Category Archives: Uncategorized

PriceWaiter Affiliate

Nice Brush, huh? That belongs to PriceWaiter. Click on it to find great deals on several categories of products. Be sure to read “How it Works” to help people save money.

PriceWaiter is one of the companies I promote because I believe the company really does help people to save money. In addition to that, if someone purchases a product from PriceWaiter by going through any links in this blog, I will receive a small commission and will be grateful. I thank you in advance!

For those reentering society, saving money may make a big difference in their outcome; however, finding a great deal won’t make a difference unless that person committed to change their lifestyle.

On a personal level, I made a choice that returning to criminal activity was not an option. I gave enough of my life to living on the Other Side and am not willing to do anything that could cause me to have to return to the environment I hated. Returning to it would only help the System grow bigger and stronger. That is why I changed my life (I do not want to be a part of the Mass Incarceration in America. My actions must show I do not want to return to a life spent behind bars, hoping for better days).

Today, I hope for better days as a returning citizen, one who becomes a success story to show others it can be done. I refuse to give up fighting for a new life, a better life, which is a driving force behind me and my promotion of PriceWaiter and other companies who allow me to earn a small commission if anyone uses the links I provide on this website or others to buy any items, regardless of the particular item I may promote.

In the following example, I am promoting PriceWaiter’s discounts on electronics; however, many others are available, including appliances (33% off), and many others you love.

These kind of deals are hard to beat. PriceWaiter strives to get customers the best price available.

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My hope is that you, the reader, will visit PriceWaiter and find substantial savings. PriceWaiter will help you negotiate lower prices. Check ’em out! Thanks!

Please post a comment or send an email to waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com to voice your honest opinion about PriceWaiter or any other affiliate company, and whether you purchased an item so I can verify that I am being paid. Thank you!

Independence Day 2021 by Wayne T. Dowdy

Leaving the Past Behind

Happy Independence Day to those who celebrate America’s independence for traditional reasons.

In 2020 I wrote about my personal perspective on Independence Day which may be read by clicking this link: Happy Independence Day | STRAIGHT FROM THE PEN.

Independence Day means freedom for me. In that blog I included another link for the historical aspect of Independence Day. Please feel free to read.

Today I am wishing a Happy Independence Day to those who may have freed themselves from an abusive, unhealthy relationship. For those who may still be trapped in one, I hope the day comes where you, too, find freedom from the one who mistreats you and fails to provide the love, respect and kindness you deserve.

Do not hesitate to seek professional assistance if needed.

Never lose hope!

For me, I continue my fight against recidivism (not returning to old behaviors with negative consequence (addiction, crime, etc.)), and to help others to live their lives where it is not necessary to revert to old, destructive, and unhealthy behaviors.

My focus today is to become a successful affiliate marketer and entrepreneur, as well as to begin my long-term goal of building a business that makes the world a better place, to help others to live better lives, and to reduce the damage we do to Mother Earth.

May the remainder of 2021 bring each of you an abundance of love, good health, and the successes in life you desire.


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Happy Father’s Day 2021

Happy Father’s Day Straight from the Pen!

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Disclaimer: Straight from the Pen acts as affiliates for trusted merchants and may earn referral commissions resulting from the purchase of a product promoted or reviewed on this website.

PhotoJobz Affiliate by Wayne T. Dowdy

PhotoJobz Affiliate

Now I am an affiliate marketer for PhotoJobz through ClickBank, so if you use the links from this page to sign up for their $1 Trial offer, I will earn a commission but probably not enough to afford to buy some special lady a yacht or Mercedes-Benz. However, I will gratefully accept anything I may earn. 🙂

Watch this video clip and then click below to learn how to sell your photos.

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Since I take hundreds of photos and am a Top Google Maps photographer with over 12,000,000 views, I am going to use this service to see what I can earn. Then maybe I can afford the woman of my dreams whose smile drives me to become the Man of Her dreams. I can see her now smiling for the camera. 🙂

Click the photo below to learn how to sell your photos taken from a camera or your phone to earn additional income.

