The Blog

Le écoles françaises sont mieux?

My two oldest daughters attend a very good American school. It is rated “A+” in our state. Moreover, the community in which we live voluntarily raised property taxes (more than 80% voted in favor of it) so that the schools could continue to have art, music, and PE and sufficient staff. The teachers are dedicated. The lunches are (like most schools) overly processed crap so I pack my girls’ food daily, but that is my only “complaint”.

Nevertheless, I feel great envy when I compare it to some of the practices in the French school system: particularly food and exercise.

Take school lunches for example. The food is prepared on site and the “fruits, vegetables, fish and meat are sourced locally, some of them from local farms,” according to Dany Cahuzac, the city counselor in charge of school matters, including the [lunchroom]. The local bakery delivers bread, a staple of every French meal, fresh every morning. And every two days, there is at least one organic item on the menu. Once a month, an entirely organic meal is served. The only drink offered at lunchtime is filtered tap water, served in glass pitchers …  As the children come streaming into the [lunchroom], they sit down at tables of four that are already set and wait for older student volunteers to bring the first course to their table. The child who sits at the designated “red” chair is the only one who is allowed to get up to fetch more water in the pitcher, extra bread for the bread basket, or to ask for extra food for the table. After finishing the first course (often a salad), volunteers bring the main course platter to the table and the children serve themselves. A cheese course follows (often a yogurt or small piece of Camembert, for example), and then dessert (more often than not, fresh fruit).  “We do our best to vary our menus throughout the weeks and months, but sometimes children don’t like certain foods,” explains Cahuzac. “We ask children to at least to taste everything and have a few bites before they give up on a food they don’t like.” “Eating a balanced meal while sitting down calmly is important in the development of a healthy child,” adds Cahuzac. “It helps them to digest food properly, avoid stomachaches and avoid sapped energy levels in the afternoon.”

My daughters get a 20 minute recess and a 30 minute gym class twice a week. What do French kids their age get?

Lucky for them, “elementary-aged students throughout the country have three set recess periods during the day: a 15-minute run-around in the morning, a 60-minute recess after lunch, and another 15-minute break in the afternoon” and “Aside from two hour long periods of gym during the week, kids often walk during school outings and field trips (which can include anything from an hour to the local library, a visit to local farms, to the lakeside for paddleboard lessons, or a hike up a local mountain). Walking is emphasized in even younger ages — indeed 3- and 4-year-olds in preschool will walk up to 2 kilometers in an afternoon to go visit the local library. Sometimes they walk to the local retirement home to sing songs for the elderly.”

Is it any surprise the obesity rates for French children are among the lowest in the world and have not been increasing?

Why doesn’t America put as much effort in to meeting the health needs of our school-aged children? France spends a smaller % of their national budget on education that the US does. Granted, they have lower PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) scores than the USA, but America only ranks 14th internationally; behind countries like Canada, Sweden, Belgium, Iceland, Japan, Norway, and Australia. American kids also spend more time in school than a lot of the countries who outrank us in testing.  So we focus on testing above the health and well-being of our students, but we are still trailing behind in testing?

Yikes.

People often argue, incorrectly, that the problem in America is the number of non-English speaking immigrant children “flooding” our school systems. That’s malarkey. Canada gets twice as many immigrants per capita as the US and their test scores leave ours in the dust. In fact, several of the countries beating our PISA scores (like Sweden and Australia) get more immigration per capita AND spend less time in school and more time at play.

Frankly, I think American schools need to be more concerned about the children, as opposed to the children’s test scores.

Cubic Wombat Poop

I just found out that the wombat poops little cubes of poo.

Think about that for a moment. Let it sink into your mind.

Now tell me, in all honesty, that you didn’t begin to ponder 1) why and 2) how.

The why is easy. Apparently the little wombats use their poop cubes as a way “of marking territory to prevent confrontation and promote mating. In addition to scent markings, or scents produced by the hormones that animals release, wombats leave their cube-shaped scat as territorial signposts on the tops of rocks and logs. That distinct shape is beneficial since the flat sides of the cubes keep the droppings in place on their precarious locations. If wombat poop was rounded, like that of koalas, it would probably roll off its intended drop point. And since wombats can produce between 80 and 100 pellets per day, stray scats could lead to a lot of disgruntled wombats.”

See? It makes perfect sense to have cubic poo in areas with lots of uneven terrain. Obvious, really.

