Sunday, August 31, 2008


"We have to do whatever it takes to get him in office." -- Oprah Winfrey


According to the Electronic Villager, rumors are circulating around the Internet that Mommy Parlin may actually be Grandmom Parlin.

The following are several articles and posts regarding the Parlin's pregnancy scandal:

"The governor, a runner who's always been trim, simply doesn't look pregnant. "(Source)

"Palin never got big with this pregnancy." (Source)

Who's Your Mama, Trig Paxson Van Palin? (Source)

I am going to allow you to be the judge on this one.


According to, Sarah and Todd issued the following statement regarding their 17 year old daughter's pregnancy:

"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates." (Source)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Stevie Wonder Performs "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" at DNC

This was my favorite part of the DNC coverage. Good music is a universal language. I loved watching people from all walks of life dancing to Stevie Wonder's SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED I'M YOURS.

Here are the Lyrics to the song:

Like a fool I went and stayed too long
Now I'm wondering if your love's still strong
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours

Then that time I went and said goodbye
Now I'm back and not ashamed to cry
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours

Here I am baby
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)

Here I am baby,
oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours)

I've done alot of foolish things
that I really didn't mean
Hey, hey, yea, yea, didn't I, oh baby

Seen alot of things in this old world
When I touched them they did nothing, girl
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours, oh I'm yours

Oo-wee babe you set my soul on fire
That's why I know you are my only desire
Oo baby, here I am, signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours

Here I am baby
Oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)

Here I am baby,
oh, you've got the future in your hand
(signed, sealed, delivered, I'm yours)

I've done alot of foolish things
that I really didn't mean
I could be a broken man but here I am

With your future, got your future babe (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby, (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)
Here I am baby, (here I am baby)
Here I am baby (signed, sealed delivered, I'm yours)


CNN is reporting that Sen. John McCain has picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate on GOP ticket for White House. In a desperate effort to win the votes of disgruntled Hillary supporters, Sen. McCain has chosen a 44 year old woman as his VP.

Barack Obama gives Historic Speech at the 2008 DNC (video & full text)

Full Text of Sen. Barack Obama's Historical Speech:

To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation.

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest -- a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Bill Clinton, who made last night the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next first lady, Michelle Obama, and to Malia and Sasha -- I love you so much, and I'm so proud of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story -- of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart -- that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments -- a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

We're a better country than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for 20 years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the people of America, to Democrats and Republicans and independents across this great land -- enough! This moment -- this election -- is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look just like the last eight. On November 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and our respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush 90 percent of the time. Sen. McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than 90 percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a 10 percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives -- on health care and education and the economy -- Sen. McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this president. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisers -- the man who wrote his economic plan -- was talking about the anxieties that Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud autoworkers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and they give back and they keep going without complaint. These are the Americans I know.

Now, I don't believe that Sen. McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than 100 million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.

For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy -- give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is that you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. You're on your own. No health care? The market will fix it. You're on your own. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps -- even if you don't have boots. You are on your own.

Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America. And that's why I'm running for president of the United States.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was president -- when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of go down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off and look after a sick kid without losing her job -- an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great -- a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business or making her way in the world, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

Now, I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped my life. And it is on behalf of them that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as president of the United States.

What is that American promise?

It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, to look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.

That's the promise of America -- the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.

That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am president.

Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

You know, unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I'll eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will, listen now, cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East. We will do this.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain's been there for 26 of them. And in that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil that we had as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy -- wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. You know, Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American -- if you commit to serving your community or our country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have the exact same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility to provide love and guidance to their children.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility -- that's the essence of America's promise.

And just as we keepour promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.

For while Sen. McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats that we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. You know, John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell -- but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush administration, even after we learned that Iraq has $79 billion in surplus while we are wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a president who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in 80 countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice -- but that is not the change that America needs.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans -- have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As commander in chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and each other's patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America -- they have served the United States of America.

So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose. That's what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than they are for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. But this, too, is part of America's promise -- the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what -- it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's about you. It's about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us -- that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it -- because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. Because I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, where we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorist.

