World News

San Diego’s Earth Fair 2016: All in for the Environment

April 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

Hey! That's SDFP Editor Doug Porter with a message

Sunday, April 17th. EarthFair Day.

Having heard all the warnings about trying to drive to Earth Fair–not to mention the irony–, I took the bus.

The Number 7 bus was a half hour late and it dropped me on the corner of Park & University. It wasn’t going anywhere near that mess in Balboa Park. Eventually, the Balboa Park “shuttle” appeared. After quibbling with the driver when he asked for another fare, we sped three blocks south only to get in line. Hurry up and wait.

Traffic was held up at Roosevelt Junior High by the police so the people who drove could turn left across traffic towards parking lots. Even on Earth Day, it’s cars first in San Diego. #CarsRule #Pedestrians&BusRidersDrool.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Fukushima + 5: the Disaster Continues – Nuclear Shutdown News for March 2016

April 5, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Fukushima + 5: the Disaster Continues – Nuclear Shutdown News for March 2016

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry, in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free future. Here is this month’s issue.

Fukushima + 5: The Disaster Continues

On March 9, two days before the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Wall Street Journal ran this story, “Japanese Court Orders Shutdown of Nuclear Reactors.”

The paper reported that the court “issued an injunction to shut down two of the four reactors recently restarted” by Kansai Electric Co. because the utility failed to prove to the court’s satisfaction that it could operate operate those nukes safely.

Driving the process, the Journal reported, were organized and outspoken community members “worried about a repeat of the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

America, Got Fascism?

March 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump supporters n text js

Okay, America – are we ready for fascism?

Is this a legit question these days? It happens that a lot of political commenters, pundits and journalists are asking the question: ‘is the good ol’ US of A ready for an American brand of fascism, in the form of the Donald Trump for president movement?’

As the presidential campaign season degenerated into racist and xenophobic diatribes by the Republican front runner, with those images of Trump supporters pledging their loyalty to him in Hitleresque salutes, after that scene in Chicago when the Trump rally was cancelled, triggering skirmishes between Trump supporters and demonstrators, it seems everybody is forming an opinion of whether Donald Trump is a fascist, comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini, and other dictators.

Those denouncing Trump as a fascist include who you’d expect – progressive and liberal journalists and commentators, like Bob Dreyfus on TomDispatch, who called Trump a “proto-fascist”, or like Robert Reich who called Trump out as a fascist. Also, moderate columnist Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post sees Trump as flirting with fascism.

Read the full article → 26 comments

Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

March 16, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Ireland: an 800 Year Political Struggle

The following article originally appeared in 1988 in Justice Speaks, a publication of Black Workers For Justice, in North Carolina.

Almost 30 years later, Ireland is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Easter uprising of 1916, which eventually freed most of the country from British rule.

But the nation is still one of many around the globe that has yet to complete its “Unfinished Revolution,” because that phase of the struggle ended with its northeastern region partitioned in the 1920s into a new entity, “Northern Ireland,” so that places like Strabane still remain under British domination and occupation to this day.

by Michael Steinberg

On November 29th [1988] the European Court of Human Rights ruled that a British law allowing Britain to detain suspects for up to 7 days without charging them is a breach of the European Convention of Human Rights. The court’s decision is a blow to Britain’s attempts to crush the 800-year old Irish national movement. While the British government incorrectly portrays this as a religious conflict, in reality it is a political struggle for liberation and independence from British rule.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Extreme Weather Watch – February 2016 : Tornadoes Devastate South, West Sets Heat Records

March 9, 2016 by John Lawrence
Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

At least seven people died when more than 50 tornadoes swept across parts of the south and eastern United States in late February. The extreme weather destroyed hundreds of homes and forced the closure of schools and government offices.

At least four people died in Virginia, including a two-year-old boy. One witness said that the destruction in the small town of Waverly was “completely devastating.” Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. Scientists have linked an increase in the intensity and deadliness of tornadoes to climate change.

