Politics

Is It All Coming Together?

April 18, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Is It All Coming Together?

By Jeeni Criscenzo

Is it all coming together,
or all falling apart?
I can’t tell anymore.
I came with love,
but can’t find your heart.

I tried to explain how we could help get people off their streets,
by providing basic shelter in supportive communities.
We’d carefully thought out the plan,
Laid it out for them in ways they could understand,
how this would make life better for everyone.

But they came armed with one practiced phrase:
“Not in my backyard!”

Can it all come together?
Or is it already falling apart?
It’s impossible to tell
When we say we want peace,
but we’re fighting an uphill battle from the start.

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Some Friendly Suggestions for the Ocean Beach Planning Board

April 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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The Ocean Beach Planning Board, like other neighborhood planning groups around San Diego, is often plagued by low turnouts at its annual Board elections. It’s not uncommon for candidates to receive votes that total in the single digits. This year was no different.

The low audience numbers at the Board’s monthly meetings say something. Plus the fact that the OB Board currently has a 36% vacancy rate – there’s 5 seats vacant on a 14-member Board.

So, I have a few friendly suggestions to make for the OB Planning Board – a good chunk of them aimed at increasing the community’s participation at and with the Board. In addition, My background quickly: 3 years on the OB Board, one year as Chair.

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Huge Vote that Established Planning Board and First Popular Community Plan

April 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

precise plan -newcoverThousands of OB Residents, Property and Business Owners Took Part in Historic Election of May 4, 1976

There are a lot of important anniversaries these days, it seems, like the 50th anniversary of the Ocean Beach Pier, and like the 50th Re-Union of the Point Loma High School Class of 1966.

But there’s one significant anniversary for Ocean Beach that has as of yet been highlighted for its deserved respect and celebration.

And that’s the 40th Anniversary of the popular vote on March 4, 1976 that established both the Ocean Beach Planning Board and the first OB Community Plan (then called the “Precise Plan”).

That vote that day in early May four decades ago was truly an historic occasion because not only did it establish the Board that still exists and the Plan, but nearly 4,500 renters, property owners and business owners participated in the balloting that lasted all day.

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La Migra: A Chicano Historical Perspective

April 14, 2016 by Source

By Herman Baca

Herman Baca Bert Corona Corky 1977If the so-called U.S. immigration issue is a historical labor issue as Chicano/Mexicanos activists, historians, scholars & academicians claim, what then has been the historical role of the U.S. Border Patrol (BP)?

To answer that question one has to study the U.S.’s historical addiction to free and cheap labor. That started when white supremacists created the Afro-American slave labor system in Jamestown, West Virginia in 1619. A town named after King James I of England who organized the slave trade in America, and translated the King James Bible?

Today, those white supremacists are represented by Republican party presidential candidate, Donald Trump, and his Know-Nothing let’s make America great again supporters.

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City Council Races Beg the Question: When is a Democrat Not a Democrat?

April 14, 2016 by Doug Porter
Thumbnail image for City Council Races Beg the Question: When is a Democrat Not a Democrat?

By Doug Porter

Are there candidates running for City Council in Districts 3 and 9 supported by interests with a history of backing Republicans really Democrats? Do campaign donations define a public official?

Is Bernie Sanders a Democrat? Is Hillary Clinton just a Republican in drag? How about Congressman Scott Peters after his votes on refugees and trade? Are people who used to be Republicans ever to be trusted? Where do you draw the line?

In this column I’ll explore these questions as they impact a couple of local contests…

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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.

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The San Diego Chargers Convadium – Part 1: 110 Pages of Gobbledygook

April 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

convadium 1By John Lawrence

On Saturday, April 2, the Chargers published a whole section of the San Diego Union-Tribune devoted to their proposal to build a football stadium for the Chargers combined with a non-contiguous expansion of the Convention Center.

The title of this section was “Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition.” Right off the bat I found several things wrong with this proposal. But before I go into that I want to discuss the MAJOR thing wrong with this proposal.

You see the Chargers think combining a Convention Center Expansion with a new stadium will make it more palatable to San Diego voters especially if the tax that will be raised to pay for it will be a tax on visitors not on locals.

