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Medium 9780253356833

6. President and Congress

David M. Jordan Indiana University Press ePub

Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 78th Congress were not functioning on the same wavelength. Although the Congress was nominally controlled by Democrats, it was actually run by a coalition of conservative Southern Democrats and conservative Northern Republicans. Committee chairmanships were held by Democrats, but because so many of the southerners served year after year without any meaningful opposition, their seniority gave them most of those chairmanships.

Columnist Ernest Lindley, analyzing the differences between the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, wrote that “the prevailing attitude in Congress has been that the home front and the war front are separate and that the home front is an open field for politics as usual.” The administration's efforts to reverse this attitude had been less than successful, and congressional leaders were catering “to the narrowest and most selfish economic interests of voters.” In addition to Republican opposition, Roosevelt faced such Democrats as Texas Senator W. Lee “Pappy” O'Daniel, who announced that “I'm a Democrat but the one-eyed mule they're riding around here is not our Southern donkey” and called for the defeat of FDR and his congressional followers.1

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Medium 9780253014184

11. The Debate over “Big” Government

Ballard C. Campbell Indiana University Press ePub

READ MY LIPS: no new taxes.” Taking a cue from a Clint Eastwood movie, George Herbert Walker Bush pledged to hold the line on taxes in his presidential nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1988. Bush’s promise is among the most memorable political remarks uttered in recent decades. His antitax stand echoed the advice of his predecessor Ronald Reagan and probably helped him beat Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential candidate, in 1988. But his “Read my lips” remark came back to haunt the president, who angered supporters by agreeing to tax increases in 1990. Although the president proposed to lower the budget deficit by both a reduction in spending and an increase in revenue, conservatives saw Bush’s budget maneuvering as a betrayal of his antitax pledge. Here was evidence for the Right that the president was not a real conservative. This resentment cost George H. W. Bush votes in 1992, when he lost his reelection bid to Bill Clinton and to Ross Perot, the billionaire independent candidate who focused on the deficit issue.

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Medium 9781609948337

5 Stop the Invasions!

Rowe, Jonathan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

To get to San Francisco from where I live, I usually drive through the hamlet of Nicasio. It’s just a scattering of wooden structures around a community baseball field. The hills beyond are mainly ranches, not much changed from a century ago.

Recently, a sign appeared by the road there. “SOON TO BE BUILT ON THIS SITE,” it said, and my insides went code red. I thought of bulldozers, asphalt, a mange of houses with glandular disorders. Then I saw the smaller print: “Thanks to your help, absolutely nothing.”

The sign was the work of a local organization raising funds to buy the land so that developers couldn’t. The large type triggered something many Americans feel: a brooding sense of impending loss. This sense begins with wilderness and open space but doesn’t end there. Everywhere we look, something we thought was off-limits to the market is falling prey to it: schools, genes, children’s imagination and play, urban water systems. Development is decimating our natural ecology just as big box stores are destroying the social ecology of Main Streets.

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Medium 9781576755853

10: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Youth?

Schlesinger, Andrea Batista Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE ANSWER WAS NO.

The proposal was for a trade high school in the city of Hampton, Virginia. Proponents argued that such a school would decrease the dropout rate in Hampton, where 73 percent of students graduate.1 It was January 2007. The mayor felt one way; the young people present felt another way. The pressure was intense.

After careful questioning it became clear that the trade school, however compelling a proposal in its own right, would not actually solve the problem it was intended to solve. Young people were dropping out for reasons that could not be addressed by the presence of a trade school. Therefore, a trade school was not a viable solution. The answer was no.

No to the mayor, that is.

You see, in Hampton, things are a bit reversed. When Mayor Ross A. Kearney II came up with the idea of starting a trade high school, in October 2006, he knew that the endorsement of the Hampton Youth Commission would be critical to its chances of becoming reality, so he went to them with his proposal. These twenty-four young people were drawn from a community whose school-age population is 63 percent African-American, 31 percent White, 3 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent Asian.2 They didn’t prepare for the meeting by rehearsing compelling speeches or preparing in-depth PowerPoint presentations. Instead, they learned how to ask questions. They learned the direct relationship between asking questions and having the power to improve their communities. And they learned all of this using their local democracy as their textbook.174

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Medium 9780253010575

4 Prime-Time Cops: Blurring Police Fact and Fiction on Moroccan Television

Jonathan Smolin Indiana University Press ePub

Blurring Police Fact and Fiction on Moroccan Television

With the emergence of Moroccan Events in 1998, the independent daily press became responsive to a mass audience and established a new prominence in the Moroccan media that has lasted to this day.1 Following on the coattails of Moroccan Events, other independent newspapers emerged and imitated many of its features, such as a sensational depiction of sex and true-crime narratives. These newspapers presented the public with a new identity for the police, one that recast them in the guise of fictional heroes, attempting to erase their brutal past and place them in a new relationship with the public that reflected a transformed concept of state authority based on respect for the rule of law and human rights in the era of Alternance.

