Opinion

Editorials

Berkeley's Booting Scheme Creates Maximum Problems, Minimum Revenue

By Becky O'Malley
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 09:48:00 AM

Back to Berkeley, after the excitement in Oakland seems to have settled into a long slog, this week we have an example of the unintended consequences of the city management’s latest attempt to squeeze more moolah out of the citizenry.

You may remember that The Management, rubberstamped as usual by a complaisant group of electeds, has been sold Smart Boot, a computerized scheme for rapid collection of outstanding traffic tickets. Like many innovations which glom on to “Smart” branding, it’s a dumb idea which is looking dumber and dumber all the time. -more-


Occupy Oakland Vandals are Nothing But Overgrown Overage Adolescents

By Becky O'Malley
Thursday November 03, 2011 - 05:40:00 PM

On Monday night, you might have thought that the fabled Millenium had finally arrived, only 11 years or so too late. At our front door, easy walking distance from the lavish displays on Russell near College, a generous sample of all branches of the human race appeared, all beautifully dressed and with perfect manners. Really Even the shambling teenage boys who knew in their hearts that they were too old for trick or treating, the ones who had no costumes, just funny hats or masks, even those boys said thank you and smiled beatifically. -more-


The Editor's Back Fence

New: Thoughts on Oakland

Sunday November 06, 2011 - 12:41:00 PM

Here's a link to an excellent blog entry on last week's events in Oakland by hip-hop's Davey D, followed by some excellent comments from readers, forwarded by reader Joseph Anderson. -more-


Cartoons

Cartoon Page: Odd Bodkins

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 01:39:00 PM

Cartoon Page: BOUNCE

By Joseph Young
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 01:53:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters

Thursday November 10, 2011 - 08:46:00 AM

Occupy Judaism is Not Jews for Jesus -more-


KPFA, A Year Later – A Reflection

By Akio Tanaka
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 09:41:00 AM

Between 2001 and 2006, there was a dramatic increase in Listener Support at KPFA due to the expanding economy and interest in the Iraq-Afghan War. KPFA added many paid staff during this period; however, between 2007 and 2010 Listener Support declined dramatically as the whole economy crashed. -more-


Occupy America

By Michael Parenti
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 12:44:00 PM

Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in September 2011, a protest movement spread across the United States to 70 major cities and hundreds of other communities. Similar actions emerged in scores of other nations.

For the first two weeks, the corporate-owned mainstream media along with NPR did what they usually do with progressive protests: they ignored them. These were the same media that had given the Tea Party supporters saturation coverage for weeks on end, ordaining them “a major political force.”

The most common and effective mode of news repression is omission. By saying nothing or next to nothing about dissenting events, movements, candidates, or incidents, the media consign them to oblivion. When the Occupy movement spread across the country and could no longer be ignored, the media moved to the second manipulative method: trivialization and marginalization. -more-


Occupy Yourself!

By Ted Friedman
Wednesday November 09, 2011 - 11:17:00 AM

Around the bay area, all the Occupy franchises are Occupy_______(add your city's name), but in some parts of the world, occupiers have gamed the name. -more-


New: The Berkeley Bowl Parking Lot Saga

By M. Sarah Klise
Sunday November 06, 2011 - 12:38:00 PM

Berkeley Bowl West has three parking lots: one underground, one adjacent to the store, and one across Heinz Avenue on the old Hustead's Tow lot. The store opened 2 years ago with the first 2 lots, the third (tow yard) was purchased later and immediately relieved the burden of employee and costumer cars on our neighborhood streets. You might remember that the City of Berkeley did not require the Bowl to provide employee parking. This lot boasts over 150 spaces and is very well-used.

Fast forward to today, when the Bowl ownership wants to demolish a warehouse also on this parking site and rehab another warehouse for wholesale and retail usage. Their application is before the City currently. -more-


General Strike in Oakland: The Past Seeds the Present

By Judy Gumbo Albert / The Rag Blog
Friday November 04, 2011 - 03:28:00 PM

I felt very much at home at Occupy Oakland’s General Strike yesterday after I heard a young rapper with butt-length dreds and saggy blue jeans remind the crowd that Oakland was the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. He pumped his fist in the air and yelled “Power to the People,” then, just like the Panthers did, admonished the cheering crowd to “watch out for provocateurs.” -more-


New: They Can Take
poem for Occupy

by Carol Denney
Sunday November 06, 2011 - 06:27:00 PM

they can take all of our houses
those of us who have houses
they can take all of our jobs
those of us who have jobs

-more-


Free Speech Must Be for All, Even Panhandlers

By Richard Salzman
Friday November 04, 2011 - 02:07:00 PM

In our local media it was reported that in the City of Arcata CA, even the Mayor was out in support of the "Occupy Wall St." protesters. This provokes me to point out that while many in Arcata support the right of these "Occupiers" to hold up their signs with any number of statements and demands, if one of them dares to include a request for donations on one of those signs, they will be in violation of that city's Anti-Panhandling Ordinance--over which, as covered on the NCJ's Blog I am currently suing the City of Arcata in State Court. If we wish to support free speech for Tea Party Members and Wall Street Occupiers alike, we need also then tolerate free speech by panhandlers. -more-


A Modest Proposal for the 1%

By Wendy Schlesinger
Friday November 04, 2011 - 03:32:00 PM

Concrete proposals are needed for the 1% to step up to the plate rather than feed at the trough, now that they have been identified (as part of the problem). -more-


Press Release: Berkeley Copwatch Demands No Berkeley Mutual Aid to Shut Down Oakland Protests!

From Berkeley Copwatch
Sunday November 06, 2011 - 10:20:00 PM

The people of the Berkeley have a unique opportunity to let their voice be heard and to stand up for those who protest this unjust system. Demand that the Council modify Mutual Aid agreements to ensure that BPD is not used to stop the exercise of free speech. -more-


Press Release: NLG Calls for Police Accountability After Another Violent and Disproportionate Attack on Occupy Oakland Demonstrators

From the National Lawyers' Guild
Thursday November 03, 2011 - 05:37:00 PM

On November 3, 2011, tens of thousands of Oaklanders participated in a historic General Strike to protest economic injustice and demand accountability for last week’s police brutality. The day was full of families, young and old, and people from all backgrounds marching, rallying, and engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience. After midnight, however, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Legal Observers witnessed the Oakland Police Department (OPD), the Alameda County Sheriff Department, and other agencies acting under their direction, violently attack protesters for the second time in eight days. The NLG is now preparing legal action to enforce the court ordered Crowd Control Policy, stop the abuses and obtain redress for persons who have been unlawfully injured or arrested. -more-