Friday, February 25, 2011

Why are Republicans anti-Union communists?

American workers need to wake up and smell the poverty and no benefits creeping closer and closer to them. Without unions, our country is turning back the clock to the days when we were expected to work 7 days a week with no benefits for a wage that kept our families on the brink of starvation. Do we really want to go back to the days when everyone in the family had to work just to keep food on the table and pay our landlord rent for a dumpy one room apartment in a ghetto? Sure, send that 4 year old child into the coal mine to reach that coal an adult can't, or put that 5 year old girl into a dangerous piece of machinery to clean it. Children today are just obese and lazy, right?

Tea Party members, I know you want fiscal responsibility, but you have to know destroying unions is hurting this country. Our Republican friends have been crushing unions since Ronald Reagan, and maybe some of the unions needed to be monitored for corruption or inappropriate use of collected dues; however, criminal elements in any group should be held accountable for their actions not the entire group, or do we need to revisit the entire Republican and Tea Parties not being responsible for acts of violence committed by a few people?

Besides, the Republican Governor of Wisconsin admitted this wasn't about fiscal responsibility in an interview. When, as long as they could retain their collective bargaining rights for the future, the union agreed to concessions so the state could financially balance their budget, the Governor refused saying the Union had to give up their collective bargaining rights. Why? Almost all the private unions are struggling, if not in their death throws. Our jobs have been sent over seas or to Mexico. Do we really want the last bastion of government employee unions to be destroyed, also?

I can't understand why Republicans in a country that has a State of the Union address every year, fought under Republican President Abraham Lincoln to preserve the Union with a motto "United We Stand, Divided We Fall" want to destroy unions. Why are they trying to divide and conquer American workers? I know the Tea Party is anti-government, but this union is an employee union just like any other. These employees just happen to work for the government that doesn't make them the government. Differentiate and recognize the difference. They are willing to make cuts, or sacrifices, to enable the state of Wisconsin to balance their state's budget. The law makers of the state and the Governor make the laws and set the budget. If the SEIU is willing to give up benefits for the union members future rights to collective bargaining then the fiscally responsible thing to do is make the deal; in fact, to demand the union members give up their future rights to bargain for better wages or benefits when the economy rebounds is communistic.

We all know what communism means; everyone lives in poverty except the party members running the country. Cutting education is not the way to get our country straightened out; in fact, it puts our children at an even bigger disadvantage. They are going to need an education to compete with the rest of the world, especially since they are already saddled with ridiculous debt. Where are the jobs that were suppose to be created from going green, building windmill generators and solar cells? China has them. Instead of throwing money at oil companies because their lobbyists threw money at our elected officials, maybe we should demand those elected officials loan that money out for business seed capital to start those green businesses and create some jobs. Without raising taxes and cutting our teachers, we will eliminate the budget short fall with a bigger tax base and more Americans back to work. Dare I say it, if we the American people can stand united then we can take back this country.

If you're not a communist Republican and you want to support American workers rights to ask for better wages and benefits in the future then follow the link below to find a rally near you.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's Gas Attack

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) farted in an elevator in Saint Paul, MN and proves she has no manners because she is American.

I've heard everything now. God gave her gas, wow. I think He gave her a lot of hot air, too. Funny story unless you were one of the 3 kids at nose level in the elevator. They probably thought it was a terrorist attack. Since when does being American mean you don't have to have manners? Passing gas is natural, but if you do it on an elevator, you should at least say excuse me, especially if it is the trumpet variety as in this instance. I'm not even going to discuss the moral dilemma people face if their farts are silent but deadly. Many people won't apologize for those because the blame will usually fall on the fattest, oldest or youngest person in the elevator. All accusing eyes will search them out. I know because I'm usually the guy people think perpetrated the act. Oh, I'll try to send, "It wasn't me" looks back, but that always makes me look more guilty.
Following simple rules at this point, I will come out and say, "Why are you all looking at me? I didn't do it." I might even declare, "If I did it you'd hear it and know it was me. I would apologize." At this point the real culprit is never going to step forward to excuse themselves which leads me to my next rule. If I'm with my wife and I suspect she actually did the deed then I'm likely to jump on the grenade and claim that which is not mine. I'll step up and say, "Sorry." I can read my wife, but if I'm wrong then I can usually spot the real guilty party at once. The person with the perplexed look on his or her face when someone else claimed the fart that wasn't really theirs is priceless. Well enough on this subject, it stinks.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I’ve Got Rhythm or Not

Meters, Feet and Rhythm, written versus the spoken word, music, words and songs oh my! Either I’ve got rhythm or not. This wouldn’t be much of a poetry site without covering meter, feet and rhythm. For the beginner, don’t confuse rhythm with rhyme. One can write poetry with rhythm and no rhyme, or poets can write with rhyme and no rhythm. Rhythm in poetry is like the beat of a drum in music. Rhyme is when the poet uses two words that sound alike such as treat and beat, much and such, cup and up, etc. At one time meter, feet and rhythm were considered the most important parts of being a great poet. I’ll give my personal thoughts on the subject later. For now, I’ll give you the basics.

