SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Saturday May 11, 2019 - 11:53:00 AM

People's Park Anniversary Marked with a New Book

Berkeley-based Heyday Books has created a massive 50th anniversary tribute to the people and events surrounding the creation of People's Park, and recalling its bloody and brutal seizure by armed police, the helicopter tear-gassing of Berkeley during the National Guard occupation, and the eventual nonviolent liberation and reclamation of the park.

Heyday Books will host a special book-release party from 7-9PM at the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center (2905 Shattuck) on Saturday, May 11. On Wednesday, May 15, Heyday will stage a Peoples Park "Teach-in" from 7-9PM at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way). Speakers will include the book's editor, Tom Dalzell, and a host of activists involved in the battle for People's Park including—Michael Delacourt, Judy Gumbo, Ruth Rosen, Donovan Rundle, Dove Sholom Scherr, Jane Scherr, Dan Siegel, and Nacio Jan Brown. The event will be moderated by Steve Wasserman. Mayor Jesse Arreguin will be a featured speaker. (Note: some community members critical of the mayor's policies toward the homeless have signaled plans to be outside protesting "possibly as early as 6.") The Brower Center event is free but reservations are required. Contact Emmerich Anklam at Heyday Books.

People's Park 50th Anniversary Commemorations -more-


Conn Hallinan
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:34:00 PM

There were several lessons to take from last month’s Spanish elections, some special to Spain, others that resonate continent wide. Since the 28-member European Union is preparing to vote on the makeup of the European Parliament at the end of May, those lessons are relevant. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE:Donald Trump and the Measles Epidemic

Bob Burnett
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:22:00 PM

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States and many Americans were hopeful. We were in the throes of "the great recession" but we trusted Obama to guide us out of it. We'd elected our first biracial President and many of us hoped that racism would soon be gone. By the way, the U.S. was thought to free of measles -- there were only 131 cases of circulating measles reported in 2008.

Things have changed. Donald Trump is the 45th President. Although the economy is good, two-thirds of Americans are pessimistic about the future. Racism is back -- White Supremacists threaten domestic security. And there's a measles epidemic; so far, 764 cases of measles have been reported in 2019 (

The social and mental attributes that characterize Donald Trump have promoted the measles epidemic. These same conditions have produced other epidemics, such as opiod addiction, Hepatitis A, and gun violence. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Belief Compliance isn't Needed

Jack Bragen
Friday May 10, 2019 - 04:29:00 PM

A psychiatrist once said he thought consciousness could be an illusion. The same psychiatrist, or perhaps a different one, said that either you believe in human psychic ability or you don't. He was implying that it didn't exist and that it was a superstition. I responded by saying that a person could be uncertain about it and could think that maybe it exists. Begrudgingly, he acknowledged that, probably in the absence of a good argument to the contrary. -more-