The Essence of Politics

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Global Recovery for a Global Recession--By Joseph E. Stiglitz

This is not only the worst global economic downturn of the post-World War II era; it is the first serious global downturn of the modern era of globalization. America's financial markets failed to do what they should have done--manage risk and allocate capital well--and these failures have had a major impact all over the world. Globalization, too, did not work the way it was supposed to. It helped spread the consequences of the failures of US financial markets around the world. September 11, 2001, taught us that with globalization not only do good things travel more easily across borders; bad things do too. September 15, 2008, has reinforced that lesson.

A global downturn requires a global response. But so far our responses--to stimulate and regulate the global economy--have largely been framed at the national level and often take insufficient account of the effect on others. The result is that there is less coordination than there should be, as well as a smaller and less well-designed stimulus than is optimal. A poorly designed and insufficient stimulus means that the downturn will last longer, the recovery will be slower and there will be more innocent victims. Among these victims are the many developing countries--including those that have had far better regulatory and macroeconomic policies than the United States and some European countries. In the United States a financial crisis transformed itself into an economic crisis; in many developing countries the economic downturn is creating a financial crisis.

The world has two choices: either we move to a better global regulatory system, or we lose some of the important benefits that have resulted from globalization. But continuing the status quo management of globalization is no longer tenable; too many countries have had to pay too high a price. The G-20's response to the global economic crisis, crafted at meetings in November in Washington and in April in London, was a beginning--but just a beginning. It did not do enough to address the short-term problems nor did it put in place the long-term restructuring necessary to prevent another crisis.

A United Nations meeting in late June hopes to continue the global discussion begun at earlier G-20 meetings and to extend this discussion to what went wrong in the first place so that we can do a better job of preventing another crisis. The global politics of this meeting are complex. Many of the 173 countries that are not members of the G-20 argue that decisions affecting the lives of their citizens should not be made by a self-selected club that lacks political legitimacy. Some members of the G-20--including new members brought into the discussion for the first time as the G-8 expanded to the G-20--like things the way they are; they like being in the inner circle and argue that enlarging it will only complicate matters. Many from the advanced industrial countries would like to avoid overly harsh criticism of their banks, which played a pivotal role in the crisis, or of the international economic institutions that not only failed to prevent the crisis but pushed the deregulatory policies that contributed so much to it and its rapid spread around the world. Indeed, the G-20's response to the crisis in developing countries relied centrally on the IMF.

I chair the UN Commission of Experts, which was given the task by the General Assembly of preparing an interim report before the June meeting. This report will, I hope, have some influence on the discussions. It is too soon to tell whether it will, or if anything concrete will come from the meeting. The international community should realize, however, that much more needs to be done than has so far been undertaken by the G-20.

Our preliminary report lists ten policies that need to be implemented immediately. These include strong stimulus efforts from developed countries, providing additional funding for developing countries, creating more policy space for developing countries, avoiding protectionism, opening advanced countries' markets to the least developed countries' exports and improving coordination of global economic policies. In addition, the commission recommends ten deeper reforms to the global financial system on which work needs to begin.

The United States may have the resources to bail out its banks and stimulate its economy, but developing countries do not. Developing countries have been important engines for economic growth in recent years, and it is hard to see a robust global recovery in which they do not play an important role. There is a consensus that all countries should provide strong stimulus packages, but many of the poorer developing countries don't have the resources to do so. Many in the developed world are worried about the debt burdens resulting from stimulus packages, but for those still scarred by debt crises, taking on additional debt may involve an unacceptable burden. Assistance has to be provided in grants, not just loans.

In the past, the IMF provided assistance accompanied by "conditions." In many cases it demanded that countries raise interest rates to high (sometimes very, very high) levels and reduce deficits by cutting expenditures and/or raising taxes--just the opposite of US and European policies. This led to a weakening of national economies, when the point of IMF assistance was to strengthen them. Although those providing assistance want to be sure their money is used well, these kinds of conditions are counterproductive and make many developing countries reluctant to accept help. A condition imposed on international institutions that provide assistance to developing countries should be that they not engage in such "conditionality."