What is a meter? The easiest way to explain a meter is a beat line. Lay down the beat in each line so it has regular and equal units of rhythm. If you want a hit song in music, the beat is one, two, three, four, and yes that is the cookie cutter don’t deviate from the norm answer. My mind doesn’t work that way. In spoken poetry the beat comes from the pronunciation of syllables made up of consonants and vowels. Every word, even made up sounds, is made up of one or more syllables, and when spoken, these syllables are either stressed (shown here as a / for purposes of discussion shown as a stress mark ' in the dictionary before syllables that are stressed) or unstressed (shown here as a u for purposes of discussion, unstressed syllables are absent any stress mark in the dictionary). The different combinations of stressed / and unstressed u syllables are called feet.

What are the basic feet?  The one most people are familiar with is the iambic style, Iamb (u /). The example would be “and HAM” unstressed followed by stressed, thank you Doctor Seuss. Now that you get the concept, I’ll just show you the rest followed by an example for each: Iambic style, Iamb (u /) and HAM; Trochaic style, Trochee (/ u) ONward; Anapestic style, Anapest (u u /) as aNON; Dactylic style, Dactyl (/ u u) DREAM falling; Amphibrachic style, Amphibrach (u / u) enRAGE a; Spondaic style, Spondee (/ /) WOULD-BE; Pyrrhic style, Pyrrhic (u u) and as. Bored yet? It gets better, not.

Now, you know the basic feet and a meter is, but you still don’t understand what iambic pentameter is when they talk about Shakespeare. The numeric prefix prior to meter defines the number of feet tied together to form the beat line.

In monometer each line of the poem would have only one foot.

Example: by Frank G. Poe, Jr.

Final Crossing
I say
No boat,
No boat,
No boat,   
Man came
Took me

In dimeter each line of the poem would have two feet.

Example: by Frank G. Poe, Jr.

Final Crossing
Ahoy, ahoy,
Ahoy, I say
No boat, no boat,
No boat, today
Ferry Man came
Took me away

I hope that is enough for you to get the picture. In trimeter each line of the poem would have three feet. In tetrameter each line of the poem would have four feet, and in pentameter each line of the poem would have five feet. In William Shakespeare’s case he used five iambic feet per line. You can string together as many feet as you want in your poems because it changes the numerical prefix: hexameter (Six Feet), heptameter (Seven Feet), octameter (Eight Feet), enneameter (Nine Feet) and decameter (Ten Feet). Most poetry falls under five feet or less. Anything above pentameter is rare.

Presently, poetry elitists will argue about the degree of talent it takes to follow the forms, and they will point to poets of the past being gifted enough to write in these forms. They make bold statements about amateur poets not being skilled, and they claim the youth of today write in free verse because they are untalented in a rush to write or too lazy to learn. It makes them feel more important. My thoughts on the subject are I respect the people with an inner ear good enough to believe they hear the stressed and unstressed syllables. They write the best songs.

Ultimately, I like to write in syllable counts with disregard for the stressed and unstressed aspect of it. If it occurs naturally, fine. The problem with the notion of feet and rhythm is every language in the world has a different beat of stressed and unstressed. Some say English lacks any natural rhythm at all. The old joke about this is America speak American really applies in poetry. I would go farther saying what region, state or even city matters. The same English word spoken in New York, New York doesn’t sound the same in Boston, Massachusetts yet alone stressed the same in Fargo, North Dakota, Birmingham, Alabama, San Francisco or Dallas, Texas. If we jump the pond to England, we know it isn’t just an American problem. The same English word spoken in England doesn’t sound the same in India, South Africa, Australia or Canada. Now, add the fact the placement of a word in front, back or between two other words can change whether it is stressed or not, and you’ll see why some poets don’t bother. If it feels too forced then it is.

