Dear Judges, Lawyers, Policemen, Guards, Counselors, Taxpayers, et. al.,
We are here. Like it or not, for good or bad, we are here. Who are we? We are the
downtrodden and dispossesed, the self-torturing, the disenfranchised convicts,
drug and alcohol addicts, the unemployed and unemployable. We are the children of
poverty, financial and spiritual. We have and will have children of our own,
grandchildren too. We are ex-cons, uninsured, homeless, of many colors and speaking
many tongues. We are the enemy in what has become a domestic war against ourselves.
And who are you? You who like the tough talk of Tough on Crime? You who watch as
budgets are cut in education and health care while you militarize a police force?
Bullet-proof vests, automatic weapons, helicopters, tanks, robots ... the
testosterone is oozing through the streets, more prisons, longer sentences, tighten
the belt, spartan conditions, task forces, gang units, gun courts. And what is there
to show for it? Unemployent stays low because half the population oversees those
"out of the workforce", the dregs, the rabble, the enemy? Please tell me there is a
deeper reason. Do you feel safer? More humane? More like a cohesive society with a
shared sense of purpose, who can identify Us and Them? Do you live in a gated
community or gentrified neighborhood? By the way, have you read the Declaration of
Independence and US Constitution - or do you only know the first phrases?
It's about time we got together. Please know that I have yet to meet a convict who
wants their child to be a thief, an addict, a dealer, a prostitute, or a violent
individual. Most of us still have hope for ourselves even when stuck in the darkest
dilemmas, ruts and catch-22s. Most of us believe in crafting laws and instilling
order. Many of us have burrowed beneath the surface to find a spiritual sense of
being, an understanding force at least as powerful as those we succumbed to, and many
of use wouldn't escape if you opened the front door. Did you know that approximately
10 million Americans are either incarcerated, on probation, on parole or once were in
those categories? Each of those 10 million have families, friends, neighbors ... and
so closer and closer does the We interface with the You. Don't you think it's time we
Are you ready? Can you accept that the road we are travelling points toward a grim
and painful future? Do you have the heart to face monumental failures while bravely
struggling beyond where we are now? I know that some of you are, and that some of us
are, and this is what gives me hope. You need our insights just as we need your
structure. It is never over, especially when a real solution, a real treatment for
our sickness, is yet to begin.
Bruce Reilly (a.k.a Bruha)
Cranston, RI 02920 USA
BRUHA at junlic.pr.us
P.S. - I am trying to conceptualize an effective guerilla media campaign to promote
this cause. Ideas are welcome. Collaboration is prayed.
carried out. In their view, the
democratic aspect of newsgroup creation is the precursor to an
organized and democratic Usenet Of The Future.
On the other hand, some consider the democratic aspect of the
newsgroup creation process a sham and a fraud, since there is no power
of enforcement behind its decisions, and since there appears little
likelihood that any such power of enforcement will ever be given it.
For them, the appearance of democracy is only a tool used to keep
proponents of flawed newsgroup proposals from complaining about their
So, is Usenet on its way to full democracy? Or will property rights
and mistrust of central authority win the day? Beats me.
IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY...
Property rights being what they are, there is no higher authority on
Usenet than the people who own the machines on which Usenet traffic is
carried. If the owner of the machine you use says, "We will not carry
alt.sex on this machine," and you are not happy with that order, you
have no Usenet recourse. What can we outsiders do, after all?
That doesn't mean you are without options. Depending on the nature of
your site, you may have some internal political recourse. Or you might
find external pressure helpful. Or, with a minimal investment, you can
get a feed of your own from somewhere else. Computers capable of taking
Usenet feeds are down in the $500 range now, UNIX-capable boxes are going
for under $1000 (that price is dropping fast, so by the time you read