Stories by ruth conniff

By Ruth Conniff on July 22, 2014

A new Marquette Law School poll released July 23 shows the Wisconsin governor's race remains a dead heat, as Walker launches a swift-boat ad campaign accusing opponent Mary Burke of outsourcing jobs.

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By Ruth Conniff on July 18, 2014

On Friday, July 18, thousands of people marched through downtown Detroit.

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By Ruth Conniff on July 16, 2014

Grom Social, a new social media site for kids, is bursting with cuteness, but is also poised to cash in big by marketing products to children and parents alike.

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By Ruth Conniff on July 10, 2014

My family and I are just back from the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota. Our summer vacation up north is a cherished annual trek.

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By Ruth Conniff on June 25, 2014

Walker's backers are throwing up a lot of bad arguments to try to save his hide.

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By Ruth Conniff on June 20, 2014

Scott Walker appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning to defend himself against Thursday’s bombshell national news story that he is at the center of a “criminal scheme” to evade campaign finance law.

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By Ruth Conniff on June 18, 2014

Tonight the Millwaukee-based Bradley Foundation—“the most powerful rightwing organization in America no one seems to know about,” as one progressive activist describes it—will present awards worth $250,000 in prize money each to conservative journalists at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.  

You, too can participate!

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By Ruth Conniff on June 11, 2014

Most of the news about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's stunning primary loss this week focused on his opponent Dave Brat's appeal to the anti-immigrant Tea Party base.

But there is another, more interesting angle to Brat's win, and that is what he had to say about the corruption of the Republican Party because of its coziness with big business, and especially the big banks.

In a speech to a Tea Party audience in Mechanichsville,

Brat outlined the origins of the financial crisis in the United States:

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By Ruth Conniff on June 02, 2014

The week after Governor Scott Walker's opponent Mary Burke pulled even with Walker in the polls, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity dumped $900,000 into a major TV ad buy in Wisconsin, aimed at persuading Wisconsinites that things are going better in the state than they may think.

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By Ruth Conniff on May 25, 2014

California Secretary of State candidate Derek Cressman has made a career of fighting the billionaires who are trying to hijack democracy. 

His biggest victory so far was a 2012 case that resulted in the largest fine for a campaign-finance violation in California history.

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A new report by Human Rights Watch and the Columbia Law School focuses on the dubiousness of federal terrorism sting...

Starting on July 28, 1914, a month after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, a series of European powers...

ALEC holds its 41st annual meeting in Dallas, Texas starting on Wednesday, July 30, 2014.

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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