Wisconsin Wire

With all the certainty of a graying obstetrician, Scott Walker declared that the question of aborting a pregnancy to save a woman's life is a hypothetical that doesn't need discussing, because it’s a situation that just never happens.

"It's a false choice," said Walker. "There's always a better option out there. I've said for years, medically, there's always a better choice than choosing between the life of an unborn baby and the life of the mother, so that's just a false choice out there. That's my point. There's always better choices out there. Medically, that's just a non-issue."

Meet Cecily Kellogg.

Three years ago on Aug. 5, a white supremacist murdered six Sikh-Americans at their Gurdwara or place of worship in Oak Creek, Wis. We need to alter our policies—and our political discourse—to make sure that such a tragedy never occurs again.

For four years, until recently, I wrote a weekly column that ran in newspapers across Wisconsin. It was called “Money & Politics,” and it dealt with campaign financing, elections, lobbying and ethics.

My beat, in other words, was essentially the same as that of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board. And it brought me into frequent contact with that agency’s leadership and staff.

When I went to work as the legislative director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in 2003, I was unprepared for the attacks this venerable women’s health-care group experiences on a routine basis. There are organizations solely dedicated to shutting down Planned Parenthood, and more pop up every day. Even before the 2010 Tea Party takeover in state capitols around the country, including ours, the relentless legal and political attacks on Planned Parenthood were unending.

Wisconsin’s public record law states that "all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them," that there is a "presumption of complete public access," and that only in "exceptional cases" can someone be denied access to these records.

It was a banner week for the billionaires who have invested in Governor Scott Walker, the Wisconsin state legislature and the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Just as Donald Trump got a bump for “calling a spade a spade” with his racist attack on Mexican immigrants, Walker, in his announcement, was speaking to a strain of race-baiting in the white suburbs of Milwaukee that has played a significant role in his political rise.


For the last several years, The Progressive has covered Scott Walker’s reversal of Wisconsin’s progressive legacy. The Republican governor, elected in 2010, set out to divide and conquer the state with his own brand of anti-public-interest politics.


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“Climate change isn’t an ‘issue’ to add to the list of things to worry about, next to healthcare and taxes,” Klein...

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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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