Public Comment

Letters to the Editor

Monday May 10, 2010 - 09:17:00 PM

NEW: Zionist  

ms. o'malley, 

 

how much i've enjoyed seeing your personal failure. 

 

as your reach becomes ever smaller, your anti-zionism grows. how very interesting. 

 

the fact is, the majority of the jewish people, americans in general and most of congress supports israel right to exist as a jewish state with defensible borders. 

 

you live in a bubble, surrounded and supported by a few hundred berkeley nuts. your blind and unfair criticism of israel puts you in the company of the worlds most criminal inhabitants. you can be sure that if the jihadists grown in power with the help of an iranian nuclear weapon that their liberal friends in berkeley and around the world will be be in their crosshairs soon after israel. in other words, you are hastening your own demise. 

 

enjoy clinging to your bully pulpit. 

 

jonathan wornick 

 

Jonathan Wornick is Councilmember Gordon Wozniak's appointee to the City of Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission. 

 

Administration and Bain & Co. Are Destroying UC Berkeley  

 

It's official. UC Berkeley has put snake-oil salesmen Bain & Co. on the payroll, and the "Operational Excellence" snake-oil is seeping through the campus with the full consent of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. If you are a Cal campus community member who will be away for the summer, it's likely you won't recognize Cal when you return in the fall. 

 

The Chancellor's response to Bain & Co's report on its "final diagnostic phase" has carefully avoided Bain's corporate gibberish, but he can't avoid their sloppy and intentionally vague thinking in several crucial sentences. 

"I am accepting the (Operational Excellence Steering) Committee's recommendation to proceed with initiatives in five areas: procurement, organizational simplification, information technology, energy and student services." Look at this sentence. Are the five areas parallel? Do you even understand what the sentence means? "Two more teams will be appointed to address broader organizational challenges..." What? 

 

In the next paragraph: "The Steering Committee also recommended that we immediately establish a Program Office...I agree with this approach and have initiated processes to put this structure in place quickly. We will have more information to share with you in the coming weeks." Wait. He's adding a new layer of bureaucracy? He's spending more money? 

 

In a pithy piece for "In These Times" last week, Noam Chomsky wrote, referring to California: "The world's greatest public system of higher education is being dismantled." 

 

This is it. It's happening now, and we are all complicit. Are we ever going to speak up as a community? As members of the Cal community, citizens of Berkeley, Albany, San Francisco, Richmond, Oakland, Fremont, Foster City, citizens of the world? What would happen if we each sent e-mail to the Chancellor in care of Vice Chancellor for Communications Claire Holmes (claireholmes@berkeley.edu) with our own version of "I am a citizen of the UC community and I will not stand for the University's dismantling." What then? 

 

 

Bronwen Rowlands 

*** 

 

Dirty Energy  

As a resident in the San Francisco Bay Area, I'm disgusted to see that Texas oil giants have succeeded in placing a proposition for dirty, non-renewable energy on our California state ballot. The tragedy unfolding in the Gulf makes it clear how dangerous our addiction to fossil fuels is - for environmental, economic, and national security reasons. I've dedicated my Ph.D. research to developing clean, renewable bio-energy sources to combat the global climate and energy crises. How can we let California regress by revoking crucial mandates which would have cut carbon pollution to 1990 levels and would have us derive a third of our energy from renewable sources within the next decade? This dirty energy proposition will reverse established laws that would have guided the state into a responsible and renewable energy future. Clean energy will help the economy, and this deceptive initiative will decrease investments and jobs, while preventing us from cleaning our dirty, smog-filled air. Does California really want to let Texas oil companies gut our clean energy and clean air laws? Let's think again and make the right choice for our future. 

 

Meera Atreya 

*** 

 

Raw Milk is Better for Me  

I could not drink milk since I was a kid, but when I discovered the health benefits and the truth behind the false claims of the BIG MILK industry to demonize raw mild, I started drinking Raw Milk, I have noticed a great improvement in my health which I could not even imagine from drinking regular milk. 

