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Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Police used high-tech surveillance at festival

Hidden cameras helped in drug busts

September 15, 2006

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Hidden, high-dollar equipment helped police crack down on drug dealing at this year's Wakarusa Festival.

A new article in a trade journal, Government Security News, describes the roughly $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment used by police throughout the festival grounds. The equipment was courtesy of a California company that agreed to give a free demonstration of its wares for marketing purposes.

The company estimated that they were able to cover 85 percent of the festival grounds with about a half dozen hidden cameras. One camera, for example, was mounted atop a light tower and used on "Shakedown Street," a bustling area viewed as a problem spot for drug dealing.

"It's hopefully a win-win for everybody except the crooks," said Mike McRory, vice president of business development for NS Microwave Inc., of Spring Valley, Calif., which markets security and surveillance equipment and is owned by the defense contractor Allied Defense Group.

The company builds "covert" cameras disguised as everything from electrical boxes to birdhouses. They're capable of seeing at night as long as there's some ambient light nearby such as a lantern or fire.

'Nobody knew'

Four of its cameras were "consistently deployed" throughout the festival, and at least two others were there to be used as needed, according to the company. The cameras were controlled by a computerized command center in a 21-foot trailer that was parked atop a hill in the middle of a Frisbee golf course inside the park.

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"Nobody knew," said Kevin Danciak, the company's Midwestern sales representative. "It just looked like parabolic dishes on top of a trailer."

The plan to use the cameras came about when Danciak ran into Clinton State Park manager Jerry Schecher at a Kansas narcotics officers' meeting early this year or late last year. Danciak was there to promote his equipment. Schecher was looking for answers to growing concerns about drug dealing at the festival, which was heading into its third year and was growing in popularity.

Had there not been a strong move this year by law enforcement to control the situation, Schecher said, the state would not have allowed the festival to continue.

"This is a crowd that has a high expectation of privacy and freedom, and I respect that, within limits," Schecher said. "I struggled with this a little bit, but I felt like we were doing it for the right reasons. If it was meant to be Big Brother and spying on people, I wouldn't have done it."

One festivalgoer said the hidden cameras were "a shame and kind of embarrassing.

"I feel like it was really a big mistake because people at a festival are trying to have a good time and let loose. I would be willing to bet that most people wouldn't be OK with that had they known," Ali Mangan said.

She said law enforcement should have at leased publicized the hidden cameras. The surveillance was conducted at the expense of the privacy of people not selling drugs, Mangan said.

Safer means

The main things the cameras captured, Danciak said, were hand-to-hand drug transactions and drug use. After zooming into an area where drug sales were happening, police could then send an officer in to make an undercover buy that was caught on camera.

"We could see if there was a problem and then address it rather than just having to focus all of our foot patrols or enforcement in that area all of the time," Schecher said.

Danciak said the result was a safer way of busting drug deals.

"No fighting, no running, no guns drawn, nothing," he said. "It was just, 'You pop around the corner, you're there, you identify yourself and you see people just deflate.'"

He declined comment on whether the cameras covered the festival stage areas or campground areas outside the festival.

At least a month before the festival began, Schecher said, promoter Brett Mosiman was notified of the plan for security cameras. Mosiman did not return phone calls Thursday seeking comment.

The cameras' presence was not publicized in the Lawrence area before or after the festival.

The article in Government Security News said the images produced were so good that some alleged dealers entered pleas based on the strength of that evidence. But Dist. Atty. Charles Branson, whose office is charged with prosecuting the cases, said he did not know of any cases in which that happened.

Many of those arrested at the festival were allowed to plead to lower charges in a massive docket call a few days after the hearing.

Police seized more than $11,000 in suspected drug money, but some of that came outside the festival grounds in a Kansas Highway Patrol checkpoint.

Lt. Kari Wempe, of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the lead agency at the festival, said the camera system worked well.

"It gave a good overall aerial view of the grounds, which we would not have had otherwise," she said.

But so far, she said, the sheriff has no plans to buy any of the company's equipment. Schecher said he would like to use a similar system at the park in the future, perhaps for catching people who try to break into pay stations, but not necessarily for next year's festival.

"Kevin has nice toys, but they're expensive," he said.

- Staff writer George Diepenbrock contributed to this story.

Comments

wakasdead 8 years, 3 months ago

why is everyone talking like wakas coming back. everyone I talked to (and thats a lot of people over the summer and at other festies) said they would NEVER go to Wakarusa again. it doesn't even matter if they move it somewhere else. the name is soiled (sorry Brent). I'm betting that if they do try to bring it back, it will end up cancelled because they won't be able to sell enough tickets to pay the talent. people of Lawrence, Kansas...christmas in july won't be happening next year for all the bussiness owners that profited from the large amount of money generated by the festival being spent in their establishments. Maybe you should vote out anyone who had anything to do with this law enforcement fiasco

AudibleNectar 8 years, 3 months ago

My wife and I travel the contiguous 48 states to attend such events. Being an Illinois resident, we are centrally located such that we can attend almost any event in the lower 48, and consider most locations "on the table" when selecting such events to attend. I have been in or through all but six states in the US in my 20+ years of traveling to these events.

We DO NOT travel to these events to partake in a "police state" atmosphere. In fact, quite the opposite. We expect police to provide "genuine safety first" - manage traffic, first aid networks, and yes, to provide enforcement in rare instances where fans are a genuine hazard to others (and no, someone smoking pot in tents IS NOT a hazard to me when the patrons aren't driving/going anywhere - nor is someone selling glass art or pipes). We are there to relax and enjoy ourselves. If I wanted to be "watched" every step of my weekend, I would just stay home and work!!!

It was not necessary to be doing anything illegal for the police actions to influence/ruin the event. When the four-wheelers zoom by you so close that you are afraid of being hit, that puts a damper on your relaxation - and is a detriment to safety in and of itself. People couldn't even relax in the show area for fear of being hit by those vehicles. People's tents being ransacked by cops while in the show. People being searched/hassled for giving thier spouse an over the counter medicine.......or just being searched for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Then add to this the "edginess" on the part of the attendees due to the police state atmosphere, and the whole damn thing ends up being an event not worth attending.

So you might say "good - stay home". That's good advice which we will heed, but allow me to tell you why that's not such a good idea either: $$$$. Hotels, food and drink purchased from local grocers and restaurants, and the fact that our stay becomes a sort of "advertisement" for a potential future visit. Treat us poorly, we will not return, and we will tell EVERYBODY why. WE VOTE WITH OUR DOLLARS.

