Trump’s taunts have had predicable consequences. Stung by personal insults, many elites of the Republican Party responded with seething anger, contemptuous of their presumptuous leader. -more-
Open Letter to Berkeley Public Library Board of Library Trustees Holcomb, Franklin, Moore, Novosel and BurtonAt the recent Board of Library Trustees meeting (July 20, 2016), Trustee Winston Burton acknowledged the hundreds of emails he, the rest of the Board of Library Trustees (BOLT), and all the City Council members have received lately requesting support for the library whistleblowers. Our thanks go out to Mr. Burton for his comments acknowledging these hundreds of petitioners. His comments about this email petition, reflecting community outrage and support of the library workers, was one of the few hopeful moments at the BOLT meeting that night. -more-
News analysis of first two days of the DNCA thunder and lightning storm raged on over Philadelphia Monday night as feelings and factions in the Democratic Party ebbed and flowed, if not to healing at least toward tolerance. Packed tightly into the Wells Fargo Center, the DNC stage line-up on the first night of the convention consisted of arguably the party’s best rhetorical set of speakers. -more-
As a practicing Sikh, I was profoundly disappointed to hear a Sikh, Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, vice-chair of the California Republican Party offer a Sikh prayer at the Republican National Convention. It is sad to see Dhillon embrace the failed policies of Donald Trump. In 2004 she actively supported the election of President George W. Bush – one of the worst president’s in US history that even Trump acknowledges. Remember it was Bush/Cheney that aggressively promoted torture and rendition – the antithesis of Sikh teachings. -more-
Bernie Sanders gave a rousing endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Monday night, but it won’t stop reporters from clinging to a false narrative of Democratic disunity. The media’s pre-convention stories were dominated by the disunity story line, and there are enough Sanders supporters booing every mention of Hillary Clinton’s name to sustain it.
The media’s problem is that it confuses unity with unanimity.
This means that despite Sanders’ national speech and promotion of Clinton, the media sees the existence of a small group of Sanders backers who refuse to back Clinton as evidence of Democratic disunity. They reach this conclusion without even exploring whether the Sanders delegates booing Clinton were even Democrats prior to 2016, or have any longterm commitment to the Democratic Party. -more-
The 2016 Republican convention concluded with Donald Trump’s 75-minute rant that only he could protect America from the barbarians at the gates. Other than further proof of Trump’s demagoguery, we learned five things at the convention. -more-
The party’s over. Long live the Republican Party. -more-
Thursday, July 28, 2016, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Bobby G's Pizzeria
2072 University Ave
Editor's note: The article which follows first appeared on San Francisco's 48hills.org news site. It's relevant for Berkeley, because on Tuesday night Mayor Bates and the City Council majority managed to drag out the proceedings for such a long time that they were "unable" to vote on Councilmember Jesse Arreguin's drafted letter to Governor Jerry Brown expressing Berkeley's doubts about the proposed state legislation described in this article. One might wonder if a meeting something like the one described below also too place in Berkeley before that happened...if so, the Planet wasn't invited.
Why is SF mayor backing plan that would undermine local ability to demand more affordable housing?
I went to the strangest press conference today. Ed Lee was there; so was Ben Metcalf, who is Gov. Jerry Brown’s director of housing and community development. We met at SPUR’s downtown headquarters, at a little after 11am.
There were only a handful of reporters – me, J.K. Dineen from the Chron, Liam Dillon from the LA Times. Kim Mai Cutler showed up late.
And it wasn’t clear why we were really there – except that for the past couple of hours, Lee, Metcalf, and a group of “stakeholders” (mostly big nonprofit housing developers like Bridge, the Bay Area Council, and the pro-any-kind-of-development Housing Action Coalition, and the law firm of Holland and Knight, which represented a tech startup illegally using space in Chinatown) had been meeting privately to figure out how to promote the governor’s plan to allow developers to build housing without the normal community oversight.
The measure has been pending in the state Legislature, but community housing groups all over the state have tried to slow it down. It would override local laws and allow anyone who wants to build any type of housing to do that “by right” if it complies with existing zoning and has a tiny minimum of affordable housing – wiping out the ability of community groups to try to cut better deals with developers. -more-
Berkeley infiltrated the Republican National Convention (RNC). Claire Chiara and Natalie Davis, both students at Cal, were in Cleveland representing the Republicans of the 13th congressional district as Trump delegates. They are part of an ever-shrinking Bay Area species, a Berkeley Republican. The Berkeley city manager’s web page reports that only 4% of the 80,963 registered voters in Berkeley are Republicans, narrowly beating out Green voters by one percentage point. -more-
I recently considered taking the AC Transit 1R Rapid Bus from my home near Telegraph in Berkeley to the Registrar of Voters office by Lake Merritt in Oakland. When I went online to check the schedule, I was surprised to find that the 1R wasn't listed.Here is what I found on the transit.wiki website: -more-
What are the steps we can take to ensure physical and emotional safety for our government officials here and elsewhere in the world? Thanks to technology and media whatever investigations go on here send a message to the whole world. Nothing is top secret any more. -more-
My earliest political memory is watching the 1952 Republican convention on the little round ten-inch screen of my family’s almost-brand-new television set on one of those hot humid St. Louis summer nights. That’s right, I’m so old I can remember both pre-TV and pre-AC—though not that well any more.
