World News

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.

People in Southern California have such a sleeping dragon right in their neighborhood: the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant. Although shut down, it is home to 1,631 tons of radioactive waste. The waste (a witches brew containing plutonium, uranium and cesium, which will be harmful for over 250,000 years) is stored in ill-designed temporary caskets.

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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?

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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.

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Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

January 11, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
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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.

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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.

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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 …

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

December 31, 2015 by Source
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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?

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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.”

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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“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.)

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

October 27, 2015 by Source
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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

October 2, 2015 by Source
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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.

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

October 2, 2015 by Staff
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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.

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Taking the Leap: Imagine a New World

September 28, 2015 by Jim Miller
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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.

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Does the Pope Smoke Dope?

September 25, 2015 by Source
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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.

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After One Year – the Disappearance of 43 Students in Mexico Still on the Minds of Chicano Activists

September 24, 2015 by Source

Ayotzinapa1yearmarch

Protests This Week in San Diego Mourn the Disappearance of 43 Mexican Students

By Elena Marques

Usually writing comes naturally to me, I love sharing the art and culture of our community of Barrio Logan and the words flow easily. However as I sit to write today, there is so much to say that I am at a loss for words.

It’s incredibly difficult to describe the emotions facing the one year anniversary of the mass kidnapping of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa. So much that I found myself putting off writing this because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words.

After a year of lucha, marches, protests, art shows, cultural events world wide, a nationwide tour of parents and students from Ayotzinapa creating a solid and intricate network of organizers across the nation, meeting and working with monumental people here in San Diego, across the nation, and across the border, including the spokespeople from the Escuela Normal, it weighs so heavy that we face a year with no answers, no justice.

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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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Last Month as John Kerry Called for “Genuine Democracy” in Cuba, Oligarchs Ruled U.S.

September 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Last Month as John Kerry Called for “Genuine Democracy” in Cuba, Oligarchs Ruled U.S.

By Frank Gormlie

With Cuba and Cubans back in the news cycle – not only with the release of 3,522 prisoners from Cuban jails before the pope’s visit, but also with the first meeting of something called the Bilateral Commission last Friday, September 11th, I have an opening to comment on something that happened last month.

The Bilateral Commission was created August 14 during a visit to Havana by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as he presided over the official reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba, and the raising of the American flag for the first time since 1961.

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Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth

August 31, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Immigration Looney Tunes: The Anchor Babies Myth

By Carlos Batara

For months, the signs were clear. A revival of an anchor baby attack was on the way.

Most colleagues scoffed at my warnings. They claimed the battle against xenophobic terminology had been won.

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Disposable People: Obama, the TPP, and the Betrayal of Human Rights

August 31, 2015 by Jim Miller

tpp slaveryBy Jim Miller

During the lead-up to the vote on the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (TPP) that the President narrowly won, Obama and his surrogates consistently suggested that those in labor and other allied groups opposing the deal were “fighting the last war” and were against “the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen.” Indeed, he even went so far as to accuse critics like Senator Elizabeth Warren of “making stuff up”.

As we know, Obama defeated labor and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and, in concert with Republicans and just enough New Democrats like San Diego’s own Scott Peters and Susan Davis, he succeeded in forwarding the multinational corporate agenda.

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Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

August 27, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Restart Relapse

Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the US Atomic Bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the literal meltdown of over 200,000 human beings, the current Japanese government announced the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, the first to resume operations since the Fukushima disaster of March, 2011.

On August 10, Bloomberg Business reported: ‘The safe restart of Sendai is important for Japan and for the worldwide community,” according to “Dale Klein, former chairman of the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).”

“It can demonstrate that nuclear energy can play a role in the safe, reliable generation of electricity,” Klein also told Bloomberg.

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Extreme Weather Watch: July 2015 – Huge Number of Wildfires Force California Evacuations

August 3, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather Watchby John Lawrence

As July drew to a close 8000 firefighters were battling 18 large fires in the state of California. A lot of people are being forced to evacuate their homes. In fact evacuations are becoming a way of life. Triple digit temperatures, bone dry vegetation and gusty winds are spreading fires everywhere.

A fast-spreading wildfire north of San Francisco has torched homes and is threatening more than 450 structures. At least 650 residents have been evacuated from their homes as the blaze raged in hills covered in dense brush and oak trees and dotted with ranch homes. 23 square miles near Lower Lake, south of Clear Lake, have been charred.

A separate fire near the small town of Isleton in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta burned six or seven mobile homes. Residents of 200 homes in the central California community of Cascadel Woods were ordered to evacuate last Thursday.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – July 2015

July 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and all of the US nuclear industry, and spotlights those who are working for a nuke free future.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

In this issue of Nuclear Shutdown News we continue our summer travels in pursuit of no nukes stories… Of course we’d love to be in Greece, checking out the unfolding “Brother can you spare a few billion drachmas” melodrama. But Greece doesn’t have any nuclear reactors to shut down, or nuclear weapons to dismantle.

1. Germany

Not so in Germany, one of Greece’s major predators, uh, creditors, that is.

The Associated Press reported on June 28, “Germany’s oldest remaining nuclear reactor to shut down.”

The AP stated that the Grafenrheinfel nuclear plant in Bavaria “would be taken offline as scheduled authorities and operator E.ON said.”

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