Chris Brown Makes a Turnaround with New Tracks and Then Backtracks

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

This past weekend was big for homecomings. There were cheer booster rallies, pre-game tailgating and folks hanging-out with friends. It seems Chris Brown was in the mix. He headlined a homecoming party at a Washington D.C. club. Every so often Brown makes a turnaround with new tracks and then backtracks.

Over the past few years Brown has become more known for mixing things up. He was put on probation after the Rihanna incident. Since then he’s had run-ins with Drake and Frank Ocean to name a few. Now it seems he could have a violation with a recent skirmish after the party. So what can Brown do for you?

That’s the slogan for UPS. But it might even be a question for Brown vs. Brown when he looks in the mirror. It’s a question others may have asked after a surprise layoff, business setback or fall from grace. Change from the outside-in might be more appealing but change from the inside-out is more revealing.

There’re times when returning from setback or avoiding the urge to backtrack requires looking towards the horizon. The horizon is where the sun rises and sets. It also gives warning of where clouds (changes) are gathering. Whether work dreams or vacation, the horizon is a place for great visions and revisions.

Brown still has a loyal fan base. His music is overly-racy to some but cool and sexy to others. Since the probation judge is less interested in his music, Brown can only hope and pray he doesn’t get jail time. But if so, he’ll have more time to look to the hills in order to change the man in the mirror after rehab.

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The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

Past weekend among the bigs. Lots of weaves and curly wigs. Homecoming booster-cheer rallies. Pre-tailgating and after-parties. Folks hanging with some friends. Dropping dollars to no ends. Chris Brown in the mix. Getting D.C. party fix. He makes turnaround with new tracks. Then suddenly kinda backtracks.

Past few years of bad press. Anger management or under stress. Put on probation after Rihanna blow-up. Becoming known for mixing things up. Run-ins with Frank Ocean as well as Drake. Just to name a few for real sake. Recent skirmish could bring violation. What can Brown do for Brown in this situation?

Like the slogan to that of UPS. Brown has had long-running success. But Brown vs. Brown is a different beast. Needs to look in the mirror at least. A question for others after layoff or life setback. Fall from grace to major comeback. Change on the outside more appealing. Change on the inside more revealing.

Good for returning from setback. And avoiding urge to backtrack. Requires taking a horizon view. Where sunlight dies or comes thru. Gives early warning of clouds gathering. Seeing things before they become troubling. Whether work dreams or on vacation. A great place for vision-revision motivation.

Still has a loyal fan-base. Maybe he’s opened-up another case. Music overly-racy say some complainers. But cool and sexy say industry retainers. Probation judge doesn’t really care. About his album and style flare. Brown hopes and prays no jail-time range. Might take looking to the hills if he wants to change.

Tip: Upping your game is in knowing that change from the outside-in might be more appealing but change from the inside-out is more revealing.

Talkback: How many more chances should Chris Brown get before he runs out of luck?

Sean Hannity Might Have Played Russian-Roulette with Obamacare Worker

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Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

The blame game continues in Washington. Some are pointing fingers after the shutdown. Others are saying the Healthcare.gov site has been a debacle. Hearings on Capitol Hill try to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Sean Hannity might have played Russian-Roulette with Obamacare worker.

Reports are that he interviewed a customer service rep on his radio show. Not sure if the purpose was legit beyond “inquiring minds” but the Atlantic Wire writes that the worker was fired the next day. A mother of two, she provided information about the rollout of Obamacare and put her job on the cutting block.

Hannity reportedly offered to pay her yearly salary. He also said it would be a gift which according to his accountant made it tax free. The woman was overjoyed for sure. Fired and then getting a year’s pay in a matter of days. But that’s not the case for others. There’re about 5 million who’ve gone under the radar.

They are known as discouraged or marginally attached workers. The number keeps growing as the unemployment rate dips. That is the often overlooked stat in the Jobs Report. Operation J.U.M.P. sure hopes to connect with them similar to how Hannity served his caller (of-course, after getting her fired).

Some say Hannity was trying to get a scoop on Obamacare. It’s back in the news since the Shutdown is almost old news. After going from insult to injury, he apologized and made amends. But for the POW (prisoners of work-loss) or workforce MIA, let’s hope other big-money moves can come thru for them too.

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. is about connecting resources to the long-term jobless in a way similar to how a Church provides resources to those “sick and shut-in.”

Mark Zuckerberg Never Saw This Coming, or Did He?

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

It seems Facebook is going through some changes. They recently reversed their policy on the posting of violent videos to the site. They’re now allowed even though sexually explicit content remains banned. Many say Facebook use by teens is on the decline. Mark Zuckerberg never saw that coming, or did he?

More tween and teen users are moving to other less mainstream social sites. That doesn’t mean Facebook’s days are numbered. But it might say something about what’s happening in the social media underground. The experts warn of sites where bullying and online bashing are a frequent occurrence.

