The Essence of Politics

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Michigan’s State Budget: What’s At Stake & What’s Going On?

With Michigan’s lawmakers trying to fix a $2.8 billion shortfall in the budget, it is a lot at stake to how to fix it without hurting children and public safety to name a couple of things. Nonetheless, tough decisions have to be made and as reported on the news yesterday, it seems as if both sides have a solution to the state’s budget problem and hopefully on Sunday lawmakers will vote for resolution to fix the state’s budget gaps. However thanks to lawmakers like State Representative Bert Johnson and State Senator Martha G. Scott, I have constantly received budget updates that I believe helps the public understand exactly what our state is facing in regards to the decisions that our lawmakers will make.

So there should be no doubt that Michigan is facing one of the most difficult budget crises our state has ever seen according to some lawmakers. This crisis is greater than the 2007 budget shutdown of the state. There have been several proposals on how our state can solve this $2.8 billion shortfall, but no matter what, difficult cuts must be made. While Senate Democrats realize this, they also understand that with these devastating cuts, Michigan would not be able to successfully compete with other states in the region and our already-struggling families would continue to suffer. A budget that is only focused on slashing valuable programs will do more harm than good, and the Legislature should also be considering serious reforms.

So many of residents across Michigan have contacted their lawmakers in the past month, asking them to support funding for Medicaid, education, the Healthy Michigan fund, natural resources, libraries, the Michigan Promise scholarship, early childhood education, foster care, public transit, school community health centers, mental health programs and roads. In fact, residents all across Michigan have contacted their lawmakers asking that deep budget cuts be avoided and that there be no tax increases this year by nearly five to one.

According to Senator Martha G. Scott, the Senate Democratic Caucus’ budget priorities focus on the things that will make our communities a safer place to live and make our state more attractive to new businesses. These include early childhood and public education programs; Promise scholarships that help our students afford higher education; local revenue sharing that provides police officers and fire fighters to watch over our loved ones; and health care programs that keep our citizens from needing more expensive care down the road.

The funds to restore these vital programs won’t appear out of nowhere. That’s why Senator Scott and her colleagues have identified a number of reasonable funding sources that would allow them to restore these key investments. These include assessing just a 2 percent fee on physicians, as we do with other health care providers, to allow us to secure a 3-to-1 match from the federal government. This alone would provide more than $300 million dollars towards to offset painful cuts.

Another opportunity for reform is joining the majority of other states by decoupling from the federal government on estate taxes for estates more than $2 million. Asking multi-millionaires to pay their fair share could collect at least $130 million. Other reform ideas include reducing the more than $36 billion in tax expenditures the state hands out every year to avoid wiping out important services. Senator Scott says, “We can also limit our tax loopholes, as Michigan currently gives millions of dollars in breaks to oil and gas companies, insurance companies, and others.”

Also Senator Scott goes on to say, “We can’t fix our budget through cuts or tax increases alone. Michigan needs to get its priorities straight and take these reforms into consideration to protect important programs. The safety and well-being of our communities and the future of our state will be in jeopardy if the Senate Republicans continue to ignore these ideas. My colleagues and I will continue to do whatever it takes to restore these priorities and protect Michigan’s future.”

On the House side, Rep. Johnson sent out an update stating, “We are faced with a deficit of roughly $2.8 million as a result of the economic downturn's negative effect on the amount of revenue the state has to fund its programs and services. My colleagues and I are making progress in reaching a resolution and I do not expect there to be a government shutdown like there was in 2007. It is not an easy task, though.”

There are tough choices that must be made. And between the decline of the auto industry, the national recession that did the most damage here in our state, and the 15.2 percent unemployment rate, there will surely be some painful cuts made. Rep. Johnson acknowledges this and says, “We Democrats in the House realize and understand this. However, there are certain lines I will not cross in the name of cuts. There are basic necessities that I will not vote to do away with. I will not agree to balance this budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens, which I consider our children and our elderly, and I will not agree to remove things from the budget that I view as essential. Those things are:

1) Police and fire protection (revenue sharing): We need safe communities, bottom line. Our communities have been plagued by crime and lack of protection as it is, and I will not vote to cut those services further.

