Chris Reed's Calwhine.com Battles Baloney in Golden State...

...and probably in your state too. 

San Diego Union Tribune editorial writer Chris Reed, who hosted KOGO radio's weeknight Top Story talk show until he was ousted on orders from the Trilateral Commission, has been covering California since the gold rush. But just as a shotgun blast to the abdomen only pissed Wilford Brimley off more, Reed's encyclopedic grasp of governmental arcana just makes his rage clearer and more entertaining. 

Reed’s new site Calwhine.com features plenty to whine about in these here United States. In a recent post Reed wonders why failed Energy Secretary Steven Chu seems to have a better understanding of how cap'n trade will suppress California's economy than do the state's own fibromyalgic journalists. 

Today Reed shows how a CYA panic over the casually pepperspraying cop incident has prompted seven different investigations: 

The proliferation of investigations into an incident that was caught on tape and that involved a handful of officers and their bosses has become a self-parody of the labored, bureaucratic way that liberal institutions fall all over themselves to send out the loudest possible message: We care about this very very much and we’re just going to keep throwing money and resources at this until you understand we care about this very very much!

According to published reports, here’s who is already investigating or considering investigating the assault on the students: the Kroll Consulting firm; the California Assembly, the California Senate, UC Davis, the UC Davis Academic Senate; state Attorney General Kamala Harris, and now a 12-person task force named by University of California President Mark G. Yudof.

Once again, I’m not downplaying the horrible and idiotic actions of the UC Davis police. It’s just that this reflexively bureaucratic reaction to a finite incident with an uncomplicated back story is just so telling. Why stop at seven investigations? Why not have 31?

In another recent post, Reed makes an educated guess that the media are waking from the California High-Speed Rail pipe dream. Reality has been rough on reporters’ ability to believe in the bullet train: A new Legislative Analyst’s Office report [pdf] notes that the estimated cost of the project’s first phase has more than doubled, from $43 billion to $99 billion; criticizes the High Speed Rail Authority’s business plan as "insufficiently detailed;" rejects its funding plan as a violation of Prop 1A, the ballot initiative that created bonds for the project; and so on. 

The bad news doesn’t end there. Although everybody involved knows that the high-speed rail line will never actually exist, the Rail Authority is in the position of an enlisted sailor ordered by Franklin Roosevelt to root out homosexuals: It has to keep moving ahead while hoping (or not?) that SPs will break down the door and make an arrest before the dreaded consummation happens. 

Most recently, the CHSRA put forward its plan for the Fresno-Merced alignment (formerly the Corcoran-Borden alignment, and by any name a train to and from nowhere that is not even scheduled to run once it’s built). L.A. Times’ transit reporter Ralph Vartabedian notes that this alignment would "destroy churches, schools, private homes, shelters for low-income people, animal processing plants, warehouses, banks, medical offices, auto parts stores, factories, farm fields, mobile home parks, apartment buildings and much else as it cuts through the richest agricultural belt in the nation and through some of the most depressed cities in California."

You can see how the CHSRA’s relationship with local media has declined (and also get a whiff of internal Sacramento scuffling after the Authority got taken to the cleaners by the vast, overrated PR firm Ogilvy) in the new attention that is being paid to how much the Authority spends on public relations. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross name a few of the political bigwigs the CHSRA has been paying to run interference. And the Sacramento Bee’s David Siders explains that the propaganda campaign encompasses not only the $3 million given to Ogilvy but "millions of dollars more in lucrative, publicly funded outreach contracts embedded in agency engineering contracts."

The visible results of all that flacking aren’t very impressive. Dig this non-professional-level op-ed in which a CHSRA contractor identified as Rich Robinson rails against the "whining" of "morons," "sheepish leaders," and "Citizens Against Virtually Everything (CAVE) people." 

But the CHSRA does get a lot of success in muting clear opposition. Another Legislative Analyst’s report earlier this year shredded the CHSRA and recommended dismantling the agency itself. That bombshell was ignored by everybody. One very prominent high speed rail opponent politely put me off the other day by saying that talking to an extremist publication like Reason would add fuel to the CHSRA’s "whispering campaigns." Finally, the focus of the Authority’s media campaign is not on transit-beat reporters – of whom only the Chron’s Michael Cabanatuan still seems to be on the reservation – but on the opinion pages. The CHSRA courts editorial boards tirelessly, getting results like this recent journalistic embarrassment from Nick Goldberg’s table of fools at the L.A Times

California’s media/government complex may be more energetically rotten than other states’, but there’s always room at the bottom. Whether you’re interested in West Coast corruption specifically or Kingfish-style politics in general, Calwhine is for you

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  • Officer, am I free to gambol?||

    We know why the train won't exist: Rule of diminishing returns.

