Columns

Change We Can Believe In

April 13, 2016 by Ernie McCray

3040901870_561e28c135_oBy Ernie McCray

Obama first sold young people
on “Change we can Believe In”
and now Bernie
has them thinking along those lines again
in deeper ways
and I love watching their faces
at his rallies when he says to them
“Change comes from the bottom to the top.”
Their faces light up
as he teaches them how
they might best proceed
as they strive to meet
their world’s desperate needs.

Read the full article → 2 comments

Restaurant Review – Sushi Pho Sure in the Midway District

April 12, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review – Sushi Pho Sure in the Midway District

Sushi Pho Sure
3944 W. Pt. Loma, Suite D & E
San Diego, CA 92110
619-223-7624

Many years ago when my husband was still alive, we ate frequently at the Kobe Udon in the Longs Shopping Center.(Midway Towne Center). Kobe Udon is no more, nor is Longs, but “Sushi Pho Sure” is in the same location that Kobe Udon was those many years ago. Since Hitomi and I were going to shop at the Grocery Outlet we decided to try out the restaurant and see how it compared to “Seaside Pho & Grill”, which we reviewed several weeks ago.

I had hoped that they had continued with the Udon that I always enjoyed at Kobe’s, but they had not. The menu is extensive, in that there are many varieties of sushi and sashimi available. (Maki sushi; specialty sushi; Hand Rolls; Nigiri sushi; Special sushi’s, etc.) Their prices were also reasonable starting at about $3.85 for a 5 piece hand roll. In fact, all of their prices were very reasonable, from their starters at $1.00 – egg roll – to $5 for many of their items. I didn’t see anything on the menu more than $10.

Read the full article → 3 comments

The New Liberty Station Public Market – Our Widder Curry Takes Her First Look

April 6, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The New Liberty Station Public Market – Our Widder Curry Takes Her First Look

Liberty Public Market
Liberty Station
2820 Historic Decatur Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106

As a recognized “foodie” I have anxiously awaited the opening of the Liberty Public Market. The one thing I miss most about living in the Bay Area is the “Berkeley Bowl” – a converted bowling alley turned into a multitude of food shops. From all I had heard, this new venture was a cross between the Bowl and the Seattle “Pike Place Market.” Even at my age I have not yet learned not to expect too much.

My friend Irene and I decided to take a look at this new venture on a Friday morning during the first week it was opened. Parking was relatively easy – but we noted it was packed when we left shortly after noon. We also found that most of “stores” did not open until 11:00am. But that suited our purpose, because we were just “lookie-loos” this first time around. Unfortunately, it might just be my “last time around.”

Read the full article → 41 comments

Restaurant Review – Seaside Pho & Grill in Point Loma

April 4, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review –  Seaside Pho & Grill in Point Loma

Seaside Pho & Grill
1005 Rosecrans St., #101
San Diego, CA 92106
619-487-9844
www.seasidepho.com

I have lived in San Diego a long time. Except for a few months when my husband and I lived in Chula Vista while looking for a permanent place, over 45 of those years have been in the Pt. Loma/Ocean Beach area. I have watched restaurants come and go; some quickly; some stay for a while.

“Seaside Pho & Grill” has located in a spot that has had two other restaurants there over the years. The first restaurant that I was aware of was “La Playa.” It was one of the first reviews I ever did and that was in 2010. Unfortunately it closed a year or so later. The next restaurant to open in that spot was “Gabardine” in 2012, and it closed its doors in 2014. Both restaurants had wonderful food and Brian Malarkey is an experienced restaurateur. Yet, it was not successful.

Now comes “Seaside Pho & Grill.” It is owned by a married couple – Thuy Nguyen and Waco Williams. The majority of recipes on the menu are family recipes from Thuy. (She was not there when my Japanese student Hitomi and I ate there recently, but Waco was and we had a delightful time talking to him after our meal.) Waco told us that the “Garlic Butter Wings” was an original recipe from Thuy’s grandfather!

Read the full article → 6 comments

Go Padres! “Vivas to Those Who Have Failed!”

April 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

in the standsToday is opening day and with it, if history is our guide, what is most likely another season of futility is born. Having grown up a Padres fan, this is par for the course as the Pads have only gone to the postseason five times and have a meager .463 winning percentage over the life of the franchise.

They are, in short, losers.