And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and the young at heart, those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day even though they can't afford it than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

You know, this country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit -- that American promise -- that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours -- a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that 45 years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead -- people of every creed and color, from every walk of life -- is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise -- that American promise -- and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. " -- Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream"

On the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's historical “I Have A Dream” speech, Sen. Barack Obama will accept the Democratic Presidential nomination at INVESCO Field in Denver, Colorado. Senator Obama will become the first African-American to lead a major party's ticket for President of the United States.

Join me and Gina (What About Our Daughters and Michelle Obama Watch blogs) as we mark this historical event.

Call-in Number: (646) 478-4750 or click below to listen to the show.

Showtime: 11:30 PM (EST)

Listen to Black Women's Roundtable on internet talk radio

Lotto winner gives $3 million dollar ticket to church

Here is an inspiring story that I read in the New York Daily News, about a lottery winner who donated the winning ticket to a Long Island, NY. church. A story which lends credence to the 'pennies from heaven' statement.

Maybe it was divine intervention.

A Long Island church is $3 million richer - thanks to a generous parishioner who hit the lottery and donated his winning ticket.

"My first reaction was stunned silence," said Pastor Bertrand Crabbe of the True North Community Church in Port Jefferson. "After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was just overwhelmed with joy and gratitude."

Crabbe said he was going to give some of the money to charity and use the rest to buy a bigger church.

"The church took off like a rocket [since opening three years ago]. A big problem for us has been space," Crabbe said.

"I said to the church, 'Unless God drops a couple million on us...' I think he heard us. God put that ticket in his hands."

Crabbe picked up his $3 million check - won from a $10 Bada-Bling scratchoff ticket - during a ceremony Wednesday with New York State Lottery officials.

He refused to name the miracle donor. "The one condition of this gift was that they remain anonymous, and I want to honor that request," Crabbe said.

Crabbe said the donor called him to his house last month to tell him he was giving the church the winning ticket, bought on July 19 in Middle Island.

"At first, I was looking around for television cameras [thinking it was a prank]," he said. "But I know the integrity of this person, so I knew they weren't kidding."

The church will get at least $102,225 a year until 2028. That amount could be higher if taxes are refunded because of the church's nonprofit status.

In a case of one good deed deserves another, Crabbe said he's giving the first year's winnings to charity.

Most of that money will go to Love 146, a Connecticut-based charity that
fights human trafficking in Southeast Asia, he said. The rest will be donated to
two Long Island charities that feed the homeless and help troubled boys.

"It was the best hour of our life - trying to figure out how to divvy up
that money," Crabbe said.

After that, the money will go toward finding a bigger church to accommodate its growing congregation.

"We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our donor, the only right response was to be overly generous back," he said.

"I hope it inspires other people to be generous to their churches and
to charities everywhere - especially in light of the economy."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"There are certain facts of life that we cannot change—the unavoidable "givens" of human existence: (1) everything changes and ends, (2) things do not always go according to plan, (3) life is not always fair, (4) pain is a part of life, and (5) people are not loving and loyal all the time."

----- David Richo, Author of Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them

Sidebar: After posting the above quote, I went to to read the Customer Review of David Richo's book. A customer review posted on my birthday stated the following:

Why so negative? Here's the flipside!, March 24, 2007
By Honest Consumer

How about believing the same things - but from a POSITIVE perspective instead??? See below!

1. Every ending is really just a the start of a new beginning.
2. Sometimes things take an unexpected turn for the better!
3. Life is sometimes fair...sometimes confusing!
4. Pain is a part of life, but only one part of life.
5. Most people are loving and loyal most of the time.

The above response was interesting. It is amazing how our perspective really determines the quality of our lives. You are what you think you are. Life is what you think it is. However, I can appreciate the different perspectives set forth in both quotes. Both contained simple and insightful truths about life.

Ten Inspirational Quotes

  • The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear. - Socrates

  • The only journey is the journey within. - Rainer Maria Rilke

  • The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can. - Robert Cushing

  • The searching-out and thorough investigation of truth ought to be the primary study of man. - Cicero

  • Know thyself means this, that you get acquainted with what you know, and what you can do. - Menander

  • Yes, know thyself: in great concerns or small,Be this thy care, for this, my friend, is all. - Juvenal

  • He that will not reflect is a ruined man. - Asian Proverb

  • Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. - Doug Firebaugh

  • Heaven never helps the man who will not act. - Sophocles

  • God ever works with those who work with will. - Aeschylus

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gina at the Democratic National Convention - Michelle Obama Speech Recap

Call in and join Attorneymom and Gina as we recap Michelle Obama's Speech and other DNC highlights.

