Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Chicken-Little Syndrome

Commonweal is up with my column examining the Chicken-Little Syndrome.

Everyone--or at least everyone I know--is suffering from it and the expectation of the worst-case scenario. It begins with Trump painting everything in the most dramatic words and dire images so that he can make "America Great Again."  And everyone else joins in...today the New York Times has begun to hint that Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve, will get what-for from Trump if the Fed actually raises interest rates. But she's a plucky girl I doubt she'll be intimidated.

The example in my column takes off from an op-ed piece by veteran war correspondent Tom Ricks raising the possibility that the immigration detention system will become another Abu Ghraib.  Sounds far-fetched. But....go read both columns and weigh in with your thoughts.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. There is one important difference between the circumstances of Abu Ghraib and the immigration detention centers under Trump. That is, there is no ocean separating the US from the detention centers; it isn't happening "somewhere else", it's right here. Theoretically at least, it should be easier to keep tabs on what is going on. Civilians need to exercise due diligence in holding ICE accountable.

  3. One of the important figures is the 64 percent of detention centers run by private corporations. That number will grow if the round-ups reach anything like Trump has promised. Once ICE (on whom we should keep tabs) detains someone, what access does anyone have to the private detention system. Not clear--at least to me. Anyone know?

  4. Margaret, I was wondering that, too. Also about access to government run centers. I know what the restrictions are, for instance, to visit someone in our county jail. But are these people considered prisoners? I can see where there might be a need for churches and charities to give them clothes and personal supplies, and offer assistance in communicating with family members who might not know where they are.