truthful perceptions: responsibility…


The following excerpt is from a recent Boston Globe article on DV: “Domestic violence has turned the home front into a battlefield bloodier than the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. Between October 2001 and June 2012, nearly 6,500 American troops were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq; during that same period, more than 11,700 women died in acts of domestic violence, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence which also found that children are far more likely to die in their homes because of domestic violence than in school shootings…”

The fact that double the number-of-American women (of all races, creeds, and ethnicities) were killed in this country through domestic violence than the combined number of American soldiers killed in two wars to me is alarming. It indicates the real war for the sake of humanity is not the clash of cultures between east and west, but rather between the moral and immoral treatment of women.

For 11,700 women to be killed through domestic violence means that it took 11,700 men who de-evolved from being men grappling with anger management issues, low self-esteem, inner insecurities and cowardly instincts to now become murderers, and a large percentage of those murderers don’t have the courage to face the consequences so they kill themselves after killing their victim.

This is not the time to merely observe, sit back and say this is a shame and a scourge on society. It is a collective responsibility every man must undertake to avoid complicity through omission and indifference. Every man has the responsibility to speak up and speak out about this. Don’t just leave it sports stars, corporations and politicians to do it alone.

Don’t affirmatively join in conversations with other men that brag about beating women. Don’t condone your brother, your son, your cousin, your nephew or any other male relative who beats and abuses his wife/girlfriend through silence.

Remember, men who abuse women essentially are cowards who want your approval of their negative choices. Don’t sign off, but rather sign up to make a difference. Help Stop Domestic Violence. 

As the saying goes, “evil people prosper when good men do nothing…”

Music: GOD’s Peace by Russel Blake




truthful perceptions: virus…

A dislocated nose, busted ear drum, bruises, black eyes seem par for the course in beatings that lasted over four years for one noted survivor in Mobile County, Alabama. Her drug addicted husband had decided he was going to beat, abuse and bruise her when he was both high and not high and seemingly blaming her for both.

Had he not overdosed, her fate more likely than not would have fed the statistics of either homicide or homelessness caused by abuse. Battered women shelters now serve more children than they do women. It is estimated in some small cities in America, battered women’s shelters are more populated with children than the Children’s Hospitals in those cities.

There are so many causes of peril, sadness, disease and charity to support in this world. There truly is no excuse for us not to, other than for lack of trying. I AM aligned with three major causes. Stopping Gun Violence, The Alzheimer’s Association and Domestic Violence Awareness.

88 guns for every one hundred Americans and the insanity of needless deaths caused by them is my reason for stopping gun violence. Alzheimer’s disease ran rampant in my family taking the lives of six paternal Aunts and my maternal Grandfather. That is my reason in joining that cause.

Although there is never been an issue of domestic violence in my family, I AM motivated for just that reason. To know from experience that women are to be protected by men from the men who are true cowards for abusing them. As the bearers of our future it is critical to bring awareness and formulate solutions to the plague of domestic violence. In my mind there is no greater threat to civilized society than to ignore the virus of genocide domestic abuse produces.

Find A Domestic Violence Shelter By Zip Code:







truthful perceptions: aid…

A leader is a person who takes action to better the lives of those under his/her influence. He takes the necessary time to reflect on those things essential to the quality of life of each and every individual. This should naturally lead him to utilise a variety of sources of power to employ compassion and apply the resources necessary to achieve harmony within the nation.

Sadly, the current president we have in the white house does not represent these values as a leader and based on his history with women is factually devoid and woefully impotent of them. By signing off on a draconian budget removing the legal resources that help aid victims of domestic violence, he shows the world his real character when it comes to protecting the women and children of this country.

Helping domestic violence survivors have access to legal protection would seem a no-brainer for obvious reasons, especially an organization like the Legal Services Corporation that provides this type of assistance to domestic violence victims and survivors in virtually every state. President trump is planning to defund the entire organization. All Americans truly interested in fighting back against this travesty should flood the telephone lines of their representatives in congress and the senate.

Raise holy hell on behalf of low-income victims of domestic violence who endure hell each and everyday and need all of the free legal assistance available. Let’s not simply sigh, moan and complain. Let’s stand up for victims and survivors, take action and fight!

Find Your Representative:







truthful perceptions: evil…

$3.6 million dollars every time Trump goes to his private resort in Florida paid for by the American taxpayer, but apparently their is no money for food for the elderly, light and heating assistance for the poor or education for the masses via public broadcasting.

