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Citizen Performance Reviews Eased: SciFi News Network 2222

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BB Homeland Authorized News

Cleared by DHS-Press

Staff

Washington, D.C.

January 1, 2222

In the spirit of the new year and new beginnings, President Maria Tombaugh is authorized by DHS and the Supreme Board of Directors to issue an Executive Order easing the standards of Citizen Performance Reviews and the penalties and solutions for failing to meet standards.

Revocation of citizenship and deportation to Stateless Internment in Nevada, Alaska, Alabama, or Indiana camps is now reserved to citizens who fail three, rather than the previous standard of two, consecutive performance reviews.

Manufacturing quotas for Stateless facilities increase 1% with the new year as per standing policy. Quotas at new facilities will be set 5% lower than in established facilities for a two year “break-in” period.

Remediation Residential Programs for citizens who fail performance reviews have been expanded from three to five, with new camps opening in Montana and Mississippi in addition to the established program facilities in California, Missouri, and North Carolina. Remediation programs are expanded from eight to thirteen weeks residence, the President’s response to a 2220 SBD directive to improve the current 55% graduation rate to meet a 75% goal by 2228. Notice to report to RRPs has been eased from two days to five. “I believe citizens having sufficient time to prepare for their service will improve graduation rates by reducing the number of citizens who discover they have lost property or residence upon their return from RRPs,” the President said in authorized and DHS cleared remarks. In following remarks he made it clear that losses are the sole responsibility of affected citizens, quoting the exact text of official DHS and RRP materials provided to remediates.

Performance reviews for citizens will increase the weight of employer reviews from 33% of the score to 45%, with the remaining percentages changing to 25% credit score and 30% social media and public speech score. Unemployed citizens are no longer theoretically able to achieve a passing performance review score of 60% from the two other factors. “Let this serve as notice that the United States will have full employment and freeloaders will not be tolerated.”

As always, students in compulsory K-5 education and students who go on to higher education via scholarship or purchase of and satisfactory progress in government-licensed middle, high, and university schools up to completion of a Baccalaureate degree may present grades in lieu of employer review.

Medical exemption for unemployment is expanded to fifteen rather than twelve months in a ten-year period when approved by a licensed medical professional. An additional six months is available for injuries or illnesses that are directly linked to occupational hazards including accidents if the injured party is not at fault more than 10% at the ruling of an arbitration panel or judge. Military and DHS members retired with 35 years of service and select high-level federal and state political officers retired with 20 years or more of service are, as before, considered to have a maximum employer review regardless of employment status.

Congress has also applied for authorization to submit and consider a bill reducing fees for First Amendment permits including Peaceful Assembly, Approved Press or Citizen Press, or Minority Religion. Details are unavailable as the Supreme Board of Directors has not cleared details of the bill for discussion beyond officeholders in Congress and the Executive branch.

Supreme Director Arlexa Weems of MS-Apple and All-American Nanocircuit LLC criticized the potential bill, saying that making FA permits less expensive “invites the Wild West of misinformation, slander, and terrorism that marked the civil unrest and informational chaos of the early twenty-first century.” Her counterproposal is to fix permit costs to the index of inflation plus 2% to discourage “casual trolls whose only interest is anarchy.” Weems also criticized Congress as a “liberal enclave” whose “overly forgiving impulses must be held in check in order to preserve the smooth and profitable function of the grand business venture that is the United States of America.”

Political analysts believe the SBD is likely to split approximately 75 members to 25 in favor of Supreme Director Weems’ proposal.

*********

So, let me ask you: how could the United States get here from where we are now? Can you imagine a way?

This appeared on my Patreon page one week before it appeared here. Patrons get to see the good stuff early – it’s a way for my poor writerly butt to make a few extra bucks to ease my family’s trailer-bound existence.

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The American Dream, All New For The Tricentennial — SciFi News Network 2076

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Omniews Printernet Corporation

Staff

June 3, 2076

Omimerica Holdings is bringing you a bold new twist on the American Dream for the Tricentennial! Recent polls show that more Americans than ever before believe their leaders aren’t listening. The people who govern us aren’t accountable! They tell lies to get elected, break their promises as soon as they’re made, and get re-elected anyway.

By the time they choose to retire they’re a hundred times richer than when they got there — and you paid for it!

No more. Thanks to Omnimerica.

Omnimerica’s domination of the business world in every field has placed us in a unique position in history. Once, companies and citizens were at the mercy of the politicians. Sixty years ago, that began to change. For the first time ever, a global business concern (today a division of Omnimerica) and political office merged in the single person of the President of the United States. The people accepted it. The politicians accepted it. Our world, slowly, began to change. This year, that change is complete.

