Sunday, February 28, 2010

Al Gore

From Al Gore's mouth. My favorite though is this;


Like that isn't guaranteed to happened with social security, medicare, and in general, the entire economy?

Thankfully for Al Gore, Obama, and pretty much every pro-spending socialist out there, my generation, and their grandchildren's generation are literally the most ignorant generations in the history of the world. Historians will look back and say, "Well, at least we're not as stupid as the two generations in the 21st century that voted themselves into slavery."

I'm going to play Bioshock 2.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Iron Man’s Freedom

Iron Man - A martial-arts expert and personal trainer whose crimes include smashing someone’s door down: "I didn’t hurt anyone. I just wanted my fuckin’ money." His workouts are brutal. "I’ll have you in the best shape of your life by the time you get out," he told me.

Email just received from Iron Man:

Dear Shaun,

Hello, my Brother. It is good to be breathing the Free Air once again.

I have been out for eight days now, and I feel fantastic. Some people have a hard time readjusting to Freedom after a long stretch, but I take to Freedom like an Eagle takes to the sky.

Things are progressing nicely. To borrow the words of a great man, “I believe in making success happen. I have a plan. I will work every day to implement my plan. I will not be deterred nor distracted.”

I am borrowing a friend’s e-mail address for the time being, so you can reply at the above. If I knew how to create my own e-mail account, I would, but I don’t know which company is the best one or how to set up the account.

Well Brother, I have a busy day today, so I will close for now.

By the way, have you heard from Cat Eyes? I don’t yet have her e-mail address, or I would send her a greeting. She is a cool chic. Thanks for connecting me with her. Her letters were as refreshing and rejuvenating to me as pure spring water on a hot summer day.

I have yet to even see Weird Al, so I haven’t got to look at the yoga book you sent me, or read the letter that came with it. Thank you for sending it, I will go get it as soon as I can.

Until Later, My Friend.

As Always,

Iron Man

Click here to read Iron Man’s previous letter.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments for Iron Man to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Return of Real Men

In the end, the manly man is the one the ladies want.


McCay Hatch

Mark my words, and hopefully someday when this kid grows up, search engines will find this post and say, "wow, that Cappy Cap was right on."

Children should not make laws nor should they go on political crusades or campaigns.

They are children.

They are idiots.

That's why we don't let them vote until they're 18 and even that nowadays is still too early.

They should be in school studying, learning skills to get a job and not telling adults what to do, let alone even "hint" or "suggest" what is "appropriate" behavior.

Regardless, my prediction is this young teen will grow up to be an adult who will become a career politician.

Why?

Because he has tasted a little bit of power AND THE STATE ASSEMBLY HAS OBLIGED HIM. He will have a chioce; "Go to college and study engineering and create something of value....OR...go to school for political "science" get a law degree, can't find a job, HEY, I'll run for office because I like changing people and society!"

Something similar happened here in Minnesota where a bunch of teens who had nothing better to do decided to get the City Council of St. Paul to ban candy cigarettes.

Future Nanny-Nazi's they will become.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet Increases C-Reactive Protein during Weight Loss

Low Carbohydrate, High Fat Diet Increases C-Reactive Protein during Weight Loss
Janet W. Rankin, PhD and Abigail D. Turpyn 
Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 26, No. 2, 163-169 (2007)

Studied Variable: Dietary Carbohydrate

Variables Measured: Body weight, IL-6, CRP, urinary 8-epi-prostaglandin, FBG, FFA (fasting)
Variables controlled for: Caloric intake

Protocol Summary: Subjects were ed into two groups followed calorie restricted (~1360 kcal/d) diets varied in composition: LC = 58F/12C/30P ; HC = 24F/59C/18P. Weight, inflammatory markers (IL-6 and CRP) and oxidative stress (8-epi) were measured weekly.

Human Study
Gender:  Women
Age:  adult, premenopausal
Number of Participants: 29
Weight Status: Overweight BMI 32.1 ± 5.4 kg/m2
Health Status: weight stable for at least 6 months, nonsmokers, sedentary, otherwise healthy and unmedicated
Study Duration: 4 weeks

Summary of results:

* LC lost a bit more weight (3.8 ± 1.2 kg LC vs. 2.6 ± 1.7 HC, p=0.04)
* CRP increased an average of 25% in the LC group whereas it decreased 43% in the HC group (p=0.02)
* FBG decreased similarly for both groups
* IL-6 increased similarly for both groups
* 8-epi varied differently between groups but with no consistent pattern.
* Serum NEFA increased for both groups, the increase was greater for LC


Here is a screenshot of the results:  (click on image to enlarge)





Researchers' Conclusion: "Diet composition of the weight loss diet influenced a key marker of inflammation in that LC increased while HC reduced serum CRP but evidence did not support that this was related to oxidative stress."

