Tag Archives: issues

The Power of Knowledge: Harvard Debate Team Loses to Prison Debate Team

ARTICLE By :  Jay Syrmopoulos

Napanoch, NY – In a true testament to the raw talent, and stellar minds being wasted in American maximum-security prisons, three men incarcerated for violent crimes at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility defeated the elite debate team from Harvard University.

On one side of the stage sat three Ivy League undergraduates from the elite Harvard debate team, while sitting opposite them were three men serving felony prison sentences for violent crimes.

After an hour of intellectual sparing the fast-moving debate was over, with the judges declaring victory for the inmates after weighing the veracity of each teams’ arguments.

The audience, which included almost 75 fellow participants in the Bard College Initiative, burst into applause when it was announced that the prison debate team had bested the Harvard team.

Prior to the start of the debate, team members discussed hopes of inspiring other inmates.

“If we win, it’s going to make a lot of people question what goes on in here,” said Alex Hall, a 31-year-old from Manhattan convicted of manslaughter. “We might not be as naturally rhetorically gifted, but we work really hard.”

The prison debate team is the product of the Bard College Initiative, which began in 2001. The program is a rigorous academic experience offered to the men incarcerated at the Catskills, New York penitentiary through the Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The forward thinking program allows motivated inmates the ability to develop their academic talents through hard work and dedication. Roughly 10 inmates apply for each opening in the program through interviews and written essays.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal:

There is no tuition. The initiative’s roughly $2.5 million annual budget comes from private donors and includes money it spends helping other programs follow its model in nine other states.

Last year Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, proposed state grants for college classes for inmates, saying that helping them become productive taxpayers would save money long-term. He dropped the plan after attacks from Republican politicians who argued that many law-abiding families struggled to afford college and shouldn’t have pay for convicted criminals to get degrees.

The Bard program’s leaders say that out of more than 300 alumni who earned degrees while in custody, less than 2% returned to prison within three years, the standard time frame for measuring recidivism.

In New York state as a whole, by contrast, about 40% of ex-offenders end up back in prison, mostly because of to parole violations, according to the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Members of the Harvard team were clearly impressed by the prisoners’ intellectual prowess.

“They caught us off guard,” said Harvard debate team member Anais Carell, a 20-year-old junior from Chicago.

The prison debate team has actually been scoring victories over some of the nation’s most elite debate teams.

In their first debate in spring of 2014, the prisoners beat the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, then defeated nationally ranked University of Vermont.

The stark reality is that an amazing wealth of human capital has been systematically thrown away in locked in cages as a means of lining the pockets of special interest groups and politicians, known as the Prison Industrial Complex.

Additionally, the program touts how much capital can be saved by implementing common sense educational opportunities for inmates.

According to the Bard Prison Initiative:

The criminal justice system is staggeringly expensive. As a country we spend $212 billion dollars annually to apprehend, try, and incarcerate prisoners. In recent years, the United States has maintained a prison population of more than 2.3 million people, with the average annual cost of over $29,000 per person (in many states, including New York, the cost is much higher). And while America has the longest and most punitive sentencing structures in the modern world, 750,000 inmates are released each year. Nationwide, nearly 68 out of every one hundred prisoners are rearrested within three years of release, and more than half return to prison. Research indicates that these high and expensive rates of recidivism fall to less than 22% if prisons offer significant educational opportunity to incarcerated men and women. Among formerly incarcerated Bard students, less than 2% have returned to prison. The estimated cost per person, per year of the BPI program is a small fraction of the price of continuing incarceration. It saves tax payers money, while increasing public safety.

At least 95% of all inmates will be released back onto the streets of America. The current prison system has essentially become college for criminals, with survival of the fittest being taught as the curriculum.

Is that who you want moving in next door to you?

The get tough on crime approach has failed, and new approaches must be undertaken to overhaul the failing corrections system. The Bard Prison Initiative program should serve as a model as to what can be accomplished if we shift our focus from a punitive to restorative model of justice.

Share this story if you agree that it’s time to end the prison for profit scam!!

Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, AlterNet, InfoWars, MintPressNews and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu

 

Charlamagne: Jay Electronica Needs More Music to Call Out J. Cole

Check out Charlamagne interview with Vlad Tv speaking on hip hop emcees .. J electronica sending shots @ J cole and Drake @ a show in london.

“Jay Electronica claims to be the God of Hip-Hop,” he said to a london crowd, “You might be the 6 God, but I am the God.” Later on, he cut off Skepta’s “Shutdown” to proclaim “I’m sorry but J. Cole ain’t got bars like this. I’m sorry, whoever your favorite rapper is, they all know that I’m the God.”

Guess ..  J electronica never heard of .. RAKIM

 

Check out Public Enemy’s : New video – Man Plans God Laughs

Public Enemy is back with a New Album, its out now support revolutionary hip hop artist with a real message in there music.

11539599_1022737047751025_2650853387220190473_n

Are you a Radical? Are you a Pacifist? Are you scared to Fight? Are you Grown? Do you Stand Up? Are you Owned? ORDER:https://www.rcsmusic.com/35575995…/man-plans-god-laughs.html

 

Federal judge orders cancellation of Redskins’ trademark registrations

More and more people are saying the NFL franchise for Washington should change its name.

