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Man Arrested for Sexual Assaults near Berkeley Campus

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Thursday November 14, 2013 - 03:03:00 PM

A 21-year-old Berkeley man has been arrested for allegedly attempting to sexually assault three young women in a 45-minute span near the University of California at Berkeley campus last Saturday evening, police said today. 

The Alameda County District Attorney's Office has charged convicted felon Michael Anthony Skinner with assault with the intent to commit rape, attempted robbery, two counts of sexual battery and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. 

Berkeley police said that at about 5:40 p.m. Saturday, they learned of an incident in which an 18-year-old woman was attacked as she walked in the 2200 block of Bancroft Way, near the UC Berkeley Tang Center, the school's health center. 

Officer Greg Michalczyk said in a probable cause statement that the suspect, later identified as Skinner, approached the woman from behind, grabbed both of her buttocks with his hands, picked her up and "slammed her to the ground." 

Skinner then got on top of the woman and held her down by her arms, pulled off her shorts and "started to go for her under shorts," Michalczyk said. 

The woman told police that she thought Skinner was trying to rape her, he said. She tried to get away but Skinner "used more of his physical strength against her" and hit her, Michalczyk said. 

The woman then screamed, and nearby pedestrians came to her aid and Skinner fled, he said. 

Investigators also learned of two other incidents that same evening that appeared to involve Skinner, according to police.  

At about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, an 18-year-old woman who was walking near Telegraph Avenue and Bancroft Way attempted to step around Skinner, who was blocking her way, but he stepped in front of her, reached under her skirt and touched her genitals on the outside of her shorts, according to a probable cause statement by Officer Miguel Salazar. 

Skinner then tried to take the woman's purse but she was able to maintain control of it, and he fled west on Bancroft Way, Salazar said. 

Authorities said that in a third incident at about 6 p.m. Saturday, Skinner grabbed the buttocks of a 21-year-old woman who passed him in the 2200 block of Bancroft Way near the Tang Center. 

Police said the woman's companion confronted Skinner but Skinner became aggressive and took a fighting stance. 

The woman and her friend then left and subsequently called police, authorities said.  

Berkeley police said Skinner was detained at the YMCA at 2001 Allston Way at about 7 p.m. that day. The investigation linked Skinner to all three assaults and he was formally arrested, police said.  

Skinner, who appeared in Alameda County Superior Court today to be assigned an attorney, is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $300,000 bail. 

Prosecutors allege that Skinner was convicted of assault with a firearm in adult court on April 28, 2011, and of unspecified crimes in juvenile court. Those prior convictions could increase his sentence if he is found guilty of the new charges against him.

Berkeley Students, Teachers Donning Skirts for Senior Lit on Fire

By Sasha Lekach (BCN)
Friday November 08, 2013 - 01:52:00 PM

Students and teachers at Berkeley's Maybeck High School are wearing skirts today in solidarity with a senior at the school who was severely burned while on an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit bus earlier this week. 

Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, 18, was lit on fire while sleeping in the back of an AC Transit bus as it drove through Oakland around 5:20 p.m. Monday. 

The crime occurred when the bus was near MacArthur Boulevard and Ardley Avenue. 

Richard Thomas, 16, has been charged as an adult in the case. He is accused of aggravated mayhem and felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. 

Thomas also faces hate crime allegations, prosecutors said. 

After the incident, Thomas allegedly told police that he lit Fleischman's clothing on fire as a homophobic act. 

Fleischman is a senior at Maybeck High School, located at 2727 College Ave. in Berkeley. 

Fleischman suffered severe second- and third-degree burns and was taken to the burn center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. 

Fleischman does not identify as any gender and was known for wearing for skirts. 

Students at the high school have declared today "Wear a Skirt for Sasha Day," school operations manager Laurie Kahn said. 

Kahn said many of the 110 students and faculty members on campus are wearing a skirt in honor of Fleischman. 

"The students wanted to do this," she said. 

At lunchtime, all participants will take a picture in their Sasha-inspired outfits. The photo will be sent to Fleischman, Kahn said.

Teen Charged as Adult for Allegedly Burning Berkeley Student on Bus

By Bay City News
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:30:00 PM

A 16-year-old boy suspected of lighting another teen on fire on an AC Transit bus on Monday evening is being charged as an adult, Alameda County prosecutors announced today. 

The suspect, Richard Thomas, has been charged with aggravated mayhem and felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, according to the Alameda County District Attorney's Office. 

Thomas also faces hate-crime clauses on both counts, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. 

The victim in the crime was 18-year-old Luke "Sasha" Fleischman, whose clothing was lit on fire while the Berkeley student slept in the back of an AC Transit bus. 

The crime occurred at about 5:20 p.m. Monday as the bus traveled near MacArthur Boulevard and Ardley Avenue, about a block from Interstate Highway 580. 

A probable cause statement signed by Oakland police Officer Anwawn Jones stated that during a police interview after the crime, Thomas told investigators he lit the fire because he was homophobic. 

Fleischman, a student at Berkeley's Maybeck High School, suffered severe second- and third-degree burns and was taken to the burn center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. 

In a statement today, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley called the crime senseless and said Fleischman was an "entirely innocent victim." 

"The intentional and callous nature of the crime is shocking and will not be tolerated in our community. Our thoughts remain with the victim and the victim's family in wishing for a full recovery from the extensive burns suffered as a result of this crime," she said. 

A fundraising web page was set up to help cover Fleischman's medical costs, and as of this afternoon, 512 donors had contributed a total of $21,250. The site can be accessed at http://fundly.com/helping-sasha-fleischman-have-a-speedy-recovery

February 20, 1944 — November 6, 2013

By the family
Friday November 08, 2013 - 01:58:00 PM
EDWARD SAMUEL FREDERICKS: February 20, 1944 — November 6, 2013
EDWARD SAMUEL FREDERICKS: February 20, 1944 — November 6, 2013

Edward Samuel Fredericks, of Oakland, CA, passed away at home on Wednesday, November 6, 2013, at the age of 69, after a long and courageous battle with complex cancers, resulting in fatal leukemia. Named Edward, after his maternal grandfather, and Samuel, after his paternal grandfather, Mr. Fredericks was born on February 20, 1944, in Springfield, MA. He was the second of five children of Mildred and Henry (Harry) Fredericks. Called “Eddie” by close friends and family, he was playfully nicknamed “Teacup” by a childhood friend; this name stuck with him among his close companions.  

