“The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.”
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”- Winston Churchill, Nov. 21, 1943
DJ awoke feeling content. His jaw was sore but tolerable. His belly still had a satisfied feeling from last night’s late stew. He arose early and enjoyed the cool sunrise and calm of the morning. Of course the heat of the day was already rising. Eventually the ground outside the compound would reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit. But it did not occur to DJ that this was uncomfortably hot to his immediate ancestors. To him it was just another Spring day.
When Gerry woke he looked at DJ with some hesitation. DJ was already hard at work digging the daily hole. DJ smiled at Gerry, “Mornin, old man.” Gerry snorted and got up, “Yep.” he nodded to DJ in approval.
They finished their morning routine in the comfortable silence that frequently reigned over their friendship, and then walked to the fields. Gerry nodded to the guard on the way into the work area. They both filled their canteens and grabbed a hoe. They began to break up the hard matted desert soil of one of the fields with the other people from the area. To the side of the field was the somewhat decomposed organic waste of the people who lived inside the fort. This would be worked into the soil by DJ, Gerry and two dozen or so others. Finally, they would plant the row and water it with water that was foamy and sour smelling, also from the fort. Water that was undrinkable and had been used for some unknown purpose by the fort people.
As the people worked in the field there was good natured community. As DJ and Gerry bent to their work, DJ spotted Andy. Andy seemed like a good kid to DJ and he liked him and his family. Andy’s mother was obviously pregnant and DJ did not see her in the field today. The father had moved on before her condition was discovered. DJ worked his way closer to Andy to inquire as to the whereabouts of his mother. He found out that Molly was absent because she had had her baby last night, as DJ had suspected. DJ laughed at this news and clapped Andy on the back. He then turned and shouted to the field in general, “Hey folks. Molly had her baby last night!”
There were a few murmurs of congratulations, but they were half-hearted. “What do ya say we give her a baby shower?” There was a pause as people took a break and leaned on their garden tools. Then one of the older women, Rhonda, spoke. “Yeah. I guess that would be only fittin.” She said this with a heavy sigh.
Daniel, who had 4 kids of his own, said, “Its up to her family to provide. Just like it is for all of us.”
Arthur, Rhonda’s partner, chimed in “Things have been good lately. Ya all know ya can afford it.”
Sarah offered, “If ya can’t afford it then ya don have to do it.” There was a general murmur of consent.
“It’s decided then.” DJ said and looked back at Andy who looked mortally embarrassed.
DJ and the rest bent back to the work at hand. Pausing for social reasons was tolerated, to some degree, but taking too long a break would get you noticed by the Blackwaters and was likely to get you a painful punch or kick. Or worse…no rations for the day’s work.
DJ’s mind wandered, as it often did in the field. He began to think about his own mother. His mother, before she had died of the Plague at the ripe old age of 45, had told him stories about the before times. Before it got hot. When there was a seeming abundance of everything. He had thought she was partially crazy because she talked about “cars”. Apparently everyone had a car and went zooming around at break neck speed all day in them. She spoke of learning to read in schools and of getting food in grocery stores. Cooking dinner at night on or in a big, magic box called an “oven” that did not need fire. Getting medicine when you were sick. Collectively choosing how they would be run things in their lives. All of this was madness as far as DJ’s experience was concerned. But he had met others, including Gerry, who had heard similar stories. Was this some sort of mythology they all shared or did these things once, long ago actually exist? Who could say?
If they did exist the people before DJ’s time must have chosen poorly, or their offspring would not be in such a sorry state. The only ones to have abundance, schools, vehicles of any sort, and choices now were inside the forts. America was dotted with these estates….forts. People who were wealthy at the beginning of the end of America and could afford to lock themselves away with the last of the ground water and guard it with armies for hire. They had the last of the weapons, fruit trees, and farm animals. They even had entertainment-you could hear laughter and music at times coming from the compound. Maybe they could even make children. Many of the people outside had lost that ability. Molly was a rarity and so she was treated well by this community. Molly was friendly and always willing to help. She was well liked. That is why the colony had agreed to a “baby shower”.
