Robin Williams: Coward

Comedy legend was found dead in his home Monday morning. Cause of death is reported to be a suspected suicide

I was going to start this by writing “Robin Williams Died Yesterday”, but that’s not headline grabbing. Nor is it really the truth. He didn’t die.

Robin Williams didn’t have a heart attack. He didn’t have stomach cancer. He wasn’t in a plane crash. A car accident. His tour bus didn’t roll off a cliff in Switzerland. He took his own life. The coward’s way out.

When I first saw that he was dead, I cried. I mean, I’m 50. I grew up with the guy. Form Mork And Mindy (What ever happened to Pam Dawber?- and no, I didn’t have to Google her name) to Good Morning Viet Nam and and on. I saw every movie he did. Every Comedic Special. The guy was brilliant. But as much as people will recall his comedic genius, it was the dramatic roles that I really loved. Dead Poets Society was brilliant as was Good Will Hunting, but I loved the dark drama. The Night Listener, Insomnia, One Hour Photo. Brilliant, but in the end a waste.

I’m sorry if I’m not sensitive. I understand, The man had demons. But who doesn’t have demons? Who isn’t feeling like their up- against the wall, or the weight of the world is bearing down on them. I guarantee you the guy that is losing his home, his job, his family; the guy, or girl, who feels so completely alone and helpless; who can’t see anything but the tunnel and no light at the end; the person who’s been abandoned is facing some much harsher demons than an award winning, millionaire “genius”, loved by the world, praised for his work will ever face.

I won’t say “he took the easy way out.” As someone who at one time wished to die, it’s not easy to kill yourself. You don’t just do it with as much thought as you put into starting your car. But still, the guy had more options than 99% of us do.

Coward

 

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New Rules

Now that a record 58% of Americans support the legalization of Marijuana, the Federal Government has to hurry up and do something about it 

If you work at a market and you see someone shoplifting condoms, let them. If they can’t afford $5.50 for a 3 pack of Trojan Ultra-Ribbed, then I’m pretty sure they can’t afford a baby. 

Tom Hanks has to stop making movies where he gets stuck somewhere. He got stuck in space in Apollo 13. He got stuck on an island in Castaway. He got stuck in the airport in The Terminal. Now he’s stuck on a boat in Captain Phillips. I don’t know if he’s going for an Oscar or ransom. 

Until Ronald McDonald starts paying his employees a living wage, he has to wipe that smile off his face. 
A new study shows the median income for fast food jobs is $8.69 an hour and let’s face it; that is barely enough to gas up the car you are living in. 
Now when it comes to raising the minimum wage, Conservatives always say it’s a non-starter because it cuts into profits. Well, yeah. Of course.Paying workers is one of those unfortunate expenses of running a business. You know, like taxes or making a product. 
You might think that paying people enough to live is so self-evident that even crazy people could understand it, but you would be wrong. 
Michelle Bachman is not only against raising the minimum wage, she’s against having one at all. She once said that if we took away the minimum wage we could wipe out unemployment because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level. 
You could hire everyone if you didn’t have to pay them. 
And naturally Ted Cruz agrees. 
Ted Cruz thinks that it’s a good thing that when his Cuban father came to America, he was paid .50 cents an hour to work as a dish washer. 

When did the American Dream become this pathway to indentured servitude? 
This economic death spiral where workers get paid next to nothing so they can only afford to buy next to nothing so businesses are forced to sell cheaper and cheaper s**t? 
Walmart employees can only afford to shop at Walmart. McDonalds Employees can only afford to eat at McDonalds. 

Even if you’re not moved by the “don’t be such a heartless prick” argument, Consider the fact that most fast food workers, whose average age by the way is 29, so we’re not talking about kids here, are on some form of Public Assistance. Which is not surprising when even working people can’t make enough to live take money form the Government in the form of Food Stamps, school lunches, Housing Assistance and Day Care. 
This is the Welfare that Conservatives hate.But they never stop to think if we raised the minimum wage and forced McDonalds and Walmart to pay their employees enough to eat, the tax payers wouldn’t have to pick up the slack. 

This is the question the right has to answer. Do you want smaller Government with less handouts or do you want a low minimum wage because you cannot have both. If Colonel Sanders isn’t going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, Uncle Sam has to, and I for one am getting tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers 

Especially when I don’t even eat at KFC. 