  • ||

    Yes, I would say that an increase from 43 million to 99 billion represents 'more than doubling'.
    But it probably represents the typical shoddy editing we get around here. Any chance the funding campaign might hire an actual editor?

    no hugs for thugs,
    Shirley Knott

  • Intern||

    Technically it more than doubled. Why are you picking nits?
    Contribute to our Fund-Scrounging '11 and The Foundation will be able to afford a better editor!

    Wait a minute.

  • Jordan||

    Pretty harsh, considering you don't pay anything for this. One typo here and there is not a big deal. Grow up.

  • ||

    A guy writes a good article on a website that contains a typo. Who gives a shit?

    Have any actual points?

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Thanks for pointing out my error, which is fixed.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    “I am going directly to the voters because I don’t want to get bogged down in partisan gridlock as happened this year,” said Brown in a statement. “The stakes are too high.”

    He suggested that the state can’t make any more cuts responsibly. “Spending is now at levels not seen since the ’70s,” he said. “Schools have been hurt, and state funding for our universities has been reduced by 25 percent. Support for the elderly and the disabled has fallen to where it was in 1983.”

    California is already at bare bones spending, apparently contrary to what Cavanaugh has been telling us, and now Reed wants reporters to want the Incan Government to do away with the bullet train?

    You guys probably don't even want the next breezy chemical irritant incident to even be investigated by more than two or three redundant agencies.

  • ||

    "...the state can't make any more cuts responsibly."

    I bet those horrible Scrooges even want to do away with the pudding cups offered to the 40% of new mothers in SoCal maternity wards who are illegal and having their babies on Medi-Cal. Surely, "bare bones spending" includes the estimated $400 million in Mexi-births in CA? Surely, it must also include paying for births for any other stupid meth whore in CA who can't afford to raise children and shouldn't be having them in the first place?

    I mean, really. Childbirth is an essential expense. Everybody needs to go to the doctor once in a while, everybody gets sick sometimes, and everybody pops out kids they never had any intention of supporting.

  • ||

    But according to dunphy and Tupla the UC Davis cops were in the right. Their highly edited video says so!

    And it is already being taken to the Incan voters. There's a page on Teh Facebook to have him recalled.

  • ||

    It's less edited than the video that got you guys whipped up in the first place.

    I also note that this post confirms my prediction of Reason continuing to trumpet the POV that the Davis cops were acting like jackbooted thugs against the pooh wittle innocent kiddies, despite evidence to the contrary being posted on these here threads.

  • ||

    We already have the New York Times to point out baloney and report on anything that's worth reporting -- who needs these new media amateurs???

  • ||

    Yeah! They shouldn't even get First Amendment protections.

  • ||

    HAH! Amendment Shmanendment. It's over 100 years old and was written by Abraham Lincoln who did something with a cherry tree and discovered electricity, so it's not relevant to modern society, as we already have all the main media outlets we'll ever need!

  • romulus augustus||

    Public rail is a sure winner! Norfolk is bragging about the ridership on their new Tide light rail being almost twice what was projected. How cool...for every $1.50 dropped in the fare box, there's approx. $2.50 more in operating costs and $5.50 in interest on the construction costs.
    Real nice subsidy for the railfans.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    has more than doubled, from $43 million to $99 billion


    Whil your statement is technically correct I think it would have been better to say "200 times" as opposed to "more than double".

  • Cliché Bandit||

    i.e. your numbers are wrong.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    i see I am late and irrelevant...i shall shame myself in the corner.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I’m not downplaying the horrible and idiotic actions of the UC Davis police"

    Commenters in previous threads have posted the interview where one of the demonstrators says they encircled the police and tried to prevent them from leaving.

    Does anyone dispute this any more?

    How exactly *should* the cops respond to being surrounded by demonstrators who try to trap them? What method could they use which *wouldn't* provoke charges of police brutality? Batons? Tasers? Cops on horses riding at the demonstrators? Tanks?