Read the full article → 0 comments

International Women’s Day: A Google Doodle, 79 Cents on the Dollar and a Dollop of Socialist History

March 8, 2016 by Doug Porter

women's day protest By Doug Porter

We should all be thankful that retailing moguls haven’t been able to figure out a way to make International Women’s Day a sales event.

In San Diego, a mid-day downtown (7th & B) demonstration heralded the struggles of Immigrant Women around the world, calling out poverty, abuse and exploitation in the janitorial workforce.

Today we’ll take a look around the media world to see what is happening with regard to women on March 8, 2016.

Read the full article → 0 comments

March 8th – Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2016 by Source

Rag cover Int Womens Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day.
OB Rag cover – Early March, 1975 – commemorating International Woman’s Day. The cover shows a crowd of women activists from Ocean Beach on the OB Pier. The cover was later formatted as a poster for a display at the OB Library of OB Rags during the 1990s by Bob Edwards, a former OB Ragster of the seventies.

Read the full article → 19 comments

When Does the Violation of Women’s Bodies Become a ‘Red Line’?

March 8, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for When Does the Violation of Women’s Bodies Become a ‘Red Line’?

“If people divide their understanding of militarized violence into normal and not normal, acceptable and not acceptable, it makes a terrible kind of sense: violence against women has been “normalized.”

By Lauren Wolfe / Common Dreams

Two years ago I was on vacation in Maine when I started getting really, really mad. I’d been working to track sexualized violence in the Syrian war for a long time and had gotten very little response from policy makers despite many meetings with those in our government and the UK’s and at the UN.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Fukushima, Chernobyl, Santa Susana, San Onofre… and Rocky Flats

February 11, 2016 by Source

Our controversial nuclear legacy and questions about health, truth and future risks
By Nicole Hoepner

sdfp onofre back upSleeping dragons. Stirring the thin blankets of secret cold-war facilities, nuclear power plants and feebly stored radioactive waste.

We quietly sneak around their massive shadows. We tell our children fairy tales of mankind’s control over technology, over nature.

The story of The Atom That Is Keeping Us Safe, but then the unexpected happens and unspeakable horrors awaken and unleash their terror.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Get Ready for the Market Crash and Recession of 2016

January 27, 2016 by John Lawrence

oil pumpBy John Lawrence

Oil is less than $30. a barrel. This is over three times less than what it costs just to buy the barrel itself! Iran has been accepted back into the world community and is revving up to sell its oil on the world market which will bring down the price of oil even more.

Frackers and oil producers in the US have taken on a huge amount of debt under the assumption that it would pay off down the road. They hadn’t counted on the price of oil plummeting. What will they do when we convert 100% to renewables?

Read the full article → 1 comment

European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

Read the full article → 6 comments

Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

January 11, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of 1916’s Ireland Easter Rising.

The following article originally appeared in the Fall 1985 issue of “the whole damn pie shop.” : San Diego’s quarterly of Alternative Opinion.

Portrait of an Irish Republican

By Michael Steinberg

Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations“–Padraic Pearce, one of the leader’s of the 1916 Easter Rising executed by the British.

Ireland, August, 1985–Julie Doherty has just turned 23. She lives in Derry, a city of 50,000 in the British occupied north of Ireland. She is blessed with a bright face and jaunty personality that few would call less that beautiful. But she is cursed with a harsh existence and lives constantly in the shadow of death.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Extreme Weather Watch: December 2015 – Tornados, Floods Kill Hundreds

January 7, 2016 by John Lawrence

Christmas 2015 Notable for Extreme Weather Throughout the US

weather5By John Lawrence

Record high temperatures on Christmas day, as much as 30 degrees F above normal, were experienced up and down the eastern portion of the US. At the same time, tornadoes destroyed homes and lives in the nation’s midsection and south.

December 2015 saw more than 2,600 record high temperatures; major metropolitan areas in the Northeast saw some of the warmest Christmas Eves and Days on record.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Top 10 Political Hopes for 2016

January 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

via UFT via UFT

By Jim Miller

It’s a new year and a big one for politics. Here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:

1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket.

