Civil Rights

California’s Proposition 47 Passed. Now What?

November 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

ca_prison21By Doug Porter

One of the big electoral victories for what I’d call sane people this week was the passage of Proposition 47. Simple drug possession and property crimes valued under $950 are now misdemeanors, effective immediately, punishable by up to a year in a county jail. … Law and order–or should I call them “lock ‘em and leave ‘em”– types are taking to the airwaves to fan the kind of (mostly irrational) fears responsible for California’s decades long dance with draconian detention policies.

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OB Planners Narrowly Approve Ford Project on Del Mar, Okay Crosswalk, Bike Corral and Round-About

November 6, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Planners Narrowly Approve Ford Project on Del Mar, Okay Crosswalk, Bike Corral and Round-About

At last night’s OB Planning Board meeting, Wed., Nov. 5th, the Board – by a close vote – approved the demolition on Del Mar Avenue of an older house and garage and its replacement with a 5 bedroom single family house.

In a series of other actions involving transportation, the Board called upon the City to begin considerations for a cross-walk/ mural at Newport and Abbott, for a bike corral at Bacon and Santa Monica, and for a round-about at West Pt Loma and Bacon.

Ford Project at 4741 Del Mar

With 12 members present, the Board met at the OB Rec Center before over a dozen people in the audience. The first action item was an application to demolish an existing house and garage at 4741 Del Mar Avenue and replace them with a 2-story single-family residence with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, and a detached garage.

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November 2014 Progressive Procrastinator’s Voting Guide: OB and San Diego Edition

November 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

A big deal is being made over the large percentage of California voters who’ve opted to use the vote-by-mail ballots. While right-wing efforts in other states are focused on Voter ID laws and other variants of Jim Crow, the don’t vote effort here on the left coast is focused on spreading doubt about the reliability of the mail in system.

A mistake in mailing out ballots in Sacramento becomes evidence of a state-wide “glitch ridden ballot system”, according to Breitbart.com. Their “concern” is sooo touching. They’d like you to be afraid of mail-in voting, mostly because they’re afraid that other-than-Republican voters are discovering how easy it can be to use.

Sadly, a disturbing large percentage of those ballots will be left out of the count because people never got around to filling them out. If you’re one of those people who’ve put off filling out your ballot, here’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet

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3 Critical Votes Where You Can Make a Positive Difference on November 4th for California and San Diego

November 3, 2014 by Jim Miller

go voteBy Jim Miller

Most political observers are predicting bad results for the Democrats at the national level, but there are a few important races where progressives might be able to win key victories that will have a real effect here in California and a number of largely ignored down ballot contests where we can elect solid people while keeping some dangerous, incompetent characters out of public office.

More specifically, tomorrow we can:

1) Take a significant step away from the colossal stupidity of the last several decades of the war on drugs, senselessly draconian three strikes laws, a ballooning prison industrial complex, and surging economic inequality by passing Proposition 47. …

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MTS Ad Policy: Incoherent, Inconsistent and Anti-Democratic

October 30, 2014 by Anna Daniels

San Diego’s publicly funded transit system bites the hand that feeds it

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

MTS Poster3MTS – you are a craven, pathetic mess. When Alliance San Diego launched a non-partisan effort to increase awareness about elections in communities with historically low voter turnout like my community of City Heights, they approached San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) with the intention of buying printed bus ads.

The ads would include the message Vote for San Diego, along with the date of the election. Images of native San Diegans were included with motivational messages such as “Vote for what’s best for your community.”

Did I say that Alliance San Diego’s intention was to buy bus ads? They weren’t asking for a public service freebee. MTS declined the request and herein lies the tale of how our publicly funded, public benefit agency proceeded to simply make sh*t up. …

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Why Is Feminism More Offensive Than Rape, Inequality and the F-Word?

October 29, 2014 by Annie Lane
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By Annie Lane

Feminism comes in many shapes and sizes, though if you ask author Karin Agness of the Time Magazine article Seriously? This Is What Passes for Feminism in America it appears that it should only ever manifest itself in the form of an 11-year-old girl who was shot in the head, as was the case for Malala Yousafzai.

