1 Nov 04
Manny's Swan Song
Some of my neighbours were rolled up in the last week. Barbarian was moved to a pod in SMU where he will probably serve the remainder of his time. I suspect he has been housed with fellow STG (Security Threat Group) inmates. The STG process was initiated to extract the heads of prison gangs from regular yards, and to house them at SMU in the hope that the power of gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood, Mexican Mafia, and Mau Maus would be reduced.
Manny was moved on a night the guards were searching for a pair of missing nail clippers in our pod. They were shining their torches all over the place, when Manny yelled,
“I’m sure gonna enjoy clipping my finger nails on that bus ride from Florence!”
“Who said that?” a sergeant yelled in a voice full of fury.
“I fuckin’ did,” Manny said, perhaps because he knew his personal property was en route to the transportation bus and hence out of harms way of the guards.
The guards stormed upstairs, and clustered in front of Manny’s cell.
“I wuz just clowning,” Manny said in a tone that suggested he found something funny about the whole situation.
There was silence. The sergeant’s jaw dropped and if he could have breathed fire he would have torched Manny alive.
The guards stripped out Manny and Scooby. Manny was dragged down the stairs and locked in the shower cell. Scooby’s property was once again confiscated due to Manny’s mouth. Manny was rolled up a few hours later and he departed our pod with a satisfied grin on his face. He is now serving the remaining four months of his domestic-violence sentence at a different prison.
Odds & Ends
Arizona’s death-row inmates are housed at SMU2. The guards have recently begun telling me that an inmate who looks like me and also has my surname is awaiting execution on death row. Another guard talked about the "shitslingers" and "darters" who are housed in a neighbouring pod in cells protected by Plexiglas screens. The shitslingers are inmates renowned for hurling their feces at prison staff and other inmates. The darters, however, are more dangerous than the shitslingers. Darters like to make blowpipes and shoot excrement-coated darts at their victims. If a dart pierces human skin and faecal matter gets into the target’s bloodstream there can be serious health consequences.
American news broadcasts are pitiful. Every night this week the scarcity of flu shots has been a major headline. Several minutes are devoted to this subject and then viewers are advised to call a toll free number to get their hands on supposedly-unavailable-but-somehow-remaining flu shots. This is a blantant commercial for the pharmaceutical-industrial complex who make billions of dollars each year selling doses to people with healthy immune systems who do not need the shots in the first place. (This comment does not apply to sick infants and elderly people who may benefit from flu shots.)
Where is the real news? Is the average American more interested in Paris Hiltons's goings on than world events that could affect all of our lives? I no longer watch the news here..
I received a Wake Up Newsletter this week. They are running extracts from my blog. This resource provides a wealth of information for prisoners. Family members of prisoners can access their site at http://www.azceg.org/ . The Arizona Coalition for Effective Government is a non-profit organisation. I have extracted two quotes from the current issue that I will end this entry with.
'America is the land of second chances'
US Attorney General John Ashcroft
'...our resources are misspent, our punishments too severe, our sentences too long.'
US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
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