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13. We Are Not an Illusion of the Moment

Mary Beth Rogers University of North Texas Press PDF


We Are Not an Illusion of the Moment

Houston, 1978

Houston, Texas, is a city true to its past.

It grew out of a land development scheme in a hot, humid,

mosquito-infested marsh in 1836 when two imaginative entrepreneurs-J.K. and A.C. Allen-persuaded Texas hero Sam

Houston to lend his name to the settlement in return for a few acres of free land. Sam Houston also used his influence in 1837 to help the outpost become the capital of the new Republic of

Texas. 1 In the next two years, the city's population tripled from

500 to 1,500, and the Allen brothers began to make a fortune.

With Sam Houston on their side, the developers boasted to their East Coast investors that their city would soon become the

"great commercial emporium of Texas.,,2

For the next 142 years, other imaginative developers, cotton brokers, merchants, railroaders, bankers, oil producers, shippers, and lawyers had a host of public officials on their side as well, and they made deals every bit as clever as the Allen brothers' alliance with Sam Houston. Like the AlIens, their moneymaking schemes helped the city grow.

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6: Making Earned Income Tax Credits Work for Workers

Rathke, Wade Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There are programs that are designed to increase income and security for working and other families at the bottom of the ladder. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families is certainly the most popular, and perhaps the most effective, of these programs, but some other income maintenance and support programs still exist for low-income families.

But despite the intentions of such programs, there paradoxically continues to be a significant income gap that translates into families being poorer than they should be and available dollars being unspent to address the issues of income and wealth. Without full participation of all eligible families in these programs we are not taking advantage of existing authorizations and appropriations, and programs are missing the benchmarks of success that they should achieve. Borrowing a term from Lyndon Johnson’s time, we need to join in a campaign to achieve maximum eligible participation where all families entitled to income support benefits actually receive them. (We will focus on this campaign at more length in Chapter 9.)

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5 The Human Cost of Cheap Cell Phones

Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

5 Civil war in Congo has cost 4 million lives over the past ten years—strife
fueled by Western multinationals seeking cheap supplies of coltan and
other minerals.

Goma’s hospital compound has one tent for rape victims awaiting surgery and one for victims recovering from surgery. In the pre-op area, I held a month-old girl who was entranced by the dim electric light hanging from the ridgepole. She arched her back and waved her arms, straining to encounter this exciting new world and oblivious of the atrocity that had created her life.

The mother told me her baby’s name was Esther. Clasping her breasts, she said she had no milk. She did not tell me what operation she was waiting for. Perhaps her rapist(s) had caused a fistula, penetrating the wall between her rectum and vagina with penises, guns, or machetes. Hundreds of other injuries are possible. We had seen pictures of women who had been shot in the vagina, who had had salt rubbed in their eyes until they were blind (and thus could not identify their assailants), who had been burned or had limbs amputated after being raped.

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Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
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Chapter 3 The Idea of Revolution: Conspiracy and Counterrevolution

Sisson, Dan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Every republic at all times has it[s] Catalines and its Caesars.

—Alexander Hamilton, 1792

THE ROLE OF CONSPIRACY AS THE BREEDING GROUND FOR RESIStance and revolution is known to every student of early American history. For conspiracy, as a latent behavioral trait and characteristic of the American mind, was a part of the birthing of the new nation. But the literature of American history dealing with conspiracy antedates even that founding act.

The 1770s, for example, were filled with constant charges by English and American pamphleteers of the British ministry “having formed a conspiracy against the liberties of their country.”1

The wide belief in the idea of conspiracy, which gained easy acceptance in America, and the relationship it has to revolution can be translated as follows: the fundamental rights of all citizens under the Constitution, and indeed the Constitution itself, are endangered; and tyranny, in the guise of a few unscrupulous men seeking power, threatens.

A fear then arises that the principles by which the laws operate are under assault. The additional fear that the laws are being corrupted, whether they are or not, nevertheless appears real and serves to trigger a right to revolution in the minds of the people.

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