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Archive for April 2008
April 22, 2008
As the election drama for the Democrats unfolds in Pennsylvaina today, I would remind all that WordChimes.com does not take a partisan political stand. When I endorse Senator John McCain for president I am speaking as one person not for the other poets at WordChimes.com. So when you see my rants or raves on the WordChimesBlog, it is my personal opinion not the opinion of WordChimes.com. Thought I should clarify that as the election season heats up (if that is possible). It's been going hot and heavy for all too long already! Having made the WordChimes disclaimer, I unreservedly personally favor Senator John McCain to be the next president of the United States of America. I would also favor Mr. Romney as vice-president.
Meanwhile, Democrats are going to the polls today. It may determine whether Senator Obama picks up momentum or Senator Clinton continues her relentless push for the nomination. At least it will be registered Democrats who decide (that is the way I think it should be everywhere for both parties).
April 19, 2008
Good morning everyone: Just a quick note to tell you how much I have enjoyed your poetry. I'm afraid my poetry writing has been neglected (I'm a lazy writer anyhow) as I spend my free time working on my two books. AND THE WIND SHALL ALWAYS BLOW is the story of the life of Wickess who moved from a large town to teach in a one-room school on the rural prairie in 1929. There she married Slim and together they had a family and endured the hardships and trials of rural prairie life. This book is finished and in the computer for corrections. The sequal is CHILD OF THE WIND. This book is written by one of her daughters, Callie, who is a writer. After the death of Wickess, Callie writes of life as a child growing up on the rural prairie.
I'm sure neither book is a Masterpiece or Best Seller, but I have truly enjoyed the time spent writing them . And they are full of the tribulations, love and lives of our parents and grandparents as they sacrificed to give the next generation a better life. The books are fiction but contain a lot of facts about life in another generation. To write these books was a bit daunting for me as I have never lived on a farm or the prairie. I grew up in a small town in Middle America. I have, however, taken a lot of experiences from my life and incorporated them into these two books.
It will still be some time before these books are completely finished and go to the publisher. Sometimes I wonder if they will every be finished, but I'm working on it.
April 14, 2008
Subject: The war..If we don't win it we lose everything!
Muslim terrorists and the U.S.A.:
* Beirut , Lebanon Embassy 1983;
* Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983;
* Lockerbie , Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988;
* First New York World Trade Center attack 1993;
* Dhahran , Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996;
* Nairobi , Kenya US Embassy 1998;
* Dares Salaam , Tanzania US Embassy 1998;
* Aden , Yemen USS Cole 2000;
* New York World Trade Center 2001;
-- killing all of us "infidels." I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was to remain silent or be killed?
April 11, 2008
How to use Your IRS Rebate check...
As you may have heard, each of us will be getting a tax rebate check to stimulate the economy.
If we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs. If we purchase a computer it will go to India. If we purchase fruits and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. If we purchase a good car it will go to Japan. If we purchase useless stuff it will go to Taiwan and none of it will help the American economy.
We need to keep that money here in America. The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it at yard sales, since those are the only businesses still in the US !
(From: Paula Clingerman who lives in Ohio.)
While tongue in cheek, there is much to be said about spending the money where you know it will stay in the USA for a while! Que
April 10, 2008
AP IMPACT: Hot-line figures indicate life on street getting ...
WTHI - Apr 7, 2008
About the National Runaway Switchboard
The Associated Press - Apr 7, 2008
By MARTHA IRVINE – 2 days ago
CHICAGO (AP) — The young caller's voice is high-pitched and trembling.
Her mother's been drinking, she says. They got into a fistfight, so the girl
grabbed her backpack and a cell phone and bolted, with little thought about
where a 13-year-old could go on a cold night.
Hiding in an alley off her rural hometown's deserted main street, she calls the
only phone number she can think of: 1-800-RUNAWAY.
"I just don't feel like I'm taken care of like a daughter should be," the girl
tells the volunteer who answers the phone at the National Runaway Switchboard.
She stutters between sobs and shivers.
Her story is a common one at the Chicago-based hot line, which handles well over
100,000 calls each year, many from troubled young people who are dealing with
increasingly difficult issues.
National Runaway Switchboard data provided exclusively to The Associated Press
shows that the overall number of young callers facing crises that jeopardized
their safety rose from 13,650 in 2000 to 15,857 last year. About two-thirds of
the latter figure were young people who were thinking of running away, had
already done so or had been thrown out of the house.
Federally funded since the 1970s, the National Runaway Switchboard is regarded
by people who work with troubled youth as an organization that provides one of
the best overviews of the shadowy world of teenage runaways, which is difficult
The group's statistics showed that callers are getting younger and that 6,884
crisis callers last year said they had been abused or neglected, compared with
3,860 in 2000. That is a 78 percent increase.
Some callers just want someone to talk to, about problems at home or with
friends. Others who have already run away use the hot line to exchange messages
with their families — to let them know they're OK, or to arrange a free bus
Some are desperate for a place to stay, for safety, for options.
"I'm scared of my parents, and I don't want to go back there. Please don't make
me!" pleaded the 13-year-old girl who called this particular night.
