By Anonymous (not verified) on November 16, 2010

Who says that Republican Congresscritters don’t care about minorities in our society? Why, at this very moment, they are pushing hard to pass a $372 billion federal program to lift the economic fortunes of just one minority group—a far more generous proposal than Obama has even dared to contemplate.

The focus of the GOP’s generosity is a true American minority: the richest one-tenth of one percent of our people. Living in penthouse ghettos like Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this tiny minority of about 120,000 people (who have an average annual income of $8 million) would get some $3 million each over the next decade from the Republican proposal. Doesn’t that just make your heart bleed with empathy?

This windfall will go to the most un-needy among us if the GOP gets Congress to renew the Bush tax cuts for the superrich. Yes, the same Republican lawmakers who have opposed even modest funding to keep schoolteachers and firefighters on the job are wailing that we should take hundreds of billions of dollars from our public treasury and hand them to some of the richest people on the planet.

What’s at work here is the narcissistic psychosis of the privileged—the delusional belief that they are entitled to special treatment because they’re. . . well, they’re rich, and therefore consider themselves to be both superior and especially deserving.

Of all the crying needs in our country today, these Republicans are wringing their hands over the discrimination against the wealthy minority. Sometimes, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or go bowling!

This is one of those times.

This is but an excerpt from Hightower’s article in the November issue of The Progressive. To read the entire article and to subscribe to The Progressive for only $14.97 for a year, simply subscribe now by clicking here.

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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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