Latest Vanguard News and Commentary on the Pepper Spray Issue

Spicuzza-Pike-Pepper

The Investigation: Former LA Chief Bratton Heads Up Investigation

On Tuesday UC President Mark Yudof announced that former Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton will undertake an independent fact-finding of the pepper spray incident and report back the results to him within 30 days.

“My intent,” President Yudof said, “is to provide the Chancellor and the entire University of California community with an independent, unvarnished report about what happened at Davis.”

A number of internal and external figures have called for an independent investigation into the matter.

However, the former LA Chief is an interesting figure to choose to head up the investigation, as Mr. Bratton himself noted in a press conference that his experience as LA Police Chief from 2003 to 2009 provided “no shortage of controversial incidents.”

Chief among them was the 2007 May Day police incident at “MacArthur Park in which police officers were caught on videotape as they wielded batons and fired rubber bullets to disperse a mostly peaceful crowd, after a small group of protesters confronted police. Dozens of demonstrators and journalists were injured. A series of LAPD disciplinary steps resulted.”

On Tuesday he held their inquiry into that event to be a “model investigation.”

“I’m certainly not proud of the event, but I am proud of the report,” Mr. Bratton said on Tuesday. “I am looking for a similar report that will give a truthful and objective, candid account of the events” at UC Davis, he added. Bratton said he had seen video of the pepper-spraying but declined to comment on it.

Mr. Bratton’s effort will replace plans by the campus to internally review the matter.  However, the Yolo County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Department are expected to conduct their own joint review.

The Vanguard remains skeptical of the efforts by the Yolo County District Attorney’s office to investigate the matter.

Sheriff Ed Prieto on Tuesday did vow to the Enterprise that he was to do “a clean unbiased investigation…  We’re going to review the whole incident, not just what you see on TV – there’s obviously a lot more to it than that.”

However, the Vanguard has learned that Lt. Pike, in particular, has close ties to the Yolo County District Attorney’s office and we believe that the California Attorney General’s Office and AG Kamala Harris would be better equipped to handle any inquiry in a fair and impartial manner.

While the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department was not on the scene, the Yolo County law enforcement community is a tightly-knit community that has a tendency to protect its own.

This was a point perhaps inadvertently hammered home by comments by Davis Police Chief Landy Black, whose officers did not participate in the actual pepper spraying but are seen on video standing by.

While Chief Black took pains to clarify that his department was not involved in the pepper spraying or knew of plans to pepper spray, he also told the Enterprise: “I neither support nor condemn the actions of the UCDPD officers because I do not have sufficient facts. I have not conducted, and will not be conducting, an investigation to learn those facts. That is the role of those who have oversight responsibility.”

However, he did say, “Nonetheless, the Davis PD will certainly take a lesson from what we’ve seen and heard.”

It is unfortunate that the chief has not taken a stronger stance, as I actually believe that UC has a lot to learn from the handling of mass events by the Davis Police.

I have yet to see UC Davis Police properly handle a situation of mass protesters over the five years in which I have operated the Vanguard.  Time and again, events become fiascos, whether it was the 2007 illegal arrest of protesters at Mrak Hall, the 2009 incident involving Brienna Holmes, the various lockdowns of Mrak or the Tasering of students out by I-80, it seems each time UC becomes involved in a protest, they mess up.

Contrast that to 2007, when I watched as Davis Police officers very professionally handled a sit-in on the corner of Anderson and Russell.  Landy Black was barely on the job, but his men and women allowed those protesters not wanting to be arrested to leave and very gently and professionally arrested those who chose to be arrested.

The arrests were effected completely without incident or violence because they were handled properly.

Frankly, I cannot imagine a situation where the Davis Police would have resorted to this sort of response.

Unfortunately, Chief Black has decided, rather than to use this as a teaching moment to the community, to take a back seat.

He may express pride that their department handles demonstrations better than UC Davis, but I think he needed to say more, even if it meant he had to do so before there is a full investigation.  There are long videos of the incident; there just is nothing that we are going to learn after an investigation that we cannot see now on the tape.

KatehiFacesTheCroud_11-21-11-4-1Viewpoints: Bee and Enterprise Call For Giving Katehi a Chance to Rectify Situation

The Sacramento Bee this morning argues that those calling for Chancellor Linda Katehi to resign are premature: “Those calls are premature. They are an overreaction. They reflect the passions stoked by a stunningly stupid police action that has gone viral, putting UC Davis on the international map for all the wrong reasons. Katehi and UC Davis deserve a more deliberate consideration of her overall leadership and her role in Friday’s events before any decision is made on her future.”

They argue that there is still much “unclear about what Katehi knew and authorized in the chain of events that led police dressed in riot gear to casually pepper-spray a line of students.”

Instead, they argue to speed up the investigations.  They write, “Katehi and campus officials say she directed the police to peacefully ‘remove the equipment’ and not to create ‘another Berkeley’ situation, in which campus police used batons on protesters. She also says she never would have approved police in riot gear.”

It would seem strange that the Bee would accept those explanations now, when just a few days ago they acknowledged that initially the chancellor seemed to defend the actions of the police.

They wrote, “It appeared the UC Davis protests were dying down before the police overreacted Friday, and it didn’t help that Chancellor Linda Katehi initially came to their [the officers’] defense.”

So, which is it – did Ms. Katehi support the officers’ actions initially or would she never have approved the police in riot gear?

Moreover, the Bee misses the fact that Ms. Katehi already had a chance to diffuse the situation when the same police came to Mrak in riot gear two days earlier.  At that time, it was noted by administration officials that the administrators were tired and “overworked” and that Ms. Katehi was “triple-booked.”

The statement yesterday that police were not told to use force against students is more “backpeddling and obfuscation” – these were not statements that were made right after the event, they are only made in the context of mass criticism, and thus needed to be treated much more skeptically than they are.

The Davis Enterprise yesterday basically argued that we need to give Chancellor Katehi a chance.

“We’re not ready to join the chorus of voices demanding that she step down,” the Enterprise wrote, noting that the chancellor has lost the student’s trust.

“It remains to be seen whether she can regain that trust and lead the university out of this crisis. We’re willing to give her that opportunity,” the paper wrote.

However, the paper did not let the chancellor off the hook either, noting “Katehi missed important opportunities to talk with students before police were called in, when the Occupy crowd numbered 50 instead of 5,000. These students are devoted to communicating; it’s time that university leaders started listening.”

They wrote, “The students did their part Monday, giving the chancellor respectful silence during her remarks. Now is the time to talk, clear the air, acknowledge mistakes and begin to rebuild trust.”

While the Enterprise notes that Ms. Katehi has been “relentless in her drive to raise the university’s profile nationally and internationally,” they failed to note that a huge part of her job has been as fundraiser and that is now severely damaged by the image of the university that she now embodies.

The poster on the Vanguard, Mr. Toad, again summed up the problem perfectly on Tuesday morning when he wrote, “She has taken responsibility, she has apologized, she has called off the dogs, what else do you want? Well she, Yudof or the Regents could announce what her penance will be. A hollow acceptance of responsibility is standard procedure for embattled leaders in addition to ‘backpedaling and obfuscation.’ “

“Without an explanation of the consequences of her acceptance of responsibility her leadership will be too impaired to succeed. Of course how will her leadership be judged a success?

“It has gone without notice but she voiced her real concern on UCTV of completing her goal of raising $1 billion for the university thus exposing that her masters are the 1% and those above her that also serve the elite. But I can’t see how she can continue to run UC Davis without the money drying up. When the money dries up she is out. The only way forward for her is public acceptance of some disciplinary action short of resignation. Lacking that she is toast.”

And that is the bottom line.  As we have noted, she has been notable for her absence, around working to raise her profile and the university’s profile as she is rumored to be angling for a UC President position when Mark Yudof retires, that now it is likely she will never get.

