Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“A crazy idea…or is it?”)

The other day I was in the grocery store and this guy came in shouting to everyone that he had the answer. Of course, most of the people in the shop were from the neighborhood and just about everybody already knew how “off” this guy was. I remember playing basketball against him many years ago when he actually had much more sense than he does now.  Nowadays people in the area will drive by and see him walking the street talking dramatically to “absolutely no one.” Unfortunately he remembered me and when he came into the store he said, “Jolly, I got the answer for handling terrorism.” Of course, all ears were tuned in to him just out of curiosity alone. His plan? Simple… He said that we should release all the prison inmates doing time for murder and tell them their records will be “wiped clean” if they go into the terrorist territories and risk their lives to kill them. His rationale behind this was based on the fact that the guys in prison already know how to kill and most of them would love a second chance to get out of prison doing what they know best for their country. According to this guy, many of them would “gladly risk their lives” to kill the enemy “legally.” All the guys in the store started laughing at him (because they already knew he was crazy) and they had already pretty much figured his idea would be a crazy one. But was it really? As crazy as it sounds could something like this actually work? As it is now, taxpayer dollars are being paid to house, clothe and feed inmates every day. Prisoners are rotting away in jail cells with absolutely no way to make up for their debts to society. If you asked most of them to go into enemy territory to kill terrorists, most of them would probably “jump at the idea.” Those inmates who know they are going to be in jail for a long while probably don’t think they have much to live for anyway. Under those circumstances, who wouldn’t want to take those chances? After this crazy guy came up with the idea I actually began to ponder if something like this could actually work. From the prisoner aspect it could work out fine for them. They would have nothing to lose. However, I found that the biggest problem would not lay with them, but rather with “us.” The honor and integrity of our soldiers would be greatly imperiled if they had to fight for our country alongside with “known felons.” The felons would not have anywhere near the amount of training that our soldiers would have and it would be disrespectful to give them the same status. The morale of our soldiers would never be the same. Plus how would the inmates even get close to the area where the terrorists are? If our soldiers can’t get close what makes you think the inmates will have a chance? For a moment there I almost thought that this crazy guy might have found his long lost sense, but after thinking this over I realize that he is only just as crazy as he has always been. However, I do believe that inmates should have a way to pay their debts off to society (other than just wasting away in prison). Until an alternative has been found things are sure to remain the way they are. There are probably other reasons why this would not work as well but I just can’t think of them right now. The crazy guy said that he was once in jail himself (that remark surprised no one). I do believe that we should do our best to turn negatives into positives. If there is any way that we can utilize the prisoners debt to society and make it into something positive then I am all for it. Until then, this crazy guy’s ideal will not carry much weight. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life  has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass

Jill_Scott_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Finances”)

Just about everyone has bills to pay. That means that you have to take whatever amount of money you make and try to live comfortably (after supposedly paying your bills of necessity). I have heard many people complain about not having enough money. No matter how much money you make you still need to pay your bills. The problem is not about how much you make. In most circumstances it is about how you “manage” the money you make. Are you one of those people that buys luxury items for yourself first before spending on things like rent, food and shelter whenever you make some extra money? Do you have lots of credit card debt? The first thing I would advise anyone to do is to “examine your finances.” In other words, take a look at what you make, what you have to pay each month, the times you have to pay them, and what you can do without. “Time” is essential in paying bills because in order to increase your credit you need to pay your bills in a timely manner (plus you want to make sure everything is synced up with your payment schedule). If you have a credit card that may have a balance of a couple hundred dollars (that might have payments of 25 dollars a month) then you should try to pay it outright. Once you no longer have to pay that money then it is the equivalent of getting a 25 dollar a month raise (because instead of paying that money, you are now saving that money instead). If you don’t have enough money to pay the balance off at once then just devote smaller payments to it each pay period until it finally goes away. Once that bill is gone then find the next credit card and overpay on that one until it disappears too. Each time a card is paid off then your budget gets bigger. While you are at it, take a look at the purchases you make and see if there is anything you buy continually that you can actually “do without.” Anything that you can sacrifice means a raise of money in your budget. For example, if you smoke cigarettes (at a cost of 10 dollars a week) then once you stop smoking you will make 40 more dollars a month. No matter how small the cost of an item may seem it still adds up over time when you sacrifice that item. A good idea would be to take a piece of paper and just jot down what you spend. Make sure to include everything. Then examine that list and see if there is “anything” you do without. If you have a high car payment you might be able to “refinance it and make your payments lower.” For my car payment I always pay “more” than the monthly payment because once I pay it off early my budget will increase “significantly.” Examine the details of your car loan as well because making a payment earlier than the due date might save you some interest charges. Each person’s budget is different. Only you know what you need and what you can do without. Take a look at “how and what” you are spending and see if you can find a way to make a difference in your own finances. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. Thanks for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Singer Jill Scott in concert with Brett Jolly on bass guitar

