Monthly Archives: October 2020

Another One by Wayne T. Dowdy

Photo shown as taken at Big Springs Park, McDonough GA

I watched leaves fall from trees due to high winds from a storm and then it hit me, That’s why they call this season Fall, all of the leaves fall from the trees. And Spring is Spring because life springs up from the ground. Rocket Science, huh? 🙂

Now that October has ended and November began, here comes D-Day, as in a Dreaded Day for the loser in the United States Presidential Election. I’m not a fan of either party!

October was an unusual month for me. I lost more money in the stock market than ever before, caused by me making a poor decision and for not doing what I originally planned. For instance, seeing premarket indicators to sell some shares and then bought more instead because I saw another fluctuation in the numbers that made me think I would make more money.

Greed Cost Me!

Well, it worked for a few dollars and then turned on me. Because SoFi (an American online personal finance company that I use to buy and sell stocks) has me limited on daily transactions and prevented me from selling when I saw the numbers dropping again, I lost more money instead of gaining. But it is all good. I am okay and lived to fight another day.

Today I chose to see things from a different perspective, with the main point being that I am still alive and kickin’ after all these years. Life is Good!

An attitude of gratitude carries me a long way and helps me feel better about life.

I am fortunate to have only lost as little as what I did, and to still have over ninety percent of my investment. The few dollars lost will return after all of the political BS ends, providing that the Coronavirus doesn’t create more havoc than it has done across America and abroad.

Either way, though, I will be okay and am blessed to be in the position that I am in because I do have the basic necessities of life: food, shelter, and am in reasonably good health. I sympathize with those who cannot say the same and hope that one day their lives will change so that they can.

Personally, one year ago, I did not have money to invest in the stock market. On July 18, 2019, I got my first and only job since my release from prison, and then started a business two months later. I did not have a vehicle to drive and dodge deer in the road. Life changes.

Oh Deer!

Each day that I commute to and from work, I travel over twenty miles on a rural State Route. One section of the highway runs through a State Park. Signs warn to watch for Deer Crossing for Next Three Miles.

The deer don’t always comply and stay in their lanes. Even when they do and have the right a way, many motorists don’t have time to stop and another one goes down. During two days of travel last week, I saw six dead deer on the side of the roads.

Whitetail Deer Running Alongside Road

On Wednesday morning, October 28, 2020, I almost ran over two young bucks (male whitetail deer) that stood in the road trying to fight as I approached at 55 miles per hour, on a dreary night with low-dense fog.

I hit the brakes and got within twenty yards from where both stood. One turned to exit the roadway but then turned back to face its opponent, like he was confused on whether to run to get away from the danger or continue to fight. Ironically, in the lane I was travelling in at a speed that would terminate its existence and total my car.

His chance of survival in a collision was low. He didn’t stand a chance!

The next night during my travel, an opossum almost entered into the danger zone but turned back in the other direction.

Live and Let Live

In recent months, I swerved to dodge squirrels, and opossums, too, as I do all within my power to avoid taking a life; any life, whether it be animals or insects, I prefer to Live and Let Live.

Earlier in the month, I also hit the brakes to swerve and dodge a careless driver who pulled out in front of me without looking. Thankfully, my superb driving skills prevented an accident. God was with us!

Roadkill

One thing that I noticed after my release from federal prison was an increase in animals killed on the Georgia roads. Nothing changed since then, other than the numbers of dead animals I cannot begin to estimate. Our population growth takes away their land and lives. 😦

One night while driving home from a job site in North Atlanta, I saw a deer grazing along a narrow passageway on Interstate 75, where a large wall separated the deer from the small wooded area where it most likely lived, in the city.

The main type of animals I’ve seen killed on the roads are whitetail deer, opossums, racoons, squirrels, rabbits, and armadillos, the latter of which many people rejoice in a population reduction of because of the damage armadillos cause to their yards.

