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This is a little too strong

Personal Responsibility: Choices, Decisions and Consequences; Deliberation; Focus; Family Engineering; Self-analysis

Elected officials and others in the political arena spend too much time giving the public the impression that governmental actions can fix what is wrong most of the time.  If you think about it, most of the solutions start with personal responsibility (PR); people owning what they did, will do and what they should teach children to do.

The conservative movement devoted considerable amounts of attention to PR over the years but some of those guys can be mean with it.  A better approach would be to firmly and positively encourage people to select a different path or course of action.  It’s all about mindset.

We should acknowledge that Speaker Newt Gingrich has had the right idea in the past when he wasn’t being playfully mean himself.  Gingrich use to say that the federal government’s limited role was to create a fair playing field; a climate in which people’s prosperity was determined by their actions.  Of course, we haven’t had that climate in America yet but it’s a better approach than the almost socialist method of having people think that the government should act to correct what’s wrong in their lives.  Newsflash: there will be winners and losers in life.  As Prince sang in Pop Life, “Everybody can’t be on top.”

If your life stinks, you should ask yourself if the stench is the result of what you did or didn’t do.  You went to elementary school with people who ended up at Florida State University and people who ended up at Florida State Penitentiary.  While parenting is a factor, most of us could have done more to be the masters of your fates.

Choices, Decisions and Consequences (CDC): While teaching in a job training program, I luckily turned on ESPN to see a speaker breaking CDC down for NFL rookies.   You have choices in life, you make decisions about those choices and you better be ready to accept the consequences of those decisions.  Since the being of humankind, it’s has been about the organic/natural CDC process.

However, government involvement (while well-intended) introduces inorganic or unnatural aspects into the process.  Yes, we need a safety net to help during rough periods but some folks feel that the awareness of assistance encourages risky decision-making.  Hell, some people want to argue more with the government about money for raising kids than with the kid’s other parent.  A trip to the assistance office comes before a trip to the hiring fast food business.  People need to own or live in the reality created by their actions—stop the blame game.

Deliberation: I am amazed by the ease with which people make life-altering decisions. Big choices and actions should require a very slow, well-researched decision-making process.  One must be deliberate in his actions.  It’s sad but true that some young people give more consideration to which pictures to post online than when and with whom of have a child.  “I just happen to be in the car with those guys when someone started shooting at them about something.”

Of course, deliberation starts with research and research begins from the knowledge and wisdom of wiser people. Guys taking life skills advice from friends on the corner is the very definition of the blind leading the blind.  General Colin Powell said that you should never take counsel from unproductive people.

Focus: Once good decisions are made, they must be implemented and executed with focus—keep your eyes on the prize.  Smart people design and map out goals and objectives.

Family Engineering: Can people in the public policy arena openly discuss this subject or does that discussion violate the ethics of public policy; this isn’t China.  I broach the subject because poorly engineered or planned families cost the taxpayers billions.  Who had a baby with whom at what time and under what financial conditions?  Time is big because reasonable people know that folks in their late teens to early 20s are still growing into who they will be.  The moms in my job training program often said that life would have been better if they simple had their kids five years later and after better knowing the fathers (they would have selected better guys who were they husbands.)

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The age-old discussion in college social science classes is the debate between nature and nurture.  Is behavior based on DNA, environment or a combination?  Either way, family members often put their faces in their hands when they discover who a family member is having a baby with, for or whatever. Again, where is the deliberation?  Grandmother is going to spend money for the next 18 years; she might be 65 years old with a net worth of less than $6,500 because she kept helping her family members.  Mercy.

Can we get back to the days when you knew who you were and whose you were?  People once function with a sense of community; they were mindful of “how you carried yourself” and folks knew that good families required careful cultivation like good crops.

Self-analysis: Quick, name a close friend who isn’t good at self-analysis.  From the good, the bad and the ugly, improvements in any aspect of life start with taking an honest look in the mirror.   Of course, people can’t be critical of themselves if their mindsets are twisted.  Some people never say or think that they are wrong or could have handled something better.

Why are we having a personal responsibility discussion on a public policy forum?  This discussion is needed because people sometimes make horrible life choice and taxpayers directly or indirectly end up with the bill.  That situation simply isn’t fair and we must find a way to reverse it.

Everyone in the political/public policy arena has an agenda and the agenda usually centers on getting themselves paid and staying paid.  Hey, income is a fundamental part of life.  A problem grows from regular people not developing an eye for detecting agendas and functioning based on that information.  Cloaking agendas is a talent for some and others are just brazen with their goals.

