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Vol. 7 No 44...Dedicated to the Dialogue on Race... 11-05-04

Table of Contents

1. Venue for an Artist...The Battle-Field...By William C. Bryant
2. News You Use...Black Box Voting
3. Bit of History...William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)
4. Disgruntled
5. Comments from the Bat Cave
6. Intuit's Vibe...Empire of Oil---Forever? By Mumia Abu-Jamal
7. What Did We Learn? By John Burl Smith
8. Mailbox

Venue for an Artist
The Battle-Field
By William Cullen Bryant

Once this soft turf, this rivulet's sands,
Were trampled by a hurrying crowd,
And fiery hearts and armed hands
Encountered in the battle-cloud.

Ah! never shall the land forget
How gushed the life-blood of her brave--
Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet,
Upon the soil they fought to save.

Now all is calm, and fresh, and still;
Alone the chirp of flitting bird,
And talk of children on the hill,
And bell of wandering kine, are heard.

No solemn host goes trailing by
The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain;
Men start not at the battle-cry,--
O, be it never heard again!

Soon rested those who fought; but thou
Who minglest in the harder strife
For truths which men receive not now,
Thy warfare only ends with life.

A friendless warfare! lingering long
Through weary day and weary year;
A wild and many-weaponed throng
Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear.

Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
And blench not at thy chosen lot,
The timid good may stand aloof,
The sage may frown--yet faint thou not.

Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,
The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
For with thy side shall dwell, at last,
The victory of endurance born.

Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
And dies among his worshippers.

Yea, though thou lie upon the dust,
When they who helped thee flee in fear,
Die full of hope and manly trust,
Like those who fell in battle here.

Another hand thy sword shall wield,
Another hand the standard wave,
Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed
The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.

News You Use
Black Box Voting

Democrat John F. Kerry has conceded the election, but the post mortem
continues. Black Box Voting at plans to conduct a
formal audit. It has filed a series of public records requests to obtain
computer logs and other documents from thousands of counties and voting

On September 15, 2004, Black Box Voting filed a similar request in King
County, Washington. It uncovered an audit log containing a three-hour
deletion on primary election night, trouble slips revealing suspicious modem
activity and security problems.

Black Box Voting is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. You can view its
public records requests at An internal audit
can begin to answer some of the many troubling questions voters are asking
about Election 2004.

Bit of History
William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

"The right to discuss freely and openly, by speech, by the press, by the
pen, all political questions, and to examine and animadvert upon all
political institutions . . . is a right as clear and certain, so interwoven
with our other liberties, so necessary in fact, to their existence that
without it we must fall at once into despotism and anarchy."

Born in Cummington, Massachusetts on November 3, 1794, William Cullen Bryant
became the first US poet to win international acclaim. A child prodigy, his
father, a physician, carefully cultivated the young man's intellect. At an
early age, he learned Greek and Latin, read the classics, and studied
science and mathematics. He published his first poem at ten and his first
book at thirteen. "The Embargo (1809)," a satire on the foreign trade
policies of President Thomas Jefferson and his political party, was eagerly
read, though skeptics assumed he was older than thirteen.

Steered into law by his father, Bryant entered Williams College at sixteen
and was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1815. He married and practiced
law in the village of Great Barrington for ten years. During this period,
Bryant wrote little, and what poetry he published was written before he
turned twenty-one, including "Thanatopsis," which was published in the North
American Review (1816).

In 1821, Bryant delivered his long poem, "The Ages," at the Harvard College
commencement. Shortly thereafter, he published his first book of poetry and
left the law profession to pursue literature. In 1825, he moved to New
York, where he and a friend established "The New York Review and Athenaeum
Magazine." In 1826, he became assistant editor at the New York Evening
Post, a paper established by the Federalist Party leader Alexander Hamilton.
>From 1829
to his death, Bryant was the paper's part owner and editor-in-chief. A
proponent of "laissez-faire," hands-off, economic policy and advocate of
human rights, Bryant opposed all tariffs and supported the abolition of

In 1832, a collection of Bryant's poetry was published in New York and
reprinted in Boston and London. Bryant published "The Fountain and Other
Poems" (1842), "The White-Footed Deer and Other Poems" (1844), and an
edition of his complete Poetical Words (1846). In 1855, he published
another edition of his works, which contained his later poetry. He
published "The Letters of a Traveller" (1852), a series of letters written
to the Evening Post, which described his tours of South America, Cuba,
Europe and Mexico.

