Politics & Policy

Martha & The Warden

"The Long View."

EDITOR’S NOTE:

This article appears in the August 9, 2004, issue of National Review.

From the Warden’s Mailbox, June 2005:

Dear Warden:

You know me Warden I been a good inmate all these years never given you no real trouble always done my work duty and everything. Just do my time keep my mouth shut don’t bother nobody is my motto and you know that’s true Warden and what I’m saying now please don’t take no offense I don’t mean no disrespect to you sir at all as I said I been a good inmate all these years and a model prisoner and ever since I got me transferred from Sybil Brand Women’s Maximum Security Correctional over to here the minimum security on account of my good behavior and good attitude and I’m grateful every day don’t get me wrong but that woman now who is my cellmate is going to find herself wearing her ass as a hat if she don’t stop telling me how to make an interesting seasonal wreath out of stuff we find in the exercise yard and nobody but nobody can blame me if she one day has to swallow some teeth because I can’t take no more Warden I can’t take no more about making a cheerful collage out of magazine clippings or making my pillowcase smell pretty with dried flowers or keeping cinnamon sticks in a jar by the can or growing our own herbs I’m about up to here Warden and I’m sorry to trouble you sir as I said I mean no disrespect I’ve tried to be nice to the woman but she’s on me every day about window treatments and how vertical stripes are slimming and I’m telling you Warden I’m about ready to do to her what I did to my own mother which wasn’t a pretty sight let me tell you and is how I got sent up in the first place so please Warden please please get this woman another cell mate please sir.

Yours truly,

Nettie Miller #12A-86

Dear Warden:

As you know, the job of prison librarian is a volunteer position that is highly sought after by many of the women’s service organizations in the area. Over the years, as I’m sure you’ll agree, the female inmates of your facility have been well served by the volunteer librarians from the community, which makes it all the more difficult to inform you, sir, that while Martha Stewart is a resident of this facility, it has become impossible to keep a volunteer librarian for longer than six days owing to the interference, reshelving, purchasing, and unauthorized book-club organizing that she has engaged in, despite repeated requests that she not do so. Please inform us of her departure, and we will be pleased to provide another volunteer librarian.

Yours sincerely,

The Women’s Benefit Organization

YOU CAN READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE IN THE CURRENT ISSUE OF THE NEW DIGITAL VERSION OF NATIONAL REVIEW. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A SUBSCRIPTION TO NR DIGITAL OR NATIONAL REVIEW, YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR A SUBSCRIPTION TO NATIONAL REVIEW here OR NATIONAL REVIEW DIGITAL here (a subscription to NR includes Digital access).

Most Popular

U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More

The Secret Life of Joe Biden

In a classic episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is accused by his new girlfriend, a police officer, of being a fan of the tacky 1990s soap opera Melrose Place. When Jerry lies and denies it, she suggests putting him on a polygraph to find the truth. In an effort to beat the machine, Jerry seeks the advice of his ... Read More

The Secret Life of Joe Biden

In a classic episode of Seinfeld, Jerry is accused by his new girlfriend, a police officer, of being a fan of the tacky 1990s soap opera Melrose Place. When Jerry lies and denies it, she suggests putting him on a polygraph to find the truth. In an effort to beat the machine, Jerry seeks the advice of his ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More

Snobs or Mobs?

A   lot of us were feeling pretty good about the future of the media in late September of 2004. Dan Rather and the CBS news division had just tried to derail George W. Bush’s reelection campaign with some genuine fake news — based on fake documents — and, in spite of the manful attempts of ... Read More

Snobs or Mobs?

A   lot of us were feeling pretty good about the future of the media in late September of 2004. Dan Rather and the CBS news division had just tried to derail George W. Bush’s reelection campaign with some genuine fake news — based on fake documents — and, in spite of the manful attempts of ... Read More