Why Aren’t Seniors Getting a Raise This Year?

November 25, 2015 by John Lawrence

CEOs Got a Pay Increase Last Year But No COLA for Social Security Recipients

Cost-of-Living-Comparison-WBy John Lawrence

The Social Security Administration announced that senior citizens would get no increase in their monthly checks because there wasn’t any inflation last year as measured by the increase in paychecks for urban and clerical workers.

Yes, those workers didn’t make any more money, but CEOs certainly did.

Why don’t they gear their index to the increase in paychecks for CEOs? That was a whopping 3.9%. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (the only Senators who stand up for We the People) are introducing legislation that would give seniors the same increase that CEOs got last year. It has a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing, but they get A for effort.

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Laffing it Up

November 25, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Laff it up! - Hubba Jubba decalBy Ernie McCray

My mother used to say “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying,” and when I think back on our days of second-class citizenship she sure wasn’t lying.

The other day Maria and I gave in to that old adage as we laughed about this and that, whiling the time away during her stay in a little two-bed hospital room at Scripps Mercy, worrying about what the doctor might say.

We started laughing ourselves silly listening to a woman’s (Maria’s roommate) emotional and animated conversation in Cantonese, with all the rhythmic inflections and rapidly changing nuances intertwined.

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Is It Time to Put Down the Bacon?

November 16, 2015 by Source
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Processed meat may cause cancer, but your personal risk is probably low.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

By now you’ve probably heard the sobering news: Red meat may cause cancer. And bacon and other popular processed meats definitely do, the World Health Organization says.

Does that mean we all need to quit eating processed meats — no pun intended — cold turkey?

For nutrition-obsessed dorks like me, this pronouncement wasn’t news: Bacon’s been suspect for decades. Yet I still occasionally eat the stuff, and I have a weakness for a particular variety of overpriced salami sold at Whole Foods. (It’s great for camping trips, because it stays good outside the fridge.)

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America’s Same Old Sad Story: Why the White Working Class is Killing Itself

November 16, 2015 by Jim Miller

despairBy Jim Miller

Last week brought us the stark news that America’s middle-aged white working class is killing itself.

Princeton economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case released a report documenting that:

The mortality rate for whites 45 to 54 years old with no more than a high school education increased by 134 deaths per 100,000 people from 1999 to 2014.”

And strikingly, “rising annual death rates among this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse: alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.”

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Al Gore’s Global Day for Climate Action – Saturday November 14th

November 13, 2015 by Staff

climate action pic 11-14-14

The San Diego Climate Mobilization Coalition invites you to join us at Al Gore’s Global Day for Climate Action!

It’s Saturday November 14th at Noon at the Federal Building on Broadway and Front Street, San Diego 92101.

In conjunction with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and leading up to the December Paris talks we will be calling on the U.S. Government to begin the national mobilization to make the transition off fossil fuel and on renewable energy!

We encourage organizations to have a contingent present for the rally. Artistic expression via signs, banners, costumes, street theatre is encouraged.

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A Greedy Capitalist Gets His Comeuppance

November 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Price-Gouger Martin Shkreli Becomes Known as ‘Most Hated Man in America’

asshole capitalistBy John Lawrence

Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli will face new competition for Daraprim, the drug he recently hiked 5,000 percent in price, after competitor Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said it would market a similar drug for just $1 a tablet. Daraprim is used mainly to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that’s common in AIDS and HIV patients, as well as cancer sufferers.

Greedy buttwipe Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund guy that bought the drug Dariprim and then raised the price from $13.50 to $750. a pill will actually lose his ass on this venture.

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SeaWorld San Diego to Phase-Out Orca Circus Shows

November 10, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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SeaWorld Also Wants a Hotel on Mission Bay

The big news in our neck of the woods – or more accurately – our cove of the bay – is that SeaWorld has just announced that it is phasing out the Orca show performances at its San Diego park. They will be phased out sometime in 2016 – which means they could go on for another year. And replaced in 2017 with a “new orca experience”one with a more “natural” setting.

On Monday, November 9th, the company posted a document that stated that the theatrical Shamu stunts here in San Diego will be replaced with an “informative” experience with a “conservation message inspiring people to act.”

The changes do not affect killer whale shows in Orlando, Florida and San Antonio, Texas, where they own other similar parks with orcas.

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Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana Is a Huge Success

November 6, 2015 by Source

Veer Guest House

Pot taxes to fund school construction and substance-abuse programs

By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos

Colorado voters agreed on how to spend $66 million of the revenue generated by the legal sale of marijuana.

