September 2020

Is Measure E a Power Grab and Threat to Coastal Neighborhoods or Is It the Only Way for San Diego to Get a World-Class Sports Arena and More ?

September 30, 2020 by Source

Editordude: Is Measure E a power grab threatening coastal neighborhoods with mega-development or is it the only way San Diego can get a world-class sports arena and “more”? Here are the two sides, reposts from the Union-Tribune on Tuesday. Tom Mullaney argues against Measure E and Cathy Kenton and Dike Anyiwo argue for it. Both are below.
Measure E is a power grab targeting coastal communities and threatening mega-development
By Tom Mullaney / San Diego Union-Tribune / Sep. 29, 2020

San Diego’s coastal height limit of 30 feet has been in place since 1972, for 48 years. It was voted in by the citizens; why change it now?

Those who want to lift the height limit say this will “achieve the vision of the community plan.” What if instead the real purpose is this?

  • Developers getting free rein in the coastal communities.
  • Allowing mid-rise and high-rise buildings in six communities.
  • Making a few property owners rich.
  • Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his top staff rewarding key supporters before leaving office.
  • Speeding the takeover of federal land.

Measure E can be seen as part of a two-step plan:

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Next Debate – Put Both in a Sound-Proof Box; If a Quiz Show Can Do It, So Can Debate Commission

September 30, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

We’ve just learned that “After a chaotic and nearly unwatchable first presidential debate that devolved into interruptions and insults, mostly by Trump, the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would look into changing the format of the remaining debates.”

Okay! I say, put both of them in a box. A soundproof box where the moderator can regulate the microphones and what the contestants can hear.

If a television quiz show could do it, so can the Commission on Presidential Debates.

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Amy Barrett Will Be a ‘Justice’ for the Radical Right and a Vote to Overturn Roe v. Wade and the Affordable Care Act

September 30, 2020 by Source

From a Justice for Gender Equality to a “Justice” for Gender Oppression

By Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut / Sept. 29, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett and Ruth Bader Ginsburg could not be more different when it comes to their respective notions of justice. Ginsburg, a pioneer in the protection of gender equality, spent her entire career, including 27 years on the Supreme Court, fighting for the rights of women, immigrants, people of color, criminal defendants, LGBTQ people, workers, people with mental disabilities and the poor. Barrett seeks to strip health insurance from tens of millions of people and crush reproductive rights.

Donald Trump rushed to nominate Barrett and enlisted his consigliere, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), to ram her nomination through the Senate so she can support Trump’s legal challenges to any election results that favor Joe Biden. Trump, who refuses to commit to a peaceful transfer of power,

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Why We’re Launching ‘District 3 for Barbara Bry’

September 30, 2020 by Source

By Kate Callen and Tom Mullaney

The people who live and work in San Diego’s City Council District 3 have a long tradition of upholding the livability of their neighborhoods. From Golden Hill to Normal Heights and North Park to Mission Hills, these have been communities of modest homes, small businesses, and a family-friendly human scale.

Or that’s how they used to be. Today, District 3 is where City Hall’s worst policy decisions have come home to roost. Our neighborhoods are declining because the politicians who were elected to represent us did not provide the courageous leadership we needed.

We support responsible growth. We believe in development that plays to neighborhood strengths and includes affordable housing. Instead, we have been force-fed massive high-priced condo projects that dwarf surrounding homes. The City’s push to solve “San Diego’s housing crisis” through District 3 upzoning and density bonuses makes no sense.

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Musings of the Widder Curry

September 29, 2020 by Judi Curry

By Judi Curry

I received an email today from an even older gentleman this morning that stated, “Morose – not suicidal.” He went on to say that he finds himself “sinking into a perpetual state of quiet desperation” due to the political situation affecting this country.

The sad thing about his note to me and others, is that this is not the only piece of mail that I have received with the same message. I have read messages that start “since the death of RBG, I have been both depressed and/or angry.” Or, ”I can’t sleep at night; I find myself angry and irritated over the smallest little things.” Someone wrote that “ . . a sound I used to like – crickets in the night – is driving me nuts.”

I belong to a group called “Nasty Women for Biden”. The thread of this group is the same as I have quoted above. The fear, the anger, the disbelief that all of this is caused by the political situation today. Thousands of women – and some men too I have noticed – are writing in and seeking confirmation that they are not the only one feeling this way.

As a female, I am appalled at the number of women I see at the trump rallies.

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New Super-Enzyme Eats Plastic Bottles 6 Times Faster than Regular Enzyme

September 29, 2020 by Source

By Damian Carrington / The Guardian / Sept. 28, 2020

A super-enzyme that degrades plastic bottles six times faster than before has been created by scientists and could be used for recycling within a year or two.

The super-enzyme, derived from bacteria that naturally evolved the ability to eat plastic, enables the full recycling of the bottles. Scientists believe combining it with enzymes that break down cotton could also allow mixed-fabric clothing to be recycled. Today, millions of tonnes of such clothing is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.

Plastic pollution has contaminated the whole planet, from the Arctic to the deepest oceans, and people are now known to consume and breathe microplastic particles. It is currently very difficult to break down plastic bottles into their chemical constituents in order to make new ones from old, meaning more new plastic is being created from oil each year.

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The History of the Original OB Seagull

September 29, 2020 by Source

OB seagull decal orig

Originally posted at OB Rag on July 6, 2015

By Bob Sorben – Creator of the Original OB Seagull

Back in the 50’s and early 60’s we all hung out on the beach at the foot of Newport. OB was ruled by the locals and the defense of our beach town from outsiders was almost tribal. We fought with other local communities whenever an occasion arose. Of course, there were always fights amongst ourselves, and some just liked to fight.

The Point was actually broken up into clubs and each had followers, but we intermingled as one. The Sunset Surfers of the 40’s & 50’s and, the Qwiigs Surfing Club, which dated back to the 30’s were the beginning.

The Baron’s, Nobles, Rouges, the Yacht Club Guys and in “Tunaville” The Oaks. The OB Longhorns, an unorganized group of locals grew out of the 60’s era. With a few of our nick names like: The Missing Link, The Crab, The Deviate, Tommy Cuckoo, Monkey, Buttman, The Lizard, (the stories could fill a book).

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OB Resister Sisters Strike Again! ‘Honk If You Paid More Tax than Trump’

September 29, 2020 by Staff

The Resister Sisters of Ocean Beach hung another sign over the northbound 163 in beautiful Balboa Park Monday, just in time for the afternoon rush hour traffic.

And you should’ve heard the honking!

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Foregone Conclusion: Midway Planners Endorse Faulconer’s Selection for Redevelopment of Sports Arena Area

September 28, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The outcome was preordained, all that was left to see was the show leading up to it. As expected, the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group vote unanimously to support the city of San Diego’s choice of the entity to redevelop the Sports Arena and surrounding properties.

It is apparent that the people in the MPHCPG are so eager to have what is admittedly a sorry looking landscape redone, they would have voted for Homer Simpson if he just promised to rebuild what is there now. Their eagerness is understandable, anyone who visits the Midway area will agree, it needs something much more than just a facelift.

What is important to point out is that the sorriest looking parts of Midway are city-owned properties. The worst offender is the shopping center that borders the east side of the Sports Arena parking lot. There was a shuttered, former Black Angus restaurant on one corner of this property that sat empty for a decade.

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Will We Ever Breathe Free?

September 28, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

We Black folks
always wonder
if we’ll ever breathe free,
like others of our species,
ever since
we, caught napping,
were snatched
from our homeland
as kidnappees
and stacked
in boats
as contraband
and dumped
in shacks
as un-hired hands,
spending our lives
standing rigidly
for centuries
bent over long cotton sacks

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The Final Episode of the Trump Show: The Fat Lady Is Singing and the Squeeze Is On

September 28, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a blockbuster ending to the final episode of the final season of the Trump Show.

It all came down to money. But, then that is how it all started, too. He ran for office, so the rumors go, (and now seem prophetic) as a “branding exercise.” He was in debt with no stocks, assets, or other liquid assets to cover the come due bills.

Trump did not plan on winning. He needed to rebrand his name; get more money from licensing the Trump name on towers, golf courses, and of course, the ultimate scheme, “Trump Tower Moscow.”

For that possible gift of land, Trump would build a skyscraper of condos, exclusively for the Russian 0ligarchs. The penthouse would be a gift to Putin.

Only problem, those pesky tax returns have now interfered. You know the ones. Those “under audit” so he couldn’t release them. He wanted to, but moaned, “I am prohibited from doing so without permission from the IRS. I am under audit.”

Those same taxes thought to be part of the of Special Counsel’ investigation. Only, Mueller neglected to investigate them. The same taxes about which Trump often boasted, “Only stupid people pay taxes.”

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Vote Yes on Proposition 15: Ignore the Corporate Lies and Put Our Schools and Communities First

September 28, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

With the economic and budgetary crisis in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are anxious about upcoming budget cuts at the state and local levels that will harm education and local services. It can be a helpless feeling waiting for the shoe to drop, but, in this case, with Proposition 15 on the ballot this November 3rd, there is something we can do about it—pass Prop 15 and bring billions of dollars of new, ongoing revenue into the system.

