Rebecca Kemble

Rebecca Kemble is a frequent contributor to The Progressive. 

In an address to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's "State of Wisconsin Business" gathering last Wednesday, Scott Walker said his top priority for the next legislative session that begins in January is to pass a controversial iron mining bill drafted by WMC and lawyers for the Gogebic Taconite mining company that passed the assembly but failed in the senate earlier this year when R

Governor Scott Walker continues to forge blindly ahead with his extreme rightwing agenda for Wisconsin, even as the winds of scandal are blowing ever stronger and are aimed right at him.

In a wide-ranging John Doe investigation now entering its third year, several of Walker's aides have been indicted for campaigning while working as members of his Milwaukee County Executive staff, while others are awaiting trial for embezzlement and child enticement.

This past Tuesday the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association filed a suit in Dane County Circuit Court against Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission for violation of their constitutional rights with the passage of Act 10, the law that removed meaningful collective bargaining rights from most public workers, and parts of Act 32 that modified the law.

Under Scott Walker's reign in Wisconsin, multinational corporations are given undue influence over public policy. Nowhere is this more evident than in public education. Some of the largest corporations in the world -- GE, Caterpillar, Koch Industries -- have privileged seats at Walker's policy table, but they don't necessarily show up themselves. Instead, they activate a whole network of local actors to do their bidding.

Across the country statewide political contests and ballot initiatives resulted in the defeat of extremist rightwing candidates and the victory of progressive social issues like same-sex marriage and the legalization of marijuana. But even as the popular vote expresses slightly more progressive tendencies, the legacy of the 2010 Tea Party victory in state legislatures lives on through highly partisan redistricting.

Wisconsin Capitol Police continue to harass the Solidarity Singers and have begun sending citations to participants through certified mail. More than 30 people have been given over 80 citations to date.

Act 21 gave Scott Walker the power to set the rules for the implementation of all the laws. A judge just ruled Act 21 unconstitutional—at least in regards to the state superintendent of schools.

One elected official told a group of businesspeople: “My ears are open to all of you because you guys are the minds, I’m the tool.”

The only real hope we have for a decent future as a species lies in facing the true social and ecological consequences or our behavior.


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Trump's politics are not the problem.

The fiery Milwaukee Sheriff is on the shortlist to head the Department of Homeland Security.

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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