Stories by ruth conniff

By Ruth Conniff on December 12, 2014

There is a lot of excitement about Senator Elizabeth Warren's progressive stance. And young women voters The Progressive interviewed are more enthusiastic about Warren than Hillary Clinton.


By Ruth Conniff on December 08, 2014

This animated video by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mark Fiore looks at school privatization through the eyes of little Timmy, a kindergartener who likes his public school.


By Ruth Conniff on November 26, 2014

How do progressives regroup after the Republican victories of 2014? It starts at the very local level, says Scott Spector, whose group, Wisconsin Progress, is building a progressive farm team.


By Ruth Conniff on November 05, 2014

There will be a lot of triumphant rightwingers on television in the coming days. Progressives need to rally and fight back.


By Ruth Conniff on November 03, 2014

Republicans like Scott Walker have built a “rich-poor alliance,” by exploiting the anxiety and resentment of strapped non-union workers and reinforcing their suspicions that government doesn’t work for them.


By Ruth Conniff on October 31, 2014

By Ruth Conniff

Silly season is almost over.

But in these waning days before the November 4 election, Republicans are getting in their last shots at Democrats, voters, and workers who must survive on the minimum wage.

In Wisconsin, the rightwing news outlet Wisconsin Reporter ran a story this week claiming that Scott Walker’s opponent Mary Burke was fired for incompetence from her job at her family business, the Trek bicycle company.


By Ruth Conniff on October 23, 2014

From a puny real-estate deal to campaign finance scandals, Walker's stench is in the air.


By Ruth Conniff on October 15, 2014

By Ruth Conniff

On Tuesday, in a phone call with reporters four days after the first debate in the Wisconsin governor’s race, Mary Burke pushed back against Scott Walker’s record on jobs and schools.

Burke called for what she described as a “fair shot” economy for Wisconsin workers and students.


By Ruth Conniff on October 09, 2014

A new voter ID law that could disenfranchise as many as 300,000 Wisconsinites just days before the November election was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.


By Ruth Conniff on October 09, 2014

To defeat Scot Walker, the Democrats need to do more to overcome the Voter ID hurdle.




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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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