The Essence of Politics

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bobb Defends Turnaround Teams Efforts

In Saturday’s edition of the Detroit Free Press, stat appointed Emergency Financial Manager for Detroit Public Schools wrote an article entitled, “DPS story an inaccurate portrayal of turnaround.” In the article, Bobb begins by saying, “The Oct. 10 story regarding Detroit Public Schools' use of consultants ("Pricey consultants raise questions on DPS budget") is filled with inaccuracies and disingenuously portrays our turnaround team's efforts. It is simply untrue that $40 million has been "set aside ... to pay for consulting fees ... for a turnaround team" I have assembled to radically correct the dangerous course on which this city's school system had been heading.”

Bobb goes on to say, “Contracts reviewed again this week by the Office of the Auditor General -- and made available to the Free Press -- total $4.9 million, not the $40 million alleged in the article. The work of the teams brought in to transform DPS systems has saved tens of millions of dollars, funds that can be used to reduce our long-term deficit and place more resources in the classroom, and that exceed many times over the cost for the turnaround team. On health care alone, by removing 3,903 illegal dependents from our health care rolls we are saving $13.3 million, and through restructuring we will save an additional $16.1 million. On Medicaid billings, we anticipate receiving $13 million or more, in comparison with $5 million collected annually in previous years. Reductions in taxicab services and reorganizing yellow bus routes will save us $7.6 million. Functional reviews of special education services have saved $15 million. Haircuts taken by vendors seeking past due payments have saved $6.9 million. We discovered $3.4 million in overbillings and miscalculated fees from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. We are proud of our work to rein in spending, establish controls, create audits and uncover cases of waste, fraud, abuse and illegal activity.”

Then Bobb went on to say, “It is true that, outside of the emergency financial manager's immediate turnaround team, there is indeed a line item in the district's budget that sets aside funds for contracted services. The work of the turnaround team and normal contracted services should not be confused. We are, in fact, pursuing opportunities for managed competition, as has been done in the past. In areas such as student transportation and facility operation and maintenance, if it can be proven that our employees can perform this work better and at lower costs, then employees will do the work. If it is shown to be better to bring in private firms, we will do so.”

Within the article, Bobb said, “The reference to Kevin Clinton, a DPS employee who fills a position that had previously existed, fails to note his achievements to make $16 million in unspent Title I funds available for summer school programs and his efforts to help DPS avoid returning an additional $89 million in federal aid. The article fails to note that Angela Joyner, the DPS budget director, fills roles previously held by two full-time administrators. The article also fails to mention that 40% of one consultant contract has been covered by the prestigious Broad Foundation. In the 227 days that we have been on the ground, we continue to root out waste, fraud and abuse, save tens of millions of dollars and transform this district into one filled with centers of excellence at every school in every neighborhood. Inaccurate reporting, while it does not slow our efforts one minute, does a disservice to your readers who deserve to know the whole story.
Now the Detroit Free Press stands by its story and it should because let’s be fair, Robert Bobb and his team has done some good things for the district in terms of trying to fight corruption to some degree. Still, while Bobb and his team have done good things, they have done some questionable things as well and for any news outlet or the community to ignore it than it would be an injustice to all of us. For instance, what Bobb doesn’t address in his rebuttal to the Free Press is the fact that the deficit-ridden district has leased riverfront apartments for consultants, as well as paid $400 a week per person for food in addition to airfare to fly some out of town for weekends, according to invoices and school officials. Some of the consultants come from Washington, D.C., and Cleveland -- cities where Bobb and his top academic consultant previously worked.

While Bobb tries to make it seem as if the Free Press was getting his turnaround team confused with the daily staff that is permanent in Detroit however in the Free Press article written by Chastity Pratt-Dawsey, she clearly states that Bobb is set to spend $40 million on advisors for DPS meaning he hasn’t spent all of it yet. Also Bobb didn’t deny that such funds have been set aside either and in fact he somewhat says it is in this statement, “It is true that, outside of the emergency financial manager's immediate turnaround team, there is indeed a line item in the district's budget that sets aside funds for contracted services.” So clearly the Free Press was alluding to this issue and in no way was trying to make it seem as if the turnaround team and normal contracted services were the same.

