It appears CERJ has quite a few followers. I've gotten e-mail
(lots) in regard to my column from all over the place. One was even fron
the Commissioner of Corrections in Alaska - asking permission to submit my
column to the Anchorage Daily News.
I also received, (then somehow lost before I could respond - I'm a
real whiz-kid with computers) an e-mail from a woman who wanted to submit
the column to various newspapers.
I would really like to expand to other newspapers with my
column-writing but have been told by several people that becoming
syndicated is very difficult. I was wondering if you could post a notice on
your web site asking that anyone who submits my column to a newspaper, if
it is printed, please e-mail me the name of the paper so that I can contact
that newspaper to see if it would run more of my stuff and perhaps others'
editorial- material related to the prison-machine monster.
Regardless of whether you want to do the above, I would still like
any data, articles, etc. you have on this issue. Also, can you give me
specifics (names, dates, etc.) of the stories you told me of - over the
phone - regarding abuses suffered at the hands of law officials?
Newspapers are an important medium in terms of shedding light on
any given issue - more so, I believe, than the internet. the majority of
Americans, in a recent poll, claim they get most of their important news
from newspapers. The thing about the internet is that it's so crowded with
web sites that if one is looking for a given subject, spending hours
reading is never out of the question. Also, although web pages are very
important research sources, most of the people that hit on them are members
of the 'already converted'.
I think it is very important to make large masses of people aware
of how things REALLY work in this country. One of the best weapons in
fighting such things as the proliferation of prisons is simply to expose
the reasons behind the industry's growth. People are very good at adding 2
and 2 so long as they are aware of the basic framework.
In my years of fighting such giants as the Cato Institute, the
Bradley Institute, and their affiliated sister 'think tanks', I have found
that the thing they fear most is public exposure.
Only one column, written last winter, stopped their push, here in
Vermont, toward privatizing schools. I researched a system already in
place - set up by governor Tommy Thompson - in Wisconsin, and found that
the Bradley Institute had sunk $10.2 million into establishing a voucher
system there. After the system was in place, every carpetbagger in the area
hung out a "Private School" sign. Many of the people who established the
new schools were also affiliated with the Bradley institute and are now in
jail or under indictment for fraud (the favorite mode was to falsify
attendance records in order to be 'reimbursed' by the state).
The point I'm trying to make is this: I did nothing more than to
write of the situation in Wisconsin, using my research, and the Cato
Institute (through the VT based Ethan Allen Institute) dropped their push
for a voucher school system in VT like it was a hot potato.
- Thanks for giving a sh-t about social justice - It seems it will always
be an endless battle - and *someone* has to fight for fairness in this
- luego, Doug Bruce
Doug and Liz Bruce = firstname.lastname@example.org
Rt 3 Box 282
Putney, VT 05346