Why was the world surprised when an Atlanta megachurch pastor asked 200,000 followers for $300 apiece to buy a $65 million jet?  He would have put the jet to good use but we should detect his extravagant agenda.  In education, the teachers’ union has an agenda of defending teachers when fingers are pointed regarding low student performance—Johnny can’t read and he is 17 years old.  Is that Johnny’s fault; what about his parents?  Then, attorneys with a “getting paid” agenda get the bright idea of suing the school system for promoting Johnny for years when he couldn’t read.  Johnny should have had a personal agenda as a kid that focused more on learning and grow and less on hip hop gear and X Box.

A classic agenda analysis in Washington could be had about peanuts.  We love those goober peas in Georgia and our agenda in south Georgia is to get rich ending world hunger by growing and selling that edible nut.  Check this, non-farm people in Georgia sometimes grumble about the constant local news coverage of peanuts when peanut farmers are a small segment of the population.  When Johnny goes to school, the school is funded in part by property taxes on that peanut farm land.

Johnny’s parents have the agenda of cutting their food bill and cheaper peanut butter would be helpful.  But, the peanut lobby wants the selling price to be higher for their growers of course.  One of the biggest enemies of the peanut lobby is based in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  Oh yea, your agenda detector is in the red line zone because those candy bar makers want tons and tons of good peanuts at a lower price point.  Again, everyone in the arena has an agenda and hopefully they will arrive at a conclusion that is mutual beneficial and transparent to all involved parties.

Activists:  Citizens should keep a watchful eye on the agendas of activists because hot drama keeps them paid.  The mission of most activists starts off with sincerity but somewhere during the process they realize they can get crazy paid if 20 people in every town in America send them 20 bucks.  For sake of full disclosure, that formula is the dream of bloggers like me also but it hasn’t happen….yet…keep hope alive.

Governing peacefully is the job of elected officials while activists thrive on conflict.  The National Rifle Association and Handgun Control both benefit from fear of new legislation or regulations.  Since the lines have become so confused, citizens need to constantly examine the agendas and motivations of actors in the theater of operation.

The press of old simply reported the news but the current media sources create news that drives drama and ratings.  Also, media sources are often thinly veiled marketing/promotion departments for big money interests and political party bosses…Fox News for the far right and MSNBC for the far left.

Right Wing Media and Hip Hop Culture: In a wild theory, these two forces are unleashing massive amounts of negative energy on certain communities as part of their opportunistic agendas.  This situation brings to mind Psalm 1:1 Bless is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.  Psalm 1:6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish.  I actually like the version where “ungodly” is replaced with “wicked” because those who will say anything to get money must be wicked.

The Right wing media agenda is a classic example of the tail wagging the dog.  The media drives the political party and controls the elected officials.  Most of the people in the American heartland are decent, trusting folks; they believe what’s on the radio and television.  So, the Right wing segment of the conservative movement is a vocal minority that loves getting people tickled off.  They have absolutely zero good to say about anyone who isn’t a sworn member of their group.  Conflict and demonization drives ratings and donationsbut it doesn’t improve our nation.

An end to hostilities would cost them millions.  Most of the far right presidential candidates from the last few cycles knew they wouldn’t win the nomination.  They were in the race to push an agenda that would build their brand… a lucrative multi-media, multi-revenue stream brand.  Ultimately,  the climate they created cost the GOP nominee the White House because the political center was put off by their shenanigans.

Another section of this project detailed the agendas of the hip hop industry.  Yes, they are worse than the Klan because these young males and females (I refuse to type ladies and gentlemen or brothers and sistas)  will say or do things detrimental to our community to get money.  The silly aspect of this wicked agenda is that the so-called artists and stars are getting a fraction of the money that music executives are receiving and those corporate types only care about wealth.  Kids killing each other over $200 sneakers isn’t their concern.  Little girls won’t do their homework because learning isn’t need to be a shake dancer, video vixen or reality show star.  Oh, those girls will learn the hard way that easy money in the club culture isn’t usual part of a healthy personal agenda.

Role of government/unhealthy liberal agenda: Yea, Blacks and Indians had a horrible time during most of American history.  Blacks caught hell here long before America was America.  It was the federal government that eventually and reluctantly protected us on some level so Blacks will always cringe during discussion of state rights and a weaker federal government.  History can repeat itself.

FDR and LBJ were presidents that used the power of the Oval Office to help struggling families however, people can grow to expect assistance.  It’s called entitlements.  Some Blacks quietly content that anything received free from the federal, state or local government is a form of reparations for our force labor in this nation.  Really?

The agenda of the civil rights movement was to give every American a fair opportunity to live and strive without regard to race, creed, gender and national origins.  As quiet as it is kept, many successful members of the Black middle class feel that the liberal agenda of giving assistance to poor people actually limits those people’s drive to do for self.  Also, the liberals from the two coasts (NY to BOS and LA to SEA) have agenda modifications that cause pause for Southern Blacks who are much more conservative.  Hell, Atlanta Blacks might be more like New Yorkers than people in the rest of Georgia.

