Some observations and comparisons:

Salem, 1692-- The Witch Trials Twenty-five dead -- Nineteen accused witches, one man who would not enter a guilty plea and five people, including an infant, who died in prison.

USA, 2000-- The Drug War Thousands dead and two million in prison!


Here's a good read for you. You can compare the events in this book with the push for an accelerated Drug War in Columbia:

Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam------------------------- Author: H. R. McMaster


The Shadow Conventions (shadowing both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions and keynoting the Failed Drug War), kicked off on Sunday July 30th... in Philadelphia of course.

Unfortunately for you and me, it has drawn little or no media attention. Go to CNN or ABC news on the Net and just try to find a mention. I figure that in the tradition of Josef Goebbels (former Nazi chief of propaganda), the Shadow Conventions are counter-productive to the agenda.

But I can send you to -- take a look.

Except for some coverage on TVs C-Span channel and Channel 216 on the Dish Network, this Arianna Huffington inspired get-together has so far been pretty much eclipsed by coverage of the Republican Show and all the usual political rhetoric, glitz and blind followers that still persist, even though our country is in need of new ideas and goals to cure our sick society. Same old - same old. As usual, they are carried by national TV networks, complete with commercials, brought to you by money and for money. But not so the Shadow Conventions... Oh no, this is a movement based on thought and examination. Just plain old common sense with humor and satire added by Al Franken. Tune in folks and see the real stuff, geared to fix up the good old USA.

Arianna is perfect in the role of mistress of ceremonies, so to speak. And that's what I like about it... there is no strict ceremony, no blowhards... no BS. There are some heavyweights appearing here, among them Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and Senator Tom Campbell (R-California), Governor Gary Johnson (R-New Mexico), Ethan Nadelmann (Lindesmith Center/Drug Policy Foundation), Reverend Jesse Jackson, Scott Harshbarger (Common Cause), Eric Sterling (Criminal Justice Policy Foundation), Al Franken (satire is good for us), Pat Nolan (former Republican Speaker of the California State Assembly), and of course Arianna Huffington ( She should get the MACC "In Your Face" Award, you betcha. I'm happy to see this important event... especially in these Strange Days.

On the grapevine-- Have you run across all the flak and flap on the web concerning Santa Rosa CI in Florida? Seems that there had been some serious physical abuse against inmates by guards -- coupled with inhumane conditions, including 115-degree temperatures and the use of Pepper spray and gas. Mind you, there was no riot -- these were random acts of cruelty against certain helpless inmates. Well, after the word got outside the walls, a few determined mothers decided to get angry and tell others about it via email and forums on the Internet. The prison and the Department of Corrections in Florida was inundated with calls. The Florida DOC site was temporarily off-line for a while. Could this have been done to unpublish the telephone numbers of officials and agencies listed on their pages? Whooeeee! Talk about CYA! My sources tell me that things are quiet now. At the moment no one on the outside knows what is being done, if anything, in the prison. But I was told yesterday (July 31st) that a "gymnasium" was being constructed at Santa Rosa CI, accompanied by the usual inmate gossip: "Yeah, they're probably installing showers and ovens, like in the camps." Is that black humor or what?

Bye for now.... keep up the good.... and be sure to visit my favorite website for the latest news on the state of the nation.... Click on banner below.

William Kaber

1st week of August, 2000

Previously on Strange Days