The fact is that some of the contracts given out are not necessary normal whatsoever. Bobb’s attempt at addressing the Free Press allegations didn’t take into account the allegations regarding the fact that after clearing out hundreds of administrators from the historically management-heavy schools system, Bobb has approved no-bid contracts to dozens of out-of-town contractors and firms to lead several departments. The short-term troubleshooters are budgeted to cost $38.8 million this year -- twice the cost of the administrators who were released from those jobs, according to documents obtained by the Free Press. Their contracts also include payments for expenses such as airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, meals, taxis, parking and office supplies. Last year, the district spent about $8.5 million on outside consultants, records show.

Bobb tries instead to focus on the fact that the consultants will more than pay for themselves. In the past six months, the contractors have identified about $20 million in savings so far in the areas of health care, transportation and overdue vendor payments, according to a statement the district released Friday. About $6.5 million has been saved so far because of layoffs. The DPS consulting bills could balloon to $94 million because an additional $54 million is budgeted to hire a private company to run facilities maintenance. "The fact of the matter is that DPS staff, as it was constructed, did not have the capacity to effectively operate a school district," DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said by e-mail Friday. "Children and parents have been suffering the pain of a grossly mismanaged school district. The cost of consultants are virtually a nonissue when compared to the enormous problems DPS faced."

Maybe that explains why in the first 3 months of the school year the district has overspent by $21 million already, there goes that $20 million in savings by Bobb’s contractors and consultants. In fact at the end of the 2008-09 school year, Bobb eliminated about 72% of the curriculum and instruction department -- about 181 people, including 11 department heads. Those cuts are to save DPS about $16 million a year, Bobb announced this summer. For now, vendors and consultants with connections to Bobb and the chief academic accountability auditor, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, run major departments. For example, Kevin Clinton, the executive director of the Department of State and Federal Programs for DPS, and Bobb worked together for Washington, D.C., and for the city's school district. Clinton was a fiscal officer for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education for Washington, D.C., and Bobb was the state school board president.

DPS budget director Angela Joyner and Bobb worked together in Oakland, Calif., when he was city administrator and she was a budget analyst and again in Washington when he was on the state board and she was the district's budget director. Byrd-Bennett, a former chief executive officer of Cleveland's public school system, brought with her at least six consultants who are collectively being paid more than $700,000 for about nine months of work. Their addresses were redacted on the contracts obtained by the Free Press, but public records confirm they have worked with Byrd-Bennett in Cleveland or New York. Her office has already overspent by $40,000 its $754,000 budget for consultants, according to DPS data.

Byrd-Bennett's $176,828 contract spans from May 11 to March 2. She also has a personal driver -- an armed DPS police officer. One of the more controversial contracts was given to the Philadelphia-based PFM Group, which used to employ Bobb as a senior managing consultant. PFM received a $972,000 no-bid contract to help develop a new financial plan for DPS, according to officials. The contract with DPS was not made available, however, despite a Free Press request under the Freedom of Information Act. Bobb doesn’t address any of the overspending whatsoever in terms of Bennett’s contract and office. In fact Bobb doesn’t address why a chief academic accountability auditor needs her own personal security, I have never heard of such security for someone in academics like that. Nonetheless Bobb tried to say that Kevin Clinton, a DPS employee who fills a position that had previously existed, says the Free Press fails to note his achievements to make $16 million in unspent Title I funds available for summer school programs and his efforts to help DPS avoid returning an additional $89 million in federal aid.

However what Bobb doesn’t mention is what actual academic achievement was achieved during the summer school academies and if I am not mistaken I thought Bobb asked the State’s Superintendent for permission to use Title 1 funds to fund summer school academies so while it fine to say Clinton made those funds available and saved the district from returning an additional $89 million in federal aid, it is unclear what accomplishments if any were achieved in summer school academies across the district. Bobb also tried to say the article fails to note that Angela Joyner, the DPS budget director, fills roles previously held by two full-time administrators. The article also fails to mention that 40% of one consultant contract has been covered by the prestigious Broad Foundation. Still Bobb avoids the fact that the Free Press wasn’t mentioning Clinton or Joyner and what they did but more their connections to Bobb or Byrd-Bennett and how they got their contracts or jobs in the district now.

