CityBeat (Cincinnati)

Anti-War Cries In The Heartland

If President Bush is correct in seeing Cincinnati as the nation's heartland, let him take heed: 2,000 to 3,000 protesters greeted his war speech Oct. 7 in Cincinnati.

The first surprise is the numbers. Cincinnati is lately a place with many protests but usually few protesters. For Bush's visit, however, perhaps four times as many people attended the demonstration as attended the presidential address.

But then Bush's speech at Union Terminal was by invitation only, and that at the courtesy of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. If that seems fitting, note also the path the protesters had to traverse to get to the scene, walking past what's left of the public housing projects in the West End. Poor people were on one end of Ezzard Charles Drive, the President and his guests at the other.

The second surprise is the diversity of the uninvited. Cincinnati City Councilman David Crowley wasn't the only sixtysomething at the protest. More than one sign warned that war isn't healthy for pensions or other economic things.

Professors for Peace, Franciscan friars and nuns, Quakers, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, students from Earlham College, union members, Baptist ministers and lots of people with signs quoting the New Testament were in attendance, as were a giant Jesus puppet and several dozen Muslim women in veils.

Color and sound abounded, but civil rights attorney Bob Newman had the only bow tie in sight.

"I'm not a pacifist, but this is the wrong war at the wrong time," he said.

The third surprise was the vigor of the protesters. Police cordoned off all entrances to Union Terminal, leaving hundreds of people crammed onto narrow sidewalks on an expressway overpass. The wonder of such events is that a crowd of 3,000 could overrun 300 cops with relative ease, yet it seems never to dawn on anyone to try. So far, anyway.

Pre-emptive protest

Just as Bush didn't declare war in Cincinnati, the nascent anti-war movement didn't start here. But the behavior on the ground was telling.

This movement shows signs of being well advanced on tactics and crowd discipline. Human rights activist Michael McCleese called up the memory of the peace movement during the Vietnam War.

Instead of growing as the war dragged on, as happened during Vietnam, this anti-war movement seems mobilized from the start. After all, the White House announced Bush's visit here just four days in advance.

"If Bush starts a war, we have to be ready -- activists and peace-lovers -- to do what we did 40 years ago," McCleese said.

That's why what happened at Ezzard Charles Drive and Western Avenue at 8:30 p.m. is significant. Hundreds of protesters surged into the street and took control of the intersection, drumming, chanting and dancing dervishly. But this was more than the political playfulness that's come to mark the anti-globalization movement.

This street action worked; it accomplished a small but measurable goal. While dozens of police stood guard, the protesters succeeded in delaying the departure of Bush's guests.

The Rev. Damon Lynch III, president of the Black United Front (BUF), stood on the sidewalk facing the police barricade line. Juleana Frierson of BUF was in the street with a bullhorn, reinforcing the chant, "Whose streets? Our streets!"

A group of 10 protesters, including Susan Knight of the Coalition for a Humane Economy, sat in the middle of the intersection while protesters reveled in the illegal occupation of the intersection in front of Union Terminal.

At 8:52 p.m., police on horses blocked the crowd from the south side, while squad cars inched forward from the north. Still the protesters reveled, chanting, "Hold the streets!" and "This is what democracy looks like!"

At 9:15 p.m., police ordered demonstrators back onto sidewalks. At the northeast quadrant of the intersection, protester Brian Garry tried to pet a police officer's horse. The officer -- Cincinnati Police Department badge No. 388 -- reached for a can of chemical spray and yelled, "Get off!"

About an hour later, after the crowd had been pushed away from the area, police arrested Garry and several other stragglers. Garry was charged with assaulting a police horse and obstructing official business.

Unpleasantness for the cause

Dozens of Bush supporters stood outside Union Terminal, carrying signs supporting the U.S. military. One man carried a sign saying, "My son leaves in February." Another sign said, "Campus conservatives, you are not alone!"

Perhaps not, but on this night they were plainly outnumbered. And they had to endure such impertinent messages as, "The President lacks grey matter" and "Imperialism is for assholes."

Bush's speech itself was resolute and low-key, not dynamic. He knew this was friendly territory. He was interrupted by applause twice -- once when he said, "We will act as necessary and we will prevail" and again when he said, "We refuse to live in fear."

The tone was reminiscent of an opening night at the Aronoff Center for the Arts, when the audience is primed to be appreciative regardless of the performance: A standing ovation at the finale is de rigeur.

The setting was ironic, the President talking beneath Winold Reiss' mosaic murals of working people who built the city -- and the nation. Bush said lots about how evil Saddam Hussein is and what a threat he represents, but not much balance of concern with what war would mean to the American people in the long haul.

Guests were told to arrive at 5:30 p.m., more than two hours before the speech. Members of the audience got three warnings about "no cell phones, no pagers, no electronic devices, no cameras."

After standing in one of six lines on the sidewalk in front of the Museum Center, guests had to show tickets and driver licenses for comparison to a master list. Three metal detectors were in operation.

In all, guests had to spend four hours of effort to hear a 30-minute speech.

Gregory Flannery is a writer for Cincinnati CityBeat. Rick Pender contributed to this story.

Methadone Highway

Every day hundreds of Greater Cincinnatians drive Interstate 275 west to Lawrenceburg, exit at U.S. 50 and turn left toward the Argosy Casino -- but not to gamble.

Just before the casino entrance, they turn right onto Rudolph Way and head for an unremarkable office building at the end of the short road. There an aging security guard kindly opens the front door, revealing snack and pop machines, Ansel Adams and Successories prints on the wall and two windows dispensing daily doses of methadone.

To advocates, methadone -- a synthetic narcotic administered in tablet or liquid form -- is a lifesaving alternative to heroin and other illegal drugs. To others, methadone is little more than a substitute addiction.

Early one Saturday morning in January, most of the recovering addicts at the East Indiana Treatment Center wear flannel shirts, jeans, sneakers and baseball caps. An older woman shuffles across the floor with the aid of a walker. A young couple stands in line, looking as if they could be waiting for a bank teller or a new driver's license. It's impossible to tell the clinic's patients from its counselors.

Recovering opiate addicts go to the East Indiana Treatment Center to end their daily searches for heroin or their doctor-shopping for prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.

The center's patients more than doubled from 689 in 1998 to 1,420 in 2000, according to state records. Only 91 of those patients lived in Indiana. More than half, 748, were from Ohio and most of the others, 581, were from Kentucky.

Taking medicine is not 'using drugs' The center doesn't attract a methadone caravan because its services are free. Patients pay an average of $11.50 for each daily dose of methadone at this private, for-profit clinic.

Nor do many patients from Cincinnati drive to Lawrenceburg because it's the closest clinic. A public methadone clinic, Central Community Health Board (CCHB), operates in Mount Auburn.

But they might drive to Lawrenceburg because of CCHB's street reputation for ineffectively low methadone doses and for limited treatment availability.

"We are under-serving our population, there's no doubt about that," says Dr. Roberto Soria, former director of TriHealth's drug and alcohol rehab program at the former Bethesda Oak Hospital.

The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS) -- which regulates the state's nine methadone clinics, including CCHB -- knows Ohioans are going to Indiana for methadone treatment. But treatment providers say ODADAS isn't interested in increasing the size or number of public clinics in Ohio, despite growing support for methadone treatment among federal officials, grass-roots advocates and medical professionals.

An ODADAS spokesperson says at least two private parties have asked about starting new clinics in the last year, but none of the requests came from county drug treatment boards. Maybe they know not to ask.

Many in the conservative Midwest, especially law enforcement officials, still regard methadone as just another drug of addiction. Luceille Fleming -- ODADAS' director since the department was created in 1989 -- shares that belief, according to Sherry Knapp, executive director of the Hamilton County Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board (ADS).

"She sees it as a kind of substitute drug," Knapp says. "She would not allow (its use) to grow -- ever -- even if the demand grows."

Total abstinence from all drugs is ODADAS' ultimate goal and a requirement of state law. Methadone is allowed, but only in "short-term cases where it is absolutely necessary," says Lisa Generette, a spokesperson for ODADAS. This total abstinence philosophy encourages clinics to gradually reduce methadone doses to wean addicts from all opiates.

But multiple relapses are common for long-term, chronic opiate addicts who try to stay off drugs completely.