Encamp-1

Viewpoint: NY Times Editor Highly Critical

Writes Andrew Rosenthal, Editor of the New York Times: “There were a few possible reactions to the police repeatedly pepper spraying a seated row of non-violent student protesters at an Occupy Wall Street-inspired event at UC Davis on Saturday. The university Chancellor, Linda Katehi, apologized to her students for the attack. The university put two officers on leave while investigating their behavior. Protesters were outraged.”

He notes his disgust in particular “because the videos and articles about police pepper spraying students in our country are appearing at the same time as the army in Egypt brutalizes demonstrators there. The two are not equivalent, by any stretch, but the juxtaposition is unfortunate, to say the least.”

He writes: “The most disturbing reaction I think I’ve read about the incident was this: ‘What I’m looking at is fairly standard police procedure.’ “

Those words were uttered by former Baltimore Police LT Charles Kelly, who was interviewed by the AP and who wrote that department’s use of force manual.

“He said pepper spray is a ‘compliance tool’ and that he observed at least two cases of  ‘active resistance,’ ” Mr. Rosenthal writes.

“Did we watch the same video?” he asked.  “I saw a bunch of kids locking arms on the ground and police in riot gear moving around freely. Then I saw a cop with an oddly calm expression spray the kids in the face. More than once. I don’t think that’s ‘active resistance,’ and the 9th Circuit – which has ruled that it’s excessive to use pepper spray against seated, peaceful protesters – wouldn’t call it that, either.”

“So if that’s ‘fairly standard police procedure,’ we need a new standard,” he writes.  “Sadly, what happened at UC Davis is not out of whack with police treatment of protesters elsewhere.”

After discussing what pepper spray actually is and does to people, he writes, “Police departments nationally need to rethink their pepper-spray policies, or better train officers in how to put these policies into practice. What happened at UC Davis makes that abundantly clear.”

He concludes, “This kind of behavior is wrong, legally and morally. It’s also self-defeating if the purpose is to quash demonstrations. Look at Chicago in 1968, at the streets of Southern cities in the 1960’s. Tear gas, fire hoses and dogs just show how right the protesters are and inspire more.”

Amen.

Encamp-2

The Last Word… Bob Dunning

As longtime readers know, I have disagreed with Bob Dunning early and often on this site.  I think he’s been terribly wrong in his views on things at times.

I saw him out at the rally on Monday, very proud that his young daughter has been honored with a scholastic journalistic position.

As I noted, I have had my share of differences with Davis’ venerable columnist, but when he’s right, he’s very right and he certainly hit a homerun here.

He wrote on Tuesday, “Like so many others the chancellor has heard from in the past few days, I was shocked, outraged, sick-to-my-stomach and frankly embarrassed not only by the pepper-spraying itself, but by the institutional response to it.”

I am very glad he said that last part because the institutional response to it is what has me wanting the chancellor gone as much as anything else.

He continued, “They say first impressions are the ones that stay with you, and my first impression was that this was easily the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen happen on this normally peaceful campus … and while the chancellor early on allowed that images of the pepper-spraying were ‘chilling,’ she didn’t immediately condemn them … that was a critical mistake.”

Yep.

He then went over the litany of excuses, such as liability, rush to judgment, innocent until proven guilty…  Words that I have seen used to justify inaction in the face of atrocity far too many times.

But here is the point: “I’ve watched that video at least a dozen times and there are simply no mitigating circumstances that can justify his actions … this was a ‘peaceful’ protest in every good meaning of that word … and this was the time for the chancellor to be on the right side of history by immediately condemning the pepper-spraying as the outrageous act that it was …”

He adds, ” ‘Chilling’ might have been an apt description, but it fell far short of a clear and concise statement that this should not have happened in this instance and should never again happen in any similar instances on the UC Davis campus … pepper spray can be a useful law enforcement tool under certain circumstances … this was not one of them …”

Mr. Dunning added: “I strongly doubt she will resign voluntarily – even now, she sincerely believes she’s good for this campus – but whether or not higher-ups will choose to pull the plug on her brief tenure as chancellor is very much an open question.”

Encamp-3

Investigation Needed into the UC Davis Police Department and Chief Spicuzza

I agree with Mr. Dunning, the time has passed for a voluntary resignation and each day that passes frankly reduces the chance that she is fired.  Generally speaking, if someone survives the first few news cycles, unless something new comes out, she will survive.

She is damaged and maybe that damage will be good.  Maybe this will change the way protests are dealt with, though I have been watching this for nearly five years as a citizen journalist and I have yet to see anything that prompts change.

I have little faith that William Bratton will be the answer, and I have less faith in our local authorities.

So, increasingly, I lean toward believing that not much will change.  The police chief, who frankly has been a problem for a long time, and only the fact that UC is so close-lipped has prevented more information from coming out on the chief and her upper brass for the last five years.

There are several lawsuits in the works, most notably Brienna Holmes who was the student charged with assaulting Captain Joyce Souza in 2009, and who was acquitted in 2010 and is now suing.  She told me yesterday, that Lt. Carmichael, who is now the acting chief of police, testified last summer that he was unprepared to handle the Mrak 2009 protest, and admitted to making mistakes while acting as joint incident commander.

Another suit involves Calvin Chang, and it is worth noting that, as the Sacramento Bee and now Associated Press have covered the fact that Lt. John Pike was honored by the university for exceptional police work, including a 2006 incident in which he tackled a scissor-wielding hospital patient who was threatening fellow officers.

However, the AP also notes, “An alleged anti-gay slur by Pike also figured in a racial and sexual discrimination lawsuit a former police officer filed against the department, which ended in a $240,000 settlement in 2008. Officer Calvin Chang’s 2003 discrimination complaint against the university’s police chief and the UC Board of Regents alleged he was systematically marginalized as the result of anti-gay and racist attitudes on the force, and he specifically claimed Pike described him using a profane anti-gay epithet.”

Our sources note that Lt. Pike has also been subjected to numerous disciplinary measures for complaints, but despite this has been promoted at least twice since 2003.  It is always interesting that honors get coverage and publicized, but not complaints.

UC Davis needs to clean up its act.

This summer UC Santa Cruz hired Nader Oweis as their new chief.  In 2007, Chief Oweis was nearly fired for failing to comply with an unlawful arrest order at Mrak Hall.  Charges against protesters for trespassing would later be dropped when it was determined that Lt. Oweis was correct, that they could not arrest people for occupying a public building during regular business hours.

But, for his troubles, he was sent to duty at the UCD Medical Center, after one of the Captains referred to him with an ethnic slur.  Captain Leslie Brown was later terminated for acting inappropriately.

The climate at the UC Davis Police Department has been a problem for some time.  It is unclear if Lt. Carmichael is part of that problem, but a much more serious inquiry needs to be looked at.

I wish I had confidence in William Bratton to do it.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

86 Comments

  1. rusty49

    “While Chief Black took pains to clarify that his department was involved in the pepper spraying or knew of plans to pepper spray,”

    You might want to change this.

  2. Adam Smith

    Let’s assume for the moment that Katehi’s comments regarding the sequence of events is completely accurate – meaning that her instructions were not to use force, and that when she asked the police chief for an explanation that she was told that the officers were threatened, and so she then used that explanation to first answer questions from the press. Since then, she has learned more, and she has condemned the statement.

    If the above happened to be true, why would it be appropriate for her to be fired or to resign?

  3. rusty49

    “There are long videos of the incident; there just is nothing that we are going to learn after an investigation that we cannot see now on the tape.”

    No offense David but this statement is ridiculous. How do you know?

  4. Phil Coleman

    “It is unfortunate that the Chief has not taken a stronger stance, as I actually believe that UC has a lot to learn from the handling of mass events by the Davis Police.”

    The wisdom and judgment of Chief Black has been grossly underestimated here. With multiple official investigations already underway, he need not–nor should he–jump into the fray with yet another publicly expressed opinion.

    Were Landy to offer a judgment prior to these investigations being allowed to proceed, it would make great press, but exhibit poor leadership. He will let the many others, who couldn’t lead a church choir, continue with the rants and calls for the gallows.

