Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Other Items

Most UC Berkeley students know their school is located in the city of Berkeley.
What they may not know is that it's also situated in a nuclear-free zone, a refuge for illegal immigrants, and a sanctuary for medical marijuana users and conscientious objectors.
[. . .]
The council cited its status as a city of refuge in its decision to reaffirm a 1991 decision making Berkeley a sanctuary city for conscientious objectors, and extended protections to soldiers classified as AWOL or deserters by the military.
"If war resisters sought sanctuary in Berkeley, they wouldn't have to worry about Berkeley police or any other Berkeley agency coming after them," said Robert Meola, the chairperson of the Peace and Justice Commission, who authored the resolution.

The above is from Kate Sturla's "Council Designates Berkeley as A Sanctuary for Multiple Causes" (The Daily Californian). Meanwhile the Guardian of London looks at books on Iraq:

But if books can do anything, it's bring a human scale to history as we live through it - help us intuit what it is like to be someone else. Other books on Iraq I think do this well include Joshua Key's memoir of walking away from the army, The Deserter's Tale , and the poems of Dunya Milkhail, The War Works Hard, which deal not with this war, but its predecessor. And then there's Baghdad Burning, the collected blog entries of a psyeudonymous Iraqi woman who went by the handle "Riverbend."
Writing in an agitated present tense voice, she describes her city as it changes under siege, screams at the news, and yes, chronicles the change of seasons - as they are felt in Baghdad. "These last few days have brought back memories of the same dates, last year," she writes in March 2004. "What were we doing in early March? We were preparing for the war...digging wells, taping up windows, stocking up on candles, matches, kerosene, rice, flour, bandages and medicine...and what are we doing now? Using them."

I'm a big believer in giving writers credit. The fact that I've credited the paper only should explain how little I think of the writer of the above. It should also be noted that Key's link now goes to Key. But then I'm not a pathetic loser trying to suck up to The Daily Toilet Scrubbers which is where the Key link goes via the Guardian.

Consider this a promo for a TV program this morning as well as political news. From ABC:

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards, remains unwilling to endorse either of the two remaining Democratic contenders, but the health care advocate told ABC News she preferred Sen. Clinton's health plan to Sen. Obama's.
In an interview with "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts, airing Wednesday, Edwards -- who recently began work as a senior fellow at the liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress -- said she believed Clinton's health care plan was more inclusive than that of the Illinois senator.
"You need that universality in order to get the cost savings ... I just have more confidence in Sen. Clinton's policy than Sen. Obama's on this particular issue," she said.

Portland notes "Clinton Campaign Contrasts Clinton & Obama Records On LNG Facilities In Oregon" (

Sen. Clinton has been strong & consistent opponent to feds making decisions on siting LNG terminals; Sen. Obama voted for it
"It is a little inconsistent, to say the least, for Senator Obama to tell the people of Oregon that he supports giving them the power to make these decisions when he voted to let the federal government decide where to site these facilities in the first place," said Clinton domestic policy director Catherine Brown.
Under the 2005 Bush-Cheney bill, the federal government -- specifically the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) -- gained control over these decisions. Under the new law, FERC does not even have to take into consideration how these decisions will impact local communities, and whether there is need for the gas in the surrounding area.
Senator Clinton spoke out against this provision when it was considered in the Senate. She co-sponsored an amendment to overrule it. And she's
spoken out repeatedly against an LNG terminal in the Long Island Sound, called Broadwater. On Friday, Senator Clinton joined with Senator Wyden in introducing legislation to give the authority back to state and local communities.
Senator Obama, on the other hand,
voted for the 2005 energy bill. Yesterday, his office put out a press release announcing he is joining Senator Clinton in co-sponsoring Senator Wyden’s bill. His release said that he is proud to join Senator Wyden to ensure that local residents have a greater say in LNG terminal siting decisions. This new position is not the one he voted for in 2005.
Today, there are three separate LNG terminals being considered for siting in Oregon. Together, they would have a combined capacity of 3.3 billion cubic feet gas per day. But Oregon and Washington only use 1.33 BCF per day. FERC refuses to address the question of whether the proposed facilities are needed, whether there are better options, or what the impact would be on the environment or private property rights.
Oregonians deserve a president who was against giving the federal government authority in the first place to make such consequential decisions, and that is what they will have with Senator Clinton as president.

The e-mail address for this site is