All posts by Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

About Dr. Dean Albert Ramser

Happily married to Cindy who has shared and supported my GED2EDD journey. “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:

The Wanderers – Richard Price (1973)

1960s: Days of Rage

“This is a superbly written book about coming of age in a section of the Bronx. The Wanderers are not the only gang in this world. The most feared are the Ducky Boys, hundreds of stunted Irish madmen who suddenly appear from the trees and doorways like ‘foaming rats’ with old-fashioned straight razors and baseball bats studded with razors. Yet the book is not about teen-age gangs, but about survival and the groping for answers to unformulated questions. It is also about the breakdown of The Wanderers as its members drift, lunge and fumble into the larger world far from the security of the gang and the Big Playground. Although there is violence here, the violence of gang fights, of fear, of death and rape, the people in “The Wanderers” are part of middle-class America, the backbone of our nation. This is the most terrifying aspect of this book. The…

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Brewster McCloud – Robert Altman (1970)

1960s: Days of Rage

Brewster McCloud is a 1970 American black comedy film directed by Robert Altman. The film follows a young recluse (Bud Cort, as the title character) who lives in a fallout shelter of the Houston Astrodome, where he is building a pair of wings in order to fly. He is helped by his comely and enigmatic ‘fairy godmother,’ played by Sally Kellerman, as he becomes a suspect in a series of murders, of which a vain, haughty hot-shot detective lieutenant from San Francisco, played by Michael Murphy, soon becomes hot on his trail. The film opens with the usual MGM logo, but with a voice-over by René Auberjonois saying “I forgot the opening line” instead of the lion’s roar. As the opening credits roll, wealthy Houstonian Daphne Heap (Margaret Hamilton) begins to sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ on the field of the Astrodome…

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TCS: Freedom is a Dream – Rebels, Refugees, and Romantics

Flowers For Socrates

    Good Morning!


Welcome to The Coffee Shop, just for you early risers
on Monday mornings. This is an Open Thread forum,
so if you have an off-topic opinion burning a hole in
your brainpan, feel free to add a comment.


“Those who won our independence … valued
liberty as an end and as a means. They believed
liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage

to be the secret of liberty.”
            – Justice Louis D. Brandeis

“I think of a hero as someone
who understands the degree
of responsibility that comes
with his freedom.”
         – Bob Dylan

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March to Montgomery

1960s: Days of Rage

Participants, some carrying American flags, marching in the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965

“A week after [James] Reeb’s death, on Wednesday March 17, Judge Johnson ruled in favor of the protesters, saying their First Amendment right to march in protest could not be abridged by the state of Alabama: The law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups . … These rights may … be exercised by marching, even along public highways. Judge Johnson had sympathized with the protesters for some days, but had withheld his order until he received an iron-clad commitment of enforcement from the White House. President Johnson had avoided such a commitment in sensitivity to the power of the state’s rights movement, and attempted to cajole Governor Wallace into protecting the marchers himself, or at least giving the…

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Joan Didion and the Art of Motherhood

1960s: Days of Rage

“Joan Didion was known for her confident, self-assured statements and the surgical precision with which she observed the world. The one adjective continually invoked of her writerly persona and her work was cool. When she passed recently, one of the conversations that bubbled up about her life and her legacy was her identity as a writer and a mother. Online, some male writers asked if she was proof it was possible to be a great artist and a great parent—to be met with parent writers who quickly pointed out the nonsensicalness of that question. But if we look at Didion’s work itself, we see her contradictions. She is often admired for the clarity and conviction of her writing, but in her work, and how she thought of it, there is the uncertainty and tension between the demands of being a writer and the demands of being a mother. And…

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Octavio Paz: Political thought

1960s: Days of Rage

“… Originally, Paz supported the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, but after learning of the murder of one of his friends by the Stalinist secret police, he became gradually disillusioned. While in Paris in the early 1950s, influenced by David Rousset, André Breton and Albert Camus, he started publishing his critical views on totalitarianism in general, and particularly against Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union. In his magazines Plural and Vuelta, Paz exposed the violations of human rights in communist regimes, including Castro’sCuba. This brought him much animosity from sectors of the Latin American left. In the prologue to Volume IX of his complete works, Paz stated that from the time when he abandoned communist dogma, the mistrust of many in the Mexican intelligentsia started to transform into an intense and open enmity. Paz continued to consider himself a man of…

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Happy Thanksgiving from Me to You

Diane Ravitch's blog

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a time to reflect what we are grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

I am grateful for life. Last year, I had open heart surgery, and for the first five days after surgery, my life hung in the balance. Yet here I am, reading, writing, thinking, alive.

I am grateful for my dear family: My wife, Mary. My children, my grandchildren. I am blessed to be with and near people I love who love me.

I am grateful to live in America. Despite all the challenges our country faces, it’s still a wonderful place to live, where communities come together in bad times, and strangers act to help others.

I am grateful to live in a country where I can speak and write what I wish without fear of punishment.

I am grateful for the rise of a young generation whose idealism and vision will…

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Dan Rather: Thank You, Teachers

Diane Ravitch's blog

I have been saving this lovely tribute for the right moment. It’s now, as red state legislatures rev up their attacks on teachers and on the profession. North Carolina leads the pack in its current effort to lower entry standards for teachers (only an associate degree needed to enter the field—two years of college), and pay tied to student test scores, a practice that has failed everywhere tried. In the background is the Gates Foundation, repeating its well-established practice of funding failure. Florida, too, is lowering its standards for teachers and welcoming non-professionals into the classroom. Think of it: Do you want your next air flight to be piloted by someone with six weeks training? Do you want a surgery performed by a medical student?

Dan Rather, a graduate of the Houston public schools (like me), remembers his teachers with gratitude:

One of the great sadnesses of our current…

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Dion: The Wanderer Has Never Left the Building

1960s: Days of Rage

November 18, 2022: “When Dion DiMucci was attending junior high school in the Bronx, not long before he became a rock and roll sensation with the Belmonts—named for Belmont Avenue, near his home—his grandfather came over every morning to perform a ritual with a wooden spoon and tin cup. … It’s a story Dion has told often, as he did at the podium in 2011 while accepting an award from the National Italian-American Foundation, where Barack Obama, known to eat up to half a dozen eggs with potatoes for breakfast, was in the audience. … Clean and sober for more than half a century now, the kid from East 183rd Street who wrote ‘(I Was) Born to Cry’ in the days when he wolfed down that brain food hasn’t been buzzed on anything stronger than Robert Johnson’s blues for a long, long time. … That’s the way Lou Reed introduced…

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Ascension – John Coltrane (1965)

1960s: Days of Rage

“Conventional wisdom—and many people’s understanding of jazz history—asserts that John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is the saxophonist’s masterpiece. Recorded in a single session with his indomitable Quartet on December 9, 1964, it almost makes sense as a variety of Christmas disc, an offering from the mind and soul of the true artist to a power beyond. It’s numinous but not preachy, and simultaneously as secular as cutting through an alley to get to the bar faster. The turnaround from studio to factory to shelves was swift. By January of the new year—which proved to be Trane’s fieriest annum—A Love Supreme was in record stores. Even though Coltrane had already been many places jazz musicians had not previously, something about the album felt different. Like the apex, the high-water mark. But we must be careful not to confuse a high-water mark with an end, or a crowning. Its creator saw…

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