World News

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

November 12, 2015 by Source


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
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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


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.

So, I finally answered one of those emails from President Obama about coming to the White House to shake hands and get in one of those photo ops. He – they – said they’d fly me out to Washington, DC. And I agreed to do it.

Lo and behold, my airline ticket arrived for a flight to DC, along with a White House Pass. I was jumping – finally a chance to meet the Pope and pose the query.

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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


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
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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
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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. The era of using mean-spirited terms, like anchor babies, for political purposes had passed.

I was a town crier, a few said, over-reacting to isolated news events.

Sure, just like the building of new detention cells is unrelated to future arrests and deportations.

Alarmist or not, here’s what I saw:

  • California government agents exaggerated claims of Chinese birth tourism and maternity hotels
  • Louisiana passed legislation to deny marriage certificates to undocumented immigrants
  • Texas refused to issue birth certificates to children born in Texas to undocumented parents
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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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Pope Francis: “We’ve Turned the Earth into a Pile of Filth”

July 29, 2015 by John Lawrence

pope francisBy John Lawrence

Add Pope Francis to the world’s leaders who are calling for immediate action to combat climate change.

In the Pope’s own words the earth has become a pezzo di merda, a piece of you know what. He has also described unbridled capitalism as the “dung of the devil.”

Popes are not often given to scatological imagery to describe the predominant American economic system.

However, the Pope’s words are very important because he wields enormous moral authority. Would that the leading moral authorities from the world’s other major religions had the gumption to stand up and add their voices in the fight against climate change.

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Earth’s Most Famous Climate Scientist Issues Bombshell Sea Level Warning

July 24, 2015 by Source
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New Study Concludes More Rapid Rise in Sea Level – at Least 10 Feet in 50 Years

By Eric Holthaus /Slate / July 20, 2015

In what may prove to be a turning point for political action on climate change, a breathtaking new study casts extreme doubt about the near-term stability of global sea levels.

The study—written by James Hansen, NASA’s former lead climate scientist, and 16 co-authors, many of whom are considered among the top in their fields—concludes that glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica will melt 10 times faster than previous consensus estimates, resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years.

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, brings new importance to a feedback loop in the ocean near Antarctica that results in cooler freshwater from melting glaciers forcing warmer, saltier water underneath the ice sheets, speeding up the melting rate.

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PETA Opposes SeaWorld Orca Habitat Expansion at Coastal Commission

July 24, 2015 by Source
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by James Sullivan/ Science Recorder / July 24, 2015

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has asked that the California Coastal Commission reject SeaWorld San Diego’s efforts to expand its killer whale tanks.

The project is estimated at $100 million, to be completed in 2018, but has yet to received endorsement from the Coastal Commission.

“This item has been postponed because of all the information submitted,” said commissioner Alex Llerandi.

“The coastal staff is taking the time to ensure all potential issues and viewpoints are considered in any final recommendations.”

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Jerry Brown Gushes About “fighting climate change” at Vatican As He Fracks California

July 22, 2015 by Source
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by Dan Bacher

In yet another carefully choreographed photo opportunity to tout his “green” image while he promotes the expansion of fracking, Governor Jerry Brown on July 21 urged the world’s mayors to “light a fire” and “join California in the fight against climate change.”

Brown was speaking on the first day of the Vatican’s symposium on climate change and modern slavery hosted by the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

“We have fierce opposition and blind inertia,” Brown claimed. “And that opposition is well-financed, hundreds of millions of dollars going into propaganda, into falsifying the scientific record, bamboozling people of every country. We have to fight that propaganda and overcome the inertia and the tremendous opposition.”

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A Critique of the Austerity Proposal for Greece

July 13, 2015 by Source
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A Critique of the July 10th, 2015 Austerity Proposal for Greece from Syriza; There is an Alternative!

by Peter Bohmer / July 11, 2015

It is increasingly likely although not a done deal that Greece will come to an agreement with the 19 European Union countries that use the Euro, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (the troika) in the next week or so.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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Extreme Weather Watch: June 2015 – Deadly Heat Wave in Pakistan

July 7, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

Pakistan’s heat wave took a toll of more than 1200 dead, the deadliest heat wave on record. Power outages added to the misery, leaving many without fans, water or light at the beginning of Ramadan, when many Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. More than 14,000 people were hospitalized in Karachi, the nation’s largest city.

The heat wave came just weeks after torrid temperatures caused nearly 2,200 deaths in neighboring India. This devastating weather is being seen as the effects of human-caused climate change. The Pakistan heat wave will join the heat wave in India as one of the 10 deadliest in world history.

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The Absence of Legal Neutrality at Immigration Court

July 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

Henry Adams was right.

A great teacher affects eternity; no one knows where his or her influence stops. Larry Schwartz, my college history instructor, was that type of educator.

Outside my parents, Professor Schwartz was the most influential person in my life. As an educator, he guided my studies of social, racial, and political injustices. As a mentor, he inspired me to become a professional dedicated to helping the downtrodden and disadvantaged.

He taught me, above all else, that law is the ultimate instrument of political power.

Does Legal Neutrality Exist?

This belief came under heavy attack at law school. At law school, one of my first year professors repeatedly asserted that the law was neutral. Despite trying, I was unable able to buy into his proposition. It did not fit my reality.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: “We Are Satisfied With The Stones”

July 1, 2015 by Source


By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

The pohaku stopped the Thirty Meter Telescope construction last Wednesday. They began appearing on the Mauna Kea Access Road like raindrops. First, they were sprinkled lightly underfoot. A small rock here. A larger one there. The cops cussed and swore as they tried to remove them from the path of their seemingly unstoppable paddy wagons.

As the cops ascended, washing over the lines of Mauna Kea Protectors standing in their way, small piles grew into a drizzle of stones formed in the gathering fog. Then, the pohaku became a downpour. Looking up the road half-a-mile, I saw heavy boulders standing up, marching to meet us, making it impossible for the TMT construction crews and their police escort to climb any higher.

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The San Diego-Tijuana Boundary Monuments

June 24, 2015 by Source

Mexican war MapBy Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

In 1848, the U.S.-Mexican War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty stipulated that Mexico relinquish 1.2 million square miles of its territory to the United States in return for $15 million. It also assigned a Joint U.S. and Mexican Boundary Commission to determine the exact location of the new boundary line.

The Commission consisted of a large caravan of men, including a commissioner and a surveyor for both sides. The drawing of the boundary line took two years to complete–from 1849 to 1851. The Joint Commission erected 52 boundary monuments with #1 overlooking the Pacific Ocean in what today is Border Field State Park.

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