I talk online and here at home - A LOT. Given that I've been doing this music/travel thing for over 20 years, I get lots of requests for advice and planning. Not to toot my own horn here, but my opinion carries a great deal of weight here at home - my recommendations result in dozens of people attending. I have been responsible for 30-50 people attending fests 1000 miles + away from here....just from my local community. The "lineup" of bands is only a part of the reason to attend - the fest grounds and operations counts for the other half of the picture. Those people have already been told (and they needed little convincing) that Wakarusa is a recommended "AVOID". We WILL be taking our $$$ elsewhere next year. It seems to me that the powers that be in the Lawrence area do not want us there. We will be more than happy to oblige.

lunacydetector 8 years, 3 months ago

perhaps the concert promoters can lease similar equipment for law enforcement to use next year.

spym00se 8 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps some people just want to go into the woods, smoke pot, and listen to music. I'm no hippy, but damn this is a bit much.

Kuku_Kansas 8 years, 3 months ago

"...describes the roughly $250,000 worth of hidden-camera, night-vision and thermal-imaging equipment..."

Maybe I'm underestimating the crowd, but was there even $250,000+ in drug value there?

hilary 8 years, 3 months ago

Maybe they should put cameras up at 11th and Mass so people stop getting SHOT and BEATEN up at 2am. I guess catching drug deals at a music fest is just a little more important.

davisnin 8 years, 3 months ago

tear poor busted druggies. all they want to do is whatever they want, whenever they want. whats wrong with that.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Carrying Homeland Security a bit far I would say.

Think what they could at tailgate parties as fans prep themselves. Think about the DUI's that could be gathered after setting up check points before and after football or basketball games. Sports fans smoke reefer too cuz it's fun. Ever heard of discrimination.

Is it okay to break DUI laws simply because it is a KU,Royals or a KC Chiefs function?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Here is a company that is looking to push it's way into public arenas under the guise of public safety. They are on the Bush payroll in Iraq and Afghanistan at $1000 per day. Our soldiers don't receive that kind of money. Heard about this on radio news yesterday.

In spite of their new picture and claims of peace keeping http://www.blackwaterusa.com/ are paid mercenaries who are not accountable for their actions. Allied is an influential defense contractor. Marion got it right it is definitely BIG BROTHER big time. Why? They love your bundles of government tax dollars. This http://www.blackwaterusa.com/ picked up about $70 million while hanging around Katrina for a few short weeks.

Where did the expensive funding come from for this operation?

warthog 8 years, 3 months ago

So they set up cameras and they caught some folks breaking the law. Isn't that what they're supposed to be doing? If they don't do their job, people bitch and if they do their job, people bitch. Okay, so a drug violation isn't like finding Jimmy Hoffa or the second gunman, but it's called "law enforcement" for a reason. Get over yourselves and quit griping because people get caught doing something that they know is illegal. Anyone that would lie to you, would steal from you, etc. As for the funding, this is not "use once throw away" stuff. They've probably got it in the city parks now, so make sure you pick up your trash.

bmwjhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I hate what this world is coming to. I'm worried about what it will be like 10, 20 years down the road. Will we even be allowed to THINK something that isn't acceptable?

At the very least, If I'm a festival-goer, I'm going to reconsider making the trip to Lawrence, Kansas next year.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Is all of this secret spying legally permissible in reference to the Constitution? Or, maybe nobody cares about that. After all, this is just one manifestation of the "war" on drugs, one of our several ongoing, never-ending, fruitless, hopeless wars we are engaged in. Its all for the Public's own good and safety, after all. Democratic freedom and liberty may well be outmoded and things of the past. And, they always were fraught with many dangers. "Anyone that would lie to you, would steal from you, etc." Very true. Try to remember that the next time you go to the polls to "elect" your next "leaders.

lawrence_citizen 8 years, 3 months ago

Is this any different than the surveilance cameras used in department stores? What about cameras in banks? Are these an invasion of our privacy? I don't think so. As long as the cameras are used only in public areas, there is no invasion of privacy. Just keep it out of my tent.

jayhawks71 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah we all paid for these expensive toys. Where do I opt out on the most moronic use of taxpayer dollars?

It isn't an issue of Constitutionality even.... you don't have an expectation to a "right to privacy" in putlic, but , in a so-called free society, you should be able to move about with minimal invasion of that privacy. 250 thousand dollar "high tech" camera systems???? Give me a break!

introversion 8 years, 3 months ago

Why are we still talking about Wakarusa?

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Fascism is a term that is bandied about often rather loosely. Orwell wrote that it is understood to be "something not desirable." But it is a complex political and economic synergy that has force and nationalism as its animating matrix. And it involves propaganda and the manipulation of the masses by the media. Mussolini, in one of his more honest moments said, "Fascism should be more properly called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." For Americans it is universally associated with despotic regimes in other countries. It can't happen here. Huey Long, the self-styled populist governor of Louisiana, once warned, "If fascism ever comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag."

christie 8 years, 3 months ago

I concur Paladin, I was under the impression that a warrant to video and record private conversations would be required. And the cost, $250k would hire 6 or 7 more cops to patrol trouble spots where real problems exist not for just a few days but for an entire year.

Smoking pot. Child Molesters. Terrorists. AK47's in Autos.

I think the Pot is the lessor of these evils.

ForThePeople 8 years, 3 months ago

For once I think Marion said it all! Where does the line get drawn?

staff04 8 years, 3 months ago

Well, the hippie haters will surely get what they wanted to begin with.

No more WakFest, no more hippie invasion...

Oh wait...no more out of state tax revenue either. I can't imagine that this action doesn't signal that this year was the last for large music festivals in Lawrence.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 3 months ago

"Yeah we all paid for these expensive toys. Where do I opt out on the most moronic use of taxpayer dollars?"

No, it was FREE. What cop wouldn't be willing to use this stuff if it was FREE to use?

Some of you keep asking why "we have the time and resources to watch some hippies smoke some pot" but do not have the same resources to use downtown. The answer is: BECAUSE IT WAS FREE!

cutny 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes Marion, we can. I'm in total agreement with you. I think the hidden cameras are despicable.

jayhawks71 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry OE. Something donated by a CORPORATION is not free. They write this off on their taxes; those tax dollars don't go into the "fund" that you and I pay so we either pay more (now) or the government prints more money, fueling inflation. We pay for it either way. The "donation" aspect merely muddies the water. Don't be naive, leave that for the 18 year olds.

narky 8 years, 3 months ago

dude, you just killed my buzz

bustarusa, brah

grimpeur 8 years, 3 months ago

Talk about low-hanging fruit. Weed at a music festival. I'm shocked...shocked, I say!

