Page One

UC Berkeley Outlines Fall Semester Plans for Students Amid Pandemic

Eli Walsh (BCN)
Thursday June 18, 2020 - 01:37:00 PM

University of California at Berkeley officials on Wednesday outlined the school's plans for re-opening for the fall semester, including small in-person class sizes and an intent to house up to 6,500 students on campus. -more-

Public Comment

It's Time to End America's Longest War—In Korea

Gar Smith
Friday June 19, 2020 - 02:23:00 PM

It's Korea, not Afghanistan, that lays claim to the forlorn title: "America's longest war." This is because the Korean conflict never officially ended. Instead, it was suspended following a military stalemate, with all sides agreeing to sign an Amnesty Agreement that called for a ceasefire that merely put the conflict on hold.

The 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War will arrive on June 25. While Washington's war in Afghanistan has raged for 18 years, the unresolved Korean War has simmered more than four times longer. While Washington's debacle in Afghanistan has cost the American treasury more than $2 trillion, the ongoing costs of "securing" the Korean Peninsula—by weaponizing the region and building scores of US military bases inside South Korea—has been even greater.

In addition to hosting vigils and commemorations to mark the day, there will be a call for members of Congress to sign on to Rep. Ro Khanna's (D-CA) House Resolution 152, calling for a formal end to the Korean War. -more-

Confederate Names & Statues

Jagjit Singh
Friday June 19, 2020 - 02:36:00 PM

The global outrage following the death of George Floyd has exposed systemic racism and our ugly history. Many of our military leaders have expressed profound dismay and embarrassment for allowing a number of United States military bases to be named after Confederate military officers. This occurred during our shameful acquiescence to Jim Crow oppression of black Americans in the South. -more-


Not Just About the Money

Becky O'Malley
Friday June 12, 2020 - 02:17:00 PM

One day last week I got an email from my neighbor across the street inviting me to join her and others in what she described as “a #blacklivesmatter #endwhitesilence ‘honk and wave’” at the nearest big intersection, the corner of Ashby and College. British-born, she’s a recently naturalized U.S. citizen, so this was her chance to exercise her newly-minted first amendment rights (and duties) in the company of friends.

Since at our house we’re older these days than we once were, we hadn’t joined any big marches as we might have done earlier in the last 60 years, so we appreciated the opportunity to speak out close to home. What’s been so remarkable about the actions all over the world this week in response to the death of George Floyd is how spontaneous they’ve been, with no apparent international central organization.

This one was BYO sign, but my neighbor, a skilled graphic artist, generously offered to make one for us. What should it say?

Well, Black Lives Matter, of course, but what about Ending White Silence? It’s true that my personal gene pool came from in Europe in the last millennium or so, and my skin is melanin-challenged, so I’m certainly White.

But I’m seldom considered silent on any topic. Here’s what came to me instead: Black Lives Matter to All of Us. -more-


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:Tipping The Nuclear Dominos

Conn Hallinan
Friday June 19, 2020 - 01:42:00 PM

If the Trump administration follows through on its threat to re-start nuclear tests, it will complete the unraveling of more than 50 years of arms control agreements, taking the world back to the days when school children practiced “duck and cover,” and people built backyard bomb shelters.

It will certainly be the death knell for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, passed by the UN’S General Assembly in 1996. The Treaty has never gone into effect because, while 184 nations endorsed it, eight key countries have yet to sign on: the US, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, Iran and North Korea.

Evan without ratification, the Treaty has had an effect. Many nuclear-armed countries, including the US, Britain, and Russia, stopped testing by the early 1990s. China and France stopped in 1996 and Indian and Pakistan in 1998. Only North Korea continues to test. -more-

THE PUBLIC EYE: California’s Economic Problems

Bob Burnett
Friday June 19, 2020 - 01:30:00 PM

On June 17th, California "celebrated" the three-month anniversary of Governor Gavin Newsom's "shelter-in-place" order. The good news is that we're serious about dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic; the bad news is that the combination of the pandemic and "shelter-in-place" order has had a devastating impact on the California economy.

