Saturday, July 7, 2012

Health Care for the SOUL

Of late across the country in various venues and Black households across the nation the discussion about health care is a major topic. We can expect more chatter and media coverage on this issue as we approach the presidential election in the fall. Besides the traditional concerns perculating around health care topics from insurance costs to coverage limitations there is a major blind spot in how health care policy impacts Black communities. Yet in these discussions with regard to the nation’s communities of color we have an opportunity to not just react but become proactive and design our own health care blueprints. When this topic reaches the airwaves and grapevines of discourse in Black communities instead of just another indictment on the levels of obesity in our community we need to augment this health care chatter with a focus that goes beyond our obessions with shirt and skirt sizes. We need to elevate the concern about the nation’s healthcare policies and make it specific to our collective objectives and issues. Our demands should include more mental health options for every age level in our community with program themes that focused on depression and family dysfunction. We need innovative programs that awake self esteem and self worth. We need health options that inspire, promote and cemente community values. Healthcare discussions in our communities should also encompass items on the menu that feed our minds and soul not just what is for dinner or lunch. There is more to staying healthy than mortality rates about cancer and heart diseases in our communities. We must acknowledge other items in our lives are just as toxic and lethal to our health and welfare. We need to define a menu for healtful community living. This menu does not have to be complex nor the latest gimmick or new age philosophy created by some fictional guru. It is therefore critical that we take the time to design a menu of healthy life that is not only comprehensive and balanced but at it’s core the focused is on our mental, spiritual and community centered needs. Our communities are not only unhealthy because of the items we digest but we are hungry in spirit becuase of items we don’t feed ourselves and our community. Our mental state of health is as critical as any diet. It is important that we feed our minds with good ideas and postive expereinces. One could argue that without a strong mental constitution a super healthy person without an equally progressive state of mind is a waste of good health. We need to give others compliments and share good work place outcomes. We need to affirm and reward positive behavior not just with our familes but also with friends and strangers. The content of a meaningful life is often items not on the menu. We must cultivate and harvest a loving and noturing enviorment. So in the absence of such a daily menu we must develop and create a menu of life that does focus on items which enhances our daily living as we navigate in the place called America. On an individual and collective level we must reject toxic thoughts that seek to enter inside our bodies. When we eat our daily meals we should never read negative materials nor watch negative images on the TV or the computer screens and cell phones. We should monitor emails and avoid downloading toxic and counterproductive materials from all sources including friends and associates. We should digest good music, inhale wonderful aromas, touch beautiful things and absorb the atmospheric of imagination. We should watch wonderful images and eat the splendor of the world. Our menu for life is more than just eating a happy meal but also living a life that is happy, positive and rewarding.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


DRONE ALERT Our country spends billions of dollars on the purchase of weapons and hi tech security devices under the premise of national defense and the protection and safety of the home land. Retired generals leave our arm forces to peddle their services to defense contractors in the weapons industry. America not only arms itself but our nation is also the number one arms dealer and weapons supplier in the world. We have more weapons of mass destruction than any other nation on the globe. America is indeed a profitable merchant in the market of warfare products. Last week this escalation in military purchases and devices have now come to the our homeland not to protect us from our external foes but to assist and augment the armory of our local police departments. The Federal Aviation Administration loosened the restrictions on local police departments usage of surveillance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles also commonly know as DRONES. Our nation’s high court the Supreme Court has even ruled that warrantless surveillance by manned aircraft is not unconstitutional nor violates the 4th Amendment of our federal constitution. In far to many powerful public and private circles there are focused advocates of introducing the military into our urban cities and venues. We now face the specter of entire cities being profiled by the usage of military designed DRONES. Local municipalities already burden by fiscal deficits and lousy revenues are actually spending hugh outlays of their budgets in the purchase of these hi tech anti- freedom profile driven devices. Yet where is the outrage from our public officials, activist groups and even police unions over these invasive surveillance and anti privacy domestic military machines in our nation’s urban airspace?? One of the real dark potentials of these DRONES is not only it’s ugly invasion and violation of privacy rights but these DRONES also have the capacity to be lethal and deadly. The applications and operational features of DRONES are truly unimaginable. The growing militarization of our local law enforcement departments is not to be embraced by fictional claims of terrorism and excessive urban crimes . We must reject and defeat the myths about crime and anarchy in our urban cities. We must defuse and deflate the notions that our urban cities are cesspools of violence and crime. The proliferation of the myth of crime and the profiling of entire bandwidths of people based upon their hue and types of clothing is dangerous. Such a public policy creates a fertile soil for the introduction of military devices like DRONES into our domestic venues. DRONES are part of the arsenal of gadgets and devices which destroy the freedoms of all Americans. We must reject all kinds of devices and gadgets which at the end of the day are WMD’s on American Soil.

Monday, April 30, 2012


The evolution of America in the post industrial era has created for Black Americans a new cultural mantra. No longer are we viewed as a civil rights group or a minority collective in search of parity and equality. Black Americans are no longer the most significant minority group in the nation. Our destiny is ours and ours alone no one is going to rescue or take us to the promise land.

Into this new reality it is imperative that we develop and articulate a new modern theme which defines our present day mantra, agenda, agency and our course of action. I propose our new Black Ethos be defined as "Way Now". Instead of leveraging our history as a people who created civil rights in America or the nation's premier minority group we must now evolve beyond this legacy.

This cultural paradigm shift of course requires a lot of work and consciousness. It is more than just another intellectual exercise and political construct but a living and real time pursuit for the community at large. The 'Way Now" ethos is more than a shorthand drive by renaissance platform but a living real time manifesto and series of living principles which understands and acknowledges the reality of the moment for Black Americans living in a post industrial nation in the year 2014 It is a reality that recognizes our present day standing in America.

 A nation which continues as a society to not only marginalize Black folks but continues to wage a civil war against us. Into this real time reality it demands that Black folks take complete control of our destiny and status not as segregationists and isolationists but as a collective of progressive and pragmatic people with a agenda driven by social and cultural utilitarian themes and objectives.

Under the umbrella of a culture and society which adopts 'Way Now" it means that we must heal our wounds and repair the shortcomings which plague our community that prevents us from reaching and attaining our individual and collective goals as a community. 'Way Now" requires a new paradigm which begins before the birth of our children to the end years of seniors.

We must charter a course which designs a blueprint for every member of our community from those fractured by decadence and decay to those who sparkle with genius and productivity. "Way Now" requires a respect for honesty and recognition of reality. It does not tolerate excuses, denial, avoidance, deflection and failure. It embraces the future not the past. It cultivates innovation not the endorsement of historical alliances from our historical past. "Way Now" means we shape our future today and proceed accordingly.

We are the architects for the solutions and ideas which advance the community. "Way Now" is the living template for the future of Black America.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Police - Community Partnership Project


In Detroit as well as other urban venues the relationship between the police and the community is fractured and disjointed for a multitude of reasons ranging from allegations of police brutality to acute levels of mistrust of police by large segments in the community. Quite often police are not viewed as public servants but as mercenaries with an agenda to arrest and harass rather than protect and serve.

Given this disconnect many interests have tried to bridge the gap between the police and community through a variety of outreach programs from gun buybacks to neighborhood watch programs. Many of these programs have value many are hollow photo op efforts.

Plane Ideas© has created a threshold project paradigm that takes the relationship between the community and the police into a deeper organic partnership. We have developed an interactive project that has our volunteers making individual house calls to every household in the city to provide them with information and opportunities to assist the police. Our volunteers deliver to the household detailed crime web based crime incident reports tailored to the various zip codes. We distribute information on crime prevention, safety, surveillance, witness, recruitment efforts on behalf of the police department.

We have created a paradigm which implements and interactive exchange and dialogue between the citizens and the police department. We believe our approach will be the cutting edge template for police and the community relations and a national model for community policing in the new postindustrial urban era.

Goal: To reduce crime and increase safety in Detroit by the operation of this interactive community based partnership model that incorporates a volunteer infused distribution and interactive exchange portal between the police and the community.

