Civil Liberties

"Wherever you live, whether that’s in Iceland or Maryland, there are courts fiddling with the liberty of your fellow citizens every day, right down the street from you."

So now that the White House is trying to enforce existing gun laws, the gun-rights crowd claims it’s overreach and tyranny.

Art by Richard Borge

All that is new are the gadgets we are sold—and the prospect that those gadgets might put many of us out of work.

I’m all for Santa and, more importantly, Jesus, but it seems that the same people defending Christmas from some phony war are the ones who would bar Jesus, Mary and Joseph from coming into the United States.

The new law disproportionately impacts the students and communities with highest needs, while continuing to profit a multi-billion-dollar testing industry.

Hakim/Afghan Peace Volunteers

In Kabul, I have often encountered women who walk long distances, desperate for help and clutching a rumor or a hint of work or sustenance

The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a landmark event in a national conversation that's been going on in our country for most of the last century. See this article from March 1961, "Medical Care Becomes a Right."

The office of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has crafted a new interpretation of the state’s open records law, claiming it can exempt records used in developing a final decision from disclosure. In this case, “new” is not “improved.”
 

Mitch McConnell recently attempted to ram through a last-minute extension of provisions in the Patriot Act that have been used to keep domestic spying “legal.”

The Progressive's December 2001 cover depicts a row of NSA agents whose computer screens say, "He's Got Mail!"

The Patriot Act's sweeping phone surveillance programs are finally illegal, but some of the issues addressed in Nat Hentoff's December, 2001, editorial titled "Why should we care? It's only the Constitution," still need solving.

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It's what Trump says he and Sanders have in common.

It's an attack crew backfire!

Can Sanders' campaign connect the dots on racial justice and economic inequality?

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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