Facebook Minions, Greedy Old Perverts, and the War on Women

December 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

There Is No #NotMe Here

Yesterday I learned to be careful about writing the lede and headline for a story tackling the subject of misogyny. Alex Zaragoza at City Beat wrote something about all men having a degree of complicity in sexism and its more extreme manifestations and was silenced for doing so.

It didn’t take long for Facebook’s content moderation team to remove the article from City Beat’s social media postings. It seems as though the headline “Dear Dudes, You’re All Trashinfringes on the rights of white men, who are considered a protected group on the platform, according to a six-month-old

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Help Wanted: A 21st Century San Diego County Sheriff

November 22, 2017 by Doug Porter

What if San Diego had a leader in law enforcement who could see beyond warehousing the homeless? What if we had a Sheriff who wasn’t proud of the fact our jails are dumping grounds for the county’s mentally ill humans? What if we could find a way past the “us versus them” mentality, where fear drives the relationship with the government agency touching the most lives?

The question for voters in the 2018 election for County Sheriff shouldn’t be “what if;” it should be “why not?”

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County Jail Deaths Don’t Matter in San Diego

November 17, 2017 by Doug Porter

The decision of the county’s police oversight group to not look into the deaths of twenty-odd human beings should serve as a reminder of how true justice is a much rarer commodity than most people realize.

As part of my research into the upcoming elections for County Sheriff and District Attorney, it’s been made clear to me that oversight of the agencies vested with the power of arrest and the administration of justice is largely an illusion.

On one level this is about the frailties of humans; peer pressure to maintain the integrity of the tribe in the face of constant threats. The unspeakable cruelties of injustice are seemingly compartmentalized away from public view so the ongoing–and often misguided–crusade against crime can continue.

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2018: Time to Clean House in San Diego County Government

November 14, 2017 by Doug Porter

Western side of the County Administration Building

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Imagine, if you will…

A place in California where a single official believes he has the power to turn back the clock on same-sex marriage… A place where investigations into the deaths of people in jail are dismissed… A place where elected officials get to pick their successors…

… A place where a politician can pick up the phone and order police retaliation on people whose views he doesn’t share… A place where hundreds of millions of dollars sit undisturbed while homelessness spreads unabated, while a single elected official can pledge $150 million for a sports stadium.

Welcome to San Diego County

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As Trump Heads for Korea Candlelight Vigil for Peace at Shelter Island in Point Loma on Tues., Nov. 7th

November 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

Public Domain“We will speak, sing, and pray for wisdom and grace in the face of nuclear holocaust.”

Starting a war with Korea is a really bad idea. What’s even worse are the people who think there would be a ‘winner’ in such a conflict. As President Trump visits the Korean peninsula on Tuesday, it’s almost a sure bet he’ll rattle the swords of war.

Indivisible San Diego and Interfaith Worker Justice of San Diego County are urging people to join them for a 7pm candlelight vigil for peace on Tuesday, November 7th at Japanese Friendship Bell Park on Shelter Island (across from the Kona Kai).

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San Diego’s Democratic Party Leadership Needs to Take Its Head Out of the Sand

October 24, 2017 by Doug Porter

Last weekend’s San Diego County Democratic Convention was a success on many levels. Candidates spoke, networks were built, and the party faithful came away full of hope for the future. The mechanics of the event went smoothly.

But…

Ten thousand dollars bought a lot of silence at the Democratic Convention.

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Why Councilman Cate Likely Won’t Be Prosecuted for Helping Out Soccer City

October 18, 2017 by Doug Porter

City Councilman Chris Cate’s admission of his decision to pass along a confidential legal memo to a lobbyist working for the backers of the Soccer City development proposal has been at the center of controversy in recent days.

Cate and his PR guy say the decision to share was a necessary part of gathering information to make an informed decision. Except it would appear the Councilman had already taken a stance since his photograph appears alongside a supportive quote with other project backers at GoalSD.com. And lobbyist Craig Benedetto, who received the memo–stamped “confidential”–donated to and raised funds for Cate earlier this year.