Call-in Number: (646) 478-4750 or click here to listen to the show.

Showtime: 11:30 PM (EST) tonight

Listen to Black Women's Roundtable on internet talk radio


Text of Michelle Obama speech

As you might imagine, for Barack, running for President is nothing compared to that first game of basketball with my brother Craig.

I can't tell you how much it means to have Craig and my mom here tonight. Like Craig, I can feel my dad looking down on us, just as I've felt his presence in every grace-filled moment of my life.

At six-foot-six, I've often felt like Craig was looking down on me too...literally. But the truth is, both when we were kids and today, he wasn't looking down on me - he was watching over me.

And he's been there for me every step of the way since that clear February day 19 months ago, when - with little more than our faith in each other and a hunger for change - we joined my husband, Barack Obama, on the improbable journey that's brought us to this moment.

But each of us also comes here tonight by way of our own improbable journey.
I come here tonight as a sister, blessed with a brother who is my mentor, my protector and my lifelong friend.

I come here as a wife who loves my husband and believes he will be an extraordinary president.

I come here as a Mom whose girls are the heart of my heart and the center of my world - they're the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning, and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. Their future - and all our children's future - is my stake in this election.

And I come here as a daughter - raised on the South Side of Chicago by a father who was a blue collar city worker, and a mother who stayed at home with my brother and me. My mother's love has always been a sustaining force for our family, and one of my greatest joys is seeing her integrity, her compassion, and her intelligence reflected in my own daughters.

My Dad was our rock. Although he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in his early thirties, he was our provider, our champion, our hero. As he got sicker, it got harder for him to walk, it took him longer to get dressed in the morning. But if he was in pain, he never let on. He never stopped smiling and laughing - even while struggling to button his shirt, even while using two canes to get himself across the room to give my Mom a kiss. He just woke up a little earlier, and worked a little harder.

He and my mom poured everything they had into me and Craig. It was the greatest gift a child can receive: never doubting for a single minute that you're loved, and cherished, and have a place in this world. And thanks to their faith and hard work, we both were able to go on to college. So I know firsthand from their lives - and mine - that the American Dream endures.

And you know, what struck me when I first met Barack was that even though he had this funny name, even though he'd grown up all the way across the continent in Hawaii, his family was so much like mine. He was raised by grandparents who were working class folks just like my parents, and by a single mother who struggled to pay the bills just like we did. Like my family, they scrimped and saved so that he could have opportunities they never had themselves. And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them.

And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children - and all children in this nation - to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.

And as our friendship grew, and I learned more about Barack, he introduced me to the work he'd done when he first moved to Chicago after college. Instead of heading to Wall Street, Barack had gone to work in neighborhoods devastated when steel plants shut down, and jobs dried up. And he'd been invited back to speak to people from those neighborhoods about how to rebuild their community.

The people gathered together that day were ordinary folks doing the best they could to build a good life. They were parents living paycheck to paycheck; grandparents trying to get by on a fixed income; men frustrated that they couldn't support their families after their jobs disappeared. Those folks weren't asking for a handout or a shortcut. They were ready to work - they wanted to contribute. They believed - like you and I believe - that America should be a place where you can make it if you try.
Barack stood up that day, and spoke words that have stayed with me ever since. He talked about "The world as it is" and "The world as it should be." And he said that all too often, we accept the distance between the two, and settle for the world as it is - even when it doesn't reflect our values and aspirations. But he reminded us that we know what our world should look like. We know what fairness and justice and opportunity look like. And he urged us to believe in ourselves - to find the strength within ourselves to strive for the world as it should be. And isn't that the great American story?

It's the story of men and women gathered in churches and union halls, in town squares and high school gyms - people who stood up and marched and risked everything they had - refusing to settle, determined to mold our future into the shape of our ideals.

It is because of their will and determination that this week, we celebrate two anniversaries: the 88th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, and the 45th anniversary of that hot summer day when Dr. King lifted our sights and our hearts with his dream for our nation.

I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history - knowing that my piece of the American Dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me. All of them driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day to painstakingly dress himself for work. The same conviction that drives the men and women I've met all across this country:

People who work the day shift, kiss their kids goodnight, and head out for the night shift - without disappointment, without regret - that goodnight kiss a reminder of everything they're working for.