 

From October 27, 2013

I Can’t Take It

I don’t think there’s one time that I get in my car to drive somewhere in this city and I don’t get aggravated. I just don’t get how people can be so out of touch when they drive and I find myself asking the same questions over and over;  

Why do people think 40MPH means 30MPH?? I don;t want to speed. Really, I use my cruise, even in town, I just want to do the damn speed limit.   

What is the DEAL with the lights on War Dr.?? I just came back from dropping my kids off. Coming back on War Dr., the lights at N. Monroe & California both turned red, for NO reason. No car waiting to cross over or turn onto War Dr. Nothing, No reason. This is a normal occurrence during the twice a week trip to the Heights to pick up and then drop off my kids. 

Turn signals. I can’t count how many times someone will suddenly stop in front of me and then decide to make a turn, usually performed poorly.  

Here’s a HUGE one. Light turns green: First car sits there. One… two… three… four…. Oh, time to go??? Good. because the next car is going to count three before HE goes. If this is a left turn, on a left turn, it means many times that the third car is not making the light. That’s normally me, because the morons in front of my can’t figure out of that’s the right shade of green. 

What’s the deal with stopping in the middle of the street to talk to someone on their front porch?? And then sitting there, obviously not caring that they’re holding up traffic. 

And then, we move north of Glen, and University becomes the Autobahn. Form 30MPH to 60MPH once they get passed that light. 

Why don’t people here know the little nuances that make driving a better experience. Timing the light to go as soon as it turns green. Getting right to pass the car turning left. Getting left in a four lane if you’re going straight at a light so people turning right can have the right lane to MAKE the turn….  

I seriously think cab drivers that have to deal with this nonsense every day should get hazardous pay or free psychotherapy….

 

From February 5, 2013

What Were They REALLY Thinking?

….those famous ol’ founding fathers of ours. 

So many times I hear people say “Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if……..” and then fill in the blank, but after the research and reading I did recently, I think you’re all wrong. At least all the things I normally see people use that are wrong. 

The founders came here for one main reason, and they proclaimed it in everything they did and it wasn’t to make sure we all had guns (Although I am totally pro guns), or to create some constitution to base this new country on, which btw, this country was NOT based on The Constitution. They certainly were not in favor of any separation of Religion & State, at least not how that term is so misused today 

Let their own words give you some real insight into how it was. 

Constitution Of The New England Confederation – 1643“Whereas we all came to these parts of America with the same end and aim, namely, to advance the Kindgome of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to injoy the liberties of the Gospell thereof with purities and peace, and for preserving and propagating the truth and liberties of the gospell.” 

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Original Delaware Constitution, Article 22Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit: 

” I, A B. will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do no act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced.” 

And also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: 

” I, A B. do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.” 

And all officers shall also take an oath of office. 

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“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls; of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system” Samuel Adams 1790

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“In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible. 

Christianity is the only true and perfect religion, and that in proportion as mankind adopts its principles and obeys its precepts, they will be wise and happy.”  Benjamin Rush 1799

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“Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Northwest Ordinance of 1987 

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“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. In this institution it is of more importance, as the pupils will be orphans, and may be destitute of parental instruction.

 

No truth is more evident to my rnind, than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” Noah Webster 1838 

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 “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.

 

 And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” George Washington’s Farewell Address 

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 “The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this Earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious – there can be no legitimate government – but that which is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words, damnation.” John Adams The Wall Builder Report

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 “The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” Benjamin Rush Of the Mode of Education Proper in a Republic 

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“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, & insures to the good eternal happiness are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.” Charles Carroll – Signer Of The Declaration Of Independance

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 “Religion and morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness” Samuel Adams

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 “The great pillars of all government and of social life . . . [are] virtue, morality, and religion. This is the armor, my friend, and this alone, that renders us invincible.” Patrick Henry 

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“Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences resulting from this new state of things. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom marching in opposite directions. But in America I found they were intimately united and that they reigned in common over the same country. 

I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom. The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other. Christianity is the companion of liberty in all its conflicts-the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. They brought with them…a form of Christianity, which I cannot better describe, than by styling it a democratic and republican religion” Alexis de Tocqueville 

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“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin 

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 “The moral principles and precepts found in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. These principles and precepts have truth, immutable truth, for their foundation. . . . All the evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. 

 

It is alleged by men of loose principles or defective views of the subject that religion and morality are not necessary or important qualifications for political stations. But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine. They direct that rulers should be men “who rule in the fear of God, able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness.” Noah Webster 

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“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”  John Adams 

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“To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper.” Daniel Webster 

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“How has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection.- Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? 

