Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 5, 2006

Dear Sis~
I'm feeling very energized as I just came out of a very deep and powerful vibrational state - something that sometimes occurs when I'm meditating. Anyway, I got up for supper, which proved to be hot dogs (we get them a lot). I wrapped the 'dogs up and saved them for the crows. There's the one, huge male crow that waits for me; he hangs around along the edge of the woods until I go out to the yard (the dog runs). As soon as I call him (Caw! Caw! Caw!) he flys over and I throw the hot dogs out on the grass. His mate, a smaller female, hangs back. She won't come that close. Instead, she lands in the grass near the perimeter fences, about 100 feet away. The male will land, eye me carefully, then hop over, grab a dog and fly away. He'll land by his mate, show her the dog, and she'll walk over to him and he'll share the dog with her. We've got a standard routine down now. The male always chooses a dog over, say, a sausage or some salami/bologna slices. Only when I have no dogs will he reluctantly grab the sliced lunch meat, and then he'll often caw at me as if he's disappointed or irritated. Yeah, he likes his dogs! He's a BIG crow, too, clearly the alfa-crow!
Anyway, sis, that's what passes for entertainment around here.
Did I tell you that I got a job a few weeks ago? Of the 22 guys here on the row, 8 or 10 of us have "jobs". Two of us are barbers (one white, one black) and the rest of us are "pod workers" (aka "housemen"). We get to come out of our cells (only one at a time) without handcuffs, but wearing leg irons, to sweep and mop the pod (the cellblock). Our pay is 20 cents an hour, which works out to about $18 or $20 per month, enough to keep you in stamps, envelopes, pens & paper, plus maybe some moon pies and potato chips. More importantly, for me, I get out of this damn cell and get to stretch my legs, and almost feel normal. After 18 years in a small cell, any degree of freedom is appreciated, even the most nominal...
You may already know about the bizarre case of California death row prisoner Michael Morales? A couple of weeks ago he was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection, but just hours before he was due to die, the two anesthesiologists (who were present persuant to a specific Federal court order) walked off, refusing to participate. This led to an unseemly last-minute scramble to find a doctor or dentist or nurse willing to conduct the execution; unable to locate a willing executioner the State had to cancel the execution. As far as I know, it's the first time in American history that an execution has been cancelled because nobody would kill the prisoner. That night, Morales' death warrant expired so he's not set to die anytime soon. But his case has ignited a legal controversy in California - the same legal debate going on in Florida and several other states -- regarding the constitutionality of the 3-drug cocktail used to execute prisoners. (The whole reason that Federal judge ordered that two anesthesiologists be present was to, obstensibly, ensure that Morales be put to death without undue suffering). If you pause and step back for a moment and really think about that Keystone Kops operation - the State desperately searching for someone, anyone, to kill a man - it should give any rational person cause to reconsider the whole concept of capital punishment. I mean, is this really what we, as a society, want to be stooping to? Doesn't this bring home the absurdity of it all? It's not just bizarre, or unseemly, or embarrassing, not just macabre, it's simply uncivilized. But, that's just my humble opinion.
Ok, Sis, I'll wrap this up and post it now. Keep your chin up and a smile in your heart!
Love & Peace, Bill

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sunday Feb 26, 2006

Dear Sis~
The closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics is coming on TV shortly and I'll probably check it out. Truthfully, I've watched little of these Olympics; I just don't get too excited over the winter sports in general, which is probably a function of being a native of Miami...
I spent a long time on the phone this morning talking with my attorney - he went into the office today even though it's Sunday, in order to catch my call - as we hammered out the details for our reply to the State's response to our petition for writ of certiorari. Tomorrow, which is Monday, our reply absolutely must be in the mail, on its way to the US Supreme Court, hence this last-minute scramble to wrap it up. His secretary ( who also came in) was typing away as we spoke and he wrote down my own thoughts and ideas re our reply. I have an extremely sharp attorney - actually, he's brilliant - and he's passionate about my case, so I'm confident that our reply will be the best possible. After tomorrow, it will be out of our hands and up to the US Supreme Court to give us a yes or a no. My best estimate is that this will happen in late March...
It's interesting to watch the big brouhaha that's been unfolding about the contract which the company from the United Arab Emirates has purchased to run all of those ports on the Eastern Seaboard (including Miami). The issue has been totally politicized, not surprisingly, with all of the talking heads and elected officials yapping away, producing much political heat, while shedding very little rational light. The security implications are being way overblown, but there is one interesting question that ought to be answered, but which nobody has yet to ask: Why is President Bush so heavily invested in this particular company, above any and all other companies, receiving the contract? Why must it be this company? There's something odd about Bush's intransigence, about how he immediately dug his heels in - even before, or so now he claims, he was even advised of the decision (talk about revisionism!) - and declared that there is no way in the world that he will consider any other option. Bush has repeatedly declared that he is "totally convinced that this is absolutely the right decision." Why? Why couldn't some other domestic company do the job just as well? Why must it absolutely be this company? I've yet to hear that fundamental question be asked, or answered. But, I'm just a convict sitting in a cell; what the Hell do I know?

Love & Peace