A Small But Powerful Voice Turns 50

September 18, 2020 by Source

Editordude: The following post by Scott Stephens of Liquid Blue was written for another publication but we decided to publish it as well. He’s very kind. There is a brief bio of Scott at the end.

by Scott Stephens

A legendary local publication has turned 50 this week. The OB People’s Rag was first published on September 17, 1970. OB stands for Ocean Beach, the small, rugged beachfront community which is part of the city proper of San Diego. The “Rag” represented the rebel spirit that OB became known for and led the charge on several progressive social fronts.

OB is different. Many original ’60s hippies still reside here. There is no McDonald’s and very few large corporate retailers. It was in OB that a local food co-op was started (with many of the OB Rag staff involved), which would later evolve into California’s second health food store, Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market in 1972.

You won’t find any high-rise hotels or apartments here either. Newport Avenue, the town’s main street, is the very antithesis of Rodeo Drive. Its oldest tenant is “The Black,” which has managed to survive since 1968 and was named one of the Top 10 Legendary Headshops in America in the December 2018 issue of High Times Magazine. Voter rolls show OBcean’s votes for third-party candidates in a higher percentage than anywhere else in San Diego County.

With its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, OB hippies share space with surfers, fishers, bikers, bohemians, artists, musicians, and a large homeless population. The Ocean Beach Pier was opened in 1966 and is the largest concrete pier in the entire world! The Ocean Beach Farmers Market has operated since 1992, featuring homemade arts and crafts, and live music right by the beach.

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Ed Decker: How to Respond to Ugly Facebook Messages

September 17, 2020 by Source

Straight-up with a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear SWAT, One of the many complications COVID has brought into my life is that I am drinking at home and arguing on social media more than ever. This is a bad combination because the more I drink, the more aggressive and insulting I become. I tell myself to stop doing it, but once I catch a buzz it’s almost impossible not to engage. Any recommendations on how to quit doing this?

Devon,
San Diego

Dear Devon, indeed, I do have a recommendation. I don’t use Twitter much, but I have certainly done my fair share of FacedBooking. And it has gotten ugly: Angry messages flying back and forth; unfriendings piling up; and scoldings from onlookers who rightfully put me in my place.

“Damn dude, did you really have to tell that guy he was the offspring of a spiny lumpsucker and a retarded fungus beetle? That’s low, even for you.”

So yeah, I too vowed to quit FacedBooking— as well as Drunkstagramming, Stumblr-ing, drunxting and the rest. But when I’m all liquored up—and a response comes in from some blathering brain clot calling me a dumbass because, “The spiny lumpsucker is a member of the Tetraodontiformes order and would never mate with a beetle!”— well it is impossible not to return fire. Largely because I immediately start thinking about all the brilliant points I’m about to unleash. And those brilliant ideas will swarm above my head like wasps until they get written down. However, I have learned that the Brilliance Wasps don’t really care if the ideas get posted, they only need be written—to prevent me from losing any ingenious thoughts to the abyss of my upcoming blackout.

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School Choice Is a Harmful Fraud

September 16, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Birthed in the bowels of the 1950’s segregationist south, school choice has never been about improving education. It is about white supremacy, profiting off taxpayers, cutting taxes, selling market based solutions and financing religion. School choice ideology has a long dark history of dealing significant harm to public education.

Market Based Ideology

Milton Friedman first recommended school vouchers in a 1955 essay. In 2006, he was asked by a conservative group of legislators what he envisioned back then. PRWatch reports that he said, “It had nothing whatsoever to do with helping ‘indigent’ children; no, he explained to thunderous applause, vouchers were all about ‘abolishing the public school system.”’ [Emphasis added]

Market based ideologues are convinced that business is the superior model for school management. Starting with the infamous Reagan era polemic,

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Flies and Butter on the Rocks Or a Fly on the Tongue is Worth Two on the Screen

September 14, 2020 by Source

By manly pink scooter

Peter From South Oceanside reminded me of a heartwarming instance when he jokingly requested a cancellation to his OB Rag subscription on September 4, 2020 in a comment to my first post on this website.

One warm summer morning on the canyon’s edge I was on coyote watch while my coffee was abrewin’ and the bread was atoastin’. I can spend several hours on the couch in the morning drinking coffee and perusing life and gazing out the picture window . I’m so lazy sloths look down upon my habits. Turtles wonder if I ever will catch up.

