On Tuesday December 9, 2014, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates
canceled the regularly scheduled meeting of the Berkeley City Council. According to a city councilman, the Mayor did
not have the power or authority to do that.
The next night at a meeting of the Berkeley Police Review Commission the
public comment segment produced a stream of assertions that on Saturday
December 6, 2014, a demonstration protesting recent grand jury decisions
elsewhere in the country, the Berkeley Police Department employed the
unauthorized use of teargas and baton strikes for crowd control. The speakers noted that subsequent news
coverage of the event was inaccurate.
One of the public comment speakers said that he had posted videos on Youtube of Saturday night's confrontation using the handle "rancid diesel" and the titles smoke bomb 1 and smoke bomb 2.
An organization of journalists announced they were going to
file a complaint about the way members of the press were treated while covering
the Saturday night confrontation between protesters and police.
On Thursday December 12, in the evening, KCBS news radio reported that on the previous evening an undercover California Highway Patrol officer had drawn his gun and aimed it at a crowd of protesters. Was a modern Kent State incident narrowly avoided?
In Washington on Thursday, the legislative maneuvers that were used to pass a budget measure looked like political extortion.
Has Democracy in action in the United States disintegrated? Is the Republican Reich really what the voters wanted?
For one cynic, what the Berkeley Police Department did on Saturday night could be summarized by the glib question: "Wasn't the Berkeley Police Department merely carrying out Mayor Daley's orders?"
The journalist who had his camera smashed by police this week might be tempted to think that he had experienced a flashback moment that revived the spirit of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention.
Americans have traditionally been advised that if a catastrophe occurs, they should stand by and wait for the authorities to tell them what to do . . . and what to think.
As this tumultuous week in Berkeley came to an end, the situation might cause some nostalgic prone conservatives to recall the words of (then governor of California) St. Ronald Reagan who said: "If it takes a bloodbath to end this dissention on campus, let's have it and be done with it." About four weeks later, students were shot at Kent State and the era of student unrest came to a halt.
Christmas is rapidly approaching and if Santa Claus gets
enough identical requests from conservative millionaires, perhaps SSt. Nick will
accede to their requests and give them a Christmas present America will never forget.
It seems that Karl Rove's wish for a Republican Reich will make his Christmas a happy and holy time this year.
Speaking of Christians, it seems that a new tactic for handling the homeless during a rain storm is to deny them permission to spend time in places like under the awnings of a movie theater. Many liberals seem to forget that in the famous Sermon on the Mount Jesus Christ said: "Blessed are the fascists who kick the homeless f**kers out into the rain!"
Since today is National Believe Day, we will quote W. C. Fields: "A man's gotta believe in something . . . and I believe . . . I'll have another drink."
To be continued . . .