Category Archives: Spirituality

BE YE KNIGHTS AND CHAMPIONS OF FREEDOM: If ye be truthful

by Abdul-Jalil Rashid Al-Imarah (S. Baptiste)

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All praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of Honor, the Mighty and Majestic who sent to mankind a Messenger while they were in a state of darkness, ignorance, and tyranny perpetrated by their deception from Satan. He sent this Messenger as a caller inviting and illuminating with the bright Light of Truth in order to rescue them from the darkness and heedless that they were in. Some hearts were softened and thus beckoned to this call while some on the other hand chose the path of slander, revilement, defamation, and launching wars of hostility in order to malign this call seeking thereby to be a violent whirlwind of darkness to descend upon a lone and illuminated candle:

< They desire to extinguish Allah’s Light by their lips but Allah refuses except to perfect His Light even if the Disbelievers hate it so>[At-Tawbah:32(Qur’an)]

And after  many tentative steps of incitement as well as mediation were made, Allah decreed the convergence of the two forces on a decive day and in an epic way to mark the prevalent swaying of bigotry and rancor, and even extending to them a chance to change course anew:

<If you seek an opening (start) then certainly the opening (al-Fath) has come. And if you desist it will be better for you all while if you all resume, We will resume and your forces will not avail you anything (in the least) even if they were to be many and that is (because) Allah is with the believers>[Al-Anfal:19]

And thus the promise of Allah was made true for those before and we will not be asked regarding what they used to do in the past and nor will they be asked about what we do. Prayers and Peace be upon the Messenger of Allah Muhammad, his family, companions, and those who follow their example until the Day of Judgement.

To proceed:

As for us today, what will be the legacy and remnant memories of these times? As the scorching winds of bigotry blow to and fro and the disease of Wahn in the hearts continues to infect the world faster than the Coronavirus-what exactly is it that we are observing? And are the conspiracies we hear of truly existent or are they nothing but childish play like the fantasy world espoused by the QAnon members?

As the world sat back contented to watch the atrocities hailed upon the Muslims of Syria by the Nusayri elite minority, feigned uproar to the Chinese persecution of Uighurs, shed crocodile tears over the fruit of their poisonous tree that led to the massacre of unarmed worshipping their Lord in new Zealand, and turned deaf to the cries of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma  (Myanmar), after we hear of two novelties which by technicality, is nothing new, we are left with the Armenian aggression on Azerbaijan and the retaliatory attack following an attack on the honor of the Prophet (SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) in France.

As for the conflict in Azerbaijan then perhaps this could be chalked up to ethnic rivalry, territorial aspirations, and long held grievances mutually held by two sovereign states. What then of that event they speak of in France? Is it something new or old? Or is it simply the blame on Islam and intolerance of Muslim fanatics wishing to demolish the foundations of Freedom, as said by the effeminate mayor on BBC?

The person with intellect irrespective of their beliefs, if they choose to be objective and just, will easily concede that this is nothing new. For so it is that the twin humiliations wrought upon the confederates of Charlie Hebdo is not too far behind us in the past. So if that question is answered we must then turn upon another. Yet in order to do that we must discuss the concept of freedom of speech and expression. No right thinking person advocates the necessity or even permissibility of absolute free speech nor on the opposing side, absolute curtailment and censorship of an individual’s thoughts and ideas except for the rubbish and immoral and then the likes of Hobbes, Nietzsche, and the extreme Libertarians and their comrades who envision a homogenous secular utopia in the mode of 1984, Atlas Shrugged, or Brave New World.

Even the fanatical Jacobins from the French Revolution, Rousseau, and others left realms of delineation for the limiting of such in light of public morality, sedition, and other factors. Even those with the false sirens of individualism were hurt and offended when Trump shunned and chose not to engage with them on Twitter so they sought a recourse of ‘justice’ because they felt some sort of injustice and did not believe that his ‘freedom’ should affect their ‘freedom’ and sensibilities.

As for today no one holds this position except in the idealistic sense or the aforementioned rubbish and tyrants. For instance every government (Islamic or otherwise) has enacted laws sanctioning against threats of violence to others, speech directing others to commit violence or crimes, false advertisement, defamation, libel, spreading falsehood, false witness or testimony, and the like. It is illegal to deny the “Holocaust” in some countries, or to make racist, anti-sematic comments, or to express so-called ‘hate speech’.

In line with the idea and claim for absolute freedom of speech and expression then we should be able to deny the existence of the Atlantic Slave Trade as a myth or fable, be able to claim Whites or Aryans are superior to Blacks and other races and vice-versa, praise Hitler and his actions, Stalin, Judas, Charles Manson, the Pharaoh who persecuted the children of Israel, the Roman’s subjugation of early believers and followers of Christ, fly the Confederate flag, extols the genius and greatness of Robert Lee, call Blacks monkeys or Whites ‘devils’, advocate and allow the promotion of incest on television, the radio, and the like and glorify wantless murder, rape, and pedophilia. Yet this is not what they are doing. All of these infringe on ‘Free Speech’ as they claim yet they don’t deem it as the ultimate act of enlightenment and hallmark of the civilized man to take on these sorts of taboos.

But when this zeal is exclusively shown and promoted calling for caricatures, smears, and insults to the Prophet of Islam under the guise of Free Speech, Free Expression, and ‘art’ , then this is something that must be scrutinized, observed closely, and categorically and unapologetically condemned. It is the same with these governments as well. In this ‘need to tackle on hate speech’, they do not include these vile acts but instead condone, encourage, and defend them. While on the other hand these ‘Free Republics’ and ‘Democratic States’ permit Twitter, Facebook, and the like to penalize and ban American white conservative ideas, causes, and ideologues, ‘Confederate Pride’, QAnon and the like yet they do not interfere with the base acts of others. When states do not restrain culprits then only vigilantes and brigades of force excused or unexcused will pursue culprits. And culprits, evil people, and such are what these people are without doubt.

If Charlie Hebdo, Pamela Geller, and the like were sincere then they would also take it upon themselves to take the mantle and uphold the banner challenging these other infringements on so-called free speech as well. Why don’t they conspire, assemble, and congregate to do such in respect to the Pope, Christian saints, Civil Rights leaders, and Biblical prophets if they are truthful? If it is a matter of a group’s intolerance then why don’t they take on the bishops, cardinals, and priest of the Catholic church in order to take on the silence regarding the molestation of altar boys?

 Yet if you engage them in this vein they will say that “there is no need to do such because it will only offend and irritate. And the Christians, Jews, and others do not share the fanatical intolerance like the Muslims and they accept difference of opinions and the agenda of the modern secular state, or ‘civil democratic state’ as some call it, if offended.” And thus if they respond as such it will prove that they only wish to infuriate the Muslims and this is the sole underlying reason which is to bring about humiliation and calumnies.

Every peace loving person with the most basic shred of ethics would agree that the aims of society is not to pit people against one another, cause transgression, hurt feelings, humiliate or subjugate another group in society, unless you believe in the Marxist call for the necessity of delusional class warfare or promote some sort of epic Aryan race war. They may also claim:

“Yes you are right this is not the proper aim or objective of society but nor is it to allow intolerance and fundamentalism to fester and grow like a spreading disease. If we treat the Muslims special in that regards then we will be accepting a challenge, defiance, and nullification to what the concept of liberty is based on and such would be a loss and setback in the long held battle and gains fighting to preserve the rights and voices of individual liberty. Fanatical attachment and this sort of devotion that the extremists have, threaten the freedom of others and whenever society remains silent on it, it then breeds the seeds which may one day duly rise as totalitarianism and censorship or embargo within the free market of exchange of ideas.”

We would then then point out the hollowness of their argument. For, the extremism and fundamentalism they censure in reality come from fanatics who promote burning the Qur’an and making such a festival for rallying and insulting their (the Muslims) prophet a symbol of progress and civilization. The Muslims do not go out burning Bibles, copies of the U.S. or French constitution, Torah, Talmud, Communist Manifesto, Bill of Rights, or other religious tracts and political treatises. The Muslims in the land of the agitators simply tend to their own affairs and are the ones being needlessly bludgeoned over the head with provocations, disrespect, and campaigns of intolerance.

