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This Is Not Even in the Continent of Normal

Charles P. Pierce
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Esquire

(Permanent Musical Accompaniment To The Last Post Of The Week From The Blog's Favourite Living Canadian)

What in the living hell was this about? From WBEZ in Chicago:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at O'Hare Airport released three American citizen children to their undocumented mother late Thursday afternoon. The children, all girls, ages 9, 10 and 13, had been held at the airport for more than 12 hours. Immigration lawyers, a representative from the Mexican Consulate and a congresswoman from Illinois met with federal officials at different points throughout the afternoon arguing for the release of the children. In addition, several advocates gathered at the international terminal at O'Hare for hours rallying in support of the family. After reuniting with her daughters, the girls' mother told reporters that she was afraid that she would be deported if she came to airport. The girls had been held there since 3 a.m. when they arrived from Mexico with a cousin. The cousin was also detained and, ultimately, ordered to return to Mexico. "In the morning I said, let me go pick them up but then I realized that our rights are not respected," said Silvia, the girls' mother, who would only give her first name.

They used three American citizens, who happen to be children, to bait their mother out of hiding. And all it takes to pry the kids loose is to show up with a couple of lawyers, a Mexican diplomat, and a sitting member of Congress. This is not normal. This is not within a continent of normal. No American citizen should be held without charge anyway, but they certainly shouldn't be held to function as bait. Take the badges out of play, and this is as open-and-shut a case of kidnapping and extortion as the Lindbergh case was.



Photo credit: Getty Images

Regulars here at the shebeen are familiar with the great work done by Eric Eyre of the Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia. It was Eyre's reporting, which got him a Pulitzer Prize, that revealed how pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies were dumping an incredible amount of opioids into several hard-hit corners of that state. Chickens, it appears, are coming home to roost.

A federal grand jury in Ohio has indicted two Southern West Virginia pharmacists and two former executives from a pharmaceutical company — one of the largest pain pill suppliers to Appalachia — on charges of conspiring to distribute controlled substances throughout the region.

The company is Ohio-based firm Miami-Luken, a pharmaceutical distribution firm. The two executives—Anthony Rattini and James Barkley—are both over 70. Samuel Ballengee, one of the indicted, pharmacists is from Ohio. The other, Devonna Miller-West, is from Oceana, West Virginia. There are fewer than 1,400 residents of Oceana and congressional investigators discovered that Miami-Luken funneled 4.4 million opioid pills into the town between 2008 and 2015. If these people get convicted, Eric Eyre at least should get an ear, the way matadors do.

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Not A Tear For You" (King Eggplant and the Melatauns): Yeah, I pretty much still love New Orleans.

Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: Here is the Japanese reaction to the landing on the moon of Apollo 11. You have to love the homemade LEM in the fountain, and the one on the TV set, behind the band. History is so cool.

Frankly, I'm getting a little tired. If it's not one damn thing, it's another.

Or, for a slightly more disturbing comparison: The total biomass of all adult humans on Earth is estimated to be 287 million tons. Even if you tack on another 70 million-ish tons to account for the weight of kids, it's still not equal to the total amount of food eaten by spiders in a given year, exceeding the total weight of humanity. In other words, spiders could eat all of us and still be hungry.

I would like to enlist the meth-gators into a formal alliance against the hungry, hungry spider conspiracy. I am accepting applications for the job of special envoy to the meth-gators.

Is it a good day for dinosaur news, KVUE-TV? It's always a good day for dinosaur news!

The new genus and species is identified as Aquilarhinus palimentus, named for its eagle-like nose and wide lower jaw...“This new animal is one of the more primitive hadrosaurids known and can therefore help us to understand how and why the ornamentation on their heads evolved, as well as where the group initially evolved and migrated from,” said lead author Dr. Albert Prieto-Márquez from the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont, near Barcelona. According to the press release, researchers believe the duck-billed dinosaur would have been shoveling through loose, wet sediments to scoop loosely-rooted aquatic plants from the tidal marshes of an ancient delta, where today lies the Chihuahuan desert. When the dinosaur died, it's believed the bones were transported downstream by the tide and became lodged in vegetation.

It took 35 years to identify this dude as a new species. That must have been fun for all of the people working on it and, as we knows, dinosaurs lived then to make us happy now.

The Committee was very sure that the Republican gubernatorial candidates in Mississippi and their very strange fears regarding their own penises was going to yield our Top Commenter of the Week. And Top Commenter Carole Mellin was up to the task.

Take away the Mrs. Butterworth syrup and my Aunt Jemima pancakes, I can't be alone with these women.

Why do Mississippi Republicans hate breakfast? Mrs. Paul also finds this rather fishy. Anyway, 88.11 Beckhams to you, good lady.

I'll be back on Monday, when Mueller Week (!) dawns (again.) The shebeen will be on the scene in our nation's capital for the event. Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snakeline, and keep an eye out for spiders. Meth-gators can't be everywhere, you know.

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