World News

Dude, is it legal yet?

July 23, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Dude, is it legal yet?

People have been saying this since the seventies. Speaking to activists from this era, it seems many felt that legalization of marijuana in the US was imminent in the early seventies. But other than Alaska in 1975 (re-criminalized in 1991) the seventies did not see legalization of marijuana come to pass.

The activists of the seventies (Baby Boomers) have now been joined by the next generation – the children of the seventies (Gen X). With these two generations working together public support for legal marijuana is now over 50% and is on the rise. Victories in the battle to change US laws continue as both generations of activists work towards change.

Today the answer to ‘Dude, is it legal yet?’ is becoming ‘Yes!’ for more and more people as Washington and Colorado have moved to legalization, nine states have decriminalized and twenty-three have introduced medical marijuana legislation.

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The Shooting Down of Malaysian Airliner Reminds Us When the U.S. Shot Down an Iranian Airbuse in 1988

July 22, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Navy Ship Responsible From San Diego

The shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, July 17th – allegedly by separatists fighting the Kiev government – killing all 295 people on board, has shocked the world, and has intensified the demands for sanctions on those responsible.

But if no sanctions materialize, it wouldn’t be the first time a civilian plane carrying hundreds of passengers was shot down by combatants – with nothing happening to those responsible.

In fact, a lot of the general elements are the same. But the incident that I am reminded about is the day – back in early July 1988, when two US military missiles fired from U.S. Navy ship Vincennes hit Iran Air Flight 655, killing all 290 passengers and crew members on board.

Nothing – I repeat – nothing ever happened to the U.S. because of this incident. It did go a long way in creating a deep distrust towards America by an entire generation of Iranians.

But nothing happened. No sanctions. No boycotts. No United Nations condemnations. Nothing. Most Americans alive then have probably forgotten about it.

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Creating a Better World with Children in Mind

July 22, 2014 by Ernie McCray

child

(Inspired by the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme)

By Ernie McCray

I just spent a week doing a show at the San Diego International Fringe Festival called “On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme” with some of the most fabulous tap dancers anyone could ever find. This spoken word/dance piece was dedicated to the creation of a reality that

“appears to the mind to be of a gentler
more caring and loving kind…”

It was written in honor of children no matter where they reside on the planet. It entertains the idea of creating a world for them that is

“without arms,
worthy of their beauty
and their charm.”

The poem speaks to a society dancing On the Corner of Rhythm and Rhyme

“to the beat of a song,
a love song.”

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9 Marijuana Policies from Around the World that Are Way Ahead of the U.S.

July 22, 2014 by Source

mjworldThe U.S. is far behind when it comes to drug laws that actually make sense.

By April M. Short / AlterNet

Some Americans, stuck in the Nixon-era “war on drugs” mentality, are panicking about the “unknown dangers” and “potential risks” of loosening marijuana policy in the U.S. Those people have failed to look outside of the U.S. bubble and see that many nations have already implemented health-based, sensible marijuana laws and practices with overwhelming success.

In the U.S. today, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana (New York just this month) and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized pot for recreational use (although it’s worth noting that in many states medical marijuana laws are severely restricted). The majority of American medical doctors think medical marijuana should be legal and the majority of American voters think it should be legal and regulated like alcohol. However, it remains safe to say the U.S. is not at the global forefront of progressive, sensible marijuana policy.

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Jewish Voice for Peace San Diego Condemns the Israeli Offensive in Gaza

July 21, 2014 by Source

By David Deutsch, Jonathan Graubart, and Avital Aboody/ Jewish Voice for Peace, San Diego

hold israel accountableJewish Voice for Peace San Diego (JVPSD) is the local chapter of the national Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization devoted to the pursuit of peace, social justice, equality, and human rights in Israel-Palestine.

While most mainstream American Jewish organizations have long abandoned moral responsibility when it comes to Palestinians, we insist upon holding Israel accountable for its crimes, which include a nearly fifty-year occupation, a denial of Palestinian self-determination, repeated war crimes, and systematic human rights abuses.