Election Year 2020

Tuesday, November 3, 2020, is Election Day in America. Civil unrest is expected in some states, with Georgia being one, if the preferred party does not win. For me, though, I don’t care who wins or loses, I simply look forward to it ending. Not only because of its disruption in the stock market and social media and all news channels, just so we, as American citizens can move on to the next line of BS that is sure to follow with a new group of elected officials.

During the 2016 Presidential Election, my life was much different when I wrote Politics & Prisons, where I spoke out against insane practices by prison administrators and voiced my opinion on the Elections and politics in general.

“PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: My view on politics is that the Democrats represent the lawyers trying to sue the big businesses represented by the Republicans. Politicians deceive voters when they run on a platform and promise to vote a certain way on an issue, but then vote otherwise when elected because of their party line agenda.”

The quote above sums it up. Regardless of who wins any of the elections, he or she will probably act contrary to promises made during the campaign trail. For me, I will continue to live my life in the best way possible to stay in harmony with the Universe by dodging deer and staying safe in a volatile stock market, created by the political atmosphere and COVID-19.

Life After Release-5

Image customized by Lilly G.

My Life After Release continues to be an adventure as I continue to live and learn, after my return to society as if being a caveman who walked out of a cave into a bright new world filled with gadgets and devices that were not available in 1988 when thrown into a cage to protect society.

Life is wonderful, full of surprises and a host of challenging situations but only as challenging as I chose to perceive them to be.

The truth is that life just happens, and I make a decision on how to view any event or chain of events. I chose to see challenging situations as an opportunity to learn.

No day passes without me having learned something beneficial.

Though living my life in a respectful manner and focusing on doing the right thing, I still must be on guard for the character defects that ruled my life many years ago; especially, the pride when driven by Mr. EGO, the one who feels the need to defend that scared little boy who grew up fighting to keep the bullies and predators at bay.

If left unchecked, Mr. EGO would have me right back in jail or dead. Fortunately, I have learned when to walk away from a situation to avoid a catastrophe or unpleasant outcome in a dispute. Humility. Not humiliation.

Cheap Smartwatch

In Life After Release-3 I wrote about a Smartwatch with a phishing link, designed to steal personal data. That is a screenshot of the culprit shown above.

When I bought the watch for $14.99 on Woot, an Amazon company, I thought I had gotten a great deal because it was advertised as normally listing for $99.99.

A month later, I find the following when researching to write this blog about learning to deal with life in this new era, and deciding to use the thieving smartwatch as an example that met its match with my smartphone:

Woot must have not known about the 2020 HOT DZ09 Smartwatch shown above that sells for $1.99 on Wish.com, not $99.99 as advertised to sucker people in like me to buy it for a deal.

Who would have guessed that the smartwatch was a thief programmed to steal?

When I received the security warning from Google on my Motorola One Zoom with the Android 10 update, I complained to Woot about the smartwatch having the phishing link included, and though Woot did give me a prompt refund, I later saw the Smartwatch still being sold.

But to be fair to the manufacturer and Woot, the smartwatch I received may have been one of a select group of smartwatches primed to steal personal data when connected to the phone after scanning the QR Code.

I was told to keep the smartwatch. Even though I do not have it connected to my phone, I don’t trust that darn smartwatch because I don’t know just how smart and scandalous it is with today’s technology. I lay it facedown to make sure that the camera isn’t spying on me and sending the data to its operator. 🙂

Affiliate Marketing

Now, as part of me making an honest living, unlike the scandalous individuals behind the thieving smartwatch and many online products, I am learning affiliate marketing to earn small commissions for products and services advertised, if purchased.

For both ads, I watched promotional videos and was impressed with their content.

ProVen is a weight loss product and advertised as time sensitive for purchasing at discounted rates.

I researched for complaints and did not find any complaints about the product. I did learn about bogus websites that use ProVen to scam purchasers. Please check out the referenced information below for WonderfulThingsDone.com to learn more.

