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Just How Desperate is the GOP?

In an incredible poor sense of timing, poor taste, and just plain ole foolishness, the California GOP has sunk to a new low by filing a complaint with the FEC over Barack Obama's use of his campaign airplane to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii.

Give me a break. Is this the best these folks could come up with? The man was trying to see his grandmother before she passed and these numb nuts wanted him to catch a regular airplane. You've got to be kidding. I'm glad he used the most expeditious means of getting to her and was able to see her before she passed.

You may have noticed I've resisted the urge to refer to the GOP as Rethuglicans lately but they definitely deserve it after a shameful move like this.

You know McCain and the GOP are trying to hold on to as many seats as possible throughout the United States but they do that at the risk of tarnishing their personal brand and Party brand for many years to come. It's lame moves like this and selecting Sarah Palin for VP that may appeal to the conservative base but alienates the Rethuglicans from moderate conservatives, independents and conservative democrats.

It's bad enough that these folks seem to have no problems in attracting a mainly non-diverse ethnic group of supporters. This stunt is the lowest of the low. It's time for a change.



© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

Vote for this blog for Best Political Blog and for Best Blog Design in the 2008 Bloggers Choice Awards.




Senator Barack Obama Deals with Loss

One can only feel compassion and empathy for Senator Barack Obama as he confronts one of the happiest periods of his life and one of the saddest. His maternal grandmother, Madelyn Dunham has transitioned. Obama suspended his campaign to visit her in Hawaii as her health worsened. The senator's grandparents shaped his personality and taught him a work ethic that he still demonstrates today. Senator Obama announced his grandmother's passing and continued campaigning as the polls will open in a few hours. Please view and sign her guestbook.

The senator is also coping with the loss of his Nevada campaign director, Terence Tolbert. He passed away after suffering a heart attack while driving alone. Tolbert was only 44 years old.    

Tolbert was a well-known and respected lobbyist in New York City. He is credited with Senator Obama's success in Nevada, a swing state.


© 2008, Vanessa: Unplugged!,

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




Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father's Day to all of the guys who are fathers or just like fathers. A father plays an important role in a child's life; he teaches his son how to treat women and his daughter how they are to be treated by men.

A good father doesn't need a lot money; just a lot of love. That may seem corny to you but it is true. My parents have been married for about 55 years so my dad has always been in my life. Guys should realize just how much of a void there is in a child's life when their dad is absent.

Fathers are so special and so important.

To my dad and all other dads, thank you.


Will Venus and Serena be Forced to ‘Denounce and Reject’ their Dad?

According to reports from The Miami Herald, Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena, is a loose-cannon. The latest comments attributed to Williams are particularly controversial in light of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright drama of late.

In an interview with the Deccan Herald while in India for the Bangalore Open, Papa Williams said, ``The white man hated me all my life and I hate him. That's no secret. I'm not even an American, it just so happens I was born in America. People are prejudiced in tennis. I don't think Venus or Serena was ever accepted by tennis. They never will be. But if you get some little white no-good trasher in America like Tracy Austin or Chris Evert who cannot hit the ball, they will claim this is great.''

OK. Let's see who goes on the next national apology tour after those statements. In spite of the rest of the quote, you know white people are more ticked that he referred to Chrissy Evert as "little white no-good trasher."

Is Richard Williams on medication? I can't imagine what he was thinking when he went off like that. Some of what he said about the treatment Venus and Serena endure is true but was personalizing Evert and Austin necessary? Venus and Serena had better prepare to denounce, reject, repudiate or do something for damage control in this situation.


12 year-old boy kills 17 month-old cousin

By now you may have heard about the twelve year-old boy in Lauderhil, Florida who bludgeoned his 17 month-old cousin to death with a baseball bat. The boy lied to authorities initially but later confessed. He said she wouldn't stop crying and he couldn't hear his cartoons on television.

What happens next is up to the Broward County judicial system. Will he be tried as a juvenile or an adult as was Lionel Tate who murdered his six year-old playmate Tiffany Eunick in 1998? What makes children kill in such a violent manner? Were there signs of his of possible violence prior to this incident?

Sadly there are several other stories of children that kill. Here's a little of what's on Google.

