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Do you believe?

That the famous Jewish family, The Rothschild Family, paid Charles Darwin to create the “theory of Evolution.

That House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other Democrats, are extraterrestrial reptilians monitoring each for some form of alien life.

That the earth is flat.

That the Kraken is alive and well.

That JFK (former President Kennedy) will soon return from the dead to re-install Donald Trump as President.

That Dr. Fauci is worse than Josef Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death.”

That Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “hero” for invading Ukraine as a glorious stand against some New World Order.

That the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 are “patriots.”

That QAnon is a beacon of truth.

That there are Deep State baby eaters.

That Deep State pedophiles lurk in pizza parlors?

That the Moon Landing never took place.

That Bigfoot is out there, somewhere.

That the Navy conspired to kill mermaids.

That the 2020 presidential election is a “Big Lie.”

COVID-19 was manufactured by Chinese to wage war on America?

That the world is really controlled by Freemasons and/or Bavarian Illuminati.

That former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have had at least 50 Americans assassinated.

That billionaire Bill Gates is intent on genocide of minorities.

That the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, and Boogaloos are patriots trying to save the American eay of life.

That the Holy Grail is out there.

That the Sandy Hook massacre was a government inspired plot to push gun control?

I hope none of my Facebook friends believe in any of these bat-shit crazy conspiracies. But I am sure there are some.

Anywhere from 25 to 40 million Americans believe in some or all of these conspiracy theories.

You can nurture intelligence but you cannot cure bat-shit stupidity.

I think of all this deeply embedded conspiracy bullshit that is floating in the far-right political arena and it makes me wonder how Lara Logan, the once bright star of CBS News and 60 Minutes, could fall into this black hole of sheer, absolute, incurable insanity.

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Putin the Chimp

Studies have shown that chimpanzees are naturally violent and aggressive.

Humans share 98 percent of their DNA with chimps, making chimps the closest human relative.

Humans are also naturally violent and aggressive.

Truth be told and the issue thoroughly examined through a scientific lens, it would reveal that Russian President Vladimir Putin shares 100 percent of his DNA with naturally violent male chimps, like Putin the Chimp.

That precisely why, with his criminal invasion of Ukraine last month, Vladimir Putin ignited the Second Gombe Chimpanzee War.

The First Gombe Chimpanzee War took place in the Gombe National Park in Tanzania between 1974 and 1978.

Jane Goodall had been working with a tribe of chimps for nearly a decade in that national park. She witnessed a gradual splintering of the tribe. The group of separatists—consisting of six adult males, 3 adult females and their young—grew weary of the hard rule of Putin the Chimp. They left his tribe and created their own tribe known as the Kahama Tribe.

The tribe of Putin the Chimp, known as the Kasaketa Tribe, was left with 8 adult males, 12 adult females, and their young. Putin the Chimp brooded over the Kahamas for quite awhile, allowing his killer DNA and his war-mongering genes to ferment. He finally convinced the other Kasaketas that there were Nazis among the Kahamas who had to be eradicated.

Putin the himp got the other Kasaketa males together and told them they needed to invade the Kahama territory and kill off the Nazi leader. The males, mimicking their cousin human behavior, stood before the females picking their noses and scratching their asses convincing them that the invasion was a “peace-keeping mission” to save the Kahama females from brutal Nazi control.

The coward that he was, Putin the Chimp, along with his thuggish followers sneaked up on the male Kahama leader and killed him, literally tearing him apart.

Putin the Chimp, always plagued by human idiocy, believed the Kahamas, especially the females, would hail him as a “Putin the Great”—much like Katherine the Great.

Didn’t quite work out that way.

The Kahamas responded to the invasion of their territory with this,

“Fuck you Putin the Chimp and the rest of those shit-faced thugs you rode in with.”

That launched the four-year Gombe Chimpanzee War that ultimately led to the Kasaketas killing off all the Kahamas.

Drunk with the vodka of victory, Putin the Chimp decided to the Second Gombe Chimpanzee War by invading other chimp territories.

That Stalin-driven expansion prompted a Nato alliance of other chimp tribes to come together and defeat all the Kasaketas.

Chimp history did not record what happened to Putin the Chimp, but images of Benito Mussolini hanging by his feet in the small village of Giulino di Mezzegra un northern Italy  in 1945 comes to mind.

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41 years

St. Patrick ’s Day is a special day for me and Jodie.

On this day in 1981 she was a television reporter for a CBS affiliate in Baton Rouge. She was assigned to do a series on the death penalty as an impending execution was drawing significant media attention.

I was an award-winning convict journalist—the co-editor of the prison publication, The Angolite—and fresh from capturing the prestigious George Polk Award, the highest journalism award for magazine writing. I was researching and preparing an in-depth death penalty piece for the prison magazine.

I was standing next to the electric chair in the prison’s execution chamber—the same chair, although refurbished, that was suppose to take my life a decade earlier.

Into the chamber walked Jodie and her camera person—our eyes met, locked, and life changed from that moment on for the two of us.  From that moment I was in love, and truly loved, for the first time in my life. We were married the following year by proxy under Texas law—and the marriage was upheld by the Louisiana Attorney General after some state officials tried to block it.

For the next 25 years, and against odds most of you could never possibly imagine, that little lady took on the entire Louisiana political and prison systems—both of which are powerful, daunting, and incurably corrupt. We endured death threats, attempts on my life, and one official retaliation after another as we fought those systems, exposing the largest pardons-selling scheme in Louisiana history, exposing the chief judge of a federal appeals court as a pedophile, exposing the killings and beatings of inmates to the media, sued countless state agencies and prison officials, and assisting in investigations of  innocent people in prison.