DJ’s parents had been from a place called Nebraska. Of course this land no longer existed. It was part of the Great American Dessert. GAD for short. According to his mother it had once produced most of the food for the nation. Now it was as barren as the people who came from there. DJ’s parents had fled the advancing sand storms as the once fertile land dried and the wind blew the top soil into giant clouds. They had headed west.
It was on this trek that DJ had been born. His mother had gone into labor during one of the worst storms they had encountered. She delivered in an abandoned farm house they had come across. They were using it as an emergency shelter from the storm. His father delivered him and laughed and cried when he was born healthy and whole. His mother had named him Jack, but it was his father who dubbed him Disaster Jack as a reference to the storm they had endured during his entrance into the world. Jack had idolized his father and thus adopted the nickname with a certain degree of pride. DJ for short. Jack’s father died when Jack was only 7 yrs old. He had gone to get his family rations and died in the riot that ensued when the food ran out.
After his mother’s death, when he was 19, DJ had wandered for a long time, trying to find some place better. But all of the places were more or less the same. So he had ended up camping at Fort Cheney and meeting up with Gerry. It was here that they both heard the stories told by one of the people traveling through. Stories of standing water and plentiful food in the North. Of men doing work for their own benefit and not for the benefit of those who lived in forts and held water for ransom. Of coyotes who would help you get there…for a price.
DJ’s attention was brought back to the present when he noticed a young man named Darren positioning himself near one of the more handsome girls in the group. He was so obviously smitten that he barely paid attention to what he was doing, hitting his toe with his spade and dancing up and down for a few seconds trying not to be noticed. He was apparently successful, as the girl did not even seem to see him. DJ nudged Gerry and motioned with his eyes to the couple. Gerry followed DJ’s eyes. After a few seconds of watching the boy Gerry chuckled and shook his head. He went back to his work, but he was clearly amused by the scene.
For lunch they got a small apple and some rice and beans wrapped in a cabbage leaf. DJ took out his knife and cut the rice and bean roll in half. He and Gerry shared the roll and gave Gerry’s roll to Molly as a “shower” gift. Others filed by Andy doing likewise. The boy tucked the food in a sack and thanked each person who gave him something. At the end of lunch Andy placed the sac by the door, knowing no one would touch it.
They were able to get the compost mixed into the ground in the classic double digging style by the end of the day, but the field would not be planted until tomorrow. They covered the field with a giant cloth to keep it cool and moist. The guards brought out the evening rations. There was a large container of water. Everyone would get one gallon to take home. You had to bring your own container though. More apples, beans, rice, and this time squash. All this went into a can, a sack or another container that the worker brought.
As soon as the guards brought out the food all work stopped in the fields. For a moment, instead of the relief people usually felt at the end of a day of hard work, the tension seemed to increase in the air. The workers stood motionless watching the carts being wheeled into place. Once they were in their accustomed places no one moved for several silent, tense seconds. DJ sighed audibly. Then Andy walked over to get the sack he had deposited at the door and lined up at the water container. He filled both his and his mother’s container. No one stopped him from taking 2 gallons instead of the accustomed one. He went on through the line and was given 2 of everything. The Blackwaters could occasionally be generous. A woman lined up after the boy and slowly the people joined the queue.
As DJ passed the disinterested guards, one of them suddenly lunged and grabbed him by the arm. DJ dropped his canteen and his rations. He tried to wrest his arm free and began to struggle desperately against the guard.
Gerald came to his aide but the guard nearest the fray wheeled and pointed a gun at Gerry, “This is no business of yours old man.” Gerald froze and raised his hands in submission. He had seen this once too often. The guards only took young, healthy men-like DJ. They never took any one Gerald’s age. They would simply shoot Gerald and leave him there to die. Gerry knew that once the Blackwater’s chose you, you were taken inside and never seen again. He racked his brain for something to save DJ and tried a different tactic with the guard, “Ya don’t want him. He’s got bad teeth. No good for anything once they got bad teeth. Don even live that long usually.”
The guard took no notice of Gerald’s plea. Instead he turned, his attention was drawn to the struggle between DJ and the other guard as DJ landed a punch and the guard’s nose began to gush blood.