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July 15 Is the Deadline for Comments to FCC on Net Neutrality

July 15, 2014 by Source

FCC tweet
Breaking news: Because of an overwhelming response from progressives fighting to protect an open and free Internet, the FCC just extended the deadline for public comments until this Friday, July 18.

By John Loughlin

According to John Oliver, the only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are “featuring Sting.” He went on to explain that Net Neutrality is “actually hugely important.“

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Central American Refugee Children Forced on a Dangerous Journey

July 10, 2014 by Source

refugeechildren4Socialist Worker

The arrival of Central American refugees, including many young children, has garnered much attention in the U.S. media and among the anti-immigrant right.

True to the dominant right-wing discourse emanating from Washington, D.C. over the last decade, the knee-jerk reaction has been to analyze this latest development through the “tough on enforcement” framework. human rights.

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The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

July 10, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop.

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Our Children: Thoughts from Murrieta

July 7, 2014 by Source

They are now our children. Photo by Rick Najera.

They ask again what side I’m on. I think and answer, “I’m on the children’s side.”

By Rick Najera / Latino Rebels

I’m in Murrieta, California, ground zero in the immigration debate. I’m watching hundreds of protestors and supporters at a hastily called town hall meeting at the local high school.

Police surround the auditorium to shield between protestors and supporters. A massive wall of news vans fill the parking lot. Reporters with news cameras troll the crowd hunting for sound bites. On both sides, people fly American flags. …

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San Diegans Urged to Respond with Compassion to Humanitarian Crisis at the Border

July 3, 2014 by Source
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We are not only facing a humanitarian crisis, but a crisis of values as well

By San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium

The leadership of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC), a coalition of nearly 20 community, faith, labor, and legal organizations released the following statement in response the current humanitarian crisis migrant families are facing in Southern California.

sdirclogoAlor Calderon, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and Program Director at the Employee Rights Center:

The issue of unaccompanied minors fleeing their home countries is a humanitarian crisis, not an immigration crisis, and should be treated as such.

Furthermore, we are not only facing a humanitarian crisis but a crisis of values as well.

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Watching With the Enemy: US – Germany World Cup Match at Kaiserhof

June 27, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The biggest question is, Why? Why watch the big World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at Kaiserhof, the long-standing Ocean Beach biergarten and general German fan meeting place?

Like the idea of climbing so many mountain tops and starting so many world wars, I countered with, Why not? When I came up with this hare-brained idea, …

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Glenn Greenwald in San Diego: the Leaks of Edward Snowden

June 24, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Journalist Glenn Greenwald came to town last weekend to promote his best selling book based on events surrounding former systems administrator Edward Snowden’s decision to go public with documents concerning intelligence programs run by the National Security Agency. It was a most unusual evening: part lecture, part political rally and part celebrity appearance.

Seven hundred people paid money to attend a book tour event in a theater in this day and age. His publisher set up a table in the lobby and sold hundreds of copies of “No Place to Hide.”

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The US Military is a Major Contributor to Global Warming

June 19, 2014 by Source

The US Military: Protecting Our Freedom While Destroying Our Planet

warispeachBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

The impact of the US military on climate change is enormous due to its excessive consumption of fuel oil. The US must spread its influence across the oil producing parts of the world in order to protect its supply of oil.

The US military consumes huge amounts of oil so that it may preserve strategic access to oil in order to get the oil it needs to preserve strategic access to oil and so on in a never ending loop. Insatiable militarism is the single greatest institutional contributor to the growing natural disasters intensified by global climate change.

The US military is the largest single consumer of energy in the world. If it were a country, the Department of Defense (DoD) would rank 34th in the world in average daily oil use, coming in just behind Iraq and just ahead of Sweden.

