Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My! My New Online Store

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I’d like you to message me directly at the store using this link. Did I set it up correctly, messaging from a different location? Does it go to you messaging me? I also changed the storefront if you saw the first one.

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My! I feel like I am crazily sprinting down the yellow brick road looking for the Emerald City, which looks just like my new store, Watch and Whirl (the online site, not the Facebook store. The Facebook store will take you to this site), inside a crazy dream and sometimes it scares the bejeezus out of me. I have semi-panic attacks thinking, “What have I done?” This all stems from the need to promote Jamie’s book. I have started this and I am in too deep financially to back out even if I wanted to, so every waking moment is spent on how to make the store work, scraping together money to pay for ads and trying to squeeze out time to write and record music – and to promote them. I can feel the stress and that has taken a lot of deep breathing to stay in control.

If you think you can, you can.  If you think you can’t you can’t.  You are right about both

Life has been overwhelmingly busy with the opening up of my online business. I will be converting my other blog, Watch and Whirl, into a business blog that will also host my store, and the blog will still be there as well. You can also find the store at Facebook by searching on the words, Watch and Whirl. This project has been more intense than I thought it would be. Advertising money is scarce and put me further in debt. The store will also go onto other platforms like Shopify and Amazon and others after this. I’ve been stocking it with all kinds of neat product, and it is 1/5 full. It is has a long way to grow! If you don’t use facebook and want to go to the online store here is the the URL

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The reason I am doing this because I need the money to hire an editor and to help Jamie get on his feet when he gets out, as well as help him now. Everything happens for a reason. If we open our eyes to the things that cross our life and act on them, we can succeed – if we believe in ourselves and focus intently on success in our future. This is what I have been teaching Jamie. If you doubt yourself you won’t succeed, but you eat it, sleep it and dream it – you can make it happen. I have to show that in my own life – with my music, the book and now this store which will earn me the money to make it a success.

An added bonus is the knowledge I am gaining about advertising and marketing that will be put to good use when the book is done and needs to be promoted. Some people write a book, put it on amazon and then try to learn what to do with it. I have been working on this for over 4 years, while learning how to write and writing a chapter over and over until I feel good about it. I will not put out sloppy product. It won’t sell, and I believe the message it has inside will help many other people who have been through this same situation, along with all of the family and friends who know what the prison system is doing to people. we talk about it but it doesn’t change. There is much many people need to learn so we can stand up and make it change instead of waiting for someone else to do it. When Jamie gets out he wants to be part of that change. But if you don’t have confidence in yourself you can’t do anything.

I’d like you to message me directly at the store using this link. I’ll get back with you as soon as I get it.

Jamie is very important to me. His relationship with my grandson is important. I want them to be happy. I hope this will spill over to my daughters life because she has been angry with me over what I am doing because she wanted to forget about him and go on with her life. But I cannot tell someone that I will be there for him and help him through this 17 years and back out. He has had a bad enough time as it is spending these years in adseg – administration segregation – which is solitary confinement. These years would have destroyed him, but instead he is strong and confident because I have been here to hold him up when the going got tough. I won’t let him down now.

If my message link isn’t working right, go to the store on Facebook and SEND ME A MESSAGE from there. It is either on the front under the store picture or with the “about” info links. I don’t know how you see the store. I can’t interact with you unless you send me a message first. Then, as the store changes and I have neat stuff I can send you updates and you can share them. Facebook is going to shortly kill off the news feed. It is already almost impossible to get info out with paying fb a lot of money. They are going to change to a messaging and groups platform which will stop a lot of the nastiness going on. fb is all about the user experience, not business ads.

One last important thing.  I don’t have international shipping – yet, but your friends and other contacts might live here and you can share things with them.

And if I’m not making sense I’m running on severe lack of sleep. Love you all!

The Last Of The Good ‘ol Days

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Credit to: http://streamingthruamerica.com

Propaganda is always successful when people confine themselves to exposure of only one half of a storyry through the media. They may convince themselves they know both sides, but they’d have to look where their information came from to understand the bias of what they read.

SHOULD THE MEDIA TELL US THE TRUTH

The same story told by progressive news vs conservation news will often not appear to be the same story because of the way it is twisted. Some stories might not told to both sides because it is not in the best interest of that political party’s members to know about it. Knowledge is controlled, and controlling it crucial in controlling its supporters. It keeps Trump’s base of angry supporters. 

If someone truly thinks that there is a witchhunt going to frame Trump, like he says, over and over, than his supporters need only to hear the information that sustains that belief. It doesn’t matter if Trump lies. The more he uses Twitter to tweet his feelings, true or not, once it is said it becomes truth in the mind of his supporters. They don’t want to hear anything that could destroy that belief. They want it to be true and they refuse to look at the actual facts of what is happening. They refuse to entertain the thought that he could be guilty of all that has been said. As long as Trump keeps crying “Fake news” and “Whichhunt,” they don’t have to listen to anything else. Even if it is proven he has committed crimes they won’t believe it. It will be all lies.

It is easy to see how their beliefs are formed. The drinking of Trump’s Kool-aid is complete. They would die for their “King” who wears no clothes simply because he believes he is clothed, like he believes he is loved by America even when so many don’t.  A poll of scientific historians placed him dead last of all presidents looking at the quality of his presidency.  Only he believes he is great, so only his supporters count as true Americans. They are the ones who constantly stroke his ego. 

Trump would like to see opposing Democrats killed by his angry supporters.Who would say something like that as president? He believes he is better than anyone who came before him  or who could come after him so he should be able to continue indefinitely.  I believe that issue is something the GOP will propose – strongly – and will become a new chant. Trump believes he should be King. Then he would be royalty and adored by all in the world. He is deranged. 

Trump has always been corrupt in his business dealings.  He pits America against itself in the worst possible way by making his supporters fight against those who are able to see through him. He then believes the best of America is made up of only his supporters and the rest can go to hell. He believes they are liars who need to be by put down by his military, his police and his motorcycle gangs, who he said are really tough people. He said the democrats are going to get hurt if they continue to oppose him. He continually talks about how loved he is. This is what he psychologically needs – love and adoration. “America loves me. I am the best thing to happen to this country. No president has been better loved than me,” over and over until he convinces himself.

There is history being created now which we are going to look back on and regret. What kind of America will my grandchildren live in. I am scared and angry that this has been allowed. We are taking our last look at what will be called “the good ‘ol days.”

SHOULD TRUMP BE ALLOWED TO HURT THIS COUNTRY JUST BECAUSE HE IS PRESIDENT

This is Trump.  We would find help for him if he were a relative, instead of giving excuses and justifications for his outlandish behavior – and if the people he puts in high places hurt the people of this great country I have always been proud to be part of, and they help drag us into the pollution that causes our distinction, oh well, they must think, it’s the Democrats fault. As long as they were loyal to Trump and bent to kiss his – ring? . . . Then it’s not their fault, is it. 

He believes controlling “his people” like a dictator would be a great thing, like Putin. He would like to do away with congress because it gets in his way. There should only be one branch of the government  not three  He has fine – tuned his instincts and they are better than anyone else’s instincts so don’t question him. America belongs to him to do with how he wants. Fulfill his demands. Build this wall he desperately wants.