2) School readiness programs and K-12 funding: If we plan to turn this state around, we have to educate our children with a top-of-the-line education system. Anything less is selling our future short.

3) The Michigan Promise Scholarships: When our children finish high school, they should be able to receive an advanced education right here in our wonderful state. And with the costs of tuition continually rising, I refuse to cut back on scholarships for college degree programs.

4) Health care: I will not turn my back on the children and seniors who lack basic medical care. Health care is something every man, woman and child in this state (and this country) deserves.

Senate Republicans have passed a budget with the following cuts:
-Cut revenue sharing (local police and fire protection) by $97.5 million
-Cut $20.7 million from the Healthy Michigan Fund.
-Cut K-12 funding by $110 per pupil.
-Eliminated the Michigan Promise Scholarship for college students ($140 million).
-Eliminated school readiness grants (both district and competitive) ($103.5 million).
-Cut Community Mental Health non-Medicaid aid by $61.8 million.
-Cut Family Independence Program grants to very poor families with children by $24 million.
Rep. Johnson says, “These cuts and eliminations are unacceptable. When you consider the consequences of such cuts, I think you'll agree. Firefighters that will be stretched too thin, schools that won't be able to afford materials for our students, kids not receiving a healthy start to their lives and families no longer being able to look forward to seeing their son or daughter off to college… it's sad and frightening to think about. I promise to stand strong for you and those you care about most in your life.”

Still as bipartisan conference committees have met throughout the days and weeks to make progress toward balancing our state's budget, there has been a lot of unknowns as to how our budget will be balanced but at the same time there has been progress. The conference committees were ordered to slash a total of more than $1.2 billion – a staggering amount that simply cannot be cut without doing serious damage to our residents, our communities and our state. Now we all wish that a budget was passed that leaves all of our essential services and valuable programs at their highest funding levels but that is just not possible in these tough economic times. Still many groups have gone to their lawmakers in Lansing voicing their concerns over certain cuts. Hospitals, school health centers, library associations, mental health boards and school administrators are just a few who have made their cases as to why their funding should remain; and while many lawmakers like State Rep. Johnson and Senator Scott agree with them, Michigan's economic crisis demands that the state make painful choices. But no matter what, some lawmakers especially Johnson and Scott have said they will not support a budget that destroys any chance of turning our state around – and that is what this current budget plan will do.

Rep. Johnson put it best in one of his updates to his constituents which said, “I will continue to fight for the priorities that truly matter:
--Fire and police protection: We must invest in making our communities safe, not take even more firefighters and officers off the streets.
--School readiness programs and K-12 funding: Our educational system already has enough problems and leaves enough children behind. We must not further debilitate our schools' ability to educate our children.
--Promise scholarships: Today, college degrees are as essential as high school diplomas. Michigan's children must have every opportunity to advance in the global economy in which we all compete.
--Health care for children and the elderly: We must give our kids a healthy start and treat our seniors with dignity, not neglect our kids and put our grandparents out on the street.
Cuts are necessary, but they must take us in the right direction. Severe cuts in these priority areas will take Michigan down the wrong path.”

Seven of the 15 bipartisan House-Senate conference committees have reported their compromise budgets to the full Legislature for a vote. They are: Agriculture, Higher Education, Judiciary, Economic Development, Community Colleges, State Police and School Aid. One of the budgets approved was Community Colleges in which the House voted earlier this week to maintain funding for these versatile schools, which provide thousands of our residents with affordable access to the training they need to obtain 21st century jobs. Community colleges play a pivotal role in the success of the No Worker Left Behind Program, which has enrolled more than 82,000 unemployed or underemployed workers who seek re-training to land good-paying jobs in high-demand fields. The original Senate plan would have cut $3.1 million from community colleges statewide, including nearly $727,000 from Wayne County Community College District, damaging their ability to serve our local students and workers at a time when its enrollment is up 20 percent over this time last year. The conference committee reached an agreement that avoided these cuts. Michigan must invest in education in order to get our residents back to work and create the top-notch workforce that will attract emerging industries – and investing in community colleges is one of the best investments we can make!