Thankfully, Yousafzai survived the senseless and depraved attack on her life by the Taliban in 2012, and has gone on to be the voice for women’s rights in Pakistan. And the world is better because of her.

But according to Agness, American girls, such as the ones who appeared in the controversial FCKH8 video that went viral last week, don’t even graze the surface of what it means to be a Feminist. Instead, they are merely some part of a cheap marketing ploy to sell t-shirts: …

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The San Salvador Project: Ignoring Genocide

October 29, 2014 by Source

Editor: In the interests of continuing the public debate around the San Salvador, an historical replica of the original flagship of Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo, we offer the following:

By Steven Newcomb / Indian Country / March 4, 2014

In A Legacy of Genocide: The San Salvador, published by the OB Rag and San Diego FreePress , February 14, 2014, Will Falk, an attorney and poet, precisely pinpoints what is wrong with the nearly completed reconstruction of the Spanish designed ship San Salvador (“Holy Savior”).

Once completed, the vessel is to be a replica of a ship built under brutal conditions with Indian slave labor under the command of the conquistador Juan Rodíguez de Cabrillo. In September of 1542, Cabrillo sailed the San Salvador into the vast bay of the Kumeyaay territory. …

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Debate Heats Up Over San Salvador “Historic Replica”

October 28, 2014 by Source
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Editor: Ever since the OB Rag first published articles about the reconstruction of a replica of the San Salvador, the flagship of Juan Cabrillo, the Spanish explorer who was the first European to land on San Diego’s shores, a debate has ensued over how modern society views and values the new ship which represents so much of the past. The ship is docked right off Point Loma, in Spanish Landing.

By Will Falk

As a settler, I think it’s my responsibility to say this: The San Salvador was a weapon of genocide and, today, is a symbol of genocide.

“A Historically Accurate Replica”

How accurate are we going to get with the San Salvador? Are we going to use African and indigenous slave labor to build it? …

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OB Town Council Wants You to Volunteer for the Holidays

October 28, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Meeting Tuesday, Oct. 28th at OB Rec Center

The Ocean Beach Town Council does want you to volunteer for the numerous holiday events coming up in this seaside village.

And there’s a meeting for the volunteers – tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 28th at the OB Rec Center, from 6:30 to 8pm.

The theme for this year’s holiday parade in early December is “35 Years of Peace, Love and OB”, as this is the 35th year of the holiday parade.

The main event, of course, is the Holiday Parade, which will take place on Saturday, December 6th at 5:05pm. And that’s where the OB Town Council needs volunteers.

Volunteers are needed for everything from block captains for the parade line-up, security, traffic guards and clean-up. Here’s what the OBTC says, from its website: …

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Who Runs San Diego? Co-opting an Icon in Hillcrest

October 28, 2014 by Source

pride flagIt’s a Gay Thing

By Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

As you may have noticed, October has not been a happy month for the San Diego LGBT community.

Earlier this month the Harvey Milk American Diner in Hillcrest closed abruptly, bouncing checks to workers and simply failing to pay others, including the Harvey Milk Foundation.

At an October 8 press conference an LA Times reporter began asking questions about allegations of sexual harassment against Republican Carl de Maio. He is an openly gay candidate for the 52nd congressional district.

Both stories have grown into full-fledged embarrassments for the LGBT community.

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Twelve Years Ago Today OB Held Its Largest Peace Rally This Century

October 27, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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By Marc Snelling

Last month Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama, who was elected to end two wars, addressed the nation to announce an open-ended bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. As the Afghanistan War (now the longest in American history) and the conflict in Iraq continue it is clear Obama has failed to live up to his election promises.

Not only has his administration failed to live up to it’s word to end two wars and close Guantanamo prison, he has even changed his tune about the initial invasion. The US “sought to work within the international system” he said earlier in March of this year at a speech in Brussels. Obama further declared the the US had “left Iraq to it’s people in a fully sovereign Iraqi state that can make decisions about it’s own future.”

