Stories by contributor

By Contributor on May 16, 2014

It’s college graduation time, and while it’s a happy occasion for the graduates and their families, it comes at a high price.

According to the most recent national statistics available, 71 percent of college seniors from the class of 2012 had student loan debt averaging $29,400 for a bachelor’s degree. Based on the trend over the last two decades, members of the class of 2014 can expect to find themselves in even worse shape.

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By Contributor on May 14, 2014

By Rebecca Kemble and Hannah Nyoike

Fifty years ago, during the Freedom Summer of 1964, activists in Jackson, Mississippi, led voter registration drives that eventually made Mississippi the state with the highest number of black elected officials in the country. Mississippi is famous for the great civil rights battles of the 1960s. But it also consistently ranks dead last in quality of life indices like income inequality, quality of public education, and access to healthcare and healthy food.

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By Contributor on May 14, 2014

Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio wants to have his cake and eat it, too.

Rubio’s recent declaration in New Hampshire that he is “ready to be president” may seem like he’s taking the reins of his own political destiny, but his half-hearted commitment to immigration reform is a betrayal of Hispanics and shows he’s trying to play the American voter for a fool.

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By Contributor on May 13, 2014

State Representative Chris Taylor reports from last week's ALEC conference in Missouri, where corporations seek to overthrow democracy, with the help of state legislators and rightwing think tanks.

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By Contributor on May 09, 2014

Mother’s Day can be particularly devastating for parents of migrant children.

Last September, I met Mathy, a Sri Lankan refugee in California. Mathy told me her family had been hiding in a tiny apartment in Bangkok.

Early one morning, when she stepped out, immigration police raided and took her four daughters, the youngest being 8 years old, to the infamous Bangkok Immigration Detention Center.

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By Contributor on May 06, 2014

This week’s Supreme Court decision allowing some sectarian prayer at city council meetings is a deeply disappointing betrayal of America’s honored progressive values. Once again, the lopsided conservative majority proudly announced that it is on the wrong side of history.

In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the four staunchly non-progressive justices huddled together in what social scientists call “in group bias.” They patronizingly viewed us “out group” atheists, agnostics, Jews and other non-Christians as marginalized citizens.

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By Contributor on April 30, 2014

Tim Carpenter never lost faith in the very real prospect of a very radical change for the better. And he never lost his organizer’s certainty that the tipping point that would make the change was just a few more phone calls, a few more rallies, a few more campaigns away.

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By Contributor on April 29, 2014

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was right to ban L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million.

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By Contributor on April 26, 2014

The Chicago Board of Education's vote on Wednesday to convert three public elementary schools into "turnaround schools" run by the non-profit Academy for Urban School Leadership (AUSL) was no surprise to most parents and teachers.

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By Contributor on April 23, 2014

 

by Frank Smyth

Last Friday The New York Times finally addressed a conflict of interest that it had been ignoring for years. Although, among the powerful institutions that have long done so, the Times is hardly alone. The matter helps illustrate how the gun lobby has managed to shape the nation’s gun debate without showing its hand. The news comes to light one day before the start of the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Indianapolis.

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BREAKING NEWS: Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson of Bhopal infamy died a fugitive from justice. The Progressive got...

This Halloween movie will scare anyone who cares about news.

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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