Community Creatures

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The topic of this blog post
the poem: “Community Creatures”
is best presented with a rhyme
a rhyme, that is, which features

An invitation to peruse
by clicking on this LINK
the observations of a poet
that both entertain and make you think

My introduction, above, is presented with apologies to “real” poets everywhere, including the creator of the very clever verse titled: Community Creatures.

If you take just a very few minutes to read Community Creatures you will easily find yourself and/or your favorite group within at least one of its five stanzas. Solo bloggers, social bloggers, and those of you dedicated to or entranced by forums or wikis are all represented in a way that will surely make you smile and nod. We “creatures” have been captured!

Even if you normally ignore poetry, rhyme or free verse I really think you’ll enjoy Community Creatures.
. And while you’re there, click on the “Trails” link at the top of the page to find other cleverly rendered poems on your favorite topics.

This post is sponsored by Community Creatures

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Border Security and Fences: ‘Window Dressing,’ Not Solutions

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According to this ABC News Report published on April 24, 2007:

“Ask the leading Republican presidential candidates about dealing with illegal immigration, and inevitably the answer focuses on tightening border security and building fences.”

The story, however, goes on to explain that these security measures are only being proposed to mollify their voter base — what the GOP candidates really want to do is appease business and industry (the largest contributors to their presidential “war chests”) who are demanding low-wage workers and who see illegal immigrants as the answer to their prayers. No doubt in my mind that ABC is correct!

Certainly security at the border has been (and will be) increased and the fence or wall or whatever it is will be built but those things are just being done as window dressing; slowly but surely amnesty (by a different name to be sure) will rear its ugly head and laws will be enacted that nullify existing laws that were designed to protect us against this invasion of illegals.

Attrition: The Ultimate Answer

There is no quick answer to illegal immigration but there is a sure one that will eventually return the country to the people who belong here; that answer is attrition: the gradual reduction of illegals. How that can be accomplished is fairly simple . . . we must start enforcing our existing laws.

Our existing laws state that a valid Social Security number is required to obtain employment; it is every employer’s responsibility to either verify the social security number of a perspective employee through the Federal Social Security data base or face harsh fines for not doing so. Also under existing laws, a valid Social Security number is required to obtain public assistance — any agency that provides assistance to illegals is breaking the law. To legally obtain a Social Security number everyone (including those born in the United States) must present a birth certificate showing they were born here and documentation that proves they are here permanently and legally if they were not born here.

Simple laws . . . existing laws that if obeyed and enforced will eventually reduce the number of illegals in the United States to a relative handful through attrition. With no hope of employment and no hope of obtaining public assistance illegal aliens will be returning to their home countries in droves.

Have I no sympathy for the poor illegals who are simply trying to improve their situation in life? Yes I did have a small measure of sympathy for them but that sympathy has been diminished to nothingness by the fact that I am mad as hell with them for what they are doing to our country’s economy and to our future.

The economic impact is obvious, common sense and any news source can tell you that illegal immigration has caused a severe disruption in public services to our own citizens and millions of jobs are being lost to people who are willing to work for substandard wages; but aside from the economy, also consider the gradual social deterioration caused by the illegals as well as by our own government, by refusing to enforce immigration laws! We now have an entire generation of kids, both legal and illegal, who are watching and learning . . . learning the wrong lessons. They are learning that its OK to break the law if you have a perceived “need”; they are learning that national borders can be ignored if you have a perceived “need”; and they are learning that those of us who respect the law, love our country and object to it being invaded by “uninvited guests” are nothing but racists and xenophobes. As they grow, those “lessons” will become their reality.

We need to stop this now or the next period in our country’s history will see the dawning of a whole new United States and, in response, a whole lot of discontent by those who refuse to stand by and watch the United States we love crushed under the heels of a flood of criminals.

How do we stop it? We begin by firing every legislator without the backbone to stand up to the forces of those business and labor leaders who are willing to trade America in for some additional bucks in their pocket. There is a National election coming up and now is the time to ‘let the firing begin!’

Links:

ABC News: Immigration Issues Nag at GOP Candidates

Lou Dobbs at CNN: Dobbs: Big media hides truth about immigration

What bloggers are saying:

The Light: Hillary’s Open Borders Disgrace

Over the Line, Smokey!: Gonzales hearings point out basic rift in GOP on illegal immigration: cheap labor for business vs. nativism/racism for the masses

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

America’s Most Serious Threat?

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The most serious threat to the American way of life may not be illegal immigration, job outsourcing, irresponsible government spending and taxation or even the threat of terrorism; the most serious threat to our way of life may be the threat illustrated by the fact that survey after survey shows that an alarming percentage of Americans have become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

According to a recent USA Today article titled Nationwide study: Drug use dips, but alcohol use on rise, SAMSHA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has conducted nationwide surveys that show that:

“Drug use nationwide dipped slightly from 8.1% to 8.02% in the previous study, while drug use in Alaska rose from 11.79% to 12.16%. One in 10 Alaskans said they smoked marijuana. Iowa had the lowest rate of illicit drug use, at 5.88%.”