  • ||

    I dispute that the people the cops pepper sprayed were surrounding them and preventing them from leaving.

    Cops in front. Cops in back. Cops freely walking through, around and in front and back of the people being sprayed.

    Yeah, the cops maybe should have used that level of force on the people actually impeding them. The people passively resisting by sitting on the ground aren't meeting that standard.

  • ||

    And the lady going "boooooooo" reminds me of the old hag booing Princess Buttercup.

  • ||

    ONE cop stepped over the chain of students. The ones who were on the other side were coming from the police cars that had arrived to pick up the arrested people.

    Also, stepping over a bunch of people is much easier than dragging prisoners over them.

    Sorry, sloopy, but your continuing to revive this dead horse makes me question your honesty.

  • ||

    I didn't bring it up. Besides, you're wrong. There was one group of cops there. And that group was walking freely in and out of these protesters the entire time...as evidenced by the video that actually shows them walking freely (and fairly casually) among, around and within the line of protesters.

  • ||

    where one of the demonstrators says they encircled the police and tried to prevent them from leaving.

    Did that asshole get permission from all the people that got sprayed to speak for them? Or is he possibly talking out of his ass in order to look cool or tough or whatever? Either way, he shouldn't be speaking for the actions of others.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    From an interview by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now (sympathetic to the demonstrators)

    "ELLI PEARSON [a demonstrator]: Well, we were protesting together, and the riot cops came at us, and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. boldAnd at one point, they were—we had encircled them, and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us.bold But we were on the ground, you know, heads down. And all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself, and put my head down. And the next thing I know, I was pepper-sprayed."

    http://m.democracynow.org/stories/12355

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "ELLI PEARSON: Well, we were protesting together, and the riot cops came at us, and we linked arms and sat down peacefully to protest their presence on our campus. And at one point, they were—we had encircled them, and they were trying to leave, and they were trying to clear a path. And so, we sat down, linked arms, and said that if they wanted to clear the path, they would have to go through us. But we were on the ground, you know, heads down. And all I could see was people telling me to cover my head, protect myself, and put my head down. And the next thing I know, I was pepper-sprayed." [emphasis added]

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And the reporter, Amy Goodman, was trying to put a pro-Occupy spin on the whole thing, eg, in her introductory remarks:

    "We turn now to the Occupy movements and the increasingly brutal police response around the country. At the University of California, Davis, campus on Friday, campus police officers used pepper spray against student protesters....The students were peacefully sitting down crosslegged with their arms locked, when the officers began pepper-spraying them at close range, as people around them shout, 'Don’t shoot students!'"

    And don't arrest skinny intellectuals, either.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Perhaps Amy Goodman and Democracy Now are simply serving as a vehicle for pro-police propaganda?

    Oh, who am I kidding, it's going into the history books isn't it? "At UC-Davis, evil pig cops pepper-sprayed harmless coeds who were picking flowers to put in their hair. While doing this, the pigs stepped on seven innocent Smurfs, killing them instantly."

  • ||

    In the first three seconds of the clip I posted, you can see the cop walking pretty easily through the line of people seated there. Through the entire video, you can see cops in front of, to the rear of, beside and all around the people seated. And their cruiser is parked there. And just to the left of the cruiser, you can see a pretty open space that would serve as an egress.

    Just because the protesters wanted to be sprayed doesn't mean it's not excessive force when the cops oblige them. It's the reason they're not supposed to shoot somebody that says "go ahead and shoot me."*

    *although that would probably be their defense at their trial their disciplinary board hearing.

  • ||

    "At UC-Davis, evil pig cops pepper-sprayed harmless coeds who were picking flowers to put in their hair. While doing this, the pigs stepped on seven innocent Smurfs, killing them instantly."

    If correctly reported, it would read: "At UC Davis, lazy cops use pepper spray on non-violent protesters in an effort to intimidate people who were actually being violent. Thankfully, seven Smurfs were also eradicated in the melee."

  • ||

    Smurfs - the Blue Taliban.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yes, there were cops inside the student cordon *and* outside it.

    Yes, I saw the cop come up from behind and get into the cordon before starting pepper-spraying. Coming from behind, he had the advantage of surprise, plus he was outside the cordon and thus not one of the cops whose movement the students were trying to impede. The students were inefficient - they foolishly focused only on the cops *inside* the cordon.