Capsule Description: A volunteered based partnership with DPD wherein the project volunteer’s home visit and door knock protocols permit the real time interaction with every precinct resident and provide every household with core information on the DPD services from victim assistance programs, crime prevention ,safety ,materials, crime incident data to specific information on police officers in their neighborhood/precincts.

1. Connect directly with residents households on DPD duties, services, and activities of the department
2. Develop a data base of residents that will interact with police on safety, crime prevention, and related police activities
3. Provide residents with DPD materials and contact information
4. Recruit residents in crime indicatives, Intel, rewards, information, gang related activities, property crime fences
5. Foster respect and trust between residents & DPD
6. Connect local precinct rank & file to residents in tract
7. Provide residents with latest web based crime data on incidents of crimes in their neighborhood.
8. Provide residents with most wanted list of suspects, to missing people alerts, crime trends in neighbor
9. Provide residents information on traffic tickets, fines, towing costs and related neighborhood ordinances
10. Seek from resident’s feedback to solutions to combat crime and to enhance public safety in the city.

The criteria for the composition of the volunteers will be determined by DPD and Project Manager. Focus on seniors and no residency requirement. We accept all who seek to make a difference.

Detroit Police Citizen Representatives aka DPCR are a corps of volunteers who after workshop training engaged in a door to door contact and informational /material drop exchange within the community.

1. Volunteers undergo a training workshop sessions on how to meet-greet- leave materials-document visit. Workshop sessions include DPD trainers, pledge taking, and assignment of official shirt/jacket.

2. Designate canvassing areas based upon DPD precincts alignments.

Costs/Budget: TBD
1. Grants
2. Sponsorships

Evaluation: TBD

MISC: -Synergy with other non-profits-Platform for other projects

Presentation Prepared by PLANE IDEAS©
Greg Thrasher
Project Manager

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Value & Valued

As a public activist, I am often contacted to offer my advice on a number of issues both private and public. I really enjoy being an activist when I received a call from a parent seeking to secure my counsel and insights on parenting ideas, especially when the focus is their children. In our post industrial world that is fixated and obsessed with gadgets, fast food, drive by experiences the role of parenting in our post industrial world now more than ever before is the central factor in the evolution of our nation especially when the focus surrounds Black families.

Tragically in our nation the public the image of Black youth, especially our males, is very negative. Our nation ‘s canvass does not paint a portrait of the Black community as a place of serenity nor bliss. Quite often the whispers and depictions of the Black community is framed in dysfunction, decay and hopelessness. When the focus is on our youth especially our Black males the landscape is painted with portrayals of fear, anger and anguish. There are a number of reasons for this unfortunate narrative of Black youth. Many of the reasons have historical roots, others are just nasty ugly stereotypes.

So into this world of dispair and hopelessness we must create a place and a space where we can reach out to another . Please then share with another my discovery excercise.

When I decide to connect with another especially a child I ask then what is their favorite color? When we walk together tell then I am going to give them a gift as part of their walking gear. During our trek we talk, talk, talk and then we engaged in more talk. Often at the end of our hike in the park I tell them now I am going to give you a gift. I give them a pocket size hand mirror in their favorite color. I tell them to keep it with them 24/7.

I then instructed them to look at the mirror and spend a whole 60 seconds staring at the most important, significant, wonderful, awesome, sweet, gentle, good, beautiful, interesting, brilliant, unforgettable, remarkable and the greatest living creation in the world.

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to Survive & Develop in an Urban Society: The Blueprint

As an activist for almost four decades at the core of my body of work and mission is the creation of a user friendly interactive guide that provides a template for living the best possible life as human being in an urban environment.

Activism as a public endeavor has a legacy of defining problems yet Activism also has failed legacy of  not producing and creating outcomes that address the issues and shortcomings of a society.  Plane Ideas is unlike any progressive organization in the country today. We provide an interactive hands on series of instructions for creating and producing outcomes that matter and address the myriad of shortcomings in urban venues for all.

Plane Ideas : 10 point  Interactive Blueprint  to survive and develop in an Urban Society.