My Comments: 

Although apparently not statistically significant, the LC group (~190 lbs) was a bit heavier than the HC group (~175 lbs) to begin with in this study.  This could be related to the LC group starting at a higher (although also not indicated as significant) average CRP level.

But look at the CRP graph showing the individual results vs. baseline -- the horizontal axis is the baseline CRP.  I find this disturbing.  The first thing that jumps out is that almost all of the LC group had increases while all of the HC group had decreases.  Also disconcerting is that this effect seems more pronounced for those who had a low level of CRP to begin with -- IOW, LC seems to induce an inflammatory state according to the CRP indicator.   This is not seen for HC where in most cases CRP declines.  If one looks at the right side of the graph, you have the subjects in the highest baseline "inflammatory state".  What happens?  Significant decreases in CRP for the HC group, negligible change either way for LC.

Whether or not to be stressed over CRP levels is a matter of continued confusion and controversy, but higher CRP levels are never, as far as I've seen, considered a good thing.

I came across this article while researching plasma free fatty acids (NEFA, FFA) and am concerned with the effect the LC diet had on fasting FFA's.  The highest fasting level for the LC group was almost 1.5X (50% higher) than the highest fasting level for the HC group.  The high level vs. baseline for LC was ~1.8X vs. ~1.5X for the HC group. 

I don't know enough about 8-epi at this time to comment on that aspect of this study.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's Natasha's Birthday Today!

For all you Cappy Cap readers out there who are fans of Natasha, it's her birthday today! Send her a hi or a hello!

Also, all proceeds from any book sales today go to her sushi fund. You want her to be happy, correct?

More Cry Babying

"The people's needs come before the markets'."

What this idiot doesn't know is that the people ARE THE MARKET.

Normally at this time I would go into a rant about people's ignorance about economics, but I've found that's throwing confetti into a tornado and it's just easier to go outside and look for superior agates.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Price of Ignorance

People ask what the price of ignorance is, well, this is it.

Keep believing in flowers and puppies and unicorns. What's the worst that can possibly happen?
Matt’s Story (by Warrior)

Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.

This story is a continuation of Warrior’s previous blog that you can read by clicking here.

As Mike and I were caught up in chatter, the holding cell door echoed a piercing crack! There was a time when that noise used to startle me. The escorting officer had radioed for it to be unlocked. The steel door shrieked against being opened, then suddenly finding its tracks, it opened smoothly as though it remembered what it was meant for. Then in walked Matt.

I immediately recognized Matt before he noticed me. Though I hadn’t seen him in years, he was still pale, gaunt, with blond curly hair that hadn’t been cut and was close to an Afro. Matt was 52, but his years of drug use and rotten teeth made him look 72. His square shoulders and over-sized glasses were reminiscent of the 80’s.
“Gilbert?” Matt squinted, unsure if it was me or not.
“Matt! Damn it’s a small world,” I said with a welcoming smile.
“It is you, Gilbert!” he said with an enthusiastic roll of the head. He flailed his arms as if he couldn’t believe it was me. We shook hands.

I was happy to see Matt too, although the nature of our rapport couldn’t really be labelled as friendship. I used to sell drugs to him in our old neighborhood. In prison though, a familiar face alleviates the misery of the circumstances. It’s also perhaps comforting to know someone familiar is experiencing the same misery.

Matt was one of those people I met that I could never forget. He knew me as Gilbert, one of the many aliases I’d adopted over the years. You do that a lot in the drug game. Matt had a wife, kids and a home. He was what drug users like to call a functioning addict. Although he had a $100-a-day habit, his bills were paid, kids taken care of, and wife seemingly happy. Despite this, at that time I viewed Matt as I would any other addict: no sympathy, no remorse, a sucker feeding his addiction in order to fuel mine for easy money.

There came a day when I viewed Matt in a different light. His wife, Sherry, had phoned me to meet up with her on his behalf. Matt’s sickness was getting the better of him, and I had his medicine. Sherry was a short heavy-set woman with oily blond hair, both due in part to years of work in the fast-food industry. Her aquiline nose suggested a little French in her ancestry. She wore the pants in the family. I don’t know what compelled me to ask her about Matt. Perhaps I was puzzled by how a strong opinionated woman such as her could juggle work, kids and family duties in addition to being the wife of an addict, and for some odd reason support Matt’s habit instead of rallying him to quit.

