Civil Rights

Why Does the American Left Ignore the Struggle for Freedom in Northern Ireland?

May 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Jeff Stone

The Irish Republican Movement has been struggling for a socialist free Ireland since the first uprising against the British in 1916 led by Michael Collins.

Most Americans have a very naive idea at best and ignorant, uninformed at worst, attitude about the IRA or any of the nationalist parties that favor expelling the British and restoring Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland.

For example, the IRA, which a lot of Americans still don’t realize, its antecedents are basically a very Marxist, socialist approach to government, democracy, and human rights.

While many members are Catholics, the IRA is a secular organization.

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San Diego vs. Monsanto – Protest March on Sat., City and Port Sue for Polluting Bay, and Chipotle Bans GMOs

May 21, 2015 by Staff
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The City of San Diego is gearing up against Monsanto, the giant corporate producer of such products as Roundup and the star of the GMO world. There is a lot going on in this town around Monsanto.

First, there is a march and rally scheduled for Saturday, May 23, 2015 starting at 10 a.m. in Balboa Park. Organizers expect a large turnout and heavy media coverage this year due to the World Health Organization announcement that Monsanto’s Roundup is carcinogenic.

Second, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Port District are suing Monsanto for polluting San Diego Bay with PCBs.

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Notes on the History of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Regulations

May 20, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Less than a month ago, the Point Loma Democratic Club held a panel discussion on the topic of the history of San Diego’s medical marijuana regulations – and the following is based upon my notes of that discussion.

The panel included Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access, Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary. Cynara Velasquez, an activist on the issue and club member, served as moderator.

In 1996, Prop 215, the Medicinal Marijuana Initiative for California passed. It essentially protected patients and gave limited protections for care givers.

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California Lawmakers Propose Task Force to Review Computer Crime Laws—Guess Who’s Not Invited to the Table

May 20, 2015 by Source

giphyBy Dave Maass / Electronic Frontier Foundation

Whenever lawmakers congregate to discuss computer crime, you can reliably predict that the debate will gravitate toward expanding police powers, leaving the realistic concerns of everyday Internet users by the wayside. After all, fearmongering around the film War Games helped fuel the passage of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, one of the most egregious laws the digital world has ever faced.

This legislative session, California lawmakers have proposed creating …

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Sex Trafficking of Minors Hits Close to Home in Point Loma

May 19, 2015 by Source
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Point Loma Democrats Hear about Sex Trafficking

By Lois Lane

The program, “Sex Trafficking of Minors in San Diego,” last Sunday, May 17, 2015, seemed distant from the Ocean Beach and Point Loma audience. We quickly learned that this is one indeed one of our local problems and one of the most profitable illegal activities, greatly out-earning drug dealing. The product is also renewable – you can only sell a package once, but with prostitution, you can sell the same product over and over.

The speakers were Ali Serano, Assistant US Attorney, Sergeant Chris Cameron, San Diego County, and Gayle Sollfrank, representing a resource for victims, GenerateHope.

If we don’t think this is our problem, Ms. Serano displayed a printout from that day, showing six active Point Loma links on the primary Internet site (not publicized here).

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The Fight for Progressive Tax Reform Continues: It’s Time to Make It Fair

May 18, 2015 by Jim Miller

MIF Logo1By Jim Miller

When Proposition 13 was first approved by voters in 1978 it was sold as a protection for single-family homeowners. But what voters were not told is that Prop. 13 contained giant loopholes that allow big corporations and wealthy commercial property owners to avoid paying their fair share of local property taxes.

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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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Doctrine of Discovery – Unmasking the Domination Code

May 13, 2015 by Source
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A Documentary Film Screening at Sycuan Showcase Theatre

By Rose Davis /Indian Voices

The Kumeyaay bird singers took the stage prior to the screening and set the mood with their rhythmic chants and methodical, hypnotic rattling of seeds in their gourds. A solemn but vitally important occasion which is why the call and response mood of “Where are our leaders, where are our leaders?” resounded throughout the evening.

