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Chapter 4 | Keeping Secrets

Carol O’Keefe Wilson University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter 4

Keeping Secrets

W

ith the governorship secured in early November 1914, James

Ferguson began making preparations to move to Austin where he and his family would have the honor of living in the fifty-nine-yearold Governor’s Mansion. His first and most urgent order of business was obtaining a replacement for himself as president of Temple State Bank.

In early January of 1915 at the Temple bank, Ferguson met with his choice of replacement, Mr. H. C. Poe. Certainly both men were optimistic, each looking to launch a promising new career in which a reciprocal spirit of cooperation and support was essential. The meeting, which was in no way spontaneous, amounted to the changing-of-the-guard at Temple State Bank. Governor-elect Ferguson was turning over the reins of the bank, now eight-and-a-half years old, to Poe, a man with considerable experience considering his age of thirty-three.1

James Ferguson was a name that probably had little significance to Poe prior to the 1914 governor’s race except, perhaps, in banking circles. The young banker was likely flattered at the prospect of replacing the governor-elect and was undoubtedly eager to prove that he was capable of the task. At the time, Poe was living in Eastland, Texas, where he had been a teacher and an elected county clerk before taking employment at the City National Bank of Eastland, where he had risen to the position of president. Poe and his wife, Leonora “Nora,” had one child, a six-year-old daughter who was called by her middle name, Gertrude.2

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Medium 9781576757611

Medicine for Health, Not for Profit

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From Screwed: The Undeclared War against the Middle Class

ANDY STEPHENSON WAS AN ACTIVIST, A VIGILANT WORKER ON behalf of clean voting in America. He worked tirelessly to help uncover details of electronic voting fraud in the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections. He devoted years of his life to making America a more democratic nation.

But in 2005 his friends had to pass the hat to help pay for surgery to save him from pancreatic cancer. The surgery cost about $50,000, but the hospital wanted $25,000 upfront, and Andy was uninsured.

We are the only developed democracy in the world where such a spectacle could take place.

Dickens wrote about such horrors in Victorian England—Bob Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, in need of medical care that was unavailable without a wealthy patron like Ebenezer Scrooge—but the United Kingdom has since awakened and become civilized.

Even the tyrants of communist China provide health care to their people, a bitter irony for the unemployed American factory workers they’ve displaced and for the poorly insured Wal-Mart workers who sell their goods.

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32. Biking with Kids by Chris Keam

Amy Walker New World Library ePub

Chris Keam

North America’s resurgent cycling culture is maturing. Many early adopters of the bike lifestyle are beginning a new stage in their lives. In making the transition from youthful independence to being adults with dependents, they face a challenge their parents probably never considered: raising bike-friendly kids. It’s a challenge that goes beyond simply getting kids on bikes.

To accommodate cycling kids means rethinking the way we design our neighborhoods, with safer streets and recreational amenities located closer to where children live. It means a new emphasis on function over fashion for manufacturers of children’s bicycles. It certainly means that schools, employers, and businesses need to rethink the way they operate — for example, by providing more bike racks on the school grounds, lockers and showers in the workplace, and space for bike trailers at the mall parking lot. Most of all, it means leading by example.

When they cycle together, many parents and children develop a connection that cannot exist in an automobile. Cycling together is a shared experience, unlike a car trip, with its inherent power differential between driver and passenger. Nothing builds a child’s self-esteem quite like trust and responsibility. Letting your kids ride for transportation means giving them both. And the benefits aren’t all on the child’s side.

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Medium 9781576754597

CHAPTER 4: TARGETING THE PERSUADABLES

Horn, Bernie Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Politics without targeting is like a fire hose without a nozzle. Yet advocates routinely point their spray of messages at the whole population. And then they are surprised when their political house burns down.

Any communications effort—from one person chatting with the neighbors to an entire presidential campaign—has limited resources. And any political decision—from the selection of a grant recipient to the election of a mayor—is made by a limited number of “deciders,” in the lingo of George W. Bush. For example, Bush received sixty-two million votes in 2004, representing just a little more than 20 percent of the U.S. population. Democratic candidates for the U.S. House received forty million votes in 2006, representing about 13 percent of Americans.

