Civil Disobedience

Local Ocean Beach Man Temporarily Blocks Cutting Down of Torrey Pines

February 10, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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It was not a tense stand-off yesterday at the cutting of Torrey Pines on the 4600 block of Saratoga Avenue , but for several hours it was a stand-off – as a local OB man physically blocked the work crew.

Geoff Page, a local resident and contractor, stood in the way of work crews from Atlas Tree Service, until, he insisted, they or the City produced permits for what they were doing. And he wasn’t going to budge until they did.

As soon as he took his position, work on cutting down the two Torrey Pines targeted by the City completely halted, and both the tree service crews and the crane service crews took a several-hour break.

Both Geoff and Atlas called the police. Four to 5 officers did show up. They explained that they were there to “control the peace”.

About twenty residents appeared or came out to the scene over the course of a couple hours – some to come to Page’s support, others to mingle and talk to the media or other neighbors.

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You can’t ‘take back’ public lands. They already belong to all of us.

January 26, 2016 by Source

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are missing the point.

By Jamie Williams / Washington Post / January 25, 2016

(Jamie Williams is president of the Wilderness Society)

The extremists occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may have thought they were “taking back” seized land on behalf of local ranchers. In reality, these gun-toting intruders are attempting to seize land that belongs to all of us. Their actions are nothing less than an attack on the property and the rights of the American people.

The misguided protesters believe that this treasured wildlife refuge, a sanctuary for more than 300 bird species, should be handed over to a small group of rule-breakers to exploit and profit from as they wish, at the expense of the public and of future generations.

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“No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

December 18, 2015 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks Out

Been around long enough to know the “in’s and out’s” of organizing protests and marches here in good, ol’ conservative San Diego. I have been to many, many of them – all over the place. – And yes, I know our city’s demographics and politics have evolved over the years.

Just recently, I was at the Climate Action rally held in Balboa Park with its rally next to the water fountain. Before that – and at the same spot – I attended a support rally for Bernie Sanders. And one year ago exactly, I attended a “die-in” at the fountain when on December 13th, 2014, 200 people participated in a “die-in” – right at the fountain, as San Diego joined protests held nation-wide against police violence.

Going back a ways – I also attended many rallies and marches that were held in and through Balboa Park during both the Iraq Wars I and II.

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Excerpts From Sunshine/Noir II: Excavating San Diego Noir — A Jumping-Off Place

November 24, 2015 by Jim Miller

san diego noir

By Jim Miller

In Mike Davis’s seminal discussion of noir in City of Quartz he defines the genre as “a fantastic convergence of American ‘tough-guy’ realism, Weimar expressionism, and existentialized Marxism—all focused on unmasking a ‘bright, guilty place.’”

Born in the minds of the “Depression-crazed middle classes” of southern California, the “nightmare anti-myth of noir” trafficked in alienation and a distrust of the morality of capitalism. More specifically, Davis notes how “noir everywhere insinuated contempt for a depraved business culture while it ….”

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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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“Sunshine/Noir II” Is for Bibliophiles

October 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels

San Diego City Works Press’ distinctive approach to book as object

Editor: Here is Anna Daniels’ intro to an anthology on the underside of the San Diego – Tijuana region, “Sunshine/ Noir II“, which was just published by City Works Press – and includes a work by Anna Daniels herself, plus works by Doug Porter, Brent Beltran and OB Rag editor Frank Gormlie. Daniels, Porter, Beltran and Gormlie are also editors at the San Diego Free Press, where this was originally published.

By Anna Daniels

Sunshine-Noir-II-WEB“Books are now obsolete, so the library bureaucracy has long sought to become a quasi adult education institution or after-school study venue or someplace in between.” – Former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling on the Central Library.

Contrary to former California Assemblyman Larry Stirling’s recent misinformed and exceedingly dull assertion that “books are now obsolete” the book publishing industry is doing quite fine. It is only doing so well because there continues to be people who want to own and read books, whether in hard copy, paperback or electronic form.

