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Updated: East Bay High School students walk out to protest election

Daniel Montes (BCN)
Wednesday November 09, 2016 - 01:03:00 PM

Hundreds of students at three high schools in the East Bay staged walkouts this morning to denounce the outcome of Tuesday's presidential election. 

About 1,500 hundred Berkeley High School students staged a walkout at the beginning of class, around 8:20 a.m., according to Berkeley Unified School District spokesman Charles Burress. 

The students then gathered outside the school, taking turns to speak on microphone. Afterward, the group marched to the University of California at Berkeley, where a much larger protest was reportedly happening. 

Some of the school's staff accompanied the students during the march to make sure they were safe, Burress said. 

"The district prefers that its students are in class and participating," Burress said. "However, we do understand their concern and we take it very seriously when they feel passionate about political issues." 

"We're doing everything we can to make sure that they feel safe and supported," Burress said. 

High school students in Oakland also staged walkouts in opposition of President-elect Donald Trump. 

Hundreds of students at Oakland Technical High School briefly left their classes around 10 a.m. and gathered on campus to hold a rally. The rally was short-lived as students then decided to return to class and regroup around lunchtime, according to Oakland Unified School District spokeswoman Valerie Goode. 

"We encourage our students to be informed critical thinkers and encourage our staff to help students share their views," Goode said. "We want to give them the opportunity to understand and be a part of the democracy." 

Students at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School also held a walkout this morning, according to social media posts. 

The students then held a rally on campus, in which they raised their fists in the air and held a moment of silence. 

A spokesperson from the private high school, which is run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Oakland, was not immediately available for comment.

Updated: Arreguin Elected Mayor; Bartlett, Hahn, CALI Slate Win
Massive landlord spending fails to stop U1

Rob Wrenn
Wednesday November 09, 2016 - 09:03:00 AM

While thousands of vote by mail ballots remain to be counted, it is clear that Jesse Arreguin has been elected mayor of Berkeley by large margin. His convincing 47% to 34% margin over District 5 council member Laurie Capitelli is too large to be affected by counting of additional ballots.

Similarly, Sophie Hahn has a commanding lead over Capitelli-endorsed Stephen Murphy for the District 5 Council seat and Ben Bartlett has a very solid lead in District 3 over Mark Coplan and Deborah Mathews who are running neck and neck for second place.  

DIstrict 2: It ain't over - still a tight race
In District 2, the initial ranked choice count gives Cheryl Davila a narrow 42 vote lead over incumbent council member Darryl Moore. It's 1838 to 1796 as of 1:40 a.m. election night, or 50.6% to 49.4%. Darryl had 40% of the first choice votes. Nanci Armstrong-Temple is finishing third so far with 1116 votes, only 82 votes behind Cheryl Davila. When Nanci's votes were apportioned, 640 went to Davila and 245 to Moore (231 did not make a second choice). As counting continues, Moore could regain the lead; it's also possible that Armstrong-Temple could overtake Davila for second place, in which case Davila's second choice votes would be apportioned.
CALI slate sweeps Rent Board
The gap between Igor Tregub, now in fourth place and Judy Hunt, the landlord-backed incumbent, who was the only elected official in Berkeley to opposed affordable housing measure U1, is over 2500, large enough to ensure victory for Tregub even with thousands of vote by mail and provisional ballots to be counted.
Measure U1, aka the Landlord Tax, has won easily despite the BPOA's $800,000+ campaign against it. It currently has 74.1% of the vote.
This is the biggest progressive electoral victory in many years. There will have to be a special election for Jesse Arreguin's District 4 Council seat. If a progressive wins, Jesse will have four allies on the Council and may have a fifth depending on the outcome in District 2. It's too bad that it comes with a disastrous presidential election result.
See below for more measures and more details in Berkeley races. All counts are as of 1:40 a.m. November 9. The County will continue updating over the next week or so until all ballots are counted. Check here for more: http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/230/index.htm
Mayor Winner with ballots counted so far: JESSE ARREGUIN
First Choice votes
Jesse Arreguin 15,885 (47.44%) 51.84% with ranked choice
Laurie Capitelli 11,262 (33.64%)
Kriss Worthington 2,816 (8.41%)
Bernt Wahl 952 (2.84%)
Ben Gould 937 (2.80%)
Zachary Runningwolf 881 (2.63%)
Mike Lee 508 (1.52%)
Naomi Pete 225 (0.67%)
Ranked choice result: Jesse at 51.84% when Gould second choice votes (after second choice votes of others were counted; Kriss second choice votes were not needed. These results will update as remaining ballots are counted, but there is no likelihood that Jesse won't win. http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/230/rcvresults_6767.htm
District 2 City Council Winner with ballots counted so far: CHERYL DAVILA 50.58% with ranked choice
Darryl Moore 1,545 (40.0%)
Cheryl Davila 1,194 (30.9%)
Nanci Armstrong Temple 1,115 (28.9.%)
Ranked choice result: Cheryl Davila with 50.58% when Nanci's second choice ballots were counted; this is close; could change when additional ballots are counted. http://www.acgov.org/rov/rcv/results/230/rcvresults_6868.htm
District 3 City Council
Ben Bartlett 2260 56.9%
Deborah Matthews 813 20.5%
Mark Coplan 812 20.5%
Al Murray 81 2.0%
District 5 City Council
Sophie Hahn 3451 61.9%
Stephen Murphy 2122 38.1%
District 6 City Council
Susan Wengraf 2683 60.7%
Fred Dodsworth 1186 26.8%
Isabelle Gaston 553 12.5%
Will update the following tomorrow (that is later today November 8) with numbers. YES victorious with all of the following:
E-1, BSEP, parcel tax for schools, YES 30,204, 88.3%
U1, tax on big landlords for affordable housing YES 24,394, 74.1% (not so different from 76.2% for the soda tax in 2014)
DD, phony landlord sponsored alternative to U1, NO 22,810, 70.8% (that's the NOs)
X1, Public Financing of Elections for Mayor and Council YES 19,356, 64.2%
T1, Bond measure for infrastructure, parks, senior centers YES 28,865, 86,5%
AA, regulating owner move in evictions, YES 22,309, 72.3%
BB, minimum wage $15 in 2019, NO 20,789, 66.0%
CC, minimum wage $15 in 2017, NO 20,573, 65.9%
Y1, 16-17 year olds vote for School Board YES, 21,518, 68.5%
A1, County Bond for affordable housing, YES 264,499, countywide, 72.3%
CI, AC Transit parcel tax, YES, 190,019 in the district, 81.9%
RR, BART bond, YES, 253,175, 70.9%
Rent Board Winners: all members of CALI slate; no chance that further results will change this.
Leah Simon Weisberg 17,275
Alejandro Soto-Vigil 17,201
Christina Murphy 16.853
Igor Tegub 14,691
Judy Hunt 12,111
Nate Wollman 8,158
9th State Senate District
Nancy Skinner is way ahead of Sandre Swanson in the Alameda County portion of the district, 60.6% to 39.4%; it's 63-37 in the district as a whole.
Berkeley School Board: the two incumbents, Judy Appel(22,967) and Beatriz Leyva-Cutler (17,336) were easily re-elected over challenger Abdur Sikder (4552)

Updated: Berkeley Defends Ohio from Evil Forces

Becky O'Malley
Monday November 07, 2016 - 11:58:00 PM
Jackie DeBose brings Berkeley values to Akron, Ohio.
Jackie DeBose brings Berkeley values to Akron, Ohio.

UPDATE: We did great in Akron, but what happened to the rest of the country? More later... 

In Akron, Ohio, it turns out that Californians have shown up to do their level best to make sure that this election is fair--at least fair, and hopefully a winner. Tonight I sat in a small room in the back of a strip mall storefront jammed wall to wall with all kinds of lawyers, every race, age and gender, all preparing to go to polling places tomorrow, rain or shine. Of the maybe 40 who'd come to lawyer up the election, my best guess is that half of us were from Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco, including the one who was explaining it all. Dan Roth said he was originally from Akron, but is practicing now in Berkeley. This is his third back-home election trip. 

The nerve center of the operation, however, was the woman at the front desk who's fielding the calls from voters with needs. Where do I vote? Can I get a ride? Is it to late to vote by mail? And more. 

Jackie DeBose is a long time resident of South Berkeley. She and her husband, Dr. Charles DeBose, bought a house here in his hometown as he started to retire from teaching at Cal State East Bay, and they've become local movers and shakers. 

In the last week she's been working from 9 to 9 every day, with time out for church on Sundays and that's about it. Jackie was written up in the New York Times when she shepherded a carload of women of a certain age to South Carolina to vote for Hillary in the primary, and she's determined to make sure that her candidate will be the next president. 

I took a turn canvassing this lovely autumn afternoon, reminding me once again that when mid America is good it's very good indeed. My neighborhood was fifties homes on big lots with lush lawns. Of all the people I talked to, all African-Americans, only one had not yet voted--the rest had already taken advantage of the early voting option. From my angle, at least, the election is looking good.

Homeless Protest on City Hall Steps Forced to Move Again

Carol Denney
Tuesday November 08, 2016 - 12:14:00 AM
The tent city evicted from Adeline and Fairview last Friday which reassembled on Berkeley's City Hall steps was evicted again Monday morning and reconvened about 100 feet away at the grassy corner of Milvia and Allston.
Carol Denney
The tent city evicted from Adeline and Fairview last Friday which reassembled on Berkeley's City Hall steps was evicted again Monday morning and reconvened about 100 feet away at the grassy corner of Milvia and Allston.
Dozens of Berkeley police stood by Monday morning after forcing the eviction; police costs for dismantling tent cities are approximately half the budget Berkeley spends on homelessness.
Carol Denney
Dozens of Berkeley police stood by Monday morning after forcing the eviction; police costs for dismantling tent cities are approximately half the budget Berkeley spends on homelessness.