What kind of Christians do these acts of cruelty to their neighbors? 

Trump’s budget would cut off funding entirely for several agencies, including arts, public broadcasting and development groups, and also proposes steep cuts to agencies like the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency.

Virtually every agency will see some sort of cut, with only Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs getting a boost.

Congress will have the final say, and lawmakers have already expressed opposition to many of the proposals.

Here’s a look at some of the major cuts in the President’s budget blueprint:

Department cuts

Health and Human Services, the department responsible for implementing Obamacare and its proposed repeal, would face a $12.6 billion cut — a 16.2% decrease

  • Environmental Protection Agency: $2.6 billion, or 31.4%
  • State Department: $11 billion, or 28.7%
  • Labor Department: $2.5 billion, or 20.7%
  • Agriculture Department: $5 billion, or 20.7%
  • US Army Corps of Engineers: $1 billion, a 16.3% cut
  • Cuts National Institutes of Health spending by $5.8 billion, a nearly 20% cut. Also overhauls NIH to focus on “highest priority” efforts and eliminates the Fogarty International Center.
  • Other double-digit cuts include Commerce at 15.7%; Education at 13.5%; Housing and Urban Development at 13.2%; Transportation at 12.7%, and Interior at 11.7%.

Program cuts

  • Eliminates the USDA Water and Wastewater loan and grant program, a reduction of $498 million
  • Cuts $250 million by zeroing out National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants and programs that support coastal and marine management, research and education
  • Reduces or eliminates 20 programs within the Department of Education, including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership and Impact Aid support payments for federal property and international education programs
  • Cuts FEMA state and local grant funding by $667 million, including the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program and Homeland Security Grant Program
  • Eliminates funds for Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing
  • Ceases payments to the United Nations’ climate change programs for the Green Climate Fund and precursor funds
  • Scales back funding for the World Bank and other international development banks by $650 million over three years
  • Cuts federal subsidies to Amtrak and eliminates support for Amtrak’s long-distance services.
  • Cuts funding to the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Program so new projects will not be funded
  • Shrinks the Treasury workforce by an unspecified amount
  • Stops funding for the Clean Power Plan

Programs Trump proposes to eliminate or zero out

Trump’s budget would eliminate funding for some small, independent agencies entirely, as well as zero out some federal programs:

  • The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which supports before- and after-school programs and summer programs
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds research including clean energy
  • African Development Foundation
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Community Development Block Grant, which in part funds Meals on Wheels
  • Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants, under Treasury
  • Community Services Block Grant, under HHS
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Denali Commission
  • Economic Development Administration
  • Essential Air Service program
  • Global Climate Change Initiative
  • Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Chesapeake Bay funding, and other regional programs under EPA.
  • HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program, all under HUD
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • US Trade and Development Agency
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program
  • Minority Business Development Agency, under Commerce
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • NASA’s Office of Education
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • State Energy Program
  • Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program, the second-largest program feds have used to influence local education
  • TIGER transportation grants
  • United States Institute of Peace
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


truthful perceptions: greed…


Aside from the fact that politicians who place the financial profits of billionaires as a priority when rolling back environmental laws set in place to protect our planet, it once again begs the question of the revelers and worshippers of greed in asking., “ How much is enough…?

Sadly, the answer that silently comes back is that it is never enough. Never enough money to roll back laws set in place forbidding companies from dumping and/or carrying toxic waste to flow into rivers, streams, lake and oceans that lead into waterways that furnish drinking water not to mention killing aquatic life.

Never enough money to roll back laws set in place to stop companies from dumping waste products into the air, especially fossil fuels, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide that directly contribute to greenhouse gases and thereby creating and advancing global warming.

Water and Air are just two, never mind the other concerns such as emissions standards for landfills, rules around offshore drilling, methane standards for oil and gas drilling, and restrictions on migratory bird hunting, etc.,

Do they not witness what is happening in the cities of China where millions of people are wearing masks everyday because of smog and toxic air. They have now come to a point where they are coping, but learning to live with it as if it’s some kind of organic alternate reality. 


A new study shows that air pollution is killing about 4,000 people in China a day, accounting for 1 in 6 premature deaths in the world’s most populous country.

Physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, calculated that about 1.6 million people in China die each year from heart, lung and stroke problems because of incredibly polluted air, especially small particles of haze.