Promotional Ads:

PROVEN WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT

Click Banner for ProVen

For detailed information on Proven and impressive YouTube presentation by users and information regarding scammers who use ProVen and other products to steal funds from online shoppers, please visit https://wonderfulthingsdone.com/review-proven-weight-loss-supplement/

At no cost to the customer, we receive a small commission for a product or service purchased through this website. The commission does not necessarily influence the decision to advertise or promote a particular product or service.


Freight Brokering

Check out Freight Brokers Boot Camp. The Customer Satisfaction rating is 4.8 out of 5.

For those who want to learn how to be a Freight Broker, this appears to be a good course, as it sells often and my research failed to find anything negative about the company who sells the programs.

At no cost to the customer, we receive a small commission for a product or service purchased through this website. The commission does not necessarily influence the decision to advertise or promote a particular product or service.

Info for the Incarcerated

One of the many things I do is to provide information to those inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, whom I know have limited access to information from the outside, as well as what is going on inside the system. Most of the information I send in comes from http://www.bop.gov, including updates about the Coronavirus and other important issues.

One of my clients suggested I let everyone know about the court ruling that permits the incarcerated to receive the Stimulus payment from the Cares Act. At that time, another client had requested an IRS form to file his claim.

I questioned the legitimacy based upon my experience on the inside and prisoner filings for tax refunds. And then today (10/21/2020), another client requested that I check on his filing status and informed me about the publication of an article in the Washington Post.

Yes, though controversial and challenged by the Trump administration, the incarcerated may file a claim to receive a stimulus payment, as reported in the Washington Post by Personal Finance columnist, Michelle Singletary on Oct. 19, 2020,

Federal judge rules against Treasury and IRS again: The incarcerated are entitled to stimulus checks

IRS is forced to extend to Nov. 4 a deadline to allow local, state and federal prisoners to claim tens of millions in stimulus money

For those with loved ones in American prisons, you may want to let them know about being allowed to file a claim for a stimulus payment but remember, there is a deadline for filing.

If you can send in an IRS 1040 form, it may help; however, I know some people inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons who were provided the proper form and a memorandum by prison officials to notify them of the court’s decision.

How Much to Send Prisoners Varies

Federal Prison Industries, Inc., UNICOR, INMATE EARNING STATEMENT

The amount a person may want to send an incarcerated individual, depends on many factors. He or she has shelter, and though it may be lacking at times, most prisoners do have food and the essentials of survival, whereas some loved ones or friends may be struggling to survive on their income.
 
If the free citizen needs to pay rent, buy food, or otherwise take care of themselves and family, in my opinion, as a former prisoner, I’d rather have gone hungry than for my loved ones to have sent me money that was needed to provide for themselves. My comfort came in second compared to theirs.

My personal opinion is that most prisoners should be able to get by on $50-$100 per month and even less if no one from the outside can help. Unfortunately, many fall into a trap trying to get by and revert to various ways of survival I won’t address. And some of those who have money coming in may be extorted by the stronger prisoners or gangs and still do without.

Prison life is sometime Survival of the Fittest. Not always, though. Read The Truth About Incarceration, Part I to learn more about prison life.

Prisons are commercialized and charge inmates for many things that were once given to those under their care. Because of that, if the incarcerated receives funds and owes for services provided, the institution may freeze the inmate account and take funds sent in by a person’s family or friend.

Most systems have policy or program statements that define what the law allows, which may be challenged through the Administrative Remedy process and the courts. In most cases, courts rule in favor of the prison administrators but not always. Therefore, money sent in to someone for food items, etc., gets taken and the person has to get by without the funds but will normally survive, even if it means going hungry or not having what he or she wants or needs.

UNICOR HELPED ME PROVIDE FOR MYSELF

In the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, I was happy to provide for myself by working and not having to be dependent on others to provide funds for my wants and needs.

Many of my peers were different, especially if on drugs and wanted to get high, the same as I did until 1995. I understood their actions because I know what it was like for me when I lived the life of an addict, so I am not condemning those who still live the life I once did.

