The Essence of Politics

Saturday, October 10, 2009

DPS Budget is called into question over Pricey consultants

Detroit Public School’s budgetary woes is being called into question since State appointed Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb is set to spend $40 million on advisers for DPS. Robert Bobb, the state appointee overseeing the Detroit Public Schools, has set aside nearly $40 million to pay for consulting fees and perks for a turnaround team he assembled to strengthen the district's financial management, angering unions that have suffered 2,500 layoffs since summer. 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.

DPS officials said Friday the consultants will save more money than they cost in the long run and have saved about $20 million so far in which the district has really already spent since they are over budget by $21 million in less than 3 months into the school district according to a Detroiter News article on Friday. "Mr. Bobb has done an outstanding job of recruiting some of the best educational and financial specialists," said Steve Wasko, a spokesman for the district. Union leaders balked at the spending on consultants. "It's a hard pill to swallow when you tell people you have no money and you continue to spend money," said Ruby Newbold, president of the Detroit Association of Educational Office Employees union, whose members average $26,000 a year.

So the pricey consultants raise questions on DPS budget. 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.

Union officials and school board members are crying foul because the consultants' pay and perks come after 2,500 DPS employees were laid off. More budget cuts loom because of state education funding reductions. The district has an estimated $259-million deficit from previous years and has overspent by $21 million so far for 2009-10. Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said it's hypocritical of Bobb to budget so many consultants. "When you look at how we got into this financial mess in the first place, a lot had to do with getting into contracts with consultants and vendors," Johnson said. "The very things Robert Bobb said he's seeking to clean up, he seems to be perpetuating."

But school officials said 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."

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.

With the top consultants' contracts set to expire as Bobb's contract expires March 2, it is unclear who will pick up the baton when he and the consultants leave town. Bobb said last week that his administration is creating a road map for DPS to follow. "What's really important is putting in place the controls for whether I fall off the face of the Earth, the business" of DPS "will go on," he said. Tom White, a consultant and former executive director for the Michigan School Business Officials, said it's typical for school leaders to bring consultants whom they trust to a new mission. "All of the people probably realize they're not in a lengthy gig, so DPS is going to have to pay a premium. It's a specific, difficult," White said. "You'd have to look deeper to make sure they're doing everything right, but conceptually, there's nothing extraordinary."

Bobb has a loyal following of parents and students who surrounded him at last week's enrollment count day. Parent Tanya Cooley personally thanked Bobb for setting a no-nonsense tone in DPS. "Last year was chaos; it's more calm this year," she said. Meanwhile, critics and school board members who lost control over the budget when Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed Bobb, wonder whether his team of consultants can study and fix the district in a year's time. Board member Ida Short said the governor and Legislature need to track Bobb's spending. "We've been pimped, we've been hoodwinked and the public needs to get wind of this," she said. "He's supposed to be here remedying our debt, not spending our money. This is what the last state takeover did to us."

A closer look at some key consultants with significant roles in the restructuring of Detroit Public Schools:
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- 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.

Thus as I have reported previously, Bobb has done some things good for the district but at the same time, paying these high salaries to several consultants and the fact the district has already overspent 3 months into this school year is not what Bobb was hired to do. It doesn’t sound like we are reigning in spending to me and it definitely doesn’t sound like we are making sure as much money go toward the classroom as we can deliver there. So when reading about what the consultants were paid to do, I can begin to tell you that if we hired a consulting firm to asses DPS security department for only two weeks and got billed for $58,960 that doesn’t sound right to me and from being in the schools and hiring from several other educators, it seems as if DPS security department or police, whatever you want to call them, they haven’t approved under Bobb’s watch when I see kids in the hallway during class time and outside of the school building particularly high schools between 1-1:30p.m. Therefore it is clear that our state legislator and Governor Granholm need to question this type of spending and the amounts given especially considering that one state EFM is currently under trail for paying himself more than what he was suppose to get paid by the state.

So in order to avoid another black eye, Governor Jennifer Granholm and the state legislator should properly investigate Bobb’s spending habits and all the large sums of money these consultants are being given especially since the last consultants Bobb hired to be over high schools such as Edison don’t have a stellar track record of academic success. Detroit we can’t be fooled no longer. I know we all want to see a more viable and better DPS where all our kids are learning what they need to learn to succeed and our district knows how to balance its budget and not overspend. However that can’t happen until we get the truth about who is getting what of our money and how does their services justify the amount they are getting. Bobb can’t continue to say DPS is broke but pay what seems to be top dollar for all these consultants to do less than a month of work in some cases that hasn’t yielded any positive results in certain areas based off the amount of time they spent in assessing that area. We deserve better Detroit and people like Steve Wasko need to stop trying to protect Bobb when Steve himself has simply been making a paycheck for supposedly marketing the district but has failed at it for years until now with Bobb’s efforts to promote all the good the district has to offer.

Nonetheless, we as Detroiters have to hold Bobb, the Governor and the state accountable for how our money is being spent and why we are paying for consultants at a time when Bobb was hired to simply reign in spending and fix our budget but so far Bobb has overspent the first 3 months of the 2009-2010 school year but he wouldn’t tell you that but instead would love to promote the fact the district has save quote unquote $20 million but let’s talk about the $21 million the district has already overspent this year. Detroit demand more accountability from Robert Bobb, Governor Jennifer Granholm and our state legislators who sent Bobb to DPS to balance the budget and reign in our spending habits but so far his spending habits are just as badly as the status quo of DPS. So to a degree Detroit, we are being hoodwinked, tricked and bamboozled by Bobb and the state. Where’s the accountability people that’s what we as Detroiters need now more than ever.

So until we get real accountable and reign in DPS’s spending habits, we can’t support Proposal S and we can’t allow Bobb or the state to get away with the hiring of consultants who get paid over $50,000 for only doing two weeks’ worth of work. What does that sound like you? It sounds more like Wall Street rather than a struggling school district trying to stay afloat. A Change has to come to DPS and it is clear that Bobb’s idea of change has both successes and consequences that remind me of the status quo rather than a change in the right direction to put DPS on stable footing. What is DPS’s budget because it is clear the district isn’t as broke and bankrupt as some would want us to believe? The pricey consultants call DPS into question and for good reason and the state needs to investigate this properly.

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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