Can UC Berkeley Be Saved from Another People's Park Debacle?

By Becky O'Malley
Friday March 02, 2012 - 08:18:00 AM

Living in a university town sometimes feels like being part of the movie “Groundhog Day”. That’s the one where the same scenario repeats and repeats and repeats every day, driving the characters nearly mad in the process. Now the University of California at Berkeley, the distinguished institution which I graduated from some years ago, is doing yet another instant replay of “Let’s Mark People’s Park”.

Or maybe it’s like the old joke about programmers: “Why do programmers take such long showers? Because the label on the shampoo bottle says ‘lather, rinse, repeat.” But you’d probably need to have worked with programmers as much as I have to get that joke. The point is that U.C. seems to have an unshakeable determination to make the same mistakes in their dealings with the Park over and over and over again, following some kind of crazy instruction set that they can’t seem to shake. -more-


Odd Bodkins: The Skunk and The Loan (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Wednesday February 29, 2012 - 05:30:00 PM

Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Thursday March 01, 2012 - 02:52:00 PM

Re: Berkeley School Safety Officer Charged with Identity Theft; Gun Violence and Its Impact;The Republicans Are at It Again -more-

Re: The Berkeley Hills Murder Could Have Been Predicted

By Christian Stauduhar
Thursday March 01, 2012 - 03:04:00 PM

Other than the title of the editorial, which I don't think expresses what you meant to say, this is certainly the most thoughtful and well composed piece that I have seen written in the BDP. I think you meant to say that 'this sort of thing is predictable', not that it 'could have been predicted'; the title you chose is inaccurate and has an inflammatory feeling.It is clearly predictable that there will be fatalities when cars are driven, but a particular fatality is not predictable based on that knowledge alone. -more-

Al Jazeera, Naomi Wolf, and American Islamic Blind Spot

By John A. McMullen II
Tuesday March 06, 2012 - 10:35:00 AM

I think this is a letter to the editor. -more-

March Pepper Spray Times

By Grace Underpressure
Friday March 02, 2012 - 06:37:00 PM

Editor's Note: The latest issue of the Pepper Spray Times is now available.

You can view it absolutely free of charge by clicking here . You can print it out to give to your friends.

Grace Underpressure has been producing it for many years now, even before the Berkeley Daily Planet started distributing it, most of the time without being paid, and now we'd like you to show your appreciation by using the button below to send her money. -more-

Is Progressive Zionism Possible?: a Response to Wendy Kenin

By Joanna Graham
Tuesday February 28, 2012 - 01:02:00 PM

In her article, “People with Potential” (Daily Planet and ACCESS blog of the American Jewish Committee, Friday, Feb 17), Wendy Kenin provides brief reports on the activities of four people, two Palestinians and two Israeli Jews, who, she avers, “speak sanely about how to move forward” with respect to what she describes as “Palestine-Israel peace.” I have been trying to think deeply and respectfully about Kenin’s piece, since I believe her underlying assumptions to be far more serious in their implications than her cheerful, bouncy tone suggests.

Kenin is not careful with language. The “meaning” range of many of her words tends to be broad and blurry and thus open to multiple interpretations. Therefore, I will start by deconstructing the title of her piece, which, in full, on both websites (and, therefore, I will assume, provided by her) is “People with Potential: Providing Sanity to the US’ Struggle for Israel’s Peace” (note the parallel with “speak sanely,” above).

Just in passing, “sanity” is a word that rings bells for me; we all, I’m sure, remember John Gertz in the pages of the Daily Planet promising to restore “sanity” to the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission (a commission on which by what I am sure is total coincidence Kenin now serves.) “Sanity,” one comes to realize, is reserved to those who support Israel. Critics are medicalized as “insane” or sociopathologized as “anti-Semites” or, as the case may be, “self-hating Jews.” In either case, obviously, no considered response is required from any sane or nonsociopathic person.

Anyway, what exactly does Kenin mean by “the US’ [sic] struggle” or, for that matter, “Israel’s peace”? She is not addressing potential actions by the U.S. government or even by any organized nongovernmental bodies nor, with one partial exception to which I will return, is she addressing possibilities for peace in Israel—not, I might mention, that Israel really needs any help on the issue, let alone “struggle,” since the country is at peace and has been so (with the multiple exceptions of its many wars of choice) since 1973, the one and only time in its existence Israel has ever been attacked. As for internal terrorist attacks, for what are probably multiple reasons they stopped years ago; recent Israeli polls show security concerns to rank far below other issues, such as housing or the ultraorthodox, which are far more pressing for ordinary Israelis. -more-

A Step on the Road to Protect Civil Rights

By George Lippman, Coalition for a Safe Berkeley and Chair, Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission (for purposes of identification only)
Tuesday February 28, 2012 - 01:47:00 PM

Last week, Berkeley moved forward a small step forward towards new civil rights and civil liberties protections. In this note I will share some of my personal reflections on this accomplishment. This is not a statement of the Coalition for a Safe Berkeley or the Peace and Justice Commission. -more-

My Thoughts on the Berkeley Hills Murder

By Jack Bragen
Tuesday February 28, 2012 - 12:57:00 PM

When someone with mental illness is presumed guilty of a crime, it's all over the news, and this promotes the misconception that mentally ill people are automatically criminals and that criminals are automatically mentally ill. Persons with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators of them. -more-