Poor choice of terms in this article. "Drug dealing" and "drug sales" should read, "Pot smoking."

"Crooks" and "drug dealers" should read, "Pot smokers."

My fellow citizens, do you feel safer?

Dear LEOs, is this all you got? $11G and some grass seized using a quarter mil worth of equipment and a regiment of officers? You fail the means test, and it's not close. However, you may have brought an end to the Wak festival, once the word gets out.

Wasteful, invasive, grandstanding, meaningless, distractive, fascist, worthless, short-sighted, misdirected crap.

It's a good thing there's nothing more pressing on the law enforcement menu, because it's obvious that every ounce of investigative sleuthing and millions of dollars is required to figure out how to bust a guy with a few joints at a hippie rock concert. Don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back.

lt 8 years, 3 months ago

This is amusing:

It's hopefully a win-win for everybody except the crooks," said Mike McRory, vice president of business development for NS Microwave Inc.,

Facism is the effort of gov't and corporations to alienate the citizens and by "the crooks," he's talking about the general population.

Also..."This is a crowd that has a high expectation of privacy and freedom, and I respect that, within limits," Schecher said. "I struggled with this a little bit, but I felt like we were doing it for the right reasons. If it was meant to be Big Brother and spying on people, I wouldn't have done it."

How does this officer respect privacy and freedom? Freedom to do what? What is freedom that is impeeded by arbirary laws? Pot was made illegal, because of the manufacture of plastic and to jerk around blacks and hispanics. That guy is arresting people for plastic. And it is absolutely big brother he did spy on people and it was arbirary and it was also lazy policing on the part of the lawrence police department.

I think everytime a police officer questions or arrests somebody the detainee or questioned person should be able to in turn question the police office about his home address, social security number, warrant status, and to request urine. Now that would be a more just world.

And as far as the people being afraid on here...You better be, because this lazy nation has elected a genocidal oil man and the cameras are going up all over the country especially in major cities and this is just a reflection of the good old boy mentality that was born right in the midwest.

TBird 8 years, 3 months ago

Bottom line is if you are not doing anything illegal you have nothing to worry about so shut the &%$# up and quite com plaining

Will Skepnek 8 years, 3 months ago

So what Im hearing is that if we legalize or at least decriminalize pot then you all can't keep comapring it to car theft or terrorism?

Fatty_McButterpants 8 years, 3 months ago

Paladin: Um, wrong. They are in a STATE PARK, voluntarily, in public. The government does not need a warrant to video people in such areas. It does not violate the constitution.

The $250,000 of equipment WAS DONATED. Damn, you people need to actually read the article...

Topside 8 years, 3 months ago

I wondered who parked their damn van in the middle of my Frisbee golg course. You screwed us twice cops. No weed and you got in the way of a birdie shot on the 7th.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

Is that a legal opinion from a constitutional scholar, or just one man's opinion? It is a question which should be examined, and which should have been examined, and always should be examined, first, before any action by authority on the Public which infringes on and curtails freedom and liberty. Never said it was not legal. But, should it be? Not saying it should not. But, it should be examined, prior to, not after the fact.

webmocker 8 years, 3 months ago

scetwe's earlier link is compelling. There you will find that police, judges, and others IN the system have concluded that legalization is the best option for drugs. Check it out.

http://www.leap.cc/

gerbilsniper 8 years, 3 months ago

They keep overstepping the lines...and it's gonna be Eldorado Lake Festival...or worse yet, some place in Missouri...and Lawrence can say goodbye to all those tourism dollars and those police who so look forward to those extra few overtime bucks around that time will be doing mall security.

monkeyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"At least a month before the festival began, Schecher said, promoter Brett Mosiman was notified of the plan for security cameras.

My guess is that Mosiman stood to gain the most financially from the festival. He know about the planned surveillance and allowed all of his "customers" to walk right into the trap. Now, he can't be reached for comment?

Aiko 8 years, 3 months ago

That is bull@#$%! I have been to all three Wakarusa festivals and enjoyed them. No more, too weird to have these cameras around and hidden. I bet attendance will be down next year..Oh well, it was good while it lasted...

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

This is a great use of police time. Let these losers know they aren't welcome in this area. For those of you who won't go to the Wackorusa Pestival because of the cameras, the rest of us don't care. Apparently, you have something to hide. Just keep your drug dealing in your basement, and let the dope-free music fans enjoy their time (if they even exist). I hope the funding is available to purchase some of these cameras. It's illegal. Do it and get busted. That's what you deserve.

pelliott 8 years, 3 months ago

Boy these sound great. They should be used in a lot of places, the police station, city hall, hell the state legislature. We could clean up. War on drugs ends up being a money grab and basically a way to keep populations in check and to develop an out of control incarceration system, but the real suffering is from the politicians and the war lords. If expectation of privacy is not a concern, lets monitor the chamber as well. go go go for it. If suspected activity is all required, I suspect plenty. Could we do a live cam from DC ?

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

competeing for the oxymoron of the day awards:

Schecher said. "I struggled with this a little bit, but I felt like we were doing it for the right reasons. If it was meant to be Big Brother and spying on people, I wouldn't have done it."

Dude, there were hidden cameras watching people! What is your definition of "spying"? You should have struggled harder big brother.

and his opponent. Ali Mangan said: "law enforcement should have at leased(sic) publicized the hidden cameras. "

???? publicized hidden cameras????? uuummm wouldn't that defeat the purpose of HIDDING THE CAMERAS?????

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't have anything to hide and I've done nothing wrong and I haven't broken any laws. What do I have to be afraid of? Those fearful, yet hopeful, statements of denial were heard quite often in Germany during the 30's, I imagine. Even from the Jews. The answer became apparent later. The formulation, interpretation, and enforcement of legal authority are relevant to everyone, not just the "crooks". For, everyone will be living with the results, which will be manifested in society and shape our world and which will affect us all. That's why we need to pay a bit more attention. Ever vigilant?

Kontum1972 8 years, 3 months ago

actually your TVs can monitor your home action esp if your hooked up to dish or cable....check out that sensor on the front panel....i have actually seen demostration of broadcasting from a TV...while its off....if u have a cam on your PC as long as its plugged in it is broadcasting....cell phones monitor your movements it is a form of GPS, those things sitting on the crossbars of traffic lights are cameras....ever notice how your radar detector goes off when u drive into the area...on KA band...everything u do is monitored so much for the privacy act..its a great country...LoL

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 3 months ago

$250,000 worth of equipment. What's the problem, people claim the cops need to get out of the "stone ages" and get with reality then they do and now they are upset becasue they are catching up with the advancements to catch people breaking the law no matter how minor.

