Monday, March 31, 2014

The Eye, The Heart

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The eye never forgets what the heart has seen. ~ African Proverb


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Juarês De Mira Sings 16 Tons

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Here is mi amigo Juarês De Mira de Brazil with a low baritone voice singing 16 Toneladas or Sixteen Tons, a song composed by Noriel Vilela, based on the original song Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis, recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford and The Platters. He made my day with this one.



The Platters singing Sixteen Tons

Monday, March 10, 2014

Feeling Unworthy

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When we feel unworthy and lack self-esteem, we are more likely to make choices that are degrading and demeaning. -- Kendall C. Cooper

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Letters from Prison: Ray Jasper's Last Thoughts before Death Row

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A Texas prisoner, Ray Jasper, scheduled to be put to death on March 19 in the Lone Star state, has some compelling things to say about the prison experience in a letter he penned and sent to Gawker about three weeks ago. His observations on prison life and how it mirrors slavery is captivating.

Read an except of what Jasper calls what could be his "final statement on earth."

... Under the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution all prisoners in America are considered slaves. We look at slavery like its a thing of the past, but you can go to any penitentiary in this nation and you will see slavery ...

If a prisoner refuses to work and be a slave, they will do their time in isolation as a punishment. You have thousands of people with a lot of prison time that have no choice but to make money for the government or live in isolation. The affects of prison isolation literally drive people crazy. Who can be isolated from human contact and not lose their mind? ...

I think prison sentences have gotten way out of hand. People are getting life sentences for aggravated crimes where no violence had occurred. I know a man who was 24 years old and received 160 years in prison for two aggravated robberies where less that $500 was [stolen] and no violence took place. There are guys walking around with 200 year sentences and they're not even 30 years old. Its outrageous. Giving a first time felon a sentence beyond their life span is pure oppression. Multitudes of young people have been thrown away in this generation.

The other side of the coin is there are those in the corporate world making money off prisoners, so the longer they're in prison, the more money is being made. It's not about crime & punishment, it's about crime & profit. Prison is a billion dollar industry. In 1996, there were 122 prisons opened across America. Companies were holding expos in small towns showing how more prisons would boost the economy by providing more jobs.

How can those that invest in prisons make money if people have sentences that will allow them to return to free society? If people were being rehabilitated and sent back into the cities, who would work for these corporations? That would be a bad investment. In order for them to make money, people have to stay in prison and keep working. So the political move is to tell the people they're tough on crime and give people longer sentences....

... You have people like Michael Jordan who invest millions of dollars in the prison system. Any shrewed businessman would if you have no empathy for people locked up and you just want to make some money.

Read the entire letter HERE.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Time to Get it Together

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"Jesus said time will heal all wounds,
but we have to live right to get the time."

-- Marvin Gaye, from his song "Time to Get it Together"

Sometimes I am unable to move
I let temptation get me off of my groove
Sometimes I get it
Sometimes it's hard
To stay with it
But right now, get it, gotta get it, get it
Got to stay with it
Makin' up my mind, yeah
Gonna get it together
Gonna love every day every night till I get it

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Daddy Chant: Those Boys Are Much Too Much

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There's no need to explain how priceless this is. Every time I see it I laugh and smile. He's doin' the daddy thing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Black Ivory: You and I

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I'm reposting this because it's got that Valentine's Day vibe.
Enjoy!

"No spoken words express my love for you."

I was looking for a song and came across this one. This tune is filled with emotion, love, persistence, and a certain kind of innocence. It's certainly very touching. I'm dedicating this song to a beautiful California couple -- Cheryl and Robert. Keep on keepin' on y'all.



Monday, February 10, 2014

Tupac Shakur on Reading, Writing, and Arithmatic

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Tupac Shakur, at age 18, spouts his views on education in America. It's fascinating stuff. Check it out: