There’s a lot of speculation in Washington that President Obama may soon nominate Larry Summers to be head of the World Bank.

That would be a disastrous appointment, just as it was when Obama picked Summers to head up the President’s National Economic Council.

In that post, as in previous ones, Summers proved himself to be incredibly arrogant and a horrible manager. He sneered at Obama’s economic grasp, he lowballed the recovery package, and he went behind Obama’s back on several occasions.

This insubordination is reason enough not to reward Summers with the Robert McNamara memorial parking place at the World Bank.

But there’s more, because Summers used to actually work at the World Bank, where he was the chief economist in the early 1990s.

There he imposed cookie cutter structural adjustment programs on developing nations, forcing them to open up their economies to U.S. banks and corporations and to curb their public sectors. As a result, the living standards of people around the world were decimated. (See Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctinre.”)

Summers also made the notorious proposal that Western countries should dump their toxic waste on “underpopulated countries in Africa.”

Larry Summers has neither the temperament nor the compassion to run any large institution that affects people’s lives.

So please join the campaign to urge President Obama not to appoint Summers to the World Bank.

You can find more about the campaign at

If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story “Wis. ACLU Backs Cartoonist over Republican Legislator."

Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter



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Forty years ago the UN General Assembly passed a resolution against "hostile environmental modification techniques...

The beauty and the tragedy of everyday life in a war zone.

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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