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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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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
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By Herman Baca / August 26, 2015

Long forgotten by US history and barely remembered by many (even in the Chicano community) is the historical 45th anniversary of the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium against the War in Vietnam.

The Moratorium held in Los Angeles, California was one of the most seminal historical events for Chicanos in the US since the end of the US/Mexico War of 1848.

Depending on whom you speak with; the moratorium drew 20 to 40,000 Chicanos from all over the US that marched and protested the war in Vietnam, where Chicano youths were dying in disproportion numbers. Parents, children, seniors, working people, students, war veterans and activists from thru-out the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico marched.

Numerous persons were hurt; hundreds were jailed including national Chicano leader, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. Three people were shot and killed by the police; martyred Angel Diaz, Lynn Ward, and LA Times Journalist, Ruben Salazar.

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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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The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

July 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.

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

July 1, 2015 by Source

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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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Chipping Away at “The Black Problem”

June 26, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Angela Y

By Ernie McCray

The madness in Charleston, to me, is so much deja vu because blacks being shot or bombed where they worship and pray is not something that’s new here in the USA.

In no way. These atrocities started, practically, when they shoved us off the ships to pick cotton, way, way back in the day.

And where’s a good place to find a lot of us to slay? Church. Makes sense to a hateful evil-minded KKK kind of person who all of a sudden, out of his madness, just can’t stand to see a Negro alive.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: This Is a War

June 23, 2015 by Source

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By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

Sitting outside the 10 by 20 foot makeshift tent that has served as my home for the last 34 days on Mauna Kea, I watch the tent poles shudder to the concussion of US Army howitzer cannons firing live shells at their training grounds below. When the wind blows just right, from the south, the rattle of automatic rifle fire reaches the occupation. There’s no denying it: A war rages in Hawai’i.

It’s a war on native peoples, a war on women, a war on the land, a war on life itself. The war did not start in Hawai’i. …

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County Board of Supervisors vs. the Constitution

June 9, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego County Board of Supervisors will today – Tuesday, June 9th – consider a proposal to limit freedom of expression in and around the new Waterfront Park just outside the County’s headquarters, the Admin Center.

San Diegans upset with this proposed ordinance to limit political activities are planning to attend the meeting. If the proposal is passed, the County will consider it again for a final go-around on June 23rd. Under the proposal, large groups of people involved in political acts at the Park could be required to move into or be inside so-called “free speech zones”. The problem is … these zones of “free expression” have been declared unconstitutional by federal courts.

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NSA Collection of American Phone Records Ends – Thanks to Edward Snowden

June 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Halt to Records Collection Probably Temporary As Senate Expected to Pass Reform Measure

By Frank Gormlie

As of today – June 1st – the National Security Agency is no longer legally allowed to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk. The NSA massive collection of telephone records ended at 11:59 p.m. EDT Sunday, right after the Senate failed to pass a measure to extend the controversial program, part of the Patriot Act.

And Americans can thank Edward Snowden for it. Snowden was the one who heroically revealed the massive surveillance program to the American public and is now sitting in Russia for his punishment.

The halt to the phone coverage, however, is probably only temporary, as the Senate is expected to okay a House-passed reform bill targeting the NSA’s surveillance program. Even if it passed, it would still take a couple of days for it to start up.

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Poll: 55% Smoke Pot at least Occasionally, One-Third Smoke It Daily

May 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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In the most recent OB Rag poll on marijuana usage of our readers, 55% responded that they smoked it occasionally and up to one-third of our readers smoke pot on a daily basis.

The poll ran for about one week and was open to any and all of our readers. One hundred readers responded during that period. The poll was not scientific – but it does give us a view of the marijuana smoking habits of our readers.