Furthermore, studies show at least some opiate addicts benefit greatly from steady methadone doses, or methadone maintenance treatment (MMT). This approach has allowed many recovering addicts to put aside chronic addictions to heroin, pain pills and other substances with few adverse health effects.

"Methadone still seems to be the best for the most," says Mac Bell, an administrator of the Kentucky Narcotics Treatment Program.

No cure exists for opiate addiction, but methadone is the best treatment available, according to Dr. Gene Somoza, a psychiatrist for 130 methadone patients at the Cincinnati Veteran's Administration Hospital, the only other clinic in the Tristate. Somoza also heads the Cincinnati Addiction Research Center at the University of Cincinnati.

"We don't have anything better right now," he says. "Until we find a cure, we have no choice. Everything else is illogical when you know all the facts."

Root canals for a fix Most Tristate opiate addicts don't use needles to get high, according to Soria. Instead they snort heroin or abuse pain pills such as Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin. Cincinnatian Brian Wilson's story might represent a typical Tristate case.

Wilson, 32, grew up in Bright, Ind., eight miles from Lawrenceburg and three miles from Harrison, Ohio. His dad has been a supervisor at a chemical factory for 35 years. Wilson's family treated him well and he never had to worry about material comforts.

At age 19 a doctor removed Wilson's tonsils and prescribed Percocet for pain. He took one and went to his part-time job at a fireworks stand the next day.

"It lifted me up and made me feel like I was in a good mood," Wilson says. "It put me on top of the world."

The next day he took two pills. When his prescription ran out, he looked for more. His friends pointed him in the right direction.

"In six months you can have a strong habit," Wilson says.

He always kept a job, despite his addiction. Compared to other drugs, pills were easy to hide. As time passed, the highs decreased and his daily dose increased. Soon the pills were just a way to feel normal again.

Three times Wilson was so desperate to avoid the severe, flu-like opiate withdrawal, he underwent unnecessary root canals just to get painkillers.

"Anything is better than having to go through the sickness (of withdrawal)," he says.

Many doctors don't have the training to recognize when addicts are getting a fix, he says. Others know but don't care.

"Some doctors are in it for the money," Wilson says.

Eventually, his wife of four years left him, granting joint custody of their son. One night he went out to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Before he made it home, he was arrested for drunken driving and lost his license for one year. Still on drugs, he drove anyway and ended up in the Dearborn County Jail for three months in 1999.

The jail term was the first time Wilson completely withdrew from opiates. The sickness lasted two weeks and included rounds of sweating, chills, fevers, vomiting and body-wrenching muscle cramps.

"You can't keep food down," he says.

Wilson had been to abstinence-based programs. He could stop using for a few days, but never longer. It was good to hear other addicts' stories and get their support, but he still had a physical craving for drugs.

"I've tried it," he says. "I've gone through 12-step programs four or five times."

By January 2000 Wilson was back on drugs but couldn't find pills, so he smoked heroin. Soon he was snorting it. He realized needles were next. With needles came the likelihood of hepatitis and AIDS.

Some of his friends had been talking about methadone. They said Cincinnati's public methadone clinic, CCHB, had a four-month waiting list. They offered to take him to Lawrenceburg.

Wilson met all the criteria for treatment, which he received almost immediately. He began with 30 mg, a standard first dose for a new patient. His tolerance required more, however, so now he takes 150 mg a day. Finding the right dosage is more about how the patient feels than numbers, he says.

Wilson swears by methadone. It's the only way he's been able to kick drugs.

"It turned everything around," he says.

But it hasn't been methadone alone; Wilson developed a completely new set of friends. Some of his old buddies died.

Wilson is the director of the Ohio chapter of Advocates For Recovery Through Medicine, a national group that backs methadone treatment. He believes methadone doesn't deserve the stigma many give it.

"I compare it to insulin," he says. "You never hear people tell diabetics they would be OK if they would just exercise and lose some weight."

You also never hear diabetics called insulin addicts, he says.

"I don't call it a habit," Wilson says. "There's a difference between having a habit and being dependent on a medication."

Without methadone, Wilson figures he would now be in jail, or maybe dead.

"I'll be dependent on it the rest of my life," he says.

It won't get you high, just healthy Many people question the validity of giving methadone to addicts. How can it be good to treat drug addicts with another drug? Isn't the only responsible lifestyle totally drug-free?

In the early 1940s, German scientists invented methadone as a replacement for morphine, scarce during the war. In 1967, when researchers didn't understand why heroin addicts would risk their lives to get drugs, psychiatrist Dr. Marie Nyswander and biochemist Dr. Vincent Dole of Rockefeller University proposed treating heroin addicts with methadone.

They found regular methadone doses ended addicts' desire for heroin without any adverse health effects, allowing them to begin working on the rest of their lives.

Methadone is an opiate, as are heroin, morphine and some prescription painkillers. But unlike illegal drugs, methadone does not provide a high to people who have a tolerance for opiates.

"Methadone programs don't get people high," says Anthony Tommasello, the director of the Office of Substance Abuse Research in the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy. "They just help people, in the street vernacular, get 'copacetic.' "

Drugs such as heroin flood the body's opiate receptors with chemicals that simulate the body's natural, pleasure-stimulating chemicals. Over time, the body's opiate receptors adjust to the unusually high levels of drugs and require even higher doses to produce the same euphoria. If the supply ends, the body goes through withdrawal. The deeper the addiction, the deeper the withdrawal.

A dose of heroin lasts four to six hours. A proper dose of methadone satisfies the body's demand for opiates for 24 hours. At the same time, it's an antagonist, blocking the effect of Vicodin, heroin and other opiates.

Just ask Wilson. Early in his methadone treatment, he took seven extra-strength Vicodins to see if he could get high. They had no effect.

Methadone has no effect on stimulants such as cocaine, an important limitation because some addicts abuse a variety of drugs.

While heroin and other illegal opiates act as severe depressants, methadone doesn't affect memory, the ability to do skilled tasks or other brain functions, according to Dr. Avram Goldstein, professor emeritus at Stanford University and author of the 1994 book, Addiction: From Biology To Drug Policy. In 1969 Goldstein established an MMT program in San Jose, the first in California.

For those who want to quit but couldn't succeed in 12-step, abstinence-based programs or gradually wean themselves from methadone without relapsing, MMT can be a platform for other lifestyle changes that allow people to overcome their destructive behavior, Goldstein wrote.

On the whole, about one-third of addicts don't respond to MMT, one-third have some success and one-third never use opiates again, Goldstein wrote.

Indiana uses a four-point scale to track the progress of its methadone patients: none, little, moderate and significant. As of Dec. 31, 2000, significant reductions came from:

·44 percent of 4,143 people who had abused prescription opiates,

·44 percent of 5,202 people who had abused non-prescription opiates,

·36 percent of 4,074 people who had engaged in criminal behavior and

·35 percent of 3,905 people who had engaged in risky behavior concerning infectious diseases.

Ohio and Kentucky don't keep such detailed records, although Kentucky and the Hamilton County ADS Board are beginning to gather them.

More striking are the bottom-line health benefits for addicts. Recovering addicts on MMT were 70 percent less likely to die than those who weren't, according to a 1997 statement by the National Institutes of Health.

Sometimes local Veteran's Administration Hospital patients ask Somoza to take them off methadone. Usually Somoza slowly reduces their methadone over six months.

"In every case, sooner or later, they got back to using heroin," Somoza says.

For example, one of his clients came from a New York prison that offered MMT and married a Cincinnati woman. He had been taking methadone and was stable for three years. Then they joined a church that favored total abstinence.

Somoza lowered the man's methadone dose over six months until he was drug-free. Everything seemed fine until an old friend from New York dropped in and offered him a hit. Within four months the man was back on his old heroin habit.

Somoza later ran across the man in an emergency room and discovered his wife had left him and he was homeless. The man began using methadone again, and within 18 months his wife had taken him back. Then the church re-entered the picture and the whole cycle repeated itself.

"There's no real downside to being on methadone except the 'sin' of being on it," Somoza says.

In contrast, about 90 percent of Somoza's MMT patients have opiate-free urine tests and about 80 percent are clean of all drugs except alcohol and marijuana.

"Occasionally, there are some people who can get off (opiates), but they are people who never were addicted," Somoza says.

