Stories by contributor

By Contributor on July 18, 2014

We need to provide refuge for the children arriving from Central America.

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By Contributor on July 17, 2014

The decision by NBA player LeBron James to leave the Miami Heat and return home to the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks well about him and holds lessons for us all.

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By Contributor on July 14, 2014

In this 1992 interview with The Progressive, the Nobel Prize-winner in Literature, who passed away on July 13, shared her insights on life, literature, politics—and more.

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By Contributor on July 10, 2014

The bombs into Gaza and the rockets into Israel will solve nothing. Meanwhile, Israel is losing its moral conscience.

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By Contributor on July 09, 2014

He took advantage of the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens to whip up ultra-nationalism.

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By Contributor on July 08, 2014

On July 18, thousands of activists will gather to reclaim the Motor City--and democracy.

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By Contributor on July 06, 2014

Nader chides progressives for backing Dems. He praises two third party candidates.

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By Contributor on July 05, 2014

Alito's claim that his Hobby Lobby decision was a narrow one is a joke.

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By Contributor on July 03, 2014

Nationalism is one of the great evils of our time.

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By Contributor on July 02, 2014

The 50th anniversary is cause for celebration for Asian Americans, but also for new anti-discrimination laws.

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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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