Stephen C. Webster

<span class="floatleft"><img src="http://www.progressive.org/images/staff/stephenwebstermugshot.gif" width="70" ></span>Stephen C. Webster is The Progressive's web editor and director of our online operations. He previously spent five years as senior editor for The Raw Story, helping to grow the publication from 50,000 monthly readers to a 5 million reader powerhouse. His work has been cited in publications like The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Think Progress, Wired and Time, among others. Before making it in the national press, Webster put in four years with The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, then moved on to The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly and Austin Monthly. He joined The Progressive in 2013. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/stephencwebster">@StephenCWebster.</a><br>

By Stephen C. Webster on January 17, 2014

There have been so many revelations about the National Security Agency (NSA) since whistleblower Edward Snowden's emergence last June that it is hard for the average news reader to keep up with them. That in mind, here's our list of the 10 most important stories Snowden's whistleblowing has revealed.

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By Stephen C. Webster on January 17, 2014

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell speech, given 53 years ago this day, shook a nation still struggling to move past the horrors we witnessed in World War II. He warned of a new power that had risen up in the wake of that war -- the power of America's military industrial complex -- telling us in no uncertain terms that it holds the potential to destroy our democracy.

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By Stephen C. Webster on January 13, 2014

When the rightwing smear blog Breitbart.com first published a deceptively-edited video of former U.S. Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod in July of 2010, the rightwing media went berserk, trumpeting the footage as proof that it's the Obama Administration, and not the tea party, that had been behaving in a racist manner.

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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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