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Reshaping the Vietnam Narrative

June 18, 2014 by Source
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The Vietnam War was a turning point in U.S. history but not as many people may think. In defeat, the national security state changed the narrative into one that made American soldiers the victims and made anti-war activists into traitors who spat on returning soldiers, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn / Consortiumnews.com

We came dangerously close to nuclear war when the United States was fighting in Vietnam, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg told a reunion of the Stanford Anti-Vietnam War Movement in May 2014. He said that in 1965, the Joint Chiefs assured President Lyndon B. Johnson that the war could be won, but it would take at least 500,000 to one million troops.

The Joint Chiefs recommended hitting targets up to the Chinese border. Ellsberg suspects their real aim was to provoke China into responding. If the Chinese came in, the Joint Chiefs took for granted we would cross into China and use nuclear weapons to demolish the communists.

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Don’t Walk Away from War : It’s Not the American Way

June 13, 2014 by Source

By Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch.com

thEYHT689LThe United States has been at war — major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions — nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. That’s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face. … So here are five straightforward lessons —

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Where to Watch the World Cup in OB

June 13, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Calling all soccer fans: The place to be if you want to watch the World Cup in OB is at Niagara and Bacon Streets.

That’s where neighboring spots Bar 1502 (aka the New OB Noodle House) and Raglan Public House will be showing all the games with the best specials in the ‘hood.

“We’re really excited for it,” Bar 1502 owner Steve Yeng said about the World Cup. “We want people to come out and have some fun.”

They will have an array of specials as well as jersey and soccer ball giveaways throughout the tournament, which runs through July 13.

Get select drafts for just $2 each day, as well as $10 glass boots (10 liters). Shots will flow freely, with specials including $3 Jim Beam, $4 Jameson and $5 Makers Mark, as well as $3 shots of Fernet – the official drink of Argentina.

Bar 1502 will also be open for breakfast during the games, …

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Extreme Weather Watch: May 2014 – Fires Explode in San Diego, Floods Inundate Balkans

June 4, 2014 by Source

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

More than eight major fires and several smaller brush fires were burning from May 14 to May 17 in San Diego County during an unseasonal heat wave fueled by high Santa Ana winds.

Temperature records were set – highs of 97 in San Diego and 104 in both Escondido and El Cajon on May 15. More than a dozen southern California cities broke or tied high temperatures Wednesday, May 14.

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A Reminder of “Who” We Are – A Call to Action in Support of the Zapatistas

May 23, 2014 by Ernie McCray

galeano_medium_withtextBy Ernie McCray

I hear all kinds of arguments about what’s wrong with schools and the sentiments tend to avoid the keys to what’s essential in the creation of a learning environment: an understanding of “who” the person is who’s being educated. And nothing gets at “who” a child, a student, is more than an educator who respects and appreciates that person’s culture and gives him or her an education that’s rich in the arts.

With that being said, on May 2, 2014, a hero of mine, a teacher extraordinaire, Jose Luis Solis Lopez (Galeano), was assassinated at the Zapatista’s “Little School” (La Escuelita), in Chiapas, Mexico. The school was built to celebrate “who” children are and “who” they can become.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 8 of the San Diego 10

May 13, 2014 by Source
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(Eighth in a series)

By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the eighth in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

After reading about Prisoner #8, Ikaika, please scroll down this article and “meet” one of the top San Diego 10 Prisoner Advocates! This week’s Advocate is Heather Heffernan.

Prisoner #8: Ikaika

Age:12

Ikaika (whose name is Hawaiian for “Strength”) was born at SeaWorld Orlando on August 25, 2002. His mother is Katina and his father is Tilikum (the featured orca in the movie, Blackfish).

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Pilots Come Clean: Drone Warfare Is Riddled with Tragic, Bloody Errors

May 12, 2014 by Source
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Imagine if the drone wars going on in Pakistan and Yemen had a human face all the time.

