THE PUBLIC EYE: It’s Inequality, Stupid!

Bob Burnett
Friday January 29, 2016 - 12:43:00 PM

As Bernie Sanders presidential campaign has gained momentum, Sanders has come under attack from Democrats and Republicans. Some mock Bernie’s identification as a “Democratic Socialist,” while others lament his supposed policy deficiencies. The critics miss the point. Sanders is running to call attention to a national emergency: the influence of money on politics, and economic inequality in general.

In the last twenty years, Democratic presidential candidates have run on the basis of their policies (“bring the troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq,” “implement national healthcare”). In contrast, Republicans have run on the basis of personality. (In 1992, George W Bush won because he was more likable than Al Gore.)

In 2008, Barack Obama won the presidency because of his charismatic personality, his slogan “change we can believe in,” and enough detail on major policies to keep his critics at bay. In 2016, Hillary Clinton is running a similar-style campaign based upon a slogan, “Hillary for America,” and detailed policy positions. In contrast, Bernie Sanders is focusing on a single issue, money in politics. At the conclusion of the January 17th Democratic Presidential debate, Sanders explained: -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: What is Normal?

Jack Bragen
Friday January 29, 2016 - 12:46:00 PM

I had never heard the word "normalcy" until George H. W. Bush spoke it when running against Bill Clinton. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton played saxophone, and admitted to smoking marijuana, but said, "I did not inhale."

When mentally ill, you are not considered "normal."

What is that? Is normal when the NRA uses intimidation on members of Congress so that weapons of mass destruction, namely assault-type firearms, will be in the hands of anyone and everyone who wants them? Is normal obliterating the functioning government of Iraq, believing that its citizens would accept a U.S. "installed" government? Is normal living in a neighborhood where it isn't safe to go out at night, or during daylight hours, or at any time, and where it isn't safe even to remain in one's own roach-infested home?

Is it "normal" to shun people because of them having a psychiatric disability, one that at times affects behavior? -more-

EATS, SHOOTS 'N' LEAVES: The New Official City of Berkeley Anthem™

Richard Brenneman
Friday January 29, 2016 - 12:54:00 PM

Yep, there’s no more fitting anthem for the City of Berkeley, California, than this little video offering from Berkeley music blogger 6VIDEO9.

For six years we toiled as the land use reporter for the late print edition of the Berkeley Daily Planet til shortly before the paper folded, laying off its paid journalists but still active as a website.

Despite its reputation as a city of the radical Left, Berkeley has a political system devoted to gentrification and the construction of massive apartments catering to upscale tenants, while less monumental erections serve as hives for UC Berkeley students, who are forced to pay their rent to corporations run by investment bankers, massive real estate holding companies, and the occasional UC Berkeley professor.

The reason the city allows the demolition of existing buildings is due in part to the city’s largest landowner — an owner exempt from property taxes and development fees — the University of California. -more-