To help fund the large amount of assistance required, developed countries should set aside 1 percent of their stimulus package to help developing countries. The funds have to be distributed through a variety of channels, including regional institutions and possibly a newly created credit facility whose governance better reflects new potential donors (Asian and Middle East countries) and recipients.

The G-20 did make significant efforts to expand the IMF's lending capacity--partly, some suspect, because of the role the IMF may play in rescuing Eastern Europe rather than because of its desire to help the least developed countries. One clever way of doing so was a new issue of IMF money (to the tune of $250 billion) called "special drawing rights," a positive move, but too little of it will wind up in the hands of the poorest countries.

Although the G-20 made grand statements at its November meeting about avoiding protectionism, the World Bank notes that since then seventeen members have undertaken protectionist measures. Developing countries have to be protected from protectionism and its consequences, especially when it discriminates against them. The United States, for example, included a "buy American" provision in its stimulus bill, but many advanced industrial countries are exempt from this provision due to a WTO government procurement agreement. This means that America, in effect, discriminates against poor countries.

We know that subsidies distort free and fair trade as much as tariffs, but subsidies are even worse than tariffs, because developing countries can ill afford them. The massive bailouts and guarantees provided by the United States and other wealthy countries give their firms an unfair competitive advantage. It is one thing for firms from poor countries to compete against well-capitalized US firms; it is another to compete against Washington. Such subsidies, bailouts and guarantees are understandable, but the adverse impacts on developing countries must be recognized, and we must find some way of compensating them to offset this unfair advantage.

International cooperation is also required if we are to devise an effective regulatory regime. There is international agreement on ten issues. First, the crisis was caused by excesses of deregulation and deficiencies in the enforcement of existing regulations. Second, self-regulation will not suffice. Third, regulation is required because failures in a large financial institution or the financial system more generally can have "externalities," adverse effects on workers, homeowners, taxpayers and others worldwide. Fourth, more than transparency is required--even full disclosure of the complex derivatives and other financial products might not have allowed for an adequate risk assessment. Fifth, perverse incentives that encouraged excessive risk-taking and shortsighted behavior contributed to bad banking practices. Sixth, deficiencies in corporate governance contributed to flawed incentive structures. Seventh, so too did the fact that many banks had grown "too big to fail"--which meant that if they gambled and won, they walked away with the gains, but if they lost, taxpayers picked up the losses.

Eighth, unless regulation is comprehensive there can be a "race to the bottom," with countries with lax regulation competing to attract financial services. Ninth, if that race happens, countries will have to take action to protect their economies--they cannot allow bad practices elsewhere to harm their citizens. And tenth, regulation has to be comprehensive across financial institutions. As we have seen, if we regulate the banking system but not the shadow banking system, business will migrate to where it is less well regulated and less transparent.

Despite this broad consensus, the G-20 said little or nothing about some key issues: what to do with banks that have grown not only too big to fail but (according to the Obama administration) too big to be financially restructured? The G-20 failed to ask the hard questions: if these big banks' shareholders and bondholders are insulated from the risk of default, how can there be market discipline? What will replace that discipline? The G-20 has talked about the rapid return of "private capital," but what does this bode if private capital returns without market discipline? There was also talk of continuing to allow over-the-counter derivatives-trading with no transparency. But without transparency of each trade--to assess the nature of the counterparty risk--how can there be market discipline?

The G-20 did take long-overdue action on nontransparent offshore banking centers. The large amount of banking in these centers is not a result of these countries' comparative advantage in providing banking services. It is because they avoid and evade taxes and regulations. But these problems, while important, played little if any role in the current crisis. Why was so much effort spent on these extraneous issues rather than on those more directly related to the crisis?