DJ twisted, punched and kicked. He almost managed to get away from the guard who had grabbed him when a second guard came up behind him and grabbed a handful of Jack’s shirt. DJ ducked his torso down trying to use the guards own momentum to throw the new advisory over his back and on the ground. The second guard stumbled and fell to DJ’s side but his feet remained on the ground and he still had a hand on DJ’s shirt. He was using the shirt to pull DJ back and down toward the ground as the first guard tried to get an arm around DJ’s neck.
A third guard approached at a trot. DJ fought with all of his might to get free before the third’s arrival. He tried slipping his shirt over his head but the first guard had his arm and the top of his head and was pulling him down, trying to grab DJ’s neck. DJ was off balance and leaning toward his left where the two guards stood. His right side was largely exposed. Still at a trot the third guard approached DJ’s exposed abdomen and raised the butt of his rifle and brought it down in DJ’s right side. DJ collapsed. He choking and gasped for breath. The guard, who DJ had bloodied, took this opportunity to kick DJ with his heavy boot in the other side of the abdomen.
The newest arrival then bent down, stripped the small knife off of DJ’s waist and threw it to the ground. The other two guards picked DJ up by the shoulders and dragged him off while he was still sputtering and gasping.
Gerry stood trembling and watching as DJ disappeared behind the fort walls. He had seen so much in his life, but he had never felt as helpless as this. DJ was his best friend and he had been a good friend. Yet Gerry could do nothing for him.
Slowly the line for food reformed. The guards did not take someone every day but they never stole more than one a day. The line for food progressed as if nothing had happened. They had all seen it before.
Gerald looked at the ground where DJ had last stood. He caught sight of DJ’s knife. Slowly Gerald bent to pick it up. He contemplated it for a moment in shock and misery. Then he pocketed the knife. He turned, collected his rations and left the field.
Gerald took his rations to their camp site. He dug up the canister of hidden water. There was enough to pay for his own passage plus a little extra. That was good because he would need extra for his trip to the Coast and the coyote. Gerald would skip work the next day to go to the dump to scavenge parts. He would make a cart to haul the water by himself.
He was going to Canada.
The Concepts Behind the Fiction:
1.) Control Freaks:
What is it about having control over another human being that is so compelling? To me it is difficult to understand. I was thrilled, if a little nostalgic, every time my children achieved a new skill that allowed them to operate a little more independently. Being in control of someone implies responsiblity. It seems like that would not be that appealing when it comes to strangers. Yet if our behavior towards each other compared to the rest of the world is any indication, then we Americans are a nation of control freaks:
The statistic is sobering: “A record 7 million people, or one in every 32 American adults, were behind bars, on probation or on parole by the end of last year,” the Associated Press 2006 …….
Indeed, the United States leads the world in producing prisoners, a reflection of a relatively recent and now entirely distinctive American approach to crime and punishment. Americans are locked up for crimes — from writing bad checks to using drugs — that would rarely produce prison sentences in other countries. And in particular they are kept incarcerated far longer than prisoners in other nations.
Criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized nations say they are mystified and appalled by the number and length of American prison sentences…… The United States comes in first, too, on a more meaningful list from the prison studies center, the one ranked in order of the incarceration rates. It has 751 people in prison or jail for every 100,000 in population. (If you count only adults, one in 100 Americans is locked up.)
The only other major industrialized nation that even comes close is Russia, with 627 prisoners for every 100,000 people. The others have much lower rates. England’s rate is 151; Germany’s is 88; and Japan’s is 63.
The median among all nations is about 125, roughly a sixth of the American rate….. (Sweden imprisons about 80 people per 100,000 of population; Minnesota, about 300; and Texas, almost 1,000. Maine has the lowest incarceration rate in the United States, at 273; and Louisiana the highest, at 1,138.)……
“Far from serving as a model for the world, contemporary America is viewed with horror,” James Q. Whitman, a specialist in comparative law at Yale, wrote last year in Social Research. “Certainly there are no European governments sending delegations to learn from us about how to manage prisons.”
Prison sentences here have become “vastly harsher than in any other country to which the United States would ordinarily be compared,” Michael H. Tonry, a leading authority on crime policy, wrote in “The Handbook of Crime and Punishment.”
