Two University of California at Berkeley graduates who were detained in Iran on espionage charges for more than two years are expected to return to the United States today, after spending three days in Oman following their release from Iran. -more-
One Monday, September 26, at 6:00 pm, there will be another gathering in Berkeley in front of the closed Oaks Theater on Solano Ave. to demonstrate to Tax The Rich. Please join us. Bring a "Tax The Rich" sign if you can. Our numbers are growing, as are the thousands that are camped out on Wall Street in New York City. -more-
Court-ordered, intensive, outpatient treatment. What would this look like in practice? Well, a couple of beefy guys would restrain a psychiatric patient, and a nurse would shoot antipsychotic medication into the person’s ass. It would not be a pretty sight. The side effects of the medication come later. Will the workers have the time to remain on site for the next twelve hours to monitor side effects? Doubtful. If the person is having muscle spasms or rigidity, or perhaps neuroleptic malignant syndrome, who do they call for help? Who will answer when they call? -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
Some days not much happens, so we've decided only to publish "new issues" when there's a critical mass of new stories. That won't necessarily be every day, especially on weekends. This current issue covers both Saturday and Sunday, for example, though it has Saturday's date, September 24.
And there are now four (4) ways to check for what you've missed: scrolling back day by day with the "Previous Issue" button at the top left of the page; getting a list of stories with lede paragraphs by using "The Week" button; getting complete stories in a list with the "Full Text" button; and using the links on the lower righthand side of the home page. -more-
As a resident of District 8, I received the following (slightly abridged) communication from my councilmember, Gordon Wozniak:
At its Sept 27th meeting the Berkeley City Council will consider a number of important issues. For residents who are unable to attend the Council meeting, but wish to provide input to the Council, Councilmember Wozniak has posted five agenda issues on the Open Town Hall website.:If you have anything to say on any of these issues, you're invited to send your signed opinions of any length to email@example.com -more-
Should the Berkeley City Council adopt a Resolution authorizing dollar amounts for the following relocation payments referenced in Section 13.84.070 of the revised ordinance: 1) per diem payments of $120 for a single person household, $135 for a two-person household and $166 per day for a household of three or more persons; 2) dislocation allowance of $400; 3) fixed payment for moving costs of $300; 4) fixed payment for storage costs of $200; and 5) reimbursement for pet boarding costs up to a maximum of $50 per day for dogs and $20 per day for cats?
Should the City Council refer to the City Manager consideration of establishing an ordinance like LA's to limit harassment?
Should the City Council refer to the City Manager consideration of the establishment of a DUI ordinance similar to one in Oakley, CA where those convicted of a DUI must pay for all city expenses due to their DUI crime?
Should the City Council Support the United Farm Workers Petition to End the Secure Communities Program?
Should the City Council refer to the Planning Commission a Zoning Ordinance amendment to allow automobile dealers to become a legal conforming use on South Shattuck Ave, including the ability to lease or purchase additional property if necessary?
Barack Obama has been a disappointment but in 2012 Americans will either vote for him or a Republican Neanderthal. To stay in the White House Obama will need our support. That’s an opportunity to set limits, to make specific demands. Here are four suggestions.
Jobs: In the most recent New York times/CBS News poll 59 percent of respondents were most concerned about the economy and jobs. President Obama must focus on his jobs plan because every American who wants to work should be able to find a decent job with a living wage. -more-
Arts & Events
Farmageddon is screening at SF's Roxie Theatre and the Rafael Theatre in San Rafael
The first-person stories related in Kristin Canty's new documentary, Farmageddon, may sound like people recounting the post-trauma shock of a drug-raid but these "perps" are not pot-growers or drug-smugglers, they are family farmers and members of organic produce buying clubs. -more-