Ranting

Memphasis > Power Trumps People

February 10th, 2011

IN THE NEW MATH, 30% IS MORE THAN 70%Fellow I know who worked for S.C. Toof & Co. back in the sixties told a good story about the use of power. Then the company was family owned and the largest printing operation around these parts. Mr. Toof fancied himself a broad-minded leader, open to suggestion and reform. The company's leadership would meet weekly to discuss issues and vote on ...

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Memphasis > An Uncommon Man In Common

February 3rd, 2011

AN UNCOMMON MAN IN COMMONThe first one was in the former Barksdale police station, a mounted police station complete with a stable and cells. Kids playing horse replaced the horses. Cells became offices, and the squad room turned into a classroom. A pool table took the place of the sergeant's desk, kids doing homework replaced cops doing paperwork, and those with nowhere to go and nothing ...

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Memphasis > The Right Call

January 27th, 2011

AN EASY CALL TO MAKE.Howard took his phone out on his porch overlooking the Little Red River in Arkansas and called me. "The band wants to throw Jimmy a party," he said. "Can we make that happen?"A few months ago, I wrote a column about a friend with cancer and the comfort of cheeseburgers. A couple of weeks ago, just before he left town to have major surgery, we had a helluva ...

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Memphasis > The No Voting Machine

January 20th, 2011

THANKS, GUYS, BUT WE'LL TAKE IT FROM HERE.For the first half of the 20th century, one political machine with one man firmly at the controls ran Memphis. Not only did Boss Crump decide who got elected, appointed, fired and indicted around here, he pretty much did that for the whole state, and wielded considerable influence in the national Democratic Party. Memphis Mayor for six years and ...

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Memphasis > Testing The Possible

January 13th, 2011

SHARPEN YOUR PENCILS. THIS IS A TEST.My first day each year in elementary school. Another year older, another grade, another teacher. The lined paper was blank, waiting. The big pencils and the bright, colorful books were new, waiting to be introduced, like that little girl over there and that skinny kid behind you. The school was the same but everything was different, even new, and everything ...

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