Families Belong Together demonstrate at El Cerrito Plaza on Thursday.
Carolyn Norr
Families Belong Together demonstrate at El Cerrito Plaza on Thursday.

Extra

Jury Finds Berkeley Protesters Not Guilty in Assault Case

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday June 18, 2018 - 07:33:00 PM

An Alameda County Superior Court jury today found five protesters not guilty of misdemeanor assault charges that were based on allegations that they attacked a President Trump supporter at a rally in Berkeley last year. -more-



Page One

City of Berkeley and SEIU Dodge Strike

Keith Burbank (BCN)
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 10:14:00 AM

A strike was averted in Berkeley when city administrators today agreed to wage and safety measures with nearly 600 union workers, union officials said. -more-



Berkeley Landlord Charged with Shooting Tenant

Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Friday June 15, 2018 - 05:44:00 PM

A 75-year-old man was charged today with premeditated attempted murder and assault with a semi-automatic firearm for allegedly shooting his 39-year-old tenant in Berkeley on Wednesday morning, police and prosecutors said. -more-



Public Comment

A Mother Speaks for Migrant Children

Carolyn Norr
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:59:00 AM

My boys are almost four and six-and-a half now, and sleep in their own bunk bed. But sometimes, they wake up, startled by some bad dream, or thirsty, or needing reassurance. Always, when they do, they call, “Mama!” and I wake from my own sleep to soothe them. Now, when they do, a thought comes to me, as I smooth my child’s hair and tuck him back in: that our government is moving to deny this type of reassurance to some children as a matter of policy. That our government has made a conscious, intentional decision to refuse some mothers the basic human right to comfort and protect their children, their toddlers, their babies.

The memory that comes to me when I wake is of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen announcing last week that every person who arrives at the US border without documents will be treated as a criminal, which means that their children, even as young as a year old, will be literally torn from their arms. This has already happened to more than 1900 kids. A baby was torn from her mother as she breastfed; the mother was handcuffed for resisting. Children are being kept in cages, parents can hear them screaming but are unable to comfort them. One father we know of took his own life when he was unable to stop them from snatching his toddler. ICE is planning tent cities to house the children stolen from their families.

There is no justification for this kind of terrorism. -more-


Does The Equal Pay Act Actually Equalize?

Harry Brill
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:47:00 AM

Recently, several progressive and feminist organizations celebrated the 55th year of the Equal Pay Act, which mandates that women receive the same pay and amenities as men for engaging in jobs that have similar levels of skills and responsibilities. The law is broadly defined to cover jobs with different specific skills. The main purpose of the law is to assure that employers do not economically discriminate against women by paying less than what men earn for performing similar work.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against various minority groups, including women. If EEOC concurs with an employee's complaint, it can first attempt to settle the charge. It that doesn't succeed, EEOC can then file a law suit on behalf of the person who complained. If EEOC prevails, but the employer violates the law again, the agency can recommend that the employer be sentenced up to six months in prison. It is refreshing to find a law that at least on paper views white collar wrongdoing as a criminal offense. -more-


Gaza Revisited

Jagjit Singh
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 10:09:00 AM

Israeli soldiers have killed at least 119 Palestinians and wounded more than 13,000 since the Palestinians’ nonviolent Great March of Return protests began on March 30. -more-


Editorial

Families Belong Together, Taking Action

Becky O'Malley
Friday June 15, 2018 - 05:33:00 PM

By the time we heard about the rallies yesterday sponsored by Families Belong Together it was too late to go to them. Today (Friday, June 15) I did call Anna Tarkov, the press contact whom the Bay City News article listed for the organization . She’s in Chicago, and didn’t know much about how the planned events had turned about, nor about any plans for the future, but she took my phone number and said she’d pass it along to the local organizers.

From their web site and Facebook page I learned that they seem to be organized in the contemporary decentralized internet model pioneered by MoveOn.com. In this group, local volunteers can designate a location for supporters to gather as the spirit moves them. Around here, they were supposed to meet yesterday in Concord, El Cerrito Plaza, San Jose, Watsonville…a diverse collection of places outside the usual SF-Oakland-Berkeley orbit.

Many of us in Berkeley seem to be suffering from outrage fatigue, watching too much Rachel Maddow and learning too often about the travesty du jour. No action was planned here.

But when I heard evil Jeff Sessions smirking about tearing babies from their mothers’ arms, I was more upset than I’d been about anything else in the last round of disgusting behaviors. Somehow lying, cheating and stealing, the hallmarks of the Trump regime, have gotten to be old hat, but tearing up families …let’s just say I cried real tears over Michelle Goldberg’s column in my morning Times detailing what they’re doing to the children they seize at the border. I suspect many of my grandmother peers had the same reaction.