 

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel 

 

We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. 

 

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service” Benjamin Franklin 

 

I see our current state and look to our future and then I read from people who have said: 

 

“More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened. 

 

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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 “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” Abraham Lincoln – Proclamation Appointing a National Fast Day 

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“If the enemy can destroy the Christian’s passion for America, then he has won the major battle for the soul of this nation.” Hudson Taylor 

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Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Revelation 2:5

 

From January 19, 2013

New Rules 5/25

“If not for the coup, err Republican filibuster in Washington that violates the constitution by requiring 60 instead of 50 US Senatorial votes to pass a resolution, these things would have passed under Obama’s first term as POTUS: 

A Market based system to control carbon emissions which would have revitalized the Clean Energy SectorA Public Option in the Health Care BillThe Dream Act; Undocumented Immigrants who serve 2 years in the US Military can go to collegeElizabeth Warren would have been head of the Environmental Consumer Protection BureauThe Carried Interest Tax Break would be gone 

In the first 50 years of the filibuster it was used 35 times, in the last 2 years, over a hundred. 

Mitt Romney, a Mormon believes that the throne of God resides on Planet Kolob. WTF?? 

Newt Gingrich calls Obama The most Radical Leftist President in historyMark Rubio calls him the most divisive figure in historyMichelle Bachman says he’s the most radical President we have ever seen in the history of the countryJohn Bolton said Obama just doesn’t care about National Security 

How can a guy, Barack Obama make these people feel that America has changed so completely and yet make me feel like it’s barely changed at all. 

I travel all over this country doing stand up and since Obama has been President, and what!!?? It’s still the exact same Kentucky Fried Country it has always been.I see it. People driving their cars to the mall buying stupid s**t, stuffing their faces, taking pictures. The only difference is now we all bump into each other more, because now we’re all texting.We haven’t lost our freedoms. I’m pretty sure the only things Obama has killed are Bin Laden and Donald Trump’s last shred of dignity. 

If Obama were as radical as they claim, here is what he would have already done; Pulled the troops out of Afghanistan, given us Medicare for all, ended the Drug War, cut the Defense Budget in half, and turned Dick Cheney over to The Hague. 

Here’s what Obama actually did; He cut taxes and spending, Look at this graph: 

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/images/slowest-spending.png 

These bars show the growth in Federal Spending for each President. Obama is at the bottom. Yes, the Black man’s is the shortest. He didn’t go on a spending spree. He didn’t break up the “too big to fail” banks. They’ve only gotten bigger. And fail-ier. That’s not what Liberals wanted; that’s what Conservative wanted.  

At the 28th Convention, Sarah Palin chanted “Drill baby drill!” Under Obama there’s more drilling than ever. That’s not what Environmentalists wanted; that’s what Conservatives wanted. Obama spent most of last year conceding the Republican premise that Government needed cutting. That’s not what Progressives wanted; that’s what the Tea Party wanted.The Dow was at 7949 when he took office. Now it’s at 12,000 and over. Corporate profits are at their highest ever. If Obama is a Socialist. He’s a lousy one. 

He could not be less threatening if he was walking home with Iced Tea and Skittles. 

So the question remains, how can YOU guys be so unhappy with Obama when I’M so unhappy with Obama. You think you got coal in your stocking? I wanted Single-Payer Health Care, a Carbon Emissions bill, Gun Control and legalized pot. If YOU get to carry around all this outrage over me getting that s**t, shouldn’t I have gotten it?  

So, just admit it. This isn’t about what Obama is; it’s about what you need him to be because hating him is what gets you up in the morning. And Ted (Nugent), you don’t have to fear what happens if the Democrats are re-elected, because they don’t have any ideas anyway. I could understand your paranoia that they have a secret plan, because they sure as s**t don’t have a public one. Can anyone tell me what the Democrats want to do? The best I can come up with is ‘Elect Us! We may be lame, but the other guys are nuts.'”

Bill Maher 5/25

 

From May 27, 2012

 

Incarcerated!

Arrested
 Without going into details of everything that happened, and it happened quickly, I can say that what actually transpired in court last Friday during the modification of my child support hearing, is still a mystery to me. In short, although I was forthcoming on everything, provided proof of everything, and told every detail of my story, I was charged with Direct Contempt of Court for basically not checking my bank account for a month. It has become apparent that this judge hates me. In 2 court dates, I’ve been accused of being violent, aggressive, a liar, a schemer, manipulative and, oddly, very intelligent. 

