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Fourth of July helps you pay attention to our country’s story. Fourth of July helps you think about markers in time. So let’s pick three: 1989, 2001, and 2018. Twelve years separate Berlin, 1989, and Manhattan, 2001. Seventeen more years separate Manhattan, 2001, and McAllen, Texas, 2018:

  • 1989: Berlin residents take down the Berlin Wall, piece by piece. Cold War ends. United States wins the twilight struggle with Russia.
  • 2001: Secret teams plan and execute attacks on Washington, DC, and New York City. Federal government not only fails to stop the crimes, but also does not try to determine who committed them.
  • 2018: Federal agencies make cruelty a common practice at the nation’s southwest border.

Interspersed between September 11, 2001, and treatment of immigrants as criminals, note three other events not included above:

  • 2003: Initiation of illegal war in Iraq.
  • 2004: Advent of torture of prisoners of war as official U. S. policy.
  • 2005: Failure of efforts to secure peace in Iraq.

These three follow from use of 9/11 as a pretext for war. Since the 9/11 attacks were state crimes against democracy, their purpose was to serve as a pretext for war. You must suffer a strike before you can strike back.

Did anyone, twenty years ago, think today’s United States could exist in 2018? What happened over the course of one generation, that we should find ourselves here, in this spot, with a cold civil war brewing at home? How did we arrive here?

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Fintan O’Toole: Trial runs for fascism are in full flow

Here is an article in Vox, where Laura Ingraham, Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, Kirsten Nielsen and company can all say, “See, I told you so,” whereas all of their critics can say with equal conviction, “See, I told you so.”

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“These photos were the Trump administration’s attempt to quiet criticism. They’re only increasing critics’ horror. A video of a Texas border detention center reveals children housed in metal enclosures.”

To get a flavor of the thinking at the southwest border processing centers, consider this reassurance from one of the people in charge:

“We’re trying to do the best that we can taking care of these children. Our goal ultimately is to reunite kids with their families,” Juan Sanchez, the CEO of Southwest Key, a nonprofit that runs the Brownsville site under government contract, told the Washington Post. “We’re not a detention center. … What we operate are shelters that take care of kids. It’s a big, big difference.”

Thank you for making us feel better about the whole thing. We try to be as humane as we can with our cruelty.

“The media is being bought by people who are beginning to position themselves as domestic enemies of this country.” ~ Tyler Matthew Harris, YouTube comment on discharge of immigrant recruits from the army