On to: Culture Stuff | Glossary | Music Stuff | Psychopathy | Introduction
May 2020 Note: I have decided to re-work most of the short story that's been posted here for the last 8 years or so. I am going to leave just the beginning on the Internet, while I totally re-write the story, according to the new (and hopefully better) plot I came up with.
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 bank robbery perp leading the way. Rickert followed them for about three miles when the front law enforcement vehicle performed a perfect PIT maneuver, sending the guy's SUV into a spin and roll, winding up upside down in a ditch at the side of the road. Wheels still spinning.
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 (consider Wallace, 1970 and other such books).
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 more 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.
Although it was never a paradise, things went from bad to worse when Alfred Hilter came to power on the Republican ticket. Everyone wondered why he was so close to the Russian leader, Ivan Kovarny; a former KGB boss, affectionally known as "IK". Little did the country know that Hilter was planning to take over America in a violent coup, and was getting all kinds of advice on how to do so, and manipulate public opinion from his new Russian buddy! Step one was to get legally elected - even if you have to cheat; then immediately proceed to change the make-up of the country's courts, as IK told him that's where the USA can be infiltrated from. The courts. Their influence is broad reaching and is already accepted by the People as a legitimate authority. Whereas you need the military on your side to take over places like China and Russia. Ol' Alfred had plans to make the USA more like China and Russia - with himself at the top indefinately!
After his close and dubious electoral win, he was told that he should always be putting out misinformation while in office; never let people know what you're really up to. Tell outright lies; get the populace used to not hearing the truth about things! "Artificial shortages" of commodities like milk, bread and toilet paper work to distract the people from what's going on in Russian politics. Hilter just had to figure out what works for America....Religion and Guns?! What he came up with was to require significant annual registration fees for each gun owned. The motive was to begin taking guns away from the People, starting with those with less money and hence, less voice and power. As for the churches, he is now taxing them! He proclaimed that if churches really do do so much good for everyone, then they can just deduct it like everybody else.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read in the Times, that the Chinese manufacturers, hence, their psychopathic government, was finally being investigated for suspicion of using ergonomic data to manufacture things - destined for US markets - more inconvenient and frustrating to use! They even reported an instance of a button being located very close to one that was used often, only pressing this button immediately re-formatted the phone computer's hard drive! Our person on the inside said their trade minister got a real laugh out of that one. Another instance of the Chinese passively annoying the Americans through commerce, was in the form of a TV remote control with the mute button located in the bottom right corner, while the volume buttons were almost three inches higher up!
There's also the fact that cellphones made in China can no longer be opened by the user. One must forcefully throw it to the ground - shattering it, in order to get it to open! This is so that you can't remove the battery, to render the phone harmless. Instead, many unscrupulous people (in both Beijing and Washington DC) are spying on the US general public by remotely activating the phones' always energized microphone's secret access controls to go along with any views the cameras happen to be seeing at the moment. Privacy is officially a thing of the past for the masses. Secure, openable cellphones start at around $10,000!
Exactly why the FTC is allowing China to be so with us has yet to be made clear. Many speculate that the balance of trade is so lopsided, that the US is being coerced into handing over to China about 95% of all the gold kept at Fort Knox! Why else would they stop allowing citizens to visit and tour the facility? Something's going on.
By the second year or so of the Hilter era, there were so many people being housed and fed - with everyone's general fund - while they await their day in court, that the new legal environment gradually installed by Trump, Widerlich and ol' Alfred himself, allowed for the redefining of criminal behavior as undeserving of the full benefit and protection of the law. All criminals were henceforth seen as "takers", contributing nothing of value to society. While still providing an abbreviated due process, the convicting and executing of most criminals soon after arrest was received by the voters as a genius way to alleviate the overpopulation problem, too! Trim off the undesired bit from the population and let all the worthy people breathe.
The "legal upset" mentioned above happened during the economic downturn of the early 2050s, 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, who were allowed to vote, decided that most criminals should simply face the death penalty and with that in place, their lives would steadily improve over time with fewer and fewer criminals to deal with - and pay for.
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. When an innocent dies unjustly, everyone just says ok, let's try not to let that happen again! In general, it was considered better to kill ten innocents than to let one guilty go free! Some people in the vocal minority, like the ACLU, called the new justice system a human meat grinder - reminiscent of Nazi Germany's Final Solution - but they couldn't do anything about it.
Despite the dangerously negative political environment she had to live in, Linda loved her life! She was 18, intoxicated with a new relationship and was spinning around with glee in her bedroom. She was in no hurry to get married; she plans on remaining with her open-minded, upper middle class parents until she can find a solid Mr. Right. On top of all that, she just bought this record today from a brand new group everyone is saying will ignite like a huge fire storm. They were called "Blaze", and the front man for the group was this young kid named Justin Kreddibul. And yes, he was just incredible! Soon there was beautiful music flowing out of Linda's window.
Just then, Jane the mail lady came walking by delivering free sample boxes of a new cosmetics line! It was shaping up to be a very good day for Linda. However, that day's paper brought some awful news to her doorstep. For one, another group of people trying to defeat the southern border was discovered and killed one by one by another group of people - armed US citizens fed up with illegal immigration and the government's apparent incompetence to do anything about it! The border officials weren't even out there patrolling in their vehicles. The group of ticked off citizens acted unopposed!
The other piece of bad news was that it was finally official - the two main car companies of America, Ford and Chevy, were completely bankrupt and out of business. No more replacement parts would be manufactured by them. On the very same day that all this was announced, Jerry was recognized on the street downtown and was brutally assaulted for appearing in a recent Toyota commercial! He almost didn't make it. In fact, all people who were recognized as "financial traitors" for appearing in foreign competitors' ads, were now being viciously attacked on sight. Good Lord! What was happening?
Linda breezed through the news and said aloud, "oh hell. Let's just go out and buy us something nice!" Determined to stay up and positive, she smiled to herself, got into her Mustang GT and drove to the mall, staying for a nice chunk of the afternoon.
She initially made a beeline for Victoria's. Then later some new blouses and a late lunch. While she was there she saw a poster advertising a live show by Blaze. They were coming to the open air theater next Friday! She liked their record so much, that she immediately secured two tickets! (Her boyfriend Jack was always broke.) She ended her shopping spree with a trip to Danz jewelry store. After accumulating three puffy bags of mall purchases (mostly clothes and accessories), Linda made her way back to the car.
The Mustang started rough; she was afraid it was going to die on her altogether, but after a little complaining, the engine started and she carefully made her way home. Jack was waiting for her in the driveway. He was just standing there with his arms folded, sporting a friendly smile as he watched her pull into the driveway. After she parked, they kissed and hugged each other and Linda told him about the car problem she almost had. He said he'd check it out, but first, did she need a hand with the bags?
The counter was reset to zero on 12 May 2020 in accordance with the re-write. From 2012 to 2020, the old story got 265 hits.
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