May 2010

San Diegans Caravan to Phoenix for Immigrants’ Rights Protest

May 29, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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I met Mar Cardenas a couple of weekends ago at a Coffee Party meeting. I knew she was one of the main organizers of a car caravan to Phoenix to protest the new Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. She is an energetic woman in her mid-forties who has a huge heart, a leader in the local Unitarian Universalist church, who also is the granddaughter of Lázaro Cardenas, one of the great former presidents of Mexico – in fact the FDR of our southern neighbor.

On Friday, May 28th, she and about a hundred others departed from Chicano Park on their way to cross the desert and arrive in Phoenix for a protest rally and march to the Arizona state capital today.

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An Open Letter to Rand Paul and His Libertarian Racism

May 27, 2010 by Lane Tobias
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Dear Rand Paul:

It is not possible to change a true bigot’s values. Much of that comes from generational views passed down from parents, grandparents, whatever. But I want to address your recent remarks since you won the Kentucky GOP senate primary.

I would have to agree to disagree with you on pretty much every level. One argument you make is that you prefer to have racist business owners openly advertising their hatred, so that you can make an informed decision. My guess from this statement is that you’ve never been a victim of bigotry, or racism, or true hate.

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Unconfirmed: BP Oil Leak Said to be Temporarily Stopped

May 27, 2010 by Source

Engineers have at least temporarily stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government’s top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.

The “top kill” effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting. The top kill effort is not complete, officials caution.

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“We are the Emperor and we’re naked”

May 27, 2010 by Source
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Political apathy? Nah, political crapathy!

By Sarah Little / OB Rag / May 27, 2010

After much introspection I’ve concluded that I’m not politically apathetic. I am politically horrified. I’m socially horrified as well. I look around and see a nation of lemming-like creatures who gasp in horror when tragedy strikes as we turn our collective heads to some overriding power that is supposed to step in to avert or mitigate disaster. FEMA, local law enforcement, OSHA, the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, the School Board, the Constitution, the Pope… God! Someone or something is supposed to make sure “this” doesn’t happen and if it does the “they” are supposed to fix it!

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The War Is Making You Poor Act

May 26, 2010 by Source
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By Congressman Alan Grayson /MichaelMoore.com / May 21, 2010

Next week, there is going to be a “debate” in Congress on yet another war funding bill. The bill is supposed to pass without debate, so no one will notice.

What George Orwell wrote about in “1984” has come true. What Eisenhower warned us about concerning the “military-industrial complex” has come true. War is a permanent feature of our societal landscape, so much so that no one notices it anymore.

But we’re going to change this. Today, we’re introducing a bill called ‘The War Is Making You Poor Act’. The purpose of this bill is to connect the dots, and to show people in a real and concrete way the cost of these endless wars.

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Most of the coastal waters in OB get an A+ rating

May 26, 2010 by Staff
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Heal the Bay, a Santa Monica conservation group that conducts coastal waters tests, has given part of Ocean Beach an A+ rating in its latest annual report. The water around the OB Pier in both dry and wet weather got this highest rating. Dog Beach did not fare as well, as it remains a troubled area due to the run-off that comes down the San Diego River.

High grades in the coastal water rating system demonstrate that there are less incidence of sickness from fecal bacterial in the surfzones for ocean users.

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California Primaries – Part 7: The Race for San Diego County Sheriff – Legacy, Labor and Lunacy Carry the Day

May 26, 2010 by Doug Porter
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Journalist Hunter S. Thompson arrived in Aspen, Colorado in the late 1960’s with a live skunk in his care. Or so the story goes. With Thompson, later to be dubbed the founder of gonzo journalism, the truth depended on your perspective on reality.

One of Thompson’s more famous takes on reality involved his running for Sheriff of Aspen four decades ago on a “Freak Power” platform, which included:

** Rip up all city streets with jackhammers and sod the streets at once.

** Change the name Aspen to Fat City. This would prevent greed heads, land rapers, and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name ‘Aspen’.

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San Diego Police Ready to Be a Presence At the Beach

May 26, 2010 by Source
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By Stephen Luke / NBCSanDiego.com / May 26, 2010

San Diego police are laying out their summer staffing plans for the city’s beach areas. Starting this Friday with the Memorial Day weekend crowds, San Diegans will see a lot more officers near the coast.

“You know, when it’s summertime and there’s more people, there’s more opportunity for problems,” Mission Beach resident Dave Cummings said.

