Where Do We Begin?

A key witness in the case that ICE displayed a pattern of abuse and harassment towards detained people was deported earlier this week.

I do not want to go into detail about that particular case, but rather express the sort of thought process that I find follows these news stories. This is how my mind reacts to the stories, but I suspect based on the number of people feeling overwhelmed by everything that many experience something similar.

Because where do we begin? How do we address problems when the problems each have swarms of people intent on defending them as non-issues while the issues themselves are so interconnected?

Every attempt I make to figure out where I can make an impact in the world seems to lead in a circle of “everything is a dumpster fire.”


We need to do something about ICE. I don’t know if they’re as draconian as some people say and we need to abolish them, but clearly we need at least to revise how they go about things.

Policing in general, really. “A few bad apples,” but that’s enough to warrant reviewing the entire process because we have far too many incidents of improper conduct by officers with little or no consequence.

That might have to do with the court system though. Same with ICE. I’m sure immigration courts play a role in how all of that unfolds.

Of course, the courts are packed with political appointees. The parties figured out how to co-opt the judicial branch by appointing judges sympathetic to their policies rather than objective professionals to act as checks and balances on anything except the other party.

And that’s just the court. The penal system needs revision. Jails and prisons are packed with people who probably do not need to be there and at least some who are innocent. Especially in cases where people with few resources have to compete against organisations or wealthy people who can afford protracted legal battles.

The immigration system as a whole is kind of ridiculous. We obviously need immigrants for the country to function and grow, so we need a working system for people to immigrate and seek asylum.

Not that it matters when so many people distrust immigrants anyway – at least certain ones. People from the countries Americans don’t like won’t just stop coming to the United States though. Things are too bad where they live.

The United States is at least partially responsible for a lot of that. Like Central and South America. Our actions played a role in the political instability in most of those countries, so we have to play a diplomatic role in fixing them.

Funny how Americans blame people from these countries for bringing drugs, violence, and prostitution into the country. There’s a market for those things here, no respectable person can be seen conducting such a business, and we’ve shut off their access to other income sources so of course they’re going to pursue these avenues.

And most of the drug issue seems to be opioids anyway, and those are coming from licensed medical practices. Doctors over-prescribed them for years and we have a poor system for treating substance abuse issues.

Man, healthcare is a mess and insurance is a big part of that.

And that’s just, like, “healthcare” because they don’t count substance abuse or mental health as part of that. Those services are even worse.

People treat those with substance abuse and mental health issues kind of the same as nurses in that respect: “Thoughts and prayers” but with no supporting action behind it.

Teachers, too. Everyone loves the teachers until they start teaching. You see a lot of that during COVID. People talk a big game about teachers and then they’re just out there with no support.

When will COVID end? I remember as a kid in the 90s they were talking about the threat of a global pandemic, referring back to the Bubonic plague and Spanish Flu about how unprepared we still are.

The world is more connected now. The Bubonic plague was one thing in the Middle Ages where only a handful of people travelled any sort of distance to spread things. People are constantly moving about the planet now so stuff will spread like wildfire.

Speaking of, these wildfires in California are still out of control. Again. Just like the Gulf Coast is bracing for a hurricane. Again. How do people still not accept the threat of global warming?

No one is going to address global warming until it becomes “economically feasible” – which is just a way of saying it costs too much for them to be bothered right now. Later when it’s more affordable or they absolutely have to (in a Bruce Willis landing on an asteroid since of “absolutely have to”) they will start to take action.

Capitalism is such a disaster. It’s supposed to be a fair, merit-based economic system for people, but it serves only money. And “money” is a handful of people at this point with a growing income gap, stagnant wages, and increasingly stressed, aging workforce.

That’s part of the reason immigration is so important to a country – to revitalise the workforce.

Oh, right. That thing with ICE.

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