Indeed, said Vivien Stern, a research fellow at the prison studies center in London, the American incarceration rate has made the United States “a rogue state, a country that has made a decision not to follow what is a normal Western approach.” ….. The spike in American incarceration rates is quite recent. From 1925 to 1975, the rate remained stable, around 110 people in prison per 100,000 people….. NYT
Why? Why do we put so many of our citizens in jail? Clearly some belong there. They have committed violent crimes. They have harmed people or even killed people. Incarceration keeps them from doing it again. But they are not the only ones in prison:
In 1980, there were about 40,000 people in American jails and prisons for drug crimes. These days, there are almost 500,000…..NYT
But there are other ways to stop someone for kiting checks (like not allowing them a checking account). And wouldn’t drug rehab be a better place for drug users? Regardless of how you feel about drug use or check kiting, isn’t there a better way to treat those problems.
ABC reported in 2006, “Aside from the huge financial cost of having so many people behind bars — it costs more than $20,000 per year for every incarcerated prisoner — experts say there are serious societal concerns that can have a lasting impact on American communities.” …… Typical Jail Income Per Prisoner: Low Security Jail $70 to $90 per day Medium Security Jail $350 per day High Security Jail $500 per day
Per day charge for arresting a person in neighboring county: $1,500 per day. Liberty for Life
While the direct cost of housing a prisoner for a day is more than most of us spend in a day on vacation, there are other indirect costs as well to consider. People in jail are not productive members of society. They are not getting paid and so they are not paying taxes themselves. Many of them are parents, and in jail they become absentee parents. Most households require two incomes, and when a parent goes to jail the children have to do without the parent and their income. This frequently leaves the family requiring public assistance. It also puts a huge amount of stress on children, making them more likely to be incarcerated themselves.
Children are psychologically more vulnerable than adults because immature nervous systems cannot handle intense emotions. Children in stressed families need more time and attention, more calming and soothing; however, these are the times when parents have the least to give. Not surprisingly, sickness and stress in parents is strongly correlated with emotional problems in children. In such situations, parents and children can become trapped in a cycle of deprivation, where adult stress triggers child distress and child distress elevates adult stress. Whether professionals treat the overwhelmed parent or the distressed child, the social problem of overwhelmed families is rarely acknowledged.
When most people hear the phrase “childhood trauma,” they think of child abuse. In fact, most childhood trauma is not abuse. Children are most frequently traumatized by separations — when a parent is injured, imprisoned, deported, or dies, and when family members are dislocated by war and other disasters. Youngsters who seem calm in such crises are actually dissociating, which increases their risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorders later on.
Children who experience too much stress and receive too little nurturing have more difficulty managing strong emotions like fear, grief, and anger. To shift out of intolerable emotional states, these children may bang their heads, engage in prolonged rocking, behave impulsively or violently, and daydream excessively. As adolescents they are more likely to take drugs and engage in risky behaviors. As adults, they are more likely to be violent towards themselves and others. Instead of meeting their needs (and the needs of their families) society punishes and medicates these youngsters to make them “behave.” Power and Powerlessness by Susan Rosenthal
Right now we are facing economic melt down. We can ill afford the luxury of jailing every person who pisses us off. Let alone housing our mentally ill there. Imprisoning so many people means that we have less money for education, greening the economy, fixing infrastructure, health care or keeping social programs like Headstart that actually decrease the chances that an adult will go to jail. Instead of a politician saying “I’m tough on crime.”; what if the politician told you the flip side of that, “I’m soft on health care and education.” Would you still vote for him/her? Do you hate marijuana enough to sacrifice your child’s education, or driving on a safe bridge in order to lock up each and every person who uses? Perhaps it is time to rethink the “tough on crime” drum beat that our politicians dance to. Because in our current economic climate “tough on crime” translates to “soft on everything else that matters”.
But its not all doom and gloom. Private corporations make more money if their prisons are full. They are large enough to lobby law makers to be tough on crime and to buy adds against those who are not. But could there be another reason we imprison so many?
