1678 Slices
Medium 9780253001931

1 - Snapshots of a Statesman

John T. Shaw Indiana University Press ePub

One of the last places in the world one might expect to find a senior American senator during the waning days of summer is on the western fringe of Siberia gazing at a half-finished bridge. But for Senator Richard Lugar, the two-time chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now its top Republican, the bridge he was looking at on that spectacular late August day in 2007 was a symbol of cooperation between the United States and Russia—and a harbinger of hope that the world will be able to secure, and then dispose of, weapons of mass destruction.

Lugar was joined on the trip by former Democratic senator Sam Nunn, his long-time partner in the effort to help the nations of the former Soviet Union secure their weapons of mass destruction. Nunn, now the chief executive officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, was traveling with Lugar on a weeklong trip to Russia, Ukraine, and Albania to get a first-hand assessment of how their signature program, the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, was working on the ground. Lugar is one of the most knowledgeable lawmakers on foreign policy issues and is highly respected in diplomatic and military circles. He is seen as one of those rare American politicians who understands the nuances of foreign policy, is willing to work hard at non-glamorous issues, and is effective in using the tools at his disposal to influence foreign policy. He is willing to do those time-consuming and tedious tasks of legislating that capture few headlines and confer few political benefits, such as studying a half-finished bridge on the edge of Siberia.

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Medium 9781576753033

Chapter Five Reclaiming the Commons What Should Be Off-Limits to Globalization?

Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

AS RECENTLY AS two decades ago, large parts of the world were not part of economic globalization. The majority of people in the world still lived off the land with little dependence on outside markets. In many rural areas, seeds were exchanged as the collective property of the community, not the private property of Monsanto or Cargill. Of the three hundred million indigenous people in the world, most lived in complete isolation from global trade activity. Municipal water systems were usually under local government or community control. Much of the economic activity in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China was not linked to global markets. Most developing countries restricted foreign investment in their banking, insurance, and other critical economic sectors. Most stock markets were national, closed to global investors. Even though global corporations clamored to enter each of these domains, national and local governments and communities maintained strong barriers.

All of that has changed. Under two decades of market fundamentalism, introduced by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, and their counterparts elsewhere, the boundaries came crashing down. Some of this was seen in dramatic fashion on CNN in living rooms around the world, such as the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Some happened in the face of remarkable citizen opposition, such as the passage of NAFTA in 1993 and the WTO in 1994. Other battles over the global spread of corporate control occurred on the local stage, such as the determined fight by Bolivian workers and peasants to keep the municipal water system in Cochabamba out of the hands of Bechtel and the struggles of Indian peasants against the Cargill and Monsanto assertions of property rights over their seeds. During these two decades, global corporations—with the strong support of many national governments—forcefully asserted their right to any market anywhere. And today their reach has extended into virtually every domain of even remote rural communities around the world.

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Medium 9780253018618

Alternative Monkey

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Alternative Monkey

fulfilling anew roman

alternative to singing but

not the silence in monkey eyes

original speaking ageless

british empire triangle swinging

alternative to colonial but with

all my jungle music heart leaping

in a little moonlight they play.

rainforest thick stooping

options of primal rooting

coconut meat love chewing

alternative to confusing but

not the skin of the truth flamingo

across the mystery of sweeping

levee delta mississippi land

in a little moonlight sneaking.

hat cup monkey dancing organ

workin’ street funky corner grinding

alternative to african caribbean sun but

for all the copper yellow too little timin’

alternative to tobacco ripe for pickin’

corporate sugarcane stock deeper rising

sharp diamond carat moon climbing.

arteries drilling alternative to ingenuity

no one other than for tearless gunning

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Medium 9781576753361

The Getting-Out-of-Debt Industry

Karger, Howard Jacob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Born of people’s misfortunes, credit counseling was a sleepy cottage industry for a long time. Now, larger and troubled, it may be more in need than its clients of being set back on the straight and narrow.
–Christopher H. Schmitt with Heather Timmons and John Cady, “A Debt Trap for the Unwary,” BusinessWeek, October 29, 2001

We are besieged by advertising on two fronts: how to get more and cheaper credit, and how to get out of debt. On the one hand, we are lured into taking on more debt through cheap credit; on the other hand, we’re warned of being in too much debt.174

Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan pointed out in 2004 that because of low interest rates, we could more easily handle high levels of personal debt.1 In 2003 economics journalist Robert Samuelson argued that Americans were already too heavily in debt and the last thing we needed was more “cheap credit.”2 Despite Greenspan’s insouciance, “cheap credit” still mounts up and must be paid off. For instance, since 2001 U.S. households have spent more than 13% of their disposable income on debt, a level not seen since the Fed began collecting this data in 1980.3 The contradictory messages of “borrow more” and “borrow less” reflect the simultaneous growth of the credit and getting-out-of-debt industries. This chapter examines the consumer credit counseling industry, debt settlement, and ways to rein in runaway credit counseling agencies.

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Medium 9780253010964

6 Stop Making the Rest of Us Look Bad: How Class Matters in the Attacks against the Movie Precious

David H. Ikard Indiana University Press ePub

Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all.

Mr._____ attacking Celie in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

 

When the movie precious debuted in 2009 many black folks in high places viewed it as an abomination, a twenty-first-century brand of black poverty tourism. Indeed, one of the movie’s most vocal and esteemed antagonists then was Ishmael Reed, who launched a virtual campaign against the movie, going so far as to cast the movie’s black producers, screenwriter, director, and actors as modern-day Uncle Toms, willing to sell their black souls for a slice of fame and at the direct expense of perpetuating black stereotypes. Not surprisingly, in the public arena (which means, of course, that white folks are listening in) the discussion over the movie collapsed into a pro/con debate on whether blacks should celebrate or disavow it. Given that two of the most popular black folks on the planet, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, signed on as executive producers of the movie, the pro-Precious camp definitely won the public relations war. It also helped that black fan favorite actress/comedian, Mo’Nique walked away with an Oscar for best supporting actress (only the fifth black woman in history to be so honored) and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher became the first African American to win in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay.

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