As Occupy Oakland vies with Occupy Manhattan for world-attention, and Occupy Cal revives memories of the sixties' Free Speech Movement (40 arrests in two days), Occupy Berkeley is struggling to find its voice amid a vast national movement of same-sayers. -more-
University of California at Berkeley police on Thursday defended their actions during demonstrations on campus the day before when the newly formed "Occupy Cal" movement drew thousands of people and resulted in dozens of arrests. -more-
Friday, November 11, 2011 was a work or school holiday for many in Berkeley, including this writer. But it’s probably safe to say that very few people in Berkeley commemorated the date either for the original reason it was established, or for its later, broadened, purpose. -more-
After a day of demonstrations (Nov. 9) to protest increasing tuitions at a state funded university, to protest cuts in staff and curriculum in an era of horrendously large administrative salaries and bonuses, though not yet calling for a return of the university to an educational rather than career focus, students at UC Berkeley decided to "Occupy" the campus. They set up a few tents on Sproul Plaza, as occupiers had been setting up such encampments all over the country. -more-
As veterans and historians of the 1964 Free Speech Movement that established the rights of students to freely express their concerns over critical social issues within the boundaries of the University of California's campus, we were shocked by the actions of campus police who seized banners from students peacefully demonstrating in Sproul Plaza and on the Sproul Steps. -more-
Dear Oakland City Council,
You are getting internationally known public figures visiting and publicizing Oakland in a positive way. Are you people SERIOUS about trying to remove something you've been wanting for years to create? -more-
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 Wall Street is getting positive reviews and is viewed favorably by most Americans. Does OWS indicate the US political process has hit bottom and Americans are ready for radical change? -more-
Many people think that the main cause of relapse for a person with mental illness is noncompliance with taking medication. However, much of the time, persons with mental illness are doing everything they’re supposed to do (including taking medication, attending therapy, and being a participant in life) and yet a relapse still takes place. Furthermore, when noncompliance is a major factor in a relapse, it is not always something that happens on a mere whim. Often, the person with mental illness first deteriorated to an extent, and this led to the poor judgment of choosing noncompliance. A very large percentage of people with schizophrenia, possibly more than half, will have a relapse within a year of getting stabilized—and this is despite being medication compliant. -more-
Living alone, in fiction, nonfiction and even children’s books, is generally regarded as unfortunate, something to be avoided. Being alone is assumed unpleasant, probably the result of misfortune. Aloneness is often associated with consolation, solitude, even secrecy -more-
Arts & Events
With “Occupy” movements currently agitating our very urban inner Bay Area turf, it’s perhaps a strange time to think about bucolic landscapes. But there’s a good reason to switch mental gears, at least for a few hours, in the next month.
The expanded and renamed museum at St. Mary’s College of California is hosting a splendid exhibit of the artwork of William Keith the prolific, famed California landscape painter—and once-notable Berkeley resident, I should add—of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The exhibit, entitled “The Comprehensive Keith”, commemorates the centennial of the death of the painter in April 1911. It runs through December 18 and features well over one hundred of his oil paintings and some watercolors. Most are landscapes, but there’s also a selection of his lesser-known portrait paintings. -more-