The Essence of Politics

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Next American System--By Michael Lind

We need a New Contract with the American people, starting with a sweeping program of modernization that echoes Lincoln and FDR.

Editor's note: This essay in the first in a three-part series on the "New Contract." Part 2 will appear in Salon's Wednesday, Jan. 21, issue, and Part 3 will appear on Thursday, Jan. 22.

Jan. 20, 2009 WASHINGTON --
The inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States, along with the deepening of the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, marks more than a shift in the pendulum swings of partisan politics. In these pages I have suggested that it marks the dawn of a Fourth American Republic, in the way that the New Deal marked the beginning of Franklin Roosevelt's Third Republic of the United States and the Civil War and Reconstruction began Lincoln's Second Republic.

When Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated, he had adopted the popular writer Stuart Chase's phrase "a New Deal," even though the contents of that New Deal were yet to be determined. In the absence of consensus on a similar term for the Age of Obama, we might draw on America's tradition of contractarian language -- the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Square Deal, the New Covenant, the Contract With America -- and call this new period the era of the New Contract. That serves as well as any other name as a title for a synthesis of the three new strategies that the U.S. needs in the next generation: the Next American System, a new economic growth agenda; the Citizen-Based Social Contract, the completion of America's incomplete system of social insurance; and a New American Internationalism, based on a strategy of concert among the great powers. I don't expect the New Contract to be adopted as proposed. My purpose is to start a debate, not offer a prophecy.

In this, the first of three essays, I will explore the Next American System. The Next American System is the 21st century equivalent of Henry Clay's and Abraham Lincoln's American System, a program for modernizing the U.S. by promoting canals and railroads, steam-powered factories and national banking. It is also a version for our time of the program of the mid-20th century New Deal era for promoting economic recovery, exports, rural electrification, and highway construction.

Beginning in the 1970s, conservatives and centrist liberals shared the delusion that government was the problem and the self-regulating market the solution; neoliberal Democrats simply wanted more after-tax redistribution to compensate the market economy's losers. The economic crisis, which is resulting in the partial nationalization of the banking sector and industries like automobile production, should forever discredit this kind of Reagan-to-Rubin market utopianism. The alternative is not socialism or a mere revival of Keynesianism. It is a return to old-fashioned American-style developmental capitalism, which existed in both Lincoln Republican and Roosevelt Democrat forms. In developmental capitalism the government is viewed not as a neutral umpire between American producers and foreign producers, but as the coach of a mostly private team -- America Inc. Success in the game will make future debt-financed bailouts less likely and less necessary.

Beyond the stimulus, the priority of U.S. economic policy in the Obama years must be to avert future bubbles like the tech bubble and the housing bubble by addressing one of the root causes. That is the interaction between the chronic trade deficits of the U.S. and the chronic trade surpluses of China, Japan, Germany and the oil-exporting countries. The surplus U.S. dollars that those trade surplus nations have accumulated, invested in U.S. Treasury bills and other financial assets, made possible low U.S. interest rates, which in turn lowered the cost of borrowing to reckless speculators in tech stocks, mortgages and gold. Even a successful stimulus will merely return us to the world of chronic trade imbalances and the resulting bubbles and busts unless it is accompanied by a rebalancing of the world economy, in which the U.S. makes and exports more manufactured goods and the trade surplus nations export less and consume more. As Paul Krugman among others has argued, a "plausible route to sustained recovery would be a drastic reduction in the U.S. trade deficit, which soared at the same time the housing bubble was inflating. By selling more to other countries and spending more of our own income on U.S.-produced goods, we could get to full employment without a boom in either consumption or investment spending."

While pressuring the surplus nations to end unfair mercantilism and increase consumption, the U.S. must shift capital and labor from low-value-added industries like restaurants and retail to high-value-added manufacturing, high-value services, and research and development. Export-oriented, import-competing industries like automobiles and aerospace tend to have much higher productivity growth and R&D spending than other industries. Manufacturing-led growth for both the U.S. and global markets can melt away the debt legacy of today's economic emergency more rapidly.

In the new era of American developmental capitalism, the tax code will have two purposes -- raising adequate revenue and promoting "onshoring" or the growth of high-value-added production inside U.S. borders, by domestic and foreign companies alike. To encourage onshoring, the U.S. should lower or abolish its high corporate income tax, one of the few sound ideas of the American right. This would stimulate foreign direct investment in U.S. production. It would also reduce the incentive for U.S. companies to engage in tax avoidance schemes.

If the corporate income tax remains, then, as the economist Ralph Gomory has suggested, it should be made variable and lowered for high-value-added production inside the U.S. Alternately, the U.S. could replace the corporate income tax with a value-added tax (VAT). This would level the playing field for American companies. They are punished by de facto tariffs in the form of VATs in Europe and Asia, even as European and Asian exporters get government subsidies in the form of VAT rebates from their governments. In addition, a "Gomory VAT" could be reduced for high-value-added U.S. production, regardless of the nationality of the company or investors.

Adding a VAT to the mix of federal taxes would shift the U.S. toward the European mix of national consumption, payroll and income taxes. In the next half-century, even after runaway healthcare costs are controlled, the U.S. government share of GDP, while remaining relatively low by international standards, needs to expand by several percentage points to pay for universal healthcare, adequate retirement and a permanently higher level of infrastructure investment. Invisible taxes like payroll and consumption taxes are a better way to finance modern big government than highly visible taxes like income taxes and property taxes. Because they do not cause "sticker shock" to check writers around April 15 or when mortgage payments are due, they are harder for politicians to inveigh against on the campaign trail. Consumption and payroll taxes tend to be regressive in their effect on middle- and low-income people. But the exemption of necessities from consumption taxes, payroll tax rebates or (better yet) allowing biweekly credits against payroll tax withholding, an idea I have suggested elsewhere, can make these taxes more progressive.

