Hello, Amerika, from Camp FEMA! No, I am not here voluntarily. Rather, as the Second Obama Term has moved along now in 2015, some FEMA troopers came and arrested me in the middle of the night, shoved me into a van, and so here I am somewhere in Louisiana in the dessicated remains of one of those FEMA trailers brought in to supposedly aid Hurricane Katrina victims. Many of us former FEMA Disaster Assistance Employees wondered what would end up being done with those trailers; now I know. They are now inside a high barbed wire fence with control towers at the corners.
I have also learned the true meaning of FEMA: Federal Executive Malcontent Assignment. That bit of information came from the Camp FEMA Commandant, who wears a storm trooper uniform, carries a swagger stick, and whistles that catchy tune from The Bridge on the River Kwai a lot. Nobody knows the real name of the Commandant, so we just call him FEMA Freddie. Oh, yes, there are lots of other Malcontents here, all rounded up in the dead of night and now put into preventive detention, for our own good, supposedly. There are no charges, no trials, no other judicial proceedings, and we have no rights, no protections, no appeals -- and no activities. We just sit here and slowly rot in the hot swamp.
Looks like it was not a good idea writing all of those critiques of the Obama Administration policies while Obama was breaking most of his Presidential promises -- like putting major provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act on indefinite hold, weakening most of our environmental protections and authorizing drilling and fracking anywhere and everywhere, appointing the worst of the worst Wall Street insiders to key financial and economic positions, giving in to the Tea Party reactionaries in Congress so often until he could no longer straighten his spine, and a host of other disappointments and abuses of trust, of his oath of office, of Constitutional and Civil rights, and of the American people.
Still, even knowing how little tolerance the Obama Administration has for dissent and dissenters, I thought that -- as a lifelong Democrat and former Obama supporter -- I would be safe from the rumored FEMA preventive detention camps. Obviously, my judgment on that matter was fatally flawed. In fact, Commandant FEMA Freddie told me that people like me are the worst type of malcontents, because we have more credibility than those who never supported President Obama, and never will -- we are apostates and betrayers, according to Freddie, who compares us to Judas.
Guess some of us are slow learners, though, as here I go putting a note into a Coke bottle and tossing it into the nearby swamp, hoping that it will eventually find its way to the Gulf of Mexico and float to some free country -- which is surely no longer Amerika. But I sure hope that nobody catches me writing or floating this note, as FEMA Freddie told me that it would be Guantanamo next time....
Eugene Elander has been a progressive social and political activist for decades. As an author, he won the Young Poets Award at 16 from the Dayton Poets Guild for his poem, The Vision. He was chosen Poet Laureate of (more...)