Saturday, October 24, 2020

Trump and moral Decline

Morality In discussing the contribution of Christian thought to modern notions of morality I posed that we go beyond talk of sexual behavior and include the concept of social Justice. In so doing Christianity spurred on or helped to foster our modern notions of human rights and the social good. Without these notions modern civilization might be merely an organized brigandage. With the concept of social justice the place of the individual in modern society is secured as valid and protected by law. This sets up the basis for work on human rights. As the nature of personhood recedes into scientific reductionism and the self becomes merely a side effect of brain chemistry. The net effect is the disvaluation of humanity. Even though a direct link might be impossible to prove it seems telling that we find an abandonment of human rights policy in American policy of today. Commitment to human rights is one the most quent essential aspects of civilized thinking and behavior. Yet we find a full scale retreat from commitment to human rights in American policy. The connection between human rights and the Gospel has not always been obvious. Yet a consensus has slowy emerged that human rights belong at the top of the Christian moral agenda:

The affirmation of human rights emerged painfully and belatedly in the Christian Church. The "deep biblical roots of human rights ideals" have, however, periodically been acknowledged and retrieved throughout the history of the church in an attempt to correct wrongs, repudiate theological support for abuses, and to pursue a more humane society. The history of the emergence of human rights within the Western Christian tradition, recognizes that religions develop in interaction with other social and cultural forces in society.... the relationship between Christianity and the human rights tradition can only enrich society to the extent that the relationship is sustained by mutual critique and correction.[1]
Perhaps the most visibly egregious aspect is the treatment of children and disillusion of families at the Southern boarder. Before the policy of separating families at the boarder was enacted as a matter of course by Attorney general Sessions the policy was rarely practiced. Sessions made it standard practice. Families are automatically separated children removed from parents, parents arrested.[2]

The policy did not include any attempt to reunite families no such mechanism was created. Many of the families have no way of being reunited. The children are placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of health and Human Services.[3] Trump's policy was not the result of Obama's policy and was much different. It was a matter of course whereas for Obama it was rare. “Immigration experts have told us that family separations were relatively rare under Obama and other past administrations. They did not happen at nearly the scale that they did under the Trump administration. ”[4] Conditions under which the children have been held are abysmal. Since July 2017 more than 5,400 children have been separated.

The ACLU said the administration told its attorneys that 1,556 children were separated from July 1, 2017, to June 26, 2018, when a federal judge in San Diego ordered that children in government custody be reunited with their parents. Children from that period can be difficult to find because the government had inadequate tracking systems. Volunteers working with the ACLU are searching for some of them and their parents by going door-to-door in Guatemala and Honduras.;'[5]

In theory the children were to be held for three days then sent to the Department of health and Human Services. In practice:
On Monday, after reports that hundreds of children were being held in horrific conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, the federal government announced that most of the children were being transferred to shelters run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services. Then, on Tuesday, the government partially reversed course, saying that approximately a hundred of the children had been returned to the Border Patrol facility, and that the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, John Sanders, would step down in the coming weeks. There are still hundreds of other children in Border Patrol facilities across Texas. Many of them have been separated from family members, and some of them have been held there for weeks. In response to their plight, Democrats in Congress are urgently trying to pass a four-and-a-half-billion-dollar border-aid package.[6]
  ABC news documemts boarer conditions.
In a report out Friday, the Homeland Security inspector general has found “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions at a Customs and Border Protection facility in El Paso, Texas, where hundreds more migrants were being housed than the center was designed to hold. ...The El Paso Del Norte Processing center housed as many as 900 migrant detainees earlier this month and, the report also found, the facility only has the capacity for 125. CNN first broke the news.[7]
The policy was enacted by the Trump administration to create a “negotiating tool.”[8]

That is in complete contradiction to Augustine's Principle of valuing humans as eternal creatures of God not reducing them to the level of mere tools. We love the eternal we use the temporal. This marks a total decline in commitment to human rights. This policy turns children into objects to be used as tools. “Dozens of parents are being split from their children each day — the children labeled “unaccompanied minors” and sent to government custody or foster care, the parents labeled criminals and sent to jail.”[9] I have argued with Republicans who advance the notion “but they are breaking the law.” But no, even people seeking asylum are treated this way. Seeking asylum is not breaking the law.

The administration has been a massive roll back on human rights and voting rights all along. The list is huge but on randon example:

On September 5, the Trump administration sent sweeping subpoenas to the North Carolina state elections board and 44 county elections boards requesting voter records be turned over by September 25. Two months before the midterm elections, civil rights advocates worried this effort would lead to voter suppression and intimidation.

Other examples:

On January 27, Trump signed an executive order – the first version of his Muslim travel ban – that discriminated against Muslims and banned refugees. On January 31, under new Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership, the Federal Communications Commission refused to defend critical components of its prison phone rate rules in federal court – rules that were ultimately struck down in June.

