The Byrne Report

Weekly news column in the North Bay Bohemian newspaper, Santa Rosa, California.

Story links point to an external () site.

October 2007

Later Alligators

(10.30)
After 120 issues of The Byrne Report, the author goes on an extended leave of absence to write a book.

Previously:
Problem = Solution (10.17)
Permaculture, Daily Acts, uxorious pleasures.

Station Casinos and the Rohnert Park casino — what stinks
(10.10)
When is opposing a Las Vegas casino not a racist, but a sensible act?

September 2007

Fish Wrap (09.19)
When newspapers sustain themselves by replacing reporting with advertising, where does the news go?

Forgotten Iraqis (09.05)
Years ago, Americans extended their hands to the Vietnamese in friendship and repentance and antiwar fervor. Where is the Iraqi-American friendship movement?

August 2007

Potter Training (08.29)
Elaborating on the elitist worldview of Harry Potter's creator, J. K. Rowling.

Previously in The Byrne Report:
Muggles, Arise! (08.15)
With the last 'Harry Potter' book now firmly digested by millions, Byrne looks at how its universe mirrors our own.

DiFi Backlash (08.08)
Byrne’s national exposé of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's conflict of interest has been selected as one of the 25 most underreported stories in 2006-2007 by Project Censored.

Satanís Child (08.01)
'Omen' as an omen. Is 43 really the devil's spawn?

2007 July

Peace Spooks (07.04)
Doublespeak: Straight outta Orwell, the so-called Peace Institute is staffed and guided by warmongers and the corporations who love them.

2007 June

Fiscal Terrorism (06.27)
How Bush is privatizing Social Security anyway.

Looking at the 'Light' (06.20)
Pt. Reyes Station, population 818, may be the smallest two-paper town in America.

White Boys Eat (06.13)
In which Georgie and Tony share more than a prediliction for the same toothpaste.

2007 May

The Right to Witness (05.30)
Petaluma kids police the police.

Political Derby (05.16)
Packaging our plutocracy in false advertising and public-relations fog.

War Genes (05.09)
Nature or Nurture ó which one is responsible for making us so bad?

Political Elite (05.02)
Raising a small voice to expose the shame of warring on Vietnam and, by implication, Iraq and Afghanistan.

2007 April

No Right to Bear Arms (04.25)
How could we kill each other dead if ready firearms were a thing of the past?

Killed Again (04.18)
When does a so-called 'spate' of officers shooting to kill become a trend of officers shooting to kill?

Marketing War (04.11)
Crusading West Marin journalist Norman Solomon talks about marketing the war.

2007 March

Chass Cover-up (03.28)
Are the mainstream media supporting the Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept. in managing reportage of the shooting death of 16-year-old Jeremiah Chass?

Related:
Feature article on the Chass case The Bohemian: Deadly Force

Two-Necked Goose (03.21)
Looking at the connections between breast cancer and the environment.

Feinstein Resigns (03.14)
Sen. Feinstein resigns from MILCON. Perhaps it was media pressure, perhaps coincidence. Either way, should she abscond her responsibilities to the wounded?

Impeach Now! (03.07)
It is sickening to watch the Democratic Party cut and run from the real possibility of throwing Bush-Cheney out of office.

2007 February

BALCO Sleazoids (02.28)
SF Chron and the BALCO scandal: A short primer on grand juries, book deals and poor Barry Bonds.

Blum’s Plums (02.21)
Was Senator Feinstein’s husband compromised in his interests with the UC Regents?

Abraham’s Knife (02.14)
Pity Gavin Newsom, the Manchurian mayor.

2007 January

Daddy Kleinbucks (01.31)
Founder of the nonprofit investigative Sunlight Foundation, Michael R. Klein has made some other curious choices.

Morgue News (01.24)
Contrasting Isabel Allende's 'Of Love and Shadows' with the reality of atrocity.

In Ford We Trust (01.17)
While the mainstream media fell all over itself to lionize the late president, the real news went unreported.

2006 December

News: RIP (12.27)
Thoughts on why the daily newspaper is staggering through the rounds.

Dead Presidents (12.20)
Death of a President,' 'Bobby' and the Book of Revelation.

Kayo of the North (12.13)
Terence Hallinan

Urban Operations (12.06)
Protecting the American people and their way of life with 24-hour surveillance by spy planes and interdiction by soldiers.

2006 November

Hang 'em High (11.15)
What do the American public and Britney Spears have in common? We both threw the bums out.

Wired World (11.12)
Turning away from our hypnotic telescreens to learn empathy.

Election Blues (11.01)
All the political pettiness and a surprise rec for Prop. 90.

2006 October

Hospital Hell (10.18)
How one family found themselves dogged by CPS, accused of bad parenting and paying thousands of dollars in bills for care they don't think they needed.

Bush Whacked (10.11)
Would we be better off if George Walker Bush was not in power? Let's see...

Mirror, Mirror (10.04)
America's economic dominoes are teetering, and illegal immigrants are to blame — right?