 And if we talk about the seeds of tyranny then it is from their side who are the zealous farmers of barren land ardently sowing discontent. For all tyrants start off by persecuting a group through demonization until horrors like what the Egyptian Pharaoh did the to the Israelites, Hitlers campaign against gypsies and non-Aryans, the Zionist persecution of Palestinians, and Stalinist ‘purges, the Japanese internment, McCarthyism, and the lynching of black folks in the southern U.S. states take place. Rather instead of ‘multiculturalism’ they seek to instead impose conformity. And if the Muslims are truly bigots as they say and we were to accept this for the sake of argument we would say: This bigotry of theirs is a private and personal religious matter to them. Meaning if they are left alone believing or harboring their ‘bigotry’ then this harms no one since they are not going around forcing people to confess to the nobility of their prophet. In fact they accept the fact and reality that others don’t even deem him a prophet. Aside from this small cadre of malcontents disguising themselves as champions and stalwarts of liberty, no one sees a need or desire to go around mocking their beliefs or prophets. They mock the hijab, niqab, and burqa but don’t target the dress of nuns, Mormon women, or the headgear of Sikhs…

It can’t be said that any value is obtained from such base acts for it does not further any perspective, shed light on a discussion, or educate people by the act of insulting the prophet; the teacher who wishes to teach about freedom of expression should teach the responsibility and mature use of words and effective communication if they wish to bring up the next generation upon noble virtues and create exceptional citizens who are familiar with their civic duties but these are not the type of people they wish to produce rather the rubbish wish to produce more rabblerousers. If one says it has entertainment value of humor then this still lacks legs to stand on. For we would say, you it is who don’t accept Whites to do ‘black face’ or make stereotypical jokes of minorities refrain from one sort of so-called entertainment for fear of ruffling feathers while choosing to permit and engage in another revolve around hypocrisy and contradiction. Yet it is no surprise for it is you as well who were enraged against a congresswoman for saying “all about the Benjamins” and thus lashed out saying it was a Jewish Trope. It is you who abandon your illusion of absolute free speech and hound the U.S. president Trump for using his discretion(in light of absolute free speech) for making remarks you deem as racist or sexist. If such is outrageous to you then why not the insult, slander, revilement, defamation, and mockery to a man revered by more than 1/5th of the world’s population, who brought a religion which does not permit transgression nor compel the conversion of others forcefully? You it is who claim rights of individuals yet sought to use the power of the state and courts to force a devoted and respectful Christian bakery to bake cakes for a newlywed gay couple after they used the liberty of their discretion to refuse such request.

The sane and prudent person, if he or she has reservations on saying ‘he got what he deserved’ would nevertheless agree that this individual knew the risk he was undertaking. He was not ignorant of the fate of the illustrators and publishers of the Danish cartoons, the offensive against the creators of SouthPark, the Garland, Texas affair, and the twin strikes upon Charlie Hebdo.  If they consider him a ‘liberal saint’ or ‘martyr’ then by all means let them do so and anyone who wishes to trek this path of ‘martyrdom’ would not be restrained or blocked from doing so. Let them follow the path of their forebears. And let the agitators continue to run out of breath like one repeatedly blowing upon trick candles at an American style birthday party for kids. And let them continue to mask their true motives and desecrate the name of that noble and virtuous human right we all wish and attain for and strive to protect anmed Freedom. And let them defile it until she is nothing more than a harlot masquerading in make-up as a woman of nobility. Because we will not accept this, and we will not be deceived.  For that queen of liberty for us will always have supporters and loyal subjects behind her to stand with her against this coup that they are hatching.

And the apologists say to the Muslims as was said by that magician on BBC after the last saga of the Charlie Hebdo affair: ‘The Muslims are undermining their own interest and causing what they abhor to repeat since anytime they do this it brings more attention to what they were offended by’ and ‘they need to be like the prophet who forgave’.  Part of what was said is correct and the other part is ignorance, feigned misunderstanding, or a lie. Before we move on it must be said that what we as responsible free people citizens of the world simply ask for is responsible speech. Debate is welcome and constructive even if it happens it the most robust and aggressive manner and even if egos are bruised.  A scathing criticism and pure maloney trolling are two separate and entirely different thing as different as the distance between the East and the West. And the last kind is what must be opposed just as these fake guardians of morality and information launch the audacious campaign against ‘fake news’ and ‘misinformation’. I see no one with decency who would oppose standing together to ban or turn away from maligning the prophet Jesus, Moses, Muhammad, Abraham, Jacob, or the like.  Where are these so-called voices of inter-faith?

The prophet Muhammad(SallAllahu alayhi wa sallam) who Allah sent as a mercy to the universe was very forgiving especially to the violation of his own rights and person yet those ignoramuses can’t claim for sure to know that these cartoonist and others would have been forgiven as the classical Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah stated:

“The Prophet’s reputation may be damaged by reviling because he is human being like other human beings whose reputation and image may be tarnished by reviling and slander….

“Because reviling the Prophet(SAW) leads to a loss of respect for him in people’s minds and thus tarnish his reputation and undermine him, and it may be a cause of people being turned away from him and losing respect for him, the punishment is prescribed because of the evil consequences that result from reviling him…

The Prophet(SAW) is reviled by trying to belittle him and put him down. Disbelievers and hypocrites have motives for that, such as jealousy for what Allah has bestowed upon him of His bounty; enmity towards his religion…

“There is a hadd punishment for reviling the Prophet(SAW) because it is reviling of a human being who is dead, so there no way of knowing whether he would pardon that person; that punishment is not waived by repentance. That unlike the case of reviling Allah (GOD), because it is known that He will forgive the one who reviled Im if he repents.” [See 8/926-930 of As-Saarim Al-Maslul ‘alaa Shaatim Ar-Rasul]

***And this has been stated before by other classical scholars before him like Qadi ‘Iyad the author of Shifa which is a biography of the prophet.  The term ‘hadd’ or ‘hudud’ refers to certain penal ordinances and punishments of Islamic law to be enacted within a country ruled by the Shariah. Islamic laws are not executed or performed in a vigilante manner nor outside of the territory of the Islamic government.***

As for the hashtag #Jesuis_Samuel then I believe scholars and students of knowledge like Shaykh Ahmad Musa Jibril, ustadh Abu Baraa from SalafiMediaUK, and Ustadh Musa Cerantonio have discussed the impermissibility of using such. So this launching the blame on the Muslims is not something new, rather it is their preferred and coveted method or tactic when a need for serious discussion arises as I mentioned previously in my essay, “Islam is to blame,” which whoever wants to look it up will find it. It is like Abu Abdullah mentioned once in a speech summarizing or referring to what is written in Aesop’s Fable about the deer who after being provoked and provoked while meekly submitting one day decides to lash out after the wolf went too far and ate her young doe.  But instead of blaming the persistent wolf, the monkeys, parrots, and others chose to find fault with the deer.

So, it must be known by every man or woman who can reflect or ponder, that these are not vanguards, stalwarts, protectors, guardians, nor supporters of freedom as they claim.  They are a bunch of provocateurs with an anarchist concept of liberty who wish to make attacks on Muslims legitimate and protected. Yet drawing a swastika or the like is evil to them It is beyond double standards but more like the ‘one standard’ previously articulated by the likes of Noam Chomsky.

Even if we were to accept their arguments or justifications and distinctions it is universally acknowledged that the golden rule or principle is no one should not be allowed  to cause harm to others. The one who creates loud noise that disturbs his neighbors would be penalized in any country then why not afford this to the Muslims, who are being greatly harmed, disturbed, offended, disheartened, and dishonored by this act of theirs? Yet it is the same whether we choose to partake or remain spectators. You can’t save pepo-le from their folly. If they consider these slanderous and offensive acts ‘freedom’ then let them proceed upon their caravan of ‘freedom’ and ‘Liberty’ and ‘progressivism, I for one won’t come between them and their ‘liberal martyrdom’. Who are we to proscribe this new sacrament of self-sacrifice upon the mantle and altar of freedom? We will treat them like the self-flagellating catholic priests or Shi’ah and watch with dismay what happens.

Allah says in the Qur’an:

“Say to those who disbelieve: If you desist then what was in the past would be forgiven of you bit if you all return then certainly there has occurred for you the examples of the previous ones.”[Surah Al-Anfal:38]

So if these governments established and ruled by the whims of men and man-made laws seriously wish to fight ‘hate speech’ then let them stand with their Muslim citizens who they claim to afford protections to, and ban/criminalize the drawing of the Prophet Muhammad “SAW” as they ban the depiction of swastikas and holocaust denial, and ordered the removal of certain flags and images. And let the reporters and journalists come together rejecting the vitriol and bile that some of their colleagues who speak such under the guise of freedom. Let them go to North Korea and stay firm to let ‘enlightened’ principles or let these vanguards of free speech publish criticism of Xi Jing Pin while in China on assignment for a story if this is truly a principle they uphold. But we know that they won’t and never will since for now Muslim are their easy targets.

it shows the extent of backwardness and regression when they deem  insulting a person who lived almost two thousand years ago to be a mark of prestige, status, and symbol of progressivity. And so too are these governments who feign benign rule yet undermine the Muslims and fill their prisons with them from the East to the West simply for demanding the most basic of human rights and the observance of their religion. they would mourn for this teacher and Charlie Hebdo yet shed no tears or raise serious objections to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. It is thus clear from this what sort of journalism they wish to see, and which type they could care less about.  How plump are the strutting peacocks and mockingbirds!

Originally written on the 18th of October 2020 from the jaws and prison of Leviathan.

[This article is  not advocating any acts of violence but simply a rigorous and scathing commentary on the illusions of modern liberalism and wished to expose, dissect, and analyze this phenomenon in a thorough manner from an Islamic standpoint. Any errors or misconstrued content is only from the author.]

