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Ruth Conniff watches Tim Geithner get bewildered.

Dave Zirin[[:zirinmay09.html| hits it around with Pete Rose]].

On the Line

Cover

[[:zinn0509.html|Changing Obama’s Mindset]] Howard Zinn

Obama has to be pulled in the right direction.

Features

Paid Sick Leave Pays Off Barbara Miner

With a victory in a Milwaukee referendum, the movement is now national.

Window Dressing in Iraq David Enders and Alaa Majeed

The U.S. military is doing the bare minimum—and sometimes less—when it comes to abiding by the Status of Forces Agreement.

The Myth of the Efficient Car Alec Dubro

The problem with the car is the car.

A One-Woman AIDS Campaign Violet Law

Meet Dr. Gao Yaojie, who spreads the word about HIV in China at great personal risk.

Interview

Rajendra Pachauri Amitabh Pal

"The U.S. has lost a lot of time—the world has lost a lot of time—in moving from fossil fuels to alternatives," says the Nobel Peace Prize-winning scientist.

Culture

Will Durst says steroids, schmeroids—let's play ball.

Poem Timothy Liu

Books Matthew Rothschild reviews Plunder and Blunder, by Dean Baker; The Great Financial Crisis, by John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff; and The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008, by Paul Krugman.

Jim Hightower decries the surge in private contractors in Afghanistan.

More

John Kerry used two weak arguments to justify President Obama’s war-making.

Wisconsin election officials and advocates are being forced to make an "extraordinary effort" to adjust to voter ID...

Occupy changed how we felt. We were the motor of history, not just its victims. The mic check gave us a...

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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