The Associated Press correspondent at the border just reported that we’ve started tear-gassing toddlers: 

The context is that asylum-seekers have been trapped in overstretched shelters in Mexico by a series of policy changes by the Trump administration and agreements between the Trump administration and the Mexican government, and today a group of refugees marched to the U.S. border to request dialogue + petition to be allowed to make the asylum claim that under standard interpretations of international law they are entirely entitled to make. The U.S. closed the border crossing. One woman with a tear-gassed three-year-old told reporters that the U.S. launched tear gas at the crowd when some refugees started trying to squeeze through the fence. No one crossed into the U.S. Thanks to the strong winds, migrants who weren’t near the fence were still choked by it. 

It would be legal and manageable under U.S. law to admit every one of these families, give their case for asylum a hearing in a court of law, and allow private charities and churches to provide for their safety and settlement in the U.S. pending those cases. The administration decided to make this their hill to die on instead, and has pushed for the use of lethal force

There’s a really dangerous and scary phenomenon where someone becomes convinced that any shred of humanity or decency they show will be a foot in the door, and that their only option is to keep buckling down, and to take all failures to get what they want as evidence they weren’t forceful enough. It’s the spiral of escalation that leads to choking toddlers with gas grenades and feeling like you’re in the right because if you granted these people a hearing some of them would stay in the country and that’d encourage more of them and there’s no way at all to reach any kind of equilibrium except vicious violence at the outset, made more vicious every time the current level of force fails to get everything you want from every single person out there. I’m scared that the forces at the border will keep escalating.

I don’t really know a good way to have institutional checks that go “our objective here is not that we win and they lose, no matter what; our objectives also include not being drawn into tear-gassing toddlers.” 

Don’t rush the border. It’s not complicated.


Don’t tear gas toddlers. It’s not complicated.

Look, the entire thing I’m trying to communicate here is that if you’re willing to do serious harm to everyone within several hundred yards whenever anyone fails to comply with your rules, then you are guaranteed to end up constantly doing serious harm to tons of innocent people. Guaranteed. You can come up with a story about how it’s not your fault, it’s the fault of whoever stepped out of line, but you are the person who adopted a policy under which it was guaranteed that you’d do this, because ‘we’ll do serious harm to everyone in the vicinity whenever anyone disobeys us’ will, every single time, lead to tear-gassing toddlers. 

You will never successfully get a large mass of desperate people with no clear avenue to saving their lives to one hundred percent, uniformly, obey your rules. Therefore, any mercy that you’re only willing to offer under those conditions is meaningless, and you get no credit for it, and you are just a cruel tyrannical clusterfuck tear-gassing toddlers and telling yourself it’s okay since you’d hypothetically be merciful under conditions that could never possibly obtain in the real world.

Also, how the fuck could the toddlers have avoided this, exactly? Been born somewhere else? 

Commit to folding whenever anyone chooses to harm themselves due to your announced policies & guess what: people will immediately choose to do so. We have only 2 choices: have a totally open border, which *no one but a tiny fraction of people wants*, or enforce the border no matter how cute the attacking army chooses to make themselves. Since I’d rather have a country with high trust and functioning institutions, this is the choice. (Also, read Beggars in Spain (and the Sleepless were right.))



“We only have two options” is precisely the sort of false rationalizations of continuing to double down far past the point where that advances your goals that I’ve been talking about in the last several posts. No, we don’t only have two options. That’s why in the first post I mentioned that we could have allowed people to apply for asylum, considered their cases individually, and granted the asylum cases that were legitimate. That is obviously not ‘having a totally open border’. If you hate that option, we could also have arrested the handful of people trying to scale the fence, with the five thousand troops we’ve chosen to station at the border, instead of tear gassing the whole area. 

Anyone who says “our only options are a totally open border or infinite willingness to escalate whoever is in the way” is lying to justify atrocities, or else has not spent three minutes thinking about ways to protect a heavily guarded, fenced border against unarmed civilians without tear gassing children.

Also, “attacking army” is a flat out lie. The immigrants are regular people, unarmed, walking up to the border and not trying to hurt anyone.




So fucking cute.

the bear just agrees to start jumping with him like “alright yeah let’s do that”

If I’m not mistaken, this is one of the two Andes Bears at the Nashville Zoo! When I went there, the bears were fighting each other, and when I asked the zookeeper if it was friendly or not (because they were beating the crap out of each other) he said that they’re siblings, and they do that every day.

In that moment, I understood the Andes Bear on an emotional level.





i don’t think people understand that people can ‘love’ you and not actually love you

like my grandmother ‘loved’ me, but she also was always trying to change me.  she tried to take me away from my (catholic bisexual) mother.  she made me wear dresses when i was there.  she always tried to get me to go to church and was always asking me if i was dating a boy yet

i spent years feeling guilty that i wasn’t what she wanted me to be until my mom told me one day “she never bothered to know the real you”

and it’s true.  any time i tried to show her something about myself, even cook for her, it would be dismissed, and a replacement would be offered.  even northern food was somehow a sin.  

she loved me what she thought i should be, she never loved me.  

bc people who love you, they love you for all the stuff that makes you you.  they never consider that it makes you inconvenient.

“It was true: the other mother loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold.“

Loving someone like a prized possession is a very different thing from loving someone like a person you care about.


This is so true…

If you love YOUR IDEA of someone, but not the REALITY of that person, you don’t love them.  If you love what you think that they can be made into, you don’t love them. 


THIS GUY WAS HITTING ON ME AND MAKING ME SUPER UNCOMFORTABLE, SO I TOLD HIM I HAVE A BOYFRIEND (because he seemed like one of those guys who, whilst they don’t respect women, they do respect another man’s “claim” on a woman) AND HE WAS LIKE “PROVE IT; SHOW ME A PICTURE” SO I SHOWED HIM THE BACKGROUND ON MY MOBILE AND HE BELIEVED ME