Federal prisoners hold $100 million in government-run accounts, shielded from some criminal scrutiny and debt collection – The Washington Post

UPDATE (06/10/2021): The referenced program statement for the collection of fines and restitution may be read on the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) website (Inmate Financial Responsibility Program (bop.gov)). Some of the sanctions for NOT meeting financial responsibility are listed on pages 11-13, many of which are severe.

Inmates must pay or be sanctioned for non-participation. If a court ordered the defendant to pay the cost of incarceration, the BOP takes that first.

Personally, while on the Inside, I was fired three times from my position in UNICOR for not paying restitution that the court ordered to be PAID UPON RELEASE FROM IMPRISONMENT. Eventually, I won the battle and the BOP stopped extorting me.

Based upon the above, I do not find the attached article reliable, even though I am sure the reporter only stated what he had been told, much of which was misleading in my opinion.

*****************************************

I wish reporters who report this type of articles were more knowledgeable about laws and prison policies. Maybe The Washington Post will find better reporters. The BOP has a policy for collecting restitution and other debts owed by prisoners.

The fact is, though, that the BOP often collects the money from prisoners each month and then holds it in the BOP account and draws interest on the money collected.

In this case, then, the Villain is the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/bureau-of-prisons-bank-system/2021/06/08/2aff9766-c3d1-11eb-8c18-fd53a628b992_story.html

BUTTERFLIES and CHANGE by Wayne T. Dowdy

I found the inscription on the medallion shown above in the photo to be inspiring and true: “If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies.”

Several years ago, I was published in an international magazine and was quoted as having said something like, “I was antisocial until AA turned me into a social butterfly.”

Butterflies are free and so am I!

On April 5, 2021, a doctor called me on the phone and thanked me for a personal magazine/book that I gave her: Essays & More Straight from the Pen. She said it changed her life by allowing her to understand more about how one’s experiences in life shape the person they become (or something along those lines. I’m paraphrasing from memory).

For such a compliment to come from someone as prestigious and intelligent (and pretty) as her, I was moved deeply and more thankful for her call than she probably realized. Knowing how busy she is in her profession and that she was so thoughtful that she took the time from her busy schedule to call me, meant a lot.

She began the conversation by saying she hoped that it was a good time for her to call, and by acknowledging that she knew the day was a special one for me (the last day I used mind-altering substances in 1995). Then she thanked me for my very well written book and for writing openly and honestly about the sensitive content from my past.

When I promised to give her a copy, I asked that she please remember me as the person she met versus the person she reads about inside the book.

I felt honored that she had remembered me as the man she met and was so grateful that she called to thank me for the truthful content inside the pages, a lot of which I am not proud of having done decades before.

People can change the same as butterflies do when metamorphosing from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly. Read about the man who did in Essays & More Straight from the Pen.

Essays & More Straight from the Pen by Wayne T. Dowdy

He Never Lost Hope. Hope Was All He Had

Essays and More Straight from the Pen shows the power of change, gives hope to readers wanting a different life.

The well-written essays take readers deep inside the life of the author who overcame circumstances and obstacles that kept him chained to a life of drugs and crime.

The stories inspire and motivate people to not give up or lose hope, and to fight for a new life.


Experiment by Wayne T. Dowdy

Writing blogs and learning how to use the different websites I write on remains an experiment; especially, where the formatting and modification to the visual image comes into the picture. This experiment included in the equation.

Feedback from visitors would benefit me during these experimental projects but only a few take the time to respond, other than those who click to Like. I appreciate each of you for taking a moment to click the Like button. For those who signed up to follow these blogs, you’re the best!

In this experiment, I want to see how this block format works when posted, and if the change increases loading speed to improve the visitor’s experience. If you have a few second, please let me know. Thanks!

Experiment in Progress



The Truth About Incarceration, Part I

Reposted Content: The Truth About Incarceration was originally published by PrisonLawBlog.com in November 2014, before being posted on StraightfromthePen.com. On Quora.com I posted The Truth About Incarceration, Part I, in response to a question. Then I received several positive comments, one of whom suggested I start a YouTube channel to inform the public about Life … Continue reading The Truth About Incarceration, Part I

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Discount Electronics

Great Deals Every Day at Discount Electronics! Whether looking for computer accessories, laptops, computer monitors, or personal computers, shopping at Discount Electronics online Pawn Shop saves you money! I may earn an Affiliate Commission if you use any links on this website to purchase a product or service; however, my opinion remains unaltered regardless of … Continue reading Discount Electronics

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Life After Release-8

Life Goes On and I am okay with the life I have, though it is not how I imagined it would be before I walked out of the prison gates as a free man.