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Malin Burnham and the U-T San Diego Idea Factory

October 24, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Part Two

By Frank Gormlie

As we delve more now in Part Two into Malin Burnham, “the last Corte Maderan” as Mike Davis calls him, and his possible take-over of San Diego’s only daily newspaper, longtime City Heights community activist, Anna Daniels, one of the editors at San Diego Free Press, cautioned:

When the news broke that Malin Burnham was interested in purchasing the U-T San Diego with the intent of turning it into a non-profit, the main and often only description of him was as a San Diego “philanthropist”. And it is true–Burnham is known for his extensive philanthropy.

He is also known for his role as a local real estate developer, as chairman of First National Bank at San Diego and as a former Director of San Diego Gas and Electric. It might prove useful in the future to keep these other interests in mind.

Which pretty much sums up Part One for me. As City Hall veteran, Norma Damashek, reminded us:

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6 Common Mistakes Made By Cities and Towns in Urban Renewal.

October 21, 2014 by Source
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by Bill Adams / San Diego UrbDeZine

For the last half century, cities have attempted to repair the damage to their urban cores from migration to suburbs and exurbs. Redevelopment has evolved into smart growth, transit oriented development, and complete streets. In the last 15 years or so, the urban renewal efforts have had a receptive audience as people, tired of the car oriented lifestyle of the suburbs, are returning to urban cores and older urban neighborhoods. However, while cities get the big picture, too often in my 25 years as a land use attorney, I have seen the same mistakes repeated.

1) Failing to Understand How to Provide for Pedestrian and Other Active Transit:

Too often, cities and towns seem to think that all pedestrians need are sidewalks to walk on and greenery to look at. The same goes for bikes and bikelanes. It goes without saying that pedestrians and bikes work differently than cars, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

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Utopia Revisited: Rethinking the Response to Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan

October 20, 2014 by Jim Miller

climate action plan sdBy Jim Miller

Since I last wrote on the People’s Climate March in late September, the grim environmental news has just kept coming in, whether it’s the revelation that September was the warmest month ever on planet earth, the Stanford study linking California’s grueling drought to climate change, the World Wildlife Federation report that the earth has lost half of its wildlife in the last fifty years, or the unpleasant surprise that, “In what could be termed as the worst effect of degrading climatic conditions and global warming, a new study has showed that fish in large numbers will disappear from the tropics by 2050”—it just doesn’t let up.

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OB Rag Voter Guide for November 2014 Election

October 20, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

OB RAG VOTER GUIDE
please voteHere is the November 2014 Election Voter Guide by the OB Rag. It closely follows the endorsements of the San Diego Free Press editorial board – as the editors of the OB Rag are also part of the editorial board – and the SDFP is our online media partner (and prodigy). For all SDFP articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

________

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters issued a 76 page long list of the 671 local candidates for the November 2014 elections. And that doesn’t include local propositions, the statewide propositions and the dozen or so statewide races for office. So there are plenty of contests on the ballot we passed over. These were the ones we agreed upon.

Regardless of your political persuasion, we urge you to vote.

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How to Destroy Mission Valley

October 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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If you want to destroy Mission Valley, what’s coming down the development pipeline will surely do it for you. There are four massive residential and commercial projects and another four minor ones in various stages of construction and blueprints – which if all were built – would permanently damage Mission Valley to the point where the Valley that we now know would no longer be there.

Some old-timers believe Mission Valley was destroyed a long time ago, when it was a long, lush valley of dairy farms and agricultural fields. Then the hotels, resorts, golf courses and freeways came and Mission Valley lost its beauty, serenity, and its soul. Yet it’s also another group of “old-timers” – a special group – a group of Mission Valley landowning families who have plans to damage the Valley even further.

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The Co-Op Movement – Democratizing the Ownership of Wealth One Step at a Time

October 16, 2014 by John Lawrence

Capitalby pikettyBy John Lawrence

It has finally dawned on the American consciousness that wealth is being concentrated among fewer and fewer people. In fact just 400 Americans own more wealth than the bottom 180 million taken together.