I pulled up around the back of Sherry’s workplace. She was out back smoking her usual Salem cigarette. We made our exchange while chatting.
“Do you mind if I ask you something?”
“No, go right ahead, hun.” She always had a way of throwing in hun at the end of sentences. It sounded more maternal on the back of her age, kids, and having a hard life.
“I know it’s none of my business, and if you don’t feel comfortable answering, I’m cool with that, but why do you enable Matt’s habit? You guys are not the type of people I’m used to dealing with. You’re not bottom feeders.”
Sherry inhaled the last part of her cigarette while composing her reply. She then flicked the cigarette butt with that cool unexpected speed and nonchalance that influences people into smoking. “You know, Gilbert, if he didn’t get it from you, he’d get it elsewhere,” she said, casting her head down as if shamed by the reality. She then raised her head in complete honor, and replied, “I love that man, and I don’t think you know the story about us.”

She began to tell me their story. They’d been together twenty plus years, and were high-school sweethearts. They grew distant after high school. Sherry began college and Matt found himself mixed up with the wrong crowd. Despite this, they still kept in touch. Matt followed a friend to Arizona, to escape and start new. Sherry ended up pregnant, and dropped out of college. She began to live with the child’s father. Through all this they kept in touch, and it was obvious the love was still there. The father of Sherry’s child was abusive to her, and Matt tried to persuade her to leave him, come to Arizona with the baby and start over, even possibly finish school. Then suddenly Sherry called Matt crying, hysterical, wanting him to come get her.

Sherry told me how she found her husband raping their three-year-old daughter. She was raped so bad she had to be hospitalised for months. Matt was on the first flight back to Baltimore, where they were originally from. Sherry’s husband was arrested, but released on bail. Matt got Sherry an apartment, stayed by her through the criminal and divorce proceedings, in addition to the lengthy reconstructive surgeries her daughter had to endure.

Sentencing finally came for Sherry’s ex. He received only probation. Now Matt being the man that he was back then meant that the sentence wasn’t justice in his eyes. I seriously doubt anyone could view that sentence as just. So Matt went to the local hardware store, and purchased a framing hammer. He showed up at Sherry’s ex’s house and beat his head in. The ex didn’t die, but would be severely handicapped forever. Matt was arrested, and sentenced to 10 years. He was out in 6. Sherry stood by him the whole time, but unfortunately he became hooked on drugs while in prison.

My jaw hung open in awe as I listened to the story of her and Matt. The man I viewed previously, as another despicable addict, I could no longer view the same way. Nor could I sell to this man any longer either. I’d come to respect him given what I’d learned. That was the last time I saw Matt and Sherry, until I ran into Matt in the prison medical-holding cell.

Do you think Matt was justified in bashing the rapist's head in with a framing hammer?

Warrior’s blog, Rapist on the Yard, touches on the same issue of vigilante justice/violence against sex offenders, and sparked a lot of comments.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for Warrior below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Monday, February 22, 2010

Take That Toyota

You and you're stupid Priuses.

Does anybody else see the irony of this?

"Grandpa"

Cripes.

My grandpa on my mother's side fought at Iwo Jima, became a mortician and was nothing but the kindest, most loving man on the face of the planet. He would buy us chocolate ice cream and when my dad would argue that there was too much ice cream he told him to "shut up."

My grandpa on my father's side was in the European theater, went 3 months without a shower, dodged a sniper that took his buddy out in a foxhole, came back and although a bit stoic from the whole ordeal raised a heck of a family, became and engineer and would bring us the "forbidden" food of Kentucky Fried Chicken WITH PEPSI.

Now THIS is grandpa.

Pathetic by all comparisons.

When I Am King

I had flirted with the idea of running for public office. On account of my impatience with stupidity and socialism, I would be arguably the least electable, but most entertaining candidate in the history of the US. However, key in my platform would be some rather simple, but ingenious ideas such as;

1. Changing the constitution to limit government expenditure and revenue to 20% GDP FOR ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.

2. National ID cards with biometric data to not only apply for jobs, but for voting as well.

3. Requiring a balanced budget of all governments.

4. Increasing the retirement age to 75 immediately.

5. Cutting spending on SS and Medicare by 25% immediately.

6. Eliminating corporate and dividend taxes and making it part of the constitution no company shall ever be taxed to bring back investment into the country and legitimately boost stock prices.

7. Replace ALL taxes with ONE sales tax so there is no need to ever fill out a tax form ever again AND so the people know ONE number and know PRECISELY how much in tax they're paying.