The measure sends the first $40 million to school construction and $12 million designated for youth and substance-abuse programs.

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Navy “Waste Water” Running Off Sunset Cliffs Is “Routine Potable Water Flushing”

November 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Back on October 26th, we posted an article about possible Navy waste water flowing down Sunset Cliffs into the ocean – as had been discovered by Andrew, one of our readers, while walking his dog south of the Nazarene college. Andrew took it upon himself to take photos and vid of the possible thousands of gallons of water he witnessed cascading down a gully of the cliffs, also possibly causing erosion of the protected area.

The water appeared to be coming from Navy facilities on Point Loma, directly to the east and up the hill. Andrew and others who surf in that area have concerns about the quality of the water, whether it was toxic or not, or just exactly what was in it.

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Don’t Let Them Blind You With Their Science

November 4, 2015 by Source

plant farm organic

Organic farming can be cutting-edge, too.

By / OtherWords

When I first began researching agriculture, I had no idea how organic farming worked. I saw it as a somewhat backward yet non-toxic and desirable way to grow food.

Organic farmers didn’t use fertilizer, I figured, so maybe the plants would be smaller. And they didn’t use pesticides, so I’d have to settle for some damage to my food — and I’d pay more for the privilege.

As for the people who thought organic agriculture produced better, healthier food than conventional farming, I figured they were nuts. That sounded like magical thinking to me. Did organic farmers grow food using fairies and rainbows?

The notion that organic farming is at odds with modern science is an attitude I’ve heard repeated many times, even by organic activists. “We just need to go back and grow food how we used to,” they’ll say.

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Marijuana and Tax Measures Vie for California 2016 Ballot

November 2, 2015 by Doug Porter

legalizeBy Doug Porter

As we come down the stretch into the final year before the 2016 general election, there are competing interests backing ballot measures seeking to legalize recreational marijuana use and increase taxes on upper-income earners in California.

The downside in this situation is the possibility of enough confused voters rejecting the choices on the ballot on both issues. And you can bank on opponents of legalization and tax increases will do their best to sow doubt and confusion.

Divisions in the pro-pot camp led to the defeat of Proposition 19 in 2010, despite not having a competing measure on the ballot and polling showing voters favoring legalized marijuana. Advocates for tax increases in 2012 were divided between competing propositions, but a strong effort on the part of organized labor gave Proposition 30 the votes needed to win.

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The Only Licensed Medical Pot Shop in the Midway Has 5,000 Patients

October 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Hannah Steria showed me into the cramped back office of the only licensed medical marijuana storefront in City Council District 2, the Point Loma Patients Consumer Cooperative, one of the only places in the building where we could do an interview in private. The place was crowded with patients and staff – two friendly security guards were very visible.

We were about 2 miles as the seagull flies from downtown Ocean Beach – and this was OB’s closest licensed pot storefront.

Having gone through Adam Knopf, the owner of the company that runs the place, to arrange an interview with Hannah- the onsite manager of the day, I had plenty of questions, being a boomer fascinated with how this fast growing dispensary was doing. It was buried in the industrial area of the Midway District – over on Hancock Street between I-8 and the Sports Arena (I know it’s called after a casino, but it will always be “the Sports Arena”).

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OB Planners’ Special Meeting on “Deviations” to the FAR

October 21, 2015 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board is holding a “special meeting” tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 21. The one-item agenda is on the City’s “Sustainable Building Expedite Program” and whether the OB Board will craft policies allowing “deviations” to OB’s historic floor area ration (FAR) or not. They meet at 6pm sharp in the community meeting room in […]

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Finally, Democratic Presidential Candidates Say Good Things about Marijuana Legalization

October 20, 2015 by Source

mjballotboxIn years past, candidates totally ignored the failed war on drugs and the harms of marijuana prohibition

By Tony Newman / AlterNet

During the first Democratic debate, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) became the first major presidential candidate to say that he would support legalizing marijuana if given the chance. Asked whether he would support an upcoming ballot measure on legalization in Nevada, Sanders said:

“I suspect I would vote yes. And I would vote yes because I am seeing in this country too many lives being destroyed for non-violent offenses.

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Death and Distress at Sunset Cliffs – 2005 to 2015

October 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The beautiful Sunset Cliffs that stretch from the residential southern portions of Ocean Beach to the lower reaches of the uninhabited sections of Point Loma are certainly a world-renown, indescribably gorgeous treasure of nature that line the land’s border with the Pacific.