After the tragic death of Mr. Fredericks’ father when he was just 10 years old, Mildred married Hughan Williams, and the family constellation grew, with Eddie now the second of nine children. 

Mr. Fredericks attended grade school in Springfield at East Union Street School, William M. Deberry School and Tapley Elementary. He then attended Buckingham Junior High and went on to matriculate at Technical High School. He contributed to the household by maintaining paper routes, working at a meat market, doing odd jobs for neighbors, and picking tobacco in Connecticut during the summer. Prior to attending college, he worked as a machine operator for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, from 1963 to 1964. 

He went on to attend Tennessee State University, graduating in 1968 with a B.S. in Mathematics. He moved with his devoted wife, Georgia, who has predeceased him, to Woodstock, New York, and began his career as a systems programmer with IBM, in nearby Kingston. 

In 1971 he was asked by musician Taj Mahal to help develop his music career. Mr. Fredericks moved his family to California, first serving as Mahal’s road manager, then becoming his personal and business manager. He became instrumental in every aspect of Mahal’s business, helping Mahal become a globally recognized artist. In October of 1977, after substantially growing Mahal’s business and renown, Eddie left Mahal to take a position as Director of Sales for Western Book Distributors. 

During this time, Mr. Fredericks’s family began to grow, and he became the proud father of five beautiful children. 

During the late 1970s he began collecting and framing the work of African American artists, which at the time were undervalued and under-appreciated. This led him to establish what would later become Samuel’s Gallery. Feeling the pull of his entrepreneurial Caribbean roots, Mr. Fredericks began using his middle name, “Samuel,” from his paternal West Indian grandfather. 

With the goal of contributing to the visual and cultural enrichment of African Americans, and promoting the idea that the African American artist is essential to American culture as a whole, this business became Mr. Fredericks’ passion. For more than twenty-five years, Samuel’s Gallery has been a seminal force in the establishment of a market for African American Art, locally and nationally. Samuel’s Gallery gave many African American artists exposure that lead to national acclaim, while introducing African Americans to the joys of collecting art. For 18 years the gallery was located on the Oakland, CA waterfront, first in Jack London Village, and later in Jack London Square. 

Samuel, whom many have described as a “cultural warrior,” coined the phrase “The New Renaissance in African American Art,” and served as an integral part of this movement, which has endured for over two decades and continues to thrive to this day. 

Samuel summarized the mission of his gallery as “images that positively reflect African Americans and our heritage — of what we are, who we are, and what we can be — will nourish and sustain us. Art is a place where we can tell our own story, in the images of our own choosing.” 

Samuel is survived by his devoted wife and life partner of over 16 years, Robin Gregory; daughters Jacqueline Cisneros (Andres), Khadija Wilson (David), Safiya Fredericks, and Serah Blackstone-Fredericks, and son Rahsaan Fredericks (Patricia), as well as grandchildren, Kobi, Amirah, and Nehla. He is also survived by brothers Henry, Richard, Osbourne, and Winston; and sister Connie, along with a large community of loving family and friends.  

He is predeceased by former wife Georgia; brothers Robert and Hughan; and sister Carole. 

The family wishes to thank the staff at Alta Bates Summit Cancer Center and Hospital for their compassionate, loving care, especially Dr. Rajesh Behl and nurse Peg Logan. We also wish to deeply thank the staff of Sutter Hospice Care, especially R.N. Jimeka, who lovingly guided us through Samuel’s transition. 

In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations, in the name of Edward Samuel Fredericks, to The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. 

A community memorial service is being planned for the future.



Thanks, Berkeley—I Stand Corrected

By Becky O'Malley, Dan Grassetti, Michael Katz, Joanna Graham
Friday November 08, 2013 - 03:17:00 PM

When I was growing up, a popular saying was “Don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper!” Still good advice…and that applies, in spades, to the editorial I posted on November 1.

I should have known that Berkeley won’t let you get away with sloppy logic.

It’s true that the reported policy cancellations which were connected with the Obamacare launch affected only a portion of the 5% of insured Americans. But when two of them, Berkeleyans whom I know to be intelligent progressive activists, let me know in no uncertain terms that their individual policies had been cancelled and they were mad as hell, I realized that there are real problems with the new program. 

“Data is not the plural of anecdotes” is a saying that’s been repeated often lately, but when sensible people like these explain how they’ve been shafted, you have to believe they are not alone, whatever the final numbers turn out to be. 

A third eloquent rant came from a reader, not herself a victim in this situation, who describes herself as a critic from the left. 

Their excellent letters appear below, and at the bottom are my own mea culpa and links to articles I found that offer good explanations of how this all came about. 

Urban Myths on "Obamacare"

From Dan Grassetti  



I read your piece on Obamacare and have to weigh in. I'm all in favor of health care reform, but you need to know that the problems being reported aren't urban myths. In my case I received a letter from Kaiser a few weeks back telling me that my current plan had been cancelled because it didn't comply with the ACA, but that they were going to automatically enroll me in an ACA compliant plan with a 95% increase in my monthly premium. 

I've talked with a number of other folks who are experiencing the same thing. 

So, to be absolutely clear, Mr. Obama did indeed state on repeated occasions that "if you like the health plan that you have, you can keep it….period". Unfortunately he was either lying or uninformed about the details of his signature initiative. 

Bottom line is that it's not an urban myth. The fact is that there is a problem and Mr. Obama needs to own up to it. 

Yes, there are all sorts of good things that are happening as a result of the ACA, but there are indeed a sizable number of folks in this country for whom this is anything but a good thing. So, while we can all appreciate the good parts, to attempt to deny that there are serious problems for a goodly number of folks as a result of this is intellectually dishonest. 

