Politics

Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Hating the Sin While Supporting the Sinner

April 17, 2014 by Source

filnersexismPart 4: The Aftermath

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part four of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag.

Here is Part One which covers her early encounters with Filnerand, and here is Part Two which describes the indifference she met when she tried to alert Democratic Party leadership, Part three talks about the pressures brought about to gain her endorsement of the Filner mayoral candidacy.

By Lori Saldaña

On Election Day, I trailed Scott Peters on the first ballot announcement in the primary by less than 200 votes. I eventually lost by 700 votes, after being outspent 4:1. Most of his funds were family money.

Dollar for dollar, we ran the most cost efficient Congressional campaign in the state, if not the country. But in the end, personal wealth and internecine party warfare trumped our efforts.

Worse, after the June 2012 primary election, I continued to hear reports regarding Filner’s behavior towards women, including at campaign fundraising events. I did not personally witness these activities, since I had withdrawn from political activity. But they became common knowledge throughout the political community and were discussed by volunteers and others at events, who apparently decided to “hate the sin, but support the sinner.”

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A Double Standard for Democratic Party Endorsements – Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego

April 16, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part three of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press.

Part 3: Endorsement Roulette

By Lori Saldaña

roulette-wheel BBy early 2012 I was campaigning full time, struggling to raise money, and trying to earn the Democratic Party endorsement. The grassroots, progressive delegates were with me, but the more moderate Democratic faction did all they could to block my State Party endorsement.

A short time after I had shared my concerns about Filner he announced his engagement. Privately, I suspected this was done to counter my allegations. When I encountered Filner at campaign events we kept our distance, and I was never introduced to his fiancee.

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Sex, Power, and Politics in San Diego – Trying to Blow the Whistle on Bob Filner

April 15, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part two of a five part series running this week at the OB Rag and San Diego Free Press. Part one covers her early encounters with Filner.

PART TWO: Party Politics

Close-up of a young woman with adhesive tape over her mouthBy Lori Saldaña

I first contacted Jess Durfee [County Democratic Party leader] in August 2011. I recounted the Filner actions and allegations, and urged him to meet with Filner to determine if these were accurate accounts, and, if so, to take action to ensure the behavior would stop.

I reported Bob Filner’s bad behavior to the San Diego County Democratic Party Chairman for pretty simple reasons: I believe women deserve to be treated with respect. I also feared he would ultimately be “outed” with disastrous impacts on others.

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Lori Saldaña: Sex, Power, and Politics in San Diego – the Run Up to the 2012 Election

April 14, 2014 by Source

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic Party establishment.

PART ONE: Filner Clears the Field

filnersexismBy Lori Saldaña

In December 2010 I termed out of the California Assembly after serving 6 years; 3 terms were then the maximum allowed. In the summer of 2011 I prepared to teach a class in the Women’s Studies Department at San Diego State University on “Sex, Power and Politics,” and, as redistricting was concluded, decided to run for Congress in the 52nd district in California. As I began preparing to teach and run for Congress, I began hearing stories from women who told me they had been harassed by then-US Representative Bob Filner, who appeared to be the only Democratic candidate for Mayor of San Diego.

Filner did a good job of clearing the field.

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Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

April 14, 2014 by Source
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By Norman Solomon / NormanSolomonwebsite

The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That’s because — as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it — “the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.”

No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them know the crucial importance of spin, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to promote media criticism that undermines their own pretenses.

To reach the broad public, critics of the media establishment need amplification from . . . the media establishment. And that rarely happens unless the critique is shallow.

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Press Conferences and Vanity Shovels Cannot Hide the Truth About San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure

April 11, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s been on quite a tear lately, putting forth a smiling face at press conferences in various neighborhoods around the city. Yesterday cameras rolled as the mayor and local politicos including Councilman Todd Gloria posed and preened over a gateway renovation project on 25th Street in Golden Hill.

