Dozens of protesters are occupying Tolman Hall on the University of California at Berkeley campus today, and there has been at least one confrontation with a university police officer involving pepper spray, according to police and protest organizers. -more-
Workers at Bayer’s pharmaceutical plant in Berkeley cast ballots yesterday in an election that sent the company a stinging rebuke for refusing to provide employees with job security after company officials took millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies that were supposed to protect well-paying jobs. -more-
New: "Unofficial Mayor" of Telegraph Busted for "Interfering" with a Cop As Medheads Get Front-Row Seats
He was the unofficial "mayor of Telegraph", with a list of friends as long as his waist- length silver hair and lanky frame. Dubbed in a Planet piece, "a good samaritan" who broke up a chain-whipping in People's Park in May, he may have tried to samaritan the wrong man Tuesday. -more-
Tens of thousands of Northern and Central California nurses are striking today to protest hospitals' proposed labor concessions and other grievances that they say are unnecessary and unwarranted.
As picketing RNs in the Bay Area held rallies and marches, hospital officials said their facilities are still functional with the aid of replacement nurses and those who have crossed the picket lines in the 24-hour strike.
Nurses are striking at the region's two largest hospital chains, Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health(including Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley), and at Children's Hospital in Oakland, among other hospitals. -more-
Some 23,000 registered nurses throughout much of the state are expected to rally during a one-day strike today in a bid for RN rights -more-
The thirty grieving friends who attended Gina Sasso's 50th birthday party Friday were greeted at the door by Gina's three-year old "granddaughter," who gleefully announced, "it's Gina's birthday; it's Gina's birthday." Sasso died May 25 of complications of pneumonia. But "she" returned from the grave to appear later at the party. -more-
This year’s Berkeley Indigenous People’s Day Pow Wow, on Saturday, October 8, is dedicated to the memory of Mark Gorrell who, with his wife Nancy, for two decades worked for the rights of native people and all people, and made profound contributions to the origin, celebration, and meaning of Indigenous Peoples Day, but now has walked on. -more-
The eternal paradox about what is commonly called journalism is why so many people who commit it manage not to see what’s going on before their eyes, even as a reasonable number of others, in and out of journalism, do.
Ever wonder about what’s happening in the global economy? Well, here it is, a summary which could fit on the back of an envelope, and it’s even perversely funny:
“Quarterly GDP data don’t, on the whole, tend to make the person studying them laugh out loud. The most recent set, however, are an exception, despite the fact that the general picture is of unrelieved and spreading economic gloom. Instead of the surge of rebounding growth which historically accompanies successful exit from a recession, we have the UK’s disappointing 0.2 per cent growth, the US’s anaemic 0.3 per cent and the glum eurozone average figure of 0.2 per cent. That number includes the surprising and alarming German 0.1 per cent, the desperately poor French 0 per cent and then, wait for it, the agreeably frisky Belgian 0.7 per cent. Why is that, if you’ve been following the story, laugh-aloud funny? Because Belgium doesn’t have a government. Thanks to political stalemate in Brussels, it hasn’t had one for 15 months. No government means none of the stuff all the other governments are doing: no cuts and no ‘austerity’ packages. In the absence of anyone with a mandate to slash and burn, Belgian public sector spending is puttering along much as it always was; hence the continuing growth of their economy. It turns out that from the economic point of view, in the current crisis, no government is better than any government – any existing government.”
(From an opinion article by John Lanchester in a recent London Review of Books.)
That paragraph alone is worth column inch after column inch of sententious pieces in the American press attempting to convey what the hell the U.S. Congress is up to—yes, even in the New York Times, most of whose staffers appear not to read what Professor Paul Krugman writes on their own op-ed page. We’d be better off without this current Congress, wouldn’t we, so why not just say so? This is not an endorsement, by the way, of the Tea Party anti-government ideology, just a glum statement of observable fact. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
If you haven't looked at berkeleydailyplanet.com for a few days, you might be surprised to find that for the past week we've been launching a new "issue" almost daily, on an irregular basis as copy is submitted. One benefit of this plan is that you can read our sometimes lengthy, sometimes challenging pieces thoroughly on the day we put them online. Several readers have told us that the long, long Wednesday issues can be too much of a good thing, so that they never get around to reading everything.
As always, you can read previous issues, including the several which have appeared this week, by clicking backwards using the "Previous Issue" button on the top left side of the page.
And as you read these pieces, you should always be aware that comments long and short can be submitted to email@example.com. Long ones will be posted as "commentaries", short ones grouped under Letters. We do require you to sign your real name unless you can give us a good reason for believing that real, serious harm would come to you if you do so. -more-
The recent decision by the Obama Administration to sell $5.8 billion in arms to Taiwan is a bit of a head scratcher, rather like the hunter who goes into the woods with one bullet. Seeing a deer to his left and a turkey to his right, he shoots in the middle. It will annoy Taipei, irritate Beijing, stir up the China bashers in the U.S., and increase tensions in a region of the world that is already pretty tense. -more-
Laura Wilcox, a 19-year old sophomore from Haverford College, was working at Nevada County's public mental health clinic during her winter break from college. On January 10, 2001, she and two other people were shot to death by Scott Harlan Thorpe, a 41-year old mental patient who resisted his family's attempt to seek treatment. Thorpe was found incompetent to stand trial and was sent to Atascadero State Hospital and was later transferred to California's Napa State Hospital. -more-
Alzheimer’s disease (AD,) the only disease among the top 10 causes of death for Americans that has no known cure or treatment, already affects an estimated 5.4 million Americans, at a cost of $183 billion a year. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
The works of a man, bury them under what guano-mountains and obscene owl-droppings you will, do not perish, cannot perish. What of Heroism, what of Eternal Light was in a man and his Life, is with very great exactness added to the Eternities, remains forever a new divine portion of the Sum of Things.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795—1881), prolific essayist, satirist, historian -more-
I spent most of my life with my mind dominated by magical thinking, and this caused me to have a lot of problems. My mind seemed to be on a different wavelength than those of other people’s. Without knowing it, I had a poor grasp of reality. When I made mistakes, ones that could create bad consequences, my mind didn’t acknowledge those mistakes. The rule was that my mind had to believe that everything was always O.K., and my perceptions of the world were warped to conform to that. Partly, I lived in a world of wishful thinking. Also, I was protecting my mind from the often upsetting nature of the truth. -more-