Wednesday, March 03, 2010

February 16, 2010

Dear Sis~

The execution of Martin "Eddie" Grossman (known by his friends as Eddie Spaghetti) occurred two hours ago.  I habitually meditateduring the hour straddling the appointed time of death (6pm in Florida; 9pm when I resided in Virginia) and did so again tonight.  Some of these meditations are less successful than others.  Tonight I was distracted by the low hum of surrounding conversations, the typical talk and banter of men caged together, talking about this and that - the latest soap opera episode on TV, how their favorite sports teams are doing - anything and everything but the salient fact that just 150 feet away a fellow prisoner was being killed.  It was disconcerting, though not atypical, that these guys were ignoring what was transpiring in their midst. Anyway, the deed is done and now my thoughts have turned, as they always do, to whose death warrant might be signed next.  There are about 40 guys (my rough estimate - I could be off by 10 or more guys) eligible to have their death warrants signed, with me being squarely in that group (at least for now), and the governor's selection process is totally arbitrary and capricious.  Gov. Crist can pick and choose whoever he wants, at any time, for any reason, or, he can pick nobody at all.  Right now, Crist is in a precarious political position.  He voluntarily chose, a year ago, not to run for a second term, although at the time, he was fairly popular and seemed a shoo-in for reelection.  Instead, he announced his intention to run for US Senate, to fill the vacant seat of a retiring Republican Senator, Mel Martinez (a mediocre, dull politician even by today's low standards).  At the time, it probably seemed like a brilliant move, part of Crist's imagined inevitable climb to the Presidency, a post he very much aspires to.  But in the past eyar, the political winds have turned, with the far-right Republicans and their fellow travellers, the "Tea Baggers", becoming ascendant.  Now, Crist faces a vigorous fight in the Republican primary from a young-and upcoming Miami politician named Mario Rubio, a guy short on experience and brainpower, but arriving in a very slick GQ-type package, and a Cuban-American to boot, which in Miami, where he's from, is 80% of the battle.  With the rise of the extreme right of the party of NO, guys like Rubio (echoing Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh) have taken control.  Whether this is a long-term phenomena or a temporary flash in the pan remains unknown.  But right now, it looks like Rubio (who claims Crist is "too liberal") is going to get the nod in the primary, which will leave Crist out in the cold, a civilian again, stripped of any office.  What does this all have to do with me, you ask?  Well, as Crist tries to belatedly tack to the right in an attempt to recapture some of the disaffected masses, I suspect he'll indulge in the time-honored practice of executing more men.  Killing people is a great way to reaffirm your conservative cred!  Election years are traditionally bad for guys on the row as politicians pander to their perceived audience and prove how tough they are by signing more death warrants.  Crist could surprise me by deciding the battle is lost and so choose not to participate in the killing experience any longer, to exit the scene with no more blood on his hands.  But I won't be holding my breath.  Like everyone else here, all I can do is wake up each morning wondering if today is the day the governor picks my name out of the hat and makes me a reservation for a date on the gurney.  Welcome to another American election year!
Love & Peace,

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