Someone at some civic event last week asked me if I’m voting for Measures H & I, the tax and bond measures designed to support the Berkeley public schools. The question was phrased in the form of an incorrect premise, “I know the Planet doesn’t make endorsements, but…” -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
The respected Pesticide Action Network has identified a problem with a recent New York Times report on what's causing bees to die off world wide: The article failed to disclose that the study it reported on was paid for by a pesticide manufacturer, the Bayer corporation. Check out their charges here.
From the Jewish Voice for Peace site: "The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is at it again. They just came up with a list of the top ten most influential anti-Israel Groups in America, and Jewish Voice for Peace makes the list. We appreciate the honor, except that the ADL--as usual--got a few things wrong in describing us." Read all about it here.
The Daily Cal reported on a rash of armed robberies in Berkeley and Oakland this week. And here's another one, at Top Dog this time.
And after all these years, the Mainstream Media finally catches on about UC/BP which Planet readers have known about for years.
It's curious that Professor Robert Reich's latest blog entry denounces political advertising paid for by corporate interests, considering that he himself endorsed Berkeley's Measure R, whose direct mail advertising is funded by Sam Zell's Equity Residential Corporation. Is Berkeley becoming a plutocracy? -more-
Don't forget that the Planet has shifted its weekly issue date to Wednesdays. From now on we'll release the issue on Tuesdays, but the issue will be final the next day-- kind of like getting your copy of The Nation with a cover date some two weeks in the future. Keeping checking this space for new material. -more-
[ Letters about the election are in the Election Section.] -more-
Many Republicans, and even a few Democrats, are running against government, even as they campaign for election to the government. They want to shrink government and cut taxes, while most of us voters want to maintain the government services important to our lives. We deplore the budget cuts that have reduced our children's education, our water, sewer, and transportation infrastructure, our natural environment, and our public safety. Fear mongers who scream about wasteful bureaucracy and totalitarian rule actually give rise to what really threatens to our liberty, uncontrolled corporate greed. This "great recession" demonstrates how unsupervised banks devour the very market system that produces our wealth when our government's ability to regulate such excesses is bound by anti-government bias. -more-
UC Berkeley’s recent elimination of popular sports programs highlighted endemic problems in the university’s management. Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians in Sacramento, since they stopped giving him every dollar he has asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means. -more-
Californians are tired of University of California President Mark Yudof saying one thing but doing another. Yudof has spearheaded a drive to hike tuition on students struggling to pay their room and board while spending lavishly on his own housing. He has forced furloughs and reductions on the lowest-paid staff while he hauls down an outsized salary and bevy of perks of close to $1 million annually. -more-
Isn’t it interesting to be on the other side of the States’ Rights issue for a change? When I think of States’ Rights issues, slavery, segregation, gun-control, abortion, and Arizona-style profiling come to mind. -more-
Mainstream Americans may chiefly be unaware of this: among people affected by modern psychiatry, there is a fierce debate over whether or not medications are truly needed to treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. A lot of Americans rely on the news as their main information source about mentally ill people. When there are news stories about a mentally ill person committing a crime, often part of the circumstances that existed were either a change in the prescribed medications, or a time period of that person refusing to take medication. Mental illness and medication, in modern times, are frequently uttered in the same breath; the perception that medication is needed is usually a given. -more-