As for me, I will be canceling my Kaiser policy as of 12/31 and will be going without health insurance for the first time in my adult life. Oh, and I will be paying a penalty for doing it. Hell of a deal. 

One Major Health Insurer's Response to Obamacare: Redline Alameda County"

From Michael Katz

On Obamacare Day (Oct. 1), my current insurer, HealthNet, delivered a letter informing me that my policy would be cancelled as of 1/1/14. And they offered me no alternative—as of that date, they're ceasing to offer any individual policies in Alameda County. Period. 

I believe this is known as redlining. 

This has interesting consequences for me — as a self-employed person whose income fluctuates. If I have a good year, an equivalent policy will cost me more than 3 times as much. An absolute bare-bones policy will cost more than twice as much. Both have significantly higher co-pays than the nice affordable policy I've lost. 

If my taxable income (after legitimate deductions) is low, I'll qualify for "exchange" subsidies. If an insurer still covering Alameda County accepts my application, my premium will be very low. 

Either way, I have no certainty about what I'll really be paying. 

This is why there's outrage about "Obama's Lie" (which it was) that "if you like your coverage, you can keep it." You can't. For self-insured people, The Obamacact has torn up existing coverage, and increased costs by multiples. 

The arrogant twerps in the White House who designed this decided we didn't matter because we're only a few % of the population. So they could screw us over. 

For something avowedly designed to expand coverage and affordability, it's done just the opposite to us. If I don't qualify for a subsidy to stabilize my premium costs, it's given me every incentive to drop coverage and become uninsured. I'm speaking as a basically healthy person who's done the nominally right thing, maintaining health insurance even though I hoped I'd have no claims for decades. 

No progressive should be defending the reeking, corporation-friendly legislation that the Obamanauts, colluding with creeps like Sen. Max Baucus, churned out. It's not primarily designed to help individuals gain coverage, nor to control costs. Rather, it's a massive, inefficient subsidy to the inefficient insurers who are the problem. 

I'm speaking here as a Canadian native who grew up gratefully and proudly enjoying the real thing — completely government-run health-care coverage. My surgeon father liked that system just as much as consumers did. 

He and his colleagues were initially apprehensive when it came to our province. But it took them barely a month to become believers. It kept insurers out of the core medical system, and left doctors free to make decisions in their patients' best interests. Canadian doctors and patients have never suffered HMO Hell. 

In most provinces, no one ever pays a premium or a co-pay. The whole system is invisible. You're born, you get a health-care card. You pay taxes (directly or indirectly). You need care, you go to a doctor or clinic or hospital, and it's free. 

(Canadian provinces/territories do not actually run "single-payer" health systems. The government is the primary payer. Private insurers sell supplemental policies covering things like elective procedures, semi-private hospital rooms, and expanded prescription-drug benefits. This hybrid system adds some flexibility that keeps everyone happy.) 

As for Obamacare? I remember my surgeon father scoffing at a 1970s TV news story about a very similar proposal from that great progressive, then-president Richard Nixon. "That's not designed to help people," my father said. "It's designed to help the insurance companies." 

This is a Tea Party moment when progressives should be claiming the populist outrage, not dismissing it. If we defend the awkward, broken compromise of Obamacare, we're defending something conceived by Richard Nixon and pioneered by Mitt Romney. 

Haven't we got better things to do — like demanding genuinely affordable, stable, and predictable coverage for everyone? 

Re: Your Editorial

From Joanna Graham 

Far from being urban legend, some very large percentage of people with individual plans have received or will receive cancellation notices (I forget, an estimated 40% or more). This has been in New York Times as well as elsewhere. The reason is that under the ACA all insurance policies must provide certain coverages (including pharmacy and maternity). Since most individual plans do not, they are being done away with and plans with higher premiums are being offered in their stead. Obama knew this would happen and lied. 

Personally, I oppose Obamacare (from the left). It’s hellishly, needlessly complicated. A whole new industry is being generated to help individuals and employers comply with its many complex requirements. Doctors are being forced into conglomerates (this has already happened to three of our doctors). There will be no one left standing but the big guys. Our physical therapist says his profession is being deskilled (he didn’t say it quite like that); soon he may well not be able to make a living but even the living he is already making is more paperwork, more “justification,” and he can offer fewer services. 

Our sports med doctor put it very well after a moment’s thought: he said that more people will be covered; those who already have insurance will be less happy with what they get; and many in the healthcare professions will be forced out of business. 

As a lefty, I don’t see huge differences between the Republicans and the Democrats. The ACA is a massive giveaway to the insurance industry (why not, they wrote it). Unfortunately, it has almost certainly soured the American public on the possibility of real reform of the system for decades to come. And costs will continue to rise because absolutely nothing was done to contain them. It is an unsustainable system but meanwhile a lot of folks are making out like bandits. 

But that just makes it like everything else, I guess. 

And now, President Obama has started to apologize for misleading us (or more likely being himself misled by his overconfident twerps—er, advisers.) Various congresspersons have proffered a variety of schemes for fixing the glitches—and others predictably want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. But in five—no, probably two—years, when Obamacare is up and running, this will all be an unpleasant memory. 

Of course, I could be wrong. As you know, I’ve been wrong before. 

Further Explanations






The Editor's Back Fence


Odd Bodkins: Answers (Cartoon)

By Dan O'Neill
Saturday November 09, 2013 - 11:48:00 AM


Dan O'Neill


Public Comment

Blumenthal Book Tracks Changes in Israel Society

By Jagjit Singh
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:02:00 PM

Here we go again. Determined to scuttle US efforts to broker a peace accord with the Palestinians and just ahead of John Kerry’s visit, Israel announced plans to build another 1,800 homes in the West Bank and Jerusalem. This is in addition to its plans to expel 80,000 Bedouins living in the Negev desert who are Israeli citizens, who serve in the Israeli army but are denied electricity, access to water and public services because they are not Jewish. Max Blumenthal exposes current Israeli policies of aggressively expropriating Palestinian land in his new book, ‘Goliath Life and Loathing in Greater Israel.’ 

