Tag Archives: cancer

REENTRY PLANS & A FRIEND MOVES ON

This blog contains mixed topics. The first one I’ll write about is dedicated to a man who proved himself to be a true friend to me in 1995, after he came into the federal system at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. Other topics will include an update to my pending release and plans to reenter society. I must include politics, too, of which I apologize.

 

IN MEMORY OF DANIEL E. SCOTT: My friend of twenty-four years left from here on May 10, 2018, for the halfway house/Residential Reentry Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Originally, he was approved for six-months in the RRC but that was reduced to four-months when ex-director, Mark S. Inch took over the BOP.

 

Dan’s health deteriorated quickly during the last two months of his stay here, when he should have been at home with his wife and children, and would have been if not for the bureaucratic BS in Washington, DC.

 

Dan had been real sick for months. For several years he struggled with various illnesses. During the last 5-to-6 months here, he went to the medical department and complained of severe stomach pains, nausea, and as time progressed, other symptoms associated with cancer. He was told he had pancreatitis at the local hospital. His pain medication: Tylenol and Prilosec for most of that time. He did receive Tylenol-3 with codeine for his last month here.

 

He told me one day of all of the symptoms he was experiencing. I said, “I hate to say it, but that’s what Larry complained of before he passed away and it was stomach cancer.” Larry was my younger brother who passed away in 2016.

 

A month later, Dan said, “I don’t think I’m going to live long enough to make it out of here. I know I’m dying.” He was in constant pain, couldn’t sleep without waking because of the pain, and couldn’t keep any food down after eating.

 

I promised I would pray for him and that I believed he would get out where he could get help. Three weeks before leaving, a person on the medical staff informed him that a February ex-ray result showed a mass in his chest. A CT scan was done shortly before he left for the halfway house. After he got there, his condition worsened. He was hospitalized days later and did not have pancreatitis.  He had pancreatic cancer that had already spread to both lungs.

 

I spoke to him around 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 28th. He struggled to breath. I thanked him for being a true friend to me over the years and let him know I loved him. I knew his time was near.

 

Before hanging-up the phone, he said, “Good Bye, my friend,” as if he knew it would be the last time we spoke. That night I called him again but no one answered. At 8:30 PM I put him a Happy Belated Birthday card in the mail and said farewell to a good friend. He moved on to the next phase of existence two-hours later.

 

One thing I’ll always remember him for is this:  We met a few months before I decided to stop using drugs and alcohol, while at U.S.P. Atlanta.  When I told him and others that if they started talking about drugs or getting high, not to feel offended if I walked away. I explained that it was harder for me to quit by talking about it and being around it.

 

One evening I was visiting him in his cell when another prisoner came in and said, “Man, there’s some killer stuff going around.”

 

Dan held up his hand to stop him and then said, “When you see this man sitting in here, don’t come in here talking about that bullshit. He’s trying to quit and not be around it and I respect him for that.”

 

That proved to me that he was a true friend; he supported me in my pursuit of a new life. I miss my friend and hope he’s sitting on a lake in the sky with a fishing pole in his hand, not feeling any pain or sadness for the life he left behind.

*****

REENTRY PLANS: I often see the skyline of Atlanta, Georgia while watching movies. Last month I watched Tiana Taylor dancing in HONEY: RISE UP AND DANCE and saw familiar places in Atlanta, a place of my future, a remnant of my past.

 

I most often identify the City of Atlanta by the IBM Tower (if still so named). Seeing Atlanta from a distance in movies and periodic views of T.V. programs (e.g., Walking Dead, Love & Hip Hop-Atlanta, Black Ink Crew (a friend played a role in it)), makes me think of all the changes since my departure in 1988, not just in the city and its people, but in myself as well.

 

Seeing Atlanta Area Tech does the same thing to me because I once planned to go there to learn aviation mechanics, one of many ambitions wrote off to my misbehaving while young and dumb.

