Yep, it happened again. The Hand of the Censor closed the door of communications between the Freedom of the Press and a captive held inside the mighty United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.
I send in the same content to over one hundred federal captives held in several institutions, without an issue. And then on occasion, at least one incompetent screener who cannot comprehend the context of my blogs or messages, decides that what I write or do is a threat to institutional security.
Maybe it was due to me offering to build him a website in another message. I don’t know.
In this case, the Censor at the Federal Detention Center in Miami, Florida seemed to have stopped one of my blogs that I sent in to a high-profile captive who is a subscriber whom I have published articles for, even though he is of a different faith and belief than me.
I do not believe or feel the same as this particular person on many issues but that is irrelevant. What is important, is that I believe in treating others with the same respect and in giving the same consideration that I would want from someone who didn’t agree with my position on an issue or event.
It is not about me and what I believe in regards to religion or politics: it is about him having a right to believe as he wishes and for me to give him and others a voice to shout out from behind the walls, bars and fences that holds the body but cannot control the mind.
That is, unless the administration pumps the person full of anti-psychotic medication, which actors within the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons and other prison systems have been known to do to control captives who fail to conform. At least, so I have heard and seen the results of when a person begins to walk and talk different because of the heavy dosing of medication.
At any rate, I will end this post with the Message from the Censor:
This message informs you that you have been blocked from communicating with the above-named federal prisoner because the Bureau has determined that such communication is detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the facility, or might facilitate criminal activity. The prisoner with whom you were communicating is being informed of this block. You may appeal this block within 15 days of the date of this message by submitting a written request to the Warden of the prison where the prisoner is located. You should include a copy of this notice, an explanation ofyour appeal request, and any additional documents or information you wish to be considered.
Este mensaje le informa de que ha sido bloqueado de comunicarse con los citados presos federales porque laAgencia de Administraci?n federal de prisiones ha determinado que dicha comunicaci?n es perjudicial para laseguridad, buen orden, o la disciplina de la instituci?n, o podr?a facilitar actividad delictiva. El recluso con quienusted se ha estado comunicando ser? informado de este bloqueo.Usted puede apelar este bloque dentro de los siguientes 15 d?as de la fecha de este mensaje mediante lapresentaci?n de una solicitud por escrito al alcalde de la prisi?n donde el recluso se encuentra. Usted debeincluir una copia de este aviso, una explicaci?n de su solicitud de apelaci?n, y cualquier otro documento oinformaci?n que usted desea sea considerado.
Politically Incorrect I may be, but I have a right in America to be however I choose, regardless of what public opinion may dictate as proper or improper, offensive to a particular group or party, providing I do not physically harm someone; or what supports their agenda and makes me a dedicated supporter, worthy of praise.
To be clear, at one time in my life, I may have wanted to burn down the White House, but not anymore. I prefer to live in peace and to treat others the way I want to be treated, no matter who they are or what their occupation is in life. We are all in this together.
I do not support and was saddened to see what happened at the White House on January 6, 2021; nor the events that led to the attack, which, in my opinion, may be legally attributed to outgoing President Donald Trump, based upon what he said to the crowd gathered near the White House before the attack began. (I will not go into all of that because only a caveman wouldn’t know what I am referring to and cavemen can’t read anyway.)
As someone who has been censored, I am censor-sensitive and feel a lot like Patrick Henry, whom I have written about in previous blogs, but I am not willing to die to defend your right (or President Trump’s) right to say anything. That is just asking a little bit much: I will speak out, though, and fight to prevent our words from being silenced by censors.
On one level, nothing going on in the political arena matters to me, but I do feel obligated to express my opinion and view of what I see happening.
What I don’t feel is right is all the politically driven censorship by Facebook and Twitter, which I am sure was influenced by the recent Congressional actions against Facebook, Amazon, Google, and other technology companies dominating the market.
More recently, Facebook removed ads for guns and weapons because of more political interference. Click Here
The new controlling party doesn’t like guns, so how strange that Facebook suddenly makes a decision to stop advertising the sale of items frowned upon by the Democrats in particular.
At what point does the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protect Freedom of Speech? With today’s political environment, it doesn’t in most circumstances, as can be shown by Facebook and Twitter shutting down President Trump’s accounts.
Though private companies and not really protected under the provisions of the First Amendment, I see the situation as the beginning of the disappearance of another of the Writings on the Wall. To understand that statement, read Animal Farm by George Orwell (buy from this link and I earn a commission).
Most people in modern society fall within the Sheep category written about in Animal Farm, who supported and could not accept that the controlling party (Pigs) were removing the Writings on the Wall; illustrative of the disappearance of what was voted on during the revolution (animals taking over the farm and running off the farmers who killed and used animals and their parts). Also reflective of what would be the Constitution or controlling documents agreed upon by the Animals/People.
Would Patrick Henry have defended President Trump’s right to say all of the controversial statements and claims? As a writer and one who has written many words that some found offensive and decided to not follow my blog because I supported issues different from their beliefs, I think of who will be the one to decide what you may read?