To promote high-tech domestic manufacturing as the engine that will drive U.S. economic growth, America's energy policy must reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an industry-friendly way. This can be done by means of a federal oil and gas trigger-price system that provides stable energy prices for industry even as it supports alternate energy development. If the price of gas falls below a floor, gas taxes will increase, so that long-term investments in alternative energy sources will not be wiped out. If the price of gas rises above a ceiling, then a new U.S. civilian strategic petroleum reserve will flood the market to lower them.

Transportation is responsible for two-thirds of U.S. petroleum consumption. The answer is not to throw money at crash programs for this or that single technology -- ethanol, solar, wind. It is to build an intercontinental electric freight and passenger rail system to reduce reliance on trucks, cars and airplanes -- and a smart, green, national electric grid, open to a variety of clean energy sources, that can power the electric trains and, perhaps, in time, a hybrid or purely electric automobile fleet.

"Internal improvements" in the form of federally financed canals and railroads were part of the Clay-Lincoln American System. Long-overdue infrastructure investment must be part of the Next American System -- not only "shovel-ready projects" as part of the short-term stimulus, but a permanent commitment to green and high-tech energy, transportation and telecommunications grids. These are classic capital improvements that should be paid for by borrowing rather than upfront spending. President Obama supports a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank. Allowing such an infrastructure bank and similar federal economic development agencies to issue bonds, as state and local governments and agencies routinely do, would permit the federal government to channel private international capital and even money from foreign sovereign wealth funds into productivity-enhancing public investments, without selling or leasing U.S. infrastructure assets to foreign corporations or governments. (Except in emergencies like the present, ordinary government expenditures like defense and social insurance should be paid for out of current taxation, not financed by debt.)

Only a minority of Americans are likely to be employed directly in manufacturing. Even so, a new American developmental capitalism requires an active federal labor market policy that aims to shift labor out of low-productivity industries like retail and restaurants and into the goods-producing export sector and its supporting industries. If labor is to be diverted from wasteful low-productivity jobs into the traded-goods export sector, service sector wages need to be much higher. Congress should pass pro-union legislation, but at best it would take decades to rebuild the labor movement in the private sector. We don't have the time. The federal government should intervene directly, gradually raising the minimum wage until it is an inflation-adjusted living wage of $10 or more an hour.

Wouldn't a high minimum-wage policy destroy some jobs in the service sector? Let's hope so. Minimizing the number of menial jobs -- gradually, not all at once--is the whole point. There would, however, be no wave of outsourcing as a result of higher service sector wages, because most nontraded service sector jobs like nursing can be performed only in the U.S. One beneficial side effect of this policy would be an incentive to automate backward, labor-intensive sectors like hospitals and home construction. Another would be increased demand for U.S.-made goods by well-paid American workers. Higher wages need not lead to inflation as long as productivity growth increases -- in part as a result of the substitution of capital for more expensive labor

To further discourage employment in less-productive sectors, Congress should impose a federal servant tax on the employers of nannies, maids, gardeners, chauffeurs, restaurant and hotel workers and other menial servants in luxury industries. That labor could be more productively employed to the benefit of the nation in the export sector or non-luxury services like healthcare, elder care and education. We need more machinists and fewer maids. In a democratic republic, even affluent citizens should not be too good to take out the trash and mop the floor themselves. Middle-class and low-income Americans unable to afford necessary services like nursing could be given vouchers or tax credits, or those could be publicly provided.

The American growth agenda requires an immigration policy in the national interest. A policy of enhancing productivity growth by gradually raising wages in the service sector cannot succeed if unpatriotic employers can sabotage it. This means eliminating the ability of employers to pit illegal aliens or indentured servants like H-1B's against American citizens and legal immigrants. Most of today's illegal immigrants should be quickly made citizens with full rights -- but only after illegal immigration has been reduced to a trickle, by a national ID card system, severe employer sanctions and a combination of border fencing and enhanced border patrols. Meanwhile, indentured servitude in the U.S. should be outlawed by abolishing programs like the H-1B visa, which makes foreign workers dependent on their employers, and replacing it with a skills quota like those of the U.K. and Canada. Unlike H-1B's, qualified applicants would get green cards at once and compete on fair terms with American workers and legal permanent residents. Under no circumstances should the U.S. Chamber of Commerce be given its sinister "guest worker" program, which is really a colossal serf-worker program.

Most of these sensible immigration reforms were recommended in 1996 by President Clinton's Commission on Immigration Reform, headed by Barbara Jordan. President Obama and Congress should abandon the misguided Kennedy-McCain comprehensive immigration reform approach, with its dangerous concessions to the cheap-labor lobby, and move quickly to enact the decade-old recommendations of the Jordan Commission instead.

I'll conclude this discussion of a new growth agenda with the words of Barbara Jordan at the Democratic National Convention in 1992: "Why not change from a Party with a reputation of tax and spend to one with a reputation of investment and growth? ... A growth economy is a must. We can grow the economy and sustain an improved environment at the same time. When the economy is growing and we are taking care of our air and soil and water, we all prosper. And we can do all of that."

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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