 

SOCIETAL CHANGES: Early one morning, I got up around 4:00 AM and was surprised to see and hear a commercial on television for Adam & Eve sex toys, a beautiful woman selling vibrators and other “pleasure toys” to pleasure seekers.

 

When I was a child, it was exciting for us children to see a Playtex bra commercial, the most sensual of all advertisements during the early ’60s. Even when arrested in 1988, I don’t think sex toy commercials were allowed on regular television in America. I don’t recall the sexy models advertising for Victoria’s Secret, either.

 

Around 1997, I did see sexually explicit scenes and segments on late night HBO and Cinemax shows. One HBO Special, in particular, showed commercials from Germany and other countries, where models were topless and commercials sexually charged. Times have changed. Women didn’t wear thongs on the beach, either. I look forward to seeing such changes.  😉

 

I also love swimming and fishing if the fish are biting, and eagerly await my chance to dive in a body of water, as well as to experience the Internet, cellphones, and typing without paying five-cents per minute.

 

Please don’t misunderstand what I wrote: I am not complaining about those types of societal changes. I don’t feel they are wrong, because I don’t feel people should be ashamed of their bodies.

 

PERSONAL PLANS: I first need to get my identification and drivers license, if I plan to drive a car, which I want to do, but I am willing to use public transportation until I can afford to purchase one and to pay for associated expenses (gas, oil, tires, maintenance, insurance). I’m not planning to get any particular type of vehicle. After thirty years, any new model will be more akin to a spaceship for me.  🙂

 

WORKING MAN: My main objective is to secure a position in a reputable company with good pay and benefits. I also want to go back to college to learn coding so I can design my own websites, and to visit the Georgia Aquarium and other places I haven’t seen.

*****

POLITICS: Since writing “Breaking News,” I had tweets sent to President Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, asking them to save American taxpayers an annual $30,630,000. I included a link to Breaking News (https://straightfromthepen.wordpress.com).  I hope one of them read what I wrote.

 

DEFEATED: The National Inmate Appeals Administrator denied my BP-11 on 06/04/18, cosigning the BS of previous decisions to deny my request for additional RRC time, even though the halfway house situation has lightened up.

 

It is a waste of time and $$$ to go further with the issue because Congress gave the BOP too much discretion in 18 U.S.C., Sect. 3624(c).

 

A young man left here on 07/05/18 with 5-months in the same Atlanta RRC that I’m scheduled to go to 12/26/18. He was here 10-months for a 17-month violation of the terms of his supervised release.

 

I’ve been in 30-years and received 119-days, one day short of 4-months. That was when Mark Inch was in command, so if my RRC date gets changed because of the following, I may receive more RRC time.

 

VICTORY: Two weeks ago, I learned my release date changed from 04/24/2019 to 03/08/2019 (47-days closer to Freedom’s Door). On 11/01/17, I challenged the calculation of my Good Conduct Time (GCT), including an improper deduction of 82-days for my misbehavior in 1990.

 

28 C.F.R., Sect. 523.20(a), Good Conduct Time, states, “For inmates serving a sentence for offenses committed on or after November 1, 1987, but before September 13, 1994, the Bureau will award 54 days credit toward service of sentence (good conduct time) for each year served. This amount is prorated when the time served by the inmate for the sentence during the year is less than a full year.”

 

In 1990, I was put in the Segregated Housing Unit at U.S.P. Leavenworth, KS for 60-days and lost 41-days of GCT for possession of narcotics (a paper containing methamphetamine residue). On the same day, I received 30-consecutive-days in the SHU, with another 41-days loss of GCT because I refused to provide a urine sample.

 

Under Title 18 of the United States Code, Sect. 3624(b), as enacted November 1, 1987, 54-days of GCT shall be awarded at the end of each year, providing the inmate behaved “during that year.” Crediting and deductions can only be made based upon behavior during one-year segments, and cannot be taken from future or past years. Once credited or lost, it stays that way. That is, unless unlawfully taken that can be challenged in court under 28 U.S.C., Sect. 2244, after exhausting administrative remedies.

