All posts by Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

About Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

Happily married to Cindy who has shared and supported my GED2EDD journey. https://cal.berkeley.edu/DeanRamser “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ― Charles Dickens as of August 15, 2019 use: DrDeanAlbertRamser@gmail.com

Franklin Rosemont

1960s: Days of Rage


Franklin Rosemont (2 October 1943 – 12 April 2009) was an American poet, artist, historian, street speaker, and co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group. Over four decades, Franklin produced a body of work, of declarations, manifestos, poetry, collage, hidden histories, and other interventions intended to inspire a new generation of revolution, and became perhaps ‘the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States.’ … He was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Henry, a typographer and labor activist, and Sally, a jazz musician. In 1960, he dropped out of Proviso East High School, Maywood, Illinois, but was admitted to Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1962, studying under African-American scholar St. Clair Drake.He edited and wrote an introduction for What is Surrealism?: Selected Writings of André Breton, and edited Rebel Worker, Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion, The Rise & Fall of the DIL…

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Florida: Can Schools Wipe Out Racism by Banning Books about It?

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board published a statement denouncing the current zeal for censorship in schools and school libraries. (To learn about the history of book banning and censorship in American schools, read my book THe Language Police). The rising tide of book banning threatens freedom of thought, academic freedom, and common sense.

Banning and burning books is nothing new. What’s new are the targets: Books about race and racism.

In Tennessee, zealots want to get rid of a picture book by Ruby Bridges, who became the first Black student at an all-white New Orleans school when she was just 6 years old.

Among the supposedly objectionable material in “Ruby Bridges Goes to School: My True Story” are photos that show white people holding signs that say, “We want segragation (sic),” and, “We don’t want to Integrate,” as well as another showing a young boy with a sign that…

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Not Always 100% Narrative and Dialogue

Dave Astor on Literature

Bel Kaufman with Sandy Dennis, who starred in the movie version of Ms. Kaufman’s novel Up the Down Staircase.

We admire the ingenuityof authors who include nontraditional elements in their novels, even as that sort of thing can get a bit annoying when overdone.

Most novels of course consist solely of narrative prose and dialogue. The exceptions are when authors throw in poems or songs or letters or emails or texts or newspaper clippings or memos or lists or recipes or drawings or…

All this can make a novel more interesting, but also less smooth to read. We might feel interrupted, thrown out of our page-turning zone. Especially if the non-prose, non-dialogue elements are long or frequent. It can be hard to leave the comfort of our usual reading habits.

I just read Bel Kaufman’s Up the Down Staircase. It’s quite good — hilariously, frenetically, and at times movingly…

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Stephen Sawchuk: What is Critical Race Theory and Why Is It Under Attack?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Stephen Sawchuk is a staff writer for Education Week. He wrote this article back in May, and I missed it. I think it’s one of the clearest, most balanced explanations of CRT that I have read.

Sawchuk writes:

Is “critical race theory” a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy, or a divisive discourse that pits people of color against white people? Liberals and conservatives are in sharp disagreement.

The topic has exploded in the public arena this spring—especially in K-12, where numerous state legislatures aredebating billsseeking to ban its use in the classroom.

In truth, the divides are not nearly as neat as they may seem. The events of the last decade have increased public awareness about things like housing segregation, the impacts of criminal justice policy in the 1990s, and the legacy of enslavement on Black Americans. But there is much less consensus on…

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A Poem for Hanukkah

Flowers For Socrates

Emma Lazarus  (1849-1887) is now remembered for her poem The New Colossus, enshrined in the base of the Statue of Liberty, which contains the lines, so often quoted when immigration is talked about in America: “Give me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/ The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/ Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me/ I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

She was born in New York City on July 22 in 1849, the year that outgoing U.S. President James K. Polk became the first president to have his photograph taken while in office, incoming President Zachary Taylor refused to take his oath of office on a Sunday, and thousands of ‘49ers’ were joining the California Gold Rush. Lazarus was born into a large and prosperous Sephardic Jewish family, the fourth of seven children. She became a prolific writer and…

