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Discussion on Haiti Set for Saturday

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Alameda Public Affairs Forum will host a talk on by Pierre Labossiere, a founding member of the Haiti Action Committee, at 7 p.m. this Saturday, May 10, at the Main Library.

Labossiere also is a board member of the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.

Before his speach, folk artist Daniel Zwickel will sing songs from the movement for Haitian freedom and play his guitar.

Guests are invited to arrive (via the Main Library’s back door) at 6:30 p.m. to share refreshments.

Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

On June 13, Helen Grieco — a Northern California organizer for Common Cause — will discuss the issue of whether a 28th Amendment to the Constitution is needed to reverse Supreme Court decisions awarding corporations unlimited financial power over the American political process.

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Alameda Father’s Day Events at USS Hornet, Other Venues

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On Sunday, June 19, the USS Hornet will celebrate Fathers’ Day Living Ship “Stories of Glory,” which will include more than 35 surviving World War II veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces.

The special event is set to go from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., though the USS Hornet is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (A half-price coupon is available online.)

Keynote speakers include Sgt. Francis “Jeep” Sanza of Napa, personal jeep driver to General Patton in Europe, and Lt. Cmdr. Ted Robinson of Sacramento, one of President John F. Kennedy’s rescuers after his PT-109 boat was sunk in 1943. Robinson is also the noted author of “Water in my Veins: The Pauper Who Helped Save a President.”

According to the USS Hornet foundation, other veterans will also be available for a special “meet and greet” throughout the day including four Tuskegee Airmen, a survivor of the USS Indianapolis sinking, and the first Ace from the famed Flying Tigers squadron.

On Living Ship days — usually scheduled for the third Saturday of each month — visitors can experience an aircraft carrier in action by witnessing simulated flight operations as aircraft are lifted to the flight deck and placed into launch position, participating in mission briefings, meeting former crew members, and sitting in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

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Another Father’s Day event is happening across town.

Alameda Public Affairs Forum will host a get-together from 1 to 5 p.m. on June 19. Alameda residents and friends are asked to bring an entree, salad, beverage, snack, dessert or items to grill.

There will be an open area for children to play in during the event, which is set to take place at 2242 San Antonio Ave. Call 510-814-9592 for more details.

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Encinal Yacht Club’s Summer Sailstice is a weekend affair. It includes brunch on Father’s Day at the Oakland Yacht Club (just down the street from Encinal).

Today, Saturday, June 18, there is live music at both yacht clubs until 10 p.m., along with information booths, demonstrations, a kids’ zone and food earlier in the day.

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Alameda Group to Host Forum on Middle East Political Developments

The Alameda Public Affairs Forum will host a presentation on the current wave of political upheaval in the Middle East from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at the Alameda Free Library.

The discussion is entitled, “Upheaval in the Middle East: End of the Washington Consensus and the Fight for Democratic Self-Governance,” and the speakers are Joel Beinin, a professor of history at Stanford University, and Carl Finamore, a staff member and writer for Trade Winds and past president of the Air Transport Employees Local 1781.

The forum will focus on questions, such as:
-What does the upheaval in the Middle East mean for American foreign policy?
- Will democracy emerge in the Middle East?
- What about workers’ rights, and will unions be independently organized?

Finamore has just returned from Egypt and a YouTube video outlines his thoughts on the recent revolution there. Professor Beinin is a well-known expert on Middle Eastern affairs and an author of several E-books on the region.

A reception is planned from 6 to 7 p.m., so guests are asked to bring food or drink to share.

To enter the library and find parking, go to the rear of the Alameda Free Library, at Oak Street and Lincoln Avenue.

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Alameda Group Hosts Economics Talk by Scheer (Part I)

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Robert Scheer, editor in chief of Truthdig, spoke on Saturday, November 13, at the Alameda Free Library about the recent financial crisis. The event was organized by Alameda Public Affairs Forum.

Scheer worked for the Los Angeles Times for many years and most recently has written a book entitled “The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street” (Nation Books).

Raised in the Bronx, Scheer was a fellow at the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California at Berkeley, where he did graduate work in economics and knew Arthur Lipow, one of the organizers of ALameda Public Affairs Forum.

Briefly, Scheer described three factors that led to the real-estate meltdown, market crash and other economic malaise of the past few years: namely deregulation of the telecommuications industry and financial sector (via the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act), as well as welfare reform during President Clinton’s time in office.

Without the repeal of Glass-Steagall, which separated retail and investment banking, the financial institutions in the United States would not have been able to package and sell mortgages as they did over the past 10 years or so, said Scheer.

As people continue to lose there homes, he said, “We’ve accepted the fact that the system enriched a small percent of people while empoverishing many.”

The end of financial deregulation, Scheer explains, came about by the banks arguing that they couldn’t compete globally with such restraints. But President Reagan couldn’t deregulate when they pushed for reforms due to the savings and loan crisis.

Clinton, on the other hand, “was opportunistic … and did a deal with the devil,” the author said.

Another issue that contributed to the crisis was the end of certain laws enforced by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which Bay Area attorney and chairperson Brooksley Born unsuccessfully fought to protect during the Clinton years.

This “opened the floodgates,” Scheer said in his remarks.

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Alameda Group Hosts Labor Day Picnic

The Alameda Public Affairs Forum invites local residents and supports to its annual Labor Day Pot-luck BBQ. The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 5.

Guests are asked to bring an entre, salad, beverage, snack or dessert. There will be a hot grill available for cooking, and plenty of room in the garden for kids to play.

The event is being held at 2242 San Antonio Ave. Call 510-814-9592 for more information.

The group hosts regular current-affairs events at the Alameda Free Library, including speakers and discussions; materials from these events is found on the group’s website.

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Alamedans to Discuss McCarthyism and Cal

The Alameda Public Affairs Forum will have a special program this weekend that focuses on resistence to McCarthyism during the 1940s and 1950s.

 From 6 to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, May 8, at the Alameda Free Library, retired Cal Professor Bob Blauner and attorney Peter  Franck will discuss Blauner’s book “Resisting McCarthyism: To Sign or Not to Sign the Loyalty Oath.”

In 1949, the Regents of the University of California voted to require faculty to sign a loyalty oath affirming that they were not members of the Communist Party or other subversive organizations — and a long struggle followed.

Some 30 faculty members refused to sign the oath and were fired, while others resigned or refused to take up posts at the university.  Students rallied to the support of the faculty.

Professor Blauner has written about these events against the backdrop of the Cold War, the loyalty-security program of the Truman administration and the “witch-hunt” associated with U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy – as well as the emergence of the Free Speech Movement. 

Ohio recently passed a state Patriot Act, and the Federal Patriot Act has brought the same issues of freedom of speech and association back in focus.

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Alameda Group to Host ‘Red Highways’ Author

Rose Aguilar, the author of “Red Highways: A Liberal’s Journey into the Heartland,” will be speaking at the Alameda Public Library at 7:15 p.m. next Saturday, April 10.

Aguilar, who also hosts KAWL radio’s “Your Call” program, is entitling her discussion, ”Behind the Tea Party Movement – Where the Red Highway Took Me and Where It Is Going.”

The event is hosted by Alameda Public Affairs Forum.

Copies of “Red Highways” will be available at the forum for sale and signing. 

To begin the evening, the group is staging a reception with snacks, juice and coffee at 6 p.m., in the library coffee shop. Guests are encouraged to bring their favorite finger food, dessert or juice to share. 

The discussion with Aguilar will go from 7:15 to 9:15 p.m.

For more information, call 510-814 9592 or go to the group’s website.