But the crucial audience is even smaller. In a general election, most voters are partisan Democrats and Republicans who can never be persuaded to support the other party’s candidate. Only a sliver of voters might vote for either party’s candidate—these are the persuadable voters. The proportion of persuadables is usually a bit larger in local elections, and larger still when you’re trying to galvanize support for an issue instead of a candidate.

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6 I Want to Be Committed

Samuli Schielke Indiana University Press ePub

 

Within a few months’ time in 2009, three friends told me independently of one another that they “wanted to be committed” (‘ayiz or ’ayza altazim) but found it surprisingly difficult and frustrating. They all share an experience that in the first decade of the twenty-first century became a paradigmatic case of intense spiritual and moral dedication: Salafi activism. Of the various movements and currents that characterize the Islamic revival, Salafism emerged in the first decade of the twenty-first century as one of the most powerful in setting the tone of what it means to be truly religious. And “commitment” (iltizam) has become a very compelling keyword for discussing and describing what it means to be a good Muslim.

Why is it difficult to be committed? Difficulty is definitely not the impression one gets from the sermons of preachers who emphasize the ease and simplicity of Islam as a comprehensive guide to life. Much of the attraction of the revivalist turn to textual knowledge and moral perfection in general, and Salafi Islam in particular, lies in its apparent simplicity and straightforwardness, typically expressed in ritual and moral rigor, a quest to leave no gray areas, the world neatly divided into the permitted and the prohibited. And yet most of those who sympathize with the idea of commitment do not try to turn it into reality. And many of those who do try (and increasingly many do, as Salafi preachers have been gaining more ground as representatives of the correct, standard Islam) eventually find their activist drive inexplicably receding, face problems in living a committed life, and discover more and more contradictions in the teachings and teachers they follow. When people try to be perfect, there is trouble involved.

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Medium 9781626566743

8. Civilization on Trial

Perkins, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“I’m taking you to a dalang,” Rasy beamed. “You know, the famous Indonesian puppet masters.” He was obviously pleased to have me back in Bandung. “There’s a very important one in town tonight.”

He drove me on his scooter through parts of his city I did not know existed, through sections filled with traditional Javanese kampong houses, which looked like a poor person’s version of tiny tile-roofed temples. Gone were the stately Dutch Colonial mansions and office buildings I had grown to expect. The people were obviously poor, yet they bore themselves with great pride. They wore threadbare but clean batik sarongs, brightly colored blouses, and wide-brimmed straw hats. Everywhere we went we were greeted with smiles and laughter. When we stopped, children rushed up to touch me and feel the fabric of my jeans. One little girl stuck a fragrant frangipani blossom in my hair.

We parked the scooter near a sidewalk theater where several hundred people were gathered, some standing, others sitting in portable chairs. The night was clear and beautiful. Although we were in the heart of the oldest section of Bandung, there were no streetlights, so the stars sparkled over our heads. The air was filled with the aromas of wood fires, peanuts, and cloves.

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Medium 9780870819087

I THE APPROACHING SUMMIT

Elisabeth C. Odum University Press of Colorado ePub

Like a giant train, the world economy is slowly cresting its trip up the mountain of growth. It may be ready soon for its long trip down to a more sustainable lower level. The developed nations that were leading on the way up are poised for leading again, but this time down. In Chapter 1 we explain the concept of A Prosperous Way Down, pointing to the later chapters on our present condition, the views of others, the principles by which the global system is understood, and the policies required for society to adapt. We also explain why we need to think with systems diagrams, the analogies with ecosystems, our summary of public skepticism, and the flip in attitude that is likely. Recall the story for children about the little train going up the mountain (Figure 1.1): “I think I can; I think I can.” Then coming down: “I thought I could; I thought I could.”

THE PROSPEROUS WAY DOWN

Precedents from ecological systems suggest that the global society can turn down and descend prosperously, reducing assets, population, and unessential baggage while staying in balance with its environmental life-support system. By retaining the information that is most important, a leaner society can reorganize itself and continue making progress. The situation is analogous to the human brain, which regularly dumps less essential information in short-term memory while gathering what is important for the long-term memory.

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Medium 9780253020864

4. The Carter Years (1977–80): Intraparty Discord

Lee H. Hamilton Indiana University Press ePub

THE CARTER PRESIDENCY SHOWED THAT THERE IS A BIG difference between campaigning and governing, and between coming up with ideas and getting them through Congress.

