European Refugees Are Better Off than San Diego’s Homeless

January 13, 2016 by John Lawrence

calais jungleBy John Lawrence

Amy Goodman did a recent show about the refugees living in a camp in Calais, France. She walked around the camp interviewing several refugees all of whom spoke good English.

Most of these people were sleeping in tents similar to the ones you see on the sidewalks of San Diego. Some had built simple structures.

As she walked around, I began to notice some facilities that they had there which are nowhere to be found for the San Diego homeless. First I noticed a dumpster. There’s no dumpster for San Diego’s homeless. The trash just gets left on the street.

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The Future of Post-Bordernity – Excerpt From “Sunshine/Noir II”

January 13, 2016 by Source

Vasquez PB - dialogue__fmt

By Perry Vasquez

The U.S./Mexico border is falling apart. Like Chipotle Swiss cheese, it is shot through with gaps, holes, lacunae, erasures, and stretches of emptiness. The border exists—but at times its existence seems to collapse beneath the weight of its own sovereignty. How does the border both exist and not exist at the same time? How does it manage to appear in strategic locations and disappear in non-strategic ones? Why do we think of the border as having a fixed and permanent national identity instead of a contingent and temporary one?

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What Mayor Kevin Faulconer Bought Into When He Endorsed Marco Rubio

January 12, 2016 by Doug Porter

San Diego Mayor Enlists as One of 7 Rubio’s California Co-Chairs

Kevin FaulconerBy Doug Porter

You know things are getting bad when Howard Kurtz at Fox News says Republicans are freaking out over The Donald.

The billionaire reality show host has disrupted the hopes of the conservative elite of a youngish version of Saint Reagan to preside over the final dismemberment of the New Deal.

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Reader Rant: ‘It Would Be Disastrous if SeaWorld Proceeded With Hotel Construction and Workers Hit Another Pocket of Toxic Waste’

January 12, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Reader Rant: ‘It Would Be Disastrous if SeaWorld Proceeded With Hotel Construction and Workers Hit Another Pocket of Toxic Waste’

Debate Continues on Whether SeaWorld Can Built Hotel on its Present Site

By B. Ross

The area for the old, Mission Bay landfill that CK cites, in the article written to refute the OB Rag’s estimate of its area, is not accurate. Besides, the estimates for the size of the landfill are based on aerial photographs from that era. The City destroyed the majority of the records related to the landfill, which makes it impossible to prove either analysis correct. The study of the dump site was undertaken in 2005, so why point to 2002 data?

The Reader, San Diego UT and other sources in 2006 showed an area that is bigger than what CK shows and smaller than the map from the OB Rag story.

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Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

January 11, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Life, Love And Death In Occupied Ireland

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of 1916’s Ireland Easter Rising.

The following article originally appeared in the Fall 1985 issue of “the whole damn pie shop.” : San Diego’s quarterly of Alternative Opinion.

Portrait of an Irish Republican

By Michael Steinberg

Life springs from death and from the graves of patriot men and women spring living nations“–Padraic Pearce, one of the leader’s of the 1916 Easter Rising executed by the British.

Ireland, August, 1985–Julie Doherty has just turned 23. She lives in Derry, a city of 50,000 in the British occupied north of Ireland. She is blessed with a bright face and jaunty personality that few would call less that beautiful. But she is cursed with a harsh existence and lives constantly in the shadow of death.

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Green Activist Calendar for January 2016

January 11, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Green Activist Calendar for January 2016

Here is the Green Activist calendar for January 2016 – taken from the monthly OB Green Center Calendar:

In Ocean Beach

January 21 Thursday OB Historical Society: “OB’s History of Volunteerism”
at the P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Join us Jan. 21 as Claudia Jack presents “OB’s History of VOLUNTEERISM”. The many organizations and volunteers are what has helped make OB special… from it’s parade, beach clean-ups, planning board, Friends of the Library, and many more.!

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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.

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Sea World & Mission Bay: No Place to Play?

January 7, 2016 by Doug Porter

seaworld2A group called Save Everyone’s Access has filed suit, seeking to halt construction of SeaWorld’s Blue World Project. The proposed addition to the waterpark would incorporate a 50-foot-deep, 1.5-acre-wide, ten-million-gallon tank to house killer whales and a 40-foot below-grade viewing area for visitors.

According to a story by Dorian Hargrove in the Reader, the group is asking a judge to order the park to study the potential environmental impacts related to toxic waste buried in the area back when it was used as a city landfill.