When I first entered the system, after having served time in the Georgia Department of Corrections, where I was not paid for working, I felt good earning the low-wages ($0.12 per hour) then paid to federal prisoners who did not work for UNICOR.

UNICOR is the trade name for the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. that has changed considerably since when I began my federal sentence over three decades ago in 1988.

Please note that all prisoners do not get paid for working, or get paid as much to work in places like the Federal Prison Industries, Inc.

I was one of the highest-paid, hourly-rate, inmate employees who worked for UNICOR, and rarely made over $200.00 per month. In the copy of the paystub above, I earned $189.14 for the month of May in 2018.

On average, by working in the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR), I earned enough to spend $64.00 on the phone, $50.00 on writing/emailing blogs, etc., and $45–50.00 on commissary items, based on cost in the Federal Prison System.

To do the things I wanted to do, I made sacrifices, such as to pay for the creation and upkeep of my website, STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN, and my blogging expenditures that added up when considering I paid five cents per minute to use the emailing system provided by Corrlinks.com. To print my drafts, of which there were many for some of my more lengthier blogs, I paid fifteen cents per page. That is in the federal system, which operates different than Corrlinks does in some state or private prisons.

In deciding what to send, a person may want to see what type of information is posted on the prison system website. The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons posts inmate handbooks and even the commissary lists for institutions.

I checked the page for the Federal Prison at Edgefield, SC to see the commissary list that seems current. As for the Inmate Handbook, old and outdated. View the Commissary List by clicking HERE.

I hope the above information helps to make informed decisions.

Life After Release-4 by Wayne T. Dowdy

Life After Release takes on different forms for me each day. One thing I try to remember is not forgetting how I felt trapped inside as a man imprisoned and often helpless to do what I knew I was capable of, such as what I do now: write professionally on a computer and blast words around the world with a few strokes on a keyboard.

Though I blasted a lot from Inside the prison system because I was published in International magazines, and paid to have this website built, and paid to use an expensive and convoluted emailing system to type blogs to send to my publisher for posting, I couldn’t do as I do now as a free man.

For the last week I’ve been working on this website and another to increase loading speed and functioning (still in process).  I upgraded the hosting plan on another website to improve its functioning and security, and worked on it to facilitate my affiliate marketing agenda.

I remain committed to become more successful than I have at this point of life, regardless of my having done well since my release.

Stars Shine Ahead!

GOODWILL Floor Care

Along with the above, I’ve continued to work on my regular job like an Alaskan malamute 1 (dogs commonly seen pulling sleds through snow and ice), cleaning and beautifying floors in Goodwill Stores by sweeping, mopping, removing old wax with chemicals, razor blades, and machines, before waxing to make it sparkle and shine with reflections from the overhead lights.

1 The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body.  Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information


Topics for Change

I often wonder about topics to post that will benefit others in some way, whether by drawing attention to a cause, or simply allowing those trapped behind the walls, bars, and fences of prisons to have their voice heard. 

Yesterday, my course of action became clear when a man Inside reached out for help. I listened to his plea and am sharing the following message from the man who is a contact inside the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

My hope is for those who care about what goes on Behind Closed Doors to contact the news media personnel provided by the imprisoned individual who cared enough about the COVID-19 situation inside the prison to risk his safety and security by sending an email he knows the prison administration would frown upon and could chose to retaliate against him.

This Door I Refuse to Keep Closed and Am Shouting Out His Plea for Help!

COVID-19 and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Received October 3, 2020

Message from Concerned Wisconsin Department of Correction Prisoner

“I hope you are doing well! I’m straight, I think! My test from when the National Guard tested us was negative ( well they didn’t come to my cell door for me or my celly – as of right now. ) However, it is scary right now!!

“Usually, I would send you a memorandum directly from the Warden/etc. so that I don’t relay unconscious bias opinion when I make my objective and personal opinion of the direction of the institution. However, they are not communicating with us of what is going on. If it is not to create hysteria it is having the opposite. Communication would make this that more easily bearable.