So far, California has more than 167,000 COVID-19 cases and 5300 deaths. We haven't "flattened the curve" yet; we're adding more than 3000 new cases per day, mostly in Los Angeles County and the surrounding counties, such as Orange and Riverside. This means that California is gradually opening up but we have to be careful. On June 18, Governor Newsom ordered all Californians to wear masks when in public or "high-risk settings." (

The pandemic-induced "shelter-in-place" order has had several noticeable economic impacts: -more-

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Reality Checking and Beyond

Jack Bragen
Friday June 19, 2020 - 02:26:00 PM

"Reality checking" is a highly effective and recommended method for delusional people to help get our minds on track. This method, however, relies on the willingness of the patient to accept a result that doesn't match what we want to believe. However, I am going to speak of a deeper type of reality finding, one in which we are confronted with non-debatable truths, that are powerful enough to completely replace specific delusions. -more-

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces

Gar Smith
Friday June 19, 2020 - 01:35:00 PM

Rally 'Round the Plague, Boys

What's the word for all those hyper-Trump supporters who plan to risk their lives by shouldering their way into the red-hatted mosh pit Trump hopes to see waiting for him inside Tulsa's BOK Center?

Given the odds that many of them soon may be suffering prolonged and horrendous deaths from COVID-19, I'd go with: "Die-hard fans."

Will Trump's fans wear masks? Will they "social distance" inside the crowded hall? One thing is clear: while Trump expects the faithful to mass and mingle in the face of an ongoing pandemic, Trump and his lawyers are not taking any risks. The following small print appears on the official, online event registration page posted by

By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury. -more-

ECLECTIC RANT:On John Bolton’s Book

Ralph E. Stone
Saturday June 20, 2020 - 01:13:00 PM

The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton, former National Security Advisor for the United States: As Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) aptly remarked, John Bolton “may be an author, but he’s no patriot.” -more-


The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 21-28

Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday June 20, 2020 - 01:11:00 PM

Worth Noting:

Seven City meetings were found.

The Police Review Commission is working on revising the Berkeley Police Use of Force Policy. The subcommittee meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday and the full Commission meets on Wednesday.

Berkeley City Council goes into closed session on Monday to meet with labor negotiators, Tuesday is a special meeting of the full council on the budget and Thursday the Budget Committee meets.

ZAB meets Thursday evening to review 5 projects.

Juneteenth Celebrations continue through the weekend.

Coronavirus – The daily number of new cases of Coronavirus in Texas, Florida and Arizona is in an upward spike. California continues to rise too with hospitalizations increasing slightly. Mercury News | East Bay Times have detailed key information for California in the Coronavirus Tracker

The CIDRAP – Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy posted Chinese study: Antibodies in COVID-19 patients fade quickly. The study was of a small number of patients, but the take away is that there may not be long term immunity after recovering from COVID-19. It looks like wearing facial coverings will need to continue for a long time including for those who have had COVID-19 and recovered. There is still a lot to learn about SARS-CoV-2.

The June 30 City Council meeting agenda is available for comment and follows the daily meeting summaries.

To submit comment during meeting to be read during public comment email and include item number

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father’s Day

Monday, June 22, 2020

Police Review Commission – Use of Force Subcommittee, 5:30 pm


Teleconference: 669.900.6833 Meeting ID: 874 8966 1585

Agenda: Continue draft of Use of Force BPD Policy 300

Berkeley City Council – Closed Session, Tuesday, 5:00 pm,


Teleconference: 669.900.9128 Meeting ID: 820 1217 7428

Agenda: Conference with Labor Negotiators, Employee Organizations, Berkeley Fire Fighters Assoc 1227, Berkeley Police Assoc, SEIU, Local 1021, Maintenance and Clerical, Chapters Berkeley Fire Fighters Assoc, Local 1227 I.A.F.F. / Berkeley Chief Fire Officiers Assoc, IBEW, Local 1245

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 -more-

Back Stories


Public Comment

It's Time to End America's Longest War—In Korea Gar Smith 06-19-2020

Confederate Names & Statues Jagjit Singh 06-19-2020


UC Berkeley Outlines Fall Semester Plans for Students Amid Pandemic Eli Walsh (BCN) 06-18-2020


DISPATCHES FROM THE EDGE:Tipping The Nuclear Dominos Conn Hallinan 06-19-2020

THE PUBLIC EYE: California’s Economic Problems Bob Burnett 06-19-2020

ON MENTAL ILLNESS: Reality Checking and Beyond Jack Bragen 06-19-2020

SMITHEREENS: Reflections on Bits & Pieces Gar Smith 06-19-2020

ECLECTIC RANT:On John Bolton’s Book Ralph E. Stone 06-20-2020

Arts & Events

The Berkeley Activist's Calendar, June 21-28 Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition 06-20-2020