7043400-3x2-940x627Performing Tai Chi in the midst of dense smog? The words Tai Chi are actually defined as, “Supreme Exercise for Ultimate Living…” Really? Today it should be more defined as “Extreme Living…” This is the extreme of what happens when companies/corporations are allowed to run their businesses without government oversight and strict laws in place to protect both people and the environment.

Just as he put someone in charge of the education dept. who knows nothing about public education, where 9 out of every 10 American children attend school, Trump places someone in charge of the Environmental Protection whose record is directly opposed to what the EPA stands for after decades of existence.

Their mission and objectives are clear: They are going to dismantle piece by piece, law by law the government agency responsible for protecting the pristine and fragile ecological vulnerability of nature.people-practice-tai-chi-775536


If this is what the air in Beijing is like everyday, can you imagine what is being dumped into the rivers, streams, lakes and oceans? 



The tears of GOD will most certainly flow, because only GOD knows what the long term environmental consequences will be upon our country and the planet in the next four years of trumps term in office. Sadly, the name will most assuredly go from the “environmental protection agency” to the “environmental destruction agency…” and all in the name of corporate greed.  



Music: “The Tears of God…” by Russel Blake









truthful perceptions: receive…


There shall be no pretense, forethought or apprehension within me. There shall neither be anxiety or fear that would incapacitate and otherwise compromise the power given unto me.

My vision left unbound daily restores unto me the truth, that the blessings of my life were not made for me, but “I” was created to receive the blessings that God has in store for me.

I and I alone openly comprehend this fact, or I can reject it through fear.

I and I alone can honestly accept this truth, or I can delay it through procrastinating. To receive my blessings is to acknowledge my quest, knowing that God has equipped me with everything that I would ever need for this journey.

My journey is underwritten by the venture capital of the Word of God that tells me that I can do all things through Christ, which strengthens me. Therefore my judgment is sound, my quest is just and all of my blessings are mine to receive ~ 


copyright Man Of Psalms Publishing Co 2016

MUSIC: “Remember The Word…” by Russel Blake

truthful perceptions: light…


The wise Man draws more advantage from his enemies, than a fool from his friends; As light is the contrast to darkness, so in life will come the envy of friends and the hatred of enemies;

Being caught between these two fires is never good, yet we look to the Christ within as the active instrument of all peace, forgiveness and reconciliation;

The same creative force who set the symphony of the universe in motion, grows the bones of a child in the womb and decrees the boundaries for every Sea;

This infinite intelligence daily affirms our Spirit to know and declare – If GOD Be For Us, Then Who Can Be Against Us; Love Always & Keep Looking Up. IJPN ~ In JESUS Precious Name.

copyright Man Of Psalms 2016

MUSIC: 20 Angels & 6 Golden Souls by Russel Blake



In September 2015, a study conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence found that in Texas there were 1,539 unmet requests for domestic-violence services in a single day, with 48 percent of those requests for housing. The study found many programs, in Texas and the rest of the country, dealing with a “critical shortage of funds and staff to assist victims.”

Instead of defending women and children, Donald Trump is defunding not one, but all 25 separate programs managed by the Justice Dept’s. Office of Violence Against Women;

Instead of defending women, he is defunding Planned Parenthood that provides critical and in most cases the only health services to millions of women and low income men who also benefit from their services;

Instead of defending efforts against republican voter suppression tactics and laws, he is defunding any investigation into proven Russian hacking/involvement into the election;

Trump cannot defund the republicans because the moral conscience of the Republican Party leadership is already bankrupt. The mind-numbing unsurprising bigoted tinged hypocrisy displayed by the Republicans and conservative evangelical Christians in how they support, sign-off and turn a blind eye to every immoral, ungodly, unethical and infantile tantrum this man demonstrates is in and of itself a sheer disgrace, especially in comparison to how they disrespectfully treated President Obama.

Listening to Trump speak both the madness of his policies and the mania of his paranoia just five days into his presidency glaringly reminds us how psychologically and ethically unfit he is for the Presidency. He too often goes into a tangent of illogic ranting, logical to no one but himself and the conspiracy theorists who undoubtedly have access to his pathology of paranoia.

All of this would be the funniest of entertainment on a SNL level of comedy were it not for one solemn, sad and somber thing. Every time you see Trump speaking on television and at every juncture, it is sobering to remember that this individual, this man who is by all accounts the most powerful man on the planet carries in his pocket that which is simply known as “The Biscuit…” which are the launch codes to start a nuclear attack.

