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The following is a work in progress, it may leave you "hanging".
Last significant addition was on 27 Oct. 2014.

Warning: This story contains violence and other absurdities.

 

The General Fund


Dick Rickert, the eye in the sky helicopter guy, was hovering over the freeway, momentarily waiting for the high speed chase to catch up to his position. Soon a line of cars came speeding along with the suspect leading the way. Rickert followed them for about three miles when the front law enforcement vehicle performed a perfect PIT maneuver, sending the suspect's SUV into a spin and roll, winding up upside down in a ditch at the side of the road.

Immediately, a sea of black uniforms surrounded the wreck, pulling out the lone occupant. They then faced him away from them and shot him once in the back of the head. That's what was known as a "field execution". They became the favored method of case disposition ever since the legal upset, when most crimes were afterwards punished with death. Oddly enough, murder was one of the few offenses which still called for incarceration. The logic being, that one should suffer for taking another's life without due process of law. On the other hand, it was considered a public service to decrease the population any way possible. Suicide was actually encouraged; the culture seemed to be going schizophrenic.

Then came the task of writing up the incident report and filling out the paperwork which bills the deceased criminal's next of kin for the costs of the chase and the bullet used. After a few minutes, the white "spirit wagon" came by to haul the corpse away for processing. Rickert, having seen such a spectacle hundreds of times in the past, headed off to the western part of the city to cover an auto accident and associated traffic jam.

I think it all started falling apart back in the early 21st century when the federal government -- by proclamation, no less -- broadened and quickly exercised its power over the states by striking down most of the ambitious state laws concerned with international border protection and illegal immigration. No one could fathom why they would do such a thing, but nevertheless, the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California were all threatened with the withdrawal of federal funds for their infrastructure, should they not comply with the new orders.

The problem with all of this was that the federal government in turn did very little to combat the country's nagging immigration problems! The People began to suffer since there was consequently a huge drain on the public funds from providing food, schooling, housing and medical care for anyone and everyone who just showed up -- as required by law. But when "we the People" began to suffer, we started seeing a lot of vigilante individuals setting up along the southern border with high-powered rifles -- equipped with night scopes, shooting dead anyone seen covertly crossing the international frontier! Immigrants and smugglers alike were used as target practice. The border patrol agents were rarely seen, being unable or unwilling to do anything about the vigilantes.

Then out of the blue, I believe it was in mid-August 2061, when the federal government began installing DDR-like fortifications all along the country's border with Mexico. Only instead of being oriented to keep people inside the country, the mines and automatic firing weapons were put on the other side to keep the people out. This move effectively sealed the southern land border; the People were amazed with their government's occasional brilliance. The new border fortifications were publicly hailed as an acceptable solution, long overdue!

After that, everyone just assumed that the "illegal immigrants" already in the country would then be given amnesty and be allowed to incorporate into society legally, along with their American born children. However, that was not to be. There was a furious federal push to dispose of -- once and for all -- anyone caught in the country illegally! This included foreign dignitaries who overstay their diplomatic visas. The feds themselves had grown weary of their "revolving door" borders: illegal entry, eventual detection, ejection and re-entry. Recidivism of any crime was no longer tolerated. If records showed you were deported once already, you were sent straight to what came to be known as a "Processing Plant", for temporary housing, medical exams and procedures, execution and ... processing. If it was your first known transgression, you were simply deported with a stern warning to immigrate the legal way next time.

A toll-free tip hotline was set up for reporting "illegals" (1-800-GET-THEM), freely accessable from both Canada and Mexico as well as in all 51 states, Puerto Rico having been annexed, umm, er, given statehood that is, back in 2079. So ended the 120 year reign of the 50 star flag. The new flag simply added a 51st star in the middle of the star field, twice the size of the other stars and was said to symbolize whichever state you're currently standing in.

One spring day in 2028, a million people on social media coordinated the storming of "Area 51" in a desperate attempt to get the government to finally give up their secrets stored there. The mass of people simply stormed the gates, confident in the knowledge that the military guards can't kill them all; some will get through to expose what everyone suspected was stored there -- the wreckage of an alien spacecraft and preserved alien corpses.

That's exactly what they found inside! Photographic evidence was hastily collected and the installation was then searched for anything else of interest. After a good hour or so, the surviving citizens left, leaving their fallen comrades behind. The findings at Area 51 were then used to further convince the population that science was right and religion was wrong.