    If there was a means of egress (maybe I wasn't observant enough to see it), that certainly wasn't the students' plan. As indicated by them in their "human microphone" threats (on the video) and in the interview by Elli Pearson, their goal was to block the cops from leaving, but if the human microphone chant came only from one side of the cordon, then maybe you can say "only" some students were doing it. But it would sure look to the cops like a cordon.

    And the line of students who got pepper-sprayed wasn't moving to let the cops through. The guy who came up from behind had the advantage of surprise, as I said. And Pearson, one of the people who got sprayed, admitted she was trying to encircle the cops, so at least one of the people they sprayed was obstructing.

    And I don't see it as peaceful if you're trying to trap folks - even cops - inside a human cordon. Even if there was a narrow "egress," and even if the students wouldn't have rushed to block that egress as the cops approached it, they're still obstructing freedom of movement.

    But I still focus on the whole encirclement thing. And challenging the cops to "go through us." They did. Was there a better way?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If they chose to leave a narrow "egress," they were still obstructing freedom of movement in a place whose owner had ordered them to leave. But the worst thing is still the encirclement which they were trying to do. Too bad for them they literally didn't watch their backs as well as in front of them.

  • ||

    It's a public space at a public university. The only egress they would have had reason to clear would be the sidewalk. The grassy areas are not constructed as footpaths and thus they had no right to remove persons using the grassy area for any reason short of a criminal enterprise.

    And they could have just pulled them away without the pepper spray. It was gratuitous violence just for their jollies. If they felt threatened, why were they so casual in their application of the spray? Not once do any of the cops involved check their six.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They gave several warnings to clear the area - the owner of the property had authorized them to do this. So under these circumstances, no, I don't believe that this particular public space was open to them after the repeated warnings.

    Pulling students away would also pose problems - always a risk of injuring someone. And the students on either side could close the gap by moving in to where the seized student was.

    My suspicion is that the students would be calling for a "police brutality" inquiry no matter *how* the cops proceeded in accepting the invitation to "go through us."

    "Sure, we expected the cops to [something the cops didn't do], but we didn't expect them to [what the cops did.]" If they used batons or manhandled obstructive students, it would have been, "why not just use pepper spray, the humane and progressive alternative to beatings and batons?"

  • Coeus||

    Pulling students away would also pose problems - always a risk of injuring someone.

    If you watch the video, they did it anyway. If they were gonna do it, they could have done it without the pepper spray.

  • ||

    the owner of the property

    And who is the owner of a public area at a public university?

    had authorized them to do this

    Good thing these "owners" didn't authorize them to shoot the students.

    I don't believe that this particular public space was open to them after the repeated warnings.

    So, by your logic, as long as someone is warned ahead of time, they can be removed, by force, from an area they are using for it's intended purpose? Did I mention again that it was a public area of a public school and the students are members of the public?

    Pulling students away would also pose problems - always a risk of injuring someone.

    [citation needed]

    And the students on either side could close the gap by moving in to where the seized student was.

    Then drag them away next when someone complains about them blocking their passage on the sidewalk.

    My suspicion is that the students would be calling for a "police brutality" inquiry no matter *how* the cops proceeded in accepting the invitation to "go through us."

    I guess they'll have to just use the actual abuse that happened in lieu of the hypothetical "abuse" in your little scenario.

  • Coeus||

    Not once do any of the cops involved check their six.

    I noticed that more than anything else. They were clearly not threatened. If UOF doctrine allows pepper-spraying of people practicing non-violent resistance, than UOF doctrine needs to be changed.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They didn't look to be in any physical danger, but they had to deal with getting out of a cordon of students.

    OK, the University authorities operate the property on behalf of the public - including the non-student public. Though I am not sure the nonstudent public has unlimited right of access to campus property.

    Well, let's say the order to disperse was unconstitutional - say they were peacefully demonstrating on the quad. I can cope with that. They could still clear out the campers - which they did (see Clark v. CCNV - no right to camp even if there's a right to demonstrate). And clearing out the campers provoked the non-camping demonstrators into trying to cordon off the cops.

