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News Link • Police State

Kurt Vonnegut and the American Police State

• www.counterpunch.org

Back in the early 1980s, I had the extraordinary good fortune to get to meet one of my literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, up close and personal. We shared a police wagon, sitting next to each other for a ride to the station to be booked for blocking the door to the South African consulate in a demonstration against that country’s then policy of white rule and apartheid.

I can’t say I got to know the author very well, but he was quite friendly and interesting to talk to, and after our arrest and booking was over, and we were released, I shared a cab as far as his house.

I got to thinking that thanks to the latest outrageous 5-4 decision by the US Supreme Court (supported fully<> by our Constitutional law-teacher President Barack Obama and his Solicitor General), which says it is now perfectly okay for police to strip-search innocent people picked up on any charge — even a traffic offense or a leash-law violation, or alleged failure to clear a warrant for a bald tire — had Kurt and I been busted for the same kind of protest today, we’d “know” each other much more intimately. For example I’d probably know if Vonnegut had hemorrhoids, and he’d know about a patch of skin discoloration on my balls.

Is this a great country or what?


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