This documentary, directed by Sheldon Wolfchild is told from the viewpoint of the original people rather than the conquerors, sets the record straight. Co-producer Steven Newcomb, on who’s book“Pagans In The Promised Land” the film is based, patiently and eloquently explained the need for survivors to know what happened in the past.

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What’s in the Mayor’s Budget for Ocean Beach?

May 13, 2015 by Source
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By Lois Lane

The City of San Diego Budget hearings are just beginning. OB did get to keep the standard services – trash pickup, beach maintenance, lifeguard services, library and rec center support – all covered under general categories.

What is unfunded is interesting.

The North Ocean Beach Gateway Project (adjacent to Robb Field) Phase II for FY2016 shows no additional funding.

In contrast, FY2015 touts as an accomplishment “Completion of the Ocean Beach Gateway Mini Park.”

OB also did not get the requested library or lifeguard station upgrade in the budget as proposed.

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Dark Clouds on San Diego’s Horizon

May 13, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Developments over the past few days bode poorly for San Diego’s image and civic pride.

One of the main tourist attractions, the football team, the successor to the downtown development agency and the home for Comic Con are all in turmoil.

Controversies have arisen concerning the lone Democrat on the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff’s department is being investigated for civil rights violations arising out of the arrest of a mentally handicapped man.

So many stories, so little time to tell them all:

Sex and Drugs at SeaWorld …. COME INSIDE

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Security Forces Clash with Baja California Farmworkers

May 12, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Police raids and street protests in Baja California have led to scores of injuries in the latest round of labor strife over pay and working conditions in San Quintin, an agricultural region producing produce sold in the United States.

This weekend’s violence followed the failure of Interior Minister Luis Miranda Nava to show up for a meeting with leaders of farm worker organizations in the area.

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Melting Snow and Blooming Flowers in Laguna Mountains in Early May

May 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Just had to see snow last Saturday. It was early May and the drought was going strong.

Had heard that there had been snow falling in our local mountains on Friday, May 8th, so turned the vehicle east and headed out 8.

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Demonstrators Protest Fatal Police Shooting in Midway

May 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s NBC affiliate continues to pave the way for local media in their coverage of the fatal police shooting of a man in the Midway area.Their coverage of the details and developing scandal around this shooting is the only news source tracking down witnesses and covering a small demonstration against the shooting held Saturday, May 9th.

7San Diego interviewed a second man who said he’s seen the surveillance video of the shooting and called it “unprovoked.”

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Update on Fatal Police Shooting in Midway Area

May 8, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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San Diego’s local NBC affiliate, 7SanDiego, has a videotaped interview with a man who saw surveillance footage of the recent fatal police shooting in the Midway area and quotes him as saying,

“This guy shouldn’t have been shot based on what I saw on the video.”

“This was wrong,” the unidentified man said, who works across the alley where the shooting occurred on last Thursday, April 30. He said in the newsvideo:

This guy shouldn’t have been shot based on what I saw on the video. The guy was walking, just normal, lazical lazy walking. If he (the officer) said ‘stop’, that’s all he said. He just opened the door, and said ‘stop’ and shot.”

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Vatican Approves Serra as Saint Despite Opposition by Native Peoples

May 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Despite long and continued opposition by native peoples in California, the Vatican is making it official that Junipero Serra will be declared a saint.

Serra of course is the friar that began California’s string of missions, beginning with the one in San Diego.

The process to canonize Serra has taken decades but the current Pope Francis has personally given his weight to the effort, which some call “steamrolling” or “fast-tracking” the process, and now it all seems certain.

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Cop’s Body Camera Not On During Midway Fatal Shooting – Which Did Not Involve Knife As First Reported

May 7, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There are now two very curious things about last week’s fatal shooting by a San Diego police officer of a knife-wielding man in the Midway area.

First, the police officer’s body camera was not on – or at least was not recording.

And second, there was no knife – as first reported – but some kind of “shiny-looking object” in the suspect’s hand, as the U-T San Diego reported today, 5/7/15.

