Ruth Conniff

Imagine what could be done by reducing the nearly $600 billion we plan to pour into the Pentagon this year.

It was, as Martin O’Malley said, a very different debate from the Republicans’: no racist remarks, not immigrant-bashing, no attacks on women or pandering to religious bigotry.


He's either the perfect formula for reuniting the Republicans’ fractured coalition or a recipe for disaster at the polls. In fact, it might just be both.


Yes, the Republicans seem to be on the brink of self-destruction but...

Illustration by Johanna Goodman

Firing questions at Richards, and then interrupting her answers, the members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee seemed intent on demonstrating their contempt.


God called back to say, “never mind.”


Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina serve the time-honored purpose of making voters who have been enjoying the bold racism and misogyny of the Republican party in its Trump phase feel a little better about themselves. See! Some of their best friends are a woman and a black man!

All over the United States, it’s a tumultuous back-to-school season.
Are hunger strikes,


Julian Bond speaking at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in D.C., May 2, 2015.  Image by Ted Lieverman

Julian Bond, a legend in the civil rights movement, was a powerful presence in Washington, D.C., where I had the good fortune to interact with him when I was Washington editor of The Progressive. He passed away on August 15, at age 75.


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

“Climate change isn’t an ‘issue’ to add to the list of things to worry about, next to healthcare and taxes,” Klein...

Real leaders need to lead a push back against the firestorm of fear about Muslims—not fan the flames.

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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