Mitchell Halberstadt 
Member since Jul 15, 2013


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Re: “'Big Soda' Is Suing Oakland Over Beverage Tax Measure

Colin Fletcher-Schmidt, the problem is "empty calories." Soda is pure garbage. Be happy it's legal.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/15/2016 at 1:39 PM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

Money isn't everything, Gerry! Voters won't believe the lies if they realize that they're lies. The industry needs to be called out clearly and sharply on the nature of those lies (as I've described).

Whining about being outspent isn't the answer. Smarter counter-advertising might do the trick.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/12/2016 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Beverage-Industry Playbook Expands as 'Big Soda' Spends Large to Defeat Oakland and San Francisco Taxes

Why don't proponents of the measure feature store owners who say they'll compensate for the tax by raising prices on soda alone -- that the tax won't affect the cost of other groceries? They can even point out that it's the soda industry itself that would benefit by pressuring grocers to shift the tax onto other items.

This is a no-brainer. Proponents of the measure should respond directly to the attacks with such a clear presentation.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/11/2016 at 8:32 PM

Re: “Introducing the Queer & Trans Issue

My comment, as previously posted, needs a word of clarification...

The "queer and trans" narrative is all well and good; it's just not MY narrative -- and I've never claimed that the world revolves around me.

The notion of universalism (or "assimilation"), and the laundry-list approach to oppressed identities (and ostensible coalitions or communities) deserves a much longer (long overdue) fully open and civil discussion.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/06/2016 at 9:17 AM

Re: “Introducing the Queer & Trans Issue

The effort "to highlight the people who don't fit neatly into the narrative visualized by two white guys kissing on their wedding day," involves the creation of a new narrative -- a narrative in which those two white guys seem increasingly irrelevant, readily ignored and dismissed, a means to an end that feels alien to their own original narrative (their concerns and interests disparaged as those of the "privileged").

The resurgence of race and gender is already having unintended(?) consequences. Imagine a version of "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" in which Nurse Ratched is cast as a feminist hero, and her (male) charges as "deplorables" -- along with the Ginsberg, Kerouac, and Neal Cassady characters from "On the Road" (and for good measure, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn).

Just don't be surprised by the backlash! "Intersectionality" cuts both ways -- or actually, in as many ways as there are individuals. The one sure casualty is universalism (now denigrated as "assimilation") -- though for many of us, ironically, that (along with personal freedom) was initially the goal.

Some attributes already have fallen off the laundry list of explicitly recognized oppressions. Does this even matter? It matters to me, as a gay ("cisgender") male Jew -- and it will only matter more urgently when the pitchforks and torches appear on the street. I'm not sure the trade-offs are worth it.

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 10/05/2016 at 8:59 AM

Re: “Online Poll Attacks Oakland Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, Claims False Endorsements for Peggy Moore

Sleazy tactics in an especially sleazy election season. Fortunately, more people are likely to read this piece than those reached by the phony "survey." GO, REBECCA!

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 09/04/2016 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Study Finds that Bay Area Restaurants Have the Largest Race-Based Pay Gap in the Country

Isn't it also possible that more FOH employees at Kingston 11 are POC because their ethnicity matches that of the cuisine? Is that a reasonable consideration in hiring? (Genuine, not rhetorical, question.)

Come to think of it, do Asian servers (at Asian restaurants) count as POC? If so, I'm a bit surprised that Bay Area restaurants scored so low on equality. ;-)

Posted by Mitchell Halberstadt on 08/02/2016 at 8:53 PM

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