Kalil Wilson & Friends, this Saturday,June 27, , Jazz Vocals at the Sound Room in Uptown Oakland

Ken Bullock
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 05:50:00 PM

Brilliant jazz singer Kalil Wilson, a North Oakland native, will perform swinging standards, ballads and original songs from his new album 'Time Stops,' this Friday SATURDAY, June 27, 8 to 11 p. m. backed by his trio--Grant Levin on piano, Aidan McCarthy on bass and drum prodigy Genius Wilson--at The Sound Room, 2147 Broadway at 22nd Street, Oakland, a block north of the Paramount Theatre and 19th Street BART. Tickets: $20-$25 at www.soundroom.org or (510) 496-4180. -more-

Warren Campaign Debate Watching Party on Tuesday

Saturday July 27, 2019 - 11:11:00 AM

The Elizabeth Warren for President Campaign is organizing a party for watching the Democratic Debate on Tuesday. If you'd like an invitation, you can write to opinion@berkeleydailyplanet.com and we'll forward your request. -more-

Public Comment

Iran – who are the villains?

Jagjit Singh
Friday July 26, 2019 - 04:34:00 PM

First, a quick historical perspective:

In 1953 the CIA/MI6 orchestrated a coup to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953 and handing over Iran’s oil to Britain who rebranded Iran’s oil company, British Petroleum (BP). By so doing, Britain and America violated one of the most important and basic tenets of Christianity whose teachings they both claim to revere.

Exodus 20:17 17"You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

Or, in the modern vernacular, “do not covet or steal another country’s resources!

The blatant theft of Iran’s oil and the brutal rule of the US puppet, the Shah, caused seething resentment leading to the Iranian revolution of 1979 and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Shi’a cleric.

“This may come as a shock to Americans, who don't like to think of their country as an empire. But what else can you call America's legions of soldiers, spooks and Special Forces straddling the globe?” Michael Ignatieff, New York Times, Jul. 28, 2002 -more-

Toddlers in Cages

Scott Hartley,Fairfield, IA
Saturday July 27, 2019 - 10:55:00 AM

I, we, should all offer appreciation to investigative journalists, continuing their barely-remunerative labors in a country that has recently voted to abjure truth. But even in the event these embattled professionals suffer the extirpation apparently designed for them, we can still live with some grasp of reality simply by investigating the open and direct statements of "public figures" crawled out to assume their roles like cockroaches from hidden channels in America's woodwork. -more-

Troubles with Trump

Gar Smith
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 05:58:00 PM

On July 24, Donald Trump reportedly took a day off from ruining the country [Note: not a typo] to spend most of his "executive time" crouched in front of a TV screen tossing cheeseburgers at the image of Robert Mueller as the Special Prosecutor responded to questions from the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

Trump is not a happy camper these days. Signs that he is loosing control (and just might be held accountable for a long list of crimes) do not sit well with Trump's overblown sense of autocratic narcissism. So, to compensate, our increasingly unhinged former game-show host is once again entertaining fraught Apocalyptic fantasies. -more-

A Sunday Afternoon in Berkeley

Steve Martinot
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 06:05:00 PM

People crowded around the parklet in a Service Road that ran along North Shattuck on a sunny afternoon, trying to get the Mayor’s attention. He and the local councilmember sat facing about 20 people, in a kind of ad hoc townhall called to discuss fire safety and wildfire prevention in Berkeley. The climate crisis had made the issue imperative. Whole towns had been decimated recently. And in 1923, fire had swept from the hills as far down as Shattuck Ave. itself. The important information was to clear away ground level brush, trim low tree branches, and create space between trees and houses.

Then the discussion turned to RV s, and to those now living in RVs, and then it got hot. A fire of bigotry and paranoia swept through the ground level speeches and, for at least half the crowd, it swept away the humanism that had (once upon a time) been built. It was a hot forceful wind that seemed to come from nowhere that got expressed. These, after all, were people who mostly lived in the hills, where RVs don’t generally venture. But the vision of people reduced to sleeping in cars somehow muddied the waters of morality for them. “Get rid of them” was the sentiment that got applause on that lovely Sunday afternoon. -more-

New: Who Won?

Bruce Joffe
Saturday July 27, 2019 - 03:55:00 PM

Political pundits on both sides are saying that Robert Mueller's testimony "didn't move the needle" because he neither indicted nor exonerated the President any more clearly than stated in his 448-page report. Trump and his supporters claim victory, as predictably they would no matter what transpired. But let us ask, victory over what? -more-

KPFA is Trolling for Funds...Again

Doug Buckwald
Friday July 26, 2019 - 04:27:00 PM

KPFA has embarked on another fund drive. Although they call this one their "Summer Fund Drive", it should really be called the "make-up fund drive due to the public's failure to let us loot their pocketbooks sufficiently during the Spring Fund Drive." -more-


Getting Along

Becky O'Malley
Monday July 22, 2019 - 11:57:00 AM

Xenophobia. It’s a fifty-dollar word with, for good reason, Greek roots. It means fear of foreigners, and it goes all the way back in the western tradition to the ancient Greeks and their Roman successors.

