“THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD” FILM

I Love Docs On 26 September 1983, the computers in the Serpukhov-15 bunker outside Moscow, which housed the command center of the Soviet early warning satellite system, twice reported that U.S. intercontinental ballistic missiles were heading toward the Soviet Union. Stanislav Petrov, who was duty officer that night, suspected that the system was malfunctioning and managed to convince his superiors of the same thing. He argued that if the U.S. was going to attack pre-emptively it would do so with more than just five missiles and that it was best to wait for ground radar confirmation before launching a counter-attack. ILoveDocs.com is your YouTube destination for full-length feature documentaries. Don’t miss an upload: https://youtube.com/c/ILoveDocs Visit I Love Docs. https://ilovedocs.com

Trump Testing 2024 Waters By Inciting Iowans To Burn State Capitol To Ground

Thursday 12:00PM (theonion.com)

WASHINGTON—Calling the smoldering ruins in downtown Des Moines a potential preview of 2024, pundits theorized Thursday that Donald Trump could be testing the waters for another presidential run by inciting Iowans to burn the state capitol to the ground. “While he has yet to formally announce his intention to run, the fact that Trump took the stage, raised a torch, and demanded the crowd sprint towards the Iowa Statehouse to set it ablaze is definitely a clue” said CNN analyst Chris Cillizza, adding that Trump sent out multiple feelers that day, which confirmed that voters were more than willing to rush the Iowa State Capitol, douse the building in gasoline, and throw in a lit match to ignite the flame. “While some were unsure if the former president had another campaign in him, he was successfully able to mobilize tens of thousands of Iowans to torch their state capitol and dance in the inferno. Frankly, if this isn’t a sign that he’ll run in 2024, I don’t know what is.” At press time, Cillizza noted that President Biden may want to watch out after photos surfaced of Trump unzipping his fly and urinating on the wreckage.

CVS spending big money to fight Medicare for All!

CVS is spending a scary amount of money to undermine Medicare for All — and this October, we’re taking action in a big way to hold them accountable.

At CVS stores across the country, hundreds of activists and nurses are bringing our CVS style “receipts” and attaching them to the front doors of CVS locations. These printable pages share the names of thousands of activists standing with us, along with our demands, calling on CVS to stop funding anti-Medicare for All efforts. 

To make sure our voices are heard loud and clear, we set a goal to visit 500 total stores by the end of October — and right now, we’re over half way to reaching our goal! 

With less than two weeks until our October 31st deadline, we need all hands on deck to make sure we hit our goal and hold CVS accountable for their profit-driven actions. To help us get there, we made an extra-special — and extra spooky — edition of our CVS-style “receipt” with our demands and signatures. 

Check it out below, and then sign up here to commit to taking solo-action at a CVS in your community. Once you sign up, you’ll be emailed all the information you need to take action.

 SIGN UP TO TAKE ACTION »

Stanislav Petrov: The man who saved the world

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Stanislav Petrov
Petrov at his house in 2016
BornStanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov
7 September 1939
VladivostokRussian SFSRSoviet Union
Died19 May 2017 (aged 77)
FryazinoRussian Federation
Known for1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident
Spouse(s)Raisa Petrov (m. 1973; died 1997)
Children2
Military career
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branchSoviet Air Defence Forces
Years of service1972–1984
RankLieutenant colonel

Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (Russian: Станисла́в Евгра́фович Петро́в; 7 September 1939 – 19 May 2017) was a lieutenant colonel of the Soviet Air Defence Forces who played a key role in the 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident.[1] On 26 September 1983, three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile had been launched from the United States, followed by up to five more. Petrov judged the reports to be a false alarm,[2] and his decision to disobey orders, against Soviet military protocol,[3] is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in the Third World War and a large-scale nuclear war which could have wiped out half of the population of the countries involved. An investigation later confirmed that the Soviet satellite warning system had indeed malfunctioned. Because of this incident, Petrov is often credited as having “saved the world”.[4][5][6]

Early life and military career

Petrov was born on 7 September 1939 near Vladivostok. His father, Yevgraf, flew fighter aircraft during World War II.[7] His mother was a nurse.[7]

Petrov enrolled at the Kiev Higher Engineering Radio-Technical College of the Soviet Air Forces, and after graduating in 1972 he joined the Soviet Air Defence Forces.[8] In the early 1970s, he was assigned to the organization that oversaw the new early warning system intended to detect ballistic missile attacks from NATO countries.[7][9]

Petrov was married to Raisa, and had a son, Dmitri, and a daughter, Yelena. His wife died of cancer in 1997.[7]

Incident

Main article: 1983 Soviet nuclear false alarm incident

According to the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN, nuclear retaliation requires that multiple sources confirm an attack.[10] In any case, the incident exposed a serious flaw in the Soviet early warning system. Petrov has said that he was neither rewarded nor punished for his actions.[11]

Had Petrov reported incoming American missiles, his superiors might have launched an assault against the United States,[3] precipitating a corresponding nuclear response from the United States. Petrov declared the system’s indication a false alarm. Later, it was apparent that he was right: no missiles were approaching and the computer detection system was malfunctioning. It was subsequently determined that the false alarm had been created by a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds above North Dakota and the Molniya orbits of the satellites, an error later corrected by cross-referencing a geostationary satellite.[12][13][14]

Petrov later indicated that the influences on his decision included that he had been told a US strike would be all-out, so five missiles seemed an illogical start;[2] that the launch detection system was new and, in his view, not yet wholly trustworthy; that the message passed through 30 layers of verification too quickly;[15] and that ground radar failed to pick up corroborative evidence, even after minutes of delay.[16] However, in a 2013 interview, Petrov said at the time he was never sure that the alarm was erroneous. He felt that his civilian training helped him make the right decision. He said that his colleagues were all professional soldiers with purely military training and, following instructions, would have reported a missile launch if they had been on his shift.[3]

Petrov underwent intense questioning by his superiors about his judgment. Initially, he was praised for his decision.[2] General Yury Votintsev, then commander of the Soviet Air Defense’s Missile Defense Units, who was the first to hear Petrov’s report of the incident (and the first to reveal it to the public in the 1990s), states that Petrov’s “correct actions” were “duly noted”.[2] Petrov himself states he was initially praised by Votintsev and promised a reward,[2][17] but recalls that he was also reprimanded for improper filing of paperwork because he had not described the incident in the war diary.[17][18]

He received no reward. According to Petrov, this was because the incident and other bugs found in the missile detection system embarrassed his superiors and the scientists who were responsible for it, so that if he had been officially rewarded, they would have had to be punished.[2][11][17][18] He was reassigned to a less sensitive post,[18] took early retirement (although he emphasized that he was not “forced out” of the army, as is sometimes claimed by Western sources),[17] and suffered a nervous breakdown.[18]

In a later interview, Petrov stated that the famous red button was never made operational, as military psychologists did not want to put the decision about a nuclear war into the hands of one single person.[19][20]

The incident became known publicly in 1998 upon the publication of Votintsev’s memoirs. Widespread media reports since then have increased public awareness of Petrov’s actions.[21][22]

There is some confusion as to precisely what Petrov’s military role was in this incident. Petrov, as an individual, was not in a position where he could have single-handedly launched any of the Soviet missile arsenal. His sole duty was to monitor satellite surveillance equipment and report missile attack warnings up the chain of command; top Soviet leadership would have decided whether to launch a retaliatory attack against the West. But Petrov’s role was crucial in providing information to make that decision.[23] According to Bruce G. Blair, a Cold War nuclear strategies expert and nuclear disarmament advocate, formerly with the Center for Defense Information, “The top leadership, given only a couple of minutes to decide, told that an attack had been launched, would make a decision to retaliate.”[24][25]

Petrov later said “I had obviously never imagined that I would ever face that situation. It was the first and, as far as I know, also the last time that such a thing had happened, except for simulated practice scenarios.”[23]

Later career

In the aftermath of the incident, the Soviet government investigated the incident and determined that Petrov had insufficiently documented his actions during the crisis. He explained it as “Because I had a phone in one hand and the intercom in the other, and I don’t have a third hand”; nevertheless, Petrov received a reprimand.[7][26]

In 1984, Petrov left the military and got a job at the research institute that had developed the Soviet Union’s early warning system. He later retired so he could care for his wife after she was diagnosed with cancer.[7] A BBC report in 1998 stated Petrov had suffered a mental breakdown and quoted Petrov as saying, “I was made a scapegoat.”[18][27]

During a visit to the United States for the filming of the documentary The Man Who Saved the World, Petrov toured in May 2007 the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and, having retired from USSR military, commented, “[he] would never have imagined being able to visit one of the enemy’s securest sites.”[28]

Petrov died on 19 May 2017 from hypostatic pneumonia, though it was not widely reported until September.[29][30][31]

Awards and commendations

On 21 May 2004, the San Francisco-based Association of World Citizens gave Petrov its World Citizen Award along with a trophy and $1,000 “in recognition of the part he played in averting a catastrophe.”[32] In January 2006, Petrov travelled to the United States where he was honored in a meeting at the United Nations in New York City. There the Association of World Citizens presented Petrov with a second special World Citizen Award.[33] The next day, Petrov met American journalist Walter Cronkite at his CBS office in New York City.

That interview, in addition to other highlights of Petrov’s trip to the United States, was filmed for The Man Who Saved the World,[32][34] a narrative feature and documentary film, directed by Peter Anthony of Denmark. It premiered in October 2014 at the Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, New York, winning “Honorable Mention: Audience Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature” and “Honorable Mention: James Lyons Award for Best Editing of a Narrative Feature.”[35]

For his actions in averting a potential nuclear war in 1983, Petrov was awarded the Dresden Peace Prize in Dresden, Germany, on 17 February 2013. The award included €25,000.[36] On 24 February 2012, he was given the 2011 German Media Award, presented to him at a ceremony in Baden-Baden, Germany.[32][37][38]

On 26 September 2018 he was posthumously honored in New York with the $50,000 Future of Life Award.[39] At a ceremony at the Museum of Mathematics in New York, former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said: “It is hard to imagine anything more devastating for humanity than all-out nuclear war between Russia and the United States. Yet this might have occurred by accident on September 26, 1983, were it not for the wise decisions of Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov. For this, he deserves humanity’s profound gratitude. Let us resolve to work together to realize a world free from fear of nuclear weapons, remembering the courageous judgement of Stanislav Petrov.” As Petrov had died, the award was collected by his daughter, Elena. Petrov’s son Dmitry missed his flight to New York because the US embassy delayed his visa.[39][40]

On the same day that Petrov was first honored at the United Nations in New York City, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations issued a press release contending that a single person could not have started or prevented a nuclear war, stating in part, “Under no circumstances a decision to use nuclear weapons could be made or even considered in the Soviet Union or in the United States on the basis of data from a single source or a system. For this to happen, a confirmation is necessary from several systems: ground-based radars, early warning satellites, intelligence reports, etc.”[10]

But nuclear security expert Bruce G. Blair has said that at that time, the U.S.–Soviet relationship had deteriorated to the point where “the Soviet Union as a system—not just the Kremlin, not just Andropov, not just the KGB—but as a system, was geared to expect an attack and to retaliate very quickly to it. It was on hair-trigger alert. It was very nervous and prone to mistakes and accidents. The false alarm that happened on Petrov’s watch could not have come at a more dangerous, intense phase in US–Soviet relations.”[23] At that time, according to Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB chief of foreign counterintelligence, “The danger was in the Soviet leadership thinking, ‘The Americans may attack, so we better attack first.'”[41]

Petrov said he did not know whether he should have regarded himself as a hero for what he did that day.[23] In an interview for the film The Man Who Saved the World, Petrov says, “All that happened didn’t matter to me—it was my job. I was simply doing my job, and I was the right person at the right time, that’s all. My late wife for 10 years knew nothing about it. ‘So what did you do?’ she asked me. ‘Nothing. I did nothing.'”[23]

Stanislav Petrov Day — September 26

Link to annual event: http://occupysf.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=20272&action=edit

Stanislav Petrov (2016)

Think recalling Boudin is the answer to San Francisco crime? You haven’t been paying attention

Randy Knox Oct. 15, 2021 (SFChronicle.com)

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin gets blamed for a wide range of problems, some of which are beyond his control.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin gets blamed for a wide range of problems, some of which are beyond his control.Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle

As a prosecutor under San Francisco District Attorney Arlo Smith in the ’80s and ’90s, I watched as the crack epidemic, gang violence and rising murder rates made the city feel chaotic and unsafe. Later in my career, as a criminal defense lawyer, I defended cases against prosecutors under District Attorneys Terence Hallinan, Kamala Harris, George Gascón and Suzy Loftus.

All told, I have been practicing criminal law in this city for over 35 years. And I can say with the certainly of experience that disorder and strife in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office are nothing new.

One thing I’ve never seen, however, is San Franciscans take a vote on whether to recall their district attorney amid the chaos.

Chesa Boudin was elected district attorney in 2019 in a ranked-choice election, receiving the most first place votes and the most adjusted first-place votes as the most progressive candidate in a field that included interim District Attorney Loftus, who had been appointed by Mayor London Breed one month before the election after Gascón resigned to move to Los Angeles.

Boudin is an easy target for those dissatisfied with the state of public safety in San Francisco. Statistics showing that crime is down are outweighed by the general perception that our current situation is bad and not getting any better. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan recently took the highly unusual step of publicly commenting on the situation: “I cannot express in any more certain terms my disapproval of the manner in which the Office of the District Attorney is being managed,” and “we simply cannot have the current levels of inadvertence, disorganization, and expect there to be any confidence in what we do here collectively.”

But in my opinion, the criminal justice system has teetered on the verge of collapse for decades, long before Boudin took office.

Under each district attorney, unclear or inconsistent priorities, internecine power struggles and a variable work ethic among staff have hindered the efficient administration of justice. The perpetual emphasis on conviction rates has overshadowed the welfare of those who live, work and visit San Francisco. The constant friction between the police and the district attorney has also contributed to delays in prosecutions and disparities in outcomes that undermine public confidence in the system.

