Public Comment

Tom Friedman Tries to Scapegoat Baby Boomers -- He Should Remember That We Helped Forge American Prosperity

By Ruth Rosen
Friday September 30, 2011 - 01:18:00 PM

Baby Boomers, who have now morphed into “young seniors,” certainly did not contribute to the economic decline of America. On the contrary, this huge demographic bulge—as we have moved through our highly-publicized life cycle-- helped create the country’s consumerist prosperity with our teenage allowances and middle age purchases.

Yet running through the debate on the national debt is the subterranean belief that “young seniors,” once known as Baby Boomers, are stealing from future generations by having too many hip replacements and using up too much medical care to stay healthy and active. -more-


Using Feudal Succession to Keep Berkeley Twee

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday September 29, 2011 - 11:32:00 AM

It’s one of those tedious on-the-one-hand on-the-other-hand kind of things. Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz is retiring (with a pension uncomfortably close to $300k per year) and he’d like to put his thumb on the scale when the question of the successor to his powerful position is weighed by the Berkeley City Council. Is this good?

In theory, I’ve always been in favor of hiring from within an organization when at all possible. It saves the expense of conducting a national search for a replacement administrator, and the decision-makers (the city council, in this case) are likely to know the virtues and deficiencies of the candidate from first-hand experience.

But in this case, it seems like just another example of how governance of Berkeleyans is looking more and more like feudalism instead of like a democracy. No one in recent memory has succeeded to office, either elected or appointed, without an active link to his or her predecessor. Outsiders just don’t have a chance. -more-

The Editor's Back Fence

Bill Gutting CEQA Passed in Sacramento, Signed by Brown--
Skinner and Hancock Voted Yes

By Becky O'Malley
Friday September 30, 2011 - 08:33:00 AM

Reader Roger Marquis sent me the link to a broadcast by environmental lawyer Gary Patton on KUSP in Santa Cruz.

It's about a blatant attempt to gut CEQA which had been passed by California Democrats in Sacramento and when he wrote was on Jerry Brown's desk. Roger said:

"I haven't read anything (yet) about how our representatives voted on AB900, the latest attack on CEQA. Here's the story on Gary Patton's Land Use Report.

Wish we had something like this here in the East Bay."

Here's what happened after the Patton broadcast aired on September 12:

Brown signed AB 900, along with SB 292, whose implementation was required for AB 900's implementation. State Representative Nancy Skinner voted for both these awful bills; State Senator Loni Hancock voted yes on 900 and no on 292. -more-


The Public Eye: There is No Political Middle Ground

By Bob Burnett
Friday September 30, 2011 - 10:09:00 AM

The defining characterisitic of the 112th Congress has been extreme Republican partisanship, an unprecedented willingness to hold the Federal government hostage until conservative demands are satisfied. The GOP tactic has disrupted the US and demolished the myth of a middle ground in American politics. -more-

Senior Power… My Generation’s War

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Friday September 30, 2011 - 09:53:00 AM

The War, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s monumental 2007 television production, has recently been shown again. The War follows 40+ persons from 1941 to 1945, focusing on the citizens of four American communities. The book companion to the series is The War; An Intimate History, 1941-1945, by Geoffrey C. Ward and Burns. The words and photographs of two of the men who appear throughout -- Quentin C. Aanenson of Minnesota and Eugene Bondourant Sledge of Alabama – are particularly poignant, especially episode five –“FUBAR -- fucked up beyond all repair.” -more-

Arts & Events

Sarah Palin: You Betcha!

Film review by Gar Smith
Friday September 30, 2011 - 09:46:00 AM

Opens Friday at the Sundance Kabuki in San Francisco and in Berkeley at the Elmwood.

