Stephen C. Webster

In the latest outcropping of the Republican-driven "culture war" narrative, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has joined conservatives rushing to defend Phil Robertson, the star of television's "Duck Dynasty," who was suspended this week for making hateful remarks about LGBT people.


Two of Governor Chris Christie's political appointees have hired lawyers amid mounting questions over whether they abused their positions to inflict political retribution on a mayor who refused to endorse their boss.


Chemicals used in the natural gas extraction process known as "fracking" pose significant threats to human health, including cancer, infertility and birth defects, according to a study published this week in the journal Endocrinology.


Wall Street broker and radio host Peter Schiff took aim at Walmart workers this week, publishing a video on YouTube that features him mocking recent demonstrations that call for the mega-retailer to pay higher wages.

In a letter published online Tuesday morning, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden appealed to Brazilians, encouraging them to press on with investigations into American surveillance efforts and offering to help if he's granted permanent asylum.

When Representative Paul Ryan appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning, he and Senator Patty Murray extolled their so-called budget deal as a way to move Washington beyond the bitter partisan gridlock that forced a government shutdown earlier in the year.

A female state senator in Michigan shamed her Republican colleagues this week over a new law that requires women to purchase what she called "rape insurance" by graphically retelling her own experience with sexual assault.

A bizarre segment aired by Fox News this week actually asked the question: Should Santa Claus be white?

In the westernmost territory of the continental United States, where smoking marijuana is almost as common as drinking martinis and margaritas, a new poll finds that for the first time ever a clear majority has finally embraced the movement to tax and regulate the substance.


After learning about Wisconsin State Senator Kathleen Vinehout's car wreck on Sunday, thousands of well-wishing messages were sent to the likely gubernatorial candidate on social media platforms, including nice notes from Gov. Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Republican Party, and some of the local tea partiers.


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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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