Things have worsened with COVID, no doubt. Court backlogs have increased to record levels because emergency COVID orders closed some courts and extended all speedy trial deadlines by months. San Francisco Public Defender Mano Raju sued the courts last month for failing to provide defendants with timely trials. Having to sit in an enclosed space with strangers has made jury duty even less appealing than it was before. Because of jail overcrowding during COVID and the abolition of cash bail in California, judges are called on more often to decide which pretrial detainees (all of whom are presumed innocent) are released and who remains in jail. Some of those released will commit more crimes.

But the general discord and disarray in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office are features of the system, not bugs.

When Hallinan took office in 1996 he immediately fired 14 senior prosecutors, causing an unprecedented level of anxiety at his office. Harris was blasted by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the cops for not seeking the death penalty in the murder of San Francisco Police Officer Isaac Espinosa. Harris also had to weather the San Francisco Police Department Crime Lab scandal when technician Deborah Madden was accused of pilfering cocaine from the evidence locker. Thousands of pending criminal cases were dismissed as a result.

Property crimes in San Francisco increased almost 50% under Gascón. His relationships with Mayor Breed and then City Attorney Dennis Herrera were so bad that they endorsed Gascón’s opponent, Jackie Lacey, when Gascón ran for Los Angeles District Attorney.

Regardless of who’s in charge, the cops always say the district attorney is too soft on crime and the loudest voices on the office’s staff complain that morale had never been lower.

It’s pointless now to argue that Boudin’s recall is a waste of time and money or a distraction from actual governance. Or that Boudin has not committed malfeasance that warrants a recall or that he can be thrown out by the voters in 2024. The vote is likely happening and we’re stuck with it.

The majority of San Franciscan who voted in 2019 supported Boudin’s progressive stances despite, or maybe because of, his lack of prosecutorial experience. The rancor of this recall seems fueled by the discontent of those who voted for someone else, many of whom blame Boudin for a wide range of problems, some of which are beyond his control; homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness have never been solved or even lessened by the criminal justice system.

The criminal justice system is a machine that needs the gears to mesh and work together. Prosecutors have to accept and implement the policies of the district attorney. The police have to fairly and conscientiously investigate crimes and make arrests. Prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges have to prepare, evaluate and resolve cases through restorative and rehabilitative programs, pleas or trials. Even in the adversarial criminal system, civility helps.

Recalling Boudin will not be the magic bullet that improves public safety.

Randy Knox is a criminal defense attorney and former San Francisco assistant district attorney.About Opinion

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Rumble Ep. 215: Kafka in America. It Can’t Happen Here? With Steven Donziger

Michael Moore Steven Donziger has spent the last 800 days under house arrest with a government tracking device around his ankle. His crime? Well, Donziger is the lawyer who successfully sued the oil giant Chevron on behalf of the people of Ecuador for deliberately discharging 16 billion gallons of toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon between 1964 and 1992. Donziger and his colleagues succeeded and won a $9.5 billion judgment on behalf of the indigenous and poor communities of Ecuador in 2011. Chevron has yet to pay a dime on this judgement and instead, have brought this case to the friendly confines of the United States and turned Donziger, the person who successfully prosecuted them, into the one doing time. Mike is joined by Steven Donziger, live from his house arrest, to explain the Kafka-esque/Twilight Zone case in which Donziger is serving as the punching bag of corporate America, with the American people footing the bill. They discuss this bizarre and unprecedented case, his condition, and what we all must do to fight back. Episode Notes: Announcement on U.N. Human Rights body ruling that the U.S. government must release Donziger from “arbitrary” detention and compensate him for legal violations: https://www.makechevroncleanup.com/pr… Slate’s piece on the horrific facts of this case: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2… Donate to Donziger’s legal fund and sign the petition for his release here: https://www.freedonziger.com Call Attorney General Merrick Garland’s office to demand the federal government take on this case and pursue justice for Donziger: 202-514-2000 Or email AG Garland here: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/y… And make sure to call your respective Congressperson to pressure them on this issue: (202) 224-3121 Music in the episode: “I Fought The Law” – The Clash https://youtu.be/yhcreVY_qLI ****** Sign-up for Michael Moore’s FREE email list at: MichaelMoore.com A full transcript of this episode can be found here: https://rumble.media/category/podcast…

Obits Black Out Claims That Reagan Conspired to Keep Hostages in Iran Until After 1980 Election

Obituaries for Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, Iran’s first post-revolution president, largely left out his claims about the “October Surprise.”

Jon Schwarz

Jon Schwarz October 11 2021, 2:08 p.m. (theintercept.com)

(Original Caption) 12/3/1980-Tehran, Iran- Iran's President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr holds a press conference recently. The 52 U.S. hostages held by Iran were facing their second Christmas in captivity December 24.

Then-Iranian President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr holds a press conference on Dec. 3, 1980, in Tehran, Iran. At the time, 52 U.S. hostages held by Iran were facing their second Christmas in captivity. Photo: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

ABOLHASSAN BANI-SADR, Iran’s first president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, died Saturday at age 88 in Paris.

There have been remarkably few U.S. obituaries for such a significant figure. Only one mentions what is probably the most important fact about Bani-Sadr’s life from the perspective of American politics: He claimed that Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign colluded with the post-revolution Iranian government to keep U.S. hostages in Iran until after that year’s election.

The lone exception was from The Associated Press, and even it mentioned the subject mostly to knock it down. The AP obituary stated that Bani-Sadr “gained notoriety after alleging without evidence in a book that Ronald Reagan’s campaign colluded with Iranian leaders to hold up the hostage release.”

In fact, rumors that the Reagan campaign had made some sort of agreement with Iran’s Islamic Republic began swirling in Washington soon after Reagan’s landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter. The possibility became known as the “October Surprise” theory thanks to the documented concern in the Reagan camp that Carter would pull off a release of the hostages in October, just before the election. (The AP obituary incorrectly says that Bani-Sadr’s book “gave birth to the idea of the ‘October Surprise’ in American politics.”)

While largely forgotten now, the seizure of 52 U.S. diplomats and citizens at the American Embassy in Tehran by revolutionary Iranian students, and the failure of the Carter administration to free the hostages, was a central issue in the 1980 presidential contest.

By 1992, what would be the final year of the George H.W. Bush administration, there was enough political pressure on the subject that both the Senate and the House of Representatives opened investigations. Both found that there was no significant substance to the allegations.

By this point Bani-Sadr had — as referenced by the AP — stated in his 1991 memoir, “My Turn to Speak,” that in the spring of 1980, “Americans close to Reagan” had proposed “not a reconciliation between governments but a secret agreement between leaders.”RelatedSeven Things You Didn’t Know the U.S. and Its Allies Did to Iran

Bani-Sadr wrote that he had in fact spoken publicly about this in real time: “In late October 1980, everyone was openly discussing the agreement with the Americans on the Reagan team. In the October 27 issue of Enghelab Eslami” — or Islamic Revolution, Bani-Sadr’s newspaper — “I published an editorial saying that Carter was no longer in control of U.S. foreign policy and had yielded the real power to those who … had negotiated with the mullahs on the hostage affair.”