The how of cubic wombat poop is something you really need to see to fully grasp. Fortunately, there is a video of a woman named “Robyn Lawrence, who created a model of a wombat’s digestive tract and colon … she squeezes jelly wombat turds out of the artificial organs in an attempt to explain how the marsupial’s anatomy produces this square scat.”

Truly, I say unto you that you want to look upon this video.

Finally, I leave you with one more nugget of information. Cubic Wombat Poop would be an excellent name for an Australian jazz band because they could promote their sound as Square Scat.

You’re welcome.

Courage Made Flesh

Last week in The Guardian I read a fascinating article about artist Laura Dodsworth‘s show featuring photographs of 100 women’s breasts. In an attempt to humanize the breasts, to turn them from objects into subjects, “Dodsworth interviewed each woman at length, starting by asking them how they felt about their breasts. The interviews soon became more emotional than she anticipated. “I found that, while breasts are interesting in themselves, they are also catalysts for discussing relationships, body image and ageing. I realised that this had become an exploration of what it means to be a woman.” She is fundraising, via Kickstarter, to make a book of the project.”

There was one woman’s story, in particular, that moved me and filled me with awe. Since words cannot convey the depths of my respect for her, I have reprinted her story below:

Age: 101. Children: one

‘I would never have gone topless, even in my younger days’

breasts: 101-year-old 

“My daughter was born a week before Hitler marched in, and my milk went. It was the shock. We were Jewish. I intended to breastfeed her, but in the end she grew very well without it.

My husband was taken on Kristallnacht. He had gone out, against my advice. The authorities wanted me out of my flat. I went to the SS headquarters and told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of them: “I’m not going to leave my flat and you can kiss my arse!” Maybe it was foolish, but attack is the best defence. My husband was in Dachau and somehow I had to get him out. My husband’s boss was an ex-Nazi, but he was a very nice man, and fond of us. I asked him what to do, and he said, “Go to the Gestapo.” I thought that was a good idea. My parents said I couldn’t, but I said, “I’m not afraid of the Devil! If it helps, I will do it.” I rang up and made an appointment.

I saw a middle-aged man and we got talking. After half an hour, he had to go, but he said, “I promise I will get your husband out, in three weeks, but I want something from you.” I thought I knew what he wanted, but I said, “Oh, what can I do for you?” “I want you to visit me twice a week. I love talking to you.” I was quite prepared for anything. What’s my little thing, if it means getting him out? It’s unimportant. But the man really did only want to talk. And after three weeks, to the day, my husband came home.

We came to England as refugees with no money, so we had to start from the bottom, with a one-year-old child. I began as a secretary and worked in the rag trade in a showroom in the West End.

When I was 52, I had a lump in my breast. I’d had a hysterectomy four years earlier, but there was nothing there; it was benign. This time I thought it would be cancer. In those days, they did not take a biopsy: if there was a lump, the whole breast was removed – that was standard. It was benign and I didn’t need the radio treatment I’d been about to start.

I said to my husband, “Do you mind having a wife with only one breast?” He said, “Would you mind if I lost a leg?” I said, “Of course not!” “So there you go.” We talked about everything, and that is why we had 52 happy years.

My breasts were erogenous. My husband and I had a very good sexual relationship, as well as the friendship. Nothing changed after the mastectomy – our sex life didn’t change until my husband had an operation for his prostate. I consider I was blessed: 52 years, how many people are blessed with that? Not many.

I fell over last week – that’s why I have a bruise. It hurts. But it’ll go. The last time I fell over was more than a year ago. I don’t use a stick yet.

When my nipple suddenly became inverted about 10 years ago, I went to the clinic to have it examined. I know it is a sign of cancer, but it can also be a sign of old age. It doesn’t bother me.

I was conscious of the mastectomy and wouldn’t have exposed my chest. I would never have gone topless anyway, never, even in my younger days. Don’t forget, I was born in 1912.

My breasts were always small, and I didn’t consider myself very good-looking, but I was vivacious and always had lots of friends and boyfriends. My body didn’t bother me.

I’m very careful with my appearance. I wear a prosthesis. I forgot it once on holiday. I had to use loads and loads of plastic bags! If I go swimming, I have a costume with an insert. I used to swim every day until three years ago. When I was 97, I would swim 20 lengths in one go, but my physiotherapist said it was too much.”