I did nothing illegal or immoral, but yet, to my horror, the judge proclaimed “Bailiff, I’m going to need a deputy in here, now!” and delivered a sentence of 5 days in Peoria County Jail, leaving me shocked and mortified! 

I was cuffed and taken into a holding room off to the side of the courtroom and as the door closed, I looked at the deputy, whom I knew very casually, and told him that I had never been arrested before and had no idea of what I was in for. 

Nervously, I offered no resistance as he went through my pockets and and he reassured me that it was not going to be that bad, but he agreed that what was happening was definitely mysterious and uncalled for. I asked him at what point I could make a phone call as I surrendered to the inevitable, and he replied that as soon as I got to “county”, I could have access to a phone. It dawned on me that I don’t know any actual phone numbers anymore, so he allowed me to use my cell phone to call a friend and arrange for him to come and get my keys and take my car home. 

I waited about 30 minutes,  during which I prayed to God that the time would go easy, was led to a police van, full of prisoners who had obviously been through this many times, and off we went. Men on one side, women on the other, separated by a steel divider,  I kept quiet while the rest of the people yelled back and forth to the women on the other side. We arrived a few minutes later and I was kept behind while the prisoners were led into the building. I focused on being humble and calm. 

10 minutes passed and I was led inside, asked to remove my shoes and socks, walked through a metal detector, then given a lunch tray, my first encounter with jail food, and taken to a holding cell where 3 others were already waiting. Purple Bologna on semi-hard bread, some yellow looking juice, and some fruit, and a few other things I didn’t want anything to do with, I opted to pass on lunch.Within minutes, 2 were led out and the one who remained, I learned his name was Phil, and I started talking. We had a lot in common, both small business owners – Phil owns a towing company with a fleet of trucks – and we got along well. I told him this was my first arrest and he assured me it wasn’t that bad and that I, like him, in for a DUI and a 3rd time visitor to the jail, would be in a pods with others that were just doing a very short stay. Several hours later, I was brought a dinner tray. Purple ham steak, hard bread,  cold, sticky macaroni & cheese and peas that tasted like paste. Purple seemed to be the prevailing color for all the lunch meat I had in there. 

Booked
 After about 2 hours, I was taken to booking, had my prints and mug shot taken – why do they always make you look like you’re a serial killer in those? – and was interviewed. The booking officer was shocked that he couldn’t find me in the system,  until I told him I had never been in police handcuffs before. So far, everyone I spoke to, I did so like I would anyone, respectfully, and I was shown the same in return, something that carried over my entire stay with all the personnel at the jail whom I encountered. Then I was led back to the holding cell where I sat until almost 9:30 that evening. During my time, I prayed that God, who I acknowledged had put me here for a reason, would show me how he wanted me to respond to this event in my life. I would find out his purpose on Sunday. 

A young guard finally came to take me to the back. We went to a locker room area where I was given a striped jump suit, which I quickly changed into, then to a supply room to choose a blanket, sleeping pad, a sheet, and towel. We made small talk about this being my first incarceration, and he told me that it would be pretty easy time and handed me an extra amount of soap bars, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Something that came in handy while in the pod. Then he led me to where I would be staying. 

SP-6
 SP-6 is a smaller pod with and open area with 3 stainless steel tables, 3 cells on the lower “tier” and a shower and toilet to the right. Stairs went up the middle to an upper tier with 4 more cells. The guard told me to find a spot on the floor to put my things, and quickly he was gone, leaving me in a room full of about 20 prisoners. I found a spot by a wall and dropped my gear and looked around then heard someone calling “Hey you!” Looking up at a man sitting at the top of the stairs who was calling for me to come up, so I climbed the stairs and said hello. He asked me how long I was going to be there, and I told him 5 days and his shoulders slumped. Sitting next to him was a kid they call Tattoo due to the large number of tattoos he has from the neck down. Scott told me that this was his “Celly” who was leaving Monday and he was looking for a new Celly, but since I was only there a few days, I wasn’t gonna work out for him. Scott and I became pretty good friends while I was there. He was someone that had respect amongst the other men. He looked very familiar and I mentioned that he said the same was true for me, then advised me to move my things under the stairs, saying that was the best spot. We talked for a few minutes and then I went down to make up my spot and sat down looking around. Few people really paid attention to me, but I realized that I recognized a lot of them as people that came into the Circle K, where I used to work. 