2006 September

Living Wage Scam (09.27)
Martin Bennett will soon see his living wage ordinance pass the Petaluma City Council, but why did he leave underpaid nonprofit workers out of it

London Calling(09.20)
In his prescient 1907 novel, The Iron Heel, Jack London imagined a future revolutionary war against the oligarchy that would rule America.

Kid Not(09.13)
Are we so desperate as a nation to forget about the hundreds of thousands of children we murder in Iraq via blockades, invasions, occupation and the sparking of civil war that we gladly focus our attention on the pathetic Karr to escape the horror of our own deeds?

Centro Laboral (09.06)
Innovative employment center helps day laborers maintain dignity.

2006 August

Station Loses (08.30)
Station Casinos of Las Vegas is in trouble. Indeed, the billion-dollar corporation that has partnered with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to front one of its money pits in Sonoma County is on the ropes.

The Bubble (08.09)
Roaming inside the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

The Natural Neurotic (08.02)
Summer camping time is here, but be careful. The wilds of the North Bay are fraught with natural perils.

2006 July

Perfect Deal(07.19)
Torture, imprisonment and the American way.

Oregon, Ho! (07.05)
Roughing it in south central Orgeon.

2006 June

Schmooze Fest (06.21)
Attending a cocktail party held by River Rock Casino's public relations firm, but passing on the shrimp and the spiel.

Previously:
The Agenda (06.14)
The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time, a new book by Antonia Juhasz, documents how the Bush administration, with Bechtel, Chevron, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin and similar corporations, is implementing its global economic agenda using military force.

Baby Killers (06.07)
Ten screaming children were among the two dozen civilians executed in Haditha by our troops, who were armed with the most lethal weapons that American money can buy.

2006 May

Discipline Now (05.31)
Proposition 82... Who in their right mind would want to give over management of thousands of preschools to the Sacramento-based incompetents who have ruined our K-12 system?

Common Sense (05.24)
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey does something remarkable that sets her apart from the typical pork monsters on Capital Hill. She strives to represent the real interests, not only of her constituency, but of the whole American people

Wrong Party? (05.10)
Registered Democrat Nation walks, talks, works and appears to vote...like a Republican.

2006 April

¡Viva Roseland! (04.19)
Immigrant power in America.

Political Spectacle (04.12)
Elections as spectacle sport.

2006 March

Pale Rider (03.29)
The civilian murder rate in Iraq is reminiscent of the civilian assassination campaign America waged against the Vietnamese people during the Vietnam War.

Our Man Alden (03.22)
State assembly candidate John Alden, "I want to reform the Democratic Party. I am running a grassroots campaign based on core Democratic Party values."

War Games (03.08)
Bush is gaming the world with nuclear weapons.

Wake-Up Call (03.08)
Is the National Security Agency jacked into your dreams? Do you care?

Tune in, Please (03.01)
A signal buried in the cacophony: The “war on terror” is purely a war of pillage made possible by the science of public relations and information theory.

2006 February

Greenwashed (02.15)
Profiling Jared Huffman, one of five Democrats competing in the June 6 primary election to represent the Marin-Southern Sonoma Sixth Assembly District.

Blood Sacrifice (02.08)
“We tacitly agree to accept a certain level of carnage in order to use the highways in ways we value. [T]his tacit agreement says that it is acceptable to sacrifice 42,000
lives annually.”

Real Scam (02.01)
Two weeks ago, Anna Ayala and her husband, Jaime Plascencia, were sentenced to prison for several crimes, including attempting to swindle the Wendy's restaurant chain by inserting a severed finger into a bowl of half-eaten chili.

2006 January

Killer Regeneratrix (01.25)
At the risk of offending some readers, it won't bother me when Congress confirms Samuel Alito as a top judge.

Full Disclosure (01.18)
People who want to manage billions of public dollars should not hesitate to reveal their tax returns.

The Man (01.11)
Looking to unseat Schwarzenegger, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi have endorsed Phil Angelides for governor. How did Angelides — who has the charisma of an undertaker — become the Man?

2005 December

A Cheesemas Tale by Peter and Miles Byrne (12.14)
It was the night before Cheesemas, and George, the baby skunk, merrily hunted salamanders and rats and roly-poly bugs — occasionally chomping down on a slow-witted tweety-bird...

Saving California (12.14)
The California Tax Reform Association (CTRA) issued a report earlier this year called Tax Policy for the 21st Century: Resolving California's Long-Term Structural Debt. Naturally, it has been conspicuously ignored by both the governor and most legislators.

Crack of Light (12.07)
The heated public debate around the execution of Stanley “Tookie” Williams shows us to be a divided people.

2005 November

Freedom Dance (11.16)
On Monday evening, Nov. 21, some of the most oppressed children in the world are coming to the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building to dance into our hearts.

White Power (11.09)
The narrative of the Graton tribe's quest for social status and accompanying wealth is as complex and rich as America's bloody history.