We asked readers how often they smoked pot. 31% of the gross total answered that they smoke it on a daily basis. (Of those who actually responded to the question, the percentage of daily smokers goes up to at least one out of 3 respondents.) Another 10% said they smoked weed at least once a week.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: Talking Story

May 26, 2015 by Source

moonriseBy Will Falk

Looking up at the still, lingering morning stars from the best stargazing location in the world early on the third day since my arrival at the occupation on Mauna Kea, my personal velocities catch up with me and I listen. I stand at 9,200 feet above sea level.

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History of the Rowdies and Ruffians of Ocean Beach

May 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The recent spate of violence – the several stabbings down at the beach and the recent fight between bar patrons on Newport that broke the window at Lola Luna – remind me of the rough and sordid underbelly of OB’s history.

For matching OB’s reputation of being San Diego’s “laid-back”, liberal seaside village of tolerance, peace and hipness – there is a underbelly that shows Ocean Beach in a different light and gives it some of its color.

It’s OB’s history of rowdies and ruffians.

And gathered together, the stories of the different brands of rowdiness and ruffian-isms give rise to the view that OB indeed is a colorful and diverse community with quite an interesting, not-oft spoken history, with some of it downright nasty and ugly.

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The Connection Between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The War in Vietnam Formally Ended 40 Years Ago Today

By Frank Gormlie

There is a direct connection between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War – which formally ended 40 years ago today when the National Liberation Front finally captured Saigon – the then-name of the capital.

Or I should say, there’s a direct connection between the OB Rag and the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War. I was a militant member of the anti-war movement on my campus at UCSD from 1968 to 1970 when I graduated – along with hundreds and even thousands of other students.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: History for Haoles

April 30, 2015 by Source

Queen Liliuokalani at Iolani Palace in Honolulu

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

In the first essay of my Protecting Mauna Kea series, I made a mistake. I wrongfully described the ongoing, illegal American occupation of Hawai’i as an “annexation.”

Hawaiian friends of mine pointed this out to me and gave me a thorough history lesson. I was referred to documents, books, and websites that tell the truth. For the last several days, I’ve been reading everything I can on the subject.

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Protecting Mauna Kea: Why the Mountain?

April 24, 2015 by Source

The Mauna Kea Summit in winter

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

I am preparing to leave for Hawai’i to offer myself in support of resistance to the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project that would place a large telescope and stadium-sized structure on the peak of native Hawaiians’ most sacred place – Mauna Kea.

The project, funded by a partnership including the University of California, the California Institute of Technology, and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy among others, would also place a 5,000 gallon chemical waste container above the largest freshwater aquifer on Hawai’i Island.

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Can John Oliver Do for Mass Surveillance What He Did for Net Neutrality?

April 9, 2015 by Source

John Oliver

By Joan McCarter/Daily Kos

On Sunday [April 5], John Oliver had what is easily the most educational and fun half hour of journalism on the surveillance state that you’re ever likely to see, including an interview with Edward Snowden.

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Crushing the Occupy Movement – How Wall Street Used Government Forces to Suppress Political Dissent

April 3, 2015 by Source
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by gulfgal98Follow / DailyKos /March 28, 2015

It has been over two years since the Occupy Movement was brutally destroyed by a coordinated national effort led by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Since that time, much documentation has been released under the Freedom of Information Act. Even though they are heavily redacted, these documents provide a frightening window into how far corporate America along with the federal, state, and local governments acting as their agents were willing to go to destroy a populist social movement like Occupy.

Despite all the documentation we have, there are still many out there who are in denial about these facts. After reading some recent comments that misrepresent what happened to the Occupy Movement, I decided to review how Occupy was so brutally squelched by Wall Street and corporate America using government forces as their agents acting upon their behalf.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – March Edition

March 31, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
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By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the continuing decline of the US nuclear industry, and highlights efforts of those who are democratically working to bring about a renewable energy future. As nuclear plants in the US are approaching or surpassing their 40 year operating life, their ability to operate properly and safely lessens, creating more and more problems across the nation.