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It’s Official: Troll Impersonations of OB Rag Staff Are Efforts to Discredit and Cause Dissension

January 4, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for It’s Official: Troll Impersonations of OB Rag Staff Are Efforts to Discredit and Cause Dissension

Recent 3rd Deliberate Impersonation Causes Dissension Between Well-Known Staffer and Readers

It is official: OB Rag technical staff have determined that there is a well-knowledgeable troll who has recently intentionally impersonated the emails of OB Rag staff and used them in comments to articles in order to cause dissension among the staff and to discredit staff to the readers of the OB Rag.

The most recent impersonation was of well-known OB Rag restaurant reviewer, Judi Curry, with a comment made using Judi’s email address and avatar to a post regarding a petition calling for justice for Tamir Rice, the 12-year old African-American youth gunned down by a white police officer in Ohio.

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Top 10 Political Hopes for 2016

January 4, 2016 by Jim Miller

via UFT via UFT

By Jim Miller

It’s a new year and a big one for politics. Here is my pragmatic political wish list for 2016:

1) That Donald Trump actually wins the Republican Presidential nomination and brings the entire Republican Party down when the sizable majority of Americans who hate his ideas vote out the party up and down the ticket.

2) That Bernie Sanders wins some primaries and continues to unsettle the Democratic Party and build momentum for a continuing progressive movement in our politics, win or lose.

3) That the lack of a mayor’s race will finally convince San Diego progressives …

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Why the 2016 Race for City Attorney Matters

December 31, 2015 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

jan goldsmithThere is no more important local electoral contest than the race for City Attorney. This relatively obscure office has been the part of government where dreams come to die, the priorities of the modern-day landed gentry are enforced, and the political will of the city’s business interests is turned into policy.

Incumbent City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, elected in 2008, deserves credit for molding his agency into a politically powerful entity. While his record is far from spotless, the more general thrust of developing a well-coordinated keeper of the flame for business interests has proven to be a valuable asset for the local moneyed classes.

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Justice for Tamir Rice – Sign the Petition

December 30, 2015 by Source

tamir rice -wrongful-deathPetition to be delivered to Loretta Lynch, US Attorney General

It is simple. Tamir Rice deserves a new grand jury. A Department of Justice investigation of the prosecutor’s conduct with the grand jury. And the immediate removal and firing of the police officer

On December 28th, a grand jury decided not to charge the police officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black boy who was playing with a toy gun at a Cleveland park.1 Will you join me in demanding justice for Tamir? Come inside to sign the petition to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

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A Sneak Preview of 2016 Elections in San Diego

December 30, 2015 by Doug Porter

ballot box san diegoBy Doug Porter

Over the last few days of 2015 I’ll engage in speculation about what to expect for the coming year.

Here we’ll take a quick look at what San Diegans will be asked to vote on, a logical move since we’re headed into a presidential election year with a gaggle of ballot measures vying for voter approval in California. Later on in the year I’ll do in-depth profiles of candidates and ballot measures.

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For Peace and Love: Haskell Wexler’s Well-Lived Life

December 30, 2015 by Source

wexlercool2Common Dreams

After decades of insisting on using “our art to reflect human values,” incomparable cinematographer and tireless activist Haskell Wexler died this weekend at 93. Wexler helped create some of the best films of our time –while unceasingly “giving his gifts to the revolution” by highlighting issues of war, racism, poverty and torture – and accumulating a 500-page FBI file for his trouble.

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San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis Spins the News in Quest to Justify Fatal Police Shooting in Midway District

December 29, 2015 by Doug Porter

Midway cop shot vid blast3By Doug Porter

County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ absolution of a San Diego Police officer in the shooting death of 42-year-old Fridoon Rawshan Nehad turns out to have been nothing more than poorly orchestrated spin.

Facing an impending court-ordered release of damning evidence, the DA released a made-for-the-media video and pleaded with the press to use her version of events.

A subsequent release of information by an attorney representing Nehad’s family casts strong doubt on that ‘version’ of the story.

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City Attorney On Vacation Rentals: Lodging Mainly for Visitors and Tourists Prohibited in Residential Zones

December 28, 2015 by Source

The following is from a Press Release from Save San Diego Neighborhoods:

City Attorney clarifies position on vacation rentals: Uses providing lodging primarily to visitors/tourists are prohibited in San Diego’s residential zones

SAN DIEGO, December 26, 2015 – Spurred by concerns from citizens over the proliferation of commercial mini-hotels in San Diego residential zones, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has released a new memorandum on short-term vacation rentals that says providing lodging primarily to visitors and tourists in San Diego’s residential zones is unlawful and violates the city’s Municipal Code.