Addiction seems to be partly connected to a person's ability to handle stress, Somoza says.

"The relationship between stress and addiction is fairly tight," he says. "The theory is that people who get addicted are people who can't comfort themselves."

Other research is focusing on the relationship between depression and addiction and whether or not long-term addiction permanently changes the body.

Doses are better in Lawrenceburg Recovering opiate addicts should be able to go to CCHB in Mount Auburn and receive treatment within 14 days, according to Lillian Toles, CCHB's director since 1985. The clinic serves up to 150 methadone patients at a time, plus 150 addicted to alcohol and other drugs.

"We turn very few people away," Toles says.

But many more drive to Lawrenceburg every day, sometimes getting treatment in the same day, like Wilson. If the patient shows steady progress for three months, as Wilson did, they qualify for take-home doses -- first a few days' worth, then a week's worth. Ohio requires two years of steady progress for take-home doses.

That's meaningful because it's a 52-mile round trip from Fountain Square to the East Indiana Treatment Center. Although Toles plays down any difficulty of getting into CCHB, its reputation -- deserved or not -- has reached Indianapolis.

"My experience is that you have big waiting lists," says John Viernes, deputy director in the Indiana Department of Mental Health and Addiction's Office of Public Policy.

Knapp says it's possible many recovering addicts don't go to CCHB because they think they can't get in, like Wilson. But that's not the only reason. Wilson's friends also told him CCHB provides the lowest possible dose. Soria has also heard about it.

"That's well-known," he says.

CCHB's doses average 40 to 60 mg but go as low as 10 mg and as high as 100 mg, according to John Silvany, CCHB's methadone program director since 1989. Bennett J. Cooper Jr., executive director of CCHB, says doses are adjusted case-by-case.

Toles and Knapp say Ohio requires approval from two physicians before a clinic can exceed 100 mg per dose. But Generette says Ohio doesn't impose any limit on doses.

The correct dose can be affected by diseases, such as hepatitis C, contracted by as many as 85 percent of heroin addicts, according to Somoza. Hepatitis-positive patients need a higher dose than others.

"It depends on weight and height and what they were doing on the street," Bell says.

The average effective dose in Kentucky's clinics is 80 to 120 mg, he says. Nearly all clinics start at about 30 mg and increase until reaching an effective dose. Wilson knows of people on as much as 1,500 mg.

Soria says most studies say that low-dosing isn't as effective as higher doses. If the dose doesn't satisfy an addict's craving for opiates, he'll use something else as well. Nor does a low dose block the effect of other opiates.

"If you want to ensure failure, you use a low dose," Goldstein says.

Marcie, a former CCHB patient who now lives in Northern Kentucky, relapsed five times while under its care. Marcie, who asked that only her first name be used, later learned she had received as little as 13 mg of methadone per day. Marcie, who has hepatitis C, now takes 150 mg a day from the East Indiana Treatment Center. She relapsed once early in her recovery, but not since.

"I always wanted to be clean," she says.

Marcie says she never knew how much methadone CCHB was giving her -- a practice known as "blind dosing." Wilson says that's another reason people don't go to CCHB.

About one-third of methadone clinics use blind doses, according to Silvany. They do it because recovering addicts sometimes try to brag to friends about how high a dose they take.

"It's kind of a badge of courage," Silvany says. Some patients do know their doses; it's up to the counselor, he said.

Soria says it's important for recovering addicts to believe their doctor and counselor. Blind doses aren't a good way to build this trust, he says.

"You're treating them like an adolescent," Soria says.

Toles says some people who go to Lawrenceburg just aren't interested in getting treatment with counseling and therapy.

Cooper, whose father was a supervisor in the Ohio prison system in the early 1970s, says recovering addicts sometimes need a confrontational style of treatment. Talking too much about doses can be a distraction, he says.

Both clinics have counselors. The major problem at East Indiana, Wilson says, is its high counselor turnover rate. The counselors there are inexperienced in general; state rules require only a bachelor's degree in any subject, he says.

But even Toles agrees the state is under-serving parts of southwest Ohio -- specifically Butler, Warren and Clermont counties. The next-nearest methadone clinic is in Dayton.

Cooper, who once had Toles' job, used to believe indefinite methadone treatment wasn't a solution, even if it kept addicts out of jail and off other drugs. Now he doesn't draw such a hard line.

"I would consider that a partial success," Cooper says.

See no evil, treat no evil In 1997, Kentucky drug treatment officials were working with MX Group Inc., an Erie, Pa. company, to open a clinic in Covington. Six other private clinics opened all over the state in the late 1990s to meet a growing demand for methadone treatment. The state runs two public clinics that offer less-expensive services.

But the Covington Board of Adjustment denied the application and the city has been fighting the clinic in court ever since. The issue is headed for a hearing March 19 in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The dispute is over whether MX Group has a constitutional right to open a clinic in Covington.

MX Group's attorneys, William Oldfield and David Davidson of Covington, believe opiate addiction is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the city must allow a clinic under the its current zoning.

"The big issue is whether the ADA applies," Oldfield says.

Methadone clinics have won similar cases in White Plains, N.Y., and in Antioch, Calif. In August 1997, MX Group applied for a site at an old West Pike Street train depot that had been converted to office space. The city's zoning administrator says the site met the city's legal requirements, but the clinic would have been two blocks from a school. Predictably, the city, the Covington Business Council, parents and others were upset.

Almost everyone who went to a September 1997 public hearing about the clinic had their minds made up, according to Melissa Fabian of Fort Wright, who has degrees in psychology and coursework in criminology and would have been the clinic's director.

"They just wanted to show us how angry they were," Fabian says. "They just did not want a treatment facility there."

Fabian completed the state-mandated demand assessment survey that justified opening a clinic, in part by checking arrest records and hospital admissions. The nearest Kentucky clinics are in Lexington and Louisville, 90 miles away. CCHB only can treat Hamilton County residents.

"We just didn't haphazardly decide we're going to plop down here and see if people will come," says Fabian, who now works for the Jewish Native Fund in Blue Ash.

Fabian talked about Kentuckians having to drive to Lawrenceburg for treatment. But opponents focused on the likelihood that a new clinic in Covington would attract addicts from Ohio.

"I just think it would create more of a criminal element," says Covington Mayor Butch Calley.

Calley supports taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Money isn't an issue, he says.

But the whole matter might soon be moot. Kentucky is processing an application for a methadone clinic in Florence, Bell says. The applicant, who Bell declined to disclose, has finished some of the work but still needs approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and final approval from Kentucky.

Methadone beats dying Those who don't flinch when social services are cut should consider some numbers. The DEA's budget in 2000 was more than $1.55 billion -- 20 times what it was in 1973. Fifty-five percent of federal prisoners and 20 percent of state prisoners are behind bars for drug-related crimes. At least 70 percent of the inmates at the Hamilton County Justice Center violated drug laws or have drug problems, according to Knapp.

Yet no state prisons in Indiana, Ohio or Kentucky offer any methadone treatment; nor does the Hamilton County Justice Center. All insist on abstinence-based treatment. Kentucky prisons can only provide general drug treatment to 17 percent of prisoners, according to Dr. Rick Purvis of the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Kentucky, which suffered an outbreak of OxyContin abuse in recent years, allowed six new private, for-profit clinics to open since 1995 to complement its two state-funded clinics, according to Bell.

Indiana began a five-year moratorium on new clinics in 1998, but it already had 13 -- almost three times the number per capita in Ohio.

But don't expect Ohio to allow new private clinics to complement its nine public ones. The state's methadone regulations effectively prevent this from happening, according to Soria, who researched the possibility while working at Bethesda. Any clinic that wants to dispense methadone must first offer non-methadone drug rehab for two years -- a hurdle that private clinics can't clear, he says.

ODADAS is concerned that for-profit clinics will exploit recovering addicts and wants them to establish a track record, according to Generette.

Getting a new public clinic might not be any easier. At least four local hospitals have cut or reduced their drug treatment programs, according to Soria. Knapp says the Hamilton County addiction board's funding allows it only to maintain existing programs.

Ohio is not proactive about methadone, according to Bell.

"They just don't want to deal with it," he says.

Treating addiction requires more than handing out methadone, Soria says. Recovering addicts need counseling.

