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A while back (before we got to thinking politics 24/7) poets were blogging hot and heavy about the evils of reading fees in poetry contests. The fact is, when one enters such a contest, he/she is gambling: taking a chance on getting his/her manuscript published (if he/she wins) or funding someone else’s publication (is he/she loses). Chances are greater one will lose. But, face it, we enter contests we want to win.

Well, there’s another sort of money game I want to talk about here. LItmags with no reading fees that ask for donations. I’ve had two such requests today.

In one way, I guess that’s all right. No one has to send a donation. In another way, I think it takes a bit of gall to refuse someone’s work and then to ask that same person to fund your project.

Don’t get me wrong, a writer has to learn to live with rejection. No one owes it to me to publish my poems. But, if you don’t, please have a bit of sensitivity. Writers do not send you work, if they don’t want it published.

I sent what is becoming my standard reply to both editors.

Dear (Be Glad I’m Not Naming You Here):

“I gave you an opportunity (in fact, I gave you several) to publish my poems but (it seems) you’d rather have my money. How do I say, no thanks. Best of luck getting your money elsewhere. I don’t support litmags that won’t publish me.

If you change your mind about the poems, let me know. 🙂

All the best,
Helen

I’m thinking of an optional line, to be used when it applies, your request for money almost got sent. You were among the finalists.”

“The plan was for John F. Kennedy, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1960, to fly into Columbia for a campaign rally between stops in St. Louis and Wichita, Kan.

But the runway in Columbia was too short to accommodate two press planes. With only days for preparation, word spread quickly that Kennedy instead would stop in Joplin.

Before the campaign stop that took place on a Saturday — 48 years ago today — officials with the Democratic Party estimated 5,000 would attend. But the movement to mobilize support for Kennedy in a Republican stronghold produced a far greater turnout.

Newspaper accounts estimated that 15,000 people converged on the airport.

. . .

Professor St. Clair

“Annetta St. Clair, a social science professor at Missouri Southern State University, * [pictured above] was a college student when Kennedy appeared at the airport.

I was there,’ she said. ‘A couple of things come to mind when I think about that time. In 1960, no one thought that a Catholic could get elected. The same is being said today about electing an African-American.

I have to say that some of the people who were there were not there because they planned to vote for Kennedy. But he was young and energetic, and he presented a clear break from the previous eight years, the eight years of the Eisenhower presidency.

Just as the Kennedy campaign managed to bring out quite a few young people, I know that Obama is attractive to young people. I see that here on campus. There are young people who were Republicans last year who are working for Obama this year.’

read more

see the Joplin Globe front page

***

I was there, too. I didn’t go to Woodstock, but I saw JFK.

I was 12, and I loved Kennedy. I have campaign poster with lipstick prints to prove it. Our parents dropped us off at the airport, and we waited and waited for the mere glimpse of our next president.

Now, as you know Joplin is a Republican stronghold, so most of the kids in my seventh grade classroom at North Junior High School didn’t wear Kennedy buttons. But Bill Fleishaker and I did. Proudly. And Bill got closer to Kennedy than I did that Saturday; Bill touched John Kennedy’s shoe.

And on Monday, he touched my hand and said, “I want to share the dust from Uncle Jack’s shoe.” Thanks, Bill. Democrats are such good people.

emphasis mine.

* Annetta St. Clair was my teacher for both US and state government, when I was a student at MSSU. She is the second best teacher I ever had, second only to my thesis adviser at Wake Forest. Annetta took us to Pittsburg State University for a field trip so important that I kept the notes for over 25 years and was able to use them in my thesis.

EDIT:  This comment is now on the Globe web site.

Joe Biden said, “Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking.”

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Joe Biden is saying, after we elect Obama (assuming we do) and that he is sworn in as POTUS that a situation will occur that will make people second guess their vote and maybe even Obama himself, because change can be confusing. He is warning us not let this knowledge keep us from doing what we know is right (voting for Obama). But we must be prepared to stand the course. “Gird up your loins” means prepare oneself for a fight. The word fight means a testing, not necessarily a war. He is saying that if (when) Obama is elected and sworn in, the world will not suddenly be free of problems. Obama will be tested, and voters may doubt—thinking they should have chosen otherwise—but in the long run, they will have chosen wisely.

Biden is using Biblical imagery to speak prophetically. He’s saying just because the future will hold a setback doesn’t mean we’ve chosen the wrong leader. He isn’t talking about Obama making a “wrong decision” but rather one that will be difficult or misunderstood. Everything Biden is saying is shows that Obama is just a man. None of this Messiah-non-sense for him. Obama is a man with a vision for America, and a plan to implement it, nothing more, nothing less.

Having faith in the future seems to parallel making a decision to live as a Christian no matter what. Right now few Christians are coming to my blog. So, should I change my story? I don’t think so. Why is it conservative Christians think they understand the Bible more than others? Separation of church and state doesn’t mean, segregate the sections of your brain; it means there’s a time and a place for given activities.

Some have suggested that Obama might be the cause of this “situation.” Like the world hasn’t known problems until now.

Interesting also is the comparison to John Kennedy.

“Say it ain’t so, Joe.” Ah, but it is.

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