06 June 2016
03 April 2015
I missed the death of the dowager duchess, Deborah Cavendish, nee Freeman-Mitford, the youngest of the six famous "Mitford sisters." She was one of my favorite British upper-class folk. She was quite a character.
When she married him, in wartime, her future duke was just Lord Andrew Cavendish, and it was his older brother who had the title Marchess of Hartington and stood to inherit the dukedom. But when William, the Marchess, who was married to Kathleen Kennedy, sister of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, died in combat, her husband Andrew inherited his title, and Deborah now stood to become a duchess upon the death of her father-in-law. As Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the pair inherited the vast estates including Chatsworth House, and also a tax bill of seven million pounds, an insurmountable fortune in those days. But they did surmount it, and cannily managed Chatsworth, with its vast lands and possibly the largest private art collection in the UK, for 50 years.
Deborah became the Dowager Duchess in 2004, and in her remaining 10 years, she wrote numerous books, including a cookery book, and Wait for Me!: Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister .
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 06:57
20 September 2014
My best story so far, in my own opinion, was picked up by Twin Cities Daily Planet:
The Seward Café, which turns 40 years old some time this year, is a study in contradictions. Although it’s known for its longevity, laying claim to being both the oldest collectively-managed business in the Twin Cities and the oldest collectively-managed restaurant/-café in the U.S., its actual collectives seem to turn over completely about every seven years. Although the café has never been totally vegetarian (the principle is even enshrined in its charter), it has always remained a favorite among vegans and vegetarians. This is probably due to its great range of vegan baked goods and its adherence to an ethos of care with its veg customers by assuring careful separation in the kitchen and full disclosure of ingredients. And further, although it looks small and scruffy and like anything but a gourmet haven, some of its food items are nearly legendary in their greatness. And its amazing survival attests to its success with the public.
The current collective has an average age somewhere in the mid to late 20s, and an average time as collective member of just a few years. Benjamin Acaso, 32, who joined the collective in 2008, is one of the senior members. The hiring process is still the same as it’s been since the early 1980s: A prospective member is hired under what is called “intake,” and after a probationary period, they may choose to join the collective and become an owner-manager. Some choose to remain on as shift-workers, but most choose the path of workplace democracy. Benjamin admits it’s not easy going to long, frequent collective meetings and making decisions by consensus, but he and the other members believe strongly that they make better decisions because of it. “And I don’t ever want to have a boss,” he says.
The decisions are working, so he must be right. One decision that was struggled over for a long time was whether or not to accept credit cards. The anti-corporate, slightly Luddite gene is very dominant in the counterculture even now in the iPod generation. But in 2012, they finally decided to do it, and this was a transformative decision that immediately increased business and allowed new directions to open up. Some of these new directions were actually a return to the roots. In March 2013, the Café switched from closing at 3 p.m. to closing at 11 p.m., also adding (back) beer and wine sales and live music. The collective expected to lose money at first when they switched hours and added new, unfamiliar dinner items. But to their delight, they actually increased profits almost immediately. With no cover charge, musicians are paid 15% of bar sales plus tips, drink tickets and meals if they’re touring.
There are a lot of parallels between Benjamin’s take on the Seward Café and that of Barbara Jensen (or Barb as she was known at the time) one of the founding collective members. Barb said not all of the founders and early collective members were counter-culture, “some were musicians,” for instance. And Benjamin, in talking about the current collective’s desire to bring back live music, mentioned that many of the collective are also in bands of their own.
In 1974, Barb Jensen was one of four full-time employees at the Seward Co-op, then located where Welna II hardware store is now. The space where the café now sits was a 3-2 bar called the Fireside Inn which had recently closed. A group comprising Barb and two other co-op employees, Mike Bird and Lori Zuidema, and Howard Hickman, who was a co-op volunteer, schemed to buy the Fireside Inn and found the Seward Café, a worker-owned and run café that would continue to serve the neighborhood, but serve it better. They each contributed what money they could for the purchase, and in the first years, worked essentially as volunteers. Barb remembers those early collective meetings starting out with the question, OK, who needs what? Who needs rent, who’s having their electricity shut off, whose car just died? Like that. It was pure primitive communism, but the spirit was utopian anarchism.