The military families who say grace each night with an empty seat at the table. The servicemen and women who love this country so much, they leave those they love most to defend it.

The young people across America serving our communities - teaching children, cleaning up neighborhoods, caring for the least among us each and every day.
People like Hillary Clinton, who put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, so that our daughters - and sons - can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher.

People like Joe Biden, who's never forgotten where he came from, and never stopped fighting for folks who work long hours and face long odds and need someone on their side again.

All of us driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won't do - that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.

That is the thread that connects our hearts. That is the thread that runs through my journey and Barack's journey and so many other improbable journeys that have brought us here tonight, where the current of history meets this new tide of hope.
That is why I love this country.

And in my own life, in my own small way, I've tried to give back to this country that has given me so much. That's why I left a job at a law firm for a career in public service, working to empower young people to volunteer in their communities. Because I believe that each of us - no matter what our age or background or walk of life - each of us has something to contribute to the life of this nation.
It's a belief Barack shares - a belief at the heart of his life's work.

It's what he did all those years ago, on the streets of Chicago, setting up job training to get people back to work and afterschool programs to keep kids safe - working block by block to help people lift up their families.
It's what he did in the Illinois Senate, moving people from welfare to jobs, passing tax cuts for hard working families, and making sure women get equal pay for equal work.

It's what he's done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure the men and women who serve this country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care - including mental health care.
That's why he's running - to end the war in Iraq responsibly, to build an economy that lifts every family, to make health care available for every American, and to make sure every child in this nation gets a world class education all the way from preschool to college. That's what Barack Obama will do as President of the United States of America.

He'll achieve these goals the same way he always has - by bringing us together and reminding us how much we share and how alike we really are. You see, Barack doesn't care where you're from, or what your background is, or what party - if any - you belong to. That's not how he sees the world. He knows that thread that connects us - our belief in America's promise, our commitment to our children's future - is strong enough to hold us together as one nation even when we disagree.

It was strong enough to bring hope to those neighborhoods in Chicago.
It was strong enough to bring hope to the mother he met worried about her child in Iraq; hope to the man who's unemployed, but can't afford gas to find a job; hope to the student working nights to pay for her sister's health care, sleeping just a few hours a day.

And it was strong enough to bring hope to people who came out on a cold Iowa night and became the first voices in this chorus for change that's been echoed by millions of Americans from every corner of this nation.
Millions of Americans who know that Barack understands their dreams; that Barack will fight for people like them; and that Barack will finally bring the change we need.

And in the end, after all that's happened these past 19 months, the Barack Obama I know today is the same man I fell in love with 19 years ago. He's the same man who drove me and our new baby daughter home from the hospital ten years ago this summer, inching along at a snail's pace, peering anxiously at us in the rearview mirror, feeling the whole weight of her future in his hands, determined to give her everything he'd struggled so hard for himself, determined to give her what he never had: the affirming embrace of a father's love.

And as I tuck that little girl and her little sister into bed at night, I think about how one day, they'll have families of their own. And one day, they - and your sons and daughters - will tell their own children about what we did together in this election. They'll tell them how this time, we listened to our hopes, instead of our fears. How this time, we decided to stop doubting and to start dreaming. How this time, in this great country - where a girl from the South Side of Chicago can go to college and law school, and the son of a single mother from Hawaii can go all the way to the White House - we committed ourselves to building the world as it should be.

So tonight, in honor of my father's memory and my daughters' future - out of gratitude to those whose triumphs we mark this week, and those whose everyday sacrifices have brought us to this moment - let us devote ourselves to finishing their work; let us work together to fulfill their hopes; and let us stand together to elect Barack Obama President of the United States of America.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.


This song has been in my head for over a week. I had to post the video.

John McCain makes strong push for "Clinton Voters."

Well, it turns out that John McCain had a legitimate campaign strategy after all.

After spending the last few weeks watching paint dry, as he and Democratic nominee Barack Obama exchanged kiddie jabs with one another over who said what and exactly how many houses the GOP nominee does or doesn't own, McCain's presidential campaign landed a strong uppercut to the jaw of Senator Obama with a political advertisement aimed directly at angry Clinton Voters.