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Trading Apps I Use by Wayne T. Dowdy

WARNING: Trading Apps I Use is for informational and entertainment purposes only.  Opinions expressed are the authors based upon experience and belief.  Especially in reference to addiction and the potential impact on recidivism (reverting to old behaviors).

(Please see Affiliate Disclaimer below)

Neither I, or any of the YouTubers I mention, are financial advisers, stock analysts, or stockbrokers. However, some of the YouTubers may qualify based upon previous experience; one of whom is a retired teacher, former financial adviser, and stock broker, Stock Moe.

Stock Curry is a former analysist, who now analyzes the top YouTubers and voices his opinion about investment related issues.

Mike Jones Investing is a relatively new YouTuber who is knowledgeable and puts in a lot of time to provide meaningful content.

Wayne T. Dowdy does not have a degree that indicates or suggests that he is knowledgeable and qualified to guide or instruct others along the road to financial success.  I confess! I am not for the most part, but I will provide a lot of information to help others decide what may be their best option.

I am only a man with a plan who continues to focus on blending back into society after having spent over three decades of life inside a dungeon. 


WORDS OF CAUTION

In my opinion, those with addiction issues, especially gambling, should avoid using trading apps to buy and sell stocks and or cryptocurrency, as doing so seems to trigger the same part of the brain that watching a roulette wheel spin, slot machine display roll, or cards flip when a dealer deals the cards.

Though I have not played roulette, slot machines, or the lottery, I am a former gambler who loved betting on sports and playing cards, so I know the feeling, the compulsion and obsession, and do check the trading apps to see where my investments stand, rather than doing other things that may be more beneficial to me and for accomplishing other goals. However, I management my money and do not use the margin accounts I have approved for use, should I so choose to use.

RECIDIVISM AND MONEY MANAGEMENT

For the returning citizen or future prisoners who fail to practice money-management principles, using a margin account to buy and sell stocks may be disastrous or profitable under certain circumstances; therefore, it is important to make sure that a person remain aware and to not go deep into debt trying to play the stock market.

SET BOUNDARIES AND STAY WITHIN THE MARGINS!

Going into debt and making poor choices lead me to a 420-month federal prison sentence in 1988. Again, I write based upon my personal experience and am not one to give someone bullshit and tell them it is candy.

Investing and trading on the stock market is risky. For people with addiction issues or a lack of money-management skills, a better choice than using trading apps is to use professional brokers, which may also be done through my favorite trading app, Charles Schwab.


PERSONALLY: Financial success is part of my plan and one that I continue to focus on by learning new skills and taking lessons from those who do a lot of research and provide information for the Unknowing to consider along the fantasy highway that leads to Wall Street, hoping to become a millionaire or independently wealthy. (Possible, though unlikely for most investors and day traders.)

One part of my journey involves six trading platforms/apps that I use, with the latest being Crypto.com (click the referral link and each of us will receive $25 if the stated conditions are met). The other trading apps I use are Charles Schwab, Webull, SOFI, Stash, and CashApp. 

In later blogs I may write more about my experience with particular trading apps. Just FYI, though, CashApp is more limited than the others, but does allow people to send or receive funds for payment.

My favorite trading/investment app: Charles Schwab because I can buy OTC (Over-the-Counter) stocks and the format is easier for me to use.  Not being able to trade in cryptocurrency on Charles Schwab is my only complaint.  In reality that may be best since I have made numerous errors while trading cryptocurrency on Webull and SOFI.

In November 2020, I bought $200 dollars of Bitcoin when it was $18,552.50 per coin, and then panic-sold after the price climbed and then began to drop.  Because Crypto-trading reminded me more of gambling than trading or investing, I gave it up a few months.  Later, I bought and sold more and made a few dollars as it climbed to almost $65,000 per coin. 