Yes, Teedie Roosevelt Had Feet of Clay

Yesterday I got an email from Dr. Laura Vivanco, in regards to my article on Teedie Roosevelt. She is an amazing researcher and a fabulous (albeit exacting) editor. I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with her and I have immense respect for her opinions. Thus, I got her permission to share extracts from it with you: 

I’ve only read a little bit about Theodore Roosevelt but it seems to me we’re better off not having him back. For instance, in http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/timstanley/100255538/racist-imperialist-power-hungry-megalomaniac-why-roosevelt-is-not-the-model-for-miliband-or-labour/, Tim Stanley pointed out:

”[Roosevelt] saw life as a violent struggle between the strong and the weak. And, like many people of his time, he regarded this battle in racial terms. In 1905, he stated that whites were “the forward race”, who could raise the living standards of “the backward race[s]” through “industrial efficiency, political capacity and domestic morality”.  [...] [He] once said that some Africans “are ape-like naked savages, who… prey on creatures not much wilder or lower than themselves”. To protect civilisation from the wild things, Roosevelt urged whites to breed as much as possible – otherwise they risked “race suicide”. Whites who threatened the health of the stock were best isolated. In 1914, Roosevelt opined that “criminals should be sterilised and feeble-minded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them”.
Non-whites could even be an impediment to progress. Native Americans (“squalid savages”, a “weaker race”) lived on land that whites desperately wanted to exploit. Roosevelt joked: “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of 10 are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the 10th.” Under his watch, a large number of Native Americans were kicked off their territory to make way for developers and national parks. At the heart of this ideology was a thirst for power, because the strong prove their strength by dominating others. Big government was their instrument of divine rule.”

Moreover, in the New York Times review of Honor in the Dust, Gregg Jones’s book about the Philippine-American War, the review noted that:

“What is striking about is not how much war has changed in more than a century, but how little. On nearly every page, there is a scene that feels as if it could have taken place during the Bush and Obama administrations rather than those of McKinley and Roosevelt. American troops are greeted on foreign soil as saviors and then quickly despised as occupiers. The United States triumphantly declares a victorious end to the war, even as bitter fighting continues. Allegations of torture fill the newspapers, horrifying and transfixing the country.”

 

Dr. Vivanco has valid points here, of course. There is no way for an intelligent person to deny that racism and imperialism is anything but morally and politically wrong. All I could do was explain why I yearned for Teedie or a Teedie-analog again:

I agree that his racial perceptions were vile, but even Abraham Lincoln couldn’t grasp the idea of an equal society (http://www.history.com/news/5-things-you-may-not-know-about-lincoln-slavery-and-emancipation). The ideologies of the past are so often unfathomable that it is hard to do anything but shudder in revulsion. However, Teedie was a progressive; a fervent progressive.He sought to fix wealth inequality, education, the establish the “common good”. His political ideologies were so left-leaning they stopped just short of full socialism. For Teedie to be considered a progressive today, he would have to embrace ideologies like feminism, racial equality, anti-imperialism – all of which are things that were almost unknown about even among the very idealistic of the 19th century. Not that they are that well-known today. We haven’t had a progressive President for at least 40 years. Presidents Clinton and Obama have both consistently had policies that are to the political right of conservative President Richard Nixon; even American’s theoretically “leftist” presidents have been moderate conservatives.)

A modern President with as much conviction toward progressive ideals  — one who would actually thump The Banking/Finance Industries over the head with a Big Stick when they chose greed over their nation –  without going into outright socialism (I don’t trust centralization of resources) would thrill me to my toes. I admit that the idea of a politician brave enough to take on the Financial Monster that straddles/strangles America with it’s austerity horsepoop gives me a pleasant tingle.  

Does Teedie’s record shine perfectly? God no. But there is no Utopia and there are no perfect leaders; even FDR imperialistically meddled in South/Central America which has proven to be disastrous in the long term. However, there are some people who are better than average at being President, and Teedie Roosevelt was (in my opinion) the best of these few men. Barring the racism and imperialism of course.

 

What do y’all think? Can there ever be a truly admirable human in history? Or does the bias of their time periods always leave too much of a mark?

Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt is my all-time most favorite President. Sure, there are others I adore – Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, Washington, – but Teddy Roosevelt stands out. Which reminds me; he was never called Teddy by his family. Being rich, genteel, Dutch-descended, New York Old Money kinda people, they called him Teedie. He actively dislike the name “Teddy”. The Teddy Bear, which is named for the him, should be the Teedie Bear.