Proposition 15 will require that commercial property valued at more than $3 million be reassessed at fair market value every three years.

  • This closes a loophole that large corporations have used for decades to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes.
  • The richest 10% of corporate properties will provide 92% of the revenue.
  • Prop 15 specifically exempts all residential properties and agricultural land, maintaining full Prop 13 protections for homeowners, renters, and agriculture.
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Airbnb and Its Hosts Oppose Councilwoman Campbell’s Short-Term Vacation Rental Agreement, as Coalition Forms to Push It

September 25, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Jacob Aere at KPBS has just written how Airbnb and its hosts are opposed to Councilwoman Jen Campbell’s proposal for short-term vacation rentals. Campbell, Expedia and the UNITE HERE labor union came up with a so-called Memorandum of Understanding back in July.

Airbnb’s senior public policy manager, John Choi, said Airbnb was not part of the discussion, and the agreed upon changes will eliminate critical revenue streams for Airbnb hosts during an especially difficult year. Aere quoted Choi:

“Our hosts have overwhelmingly expressed serious concerns that the proposed 0.7% cap on the number of city-wide vacation rental licenses will eliminate a critical source of income at a time where they need the income more than ever.”

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‘Choosing Between Bry and Gloria Is Like Buying a Used Car’ – Report of Mayoral ‘Debate’ at Ocean Beach Town Council

September 25, 2020 by Source

By Geoff Page

The highlight of Ocean Beach Town Council meeting Wednesday evening, September 23, was the appearance of the two mayoral candidates, Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria. How to describe the difference between the two? Kind of like buying a used car.

Gloria would be the used car salesman all smiles and glad handing, diverting questions about how well the car runs to all the cool cup holders inside the car. Bry would be the private owner selling her car and telling you about every nick and wart because she feels that is the right thing to do. Folks should consider buying Bry’s car.

This was not a debate, as Mark Winkie, the council president explained at the start

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7 Billionaires Pouring Money into Pro-Charter School Candidates for Los Angeles School Races and California Legislature

September 25, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / Sept. 20/ 2020

Unlike 2018, fewer of the wealthy class appear to be spending so freely to control California school policy, but their spending still dominates campaign spending.

Large amounts of money are being spent in an attempt to regain political control of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and there appears to be a concentration of money directed at key county school boards. They are also spending liberally on California state senate and assembly races.

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No Justice for Breonna Taylor Results in – Once Again – Angry Protests Coast to Coast

September 24, 2020 by Source

With only one of the police officers involved in the police murder of Breonna Taylor of Louisville indicted – and not for her murder but for shooting into a different apartment – angry protests broke out, once again, coast to coast, in American cities.

From Louisville to Atlanta, to New York City, to Washington DC, to Chicago, to Los Angeles and even to San Diego, thousands of young people marched and demonstrated in the streets.

127 people were arrested overnight in Louisville and two police officers were wounded. Two reporters were among those arrested.

Ten people were arrested near police headquarters in downtown San Diego during the protest Wednesday night. The rally had involved hundreds and began around 7 pm near the corner of 8th and B streets, and protesters marched along Broadway. Around 10:15 p.m San Diego Police declared it an unlawful assembly because of “acts of violence and vandalism … in front of (police) headquarters.” Apparently, someone tried to lower the flags outside the station but officers thwarted that move.

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Mayor Faulconer’s Utility Franchise Plan Is a Multi-billion Dollar Giveaway

September 24, 2020 by Source

From Public Power San Diego

Mayor Faulconer’s last-minute decision to proceed with a new franchise agreement will result in a multi-billion dollar giveaway of a key City asset, at a time when the community is reeling from multiple crises and has failed to consider better options, Public Power San Diego (PPSD) said Wednesday, Sept 23.

“Everyone with eyes open sees tourism and other industries collapsing, with tens of thousands losing their jobs, all while the need to address the climate crisis grows ever more urgent,” said Craig Rose of Public Power San Diego, which advocates for the creation of a non-profit publicly owned utility.

“The City Council must insist on careful consideration of its options, including a public utility, instead of this giveaway that would lock us into paying the highest utility rates in California for 20 years.”

PPSD urges the city council to reject any franchise deal on the proposed terms and instead begin immediate planning and transition toward a public utility.