If you don't have $25 to spend on Joe McGinniss' new book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, you might want to get a quick-read in the form of the new British documentary, Sarah Palin: You Betcha! But, fair warning, you just might find yourself wishing the movie screen came equipped with a fast-forward button. -more-

Back Stories



Using Feudal Succession to Keep Berkeley Twee 09-29-2011

The Editor's Back Fence

Bill Gutting CEQA Passed in Sacramento, Signed by Brown--
Skinner and Hancock Voted Yes

Yet Another Schedule Update 09-25-2011

Speak Out on Issues for Tuesday's Berkeley City Council Meeting 09-24-2011


Cartoon Page: BOUNCE: Internet Gnomes By Joseph Young 09-28-2011

Cartoon Page: Bake-sale vs. Buffet By Gar Smith 09-28-2011

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins: The Miracle Dan O'Neill 09-28-2011

Public Comment

Tom Friedman Tries to Scapegoat Baby Boomers -- He Should Remember That We Helped Forge American Prosperity By Ruth Rosen 09-30-2011

Letters: Mental Illness Column; Pension of City Manager; What is the Peak Democracy Open Town Hall Costing Us? 09-29-2011

Press Release: UC Students Stand for Diversity, Reject Affirmative Action Bake Sale, Push for SB185 From Darius L. Kemp, Director of Organizing and Communications 09-26-2011

Why the Berkeley College Republicans are Wrong By Thomas Lord 09-26-2011

Perry's Claim to Fame By Ron Lowe 09-26-2011

Join "Tax the Rich" Demonstration in Berkeley on Monday Evening By Julia Ross 09-25-2011

Response to "Laura's Law in A Nutshell" By Jack Bragen 09-25-2011


Tree-Sit Resumes to Protect People's Park Trees as University Fells Nearby Tree, Threatens to Buzz-Saw Tree Hosting the Sit By Ted Friedman 09-29-2011

Bake Sale Generates Debate, Peaceful Protests By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 09-28-2011

Baked Goods and Arguments Retailed on Sproul Plaza By Steven Finacom 09-28-2011

Flash: Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz
to Retire on November 30
By Becky O'Malley 09-26-2011

Report on Berkeley City Employee Costs, Proposed Savings and Action Plan Released:
An Updated Comparison of 12 Greater Bay Area Cities

UC Berkeley Groups Debate Affirmative Action at Campus Bake Sale By Hannah Albarazi1 (BCN) 09-27-2011

Alta Bates Summit, Nurses' Union Dispute Responsibility for Patient's Death after Replacement Administers Wrong Medication By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 09-27-2011

"Parking Day" Comes to Berkeley By Steven Finacom 09-27-2011

Green Schoolyards: Creating A Greener Generation© By Stevanne Auerbach, PhD 09-26-2011

Patient at Alta Bates Summit Dies from Lethal Dose Allegedly Given by Temporary Nurse By Bay City News 09-26-2011

Unofficial Mayor of Telegraph Released from Jail Saturday by Ted Friedman 09-26-2011

Early Rain on Telegraph Stroll By Ted Friedman 09-26-2011

UC Berkeley Graduates Detained in Iran Expected to Return to U.S. Today By Bay City News 09-25-2011


The Public Eye: There is No Political Middle Ground By Bob Burnett 09-30-2011

Senior Power… My Generation’s War By Helen Rippier Wheeler 09-30-2011

Eclectic Rant: Response to Jack Bragen By Ralph Stone 09-29-2011

My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.) By Dorothy Bryant 09-28-2011

On Mental Illness: Cigarettes, Coffee and Metabolic Syndrome By Jack Bragen 09-27-2011

Setting Limits With Obama By Bob Burnett 09-24-2011

Arts & Events

Sarah Palin: You Betcha! Film review by Gar Smith 09-30-2011

Eye From the Aisle: Lucrezia Borgia at SF Opera—Star Vehicle for a Celestial Soprano By John A. McMullen II 09-29-2011

Opera Review: Gounod's Romeo et Juliette at Livermore Valley Opera By Ken Bullock 09-28-2011

Film Review: Raul Ruiz's Mysteries of Lisbon at Shattuck Cinemas By Ken Bullock 09-28-2011

Book Review: Heart of a Soldier Reviewed by Dorothy Snodgrass 09-28-2011

Free Speech Day Is October 1! Two Unique Ways to Celebrate By Gar Smith 09-27-2011

"Jobs Not Cuts" Rally in Oakland October 15 By Zipporah Collins 09-27-2011

Despite Rain, the Show Goes On at Free Cal Performances Day By Steven Finacom 09-26-2011

Berkeley Arts Festival Concerts this week 09-26-2011

Farmageddon: America's War Against Small Farmers Reviewed by Gar Smith 09-25-2011