Wendell Berry’s Pacifism: Part II, 1970-2013

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Walter Moss: In his 1968 anti-Vietnam-War speech Berry mentioned the claim that we are a Christian and a democratic country, but that he found “nothing in the Gospels or in the Declaration of Independence or in the Constitution to justify . . . our slaughter of women and children.”

What Is Progressivism?

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Walter Moss: What unites us, as it did the early Progressives, is resistance to–in Muir’s memorable phrase–“trying to make everything dollarable.”

Wendell Berry’s Reflections on Racism

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Walter Moss: What I like most about Berry’s comments on racism is his linking it with a broader perspective on what type of society and culture he thinks the United States should have. More about that later, but first it should be noted that his general view is consistent with most liberal/progressive thinking.

Right-Wing Truth-Trampling

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Walter Moss: The most egregious recent example of some right-wing organizations’ truth-trampling is their praise for newspaper columnist Diana West’s revised version of McCarthyism in American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Character.

More Money But a Sicker Planet?

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Walter Moss: We tend to forget or marginalize environmental problems while putting to the forefront more immediate concerns like money or whatever stories our media tells us are most important

From 1900 to the Boston Marathon: Reflections on Killing

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Walter Moss: American Media coverage makes it almost impossible to ignore the tragic deaths mentioned in places like Newtown and Boston, but to empathize with all the similar sufferings in the rest of the world, and to ask ourselves how the USA contributes to any of it, we have to exert ourselves.

Testing the New Pope’s Commitment to Poverty

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Walter Moss: Since the new pope seems to have a good sense of humor, he might appreciate the following irony: Although the Catholic Church he now heads bars women from the priesthood and his church is often accused of gender bias, the twentieth-century person who most forcefully embraced the ideals of St. Francis was a woman — Dorothy Day.

From the Dust Bowl to Hurricane Sandy

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Wa;ter Moss: The destruction, personal suffering, and tragedies caused by our recent Hurricane Sandy were not a repeat of the 1930s’ Dust Bowl, but they were close enough to remind us that we have ignored at our peril a basic historical lesson: Screw up the environment badly enough and it’ll come back to blow you away with a vengeance.

The President We Now Need

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Walter Moss: Given the continuing Republican control of the House of Representatives and the leading role of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Paul Ryan, how does the president move the country forward? By principled compromise and exercising abundant political craftsmanship!

Mitt Romney’s Soliloquy

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Walter Moss: Krugman simply doesn’t understand in government there’s too much fat (and if you’re a teacher or state worker, probably a Democrat).

Blessed Are the Poor, But Not in America

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Walter Moss: The first thing we need to do is roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. If we can’t do that, we’re not going to have the resources to do the next ten things.

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