March 2016

Financial Parasites Have Become Neo-Feudal Landlords

March 31, 2016 by John Lawrence

feudalism chartBy John Lawrence

Classical economics divided income into two types: earned and unearned. Earned income came from productive labor combined with capital investment. Unearned income was considered parasitical and consisted of rent, interest and dividends.

It was not considered as adding to GDP but as subtracting from it. It was money made by manipulating money much as feudal landlords made their money in what has been called a rentier economy.

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Wee Lives Matter

March 31, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

(Written for the closing of the Social Justice Conference at City College)

Group of four small children sitting in a group on the floor

“Black Lives Matter”
is heard
from a chorus of voices
in a protest in the street.
“All Lives Matter”
someone screams
from a car rolling by
on the street,
in denial
that Black Lives Matter
wouldn’t have come to be
if All Lives Matter
had ever been a reality
in this country
at any time
or any place.

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The Language of Pinyon-Juniper Trees

March 31, 2016 by Source

Juniper bush with berries

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press

After two months of struggling to write anything coherent about pinyon-juniper forests, I was on the verge of giving up.

Members of the group I am campaigning with to stop pinyon-juniper deforestation began brainstorming about applying for grants to support the campaign. Many of the grants they discovered required us to demonstrate that pinyon-juniper deforestation harmed wildlife populations, poisoned water supplies, or had a tangible effect on human populations.

Thinking that I could support our grant application process with an essay, I sat down many times to write about the countless beings that call pinyon-juniper forests home. But, I never wrote anything worth reading.

It took me a long time to figure out why.

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Latest Parrot Deaths Bring Total to 9 Found Dead Since Feb. 19

March 31, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

parrot Conyer sdr

Mainstream Media Miss Total in Numbers Game of Deaths

The two dead parrots found Easter Sunday at a church in Point Loma bring the total of dead parrots found in the OB and Point Loma area since February 19th to 9. The 2 on Sunday, March 27th, were found at the All Souls’ Episcopal Church on Catalina Boulevard. A parrot expert stated that it’s rare to see two dead parrots in the same area – so human causes are highly suspected.

Somebody continues to kill these local parrots, some of which are endangered species, and so far, authorities have not publicly stated that they have any suspects.

In the meantime, our local mainstream media are seemingly avoiding publicizing the true total number of parrots that have been found dead since mid-February.

We perused the local media reporting of this OB and Point deaths of the latest deaths, two near-threatened red-masked conures, and found that the most useful articles were …

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OB Rag Staff On “Staycation” – Be Back Soon

March 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

hammock palm

The OB Rag staff is on a “staycation” – we can’t afford a real vacation – so we’re hanging out in town, enjoying local restaurants, bars, bird-sightings, walks around Famosa Slough, bike rides.

IN the meantime … we’re reposting old articles with interesting subjects. Such as the 45th anniversary of the infamous Collier Park Riot of March 28, 1971.

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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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Joe Wilder: Gentleman of Jazz

March 24, 2016 by John Lawrence

The San Diego Jazz Society Presented Joe Wilder and Marshall Royal

By John Lawrence

Joe WilderJoe Wilder was not only a magnificent trumpet player but a gentleman according to all who knew him. I had the privilege of presenting him and saxophonist Marshal Royal along with a local rhythm section composed of Mike Wofford, Bob Magnusson and Roy McCurdy at the Lyceum Theatre in 1990 under the auspices of the San Diego Jazz Society.

A CD was made of the performance which, unfortunately, is out of print. Joe helped to break down racial barriers on Broadway, radio, television and in classical music.

Wilder’s sense of propriety was legendary.

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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


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

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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Open Letter to Spray-Painting Vandals of Abbott and Voltaire

March 22, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for Open Letter to Spray-Painting Vandals of Abbott and Voltaire

Editor: We received this anonymous “Open Letter” addressed to “vandals” and referring to the recent spray painting of newly installed construction fencing on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire. The letter is signed “Ocean Beach community members”. We publish it in its entirety.

