Fool on a hill
Hi! I’m Jim Ratliff. Welcome to my cyberhome.
Nonvirtually, I live on Haddon Hill, above Lake Merritt, in the wonderful city of Oakland, California — accompanied by my sweetie and wife, Eren, and our
My community, the Greater Grand Lake district, is vibrant and inspiring and filled with progressive, concerned, and active folk who individually and collectively have become very dear to me.
Oakland has much that’s great, has the potential to become even greater, but is also faced by major challenges and threats. Protecting and encouraging the good, while staving off the bad, is my highest priority these days.
And my highest such highest priority is restoring the Cleveland Cascade!
A life-long academic slant steered my professional and career course.
After a physics and math double major at Oberlin, I was a physicist at the University of Texas: Austin, then an economics graduate student at UC Berkeley, followed by a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Now I’m an antitrust economist in a consulting firm in San Francisco.
Singin’ the Blue State Blues
In the 80s, I took to the streets to protest Ronald Reagan’s immoral assault on the poor and his illegal war against the Sandinistas.
In the early 90s, I returned to protest Daddy George Bush’s testosterone-fueled diversionary slaughter of Iraqi civilians and conscripts in Gulf War I.
Now in the 21st Century, it has once again been sadly necessary to return to the streets, this time to express outrage against and shame at the younger-and-dimmer Bush’s outrageous, illegal, and unprovoked war against Iraq.
The 2004 election was blow-from-a-hammer disheartening. (How much of a fuck-up does a guy need to be before he gets fired?) Gone was the rationalization that W’s first term arose only because he had hid his true colors. Now anyone who cared to know did know what they’d be getting, and the voters chose Bush. It’s clear that there’s a lot about America and Americans that I don’t (or fear to) understand. My response has been to shift my focus more towards Oakland, where I know I can make a difference.
I’ve been a principled, steadfast, and devoted Mac owner continuously since I bought my the first 128K Mac in 1984.
Eren and I have both become big fans of Art Deco architecture, furniture, art, and clothing. Oakland has terrific architectural examples. The Bay Area has a very active community of Art Deco devotees.