Barack Obama & John Kasich Return to Political Spotlight with More Faith in the People – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Jamie Foxx, Actor, Artist & Comedian

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Pharrell Williams, Global Music Superstar & Fashion Designer

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

There’s lots of talk these days around the basketball court and the halls of Congress. Whether it’s looking at the first 100 days or getting ready for the White House Reporters Dinner or enjoying the NBA playoffs. Plus, Barack Obama & John Kasich have returned to the spotlight with more faith in the American people.

Obama has been on a post-presidency honeymoon, spending downtime in scenic locations. He recently met with students in Chicago discussing the importance of civic engagement. While it might feel like he’s walking a tightrope as former President, he’s working on preparing the next generation of service leaders.

In the case of Kasich, his return is largely due to his book tour. He’s concerned about the static nature of today’s public policy with the feeling that more gets said than done. His time as Ohio Governor and as presidential candidate stands-out in the minds of those who see the nation being challenged by divisions.

Sometimes policy arguments are more left versus right, middle-class versus 1%-class, starched-collar versus no collar. Increasingly it seems to be about voices that are softest versus loudest. With social media as an added ingredient for dissent it can be difficult to get a handle on how public policy might:

  1. Improve economic stock value at home and abroad.
  2. Bridge community strength in the city and countryside.
  3. Reduce social divide across the have’s and the haven’ts.
  4. Embrace personal security within the issues and without the threats.

A constant concern for everyday folks is whether their money is well spent. For some there’s more month than money and something might get postponed or dropped from the budget. But if there’s a will there’s a way to make it to the next check. It’s in how households survive based on what’s spent and what’s saved.

With talk of setting aside money for a border wall, it makes some wonder if that’s the right priority. How might that improve our economic stock value at home or abroad? There’re airports that need upgrading and buildings that need repairing. There’re projects that need investing and towns that need boosting.

A few years ago a bridge in Minnesota collapsed, killing some motorists. It’s a popular roadway serving the Twin Cities area in Minneapolis. Further investigation showed a structural design flaw. The bridge has been replaced but government reports show many more structures in cities and countryside need repair.

This bridge is a major thoroughfare used by those in the Twin Cities. Their economies are closely tied to the commerce that moves on the span. The importance of such a bridge shows the value of public policy whether it’s in connecting two cities or linking community strength between the city and the countryside.

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When traveling the highways and byways of America there’s much to see and much that’s not seen. From the rolling hills to the urban skyscrapers, there’s a sense for where resources are plenty and where it’s otherwise few. There’re pockets of ‘McMansion Estates’ and relics of rundown hometown squares.

With this comes a feeling of the have’s and the haven’ts. This might be seen in tax policy or healthcare programs. Some argue that the discussions are presented as a choice between having universal appeal or unrestrained profit. The policy debate will have the most credibility by serving the haven’ts just as well.

More and more we find personal security as an ongoing concern. There’s the issue of financial identity information kept out of the wrong hands. Others worry about getting pulled-over on the road where something minor becomes major. There’re some laws that appear to out-muscle the civil rights of citizens.

Public policy debates are helpful by an approach to the subject around the pros and cons of the issues. Sometimes when it’s a debate around safety the threat is about losing federal funding. But what’s to be gained by projecting a fear of others other than demonizing and dividing groups of people?

In parenting situations there’re different ways for getting the attention of a child. Sometimes it’s a stern look or raised voice for ‘putting the fear’ in them. However, there’s a fine line when crossed that might lead to intimidation or abuse. It’s probably better for a child’s self-esteem by ‘putting the faith’ in them.

Maybe that’s where Obama and Kasich can agree with good public policy working wonders by ‘putting the faith’ in people. As with smart parenting, it takes understanding the issues and the effects on a child. The next generation of Community 3.0 service leaders will make a difference by advancing smart community.

So in the words of Obama, if we are the change we seek, then citizens are agents of change to policy-makers. In the words of Kasich, if politicians are too locked-in to own their shadows, then citizens will have to step-out of the shadow. History shows that when people free their minds, the rest will follow.

Block Talkback: Why should officials who tend to put fear in people be anymore trusted by the public if ‘putting the faith’ in people is better for making a difference in community?

Groove-tracks: En Vogue – Free Your Mind – https://youtu.be/i7iQbBbMAFE

Beyoncé ft Kendrick Lamar – Freedom –  https://youtu.be/dOuZA5ftyJw

Dave Chappelle & Neil DeGrasse Tyson Want the Community to See Old Things in New Ways – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Dave Chappelle, Comedy Genius

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kendrick Lamar, Hip Hop Lyricist

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

Over the past few days buzz had been building about FBI Director James Comey’s visit to Congress. He was invited to give updates about any ongoing investigations. There was a lot riding on his words. That’s also true for Dave Chappelle and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. They want us to see old things in new ways.

Chappelle is remembered for leaving Comedy Central for a period of ‘awakening.’ He’d say he left $50 million dollars behind but travelled millions of miles in social awareness. He’s set to return in a big way after signing a $60 million dollar stand-up comedy showcase deal. Many can’t wait to hear him again.

Tyson, known for his wide-eyed science talks, is not so much making a comeback. He’s concerned about the recent federal government budget proposal that’s sending shock waves across the country. He thinks the cuts might hold us back or do harm to America’s core ideals of life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.

It’s hard to imagine but when you listen to Chappelle explain his return it’s almost as if he’s gone from caterpillar to butterfly. But in the concerns being raised by Tyson it seems the budget proposal would take us as a community and nation from ‘Edge of Great’ to ‘Corner of Deflate.’ It’s in competing forces where:

  1. The heartless play with politics as if in a villain reality (VR).
  2. The spineless move within the ‘inner circles’ of an underhand reality.
  3. The woke-a-bees live to serve a greater good in a conscious reality.
  4. The MODD Squad works from block to boardroom in a purposeful reality (PR).

