All across our nation families will celebrate Father's Day. Some will go to a ball game, others a grill & chill in the back yard. In some parts of America children will wonder where their father is, who their father was and struggle with the concept of being fatherless. It's Sunday and that means Sunday Morning Coffee is brewing. Thank you for clicking through let's get into it.
"We're taking him to get a bath..."
Those were the words of armed immigration officials who, by force, take children away from their mothers and fathers and spirit them off; not to return. I read those words in a report from Time Magazine last week
and it has haunted me since. Our nation has become a cruel mockery of freedom. We have now, with the total and unconditional support of so many elected officials, sunk to place where there is no moral rational for our actions. America is better than this...or should be. The moment I read the article an image, the one that is here, came rushing to my mind. These actions by the United States will come back to haunt us.
But, it is nothing new. This morning, all across this nation, people have bowed their heads in reverent prayer mouthing words that have no meaning. Empty words of compassion and care only to raise their heads and then turn a blind eye at the cruel and unjust society we have become...and so many tolerate. Why? Because it is happening to "those people". To "those people" and not "my people". The silos of society have become hardened beyond comprehension. It is a sad day and a sad time. Mercy and compassion have left the building and, mark this down, our silence in the face of such inhumane activity will be remembered.
Those are the words of a government care-giver at a 60 bed shelter along the Texas border with Mexico. A little girl, no older than 2, was screaming and pounding her fists on a mat. The witness to this event last week is Dr. Colleen Kraft the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics who, along with several colleagues, had heard about what was going on and made a visit to this shelter run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Kraft said the workers at the shelter were making sure the children were fed, that they had toys and clean diapers but there were imposed limits. The workers could not pick the children up, console them nor could they go and get their parents.
It is part of the "zero tolerance" program of the United States of America. Even though mothers and fathers come to this country to seek asylum they are treated as criminals. Locked up and moved to, now dozens, of detention centers they are separated from other family members and their children and wait.(photo: Washington Post)
They could be the lucky ones.
Get Off the Bus
In other parts of the nation...like in Maine...Immigration and Custom Enforcement officers are boarding buses and asking for identification of travelers. Even bus drivers are saying, "The people who ride this bus must be legal United States residents." We have seen all of this before only it was 80 years ago and it was in Europe. Have we become what we fought against? This is madness.
I remember the signs. Each month I travel to Mason City, Iowa to conduct services for the Jewish congregation Adas Israel. All through the 2016 campaign I saw "Farmers for Trump" signs in fields and tacked to trees along Interstate 35. Farmers in Polk, Story, Hamilton, Wright, Franklin and Cerro Gordo counties were proudly proclaiming their support of the candidate that promised them a better life and that they would, under his administration, "never feel neglected again".
On Friday corn and soybean futures were down...again. Corn for September delivery was off by two cents falling to $3.70 a bushel. Meanwhile soybeans for July and August fell by over 21 cents to settle at $9.05 and $9.11 the lowest prices in nearly a year. The driver off all this? Tariffs imposed by Mexico and China. And we haven't even started to feel the pinch of higher equipment prices as steel and aluminium get wacked. Why all of this matters is that what happens on the farm impacts all of Iowa. While the Iowa Republican Party can, as they did yesterday at their state convention, loudly cheer "45" and his policies rural Iowa is falling apart. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) told the crowd everything is just hunky dory. Except it ain't. But, please, do not get lost in the facts.
Last week I attended the 28th Annual Iowa Juneteenth Observance and Community Builders Appreciation Banquet. Hundreds of people turned out to celebrate the efforts of so many as they seek to "build community" across Iowa. The keynote speaker was television news journalist Soledad O'Brien. During her address she said something that gave me pause. "America is better than what is going on. For example I thought we had this whole good bad debate about Nazis decades ago. But it seems not." She is right. Not only Nazis but our nation now heaps praise on dictators like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un and Xi Jinping while ripping allies like Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and Enrique Pena Nieto. Let that soak in for a bit. Odd...so very odd.
Dogs and Guns
I totally missed this but offer it up for you, just in case it got by you as well:
"The Economy is Booming!"
Every day, soon to start my 6th year, I write the business news and deliver it during Insight on Business the News Hour (if you want to peek follow the link). So six days a week I come face to face with economic data and trends. One of the stunning items from last week wasn't the Fed raising the interest rate by a quarter of a percent it was a line tucked into the Wednesday report that spoke to inflation, "...we see better inflation expectations".
What exactly does that mean? It means that while economic growth continues to increase so too will inflation and when inflation increases your "buying power" decreases. This is troubling at a time when wages for non supervisory personal are now down by one-tenth of a percent as of May.
So, let's do the math: Wages are flat + Inflation is up = Less jingle in your pocket
But, as our governor says, "Everything is just fine".
Mental Health - Not In My Backyard
It was a stunning meeting and I knew several of the people who attended a public forum on a proposed mental health facility that is being proposed in the City of Clive. The Des Moines Register reported that many of the people attending were upset that Mercy Health Care wants to build a mental health care facility there and even suggested people with mental illness could be taken to "downtown Des Moines and placed in the old jail there". Fear is an amazing thing. So too is education. We could use a little less fear in this case.
My father has been dead since July of 1987. He was 68 years old. Yeah he smoked, he drank beer and cussed like the sailor he once was. But I knew and loved him and our kids had the chance to know and love him. That was a blessing. Was he a good Dad? Sure. He worked way too hard and he played way too hard yet he was always there for his family. That too was a blessing.
Our son is now a father and I see lots of my father in him. Steady, caring, drinks a little beer and he is always there for his family. That's important and I am grateful.
It's the kids who don't have a father around that worries me. Some of you know that our 10 year-old granddaughter lives with her mother and us. I share our home with three women. While that can be a challenge it's also an opportunity. Jovie has never known her father. Never. When she came to live with us three years ago I didn't think much of that. But, over the past couple of years it's been more of an issue. So, you do what you can. Go to the ball games, to the school, out to lunch or just hang out at the Dollar Store. It's sort of like I get a "do over" when it comes to being a parent...a father. This morning, in my office, this is what I found.
I'm pretty damn lucky.
Have a wonderful Sunday and a fantastic Father's Day.