And then, barely a year after the café opened, the Twin Cities was embroiled in the Co-op Wars. Along with the Seward Co-op across the street, the café in the years 1975 and 1976 was a haven for the resistance against the Co-operative Organization, or CO, which was seeking to “take over” co-ops across the Twin Cities, often violently. But ironically, and here those contradictions are again, even though the Seward Café was stalwartly anti-CO, they had already institutionalized some of the better ideas the CO was trying to push onto all co-ops dogmatically—they were open late, they kept prices low, they served hamburgers and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
One thing Barb says that came out of the Co-op Wars was an increasing “legalization” of the co-ops, both worker-owned and the new model for food co-ops, consumer-owned. This was a good thing in the end, and the legal, in-the-system framework—putting the land in a trust, having a charter and rules to govern the collective, using proper accounting procedures—all manage to contain the anarchist heart of the Seward Café and enable it to live on through all the changes, whether economic or ideological. Barb went on to help found DANCE Warehouse, to be a major participant in the All Co-ops Assembly (ACA—which no longer exists) and the Peoples Center on the West Bank (which still does.) She went back to school, got a masters degree, taught at Metro State, and is now a community and counseling psychologist. A working-class girl who became radicalized in her late teens, she is also the author of a book, “Reading Classes: On Culture and Classism in America” (Cornell Press, 2012).
Benjamin believes the Seward Café will survive at least another 40 years. So many people love the righteous pancakes, the CP Iced Coffee, the vegan cookies and muffins, the Earth Breakfast. And now they are coming in for local food like Tempeh Tantrum, LaPerla tortillas and craft beers. The Seward Café is successful enough to be a help to other collective businesses, such as Hard Times Café. And ultimately, as Benjamin says, “the community won’t let us die.” A 40th anniversary celebration is being planned for some time in the late fall.
© 2014 Southside Pride
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 16:04
08 September 2014
I got a tweet for my story in Southside Pride, which was then picked up in Twin Cities Daily Planet:
That was only one small tidbit in an otherwise fascinating piece from @deborama52 & @tcdailyplanet: http://t.co/GJhAL4vj3P
— Matt Becker (@matthewtbecker) September 5, 2014
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 01:53
01 September 2014
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 16:57
01 July 2014
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 23:33
20 April 2014
Colombia declares three days of mourning for Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of the enormously influential 100 Years of Solitude, and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, passed away Thursday, April 17. He was 87.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 01:37
19 March 2014
In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person — Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates — ask them five questions: ‘What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?’ If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.
I just realized that there are no comments enabled on this blog any more. I think it's because, having a customized CSS template, I was using an external comment manager and they "went out of business" or something. Just went, anyway. I wanted to make a funny comment. I just realized that this post and the four preceding it are about "Four Obituaries and A Wedding".
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 02:06
24 November 2013
18 November 2013
Doris Lessing, author of The Golden Notebook and many other novels and a few non-fiction works, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007, died yesterday at the age of 94. As Alexandra Schwarz noted in her wonderful New Yorker blog post ,"On Doris Lessing and Not Saying Thank You", The NYT in its obituary of her sounded "a tone of peevish, gawking reproach. (Much better to read Margaret Atwood’s wonderful tribute in the Guardian.)" It is ever thus with the boldly unconventional female.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 23:59
06 October 2013
05 September 2013
September 3, 2013
Mr. Keefer was born in Atlanta on Feb. 3, 1961, the son of Dolores and Clyde A. Keefer. He attended Dalton High School from 1975 to 1978 and was a member of Dalton First United Methodist Church. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout and shared his love of Scouting and the Atlanta Braves with his father. Kevin loved to cook and grow his own vegetables. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed being in the outdoors with his hunting buddies. He was a loyal friend and kind-hearted and gentle man.
Mr. Keefer had a long career in emergency services in the area, mostly with the city of Chatsworth. He served as an emergency medical technician with the Dalton Ambulance and Murray County EMS, 24 years with Chatsworth Fire Department as a firefighter and as fire chief from 1987 to 2005. He was also a building inspector.