I have to agree with Old Enuf in they set up cameras and the cameras could cover more area than the out numbered cops. I think the biggest beef most of the folks may have is if you are caught on camera and the activity is recorded, the bad guys or "minor law breakers" can't claim the cops were "dirty" and "trumped up charges..."

How many deaths occured this year at the fest compared to 2005...none. If they used everything at their disposal to reduce the possibility of serious drug and alcohol use it is worth the money.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2005/sep/09...

How can anyone think being in public allows you privacy, if you walk into a store with cameras you are recorded, if you go to an ATM you are recorded, if you go into a bank you get recorded, if you are walking downtown and someone has a camera phone there is a good chance that person may record you if you do something goofy...illegal or otherwise...if you check out YOUTUBE.com people are recording stuff in public and private all the time

The problem is the People getting caught on camera at the Wak Fest thought they were on "Real World" not "Cops"

kmat 8 years, 3 months ago

For those of you that have commented about wanting drug free music festivals and keep saying us "hippies" should shut up - just remember that the wonderful music you are listening to wouldn't be around if it weren't for drug use. You think these musicians are clean? HA! Drugs are why so much awesome music has been created over the last 40+ years. Don't like drug use, quit listening to music. Just think what Pink Floyd would have been like without drugs. Blah! Drug free music = country and western crap. You want that, go to Manhattan.

Bottom line - you piss off the concert goers, we don't return. I will not ever attend this event again. Take a good look at Bonnaroo and other very successful music fests, and they don't treat the attendees this way.

What bugs me the most is that they won't say if they were using these cameras in the tent areas. If they won't comment, then I think the answer is yes. I sure hope those peeping toms enjoyed what they saw in the camping area.

From reading many online national blogs, I can tell you that this festival will be nothing in the years to come. Too many people travelled too far to get harassed. There are a lot of great festivals out there, so why spend money to come to Waka if you know you'll be harrassed?

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

"What luck for the rulers that men do not think." -Adolf Hitler

"I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it." -Garrison Keilor

"It's no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." -Krishnamarti

"The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining." -John F. Kennedy

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." -Winston Churchill

oldgoof 8 years, 3 months ago

... I bet Phill Kline was operating the cameras. . . HE IS WATCHING YOU

Dale Stringer 8 years, 3 months ago

Hopefully they also used it to ticket litterers too. That way litter fines would pay to put all the druggies in jail.

oldgoof 8 years, 3 months ago

Has the Highway Patrol yet responded to the OPEN RECORDS request detailing the amount of money spent for this crime dragnet in Lawrence??

Did the Highway Patrol commit the same staffing resources for the Manhattan based "Country Stampede" just a couple of weeks after the Wak-fest for all the drunks and cowboy-pot heads there??

bangaranggerg 8 years, 3 months ago

I bet those cops were just using the thermal imaging to watch sex acts in thin tents at night. Sick.. All the hippie girls who walked around topless, or went skinny dipping, were on video. This year if you donate to the frat order of police you get a video- "Hippie Girls Gone Wild- Uncensored and UNWARRENTED"

Bad_Brad 8 years, 3 months ago

I like how Liberals love taxes and love redistributing money, until those tax dollars are used on something they don't like, such as surveillance equipment to bust people for dealing marijuana at a music festival. This is good stuff.

aeroscout17 8 years, 3 months ago

My question is what was the intent of the cameras?

If they truly wanted to reduce drug sales, then they should have let everyone know. They didn't, which tells me they were just trying to make more arrests.

ryangetz 8 years, 3 months ago

this news is fairly disturbing. we have the right to privacy! respect it!

as officers of the law, i udnerstand that they have the 'right' to find the bad guys, but this is crossing a line.

at minnimum, inform the concert goers that there are cameras mounted throughout the festival grounds.

i dunno. im lost for words.

ill be back next year of course, but wakarusa really is going to have an uphill struggle to flip its image around after this year...

Bone777 8 years, 3 months ago

Too much credit to the cops and not enough to the salesman!

This was some camera salesman trying to sell his wares, and in the mean time build a big advertisement in a trade magizine.

He opportunisticly found somebody to let him set them up. The cops said, Oooh, this is free? Wow look at these cool gadgets (Cops love gadgets.) They then staffed it with people who would have already been assigned elsewhere.

The salesman got what he wanted and the cops got to look cutting edge.

Win/Win/Lose for the perps

blessed3x 8 years, 3 months ago

"The equipment was courtesy of a California company that agreed to give a free demonstration of its wares for marketing purposes."


Can you people complaining about the cost not read?

Also, this is government land. Not only do you have no expectation of privacy in public, but you are on the man's land. Get over it. Hold your little dope and puke party on private land next time, then you can complain when you are videotaped and even I will support your complaints.

I find it amazing that all hell breaks loose when the druggies are spied upon on public land, but the city commission can do just about anything they want to do to control your life and many of you have no problem with that. So which government is interfering in your lives? The one you don't like (that darn conservative state gov't) or the wacked out local, liberal one.

Carmenilla 8 years, 3 months ago

All this talk in black and white.

I need drugs just to see some color in this polarized crazy world.

Please use this surveillence equipment to stop drunk-drivers from getting in cars and killing people.

We are such hypocrites...

bunnyhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey Blessed........I'm watching! I've got my cameras in your house, in your car, and even in your bathroom! Whooyah! Caught you sliding on that 4-way stop......your car insurance rates are going up! Oops, Blessed, you didn't wash your hands after !@#!!#@......your health insurance may be in jeopardy........where are you going to draw the line?

Do you honestly believe that it's unreasonable for American citizens to expect that they aren't being filmed, even in public places?

Do you honestly belive this nonsense makes you safer? Safer from some kids partying and listening to music? Do you think that they're more of a threat to you than, say, Halliburton????? a major international polluter that is for all practical purposes running a significant portion our government these days.........and NOBODY's watching them!!!!! or the billions of your tax dollars they've lined their already deep pockets with!!!!!!!

Kids listening to music are not the danger in Amerika today!!!