Hizzoner says he’s making good on campaign promises to direct more monies (50% of revenue growth, as I recollect) toward street and infrastructure repair. He proudly announced yesterday that $22 million of the anticipated $35 million growth in next year’s inflow would be dedicated to that cause.

It played real well on TV. Sadly, the truth of the situation is that revenue growth, which will likely come from an improving economy, can’t even begin to address the $1 billion hole San Diego faces when it comes to the basic the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities needed locally.

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Carl DeMaio’s À la Carte Campaign

April 11, 2014 by Source
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Editor: OB and Point Loma plus much of the Mission Beach and PB areas are within the 52nd Congressional District that Democrat Scott Peters now holds. His main opponent in the upcoming election is our old friend Republican Carl DeMaio, former mayoral candidate for San Diego. (We call him ‘friend’ because he always gives us so much to write about.)

By Lucas O’Connor

Carl DeMaio is running for Congress. You may have heard. And even though he’s had the misfortune of writing down and voting on major issues for more than a decade, so far his campaign is predicated on hoping that nobody notices in spite of article after article after article after article chronicling his career.

The attempts to fake a newfound moderation on social issues have been well chronicled, but if you don’t believe him, don’t ask him… He refuses to talk about civil rights issues even as the Republican leadership Carl’s running to empower continues going along with Tea Party extremists and holding votes on exactly those issues. It’s not clear if anyone’s really sat down yet and explained to Carl that you can’t actually be an à la carte Congressman, but he seems committed to trying anyhow.

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More Photos From City Council Hearing on District 2 Appointment

April 9, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Here are more photos from the San Diego City Council hearing on appointing the District 2 representative held on Monday, April 7, 2014.

Union leader Ed Harris was ultimately appointed from an initial field of 20 applicants. Many of the applicants were from Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

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Democrats’ Revenge: San Diego City Council Appointment of Ed Harris Tilts Council Left

April 8, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Appointment of Democrat Is Complicated even with “Super-majority”

The Democrats on the San Diego City Council took revenge on their Republican colleagues yesterday by appointing another Democrat to the Council. As of 5pm Monday, April 7, there are now 6 Democrats to the 3 Republicans on the Council after they choose Ed Harris, a lifeguard and union head – and Democrat, to take the seat to represent District 2.

This retaliatory measure was, in no small part, revenge for the defeat of the Democratic candidate in the last mayor’s election, where David Alvarez lost to Republican Kevin Faulconer. Faulconer vacated his seat for the 2nd District when he stepped up to the mayor’s floor of City Hall.

With a 6 to 3 tilt, the City Council now leans left, …

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BREAKING: Ed Harris Selected by City Council to Represent District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Ed Harris, lifeguard and union head, was selected by the San Diego City Council to take the vacant seat for District 2 left when Kevin Faulconer was elected mayor.

It took two ballots for the 8 Council members to coalesce around one applicant with at least 5 votes. The replacement selection was the only item on the docket, and the Council Chambers were filled with the applicants, their supporters and community people.

Twenty people had originally filled out the paperwork for consideration, but when Council President Todd Gloria gaveled the meeting to order around 2:05 pm, there were only 17; Richardo Flores, Don Mullen and Wayne Raffesberger had all withdrawn their names. (See the list.)

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The 20 Who Wish to Serve the People of District 2

April 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Today is a big day for 20 people. This is the day that the San Diego City Council will decide who of that twenty will sit in District 2′s seat for the remainder of Kevin Faulconer’s term, until December of this year.

At 2pm today in Council Chambers, the Council will take up the matter – supposedly the only issue on their docket – and listen to the 3 minute spiel each applicant has, then will begin taking votes. The first applicant with 5 votes – a majority – wins and takes their seat immediately.

Who are these people who wish to serve the people of District 2? Here is a brief run-down of these individuals taken from their publicly-available application (in alphabetical order):

  • Stephanie Antin – a professional businesswoman who has lived and been active in Pacific Beach for 15 years; she has a BA in communication from Tulane U in New Orleans;

and many more …..