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SANDAG Reform Becomes Reality; Governor Brown Signs Assembly Bill No.805

October 13, 2017 by Doug Porter

I’m pleased to report some good news today. San Diego’s regional transportation agency is going to change the way they do business, thanks to AB 805, legislation introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher and signed by the Governor on Wednesday, October 11th.

This is a big deal, even if most of the benefits are in the future. The balance of power is shifting to areas of the region where most people live. The old boy network’s influence over long-term planning for San Diego County has been diminished.

This is a good thing .

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Follow The Money to Understand Graham-Cassidy. Use Your Heart to Stop It.

September 22, 2017 by Doug Porter

Facts don’t matter when it comes to the Graham-Cassidy ‘get rid of Obamacare’ scheme. But feelings do. They had seven-plus years to come up with a plan. The best the Republicans could do earlier this year was to create underfunded versions of the Affordable Care Act. Facing a September 30th deadline for getting a bill passed using 51 votes, they have opted to blow up the law entirely.

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Doug’s Monster Calendar for Progressive Activists in San Diego, Sept. 9th – 18th

September 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

The Trump administration continues its assault on decency: immigrants are targeted, college rapists are protected, and a corporate crime wave of unheard of magnitude is sweeping the nation. Locally, the politics of disgust have fomented a Hepatitis A epidemic, in large part because making it hard to find a place to take a shit is part of the city’s program for the homeless.

So the struggle continues. Resist. Persist. Keep a song in your heart. And a smile on your face.

So what will you do? Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement.

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Republican Dumanis Declares for County Supervisor

September 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

Fourth District includes Ocean Beach and Good Part of Point Loma

Former County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has formally declared her intention to run for the Fourth District Supervisor seat. Finally.

The 2018 election represents an opportunity to begin changing that reality. As is true with any big institution, change will not happen overnight. But you have to start somewhere.

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San Diego Rallies in Response to Ending DACA

September 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

“I used to be in the shadows, and I refuse to go back into the shadows.”–Osmar Abad Cruz, DACA recipient

A Tuesday Sept. 5th night rally at the County administration building by immigration advocates and allies was part of a nationwide response to the announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program was finished.

The beauty of a San Diego sunset provided a vivid contrast to the ugliness being thrust upon nearly 8 million people in the United States brought in as children by undocumented parents.

In New York and Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles, along with dozens of other cities around the United States

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Fear Mongering 101: Antifa as the New ACORN

August 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

Be prepared to be very scared. Mask-wearing people clad in black are reportedly coming to a neighborhood near you very soon. You’ll want to clutch your pearls as they snarl at puppies, menace children, and spray paint obscenities in the neighborhood. Fox’s Sean Hannity will curl his upper lip, calling on milquetoast mayors for law and order in the streets.

Somewhere in the United States as I’m writing this, faux documentarian James O’Keefe is undoubtedly planning his next ‘gotcha’ production. I’m sure it will involve implied violence with not-so-subtle overtones of racism.

Something called Antifa has made itself known to fright wing activists desperate for any counterpoint to the insanity of Fearless Leader and his feckless followers.

So it’s time for a little common sense discussion. Does anybody remember ACORN?

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White [House] Supremacy: As the Nation Mourns, Trump Scorns

August 15, 2017 by Doug Porter

Crowd gathered at dusk, many holding vigil candles

San Diegans Join Nation-Wide Gatherings to Condemn Charlottesville Violence

People gathered in roughly 700 locations around the U.S. over the weekend in response to violence in Charlottesville instigated by right wing extremists on August 12. Activist Heather Heyer died, and 19 others were injured in an act of terrorism perpetrated by a young Nazi sympathizer. Virginia State troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates died in a helicopter crash as the day came to a close.