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Immigrants Shouldn’t Be Locked Up for Being Poor

April 13, 2016 by Source

jail_cell_1336162381_600x275By Michael Tan, Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights Project, ACLU

In the federal criminal bail system, judges are required to consider someone’s financial ability to pay a bond and determine if alternative conditions of supervision — check-ins, travel restrictions — are enough to get the person to show up for court.

But such protections don’t apply to immigrants locked up in detention centers. The result is that people like Cesar Matias, a gay man from Honduras, end up jailed simply because they’re poor.

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Will the Trump Campaign Wipe Out in California?

April 12, 2016 by Doug Porter

trump TP rollBy Doug Porter

The candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination are looking to the June 7th California primary to be the final showdown. One hundred seventy-two delegates are up for grabs, and there is a big-money push underway in the nation’s most populous state.

Donald Trump is now mathematically unable to seal the deal until the last day of the primary calendar. Senator Ted Cruz, who is holding rallies in Orange County and San Diego today, is ahead of the other candidates in terms of grassroots organizing and campaign infrastructure.

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Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

April 11, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Statement by Ed Harris – Candidate for San Diego Mayor

Editor: Here we post, unedited, a statement from Ed Harris who is running for San Diego’s mayor. We do welcome statements from other candidates.

A mayoral debate has been set for the next OB Town Council meeting for Wednesday, April 27th. Harris and Lori Saldana have confirmed for the debate, but Mayor Kevin Faulconer has not.

Progress, Not Politics

By Ed Harris

Kevin Faulconer is a nice enough guy. He’s worked hard to build an image as a down-to-earth
problem solver. His political handlers claim that polls show he’s viewed favorably by most
voters. In fact, they say he’s done such a good job that he’s now a contender to be California’s
next governor.

So an obvious question is, why am I running against him for mayor in the June 7 primary
election?

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Here’s to the Folks Who Demanded the Impossible and Brought Us the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage: The Labor Movement

April 11, 2016 by Jim Miller

Marching Inside Wendy's just one year ago... (SEIU Photo)

By Jim Miller

Time to give credit where credit is due. It was not the noblesse oblige of individual politicians or the Democratic Party that brought us the $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, it was the labor movement.

Surely, the governors of New York and California and their fellow Democrats in those statehouses deserve credit for listening to the cry for economic justice and having the good sense to do the right thing, but the historic victory of the Fight for $15 that we have just celebrated would never have come to pass without the bold vision and prolonged struggle of working people standing together and demanding what many called impossible.

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Protest Ted Cruz Monday at 4PM in Mission Valley

April 11, 2016 by Staff

Ted Cruz Poster

By Matthew Rice / Veterans Democratic Club of San Diego

The strongest right we as Americans have is our freedom of speech. On Monday 11 April 2016 at 4pm, we plan to use that speech to PROTEST TED CRUZ in San Diego! He is speaking from 6-8pm at:

Town and Country Resort
500 Hotel Circle North
San Diego, CA 92108

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OB Planning Board: Harris and Saldana Blast Faulconer, Ambert Re-elected as Chair, and Del Mar Project Approved

April 7, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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A lot going on at last night’s OB Planning Board meeting. As nearly two dozen people crowded into the Community Meeting room at the OB Rec Center, they were witnesses to a type of mini-mayoral candidate debate, when candidates Ed Harris and Lori Saldana addressed the meeting.

Also, the Board certified its March election and there was a change of chairs, as several planners left the group, a newly-elected member was seated, and the Board selected their officers for the next year. John Ambert will sit as chair for another term and Blake Herrschaft will continue as vice-chair.

And then finally, the Board reviewed the proposed project for 4620 Del Mar Avenue and voted to recommend its approval.

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Ballot Box Basics for San Diegans: What You Need to Know About the 2016 California Primary

April 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

vote smart buttonMassive Voter Turnout Expected

By Doug Porter

California’s June elections are looking to be like the OK Corral of presidential primary contests this year. With Senators Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders both besting their party’s frontrunners by 13 points in Tuesday’s Wisconsin voting, the Golden State’s large lode of delegates is rapidly gaining in significance.

Better than 600,000 Californians have registered to vote online or updated their information in the last three months, says California Secretary of State Alex Padilla in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown.

