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Rick Santorum equates the Affordable Care Act to apartheid [VIDEO]


Sign in South Africa during apartheid.

It's way too early since the death of former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, for folks to twist his legacy for their political gain. However, just hours after Mandela's death, former Senator from Pennsylvania and former presidential candidate Rick Santorumt did just that. Santorum actually compared he GOP fight against the Affordable Care Act to the horrendous sacrifices of Nelson Mandela and the horrendous environment that was apartheid. Sad, just sad but what should one expect since ACA was previously equated to Hurricane Katrina?



If Santorum chooses to run for president again, this interview will be used against him without a doubt. On the flip side, there is an element of voters that will be convinced to vote for him because of his commentary. Fortunately, there are far too many more reasonable Americans to allow him to prevail.


Photo:   Transparency In Sport


Rest In Peace, Nelson Mandela. Amandla!


Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela (july 18, 1918 - December 5, 2013)

Millions of people around the world are devastated by the transition of former South African President Nelson Mandela. At ninety-five years old and still fighting health challenges, we knew this day was inevitable.

Social media and mainstream media exploded with tributes to the man who spent 27 years in prison and fought for the civil rights of blacks in South Africa. Sadly but not unexpected, some people took the opportunity to use this great man’s death to make crude jokes and display other instances of disrespect.

No matter the detractors, Nelson Mandela’s legacy as a leader, an activist and a compassionate gentleman will live on in perpetuity. So much of South African history and the history of people of color around the world is intertwined. Mandela united ethnically diverse coalitions of people around the globe in their universal call for his release from prison or sanctions calling for divestment by corporate giants. That was truly a period of ‘Power to the People’. 

Upon his release from and throughout his election and tenure as South Africa's first black President, Mr. Mandela remained a statesman. Rather than get bogged down in sadness, let's use this moment in history, while reports on his life permeate the media, to teach or reintroduce others, especially children, to the legacy of Nelson Mandela. He was a true leader. He was imperfect. He will be missed.

Thank you, Mr. Mandela!




Public Service Announcement: Today is Memorial Day and Memorial Day is not Veterans Day

In Memory of Sgt. Edmond L. "Dakie" Randle

I do believe in our zest to show rightfully show appreciation to our service members, we have blurred Veterans Day with Memorial Day, thus not showing proper reverence on this solemn day of remembrance.

Here is one of the FAQs (frequently asked questions) from the Department of Veterans Affairs:

Q. What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

A. Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

Let’s live in appreciation of the service of our men and women every day whether they are living or deceased or made the ultimate sacrifice while in service or transitioned through other means. For those service members who lost their lives while in service to our country, today is their day, let’s honor them accordingly.


Photo:  2012 Election Central


Related links:

Memorial Day

South Florida veterans: Memorial Day is a day to mourn, not celebrate


Rest in Peace: Michael Jackson, 1958-2009

Michael_jackson Michael Jackson has transitioned from this world to the next. It was difficult to accept the inevitable when hearing rumors of his death and then the confirmation of those rumors.

His death was the lead story on all the major news networks and the subject of blog posts. Celebrities and random fans were interviewed. His videos were broadcast on several channels. It was surreal.

Michael Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 pm, Thursday, June 25, 2009. This is Day One after his passing. It's still very sad. Michael's death is such a universal loss. I couldn't relate to the loss some folks said they experienced when Elvis Pressley died but now I can.

My memories of Michael Jackson begin with the first performance of The Jackson 5 on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was obvious then that Michael was a star.

The controversy later in his life did not diminish his remarkable talent. Michael Jackson was an entertainer. He passed just months away from his 51st birthday and had been performing since he was four. Wow.

Michael Jackson is frequently described as child-like but his maturation is obvious in his songs and videos. Check out Black or White, Man in the Mirror, Remember the Time or In the Closet. His body of work is so extensive that he will live on through his music, songs, movies and videos.

Let's pray for Michael's family and that his soul is at peace. Ashe'.


Fishermen, Pirates and Corporate Robber Barons: Putting Somali Piracy in Perspective

Mainstream media has inundated readers, listeners, and viewers with coverage of recent Somali piracy incidents off the waters of Africa. America waited anxiously for the outcome of the hostage situation that saw Maersk Alabama ship Capt. Richard Phillips in custody for five days.

The captain regained his freedom because of the successful execution of a rescue plan by Navy SEALs and a host other folks. The three captors on the lifeboat with the captain were killed and one captor was taken into custody. This post is not so much about that particular incident as much as why it occurred in the first place.

Somalia_punt226x250 As an American and citizen of the world, I was a bit perturbed that such a widespread and lucrative illegal industry has existed for almost two decades. What's up with that? The millions of dollars lost to pirates and the hundreds of sailors held hostage was as newsworthy when the incidents started in the early 90's as it is now.

Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your perspective of this issue; the four pirates on the Alabama picked the wrong ship to rob. The media onslaught was tremendous. Resolution of this hostage situation would be televised, tweeted and broadcast using all mediums available. After all that hoopla, piracy continues.

One has to wonder, even as lucrative as piracy has become, why the Somalis are involved in piracy in the first place. The obvious answer is the money but there is another side to the situation that needs equal coverage.

Quite simply, commercialized fishing by other countries decimated Somalia's fishing industry and many Somalis are merely trying to survive. There are also reported instances of industrial pollution and shootings of innocent Somali fishermen. The Somali piracy issue is more complex than some may want known to the public.

When all is said and done, a happy medium must be reached because the world cannot tolerate the lawlessness of the pirates; the Somali people need economic viability and a stable government. Let's not kid ourselves; conceptually, the actions of the Somali pirates are the same as the robber barons of Wall Street.

Related Links:

How Somalia's Fishermen Became Pirates

Somali pirates not due to weak government

Somali pirates living the high life

Rest In Peace: Marie Olbermann (1929-2009)

I just watched a moving tribute to Marie Olbermann, mother of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on his show Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Sadly, Mrs. Olbermann passed away.

She was quite a lady and well-known for her love of major league baseball. I have not been a Keith Olbermann fan long enough to know of her getting beaned by Chuck Knoblauch and the subsequent celebrity to follow. She seemed to be quite feisty and a lot of fun to be with.

My prayers are with Keith Olbermann, his dad and the rest of Marie Olbermann's family, friends and loved ones. Ashe'.

Read Keith Olbermann's tribute to his mom here.

Desperation and the Economy

Crime-scene-tape Too many people in America seem to have lost their minds and it’s not even summer yet. Every couple of days we hear of a murder somewhere in America and that is very discomforting.

We’re not talking gang violence but murder-suicides, ambushing of police officers, murdering hostages and robbery-homicides.

Heck that father taking his nine year-old daughter on his robbery of a convenience store and the elderly female who’s been robbing banks are a sign of the times. It’s a shame that folks have been forced to such levels of desperation. Americans are not accustomed to such struggle and sacrifice as this economy has imposed upon us.

It is crucial that we are more attentive of the moods of our family, friends and co-workers. These are desperate times and far too many have resorted to crime because they don’t have money to pay bills and other necessities. Not being able to provide for family makes many, especially men, feel worthless.

The sad reality we are faced with is that we must be aware of the personal casualties of our economic downfall. Innocent people will become collateral damage and in some instances little can be done to prevent such actions.

We can talk gun control and other measures but there are no 100% preventive measures available now. We can and should pray this crisis is lifted soon and then pay more attention to signs of mental stress in our family and friends. Be safe and not afraid.



© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Gratitude for the King

"I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I am not concerned with that now. I just want to do God's will." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is the 41st anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Several streets are closed here in Miami and his son Martin III spoke at a gathering today. I tried but I wasn't really feeling this day. For various reasons that I won't discuss right now; I don't like remembering and celebrating the death of someone especially someone who dies tragically.

Celebrating birth and life? I'm down for that. There is so much written and otherwise documented about Martin Luther the King that I have my personal, internal celebration similar to the Moments of gratitude shared on January 15.

Regardless the reason, it's always great to see people come together to celebrate Dr. King. His name must mean more than a day off or a name on streets and schools throughout the United States. As a matter of fact, now, more than ever the lessons of Dr. King are needed as we overcome the dire straits this nation world finds itself in.

Thank you, Dr. King!


© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2009 Bloggers Choice Awards.


Should Lovelle Mixon Have Been Out On Parole?

Even as they grapple with budget cuts, California state leaders will surely be compelled to strengthen parole laws and not reduce corrections staff by as much as originally expected because of four police officers shot dead by a man on parole. Lovelle Mixon had been incarcerated on weapons charges and was stopped Saturday for a routine traffic violation.

The intense desperation that would drive a person to such murder and mayhem is all so unbelievably tragic. It's understood that being a cop is dangerous but for all four to be shot because of one situation is unimaginable.

With the drama Bay Area police have to deal with because of the Oscar Grant shooting, it must be difficult for the community to deal with this situation also. My heart goes out to all of the families left to pick up the pieces after this latest devastation.

The officers killed were: Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40; Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43; and Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35 and Officer John Hege.

Mixon is reported to have an extensive criminal record. One can only wonder whether perceived liberal incarceration laws could have prevented this tragedy. Legislators will find it difficult to oppose measures that could have prevented this tragedy.

© 2009, Vanessa: Unplugged!,