Notes from the Electronic Cottage 2/21/08

Producer/host: Jim Campbell

Out on the primary campaign trail, every candidate is claiming he or she stands for change for the better. Back in Washington, bills making their way through Congress would cause change all right -whether for the better or not
is another question for many. We take a peek at the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007, and the PRO-IP Act, both of which will affect our lives in realms electronic. (You can find the text of both at

Notes from the Electronic Cottage 2/14/08

Producer/host: Jim Campbell

Here are addresses for sites mentioned in this week’s program that offer free college level course materials to anyone who would like to use them.

Open Courseware site at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (

Rice University’s Connexions courseware site (
University of California at Berkeley has put up videos of about 250 course segments and events on Google Video
( and now also on youTube as well

Other universities have also established youTube channels. Search for channels (not videos) using the keyword “education.”
The Open University in Great Britain has an open learning site (

Open-of-Course ( Courses contributed by anyone with some expertise, not necessarily college professors.

W3 Schools ( The focus here is on courses relating to web development.

RadioActive 2/07/08

Producers/hosts: Amy Browne and Meredith DeFrancesco

For several months we’ve been reporting on the ways repressive governments, here and elsewhere, are promoting legislation that would make opposing them a criminal act in and of itself, regardless of any actual crime that might be committed.   At the same time, the word “terrorist” has become “new speak”.   

 In 2007 several people who engaged in acts of vandalism and arson over a period of several years were rounded up and charged with terrorism in the U.S.    The terrorism charges were leveled, not because they targeted a crowded subway or shopping mall,—on the contrary, they were committed to not harming a single life.  They were charged with “terrorism” because of their beliefs that the companies they were targeting were causing harm.  They resorted to vandalism after unsuccessfully trying to bring about change through legal channels.  If they had burned down a building because they liked to watch the pretty fire they would have faced the regular set of penalties, but because these folks are environmentalists they were charged with terrorism as well, as part of what has become known as the GreenScare.

Today we talk with Maureen Block, a Maine activist as well as the mother of an environmental activist labeled as a terrorist and currently serving a 92 month sentence for crimes of property destruction.  His arrest was part of the green scare which then Attorney General Gonzales called the biggest domestic terrorist  threat.  Maureen Block is one of the people working to get the word out about the next possible step in this process of criminalizing dissent, the Homegrown Terrorism Bill, also known as the “Thought Crimes Bill”, and introduced by our own Senator Susan Collins.  There will be a day of action in Portland , Maine on Tuesday February 19th, 2008

FMI: Maureen Block [email protected],  Meg Perry Center via links at