Editorial: Substituting Private Profit for Public Policy

By Becky O’Malley
Tuesday November 27, 2007

What’s nice about book reviews is that, well done, they turn a monologue into a dialogue. It takes a certain amount of chutzpah for an author to reveal his thought processes and his conclusions on the printed page, and even more to submit to the judgment of his peers about whether or not he got it right. At our house we’ve been planning for a while now to form opinions about two new books by two Bobs, Robert Reich, now a Berkeley snowbird who teaches at UC’s Goldman School of Public Policy in the months when Cambridge is unpleasant, and Robert Kuttner, who’s still mostly an Easterner. They’re co-founders of The American Prospect, a worthy if sometimes dull journal of opinion populated mostly by center-left thinkers with a Boston background who have a lingering affection for the Democratic Party in some of its manifestations. -more-

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tuesday November 27, 2007


Commentary: The DAPAC Finale: A Convoluted But Positive Ending

By Jim Novosel
Tuesday November 27, 2007

The proceeding of the Downtown Area Plan Advisory Committee (DAPAC) has come to an end. And what an ending it is. This Thursday, Nov. 29, the Committee will vote on the plan and most likely, a slight majority will affirm it and a minority will abstain; not vote against it but abstain in the final vote before the group disbands. It is a true irony that the many of those who were appointed by the councilmembers that had voted against creating DAPAC, were those who worked the hardest to create a consensus plan that is reasonable, progressive and one that most of our citizens will likely support. On the other hand, most appointees of councilmembers who voted to create DAPAC have indicated that they will abstain from voting for the plan. DAPAC, set up by the City Council with a slim 5 to 4 vote, has ended mirroring the divisions on the city Council in the reverse. -more-

Commentary: Act Rationally: Go Independent

By Joanna Graham
Tuesday November 27, 2007

OK, I’ve been putting this off for a long time, but now I have to ask. In what universe does Bob Burnett live? I’m interested because I’d like to go there too. In Bob’s universe, surely goodness and mercy will follow us as soon as “bad” Republicans are replaced by “good” Democrats. I guess in Bob’s universe the “good” Democrats haven’t already been in control of Congress for a year, getting nothing done that might cheer us humble folk. Oh, but wait, that’s not fair! They have a mere majority and there’s a Republican in the White House, so how can we expect them to accomplish anything? We must look back to the glory years from 1993 to 2001 when the Democrat in the White House did so much good for us…. Oops, I forgot! For all except the first two years (during which he agitated for NAFTA, instituted “Don’t ask, don’t tell”, and created the health care debacle) that poor Democrat was hamstrung by a Republican Congress. So there was no way he could possibly have accomplished all the wonderful things he intended. -more-

Letters to the Editor

Friday November 23, 2007


Building on Sand and Goo Again, 100 Years Later

By Gray Brechin
Friday November 23, 2007

On Sept. 11, the Chronicle’s urban design writer, John King, an-nounced on the front page that an architectural jury had predictably chosen for the Transbay terminal site a 1,200-foot tower most resembling a titanic penis. A shaft the height of the Empire State Building thrusting out of the current plateau of glass and steel that now obscures the city’s hills would, correspondents to the paper opined, either wreck remaining views or assure San Francisco’s world-classiness. Can first-rate delis or Frank Gehry anythings be far behind for our retiring little city? -more-

Muddled Thinking About Evicting Kandy’s Kar Wash

By Jean Damu
Friday November 23, 2007

Does being pro-green mean being anti-black? -more-

A Free Speech Grizzly Sermon

By Michael Rossman
Friday November 23, 2007

This is a minimally edited transcript of a speech improvised on September 14, 2007, from the steps below the oak grove near Memorial Stadium, where a small group of protesters had been occupying the trees since last December. Several weeks earlier, the university had put a chain-link fence around the grove, ostensibly “to protect the protesters” from maddened football fans, but actually to further harass the protest, which it was also attacking in court. On this day, after I spoke, 40 members of a new student group supporting the protest—wearing blue-and-gold T-shirts proclaiming “Free Speech” and “Free Trees”—scaled the fence to bring supplies and moral support to the protesters. Twenty-one remained, choosing to be arrested. -more-

The State of Education

By Jonathan Stephens
Friday November 23, 2007

Did any of you have a chance to watch one or more of the countless You Tube segments about the failures of the American education system recently? If you haven't had the chance, I highly recommend that you view at least one lengthy segment as an act of good citizenship on your part. No greater social disease exists today than the demise of our public education system. As a nation we have not seen such a glaring detriment to the collective spiritual growth of our Republic since the days when Jim Crow ruled the social landscape of America. -more-