Every voice should be heard at the table in the public policy process.  Ivy leaguers on the far right and far left are currently creating the agenda in D.C. and sending the talking points out to the rank and file.  Okay, that needs to end because America isn’t improving, the do-nothing Congress is in gridlock and my high school classmates are stockpiling weapons in preparation for civil war…Jesus take the wheel.

I want to add that the most important Georgian we hear from infrequently is perhaps the key…Justice Clarence Thomas.  As Chuck D from Public Enemy sang about Minister Farrakhan “Don’t tell me that you understand until you hear the man.”  I read Justice Thomas’ book about life according to his grandfather Myer Anderson and that hardworking old gentleman should set the personal agenda for every southerner.  Mr. Anderson didn’t like his family member receiving government assistance because he did want to explain what happens in his house to some other person.  I never knew Justice Thomas was a “power to the people” soul brother in college but he a radical because black self-reliance was a fundamental part of Mr. Anderson’s agenda.  If you think about it, Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 70s had an agenda that would be ultra-conservative today.

In summary, everyone has an agenda and every group has one as well.  We must develop agenda detection capabilities then determine how others’ agendas compare and contrast with ours.  And, we need to remember that leaders of movements, groups, political parties and everything else have the sub-agenda of getting and staying paid. It’s all about measurable results and how to get to them.

Everything starts at home…everything.  Many of the biggest issues facing people in our community grow from weak “home training” and no sense of personal economics.  An individual and/or family should operate like a small business.

 

I personally love the idea or mindset of applying principles from the business, industrial, commerce and corporate worlds to home life..i.e. Risk/reward, cost benefit analysis.  Investing, training, research, development, risk management, savings, financial foundation, marketing and human resources are all aspects of a sound, healthy family. Hey, some families might actually have a business plan or mission statement.

 

Investing= college cost, homeownership.

 

Training= etiquette, faith walk, nightly dinner table discussions and family updates.

 

Research= what are successful families doing, Do it Yourself home improvement, useful television.

 

Development= building stronger kids, parents who learn from other’s wisdom, family sacrifices for career opportunities.

 

Risk Management= nipping problems in the bud, surrounding family with positive people in heathy environments, particular about school.

 

Savings/Financial Foundation= untouchable nest egg, the retirement program at work, struggle-free living (living inside means, paying this months bills with money earned four months ago).

 

Marketing= human marketing is networking, being around positive constructive people who witness your solidness, dating people who enhance your life.

 

Human Resources= using the utmost care regarding who you bring into the small business (family memeber are new employees/partners.) New people come in after an exhaustive interview process and detailed research of history and experiences.

 

Home Ownership:   The American dream is having a piece of God’s green earth; land, they aren’t making any more of it.  Some people go from the cradle to the grave without developing a desire to own a home (well, grave would technically be owning land.)

 

A house is the second biggest investment for most people (children being the first in my opinion.)  On Capitol Hill, housing was one of my issue areas but more importantly, I taught a first-time home buyers class as part of my duties with a south Georgia community development corporation.   While a HUD-provided video explained the fundamentals to the participates, I knew this stuff from hearing my daddy constantly advocate for home ownership.  He was a good agriculture teacher but his forgotten legacy was selling lots in our subdivision in the early 1970s. In retrospect, this housing development should have been Black-owned but  the Lord knows it was progress for people to own their first house, their second greatest asset.

 

Daddy’s first rule was “when you rent, you are buying property for someone else.”  Second, rule would have been “with a stable income, buying a house is actually cheaper than rent and the place goes up in value.” When I was about 9 years old, my daddy pointed at a new Cadillac parked next to a shack and asked me what was wrong with that picture; talk about your teachable moments.

 

Many families in my subdivision are living in houses that were paid off 20 years ago.  Others have moved to snazzier communities but the rent money from the “home house” is investment income.  Oh, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in the “Sub;” we have our “come on now” drama.  Barbecuing in the front yard—come on now.  Pulling a car engine with a tree in the front yard-come on now.

 

I like the idea of a person buying a duplex, living in one side and the rental money from the other side covers most of the note.  That situation feels financially magical.

 

Means: We must live within our means because those who bite off more than they can chew will choke.  One of my favorite movies is “It’s A Wonderful Life.”   My man George Bailey was a hero for getting so many people into homes and wanting to see them actually make the final mortgage payment.

 

The recent housing crisis in America grew out of having fewer George Baileys.  People were buying more house than they could afford.   They were actually factoring in the future appreciation of the properties.  In other words, they were counting their eggs before they hatched.

 

Struggle, Stretch, Strain: Yes, some people seriously believe that struggle will always be a part of life but that’s hogwash.  You struggle when you put more on your plate than you can comfortably handle.  As a result, these people are constantly stretching their money and that produces a financial and emotional strain.