From the perspective of the developing countries, though, not enough was done about bank secrecy in offshore as well as onshore centers. Developing nations are often criticized for corruption, but secret bank accounts wherever they may be facilitate corruption, providing safe haven for stolen funds. Developing countries want this money returned and want access to information that will allow them to detect secret accounts.

Financial and capital market liberalization--as well as banking deregulation--contributed to the crisis and to the spread of the crisis from the United States to developing countries. Advanced industrial nations are reluctant to admit that these policies, which they pushed so hard on developing countries, are part of the problem. No wonder, then, that the G-20 did not argue for a reconsideration of these longstanding policies.

The global economic crisis highlights the deficiencies of existing international institutions. As I noted, the IMF and the Financial Stability Forum--created in the aftermath of the last global financial crisis, in 1997-98--did not prevent the crisis. In some cases they pushed policies that are now recognized as root causes. Although some of the proposals are moves in the right direction, others (such as changing the name of the Financial Stability Forum to the Financial Stability Board) are unlikely to have much effect, and as a package they are unlikely to suffice.

If we are to make our global economic system work better, we have to have better systems of global economic governance. It is important to move from ad hoc arrangements to more inclusive and representative institutional frameworks. We need a global economic coordinating council within the UN, not only to coordinate economic policies (e.g., the size of the stimulus and regulatory structures) but also to identify and rectify gaps in the global economic institutional structure. For instance, this crisis will almost surely be marked by some sovereign debt defaults. Despite extensive discussions at the time of Argentina's 2001 default, there was no progress in creating a sovereign debt-restructuring mechanism. The IMF--dominated by the creditor countries--cannot play a central role in designing such a mechanism (any more than we in the United States should turn to our banks to design a good bankruptcy law).

One of the alleged reasons for not "playing by the rules" and forcing troubled international banks to go through financial restructuring (instead, bailing them out) was that it would give rise to huge cross-border complications. Citibank, for example, operates worldwide, and depositors in many countries are not insured. What responsibility do US taxpayers have to depositors abroad if Citibank fails? They didn't pay deposit insurance; there is no contract committing us to pick up the pieces. Yet some claim it would do irreparable harm to America's image if we took no responsibility. Iceland's banking problems illustrate the potential seriousness of these cross-border problems. Its citizens' standard of living may be impaired for decades because of the bankruptcies of its banks and the Icelandic government's decision to assume some responsibility for these failures. And yet, again, nothing is being done to address these problems.

Most important, the UN commission calls attention to the need for reform in the dollar-based global reserve system; it advocates the creation of a global reserve system. Not only is the current system fraying; it contributes to an insufficiency of global aggregate demand and to global instability. Every year developing countries set aside hundreds of billions of dollars to protect themselves against the costs of such instability, made so evident by the East Asia crisis. The commission has argued persuasively that this problem must be addressed if we are to have a robust global recovery. Recent statements from the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), expressing their concerns about the dollar reserve system, have added immediacy to the commission's recommendation. This is an old idea--Keynes argued strongly for the creation of a global reserve currency more than sixty years ago--whose time has come.

Those who would like us to go back to the world as it was before the crisis will find some of the questions being asked at the UN summit uncomfortable. They would be happier with a few harsh words for the offshore islands, a few cosmetic reforms to banking regulation, a few lectures about hedge funds (which, like offshore banking centers, were not at the center of this crisis), a new name and a couple of new members for the Financial Stability Forum--and then for us to move on. Many developing countries will be less content to accept these "reforms" as going to the heart of the matter.

As developed countries struggle to ensure a quick recovery, they need to think of the effects of their actions on developing countries. It is time to begin the restructuring of our global economic and financial system in ways that ensure that the fruits of prosperity are more widely shared and that the system is more stable. This task will not be accomplished overnight. But it is a task that must be begun, now.