Authorities arrested two Florida girls recently whose alleged bullying resulted in another girl committing suicide. Within days an Illinois boy took his life for the same reason. When stories like these and others of school shootings hit the news there’s a tendency to focus more on the senselessness of the incidents.

Maybe our efforts should instead be more focused on offering kids a sense of purpose. This doesn’t have to be religious-based or “Tony Robbins light.” It just has to point kids to the “cool in them” based on their natural gifting. Their natural gifting might be in academics, athletics or some prodigy-in-the-making ability.

Recently, two Boys Scout leaders were seen destroying a historic rock formation at a Utah State Park. They had the nerve to post it on Facebook. Some kids are lost in online chat while others in video games. At the end of the day we’re not dealing with bad kids but maybe kid’s who’re becoming lost on purpose.

Footnote: Adding a sense of purpose to conversations on gun violence, bias and mental illness is important because the message our culture sends can often drown-out the message coming from home.

Michael Strahan Pulled Off a Career Makeover That’s a Big Shocker

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

How does Michael Strahan rate the Giants these days? They’ve seen a 1-6 start this season, having finally won a game. Strahan still holds the single season record for the most sacks. He’s since retired and has adjusted to life after playing football. Strahan pulled off a career makeover that’s a big shocker.

On Sunday’s he does his thing as an NFL football analyst on Fox. On weekdays he’s co-host on “Live with Kelly and Michael.” Many didn’t think he had the chops to go from the gridiron to daytime personality. But Strahan’s new gigs work because he’s a natural. His skills and experience have become a natural fit.

The show’s ratings have seen top-billing in its timeslot. Strahan and Kelly bring loads of chemistry and confidence. He’s not shy to try something a little nutty. Strahan seems less driven by ego and more by his alter-ego. That might be how he made the switch so easily from Defensive End to being viewer-friendly.

After a nasty divorce, Strahan vowed he would be more successful in his new career. Even with the obvious smile gap, he’s gone on to be an eye-catcher with his new fiancé. He’s left football behind and now wants to be remembered more for his second run. So careers and dreams can take on new life.

Kelly and Michael recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of their show. He stands tall as a giant as she looks on like a princess. They’ve complemented their talents and marketable assets to deliver comedy, celebrity and a little crazy. Sometimes success pulls together the serious and the downright silly.

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The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

For Strahan, how do the Giants rate? Even though no longer on his plate? With a ‘1 and 6’ start this season. Could Eli trying too hard be the reason? Strahan still holds league record for sacks. That’s just plane ol’ football facts. Life after football with a career makeover. Adjusting to new work is a big shocker.

Sunday football analyst on Fox. Hanging with the crew is out the box. Weekday co-host with Kelly Ripa. Reminds you of British Kate’s sister Pipa. Many didn’t think he had the chops. To go from gridiron to daytime tv pop. The gigs work ‘cause he’s a natural. Skills and cred fit without a sabbatical.

Show’s rating has seen top-billing. In timeslot for those at home chilling. Kelly and Strahan bring pizzazz and chemistry. Not being shy to try something nutty. Strahan less driven by footballer’s ego. But more by the flash of his alter-ego. Might be how he career switched easily. From Defensive End to viewer-friendly.

With a nasty divorce in the rear. Vowed more success in new career. Even with the obvious in smile gap. An eye-catcher to fiancé in his lap. Left the game after 15 yrs play. To turn over new leaf and live another day. Hoping to cherish more from his second run. Showing careers and dreams can take on new fun.

Kelly and Michael just had one-year look at show. They’re a tag-team many feel are on the go. He stands tall as a huggable giant. She looks on like princess reliant. Talent branding to bring comedy, celebrity and some willy nilly. Their success takes a little serious and a big dose of morning silly.

Tip: Upping your game can sometimes mean taking the serious and adding in a dose of silly or taking the silly and adding in a dose of serious.

Talkback: Between Kelly and Michael which one brings the serious and which brings the silly?

Benjamin Netanyahu Had Some Choice Words About the U.S. Shutdown

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Theme:– Operation J.U.M.P. For Jobs, Justice & Unsung Dreams

The U.S. shutdown is behind us! After 16 days of “made-for-tv posturing” our elected officials have re-opened important services in Washington. One side still feels it was worth it. The other side is frustrated by it. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had some choice words (get to that in a minute).

President Obama briefed the nation on Thursday as well as Saturday in his weekly address. In looking back he gave his own post mortem on the situation. In looking forward he outlined a few workable objectives. They include budget balancing, immigration reform and making government work better.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Washington is broken. Some have referred to it as dysfunction. There’s the old saying “if you keep on doing what you’re doing you’ll keep on getting what you deserve.” That’s one way to see why Operation J.U.M.P. hopes to motivate social change.

