Public Comment

Mattis Fires Back, with Grace & Humor

Jagjit Singh
Friday October 25, 2019 - 04:53:00 PM

Donald Trump has a long history using the bully pulpit to silence his critics. At the Golden Globes award he insulted movie super star Meryl Streep as one of “one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood after she rebuked him. He mocked “a Hillary flunky who lost big.” He then mocked a disabled New York Times reporter. More recently, he insulted General Mattis as an overrated general. -more-

A Gift of Treason

Bruce Joffe
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:29:00 PM

Trump's withholding of military assistance to Ukraine until they manufacture false investigations against his political opponents is illegal, unconstitutional, and weakened Ukraine's resistance to invading Russian forces. But, his impulsive withdrawal of our troops from Kurdish Syria is a far worse calamity. -more-

Where Do We Go Now?

Barbara Brust
Friday October 25, 2019 - 04:13:00 PM

About 4 years ago, a movement started in Berkeley, originally targeting the HUB but soon it evolved into THE POOR TOUR. -more-

“Get over it Mulvaney”

Tejinder Uberoi
Saturday October 26, 2019 - 12:59:00 PM

After weeks of prevarication, bobbing, weaving and stonewalling White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney finally nailed it, admitting there was a quid pro quo in dealings with Ukraine. -more-


Remembering Brad Cleaveland, Author of the Magna Carta of Student Rebellion

Gar Smith
Saturday October 26, 2019 - 12:19:00 PM
Dick Roman, Brad Cleaveland and Art Goldberg speaking from atop a police car surrounded by students on October 1, 1964 (Photo: Tom Kuykendall—FSM Archives)

Herbert Bradford Cleaveland, one of the founders of the Free Speech Movement

and a longtime resident of Berkeley's Redwood Gardens, passed away on October 21 at the Oakland Health and Wellness Center. Brad had been in fading health for the past few weeks.

Brad's family and friends will be holding a memorial service in the near future. In the meantime, in his memory, the Free Speech Movement Archives ( has posted a link to the transcript of an interview Cleaveland recorded in 1998. The interview is introduced with the following background note:

Herbert [Brad] Cleaveland had just graduated from Berkeley and had written a thirteen-page “Letter to Undergraduates” in the SLATE Supplement to the General UC Catalog that called for “open, fierce and thoroughgoing rebellion.”

In this interview, Cleavland begins by describing how the FSM leadership crystalized over the 31 hours the police car was surrounded [by UC students in Sproul Plaza] beginning on October 1, 1964 and goes on to discuss his involvement with the FSM Steering Committee, his observations about various leaders with attention to the role of Jews and women, his efforts to continue the momentum of FSM and his later work for educational reform. -more-

¡Patrick Hallinan, Presente!

Gar Smith
Saturday October 26, 2019 - 12:14:00 PM
A young Patrick Hallinan

Celebrated lawyer, activist, leftist, and labor-and-civil-rights sparkplug Patrick Hallinan died on October 8. In fond remembrance, here are some excerpts from his official biography, followed by a testimonial from Bay Area author David Talbot.

"Patrick Sarsfield Hallinan graduated from Hastings College of the Law (J.D. 1962) and the University of California, Berkeley (B.A. 1959, M.A. 1971).

Patrick Hallinan was active in high profile legal and political issues involving the conflict between the exercise of governmental power and individual liberty throughout his life, as were his late father, trial lawyer Vincent Hallinan, his political activist mother, Vivian, his Irish rebel grandfather Black Mick, his cousin Eamon DeValera, president of Ireland, his mother’s cousin Giuseppi Garibaldi, liberator of Italy, and his brother Terence Hallinan, the recent reform-minded District Attorney of San Francisco. . . ."

"Patrick began his social activism at age six by selling stamps in support of refugees of the Spanish Civil War. He delivered his father’s acceptance speech for the Progressive Party Presidential nomination in 1952 while his father was in jail on a contempt of court charge arising from his defense of labor leader Harry Bridges. During his father’s incarceration, Patrick traveled the country with Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Dubois in support of his father’s candidacy and the progressive movement. He was a leader in the Free Speech Moment at Berkeley, directed the West Coast Mobilization against the War in Viet Nam and, along with his entire family, was arrested in the San Francisco Auto Row sit-ins. -more-


Berkeley's Just the Best, Isn't It?

Becky O'Malley
Friday October 18, 2019 - 05:09:00 PM

“Berkeley is a city in California with a population of 120,179. Berkeley is in Alameda County and is one of the best places to live in California. Living in Berkeley offers residents an urban suburban mix feel and most residents rent their homes. In Berkeley there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in Berkeley and residents tend to be liberal. The public schools in Berkeley are highly rated.”

It's #1 in Best Suburbs to Live in California

And not only that, it’s #3 among the Best Cities to Live In in America.

All this is from a web site I’ve never noticed before,, brought to my attention by an admiring story in the East Bay [formerly Contra Costa] Times.

Just think, I’ve lived in this paradise for about 49 years of my life altogether.