"We need treatment, not just dosing," Soria says. "Dosing isn't treatment."

Although states are still left to manage their own programs, the federal government is in the middle of standardizing some parts of methadone treatment, including the availability of take-home methadone doses.

The National Institutes of Health have called for increased access to MMT. Advocacy groups such as the American Methadone Treatment Association are joining the call. Even Barry McCaffrey, former director of the White House Office on National Drug Control Policy, said in 1998 he supports making MMT more available.

Bell is still fighting for acceptance of MMT. State legislation ending MMT might be proposed in the Kentucky Senate soon.

Methadone is a powerful drug that can be abused if handed out too freely. One person died from a methadone overdose in Hamilton County from Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2001, according to the Hamilton County Coroner's Office. But 25 others died from overdoses or likely overdoses of heroin or other opiates.

A few of those who died had recently been released from prison, and a few had received methadone treatment at East Indiana in Lawrenceburg or the Veteran's Administration Hospital, but they were exceptions.

Most of those who died had jobs, including a 30-year-old waiter at a downtown hotel, a 20-year-old legal secretary who had finished a non-methadone treatment program and a 51-year-old construction worker. Many were white males in their 30s and 40s.

It's impossible to say if treatment would have saved any lives. But Wilson knows one thing for sure -- getting heroin is easier than getting methadone treatment.

"I could take you downtown and could get heroin in 10 minutes." He says. "Take it from somebody who knows from being there. And it's getting cheaper and cheaper and cheaper."


Drug Abuse, By The Numbers

14 million -- number of Americans who used some form of illegal drugs in 2000

130,000 -- estimated number of opiate (heroin, etc.) users, age 12 and older, in the United States today

33,000 -- estimated number of heroin-related emergency room visits in the U.S. in 1990

96,000 -- estimated number of heroin-related emergency room visits in the U.S. in 2000

5,211 -- number of OxyContin-related emergency room visits in 1998

10,825 -- number of OxyContin-related emergency room visits in 2000

$21,140 -- average annual cost of keeping an inmate in a state prison in 2000

$2,941 -- average cost of drug rehabilitation of all kinds, per treatment episode in 1999

$2,575 -- average cost of an outpatient methadone program, per treatment episode in 1999

$11,462 -- average per addict cost in crime in the year before treatment of any kind

$2,851 -- average per addict cost in crime in the year after treatment of any kind

20 percent -- U.S. state prison population arrested for drug-related charges in 1999

3,384, or 16.3 percent -- number of people in federal prisons for drug-related charges in 1970

75,625, or 55 percent -- number of people in federal prisons for drug-related charges in October 2001

31 percent -- amount above capacity federal prisons were operating in December 2000

$74.9 million -- Drug Enforcement Agency's annual budget in 1973

$1.55 billion -- Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) annual budget in 2001

2,898 -- number of DEA employees in 1973

9,132 -- number of DEA employees in 2001

SOURCES: Drug Abuse Warning Network, Criminal Justice Institute's 2000 Corrections Yearbook, Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

Flagging Interest

Dear Neighbor,

The fact that you, along with everyone else on the street, are flying the American flag has not escaped my attention. I suspect that my failure to do the same might also have attracted yours. Please allow me to explain why my display of patriotism is so lacking:

1. I burned all my flags protesting something. Or things, I should say, though I don't remember what exactly. Probably I flambeed a few over nuclear proliferation; I was big on that for a while and I could really get into a froth on the subject. And I torched plenty of them at free speech demonstrations; those rallies always got my flag-burning juices flowing. NAFTA and the WTO claimed a few, too. Honestly, though, a lot my flags got ashed for less than noble reasons. I mean, burning them kind of became my "thing," my "signature." I lit 'em at my nephew's Little League games, at my high school reunion, even one time at the grand opening of a Super Cuts. Whatever, that big box of American flags I had in my basement is empty now.

2. I don't really need a flag in my yard since I recently stuck a teeny-tiny "window cling" decal of an American flag in the middle of my left contact lens. That way, I see a vague, translucent image of the Stars and Stripes out in front of me all day long. Also, if I poke myself hard in the eye with my finger, the red and blue and purple spots I see look like fireworks going off behind Old Glory on the 4th of July.

3. I'm trying to impress an Afghan woman who works in my office and who I'm thinking about asking on a date. Her name's Shelly and she's a second generation American and everything, and from what I've overheard her say to other people in the break room she deplores terrorism and supports this country's fight against it, but, geez, she's really, really cute and I don't want to do anything that could even remotely hurt my chances with her if I ever get the nerve to actually go out with her and, you know, bring her back to my place for coffee or a drink.

4. Stripes make my house look fat. I keep hoping the government will come out with a flag in a solid, muted earth tone or, if they absolutely have to have a print, a subtle houndstooth, you know, something that'll look good on your average Midwestern house, not just on some skinny, New York brownstones.

5. My flagpole, made of black walnut, manufactured in the 1920s and rated for 48 stars, is currently in the shop being restored, updated and modified to accommodate the modern American 50-star standard.

6. It's been almost three years since you all started calling me "the lazy ass who won't paint his house" and I'm sick and tired of it. May I suggest you now switch to "the son of a bitch without the flag?"

7. As someone of Swiss descent, I find myself confronting this time of great crisis with nothing more than a swelling sense of neutrality.

8. You always expect me to play along with your little yard themes and schemes, but you never go along with mine. Like, remember a few years ago? Somebody got a cement goose and dressed it up in different outfits and before you know it everybody's got a goose with outfits. It was practically mandatory. Then came the silhouettes. Of the dog barking up the tree, of the man leaning against the tree, etc., etc. And before this whole Old Glory kick, every house around here was all caught up in hanging holiday flags and special occasion flags and seasonal flags. But how about when I replaced my garage door with strings of glass beads? Or when I turned the front yard into a prairie dog village? Or the condom machine next to the mail box? Where were you trend sheep for those ideas? Nowhere. Well, I'm telling you, you provincial bastards, until somebody gets behind one of my ideas, screw you.

9. There are strict rules governing the hows and whens and wheres of displaying the United States flag, and if I were any good whatsoever at following strict rules, I wouldn't have a pair of cuticle scissors and three bottle caps lodged in my large intestine.

10. My habitual abuse of peyote renders me incapable of undertaking any job which would require my attention for any time period longer than 10 angstroms in the cruel helix of wolf geography. Repiffens?

Yours sinceremoniously,

Bob

Bob Woodiwiss writes humor and satire columns for the Cincinnati Citybeat.

Spooked in America

'Twas Halloween evening and all through the house,
The martinis were stirring (you see, I'm a souse).

The candy'd been purchased, the Kit Kats and Snickers,
I dumped them in bowls for the treaters and trickers.
Though I have to admit I was pissed when I saw
The bars were no bigger than a toy poodle's paw.

With Mate in her wolf's mask and I dressed as Kruger,
We lurked in the shadows, for to scare little boogers.
When out in the front yard there arose such a clatter,
I suddenly lost all control of my bladder.
I looked and I peeked and I peered and I spied,
For a threat was inferred. (Or do I mean "implied?")

The moon on the piles of the crisp, fallen leaves,
Told me soon I'd be raking, there'd be no reprieve.
When what in my night vision scope should appear,
But a terrorist cell, all in turbans and beards.
Then a spooky hobgoblin seemed to ooze from the group,
Yes, Osama bin Laden, the vile nincompoop.

He looked o'er his flunkies, then he started to call,
Some names of his grim and bloodthirsty cabal.
"On Ahmed! On Fazul! On Al-Zawahiri!
Abdullah, Mustafa, bin Ali El-Hoorie."
His minions un-safety'd their guns and advanced,
And solid joined liquid down below in my pants.

My mouth became dry and I started to quiver;
I chugged my martini (oh, to hell with my liver!).
These Halloween devils had me quite mortified.
I thought: Where's the cops? And the FB of I?
Instead of green witches and blue Power Rangers,
I'm white as a ghost with real feelings of danger.

In a twinkling the bogeymen spread 'round my yard,
Tromping hostas and asters with cruel disregard.
Their leader came forward, stepping up to my door,
With a look on his face I'd describe as cocksure.
"Trick or treat, infidel," in my face this was spat.
My martini responded, "Hi, Osama. Kit Kat?"