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

  1. Anyone who is in public (that is to say out in a public place) has no legal right to expect privacy, especially when it comes to doing something that is illegal; There is no congnizable recognized right to privacy if you are in the open at a camp ground. If there were such protections, then we could expect a lot of other illegal types of conduct to take place in camp grounds ("Hey guys, don't hurt her here in the alley, let's take her to the camp ground - they can't watch us there because it's private!")

  2. A duty to warn people ahead of time that they might be caught doing something illegal..... Isn't that what the laws already do; warn people that using certain drugs is a crime and if you are caught you might have to face the results of breaking the law? Do the cops hiding when they catch speeders have a legal duty to warn people they're behind the signs? Nope.

If you do not like the current drug laws you can (a) work to get them changed (by feds and state lawmakers) and/or (b) violate them and take the chance you'll be caught and punished.

blessed3x 8 years, 3 months ago

logicsound wrote:

"Why don't you read, blessed3x?"

-It was painfully ovbvious that many hadn't read the fact that the equipment was provided free of charge to the state for this event.

"I understand that you are "living" on state land, but what about a reasonable expectation by law-abiding citizens to have some privacy in their own campground/living space????"

-It's not "their own" living space. As I said before, hold this on private land and I will support you all the way. Hold this on public land and too bad for you. Doesn't the state have a responsibility to make certain that laws are being upheld on land that it owns?


bunnyhawk wrote:

"I've got my cameras in your house, in your car, and even in your bathroom! Whooyah!"..."Oops, Blessed, you didn't wash your hands after !@#!!#@......your health insurance may be in jeopardy........where are you going to draw the line?"

I draw the line exactly where I drew it in my first post. You have an expectation of privacy on private land/property. You do not have an expectation of privacy walking down the street, but great job on completely disregarding what I said in my post and adding your own little narrative.

blessed3x 8 years, 3 months ago

justthefacts wrote:

"If you do not like the current drug laws you can (a) work to get them changed (by feds and state lawmakers) and/or (b) violate them and take the chance you'll be caught and punished."

-Or use that wacky option "C" and get a real job and be a productive member of society instead of ruining others' lives perpetuating a sub-culture of violence and self-mutilation. Just a thought.

Nice post justthefacts. Wouldn't it be neat to see court cases thrown out because police witnessed a crime being committed in public but because they didn't tell the criminal they were going to be looking their way prior to commission of the crime, they were violating the perps "right to privacy"? Keen.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/LAW/10/21/ctv.cameras/ http://www.mediaeater.com/cameras/news/11-2001.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closed-c...

Putting cameras in public places (NOT IN PRIVATE PLACES) is nothing new or novel. They do not have to be disclosed either.

If you don't like the idea, you'll need to get new laws passed to prohibit or limit their use, or at least require that their presence be advertised (and be prepared for lots of problems with deciding how best to do that: How big should the signs be? What colors? How many? Etc.).

gphawk89 8 years, 3 months ago

Surveillance cameras are everywhere. If you want privacy, stay at home and draw the blinds. And turn off your cell phone. And computer. I read somewhere a while back (can't find the source now) that the average person touring London gets his picture taken something like 800 times per day. CCTV is much more widespread in the UK than in the US.

What's the deal with "warning everyone that there are hidden cameras and that they could be arrested for doing drugs". Most everyone doing drugs should already know that they're doing something illegal.

And everyone, again, quit quoting "$250K of taxpayer dollars". It didn't cost the taxpayers anything. Read the article.

Illegal drugs are illegal, like it or not. Do illegal drugs in public and you stand the chance of being arrested. Quit whining about your "right" to do illegal drugs in public - it doesn't exist.

Kizzy 8 years, 3 months ago

I think that the real bottom line here is that people have the right to know. Sure, major stores and kwikie marts have cameras so why shouldn't "Bustarusa." Well, you see, that's just the thing, we KNOW there are cameras - either because it's posted or that's the standard. This tactic was completely out of line. I will not attend this festival next year.

Kyle Neuer 8 years, 3 months ago

As unhappy as I am with the cops for this crud, I am outraged that the promoter knew about it and did nothing to let his patrons know this crap was happening. Brett Mosiman and all his venues and future projects are now dead to me. Get the hell out of town, now, you weasel.

drd343 8 years, 3 months ago

The "war on terrorism" is no different than the "war on drugs" in that our government is to stupid, or corrupted, too stop the problem at the border. They wait until it is on our soil, and then take our freedoms away to fight it. Both of these wars could be won with effective border security.

PS... Don't be a Democrat, don't be a Republican, be an independent! Do what is best for the future of this country and our children, not just what is good for you. Otherwise, our kids are screwed.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

"Actually, there are restrictions for how cops are allowed to set speeding traps, and they can not hide; I think visibility (to a certain degree) is one of those requirements. They are allowed to park in a manner that makes them un-obvious, but they are not, for example, allowed to use a blind (directing a radar gun through a hole in a sign), very similar to covert cameras."

The above is an urban legend. You might believe it to be true, but it is not.

Call any police department or do some legal research if you don't believe me.

The police are NOT required to be visible when attempting to detect a crime. They sometimes ARE visible when using radar on traffic simply so they can get their radar equipment to work correctly!!

If cameras have to be visible, what about all the under-cover drug busts done in hotel rooms? Or how about the on-dash cameras in more & more squad cars?

The cameras being posted in public places (like Chicago and England) are meant to be seen as a means of scaring criminals into not misbehaving. But again, it's not a requirement they be obvious. Tricking people into committing crimes CAN result in the obtained evidence being thrown out of court. But there are no cases or current laws of which I am aware that mandate that law enforcement announce or adverstise the fact they are watching people out in public places!!

As for jumping into showers and stalls - that is NOT what is being discussed. What happened was filming in A PUBLIC PLACE. The cameras were not set up in stalls and showers.

If you want to argue policy, fine, but please try to keep the facts straight. The issue is not whether people should be filmed while taking showers or in the restroom, or in their homes or other private places. That is currently not legal (invasion of privacy and tort issues are implicated).

The issue is whether it is a good idea to film people who are out in the open, in a public venue such as a camp ground. Doing so is currently legal.

jayzee 8 years, 3 months ago

The loss of our civil liberties is incremental... Where else will we not have a "reasonable expectation of privacy" down the line?