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A Poem for Native American Heritage Day

Flowers For Socrates

The Friday after Thanksgiving has been designated as Native American Heritage Day in the U.S. since 2008, but some Native Americans feel the day is a poor choice, since it coincides with the aggressive capitalism and greed of ‘Black Friday,’ annual opening day of the Christmas shopping frenzy. Thanksgiving itself is viewed by some as a “day of mourning”  as it celebrates the survival of the Pilgrims, part of the first wave of colonialists to arrive in North America, which would so drastically wipe out millions of the First Peoples, and end forever the way of life of the survivors.

Joy Harjo (1952 – ) is a poet, musician, author, activist and teacher, and the current U.S. Poet Laureate. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she is member of the Mvskoke tribe, and a highly influential figure in the second wave of the artistic Native American Renaissance. She studied at the Institute of American Indian…

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“The Ecstasy of Gold”

1960s: Days of Rage


“‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ is the title of a song composed by Ennio Morricone and used to great effect in the 1966 Sergio Leone film, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Over the last 50 years, the song has become something of a classic, used on various occasions for its stirring, rising tempo and triumphant and uplifting energy – from Metallica concerts and sporting events to mainstream TV advertising. ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ is among Morricone’s most famous compositions, and its performance is aided by the amazing voice of Edda Dell’Orso, who is featured in the song’s stirring vocal high notes. The song is played during a famous scene in the film when Tuco – ‘the ugly’ character, played perfectly by Eli Wallach – is frantically searching through a huge Civil War-era graveyard for the name of a gravesite that is said to hold a fortune in gold…

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Hate and Today’s Society

Nan's Notebook

hate

Many of us recognize that HATE is the in-play factor of much that is happening in today’s society. 

Hate towards blacks. Hate towards gays. Hate towards immigrants. Hate towards atheists. Hate towards Muslims. Hate towards “liberals.” Hate towards the poor. Hate towards …. you-name-it. 

In fact, when push comes to shove, no one and/or no group is excluded from being the target of Hate.

It’s difficult to accept, but ALL of us hold Hate in our hearts towards someone or something. Sometimes this “Hate” can be beneficial in that it serves as a protective device. However, in most cases, it is actually harmful — not only to others, but to our own psyche as well.

Of course it’s natural for us to claim: “I don’t Hate! I just intensely dislike (something or someone).” However, note the following definitions of Hate:

  • (Verb) Dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards
  • (Noun) The…

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A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry

1960s: Days of Rage


“I sit down with a cup of tea. I have to get some words on a page. The problem this morning is that I cannot pull my eyes away from the news: chemical weapons, toddlers in oxygen masks, fathers holding lifeless babies, politicians playing war games. I have a hard time focusing on mornings like this one. I think of a friend, a bright voice for good, who had to log off of social media for a time, hashtag signoffs: #resist, #soldieron. I know that feeling. I am like a runner at the starting blocks, waiting for someone to pull the trigger. I think I could change the world if someone would just pull the trigger … What I wouldn’t give for a little Scotch in my tea on a morning like this. I pick up Grace instead. The new A Grace Paley Reader, edited by Kevin Bowen and…

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A Grace Paley Reader: Stories, Essays, and Poetry

1960s: Days of Rage


“I sit down with a cup of tea. I have to get some words on a page. The problem this morning is that I cannot pull my eyes away from the news: chemical weapons, toddlers in oxygen masks, fathers holding lifeless babies, politicians playing war games. I have a hard time focusing on mornings like this one. I think of a friend, a bright voice for good, who had to log off of social media for a time, hashtag signoffs: #resist, #soldieron. I know that feeling. I am like a runner at the starting blocks, waiting for someone to pull the trigger. I think I could change the world if someone would just pull the trigger … What I wouldn’t give for a little Scotch in my tea on a morning like this. I pick up Grace instead. The new A Grace Paley Reader, edited by Kevin Bowen and…

View original post 297 more words