Today, an overwhelming majority of politicians at every level of government are involved with Omnimerica. They’re our board members, our executives, our division and holding heads, our consultants, and the customers of our worldwide supply chain.

So we’re taking action.

We’re changing everything. For the better.

Your voice will no longer be limited to voting for the lesser of two evils. You’ll vote every single day if you want! You can vote on every single issue, join the debate with your comments, reactions, and memes, and shape the policies of the United States AS THEY DEVELOP.

Never again will your voice go unheard. Omnimeria’s We The People is your destination to connect with family, friends, and the vital issues that matter to you. With a fast-moving timeline, fun games, an automatic entry in the billion-dollar Omnimerica Lottery with every post, and an advanced participation algorithm that could propel your words direct to the timeline of your local officials, the President of the United States, or even the Omnimerica Board of Directors, there’s so much to love that you’ll never fail to do your civic duty — or should we say, civic PLEASURE — ever again!

We The People is open for business in limited-participation mode right now. If you’re a US citizen, you already have an account! Log in with your SSN, birthdate, and a scan of your Citizenship Chip.

Government by the people begins on the day of the Tricentennial — log in at 12:01 PM PST on July 4th to cast your very first votes. You’ll be choosing the contestants for Dance Across the States, airing on Omnimusical 2 every Tuesday and Friday for thirteen weeks following the week of the Tricentennial. The winners will perform at ceremonies for thirty-five change of office ceremonies for mayors and governors slated for replacement by order of the Board of Directors.

Out with the old, and in with the NEW AMERICAN DREAM!

 

 

Preorder “A Pornodroid’s Tale” — A New Short Story To Be Released January 2nd, 2015

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This is the first time I’ve set up an advance release date on a story — maybe patience DOES come with age!

A Pornodroid’s Tale is a 99 cent short story single, about 3900 words in length. That’s about 15 1/2 standard paperback pages, for those of you unused to thinking in word lengths.

Here’s the blurb (THERE’S ALSO A 30% PREVIEW BELOW THE LINKS):

Jimmy Babe has it all — he’s an interplanetary pop star. He has the adulation of billions, a starship that doubles as a mansion, a pornodroid devoted to his every physical need. But stardom has become a burden to Jimmy, and he’s looking for a way out. Perhaps his awakened AI pornodroid can help — if his record label will let her, that is.

Where you can preorder it (or buy it, if you’re reading this on or after January 2nd, 2015):

Smashwords: Available now.

iTunes: Available now.

Barnes & Noble: Available now.

Kobo: Available now.

Amazon: Available now.

The preview:

Jimmy Babe sat facing a blank corner, face in hands, back to his mirrored makeup station, the entertainer console, the catering cart with its trays of local-planet fruits and cheeses, traditional teas from Earth, sparkling waters, and light wines. A dressing room was the only place other than his bedroom aboard ship that he had to himself; anywhere else he went, he was attended by company droids—co-performers and servants, yes, but also monitors, listening devices.

Jimmy was alone in body, but the chant of the waiting audience penetrated all of the barriers between it and him in the coliseum, shaking the walls, vibrating the roots of the building with his name: Jim-mee Babe. Jim-mee Babe. Jim-mee Babe. The chant was an omnidirectional roar, distorted by its passage through plastic and metal, muffled and muddied, barely intelligible. A sound like the rumble of coming thunder. Once, he had found the chant thrilling, intoxicating, sensual. Tens of thousands of living, breathing human beings calling his name out in passionate, near-sexual frenzy.

But that was seven years ago, when it was all new. When Jimmy had been plucked out of the Interplanetary Recording intern stable by an executive with an eye for salable looks and a voice that would respond well to autotuning. Now those seven years of performing meant nothing but thirteen more ahead of him, singing the same formula of novarock-pop in front of the same faces.

He hadn’t expected it to turn to drudgery, when he started. If someone had told him that it would, he would have laughed at them. Stardom and adulation, boring? Impossible. But though the songs he performed slowly changed with the years, they all sounded the same to him now. They all tasted the same as he sang them out, ashes in his mouth. And the faces in the crowd, from planet to planet to planet: oceanic masses of screaming teens, boys and girls too young to vote, the same hair, the same clothes, the same empty worship eyes filled with not him, but his plastic image, the marketing image that Interplanetary Recording pushed year after year. No matter how different the songs and the voices and the faces were, they were all the same.

All change in Jimmy’s life had ceased. Except for the one he would return to, after the show. She was the only thing he had that felt real.