Monday morning, November 7, 2016, dozens of Berkeley police converged on the Berkeley City Hall steps to inform the people sleeping there after their eviction from the tent city at Adeline and Fairview that according to the city they were obligated to move yet again. 

The group cooperated, moving their tents, signs, and belongings about a hundred feet away to the grassy corner of Milvia and Allston at the corner of Martin Luther King Civic Center Park. About a dozen tents and two dozen people continued a vigil in protest of the lack of housing for people with nowhere to go. Supportive citizens continue to drop off food and supplies to support the protest. Many of the protesters participated in a city subcommittee meeting just ten days ago requesting a sanctioned, legal place to go, which the city has turned down.

Press Release: Misleading doorhangers in Berkeley

Jesse Arreguin
Sunday November 06, 2016 - 10:04:00 AM

This morning our campaign was out knocking on doors and found a doorhanger being distributed by Laurie Capitelli’s campaign which says “Vote Democratic,” and features pictures of Hillary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and Laurie Capitelli, as well as the Democratic Party's logo.

Capitelli’s doorhanger is incredibly misleading because he was not endorsed by the Democratic Party. I was. Only our campaign has the official endorsement of the Alameda County Democratic Party, as well as Bernie Sanders, Sierra Club, and many more progressive leaders.  


Laurie Capitelli should know better. Unfortunately, many Berkeley voters may be misled by this doorhanger, so we need to put everything we’ve got into the final 3 days to get the word out about why our campaign is the only one for Mayor supported by trusted progressive leaders and th only campaign that will fight to make Berkeley work for everyone.

THE PUBLIC EYE: Comey’s Coup

Bob Burnett
Sunday November 06, 2016 - 09:10:00 AM

If Hillary Clinton loses the close election with Donald Trump, the primary reason will be the October 29th announcement by FBI Director James Comey that the agency was, in effect, reopening their investigation into Hillary's email server. It was evidence of an orchestrated coup planned by the Trump campaign. Whatever his motives, career-public-servant Comey served as a Trump foot soldier. 

James Comey became FBI director on September 4, 2013, and is scheduled to serve another 7 years. (Given adequate cause, the Director can be removed by the President.) 

On October 29th, Comey sent a letter to Congress that -- according to the New York Times -- reported that although the FBI had closed investigation on Hillary Clinton's email server, "Emails had surfaced in an unrelated case, which law enforcement officials said was an F.B.I. investigation into illicit text messages from Mr. Weiner to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. (Mr. Weiner, a former Democratic congressman from New York, is married to Huma Abedin, [Clinton's] top aide.) The F.B.I. would review the [newly discovered] emails to determine if they improperly contained classified information, which is tightly controlled by the government. Senior law enforcement officials said that it was unclear if any of the emails were from Mrs. Clinton’s private server." Subsequently, we learned that the suspect 650,000 emails were on a laptop belonging to Huma Abedin’s ex-husband, Anthony Weiner. 

During the previous Clinton email investigation, Huma Abedin gave the FBI all of her digital devices so they could examine them for incriminating emails. She did not give them Anthony Weiner’s laptop because she did not think that any of her emails were on it. Now the FBI has reason to believe that some of Huma Abedin emails are on Anthony’s laptop. 

How would Huma Abedin’s emails get on Anthony's laptop without her knowledge? Most likely, someone set up Anthony’s laptop to be the backup device for their in-home wireless network. If this turns out to be the case, then most times Huma Abedin accessed her email a "backup copy" was sent to Anthony's laptop. 

Before getting a search warrant (on October 31) the FBI presumably examined metadata -- that is, email routing information (as distinct from email content) -- for the emails and determined that some of them had an address that corresponded to Clinton's email server. For example, this could mean that among the 650,000 emails are personal messages sent by Huma Abedin (who had an email address on Clinton's server) to Anthony Weiner. 

What the FBI are looking for are emails between Clinton and Abedin that occurred during the period when Hillary was Secretary of State (2009-2013). Within this subset, the FBI will be searching for previously-undisclosed emails that contain classified information. 

How long will the FBI investigation take? Theoretically, it could be done in a week or two but it will undoubtedly take longer. 

News outlets report that Director Comey knew about Anthony Weiner's email trove at the beginning of October. Why did Comey wait four weeks to make his announcement? There are three possible explanations: 

1. A technical explanation is that it took FBI programmers several weeks to sift through the email metadata and discover that some emails belonged to Huma Abedin (or had the address for Clinton's email server). If this is true, then the slow process suggests the FBI are not going to discover anything else before November 8th. The technical explanation casts Comey in the best light. But it still does not answer the question of why he chose to reveal this information before the election. 

2. A sociological explanation of the October 29th announcement is that Comey responded to threat of mutiny within the FBI. A November 3rd Washington Post article indicated that Comey's action was the result of a long-standing feud between New York FBI agents and their bosses in Washington. The article indicated that some rogue agents were about to leak information about the Weiner email trove and, therefore, Comey's announcement was forced. (News reports indicated that Comey acted against the advice of the top leaders of the Justice Department and, perhaps, a violation of the "Hatch Act." 

In a November 5th interview , Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine suggested that, "there were people within the FBI actively working... to try to help the Trump campaign." Kaine tied these FBI agents to Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and a Trump-lieutenant. 

3. A political explanation is that Comey deliberately tried to affect the presidential election. There is a connection between Comey and the Trump campaign and the conduit is Rudy Giuliani. In 1983, Giuliani was appointed U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York. In 1987, Giuliani hired Comey as his assistant. Comey worked directly with Giuliani for three years. (From 2002-2003, Comey served in Giuliani's former position as U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York.) 

On October 25th, when discussing the state of the Trump campaign on"Fox & Friends," Giuliani said, "We got a couple of surprises left." On November 4th, once again speaking on Fox News , Giuliani confirmed that he knew about the FBI investigation into Anthony Weiner's email trove -- "Did I hear about it? You're darn right I heard about it." 

Whatever the reason for FBI Director Comey's October 29th announcement there is no doubt that it impacted the election. According to the 538 website, on October 29th Hillary Clinton had a 80 percent chance of winning the election; on November 6th she had a 66 percent chance. (During the same period her margin in the polls diminished by roughly two percentage points.) Comey's announcement not only impacted the Clinton-Trump race but also down-ballot races for control of the Senate and House. 

Whatever James Comey's motivation, his announcement was ill-advised. Clearly one of the early tasks for President Hillary Clinton will be ask Director Comey to resign and to initiate a shakeup of the FBI. 

Bob Burnett is a Berkeley writer. He can be reached at bburnett@sonic.net or www.bobburnett.net 
























New: Don't Miss This: Berkeley Mayoral Forum Video

video by Ken Bukowski
Saturday November 05, 2016 - 10:27:00 AM

Below you'll find a video of a forum that was held last Wednesday at the Hillside Club. The volunteer videographer, Ken Bukowski of Emeryville, got there about 10 minutes late, so take that into account when you watch it. 


Berkeley City Council candidate arrested in raid on homeless tent city

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday November 04, 2016 - 03:46:00 PM

Berkeley City Council candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple and at least two other people were arrested this morning when police raided a small homeless tent city that was set up to protest the way the city provides homeless services, a spokeswoman for Armstrong-Temple said. 

Armstrong-Temple's communications director Debra Avery said Armstrong-Temple, who is one of two candidates who are challenging three-term incumbent Darryl Moore in District 2 in West Berkeley, has been taken to the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. 

Police raided the tent city at the intersection of Adeline and Fairview streets, near the Ashby BART station, at about 5 a.m. today and Armstrong-Temple was one of many people who responded to homeless activist Mike Zint's call to come to the site for assistance, according to Avery. 

Armstrong-Temple was injured while she was being arrested for offering assistance to 70-year-old disabled activist Barbara Brust, who Avery said provides support at the corner of Adeline and Fairview streets. 

Avery said Brust, who founded Consider the Homeless, was also injured and taken into custody by police, according to an eyewitness account and videos of the incident. 

Berkeley police haven't released any information about the arrests and referred questions to city spokesman Matthai Chakko, who hasn't responded to a request for comment. 

Berkeley police did issue a traffic alert saying that there is a "civic demonstration" in the area of northbound Martin Luther King Jr. Way, north of Ashby Avenue. 

Avery said she understands that Zint, who's with the advocacy group First They Came for the Homeless, asked people to come to the area for a community march to protest the crackdown on the homeless encampment. 

About 20 homeless activists have set up encampments at several locations during the past month to protest homeless services coordinated by the Berkeley Food & Housing Project, also known as the HUB, which is located at 1901 Fairview Street at Adeline Street. 

The first small tent city was located in front of the HUB's office but after police and city officials moved people away from that location on Oct. 7 the protesters moved several blocks away to a median in the middle of Adeline Street between Ward and Stuart streets, near the Berkeley Bowl grocery store. 

The tent city was briefly moved across the street to Shattuck Avenue near the Kirala restaurant but then activists moved back to the pavement in front of the HUB about two weeks ago. 

Zint, who wasn't immediately available for comment today, said several weeks ago that homeless activists are upset with the city's new system for allocating aid to people who live on the street because they think the HUB is disorganized, makes it hard for people to get help and sends homeless people out of the area to get housing. 

Avery said the raid today was carried out by nearly two dozen Berkeley police officers and more than a dozen city workers. She said more than a dozen official city vehicles were deployed to tear down the encampment and dispose of the homeless people's property. 

