Jessica, 10 million Americans

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
talked?

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.
In Solidarity,

                                               Bruce Reilly (a.k.a Bruha)
                                               P.O.Box 8274
                                               Cranston, RI 02920 USA

P.S. - I am trying to conceptualize an effective guerilla media campaign to promote
this cause. Ideas are welcome. Collaboration is prayed.

Net As We
Knew It. It seems unlikely, however, that this collective enterprise
would be endangered by any one user’s actions, no matter how bold
they might be about trying to propogate their message against the
collective will of the rest of the net trying to keep them in check.
Was was surprising was how the success of the net became indistinguishable
from its failure.

IF YOU ARE UNHAPPY…

If you are unhappy, what are you doing reading netnews? Take a
break. Stretch. Walk outside in the sunshine or the snow. Relax
your brain, watch some TV for a while, listen to the radio. If
you need to communicate with someone else, give them a phone call,
or see them in person.

It’s good to not spend too much time all in the same place with
a fixed focus - rest your eyes everyone once in a while by
looking around at something else.

Don’t worry about missing anything, it’ll all get re-posted
if it’s any good.

WORDS TO LIVE BY #1:

Hours can slip by, people can come and go, and you’ll be locked
in Cyberspace. Remember to do your work!
– Brendan Kehoe

WORDS TO LIVE BY #2:

Part of the apprenticeship for a network guru was knowing enough
ot