This much we do know: a man named Fridoon Zalbeg Rawshannehad, 31 years of age, was shot to death by San Diego police officer Neil Browder right after midnight, Thursday April 30th. The shooting occurred behind a Midway District adult store, the Hi-Lite Theatre and Bookstore. Browder is a 27-year veteran of San Diego’s police force and he was wearing one of the newly-purchased body cameras.

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Millennials see Edward Snowden as a hero – in time, so will the rest of society

May 5, 2015 by Source
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By Anthony D. Romero / ACLU

Surveillance reform, like marriage equality, will come about because of generational change

About a year ago, a thirtysomething sculptor in Los Angeles began working on a bust of Edward Snowden. When he was done, he shipped the bust to his artist friends on the East Coast. Just before dawn April 6, the artists crept under cover of darkness into Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park and installed the 100-pound bust atop a Revolutionary War memorial.

“We chose to pay tribute to Snowden through the medium of a bust because that is one of the visual pieces society uses as a guidepost to who a hero is,” one of the artists said in a video released after the bust was installed.

By 3 p.m. the New York Parks Department and police had taken the bust down. But the next morning, a different group of artists cast a holographic image of Snowden where the bust had stood.

The message to the authorities could not be clearer: Snowden is not going away.

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May 4th – 45th Anniversary of the 1970 Kent State Massacre During Student Strike

May 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970

 

 

In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, is the 45th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus. Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid

May 4, 2015 by Jim Miller

Photo by Keith Allison

By Jim Miller

Last week when the Baltimore Orioles played a game without fans in Camden Yard, there was much media coverage marking how the surreal event was unprecedented in American sports.

Perhaps, but it was not completely without precedent globally as the 1987 soccer match played to an empty stadium in Madrid, Spain came before it.

On the occasion of that strange contest, French social theorist Jean Baudrillard observed that “thousands of fans besieged the stadium but no one got in” and that this punishment of unruly soccer fans did much to –

“exemplify the terroristic hyperrealism of our world, a world where the ‘real’ event occurs in a vacuum, strippedof its context, visible only from afar, televisually.”

Maybe, Baudrillard wryly predicted, the game in Madrid was a harbinger of a future where no one would actually participate in such happenings “but everyone will have received an image of them.”

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Being Grateful and Happy and All

May 1, 2015 by Ernie McCray

HappinessBy Ernie McCray

Maria recently asked her family and me (a relatively new member of the clan) to look over some questions and maybe talk about them later over a meal.

I took a peek and, regarding the first question, I’m grateful for having reached 77 years of age which, to me, signifies, that I am of the old and the wise, fit, still with it, busting moves everyday. These are “The Good Old Days!”

I’m so grateful to have friends and family to love and to know that they love me back. I’m grateful for my mother and grandfather who, long time ago, got me on the right track.

What am I proudest of? That would be having walked my talk, in a spirit of love, ducking and taking the blows it takes to create, out of that love, learning environments that were respectful of children’s humanity – role-modeling, as an “educator,” each step of the way, how an “educated” person should be in the world.

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Citizenship, War Criminals, And Immigration Fraud

May 1, 2015 by Source
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By Carlos Batara

There are no winners in wars. It’s just a matter of degree.

Both sides lose. One side loses less.

During my law school days, one of my best friends and I discussed this topic quiet often. He had served multiple terms of duty in Vietnam and been wounded twice. I was a dove and anti-war protester.

Outsiders did not understand the basis of our camaraderie. Though our positions started from different perspectives, both of us lamented the violence of war – and detested the negative effects such violence imposes on the world for decades after the firing ends.

Even Dwight Eisenhower, a decorated war hero who rode his triumph to the White House, acknowledged a similar sentiment. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can,” Ike noted, “as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

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Open Letter to Councilwoman Zapf From Friends of OB Library

April 30, 2015 by Source

OB LibraryEditor: The following letter was originally sent to Councilwoman Lorie Zapf by the OB Friends of the Library back in February of this year.

Here, the Friends’ President, Judy Collier, has resent the letter with the opening phrase, “what progress has been made since I sent this letter …?” We share it with you.