Jill_Scott_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Is your history accurate?”)

We all have an upbringing. We all had to learn in order to make a living for ourselves. We were taught certain things that we “just took for granted as being truth.” Well, what if “most” of what you learned turned out to be either “false or inaccurate…?” How would you then view your own life? When you think of it, “History” is really what it “says” it is… “His… Story.” Then the question becomes “Who wrote this story and how accurate was this person?” When it comes down to it, a lot of “who we are” is based on what “we THINK we know…” Since we were not there for the history events that have been taught to us a lot of our knowledge has been derived from the views and perspectives of other people that may be wrong or no longer living. For instance, did Moses “in fact part the Red Sea?” Did Lee Harvey Oswald “really” kill President Kennedy? Did Christopher Columbus really discover America? Are all the theories about “911” truthful and accurate? If you check your own ancestry you may find that your own “personal history” has been deleted from you and “replaced by the history of others.” For instance, if you did a DNA test to find that your ancestry was from France and yet you were born and raised in the United States, then your history, your language, and  your customs have been “altered and replaced.” Many of us who were taught to live a certain way were brought up on the values of others. Think about African American men and women whose ancestors were “given” new names and “forced to accept a entirely new culture?” How can they identify their own family history? When you think  about it, those people who are already in power will put things in place to make sure they “remain” in power. That means that as long as they can manipulate your thoughts they can keep you under “control.” What better way to do that than to obliterate your history, your language and your culture and replace it with their own? There are a “lot of theories about a lot of historical events that may or may not be true.” Should we take all that we have learned “at face value?” So what does this mean? On the surface this means that “you may not be who everyone wants  you to think you are. You may not know what everyone wants you to think you know.” If you accept the fact that the “only truth” is what you can absolutely verify for yourself then you might find answers to questions that you never knew existed before. “Knowledge is power.” If you want to accept the education that has been hammered upon you then you have that right. However, those people that “want to make a difference” will build upon their “own” findings, and not those of others. Keep in mind that while television and radio can be “very insightful” a lot of this media is controlled by “those in power.” These people will use their own programs to “convince you to behave the way they want.” They will tell you who to vote for and they will attempt to modify  your views based on what they project. REAL history is not meant to be “modified.” In order to learn the truth, you need to start with your OWN reality. Find out about your own ancestry and customs that you “no longer have.” DNA tests are a great way to start. You may be surprised at “who and what” you really are… Then use that knowledge to determine the “real history that applies to you.” Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always I wish  you the very best that life ha to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Jill Scott and Brett Jolly in concert

Jill_Scott_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (“Are you feeling the spirit yet?”)