A federal judge in Northern Virginia ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins  federal trademark registrations on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post. The decision comes 12 months after the United States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the Redskins trademark registration because it considered the team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Washington Post :

The cancellation doesn’t go into effect until the Redskins have exhausted the appeals process in the federal court system. But even if the Redskins ultimately took the case to the Supreme Court and lost, the team can still use “Redskins” and seek trademark protections under state law. The team has argued, however, that a cancellation of its trademarks could taint its brand and remove legal benefits that would protect against copycat entrepreneurs.

Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico and one of the wealthiest in the world, dumped Donald Trump following his Racist anti-Mexico rant.

Donald Trump cannot catch a break. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has become the latest to cut ties with the real estate mogul after his anti-immigrant remarks during his presidential campaign announcement speech.

Telecoms magnate Slim is the world’s second-richest man, with a net worth of around $71.1 billion, according to Forbes. Trump is at number 405 on the list, worth $4.1 billion.

 

maxresdefault-2trump2-366x640

The latest development comes as a television company controlled by Mexican billionaire, Carlos Slim, has cancelled a project with Trump that was said to be worth millions.

This is the third company to cut ties with Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.

Ora TV, the production company co-founded by Slim and TV personality Larry King and funded by Slim’s America Movil, had been working with Trump for several months on the project.

As a result of Trump’s comments, NBC removed Trump’s “Miss USA” from their programming following in the footsteps of Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, who said it would not air the “Miss USA” pageant.

0701-macys-trump-2

Macy’s Department stores have also decided to discontinue their business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase-out the Trump menswear collection, which has been sold at Macy’s since 2004.” Macy’s issues a statement “We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. We do not believe the disparaging characterizations portray an accurate picture of the many Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Latinos who have made so many valuable contributions to the success of our nation.

imgres

An Ora TV spokesperson released the following statement,

“Trump was totally out of line…working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work.”

He added that the comments were racist and hurtful.

Lets take a look at who Carlos slim helu is … 

Карлос Слим Элу на обложке журнала Forbes

Carlos Slim Helu is one of the three richest men in the world, despite changes in the Mexican telecom landscape, where he has prospered greatly over the past two decades. A new anti-monopoly law is driving some of the shifts. In June 2014, he spent $5.6 billion to buy out AT&T’s 8.3% stake in pan-Latin American wireless carrier America Movil — by far Slim’s most valuable asset. He and his children now own 62% of the company. AT&T then became an America Movil competitor in Mexico, when it purchased wireless carrier Grupo Iusacell from Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego in January 2015. Outside of telecom, Slim took private his listed real estate company, Innmeubles Carso, paying minority shareholders $450 million in December 2014. A month later, he became the largest shareholder of The New York Times, with a nearly 17% stake, by exercising warrants to buy more shares. Slim also holds a controlling interest in industrial conglomerate Grupo Carso, financial venture Grupo Financiero Inbursa and infrastructure development and operating company Ideal.

Carlos Slim in 82 Seconds

Forbes Talks To The Richest Person In The World

David Banner: Speaks on Hip Hop, Rap, Racism, Police, Laws, culture, and his new Album : The God Box

David Banner sits down with Vlad Tv and speaks on multiple issues in society today from police issues, laws changing, violence, racism, culture issues, the music industry, Real positive Hip Hop artist needing more support, Rap game is an embarrassment with its dumb down music agenda. 

David Banner also promotes his new album dropping soon  called the God Box and says it will be a classic Hip Hop album, he feels its his best work and says it can be looked at as 1 of the best Hip Hop albums in years if not of all time.

David Banner on his new album The God Box!

Nas drops some knowledge “America Selling A False Dream” what do you think ?

In the wake of what is the Charleston church shooting

America paints a picture of terrorism all over the world but allows it to exist on our very own soil  for years an turns a blind eye to radical groups like the KKK, Council of Conservative Citizens and many  others groups that carry the similar message of pure evil racism, hate groups that target blacks, Jews, Hispanics, East Asians and Middle Easterns.  These groups should be looked at as terrorist and no different then how america views al qaeda or any terrorist group out there that poses a threat to Americans.   But some how are allowed to exist in this country which is sad and the real problem. 

Nas speaks on these issues below

IFWT_Nas_America

America has spent so much time, money & resources fighting wars abroad and completely fell asleep at the wheel of the war brewing within our cities, neighborhoods & blocks. We are supposed to stand for freedom & equal opportunity. That’s supposed to mean MORE than just words but the actions of late just don’t speak to what we are supposed to stand for. This is BIGGER than BLACK and WHITE. This is about America selling a false dream. Now we’ve obviously progressed since the inception of this nation but we took our eye off the ball and it feels as though things are moving backwards. As a black man, I find it difficult to understand that our biggest export (our American culture) comes from us. The people in the streets… The way the world dresses, talks, what they listen to, what they watch… That all comes from us. How can we be the ones responsible for America’s biggest export & fear for our lives like we shouldn’t belong here. I don’t have all the answers nor do I believe anyone does, but we need to have conversations around how to improve as a nation. How do we show any ounce of progress that keeps hope alive. This is too big of a problem to be solved overnight but there needs to be some questions answered to get things back on the track of righteousness. Amazing people died for this country. We owe it to the past, present & future to come together and move this country in the right direction. This is my home just like it is anyone else’s. RIP CRISPUS ATTUCKS. FIRST MAN TO DIE IN AMERICA’s FREEDOM WAR & HE WAS BLACK! GOD BLESS EVERY OUNCE OF INNOCENT BLOOD SHED FOR THIS NATION & MY FAMILY.