Monday, February 28, 2011

Follow Up Report and Video of Dead Man Walking Dialogue

Hobby Center for the Performing Arts

In a RECENT ENTRY, I gave advance notice on a rather singular event taking place in Houston on the subject of the death penalty. I was somewhat skeptical of this "religious dialogue" for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that the city of Houston has condemned and executed more men than any other state in the entire country. Add to that my doubts about the power of religion to solve any issue of relevance to modern life, and you get some rather caustic comments from the peanut gallery. I did phrase these comments in the form of a challenge, though, in the hopes of being proven wrong. (Not that I am ever wrong. Cough.) I think I said something about an anemic attendance counts and the eating of crow, if I remember correctly. Sigh. Ok, here goes: Ahem:

Ok, ok, I was wrong. Wrong, I say! The religious community came out for this event and filled up the Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall to a tune of approximately 500 participants. I still assert that a secular ethical system is superior to any form of absolutist morality, but you guys did good and made me proud. Well done. I shall eat my humble pie with good cheer.

Hobby Center's Zilkha Hall

MB6 was well represented by three able and only slightly harassed reporters, namely my Pops, my stepmom, and my friend Dorothy. (Thanks guys!) With their help, my hope is that I can somewhat reproduce the event for those of you living out of state/country, so as to exponentially increase the attendance count.

First of all, HERE is a copy of the program from the event. And HERE is a news report on the evening written by the Houston Chronicle, which recently reversed itself on this issue and is now firmly in the corner of those calling for a moratorium on executions. (The comments are very informative, by the way.)

The crowd was mostly older. Getting an approximate mean age was difficult, but Dorothy guessed this figure would be somewhere in the mid-50's. There were small groups of younger people, though, including some teenagers. Socioeconomically, the crowd was mostly middle class. Most races were present, but the crowd was overwhelmingly Caucasian, probably due to the heavy tilting of the panel participants as members/leaders of mostly white congregations.

Everyone seemed to have a good time at the event. The Hobby Center has multiple Halls for events, and it just so happened that a major theatrical production was taking place at the same time as the DMW event. Both ended at roughly the same time, so there was much mixing by the crowds, and some interesting conversations took place while everyone waited for the valets to bring the cars around. Networking, old school style!

Rather than attempt to reproduce the event with wordplay, I will do one better: I will show it to you! ENJOY!

© Copyright 2011 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved

Monday, February 21, 2011

Art and Poetry by By Patrick Comi

By Patrick Comi

As my heart melt into fury, with no one to console me,
Love seems to be a distant memory.  My  heart has been ripped
Apart, feast upon, and devoured by vengeance.

Loneliness is a soothing pain in which I find sorrowful
Comfort.  How could I ever go on living this way; abandoned and
Left just as my last breath slipped into nothingness?

I have been judged condemned to poty by those who live in
Misery, but purged are my resurrected thoughts.  I received th ultimate of being nailed to the cross thn placed into the
Bottomless pit where I cam efface to face with myself, Will.
I had the key all the time but was refusing to accept it; the
Key is compassion.

Gifted as I be, with a lifted mentality, essentially I am
Will, and everything is a manifestation of it.

Revitalize yourself

By Patrick Comi

Lonely, stressed out, torn, beaten and afflicted.
Charged it to the game to the riches u was addicted.
Reminiscing on the past.
Motivated by my connection.
Searching for a way to find redemption.
When did the street life take control?
Training me, straining me.
Searching for guidance from fools who had
a penchant for violence.  The only law they taught
me was the code of silence.
Every day all day a fight.  Am I being used to
participate in humanity plight?
No Mercy, greed has forced me to hold tight…
Never gave a damn if my actions were wrong, or right.
Society has judge me easily.  I must accept the blame.
If Jah could grant me mercy, surely you could do the
Now I’m free from pain and misery, you can tell eveil
Lies and persecute me.
But you can’t take away the Holy Spirit, who has

already freed me.