Most of the GOP happily supports Trump, but Americans overwelming want congress to defy Trump and stop his veto.   What happens when he is no longer president? Where will his supporters go? What will they do when their ringleader has no power at all? Will he call for war so his supporters will fight for him as he says they will? Well he use war as a reason to stay president? 

If we fall for it, the emotions he is trying so hard to stir up in us, and succeeding, then we as a country are going to lose more than we can imagine. His corruption has seeped into every part of our lives with corruption in education, corruption to the quality of our food with the continued allowance of Monsanto and other chemicals, housing and medical care with the draining of Medicare and Medicaid, to name a few. They will not be there for those who are not rich enough to make up the deficits with their bank accounts. They will have to go without the social safety net he is destroying. Republicans will be laughing while pushing Trump’s agenda along.

DOES THE RIGHT HAVE DIFFERENT NEEDS THAN THE LEFT? 

Republicans, I guess, don’t need those socialist programs. They scream about it. Republicans don’t need  and I hope refuse to collect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, Section 8 or anything else which barely keeps some of us alive. Without it many would die quickly if there is no housing, no medical care and less food. Thank you GOP for trying to destroy it. 

Trump will go emotionally off the rails if his power is taken away just because of – and he will say – a corrupt election – a fixed election, and continue to call people absurd names. The “fake” media will eat it up and the propaganda will be never ending. He will not want to lose power and if he loses, he will call for violence. It his nature that will make him do that because he thinks he is the greatest president of all time, so how could he lose an election! The results must be false! And he must lose if we are to survive. How many people will die in the process?

Those that drunk too heavily of the Kool Aid will feel they need to protect him and do violent things in his name, which we have already seen. If you can’t see this then you really are being influenced by the lies he continually says as he puffs up his fathers. Trump is not king. He is not a dictator, yet that is what he is trying to do and his loyal subjects who only hear his words are going to hurt people at the next change of power. There is always a change. Our country is built on elections even if that system is broken. No one person should have the power he wants for the rest of his life.

Maybe this needed to happen to show us who the politicians are who do things in the dark behind our backs, when they are supposed to be accountable to the people. Both political parties are so corrupt, bought by corporations who fill their campaign coffers. They do things good for themselves and their continued important places in our government, but they do not govern in a way that is good for all of the people in America.

We need leaders who listen to what the people need and not hide what they are doing. We need to get rid of congressmen who don’t have limits on their time because their corruption and their sense of entitlement has progressed too far. Maybe that can’t happen without an uprising of some sort, but people are going to get hurt.

Lately I haven’t been sharing many political articles on Facebook. I’m not going to convince anyone of anything at this point. The minds of the people of America have long been set in stone. No matter what Trump does they will twist it in some way that makes it a good thing for them. If the quality of life goes down they will blame Democrats in some way. I am not looking forward to the next 18 months of this campaign. I am so tired already of the crap in the media and this one is going to be particularly nasty.

IS THIS THE END FOR US? 

To survive as the people of the United States of America we need to look past a person’s party. We have all lost friends or family who are on the “other side”. But that does not make up the whole of who someone is. There is more to all of us are than what “side” we are, on. Do we throw away our friendships and family who thinks differently about politics?

It is like the fight between the North and the South. We are still fighting to end racism so all races can be equal. But if the president thinks White Nationalists are good people, too, then the killing continues. Those killers approve of Trump because he supports them and more people die because of it  To end Trump’s racist police supporters who continue to kill black people for weak excuses and get away with it, we need better laws in spite of what he thinks. 

Will it get to the point, with our guns, that Republicans and Democrats will kill each in a civil war other over the politics of Trump? Is he worth that? Is he so great that we will kill each other over him? That will feed his ego to the breaking point. He will then have a solid hold in the history of this country, and that is a sad day for us.

Will it come to that? I think it might. But the people in America need to stop fighting each other and focus on fighting the corruption, or the country we become will be too fractured to function the way many of us remember, and like Humpty Dumpty, no one will be able to put us back together again.

Is Racism Okay at School Just Because They are Kids?

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I have two grandsons in Texas who have black fathers. One of them is Jamie son in writing the book about. He is 12. A white boy came up to him on the school play yard and yelled at him that he was a slave and threw a basket ball at his face and broke his glasses.

     To give my grandson credit he didn’t react in anger. He went to the principle and told him what happened. Nothing came out of. The principle talked to the other boy’s mother and said charges would be pressed if her son did anything like that again. Oh, so her son would be a good boy now? I’m sure this wasn’t his first act of aggression at age 12. That mother should have offered to pay for the glasses her son broke. Since she didn’t you know what she thinks about what her son did. 

     I have two grandsons in Texas who have black fathers. One is Jamie’s son that I’m writing the book about. He is 12, nearing 13. I have been concerned for years about my grandsons. With rising racism and acts of aggression  often by our police force, there are too many kids being taught the same thing about Blacks that previous generations taught – being white means you are better. It’s getting worse instead of better.

     A white parent doesn’t have to fear for the lives of their children in the same way. White people might cower on the street if a black person gets too close, but that is because they believe the propanganda that black men are out to steal their purse and rape them on site.

     Does that happen? Of course. There are bad people of every race and they are just as likely to be accosted  and killed by white men. There is no criminal gene in a black man. And black people don’t call the cops on white people who sit down in the same restaurant. Black people are not trigger happy.  White America wants to have their guns, but a black man with a registered gun is just another reason to kill him.  

     Here is what happened. A white boy in school came up to my grandson and yelled at him that he was a slave and threw a basketball at his face and broke his glasses. To give my grandson credit he didn’t react in anger. He went to the principle and told him what happened. Nothing came out of it. The principle talked to the other boy’s mother and said charges would be pressed if her son did anthing like that again, but he didn’t have to apologize, the parents didn’t have to buy new glasses. The principle would not arrange a parent meeting. Nothing.

     The principle told my daughter that speaking to the mother would not change her views. CHANGE HER VIEWS?? Did she teach her son to be racist? Was the principle afraid a scene might happen in his school that would get attention? When one child hurts another on school grounds, when is it okay to say, “Let’s just wait to see if it happens again?” Should it be addressed AFTER more poorly raised children decide its the right thing to do to commit a hate crime?

     And I know – it’s begun. The innocent part of my grandsons lives is gone. My daughter won’t always be there to protect them and the world out there is a crappy place for black boys to grow up in. The cops will be next. This is Texas. Very Republican and very racist. White parents don’t understand this fear because they are the ones who condone it and help cause it. Not All white parents feel that way about All black children and teach their children to hate, but it only takes one to destroy their life. 

     Granted, my daughter can be a hot head and she is fiercely protective of her children. She would get in that woman’s face. The boy who threw the basketball was not held accountable for his actions so he is probably bragging to his friends about what he did, and the mother is probably saying, “Now, honey, you shouldn’t throw things at other people but I’m proud of you for putting that black boy in his place!”

     After the years Jamie has spent in prison, if anything happens to his son because of racism I don’t know how he would deal with it. More loss is too much loss for one man. It scares me. And I know I would not have let that principle get away with not conducting a face to face meeting with the parents. Their son will end up hurting someone else because he already feels the privilege of being white. Cause and effect. I don’t know how to stop it except to continue to make people aware.