Addiction

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result

Then Bitcoin dropped again and I did the same thing repeatedly: I bought more and now have become a Crypto-Addict, checking the cost of Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), and Litecoin (LTC), all throughout the night and day, buying and selling, and often screwing up by not following the advice of professionals like Steve at Crypto Crew University, who teaches people on YouTube When to Buy Cryptocurrency and When to Sell Cryptocurrency.  😊


Webull Customized Crypto Trading Screenshot

Affiliate Disclaimers

I may earn an Affiliate Commission if you use any links on this website to purchase a product or service; however, my opinion remains unaltered regardless of the chance of financial gain. 

Integrity is more valuable to me than any potential compensation that I may receive for a referral.

For Webull, I will theoretically receive free stocks for referrals, providing certain conditions are met.  Based upon my experience at dealing with them, I have not found Webull to honor their promotional offers, other than giving me free stocks when I signed up and funded the account and for one referral.

Even after presenting evidence of the referral, NO stock was given to compensate me. Maybe if someone clicks this link and funds the account with $100 before May 31, 2021, I will actually be compensated.

In my opinion, the Webull promotion to entice potential customers is misleading. The statement that is heavily promoted by YouTubers/influencers, “Get 2 FREE stocks valued up to $1850!” is a bunch of BULL for most people.  The highest value of the seven free stocks I received was $11.

The same principle applies for Charles Schwab, Stash, and SOFI (I will be compensated for referrals), even though the likelihood is not probable because of the conditions that must be met for me to qualify for referring a “Friend” who opens an account.

SOFI (Social Finance)

For instance, on SOFI, these conditions must be met: “Get $50 in stock for each friend who joins SOFI Invest. For each friend that signs up and funds an Active Investing account with $5,000 or more, you’ll get $50 in stock—they’ll get $50 in stock, too.” (Click Here for SOFI)

What makes it unlikely is the amount required to claim the promotional bounty. How many people will want to open an account with $5,000 to invest?

What I like about my SOFI account is fast money transactions. My account is automatically loaded with requested funds to buy stocks or cryptocurrency. The applied funds are deducted from my linked bank account at later date.

SOFI also allows me to place orders at any time of the night or day, whereas Webull only allows stocks to be traded during regular market hours, other than cryptocurrency, which may be traded at any time, other than from between 5:30-6:30 PM, EST, I believe.

In addition, SOFI offers educational and other loans, credit cards and other services through affiliates.


CHARLES SCHWAB

Click the following image for my Charles Schwab affiliate link where you may create an account to buy Stock Slices (fractional shares; e.g., $5.00 or more of Amazon, Tesla, Disney, or other popular stocks); Over-the-Counter (high-risk), Exchange Traded Funds, and a variety of other investment options. But not cryptocurrencies, only MARA, ETHE, Coinbase Global (COIN), GBTC, and other shares related to cryptocurrency.

Charles Schwab Stock Slices

STASH.COM (Stash Financial, Inc.)

From the trading/investment apps I use, I feel that Stash Investments is possibly a good one for those who do not want to actively manage their investments. Click my referral link in the first sentence of this paragraph and we will receive $20 USD in cash or may choose to receive $20 of free stock if you open a Stash account and meet their stated conditions.

Stash is the first account that I begin using a year ago. However, the other apps are free to use and Stash charges a small fee. I pay $12.00 per year for the Beginner level.


Links for Trading/Investment App Reviews

I am not affiliated with any of the following companies linked below but I do believe that you may find each helpful, all of which are affiliates of the trading/investment apps covered in their reviews.

The first link is for Nerd Wallet, which I used when beginning my journey into the investigation into the world of trading in the stock market by choosing some of the Trading Apps I Use today. Prior to February 18, 2021, I made a lot of profits until the stock market began its corrections that continue today so proceed with caution and investigate before deciding to buy or sell a stock or getting involved with the cryptocurrency that I feel is the future.

Good Luck and Happy Trading!