2) That Bernie Sanders wins some primaries and continues to unsettle the Democratic Party and build momentum for a continuing progressive movement in our politics, win or lose.

3) That the lack of a mayor’s race will finally convince San Diego progressives …

Read the full article → 2 comments

Why Do We Sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ On New Year’s Eve, Anyways?

December 31, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Why Do We Sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ On New Year’s Eve, Anyways?

Because we’re drunk?

Dan Fallon / diggs

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t actually know the words to Auld Lang Syne. Of course, that doesn’t stop us from drunkenly slurring along to the instantly-recognizable tune at our annual New Year’s Eve parties.

It’s a song that elicits feelings of goodwill towards man, a song that moves. While Auld Lang Syne is an integral part of the New Year’s Eve ritual, most of us probably still have a few questions about the song. Namely:

What are the lyrics?

Where did this song come from?

And why the heck do we spend the first few minutes of each year singing it?

Read the full article → 1 comment

Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Nothing or Everything Changes After Paris

November 30, 2015 by Jim Miller

climate change terrorismBy Jim Miller

There has been much to be dismayed about in the wake of the horrible Paris (and Beirut) attacks, from the carnage itself to the ugly xenophobia it aroused in American politics to the sheer stupidity of the eternal return of the same that is the bipartisan hegemony on foreign policy.

The answer for everything is always an eye for an eye until the whole world is blind with little to no intelligent reflection on the blunders that got us here—that might mean a fundamental rethinking of our role in the world rather than yet another knee-jerk response.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Thanks to Conservation Efforts, the ‘Butterfly Highway’ Saw a Ton More Traffic This Year

November 30, 2015 by Source

Monarch butterfly on lantana blossoms

By Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos

Earlier this year it came to our attention that since 1990, almost 1 billion monarch butterflies have vanished. That number was 90 percent of previous peaks in monarch populations. In reaction to this staggering number, conservationists in North America began working in their regions to create something called the “butterfly highway”.

Read the full article → 0 comments

A Cry for Ending the Slaughter in the ‘Drone Papers’ Revelations

November 12, 2015 by Source

Drone_papers

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthdig

A new whistleblower has joined the ranks of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou and other courageous individuals. The unnamed person, who chose to remain anonymous because of the Obama administration’s vigorous prosecution of whistleblowers, is a member of the intelligence community.

In the belief that the American public has the right to know about the “fundamentally” and “morally” flawed U.S. drone program, this source provided The Intercept with a treasure trove of secret military documents and slides that shine a critical light on the country’s killer drone program.

Read the full article → 1 comment

“Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

November 5, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for “Remember, remember – the 5th of November” – Guy Fawkes Day

Are you familiar with the John Lennon song where he sings “remember, remember, the 5th of November….”?

I know you’re familiar with the “Anonymous” mask during the Occupy Wall Street” protest movement.

Well, November 5th – still celebrated in film, television and literature – is Guy Fawkes Day!

Who the heck is Guy Fawkes?

Guy Fawkes was one of the leaders in the infamous “Gunpowder Plot” – a plan to blow up the House of Lords in London in 1605. He was caught, tried and then hung and in England to this day Guy Fawkes’ execution is celebrated.

Yet – you may have seen the movie “V for Vendetta“. The film tells the other side to the story ( “V for Vendetta” – differently. ) The movie points out that Fawkes was not trying to blow up Parliament, but the House of Lords – the seat of autocratic rule and symbol of religious persecution in England at the time. (Remember the Pilgrims? They came to the New World because they were being persecuted for their religion.)

Read the full article → 5 comments

IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

October 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for IMPACT: El Niño, La Niña Events Along the Pacific Coast

By Peter Ruggiero / Oregon State University / The News Guard / October 25, 2015

A coastal hazards analysis of 48 Pacific Ocean beaches in three continents, using data from 1979 to 2012, found the biggest factor influencing communities and beaches in all regions was the impact of El Niño and La Niña events.