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California’s Senate Bill 17: First Step Toward Fixing Our Other Big Drug Problem

August 9, 2017 by Doug Porter

The California Assembly will be considering legislation in just a few weeks holding drug makers accountable by demanding greater transparency in decisions leading to price increases. It’s a small, but necessary, step toward making health care more affordable, so pay attention when you hear about Senate Bill 17.

America’s Other Drug Problem, namely consumers all-too-often being gouged on the price of prescription drugs, has proven to be a tough nut to crack. “Everybody knows” drug prices are ridiculously high. Other developed nations average 41% of U.S. net drug prices (for the 15 companies marketing the 20 top-selling drugs).

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Bombshell Report Details SANDAG Misdeeds, Cover-Up

August 2, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The Board of Directors for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will be convening on the morning of Friday, August 4 to hear results from an investigation by the law firm Hueston Hennigan into reports published in Voice of San Diego concerning misrepresentations about revenue forecasts used to promote ballot measures.

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Reefer Madness at Trump’s Justice Department

July 25, 2017 by Doug Porter

The US Department of Justice is preparing to crack down on marijuana use following the release of a report later this week claiming the drug is linked violent crime.

The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, organized by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is expected to recommend tougher sentences for those caught growing, selling and smoking pot.

A Sessions memo back in April called for a review of existing policies by July 27 using the following language:

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Innocent People Don’t Need Preemptive Pardons – Progressive Activist Calendar for San Diego: July 21- 31, 2017

July 21, 2017 by Doug Porter

The first 44 Presidents of the United States didn’t contemplate pardoning their children. Now we’ve learned number 45 may be breaking this precedent.

The Washington Post is reporting that Trump is discussing the possibility of pardoning himself, his family, and his closest aides in response to news about investigators looking into his finances as well as his campaign’s complicity in Russia’s subversion of the 2016 election.

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It’s Off to the Races at the Del Mar Death Track

July 20, 2017 by Doug Porter

It’s the time of year when the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club cranks up its well-oiled PR machine. Wednesday, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, with a 14-horse field of 3-year-olds competing on the infield grass race track, kicked off a 36 day summer season. Are you excited yet? Don’t be.

There were hats — outrageous hats, funny hats, and flamboyant head coverings–worn by people competing for a $5000 prize and 15 seconds of fame on local TV news. Later this year, the famed Breeder’s Cup, two days of racing moving from track to track each fall, will draw international attention to Del Mar.

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Official Neglect Fosters Wage Theft In San Diego

July 12, 2017 by Doug Porter

Study: Nearly 40,000 workers shorted on paychecks.

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

What happens if voters approve an increased minimum wage ordinance and government can’t be bothered? Short answer–people get ripped off.

The Mayor’s office in San Diego fought an increase in the local minimum wage at every turn over a two year period. The City Council passed an ordinance raising the wage in steps along with a system for earned sick leave in July 2014. The Mayor vetoed it. The Council passed it over his veto.

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San Diego Has $80 Million Worth of Promises for the Homeless

July 11, 2017 by Doug Porter

America’s Finest City isn’t really all that fine, sometimes. Especially if you happen to be a homeless human. Or a whistleblower. Or a woman. Or a protester. The same old, same old, keeps on happening, and like cartoon character Charlie Brown going after that football Lucy’s holding for him, we keep falling for it.

An $80 million commitment in funding for homeless services announced last week is just the latest in a series of moves designed to make people think something is being done by local officials.

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San Diego Sheriffs Stood By as Alt-Right ‘Proud Boys’ Disrupted Impeachment Rally

July 5, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

There were rallies calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump in cities around the United States on Sunday. Supporters of the President turned out for counter protests in Austin, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York. Law enforcement officers in those cities worked to keep the groups separated, allowing each to express their First Amendment rights.

The situation in San Diego at the County Administration Building was different, as Sheriff’s Deputies initially stood by idly and watched as members of the ‘Proud Boys’ disrupted, threatened and harassed attendees and speakers.

