Thursday, April 10, 2008

Opio's Podcast

Opio's Podcast
History, Current Events, Social Commentary --
King, Mckinney, Kennedy, Prof. Griff, Chavez (Ceasar) ---
Hip Hop, Politics, Labor Unions --
Interviews, Speeches, Reports --
Much, Much More......

Everything for the progressive Black activist to sink his/her teeth into.
He probably won't be discussing artie lange but hey, TV drama isn't everything.

Smarten Up with iTunes U

iTunes U is the place to look if you are motivated to learn but don't have money or time to go to classes. Maybe even if you do.

Just open iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and look down the column to the bottom and you'll see iTunes U. Click on this and you'll discover hundreds if of courses, lectures and seminars offered in audio and or video format by no fewer than 45 top colleges and universities and the list is growing daily. All for free. Just be careful not to exceed your download limit but that's between you and your service provider. That happened to me, so now I go to the library or a coffee shop with my laptop and download all I want, for free.

I go to sleep listening to courses. I burn CDs and listen when I'm in the car and I have a portable CD player that I use when I'm walking the dog or waiting at the clinic. Even long automobile trips are short as far as I'm concerned. (You'll notice I've made some changes. That's because I wrote this piece some years ago. I have an ipod now, but a tablet or iphone or any number of devices may be used at this point in time. The basic idea is still the same while the possibilities are even greater. With imagination, one or more people could get a group of youngsters  together and teach them any number of things.)

Also in iTunes and equally free and no less informative and or entertaining, are thousands and thousands of podcasts, covering more topics than you can even think of, so practise using their power search and before you know it you'll get the hang of it. The same goes for podcasts with regards to teaching young folks.

The only downside for me is the cost of AA batteries and that's been taken care of by buying bulk alkaline AA cells at Costco I'm told they're manufactured by a well known manufacturer of batteries and they last just as long so I believe it. It just keeps getting better, doesn't in? Now my devices all have rechargeable batteries. Who knows? Soon they may be solar, if they are not already.

The last lecture I listened to was called, "How Unequal Can America Get Before We Snap?"
by Robert Reich, UC Berkeley. I can't wait for the next one. (That "last lecture" at this time, was literally hundreds of lectures ago. Not to mention the hundreds of podcasts. On top of this my local library has made available thousands of audio/digital books that can be downloaded at high speed right onto my device. I readily use this service. If you're buying any of these device for your very young ones, be sure to train them early on to take full advantage of these resources.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Early Release for Non Violent Prisoners

Early Release for Non Violent Prisoners.

  That should be a good thing right? After all it surely is an injustice that many of these folks were incarcerated because of unequal sentencing practices or even for not having enough money for a proper defence. 

 There is no doubt that the largest part of those unfairly sentenced will belong to visible minorities. Mandatory minimum sentences and unequal sentences for a smaller amount of crack cocaine versus a larger amount powder cocaine also contributed to the differences in sentences face by African Americans. We net also snared a few marijuana users who received long sentences in some states while other states charge people with misdemeanors.

 The US. Sentencing Commission voted to retroactively reduce the penalty for crack cocaine to become effective March 3, 2008. Now as we look around the net more and more institution are announcing plans to release non violent offenders early. I'm not going to start listing  them here it's easy enough to do a search online to come up with dozens of examples.

 Many people are concerned about the effect these releases will have on the crime rates in the communities these ex-offenders will be released to and rightfully so.

 I believe the people being released should get a fair chance and that includes some intervention on the part of the system that put them at a disadvantage in the first place.
The very minimum we should expect, is for the government bodies that will be saving substancial sums to take some of that money and place these people in drug rehabilitation  
and employment preparation programs at the very least. We should all make as much noise about this situation and create as much pressure as possible on our elected representatives ASAP especially since this is an election year.

Ramirez-Sliwinski, Monkeys? shrug

Linda  Ramirez-Sliwinski The Obama  delegate accused of calling Black children monkeys.

   "I went over to the kids and told them to get out of the tree," Ramirez Sliwinski said.

   The father of one of the boys told her it was none of her business, she said, and "I calmly said 
the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys."

  I doubt if she meant anything by it, other than it wasn't safe for the children to play in the trees, but then I wasn't there.

  One thing for certain, we have a lot more to be concerned about, than neighbors worrying about our children's safety.


Monday, April 7, 2008


Some years ago before thruways were as prevalent as they are today, I was driving with a buddy from Plattsburgh, NY to the City. It was getting to be around 9:30pm and I'd had a long day, so my friend volunteered to drive. I agreed and told him all he had to do was stay on route 9N south (9 NY has many route 9's all identified with letters which don't correspond with direction)

To make a long story short, my friend drove for about 3 hours at which point I woke up, to find that we were almost exactly at the place where I had gone to sleep. By not paying attention to the signs My friend manage to drive us around a mountain.

I'm going to hazard a guess that these days there are many, many human beings that aren't paying attention to the signs. The possibility of finding the answers we need in a place that many today consider "primative" is at least as probable as it is improbable.

Many so-called advances are a step in the wrong direction.