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By Contributor on February 14, 2006

Blogressive February 14, 2006

"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself."

A real hunter knows that yelling "Duck!" on a duck hunt isn't a good strategy. But then Vice President Dick Cheney isn't a real sportsman. Purchasing a Butterball at the Piggly Wiggly is more challenging than one of his "hunts." His fondness for canned hunting would make Davy Crocket's stomach turn:

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By Contributor on February 14, 2006

When the right-wing Danish daily Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad, it did so with its eyes wide open.

While many people defend that decision by citing the cardinal virtue of freedom of the press, this decision bordered on incitement as it deliberately provoked Muslims. A picture of the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb for a turban is poor satire, maligning not a contemporary political figure but the faith of 1.2 billion people, and it sows the seeds of hatred and division.

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By Contributor on February 08, 2006

As a physician, I'm troubled by our nation's health care costs.

They have hit the $1.9 trillion mark and now consume 16 percent of the gross domestic product. That translates into a whopping $6,280 per person.

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By Contributor on February 08, 2006

Real wages continue to fall as President Bush touts a "healthy and vigorous" economy. During the annual State of the Union address, he even declared that the U.S. economy was "the envy of the world."

Yet despite economic growth, most American workers saw wages and compensation fall behind inflation, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute. And those at the bottom were hit hardest.

While the overall economy may show growth, real wages -- wages that have been adjusted for inflation -- have actually fallen since 2001, according to The New Yorker.

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By Contributor on February 08, 2006

On Feb. 2, Jacob Robida walked into a gay bar in New Bedford, Mass., and did his best to kill the patrons. Wielding a hatchet and handgun, the 18-year-old seriously wounded three men -- and left the nation shocked by his wanton brutality.

Media reports dissected the graphic hate posted on his personal Web page -- his Nazi worship, his death and violence obsession, his "Jake Jekyll" alias. All of these details have served to set Robida apart from normal people. He was extreme; his hate was extraordinary.

But Robida's crime was not so uncommon.

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By Contributor on February 07, 2006
Blogressive February 7, 2006

End of the "Status Joe" or just a temporary loss of "Joe-mentum"?

If Bush's coattails can't help a Republican in the general election, it's doubtful that they will help a Democrat in a Democratic primary.

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By Contributor on February 07, 2006

If you believe that women should have equal rights, bow your head in honor of Betty Friedan, who died on Feb. 4, her 85th birthday.

Friedan's 1963 best-seller, "The Feminine Mystique," challenged the view that women could find fulfillment only in suburban domesticity: baking brownies, choosing color-coordinated curtains and keeping their husband's dinner warm until all hours of the night.

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By Contributor on February 07, 2006

As the crimes of the Bush administration continue to mount, it becomes increasingly difficult to avoid the "I" word: impeachment.

As a result of his continuing abuse of power, the impeachment option is making its way from the margin to the mainstream. Legal scholars on the left and the right argue that Bush may have committed "high crimes and misdemeanors," as stated in Article II, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution.

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By Contributor on February 06, 2006

A robust debate and numerous personal conversations are helping our nation, in President Lincoln's words, "think anew" about how America treats gay couples and their kids and loved ones.

Every year, around Lincoln's birthday and Valentine's Day, gay and non-gay people gather in living rooms, houses of worship, parks and civic halls to celebrate the values of equality and love, and call for an end to discrimination in marriage.

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By Contributor on February 06, 2006

In December, we traveled to Iran for 10 days, and we heard many legitimate questions from Iranian citizens.

Here are some of them:

What right does the United States have to deny Iran the peaceful use of nuclear power when the United States itself has many nuclear power plants?

Why does the U.S. want the United Nations to impose sanctions on Iran when the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty allows it to do nuclear enrichment to fuel its own nuclear power plants?

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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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