By Patrick Comi

Your future my beloved brothers are filled with crime and violence
Leading you to deafening silence, brick walls, barb wires, and gun towered fences
Keeping you caged in for a natural life sentence
Everything and everyone are subtracted from your life
Thirty minutes collect phone calls are the only thing that seems to ease your sufferings
Can’t sleep at night, one eye open while praying you don’t get shanked in a prison fight
Daily decisions fight or flight
Listen my beloved brothers
What if I could give you the key to avoiding the penitentiary
Would you listen
Would you read these few words jumping off the pages
Would you take heed from a man who has walked in your shoes
I want you to dismiss anyone who would encourage you to sell drugs, carry a gun…
Enjoy your youth and have fun
Have respect for Mom and Dad,
they only want you to have a better life than the one afforded to them
Stay in school and make the right decisions
Keep this firm in your mind that wrong decisions leave scars
And right decisions will take you to the stars
My beloved brother I’ve wasted all of my opportunities please do not do the same
No gangs, no friends, no amount of money is worth giving your life away
Please remember that your life is worth more than gold
Although you’re seldom ever told
Be strong and bold, work hard to see your dreams unfold
Take time to work if you want success
Take time to think it is the hidden link

Toast to the Man
By Patrick Comi

I was too foolish to realize that I played a part
To the fulfillment of your evil plan
Genocide to my kind feeding them dope and wine
Locking up our babies in the can
Cutting off their life span
No reproduction, no hope, no dream
No contribution to their family’s clan
Feeding our babies excess sodium
Brainwashing their minds from the podium
Toast to the man
I was too blind to see the deception
 When you shook my hand
Now I’m left searching for the truth
While erasing lies you told me from birth
No, I’m no 3/5  human more like 100% original man
Born African bloodline from and ancient land
I see clearly your Mephistophelian plan
Building prisons in rural area generating jobs for your kind
 While imprisonment for blacks and Latinos
Prison for profit…beds must be filled
Cops arresting without probable cause
Fabricating evidence to create lifetime felons
Prosecutors all a part of the plan
So they prosecute their livestock with a heavy hand
Judges only concerns are their next election
So they vie for racist fear mongers votes
Toast to the man who created a system
That’s rotten to the core
Now and before

Solitary Confinement
By Patrick Comi

My mental wasn’t made for all this pressure
I’m feeling like I’m off my rocker
Solitary, solitary, confined in this 6x10 cell
Feels like hell
Segregation! For what I don’t know
This must be a sick joke
By a twisted and diabolic administration
Is this premeditated, calculated, and contrived
Set up to study first-hand the strength of a black man
I’m confused with confusion
No one could be this demonic, callous, nefarious, treacherous, and disgusting
To plant a weapon in the work area of two innocent inmates
With a fabricated story to keep us in solitary confinement for 365 days
No one to administer justice
I’m confused with confusion
My world is upside down
I walk back and forth in this filthy cell
With a permanent frown
Hope is just a fading song
Erasing on a daily from my memories
Doubt creeping in and out of my crucible
Threatening to put out my fire that once burned so radiantly
Love besets me no more
My heart once filled with gold
Now empty and cold
Hatred adorns my soul
Darkness covers my spirit
No light, no vitality to behold
I’m confused with confusion
What if our family, humankind could hear the lies
Could see the heavy eyes, medicated cries
What if society could see the Klu Klux Klan mentality
Racist ideology displayed by guards on a daily
Maybe then solitary confinement would be abolished
From all penitentiaries….Just maybe

                              Ras Empress                             
By Patrick Comi

Your love comforts me
Your love reminds me of pure memories so sweet so intense
Your love is what I miss
I’m famished for your kiss which leaves me in an instant bliss
Our love is an image of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba
Royal you are my Ras Empress
I’m seeing Jah in your progress
Now you’re radiating light
Giving me sight
Leading me out of my plight
Ras Empress I know you’ve been hurt by men
Who knows not your worth
Treating you like dirt
Not conscious that you are the Mother of the Earth
Jah blessed your profile
Smile so sweet blood-line
Coming from the bank of the river Nile
I’m bowing at your feet giving Jah praise for
Sending me a Ras Empress so precious so sweet