The information she gave the hot line checked out. However, her name and other
identifying details could not be included for this story because the National
Runaway Switchboard guarantees callers confidentiality.
It also quickly became apparent to volunteer Megan McCormick — who has been
trained to spot the occasional crank call — that this girl's fear was real.
"I know it must be really scary," said McCormick, a graduate student in social
work at the University of Chicago. As they spoke, she checked the call center's
extensive computer database for shelters in the girl's hometown.
The closest was in a larger city, 40 minutes away. But when McCormick called,
she was told they didn't take anyone younger than 14.
Such scenarios are common in many regions of the country, particularly rural
areas where resources for runaways are scarce. Further complicating the matter,
the Runaway Switchboard has found that more crisis callers than ever are 14 and
younger — 1,255 in that age group in 2000, compared with 1,844 last year.
"The reality is, there are not always services available for kids who are
calling," says Maureen Blaha, executive director of the National Runaway
Switchboard, which began as a Chicago area crisis hot line in 1971 and went
national three years later. "We try to be as creative as we can be to find
solutions. But there isn't always a simple answer."
Others in the youth services field concur.
They note that while the number of shelters and other organizations that help
runaways have slowly increased over the decades, they have been unable to keep
pace with the demand. Many institutions also lack the resources to deal with the
severity of issues young people face today.
"The population is much more disturbed than the runaways who were being seen 20
or 30 years ago," says Victoria Wagner, chief executive of the National Network
for Youth, a coalition of agencies that serve troubled young people. "There are
more mental health issues, more substance abuse, more coming from violent home
Long-standing government support for the Runaway Switchboard has been a vital
component in addressing the problem, Wagner says. But, she adds, federal dollars
for shelters and other services, also through the Runaway Youth Act, have
remained largely stagnant since it first passed in the 1970s. So she and others
are pressing Congress for more.
It's a tough sell in trying economic times. But the irony, Wagner says, is that
when people are unemployed and families are struggling, young people are even
more likely to have reason to run.
The 13-year-old girl who has called the Runaway Switchboard sounds even more
anguished when McCormick tells there are no shelters in her area that will take
"So there's nowhere I can go?" she says in disbelief.
Several times McCormick asks about other options, but the girl says she has
She says her friends' parents would only take her back home. Relatives, whom she
rarely sees, live out of state. And she seems even more afraid of her father
than her mom, claiming that her parents divorced because he was abusive.
Even so, she has little doubt that one or both of her parents will soon be out
looking for her.
That's not the case for many other runaways, who are thrown out of home for
anything from being gay to exhibiting aggressive behavior.
"Ninety-eight percent of the time, it's the parents saying, `No, take them.'
They're the throwaway kids," says Bill Hogan, program manager at the Haven W.
Poe Runaway Shelter in Tampa, Fla. He recently reunited a 10-year-old boy with
his grandmother, who had told police to keep him.
Neglect also has changed the face of the runaway, says Kathleen Boutin,
executive director of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, which is
getting more requests for help from children of methamphetamine addicts.
For those 12 to 18, Nevada now has a "Right to Shelter" law, which allows
organizations to provide emergency housing, food and clothing without parental
Indiana is another state that recently passed a comprehensive law for homeless
youth with a similar provision, but limited the age to 16 and older.
"It's a beginning," says Cynthia Smith, executive director of the Youth Service
Bureau in Evansville, Ind. Right now, her area has no youth shelter — but she
hopes the new law will help change that.
In New York, however, a bill requiring safe-houses and other services for
sexually exploited youth stalled in January. And in Wyoming, runaways often
still spend the night in jail.
It's a mind-set that Rusty Booker, an 18-year-old former runaway from
Louisville, Ky., hopes will change.
Last year, he told members of Congress how, at age 12, he ran away from an
abusive home. He got help at a library affiliated with National Safe Place, an
organization with more than 16,000 locations nationally where young people are
put in touch with local crisis workers.
Still, many communities that want to establish Safe Places are turned down
because they have few or no services to offer runaways.
Nine states have no Safe Places at all. That includes the home of the
13-year-old girl who was on the line with the Runaway Switchboard for more than
Several times, she adamantly refused to call the local sheriff or to get child
protective services involved.
"All this stuff that's going on, it's just really overwhelming," she told
McCormick, the call center volunteer. "I don't want my mom to go to jail. I
can't do that to my family."
Eventually, though, she changed her mind. She asked McCormick to stay on the
line while she spoke with a county social worker and then the sheriff.
"I've kind of run away from home," the girl told the sheriff's dispatch
operator. "I need somewhere to stay."
McCormick waited on the line until a sheriff's deputy found her and picked her
up. Finally, the girl was safe and members of the Runaway Switchboard staff
"You get used to some aspects of this," says Cori Ballew, a Runaway Switchboard
supervisor who oversaw the call. "But you never get used to some of it,
especially when it ends with no resolution."
Some runaways, like this one, find help of some kind, she says.
Others, faced with few choices, hang up.
On the Net:
National Runaway Switchboard: http://www.1800runaway.org
National Safe Place: http://www.nationalsafeplace.org
Hosted by Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.