In December 1992, Bani-Sadr sent a detailed letter to the investigative task force in the House. He had learned of the possibility of a hostage deal in July 1980, he said, from Reza Passendideh, the nephew of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the first supreme leader of Iran.

Bani-Sadr later wrote in 2013 that Ben Affleck’s movie “Argo” egregiously misrepresented some facts surrounding the revolution in Iran. One example, he explained, was this:

Ayatollah Khomeini and Ronald Reagan had organized a clandestine negotiation, later known as the “October Surprise,” which prevented the attempts by myself and then-US President Jimmy Carter to free the hostages. … Two of my advisors, Hussein Navab Safavi and Sadr-al-Hefazi, were executed by Khomeini’s regime because they had become aware of this secret.

The passage evinces Bani-Sadr’s strong animus toward the Khomeini government. Bani-Sadr was elected in January 1980 with almost 80 percent of the vote but held more moderate positions than other factions vying for power in the fluid post-revolutionary period. He was impeached with Khomeini’s support in June 1981 and soon fled the country fearing for his life.

BANI-SADR’S CREDIBILITY has been called into question. The House task force claimed that “Bani-Sadr’s analysis demonstrates how some Iranians may have mistakenly misled themselves to believe that Khomeini representatives met with Reagan campaign officials.” Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., excoriated Bani-Sadr on the floor of the House in 1991.

However, Bani-Sadr is by no means the only top government official to assert that there was a clandestine agreement on the U.S. hostages. The late reporter Robert Parry covered this subject in great depth, pointing out that former Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Shamir stated that “of course” there was an October Surprise conspiracy. The biographer of Alexandre de Marenches, the extremely conservative head of French intelligence at the time, has said that de Marenches told him that the French secret service helped arrange the meetings.Bani-Sadr is by no means the only top government official to assert that there was a clandestine agreement on the U.S. hostages.

Russia’s post-Soviet government sent the House task force a report asserting that there was such a deal. Yet House investigators did not publicly acknowledge the report, including it only in the classified version of their conclusions. Parry stumbled across the classified documents by accident in a Capitol Hill bathroom repurposed for storage.

And Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat directly told Carter in the 1990s that the Reagan campaign approached him with an offer of arms for his Palestine Liberation Organization if he could help broker a deal with Iran.

Last but not least, the headline for the story on Reagan’s 1981 inauguration in the Onion book “Our Dumb Century” is: “Hostages Released; Reagan Urges Nation Not to Put Two and Two Together.”

The moves from Reagan’s campaign would not have been a new tack for a Republican aspirant to the White House. It is has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the 1968 Richard Nixon campaign conspired with the government of South Vietnam to thwart a peace deal that would have boosted the chances of Nixon’s rival, Hubert Humphrey.

Whatever the underlying truth of the October Surprise theory, it is simply a fact that Bani-Sadr said what he said, repeatedly.

Bani-Sadr’s New York Times obituary mentions that Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations at the time resigned over the taking of the hostages and wrote a long article condemning it — and only one place in Iran published it: a newspaper supporting Bani-Sadr.

The peculiar blackout of Bani-Sadr’s perspective on the extension of the hostage crisis for Reagan’s political gain suggests that the distance between the U.S. corporate press and the Iranian media is not as large as we might hope.

CONTACT THE AUTHOR:

Jon Schwarzjon.schwarz@​theintercept.com@Schwarz

Owning the Progressives: A new book takes aim at San Francisco’s social policies

Homeless people sleep outside entrances to the San Francisco Public Library during the homeless point-in-time count in 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Homeless people sleep outside entrances to the San Francisco Public Library during the homeless point-in-time count in 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Analyzing ‘San Fransicko,’ a sweeping conservative critique of The City’s approach to social issues

There is a sickness in the progressive soul. In a philosophical vacuum devoid of religion or patriotism, progressives have embraced “victimology,” a belief system wherein society’s downtrodden are subject to no rules or consequences for their actions. This ideology, cultivated in cities like San Francisco for decades and widely adopted over the past two years, is the key to understanding, and thus solving, our crises of homelessness, drug overdoses and crime.

So goes the central argument of “San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities” by Michael Shellenberger (Harper, 416 pgs.). It’s yet another installment in a flourishing genre of apocalyptic nonfiction about The City, this one closer to the Fox News school. As a Bay Area resident and a lapsed progressive activist who previously focused on the environment and drug decriminalization, Shellenberger writes with the conviction of a convert. As such, he cherry picks data that fits his narrative, and overlooks essential counterfactuals — namely, the situation in conservative America.

“San Fransicko’s” philosophical dimension is bizarre and unnecessary, blinding remotely progressive readers to a sprinkling of specific policy criticisms that deserve a hearing in our public discourse. Shellenberger points out just how polarized and calcified so much of the thinking on homelessness, mental health, and addiction have become, while failing to build any bridges for those inclined to disagree with him.

Shellenberger wastes no time in setting the tone, opening “San Fransicko” with an anecdote about the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, or CHAZ, that emerged in Seattle in the wake of last summer’s racial justice protests. To Shellenberger, the CHAZ demonstrates how, “Democratic elected officials stopped enforcing many laws against certain groups of people, from unhoused people suffering mental illness and drug addiction in San Francisco… to heavily armed and mostly white anarchists in Seattle.”

It’s the first of many unrepresentative examples and inappropriate conflations that illustrate the book’s big ideas. Horrific, sensational moments, like an act of domestic violence Shellenberger witnessed in 1993, or the woman who was attacked by a mentally ill man outside of her SoMa apartment in 2019, are presented as regular occurrences on the streets of San Francisco, much as they are on the nightly news.

The contemporary struggles of West Coast cities are rooted in a deep genealogy of progressive thought, according to Shellenberger. Cult leader Jim Jones and early childhood expert Dr. Spock, in different ways, emphasized love and care over personal responsibility; philosopher Michel Foucault and the anti-psychiatry movement claimed mental healthcare was a system of social control. These diverse left-wing figures and movements are all antecedents of the current ruination of San Francisco, Shellenberger argues. It was progressives who began the movement to shut state mental institutions; progressives who loosened controls on prescription drugs in the ’90s, contributing to the opioid epidemic; and progressives who today allow the homeless to pitch their tents wherever they please, while rejecting new housing construction.

“San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities” is a new offering by Michael Shellenberger. (Courtesy Harper Collins)

“San Fransicko: Why Progressives Ruin Cities” is a new offering by Michael Shellenberger. (Courtesy Harper Collins)

There are times when this attempt to link “progressives” past and present feels conspiratorial, not too far off from conservative agitator Dinesh D’Souza’s feverish efforts to connect the dots between the early KKK and today’s Democratic party.

As Shellenberger goes deeper into his theory of “victimology,” he essentially outs himself as a conservative, repackaging age-old talking points for the issues facing 21st century California. (Shellenberger endorsed Republican Kevin Faulconer in the gubernatorial recall election.)