So why go? Why will I be sitting in the stands this afternoon as the Padres take on the Dodgers hoping against hope that the outcome will be different?

Sports psychologists inform me that my addiction to losing baseball might have some rough consequences. As Larry Stone reports in “The Psychology of Being a Sports Fan,” researchers have found that When your team loses, it’s like you lose a part of yourself, because your identity is so merged with the identity of the team and the fan community . . . Sports in the U.S. makes such a difference in people’s lives, a loss can be distressing.”

Read the full article → 1 comment

A New American Majority in San Diego?

March 7, 2016 by Jim Miller

Brown is the New WhiteBy Jim Miller

Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a talk at Alliance San Diego by Steve Phillips, author of Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority.

The central point that Phillips makes is that, at present, we already have a new American majority of 51% of the electorate comprised of progressive people of color and like-minded whites.

The problem we face, Phillips argues, is that we are failing to mobilize that majority because many in the consultant class and the upper reaches of the Democratic Party don’t believe the numbers and/or are stuck in an old pattern of chasing after the elusive “swing voter” typically identified as white who could be persuaded to vote for a Republican or a Democrat.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Where is the Climate Crisis in Our National Discussion About the Future of the World? – The Stunning Moral Failure of the Presidential Debates

February 29, 2016 by Jim Miller

Climate-Crisis-300x204By Jim Miller

If you are an observant reader you might have noticed that last week, amidst the usual banal political commentary surrounding the Presidential race, the New York Times matter-of-factly reported that, “Seas are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries”.

If you managed not to spit out your coffee, you read the alarming news that:

The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported . .

Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said.

And if that didn’t send you into a morning funk, you might have …

Read the full article → 0 comments

Restaurant Review: Kanda Thai Cuisine in the Midway District

February 26, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review:  Kanda Thai Cuisine in the Midway District

Restaurant Review:

Kanda Thai Cuisine
3545 Midway Drive #M

It seems that I am still celebrating my birthday last week, because my friend Mary wanted to treat me to a special birthday. I really wanted to have good Chinese food in a restaurant, but could not find any locally that have good reviews. I had a coupon for the “Kanda Thai” restaurant in the same location that another Thai restaurant was at only six months ago and we decided to try it. (It is interested to note that our waitress told us that the “Kanda” is owned by the same owner that owned the now defunct “Thai Time II.”)

The coupon stated that it was their “Grand Opening” but when we asked the waitress how long they had been there the answer was six months. This is important because of several things that occurred during our meal.

Read the full article → 0 comments

America Was Great at One Time?

February 15, 2016 by Ernie McCray
Thumbnail image for America Was Great at One Time?

America Was Great at One Time?

by Ernie McCray

Making America great again
sure sounds like something worth doing.
But the word “again,”
implies that America must have been
great somewhere along the line –
and when I run the feasibility of that
through my long-active mind,
having not been deaf or blind
in my time,
a couple of questions come to mind,
on the fly.
Like:
“When was the country ever great?”
And “Where in the hell was I?”
Really.
Oh, there is greatness all over the place
in the USA.
Great things: art, music, science, who’s going to argue with that?
Great human beings: who can beat Lincoln, Cesar, Fannie Lou and folks like that?
Great opportunities: in this country you can reach for the moon and places like that.
But, just speaking for me,
I have had to sit at the back of the bus,

Read the full article → 2 comments

Pragmatic Realist: Dissing the Era of Big-Program Liberalism a Cover for Attack on Bernie

February 15, 2016 by Jim Miller

(Salvador Dali)

By Jim Miller

Last week, in a New York Times editorial, Mark Schmitt joined the chorus of clear-eyed “realists” chiming in against Bernie Sanders’ bold agenda in “Is the Era of Big-Program Liberalism Over?”

While acknowledging the political appeal and strategic advantages of universal programs, Schmitt argued that, given the presumably inevitable constraints of the present, the future belongs to an incrementalism that is “most interesting and novel for the absence of big, universal programs that require legislative action.”

Read the full article → 2 comments

The 56th Anniversary of Ernie McCray’s School-Record 46-Point Game

February 10, 2016 by Source

Ernie McCray 46pts
Editor: Ernie McCray – one of our regular and beloved columnists – still holds an Arizona basketball record. Ernie has written about his college basketball days, plus we have posted a few about his accomplishments. One of the posts we published was entitled:

After the game that McCray won, his teammates went to a restaurant to celebrate but he didn’t join them – he knew he wouldn’t be served.

