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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SANDAG’s Transportation Plan is Stuck in Reverse

August 28, 2015 by Source

traffic jam 2By SanDiego350.org / San Diego Free Press

Climate change is a local issue that reaches every corner of the globe. Human activities, especially burning coal, oil and gas, are pumping heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

More than any other time in human history, we’re seeing unlivable marine habitats, rising seas that threaten to subsume coastal societies, and, on land, increases in extreme weather including droughts, floods and severe storms. The changes are happening everywhere, but the effects are felt locally. And the solutions have to come from changes we make in every community.

At SanDiego350, a local nonprofit fighting climate change, we believe that San Diego is at an important crossroads where we must decide how we will reduce our contribution to Earth’s looming climate crisis.

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Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

August 27, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuke Shutdown News – August 2015

By Michael Steinberg /Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the US nuclear industry, and highlights the efforts of those who are working for a nuclear free world.

Restart Relapse

Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the US Atomic Bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, and the literal meltdown of over 200,000 human beings, the current Japanese government announced the restart of the Sendai nuclear reactor, the first to resume operations since the Fukushima disaster of March, 2011.

On August 10, Bloomberg Business reported: ‘The safe restart of Sendai is important for Japan and for the worldwide community,” according to “Dale Klein, former chairman of the US NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission).”

“It can demonstrate that nuclear energy can play a role in the safe, reliable generation of electricity,” Klein also told Bloomberg.

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The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

August 27, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for The 1970 Chicano Moratorium Against the War in Vietnam – 45 Years Later!

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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Are the NFL Chargers Causing the NCAA Aztecs to Lose?

August 27, 2015 by Source


By Bill Adams /UrbDeZine

Are the San Diego National Football League (NFL) Chargers causing the San Diego State University Aztecs football team to lose games and fans? If so, which is worse for San Diego, losing its NFL franchise to another city, or sub-optimal performance and attendance at Aztecs football games?

While these question at first appear both absurd and provocative, there have been several studies that can answer these questions – at least to some degree. Moreover, the studies go further. The studies indicate that the success of a college sports team has an effect on the regional economy.

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

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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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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Big Oil Spent $6.2 Million Lobbying CA Officials So Far in 2015

August 21, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Big Oil Spent $6.2 Million Lobbying CA Officials So Far in 2015

By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos

The oil industry spent $6.2 million to lobby legislators and other state officials in California in the first six months of 2015, according to a report just released by the California Secretary of State’s Office.

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento, alone spent a total of $1,388,203 in the first quarter of the 2015-2016 session and $1,141,037 in the second quarter of the session. That’s a total of $2,529,240 spent on lobbying in six months.

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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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San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

August 17, 2015 by Anna Daniels
Thumbnail image for San Diego Free Press Celebrates!

By Anna Daniels

The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years!

It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.

Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential …

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The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

August 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The California Coastal Commission Approves the Ocean Beach Community Plan – Finally!

Some Coastal Commission Modifications Accepted by City Staff in Final Compromise

In an unanimous vote, the California Coastal Commission approved the OB Community Plan Update yesterday, August 13, in the City Hall chambers of Chula Vista.

The vote was a ringing endorsement for compromise and civil give-and-take between the respective staffs of the Commission and of the City of San Diego – a civility and willingness to compromise brought on no doubt by the crowd of OBceans present in the Chambers.

San Diego city staff who participated in the presentations and discussion, stated that the vote was a “major victory for Ocean Beach”.

It had been a long process – since last summer when the City Council approved the OB Plan.

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

August 11, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council Prez: “GET ON THE BUS – Come Support the OB Community Plan on Thursday!”

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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Repulsed by Animal Cruelty, Attendance (and Profits) at SeaWorld Plummet

August 10, 2015 by Source

“People don’t want to watch abused animals being forced to perform pointless circus tricks,” says animal rights group

kathy-najimy-seaworld-new-hed-2014By Nadia Prupis /Common Dreams

Since the 2013 release of Blackfish, a bombshell documentary exposing animal cruelty at SeaWorld, the aquatic theme park has lost increasing levels of both profits and visitors, reporting an 84 percent plunge in net income in just three months.