“Lack of discipline to delay gratification makes people fragile,” he writes of progressive approaches to homelessness and addiction. In liberal cities, the main failure of the criminal justice system is that it’s “not hard enough” on people. As for the opioid epidemic, that’s at least partially a result of a “culture of coddling,” Shellenberger writes. “Patients suffering pain felt more confidence demanding opioids while refusing to accept responsibility” for their health by eating better and exercising more.

Ultimately, victimology amounts to a sort of reverse racism. Progressives are in the thrall of the “idea that all white people are Persecutors and all black people are Victims,” Shellenberger writes. He suggests, without evidence, that progressive district attorneys, like San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin, have begun “enforcing the law differently according to race and class.”

Even if this were true, Shellenberger glosses over the fact that America’s criminal justice system has long discriminated by race and class — in the opposite direction — and attempts at criminal justice reform exist within that context. The recent upticks in property crime and homicides in cities like San Francisco also exist within a dramatic 30-year decline in crime that corresponded with a significant decrease in incarceration. Shellenberger spares no thought for the lives and communities that have been improved by a less punitive and carceral criminal justice system.

And still, violent crime is now more likely to occur in smaller and mid-sized cities than big ones, with just 4% of U.S. murders taking place in New York and Los Angeles in 2020, compared to 14% in 2019, according to a New York Times analysis of FBI data — but that’s just not interesting to Shellenberger or most other commentators in the media. Likewise, the victimology thesis and progressive drug policies do little to explain the massive addiction and overdose problems in conservative, rural areas throughout the United States.

Homelessness, by contrast, is an issue that is clearly much worse in liberal, West Coast cities. Shellenberger contends this is largely the result of a constellation of progressive policies related to drugs, mental health, and laws regulating the use of public space. He argues the gradual loosening of criminal penalties for possessing or selling drugs has created open-air drug markets that act as magnets for people who use drugs, while discouraging them from seeking treatment. The dearth of psychiatric treatment beds in California, and the very high bar the state requires for conservatorship, has forced the severely mentally ill onto the streets or into jails. Cities’ unwillingness to enforce laws against camping in public spaces emboldens people to live outdoors.

Shellenberger very quickly rejects the notion that high rents and scarce housing are the primary drivers of homelessness. In a short paragraph, he dismisses a Zillow report demonstrating a correlation between high housing costs and homelessness — one of many studies that point to the same, intuitive conclusion — by quoting a five-word caveat within the report that doesn’t actually refute its central findings. Additionally, Shellenber makes virtually no mention of America’s tattered social safety net, including the nation’s chronically underfunded public housing system, or the fact that Section 8 vouchers are only available to about a quarter of the households who qualify.

Researchers acknowledge mental illness and drug addiction play a major role in homelessness, in addition to factors like domestic violence, job loss, eviction, health problems and other forces. But the cost and availability of housing is the preexisting condition that is at the root of homelessness. In more affordable cities like Houston or St. Louis, a disability or welfare check might be enough to pay for a ramshackle apartment. Good luck pulling that off in San Francisco or New York.

But Shellenberger suggests that even the term “homeless” is misleading. “The word directs our attention to things perceived as outside of a person’s control, such as the high cost of housing, and away from things perceived as in their control, such as working, parenting, and staying sober.”

Beyond the moralizing, Shellenberger offers some provocative and worthwhile points, many of them voiced by respected homelessness and public health experts. He takes aim at Housing First, the philosophy that has been the official U.S. policy on homelessness since the Bush Administration, and which has been embraced with particular zeal by liberal cities. The basic premise is that housing should be given to homeless people unconditionally, without work or sobriety requirements, and that temporary shelter should be de-emphasized in the overall homelessness services ecosystem. (New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, and other cold-weather cities have remained “shelter first” by default, due to laws requiring the government to provide shelter to every homeless person.)

It is a truism that housing is the solution to homelessness. But it’s also true that, as Housing First became the North Star of homelessness policy starting in the mid-2000s, many West Coast cities’ overall and unsheltered homeless populations skyrocketed. San Francisco, for instance, saw a 95 percent increase in unsheltered homelesness between 2005 and 2020, even as its permanent supportive housing stock grew by about 4,500, Shellenberger reports.

A man sleeps on the sidewalk on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

A man sleeps on the sidewalk on Golden Gate Avenue in the Tenderloin. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

While there are many variables in play here — not least of which is ever-escalating rents — there has never been an adequate reckoning with these trends among politicians or homeless service providers. Even as San Francisco and California spend unprecedented amounts of money on homelessness this year ($1 billion and $12 billion in their respective two-year budgets, which is far more per capita than any city or state), there’s still no roadmap for providing housing to every homeless person in the state, let alone those who will become homeless in the future.

In this extremely sensitive and emotionally-charged field, policy prescriptions that deserve to be vetted and debated all too easily harden into dogma. Shellenberger gets many respected homelessness researchers and service providers to admit as much on the record, including Cal sociologist Chris Herring, UPenn homelessness researcher Dennis Culhane, Skid Row street doctor Susan Partovi, and Berkeley homelessness advocate Boona Cheema. All suggest the field’s quasi-religious adherence to Housing First has become unproductive, and that temporary shelter needs to be a bigger part of the conversation.

Shellenberger’s discussion of drug policy includes some huge blind spots, but it, too, poses worthwhile questions. The number of drug overdose deaths in San Francisco has escalated far too dramatically for there not to be some kind of reckoning with current approaches.

Shellenberger points to soft-on-crime and overzealous harm reduction policies as the root of the problem. But his overly simplistic explanation omits the historic success of harm reduction, and the unprecedented circumstances produced by the rise of the opioid fentanyl. In the ‘90s, clean needle exchanges were a huge factor in bringing the AIDS epidemic to heel. San Francisco actually became a model in reducing drug overdose deaths in the early 2010s because of its pioneering embrace of policies like widespread distribution of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone.

The emergence of fentanyl around 2018 dismantled all of that progress, causing the number of drug overdose deaths in The City to triple over three years. The extremely potent, highly addictive drug was detected in the systems of about two-thirds of the 713 people who died of an overdose in 2020. San Francisco is now one of the worst hotspots in the nation’s escalating drug overdose epidemic, which claimed an astonishing 93,000 lives in 2020, a figure that has more than quadrupled over the last two decades.

It’s absurd to pin this ginormous (and all too often unacknowledged) national crisis on a handful of harm reduction and drug decriminalization activists in California. However, that doesn’t mean cities like San Francisco can’t be doing more to prevent so much unnecessary death. Even as activists push for further harm reduction policies like safe consumption sites, it’s hard to understand why court-ordered drug treatment and abstinence-based rehab remain four-letter words. As Shellenberger points out, wealthy people pay very big bucks for “tough love” at abstinence-only Malibu and Wine Country rehabs, yet these kinds of programs are all but absent from Skid Row and the Tenderloin, where it’s harm reduction or bust.