Armstrong-Temple has been a constant supportive presence at the encampment, according to Avery. 

She said organizers, campaign staff and supporters are calling for the immediate release of Armstrong-Temple and asking for community support. 

Avery said police officers told Armstrong-Temple that she may be charged with lynching, which the California Penal Code defines as, "The taking by means of riot of any person from the lawful custody of any peace officer." 

Armstrong-Temple has been endorsed by actor and activist Danny Glover. 

The other candidate who is challenging Moore in the District 2 race is bookkeeper Cheryl Davila. 


CONTACT: City of Berkeley spokesman Matthai Chakko (510) 981-7008 Berkeley police (510) 981-5900 Debra Avery for Nanci Armstrong-Temple (510) 512-0410 


Copyright © 2016 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse

Tent City raid routs homeless sleepers, allies--protest moves to city hall steps

Carol Denney
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:26:00 PM
Cheryl Davila joined the growing protest over the latest eviction of homeless people on the steps of City Hall on Friday afternoon.
Carol Denney
Cheryl Davila joined the growing protest over the latest eviction of homeless people on the steps of City Hall on Friday afternoon.

The tent city protest at Adeline and Fairview was dismantled by dozens of city police at 5:00 am on Friday, November 4 leaving dozens of sleeping people scrambling to collect their belongings. Four people were arrested and charged with obstruction and resisting arrest including Nanci Armstrong-Temple, a council candidate for District 2, who was injured in the process. 

A truck full of belongings and tents was driven away from the plaza area, which was power-washed and fenced by city workers. The core of the protest group marched to city hall where around 1:00 pm they met with press, sympathetic community members, concerned council candidates, and at least one current City Council representative, Kriss Worthington. 

Officials have now barred the door to City Hall, keeping out protesters and other citizens alike. "Why are they criminalizing the homeless? They need to leave them alone," stated Cheryl Davila, candidate for District 2 who expressed special concern about the arrestees. "Where's the humanity?" 

Michael Diehl noted that one of those arrested, Barbara Brust, was brutally handled for demanding an itemized receipt, and that the officers had in his opinion purposefully blocked the Copwatch video cameras from recording the eviction. 

"They came to hurt us," said Mike Zint, one of the protest organizers, who had participated in a city meeting only a week before to make a case before the city that their peaceful group be granted some legal place to simply take care of themselves. 

"I'm sleep deprived, angry, and distressed," added Michael Diehl, an outreach worker who worked for years for Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency who is now homeless. "Get these fools off the council." 


Cheryl Davila joined the growing protest over the latest eviction of homeless people on the steps of City Hall on Friday afternoon.

Flash: Homeless encampment raided at 5:00 AM

J.P. Massar
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:00:00 PM

Best information I have:

Nanci Armstrong-Temple, D2 candidate for City Council, arrested, possibly for "lynching" and taken to Santa Rita.
Two other people arrested - one taken to the hospital (a young man) and one taken to Santa Rita (his mother).

FTCftH et al marched at noon from Fairview and Adeline to City Hall. Doors were locked.

Berkeleyside has an article up on the rousting:

My comment:

This is yet another horrendous example of criminalizing the homeless. But this time it comes with potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars or more of liability to the taxpayers of Berkeley. It is quite possible that excessive force and constitutional rights violations lawsuits will be filed, costing the city of Berkeley not only the cost of the settlements and legal fees, but City Attorney time and energy, not to mention the ridiculousness of employing a weaponized army at 5:00 AM to remove peacefully sleeping people.

Not only is this a possibility, but with the arrest of D2 candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple and her incarceration in Santa Rita on possible "lynching" charges, Berkeley could once again become a center of Black Lives Matter protest as happened in late 2014, and become a national disgrace.

Berkeley's powers that be could have chosen to leave the encampment alone. The bullshit about feces is, well, simply "not bullshit" because it was either planted to give them an excuse to clear the camp or never existed. The City of Berkeley has once again chosen stupidity over sense.

One week ago the City of Berkeley, City Council members, the encampers and homeless advocates and supporters sat down and had a peaceful, intelligent conversation. Four days later the City and the Council dumped feces on those who participated in that conversation, ignoring their concerns and filling their report with lies and innuendo.

This is no way to run a City.

If the Electoral College Fails, What Next? (News Analysis)

Gar Smith
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:50:00 AM

As the 2000 presidential race demonstrated, US elections can be—at worst—a meaningless sham in which the candidate who wins the popular vote can still be denied the presidency.

Even stranger, under the arcane rules of the US Electoral College, the 2016 presidential race could, in theory, result in a new administration consisting of a President Gary Johnson and Vice President Mike Pence.

Here's how that could happen.

Both Trump and Clinton remain profoundly unpopular with many voters. It takes a bare majority—270 of the Electoral College's 538 votes—to win the presidency.

On November 1, NBC's Chuck Todd noted that, in the wake of the latest FBI announcement about a new email investigation, Clinton's Electoral College lead had fallen to from 288 to 256 while Trump's total had jumped from 158 to 259—still leaving both short of the necessary 270 majority. 



So what happens if neither of the candidates garners the Electoral College's magic number? 

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) lays out the process as follows: "If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the president from the 3 Presidential candidates who receive the most Electoral votes." 

The House is currently dominated by a Republican majority that would favor Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. But if Trump continues to self-destruct, disgruntled Republicans would be free to choose third-place Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. 

Meanwhile, as the NARA's Federal Register explains: "The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes." 

Democratic Senators could be tempted to stymie the GOP's victory by nominating fellow Dem Tim Kaine—a candidate sworn to uphold the values enshrined in the Party Platform. Republicans, meanwhile, would maneuver to promote Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as vice president-elect. 

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's son, Donald Trump Jr., reportedly revealed that, if elected, his dad plans to hand over all the boring, day-to-day presidential duties to his vice president, thereby freeing Trump Sr. to concentrate on "making America great again." 

As CNN reported on July 21, 2016: "Multiple sources close to [Ohio Gov. John] Kasich said Trump's son, Donald Jr., tried to entice Kasich with a position as the most powerful vice president in history, but he turned it down. Kasich would have been in charge of all domestic and foreign policy in a Trump White House." [Emphasis added.] The Trump campaign denied the story but a subsequent New York Times report confirmed the account. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort bolstered the report during a May 2016 interview with the Huffington Post when he explained that Trump "needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn't want to do. He sees himself more as the chairman of the board." 

Trump-Kaine, Trump-Pence? Given Trump's fundamental disinterest in hands-in governing, either outcome could, for all practical matters, transform Kaine or Pence into a de facto president. 

This prospect might sway some politicians to consider a Gary Johnson presidency. 

With the increasing disharmony between Trump and the mainline GOP, there is another scenario that could wind up making either Kaine or Pence the next US president. Here's how it might unfold: 

Once again, citing the NARA's Federal Register: If the House fails to select a president by Inauguration Day, "the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House." 

While the House has never been called upon to select a president, the Senate has, in the past, intervened to approve a VP. This has only happened once. 

In 1836, Democrat Martin Van Buren secured enough Electoral College votes to become president, but his running mate, Richard M. Johnson, fell one vote shy of the mark. Johnson had to face off against Francis Granger, a Republican, who was the VP choice on the Whig Party ticket. 

(Further complicating matters, the Whig Party was split that year, so Granger's name appeared as VP on two presidential tickets—one for Whig candidate William Henry Harrison and another for Whig candidate Daniel Webster.) Ultimately, in the only "contingent election" in US history, Johnson was chosen to serve as Van Buren's VP by a Senate vote of 33-16. 

So, come Inauguration Day (and barring an imposed Johnson presidency), either Mike Pence or Tim Kaine could have his hands on the purse strings and the nuclear buttons. As to how the "deadlock" would be "resolved," that would be anyone's guess. 

Ironically, Trump is correct about one thing (albeit for all the wrong reasons): The system is "rigged." 

Even Vladimir Putin, after looking at the US model for presidential selections, recently scoffed: "You call that a democracy?" In Russia, presidential leaders are determined by a direct vote by the people. There is no Electoral College. Russia also holds its elections on Sundays, so people don't have to leave their jobs to vote. 

Despite Washington's rhetoric about "spreading democracy," many of our staunchest allies are monarchies or repressive regimes. Meanwhile, more than 100 of the world's nations already elect their leaders through open democratic elections. According to Wikipedia, the only countries beside the US that use an "indirect election"/Electoral College model are Estonia, Germany, India, Pakistan and Suriname. 

Given all of the above, wouldn't we be better off if we simply abandoned the Electoral College altogether and joined the majority of the world's nations that actually practice the kind of free, open and unmediated political engagement that arises from a direct, popular and democratic vote? 


Gar Smith is editor emeritus of Earth Island Journal, a Project Censored award-winning investigative journalist, and co-founder of Environmentalists Against War and the author of Nuclear Roulette: The Truth About the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012). A version of this article first appeared on TruthOut. 

Blacks for Trump.com: Is Donald Trump Being Played? (1050)

Gar Smith
Friday November 04, 2016 - 10:52:00 AM

Close observers of all-things-Trump recently were transfixed by the sight of someone holding a prominent position behind Donald Trump's back during a campaign appearance in Florida. A woman was holding a sign reading: "Blacks For Trump." And, oh yes, the woman happened to be white.

So who was this lady?

This question apparently didn't matter to The Donald. Anyone who says anything complimentary about Trump receives the candidate's unquestioning praise and flattery. Trump proudly picked up one of the signs and strutted it across the stage. "Blacks for Trump!" the candidate crowed, "I like these signs"

Trump had no idea that he was being used to endorse the online empire of a jet-skiing Biblical prophet, entrepreneur, soul singer and radio show host who believes that Hillary Clinton is not just evil, but "the Mother of Harlots" whose goal is either to (1) "Globalize the World" and/or, (2) to "send us all the HELL Rev.21:8" in an Atomic Armageddon.