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Change of subject. I have started 2 online stores. The products are changing and growing daily. I need to raise money for Jamie. To help him – and finishing this book will take more money than my disability will allow. A Store is perfect for me because I owned a brick and morter store in the past  in Key West before the need for a liver transplant took over my life. Cancer has once again reared its ugly head and they cut off most of my left ear. So if I’m going to work, E commerce is perfect 

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     I’d like to ask that you take a look at my store at Facebook. Put Watch and Whirl in the search bar. If I’m not connected to you I can’t send an invite. I’m still putting products in. It’s hard to ask people to buy something, but you might see something at a later time. So if you “like” and “follow” the page that will help fb determine if it’s worth showing you my post without paying them.

If you don’t use Facebook than go to this link:

watchandwhirl.ecwid.com 

The Beheading of The King of Pop

 
I was at my YouTube channel this evening –Sonni Quick Piano Improv –  and saw this video. There were actually quite a few videos devoted to it. I wanted to give you my take about the issue, whatever that is worth to you.
     We are getting awfully picky about who we ruin and who we don’t. Who we pass judgement on and who we let slide. Ban Michael Jackson’s music? Now? After all this time? Are you kidding?? Over allegations that are how old now? Do you think this is appropriate punishment for a man who is not here to know it is happening? Who benefits? Who does it ruin? Remember, he has children. Do you think this will wipe him away from everyone’s memory and they will no longer play his music?
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Remember this past Christmas when they wanted to ban a song that was recorded decades ago because today they wanted it to be interpreted as sexual abuse, because a man was insistent about coming inside because it was cold? “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  Nobody thought of it as being sexual until this year. The #metoo movement attacked it and people started demanding it be taken off the air. Fortunately, they didn’t succeed. Understanding an issue differently today, compared to when it happened will leave us with wanting to wipe out a large part of our history because men in power did despicable things.
     Think – Thomas Jefferson and Christopher Columbus. They were pretty bad. Even now there is a movement to erase Confederate history and remove monuments because it is considered now to be racist. I don’t believe they belong in our government buildings being used as a way to govern today. They are fodder for racist acts being done by those who want a White Nationalist/Supremacist society, but you can not erase one of the sides that fought in an war that was supposed to change our concept of slavery. It changed it on paper, but not in reality. These issues, like the 13th amendment are still being fought today because slavery moved from the fields of plantations to field inside the barbed wired fences of prisons. Still, you can’t erase history or the leaders who fought for what they thought was right at the time whether we agree with it or not.
     History will always be history and Michael Jackson’s history and his music also can not be erased whether he was a mentally screwed up pedophile or not. Not airing his music won’t change anything except make people want to hear it even more.
     This is a big issue to me because I write about prison inmates, and a few are inside for sex charges, real and fabricated. Regardless, these men will have to pay the price for the rest of their lives because just the thought of it being a sex charge means it doesn’t matter what kind of charge. It doesn’t matter if someone molested a baby or if a teenager who turned 18 had sex with his 17 year old girlfriend and the parents pressed charges.  It doesn’t matter if it was a daughter who was angry at her father and accused him of touching her, and later recanted. Once you are considered guilty that guilt stays with you for the rest of your life. There is nothing you can do about it. Inmates as a whole pay a heavy price no matter what. Once a felon always a felon. People will always think they are better than you.
     This is not the sum of who Michael Jackson is. The meaning or value of our lives don’t revolve around what we did in the past, but about what we do in the future. People are being ruined because the public needs to make sure they keep paying the price. We need to be absolutely politically correct about everything and there is no gray in between.
     Michael Jackson is dead. What is there to gain except the people involved in this documentary are giving themselves a whopping 15 minutes of fame they will have to live with every time they stick their heads outside their homes. What a thing to be famous for! What happens when they are done with the round of TV talk shows. What will keep their fame going? What’s the fucking point? The makers of that documentary said they did not present a balanced view because they were under no obligation to do so. How can anyone have an opinion about this when some of the truth was held from them?
     A lot of lives have been ruined over perverted sexual behavior that has been going on between men and children for a very long time, and during periods of history was accepted as normal. Many lives of women, teens and children have been ruined. Men with this behavior have seldom been held accountable before now. No one around them stopped them. People knew Bill Cosby was drugging women to have sex with them and no one stopped him.  How did they sleep at night? Should these people be prosecuted as accomplices?  We could fill the prisons with them since prisons are now suing state governments because the prisons aren’t full enough. People often get prison terms for being associated, but not the people who surround a pedophile. A lot of sick behavior was stopped, but there are no less people out there who want sex with children.
     Whatever Michael Jackson did or didn’t do does not take away his musical talent. If you want to go down that road that means we need to wipe every person out of our history books, no matter who they were or what they accomplished, who has done something we consider to be despicable. Lets wipe out Thomas Jefferson for the slaves he abused and because he kept a mulatto woman in a closed off room and had kids with her. Lets wipe away Christopher Columbus, who sailed the ocean blue in 1492 because of all the brutal murders he committed. That is unacceptable. We should not teach children about these men today.
     We can not and should not try to erase the accomplishments of a person because we don’t like or approve of their behavior. I doubt there is anyone today who is promoting doing that who can say they are guiltless of wrong doing. I’m glad Michael Jackson isn’t alive today to see this. His environment and upbringing affected his life just like everyone else. If you want to persecute him you better go after his whole family because everyone had a part in making him who he was. Let’s ruin his children and the women who were paid to give birth to them.
     We will never know who is telling the truth and after decades those memories change, like dreams change, and yet you think you can be so sure you remember the truth? Many adults in therapy have been convinced through therapists that they were molested and these memories were brought to the surface and now thought to be the absolute truth.
     The public is choosy about who they destroy. Some enjoy destroying people who had something they never could have. So lets destroy Michael Jackson’s talent and his music. Let’s make sure it can’t be heard – that will show him! Lets take it all away NOW because someone has something to gain by doing so. I did not watch the documentary and have no plans to do so. Some people have nothing better to do with their time.

Watch and Whirl – my New E-Commerce Store

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Watch and Whirl is at Facebook and watchandwhirl.ecwid.com

I’ve entered into e-commerce as a way help Jamie. I need to raise the money to edit and publish my book “Inside The Forbidden Outside”, finish the music and polish it up with a sound engineer in an actual studio instead of a program connected to my piano. I’m not an engineer. I also need to visit with him and be there when he is released.  when will that be? I don’t know. He has 3 1/2 years to go. He could get paroled.  There needs to be  survival after parole. If I can “hire” him to work these businesses with me, while we write the sequel he will have a greater chance of parole. He needs an income. He needs to be able to rent an apartment.

It took a major leap of faith to do this and be convinced of its success. A store takes an enormous amount of time, focus and determination to get going, especially when you start with zero customers and a empty advertising budget. I already spend umpteen hours a day on my writing, music and videos and primitive them on social media, so that is suffering – temporarily. I need your help. if you are reading this I REALLY NEED YOUR Help. I know what it took when I had a retail store in Key west that I worked for nearly 10 years

Share this on your social media – Share this on your blog. Everywhere I read, tapping into people you are connected to is the best source to promote anything you are doing. And it’s free. I live on a disability check. Helping Jamie with food and a little money has to also come out of this. This book needs to sell so I need to be smart about what I do from here on.