Based on his mental instability, if there was one legitimate thing that needs to be defunded in the trump presidency, it’s his ability to use the biscuit. Because of his thin skin and inability to handle criticism, this may one day leave us all tragically defunded of life itself.


truthful perceptions: bob cranshaw…


While doing some purging of my belongings, I found some photos today of my friend who recently made his transition home. Dec. 2nd will be one month to the day and finding these photos made me sit down and quietly reflect on him:

It was sometime in the early seventies when my family consisting of my Dad, my Mom, my Sister Bobbie and my Brother Alex Blake was driving Alex from our home in Queens, NY to drop him off at his apartment on the upper west side of Manhattan.


When he got out of the car there was the traditional goodbyes taking place between us when we looked up to notice a gentlemen coming down the street walking his dog.

He stopped and from the back seat I could hear, “Hey Alex…and then Hey Bob, what’s happening man…” They slapped fives, shook hands and hugged while laughing about the random coincidence of it all.
Alex then said, “C’mon over, I want you to meet my family…” That was the first time I had ever met Mr. Bob Cranshaw. After cordially greeting my Mom and Dad in the front seat, he said a very nice hello and waved to my Sister sitting next to me in the back seat. He then extended his hand through the back window to shake mine while I simultaneously listened to Alex describe him as one of the greatest musicians in the world of music.


As a child, I had no idea how far that Divinely-ordained humble meeting with the firm handshake would go in impacting my life as a musician and as a bassist:

On Bebop, Swing and Straight-ahead Jazz music, I learned from him just how important it is for the Bass to employ simplicity. For example, intermittently using the one and five when walking holds down the groove, keeps the swing intact and gives the song some much needed rhythmic and harmonic air so that the soloist can reach a lot higher when playing.

He was the first cat I ever heard use that simple pattern and in so doing control the pulse, the colors, the dynamics and the attitude of the band. Bro. Bob’s groove style was so rhythmically set, ingeniously uncomplicated and yet just like the texture of water, it was fluid all at the same time.

Listening and watching him hold down the tempo was his own virtuoso way of playing. He was so successful in transferring the feel of the Upright Bass effortlessly to that of the Electric that at times, if you closed your eyes and listened, you really couldn’t tell the difference. He was truly the heart of the band in every situation I’ve heard him play in. His style of playing allows the rest of the band to have that centered tempo bass as the focal point for the song to evolve from. A lot of bassists that

I hear play today lack that pure definition of the role the bass is supposed to play.


As a child growing up, I grooved to his bass lines like millions of other children listening and glued to the screen watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company in the sixties. I laughed while being moved and grooved to his bass lines while watching Saturday Night Live in the seventies.

As a young Man in the eighties, I remember escorting my Mom to a performance of “Lena Horne: A Lady And Her Music…” on Broadway, in NY. Of course Lena was phenomenal, but it was Bob on Bass and Grady Tate on drums with such a powerful groove and a consistent swing that all Lena could do was soar from the foundation of it all.

When I first got the gig with Sonny Rollins, at my audition Sonny and I had a conversation about Bass players. Sonny wanted to gauge my knowledge of history about the instrument. He told me that Bob’s playing style allows him (Sonny) to go as far as he needs to go when he’s soloing and improvising because he can trust Bob to keep both the foundation of time and harmonic relevance. He said he did not want me to play like Bob, but to do my own thing.

Yet, what he needed from me was to keep the principles of Bob’s playing so that when he’s soloing he can always count on me to have his back with the time and the chord changes no matter how far the journey his solo is taking the band.

When I was coming up in NY amongst a community of phenomenal and creative musicians, it was and still is mandatory for your growth and education to listen to the iconic and innovative players of all music.

When I think of all the albums where Bob was the bassist and how on a subconscious level, he greatly influenced my own conception and perceptions of the Bass. From his recorded work with Carmen McCrae to Wes Montgomery; Sonny Rollins to Horace Silver; Grant Green to Dexter Gordon; Tony Bennett to Milt Jackson; Oscar Peterson to Paul Simon; Shirley Scott to Lee Morgan and so many more great artists he recorded with which amounts to a literal who’s who spanning over 60 years of music.

The magnitude of Bob’s bass work and his contribution to both music and the music industry cannot be quantified in this writing.