 

Conspicuous Consumption/Bling: the slang term “bling” defines the shiny, flashy items that small-minded people want to make them feel better about themselves.  Wiser folks, those less shallow, have spending habits and budgets that reflect a smart financial plan and personal determination.  For example, a person making $10 an hour can purchase a $20 shirt, double their hourly wage.  But, that same person wearing $90 shirts is foolish.  I bet that person doesn’t have $1,000 in a saving account.  Yes, reasonable people have a problem with folks in the public assistance office in Polo and Versace.  We are talking about young parents who would put $3,000 rims on a $2,000 car that smokes like a chimney.

We need to stop making Michael Jeffery Jordan richer.  Your child has Jordans sneakers but isn’t old enough to walk.  Your teenager wears $200 Jordans but isn’t on the varsity; his crew wears them to play video games sports while watching you clean the house and wash the car.  Oh, what about the adult with Jordans and a matching $30 Starter cap at the bus stop.  $1000 cars can still be found but they wouldn’t be caught dead in a struggle buggy.

 

Lump Sum: First, most people should thank heaven for putting us around role models with knowledge and wisdom.  Then, we should thank ourselves for being smart enough to listen.  Struggling people who work every day might receive the Earned Interest Tax Credit.  President Richard Nixon started the EITC because he felt working people in America shouldn’t be below the poverty line.  So, this credit gives workers the amount taken for taxes during the year and adds enough money to the refund to bring that person or family up to the poverty line.

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Smart families live below their means, avoid bling and put most of that EITC money away.  After a few years of saving, those families have the income history, decent credit report and down payment for a house of their own.  Hey, USDA, HUD and other governmental programs might get them into homes with little or no down payment.

http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/ga

 

 

It warms the heart to think about people turning adversity into prosperity.  From a better house in a community with better schools, the next generation of that family (the current kids) can go to college, move up in a job that requires technical school training or see the world in the military.  A family that will hopefully never struggle, stretch and strain again.

 

Housing video links

 

Empire

Law/Freedom: Love Freedom; Cost of Prisons; Understanding basic law; Family Law

What is more important to an American than freedom?  Freedom is the cornerstone of our great nation.  Groups came to the new world seeking freedom they weren’t experiencing in Europe.  Of course, we now mention the irony of Native Americans’ freedom vanishing and Africans arriving against their will in the hulls of ships.  Those slaves toiled for years before America was America—long before 1776.

If you are the descendant of slaves and sharecroppers (sharecropper weren’t really free until the 1970s), why would you give up your freedom to the crime justice system like it is nothing?  The parlor question becomes “would you rather be a slave in 1815 or an inmate in 2015?  Good question.  The following question is “are current inmates justifying slavery in some way?”

The sad fact is that some people fail to instill a functioning valve system, moral compass or simple risk/reward mechanism in their children. “Put it on the scale…put in on the scale.”  A young person commits a crime that at best will only produce $100 but once arrest, that person’s freedom is gone for years.  They could have made that piece of money in a day and they likely sought money to spend on silly items in the first place.  In my day, we said “you seek big money to buy things to impress people who don’t care about you.”

Billy Badass: When you grow up as Billy Badass, no one tells you what to do and when to do it—not parents, teachers, pastors or the police.  Ole Billy has zero regard for community or sense of right and wrong—he pumps the nastiest music at the highest volume from his car and does it while passing old women and kids.

Since going to school daily is too restrictive, he drops out to seek money the fast way—the ski mask way.  When he lands in that penal system, he enjoys less freedom than an eight year old.  The guy who thought working for minimum wage was square now makes a few dollars per day and he would love the freedom of working on a prison work detail on the highway.  The sunlight, wind and rain because golden.   The best people to talk with the youth about freedom are people who gave up theirs.

Closet living: The size of an average jail cell seem unimaginably small to most people.  The Good Lawd knows this writer loves being outside and freaks out in windowless buildings.  “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”  We haven’t mentioned being locked in a room with a person who might be violent in the worst way.

Cost of Prisons: It’s really tough to simply say “lock’em up” and offenders should face consequences for their actions.  However, corrections cost in many states is one of the biggest budget items.  Cost includes security and administration, health care, rehabilitation, food and clothing.  In California, the cost is near $129 per day.  http://www.ehow.com/about_5409377_average-cost-house-inmates-prison.html

In Georgia, the direct cost was $21,000 per year per inmate in 2011.  http://www.vera.org/files/price-of-prisons-georgia-fact-sheet.pdf

The shocker occurred when the Georgia Director of Juvenile Justice announced that juvenile offenders cost the peach state 90K per year.  Say what? http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2013-12-25/georgia-juvenile-justice-changes-take-effect

Oh, hell no. That’s it.  This madness must end because we could almost send three kids to the University of Georgia with that money. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we would be better off building youth who didn’t want to surrender their freedom.

