August 2011

Justice Department moves to block merger of AT&T and T-Mobile

August 31, 2011 by Source

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department filed suit Wednesday to block AT&T’s $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA on grounds that it would raise prices for consumers. The government contends that the acquisition of the No. 4 wireless carrier in the country by No. 2 AT&T would reduce competition.

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“I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, as live as you and me ….”

August 31, 2011 by Source
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By Steven Greenhouse / New York Times / Originally published August 26, 2011

At Woodstock, Joan Baez sang a famous folk ballad celebrating Joe Hill, the itinerant miner, songwriter and union activist who was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1915. “I never died, said he” is the song’s refrain.

Hill’s status as a labor icon and the debate about his conviction certainly never died. And now a new biography makes the strongest case yet that Hill was wrongfully convicted of murdering a local grocer, the charge that led to his execution at age 36.

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Who is Grover Norquist and why do Republican politicians pledge to him and not the Constitution?

August 30, 2011 by Source
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By John Lawrence / Will Blog For Food / August 30, 2011

Grover Norquist has never been elected to office yet Republican politicians are pledging their obeisance to him. Norquist is one of the most powerful unelected men controlling US politics.

His motto is “I want to shrink government down so small that I can drown it in the bathtub.”

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Darrell Issa keeps a blurry line between his public and private dealings

August 30, 2011 by Source
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by Lucas O’Connor / Issa Exposed / August 29, 2011

Questions have been swirling for months about Darrell Issa’s purchase of the office building at 2067 West Vista Way. In addition to previous questions about the property, it appears that one of the principals who negotiated the deal also made his only federal political contribution ever to Issa’s campaign.

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San Diegans on food stamps rises by 89%

August 30, 2011 by Source

The number of San Diegans using food stamps to help supplement their income has increased by 89 percent since January 2009, according to the County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

For several years the number of people using food stamps, also known as the CalFresh program, in San Diego, in comparison to other cities across the country was extremely low. In January 2009 San Diego’s food stamp program had 122,878 recipients. In July 2011, there were 232,255 food stamp recipients in San Diego almost double the number in less than two years.

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Bob Filner Easily Wins OB Rag Mayor Poll

August 30, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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For most of last week, the OB Rag ran our latest San Diego mayoral election poll, and Bob Filner won it easily hands down. He garnered 46.7% of the vote which included 169 respondents.

“None of the above” was also a choice, and it came in second with 17.2%.

Among the Republicans running, Carl DeMaio topped the field with a meager 13.6%, followed by Nathan Fletcher with a single-digit of 8.3%, and then Bonnie Dumanis bringing up the rear with 7.1%. Combined, the GOP candidates won 29% of the vote.

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It’s official: Ocean Beach remains in newly drawn City Council District 2

August 29, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Well, it’s now official. The neighborhood of Ocean Beach will remain in District 2. This is significant, as it means that OB will remain in a district with other beach neighborhoods that have similar interests and needs.

Last Thursday, August 25, the redistricting commission finalized their approval of the newly drawn San Diego City Council districts. Many of the former district boundaries were changed, plus a new district, District 9, was created, as voters wished. This redrawing of districts occurs every ten years after the US Census results are studied.

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TOP SECRET: Corporations cut 2.9 million U.S. jobs and added 2.4 million jobs overseas over last ten years

August 29, 2011 by Source
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Some of the country’s best-known multi­national corporations closely guard a number they don’t want anyone to know: the breakdown between their jobs here and abroad.

So secretive are these companies that they hand the figure over to government statisticians on the condition that officials will release only an aggregate number. The latest data show that multinationals cut 2.9 million jobs in the United States and added 2.4 million overseas between 2000 and 2009.

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Nurses to Converge on 60 Congressional Offices in 21 States Sept. 1 to Call for Tax on Wall Street to Heal America

August 29, 2011 by Staff
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Vista rally time has been corrected! See inside.

RNs to sponsor soup kitchens, food pantries, speak outs on the need for jobs, healthcare, education, housing – and outline the RN plan on how to pay for it.

Local actions planned for San Diego include a freeway overpass flash mob and soup line.

From Maine to California, nurses, joined by others fed up with the ongoing economic crisis, will call on Congress members in their local district offices Sept. 1 to support a tax on Wall Street financial speculation, a revenue source fast becoming an international norm, to pay for healing the nation.

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Sarah Palin’s wink, Michele Bachmann’s blink

August 29, 2011 by Source
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By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing / August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, was Women’s Equality Day. Sadly, it’s a bit of a misnomer. Besides, how many people actually know what it is that the day celebrates? It surely is not equality. Women don’t have equality. Even I don’t have equality, and I am no pantywaist — but the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities as men? Oh my goodness, no. Women, as a class, have not yet achieved any of that.

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What’s the Big Idea?

August 29, 2011 by Jim Miller
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Information Overload and the “Post Idea Age”

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “The Elusive Big Idea,” Neal Gabler makes the case that we are living in a “post-idea” age where mundane observations have taken the place of big ideas. We have left behind the Einsteins for entrepreneurs. As he puts it:

If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.

