Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero

By Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero

Congratulations to the nonviolent activists who have come forward after exposing illegal FBI spying 43 years ago.

On March 8, 1971, a group of eight peace activists, including two professors, broke into an FBI office in a Philadelphia suburb and carried away every document they could lay their hands on.

The team of burglars, a sort of real-life "Ocean's Eleven," strongly believed they would find evidence of FBI lawbreaking.

They found the evidence they were looking for, and much more.

Neither President Obama nor some opponents of war with Syria are being forthright when they say they are standing up for the people of that country.

By advocating bombing Syria, Obama is likely to end up killing hundreds if not thousands of innocent people in Syria.

He says he is responding to a war crime, but he would be committing a graver war crime by launching attacks on Syria. Justice Robert Jackson at the Nuremburg Trials said the biggest war crime of all is to engage in an aggressive war.

This week marks the 32nd anniversary of the arrest of Lopez Rivera, who is currently serving a de facto life sentence for seditious conspiracy.

Lopez Rivera belonged to the Armed Forces of National Liberation of Puerto Rico, or FALN (the group's Spanish acronym). The FALN set off several bombs in the United States in the 1970s.

But Lopez Rivera was never convicted of involvement in those acts. Instead, he was convicted of a thought crime: wanting to overthrow the U.S. government.

This week marks the 32nd anniversary of the arrest of Lopez Rivera, who is currently serving a de facto life sentence for seditious conspiracy.

Lopez Rivera belonged to the Armed Forces of National Liberation of Puerto Rico, or FALN (the group's Spanish acronym). The FALN set off several bombs in the United States in the 1970s.

But Lopez Rivera was never convicted of involvement in those acts. Instead, he was convicted of a thought crime: wanting to overthrow the U.S. government.

Don't expect Puerto Rico to become the 51st state this year.

For one thing, support for statehood among Puerto Ricans is not nearly as massive as the American media have suggested.

Back in November, Puerto Rico had a referendum on what kind of relationship the island nation should have with the United States.

On the referendum, voters were presented with two ballots. The first one contained a question: "Are you content with the current territorial political status?"

The battle for safe food is not over, despite the defeat in California.

California's Proposition 37, which would have made it mandatory to label foods containing ingredients from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), was narrowly defeated on Nov. 6 as a result of a $46 million fear-mongering propaganda campaign funded mainly by the biotechnology and food-processing industries.

Those who thought that peak oil would mean that the world economy would “by necessity” embrace renewable energy were fooling themselves. Even as the alarms were ringing, industry and consumers here remained addicted to fossil fuels.

By Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero

Here’s a trend to watch in the coming year: the rise of new economic powers.

China, India and Brazil are in the ascendancy, as the economies of United States, Europe and Japan continue to stagnate.

China and India are the two most populous countries in the world, together having about 37 percent of the world’s population.

With 780 million workers, China has the world’s largest workforce. India is in second place, with 478 million. Both countries together have about 40 percent of the planet’s workforce.

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A couple thousand "nobles sauvages" and nerdy savants from across the republic are letting loose this weekend.

If I lived in South Dakota, I’d probably be in a nursing home. And that would be hell.

The nights would start with beer and end with coffee—a lot of coffee.

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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