This is Amerika in 2012:
Portales, NM -- Median income in this windswept, woebegone, weatherbeaten town in eastern New Mexico's high plains is a scintilla above poverty level.
Lori Teel houses and feeds five children ages 1 to 10 in this economic climate.
She doesn't have a library card but someone sent a tort claim notice to the city clerk alleging that she owes $35.98 in unpaid library fees.
The clerk's office sent dunning notices to a children's shelter where Teel hasn't lived for 20 years. When there was no response, a warrant was issued for her arrest. While her children wept in fear, Teel was handcuffed and jailed.
It cost her $610 for bail the next day after her terrified kids spent the night with utter strangers.
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Easton, PA -- David C. Gorczynski, 22, joined an "Occupy" protest at the Wells Fargo bank in this town of 27,000 about 60 miles outside of Philadelphia. He carried signs that read, “You’re being robbed” and “Give a man a gun, he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he can rob a country.”
Inside the bank, a nervous teller triggered an alarm when the protest started.
The police came.
They arrested Gorczynski on felony charges of attempted bank robbery and terroristic threatening, as well as one misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.
Easton Police Chief Carl Scalzo said, "People have to understand if they want to protest, there's a line."
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In New Mexico, a university graduate writes to the local paper -- apparently he's dead serious -- that Obama is at once a socialist and a fascist. He "proves" his case by misquoting both Marx and Hitler. The same publication regularly gives editorial page space to the county Republican chairman, enabling him to insist over and over again that only Christian believers have citizenship standing under the U.S. Constitution. Any government policy to the contrary violates his First Amendment rights!
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Meddling by elected idiots, lack of funding and overt religiosity have so degraded American education -- public and private -- that the ignorant are leading the blind. Case in point: On BBC 4 in the U.K. the other day, an interviewer talked with a surviving member of a U.S. Air Force crew that bombed Japan in the waning days of the second World War, remarking upon how little today's generations remember about that terrible conflict.
It prompted the flier to recall the recent occasion when he was asked to speak to a junior high school class in Texas, and was introduced by the teacher as a "veteran of World War eleven."
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In Iowa, a journalism student working the night news shift at the college radio station was making his routine last-minute calls to official sources in case there was late-breaking news. When he contacted the sheriff's office, the deputy on duty said, "We got a s'pected B an' E." The student asked, "Read me the report." The sheriff said, "It's a lot of pages." The student said, "Well, then, just tell me the gist of it."
"Jist what?" replied the officer of the law.
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This is Amerika in 2012.