Still Bobb’s article failed to answer why Comprehensive Financial Management Consultants, with an office in Southfield, sent DPS bills for $493,325 for dozens of auditors to work for one month to reconcile the schools' financial records and bank deposits. Is that the fair value market rate for such audits and how many audits were exactly performed that justifies paying a company nearly a half a million dollars for just one month’s worth of work. Bobb also didn’t address why the Portolan Group, based in Berkeley, Calif., was contracted to fill the role of chief operations officer to assess and make recommendations about the performance of facilities and food services. The firm was to be paid $193,800 for 1,160 employee hours. The dismissed chief of facilities and food services had earned $127,906 a year plus benefits. In an amendment to the contract, the company will be paid an additional $196,700 from Aug. 1 to March 1 for one full-time executive and other part-time staff to work one to two weeks per month.

Bobb’s article fails to address why the New York-based firm Alvarez & Marsal was contracted at $500,000 -- including travel and lodging -- for a four-month period to review special education services, then design and implement an improvement plan which hasn’t been made public to my knowledge. Bobb doesn’t explain why Fanning Howey Associates, an architectural firm in Alexandria, Va., is contracted for $647,150 to assist in the summer construction program and long-range planning for the capital bond application to the state. In fact the summer construction throughout the district should be questioned when people tell me some schools lockers look like keys on a piano meaning some lockers are missing and other schools have new paint jobs but graffiti already been seen on walls, lockers and desks in these schools.

Still Bobb’s article to try to fight back for the district is not very transparent and doesn’t address the fact that Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates, PC, of Washington, D.C., have billed the district $333,606 for 2 1/2 months of financial consulting, including about $45,000 in travel expenses for nine workers and why McCrary Security Consultants of Florissant, Mo., billed DPS $58,960 for two consultants working two weeks to assess the DPS security department, including expenses. Afterward, a contract was signed for $53,600 a month, plus $5,360 for expenses for the two experts to work as needed through October. These type of contracts and amounts are a lot and make me wonder how is that possible especially considering the fact if you contracted a group to assess DPS security at those large amounts than why do we still have lazy security who don’t clear halls or campuses.

Anytime someone drives past a high school and see youth outside before 2:30p.m., it’s a problem. Anytime you go to a high school and kids are in the hallways before bell time and are hovered around the security booth, it’s a problem. Therefore while I am proud to say Bobb has done some good things for the district and much needed things, he still avoids critical questions that were raised by the Free Press article. While Bobb has been more transparent than previous school superintendents and the school boards, he still is not transparent enough with the DPS budget and where the shortfalls lay as well as how the district overspent in the first 3 months of the school year and the month of October is not even over yet. There are so many questions that Bobb failed to address in his first article to a major news paper in the city and it is clear that he would rather highlight things the public already knows than to address allegations of putting aside money for contractors and paying high no-bid contracts to consultants that are not delivering ordinary services when people are employed to those services right now.

Bobb would have gained my respect even more if he had of addressed many of the contractual issues that the Free Press addressed as well as the connections between many of the companies getting the large contracts. Bobb would have made his case a whole lot better if he just had addressed the issues that Free Press article are accusing the district and Bobb of. However Bobb and my beloved school district continue to hide from the hard hitting questions that seem to always plague DPS such as how contracts are being given out, nepotism, overspending and full transparency of the facts. If this continues than Bobb’s reign as EFM is no better than other previous boards or superintendents because those are the pressing issues that have plagued DPS and have resulted in a budget that is out of control and our children failing at a rate that makes me angry and should make everyone else angry. Accountability begins at the top first and it is clear that while Bobb and his team have done good things, they still have many questions to answer and they missed a golden opportunity to do so.

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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