The relationship between the independent press and the state in creating and disseminating these new images of the police points to a paradox of agency. The state sought to foster sensational depictions of crime and punishment in the tabloids in an attempt to manage and direct public opinion after the Tabit Affair. A similar relationship can be seen in the emergence of true crime in Moroccan Events. These new media sources produced forms of representation that aimed to transform how the public saw the police and, by extension, state authority. While the state had a clear stake in this process, it was involved only indirectly by providing journalists with source material on which to base their articles. It was the media that performed the task, creating a new nonstate language in a radical new format—crime tabloid and independent daily press—a medium that only served to bolster the credibility of the source and distance it from explicit propaganda. The state benefited from this paradox as the print media, through these new ambiguous forms, worked to influence public perceptions on its behalf.

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Medium 9781607320869

CHAPTER FOUR. Impact of Direct Democracy on Colorado State Politics

Courtenay W. Daum University Press of Colorado ePub

Impact of Direct Democracy on Colorado State Politics

Daniel A. Smith

Colorado has a rich history of direct democracy The most widely used form of direct democracy—the so-called citizen initiative—allows individuals and groups to circulate petitions in an effort to qualify a statutory or constitutional measure on the ballot for a statewide vote.1 For nearly a century, the initiative has shaped the political landscape of Colorado. As we have seen in earlier chapters, many Coloradans consider direct democracy the bane of the state’s existence, allowing disjointed and destabilizing policies to become embedded into the state constitution. Others, though, view the initiative process as the state’s salvation, rightfully returning the policymaking process to the people. Regardless of which extreme depiction is a more accurate portrayal of the initiative process, voting on ballot measures has become a permanent fixture in the Centennial State. In the 1990s, Colorado pollster and political analyst Floyd Ciruli (1996) referred to the initiative process as the state’s “New Growth Industry.” That description is still apt today At times over the past century, the process of direct democracy has managed to share equal billing with the traditional institutions of representative democracy, leading some scholars to refer to such a blend in some US states as “hybrid democracy” (Garrett 2005; Kousser and McCubbins 2005).

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Medium 9781576758625

9: The “Maximum Eligible Participation” Solution

Rathke, Wade Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

There may be a national consensus around the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit program that ensures its continuance, and perhaps even its expansion, but other programs wish they could find as much love. To build citizen wealth, we need to aggressively use all existing programs, no matter how many scars and warts they may have, because the passage of new initiatives is at the least years away. Many of these programs do not have the same level of support as EITC, which policy makers and politicians can defend as supporting hard-working families. Some, like the Food Stamp program, have supportive constituencies, but others were avowedly created to share the wealth of the nation with the poorest of its citizens and thereby provide some small share of family security.

There was a phrase from the 1960s that became a government mandate devised by Richard Boone calling for “maximum feasible participation” of the poor in a series of programs. Boone was not talking about benefits but empowerment.1 I would like instead to talk about a modern adaptation of this slogan—”maximum eligible participation.” We need a vision of maximum eligible participation and a campaign to achieve it as galvanizing as the movement for civic participation of the poor became in the old Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). We need to create ways to ensure that all individuals and families eligible for any program or entitlement actually receive them. Such a situation would be empowering as well. As we can see in the current governmental bailout of the banking system, there is now no such concept as “breaking the bank,” but we need to imagine a concerted effort by government, organizations, and individuals to enable eligible families to get access to the “bank” of benefits that is lawfully theirs.

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Medium 9780253003096

3. Land and Languor

Genese Marie Sodikoff Indiana University Press ePub

On What Makes Good Work

Shortly after Madagascar was annexed to the French Empire in 1896, the colonial administration began to make a concerted, large-scale effort to bring the forest of eastern Madagascar into capitalist production. Official foresters made reconnaissance missions to distant outposts such as Mananara-Nord to survey regional resources and to assess how best to exploit and transport these resources to ports. Extracting the rain forest's natural wealth would necessitate the development of a wage labor force. Betsimisaraka peasants would have to become dependent on wages rather than earning a living as independent cultivators. A constant problem for private entrepreneurs and colonial officials throughout Madagascar was the refusal of Malagasy subjects to offer up their labor. Betsimisaraka and Tsimihety horticulturalists and fishermen fled into the deep forest to escape taxation and coercion into industrial work sites. Colonial officials did manage to round people up, however, and by the mid-1920s the state instituted a forced labor regime called the Service de la Main-d'Oeuvre des Travaux d'Interêt Général (SMOTIG) in which conscripts (“pioneers”) would serve the state for two years, and often private industrialists would “borrow” the pioneers from public work sites for their own logging, plantation, and mining operations, as they could rarely muster enough voluntary hands (Sodikoff 2005a).