MY NEW ECWID STORE : WATCH AND WHIRL

Here are a few pictures to show you what I have. Click on the pictures at the store to get information on them. These are a few examples from different catalogues. Each item is greatly discounted and you can see those prices on the site.

banker desk lamp
Tiffany Style Banker’s Lamp – $69
flower rug
Fun Rug 38″ x 58″ $88
rc helicopter
Remote Control Helicopter $14.95
juicy coulture perfume
Juicy Couture Eau de Parfume Spray 3.4 oz $5,90

This store will soon be on WordPress as well. I will be converting my watchandwhirl.com blog to a business blog. The blog will still be there but there will be an added shop. That page will also have same main photo to represent the store as you see above – the same one at the Facebook shop and the Ecwid shop. Eventually it will be an eBay shop, Shopify and Amazon, too. I will then start a stand alone shop of all music equipment and assessories.

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You can also find the store at Facebook by putting “Watch and Whirl” in the search bar, or you might see it at my personal page : facebook.com/sonni.quick. The store is listed under pages I manage. also when you find me – put in a friend request.

Most of all I’d like you to go to the Facebook store – Watch and Whirl – because there you can “like” and “follow” and share it.

If you know anything about Facebook advertising, they determine who can see my posts organically by how many likes and follows it has – as well as comments.
Creating a following that way means I don’t have to pay out the ying yang to buy Facebook ads. Google ads are another issue – very expensive. SO I have to begin to have sales  by people sharing my stores with their friends and social media. It takes a lot of time and effort.

It has taken 4 1/2 years to build up my page for “My name is Jamie. Life in Prison” – Facebook.com/jamielifeinprison – where I put blog posts, MUSIC, ITFO NEWS ( Please subscribe), and articles on criminal justice.

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ANYWAY. . . this is how I got here. I read an ad somewhere about starting an online store for $47. I clicked on it because the number 47 plays a big part in my life – a subject for another post. It stopped me long enough to read about it. $47 was just the beginning. I talked with a man who made it sound easy and they would give me all the instruction I needed – and they have. I have spent 6 weeks learning, reading, watching videos about what to do and funneling money into getting it started. everything has a monthly fee. Nothing happens for free unless you have a rich, well-connected family, which I don’t.

Long story short – I took advantage of what they offered. Things come across your path for a reason. But do we have the wisdom to see it? I started researching and learning. I now had a vehicle to build a business one brick at a time – if I had the perseverance to do it. I’m a dedicated work-a-holic so it fits my personality profile.

I now have two stores – plus items at eBay  ( my ID name there is sonniquick – easy to find)  That will become my next store. I need a lot more merchandise and I’m  loading more each day, but they have enough to get started.

E-commerce has grown since I did eBay 18 years ago. It was almost unheard of then. There are so many more platforms and so many more rules. The competition for your attention is fierce. To begin, I will have a store at Ecwid, a store on Facebook and a store on eBay. I  will also put a store on this blog and turn it into a business blog, not just an information one. Today all I can do is put in  a link. I only ask that you take a look. See how I set it up. Do you have any suggestions? Are there products you would buy if they were there?

So many of our connections now are online. Some people I have talked to for years. Now I hope these people who I’ve crossed paths will help me by sharing my posts. Connect with me at my Facebook store. It would be an enormous.

Can you share this on your blog? Could we do an interview post on your blog where I tell you what I’m doing? I would gladly reciprocate and shares yours, too. Leave me a comment.  Tell me what you think.

Thanks – Sonni

How Equal are the Scales of Justice?

horizontal-2071313_640There are quite a few new people coming to this blog. I want to thank you. It is important to be more aware of our justice system – and our court system that makes and breaks the laws that have been set up supposedly to protect Americans from those who break the law. But from what I read, our systems of court are very choosy about who they protect and who they punish for breaking those laws and it often has nothing to do with whether they are guilty or not.  It depends on their skin color, their money, who they know and how much power they have. The American people can scream “INJUSTICE” all day long and it won’t do a damn thing. It keeps happening! The courts do not protect all citizens.

The one thing the average person can do is to inform people of what they learn about this. Don’t just read about it and walk away thinking someone else will fix it. On this page – facebook.com/jamielifeinprison – and this blog there is more than the reporting of police and court injustice, there is knowledge of what goes on behind the scene that takes place inside jails and prisons.

When I heard Trump say that he has done SO much for black people and SO MUCH for inmates, and how he is the least racist person alive – while praising members of the KKK – I am astounded that some people believe him.  What he has done for criminal justice wouldn’t fill a teaspoon looking at the millions who are incarcerated and ten times that, when you add in the families who have ruined lives long after they are released from prisons sentences that are far longer than they have ever been. that does not include state prisons where 4/5 of inmates are that affects only a very small percentage of Federal inmates – it can’t stop there! Conditions inside the prisons are worse than ever. We need to do more than just read about it.

So I ask, would you please share more articles on your own timelines and social media that help teach people what our justice system has become. When it is time to vote again, if people are more knowledgeable, they will vote with their brain and not with their feelings, hopefully. Our country has to be more diligent than ever if we are going to have a country that protects all of its people, not just the light skinned ones who have money. Because that is how our justice system works today.

Did you know the prison corporations have contracts with the states promising the prisons will be kept full, or the government will have to pay them for the empty beds? Those contracts have always been there since the Prison Industrial Complex was formed but now, with less Marijuana arrests what sector will they raid to keep the prisons full? Will they prosecute more low income people who can’t afford an attorney? They already do that. They have to fill the beds some way – so who will they go after? We’ll find out. Stockholders must get their profits.

A few weeks ago my husband and were pulled over. It wasn’t because we did anything wrong. We didn’t have a broken tail light. We weren’t speeding. There was no reason to be pulled over. The cop was on a fishing expedition. We drive a seventeen year old car that has seen better days. It was pretty obvious we didn’t come from money. He pulled us over just so he could run our plates and see if there was anything he could get us for. There wasn’t so he had to let us go.

BUT THERE WAS NO REASON TO PULL US OVER. Good thing we were white. There was no telling what would have happened if we weren’t. We’ve all seen the videos. Cops aren’t trying to protect the citizens, they are looking to see who they can arrest.  Vigilante cops. Do you all citizens deserve to be called Americans? If you do, you need to do more, even if it is only making more effort to keep people informed.

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This is a blog I found today, or rather he found me. I read a few posts and checked out his story. If you want a little honesty about what happens when that door slams behind you and you are locked in jail, this is it. He describes it in a way that compels you to keep reading. Six chapters are posted so far but there are more. Read this and go on to chapter one.

For my son, Never Give UP! And for my mother, my TEMICOR, I’m proud to say, “That’s my mom.” 😊I can’t leave out my team, A-Team, thank you for all your help and efforts and fighting as hard as you have. For Simon, getting me started down the right path and then a roof over […]

via FORWARD — Survivngoutlawjustice

Ex Slaves Talk About Slavery in the USA

 

Hearing the voices of the people in this video hits my emotions with sadness. These are people whose lives were abused and kept isolated from knowledge. They had no idea how they were going to take care of themselves when they were “turned out” like cattle when they were freed. Free now to do what?

Slaves had no value except for the labor of their bodies, their mind never considered. What talents they had never had a chance to succeed. White church going people priding themselves on being chosen by God, (they were taught) thinking their behavior toward people of color, who were stolen from their country, their own ancestry thrown away, was acceptable.  It was not. The ignorance of some people even today who think they are better human beings, smarter and more deserving than the people their own recent generations enslaved is overwelming.