Blumenthal devotes much of his book highlighting the transformation of Israeli society into a growing intolerance towards the Palestinians and encouraging racist attitudes in its education system. Palestinian homes have been firebombed by groups of religious fanatics who are able to do so with complete impunity. According to one of the most reputable pollsters in Israel, Camille Fuchs, a majority of Israeli youth expressed their refusal to have an Arab neighbor and supported a total expulsion of African migrants from Tel Aviv. Even more disturbing is a recent Ynet poll which showed that a majority of Israelis supported settler terrorism. A rising star in the Likud, Miri Regev, stated that ‘Africans are a cancer in Israel’s body’.



By Conn Hallinan
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:27:00 PM

Is Israel really planning to attack Iran, or are declarations about the possibility of a pre-emptive strike at Teheran’s nuclear program simply bombast? Does President Obama’s “we have your back” comment about Israel mean the U.S. will join an assault? What happens if the attack doesn’t accomplish its goals, an outcome predicted by virtually every military analyst? In that case, might the Israelis, facing a long, drawn out war, resort to the unthinkable: nuclear weapons? 

Such questions almost seem bizarre at a time when Iran and negotiators from the P5+1—the U.S., China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany—appear to be making progress at resolving the dispute over Teheran’s nuclear program. And yet the very fact that a negotiated settlement seems possible may be the trigger for yet another war in the Middle East. 

A dangerous new alliance is forming in the region, joining Israel with Saudi Arabia and the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council, thus merging the almost bottomless wealth of the Arab oil kings with the powerful and sophisticated Israeli army. Divided by religion and history, this confederacy of strange bedfellows is united by its implacable hostility to Iran. Reducing tensions is an anathema to those who want to isolate Teheran and dream of war as a midwife for regime change in Iran. 

How serious this drive toward war is depends on how you interpret several closely related events over the past three months. 

First was the announcement of the new alliance that also includes the military government in Egypt. That was followed by the news that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were stocking up on $10.8 billion worth of U.S. missiles and bunker busters. Then, in mid-October, Israel held war games that included air-to-air refueling of warplanes, essential to any long-range bombing attack. And lastly, the magazine Der Spiegel revealed that Israel is arming its German-supplied, Dolphin-class submarines with nuclear tipped cruise missiles. 

Saber rattling? Maybe. Certainly a substantial part of the Israeli military and intelligence community is opposed to a war, although less so if it included the U.S. as an ally. 

Opponents of a strike on Iran include Uzi Arad, former director of the National Security Council and a Mossad leader; Gabi Ashkenazi, former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff; Ami Ayalon and Yuval Diskin, former heads of Shin Bet; Uzi Even, a former senior scientist in Israel’s nuclear program; Ephraim Halevy, former Mossad head; Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, and Shaul Mofaz, former IDF chiefs of staff; Simon Peres, Israeli president; Uri Sagi, former chief of military intelligence; and Meir Dagan, former head of Mossad, who bluntly calls the proposal to attack Iran “The stupidest thing I ever heard.” 

Mossad is Israel’s external intelligence agency, much like the American CIA. Shin Bet is responsible for internal security, as with the FBI and the Home Security Department. 

However, an Israeli attack on Iran does have support in the U.S. Congress, and from many former officials in the Bush administration. Ex-Vice-President Dick Cheney says war is “inevitable.” 

But U.S. hawks have few supporters among the American military. Former defense secretary Robert Gates says “such an attack would make a nuclear armed Iran inevitable” and “prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.” Former Joint Chief of Staff vice-chair Gen. James Cartwright told Congress that the U.S. would have to occupy Iran if it wanted to end the country’s nuclear program, a task virtually everyone agrees would be impossible. 

In interviews last fall, reporter and author Mark Perry found that U.S. intelligence had pretty much worked out the various options the Israelis might use in an attack. None of them were likely to derail Iran’s nuclear program for more than a year or two.  

Israel simply doesn’t have the wherewithal for a war with Iran. It might be able to knock out three or four nuclear sites—the betting is those would include the heavy water plant at Arak, enrichment centers at Fordow and Natanz, and the Isfahan uranium-conversion plant—but much of Iran’s nuclear industry is widely dispersed. And Israel’s bunker busters are not be up to job of destroying deeply placed and strongly reinforced sites. 

Israel would not be able to sustain a long-term bombing campaign because it doesn’t have enough planes, or the right kind. Most of its air force is American made F-15 fighters and F-16 fighter-bombers, aircraft that are too fragile to maintain a long bombing campaign and too small to carry really heavy ordinance. 

Of course, Israel could also use its medium and long-range Jericho II and Jericho III missiles, plus submarine-fired cruise missiles, but those weapons are expensive and in limited supply. They all, however, can carry nuclear warheads. 

But as one U.S. Central Command officer told Perry, “They’ll [the Israelis] have one shot, one time. That’s one time out and one time back. And that’s it.” Central Command, or Centcom, controls U.S. military forces in the Middle East. 

A number of U.S. military officers think the Israelis already know they can’t take out the Iranians, but once the bullets start flying Israel calculates that the U.S. will join in. “All this stuff about ‘red lines’ and deadlines is just Israel’s way of trying to get us to say that when they start shooting, we’ll start shooting,” retired Admiral Bobby Ray Inman told Perry. Inman specialized in intelligence during his 30 years in the Navy. 

There is current legislation before the Congress urging exactly that, and Obama did say that the U.S. had “Israel’s back.” But does that mean U.S. forces would get directly involved? If it was up to the American military, the answer would be “no.” Lt. Gen. Robert Gard told Perry that, while the U.S. military is committed to Israel, that commitment is not a blank check. U.S. support is “so they can defend themselves. Not so they can start World War III.” 

Polls indicate that, while most Americans have a favorable view of Israel and unfavorable one of Iran, they are opposed to joining an Israeli assault on Iran. 