8. The immediate cessation of any government funding to "global warming" studies or personnel and an immediate investigation into "global warming" to see if any criminal activity took place (with sincere intent to persecute and punish).

Now, what is sad is that for the most part Americans are not educated or smart enough in either basic economics or the constitution or the history of this formerly great country to realize THAT IS POSSIBLE. And not only is it possible, but that the above 8 ideas would be of ENORMOUS benefit to the country, and would effectively stop the recession in its tracks. They are more concerned about transferring other people's wealth and exacting a toll of "revenge" on people who "made too much." They are too busy pursuing "global warming" as a religion with fervent and pscyhotic zeal. Also, too many people and too large of swathes of the economy are dependent upon wealth transfers either by direct receipt of those transfers or are employed in the "wealth transfer industry."

And so when you see something like this, you start to wonder if you shouldn't move to Georgia (and for those in Rio Linda, that's not the state we're talking about).
Jon's Jail Journal Nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award

Click here for the nominating post at Anne Mini's excellent blog, Author!Author! which contains some of the most comprehensive advice on the Internet for writers.

Click here for the guest piece I wrote for Author!Author! about the challenges I faced blogging from prison.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cry Babies

Again, the entitlement mentality enrages me. How DARE you freeze our salaries during a recession!

Recession Medicine

I have been neglecting my duties as the official recession nullifier to put all of those of you at ease who are desiring for a job, but because of the utter failure of the "stimulus," have yet to find one. So here;



Remember, recessions are god's way of telling you to take a mandatory vacation. So do not despair, but rather, enjoy the recession. Because before you know it, the economy will rebound like never before and you will be back on the line.

HA HA HA HA!!

No, I'm just kidding.

You may as well just relax and enjoy the downtime because there's going to be a lot of downtime.

Talk at HMP Holloway

I just did my first talk at a prison. I was invited to HMP Holloway, a women’s prison, by the library manager after she heard me talk at an Arts Alliance conference in London. Ben from the Koestler Trust talked for an hour before me, about how Koestler helps prisoners pursue various arts. I told the women my story, and credited the Koestler Trust for launching me as an author by way of their mentor scheme and the professional help provided by my mentor, Sally Hinchcliffe.

The room I spoke in was so packed that some women had to be turned away. Hearing about the conditions in Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jail system really shocked them. Excerpts from my book and blog about the cockroaches, gang violence, going on the toilet in front of strangers, and food provoked many disturbed looks, groans, and further questions. An officer later said that the women went back to their cells relieved that their conditions weren’t as bad as what they’d just heard about.

At the end, I said one of the most useful things I learned while in prison was to be able to replace negative addictions with positive ones. I’m still a risk-taking personality type who likes to get his adrenalin pumping, but these days, instead of wild partying for thrills, I do stuff like go to the gym for BodyCombat and karate, which put me on a natural high. It’s just a matter of directing your energy away from drugs and into things that won’t get you in trouble.

There was an aspiring writer in the audience who is about to be released from prison. I chatted with her at the end. She’s in the process of applying to be on Koestler’s mentor scheme, and it’s my hope that she’ll soon be sharing some of her stories with us here at Jon’s Jail Journal.

The library manager sent me an email after the talk:

Shaun - what can I say? There has been a real buzz about the talk this morning and everyone found you totally engaging. Thank you so much for making the effort to come and share your story with us. It was actually worse than I imagined! I think it was incredibly powerful what you said at the end about how you really feel that there's still that part of you that wants to take risks and this could so easily take you in the wrong direction. But that’s its possible to channel your energies into more positive ways. Huge thanks again - it was a great morning.

Click here for my previous mentor session.

Post comments below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Attacking Glenn Beck

I don't have much time.

Ergo, I don't really believe much of anything I read in the news or what I see on TV, until I can verify it for myself.

Fortunately I've already done enough economic research that I can tell mathematically if something is even possible (for example I recall a protester at Berkeley claiming Bush spent $19 trillion on war - WOW, that's, like, 133% GDP).

But this was cute.

You read through the first page and then start to notice everything they accuse Beck of is in "quotes" and then cited with a "1" "2" etc. Furthermore the claims are nothing specific like,

"In 2005 Glenn Beck was arrested for kicking a puppy."

It's subjective character criticisms like saying he was "a wing nut" or a "schizo."

You get tired of reading that and inevitably, if you have a life, you skip to the last page to see the quotes and the references to see if there's any point or purpose in reading on.

Wow.

The Huffington Post and MEDIA MATTERS?

This passes for journalism?