The door opened with a click, his cue. Jimmy stood. Two of his tender droids waited on the other side of the door. Jimmy followed them out. The tender droids were identical and faceless, literally. They were bodyguards, backup dancers, stagehands, personal assistants. Foremost among their functions, they made sure Jimmy met his contractual obligations.

“Curtain in ten, Jimmy,” the one on the right said as they walked deeper into the roaring chant.

“The city is First Landing. It’s the capital of Bondar’s World. Named for the first Canadian astronaut, if you can believe it,” the one on the left said. “The names are on the back of the amp closest to your mark.”

Jimmy sighed, bouncing on his toes as he went, trying to force a surge of adrenalin for the stage. Ten meters down the hall and, as usual, he couldn’t tell which one of the androids had said what. They were identical, artificial intelligences in constant communication with each other and each other only. Which was which wasn’t important. For some reason it mattered to Jimmy, though. At one time he had tried labeling them with tape and giving them each a nickname, but they always removed the tape once they were out of his sight, so he had given up. They were all identical for a reason: marketing focus. Faceless so Jimmy’s would be the only face on stage. They were black-haired to serve as foils to Jimmy’s honey brown hair, large and strongly muscled to emphasize Jimmy’s slender frame, stubbled (their sole facial feature, a dark sculpted band of five o’clock shadow faintly absurd in the absence of nose and lips and eyes) and masculine in contrast to Jimmy’s androgynous look.

Once behind the curtains only a few steps from the stage, the fans’ chant was a bellowing comber of sound that erased meaning, a wave that crested and crashed whitewater onto the stage but refused to ebb. Jimmy popped smartplugs into his ears to damp the decibels, and his name resolved itself from the roar. The repetition of the chant quickly reduced his name to meaninglessness again as he stretched, danced a few warmup moves, sang scales into the tiny gold hovermics that sprang from their case to halo his head.

The curtain rose, and Jimmy walked out into screams that rose impossibly louder, becoming a physical force that pounded his bones like drums. JIM-MEE JIM-MEE JIM-MEE. Jimmy waved his hand over his head, plastic grin pasted from ear to ear, hollow behind blue eyes.

The curtain fell at the close of the third encore and the chant rose again, pursuing Jimmy to his dressing room like an animal. He slammed the door on it, left his sweat-soaked clothes on the floor, walked through a cool shower, let his tenders drape a robe over his naked body as he fled down the private performers’ hall to his car.

He reclined, eyes closed, and the car rose through the roof of the auditorium toward his ‘starfaring mansion’, as the entertainment rags put it. The tenders handled the piloting, strapped into the cockpit seats securely. It was a skill they’d discouraged him from cultivating, though he’d found simulators that would run on his personal tablet and practiced late at night. In defiance, at first, only doing what was discouraged because it was discouraged. Later, with the vague hope that one day it would be a skill he’d need, that he might, in some unlikely future, need to go somewhere alone one day.

“Will you want anything prepared for you?” the tender that wasn’t driving asked as they rose above the atmosphere. “The jacuzzi, your pornodroid, a meal?”

“A light meal, in my room. Mint tea. And the pornodroid,” he said. ‘The pornodroid’ was terribly impersonal, it felt wrong to call her that. But they didn’t know she was more. At least, Jimmy was pretty sure they didn’t.

#

“The amount of time he’s spending with the pornodroid is still trending up. Curve’s flattening, though. Like his popularity,” Miller Zapata said a few hours later on Earth, flicking graphs into the air from the face of his tablet. The graphs hovered side by side, three-dimensional, slowly rotating, steep half-mountains showing the gentle rounding of imminent peaks.

“Any more glitches?” Kenya Zhaopeng asked, eyes flitting from graph to graph. Jimmy Babe was still grossing well, selling out concerts, new album still holding near the tops of the charts in twenty-three planetary markets. He was big enough to rate his own team at Interplanetary Recording: Zhaopeng and Zapata, plus a few interns who came and went with the natural rhythms of the scholastic year.

“Glitches?” Zapata mimicked, and chuckled. “The pornodroid glitched once, six months ago. It happens. It didn’t glitch today and it won’t glitch tomorrow.”

“It doesn’t just happen,” Zhaopeng said, enlarging the profit and loss statement of the last concert with both hands. “Pornodroids are precision devices that practically date back to the dawn of the computer age. They’re too refined to glitch.”

“Well, it glitched. And it’s fine now. If it happens again we’ll swap it out.”

“He’ll notice if we do that,” Zhaopeng said, shaking her head.

“So? The whole purpose of the thing is to give him a secret to play with for a little while…”