By Amitabh Pal on January 24, 2014

by Amitabh Pal

I wish I could feel sorry for conservative polemicist Dinesh D’Souza. The man has just been indicted for campaign violations he allegedly engaged in to help his friend Wendy Long in her 2012 losing bid to unseat New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. This comes on the heels of a bad couple of years for D’Souza, who was fired from his job as the president of a Christian college and had his marriage fall apart. The trouble is that D’Souza’s behavior over the years has been so indefensible that in spite of our shared heritage (our roots are in India), it’s hard for me to have any sympathy for him. Just a few months ago, during last Thanksgiving, he tweeted: “I am thankful this week when I remember America is big enough and great enough to survive grown-up Trayvon in the White House!” The tweet is in line with a pattern of racially charged analysis that D’Souza has consistently engaged in. His 1995 book, “The End of Racism,” was so vicious that two African-American conservatives associated with the American Enterprise Institute, Glenn Loury and Robert Woodson, resigned from the think tank in protest over the book and Charles Murray’s “Bell Curve.” (Both D’Souza and Murray were fellows at American Enterprise.) In 2010, he wrote a piece for Forbes subjecting President Obama to the worst sort of psychoanalysis. It ended on this vile note: “The U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonial ambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son.” Then there was his pseudo-documentary “2016: Obama’s America,” released in 2012, that portrayed Obama as being out to destroy the United States in order to fulfill the dreams of his radical anti-colonial father. D’Souza has always been a publicity hound. But the indictment is not the kind of publicity anyone could like. “DINESH the defendant, willfully and knowingly made and caused to be made contributions of money, aggregating more than $10,000 during the 2012 calendar year, in the names of others to the campaign of a candidate for the United States Senate, to wit, reimbursed others with whom he was associated and who he had directed to contribute a total of $20,000 to the campaign,” the indictment reads. “DINESH the defendant, willfully and knowingly caused the submission of materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations, to wit, caused the submission by an unwitting authorized campaign committee of a candidate for the United States Senate to the FEC of reports that falsely reported the sources and amounts of contributions to the campaign by certain individuals.” Of course, the rightwing is predictably crying foul. Conservative commentators are alleging that the indictment is political retribution for all the work that D’Souza has done against Obama. But I’ll leave that up to the court. ------ Photo: Flickr user Mark Taylor, creative commons licensed.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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