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Supreme Insanity: How the High Court is Killing Our Democracy

April 7, 2014 by Source

RooseveltBy Jim Miller

Last week was a very bad week for American democracy. With the McCutcheon v. FEC decision, the Supreme Court of the United States dealt a sweeping blow to existing campaign finance laws that seek to limit the influx of money in American politics.

In the wake of the Citizens United case that opened the door for big spending by Super PACS and dark money, this ruling takes another step towards plutocracy by striking down overall limits on campaign contributions. By doing so McCutcheon rudely thrusts us further into a new Gilded Age where our economy and our politics are thoroughly dominated by a small minority of the opulent.

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UCSD Graduate Students Strike After Just Demands Not Met

April 4, 2014 by Source

Strikers disrupt classes and block public thoroughfares in protest against unfair labor practices while upper level administrators continue to receive exorbitant salaries and enjoy a culture of lavish living

By Daniel Gutiérrez

Grad student strikers and their allies block a pedestrian walkway at UCSD.

Graduate students at the University of California, San Diego represented by the United Auto Workers Local 2865 initiated a two-day strike Wednesday, April 2nd, that will end today Friday, April 4th. The strike at UCSD is part of a statewide action occurring at all the campuses of the University of California for these reasons.

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A Review of “Cesar Chavez” the Film: Sí, Se Puede

April 3, 2014 by Source
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By Byron Morton

Cesar Chavez shows the political evolution and the struggles of the man behind the movement during the 1960s to organize the farm workers in California. Through the United Farm Workers (UFW) Chavez (played by Michael Peña) brings bargaining rights and dignity for the impoverished farm workers. The UFW motto during this time was “Sí, se puede” or yes, it is possible.

It is important to remember at that time in the 1960s the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 did not protect farm workers and others. The Act “is a foundational statute of US labor law which guarantees basic rights of private sector employees to organize into trade unions, engage in collective bargaining for better terms and conditions at work, and take collective action including strikes if necessary.”

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So They Are All … All Honorable Men

April 2, 2014 by Source

honorable menBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

San Diegans are no dummies. We know what happens to politically independent, outspoken, public-minded individuals who are brash enough to shake things up. They get maligned, noogied, humiliated, sent packing. Open your mouth too wide in this city and… you’re dead meat.

So we’re polite and genteel. Why look for trouble? Yes, the public gets screwed over and over again but we’ve learned to turn the other cheek. Forgive and forget — that’s our MO.

We swoon over the nice guys, especially the ones with agreeable manners. Like our avuncular ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, our puckish council president Todd Gloria, our sunkissed mayor Kevin Faulconer — honorable men beyond public reproach. Even when they’re plotting to pull the rug out from under us.

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Continuing Scandal: No Consequences for Balboa Park Centennial Screw Ups

March 28, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The mismanagement of efforts to stage a year-long centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California exposition continues to make headlines today.

A City Council committee order an audit of public funds spent by Balboa Park Celebration Inc. yesterday. A follow-up hearing on April 23 was set by Councilman David Alvarez to measure progress toward production of records and along with information on the shutdown of BCPI.

Voice of San Diego drew upon its network of movers and shakers (a side benefit of continual fund raising) to produce a report on centennial efforts including points of view from insiders and those close to the soon-to-be-defunct nonprofit celebration committee.

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City Council Candidates at OB Town Council “Debate”

March 27, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Lorie Zapf a ‘No-Show’ After Town Council Tries to Re-schedule Forum

There was a hundred people in the audience at last night’s “debate” between the candidates for the District 2 council seat hosted by the OB Town Council. It wasn’t so much an actual debate inside the Masonic Center as it was an opportunity for residents of the district to ask questions of the candidates.

Three of the four candidates did show up; Sarah Boot, Jim Morrison and Mark Schwartz. Lorie Zapf couldn’t make it so sent her campaign manager, Sara Kamjab, to give a brief introduction. Kamjab explained that Zapf had committed long ago to being the speaker at a major Mira Mesa community fundraiser, however Town Council president Gretchen Newsom commented that the Council had offered an alternative date for the debate, but that the Zapf campaign declined to accept that one also.