During this time of year a lot of different emotions go through  my head. The other day (December 14) was the anniversary of my mother’s death (Rowena Jolly, who passed from ovarian cancer in 2004). I remember the fact that this date was “so close” to the Christmas holiday, and when we actually tried to celebrate it that year, the atmosphere felt so different and empty. Truth be told, even now the memory still has a lingering effect on us all. We are a “very tight and close family” and we realize that we are extremely blessed to still have the blessings we have. My father is 84 years old and still very sharp. I have my kids and loved ones in my life and I am thankful for that. However, sometimes it is a little tougher to get the actual “spirit of the holidays” and that is really what all of this should be about. I find that whenever I give money to someone homeless or unemployed on the street it helps to bring me to that level. I have encountered friends who have not felt the spirit of the holiday as well, and if possible I try to be an inspiration to them. The holidays will not mean the same to everyone. Some people will be depressed because they have no money. Others will be sad because they have no family left to celebrate with. Some will just be upset because they will not get what they feel they should have. People will search all around to find the true spirit of the holiday when they only need to “look within themselves.” As tough as this is to understand, it is not about what you get but rather about what you are willing to give. If you don’t have anything (and a lot of people don’t) then  the most valuable gift you  can render (that won’t cost you anything) is to just tell someone you love them. I can promise you that there are people out there who have a serious need to hear that, and just saying that to someone in need might make all the difference to him or her. Yes, I realize that some people will disagree totally with what I am saying, but the ones who disagree are usually the ones who are in real need of the spirit in the first place. In fact, writing on this topic has already lifted my spirit. I’m good now. Today I am blessed, and if you are able to read this then you are too. Being broke is not a sin, and loving someone should not be considered taboo. Some will get the message and others will ignore it. Which one applies to you? I thank you for reading my Daily Thought, and as always I wish the very best of any blessings that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Jill Scott and Brett Jolly in concert

Jill_Scott_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (What happens when the President comes to your area)

Yesterday evening I had to drive my son someplace, but the major highway in Philadelphia had been diverted traffic wise. There were police lights “everywhere” and the entire highway on one side was “totally” cleared. No less than “3” police squad cars were blocking the way and detouring traffic away from the area. I originally thought that there had been a  major accident, but then I remembered that President Obama was coming to town to show support for Tom Wolfe. When the President visits your city, security is “usually crazy” but I understand fully the need for it to be that way. I remember years ago when George Bush came to town. Just around the corner from me I was walking and saw “scores” of police vehicles driving at a moderate to high speed with flashing lights all over the place. There were so many cars that you couldn’t count them. Then in the middle of it all I saw a car that was “not” like a police car with extremely “tinted” windows. I knew automatically that the President was in that car. I have had experiences with Presidential security before. Years ago when I played for the Republican National Convention the security had to check “all of our instruments” and in some cases they even said that they  may need to “open them up” to ensure that there was no danger. I told them that if they “break it” then they “own it” because they would have to pay me for a new one. Needless to say, they did “not” open up my guitar. Also, they had us arrive in their “own” white van (that they provided). We had to meet at a “remote” location that they chose and then be “driven” from there to the event by one of their guys. Once we got there, they used mirrors on long sticks to check under the van to make sure there were no bombs and they also brought out guard dogs to sniff the van out once we got out. Of course, when we were finished there was “no longer” any need for them to care about “our safety” then, so we got “none” of this “special treatment” when it came to heading back. Years ago I played for a Presidential function for Ronald Reagan and the head of the “Music Union” was there to make sure that we were “unionized players” playing in a “unionized establishment.” Back then the man asked me if I was a Union member and “not knowing  who he was” I just told him “No.” He then told me that I would not be able to play at this event because it was a Union Building. I then turned to the CIA guys wearing the shades and told them what this man told me. They went up to him immediately and asked  him who he was. He said that he was a very powerful  man in the city and he was the head of the Union so they needed to respect him. They “threw him out.” I tried my best to hide the smile on my face but I just couldn’t do it. If your President comes to your city (most times they will never announce it for safety reasons) then you need to be prepared for major traffic snarls. Find an alternative route because if you don’t you might end up someplace that you really don’t want to be. I just wanted to share my experiences with you today, and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Email: Brettjolly@aol.com

Skype: Brettjolly1

Jilly Scott and Brett Jolly in concert

Jill_Scott_and_Brett

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “How Beyonce’s new music affects the music industry”)