Md. Boy Charged With Murder -

Police Say 12-Year-Old Bludgeoned Mother and Brother. By Allison Klein and Hamil R. Harris. Washington Post Staff Writers Tuesday, April 25, 2006; Page B01 ... - Similar pages

Why Did Eric Kill? , Dan Rather Talks To Teen Killer About Why He ...

Smith then talks more about what he believes drives children to kill – and suggests that he was abused at home: "Although each case is different, ... - 98k - Cached -
Similar pages

Children Who Kill - Message Boards

A discussion of infamous cases and an attempt to explain and understand children who kill. - 51k - Cached -
Similar pages

Jamie Lynn Spears is Pregnant, and…?

Just as I don't understand the Hannah Montana phenomenon, I don't understand the flak about the unwed pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears.

This is just more of the same bad behavior of teens nowadays. Kids are having sex. Surprise. Surprise. With sex comes pregnancy and STDs, especially the Big Virus.

Will Jamie Lynn's pregnancy be the tipping point for a change in how we allow sex to be placed so casually before teens and others ill-equipped to handle the responsibilities of the by-product of sex? Or, will Jamie Lynn, much like her sister Britney and the many nameless, faceless teens infected with AIDS or dealing with teenage parenthood just become statistics and collateral damage?

In Britney's hometown of Kentwood, LA, some folks are not at all surprised at the pregnancy. Some because, you know, it's the Spears family and others because "You got kids who are 13 or 14 and pregnant in Kentwood, we're about used to it around here," Donald Church said. Well, allrighty then.

This Christmas: You Can’t Exchange Family, You Just Have to Love Them!

Two months ago I would have told you that Chris Brown was one of the most annoying entertainers around. That's seems a tad cruel but I'm just keeping it real. He was everywhere. The comments equating him to Michael Jackson really did it for me. Anyhoo, I think he was overexposed and rewarded way too early for a neophyte musical career. Well, it seems that young Mr. Brown just may have proven himself in his role in This Christmas. Obviously, his singing talent and appeal to young women are capitalized on to sell this movie and the soundtrack. It works.

The cast seems to click so much so that the interaction seems so real and I could definitely identify with my own family members and many of the characters. Now, don't get it twisted, there's nothing new in this movie. The storyline is predictable but ya know what? It still works. The jokes, one-liners and come backs remind me of any of several family gatherings.

If I could have changed anything, I probably would have one less Soul Train line. While black folks like to have a good time, I just don't recall that much extraneous dancing going on in my household. That being said, I love this movie and I could watch it over and over again.

Regina King is awesome, as usual, Sharon Leal, Loretta Devine are fabulous and video model turned actress Lauren London holds her own. Two of my favorite actors, Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba bring sexy back for me every time.

I also like the way black filmmakers are infusing the value of education and attending a historically-black college or university.

If you want to see a feel good movie with a few twists and turns, you'll enjoy This Christmas. Remember, you can't exchange family.

Thankful for Every Day

It's Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I'm not feeling the Thanksgiving Day joy and excitement of many others in this country.

The television news coverage is replete with the traditional stories of Thanksgiving generosity and charitable gifts to those in need. A community warrior woman called "Big Mama" will feed thousands of folks in the South Florida area over the next couple of days. It is heartwarming but I can't really get with the holiday. Sure, one day of giving is better than none but what about tomorrow?

Quite frankly, I am thankful every day. I have dealt with my share tragedy but I know that I am truly blessed. I don't really follow the commercialization of Christian ideals. I mean, I don't need this day to help someone else or to praise my Creator. I'm not perfect or trying to be pious, I was grateful for life, strength and health today and will feel the same way tomorrow when I wake up.

The ranks of the needy continue to grow. We can't relegate helping others to certain days of the year that really serve as boosts to the economy more than anything else.

I see the poverty in my community and the effect it has on others. While so many suffer, I can't remove from my mind, the stories of corruption and millions of dollars misused by government officials. There must be a special place in Hell for folks like that.

I try to help someone in need every day. Either through food, clothing, books or toys I try to pay it forward. There but for the grace of God go I. If everyone who could did something, no matter how small, the world would be a much better place.

How Do You Discipline Your Kids?

A father was recently released from jail in Miami on aggravated child abuse charges. It seems that Loscar Rodriguez beat his eight-year old son with a belt for getting bad grades.