    You can bet, however, that this episode will be reviewed and discussed internally by hundreds of thousands of law enforcement agencies. The many lessons to be learned or re-learned will be stressed vigorously. That is what other law enforcements heads should, and will, be doing in the weeks and months ahead.

  5. biddlin

    Good commentary David . I’ve been observing much longer and also see little institutional change . The tolerance of the protesters has been largely overlooked, but in light of the intolerance shown them was remarkable . One would have hoped for more contrition from Ms. Katehi, but she cannot give what she does not possess . Whatever the findings of Mr Bratton’s investigation, I sincerely hope that the Davis community will affirm that it values tolerance and compassion over expediency .

  6. rusty49

    The student activists now have Katehi right where they want her. They’ll get everything they want as Katehi has now been emasculated. Whether she is directly responsible or not for the incident I feel she must go because she will no longer be capable of making the tough decisions out of fear of backlash.

  7. Mr.Toad

    Adam Smith:”Since then, she has learned more, and she has condemned the statement.

    “If the above happened to be true, why would it be appropriate for her to be fired or to resign?”

    Thanks David for highlighting my post. Note that I did not call for her resignation Adam but I would like to know what discipline she will receive for her admitted taking of responsibility? I stand by my post, who is going to donate to UC Davis while her pepper spray tainted tenure continues?

    She was hired at a time of extraordinary economic change for the University. I must believe that with her giant salary she new that she would face student unrest from tuition increases in addition to faculty and staff unrest from pay cuts. She also must have understood that fundraising and economic exploitation of University research was the way forward.

    At first she had some success with the faculty and staff because they knew there was no choice but my guess is that the dam has now been broken and she will be exposed to much more institutional resistance.

    As for managing the students as the Regents turned the screw of debt servitude through tuition increases on the students she has clearly failed. With hindsight under her leadership all responses to student unrest seem authoritarian and even though the police have currently stood down Yudof has now taken over the management of student unrest. So what comes next is anyone’s guess.

    As I said above UC Davis is currently so tainted I don’t see how she can repair her ability to get people to donate to the University. So it seems these three elements of her leadership expectations are in disarray. Personally I believe the only chance she has to remain lies in her acceptance of some form of discipline for whatever failure of leadership she has accepted responsibility. Until she accepts some punishment the University can’t move forward on her hollow apology and mea culpas. Whether or not she can remain an effective leader depends on how the public reacts to her punishment. Until that punishment is announced the mob will continue to call for her head and eventually they may get it.

  8. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]While Chief Black took pains to clarify that his department was not involved in the pepper spraying or knew of plans to pepper spray, he also told the Enterprise: “I neither support nor condemn the actions of the UCDPD officers because I do not have sufficient facts. I have not conducted, and will not be conducting, an investigation to learn those facts. That is the role of those who have oversight responsibility.”

    However, he did say, “Nonetheless, the Davis PD will certainly take a lesson from what we’ve seen and heard.”

    It is unfortunate that the chief has not taken a stronger stance, as I actually believe that UC has a lot to learn from the handling of mass events by the Davis Police.[/quote]

    Police Chief Landy Black did exactly the right thing – did not jump to conclusions and is awaiting an investigation, so that he can know ALL the facts. He also wisely stated he will take a lesson from what he has seen and heard. I really don’t understand how anyone can find fault with his statements/stance. It is eminently sensible/reasonable in the circumstances. The hysteria being ginned up for “heads to roll” is not helpful; and highly inappropriate IMHO, until we know all the facts… for instance who knew what and when; who was told what and when; who gave what orders and when?

  9. rusty49

    Biddlin: “Thanks rusty49,I was previously unaware of Ms. Katehi’s gender re-assignment !”

    Here you go, have someone read it to you:

    Definition of EMASCULATE

    transitive verb

    : to deprive of strength, vigor, or spirit : weaken

  10. civil discourse

    Rusty: “Whether she is directly responsible or not for the incident…”

    Don’t forget Rusty and others that Katehi called in the riot police in the first place to clear the camp. That decision led to what we saw.

    One of those sprayed, David Buscho, states this case fairly eloquently, saying he is not against cops (or even Pike himself)- that his step dad is in fact a cop- and that the decision to send in riot cops and the resulting sequence lays at her feet.

    I think this brings up an important point that is similar to when we say “support our troops.” Katehi is quick to point out that the police have a lot of latitude when they are on the scene. She may be right, but it seems disingenuous (and this may be why there continues to be so much anger) to point to this latitude as the source of the problem, while not acknowledging the order that set the sequence in motion.

  11. davisite2

    Ms. Katehi,from the outset,was an attractive image and “cheerleader” as she pursued her fund-raising agenda. Her interest in UCD administration as well as her abilities in this area were always open to question and have been found fundamentally wanting. It is hard to see how she will change this perception and gain the trust and respect of UCD faculty and students.

  12. Frankly

    What do the student protestors want to accomplish? It seems they just want to make something big happen, but have no clear direction of goals. They could just throw a big kegger party and accomplish the same.

    Too bad we cannot pepper spray the screwed up media info-tainment industry.

  13. David M. Greenwald

    Jeff:

    I thought the comment made by one of those peppered sprayed was interesting: “This movement has energized people in a way unseen for decades because we do not ask for the authorities to make small adjustments to a cruel system. We do not demand that they change the system that they created. We change the system!”

  14. Don Shor

    @ Jeff: I think they want to stop the tuition increases, and seek relief for student debt. But here is their web page: [url]http://www.occupyucdavis.org/[/url]

  15. Frankly

    David: [i]”This movement has energized people in a way unseen for decades”[/i]

    I think this is true. The power of influence from the media… especially the new media when a story goes viral… is breathtaking. Thinking objectively and in consideration of all other news-worthy topics today, PepperSprayGate should be just a blip on the second page of the local paper. However, the images support an entertaining story at a time when many people are barely keeping their head below water.

    I absolutely believe the principle… [b]When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade![/b] In this respect, the Chancellor and the police gave the students a gift. It is an opportunity for them to exploit as a catalyst for meaningful change. However, from my vantage point, demanding that the Chancellor resigns over this does nothing to benefit them materially. If she does resign, maybe the students get a short-term moral victory from all this manufactured moral outrage over the pepper spraying… but then this would demonstrate what I suspect we are seeing… a bunch of young adults throwing a temper tantrum over being forced to grow up and figure out how to care for themselves.

  16. Briankenyon

    Jeff Boone,
    You wrote:
    “What do the student protestors want to accomplish? It seems they just want to make something big happen, but have no clear direction of goals. They could just throw a big kegger party and accomplish the same.”

    Rather than venting here, if you really want to know what the students want to accomplish, go out and talk to some students on the Quad. You’ll find very few inebriates in the General Assembly, but many who would wish to talk to you, educate you as to their grievances: for example, tuition money going to finance campus building projects that benefit Katehi and her cronies and not to further the education of students.
    PS: If you don’t have the time to go to the Quad, at least check out the “Walk of Shame” video on Youtube. The discipline of the students who kept silent during the whole time Katehi walked from the Academic Surge II to her truck, the students were so quiet you can hear her footsteps. Not the behavior of drunken rowdies, I would submit.

  17. biddlin

    It’s that darned social media, Jeff . When anyone, you, me, Lt. Pike or Bob Dunning steps out in public, hundreds of potential reporters or paparazzi are there . Smart phones, binocular cams, tiny HD camcorders are everywhere . It is inconvenient for authorities who get caught in the appearance of impropriety . It seems to be able to spark the imagination and unused energies of a diverse group of people worldwide .This may turn out to be the beginning of a real revolution and the knee-jerk response of let ’em eat pepper spray will guarantee that it’s violent .

  18. Frankly

    Briankenyon: I don’t have time because I have to keep working hard to earn enough money to pay for two kids to attend college.

    So, I get that part of the student’s demands and join them.

    However, that is not the goal of the “occupy” movement that most of these kids are claiming they are there for.

  19. Crilly

    “…the Chancellor and the police gave the students a gift. It is an opportunity for them to exploit as a catalyst for meaningful change.”