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Trump Plots Coup D’Etat If He Doesn’t Win – Promises ‘Continuation’ and Makes Plans to Install Loyal Electors

September 24, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Originally posted Sept. 24, 2020

From what Trump declared on Wednesday, we should all be memorizing the definition of a coup d’etat. When asked by a reporter at a White House press conference, Trump refused to say he would commit to a “peaceful transfer of power,” if he lost the election. Get rid of the ballots, he said, there won’t be a transfer, just a “continuation” of his power.

Coup d’etat is French and according to Wikipedia:

“A coup or coup d’état is the removal of an existing government from power, usually through violent means. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator.”

The Urban Dictionary shortens the definition:

“The overthrow of the current establishment, by dissidents within the government.”

So, just what did Trump say? His wording was jumbled but clear as day. He said:

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Caster Semenya, a Gift of Nature

September 23, 2020 by Ernie McCray

by Ernie McCray

One of my favorite athletes is Caster Semenya.

As a former half-miler I love the way she comes off that last 200, so strong, yet relaxed, at a pace the other runners totally lack.

As we used to say: “She can step, Jack!”

But people in the world of track have barred her from running track – unless she undergoes surgery or takes drugs to regulate her high testosterone levels – to “level the playing field,” not taking into consideration that, no matter how they feel, Caster Semenya is still a woman.

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Mayoral Candidates Bry and Gloria at OB Town Council Facebook Live Meeting – Wed., Sept.23

September 23, 2020 by Staff

Join the Ocean Beach Town Council for their Monthly Public Meeting. This month, the OBTC is hosting San Diego Mayoral candidates Barbara Bry and Todd Gloria.

Join them on Facebook Live, Wednesday September 23rd at 7:00 pm, for an interactive Q&A and the opportunity to leave comments and suggestions.

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Brookfield Redevelopment and SANDAG Presentations Made at Midway Planners Meeting

September 23, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

The first item of note about the Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group is a special meeting that will be held Wednesday, September 23, on-line at 3:00, to decide if “the CPG wish[sic] to take action to support the selection of Brookfield for the Sports Arena Development.”

The decision to have this special meeting was made at the Midway group’s regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, September 16. In order to provide as much notice as possible, the meeting announcement was e-mailed in the early afternoon the following day.

Because the group does not have a website yet, distribution appears to depend on email lists. The link to the meeting is on the emailed agenda and is open to anyone who wishes to attend. Here is the link:

Brookfield and Redevelopment of the Midway

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Tired of Pandemic and Trump Fatigue

September 23, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

I woke up this morning in a funk. Maybe it was the subconscious acknowledging Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death, and how Donald and Mitch were plotting to replace her before the poor woman’s body was even cold, and how it looks likely that they will force someone onto the Supreme Court that will undo everything RBG did.

Or maybe I’m just funky because of pandemic fatigue. Tired of being isolated; tired of staying at home, not being able to non-restrictively hug family members and good friends and visit them in their actual homes. I’m tired of not being able to fully play with my grandchildren. I’m tired of having to walk on the other side of the sidewalk or street when passing strangers.

But I’m also real tired of the anti-maskers, the people who refuse to wear masks or practice social distancing. Did you know some of them started to clamor to have businesses open up way back in April? April!

I’m tired of people burning masks;

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Fish Farm Proposed Off Ocean Beach

September 22, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A fish farm is being proposed off Ocean Beach. Okay, it’s not directly off OB but 4 miles out (see map). The research institute connected with SeaWorld, Hubbs, and a corporation from Long Beach have proposed the first open-ocean fish farm in federal waters off the southern California coast.

Hubbs Research Institute and Pacific6 Enterprise want to build the Pacific Ocean AquaFarm and earlier in September, they submitted a federal permit application for the project.

The proposed farm would be about 4 miles offshore and west of San Diego’s beaches. Hubbs and Pacific6 claim it would generate 5,000 metric tons of sushi-grade yellowfish annually and create about 75 jobs.

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The Case for a Corner of Mission Bay to Be ‘Wild’

September 22, 2020 by Source

By John Riedel

For centuries, Mission Bay was utilized by the bird populations of Southern California and along the Pacific Flyway as habitat, and by our region’s indigenous Kumeyaay communities for survival. But a great deal has changed in the bay since the arrival of Europeans, particularly in the last several decades.

The post-war 1940s and 1950s brought dredging and a wholesale, man-made redesign and reimagination of Mission Bay as a water park for the region’s swelling population. At the time it was considered progressive, popular policy to provide a manicured place for residents to play and recreate along the bayfront.

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Suspect Arrested in Fatal Shooting of Ocean Beach Man

September 21, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

A suspect has been arrested for the fatal shooting near the Ocean Beach lifeguard station last week.

