Trumbo” is a rarity: A Hollywood movie with a heroic lead identified as a Communist. Dalton Trumbo was reputedly postwar Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriter, with such scripts under his belt as 1940’s class conscious “Kitty Foyle,” for which Ginger Rogers won a Best Actress Oscar, and World War II morale boosters like “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo” starring Spencer Tracy. But to keep this prestigious, well-paying job, as Dalton is warned by MGM’s mogul Louis B. Mayer (Richard Portnow), he best avoid politics.  


This year’s Nobel Peace Prize recognizes labor’s important role in the one success story of the Arab Spring.


“Even though we have helped organize so many women, we believe that rights are not enough."

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

With the publication of the incredibly powerful photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the boy who drowned while fleeing the fighting in Syria, let’s hope the world pays attention to that awful war for more than one news cycle.  Aylan has become the symbol of the current refugee crisis, the largest mass migration since World War II.


Black Panthers from Sacramento, Free Huey Rally, Bobby Hutton Memorial Park in Oakland, CA, 1969. Courtsey of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch

One wonders: If Huey patrolled the “pigs” today to make sure they did not violate citizens’ rights and were held accountable for their misdeeds, would he carry a cell phone instead of a rifle?

While everyone is distracted by a certain orange presidential candidate, a river turned orange in Colorado. The Animas River disaster happened when contractors working for the EPA accidentally released a toxic stew from an old abandoned gold mine.


The world, or at least the World of the Internets, is furious with the Minnesota dentist who stupidly killed Cecil the Lion. (How you shoot a huge lion with a tracking collar and claim to think it was, literally, fair game, I’ll never know.)


For four years, until recently, I wrote a weekly column that ran in newspapers across Wisconsin. It was called “Money & Politics,” and it dealt with campaign financing, elections, lobbying and ethics.

My beat, in other words, was essentially the same as that of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. And it brought me into frequent contact with that agency’s leadership and staff.


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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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