In addition to the lone white woman, there also were several black pro-Trump men at the rally. All were holding the same sign and wearing the same T-shirt. It read: 

Trump & Republicans  

Are Not  



Mr. Trump probably never took the time to vet these supporters. If he had, he would have discovered a fascinating backstory. 

Had Trump visited the GODS2 website, he would have learned that he was providing a windfall of free publicity for a movement that preaches that 67 percent of Black women are "Eves" (destined to go to Heaven) while the rest are "Jezebels" ("strippers and prostitutes" headed to Hell). 

The first thing he would have seen on the GODS2 homepage was a huge headline: 

Hillary Will Start WWIII Judgment Day to Kill All Black Women of America 


Who Is Prince Michael Symonette? 

The founder of the GODS2.com is a compelling gentleman who claims to be the grandson of the first Black Prime Minister of the Bahamas and currently goes by a half-dozen names, including: Prince Michael Symonette, Michael Warns, Michael the Black Man, Maurice Woodside, Michael Nicholson, Michael/Maurice and Talk Show Host Michael Boss Radio. His current, preferred handle appears to be "Michaelwarns." 

The author of several self-published books (including Satan is Revealed: The Big Banks and Jezebel), Michaelwarns routinely hosts "Free Jet Ski Parties" at the Symonette Palace, his waterfront mansion in Miami. (Which, GODS2.COM lets you know, can be rented out for wedding receptions and birthday parties. 

(A video clip showing Michael performing onstage at one of his parties proves the man can really hold a note.) 

Michaelwarns reportedly once mounted a presidential campaign but that failed, he explains because "[I] didn’t have the right to run for president in America as dictated by Arabs, East Indians, Pakistanians (who are all sons of Ishmael) who have infiltrated & live in America & now secretly own America." 

The website features photos of Michaelwarns with the likes of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and videos of interviews with a BBC reporter and Alt-right newsman Andrew Breitbart. There are helpful links to Wikipedia essays including "100 Years of Lynching" and articles arguing that Democrats ("the same deceivers today, the Canaanites") are soley responsible for "the K.K.K., Jim Crow & Slavery." 

When it comes to the Access Hollywood tape of Trump's mysogenistic comments Michaelwarns comes to the defense by citing scripture: "Trump's Female problems are phony because God's Law says in Deut. 19:15-18, Exo.22:10 & the Constitution art.3 sec.3#1. says u must have 2 eye witnesses to prove Guilt." 

Michaelwarns posits that Barack Obama is The Beast, the Anti-Christ and an "Ishmaelite (East Indian From Kenya)." In addition, both Obama and Clinton are members of the Illuminati. 

Pillaring Hillary 

The current focus of GODS2.com is Hillary Clinton. GODS2 warns that Clinton hopes to unleash a nuclear war that will accomplish "the Trilateralist plans to bring earths population down from now 7 billion to 700 Million & the only way to do that is through a Nuclear war which is why they have built these under ground nuclear resistant cities for them only to survive." [Sic.] 

Michaelwarns offers some juicy images to press his argument that "Hillary is KKK." One purports to show Hillary in blackface at a party with Bill back when they were apparently still in college. Another shows her exchanging a kiss with Sen. Robert Byrd a former Grand Cyclops of the KKK. (According to Wkiipedia, Byrd only attained the position of Exalted Cyclops). There's a video clip of Hillary saying: "I admire [Planned Parenthood Founder] Margaret Sanger enormously"—followed by a photo of Sanger preaching eugenics to a white-robed crowd of female Klan members. 

The political equation is clearly drawn: Democrats are guilty of creating the KKK while Republicans are to be praised for ending slavery. 

"The White Man is not the devil. All good people from all nations will go to heaven. (Rev.7:9-17)" At the same time, another urgent message reads: 


(ISHMAEL) (arabs & East Indians) are killing us  

(Americans BLACK & WHITE) all over the world 

A related note proclaims: "The Ishmaelites Arabs & east Indians Always had Black American Hebrews in Slavery." 

Michael's arguments are bolstered with a plentitude of biblical footnotes—Among the faves: Isaiah 3:12, Isaiah 47:ch, Zachariah 11:5, Revelations 2:20, 1 Timothy 2:11-15, 2 Peter 3:5-12—and his accusations are rich with the familiar memes from the Conspiracist's Dictionary. Consider the following prizewinner: 

"Rockerfeller is Nimrod King Of The Canaanites & SAUD The king Of The Ishmaelites Masonic Illuminati Trilateralist Big Banks KKK. JP Morgan and the slave masters who are the KKK helped the Banks destroy America." 

The Yahweh ben Yahweh Cult 

Michaelwarns is a professed follower of Hulon Mitchell Jr., a charismatic cult leader who assumed the name Yahweh ben Yahweh (The Lord son of the Lord"). A former US Air Force veteran with a master's degree in economics from Atlanta University, Mitchell settled in the Liberty City region of Miami and declared himself a reincarnated Messiah. In 1990, Miami's mayor declared October 7 "Yahweh ben Yahweh Day in recognition of Mitchell's successful efforts to improve the neighborhood's living standards. 

A month later, Yahweh ben Yahweh and a dozen believers were indicted on 18 counts of racketeering, 14 murders (one of which involved a beheading), two attempted killings, extortion and arson. Yahweh was sentenced to 18 years in prison and died in 2007. 

On September 10, 2016, at a rally in Miami, Florida, Michaelwarns and a group calling itself "Blacks Support Donald Trump" blasted Crooked Hillary as murderer. The GODS2 website offers this corroboration: 

"(Google 'Hillary body count'). This is not to mention millions have died abroad due to her votes and supports for multiple wars in the Middle East, including those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, and Syria, unleashing and expanding ISIS from 8 to 28 countries within a decade, all in the interest of the globalists and her puppet paid master Islamofascist Saudi Arabia & Qatar."  

Well, actually, you can't really argue with that

You can watch Michael's endorsement of Trump's campaign at https://youtu.be/kwUyQBBYcfA. But, be forewarned: it goes on for 72 minutes.

Blacks for Trump: It's a Real Thing

Gar Smith
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:05:00 AM

The occasional "Blacks for Trump" placards that have been appearing (strategically positioned) at the candidate's back during Trump rallies, are not just a quirk. There actually are a number of vocal African American critics who would favor a Trump Upset over a Clinton Continuum. 

Noting the hatred that America's military actions have triggered around the world—from the Middle East to Africa—Black Muslim leader Louis Farakan recently observed

"When Mr. Trump said, 'We can't allow these Muslim refugees into America,'. . . . Mr. Trump, I think, is wise to vet anyone coming from that area." 

And then there's Pastor James Manning, founder of the Harlem-based ATLAH Blood of Jesus Worldwide Missionary Church. Manning has called Trump the best thing the Lord ever did for the planet Earth. Manning has even called Trump the "Black people's hero." 

(Note: A telling glimpse into the pastor's worldview can be seen in the welcoming sign outside Manning's church. It has prominently displayed the message: "Homos cursed be thou with cancer HIV syphilis stroke madness itch then Hell 1 Cor. 6:9.") 

In October 2016, Brunell Donald-Kyei, Vice-Chairwoman for the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, was invited to defend Trump on WGN News. Here is how she explained Trump's appeal: 

"His best answer is: 'I want to bring jobs.' Democrats care about the inner city when it's election time. After election time, what do you get? Zero. . . . Even though the truth is bitter, we have to swallow it.  

"The Democratic Party I voted for over 20 years of my life. I voted for Barack Obama when he said he was going to bring hope and change and, yes we can and no we didn't.  

"The jobs did not come, the investment in our community did not come, the national security—our borders are open, we're not safe.  

"We've got to stop thinking as black and white and purple and Arab. We've got to start thinking as Americans and that's what Donald Trump is saying: that we're Americans. America First." 

Meanwhile, the organization Blacks4Trump has posted a dozen or so videos sharing supporters' appearances on Fox News, The Sean Hannity Show, and personal testimonials from a series of proud Trump supporters—folks like Cory, Makada, and Patricia, who is described as a "Christian/Conservative/Retired Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran." Here is Patricia's video: 


And here is a statement from Cory, a Blacks4Trump co-founder who explains "How can a young black man support Donald J. Trump?": 


But it's not just ministers and media messengers who are campaigning to get out the Black Vote for Trump. A number of notable (and, in some cases, notorious) celebrities also have climbed aboard the Trump battlewagon. They include: 

Dr. Ben Carson, former boxer Mike Tyson, former NBA "bad boy" Latrell Sprewell, former NLF running back Herschel Walker, former NFL wide receiver Turrell Owens, Jimmy "The Rent Is Too Damn High" McMillian, and former Celebrity Apprentice rejectee Dennis Rodman (fired on task 5). 

One of Trump's most effective lines is that, over the past 30 years of Clinton's career, "things have not gotten better." Clinton's response continues to be: "Donald Trump does not have the temperament to be commander-in-chief!" (It doesn't help that Clinton angrily barks this cliché in a strident, annoying and—yes, intemperate—manner. 

A better response might be: "One of the reasons things have not gotten better over that past years is that a Republican controlled House and Senate has paralyzed the political process—refusing to pass federal budgets or even confirm a Supreme Court justice—out of partisan political spite." 

There is a high-level of impatience bubbling towards a froth on the national stove-top. And, with a choice between The Great Orange Unknown and More-of-the-Same, the pot is getting ready to boil over. 