He is survived by a large, loving family consisting of his parents, Clyde and Dolores Keefer of Chatsworth; his three daughters, Kierston, Kimberly and Katlynn, all of Chatsworth; his brothers, David (Rene) Keefer of Jacksonville, Ala., and Scott Keefer of Atlanta; and his sisters, Deb Keefer (Lewis) Ramage of Minneapolis, Minn., Cynthia Keefer Patton (Denny Fitterling) of Kansas City, Mo., and Dr. Denise Keefer (Bill) Runge of Helena, Mont. He is also survived by his nephews and nieces, Aimee Whatley of Portland, Ore., Carey Hunton Carter of Atlanta, Shane Tyler (Crystal) Patton of Gulfport, Miss., Joshua and Jacob von Herrmann of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Elizabeth Keefer of Jacksonville, Ala.
A private memorial service will be held in the future when his family will gather to remember him.
Mr. Keefer will be cremated and his ashes spread at his favorite hunt camp when his friends gather and celebrate his life.
In lieu of flowers, Kevin requested donations be made to the Boy Scouts of America in his honor.
The family would also like to thank his close friends, Judy and Gifford Laney, Kevin Ballew, the wonderful people of hospice and Chatsworth Health Care Center, and so many others for all they did for Kevin during the last months of his too short life.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.GeorgiaFuneralCare.com.
Georgia Funeral Care and Cremation Services is proud to be serving this family; (678) 574-3016.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 04:22
26 June 2013
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 23:33
I am inspired by teaching my friend CJ Sparrow how to blog on his new blog, Occupirate, to renew my own blogging. So, first I will try to make a Deborama's Books post with the review every time I register a book on Bookcrossing (and I will also try to register every book I read on Bookcrossing.) Later, I will do some serious political blogging here. I have been saving it up, so I have a lot to say.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 23:31
24 July 2012
20 May 2012
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 14:06
18 April 2012
21 December 2011
I apologize for the ad before this, but trust me, it's worth waiting for.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 22:08
14 December 2011
(Copy of a post on Deborama's Book Reviews and Store) Well, it's not often I review and blog a book I have only read one chapter of. In fact, it's not often I review and blog books at all anymore. And maybe I am more jetlagged and culture-shocked than I thought I was, or maybe it really was that good. I just read the first chapter of The Polish Officer by Alan Furst, entitled The Pilawa Local. I was in tears. It made me wish I was Polish. And to all my Polish friends, my God, you come from a noble people, and I am heartily sorry if ever in my careless youth I retold or even laughed at a Polack joke, no matter how good-natured.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 13:24
17 November 2011
I predicted way back in 2008 that the recession soon to follow what was then just a "credit crisis" would last 15 years. Everybody said I was crazy. Now when I remind them, they just tell me to shut up. I was going to indulge my inner economics genius and post a blog about how and why this would occur, but of course, my inner trailer trash layabout kept me from doing it. And then I got laid off (American) or made redundant (British), and my life became so complex I didn't have the energy to even consider it. In the last couple of weeks, like a dam breaking but in reverse, my life has got a lot simpler. I now know (more or less) what I am going to do and when. So to the blog... But wait! I am not going to do the 15-year recession blog (now only 13 years of it left, of course.) The time for that has passed. The moving finger writes and having writ, moves on. Instead...