More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day. The Sentencing Project
2.) Detention Centers:
“….even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson
Maybe you are not concerned if a bunch of strangers go to jail. After all you are not doing anything illegal like writing bad checks or taking illegal substances. Did you miss the big news story that the Bush White House gave Haliburtan subsidiary $385 billion dollars to build concentration camps detention centers on US soil in undisclosed locations? You are not alone.
The purpose of the facilities, that can house 5000 people a piece, is “in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs”. No one in the government seems to be willing to speculate as to what “new programs” are being developed that needed this sort of facility.
The contract of the Halliburton subsidiary KBR to build immigrant detention facilities is part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of “all removable aliens” and “potential terrorists.” In the 1980s Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld discussed similar emergency detention powers as part of a super-secret program of planning for what was euphemistically called “Continuity of Government” (COG) in the event of a nuclear disaster. At the time, Cheney was a Wyoming congressman, while Rumsfeld, who had been defense secretary under President Ford, was a businessman and CEO of the drug company G.D. Searle.
These men planned for suspension of the Constitution, not just after nuclear attack, but for any “national security emergency,” which they defined in Executive Order 12656 of 1988 as: “Any occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States.” Clearly September 11 would meet this definition, and did, for COG was instituted on that day. As the Washington Post later explained, the order “dispatched a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work secretly outside Washington, activating for the first time long-standing plans.”
What these managers in this shadow government worked on has never been reported. But it is significant that the group that prepared ENDGAME was, as the Homeland Security document puts it, “chartered in September 2001.” For ENDGAME’s goal of a capacious detention capability is remarkably similar to Oliver North’s controversial Rex-84 “readiness exercise” for COG in 1984. This called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to round up and detain 400,000 imaginary “refugees,” in the context of “uncontrolled population movements” over the Mexican border into the United States. Project Censored
But what good in a prison if you do not have the right to put people in it?
Sect. 1042 of the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies,” gives the executive the power to invoke martial law. For the first time in more than a century, the president is now authorized to use the military in response to “a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, a terrorist attack or any other condition in which the President determines that domestic violence has occurred to the extent that state officials cannot maintain public order.”
The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies. The law calls for secret trials for citizens and noncitizens alike.
Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure “continuity of government” in the event of what the document vaguely calls a “catastrophic emergency.” Should the president determine that such an emergency has occurred, he and he alone is empowered to do whatever he deems necessary to ensure “continuity of government.” This could include everything from canceling elections to suspending the Constitution to launching a nuclear attack. Congress has yet to hold a single hearing on NSPD-51. Democracy for New Hampshire
American Concentration Camps 3.) Posse Comitatus
Marshall Law was declared in 1877. At that time the military was activated and used as crowd control when Union Workers were striking for fair wages. The military is made up of soldiers and not police. They brought the situation under control but at a price. Sixty people were killed. Americans were outraged at this abuse of power and since then we have had a long standing law called Posse Comitatus. Posse Comitatus means “Power of Country” and it was created to prevent dictators from arising by declaration of Marshall Law.
Sec. 1385. – Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Wiki
The military is still directed by the President, who remains commander and chief, but they are prevented from taking any action within the borders of the United States. The National Guard, on the other hand, can act within the borders of the United States but they are directed by the Governor of the state of their residence. Therefore, to create a national military coup, every Governor in the States would have to agree to use their guard in that way at the same time. Recently, though, this brilliant piece of legislation has come under fire.
The Posse Comitatus Act which abolished the use of the U.S. military against our own citizens since 1878 has also been wiped out. This act which protected citizens through WWI, WWII, the Vietnam War, the Korean War and the Great Depression is considered by the current administration as unnecessary and a hindrance to the government’s ability to prosecute inside the U.S. Liberty for Life
Recently, Congress passed a controversial bill which grants the President the right to commandeer Federal or even state National Guard Troops and use them inside the United States. This bill, entitled the John Warner Defense Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122.ENR), contains a provision, (Section 1076) which allows the President to:
“…employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to…
- restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States…, where the President determines that,…domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order;
- suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy…”  Source Watch
This law was repealed in 2008 but President Bush had this signing statement attached to the repeal
Following that repeal, the President issued his own “signing statement” that effectively said he would not abide by the laws of the land; once again.