At the right moment when the ocean earns its name and the Cliffs earn theirs, the beauty and serenity cannot be amply replicated by the pen – or keyboard.

Yet these same cliffs with their jagged rocks and crashing surf are also very unforgiving in their encounters with unwary humans, where death and distress accompany their collision with this abrupt edge between ocean and peninsula.

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Climate Action Demonstration – Downtown Noon – Wed., Oct. 14th

October 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego’s Climate Mobilization Coalition is calling for a “Climate Action Demonstration” at noon in downtown San Diego on Wednesday, October 14th.

It will be held at the Federal Building—Front and Broadway downtown.

San Diego’s coalition will be joining others across the country on this–a People’s Day of Climate Action by calling, once again, for the federal government to implement a national mobilization to get America off fossil fuels and on to renewable energy at wartime speed.

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Coastal Commission Bans Orca Breeding But Approves Tank Expansion

October 9, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Coastal Commission Bans Orca Breeding But Approves Tank Expansion

By Sneha Shankar/ International Business Times

The California Coastal Commission Thursday approved the bid by SeaWorld to expand the tanks the company uses to hold killer whales in San Diego, but banned the breeding of the captive orcas that would live in them. The decision came through a vote, which followed a daylong hearing with several speakers, who spoke for and against the proposed expansion.

While the decision was lauded by animal rights activists, it would only ban the breeding of captive orcas, including through artificial insemination, in the company’s California park but not in its facilities in other states. SeaWorld also operates parks in San Antonio, Texas, and Orlando, Florida. The amendment would also ban the sale, trade or transfer of the orcas, and provided an exemption for some of the whales that were caught in the wild, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

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Poll on Surf Camps Hours Extension: 3/4rds Oppose Current Set-Up

October 8, 2015 by Staff

In the third OB Rag poll that we recently ran for a week, we asked our readers about the surf camps in OB requesting an extension of the time allowed in the ocean and on the beach.

The surf camps want to amend their Memorandum of Agreement with the City of San Diego to extend their time in the afternoon by one hour.

Nearly three-quarters of the readers who responded expressed some kind of opposition to the current set-up.

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SeaWorld vs. Orcas – Today at Coastal Commission

October 8, 2015 by Source
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Killer Clash: SeaWorld’s Fate May Hinge on ‘Blue World’ Vote

By Ken Stone / Times of San Diego / October 7, 2015

The fate of SeaWorld’s $100 million Blue World Project — a doubling of killer whale space — rests in the hands of the California Coastal Commission on Thursday in a showdown being framed as the most crucial in the history of orca advocacy.

“There has never been a more important time to speak up for the orcas held captive at SeaWorld,” said Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

For Orlando-based SeaWorld Entertainment, Blue World’s OK represents a chance to reverse its business slide in the wake of the critical “Blackfish” documentary and former trainer John Hargrove’s book “Beneath the Surface.”

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One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in OB

October 7, 2015 by Staff
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Think you have a dangerous job?

Check this poor soul working his machine on Sunset Cliffs.

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1,000 Point Loma Residents Sound Off at FAA Meeting

October 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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An estimated one thousand residents from Point Loma jammed the FAA meeting last night, Tuesday Oct. 6th, in Liberty Station and many sounded off about the proposed new flight paths.

The proposed changes will – in all likelihood – bring east-bound planes that take off west over Point Loma close to or even over the Peninsula.

The current flight path has jets – once they take off over the Peninsula (including OB where it’s called the “OB Pause”) – they make a wide turn and fly south over the ocean and cross over the lightly populated area near Silver Strand State Beach.

But the new path would have airliners make a sharper turn, crossing Point Loma. saving fuel and pollution, the FAA claims.

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California Pot Legalization Initiative Filed by ReformCA

October 6, 2015 by Source

RCA-FILED-a2By Phillip Smith / AlterNet

The California Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform, also known as ReformCA, has filed a draft marijuana legalization initiative with state officials, the group announced Sunday.

The long-anticipated move means the campaign best-placed to bring legalization to the Golden State can finally get underway.

The Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2016 would allow people 21 and over to possess and cultivate limited amounts of marijuana and it would set up legal marijuana commerce overseen by a pair of new state agencies, the California Cannabis Commission and the Office of Cannabis Regulatory Affairs.

