From saving children to separating them

It sounds like something out of the Bible.  12 young boys of the Thai “Wild Boars” soccer team and their coach were trapped in a flooded cave system three miles long. Against the odds, their rescuers found them. Then the monsoon rains held off. Then the rescuers parted the waters by pumping massive amounts out of the caves. Finally they shepherded the children and the coach, most of whom couldn’t swim, through four hours of pitch black, underwater caverns, to daylight and safety. One Thai Navy Seal died in the process. For observers worldwide, the saga inspired poetry and prayers.

For Trump it inspired a tweet: “Such a beautiful moment – all freed, great job!”

Meanwhile, back in the US, after Trump reversed his “separation” policy weeks ago, only 54 of 102 children taken from their parents since early May have been returned to their parents. When ICE grabbed them, they sent them all over the country. Now they can’t find many or their parents.  Too bad they didn’t put them in a cave in Thailand.

There’s a simple solution to this, of course, but more on that later.

Meanwhile, Trump selected Brett Kavanaugh as his Supreme Court nominee. Because we’ll be living with that decision long after the “Wild Boars” have become parents themselves, you might want to know something about Kavanaugh’s judicial decisions.

He favors Wade over Roe: “the government has permissible interests in favoring fetal life, protecting the best interests of a minor, and refraining from facilitating abortion.”  So, if you’re anti-abortion, be happy. If you believe women should decide for themselves what to do with their own bodies, you may have a bad several decades, because, if Roe v Wade comes back to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh will vote against you.

He favors religious beliefs over individual freedoms such as sexual orientation and/or abortion: “the regulations substantially burden the religious organizations’ exercise of religion because the regulations require the organizations to take an action contrary to their sincere religious beliefs.” If you are like the baker who denied a cake to a gay couple, or an institution that thinks birth control is ungodly, you will be happy. If you’re one of the 62% who support gay marriage, or the 70% who support Roe v Wade, not so good.

Kavanaugh favors loosening climate change regulation. According to him the EPA “exceeded its statutory authority” in regulating greenhouse gases. If you’re into buggy whip industries like coal, that’s good news. If you’re into surviving climate change, good luck.

He favors predatory financial practices over protection of the individual, calling The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “a headless fourth branch of the US Government”. If you’re a payday lender or a Wells Fargo type, you win. If you’re broke or unaware of banking tricks, you lose.

He favors gun rights over gun control. ”Handguns — the vast majority of which today are semi-automatic — are constitutionally protected” and  “semi-automatic rifles are also constitutionally protected”. The NRA will cheer. Others will fear.

Here’s the one I suspect sold Trump on Kavanaugh: “Congress might consider a law exempting a President — while in office — from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel.” When Trump said, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” he wasn’t kidding.

Remember George Washington’s refusal to be crowned king by the colonists? Quaint, huh.

But I digress.

Here’s an idea for reuniting those children with their parents. Call Facebook, or Tinder, or any other social media site. Have them put pictures of every kid on a web page. On another web page, put pictures of every parent. Then ask each kid to click on the picture of their parent and each parent to click on the picture of their kid. Bingo!

As to vetting? Ask child and parent to name the other’s favorite song or name a grandparent or describe their home or a birthmark or scar or any other identifying mark only a family member would know. In the time it takes sign up for a dating service, parent and child can find each other.

I don’t know about Trump, but to me, that would be a beautiful moment.

(If you like this, pass it on. If you don't, pass it on anyway. Why should you suffer alone?)