The Essence of Politics

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Non-Bailout Banks succeeding, Bailout Banks failing


We are coming up on a year since TARP was passed and you would think that those banks that took TARP funds would be doing better than those that didn’t but that is just not the case. So I say “Hooray” for banks that refused bailouts! A group of banks that turned down TARP funds have outperformed banks that received gobs of support. It just goes to show that not all banks needed a rescue. It's nearly one year after the big crash, and the financial system is still functioning.

Most banks didn't go out of business or get taken over. Your ATM still spits out cash, and Wall Street seems to be returning to some sense of normalcy. That's obviously good news. And what's even more encouraging is that the age of big bank bailouts is hopefully coming to a close. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Thursday in an appearance before the Congressional Oversight Panel that it is time to "begin winding down some of the extraordinary support we put in place for the financial system."

Extraordinary support is an understatement. AIG (AIG, Fortune 500) has become a ward of the state. Taxpayers now own a third of Citigroup (C, Fortune 500). And Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) has received $45 billion in funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. But as we all look back on the events of the past year, it's important to remember that not all banks and financial firms got blinded by greed and stung by reckless behavior. It's tempting to demonize the entire banking world. But there are several regional and community banks that had the guts to tell the government that they didn't want any bailout money because they didn't want to be beholden to the Treasury Department. And, perhaps more importantly, they simply didn't need it.

I've dug up, with the help of research available on TARP tracker Bailoutsleuth.com, at least 54 publicly traded banks that explicitly refused to take part in TARP. And it's worth pointing out that several of them are decent-sized. Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) and People's United Financial (PBCT) are both in the S&P 500. Commerce Bancshares (CBSH), BOK Financial (BOKF) and NY Community Bancorp (NYB) are among the 50 largest banks in the country as ranked by assets, according to figures from the Federal Reserve. That's interesting considering many big-bank executives argued that they only took TARP funds because they were strong-armed into do it and thought not taking the cash would make them look weak and unworthy of government support. That justification sounds pretty bogus now.

Consider this: Shares of the 54 banks that didn't want a bailout are, on average, down just 16% since last September. That's compared to a 30% drop for the KBW Bank Index and 36% plunge for the S&P Regional Bank Index. And why did these TARP-shunning banks hold up better than their peers? They didn't get involved in as much risky subprime lending as other banks. In fact, only three of these 54 banks reported a loss over the past four quarters. What's more, the banks that just said no are, on average, expected to report a 17% increase in profits this year. And the average dividend yield for the group is an impressive 3.3% -- a testament to the fact that many of these banks were not forced to slash their dividends to preserve capital.

Now don't get me wrong. Some people are not suggesting that TARP was a mistake and that the government should have simply let the free markets run amok although much of TARP was wasted particularly the first $350 billion dollars that no one seems to know how it was spent or how the banks used it. In fact a CNN moneyworks correspondent argued a year ago that the bank bailouts were a necessary evil to save the financial sector from a complete meltdown. That CNN correspondent took a lot of flack for that stance, but the CNN correspondent still thinks that the government had no choice but to launch TARP and other government alphabet-soup programs in the wake of Lehman Brother's collapse.

However it should be noted that the CNN correspondent wasn't happy to be putting taxpayer dollars at risk to undo the mistakes that were caused by greed and recklessness. And the handling of the bailouts by both the Bush and Obama administrations has been, to put it mildly, sloppy, according to that same CNN correspondent. But instead of focusing so much attention on what went wrong, the one-year anniversary of Lehman's death is also a good time to remember that many regional banks did the right thing. They stuck to sound lending practices and didn't wind up needing you and me to bail them out. And they didn't get punished for refusing to bow down to Wall Street's myopic short-term obsession with the next quarter's results. By sticking to their guns, they not only continued to make a profit and stay off the government dole, they also rewarded shareholders. Hopefully the banking giants will take notice.

Although I would love to speak good news about the financial crisis, there is also more bad news to the banking crisis since 3 more banks failed. Regulators close banks in Illinois, Minnesota and Washington at a cost of more than $2 billion to the FDIC. Regulators closed one large bank in Illinois and two other smaller financial institutions on Friday, pushing the total number of failures this year to 92, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Customers of the banks, however, are protected. The FDIC, which has insured bank deposits since the Great Depression, covers each customer account up to $250,000.

In Illinois, 16 banks have failed so far this year, including Chicago-based Corus Bank, which was closed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Friday. Corus, which operated 11 branches, had deposits of about $7 billion and total assets of around $7 billion assets, the FDIC said. MB Financial Bank, which is also based in Chicago, will acquire all of the failed bank's deposits and agreed to buy $3 billion of its assets. Much of Corus' assets are condo loans backed by developments, and the FDIC is expected to sell them off within the next 30 days. "This is our third FDIC transaction this year and we are pleased to provide a safe and secure home at MB for Corus customers," said Mitchell Feiger, chief executive of MB Financial, in a statement.

Two smaller banks were also shuttered on Friday night. In Minnesota, Brickwell Community Bank, which operated one branch in Woodbury, was closed by state officials. Mitchell, S.D.-based CorTrust Bank will take over Brickwell's $63 million in deposits and will purchase "essentially all" of its $72 million in assets, the FDIC said. And in Washington state, Venture Bank of Lacy was closed by state regulators. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company in Raleigh, N.C., took over all of the deposits of Venture Bank. Venture Bank had 18 branches that will reopen Saturday as branches of First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company. As of July 28, Venture Bank had assets of $970 million and deposits of about $903 million. First-Citizens Bank agreed to purchase some $874 million of the assets.