By Pratap Chatterjee / AlterNet – Tom Dispatch

Enemies, innocent victims, and soldiers have always made up the three faces of war. With war growing more distant, with drones capable of performing on the battlefield while their “pilots” remain thousands of miles away, two of those faces have, however, faded into the background in recent years. Today, we are left with just the reassuring “face” of the terrorist enemy, killed clinically by remote control while we go about our lives, apparently without any “collateral damage” or danger to our soldiers. Now, however, that may slowly be changing, bringing the true face of the drone campaigns Washington has pursued since 9/11 into far greater focus.

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San Diegans Called on Obama to Reject Keystone Pipeline During La Jolla Visit

May 9, 2014 by Source
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Rally along Torrey Pines Road with 50’ Keystone Pipeline Banner, signs, chants

From SanDiego350

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, over 100 San Diegans gathered along Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla to call on President Obama, who was in the neighborhood for a fundraiser, to reject a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The “KXL”, which would carry dirty tar sands oil from Canada to Texas for refining and export, has been called “game over” for the climate by the nation’s foremost climatologist, Dr. James Hansen.

Participants held large signs, including a 50-foot cardboard depiction of the Keystone Pipeline with the words “Stop the Keystone Pipeline. Fight climate change” in huge letters on it, and a large banner with a quote from the President that participants want to see him keep:

“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 7 of the San Diego 10

May 8, 2014 by Source
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(Seventh in a series)

By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the seventh in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless orca, never stopping until the whole world listens.

After reading about Prisoner #7, Nakai, please scroll down this article and “meet” one of the top San Diego 10 Prisoner Advocates! This week’s Advocate is Zach Affolter. [Here are the other orca Prisoner profiles - Orca Profile #1 and #2, #3 ,4 #5 and No. #6.]

Prisoner #7: Nakai

Sweet-natured Nakai was born on September 1, 2001. His claim to fame is that he was the very first orca to be conceived through artificial insemination. Not only that. He was born head first, which is extremely rare in most captive orca births. His mother, Kasatka, who lived in California, was impregnated through semen collected from his father, Tilikum, who lives in Florida.

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Highway to Hell – Federal Scientific Report Documents the Current Course of Climate Change

May 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

politicians discussing global warming

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

A federally funded report on changing climate conditions released today warns of dire consequences throughout the United States in coming years unless significant actions are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Isaac Cordal’s “Politicians Discussing Climate Change” sculpture – Berlin 2011

The National Climate Assessment, a 1,300-page report compiled by 300 leading scientists and experts, says the climate is changing in the United States almost without a doubt, and the warming of the past 50 years is primarily due to emissions of heat-trapping gases released by humans. By the end of the century the scientists forecast temperatures that could be up to 5 degrees higher if the nation acts aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from industry, or up to 10 degrees if emissions are high.

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Diver Drowning in Navy Dolphin Program Should Never Have Happened

May 6, 2014 by Source
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Failed Program Has Drowned Dozens of Dolphins and Now San Diego Civilian

By Rick Trout / May 6, 2014

The recent drowning of Navy dolphin worker/Science Application International Corp. employee, 29 year old Coll Perske, during nighttime rehearsals for deployment of American dolphins into Black Sea waters near Ukraine’s turbulent coast is made even more tragic knowing that Congress tried to eliminate this ill-conceived program in 1992.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: No. 4 of the San Diego 10

April 29, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

(Fourth in a series)

This is the fourth in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

[Here is Prisoner Orca Profile #1 and #2, and #3.]

And “meet” one of the top San Diego 10 Prisoner Advocates. This week’s Advocate is Pamela Slater-Price, former San Diego County Supervisor.

Prisoner #4: Orkid

Age: 26

Born on September 23, 1988, during a live Shamu show at Sea World San Diego, Orkid made her debut in front of thousands of spectators. Of course, a natural orca birth in the wild wouldn’t be bombarded with the noise and cameras and invasion of such a personal entrance into the world as this baby experienced.

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Orca Profiles in Captivity: #2 of the San Diego 10

April 22, 2014 by Source
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By Cara Wilson-Granat

This is the second in a series of ten in which we meet one of the San Diego 10 orcas and hear from an advocate who continues to be one of the voices of these imprisoned voiceless, never stopping until the whole world listens.