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Medium 9781609945879

5. Claiming Space for Diversity at Occupy Wall Street

van Gelder, Sarah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

HENA ASHRAF

When I arrived at Occupy Wall Street on September 29, a document called “The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City” was being introduced at the general assembly. The facilitator announced that this document would be disseminated to the media, to the Internet, and to everyone who planned to occupy other cities. This document, in other words, was extremely important.

The general assembly read it together, line by line. For me, the experience was powerful and moving. Then I turned and joined my friends, Thanu and Sonny, who were with two people I hadn’t met before named Manissa and Natasha. They all had just returned from the first local meeting of South Asians for Justice.

Without meaning to do so, we had formed a South Asian bloc within the general assembly, which had grown a lot over the past few days and was noticeably more diverse. We began to discuss the document and our issues with it. We weren’t the only ones with concerns; numerous people spoke up and requested changes. The facilitators wanted to go back to the agenda items, but I felt that if people wanted to discuss this document now, then that was what we should do.

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Medium 9780253009722

6 The European Parliament

Andreas Staab Indiana University Press ePub

6

The European parliament

Organization

The European Parliament stands out as the only directly elected political body in the EU. It has seen its powers increased significantly over the last fifty years, although organizational problems persist, which prompt many analysts to criticize the EU’s democratic deficit: the gap in power between appointed institutions such as the Council of Ministers and the Commission, on the one hand, and elected institutions such as the European Parliament, on the other.

With the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, the EP had 736 members, elected every five years, with each member state having a specific allocation of representatives (see Table 6.1). The number of members allotted to each country does not perfectly reflect the size of its population. For example, an MEP from Luxembourg represents sixty thousand fellow citizens, whereas his or her colleague from Germany represents a constituency of around eight hundred thousand. One vital institutional feature of the EP is its party groupings. EP elections consist of parallel elections held in all member states, with different sets of national parties campaigning for seats. In the UK, for example, competing for seats are British Labourites, British Conservatives, British Greens, and British Liberal Democrats; competing in Germany are German Social Democrats, German Christian Democrats, German Liberals, and German Greens; and so on. Party groupings therefore try to channel political activity within the EP along sometimes rough political-ideological lines. Table 6.2 shows the respective party groupings for the legislative period from 2009 to 2014.

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Medium 9781626562141

Appendix: The Dividend Potential of Co-owned Wealth

Peter Barnes Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Co-owned wealth is wealth we coinherit or cocreate, wealth of the whole system and/or its subsystems, wealth not created by individuals or businesses. Much of it is truly priceless and should remain that way. However, users of some of it should pay rent, with the income pooled to pay dividends to owners. The question I address here is: Is there enough co-owned wealth that we can plausibly organize this way to pay meaningful dividends to everyone?

To answer this question, we must first establish criteria for choosing assets to rent. The criteria I use are the following:

• The income generated from renting the asset (as opposed to selling it) should be great enough to justify doing so.

• Renting the asset should create benefits beyond dividends. Such ancillary benefits could arise from the internalization of currently externalized costs or from the redirection of extracted rent. I also make two assumptions:

• Renting is done asset by asset, as political opportunities arise.

• One hundred percent of the rent is distributed in equal dividends to all legal US residents who have a Social Security number.

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Medium 9780253016249

13 Assy

Jane Blaffer Owen Indiana University Press ePub

Compared with the Sky
I am a little rock
A scrub oak
On the mountain side.

—Chuang Tzu

 

From Scotland we flew to France to visit my sister Titi on the Mediterranean Coast. I had promised my daughters their hearts’ fill of scuba diving and French pastries with cousins Joe and Lee Hudson before making another pilgrimage, this time to Église Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce du Plateau d’Assy in Haute-Savoie.

Angelo del Giudice, our Italian chauffeur and baggage master, prepared to begin our journey north much too soon for Joe Hudson. I can still hear him pleading with his mother before our leave-taking: “Please don’t let them go, Mother; do something!” Angelo was eager to take on our route and equal to the hairpin curves with infrequent guardrails through the mountains. His mutterings brought little comfort. As though to explain the treacherous drive, he declared, “The French don’t value human life.”

