Will Durst

Paul Cordio

Illustration by Paul Cordio

Back in the fall of 1987, Congresswoman Pat Schroeder of Colorado entered the Democratic primary race, upping the contingent for the 1988 presidential nomination to eight. This exceedingly enormous aggregate was immediately ridiculed as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Proof of our nation's growth that today we hear not one word about Carly Fiorina and the others as Snow White and the Sixteen Dwarfs.


When the Pope announced this morning that he was resigning, he mentioned that he could no longer lead given "the pressures of spiritual leadership in the modern world."

The modern world is reacting by pointing out some of the ways in which the Catholic Church might better respond to those pressures: especially when it comes to women, gay people, the sex abuse crisis in the Church, and Rome's relationship with other great world religions. Here is a mix of old and new selections from Progressive writers -- check back for more throughout the day.

-- Ruth Conniff


Before the Oscars, check out these political awards. Best Choreography: Grover Norquist. Best Direction: The Koch Brothers.

Every time Barack H Obama says “compromise,” first person to stop laughing is exempt from drinking 2 shot glasses of beer.


Maybe Obama should have let the NSA handle healthcare.gov. After all, they have all our information and probably know which plan best fits.

For Tiger Woods. A marriage mulligan.

For Hall & Oates. Another 500 or so casinos in Las Vegas so Cirque du Soleil finally gets around to doing a show based on them.

For Barack Obama. A reset switch for his Presidency.

For Joe Biden. Since his foot spends so much time in his mouth, mint-flavored shoelaces.

For Sarah Palin’s Publisher. More best sellers targeted to people who don’t read. Maybe an “audio book for the deaf” division. Cookbooks for Supermodels.

10. Governor Mark Sanford (R- SC) and Senator John Ensign (R- Nev) both found to have a bit of a problem in the monogamy department. The GOP breathes a sigh of relief that at least they were caught with women.

9. Beer Summit. Resolution sounded like the set up for a joke. A professor, a cop and a president walk into a bar. Because as we all know, beer fixes racism.

8. Swine Flu. To keep from defaming our proud American factory pig farms, government attempts to change name to SOIV: Swine Originated Influenza Virus. Fails to catch on.

Citizens of America, stay in your homes. The Minority leadership unleashed their legions of virtual undead to battle the White House’s economic stimulus package with a soul sapping single- mindedness and they’re still out there.

It might have been the shortest honeymoon this side of a drunken Britney Spears careening off of quarter poker video games in Vegas. I’m talking about Barack Obama’s relationship with the press after his Inauguration as the 44th President of the United States.


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Earl Holloway

"It was important to her that people understood the government, understood their rights, and understood the...

Did Special Registration for Muslims make us safer? Hardly. And the negative impacts linger.

Helen Caldicott, a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, calls this “one of the most frightening books...

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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