Other freedoms: You can give up other types of freedom also.  People with a slave mentality see nothing wrong with reporting to other adults.  Of course, we must respect the laws that the government made because God made the government Romans 13:1.  But, public assistance often involves reporting personal business to governmental workers.

I wrote a blog post about lessons Justice Clarence Thomas learned from his grandfather on this subject.  Grandfather could not stand the idea of a social worker asking if he fed his family or having the state inquire about who sleep there at night.  We must mention the loss of freedom to alcohol, drug and food addiction.  Yes, food can have a deadly grip on a person.  In another section of this project we will discuss financial freedom from student loan to child support to good old fashion debt.

Basic Law 101: Every American should understand local, state and federal law.  At an early age, my daddy told us that ignorance was not an accuse under the law.  A teenage innocently gives a friend a ride home from the basketball courts but the friend has drugs in his pocket then drops the drugs on the floor as the cops gets the dog out.  Everyone in the car might be facing hard time.  Civil, criminal, torts, property and family law should be covered in high school or students should be given a useful DVD.

Dealing with the police is the most fundamental part of the justice system and people can learn a lot from TV show like Cops, Law and Order and programs on Court TV and ID Channel.  We need a program to breakdown the law for young people in a two-hour session so they will know the fundamentals.

Hip Hop and Rap music are original American art forms and artists should be free to express themselves in any medium.  I am not for censorship of whatever music adults choose to enjoy.  This discussion is important on a political/governance blog because people make choices surrounding musical sub-cultures and the government is left to deal with the financial consequences.

In communities, we should be mindful that music can play a serious role in the development of young minds and establishment of value systems.  Since colonial days, older Americans have been concerned with the messages in music.  It seems that some current artists/entertainers inadvertently lead the youth down a negative path.  But, old people were once young people and our parents had issues with Prince, AC/DC, Rick James etc.

I content that the situation is much worse today than 30 years ago because technology can pump all kinds of thoughts into Junior’s ears while all we had was Soul Train and Bandstand.

Proper Context: People can listen to any music in its proper context. It’s art; it’s entertainment. If you stand on a strong moral foundation, exposure to ideas from music wouldn’t change who you are dramatically.  We loved Prince and still love him but I never worn eyeliner or a Captain Crunch Pirate coat.  Early rap gave urban youth an opportunity to battle with words and dance.  Later, the gangsta rap of N.W.A. and Tupac explained the problems of some urban youth in a useful way.  Again, the proper context was kids speaking about their circumstances and that’s why the L.A. riots were foretold by N.W.A. and Ice Cube.

N.W.A. was art imitating life.  As middle-aged parents, the living members of N.W.A. (rest in peace Eazy-E) have their children and grandchildren in safe, comfortable environments—gated communities with cul-de-sacs.  They want better for their kids and prisoners generally want better for their families also.

When real money came into the rap culture, the whole game changed.  People would do or say anything to make more cash…with no regard for societal effects.  Kids from good families made hardcore changes to their vibes to get a record deal.  It was life imitating art to the point that many college students (black, white, brown and yellow) can be distinguished from common thugs and street walkers.  As Gil Scott Heron said about another matter “it’s the ultimate realization of the inmates running the asylum.”  But, it this case the asylum is the whole community.  Senior citizens lock themselves inside their modest homes and dare say a word about the kids with no shirts across the street blasting filth that would make the devil blush.

School kids seek to emulate pimps and pushers rather positive, law-abiding members of the community.  Rap videos actually have some youth ignoring education and training because the million they plan to make in the hip hop culture will be much easier.  Of course, a person who develops expensive taste without money soon considers illegal money-making options.

Understand, hip hop is a culture—not just music.  It’s a way of life that involves dress and speech.  Lord have mercy on my community because too many kids are spending their formative years ignoring the foundations of a healthy family, career and home.  Instead, they are making themselves less employable if not unemployable—really, these fools are deployable.  Hey, we had wild phases in our youth but most activities didn’t have permanent consequences.  “NowhatI’msayin…Nowhati’msayin..naw meen.”

Of course, I am talking about the negative section of the hip hop culture and the positive section would be my selection if I was young today.  I recently listened to a Breakfast Club radio interview with Kanye West. When Charlemagne told West that he should go where he is “celebrated not tolerated,” I thought about my community and both major political parties but we aren’t going there.  When West said he listens to advise from Jay-Z and musical cues from new rappers, Charlemagne said that the Bible teaches “Old men for counsel; young men for war.”