“Personally, I understand that Oshkosh is the most populated institutions in the state. That it is practically impossible to isolate the outbreak of positives cases within for the required 14 days. Technically, if you’re having symptoms or have COVID you’re quarantined but what about the in cases of you have it, but your cellmate doesn’t. Well they are still celled together. The negative guy is panicking. Get me out of here. Yesterday they took a guy out on a stretcher to the hospital because his oxygen levels were extremely low.

“We as inmates don’t make it better because we weren’t or not self-reporting if we have or had symptoms.

“We can’t clean rooms, no showers, no phones to communicate with your people.

“I don’t know if you will receive this email, please let me know if you did. Sent 9-3-2020 at 10:22 am! [Date is probably an error: 9-3-2020 is likely meant to be 10/3/2020 as it was received on October 3, 2020).

“People are not allowed private communication with their lawyers!!!!

“Help!!!!

“I know people have been contacting you about issues about state food shortages and portions, hot water for coffee is something we have to sacrifice but safety is supposed to be priority # 1 but to have a positive and a negative celled up is dangerous.

“A few said they are having or have had their people call to the institution for what exactly I don’t know. My position is it’ll do nothing to complain to the person or people that are making the inconsistent decisions to correct them. You must, we must contact local news and or court tv of the mistreatment and mishandling.

“This is a list of possible people that have drawn interest in prison issues: Kia Murray at kmurray@wluk.com  (Northeast Wisconsin fox11news); juliana.falk@nbc26.com Northeast Wisconsin news); Julia Jena @ court tv news # 470-355-8635; Sara Thomsen at sthomsen@wbay.com fox valley local news.

“Without contacting those people to bring awareness things will only get worse! Hoping that this goes away is not the answer. Thanks for your time and I looking forwarded to hearing from you.”

Anonymous Prisoner

[I chose to protect his identity]

Prisoners are human, too, even if some may not behave that way. 

Please do what you can to draw attention to what continues to go on Inside this particular prison and many others around the Nation and abroad.

In the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons, as of October 2, 2020, more than 124 prisoners have died.  Here is a partial report from the actual statistics

(Only facilities with deaths are reported in this blog.  The full list may be seen at http://www.bop.gov/coronavirus).

“The inmate totals listed do not include inmates participating in the Federal Location Monitoring program, inmates supervised under the USPO, or being held in privately managed prisons. Additionally, the reference to the FCI Butner Low below refers to an isolation unit that is physically separated from the rest of the LSCI. References to RRCs include both individuals housed at the RRC and individuals on home confinement under the RRC’s supervision.

“10/02/2020 – The BOP has 126,586 federal inmates in BOP-managed institutions and 14,375 in community-based facilities. The BOP staff complement is approximately 36,000. There are 1,565 federal inmates and 726 BOP staff who have confirmed positive test results for COVID-19 nationwide. Currently, 13,452 inmates and 1,164 staff have recovered. There have been 124 federal inmate deaths and 2 BOP staff member deaths attributed to COVID-19 disease. Of the inmate deaths, 4 occurred while on home confinement.

[I conclude with this section that I modified to reflect content I send inside the Federal Bureau of Prisons to clients subscribed to my email]

[To read numbers: the left column under the facility is Inmate confirmed cases (I.P.), next is Staff (S.P.), the third from left is Inmate Deaths (I.D.), the fourth column is Staff Deaths (S.D.); the fifth column Inmates Recovered (I.R.) and the others are Staff Recovered (S.R.), City and State].