President Bush Signs H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 into Law
Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. The Act authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, for military construction, and for national security-related energy programs.
Provisions of the Act, including sections 841, 846, 1079, and 1222, purport to impose requirements that could inhibit the President’s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, to protect national security, to supervise the executive branch, and to execute his authority as Commander in Chief. The executive branch shall construe such provisions in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Since then, President Bush has actually proved his point by calling on troops to serve permanently on American soil!
“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.” Army Times
Beginning on October 1, the First Brigade Combat Team of the Third Division will be placed under the command of US Army North, the Army’s component of the Pentagon’s Northern Command (NorthCom), which was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with the stated mission of defending the US “homeland” and aiding federal, state and local authorities.
The unit—known as the “Raiders”—is among the Army’s most “blooded.” It has spent nearly three out of the last five years deployed in Iraq, leading the assault on Baghdad in 2003 and carrying out house-to-house combat in the suppression of resistance in the city of Ramadi. It was the first brigade combat team to be sent to Iraq three times.
While active-duty units previously have been used in temporary assignments, such as the combat-equipped troops deployed in New Orleans, which was effectively placed under martial law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, this marks the first time that an Army combat unit has been given a dedicated assignment in which US soil constitutes its “battle zone.”….
“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control,” the paper reports. It quotes the unit’s commander, Col. Robert Cloutier, as saying that the 1st BCT’s soldiers are being trained in the use of “the first ever nonlethal package the Army has fielded.” The weapons, the paper reported, are “designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.” The equipment includes beanbag bullets, shields and batons and equipment for erecting roadblocks.
It appears that as part of the training for deployment within the US, the soldiers have been ordered to test some of this non-lethal equipment on each other.
“I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” Cloutier told the Army Times. He described the effects of the electroshock weapon as “your worst muscle cramp ever—times 10 throughout your whole body.”
The colonel’s remark suggests that, in preparation for their “homefront” duties, rank-and-file troops are also being routinely Tasered. The brutalizing effect and intent of such a macabre training exercise is to inure troops against sympathy for the pain and suffering they may be called upon to inflict on the civilian population using these same “non-lethal” weapons.
According to military officials quoted by the Army Times, the deployment of regular Army troops in the US begun with the First Brigade Combat Team is to become permanent, with different units rotated into the assignment on an annual basis. WSWS
Granted, Obama is now President, and he is repealing much of what Bush did. But Obama can only remain President for 8 years. During this first term he needs to be pressured into reinstating the integrity of Posse Comitatus, and telling us why we need secret detention camps.
4.) A Word about the Plague:
The Plague swept through Europe in the middle of the fourteenth century devastating the population. The bacterium was so virulent that it killed 25-50% of the population in every city it came to. This was not good for the human society, as it ushered in the Dark Ages, but oddly it was not good for the bacterium either. It killed every receptive host. Only people with a natural resistance were left. And so The Plague also all but died out. It survived at low levels in the rat population.
When European settlers came to the New World they brought with them their resistance and The Plague itself. The native populations had no such resistance and part of the reason that they were so easily defeated is that they had taken a heavy hit due to these new diseases the settlers brought. However, The Plague that the settlers brought was not The Plague of the fourteenth century. It was a much less virulent variety that did not kill every victim. So in early America it became a smoldering fire instead of a raging inferno. Today The Plague is still with us. It is alive and well in the American Southwest preying on the rodent population and the Native Americans who still lack a strong resistance. Fortunately, The Plague is treatable with modern antibiotics and so not much of a threat today.
Unfortunately for DJ’s mother, antibiotics are frequently made with petroleum products and in a society that is breaking down, those who can not pay for them are likely to succumb to scourges we have not seen in many centuries.
The morale of the story is that even The Plague, the scourge of man, must obey nature’s law. Even in the bacterial world, growth that comes at the expense of all resources will result in death or severe limitation of a species, unless the species learns to live within its means.
Addicted to Incarceration by Travis Pratt
Lock Down America by Christian Parenti
The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo
Power and Powerlessness by Susan Rosenthal
Audio Visual Selection:
The Injustice System in America by Cary Silberman
Man in the Dark by Paul Auster