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20th Annual Paddle for Clean Water at O.B. Pier on September 18th

August 29, 2011 by Staff
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It’s that time of year again, time to honor a San Diego community tradition going to back to the age of grunge, bungy jumping and line-dancing: it’s time for the annual Paddle for Clean Water at the Ocean Beach Pier, celebrating its 20th anniversary on Sunday, September 18th from 9:00 am to 12 noon!

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Restaurant Review of ‘Bergie’s’ in Old Town – Competition for ‘Hodad’s’? I don’t think so

August 29, 2011 by Judi Curry
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Since I try not to drive at night and since I am on a very “fixed income”, I like to try new restaurants – at least new to me – that are relatively close to my home in Ocean Beach and not terribly expensive. Last week I read an article in the newspaper that is thrown in my driveway on Thursdays, re: a restaurant in Old Town called “BERGIE’S”. It sounded interesting, and since I don’t always have the time to stand in line AND eat at Hodad’s, a friend and I decided to try it out.

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Community and Labor Activists Begin Movement to Change San Diego

August 28, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Over three hundred community and labor activists met yesterday, Saturday, August 27th, for an all-day economic summit and began the process of building a movement to change San Diego.

Under the title of “A Better San Diego”, yesterday’s event at Horace Mann Middle School was the culmination of months of meetings and discussions initiated by San Diego’s Labor Council. Back in the late Spring the Labor Council, headed up by Lorena Gonzalez, had called for allies from the community to join with them to build a community-labor coalition.

By time the Summit rolled around yesterday, you could see the hard work achieved by these activists. The diversity of the crowd rivaled any political grouping of San Diegans in recent history.

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The future of Ocean Beach? Developers given free reign!

August 26, 2011 by Dan Morales
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“’Tis grand! ’tis solemn! ’tis an education of itself to look upon!”

~ James Fenimore Cooper

I really can’t blame anybody for not following the OB Rag’s suggestion to attend the Coffee with Kevin Faulconer. After all, a last minute personal commitment had me arriving about a half hour late so I understand that there are principles behind our extended sense of community. And I understand that having a community meeting at 9am on a weekday pretty much bars anybody who works for a living from having a face to face with their municipal representative.

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Eight Signs of Republican Extremism: “See something, say something”

August 25, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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The County of San Diego has just released a video to warn all of us of the “Eight Signs of Terrorism”, in preparation for the tenth anniversary of the Sept 11 attacks, as part of their “See something, say something” campaign. We would like to add to this watch our additional Eight Signs of Republican Extremism.

To report suspicious activity, email the OB Rag at obragblog@gmail.com.

People who do the following might be plotting Republican extremist acts:

* Under the guise and rhetoric of “small government”, order all welfare and other poor people who receive public assistance to submit to monthly drug tests, as clearly the poor use illegal drugs much more than the rest of us….

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San Diego launches new era of food waste composting

August 25, 2011 by Source
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By Mike Lee/SignOnSanDiego.com

A garbage truck on Tuesday morning picked up food scraps from seven grocery stores around San Diego and chugged to Miramar Landfill in what normally would have been an unremarkable moment.

But instead of turning into the zone for dumping trash, it delivered the mash of fruit, pastries and similar items to the composting yard and launched what many around the region hope is a new era of waste-reduction.

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California’s mis-management of state properties costs “tens of millions” while teachers and aid to poor are cut.

August 25, 2011 by Source
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Editor: Here’s a timely article from the LA Times about how the State Lands Commission has grossly mismanaged millions of acres of public land, costing Californians tens of millions of dollars and benefiting large corporations, all the while the State is cutting teachers and aid to the poor. Oh, by the way, you fledgling investigative reporters, what public lands in San Diego County are being mismanaged by the State?

By Patrick McGreevy / Los Angeles Times / August 24, 2011

Businesses and dozens of other large corporations have benefited from officials’ mismanagement of more than 4 million acres of public land, according to a state audit released Tuesday. The cost to taxpayers could easily be in the tens of millions of dollars, the auditors say, at a time when the state has been forcing teacher layoffs and cutting aid to the poor.

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Ocean Beach Town Council Elections, Possible Police Department Walking Teams and More

August 25, 2011 by Andy Cohen

The Ocean Beach Town Council is holding elections to fill eight slots on its board, with ballots due by August 31st. Only voting members may hold a position on the Board of Directors.

Each Director of the OB Town Council serves a two year term. Elections are staggered so that roughly half of the board comes up for election each year, assuring some continuity. Only voting members of the town council may become board members, and only residential members have voting rights on the Town Council.

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Come out to have “Coffee with Kevin Faulconer” Thursday, August 25 at Shades

August 24, 2011 by Staff
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Our City Councilman, Kevin Faulconer, is hosting a community “Coffee with Kevin” meet-up Thursday morning, August 25th, at Shades Oceanfront Bistro.

Mr. Faulconer will be at Shades between 9 and 11 am. Shades is located at 5083 Santa Monica Ave, Ocean Beach, at the corner of Abbott and Santa Monica, right across from the main Lifeguard station.