I didn't think Paul Krugman could ever become more of a hero to me than he already was. But he has. He has a cunning plan to save the US economy, and of course, it's based a bit more on history than on pure economics. If you have closely studied the 1929 stock market crash and ensuing 10-year depression, you will know that it was more due to an outbreak of war in Europe than to government or Fed policies that America began to be productive again around 1939-40. And you will know that there have been quite a few vague historical echoes in our current fiasco as well. So Krugman's idea is that the government should give up on economy-tittivating, which they are frankly no good at anyway, and fake an alien invasion.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 16:46
18 October 2011
Marie Haff, my friend since 1984 when I first moved to the Twin Cities along with her son, passed away last week. We had drifted apart geographically, especially when I moved to England, but then she started trading in antiques after her official retirement, and was making periodic trips to Lincolnshire to buy British antiques. So we were able to reconnect, and my husband and I even managed to meet up with her in Horncastle one day several years ago. I took this picture of her a little over a month ago at a family gathering in rural Minnesota. I am so sad that when I finally manage to make my move back to Minneapolis, there will be no more meetings or chats with Marie. She was a very special woman.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 17:57
06 October 2011
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 07:36
14 September 2011
I arrived back in the UK on the 6th of September, very jet-lagged, and then promptly fell ill. Apologies for the big delay in updating my blog, but then most of my activity, as I have mentioned before, is documented on Facebook. But the archive-index is a lot better here.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 09:28
23 August 2011
I'm in Minneapolis, takin' care of some business. I was going to post a blog from Keflavik airport on my way here, but their darned wifi was not connected to the internet for some reason. That was my first public wifi blog some years ago and I thought it would be cool to do a repeat.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 03:01
10 August 2011
Holly passed away last night, suddenly, as budgies do. Holly is the one on the left above; the one on the right, Pearl, passed some time ago. I think Holly was between 5 and 7 years old. He has some offspring out there somewhere, thanks to a little breeding holiday he took care of Cindy, our friend who used to live near here. Here is our current roll call of birds and other critters:
- Toby, a white, totally deaf English bull terrier / Jack Russell cross, male, neutered, drama queen, thinks he's a cat
- Max and Chewy, a pair of gorgeous Blue&Gold Macaws
- Fred, a cockatoo
- Leslie and Freddy, a pair of Amazons
- Four! Hahn's macaws (we now have more Hahn's macaws than budgies) : Han, Vernie, Kermie and Harry (we think they are all males)
- Three budgies : Bill-or-Ben, Little Bob (who is female, and she made babies with Holly) and Nelson (also female)
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 14:05
Well, I am on Google+, have been there a while. Definitely still on Facebook, where truthfully most of my online "activity" occurs. My problem with social media vs. old-fashioned blogging (funny that something becomes really old-fashioned in about 7 years) is one I have not heard expressed a lot. I really took to blogging, because it's sort of like being a self-published author and sort of like being an amateur journalist and sort of like keeping a diary. Social media, even if you post frequently and participate enthusiastically, is nothing like that.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 13:21
25 June 2011
Yesterday, actor Peter Falk passed away. Columbo may not have been the greatest detective show of all time, but it's amazing how Falk's brilliant character study has influenced future TV and film detectives, especially, I think, in British crime drama. And of course, I will always remember and love Peter Falk especially for his role as "Grand-dad" in The Princess Bride, one of the best cult movies of all time. He also starred in several serious films, including Husbands and A Woman Under the Influence by his friend, director John Cassavetes. And he had a great reputation as an actor on the New York stage as well.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 10:30
05 April 2011
I was sad to learn of the relatively early passing of Manning Marable, a leading light of the DSA and a great historian, essayist and academic. Tragically, he died just three days before the ultimate culmination of his life's work, the publication of his eagerly awaited biography of Malcolm X. Although Marable had published several other non-academic works of history or political philosophy, the Malcolm X biography will probably establish his name with the public in a way these more obscure books could not. But to democratic socialists, students of African-American studies and the culturally aware, Marable was already in the highest ranks. He will be sorely missed.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 09:12
25 March 2011
On this day in 1911, 146 sweatshop workers died in a horrible fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. Some of the workers were as young as 14, most were immigrants and many were young women and girls. Read about the fire. Don't mourn, organize.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 19:20
The New York Times has this great Elizabeth Taylor timeline.