Now, I imagine that I could be wrong, but it appears as if this particular ad was created shortly after Obama announced Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his Democratic running mate for November's showdown.

Although it's a rather stunning move on behalf of McCain, I have to admit that it makes perfect sense for McCain to try to tap into the millions of die-hard Clinton Voters who, one has to figure aren't happy with the fact that Hillary Clinton was passed over as Vice President-hopeful by Barack Obama.

Knowing how painful it must be for the scorned Hillary Clinton to first, lose the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, then turn around and be shunned as his running mate - do you think Hillary, when she speaks Tuesday night, will vigorously discredit McCain's ad or see this as her chance to provide payback towards Obama and his supporters?

John McCain's political ad:

Budget Cuts - hilarious and must-read email I received (Author Unknown)


Dress Code:
1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.
2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.
4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place.

In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet.There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract,the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken.

After your second offense,your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the 'Chronic Offenders' category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.

Lunch Break:
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.
Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.Thank you for your loyalty to our company.

We are here to provide positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management

Friday, August 22, 2008

Atlanta rapper Da Brat sentenced to three years in prison

According to the website,, Da Brat has joined a distinct group of black female rappers imprisoned. Today, the rambunctious hip-hop lyricist and reality TV fixture was sentenced to three years in prison for striking a woman with a rum bottle at an Atlanta-area nightclub.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution' reports that a DeKalb County judge also sentenced the female rapper, whose real name is Shawntae Harris, to seven years probation and 200 hours of community service. The fateful incident occurred during a Jermaine Dupri-hosted Halloween party at Georgia-area nightclub Studio 72 on Oct. 31, 2007. (Source).

Is it really possible to have a fear of success?

For every one person in this world who is afraid to fail, there are twice as many people who are afraid to succeed. At least that's what I heard. I didn't believe it though, cause I was always under the impression that most people would do just about anything it took to experience the feeling commonly known as success. I figured that was the main goal of everyone who went to school, made good grades, got accepted into college, graduated and landed a great job.


Well, after reading Dr. E. Carol Webster's thoughts on the subject of having a fear of success, I am not so sure that she doesn't have a point. In fact, she makes some great points - she states the following:

Zooming along the fast track? Just about to make it big, then do something dumb
to blow it? May be the fear of success at work. This fear causes people to
sabotage success within reach, and is a very common phenomenon. You may worry
about how prospective opportunities will change your life and this can cause you
to remain in safe harbor rather than forge ahead. Take a look at what may be
making you nervous. Are you afraid that becoming even more successful will mean:

More Work?

Many people shrink from taking that next big step in their career because they intuitively fear that they’ll be saddled with a lot more work. They’re usually right about this. While there certainly are more perks and privileges associated with life at the top, these are not given to you for free and typically you’ll earn every bit of them. But rather than sabotage your success, brace yourself, take a deep breath, and get
ready to take the challenges on. Yes, the new position will move you out of your comfort zone and probably will ratchet up your stress level, but you’ll learn how to deal with this. And you’ll have plenty of company. Lots of other folks have to figure out just how to handle all the new expectations they are encountering. Trust yourself. You can learn too.

More Criticism?

When you’re the boss, the buck stops with you. Along with all the decisions and increased authority comes more scrutiny, critique and criticism. The higher you go, the more you can expect to live in the fishbowl – subject to close examination by your staff as well as the public. And, yes, expect your also-rans, competitors, and other rivals to take pleasure in watching you mess up. But learn to accept that this just goes with the territory. Critiques of your performance can’t be avoided, but you must put more energy into minimizing faux pas, mistakes and blunders.

More Power?

You may resist making that next career move because you are aware that with it you will have greater span of control and power. Many are not comfortable with this. You may unwittingly prevent your ascension because of ambivalence about becoming one of “them” who has the power to hire and fire, to decide what expenses the business can or can’t afford, or to get so much attention for all the wonderful things the company is known for in the community, in the country, or even in the world. Wow! That’s heady stuff and can cause you to sweat a little about your ability to handle it all. But chill. You can do this.

Just remind yourself how you got this far and restore your sense of self-confidence. Yes, this means you must play the part of the “heavy” many times and make the tough decisions. It means that people will not always like you but once you accept that this is not the purpose of your job, you’ll learn to live through it.