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Many have said they aren’t racist, maybe even believe they aren’t, but it’s bred into them. They cross to the other side of the street in fear if a black person walks toward them. They’ve been taught black men might rob them, grab a purse, demand their wallet, when the color of skin doesn’t determine if someone will do you harm. Still, they move far away just in case.

There is a lot talk about racism on social media.  Just today I added comments on a person’s post who was down playing racism as not really existing anymore. I only hear this coming from Republicans – Democrats, they say, hype it up as a means to put down Trump because he has had positive things to say about White Nationalism and that people in the KKK are good people, too. He has gotten a lot of support from the young Nazi groups who are infiltrating colleges, wanting to enter politics because they believe America should be white – again. But America was never white.

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I’m sure it’s not that cut and dried between political parties – Republicans are racist and Democrats aren’t – but if social media shows the temperature of how hot a subject is, I just don’t see Democrats posting a blatant love of wanting to see America being strictly a white Christian society.  I DO see that in what Republicans post. It is because Democrats espouse wanting an equal society of all people, with equal education, quality of living as well as healthcare for all, whether you are gay or elderly, @Black, Red or White. Republican politicians don’t want that. They want to control wealth of any kind, because they deserve it. Minorities take that away from them, undeservingly in their minds. Supporting Trump supports life as they think it should be, no matter what minority it hurts.

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This could be a long conversation that would be fruitless to print. It wouldn’t change anyone’s mind because they will believe what they want to believe. In the South they have tried to change history by teaching children ideas such as – the slaves had it pretty good. FREE housing, food and clothing. They had it much better here as slaves than they did in Africa. Really? But it doesn’t change reality. America trafficked in the human slave trade, raped the women and created the beginning of the mixed race of half black and half white, considered to be black  the white doesn’t matter.

I have been writing about racism in one form or another since 2014. We need to truly understand what slavery did to this country – our identity has been wrapped around this issue since the beginning. It has affected incarceration, education, jobs, family life with missing fathers and mothers due to incarceration and being given longer and harder sentences. None of that has changed.

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The 13 amendment to the Constitution allowed slavery to continue – if they were charged with a crime and in prison. They could still work the fields and White overseers on horseback with shotguns and dogs still patrol them to this day, along with many other jobs they can work for pennies, maybe.

From the begining of freedom the list of what constituted a crime was much longer for a black man than a white man. That continues today. Sentences handed out are different depending on your skin color  Many more black males are killed by white cops with little or no repercussions. We all know this. The facts are easy to look up. But many don’t want their minds changed. They cling to conservative news with a vengeance.

The idea that you, if you are white, are better than other races is instilled in you from the time you are able to hear, by family, church and community  They teach it to their children because it was what they were also taught as children. The same reasoning applies to your belief in any NVreligion.

I was raised in a white neighborhood and didnt go to school with black children until I entered Jr. High. There was one black boy in 5th and 6th grade. My parents never had an unkind word to say about black people, negroes, or any other race.actually they had nothing to say good or bad. We weren’t exposed to them. They lived on the “other” side of town. I didn’t know how to react to them. I remember wanting to touch one to see if their skin felt different, and what did their hair feel like? I was uncomfortable around them.

It took me a long time to work it out. Today I have three grandchildren who have a black mother or father. It scares me knowing how imbedded racism is in our society. Unless it changes we will always be divided. Sadly, I don’t think it will change. You have to want to understand  You have to search for the truth. Unfortunately, too many people love to hate.

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I Open My Eyes And Pray – Chapter

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I OPEN MY EYES AND PRAY

 

(This time I’m inserting the complete chapter because the end is needed for the beginning. If you do a search on the title, other chapters will pop up. anything with the book cover on it is part of the second draft. Anything else has good info, but I’m rewriting the entire book)

A newspaper and magazine began arriving in the mail in February. Sonni told him she took out subscriptions for him to help him understand his life. Jamie needed to look at his life from a different angle. He had only known one way of thinking. There was a God in the universe who made everything, controlled everything, kept an eye on you, and had a plan for your life – if you loved and worshiped only him. If you didn’t you went to hell. As far as he knew he was already there.
     That was the key. He had to love God and make Him the center of his life. God demanded that there be no other gods before him. So he knew about other God’s. Everything happened because of him, even if your life ended up in a bad place like prison.
     God supposedly created the sun and the moon and the planets – the whole shebang. If he didn’t believe that, he would die and go to hell. That was enough to scare him into believing it was true. Better to be safe than sorry, he thought.
     Recently, when he had studied Islam he learned different, interesting ideas, but it was still a God based, Supreme Being religion, except it was Allah you worshiped. Both were far away in the universe so you were expected to have faith with no answers because it had been passed down through many generations. But did that make it true? People believed in one or the other but they couldn’t both be true, right? Each had a different way of thinking about life and death.
     Jamie got into Islam because there was a community of brothers at the prison who took him in and helped him study. He liked it because they were into peace, not violence. He didn’t want to fight and it always seemed to follow him. Maybe he could learn discipline, but when he was moved to a different prison and wasn’t around them anymore there was no one to keep him on target. Praying five times a day? It was hard to keep it up by himself and he slacked off.
     Sonni didn’t tell him he was wrong or that he should stop doing it. He needed to find his own way. But little bit at a time she told him things. She didn’t tell him at first it was the way Buddhists think, because a lot of it was plain common sense when he thought about it. She gave him different options to think about.
     It caused him to be unhappy when he thought about the mess of he made of things? It didn’t have to go this way. He knew it was his own fault he ended up here, but he didn’t know how to look at it deeper than that. Why did he do things that caused him to lose so many years of his life and have to live in a place that was a living hell?
     Buddhism said if you make a cause you get an effect. Everything about his life was caused by something. It didn’t happen out of the blue. If he could figure this out maybe he could ’cause’ it to go in a better direction.
     What made him who he was in the first place? What made him different from the next person? Did God make him with epilepsy? If so it was a cruel joke.
     He did know he didn’t have to die to go to hell, because he was already there, with a bunch of other dudes. Most of them thought they were victims and weren’t really responsible for being here.
     It didn’t take rocket science to understand he needed to change his thinking or when he got out he might do the same crazy things that got him put in here. He needed to find better friends. It started with the people you chose to be in your life. But was it as easy as that? How do you meet the right people? You couldn’t look inside them to see who they were. People hid parts of themselves so it couldn’t be seen. Jamie didn’t think he was going to meet the right people in here.
     This Buddhist thinking could get pretty deep and he knew so little. It was like peeling layers of an onion. It got harder and harder to peel each layer and the smell got stronger as he faced parts of himself he didn’t like.
     He prayed and prayed to God to help him and nothing changed. He was told he needed more faith. How much faith did it take for God to notice he was hurting? The chaplain told him that is what it means to have faith, but so far his faith didn’t produce any good results. His life only got worse and worse. It was time to look at other options.
     Some of the articles in this new magazine made him feel like he could change his life, but first he had to change how he thought he ended up here. He needed to understand. It sounded so easy, but it wasn’t. He could change his thinking one minute, but if a guard mouthed off at him his anger popped out real fast before he could stop it.
     It was easy to fall into a victim way of thinking. He might deserve being here but that didn’t mean he deserved to be treated badly, like he wasn’t worth the space he took up.
He liked reading the weekly newspaper, the World Tribune, and the magazine, Living Buddhism. Did he believe everything he read? He didn’t know. He didn’t understand some of it but he was trying. Sonni said she had been studying this for a long time, so he was willing to listen. He wouldn’t understand everything right away.
     In lots of ways it was like Christianity, teaching you how to be a better person, but instead of praying to God to fix things he knew he had to fix things himself. He had the time to work it out. It wasn’t like he had anything better to do.
     Sonni was in the hospital a lot right now, sick most of the time. She was slowly climbing the transplant list. It wouldn’t be long now. He was sure she was doing a lot of chanting to keep her confidence high. But he was still worried about her and wished he could do something to help.
     All of her letters came through the Jpay system. She was having trouble typing because her hands shook from the medications. She wasn’t able to hold a pen anymore to write, so she picked out what she wanted to say one key at a time with one finger. She said it took her a long time to type a letter.