And when I heard that she was interred already, I thought that might mean that she had stayed faithful to Judaism all these decades after conversion, and so it did. I am glad. And while we're on the subject, there is something kind of grisly about our modern western "Christian" predilection for funerals days and even weeks after the death. The Muslims and the Jews are much more seemly in this respect.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 19:07
15 March 2011
Owsley Stanley, known to Deadheads as simply "Bear", has died following a traffic accident at the age of 76. He was also known as a pioneer of the psychedelic drug culture and the producer of the highest quality LSD ever made, as a one-time financial backer and early sound engineer to the Grateful Dead and as the first of the "tapers", a community of music activists / deadheads who carefully chronicled virtually every note of every Grateful Dead concert on a myriad of private audio tapes that were always swapped or given away free.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 15:42
27 January 2011
03 January 2011
I was watching a comedy (show or film, don't remember, probably British rather than American) where a comedy bigoted character said about immigrants (paraphrase) : they are lazy, they don't want to work and they come over here and take our jobs. He said this all in one sentence, oblivious to the irony (or something) of what he was saying, and even when a more level-headed character pointed out that they were either lazy OR job-stealing, but obviously not both, he didn't get it. So this was comedy, right?A few days later, today, I was watching a supposedly serious show about "benefit fraud" on a supposedly serious BBC channel. They featured a story about a woman who came from Ghana to the UK, illegally forged a new identity based on a stolen British passport with her photo substituted and a faked birth certificate and faked educational credentials. she then got a job with the NHS which she had for several years (I am guessing from the earnings cited below seven to ten years.) Most of the fraud involved here was pretty ham-fisted; her birth certificate said Lutterworth, which is in Leicestershire, but then said County of Surrey (hundreds of miles away.) (For Americans, this is sort of like saying Sacramento, Illinois, only even more impossible.) Also, some documents implied she had never left the UK after being born here, but her fake diplomas were from Ghana. And implausibly had a photo on them. The same photo as on her stolen passport. So, look here, I am not saying she is a hero, or not a fraudster, or not a criminal. I am not defending her. But this is how the BBC summed up the story. This woman was said to have earned £230,000 plus a £40,000 "bursary" (not sure what that is, but I am guessing some kind of grant for either work or education.) So they claimed her fraud had COST British taxpayers (which includes me) £270,000, or "over a quarter of a million". But wait a minute, this woman was also a British taxpayer. And she didn't COST the country £230K of that, since presumably they got at least nearly that much value from her in service to the NHS. Oh, but here's the real kicker, just as ignorant in its way as that "lazy and steal our jobs" line: the woman is now in prison for many years! So she is "paying back that debt to society." No, she is now costing the British taxpayers (including me) probably about 10 times as much per annum to support in a prison, doing nothing of worth, as she was paying in taxes while committing her crime. Is it just me, or is this FREAKING INSANE?
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 19:38
27 October 2010
Britain should stop "kowtowing" to US demands over airport security, the chairman of British Airways, Martin Broughton, has said, adding that American airports did not implement some checks on their own internal flights.
The NYT :
The United States is making excessive demands for airline passenger screening, including measures it doesn't require on U.S. domestic flights, the chairman of British Airways says.I read the NYT, WaPo, The Grauniad (British joke) and the BBC news website every day. Most of the stories are just copies of each other. It's interesting to me that in this case, the two stories are not copies at all, and have a subtly different tone and emphasis. Also, the Guardian's story is illustrated with a garish colour photo of the chairman looking stern and exasperated.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 22:33
07 August 2010
I am so appalled at this latest turn in the saga of Great Britain's immigration policies that I can hardly find the words. You would think after the even worse incidents in France (picture above from a notorious video of French police beating women and children during a protest by immigrants there) that the UK would be keen to be seen as more humane in their treatment of "failed asylum seekers".
I have visions of the scene toward the end of my favourite movie, Lawrence of Arabia, where a British doctor comes upon a marketplace full of dead and dying Turkish soldiers and no one doing anything to help them, and he keeps shouting "Outrageous" in an impotent fury. That's how I feel about most immigration stories I read, but this one really is outrageous, not for naked aggression, as in France, but for an utter failure to do the right thing, for pandering to racist tabloid media, for treating and thinking of asylum seekers and economic migrants as less than human.
After campaigning on the "moral outrage" of children of asylum seekers being kept virtually imprisoned, the LDs as part of the coalition government have helped to hatch this cynical flash-deportation scheme, trying to circumvent both human rights rules and liberal public opinion.