A few of the workable objectives include branding reinvention across business and community. This involves having a purposeful sense of identity in the marketplace. It’s also about innovations in social change. This means breaking the mold to discovering new opportunities worth their weight in gold.

Netanyahu told CNN that Israeli law avoids a shutdown. After six months of not having a budget the government is required to call emergency elections. This forces all parties to get with the program and get in the groove. Otherwise, the people could potentially shake things up by voting them out of office.

Footnote: Operation J.U.M.P. is kinda like a groove thing. In the words of that song from back in the day by Peaches and Herb, “shake your groove thing yeah yeah, show them how we do it now.”

Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Shows Green While Teammates Show Pink

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Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

The NY Giants haven’t yet won a game this season. The Chicago Bears didn’t make it any easier. That’s one of many surprises as some teams are bleeding red in the win/loss column. Many players have been wearing pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Brandon Marshall was seen wearing green instead.

Each October the NFL teams-up with the American Cancer Society. Their annual awareness campaign brings attention to breast cancer sufferers and survivors. It’ not that Marshall doesn’t support this cause. His green cleats were to promote Mental Health Awareness Week which also occurs in October.

So the NFL sent a letter to Marshall explaining why he was fined $10,500. It’s a lot of money for the average person. Marshall himself was diagnosed in 2011 with ‘borderline personality disorder.’ He understands the stigma people feel and maybe it’s why pro sports is such an important part of his story.

Marshall tweeted “Football is my platform not my purpose. This fine is nothing compared to the conversation started and awareness raised.” He makes a great point about how sports can play a purposeful role. It might also be an effective platform to stem gun violence, bias and mental health issues.

The debate in sports circles is that the NFL needs to broaden its support for other awareness campaigns advocated by athletes. Sure, it’s impossible to support every such effort. Some feel instead of making one campaign the “Queen” they can make a cross-section of campaigns part of their awareness strategy.

Footnote: Organized sports can provide an outlet for those dealing with hometown issues and a platform for a larger conversation on social issues.

Malala Yousafzai Has Set Her Sights on Higher Office and Wider Reach

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (Old-School Flava)

Not this time! That could have been the headline when it was learned that Malala Yousafzai did not win the Nobel Peace Prize. The committee instead gave the award to a watchdog organization responsible for dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons. But Malala has set her sights on higher office and wider reach.

A year ago she was shot in the head at point-blank range riding home on the school bus. A Taliban assassin boarded and asked “Who is Malala?” She was rushed to the hospital and later flown to the U.K. for life-saving surgery. Malala is a living example of what India Arie called strength, courage and wisdom.

Her commitment to social change shows the strength of her resolve. At a young age she learned about the Taliban’s suppression of education. She began a campaign of learning in her Pakistani homeland. Even with death threats she rallied her cause to the point of receiving her country’s peace price.

Malala’s dream is to one day become Prime Minister of Pakistan. That seems like a tall order but she’s loaded with lots of courage. Some of this is learned from her father who by the time she was born had achieved his dream of opening his own school. Courage says go ahead and make your day and dreams.

Just imagine how she must have felt this summer celebrating her 16th birthday with a speech at the U.N? Her recovery has been described as miraculous. She recently had a chance to meet with President Obama where she advised a policy choice of “books over drones.” Now if that’s not wisdom then what is?

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The Year of ‘Growmance’
Where Love Beats Fear in Upping Our Game This Year” (New-School Flava)

No no, not this time! Could’ve been the Taliban chime. Malala not winner of Nobel Peace Prize. Even though her acclaim’s on the rise. Going instead to a watchdog group. As they dismantle Syria’s weapon’s troupe. Something she continues to do is teach. Setting her sights on higher office, wider reach.

Year ago being shot in the head. At point-blank range could have been dead. Riding home on the school bus. Having fun not making a fuss. “Who is Malala?” assassin asks out loud. Fired three shots right by the crowd. Rushed to U.K. for life-saving surgery. Strength, courage and wisdom adding to her legacy.

Commitment to social change will not dissolve. Strength of character in her resolve. As a child saw Taliban’s education suppression. Took action with some grassroots inspiration. A campaign that moved many in her Pakistani homeland. Receiving country’s peace prize as a frontline brand.

She dreams one day to be Government leader. As Prime Minister she’d be the head reader. Yes, this seems like a tall order. But she’s got courage to run the border. Got passed down from her dad’s esteem. Who by her birth was running his own k-to-8 team. Courage says make your day and live your dream.

Imagine she was radiant like a peach. Spending her 16th b-day giving U.N. speech. Miraculous recovery from life-changing blow. Still pointing the way for how others might grow. Recently meeting with President Obama. Saying we choose “books over drones” drama. If that’s not wisdom then betta consider karma.

Tip: Upping your game takes strength, courage and wisdom in going from layoff, setback or ‘close call’ to standing tall.

Talkback: Was it a good thing that Malala did not win the Nobel Peace Prize this time around?