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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Raising the Bar

Re: “Why You Should Support the Protests

Thanks for this thoughtful and well written piece, Jay.

I'm not far from regarding the heavily militarized and increasingly well integrated "police" as being an occupying army these days, asking as many have "who is it they are so well postured to go to war against?" Indeed, who do they serve and protect?

With about half the population being thrown mostly out into the economic cold, the answer to this question might seem obvious. Which I will state: Not Us, Usually. (If you haven't read it, you might take a look at this piece from SALON: ONE NATION UNDER SWAT: HOW AMERICA'S POLICE BECAME AN OCCUPYING FORCE)

Largely standing by while this process of "changing everything" moved quickly into our society, we now confront a monster that isn't much interested in what we think about it. They might at this stage not even be much interested in what we do about it.

It is possible to confront their authority and the authority of those directing them in the streets, but that is a conflict they are well enough going to win usually, especially in terms of violent confrontation. No news with that. Of course, they can escalate the street violence at will, as you observe. There's no such thing as playing fair in this.

This aspect of the larger class war is, in the corporate media, mostly colorized as being mostly disruptive, though they do genuflect now and again towards noticing the United States remains a very racist society. No mention of Class War At All. That's as forbidden as using the word "fascist." As forbidden as saying Working Class instead of Middle Class usually is. Changing the way people talk about such things is one thing the internet IS good for...

No mention of people generally being driven to extremes by The New Economy, the one that treats a too sizeable proportion of them as being disposable. Not just ghetto disposable. "Third World" disposable.

How many new prisons will be built to contain all of those millions of people newly criminalized or simply intolerably marginalized once they really step on the gas of the machine they've constructed? Alex Jones sounding stuff I suppose, this kind of thing. Conspiranoid nonsense, we're always being told. Or something like that. And in some constructions, that's mostly just what it is.

However,take a looke at all those fascist cops!


Posted by terrybake on 12/17/2014 at 10:43 AM

Re: “Why You Should Support the Protests

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 12/17/2014 at 2:47 AM

Re: “The Age of Fear and Disillusionment

Awesome article! However, in addition to the marijuana and gay marriage conversation in America. The progressives, need to be more mindful to end our own stigmatization of those who are addicted to pain-killers/heroin, those who sell it for economic survival and those who are in/released (from) prisons and jails who are struggling to shake off their past. It's about moving forward together with the spirit of redemption and change. But again, we still hold those people who really want to be forgiven as deviants. For this reasons, these folks didn't see a compelling reason to get out and vote either!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Alan Bailey on 11/17/2014 at 11:30 AM

Re: “The Age of Fear and Disillusionment

Excellent article - fear is an American value that is manipulated by those in power to do as they please.

Posted by Art Zamora on 11/14/2014 at 9:47 AM

Re: “The Age of Fear and Disillusionment


Posted by Alan Lopez on 11/12/2014 at 6:50 PM

Re: “A Message to Readers

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 10/24/2014 at 11:59 AM

Re: “A Message to Readers

Good to know that you folks are in no danger of going belly-up. But I disagree about the Bay Guardian, which has been awful for a long time.…

Posted by Rob Anderson on 10/23/2014 at 10:22 AM

Re: “A Message to Readers

Thanks for keeping EBX alive and healthy. I've been reading it since it began publishing--and even contributed a few pieces--and have always appreciated its adaptive and insightful approach to serving the community. Sure, some things bug me (particularly the interaction design of the entertainment section, which got real bad two ownerships ago) but that's quibbling. Keep it up EBX!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by David Livingstone Fore on 10/23/2014 at 5:28 AM

Re: “A Message to Readers

I also disagree with your assessment of The Bay Citizen. (I was a happy employee there, miss it and thanks for remembering us!) TBC merged with The Center for Investigative Reporting and thus it ended. It didn't fold or fail. In my opinion, the most tragic part of the merger was that it cut short an experiment in local, sustainable journalism. It was a bold new venture and a model that never got to fully play out.

At that point, TBC *was* successful and the future looked good. Our membership numbers were growing, income was increasingly diversified, the journalism was strong, staffing was solid. The operation looked sustainable. The industry needs sustainable models and The Bay Citizen was an attempt. I suppose the attempt did fail but not because of the business model. You may believe that ultimately the model was doomed and I disagree, but we can't know because the experiment ended too soon.