The briefing paper also shows that the border agency is worried that ending the use of detention could give families facing deportation more chance to launch community protest campaigns backed by the media and MPs. It says more police may need to be involved in deportations because "significant public order problems" could follow removals. "The alternative is not to inform the family of the exact time and date of removal, so that they are not prepared. However, this has its own difficulties, which would need analysing and addressing." The document says it is undecided whether a specific time and date should be given, or a longer period of a couple of days.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 11:53
14 July 2010
22 June 2010
18 June 2010
My sister Cindy lost her husband of 31 years to cancer on Monday. I was blessed to be able to spend a few hours with them in his last week of life, and painful as it was, to say good-bye. The obituary in the Biloxi-Gulfport Sun Herald gives a hint at what an exceptional man he was.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 20:16
16 June 2010
If you had told me in the early 1970s that there would ever come a day when any government, least of all the government of the UK, would issue such an honest and devastating assessment of its own actions, I would not have believed it.
Of course, there are those who see it as a step too far in laying blame, particularly when a commanding officer is singled out for blame, while individual soldiers who shot and killed have their identities protected, and those higher up the chain are mostly let off the hook.
Families of the victims have had, for the most part, no appetite for revenge now that the innocence of their loved ones is established. One survivor says "Jail isn't something I can see happening. That wouldn't, in any way, bother me, I have no great desire to see a 60-year-old man go to jail."
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 09:10
18 April 2010
04 April 2010
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 14:12
27 January 2010
Following the SCOTUS decision that corporations have "free speech" rights, Facebook has a got a fan page advocating a Constitutional Amendment to assert that human rights only apply to individual humans. If you think that's over-reacting, or if you tend to be swayed by the fuzzy logic of bone-headed so-called Libertarians on this issue, read the article called Inhuman Rights from McSweeney's Internet Tendency. It is a brilliant example of the argument "ad absurdem", right up there with Swift's Modest Proposal.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 09:31
21 November 2009
I'm in Atlanta, which it is now hip to call ATL. I am visiting my son and his girlfriend, and I am staying in the poshest hotel I have ever been in, at a fantastically reasonable rate, thanks to Expedia. (I have a picture of it on my phone, but I will have to upload it later as this computer in the hotel doesn't seem to have a USB port available.)
I have to do another Deborama's Wednesday Website of the Week, but I cannot wait until Wednesday (I will be mostly on the road to Hattiesburg then anyway) and technicallly I should not call it WWW anymore since it is far from being weekly. But I discovered the Believer magazine, a McSweeney's publication, at my son's apartment, and I have been obsessively reading it ever since. Absolutely brilliant, and I hope they'll forgive me lifting the image, since I am using it to plug their product.
Everybody here is laid off, or about to be laid off. It's quite sad what this recession is doing to those of my kids' generation, as if they haven't suffered enough. It's bad for my generation too of course; getting made redundant just as the verdant pastures of retirement come hazily into view is no picnic, I'm sure. Hopefully, I won't find that out firsthand on my return to Blighty, although it is a possibility.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 15:55
05 November 2009
This NYT piece by Nicholas Kristof is good enough to drag me out of blogging semi-retirement, which means too good to only click "Share" and send to Facebook. There is no way this can be repeated often enough to get the message across - the US does not have the "best health care in the world", far from it. Saying if it ain't broke don't fix it is only clever if it ain't broke!
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 17:51
25 September 2009
My ex-father-in-law, Lisle Carleton Carter, Jr., passed away on the 10th of September. It had been many years since I had seen him, but my son was very close to him.
Lisle was not only a person who I really loved and admired, he was just generally a remarkable man, a polymath, in that he was a leading academic administrator, a former government official and a lawyer until his retirement some years ago. And also a poet and a patron of the arts and many charities. He will be missed and mourned by many. His many achievements are featured in this editorial obituary in the Washington Post.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 23:22
23 August 2009
This Huffington Post article by George Lazoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics, is very long and a hard read, but worth it. Although he is focusing on a scathing critique of, and offering a cogent alternative to, the way the Obama administration has failed to sell health care reform, along the way he makes some really razor-sharp points about what is wrong with the current system. I think everyone in favour of health care reform (or insurance reform if you prefer) should read this article as a guide in how to discuss it, not just with those who agree, but especially with those who disagree.
Posted by Debra Keefer Ramage at 09:26