That might change if the Iranians tried to shut down the strategic Straits of Hormuz through which most Middle East oil passes, but Iran knows that would draw in the U.S., and for all its own bombast, Teheran has never demonstrated a penchant for committing suicide. On top of which, Iran needs those straits for its own oil exports. According to most U.S. military analysts, even if the U.S. did join in it would only put off an Iranian bomb by about five years. 

What happens if Israel attacks—maybe with some small contributions by the Saudi and UAE air forces—and Iran digs in like it did after Iraq invaded it in 1980? That war dragged on for eight long years. 

Iran could probably not stop an initial assault, because the Israelis can pretty easily overwhelm Iranian anti-aircraft, and their air force would make short work of any Iranian fighters foolish enough to contest them. 

But Teheran would figure a way to strike back, maybe with long range missile attacks on Israeli population centers or key energy facilities in the Gulf. Israel could hit Iranian cities as well, but its planes are not configured for that kind of mission. In any case, bombing has never made a country surrender, as the allied and axis powers found out in World War II, and the Vietnamese and Laotians demonstrated to the U.S. 

The best the Israelis could get is a stalemate and the hope that the international community would intervene. But there is no guarantee that Iran would accept a ceasefire after being bloodied, nor that there would be unanimity in the UN Security Council to act. NATO might try to get involved, but that alliance is deeply wounded by the Afghanistan experience, and the European public is sharply divided about a war with Iran. 

A long war would eventually wear down Israel’s economy, not to mention its armed forces and civilian population. If that scenario developed, might Israel be tempted to use its ultimate weapon? Most people recoil from even the thought of nuclear weapons, but militaries consider them simply another arrow in the quiver. India and Pakistan have come to the edge of using them on at least one occasion. 

It is even possible that Israel—lacking the proper bunker busting weapons—might decide to use small, low-yield nuclear weapons in an initial assault, but that seems unlikely. The line drawn in August 1945 at Hiroshima and Nagasaki has held for more than 60 years. But if Israel concluded that it was enmeshed in a forever war that could threaten the viability of the state, might it be tempted to cross that line? 

Condemnation would be virtually universal, but it would not be the first time that Israel’s siege mentality led it to ignore what the rest of the world thought. 

A war with Iran would be catastrophic. Adding nuclear weapons to it would put the final nail into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Within a decade dozens of countries will have nuclear weapons. It is a scary world to contemplate. 

Conn Hallinan can be read at dispatchesfromtheedgeblog.wordpress.com and middleempireseries.wordpress.com 


ECLECTIC RANT: Commentary on Senator Feinstein's Defense of NSA Surveillance

By Ralph E. Stone
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 09:57:00 PM

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) recently wrote an Op-Ed,, "NSA's call-records program is prudence -- not prying," that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle defending the National Security Agency's programs. In her Op-Ed, Senator Feinstein disingenuously assures us that the NSA does not conduct surveillance, but rather it merely collects information contained on the average telephone bill, not the content of the messages.  

Senator Feinstein further claims that there are "strong legal and constitutional protections already in place to prevent improper behavior." But where were the "protections" when the NSA monitored the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and leaders of other allies, including France, Spain, Mexico, and Brazil? 

According to the Senator, the erosion of public confidence in our intelligence community can be laid at the feet of whistle blower Edward Snowden, who disclosed classified material outlining the pervasiveness of the NSA programs. I disagree. The erosion of public confidence in our government started way before Snowden. During the George W. Bush administration, Bush and his minions built a case for war against Iraq without regard to factual evidence concerning Iraq's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  

And remember the "Plame Affair," where Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative allegedly in retribution for her husband James C. Wilson's op-ed piece in the New York Times arguing that, in his State of the Union Address, then President Bush misrepresented intelligence leading up to the invasion by suggesting without evidence that the Iraqi regime sought uranium to manufacture nuclear weapons. No WMD were ever found in Iraq.  

Further, Bush alleged that there was a secret relationship between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Untrue. On April 29, 2007, former Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet said on 60 Minutes, "We could never verify that there was any Iraqi authority, direction and control, complicity with al Qaeda for 9/11 or any operational act against America, period."  

And who can forget Secretary of State Colin Powell's 2003, infamous presentation before the United Nations to "prove" the urgency to invade Iraq. Powell claimed that Iraq harbored an al Qaeda network, despite evidence to the contrary. He showed photos of an alleged poison and explosives training camp in northeast Iraq operated by the al Qaeda even though this area was outside Iraqi control and even though U.S. intelligence agencies found no substantive collaboration between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. Later, Powell acknowledged that much of his 2003 UN presentation was inaccurate.  

Finally, on April 16, 2009, President Obama released four top secret memos that allowed the CIA under the Bush administration to torture al Qaeda and other suspects held at Guantánamo and secret detention centers round the world in violation of international law. Remember Abu Ghraib. 

Clearly, public confidence in our government had eroded well before Snowden came on the scene. By the way, the NSA surveillance programs began during the Bush administration. 

Who's watching the NSA? The watchers supposedly include internal NSA audits, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) panel of judges, the President's Civil Liberties and Oversight Board, a newly appointed presidential intelligence privacy review group, and the respective Congressional intelligence committees. Senator Feinstein is Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Committee is one of the watchers. Were those with oversight asleep at their post or did they simply look the other way while the NSA ran amok? Why didn't the strong legal and constitutional protections touted by Senator Feinstein prevent the NSA's improper behavior? 

Senator Feinstein is now touting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Improvement Act. (Ah there's that word "surveillance" again.) The proposed Act does not change anything about the way the FISA Court works, not does it provide for an advocate to represent those American individuals or groups that the FBI and NSA want to wiretap. It provides no significant improvement in the oversight of FBI/NSA electronic eavesdropping activities, and it does not restrict or tighten the control of the FBI collection efforts. In short, the proposed Act is nothing but window dressing.  

Security will continue to trump civil liberties. 

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Erroneous Instincts

By Jack Bragen
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 09:58:00 PM

Most people believe in the truism that you should trust your instincts--and ordinarily this is a good idea. However, when someone is experiencing symptoms of psychosis, especially of the delusional type, instincts can not be relied upon. When someone is in an acute stage of psychosis, nothing in the person's consciousness is operating correctly. 

