Archive for the Category »Education «

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Sociopaths Rule…

In 1990, at 47, I was tried and convicted for cocaine conspiracy. The court sentenced me to 25yrs in federal prison. To that point, my adult careers included journalism, criminal and civil investigations, and left-political activism.

One might imagine my surprise to  find that most predatory criminals are not in prison. In fact, for the most part they rule the nation, its business and its laws (and the prisons for that matter). more…

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Prison Education (2)…

(Note: The following article is written for my many comrades on the other side of the razor-wire, and for those who have a stake in their welfare and their future…and just maybe your own as well.)

Education isn’t everything…

Education in prison is like rehabilitation: The only way you get out rehabilitated is if you already had it to begin with, or you mostly accomplish it on your own. Prison per se is today–under the conservative regimen–workhouses for punishment and retribution. more…

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Prison & Education…

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face . . . forever.”     George Orwell, 1984.

(Disclosure: My 25-yr sentence to federal prison (I served over 22 of it; 1990-2012) was for a conviction for Cocaine Conspiracy. While we in the movement had eliminated powder cocaine from our “underground fund-raising” activities by 1983 due to the CIA and White House popularization of “crack” cocaine in order to fund the Contra-War against the left’s election in Nicaragua, I was nevertheless charged in 1989 with conspiracy. Refusing to take a plea and/or “cooperate” in the naming and prosecuting of others, Reagan’s judge in Detroit sentenced me to the maximum he could.)

When I went to prison in 1990, I already had accomplished careers in journalism in the US and Middle East, 17-yrs of criminal & civil investigations, and a lifetime of political organizing behind me (I was then 48). I had also completed 3 yrs at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Given the time and opportunity I had with a 25-yr sentence, one way I coped was with a determination to employ that time to complete my formal education. I saw it as a unique opportunity. The last thing I wanted was to do all that time and have nothing positive to show for it. more…

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Democracy & Revolution…

   The following is an historical rendition.  It is not the conservative pipedreams of Republicans, the OCD delusions of Glenn Beck, the corporatist propaganda of the Koch Brothers and their Tea Party, or Rupert Murdoch and his Faux News.

During the American Revolution of the 1770s and ‘80s, about 1/3rd of the colonists came to support the struggle, another third oppose, and the last third condemned the actions and violence of both sides.  Most rebellions, when they’re ripe, tend to follow this pattern.

Corporate Religion...

Many of the Indian native inhabitants, like the Canaanites in the ancient Levant, certainly had first dibs on the land.  The European colonists were simply the latest manifestation of self-appointed “chosen people.”

These natives largely supported the British side, because one of the main aims of the colonists was unlimited expansion west and the virtual genocide of the Indians.  Britain had outlawed colonial moves into the Ohio Valley, etc.

African slaves also tended to side with the Brits since they were promised their freedom in return. more…

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Relativity & the Prison Experience…

Over the course of 20+ yrs in federal prison, I’ve come up with a number of idea constructions to deal with my time and circumstances, and responses to a variety of behaviors and problems that confront me—and others.  

Amageddonouttahere...

   Being perceived as an “Old Head” and a professional, I get my share of newbies dealing with the prison problems.  (I completed my formal education thru an accredited doctorate in psychology [PsyD], and specialize in forensic applications.)   

   Many prisoners are themselves professionals, and some even officers in the military and corporate world.  

   One of the most surprising factors for them is the fact that prison is little like they imagined.  Once one gets past the jail/court menagerie, prison itself is basically composed of a mindless warehousing routine (wake, work, rest, sleep). more…

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Prison Education…

After my first year in prison, 1990, I was called into a prison factory manager’s office (UNICOR) and informed that my scheduled pay raise to grade one ($1.15/hr.) had been blocked by the Education Department.   He said that they claimed that I did not have my GED.

Start 'em Young

Start 'em young...

     (Congress had deemed that inmates be schooled to at least a GED level.  That without at least a GED they could not go beyond grade 2 pay, among other losses of “privileges.”  To understand the retributive/punishment regimen of the prison system, it is necessary to realize that all rules, regulations and programs also have these facets for inmate control and compliance.)  more…