Decisively, I appreciate the work from poets of the past who put in the work like William Shakespeare, or Sir Walter Raleigh; however, even they seem to be forced after a while. Modern free verse is the evolution of poetry. To claim poets of today write in free verse because they lack skill is like claiming Pablo Picasso rushed into cubism or surrealism because he was an untalented painter or lazy sculptor. Don’t assume new poets, young or mature in years, are lacking. That being said, new poets should realize they need to read plenty of poetry and always strive to improve their own poetry. I like to use the different forms for writing exercises, and if something wonderful appears in the end, I’m delighted.

Finally, there is no real reason to argue whether poetry is supposed to be verbalized or to stand alone on the page. Academics will give valid points for both. Some music instructors will claim adding music and turning poems into songs is the ultimate evolution of poetry. They’ll back that argument up with money as proof. How many multimillionaire rappers, rock stars or country singers are there? Now, name any wealthy poets who became rich from their poetry. Much the same way as I feel about the world, I believe there is room for everyone at the table. We just have to accept each other for who we are. I’ve seen poems that look great on the page, but they don’t read well. I’ve heard songs that I like which are not poetic in the least. If you want to write a poem that looks cool on the page like a tulip, chess piece or cat, but it doesn’t read well, write it! If you like it, you like it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Poetry Contest Rule Revision For Minors Under 18

By overwhelming request, minors under the age of 18 can now submit poems to the competition, but all entries must follow previously posted guidelines and be accompanied with a signed statement granting permission from one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What to do about Charlie Sheen?

Everyone is asking ethical questions about what to do with Charlie Sheen and saying he is hurting the family show, Two and a Half Men. What happened to the actor we saw in Platoon

Since when is Two and a Half Men a family show? Charlie plays Charlie on the show, and he seems to be into method acting. Throwing money around at drugs, drinking and escorts are all part of his character on the show. I guess that is the reason the show hasn't been cancelled. I think people believe him in his part. In Charlie's case, he hasn't messed up the show until now that they had to stop filming. What people should be asking is how he is getting 3 softball size packages of cocaine and not getting caught or doing serious time? If John or Jane Q Public were caught with a fraction of that we'd be in prison for 25 years. I would have approached him as an individual long before now if I cared for him at all, but the bottom line is you cannot go to rehab for drug or alcohol abusers. They must want to do it themselves, and meaning, someone needs to address the issues driving him to abuse the substances in the first place.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Political Poet Poetry Competition In Honor of Walt Whitman

April is National Poetry Month, and The Political Poet is having a poetry competition in honor one of the most celebrated political poets and humanist, Walt Whitman.

"And your very flesh shall be a great poem." Walt Whitman

The competition is free, no entry fee, but limited to three poems per person. Poems of any length, style, form, structured or free verse. Your poem(s) must be in English. Any subject matter is acceptable, but anything deemed derogatory to anyone due to race, religion or sexual preference will be removed. By submitting to this competition, poets are verifying they are your poems your original work, and you must not assign or license to any other party any copyrights or other rights in your poems. Poems should not contain material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, pornographic, harassing, threatening, harmful, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, abusive, inflammatory, or otherwise objectionable. In other words, your poems must be suitable to be posted on an unrestricted web site that minors access.

Contest open to individual persons who are 18 or older as of the time of their initial entry. Current and former employees, contractors, directors, and officers of The Political Poet, or Dark Butterfly Publications, their immediate family members (parent, child, sibling, and spouse), and those living in the same domicile therewith are ineligible. Sorry, contest is open to United States residents only. Poets living outside the USA can submit poems for posting consideration, but they are ineligible for prizes.


Poetry Contest Rule Revision For Minors Under 18. By overwhelming request, minors under the age of 18 can now submit poems to the competition, but all entries must follow previously posted guidelines and be accompanied with a signed statement granting permission from one of the minor’s parents or legal guardians. Prizes won by a minor will be shipped to the parent or legal guardian.


Email submissions to and put The Political Poet Poetry Competition in the subject line, or send submissions by regular mail to The Political Poet, PO Box 90, Falmouth, KY 41040.

Include your name, address, email, phone (optional) and t-shirt size (in case you're a finalist) with your submission(s). Deadline for submissions is March 15, 2011. Finalists will be notified by March 31, 2011, and their names posted on The Political Poet blog along with honorable mentions.

The top 5 actual poems will be posted on The Political Poet web page throughout April, 2011.

1st place gets a signed hardcover copy of Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales, mug and t-shirt
2nd place gets a signed paperback copy of Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales, mug and t-shirt
3rd place gets a signed paperback copy of Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales and t-shirt
4th and 5th place get Raven Wings and 13 More Twisted Tales t-shirts.

Estimated prize values including postage: 1st ($60.00) 2nd ($45) 3rd ($35.00) 4th/5th ($20.00)