Civil Rights

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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Pride and a Whole Lot of Rain

July 28, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Pride in the Rain

By Ernie McCray

I will forever remember “The San Diego Pride Parade of 2015,” not just because of it’s history, but for the rain. And I’m talking some serious rain. I mean Mother Nature just flat out let it all hang out.

And there I was, along with hundreds of other waterlogged folks in every kind of colorful regalia known to man, standing and walking and practically treading in that downfall for a good three hours or so. Soaked to the skin and bones!

When my group got the go ahead to march in the puddles and streams and through a “mini-lake” just around the corner, a man said over a microphone “It’s raining on our parade and we’re loving it.”

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Reader Rant: “We Should All Take Notice of What Is Truly Going On in Mission Valley”

July 24, 2015 by Source
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By Carole Thompson

The river in Mission Valley exists even though few San Diegans have really looked at it.

I served on the Mission Valley Community Council for more than five-years and sat through many discussions on the river and Mission Valley as a concerned San Diegan.

More people should take notice of what is going on in Mission Valley before we wind up with a situation much like New Orleans, because the valley is at or below sea level.

In a time with so much attention given to drought why are those in charge so tempted to mess with one of our water sources? Although, much of it is underground the San Diego River is more than 60 miles long and part of the water table. The water table is part of the cycle of water.

Most people in San Diego are aware of the flooding in Mission Valley, but they do not know why the river floods here.

It floods in Mission Valley because they have taken an aquifer and tried to manipulate it by paving over it, tucking it under roads, and small passages on its way to the ocean.

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Numbers Game at San Diego Anti-ALEC Protests

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Looks Like San Diego Union Tribune Is Up to its Old Tricks In Downplaying Dissent

A hell of a lot of people came out to protest ALEC’s convention yesterday in downtown San Diego. Local demonstrators had their numbers bolstered by bus-loads of union members from Los Angeles.

There were the labor locals, the environmentalists, the Democrats, the progressives and social activists – and many people energized to protest ALEC because they’ve been educated in just what it is and what it does.

There were a lot of demonstrators. Just how many is a good question. And now we’re in a numbers game in trying to determine just how many people were protesting against the right-wing lobby and legislative powerhouse – with all its corporate sponsors.

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San Diego’s Two Borders Can Be Challenging

July 23, 2015 by Source
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By David Helvarg /Blue Frontier / July 16, 2015

I lived for a decade in San Diego and reported on its two borders, the Pacific and Mexico. I recently returned to spend a few days in my old haunts including Ocean Beach, La Jolla and the border.

I visited with Margaret Leinen, director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at its meandering cliffside campus in La Jolla. She told me of many new initiatives taking place there including a soon-to-be-created center for climate impacts and adaptation, a center to look at more traditional hazards such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, ongoing work with creating ocean observation systems and a center on the ocean and human health that will go beyond our traditional focus on seafood safety and harmful algal blooms – or even bio-prospecting for the next cancer cure.

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What’s the Future of Short Term Rentals ? Panel Discussion – Sunday, July 26

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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From Pt Loma – OB Dems / July 21, 2015

Earlier this month the Democratic Woman’s Club hosted a great presentation by (and discussion with) Sarah Saez (United Taxi Workers of San Diego) on Making a Living Wage in the 1099 Economy. The focus was on taxi drivers, the rise of Uber and Lyft, and the move to contracted (1099) labor.

The ability to use internet services for alternative transportation, delivery services and accommodation may (at least in the short-term) be great for (some) consumers, but the longer term effects are likely to only benefit the corporations who rise to dominate each space. We only have to look at the $40 billion valuation given to Uber, by a salivating Wall Street, who sees in it the future of cash generation and wage control.

The short-term vacation rental market poses many similar challenges and has made strange bedfellows of San Diego hoteliers and progressives.

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It’s Time to Give “Gitmo” Back to the Cubans

July 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

It’s time that the U.S. give “Gitmo” – or the Guantanamo Bay prison – back to the Cubans.

It’s time to end a shameful period of our history and close down the military prison on the coastal edge of another sovereign country. It’s time that we hand Guantanamo Bay in Cuba – which we’ve held for over a hundred years – since 1903 – back to its rightful owners.

Today the population at Guantanamo is 116, a definite drop from the 242 detainees who were imprisoned when President Obama first took office. It still costs a reported $2.7 million per prisoner to house a Gitmo detainee. And over the last 13 years, the bill to keep open the place that Amnesty International called the “Gulag of our times”has been $4.7 billion.

There is no longer any reason to retain this chamber of horrors that tortured and abused people in our name, and which begot a human rights disaster.

Consider this: 751 people have been detained at Guantanamo since 2002, when the Bush administration opened it. Of those, 602 were released without charges, and of the remaining 149, seven had formal charges and only six have been actually tried on their charges.

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Confronting ALEC’s ‘Everybody Does It’ Defense

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Mike Huckabee, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz. How can you lose?

If the spinmeisters at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) hoped media coverage would focus on the three GOP presidential candidates genuflecting before their annual gathering of corporate lobbyists and state legislators this week in San Diego, they may be proved wrong.

A barrage of press releases and public statements from a wide spectrum of public interest organizations combined with the growing certainty that San Diegans would actually show up in large numbers to protest the closed-door right wing strategy meeting has begun to shift coverage away from the celebrity angle to questions about just what might be going on inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel.

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A Who’s Who of ALEC’s Corporate Overlords Meeting in San Diego Beginning Today

July 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Day One – today the 22nd – of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s 2015 Annual Meeting actually started Tuesday morning (July 21), the day before most delegates were slated to arrive. The joint ALEC Board of Directors and ‘Private Enterprise Advisory Council’ Meeting will last throughout the day. It is this meeting that will set the agenda for the coming year.

Let’s look at the membership of the ‘Advisory Council’ in order to gain insight into the policies and priorities of ALEC in the coming year. Tomorrow, the Center for Media and Democracy’s Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari will fill-in the blanks with a post entitled Hot Topics at ALEC’s 2015 Meeting in San Diego.

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San Diego Activists Go All Out for Anti-ALEC Protests

July 21, 2015 by Doug Porter

Alec Mtg

Labor, Environmental and Community Groups Plan Multiple Actions

By Doug Porter

A wide range of organizations, some of whom rarely get involved in non-electoral politics, are calling upon San Diegans to put on their protesting shoes during the upcoming annual meeting of the American Legislative Council (ALEC).

Protests, press conferences, teach-ins, rallies and guerrilla theater will be happening throughout the coming week commencing on Tuesday, July 21st as ALEC delegates are checking in. Buses will coming in from the Los Angeles/Long Beach areas on Wednesday for what organizers expect will be the largest events of the week.

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Can a Child Born in the US Sponsor Their Immigrant Parents for Legal Status?

July 20, 2015 by Source
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Questions and Answers with Carlos Batara

Our Child Was Born In The United States. Can My
Husband And I Get Green Cards Through Her Citizenship?

By Carlos A. Batara

Question:

“My husband and I would like to know if we become permanent residents. Our daughter is a U.S. citizen. She is three years old right now. Can we get green cards through her? Both of us came to the United States on student visas. We met in college. We fell in love. Our visas have not expired.” (Submitted by Paula G., Corona, CA)

Answer: Maybe. But not at this time.

Let me briefly explain.

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San Salvador Replica to Be “Launched” Sunday, July 19th

July 17, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Finally, after 4 years of construction, numerous delays, controversies and logistical problems, the San Salvador – actually a replica of the original San Salvador – is being “launched” into San Diego Bay this Sunday, July 19th.The event off Spanish Landing next to Point Loma is not open to the public but is to the media.

Actually the replica of the galleon Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo used when he sailed into San Diego Bay back in 1542, and built mainly by volunteers, is being hoisted onto a barge and floated over to a dockside boat yard and lifted into the water.

Begun in February 2011 as a joint project of the San Diego Maritime Museum and the City and Port of San Diego, the ship was originally scheduled to be launched in 2013. Then it was scheduled to be launched on April 19th earlier this year but the builders discovered that it weighed 20 tons more than originally estimated …

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Comedian John Oliver Gives San Diegans Some Advice in How to Deal With Chargers and the Stadium

July 15, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s John Oliver of Last Week Tonight take down of stadiums using public monies in building stadiums that make private profits for the NFL owners – and he used San Diego and the deal with the Chargers and our stadium. It’s excellent, btw, and every San Diegan should watch it.

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California Should Be a “No ALEC Zone”

July 14, 2015 by Source

ALEC American Legislative Exchange CouncilBy Francine Busby / San Diego Democratic Party

Sometimes we just need a little sunshine. That shouldn’t be too much to ask here in Southern California. Unfortunately, a dark cloud is headed our way in the form of a shadowy lobbying organization that buys loyalty from state legislatures with untraceable corporate dollars and threatens the very fabric of our democracy.

Exaggeration? Not even a little. Concerned yet? You should be.

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The Celebration of the OB Red House Centennial

July 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tom and Jane Gawronski hosted a celebration of the centennial of one of OB’s most famous old houses – the historic “Red House” o- n Saturday, July 11th. In attendance were some of OB’s most well-versed historians and socially-minded folks.

The Red House celebration was complete with speeches, beverages, a birthday cake and song, with tours of the house – since rehabbed and remodeled from the days during the 1970s when it earned its reputation for being a center of the anti-Vietnam war movement and grassroots politics in OB -.

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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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Property Management Co. Responses to Charges of Tenant Abuse on Saratoga

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: In the interests of providing a platform and encouraging a debate and discussion over the alleged abuse of their tenants on Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach, the following is an unedited response by Torrey Pines Property Management, written by Andrew “Andy” Parashos, their Senior Vice President.

By Andy Parashos

In response to the mentioned article, please know that Torrey Pines Property Management has been successfully managing commercial and multi-family properties throughout Ocean Beach for over thirty years.

The property at Saratoga has been under our management since February of this year. The physical conditions leading to those described in the article existed long before our management, and were detailed in a property inspection report conducted during the purchase process. It was this information, along with new ownership’s desire to own a property they would be proud of, that lead to the repair, renovation and remodeling that is currently underway.

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Calendar for Green Activists for July 2015

July 8, 2015 by Source
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July Events at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9th Thursday 7 p.m. Film Night “I Am” – is a 2010 documentary by commercially successful director Tom Shadyac.

July Events NOT at the Ocean Beach Green Center

July 9 Thursday 11:30 a.m. -1:30 p.m. Solar for Homeowners

July 11 Saturday 10:00 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Come help plan for the upcoming events in San Diego on climate action. Meetings on Saturdays at People’s Co-op in the community room, 4765 Voltaire St.

July 11 Saturday 1:00 – 3:00 1oo Year Centennial of the Red House – OB’s famous activist house from the 1970s has been preserved by the Gawronskis, and they’re having a celebration at the place itself.

July 11 Saturday 9:00 a.m. Friends of Famosa Slough work parties . Meet along W. Pt. Loma Blvd about 200 feet east of the corner of Famosa Blvd. and W. Pt. Loma Blvd Nature and Bird Walks July 18 Saturday 1:00 p.m. .

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Hugs Offered to Hating Hecklers at Murrieta Immigration Rally

July 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Murrieta mural July_1_15

Editor: The following is an update on the one year commemoration in Murrieta held on July 1.

By Doug Porter

The 75 or so people who came to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate resistance to last year’s bus blockade gathered around a stage in the Town Square park under the watchful eyes of a dozen or so police officers. Situated just few yards away behind yellow caution tape, anti-immigration types screamed obscenities and racist insults through multiple bullhorns.

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Reader Rant: The Mainstream Media and the Push for Endless War

July 3, 2015 by Jeff Stone
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By Jeff Stone

Why is the mainstream media only in hysterics over ISIS and the “terrorist threats” from Muslims? Could it be that they are being manipulated, or even directed by our government agencies?

Before you accuse this writer of paranoia realize that there are only six corporations that collectively control U.S. media today: Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. Together, the “big six” absolutely dominate news and entertainment in the United States.

A

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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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California Offers Free ID to Homeless People

July 2, 2015 by Christine Schanes
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By Christine Schanes

As of July 1st, a homeless person, child or youth born in the State of California can get a free certified birth certificate from the county of their birth. And as of January 1, 2016, a homeless person, child or youth will be able to get a free new or replacement California photo identification card from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

These public records fee waivers were provided during the 2013-14 California legislative session by the passage of Assembly Bill 1733 whose primary author was former Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and whose joint authors were Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins and Assemblymember Brian Maienschein.

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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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Murrieta, the Town Without Pity, Remembered One Year Later Today – July 1st

July 1, 2015 by Doug Porter

murrieta poster

Editor: As we repost an excerpt of Doug Porter’s column at SDFP, he and another San Diego Free Press editor, Anna Daniels, are on their way up to Murrieta, “the town without pity”. Stay tuned for an update.

By Doug Porter

Latino and Human Rights activists are returning to Murrieta, California on July 1st to commemorate the anniversary of a historic confrontation that laid bare the racism in Southern California for the world to see.

It was one year ago self-styled patriots, acting on rumors and innuendo, blockaded busloads of refugee women and children from Central America on their way to a Border Patrol processing center.

The angry anti-immigrant protesters, seen on TV news across the country chanting of “Go home!’ and “We don’t want you!,” were tacitly encouraged by local authorities. (It was the local police who actually stopped the buses)

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Student Loan Default a Growing Trend?

July 1, 2015 by John Lawrence

student loan debtBy John Lawrence

With over a trillion dollars in outstanding student loans, young college graduates are being forced to take jobs they hate in order to pay them back. Their futures consist of debt peonage for as far as the eye can see.

Some are opting out of a lifetime of death-in-debtorhood and choosing instead to start over living the life that they foresaw when they enrolled in college in the first place. Such a one is Lee Siegle whose June 6 opinion piece in the New York Times laid out his rational for defaulting on his student loan.

His decision was made based on choosing life over death:

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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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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – June 2015: Balloon Shuts Down Troubled Indian Point Plant

June 29, 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 the efforts of those who are working to bring about a nuclear free future. As US nukes increasingly approach or surpass their 40 year lives, they are becoming more qnd more dangerous and outdated. They need to be shut down and replaced with renewable energy sources—now!

1. Balloon Shuts Down Indian Point Plant

On June 16 the New York state The Journal News reported, “a balloon tangled in electrical wires led to a sequence of events resulting in the shutdown of the Indian Point nuclear plant,” which is located 35 miles up the Hudson River from New York City.

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Supreme Court: Gay Marriage Is Constitutional

June 26, 2015 by Doug Porter
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A More Perfect Union: Let’s Just Call it “Marriage” Now

by Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Friday morning was a historic victory for gay rights. The majority said the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live.

“They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.

As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.

Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.

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Debate Over Rock Church’s Decision to Refrain From Feeding and Clothing the Homeless

June 26, 2015 by Source

WorkingStandDownBy Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

A recent post on the Facebook page for Homeless News San Diego showed a letter from the Rock Church regarding a change in policy for feeding homeless people.

Part of one sentence was highlighted:

refrain from feeding homeless people on the streets, as well as distributing items such as clothing and blankets.

The post indicates there were 107 shares and 206 comments!

I can’t recall ever seeing an issue evoke such passionate responses from so many people with opposing, yet reasonable points of view.

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