Not only that, twelve of my other years were spent in #2, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

I’d argue that Berkeley is actually ahead of Ann Arbor, where at least three months of every year are cold and gray (though climate change may be fixing that). But on the other hand, no earthquakes, no wildfires. -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE:Impeachment and the Supreme Court

Bob Burnett
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:25:00 PM

As the House of Representatives' Impeachment Inquiry rolls along, it continuously runs into non-cooperation from the Trump Administration. Dems could chose to ignore this but if they did they would deprive the investigation of potentially vital information. On the other hand, fighting this non-cooperation means going through the legal system -- and likely appearing before the Supreme court -- and that takes time. The longer the inquiry takes, the more likely that the public will lose interest and the more likely that support for impeachment will diminish. The House Democratic leadership is engaged in a balancing act between keeping the public informed and wrenching vital information out of the Trump Administration. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Anxiety Disorders

Jack Bragen
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:21:00 PM

There are some survivor recipients of mental health care who have said they have "a little bit of everything." This means they may have psychosis, mood problems, and other difficulties. I could easily fit into this category.

My documented diagnosis is schizophrenia with paranoid delusions. This is accurate about me so far as I can tell. I am very high functioning for someone with this diagnosis, e.g., able to write for publication, able to manage my own finances and other responsibilities, able to be in a relationship, and possibly able to work at some jobs or gigs.

The paranoid delusions really interfere with my life. Additionally, I sometimes have panic attacks. These can be very uncomfortable, but I would not say unbearable. I can withstand the discomfort because of the amount of mindfulness I have done. Yet, because the panic takes over my body and large parts of my mind, the episodes of anxiousness are debilitating.

Benzodiazepines are a habit-forming class of controlled substances, sometimes prescribed for severe anxiety attacks. Their use is not recommended for long-term anxiety management. The patient can become dependent on these substances. Benzodiazepines must not be taken before driving a car.

For me, what seems to work, in addition to prescribed medications, is to do a mental exercise to shut down the panic. I can do this because I have been a practitioner of mindfulness for three decades. I've practiced mindfulness to deal with difficult life situations, and as a way of feeling better. I do not need to always be comfortable. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:Roy Cohn, a Trump Mentor

Ralph E. Stone
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:53:00 PM

President Donald Trump once asked, “Where’s my Roy Cohn?” He was, of course, referring to his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s, a lawyer for mob bosses, who died in 1986 five weeks after being disbarred. By all accounts, Roy Cohn was a despicable human being and an unscrupulous but effective lawyer. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday October 25, 2019 - 04:54:00 PM

The World's Real Superheroes

Step aside, Avengers. Stand down, X-Men. Time out, Guardians of the Galaxy. I've recently seen an array of films that reveal these Hollywood fantasies are no match for the real heroes of our actual modern world. And who might these awesome and redoubtable people be? Answer: the planet's growing population of refugees and migrants.

Think about it. Hollywood excels at (and profits by) inundating us with the sensory overload of blockbuster films that push a singular, disquieting message—i.e., that the majority of the human population is powerless and surrounded by threats that can only be addressed by the intervention of all-powerful super-human saviors.

These saviors don't just have Big Screen names like Superman and Wolverine: they also populate our TV screens in the persona of police investigators, SWAT cops, firefighters, FBI agents, SEAL team members, intelligence operatives, and big-city doctors. Again, the messaging is always the same: (1) You are surrounded by concealed weapons, public threats, deranged sociopaths, foreign-and-local terrorists, and plagues and (2) Only specially trained, physically endowed, shrewd-and-woke, badge-wearing Soldiers of the State can protect you.

You want to honor a real superhero? Focus your attention on any one of the tens of thousands of refugees who stagger out of Africa to risk their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean on ramshackle boats. -more-

Arts & Events

East Bay Media Center Hosts Two Weekends of Annual Film and Video Festival, October 25-27 and November 1-3, Including Free Admission Sundays

Ken Bullock
Friday October 25, 2019 - 03:17:00 PM

For years, the East Bay Film Center in downtown Berkeley, founded in 1980, has produced the annual Berkeley Video and Film Festival, every year growing and diversifying. -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, October 27-November 3

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday October 26, 2019 - 12:10:00 PM

Worth Noting:

Holiday Food Drive – November 1 – 29, daily from 8:30 a – 6 p, for more information

Tuesday – City Council

Wednesday – Presentation on Traffic Circles and threats to Trees at Le Conte Neighborhood meeting – (City Council will be holding a special meeting on Traffic Circles on November 12 at 4 pm).

Saturday – Repair Café for broken household items, one item per person,

Sunday – End of Daylight Savings Time

Sunday, October 27, 2019

No City meetings or events found

Monday, October 28, 2019 -more-

Back Stories


Public Comment

Mattis Fires Back, with Grace & Humor Jagjit Singh 10-25-2019

A Gift of Treason Bruce Joffe 10-25-2019

Where Do We Go Now? Barbara Brust 10-25-2019

“Get over it Mulvaney” Tejinder Uberoi 10-26-2019


Remembering Brad Cleaveland, Author of the Magna Carta of Student Rebellion Gar Smith 10-26-2019

¡Patrick Hallinan, Presente! Gar Smith 10-26-2019


THE PUBLIC EYE:Impeachment and the Supreme Court Bob Burnett 10-25-2019

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Anxiety Disorders Jack Bragen 10-25-2019

ECLECTIC RANT:Roy Cohn, a Trump Mentor Ralph E. Stone 10-25-2019

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces Gar Smith 10-25-2019

Arts & Events

East Bay Media Center Hosts Two Weekends of Annual Film and Video Festival, October 25-27 and November 1-3, Including Free Admission Sundays Ken Bullock 10-25-2019

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, October 27-November 3 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 10-26-2019