Prisoner #2: Kasatka

Age: About 36

Captured off the coast of Iceland, on October 26, 1978, Kasatka was just one year old when torn from her pod. Kasatka, whose name comes from the generic Russian derivative of the word “orca,” is 17.7 feet (5.4m) long and weighs 5,950 pounds (2,700 kg.)

Each of Kasatka’s children is captive born. She gave birth to four offspring: Takara, Nakai, Kalia, and Makani. Nakai, born on September 1, 2001, is the first orca to be born as a result of artificial insemination. While his mother, Kasatka, lived in California, his father, Tilikum, was in Florida. Tilikum is featured in the documentary, “Blackfish.” More on Nakai later in this series.

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Fukushima Meltdown – US Sailors Sue Japanese Electrical Company

April 14, 2014 by Source

050629-N-5060B-006By Kathleen Gilberd

Three years ago, a massive earthquake led to a triple melt-down and explosions at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the wake of the disaster, the US aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan was sent to Honshu Island, where the reactor is located, to render aid as part of Operation Tomadachi (Friendship). With the ship as close as a mile off shore, sailors worked 18-hour days to rescue civilians in the radiation area.

Now sailors from the Ronald Reagan have filed a one billion dollar class action suit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), owner of the nuclear plant, alleging that they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation, far in excess of what TEPCO told the Navy to expect. There are over 100 plaintiffs in the class action, which was filed in San Diego on February 6

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Prune Nourry: French Artist’s Terracotta Daughters Are on the Move

April 4, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following article and photos were sent to us from Paris, France, by Mic Porte, a community activist who lives in Pacific Beach who is visiting Europe with her daughter.

By Mic Porte

I love Paris, the city where people will stand attentively in line for hours to view an art exposition. Galleries, book stores and theaters are always packed. In France, food is art, clothing is art, life is art, and art is in their hearts from the beginning of recorded time– think of the beautiful Lascaux prehistoric cave paintings.

French children are taught art appreciation from day one and it reflects in the architecture and design and lifestyle all around the country. Visual art. The French invented photography and cinema to further the reach of art for the modern world. They are not afraid to expand the boundaries of acceptability, always challenging our perspective of the world, from Impressionism to Dadaism.

The 2014 Spring Equinox heralds the arrival of one of their own, Prune Nourry, young woman sculptress and multimedia artist, and her astonishing and powerful army of Terracotta Daughters, come to Paris to change the world. There is one word to describe this art show: Awesome.

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Secret Report Damning Use of Force by Border Patrol Obtained by LA Times

March 3, 2014 by Source
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By Southern Border Communities Coalition

Southern border communities continue to call for transparency from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after the Los Angeles Times published a story on a report critiquing the agency’s use of force policy.

The PERF Report – an independent review by the Police Executive Research Forum commissioned by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection — evidently says border agents deliberately provoked confrontations that led to avoidable violence.

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Point Loma’s Seamus O’Connor Rides for the Irish at the Olympics

February 12, 2014 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Point Loma’s Seamus O’Connor Rides for the Irish at the Olympics

Sure, Point Loma can claim Seamus O’Connor – he lives there. But the 16 year competed for Ireland on his snowboard at the Winter Olympics.

Here’s what the local can now claim:

  • He just competed at an Olympics,
  • He was the youngest entrant in slopestyle, the second youngest in halfpipe.
  • He wore lime green ski pants. His parents held up a hand-written “Go Seamus” sign and waved Irish flags.
  • He reached the semifinals in both events.
  • He was born in Poway.
  • His father grew up in England.
  • His mother is from Siberia.

O’Connor was amazing; he almost landed a frontside 1260 on the last jump pass in the semifinal run but then he spun out at the bottom of the halfpipe. He had been fourth after the first semifinal run but hit ninth at the end, losing out in doing anything like advancing. Only 6 could advance.

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