. Although the USPS readily acknowledged its colossal failure, and most US agencies and other institutions set the postmark date as a deadline, USCIS has its own set of rules:

According to U.S.C.I.S. regulations, a request is considered received by U.S.C.I.S. as of the actual date of receipt at the location for filing such request,” Steve Blando, a spokesman for the agency, wrote in a statement. He added: “U.S.C.I.S. is not responsible for the mail service an individual chooses, or for delays on the part of mail service providers.”

So — when a government agency makes a mistake that can destroy a young person’s life, it’s more imperative to abide by bureaucratic boilerplate than to exercise some flexibility and accommodation that will prevent irrevocable damage? This is the refuge of the brainless and heartless, Exhibit A for a mean-spirited agency that is out of control in its relentless execution of Trumpian malevolence.

Its website provides contact information for reporting employee “misconduct, corruption, fraud, mismanagement, wasteful activities, and allegations of civil rights or civil liberties abuse.” Accepting the invitation, I called the phone number provided, 800-323-8603, and communicated my disgust to an actual person. I encourage everyone else to do likewise.

[November 15, 2017 update: USCIS will now allow individuals whose DACA renewal applications were originally rejected because of mail delays to resubmit their paperwork. One would like to think that this policy reversal was a harbinger of things to come, i.e., a more humane approach to immigration, but short of a Donald Trump heart transplant, let’s not hold our breath.]

Profiles in Courage

This is worth reading and looking at, however painful and deplorable.

 

 

A Not-So-Grand Old Flag

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, easily divisible, with liberty and justice for some.

 

Every now and then, InSanity is inspired to create a new American flag that better represents the reality that has overtaken the country. Our most recent entry commemorated the fealty that administration department heads pledged to Donald Trump at a famously laughable cabinet meeting. Eight years ago, we proposed this alternative, little realizing that such a flag would be back in fashion in less than a decade.

Just when we think that things can’t get any worse or lower, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can always be counted on to prove us wrong. For months now, the agency has been deporting mothers and fathers — the parents of children born in this country and therefore United States citizens — whose only crime was to enter this country illegally to escape horrendous violence or unending poverty. The fact that they’ve been leading productive, responsible lives ever since — working, paying taxes, raising families, and contributing to their communities — apparently counts for nothing when it comes to the draconian enforcement of Trump’s January executive order. (See this October 24 account by a Yale senior whose father is now in the process of being deported.)

One has to ask what possible public interest is served by breaking up an intact family that has taken root in America and caused no harm. Whatever happened to the use of prosecutorial discretion, to common decency and compassion, to common sense? Has ICE gotten rid of all “the bad hombres” already and now has nothing better to do with its limited funds and resources than go after the hard-working parents of American children — even kids themselves, sick ones no less?

Reports surfaced this week about the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who has lived in this country illegally since infancy. Rosamaria Hernandez was taken into custody at a Texas hospital where she underwent emergency gall bladder surgery. Border Patrol agents had stopped the ambulance she was riding in, followed it to the hospital, then waited outside her room until she recovered from surgery. Most patients would usually go home at that point but Rosamaria wasn’t able to: Agents arrested her and brought her to an immigrant detention center 150 miles away from where her parents live. (Update here.)

It’s hard not to conclude that the insensitivity, heartlessness, and cruelty on display in this situation is nothing other than the character of Donald J. Trump manifested as immigration policy. Our hypocritical narcissist of a president rants against athletes who take a knee or sit while the national anthem is played. Do actions like this, though, show any respect for what this country stands for? Or are they a stain on our most cherished values, an affront to all in whose name this is being done? We are a much better country than this, but for now, this latest flag is a symbol of what we’ve become.

If you’d like to voice your concerns, here is the telephone number ICE’s Office of Policy: (202) 732-4292. The White House comment line is at: 202.456.1111.

For an overview of existing or proposed Homeland Security policies governing unaccompanied children entering our country, please see this October 27 NY Times opinion piece.

 

Emergency Preparedness Kit

The enormous destructive power of hurricanes Harvey and Irma should make everyone realize the importance of having a fully stocked emergency preparedness kit ready at all times.

As a public service, InSanity is publishing here a list of essential tools and provisions that can protect one in the event of an impending disaster, e.g., whenever the current occupant of the Oval Office opens his mouth to speak.

 

1. Barf bag

Important to keep within easy arm’s reach for use at a moment’s notice. Be particularly alert for words and phrases alluding to love, God, the greatest, best, rotten or worst deal, inheriting a mess, law and order, draining the swamp, who knew, and foreign country that will pay for a wall on our southern border.

 

2. Duct tape

Recommended for taping over mouth so neighbors won’t be frightened by high-decibel, uncontrolled screaming.

 

3. Ice pack

Apply to chest as soon as temperature rises and blood begins to boil.

 

4. Pillow

Hang on wall to prevent injury when banging your head against it.

 

5. Rock or brick

Throw at TV, radio, or computer when sound becomes unbearable.

 

6. Ear plugs

Best alternative when only other choice is #5.

 

7. Blindfold

For covering eyes to prevent pain and lasting injury from looking directly at subject.

 

8. Current passport

Because you never know when leaving America on the next plane out is the best course of action.

 

9. Favorite drug or drink

Consume liberally once danger has passed and wait for rescue.

 

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Keep kit in a safe but readily accessible location known to all household members.

Refrain from eating or drinking anything while listening. Failure to do so may result in fatal choking, or the expulsion of solids and liquids through the nose with great force.

Shower as soon as possible afterwards to prevent possible contamination by toxic pollutants.

 

UPDATE, 12/25/17:

Also have kit handy whenever Vice-Sycophant Pence is speaking.

A Path Forward

 

A message I sent to the White House today:

Mr. President:

I congratulate you on your soon-to-be announced “path forward” on Afghanistan.

I think distributing thousands of flyers in that country featuring your scowling picture taken at Camp David among your military advisors will strike immediate fear into the hearts of not only the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and ISIS but also that two-bit psychopath (no, not you) leader of North Korea. You look so mean and presidential that even though none of them can read English (forgive my cosmopolitan bias), they’ll get the point and surrender immediately.

When I think of the American lives that will be saved, I can’t help but be proud that you are our Commander-in-Chief in these troubling times. I just hope that those around you will take the same precautions we must observe while viewing today’s eclipse, i.e., not looking directly at you, lest we be blinded.

Oh, I forgot, voting for you showed that we already are.