    As I and others have pointed out, this is exactly how civil disobedience works. Power to the people!

  20. Rifkin

    DG: [i]”I have little faith that William Bratton will be the answer, and I have less faith in our local authorities.”[/i]

    Do you have any better suggestions?

    A night or two ago I heard on local TV the former Sacramento County Sheriff, John McGinness, asked his opinion and it sounded to me like McGinness believed Lt. Pike’s actions were justified. So I guess John McGinness should be out.

    Maybe SF Sheriff Michael Hennessy would be a better choice? Or perhaps Joe McNamara, the former Police Chief and former Mayor of San Jose would be a better option?

    I don’t think it makes sense to pooh-pooh William Bratton and not offer up someone you think would do a better job.

    I also don’t think the investigator has to be a cop or sheriff, active or retired. Perhaps the best person to investigate this matter is the current Attorney General, Kamala Harris. After all, she has the imprimatur of being duly elected to the highest law enforcement office in our state; and the matter to be investigated is one involving state employees and a state-funded institution.

  21. AdRemmer

    DG: [quoteThere are long videos of the incident; there just is nothing that we are going to learn after an investigation that we cannot see now on the tape][/quote]

    Funny…you didn’t seem to make any such statements as to the video in the Topete case…hmmm

  22. odd man out

    From “Staff Voice”, sn electronic newsletter for UC Davis Staff 11-23-2011/ issue #92

    Staff Assembly News

    Let Cooler Heads Prevail

    Staff Assembly would like all of our readers to be informed and active in promoting staff, faculty, and student welfare. As a constituency group, we are able to communicate directly with the campus leaders on major issues. We recently had a meeting with Chancellor Katehi, Provost Hexter, and Vice Chancellor Meyer to obtain information on what happened in the pepper spraying incident last week. From what we learned, it is important for all staff to consider more than what we have seen or been told by the media.

    Most of us have heard the news and seen the photos and videos of the pepper spray incident. We have talked about it at the family table, in the break room, and perhaps even when we ran into neighbors. Some have posted on Facebook or Twitter of what they thought about it, and undoubtedly many are repulsed and disturbed by the images. UC Davis has always strived to be a leader in society through education and research, but our image has been tarnished by the events of Friday and our reputation cast in the most negative light.

    From our meeting with the campus leadership, we know more of what happened behind the scenes before, during, and after the event. What the media has portrayed is at best an over simplification of the actual events, and at worst a gross inaccuracy by omitting facts and skewing the story. There are numerous procedures, policies, and practices which dictate how specific incidents and scenarios are approached, and we as UC Davis employees should all be aware of this. Decisions regarding the safety of individuals, at any moment in time, have to be delegated down to consider the urgency and criticality of the situation, and each decision made is not necessarily issued directly from the top. There are significant back stories and precedent that must be considered surrounding each single event, which will be scrutinized by several independent committees.

    The entire community of UC Davis, and staff members in particular should not be defined by this one event. We know UC Davis has more going for it than a single moment in time captured on video. During and since that moment, UC Davis has continued to teach thousands of students. Similarly, thousands of hours of research have been conducted over that same short time period. The work we have done includes people who have worked during the weekends to meet important deadlines, prepared for the holiday closures, and made sure that the campus continues to operate smoothly. Most importantly, we have helped students, including those who protest on campus, during this time. We need to promote those thousands of hours of work rather than focus on a single act which occurred in a moment of time.

    We also should be cautious of passing judgment. The officers involved have been part of the campus community for some time. They have helped many of us by keeping the peace on campus and coming to our aid when we have called. There have been other incidents – from bomb scares to campus assaults – where they have put our safety first before their own. During this difficult time the UC Davis Police Department and its officers have continued to do their job by protecting our safety as well as university property. None of us want to be in harm’s way and be put in situations like those that UC Davis Police must face on a near daily basis. Regardless of your personal opinion of what you would have done, it is important to give the specific officers involved the due process accorded to them. We would ask for the same if we were in their shoes – to not to be judged by the media and tried in the court of public opinion.

    Staff Assembly encourages all of our readers to stay informed and let others know of ways to stay informed. The UC Office of the President is addressing this specific incident and other incidents at UC Berkeley. You can keep up with what they are doing at http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/26713 . Post the link on social media accounts or inform those who asked you about this by leading them to the above website. Most importantly, do your best to not get caught up in the rumors and gossips, either positive or negative, and try to put yourselves in the shoes of not only the students, but also the officers. Lastly, think how you would like to be treated during this time if you had been involved.

    Staff Assembly supports the rights of all staff, faculty, and students to peacefully protest. We also support our administration in their need to ensure the safety of all people on campus, while also trying to adhere to UC policy. When these two goals conflict we can only hope that cooler heads will prevail.

    Peter Blando
    Ex-Officio Past Chair
    Staff Assembly

    Edited by Bianca Szeto

  23. Noreen

    Katehi has shown herself to be a weak reed. She has thrown the cops under the bus, done a “perp walk” with one of those members of the local “progressive” Christian clergy, and done a mea culpa to the Occupy thugs, who now not only smell blood BUT are ruling the roost. We are on our own; neither the City cops nor the campus cops will protect us. Say “hello” to MOB RULE.

  24. Mr.Toad

    Don’t believe your eyes is the message from Mr. Blando. Its too Orwellian. Looks like UC has the full court press on public opinion going.

    But I still want to know what Katehi’s penance will be? If there is no discipline for her then it is Yudof that should go. After all, the systemic failure by UC police at both Berkeley and Davis indicates an institutional culture of repression that lies at the foot of the chief administrator of the system. His decision to stand down seems more like a tactical retreat than a real change of direction in how to manage ever increasing resistance to private sector style executive pay for public sector civil servants that leaves poor students debt slaves for their entire working careers.

    When we see regular articles claiming that the cost benefit of education and debt vs not going to college and not encumbering debt favors the uneducated, what we are hearing is that college is only for those who can afford it, not the path up it has been for generations during the 20th century.
    Under Yudof and Katehi tuition has increased so much that if Yudof continues to support Katehi in the wake of her failed attempt at Greek style repression the only conclusion is that she was doing his bidding. As such he should go if she remains without being disciplined.

  25. davisite2

    I wonder how long Ms. Karehi held that pose of contrition(head down, eyes downcast with a sad expression and hands folded before her). It appears contrived to generate the desired photograph and effect.

  26. SODA

    Anyone have a comment on the Enterprise article tonight about the Freeborn meeting yesterday which stated Katehi laid ‘blame’ or at least responsibility at the feet of John Meyer? I continue to be unimpressed with hermha doing of this.

  27. Mr.Toad

    I thought she acted like someone who, in the face of 80,000 petitioners was trying to weasel her way through without expressing contrition. Truly disappointing for someone who claimed to take responsibility and wants to earn the respect of the students. Letting it fall on Meyer, who, is obviously culpable, for calling in the riot squad, seemed to be Katehi not taking responsibility. Responsibility? Does she or doesn’t she?

  28. David Suder

    [quote]“Peter BlandoEx-Officio Past Chair
    Staff Assembly
    “[/quote][quote]Ex-Officio: Holding a position or membership due to the power or influence of one’s office, and not by election or appointment. A chairperson, for example, can be an ex-officio member of all board appointed committees. – BusinessDictionary.com[/quote]
    From this I gather that Mr. Blando – who holds (or held at some time in the past) a position at UCD, the nature of which made him the automatic Chair of an organization known as the Staff Assembly – authored (or at least signed) a current statement ostensibly from that organization for release to the public.

    This seems very strange. Does anyone have any idea what the story is behind this? What position does/did Mr. Blando hold?

  29. Mr.Toad

    Biography

    Peter Blando is the Business Services Officer from UC Davis, where he works for the CIO/Vice Provost of Information and Educational Technology. He has over 18 years of service with UC Davis.
    Contact Information
    E-mail Peter
    University of California, Davis
    Office of the Vice Provost of Info & Edu Tech
    3820 Chiles Road
    Davis, CA 95618
    Phone: (530) 752-2274
    Fax: (530) 754-4976

  30. AdRemmer

    DG: “There are long videos of the incident; there just is nothing that we are going to learn after an investigation that we cannot see now on the tape.

