What Others Are Saying

August 31, 2007

An alien with an infectious form of tuberculosis shows that border control is not merely an economic or national security issue. It's a medical emergency bringing new meaning to the phrase "yearning to breathe free."

Francisco Santos, 17, an alien of undetermined status, walked into the emergency room of the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville, Ga., last Friday with symptoms of what was diagnosed as a case of active, contagious tuberculosis.

At first, Mr. Santos, who listed his birthplace as Mexico, refused treatment and threatened to walk out and head back to his home country. Authorities had to obtain a court order to hold him in isolation at a medical facility in the county jail.

Legal immigrants must demonstrate that they are free of communicable diseases and drug addiction to qualify for lawful permanent residency green cards. Illegal aliens who are sick simply cross our borders medically unexamined, free to infect those they come in contact with, until they show up in a taxpayer-subsidized emergency room.

Illegal immigration is not only a political and social problem, but a medical one as well, and failure to control our borders could literally make you sick.

-Investor's Business Daily

New media and ancient media are hooking up. MtvU, the 24-hour network that broadcasts on college campuses, has chosen John Ashbery, a Pulitzer Prize winner, to be its poet laureate. His poems will be featured on broadcast spots that also direct students to the mtvU Web site, where there are more poems.

Cool (as oldsters might say). This could be a useful bridge between the young and the middle-aged, a kind of literary archaeological quest in which college students dig fresh insights from the printed world of poems.

On television and on the Web, mtvU gives the poems new life, making them into videos. Sounding like rasping rainfall, the letters fall into place to form the words of a verse, then rush off the screen.

What the poet laureate program and other mtvU projects show is how old culture can have a new media life, retaining its values while expanding into new venues.

Baby boomers can worry a little less: All culture is not being lost in the iPod era.

- The Boston Globe

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