A few minutes later, an older guy, named Rob, asked me if I played Spades, which I do, very well, and I was invited into a game with him and 2 others, Sheff, a former Peoria Pirates Arena League Football player and a guy named George. As I answered the inevitable question “Why are you here”, I offered my hand and introduced myself. It was obvious, this was rare to these guys. We played a few games and got along great, then the call was made for lockdown, meaning the TV was off and the guys who had cells had to be locked in. There were about 6 of us who were “On the floor”, and we sat close and talked for a while. So far, everyone I met was actually pretty cool. And none were there for criminal acts, but for violations, drinking or drugs. Eventually, I laid down on the hard floor and under way too much light, I prayed a bit and then I fell asleep. 

Saturday
 Saturday started off with a  6:30 wake up and a line of towels appeared at the shower, so I added mine and sat down and started talking to some other people, while the mop bucket and cleaning supplies that had mysteriously appeared in the door was used by people to clean out their cells. Again, everyone was pretty friendly. So far, this was not so bad, and nothing like I imagined. After a shower, breakfast arrived. Snotty oat meal, purple juice, rancid looking blueberries, I barely ate but saw how the trade game worked as people bartered for items on each other’s trays. This was my last meal that I didn’t eat. To be honest, the rest of the time, the food was pretty decent. Coffee, beef stew, ham and beans, goulash, etc…. Not so bad. Other men I hadn’t seen the night before appeared out of their cells and a few of us got to know each other. 

The day was basically spent playing cards watching TV and the arrival of my biggest annoyance began to set in; the echo. Being in the pod is like being in an empty, indoor swimming pool. That echo never goes away and by the end of my stay, I was pretty tormented by it and how the battle between the volume of people talking and the volume of the TV, which distorted horribly, the louder it got, went on endlessly.

By the end of the day, I was pretty well settled in and had gotten great news. My 5 days was going to be more like 4 days. Friday was considered a day served and instead of leaving Wednesday, I would be out Tuesday at 5AM 

Sunday
 I didn’t sleep well as the floor is really uncomfortable and cold and guards come in and out during the night for counts and other various reasons, so Sunday morning, I was up early and got on the list for Church. Afterwards, I could see that I had some really good friendships starting and had fallen into a sort’ve clique. Scott, for one, Mike, a hippy from Chillicothe – a bunch of guys were from Chillicothe, – ‘Drew, nice enough guy from the ‘hood who had been in and out a few times, Nick, a smart kid who was there for a DUI and who we later threatened to hunt down if he ever had to come back, another guy whose name I never learned that cheated at cards, some really odd dude that reminded people of a young Jim Carey and amongst a few others, a kid named Jeremy. 

Jeremy was in for the first time and was depressed that he might not get out in time to see his first kid born. He was really upset about being there, and worried about his girlfriend. We really connected and talked a lot, as he kept to himself, for the most part. This was it. I knew right away, God was at work here. By the end of the day, Jeremy confided in me that he was disappointed in himself and was committed to putting gang banging, drugs, negative influences and bad habits behind him and focusing on being a good father to his daughter and a good man to his girl. I told him I’d get a message to his family when I got out, reassuring them that he was OK, promised I’d be there to pick him up when he got out, and be there for him if he needed any help on the outside. We talked about God, my faith, and as the conversation ended, he asked me to pray for him. I told him I’d been praying for him since the day I got there. 

I walked away, thanking God for giving me this opportunity to be a part of Jeremy’s new found love and dependence on God and accepting Jesus. Later that night, he showed me a rap he wrote about putting his past behind him and allowing God to lead his life. God is so great. 

That night, I had more fun than I had in a long time. The pod was like a big party. Groups of people talking and laughing, card playing with a lot of joking around, and other than the echo that was becoming more and more of an issue with me, it was pretty fun night. One of the things that people do is pace. Walking back and forth from end to end, alone or in groups, talking. It’s weird, but a real part of passing time in jail. Eventually, lockdown time came, and those of us on the floor sat up awhile talking, joking around, passing time. 