    Accordingly, the same rule of thumb must apply for the below cited video.
    Interesting how the media does [b]NOT[/b] seem to be replaying (over & over again) this particular video? hhhmmmm…

    Remember inter alia, fact finders will know that at present, around the world, peaceful protests have suddenly turned deadly, that there hundreds of people present not just the lawbreakers, what the 4th Amendment analysis does AND does [i]NOT[/i] consider, that officers are required to make split second decisions, that the officers gave adequate warning, that the officers already tried presence, verbal, touch, (& the law breakers refused to heed lawful directives), that objective reasonabless considers a like situated officer at such a scene and the like.

    Again, as you watch turn up your volume and try to objectively stand in the shows of the officers, as you listen and watch…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGagKL_tvS8&feature=youtu.be

  31. medwoman

    AdRemmer

    In an attempt to be fair to the police, I did just what you said, turned up the volume and watched the full clip.
    Being aware that observers of events see very different things, I will share with you what I saw.

    Students dressed in usual student garb. No visible weapons. A single line sitting on the ground arms linked ( universal sign of peaceful protest). When individually asked if they understood that maintaining their position would result in the use of force ( type not specified in this clip) they either did not respond or nodded. In response to the question of their intent, the crowd chanted “protest peacefully”. Crowd also chanted “let them go, let them go.”
    At no point in this, or any other clip of which I have watched many including 40 minutes of continuous filming were the police ( in full riot gear) ever meaningfully surrounded or obstructed. Lt. Pike easily stepped through the seated protestors.

    My interpretation of the visual and audible evidence. No significant threat to the police in riot gear, no threat to other members of the public, and no threat of damage to property.

    I am interested in what you saw that would make you think that the use of pepper spray was justified given the constraints on the use of force as posted by others previously.

  32. J.R.

    Toad said

    [quote]But I still want to know what Katehi’s penance will be? If there is no discipline for her then it is Yudof that should go.[/quote]

    And if he doesn’t resign, then it’s Obama that should go. The buck stops there.

  33. Superfluous Man

    AdRemmer,

    “Remember inter alia, fact finders will know that at present, around the world, peaceful protests have suddenly turned deadly”

    Is it common for the fact finders to take into account foreign (and possibly completely unrelated) protests in cases regarding the use of force? Which protests in particular are you referring to?

    What’s the relevance here? Other protests have turned bad, so the officers should be permitted to use such force when a crowd similar to the one at UCD is present? Also, in what ways does spraying the seated protestors with pepper spray deescalate the situation or better protect the officers from the crowd (if the crowd in fact posed a threat to the officer(s))?

    You continue to mention peaceful protests turning violent around the world, but I’ve yet to hear an explanation as to why they shifted. The reason is or was: the protestors turned violent, period?

    “that officers are required to make split second decisions”

    What elements must be present for the decision to be found a “split second” one? Was Lt. Pike’s decision a split second one?

    “that the officers already tried presence, verbal, touch, (& the law breakers refused to heed lawful directives)”

    In the case of the UCD protestors, was there any “touch?”

    “that objective reasonabless considers a like situated officer at such a scene and the like.”

    Will the Lt’s presumably considerable experience make it all the more difficult for the fact finders to conclude that his actions were reasonable? Based on my knowledge, no position exists (or is filled) between the rank of Chief and Lieutenant at UCDPD, thus making Lt. Pike among the highest ranking officers in that department.

  34. Moravecglobal1

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau campus police use batons on students protesting increases in tuition. Campus UCPD report to chancellors and take direction from their chancellor. University of California campus chancellors vet their campus police protocols. Chancellors knowledgeable that pepper spray and use of batons included in their campus police protocols.

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor are in dereliction
    of their duties.

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor need to quit or be
    fired for permitting the brutal outrages on students protesting tuition increases
    and student debt

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  35. Rifkin

    In the Wednesday Enterprise, Chancellor Katehi is quoted to have said: “The police do not report to me. (The department) reports to the vice chancellor for administrative and resource management (John Meyer). The only thing that a chancellor can do is to make a decision of whether the police needs to have, in that particular case, the dismantling of equipment (the encampment).

    “Beyond that I don’t have the right to direct the police to do anything. As a matter of fact, the University of California protocol specifies that I do not do that.”

    Yet in today’s Enterprise story, Katehi seems to contradict herself, saying she was specific with her directions to the UCDPD:

    “We were very specific that it has to be peaceful and not like Berkeley,” she said. “In a peaceful way, (Spicuzza) was only supposed to take the equipment down, not disperse the crowd, not remove the students.

    “We also told her specifically she should not do anything if there were too many students or they were too upset or whatever the environment was that would not allow them to (remove the tents). That’s what she got from me.”

    I am the only one who finds her two claims incompatible?

    I have, up to now, given Katehi the benefit of the doubt. It becomes harder to do that when she is changing her story mid-stream.

  36. Mr.Toad

    J.R., I haven’t said she should resign. What I am pointing out is that she has accepted responsibility and apologized but the contrition is empty without penance. Maybe we need to wait for the investigation to decide her penalty but not to determine her culpability, she has already admitted it.

    It seems it is a state matter so above Yudolf are the Regents who should not be reappointed without discipline for those below, if no punishment is meted out eventually you get to the Governor, who has been decidedly silent in his capacity as an ex-officio member of the regents. The only way you get to Obama is if you can show that there was a conspiracy that he was aware of to crack down on OWS while he was out of the country, something you could easily imagine, with echo’s of Kissinger sitting on his shoulder with horns and a pitchfork whispering in his ear “Do what you have got to do, just do it quickly, the rich are depending on you”

  37. Mr.Toad

    Of course all this demanding the head of Katehi is a side show and dwelling on it or the actions of the police is a distraction from the real issue. There will be plenty of investigations on that. The students should demand:

    1. Democratization of the governance of the University of California.

    2. An end to further tuition increases.

    3. An end of the 2/3 rules for tax increases. Until this happens California can never fix its budget woes.

  38. Rifkin

    [i]”Until this happens California can never fix its budget woes.”[/i]

    Our main long-term problem is on the spending side. The prisons are a big problem. Prop 98 is a big problem. Spending on state employees (esp. medical and pensions) is a growing problem.

    We also have a short-term (that is, recessionary) revenue problem. But it won’t be solved by making our income or sales or car tax rates even higher. If we raise the taxes paid by the common people, it will make everyone worse off. If we raise the taxes of the rich, they will just move their money out of state and we will collect less.

    The one tax increase Toad and I probably agree on is the property tax on commercial real estate. Unlike income tax or capital gains taxes, owners of commercial properties cannot move their properties out of state.

    I could favor having commercial properties taxed based on their income-based market value*, not taxing them based on Prop 13 artificial values. But only if the legislature would agree to never increase spending more than 3.5% from any one fiscal year to the next–saving any excess revenues above that 3.5% increase. I cannot favor just pouring more money into government without constraints on spending. The Democratic legislature would just blow the money.

    If Prop 13 were to be changed for commercial properties, I would exempt all owner-occupied commercial properties worth under $5 million, so a property tax increase does not harm small businesses which occupy the buildings they own. But if such properties are sold, they should be taxed from that point on at their income-based market rate.

    *The reason to use an income basis, as opposed to an assessed market value basis, is this: Say you own a smallish building in a commercial area. You cannot command high rents, as your building is old and somewhat obsolete. But the properties on either side of you were recently purchased by Angelo Tsakopolous and he tore down the old buildings and turned them into luxury high rise condos. Now, all of the sudden, the assessed value of your land has skyrocketted, due to Mr. Tsakopolous’s condo projects. But your building is still old and commands weak rents. So if you have to pay property tax based on the assessed value, you will go broke unless you sell your land or get investors to redevelop it. But if you are charged based on the income your property generates, you will be able to afford that rate. Then when you retire and sell your building, you will pay a high capital gains tax; and the next owner will pay based on the high income he gets from that property when he turns it into a 5-star hotel.