Thankfully I figured out this was nothing more than a guy plugging his book disguised as a hit-piece.

So do yourself a favor - buy my book instead.

No character assassination.

No lies or bias.

Plus you'll actually learn something aside from how to hate Glenn Beck in new ways.

How Low Can You Go?

Wow, Greece demanding reparations from Germany so they can continue their bloated public sector spending binge.

I am just speechless at how ingrained an entitlement mentality can become.
Madejski Students Hear Real Jail Tales (by Laura Herbert at Get Reading)

A former stockbroker who served time in one of America’s toughest jails spoke to John Madejski Academy students about his life.

Shaun Attwood was arrested in 2002 for money laundering and drug offences after emigrating to Arizona where he threw raves and became heavily involved in drugs.

While serving 26 months on remand he started one of the first prison blogs, Jon’s Jail Journal.

Last Wednesday he visited students at the Whitley school to talk to them about drugs and crime.

Of the visit, Mr Attwood, 41, said: “The students were slow to ask questions, but once they got going there was no stopping them, and a group of boys stayed behind to ask me extra questions.

“It feels good to have this opportunity to influence the lives of young people, and to get such reactions and feedback from the audience.”

During his 26 months on remand, Mr Attwood was imprisoned at Maricopa County jail in Phoenix, Arizona, run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

His journal detailed the conditions of the jail that sparked outrage among human rights campaigners.

In 2004 he was sentenced to nine-and-a-half years for money laundering and drug offences and served almost six years.

The Hartland Road school’s lead teacher in anthropology Katie Royle added: “The presentation was truthful, honest and really well received by our students.

“Shaun was able to talk openly and in detail about the effect drugs had on his life and his experiences as a consequence.

“Our students really engaged with his honest and frank approach, and when offered the opportunity to question him we couldn’t stop them.

“Students were so affected by Shaun’s talk they even stayed behind to talk to him more and many have gone on to read his blog and email him.

“Shaun’s approachable nature has meant students really listened and took in his message.

“We will definitely be having him back very soon.”

Click here for the article.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure Part 7

Click here for info about my talk to schools

Post comments below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Frances Gallo for President

Sorry, this is the stuff that needs to happen. The schools are not institutions to employ people for the sake of employing them.

They are to (gasp!) educate children.

Unemployment, Mean Duration of Unemployment and Labor Force Participation






The loss of economic production due to idle labor is astounding. I am particularly shocked with the mean duration of unemployment.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shopping in Prison (by the Occult Killer)

Dubbed the Occult Killer by the media, Brandon is serving 6 to 12 years in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His crime: he killed his best friend in a drunk-driving accident. When police investigators discovered Gothic paraphernalia in his bedroom, they naturally concluded Brandon had committed a sacrificial murder for the benefit of Satan.

I’m bored, so I decided to write. I stocked up on commissary items like stationary and hygiene products. The only thing I need to figure out is contact solution. It somehow has to be bought through the infirmary. I bet that’s gonna get complicated. Perhaps if they dropped Neccos and Zagnut bars from the commissary list, they might have room for the solution. I’d love to have a typewriter, also, but: 1. Where would I put it and 2. There’s 1,000,000 weapons you could make out of its parts. All the rules and guidelines of this place, although strict, make sense except for two. At 11pm there is a standing head count. That would seem to make sense, BUT there is a standing head count when we are locked down at 10pm…yeah. The other thing that confuses me: CARNIES! (Austin Powers joke=very lame). No, actually the book thing confuses me (books can only come mailed from a bookseller). I guess they expect people sending hollowed-out Bibles with mini-chisel hammers inside. That would explain why they banned excessively large Marilyn Monroe posters. I’ll have to write TNT and tell them to stop playing The Shawshank Redemption, it is freaking out Sammy Hyder (the warden). Maybe I’ll threaten to dig through the wall with a plastic spoon, not like we actually get them anyway. Dad can explain that one, but in case he forgot: when you’re on psyche watch all you can eat with is a spoon. Now that I’m off it, one of the hardest things to come by is (you guessed it) A FRICKIN’ SPOON! I took the liberty of getting myself some coffee and cocoa. The only reason to get that stuff is to “wheel and deal” it. Everyone loves it. You could make “LCCF Espresso”: 3 coffees, 1 cocoa, 1 sugar. Wait! Something else that confuses me: sugar. You get 4-5 packets at breakfast every day. That’s 28-35 packets a week. Seems fine, except…they sell sugar on the commissary list. What’s worse is they actually keep track of the type of sugar they SELL and the type they GIVE OUT. At 4 cents a packet, why trouble themselves.

