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Stormy clouds before the wind blew in—
then rain fell in horizontal sheets.

The rain had quenched the roaring campfire,
destroying all hopes of roasting marshmallows.

Hail came,
destroying the objects grouped by the door,

bruising carved pumpkins, un-potting the yellow
chrysanthemums, scattering freshly-baled hay,

skinny, funny scarecrows, dried black corn.
And while the pounding storm shook the house on the hill,

several small children, wearing feet pajamas, holding fuzzy bears,
were huddled together, giddy with fear,

swapping  tales of the Hornet Spook Light, that swings,
by way of legend, in the hand of a headless man, far, far away—

and the man down Third Street, behind Safeway, whose
“dog is really a wolf.”

They chattered about Ol’ Henry, who’s nothing but a ’bo
pushing a cart, and the sounds that would follow were

simply October.

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“Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes anything. It’s gonna get nasty, I’m sure, in the next four days,” Obama told a crowd in Columbia, Missouri, on Thursday night.

“They will throw everything at us like they’ve been doing, and we’re gonna have to work like our future depends on it in this last week. You know what? Because it does, and every single young person here tonight — I’ve gotta have every single one of you voting, and you’ve gotta grab five more, all of you, have gotta vote,” he said.

Read entire article here

There’s no giving up.  You will be hearing from those who support Obama in the days prior to and including Tuesday.

Vote Obama

During the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, any time blacks got too ambitious and made the establishment (old white men) nervous, the old white men cried “socialist” or “communist.” What they meant was, I’m losing my privileged status. Martin Luther King Jr. was called a “communist” many times. This charge was investigated by the FBI and proven untrue.

Have none of you read King’s Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? In 1964, King explained that while white people were satisfied with “progress,” blacks were seeking “equality.” The marches changed the laws, and whites were okay with that. But King said the fight for “equality” would not be won so easily. White people would resist because “equality” would cost more than they were willing to pay; it would cost them their status and their wealth. It might also mean costs for their children. So why are you shocked now that a black man is running for POTUS that he wants to “share the wealth”?

This election is more about race than most people know. It is not about “socialism” or about “communism”; it”s about economic equality for blacks and other poor people (for King identified racism, poverty, and militarism as the “triple evils” that must be fought together). White people know that “equality” will require a loss of “their money,” and they won’t have that privilege and power, so they scream “socialist,” because they don’t want to see themselves as racists.

When Obama has said, “power concedes nothing,” he is quoting Frederick Douglass. Obama knows his history. Do you? Black history is American history. Has America given equal power (and money) to her black citizens? Should She?

If you believe in equality, vote for Obama. If you don’t think there’s a black America and a white America, if you don’t think there’s a rich America and a poor America, if you don’t think there’s an educated America and an uneducated America, You just think, there’s the United States of America, vote for Obama. If you think these divisions exist but shouldn’t, vote for Obama. It’s time for a change.

If you like white privilege and the status quo (and more of the same), vote otherwise. If you enjoy pretending it’s okay to have poor people in a rich nation and if you want to blame that on someone who hasn’t had the capital (only they call it “money”) to start a business or get an education, if you enjoy calling such people “lazy” because that means you aren’t, then vote otherwise. In this country, you can vote as you will and should be able to do so. But don’t be so foolish as to pretend this isn’t about white greed and racism. Don’t look the other way and pretend God likes you better.

Hat tip: Clare

Good One, Mr. Soon-to-Be- President

Please wear a black arm or wrist band tomorrow, 10/30/2008, in silent protest of the execution of Gregory White by the state of Texas. Mr. Wright is scheduled to be poisoned for the 1997 murder of Donna Vick.

Rick Perry and the citizens of Texas are preparing to execute a man who is demonstrably innocent. Mr. Wright has maintained his innocence unflaggingly and even passed a lie detector test. New evidence shows that ehis DNA is “inconsistent with the biological material found on the pair of jeans” worn by the victim during the crime. Further, the state of Texas requires proof of “future dangerousness,” a claim fully abrogated by Mr. Wright’s exemplary behavior in prison. Although incarcerated for a crime he did not commit, he is using his time to earn a Legal Assistant/Paralegal certificate and to further his studies in Christianity. Texas must stay this execution to allow time for righting this impending injustice.

Thanks for all you do to abolish the death penalty in the United States of America!

Dear friends and comrades:

My students and I are conducting a pre-election poetry action in a few days, and I am writing to ask you for a verbal contribution. We want the responses to be as spontaneous as possible; they will be most useful if they arrive within 24 hrs.

Mario Cuomo once said: You campaign in poetry; you govern in prose.

You are invited to compose variations on Cuomo’s text and submit them to ewillis@wesleyan.edu:

You ______________ in poetry; you ______________ in prose.

You campaign in ____________ ; you govern in ______________.

Feel free to vote more than once, distribute this text to others, collect versions of these sentences from people you meet, and send them directly to me by email.

The resulting collaborative text will be performed at a central campus location on Monday, Nov. 3.

Thanks in advance to all of you who participate.

Elizabeth Willis
ewillis@wesleyan.edu

The Blameless

by Larina Warnock

I did not slay six hundred
thousand souls in fire and zeal
and ideology. I did not
wage a war I could not win
and call it courtesy. I did not
agree to separate the sinners
from the saints through smoke
and toil, for democracy and oil.

I do not have six hundred
thousand souls across the scale.
That weight belongs to other,
higher bred. I did not wage a war
I could not win—I turned my head.

The sand never clogged my lungs
or touched my face burned
with doubt and death. The sirens didn’t
jolt me awake, alert and holding
my breath. The shadows never haunted
me with promise of a spark. The powder never
dirtied me from shots fired in the dark.

I was never called to duty,
asked to don my boots and arms.
I never had to kill, be killed,
lose hope. I did not fight a war
I could not win—I did not vote.

*

I give permission for any person to reprint or distribute this poem in its entirity, unchanged, and bearing my name, for any reasonable purpose and with or without financial gain from said distribution or printing. Larina Warnock

**

Larina Warnock works for a nonprofit organization by trade and resides in Oregon. She is a writer and the editor of The Externalist.

“In this country, justice can be
won against the greatest of odds;
hope can find its way back to the
darkest of corners; and when we
are told we cannot bring about
the change that we seek, we answer
with one voice—yes we can.

Barack Obama
Raleigh, NC
May 6, 2008

Please wear a black arm or wrist band today, 10/28/2008, in silent protest of the execution of Eric Nenno by the state of Texas. Mr. Nenno is scheduled to be poisoned tonight for the 1995 murder of Nicole Benton.

Eric Nenno is a pedophile, accused of fondling children prior to this case and now convicted of this crime. Recidivism is highest for this behavior and it is considered an incurable psychological disease by the American Psychiatric Association. Mr. Nenno also showed little understanding of the morality of his actions, telling police after failing a lie detector test that he guessed the victim was “still up in the attic,” where she had been in fact for two days. It is clear that Mr. Nenno needs treatment, not killing! Texas must stay this execution to allow time to treat Eric Nenno for this serious disease.

Thanks for all you do to abolish the death penalty in the United States of America!

emphasis mine

UPDATE:  October 29

Eric Nenno has been executed.

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