In his Lectures on Poetry (1825) and other critical essays, Bryant stressed
the values of simplicity, original imagination and morality. During his
later career, he traveled extensively, made numerous public speeches, and
continued to write poetry, including "The Death of the Flowers," "To the
Fringed Gentian" and "The Battle-Field." He also published translations of
the Iliad (1870) and the Odyssey (1872). In 1876, Bryant published a final
collected edition. He died June 12, 1878 in New York City after attending
the dedication of a bust of himself. Sources:,

Disgruntled wants to know: While Democrats cry in their beer, there are
reasons to cheer a second term for the Bush administration. There are so
many unresolved issues. For instance, there are the anthrax murders, a real
mystery with definite connections to a US laboratory. Of course, while US
mainstream media ignore this little fact, Bush and members of his cabinet
lied about the reasons for invading Iraq. There is the little matter of how
Enron fashioned Dick Cheney's energy policy. More troubling still, someone
in the White House outed CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame to punish
Joseph Wilson, her husband, for publicly exposing the lie that Saddam
Hussein attempted to acquire enriched uranium from Niger. With so many
troubling issues unresolved, could a Bush second term mimic Richard Milhous
Nixon's downfall?

Disgruntled says: Once again, George W. Bush has assumed the mantle of the
uniter for public consumption. His policies over the last four years have
been incredibly divisive, both at home and abroad. An analysis of his
domestic and foreign policies suggests more rather than less division to
come. In fact, unless he mends fences fast and jettison his policy of
unilateral preemption, the nation could face wars in other arenas. If that
should happen with a military stretched thin, a draft is a real possibility,
even though he said there would be none. But, then, it would not be the
first time that the commander-in-chief lied to achieve an end.

Disgruntled feels: Disenfranchised! In pursuing its flawed "battleground"
strategy, the Democratic Party ignored its southern base. Across the dirty
South, blacks were left to the tender mercies of white Democrats and
Republicans that supported George W. Bush. Discounting party affiliations,
whites flocked to Bush who basically promised to honor the values symbolized
by the Confederate battle flag. So, just life the debacle of Election 2000,
blacks that voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic presidential candidate
were disenfranchised on November 2, 2004.

Comments from the Bat Cave

The Dark Knight-Batman/White Ninja/Zorro eagerly awaited the outcome of the
vote. Shortly after the polls closed in Georgia, the news networks
announced that George W. Bush had won Georgia, even though their graphics
showed zero percent of the polling precincts reporting. Confused the Dark
One/Ninja/Zorro wondered, "Is this a joke?"

Intuit's Vibe
Empire of Oil -- Forever?
By Mumia Abu-Jamal

"He who owns oil will own the world... who has oil has empire." -- Henry
Berenger, Commissioner General for Oil Products, France (WWI)

No matter which way this god-forsaken 'election' goes, America's imperial
hunger for oil will continue. While the Republicans present a more
bellicose face, the Democrats will certainly do the same thing, but perhaps
with a smile. That's what makes this advertising war, about who's tough,
and who's not, so utterly ridiculous. Both candidates will push imperial
wars for American "natural resources" (in other words, oil), because that's
what their financial backers demand.

The American economic machine began its industrial age with oil running
those machines. Oil gave birth to the vast automotive industry, the
resultant highway construction industry, the huge petrochemical industry,
the explosion in plastics, and the fueling of America's menacing military
machine, which is being used to spark wars abroad, to protect U.S. control
of oil. One need not have been a history or political science major to see
through the transparent justifications for the 2nd War on Iraq. It had
nothing to do with 'weapons of mass destruction', nor to bring democracy --
it was, and is, to control Iraq's vast oilfields. And Iraqis, as well as
millions of others in the region, know this with a certainty that can only
be matched by their assurance that the sun rises tomorrow.

In essence, the two corporate parties present a difference in degree; not in
kind. But, thanks to the corporate media, this campaign will probably turn
on the illusions of personality; on who smiles, who smirks, and who has a
nice hairdo. If Rome taught us anything, it's that empire wears many faces.

Many Democrats look back to the Clinton administration with longing; but it,
too, is the longing for illusions. During the Clinton years, the Defense
Dept. touched base with the armed forces of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, and provided them US arms and training. The
temporary U.S. military bases, payoff for the arms and training, became
semi-permanent after 9-11, because these states ring the vast oil deposits
near the Caspian Sea. In the words of a 2002 U.S. State Dept. report, U.S.
aid is intended to "improve U.S.-Kazakh military cooperation while
establishing a U.S.-interoperable base along the oil-rich Caspian."* That's
the backdoor reason for the invasion of Iraq. Until America gets off the
oil-pipe, it doesn't matter who is elected. If part of either corporate
party, they will swear fealty, not to the Constitution, but to the bottom
lines of the oil companies.