Jamie tried to turn off his brain. It hurt from so much thinking. Kicking back on his bunk he tried to think about his future instead of the past or present. Changing the past was impossible, but maybe he could do better at creating a future for himself in his brain.
Thing is, he would have never learned about this on his own, yet it makes sense. What if there had been no Sonni? What would he be thinking right now? Would he be praying? Probably, because he didn’t know anything else to do. If it was up to God to change his life he would do it when and if he was ready. It’s not up to us when that is.
     Buddhists pray, too – while they chant. But they don’t pray for something in the universe to fix them. They pray for the wisdom to understand what they need to do to fix themselves.
     Either God thinks you’re worthy or he doesn’t. Sure, he knew the phrase, you reap what you sow, but it wasn’t really taught or explained because God could always override it if he wanted. He could change a bad thing and make it disappear, but he never jumped in and changed any of the bad stuff that happened to him. God doesn’t answer all prayers so how do you know if it’s pointless to pray about something?
     Jamie had to think deeper about why he was here because it wasn’t by accident. He needed to change what he did because he never wanted to come back here, or any other prison, again. Prison made him think about his life and the ball was in his court to make it change.
     A lot of dudes ended up with another prison sentence after they got out, even though they said they were serious about doing things different and staying clean. Some had families and wanted to be better fathers. But it wasn’t always that easy and they ended up inside again. Why did that happen? Was it because they started doing the same things again that got them in trouble in the first place? Did they go back to the same friends? Maybe they couldn’t make enough money. It was hard to get a good job as an x-felon. Or maybe their old life was too tempting. It could be as simple as breaking parole; getting caught with someone who had a gun or being in the wrong place. Maybe they missed a meeting with their parole officer.

He didn’t want that to happen to him.

Jamie picked up the magazine that came in the mail today. He rolled his blanket into a pillow and lay down on the floor. After reading for a while he decided to chant a little. He told Sonni he would. It did make him feel better. It took deep breaths to chant and that helped him relax. He tried to block things out in his mind and think about positive things he wanted to happen when he got out.
     He never thought doing something like this would be interesting. It was like meditating and he enjoyed doing it. Could he really use chanting to improve himself? He felt it helped him focus his thoughts. That was a start.
     The magazine had articles about experiences people had when they set a goal and chanted to reach it. He liked reading those stories.
     There is a man who is the leader of the people who practice this type of Buddhism. There is more than one kind of Buddhism just like there are many different kinds Christianity and lots of different churches. His name is Daisaku Ikeda. He teaches the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin. There is also Zen, Tibetan and Shinto Buddhism and others. They aren’t the same, just like Mormons aren’t like Catholics.
     “Nam myoho renge kyo is like the roar of a lion. Therefore what illness can be an obstacle,” Jamie read aloud from a page in the magazine.
     Reading the words was easy. He could skim it and move on, but there had to be a deeper meaning. If he didn’t take the time to try to understand it would be pointless.
     A lion is powerful – King of the jungle. When a lion roars animals stop and listen. So chanting is like a powerful roar that goes out into the universe. Reading the article he learned that the power of chanting can break through obstacles. An illness isn’t always being sick. It is anything that has the power to defeat you.
     The hardest thing about living your life alone, stuck in a small cell, is there is nothing to do but think. No matter how hard he tried not to, it was impossible to stop his brain from latching on to every thought that went though it. It was exhausting.

Jamie looked up toward the window. He couldn’t see much but he knew the sun was out. It was a good time of year. April was was one of the few months where it wasn’t too hot or too cold. Daytime and night hours were both comfortable. March wasn’t bad, either, but come May you could feel the heat start to rise. It would be good if he could be taken outside for rec. He’d like to see the sun. It got depressing being inside too much never getting any fresh air.
     Today was commissary. The guards should be coming soon to take him down. It usually happened once a month, unless they were on lockdown. Then it was canceled. There was a little money in his account that Sonni sent. He needed to get hygiene – deodorant, soap and some stamps if he had enough. If he runs out of stamps they’ll still send letters, but they’ll take the money back the next time Sonni sends any. What he really wanted was some chocolate. That put a smile on his face. Chocolate tasted like freedom If he closed his eyes when he ate it.
     Jamie got up and stood at the sink with a couple pieces of dirty clothing. He soaked the shirt he had taken off this morning when he did his bird bath at the sink. Using his last tiny piece of soap, he scrubbed the shirt the best he could and let it soak in the water a few minutes before rinsing it out. He hung it over the edge of the sink to dry while he waited for the guard to come and cuff him.
     When he could, Jamie washed his own clothes. He doubted if soap was put in the washers. Either they were cutting costs or the inmates running the huge commercial washers couldn’t be bothered.
     They also crammed the clothing in the washers so tight he doubted water could get through it and get everything wet, let alone washed and rinsed. When he was given clean clothes, like after a shower, they always smelled like the men who wore them before him. Even when he didn’t have enough soap he still rinsed them out. The water that came out of the faucet often had a bad smell so his clothes never smelled good, like he remembered when he was young and his mom did laundry.
     Jamie heard the guards stop at his cell door. There were always two when they had to take him somewhere. He turned his back to the door and waited for the food tray slot to open and put his hands through it to be cuffed. He moved away from the cell door and turned around.
     It was uneventful. The other guard felt him up like normal to make sure he wasn’t hiding nothing and put the chains on his ankles. Off they went. He forgot what it felt like to stride down the hallway at his natural speed. He could only separate his legs about a foot so it was more like shuffling than walking. Anyway, it felt good to get out of his cell.