  39. Moravecglobal1

    Both UC Davis Chancellor and UC Berkeley Chancellor have brutalized their students for peacefully protesting increases in tuition and growing student debt.

    [b]Both UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor should honorably retire.[/b] It is the right thing to do for the University of California.

  40. Mr.Toad

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2011/04/its_not_a_revenue_problem_its_a_spending_problem.html

    Speaker of the House John Boehner explained: “Washington does not have a revenue problem. Washington has a spending problem.” That same day, Majority Leader Eric Cantor got the same question. “The fact [that] I think most Americans get, Washington does not have a revenue problem. It’s got a spending problem.” Also on the same day, speaking to an annual event put on by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, Orrin Hatch completed the loop. “We don’t have a revenue problem,” said Hatch. “We all know we have a spending problem.”

    Well we see the company you keep.

    California has a governance problem causing a budget problem. What we saw last week at UCD is the lid coming off the pressure cooker of a system that gives the minority a veto over the budget. Until the 2/3 rule is changed or one party gets super majority control over the legislature California will remain ungovernable.

    The solutions exist but they can’t be implemented because of current law. Whether you like my solutions or I like yours is not important as long as the system keeps the state stalemated with a structural deficit.

  41. Rifkin

    [i]”Well, we see the company you keep.”[/i]

    Yes, the company I keep in the Legislative Analyst’s Office. They have repeatedly shown why the spending cycle is our state’s budgetary problem. And, Toad, it is largely the CTA’s fault, due to Prop 98, which forces up spending too fast when the economy is strong. That became apparent during the first strong economy starting in 1994-95, when spending really ramped up (due to 98). And we have never recovered from that. We spend way too much in good times and are left in serious trouble in bad times. Here is the LAO graph which depicts how the teachers ruined California:

    [img]http://www.lao.ca.gov/2007/spend_plan/images/SP_02_fmt.jpeg[/img]

    After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000-01, our real spending crashed. It’s not shown on this graph, but we had another massive ramp up from 04-05 to 07-08 and since we have had another crash. We need to reform the CTA’s Prop 98 to solve the spending problem, according to the LAO. So yes, our problem is your union.

  42. Mr.Toad

    Oh, I see, the lock them up and throw away the key attitude of conservatives robbing UC funding to pay for ever expanding prison costs had nothing to do with it, the 3% at fifty pensions for cops had nothing to do with it, extending prop 13 to commercial property had nothing to do with it, reducing the vehicle license fee had nothing to do with it and of course the 2/3 rule for raising taxes, the conservative choke hold of the minority upon our budget that prevents things like well head taxes on oil extraction, something 49 other states have, had nothing to do with it. Its all CTA’s fault. It has nothing to do with the no new taxes dogma of conservatives like yourself, Speaker Boehner, Orrin Hatch and Majority Leader Cantor and Grover Norquist who’s no new taxes pledge has been signed by just about every Republican in the state legislature.

    Well back to reality, getting rid of the 2/3 rule is the only way to fix California and stop the ever spiraling cost of a UC education.

  43. Frankly

    When and if the 2/3 rule is overturned the exodus of producers from the state will result in even lower tax revenue. Looters and moochers need producers but have not figured out how to enslave them.

  44. Don Shor

    Prop 98 was a direct response to the Gann limit, which was a modification of Prop 13. Blaming the state’s fiscal problems on “your union” is quite simplistic. I voted for Prop 98 23 years ago (did you?) because I saw the state budget being strangled by the Jarvis/Gann tax and spending limits, and considered it a stopgap solution to keep education funded. I would be happy to vote to modify it now, if there is an opportunity to also vote on some of the tax increases that have been discussed but which have not been put before the voters. “Our problem is your union” is as simplistic as saying “Howard Jarvis caused all the problems.” The voters approved all of those things. The 2/3 rule does stymie any progress on changing our fiscal situation, because all possible compromises are blocked if they contain tax increases.
    UC will simply continue to further privatize as state funding is reduced. Prop. 98 doesn’t include UC, so that compounds the problem.

  45. Don Shor

    @ Jeff: How would establishing an oil severance tax cause producers to flee the state? It’s only paid on oil that is extracted. They can’t take that business elsewhere.

    From the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee:

    “California is the only major oil-producing state that doesn’t charge a severance tax.”

    “….this Committee asked staff at the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization to
    calculate the combined tax burden per barrel of oil in both California and Texas. After
    accounting for regulatory fees, applicable severance taxes, property taxes, and income
    and franchise taxes, this analysis found that California’s combined tax burden on oil
    production was $4.22 per barrel in 2008. In Texas, by contrast, the combined tax burden
    on oil production was more than three times higher at $14.33 per barrel.”

    Sarah Palin presided over the implementation of a 25% severance tax in Alaska. California legislators have generally proposed a 6% severance tax. I think you can guess who is opposing it. Maybe they should talk to the former governor of Alaska.

  46. STORMY

    Don, establishing an oil severance tax in California would be fine by me when we also reset our state income tax and sales taxes to rates that equal Texas or Alaska. I think that any increased taxes are allways paid by the working public and ultimately lower our standard of living due to the unavoidable high percentage of waste of assets when they are processed through either state or federal bureaucrats.

  47. biddlin

    Jeff, if you’re going to regurgitate Ayn Rand’s rant, let’s remind everyone of her philosophy . She championed and admired serial killer and rapist William Hickman, to the extent of modeling her protagonist after him in her first, unfinished novel, because of his complete absence of understanding of”the necessity, meaning or importance of other people,”. She was horrified at government spending to educate “sub-normal children” and aid the disabled . She believed that native Americans had no rights and that the Europeans were right to take their lands by force . She was equally contemptuous of Arabs and feminists . A fitting saint for the new right, in a 1953 interview with Mike Wallace she said,”altruism is evil, selfishness is a virtue, and anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love,”… And so her world view champions terrorism and brutality to the point of borderline rape in her heroes’ pursuit of self-gratification and fulfillment . Just so we know from whence springs your rhetoric and one might assume, philosophy .

  48. anonymous

    “Just so we know from whence springs your rhetoric and one might assume, philosophy.”

    Given that Ayn Rand was also an avowed atheist, I wonder how Christian conservatives fully square her thinking into their faith.

  49. medwoman

    biddlin

    You left out that she was an atheist, which in itself is inconsequential to me. It is the fact that she had utter disdain for anyone who sucummbed
    to the mindless weakness that she perceived any religious or spiritual belief to be. Or the fact that while she believed self determination and complete selfishness was the highest moral good for her, she demanded complete philosophic subservience from her followers driving away anyone who would dare to exercise their own initiative if it contradicted her.

    When I was around thirteen or fourteen, I first found Ayn Rand, badly misjudged her philosophy since it was self evident to me that since we are social beings as well as individuals,our own best interest would coincide with the best interest of our group, whether defined as our family, our community, our nation, or all of humanity. On the basis of this fundamental misunderstanding, I fell in love with the writings of Ayn Rand and read and reread all of her major works in rapid succession. It was three or four years later, on a reread of Atlas Shrugged that I realized how limited an understanding of human nature she had. What she had done was to identify and elevate to her ideal only a small part of human nature, the competitive drive. She did this at the sacrifice of all the other essential components of our humanity, our ability to empathize, to work collaboratively, to share, and to love anyone other than ourselves. It took me four years to recognize my error and to see Ayn Rand for the one dimensional, intellectual bully that she was.

  50. Rifkin

    TOAD: [i]”Oh, I see, the lock them up and throw away the key attitude of conservatives robbing UC funding to pay for ever expanding prison costs had nothing to do with it.”[/i]

    As Toad knows, because I have written about it so many times on this blog and elsewhere, I am a strong opponent of 3 strikes and very long prison sentences and the CCPOA and all the factors which have caused us to pretty much double the percentage of the state budget we spend on corrections. That increased spending has come almost entirely at the expense of the higher education budget. But it has not, in any way, caused the crisis for our long-term budget. It simply re-ordered priorities.