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OB Church Parking Lot Provides Sanctuary for Feeding the Homeless

May 25, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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It was a scene to behold. There was Julie strumming the guitar – singing softly, there was David minding the hot dogs on the flaming grill, Cat handing out cups and paper plates, and there was Lupe Haley – dishing out her pasta dish, a fruit salad, a veggie salad and dessert. And the homeless and hungry stood patiently in line.

It was a Monday, and as she has every Monday for the last 22 years, Lupe Haley came down to Ocean Beach to feed the homeless and whoever else showed up.

Yet hamstrung by demands by local police officers that she obtain the proper permit for public food handling, this Monday Lupe has set up her food line not at her usual site in Saratoga Park, right next to the sand, but in a friendly church parking lot off Sunset Cliffs Boulevard.

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OB Exposed spotlights local photog talent

May 24, 2010 by Dixon Guizot
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The Ocean Beach Historical Society hosted the 16th annual OB Exposed! photo contest at the Masonic Center on Friday, May 21. As usual, the event was an enjoyable celebration of local photographs and the shutterbugs who snap them.

Over the course of a couple hours, more than 100 people perused the entries, voted for the “people’s choice” winner, and enjoyed free food and drink. Ocean Beach native Noah Tafolla, creator of the KPBS TV series Wonderland, announced the contest winners, which were selected by a panel of judges

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OB Heathens escape from exile to raise funds for summer party

May 24, 2010 by Dixon Guizot
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When Ocean Beach’s Heathens raise funds, they do it with style.

On a recent Saturday night, the OB-based group of artists, street performers and other free spirits welcomed 150 people to a warehouse in Barrio Logan. The night’s activities alternated back and forth between DJ-driven dance sessions and performance pieces featuring select members of the group.

Escape from Heathens Island was the name given the night’s festivities. Most guests wore costumes, the theme seeming to be a psychedelic blend of pirate and clown, with some tribal flavor tossed in.

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California Primary – Part 6: the School Board Races – Secret Societies, Oxymorons and the ‘Evil’ Teachers Union

May 24, 2010 by Doug Porter
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School board races are often overlooked and belittled. Not everybody has kids, the local press usually portrays school board members without nuance and the positions just aren’t as glamorous enough to warrant the kind of train-wreck television advertising that Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are running. And it only pays $18 grand a year, even though most board members will tell you that it’s more than a full-time job.

The position of school board member is so far down on the totem pole that a secretive group of local residents, supposedly showing their “concern” for education have been floating a proposal to expand the Board by bypassing the electorate and expanding it with a “committee” that will select new Board members.

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Listening to Nina Simone After Listening to Rand Paul

May 23, 2010 by Anna Daniels
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Last performance today – Sunday at 4pm.

A few nights ago I saw a premiere presentation of “Nina: A Portrayal of the Life and Music of Nina Simone” in an intimate theater setting in North Park. This work was created over a five year period and directed by Calvin Manson. It is a deeply moving, well executed and revelatory piece of theater, and the last day to see it is Sunday May 23.

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OB FLASHES: News, Calendar and Whatever – May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010 by Staff
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ALL STORIES AND LINKS INSIDE:

* Red Bull Rivals: June 5th – OB Is Home to San Diego’s North versus South County surf rivalry
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* Winston’s Holds Benefit for OBcean Injured in Hit and Run – May 23rd
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* The National Football League says Ocean Beach businessman is illegally using the Chargers logo.
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* Pizza Port Finally Opens

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Coffee Party Action at Downtown Mega-Banks Reflects Sentiment for Bank Reform in Recent Poll

May 22, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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Downtown shoppers and office workers on their lunch break Friday, May 21, found a gaggle of Coffee Party activists and supporters agitating for bank reform. A little over a dozen folks with signs, fliers, and chants were targeting four of the mega-banks in downtown – all within a few blocks of each other: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank. The action was part of a nation-wide focus by the Coffee Party on banks and financial reform. Over a third of the protesters were from OB.

The Coffee Party action also reflected the sentiment expressed in a recent poll by this blog. The poll found that three-quarters of the respondents wanted some kind of bank reform, everything from breaking them up to nationalizing them.

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New British Government Plans to Take Down Public Surveillance Systems and More …

May 20, 2010 by Source
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Editor: Verrrry interesting. Britain wants to dismantle its surveillance camera systems while the City of San Diego wants to install them, including a camera on the OB Pier.

By John F Burns/ The New York Times / May 19, 2010

LONDON — Defying those who said it might be paralyzed by internal divisions, Britain’s new coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on Wednesday unveiled the most ambitious plan in decades for upending the highly centralized and often intrusive way the country is governed.