Click here to read the Occult Killer’s previous blog.

Click here to read more from the Occult Killer at Prison Mom by Sue O.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for the Occult Killer below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Monday, February 15, 2010

More Stick Swinging and Sphere Throwing

C-R-I-P-E-S







I would go into this in more detail, but frankly, I already have.



I will merely point out this additional tidbit of related fact.



Boy, I sure do hope they throw the ball a lot and the guy runs real fast. Ooo!! Ooo!!! Maybe somebody will CATCH the ball real good too!


Because Teaching is Easy Work

I teach.

And in more disciplines than one.

And the reason I teach is because;

1. I enjoy it.
2. It's fun
3. It's easy.
4. It's an ancillary source of revenue.

It is however, NOT DOING.

In other words, you are not "doing" what you are teaching. You are teaching what you are not doing.

Now of course, I do go and dance in the real world. And I do invest in the real world and I do research in economics in the real world. But teaching unto itself has no practical economic production or purpose until it is applied to doing.

Ergo, I've never looked at teaching as a real career. I look at it as a semi-professional hobby, in that inevitably we all can't be teachers, some of us have to go out and actually produce the GDP.

Ergo, you can understand the breakdown of academia's political affiliation.

Movers and shakers they aren't.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Changes at Perryville Women’s Prison (Part 3 by Lifer Renee)

Renee – As a teenager, Renee received a 60-year sentence from a judge in Pima County. 15 years into her sentence, she’s writing from Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona, providing a rare and unique insight into a women's prison.

An officer pulled up in a truck with the mail bin. He got out and went to the control room. He was stood there with the mail bin waiting to be let into the control room.
“Just drop it by the door,” the yard officer yelled. The mail is supposed to be a secure item.
The officer with the mail looked at the other in disbelief, and did just that: dropped the mail bin in front of the control-room door, not secured and with everyone running around on the yard.
The yard officer eventually got up, got the bin, and went into the control room with it. A few minutes late,r he walked out with the bin, set it on a bench, and proceeded to have the inmates help him sort the mail by pods [living quarters]. It was a mob scene with all the inmates swarming around him. Some complained he shouldn’t be doing the mail like that.
“Hey, if you bitch about how I’m doing it, I’ll just reroute it all!”
Ms. Smittey, who’s been here for almost 40 years, leant over to me. “He’s not supposed to be doing that.”
“I know.”
We all wanted our mail, so we couldn’t say too much because we wouldn’t have received it. Then he would have instigated the inmates “to handle” whoever was complaining.
I retrieved my mail and left the mob. I looked around the yard, and the lazy guard hadn’t even turned the sun lights on. It was dark with the exception of the track lights and the cell lights that were on.

Click here for Renee's previous blog

Post comments for Renee below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Greece's Economy

I was doing my research as to why Greece's economy is in the tank on the simple account I keep hearing about it's financial problems in the news, but never an explanation for it (further leading me to believe the reason may be being buried). However, I found this interesting;


It behooves the question of our fine authors at the CIA,

"If government spending was 60, 70 or say 100% GDP, would Greece still be capitalist?"

It's Called Opportunity Cost

That's a lot of X-Box 360 games, scotch, Chipolte fajitas, or just plain weeks' worth of not working.

And sadly the opportunity cost is starting to have more economic utility than a rock set on a ring of metal that does nothing but exist.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

From Polish Avenger (Letter 2)

Polish Avenger – A software-engineering undergraduate sentenced to 25 years because his friend was shot dead during a burglary they were committing. In Arizona, if a burglar gets killed, the accomplices can get 25-year sentences.

Ever have that childhood nightmare of having the toilet right up at the front of the classroom? Well, that’s what we’ve got in the prison they recently moved us to. The bathroom is six meters wide, and the only thing next to the thunderpot is a tiny wall half a meter wide – the feet and knees definitely stick out! And so we all had to adapt quickly or get severely backed up. Myself, I find it rather amusing, and just settle in with a book or a cup of joe. Might as well provide some entertainment, right? Hmm…

So I obviously survived the big move. Other than the toilet, it’s not a bad place here, really. Naturally, not everyone is as pleased about it. Particularly those who got laid off, like Jack! But, by and large, the plusses outweigh the minuses. I rather like it, myself. Better dorms, much better food, decent exercise equipment – even medicine balls and ab wheels! And I have a rather tremendous job over at the construction class making 40 cents an hour. So, as ever, I’m pleased. Plus I’ve got a little spot reserved for yoga, so what could go wrong? Hmmm…hold that thought!

