Stories by rebecca kemble

By Rebecca Kemble on December 22, 2011

This local alliance of corporate executives, libertarian politicians and “educational entrepreneurs” is all about business.


By Rebecca Kemble on December 19, 2011

"It is totally inappropriate to ask citizens to waive their rights away."


By Rebecca Kemble on December 16, 2011

This is a tragic story that pits well-intentioned community members against one another in a battle for ever-diminishing public resources.


By Rebecca Kemble on December 14, 2011

The bill increases already lengthy pre-abortion counseling requirements and increases legal liability for physicians who provide abortions.


By Rebecca Kemble on December 07, 2011

The leader of the Solidarity Sing Along insists, “The Constitution is my permit.”


By Rebecca Kemble on December 05, 2011

One carried a sign that said, “Ayn Rand was an Atheist,” and an 11-year-old handed the governor a “Recall Walker” sign.


By Rebecca Kemble on December 01, 2011

The clearest example is in the effort to forestall the campaigns to recall Scott Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and four Republican senators.


By Rebecca Kemble on November 22, 2011

Low-performing choice and charter schools would not be subject to the potential sanctions levied on their public school counterparts.


By Rebecca Kemble on November 17, 2011

I found myself riveted to the gruesome details of the authoritarian political maneuvering of these rightwing legislators.

By Rebecca Kemble on November 10, 2011

Doing your job as a civil servant or appointed governmental board member in Wisconsin is becoming more complicated as the ramifications of newly passed laws and executive orders come into effect.




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When Californians need more water, they take it from their neighbors. Image credit: Robert Goldstrom

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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