Ever since the Islamic infestation of the US later in the 2030s, many Americans feared they would befall the same fate as France, now known together as the "Republic of France" and the "Islamic Republic of France". It seems that the Muslim strategy is to simply populate an area with a certain number of people, then vote their extreme, opressive and violent philosophy/religion into law! So in the mid 2030s there was a "grass roots" uprising in the US to finally get a handle on this religion thing. All religions. Over the years this type of infectious illness has lessened, but still occasionally makes its presence known. Such people were henceforth treated as though they were delusional and potentially harmful to personal liberties and freedom in general.

To begin with, the legislature took a page out of the Europeans' book: impose a tax on worshipping, commonly known as the church tax. With taxation, of course, came a registration requirement, too. More significant, perhaps, was the renewed push to keep church and state separate by prohibiting those who pay church tax from holding public office of any kind, at any level. Legislature to remove the right to vote from religous people altogether failed again recently. Maybe next time!

Remember Fritz? I remember 'ol Fritz. He had this wacky theory about how several millennia ago, aliens from another planet visited the Earth and performed gene splicing experiments on the dominant simian life form found all over the globe. The African ones were supposedly given the least amount of extraterrestrial DNA, while they mixed in the most with the Asian area animals. The other "races" having been given intermediate amounts. Anyway, Fritz was recently found out to be a psychopath-sociopath-antisocial personality disorder-bad guy, or whatever you want to call them. Somebody reported his existence and, in the middle of the night, he was taken away to be officially diagnosed and then permanently institutionalized in what's called a "psycho farm".

This particular psycho farm that Fritz found himself in was located outside the bustling town of Redd Rocke, Wyoming and was known for being particularly banal and insipid. Somehow, everything but the landscape was of a boring color and there was no uniqueness in any of the architecture. Visitors were officially discouraged from talking about the more exciting or agitating current events, either local or global. The place had an air [#5] about it as though it was trying to keep a lid on things, always wary of potentially over-boiling.

The "legal upset" mentioned above happened in the early 2020s, when the citizenry finally realized that less than 5% of the expensively incarcerated prisoners actually improved in their behavior. The rest typically got even worse. It was decided by a ballot initiative to change all that. The People decided that most criminals should simply face the death penalty and with that their lives would steadily improve over time with fewer and fewer criminals to deal with. The joke of an appeals process was streamlined leaving very few instances where an appeal could be filed. The fact that some innocent people would be wrongly executed was not seen as a big deal, due to the incredibly dense population and the public's utter despise of criminals. It was better to kill ten innocents than to let one guilty go free! Some people in the minority, like the ACLU, called the new justice system a human meat grinder, but couldn't do anything about it.

However extreme the legal upset seemed, it paled in comparison to the even greater depression of the 2050s, as it was during that mess that the socialist party slowly gained control of both houses of the legislature. After that, the USA soon elected their first socialist commander in chief, president Alfred Hilter. Just call him "Al". He hailed from a tiny town in northern New Hampshire and learned his history well.

One of the first things he did was to take a tight reign on the manufacturing capabilities the country had to offer. Companies who wanted to sell their goods and services in the US yet moved their headquarters and manufacturing plants outside the US, found their properties in foreign countries bombed flat by US fighter jets. Next, they would find their financial assets in US banks seized. The message was clear: if you wish to do business here, you stay here, hire our people at a decent wage and pay your fair share of taxes!

Al felt that there were so many people in the country, that anyone with the proper education and moral compass was able to run the country's businesses. Therefore, he had no problem having people removed from their company and replacing them with one of the thousand other capable people available. Those who were on unemployment were given first crack at it.

Next, Al went after those individuals he considered excessively rich. He decided on a modest yet arbitrary amount of wealth and declared that no one may be richer than that. Any excess was seized and deposited into the country's general fund. Of course there were protests from the super wealthy. Those who seemed they could effect public opinion were silenced. Processed. Two ancient songs, one by the Beatles, namely "Piggies", as well as one from Lynryd Skynyrd, "Things Goin' On", were adopted as socialist battle hymns. It looked like it was the end of capitalism in the USA, but the masses didn't seem to mind, since they were now finally recieving what they needed to live long and happy lives! Most people hailed Hilter as a Godsend!

 

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