An open letter to the individuals who recently vandalized the security fence on the corner of Abbott and Voltaire.

Dear Vandals,

Neighbors in Ocean Beach that care about the health and welfare of our community do not support your message or your medium of choice.

Why do you feel entitled to additional voting privileges about how an owner handles their property? This is the function of San Diego city zoning and permitting, and public opinion is considered at that time.

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OB Town Council: Wild Parrots and Infrastructure – Wed., Mar. 23rd

March 22, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Town Council: Wild Parrots and Infrastructure – Wed., Mar. 23rd

OB’s famous ‘Squawk Squad’ of wild parrots is again under threat – 5 parrots have been shot and killed since last month.

At the OB Town Council meeting this Wednesday, March 23rd at 7pm, SoCal Parrot will educate the community on their work with wild, naturalized parrots. They try to provide a gap of care for them and to be a resource for parrot rehabilitation, education and protection.

SoCal Parrot will also bring a few of their living parrot ambassadors so Obceans can get a close-up look at these endangered birds. Additionally, the reward money being offered for information leading to the arrest of the OB Parrot Shooter will be described.

Following up on last month’s OBTC meeting, Bill Harris of the San Diego Department of Transportation and Storm Water will be presenting an update on OB Infrastructure needs to prevent future flooding.


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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

Editor: This article is over 7 months old but still resonates today – one day before the election.

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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Meet Sarah Saez: Candidate for San Diego City Council District 9 (Part Two)

March 21, 2016 by Jim Miller

via USD

By Jim Miller

Sarah Saez is best known locally for her work on the heroic United Taxi Workers of San Diego (UTWSD) campaign. As labor leader Richard Barrera noted after their big win in 2014:

The victory by UTWSD comes five years after drivers, improperly classified as independent contractors and without NLRB recognition, came together and organized a strike to protest their wages, benefits, and working conditions.

Despite constant harassment, retaliation, and intimidation by permit holders and dispatch companies over the last five years, and despite obstruction by public agencies, these workers stuck together, fought back against injustice, and prevailed. It reminds and teaches all of us that a union is not formed by formal government recognition, it is formed by workers standing together to fight for justice and a brighter future for their families.

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Bernie Sanders Is Coming to San Diego – Tuesday, March 22nd

March 21, 2016 by Staff

Bernie Sanders SD poster


A Future to Believe In Rally with Bernie Sanders

Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Doors open at 5:00pm
(Get there early to assure you are among the 10,000 or so able to get in.)
San Diego Convention Center, Exhibition Halls D & E
111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego CA

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are strongly encouraged. Admission is first come, first served.

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Plastic Bag Industry Seeks the ‘Freedom’ to Pollute by Confusing California Voters

March 21, 2016 by Doug Porter

plastic bag ban logoBy Doug Porter

The California legislature passed a ban on many uses of plastic bags back in 2014. Gov. Brown signed it and the American Progressive Bag Alliance, representing bag manufacturers, dumped $3.2 million to get signatures for a referendum on the November 2016 ballot. So now the law is on hold.

Not content with a simple up or down vote on the matter, the industry is now in the process of gathering signatures for a second measure mandating fees from grocery bag sales be used for environmental projects. If you think this sounds too good to be true for an idea ultimately emanating from the dirty energy industry, you’re right.

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Plaza De Panama – A Host of People-First Changes Make a Big Impact in Balboa Park

March 21, 2016 by Source

By John P. Anderson / John P. Anderson Blog

Plaza de Panama is the central plaza in Balboa Park and for many years was devoted to automobile parking. In June 2013 reviled former Mayor Bob Filner led a push that removed the parking spots from the Plaza de Panama and created a public space for strolling, sitting, and enjoying the surrounding museums and sunshine.

Here’s a photo of what the plaza looked like as a parking lot.

]Plaza de Panama as a parking lot (from San Diego Metro)

Today our family had a small picnic lunch on the plaza and there were people everywhere – a newlywed couple taking photos on the steps of the Museum of Art, small children riding bikes and scooters, people of all ages sitting or taking photos. In short, it felt like an authentic plaza: “a public square, marketplace, or similar open space in a built-up area“.

