Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
Proud resident of zip code 94611. Biologist. Patent guy. Lefty, but not a Bolshevik.
Thanks to Michael Good for pointing out the change in the headline (appropriately deleting "vandalism"). However, I don't see this as a sleight of hand, but rather just a correction, for which the editor of East Bay Express deserves credit. As for Ms. Brooks, she may want to reflect on exactly what her thesis is, and focus on that core message when she next writes an opinion piece, rinsing out some of the distracting off-point rhetoric.
The headline of this piece says " .. please don't vandalize ..", however the headline is typically written by the newspaper, not the author .... and, in fact, nowhere in the piece does the author speak to vandalism. It IS vandalism that plagues Oakland protests, perpetrated by those who like to riot for sport.
I've read the first sentence of the second to last paragraph ("APTP refuses to be boxed by politicians, police, or media into a narrative that condemns any form of protest, except bodily harm") several times and still don't understand it.
What IS clear is that the author, for whatever reason, cannot bring herself to explicitly disavow and speak against vandalism.
Not sure if I'm completely on board with the author, but what he is talking about is news media promulgating fake talk. Mr. Eroster's comment really isn't pertinent to this issue. Almena's attorney, Tony Serra isn't a member of the news media; he's a lawyer, and lawyers do fake talking all the time.
The East Bay Express is in worse shape than I thought if this weepy muddle-headed piece represents their best editorial wisdom.
There is no imminent witch hunt going on against Oakland's arts and music underground scene. There is, however, a very justifiably skeptical eye being cast on the situation that the horror of the Ghost Ship represents. There is plenty of blame or accountability to go around.
The City of Oakland needs to step up big time on code enforcement. Building managers and landlords of outrageously dangerous places should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
However, artists and musicians, their crews, and their audience simply don't get off the hook. Fire has not gone extinct, however righteous the art may be. No free ride for fantasy lands and reality-denying outfits like the Ghost Ship. The quandary of how artists support themselves has been around since time began. Solutions have never been easy, but for artists to survive, the solutions need to be responsible and reality-based.
What about this so-called regressive tax aspect of Proposition HH?
The Big Soda campaign is pushing the line that the 1 cent/oz distributor tax is a regressive tax that unfairly burdens low income folks. Let’s talk about that.
How deeply has Big Soda really thought about the evils of regressive taxing, and based on these principled concerns, what actions have they taken to alleviate disproportionate burdens placed on low income communities that might speak to their bona fides? I obviously doubt that this is a sincere concern of Big Soda, but others, in good faith, may be giving this argument some weight; so let’s look more closely.
Surely the “regressive tax” concern rests on the theory that lower income communities consume and spend on Big Soda at rates that are higher (proportional to total expenses or to total income) than those of higher income communities. If that’s true, then doesn’t it also follow that the damaging effects on health (of which there is no doubt) would be disproportionately greater than the ill effects visited on higher income communities? Shouldn’t that, actually, be the real concern?
Proposition HH is designed to engage market forces to tamp down Big Soda consumption across the board (not to eliminate it), to use money collected, as channeled through the general fund, to run programs that encourage healthy patterns of food and beverage consumption, and to broadly raise awareness of the harm inflicted by massive Big Soda consumption. As Proposition HH has the intended societal impact, to the extent that the distributor tax is "regressive aspect", it will dissipate.
It’s all good. Vote Yes on HH.
The product and political approach of Big Soda both have much in common with those of Big Tobacco. The playbook includes silence on the reality of the health-damaging effects of the product, distraction, deflection, and, of course, the ever-popular Big Lie.
Mr. O’Hara’s comment is insightful and relevant in that one of the memes that Big Soda has inserted by into the conversation is the canard that a soda tax is ineffective in achieving its goal of reducing sugary beverage consumption. Of course, big soda feels no need to be consistent in their arguments. Anything their strategists think may be effective will do just fine.
The particulars of the Big Soda campaign in Oakland feature wrapping themselves in the false flag of concern about the welfare of economically disadvantaged communities (who knew they cared about regressive taxes?). And then there’s the pushing of the recently manufactured “grocery tax” lie out of the mouths of recruited minority business owners (amazing how they all thought up the same argument!), with, of course, colorful contextual images of fresh fruit and so on.
Follow the money. The "No on HH" campaign is paid for entirely by the American Beverage Association which is interested only in selling their addictive sugar water. They have no interest in public health. They have no interest in the welfare of minority communities. They are good at writing scripts that are read verbatim by store owners enticed to collaborate with them, beautifully photographed of course, showing fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, etc (anything other than soda). Vote YES on HH.
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