1. Have a Life Purpose

2. Meet the youth in the Community:

3. Volunteer in the Community:

4. Read and Communicate everything that circulates in the neighborhood.

5. Community Walks.

6. Share what you with others can from coupons to ride sharing.

7. Develop an Inventory of Assets in the Community:

8. Find a Friend that is not of your RACE:

9. Know the police officers in your neighborhood.

10.Find a serene place for you to find solace



Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Qualitative Indices for Urban America

One of the discouraging realities of modern day life in our nation is the constant theme of publishing data and statistics on the demographics of urban life from the lens and perspectives of those who lack depth, scope and authentic insight and real time data about the lives and realities of people in urban America. Far too many people seek to report and publish a Misery Index especially for urban venues.

Far too often these narratives are full of sterile and empty statistics which purport to cover the economic and quality of life for residents of the city yet just the opposite happens. The paradigms and templates many of these urban planners, non-profit executives, academics ignore the reality of life in the corridors and avenues of the city. Many of these inferences are based upon models which do not replicate the real life metrics of life in the city and of course many of the architects of these white papers and studies lack the authentic insights from the people who are the subjects of these metrics and statistics.

When this paradigm is focused on the urban communities of America the demographics are depressing and too often negative. There is always a sense of despair, failure and crisis in most articulated demographics about Black folks in the city. Grievance reporting is something I will never endorse or affirm.

I believe this constant theme of decay and failure creates a collective sense of failure and hopelessness in to many Black venues. Therefore I propose a new set of standards, lists, metrics and rankings be created that articulate the positive attributes and accomplishments of the urban residents especially its Black residents. There is a place for the metrics of love, happiness, progress, civility, solidarity, and community.

The architects of these new metrics must reflect not only the demographics of the city (read majority Black folks) but they must be comprehensive, novel and free from the metrics and contamination of the past templates and paradigms that indicted and demonized every behavior and aspect of life for city residents.

Let's run numbers and create metrics and paradigms on those in the community who are happy, productive, and engaged in activities that promote progressive outcomes. Designing a nation with our ideas is my canvass for the community

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Black Sudents in Peril

The media accounts documenting the disproportional rates of suspensions between Black and white students in our country's school districts of course is not a newsflash to many interests including of course Black parents in school districts all across America.

The contempt for Black students is similar to what their parents encounter. The soft bigotry of low expectations shares the lesson plan with disparate rates of expulsion and suspensions for Black students. The landscape of academic success in our nation for Black students is full of obstacles navigation is perilous in all levels of education in our nation from kindergarten to the university venue for Black students.

The more important issue now is how Black families and their students can navigate around these inequities and obstacles. Black parents must develop their own lesson guide to disarm educational officials, teachers and even students who discount the educational goals of Black students. We must embrace our own self-worth that we are worthy of respect and our offspring deserves superior educational efforts and outcomes. Black parents must develop strategies that equipped them to combat, reject and influence educational systems that have contempt for our offspring. Instead of lamenting the horrors of a destructive pathological educational system that has contempt for Black students now is the time to develop our own lesson plans that produce motivated students and students who can themselves defeat the waves of contempt for them that exist in our classrooms across our nation.

The revelation of systemic disproportional suspensions of black students in the DC region's school districts is disturbing and troubling on a number of layers beyond and above educational concerns. One wonders if this same horrid disparity exists in private and parochial school venues. The portrayal of black students has always been contaminated with ugly themes some of which include themes regarding genetic inferiority.

In our nation the incongruent levels of parity and inequality have often received attention in the criminal justice area and in some health care terrains to observe this inequality surface in our educational systems is truly a concern worthy of state and federal intervention. Our government must create a reporting metric that provides transparency and disclosure to minority parents about the incidents and comparable rates of suspensions between student racial groups. One of the constructive attributes of recent federal educational legislation was the right to make evaluations and contrast academic outcomes based upon racial groups.

The importance of superior educational outcomes is heighten more by the troubled economic realties of the new world order. Parents of black students must be in the vanguard of programs and laws which impact the future of their children this focus must involve best practices and uniform guidelines which ban disparate punishment and remedies for troubled students to the delivery of superior educational programs .