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22. Building immunity

John de Graaf Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Building immunity

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or so the old saying goes. Many of us take that suggestion seriously each fall when we line up dutifully for flu shots. When we feel a virus coming on, we pop some vitamin C tablets into our mouths, hoping Linus Pauling knew what he was talking about (turns out, he didn’t). Of course, there are no real shots or pills that can prevent or soften the impact of affluenza. (There’s one exception: for the small percentage of Americans who are truly addicted—that is, compulsive shoppers—psychiatrists sometimes prescribe anticompulsion drugs and antidepressants, with promising results.) But in a metaphorical sense, some powerful antiviruses are floating around that can help vaccinate us against affluenza, and so are some equally effective vitamins that can help keep us from harm’s way.

Vancouver, British Columbia, might be called the headquarters of anti-affluenza vaccine research. It’s the home of Kalle Lasn, the author of Culture Jam and publisher of a magazine called Adbusters. The magazine became popular with its clever “uncommercials,” anti-ads that often mock real ads. For example, a parody of Calvin Klein’s Obsession perfume ads shows men staring into their underwear, while another mocking Absolut Vodka shows a partially melted plastic vodka bottle, with the caption “Absolute Impotence” and a warning in small print that “drink increases the desire but lessens the performance.”

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Chapter 4 An Informed and Educated Electorate

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.… Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right.

—Thomas Jefferson

TALK RADIO NEWS SERVICE, BASED IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IS owned and run by my dear friend Ellen Ratner. Ellen is an experienced and accomplished journalist, and a large number of interns and young journalism school graduates get their feet wet in reporting by working for and with her.

In March 2010 I was in Washington for a meeting with a group of senators, and I needed a studio from which to do my radio and TV show. Ellen was gracious enough to offer me hers. I arrived as three of her interns were producing a panel-discussion type of TV show for Web distribution at www.talkradionews.com, in which they were discussing for their viewing audience their recent experiences on Capitol Hill.

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Introduction: What it Means to be “Reformed”

Peter D. Little Indiana University Press ePub

I BEGAN TO THINK about this book about thirteen years ago on a short visit to Baringo District, Kenya, where I had conducted my PhD dissertation research during 1980–1981. I had not been there for almost three years when I visited in March 1998. Standing on the parched and badly receding shores of the district's namesake, Lake Baringo, a nearby young man explained that its retreat was evidence of “climate change.” We subsequently engaged in conversation about environmental change, a discussion in which my new friend spoke of “community-based conservation” and “local partnerships” as ways to confront these new ecological problems. It is a language that often is displayed in nongovernmental organization (NGO) brochures and websites, a discourse he had obviously learned well. It also was apparent that he worked for one of the many NGOs in the area engaged in conservation programs. Indeed, during my three-year absence from the area NGO employment had become one of Baringo's few sectors of job growth.

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CHAPTER 8 Corporations Go Global

Thom Hartmann Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Curtin, what do you think of those fellows in Wall Street who are gambling in gold at such a time as this?...For my part, I wish every one of them had his devilish head shot off.

—President Abraham Lincoln, personal letter to Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin, April 25, 1864

PEOPLE, AT THE TIME, GENERALLY WEREN’T ALL THAT CONCERNED ABOUT the fate of the world’s dolphins.

It was the last week of June 1944, and the war wasn’t going well for Adolf Hitler. The killing machines of his death camps were running full out, straining his resources and creating consternation as word leaked out across Europe. His forces were falling back before the Soviets, and his generals openly worried about an Allied invasion on the French coast. On Thursday, June 29, almost all of the eighteen hundred Jews of Corfu were murdered upon their arrival at Auschwitz, while twenty thousand Jewish women were relocated to the concentration camp at Stutthof. On Friday, June 30, more than a thousand Parisian Jews arrived at Auschwitz.

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1 A Landmark for Peace

Ray E. Boomhower Indiana University Press ePub

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A Landmark for Peace

The Indianapolis parks and recreation department is responsible for administering approximately two hundred properties stretching over more than eleven thousand acres in the central Indiana city. One of these properties, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 1702 North Broadway Street on the city’s near north side, has within its fourteen acres the usual recreational components for an urban park—a basketball court, playground, softball field, picnic shelters, and an outdoor pool. As Center Township residents while away the hours at play, their eyes are no doubt sometimes drawn to one of the park’s most intriguing features, a sculpture titled A Landmark for Peace created by Indiana artist Greg Perry and placed in the park in 1995.1

The memorial, which is located at the park’s south end and includes in its construction guns melted down in a gun-amnesty program, features two curved panels facing one another. Near the top of each panel is a figure of a man with an arm and hand outstretched toward, but failing to touch, the other. The men depicted in the sculpture—neither of whom is alive to help bridge the racial gap that still exists today—are the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and the former junior U.S. senator from the state of New York Robert F. Kennedy. By chance and the vagaries of a political campaign, the two are forever bound together in the park, and in Indiana and American history as well.

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