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Jensen’s Moving into Former Fresh & Easy Store in Point Loma – Hopes to Open in 6 Months

March 18, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Jensen’s Moving into Former Fresh & Easy Store in Point Loma –  Hopes to Open in 6 Months

A small Southern California market chain, Jensen’s Finest Foods, has bought the former Fresh & Easy grocery store off Catalina Boulevard in Point Loma. And it plans to open in up to 6 months, a Jensen’s vice president told the press.

This news should bring a sigh of relief to many Peninsula residents, who uttered a collective groan when Fresh & Easy closed last fall. But when CVS started making noise that they wanted to acquire it, the reaction among local residents was immediate: they were against it.

In fact, an online petition began. At last look, the petition had nearly 2900 signatures. So, CVS Corporate must have heard it.

Earlier this week, the good news was that Jensen’s bought the grocery store in bankruptcy court. It will be the first market in San Diego County for the San Bernardino County-based chain, which has eight other stores, 4 in Riverside County and another 4 in San Bernardino County.

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San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

March 18, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for San Diego County Supervisors Move to Further Outlaw Patient Access to Medical Marijuana

By Terrie BestSan Diego Americans for Safe Access / March 17, 2016

San Diego, CA – The County Board of Supervisors met yesterday [March 16] and the patient community barely escaped a ban on medical cannabis.

The ban would have affected unincorporated areas of the county, such as Julian, Ramona and many other rural parcels where it would otherwise be safe and advantageous to cultivate cannabis.

The advantage would be a regulated and local supply of product to the growing number of licensed medical cannabis co-ops in the city of San Diego. The city is the only municipality in the county with a retail distribution ordinance on its books. But, the city’s law does not address the cultivation of cannabis at all. Many cannabis patients saw the need for cultivating a local supply of medicine and began to eye the dysfunctional county ordinance.

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“The San Diego 10” – the Captive Orcas of SeaWorld

March 18, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for “The San Diego 10” – the Captive Orcas of SeaWorld

Editor: Now that SeaWorld has announced it will no longer maintain an Orca breeding program, we thought it would be timely to repost the following about “The San Diego 10 – the Captive Orcas of SeaWorld”, originally posted on May 28, 2014.

Originally published on May 28, 2014.

Author Cara Wilson-Granat explored and examined each orca’s personal history and helped to tell their story – the story of the longest-held captive orcas.

Plus human advocates – one for each orca – were also introduced. They ranged from Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez to Zach Affolter, a high-schooler who organized a petition drive against his high school having proms at SeaWorld.

Cara Wilson-Granat – who once wrote ads for SeaWorld years ago and who changed her perspective after watching the film “Blackfish” – allowed each advocate to tell why they were so passionate about saving the captive orcas.

So, once again, all together, here are “the San Diego Ten“:

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SeaWorld Calls It Quits on Orca Breeding, Promises to End Killer Whale Shows

March 18, 2016 by Doug Porter

SeaWorldBy Doug Porter

Starting off with the admission that Americans’ attitudes about orcas have changed dramatically, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby has announced –via an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times the end of the company’s controversial breeding programs and the phasing out theatrical killer whale shows at all its locations.

SeaWorld has been the target of nationwide protests over its treatment of captive orcas in recent years. Revenues and attendance began a steady decline following the release of the documentary “Blackfish,” which spotlighted the animals’ living conditions and the dangers posed to their handlers.

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With Women’s Rights On the Line, Groups Demand Supreme Court #StoptheSham

March 18, 2016 by Source

Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt is widely believed to be the most consequential abortion rights case since Roe v. Wade

Women protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday against "sham" abortion laws that have threatened their health and autonomy. (Photo: NARAL Pro-choice NC/Twitter)

By Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams

The U.S. Supreme Court, with one vacant seat, heard oral arguments on Wednesday in what is widely believed to be the most consequential reproductive rights case since Roe v. Wade, one which observers warn could dramatically alter abortion access for women across the country.