My recollection is that the hot issue on that hot night was Taft v. Eisenhower. I recall that my grandfather, a one-time finance guy who never got another job after “The Crash”, was for Taft, and everyone else was cheering for Eisenhower. My mother would later claim that she’d never been anything but a Democrat, but I don’t remember a word about Adlai Stevenson being uttered then.
My father, however, was a Republican of sorts, an Eisenhower Republican to be sure, who welcomed the opening that Ike provided in the closed world of the Taft types who dominated his party until then. That identity was consistent with his class interests as an up-and-coming middle manager in a big corporation, in the 50s bubble where all was right with the world for people like him.
When his employers moved us all to California in 1953, he voted cheerfully for the kind of moderate California Republicans epitomized by Governor Earl Warren and Senator Thomas Kuchel. But as the party turned meaner under the influence of people like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, he took up voting for Democrats in almost every election. My mother, however, insisted that he maintain his party registration through the 60s and 70s so she could fire off outraged telegrams over his signature as “Lifelong Republican”.
Neither of their long lives was long enough to require them to watch what passed this week for a Republican convention, for which I’m grateful. As I watched it on my desktop computer screen not much bigger than our 1952 TV, I felt like a space traveler who’d unexpectedly landed on Mars.
My husband’s grandfather, born in 1869, was one of the really real Republicans, an early inheritor of the party formerly known as the party of Lincoln, son of an Ohio Quaker woman whose obituary described her as “a lady abolitionist and classical scholar”. The racist Nixon/Goldwater “Southern Strategy” disgusted him and people like him and like my father, but the Republicans (formerly known as the Grand Old Party) managed to maintain a façade of quasi-civility since then, even (I can’t believe I’m saying this) during the regimes of Bush I and Bush II.
The Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle, corporate inheritor of what used to be the Republican house organ, the old Examiner, used this jump headline for their convention story: “Clinton Crudely Reviled”. Exactly.
Whatever happened to the respectable Republicans of my childhood? Who are these aliens? -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Anyone who's annoyed that the National Nurses United are still dissing Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia this morning might like to give them a call:
Contact: Michael Lighty, 510-772-8384 or Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246/415-559-8991 -more-
“Today, the danger of some sort of a nuclear catastrophe is greater than it was during the Cold War and most people are blissfully unaware of this danger.” -more-
I cringe at the thought of a president Donald Trump representing us at home and abroad. I am registered as an independent. While I am not a big fan of Hillary Clinton, I will vote for her in November. I figure a vote for a third-party candidate or not voting at all is really a vote for Trump. By voting for Clinton, I am really voting for the democratic platform, which is not perfect, but is, as Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA13) put it, "the most progressive Democratic Party platform in history,” unlike the republican one that looks backward. The progressive nature of the platform is due in large part to Bernie Sanders. -more-
Life as a person with mental illness who doesn't live with parents or in institutional housing, and who isn't supervised, is more challenging than it was in the not so distant past. Economic conditions are harder, and we are seeing fissures and failures in the edifices of society. -more-
Arts & Events
New: Around & About--Theater: Berkeley's Inferno Theatre Stages 'The Tempest,' Free, in Hinkel Park"
"If by your art, my dearest father, you have/Put the wild waters in this roar, allay them./The sky, it seems, would pour down stinking pitch,/But that the sea, mounting to the welkin's cheeck,/Dashes the fire out." -more-
The 36th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival—"the world's first and largest Jewish film festival"—is set to screen 67 films from 15 countries before 35,000 filmgoers in five different Bay Area cities (SF, Oakland, Marin, Palo Alto and Berkeley) in 17 days (July 21-August 7). Shep Naches.
This year, the packed SFJFF calendar is bringing 30 films to Berkeley where they will screen at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Roda Theater.
"This year's Festival honors depth and complexity over formula and promotes an evolving definition of what constitutes Jewish film and media," says Jewish Film Institute Executive Director Lexi Leban. "We are proud to introduce new voices and emerging talent while honoring the contributions of iconic artists among us."
Ironically, SFJFF's two standout events have more to do with the TV Tube than the Big Screen. This year's SFJFF calendar includes a section devoted to "Televisionaries," including screenings of samplers from three episodic Israeli TV shows—False Flag, Shtisel, and The Writer.
The can't-miss screenings include a pair of documentaries profiling two of the tube's most iconic "televisionaries"—Norman Lear and Mr. Spock (memorably personified by the beloved Jewish actor, Leonard Nimroy).
For the Love of Spock, Adam Nimroy's "loving tribute" to his father, will have its West Coast Premiere at the Castro on July 31, with the director in attendance. There will be an added screening of the film in Berkeley on August 1 (See below for the full schedule of Berkeley screenings).
On Friday evening, July 22, the San Francisco Symphony offered an all-Russian program at Davies Hall led by conductor Edwin Outwater, Music Director of the Symphony’s Summer concerts. On tap were the Festive Overture by Dimitri Shostakovich, the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and the Fourth Symphony in F minor by Piotr Tchaikovsky. Many Russians and Russian-Americans were noticeably in attendance for this concert. -more-