One could ask why couldn't it have prevented the merger? That's a more speculative conversation, but it's an entirely different situation from "couldn't make a go of it".

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by J Cotton on 10/22/2014 at 2:29 PM

Re: “A Message to Readers

Thanks for the comment, Sam. The Bay Citizen was staffed, like the Center for Investigative Reporting into which it was merged, with fantastic journalists who do great work. But I continue to believe that the Bay Citizen model was unsustainable which ultimately doomed this noble experiment. - Jay

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jay Youngdahl on 10/22/2014 at 9:18 AM

Re: “A Message to Readers

You misrepresent why The Bay Citizen folded a couple years ago. It had nothing to do with funding or the business model, and the reasons were widely reported at the time. You should really do your homework before reporting something as fact. You wrote, "the news media generally does a terrible job telling the truth about itself." And then you did exactly that type of bad reporting. Geesh!

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Sam Burns on 10/22/2014 at 5:48 AM

Re: “The Real Martin Luther King Jr.

Great piece Jay. I often wonder how Dr. King would respond to the current state of society, and what actions he would be advocating. I wonder what he would have thought about "affirmative action" as it evolved, and about the state of American "family life" as it has evolved, and about gangs and hip-hop "culture". People should want to be assessed by the "content of their character" and not by race. Sadly, things have not gone that way. Maybe at some point the pendulum can swing back.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Barry Seidel on 01/15/2014 at 9:23 PM

Re: “The Real Martin Luther King Jr.

What a great piece to reflect on for MLK Day! Thank you for reminding us that MLK & Mandela were human beings, not superheroes. That makes what the did even more impressive, and gives some hope to the rest of us.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Lisa Lindsley on 01/15/2014 at 2:20 PM

Re: “The Real Martin Luther King Jr.

I so appreciate that Jay Youngdahl wrote about why we honor Martim Luther King…this is an excellent article. Note: "He stressed notions of love, power, and justice and their relationship to the nature of social existence — a message echoed in progressive strains of Buddhism and Catholicism."

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Connie Coker on 01/15/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “2013 Was a Year of Heroes and Hope

As usual, you give us all some things we should think about. I definitely agree with your take on Matt Taibbi, but also thank the writers such as yourself that also name names, and aren't reluctant to call out the institutions and individuals that need to have the light of day shown on them.

Posted by Gordon Baker on 12/27/2013 at 5:08 PM

Re: “Spying and Lying

Can you imagine how many people NSA would have to hire to read emails and listen to phone calls from 200,000 million, or so, Americans? It would certainly solve the unemployment problem, but it would be hazardous work. Many would die from boredom.

Posted by Joyce Roy on 12/16/2013 at 11:41 PM

Re: “Spying and Lying

Ed, that old Fourth Amendment seems quaint, doesn't it? Important in the 18th Century, obsolete in the 21st. Who needs it?

Posted by Bob Woodbury on 12/12/2013 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Spying and Lying

Just so the record is clear i am one person who is not at all concerned with our new tools to gather information. I suspect there are many like me. I believe I may be safer and healthier as a result of the responsible use of such information. If my city can create a safer environment by focused surveillance then I am all for it. If the federal government can create a safer society I support it. Yes, we need policies to guide these efforts but we don't need to prevent it or fear it.
Ed Gerber

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by ed gerber on 12/12/2013 at 6:49 AM

Re: “Spying and Lying

"We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end."
― George Orwell, 1984
As the Obama concept of government seizes power, we are experiencing the transformation from the days when our personal lives and thoughts were private and we could speak our minds without hesitation, to a time when government is seizing that sanctity from us in the false name of protection. Nothing our enemies can imagine for us could be more harmful, for it is no longer 317 million citizens they must conquer, but only one government that must fall. Before, each one of us was an individual fortress, but today we foolishly relinquish our defense, personal state secrets and dignity to a self-proclaimed god-like government that is demonstrating its ability to fumble and to deceive. This is not a partisan issue, but one of human rights for every one of us. Every opinion poll expresses our disgust with this government, and now we must act as citizens to retake the individualism that for the U.S.A. once commanded the attention of the world.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by William H. Thompson on 12/12/2013 at 12:02 AM

Re: “The Bay Area Has a Values Problem

Dear Jay Youngdahl: Do not use the word "burgeoning" again. Ever.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Clarence Cromwell on 11/30/2013 at 6:15 PM

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