    By the time they were encircling the cops, then the purpose of the demonstration (according to Pearson) was to keep the cops inside their love circle, or whatever it's called. Not that I'm all that indignant on the cops behalf - being surrounded by students (including cute girls) isn't exactly Thermopylae (sp?). But even cops are entitled, as members of the public, to freedom of movement around campus, a freedom that Pearson and others wanted to deprive them of.

    If, say, David Koch was hemmed in like this and denied the right to leave until he promised to join the Green Party, he's being denied his right to freely move about [sorry] a "public area in a public school." And the cops have the same right.

    What could David Koch do if faced by a mob which was falsely imprisoning him? Couldn't he spray his way out with some good old progressive humane pepper spray? (see reason article on progressive origins of same).

  • Coeus||

    What could David Koch do if faced by a mob which was falsely imprisoning him?

    Was the mob acting the same way this one was? If so, the answer is "step over them". They were sitting with their heads down. That's about as imprisoning as a high curb.

  • ||

    OK,I'm just gonna say agree to disagree on most of your retort because I don't think I'm gonna change your mind and I know you won't change mine.

    But, I want to address this: But even cops are entitled, as members of the public, to freedom of movement around campus, a freedom that Pearson and others wanted to deprive them of.

    If the cops are acting in an official capacity (i.e. they weren't just strolling along), then they are there strictly to enforce the rights of egress to others. Forcing a confrontation with someone sans a complaint from a person they were actually preventing from using the sidewalk is bullying, plain and simple.

    I'm having a hard time verbalizing this, but I'll give it a try. They had removed the tents. They had arrested people. They had a right to the use of the sidewalk, and I would have been fine with them removing somebody from the sidewalk only that blocked the way. It's what the sidewalk is there for. Now, if they went onto the grass to spray people (and remember from dunphy's video, the cop says people will be arrested "regardless of their reason for being there,") then they are going too damn far and are passing from "clearing an egress" into "indiscriminately spraying people who are not on a pedestrian right of way."

    As far as their relaxed stances and their casual attitude at the moments in the video when they are not aggressively approaching the passively resisting kids, I would love for them to explain how that jibes with their "fear for their safety."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If they said they feared for their safety, I don't see it in the video.

    I can see them fearing that the students would try to stop them from leaving, because that's what they told the cops over the human microphone.

    Of course there might be something I'm missing, but I think anyone (even cops) has the right to take people seriously who surround them and claim they won't let you leave.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I don't know what's behind the order to disperse, but perhaps the campus authorities thought that a peaceful demonstration was turning non-peaceful, and that there were already signs of lawlessness with the camping. I am hardly an expert on UC Davis policy and the stuff going on there, so it might have simply been an arbitrary order to retaliate against peaceful protesters. Or it may have been legitimate. I would consult the campus newspaper if I weren't lazy.

    But if the quad was a public area, then yes, the cops had the right to test their freedom of movement anywhere, not just the sidewalk. Perhaps they were trying to make a point - that they were free to move about the campus. If the students had that right, then others do, too.

    David Koch at least wouldn't have to rely on cops - he would have his own private army like any evil billionare.

  • ||

    But if the quad was a public area, then yes, the cops had the right to test their freedom of movement anywhere, not just the sidewalk. Perhaps they were trying to make a point - that they were free to move about the campus. If the students had that right, then others do, too.

    Um, the cops freedom to walk around the quad ends when their foot steps where someone else has established themselves.

    Would you have no problem with a cop walking on your blanket and in your food if you were having a picnic in a public park? After all, he's just testing his freedom of movement, right? Nevermind the fact that you had already established a use of that particular piece of public property. Well, that's what the students not on the sidewalk were doing...using a public space for it's intended purpose. If there was an event scheduled that day for use of the quad, then it would be different, but there wasn't.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, that's food for thought.

    But from Pearson and the human microphone, I gather that the intended use of the quad was to keep the cops encircled in a circle of love and stop them from getting out of the circle. So they *intended* to restrict freedom of movement and to (illegally) confine the cops within their love circle (known as false imprisonment).

    If it was a Green Day concert, their purpose would be to listen to the music, not obstruct people. So yes, even if you find a knot of Green Day fans obstructing your path, it's a different situation because they don't purposefully obstruct you.

    The intended use of a public place is not to falsely imprison people, so Pearson and her chums were not, in fact, using the quad for its intended use.