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US Bombing of Afghan Hospital Called War Crime by “Doctors Without Borders”

October 6, 2015 by Source

Editor: Since this article appeared, the Pentagon has changed its story. Now it says that air-strikes were called in by Afghan government soldiers.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Sunday called the U.S. military’s Saturday airstrike on its charity hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan a war crime and announced it was withdrawing all staff from the beleaguered area.

MSF said 22 people, including medical workers and patients, were killed in the bombing, which occurred around 2:10 am local time and reportedly lasted for at least half an hour.

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Point Loma Residents Mobilize Against Proposed New Flight Paths by FAA for Lindbergh

October 2, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Point Loma Residents Mobilize Against Proposed New Flight Paths by FAA for Lindbergh

Public Meeting at Liberty Station – Tuesday, Oct 6

Point Lomans are mobilizing against new airline flight paths being proposed for Lindbergh Field by the FAA.

Opponents of the changes say that the new flight paths would take most planes over Point Loma for a second time. Currently, most planes take-off from Lindbergh going west and fly over the Peninsula – but then take a U-turn south of the Point and continue east.

Maps made public either via the media or opponents show that their concerns are valid.

Point Loma residents crammed a September 11th community meeting with their complaints. Casey Schnoor of Hill Street has website against the FAA changes that includes an online petition – noplanenoise.web – and of this writing has nearly 2400 signatures.

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Your Weed Killer Might Kill You

September 30, 2015 by Source

Mike Mozart/Flickr

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

When I began writing about agriculture nearly a decade ago, I learned quickly that people generally believed that Roundup, the best-selling weed killer made by Monsanto, was relatively harmless.

Roundup breaks down quickly, everyone said — and into non-toxic components, they added. If homeowners can buy it at gardening stores, and cities around the United States use it to kill weeds in parks where children play, it must be benign, right?

Wrong. Within the past year, the story has changed.

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Nuclear Shutdown News for September 2015 – the Costs of San Onofre

September 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News for September 2015 – the Costs of San Onofre

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry, both in the US and worldwide, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future.

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Disaster Capitalism and the Shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant

This story starts with a clandestine dinner in Warsaw, Poland. Present are Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utility Commission, and Stephen Pickett, a high ranking official with Southern California Edison, a major electrical utility.

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Stand Up for Planned Parenthood on #PinkOutDay in San Diego

September 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

Pink out logoBy Doug Porter

Today’s the day. Three months into the latest effort by the self-righteous right to make women’s health into a wedge issue, supporters of Planned Parenthood are standing up for their cause.

There are 4 “Pink Out Day” events in San Diego County and 249 actions around the country planned for September 29th. Coincidentally (okay, maybe not), this is also the same day Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards will face off against the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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OB Surf Camps Request for Extended Hours Meets Opposition

September 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Report of OBTC Meeting of Sept. 23rd

In an historic first – probably – the Ocean Beach Town Council held their monthly public meeting outside. Due to some kind of alarm problem at their usual venue – the Masonic Center – which made it impossible to meet inside, the Town Council met right outside using the blare of lights to illuminate their goings-on. Sixty audience members joined the ten or so OBTC board members.

It was a nice change – as it was quiet comfortable outside in the Masonic’s parking lot – inside would have been hot. It also made it almost impossible to read the agenda handed out.

Another reason the meeting was memorable, it had some contention with the last item on the agenda – the request by surf camps in OB to extend their hours.

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Orcas Need the Ocean, Not a Bigger Box!

September 25, 2015 by Source
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By Susan Millward/ Animal Welfare Institute /September 24, 2015

SeaWorld Entertainment announced the “Blue World” Project last year.

The project proposes to invest $100 million per park (for a total of $300 million) for the construction of a larger tank next to each park’s Shamu Stadium, to display the company’s orcas when they are not performing.

Superficially, this appears to be an effort to improve the welfare of these large ocean predators by giving them more space, …

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Junipero Serra’s Sainthood Dismays Many

September 24, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Eighteenth century Franciscan missionary Junipero Serra was canonized by Pope Francis this week. Hailed by the church as “the evangelizer of west in the United States” and reviled by descendants of the indigenous people living along the coast, Serra’s ascension to sainthood is a controversial move.

The expulsion of the Jesuit order from the Spanish colonies by King Carlos III brought Serra to Baja California. In 1769, the government, fearful of intrusions by Russian traders to the north, dispatched the Franciscans to what we now call California. Serra founded nine missions, starting with the Mission San Diego de Alcalá and went about the business of ‘civilizing’ the local inhabitants.

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