By Javier Morales / Arizona Basketball, U of A/allsportstucson.com/Februay 6, 2016

Ernie McCray was listed as a center in 1960 although he was only 6’5?. On the night, he set the Arizona record with 46 points in a 104-84 win over Cal State Los Angeles 56 years ago today, McCray said in a 2014 interview that he made “four or five shots” from beyond what is the three-point line today. No three-point line or shot clock existed back then, making the feat that much more respectable (Tucson Citizen front page screen shot)

For 56 years Arizona’s scoring record has stood, Ernie McCray’s 46 points at the old Bear Down Gym against Cal State Los Angeles.

Read the full article → 3 comments

Grooving on a Saturday in a Child-Like State of Mind

February 10, 2016 by Ernie McCray

3829220020_a4fa84f410By Ernie McCray

Oh, I had such a beautiful day the other day. It got underway with me sitting on the edge of my bed, yawning and stretching and making grunty old folk noises in rhythm with the popping of my 77-year-old bones.

With my querida gone to a mountain retreat I found myself reminiscing, remembering how, as an only child, I was often home alone.

And I would just pass the time letting my imagination fly and roam far and wide, past all the “Yee-Ha!” I had to deal with in a day – and I’d dream of a world that didn’t put up with any of that and then, depending on the mood I was in, I would often make up a little ditty about this society that was given life in my imagination.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Are the Planets in Alignment Causing Me to Be Out of Alignment?

February 3, 2016 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for Are the Planets in Alignment Causing Me to Be Out of Alignment?

By Judi Curry

I’m not usually a negative person.

I try to find something positive in even the worse situation, but for the past few weeks it seems that nothing is going right in my life.

Maybe it is because February, a month that used to hold romantic overtones is here, and there are none of those happenings going to occur. No one on Valentine’s Day to send me a box of my favorite candy; in fact no one to send me a card. OK – maybe I’ll receive one from my family, but that is not what I am talking about.

My birthday is also in February. That in itself is a traumatic day for the obvious reasons, …

Read the full article → 15 comments

Making a Plea for Racial Harmony as Racism Rises from the Water

January 26, 2016 by Ernie McCray

3476867753_05c2178929By Ernie McCray

All my life I’ve heard that there’s nothing more American than apple pie. Well, I see that as kind of a lie as, based on my life experiences, there’s nothing more American than racism.

If apple pie was in my face as much as racism has been I’d be a 500-pound black guy as racism is as ever present as oxygen in a black person’s life, from the moment you’re born until the day you die.

It’s been passed along in America as a stumbling block against our human hopes and dreams like a baton in a relay race, in so many forms: slavery; Jim Crow; the constant tampering with our voting rights; white flight; execution of unarmed dark-skinned people on the streets, on a whim; mass incarceration and on and on and on ad nauseam…

Read the full article → 3 comments

Whither 2016 Ballot Measures?: The Oracle Jerry Brown Weighs In

January 25, 2016 by Jim Miller

Photo by Freedom To Marry

By Jim Miller

As I noted in my New Year’s column, many in California’s labor and progressive circles had high hopes for ballot measures extending Proposition 30’s taxes on the rich to fully fund education and for raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

But it did not take long for Governor Jerry Brown to rain on his presumed allies’ parade.

Read the full article → 0 comments

American Media in 2016: Those Afflicting the Comfortable Need Not Apply

January 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

NewsmanBy Jim Miller

Just before the New Year I highlighted Project Censored’s pick for the most underreported story of 2015—the fact that 2016 will be when the top 1% will control half of the world’s wealth).

In that same column I focused on two other largely ignored stories that broke subsequent to Project Censored’s annual report that also underline the perils of domestic and international economic inequality.

Read the full article → 0 comments

From Good to Bad and Back to Good Again

December 29, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I sat around last night trying to think of something to write and decided to click onto a page of prompts which gave me a choice of numbers between one and three-hundred-forty-six.

Sometimes just closing my eyes and moving the little arrow around on my Mac Os X and clicking randomly does the trick but I went, this time, with selecting number fifty-six.