By Patrick Comi

Without you there could be no progress, no unfoldment, no evolution
Without you there could be no growth or development
Without you no fruit could spring from this tree
You straighten me after pain like a tree straightens after rain
Difficulty I welcome you with open arms for your presence has created a stronger me
You come around to see me suffer but you should know by now me giving up!?  NEVER
Remember the time you left me drowning
I know you were mad; I kept my head above water
Difficulty you know the deal, what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger
Difficulty, you come like a herd of bison, devouring the vast steep of existence
Ever present always lurking, disrupting harmonious effort and sound moments
You are no longer welcomed but always expected
Always on the precipitous of joy, waiting for your moment to shine bathing in the light of the optimist and pessimist alike
Oh you vile foe with your neediness for attention
Be gone with you, you foul beast
For I will no longer allow you to rule….only to be

By Patrick Comi

She will never tell you that injecting poison into the veins of a killer is morally right because she is righteous. 
She has a flair for being honorable and fair.
She’s never bias, so count yourself as one of the blessed, if you know her name.
She’s without blemishes or stains. She never forms opinions beforehand because she always gives both sides a chance to explain. She’s the standard of good behavior.
Call on her in your time of need and I promise you….
She will never waver. In fact she’ll be your savior.
She does not have preconceived thoughts, nor is she subjective.
She’s uninfluenced by emotions, because she’s objective.
She uses herself as a sieve, and everything that has breath can live.
Even when it comes to bandits…she’s evenhanded.
The sons of darkness can’t stand it, but she never shows prejudice….She’s Justice!!!!

Let Me Live Freely
By Patrick Comi

Let me live freely then, not locked in a cage
Not growing up in the pen
Shackled to my thoughts, can’t escape them
Let me live freely then, free from ailments among the ailing
Free from pain and suffering
Let me live freely then, free from savagery among savage men
Free to be meek and humble without you calling me weak and brittle
Free from greed among greedy men
Let me live freely then, free to express my musings with tongue, paint, or pen
Let me live freely then, to write my own story
I’m sick and tired of hearing his-story minimizing my ancestor’s glory
Let me live freely then, free from oppression while I’m living in the oppressors’ pen 
Let me live freely then, free from the “isms” and “schisms”
Free to give praise to Jehovah while you are waiting on a supernova

Patrick Comi B69649
2500 Route 99 South
Mount Sterling, IL 62353

Poetry by Fabion Brown

Somewhere in the Night
By Fabion Brown

Somewhere in the night
The stars are shining so bright
A special place for us to share
Can I meet you there?

Sometime in the night
Before darkness turned to light
I was lost and didn’t know what to do
But I found my home when I dreamed of you.

Just before the end of night
Everything started feeling alright
I woke with teasers on my pillow
Because you left before I was ready to let go.

Dawn is breaking on a new day
And soon it won’t drive you away
My freedom is within sight

So wait for me, somewhere in the night.

While You Slept At Night
By Fabion Brown

The phone rang
We answered the call
You never heard
While you slept at night

We had a rendezvous with destiny
Kissed our loved ones goodbye
And did our duty
While you slept at night

We stand on honor
We ARE that line
Defending all you hold dear
While you slept at night

We became closer than family
Bonded in chaos
Missed birthdays and holidays
While you slept at night

We paid the cost
In blood and tears
With life and limb
So you CAN sleep at night

By Fabion Brown

We are the seeds of man
Planted in the ground of women
There our equality ends
Some seeds are nourished on prosperity
grown under perfect conditions
Then there are seeds like me
Flowers of the Ghettos
Grown among rocks and weeds
Cherishing every bit of nutrition
Everyday for us is full of struggle
Still we reach for the sun

Because even seeds thrown among weeds can thrive.

By Fabion Brown

No one can tell you it’s not real
You love how it makes you feel
It’s like getting a wish from a star
Getting letters while behind bars

See, it’s hard not being free
But harder when you’re lonely
We all want someone to be there
Just to tell us they still care

The letters remind you you’re not alone
Encouragement you need to make it home
And it home is not in your cards
The letters make your time not as hard

My Voice
by Fabion D. Brown

Trapped in man made hell
My soul still had a story to tell
With pen and paper it fought it’s way free
My troubles told through poetry.
I found relief through a suppressed gift
Right when my spirit needed a lift
So I continued to write
A new chapter each night.
Now my spirit feels lighter
And my tomorrows look brighter
I shard my writings with a friend
Next, I’ll publish to see what happens
I was told my story should be read
After it worked so hard to escape my head
Around the world I will be heard
Through my written word
Being invisible is a choice
Because they can’t take my voice.

