Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: lisa-dickey
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-10-24 20:33
Important book, but I got lost in the legal case descriptions.
Then Comes Marriage: United States V. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA - Edie Windsor,Roberta Kaplan,Lisa Dickey

I really wanted to like this book which tells the tail of bringing down the Defense of Marriage Act via the history of the author and really the couple at the center of it, Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer. Spyer died after living with multiple sclerosis for many years, leaving Windsor to pay a large estate tax bill. This is the story detailing the fight for the federal government to recognize their marriage.


I thought the book was at its strongest when it focused on the lives of Spyer, Windsor, and the author, which serves as the beginning part of the book. But as a non-lawyer, I found the descriptions of the arguments really difficult to get through. While someone more into this or someone with legal training might get more out of it, I really didn't care for it.


Which is not to say the information contained wherein isn't important or shouldn't be read. But someone who isn't into that might have a really difficult time understanding and slogging through the material.


I don't have much to say on this one, since I felt I got more out of reading up on Wikipedia to better understand what I was looking at. And this isn't a book to change minds: this is Kaplan's retelling of a couple's lives and their legal case. I did appreciate seeing what Windsor and Spyer had to go through as well as reading up on Kaplan's experiences (such as being denied being allowed to take her son Jacob out of the hospital nursery because she wasn't recognized as a parent [!!!!]).


Library borrow, but I would venture a guess that anyone interested in LGBT history, legal issues, etc. would also probably find this to be a good resource to have as well.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2015-08-19 01:39
Happy Accidents - Jane Lynch,Lisa Dickey

This is a very real memoir, rather than a collection of funny things that happen in Jane Lynch's life. She chronicles difficulties in her life as well as all the happy accidents that got her where she is today.

This is a very good read that goes fairly quickly and is surprisingly uplifting given some of the struggles Lynch faces in the beginning. An honest and frank memoir, this book ironically meshes hope and optimism alongside cynicism and humor.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2013-08-22 00:00
Citizenville: Connecting People and Government in the Digital Age - Gavin Newsom,Lisa Dickey The book opens with Newsom, then mayor of San Francisco, meeting with Toomas Hendrik Ilves, president of Estonia. Newsom is attempting to impress Ilves with details of some of the recent technology initiatives they've instituted, and is surprised to discover that Estonia has already had these things (and many more besides) for a long time. “Americans tend to think of San Francisco as Tomorrowland, on the cutting edge of technology in government, but in fact, we were years behind”, he realises.

What makes this book so frustrating is that Newsom seems to have completely failed to understand the value of this lesson. Rather than using it as a prompt to explore how other cities and countries around the world have already discovered creative and innovative approaches to many of their issues, so as to copy or even improve on them, he remains trapped in his California bubble, preferring instead of seek advice from the usual roll-call of tech pundits as to how best to model his city (or state, or country) on Farmville instead. Other than a couple of token nods to internationally led approaches in internet voting and participatory budgeting, Newsom's entire field of vision seems restricted to Silicon Valley startups, "Code for America"-style hackathons, and a few ideas being tried in a couple of other US cities (the leaders of whom he'd be happy to regularly learn from, as long it's through some sort of MayorBook social network).

Hidden amongst the shallow treatment of most of the key issues surrounding citizen participation (e.g. reducing the privacy debate to Guy Kawasaki's laughable claim that there could be no problem with Facebook knowing every other website you visit unless you're a paedophile), there are some interesting tales of the problems Newsom faced when trying to actually implement some of his ideas in San Francisco — whether from entrenched bureaucracy, a hostile press, or even just their own self-doubt and lack of research (an initial idea to make public transport free to use is abandoned after "realising" that this would simply lead to residents abusing the system as they would no longer value it — an argument that has turned out be entirely untrue in Tallinn.)

Had this been a more reflective book, wrestling more deeply with how to adjust all the superficially neat theories to better cope with exposure to day-to-day political reality, it could have been a very useful view from the inside. But instead these are largely shrugged off with a "Do as I say, not as I do" approach, and that opportunity is lost.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?