Here’s our March report:

Diablo Canyon – Last Nuke Plant in California

On February 20 a Federal Court of Appeals in Washington DC rejected an attempt by Pacific Gas & Electric and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to quash a lawsuit filed by environmental group Friends Of the Earth (FOE). According to FOE, the suit alleges that the “NRC illegally allowed PG&E to alter Diablo Canyon’s nuclear plant license.” …

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Chapter on Collier Park From Future Novel on Ocean Beach

March 27, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Here below is a chapter from a draft of a novel in part about Ocean Beach. This chapter involved a fictionalized version of the events surrounding the Collier Park riot and includes fictional characters, some of whom have vague similarities with actual people. The main character is Jack Moseley, an OB activist.

CHAPTER 3 – THE PARK

Jack and his roommate Blake were picking their way through the piles of wood by moonlight, making their way towards the front door of the old, dilapidated two story building that once was the home for unwed mothers, the Door of Hope. It had closed years ago and lay in ruins at the top of the hill.

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March 28, 1971 – The Most Violent Day in Ocean Beach History

March 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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44th Anniversary of Collier Park Riot Spurs Comparisons

The hour was getting late at the meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors. It was January 21st in the year 1971 – 44 years ago. The hour was getting late but the meeting was lively as the topic was hot. The subject was whether the City of San Diego would sell off to developers a large portion of land in northeast Ocean Beach called “Collier West” –

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San Diego Finally Allows 1st “Legal” Pot Shop 19 Years After California Voters Passed Measure

March 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The City of San Diego has finally allowed the opening of the City’s very first medical marijuana dispensary. (NBC7 )

This opening of the first “legal” pot shop in San Diego comes 19 years after California voters passed Prop 215, making medical marijuana legal.

And the County of San Diego has only allowed one dispensary to open to date – a storefront opened last summer in an unincorporated area outside El Cajon.

The shameful history of nearly 2 decades for both the City and County of San Diego that viewed together initiated delays, stalls, and outright resistance to the spirit of Prop 215, stands in deep contrast to the wishes of the state’s voters.

On this issue at least, the implementation of the medical marijuana law, our local governments have been very undemocratic as they have quite openly stymied what the voters, the people, wanted.

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A Path Chosen in Black History

February 17, 2015 by Ernie McCray
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by Ernie McCray

When I look back at my own little chapter of Black History, I feel grateful that I found a path that enabled me to survive a society that sought to deny me a life of dignity.

I, unknowingly, set out on this path on my first day of school, when my knuckles were, seemingly, knocked to kingdom come because I had dozed off, as if I had a choice in a room sizzling at 100 and some degrees with a fan (itself struggling to stay awake) blowing across a pail of water as though that could lower the temperature in that room to any degree. I swear I heard that fan wheeze. Talking, Tucson, Arizona, August or September of 1943.

I remember thinking, back then, as I looked at my hands, surprised to see my knuckles still there, “What the hell kind of welcome was that?” And I knew, as much as a five-year old can know such things, that someday I would be a teacher.

I would observe goings on in every school I ever attended, thinking of what I might have done differently if I had been the teacher. I’d imagine how I would have made lessons come alive, or more relevant to students’ lives.

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Honoring Martin’s Dream Beyond MLK Day

January 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray

MLK Caricuture

By Ernie McCray

Martin Luther King. A loving man with the loveliest of dreams. After seeing “Selma,” which told the story of that chapter in the Civil Rights Movement powerfully well, I just had to write something about this dear man.

I didn’t know what I wanted to say until I happened upon a caricature that captured the very essence of how I often see him in my mind’s eye, as I think of him every now and then. How can I not in this world we live in?

The pose he struck in the portrait made me wonder what was going on in his head and based on what my friend, *Rabbi Ben Kamin, recently had to say about him in an examiner.com essay, he could have been thinking about a range of things.

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