The word “libertarian” appears over and over again in “San Fransicko,” as a crude but not inaccurate stand-in for the West Coast’s “live-and-let-live,” “do your own thing” ethos. It’s part of what makes us the center of so many liberation movements, and so many innovations in science, technology, public policy, and the arts. But it also sets us apart from other cultures that we often lionize for their approaches to homelessness, drugs, and mental health.

Portugal, which famously decriminalized all drugs, is still “a conservative culture where drug use is looked down upon,” Stanford psychologist and addiction expert Keith Humphreys told Shellenberger. “All of these cities (San Francisco, Portland, Seattle) are libertarian in their views about drugs and alcohol. In Portugal, they put pressure on people to go into treatment. It’s social pressure.”

In the Netherlands, another famously permissive country, a certain number of citations for heroin possession triggers mandatory treatment. The Netherlands and many other countries also practice “contingency management,” providing progressively better housing and welfare benefits in exchange for staying sober or taking psychiatric medication. These kinds of policies often exist alongside needle exchanges, safe consumption sites, methadone clinics and ample homelessness and mental health services.

Not every policy that works in other places will work in San Francisco. But it’s remarkable how quickly many best practices — or even remotely functional practices — from across the country and around the world are dismissed by activists and leaders here on the left coast. A little humility and inquisitiveness would seem to be in order, when, clearly, our policies related to homelessness, drugs, and mental health are not working.

Of course, it doesn’t help when the loudest critics are people like Shellenberger, who cloak their constructive contributions in sensationalism and reaction. And it’s understandable why so many activists are defensive of current practices, when a distressing number of voters seem to want those at the margins out of sight and out of mind.

But if progressives pretend these perspectives don’t exist, or insist that revolutionary structural changes are the only solution, they will cede the narrative to their opponents.

bschneider@sfexaminer.com

People sit outside a line of tents on Jones Street in the Tenderloin on June 23. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

People sit outside a line of tents on Jones Street in the Tenderloin on June 23. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)

Articles ~ Petitions / Actions ~ Events for Friday, 10/15 – Sunday, 10/17 (from Adrienne Fong)

Few Events – NOT back posting on a regular basis

Please include Accessibility and ASL info in your events! And if your action is ‘child friendly’

*** ASL interpretation – Let me know if your event needs this service .***

Please post your actions on Indybay: https://www.indybay.org/calendar/?page_id=12

 See Indybay  for many other listings of events.

ARTICLES:

A. 130 More Arrested At the White House; 50+ Indigenous Leaders Occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs; Demonstrators Will March to the Capitol on Friday

130 More Arrested At the White House; 50+ Indigenous Leaders Occupy Bureau of Indian Affairs; Demonstrators Will March to the Capitol on Friday  – People vs. Fossil Fuels (peoplevsfossilfuels.org)

    530 People Have Been Arrested for Civil Disobedience at the White House Since Demonstrations Began on Monday 

B. More than 10,000 John Deere workers go on strike at 14 U.S. plants – October 14, 2021

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/john-deere-strike-14-us-plants/

C. More than 100 San Francisco police and firefighters remain unvaccinated and could lose jobs

More than 100 San Francisco police and firefighters remain unvaccinated and could lose jobs (sfchronicle.com)

D. Netflix To Launch WikiLeaks Smear Job Three Days Before Assange Court Date – October 14, 2021

Netflix To Launch WikiLeaks Smear Job Three Days Before Assange Court Date – Caitlin Johnstone

E. Signals of a new Turkish offensive in Syria after top PKK commander warns of Erdoğan’s “crazy” war plans – October 13, 2021

Signals of a new Turkish offensive in Syria after top PKK commander warns of Erdoğan’s “crazy” war plans – Medya News

F. Abandoning Yemen? United Nations Human Rights Council action silences Yemeni human rights victims.

https://progressive.org/latest/abandoning-yemen-kelly-211013/

G. Dayton Cops Assaulted a Paraplegic Black Driver — The Cop Union Is Defending Them – October 13, 2021

Dayton Cops Assaulted a Paraplegic Black Driver – The Cop Union Is Defending Them – Left Voice

H. ‘A Huge Deal’: Amazon, Google Workers Demand Companies Sever Ties With Israeli Military – October 12, 2021

  ‘A Huge Deal’: Amazon, Google Workers Demand Companies Sever Ties With Israeli Military (commondreams.org)

  See Action/Petition #

I. Free Indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier – October 11, 2021

Free Indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier – YouTube

PETITIONS / ACTIONS

1. Petition to DA David Prater – To stand down!!

  SIGN: DA David Prater is hellbent on executing Julius Jones. Add your name to demand he stand down. | Grassroots Law

Julius Jones’s case goes before the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board on October 26th – he will have a chance to prove his innocence

Julius is innocent. His case to date has been riddled with racism and injustice.

2. Congress must include the Unemployment Insurance Improvement Act in the budget reconciliation bill

  SIGN: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-the-petition-congress-must-include-the-unemployment-insurance-improvement-act-in-the-budget-reconciliation-bill/?source=2021UIBBBA_DK&redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fsecure.actblue.com%2Fdonate%2Fdkllproworker%3Frefcode%3D2021012SWUIBBBA%0A&link_id=1&refcodeEmailReferrer=email_1322567&can_id=4d8abb95a7895a1648b41bfa1ad2bb3b&email_referrer=email_1322567&email_subject=millions-cut-from-unemployment-benefits-and-job-growth-slowed-action-needed

3. Demand that Amazon and Google Execs end all ties with Israeli apartheid and cut the Project Nimbus contract. 

  SIGN: No Tech For Apartheid

Senators: Block the new Saudi arms sale!

  SIGN: Senators: Block the new Saudi arms sale! | Win Without War

EVENTS

Friday, October 15 – Sunday, October 17

Friday, October 15

1. Friday, 10:00am – 12Noon, People Vs. Fossil Fuels Solidarity Action

In person

Federal Courthouse
450 Golden Gate Ave.
SF

From October 11 to 15, thousands of people will take action at the White House, participate in civil disobedience, and demand that President Biden choose a side: People vs. Fossil Fuels.

This Friday we will take the message of the People Vs. Fossil Fuels week of action to our local federal building, in solidarity with the hundreds of activists that will be putting their liberty on the line in Washington, D.C.

Host Extinction Rebellion SF Bay Area, Sunflower Alliance, Silicon Valley Climate Action Now

Info: People Vs. Fossil Fuels Solidarity Action, Oct 15 | Facebook  or People Vs. Fossil Fuels Solidarity Action : Indybay

2. Friday, 12Noon (PT), 2021 Webinar Series: Women on Death Row

Online Register: Webinar Registration – Zoom

On October 15, we will be joined by Diann Rust-Tierney, Executive Director of the National Coalition To Abolish the Death Penalty, and death row exonerees Sunny Jacobs and Sabrina Butler-Smith for our first webinar in the series, “Women on Death Row.” They will be discussing their experiences in the criminal justice system, their journey to freedom, and how they have dedicated themselves to ending the death penalty.