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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Chapter

April 7, 2016 by Source

By Barbara Zaragoza / San Diego Free Press

Sister Kali Vagilistic X.P.Aladocious & Guard Inya

They’re witty. They’re irreverent. They have names such as Sister Hungry Bitch and Sister Hysterectoria. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, San Diego Chapter seek “to promulgate universal joy and expiate stigmatic guilt.”

They’ve been called drag queens. They’ve been called a sorority of gay men. As a matter of fact, to be a Sister is a calling and their focus is on helping community members who have been marginalized or ignored.

The Sisters have a rich history that dates back to the days when AIDS ravaged the gay male population and few people—if any—wanted to serve their needs. Since then, the Sisters have grown into many chapters nationally and internationally. Their work encompasses improv street theater, charitable activities and a general call to serve others.

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Barnstorming for Bernie From OB

April 6, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

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Monday night, April 4th, a large crowd crammed into the theater space at the OB Playhouse on Newport. They weren’t there for a stage production or music event, but were all there for Bernie Sanders. It was “barnstorming” for Bernie in OB.

All told, I counted more than 120 human beings assembled on couches, along the back walls and on the rugs laid out on the floor, all for a workshop on the Sanders campaign. It was an event for the west wing of the campaign’s local electoral efforts on Sanders’ behalf, that included OB, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach.

A woman named Jessica addressed the crowd from the stage a bit past 7pm, and the noise in the space quieted down. She thanked Stu for allowing the campaign to take over his theater.

It became clear that the show was being run by women, as Jessica and several other women spoke to the crowd and presented the program for the night in front of the very enthusiastic crowd. Those gathered were mostly younger people but there were some middle-aged and even older folks crowding in.

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UPDATED: Activist Calendar for April 2016

April 5, 2016 by Staff

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This April Calendar Has Been Updated to Include Some Upcoming OB Events
April Events

Events in Ocean Beach

* April 11th Monday – Forum on Wild Parrots and Recent Killings; hosted by SoCal Parrot – at the OB Rec Center, 6 to 8 pm;
* April 14th Thursday 7 p.m. Film night “This Changes Everything” Free of charge; OB Green Center
* April 15th Friday 7:30 pm Local-Earth’s Film night ” How to Change the World” Lazy Hummingbird, 4876 Santa Monica Ave.
* Apr. 21st Thursday – The Carlson & Higgins OB Scandals – 7 pm at P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., O.B. presented by the OB Historical Society;
* April 23rd Saturday 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Ocean Beach Green Center’s 27th Anniversary Celebration
* April 27th – Wednesday, 7pm – the Ocean Beach Town Council holds its monthly public meeting;
* April 30th Saturday “Ocean Beach Hippies” – a Discussion, 2 – 3pm; Local political muckraker and gadfly Frank Gormlie talks about hippie life in Ocean Beach through the years. It’s free so come join the fun at the Ocean Beach Library, 4801 Santa Monica.

AND MUCH MORE INSIDE ….

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San Diego is Led Around by the Nose

April 5, 2016 by Source

pigs on paradeBy Norma Damashek / San Diego Free Press

How about taking a break from our city’s inane preoccupation with a behemoth sports palace for the San Diego Chargers?

And let’s give ourselves a break from the fiasco called a “Convadium,” a zany proposal to link a convention center annex to a new football stadium just down the street from our 18-acre ballpark. Talk about blocking pedestrian access! Talk about walling off the heart of downtown!
What self-respecting city in the USA would fall for such a ludicrous proposal?

So let’s NOT to take a break from simple questions like: Why are we even thinking about cramming a mammoth new football stadium into our modestly-proportioned, pedestrian-starved downtown streets? What rational person would want to do such a dumb thing to our city? Are we nuts, or what?

And while we’re at it, how about taking a clean break from convoluted (fraudulent?) financing schemes involving hotel taxes and bonds and subsidies and giveaways that inevitably come back to bite San Diego taxpayers and residents?

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Feeling the Bern When it Comes to Changing the Status Quo

April 5, 2016 by Ernie McCray

25892298742_8fbb240165By Ernie McCray

Over a week ago I tortured my 77-year-old muscles and bones standing for the better part of 4 hours at the San Diego Convention Center, “Feeling the Bern.”

But Bernie made me forget my discomfort and lifted my spirit high when he said “The status quo just isn’t working for us”: something I’ve felt all my life considering the long row my people have had to hoe to get a break in the USA.