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Attacks on Pregnant Women’s Rights on the Rise Across America

March 26, 2014 by Source

Marlise Muñoz was removed from life support, but a growing pattern of state intervention in pregnancies threatens women from Alabama to Wisconsin.

By Michele Bratcher Goodwin / Alternet

pregnant-belly-with-hands-300x3001In Texas, hospital officials refused for over two months to remove 33-year-old Marlise Muñoz, who was declared brain dead, from life support because of her pregnancy. A court ruling on Friday ordered John Peter Smith Hospital to take Munoz off life support in accordance with the family’s wishes, and her body was disconnected from machines on Sunday, Jan. 26.

The tragedy of Muñoz’s case is that it fits a terrible pattern of state interventions in women’s pregnancies.

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City Council Makes First Step Towards Raising the Minimum Wage in San Diego

March 26, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The room was packed Monday, March 24th, for a meeting of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee as Councilman Todd Gloria successfully gained approval to draft ballot language on a measure proposed for the November ballot raising the minimum wage and granting paid sick leave for San Diegans.

Gloria will consult with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and bring the measure back for consideration by the committee on April 30th. We can only hope the City Councilman president has the language double-checked by an outside attorney who doesn’t have a vested ideological interest in the measure failing.

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The Beacon vs Papa Doug Manchester

March 21, 2014 by Source
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Editor: In a recent editorial entitled” David or Goliath? Who really has your community’s best interest at heart?”, the leaders of the San Diego Community Newspaper Group came out charging against the area’s mega-press, the U-T San Diego and its head, Papa Doug Manchester. This is news and is worth sharing, as SDCNG publishes the Beacon as well as the Beach & Bay Press.

EDITORIAL: David or Goliath? Who really has your community’s best interest at heart?

by San Diego Community Newspaper Group

There’s a battle for freedom and independence going on.

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San Diego to Hold Hearing on Raising Minimum Wage – Monday, March 24

March 21, 2014 by Source

By Miriam Raftery / East County Magazine

Should workers have the right to earned sick days? Should the minimum wage be raised in San Diego? A City Council committee will hold a hearing on these issues on Monday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at City Hall.

A new organization, Raise Up San Diego will hold a rally outside Council Chambers at 202 C Street in support of these proposals.

“Come be part of history as the Improving Wages and Working Conditions measure is introduced at the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee,” an e-mail invitation from the organization states.

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More on Inbreeding in San Diego Politics: Haven’t We Met Before?

March 19, 2014 by Source

revolving-door-575By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

In response to requests I received for the names of people I alluded to in last week’s commentary Too Many Years of Inbreeding Make for a Rotten City San Diego, I’m providing a list of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s recent appointees, plus a brief description of who they are.

Many names will be familiar to those of you who have been following city affairs over the years. For others, the people on this list may not ring a bell; like the city’s water and sewer pipes they tend to operate beneath the surface. But their organizational interconnectedness and crossovers are readily identifiable by one and all.

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News From Around Ocean Beach and Point Loma

March 13, 2014 by Staff
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Tidbits You May Have Missed

Candidates File to Run in District 2

OB, Point Loma, and much of PB and Mission Beach lie in San Diego City Council District 2. Because former council rep Faulconer has taken the mayor’s seat, there is a vacancy. The filing deadline for candidates is here and we now know who is running.

Even though the election is supposedly “non-partisan”, what ever candidate receives an endorsement from the major parties definitely has an edge up on others seeking the seat. On the Democratic side, Sara Boot has received their stamp of approval. Boot is a federal prosecutor. The Republicans have endorsed Lori Zapf, …

Jellyfish Invade Mission Bay …
….