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Jay-Z - History



(Jay-Z - History)Jay-Z - History with Lyrics

LYRICS : [Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighter)
And the battle's finally won
(Gimme a lighter)
Victory (Lighters up) is finally ours
(Lighters up)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 1: Jay-Z]
In search of victory, she keeps eluding me
If only we could be together momentarily
We can make love and make history
Why won't you visit me? until she visit me
I'll be stuck with her sister, her name is defeat
She gives me agony, so much agony
She brings me so much pain, so much misery
Like missing your last shot and falling to your knees
As the crowd screams for the other team
I practice so hard for this moment, victory don't leave
I know what this means, I'm stuck in this routine
Whole new different day, same old thing
All I got is dreams, nobody else can see
Nobody else believes, nobody else but me
Where are you victory? I need you desperately
Not just for the moment, to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighters)
Victory is finally ours
(Yeah)
History (yeah), so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 2: Jay-Z]
So now I'm flirting with death, hustling like a G
While victory wasn't watching took chances repeatedly
As a teenage boy before acne, before I got proactiv I couldn't face she
I just threw on my hoodie and headed to the street
That's where I met success, we'd live together shortly
Now success is like lust, she's good to the touch
She's good for the moment but she's never enough
Everybody's had her, she's nothing like V
But success is all I got unfortunately
But I'm burning down the block hoppin' in and out of V
But something tells me that there's much more to see
Before I get killed because I can't get robbed
So before me success and death ménage
I gotta get lost, I gotta find V
We gotta be together to make history

[Chorus: Cee-lo]
Now that all the smoke is gone
(Lighters. Up.)
And the battle's finally won
(Lighter. Up.)
Victory is finally ours
(Lighters. Up.)
History, so long, so long
So long, so long

[Verse 3: Jay-Z]
Now victory is mine, it tastes so sweet
She's my trophy wife, you're coming with me
We'll have a baby who stutters repeatedly
We'll name him history, he'll repeat after me
He's my legacy, son of my hard work
Future of my past, he'll explain who I be
Rank me amongst the greats, either 1, 2, or 3
If I ain't number one then I failed you victory
Ain't in it for the fame that dies within weeks
Ain't in it for the money, can't take it when you leave
I wanna be remembered long after you grieve
Long after I'm gone, long after I breathe
I leave all I am in the hands of history
That's my last will and testimony
This is much more than a song, it's a baby shower
I've been waiting for this hour, history you ours


[Chorus: Cee-lo (2x)]
Now that all the smoke is gone
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
History, so long, so long
So long, so long



Man in the Mirror--By Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

I'm gonna make a change,
for once im my life
It's gonna feel real good,
gonna make a diference
Gonna make it right...

As I, turn up the collar on
my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowing my mind
I see the kids in the streets,
with not enought to eat
Who am I to be blind?
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer disregard,a broken bottle top
And a one man soul
They follow each other on the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)
(Na na na, na na na, na na, na nah)

I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It's time that I realize
That there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan
Could it be really me, pretending that they're not alone?

A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart
And a washed-out dream
(Washed-out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me
(Starting with me!)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Ooh!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change his ways - ooh!)
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that..
(Take a look at yourself and then make that..)
CHANGE!

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror - Oh yeah!)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Better change!)
No message could have been any clearer
(If you wanna make the world a better place)


Michael Jackson - Man in the mirror

A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cook






It's been a long time coming but a change is surely going to come in America and the World! I am the Future of America and the World and that is the message that each of us must carry with us each and every day that we wake up on Earth! I am the Future! You are the Future! We are the Future of America and the World! That is way every election is important--primaries, special elections and general! So vote every year and hold our politicians accountable. Hold our political officials accountable by writing them, calling them and making sure they attend meetings that we the people have. "The Time for Change is not Now but Right Now!"

"EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary" should be our anthem and should be our creed as we make the positive differences in America and the world that so many people beg for and hungry for year after year! A Change is Gonna Come, A Change is Gonna Come, that's what we must say as we say "God grants us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courge to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference" each morning before we go about the task of making a positive change in America and the world a reality.



Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen


“When will people realize that we are Americans first and foremost, not Democrats or Liberals, not Republicans or Conservatives, not Independents or moderates. We are Americans. Stop putting a political party above America and stop putting any politican above America. America succeeds because of us the people holding our government responsible no matter the political party because the main two political parties are to blame for the condition America is in."—Hodari P.T. Brown

America with its flaws and all is a country I am proud to have been born in. America is not perfect but my love for it is perfect. That’s why all Americans must realize that we are all Americans. In fact we are Americans first and foremost. We are not Democrats or Republicans. We are Americans.

We are not Muslims, Christians or Jews. We are Americans. Too many times we recognize our differences with others rather than appreciating our similarities which are, we are Americans. We are Americans first and foremost, no matter if we were born here or moved here legally. We are all Americans, here in this country to make not only our lives better but the lives of other Americans better so future Americans can enjoy the rights and freedoms that make us all Americans.

We are all Americans. We are one party united under God. We are Americans and this is the only political party that matters. We are Americans and this is our country so let’s make sure that we make America better than how we found it so future Americans can live prosperous and joyous lives. We are Americans and must not ever forget that.

America will prosper as long we make sure we are doing our part to make it prosper and that means we can’t put any political party or politician above America. Long live America forever and long live America’s service to the world. Together, America and the world will prosper for future generations to enjoy America and the world we live in.


Lift Every Voice and Sing


This video of the ' Negro National Anthem' was originally screened at the historic African-American Church Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC on January 18th, 2009. Many of the esteemed individuals featured in this video in attendance and we presented with the ' Keepers of the Flame' award for the monumental contributions to social justice.

This version of the song was performed by the Grace Baptist Church Cathedral Choir, conducted by Derrick James. The video was produced and donated by Ascender Communications, LLC (www.ascender-c.com) at the request of The Balm In Gilead, Inc.

If I Was President--Wyclef Jean




If I was President that is the people's anthem. We all have ideas of what we can do as President and through this website, we will fulfill our deam as a people!

Somethings Gotta Give--Big Boi ft Mary J Blige



Somethings Gotta Give people and it begins today for all us to make sure that something is us. We the people are sick and tired of suffering. Where is our piece of the Dream that so many people dead for so that we all could see today. This is our time people to change America and the world so that the Next Generation has a better future than the past we inherited.

This is our call to service. This isn't about one political candidate or one political figure. This is about us as people coming together to finally leave up to our potential and achieving the great feats that those before us have achieved. This is our moment to lead our nation and our world to greater heights.

Somethings gotta give people and it starts with us the people making it happen. We have to improve our education system in America. We have to rid the world of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. We have to go to the streets and lift a hand to another in order to decrease poverty in this world. We have to take a stand today and make sure that the future of America and the world is brighter than it has ever been.

Somethings Gotta Give and that is why we must "Remember Each One, Reach One and Teach One so America's future and the World's future continues to prosper."

John Legend - "If You're Out There"


If you're out there than you need to get started in helping to change America and the world. The world and America won't change until you get involved in making the changes you want to see in this world. If you're out there, than you must know that tomorrow started now and today started yesterday so you are behind in helping to the change. If you are tired of hatred, racism, poverty, war, and violence than the time to change it is now. If you want universal health care, world peace, democracy for every nation, equal rights, and happiness for all than you must get involved now to help the save world.

You must believe in the change that you want to see and you must act on making that change a reality. If you're out there than say it aloud and show the rest of America and the world that you're out here to make a real positive change in the communities we stay in. If you're out there than get involved now. I'm calling every women and men to join me as we take back our country right here, right now. If you're out there than the future started yersterday and we are already late so we have lots of work to do but I know we can do it together as one.