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Suzie’s Farm: Gone, But Not Forgotten

June 28, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Suzie’s Farm did all the right things over the past eight years, growing a wide variety organic produce, selling at farmers markets and direct to consumers, getting listed as a supplier on restaurant menus, always with an eye toward building community involvement. Above all, Robin Taylor and Lucila De Alejandro built a brand.

Now the farm is closed.

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It’s Do or Die Time : San Diegans Joining Nationwide Trumpcare Protests

June 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

This is the week that will determine the future of healthcare and a lot more in the United States for the foreseeable future. If there ever was a time to stand up and be heard on the topic the time is now.

There will be political actions aimed at pressuring elected officials nationwide. On Tuesday, July 27, local activists will add to the chorus against this abomination of a bill in San Diego and Vista.

Here are this week’s protests in anticipation of the Trumpcare vote in the Senate:

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Russian Hacking, Voting Restrictions, Data-Mining, and Threats to Democracy

June 21, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Our ability to vote in fair and free elections has never been more in doubt. This is about more than any single foreign power, dark money donor, or racist state official taking action to degrade Democracy. It’s about all of them combined. Follow me down this rabbit hole….

The Supreme Court has just agreed to hear a case challenging partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin. While it will be a while before a ruling gets announced, this case has the potential to unleash a wave of lawsuits against widespread partisan gerrymanders nationally.

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Real Estate Interests, Hoteliers Triumph in Special Election Showdown

June 7, 2017 by Doug Porter

You could say that special elections are actually a form of voter suppression. And you’d be right.

By Doug Porter

The absurdities of politics in American’s Finest City never cease to amaze me. Monday’s battle of the budget was a perfect example, complete with surprise ending(s). There were dueling press conferences, grueling hours of public testimony, some public fuming, and a mayoral overruling.

Given the number of players involved–and some won’t get mentioned for the sake of brevity–it’s best to lay out a timeline of events.

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Behind the Digital Curtain at the ‘San Diego Free Press’

June 6, 2017 by Doug Porter

Editors’ Note: five years old this week, staff at the OB Rag produced the first online version of the San Diego Free Press – and it took off. This is one in a series of posts reflecting on the paths we’ve traveled.

News roundup logo

By Doug Porter

One thousand, three hundred and thirty posts ago I started writing for the San Diego Free Press. Today, I want to give you a peek behind the digital curtain.

Along with this column, there will be articles from contributors throughout the week. I urge you to read them. You’ll discover–I hope–some of the humans whose creative efforts make this unique media platform happen.
.

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March for Truth Organizes as Putin’s Puppet Starts to Dance

June 2, 2017 by Doug Porter

truthBy Doug Porter

This weekend people in 140+ cities will take to the streets to say facts matter.

The March for Truth represents a collective demand for a thorough investigation and complete disclosure of events surrounding the ascension of Donald Trump to the White House.

Editor: Here is info for the 2 Marches for Truth in San Diego County:

Saturday, June 3, 11am
East Mission Bay – Just North of Hilton Hotel
For More Information – San Diego

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Cat Herding and Loathing at the California Democratic State Convention

May 23, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

Democrats gathered in Sacramento this past weekend for their annual convention, and there were–surprise, surprise–disagreements. Based on the angst woven into some news accounts of the event, you’d think some of these writers had never heard the comparison made between organizing Dems and herding cats.

Foremost among the hand-wringing coverage were stories about the competition for chair of the California Democratic Party. Kimberly Ellis, widely considered to be an insurgent candidate symbolizing the aspirations of the Bernie Sanders wing of the party, lost to Eric Bauman, Male Vice Chair and Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair, by 62 votes.

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Trump’s World Tour. (Gulp) Meanwhile, Here’s the Progressive San Diego Calendar – May 20-31, 2017

May 20, 2017 by Doug Porter

Calendar
Editor’s note: the following progressive calendar for San Diego County has been briefly edited to update the text.

By Doug Porter

Combover Caligula is on a road trip to a bunch of countries, some of which are populated by brown people. The trip marks the first time since taking office that he has spent a night away from the White House at a property that doesn’t bear his name.

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