He pushed past the wife and me, into the foyer,
Such an odious scumbag (even worse than most lawyers).
His mouth, how sadistic! His cheeks oh-so sallow!
His hands -- cracked and dry -- cried for lotion with aloe.
The beard on his chin was all pepper and salt.
And his lunatic eyes, well, those, oy gevalt!
A long slender face topped his bony physique.
He dressed like a soldier, not exactly trés sheik.
I guess I expected some flash, something gaudy,
Come on, after all, he's a millionaire Saudi.

A turban was perched on his head with aplomb,
And in his coat's pocket I could see a small bomb.
In his grip, a Kalishnikov, aimed at my belly,
A short burst of slugs and I'd be vermicelli.
This weapon he flaunted, just as if he were brave.
(Note: He smelled of bat guano; such is life in a cave.)

He spoke in a voice that was almost melodic,
The content, however, tended more toward psychotic.

"I am visiting homes on this Halloween night,
'Cause I'm scary and ghastly and normalcy's blight.
I want to disturb you and creep out this nation,
To recast my shadow and sow desperation.
I want you to cower, to shudder and quail.
Don't travel. Stay home. Oh, and boil all your mail.
Stop spending and watch your economy plunge deep;
Help speed the Great Satan to history's dung heap.
And thus shall I subjugate, sack and subdue.
The short version, infidel? Quite simply, it's 'BOO!'"

With the squint of an eye and the look of a skink,
Osama and henchmen scattered into night's ink.

"Now that cat," the Mate said, "was the blackest of blacks,
I mean, his bad luck just might give us anthrax."

Then we stood there, afraid, just as we'd been advised,
We trembled, we worried, stiff and immobilized.
The moment stretched long and the mood grew more heavy,
Till she said with resolve, "Let's go buy us a Chevy."

Bob Woodiwiss writes satire and humor columns for the Cincinatti Citybeat.

Card Carrying Capitalist

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When Cramped Planes Kill

In the interests of intrepid reporting, I'm writing this dispatch from seat 17E of a commercial aircraft, cruising at 36,000 feet somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean. I haven't moved from my seat since we passed Iceland almost four hours ago. Oh, and I'm drunk too.

My current location and behavior put me at risk of developing a potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clot.

Otherwise known as economy-class syndrome or traveler's thrombosis, DVT is currently big news in Europe where it recently has been blamed for the deaths of several passengers following long-haul flights. Experts say clots often form in the legs because of cramped seating conditions and become fatal if they move to vital organs such as the heart, brain or lungs. Symptoms include shortness of breath, pain, swelling, and warmth.

As the number of daily aircraft flights rapidly increases, so does the prevalence of DVT. In the past eight years, doctors at Tokyo International airport have seen a total of 25 passengers die from blood clots and, each year, they treat almost 150 passengers for DVT symptoms. In a recent Reuters news report, an Australian surgeon estimated that as many as 400 airline passengers arrive annually at Sydney airport requiring treatment for DVTs and, currently, over 800 Australians are attempting to bring legal action against 20 global airlines for not informing them about the condition and how best to avoid it.

According to other reports, 70 percent of DVT cases are among economy-class passengers, 25 percent are in business-class travelers and only five percent are found in first-class passengers. But, despite attempts by the mainstream media to make DVTs a socio-political issue, by linking it to cheaper seats with less legroom, all passengers are at an equal risk of developing blood clots. The percentage breakdown of cases, showing fewer cases occurring in first-class than economy class, is more a reflection of the number of passengers in each section of the aircraft than a comment on the cause of DVT.

It's just more satisfying when someone from first-class bites the big one and sprays the ergonomically contoured upholstery of their seat with caviar and chilled Chardonnay, right comrades? But seriously.

Victims of DVT, so far, have included commercial and military pilots, Olympic athletes traveling to Australia for competition and even a Vice President, bumbling idiot Dan Quayle, who received treatment for blood clots in 1994.

Those most at risk include pregnant women, women taking birth-control pills or hormone-replacement therapy, individuals who have recently undergone leg or pelvic surgery, people with varicose veins or leg injuries, individuals with a genetic predisposition towards developing leg clots, cancer patients, tall people, elderly people, overweight people, and smokers.

In other words, probably you or someone you know.

And the risk of developing DVT also is dramatically increased with alcohol consumption, decreased mobility and dehydration caused by pressurized aircraft cabins. Researchers have found that sitting still for as little as four hours causes a significant amount of blood to pool in the legs, increasing the chances of developing a clot there.

In other words, absolutely everybody.

In a 1999 study published in the journal VASA, investigators looking at 19 cases of DVT found that almost all of the patients had been drinking alcohol and had not been actively moving their legs during their flights.

In another study, published in Aviation, Space & Environmental Medicine, researchers found that 33 of 134 patients treated for DVT had traveled non-stop by aircraft for four hours or more within 31 days prior to treatment. In other words, you're chances of developing a DVT and keeling over at the baggage carousel, sombrero tumbling poignantly to the floor, are much higher than your chances of contracting Mediterranean Spotted Fever or Von Hippel Lindau Disease.

In response to public concern, British Airways announced January 9, it would be providing information when issuing airline tickets to help passengers take precautions against DVT. Those traveling on long-haul flights should refrain from drinking, or sitting cross-legged during long-haul flights and should wear loose-fitting clothing and book an exit-row, bulkhead or aisle seat where possible. Passengers should also walk around the cabin once an hour to prevent pooling of blood in the deep veins of the legs. If this is not possible, leg exercises can be performed and DVT prevented by mimicking the action of depressing an accelerator pedal 20 times at one-hour intervals. Those particularly at risk should contact a doctor who might advise them to take an aspirin before flying to thin the blood a little and lessen the chances of clot formation. More recently, Thai airlines announced plans January 25, to provide free treatment to passengers suffering DVT if they agree to participate in a government study of the condition.

But as yet, airlines still have no plans to inform passengers of how to avoid Mediterranean Spotted Fever or Von Hippel Lindau Disease, which in my opinion, is just irresponsible. It's just another example of profiteering without a conscience, if you ask me. And if you've seen the damage a bout of Mediterranean Spotted Fever can do to a family you'll agree with me too.

Anyway, it's time for another round of my hourly exercises. But I might as well finish my drink first, I mean, there's no point wasting it, right?

No New Tricks

Another year in science and technology has passed and there are still no flying cars. There are no three-course meals in easy-to-swallow pill form, no two-hour trans-Atlantic flights, and we still can't breathe underwater.

Among our many illustrious achievements we can count the wheel, the telephone, antibiotics, and the internal combustion engine. We consider ourselves the most intelligent, successful and well-adapted species on the planet. But just how far have we come in the estimated 52,000 years since early man migrated from Africa, and colonized the rest of the world? Actually, not so far.

We still visit the dentist regularly, broken bones still take six weeks to heal, and, in the United States, the average lifespan for a male is still only about 75 years. In China, it's only about 68 years. In Tanzania, it's 42 years.

With the onset of old age, comes memory-loss, wasting, impotence and general infirmity. And there is no cure. Likewise, there is still no cure for AIDS, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury or the common cold. And in places like Tanzania, there is still no cure for cholera, dysentery, anthrax, or polio either.

We still don't understand the mechanisms that control learning, consciousness, laughter, sleep, or memory. And we still don't understand why some people decide to kill other people. But according to the National Clearing House for Alcohol and Drug Information, alcohol is a key factor in 68% of manslaughters, 62% of assaults, 54% of murders and attempted murders. In 1997 there were over 18,000 homicides in the United States.

The death penalty is still not a deterrent.

Nor was Prohibition.

Crops still fail, rivers still flood their banks, and we're still no better at anticipating earthquakes or volcanic eruptions than the people of Pompeii, reduced to statues and buried in ash by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

According to a report by the Cremation Association of North America, over 2,345,000 people died in the United States in 1999. Almost 600,000 of them were cremated. That's about 25 percent. The rest were put in the ground. Or maybe buried at sea.