Even Michael Moore has conceded that the situation is getting ready to blow. Moore recently offered this assessment of Campaign 2016: 

"Whether Trump 'means it or not' is not even relevant because he's saying the things to people who are hurting. That's why every beaten-down, nameless, forgotten working stiff who used to be part of what was called the Middle Class loves Trump. He is the Human Molotov Cocktail that they've been waiting for—the legal hand-grenade that they can legally throw into the system that stole their lives from them."  

On November 8, Moore fearfully envisions, the disposed are going to storm the polls and cast a vote to "blow up the goddamn System because IT IS THEIR RIGHT! The Trump election is going to be the biggest FUCK YOU! ever recorded in human history." 

Beyond the confines of urban and rural angst, there is another issue that troubles a good hunk of the electorate—Clinton's foreign policy. Clinton is a demonstrable war hawk who has applauded covert wars around the world (including arming the Taliban to fight the Russians in Afghanistan) and been intimately involved in the assassination of "targeted enemies" including Osama bin Laden and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. She has openly laughed about the murder of Gaddafi (who reportedly was raped by a bayonet before he was killed) and has called for the removal of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. Clinton was a party to the plot to overthrow the elected pro-Russian government in Ukraine and Clinton recently has called for the US to impose a "no-fly zone" over Syria (an act of aggression under international law that would compel US jets to engage in combat with Syrian and Russian aircraft).  

Top Russian officials have expressed alarm over the prospect of a Clinton presidency. On October 12, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, told Reuters that Trump was the only candidate interested in de-escalating rising tensions between Moscow and Washington. Zhirinovsky's warning was stark: 

Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere." 

Even Green Party candidate Jill Stein recently has indicated a lean towards Trump. On October 14, Stein tweeted: 

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy is much scarier than Donald Trump's, who does not want to got to war with Russia. #PeaceOffensive 

And Green Party VP Ajamu Baraka (who recently penned an essay titled "Why Hillary Clinton Is More Dangerous Than Donald Trump") recently tweeted in the same vein, noting: 

The danger to the rest of us is not Trump, but Hillary Clinton. 

Expecting people of color to fear Donald Trump after all we've been through the last 200 years, is absurd. 

On October 31, a flustered Green Party member shared the following concern on Facebook: 

A Clinton presidency is DANGEROUS . . . If a Trump presidency would mean that we have to fight ignorants in the streets—I'm ready for that. 

To which, Green Party leader Stein replied: 

I couldn't have said it better. 

Is that our choice? Are the times so desperate that we must chose between (1) domestic civil war and the institution of martial law or (2) the global annihilation that would result from a nuclear war? 

Would you be willing to sacrifice the US in order to save the planet? 

We appear to be on the brink of an outcome that could deprive millions of Americans—regardless of ancestry, religion, or skin color—of the most fundamental of rights: Our rights to life and liberty. 

Election Recommendations

Friday November 04, 2016 - 05:36:00 PM

A reader and friend has made a special request that we re-post our picks to take to the polls as cheat sheets, so here they are:

Berkeley Daily Planet Endorsements for the Berkeley City Races Becky O'Malley 10-08-2016 This one contains links to a PDF printable sheet with the Wellstone information.

Endorsements for state ballot measures Tim Redmond, San Francisco Bay Guardian 10-08-2016 Three sentence explanations of his ideas are very helpful.

Measures and Propositions: Progressive endorsers Margot Smith 10-07-2016 -- If you’re a chart person, or want to see a variety of points of view, take a look at this. You need to click on the chart to make it bigger.

Dayle Wayne 'Sundown" Bartlett

Friday November 04, 2016 - 10:50:00 AM
Dayle Wayne 'Sundown" Bartlett 1946-2016
Dayle Wayne 'Sundown" Bartlett 1946-2016

Dayle was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 4, 1946 to Albert Bartlett Sr.and Okalavia Helen Doeswell, both deceased. 

Dayle attended Washington University and earned a degree in history. From there he moved to Berkeley in 1970. Once in Berkeley, Dayle became close friends with Maudelle Shirek and her husband, with whom he lived while attending the Graduate Theological Union. Under Maudelle's mentorship, Dayle became a tireless advocate for the people. 

Dayle worked as Maudelle Shirek's chief aide from about 1987 to 2002 and wrote 353 pieces of legislation during that time. Notable achievements include Meals on Wheels, Disability Rights, and Senior Centers. Dayle worked with Maudelle, Ron Dellums and others to create the first sanctions against South Africa, and then to bring the new South African leader, Nelson Mandela, to Oakland.  

Dayle also worked for George Moscone when he was Mayor of San Francisco. He also worked with Hubert Humphrey on his presidential campaign; where they became close friends. Dayle was active in Democratic Party politics and served on the Alameda County Central Committee during the 1990's. 

Dayle valued the Fair Housing legacy of Berkeley's African American leaders such as Byron Rumford and Maudelle by working to maintain affordable housing in Berkeley for low-income African Americans. Dayle helped create the South Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corporation(SBNDC); and worked diligently to keep the SBNDC in good standing, even during his illness. 

Dayle mentored countless young people and served on the board of the Cooperative Credit Union and helped expand its membership so all South Berkeley residents were eligible to enjoy the benefits of membership. 

He worked throughout the Bay Area in Richmond, Oakland and San Francisco to help retain strong vibrant African American neighborhoods. Dale is featured in the documentary, North Richmond: Past, Present and Future by Doug Harris.  

In addition to his political work, Dayle was a talented musician who wrote music, played piano and sang. He was close friends with Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, and Cedar Walton, and often entertained other accomplished musicians when they were in town. 

Dayle was also a talented business man. He created a vitamin enriched hand lotion, a superfood product derived from kelp and an organic coffee line called Bartlett's Coffee. 

Dayle never faulted or neglected to speak truth to power. He was a strong beloved fighter for the rights of us all and his passing is a loss to the South Berkeley community he loved so much. 

Dayle is survived by his wife of 30 years, Joan Cardellino, his daughter, Chezia Bartlett, adopted daughter Christina McClain, sons Shine Benjamen Bartlett and Gaylen Conley, and grandson Mish Conley. 


A memorial will take place at 3 p.m.tomorrow, Saturday, November 5, at Berkeley Community Church,1802 Fairview in Berkeley, at the corner of Fairview and Ellis.



After all we've seen, we now have joy! OOPS...

Becky O'Malley
Friday November 04, 2016 - 02:49:00 PM

Well, the November Surprise happened, and it confirmed the worst Halloween nightmares. More later when I've had my six cups of coffee here in Ohio-- and it won't even be Peet's. Read Bob Burnett's column from three days ago if you really want to feel creepy. 

Only perhaps once in my life have I voted early. You never know what’s going to happen, I’ve always thought—better to keep your options open. What if there’s a November surprise?

But this year, mirabile dictu, I’ve already voted early. This is because my friend Jackie DeBose, former and I hope future Berkeley resident, has persuaded me to go to her current home in Akron Ohio to be a poll-watcher, since voter suppression by nutso Trumpers is a worry.

In four states, including Ohio, the Democratic Party has filed lawsuits against Trump and the Republican Party, accusing campaign officials and supporters of seeking to threaten minorities to keep them from voting.

Jackie tells me the NRA has been marching around in her neck of the woods. I figure they won’t shoot a little old White lady like me, at least not first. I’m taking along another Nasty Woman too, another lapsed lawyer like myself, but truthfully I don’t expect we’ll have all that much to do--we can’t practice in Ohio. We are, however, mouthy, which should be useful in the case of bad behavior. 

My first campaign was in the Midwest, Ann Arbor in 1962, when the big issue was enacting a fair housing law. My mentor, an older woman at 24 to my 22, was Lucy Jefferson, who was from Chicago and knew all about fixing elections. She insisted on lying down on her back and squiggling under the mechanical voting machine to be sure it wasn't rigged, much to the astonishment of the blue-haired Republican ladies who would never dream of doing anything illegal. I don't plan to try that this year. 

So how did I vote? Well, it’s a secret ballot, isn’t it, though as you might expect I mostly followed the Planet recommendations. In fact, I mostly followed the Wellstone Democratic Revival Club endorsements for local matters and Tim Redmond’s encore SF Bay Guardian recommendations for the state. 

Seldom in the past have Sex and Drugs been so prominent on the ballot. What turns out to be tricky are the cases where sneaky groups have put faux measures forward to confuse voters. Be careful about the state measures on the death penalty and plastic bags, and locally vote only U1 if you want to tax the big landlords. 

And when you vote for president, rejoice that you are able to vote for a woman at last. (I cannot believe that any Planet readers will choose Goofy Gary or Dreadful Donald.) 

Me, of course, I’ve already voted for a woman, at least in the Michigan primary in 1972: Shirley Chisholm, Unbossed and Unbought. 

(Here’s the time for a special shout-out to two candidates who were part of that glorious Chisholm campaign in California: Barbara Lee for Congress and Sandré Swanson for California State Senate—needless to say, I voted for both of them with pleasure in this election.) 

Now I’ve proudly voted for Hillary Clinton. Despite the unpleasantness of the presidential campaigns, I've lived to see an African-American president, and I hope to see a woman soon. 

As I once heard a gospel choir sing at St. Paul AME with Jackie: "After all I've seen, I still have joy!" 

Happy voting to you too!

The Editor's Back Fence

A Personal Note from Ohio

Tuesday November 08, 2016 - 07:22:00 AM

Okay, I'm not a weeper, but when these three showed up-grandmother, mom and granddaughter--my eyes felt pretty damp. Mom was wearing a Nasty Woman t-shirt under her white vest, despite Ohio's ban on electioneering garb in the polling place. All of them were wearing white, in tribute to the suffragists. This one's for Aunt Susan, grandma said. That would be Susan B. Anthony, I expect, but it's also for Sara Stratton Holmes, Ohio great great grandmother of my granddaughters, whose husband went to the Seneca Falls Suffrage convention to find the right kind of wife.