Facility                           I.P.        S.P.      I.D.      S.D.     I.R.      S.R.      City      State

Butner Low FCI           1          1          17        1          627      17        Butner  NC

Fort Worth FMC           5          10        12        0          615      6          Fort Worth       TX

Terminal Island FCI      0          3          10        0          596      23        San Pedro         CA

Butner Medium I FCI    0          1          9          0          186      32        Butner  NC

Elkton FCI       2          0          9          0          942      54        Lisbon OH

Lexington FMC 7          0          9          0          206      13        Lexington        KY

Oakdale I FCI   0          13        7          0          214      21        Oakdale           LA

Carswell FMC  1          3          6          0          522      1          Fort Worth       TX

Seagoville FCI  6          1          4          0          1300    29        Seagoville        TX

Milan FCI         1          1          3          0          85        55        Milan   MI

Yazoo City Low FCI    0          5          3          0          93        9          Yazoo City       MS

Coleman Medium FCI  51        34        2          0          194      1          Sumterville      FL

Devens FMC    0          2          2          0          45        6          Ayer    MA

Lompoc FCI     0          3          2          0          746      16        Lompoc           CA

Lompoc USP    0          4          2          0          156      24        Lompoc           CA

Marion USP     2          8          2          0          133      9          Marion IL

Miami FDC      29        33        2          0          129      21        Miami  FL

Terre Haute USP          3          1          2          0          82        2          Terre Haute      IN

The Geo Group (RRC)  1          0          2          0          3          0          Houston           TX

ACS Corrections (RRC) 0          0          1          0          1          0          Del Valle          TX

Atlanta USP     6          8          1          0          55        8          Atlanta GA

Behavioral Systems SW (RRC) 0          0          1          0          0          0          Phoenix           AZ

Brawley RRC (RRC)    1          0          1          0          3          0          Brawley           CA

Coleman Low FCI        1          24        1          1          219      6          Sumterville      FL

Danbury FCI    2          0          1          0          81        64        Danbury           CT

Dismas Charities (RRC)            0          0          1          0          0          0          Hattiesburg      MS

Edgefield FCI   2          16        1          0          90        10        Edgefield         SC

GEO Care Inc. (RRC)   0          0          1          0          1          0          Brownsville     TX

GEO Care, Inc. (RRC)  2          0          1          0          0          0          Bronx  NY

Jesup FCI         0          19        1          0          251      3          Jesup   GA

Miami FCI        9          25        1          0          122      10        Miami  FL

Oakdale II FCI 1          9          1          0          9          6          Oakdale           LA

Oklahoma City FTC     68        12        1          0          177      6          Oklahoma City OK

San Diego MCC           16        17        1          0          352      7          San Diego        CA

Terre Haute FCI           13        1          1          0          104      8          Terre Haute      IN

Victorville Medium I FCI          9          10        1          0          342      10        Victorville        CA

Volunteers of America TX (RRC)         10        0          1          0          11        0          Hutchins          TX

Yazoo City USP           22        7          1          0          66        12        Yazoo City       MS

___________________________________________

[Nine deaths shown below are not counted in the 124 reported above]

Private Facilities

Privately-managed prisons are secure institutions operated by private companies under contract and oversight of the BOP. The majority of federal inmates in private prisons are sentenced criminal aliens who will be deported upon completion of their sentence. Unlike federal inmates housed in BOP facilities, the contractor is responsible for the medical care and the costs associated with providing those services.

The BOP has 13,932 inmates in Privately-Managed Facilities. There are 105 inmates who have open lab-confirmed positive cases. 547 inmates have recovered. Full breakdown and additional details are below:

Facility I.P.          I.D.   I.R.       City      State

D. Ray James CI           50        3          144      Folkston           GA

Big Spring CI   41        0          46        Big Spring        TX

Great Plains CI 13        1          112      Hinton OK

Reeves III CI    1          0          0          Pecos   TX

Giles W. Dalby CI        0          2          81        Post      TX

McRae CI         0          1          20        Mcrae Helena   GA

North Lake CI  0          2          107      Baldwin           MI

Reeves I & II CI           0          0          12        Pecos   TX

Rivers CI          0          0          25        Winton NC

All inmates are being appropriately treated and isolated per CDC guidelines.