Roosevelt became William McKinley’s Vice President in 1901.  When McKinley was assassinated by a mentally unstable anarchist named Leon Czolgosz, Roosevelt took office. By that time Roosevelt was already well known as a historical scholar, had been running the Naval Department, and had headed a Calvary unit nicknamed Roosevelt’s Rough Riders with such courage and skill that he had become a national war hero. He was an icon of idealized American masculinity during his life.  Even today, he is revered as one of the most manly men to have ever manned up to the Presidency.

His heroics and courage, while admirable and laudable, are not why he is my favorite President. I adore him because he saved the USA from a pratfall into communism. How did he do that? He vociferously fought for labor over capitalist entitlement and exploitation. 

Teddy Roosevelt “attempted to move the GOP toward Progressivism, including trust busting and increased regulation of businesses. In November 1904 he was reelected in a landslide against conservative Democrat Alton Brooks Parker. Roosevelt called his domestic policies a “Square Deal“, promising a fair deal to the average citizen while breaking up monopolistic corporations, holding down railroad rates, and guaranteeing pure food and drugs. He was the first president to speak out on conservation, and he greatly expanded the system of national parks and national forests.”

How did this save America from communism? In the late 1800’s the Socialist Labor Party of America was on the rise, and the intense resentment of the working poor towards the mega-rich was intensifying. This is exactly what was happening in Russia (as well as other countries) too. America, under “Trust-Buster” Roosevelt, saw massive reforms addressing inequality. Roosevelt took on Wall Street and the Robber Barons and brought them to heel, no longer allowing them to feast on the working class. The autocrats of Russia saw nothing wrong with the current system and decided to crack down on all those winey peasants. Thus, in Russia the “have-nots” got so fed up that they rose up and destroyed the “haves” in a bloody coupe, and then destroyed their economy by centralizing power in communist fashion. (Spoiler: Communism does not work.)

Like America other countries escaped this fate by instituting a modified form of some socialist principles, including workers rights and the distribution of wealth. Therefore, the working poor never became angry enough for a full-scale revolution. Today, many European nations have injected a bit of socialism into their capitalism  – creating things like a social safety net and workers rights. America, in contrast, has steadily retreated to a “purer” form of capitalism since the 1980s. As a result, countries like France are faring much better in terms of job growth and the EU in general is has a better economy even with a lower GNP. The USA has also fallen to 16th place on the quality of life index, despite its continued high standard of living.

We need Teedie Roosevelt back.

Happy Labor Day!

I hope many of you are enjoying your Monday off. (Although I know several people in the service industry who have to work today – including moms!) This post is just a quick reminder that, like Memorial Day, this holiday marks something for which people died.

“It all started with a bad recession in the early 1890s that reduced demand for railway cars, prompting Chicago railway magnate George Pullman to lay off workers and reduce wages. Many of his workers went on strike. The sympathetic American Railway Union refused to handle Pullman cars, hampering commerce in many parts of the country. “The boycott tapped the deep and pervasive alienation of labor in general,” historian David Ray Papke wrote in his 1999 book The Pullman Case: The Clash of Labor and Capital in Industrial America … In July, President Grover Cleveland sent federal troops to Chicago to crush the strike. Illinois Gov. John Altgeld (D) resented the president’s decision, as there had not yet been any large-scale rioting. “I protest against this uncalled for reflection upon our people, and again ask the immediate withdrawal of these troops,” Altgeld wrote to the president. Within a day of the troops’ arrival, mobs started tipping railroad cars and setting them on fire. Troops cracked down with bayonets and bullets; the rioting and property destruction worsened. Dozens of people ultimately died in Chicago and elsewhere. The government restored order by the fall, and American Railway Union leader Eugene Debs was eventually convicted of defying a court order and sent to prison.”

Although President Grover Cleveland and his party tried to appease the working man by creating Labor Day less than a week after breaking the strike, the decision by the right-wing President to send in troops to crush Pullman union is the biggest part of the reason the left-wingers won the midterm elections in a landslide and why William McKinley won the next presidential election. (To clarify, in those days the Republicans were the lefties and the Democrats were the righties.)

Thus, as you enjoy your holiday please give a moments thought to the union workers who died because they had the audacity to want to feed their families and because they resented their government betraying them in order to make sure the Robber Barons stayed stratospherically rich.