With nearly 100,000 Michigan students rely on the Michigan Promise Scholarship to attend community college, university or vocational training. That's why it is said to report that the Higher Education conference committee voted this week to approve the Senate's plan to eliminate the Promise Scholarship. The scholarship provides high school graduates with a total of $4,000 after they maintain a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher for two years. Every student who works hard deserves the opportunity to further their education and make a better life for themselves. And Michigan needs to create a well-educated workforce in order to attract jobs in emerging industries. The Promise Scholarships are making this possible by opening the door to college for tens of thousands of middle class families – and we cannot break that promise! However not all lawmakers in Lansing are willing to vote to pass this elimination of the Promise Scholarship. State Representative Bert Johnson said, “That is why I will vote against the plan to eliminate the Promise Scholarships when it comes before the full House.”

Still eight conference committees assigned to the remaining departmental budgets that make up the overall state budget are still working reach agreements and some in Lansing say that those agreements have been reached a full vote on those agreements will come to a floor on Sunday. There are extremely tough choices to make, given the state's $2.8 billion deficit and Michigan's still-struggling economy. And we must make all these decisions in time to make the Sept. 30 deadline to balance the budget. Still as lawmakers examine each budget being presented by the bipartisan conference committees; let’s hope as residents that all of them are think carefully about its impact on our communities and our state's future. Will the plan move us forward or backward? That is truly the question in today’s economic and political climate.

That is why the School Aid budget is so important. If the state budget cuts go through as is, it will devastate our state's chances of making economic progress. The School Aid budget guts K-12 school funding at a time when our schools are barely getting by, and just when the school year is already in full swing. The cuts will force massive teacher layoffs, crowd classrooms beyond 30 or 40 students, eliminate bus service in some areas, and cause other disruptions that will severely damage our children's ability to be safe and learn the skills they need to succeed. Education is the most important investment we can make as a state. Our state relies on our schools to prepare our children to compete for good-paying jobs in the global economy. We need our schools to produce the top-notch workforce needed to attract high-tech industries that will revitalize our communities and turn our economy around.

Our schools cannot do this if we don't provide the resources they need! That is why lawmakers must vote against the proposed cuts to the School Aid budget, which cuts $218 per pupil. Some examples of the local effect of these cuts include:
$18.69 million from Detroit City School District
$620,012 from Hamtramck Public Schools
$521,901 from Highland Park City Schools

Still our state will and must find a way to balance the budget. Nonetheless below is information that I think all residents of Michigan should know as to what certain terms mean and what the whole set up and purpose of conference committees are. This information was provided by State Representative Bert Johnson daily updates on the state budget but it is imperative information that is vertical to understanding what exactly our lawmakers are dealing with. Therefore as a state, we can only pray and hope that come Sunday night, our state lawmakers will pass a balanced budget that Governor Jennifer Granholm can sign on Monday or Tuesday morning at the latest, which is before the September 30 deadline. Tough times require real leadership and require sensible decisions that will move our state forward and not backward which what I hope all our lawmakers are taking into consideration as they pass bills to balance our state’s budget.

Conference committees are appointed when a house rejects the other house's version of a bill. One house always has the power to amend the other house's amendments. (A substitute is considered a single amendment, regardless of length, so a substitute can always be amended.) If a house votes to reject any of the other house's amendments, it informs the other house of the rejection and appoints conferees. The other house can recede from the rejected amendment and avoid conference. If it does not, it also appoints conferees.

The conference committee is charged with resolving the differences between the houses. The proposed resolution is called a conference report.

A conference committee is composed of two committees: one made up of three Representatives, and the other of three Senators. The conference committee is chaired by the first named member of the originating house (the house where the bill was introduced - commonly called the "first house"). The committees are appointed in the same manner as standing committees: the Speaker appoints the Representatives, and the Majority Leader appoints the Senators.

The House Fiscal Agency and Senate Fiscal Agency serve as staff to the conference committees for budget bills. The fiscal agent of the first house is the clerk of the conference committee.