The study also found their influence had alternate impacts in different parts of the Pacific basin. When one side of the Pacific experienced extreme coastal erosion and flooding because of El Niño the other side often experienced these hazards during La Niña. Some climate projections suggest that these events may occur more frequently in the 21st century, meaning that populated regions could experience more severe flooding or erosion.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Bad News Not Reported: The Drift Toward Global Plutocracy Continues Unabated

October 19, 2015 by Jim Miller

plutocracy1-300x162By Jim Miller

Recently Thomas B. Edsall penned an interesting column in the New York Times asking “How Did the Democrats Become the Favorites of the Rich?” where he observed that while the gulf between the two parties is still very wide on many social issues, on economic issues, Democrats have “inched closer to the policy positions of conservatives, stepping back from championing the needs of working men and women, of the unemployed and of the so-called underclass.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

Extreme Weather Watch: September 2015 – Fires Devastate Homes in California

October 13, 2015 by John Lawrence

2,000 Homes and 200 Square Miles Up in Flames

weather5By John Lawrence

On September 13 California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Lake and Napa counties. He also had issued a state of emergency in Calaveras and Amador counties.

Four firefighters were injured in the fire called the Valley fire. Thousands fled as mandatory evacuations were ordered for the communities of Cobb, Middletown, Harbin Hot Springs and Big Canyon Road.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Foreign Interventions in the Middle East: More Havoc, Nuclear Weapons, Less Order

October 13, 2015 by Source

By Frank Thomas

Map of the Middle EastMiddle Eastern states are breaking down in an endless escalation of civil wars where Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iraq are collapsing. The resulting power vacuums exploited by rebel factions and demonic jihadist Islamic state are threatening the Middle East. The ancient, ongoing Sunni-Shiite mutual hatreds are afire.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Down With Columbus Day! It’s Time to Abolish It!

October 12, 2015 by Source

Junco69

Once again this year many schools will pause to commemorate Christopher Columbus. Given everything we know about who Columbus was and what he launched in the Americas, this needs to stop.

Columbus initiated the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in early February 1494, first sending several dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain. Columbus described those he enslaved as “well made and of very good intelligence,” and recommended to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that taxing slave shipments could help pay for supplies needed in the Indies.

Read the full article → 1 comment

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.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Mexico City: October 2nd, 1968 – A Day Mexicans and Gringos Remember

October 2, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Mexico City: October 2nd, 1968 – A Day Mexicans and Gringos Remember

Editor: October 2nd of 1968 – the day of the massacre in Mexico City by the Mexican government. Every Mexican with a social conscience remembers that fateful and murderous day. Gringos – Americans need to remember that day as well for our government’s collusion in what happened and the cover-up afterwards.

The following was published a number of years ago, but obviously, is still very, very pertinent for all of us today and tomorrow and everyday until those responsible are brought to justice.

Read the full article → 5 comments

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ and U.S. Government’s Role

October 2, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ and U.S. Government’s Role

by Malcolm Beith / The News

Clouds loomed as night closed in. By the hundreds, the students streamed into the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. A little past 5:30 p.m., some 10,000 students – not to mention hundreds of workers, farmers and others attending in solidarity – had gathered in the square. Rain splattered down.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Taking the Leap: Imagine a New World

September 28, 2015 by Jim Miller
Thumbnail image for Taking the Leap: Imagine a New World

By Jim Miller

Last week the Pope came to America and delivered his groundbreaking message about the interrelated problems of climate change and economic inequality as well as the moral imperative to act to address them.

We heard this message at the same time we learned that we have lost half the world’s marine animals since 1970 and that Exxon’s own research had confirmed the human role in climate change decades ago even as they were heavily funding efforts to block solutions.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Does the Pope Smoke Dope?

September 25, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Does the Pope Smoke Dope?

By the Ol’ OB Hippie

Does the Pope smoke dope? Does Pope Francis imbibe in the inhalation of medicinal cannabis?

No, really – I wanted to know if the Pope smoked dope. I have heard rumors to that effect – for years actually. And I wanted to find out.
I knew he was coming to the U.S., so I had to figure out a way to meet up with him.

Read the full article → 1 comment