Berkeley in the News

Berkeley in the News is a daily selection of articles and commentaries in the news media that mention UC Berkeley. The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of the campus.

Friday, 28 April 2017

1. Calm prevails in Berkeley after cops gear up in wake of Coulter cancellation
San Francisco Chronicle (*requires registration)

The atmosphere in Berkeley, both downtown and on campus, was "more picnic than protest" Thursday, according to this report on what happened in the wake of conservative commentator Ann Coulter's cancelled speech. Since credible threats by extremist groups on the Left and Right had led officials to fear violence comparable to prior campus and city scenes this year, the police were prepared for the worst. And while a crowd of Trump supporters rallied in a park downtown, their most aggressive adversaries self-described anti-fascists were a no-show. Seven arrests were reported between the campus and city. Stories on this topic appeared in more than 100 sources, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee (AP), Reuters, NPR Online, Newsweek, and KGO TV--link to video.
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2. Op-Ed: Berkeley Is Under Attack From Both Sides
New York Times (*requires registration)

Gearing up for an uncertain day on campus Thursday, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks wrote that Berkeley is "facing extraordinary challenges" living up to its open and tolerant legacy, since both Left- and Right-wing groups -- with no affiliation to the campus -- appear to view "the site of the birth of the Free Speech Movement as a staging ground for violence and disruption." He concluded: "This spring, the school has collaborated closely with many student groups on campus, including the Berkeley College Republicans, to ensure that we can host speakers of their choosing in a safe and secure manner. Yet, our academic commitment to openness can succeed only if the school does not become a center for violence. Educational institutions need to make urgently clear the reasons the First Amendment is so critical to our nation, on campus and off. The future of liberal democracy is endangered when the university becomes the focus of attacks."
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3. Op-Ed: I invited Ann Coulter to speak at UC Berkeley. Here's why.
Washington Post (*requires registration)

"It pains me to see our campus being used as a pulpit for bad actors, people whose goal is to elevate themselves by inciting violence, without a thought for the safety of students who live and attend school here," wrote freshman Pranav Jandhyala in this commentary Thursday morning. As founder and co-president of BridgeUSA at Berkeley, one of the organizations backing Ann Coulter's failed visit to campus, he wrote: "Sproul Plaza is becoming a battleground, and the ones who are left to pick up the bill of consequences is the Berkeley student body, which is vilified every day in the press for destruction that outside groups are responsible for. ... What's disheartening to me is seeing the words 'free speech' being used as a tool to garner headlines and publicity. The whole purpose behind the idea of free speech has been lost." He concluded: "We will continue to pursue our mission of creating environments in which students can engage with their peers as free thinkers, express their opinions without fear and have their beliefs, suppositions and prejudices challenged rather than dismissed. Only through these means can we begin to bridge the gap brought on by polarization and allow for a free exchange of political ideas." Another commentary appeared in the Sacramento Bee.
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4. Op-Ed: Why won't Congress really investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia?
Washington Post (*requires registration)

Weighing in on Congress's "feeble efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election," political science professor Eric Schickler and a colleague from Boston University write that "what's at stake is the integrity of the U.S. electoral process." In a study they wrote about in the recently published Investigating the President: Congressional Checks on Presidential Power, they found that over the past century Congress has consistently been more willing to investigate the executive branch when government is divided, with different parties controlling executive and legislative branches. Noting that "committee Republicans know that they examine Trump's Russia connections at their own political peril," they conclude: "Partisan polarization will likely prevent Congress from keeping the president in check, as the Constitution's framers envisioned." Professor Schickler was also quoted on Trump's first 100 days in office in the San Francisco Chronicle.
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5. Column: The dumbest part of Trump's dumb tax plan
Washington Post (*requires registration)

The Trump administration's one-page tax plan contains a range of controversial ideas, including what this columnist describes as the "dumbest part" halving the tax rate on so-called pass-through income. Calling it the "loopholiest of loopholes," she cites research from Berkeley and elsewhere, which found that two-thirds of pass-through income is earned by the top 1 percent of Americans.
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6. Group launches site to help women self-induce abortions at home, citing restrictive U.S. laws
Washington Post (*requires registration)

The Netherlands-based organization Women Help Women has launched a website providing one-on-one counseling services to women in early pregnancy who may have obtained abortion pills. Speaking of the self-induced abortion trend in the U.S., Jill Adams, executive director of Berkeley Law's Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, says: "There . . . are people who view this as progress, the evolution of abortion care, and an incredible opportunity to transcend the very contentious abortion debate." She notes that a few states still have laws criminalizing self-induced abortion, and some women, and people who helped them, have been prosecuted using criminal statutes that don't conflict with Supreme Court rulings guaranteeing a right to abortions until the fetus is viable.
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7. How investors can sabotage their portfolio returns
Washington Post (*requires registration)

In a story about investors who aren't seeing gains that mirror the overall stock market in their own portfolios, experts identify ways those investors may have sabotaged themselves. According to business and finance professor Terrance Odean: "One of the reasons investors trade more than they should is that they think they know more than they do. ... They think they have more ability than they have, they end up trading more than they should, and that hurts their returns."
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8. Snapp Shots: Berkeley to mark 75 years since Japanese internment
East Bay Times (*requires registration)

The UC Berkeley campus and city of Berkeley commemorated the 75th anniversary of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II on Wednesday with a public reception, exhibit, and talk by Keith Nomura, whose father, Kiyosuke Nomura, was transported to Tanforan when he was a UC Berkeley senior. "The mass imprisonment of the Japanese American population inflicted trauma on the victims that lasted a lifetime and affected their descendants," says former Berkeley staff member Milton Fujii, one of the commemoration's organizers, along with Berkeley community historian Steve Finacom. "It's important that all Americans today understand what happened so that we can all move forward." For more on the events, see the press release we issued beforehand at Berkeley News. Another story appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet. KGO TV covered the event, but a link to their story is not available online.
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9. UC Berkeley Turned Its Fight Song Into a Dothraki War Cry, Wisely Doesn't Rename Sports Teams 'the Stallions Who Mount the World'
Gizmodo

Lecturer David Peterson, the creator of Game of Thrones' Dothraki and other fictional made-for-film-and-TV languages, is teaching a Summer Sessions course called "The Linguistics of Game of Thrones and the Art of Language Invention." The class will focus on the structure and form of building a language from scratch. To promote the class, he translated the opening stanza of Cal's traditional fight song, "Sons of California" -- link to audio. For more on the course, see our story at Berkeley News. Stories on this topic appeared in dozens of sources, including the Sacramento Bee, Times-Picayune, Time Magazine, Independent (UK), International Business Times, Huffington Post, Digital Trends, Mashable, and The Wrap.
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