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News From Around Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid March 2016

March 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for News From Around Ocean Beach and Point Loma – Mid March 2016

* Some Police Cameras Installed
* March 19th – Friends of OB Library Book and Yard Sale – Donations Needed
* Wife of Drowning Victim in OB Asks “What Was He Thinking?”
* Hess Brewery Dinged by Lack of Parking Citation
* Point Loma High Players and Fans Left in the Dark
* OB Elementary Principal to Kiss a Pig
* No Good Leads in Parrots Killings – Issue to Be Addressed at OB Town Council Meet
* New Construction Fence Around Former Doctors’ Offices – the Future “OB Plaza”
* OB Chili Cook-Off Contestants Needed
* Chapter One Tattoo Parlor Opens
* Hookah Parlor Closes
* Dog Lost at Sea Returned to San Diego Owner 5 Weeks Later
* Two Local Women Beaten Up by Female Traveler
* OB Picked as “Best” Neighborhood of a Large City

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Just How Many Breweries Can Ocean Beach Handle?

March 17, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Just How Many Breweries Can Ocean Beach Handle?

With 3 New Breweries About to Open on Newport, Is OB Becoming Another Pacific Beach?

Just how many breweries or beer tasting storefronts can Ocean Beach take? Just how many beer joints can Newport handle? These are the questions that are paramount on the minds of those OBceans who understand what’s happening on Newport Avenue, the main commercial drag in the village.

We ask the questions, because as of right now, there are 3 (that’s right – three) new beer breweries about to open on Newport. Actually, they’re not all real “breweries” – as two will be beer tasting rooms. A real brewery has to actually brew the sudsy stuff on site.

Everyone knows that the OB Brewery on lower Newport is about to open. We’ve been talking about the place as it has an exterior railing that has upset some in the community as an unnecessary encroachment into public space. The place is owned by the folks who own Newport Pizza, across the street.

Now, there are 2 new beer places about to open. Each has their alcohol notice taped to the doors.

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Somebody Is Politely Upset Over Abbott and Voltaire Condo Project

March 16, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Somebody Is Politely Upset Over Abbott and Voltaire Condo Project

Polite Graffiti Sprayed on Construction Fence

The OB Rag was informed by the company that is building the condo project at Voltaire and Abbott that their construction fence was tagged with what they called “some pretty polite graffiti”.

Sometime late Monday night perhaps, March 14th, somebody or somebodies sprayed messages expressing discontent over the planned project, being developed by the group, Three on Abbott. The project includes 3 two-story condos. And unfortunately for the neighbors who have been parking on the dirt lot that is now fenced-in for literally decades, that convenience is now gone forever.

Three on Abbott notified us by email of the tagging, sent us photos, and asked us to remind the community that –

this project was approved by the Ocean Beach Planning Board in a monumental vote of 11-3 and that the board is elected and run by residents of Ocean Beach.

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OB Historical Society Presents: The Beloved Wisteria Cottage – Mar. 17

March 16, 2016 by Staff
Thumbnail image for OB Historical Society Presents: The Beloved Wisteria Cottage  – Mar. 17

On March 17th the Ocean Beach Historical Society celebrates Spring with a program about the history and O.B. spirit of the beloved Wisteria Cottage and it’s famous 100 plus year-old vines.

Join the OBHS at the P.L. United Methodist Church, 1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., in O.B. of course, at 7pm.

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Get Rid of Your Toxic Teflon

March 16, 2016 by Source

Teflon-frying-pansIt’s time to ditch nonstick cookware — and then reform our laws.

By Jill Richardson / Otherwords

Teflon, you might have heard, may cause cancer.

The culprit was a toxic, now retired compound called PFOA. Also known as C8, the chemical became the subject of a major lawsuit accusing DuPont — the manufacturer of the popular nonstick coating — of sickening thousands of Americans.

Yet Teflon is still on the market, The Intercept reports, with a secret new active ingredient.

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