Carter was a marvelous campaigner, and he struck just the right tone as the country was coming out of the Watergate years: lack of pretense, down-to-earth, a new kind of leader more attuned to average Americans, even to the point of carrying his own briefcase and luggage. He came across as someone with strong values, independent, an outsider, not your typical politician. He had a strong element of integrity about him.

Once elected, Carter was never comfortable with the political process of Washington. He had campaigned against it when running for president, emphasizing that he was not part of the system. But once he was there, it became clear that insider skills—like those possessed by Lyndon Johnson—are needed to make the system work and get proposals through Congress.

He liked to analyze issues carefully, thoroughly, and comprehensively with the highly organized mind of a nuclear engineer—which he was. But he was less skilled at working with Congress. He thought the strength of his ideas would carry the day, but the 535 members of Congress and especially the powerful committee chairmen, many of whom had decades of experience and expertise in working on major national and international issues, felt that they had much to say about the challenges facing the nation.

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Medium 9780253019264

5 The Empire and the Nation, 1881–1904

Charles R. Steinwedel Indiana University Press ePub

5

THE EMPIRE AND THE NATION

1881–1904

MUKHAMETSALIM UMETBAEVS WRITINGS show the wide range of responses to the Great Reforms in Bashkiria. In 1882, he spoke in the Ufa County zemstvo in favor of greater support for native-language Muslim education. The government had long “concerned itself about the enlightenment of us Muslims, subjects of the Russian Empire, through the sciences,” he stated, but little progress had been made. Muslims boys in Russian-language schools looked on religion “as a last subject,” when according to sharia law the teachings of the Koran are “the first subject and secular sciences second.” Many Muslims saw Russian-language education without prior knowledge of a native language not as “enlightenment, but only as Russification (obrusenie).” Umetbaev considered this unfortunate. Since many “European sciences” had been translated from Eastern to European languages long ago, “European sciences” could be translated back into “Eastern languages.” Umetbaev asked the zemstvo to fund translation of textbooks into Tatar for use by Muslims.1

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Medium 9781605097060

Chapter 3 Stop Th em from Eating My Town

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that…the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations.

—Andrew Jackson

THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MALL FULL OF CHAIN stores or a big-box retailer, and a downtown area full of small, locally owned businesses. The transition from the latter to the former is what’s destroying local communities on the one hand and creating mind-boggling wealth for a very few very large corporations and multimillionaire CEOs on the other. Here’s how it works.

As I noted in my book Unequal Protection,1 when I shop in downtown Montpelier, Vermont, and buy a pair of pants, for example, at the Stevens Clothing Store on Main Street, at the end of the day the store’s owner, Jack Callahan, takes his proceeds down to the Northfield Savings Bank and deposits them. From Stevens, I walk next door to Bear Pond Books and buy today’s newspaper, a magazine, and a copy of Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man, a book that is as fascinating today as when it was first written in 1791.

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Medium 9780870819650

FIVE Buying Out the Union: Jobs as Property and the UAW

E. Paul Durrenberger University Press of Colorado ePub

Peter Richardson

American companies and government institutions have shunted unions out of a role in regulating the labor process since at least the early 1980s. In a process David Harvey has referred to as accumulation by dispossession (Harvey 2003),1 they have deprived union memberships of rights. Dispossessing unions of wages, benefits, and work rules (i.e., rights in the workplace) has been part of a process economists insist is necessary for the American auto industry to return to profitability.2

To provide an extended case study of how workers’ perspectives have changed over time in the face of different waves of buyouts, this chapter takes an ethnographic look at buyouts offered to autoworkers at the Sylvania parts plant outside Detroit between 2003 and late 2006. A focus on change and temporality (including imaginings of the future) brings insight into how persons and social institutions interact and into what is contingent, local, and path-dependent.

The buyouts Detroit auto manufacturers have offered to United Auto Workers (UAW) members have given them varying sums of money for relinquishing the contractual rights their union—the UAW—has negotiated for their jobs, healthcare, and pensions. These are promises the auto companies (here Ford and its spun-off parts supplier, Visteon) have made over the past decades. A pension promise made to a current worker may stretch back forty years, to when that worker first took a job. The buyouts transform what were collective rights the union had negotiated into private, transferrable property people can sell.