SeaWorld announced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, acknowledging the steep drop in profits as a result of “brand challenges.”

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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 Rag’s “Kid” Is Now 3 Years Old – and You’re Invited to the Party – Sat. Aug. 8th

August 5, 2015 by Staff

birhtday cake peace

The Freep’s

Hey! Our “kid” is 3 years old! Come out for the party!

Three years ago – in early June of 2012 – the staff of the OB Rag began publishing a new and additional online newspaper – this one was to be for all of San Diego. It was the birth of the San Diego Free Press as an online website. And it took on the challenge of being a source for “grassroots news and progressive views”.

Now the OB Rag’s “kid” is 3 years old and you’re all invited to the birthday celebration, called the “GALASTRAVAGANZAVERSAY”.

It will be on this Saturday, August 8th, from 5 to 9 pm at the Border X Brewing, 2181 Logan Avenue in Barrio Logan. It will be an evening of live music, progressive speakers, poetry, good conversation – and great beer.

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A Green Activist’s Calendar for August 2015

August 5, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for A Green Activist’s Calendar for August 2015

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.


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

August 5, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

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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The Twists and Turns of Getting the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update Approved

August 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for The Twists and Turns of Getting the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update Approved

There is a new twist and turn in the road for the Ocean Beach Community Plan Update’s journey to the California Coastal Commission for approval.

And probably only the most stalwart, knowledgeable and insightful of OB’s local volunteer neighborhood planners are able to see over this twist and turn and figure out exactly what is going on.

The new twist is caused by the recent release of the California Coastal Commission staff’s recommendations toward the OB Community Plan Update – scheduled for review by the Commission on August 13th when they hold their monthly meeting – this time in Chula Vista City Council chambers.

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Anti-Fracking Demonstration Held in Ocean Beach

August 3, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for Anti-Fracking Demonstration Held in Ocean Beach

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

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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There is No ‘Free Money’ for Stadium Study

July 30, 2015 by Source

By Joe Flynn / San Diego Free Press

money lobbyBack to basics. All money in the city’s funds, coffers, treasure chests, you pick the title, is taxpayer money. In the effort to fund the Stadium Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the unanticipated refund from the state is being treated as “free” money.

Perhaps the term “refund” got lost in the shuffle; a refund usually implies that the money you paid or over paid, is being refunded, i.e., given back. It comes back to the city with the same restrictions that it had when it was paid. It may not be earmarked for a particular use, but that only implies that it goes back into the general fund.

So a $2 million unexpected refund comes back to the city treasurer, and like any other funds owned by the city, it requires a decision by the Mayor and Council to spend it – period. This is not complicated.

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Nuclear Shutdown News – July 2015

July 29, 2015 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News – July 2015

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and all of the US nuclear industry, and spotlights those who are working for a nuke free future.

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

In this issue of Nuclear Shutdown News we continue our summer travels in pursuit of no nukes stories… Of course we’d love to be in Greece, checking out the unfolding “Brother can you spare a few billion drachmas” melodrama. But Greece doesn’t have any nuclear reactors to shut down, or nuclear weapons to dismantle.

1. Germany

Not so in Germany, one of Greece’s major predators, uh, creditors, that is.

The Associated Press reported on June 28, “Germany’s oldest remaining nuclear reactor to shut down.”

The AP stated that the Grafenrheinfel nuclear plant in Bavaria “would be taken offline as scheduled authorities and operator E.ON said.”

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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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The Party of Death is Dying

July 28, 2015 by Source

dead_gopBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

For years now the Republican Party has been the party of death. Now it may itself be dying. More about that later. For now, some numbers.

In 2014, 1,100 of 1359 executions performed by the states were the work of “Republican-dominated states,” according to Republicanviews.org on Oct. 26 of that year. Just more than 508 of those executions were in Texas, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which did the report.

Last May, the Quinnipiac poll taken on attitudes toward the war in Iraq, asked the question, “Do you think going to war with Iraq in 2003 was the right thing to do or the wrong thing?” Overall, 59% of Americans responded that it was wrong and 32% said it was right. Among the Republicans those numbers were more than reversed; 62% of them said it was right to go there and kill, while only 28% said it was wrong.

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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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