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Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Federal Detention Camp
Oakdale, Louisiana


Let me begin by giving my readers an update from the kitchen here at Oakdale. Last week, I broke the big news that I had finally been assigned a permanent job in the kitchen. Kitchen man.

But you know what? It’s really not all that bad. And here is the big news. I’m actually cooking. Not all the time, but I’ve been working with the regular cooks (after I finish my clean up duty) to spice things up a bit and pitch in on food preparation.

My big test came a few days ago when I offered to cook the main course for our evening meal. Meat Loaf.

Meat Loaf you ask? Is that the best I could do at my first foray of feeding one hundred people? But remember this. I don’t just fix any old meat loaf. The recipe I used came right out of my cookbook, “Jim Brown’s World Famous Squirrel Stew and Other Country Recipes.”

And can I tell ya. The response from the inmates was unbelievable. I’m trying to be modest here, but my meat loaf received rave reviews from throughout the prison population. Once a dish of disdain, meat loaf will be regular fare in the months to come.

So what’s my secret you ask? Simple. I just spice it up more and am a little more creative in blending different ingredients. Here is my recipe, found on page 125 of my cookbook.

Jim Brown’s Meat Loaf

2 pounds ground beef ½ cup finely chopped onion
2 eggs ½ cup fine corn flake crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced 1 T. chopped parsley
2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. basil
¼ tsp. pepper 4 (3-in.) squares mozzarella cheese cut in half diagonally
½ cup tomato juice  

Combine all ingredients except cheese; mix well. Shape into round loaf
about 7 inches in diameter. Place on lightly greased shallow baking pan.
Bake in medium oven, 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour and
15 minutes. Arrange cheese slices on top in a spiral with ends
overlapping at center top. Return to oven just until cheese softens.
Cut into wedges to serve. Half again the recipe to serve 12.

The recipe should serve six easily. My cookbook should be available for you to purchase on my website by the first of the year. So keep your eye out.

One more question you might have. How do you prepare the same recipe for one hundred or more? This obviously is more of a challenge. Here is what I suggest you do. Go down to your local FBI office, and tell them you want to make a statement. Tell them the sky is blue, George Bush is President, and Edwin Edwards is in jail. They will charge you with making a false statement, you will get six months in jail, then you can come up here with me and we can try all kinds of dishes from my cookbook.

You have to keep a sense of humor and your sense of the ridiculous in the face of injustice. At each meal, I tell my tablemates two things:

1) I love my country, But I fear my government.

2) Non Carborundum Illigetimi
(Don’t let the bastards get you down.)


* * * * * * * * * *


I look at the stars a lot here at Oakdale Prison. The sky is significantly clearer than at my hometown. Every time I fly into Baton Rouge airport, I notice a haze that covers the city. But not up here.

I have a favorite spot to watch the sky. Outside the back door of my building overlooking the arena. In the daylight, I can sometimes spot a four leaf clover in the grass where I sit and read. At night, I think about the things I miss—mostly my family—as I watch the stars. Knowing what a waste of time to be here, but trying to make the best of it.

Did you see the Leonid meteor shower a few weeks back? Every year at the time, when the Earth passes through a trail of debris from the comet Tepel-Tuttle, trails of meteors blaze across the late night and predawn sky. The swarm of shooting stars was exceptionally dense and bright this year, and we won’t see such illumination for nearly another century. Bursts of different colored lights that lasted for several hours.

I generally watch the stars a while each night, just before going to bed. You can see a lot in the sky. The ancient Greeks regarded the stars as the eyes of God. Plato particularly linked the stars to the creator. Flaubert writes about his dancing bear stars in Madamme Bovary. My mother used to tell me when I was young that we become stars when we die.

The Greek playwright Aratus, in a famous passage from Phainomena, tells the story (a logos) of how Zeus has a star watching out for injustice.

For close at hand amoung men there are immortals taking
note of all those who afflict each other with crooked
judgements. And there is the Maiden Right, daughter of
Zeus, esteemed and respected by the Gods of Olympus;
and whenever someone does her down with crooked abuse,
at once she sits by Zeus and reports the men’s unrightous mind,
so that the people may pay for the crimes of their lords who
balefully divert justice from its course by pronouncing it

Now that’s strong. Those people “who balefully divert justice from its course” will be dealt with by Zeus. I hope he will take a close look at how justice was diverted from its course in my case. The prosecutors hid the evidence from me that they knew would prove me innocent. They kept the handwritten notes of the FBI agent from me that would show I was telling the truth. What they did to me was a perversion of justice and simply unconscionable.

Maybe that’s why I look at the stars. Perhaps Zeus will step in, see the wrong that’s been done, and make amends. But whatever happens, if you want to know what I’m doing each night around 11:00 p.m., for the next four months, just look up at the stars.


* * * * * * * * * *



Leadership, by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the number one seller in non-fiction on most of the nation’s book lists. At it should be no surprise. He has been America’s Mayor and our country’s hero since September 11.

Before becoming Mayor, Giuliani was New York City’s U.S. Attorney. I thought then he was a grandstander, trying to take a sledgehammer to Wall Street, and handcuffing even minor white-collar suspects before the television cameras. Many of his criminal charges didn’t stick.

But whatever his earlier shortcomings, he was a super Mayor for New York City. As Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, I’ve needed to go to New York almost monthly. I observed first hand how he cleaned up the city, brought 42nd Street back alive, and significantly dropped the crime rate.

Then came 9/11. You can’t say enough about the class and confidence he displayed and the devotion he gave to the families in mourning. He showed magnificent leadership in the process of putting life in the city back together.

The book is his story of all he went through. These are some comments on his personal life; his prostate cancer and anecdotes about his childhood. He lists numerous traits that make up the quality of leadership. However, most of his ideas and suggestions can be found in business motivational books.

The important reason for this book is to hear first hand how the successful New York Mayor rose to the occasion on September 11th, and became one of America’s current heros. Leadership will be on the best selling charts for a number of months to come.


My thanks to so many of you who have e-mailed me. I post many of your responses, and I greatly appreciate your thoughts, your concerns, and your prayers. I close this week by re-printing a moving message from Florida.

Until next week, peace and justice to you and your family.

Jim Brown


Dear Commissioner Brown:

I am a native of Louisiana (Lake Charles) and recently retired from 22
years of service in the U.S. Air Force. I now reside in Panama City,
Florida. I have been aware of your political career since I was a very
young man, and have followed closely the events surrounding your
incarceration, and am a regular visitor to your website.

I will not be long with my comments, but I wanted to add my thoughts
to the thousands you have received. It is both amazing and tragic that
the very fundamental principles upon which our legal system are built
were so systematically ignored in your case. It is even more amazing
that the appeals process has not rectified this injustice.

I am sure you will grow as a person during this experience, and this will,
no doubt, allow you to cross paths with some very interesting people at
Oakdale. But the fact remains that it is an experience you and your
family should not have to go through. As a father and husband,
I realize too that this is time away from your family that cannot be replaced.
I pray that you continue to stand up tall in the face of this terrible situation.

I hope you have a faith in God that will allow you to overcome this
obstacle. You have every right to be bitter, but you seem to have channeled
your bitterness into something positive. Your accusers will have to answer to
a higher power at some point, and hopefully you can take some consolation in that fact.

I would like to see you return to elected office after your sentence has
been served. I think the majority of voters in Louisiana understand the
type of man you are, and would like you to continue serving them. I
also think it would be an excellent way to show your prosecutors that
they have not achieved what they so vigorously sought—an end to your
political career. Thanks for your time, and I hope you continue to make
the best of this most unfortunate situation.

B. from Florida

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