Angelo’s jaundiced view of the entire race was evident the night of our first alfresco dinner in a restaurant at the base of Sacré Coeur, the hilltop church with a dome that shone above us like a huge pearl. He had retired, we thought, to a nearby Italian bistro. However, as we were finishing our meal, we noticed a man’s figure behind a well-clipped hedge: “Presente, signora. Do you think I would abandon you to the mercy of French men?” He had never left us.

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Medium 9781608680221

30. Travels with a Bicycle by Shawn Granton

New World Library ePub

Shawn Granton

I have an insatiable urge to travel. When I owned a car, my time off was filled with road trips. When I stopped driving, I discovered the romance of train travel. And when I moved to Portland a decade ago, I was bitten by the bicycling bug. For me, bicycling was the perfect way to explore the urban environment; you can move faster and cover more ground than on foot, and you’re not confined to the set schedules and routes of public transit.

At first, when I left Portland to travel, I was perfectly content to leave the bike at home, put on a sturdy pair of boots, and pore over transit maps each time I arrived in a new town. Soon, though, I longed to explore these new places the same way I explored the City of Roses — on two wheels. But I was intimidated by logistics: how could I bring a bike with me? Should I rent or borrow a bike instead? How would I figure out how to get around?

After traveling several times with my bike to new cities, most of my worries have disappeared. With some forethought, all the hurdles can be overcome. Let me walk you, er, roll you through the process!

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Medium 9781576754429

9: THE NORTHWEST PASSAGE

Halpern, Charles Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

SUSAN AND I moved to Berkeley in 2001, when she was still weak from her latest round of chemotherapy and the walk up the steep stairs to our rented house in the Berkeley hills left her panting. We wanted to be close to the children if she had to undergo further treatment. A few years later, through the kindness of a friend, I found myself across the table from the playwright Tony Kushner at a dinner sponsored by the Berkeley Repertory Theater at a French bistro near the Berkeley campus. Kushner, who was in town for the opening of his play, Caroline or Change, was remarkably gracious in engaging the strangers assembled for this dinner.

I was introduced as the former president of the Nathan Cum-mings Foundation, perhaps with the hope that I could be helpful to him in financing his next project. But I had no help to offer— being a former president is radically different from being a president, with direct access to the foundation checkbook.

I told him about my decisions to leave the presidency of the Cummings Foundation, to pack up our Riverside Drive apartment, and to move to California. “My wife and I were ready to slow down and to live closer to our children and grandchildren. I was worried that I was starting to believe all of the subtle flattery that was aimed 240in my direction—it can be disabling. I thought that the community in Berkeley was likely to be more supportive of my peculiar mix of activism and meditation.” I had anticipated continuing to make waves and ride the currents, with a shift in the balance toward more ease. I looked forward to being relieved of the burden of responsibility that rests on the shoulders of a CEO.

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Medium 9780253008046

3. Between Difference and Assimilation: Young Women with South and Southeast Asian Family Background Living in Finland Saara Pellander, University of Helsinki

Paul R Spickard Indiana University Press ePub

She walks along the street and hears someone shout, “Go home, nigger!” She pretends not to hear and keeps walking.1 She is out with her friends, hears someone ask how much she charges for the night, and tries to ignore it. When asked where she is from, she says she is a normal Finn. When no one is asking questions, she proudly emphasizes her difference.

Due to the fact that immigration and transnational adoption are relatively new in Finland, adults who do not look like the Finnish majority but speak fluent Finnish are still fairly rare.2 They are mostly treated as foreigners by people who do not know them, spoken to in English instead of Finnish on the street, at the grocery store, and even at their workplace. Being mistaken for foreigners is, however, only one way in which young adults who were brought up or even born in Finland are treated as “Others.” Most of them have experienced various forms of racism: yelling on the street, bullying at school, and the questioning of their abilities at work. In this article, I consider questions of gendered forms of racial discrimination in Finland as experienced by women with a South or Southeast Asian family background who are either adoptees who came to Finland at a very young age or who were born in Finland to one or two parents of South or Southeast Asian descent. In particular, I focus on the question of how these young women evaluate questions of their national identity. They grew up at a time when immigration and transnational adoption were very marginal phenomena in Finland, which is why they have had to struggle for their place in a society that reminds them daily of their difference.3 The experiences and situations of these women do not fit the public perception of immigrants in Finland. Public debates about immigration and integration focus mainly on asylum seekers, and most other issues, such as family migration or transnational adoption, do not receive as much public attention.4 Studying the way different groups make sense of experiences of exclusion and difference seems even more relevant in light of the growing public debate on inclusions and exclusions of people with migratory backgrounds and the recent rise of populist anti-immigration parties in both Finland and many other European countries.

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