 

On 08/17/18, I will have served 10,950-days (360-months) on my primary sentence. During that period, I lost a total of 109-days of GCT (41+41+27), all for drug-related incidents. Twenty-eight of those days were unlawfully taken for the 1990 incident, so 28-days were refunded, and then I was properly credited for 1,539-days of GCT (1,620-days, minus 81).

 

Now, with the above deduction, I only have 72-days in an RRC and am awaiting a decision from the Residential Reentry Manager concerning a modification to my RRC date. Because 18 U.S.C., Sect. 3624(b) requires any remaining time of less than one-year to be prorated and awarded six-weeks before the sentence ends, my release date will change again because I’m owed 31-more days. My date will change to February 7, 2019, the day after one of my granddaughters’ birthday.

 

If the First Step Act passes the Senate, I’ll leave earlier than that. Please urge your senator to co-sign the bill and vote, Yes.  Thanks!

*****

MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: What is the first thing you plan to eat? Where are you going to go eat at when you get out? What do you plan to do first?

 

My response: I don’t know. I’m thinking of steak and lobster but when I see the price, I may change my mind to steak and shrimp or a Burger King Whopper or a Blizzard at Dairy Queen. 🙂 Those prices may make me want to prepare my own meal. Then the grocery store prices may make me want to fast.

 

I do plan to find a good paying job with benefits so I can afford to eat the way I prefer (healthy choices on most days).

 

MOST POPULAR FREE ADVICE: Get a hooker because you’ll fall in love with the first woman you have sex with if you don’t.

 

My response: I’m not walking out the door thinking with my penis. I’ve never paid for sex and I’m not starting when I get out of prison. I’ve been thirty years without getting laid and if I have to wait a little longer, I will survive. 🙂

*****

SIMPLE MAN: One of the things I look forward to is being able to listen to music without interruptions, per se, no commercials, no distractions from the typical things we experience in prison; e.g., having to listen for a guard to announce “Count Time,” during certain times so we can stand up and be counted; or to annoying announcements on an intercom that disturbs my peace.

 

I could have bought an MP-3 player years ago and eliminated some of those problems. I didn’t feel purchasing one was wise due to the $1.55 price tag, per song, for altered (graphic lyrics restricted, etc.) and limited music selections, so … I have patiently waited and dealt with static, difficulty finding a station playing what I want to hear, and long-commercial interruptions.

 

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: On the Sunday morning following Dan’s departure from this thing we know as life, I listened to members of Lynyrd Skynyrd on Uncle Joe Benson’s, Off the Record. Hearing many of the songs reminded me of days gone by.

 

When I listened to Sweet Home Alabama, I was thankful that my friend did get to go home and leave this world as a free man. Maybe he has a guitar in his hands and is strumming God’s favorite tune.

guitar 2

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SOUTH AFRICAN ATROCITIES & A CHURCH SHOOTER

By Wayne T. Dowdy

WARNING: This blog contains graphic images of violence and disturbing contents that some may find offensive.

NO SAFE HAVENS:  I could not figure out what drove a young white male to walk into a Bible study at the Emanuel African-Methodist-Episcopalian Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, sit with nine African-American members for an hour, and then pull a handgun to shoot each of them multiple times.  I searched for the “Why” he committed a horrendous crime. I have an idea about what motivated him; it arrived in an email I received on December 7, 2013.

CHARLESTON CHURCH MURDERS:  Hearing about the June 17, 2015, murders of nine innocent people at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church troubled me.  What drove a person to act so inhumane toward other human beings?  Are not churches and places of worship supposed to be safe and sacred places?  I concluded that evil has no boundary.

(Read my June 2015 blog post, “Love and Evil Are Color-Blind” for more information on the crime and victims of the Charleston Church Murders.)

My access to information on current events is limited to what I see and hear on television news channels; read in books, and an occasional newspaper, because I cannot access the Internet. My mind works full-time to understand what goes on in the world I am so far removed from by me living inside a prison cell.  The news I am fed is censored by reporters and news agencies; however, a college educated friend sent me some information a long time ago that may help explain why Dylann Roof killed three men and six women, most of them elderly and defenseless.