Truly True,

Abdul-Jalil Rashid Al-Imarah

(Samuel Baptiste) #09681-104

FDC Miami

PO Box 019120

Miami, Fl 33101


AUTHOR’S BIO

Abdul-Jalil Rashid Al-Imarah

Abdul-Jalil Rashid Al-Imarah is a Salafi Islamist political Prisoner of War being a casualty of the ‘War on Terror.’  Following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti he began to coordinate relief efforts for Haitian Muslims impacted.  During this time, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sought to entrap him, and a cleric (Imam) involved with the relief efforts.  Abdul-Jalil Al-Imarah plead guilty and received an 80-month federal sentence in 2017.

Shortly thereafter in 2018, a superseding indictment was returned charging him with distribution of information pertaining to explosives and material support to IS, the Islamic State ( ISIS).  These charges stemmed from sharing solidarity with Islamist causes worldwide and the management of a Telegram news channel called ‘J-Gear’ or ‘Jihadi Gear’ wherein he provided commentary on ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, discussed the tactics and weapons used by various factions, encouraged, and promoted the use of self-defense by Muslims through fitness and awareness. 

Abdul-Jalil is also a poet, critic of U.S. foreign policy and mass incarceration, and Talibul-llm (Muslim Student of Knowledge).

Happy Easter in 2020

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

(This blog post has a religious tone, so if that is something anyone finds offensive, then perhaps its best to find another blog to read. Check the different categories to find something of interest. Thanks! )

Easter of 2020 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons, with thousands of people prohibited from assembling in crowds larger than ten people: some will rebel and meet anyways in the name of the Lord.

In 2019 I wrote the blog I will conclude with: a Special Break from the Status Quo. Thousands have died from Coronavirus-related illnesses and the numbers will continue to rise for an unspecified time.

Many countries and states have ordered citizens to stay at home, to practice social distancing, wear face masks, and to take other safety precautions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Hundreds of thousands of families and church members will not assemble on April 12, 2020, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ or get to go spend time with friends, family, and loved ones.

Thousands of people across the globe are mourning the deaths of loved ones. The Coronavirus has infected almost 500,000 in the United States and killed over 18,500 people.

Some churches will use social media and the Internet to get the word out that Christ has risen from the dead. Other church members will not allow fear to stop them from filling the churches to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The United States Department of Justice warned law enforcement about trying to stop religious gatherings.

Religious gatherings are exempt from the Stay at Home orders.

The United States Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state.

Pope Francis urged people not to yield to fear over coronavirus.

Fear will trump the faith of millions of believers on Easter of 2020.

Each person must do what he or she feels needs to be done to protect life and liberty, including the life and liberty of others entrusted to their care.

Coronavirus Kills! Faith Heals!

And now for a personal message:

A Special Break from the Status Quo

Happy Easter to those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Each of us, believers and unbelievers of the miracle of the resurrection, may use this special day in the Christian faith to pray to a power greater than ourselves and to ask for the spirit of forgiveness; to forgive someone who may have offended or harmed us.

Resentment, a poison to the soul; freedom from resentment opens the door for a better life.

Whether you believe in a power greater than yourself or not, let the day be special by being grateful for the life you have, perfect or not. Know that you are loved for being who you are, regardless of whether you believe or do not believe in a power greater than yourself.

The love is free that flows from a special place in our hearts where the spirit lives. My hope is that each you get to experience the pleasure of love today and every day. Wayne

Afraid of Hell by Wayne T. Dowdy

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

Excerpt from ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN.

Suicide seemed the solution to end the torment ravaging my soul when I was thirteen years old.

A quarrel between my mother and brother triggered the episode of depression that made me want to die. I don’t remember what the argument was about, only that it ended with my brother slamming the door after he and his wife stormed out of the house, vowing never to return. The incident pushed me over an already frazzled edge.

At the age of eleven, I had begun doing LSD (a hallucinogenic drug), and then started selling it and other drugs to stay high, including phencyclidine, commonly known as PCP. I had been doing a lot of it for a couple of weeks when the above incident occurred. The particular batch that I had been using and selling was extremely potent. As a drug addict; I took advantage of people without giving it much thought. It wasn’t anything personal, just what I had to do to stay high, which I did on a daily basis, whether from alcohol (the oldest drug known to man), or some other drug.

From shaving pills with a razor blade and storing it in a pill bottle, I had accumulated the equivalent of maybe fifty pills. I was in the living room when my brother and his wife left the house. As soon as they were gone, I began to cry and then ran to my bedroom where I kept my drugs and syringes hidden in a coat pocket. I prepared a large shot and injected it into my arm, and then ate the remainder of the PCP in the spoon and pill bottle. Numerous people had died from far less than what I had taken.

My parents had raised me as a Southern Baptist, so I had a concept of heaven and hell in my mind, and I did not want to go to hell for sure, which is where I was afraid that I was heading just as soon as I died.

Well, I went to school with a girl named Sherry, whose father was the pastor of the Riverdale Church of God. They lived three blocks down the road from my parent’s house.

As I recall, as soon as I had eaten the remainder of the PCP, I jogged down the road to their house. I jogged so that I could get there in a hurry, because I believed that I would die when all of the PCP that I had swallowed was absorbed into my system. Since I did not want to go to hell and was afraid that I was going to die quickly, I had to get there fast. I made it to their house and banged on their storm door. The preacher’s wife opened their heavy oak door and looked at me through the safety of the storm door.

“What do you want?” she asked. (I was the neighborhood hoodlum, and she probably thought that I was there to rob or steal something.)

“I want Brother Price to pray for me, because I have taken drugs to commit suicide, and I don’t want to go to hell,” I said. I believed that his prayer would stop me from going to hell, where I had been told that I would be going for the last few years.

“Bingham, someone’s here to see you,” she yelled.

All I remember after she called for him and he came to the door, was repeating what I had told her, and then him opening the door to invite me into his home. I lost consciousness when I walked across the threshold.

When I came back around, Sherry was sitting across from me at a foldout table with a Monopoly game between us. “Are you going to play?” she asked.

“No,” I said, and shook my head.

“Well, you said that you wanted to play,” she said. Then she asked if I wanted to go outside and sit in the swing, which is what we did. I remember telling her that I thought I had damaged my brain, because everything was moving so slow inside my head. Trying to formulate a sentence was difficult for me.

It took some time, but I eventually recovered and went right back to my insane ways for the next twenty-four years. In 1995, I finally stopped using drugs and alcohol by going through three years of therapy to address the personal issues that made me want to drink and use, and then by getting involved with twelve-step programs to learn the spiritual approach. Today, I do service work at the meetings and by sponsoring people. I remain willing to do God’s will in my life by helping others recover. I feel that I am blessed with each day that I wake up, and especially when I see the lives of others transformed through God’s love and power, as was mine.

I am grateful to have survived my suicidal tendencies. I hope and pray that if someone thinking of suicide reads this article, that they change their mind, because suicide is not the solution. Feelings come and go, good and bad ones alike, and if God was able to save me and give me a life worth living, then He will do it for them too.

I realize that it is only by the grace of God that I am still alive and
have a brain that works.

I am thankful that the prayers of Brother Price and his family were more powerful than the mega dose of PCP that I had done. Today, I am glad that I was afraid of hell because if I hadn’t been, I would have stayed in my bedroom and waited for the inevitable.

A great gift to inspire others who struggle with change!

Eyes of Gratitude by Wayne T. Dowdy

Gratitude Drives this Post: Gratitude for Experiencing Sight.

I posted the original version of this essay on Facebook to help those who follow my posts and who are friends, to understand why the majority of my content concerns a photo or video I make for their entertainment. At the end of this post I will include another video from the Adventures of Wayne.

I hope you enjoy this modified version of the essay I wrote while in prison and used to reach beyond the walls, bars, and fences, lined with rows of razor wire, which held my body but could not bind my mind.

Reading this may help you understand my fascination with taking photos to post online and why I am quick to post images of nature and the natural beauty of God’s creation. I’m grateful for my eyesight:

EYES by Wayne T. Dowdy (excerpt from Essays & More Straight from the Pen).

Seeing the beauty of God’s creation thrills me because I realize how fortunate I am to do so. This story will help you understand why I feel that way.

The sun shined brightly on the day my older brother, Stanley, came home from school with a bright idea that he had formulated from something taught in his science class: recharge a penlight battery with a twelve-volt car battery. I think I was about six-years-old. He was close to eleven.

My mother or dad had left the car battery sitting on the carport. Time has erased my memory of exactly what I was doing when he summoned me to assist him.

“Come here,” he yelled.

In one hand he held two wire coat hangers; in his other one was a double “A” battery, the ones like you might put in a radio, clock, or small flashlight. He had straightened the coat hangers to use as leads: one to make the connection between the negative post of the 12-volt battery and the negative post of the AA, and the other one for connecting the positive sides of each battery.