     “Mind if I tag along?” Jamie smiled. He heard Sonni’s voice behind him.
     “What are you smiling for?” the guard asked, looking over at him.
     “Oh nothing,” he said back. “It feels good to be walking. Don’t you think it’s a beautiful day?”
     The guard snapped at him, “Don’t get smart with me, asshole, or I’ll return you to your cell and you can forget about commissary.” Jamie turned his face and was silent. He really wanted to go to commissary today or he’d have to wait a month.
     Sonni didn’t have to be quiet, though. She laughed at the exchange. “I’ve never had a chance to see the rest of this place so I thought I’d walk along.”
     Jamie never knew when she was going to pop in and he was sure glad to see her. She was looking good, but he realized that was the way she wanted him to see her in her dream. She was the one dreaming this time. She had a massive shot of chemo into the tumors in her liver not long ago and her hair fell out. You wouldn’t know that looking at her today. Her hair was long and silky-baby fine. It was also very strange seeing her walk beside him and the guards had no clue she was there. If they knew, they would be freaking out right now. It was hard to keep from laughing. He coughed instead.
     They walked down several hallways and through a few double sets of locked doors until they came to the commissary. Sonni was looking left and right taking it all in.
     “It’s an unfriendly place, isn’t it?” she asked. “The air is really stale.”
     She stood to the side when it was Jamie’s turn to go up to the counter that blocked the entrance to the room where they kept the commissary items. A woman was standing there and asked him for his ID. She needed to look him up and see if he had money on the books.
     “You have twenty dollars in your account,” she told him without looking him in the eye. Jamie told her what he needed.
     They walked back to his cell in silence and waited to talk until the guards left. If he appeared to be talking to himself they might think he was nuts. He didn’t want to give them any reason to write him up.
     “I’ve been worried about you,” Jamie told her quietly.
     “I know,” she said. She wanted to take his hand, but couldn’t. Living without the touch of another human being is hard. We were meant to be touched.
     “You’re so sick and there is nothing I can do,” he told her. “If something happens I won’t know.”
     “I’ll find a way to make sure you know, ” she assured him.
     “You’re all I have, the only one who shows me you care and I don’t want to lose you. I don’t think I can take that.” Jamie talked fast to get the words out. He didn’t want her to see him getting upset.
     “I know you are much sicker than you appear,” he looked down and almost whispered the words.
     “Isn’t that the beauty of dreams?” Sonni smiled as she talked.
     “We can go anywhere and be anyone we want.” She glanced over at the bed and saw the World Tribune laying there.
     “Have confidence,” she told him. “You’ve been reading, I see. What do you think?” She sat down on his bed and patted the thin mattress beside her for him to sit.
     “It sure makes me think about things I never thought about before.” Jamie nodded his head as he answered.
     “This is deeper thinking than anything I learned in my life before. It doesn’t say you have to believe in something you can’t see, but you should believe it anyway.”
     Jamie tried to find the words to explain what he meant. “Believe what you know to be there. See the actual proof of changes in your life.”
     “When you see what is happening in your life, something had to cause it to be there,” Sonni finished his thought and continued. “There are no accidents or bad luck. There is only effects of decisions you made, although it goes deeper than that because this isn’t our first rodeo show. If you focus on where you want to be in your life and seek the wisdom to change your life, you can.”

Sonni stopped there. “There is so much more to learn, and prison is giving you the time to learn it.”
     “It’s time for me to go now, Jamie, but I’ll be seeing you again soon.”
     That fast she was gone. She faded and disappeared like a genie in a bottle. Jamie sat there and went over everything in his head. It was quite a day.
     He still had hard years to get through, but everyone had hard years in one way or another. We all live some good years, too. Hopefully he’ll have lots of good years in his future.
     Even though Sonni is sick, she still has freedom. He doesn’t have freedom and without it, it isn’t much of a life. He can only pray things will get better for her, as he knows she prays for him. That’s all he can do for her. But Buddhists don’t close their eyes and pray, they open them and send their prayers into the universe and pray for protection.

Jamie picked up the World Tribune and began reading again where he left off.

 

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Looking Into the Crystal Ball – Chapter

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I decided to publish this chapter again for people who are new to Jamie’s story – as I continue to work on the second draft – to create interest. This is the first chapter after the prologue as he learns, from jail  about his public defend and his sentence.

There are other chapters and partial chapters available to read as well as music and videos finished that are for the chapters that have the same title. You can find the music and videos at my website sonniquick.net. This is the video and music for this chapter.

Subscribe to ITFO NEWS for monthly newsletters about the book and other prison issues. It is only by you and people you share this with that will enable me to be successful  This has been a long project putting all of this together. Your support is important and appreciated.

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LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL

 

One after another, thoughts kept racing through Jamie’s head. What was going to happen to him? Life would never be the same. His court date was today and he didn’t have a clue what was going on. Didn’t he need an attorney? He couldn’t represent himself. How many years could they give him? He had no idea but he had a feeling this wasn’t going to be a good day.
     A black man like him, born and raised in Texas would get as many years as they could possibly give him. Racism is alive and well and Texas ranked with some of the worst. They would lock him up whether he deserved it or not.
     Depending on your race, the same crime gets different sentencing. Looking around the room at the dozens of three tier bunks lined up across the floor it was easy to see there was more black skin than white. Maybe white men didn’t commit as many crimes in Harris county. That was a laugh.
     Jamie needed someone to talk to. Somebody on his side who would listen and help. He wanted to explain he did not go out that night with his friends so he could rob a club. He wasn’t the one who had a gun in his back pack. He didn’t even know the guy had a gun until he talked about it in the car. It sounded like he was joking. He didn’t think the dude was serious. If only he did something to stop him things would be different right now.
    Morgan wrote him a while back and said she tried to get him a lawyer but it didn’t come through. She sent money to his brother who had a friend who knew an attorney who would take a deposit. Payments could be made on the balance.
     It sounded kinda hokey to him but it was the only thing he had to hope for. Trust him or do nothing. They should have done nothing because the money disappeared. Morgan lost money she could have used herself for the kids.
     He knew his mom didn’t have any money to help him. Morgan sent money she made working at her mom’s store. He knew he was on his own. He would feel better if he could at least see her, but that wasn’t going to happen. She was too far away.
     Jamie’s life was falling apart. How could he control what was happening? He was never going to see his son be born. He wanted go be a father but he could kiss that goodbye. There would be no holding him or being the kind of dad he never had. The cycle of being raised without a father wasn’t going to be broken.
     Life wasn’t supposed to be fair all the time, but he felt his life had never been fair from the time he was born. He grew up being told to believe in God. Have a blessed day and all that. There was no reason not to believe, but he didn’t think God had done much to bless him lately. He prayed desperately since this happened but it didn’t do much good. Tears began to well up in his eyes, threatening to spill down his cheeks.
   “Choke it down, Jamie,” he told himself. “Don’t let it show.” If he started to cry he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to stop.
     “If anyone saw you they would think you weak,” he whispered under his breath. They would gang up on him to make him their whipping boy. He wasn’t about to let that happen.
     Today was supposed to be his day in court but nobody talked to him about it. He was scared. Hs heart was beating in his head and it echoed in his ears.

