This image is from the 1950 movie Rio Grande, which stars John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and is the third film in John Ford's Cavalry trilogy. Lt. Colonel Kirby Yorke (Wayne) and his men are tracking Apache marauders who have been hitting targets on both the American and Mexican sides of the Rio Grande river. In this scene, Yorke is discussing the situation with Mexican border guards; he is frustrated because his military orders prevent him from crossing the Rio Grande to Mexico in pursuit of the Apache raiders.
The 2018 Amazon Prime series Jack Ryan starts out with a flashback to 1983 Lebanon. Two young brothers are playing outside when suddenly planes fly overhead and start bombing their town. In modern day, we see Dr. Jack Ryan for the first time, rowing on the Potomac in Washington. Later we see him biking to work at the CIA; he nearly has a collision with a car, the driver of which cusses him out. He arrives late for a meeting. Upstairs on the 7th floor, the man who cussed at Ryan is also having a meeting. He is Jim Greer, formerly an upper level Station Chief in the Middle East. He has somehow screwed up and been demoted to a post in Washington as Head of the Terror Finance and Arms Division. This is where Jack works as an economic analyst.
Greer and Ryan get off to a rocky start. Jack attempts to tell Greer about suspicious transactions in Yemen which have been occurring over the last few months. He theorizes that the figure behind the transactions is Suleiman, a new name which is being noised about in terrorist circles. He doesn't have enough evidence to back up his hunch, and Greer doesn't seem impressed or interested.
The scene changes to Syria, where a woman is playing soccer with her three kids outside what looks like a military compound. They are interrupted by several trucks driving up, filled with sketchy-looking men. They are led by the even skeezier-looking Sheik Al Radwan, looking for Sheik Suleiman. It turns out that the woman is Hanin, wife of Suleiman.
She tells Al Radwan that her husband isn't at home, and the Sheik starts unloading some men and- ominously- what appears to be bomb-making supplies. He tells her that Suleiman requested that he drop them off there. Back in Washington, Jack Ryan receives a call from Joe Mueller, his old boss from when he worked on Wall Street. Mueller asks Ryan to come to his birthday party on the weekend. Jack reluctantly accepts the invitation. Later that night, Ryan seems to have insomnia; he experiences flashbacks of being in a military unit in the Middle East. As he gets out of bed, we can see that he has extensive scarring on his back. Unable to sleep, he goes in to work and continues following the terrorist money trail.
Jack goes to Greer with his information about the financial transactions which he's traced to a Saudi shell account. He tells Greer that there have been six transactions in eight days, totalling over nine million dollars. Ryan is sure that this means Suleiman is planning something big and he asks Greer to freeze the account. Greer shoots him down, saying that Ryan doesn't yet have enough evidence to justify doing that. Jack is frustrated and angry; Suleiman could by planning the next 9/11 and Greer seems to want to sit on his hands rather than be proactive about the situation.
Back in Syria, Hanin is unnerved by the presence of the creepy terrorist guys staying at the compound. Though she doesn't know exactly what's going on, it's obvious that they're working on chemical weapons of some sort. Hanin is very obviously worried about the safety of her three children (a son and two daughters). She watches as the chemical weapons are packaged as olive oil, loaded on a truck and driven away.
Back at the CIA, Ryan decides to go behind Greer's back and sweet talks a girl in the finance department who has a crush on him into ordering the Saudi shell account frozen. Greer gets a phone call from higher up the chain, asking for confirmation of this order. Greer knows immediately who's responsible and angrily bellows for Ryan to get into his office.
Gaskell does a good job of presenting the strike from both points of view- that of the strikers and of the owners- in North and South. This gives the novel points over her previous book Mary Barton which is very pro-worker and anti-owner. Through the two opposing sides in the strike, Gaskell portrays some of the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution itself. On the side of the owners, business is bad. America is flooding the market with cheap cotton, making it necessary for the English mills to lower their prices to remain competitive. One of the ways they save money is by lowering the wages of their employees, which is really hard on the hands. The owners reason, however, that if they lose their businesses, the hands will have no jobs at all. Also, the wages paid at the mills are higher than those paid by other jobs available in the town. For example, the Hales find it impossible to hire a maid at a price they can afford. This is because women can earn higher wages working in the mills which means that people looking for domestic staff must offer higher, more competitive wages as workers have other, more lucrative, options.
On the side of the strikers, the arbitrary reduction in their wages hits them much harder than it does the owners, who show little interest in sharing the pain by economizing their own lives to any degree. Though it could be argued that the mill owners have invested their own money in the mills and run the risk of being personally bankrupted should their businesses fail; the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward. Another issue is that many of the owners (not Mr. Thornton) cut costs by not installing safety features which would protect their employees from lung disease caused by inhaling cotton fluff. Unscrupulous owners cause further resentment when, in an attempt to delay the strike and get their orders filled, they pretend to be considering the union's wage demands until payday actually arrives. In addition, while the owners complain- legitimately- that the workers don't understand business and markets, they make no effort to educate them on the situation, engage in mediation, or even adequately explain why their wages have been cut.
