DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:Of Trump, Vipers & Foreign Policy

Conn Hallinan
Friday February 24, 2017 - 01:51:00 PM

“Chaos,” “dismay,” “radically inept,” are just a few of the headlines analyzing President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, and in truth, disorder would seem to be the strategy of the day. Picking up the morning newspaper or tuning on the national news sometimes feels akin to opening up a basket filled with spitting cobras and Gabon Vipers.

But the bombast emerging for the White House hasn’t always matched what the Trump administration does in the real world. The threat to dump the “one-China” policy and blockade Beijing’s bases in the South China Sea has been dialed back. The pledge to overturn the Iran nuclear agreement has been shelved. And NATO’s “obsolesce” has morphed into a pledge of support. Common sense setting in as a New York Times headline suggests: “Foreign Policy Loses Its Sharp Edge as Trump Adjusts to Office”?

Don’t bet on it.

First, this is an administration that thrives on turmoil, always an easier place to rule from than order. What it says and does one day may be, or may not be, what it says or does another. And because there are a number of foreign policy crises that have stepped up to the plate, we should all find out fairly soon whether the berserkers or the rationalists are running things. -more-

Coping with Trump Stress Disorder

Bob Burnett
Friday February 24, 2017 - 01:36:00 PM

A month into the Trump Administration, many Americans are stressed out. A recent study by the American Psychological Association revealed, "more Americans reporting symptoms of stress and citing personal safety and terrorism as sources of stress." 57 percent of respondents said "the current political climate is a very or somewhat significant source of stress." -more-


Toni Mester
Friday February 24, 2017 - 01:24:00 PM
1310 Haskell Street, to be demolished

A spectre is haunting Berkeley, the spectre of THIMBYism, long buried in the zoning code and currently lurking in the agendas of the City Council and the Planning Commission.

The House in My Back Yard (THIMBY) has become a contentious issue as the need for more housing bumps against the historic political conflicts and ageless geography that separate the flatlands from the hills.

THIMBYs come in two basic sizes: big and small. One would think that big back yard houses would be allowed on the biggest lots and the smallest on the small but the Berkeley zoning code has this in reverse. Big houses are being squeezed into relatively limited space in the flats while the smallest units originally planned for larger upland parcels face so many hurdles that the eagerly anticipated backyard cottages may never be built. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: Trump versus the media

Ralph E. Stone
Friday February 24, 2017 - 01:58:00 PM

Low Energy Jeb [Bush], Little Marco [Rubio], Lyin' Ted [Cruz] pathological Ben [Carson], and Crooked Hillary [Clinton] were all quite effective labels used by Donald Trump on his march to the White House. With the destruction of 16 primary challengers and a well-known political figure in his rear-view mirror, Trump has now zeroed in on his old opponent, the media. Why? Because the media is out to get him. Or maybe they are just fact checking. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Long Term Effects of Heavy Meds, and the Trivialization of our Lives

Jack Bragen
Friday February 24, 2017 - 12:56:00 PM

In the past ten years, some of my motor skills have deteriorated. I've become clumsy, and I have difficulty negotiating staircases, especially on the way down. I am only in my early fifties. -more-