If there is one common language across the food system in America, from the fields to the dishwashing rooms, it is Spanish.

With the publication of the incredibly powerful photograph of Aylan Kurdi, the boy who drowned while fleeing the fighting in Syria, let’s hope the world pays attention to that awful war for more than one news cycle.  Aylan has become the symbol of the current refugee crisis, the largest mass migration since World War II.


Imagine a politician so desperate to stay relevant that he runs out and takes the most contrary position possible to any rational argument. We don’t have to imagine, though, since we have Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, now a GOP presidential contender. Image credit: Gage Skidmore

Author Mohsin Hamid

Writer Mohsin Hamid’s life has straddled three continents. His new collection of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches From Lahore, New York, and London, taps his uniquely internationalist perspective. Image credit: Ed Kashi

Editor's Note: This week in 1968, Cesar Chavez ended a twenty-three-day fast in solidarity with American farm workers, joined by four thousand supporters.

I come from a long line of strong women. Women who left home and made a new life in a foreign land. These women’s blood flows in mine. I know their stories because they were revealed to me at the kitchen table, when the adults forgot I was listening with big ears and eyes.

Protestors hold a sign reading "Illegal and immoral war are not heroic."

“It’s important for people of conscience to be critical of the ways Hollywood perpetuates war and racism, quite frankly, through film." Image credit: Ed Rampell

Stock image of immigration documents: passport, visa, social security card.

"Miss . . . Khan?”

The customs official stops, looks up at me, looks back down at my passport, and hesitates. That’s always how it starts.


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This time we’ve got some advantages.

We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

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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