American non-fiction writer, essayist and sports journalist
- Last week, we were chatting here in the shebeen about a remarkable woman named Emily Hobhouse, a British social worker and radical who took upon herself the job of informing the British people and the world of the atrocities the Empire was committing in its South African concentration camps during the Second Boer War. The parallels to the news of the day seemed obvious. It is important now to realize that the camps that so horrified Hobhouse consisted of women and children living in tents. So imagine my non-surprise to discover that, as a solution to the bad publicity it was getting for housing migrant children in terrible conditions, the administration* decided to move some of the kids out of some of the worst conditions and off to another site to live...in tents! [...] The average temperature in June in El Paso is 98 degrees. In July, it's 97. In August, it's 94. And "temporary" in this context, and with this crowd running things, has developed a very flexible new definition. Of course, if the kids are still in the tents in November, things will have cooled to an average of 66. The great outdoors! Anyway, because this is America, where the enterprise is always free, and because this is 2019, almost a decade after the Supreme Court legalized influence-peddling, our politicians are free to take money from those who make money off facilities like these, because that's what keeps us free. [...] There's the usual yadda-yadda from spokesfolk about how this is really about constituent service; Cuellar's mouthpiece argues that there are so many prisons in Cuellar's district, that Cuellar's getting correction-industry money is like, say, Jay Inslee getting money from yacht manufacturers. [...] There is a historic exercise in human misery being undertaken by the United States government in South Texas right now, and if you take money from people making a pile out of that misery, you're complicit. Sorry, but that's the iron logic of atrocities.