    The main problem with our long term budget — the way, in real dollars we have been riding a seriously nauseating roller-coaster since the early 1990s — is entirely due to Don Shor’s Prop 98. The language in that proposition is what has caused our problem. It forces up spending too fast in good times. And each time we have had a recession, we have been in terrible crises that are much worse than in other states.

    Going forward — but thus far it really has not been any factor in our state budget crises — we face another problem caused by the unions: the unsustainable pensions and (to a much lesser extent at the state level) the unaffordable retiree medical plans for the unions. Without much better reforms than Jerry Brown has put forward, these union-caused problems will become just as bad as Prop 98 has been to our state.

    But up to this point, our long-term up-down budget troubles are entirely the fault of the teachers’ unions. The trouble is entirely with when and how we spend money. And that is entirely dictated by Don Shor’s Prop 98.

  51. Don Shor

    [i]is entirely due to Don Shor’s Prop 98. The language in that proposition is what has caused our problem.
    [/i]
    Complete nonsense, and attributing it to me is gratuitously absurd. Funny thing is, you know that.
    Prop 13.
    Gann Limit.
    Prop 98.
    Taken together, they have caused many fiscal problems for this state. Take apart one, you still have the others. As I said, I will support a change that I consider balanced.

  52. Moravecglobal1

    Funding waste at University of California Berkeley. What’s going on at the University of California Berkeley? University of California Berkeley (Cal) picks the pockets of Californian students and their parents clean. (The author has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at Cal where he observed the culture, way senior management work and was not fired)

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau ($450,000 salary) has forgotten that he is a public servant, steward of the public money, not overseer of his own fiefdom. Stunning misguided waste: Tuition fee increases exceed national average rate of increase; Recruits (using California tax $) out of state $50,600 students who displace qualified Californians from Cal; Spends $7,000,000 + for consultants to do his senior management work (prominent East Coast university accomplishing same 0 cost); Pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; Procuring $3,000,000 consulting firm failed to receive proposals from others; Latino enrollment drops while out of state jumps 2010-11 (M Krupnick Contra Costa Times); Ranked # 70 USA best universities Forbes; Tuition to Return on Investment drops below top 10; QS academic ranking falls below top 10; Only 50 attend Birgeneau all employees meeting; Campus visits down 20%; Absence Cal. senior management control NCAA places basketball on probation.
    It’s all shameful. There is no justification for violations by a steward of the public trust. Absolutely none!

    Governor Brown, UC Board of Regents Chair Lansing must oust Chancellor Birgeneau who uses Cal. as his fiefdom.

    Email opinion to marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  53. Frankly

    [i]”It was three or four years later, on a reread of Atlas Shrugged that I realized how limited an understanding of human nature she had. What she had done was to identify and elevate to her ideal only a small part of human nature, the competitive drive. She did this at the sacrifice of all the other essential components of our humanity, our ability to empathize, to work collaboratively, to share, and to love anyone other than ourselves. It took me four years to recognize my error and to see Ayn Rand for the one dimensional, intellectual bully that she was.”[/i]

    Medwoman, I love your posts because they lay bare our ideological differences and they are vast. Your and my opinion of “human nature” are at opposite ends because I think it is where Rand’s philosophy is correct. You and bidlin look for chinks in her armor instead of addressing the fundamental tenants of social governance based on individualism versus collectivism, and moral objectivism.

    Humans always pursue their self interest. Altruism can manifest greed no different than can the accumulation of material wealth… both motivated by the need to satiate the ego.

    The difference is that the accumulation of wealth is a transparent motivation of the producer, but the accumulation of altruistic outcomes hides the motivations of the looter.

  54. Frankly

    [i]”How would establishing an oil severance tax cause producers to flee the state? It’s only paid on oil that is extracted. They can’t take that business elsewhere.”[/i]

    wdf1, Since this will impact the returns on investment (remember, taxes are just another expense for business and investment), it will reduce capital investment in oil exploration and production. Think about any marginal producing wells in existence today. A severance tax will cause owners to shut down some of these wells due to the added expense.

  55. Don Shor

    First, you really need to get me and wdf1 straight in your replies.
    Second, some wells will be shut down temporarily due to the increased cost. Then they will be reopened when the price gets high enough, which it surely will. Members of my family made good money on formerly-marginal wells in Oklahoma when the price spiked in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Some of those wells had been out of production for decades.
    Likewise, the oil companies will continue to invest in exploration and production regardless of the severance tax — as they presently do while paying that tax in dozens of states. Evidently the severance tax in Texas doesn’t impede exploration.

  56. medwoman

    Jeff

    “Humans always pursue their self interest.”

    We agree on this point. But, we seem to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum as you say as to what that actually means.
    You seem to feel that the over riding moral human interest is personal economic benefit, where I see the over riding human interest as the optimization of good for all of the defined group. And yet I am sure that neither of us would support the logical extremes of our position.
    For example, on your side, I doubt you would support allowing one’s elderly parents to starve, even though that might be in one’s personal financial best interest. On my side, I would not support taking surplus money from a millionaire or billionaire and divvying it up equally to those who have less purely for the sake of establishing “equality”. As I have stated before, I feel that humans are a very complicated mix of competitive and collaborative tendencies, and that to ignore either aspect of our intrinsic makeup is to miss the essence of what it means to be human.
    If this is not the case, then how do you explain the myriad of cases in which one human risks, and frequently loses their life in order to save another ?

  57. Rifkin

    DON: [i]”Complete nonsense, and attributing it to me is gratuitously absurd. Funny thing is, you know that.”[/i]

    Don, you said above that you were for Prop 98. So I assume you own it and its consequential problems.

    Your reply to me is also a non-sequitur. I stated, as a matter of opinion, but backed by the opinion of the LAO and backed by a long historical record with Prop 98, that our long-term roller budget coaster is entirely due to Prop 98. Your response, not even a clever one, is that Prop 13 and or the Gann Limit are as much to blame–despite your ownership of Prop 98. So you are willing to accept 1/3 of the blame, but then call my opinion and that of the LAO complete nonsense. And you have no facts backing up this claim.

    The truth is quite the opposite of the Shor/Toad camp. Seems they just cannot handle the truth.

    Here is the explanation from the non-partisan LAO, regarding the extraordinary volatility problem that 98 has caused:

    LAO: [i]”How Well Has Proposition 98 Worked At Providing Predictable Growth in Funding? Not very well. … (Prop 98) has not provided K-14 education with a consistent and predictable growth in education funding. Part of the year-to-year volatility in funding is linked to the underlying volatility of the economy. But Proposition 98 funding is significantly more volatile than the economy. This is because of Proposition 98’s reliance on the year-to-year changes in General Fund revenue.”[/i]

    Here is another LAO graph which shows the crisis caused by 98:

    [img]http://www.lao.ca.gov/2005/prop_98_primer/prop_93.jpg[/img]

    The LAO does not say this crisis is due to Prop 13 or the Gann Limit. The crisis is due to the mechanism of forced spending in Prop 98. That is the non-partisan view. It’s sad that Democrats like Toad and Shor are so blinded by their ideology they cannot see the facts that they have caused this problem of roller-coaster spending.

    And if they think the real problem is on the revenue side, then why is it that almost all other states have lower tax revenues per capita than California has, and most have lower tax revenues as a share of per capita income, but they don’t have this wild swing in their budgets? Hard to defend Prop 98 if facts are playing a part in this debate.

  58. Don Shor

    Let me say this again, Rich: I voted for Prop, 98, but I would be happy to amend it. It is [i]part [/i]of the problem. How did you vote on it? How did you vote on Prop 13? On the Gann limit?
    Do me a big favor: stop being insulting in every post. Ok? Because frankly I don’t feel like discussing things with you due to your continual denigration of others.