YES WE CAN



Yes We Can accomplish anything that we set out to do! We don't need charismatic or inspirational leaders to believe in ourselves and to take responsiblity for our own faith, we just need each other. Yes We Can build a new America and a new world if each of us would take action now to make the changes that we want to see in the world. Yes We Can control government by holding our political officials accountable for their actions by calling them out when they don't pass legislation that supports the common good of all man and by voting in every election to ensure that we have people representing the people locally, state wide, nationally and in the world.

Yes We Can be great! Yes We Can be what we want to be! Yes We Can be glorious in not only America but the world! Yes We can put action behind our worlds and change the world starting right here, right now! Yes We Can as Republicans, Democrats and Independents become one as we freely think about our fellow men and women and make decisions that will be in the best interest of all people and not one single group.

Yes We Can be the change that we want to see in the world! Yes We Can show the world that the youth are ready to lead! Yes We Can put our egos, our social economic statuses, our religions, our educational statuses and our skin color to the side for the better good of the world! Yes We Can be Greater than we have ever been and help others be Greater than they have ever be!

YES WE CAN and YES WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS IN ALL THAT WE DO! YES WE CAN, no matter what others may say, we will be glorious! YES WE WILL and YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN is what will be sung from every mountaintop, every riverbank, every household, every school yard, every factory, every sporting event, every college campus and even every place you can imagine in the world is where YES WE CAN, will be said and heard!

YES WE CAN!

Keep On Pushing - Curtis Mayfield & the Impressions


Wake Up People! No matter who is elected to any public office, we have to “Keep On Pushing” as a people to make sure they don’t leave us in a worst state than what they inherited. We as a people have to “Keep On Pushing” to make a difference in the lives of others. We have to have an “EmPOWERment By Any Means Necessary” attitude as we continue to push our agenda that we the people deserve and want better. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change in a positive way that will benefit all Americans no matter their age, their religion or skin color. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will improve our education system, improve our military, improve our national security, improve our healthcare system and improve our economy. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to bring about change that will leave America’s future in a better than how we found it and that will leave the world’s future in a better state than we imagined we could live it. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to make life better for our neighborhoods, our families and even our quote on quote enemies. We have to “Keep On Pushing” to inspire, to uplift and to guide those who need help spiritually, physically and mentally. We have to “Keep On Pushing ” so that our lives, our future generation’s lives and the lives of those who came before us does not die in vein.

“Keep on Pushing”

A War For Your Soul

A War For Your Soul-regular version from Erisai Films on Vimeo.


The moment has come for us as a nation of people to finally wake up and realize that our destiny and fate in society has rests on our shoulders. We cannot allow the forces of evil and darkness to drain us out. We have to continue to overcome all odds in order to make the future of our nation better and the future of future generations of Americans better. We have to continue to pray to our Lord and we have to continue to uplift each other in prayer as well as take action against those things that are trying to destroy us. We have to stand up once and for all and be the future that we want to be. Now is our time and we shall do together by any means necessary.

This video was created to inspire young African-Americans not to fall prey to some of the problems they face in society. The use of the voice "Master of Darkness" represents evil, which is where the blame of all problems should be placed, and not on any one group of people. This video should not to be used to divide people (Black & White), there are images of heroes that are white in this video, and there are images of Black & White coming together with the words of Dr. King in the background. Some of the images from the past can be unsettling, but they are used to show all Americans how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This film is being strategically placed in school systems, churches and youth orgs around the country, in hope of helping a lost generation of kids that we as Americans have forgotten. As fellow Americans we must continue to love each other, and take that love and spread it to the rest of the world. **THIS VIDEO IS NOT FOR SALE & I AM NOT ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR THE FILM, I ONLY WANT THE MESSAGE TO REACH AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE WITHOUT ANY HIDDEN POLITICAL OR FINANCIAL AGENDA.
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Sitting On the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding



"The time for sitting is over! The time for action is now! The time for hope without action is hopeless! The time for change without a positive attitude is a change that we can't believe in! We need change that is positive of helping all people! Our time for action is now, our time for hope is now, our time for change is now and our time to believe that we can do whatever we set our minds to is not now but right now!"

