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A Modest Proposal to Drive Away the Poor for the Sake of the Tourists

Virtually everything about capitalism says that only the top one percent of upper-income people really count, while the 99% who struggle for everything don’t deserve to even survive. The Occupy movement is trying to point out this flaw in a very concrete way by camping out and protesting.

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Preserve Affordable Housing in Berkeley

Any proposed development at the vacant lot on the corner of Haste and Telegraph Avenue that precludes the replacement of the 77 lost units of SRO housing is a theft of irreplaceable housing. Berkeley has systematically destroyed its SRO housing, replacing it with high-end condos and rental units.

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Spare Change Leads to Spiritual Change

Surely, homeless people are entitled to our daily deeds of justice and compassion. Surely, they deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. When we respond to that holy call to kindness, we bring blessing into our lives and into the lives of all we touch.

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Democrats Cave in to Right-Wing Ideologues

Democrats are joining Republicans in Congress to shred the safety net for the benefit of the financial interests of huge corporations. Their rhetoric about “shared sacrifice” rings hollow when the vast majority of us are being sacrificed to the financial benefit of big banks and large corporations.

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Aging in America

Has aging become a crime in the U.S., punishable by a shot of Botox or various and sundry tucks, snips and pulls? Simone de Beauvoir, the French existentialist philosopher, in her book, The Second Sex, called our treatment of the aged “scandalous.”

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HMOs Make Vision an Unaffordable Luxury: A Personal Narrative

It will cost money I don’t have just to fix my current glasses frames and their already jerry-rigged earpiece, where I used a piece of wire I cut with some toenail clippers from a spiral notebook and attached it between the lenses and the tiny hole in the earpiece.

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Deadly Budget for the Poor and Elderly

Can a civilized nation accept the draconian cutbacks being proposed by the U.S. Congress at this very moment? Can anyone with a spark of humanity support a budget that allows the most destitute to die on the streets all over the nation, rather than helping them?

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An Ominous Path to an Orwellian Society

Our society is in a state of constant surveillance. While this may help solve crimes, it interferes with the privacy of individuals. Businesses are hiring private security forces to monitor the public, especially the poor. It can be crazy-making not to know when and if one is being watched.

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Society’s Failure to Care Is the Root of Homelessness

In one of the richest places in the world, people become so wrapped up in their own comfort and status that they don’t care about the human beings they are stepping over.

Visionary Art of Leon Kennedy

In Leon Kennedy’s painting, his living friends are portrayed next to long-gone elders and assassinated civil rights leaders. Even death does not shatter the bonds of love and community.

Welcome to Homelessness

The worst thing about homelessness, I sensed, would have nothing to do with bad weather, hunger or sleep deprivation. It would be the way I soon would be cast out like a leper, as though one would contract a deadly disease just from being in my presence.

Big Money Spends a Fortune to Fight Rent Control

Wealthy landlords, realtors and developers have teamed up and are spending a fortune to fight the efforts of renters to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Act, the law that severely limits the rent control options of California cities. Tenants have also launched rent control campaigns in 10 California cities.

Vicious and Cruel Assault on the Poorest of the Poor

Elected leaders of the national tenants union denounced the housing bill proposed by HUD Secretary Ben Carson as a vicious and cruel assault on the poorest of the poor. “Millions will be displaced if these deeply cruel proposals see the light of day. Congress should reject them out of hand.”

The DBA’s Assault on Free Speech in Berkeley

The DBA launched a new poster destruction policy, despite being warned it was unconstitutional by the City Attorney. Tearing down fliers is a textbook example of a free speech violation. No one has the right to make content-based distinctions about what is allowed to be posted or said in legal, public places.