I’m quite certain I had not previously seen a double feature at Stanford theater with two two 0-star films, according to Holly will



Up the river just imagine



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mish-matched twins: Tommy and Steve & Rembrandt Kapoor






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Cohen recalls


IMG_20151125_142011454_HDR.jpgwho sings like an super weird else comes to Slater

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Expectations low for saving capitalism

reichcommonwealthclub1115.jpgI’m roughly two-thirds through my first crack at Robert Reich “Saving Capitalism: For the many not the few”, an endeavor inspired by seeing the former Clinton cabinet member lecture two weeks ago in nearby Campbell, Calif.


I got there early and was cooling my heels on a crisp evening in front of the venue when I noticed Reich getting out of his self-driving (meaning he does it himself) car, a Lincoln I think.  A young couple approached him, as he was signing off to them via his hand-held.

“Do you mind if  I jump the line and greet you?” I said, and strutted forward with a goofy star-struck earnestness, hand-extended. I said I was a fellow Dartmouth alum, here to see the lecture, but not the super-exclusive pre-event event.

“I hope you keep your expectations low!” said the labor expert, professor, activist, filmmaker and author. He is supposedly 4’11” in height, so I presume he was making a light-hearted reference to that fact. (And indeed, he explains, in this case during a Q&A with the Palo Altan judge and provost LaDoris Cordell, his activism is partly explained in his self-concept to being bullied in his younger years).


I was so jacked up that I bought his book, joined Commonwealth Club and waited an extra 30 minutes to get his autograph. I counted out on my hands 11 words and rehearsed my bit:

If I run for Assembly, how could I earn your endorsement?

He said he did not know but suggested that I might indeed, laudably, run for public office. I ad libbed something about the Palo Alto and Cupertino race having two weak candidates. He assented to my query about can I reach him at his office.

For instance, somebody might mount a run for District 24 shaped around a series of Chataquas that teach the lessons of this book, or more generally (but pretty darn narrowly) about Reich’s work, or using Reich as a platform (see also “Inequality for All” an excellent documentary I saw recently here in town, he produced, and a source for some of the material in this current book, his twelfth).

My observation is that both declared, “establishment candidates” Marc Berman of Palo Alto and Mike Kasperzak of Mountain View have a similar flaw in that they are seemingly (and probably) beholden to builders. I counted 72 gifts from real estate interests in the first reporting period, to either candidate, and sometimes both. It looks like, consistent with ABAG, the builders are counting on getting their guy into this office, to push the building, in this area.

I’ll likely double-check this a few pages later, but I’m suggesting there could be a candidate who more obviously represents the “countervailing interests” necessary on local, regional and national levels to push back against the concentration of power which weakens our Democracy in recent years (in other words, but sometimes referencing Reich, I have tried to express a similar complaint, in three successive runs for Palo Alto City Council; I sent a draft of a white paper on this to Laurel Rosenhall of CalMatters, a non-profit that covers the Statehouse).


I name-check Robert Reich the Berkeley professor three previous times here in Plastic Alto.


In a 2014 essay called “Wooden Ships” I link to his site and plug his film; the post started as a John Wooden basketball reference and send-off to former council member Larry Klein then digressed to a series of thoughts about my campaign and briefly the example set by Reich.

“In This Picture Please Note that Weiss and His Drummer are Wearing Green” This was actually me publishing or documenting my responses to a survey of candidates from the Sierra Club and LCV about problems currently facing the Bay Area:

I would say it’s still consumerism and greed and the Seven Deadly Sins since time began. Now it’s Income Inequality as described by Robert Reich in his film, contributing factor. I think green-washing more than environmentalism has made more gains since 1992, and especially since David Brower died. I recall hearing him speak circa 1993 at Commonwealth Club, and taking my Dad and him greeting Mr. Goldman (funder of the Goldman Award) who he knew from the Jewish Mafia, and was introduced to. Also, War, this is a problem. I was the only candidate in 2009 or 2012 to try to link the War (Afghanistan, Iraq) to our local actions. Seven thousand dead. Lots of environmental damage as well. (100,000 plus foreign dead).