Click here for Polish Avenger’s first letter.

Click here for Polish Avenger’s previous blog.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Post comments and questions for Polish Avenger below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Monday, February 8, 2010

Achievements in Bachelor History

Let it be known that another milestone in Bachelor History has been achieved.

I, your beloved Captain, flew out to Las Vegas for a 3 day weekend. I then drove to Utah to visit Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Along with Natasha we did some hiking and fossil hunting, but the pinnacle achievement of the trip was that I was able to pack ALL that I needed in…

one laptop case.

Yes, 3 days worth of clothing, hygiene products, a laptop, cell phone charger and cell phone, all packed in ONE laptop case.

The technique that made this possible is a simple one. The clothes that take up the majority of volume are clothes that needn’t be washed all the time. Jeans, sweaters, shirts, etc. Thus if you only bring one pair of jeans, a sweater and a shirt, and transport it by simply wearing it on your body, you only need to pack underwear and socks, both of which conveniently fit in a laptop case.

If things get dire, you can always wash the jeans in a hotel sink, or if you’re out camping, in a stream. However, this was unnecessary as our trip was so short.

Regardless, this new achievement reminds us bachelors about one of the Principles of Bachelortude – Minimalization.

Minimalization is arguably the most important tenet of bachelortude. Your goal is to be able to move anywhere, live anywhere and cheaply so. With too much stuff, you have to spend time hauling, moving and transporting physical assets, most of which have no real value, let alone even sentimental value.

Of course, as fair warning, you will get eyes rolled at you by any females in your life. And perhaps some will even lecture you about “why didn’t you pack more jeans? My god, you’re shirt is going to get dirty by the end of the trip. And what about blah blah blah blah blah….”

These criticisms can be ignored as you grab your one laptop case, sling it over your shoulder and walk effortlessly the 4 miles it is from the main entrance to the airport to the terminal. You will be the first to get through the security checkpoint as the Department of Homeland Security people salute you for making their jobs that much easier. And then people will start to ponder, “Why, if the whole population was as efficient as this one bachelor, imagine the increase in productivity. Imagine how short the lines would be. Imagine how much traffic would improve.”

Yes, all because of that vital principle of minimalization.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yet ANOTHER Reason Not to Move to, Live In, or Invest in California

Cripes. Can we turn them back into a territory?
Avoidable Tensions (by Shane)

Shane - After being denied psychiatric medication by ValueOptions, Shane turned to illegal drugs financed by burglaries. For stealing a few hundred dollars worth of goods, he was sentenced by Judge Ron Reinstein to eleven years. Shane is the author of the blog Persevering Prison Pages.

Walking through the gate, I looked around the crowded recreation yard for a place to sit. The eight picnic tables located at each corner of the yard were full. Chicanos were sat at and loitering around the two southern tables. Whites did the same to the west, and blacks to the east. At the two tables to the north, a smaller group of convicts of mixed races idly chatted while playing spades. All appeared normal on the high-medium-custody yard.

Keeping an eye on the large crowd of Chicanos, I walked over to the northern most table. I’d heard rumors that the Chicanos had beef with the blacks. A black had arrived on the yard who’d jacked Wedo, a low-level Mafioso, for four grams of heroin. The brothers wouldn’t give him up to the Chicanos, so tensions were high between the two races.

“I think there’s a meeting tonight between all of the heads of the races,” John told me as I stood next to the half-breed youngster who, like me, hadn’t clicked-up with the gangs. The shot-callers of each race on the yard would sit down and discuss their problem tonight. Probably suggested and arranged by prison staff, as they’re usually privy to such tensions and want peace and quiet.

Hours later, the heads of the Chicanos, blacks, Native Americans, and whites all met and discussed their mutual interests, and the problem. It got heated and the black leader walked out of the meeting. “Nobody touches him, or it’s on,” were his parting words.

The next morning in the chow line, I watched the guards amassing just outside the dining room. They knew something was going to happen. Instead of locking the yard down, they stupidly tried to stop the inevitable with a show of force. It failed.

After an hour of feeding uneventfully, a group of guards was escorting a mass of convicts from chow back to the housing unit. Suddenly and completely unexpectedly, the mob of prisoners exploded in violence. Chicanos instantly began punching and kicking any black nearby. Blacks fought back the best they could, but being outnumbered six to one, they were falling and fleeing within minutes.

The melee was over in ten minutes. Long before the guards could intervene. Six blacks were hospitalised, one with multiple stab wounds and head trauma. Two Chicanos refused medical care for razor cuts to their arms. One white boy was hospitalised after accidentally getting in the way of a stray punch that shattered his jaw. The black who’d caused this had rolled-up and left the yard in the middle of the night. Nobody knew this till afterwards. The guards knew, but said nothing.