Dear Councilmember Zapf,

What progress has been made since I sent this letter on February 9, 2015? Thank you for your help and support.

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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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Civic San Diego: The Kiss of Death for San Diego Neighborhoods

April 29, 2015 by Source

angry crowdBy Norma Damashek

The city of San Diego has first-class universities, first-class biotech companies, first-class ethnic restaurants, first-class theater, first-class engineers, artists, and musicians. Also: Our city has first-class standing as a prototype of community-based planning.

Who would have guessed that during the heady years of the 1960s while the Pump House kids were tripping the waves fantastic at Windansea Beach, other San Diegans – more firmly-grounded and civic-minded – were partnering with City Hall as official members of newly-created community planning groups. The La Jolla community plan was the city’s first. Then the Peninsula plan. Soon came the others.

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Community Budget Alliance Letter to Civic San Diego on Community Benefit Policy

April 29, 2015 by Source

community benefitsEditor Note: The Civic San Diego Board of Directors is meeting today to discuss adoption of their Community Benefit Policy (Item 8).

Dear Civic San Diego Board Members,

In light of the dissolution of the redevelopment agencies, the City of San Diego has a responsibility to establish clear policies and standards for publicly subsidized community economic development. In October 2014, the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee directed Civic San Diego to conduct a community outreach process.

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Point Loma – OB Dems Get Lit on Medical Marijuana Regulations in San Diego

April 28, 2015 by Source
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Report of Pt Loma – OB Democrats Meeting Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Lois Lane

This past Sunday’s meeting had a decidedly progressive tone, with a panel discussion on the topic of medical marijuana, and a presentation about the OB Rag.

The medical marijuana topic had some high-powered speakers – Terrie Best from the San Diego Chapter of Americans for Safe Access; Alex Kreit, Associate Professor and director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and Ebon Johnson, director of the Green Nectar Dispensary.

Cynara Velazques, a club member, served as moderator. The guidelines stated that the topic was past the “for/opposed” stage, and was meant to provide information about the current law. Some interesting highlights: …

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Right-wing Media Exploits Unrest in Baltimore to Push ‘Race War’ Narrative

April 28, 2015 by Source

Protesters-take-to-the-street-in-Baltimore-calling-for-murder-charges-against-the-police-officers-who-arrested-Freddy-Gray.-WJZ-TV-800x430

By Adam Johnson / Alternet

When Breitbart’s Matt Boyle isn’t framing xenophobia as “pro-worker” or rambling on about a big gay hate machine (don’t ask), he’s attending baseball games with his family. A harmless enough act, and one I’m glad to see rightwing demagogues and communists alike can agree is a wonderful way to spend a spring evening.

While attending last night’s Orioles game, however, things quickly got out of hand for the Breitbart journo when unrest resulting from the apparent police killing of Freddie Gray boiled over into property damage and “clashes” between police and angry citizens outside of Camden Yards baseball stadium.

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Midway Planners Savor First Area Medical Marijuana Dispensary

April 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Report of Midway Community Planning Group

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

Like it or not, medical marijuana is coming to the Midway area – and police are calling on its citizenry to prevent the area from becoming overrun with rogue operators.

Only one Midway dispensary has gained legal status so far in the 13 months since the San Diego City Council approved regulations to allow storefronts to legally sell medical pot. But with its abundance of industrial areas that are devoid of churches, libraries, parks and residential housing, the community reeks of dispensary-friendly zoning — and potential opportunities for non-certified medical pot merchants who want to fly under the radar, police say.

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Barrio Bits: Placas, Chicano Park Day and Barrio Art Crawl

April 24, 2015 by Brent Beltran

chicanoartgalleryCPD2015By Brent E. Beltrán

Locally raised writer’s play makes SD debut tonight through Saturday
Last week I posted an extended two part interview with Doris Duke Artist Paul S. Flores where we discussed his roots in San Diego, his experiences as a college student at UCSD and SFSU, the formation of Los Delicados and his play PLACAS: The Most Dangerous Tattoo (among other cool stuff, go read them here and here.).

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