“Peets Don’t Fail Me Know”
Maybe I am out of bounds to picture (economist Stephen) Levy and Reich in a physical contest, although if Stephen is related to former Palo Alto Mayor (and another pro-developer voice) Leland Levy, I noticed and I think wrote about once his physical prowess at least in ping pong, (the night of the State of the City, at JCC). Reich, the former Clinton advisor, a current Berkeley professor and of course fellow Dartmouthian, is 4′ 11″ and has joked that he should not be addressed as “your highness” but rather “your shortness”, almost too much. In any case, I’d love to see Reich lecture here on “inequality” or any topic, maybe even at one of these Our Palo Alto shows.
At the recent lecture I also greeted Ladoris Cordell, introduced myself to her and noted that likely the last time I saw here she was introducing Ralph Nader at Cubberley (and I added that it conflicted with a Candidates forum such that I heard the intro, bought a book then raced up Middlefield for my actual event).

On the matter of my observation about the assembly race, I sent a draft of a more pointed essay on the matter to a reporter who supposedly covers state politics. (I counted 24 of Berman’s donors with strong ties to the real estate community, and 48 such gifts to Kasperzak. Not much choice between them if you are no-growth or slow-growth or for the 99 percent real people not the 1 percent and vested. To agree with this criticism you would have to think, as I do, that the mainstream political party line that we need to build to accomodate the middle class is hogwash and instead we are building because the builders make bank off of it and the BMR allowances are a side-show and double-talk; the same stuff, that I’m wary of, is happening in SF under Ed Lee. As in how many more units do we have to build before the median price goes down and isn’t rent stablization a more direct way to help the middle class and poor?).



edit to add: I just checked and the deadline is Feb. 26, 2016, plus 1,500 signatures and a $971 filing fee.

and1: When the Weekly wrote in January about Berman campaign, the vast majority of commenters said he was not qualified. I did say something about fixing to run, and also had three additional comments deleted by the Weekly.




3. My work overall is more about saving Democracy than Capitalism per se. Indeed, Reich made some comments about how people perceive the title of his book, how it goes over differently in the midwest than in Berkeley.

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I saw the figure ‘5’ in green

Green five as part of installation by Kevin Rouff in west lobby of new McMurtry buil ing at Stanford

Green five as part of installation by Kevin Rouff in west lobby of new McMurtry “buil ing” at Stanford

And then I noted the shape of the couch and thought in resembled the descender in the “5” but a student started to sit there and I asked her to move to get my shot, which provoked a brief exchange about would she rather be Elizabeth Holmes or Holly Herndon, I hope she goes the music route. Every robotic instinct.
and gray

edit to add:
I am guessing that this is a giant welcome mat and the 5.05 references the fact that 42,000 people applied for 1,400 spots in the Stanford class of 2019, or exactly 5.05 percent.
2. Holly Herndon, speaking of green, is booked by Billions.
3. Meanwhile, I did not subscribe but gave some data to Wall Street Journal and got to read a few lines of something saying that Safeway had risked about $300 M in a joint venture with Theranos then walked away from the deal. 350, rather, I forgot the “5”, in the tens, of millions place. We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do.

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Allen Touissant, 1938-2015


(I heard a KPFA dj named Tim Lynch back-announce a set of Toussaint covers last night and immediately pulled over in my car to find via hand-held the announcemnet in Times of New York and then drove by a magazine stand to get the Times (Ben Sisario) obit as a hard-copy.

I also mentioned it passing that I loved the Toussaint show at Stanford Jazz camp and festival two years ago).

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Raymond Smullyan’s Dracula w. Colin Meloy

I saw a book worth purchasing and someday reading, at Bell’s books, about Dracula and logic. “What is the Name of This Book:…” is the name of the book. The subhead is about the Dracula riddle. It does have a section, I think treatise #270, on Godel. (And I read Godel, secondary source-wise, to get completeness on Cohen). Let’s see: Dracula is feared by everyone except himself. I’m not afraid of Dracula, ergo I question mark am question mark Dracula interobang?!

And I gotta be the first to think of Colin Meloy and I think I am in love with Dracula’s daughter.

Compare. Maybe I will update. I think about this stuff year-round not just October 29 or so.

Here is a 40 second bit of such:

It’s also on Colin Sings Live solo album I got at a freebie I think at SXSW, which was a Thao Get Down Stay Down show, 2009, during the day and also NPR I got a bag and it’s also a day I tried to chat-up Carrie Brownstein who I presume most others had no clue about and coinky-dinky I saw her on Steven Colbert just last night or two nights about and she said that sometimes she is cool in her own head. She has a book Stay tuned, after you dig me out.

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