Clearly we have a problem if 24 million of us (on average) are using drugs to get through the day and this problem takes on an even more threatening dimension when you realize that we are passing the habit on to our children . . . a recent survey showed that there are many middle and high school aged kids who show up to school either drunk or high on a regular basis.

Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

Many drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers have sprung up around the country in response to the still manageable, but nonetheless devastating, problem of drug and alcohol addiction and one of the most successful of these is The Stone Hawk Rehabilitation Center located in south central Michigan.

What makes Stone Hawk so successful is that they do not rely on outdated methods like counseling or medications to treat their patients . . . in fact the people who go to Stone Hawk are not considered patients; they are thought of and referred to as “students.” Stone Hawk students are in fact not being “treated” they are learning; learning to handle the stresses that originally pushed them into their unhealthy addictions.

This one brief, powerful statement from the Stone Hawk website tells you what Stone Hawk does and how they do it much better than I could:

“In short – we use the New Life Detoxification Program for drug detox (Saunas) to sweat the drugs (toxins) out of the body. Then we show the student what ethics are, they make the decision to change their life – we just direct them by showing them the path to freedom. Helping someone recognize their addiction and giving them the ability to end it – is what we are all about. It’s all about stopping, changing, and starting (a new life).

If you know someone who is trapped by an addiction and you care about that person, encourage him or her to get help and mention Stone Hawk, at least as one of their options.

This post was sponsored by The Stone Hawk Rehabilitation Center

Peyton Place, 50 Years Later

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Chicago . . . 50 years ago

“. . . the V of her crotch . . .;” that’s the phrase from the novel Peyton Place that thrilled the then pre-teenaged Whymrhymer as he sat in his room, scanning the paperback novel for other little tidbits of delicious ‘naughtiness’. Mother did not read great books, she was a down-to-earth, very practical and, as most Americans still do today (judging from the popularity of the well known scandal sheets such as the “Enquirer” and the “Globe” as well as the televised versions of those papers mother called “rags”) she loved a good scandal and needed frequent doses of ‘earthy’ realities. That’s how and why Peyton Place came into the house and how, one evening, Peyton Place “appeared” in Whymrhymer’s bedroom. That phrase, and that memory are still etched in his brain, 50 years later.

Manchester, New Hampshire . . . Today

Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place, is being fondly remembered in her home town of Manchester, New Hampshire this month on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the book; but back when the book was first published Ms. Metalious was considered anything but the town’s favorite author. Peyton Place, a novel of incest, underage sex and general debauchery was set in the fictional town of Livingstone, New Hampshire but it was universally understood to be a semi-factual story about Manchester and the town was scandalized — at least for a while. Times and attitudes change however, and according to a recent NewHampshire Humanities Council’s Newsletter:

” (A) project to explore the legacy of Grace Metalious & her infamous novel . . .will launch in April with “One City, One Book” discussions at the Manchester City Library. Mayor Frank Guinta will issue a proclamation urging citizens to read Peyton Place and see the film. Copies of the book will be available at the library and the film will be available to borrow on DVD.

Sadly, Grace Metalious, the author of the 20 million copy best seller, as well as of several other novels that did not fare so well, did not (or could not) enjoy her fame in the atmosphere of Manchester during Peyton Place’s heyday; the measure of fame that Ms. Metalious gained from the novel and the greater wealth and fame she earned from the movie and TV rights did nothing but help to destroy her — she died as an alcoholic at the age of 39.

Links:

The Boston Globe: Finally, a return to ‘Peyton Place’

Cabinet.com: On ‘Peyton Place,’ sex and violence

What bloggers are saying:

Steve Goddard’s History Wire: New Manchester, N.H. Generation Immerses Itself in “Peyton Place”

Wadleigh Reference Desk Blog: Peyton Place

Gun-Free Zones = Happy Hunting Grounds

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A lesson that Cho Seung-Hui should have taught us, between his bloody rampage through Virginia Tech and his snarling rantings on the self-promotional material he sent to NBC News, was that having a completely unarmed college campus (or any other “gun-free” zone) is an irresistible invitation to those mentally-ill few who are looking for a human shooting gallery.

Many Americans have a hard time understanding that: Armed is NOT necessarily Armed and Dangerous!!

In the case of Virginia Tech (or any other school shooting), if even a few of the teachers, administrators, maintenance personnel or other adult staff were allowed to carry concealed weapons on campus, its a very good bet that some of those 32 innocent victims would not have been needlessly slaughtered.

Guns in the hands of stable, rational adults who have been trained in their safe use are the best defense against this type of incident being ‘copy-catted’ in the future; and you know, as well as I do, that some deranged individual(s) WILL try the same thing somewhere else.

Our automatic reflex is to blame the guns for tragedies such as this weeks murders but we must all try to ‘wrap our minds’ around the irrefutable logic of two trite but true sayings;

  • GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE
  • WHEN GUNS ARE OUTLAWED, ONLY THE OUTLAWS WILL HAVE GUNS!

