EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 ~ 0001 HOURS, JANUARY 1

  Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see it, man? All those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “The fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Yeah, way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ~ ~ ~ ~ ~   Cedar Rapids, Iowa   Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming—woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate. He kept the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone and looked at the screen. There was a text from his girlfriend. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: “Big ones what do I know.” DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Looking. Somebody got out of one. OMG, looking up at me. They are all turning in at—” DAN: “What?” Dan tried to call Sarah. Voicemail, he sighed. After several more tries, Dan disconnected. It doesn’t make any sense. Finally, he took a jacket off the hanger. Trying not to be concerned, Dan knew Sarah wasn’t given to speculation. Something about the text ending the way it did was…

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EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342

EXECUTIVE ORDER #17,342 By Chuck Waldron   FAKE? IT COULD NEVER HAPPEN HERE, RIGHT?       Stuart, Florida “Zup, Billy? “Did you see all those cool army trucks?” “No. Where?” “At the fairgrounds. I’m on my bike. There must be a hundred. They’re still coming.” “No way.” “Way. You gotta get down here and see for yourself.”   ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ ɸ   Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sitting in his office, Dan was daydreaming, woolgathering his grandmother would have said. The smartphone on his desk began to vibrate, keeping the sound off, a courtesy to his cubical mates. Yawning, he picked up the phone. There was a text notification. SARAH: “Military trucks driving past.” DAN: “What? How many?” SARAH: “I quit counting. WTF?” DAN: “What kind?” SARAH: Mostly big ones. DAN: “What direction?” SARAH: “Just looked. Somebody got out of one of the trucks. OMG, looking up at me. They are all turning in at …” DAN: “What?” Trying several times, Dan turned off his phone. It didn’t make any sense. Finally, he took a jacket off the hanger. Trying not to be concerned, Dan knew Sarah wasn’t given to speculation. Something about the text ending the way it…

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BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL! BUILD THAT WALL!

A loud chant, or a quiet poem? “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” In those few precious, well-chosen words Emma Lazarus captured the essence of what I like to think of as the ‘heart’ of my country. I’ve always thought it ironic, that the woman who wrote those words, a woman born into a large Sephardic-Ashkenazi Jewish family, would likely have been turned away trying to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany in the late 1930’s. At the same time a plaque with her words was being placed on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, the Immigration Act of 1903 was being passed, sometimes called the Alien Enemies Act. It was intended to keep out Anarchists, revolutionaries, and radical labor unionists. The lamp beside the golden door that was a welcoming beacon was now used to show the way out. That applied to foreign-born troublemakers, and the act allowed the use of administrative procedures without that pesky due process detail. We can go all the way back to 1798 and thank the men…

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