I’ve been up against the status quo, in one of its many forms, starting when I was in kindergarten, wanting to jump out of my skin, as we five-year-olds stood singing “I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” over and over again, like we were Irish tenors, until we got it right. At some point I yelled, in my budding rebel voice to Sister Mary Benedict (forgetting, in the moment, that my knuckles would pay for such an outburst big time): …

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First Look at San Diego’s June 2016 Primary Ballot

April 1, 2016 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

The 2016 primary season is officially upon us. Today I’m presenting a quick review of what San Diego City voters can expect to see on June 7 (Or earlier if voting by mail). This is just the first of what will be many columns and articles over the next two months. And, yes, we’ll be talking about other contests throughout the region.

After months of hand-wringing in the pundit class, we now have two viable challengers to incumbent Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Odd-numbered city council districts are up for grabs, and three of those will choosing somebody new to represent residents.

There are ballot measures A thru I, most of which are updates to the City Charter. Just about the time your eyes will want to glaze over from all the legalese coming from Measure G, there will be two significant choices to follow. Stay Awake. These are important decisions.

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What San Diego Could Learn from America’s Best and Worst Public Transit Systems

April 1, 2016 by Source

From Portland’s TriMet to Atlanta’s MARTA

By Hutton Marshall / SanDiego350.org

PortlandTtrimet transit

Not all public transportation systems are created equal. Across the country, there’s a huge gulf between bumper-to-bumper black holes like Los Angeles versus cities like the subway-happy New York City, which boasts 660 miles of rail transit.

Many of the cities we now see as pinnacles of functional transit became that way out of utility. New Yorkers, for example, have come to see their expansive subway system as a way to escape fierce blizzards and even fiercer rush hours.

Today, however, many cities have come to see public transit as an important tool in growing in a sustainable, environmentally conscious manner. The 2015 and 2016 climate change reports increased the importance of efficient transit.

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Assault on Public Employee Unions Fizzles at the Supreme Court

April 1, 2016 by Doug Porter

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Gets Split Decision

By Doug Porter

Friedrichs-v.-California-Teachers-AssociationRebecca Friedrichs, the elementary school teacher honored with a ‘Torch of Freedom Award’ at the San Diego County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan dinner last weekend, won’t be celebrating this weekend.

[On Tuesday, March 29th], in a single-sentence order, the Supreme Court announced that the judgment of a lower court rejecting an effort to defund public sector unions “is affirmed by an equally divided court.”. A four-decade-old opinion protecting public sector unions will live to see another day.

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City to OB Town Council: No Money and No Plans to Prevent Future Flooding

March 24, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for City to OB Town Council: No Money and No Plans to Prevent Future Flooding

Poor Bill Harris!. He was the guy from the City of San Diego who had to attend the OB Town Council’s meeting last night – March 23rd – and tell the board that their pleas for help to stem future flooding are falling on deaf ears.

Not exactly ‘deaf ears’ – as the city is listening, but Harris, as supervisor of the city’s information services, is the face that has to stare down community members in their demands that the city do something about problems with the infrastructure.

So poor Bill Harris was the one who had to confront all those faces of the town council and tell them / us that there is no money and there are no plans to deter or stem future flooding in Ocean Beach. It would take a massive capital improvement project, Harris said, and there aren’t any funds for that. So, no project, no plans, no funds.

The solution from the city …

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San Diego’s Multi-Headed Beast of a “Citizens’ Plan” Initiative

March 23, 2016 by Source

hydra 1By Norma Damashek

A whopper of a ballot petition has been stalking the city these past few months. It’s a 77-page proposal with the unwieldy title “The Citizens’ Plan for the Responsible Management of Major Tourism and Entertainment Resources.”

Whatever good intentions it may once have had (and I don’t doubt they existed), the “Citizens’ Plan” detoured down a back alley and emerged out the other end as a grotesque, multi-headed hydra.

Now, I’ve read the “Citizens’ Plan.” Then I read it again… and again. But for the heck of me, I can’t figure it out. And I’m not the only one!

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13,000 San Diegans Show Up for Bernie Sanders

March 23, 2016 by Doug Porter

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Si Se Puede! Sanders Wows Young and Diverse Crowd

By Doug Porter

The big news yesterday wasn’t that Senator Bernie Sanders spoke in San Diego. It was the diverse crowd of 13,000 plus people who put their lives on hold for a day to stand up for a better world.