The power of the media was shown when its false allegations of the Spanish attacking one of the American ships started the Spanish-American war (see below for link to History).
If Freedom of Speech does not matter, go to China and Russia where the governments exhibit total control and have a history of making people disappear who speak out against the establishments.
Freedom of the Press
Is the news media responsible for what happened at the White House, because the news outlets provided the platform for the inciteful speeches made by President Trump? No.
Some politicians are wanting to hold Facebook, Twitter, and other private companies responsible for hateful content that leads to violence, so what it the difference? There isn’t.
Starting with control over the private sector is only the start for the erosion of America’s Freedom of Speech protections.
Next in line of attack will be the news media outlets or reporters who report on issues that result in violence or political upheaval.
Real Fake News helped start the Spanish American War in 1898 by falsely reporting the Spanish attacked the USS Maine in Cuba. A lie that fed the mass frenzy to attack the Spanish and to defend the Nation!
More Fake News led to the attack on the Capitol when the Commander in Chief encouraged his followers to take a stand, promising to be there with them when they did. He lied.
[Updated with comments on August 9, 2019, a year after walking out of the prison gates (08/28/2018), still attempting to recover from the damage caused by thirty-years and ten-days inside the United States Federal Bureau of Prisons.]
Prison damages people. Those who spend decades in prison are damaged in many ways, all of which I will not go into. For instance, exposure to violence or physical abuse that people deal with, or repressing natural tendencies to fight when having to comply with irrational demands; e.g., like ones I wrote about in “The Truth About Incarceration, Part I” (https:/straightfromthepen.com) and “Authority and a Prisoner’s Story” (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/508702).
DON’T GET PERSONAL: A less than obvious example of damage, occurs for someone like me — a southern gentleman by nature who likes to assist people I see carrying a heavy load or otherwise look to need help; especially, women, who represses the natural desire to help. To engage in a personal conversation may also create difficulties.
At times, I resist the desire to offer help due to fear of causing a conflict for the damsel in distress. I still offer to help in certain situations. Because of prison regulations and the warped, unwritten code of prison ethics, I may avoid speaking openly about an issue I would normally speak about to a person I feel I can help by offering a suggestion.
The person may or may not accept a helping hand. In such a situation, an inmate may decline assistance at the fear of being seen as weak or vulnerable. A staff member may decline due to fear of another staff member suspecting improprieties between him or her and the compassionate prisoner. Personal conversations and any type of transaction between staff and inmates are viewed as inappropriate by many prisoners and staff alike. Humanity prohibited!
INSTINCTS DENIED: My instinct is to help others. Sometimes I don’t because of the risk I may put the other person in by doing what comes natural. Knowing that my act of kindness may harm the other person, makes me reluctant to offer the assistance my ethics and natural instincts tells me to do, as a decent human being.
Upon release, I will have to undo decades of damage done by the prison experience: suppressing healthy emotions and needs. I must learn to be a normal.
[I continue to work on behaving as I normally would do as a free citizen, if not for the damage caused by the extensive incarceration. I still struggle when it comes to relationships. I am a decent, loving, kind, and gentle human being, who doesn’t have to pretend to be bullet proof.]
I sent out the following message to a friend who posted it on social media for me. A lot of people liked it so I will share:
“03/05/17: To all my Faithful Friends: I hope March brings each of you lots of love and success or whatever your hearts desire. For me, I’d be happy to be able to walk through a park or to sit on a lake to listen and observe the beauty of nature; to give someone a hug, kiss someone special, or to just be able to sit and watch animals; or to pet a dog, cat, rabbit, or a chicken. 🙂 Hell, I’d be happy to watch some fish swim around in an aquarium. I am looking forward to going to the Georgia Aquarium to see some really big fish! So much in life people take for granted until it’s gone. One day soon I will be reentering the human race. Then I will be able to interact with each of you like a normal person. Have a great day! Wayne”
[Georgia Aquarium: I walked by the Georgia Aquarium en route to a job fair at the City of Refuge, but have not been to watch the fish swim. I will go soon now that I’m working and can afford to buy the tickets. Everything is expensive! Update 08/02/2020: I did visit the Georgia Aquarium with loved ones and enjoyed the experience but was shocked by the entry-cost and food prices.]
The above indicates the desensitization of prisoners. For over 28-1/2 years, my physical contact with other humans and mammals has been severely restricted. That is definitely true on an intimate level about lovers and sexual intercourse! During this sentence, I have resisted romantic-relationships. I’ve only been involved in three since 1988, and only one of those included physical contact (hugs and kisses on a visit).
At U.S.P. Atlanta, I had one female visitor I got to hug and kiss, and some mice to pet. 🙂
In Lompoc, California, I got to take care of a friend’s pet house sparrow, and to go outside to feed the seagulls, crows, other birds, and ground squirrels. I fed the ground squirrels until the administration poisoned them. 😦
In a relationship, I love to hug and touch, to put my arm around my mate’s waist or shoulder, to sleep with my arm around her to maintain contact. I guess I am by nature, a “touchy-feely” kind of guy. In prison, I sleep alone and touch myself.