Fifty-six is kind of a big number in my life. I had just turned 56 when Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa. A Highway 56 is named after Ted Williams, one of my favorite baseball players. I was in the Tucson High Class of ’56 and my life changed massively that year, in the time it takes to flip a light switch.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Censored 2015: The Most Underreported Story of the Year

December 28, 2015 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As I wrote back in mid-October, Project Censored recently released their list of the most underreported stories of 2015. The number one story on their list features the news that 2016 will be the year when half of the world’s wealth will be controlled by the top 1%. More specifically, they document how:

According to the Oxfam report, the proportion of global wealth owned by the 1 percent has increased from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and is projected to reach 50 percent in 2016.

In October 2014, a prior Oxfam report, “Even It Up: Time to End Extreme Poverty,” revealed that the number of billionaires worldwide had more than doubled since the 2009 financial crisis, showing that, although those at the top have recovered quickly, the vast majority of the world’s population are far from reaping the benefits of any recent economic recovery.

Even more staggering, the world’s richest eighty-five people now hold the same amount of wealth as half the world’s poorest population. “Failure to tackle inequality will leave hundreds of millions trapped in poverty unnecessarily,” the report’s authors warned.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Three Progressive Literary Stocking Stuffers for 2015

December 21, 2015 by Jim Miller

Santa Claus w dogBy Jim Miller

It’s Christmas week and as we do every year, the grown-ups in my family are keeping up the tradition of buying nothing for each other.

But for those of you who must endure the fear and loathing of the consumer frenzy, here is my annual list of books that might serve as good stocking stuffers for the alienated progressives or other likely suspects on your list (with a special focus on some of the best work that received less attention than it deserved):

Read the full article → 0 comments

“Those People”

December 8, 2015 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Little-Boy-MeFriday after Thanksgiving, every two years. As black people and/or African Americans.

And let me tell you, it’s so nice to be among people who were at your side when you were a kid growing up trying to figure out how to make it in a world where you’re looked at as “Those people.” People to be looked down upon.

Like Muslims today, who, in the way we look at folks, could be anyone wearing a head scarf that covered their face. It’s a “They all look alike” kind of thing.

Read the full article → 0 comments

March and Rally for Climate Justice -Sat, Dec. 12

December 7, 2015 by Jim Miller

save the planetBy Jim Miller

Last week as the big climate talks kicked off in Paris it was my pleasure to co-host with Masada Disenhouse of SanDiego350 a community screening of Naomi Klein’s new film This Changes Everything.

We used this screening to help facilitate a discussion among folks from the local labor and environmental movements along with representatives from various community and student groups that was focused on the intersection between the climate crisis and the fight against economic inequality. Many folks expressed spirited opinions on how we might join the interests of the poor and workers with those fighting to save the planet.

Read the full article → 1 comment

Laffing it Up

November 25, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Laff it up! - Hubba Jubba decalBy Ernie McCray

My mother used to say “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying,” and when I think back on our days of second-class citizenship she sure wasn’t lying.

The other day Maria and I gave in to that old adage as we laughed about this and that, whiling the time away during her stay in a little two-bed hospital room at Scripps Mercy, worrying about what the doctor might say.

We started laughing ourselves silly listening to a woman’s (Maria’s roommate) emotional and animated conversation in Cantonese, with all the rhythmic inflections and rapidly changing nuances intertwined.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Clinton and the New Democrats’ Tired Third Way

November 23, 2015 by Jim Miller

dem socialismBy Jim Miller

Recently I noted how movements like the Fight for $15 and the insurgent Bernie Sanders campaign have revealed a widespread thirst for an overtly left politics that makes the battle against the billionaire class a central rallying cry.

Indeed, Sanders has continued to force Hillary Clinton to tack to the left on multiple issues, and he has had a genuinely transformative impact on the national political discourse by unashamedly bringing democratic socialism to the stage.

This is why Harold Meyerson argues that the Sanders’s campaign represents “the largest specifically left mobilization—and by ‘specifically left’ I mean it demands major changes in the distribution of income and wealth and major reforms to U.S. capitalism—that the nation has seen in at least half a century.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

Can Our Children Learn to Study War No More from Mice?

November 17, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Mural of two young girls writing "PLEASE NO MORE WAR" "LOVE" on a wall (Photo: txindoki/Flickr/cc)

By Ernie McCray

As we opened our hearts, this past Veteran’s Day, to our nation’s warriors with hearty “Thank you for your service” like cliches, alongside heaping praise on them for being strong heroic and brave – I kept thinking of two young men I met a little over a decade ago.