The line to get into the San Diego Convention Center started in the wee hours of the morning. By the time the doors opened at 4pm the line stretched forever. Halls D&E were filled with the first ten thousand or so people in line, and an overflow room was opened. And then a second overflow room was opened.

It is an article of faith among some Sanders supporters that their candidate gets short changed by the media. Today we’ll examine a sampling of local mainstream coverage of yesterday’s events.

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“I Had Tears in My Eyes at Last Night’s Bernie Rally”

March 23, 2016 by Source

Event Was Historic Occasion Where So Many Progressives Come Together

The Old OB Hippie Speaks

Old Hippie ob timeThere were tears in my wrinkled eyes last night at the Bernie Sanders rally at the Convention Center in downtown San Diego. I couldn’t help it.

There were so many young people – it was so amazing. It was historic. And the crowd was so diverse – it was even more amazing. And even more historic. I was simply overwhelmed by it all.

There was no beer being served, as this was not a beerfest.

There was no live music, as this was not a concert.

This was politics in San Diego – thousands of people – reportedly more than 13,000 – had gathered and stood in long lines – a mile long it was said repeatedly – for hours.

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Angry White Men on My Mind

March 23, 2016 by Ernie McCray

Head shot photo of an angry young white man

By Ernie McCray

I keep hearing that Donald Trump is appealing to angry white men and I say, of course he is. He’s an angry white man. Who else is he going to appeal to?

Truth is, though, a lot of those angry white men should be angry with themselves for supporting and voting for people who mean them absolutely no good, politicians who do nothing to better their lives. People who, in actuality, do all they can to see that the president doesn’t help them either.

But, anyway, those aren’t the angry white men this writing is about. It’s those out-and-out racist angry white men I see on TV at Trump’s rallies who’ve captured my attention. I’ve spent a month short of 78 years dealing with angry white men like them and they make me jumpy, to say the least.

They are angry, like so many of their ancestors, at the very thought of people who are darker than them being equal to them.

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San Diego Activists Move Closer to Getting Needed Police Reforms on Ballot

March 22, 2016 by Source

City Council Committee to Hear Ballot Proposal, Recommendation to Charter Review Committee Urged

police badgeBy Women Occupy San Diego

On Wednesday, March 23rd Women Occupy San Diego will present its community-backed Ballot Proposal to make the Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) more independent and transparent to the San Diego City Council’s Public Safety & Liveable Neighborhoods (PSLN) Committee.

We will do so on behalf of 25 civic organizations who have endorsed a Charter Amendment for the November 2016 ballot.

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Why Bernie’s Struggle Will Continue

March 22, 2016 by Source

democratic convention fightBy Bob Dorn / San Diego Free Press

What the U.S. needs now is a good old-fashioned platform fight at the Democratic Party Convention, only 4 months distant in this nightmare year.

We need to see just who are these people we’re told are the party’s established leaders. What do they really believe?

A thoroughly open platform discussion would show us what the governors and Congress members believe should happen to Bernie Sanders’ pledge to pay the tuition of the children of the middle class. The party’s establishment at its convention this July ought to have to take a position on the Transpacific Partnership, a trade agreement that was negotiated out of sight by a commission mostly composed of international corporate executives and their sergeants.

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America, Got Fascism?

March 21, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Trump supporters n text js

Okay, America – are we ready for fascism?

Is this a legit question these days? It happens that a lot of political commenters, pundits and journalists are asking the question: ‘is the good ol’ US of A ready for an American brand of fascism, in the form of the Donald Trump for president movement?’

As the presidential campaign season degenerated into racist and xenophobic diatribes by the Republican front runner, with those images of Trump supporters pledging their loyalty to him in Hitleresque salutes, after that scene in Chicago when the Trump rally was cancelled, triggering skirmishes between Trump supporters and demonstrators, it seems everybody is forming an opinion of whether Donald Trump is a fascist, comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini, and other dictators.

Those denouncing Trump as a fascist include who you’d expect – progressive and liberal journalists and commentators, like Bob Dreyfus on TomDispatch, who called Trump a “proto-fascist”, or like Robert Reich who called Trump out as a fascist. Also, moderate columnist Dana Milbank writing in the Washington Post sees Trump as flirting with fascism.

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