Goldsmith’s memo, released on December 22 in response to requests by citizens’ group Save San Diego Neighborhoods (SSDN), comes as the San Diego City Council prepares to consider a draft ordinance on the contentious issue, perhaps as early as January. Directed to the mayor and city council, Goldsmith’s release updates a 2007 memo on the same subject by then City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

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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.

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SeaWorld Supporters Take on OB Rag and Frank Gormlie

December 22, 2015 by Staff
Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Supporters Take on OB Rag and Frank Gormlie

There is a small group of SeaWorld supporters (apologists?) who have directly taken on the OB Rag and editor Frank Gormlie. They have a blog and posted a recent article calling out Gormlie by name in a headline refuting his claims about SeaWorld.

About a month ago, Gormlie wrote an article entitled “Why SeaWorld Can’t Build a Hotel at its Location on Mission Bay“, citing the proximity of the old Mission Bay landfill which is known to contain toxic materials.

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Wild and Crazy Guys

December 22, 2015 by Source

trump cardBy Bob Dorn

I’ve got two explanations for the Trump phenomenon. They’re both a little hollow.

The first is, he’s the leading example of white privilege, and he’s proud of it. He’s got so much money he wouldn’t know how to fry an egg for himself if he were starving.

People like Trump have so much money and have been rewarded by media for so long they’ve lost track of what real people experience. They’ve become isolated. After decades of going out only to places where they can think and play with people whom they agree with these guys don’t have to watch what they say any longer.

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OB Rag Editorial: There Is No Consensus – Delay the Police Cameras

December 18, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for OB Rag Editorial: There Is No Consensus – Delay the Police Cameras

The OB Rag is urging the City of San Diego to delay the installation of the police surveillance cameras – currently scheduled for “sometime at the first of the year”. We urge the City to delay the project until at least there has been adequate discussion within the community of Ocean Beach about the cameras. If anything these last few weeks have shown – it’s the complete lack of consensus within the community about the cameras and whether they should go in at all. There also has been insufficient community debate and discussion about the needs for the cameras. Yet, the cameras are still coming in.

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“No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

December 18, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for “No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

The Old OB Hippie Speaks Out

Been around long enough to know the “in’s and out’s” of organizing protests and marches here in good, ol’ conservative San Diego. I have been to many, many of them – all over the place. – And yes, I know our city’s demographics and politics have evolved over the years.

Just recently, I was at the Climate Action rally held in Balboa Park with its rally next to the water fountain. Before that – and at the same spot – I attended a support rally for Bernie Sanders. And one year ago exactly, I attended a “die-in” at the fountain when on December 13th, 2014, 200 people participated in a “die-in” – right at the fountain, as San Diego joined protests held nation-wide against police violence.

Going back a ways – I also attended many rallies and marches that were held in and through Balboa Park during both the Iraq Wars I and II.

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HUD Bureaucrats to San Diego’s Homeless Service Providers: ‘My Way or the Highway’

December 18, 2015 by Source

homeless womanBy Jeeni Criscenzo

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently came out with a 55-page document titled:

Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining “Chronically Homeless.

I can only imagine the thousands of dollars spent to clarify that: agencies receiving HUD funds to serve chronically homeless people cannot use those funds for persons or households if any of the periods separating the requisite “4 separate occasions in the past 3 years” where they were homeless (according to the HUD definition of homeless) were less than 7 nights.

If that sounds convoluted to you, imagine being an underpaid, intake staff person at an underfunded homeless service agency, interviewing a homeless client to determine if they can accept him or her into the program without jeopardizing their HUD funding.

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New Laws from the Republicans’ Alternate Dimension: Obama Forbidden to Mention Climate Change

December 16, 2015 by John Lawrence

More Greenhouse Gas, Subsidies for Gun Shops, and a Presidential Dress Code

smoke stacksBy John Lawrence

In addition to repealing Obamacare for the 457th time, Congress has been busy with a new agenda. HR 4031 will officially make it illegal for President Obama to attend any more climate change conferences. In fact, he won’t even be allowed to mention climate change in his upcoming State of the Union (SOTU) speech.

As part of the Fossil Fuel Enhancement Act of 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California will be forced to abandon his plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, he has been ordered to increase greenhouse gas emissions and to give subsidies to automobile manufacturers as long as they don’t convert to electric engines.

As part of the Act, subsidies have been increased to ExxonMobil by $5 billion to further encourage them in the fine work they’re doing promoting and selling fossil fuels.

