On the Other Hand...
by Jim Davies
That sinister mis-spelling of our country's name first came to my notice in the mid-1980s, when ABC-TV used it to title a broadcast miniseries.
I recall it was quite well-produced and acted, and with a somewhat credible story line. In summary, the Cold War one day became Hot, nukes were exchanged between the US and the USSR, the warriors in Washington capitulated rather than allow more US cities to be reduced to radioactive rubble, and so in short order a Soviet Army of Occupation was shipped over to administer the Land of the Formerly Fairly Free.
The rest of the miniseries told of how the freshly-sovietized Amerika fared, and while I've forgotten the details I do remember the realism. Society became gray, dispirited. Shortages erupted. Prosperity died. Hope faded. Everyone was disarmed, other liberties also vanished. Individuals became chattels of the State, obeying its endless string of commands with hardly a protest.
There was (of course!) a romantic element to the tale; the Commissar sent to administer the Mid-West Region was handsome and humane, and formed, er, alliances with some of the natives. In due course he became unhappy with his Muscovite masters and tempered the severity of the occupation.
I forget how it all ended, but do recall that there was some resistance, a' la Maquis in Nazi-occupied France. The resisters were ill-equipped and unshaven but heroic, modelled on the mountain men or survivalists that we actually do encounter from time to time. Come to think of it, few resist government today with more admirable consistency than such woodsmen.
"Amerika" has never, to my knowledge, been re-broadcast; and that's a pity, for it was rich in lessons. Government permission was needed to pass between the former Iowa and Illinois (as well as between New Hampshire and Quebec), ration cards were required to buy food and liquor, the whole nine yards. A fine portrayal of what total government is all about. The reason for its suppression is that the Communists infesting the staff unions at ABC objected so vigorously to this too-accurate portrayal of their Utopian schemes that ABC's management caved, and buried the movie in the vaults. I hope it will one day resurrect.
Enter, Claire Wolfe
"Amerika, Amerika" is now the title used for an article in the current issue of "Freedom Network News", published by the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL) and written by the increasingly well-respected author, Claire Wolfe. Both she and ISIL are recommended: find the latter at (707) 746-8796 or on the Net at www.isil.org. Wolfe also wrote the cutely-titled and thought-provoking book "101 Things To Do 'Til the Revolution".
Her "Amerika..." article lists ten laws that are now on the books. Now, that is, in today's 1998 actual America, not in ABC's fictional, occupied Amerika. The rest of my column here reproduces the list she wrote. Read it, and weep:
"As you read, consider what all these have in common.
"1. A national database of employed people.
"2. 100 pages of new 'Health Care Crimes', for which the penalty is (among other things) seizure of assets from both doctors and patients.
"3. Confiscation of assets from any American who established foreign citizenship." [Hello? Any former German Jews out there?]
"4. The largest gun confiscation act in US history - which is also an unconstitutional ex-post-facto law and the first ever to remove peoples' constitutional rights for committing a misdemeanor.
"5. A law banning guns in ill-defined school zones; random roadblocks may be used for enforcement; gun-bearing residents could become federal criminals just by stepping outside their doors or getting into vehicles.
"6. Increased funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, an agency infamous for its brutality, dishonesty and ineptitude.
"7. A law enabling the executive branch to declare various groups "Terrorists" - without stating any reason and without the possibility of appeal. Once a group has been so declared, its mailing and membership lists must be turned over to the government.
"8. A law authorizing secret trials with secret evidence for certain classes of people." [Precisely what jury trials are mandated to prevent.]
"9. A law requiring that all States begin issuing drivers' licenses carrying Social Security numbers and "security features" (such as magnetically encoded fingerprints and personal records) by October 1, 2000. By October 1, 2006, 'Neither the Social Security Administration or the Passport Office or any other Federal agency or any State or local government agency may accept for any evidentiary purpose a State driver's license or identification document in [any other form.]'
"10. And my personal favorite - a national database, now being constructed, that will contain every exchange and observation that takes place in your doctor's office. This includes records of your prescriptions, your hemorrhoids and your mental illness. It also includes - by Law - any statement you make ('Doc, I'm worried my kid may be on drugs... Doc, I've been so stressed out lately I feel ready to go postal').... all, with no privacy safeguards."
What then, apart from being Federal Laws, do these ten have in common? - "every one was imposed on you by the 104th Congress, of the Republican Revolution, that pledged to 'get government off your backs.'"
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