Burial at sea must comply with the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Volume 17, Parts 190-259, Revised as of July 1, 1999 which states: "Burial at sea of human remains which are not cremated shall take place no closer than 3 nautical miles from land and in water no less than one hundred fathoms (six hundred feet) deep and in no less than three hundred fathoms (eighteen hundred feet) from (i) 27 deg.30'00" to 31 deg.00'00" North Latitude off St. Augustine and Cape Canaveral, Florida; (ii) 82 deg.20'00" to 84 deg.00'00" West Longitude off Dry Tortugas, Florida; and (iii) 87 deg.15'00" to 89 deg.50'00" West Longitude off the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida. All necessary measures shall be taken to ensure that the remains sink to the bottom rapidly and permanently."

So, there are rules to follow. Even in death.

Evolution hasn't given us gills, webbed toes, night-vision, telepathic powers, or peaceful dispositions. Men haven't given birth, or been shrunk to the size of a pea, developed cars that use water for fuel or mined the Moon's valuable resources.

There haven't been any meteors, plagues or alien invasions of Earth-threatening proportions, which is fortunate because we still haven't developed any measures to protect ourselves against them if there are.

Light still travels at 186,000 miles per second, sound still travels at about 344 meters per second and neither is going to speed up or slow down any time soon.

The planet Earth is still 40,077 kilometers in circumference and 12,756 kilometers in diameter; it still orbits the sun every 365.26 days and revolves on its axis every 23.93 hours. Over seven tenths of its surface are still covered with water. Its temperature range is 136ºF to --128ºF. It is now home to over 6 billion people. It is still the third planet from the sun in a solar system found in a spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy. There are billions of similar galaxies in the Universe that also could also potentially contain life-harboring planets just like Earth. One of those galaxies is called NGC 891. Another one is called M81. They're everywhere.

There is still no time travel, no ray guns, and no treatment for jetlag. We haven't cloned Jesus, bagged the Yeti, found Atlantis or stepped foot on Mars. There is still no viable substitute for fossil fuels, human blood, or the ozone layer.

On average, we each still take approximately seven minutes and twenty seconds to fall to sleep and we each need about eight hours of restorative sleep to function efficiently.

We are still each made up of over 75 trillion cells, 10 billion neurons, 206 bones, 46 chromosomes, 32 teeth, seven meters of small intestine and our skin, on average, still weighs about six pounds.

Our body temperature is still 98.6ºF.

At 29,035 feet, Mount Everest is still the highest point on Earth. A total of 1172 people have reached its summit since 1922 and 163 people have died trying. It beats being buried at sea. At 36,198 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, and lying 210 miles southwest of Guam, the Marianas Trench is still the deepest point of any ocean on Earth. It was first reached in 1960 by two men in a US Navy bathyscape called The Trieste.

Trieste is also a city in Italy.

According to the US State Department, there are currently 191 countries in the world and there is still no global language. Unless you consider Esperanto a global language. Invented and introduced in 1887 by Dr L. L. Zamenhof, it is supposedly spoken by millions.

But more people probably speak Klingon.

"Goodbye" is "Qapla'" in Klingon.

Now, isn't that something?

Police Clash with Cincinatti TABD Protestors

For complete coverage of the TABD protests, see the Cincinnati Citybeat's web site, at www.citybeat.com/tabd/index.html.

Four pivotal moments defined N16, the protests in Cincinnati against the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) Nov. 16-18 -- four confrontations between protesters and Cincinnati Police. Each involved peaceful demonstrators and officers assigned to keep the peace.

From the outset, police set a tone of intimidation that belied Capt. Vince Demasi's promises of a kinder, gentler police division. At a briefing Nov. 15, Demasi said officers would not be in riot gear unless there was a reason.

"At this point in time, we have no plans to put officers in protective gear," he said.

Police expected nothing out of the ordinary, Demasi said -- they would cover the three days of protests just as they would a football game.

"I feel real confident that this is a big to-do about nothing," he said.

But at the beginning of the first rally at noon Nov. 16, officers were on the streets in riot gear -- complete with helmets, gas masks and sponge-bullet rifles. The SWAT team was on hand, and undercover officers were videotaping the rally.

After the rally on Fountain Square, protesters marched to Kroger corporate headquarters, 1014 Vine St. Protesters remained on sidewalks, chanting and picketing, followed by about a dozen officers in riot gear. Groups of mounted officers patrolled the block. Officers in unmarked and marked vans and cars circled the Kroger Building.

The heavy police presence continued throughout the day. While members of the TABD attended a performance of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, about 100 protesters encountered a line of officers in front of Music Hall. Forty officers in riot gear flanked the building, and mounted officers stationed themselves in Washington Park.

Police set the tone, and it was not the happy song Demasi sang. To know what happened during N16, you had to be on West Fourth Street the afternoon of Nov. 17, trapped in a tunnel by police that night, searched the next morning while entering Fountain Square and set upon by a bus full of cops the afternoon of Nov. 18 on East Eighth Street.

Direct Action Gets Satisfaction

A peaceful march set out the morning of Nov. 17 from Sawyer Point to Fountain Square. A helicopter followed the march. Officers in riot gear lined streets. Mounted officers patrolled, and the SWAT team was ready.

At about 2 p.m. Nov. 17 the black-bloc began a direct action -- a tactic by demonstrators wearing all black, bandanas masking their faces. The black bloc acted in response to the massive police presence, according to Salim McCarron, of San Francisco, a videographer for the Independent Media Center.

"Police determine the tone for any protest," McCarron said. "They set a tone from the beginning that was intimidating. They didn't need to be monitoring people at the rally (the day before) or pulling out gas masks when people are just doing a picket. Bringing out the cavalry, so to speak, at such an early stage in the game sets a tone. When you set that tone, people are going to be responding to what the police are doing."

Police had approximately 200 protesters surrounded at the intersection of Fifth and Vine streets. What happened next was a "hit and run," McCarron said -- a tactic used to lure police to one location as the crowd suddenly moves to another. This causes the police to have to reconstruct their lines.

Unified by chants of "Whose streets? Our streets!" the group headed to Fourth Street from Fountain Square in search of the TABD home base -- the Omni Netherland Plaza Hotel. For the next 40 minutes, members of the black bloc knocked over police roadblocks. That was the most "violent" the protesters got. After traveling two blocks west on Fourth Street, the march ended as police surrounded them at Elm Street.

People tried to disperse, but couldn't. Arrests were made. McCarron was pushed by an officer as he filmed two arrests. His tape shows an officer hitting a protester with a billy club after the protestor was on the ground being restrained by another officer.

A second protester lay on the ground, with two officers on top of him; he was screaming that the officers were hurting him.

On orders from Demasi, officers detained the crowd. Most protesters wanted to disperse.

"You've got a bunch of people standing on the sidewalk trying to disperse, because if they didn't want to disperse, they would follow the march," said one protester. "The cops have surrounded the sidewalk and forced people against the buildings, but they're saying, 'We're trying to make people disperse.' How the hell do you make people disperse when you're surrounding them? You got cops on this side saying, 'If you want to disperse, go that way.' You got cops over there saying, 'If you want to disperse, go that way.'

"There seems to be no one in charge, so we're all just going to stand here in the cold. The other thing is that no lieutenants will respond to our requests to have information about what is happening. That is completely undemocratic and a police state."

McCarron asked an officer if police were worried about people joining in another protest.

"I'm not worried about anything right now," the officer said. "I'm just standing here."

After a few minutes, the crowd was allowed to disperse. As they did, bystanders cheered for them.

Meanwhile, a smaller group of protesters had continued south on Elm Street. Once there, officers used canisters of mace to subdue them, according to Lt. Ray Ruberg, spokesman for the police division.

McCarron deemed the hit-and-run a success. The black bloc caused enough civil resistance, as he put it, to show police intimidation wasn't working.

Anarchy With a Human Face

McCarron came to Cincinnati with one purpose -- to address issues raised by the TABD. By trade, he is a graphic designer for a dot.com company in San Francisco. By avocation, he is an activist and an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

McCarron is also a Sufi, an anarcho-syndicalist and a member of the black bloc. He is as clear in his vision as he is complex in his beliefs. At age 21, he received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy. As a "conscientious objector," he didn't agree with the Bush administration's use of force in Kuwait during the Gulf War. That was July 1990. A month later, protesting at Kent State University against the war, he became an activist -- one who used to have top-secret security clearance working on missions with the Navy SEALS.