Civility Division, Divisiveness Section, Comic Footnote

Thursday November 03, 2016 - 08:24:00 PM

Here's a funny one with the personal touch from the always amusing Berkeleyside.com comments. Laurie Capitelli, candidate for mayor, wrote a pathetic, even heart-rending op-ed entitled:"Berkeley values: Divisiveness isn’t one of them".

One of the comments on it, responding to another commenter who listed opponent Jesse Arreguin's many, many endorsers, was this one:

East Bay Times endorsed Worthington, not Arreguin. They also endorsed Susan Wengraf, who is for some reason despises by [sic] the "Progressive" Alliance. Also the Berkeley Daily Planet is run by shameless tech millionaire NIMBYs who profit off the regional housing shortage. Hardly a reputable endorsement there.

Needless to say, Diego A-C. is a Capitelli endorser. 

Thanks to Rob Wrenn for setting him straight: 


Interesting comment in response to an op-ed about divisiveness. You'll have to explain exactly how the O'Malleys are "shameless tech millionaire NIMBYs who profit off the regional housing shortage". Profit how? Do you know them? Laurie hardly has to be negative, when you and others of his supporters will do it for him. 

Diego was appointed to the Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission in an ironic twist of fate by my Elmwood neighbor, now District Eight Councilmember, Lori Droste. 

Humorous admonition above the Berkeleyside comments section: "Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful." 

Uh-huh. Us Nasty Women just can't get no respect, can we? 

But shortly after I posted an early version of this, late Thursday night, the DA-C comment was deleted from the Bside site, presumably by the editors. Thanks, guys. 

But I do believe in freedom of speech, so I really have no objection to letting this Capitelli supporter reveal himself as much as he chooses, even if he's attacking me and my family. The voters benefit.  


Public Comment

New: Why Laurie Capitelli Shouldn’t Be Mayor, Why Jessie Arreguin Should: Equity & Jobs

Rick Auerbach, for West Berkeley Artisans & Industrial Companies
Friday November 04, 2016 - 06:54:00 PM

West Berkeley Artisans and Industrial Companies (WEBAIC) urges you not to support Laurie Capitelli for mayor, because of his central role in a destructive, multi-year, anti-equity effort to force out West Berkeley companies and their thousands of productive middle-wage jobs. Vote for Jesse Arreguin, who has been a consistently strong supporter of West Berkeley’s sustainable industrial maker and arts ecosystem and the thousands of good, family-wage jobs it provides. 

The effort to displace West Berkeley’s thousands of good jobs for people who typically have difficulty finding them – people without college degrees, people of color, and immigrants - was called the West Berkeley Project. Candidate Capitelli spent years pushing this plan whose goal was publicly stated at the time by his ally Mayor Tom Bates: “People need to get over this manufacturing thing” (at the Chamber of Commerce), and “We don’t really need to make anything here anymore – these jobs can go somewhere else” (at the public release of the City’s Green Collar Jobs Study showing hundreds of environmentally-friendly jobs in West Berkeley’s industrial zones). 

Those disturbing and dismissive statements would have stayed just words had not Mr. Capitelli energetically supported the West Berkeley Project and its myriad policies to remove industrial zoning protections that assured space for 320+ local-serving manufacturing, food processing, recycling, warehousing/wholesaling, and repair companies that provided the most good jobs (7000+) in Berkeley for the most disadvantaged. From SoHo to SoMa history clearly shows the West Berkeley Project’s wave of gentrification would also have swept away West Berkeley’s 1000+ artists working in 250+ studios. 

The Capitelli-endorsed West Berkeley Project was created minus any consultation with the thousands of people that would be most affected by it, evidencing a deep disdain for citizen participation. After WEBAIC forced the City to allow some input, this wrecking ball of a plan forced hundreds of citizens, workers, and company owners to spend thousands of hours defending their livelihoods and neighborhoods while costing the City five years of wasted staff time and untold sums of money pulled from taxpayers pockets. To assure its safe arrival at Council, Mr. Capitelli appointed a planning commissioner who voted consistently for the West Berkeley Project’s displacement policies and against the aligned interests of third-generation resident West Berkeley company owners and their employees. 

As staff for WEBAIC, I sat down with Mr. Capitelli for numerous negotiating sessions on the West Berkeley Project. Though intitally welcome, these negotiations did not result in acceptable compromise (WEBAIC was forced to accept one destructive compromise by his threat of a worse result at Council), His positions always hardened after consulting his developer/real estate associates, particularly regarding 75’ heights and large site Master Use Permit (MUP) policies that would have resulted in West Berkeley’s wholesale gentrification.  

Mr. Capitelli’s unwillingness to compromise on those issues ultimately led Council to place Measure T on the 2012 ballot. Strenuous efforts from citizens, businesses, and strong leadership from Council member Jessie Arreguin defeated Measure T. Despite Mr. Capitelli’s efforts, West Berkeley remains a vibrant (1% manufacturing & warehouse vacancy rate), local-serving and sustainable industrial maker and arts ecosystem providing thousands of good jobs, inspiring culture, steady revenue to the City, and important goods and services to the people. 

In a recent interview with WEBAIC, Mr. Capitelli revealed he’s open to picking up where he left off by changing zoning and expanding the MUP, even though a development of hundreds of thousands of square feet for life sciences on 8+ acres is going forward under existing zoning. West Berkeley’s diverse workforce - expected to be displaced under Mr. Capitelli’s policies - would be replaced by thousands of tech workers seeking to live here, pushing already inflated real estate prices even higher, completing Berkeley’s gentrification. 

Council member Capitelli’s 35-year high-end real estate career, where profit per square foot is preeminent, appears to have largely blinded him to the struggles of those on the middle and lower rungs. Real estate and development interests are providing more money to his campaign than any other sector. Mr. Capitelli - along with Council members Darryl Moore and Susan Wengraf - spent six years pushing policies that would have displaced the people and companies at the core of Berkeley’s equity and economic and ethnic diversity. That’s the antithesis of progressive.  

In this time of extreme inequality we need a mayor who puts the interests of everyday people first. Laurie’s a decent guy to have coffee with, but if you want a more equitable Berkeley, he won’t get us there and does not deserve your vote. 

Jessie Arreguin, the son of farmworkers who’s fought to keep Berkeley’s workforce and populace diverse, knows in his bones the struggles and dreams of the 99%. Bernie thinks Jessie’s the Mayor Berkeley deserves. WEBAIC agrees. Vote Jessie Arreguin for Mayor. 

Rick Auerbach is the staff of West Berkeley Artisans & Industrial Companies, a former consultant to Berkeley’s Economic Development Department/Arts Commission, a member of the Association of Bay Area Government’s Technical Advisory Committee on Priority Production Areas, and a 35-year resident of West Berkeley.

Charged to Protect and Serve, BPD Chose Violence for Berkeley's Homeless

Debra Avery Communications Director Nanci For Berkeley
Friday November 04, 2016 - 04:05:00 PM

District 2 Candidate Nanci Armstrong-Temple Injured In Early Morning Encampment Raid

This morning before dawn, Berkeley Police raided and began the forced relocation of the homeless encampment at Adeline and Fairview. Nanci Armstrong-Temple, grassroots organizer and candidate for Berkeley City Council District 2 was injured while being arrested for offering assistance to disabled activist Barbara Brust, who provides support on that corner. First word from Santa Rita County Jail is that Armstrong-Temple may be charged with lynching. 

According to one eyewitness account and video documentation, Brust, a 70-year-old community activist and founder of Consider the Homeless ( www.considerthehomeless.org ) was also injured and taken into custody by police. At least two other residents of the encampment were arrested and injured. 

The raid was carried out by nearly two dozen Berkeley Police officers and more than a dozen City workers. Over a dozen official city vehicles were deployed to tear down the encampment and dispose of the private property of these Berkeley residents. 

Nanci Armstrong-Temple has been a constant supportive presence at the encampment. “I believe these neighbors are an essential part of the fabric of our City,” Armstrong-Temple said. “People shouldn’t be forced to live on the streets, but if they are, their rights for dignity and selfdetermination shouldn’t be ignored.” Nanci visits these neighbors frequently, providing support to them in the form of the kind of neighborly care offered to people who live next door - careful listening, sharing stories, telling jokes, and even bringing broth to the ones who aren’t feeling well. 

Organizers, campaign staff and supporters are calling for the immediate release of Armstrong- Temple and asking for community support. The campaign website for Nanci for Berkeley is www.nanciforberkeley.vote . Her candidacy has been endorsed by Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, Danny Glover, W. Kamau Bell and Cal Democrats

Lest We Forget

Bruce Joffe
Friday November 04, 2016 - 12:27:00 PM

I've posted some useful and interesting links to news stories to keep in mind before voting on November 8. Also a few humorous links as well. While I'm probably preaching to the choir, you are welcome to redistribute the links to anyone whom you think may need a reminder.
The links are at my blog, www.athousandbubbles.weebly.com. Scroll down, past the Trumpkins.

When More is Less in Berkeley Politics

Gene Bernardi SuperBOLD (Berkeleyans Organizing for Liberty Defense) formerly Library Defense
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:23:00 AM

Bad news for “More Open” Government appears to be coming down the pipeline based on a recent Berkeley City Council vote which only long time Councilmember, and Mayoral candidate, Kriss Worthington fortunately opposed. It was approved by Mayoral Candidates Arreguin and Capitelli. 