When I got to where he stood on the carport, he said, “Take this, “and then handed me one of the straightened coat hangers.

He laid down his coat hanger and the AA battery to free his hands as he wrapped the end of my coat hanger around one 12 volt post. Then he wrapped the end of his coat hanger on the opposite post. “Now,” he said, “hold this tight,” having me to grasp one end of the AA to hold to the coat hanger. “When I say let go, you let go. Okay?”

I nodded in agreement. I held the coat hanger tight to the end of the AA as instructed, always wanting to impress my big brother. I watched him hold the end of his coat hanger to the opposite 12-volt post. And then he touched the AA with the opposite end of the coat hanger. My fingers burned instantly from the heat of the coat hanger and AA. “Let it–,” he said.
BOOM!

The AA battery exploded before he completed his instruction. Particles of the battery struck both corneas of my eyes. I screamed, blinded by tears, eyes on fire.

Stanley grabbed me by the arm and led me to the water hose attached to the spigot on the front of our brick house. He sprayed my eyes with water.

“What have you did to that baby?” my grandmother yelled, accustomed to me and him fighting on a daily basis; me getting beat up, usually, though, I did sometimes win when using a weapon. More stories.

My grandmother made him bring me to her for examination. She was in poor health and unable to hurry to me. After inspecting my face and learning about what had happened, she yelled for my sister, Brenda.

“Get the mineral oil and pour some in his eyes,” she said.

My Mother was en route from work when the incident occurred. It was about time for her to get home, so they waited for her to arrive. As soon as she pulled in the driveway, someone ran and told her what had happened. She put me in her station wagon and then rushed me to the Emergency Room at the hospital that was about ten miles away.

The doctor examined me as he used a solution to rinse my eyes. His diagnosis was external damage to the cornea and surrounding tissue, from particles of sulfuric acid and fragments from the battery casing. The prognosis was that I would be okay, to keep putting eye drops in my eyes for the next few days to prevent any infection.

The doctor said to my mother, “If y’all had not put the mineral oil in his eyes, he would have been totally blind by the time you got him here.”

Mineral oil neutralizes acid, whereas water only dilutes it. Diluted sulfuric acid eats flesh and tissue; especially, the tender tissue of a child’s eye.

Ironically, for many years my vision was better than 20/20. I could see two lines below the 20/20 line, which isn’t true today, almost fifty years later. However, my eyes still allow me to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, without glasses, except for reading.

I had written the above and thought this was ready for submission until I returned from the library to the cellblock where I live as a federal prisoner. Two chain link fences surround the compound, layered and lined with razor wire; several coiled rolls strung in-between the two. Back inside, I looked out the window and saw two mockingbirds fighting inside the compound, flipping and flopping on the ground. Seconds later, one took off and zoomed through a square in the chain link fence, then weaved between strands of coiled razor wire in-between the fences. Then it flew back and forth through squares in the fence closest to me; the other mockingbird hot on its tail. I watched the chase until both birds disappeared down the fence row.

Then I watched a gaggle of geese walk on the other side of the fence; some honking and flapping their wings. Two pair of geese escorted seven goslings, two adults in the front, two in the rear, protecting their offspring from other geese in the procession. I thoroughly enjoyed watching both events and knew I had not finished writing this story.

My feeling was confirmed later. It’s rare to look out the window and see deer. That night I watched six of them graze. I also have a fascination with great blue herons. The next evening I watched for maybe three minutes as one flew outside the fence and then across the compound, right above where I stood amazed.

After those events, I knew I had to write more. When I stand and admire the beauty of the trees and nature, beyond my reach, but within my sight, I feel grateful for having had a grandmother who told my sister to pour the mineral oil in my eyes. I know I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe the beauty of God’s creation for all these years.

Another Video from the Adventures of Wayne

Today

Moving slowly back into society, one day at a time. Nine months ago today, I walked out of federal prison after having served thirty-years and ten-days.

Today was a hot one that I was happy to enjoy as a free man, physically able to walk around, alone, without assistance, and without chains dangling from my wrists and ankles.

Before leaving a Twelve Step meeting today, I shared with a man I sponsor that, when I find myself disgruntled about my circumstances, I try to meditate on my favorite saying: “I complained of having no shoes until I met a man with no feet.” Then I become grateful for what I have and stop complaining about what I don’t have but want. I have all I need to survive, so Life Is Great!

The Truth About Crime and Karma

Karma Laws Helped Change My Life

Do people who commit or do not commit crimes, make their choices based on moral or legal principles?  Karma helped me decide the answer for myself.

The logical conclusion for why other people do or do not commit crimes is a little or a lot of both (for moral and legal reasons).

I can only share from my perspective, as no one can honestly say why another person did or did not do something, unless told by that person, and then it is debatable because the truth may remain hidden, even from the spokesperson.  The easiest one to lie to is ourselves.

Having committed several crimes and going to prison for them, and not committing any crimes today, I live this way because I got tired of Karma abusing me, and because I learned to treat others the way I want to be treated.

I do not want someone stealing from me or from my friends and loved ones.

I do not want anyone committing unwanted sexual acts against me or my friends and loved ones.

I do not want someone harming me or my friends and loved ones, in any form or manner.

I do not want to suffer the consequences of my actions, so I let my actions fall within the parameters of what is legal and ethical.

I live within the boundaries of a defined set of principles and concepts of what is moral (ethical) and just.

The laws (spiritual and legal), affect where the boundaries were drawn and affects my decision to stay within the established boundaries, whether I agree or disagree with what the law states.

I changed my life because of Karma, after being in prison for seven years (twenty-three years before my release). 

For the first seven years, I continued living my life the way I had lived before being sentenced to prison.  I committed crimes within the prison setting. Being crafty, I got away with a lot of things that could have put me in the hole (locked inside a small cell for 23-hours per day), for a long time.

What I could not escape was the penalties imposed by Karma, so I changed my evil, wicked-ways and learned to live a more righteous life to yield better results.  Now Karma and I get along well.

Man’s laws and penalties had nothing to do with my desire to change my life and to stop committing crimes.

______________________________________________

Purchase paperbacks and eBooks of Wayne T. Dowdy from your favorite bookseller, including Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

For best price & free eBooks, visit his author’s page at Smashwords.com (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy).

Out of Many

human genome for WDowdyby Wayne T. Dowdy

When we unite we become stronger, more intelligent, and our chance of survival as a species increases because of unity.  Now with the Internet, billions of us are connected and can share intelligence and a collective conscious.

 

In social settings, if we focus on what we have in common, it helps us to feel “a part of” that society or group.  If we focus on our differences, we will often feel, well, different, as if we don’t belong and are out of place.

 

Likeness attracts; the Law of Attraction comes into play to create communities of like-minded people.  Does Evolutionary Biology possibly contain the answer to our survival as a species?  Maybe so.  We’ll see.  A cell biologist provides a lot of food for thought, positive thought.

 

In “A Spiritual Journey” on straightfromthepen.wordpress.com and waynedowdy.weebly.com (April 1, 2015), I showed how the human body (the way our blood cells work inside of us to provide and fight for life), provided evidence of Divine Creation, and how I believed the theory of evolution and intelligent design coexisted.  This blog follows a similar line of thinking:  The gist of it is that “we” are all part of the human organism.

 

My aspiring, psychologist-in-the-making friend, Dr. K., shares his books and magazines with me.  He loaned me his Spirituality & Health magazine.  I read something meaningful to share with you that coincides with the sense of Oneness belief system.  One caption read, “We see a human as a single living organism.  In truth, a human is an integrated community of around 50 trillion amoebalike cells.”  Bruce H. Lipton, PhD.  “Why & How to Let Go of Fear,” Spirituality & Health, September/October 2017 ($24.95 per year).

 

More quotes from the article will be revealed!

 

According to his brief biography in the magazine, Dr. Lipton is a cell biologist and lecturer who received the prestigious Goi Peace Award (Japan) in 2009 in honor of his scientific contribution to world harmony.  He is the best selling-author of THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF and THE HONEYMOON EFFECT, and is the coauthor with Steve Bhaerman of SPONTANEOUS EVOLUTION.

 

Dr. Lipton explains the evolutionary process in comparison to bacterium and its surface area representing its “awareness capacity” and its need to grow to become more aware.  Bacterium receives information from the cell membrane (outer layer of cell-skin) about its environment; it communicates with other bacterium through chemical substances and vibrations, and then joins other bacterium to increase its chance of survival.

 

Those bacteria joins other bacteria to form a bacteria colony, a community (bacterial films) and becomes larger and more aware of its environment.

 

THE BIRTH OF AMOEBA:  Bacteria communities become specialized and integrated and continue to multiply to create more surface area; it becomes another living organism–an amoeba with more “consciousness” and an increased ability to communicate and thus increase its chance of survival.

 

“While the amoeba is recognized as a single cell, in truth it is a modified version of bacterial community.  For the next million or so years, the amoeba was able to continually expand its cell membrane surface area [the skin of the cell used to communicate] to an extent that an amoeba’s awareness is 1,000 times greater than that of a single bacterium.”