At school the next day, the son complained of not being able to sit because he was sore. That led school officials to check the son for bruises. Apparently, there were signs older bruises. Police were called, photos taken of the bruises and Rodriguez arrested.

Rodriguez is described as a loving, caring father by his co-workers. He said that he would never hurt his child but, as is required in this case, has been ordered to stay away from him.

Folks are lining up on both sides of the issue of corporal punishment for children. The judge was sympathetic to the father's desire for discipline but child protective laws are very inflexible regarding certain issues.

There were not enough facts provided in the media coverage of this case for me to form an opinion one way or another. I do know that I think spanking is an appropriate disciplinary tactic for parents in some situations. Some children behave from just talking to them other children require more effort to get their attention. I don't support beating children but I do believe that children need boundaries and discipline.

Domestic violence claims the life of another woman

Tears were streaming down my face as I left the funeral home last night. I didn't care that I sobbed because no one could hear me. I couldn't be seen through the tinted windows of my car. My heart truly ached. I'd learned that the sister of a co-worker had been violently battered and left to die by her boyfriend. Her attacker casually went about his day. She suffered in silence, immobile and unable to speak for four hours before she took her last breath.

I'd learned of the incident close to midday yesterday. The rest of the day was mostly a blur after that news. I read the article in the newspaper describing this horrible man who'd been turned in to the police by his sister whom he'd call to confess the attack.

Here was yet another woman dead at the hands of her husband or boyfriend, this was just too much. These attacks were based on behavioral patterns. Women must learn to leave at the first sign of violence. No matter how much he says he's sorry or how extravagant the make-up gifts he buys --- get out…leave…runaway before it's too late. It's a mind game, don't fall for it. Even if you have children for your abuser, don't allow him to manipulate you to the point that you justify the abuse. You can leave; there are people who can help you even if you are afraid to go to a minister or family member. The life you save may be your own.

Locally, there have been at least three domestic violence cases in the media within the last two weeks. Some cases more bizarre than others but all ending in the death of a woman --- mother --- sister --- aunt. Domestic abuse is a tragedy that can be avoided. If you are a victim or you know someone who is, please get help. It may be a scary situation but there are people who can help.

Many years ago, a close friend shared her experience with an abusive husband. I was shocked that she'd tolerated such treatment. We were college educated women from upper middle-class backgrounds; we knew better. She tried to explain how it happened without her recognizing how manipulative he was. Although afraid and embarrassed, she planned her escape from him. Several months after he'd hit her the second time, she saved enough money to move out on her own. I was disappointed that she hadn't told any of us what was going on in her life but grateful that she didn't linger too long in that relationship.

From the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

Get Educated

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.

Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.

You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Calls you names, insults you or continually criticizes you.
  • Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive.
  • Tries to isolate you from family or friends.
  • Monitors where you go, who you call and who you spend time with.
  • Does not want you to work.
  • Controls finances or refuses to share money.
  • Punishes you by withholding affection.
  • Expects you to ask permission.
  • Threatens to hurt you, the children, your family or your pets.
  • Humiliates you in any way.

You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever:

  • Damaged property when angry (thrown objects, punched walls, kicked doors, etc.).
  • Pushed, slapped, bitten, kicked or choked you.
  • Abandoned you in a dangerous or unfamiliar place.
  • Scared you by driving recklessly.
  • Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you.
  • Forced you to leave your home.
  • Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving.
  • Prevented you from calling police or seeking medical attention.
  • Hurt your children.
  • Used physical force in sexual situations.

You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:

  • Views women as objects and believes in rigid gender roles.
  • Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships.
  • Wants you to dress in a sexual way.
  • Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names.
  • Has ever forced or manipulated you into to having sex or performing sexual acts.
  • Held you down during sex.
  • Demanded sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you.
  • Hurt you with weapons or objects during sex.
  • Involved other people in sexual activities with you.
  • Ignored your feelings regarding sex.

If you answered 'yes' to these questions you may be in an abusive relationship; please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or your local domestic violence center to talk with someone about it.

In loving memory of:

Linda Innocent

Marrissa Lightbourne

Dr. Sheryl Shivers-Blackwell

Monica Smart