Host: Death Penalty Action, Witness to Innocense, Death Penalty Focus

Info: Fall Webinar Series: Women on Death Row | Facebook

3. Friday, 12Noon – 1:00pm, Stop Political Repression in El Salvador

In person picket

Consulate General El Salvador
507 Polk St.
SF

Protest the political repression under president Bukele. Free the FMLN prisoners. Show respect for human rights and democratic institutions in El Salvador. Respect the 1992 Peace Accords. 

Host: CISPES Bay Area

Info: Stop Political Repression in El Salvador : Indybay

4. Friday, 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Shut Down the San Francisco Police Officers Association

In person

SF Police Officers Association (outside)
800 Bryant St.
SF

RESIST with “Mothers On The March”, “Black and Brown for Justice and Equality”, Family’s whose love ones have been killed by cops from SFPD, and the Community.

  – Demand the San Francisco Police Officers Association be Shut Down!

  – The SF Police Officers Association Be Declared a Non Grata Organization

  – Call for the abolishment of the ‘Officers Bill of Rights’

  – Jail Killer Cops – demand killer cops be charged with murder.

  – Abolish the Police

The POA has supported and defended officers who have executed people in our communities.

Weekly presence.

If you can’t attend contact Mayor London Breed tell her that you oppose funding for SFPD:

Mayor London Breed

Telephone: (415) 554-6141
Email: MayorLondonBreed@sfgov.org

5. Friday, 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Haight Ashbury Peace Vigil – October, 2021 (New posting)

In person

Corner of Masonic & Fell Street.
(in Golden Gate Park Panhandle)
SF

Haight Ashbury Peace Vigil, 6 to 8 pm Friday, October 15, and the third Friday of every month, at the corner of Masonic and Fell, in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle, San Francisco.

We will have our usual signs, music, candles, and snacks. Join us for the whole two hours or for just five minutes.

Everybody welcome!

Info: Haight Ashbury Peace Vigil – October, 2021 | Facebook

6. Friday, 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Spooky Business: Trick or treating at Pelosi’s for Peace/Clean Energy/Healthcare/Housing  (New posting)                                                    

Nancy Pelosi’s house
2640 Broadway St. (nr. Divisadero)
SF

Spooky Business: Trick or Treat at Pelosi’s 4 Peace/Clean Energy/Healthcare/Housing

Constituent Testimonies: tell your story to Pelosi!. Teach-in, Free vegan dinner, music, light show, Parade of Extinction, Pumpkin carving, skit, Trick or Treating, Cut the Pentagon (cake), Ritual to transform Pelosi into a peace-loving human. Why can’t we have peace, clean energy, healthcare, affordable housing, living wages, and a future on the planet? What are the hidden or obvious barriers to having a peace economy instead of endless war & Pentagon spending? Why are we paying to weaponize space and threatening war with China? What about feeding, housing and caring for the beings that live in San Francisco, Pelosi’s Congressional District?

If we’re going extinct, what can we do about it? Join us to explore these issues at the home of San Francisco’s member of Congress.

Hosts: CODEPINK, Extinction Rebellion Peace, and allies

Info: Peoples’ Assembly & Spooky Business at Pelosi’s | Facebook or Spooky Business: Trick or treating at Pelosi’s for Peace/Clean Energy/Healthcare/Housing : Indybay

7. Friday, 8:00pm, The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project’s 2021 Fall Festival (New posting)

Tickets: The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project’s 2021 Fall Festival Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

  $10.00 – $20.00

Performance also on Saturday, Oct. 16 and next weekend

PianoFlight Oakland
1540 Broadway
Oakland

Proof of vaccination is required for entry

The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project (FIPPP) is back on stage for our Fall Festival at PianoFight Oakland on October 15 and 16 and October 22 and 23. Our Fall Festival features solo performances by Tony Cyprien, Freddy Lee Johnson, Pamela Ann Keane, Pearl Louise, Pastor Ronnie Muniz, and Al Sasser. Directed and produced by Mark Kenward, with co-direction by Rebecca Fisher and Wayne Harris, each performance was crafted using improvisation and storytelling techniques and each performer brings their own unique experience of circumstance, heartache, learning, and redemption to the stage in their own voice.

With the pressing issues of mass incarceration, solitary confinement, reentry, and justice reform on both the local and national agendas, these stories of incarceration and reinvention give an invaluable insight into the conditions in prison, the post-prison experience, and life behind bars for the people who serve time and their families that serve along with them.

See site for other dates / details: The Formerly Incarcerated People’s Performance Project’s 2021 Fall Festival Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite

8. Friday, Oct. 15 – Sunday, Oct. 17, Second IPB World Peace Congress

REGISTRATION is FULL – posting only to let U know what is going on

Register: Portada – IPB World Peace Congress Barcelona | October 15-17, 2021 (ipb2021.barcelona)

Certain sessions will be free

Program: ipb_congress2021_programaA4_ENG_1110b_pp.pdf (ipb2021.barcelona)

Second World Peace Congress in Barcelona, organized by the International Peace Bureau.

The main goal of the Second IPB World Congress is to provide a space for gathering and sharing experiences for all involved in international peace and justice movements. A place where we can foster synergies between organizations and individuals, and between interconnected social movements fighting for global justice: peace and disarmament advocates, feminist and LGBTQIA+ campaigners, ecologists and climate activists, antiracists and indigenous people, human rights defenders and trade unionists.

Saturday, October 16

9. Saturday, 11:00am, Citizenship for All Rally

In person – meet at:

Alta Plaza Park
Jackson & Scott Sts.
SF

Bay Area immigrant activistand advocates call on ALL Democrats to do their job and provide permanent protection to the 11 million unprotected migrants in this country.

No more empty promises

All are welcomed

Info: (1) Facebook

10. Saturday, 11:00am, March for Reparations to African People: One year after the murder of George Floyd

Meet at:

Snow Park
Harrison & 19th Street
Oakland

March to Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles on Grand Ave.

This is a call to action to the white community to stand in solidarity with the African community’s struggle for reparations and self-determination.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement is hosting a March for Reparations to African People in four cities across the U.S.. The march is part of a decades-long campaign calling on white people to go beyond protest and get organized under the leadership of the African working class. Oakland’s march will begin at Snow Park (Harrison St & 19th St, Oakland, CA 94612) at 11:00am. This campaign is also a national fundraiser with the goal of raising $20,000 for the black self-reliance and economic development projects of the Black Power Blueprint (blackpowerblueprint.org).

Info: March for Reparations to African People: One year after the murder of George Floyd : Indybay   and Uhuru Solidarity Movement – Solidarity with African Liberation!

Sunday, October 17

11. Sunday, 12 Noon – 1:30pm, Get the Zuck Out! Let’s tell Mark Zuckerberg it’s time for him to go.

RSVP for updates

Register: Get the Zuck Out! Let’s tell Mark Zuckerberg it’s time for him to go. Tickets, Sun, Oct 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

Edgewood Dr.
Palo Alto

It’s been hearing after hearing, whistleblower after whistleblower, and DC hearing after DC hearing: all saying the same thing. We’ve created a monster and now it is eating us alive: our privacy, our personal connections, our public health and what remains of our democratic institutions. 