19-year-old Thurs Loo John of San Diego was arrested over the weekend for allegedly gunning down 58-year-old James Chase in the 1900 block of Abbott Street, according to San Diego Police Department Lt. Andra Brown. Chase was found mortally wounded just after 1 am on Tuesday, Sept. 15 by police.

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Peninsula Planning Board Wrangles Over Froude and Voltaire – Received Presentation on Measure E

September 21, 2020 by Staff

By Geoff Page

As it almost always does, the Peninsula Community Planning Board offered up some controversy again during its regular monthly meeting held on Thursday, September 17. (Because it was conducted on Zoom, it was recorded and can be viewed here – ) This is one definite benefit to on-line meeting forums.

The controversy occurred during discussions of three letters the PCPB’s Traffic subcommittee drafted and wanted the board to approve to send to the city. These three letters contained recommendations that could have directly affected the community, so they are described below along with the actions taken.

The Froude and Voltaire Intersection

The first letter was about the intersection of Froude and Voltaire streets. It is important to state first that this reporter spoke out strongly in opposition to the letter. The reason for this is that this reporter lives very near the intersection, has used it extensively for many years, and thought the letter was misleading and completely incorrect. A little history.

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Santee City Council’s Tangled Plot To Build Fanita Ranch

September 21, 2020 by Source

By Colleen Cochran

Over the past few decades, natural open spaces within 20 miles of the San Diego County coast have been largely devoured by development. The city of Santee’s majestic northern Fanita Hills, a 2,600-acre region, has remained intact, although it has been under a land-use siege throughout this period. Santee’s city council seats, which hold the authority to control the destiny of Fanita Hills, have been magnets for building industry contributions, and the windfall of political dollars has created sharp division between Santee residents and their elected officials on the question of whether to develop or conserve the region.

While Santee City Council members might have enabled citizens to weigh in on potential building projects, most of them deviously plotted to squash citizens’ participation. Their goal, in particular, has been to prevent citizens from attaining the power to oppose Fanita Ranch, a massive 3,000-unit housing development slated to be built in the Fanita Hills.

The development will encompass an area a quarter of the size of existent Santee. Only Councilman Stephen Houlahan has not worked to quell citizens’ voices. In fact, he sponsored an initiative that would grant them a say in Santee’s development processes.

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The Billionaire Bonanza Amidst the Pandemic Exposes Greed and Political Cowardice in Washington, D.C. and California

September 21, 2020 by Jim Miller

By Jim Miller

As the bad news keeps rolling in for ordinary Americans with the pandemic dragging on with no real hope in sight for months at best, and any new economic relief stalled out in Congress with the Republican majority refusing to move on “blue state bailouts,” it is abundantly clear whose interests our leaders in Washington actually care about—not yours. Indeed, the wrecking crew in the White House and the Senate have never been more openly honest about their disdain for the well-being of the majority of Americans.

When it comes to emergency aid for the suffering, the response from the Republicans is resounding: F**** off and die.

Why should they be worried? 200,000 dead and counting? Big whoop. Their real base is doing just fine. As the Guardian reported last week, the rich have never had it better:

The already vast fortunes of America’s 643 billionaires have soared by an average of 29% since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which has at the same time laid waste to tens of millions of jobs around the world.

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San Diego FedEx Plane Forced to Make Emergency Landing in LA After Loud Thuds Heard Over Point Loma

September 19, 2020 by Source

From Point Loma Association Newsletter

“I thought someone was pounding on my door but my dog didn’t freak out and bark, scary!”
“Scared me to death, thought someone was pounding on my door, dog went crazy barking, then my neighbor called to ask if I heard it!”
“Sounded like someone was banging on our door or wall…freaked me out!”
“Yes, I heard that too…unlike anything I’ve heard before. So strange that I went to the windows to look, but saw nothing.”

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Grant Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Dying Wish: ‘Save Her Seat. Defy Trump.’

September 19, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dictated a dying wish to her granddaughter. “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

That was not to be, but now voters can grant that wish. Ginsburg intended to retire in 2016 and allow what she assumed would be the first female President to name her replacement.

Instead, there is a monumental loss; that of Justice Ginsburg herself.

If you were ever privileged enough to hear RBG speak, you witnessed, felt, and understood the strength of her intellect; the power of her convictions; and the drive that propelled her to iconic stature in jurisprudence.

She knew the unfairness firsthand. At Harvard law, she was only one of 9 women in a class of 500. Graduated at top of her class, but no law firm in the City of New York would hire her.

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