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Urban Planning Without Social Equity is Like Playing Chess Without the Queen

December 16, 2015 by Source


By Murtaza H. Baxamusa / San Diego UrbDeZine

With rising inequality, a looming climate change crisis, and persistent state of housing unaffordability being the defining issues in the growth of American cities in the twenty-first century, it is time for urban planners to take social policy seriously.

Too often, social policy is relegated to a specialized role for advocacy planners, at other times ignored completely for being too political, and often times dismissed as “creeping socialism” that is inappropriate in land-use planning.

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Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable – Congress must censure him.

December 15, 2015 by Source

Justice Antonin Scalia’s racism is unacceptable. Congress must censure him.

Scalia racistFrom Credo Action

On Wednesday, December 9th, during oral arguments before the Supreme Court in the case of Fisher v. Texas, Justice Antonin Scalia made a plainly racist argument (emphasis ours): …

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Environmental Activists in Paris and San Diego: We Want More

December 15, 2015 by Doug Porter

climate greetingsBy Doug Porter

One hundred ninety nations reached an agreement in Paris this past weekend, theoretically setting the world on a path towards reducing carbon emissions. The San Diego City Council is poised to bless the long awaited Climate Action Plan. People took to the streets of Paris and the byways of Balboa Park over the weekend to affirm their commitment to seeing the challenges of climate change acted upon.

At last!–or so we’re told–there are processes in place to help save the planet, or at least, humanity’s position at the top of the food chain. The truth, however, is much different that the hype. Consider these deals “hope” without the “change.”

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San Ysidro Blues — 30 Years After the Massacre – Excerpt From Sunshine/Noir II

December 15, 2015 by Source

San Ysidro Blues: 30 Years After the Massacre

By Francisco J. Bustos

I remember playing on the kitchen floor when the shots started firing.
I remember my cousin and I running outside the apartment, like many others did.
The sound of bullets instantly changed everybody’s eyes and nobody could
explain it.
We lived on Sunset Lane, just a couple blocks, de aquel Mac Donals, 30 years ago.
We jumped outside at the sound of more bullets,
if we could make it to the corner, we could catch a glimpse of our San Ysidro

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Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

December 14, 2015 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Pacific Beach Residents: “It’s Not Too Late to Stop Lifeguard Station on Bluff”

Dear Neighbors,

Hello, I’m Micaela Shafer Porte, born and raised in PB, MBHS class of ’77, member of the PB Town council, Friends of Mission Bay Marshes, PB Library, etc, and ProtectPB.org.

I write to you with serious concerns about the proposed construction of 4000 sq ft of concrete of a large lifeguard station in the middle of the Law Street canyon and beach next to Palisades Park in North PB.

This $7 million project also includes hundreds of sq ft of “plastification” of the beach with “armor flex, a plastic grid driveway – to accommodate heavy trucks and machinery in the regular tidal events that happen on Law St beach.

We have formed a citizen’s committee online called protectpb.org, with a petition, to defend this stretch of beach from this massive development.

Protect PB is not against lifeguarding on this beach, we are against the excessiveness of this design, and the ill-fated location choice in a blind run off canyon in the high tide zone that is the end of Law St. beach.

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Donald Trump: The Pure Product of American Politics

December 14, 2015 by Jim Miller

Donald Trump :: Instant Karma :: GOP Primary Flavor

By Jim Miller

There’s been a lot of moral indignation recently in light of Donald Trump’s repugnant call to halt Muslim immigration and his fond remembrance of the American internment camps of the WWII era.

Indeed, some folks have even started using the “F” word, rightly noting the fascist tendencies that the Donald’s inflamed rhetoric appeals to and accurately comparing his calls to ban refugees to the shameful exclusion of Jews fleeing the Nazis.

But as righteous as it is to call out Trump’s ugly racism and xenophobia, there is something suspect about the assertion heard in many quarters that somehow now this outlier has “gone too far.” Indeed, the frequent portrayal of Trump as an aberrant figure who has stepped outside the boundaries of mainstream American political discourse simply protests too much.

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Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

December 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Gretchen Newsom Withdraws from San Diego Mayor Race

Newsom and Husband to Divorce

Gretchen Newsom issued the following statement on her blog yesterday on her decision to withdraw from the mayor’s race, December 11th:

“I have decided that I will not run for Mayor. My husband and I have recently decided to divorce on an amicable basis and, therefore, I need to focus on our son. I appreciate everyone’s respect of our privacy.”

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