      Jamie leaned against the grate covering the window and hooked his fingers into the metal and stared outside, watching the day as the seconds and minutes of his life passed by. Everything outside looked normal. He could see people coming and going.
     Clouds were creeping across the blue sky as if today were a normal day like all the rest. It wasn’t normal for him. He wanted so bad to leave the building and walk out into that day and be free. Could he change what was happening? Not likely. It took all his willpower not to scream.
     “Cummings, you have a visitor.”
    Jamie was lost in his thoughts. He didn’t hear what was said. The guard raised his voice. “Cummings, wake up.” He almost yelled when he repeated it.
     Startled, Jamie whirled around to face him. He had a visitor? His first thought was of Morgan. Was she here?
     “Your attorney is here. You have to come with me.”
     “What attorney? Jamie shot back. “I don’t have no attorney.”
     “You do now.”
    Jamie was apprehensive. His mind began to race. Nobody told him someone was coming. Shouldn’t he have been told? How would he have time to help him now? There wasn’t time. He had been in here waiting for months. Why was he only coming to see him at the last minute? He hesitated before he began walking toward the guard.
    “We don’t have all day.” The guard insisted. ” Get a move on it.” Jamie turned around and let the guard cuff his wrists. There was no going anywhere outside this cell without cuffs. There were some men who would try to hurt the guard or anyone else on staff just for the fun of it.
He half stumbled when the guard gave him a small shove to start him walking. Down the hallway past three closed doors, the door to a small windowless room was standing open. When they walked inside, a man in a suit was waiting bedside a metal table bolted to the floor. Jamie didn’t remember seeing him before.
     He was a skinny man with acne scars spread across his cheeks. He glared at Jamie with contempt in his eyes. His thinning hair combed over the top of his bald head was a poor attempt at pretending he had hair. Poor dude. Jamie was sure he the public defender assigned to him. Maybe this was the only lawyer job he could get. He didn’t seem too happy to be here.
     Jamie needed someone who could help him, but this man didn’t seem like he enjoyed his job very much. He swept his arm in a gesture over the table which told Jamie to sit down.
    The man continued to stand and glare at him with his arms crossed over his chest with a ‘don’t mess with me’ attitude. It was a power move to show he was the authority in the room.
    The guard removed his cuffs. Jamie sat and waited for the man to talk. He was uncomfortable but he wasn’t going to let it show. The attorney took his time, letting his gaze slowly wander from his head to his hands as if he expected Jamie to jump up real quick and attack him.
It wasn’t the first time a white man looked at him like that, assuming he would be violent if given the chance. Jamie wasn’t a little man, but that didn’t mean he went around attacking people.
     “You’re in deep trouble, son,” the attorney began his practiced spiel.”You don’t have many options.” Son? He called him son? Was that his way of sounding superior?”
    How many times had this man repeated the same line, Jamie thought. Before he could continue, Jamie tried to talk. “I want to explain what happened. I didn’t . . .”
      That was all he managed to get out before this man, put both fists on the table, leaned over and looked him dead in the eyes.
      “I’m not interested in hearing your story. I don’t care what you did or didn’t do.
       “I need to . . .”
      “You don’t need to do anything. I said . . .” He hesitated for a few seconds, “I’m not interested. Tell your story to someone else. All you need to know is, the District Attorney has a case against you and your only option is to plead guilty.”
    He paused for a moment as he drilled that statement into Jamie’s head. He broke eye contact to take a few papers out of his brief case and lay them on the table.
     “You need to sign these papers admitting to guilt. I’m here on behalf of the DA who is offering you a plea deal of forty years. I advise you to take it.”
     Jamie stared him, stunned. What the hell? He was trying to scare him and it was working, Was he serious? Forty years? No way would he agree to that.
     “They have you dead to5th right, running out of a club after robbing it,” the attorney emphasized, rapping his knuckles on the table several times.
     “The money was found on your friend, in the car you were driving. There is nothing to defend.”
     Jamie stood. He could feel his anger rising. He was being railroaded. One case finished, on to the next sucker who couldn’t afford to pay for an attorney?
     “I’m not going to agree to that. I didn’t do it. I might have been there, but I didn’t have anything to do with what my friend did.” He knew it didn’t matter. Being there made him an accomplice. But he couldn’t go down without a fight. Forty years was beyond anything he thought could happen. “I want to go in front of the judge. No way am I pleasing guilty.”
     “Have it your way.” He put the unsigned papers back in his briefcase and closed it. Picking it up, he walked out.
     Jamie stared after him, speechless. “Now what?” he asked the guard who was leaning against the wall watching this while thing go down.
He shrugged. He didn’t make a move to take him back to the cell so Jamie sat down, waiting to see where this was going. There was no point in trying to talk to the guard. Twenty minutes later the attorney walked back in. 

     “I have another option for you and I advise you to take it,” the attorney instructed impatiently. He began tapping the toe of his shoe on the floor. “There won’t be another one.”
     It was obvious he wanted this signed and done. He didn’t want to waste any more of his day on Jamie.
     “You’re lucky.” He continued. “The DA must have a soft spot for you.”
Sarcasm dripped from his words. Jamie wondered what he did to make him dislike him so bad. He obviously didn’t want to defend him even thought it was his job. How many other people had he already said this to today?
     “Seventeen years,” the attorney paused to let it sink in. “If you don’t take it, and insist on going to court and wasting everyone’s time, they will slap on extra charges. You’ll end up doing fifty to ninety-nine.”
    “What charges?” Jamie demanded. He slammed his hands down o.k. the table. The attorney ignored him. “What about wasting years of my life?” he added.
     “I need time to think about this,” Jamie told him. How could he agree to give up the rest of his youth without a fight? He didn’t plan what his friend did at the club. Why should have to pay for it with so many years of his life? What would that prove?
      There were four of them that went out to the club that night. He had no idea what they were going through. Were they offered the same deal? He needed answers but there was no one who was going to give them to him.

     The dude who had the gun had been to prison before. He had a record so they probably went harder on him. Why did he go out that night? Why? If only he had stayed home.
     “You have five minutes.” the attorney told him. I’ll be back for your answer.”

How was Jamie supposed to know what to do in five minutes? This was wrong. He didn’t know how to fight it. This man was the only attorney he had and it was obvious, defending him in court was something he had no interest in doing. Why? Isn’t he supposed to defend him? Wasn’t that his job? He guessed not when the DA wanted it to end another way.
     Right and wrong didn’t matter. There was no such thing as justice. Another body to fill a prison bed. The only thing that mattered was locking up as many people as they could. Not just any people – black people. They went after Hispanics and other minorities, too.
     The government wanted to fill the prisons with poor people who couldn’t afford to protect themselves or pay for a real attorney. Racism toward blacks keeps growing. Why? Because they think black people wanted to knock white people off their pedestal of superiority? But most blacks and minorities only wanted to survive and raise their families. They wanted equality. They weren’t going to get it.
     Jamie didn’t understand it? He didn’t know all the history. He did know what he witnessed, though, and he heard the stories people told about why they were in jail.
     There was no way for him to come out on top of this. He was screwed no matter what he did. If he fights he loses.
     Jamie started to stand up but the guard glared at him with a look that said, “Don’t even try.” He sat back down and waited for the attorney to return. His brain was going a hundred miles an hour. How long would seventeen years feel. It was almost as long as his whole life up till now. He was only twenty- one.
     Should he take a chance and go to court? Possibly give up his entire life? He didn’t know what other charges they could add. They could make up anything they wanted.
     He closed his eyes and put his head back. He had no choice. His unborn son had no choice, either. He wouldn’t have a father. He would be giving up ask thought of raising his son. If he did all seventeen years he would be almost out of high school. They wouldn’t know each other.
     Morgan would have to go on and find someone else. It killed him to think about that. The pain ripped him in two. He couldn’t expect her to wait. Maybe he could get out early. Maybe he could get parole.
     So many unanswered questions running through his head at the same time. His five minutes are over. He heard the door handle click when it unlocked. The attorney stepped back into the room.
     “What’s your answer?” Jamie looked down, reached out his hand and signaled with his fingers for the papers.

 

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