 

Amoebas then multiplied to create an even larger organism with an ability to communicate information collected with its sense of awareness.

 

“All the visible plants and animals are actually integrated communities of amoeba-like cells.  For example, we see a human as a single living organism.  In truth, a human is an integrated community of around 50 trillion amoebalike cells.”

 

If you view a human brain, you’d notice its furrows and ridges (folds).  The human organism created “folds” to add more surface area to increase its awareness, consciousness.  The skull limited its capacity for awareness, so then humans experienced another “[e]volutionary jump, … the Internet, a nervous system that can connect 7-8 billion human ‘cells’ into one giant community with shared awareness.

 

***

 

“The next leap of human civilization will be the realization of the United States’ logo:  E pluribus unum, ‘out of many, one.’  We are all in this together; we are all cells in the body of an evolving humanity.”

 

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL:  Our beliefs and values may unite or divide us; whether based on racial or cultural differences or similarities, religion, politics, fears, sexual preference or identity, and a whole array of other reasons.

 

How do we keep from falling?  Join hands and accept each other so we can work together to survive this thing we call life.  If each of us represents a “cell” of the humanity organism, those who damage and injure others are the cancers of society, driven by hate and indifference.

 

This quote comes from a sidebar in Dr. Lipton’s article:

 

“The Don’ts & Dos of Evolution Because You Are An Energy Field …

 

“Don’t try to change other people.

If you go in to change negative energy with your positive energy, it’s called destructive interference.  You lose your energy, they lose their energy, and nobody gains anything in the process.

 

“Do:  Focus on yourself and finding like-minded people to create a community in which all your energies are enhanced.

 

“Don’t try to change the system.

If you charge in with your wonderful energy to try to change it, your energy will be canceled. You’ll come out with your tail between your legs, asking, What the hell was that all about?

 

“Do:  Put your energy into constructing a new system.  If you build a better system, people in the old one will gravitate to the new one.

 

“Don’t spend your life protesting.

Your life is energy.  Too much protesting will cost you your life, because the system is not going to feed the energy you need for your protests.

 

“Do:  Find out who’s protesting with you.  Gather them together and step out of the system.  Use your energy for construction rather than destruction, and find other compatible communities.  That’s constructive interference, when energies come together and multiply each other.

 

“Don’t become frightened or angry or burned out.

These responses create walls that block your evolution and everyone else’s.

 

“Do:  Create the best and healthiest and happiest experience for yourself–and share it with the community.”

 

END QUOTE.  MY TAKE:  The above seems simple.  My experience shows it is not.  I somewhat agree with all he says and hope to become a more “positive energy” field than I am.

 

DON’T TRY TO CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE:  I know I cannot change other people.  That doesn’t stop me from trying on occasion; however, my determination and tolerance level has lessened over the years after sponsoring/mentoring numerous people whom I learned to give the right to be wrong.  I realized that no matter what happened because of my sponsorship, good or bad, the result was between them and the God of their understanding.

 

DON’T TRY TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM:  I am determined that “we” can change the system, perhaps by doing as he wrote (by forming a better one to attract others).  The question is HOW do we accomplish that goal?

 

I must start with the only one I can change, myself.  Then maybe work on creating a larger community others will join to be with other like-minded people.  Maybe my change will come through an example set by someone else.  Maybe my part will only be putting like-minded people together to begin the process; it may be some of you who reads this blog.  We’ll see.

 

DON’T SPEND YOUR LIFE PROTESTING:  I don’t and won’t do that, as I prefer to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  I will voice my opinion on issues, whether the issue is viewed from a negative or positive perspective, I try to put a positive spin on grim or negative topics.  Sometimes I fail.  😦

 

But I will protest to release a good rant about unjust persons, situations, principles or processes.  I get it out to let it go until I allow some other event to trigger another reaction.

 

Perhaps silence is golden if the noisemaker chooses to spew negativity:  that even applies when the noise is in the mind.  Silence prevents the spread of negativity.

 

Let your actions shout by practicing love and acceptance of others.

 

Why not work together to build a better community that attracts others?

 

LIKE-MINDED ATTRACTION:  A wonderful example of like-mindedness attracting others manifested itself during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in the United States.

 

A radio commentator shared about a group of people using a boat to search the flooded area of Houston, Texas to rescue dogs and other animals suffering in the flood.

 

The rescuers noticed a woman in need.  When they made it to her, they discovered she had rescued 21-dogs before they arrived to rescue her.  🙂

 

DON’T BECOME FRIGHTENED OR ANGRY OR BURNED OUT:  World events can create fear and anger, like those going on with North Korea (testing rockets with nuclear capabilities, then testing a hydrogen bomb four-to-five times more powerful than those used by the United States against Japan); the terrorist attacks in the Middle East and Europe, and in the United States and other parts of the world.

 

In reference to a possible nuclear attack, in 1983, a college professor once told those of us in his class that one thing the Super Powers know is that neither will ever push that button because they know it will annihilate mankind.  The threat of war allows governments to keep the people subservient to them for protection from the “evil empire.”

 

FAITH:  The opposite of fear is faith, so if I have faith and accept that whatever happens is working according to God’s will, then I can relax and not worry about a possible event I cannot control.

 

My belief is that we are spirits having a human experience.  As such, our spirits will live on regardless of what happens to the body because of world or personal events.  I continue to persist at building a better life regardless of the circumstances.

 

I may give out but I won’t give up; however, I don’t see me giving out (mentally, spiritually, or emotionally) until I breathe my last breath, and then my spirit will survive to push the agenda.  Even though I may be short on breath, I shall continue to do the things needed to build a better life.  I am passionate about what I do.

 

May the day come that each of us will unite to improve life and to make it sustainable for generations to come.  Our children are counting on us, as we are counting on our children and each other.  Our survival as a species depends on it.

 

______________________________

Wayne T. Dowdy writes at straightfromthepen.com.  Purchase his environmental-friendly eBooks at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy.  Check out “Life is an Anvil” and “The Search for Enlightenment” while there, both of which are included in ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN (eBook $2.99, paperback $8.95, USD).

BLOGS and MORE

blogging for dollars 2

by Wayne T. Dowdy

Originally posted July 7, 2017

[Update April 8, 2019: I am taking two online courses now to learn how to generate an income from blogging.  What I’ve learned thus far is that it takes money to update my WordPress and Weebly blogs with all the tools I need to monetize the blogspots.  I am accepting all personal donations.  Contact me by email to contribute: waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com, if interested.  Thanks!]

A friend read a few books and magazines on Positive Psychology and become a psychologist, at least, in his mind he did.  He does offer some periodic, beneficial advice.  In a conversation about my blogs and desire to increase the web traffic, he suggested I blog on more positive topics.

I learned a similar principle about writing when I took a writing course through the Long Ridge Writers Group, almost ten years ago.  Life contains enough pain and negativity for each of us; many read to escape the realities of life, or want to read things to make them feel good about themselves or their environment.

Doom and gloom feeds the news channels, so why doesn’t it work for bloggers?  Well, maybe it works for some.  Not me.  Actually, I don’t feel I write much doom and gloom in my blogs; however, I do confess that many are based on negativity.  Hey, to create lightning, it takes a negative charge.  Did I hear it thunder?

BLOG:  According to Mr. Google, a blog is a “regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”

I write in an informal and conversational style.  I get a lot of local conversation based upon my blog content, unfortunately, my biggest audience cannot go online to click to “Like” or comment on my blog posts.  Hundreds of my readers can only read my blogs from the “inside view,” through TRULINCS, and cannot access the Internet because most prisons prohibit us from doing so.  (TRULINCS is the system Federal prisoners pay to use for emailing and phone services.)

HELP!  My fan base continues to grow but I need your help to make it grow enough to attract advertisers so the blog pays me instead of me having to pay to blog (I pay $0.05 per minute to type the blogs to send to my publisher/friend, who converts it into the proper format and posts it online for you to read).  Please share my link with others.  Thanks!

BLOGGING FOR DOLLARS:  In 2015 I wrote a blog titled the same.  I am still working on how to blog for dollars, but as stated, I do need your help to increase traffic/page views, because without the web traffic, advertisers will not want to pay to advertise on my sites.

Bloggers may use Google Adsense to attract advertisers.  If you are reading this on straightfromthepen.wordpress.com, you may see a periodic ad posted by different businesses.  I am not sure about the waynedowdy.weebly.com blog.

Maybe my publisher already listed the website with Google Adsense and I’m earning a few nickels to help pay the bills and I just don’t know it.  🙂

WHAT DOES BLOG MEAN?  The Internet Slang says, “BLOG means ‘Weblog, online diary.'”

A log of online posts/Web entries, I reckon it is, something burned into the memory of the deep blue web, where “WEblog.”

The Acronym Finder shows BLOG as an acronym for “Web Log,” “Better Listing on Google,” “Buy Locally Owned Group (Canada),” and my favorite, “Big Load of Gossip.”  Copyright 1988-2014, AcronymFinder.com.