The Facebook Users Union was founded to leverage the power of us, the Facebook users who create the content and provide the eyeballs and clicks. The purpose of a union is to build collective power. We reject the idea that the only power we have as a Facebook user is to accept the unacceptable or to delete Facebook.

Demands have been made; by Facebook’s employees and whistleblowers, by their advertisers in a lengthy boycott, and by their users. And Mark Zuckerberg has always, without fail, put the company’s profits first, despite having all the money anyone could ever need. 

join us on Sunday for a loud, colorful, peaceful protest outside Zuck’s house in Palo Alto. We will park our cars outside of his house, honk our horns, and display signs that tell Mark to get the Zuck out! 

We need you to RSVP so we can coordinate the COVID-safe caravan, send you the pre-caravan meeting place and send you graphics to decorate your car. 

Info: Protest: Let’s Tell Mark Zuckerberg to Get the Zuck Out! : Indybay

12. Sunday, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Cancel the Rents! Eviction Defense Workshop

Snow Park (nr. Lake Merritt)
250 19th Street
Oakland

Masks/social distancing

Join us on Sunday 10/17 at Snow Park to learn about what needs to be done and how YOU can get involved.

Our society has the resources to end the housing crisis overnight. There are four times as many vacant homes in the Bay Area as there are homeless people. The state could simply issue a blanket ban on evictions. The bailouts the banks and corporations have been paid during the course of the pandemic would easily cover the total cost of cancelling all rents and mortgages. But none of these measures would be profitable for the banks, the billionaires, and the corporate landlords. Only the mass movement of the people in streets can win housing for all.

Across the Bay Area (and around the country!), tenants are getting organized to fight back against the looming eviction crisis – from car caravan protests to rapid-response eviction defense networks. 

Host: PSL

Info: (2) Cancel the Rents! Eviction Defense Workshop | Facebook

Again, the Chron blames Boudin for a terrible situation that wasn’t his fault

The case of two bicycle hit-and-runs is a lot more complicated than Heather Knight’s column suggests.

By TIM REDMOND OCTOBER 12, 2021 (48hills.org)

The Chron has it in for District Attorney Chesa Boudin. It’s no secret. The paper didn’t want him elected, and its reporters and columnists have gone out of their way to give fuel to inaccurate and misleading articles that are helping fuel the recall campaign.

Photo by Ebbe Roe Yovino-Smith

Chron columnist Heather Knight has done all sorts of stories that I disagree with.

So I shouldn’t be surprised that Knight has blamed Boudin for allowing someone who hit a bicyclist to avoid prison time.

But this is serious, and these stories matter. So let’s take a moment to look at what’s really gone on here.

First of all: Knight’s column picks up on allegations that were first published by Susan Dyer Reynolds. Reynolds has zero credibility here: Her work has been funded by a tech-driven campaign to attack Boudin. Seriously: Boudin’s foes have given her $60,000 to go after the DA.

Here’s what she’s done with some of the money.Help us save local journalism!Every tax-deductible donation helps us grow to cover the issues that mean the most to our community. Become a 48 Hills Hero and support the only daily progressive news source in the Bay Area.Learn more

See any similarities with Knight’s column?

I don’t think that many people actually pay attention to Reynolds, which is why I typically avoid linking to her stuff. It’s different when an established paper like the Chron starts picking up her stories.

The essence of the issue here: Five years ago (long before Boudin was elected DA), on a horrible tragic June day, two car drivers hit and killed bicyclists in San Francisco.

One of them, Nicky Garcia, is still in jail, charged with felony murder and held on a $10 million bond.

The other, Farrukh Mushtaq, spent only 16 days in jail and has been sentenced to three years of probation.

Wow: That sounds really, really bad.

In fact, Knight ends her column by quoting a former defense lawyer for Garcia:

“It doesn’t seem fair,” he said, “but there’s got to be more to the story.”

Maybe so. But I’m still waiting to hear it.

But Knight already heard the “more to the story.” Sara Yousuf, a lawyer and spokesperson for Boudin, told me she answered all of Knight’s questions and explained why the cases were, in fact, very different.

For starters: Both of these cases were charged not by Boudin but by his predecessor, George Gascon. This was more than five years ago.

Garcia was in a stolen vehicle when he hit Heather Miller in Golden Gate Park. Stealing a car is a felony. Under state law, if you participate in a felony that leads to the death of another, you can be charged with murder.

I don’t like the Felony Murder law; neither, I suspect, does Boudin, whose father has served decades in prison because of it. If Boudin were in office back then, this case might have been charged differently, and Garcia might not be facing life in prison.

But this wasn’t up to Boudin. Gascon charged Garcia under the Felony Murder statute, and a judge set his bail at a $10 million, which he obviously can’t afford. (I think cash bail is also wrong; Boudin generally agrees with me. But this had nothing to do with him; a judge made that decision long before Boudin took office.)

Mushtaq wasn’t charged with murder; his crime was vehicular manslaughter, hit and run, and leaving the scene of a crime. (Again: Gascon filed those charges.) What he did was terrible, but under the law, murder is different from manslaughter. Manslaughter is an accident.

Yousuf told me that three doctors—two of them hired by the state—said that Mushtaq was in a psychotic state when he drove the car into Kate Slattery. That could have made him not guilty by reason of insanity.

One judge didn’t agree with that and denied him mental-health diversion. But the prosecutor—Maia Maszara, a longtime DA, not hired by Boudin, who has a reputation as a tough-on-crime type—was worried that a jury might side with the defendant.

“Three doctors is a lot of doctors,” Yousuf told me.

Knight and Reynolds say that Mushtaq went to a strip club and was having a fight with his wife before he drove off in his car, ran a red light, and hit Slattery. That, they indicate, suggests he wasn’t mentally ill.

Or maybe it suggests the opposite.

I have no expertise in this area. But I know this: A hard-ball veteran prosecutor thought there was a good chance that, in a San Francisco jury trial, Mushtaq could walk. Slattery’s family, according to Yousuf, didn’t want the case to go to trial with the possibility that Mushtaq would be acquitted. The family, she told me, was entirely onboard with the plea deal, which puts him on probation with the certainty of going to state prison if he messes up, even on a minor crime.

Plus, Mushtaq (who could afford $300,000 bail) has been out in the community for the past five years, and has committed no crimes or infractions.

I’m not saying Garcia should spend life in prison on a felony murder charge. And I strongly believe the cash-bail system is all wrong; he, like Mushtaq, should be free while he awaits trial.

So one big crime here is that Garcia, who has less money, gets treated differently from Mushtaq, who could afford bail.

But Boudin wasn’t even in office when judges made that decision. That was under Gascon. Gascon charged Mushtaq with vehicular manslaughter, not murder. And there was, as far as I can tell, very little media fuss about Gascon and the judge’s decisions at the time.

So the idea that Boudin let a killer go free is just … the same shit we have heard from the Chron since he took office.

By the way: I emailed Knight to ask about her column, but as is her practice (and the practice these days of most folks at the Chron, including the editor) she has not responded.

Tim Redmond Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.