This is an excellent opportunity for OBceans to dialogue with Kevin on the issues that affect our community – such as:

  • gentrification,
  • no charges being filed for the stolen memorial benches,
  • the lack of public restrooms,
  • ….

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Large Turnout in Solidarity for Southern California Grocery Workers

August 24, 2011 by Patty Jones
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Downtown San Diego – By 12:30 this afternoon more than two hundred people gathered to leaflet and rally in support of Southern California Grocery Workers who are prepared to strike after voting overwhelmingly against the latest offer from Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, that would have a devastating effect on their health care.

More photos and video inside…

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Corporate Media Ignoring 5 Days of Sit-Ins and Arrests at the White House Protesting Tar Sands Oil Pipeline

August 24, 2011 by Source

Editor: The mainstream, corporate media has been blatantly ignoring what’s been going on in Washington, DC. There have been five days of sit-in’s and arrests at the White House in protest of the proposed oil pipeline.

By Frances Beinecke / HuffPost / August 24, 2011

It is the fifth day of the sit-ins at the White House urging President Obama to deny a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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Religious Leaders Decry Solitary Confinement in California Prisons As Torture

August 24, 2011 by Source

“What concerns us as people of faith is the destruction of the human spirit. When human beings are subjected to conditions that destroy who they are, it is incumbent upon the whole faith community to call our culture, and yes, even our government, to accountability. If we allow solitary confinement to continue in our society – especially when we have been informed of the harmful results – what does that say about the kind of people we have become?”

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A View of OB’s “Slightly Stoopid” From the Mid-West

August 24, 2011 by Source
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In 1995 in Ocean Beach, California, childhood friends Miles Doughty and Kyle McDonald formed a band that created a fusion of music between acoustic rock and blues and reggae, hip-hip, and punk. Soon after, the late Sublime frontman Bradley Nowell discovered the duo and asked them to perform a set at the Foot Hill Tavern in Long Beach, California. Nowell immediately signed them to his label, Skunk Records, while the band was still in high school. Sixteen years later, Doughty and McDonald, known as Slightly Stoopid, have released eight albums and have been compared to bands such as Sublime, Operation Ivy, Rancid, and Streetwise.

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Why San Diego Needs a Pro-Choice Mayor

August 24, 2011 by Source
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By Jennifer Dreyer / Guest Columnist Voice of San Diego / August 22, 2011

Recently I’ve been asked why San Diego should elect a pro-choice mayor. After all, mayors run city departments, manage the municipal budget, and (hopefully) set a clear vision for our city’s future. They do not run any health services or enact heath care policy. So why should it matter whether San Diego’s next mayor is pro-choice?

The answer is that it matters greatly. During the past decade, anti-abortion rights groups have expanded their agenda to oppose contraception programs and women’s health services.

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What is Bonnie Dumanis doing by skipping the mayoral debates?

August 24, 2011 by Source

By Phat Jim / San Diego Politico / August 22, 2011

What in the Sam Hell. . .

To those of you out there who are more closely intertwined with politics than I am these days, I have one question – what in the sam hell is Bonnie Dumanis doing? It looks like Dumanis and DeMaio are both skipping the mayoral debates between now and Oct. 17.

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Get Corporations off Government’s Back

August 24, 2011 by Source
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By John Lawrence / Will Blog For Food / August 23, 2011

The Tea Party wants to get “government off ‘our’ back.”

But is government really on our back or is the case really that corporations and wealthy interests are on government’s back? There are 40,000 or more lobbyists in Washington, DC. They are there for the purposes of extracting taxpayer money for their corporate sponsors’ benefits and for no other reason.

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Putting America Back to Work: Solar Jobs

August 24, 2011 by Source
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How could the US put five million unskilled workers on the job in three months without raising taxes? Simple- invest in a self-payout revolving fund which would underwrite putting solar panels on residential roofs all over America. Much of this labor is pretty much unskilled labor. You certainly don’t need a college degree to haul solar panels onto a roof and screw them down.

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Top Ten Myths about the Libya War

August 23, 2011 by Source
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By Juan Cole / Informed Consent / August 22, 2011

The Libyan Revolution has largely succeeded, and this is a moment of celebration, not only for Libyans but for a youth generation in the Arab world that has pursued a political opening across the region. The secret of the uprising’s final days of success lay in a popular revolt in the working-class districts of the capital, which did most of the hard work of throwing off the rule of secret police and military cliques. It succeeded so well that when revolutionary brigades entered the city from the west, many encountered little or no resistance, and they walked right into the center of the capital.

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It’s the “San Diego Crumbling Infrastructure Contest”

August 23, 2011 by Frank Gormlie
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Hey boys and girls! The OB Rag is having a contest! Yea!

It’s the “San Diego Crumbling Infrastructure Contest” – all you have to do is find and locate some good examples of crumbling San Diego infrastructure, take a photo of it (or more), and send us the photo(s) and its location. And … depending on the response … we will review the entries and declare a winner and a runner-up by next week at this time.

They both win OB Rag T-shirts! Yea!

We wish to find local roadways, bridges, dams, and other public structures that are in need of repairs, replacements, and/ or removal. Once we find them, we want to show them to local politicians. And convince them they need to help create jobs to deal with all of it.

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