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 3 months ago

Sorry folks, it is not illegal to do what they did nor is it out of line. Most folks are offended becasue they don't want to be caught smoking weed, drinking under age or any other crime AND have it on tape to CONFIRM they we commiting...you can't blame anything on anyone but yourself AND you have to TAKE RESPONSIBLITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS...no blame game here or the cops framed me that is so common in this "conspiracy driven town."

kmat 8 years, 3 months ago

All of you that keep going on and on about how this was public land and they didn't need to tell anyone they were being video taped - the attendees paid good money to be on this public land. One expectation was to be able to have some privacy in the camping area. We should have been allowed to make the decision of whether we wanted to attend, knowing we were going to be taped. They didn't extend that courtesy, so I do consider it spying. It all comes down to honesty. When our law enforcement lies by ommission, I lose all faith in them. Our police force in town sits back and does nothing about so many things in this town (I just always love watching officers sit back and watch speeders and people that run red lights and do nothing), but they want to make a spectacle of a peaceful festival.

If they want to use cameras in public parks, then why don't they put them up in areas that HAVE had problems? Remember the children being attacked on the trails off Naismith years ago? Just yesterday a lady was attacked in Lenexa in a public park and layed there for 10 hours before someone found her. She's lucky to be alive. They want to use cameras in parks, then use them to protect us.

And quit making this about the "druggies". There were thousands there that had no intention of getting high, and they had the right to know they were being taped.

And if they had informed the public that they were monitoring everything on video, many of the folks that were selling drugs (which were very few since they could barely make any busts there with all this high tech crap) most likely wouldn't have come in the first place.

Our law enforcement should be focusing on protecting our safety, not busting a kid smoking a joint.

The lesson has been learned and many of us will never again attend the fest. What a shame. Lot's a good bands out there and it did bring a lot of outside money to Lawrence. I know someone on the promo staff, and believe me she's heard an earful from everyone she knows. The event staff lied to us by ommission as well.

afred 8 years, 3 months ago

If you throw a frog in boiling water, it'll jump out.

But if you put a frog in cool water, and slowly heat it to boiling, the frog is cooked alive.

Is it warm in here?

afred 8 years, 3 months ago

When you cede power to an authority in exchange for protection, it should be a mutual, informed, decision.

drd343 8 years, 3 months ago

Afred. lol. It has been getting hotter in here for 6 years now. If you ask me, which you didn't but I'll tell you anyway, I think this country is about at boiling point!

kmat 8 years, 3 months ago

afred - your frog analogy just backs up the point of those that think the cops were wrong. As logic has pointed out many times, if they were concerned about public safety, they would have told everyone that cameras were being used and the frogs would have jumped out of that pot of boiling water. That would have removed a lot of the supposed criminal element that they say was there (even though they still couldn't bust many people with all the equipment because there wasn't that much illegal activity going on). They only cared about making their numbers look good by hoping they would get some big busts out of this event. I'm glad it backfired on them.

The police were so ridiculous with their searches that I was even checked out, and all I was doing was driving home from work that Thursday night. I unfortunately had to use the same I70 exits that many concert goers did. All they cared about was looking good, not protecting public safety.

acg 8 years, 3 months ago

This makes me so mad I can't see straight. I can't honestly believe what I'm hearing from some of you. I honestly think alot of you would prefer living in a society where the government tells you exactly what to do, when to do it and who to do it with. What kind of government was that called again? Hmmm? That whole "if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind" argument is a load of crap. The founder fathers of our country are rolling in their graves to see the blatant violations of rights going on in this nation today. It, and those that support it, make me want to puke!!

Confrontation 8 years, 3 months ago

So, we should warn the druggies that there are cameras? What fun would that be? Although, it would be interesting to see them try to dodge the cameras and act like James Bond.

If drug enforcement equals a smaller festival, then so be it. Should the cops look the other way when this batch of drug users comes to town? Maybe they should ignore the Last Call, as well? Sadly, the Wackorusa-goers might not come back if the cops do their jobs and bust them for being idiots. If "freedom to use drugs" is a necessary part of this festival, then move it to Wichita.

trythinking 8 years, 3 months ago

A message from the promoters via the Wakarusa messageboard:

It is absolutely ludicrious and completely irresponsible to suggest that the promoters of Wakarusa were made aware months in advance about impending surveillance activities that were to take place at the 2006 festival. At no time leading up to this year's event were we informed that cameras were installed in places around the grounds or that law enforcement would be so needlessly heavy-handed in their enforcement of local, state and federal laws. The legality of such activities is dubious at best and outrage at this sort of behavior should be directed at many places, not just the festival. Now more than ever Wakarusa needs your support.

The bottom line is that the park is YOUR land and law enforcement is there to serve and protect YOU. A decision needs to be made within society regarding whether or not constant surveillance in public will be allowed. Heaven help us if we choose the former.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

Whether to announce the presence of police in a public place (be it police using cameras, under-cover, or by any other means) is a policy issue. When it's done, the reason is usually to warn people to take their criminal acts somewhere private. When it's not done, it's usually to allow the detection of crimes (unless, like some posters you have reason to believe that the government/police just want as much film and other information as they can get, be it about law abiding citizens or not).

It's currently legal for the police to secretly film people who are outside in a public place. Debate that policy all you want.

gphawk89 8 years, 3 months ago

Considering the recent technological explosion (namely night vision, thermal imaging, UWB radar, miniature web cameras, cellphone cameras, and other electronic surveillance technologies, E911 cellphones, OnStar, RFID tags on everything, face recognition, etc.) we can throw any expectations of privacy out the window for good. And it's in no way just government agencies doing it. Think about it.

monkeyspunk 8 years, 3 months ago

IF the authorities notified the promoter about the cameras, then in my opinion that is enough disclosure regarding the placing of cameras. If the promoter knew, then I think it falls on them to let the party go'ers know about it. Focus your hatred for the police toward the greed of this festival promoter.

If they didn't notify him, and the promoter's website is being truthful, then I believe that the camera surveillance was inappropriate, and should have been posted. Atleast let those that intend to go and have a good time within the limits of the law know they are being taped. Heck, some people might actually appreciate it and feel more secure there is an 'eye in the sky' watching out for them. Don't know many people like that, but hey, they have to exist somewhere!

kmat 8 years, 3 months ago

Confrontation wrote:

"So, we should warn the druggies that there are cameras? What fun would that be? Although, it would be interesting to see them try to dodge the cameras and act like James Bond.

If drug enforcement equals a smaller festival, then so be it. Should the cops look the other way when this batch of drug users comes to town? Maybe they should ignore the Last Call, as well? Sadly, the Wackorusa-goers might not come back if the cops do their jobs and bust them for being idiots. If "freedom to use drugs" is a necessary part of this festival, then move it to Wichita."