STAR SPANGLED BANNER


The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming;
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?


On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, now conceals, now discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream;
'Tis the star-spangled banner; O long may it wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight and the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave!


O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land,
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just.
And this be our motto— "In God is our trust; "
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

Black President



Our Time is not now but Right Now! Our Time has finally come to change the world not now but Right Now! If you don't believe that we can change the world than watch as we do it by changing your mind into believing in us and what we can do! This is OUR TIME RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

FIGHT THE POWER



We got to FIGHT THE POWER! We can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch injustices take place. We can no longer sit by and allow our right to vote to become unexercised. We must FIGHT THE POWER for our past, present and future! We can no longer allow our rights to be oppressed and our voice to become drained by the powers at be. We must FIGHT THE POWER and show that we have a lot to say that needs to be heard by the mainstream media. We must FIGHT THE POWER and live up to our potential as dynamic, unbelievable and phenomenal people.


We must not believe the hype but we must become the hype. We are not Harriett Tubman, Marcus Garvey, MLK, Malcolm X, Booker T. Washington, Carter G. Woodson, W.E.B. DuBois, the Black Panther Party, SNCC, or any other activists but we are the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, uncles, aunties, and relatives of those who came before us to pave the way for us to FIGHT THE POWER! We are not next Generation of leaders who will not be honored and praised until they die but that’s the fight we accept. We are not fighting the power for glory or fame but we are fighting the power for just causes that most men and women will not understand until years or decades later.


We are fighting for our sisters and brothers in Darfur, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, China and Mexico. We are speaking for those who are poor and have no food or water. We are fighting for those who are sick and dying. We are fighting for universal healthcare across the world and human rights for all people. We are fighting for rich and poor! We must FIGHT THE POWER no matter how hard and tough the road may be. We must FIGHT THE POWER for a better today and an even greater tomorrow!


FIGHT THE POWER!

PEOPLE GET READY


“People Get Ready” our time is coming! We have come too far to turn back now. Our train is coming and it is coming in waves. “People Get Ready”, we don’t need a ticket but we need faith and the Lord will help guide us as we take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” our moment is now and we are ready to see the change we want in America and the world. All we got to do is have faith, hope and prosperity. “People Get Ready” to face your fears. “People Get Ready” to face your demons and the challenges of yesterday because today and tomorrow we will conquer & be victorious. “People Get Ready” a change is coming and our actions will make sure that change is a real positive change that lasts forever.


“People Get Ready” because we have had enough of just talking but now is our time to show action. “People Get Ready” to take back America and the world. “People Get Ready” to take back our communities and to make our streets safer and schools better. “People Get Ready” to make all our dreams come true. “People Get Ready” to see a better present for everyone and a better future for future generations. “People Get Ready” to live up to your potential and to help others live up to their own potential. “People Get Ready” to move past hatred, bigotry, racism and sexism. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the dreams of those who came before us and those who will come after us.


“People Get Ready” as we make our actions speak louder than our words. “People Get Ready” to make words mean something again as we put action to back up our rhetoric. “People Get Ready” as we embark on a new journey that will re-write America’s history as well as the world’s history. “People Get Ready” as we make the lives of others better and the lives of future generations better. “People Get Ready” because all we need is faith, hope and action to make this world a better place. “People Get Ready” to make a difference. “People Get Ready” to fulfill the American dream. “People Get Ready" to live out the American Dream as our founding fathers wanted us to live it. “People Get Ready” because our time is now, our moment is now and our moment in time to change America & the world is not now but right now. “People Get Ready” because a change is coming!


Alicia]
(Let me tell you now)
People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord

[Lyfe]
People get ready, for a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

[Alicia]
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who would hurt all man kind just to save his own (believe me now)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there's no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

[Alicia & Lyfe]
So people get ready there's a train coming
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels humming,
You don't need no ticket, you just thank the lord


“PEOPLE GET READY!”

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood


Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A