The general opinion by political analysts and experts on the first 60 days of the new administration is pretty unflattering. Whether it’s in approval ratings or FBI statements, there’s a lot to be desired. Some believe we’re hovering somewhere between a dream and a nightmare depending who is telling the story.

It’s a nightmare if there’s more than enough money set aside for bombs but not enough money set aside for books. It would be a dream if HBCUs get the money to go along with the photo op and Meals-on-Wheels doesn’t get a notice to stop. If things become a ‘shell game’ we might need a war on heartless.

As everyday people try to understand proposed changes in healthcare some ask ‘who’s looking out for whom?’ It’s hard not to wonder who’s doing the con and who’s just like the chameleon. Some officials say the new measure will make their plan the best healthcare that money can buy. Others say that’s a lie.

One way to know who’s right and who’s really fudging is to think about the difference between a con and a chameleon. One changes color to protect itself the other to enrich itself. Plus, even-though a chameleon has a backbone it can be ‘spineless,’ moving & breathing within the inner circles of an underhand reality.

Chappelle kinda disappeared from the scene and lived in South Africa for a time. He says he wanted to step back and see the big picture. He calls this time of his life a ‘crisis of conscience’ which gave him a greater sense for his main purpose in comedy, life’s greater purpose and our nation’s legacy purpose.

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Who knows what Chappelle’s fan club is called these days. But those in community who can relate are among the woke-a-bees. He and Tyson use their professional background not just for making money but also making a difference. It’s serving a greater good as others from years past did in a conscious reality.

That’s how some might remember the TV series of the MODD Squad. This was a mixed group of individuals from different races and backgrounds. They had their own personal issues of setbacks or legal run-ins to deal with but found ways to use their talent to effect change from the block to the boardroom.

In one sense, the thing that put the MODD in their Squad was that they were a ‘mix of dreamers and doers.’ That’s not something new to community but it’s looking at old things in new ways as Community 3.0.  What they did then wasn’t so much based on superior gifting as it was on superior citizenship.

With politics there’s often talk of the Super-pacs where money comes to bear on the process. There’s also the Super-Delegate whose vote during Presidential elections seems to have some higher standing. In Community 3.0, there’re reasons to rock and roll like the way the MODD Squad did as super citizens.

Chappelle was invited by a university in South Carolina that renovated an auditorium in his family’s honor. At that event he talked about the legacy of his great-grandfather with whose work he was still making life connections. The thing he admired most was how his ancestors helped to created a ‘community way.’

Tyson and Chappelle want us to hold on to the things that matter. They would want us to see and pursue a way where social issues are treated as a public service not a political strategy. They’d want us to know we are the people to challenge folks when others get left out or left behind by those who’re just heartless.

Groove-tracks: Kanye West – Heartless – https://youtu.be/Co0tTeuUVhU

Ziggy Marley – We Are The People – https://youtu.be/rSmedYjTI_8

Cuba Gooding Jr. Cried and Beyoncé Called for Calm After Tragedies that Spark Protests – #HometownChat

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Trivia: Which former big-city mayor had social media buzzing after a media appearance? (Answer below)

There are events in life that we remember how we felt when they happened. For some it was news of Dr. King or John F. Kennedy being shot. The past few days ring equally true. So Cuba Gooding Jr. cried and Beyoncé called for calm as a way to get a grip on things when stuff happening around us says otherwise.

None of us can feel the pain of those affected families. But we all feel the pain of senseless tragedy. Addressing the Dallas events, Hillary Clinton told CNN “This is the kind of call to action, and as president, I would implement the very comprehensive set of proposals that I’ve been making for more than a year.”

There’re those who see Black Lives Matter as a way to voice deeper concerns. Others see Blue Lives Matter as a way to express solidarity to the police fraternity. How we bridge the divide and distrust will determine how we reach higher. King and Kennedy might have us realize that Purposeful Lives Count.

When the events of 9/11 occurred, our elected officials found ways to come together. One of the lessons from those days was in how we connected with the power of shared value and purpose. The public policy proposals, decisions and rhetoric from officials and everyday citizens can help with setting that tone.

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Just think about it, we don’t see motor speedway race cars on our streets and highways. Those cars are restricted to select venues. It makes sense that ‘fun + purpose’ means where race cars play is different from where regular cars drive. So why is it that we can’t take a similar approach with certain weaponry?

During these moments we might feel disgusted, distraught and maybe even disempowered. The natural tendency is to flip the switch in our emotions. The knee-jerk response is to throw logic out the door. But when people use shock value to get their point across it can add more distance between us as citizens.

These days the hardest thing to makes sense of is why some would stir division as opposed to espouse a vision. King gave us a dream. Kennedy gave us a vision. A ‘dream + vision’ helps lessen division. King and Kennedy might remind us that “division seeks the love of power while vision seeks the power of love!”

After 9/11 we re-grouped with a ‘we the people’ kind of spirit. So things can change for the better if public policy proposals protect us from the loss of life with the same fervor as avoiding the perceived loss of rights. Maybe real freedom is in becoming an America with a greater sense of purpose on our plates.

Answer: Rudy Giuliani

 

Groove-tracks: Christina Aguilera – Change –  https://youtu.be/7BRkX9ndqMU


Beyoncé ft Kendrick Lamar
– Freedom – https://youtu.be/mLbbwfCahF8