That's what makes this nonsense about the 'war on terror', or the 'Iraqi
liberation' so tragic. These are public relations sideshows, mounted by the
political elite and projected by the media elite on behalf of their economic
elite at the costs of billions of public dollars, and thousands of lives --
so that oil can rule. How can one 'spread democracy' by ignoring democracy?
The largest anti-war demonstrations in US and world history did not deter
this mad rush for black gold in Iraq. It did not stop this invasion erected
on a bridge of lies.

Indeed, the American presidency was built upon the judicial theft of the
election, and use of state power to intimidate, disenfranchise, and betray
the votes of tens of thousands in Florida alone. Yeah...the Bush Regime
really wants to 'spread democracy!'

In oil's name, the United States is immersed in a new kind of colonialism,
for the resources that lie under foreign feet. They could care less about
the people. Therein lies an even greater tragedy. [Source: *U.S. Dept. of
State, Congressional Budget Justifications: Foreign Operations, Fiscal Year
2003, pg. 309]

What Did We Learn?
By John Burl Smith

Postmortems are not easy, particularly following painful and highly
emotional events. Such examinations are absolutely necessary in order to
cope with as well as adjust to the disaster's aftermath. Survivors must
understand antecedent causes while simultaneously developing a realistic
approach to the future.
Depending upon ones relationship to the Democratic Party, the outcome of
Election 2004 is a devastating loss. For party officials, it should mark
the beginning of deep soul searching, strategic assessment and leadership
evaluation. Conversely, its base or rank and file should be witnessing the
end of a party meltdown that began with the Democratic Leadership Council
(DLC) takeover prior to Election 2000.

Under DLC leadership, except for Bill Clinton's embrace of black voters in
1992 and 1996, Democrats have lost every major election since 1994. The DLC
refuses to recognize that blacks, women, Hispanics and other minorities make
up the Democratic Party's base. Clearly, the DLC's strategy of campaigning
to white voters, while giving only lip service to issues important to blacks
and other minorities has not brought white voters back to the Democratic
Party. Election
2004 showed that white people vote for Republicans because their message is
tailored to white concerns.

Election 2004 revealed exactly who votes for Democrats across the country.
We learned blacks turn out in huge numbers based on their socioeconomic and
oolitical interests, even when the party's candidate refuses to embrace
them. This dynamic is not likely to change anytime soon, and with
performances like Barack Obama and Denise Majette's, blacks must decide the
proper use of their growing political power. The choice for Democrats is
whether or not to organize the party in order to take advantage of this

Democrats must open up the party to the new leadership revealed by Election
2004. They must reach beyond the "good old boy network" and the top down
structure that direct party decision-making. The party must begin a massive
rebuilding effort at the precinct level. Bringing in national "hired guns"
or "political consultants" to run campaigns does not sustain grassroots
organization in off years. The current white male dominated party structure
led by the DLC ignores socioeconomic changes that have occurred among
blacks, women and Hispanics that make them capable of running the party.

This fact was clearly illustrated by Obama's campaign in Illinois. He built
a grassroots organization that defeated several millionaires in route to
victory. The Democratic Party only embraced Obama when it became clear he
could not be beaten. However, Majette in Georgia and Inez Tenenbaum in
South Carolina were seriously hamstrung by the Democratic Party and John
Kerry's refusal to campaign in the South. Their candidacies were completely
ignored, even though both women did remarkable jobs, which helped Democrats
running for Congress and the legislature with their statewide campaigns.

Blacks across the South learned from Election 2004 that Kerry's DLC
"battleground states" strategy abandoned whole regions of the country, an
indication he believed black votes were not worth fighting over. If the
Democratic are going to betray black voters and concede their votes before
they are counted, what benefit is the Democratic Party? Consequently, what
happened to Majette and Tenenbaum is not the end of the Democratic melt down
but the entrenchment of white male dominance over the party, which begs the
question, who learned their lesson?

Mailbox: E-mail, Faxes and Telephone Calls

Email Times will certainly continue to be interesting,
with both the House and Senate majorities now held by the Republican party.
Environmental and social issues will continue to spiral down the toilet. As
the saying goes, we deserve the government/world we allow. And, evidently
the collective consciousness of the United States has chosen based on the
illusion of morality, as well as their fears and nightmares instead of their
hopes and dreams. There will certainly be a bush-el full of lessons as we
continue to raise our awareness and receive our "master's degree" in this
"University of Life."

Email The real reason for the upcoming US attack on
Iran is its plans to create a euro-denominated market for oil. The Iranians
saw what happened to Saddam, who was whipsawed by being forced to disarm and
then attacked on the pretense that he had not disarmed. Iran's continued
effort to produce nuclear arms is an indication that it does not intend to
make the same mistake. Who can blame the Iranians for wanting nuclear arms
for self-defense?

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