How Convenient

ECDAC94D-CA73-45B2-BE3C-B1C38BED2C79The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is pick up my iPhone and glimpse at the breaking news notifications that show up on my iPhone. What I saw this morning was a bunch of notifications that Jeffrey Epstein, the American financier and convicted sex offender, best known for his alleged sex trafficking of juvenile girls, and who had close connections with many of the world’s elite, had committed suicide in his cell in a Lower Manhattan prison.

Less than three weeks ago, Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell, with marks on his neck that appeared to be self-inflicted. As a result, since July 23rd, Epstein had been put on suicide watch.

How does someone who is incarcerated in a federal prison and who is on suicide watch manage to commit suicide? That just doesn’t make sense, does it?

At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, given that Epstein was in a position to potentially release the identities of many of his rich, famous, powerful, and influential friends and customers of his sex trafficking operations, his “suicide” seems awfully convenient.

I also noted that some of the stories differed in their reporting of the incident. Some said that he was found in cardiac arrest and died in the hospital he was taken to. Others reported that he was found dead from hanging in his cell. I do hope that some intrepid investigative journalists will be able to get to the bottom of this story.

To me, it speaks volumes that we have reached the stage where nothing that happens, when there is any connection to Donald Trump, can be taken at face value.

Will we ever find out for sure if Epstein’s death was actually a suicide or if it may have been a conveniently timed homicide? I’m not holding my breath.

Written for these daily prompts: Word of the Day Challenge (glimpse), Daily Addictions (identity), Your Daily Word Prompt (juvenile), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (differ), Ragtag Daily Prompt (intrepid), and The Daily Spur (stage).

Friday Fictioneers — Facing My Demons

28ADB318-6D0A-41B7-820B-DDEA997C4ECAI spent almost twenty years behind those walls. They called it an insane asylum before that was deemed politically incorrect. Then they called it a psychiatric hospital, but “hospital” was a euphemism. More like a prison or a torture chamber.

Back then I was labeled nuts, crazy, insane, which meant locking me away and throwing away the key. But it turns out I wasn’t nuts, crazy, insane; I was bipolar.

My shrink said coming back here might help me confront my demons. The “No Trespassing” graffiti painted on the side of the boarded-up building did the trick.

(97 words)

Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Randy Mazie.

One-Liner Wednesday — Women’s Rights

2BDDE02E-48FB-4AB5-AA5D-A3AC11983B40“Congress should pass a Woman’s Heartbeat Law, which mandates that if a woman has a heartbeat, you can’t ever tell her what she can or cannot do with her own body.”


This quote, from whoever made it, seems particularly relevant these days as state after state, including Georgia, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Dakota, have passed laws that make it illegal for a woman to have a legal abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually when a fetus is about six weeks old and before many women even know they are pregnant.

Just yesterday, the Alabama State Senate just passed a near-total abortion ban, that provides no exceptions for rape or incest. The bill now heads to Republican Governor, Kay Ivey. If she signs it, which is likely, the bill will become law. Further, the Alabama law would criminalize the procedure, reclassifying abortion as a Class A felony, punishable by up to 99 years in prison for doctors.

And this Alabama law, if signed by the governor, comes hot on the heels Georgia’s new law prohibiting abortions after six weeks and granting full legal personhood to fetuses. The Georgia law goes so far as to hold a woman who travels out of state to obtain a legal abortion to be subject to arrest and prosecution for conspiracy to commit murder, which is punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Welcome to America, the land of the real life Handmaid’s Tale.

Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.

I is for Taxes

DA90BCB9-5728-4912-B8BE-E7FC6C7AFCDCOkay, I’m not an idiot. I know that the letter “I” is not for taxes. At least not directly. But every year in the United States, April 15th, which is just five days from today, is when tax filings (and payments, if applicable) are due. And since the agency to which we in America must file each year to pay our fair share to fund our federal government is the Internal Revenue Service, or the IRS, which starts with the letter “I,” I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that “I” is for taxes. Besides, my “I” post for last year’s A to Z Challenge was titled “I is for IRS” and I didn’t want to use that again.

So as I said, the tax filing deadline for our 2018 taxes is April 15th. I’ve been seriously thinking about not filing my taxes this year as an act of protest and civil disobedience. How about if I refuse to pay my taxes until Donald Trump releases his taxes?

I was thinking of not paying my taxes to protest the inhumanity happening at our country’s southern border, with the separation of little children from their families and throwing these kidnapped kids in literal steel cages.

I was thinking that there are plenty of other legitimate, in my opinion, reasons to not pay my taxes. However, I was also thinking that I wouldn’t do so well were I to be incarcerated for tax evasion in a federal prison. So I admit, I’m all talk, and I am going to file my taxes on or before April 15th.

There is a bit of a silver lining this year. I am actually getting a very small refund from the IRS for my federal taxes. Woo hoo!

But please hold your applause. April 15th is also the day my state tax filing is due. And my home state, the state of California, is requiring me to pay the state for the privilege of living here, an amount that is more than ten times greater than the refund I will be getting from the IRS on my federal taxes.

What a sad state that is.

Previous A to Z Challenge 2019 posts:

Friday Fictioneers

img_2667There were rumors going around that the old building, the one with virtually no widows and thick, stone walls, was being used to house political dissidents. Some claimed to possess definite evidence that detainees were being subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” (e.g., waterboarding).

The military vehemently denied that there was anything untoward going on within the walls of that building, claiming that it merely served as a munitions depot. Suggestions to the contrary were labeled “fake news.” But the government declined to permit any civilians, including members of the press, access to the building.

Until the day the revolution began.

(99 words)

Written for Friday Fictioneers from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.