  • ||

    The intended use of a public place is not to falsely imprison people, so Pearson and her chums were not, in fact, using the quad for its intended use.

    And here is where we fundamentally disagree. The quad is a public space intended for use by the public for what they see fit. That could be frisbee, studying, having a picnic or even *gasp* protesting. The sidewalks in the quad are meant as pedestrian walkways for the public to walk unobstructed. Once the protesters occupied the space in the quad for their chosen activity, they had the right to use it as they saw fit. If somebody else wanted to use the grassy area, be they cop or not, they would have to find a different area of the quad to do it in. (I believe the phrase is, "first come, first served") As far as the people on the sidewalk, they were, in fact, obstructing the police. BUT, and this is important, they were obstructing the police from arresting people they shouldn't have had a right to arrest: the people who had the right to use the space in the park because they got there first. Had the cops recognized the rights of the people who got there first, then they wouldn't have even been there. But once they were, I recognize their right to unimpeded passage on the sidewalk. And even though the people blocking their way were a minor hindrance, they were a hindrance nonetheless and were subject to arrest. That said, the cop who parked his cruiser on the sidewalk was obstructing the free flow of the public a lot more than the seated kids were. And I'd also be willing to bet that if someone were using the sidewalk to merely pass them by, the kids would have moved. The only people they didn't want to move for were the people whose only intended use was to cause a confrontation, namely the police.

    Sorry for the wall of text, and I loathe the OWSers. It's just that in this case, the cops were 100% in the wrong in who they attacked with pepper spray.

  • ||

    The grassy areas are not constructed as footpaths and thus they had no right to remove persons using the grassy area for any reason short of a criminal enterprise.

    Dude, seriously. Stop making shit up before you embarrass yourself further.

  • ||

    OK, how am I making shit up? And how often do you see people using the grassy areas on the quad where you teach? What are the limits on what they can use it for? Is speech one of them? What are the purposes of the sidewalks? Is there a difference in the sidewalk and the grass? Is the entire grassy area ADA compliant? Is it required to be (like the sidewalk is)? If not, why? Are there time limits on usage of unimproved public property at the public university?

    As a matter of fact, don't bother. You'd just rather blame the dirty hippies.

  • ||

    Cops on horses riding at the demonstrators?

    Actually, horses are extremely good for crowd control because horses do not like stepping on anything that is not solid. So they try to avoid trampling people. And, because of their bulk, they are able both to block an area that police are trying to protect and move people who are not cooperating without actually bruising the people.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Do they have horses at UC-Davis? Or are they all being served at the cafeteria?

    Kidding!

  • ||

    No.

    The students are all Vegans.

    However, they are served horseshit in their classes. They seem to enjoy it.

  • ||

    Win.

  • ||

    A new Legislative Analyst’s Office report notes that the estimated cost of the project’s first phase has more than doubled, from $43 million to $99 billion;

    I am assuming that "$43 million" was intended to be "$43 billion", but wasn't the $43 billion figure up from an original number around $20B?

    I am still betting on a number in the $200 (2011 dollars) billion range if this thing ever gets built. (But I am beginning to think that may be low.)

  • ||

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau hijack’s all our kids’ futures.
    I love University of California (UC) having been a student & lecturer. Like so many I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failures of Birgeneau from holding the line on rising costs & tuition increases. On an all in cost, Birgeneau has molded Cal. into the most expensive public university.
    Paying more is not a better education. Instate tuition consumes 14% of Calif. median family income! Faculty wages must reflect California's ability to pay, not what others are paid.
    Chancellor Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) dismissed many much needed cost-cutting options. He did not consider freezing vacant faculty positions, increasing class size, requiring faculty to teach more classes, doubling the time between sabbaticals, freezing pay & benefits, reforming pensions & health benefits.
    Birgeneau said such faculty reforms “would not be healthy for Cal”. Exodus of faculty, administrators: who can afford them?
    We agree it is far from the ideal situation. UC Berkeley cannot expect to do business as usual: raising tuition; granting pay raises & huge bonuses during a weak economy that has sapped state revenues & individual Californians’ income.
    Birgeneau can bridge the trust gap with alumni, donors, politicians, and the public with reassurances that salaries & costs reflect California’s ability to pay.

    We must act. Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police deployed violent baton jabs on students protesting increases in tuition. The sky above UC will not fall when Chancellor Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) is ousted.

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

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