Kate Clinton

When you think about it, rich people are the biggest hoarders ever.

Kate Clinton with party favors and boa

On the women's movement, Ted Cruz, the Teahadists, and why we can't all just be Amish.

Unlike Sovietologists, I do not claim a deep knowledge of Russian history. But I took no pleasure watching vaunted Sovietologists like Condoleezza Rice being blindsided by the implosion of communist Russia. (OK, a tiny bit.)

Sometimes I look at all the Apple products in our house -- iPads, iPods, minis, iBooks, laptops, desktops, tangled balls of cords -- and I have iGuilt. How many Chinese youth have I plunged into despair just so I could play Words with Friends? All the crapple is an eyesore.


Oh, don't mind me. I've just been a little cranky, a tad blue. I think it started in the madness of March, with the tenth anniversary of the war in Iraq.

A book editor once challenged me to write a memoir. My first reaction was, "Ugh." Also my second. I thought I had used my inside voice.


My dear partner and I recently sat before a large flat-panel screen flashing different retirement scenarios while our third team of financial advisers plugged hypotheticals into the planning instrument they preferred.


When a CEO of a major multinational quits and gives just two weeks' notice, everybody pricks up their ears. Those who can hear through the deafening and tasteless "Ding dong the witch is dead" remix are wondering:

Did the butler do it?

Was it the Nuns on the Bus?

Was it something unseemly on his Twitter account?

Was it the continuing revelations that something is rotten in the city of Los Angeles besides the Lakers?

Was it the Grammies?

The Pope said he's "justus plumbius tuckered outum."


When the Pope announced this morning that he was resigning, he mentioned that he could no longer lead given "the pressures of spiritual leadership in the modern world."

The modern world is reacting by pointing out some of the ways in which the Catholic Church might better respond to those pressures: especially when it comes to women, gay people, the sex abuse crisis in the Church, and Rome's relationship with other great world religions. Here is a mix of old and new selections from Progressive writers -- check back for more throughout the day.

-- Ruth Conniff


On New Year's Eve, my partner and I had the pleasure of attending Jim Hormel's 80th birthday party here in New York. I met his family -- children, grandchildren, great-grand-children. His family of friends was there from Minnesota, California, Germany and us from Manhattan's Upper West Side. His fellow LGBT activists and philanthropists were there to celebrate his eighty years.


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This time we’ve got some advantages.


We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

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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