1 Kings 12:8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him. 

I love thinking about King Rehoboam’s situation and the current hip hop culture. This guy was the son of Solomon and the people asked him to make their yoke lighter.  The old guys told him to speak good words to them and they would be his servants forever.  But, Rehoboam listened to the guys his age and made the yoke heavier.  When I was young, I would hang with the fellows but the real advice for living came from those older gentlemen and ladies.  In college, I was listening to seniors, grad students, professors and young professionals because listening to other young folks primarily would be like the blind leading the blind.

If people don’t have solid elders in their corners, they live aimlessly and take advise from hip hop music.

I have lived in the “hood” a few times in life but I was never ghetto enough to love the struggle.  Like the yoke in the Bible passage, the struggle can be one’s circumstance.  Blacks in the South were generally striving for a better life…what’s the plan….what’s the good news?  To be frank, those who loved being ignorant and those to loved struggling were avoided.

Today, music executives who are only interested in revenue promote ignorant entertainers (I won’t call them artists) who will do or say everything negative to get more money.  As a result, we have a generation of youth influenced by ignorant peers more so than parents, the church or school.  They love the struggle as a way of life and being incarcerated seems like a badge of courage.  We know old prisoners begged the youth not the make the mistakes they made.

At times, it seems that the worst element of hip hop has a more detrimental impact on the community than the Klan.  Chuck D and Public Enemy in 1991 had an interlude after the song “Shut em Down” in which “Bernie Crosshouse” of the Klan thanks negative Blacks for destroying the community.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nskZM74NKkc  (at 4:30 mark)

I’d like to express our deepest gratitude at the destruction of the inferior n****r race, and I’m especially pleased to report that it’s destroying itself without our help. To all you gangs, hoodlums, drug pushers and users, and other worthless n-ggers killing each other, we’d like to thank y’all for saving us the time, trouble and legality for the final chapter of ridding y’all off the face of the earth. Your solution to our problem is greatly appreciated. So keep selling us your soul. Thank yuh

It turns out P.E. was correct in creating Crosshouse because certain elements of the community have us on self-destruct mode and hip hop music often glamorize these elements.  That glamorization isn’t necessarily a problem for the strong, grounded and well-balanced. But, people who are weaker, people with questionable home training and unfortunately people who raised themselves (the half-raised) will be influenced by the street from these lyrics and hypnotic beats.

Club friends: In homes where youth are trained with deliberation, kids learn the levels of friendship because some people allow kid’s exposure to explicit activities before middle school.  A young adult can kick it on the dance floor with wild friends but coming over to the table and hanging outside the club is a different matter.  To cut to the chase, some folks take sub-cultures created by music (gangster rap, heavy metal, goth) too far.  The artist themselves will admit that much of the image is pure fantasy but some people get wrapped up.

So, parents are teaching one thing and the hipsters on the corner are teaching something else.  Dam, the lyrics said this would happen.  Not a problem…just fire up a phat blunt and tune those haters out.

Solutions: We must have an honest and frank discussion about music and cultural decisions and possible impacts on individuals, the community and the nation. Paul from the Bible wrote a righteous second letter to the church at Thessalonica.  I should have been reading this in my youth rather than listening to the same rap cds over and over but that rap had a message.

2nd Thessalonians 3:10-15 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that any would not work, neither should he eat.  For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.  But ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing.

And if any may obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 

Yes, we still love our wayward brothers and sisters including those of other colors. But if you are recreational wreaking the community, I don’t too much mess with you—the disorderly need to get on the right path.  When people in old age look back at their lives, they often find that they were their own worst enemy and some of the people they chose to be around brought drama and struggle into their world.  The soundtrack to that drama was might have been questionable music.

Since I got a little to preachy, I would finish this writing by saying thank heaven for the positive cool rappers of my youth—Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Brand Nubian, Rakim. I should leave out the educational messages from rougher rappers like Tupac, Biggie and N.W.A. because Ice Cube was a poet before he became America’s dad.  See, people grow up and the sooner that happens, the better you will be.  The following are examples of the rap that I loved in the past and you should notice that rap from the 80s and 90s often sampled 60s and 70s R&B music.  That’s called respect.

P.E.- Shut em Down        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wOcOBjB3uU

LL Cool J – The Breakthrough      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0mk_RgA8-0&list=RDN0mk_RgA8-0

See, I fought with the devil, made a promise to God
I have experience in goin’ all the way to the top
It’s harder harder than hard all the suckers are barred
You used to try to talk down now your ego is scarred

See the problem is you want what another man has
His car, his wife, or his razzamatazz
But that’s weak, you gotta do work on your own
‘Cuz when you’re rich you got friends but when you’re poor you’re alone
So get your own on your own, it’ll strengthen your soul
Stop livin’ off your parents like you’re three years old
Instead of walkin’ like you’re limp and talkin’ yang about me
Why don’t you take your monkey-ass and get a college degree?

