World News

Washington Post: “Donald Trump is a unique threat to American democracy”

July 27, 2016 by Source

Editor: In an unprecedented full-page editorial last Friday, July 22nd, the editors at the Washington Post broke all their rules about endorsing presidential candidates, and came out with this dire warning to the American people – a warning that Trump represents a unique danger and threat to American democracy and the Constitution.

Even though we have no permission to do so, we repost it here below in its entirety due to the extreme nature of the moment, and because in a true sense, this editorial itself has become “news” , and needs to be as widely circulated as possible.

By Editorial Board / Washington Post / July 22, 2016

DONALD J. TRUMP, until now a Republican problem, this week became a challenge the nation must confront and overcome. The real estate tycoon is uniquely unqualified to serve as president, in experience and temperament. He is mounting a campaign of snarl and sneer, not substance. To the extent he has views, they are wrong in their diagnosis of America’s problems and dangerous in their proposed solutions. Mr. Trump’s politics of denigration and division could strain the bonds that have held a diverse nation together. His contempt for constitutional norms might reveal the nation’s two-century-old experiment in checks and balances to be more fragile than we knew.

Any one of these characteristics would be disqualifying; together, they make Mr. Trump a peril. We recognize that this is not the usual moment to make such a statement.

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Is This Election Good for the Fish?

July 20, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is This Election Good for the Fish?

By David Helvarg / Blue Notes – Blue Frontier /July 19, 2016

The party conventions are now underway starting with the Republicans in Cleveland to be followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia.

The stark contrasts between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: on immigration, education, health care, trade, foreign policy, etc. do not end at the water’s edge where you might also find a Trump resort or golf course.

The ocean has yet to be mentioned on the campaign trail although our organization, Blue Frontier, is coordinating a letter to the candidates from ocean leaders in business, science, conservation, education and other fields that will be sent to the candidates after the conventions.

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A Review of the 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival

June 30, 2016 by Source

By Mukul Khurana / San Diego Free Press

San Diego International Fringe FestivalThe 2016 San Diego International Fringe Festival arrived a month earlier than last year. There must be good reason, but it wasn’t announced.

Almost everything else remains the same.

Bi-national shows (San Diego and Tijuana being so close to one another) are now a fact since last year. The venues are pretty similar to last year too. However, this year, there are essentially two “centers.” Downtown has always been a base. Diversionary Theatre in University Heights got added to the mix.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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Carbon Dioxide Levels Set to Pass 400ppm — Permanently

June 15, 2016 by Source

The findings highlight increasingly urgent concerns about global efforts to curb climate change as outlined in the Paris agreement. (Photo: Mikael Miettinen/flickr/cc)

Carbon emissions and extreme weather events poised to push CO2 levels past symbolic threshold for good.

By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Record carbon dioxide levels are set to surpass the symbolic threshold of 400 parts per million (PPM) this year and will likely never fall below that line again in our lifetimes, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Scientists at the UK Met Office used emissions data, sea surface temperature figures, and a climate model from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii to track the trajectory of CO2 levels and found that carbon dioxide “will for the first time remain above 400 ppm all year and hence for our lifetimes.”

Emissions have increased over the past 12 months due to the continued burning of fossil fuels, but the impact has also been exacerbated by an unbridled El Niño event.

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Extreme Weather Watch: May 2016 – Canada Burns, India’s Extreme Heat Record, US Tornadoes

June 8, 2016 by John Lawrence

Too Hot to Go Outside

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

A city in western India set an all-time heat record of 123.8 degrees F in May. Authorities issued a severe heat wave alert which means that people can expect temperatures of 117 degrees F or more. In addition, drought is affecting much of the country. The heat will probably not let up until the monsoon rains come sometime in June.

The prolonged heat wave has already killed hundreds and destroyed crops in more than 13 states. Hundreds of small farmers have reportedly killed themselves, and tens of thousands have been forced to abandon their lands and live in squalor in urban slums in order to eke out a living.

Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of the western states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, and groundwater supplies are severely depleted.

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Honoring “The Greatest!”

June 7, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about my man, Muhammad Ali, off and on, feeling sad that he’s gone. But as a contemporary of mine (he was four years younger than me) he’ll never be forgotten by me because he has meant the world to me.

When I first heard about him he had just fought his way to a gold medal as the Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Rome.

I had just graduated from Arizona with a degree in P.E. and all kinds of basketball scoring records. So he and I were two young black men, athletes, standing tall and all. Who knew, though, that he would take being a sports figure to levels that were, up to then, unseen.

He was Cassius Clay in those days, but not a household name yet, …

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Direct Action Journal: Overcoming Fear

May 17, 2016 by Source

Hand painted sign calling attention to threat of rising sea level to South Tarawa and plea to "Save these islands!"

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Another episode with anxiety knocks me to my bedroom floor. Rational thought forsakes me. My body shakes with the strangled sobs of a man ashamed of his tears. Alicia bends over me. Her dark brown eyes – normally calm with the consistent rationality characterizing her personality – are wide with concern and weariness. We’re only several nights removed from the last episode. She must think, “Oh god, not again.”

Alicia seeks to hold me. I find a deep comfort in her touch – and a deep revulsion. It’s not her. The contradiction is born from the lies fear instills in me.

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Excellent Artificial Waves in the Middle of California Farmland?

May 6, 2016 by Source

waves artificial kelly slater

“This Changes Fundamental Things … About Surfing”

Kelly Slater is an 11-time world champion surfer, but he’s done something else no one else has – and that is to make great artificial waves in the middle of farmland. He posted a video of him riding waves from the machine and within a week, it had 9 million hits. Up to then, he’d been keeping his project a secret.

The LA Times sent a reporter out to find him and filed a report:

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The Massive, Tragic Trashing of Our Oceans: Is There Still Time to Do Something About It?

May 5, 2016 by Source
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There is sobering news about marine health, but it is not too late to change our behaviors

By Reynard Loki / AlterNet

It’s impossible to overestimate how critical the oceans are to the overall health of life on Earth. For one thing, tiny marine plants called phytoplankton provide up to 85 percent of the world’s oxygen, according to EarthSky.org. But the oceans don’t just give us good stuff like oxygen; they take away bad stuff, like carbon dioxide.

A 2011 international study led by the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, estimated that the oceans absorb 27 percent of the CO2 produced by the fossil fuel combustion.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

May 2, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News  – April 2016: Chernobyl + 16 – It’s far from over

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry in the US and beyond, and highlights the efforts of those who are working to create a nuclear free world. Here is our April 2016 issue.

Chernobyl + 16: It’s far from over

On April 26, 1986, a nuclear disaster began at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine, then ruled by the USSR. Thirty years later, that disaster is far from over.

In their 1990 book, Deadly Deceit: Low Level Fallout, High level Cover-Up, authors Jay Gould and Benjamin Goldman devote an entire chapter to the Chernobyl debacle. The doomed Chernobyl nuke was one of 4 reactors operating at the site at the time. It took until 2000 for the other 3 to be permanently shut down.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

March 8, 2016 by Source
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“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.

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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.

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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
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.

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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
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?

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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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