It’s not limited to the western tradition either. There’s plenty of xenophobia in the rest of the world, ancient and contemporary. For a while, some hoped that it was fading, at least in some quarters, and that it had been vanquished by modern internationalism.

Even Disneyland, not known as a shrine to liberalism, has had for decades the ear-worming anthem “It’s a Small World, Isn’t It?” President Barack Obama is the child of international exchange, as is Senator Kamala Harris, though both have voluntarily embraced the USA’s historic African American culture created by the descendants of those who were enslaved here.

Well, perhaps not 100% voluntarily. Racism is a special gloss on xenophobia, marked by onus against dark-skinned people in particular. Those infected by racism regard Black and Brown foreigners, regardless of culture, as barbarians, another Greek word, labelling them as uncivilized. Obama and Harris experience the prejudice against African Americans despite their backgrounds . -more-


THE PUBLIC EYE: Mueller:Ten Takeaways

Bob Burnett
Friday July 26, 2019 - 04:15:00 PM

On July 24th, Special Counsel Robert Mueller made his long-anticipated appearance before the Democratically-controlled House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Here are ten takeaways:

1. Mueller was not a great witness. Whatever your political persuasion, if you actually watched a segment of the hearings, you probably felt that Mueller came across as enervated, evasive, and -- particularly in his morning testimony before the Judiciary Committee -- doddering. That's not to say that Democrats didn't score points with Mueller's testimony, but rather that he was disappointing.

2. Mueller cared more about Russian interference in the 2016 election than he did Trump's obstruction of justice. For whatever reason, Mueller seemed more animated when he appeared, in the afternoon, before the House Intelligence Committee. He was particularly emphatic when he spoke about Russian interference in the 2016 election. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT: On San Francisco’s 2019 Point-in-Time Count & Survey

Ralph E. Stone
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 05:54:00 PM

My wife and I arrived in San Francisco in 1971. Since at least that time, getting the homeless into housing or shelters has been a “concern” or a “priority” for every administration. Given the latest point-in-time count & Survey of San Francisco’s homeless, it has been a losing battle so far.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) definition of homelessness includes only those people living on the streets, in vehicles, or in temporary shelters. Using the HUD definition, the point-in-time count & Survey conducted in January 2019, found 8,011 homeless people in San Francisco, a 6.8% increase over 2017. -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Don't Accept Your Prognosis

Jack Bragen
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 06:10:00 PM

When I was in high school, I was brilliant but undisciplined. I often skipped homework but usually got very good test scores. If a subject interested me, effort didn't feel like effort. What stopped me from attending college was the ostracism, bullying, physical attacks and harassment of other male students. (When I tried junior college with the idea of transferring to a university, I discovered that the same awful young men who'd come after me in high school were there and would continue.)

Instead of college, I obtained employment that did not involve any brainpower, and it was night shift. The origin of my ensuing mental illness could have partly been working nights at too young an age. However, there were other, additional factors that made me ill, including genetic ones. A history of social difficulties was included in the mix. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 06:00:00 PM

With the long-awaited Mueller hearings now behind us, I find myself fixated on one unexpected take-away from the historic multi-network simulcast. -more-

Arts & Events

Blake Pouliot Solos In Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto

Reviewed by James Roy MacBean
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 06:03:00 PM

Twenty-four year-old Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot made a splashy debut with San Francisco Symphony on Thursday, July 18, at Davies Hall. I don’t know, however, which was more splashy, his skill as a violinist or his fashion statement. Blake Pouliot walked on stage wearing tight-fitting, shiny, silver pants, a three-quarter sleeve-length black T-shirt, and a black sash wound around his neck and hanging down over his left shoulder to his waist. He looked for all the world like a rock star; and his pants, in either satin or lamé, were reminiscent of pants Elvis Presley wore. -more-

A Brace of the Latest Caryl Churchill Plays by Anton's Well Theatre Company at North Berkeley's Thousand Oaks Baptist Church

Ken Bullock
Thursday July 25, 2019 - 05:51:00 PM

The Bay Area premiere of renowned British playwright Caryl Churchill's two latest plays, 'Escaped Alone' and 'Here We Go,' featuring a cast of 17 local actors directed by Anton's Well founder Robert Estes, is playing Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 (with one Wednesday performance at 7:30, July 31) through August 3 at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church, 1821 Catalina, a block off Solano Avenue, North Berkeley. -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, July 28- August 4

Kelly Hammargren
Saturday July 27, 2019 - 10:57:00 AM

Worth Noting:

City Council is on summer recess until September 9th and most of the Boards and Commissions also take a summer break, some in July and some in August. August 6 is National Night Out.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Kite Festival at the Marina, 10 am – 5 pm, event free, parking $20

Annual South Berkeley Neighbors Potluck BBQ & Music Festival, 12 noon– 6 pm, Ellis between Ashby and Prince

Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club Annual Picnic, 1 – 5 pm, 1737 Allston Way

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tax the Rich Rally, with music by Occupella, 5 – 6 pm at the Top of Solano in front of the Closed Oaks Theater, Rain/Extreme Heat Cancels -more-