Or write a rhyme and ride a bike and try to live carefree
Hope my message reaches you before you’re seventy-three
A old man, when people ask you what you did with your life
You’ll say “I hated L.L. and I carried a big knife”
Brand Nubian- Slow Down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAvetlQbrA8

Public Enemy – Brothers Gonna Work It Out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHxkPNx23Og

Eric B and Rakim – Move the Crowd     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyl_j0g9AwU

Gang Starr – Jazz Thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is5xMd1nT5o

Guru – No Time To Play         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09WzUhMZmFo

Brandy – I Wanna Be Down (Remix) (feat. Mc Lyte, YoYo & Queen Latifah  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LthQLQMilvo

2Pac – Keep Ya Head Up  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfXwmDGJAB8

2pac – I Ain’t Mad At Cha       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt1XjVdyJ6o

The Notorious B.I.G. – “Juicy”                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JZom_gVfuw

3rd Bass “Pop Goes The Weasel”      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzXI_ApY4dY

MC Hammer – Pray   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xNSgBkum7o

MC Hammer – Turn This Mutha Out  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74OBaLLi3tY

Grandmaster Flash- The Message     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4o8TeqKhgY

Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lDCYjb8RHk

Afrika Bambaataa – Looking for the Perfect Beat  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RJlYzBhLg4

OutKast – Player’s Ball            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFofKGKlWo4

Ludacris ft Field Mob & Jamie Foxx-Georgia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZW_VgFXm_w

Master P “Make’em Say UGH” ‌‌https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5ZvzIOO6aU

House Of Pain – “Jump Around”        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZaz7OqyTHQ

RUN DMC HARD TIMES      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO2cakSiqDQ

Self Destruction          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxyYP_bS_6s

NEWCLEUS – JAM ON IT     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEmg5GaAHbk

De La Soul – Me, Myself And I           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJEzEDMqXQQ

Pete Rock & CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BONgL61snlM

A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6oO-1iWc1c

De La Soul “Buddy” ‌‌   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F69dt5clGPo

Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9F5xcpjDMU

Digable Planets – Rebirth Of Slick (Cool Like Dat)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM4kqL13jGM

Arrested Development – Tennessee  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VCdJyOAQYM

PM Dawn – Set A Drift On Memory Bliss      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5lByFc7HiM

Queen Latifah ft. Monie Love – Ladies First   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLB5bUNAesc

Best Interest Initiative: Education/Career Training

A good education is the foundation of a nice life.  Education should be formal (in class) and informal (everywhere else.)  Learning ends the day you die.

No bad legal Job– Young people should know that all work is a brick in the wall of life and each position serves a stepping stone purpose.  If your first job is tossing watermelons in the Georgia sun, that work should motivate you to study harder in school and tossing melons for money is better than paying gym fees.

When gas stations were filling stations, a hustling attendant would wash the window and check the tire pressure with such enthusiasm that customers would say, “I could use a man with your drive in my business…come see me Monday morning.”  Today, kids could create similar situations at MacDonald’s, Wal-mart, Starbucks or the local golf course.  The golf course is where the rich guys and connected people hang.  “Yes sir, get that for you right now.”

24/7 Grammar – Education starts with parents speaking proper grammar at home all of the time and encouraging kids to the do the same.  It’s a good thing for families to sit down at a table together for one meal daily and that time should include personal updates on what is happening with the parents’ careers and business and the kids’ schools, friends and activities. Amazingly, some 20 year olds can’t speak in complete sentences to other adults—know what I’m say…know what I’m saying.  And they wonder why they didn’t get the clerk job at the mall.  Also, it’s in kids’ best interest to text and email in regular sentences because it’s practice for school and work.

Rough music and T.V. are the enemies of good grammar and kids should be surrounded by well-speaking friends. Of course, reading is fundamental and the internet isn’t as nice as an actual book.

How to attend school/study- Some people can study with a radio or T.V. blasting.  Others can’t; I can’t.  Students must discover a system, plan or ritual that works for them.  I have found it wise to ask academically successful people what worked for them; some of it is good genes but some of it is learning how to “get down for the get down.”  Some people rewrite note while others read chapters ahead.  Whatever gets the job done best needs to be the program.

Cost of College– The cost of college has gone up considerably in the last 20 years.  Kids need to have a plan to finance higher education as early as 10 years old—the kid’s plan in addition to the parent’s plan.  Starting life off 50K to 100K in debt is the worse.  Many states have joint enrollment programs in which students earn considerable college credit for free before graduating from high school.  Some students actually get their high school and two year college degrees at the same time.

Someone needs to sound the alarm about for-profit colleges.  Some of these schools are saddling students with huge debts and student loans bills will follow you to the grave.