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Medium 9780856832727

Chapter 6 - Particularizations of the Primal Right

Robert Andelson Shepheard-Walwyn ePub

Now that we have deduced the primal right from the theological premises apart from which it has no ultimate foundation, our arguments will, for the most part, cease to be directly theological. For in spelling out the implications of reciprocal freedom for particular areas of human conduct, we need be guided only by the evidence of social data and the rules of logical consistency. Our definitive social norm has been established by reference to divine authority. But to seek to ground proximate norms immediately upon religious insights rather than upon the rational considerations involved in the functional particularization of reciprocal freedom, would be to circumvent an order of priority which reflects, as I have tried to show, Gods will. Similarly, although the function of a church building is ordained by a religious sanction, it would be a poor ecclesiastical architect who, instead of rationally articulating this function, based his design upon the dimensions of Solomons temple or upon modules of the sacred number seven under the misapprehension that an overall religious function dictates some overtly religious criterion for each detail. Because of analogous misapprehensions many attempts to deal with social issues from a Christian standpoint have turned out to be futile, where not actually pernicious, exercises in piosity.

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Medium 9781626560734

5 The new ecologies of capital

Hassan, Zaid Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The country needs and, unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it: If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

— Franklin D. Roosevelt

My experiences with the Food Lab and Bhavishya bracketed my work at Generon. One of the fallouts from Bhavishya was that Adam had started questioning the process. One of my mentors, Myrna Lewis, observed that this was undiscussable within Generon. The process, in other words, was sacrosanct in our culture and could not be doubted.

By late January 2007, it was clear that the two founding partners, Adam and Joseph, had irreconcilable differences on this issue. Joseph’s point, to some extent, was simple but unmoving. He believed that the “interior conditions” were the core of the work and that if a small group of people held an intention strongly enough, it would happen. This “strange attractor” of intention would then attract others until there was a critical mass of people.

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Medium 9781523094189

7 Power

Whitman, Gordon Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

In June 2010, as the nation’s biggest banks were spending more than $1 million a day lobbying against federal legislation designed to prevent another financial crisis, I took my daughter, Natalia, to New York City for a march on Wall Street. The night before, she’d been in a music program at her elementary school. The chorus sang Black freedom songs and reenacted famous moments in the civil rights struggle. The students (dressed in white shirts and black pants and skirts) captured the moral clarity of that movement. The next day, marching with thousands of people through lower Manhattan, I could feel Natalia’s confusion and discomfort. For a time, we were stuck walking alongside people chanting obscenities. But even after we found others to march with, the cacophony of messages and the lack of a clear moral narrative were painful to watch through the eyes of a ten-year-old.

People often associate social movements with large marches and rallies. When strategic and focused, high-profile events can help push demands forward and demonstrate public support. But they can also leave us feeling empty, wondering what we accomplished. For social change to succeed, breakthrough moments need to rest on a foundation of strategic grassroots organizing. My Chilean organizing friends describe this as the work of hormigas (ants). It involves patiently recruiting people, developing their leadership skills, aligning them around a common agenda, developing strategy together, making demands, and delivering changes that people can see and feel in their lives.

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Medium 9781607320661

CHAPTER FIVE: MARIE BYRD LAND Crevasse Junction, Privation Station

Dian Olson Belanger University Press of Colorado ePub

Ned made a pair of leather moccasins tonight out of a
do-it-yourself kit. That’s what Byrd Station is by the way—
a do-it-yourself kit with only half the pieces which
never seem to fit each other.

—Vernon Anderson, 19571

As winter began in April 1956 for the 166 souls left in Antarctica, Admiral Dufek returned to Washington to prepare for “our biggest year, our roughest mission.” Operation Deep Freeze II would involve twelve ships and 3,400 men, almost twice as many of each as the year before. Attention went first to the intimidating inland sites. For Byrd Station to rise above the ice plain of Marie Byrd Land during the short season of sunlight, the entire camp would have to be hauled overland nearly 650 miles, crevasses or no. Yet to be found was a route safe for a train pulled by thirty-five-ton tractors. Yet to be accomplished was all of the transport, construction, and hookup of the station even as the scientists were arriving. Not every-thing would get there. Byrd residents would end up doing a lot of doing without.2

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