Fighting Bob Fest will be back in Baraboo on Saturday, September 13th, from 9am-5pm!

Fighting Bob Fest has been one of the largest gatherings of progressives in the country since 2001. The event is named for U.S. Senator Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette, who battled the robber barons of the early 20th century that had a stranglehold on Wisconsin politics and the economy. Activists attending this year's gathering will be preparing to fight modern robber barons with tips from some who have battled and won.

This year's line up of thought-provoking speakers will include U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, Representative Mark Pocan, Mary Burke, writer Jim Hightower, journalist John Nichols, and comedian Will Durst. Folk singer Anne Feeney and the Kissers will also be performing.

The keynote speaker Bernie Sanders stresses that economic inequality in the United States has not been so disparate since the Great Depression in 1928: “The top one percent owning 38 percent of wealth in America. Do you know what the bottom 60 percent own? 2.3 percent.” Sanders is reportedly considering a run for the presidency in 2016.

Karen Lewis, President of the Chicago Teachers Union, led a successful teachers' strike in September of 2012 which enjoyed widespread public support. Prior to the strike, teachers conducted extensive community outreach educating parents and community leaders about the needs of students, schools and teacher. Not only has Lewis proved herself to be a fierce defender of free, universal public education, but news reports indicate that she has formed an exploratory committee to consider a run for mayor of Chicago in 2015.

If you can’t make it to Baraboo on Saturday, come to the kickoff event on Friday, September 12th, at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison from 7-9:30pm, featuring speeches from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Jim Hightower, State Representatives Chris Taylor and Melissa Sargent, and music by Sean Michael Dargan.

Find directions to the Sauk County Fairgrounds and pre-register at

Then share the event’s Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @FightingBob2014.

See you in Baraboo!




glad to know it's still alive and well, though we can't attend this year. Getting old but no too old to read email and think about politics....good luck...sounds like a good lineup.
How is Mary Burke not a "robber baron"?

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The new head of the Environmental Protection has a history of suing the agency for trying to do its job.

The reach of this story extends from the lowliest working stiff to the highest court in the land.

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).

Public School Shakedown

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