Border Crisis

Alright, let’s talk about those detention centers, the ones some insist on calling “concentration camps.” I suppose, in a way, that’s technically correct, since people are “concentrated” in a certain area. But whatever you call them, let’s talk.

First, for years, a decade at least, people have been coming to our borders to seek asylum, refugee status. Many others come for different reasons. The point is that we’ve known, we’ve experienced this, for a very long time and so should be freakin’ prepared in spite of increasing numbers.

But that’s the problem with government—it’s one fat, bloated bureaucracy that does not a damn thing except pay people, except, of course, when the government shuts down. Then it’s pretty much every man for himself. Think Haiti. Puerto Rico. Katrina. Supplies were available, the government wouldn’t allow anyone to help. Or, alternatively, items were stockpiled, sold, disappeared, whatever. Yeah, tell me the government has a handle on this. Ha.

I saw a post from the Episcopal Church—they have people and supplies ready to go. Hello, Washington? Get your heads out of your asses!

Now, yes, a lot of people blame POTUS—they could also be blaming the last three or four of them, Congress, all eleventy billion government agencies, or anyone else. Truly. The president, however, is kind of overall in charge of everything and I think the very title connotes responsibility. That doesn’t, however, mean that he actually did or didn’t do whatever you think he was supposed to do. Even if he’d appointed the heads of whatever department or bureau, it still doesn’t mean he did or didn’t do something. So shut up already. We’re all tired of hearing you bitch.

We’ve also all seen the “how you can help” stuff on Facebook. Sure, you could do those things—and bless you, if you do. Most people aren’t able (or willing) to do it. Policy is the heart of this issue.

  1. Allow private citizens and non-profits—or anyone at all—to volunteer, to provide supplies, manpower, whatever. Stay out their way, stop regulating every damn thing, and end the government red tape/bullshit.
  2. These centers or camps or whatever you want to call them are supposed to be “temporary” but we’ve run out of room because of sheer numbers. The government has had plenty of time—and likely resources—to fix this. Hell, rent a few Motel 6s or something, it’s not like the border is a hot vacation spot or anything, there have to be vacancies within a couple hours. Or, novel idea, BUILD SOMETHING. You can’t house people in warehouse settings for more than, say, a week.
  3. While you’re doing these two things, get these folks some basic items, like, Idk, beds, blankets, personal items. WTF?? And speaking of, Wayfair wanted to sell the government some beds and everyone lost their flippin’ minds. WHY? Because they’d make a profit? Hellooo, capitalism? The government pays everyone else, why not Wayfair? And the employees boohooed and pitched a fit—where do they think the money to pay THEM is coming from? Yes, the correct answer is “sales.”
  4. Put the kids back with the parents. Period. If you can’t find the parents—‘cause we all know the government is good at losing things—put them in a decent place with adults to watch over them.
  5. If anyone has a sponsoring family, or relatives in the US, send them there. Definitely one way to ease overcrowding and not even spend government money. Presto

Some people are advocating protests. Yeah, that’ll work. RELEASE THEM ALL! To where? And how? And THEN what will these refugees do? No one seems to know—they just want them out. If you get them out, you need to have a plan and a method in place FIRST.  Think about it…

One final thought: let’s not forget personal responsibility and personal choice. I know it’s popular to have the government mandate and control every little thing, and for everyone to run around screaming about how their “feelings” are so damn important and dictate all their choices, but sheesh, just stop already. If you’re a grown-ass adult, YOU are responsible for controlling your feelings and making the best, rational choice available.

For instance, I hope, since many of you are crying yourselves to sleep at night over the deaths of immigrant children, seven in seven months, are ALSO crying over the many, many more children living with their families in the US who have also died during that time period—I guarantee, there are a lot more than seven. And please remember, while the death of any child is certainly tragic, parents often share some of the blame by their own decisions. Most of those immigrant children were ill when they began their trek to the US, and as soon as officials were notified, the children did receive medical care. Saying “It’s Trump’s fault” is just plain ridiculous.

The most recent situation, the man and his toddler who drowned, is also heartbreaking. These folks came to the US, made an appointment to be seen for admittance, and were told it would take two months—given the general US court silliness and backlog, that, too, is SO MUCH BS—but they got tired of waiting. I don’t blame them one bit for that.

However, they decided to cross anyway, as many do. The man LEFT HIS TODDLER on the bank of a running river to go back for the others. Naturally, she came after him, he tried to save her, they both lost their lives. You can blame US policy for their long wait, but you CANNOT blame the US for this parenting decision.

