Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
Less than two months ago, I included a story about a church leader who was fleecing the state by telling members to file fraudulent unemployment claims in order to keep their “contributions” up. Well, this lovely church leader is back in the news again. This time it’s for kidnapping.
North Carolina’s social services laws cite “family preservation,” so as to prevent “unnecessary placement of children away from their families.” Yet, many children have been taken from their families and put into the custody of church members. Thus far, three single mothers have come forward to allege a county court clerk bypassed the foster system so that church members were able to obtain custody of their children, despite a judge calling the conduct inappropriate.
A child advocate who visited the church to ensure that two foster children were safe was surrounded by members after “Pastor” Jane Whaley shouted from the pulpit, “You are here to cause strife!” and called her “wicked.”
“One thing that is confusing for people in the community is how these children can be so well-behaved and so well-dressed if things are so bad,” said John Huddle, who lost his children after be severed ties with the church. “But the clothing can cover the bruises and the smiles can hide the hurt.”
Alecto, you’ve been on this case – better get reinforcements.
I’ve addressed this issue before, but it isn’t going away.
A photo of several deported veterans went viral over the weekend as the U.S. celebrated Veterans Day on Saturday. The photo was taken by photojournalist Herika Martinez for the Agence France-Presse news agency.
The photo depicts a group of several Mexican men who served in the U.S. military in order to become citizens, but were denied and deported. The soldiers protested on Memorial day this year in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
Apparently, there are about 230 people who served in the U.S. military and expected to gain citizenship, but didn’t.
The article also states, “Serving in the military does not automatically confer citizenship….” Well, dammit, it should! Just think about this phrase:
Tisiphone, what kind of person can make sense of that?
This next story may need a hanky alert too – it did for me -you may be a little tougher.
MS-13 is, according to Wikipedia, “an international criminal gang,” which originated in the 1980’s in Los Angeles and spread. Though El Salvadorean origin predominates among its members, a guy named Donald Trump has been leaning on them as a boogey-man to tout his wall. Ed Gillespie also made use of the name in his campaign, fortunately to somewhat less effect.
There is a prison in Massachusetts, the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, which is owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and operated by the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department, yet is somehow also being used by ICE. Currently there is an activist incarcerated there named Martin Gottesfeld, who is awaiting federal trial on hacking charges related to Justina Pelletier and her treatment by Boston Children’s Hospital. (Martin was with Anonymous. It made quite a splash at the time. I don’t know why he is still awaiting trial on charges from 2014, but he is.) Martin has been interviewed by and is still in touch with Ryan Grim, who is now with The Intercept (he was previously with the Huffington Post), and provided Ryan with this story.
A few months ago, some members of MS-13 were moved into Martin’s unit.
“When they first came in the unit, all of us were like, ‘Oh shit, MS-13, there goes the neighborhood,’ but they turned out to be model inmates,” he said. Beyond their so-far-unsuccessful attempts to attend church, he said, they’ve been unfailingly kind and rule-abiding. Many of them, he said, seem to have been swept up in broad conspiracy charges. “Contrary to the public impression that’s been painted by the Tucker Carlsons of the world, these guys are ideal inmates, they wanna go to church, don’t cause trouble,” he said. “I don’t think these are bad guys, not the killer rapists they’re being portrayed as.”
The incident which prompted Martin to bring this up to Ryan happened at breakfast.
Breakfast starts early in the BS-1 unit, Gottesfeld told The Intercept in a phone interview, and the elderly man was “head food-runner,” responsible for handing out trays. Each inmate is entitled to a single tray of food, but one young, white inmate and his friend grabbed a second.
The elderly man chased after the younger fellow and his friend, demanding the tray back; if any prisoner takes a second tray, that means somebody else won’t get breakfast. “The white kid dropped the tray and went to swing at the old guy, and that’s when the MS-13 guys just descended,” Gottesfeld said.
They rushed to the defense of the 72-year-old food-runner, and, granted they were not gentle with the young punk, when he was led out in handcuffs, he was in good enough condition to yell at them about how Trump is going to close the border and kick the Mexicans out.
The final irony, Gottesfeld added, is that the elderly man is a Republican and a Trump supporter, “but the nicest guy you could meet.”
Megaera, please make sure that neither the 72-year-old nor his defenders, nor Martin, are hurt, physically or with any loss of privilege, as a result of this incident. Thank you.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 HERE.