A flunky economist who’s part of the Trump gang said (and of course then walked back) that there would be “a special place in hell” for Justin Trudeau because he mildly reproved Trump for trying to start a war with China.

I don’t think so. In fact , most of the remaining special places in hell are already taken, being saved for that economist and the profane crowd he runs with, and one Jeff Sessions has just moved up to the top of the waiting list. -more-


Columns

New: DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:The Spanish Labyrinth

Conn Hallinan
Friday June 15, 2018 - 10:03:00 AM

As the socialist-led government takes over in Spain, newly minted Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez faces at least two daunting tasks: cleaning up the wreckage wrought by years of European Union (EU) enforced austerity and resolving the Catalan crisis exacerbated by Madrid’s violent reaction to last fall’s independence referendum. Unfortunately, his Party’s track record is not exactly sterling on either issue. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Donald Trump, Russian Agent

Bob Burnett
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:39:00 AM

511 days into the Trump presidency it's clear that Donald is the most destructive US President in recent history. He's divided the nation, alienated our historic allies, and made worse the planet's most pressing problems. Although there are several possible explanations for Trump's disastrous behavior, it's likely that he is acting on behalf of Russia. -more-


ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Wealth and Fame Are Not the Cure

Jack Bragen
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:50:00 AM

Over the many centuries of civilization, people who have experienced disturbances in their lives and minds have provided many of the greatest contributions to society. -more-


ECLECTIC RANT: Trump Doing Putin’s Work

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 10:11:00 AM

At the Group of Seven (G7) meeting on June 8, President Trump called for the readmission of Russia into the group. Russia was tossed out of the Group after it annexed Crimea and intervened in the Ukraine and did so even after Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election. Soon there will be only a de facto G6 Group. -more-


Arts & Events

The Ring, Or Wagner as Scam Artist

James Roy MacBean
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:52:00 AM

Ernest Newman famously wrote of Wagner that “The ‘problems’ of his operas are generally problems of his own personality and circumstances. His art, like his life, is all unconscious egoism.” Discussing both Verdi and Wagner, Peter Conrad wrote that “For Verdi there is no god, so music must fill up the absence; for Wagner there is no god, so he must personally assume the role.” Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, currently mounted by San Francisco Opera in all its 17-hour glory mixed with tedium, (or is it tedium mixed with occasional glory?), is Richard Wagner’s arrogant attempt to rewrite the history of the world and cast it in his own image. Opening night of the first Ring cycle was Tuesday, June 12, for Das Rheingold. Two more complete Ring cycles will continue through July 1. -more-


DIE WALKÜRE Reaches THE RING’s High Point

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 09:56:00 AM

On Wednesday, June 13, San Francisco Opera opened Die Walküre, the second in Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungen. Unlike the other operas in The Ring, which often get bogged down in tedious exposition, Die Walküre soars from beginning to end. Act I of Die Walkure presents the love of Siegmund and Sieglinde. Wagner, the ultimate narcissist, depicts the ideal love as one between twins separated early in childhood. In other words, for Wagner, the ideal love is for someone as much like himself as possible. Thus, when Siegmund and Sieglinde meet, it is love at first sight. -more-


Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 18-23

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Alliance
Saturday June 16, 2018 - 11:14:00 AM

June 26 City Council meeting is available for comment email council@cityofberkeley.info -more-


Back Stories

Opinion

Editorials

Families Belong Together, Taking Action 06-15-2018

Public Comment

A Mother Speaks for Migrant Children Carolyn Norr 06-16-2018

Does The Equal Pay Act Actually Equalize? Harry Brill 06-16-2018

Gaza Revisited Jagjit Singh 06-16-2018

News

Jury Finds Berkeley Protesters Not Guilty in Assault Case Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 06-18-2018

City of Berkeley and SEIU Dodge Strike Keith Burbank (BCN) 06-16-2018

Berkeley Landlord Charged with Shooting Tenant Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN) 06-15-2018

Columns

New: DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:The Spanish Labyrinth Conn Hallinan 06-15-2018

THE PUBLIC EYE:Donald Trump, Russian Agent Bob Burnett 06-16-2018

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Wealth and Fame Are Not the Cure Jack Bragen 06-16-2018

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump Doing Putin’s Work Ralph E. Stone 06-16-2018

Arts & Events

The Ring, Or Wagner as Scam Artist James Roy MacBean 06-16-2018

DIE WALKÜRE Reaches THE RING’s High Point Reviewed by James Roy MacBean 06-16-2018

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 18-23 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Alliance 06-16-2018