Councilmembers Arreguin, Capitelli, Wengraf and Droste comprise the City Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on a More Open Government. On September 13, 2016 the City Council voted, with only Councilmember Worthington abstaining, to approve the Committee’s recommendation for a Worksession in early 2017 to consider a plan that will deny many members of the public the right to speak at City Council meetings. This retrograde plan accomplishes this by: 1) Reinstituting speaker cards for all persons who wish to speak; 2) Limiting the amount of time allowed for public comment on each agenda item; 3) Cutting down the number of speakers on an agenda item by lottery in order to fit the time allotted. 

Apparently Mayoral candidate Kriss Worthington is the only Berkeley City Councilmember who remembers, or wishes to remember, Berkeley history. In 2006-07 Mayor Bates and the Council instituted new Public Comment procedures on agenda items. This stopped the use of a speaker card lottery. Annulling the lottery method for limiting the number of public speakers now allows all persons who wish to speak on an agenda item to do so. This change in Public Comment procedure evolved in response to a lawsuit threatened by The First Amendment Project (FAP) representing SuperBOLD. FAP had convinced the Council that, by using a speaker card lottery and denying some members of the public their right to speak, it was violating California’s Brown Act. For this work in advocating government more open to public participation, the Society of Professional Journalists in 2008 awarded SuperBOLD the James Madison Freedom of Information Award in the Citizen category. 

If you believe in participatory representative government and you want to retain your right to speak at City Council meetings, vote for Kriss Worthington for Mayor on November 8. 

Also watch for the early 2017 Worksession on “More Open” Government which may shut you out. If the Council wants shorter meetings they could meet more frequently. Only ONE meeting, October 18, was scheduled for this month!

Rigged Election

Jagjit Singh
Tuesday November 01, 2016 - 12:24:00 PM

Donald Trump is right. The historic 2016 election is turning out to be rigged, forcing the Democratic Party to file lawsuits in four battleground states—Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and Pennsylvania—alleging Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party are "conspiring to threaten, intimidate, and thereby prevent minority voters in urban neighborhoods from voting." Citing the Voting Rights Act and the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act in its filing, the Ohio Democratic Party alleges, "Trump has sought to advance his campaign’s goal of 'voter suppression' by using the loudest microphone in the nation to implore his supporters to engage in unlawful intimidation." The suit also names Trump adviser Roger Stone and his super PAC as ‘co-conspirators’.  

Trump has repeatedly urged his supporters to monitor polling booths (code words for intimidation) on Election Day. The North Carolina NAACP has further amplified their concern by filing a federal lawsuit seeking an immediate injunction to stop the state and various county boards of elections from illegally invalidating the registrations of thousands of voters. The NAACP alleges African-American voters are being unfairly targeted in a coordinated effort to suppress the black vote in the state. 

To make matters worse, a prominent white nationalist has bankrolled robocalls to be made in Utah urging voters to back Trump over the third-party candidate Evan McMullin. 

I propose November 9, be decalred a national holiday so our weary nation can recover from PED (post-election disorder). 

The Main Reason to Reject That Guy

Bruce Joffe
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:26:00 AM

t's not just because he is being investigated by the FBI for nefarious ties to Russia that Trump should be rejected. It's not only his disrespectful, misogynistic words and actions toward women. It's not just because he bribed the Florida Attorney General, using money from his charitable foundation, to remove Florida from indicting him for Trump University. It's not his history of business bankruptcies and not paying construction tradespeople. It's not even because he called for more countries to get nuclear weapons, and for the U.S. to stop supporting NATO. 

The main reason for rejecting Trump is his denial of global climate change which threatens our very existence (www.BeforeTheFlood.com). Concerted actions to shift from carbon-based energy to solar and wind power are needed, now, to prevent catastrophic flooding, drought, and sea-level rise. Yet, the Huckster Candidate calls it a "hoax." 

We need Hillary's knowledge, experience and temperament to preserve and improve our country, and the planet on which we live.

Big Oil and No on 56

Gar Smith
Friday November 04, 2016 - 01:44:00 PM
Gar Smith

"Politics makes strange bedfellows," they say. But not in this case. Two of the most evil industries in the annals of Capitalism recently hooked up to oppose the anti-tobacco measure on the Tuesday ballot. In the run-up to the November election, gas pumps at the Shell station on the 1200 block of University Avenue suddenly sprouted campaign hangers for the No on 56 campaign. Makes sense. Big Tobacco knew their cigs were killing people but lied about it for decades to protect their profits. Same with Big Petrol. The oil moguls knew for years that burning their product was poisoning the air, causing human illness, and trashing the planet's climate. And, for decades, they lied about it to protect their profits. This gas-pump collusion of Big Cig and Big Oil carries a clear message: It's proof that "bad fellows make strange politics."

Measure RR

Carole Lau
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:22:00 AM

As a student who lives in a community that is walking distance to my high school, traffic has never been an issue for me when I go to and from school. However, my mom always has to plan her schedule around the traffic on both I-880 and I-680. For her and many others, traffic congestion is a major problem.  

That’s why I was happy to learn that Measure RR will prevent breakdowns and delays, increasing BART’s capacity, and thus, relieve Bay Area traffic. In fact, putting more cars on the road would mean an increase in air pollution. 

Not only will Measure RR combat traffic congestion, but the plan will also authorize BART to modernize its electrical infrastructure. With more and more people choosing BART as their preferred mode of transportation, it is no wonder that changes will be necessary to ensure the 44-year-old system’s efficiency. Worn down rails have to be replaced, tunnel walls with water damage need repairs, and the old control system requires an upgrade. 

This November, people will have the chance to make travel safer, more reliable, and more efficient for everyone. We need BART and BART needs us! Join all those who care, and vote YES on Measure RR!


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:Irish Neutrality & The U.S.

Conn Hallinan
Monday October 31, 2016 - 11:40:00 AM

“We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.”

Proclamation of Easter Week 1916

Controlling their own destiny has always been a bit of a preoccupation for the Irish, in large part because for 735 years someone else was in charge. From the Norman invasion in 1169 to the establishment of the Free State in 1922, Ireland’s political and economic life was not its own to determine. Its young men were shipped off to fight England’s colonial battles half a world away, at Isandlwana, Dum Dum, Omdurman and Kut. Almost 50,000 died in World War I, choking on gas at Ypres, clinging desperately to a beachhead at Gallipoli, or marching into German machine guns at the Somme.

When the Irish finally cast off their colonial yoke, they pledged never again to be cannon fodder in other nation’s wars, a pledge that has now been undermined by the U.S. Once again, a powerful nation—with the acquiescence of the Dublin government—has put the Irish in harm’s way. 

The flashpoint for this is Shannon Airport, located in County Clare on Ireland’s west coast. Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on Washington and New York, some 2.5 million U.S. troops have passed through the airport on their way to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The Shannon hub has become so important to the U.S. that it hosts a permanent U.S. staff officer to direct traffic. It is, in the words of the peace organization Shannonwatch, “a US forward operating base.” 


The airport has also been tied to dozens of CIA “rendition” flights, where prisoners seized in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan were shipped to various “black sites” in Europe, Asia, and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. 

Irish peace activists and members of the Irish parliament, or Oireachtas Elreann, charge that an agreement between the Irish government and Washington to allow the transiting of troops and aircraft through Shannon not only violates Irish neutrality it violates international law. 

“The logistical support for the U.S. military and CIA at Shannon is a contravention of Ireland’s neutrality,” says John Lannon of the peace group Shannonwatch, and has “contributed to death, torture, starvation, forced displacement and a range of other human rights abuses.” 

Ireland is not a member of NATO, and it is considered officially neutral. But “neutral” in Ireland can be a slippery term. The government claims that Ireland is “militarily neutral”—it doesn’t belong to any military alliances—but not “politically neutral.” 

But the term militarily neutral “does not exist in international law,” says Karen Devine, an expert on neutrality at the City of Dublin’s School of Law & Government. “The decision to aid belligerents in war is…incompatible with Article 2 of the Fifth Hague Convention on the Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land.” Devine argues that “the Irish government’s decision to permit the transit of hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers through Shannon Airport on their way to the Iraq War in 2003 violated international law on neutrality and set it apart from European neutrals who refused such permission.” 

Article 2 of the Convention states, “Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions or war supplies across the territory of a neutral power.” 

Ireland has not ratified the Hague Convention but according to British international law expert Iain Scobbie, the country is still bound by international law because Article 29 of the Irish Constitution states, “Ireland accepts the generally recognized principle of international law as its rule of conduct in relations with other states.” 

The UN Security Council did not endorse the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, making both conflicts technically illegal. Then UN General Secretary Kofi Annan said that the invasions “were not in conformity with the UN Charter. From our point of view, from the Charter’s point of view,” the invasions were “illegal.” 

Shannonwatch’s Lannon says the agreement also violates the 1952 Air Navigation Foreign Military Aircraft Order that requires that “aircraft must be unarmed, carry no arms, ammunition and explosives, and must not engage in intelligence gathering and that the flights in question must not form part of a military exercises or operations.” 

The Dublin government claims all US aircraft adhere to the 1952 order, although it refuses to inspect aircraft or allow any independent inspection. According to retired Irish Army Captain Tom Clonan, the Irish Times security analyst, the soldiers are armed but leave their weapons on board the transports—generally Hercules C-130s—while they stretch their legs after the long cross Atlantic flight. Airport employees have also seen soldiers with their weapons. 

The Irish government also says that it has been assured that no rendition flights have flown through Shannon, but Shannonwatch activists have tracked flights in and out of the airport. As for “assurances,” Washington “assured” the British government that no rendition flights used British airports, but in 2008 then Foreign Secretary Ed Miliband told Parliament that such flights did use the United Kingdom controlled island of Diego Garcia. 

