By The Progressive on August 30, 2007
August 30, 2007 By Matthew Rothschild

I’d been waiting for the old John Conyers to reappear.

Conyers rightfully brags about being a leader in the movement to impeach Richard Nixon back in the day.

And in the last Congressional term, before the Democrats took over, Conyers introduced a bill to explore grounds for impeaching Bush. He explained to Lewis Lapham of Harper’s in early 2006 why he was doing so:

“ ‘To take away the excuse,’ he said, ‘that we didn't know.’ So that two or four or ten years from now, if somebody should ask, ‘Where were you, Conyers, and where was the United States Congress?’ when the Bush Administration declared the Constitution inoperative and revoked the license of parliamentary government, none of the company now present can plead ignorance or temporary insanity, can say that ‘somehow it escaped our notice’ that the President was setting himself up as a supreme leader exempt from the rule of law.”

Well, this old John Conyers made a cameo on Tuesday at a town hall meeting in Detroit.

Now the head of the House Judiciary Committee, he finally declared his independence from Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the urgent question of impeachment.

According to rawstory.com, Conyers said: “Nancy Pelosi has impeachment ‘off the table,’ but that’s off her table. It is not off John Conyers’s table.”

That’s a relief, since I thought Pelosi had permanently gagged Conyers on the subject.

Not anymore.

Nancy Pelosi, he said, “cannot prevent me from introducing an impeachment resolution.”

He added: “I want you to know that I have no reticence, no reluctance, no hesitation to use the tool of impeachment . . . whenever I feel that it is appropriate.”

So what’s his hesitation now?

And when is a more appropriate time than now, after all the crimes Bush and Cheney have already committed?

When is a more appropriate time than now, just as they are about to commit another heinous one, by illegally attacking Iran?

Under pressure from Cindy Sheehan and other impeachment activists, the old John Conyers this week put his toes back in the impeachment pool.

It’s time now for him to dive right in.

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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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