  59. Frankly

    [i]”If this is not the case, then how do you explain the myriad of cases in which one human risks, and frequently loses their life in order to save another ?”[/i]

    Individual decisions based on self-interest and/or morality. You are more likely this kind of personal sacrifice in societies that celebrate freedom and individuality than you are in socialist/collectivist societies. Do you know why that is?

    Don (I think): [i]”First, you really need to get me and wdf1 straight in your replies.” [/i]

    Agreed.

    [i]”some wells might be shut down temporarily due to the increased cost. Then they will be reopened when the price gets high enough, which it surely will.”[/i]

    My point was that the tax increase would immediately reduce taxable activity. I don’t think we can bank on any eventual market adjustment because it is already more expensive to explore, drill, pump and transport oil and natural gas in California that it is almost any other state.

  60. Moravecglobal1

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau must quit, be retired, or fired for permitting his campus police to uss batons on students protesting increases in tuition.

  61. medwoman

    Jeff

    “Individual decisions based on self-interest and/or morality. You are more likely this kind of personal sacrifice in societies that celebrate freedom and individuality than you are in socialist/collectivist societies. Do you know why that is? “

    Before I speculate on this question, I would like your objective evidence to support the statement, not just your opinion.

  62. medwoman

    Rich

    What you say may be true if volatility of funding were the only issue. However, it is not. There is also the issue of providing sufficient funding for public education. The mechanism which had been in effect in California was effectively gutted by Prop 13. Was Prop 98 a good solution ? In my opinion, no. But also in my opinion, it probably would never have been considered an option by the majority had Prop 13 not had the extremely deleterious effect on education that it had. To artificially separate the two and claim that one, but not the other, is responsible for the current mess is disingenuous.

  63. Rifkin

    [i]”How did you vote on (Prop 98)?”[/i]

    No. I understood from the beginning it was a horrible mistake.

    [i]”How did you vote on Prop 13?”[/i]

    I was in the 8th grade at Holmes Jr. High in 1978.

    [i]”On the Gann limit?[/i]

    I was in the 9th grade at Davis Sr. High in 1979.

  64. Moravecglobal1

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau must cut costs to help california deficit, Campus UCPD report to chancellors and take direction from their chancellor. University of California campus chancellors vet their campus police protocols. Chancellors are knowledgeable that pepper spray and use of batons are included in their campus police protocols.

    Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police use batons on his students. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor are in dereliction of their duties.

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor need to quit or be
    fired for permitting the brutal outrages on students protesting tuition increases
    and student debt

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  65. wdf1

    JB: [i]Individual decisions based on self-interest and/or morality. You are more likely this kind of personal sacrifice in societies that celebrate freedom and individuality than you are in socialist/collectivist societies. Do you know why that is?[/i]

    I am curious, how do you know that personal sacrifice is more likely to happen in one kind of society over another? Your framework substantially ignores that there are evolutionary advantages to working within an organized social structure. To an extreme, ants and bees demonstrate this.

    JB: [i]My point was that the tax increase would immediately reduce taxable activity.[/i]

    It depends on what the tax revenue is spent for. If it helps more students graduate from college, then it potentially increases future taxable activity by having more viable participants in the marketplace.

  66. Frankly

    [i]”I am curious, how do you know that personal sacrifice is more likely to happen in one kind of society over another?”[/i]

    First, let me clarify that my use of the term “collectivist” or “collectivism” refers to a political orientation of group over individual. From a purely social perspective, I certainly support horizontal collectivism that is cooperation of people in groups to achieve shared goals. It is vertical collectivism – where individuals are basically told what to do by few at some top hierarchy of power – that I am absolutely against. This form of collectivism is the antithesis of American principles of governance and the impulses of those that lean this way has manifested in copious misery, suffering and death throughout history.

    I will stack up the record of individual self-sacrifice of American free-willed people at any time over those governed by vertical collectivist principles.

    I think those of you that trumpet altruism should continue to do so; but advocating individual freedom to make choices and not a system of top-down forced redistribution of wealth that empowers elites with chronic savers syndrome – like Nancy Pelosi – with a super-power-mega charity. The former is the American way… where private citizens, churches and corporations give the handouts. Where, with minimal social safety nets, free-willed people of this country have demonstrated astounding capacity for self-sacrifice.

    The collectivist alternative trains individuals to wait for someone else to do the saving… because, frankly, their lives have grown so miserable they feel they are already always sacrificing and struggling to save themselves.

  67. justoutsidetown

    Hey everyone, sadly its clear that most of the discussion has gone sideways.. So in order to ref-focus on the topic of pepper spraying peaceful protesters, see what the Chancellor is ‘part’ of:

    http://www.thenation.com/blog/164783/two-scandals-one-connection-fbi-link-between-penn-state-and-uc-davis

    “Katehi is on an elite team of twenty college presidents on what’s called the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, which “promotes discussion and outreach between research universities and the FBI.”

    and this revelation:

    “The UC Davis Chancellor was recently on a committee called the International Advisory Committee on Greek Higher Education. Based apparently on input from this committee, as described at http://crookedtimber.org/2011/11/22/athens-polytechnic-comes-to-uc-davis/ , the Greek government recently repealed an asylum law that restricted police from entering college campuses.”

    Katehi is a card carrying member of the new world order police state. She absolutely knew of and directed the actions of the UC Police as she is an FBI operative. It is most appropriate that she leave her post.

  68. AdRemmer

    Again, Graham v Conner in pertinent part holds: “Underlying intent or motive are not relevant to the inquiry; rather, “the question is whether the officers’ actions are `objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them.”

    The question is what the officer reasonably understood his powers and responsibilities to be, when he acted, under clearly established standards.

    “Officers can have reasonable, but mistaken, beliefs as to the facts establishing the existence of probable cause or exigent circumstances, for example, and in those situations courts will not hold that they have violated the Constitution.”

    In the UCD matter – a vital question in this case is whether officers, in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, could have reasonably believed they acted lawfully.

    Did Pike et al conclude that — s/he had legitimate justification under the law for acting as s/he did?”

    “The relevant, dispositive inquiry in determining whether a right is clearly established is whether it would be clear to a reasonable officer that his conduct was unlawful in the situation he confronted. See Wilson v. Layne, 526 U. S. 603, 615 (1999)”

    Fact finders will consider many things & IMHO to include, the conduct of both the law breakers and the crowd.

    Ergo: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2011/11/24/uc-davis-student-admits-protesters-surrounded-cops-and-wouldnt-let-th#ixzz1evtWKJlZ

  69. Moravecglobal1

    University of California Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau employs police batons on his students protesting student debt.
    Campus UCPD report to chancellors and take direction from their chancellor. University of California campus chancellors vet their campus police protocols. Chancellors are knowledgeable that pepper spray and use of batons are included in their campus police protocols.

    Chancellor Birgeneau’s campus police use batons on his students. UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor are in dereliction of their duties.

    UC Berkeley Chancellor Birgeneau and UC Davis Chancellor need to quit or be
    fired for permitting the brutal outrages on students protesting tuition increases
    and student debt

    Opinions? Email the UC Board of Regents marsha.kelman@ucop.edu

  70. J.R.

    Apparently a screw up in Afghanistan has led to the death of dozens of our Pakistani “allies” by friendly fire.

    The Pakistani’s are furious at Obama.
    [url]http://news.yahoo.com/enraged-pakistanis-burn-obama-effigy-slam-us-191632805.html?nc[/url]

    Question: Is Obama’s role eerily similar to Katehi’s?

    Should they both take responsibility and resign?

  71. biddlin

    That would be the same Pakistanis who hid Bin Laden form their NATO allies, in plain sight, with concierge service, for over a decade ? The Pakistanis who allow terrorists to train and move freely throughout their country ? The same Pakistani’s that, according to early reports, fired first, on the NATO helicopters ?I understand they have asked the US to abandon the Shamsi airbase . I have a suggestion to save thousands of pounds of fuel and render any remaining ordinance useless to the Taliban, who travel and operate freely within our ally’s borders .

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for