Thomas Piketty in his ground breaking book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, shows the dynamic behind this dramatic rise in wealth among the upper echelon of society while everyone else, in particular the middle class, is being left in the dust.

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Councilman Alvarez Brokers Compromise on Winter Homeless Shelter

October 15, 2014 by Source
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Compromise Means Barrio Logan to Host this Year But Not in 2016

By Brent E. Beltrán /

With his back against the wall, and a community within his district upset with the continued siting of the winter shelter in their neighborhood and the negative impact it brings, Councilmember David Alvarez stepped up and brokered a compromise.

Though the shelter will return this coming winter the City Council voted unanimously (with Councilmember Marti Emerald absent due to health reasons) with Mr. Alvarez’s motion to not have the location at Newton Avenue and 16th Street in Barrio Logan considered by the Housing Commission in 2016.

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Who Runs San Diego? Some Taxpayers Are More Equal Than Others at the County Taxpayers Association

October 14, 2014 by Source

The Nerd, the Negotiator, the Pretender and its Protégé

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine / Democratic Woman’s Club

This week’s article is a little more complex than some of our previous looks at Who Runs San Diego?. When David (Cory Briggs) slays Goliath (Hoteliers Financing District) – that’s a good story!

When some (Sea World and certain electeds) tell us it’s OK to imprison and mistreat our sweet Shamu, LOTS of folk get mad. When our CD2/lifeguard good guy (Ed Harris) takes on tenants (Belmont Park) that seem a little moochy, you can pump your fist.

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Lessons from Cointelpro – Many Learned in OB and San Diego in the Seventies

October 13, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following is taken from a talk given by Professor Peter Bohmer at the Radical Ecology Conference, in Portland, Oregon on September 6, 2014. Bohmer currently is a faculty member in Political Economy at the Evergreen State College in Washington state. He lived in Ocean Beach in the Seventies and taught at SDSU. Many of the lessons Bohmer learned were from experiences here in San Diego and OB during the heady days of the 1970s.

By Peter Bohmer

I have been asked to share my experiences and knowledge of government repression with you not to scare you but so that we can deal with it and build stronger and more effective movements today for social, environmental and economic justice, locally, nationally and globally.

First a few comments.

We live in a society that is very unequal and growing more so. 50 million are below the official poverty line, and 10 million are officially unemployed and another 10 million have given up looking or are working part-time and want to work fulltime.

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Notes From the Education Wars: Marshall Tuck and the Plot Against Public Education

October 13, 2014 by Jim Miller

marshall-tuck-getting-chased-by-families-670x250By Jim Miller

After my column last week on the battle between Tom Torlakson and the corporate education reform machine backing Marshall Tuck, I was pleased to see The Nation magazine’s special issue on schools. The writers aptly note that the struggle in American education is not one of the “status quo” versus “reform,” but rather, it is between a kind of educational class war dressed up as reform and a more progressive vision that seeks to empower all kids equally.

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Three Years Ago Today – Oct. 7th, 2011 – the Occupy Wallstreet Movement Burst Upon San Diego

October 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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It was October 7th, in the year 2011, that the Occupy Wallstreet movement hit San Diego.

In a huge outpouring of demonstrators, up to 4,000 San Diegans marched through the Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego – mainly protesting for social and economic justice, against the state of the economy and the role of banks and Wallstreet responsible for the financial downturn. Occupy San Diego was born in a giant – for San Diego – protest in solidarity with the rest of the country and particularly those in New York City – where the occupy movement began.

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November 2014 Propositions: Jerry Brown’s One-Two Punch

October 7, 2014 by Doug Porter

one two punch 3

An Analysis of Propositions 1 and 2

By Doug Porter

Back in the middle of August the California Legislature worked up a plan to renumber a couple of propositions appearing on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Two of Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy political projects — a multibillion-dollar bond for water needs and a constitutional amendment to enhance the state’s rainy day budget fund — dropped the ballot numbers assigned by Secretary of State Debra Bowen of Proposition 43 (water) and Proposition 44 (budget).