This means that a person can be terrified of an impending threat, yet none exists. It means that a delusional person following their instincts could do something completely wrong, with disastrous results. 

A state of comfortable naïveté, including when actual problems get ignored, is often preferable and often less dangerous compared to paranoid psychosis. 

Even as someone stabilized on medication and compliant with treatment, and having been this way for seventeen years, it is still necessary for me to disregard some of my thoughts and instincts. It is difficult when I have a spurious thought which on some level, but not every level, I know to discount. Sometimes I still have to take my best guess as to what is real and what isn't. 

When a delusional thought takes hold, sometimes it becomes a basic assumption upon which subsequent thoughts are based. Thus, the price of remaining out of the hospital when one has mental illness is constant vigilance as well as self-scrutiny. 

You might wonder, how does that work, anyway? How can someone's consciousness become falsified, delusional, strange and even dangerous? 

The brain has malfunctioned, causing consciousness to "split off" from reality. The picture of the world that the person is using has become grossly disconnected from what is real. In place of an accurate picture, there is a false world which is internally generated. The person's five senses barely enter into the picture, and are interpreted in bizarre, exaggerated and false ways. 

A person with delusions in charge could believe things and perceive things that belong in a science fiction film. For example, a delusional person might believe that there is a nuclear holocaust happening all around them. Or they could believe that they are telepathically communicating with extraterrestrials. A delusional person could also believe that the government is trying to kill him or her, or that there is a massive conspiracy to put them under surveillance and control. 

In recent years, modern society has come to resemble much of the content of a psychotic person's delusional system. This only makes it more difficult for a mentally ill person to track reality. One must discard the false craziness of psychosis in favor of the real craziness that now exists in the world. 

One of the discernments which set psychosis apart from an average person's realistic paranoia is that a psychotic person tends to believe it's all about them. A psychotic "belief system" (also called a "delusional system") makes the psychotic person special in some way. 

This isn't an extreme example of narcissism. These are the symptoms of a disease that afflicts the brain. 

Furthermore, when someone has a delusional system, usually it shifts around and changes--the false belief system isn't usually consistent with itself. A symptom of psychosis is that the mind has become disorganized. 

And yet, you might wonder, how does this happen to someone? To understand this, one must first understand how "normal" human beings get a picture of reality. The human mind is normally capable of error, but has mechanisms to moderate the level of inaccuracy. 

People normally get much of their picture of the world from other people as well as from media, electronic and otherwise. 

Independent thinkers, if they are to succeed, must be very careful not to cross the line into false territory--they must employ some type of scientific system to keep their beliefs on an even keel. A person headed for psychosis might start out believing they are merely an independent thinker. 

How do you tell the difference? An independent thinker can still meet their basic needs, and also isn't harming oneself or anyone. An independent thinker tends to present their unusual ideas in a socially accepted format. 

When someone is very delusional, they usually have first become isolated. They are not communicating in any substantial way with fellow human beings. They may have thoughts that they are hiding from others--hidden in order to avoid ostracism, or because a delusion tells them to hide. They might come up with their own imaginative interpretation for ordinary events. Even normal human speech, including when someone is speaking simply and clearly, may be interpreted according to a delusional system, or may not be understood. 

Psychosis, I think, is more than just disagreeing with everyone else about what is real and what isn't. There is more to schizophrenia than having a differing version of the world. Someone with schizophrenia can not take care of oneself. There are other symptoms, as well--which are listed in the manuals used by psychiatrists. 

***None of the above is a reason or an excuse for us to be ridiculed. We still require basic human dignity.

SENIOR POWER: Alzheimers, Part 1

by Helen Rippier Wheeler, pen136@dslextreme.com
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 06:58:00 PM

November’s Senior Power columns are about Dementia, Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia), their caregivers, and the dementia-hearing relationship.

November is National Alzheimer’s Month, also referred to as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month. In recent years, scientists have ramped up efforts to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. One in 8 aged 65+ persons suffer from AD; one in 2 senior citizens has AD by age 85.  

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. It is also called Alzheimer disease, senile dementia of the Alzheimer type, primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type, or simply Alzheimer's. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906. It is most often diagnosed in people over age 65, although the less-prevalent, early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. AD is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050. 


Dementia and Alzheimer’s differ. Dementia is a memory disorder due to loss of brain cells. Causes of dementia, other than Alzheimer’s, include a major stroke or multiple smaller strokes, multiple brain traumas, chronic alcoholism, or a history of encephalitis.  

Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain, not merely a manifestation of aging. Brain cells die prematurely and progressively, leaving the patient with impaired memory function, impaired decision-making ability, and reduced reasoning and learning capacity. Available treatments do not cure but can slow Alzheimer’s progression, making early diagnosis especially important.  

Symptoms vary widely. The Mayo Clinic’s October 16, 2013 Housecall newsletter describes each of these warning signs:  

  • Memory loss that disrupts daily life. Typical is sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.
  • Challenges in planning or solving problems. Typical is making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.
  • Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. Typical is occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.
  • Confusion with time or place. Typical is getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.
  • Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Typical are vision changes related to cataracts
  • New problems with words in speaking or writing. Typical is sometimes having trouble finding the right word.
  • Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Typical is misplacing such things as one’s glasses or the remote control.
  • Decreased or poor judgment. Typical is once in a while making a bad decision.
  • Withdrawal from work or social activities. Typical is sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.
  • Changes in mood and personality. Typical is developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.
Due to the lack of effective treatments that can slow down or reverse AD progression, preventive measures to lower its prevalence rate by means of managing potential or actual risk factors are a reasonable clinical strategy. An Italian research group describes an association between the presence of sleep-disordered breathing and AD. Their study found that a significant percentage of AD patients suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), a common but largely underdiagnosed respiratory disorder that causes sleeping people temporarily to stop breathing. The presence of this disorder leads to unfavorable changes in cerebral blood flow that are well recognized promoters of cognitive decline onset and progression. Detecting and treating OSAS before it becomes severe enough to cause irreversible effects on cerebral circulation should be considered a promising clinical approach for AD. An online version of the paper is scheduled for the November 2013 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

The World Alzheimer Report 2013 is about dementia, which is on the increase. Nearly 700,000 people in the United Kingdom had dementia in 2005; by 2015, this number will have almost trebled. The disease, which is caused by the gradual death of brain cells, leads to the loss of memory, understanding, judgment, language and thinking. Research suggests that mid-life stress precedes dementia, while alcohol consumption can help stave it off.  