The Real Little House

I loved reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books as a child. Then when my girls were old enough, I started to read the series to them and discovered that I had to edit the crap out of the lavish racism lest my daughters burst into tears with horror. Which then inspired me to ponder the meaning of the books and their place in American life. How about their place in history? They were first person accounts of the 1870s & 1880s Western expansion of America, right?

Well, no. Not quite.

It turns out the books are a mixture of some real events, some fictionalized versions of real events, and some flat-out fiction. Moreover, they weren’t really “written” by Laura Ingles Wilder. They were bits of her writing reworked and made delightfully readable by her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane.

Knowing that so much of it was fictionalized or fiction made me feel differently about the books, which I had accepted as gospel as a kid. It also made me wonder, should I be reading racist fiction to my daughters even with the racism edited out? Was this history? Or was it propping up racism against Native Americans?

Michelle McClellan, a professor in the History Department at the University of Michigan, has the best answer to those questions. She said:

“I think it’s important to keep in mind that the books were written in the 1930s and 1940s, depicting the 1870s and 1880s – that’s two layers of remove from us in time, with many changes of attitudes and vocabulary in between.  Some of the characters express views that are profoundly racist toward American Indians, especially “Ma,” Laura’s mother.  Importantly, though, Laura’s father, “Pa,” disagrees with his wife and offers an alternative view, insisting that Indians should be judged as individuals and that they often have skills and knowledge that whites lack.  The character of Laura asks naïve questions about why they are going to settle where Indians already live, and although her parents do not answer her satisfactorily, the fact that she even asks gives readers an opening to think about western settlement in more nuanced ways.
Of course, the Ingalls as white settlers were engaged in the dispossession of native peoples, and the absence of Indians in many of the books is a profound erasure.  For all these reasons, the books have been banned in some schools.  In light of this, I find the reflections of the late Native American anthropologist Michael Dorris provocative.  He recalled enjoying the books as a child, but debated whether to read them to his daughters.  He concluded that Native American children do not need to be protected from the knowledge that their ancestors suffered; they already know that.  But he insisted that white children should be exposed to the complicated and, at times, ugly motivations of those who settled the West.  So he argued for thoughtful engagement with books like this, including thinking critically about why they have become classics, rather than ignoring or banning them.”

Now, all I have to do is recover from the fact that the 16th century English the word “ingles” meant, according to the information in the book Filthy Shakespeare, the passive male homosexual sex partners. It puts a different slant on the name Laura Ingalls Wilder, doesn’t it?

Merry Old England

This weekend I bought and then voraciously read a book by Pauline Kiernan entitled Filthy Shakespeare. I was a wonderful read for a potty-mouthed Tudor enthusiast like myself, but is not for those whom the Anglo-Saxon derived earthy words for body bits and sex offend.

Let’s just say that while the book dealt with Tudor euphemisms, the author didn’t bother with them.

I learned many new things from Filthy Shakespeare, all of them suitably risqué. For example, the word “merry” didn’t just mean “happy” back in Tudor times any more than the word “gay” just means “happy” today. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and her predecessors the word merry was a double entendre for “in the mood”. Puts a new slant on the Merry Wives of Windsor, no? For myself, I will never say Merry Christmas with the same innocence ever again.

There is also the flagrant (to Shakespeare’s audience at least) raunchiness of the word “indeed”. Even today we will colloquially say that someone “did it” to indicate that the person had sex, and the do/did/does link to sex was much stronger in the Tudor Era. Thus, the world “indeed” – when said in the right place and perhaps aided by tone and facial expression – it is an unsubtle way of talking about intercourse. Knocking and turning were also references to delightfully carnal activities.

I also learned that the word “slippery” was used to indicate that someone was bisexual.  Some of the MANY words that referred to a vagina were, hell, ear, face, waist, mouth, nick, neck, favours, park, nony, and Spain. Among the words that could also mean “penis” were awl, chin, compass, eel, foot, hand, little finger, purse, token, and yard. Some terms. like wit, will, and jet could mean either set of genitalia or the sex act, depending on context.

After reading this book rereading Hamlet was an eye-opener. Not only was he outright obscene to Ophelia, his banter with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern was raunchy comic relief. Take this bit of dialog from scene ii Act 2:

HAMLET

My excellent good friends! How dost thou, Guildenstern?

Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do you both?

ROSENCRANTZ

As the indifferent children of the earth.

GUILDENSTERN

Happy, in that we are not overhappy.

On Fortune’s cap we are not the very button.

HAMLET

Nor the soles of her shoes?