You are missing the point. Most of us were not doing drugs out there. They may have had cameras that were looking into private areas in the campgrounds, which I do feel is a violation of my rights.

Get off the druggie bs and focus on the real issue, which is that our law enforcement and the festival promoters were not honest about what they were doing out there.

And it's one thing to try to bust a "big" dealer that only came here to make some cash. It's another thing to harass honest people and bust some kids smoking a joint. Wouldn't all of you rather have our officers focus their time and money on busting criminals that intend to do harm to our persons or property? The cops need to focus on the growing violence in Lawrence. It's sad that I'm now uncomfortable going downtown late at night because jerks are down there with guns (and right by the police station). The cops in town have their focus on the wrong crimes. Drug use will never be stopped. The ware on drugs is a joke. Focus on crimes that may cause harm to the community. You can't tell me that a kid at a concert smoking a J is harming the city. If you've never been high, then you have no clue. Anyone that used to go to Dead shows understands. A crowd of high people will be calm. A croud of drunks will get roudy and violent. Bust the drunks and leave the mellow folks alone.

MississippiFrog 8 years, 3 months ago

I was so heartbroken that I wasn't able to attend the festivel this year. Now, after reading the articles I am thankful I did not go. To think, I almost spent 15 hours driving in a car to get there, camp out for a weekend in the heat to only be spied on and searched. I am glad I saved my money and went to Bonaroo instead.

I love Lawrence and the music scene and hated to move away from it, but with this BS I won' t be coming back.

To all my friends and family, I will see you at Bonaroo next year.

gphawk89 8 years, 3 months ago

monkey- I bet my next-door neighbor would have appreciated it if there was an "eye in the sky" that filmed the angry young black male that bashed out every one of her car windows with a baseball bat last night.

as_I_live_and_breathe 8 years, 3 months ago

Posted by kmat (anonymous) on September 15, 2006 at 10:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Blah! Drug free music = country and western crap.

???Every heard of Johnny Cash??? Hank Williams? google drug use and country music, You'll find Country Western is a LOOOOONNNNGGGGG way from drug free!!

In fact I have to use drugs to even listen to it.

justthefacts 8 years, 3 months ago

"They may have had cameras that were looking into private areas in the campgrounds, which I do feel is a violation of my rights."

They may have also had little green Martians up in the trees. But those are not the facts at hand.

The facts presented are these; There were cameras secretly being used by the police to scan and film crowds in open areas of the camp ground. Use of such cameras in such spaces does not violate any current laws or recognized Constitutional Rights.

So debate on the presented facts; whether such use in such spaces is a good idea - or not. It is not helpful to those trying to decide to keep bringing up some OTHER use of cameras in some OTHER situtations is a good idea (or legal).

madbess 8 years, 3 months ago

It's not so simple as "if you're not doing anything illegal, you don't have anything to worry about". I was there, I didn't do anything illegal, but the idea that I was being watched by hidden cameras & nightvision surveillance gadgetry turns my stomach. I understand the concern the park had about drugs & illegal activity, and I also believe something should be done about that. I just don't think this was the right way. They can say it was for the safety of the public & that will convince many people to buy into it without asking questions because that is what they want to hear. It's unfortunate that technology such as this is being used at the expense of the law abiding citizen's rights. At what point does it stop? Think about it, this issue isn't about "hippies" or pot or even Wakarusa, it's about the rights we are losing bit by bit. All in the name of "safety".

BigAl 8 years, 3 months ago

This is flat-out a case of spying on citizens. There just isn't any other way to get around that. Cameras were set up for the sole purpose of looking in on Americans. And some of you think that that is ok.

Sigmund 8 years, 3 months ago

It is a public place and if Americans are doing illegal things in public then I guess they deserve to get publicly busted with cameras. Yeah really I am fine with it.

BigAl 8 years, 3 months ago

I am surprised that Americans cannot see how this goes against our basic rights. Some of you are saying that it is ok for the government to spy on American citizens. Does that sound like a free society?

BigAl 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm not saying that breaking the law is ok. I am saying that spying on American citizens is NOT OK.

Sigmund 8 years, 3 months ago

You have a basic right to be busted if you are caught in PUBLIC doing illegal activities. In fact, as an American, I think it is my basic right to expect you will be busted doing illegal stuff in public.

WTF??? You expect to do your illegal stuff publicly without being busted? Do your bong hits in your basement.

monkeywrench1969 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey folks the same types of cameras have been on KU campus for over a year and no one has made a issue of privacy...now many are asking for more becasue they want to catch the people ripping off stuff in their car in areas where they do not have cameras.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 3 months ago

I guess a concert fest fan must ask himself if a concert with secret surveillance of drug use if really where he wants to be on a nice summer weekend.

There are plenty of outdoor concerts in the midwest without secret surveillance. Use your freedom of choice.

paladin 8 years, 3 months ago

A People can only loose its liberties and freedoms if it chooses to let it happen. Americans are complacent, desensitized, and detached from reality, fat and happy. America is ripe for authoritarian rule. It is becoming a reality now, little by little. If we choose to let it happen, then we probably, sadly, we deserve what we get. Its happening now. The choice is yours.

dozer 8 years, 3 months ago

Marion - do you actually sit around and think up this conspiracy crap or do you read it online?

look out Lawrence, there is a slippery slope ahead. ahhhhh, I'm sliding, and the government has put a camera in my bathroom.

beatrice 8 years, 3 months ago

Macon -- I'll bet you still listen to that junkie Rush Limbaugh, don't ya?

Hope you don't mind when the police use that surveillance equipment on your business. Knock, knock - Who's there? The cops. The cops who? Shut the hell up and open your books. Now.

Okay, it isn't funny, but hey - if you have nothing to fear, what would be the problem? Right?

And to clarify, I am a liberal, yet I don't do drugs, don't live in my parent's basement, have supported myself since I was 18 (first real job at 16), and am fully grown. How does that possibly fit into your limited world view?

Sigmund 8 years, 3 months ago

Since when did looneys in Lawrence (both on the right and the left) expect to have privacy in public to commit illegal acts? FYI. should I see anyone using illegal drugs in public, beating their significant other, abusing kids, or even parking in a handicapped spot, I shall take a photo or video using my phone and call the cops.

Do not think I am the only one. Do your bong hits in your mom's basement.

Sigmund 8 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of Rusk Linbaugh (sp?), whose privacy rights were more violated? The drug user in a public place photographed with a camera, or a drug users whose private medical records were siezed illegally?