On February 3, Trump signed an executive order outlining principles for regulating the U.S. financial system and calling for a 120-day review of existing laws, like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The order was viewed as Trump’s opening attack on consumer protection laws.
On February 3, the FCC rescinded its 2014 Joint Sales Agreement (JSA) guidance, which had led to the only increase in television diversity in recent years.
On February 3, FCC Chairman Pai revoked the Lifelie Broadband Provider (LBP) designations for nine broadband service providers, reducing the number of providers offering broadband and thus decreasing the competitive forces available to drive down prices.

On February 9, Trump signed three executive orders “to fight crime, gangs, and drugs; restore law and order; and support the dedicated men and women of law enforcement.” The orders, though vague, were viewed suspiciously by civil rights organizations.[11]
The Trump administration is coming under fire for its refusal to engage with international human rights monitors over potential violations inside the US, from police brutality and executions to the abuse of migrant children at the border.Protests have poured in from organisations objecting to the government’s virtual boycott of established systems designed to protect human rights, after the US withdrew from the United Nations human rights council last year. Washington is accused of rebuffing official complaints from monitors, undermining human rights bodies and threatening officials with prosecution should they set foot on US soil.[12]

The state department claims to remain “deeply committed to the promotion and defense of human rights around the globe”[13] yet it declines comment on the allegations otherwise. "The cold shoulder given to some of the world’s most respected human rights experts marks an extraordinary about-turn for the US, which under previous presidents has prided itself for upholding standards. The US was central to the creation in 1945 of the UN, which is headquartered in New York."[14] Human right organizations find the pace of violations connected to the Trump administration is growing. Columbia law school human rights institute has developed the human rights tracker."It is difficult to keep up with all that the new administration is doing that threatens human rights. Each day brings fresh news of a damaging initiative by the President of the United States.This tracker was designed to help journalists, civil society organizations, and the general public understand how the Trump Administration is impacting human rights.[15]

The administration has signaled minimal support for rights but everything it has done suggests the opposite. They rolled back efforts to reduce over incarceration. One might be tempted to argue "what about over commission of crimes that make incarceration necessary?" Well consider state and federal jails hold over 2 million people,4.5 million on probation or parole.xviii Women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population that is across the nation. more than 700 percent between 1980 and 2016. Human Rights Watch documented  the lasting harm of jailing mothers pretrial, many of whom simply cannot afford bail in that state.32000 kids incarcerated in adult jails.[16][17]

The 121-page report, You Miss So Much When You're Gone:The Lasting Harm of Jailing Mothers Before Trial in Oklahoma, finds that jailing mothers even for short periods of time can result in overwhelming debt and loss of child custody. Based on more than 160 interviews with jailed and formerly jailed mothers, substitute caregivers, children, attorneys, service providers, child welfare employees, and advocates, this joint report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) documents the harms experienced by women with minor children jailed pretrial in Oklahoma – which incarcerates more women per capita than any other state.[18]

Mothers plead guilty ad don't fight charges because they have to get back  with the children. “Mothers are often presented with exorbitant bills for their jail stay in addition to other fines and fees, making it harder for them to get back on their feet and establish the stability they need to regain custody of their children.”[19]

There also racial inquiries:
Racial disparities permeate every part of the US criminal justice system. Black people are 13 percent of the population but close to 40 percent of those in prisons. They are incarcerated at more than five times the rate of white people. Black people use illegal drugs at similar rates to white people, but suffer drug arrests at significantly higher rates...According to the Washington Post, police reportedly shot and killed 876 people in the US as of the beginning of October. Of those killed, whose race is known, 22 percent were black. Of the unarmed people killed by police, 39 percent were black. The Justice Department rolled back efforts to investigate local police departments following credible reports of systemic constitutional violations. Some state governments have taken on this oversight role. Racial disparities in police use of force, arrests, citations, and traffic stops continue to exist.

Translates into voter suppression:

Millions of people Still cannot vote due to a patchwork of felony disenfranchisement laws across the country. However, in November, Florida voters approved a ballot initiative during the mid-term elections that restored the right to vote for 1.4 million residents with felony convictions. The initiative was one of several that states passed that advanced criminal justice reform, including an initiative in Colorado that removed language in the state constitution that permitted convicted criminals to be forced to work in prison without pay or restitution; an initiative in Florida, allowing sentencing reforms to be retroactive; one in Michigan that legalized marijuana for recreational use; and another in Washington state that strengthened police accountability.