ROSENCRANTZ

Neither, my lord.

HAMLET

Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favors?

GUILDENSTERN

Faith, her privates we.

HAMLET

In the secret parts of Fortune? Oh, most true. She is a strumpet. What news?

ROSENCRANTZ

None, my lord, but that the world’s grown honest.

See all the talk about waists and favors and buttons and secret parts? All that is naughty as can be. The whole thing is rife with “wink, wink, nudge, nudge”.

Then there is the amazingly tawdry Porter in Macbeth. Apparently Shakespeare wanted to lighten up his dark tragedy with a comic interlude or two. The Porter, drunk as a skunk, hears a knock on the door and delivers a soliloquy that must have had the Tudors splitting their sides:

PORTER

Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have old turning the key.

Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub? Here’s a farmer that hanged himself on the expectation of plenty. Come in time, have napkins enough about you, here you’ll sweat for ’t.

Knock, knock! Who’s there, in th’ other devil’s name? Faith, here’s an equivocator that could swear in both the scales against either scale, who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. O, come in, equivocator.

Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there? Faith, here’s an English tailor come hither for stealing out of a French hose. Come in, tailor. Here you may roast your goose.

Almost every word in that monologue is a play on words meaning genitals and/or sex. Either of the lines “knocking indeed” and “O, come in, equivocator” acting alone would have caused a Puritan to faint.

The Bard was bawdy, indeed.

Almost there …

One of the many, MANY quirks of my personality is that when I am very close to finishing a project I become frantic to complete it. During the last 5% or so of the task I am obsessed with getting it all done. It doesn’t matter if I am painting a room, cross-stitching a sampler, or writing a book – when the end is nigh I yearn for it.

Yes, I’m weird.

I am on the last part of the last chapter of my newest book. Granted, it’s the rough draft but I am nonetheless filled with glee and satisfaction about its near completion. I am, as always, fixated upon it. That’s why I have not made my usual round of appearances on social media. It’s why this blog post is weak-sauce.

I will, with any luck, be kicking it back into normal gear on Monday. I am SO CLOSE to being done with The Jezebel Effect.  I just need a good way to sum it all up in a pithy comment or two. If my blog is crap again on Monday, you’ll know the pith continues to elude me.

Wish me luck while I chase the pith!

Suffer the Little Children

Children from South America, who have legally entered the USA to request asylum (AKA refugees), are being rapidly deported. Regardless of the excuses given, the real reason these kids are being shipped back to hell is because they are brown and speak Spanish.  There is solid evidence that those kids are in grave dangers … and some of them have already been murdered.

“Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras, a morgue director told the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers have yet to come up with best practices to deal with the waves of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol agents, but some politicians refute claims that children are fleeing violence and are opting instead to fund legislation that would fast-track their deportations. San Pedro Sula (Honduras) morgue director Hector Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that his morgue has taken in 42 dead children since February. According to an interview with relatives by the LA Times, one teenager was shot dead hours after getting deported.”

A big part of the reason that Central America is such a nightmare of violence right now is because the West (mostly American and European political/economic interests) has meddled with the entire region. It is a  fact that America (under FDR) created and maintained the Somoza dictatorship, which was overthrown by Sandinistas 1979, which made some Americans afraid because of the socialist nature of the Sandinistas, which caused the Regan administration to back the Contras and create the School of the Americas to train terrorists, but Contra terrorist atrocities and drug running and human trafficking made them wildly unpopular in the US and in the countries they operated, so for the Regan administration and its political allies to keep funding the Contra’s they sold illegal arms to Iran and funneled the money to the Contra terrorists (The Iran-Contra Affair),  but the Contras were busy raping nuns and killing children to bring about government change so Nicaragua has returned to the control of the Sandinistas.  Moreover, thanks to our hosting the Contras in the surrounding countries, the whole area is awash in drugs and gangs – the leftovers of the Contras.  

Now, we send kids back to that mess to die. Like we had nothing to do with it. Even if our country (under BOTH Democratic and Republican Presidents so NO ONE is on the moral high ground here) was as innocent as a lamb vis-à-vis the turmoil there, those children are innocent human beings and it is wrong to send them back to a place where they have such a high risk of being murdered.

See this little girl?

refugee child

If the US deports her there are strong odds she will be raped and forced into prostitution by a gang or she get murdered or both. She is a human being. She is no older than my first born daughter, who is in forth grade and loves My Little Ponies and The Lego Movie.

Think about it.