These are not rallying cries for “gun nuts,” they are truths that, if taken to heart and put into action, will save many lives.

A law abiding citizen will never carry a gun into a gun-free zone such as a school and that leaves the school unprotected from the criminals and the deranged — those who WILL NOT HESITATE to carry weapons into those very same gun-free zones.

Ask yourself this: If you owned a gun and were trained to use it and had obtained a permit to carry it, would the population of your city or town have a need to worry about the fact that you had a gun?

Links:

Reason Online: The Gun Ban and the Gunman

Drudge Retort: Self-Defense in Switzerland

What bloggers are saying:

Reinke Faces Life: INTERESTING: Dozens massacred in gun free zone

Peace and Freedom: The Campus Security Question

Whymrhymer’s personal perspectives may also be found at The Blogger News Network and the American Chronicle

Jessie Jackson Implies Fox News is Racist

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It appears that the Democratic presidential contenders are pretty much all agreed that the FOX News Network is biased in favor of the Republican party and, as a result of that perception, the front runners on the Democratic side are avoiding debates and other media events sponsored by FOX. It has gotten so bad that even when FOX collaborated with the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute to co-host a debate (still scheduled for Sept. 23rd), three of the Democratic front runners, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have refused to attend.

Where on earth could the Democratic elite have gotten the idea that FOX was biased against Democrats and liberals; perhaps because there is some truth to that! But according to Jessie Jackson, the self-appointed spokesman for everyone who is not white! (That, by the way is not an ‘accusation’ that Jackson is a racist — his words and actions speak for themselves.) Fox News is also biased against black Americans! Here is what Jessie Jackson said in an interview with ColorOfChange.org:

“I am disappointed by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s partnership with FOX and strongly encourage them to reverse that decision. Why would presidential candidates, or an organization that is supposed to advocate for Black Americans, ever give a stamp of legitimacy to a network that continually marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community? FOX moderating a presidential debate on issues of importance to Black Americans is literally letting the Fox guard the henhouse- Fox should be rejected.”

You can see for yourself that Jackson has once again taken a political issue — based solely on conservative vs. liberal points of view and has ‘played the race card,’ turning it into an issue that keeps him (and the Rev. Sharpton) in the spotlight and, no doubt, in the money.

There can be little doubt that Fox News shows favoritism toward conservative positions any more than there can be doubt that CNN and MSNBC show favoritism toward liberal positions. They are all, at least in my opinion, losers by not reporting straight news without the partisan slant but everyone has their own opinions on every issue and that does not exclude the people who report the news. That, however, does not excuse Jessie Jackson’s blatant racism or his baseless implication that Fox News is just news for ‘white folks.’ Jackson’s charge that Fox “marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community” is true in the sense that they show Jackson as what he is: a racist and an opportunist.

Links:

Associated Press: Democrats, Fox News Channel Lock Horns

The Louisiana Weekly: CBC Institute Gets Blistering Criticism for FOX News Debate

What Bloggers are saying:

Greg Prince’s Blog: Faux news Democrats

Texas Hold ‘Em Blogger: WHO’S AFRAID OF FOX NEWS?

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

Kurt Vonnegut: November 11, 1922/April 11, 2007

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Kurt Vonnegut, the writer, novelist, speaker and, above all else, free-thinking iconoclast, is dead at the age of 84. Ironically, while he was a nearly life-long cigarette smoker, cancer did not claim him but a brain injury, suffered during a fall, finally conspired to take his life. He died at his home in New York.

Vonnegut was born in Indiana, the fourth generation of German-American Vonneguts. He enlisted in the Army during WWII and was held as a prisoner-of-war in Dresdon Germany — that incarceration served as the inspiration for the first Vonnegut novel I ever read, Slaughterhouse Five. I went on to read several of his novels and collections of short-stories and always marvelled at his imagination — he was never an ‘easy read’ for me, because it takes a lot to lift me from my cocoon of reality into the world where his stories took place, but it was always an enjoyable experience; he was a writer that I knew, at a relatively young age, I could never hope to emulate.

Although Vonnegut has not written any novels for several years because, he said at one time, that he felt that he has said everything that he had to say, he continued to write short, non-fiction articles until his accident. His last collection of writings, “A Man Without a Country,” belies his claim of having nothing more to say — he had much more to say and, agree with his point of view or not (which, for the most part I did not), it is clear that he could still say it with unique charm, wit and grace.

A Kurt Vonnegut quote that says as much about his style as it does about his irreverent sense of humor is advice he offered students during a speech at Ohio State University in 2006:

“If you really want to disappoint your parents, and don’t have the nerve to be gay, go into the arts.”

What more is there to say except goodbye — we’ll miss you!

Links:

Los Angeles Times: His popular novels blended social criticism, dark humor

BBC News: Writer Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

From the blogosphere:

Anti-Essentialist Conundrum: R.I.P. Kurt Vonnegut

Donkey O.D.: Goodbye Kurt, I Know You’re Up In Heaven Now. 😉

News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals