Civil Rights

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.

Since that time the gaze of the national media has turned elsewhere and, as negotiations have encountered difficulties, the administration has sunk to new lows in its zeal to finish the deal on the TPP.

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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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Straight Outta Compton to Right Now

August 27, 2015 by Ernie McCray

N.W.A.

By Ernie McCray

I saw Straight Outta Compton
the other night.
It was a trip, fly, tight.
Kickass.
Jamming.
Hip.
Got to it
from the git with
“You are now about to
witness the strength of
street knowledge”
coming through the theater’s
wall rattling
surround sound
with funky
downhome,

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OB Rag Joins Media Call for San Diego Police to Release Security Video of Fatal Cop Shooting in the Midway

August 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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We at the OB Rag applaud the efforts of local media to obtain the security video of a San Diego police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed man in the Midway District last April, and we join in the call for the police to make public the video.

The Voice of San Diego, KPBS, KGTV, the San Diego Union-Tribune, and inewsource have joined together in filing a motion in court seeking a court order allowing the media to have access to the videotape.

The motion, filed in Federal Court a week ago, demands that the video – a security camera video – taken by a business near the alley where the fatal shooting took place – be made public and be released under the First Amendment and federal court rules. A statement about the shooting made by the police officer involved is also being sought.

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Tyranny of the Majority: The American Winner Take All System

August 26, 2015 by John Lawrence

Is it no wonder that among the 21 democracies in Western Europe and North America the US is next to last in voter turn-out?
tyranny of the majorityBy John Lawrence

A lot of people these days are concerned with getting the money out of politics.

That’s an admirable goal, but it doesn’t solve the problem that’s built right into the American political system: a voting system in which the majority rules and there is no minority representation because the winner takes all.

At every level the US is divided up into districts whether its state assembly and senatorial districts, US Congressional districts, San Diego city council districts or what have you. Citizens in a particular district can only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins in that district.

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Residents in Pacific Beach Mobilize Against Large Lifeguard Center Planned for Coastal Bluffs

August 25, 2015 by Staff
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Residents up in Pacific Beach are mobilizing against a large lifeguard command center that the City of San Diego wants to build right on the coastal cliffs at the end of Law Street. They feel the project is way over-sized and would destroy the beautiful and valuable bluff at that location.

One PB community activist wrote us to urge us to sign:

Please sign this people’s petition to halt plans, and reconsider site locations, of the lifeguard station proposed to concrete the Law St beach and canyon for $7 million.

We believe this land to be invaluable to the city of San Diego as a natural and cultural treasure, and that no consideration has gone into other options for a lifeguard facility.

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Traumatized

August 25, 2015 by Source

My Niche logo

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

The first time I was accused of being a privileged white woman,
I was defensive.
I tried to explain all of the non-privileged experiences
I’ve endure in my life,
despite the fact that I am white.
But my accuser wasn’t buying any of it.
She doubled down on her angry outbursts.

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San Diego Takes the Lead in Greenpeace Strike

August 24, 2015 by Source

11221482_551484888338136_7897254867420767881_oBy Andrew J. Mackay and Bryan Kim

On August 5, 16 of 19 canvassers for Greenpeace in San Diego walked off the job. They were followed by a majority of the Sacramento office. 22 total employees of the Frontline program, Greenpeace’s in-house fundraising program, have had enough of labor policies that give them no job security.

The strike, led by two veteran canvassers in Socialist Alternative San Diego, comes against an organization that claims to be progressive. However, Greenpeace uses a quota system where even veteran fundraisers can be fired for missing quota two or three weeks consecutively.

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Bernie Sanders, American Socialist

August 24, 2015 by John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders bnwBy John Lawrence

Bernie Sanders has been drawing huge crowds to his rallies. The American media cannot ignore that. But they will never use the S word to describe Bernie even though that is how he describes himself.

Bernie represents those who would tax Wall Street to preserve social security and a host of other common sense proposals. He dares to suggest that college should be free rather than the first stage of a life of indentured servitude and indebtedness.

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Report of Panel Discussion: Short Term Rentals – What’s the Future?

August 17, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following is a slightly-edited report of a panel discussion on short term rentals held at the July meeting of the Point Loma OB Democratic Club.

By PL OB Dem Club Admin

The moderator, Omar Passons, attorney that the San Diego municipal code does not currently define a short-term vacation rental and that ordinance and formal definitions would soon be introduced by City Council.

There is a ‘border and lodger’ definition (generally stays are more than 30 day stay) and a ‘bed and breakfast’ definition (generally stays are less than 30 day stay, but this is not within the code) within the code. Short-term vacation rentals (STVR) means the renting of any portion of your property for less than 30 days.

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Ocean Beach News, Notes and Nuggets

August 17, 2015 by Staff
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Mainstream Media on Coastal Commission Approval of OB Community Plan

Town Council Offers Reward for Info on OB Entry Way Sign Graffiti

San Diego’s First Centrally Located Licensed Pot Dispensary Opened in Midway District

OBcean Quoted in NY Times About Use of Facial-Recognition Software by San Diego Police

OB Lifeguard Team Wins Annual Competition – Again!

Big Companies, Not Homeowners, Run Biggest Share of Short-Term Rentals

Liquid Blue Fast Becoming an OB Band

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Ready for the Revolution? Clinton, Sanders, #BlackLivesMatter and Other Tales from the Campaign Trail

August 17, 2015 by Jim Miller

hillary clinton photo

By Jim Miller

Last week, Hillary Clinton paid a visit to her base in San Diego at a breakfast fundraiser in the home of Qualcomm executive Irwin Jacobs, which was billed as “A Conversation with Hillary.” Clinton arrived in a motorcade with two San Diego police cars and entered through the back door.

Of course, to be part of the conversation, you had to drop $1,000 to $2,700, the maximum contribution for an individual allowed under federal law.

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What Happened at the Foot of Cape May Last Week? Was It Sexual Assault or Just 2 Drunken Friends?

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Last Saturday, we reposted a news account from TV Ch8 about a sexual assault in OB in broad daylight that had occurred on Thursday, August 6th at the foot of Cape May Avenue. Witnesses had called police and ended up very dissatisfied with the attitude and activities of the arriving officers.

The alleged attacker was initially detained by witnesses but only hours later arrested by police and led away in handcuffs. One of the key witnesses was informed later that he was released and not charged. There was a lot of interest in the story among our readers, so we wanted to provide an enlarged picture of what happened. Arriving on Cape May, I found “Con” Harris who lives nearby and who had been the key witness to the incident.

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One Coastal Commission Problem With Ocean Beach Community Plan Linked to Mandate for Affordable Coastal Visitor Accommodations

August 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

One of the major issues that the California Coastal Commission has with the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update – on their agenda this Thursday, August 13th – is that language in the Plan in support of low-cost visitor accommodations is not strong enough.

On the face of it, this may seem weird. Why would the Commission reject the OB Update after over a dozen years in the making on an issue that has nothing to do with OB residents?

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that the Commission reject the OB Plan unless there are modifications to the language regarding affordable-housing for visitors at the coast, among other things.

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OB Must Descend on the Coastal Commission Thursday

August 12, 2015 by Source
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Ol’ OB Hippie Joins Calls for Community Action In Support of OB Community Plan

Any OBcean worth her or his salt has been following the travails of the Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.

And they know that the California Coastal Commission is holding a hearing on the OB Plan on Thursday, August 13. They also may want to know that there will be a bus to take OBceans over to Chula Vista where the Commission is holding their meetings.

This is a critical hearing on the OB Plan – for the Coastal Commission has a mandate to protect our coast and to provide public access to the coast. Any project within the coastal zone has to have their final approval. …

Yet, OB has got to descend on the Coastal Commission on Thursday.

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The Strange Case of the LA Times Cartoonist Fired for Being Too-Critical of LA Police

August 12, 2015 by Staff
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Now that the LA Times company has bought the San Diego Union Tribune, it’s only fair that we’re able to take shots at the largest newspaper on the West Coast.

Take the case of Ted Rall. Until recently, he was a political cartoonist for the LA Times, with his raw, notable drawings gracing the pages of the op-ed section. He was also a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Rall is a no-holds bar kind of cartoonist. And he often took shots at the LA Police Department. Especially recently, when the LAPD announced a new aggressive policy of ticketing jay-walkers in downtown LA. This inspired Rall to recount his experience in 2001 – 14 years ago – of being roughed up by an LA cop for alleged jay-walking – which Rall denies that he committed.

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U.S. Mayors Fed Up With Paying Wall Street Interest and Fees

August 12, 2015 by John Lawrence

Establishment of Public Banks Considered

wall street flagsBy John Lawrence

At their meeting on June 19-22, the US Conference of Mayors considered the possibility of establishing public banks as an alternative to Wall Street.

Instead of spending a fortune in Wall Street fees and interest, a public bank would keep the money right in each Mayor’s jurisdiction. Finally, Mayors are wising up.

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Special Meeting Called for OB Planners’ Final Prep for Coastal Commission Hearing

August 11, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A special meeting has been called by OB planners to finalize their preparations for the California Coastal Commission hearing on the OB Community Plan Update.

The special OB meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Wednesday, August 12 at the Dog Beach Dog Wash community room, 4943 Voltaire Street. The Commission will hear the OB Plan sometime during Thursday, August 13.

Volunteer leaders from the OB Community Plan Update sub-committee along with the leadership of the current OB Planning Board joined in calling the meeting.

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OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

August 11, 2015 by Source
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To Our Members and Friends:

On Thursday, August 13, the California Coastal Commission will consider approval of the Ocean Beach Community Plan at their meeting in Chula Vista.

The larger hearing begins begins at 9am, but the Community Plan is item #22c on the agenda, so the actual time it will be heard is currently unknown.

The Ocean Beach Town Council is sponsoring bus transportation to Chula Vista. If you would be interested in bus transportation, please email your name, phone number, and address to: communityplan@oceanbeachplanning.org.

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Inappropriate Police Response to OB Sexual Assault in Broad Daylight Leaves Outrage

August 8, 2015 by Source

Editor: The following report by News8 is being reposted in its entirety to insure no one thinks the OB Rag is making this stuff up.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There has been no arrests, but witnesses to an alleged sexual assault in Ocean Beach in broad daylight said the actions of one of the officers responding to the call were disturbing.

The alleged sexual assault happened Thursday in broad daylight, but no charges have been filed, and San Diego Police has said they take all potential sexual assault cases seriously.

According to the police, no arrest has been made because the alleged victim refused to press charges.

Ocean Beach resident Cornelius Harris witnessed a man sexually assaulting an unclothed and unconscious woman in broad daylight right in front of his beachside home.

“I know a lot of crazy stuff goes on down here, but this was nuts. This is a sidewalk. ” he said.

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OBserved

August 7, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Please welcome photographer and writer Terry Ratner to the OB Rag, as today’s collection of photos of OBceans begins her possible weekly column entitled, “OBserved”.

By Terry Ratner / Special to the OB Rag

I’m an OBserver, a voyeur, a paparazzi of everyday people.

When the opportunity strikes, I have to be quick to click in order to capture the moment. OB serves as my canvas, my street theater, my Haight Ashbury on the beach with its rich texture of OBceans—locals, transients, and tourists who made the wrong turn on their way to Mission Beach and then decided to stay.

I’ll do anything for a good photo.

I’ve climbed bar tables on balconies overlooking Newport Avenue zooming in on unsuspecting subjects.

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Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class

August 7, 2015 by Source

Robert Reich 02By Robert Reich / Blog

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified.

Political insiders don’t see that the biggest political phenomenon in America today is a revolt against the “ruling class” of insiders that have dominated Washington for more than three decades.

In two very different ways, Trump and Sanders are agents of this revolt. I’ll explain the two ways in a moment.

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OB Needs to Turn Out at Calif Coastal Commission Hearing on Community Plan in One Week – Thursday, Aug. 13th

August 6, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Bus Being Rented to Take OBceans to Monthly Commission Hearing – On their Agenda: the OB Community Plan Update – Finally!

In one week, the California Coastal Commission will sit down and hold a hearing on the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update. That will be Thursday, August 13th and the hearing will be held at the Chula Vista City Council chambers (276 Fourth Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910).

OBceans are being urged to attend the Commission hearing and show up in troves, wearing blue shirts. And at least one bus is being rented to transport OBceans to Chula Vista.

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A Green Activist’s Calendar for August 2015

August 5, 2015 by Staff
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August Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

Ocean Beach Green Center, 4843 B Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail.com 619.225.1083

August 13th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “Food For Change”

Every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. – August 15th, August 22nd, August 29th

Climate Mobilization Coalition MeetingAt Ocean Beach People’s Cooperative Community Room, 4765 Voltaire Street, 92107.

August 5th – Wednesday

OB Planning Board meeting; 6pm OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.; Update and discussion on the status of the OB Community Plan Update, which is heading to the California Coastal Commission on Aug. 13.

AND MORE …

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Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

August 5, 2015 by Source
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Historic Protest Ship – the Golden Rule – Met By Vets at Shelter Island

From VFP (SD Reader) / August 3, 2015

A group of “pro-peace” activists gathered on Shelter Island Sunday afternoon (Aug.2) to welcome the Golden Rule, a sailboat described as “the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea,” which came to town in advance of the annual conference of the activist group Veterans for Peace, taking place August 5-9 in San Diego.

“The Golden Rule is our peace ship — it was instrumental in helping develop the first atmospheric test ban treaty back in the early ’60s. This boat has been resurrected from the depths of the sea, and is here to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace,”

says Gary Butterfield, local chairman for the convention.

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Anti-Fracking Demonstration Held in Ocean Beach

August 3, 2015 by Staff
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Trying to awaken San Diegans and other Californians to the dangers of fracking – the controversial oil-extraction process, a dozen protesters gathered in Saratoga Park on Saturday, August 1st. They joined protests in more than a dozen cities around California – all aimed at protesting the governor’s support for the hydraulic process.

Sponsored by the California based Courage Campaign, Californians Against Fracking and Rootskeeper, organizers also gathered signatures on a petition to be sent to Gov. Brown.

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Here’s the List of Top 10 Groups Lobbying Our Government – and There’s Not One Union on It

July 31, 2015 by Staff

elections hands cashThere’s a group called MapLight and they keep accounts of which lobbying organizations are in our government’s face – in Congress and at federal agencies – lobbying. MapLight is a 501(c)3 research organization that tracks money’s influence on politics.

Here’s their most recent report – issued July 30, 2015, on the second quarter lobbying expenses for this year – and check it out – we’re always told by the mainstream media that government officials are pressured by labor as well as by corporate lobbyists – that union money is equal to corporate money during elections. You can see by the following list that is patently untrue – at least for this quarter: …

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As Medicare Turns 50, It’s Time to Grow the Program

July 30, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

On July 30, 1965 President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicare program. After more than five decades of failed attempts dating back to President Theodore Roosevelt, at least some Americans were eligible for coverage under a federal health insurance program.

Today more than 54 million people are covered by Medicare. It’s far from perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than the alternatives being proposed by the GOP. In fact, many of the problems facing medicare can be addressed by e x p a n d i n g the program, an idea gaining currency nationally.

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Lies and More Lies: Planned Parenthood as the New ACORN

July 28, 2015 by Doug Porter

planned-parenthood-scandal-leadBy Doug Porter

The Republicans appear to have settled on their wedge issue for 2016. You know, the thing that drives fear and/or disgust in a certain class of voters so they’ll ignore all those pesky economic policies they’re likely to get screwed by.

In 2008 a loosely organized entity named ACORN fit the bill. Manufactured imagery of brown people doing something wrong was perfect for an election where the leading candidate was a person of color. Most people still don’t realize the charges brought against the community organizing group turned out to have been false.

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