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Kevin Faulconer: Full Circle in San Diego

March 11, 2014 by Source

Kevin Faulconer District redoBy Gordon Clanton /Del Mar Sandpiper

The March 3 inauguration of Kevin Faulconer as mayor takes San Diego back to where it was before Bob Filner, back to where it always was for as long I have lived in these parts: Moderate Republican mayors whose allegiance is to downtown business interests, always favoring business over labor, big business over small business, development over environment, downtown over other neighborhoods, cronyism over inclusion, plutocracy over democracy.

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Too Many Years of Inbreeding Make for a Rotten City San Diego

March 11, 2014 by Source

InbredBy Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner

To misquote Shakespeare’s Hamlet: Something is rotten in the state of our Denmark …our city. Most likely it’s the result of too many years of inbreeding.

Take a look at appointees to San Diego boards, commissions, committees, and political organizations like United Way, the Chamber of Commerce, and Red Cross. You’ll discover that San Diego is an epicenter of incestuous comings and goings. (Incestuous: repetitive, indiscriminate, unwholesome, unnatural, intimately intertwined, endogamous co-mingling of self-serving individuals)

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Neoliberalism and Its Discontents: What’s Left Beyond More Impoverished Choices?

March 10, 2014 by Jim Miller

vote hereBy Jim Miller

The debate rages on. Last week after I spent the final part of my column addressing Adolph Reed’s provocative Harper’s piece on the dismaying state of American politics, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals, the argument just kept going across the national progressive media landscape.

In a sharp rebuttal to …

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The District 2 Appointment Gambit – Newsom Leads Informal OB Rag Poll, Jane Gawronski Also Running

March 7, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

19Candidates So Far In the Running

Now that former Councilmember Kevin Faulconer has been sworn in as mayor, the deck is clear for the appointment process to his seat to begin in earnest.

Applicants – or “candidates” – must have their 50 signatures and qualifying statement to the Clerk’s office by March 17. Then on April 14 and 15 the full City Council will pore over the applications with the plan being to narrow down the field to about 6 “finalists”.

OB Rag Poll In an informal poll that the OB Rag ran …

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OB Town Council Prez Gretchen Newsom in the Running for District 2 Council Appointment

March 7, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

If you would have told Gretchen Newsom a year ago that she would be in consideration for the District 2 seat on the City Council, she probably would have sent you home and told you to sleep it off.

After all, it was just this past year that she was elected president of the Ocean Beach Town Council. Now she is officially “campaigning” – for lack of a better word – for the position, holding a signature-gathering meet-&-greet with friends and supporters Thursday night at her home on Santa Cruz Avenue.

“It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but I’m feeling pretty positive,” Newsom said in between introducing herself to supporters on her front stoop and watching her son, Leif, play in the yard.

“I never, ever, ever foresaw this situation happening. It’s a really unique opportunity.”

In case you haven’t been following along, it more or less all started with former Mayor Bob Filner. When Filner stepped down from office in disgrace, his seat was eventually filled by former District 2 Councilman Kevin Faulconer.

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City Left Holding the Bag as Balboa Park Centennial Group Folds Up Shop

March 6, 2014 by Doug Porter
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Piñata formerly known as Mayor Filner blamed

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The Balboa Park Celebration, Inc., a group empowered by former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders to organize a centennial celebration of the Panama-California Exposition, is calling it quits.

Despite having $2.8 million in taxpayer-funded startup monies and a contract giving them exclusive control over the nation’s second oldest urban cultural park, the organization is dissolving its corporate entity and handing back its responsibilities to the City of San Diego.

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A Mindful Walk Down a Dark and Slippery Slope

March 3, 2014 by Source

Here’s what the Zen manual advises for a stress-free existence: notice… let it go… then smile.

Truth is, I’m not ready for bliss. And it’s not for lack of trying. You know how it is once you’ve noticed certain things… how can you let them go? Maybe tomorrow.

Right now I can’t help noticing someone’s big bad joke. Here’s how it goes:

A guy walks into a bar, orders a beer on tap, and announces that the annual advent of Sunshine Week is just around the corner.

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