For those of you who have not heard, Beyonce just released a new CD album appropriately entitled “Beyonce.” This really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, because professional singers are usually “required” to release music. However, the difference in this case was in “how” the pop diva managed to do it. Without “any” pre-release promotion, she put it on I-tunes, and it broke records in it’s very first 3 days. I believe the numbers were over $617,000 in the United States and over $828,000 internationally. The way it usually works is that most artists “need radio play” to hype their music out there for people to buy it. Rarely do people buy a music product before they even get the chance to “hear it.” Getting radio stations to play it can be a “very costly” measure (even though the stations themselves won’t admit to it). Payola (the practice of paying to have your music played on air) is supposed to be “illegal” (but try getting your songs played on air without it and watch what DOESN’T happen). I found this interesting because instead of paying exorbitant amounts of money to have it played on radio, she opted instead to make videos for “each” song and released them on the internet (which can be done for “free”). I have always told new and upcoming artists that this is the new way to go. Regular radio is struggling right now and they are mostly controlled by the few record labels that are left. These labels “allegedly” pay the stations to play their artists and they also pay them to “not” play anyone else. That is mostly why a lot of new music lacks quality (and a lot of it sounds the same as well). Beyonce’s move was good for her (of course) but it also may be a great game changer for the industry. NOW because of the fanfare  surrounding the release more people will want to check out her music, and instead of waiting to hear it on radio they can just go online and not only “hear” it but they can actually “see” it as well (with the videos for each song). If you are an aspiring artist, I hope you take heed to what just happened. Beyonce not only “made” a lot of money with her release, but she also “saved” a lot of money without having to pay the radio stations. That… is “major”… However, not EVERYONE is ecstatic with this news. Target has said that it refuses to sell the CD because it was available “digitally” before it was available “physically.” If I were Target, I would pay good attention to what happened with Sam Goody’s and Tower Records. BOTH of these music selling giants went out of business because they were selling CD’s in an industry where digital downloads became the new wave of purchasing new music. If Beyonce’s music is selling and people are willing to buy it, what difference would it make WHO has it first? I would like to congratulate Beyonce on being such a great business woman. I only “hope” that this revelation will help “other” up and coming artists as well who are looking for outlets to promote their music. Maybe, just maybe, you can totally “skip” radio play, and “still” make a “hit.” Stay tuned, and please have yourself a wonderful day.

 

WWW.Brettjolly.com

Jill Scott and Brett Jolly in concert

 

Image

Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Election Day”)

Yesterday I was going about my usual business of doing the things that I normally do. Then when I decided to check up on my father, he informed me of something that I failed to realize: “It was Election Day.” It was our moral responsibility to get out and vote. Now I always try to make sure to “represent” on Election Day (and I make sure my father gets out of the house to do so as well) but as I was in the voting booth I came to a “newer” type of revelation. I didn’t know much of “anything” about the names that were listed on the ballot. Two of the names I knew because these individuals attended my church (and I already knew their characters well enough to vote for them). However, when it came to all other names I hardly knew anything. That was when I came to the revelation that as important as it is to vote, it is even “more” important to know the platforms of those you are “voting for.” If you go into the machine and just pull names “because it sounds good” to you then you are voting without reason. Unfortunately, I found myself doing that yesterday, and the deep part about this is that I am “sure” I was not the only one. During the last Presidential election, “everyone” knew what was at stake. Most people were well informed enough to “not be misled by faulty campaigning and the majority won out. This particular election seemed to lack much of that same intensity and maybe that is the reason why I failed to recognize it’s importance. If we don’t do our homework on these candidates, then we can only blame ourselves if “they” don’t pass the test. I have read many slogans urging people to “get out and vote.” For today’s Daily Thought, I am going to go one step “further.” I think we ALL need to get out and “get informed.” If you had election day as well, then I hope your vote was “meaningful.” Thank you and have a great day.

 

Jill Scott and Brett Jolly in concert

Image