A nursing strike at Bay Area hospitals is over today, but participating nurses at Sutter hospitals and Children's Hospital in Oakland have been told they cannot report back to work before Tuesday, officials said today. -more-
Two people were arrested on the University of California at Berkeley campus Thursday night during protests of the UC system's proposed plan to hike tuition by as much as $10,000 per year.
Students and other demonstrators gathered at noon in Sproul Plaza to express their frustration over the university's plan to require more money from students because of wavering funding support from Sacramento. -more-
Student, staff, and community demonstrators kicked off a fall season of budget cut and fee increase protest at the UC Berkeley campus on Thursday, September 22, 2011, with a modest but spirited noontime rally, followed by a march through campus and occupation of classrooms.
At day’s end some of the group was gathered, watched by campus police, in part of Tolman Hall, the sprawling Education / Psychology building in the northwest corner of the campus along Hearst Avenue.
I watched part of the Sproul Plaza demonstration and march that fell during my lunch hour. An array of speakers focused on placing the campus protests in the context of national efforts to stop budget cuts, protect labor rights, and reverse growing economic inequality in the United States.
I arrived when Professor of Geography Dick Walker was speaking. “This is not a pay for play institution”, he told the crowd. “It is a public institution.” -more-
Commentary on the 9/11 Anniversary wasn't confined to the news pages and editorial section of our daily papers. It also flew smack into the middle of the Sunday comics. The various ways America's mainstream cartoonists addressed the anniversary tells us something about how the nation continues to process the trauma of that day. In most cases, the response was a retreat into unquestioning patriotism; in other cases, there was simply a sense of fatigue; in a few rare instances, there were surprising expressions of dissent. -more-
The eternal paradox about what is commonly called journalism is why so many people who commit it manage not to see what’s going on before their eyes, even as a reasonable number of others, in and out of journalism, do.
Ever wonder about what’s happening in the global economy? Well, here it is, a summary which could fit on the back of an envelope, and it’s even perversely funny:
“Quarterly GDP data don’t, on the whole, tend to make the person studying them laugh out loud. The most recent set, however, are an exception, despite the fact that the general picture is of unrelieved and spreading economic gloom. Instead of the surge of rebounding growth which historically accompanies successful exit from a recession, we have the UK’s disappointing 0.2 per cent growth, the US’s anaemic 0.3 per cent and the glum eurozone average figure of 0.2 per cent. That number includes the surprising and alarming German 0.1 per cent, the desperately poor French 0 per cent and then, wait for it, the agreeably frisky Belgian 0.7 per cent. Why is that, if you’ve been following the story, laugh-aloud funny? Because Belgium doesn’t have a government. Thanks to political stalemate in Brussels, it hasn’t had one for 15 months. No government means none of the stuff all the other governments are doing: no cuts and no ‘austerity’ packages. In the absence of anyone with a mandate to slash and burn, Belgian public sector spending is puttering along much as it always was; hence the continuing growth of their economy. It turns out that from the economic point of view, in the current crisis, no government is better than any government – any existing government.”
(From an opinion article by John Lanchester in a recent London Review of Books.)
That paragraph alone is worth column inch after column inch of sententious pieces in the American press attempting to convey what the hell the U.S. Congress is up to—yes, even in the New York Times, most of whose staffers appear not to read what Professor Paul Krugman writes on their own op-ed page. We’d be better off without this current Congress, wouldn’t we, so why not just say so? This is not an endorsement, by the way, of the Tea Party anti-government ideology, just a glum statement of observable fact. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Under the new Planet schedule, we start entering each day's news every morning in a new issue. After that, new articles are added to the issue all day long.
To find out what happened yesterday and in the last seven days, click on "The Week" button to find links to all articles posted in the past week. The "Full Text" button makes it possible to scroll back through a week's worth of complete articles. -more-
Arts & Events
Dance, music, historic architecture and culture in general are on tap in Berkeley for this weekend, September 24-25, 2011.
On Saturday evening there’s a special chance to see the interior of the National Landmark First Church of Christ, Scientist, and hear from an author with a new book about the architect, Bernard Maybeck. Maybeck’s granddaughter will also be there to share family stories.
Sunday, the creative impulses of Cal Performances scatter and sparkle around the UC Berkeley campus in the second annual “Free for All,” with a day of gratis performances in several indoor and outdoor venues. -more-