SEXUAL REPRESSION: In 1980-81, when I took psychology in college, I seem to recall that a prominent psychologist or psychiatrist wrote about the damaging effect of suppressing sexual feelings and desires. If that is true, I must be more damaged than I realize. Perhaps I need a therapist, now!
In my opinion, sexual repression is a leading causes of mental illness in America.
Around 1997, a Nevada, Holier-than-Thou politician, pushed a bill through Congress that prohibited federal prisoners from receiving magazines or books containing nudity. [Ensign later resigned due to negative publicity about his extramarital affairs.]
CENSORSHIP & COMPLEX REASONING: Several years ago, the prison mail room staff rejected an issue of Smithsonian I subscribed to because it contained nudity. I appealed.
The program statement makes an exception for educational or anthropological content, as one may see in National Geographic; however, understanding an “exception clause” requires cognitive thinking; an ability to comprehend the subject matter and its relation to the provision; to then analyze the situation and decide whether the matter before one’s eye, does in fact, contain what constitutes a permissible exception, a far too complicated process for someone who may not have a GED, I reckon.
The Smithsonian Board of Directors has Supreme Court justices and politicians. If I was wrong in my assertions, the justices and politicians on the Board of Directors support publishing and distributing pornography.
I appealed the decision to reject my Smithsonian. I took it to the highest level in Washington, DC. No one involved comprehended the “exception clause” and upheld the denial of my magazine. Censorship won because I didn’t want to spend $500.00 to litigate the matter in federal court, where someone with the required intelligence could understand the educational/anthropological, “exception clause.”
PERVERSION & THE POLITICIAN: Since that policy took effect, I saw a dramatic increase of inmates put in the hole (confined to a cell 23-hours per day, restricted from purchasing most commissary items, using the phone, email system, etc.) for “gunning down” female staff members (masturbating or exposing genitalia while watching the woman). That may qualify as abnormal behavior.
The politician who sponsored the censorship bill, later came under fire for getting caught cheating on his wife. Throughout the years, many of the politicians who come up with such bills did what prisoners in the Georgia prison system called “Shifting the Heat,” which is to say or to do things to put the focus on other people to keep it away from themselves.
CELIBATE BY CHOICE: In prison, I remain celibate because I choose not to participate in homosexual activities, my only other option since I do not have or attempt to have sexual affairs with staff members. Even if involved in a heterosexual relationship with someone, I still couldn’t engage in sexual activities, even if someone visited me. While visiting, prison rules limit physical contact to hugs and kisses when greeting and leaving. Therefore, I remain celibate and will do so until I reenter that part of humanity upon release from prison.
LOMPOC CA: In 1999, while I was at the United States Penitentiary in Lompoc, California, a tall and pretty, female staff member worked in M-Unit, along with a male staff member known to create drama with staff and inmates alike.
M-Unit is where those of us with high profiles were kept. I lived in it because I was a maximum custody prisoner. The administration scored me as Maximum custody due to violence and an escape in 1981, when I was a 24-year-old knucklehead in the Georgia prison system. Today I am a model prisoner.
PRETTY WOMAN: That tall and pretty woman was a mother of three. The male guard wanted her to sit in a booth where the correctional officers, who worked in the unit, had a phone, small desk, drawers, and a cabinet to store their personal and work-related items.
She rebelled. Instead, she chose to speak with me, within his view. We stood talking on a tier, in an open area, where others could hear our conversation. To learn how she might help raise her children, she asked about my childhood and history, and wanted to know what I thought lead to me spending my life in prison. Our conversation was wholesome, no improprieties of any sort.
The next time I saw her, she asked if I’d be willing to give her an affidavit about our conversation, if she needed it.
“Sure,” I said.
The male guard wrote a complaint against her for fraternizing with an inmate.
Because of that experience, I sometimes avoided conversations with female staff members, who may have only wanted to engage in conversation to ease their tension from working in a male prison.
When sexually attracted, I must resist the impulse to flirt or to make an advance. A rejection might result in a trip to the hole and a damaged ego, the damaged ego being the worst casualty of rejection.
[Today, I resist the urge to flirt or ask for a date because of some of the BS generated through the ME TOO movement, where many people filed complaints and alleged sexual abuse by those in power positions (most of which were legitimate complaints, I suspect). The main reason is because of personal circumstanceand for reasons I wrote about in previous blog posts, and because I don’t think it’s what I need until I become more accustomized to living on the outside.]
As damaged as I may be from the prison experience, I will blend into society when I am released. With a little help from my friends, and maybe a therapist or two, I will be okay and become a success story.
[Returning Citizen: I am a success story, as are all of the men and women who returned to society and have not returned to prison life.]
Purchase books by Wayne T. Dowdy from your favorite bookstores or Amazon.com. For best buys on eBooks from his authors page at Smashwords.com.