So let’s add this:

  1. MOVE THE LINES ALREADY. Why the hell does it take two months to see a judge? Why does it take longer than maybe ten minutes for that judge to say, “Yes, come on in” or “Nope, go back to where you came from?”

I’ll tell you why—because it’s government, and bloated, and bureaucratic, and bullshit. Period.




If Not Now, When?

Once upon a time, I was a bashful little doormat. Yup, it’s true. I walked around with my head down all the time. I’m surprised my chin didn’t fuse to my collar bone.

When I was sixteen, my dad beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of me. Why? On the surface, it was because I cursed the IRS. Come on, doesn’t everyone?

Below the surface, however, and not to excuse his behavior, I was a sixteen-year-old girl and he was clueless as to what to do with me or how to interact with me. Lots of other reasons, too, which is why I was able to move past this whole incident. Eventually.

But this is what started my ascendance to actually having a voice. I thought long and hard about the whole thing, on and off for years too, besides the first few weeks after it happened. Six years later, I got married.

He talked about the whole white-picket-fence scenario, but he was too lazy to make the effort. He talked a good line, until he didn’t. One time, he sat me down on the couch, hard; one time, he waved a butcher knife in my face. Frequently, I’d come home from work to a houseful of passed-out guys and the remains of a steak dinner all over the kitchen—nothing for me, of course. I’d wake up the guys, kick them out, clean up the house, and go to bed.

And always, always, there was criticism and insults. No matter how hard I tried.

Now, I was no stranger to criticism and insults. I grew up with that, from my mother. She always took the other person’s side—she does it a bit less frequently now, but I call her on it when she does. She told me then that I was selfish…which means, for a long time, I tried so hard NOT to be selfish that I lost myself.

So I got married in 1986 and the knife incident occurred about nine months later. As an aside, my collective parents had been divorced, at this point, more than half a dozen times. I did not want that. Also, I was twenty-three-years-old at this point and clueless about a lot of things. Having grown up with the “selfish” mantra and the put-downs, it felt pretty normal to me.

Things weren’t horrible for the next year or so, we had a beautiful daughter, a nice home; but the stress was incredible. Shortly after our two-year anniversary, and a lot of thought but not much planning, I told him to leave. He did. I told him I wanted at least 30 days to think about things.

He gave me two weeks. That’s when he moved back in one day when I wasn’t home.

I said nothing for another month or so. And then I said it all.

Other than our slightly messy divorce, that was the end of the story. Come to think of it, we went to lunch after court that day. A few times, he came over for holidays, for our daughter. Once, while we were separated before the divorce was final, he took me out to dinner for my birthday. He wanted to get back together; I said no. He told his family we WERE getting back together. Nope.

Fast forward thirty years and I cannot fully understand women who don’t leave. Sorry, but I can’t.

If you’re in a bad situation, make a decision, make plans, and be done. Don’t make excuses. I have two friends going through this right now—okay, apparently just one now, because the other one made a decision and we are no longer friends. Forty years of friendship, all gone because after three years of issues, three years of complaining, three years of waffling, and three years of excuses, she decided to stay with someone who is lazy, controlling, narcissistic, misogynistic, and a real douchebag. Her words, even.

But this post—this is for the women who are smarter than this. In 1988, when I kicked my husband to the curb, I was young and presumably dumber than I am now. There was no Internet, no online friends, fewer resources.

In every situation, good, bad, or indifferent, you need to make a decision, then a plan, and finally carry out that plan. But everything you do should be a step towards completing that plan.

It’s especially important the older you become, because, well, you’re getting older. Do you want to waste the rest of your life feeling like this, living like this? What will you do if you change your circumstances? What will you do if make that decision and move on with your life? How bad do you really want this?

Answer these questions, and you’ll make your decision. Then you have to make it THE decision, the BEST decision. No waffling. No mixed messages. Why wait? Maybe that’s what you should be asking—and those answers will either be legit reasons or simple excuses.

Make a plan. This could be tricky, and there are so many variables I can’t possibly begin to list them all. Money. Minor children. Housing. The list goes on.

But you need a plan. You need a date—either he goes on this date or you do. If he’s going, you really do need to be upfront and tell him, don’t just assume because you picked a date that he’ll automatically leave then, especially if you don’t tell him. Seems pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised.

Your plan might be detailed, it might not. It might take some time to implement, or maybe it doesn’t. But don’t lose sight of that date you chose and get lost in the plans. Don’t keep readjusting your plans for one reason/excuse after another. Don’t be selfless—this is the time for a little selfishness. Other people will adapt to what you decide is right for you.

Use your experience, your brains, your education—formal or informal. You’re only getting older. How do you want to live the rest of your life? If not now, when?