They were among the first to die in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I met them at career fairs at their schools, while I was sitting at a table letting kids know that they …

Read the full article → 0 comments

A Renaissance Man in a Sports Hall of Fame

November 12, 2015 by Ernie McCray

FTS Dave BaldwinBy Ernie McCray

One of my most cherished honors is being among some pretty good Wildcat athletes in the “University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.”

I’m a member because I could snatch rebounds like a machine and get the ball in the hoop as a routine. But what does it really mean? For me, it hasn’t been something I’ve thought that much about day to day.

But a few months ago I got a little excited seeing a very familiar name on the list of super-jocks who were to join the club this year.

Dave Baldwin is the name. Pitching a baseball was his game. And I’m stoked that he and I are going to be in such a place of esteem together – because we go back before our college days, back to the Class of ’56 at Tucson High. Back to when I was stepping high, doing teenage boy things, testosteroned to the bone.

Read the full article → 0 comments

What Do You Mean It’s Too Early for Dinner? Daylight Savings Takes Its Toll

November 4, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for What Do You Mean It’s Too Early for Dinner? Daylight Savings Takes Its Toll

By Judi Curry

Once again we set our clocks back an hour last Sunday, but my dog Shadow cannot help but wonder why, just the other day, it was okay to have dinner at 6:00pm only to find that today he cannot have dinner at the same time. He said that he is not a farmer that needs more daylight to farm his crops.

In fact, my very intelligent dog said that there are very few small farms left in the entire United States that are maintained by Mom and Pop operations that need their children to help pull in the crops.

Many people, as well as animals, intensely dislike Daylight Saving Time.

Read the full article → 8 comments

The Day After the Day of the Dead

November 2, 2015 by Jim Miller

day of the dead robot

By Jim Miller

It’s the day after the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday which traditionally is both a time of remembrance of lost loved ones and a moment when the dead mock the pretenses of the living. Death is the leveler of rich and poor, proud and humble.

It reminds us that, in the end, all our bones are equal.

As Octavio Paz observes in “The Day of the Dead” from his classic book The Labyrinth of Solitude, “Death is a mirror which reflects the vain gesticulations of the living. The whole motley confusion of acts, omissions, regrets and hopes which is the life of each of us finds in death, not meaning or explanation, but an end.”

Read the full article → 0 comments

The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

October 26, 2015 by Judi Curry
Thumbnail image for The Widder Curry Bids a Fond Farewell to Director of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery

By Judi Curry

On August 21, 2012 I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions at Fort Rosecrans Cemetery. The trees we dying; the grass was dying; and the one place I found solace after my husband Bob’s death was no more.

On August 15, 2014, I wrote a subsequent article about the same place, still unhappy about the conditions of the cemetery. I sent a copy of that article to Doug Ledbetter, the Director of the Cemetery, and what followed was a miraculous change for the better. (Not because of my letter, but because Doug also recognized the problems and set forth to correct them.)

Read the full article → 6 comments

Sunshine/Noir II: A Continuing Exploration of Literary San Diego and Tijuana

October 12, 2015 by Jim Miller

San Diego City Works Press Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Anthology:
“Sunshine/Noir II: Writing From San Diego and Tijuana”

Friday, October 16th at the Glashaus Mainspace
1815 Main Street in Barrio Logan
Sunshine Noir IIBy Jim Miller

This fall, San Diego City Works Press marks its 10th anniversary with the release of Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana, an anthology of local writing about San Diego edited by Kelly Mayhew and myself.

As we note in the introduction to the anthology:

It’s been ten years since San Diego City Works Press published its first book, Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana and, much to our surprise in many ways, we are still here.

Read the full article → 0 comments

Taking the Leap: Imagine a New World

September 28, 2015 by Jim Miller
Thumbnail image for Taking the Leap: Imagine a New World

By Jim Miller

Last week the Pope came to America and delivered his groundbreaking message about the interrelated problems of climate change and economic inequality as well as the moral imperative to act to address them.

We heard this message at the same time we learned that we have lost half the world’s marine animals since 1970 and that Exxon’s own research had confirmed the human role in climate change decades ago even as they were heavily funding efforts to block solutions.

Read the full article → 0 comments