The plan, as laid out by the deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, would roll back a proliferation of “nanny state” laws, non-elected administrative bodies and surveillance systems —

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California Primary – Part 5: Local Ballot Measures – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

May 20, 2010 by Doug Porter
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There are four local ballot measures up for your consideration on June 8th. Two of these are non-controversial, meaning that no formal opposition exists. They are:
Measure A

(East Otay Mesa Recycling Collection Center and Landfill Ordinance)

This asks voters to approve a new site for a county landfill near the prison in Otay Mesa.

Your trash has to go somewhere and this is the site that’s been picked.

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Coffee Party Targets Mega-Banks in Downtown San Diego

May 19, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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This Friday, May 21st, during the noon lunch hour, the San Diego chapter of the Coffee Party will be targeting four mega-banks in the downtown area. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi-Bank, and Chase, will all be targeted by the protest. In a tour of the banking area, activists will be pointing out how much each bank received in the bailout, what they pay their CEOs and other important info.

This is part of the nation-wide effort of the Coffee Party to clean up Wall Street and “K” Street (where the DC lobbyists all hang out) in favor of Main Street.

Activists will show up – some in costume – at Horton Plaza at 11:30 a.m. by the Fountain, the staging point for the tour. Everyone is invited to join with the Coffee Party as its highlights the role of the huge, mammoth banking institutions that control our economy.

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Another Local Bank Fails

May 19, 2010 by Dave Rice
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On May 7, the FDIC placed 1st Pacific Bank, headquartered in San Diego, into receivership, effectively ending the bank’s operations. They then immediately turned over the bank’s assets, including $291 million in deposits at seven area branches, to City National Bank. City National previously operated 73 branches, mostly in New York City, the San Francisco Bay area, and Los Angeles.

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Part Four: Hey, Did You Know? Statewide Ballot Propositions – Mostly Bad News

May 19, 2010 by Doug Porter
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Part of the legacy of California’s electoral process is that anybody with a pen and a clipboard can, in theory, get a proposed law placed on the ballot. The reality is that it either takes a grass roots campaign with thousands of committed volunteers or a major donor willing to write a check big enough to sponsor thousands of paid canvassers to gather signatures.

What interesting about this particular election is that three of the ballot propositions directly impact the voting process.

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Drones: Made Locally, Killing Globally

May 19, 2010 by Source
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Originally posted February 23, 2010

“Die-In” Planned for Today May 19th (see inside for details)

by Carol Jahnkow & Nancy Mancias

San Diego is home to defense contractors General Atomics Aeronautical Systems and Northrop Grumman, the world’s largest and leading manufacturers of drones. General Atomics builds the Predator and Reaper drones. Northrop Grumman provides the software for a similar aircraft, the Global Hawk spy drone.

These remotely controlled vehicles come with a hefty price tag — Predator and Reaper’s range between $4-$12 million and the Global Hawk’s cost about $35 million. With their high tech sophistication, drones have become the weapon of choice in fighting the U.S. occupations. More than 7000 drones are ready to prowl the skies over Afghanistan and Iraq.

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Another earthquake: I just felt the house shake a bit.

May 18, 2010 by Frank Gormlie

UPDATE: EARTHQUAKE CONFIRMED –

SDNN reports:

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck Southern California Monday at 5:38 p.m., 21 miles west of Mexicali where a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck on Easter Sunday.

It’s 5:39 pm, while waiting for dinner to cook, I just felt the entire house shake a small bit. The wood frame twisted for a half second. Must be earthquake season.

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Woman Feeds OB Homeless Every Monday for 22 Years – Is Now Halted by Police

May 18, 2010 by Source

Everyone complains about the homeless. OB merchants, local residents, … you name the group and there is grumbling galore about those without a home who dot our beachside community.

One person is doing something about it. Lupe Haley is a cancer survivor and believes deeply in Jesus Christ. She has been answering his call to feed the needy for the past 22 years. Every Monday for all those years, Lupe comes down to Saratoga Park and sets up a food line where she literally dishes out food for the dozens of homeless people who show up.

In April FOX News Channel 5 did a story about her work. The very next Monday, Lupe showed up as usual – but this time there was a different ending. She was stopped by police who threatened to cite and even arrest her for not having the proper permits.