BlackVelvet 8 years, 3 months ago

Does anyone remember that people died from drug usage in the past at the fesitval? and some people demanded that something be done to curb the drug usage.

tell_it_like_it_is 8 years, 3 months ago

I don't know which is more alarming. The surveillance itself. Or the fact that so many people think its okay.

T_F 8 years, 3 months ago

I can't believe the city blew $250K on this... for like that much money we could have built the biggest bong in the world... totally.... dude.

kws 8 years, 3 months ago

Hey, T_F. Your reading comprehension would improve if you stopped smoking pot. The city didn't spend any money on this. The equipment was set up as a free demonstration by the company that manufacturers it. People bitching about privacy at a public event. HAHAHAHAHAHA!! You have none you friggin retards!

1LoveBm 8 years, 3 months ago

Bye Bye Wakarusa! Gee SO clever. We'll take our $$ elsewhere and enjoy what's left of our [limited] freedom this country while we can. And when "freedom" in the good ol' USA is just a memory (as it's well on the way to becoming), WE will go down in history as the last Americans who actually appreciated it.

"If you're lookin to get silly you better go back to from where you came ... because the cops don't need you and man they expect the same." (Tom Thumb's Blues - Bob Dylan)

dirtykaw 8 years, 3 months ago

Boycott Brett Mosiman and the Bottleneck for this disgusting slimy conduct!

Jersey_Girl 8 years, 3 months ago

Okay, before anyone jumps all over me, yes, I skipped most of the previous posts. It's just too late to read over 150 posts. The article says that over $11,000 in drug money was seized. Seems to me I recall reading an article during the festival that $10,000 was seized from one individual. So does this mean that they only seized $1,000 in drug money from how many others? Oooooohhhh, impressive. The privacy of how many people was invaded so they could seize all of $1,000? So what, since Dubbya is doing away with Americans' rights to privacy, local law enforcement thinks they can do it too? His daughters abuse prescription drugs so I guess that means it's okay for the rest of us to do it as well. Courtney Love will be very happy to get that news.

xenophonschild 8 years, 3 months ago

Was anyone else naked with his girlfriend in a tent smack in the middle of camera grid? We were in the yellow tent with a blue parrot on one side. I read this crap and couldn't believe it! And not just us; all our friends too.

This Moisman creep has some explaining to do. And they've killed Waka as far as I'm concerned; we'll go somewhere else to catch the Flaming Lips.

Most of you conservative pukes wouldn't know fascism if it bit you in the ass.

BigAl 8 years, 3 months ago

"You have a basic right to be busted if you are caught in PUBLIC doing illegal activities. In fact, as an American, I think it is my basic right to expect you will be busted doing illegal stuff in public.

WTF??? You expect to do your illegal stuff publicly without being busted? Do your bong hits in your basement."

First, I don't use illegal drugs. Never have. I also expect to have illegal behavour busted. However, don't trample on my basic freedoms in order to catch the few. That is a basic right as a free American and I think it is sad that a lot of you don't see that. Just follow blindly.

BigAl 8 years, 3 months ago

Spying on American Citizens is wrong. Plain and simple.

theivywall 8 years, 3 months ago

I like drugs. I don't like stealing, killing, raping, globilization, the pretentious belief by first world societies carried over from imperialism and the cold war-era that it's our job to civilize and develop the underdeveloped countries, very often through military seizure and destruction of the infastructure of those countries. I don't really like atom bombs, SUV's, television, what mass quantities of alcohol do to most people's sense of kindness, good will, and mindful living. I don't really like pornography, people who think they know what's best for all those around them when truly they are just as uncertain of their place on this planet as all their fellow brothers and sisters. I don't like money-hungry schemers who play the planet earth like a game of risk and move money like a twisted game of monopoly where the first half of the board has essentially no say in any goings on throughout the duration of the game. I like drugs. O, and love. And being responsible and searching for a sense of spiritual balance WITHIN YOURSELF. The war on drugs is just like the war on terror or a war on jealousy or the ego. It's an unwinnable battle because these have been more or less omnipresent elements of the human experience for a very long time... before we discovered ink to record our struggles and glories...and certainly before we developed high tech surveillance cameras. So why don't you legalize drugs so that young kids in rough neighborhoods stop getting indoctrinated into selling crack cocaine and smack for money at the age of 12, so gangs stop murdering each other over drug-slinging terrority, and so I can eat mushrooms and trying to get a deeper understanding of the human condition while experiencing beautiful, awe-inspiring music without several men in funny matching costumes with shades so as to not be exposed to my "dilated, deranged hippie eyes" coming and making me fel shame and guilt for consuming psychadelic mushrooms of my own volition and dealing with the natural, god-given consequences that has on my liver and perception of reality, peacefully. I barely felt like capable of running or conversing lightly, much less driving a two-ton piece of gas-pumping machinery like a car or perpetrating a selfish act of any kind. So...to summarize...I like drugs....I don't like much else that is morally questionable...why can't I do drugs?

Sacerdotal 8 years, 3 months ago

So...to summarize...I like drugs....I don't like much else that is morally questionable...why can't I do drugs?

theivywall: interesting points. We Catholics like our drugs too; We were given grapes and grains and weeds; why can't they all be used responsibly by those who choose to do so?

madbess 8 years, 3 months ago

"Posted by BigAl (anonymous) on September 18, 2006 at 8:10 a.m. (Suggest removal) Spying on American Citizens is wrong. Plain and simple."

That's the basis of this issue to me. Thanks for stating it so clearly, BigAl! I was at Wakarusa & I would've like to have known I was under surveillance. I wouldn't have changed anything I did, but I would have had the CHOICE to, or the choice to not go in the first place.

And now, something nice & fun that was here in our backyard has gotten a big, huge black mark against it. Music festivals are not all about drugs & dealing & illegal activity. It's very unfortunate that this is the view many people have. Yes, I'd prefer it if there wasn't anything to worry about concerning illegal activity, but you know what? I've been to many, many shows at bars in Lawrence & KC where drunk people are more of an annoyance & concern than anything I've witnessed in my 3 years of attending Wakarusa. I'm not condoning illegal activity at all, but I think this is about much more than that! I'm also not faulting the promoters, or even the park management, entirely for this surveillance. I'm sure everyone involved was under a heck of a lot of pressure to do something about the drug use based on the previous year. It all started with the "safety checks" the KSHP was doing at the turnpike exit...those weren't right either. What I'm upset about is the fact that it was done without me...the customer, the taxpayer, the citizen...knowing that I was being watched. That is just wrong.

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