Those were the magic words of the time: "Papiere, Bitte." (Translation:
"Papers, Please.") Hearing those words, even now, causes dull echoes
of sounds akin to bodies hitting dirt, or bullets penetrating flesh to thud into
my mind. Because, if those papers weren't correctly in order, or, if you were
a Jew sneakily present in any place (including the grocery store) which displayed
the usual "NO JEWS OR DOGS ALLOWED" sign, you were dead meat--literally.
And, yes, of course I'm talking about my childhood as a little Jewish kid in Nazi
No one ever forgets stench. Whether it is a long-forgotten encounter with a
ripe skunk, or a ripe egg, or a ripe decomposing body, once one of those odors
has been brain-documented, then even the slightest tinge of such an aroma pops
back up immediately, along with the circumstances under which it first offended
And, that's what's happening now. I smell the long-forgotten skunk, the long-forgotten
rot of fascism. What is happening all around can no longer be denied. What I
ran away from so desperately in 1938 is coming back full circle. Only the jack-boots
have not yet arrived. America quite literally saved my life. The love and gratitude
deep in my heart for this country will never go away. But I'm scared now. Haunted
by deep fear for the generations to come, who may wind up as I did -- looking
over their shoulders, scurrying for cover, mute with terror. And it hurts.
Think I'm some kinda elderly nut-job neurotically manufacturing dictatorship?
Well, let's look at the 82 billion dollar defense bill passed just a few weeks
ago, which (with a vote tally of 100 to 0) had the Real ID Act hidden inside
it. This law allows a national identification process in which each and every
person in the U.S.A. will be on computer.
This ID will be based on driver's license applications, although it isn't just
for driving. Just like the infamous "Internal Passport" of Nazi Germany,
no one will need it unless needing to fly, cash checks, apply for jobs, walk
the streets, enter federal buildings -- or drive. As stated in TIME magazine
on May 15, 2005, "If you are a wealthy recluse with liquid assets, it doesn't
concern you." Everyone else better watch out! Well, maybe that wealthy
recluse had better watch out also. After all, he/she might be of a forbidden
religion, or of suspicious racial origin.
Legal "ID Theft" and legal "illegal surveillance?" 
The Real ID Act links driver's licenses of all states, creating a data base
including the private details of every single U.S. citizen. It mandates that
your driver's license share a common machine-readable digital photo of you,
all the better to track your every movement. It hands the federal government
unfunded mandate power to dictate what data all states must collect for license
holders, including everything from fingerprints to retinal scans". And,
if you don't drive, you'll still need to submit to the national ID card. How
else, after all, will the cop who doesn't like the shape of your face, or the
fact that you are (God Forbid) wearing a turban get to arrest you? Yes, "Papiere
Bitte" has come home to roost.
And, folks, that's only the beginning. More technically sophisticated techniques
will be implemented as they occur. If the Nazis had had electronic surveillance,
phone bugging and all else that the Patriot Act not only condones but advises,
there would have been an even tighter grip on the populace.
After all, the Patriot Act is modeled directly after Gestapo methods: Those
3:00 AM home intrusions -- without warrant or reason for arrest -- will get
our undesirable "domestic terrorists" straight to the nearest version
of Guantanamo with no need for trial. The USA is currently building thirty seven
"detention centers" nationwide, and they'll soon be filled with persons
who protest too much, or are simply of the wrong nationality. After all, it
worked very well in Germany, successfully eliminating Jews, Gypsies, and anyone
willing to stand up, and refuse to "Hail Hitler."
What's next? Well, it's already happening: The Geneva Conventions were initiated
after WW II to prevent the insane war crimes and crimes against humanity perpetrated
by Nazi Germany from ever happening again. Now, with blithe disregard of all
of the above, the U.S.A. not only institutes torture (not just physical, but
deliberately mental and emotional) on its prisoners, but actually exports these
folks to countries in which such torture is governmentally approved. What the
U.S. domestic prison system has kept hidden for years, is now right out there
for everyone to applaud. How long it will take before the prison guards tie
together the legs of a woman in labor and then make bets on how long it will
take her to die? After all, that's what guards did for fun in Nazi Germany.
Abu Ghraib, anyone?
So, you ask, "If that's all true, why doesn't the media expose it all?"
Now, that's such a classic example of Nazi strategy, it's almost funny. The
Nazis took over the media, folks. No newspaper published a single sentence without
governmental approval, and propaganda was fed to the populace instead of news.
Sound familiar? A TIME magazine article, (April, 2005), gave illustrated examples
of how the current administration administers this process.
And, last but certainly not least, the Nazis took over the German government
in its entirety with one simple maneuver: They simply took over the courts.
You know, like it's happening right now, today, even as we speak: Our filibuster
was busted, and those neo-con activist judges are a-sittin' on the bench, ready
to take over the Supreme Court. Because, once that Supreme Court is co-opted,
hey, driver's license ID cards are gonna be the least of our worries. Ask me.
 Jim Babka, Canyon Lake Week, Canyon Lake, TX 5-11-2005
Doris is an independent writer and may be contacted at: email@example.com