The Gestapoization of America

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Now we can’t lawfully speak or peaceably assemble. Not within earshot or sight of those who rule us, at any rate.

HR347 – the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act is now “the law.” (More accurately, an updated version of the Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich. The phraseology and cadences are becoming so familiar, aren’t they?)

It codifies the federal government’s practice – ever since the days of The Chimp – to shunt protesters into what Judge Andrew Napolitano rightly calls No Speech Zones and more, expands on it – criminalizing mere speech, mere peaceful assembly, if it “impedes or disrupts the orderly conduct of government business or official functions” – as defined by the agents of the federal government. The language is so sweepingly vague it amounts to carte blanche suspension of the First Amendment whenever and wherever the government so decides.

Heckling – or even standing silent with a protest sign could and will be construed as “impeding” and/or “disrupting” the “orderly conduct of government.”

And the punishments for transgressing the new befehl are severe: As much as ten years in prison and an unspecified fine. The minimum sentence is up to one year in prison and an unspecified fine. No more plastic handcuffs, temporarily fitted – a short ride to the pokey and a misdemeanor fine (even that is an outrage, of course). Henceforth, “offenders” will be facing life-changing hard time. Even a month or two in the clink is enough to result in the loss of one’s job – and with that, the cavalcade into destitution begins. A year in jail and it’s over for most people. Ten years? For “impeding or disrupting the orderly conduct of government business or official functions”? In other words, for heckling a pompous politician? For denouncing ObamaCare? For causing Obama (or Romney or any of the other front men) to see or hear dissatisfaction with their rule?

Yes, indeed.

Rapists are treated more gently. Of course, rapists – and murderers – do not offend against the state. It is a key thing to grasp. They merely trample upon the rights of other people. And they – the people – don’t matter. As George Orwell’s Winston Smith explained in 1984, the real crime is political crime; i.e., dissent. In his dystopia, ordinary criminals were likewise treated almost kindly – relative to the consequences that awaited Thought Criminals such as Winston Smith.

And soon – and now – us.

The chilling effect this will have on (formerly) free speech will be extreme. How many will dare to say anything – to even stand on a street corner – in the face of this? Which is precisely the object of those behind the new law.

This is a history lesson in process.

People often ask, couldn’t the Germans see it coming? Why didn’t they do anything?

Well, why don’t we?

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Eric Peters [send him mail] is an automotive columnist and author of Automotive Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his website.

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