As a Sufi, a sect of Islam, McCarron has a value system based on a universal approach. He believes in universal labor and human rights. As an anarcho-syndicalist, he believes government should use a consensus model for decisions, not a top-down administration with a president or committee holding executive power.

As a member of a black bloc, McCarron risks arrest to protect less militant protesters' right of free expression.

"The (black bloc) tactic is a more militant form of civil disobedience which engages the police in direct action," he said. "The bloc engages the police to resist the illegal use of force against demonstrators who are otherwise peaceful. More or less, it's a bloc of people willing to risk arrest while engaged in a more militant standing."

McCarron does not match the radical stereotype. Radicals aren't supposed to be soft-spoken and have friendly faces. Nor are they supposed to have names like Salim, which he says, means "someone full of peace" or "one who removes conflicts."

This movement needs to be militant, McCarron says, because change is not going to come by writing your congressmen. "There's never been an instance where any great forward movement has been staged through a letter-writing campaign," he said. "It's always been staged through people taking to the streets. We have an eight-hour workday now because workers long ago, especially IWW workers, took to the streets and used militant tactics. This is just a continuation of that militancy.

"The whole role of militancy is to wake people up. The knee-jerk reaction to anything that is militant is to say it's wrong. But then, people start to think about what is being said behind the militancy. Once they figure out what the facts and the evidence are and that their quality of life, their sovereignty is going to be affected within their own country by trade deals, then they see why people would become militant about these things."

Conditions in a sweatshop are so far removed from most Americans' life that they cannot grasp the importance of universal human rights, McCarron said. But imagine if the eight-hour workday or guaranteed minimum wage were abolished in this country. "Then people would understand why we are militant," he said.

No Light At the End of the Tunnel

About 100 feet from the street entrance to Union Terminal, Food Not Bombs, a direct action group that serves food as a form of protest, served protesters a vegetarian dinner the evening of Nov. 17. At Union Terminal's entrance, a labor rally was underway; TABD delegates ate dinner inside.

"Brick by brick, wall by wall, corporate power has got to fall," went the chant. Picketers were organized and peaceful. The show of police force earlier in the day didn't seem to deter anyone.

The police were on hand again, in riot gear again. Officers formed a human chain snaking around Union Terminal's perimeter. The parking lot was barricaded, opening up only to allow certain vehicles -- official transportation and those carrying TABD members. A fire truck was also on hand.

The demonstration included the regulars -- street medics, legal observers, the "cheerleaders" from Antioch College in Yellow Springs. ("1, 2, 3, 4! The U.S. is a corporate whore!")

Rumor had it four protesters were arrested earlier in the day. Six to seven people hadn't been accounted for by their affinity groups. But spirits were high.

Ruberg, the police spokesman, answered reporters but ignored protesters' questions.

"We're expecting an orderly protest, as what's going on right now," he said. "The only reason we're here now is because of what happened earlier. We laid out the ground rules to various groups who were going to protest, and it was come to agreement as to what would be tolerated and what wouldn't. There was deviation on that. Not to say that that's the groups we met with."

Ruberg would not comment on the number of officers present, except to say the force was "sufficient" and they would be there as long as the protest continued.

Twenty minutes later, a protester was overheard telling other protesters, "If you want to leave safely, the time to go is now."

McCarron noticed the officers getting antsy, and then learned an action was being planned on Dalton Street. Dalton runs north and south directly under Union Terminal's parking lot, which encases the street in a block-long tunnel.

Protesters were planning to either block the tunnel or just maintain a presence. The crowd began to move north and then west on Kenner Street, toward Dalton. Police in riot gear were waiting on both ends of the tunnel. As the protesters neared the tunnel, the police formed a line. Next, they forced the protesters into the tunnel and refused to allow anyone to leave.

As protesters began to sit down, one officer began to talk about compromising.

"We won't do anything as long as you don't do anything," he said "We've had officers assaulted today."

"But what about what happened last week?" a protester asked, referring to the deaths of two African-American males while in Cincinnati police custody. One was shot after wrestling an officer's gun away from him. The other, Roger Owensby, died from what Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Carl Parrott Jr. described to city council as "a choke hold gone bad or from too many people piling on top of him."

The situation at the tunnel tensed with each moment. Protesters wanted to know how they were breaking the law at this point. They were peaceful. They were staying on the sidewalk. They feared the police "compromise" would involve mace and arrests.

While officers stood with their mace cans ready, McCarron passed his video camera to someone else and put on his black bandana. He was now taking part in the black bloc. Protesters sat down holding up peace signs. Some played kazoos.

"Line formation. Forward march," ordered a commanding officer on the right side of the tunnel. The same order had been given to the line of officers on the other side. They were closing in.

The media were not allowed to follow the line. No one knew what was going to happen.

Five minutes later it was over. No one got hurt or arrested. Police herded the protesters back out of the tunnel.

As officers followed the protesters to the front of Union Terminal, they pushed protesters and journalists out of their way.

"They just pushed me out of the way," said one protester. "If I even touch a cop, I get arrested for assault."

"Tomorrow's going to be really messy," McCarron predicted. "(The police) will be really cold and grumpy, and there'll be a lot more people to deal with."

The Fourth Amendment Stops at Fountain Square

McCarron's prediction proved true. Coalition for a Humane Economy (CHE) had a permit for a legal rally on Fountain Square at noon Nov. 18. But by 11 a.m. police had the square surrounded with barricades. Officers insisted on searching anyone who wanted go in.

"It's just an intimidation tactic," McCarron said. "If they do this, it will just force people to become more radical, which increases the tension level, which causes more people to get hurt."

Officers blocking Fountain Square's entrance said the search was justified because a couple of windows had been broken and graffiti was marked.

"It's constitutional because of what happened yesterday," said Officer John Neal. "It warrants us to search for sling shots and spray paint. It will hold up in court."

That's a flimsy basis for a search, McCarron said.

"They're using some broken windows, which happens every day in every major American city, to clamp down on protest," he said. "Basically, you can search everybody in town if anything goes wrong anywhere if there's a criminal investigation."

If the police wanted to keep the rally small, they succeeded. Within an hour, Food Not Bombs packed up the food. CHE had a demonstration permit for a second rally at the Kroger Building, according to Ruberg. But getting the five blocks from one legal rally to the next posed a problem, he said.

"But they don't have no parade permit," he said. "That's going to cause us some commotion. Hopefully they'll do that in an orderly manner on the sidewalks."

Protesters marched north on the sidewalk along Vine Street. Police followed in the street: police in cars, police in a bus, police on motorcycles, police on horses, police on foot and police in a helicopter.

McCarron noticed the black bloc was virtually non-existent. That meant nothing radical was going to happen, he said.

Once the march hit Court Street in front of the Kroger Building, the protesters moved west. Police blockaded them on both sides of the block and formed a line down the middle of Court Street.

Initially no one could leave.

"We don't want to be part of the demonstration!" pleaded a male protester who had brought his young children. "We have children here. We'd like to leave!"

Some protesters began to chant, "Let them go!"

After a few minutes, police permitted people to leave in groups of two or four. This happened after the man with the children flagged down a TV news camera to document the situation.

Some protesters sat peacefully. Others chanted, "Police disperse, two at a time."

After approximately 30 minutes, the police allowed the group of approximately 400 to march. The police led the group on the sidewalk. The march moved south on Vine Street, passing the Omni Hotel and stopping in front of the Chiquita Center, 250 E. Fifth St. After setting a papier-mache pig on a marble wall in front of Chiquita, CHE spokesman Steve Schumacher perched atop another man's shoulders to address the group.

"All right, we got this far," Schumacher said. "Now this is not Berlin in 1939. It is Cincinnati, the year 2000. This amount of police response is totally, totally outrageous. We have told everybody, including Capt. Demasi of District 1, that we are peaceful demonstrators. We have been peaceful demonstrators.

"Now, this is Chiquita. This is Carl Lindner's company, who is destroying the banana economies in small islands all over the Caribbean and in Central America. Now, Chiquita gets this pig. We have three more -- the Milner Hotel, City Hall and P&G. We will make sure that they get delivered.

"Our agreement with the police is that we disperse here. I ask you to please honor that. We have always said that we are going to do exactly what they told us from the beginning. So we ask you all to peacefully disperse, to tell every officer that you see as you peacefully move out, that we are peacefully dispersing.

