This Week in Amerika

Back in Washington D.C. in 2002, Neo-Nazis were on one side, police on the other. Now, the distinctions are getting blurry. (Photo by Elvert Barnes/Flickr)

Here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, during the last few weeks, the following things have occurred:

A 61-year-old woman was convicted of disorderly conduct after a two-day jury trial in Washington. Desiree Farooz faces a sentence of up to one year in jail for what federal prosecutors described as an attempt to “impede, disrupt and disturb orderly conduct” of a Senate committee hearing back in January. It was the confirmation hearing for the nominee to be the next Attorney General of the United States, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama. During the hearing, Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby said out loud that Sessions — a renowned racist who for that very reason was once denied a federal judgeship by that very Senate — had a “clear and well-documented” record of “treating all Americans equally.” Ms. Farooz laughed. According to witnesses it was not a particularly loud or prolonged laugh. Other witnesses said it was the only appropriate response to Shelby’s outlandish claim. Capitol police pounced and hauled her away to prison.

In a hallway of the State Capitol Building in Charleston, West Virginia, last week, a veteran reporter, Dan Heyman, was walking alongside the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, asking a question repeatedly without getting a response. Not that it matters, but the question was about the latest Republican health-care-insurance legislation. Without warning a police officer pulled the reporter aside, handcuffed him, and put him in jail for “causing a disturbance by yelling questions.” Heyman said later, after posting bond, that in his 30-years as a journalist he had never heard of a reporter being  arrested for asking a question.

A few weeks ago, human rights investigators for the United Nations pointed out what they called an “alarming and undemocratic trend” in the United States. Since the last presidential election, they pointed out, at least 19 states have enacted, or tried to enact, legislation that criminalizes protest demonstrations. Proposals included seizing the assets of anyone arrested in a protest (Arizona); making it legal to run over protesters blocking a roadway (North Dakota); and classifying protests as “economic terrorism,” a felony offense carrying a prison sentence (Washington State). The UN investigators called on the United States to stop trying to criminalize peaceful assembly, which they described as a fundamental right under the US Constitution, not a privilege to be licensed and regulated by the government.

Oh, I almost forgot, this also happened. The President of the United States summarily fired the director of the FBI, who was directing an investigation of the President’s campaign and conduct. The President previously fired the acting attorney-general of the United States, Sally Yates, who was investigating the President’s National Security adviser, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who was investigating the President’s campaign and business affairs. These three people had three things in common; they were investigating Trump; they were outstandingly competent and professional; and they had behind them the power of the United States Department of Justice. That power, which has been this country’s last-ditch defense against racketeers, coal barons and corrupt politicians, lies in tatters now, at the feet of  a jug-eared racist as attorney general and an empty-headed game-show host playing the part of president.

So those four things happened in the past few weeks. What do you think? Is Amerika great again, yet?


Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This Week in Amerika

  1. Ken Barrows says:

    And the game show host is barely literate. Illiteracy and the dying of democracy seem to go hand in hand.

  2. Tom says:

    These, let’s just call them what they are, FASCIST policies historically follow “strong leaders” who usurp or are otherwise chosen to lead. The first victim is almost always the press, but since that’s been handled well before the last election, the second thing(s) to fall are the so-called “personal freedoms,” (like privacy – already removed via the NSA/CIA/Homeland (In)security system, and now protest – or the right to peaceful assembly, another of the PRIVELEGES
    being taken away by “the REPRESENTATIVE government we so enjoy).

    Looking ahead and conjecturing a bit: it would seem that the next step is physical removal of “perceived” threats to the leader/homeland and that plans are already in place for a scenario to arise which would entail the military taking over the population – ie. FEMA camps!

    Obama signed an executive order to physically take over ANY AND ALL ASSETS, including land, wealth, property (and anything else they can think of) in times of “national crisis.” They would do this by police/military round-up of us all and appropriating what we though was ours, in the process.

    Civilization, especially the industrial brand of it practiced in these “modern” times, has been thought of (by Orwell, Huxley and others) as a self-made prison (that actually is accomplished via economics and social manipulation). With the signing of that statement, Obama ushered in the possibility of ACTUAL imprisoning of the citizenry.

    With crop failures becoming more acute and frequent (due to climate change currently, but other factors such as supply-chain breakdown and economics also contribute), one can surmise that,
    within the next few years, we’re likely to see this occur.

    This was an important topic to write about, Mr. Lewis. Thanks for pointing out what’s occurring in an unflinching and honest manner.

  3. Kate says:

    This is scary.

  4. Arnold Allison says:

    “The UN investigators called on the United States to stop trying to criminalize peaceful assembly, which they described as a fundamental right under the US Constitution, not a privilege to be licensed and regulated by the government.”

    I don’t see any of proposed laws aimed at stopping PEACFUL ASSEMBLY!

    We are starting to turn away from what destroyed the Roman Empire and it is time for everyone to contribute. It would be nice to see those who benefited from the 2008 fiasco with no skin in the game do some prison time.
    Arnie Allison

    • Tom Lewis says:

      The investigators addressed your point, saying that there is no such thing as a violent assembly; what you usually have is a peaceful assembly in which a few people commit acts of violence or destruction. These people, said the investigators, should be dealt with as criminals under established laws. But to tar all the people in a demonstration with the same brush is simply an illogical excuse for withdrawing rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

      I do not understand your last sentence. What fiasco? And what crime?

      • Arnie Allison says:

        The fiasco – The financial bubble that started the depression of 2008 that many believe we are still in (with occasional recessions along the way). The crime – The politicians in positions to do something about it who instead bought AIG insurance and collected enough to kill AIG and then engineered it’s bailout with taxpayers $$. We should have a full list of all who collected payments! AA

  5. SomeoneInAsia says:

    I just went to YouTube and watched that 1971 Coca-Cola commercial in which a group of people were singing that wonderful song: I’d like to buy the world a home, and furnish it with love…

    Such were the days of naive idealism, of fond dreams now all trampled to fragments by the reality of human greed and folly…

  6. David Waddle says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t see where blocking traffic on a roadway that isn’t under construction or being maintained is a right protected by the constitution. Destroying whole city blocks and looting under the guise of protesting isn’t “Peaceful Assembly”. Shouting down a speaker isn’t “Free Speech”. Actually it’s not allowing any ideas but your own to shared in the Public Square. Whatever. They want a civil war. They want to completely shut down and even erase the history of people they don’t agree with. They are going to get their war. People on the other side are quickly losing patience.

  7. The empire is following the typical steps of collapse pretty much on schedule. The progress of these things is not quick; this will get so much worse before it gets better. If it ever gets better.