Alzheimer’s disease has two victims: the patient and the family caregiver (assuming the patient has family.) The global AD epidemic is taxing caregivers. There are nearly 15 million AD and dementia caregivers in the United States. According to a Johns Hopkins study, family caregivers live longer than their peers, and there is increased life expectancy among family caregivers. A Report on the Alzheimer's epidemic straining caregiver and community resources appeared in HealthDay news, September 19, 2013. The situation is worldwide, and it calls for comprehensive changes.  

In the 2011 play, Dementia Diaries / Dziennik Demencj), poet Maria Jastrzebska (a Polish refugee, then 58 years old), looked at how dementia affects those who have it as well as their family and carers. She hoped that her play would help explain the impact on sufferers, carers and families. Carer is British, caregiver is American -- someone who provides care. In the U.S., the caregiver is usually a family member or an employee. There are five characters: Tata and Mama, who both have dementia; their son, Edzio; an unnamed daughter; and Mrs. Alicja, their Polish carer. They speak to the audience, but never to one another. Told through their interweaving monologues, the drama explores the troubled relationships within a family struggling to cope. 

In a Q&A session, Dementia Diaries’ director asked how many audience members had a connection with dementia (80%). A social worker volunteered that the son in the play -- with “his constant letters of complaint, phone calls and harangues” -- is a character they know only too well. Clearly, Dementia Diaries’ audiences felt more for those around the demented than for victims of the disease itself.  


There’s some good news, and often it can often be read online or as “hard copy.” A few examples: 

“The good news on Alzheimer’s: Better ways to diagnose it. Drug trials offer promise” (Kendall Powers. Washington Post. September 30, 2013)  

“Trials at Washington U. medical school offer hope for Alzheimer’s treatment” (Michelle Munz. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. October 3, 2013).  

“Blood pressure drugs have been shown to decrease the risk of Alzheimer's disease dementia.” (Eurekalert American Association for the Advancement of Science, October 16, 2013). EurekAlert! is an online, global science news service, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS;) it features health, science and technology news from leading research institutions. 

"A new DNA vaccine induces a Th2 immune response in Alzheimer's disease mice," (Eurekalert AAAS, October 28, 2013). 

"Lasers might be the cure for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," (Eurekalert American Association for the Advancement of Science, November 3, 2013). 

"'Path to 2025' Alzheimer's Disease Summit: Reforms urgently needed tostreamline road to Alzheimer's," (Eurekalert[American Association for the Advancement of Science, November 6, 2013). 

"New Batch of Alzheimer's Genes Discovered," (HealthDay, October 28, 2013). 

"Alzheimer's Patients Retain Lifelong Values," by Katharine Gammon (Medscape Medical News, October 28, 2013).  

"Fasting at Least Twice a Week Seen as Alzheimer’s Hedge," by Makiko Kitamura (Bloomberg, October 28, 2013).  

The major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD) is present in about two-thirds of people who develop the disease. It is ApoE4, the cholesterol-carrying protein that about a quarter of us are born with. But one of the unsolved mysteries of AD is how ApoE4 causes the risk for this incurable, neurodegenerative disease. Buck Institute researchers have found a link between ApoE4 and SirT1, an "anti-aging protein" that is targeted by resveratrol, present in red wine.  



California’s Senior Legislature Assembly health committee voted last week during its annual meeting in Sacramento to push a bill to adopt a state strategic plan on aging. According to CSL senator Jim Levy, the state developed an aging plan in 2009, complete with 28 specific action-item recommendations, but the Legislature never codified it.  

"Those 28 proposals were supposed to go to the Legislature in 2010, and it moved through committees and a floor vote before getting stuck in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. They said ‘no, it's going to cost $4,000 to do this’. This time the provision for state money will be withdrawn, and the $4,000 to implement the proposals will come from federal funds or private donations. This bill is to request that the government put together a strategic plan on aging. The 2009 report did the hard part, convening the experts, narrowing down the concerns, writing up recommendations. The next step is to put those ideas into action. The first recommendation is very good. It says the state has to change their philosophy on aging issues.” [“Seniors Seek Strategic Plan on Aging”by David Gorn, California Healthline, November 6, 2013] 

California is one of the states taking advantage of a new financing option made available under the Affordable Care Act to support community-based, long-term care services. Oregon is another. The Community First Choice Option (CFCO) allows participating states to secure an increase of 6 percentage points in the federal share of the federal-state Medicaid funding partnership for home-and community-based attendant services to beneficiaries who otherwise would need institutional care. Six other states have either submitted plans to participate or intend to submit plans by the end of fiscal year 2014. Advocates hope that the data collected through CFCO will demonstrate that in the long run, home-and community-based services are less costly than institutional care.  

A lawsuit filed on October 22, 2013 in Alameda Superior Court against the California Department of Public Health (DPH) on behalf of California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and several nursing home residents seeks to find unconstitutional a California law that permits nursing home residents to be found incompetent and administered mind-altering drugs, placed in physical restraints, have life sustaining treatment ended and denied due process if they seem not to have a “surrogate” or anyone to assist them in opposing such treatment decisions. ["Castro Valley: Janitor saw elderly become weak," by Carolyn Jones (San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 1, 2013).] 