The fear of success will hold you back and keep you from realizing your dreams. Fight it vigorously. Though this fear operates rather unconsciously, try hard to become aware of your worries so that you can take hold of them and nip them in the bud. Replace them with positive thinking and a clear view of yourself mastering any challenges because negative expectations only breed negative outcomes. Pursue the opportunities that are available to you and watch your success soar!

Question: Have you personally ever had a fear of success?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I am having a flashback from childhood. Do you remember the plastic sandals called “jellybeans”? Yes, the ones that made your feet sweat. I am surprised that they did not melt from the summer heat. I owned a pair in my childhood. I believe mine were red. Aw, those were the days of summer heat and sweaty feet. LOL.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I see that I will have to add some more folks to my “Sit Your Azz Down” list. According to, members and supporters of the Westboro Baptist Church will be picketing outside of Bernie Mac’s funeral scheduled for tomorrow.

According to the church's website, the reason for the demonstration is because Bernie had 50 years to serve God and he didn't. Their statement regarding their reason for the protest reads in part:
“Bernie, you had all those 50 years to serve God in spirit and in truth. You know your life was hard, and you claimed to believe that God had blessed you. Which He DID. Then you turned and served false Gods (sex, drugs, man and money)… If Bernie could talk to you now he'd say in his funny slurred voice "Dyin' time is truth time america, listen to those nice folks at Westboro Baptist Church so you ain't gotta come to this place that is sure tear'ble, America.” (Source)

Can someone tell me what does “tear’ble” mean??

Set aside his use of profanity, Bernie Mac was a great man. From time to time, we all allow a few choice words to come out of our mouths including these stupid individuals.

Obviously these people don’t know what the heck they are talking about when it comes to Bernie Mac. I can not think of one time that I heard a rumor that Bernie cheated on his wife. In fact, he married his girlfriend once he impregnated her. And they both stayed married to each other until his death. I think that sends a very good message to our youth.

I think this is the same group that pickets slain Soldiers' funerals. These people leave me no other choice but to add them to my “Sit Your Azz Down” list.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Your thoughts have great influence on your life. So get them working in your favor.

Those things you've convinced yourself you cannot do, you will not do. By the same token, whatever you're absolutely certain that you can accomplish, you will indeed accomplish.

Your thoughts directly and persistently control your actions. And through your actions, you create much of the reality of your life.

Every achievement begins with a thought. And every achievement is supported all along the way by a continuous flow of positive, empowering thoughts.

You won't make something happen just by thinking about it. Yet the things you do cause to happen are those things upon which your thoughts are steadily focused.

Fill your mind with thoughts of positive purpose, joy, and meaningful achievement. Let your thoughts lead the way to the life of your dreams.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


“Freedom to me was not simply doing what you want to do -- anyone can do that. Freedom, for me, meant having the power to do what you know you ought to do. Most people know what they ought to do but don't have the power to do it.” -- Josh McDowell (

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This is a great video tribute to Bernie Mac by MusicPlusMusic on Youtube. At approximately 2:24, Bernie Mac sums it all up!!!


Exclusive! The "Original Kings of Comedy" remember Bernie Mac.
D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer and Steve Harvey will pay tribute to the comedian on CNN's Larry King Live. Click here for show information.

Tonight, 9 pm EST

Donations can be made to:
The Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis
40 E. 9th Street, Suite 601, Chicago, IL 60605

Monday, August 11, 2008


Remember the breathtaking proposal of Robert Gray Jr. to Keisha Williams captured by photographer Ross Oscar Knight. Click here for the post.

The Marriage Proposal was a spiritual journey that took the bride-to-be through several suites at the Ritz-Carlton located in Buckhead, Georgia. Each room was filled with flowers, candles, gospel music and scores of family and friends praying for the couple and wishing them well.

Well, the couple has setup the Since The Proposal website for us to continue to share in their journey of pure love as they prepare to jump the broom into holy matrimony.

The couples’ nuptials are scheduled for October 2008, and I know that it will be a breathtaking experience.

Sidebar: I just want the couple to promise each other that they will invest just as much, if not more, effort into the marriage as Robert did with the proposal. With the help of God all things are possible to them that believe.

**Photos by Bryan Scott Photography

BE KIND TO YOURSELF by Ralph Marston

Never let what you can't do get in the way of what you can do. Lord, help me to recognize my abilities and focus only on my strengths so that each day I will get nearer to my goals.