Bobble the Vote (11.02)
Having trouble figuring out how to vote in next Tuesday's election? Talk to the head.

2005 October

Believe It Not (10.26)
“Men would rather believe than know, have the void as purpose, as Nietzsche said, then be void of purpose.”

Front Street (10.12)
Station Casinos buys the Graton Racheria tribe’s sovereign status to build a casino resort complex.

Chasing Arnie (10.05)
Tagging along with union protesters as they wait for Schwarzenegger in Alexander Valley.

2005 September

Bogus Mogus (09.28)
How the oilgarchy extracts excess profit from selling gasoline in California.

P-Town Stink (09.21)
I thought nothing could surprise me in the way of official cupidity and stupidity. Until, that is, I attended last week's meeting of the Petaluma City Council.

Political Magic (09.14)
Interview with a witch.

Last Response (09.07)
NORTHCOM and National Guard units sat quietly while Katrina battered the Gulf Coast.
Plus: Metroactive Newz: Rove Resigns!

2005 August

Meter Beaters (08. 24)
The advocates of the deregulation experiment that allowed price gouging during the Great Grayout of 2000–2001 are back, pushing further deregulation and "smart meter" spy-bots on the public.

Frontier Folly (08.17)
Just because Gov. Schwarzenegger threw a few antismog bones to the clean-air folks does not mean he’s not bent on polluting for profit—his own profit.

Potter Nausea (08.10)
Harry Potter explicated via Jean Paul Sartre's Being & Nothingness.

Chamber Plot (08.03)
Watch out law-abiding citizens of sleepy Petaluma: You are in danger!

2005 July

End of Innocence (07.20)
How to explain American militarism to a child?

Monkey Biz (07.13)
One hundred forty-six years after Charles Darwin published Origin of Species, religious folks continue to believe that the science of evolutionary biology is false.

2005 June

Pumping $$ (06.22)
Schwarzenegger's Las Vegas connection poses a conflict of interest.

Me for Sale (06.15)
The columnist is for sale, cheap.

Political Porn (06.08)
Byrne exposes both Deep Throat and Woodstein.

Bubble Heads (06.01)
Byrne explains how No Child Left Behind is a silent neutron bomb going off inside our school systems.

2005 May

Witch Way (05.18)
Christian fundamentalist in progressive clothing fools home schoolers.

War on Vitamins (05.11)
The United Nations helps big pharma kill your vitamins.

Patriot Parade (05.04)
Terrorist's attorney may go to jail.

2005 April

Cable Fist (04.27)
Downcast over Comcast: How the monopoly retards progress.

Family Values (04.20)
On lesbian moms, right wing psychos, and the Constitution.

Power Song (04.13)
A world renowned novelist is the guiding spirit behind building an Indian casino on a wetlands.

Suing Station (04.06)
Indian sovereignty versus individual civil rights and a rape charge.

2005 March

Partner Trap (03.30)
California’s domestic partnership law has unintended financial consequences.

Counter Deception (03.23)
Inside the media swirl of politicized, conflicting information about the value of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), it is hard to separate scientific fact from propaganda.

Is War Fun? (03.16)
Reasons to ditch those yellow ribbons: War crimes.

Blind Trust (03.03)
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s blind trust is not really blind.

2005 February

Family Biz (02.23)
Coming soon to a wetland near you — the brothers Fertitta: owners of Station Casinos, the Las Vegas-based firm with an odds-on chance of building a casino just outside the city limits of Rohnert Park.

Rigged Game (02.16)
How Las Vegas casino corps buy Indians and politicians.

MIG Attack (02.09)
How the military-industrial-gambling complex works and more scoop on Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Hawk Tale (02.02)
Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum's portfolio is crammed with multimillion dollar investments in the military-industrial-financial complex.

2005 January

K-12 Kop (01.26)
Neocon hitman Arnold Schwarzenegger targets kids.

American Heart (01. 19)
Aiding the victims of a tsunami made in America.

Dharma Crumbs (01.17)
How the World Bank and IMF are descending on the Indian Ocean like flies on a corpse.

2004 December

Bombs Away(12.22)
Beset by confusing instructions and too much manna from Washington, North Bay emergency officials are attempting to do their jobs.

Ready or Not(12.15)
An anonymous neocon responds to last week’s column about Tom Ridge.

Failed Safe(12.08)
Last week, Tom Ridge resigned as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security after a three-year run commanding the biggest, clumsiest bureaucracy of the modern era.

2004 November

Gobble Gobble(11.24)
The undevelopment of affordable housing in Sonoma County.

Pumping Poison(11.17)
Schwarzenegger goes girlie man when it comes to clamping down on teenage dietary supplement abuse (in which he has a personal financial interest).

Schwarzenomics(11. 10)
How California’s governor brought Reagan’s disastrous economic team back from the grave.

Sawdust Arnie(11.03)
National security, and how the press of two different eras — Italy under Mussolini, and California under Schwarzenegger — has maintained a characteristic obsequiousness.