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Reader Rant: The Nuts and Bolts of Political Apathy

May 18, 2010 by Nate Hipple
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Editor: Frank Gormlie recently posted his third in a series about “Left versus Right” and asked for feedback from OB Rag bloggers and friends. Nate responded with the following – and in doing so reminded us of some of our weak points in describing politics. Politics CAN be fun. OB political activists have enjoyed a lot of fun over the decades in being political. So, we asked Nate to tweak his response a bit and post it. So, please bear in mind, that we can benefit from this type of discourse with our fellow citizen journalists and wish to improve our communication skills.
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Let me preface this by saying that I once got a ‘D’ in a political science class. Yes, that’s right. I showed up to class, took notes, wrote entire papers, went to the final, and still got a D.

I’m gifted.

You see, I’m extremely talented when it comes to “filtering-out” things I find boring. Been doing it my whole life! When I was a kid, it was zoning-out during the commercials that interrupted my Saturday morning cartoons. Today it’s skimming past ads in the margins of a website. Call it ADD if you want. But I believe it’s just how I deal with the daily bombardment of information.

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Primary Election Coverage Part Three : Louie, Louie and Triple A Baseball

May 17, 2010 by Doug Porter
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In this installment I’ll be talking about some of the players that are hoping to enhance their political careers by moving up through the array of elected offices that support the big players in California politics. Think of it as triple A baseball—it’s kinda fun if you’re there in person, and sleep inducing if you’re trying to watch on TV, unless you’ve got a relative in the game.

The Lt. Governor’s Race

And you thought being Governor of California was a crappy job? Obviously being Lt. Governor is not so bad, as no less than THIRTEEN candidates are vying for the job. It must be the benefit package, I think.

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Heathens Take Over Ocean Beach – NOT!

May 16, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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UPDATE: We have just been informed this afternoon (5/16/10) by a spokesperson for the Heathens, that the bike ride – which they really liked – was not them. It was people who wanted to be Heathen-like and to do “crazy things like the Heathens.”

Dozens of crazily-clan bicycle-riding Heathens took over Ocean Beach for a few moments today, Saturday May 15th. It was the Tour D’Diego.With some dressed as pirates, others dressed as foil-covered robots, all having a good time, the Heathen bike ride down Abbott and then onto Newport turned many a head, gave many a smile, and stole a few puzzled looks.

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More On Left vs Right – “Leftists eat babies, don’t they?”- Parte trois (3)

May 15, 2010 by Frank Gormlie
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This modern world is so confusing! Right now, the countries of the European Union – most of them capitalist nations, are putting together a one-trillion dollar bail out for Greece – which is run by a Socialist government!

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Primary Coverage Part Two: Hey, Did You Know?

May 15, 2010 by Doug Porter
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Tea Parties, Other Parties & Their Candidates for Governor

By Doug Porter

A recent poll financed by NBC and the Wall Street Journal asked Americans their opinions about the current state of affairs in domestic politics. One of the findings in this poll was that Americans view the Tea Party positively by 31% and negatively by 30%. That’s better than the Republican Party (30% positive, 42% negative) and the Democratic Party (37% positive, 42% negative) alike. Hence the widely touted headline: “Tea Party More Popular Than Both Political Parties”.

Of course there wasn’t much said about the follow-up question asking respondents if the Tea Party would “be a third party that you would be interested in voting for this year for Congress”. Only 21% said yes, and 54% said no.

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May 15th, 1970: 2 Black Students Killed & 12 Wounded by Police During Vietnam Antiwar Protest

May 15, 2010 by Staff
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Originally posted May 15, 2008
More that we can’t forget

Shattered windows at Alexander Hall, Jackson State, May 14-15, 1970The shootings at Mississippi’s Jackson State University still linger in the shadow of Kent State. Less than two weeks after Kent, two black students were killed and 12 others wounded by state troopers on May 15, 1970.

The incident started after student demonstrators, protesting the Vietnam War and seeking more rights at the historically black college, responded to an order to disperse by throwing stones and bottles. It ended as police opened fire outside a women’s dormitory.

Phillip Gibbs, 21, a junior preparing for law school, who had a child and a pregnant wife, and James Earl Green, 17, a high school track star on his way home from his job at a grocery store, were killed.

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Stormwater Decision by Planning Commission Will Adversly Affect Ocean Beach

May 14, 2010 by Source
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by Dr. Tawny Lanos

The decision by the City of San Diego Planning Commission yesterday to approve the environmental document for the Department of Stormwater’s Program Maintenance plan should be no surprise to people who follow politics in San Diego. The entire scene played out exactly the way the directors wrote the script – and the players performed exceptionally. But the real tragedy is yet to unfold —

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