This situation is a microcosm of the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution as a whole. On the negative side, as much of the rural population empties into factory towns, they often end up working- and living- in very unhealthy conditions. Also, while wages are higher, so is the cost of living, and people no longer have the option of growing their own food. On the other hand, under the landowner/tenant system, there was little opportunity for the lower classes to better themselves. Industrialization provides them with the opportunity to raise themselves to a higher social and economic level. This leads to an expanded middle class and the creation of the "nouveau riche" (new rich). Ultimately, the Industrial Revolution gives people the opportunity to raise themselves higher than they had ever dreamed, but also the possibility of falling further than they had ever imagined.
I haven't read this book: The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections With Your Kids but one of my sister just finished it and really enjoyed it. The book touts the benefits of reading to children, both for the kids and their parents. It also provides lists of age appropriate recommended books for reading aloud together. That's about all I know about it, but I'm inclined to agree; reading aloud was a very important part of my family life as a child. Even now, if I'm going on a road trip with a couple of my sisters, we'll bring along a book to take turns reading aloud. Here's a couple quotes from the book:
“We read with our children because it gives both them and us an education of the heart and mind. Of intellect and empathy. We read together and learn because stories teach us how to love.” -Sarah MacKenzie (The Read Aloud Family) “If you want a child to know the truth, tell him the truth. If you want a child to love the truth, tell him a story.” -Sarah MacKenzie (The Read Aloud Family)
The mob scene in North and South is a pivotal one in the novel, which will have serious ramifications both for the strike and the personal relationship between Margaret and John Thornton. Shaken by her injury, Thornton for the first time acknowledges to himself that his feelings for Margaret are much deeper than simple physical attraction. Indeed, his frequent irritation with her is due mainly to the fact that he very much covets her good opinion and for Margaret to return his regard. Margaret, on an errand for her mother, finds herself at the Thornton's when a group of maddened strikers rushes the house. In the middle of an episode during which even Mrs. Thornton seems fearful, Margaret keeps her head. This puts her in complete contrast with Fanny, who is screaming and crying, making the servants even more panicky than they already are. Maintaining her dignity is very important to Margaret, and she is relieved that, when tested, she keeps it together. When Margaret and Mr. Thornton look out the window at the mob, Thornton- understandably- sees a seething mass which is intent on doing violence. Margaret however, who has met some of the millworkers and picks out at least one in the crowd whom she knows, sees them more as individuals.
This is why she reacts strongly to Mr. Thornton's statement that the soldiers are coming to deal violently with the strikers. For her, it isn't just a faceless mob that is going to be dealt with: it's Mr. Boucher, desperate father of seven, and others like him. She demands that Thornton try to reason with them, man to man, and not treat them like animals. Stung by her disdain, Thornton agrees to do so, no doubt against his better judgement. What Margaret doesn't realize until too late that, although a mob is made up of individuals, it does not behave the same way an individual would. A mob, emboldened by the anonymity of being in a large crowd, their rage feeding off of that of those surrounding them, will behave in ways which a single person on his own never would. One of the striking workers would never dream of physically attacking Mr. Thornton on the street, but as part of an enraged mob, many of them actually proceed to attempt to do so. As mentioned, this incident causes Mr. Thornton to acknowledge his feelings for Margaret. For Margaret, however, waking up to hear Fanny and her maid salaciously discussing the incident, her first reaction is extreme embarrassment. She has always prided herself on being dignified and ladylike in her behaviour and now, by inserting herself between Mr. Thornton and the mob, she has made herself an object of gossip and speculation. At this point, her feelings for Thornton- whatever they may be- don't feature in her thoughts; she just wants to remove herself from the situation as quickly as possible.
Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Penny, why don't you write a play about Ism-Mania? Penny Sycamore: Ism-Mania? Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Yeah, sure, you know, Communism, Fascism, Voodooism, everybody's got an -ism these days. Penny Sycamore: Oh, [laughs] I thought it was an itch or something. Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff: Well, it's just as catching. When things go a little bad nowadays, you go out, get yourself an -ism and you're in business.
This conversation occurs in the 1938 comedic film You Can't Take It With You, which is an adaptation of the 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the same name. Grandpa Vanderhoff is talking to his daughter Penny, who is struggling to write a play. The movie is laugh-out-loud funny, but it's sobering to think that two of the "-isms" Grandpa mentions- fascism and communism- would be the scourge of the 20th century, causing millions of deaths. Unfortunately- unbelievably- people are still flirting with these two evils today. Not only that, but in the last few years, "Ism-Mania" has taken off in a big way with the grievance mongerers as their favourite method of smearing their opponents. Anyone who disagrees with them is guilty of sexism, racism, fascism... you name the -ism, it's been used as an accusation, usually without any justification. Which makes it easier to dismiss the real thing when it comes along. Grandpa Vanderhoff continues by recommending "Americanism": "Let 'em know something about Americans: John Paul Jones, Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Monroe, Lincoln, Grant, Lee, Edison, Mark Twain. When things got tough for those boys, they didn't run around looking for -isms." I'm not an American, but I agree with the general sentiment; people should knock off the "Ism-Mania" and see to their own business, their own families, and their own lives.
“A man who deliberately inflicts violence on the language will almost certainly inflict violence on human beings if he acquires the power. Those who treasure the meaning of words will treasure truth, and those who bend words to their purposes are very likely in pursuit of anti-social ones.” ― Paul Johnson, The Quotable Paul Johnson: A Topical Compilation of His Wit, Wisdom and Satire