I’m not sure what rights we have left, but we sure have more laws. We are to be drafted into the Regeneration of American Liberty. (Clumsy acronym, but we can complain later, in theory.) For now, flu survivors shall serve the state at minimal wages. Unionized workers, too: Labor contracts that “limit emergency deployment of human resources” are suspended.
Turns out Restore America’s Independent Spirit & Enterprise will supervise the new arrangement. No wonder Enterprise comes last.
Will RAISE outlive the pandemic? Is it a new incarnation of the War on Terror—an Orwellian bureaucratic device that will compel us all to ‘volunteer’ for many years to come? I begin to comprehend why its creators left the operative word Health out of the verbal lineup. It would limit this bureaucracy’s grand mission to something useful.
This looks like a long-term effort, a bureaucratic spearhead. Suppose America’s Independent Spirit needs apples picked next year, immigrants being scarce…?
I see, too, that Congress and the president have agreed not to stand for reelection until they concur that it seems safe. For whom, you English teachers ask? For the folks who presided over what the New York Times calls “this unprecedented national catastrophe.”
The rest of us can march around, singing Born To Be Servile:
Get the water running
Serve the state for no pay
We may have found employment
That’ll never go away….
If the estimable Dr. R. Edgar Hope-Simpson was correct, those who had the flu will now be spreading it far and wide. I see this as a great reason for y’all to buy even more masks, gloves, and goggles: If you never get sick, you can’t get drafted!
Otherwise, I consider it prudent to lie low. I’ve helped plenty of people. I’ll continue to do so. On a voluntary basis, as a free man, in a free society—well, scratch that part. Or parts. Heck, they know where to find me. Follow that UPS truck!
Meanwhile, has the Internet Security Act improved your access? Do you like your new homepage? Those yummy corporate preferences? What, you can’t find your old favorites since they reformed the address protocol priorities? They were dull, dude!
My telephone never tried to tell me whom to call.
I’m talking to an indie-minded company that wants a lot of money to host my domain because of the denial-of-service attacks you have undoubtedly noticed. Psst, media giants—I got these suckers to hunt me down for free! Wanna sponsor my rants? Maybe speed up access to this thing? Call me. I’m home a lot, when I’m not swabbing the indomitable Ukrainian next door.
He’s been telling stories. Yesterday, in a voice frozen with more than half a century’s weight and dust and regret, Stefan growled that I should sit and listen. “On a sunny day they told me to pull out the teeth and I did,” he began. It took a moment to realize he was describing something I had wondered about, but couldn’t bring myself to ask.
Stefan was saying that he had worked for the Nazis as a youth in the occupied Ukraine. He had done whatever they asked of him and he had become proficient at yanking gold teeth from Jewish corpses. I was horrified, but Stefan was just beginning his account.
“She was alive,” he was saying. “A young woman, pretty, holding a dead baby. She woke up when I was getting a molar.” The woman watched, eyes wide, as Stefan throttled her so she couldn’t call out while he finished the extraction. The Germans were watching, lest he steal a precious tooth, or take too long.
Gold still flashed in her bleeding mouth. “I left it.” He shrugged under those matted covers. (I change them, but the blood returns at night.)
I had to ask: “What happened to her?”
“Buried with the rest.”
That’s when I realized that the Holocaust was a sociopolitical pandemic. People were seized by—acted like—the worst viruses ever. The Nazis were the Black Death with flags and ideology and grotesque human intent.
Unless they were the cytokine storm troopers of an immune system gone haywire. Imagine being caught between the disease and the response. I’m trying to forgive Stefan. At least he feels bad about it.