CANHR is releasing its report, Residential Care in California: Unsafe, Unregulated & Unaccountable, on the crisis in care at California's 7,500 Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs). The recent abandonment of 14 [or more] bedridden residents at Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley highlights the serious problems in oversight and enforcement. CANHRRHR calls upon Community Care Licensing, the agency responsible for regulatory oversight and enforcement of RCFE laws, to reclaim its role as a consumer protection agency. California legislators and the Department of Social Services are also called upon to address this crisis in care and to create a new model of care where the health and safety of residents take priority. Contact: Patricia L. McGinnis, Executive Director, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR ). http://www.canhr.org.  








Arts & Events

Updated: “Remembrance of Things Proust” on THURSDAY at St. John's in Berkeley

By Larry Bensky
Saturday November 09, 2013 - 10:23:00 AM

In dozens, if not hundreds, of communities worldwide, including Berkeley, THURSDAY November 14 will be commemorated as a kind of “Proust Day.” It marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first volume, “Swann’s Way,” in Proust’s monumental 3,000 page epoch, “In Search of Lost Time.”

Proust had been writing what would eventually, after his death, be a seven-volume work of fiction for four years when he decided he had something publishable. Publishers did not agree. Frustrated, Proust, who came from a wealthy family, self-published, paying for a print run of about 2,000 copies himself.

The book was a modest success, and Proust had hoped to publish parts that he had to cut out (“Swann’s Way” was 527 pages…) in two more volumes immediately. But the outbreak of the First World War meant that resources used in printing – including the printers themselves – were largely diverted elsewhere. And it would be more than five years until “In Search of Lost Time’s” publication started again, with “Within a Budding Grove.” That book won France’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt, and Proust’s worldwide renown was on its way.

In the years since, Proust (who died in 1922; the last three books were published posthumously) has become one of western fiction’s most iconic figures. The nature of memory, the effect of art on consciousness, the strengths and vanities of society, the conflicts among and between people and nations, are among the themes for which Proust is a point of reference.

Proust’s pages are interlaced with references to other arts –painting, architecture, writing – especially to music.

It is therefore especially fitting that we remember and commemorate Proust by presenting samples of the music he knew and loved – as well as a modern piece whose inspiration and structure he would have appreciated.

The Northern California Proust celebration will take place Thursday, November 14 at St.John’s Presbyterian Church , 2727 College Avenue, 7 p.m. Featured music includes pieces by Debussy, Faure, Saint-Saens, Chopin, and Schubert, as well as a modern piece by Eliot Carter, inspired by Proust. There will be blilingual readings from various Proust texts. Tickets at Mrs. Dalloway’s or University Press books, $10.

And, yes, there WILL be madeleines at the end! 

A bientot! 

Larry Bensky is the Executive Producer of Radioproust.org 


Goines and Friends poster show--important Hillside Club event

By Tim L. Hansen
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:17:00 PM

A lot of wonderful things happen at the Hillside Club. But every four or five years something truly out-of-ordinary happens. This weekend is one of those events. There will be a poster show with 8 poster artists, all showing their work. It will be an opportunity to see the "state of the art" of the poster and meet the artists. Posters tell us a lot about who we are as a people. They refect values and our natural history. The exhibit is free. I hope you will come and reflect.  

Below are links to some representative sets for each of the 7 artists.  

"Forty Fridas" by Ellen Heck 

"Engravings: The Gesture" by Keith Cranmer 

"Paintings: Set I" by Kenjilo Nanao 

"Paintings: Set IV" by Gail Chadell Nanao 

"Coyote Woodcut Suites I and II" by Daniel Owen Stolpe 

"Aesop Cop" series by Rigel Stuhmiller, written by Franklin Crawford 

"Peter Koch Printers: Portfolio" 

This is a rare chance to experience the work of some accomplished and inspiring local artists and to meet them in person. 

Around & About Music: Sonic Escape Trio at Berkeley City Club

By Ken Bullock
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:16:00 PM

Berkeley Chamber Performances will present the Sonic Escape Trio--Shawn Wyckoff, flute; Maria Millar, violin and Nan-Cheng Chen, cello--this Monday evening, 8 p. m., at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, near Dana, performing Ghost Ship by Maria Millar, Sounds of Scandinavia (traditional tunes, arranged by Millar & Wyckoff), a Japanese Folk Tune Medley, Millar's "take" on Bach (set in Ireland!), Bach's Air on the G String, Haydn's Divertissement No. 2 in G Major and Traditional American Tunes arranged by Millar. Sonic Escape Trio is "committed to devouring new sounds and pushing boundaries." A complimentary wine and cheese reception with the layers will follow the concert. $25, high school students free, post-high school students $12.50. 525-5211; berkeleychamberperform.org

Around & About Theater: Ancient Yakshagana Dance Drama

By Ken Bullock
Thursday November 07, 2013 - 10:13:00 PM

Something truly rare: Yakshagana Bay Area has announced a joint production, one day only, November 10 at 4-7 pm, Spangenberg Theatre, Gunn High School, 780 Arastradero Road in Palo Alto, of a Yakshagana troupe, musicians and actors, from South India. This exhilarating ancient theatrical form, which bears resemblance to Kathakali in its use of music, dramatic and acrobatic dance and lavish costumes and make-up to tell epic mythic stories of gods and heroes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana (though in Yakshagana the actors improvise dialogue), has seldom been seen here--I've been to two excellent shows of different styles of it, one (at Mills College, dancer Martha Ashton involved with the production) was over thirty years ago, the other, also produced by Yagshagana Bay Area, was just last year in Woodside.  

It's hard to get across what sheer fun a Yakshagana performance is, with occasional wild humor, action, virtuosic dance, heroes, villains and monsters, all in the service of mythic stories that can be bawdy, impressive, touching, inspiring. It's also a festive atmosphere, with South Indian families attending like it's a holiday. True popular theater, performed by splendid artists, a glimpse into the past, into cultures that have evolved differently than ours. 

'Kamsa Jamana' (The Birth of Evil) There will be titles in English, synopses of the scenes played. 

Presented in association with Silicon Sage Foundation and Shri Siddhi Vinayaka Cultural Centre, Fremont. $15-$50 (kids under 10 free). Tickets at the door.