Things I heard and read on the News about an online manifesto by the shooter made me wonder whether a correlation existed between his crimes on American soil and events on another continent: Africa.

WHY DID HE DO IT?  Roof referenced to people talking about it on the Internet but not doing anything about “it” (Negroes committing atrocities against white people), and then nominated himself to commit the horrific crimes he confessed to doing when arrested.

One clue as to why he may have done it concerns a flag from South Africa (SA).  As reported on various news agencies, a social media photo showed him waving a Confederate flag, while wearing a jacket with the flag of Apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).  SA and Rhodesia were once ruled by white minorities.

Dylann-Roof-Confederate-FlagHim waving the Confederate flag lead to it being removed from several places.  South Carolina officials took down the flag that had flown at the State House since 1961 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Civil War that began in Charleston on April 12, 1861.  I do not know of anyone mentioning a correlation between the foreign flag emblems he wore on his jacket and the murders.  I did hear a news report that mentioned “The Last Rhodesian” during coverage of the event.

My mind went into overdrive thinking about the Charleston Church Murders and those flags.  I searched its memory bank until I got a hit.  I remembered an email a friend had sent me in 2013 about the genocide of whites in SA.  To me, the content of the email connects the church murders and atrocities in South Africa.  This is how I believe the two correlate:

EMAIL ON DEATH OF NELSON MANDELA:  I sent out this email to everyone on my contact list on December 5, 2013:

SUBJECT:  Nelson Mandela Made the World a Better Place

On this fifth day of December 2013, the world lost a truly unique person who set an example that should have inspired everyone, even those who may have hated him because of the color of his skin, or envied him because he rose from a place of destitution to become a leader.  He was one of a kind, a very special person sent by God to do the impossible.  He was a man of strong resolve who not only survived prison and refused to allow it to make him a cruel and mean person; he rose to conquer those who had put him in prison and then ruled a nation with love, dignity, and honor.  He proved what one person can do.  He made the world a better place by showing how much a person with determination and ambition can accomplish.  He did what most would have said to be an impossible task:  rise from prisoner to ruler-a good ruler-one who did not abuse his power as most people in his situation would have done.  He left behind shoes that may take a millennium for another to come along who can fill them.  May God be with his family and loved ones as they grieve his loss and celebrate the legacy he left behind.

RESPONSE FROM A FRIEND ON NELSON MANDELA

December 7, 2013

“[T]here is some disturbing truth I felt compelled to share with you about the Mandela the media would have no one to know.  You don’t have access to uncensored Internet or International media sites but the truth of South Africa is horrifying.  I have been pen pals with men and women from SA for a long time and their country is collapsing with atrocities against white people that haven’t been seen before.  I can send you foreign articles and photos that I will send to your gmail account if you are able to access that.”

[I cannot access my email accounts due to the modified email system that I use through Corrlinks.com, which strips photos, symbols, and any formatting from messages sent to me.  Approved people send me information from email accounts through Corrlinks.]

“I had a girlfriend in 1990 from SA whose family fled before the Clinton Administration put its 7th fleet off their coast and embargoed them into handing over the country to the African National Congress (ANC).  There is a systematic genocide that has been taking place against the Boer farmers.  The Boers are of German-Dutch ancestry and colonized that part of the continent whose countries and territories have changed names over the years depending on the different regimes.  Bands of black men invade their homes where they have a pattern of systematically torturing, raping and killing the women, babies and children in front of the men before they torture and kill them.  I have been sent the crime scene photos of burnt babies snatched from their mother’s arms and set alight in front of them.  I have the photos of people’s bodies who were murdered with machetes and those who have still survived with wounds from machetes.

“The machete is their favorite weapon.  There is a memorial hill called Plaasmoorde which is the Afrikaans word for ‘farm murders.’  It is really a small mountain where the entire side is in the shape of a white cross made from hundreds of individual white crosses.  The idea is that the blacks will take the land or just terrorize the white people off it, not realizing they feed the country.