Another Me 
by Fabion D. Brown

Flashing lights of red and blue
Assumed a threat by his darker hue
His hands are up please don’t shoot
With a flash his story is moot
Time and time again
Darker color is deadly sin
His progeny on this earth
Cursed by their darker birth
A mother lost another son
To the being of a police gun
Flowers will be laid and tears shed
Another unarmed black man dead
He will never grow old
His story forfeit to a badge of gold
The cop gets a medal on his chest
While another me is laid to rest
No matter our name
The stories are the same
We soon fade from the headline
Just wait, there’s always a next time.

Fabion Brown 701947
Oklahoma State Penitentiary
P.O. Box 97
McAlester, OK 74502

I am currently serving Life Without Parole in Oklahoma after overcoming a Death sentence in 2018. I am in the process of appealing that as well. Until I am able to free myself, I pass the time writing poems, reading everything I can get my hands on (fantasy fiction is my favorite), and crocheting (I think that’s a word). If you liked the poem of just wish to write, I welcome all letters. One final thing to those who liked the poem, soon I will be publishing a small collection of other poems; more details will come when I know more. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Besse Medical and the Hippocratic Oath

Click on picture for link to story

There are interesting developments afoot in the area of state sanctioned murder. As you have probably heard from many sources, the sole US manufacturer for sodium thiopental - the first drug in the 3-drug cocktail that states use to kill inmates - is no longer going to be producing it. You can read the details HERE. (Or, you can also read about it HERE and HERE and HERE.) You can also read an editorial about the legal mess the FDA created when it imported expired doses of sodium thiopental HERE. It is amusing even to someone in my position that the likely direction this little imbroglio is headed is that in the very near future we are going to have to import our killing drugs from China. I mean, we already get everything else from there, so it is a logical conclusion. And they certainly wont pass any pesky laws against exporting the drug, like those moralistic pansies in the EU. It's a sad day when America can't even do its own killing anymore, isn't it? John Wayne is rolling over in his grave.At any rate, never fear, my conservative friends: ~ stalwart and omnipresent mouthpiece for the TDCJ empire, Michele Lyons, recently said that she was "optimistic" that the Lone Star State would find a manufacturer for their lethal chemicals. They actually have quite a few doses, but all of them are set to expire on 1 March, 2011, so who knows what they are going to do.I can tell you, however, who the supplier' for all three drugs has been for the state of Texas, dating back many years.Oh! If only they had a website! (Cough)

And a freeworld address!
Besse Medical9075 Center Point Dr. Suite 140West Chester, OH 45069

And people's names to put on the envelope!
Executive Vice President Mick BessePlant Manager Rob Besse

And a small army of well-meaning, intelligent, aesthetically pleasing minions to pester them with letters and emails! (That would be you.)Also amusing is the company's "mission statement": We deliver responsive and innovative healthcare products and solutions to help our business partners positively impact patients' lives. Right. I am sure that the several hundred men murdered by these drugs over the past few years are all very thankful for the positive impact this company has had on them.Besse Medical is a division of AmerisourceBergen Specialty Group, which sounds like a heartless multi-national corporation if there ever was one. You can also find them online at:

Their freeworld address is:
AmerisourceBergen CorporationPO Box 959Valley Forge, PA 19482

Address letters to:
CEO - R. David Yost

When you write, be sure to remind these people that they have been turning a blind eye to the fact that their products are used in a medical procedure that is anathema to the position of the AMA, and all other relevant medical ethics groups. Let them know that their secret is now known, and that you are not cool with this. This CAN work, people, but only if some of you take this seriously. I really appreciate it. And so will the guys on this LIST.

© Copyright 2011 by Thomas Bartlett Whitaker. All rights reserved