Click here for Shane's previous story.

Our friends inside appreciate your comments.

Email comments for Shane to writeinside@hotmail.com or post them below. To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Friday, February 5, 2010

I love it.

Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 7)

I did 3 talks to schools last year, which led me to believe that the talks would take a long time to build. Now all of a sudden, I’m doing 2 to 3 a week. Teachers are telling other teachers about my talk, and I’m getting inundated with calls and emails. I even had an enquiry from as far away as China. Audience reactions have ranged from girls crying over the jail conditions to boys mobbing me at the end with questions. The teachers are generally inviting me back on the spot. It’s great to see the young people showing so much interest in my story, and how it’s affecting them.

Here's an email I got from a student after a talk: "Thank you so much for coming in to speak to us all today. I found it really interesting. It was a moving, yet extremely powerful story and has made me think twice about my future and staying as far away as possible from all drugs." Matt Northwood (February 2010)

Local newspapers have been reporting on my talks, and one even made a video of me with some of the pupils. Click here to see the video.

I talked to my largest audience this morning, 400 students at Weydon School in Farnham. I stayed behind for an extra 15 minutes answering questions.

Last Friday, I saw a brilliant play in London called Slaves, about prisoners and guards. Written by Rex Obano, an ex-prison employee, the dialogue and accuracy of detail were spot on. The expressions on the actors were so accurate, I actually got flashbacks to prison. It was an extremely high standard of work, and by far the best play I’ve seen since getting released.
If you wish to see Slaves, click here for more info.

Thanks for all of the book-title suggestions! They're under review by my publisher.

Click here for Dawn of a New Adventure (Part 6)

Post comments below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Called "Capital Flight"

So I will give a shinny new quarter to any leftist that tells me how much an increase in tax revenue results in this.

Federal Budgets Under Obama

I like it when people make charts for me.

But you see, Obama's deficits are "good" deficits. Whereas Bush's deficits were "bad" deficits, because well, the MSM told you so.
Book Title Needed

My publisher and parents feel the title of my jail memoir, Green Baloney and Pink Boxers, is too difficult to understand. So now the book needs a new title. My suggestion is Surviving Sheriff Joe's Jail. If you have a better title, something so brilliant that me and my publisher and parents won't be able to resist it, please post it in the comments section below. If it's used, you'll be getting a free signed copy.

Here's the blurb to help you put your book-title thinking caps on:

This book is an account of the 26 months Shaun Attwood spent in the jail system run by the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix, Arizona. It begins with a SWAT team knocking Shaun’s door down, and his arrest for heading an organisation that threw raves and distributed club drugs. Initially, Shaun goes into shock as he’s submerged into a nightmarish world of gang violence, insect-infested cells and food unfit for animals. But with the love and support of his family and fiancĂ©e, Claudia, he slowly adapts. Other prisoners Shaun meets on his journey tell their stories. His large and fearless friend since childhood, Wild Man, pops up all over the place with his unique brand of chaos. Shaun’s situation devastates his loved ones, and his mother has a nervous breakdown. The prosecutor and Detective Reid are out to get Shaun a life sentence, and the legal developments cause many emotional ups and downs. Over time, Shaun tries to avoid getting smashed by forming various alliances, including with the Italian Mafia and the independent tough guy, Joe. Shaun increasingly uses jail time for learning and introspection. He takes up yoga, and ponders the big questions in philosophy. The letters he writes home, which make his family both laugh and cry, tell such a graphic tale that his parents encourage him to write more in order to document his incarceration. Towards the end of his stay and with the help of his family, he starts the blog, Jon’s Jail Journal, to expose the conditions and human rights violations. The book ends with his family flying over from England for a sentencing hearing that has everyone on the verge of mental collapse.

Post comments below or email them to writeinside@hotmail.com To post a comment if you do not have a Google/Blogger account, just select anonymous for your identity.

Shaun P. Attwood

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dr. James Eelkema

Guess who's going to be my new doctor.
Interview by Jon Ronson

I was recently interviewed by Jon Ronson, the writer, documentary maker, and author of The Men Who Stare at Goats. Jon is such a good interviewer, I didn't know notice when the general chitchat between us stopped and the interview began. The questions I expected, he never asked, resulting in an interview that covered new and unusual ground. Oddly enough, Jon went to the same club as me, The Thunderdome, when raving began in Manchester.

Click here to listen to the show on BBC Radio 4.