Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dear Rep. John Carter:

I am aware that you have toured the facility in Williamson County
currently being used to jail immigrants in federal custody awaiting asylum
in this country. I am also aware that you have determined that this
facility, a former prison, does not violate the provisions outlined in Flores v. Meese. I am
shocked by your judgement in this matter. Flores v. Meese stipulates, among other things, than children cannot be housed in prisons. How is the T. Don Hutto facility not a prison? Child detainees wear prison garb
and are not allowed to wear their own clothes. Children are detained in
small cells for roughly 12 hrs a day. They are forbidden from keeping toys
in these cells. They are given one hour of recreation per day and more
often than not they are not allowed to spend it outside. They are lined up and counted three times a day.
These children have inadequate access to medical, dental, and educational opportunities.
Guards frequently use the threat of separating children from their families as punishment.

The ACLU has recently filed lawsuits against the Department of Homeland
Security on behalf of many of the detainees. I ask that you reconsider
your stand on this issue and push forward a Congressional investigation
into this shameful situation occurring in our own backyard. No one is
questioning the right of the Federal Government to pursue its law
enforcement goals in relation to immigration. I simply ask that it is
pursued in a reasonable and humane manner, especially in regard to the

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Saturday Afternoon


I am standing in the kitchen. Ethan is in the bathroom screaming my name. He just had a bowel movement and he needs someone, preferably me, to wipe his ass. Gracie is cradled precariously in one of my arms, screaming for reasons only her 7 month old mind can discern. I hear a gurgling sound and look down just in time to catch undigested formula spurt from her mouth onto my shoulder. With my other hand I hold my cell phone and attempt to listen to the latest voicemail from a disgruntled employee who has been calling me all day, growing increasingly more hostile as he grows increasingly more drunk. My father stands in front of me trying to tell me something but between the screams of the children and the slurring voice on the phone I can't hear him. Something about a plastic container. I point to the phone in my ear in case he doesn't notice it and what it implies, and purposely tune him out. The voice on the phone is describing how much of a bastard I am. My father keeps talking though, and I can tell by the look on his face that whatever he wants, he wants it badly. Suddenly Sam appears, and she moves quickly past my father to the bathroom. I hear Ethan scream that he wants his Daddy but that doesn't stop Sam, and within moments she appears in the kitchen with Ethan in her arms. A look of relief washes over my father and he shuffles as fast as he can past her. The angry voicemail dribbles to an end as the door to the bathroom slams shut. Gracie is now smiling - her lips crusted with white vomit. Ethan whimpers.
"What was that all about?" I ask Sam, nodding toward the bathroom.
Your father was asking for a plastic container to pee in, Sam says. He had to go to the bathroom but Ethan was in there and he didn't think he could wait. He thought he would wet his pants.


This my life.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Seriously, lets' get rid of him

In his State of the Union address, the President outlined the "nightmare scenario" that could occur in Iraq if the United States is not successful there. Sadly, the picture he painted is probably true. Chaos will reign in the Middle East if we prematurely withdraw our troops and allow Iraq to fall into anarchy. We must be successful in Iraq. However, this scenario would not even be a possibility had his administration not created it. While there is, and should be, a debate on how to continue our involvement in Iraq, one thing can not be debated anymore: this President and his administration are to blame and they must be held responsible. In any other job, one would be fired for such gross mismanagement. If nothing else, the President's remarks tonight about the state of the war in Iraq should also serve as the primary case for his impeachment. We must demand that Congress move forward in that regard.

Seriously, let's get rid of this guy. A monkey would do a better job.