Brandy, who lives down the hall, told us that each night a little bird sings a song outside their window. She and her roommates wonder if the bird is confused, if it thinks the sun is rising when the prison floodlights turn on, after sunset. Gypsi, my roommate, who lives in Kentucky, says we hear the song too, and it’s a bat! I like the notion of little bats delivering nocturnal songs to us before we settle in for the night.
Lightning flashed across Kentucky skies a few nights ago. “I love storms,” said my roommate, Gypsi, her eyes bright with excitement. Thunder boomed over the Kentucky hills and Atwood Hall, here in Lexington, KY’s federal prison. I fell asleep thinking of the gentle, haunting song our gospel choir sings: “It’s over now, It’s over now. I think that I can make it. The storm is over now.”
DeWitt, NY This afternoon in the DeWitt Town Court, after hearing about 90 minutes of motions, judge Robert Jokl dismissed all charges against four defendants charged following protests at Hancock Air National Guard Base “in the interest of justice.”
Thanks to generosity of people “outside,” I’ve been able to read about two dozen books here in Atwood Hall. Many other books have been sent. Books I had already read were given to other prisoners or donated, as gifts, to the prison library. Still others remain in my locker and under my bed, waiting to be read. Many thanks! The books have generated interesting conversations and helped build a lovely “book club” atmosphere which I’ll genuinely miss.
The first book I read here came from the prison library, - I so strongly want to recommend it, so I’ll start this list with:
The Empire of Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
April 2, 2015
Here in Lexington federal prison’s Atwood Hall, squinting through the front doorway, I spotted a rust-red horse swiftly cantering across a nearby field. The setting sun cast a glow across the grasses and trees as the horse sped past. “Reminds me of the Pope,” I murmured to no one in particular. “What’s that?” Tiza asked. I tried to explain,
by Eric Vincent
When many of us think of robotic warfare, we imagine Skynet from The Terminator or the machines from The Matrix. While these films may have been the mere dreams of science fiction authors, our future may be headed in that very direction. Military drones have become a widely used tool in the Global War on Terrorism and the U.S. War in Afghanistan in particular. General Atomics, the major manufacturer of armed drones in the U.S., “has produced some 700 aircraft to date” and production continues each month (“Predator/Gray Eagle”). Although the use of drones has been marketed to the public as a surgical method of eliminating high-threat targets with minimal risk to friendly troops and civilians, the reality is drastically different. During the Obama administration, “attempts to kill 41 men [by drone strikes] resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people” and many of these collateral deaths were women and children (Ackerman).
By the time I leave Kentucky’s federal prison center, where I’m an inmate with a 3 month sentence, the world’s 12th-largest city may be without water. Estimates put the water reserve of Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, at sixty days. Sporadic outages have already begun, the wealthy are pooling money to receive water in tankers, and