With the help of one of my dear sisters, I investigated what a blog is because numerous people have asked me over the years.  I knew what a blog was and what it meant to me, since I have blogged for the last few years, but I was unaware of the actual meaning or if “BLOG” was an acronym for some mysterious online organization.

Now that we know the official definition for “Blog” (according to the referenced sources), I present a blog on my Independence Day at this facility (holiday events vary between prisons).

INDEPENDENCE DAY & GRATITUDE:  One blog a lot of people liked in the free society and on the inside, staff and inmates alike, is “Gratitude & More” (12/19/16).  I wrote it from a positive perspective, so maybe what my friend suggested is true?

I need to turn over a new leaf and let signs of a positive life flow from my fingertips.

Lightning flashes and then it thunders.

I began the day with instant coffee and watching videos on CMT and MTV-2.  I’d switch from Country music on CMT to Pop to Rap to Hip Hop, and whatever else MTV plays.

COUNT TIME:  at 10:00 AM, we were locked in our cells and then stood to be counted.  During the count, I listened to my antique Sony Walkman radio as I worked on math problems in preparation for the tests I’ll take to graduate WorkKeys next week.  Nineteen Eighty-two was the last time I worked on Advanced Math in college, and trying to relearn it has been a challenge, but one I have accepted and succeeded at handling.

After the count cleared and we were released from our cages, I stood around watching but not listening to any of the ten televisions, wondering why our unit hadn’t been released for chow.  Two and a half hours later, we got to go eat.

Any change in the regular routine creates drama in here.  The staff are “supposed to” follow a set schedule to let each cellblock out to eat.  The one I live in was supposed to get out fourth in the line of twelve listed on the Weekly Rotation.  The rotation ran awful slow or we didn’t get out in the scheduled order.  I had skipped breakfast and was ready to eat by the time the cellhouse officer yelled, “Main Line.”

CHOW TIME:  Over a hundred of us took off walking fast, like a bunch of hungry critters heading for the food trough, trying to outrun the others to get first choice.  I didn’t outrun everyone in this cellblock but I did outrun a few.  🙂

I stood in line for the noon meal and was happy to see peaches being served.  I love peaches, especially, Georgia Peaches, the two legged kind and the ones that stimulate the taste buds.

The serving line ran out of peaches with the person before me.  Peaches were replaced with watermelon.  I love watermelon!  I can eat half of a large watermelon by myself.  The Inmate Server put a tiny piece on my tray, one so small that the edible content would not fill a 12-ounce glass.  I did not feel grateful.

I still smiled and said thank you, as I customarily do, even when I don’t feel so thankful.  I try to be polite and treat people the way I want to be treated, not the way I may feel they deserve to be treated.

When I first arrived at this institution in 2004, I noticed ethnically-different, inmate servers, looking up to see who’s next in line.  And if the person was white, and not one who pays for larger portions, sort through the food to select a smaller piece while staff watched.  I experienced violent thoughts about using a serving tray as an assault weapon.  Not now, though.

I smile and say thank you and tell myself the person is trying to help me fight high-cholesterol I do not have, by finding a smaller piece of fried chicken or meat to give me and any other non-paying person.

THE HOLIDAY MEAL:  For lunch today, I had a chunk of beef so tough that a pit-bull would have struggled to chew it.  Tough or not, it tasted good and I am grateful to have had it to eat.

Too many people in the world, who are not in prison, did not have any food to eat yesterday and today.  Why haven’t we figured out how to feed everyone in the world or big cities in America?

I also had corn on the cob that I gave away, sour cream, baked potatoes, broccoli, and a tasty little apple pie, to go with the piece of beef and micro-watermelon slice.  Who but a whiny prisoner would complain about a meal like that?

Most people who paid for the meal would have wanted a refund on the terribly-tough, tasty beef.  Regardless of that, though, we got fed and filled our bellies, so I can’t rightfully complain, even though I did.

Prison is not supposed to be a pleasurable experience.  The meal we had was better than what millions of people around the globe ate that day.

GRATITUDE:  While sitting at a table eating, I suffered from Watermelon Envy as I eyed the peaches and slices of watermelon on the trays of my peers, their watermelon slices larger than mine.  A friend must have saw the look in my eyes and gave me his watermelon.  After eating it, I felt better before leaving, my belly full of gratitude for a moment.

Leaving the chow hall, I walked with a Mexican and African-American.  We were given a paper sack lunch for our evening meal: cold cut slices of various meat, a slice of cheese, four slices of bread, and pastries.

The African-American says, “I got two cinnamon rolls.  Did you get two?”

I peeked into my sack and only saw one.

The Mexican said, “Yeah, I got two of ’em too.”

I said, I only got one.  A cracker ain’t got nothing coming, I somewhat joked.

I returned to the cellblock and thought about the experiences during the meal and then remembered the premises I wrote about in Gratitude & More.  As I did so, I took everything out of the bag, then noticed I did have two cinnamon rolls.  The two packages were stuck together, which I didn’t notice when peeking into the bag.

GOD-SHOT:  I felt a God-Shot when I realized how things changed when I thought to be grateful for what I had, rather than complain about what I did not.  God gives me lessons each day.  I grow each time He does, if I learn what He wants me to learn.

It thunders when He speaks; oftentimes, it takes lightning to get my attention.

CONCLUSION:  I spent the latter part of the day studying more math and listening to music, periodically venturing out of my cell to look at the televisions.  Later in the evening, I went to the recreation department to walk the asphalt track and to print a draft copy of an earlier version of this blog.

Several of my peers ran the track, others screamed and shouted as they played basketball, softball, handball, and various other games.

Dark clouds filled the horizon and approached fast, pushed on by strong winds as a storm approached that caused the staff to close outside recreation.  Children cannot play outside when it storms; especially, those with a history of misbehavior and absconding from justice.  We rushed inside before it rained.

I did succeed at printing the draft and walking a few laps before returning to work more on this blog and read legal news on the electronic bulletin board.

While on the computer terminal, I watched the movie, Mr. Church, staring Eddie Murphy, in a much different cast.  After the computer kicked me off after 30-minutes, I watched the rest of the movie from my cell.  Some darn gnats or something kept getting in my eyes near the end of the movie when Mr. Church died.  I don’t know where those gnats came from.  🙂

My day concluded with a shower, talking with my cellmate, listening to the radio some more, and reading before counting off another day from the calendar.

All things considered, it was a good day.  I did something for the mind, body, and spirit.  What more can a person ask for in life?  Well, right now I can think of a few things I’d like to be different, but I will close without complaining.  We get what we need and things work according to God’s will, not Wayne’s.  Darn it!  However, the positive side is that if things went according to Wayne, I wouldn’t be “here” to entertain you with this blog.  Thanks for reading my writings!

______________________________

Note: I postponed writing the second eBook in the Fiction Crime Series, Guns, Drugs & Thugs.  Purchase Guns, Drugs & Thugs: Drug Store Spree in paperback or as an eBook at  https://www.amazon.com/Guns-Drugs-Thugs-Store-Spree/dp/1797068466/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=guns%2C+drugs+and+thugs&qid=1554732767&s=books&sr=1-1

Murder Slim Press also publised Guns, Drugs & Thugs: Drug Store Spree.  Another printed version is available in the magazine, Savage Kick # 9.

Purchase ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN ($8.95 USD) and UNKNOWN INNOCENCE ($12.95, USD) from your favorite bookseller; also available as eBooks from Smashwords.com, Barnes & Noble, Amazon.kindle, and many others.

Autographed copies available through the author.  Contact by eMail: waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com

POLITICS, DEATH AND LOVE

by Wayne T. Dowdy

November 26, 2016: Cuban immigrants party in the streets of Little Havana in Miami, Florida;

November 9, 2016: Protests in America over the election of President-elect, Donald Trump;

November 8, 2016: Television Privileges Restored & Gone Again.

CELEBRATING THE DEATH OF A DICTATOR: On November 25, 2016, at 10:30 PM, EST, Raul Castro announced the death of his older brother. Fidel Castro died at the age of ninety from natural causes, rather than as some would have preferred, by some excruciating means in compensation for the pain and misery he imposed upon the people of Cuba.

Cuban immigrants and Cuban Americans partied in the streets of Little Havana to celebrate the death of Fidel Castro, whose regime tortured and murdered thousands of men and women; especially, his political opponents. His henchmen cut off a testicle of one man, an atrocious act of cruelty, but not the worst he committed against Cuban peoples, only one that portrays the nature and evils of Castro’s torture techniques.

PRISONER RETURNS: In 1993 a prison guard at the United States Penitentiary (U.S.P.) in Leavenworth, Kansas, claimed to have assisted the U.S. Marshal Service in the return of Cuban exiles to Cuba. What happened shocks the senses on one level, but does not when considering that it occurred in the regime of a dictator.