11 Best Investment Apps of 2021

ConsumerAdvocate 10 Best Online Stock Brokers of 2021

WonderfulThingsDone

Because of a short delay in the scheduled blog (Trading Apps I Use), StraightfromthePen.com is providing a complimentary post for WonderfulThingsDone.net, the sister site of WonderfulThingsDone.com.

Recording an event may benefit anyone who purchase and uses one of the promoted products listed below: Action Cam, Binoculars, Body Cam, Dash Cam, or Trail Cam to watch and record anything within view.

At no additional cost to the customer, we may receive a small commission for products or services purchased through this website. Paid commissions do not necessarily influence decisions to advertise or promote products or services.


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Parole in Wisconsin by Jason Glascock

From Jason Glascock, a captive in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

The post is complimentary to allow his voice to escape the confines of prison walls. Content is as submitted. Straight from the Pen does not express any opinion on the subject matter, content or the validity of any statement or claim made.


Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Wisconsin’s Sin: Prison, Parole and Empty Promises

In Wisconsin, prison is a social program; it’s intended to provide the public safety AND afford PIOCs (persons in our care—prisoner) the opportunity to forge a better, healthier life. The system has two faces: 1) the public face of what is says it’s supposed to help people rehabilitate; 2) the face shown to the PIOC population that says the system is there to destroy the PIOC.

Parole is a system the state legislators have instituted to allow prisons to earn release through good behavior. Do your programs and you’ll be released. There is a date where prisoners become eligible for parole: 1/4 of the overall sentence. Then there are parole hearing until a Mandatory Release (MR) date is reached at 2/3 of the overall sentence. But, in 1994 the Wisconsin legislature made the MR into a Presumptive MR (PMR); it’s presumed the prisoner is will be paroled, but it is discretionary.

PMR is the game of parole. He legislative intent was to encourage people to complete treatment programs or face longer incarcerations. Since the law was enacted, it’s been the policy of Wisconsin to retain PIOCs as long as possible, which means past their PMR dates. Parole says ‘we will consider release if you complete treatment.’ By then it’s up to the discretion of the treatment staff whether you enroll and complete; no objective criteria exist. Men are terminated for such things as group member feeling the person isn’t being open enough. What the hell does that mean? And, we’re not talking about the facilitators, but the other PIOCs not feeling validated enough.

One of the frustrating parts from the prisoner perspective is that the creeps get out. Over and over again I see guys that can’t stay away from drugs, booze, or fantasizing over abusing females—the serious creeps— get released. It’s as if Parole selects the guys they know are going to fail in order to point to those released as the typical felon. The system is disgusting.

Then there is the out right, bald faced lying by staff; Parole included. They manufacture records, invent offenses and comments, permanently entering them into a record that they refuse to change, even with court orders to do so. There is no mechanism to challenge the record.

Another game is when Parole requires an approved parole plan but the supervision agents don’t investigate the plans until parole approves release. A catch-22. They deny us for not having a job, but employers don’t agree to hire a person 3 months before release. They deny us for not have a residence, but to rent 3 months before hand you need that month’s rent, a month ahead, a security deposit, and 2 more months to cover up to release; ≈$5,000. Who has that?

The Parole “board” consists of one person making decisions on if they are “comfortable” seeing the person released. There is no objective criteria. Even the completion of treatment doesn’t guarantee release. They completely reject the federal and State’s dept’ of Justice reports regarding recidivism rates and their so vaunted COMPASS test that show petitioning PIOCs to be low-risk. Parole will just say a prisoner is high-risk, and—BLAM!!!—it is so, despite the evidence.

Prison, in Wisconsin, is a social program to help rehabilitate people. It places people into a situation to devalue everything they are, dehumanize, disempowering, isolate and handicap them to the greatest extent possible. Education is considered a threat to security and kept essentially nonexistent. They limit our to resources for educating our selves.

They have a great CNC vocational program, but only a few PIOCs fit the criteria for enrollment; virtually no one can enroll. Out of 24,000, only 7-10 get a chance. Transfer to a minimum prison so the prisoner can work in the industry prior to release is promised, but Wisconsin DOC doesn’t keep that agreement.

What a wonderful social program!


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Coming Soon! My view on trading apps: Charles Schwab, SOFI, Stash Investments, CashApp, and Webull.