Clarence Lusane

By Contributor on November 05, 2013

Republican obstructionism shows no signs of letting up, and a worthy nominee just became its latest victim.

President Obama nominated Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., to be director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. But Senate Republicans deprived him of that post through undemocratic means.

Watt became the first sitting member of Congress denied an executive appointment since 1843.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was able to muster only 56 votes, four short of the 60 votes he needed to overcome the filibuster threat that prevented a vote on the floor.

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By Contributor on September 17, 2013

The horrible irony of the Navy Yard shootings is that they took place in a city that has led the nation in gun control legislation.

For more than three decades, beginning in 1976, Washington, D.C, had the strictest gun laws in the country. Basically, unless you were a law enforcement officer, it was impossible to get a permit to own -- let alone carry -- a gun.

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By Contributor on May 20, 2013

President Obama is betraying his own promises and his Democratic base by agreeing to cut Social Security.

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By Ruth Conniff

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Here, for Labor Day, are the top ten working class hero movies of all time.

At a swank club in Madison, Walker supporters get an earful.

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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