Cuban soldiers directed the plane to an area where stood a tall, concrete wall. U.S. Marshals escorted the bound and chained prisoners into the hands of the soldiers.

The soldiers committed the return of the hardware and then lead the load of prisoners behind the wall. A barrage of gunfire erupted moments later.

The guard said, “When the soldiers returned the leg shackles and handcuffs, there was blood all over them. Then they said for us to bring them more prisoners.”

I am not aware of America returning any others to Cuba for execution by firing squad.

Perhaps Castro’s treatment of returned Cuban citizens influenced a prison riot at U.S.P. Atlanta in 1986. Cuban prisoners took hostages at the prison and then burned buildings, including the factory owned and operated by the Federal Prison Industries, Inc. (UNICOR), a UNIque CORPoration.

TRUMP ON CASTRO & CUBA: CNN reported on November 27, 2016, that President-elect Trump spoke out against the atrocities of Castro committed against Cubans. Castro has been out of power for ten years.

President-elect Trump expressed a desire to have better relations with Cuba. His message gave me hope that he will not unravel what President Obama started–a campaign to restore U.S. and Cuban relations. Afterwards, the Rolling Stones performed a concert and recorded an album in Havana.

TELEVISIONS & THE ELECTION: In “Politics & Prisons,” I predicted the Presidential Election would be over before my blog posted, and that we would not be allowed to watch the election because some prisoners had had the nerve to violate prison rules. I erred, twice.

My publisher/friend posted the blog the day before the Election. Then the Criminal Keeper restored television privileges in time for everyone to watch the controversial election of Donald Trump.

November 28, 2016: Now all television are on the same Black & Beautiful channel again. Another scoundrel broke the darn rules. Surprisingly, no one reported him to authorities. People do confess the sins of others to avoid confessing their own.

I suspect some prisoners expect him to “do the right thing” by owning up to his evil, wicked ways. Someone will most likely assist him before it’s over. No one confessed to the crime of stashed homemade wine; no one confessed on his behalf. In prison and life in general, the right thing to do is a matter of perspective.

Taking a bullet for a cause may be the right thing: dodging the bullet may be a better option. Bullets hurt like hell.

Personally, I went over 3 1/2-years at U.S.P. Atlanta without watching T.V. more than three or four times, and then for only brief periods, so I am not concerned with televisions. I am concerned with laws and matters that “really” affect the lives of others.

I change programs when my options change. Maybe we all need a moment of meditation to reflect on what we have in life.

PEACEFUL TRANSITION: On November 10, 2016, CNN covered the first meeting between President Obama and President-elect Trump. After a surprising one and a half hour meeting, both men appeared in good spirits and indicated a positive transformation of power and the unification of our Nation. A unified nation is a wonderful concept!

Mr. Trump commented that President Obama was a good man and that he would be speaking with him and seeking his advice a lot during the transition of power. I hope he spoke his true feelings and not just something that sounds good.

VOTES THAT AFFECTED PRISONERS

The following clears prisoner misconceptions about political events that restricted or abolished certain rights and privileges. Source: 2009 WORLD ALMANAC & BOOK OF FACTS.

98th Congress (1983-1985)

Under Republican President Ronald Reagan, Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House of Representatives. Republicans and Democrats alike passed the Sentence Reform Act of 1984 (SRA) that abolished federal parole and required federal prisoners to serve 85% of their sentences. The federal government forced the same measure on states by withholding federal funding if states refused to require prisoners to serve 85% of their sentences.

Ronald Reagan did not sign the bill. The SRA was attached as a Rider to a Senate Appropriations Bill that automatically went into effect after ten days.

104th Congress (1995-97)

Under Democratic President Bill Clinton, a Republican Senate and House majority passed the Anti-terrorism, Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), which restricted post-conviction relief for federal and state prisoners. The bill passed in a hurry after the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Federal Office Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Timothy McVeigh pulled a truck in front of the Federal building. He allegedly killed 168-people after he parked the rental truck and detonated the explosives in retaliation of the United States’ raid of the Branch Dravidian compound near Waco, Texas.

Under the guidance of former Attorney General, Janet Reno, military weapons were used against American citizens on April 19, 1993. More than seventy members of the Branch Dravidian compound perished when two Army tanks crashed into opposite sides of a building before firing combustible gas canisters that exploded when the gases mixed. The building caught afire and burned men, women, and children to death. Those were sad days in American history.

Bill Clinton signed the AEDPA into law; however, even if he had not, a three-quarters majority vote would have overrode a presidential veto.

PROTESTS IN AMERICA: After the results of the 2016 Presidential Election flooded the news channels, thousands of citizens protested in American cities; most protests were peaceful, but some did erupt into violence that caused damage to property. Police tear-gassed crowds but did not shoot anyone. Miracles happen!

In the paraphrased words of Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

On April 29, 1992, fifty-three people died during a major riot in Los Angeles, California, after a jury acquitted four L.A. Police officers on all but one count. Video footage showed the police beating motorist Rodney King. The violent protest caused millions of dollars in damage, a lot of which was due to some rioters using the event as an opportunity to loot stores and other businesses. At least the Trump Protest did not spark such violence and destruction.

RED NATION: The Red now reign in America. Not Native American red, whose plight still continues in North Dakota as they fight to keep and protect land from contamination by an oil pipeline. The Government gave their land back and forced them to live on the reservation, and now some corporation wants to use the land for profit.

History repeats itself. Pale Face spoke with forked tongue again if the intrusion upon Native American land prevents the people from keeping their water free from contamination.

The nation is Republican Red. Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency. Perhaps the Do-Nothing-Congress will do something positive. Rebuilding the infrastructure seems to be what most Americans want. That will help the economy grow and provide more jobs. Huh, I seem to recall that President Obama wanted to do the same thing? Congress would not cooperate with him for some reason. I bet they will cooperate with President-elect Trump.

Prison Reform will likely happen. Sentencing Reform will probably stall. Maybe not. If those For-Profit-Prisons would just stop bribing politicians to vote against it, it might pass.

The Election results made private prison stocks soar the following day: stock in the largest for-profit-prison, Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), jumped forty-three percent; the second largest, GEO Group, jumped twenty-four percent. GEO Group contributed $45,000 to Donald Trumps’ campaign as I wrote in “Reentering Reality,” October 6, 2016.

To understand why the stocks jumped, read “The Truth About Incarceration, Part II” by Wayne T. Dowdy that shows the influence of For-Profit-Prisons on mass incarceration rates and “Tough-on-Crime” policies and practices.

CCA announced plans to invest in halfway houses. Maybe their legislative bribes will lead to the reinstatement of federal parole to boost their halfway house division profits. The immigration division is booming with Republicans dominating the government.

LOVE: The only short story in ESSAYS & MORE STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN is “The Lonely Spirit.” One reader commented that he thought that the word play I used was my best.

The story is an usual love story. I will give you a peek into its opening. Purchase it as part of the collection in paperback or eBook (http://www.straightfromthepen.com), or as an individual essay from my Smashwords author’s page (https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WayneMrDowdy) or at Amazon.kindle.

Taser lost his true love and went on a mission to find her, after his death. This is where it begins: THE LONELY SPIRIT by Wayne T. Dowdy

“Lana and I looked over the edge at the wave crashing against the rocks, two hundred feet below. My right hand rested on the curve of her delicate waist and adorable hips. The July sun scorched our skin as an ocean breeze brought the salty smell of seaweed and dead fish to our nostrils. Several seagulls and pelicans rode the waves; some of the pelicans dived for fish, while other seagulls squawked as they soared above and surfed the convection currents. I stepped away from her and began a journey into another life.

Lana looked lovelier than ever in her golden string bikini. “Don’t do it Taser,” she said.

I gave her my cross-eyed look, then gulped the contents of my last beer before I smashed its emerald green bottle on the rocks ten feet away. Lana arched her eyebrows and glared at me as she usually did when I frustrated her with my false bravado. I burped, smiled, jumped. The water below was hard and merciless when I hit, arms stretched forward. Soaring through the stream of bubbles created by the crashing waves, my arms gave into the pressure before my head struck a sharp rock. I floated to the top, unconscious; only for a moment, though. The two hundred foot fall was too far, the water too shallow, the waves too rough, my life too short. My body sank beneath the waves and was smashed against the rocks and covered in seaweed. I watched as the wind carried me away to some other phase of existence. Where I went, I do not know. It’s a place where only spirits can go. I saw the Earth, foreign stars, unknown galaxies, different universes, beauty beyond imagination, the true paradise visited only in dreams and fantasies. I left to look for lovely Lana, my life, my dream, my love.”

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Wayne T. Dowdy writes Straight From the Pen. Visit and click to “Like” his blogs on straightfromthepen.com. Purchase his books online or at your favorite bookstore.

WORD USE & PRISON LIFE

by Wayne T. Dowdy

prison mail“Words pack a punch, whether written or spoken, words have the power to change or destroy lives. I choose my words carefully and hope the ones I select affect a positive change.” Teaching Cons New Tricks–Creative Writing & Q.A. Apprenticeship Program. (April 15, 2015) straightfromthepen.wordpress.com.