Investigative journalist’s Mark Danner’s book Spiral chronicles the grotesque nature of some of the “enhanced interrogation” techniques inflicted on those prisoners. The rendition program violated the 1987 UN Convention Against Torture, which Ireland is a party to. 

Roslyn Fuller, Dublin-based scholar and author of Beasts and Gods: How Democracy Changed Its Meaning And Lost Its Way, says terror suspects were taken to sites where “in an appalling re-run of the Spanish Inquisition tactics, [they were] routinely tortured and mistreated in an attempt to obtain confessions and other information.” 

Fuller points out that Article 11 of the Hague Convention requires that troops belonging to a “belligerent” army must be interned. “In other words, any country that would like to call itself neutral is obligated to prevent warring parties from moving troops though its territory and to gently scoop up anyone attempting to contravene this principle.” 

Besides violating international law, Ireland is harvesting “the bitter fruits of the Iraq and Afghan wars” and NATO’s military intervention in Libya, charges MP Richard Boyd Barrett of the People Before Profit Party and chair of the Irish Anti-War Movement. “The grotesque images of children and families washed up on Europe’s shores, desperate refugees, risking and losing their lives,” he says, “are the direct result of disastrous wars waged by the US, the UK and other major western powers over the last 12 years.” 

The Irish government, says Barrett, has “colluded with war crimes and actions for which we are now witnessing the most terrible consequences.” 

The government has waived all traffic control costs on military flights, costing Dublin about $45 million from 2003 to 2015. Ireland is currently running one of the highest per capita debts in Europe and has applied austerity measures that have reduced pensions and severely cut social services, health programs and education. Other neutral European countries, like Finland, Austria and Switzerland charge the US military fees for using their airspace. 

Shannon might also make Ireland collateral damage in the war on terror, according to the Irish Times’ Clonan. Irish citizens are now seen as a “hostile party,” and British Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary has named Shannon a “legitimate target,” according to Irish journalist Danielle Ryan. 

The Dublin government has generally avoided open discussion of the issue, and when it comes up, ministers tend to get evasive. In response to the charge that Shannon hosted rendition flights, then Minister of Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said, “If anyone has evidence of any of these flights please give me a call and I will have it investigated.” But even though Amnesty International produced flights logs for 50 rendition landings at Shannon, the government did nothing. Investigations by the Council on Europe and European Parliament also confirmed rendition flights through Shannon. 

Peace activists charge that attempts to raise the issue in the Irish parliament have met with a combination of stonewalling and half-truths. Apparently kissing the Blarney Stone is not just for tourists. 

The government’s position finds little support among the electorate. Depending on how the questions are asked, polls indicate that between 55 and 58 percent of the Irish oppose allowing US transports to land at Shannon, and between 57 to 76 percent want to add a neutrality clause to the constitution. 

The “forward base” status of Shannon puts the west of Ireland in the crosshairs in the event of a war with Russia. While that might seem far-fetched, in 2015 NATO held 14 military maneuvers directed at Russia, and relations between NATO, the US and Moscow are at their lowest point since the height of the Cold War. 

Of course Ireland is not alone in putting itself in harm’s way. The US has more than 800 bases worldwide, bases that might well be targeted in a nuclear war with China or Russia. Local populations have little say over the construction of these bases, but they would be the first casualties in a conflict. 

For centuries Ireland was colonialism’s laboratory. The policies used to enchain its people—religious division and ethnic hatred— were tested out and then shipped off to India, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Guyana, and Irish soldiers populate colonial graveyards on all four continents, now, once again, Ireland has been drawn into a conflict that is has no stake in. 

Not that the Irish have taken this lying down. Scores of activists have invaded Shannon to block military flights and, on occasion, to attack aircraft with axes and hammers. “Pit stop of death” was one slogan peace demonstrators painted on a hanger at the airport. 

That resistance harkens back to the 1916 Easter Rebellion’s proclamation that ends with the words that ring as true today as they did a century ago: “In this supreme hour the Irish nation must, by its valor and discipline and by the readiness of its children to sacrifice themselves for the common good, prove itself worthy of the august destiny to which it is called.” 


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









ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Donald Trump's Conspiracy Theories Resemble Psychosis

Jack Bragen
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:28:00 AM

Whenever news comes out that is unfavorable to Donald Trump's public image, Trump habitually cries that it is a conspiracy theory. Does he truly believe this, or is he lying outright and playing upon his followers' mental vulnerabilities? And which one of these is worse?  

Donald Trump complains of a "rigged" election. For this, President Obama rightly called Trump a "whiner."  

Regardless of whether Trump is merely a pathological liar or partially psychotic, he has the power of inducing collective psychosis in the minds of his followers. This is a very bad thing.  

It means that even should he lose the election, he will have a cult following that will resemble the tsunami of cults. A third of voters are completely enamored of him, don't care if he lies, don't care if he abuses his power, and don't care about any of the multiple wrongs he has done to people. Trump has some sort of mind control power, over a large percentage of people. That is very dangerous. 

Following the election, I just wonder what we are going to see in terms of protest or retaliation assuming Trump loses. (This, however, we should not assume, and we had all better get out and vote.)  

Even if Trump loses the election, he is left with psychological power over millions of people. I fear we could be looking at some kind of civil war. Following the election, President Obama will have about two months left in office. It will be up to him and the outgoing Congress to deal with the initial chaos that might follow the election.  

Once Clinton and the new Congress take office, they may have their hands full at the prospect of unifying the country, since Trump supporters probably will not want to be unified. We will be up against the NRA, white supremacists, and millions of other people who are oddly enamored with Mr. Trump.  

Or, if Donald Trump takes the Presidency, we could see mass protests about him taking office. However, those who object to Trump probably aren't going to have the same level of violence. 

Is Donald Trump psychotic? Is he a pathological liar? Either way, things could get dicey.  

And what does this mean to persons with psychiatric disabilities? We may be in the rare category of "sane" people, after all. Persons with psychiatric disabilities for the most part already acknowledge that we have minds that can fool us. Thus, we may have more immunity to the socially induced psychosis that affects followers of Trump. 

However, should Trump be elected, our public benefits that are a lifeline to disabled people, including Social Security Disability Insurance, HUD, Medicare, and Medicaid, may all be jeopardized. This could happen due to some cruel edict of the Trump Administration, or it could happen due to the government going bankrupt, something that could very well happen under Donald Trump. 

However, we will be in good company.

Arts & Events

Gustavo Dudamel & Los Angeles Philharmonic Perform Mahler’s 9th Symphony

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Friday November 04, 2016 - 11:04:00 AM

In the second of two concerts at Davies Hall by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, their Music Director Gustavo Dudamel led his orchestra in a gripping performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No.9 in D Major. Mahler’s 9th was his last completed symphony; and although upon finishing it he immediately began a never completed 10th Symphony, his 9th is often considered the composer’s farewell to the world. However, some, including Gustavo Dudamel, see Mahler’s 9th Symphony as the composer’s reaffirmation of life even in the shadow of death. To be sure, shadows of death certainly hung over this symphony’s composition. Mahler began writing it in 1909, two years after the sudden death of his four and a half year-old daughter Maria, who succumbed to scarlet fever and diphtheria. A few days later Mahler himself was diagnosed with serious heart problems and was put on a regimen of restricted activity. Leonard Bernstein suggested that the opening measures of Mahler’s 9th Symphony proceed with a halting rhythm that may reflect Mahler’s awareness of his own faltering heartbeat. Mahler never lived to hear his 9th Symphony performed. His friend Bruno Walter conducted the premiere with the Vienna Philharmonic eleven months after Mahler’s death on May 18, 1911. 

With Gustavo Dudamel conducting, the Los Angeles Philharmonic played this symphony’s opening measures as if they were forlorn sighs, each repeated two-note phrase reminiscent of inhalation/exhalation and ending with a descent. Cellos and horn set the tone, aided by a harp, then another horn. A melody was introduced by the second violins, and this melody became a duet when a horn picked it up and engaged with the strings. The accompaniment was led by the harp, clarinet and lower strings. An element of sharp anguish intervened as the orchestra ratcheted up in volume in a stormy build-up of tension, all based, however, on the halting rhythm of the binary opening notes. After a searing trumpet blast signaled a certain climax of anguish, the music suddenly became calm again. A coda offered the slowest tempo yet and a quiet fading away of sound, as the opening movement went silent.  

The second movement features three different dance-tunes – a Ländler, full of leisurely exuberance, a quicker paced waltz, and another Ländler, this one starting out in leisurely fashion but becoming almost feverish. In contrast to the first movement, here there is no introspection, and all is earthbound. The third movement, marked Rondo burleske, functions almost in the way Mahler’s scherzos function. That is, it offers violent energy and a bizarre character full of bitterness and scorn, culminating in a fiercely sardonic fortissimo climax.  

The fourth and final movement, after an opening outcry of the violins, returns us to the introspection of the opening movement. A lonely bassoon offers a brief poignant phrase. There ensue alternations of dynamics reminiscent of Bruckner, until the quiet mood wins out and the music begins slowly to disintegrate. In whispered tones and faltering rhythms, Mahler’s 9th Symphony drifts gradually and peacefully into silence, leaving us feeling both forlorn and yet serene in resignation. Long after the last infinitely poignant note had faded away, Gustavo Dudamel remained taut, totally and intensely immersed in the music, as if he were reluctant to break its somber yet profound mood. He held this taut position for a long minute, finally letting his arms drop and his body relax, thereby inspiring an appreciative audience to burst into enthusiastic applause in appreciation of Dudamel’s commitment to this music and a gripping performance of Mahler’s immensely moving 9th Symphony.