“Nelson Mandela was a militant terrorist and leader of the ANC in the 1960s and that is why he was imprisoned.  When the country was handed over to him he unleashed his retribution squads behind his grandfatherly smile and eventually gave the Presidency to Jacob Zuma who was the youth leader of the ANC and is nothing more than a warlord.

“Mandela’s first wife ‘Winnie’ is known for her necklace punishment.  That is where a tire tube filled with gas is put around the neck of someone with their hands tied and then set on fire.

“The black politicians consult witch doctors to make decisions and SA is the rape and AIDS capital of the world.  Something else that is beyond imagination is the belief that exists down there among many blacks is that they think they can cure themselves of AIDS if they rape a virgin.  Child rape is astronomical and social workers have even passed out devices that fit into vaginas that can be removed but have barbs on the inside that have to be medically removed from an inserted penis.  It doesn’t stop the rape but doesn’t make it enjoyable.  Of course, once word got out then they just told women to take it out if she had one or get her throat cut.

“My pen pals give me updates every morning on the savage violence that media can’t get out of the country and that the U.S., Canada and Australia won’t air.  There is a growing movement to get this censored genocide out and recently a world wide Internet petition and marches were held called ‘Red October’ to bring awareness.  Human Genocide Watch has begged the United Nations to do something but the sad reality is it just isn’t politically correct to bring attention to the fact that this is a black on white thing.  That would make all of the countries who pressured SA to end Apartheid look really bad for endorsing mass rape, torture and murder of the SA white people who make up only 8% of the population and are by far the smallest ethnic minority.  The ANC passed a law called BEE which means Black Employment Empowerment where whites are kept from getting jobs and are driven into poverty.  Many neighborhoods have been turned into squatter camps.  The people I message with and I have a deal where if I don’t hear from them after three days, it means they are most likely dead.  There have been two in the last three months I no longer hear from.  All of the police are black so you can imagine.  BMW and Range Rover will no longer insure their vehicles in their country.  I guess it will all come out eventually.  Probably when the world can no longer help but ask the question, ‘Hey, what happened to all dem white folks down there?’  It really is sad.

“Well, enough of all that depressing stuff.  Just shows the powerful psychology of government controlled media. …..”

The above information altered my perception of Nelson Mandela.  I still respected him for what he accomplished in his life, even though I found the SA events repulsive.  I imagine Roof operated on similar information about the SA atrocities with the Boer farmers, in order to justify murdering those at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church.  That is how I feel the South Africa atrocities were associated with the Charleston Church Murders.

Additionally, as written in “Love and Evil Are Color-Blind,” the torture and murders of a white couple, their young son and and a maid in a Washington, D.C. mansion, “may have fueled his hate and rage toward blacks.”

CONCLUSION:  No one knows what really causes people to go out and commit mass murders, other than their inherently evil nature, maybe.  I’m sure reasons vary from psychopath to psychopath.  If my suspicions about why Roof murdered the people at the church is correct, I fail to understand the logic behind killing a group of people in one country for the actions of people in another country.  Then again, I do not understand murdering innocent people under any circumstance.  That includes dropping bombs from the sky because of political reasons, whether it be to obtain natural resources or strategic positions to battle one’s enemies.

Apache helos CONFESSION:  I confess that if had the military capacity to hunt down the bands of men who go on killing sprees in Africa with their machetes, I would not hesitate to use Apache helicopters and other military weapons and machinery to obliterate them.  I’d do the same to any group of people committing crimes in the name of ethnic cleansing, who display ruthless acts of cruelty, as has happened in Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq, Sudan, Darfur, and other parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe.  That may not make it right but it would get the point across and eliminate those who turned from human to animal.

How can humans eliminate evil minds without becoming evil themselves?   I believe that is a paradox of human existence, and of the struggle to live a righteous life and survive in a dog-eat-dog, hostile world.

waynedowdy@straightfromthepen.com