Be kind to yourself. The better you feel, the more value you can create for your world.

Learn from your mistakes, but don't hound yourself relentlessly with them. Build for the future, but don't withhold from yourself the joys that you can live right now.

Delight in life's pleasures without sinking into meaningless excess. Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you as it resonates with the beauty that is within you.

Find genuine satisfaction in productive, meaningful effort. Give the best that you have, and discover the real, lasting treasures you receive from doing so.

Provide yourself with the energy, commitment and determination to do much. And regularly give yourself some peaceful, relaxing time to do nothing.

Treat yourself with kindness, courtesy, respect and the highest of expectations. For life is as good as you choose to make it.

THE PROFESSIONAL - author unknown

A woman was at work when she received a phone call that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left her work and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication for her daughter. When returning to her car she found that she had locked her keys in the car. She was in a hurry to get home to her sick daughter, she didn't know what to do, so she called her home and told the baby sitter what had happened and that she did not know what to do.

The baby sitter told her that her daughter was getting worse. She said, "You might find a coat hanger and use that to open the door." The woman looked around and found an old rusty coat hanger that had been thrown down on the ground possibly by someone else who at some time or other had locked their keys in their car.

Then she looked at the hanger and said, "I don't know how to use this." So she bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within five minutes an old rusty car pulled up, with a dirty, greasy, bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag on his head. The woman thought, "Great God. This is what you sent to help me?" But, she was desperate, so she was also very thankful.

The man got out of his car and asked her if he could help. She said "Yes, my daughter is very sick and I stopped to get her some medication and I locked my keys in my car, I must get home to her. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car." He said, "Sure". He walked over to the car, and in less than one minute the car was opened. She hugged the man and through her tears she said, "Thank You So Much...You are a very nice man." The man replied, "Lady, I am not a nice man. I just got out of prison today. I was in prison for car theft and have only been out for about an hour."

The woman hugged the man again and with sobbing tears cried out loud... "Thank You God For Sending Me A Professional!"

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Legendary musician Isaac Hayes has died. He was 65.

A family member found him unresponsive near a treadmill in his bedroom and he was pronounced dead an hour later at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis, according to the sheriff's office. The cause of death was not immediately known. (Source)

Click here for additional coverage of Hayes' death.

Wow, I am speechless. This has been one tough weekend for the Black entertainment community. We have lost two great talents.

Isaak Hayes - Shaft theme (live,Wattstax)

Saturday, August 09, 2008


My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Comedian Bernie Mac who transitioned this morning at age 50. Click here for the full story.

I am shocked and devastated by the news of his passing. His raw and real comedic talent will definitely be missed. R.I.P. Bernie.

TAVIS SMILEY | Guest: Bernie Mac | PBS

Bernie Mac - My sisters Kids


Justine Simmons of MTV's Runs House special guest speaker


Friday, August 08, 2008

Rev Run & Justine Simmons: Take Back Your Family

While surfing the net, I came across an entertaining read on I enjoyed the read so much that I decided to post excerpts of the engaging conversation here on gracious blog host Attorneymom's site - Character Corner.

The 25 and older crowd know Rev. Run (Joseph Simmons) from legendary rap group Run-DMC. Those of another generation are more familiar with he and his wife, Justine Simmons from MTV's award-winning reality TV show, 'Run's House.'

In their excellent new book -- 'Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America's Parents,' Rev. Run and Justine go deeper than their show offering parents advice and tidbits on successful parenting, including honest dialogue on blended families, the story of how they met, living without money, and living with money and keeping their children grounded.

"Family is the one game where everyone is on an equal playing field," says Rev. Run. "Black or white, rich or poor, ugly or beautiful, everyone really has the same opportunity and ability to raise a happy, loving family."

What do you think is the biggest challenge today, in marriage and in raising a family.

Rev. Run: The biggest challenge would be communication. You just have to be able to compromise with your wife as far as I'm concerned. If she has a deep desire to do something you may want to give in to that. My motto is 'Happy wife, happy life.' I think the best thing I can do for my family is give them things to do. I'll take Diggy to the skate park so he can get on skateboards. I'll introduce Vanessa and Angela to people in the fashion world, me and Russell, that we have connections to so they can open their company and Diggy's trying to open up his own company even though he's only 13 years old. We give him the responsibility to create logos and create what he thinks it is; we just don't give them everything they want. We give them a push and the responsibility to see if they really want what they say they want.