Conference committees are governed by the Joint Rules. Since the Joint Rules govern both the House and the Senate, neither has the power to suspend them.

An appropriations bill is typically sent to conference when one house rejects the other house's substitute. (A substitute is an amendment that replaces the entire content of a bill.) Under Joint Rules, an item that is identical in both versions of an appropriations bill is not a point of difference. An item that is not in either version may not be added to the conference report, unless the item must be added to reflect agreement on a point of difference.

If a conference report is rejected by either house, a second conference committee may be named. The rules do not allow a third conference committee.

The Open Meetings Act requires six hours notice for any meeting of a first conference committee, and one hour notice for any meeting of a second conference committee. A meeting is called by the chair of the conference committee.

A proposed report must be adopted and signed by a majority of each of the two committees before it is referred to the first house. The two committees vote separately.

A report is referred to the first house. For bills, the votes of a majority of those elected and serving (currently 56 Representatives, 20 Senators) are needed to adopt the report.

If the first house adopts the report, it sends the report to the second house. If the second house adopts the report, it returns the report to the first house so that it may be enrolled and sent to the Governor.

Conference reports are not subject to amendment.

· appropriations bill is introduced in first house and referred to appropriations committee (the House and Senate switch which is the first house for each department each budget year)

· appropriations subcommittee makes recommendation to appropriations committee

· appropriations committee reports bill with recommended substitute

· first house adopts substitute and floor amendments and passes bill

· second house refers bill to appropriations committee

· appropriations subcommittee makes recommendation to appropriations committee

· appropriations committee reports bill with recommended substitute

· second house adopts substitute and floor amendments, and passes bill

· first house rejects second house version of bill and names conferees

· second house names conferees

· chair (first named conferee of first house) calls conference committee meeting

· conference committee adopts and signs report

· first house adopts report

· second house adopts report

· first house enrolls bill and presents bill to governor. Governor may veto bill or line items, including boilerplate that sets condition on spending

Adjusted Gross Appropriations: gross appropriations, less interdepartmental grants (IDGs), and intradepartmental transfers (IDTs)

Boilerplate: language sections contained in an appropriations act which place conditions on line item expenditures, including required reports

Budget Stabilization Fund (BSF): the Countercyclical Economic and Budget Stabilization Fund, sometimes referred to as the "rainy day" fund

Federal Revenues: federal grant or matchable funding dedicated to specific programs

Full Time Equivalent (FTE): The equivalent of one full-time employee

General Fund/General Purpose (GF/GP): the state's primary operating fund; the portion of the state's General Fund that does not include restricted revenues

Gross Appropriations: summation of all applicable line item spending authorizations

Interdepartmental Grant (IDG): revenue or funds received from another state department (usually for a service the receiving department provides)

Intradepartmental Transfer (IDT): transfers or funds being provided from one appropriation unit to another in the same department

Lapse: unspent/unobligated balance remaining in a line-item account at the end of the fiscal year that reverts or "lapses" to the state fund from which it was appropriated

Line Items: specific amounts detailed in an appropriations bill which establish spending authorities for a particular program or function (may be for a single purpose or for multiple purposes)

Local Revenue: revenues from local units of government

Restricted Funds: state revenue dedicated to a specific fund (other than the General Fund); or revenue earmarked for a specific purpose

Point of Difference: an item that is different in the House and Senate versions of a bill

Private Funds: revenues from non-public entities such as rents, royalties or interest payments, payments from hospitals, payments from individuals, and gifts and bequests

School Aid Fund (SAF): primary funding source for K-12 schools and Intermediate School Districts (ISDs)

Target: the limit set for gross appropriations in a budget

Work Project Appropriation: appropriation made for a specific project which does not lapse at the end of the fiscal year, but continues (under specified conditions) for a specified time

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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
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
And the battle's finally won
Victory is finally ours
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
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)

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
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..)

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 ( 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 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!


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!"


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!


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!



“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!

(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

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

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


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

Lee Greenwood-god bless the U.S.A