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Monday, March 28, 2011

March 22, 2011

Dear Sis~
     It's sobering to watch the terrible tragedies unfolding in Japan in the wake of that triple whammy - earthquake, tsunami and nuclear contamination.  But the Japanese are demonstrating their renowned resilience; their reputation for poise and equanimity in the face of such epic misfortune is well-earned.  When I see the scope of death and destruction on my little TV, a well-known quote by Nabokov comes to mind, "The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack of light between two eternities of darkness".  While I don't subscribe to the metaphysical implications of that statement, it nonetheless conveys the smallness of mankind against the backdrop of nature's eons.  We are a meaningless speck on this physical, three-dimensional plane and whatever siginificance we have in the cosmos lies elsewhere...
    I can't recall if I wrote about this already, but for the last several months there has bee a brouhaha going on in the death penalty states over a severe lack of sodium thiopental, one of the three drugs used in the 3-drug cocktail used in executions.  The sole US manufacturer has quit making it and European maufacturers are being forbidden by their governments from exporting it to America for use in executions.  So, those states very eager to keep killing have been in a panic mode at the thought of not being able to kill people on schdeule.  Oklahoma simply went to another (untested-in-humans) drug, pentobarbital, the drug commonly used to euthanize unwanted dogs and cats.  They've killed three men so far with this new drug, with the blessing of the courts.  Texas just announced that, they too, will switch.  Other states clandestinely obtained supplies of sodium thiopental from questionable sources.  (The states have been begging the federal government to "loan" them some of their stock of sodium thiopental so they can keep killing without delay).  The latest shoe to drop in this unseemly drama occurred six days ago when the DEA seized the Georgia Dept of Correction's entire supply of sodium thiopental because they had "circumvented the law in obtaining its supply" which it apparently purchased "from a British supplier operating from the back of a London driving school."  I my view, it's macabre to see our goverments so desperate to kill people. It's a sad commentary on our society.  But, I'm sure this will prove to be a small speedbump; America is proud of its killing heritage - especially in the South where it's entangled in notions of mahood - and the states will quickly figure out other ways to kill.  That's one thing this country is very good at; killing folks.
Love & Peace,
Bill

1 comment:

chris said...

Mr. Van Poyck,
Thank you for blogging your experiences within the confines of the d.o.c.. I am the son of a friend of yours, and I hope to write to you soon via snail mail. Upon reading your posts, I saw that few if any have responded to them, so I simply wanted to offer a note of thanks and a 'handshake' of friendship to let you know that though you are often without direct companionship, you are not very far from our thoughts. I hope this message finds you well. Your friend,
C