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Local San Diego Occupy Activists Holding Third Anniversary – Tuesday, Oct. 7

October 6, 2014 by Staff
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Tuesday Action Also in Solidarity with Hong Kong Demonstrations

Members of the Occupy Wallstreet local group, Occupy San Diego, are holding a third anniversary celebration this Tuesday, October 7 – which will also be a solidarity action in support of the Hong Kong demonstrators who have been occupying streets and government buildings for over a week.

The gathering will be – true to form – at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza – aka “Freedom Plaza”, at 7 p.m. People are asked to bring umbrellas – the symbol of the Hong Kong demonstrations – “to stand in solidarity with the Umbrella Revolution”.

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Tom Torlakson Versus the Corporate Education Reform Machine

October 6, 2014 by Jim Miller

The Most Important Race on the Ballot is the One No One is Talking About

DFER real democrats

By Jim Miller

This fall in San Diego the Peters vs. DeMaio and Kim vs. Cate showdowns are getting all the attention, but my pick for the most important race on the ballot is one that nobody is taking note of at the statewide level—and that’s a problem. The race in question is for . . . (wait for it) . . . State Superintendent of Public Instruction!

O.K. I know, Superintendent of Public Instruction races don’t usually get peoples’ hearts pumping, but if you are dismayed by the full-court-press assault on teachers, public education, and democratic local control over schools, …

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String of Armed Stickups in Point Loma and OB

October 4, 2014 by Staff
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There’s been a string of 4 armed holdups in Point Loma and Ocean Beach lately and police are looking for a suspect that fits the description given by victims. The stick-ups happened from September 19th to the 21st, where the armed suspect accosted people late at night or early in the mornings.

Even though the local TV media stated that all the robberies occurred in Ocean Beach, actually only one or two did – the rest were in parts of Point Loma. (Local mainstream media is constantly doing that – portraying crimes in OB that really occurred in other sections of the Peninsula.)

Here’s an accounting of the armed thefts:

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Student Loan Debt: The Only Debt You Can’t Discharge in Bankruptcy

October 3, 2014 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

6a00d8341cca9453ef01b7c6e93f43970bToday’s students are being crushed with John Bunyan’s proverbial burden on their backs – student loan debt. Until relatively recently this debt could have been discharged in bankruptcy.

Then all that changed when Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Association, was privatized in 2004. Albert Lord, the new CEO, and his lobbyists went to work to change the laws so that student loans could not be discharged in bankruptcy. Today the cumulative student loan debt is more than $1 trillion.

While a generation ago a high school diploma was considered sufficient for a decent middle class entry level job, today it’s a college diploma even if the job itself could be easily accomplished by a person with just a high school education.

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October 2, 1968: the Mexico City Massacre – We Won’t Forget

October 2, 2014 by Source

by Daniel Hernandez / Intersections / October 2, 2008

[Forty-six] years ago today the Mexican government opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, killing still-unknown numbers of students, bystanders, and demonstrators. The operation was a brutal smashing of the grassroots movement for social reform that had swept across Mexico and the world in that turbulent year, 1968.

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EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS – Oct. 2, 1968: `A brutal massacre’ & U.S. Government’s Role

October 2, 2014 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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Fifty Years Later: Who Really Won the Battle of Berkeley?

October 1, 2014 by Staff

As student activists return to campus to celebrate the 1964 Free Speech movement that galvanized for social justice, big questions remain about the direction of higher education since those radical days of upheaval and hope

mario-free-speechBy Barbara Garson / Common Dreams

I’m going back to the Berkeley campus this week for the fiftieth reunion of the Free Speech Movement. You may have heard in some history class about Mario Savio and the first student sit-in of the sixties. That was us FSMers at Berkeley.

It will feel a bit surreal. The university that had 801 of us arrested is welcoming us back by hanging Free Speech banners on the building we occupied. Home like a victorious football team! But it’s not a real victory because …

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