So far this year, the number of banks closed by regulators is nearly four times the number of banks that failed in 2008, and it's the highest tally since 1992, when 181 banks failed. The majority of this year's failures have been small, regional banks that fell victim to losses on real estate and consumer loans as unemployment surged to a 25-year high. The wave of failures is expected to continue, raising concerns about the size of the FDIC's fund. The cost of Friday's bank failures to the FDIC is an estimated $2 billion. Over the next five years, the FDIC expects roughly $70 billion in losses due to the failure of insured institutions.

The government has gotten back hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout loans, but it still has more than $2 trillion to wind down. As government regulators switch from crisis-mode to rescue mode, many of the biggest and most successful bailout programs are well on their way to extinction. But there are plenty of others that are gaining momentum as the economy heads toward a recovery. In fact, the wind-up has nearly cancelled out the wind-down, and the government still has about $2.2 trillion of loans to reclaim.

"These programs were crutches helping banks and institutions get through this crisis," said Larry Kaplan, former special counsel at the Office of Thrift Services and counsel in the banking and financial institutions practice at Paul Hastings. "There are some whose bones have healed, but not everyone's has. The world isn't repaired yet." Still, the Fed, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Treasury Department have insisted that their rescue initiatives will have to be rolled back or terminated as the recovery gains traction. "Some of these programs still have a long way to go, but others were on an as-needed basis, and we're finding that we don't need them as much anymore," said Dan Clifton, head of policy research at Strategas Research Partners. "But if the government just announced that all these programs ended overnight, the markets would panic."

The timing will be crucial: Pull the rug out from under banks and companies too quickly, and the government could undo much of the stability that the bailouts helped create. Let them linger too long, and massive inflation could take hold. "The emerging confidence and stability of September 2009 is a far cry from the crippling fear and panic of September 2008," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told a Congressional Oversight Panel on Thursday. "It is clear that we have stepped back from the brink and that, as the president recently said, we are pointed in the right direction." Here's a look at where some of the key programs stand:

The wind-down
Corporate debt purchases: Demand for commercial paper -- short-term debt that companies issue to finance day-to-day expenses -- came to a screeching halt during the credit crisis. That prompted the Fed to start buying up three-month debt, which helped calm the market. Many businesses were ultimately able to find open market buyers after the first round of debt expired in January. Peaked on Jan. 22 at $350.5 billion. Now at $47.7 billion.

Money market rescue. "Safe as cash" money market funds started quickly losing money after Lehman Brothers' collapse in mid-September 2008. When investors started a run on the money markets, the Fed immediately moved to lend to the funds and to the banks that lend to money markets. That stabilized most of the funds within a month, and the program has now been almost completely wound down. Peaked on Oct. 2: $152.1 billion. Now: $79 million.

Feds profit on bailouts
Discount window for investment banks. The long-time lending facility for commercial banks was opened up to investment banks for the first time in March 2008 in an effort to stave off another Bear Stearns-like collapse. The program soared in the weeks following Lehman's bankruptcy, but ended in May after investment banks were able to find funding in the open markets. Peaked on Oct. 2: $146.6 billion. Now: $0.

Term Auction Facility. TAF began in December 2007 and was the first "bailout" program from the Fed. The government lent set amounts of short-term money through auctions to commercial banks in exchange for hard-to-sell assets like mortgage-backed securities as collateral. The Fed ramped up the effort during the height of the credit crisis, but has since scaled it back as banks have been able to secure funds from one another. Peaked on Nov. 13: $415.3 billion. Now: $212.1 billion.

TARP. Banks
started paying back Treasury's capital investments en masse in June, though many experts said it is less a sign of banks' health and more about the negative stigma associated with a government bailout. Peaked on June 16: $436 billion. Now: $372.5 billion.

The wind-up
Fannie and Freddie. The government placed the mortgage finance giants under conservatorship a year ago, sending them $85 billion to stay afloat. But
the firms are far from standing on their own two feet again -- and the housing market has yet to show signs of a strong recovery. As a result, the Fed continues to buy up debt and mortgage-backed securities from Fannie (FNM, Fortune 500) and Freddie (FRE, Fortune 500) in an attempt to keep mortgage rates low. $806.3 billion of a possible $1.9 trillion.

Making Home Affordable. Treasury's foreclosure prevention program has helped
just 12% of the four million eligible borrowers modify their loans. The administration is pushing servicers to do more after a rocky start prompted numerous complaints. $22.1 billion of a possible $75 billion.

Stimulus. The Recovery Act is the largest federal spending bill ever, but most of that spending will come in 2010. The majority of the upfront payouts came in the form of tax relief and Medicare aid to states. Later this year and into next year, the infrastructure projects will really kick into high gear. $151.4 billion of a possible $787.2 billion.

TALF. With lending to consumers and small businesses still stagnant, the government offered to provide up to $1 trillion in financing to private investors to buy up securities backed by consumer and small business loans. Buyers aren't exactly breaking down the door yet, but the Fed extended the program and hopes to attract more support. $36.3 billion of a possible $1 trillion.

Still with all of this said, it seems that America’s financial crisis is not as good as we would hope unless investors on Wall Street and on Bank Boards decide to change the way they risk and assess risk in this nation. While the Obama administration aims to regulate Wall Street, much of its regulations just gives more power to the Federal Reserve who was is suppose to prevent recessions from happening but since its creation in 1913, our nation has a recession or depression nearly every decade.

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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