Tattoo
 Tattoo was probably the most jail seasoned kid there. He wasn’t very big, but he was the guy that ran the trades between our pod and the one next door, getting food, tobacco, which was rolled in toilet paper, devised a way to light it with pencil lead and an electrical outlet – Jail innovation is pretty cool – and had a lot of respect from the other inmates. I never talked to him much, until Sunday night, when we ended up as partners in a game of Spades. I asked him how old he was, 23, how long he had been there, 30 days and he told me he had done 2 prison stints and was looking at 12 years when he got out. I said that he didn’t have to live life like that and could change it, but he replied that he had been in institutions since he was 10. I asked him if he wanted to change that pattern and he informed me he was a heroin addict, and that when he got out in the morning, he had some waiting for him and would be high before he got off the property. I felt bad for him. His life had been rough and he was comfortable with it. 

Monday night, ‘Drew called his grandmother to see how he was doing. That shot of Heroin he had waiting for him, it killed him…. 

I’m still pretty broken up about it, as was the entire pod, and I’ll be going to his wake this Friday to pray for his soul and give my respects. All the laughing and joking was underscored by the truth of the rough life these people live. 

Monday Night
 I spent the last few hours making plans to get together with some of them after they get out, traded phone number, Facebook pages, and talked to Scott about hiring him to come work for me, hoping I can help keep him off the Heroin that landed him there. Leaving with me in the morning, Nick and talked a lot of smack, but in the end, neither of us slept well. I was anxious to get out, but I felt, and still feel that I left something behind that I wish I could go back and revisit. People that I wish I could play Spades with and tell jokes and just make sure that they’re all doing easy time. I can see how profound jail time is on a man, as I feel the effect from just a few days behind bars, and I hope that the lessons I learned never leave me. I thank God for the opportunity I had. With God, everything is an opportunity to develop character and prepare yourself for a future in his kingdom, if you can identify where he is working and join him in that work. 

Freedom
 I was already awake when the guard came to lead Nick and I out. Turning in my gear, getting dressed, out processing, all of that was a blur, and with bus pass in hand, I walked out into the cool morning air to hear a horn and see the lights come on from my car. Kevin was unexpectedly there to pick me up!

 

From October 17, 2012

God Intervenes

Although I truly feel God’s presence in my life at all times, I sometimes am a bit insolent and I let myself get into situations that could be troublesome for me. 

Three times this week, God boldly intervened in my life to save me from what would -not could- but would have been bad situations. 

The first started on Sunday, when Pastor John told a story of a couple with marital problems he had counselled. When all seemed hopeless, the wife, who had been cheated on and abandoned, called an emergency meeting and in that meeting, proceeded to apologize to her husband for all the ways she had wronged him. In the end, that couple is happily together today. 

Now, that story is definitely profound, but until Tuesday, it didn’t have much of an affect on me, until God intervened. As the day went on, that story tugged at me and by the days end, it was actually causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. When I went to pick the kids up after work, I felt the urge to ask their mother to come out so I could talk to her and when she did, I began to apologize for the things I had dome terribly wrong. Specifically, I wanted to, needed to apologize for allowing a situation to occur that resulted in her leaving me. Now, I didn’t get to go through the entire list before she began to tear me up one side and down the other, but I stood there and let her, knowing it was an opportunity to let it out and to humble myself in her presence (and anyone else within ear-shot). 

Wednesday, I had an occasion to do something that night that would have been bad. Nothing Illegal, but lets just say beautiful Female, 22 yrs old and married. I struggled all day with what I was planing to do, and my conscience ate at me, which I knew was God saying loudly, “don’t go.” I could have and should have listened to that voice, but as the day wore down and she texted me to make sure we were still on, I apologized and admitted that I was just going to do what I wanted. At 8pm, an hour before we were going to meet up, just as I got in the shower, I got a text; “Something came up, have to cancel”. I thank God immediately for saving me from what would have certainly been a HUGE negative act. 

Friday, the sales people got out of work at 11AM. My boss does not believe in letting the rest of us go when the  sales people get off. Being a holiday weekend, we really felt this wan’t fair and it’s a pattern that’s repeated often. We work hard and diligently in admin to get our jobs done, yet the reward is not there for us. At lunch time, I left to cash my check with the plan to not come back. I can’t go into details, but something very good and profound happened to me that made me realize that a very bad thing would have happened if I didn’t return and let me know that I am indeed appreciated by my bosses. 

I wish I could say that I’ll never let myself get into these tangles again, but I’m a human being, a sinner, but God does look out for us, if we open ourselves up to him.

 

From May 27, 2012