"This does not end the actions against the TABD. The World Bank and IMF meet in Washington, D.C., and we will be there in October. There'll be plenty of time to get ready.

"I ask you to disperse from here. This is the end of CHE activities for this day. Thank you all for being here and being peaceful."

'You have been warned'

The protesters dispersed peacefully from the Chiquita Center. But an impromptu rally against police brutality took form at Lytle Park at 4 p.m. Demonstrators decided to march to the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Police presence was almost non-existent on the way to Lytle Park. There were no officers on corners, no streets blocked with riot cops, no SWAT team in evidence.

Approximately 150 protesters gathered at the park. Black-bloc participation was more evident than earlier in the day.

The event began with two African-American men, Robert Pace and Dwight Patton, telling the crowd about events that led to the death of Michael Carpenter, who died of gunshot wounds after a confrontation with Cincinnati Police.

Carrying a coffin emblazoned with the American flag and a poster with a post-mortem picture of Carpenter, the men led the sidewalk parade behind protesters carrying a banner. The banner read, "Do Not Beat Me."

The march was peaceful. Protesters remained on the sidewalk. They held signs. They chanted. A few officers on motorcycles even blocked intersections so the group could cross the street together.

The march reached the Justice Center still peacefully and on the sidewalk. It proceeded to march around the center's perimeter, peacefully. As it headed south on Broadway Street and west on Eighth Street, police blockaded the group between Broadway and Sycamore streets.

The march stopped. The protesters stood. Then a Queen City Metro bus unleashed 40 officers in riot gear headed by Demasi.

"Build in," a commanding officer ordered. The cock of a rifle was audible.

Officers formed a line. Protesters stood on the sidewalk and began chanting, "No justice, no peace!"

Police informed the protesters they were assembling illegally and would not be able to leave as a group.

"You are being advised. This is an unlawful assembly," said a commanding officer. "If you want to disband and leave, you may do so. Anyone who stays is subject to arrest. You have been warned."

A line of about a dozen officers headed toward the group.

"Which way are we supposed to go?" a protester yelled.

Twelve seconds later, police set upon them, spraying mace and making arrests. Once the line of police officers was upon the group, it split. Half the group began dispersing east on Eighth Street, half began dispersing west. Those caught in the officers' direct line were maced at close range.

A representative of the IWW was grabbed, maced and arrested. He had been taunting the officers earlier in the day. Four officers subdued him, one putting his knee in the man's neck as he lay on the ground. Officers grabbed a female protester from behind, macing her and taking her to the ground to arrest her.

McCarron's video footage captured it all: the arrests, the sounds of close range mace-spraying, the peaceful dispersal.

The entire exchange lasted less than five minutes. Police then allowed the group to leave in foursomes, sending each in separate directions.

The Movement Marches On

"The system is responding to the protests in interesting but subtle ways," McCarron said. "There is an effect, but it's similar to going on strike. To get a good contract, you have to take militant labor tactics. Protests are a form of strike to get a better contract for the people."

Although the protests did not attract the estimated 1,000 to 3,000 people, it did send a message, he said. Sizable protests occur on an almost weekly basis in San Francisco. Any protest that disrupts a mid-size Midwestern city like Cincinnati accomplishes something.

"It shows the leaders that the level of commitment is not isolated to Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Boston," McCarron said. "There is a broad-based resistance to policies being enacted that do not answer to the people. Having 500-600 people is a statement of itself. It's a statement that even during the middle of the week when people have jobs, they're going to take time out and stand against something that's wrong in our society.

"It's quality, not quantity. The quality of the protests (these past few days) exhibited a deep commitment that people aren't just going to run away and that people aren't just going to give up. I think this is going to get bigger. It's going to keep going."

Making a Living Off Maggots

I know what you're thinking: there just aren't enough jobs that involve picking maggots, beetles and flies from decomposing human remains. Well, I've got news for you. There are jobs aplenty. And anyone who is interested should read M. Lee Goff's A Fly for the Prosecution: How Insect Evidence Helps Solve Crimes (Harvard University Press), published earlier this year.

Against a backdrop of tropical rainforests, Goff unapologetically cracks open a door to a less celebrated side of his native Hawaii -- and it's a buzzing, smelly, many-legged side that waits for anyone brave enough to enter.

As a fresh-faced young entomologist, Goff first approached a local medical examiner in 1983 to express his interest in forensic entomology, or the use of insect evidence to solve crime. And there his strange journey began. In the intervening years he has, with a handful of other forensic entomologists he refers to as the Dirty Dozen, developed reliable techniques to determine the interval between the death and discovery of a body using insect evidence.

Equal parts scientist and poet, Goff writes: "There's something a bit surreal in the sight of dew drops glistening in the morning sun on a spider web attached to a decomposing arm." You bet there is folks, and whatever that something is, Goff seems to like it very much.

In A Fly for the Prosecution, Goff painstakingly outlines some common methods of forensic entomology, including some gruesome and colorful case studies to prove their importance. And that means lots of dead bodies and lots of insects. Lots and lots of insects.

There are blowflies, houseflies, flesh flies, and black soldier flies. And don't forget moths, chiggers, wasps, ants and mites. Or hide beetles, darkling beetles, spiders or scorpions. Each of these species plays a unique role in the decomposition of a body and Goff can't wait to tell us how each is involved. The flies are attracted early, colonizing soft parts of the corpse like open wounds, or the ears, mouth, nose and eyes. The social insects, such as predatory ants and wasps, wait until the maggots and flies arrive for them to feed on. Others, like the hide beetle, wait even longer before feeding on the cartilage and dried tissues that remain after all the other species have filled their bellies, laid their eggs and left.

Make no mistake, the next time you're walking through the woods you'll remember this book, clamp your hands firmly over your soft parts and start running, actions that would make sense to you and I, and just about anyone else but Goff.

For when the slick, humid rainforest offers up a bloated murder victim, it is Goff who pulls on his boots and heads out with specimen-collecting gear in hand, eager to find some meaning in the insects that have already made a home of the body.

Once at the crime scene he collects samples of every insect developmental stage from the body including eggs, maggots, pupa and adults and takes them back to his laboratory for identification, preservation and hatching. Armed with photos from the scene, insect and weather data, and using pig decomposition studies as a reference, he calculates the time required for the body to reach the stage of decomposition in which it was found.

Without the pig decomposition studies to provide clues to patterns of insect activity, none of this would be possible. With characteristic bluntness, Goff writes of an early investigation: "Since I was attempting to duplicate a homicide, in one of my first studies I wanted to shoot each pig through the head with a 38-caliber pistol."

Read on, it gets worse: to duplicate insect invasion of beached drowning victims Goff threw a couple of dead pigs in the sea; strung dead pigs up in trees to imitate suicide by hanging and wrapped 'em up in blankets to recreate concealed bodies. And victims of arson? If you said he doused pigs with gasoline and set them on fire, you can give yourself a gold star.

"It is disconcerting to be collecting maggots from one end of a pig and look up to find a mongoose eating at the other end," writes Goff, reminding us to make sure our decomposing pig is sufficiently protected from non-insect predators. You don't get good pig rotting advice from Martha Stewart.

While this all might sound like really bad news for pigs, the results provide Goff with data to compare insect evidence to in criminal cases. In examples included in the book, he is able to estimate the post mortem interval to within a few hours, thereby discounting or supporting a suspect's alibi and providing testimony that leads to a conviction. Goff is a rare breed, a scientific adventurer, and accomplished investigator.

Perhaps most striking is the realization that, when we die, little can stop insects from using us as a quick-and-easy food source. Goff's vivid descriptions of murder victims as centers of frantic insect activity remind us that we are just animals, as tasty as road kill to a passing blowfly. Within ten minutes of a body drawing its final breath, the insects will be there and, as in some of Goff's more gruesome tales, they might not even wait for death to occur. They're hungry and neither fire nor water nor poison can slow them down enough to make a difference, a fact forensic entomologists like Goff rely upon for their livelihood.

So the next time you're attending a late office meeting or schmoozing a boring client, think of M. Lee Goff as he drives to another crime scene and remember: you don't really want to spend your time picking maggots and beetles from corpses and, while yours might not be the most exciting job in the world, it probably beats Goff's.

Probably.

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