Hoop Dreams- Kids practice sports for countless hours with dreams of getting an athletic scholarship and turning pro.  Yes, many young people stay away from drugs and kept their grades up to play sports.  However, these activities are extracurricular with “extra” being the key.  If these kids spent half of their practice time getting homework and studying, their situations would be more balanced.  Also, great grades and SAT scores expands the number of schools that would be interested in you playing sports.  Playing football at Duke, Davidson or Morehouse puts you in a network of alumni that is more beneficial than playing in the NFL for a few years.

Military Education Option– Many young people join the military to pay for college and we thank them for their service.  Some wild college freshmen would have been better off with a few years of college first.  18 year olds who spend a few years in uniform get important job training, learn diversity from battle buddies and get to live on the other side of the nation and/or the world.  Today, those military personnel have the opportunity to attend college online from a real university during their down time.

Networking/The Hustle– Let’s be honest, there are many, many holders of advance degrees in the poor house.  One must get an education and turn that paper into a money-making career. Crafty people know how jobs are filled in an area and function accordingly—join the lodge, volunteer next to key community leaders. If the police and firefighters play softball in a certain league, you should dust off your glove and bat if you want to work with them. It’s not fair, but it’s often true.

“Everyone with pull attends that church.” On the other hand, leaders hire people they know well and if you grew up over the last 20 years as a positive member of a congregation with someone… that means something.  Hey, Marines hire Marines.  In the last 30 years, leadership position in a local school system was indirect related to H.R. directors who were members of two sororities.  At the end of the day, some people know how to hustle up a job better than others and the sad part is that those others might have done a much better job.  It’s a dirty game.

Straight To Work Option– Of course, some successful people went to work right out of high school and staying on some job until retirement.  These people received on the job training and moved up over time.  School is formal education but working in some ways covers the same material in a hands-on manner.  If giving the opportunity, these people should still seek a two-year degree in their spare time because reading and writing well will open the door to mid-level management since no one wants to do the physical jobs at middle age.  Of course, computers are on every job these days and some vocational training helps with technology.

Summary: Education and training could solve many community problems because people at school and work aren’t idled and involved in as much negative behavior.

A wise young man who wants to skip college should go to work at Dollar General or a similar business; be on time and ready to work hard with a smile; learn every aspect of shipping and receiving and move up to a well-paying plant when the opportunity arises.  Oh yeah, he or she should butter-up the current employees of those major plants every chance he or she gets.

Agriculture is the biggest industry in Georgia but everyone doesn’t cotton to farm work.  However, from seed to fork offers many careers for rural citizens—food and fiber processing, distribution, inspection.  Once upon a time, we actually made textiles in this country.

Best Interests Initiative

In the politics/public policy arena, many efforts to improve the quality of life for average Americans have been launched.  After years of blogging about politics and being frustrated with the status quo, Project Logic Ga has decided to take a different approach by thinking outside the box during 2015.  We aim to listen to the people rather than telling them what to think.  Most importantly, we want to do something different; viewing problems and solutions from an entirely new angle.

We should start with the desired result and built backwards.  What is in our community’s best interests and how do we get there?  Of course, everyone currently feels that their actions are the answers.  There is no need to be critical and thanks for your continued efforts.  Considering aspects of our new views doesn’t mean that you are abandoning existing associations.  If you like something, you should incorporate it with your traditional affiliations.

Best Interests Initiative seeks to bring people in our community in south Georgia together to research what works then to implement a grassroot effort to spread the new message.  We are starting with the topics below; they aren’t chiseled in stone.  That’s the cool part.  Some of these topics might be great while others should be discarded.  Feedback will determine what’s beneficial.  We will write a new blog post at the beginning of each month based on these key topics.

 

 

 

Key Topics

  1. Education/Career Training: No bad legal jobs; life-time learning; Be resourceful; 24/7 Grammar; How to Attend School/Study; Cost of College; Military Education Option; Networking/The Hustle

 

  1. Music/Culture: Impact of Hip Hop; Glamorization of Thugs, Strippers and Criminals; Life Imitating Art; Absence of historic strivers mentality

 

  1. Law/Freedom: Love Freedom; Cost of Prisons; Understanding basic law; Family Law

 

  1. Home Economics/Housing: Home Ownership; Conspicuous Consumption/Bling; Living Inside Means; Birds of a Feather; Counsel of the Successful

 

  1. Public Policy Arena Agenda: Eye for Agendas, Watch Big business, activists, the Media talking heads and elected officials; the truth about public spending; role of government/Justice Thomas’s grandfather; “Government isn’t Daddy”

 

  1. Personal Responsibility: Avoid the Struggle Culture, Choices, Decisions and Consequences; Deliberation; Focus; Family Engineering; Self-analysis

 

  1. Faith/Righteous Living: Moral Compass; Residual Benefit of Church; Psalm 133:1

 

  1. Media: T.V.’s high channels; Net and TV as educational tool; Classic TV as a model for family life; positive usage of social media

 

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