So, if you are not yet in the Pocket of BIG Milk Already, Please help us, to protect our health and Freedom by supporting this legislation and the little people behind it. 

 

Ken Khan 

*** 

No More Due Process 

 

Underpinning all the demands of the UC campus hunger strikers is the deterioration of the application of "due process under the law" to all individuals. People of color, workers, union members and leaders, student protestors--all have seen their legal rights truncated by discriminatory laws, administrators' careless or heedless application of contractual obligations, arbitrary interpretations of regulations, and uninformed, reactionary responses to public gatherings and the use of public facilities.  

Any one instance may seem an insignificant reason for the current level of campus disaffection, but when they affect a broad swathe of the campus community, and continue over months and years, they form a pattern which is replacing the oft-stated ideals of California higher education with a climate of mistrust and misappropriation of power and resources.  

This is not original, but it is true: If those few with the power can deny due process to student protestors, hunger strikers, and campus workers, then they can do it to anyone, including you who are reading this letter. And if history is any witness, they will do it if they can.  

 

Kathryn A. Klar  

Lecturer in Celtic Studies  

 

*** 

 

Musical Interlude  

Much to the delight of music lovers in the Bay Area, the Women's Faculty Club on the U.C. campus presented another of its popular programs, "Arts in the Afternoon" on Thursday, May 6th. Warmly welcomed by the Club's gracious manager, Mary Remy, members and guests hunted for seats in the crowded Stebbins Lounge. Indeed, there was an overflow audience, barely leaving room for the musicians of the University Baroque Ensemble. Professor Davitt Moroney, Director of this unique musical group, gave an introductory talk. 

The University Baroque Ensemble was founded in 2003 and is open to all students, music majors, minors and non majors. It's believed to be the only student group in the world that performs not just on copies of original instruments, but also on original eighteenth-century instruments. These include some of the fine antique violins in the A. Salz Collection donated to the Music Department over forty years ago. Whenever possible, students perform directly seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century scores. 

 

There were fifteen youthful musicians performing in this splendid program of baroque music. Professor Moroney, a witty and droll "master of ceremonies" introduced the musicians, describing the priceless instruments they were playing ( a Lute, a Continuo and a handsome harpsichord.) Then began an enchanting program of ancient music by George Frederic Handel, Telemann, Johann Sebasian Bach, and concluding with the famous Canon in D major for three violins by Pachelbel. 

Professor Moroney pointed out that individual instruction for one student costs about $1,500 each year, or $6,000 for the four years a student is an undergraduate. The Baroque Music Fund is dedicated to promoting all aspects of learning about baroque music on the Berkeley campus. Donations to this Fund are gratefully received and may be sent to the Department of Music, University of California, 104 Morrison Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-1200. 

Following the concert, guests were invited to a reception in the dining room featuring a tempting buffet table. It also provided an opportunity to chat informally with the young musicians who willingly discussed their backgrounds andplans for the future. All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon of music, made possible once again by the Women's Faculty Club. 

 

Dorothy Snodgrass 

*** 

Fast Buses Must Inconvenience Cars  

 

I still can't understand why anyone would think we can leave out bus-only lanes for the BRT and still expect to get faster, more frequent and reliable bus service. 

The whole concept of BRT has been to give these buses enough advantage over the car traffic that a bus trip will be faster than a car trip. This is the transit performance that is supposed to motivate a large number of people to keep their cars off the road and use the bus to get to work, and for most other trips. 

Surprise! We can't give buses an advantage over cars without some inconvenience to the cars. What a concept! 

We don't need bus-only lanes on every mile of the BRT route. Oakland, which has approved a full-build study, is probably not going to have bus-only lanes in the region around Broadway & 12th Street. 

It's clear that Berkeley should not have a bus-only lane on Telegraph in the street vendor region. 

It would be a shame for BRT to fail because political foolishness caused it to be designed to fail. 

We need a full-build of BRT, complete with bus-only lanes. It's that or don't waste time and money on the project at all. 

If more people were riding buses, we wouldn't need so much parking. 

And fewer cars might make less carbon dioxide. 

What a concept! 

 

Steve Geller