There were a million tears in the silence and separation of both our lives, a thousand regrets, hundreds of missteps, but not once giving up hope that we would live, survive, and one day be able to love together as free human beings.

In the 38th year of my incarceration, Jodie finally brought the state’s entire penal system to the peace table. I was released in my 40th year of incarceration, an aged, war-weary soul. At the end of the day, we had built an array of support, mostly through Jodie’s efforts, that included the most powerful anti-corruption and crime fighting organization in the state, two conservative Republican congressmen, a powerful African-American congresswoman, victim rights advocates, the NAACP, a former governor, prominent journalists, popular sports figures, and the incredible Sister Helen Prejean.

Today, 16 years after my release, we own land, home, and vehicles. I’ve never had a single misstep on parole. Our lives have been blessed with a wonderful family and three of the best dogs in Texas.

The look we shared that St. Patrick’s Day 41 years ago still glows in our eyes, the star of which is more bright than it was that day in the death house.

If you want to read the whole story, read Jodie’s 2020 memoir, “Love Behind Bars: The True Story of an American Prisoner’s Wife.”

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The absurdity of life

More often than not, life begins in innocence and ends in tears.

Several evenings ago, Jodie and I sat with guests eating dinner as the evening news was being broadcast. War scenes from Ukraine, the incomprehensible dying and absolute devastation, quieted our conversation and put the comfort of our eating in a different perspective.

I’ve never liked authority—not as a child in an abused environment and certainly not as an adult in prison. Prison taught me how to coexist with unbridled authority given to abuse. I cannot recall the number of times that “fuck you, motherfucker” smothered itself in my throat.

That’s why my heart embraced the Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island who told the Russian officer to “go fuck yourself” in response to a surrender demand.

My life, as have the billions of other lives in this world, has been brutally interrupted because one ugly-faced, small-dick psychologically unhinged motherfucker has the authority to not only wage war against another country but paralyze the rest of the world with the fear of what he might do next.

History is replete with assholes like Vladimir Putin—we have had our share in America, and continue to have more than our share today, of Putin-like motherfuckers abusing the authority given to them as “elected leaders” by voters, placed in supervisory positions in institutions of every stripe by governments, and in job supervisory positions attained through deceit, dishonesty and corruption.

The minority of people who control the lives of the majority of people are fundamentally corrupt, abusive and narcissistic motherfuckers who derive perverse pleasure from making the lives of the majority miserable. The one guaranteed truth in this life is the proverbial saying that, “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I was sitting on my porch the other day with my three dogs. I love Walter, Fred and Squirt. Each in their own way is my life’s blood. This thought struck me as I sat there enjoying the breeze, my no-sugar coke, and the presence of my dogs on alert for any potential danger: If someone was standing in my yard with a gun to Vladimir Putin’s head and told me that I had one inescapable choice—spare the life of human being Putin in exchange for the animal life of one of my dogs.

What to do?

I stood up with my no-sugar coke in hand, stared out across valley below me, and said, “head ‘em up on, Fred.”

 Before entering the house, I told the man holding the gun to Putin’s head, “do whatever the fuck you want to him.”

That, my friends, is the absurdity of life.

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75 days

That how many days “rioter” Adam Johnson will spend in prison for his role in the violent insurrectionist assault on the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.

Johnson was charged with, and recently pled guilty to, the misdemeanor offense for “entering or remaining on or in a restricted building or grounds” in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1752(b)(2)—an offense punishable by a fine or imprisonment up to one year, or both.

Johnson was part of a violent mob of at least a thousand people who forcefully invaded the grounds of the Capitol Building and personally joined in with hundreds of other members of the mob that violently entered the Capitol Building where they inflicted millions of dollars in property damage to the building, stole property (Johnson stole a government podium assigned to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi), and threatened to kill the Vice President of the United States and the House Speaker.

In the wake of the insurrectionist assault on the Capitol Building, five people lay dead, hundreds more were injured, and scores were left traumatized—four of whom committed suicide.

That kind of violent criminal activity has now been defined by the U.S. Justice Department as “entering” a “restricted building.” The Republican National Committee pretty much agrees with DOJ, calling the violent criminal activity “legitimate political discourse.”

There are hundreds of people on American death rows whose crimes did not cause the amount of human and property damages wreaked by Adam Johnson and his cohorts; and thousands of people serving life without parole or virtual life sentences (50 or more years) for non-violent criminal convictions—the majority of whom are people of color.

I would like to hear our mealy-mouth Attorney General, Merrick Garland, explain to Willie Simmons, a black man who spent 38 years in an Alabama prison for stealing $9, why Adam Johnson, a white man, will serve only 75 days for participating in criminal activity that left five people dead that included an attempt to “hang” the Vice President of the United States.

The American criminal justice system is terminally ill.

This justice system gave Jerry Dwayne Williams a 25 year to life sentence in 1995 for stealing a slice of pizza in California; gave Burnice Wilson a 99-year prison term in 2002 in Texas for stealing a tractor-trailer truck; and even gave Otis Babb an 18-year prison term 2017 in Texas for stealing 13 billy goats and 1 nanny goat.

This same justice system has executed 33 people since 1976 who did not actually kill anyone—not to mention the 10 or more innocent men put to death by the same system.

Last May the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the life sentence given to a black man named Allen Russell for possessing 44 grams of marijuana.

Allen Russell will spend the rest of his life in prison for smoking a little dope while Adam Johnson, who wanted to hang Mike Pence and murder Nancy Pelosi, will spend just 75 days for “entering” a “restricted building,” which just so happened to be U.S. Capitol Building.

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