Stories by rebecca kemble

The struggle to maintain Wisconsin's capitol rotunda as a public forum for free political speech is being taken to the next level by a University of Wisconsin professor and the Wisconsin ACLU. Yesterday attorneys Larry Dupuis of the ACLU and Steven Porter filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of Michael Kissick against Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch and Capitol Police Chief David Erwin.

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Yesterday Wisconsin lawmakers passed a controversial mining deregulation bill out of two committees. Assembly and Senate mining committees were scheduled to meet at the same time on opposite sides of the state Capitol building. Both Republican-dominated committees passed the bill on party-line votes over strenuous objections of Democrats.

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Now that unions have been so profoundly disempowered, there is no force countering the seemingly inevitable plunge of public education into the ranks of commoditized public goods to be bought and sold on the market.

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The new police chief uses dubious arrests plus PR BS to close down the open, democratic space of the state capitol.

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About 150 people showed up at the Madison Capitol rotunda today for the Solidarity Sing Along after news of the Capitol Police delivering citations to people’s homes spread last night.

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In a visit to a Madison high school, Arne Duncan sounded more like the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce than the Department of Education.

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“Women voting for Republicans are like deer voting for the NRA,” said one speaker.

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It seemed like Barrett and Falk were using the forum as a warm-up for debates with Walker rather than answering direct questions or discussing policy differences amongst themselves.

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State Senator Kathleen Vinehout filed for her run in the Democratic primary saying, “The people of Wisconsin are tired of money in politics and being told who to vote for.”

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An unusual alliance blossomed among hunting, fishing, environmental, and tribal activists.

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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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