What role does God and Church play in your family?

Rev. Run: God is the most important in our life. We are very much into prayer and we believe that God has to be put first in everything. The Bible says "If you submit your plans to God, he'll guide your path." We're deep into scriptures, we're deep into church, we're God fearing people. Being a reverend, my show I believe is really my ministry. People ask, "Well Rev Run you're a reverend but where's your church?" My church is the MTV pulpit. I'm able to touch people that other people aren't able to touch.

What is the most challenging thing to keeping a happy marriage?

Justine: Truthfully I would have to say compromise and be fair. A lot of things I want to do I may think is right and I find out later it's not. There are probably things my husband does for me that he doesn't want to but he compromises.

Click here to read the entire interview.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Man held in Fla. on charge of threatening Obama

MIAMI - A man who authorities said was keeping weapons and military-style gear in his hotel room and car appeared in court Thursday on charges he threatened to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Raymond Hunter Geisel, 22, was arrested by the Secret Service on Saturday in Miami and was ordered held at Miami's downtown detention center without bail Thursday by a federal magistrate.

A Secret Service affidavit charges that Geisel made the threat during a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. According to someone else in the 48-member class, Geisel allegedly referred to Obama with a racial epithet and continued, "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." (Source)

While this is newsworthy news, after reading the entire article, I do not think Mr. Geisel was serious with his alleged post-inaugural assassination threat against presidential candidate Barack Obama. If anything, I think he was just blowing hot air and his words found themselves within the reach of the wrong ears of someone present, who then passed those words onto the right ears of the authorities.

What I found interesting was the fact that Mr. Geisel also allegedly made another violent threat, the second one against current President Bush, yet he was only charged with the Obama threat. Maybe the Secret Service doesn't consider threats against President Bush as a punishable crime?

Free Your Mind

"Before you can read me, you have to learn how to see me."
-En Vogue

The moment I initially saw a pair of cold and iron-clad shackles, two chilling thoughts immediately came over me. One, that couldn't have been me. Lord knows it wouldn't have been. The person who stood before me, holding those shackles, standing all poised and equipped with a kool-aid smile, would have received the fight of their life. I swear, the only way that anyone would have placed shackles around my ankles, they'd have to break my legs or I'd be dead.

The second thought which entered my mind - I'm sure those exact sentiments were also shared by some of the ones who ended up chained. I mean, I doubt very seriously if there were people who smiled and voluntarily extended their legs the very moment in which the owner of the shackles appeared. I say, some, because I had to take into account the oft-witnessed fact of there being a few seriously deranged people in this world who'd do just about anything. But seriously what normal person wants to live a life of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bondage?

No one. If so, that person might as well cease to exist.

That's when it suddenly dawned on me - all shackles aren't necessarily visible. Some people, including myself, walk around every day strapped in tightly-clamped mental, emotional, and spiritual restraints. We do, and many people tend to walk around endlessly stuck in their personal chain gang ways and fail to see how their minds are utterly confined and restricted. I agreed. And I am willing to bet that if everyone stopped, looked and listened, and really thought about what I'm saying, we'd all see that in one way or another, something or someone holds a key which could possibly unlock a burden within our lives.

And while I imagine that trying to live life while visibly shackled isn't exactly a walk in the park, I can't help but feel how there is nothing worse than invisible restraints. At least with visible shackles, a person can possibly find the strength to reach deep within themselves and locate the God-given key which allows them to feel alive and become one with their inner being. But when your it's your thoughts that are being hampered, it could possibly feel like yet another 400 years have passed before a key is found.

Free your mind. You'd be surprised what follows.


In my quest to adopt a healthier lifestyle, I came across a quote from a nineteenth-century Russian Bishop named Ignatius Brianchaninov. He states:

"Wise temperance of the stomach is a door to all the virtues. Restrain the stomach, and you will enter Paradise. But if you please and pamper your stomach, you will hurl yourself over the precipice of bodily impurity, into the fire of wrath and fury, you will coarsen and darken your mind, and in this way you will ruin your powers of attention and self-control, your sobriety and vigilance."

Siderbar: Please take a moment and share your thoughts on the above quote. Do you agree with Bishop Brianchaninov's statement?

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