In my March 8, 2016, blog post (“Manuscripts Worth Stealing”), I wrote about two of my manuscripts that I suspect a corrupt federal employee stole or destroyed. Readers who know me commented on my unusual display of anger in what I wrote. One friend in particular, Jeff B., commented about my statements concerning what I felt the culprit deserved if caught; how I started off in an aggressive tone and went on and on, and that it made him feel like I wanted to do to the culprit what I said he or she deserved, going by what he read.

I clarified that I did not say I would do those things. I let him reread my statement in the third paragraph:

“I do feel sorry for the idiot who gets caught for doing it. Risking five-years in prison for stealing a manuscript in the mail takes a real devious person, or someone who is just downright ignorant or stupid. However, if the person does get caught and goes to prison, I would not weep if he or she experiences extreme levels of physical and sexual abuse by prisoner predators. Tampering with someone’s mail is a killing offense for some of those confined inside American prisons. For a person convicted of committing such a crime, to be raped and brutalized would be letting them off easy. I do not approve or endorse predatory behaviors, but in this case, Karma seems to demand an exception.”

PRISON LIFE: The above quote was only a comment. I know that many in society think of prison life completely different than its reality. When discussing what to blog about to get more followers, a staff member shared how her friends thought it necessary for her to have armed guards sitting in a classroom to protect her as she taught prisoners. She laughed in telling me that, because such thoughts are so common, and yet indicate something so far away from the truth about prison life that it is comical for those who live or work inside and know the truth.

Given that line of thinking, a common misconception about prisoners and prison life is the caliber of people inside. (Read “The Truth About Incarceration, Part I” for a realistic view of what prison life is really like for MOST prisoners.) Everyone in prison is not violent and we do not typically run around raping and robbing each other, or battling over food in the chow hall. In the more violent prisons, some prisoners may rob, rape, or take food or commissary items from weaker prisoners, but those things do not happen on a regular basis.

NOT ME: Back to the missing manuscript and my word choice. I do like to entertain my readers, but this blog is not the place to read about wild adventures. My censors would disconnect me from the outside world if I got carried away with content. Maybe later, once I am released, I will post more on the wilder side of prison life, but just for the record, I am not into raping and brutalizing men, women or animals. Sorry, that’s just not me.

NON-VIOLENT: I avoid committing violent acts and would only do so to protect myself from physical harm. I used to view myself as a violent person living a non-violent lifestyle, until I shared my feeling in a twelve-step meeting. One of my sponsees said, “I don’t see you that way. I see you as a gentle, kind, and compassionate person who is capable of being violent.”

His words changed my self-image. He spoke the truth.

Even offenses against my delicate ego do not warrant violent reactions or responses to something as trivial as someone stealing or destroying a manuscript in the mail; however, I do understand and know what some of my peers would do to someone for doing similar things. That is why I wrote what I did, not because it was what I would do if given the opportunity. If I did anything violent in response to their action, the most it would be is a bitch slap to get their attention. Years ago I would have done that and more without hesitation before I decided to change my evil, wicked ways.

WORD POWER: As for what I wrote, okay, I confess, empathy and compassion escaped me. My words did not suggest sympathetic feelings or forgiveness for the villain. I used coarse statements and calloused words for literary and personal reasons. I hoped the perpetrator would read what I wrote and think about the severity of his or her actions.

One of my sisters agreed and commented that my blog may change the life of the person who stole the manuscript by making him more aware of the potential consequences of what he did.

I hope so. That would turn a negative into a positive. I like doing that; especially, if I can do it with words alone.

In “Manuscripts Worth Stealing,” my powerful words painted graphic images to deter the offensive behavior of mail theft; however, I did not indicate, suggest, or imply that I would commit those acts if given the opportunity to execute revenge against the one(s) who took my manuscript(s), providing what I suspect did happen. I am convinced by the facts that it did. I put it in the hands of the United States Postmaster General to determine what happened.

FIGHTING FOR MY PEERS: I did not want to file a complaint with the Postmaster General, but I had to think about the risks to my peers if someone lacking morals is left in charge of their mail. Those who put legal documents in the mail to fight for their freedom deserve protection.*

One of my friends mailed his post-conviction relief motion on Friday, March 18, 2016. Mailroom officials weighed his package and told him the amount of postage needed.

He paid over $9.00 to send it by certified mail. A family member checked on Monday and the post office said it could not be tracked by the tracking number. The receiving stamp provided by local post office was not legible.

On March 24, 2016, he went to the mailroom and discovered that it was returned for $0.84 postage. A staff member who works in the mailroom, had went to the local post office to enquire about his missing mail. The local post office had it laying around. It took six days to learn something that he should have known by Monday (03/21/16). The incident shows the level of incompetence of those who work in the mailing system that we deal with in prison. Sometimes the problem occurs at the institutional level; other times at the United States Postal Service.

RESENTMENT: The manuscript issue is not one for me to waste away my time dwelling on ways to retaliate for wrongs done to me by anyone. I am not a religious person, per se. I do believe in spirituality, which to me, is accepting that every human is flawed and that it is okay; not putting everyone in a box that requires them to think and believe the same. In the book I mention below, as I recall, it essentially said that spirituality is more open-ended, rather than compartmentalized (to be one of us, you must believe, think and act as we do). Spirituality allows us to accept each other in light of our differences.

With that established, when I am angered or struggling with an issue, I let go and turn the matter over to my higher power, whom I choose to call God.

I refuse to harbor resentment. I express my anger, take appropriate action or do not do anything, and then move on with my life. I always had to pay for my dirty deeds and I know everyone else will have to do the same. I am not God’s executioner and cannot control other people. The world’s best selling books says, “We reap what we sow,” and to “judge not lest we be judged by the same token.”

With my history, I need all the leniency I can get, so I try to avoid using a magnifying glass to examine the wrongs of others in hope of one not being used to examine me. I focus on my actions, not theirs, because it is what I do that creates my problems or rewards.

I pray to forgive. I do not have the power to forgive anyone. That is not my department. All I can do is let go and get out of the way to let nature take its course.

Spiritual principles work like math formulas. Add three plus four and you get seven; add four plus three and you still get seven. Subtract three from seven and you get four, or subtract four from seven and you get three. No matter how it is added or subtracted, we get the same result: It works out according to the principles and formulas applied. I receive what I put out.

POWERFUL STORY: In 2004 I read a powerful story in THE SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION by Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketchum about resentment and forgiveness that went something like this:
Two former Nazi prisoners sat around talking.
One asks the other, “Do you ever think about the Nazis?”
“Yes, I think about them every day of my life,” he said.
“Then they still have you in prison.”

Let it go. Stop dwelling on past transgressions. The same book described a resentment as pain wrapped in anger.

For me to heal, I deal with the pain and get to the anger to let it go.

Do not be a prisoner of those who offend you or do you wrong. With forgiveness comes freedom from the past and the pain of resentment.

LOVE NOT WAR: Karma takes care of those who commit acts that deserve retribution. Personally, I prefer love not war. My fantasy is a fat butt girl with a pecan tan and a Mercedes Benz, to love, hug and hold, not someone to take out aggressive feelings on.

A lot of what I wrote in that sentence is just word play to paint a picture with words. I do not set requirements on finding love. Wealth, fame, economic status, ethnicity or a person’s skin tone does not concern me, if love thrives within our hearts. But I do not need a woman who needs abuse to make her feel wanted. I’m not into that either. I want to cuddle and love, not wrestle and fight.

HONEST JUDGE: In my last blog (“Agape Love”), where I wrote about love, I lost two followers after my publisher posted it. I reckon there are those who want to read hate or anger driven blogs instead of those about love. That is not the first time something negative happened after I did something positive.

In 1986, a friend of the family asked me to be a judge in a Beauty Pageant. I agreed. No one mentioned that I was there to rig the votes. One of the sponsors did point out who their relative was in the toddler division. I voted according to my version of truth about who was the best. My vote cost the relative’s toddler to come in second place.

I never got invited to judge again.

So much for moral rewards when displaying good work ethics and honesty. I’d do the same thing again. Fire me for doing the right thing? All right. That is okay with me. So much is life.

CONCLUSION: My hope is that my words written above will affect a positive change in the life of someone who reads them. The power of words is undeniable.
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* I wrote about a similar issue in “Fighting for Rights to Write,” posted on March 03, 2015, on my blogs at straightfromthepen.wordpress.com and waynedowdy.weebly.com (first published by PrisonEducation.com in February 2014). By the way, I won that battle and others where our right to write was concerned.

Wayne T. Dowdy writes Straight From the Pen. Purchase his writings from your favorite book or eBook retailers, or from straightfromthepen.com or Midnight Express Books, P.O. Box 69, Berryville, AR 72616. Look for UNKNOWN INNOCENCE within weeks. The release was delayed due to the stolen draft copy of the manuscript written about in “Manuscripts Worth Stealing.”