Ted Galen Carpenter of the Cato institute harps on the inconsistency of American  foreign policy to staunchly support dictators throughout the 20th century while preaching democracy around the world. He Then states;"Likewise, the Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia’s murderous totalitarian theocracy remains exceeding close. despite Riyadh’s genocidal war in Yemen and other outrages."[22]

77 [1]Charles Villa-Vicencio, “Christianity and Human Rights,” The Journal of Luhern Ethics (March 1,2004) (accessed Jan 31, 2020) [2 (56)]Julie Hirschfield Davis and Michael D. Shear, “How Trump Came to Enforce a Pracoce of Seperatimg Migrant Families” The New York Times, (June 16, 2018)Archived from the Original on Hune 18 2018. [3]57] Liz Goodwin, (June 10, 2018). "'Children are being used as a tool' in Trump's effort to stop border crossings". The Boston Globe.  [4](58)Miriam Valverde, “Fqact check: Did Obama Have A Family Separation Policy Before Trump?” Stateman, (Posted June 25,2019) (accessed. June 25.2019) [5] (59)Associated Press, “More Than 5,400 Chioren Split at Border, Accordimg to Newcount.” NBCNewsNow,(Ot. 25.2019) (accessed. June 25.2019) [6](60)Isac Chotner, “Children Remain in Dangerous Conditions on Texas Boarder,” the New Yorker, (accessed. June 25.2019) (accessed Jan 30, 2020) [7](61)Quin Owen, “Nerly 900 Mints found at Texas Facility with 124 Person Capacity.” ABC News (May 31, 2019) (accessed Jan 30, 2020) [8](62)Michael Scherer and Josh Dawsey,. "Trump cites as a negotiating tool his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents". (June 15, 2018) The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 26, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2018. [9](63)Dara Lind, “The Trump Administration's Separation of Famillies at the oarder. Explaimed.” Vox (updated August 14,2018) (accessed. June 25.2019) [10]64)The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Trump Administration Civil and Human Rights Rollbacks, 2017,2018,2019 (accessed Jan 30, 2020) [11]65]Ibid [12]66]Ed Pilkington, "Trump Administration Ignoring Human rights monitors, UC:U Tells UN." The Guardian," (March 18,2019)  (accessed Feb 17,2020) [13]67]Ibid [14]68]Ibid [15]69]Columbia Law School, "Trump Administration Human Rights Tracker"A project by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review supported by Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute, No date the first date on the tracker is Oct 4, 2019.  (accessed Feb 17,2020) The Columbia Human Rights Law Review and Columbia Law School’s Rightslink, Human Rights Clinic, and Human Rights Institute launched this regularly updated tool at the start of Trump’s Presidency to keep track of the Executive Branch’s actions and their impacts on human rights. It summarizes the action taken by the administration, identifies the human rights implications, and provides links to sources where readers can find more detailed analysis.Input from those using this tool is welcome at counts as an “action” ?Relevant executive actions include executive orders, presidential memoranda, presidential proclamations, and signing statements; bill signings and presidential vetoes, determined on a case-by-case basis; and various agency actions, also determined on a case-by-case basis. Relevant executive actions do not include speculated executive actions (e.g., leaked drafts of executive orders) and rhetorical presidential statements (e.g., speeches and Tweets), and actions that do not have have real or purported legal effect. [16]70]Human's Rights Watchl "Events of 2018," Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth excective Director (2018) (accessed Feb 17,2020) [17]71]Ibid. [18]72]HRW. "US: Devastating Impact of Jailing Mothers," Human Rights Watch (September 26, 2018 12:01AM EDT) (accessed Feb 17,2020) [19]73]Ibid [20]74]Ibid [21]75]"Events 2018." Human rights watch op cit [22]76]Ibid [23]77]Ted Galen Carpenter "Washington's Incoherent Policy toward Dictators," Cato Institute (Jan 30,2019) Feb 17,2020)The American Conservative on January 30, 2019. The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.aka High class,scholarly, right wing


Jesse said...

I was wondering what you thought of this article?:

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

U entered the following comment for them: "That is idiotic. Trump is a shithole. Biden is a decent man. God does not need insane lairs and bully creeps to defend the gospel. You have been bran washed by politics."

Anonymous said...

Democrats are not Christians. You cannot faithfully serve God while being a democrat. Democrats think it is okay to kill and eat babies. Trump 2020

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you think you are a Christian? you do satan; work speaking lies and libeling people. No Dem is eating babies. That's a lie and you know it. Abortion is more complex than you make it out to be.

The Bible does not say abortion is wrong. The only penalty for killimg a fetus is monetary.

Anonymous said...

You are not a Christian because you support the murder of innocent people. It is really that simple. You do not care about huan life and do not give it dignity, before birth or after birth.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

You are talking about abortion. you don't know m position on abortion, You assume you know because I'm a Democrat. That is a stupid assumption.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Republicans make a big show of concern for the unborn, They vest them with personshood so they can call it murder They don't give a damn about people. They want opt kill poor people. They go out of their way to kill the poor.

Republicans are not protecting human life they are punishing women for having sex.