Berkeley Daze

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I turned off my VRWC transponder so the PC police couldn’t track me.

Fun time last night at the Institute for Governmental Studies at Berkeley, talking about whether Obama is “unleashed” or a “lame duck.”  Fellow panelists were Tom Mann (insert melodrama boos and hisses here), Cathleen Decker of the Los Angeles Times, and Ann O’Leary, a senior adviser to the Hillary Clinton campaign.  O’Leary was very pleasant and engaging in the ordinary sense, but I noticed a rash on my right arm this morning, so hmmmm.

The panel format and narrow scope of the topic made it difficult to develop arguments about Obama in much depth, so I tried to get inside the heads of the mostly liberal audience with some mis-directions, such as wondering how they’ll like Obama-style executive exertions when a Republican president tries it. I’ll post a video when it is available.

IMG_3462But it wasn’t all liberals.  It was great to have some Power Line readers in the audience.  You want to know how great Power Line readers are?  One fellow, whose name I haven’t retained (very sorry!), informed me that he gave up Power Line for Lent! Fortunately, he was strictly observant, and said that he took the occasion of Feast Days (when Lenten fasts are off) to catch up on several days of Power Line—up to 45 minutes at a time.  Now that’s devotion—on both sides.

Another Power Line reader reports this morning:

[A]pparently you were guilty of “micro-aggression.” The moderator, I believe, had said something to the effect that Obama was not a schmoozer or otherwise did not try to spend time with his party or woo his opponents. A little later, you said something about whether or not “having a whiskey with the guys” would have been effective for Obama. At that point, a woman across the aisle from me hissed “You’re a sexist!” and walked out on the discussion a few seconds later. “Trigger words,” or something, I suppose. Heh.

Yes, I call that a Win. Though it sounds like it might qualify as a “macro-aggression”—my favorite kind.  I really don’t go in for micro-aggressions.

IMG_3475This morning I put on my running togs and cruised some of the campus and old nearby haunts. As you can see nearby, Berkeley is a smoke- and tobacco-free campus. But nothing about marijuana products, so I guess pot brownies are good to go.

Moe’s used bookstore on Telegraph Avenue is still going (so is University Press Books on Bancroft), as is Café Mediterranean across the street—the place that claims to have invented Latte, and near the spot where Dustin Hoffman chases down the bus that Katherine Ross is riding in The Graduate.

IMG_3472Fun to watch The Graduate with a Bay Area audience, for the scene where everyone screams at Hoffman that he’s driving the wrong way on the Bay Bridge when rushing to the climactic wedding scene.

But otherwise Telegraph south of campus is really seedy these days.  Cody’s bookstore closed a while ago, and its old corner location is still vacant, but is being remodeled right now for something. The life of Berkeley seems to have migrated down to Shattuck Ave.

Good also to see also that Top Dog is still going strong on Durant Ave.  Top Dog is a libertarian hot dog stand.

The Daily Californian today has a déjà vu-all-over-again story about protests against UC trying to develop some empty ag land it owns:

University of California students, East Bay locals and environmental activists — including dogs, chickens, ducks and one grass-munching goat [my comment: how, exactly, could they tell?] — gathered Sunday on a tract of university-owned land in Albany for the second day of weekend-long celebrations and demonstrations.

In protest of the construction on the land, locals and members of activist group Occupy the Farm, or OTF, erected a farm stand on the property Saturday and sold locally grown produce and other products from the stand Sunday. Other activities, such as yoga and group discussions, were held nearby. Simultaneously, on the 10-acre Gill Tract Community Farm on the north end of the property, volunteers celebrated the farm’s one-year anniversary, including a “birthday” party with cake. . .

OTF and other protesters have criticized the university’s plans to develop the land on the basis that there are enough grocery stores in the Albany area already and on the basis of air quality concerns and allegations that Sprouts is a “greenwashed” supermarket, not a “real” farmer’s market.

According to UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof, the university expects development of the tract to proceed as planned and will “provide the community of Alameda with what it said it wants.”

The nearly $1 million in revenue generated from the project will be used to subsidize housing in the nearby University Village, among other uses.

Isn’t this how the whole “People’s Park” nonsense started 45 years ago?  And just what is California supposed to do with farmland now that it won’t supply water for farmland any more?  And next time anyone at Berkeley complains about housing shortages or high rents, tell then to shut up and camp out at what will no doubt shortly become “People’s Farm.” Anyway, more photos below:

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Yeah–I believe this.

At Sather Gate: Who's up for some Free Speech?

At Sather Gate: Who’s up for some Free Speech?

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