Magazine | October 19, 2015, Issue

To All the Members of Cell Block H


Although I’m a recent arrival here at the Sybil Brand Women’s Federal Correctional Institution, I like to think that I’ve settled in and made some great and lasting friendships. If any of you haven’t yet had a chance to stop by my cell to say “Hi” and get a complimentary hair-braiding, please do! I’d love to take that moment to visit with you and get a chance to listen to your thoughts and concerns about the way Cell Block H is being governed.

Because I’ll be honest with you: I think we deserve better. I think the women of Cell Block H deserve someone on the Inmate–Officer Council who hears their voices, who feels their concerns, and who has spent a lifetime representing the powerless.

I mean, do we like these itchy blue jumpsuits?! Do we?! I sure as heck don’t!!

From Arkansas, to the White House, to the Senate, to the State Department, where I broke barriers and had the distinction of being the first female secretary of state who was born in this country and was white — it’s all brought me here, to this moment, to Cell Block H at the Sybil Brand Women’s Federal Correctional Institution.

I’m running to be your representative to the Inmate–Officer Council! And I’m excited about the challenges ahead! Together, we can make a difference!

Despite my opponent’s attempt to discredit me with negative campaigning and mudslinging — and I’m not going to dignify her smears by repeating them, but I will say, unequivocally, that this is 100 percent my “weave” and I will cut any ho who says otherwise — I want to stay upbeat and positive.

But allow me to say, since we’re on the subject of my opponent, that it’s interesting that she’s suddenly attacking me for what are perfectly legal and totally allowed fundraising tools — each candidate is entitled to collect loose cigarettes from donors without disclosing the individual donor’s gang affiliation — in an effort to deflect attention from her own difficulties with the Latina Hellfire Hos on Level 2 who found some of her recent remarks offensive.

I’ve reached out to the Latina Hellfire Hos. On my Listening Tour of Level 2, I heard their concerns loud and clear, until the warden and some of the bulls came to rescue me.

But it was a good experience. I don’t regret it. And I don’t regret my brief three days teaching manicures and pedicures against my will to the Nubian Kweens on Level 4. Did I enjoy it? Not at first, no. Did I learn something? Yes.

And that’s what a Listening Tour is all about.

And that’s what my campaign is all about. I’m trying to bring us all together here. The Hoochies and the Trap Queens and the Straight Tripping Hos and the Mollies and the T. Swizzles and the Nubian Kweens and the Latina Hellfires and the D. Side Daggers and every part of the rainbow that is Cell Block H — I want us to come together as powerful and empowered women and bring our issues to the table and get our voices heard on the Inmate–Officer Council.

Let’s talk about the issues! Let’s talk about what matters! Let’s talk about the itchy jumpsuits and the bad cable TV and the off-brand gelatin desserts! Let’s bring our concerns to the council and get results!

Sisters — and that’s how I see you all, really and truly, as sisters, despite the obvious differences in our levels of accommodation and the fact that my cell size is slightly larger (only because it has to house my personal Internet server and my assistant, Sadie Blumenthal) — there’s so much we can do together.

As we approach Election Day, please feel free to reach out to me personally or to my assistant, Sadie. As you may know, Sadie Blumenthal is currently “transitioning” from male to female — she was previously known as “Sidney Blumenthal” — and is one of my oldest and most trusted advisers. Sadie is a terrific gal and a lot of fun and I know you’re all going to love her as much as I do!

I’m all in for Cell Block H! And you know that because some of the terrific ladies on Level 4 were nice enough to tattoo that on my backside! Shower Hour is now a great time to show your solidarity! Let’s send a message to the warden and the bulls that we’re united and strong and will not be denied!

Can’t wait to get started!

All the best,


P.S.: We always need more loose cigarettes, individually wrapped candy, soaps, or other barter-type items to make the campaign a success. Please see Campaign Chairperson Sadie Blumenthal if you can help!

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

Hung Up on Israel

At the recent Republican presidential debate, many of the candidates mentioned Israel. Jeb Bush, for example, said that we need to reestablish “our commitment to Israel, which has been altered ...


Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Super K, Revisited

‘Surely no statesman in modern times, and certainly no American secretary of state, has been as revered and then as reviled as Henry Kissinger.” So begins Niall Ferguson’s monumental biography, ...
Politics & Policy


Black Mass, in which a cadaverous Johnny Depp portrays James “Whitey” Bulger, the famous Boston gangster and FBI informant, is the kind of movie that gives competence a bad name. ...
Country Life


Kids come back to college at the end of August, but night comes back into its own at the end of September, so between freshman orientation and the equinox is ...


Politics & Policy


Crime and Over-punishment It is surprising that the editors of National Review would publish Stephanos Bibas’s article, which describes at length the harmful social effects of keeping convicted criminals behind bars ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ The New York City Council honored Ethel Rosenberg. One hundred million people were unavailable for comment. ‐ If Donald Trump stopped insulting people, he would practically be rendered mute, but ...

Gruel, Britannia

Story from the Telegraph: “Meat should be treated like tobacco with a public campaign to stop people eating it, Jeremy Corbyn’s new vegan shadow farming minister Kerry McCarthy has suggested.” “Shadow” ...
Politics & Policy


THE GARDEN Nothing to do with me, All that it grows: Whatever I might see – A vole, a rose. Who gives, who takes away? Look how it grieves, How what shoots up today Falls among thieves, While in ...
Happy Warrior

Happier Warrior

For most of human existence, the average man could look forward to a relatively short life of chasing game or extracting enough sustenance from the ground that his family could ...

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More