It’s better left to be taught in a conservatory or university curriculum alongside the great bassists who were some of his contemporaries like Paul Chambers, Charlie Mingus, Reggie Workman, Jimmy Garrison, Henry Grimes, Richard Davis, Milt Hinton, Ray Brown, Ron Carter, George Morrow, George Duvivier, Percy Heath and the cat’s who influenced Bob like Scott LaFaro, Arvell Shaw, Bob Haggart, Slam Stewart and Jimmy Blanton.

When his stepson, the great Bassist Tom Barney opened the door for me to do substitute bass work for him on Broadway/NY playing the Bass chair in The Lion King, my Upright Bass at that time was in Los Angeles. Bro. Bob in not wanting me to lose the gig, called me and said he had my back and asked me to go to an address in Brooklyn.

He wanted me to check out an Upright owned by a Bassist who it turned out years before was the house bassist for Prestige Records. That gentleman was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and his challenges forced him to begin selling all of his belongings for money to survive. Bob in wanting to create a win-win situation for the both of us gave me $1500 to give to the gentlemen to purchase the bass and then spent $2000 on repairing it and getting it cleaned up and gig ready along with a brand new case, bridge, pickups, bows, centerpiece and a wheel. Btw, Bob never asked me for a dime back and said it was a gift.

In the subsequent years that followed, every time I came back to NY to work with Clifton Anderson, Bro. Bob would selflessly and generously allow me to use his prized Upright Czech Bass both for the rehearsals and the gigs.

Once when he found out I was in NY on business, he called me and asked me if I could meet him at the Musicians Union.

Upon arriving to his office he brought out a beautiful brand new brown leather Hamburg Electric Bass Case. He had just returned from Germany where he told me the company gave him one in Black and one in Brown. He told me he gave the Black one to Tom and wanted me to have the Brown one.

Lastly, I would constantly get surprise calls from him telling me he was listening to my electric bass solo cd’s and was so very proud and impressed of the direction I was taking the instrument.

He would always say: “Man, I listen to you playing that bass and it makes my fingers hurt…lol….how in the heck are you reaching for and playing those different chords…”

I would then share my limited knowledge of the Bass while respectfully pivoting to interview him about his incredible journey on the instrument.

The last time I saw Bro. Bob was a few years ago backstage after a performance with Sonny Rollins at Symphony Hall in San Francisco. We laughed, joked around, talked shop about bass, the music and then took some pics. His sound and playing that night was impeccable as always. The tone, the feel, the groove and his melodic solos, especially on the ballads, were just beautiful. It inspired me and made me go home and study my instrument.

Always generous and possessed with a spirit that always brings calm, clarity and light into every room. He was selfless and always going the extra mile to help anyone and everyone. The Brother was so musical in every way even when not playing and expressed himself with a keen sense of humor and observation that made you laugh but opened up your eyes at the same time.


Because of his incredible musical contribution and now his physical absence, the Bass chair will never again be the same…

Please keep his Beloved Family lifted up in prayer. IJPN.

MUSIC: “20 Angels & 6 Golden Souls…” by Russel Blake.

truthful perceptions: gratitude…


There are a million bits and pieces of information that make up the experiences of a Man’s life. Most are often forgotten in the blink of an eye. Others are much more traumatic, joyful, significant and mournful to the memories held on to for a lifetime.

The balance of equity for most men of integrity regardless of race, religious belief system or background is to practice either by the minute, the hour, the day or even once a week is a time of reflection to be thankful.

It costs nothing and yet yields the biggest personal returns. This is a character trait most promising to know that a poor man is made rich by it, and a rich man is made poor without it.


It grounds you in ways to keep you safe from the arrogance of the batterer mindset. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Pastor or a Police Officer, the arrogant mindset of the physical batterer and verbal abuser remain the same.

One of thinking he is untouchable by virtue of his vocation and somehow immune from any conviction of conscience because it is both neutralized and patronized by his service to the community.

That somehow his livelihood qualifies him to live a secretive lifestyle free of condemnation in beating his wife/intimate partner. Nothing could be further from the truth for we know the universal law speaks to the heart of the matter: “To whom much is given, much is required.”

So on this Thanksgiving Day, may we as men take the time to truly search our hearts for any level of abusive behavior we have towards our wife/intimate partner, and begin the changing process with the best weapon of all, gratitude…

MUSIC: It’s This Place…” by Russel Blake.