Stories by contributor

By Contributor on March 21, 2006

Just a few hundred miles north of my home in Fairbanks, Alaska, an enormous amount of crude oil has blackened the snow -- the largest oil spill in the history of the North Slope development.

More than 260,000 gallons of oil leaked undetected for days through a quarter-inch hole in a corroded pipe in the Prudhoe Bay field. The molasses-thick crude covered two acres of frozen wetlands, oozing beneath the snow toward the edge of a lake.

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By Contributor on March 16, 2006

A conservative revolution has quietly been taking place on college campuses across the country. Scholarships, fellowships and other funding programs previously earmarked for women and minorities are now being made available to white and non-minority students.

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By Contributor on March 16, 2006

Our country ought to give a moment of pause for a lesser-sung heroine of the civil rights movement who died earlier this month. Anne Braden, who died at age 81 in Louisville, Ky., was a white Southern woman who made it her lifelong project to show whites the error of their ways.

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By Contributor on March 15, 2006

aABC's new reality series "Miracle Workers" is insulting to people with disabilities.

According to the show's Web site, the program is "a life-changing new series about real people overcoming insurmountable odds with the help of an elite team of medical professionals." But it's a pandering show that exploits the lives and stories of people with disabilities, and it uses offensive cliches and destructive myths to drive up the show's ratings.

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By Contributor on March 13, 2006

Dear friend:

I'm off on vacation for a week, but before I go, I'd like to draw your attention to a phenomenal essay that Howard Zinn has in our April issue, which hasn't gotten to subscribers yet, so you're getting a sneak peek.

It's called "America's Blinders," and in it, Zinn explains why people fell for Bush's Iraq deceptions. Zinn says there are two reasons: amnesia about the history of Presidential lies and aggressions, and nationalism itself.

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By Contributor on March 10, 2006

I was in the Atlanta airport recently, cruising a bookstore, when this catchy title leaped out at me: Women Who Make the World Worse: and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports. Since the author is National Review Washington editor and Fox News pundit Kate O’Beirne, I indulged my vanity and looked up my own name in the index. There I was, right up front on page four, credited with ruining our families.

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By Contributor on March 08, 2006

This Women's History Month brings much to celebrate for Latinas in the United States.

Not only do we have a strong legacy of Latinas involved in movements for positive change, we also have a new generation of Latinas who are speaking up today for racial equity and serving as role models for young people.

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By Contributor on March 08, 2006

America must get its priorities straight.

Several recent studies show that the income gap between rich and poor Americans is widening. The nation's wealth is under the control of fewer and fewer people, and this tide of inequality threatens democracy.

A study released in late January by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute found that the gap between the highest-income families and poor and middle-income families is significantly wider than it was 25 years ago.

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By Contributor on March 08, 2006

On January 22, 2002, Evo was expelled from Paradise.

Or rather: Deputy Morales was thrown out of Parliament.

On January 22, 2006, in the same grand chamber, Evo Morales was sworn in as the president of Bolivia.

Or rather: Bolivia is beginning to realize that it is a country with an indigenous majority.

At the time of Evo’s expulsion, an Indian deputy was rarer than a green dog.

Not so four years later: Today there are many legislators who chew coca leaves, an age-old custom once prohibited in the sacred halls of parliament.

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By Contributor on March 08, 2006

Blogometer

The hottest topic in the progressive blogosphere.

The big muddy

"Why would I believe him? This administration, including the president, (has) mischaracterized this war for the last two years."

Rep. Jack Murtha responds to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace's statement that everything in Iraq is "going very, very well."

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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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