Stories by contributor

By Contributor on May 28, 2014

The Egyptian election has shown the divide within the country [and] former army chief Al-Sisi is expected to win.

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By Contributor on May 26, 2014

"Let the dead of all our wars be honored. Let the living pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again."

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By Contributor on May 23, 2014

Obama has chosen Julian Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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By Contributor on May 22, 2014

It’s decision time in Detroit... each of 32,000 Detroit city workers with vested pensions must make a hard choice by the second week of July.

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By Contributor on May 21, 2014

Recent court decisions in Idaho, Oregon and Pennsylvania overturning bans on same-sex marriage illustrate how indefensible these bans are.

Roughly a dozen state and federal courts in every corner of the country have ruled in recent months that prohibiting same-sex couples from entering into legally recognized domestic unions is inherently unconstitutional.

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By Contributor on May 20, 2014

California is a trendsetter. Food, fashion, music, film… a lot of what makes up contemporary American culture today got its start in the Golden State. Usually, that’s a good thing. But not always.

What happened in California last week was a bad omen for the rest of the country, particularly if the Keystone XL pipeline is built.

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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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Malala Yousafzai meets with the Obamas. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

When Yousafzai left the White House, she was whisked away to speak at the exclusive private school that the...

Mauldin cartoon from the Chicago Sun-Times depicts Fidel Castro musing to a portrait of Karl Marx, "I'll bet you never had to deal with Cubans."

From our 1963 archive, this piece explores the tension between the United States and Cuba after the Bay of Pigs...

Chris Christie excoriates a teacher in front of a crowd.

It’s become difficult for Christie to continue to blame his failures on teachers and their unions; and yet, like a...

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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