Wednesday, August 01, 2018

It Would Appear That, Even As The End Neared For Him, Hunter Thompson Had A Point.

Prologue: First off, just so you know, over many years of poli-blogging I have learned to write ahead and then wait a bit before posting in an effort to ensure that my blather is not entirely of the knee-jerk variety...

With that preamble in mind, please understand that I originally wrote the post below in late June when the 'forcibly separating-children-from-their-parents-at-the American-border' story first broke in earnest...The very next day, C., me, Bigger E. and littler e. headed south ourselves to visit our very good friends and surrogate away-from-home parents* on the Northern California coast...Everywhere we went (and this included knitting shops, bookstores, parades, beaches, bars, and even a Motel-6 lobby) folks apologized for their government's actions...And then, within a scant few days, a growing public uproar led the current American president to (at least publicly) reverse his position on the matter. In addition, the courts subsequently imposed strict reunification targets...As a result, I held off pushing the publish button on the post under consideration.

What has changed since then you may be asking?...We'll there is this lingering matter of difficulties in putting ALL the families back together again which has come to a head over the last few days...And clearly the stories of the plight of individual kids and parents are truly heartbreaking...However, the last straw for me was a perfunctory passage buried deep within a Reuters report published last weekend:

"...The (U.S.) government said 711 children remained separated because the parent waived reunification, was no longer in the country, or in some cases could not be found, which the government said excluded them from reunification..."

'Excluded them from reunification'? 


That sure is obfuscatory nicey-nice talk for a very, very bad thing, indeed.


With that I decided the time has come for my self-censorship on this matter to end.

Here goes...



ProPublica has obtained audio of  small children being held inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility after they have been separated from their parents.

Here is the lede of Ginger Thompson's story:

The desperate sobbing of 10 Central American children, separated from their parents one day last week by immigration authorities at the border, makes for excruciating listening. Many of them sound like they’re crying so hard, they can barely breathe. They scream “Mami” and “Papá” over and over again, as if those are the only words they know.

The baritone voice of a Border Patrol agent booms above the crying. “Well, we have an orchestra here,” he jokes. “What’s missing is a conductor.”

Then a distraught but determined 6-year-old Salvadoran girl pleads repeatedly for someone to call her aunt. Just one call, she begs anyone who will listen. She says she’s memorized the phone number, and at one point, rattles it off to a consular representative. “My mommy says that I’ll go with my aunt,” she whimpers, “and that she’ll come to pick me up there as quickly as possible.”...

You can listen to the audio tape....Here.

It does not make for comfortable listening.

Which is why it must be listened to.

When he was nearing the end of his own days Hunter Thompson had the following to say about the actions of his countrymen and women in the run-up to American invasion of Iraq:

We're the Nazis in this game, and I don't like it. I'm embarrassed and I'm pissed off. Yeah. I mean to say something and I think a lot of people in this country agree with me.'

Hunter S. Thompson, January 2003
Interview with Mary Suma, KDNK Radio, Roaring Fork Colorado
Reprinted In Text Form In: Ancient Gonzo Wisdom by Anita Thompson

Now, while you and I can both agree that Mr. Thompson was engaging in some overwrought hyperbole at the front end of his statement, I would hope that you can also agree that the time has come for a whole lot of American people, regardless their political persuasion, to start saying something about what is going on in their fine country at this very moment.

Not convinced?

Well, here is a little bit more from Ginger (presumably no relation to HST) Thompson's ProPublica story:

...In recent days, authorities on the border have begun allowing tightly controlled tours of the facilities that are meant to put a humane face on the (separation and detention) policy. But cameras are heavily restricted. And the children being held are not allowed to speak to journalists...


I originally wrote about HST's comment
in the context of the Bush Administration's self-declared 'new reality'....Here.

*We got to know our NorCal friends when C and I were lucky enough to find ourselves living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area back in the days of yore... As a result, these friends helped us out, a ton, when Bigger E. was born a thousand miles from home...They now live on the Mendocino coast and we go down to visit them regularly once every couple of years...It is so much fun, and such a ritual, that our kids, both of whom are pretty much fully grown now, insist on making the trip with us...C and I put up very, very little resistance...And make no mistake, I fully realize that this little chunk of the West Coast is not representative of the United States in its entirety... Regardless, it is America to me and it is a place, and a state of mind, that I truly enjoy and admire...



Lew said...

Hopefully Mr. Trump will be separated from his own children soon.

And just as hopefully the despicable senators and representatives that support him will be separated from both houses of Congress.

That would give America a chance to be great again.

RossK said...


Regarding the latter, it is hard not to conclude that there is absolutely nothing that could happen that would lead Mr. Trump to express genuine empathy in any context.

Regardless, I agree that a major driver here is the Republican party's 40+ years long descent into the lowest of lower than lowly low depths of the deepest and darkest depths of political expediency.


e.a.f. said...

Have followed this now for weeks and reading a number of American blogs on the subject, daily. Articles have been titled, A pedophile's dream, making billions for those who look after the children, children as young as 11 being forced to clean toilets without gloves. What is going on is children are being placed in concentration camps. Corporations and individuals are making a mint. This has nothing to do with keeping any one out of the U.S.A. but rather giving billions to contractors who donate to the GOP.

Many of the children's parents have been deported, however, it was never the intent of the American government to return these children to their parents. Personally I don't believe them, that the parents have been deported. Some perhaps, but others, who really knows what happened to those children. We know what happened to children in residential schools in Canada and the U.S.A I expect nothing different this time.

The American government ought to be taken to the Court in the Hague and tried for crimes against Humanity. There has been testimony from career bureacrats that separating the children from their parents would cause them untold harm and every one from the W.H. on down just ignored it. these politicians and ICE don't see these children as human beings. Trump made sure of that while he was campaigning.

it was interesting that when they finally started to show video of the children, it was only boys, in their mid teens. it would lead the racists to think, those could be gang bangers......,.We never did get to see where the babies and toddlers were. What really happened to the little girls?

Why would any government separate children from their parents? That is what they did at the concentration camps. Americans just let it happen. I am not hopeful that things will change. Lew I would like to be hopeful, but my Mother told me about the Holocaust and what happened in their country. I've read enough history to know what happened in other countries and I see it being repeated in the U.S.A.

the only think I wish for Trump and his supporters and those GOPers who refuse to grow a set, is the same amount of pain they have caused these children and their parents, on them. May they all burn in hell.

Lew said...

RossK, I agree that Mr. Trump is incapable of empathy. My hope that he is separated from his children (because he and they would be in separate jails) has more to do with him being removed from office and therefore unable to inflict any more damage on the country or the world than exacting an expression of empathy from him.

The chance that America can be great again (if it ever was) depends first on his removal. You very eloquently describe that America in the last sentence of your article.

Ed Seedhouse said...

Make George Orwell fiction again.

RossK said...


Message heard, loud and clear.



MGOFA is a very, very worthwhile pursuit, indeed.

And, just to be clear, this de-fictionalization is taking hold in Canada as well.


RossK said...


Got it. I misunderstood - thanks.


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

You know me and Thompson: even when he was wrong he was right and when he was right he was right fucking on. I, for one, am more than a little uncomfortable free trading and being Allie buddy-buddy with a National Socialist State, for one thing.

RossK said...


RFO, indeed...


Just so you know, you now have a fan or three in the small NorCal coastal town of Point Arena.

Details to follow.


Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...