On that wonderful morning I stepped into the kitchen for the toast & coffee, and I spotted a fly on the butter.

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Is This the Dawning of the ‘Age of Direct Democracy’?

September 14, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Historians, writers, journalists, astrologers and even amateurs sometimes coin a phrase that perfectly describes an entire epoch. Or a decade.

Many of these “Age of” descriptions come long after the fact. For example, the “Age of Exploration” or the “Age of Empires.”

The truly magnificent titles capture so much than just a decade. Some span centuries. Others end quickly. The “Enlightenment.” “The Age of Reason.” “The Dark Ages.”

And they are defined and remembered in multiple forms; all personal. Literature, sports, music, art, movies, economics and politics.

Take the “Gilded Age” known for the lopsided wealth and extravagance generated by railroads, industrialization, with cosseted nouveau riche existing alongside abject poverty.

Or Edith Wharton’s, “Age of Innocence.” The writing of which, she said allowed her to find “a momentary escape in going back to my childish memories of a long-vanished America… it was growing more and more evident that the world I had grown up in and been formed by had been destroyed in 1914.” And the first “world” war.

Then there are the obvious ones. The “Atomic Age.” The “Industrial Age.” “The Space Age.”

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A Bridge Too Far for San Diego?

September 11, 2020 by Source

By Joni Halpern

Residents of San Diego County have long had concerns about the quality of our physical environment.

The entire slow-growth movement that brought Pete Wilson to the mayoralty, for example, came about because San Diegans worried that unfettered development would overcrowd the landscape and turn the city into another Los Angeles. Never mind that in his tenure, from December 1971 to January 1983, Mayor Wilson presided over unprecedented growth.

As a coastal region, San Diego has always been in a love-hate relationship with developers.

On one hand, we need more housing to shelter our growing population. On the other hand, we fear the loss of livable communities, the feeling of neighborhoods, the relief of open space and proximity to green spaces, the safety of pedestrian walkways. These necessities of livable communities are already at risk and can be completely lost with on-street parking and hundreds of new residents seeking refuge from densely packed multi-family developments.

Politics in this region is a smoldering battle between community groups and forces advocating the reduction of constraints on development.

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Act Two of Tragicomedy – the 2020 Race for San Diego Mayor

September 11, 2020 by Source

ACT II: A Cautionary Tale About What a Council Member’s Negligence, Lack of Independence, Inept Management, and Behind-the-Scenes Manipulation Can Do to a City

Scene One: Setting the stage for the winners… and losers

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / September 10, 2020

There’s no denying it– life feels out of control nowadays. Upended. Throw in the national political scene and it’s enough to push you over the edge.

But gird yourself for some good news. Here at home we’re blessed with the extraordinary opportunity to seize control of San Diego’s political destiny. It’s no exaggeration.

The person we choose as our next mayor (Barbara Bry? Todd Gloria?) will shape the quality of daily life for more than 1½ million San Diegans for years to come. Which one can we trust with the power to control who gets what in our city… who benefits from the policies, decisions, contracts, appointments, agreements, awards, favors, negotiations, and other goodies originating in City Hall… and who gets left with the crumbs?

Based on Todd Gloria’s history and campaign contributors, the answer is clear: Mr. Gloria is the wrong choice for the mayor’s job.

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Critter’s Salad Bar

September 11, 2020 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

On a warm day in Spring day after a night of rain, I trudged through dense greenery in my back yard. I heard a bit of noise a couple of feet away and realized I was standing next to a skunk. The skunk was busy happily digging and could care less that I was beside him.

A week later, while examining my passionfruit plant, I found a baby opossum below the vines. The awkward youth looked at me, then slowly walked away.

Interestingly, my thick viny passion fruit plant that produces much green fruit slightly bigger than golf balls goes missing long before they change to burgundy-red sweet ripen fruit. I think that opossum may have made the large lush plant his home and snack bar. I suspect he has quite a belly on him these days!

Other years, I have had some very bold raccoons making their grocery runs through my yard.

It is these kinds of experiences that make me feel like I am living in the country.

To top things off, my husband told me he saw an amazing piece of aerodynamics as a parrot divebombed my apple tree plucking the fruit without slowing as he headed straight back up into the sky.

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Soon We Will Know Who We Are

September 9, 2020 by Source

By Joni Halpern

We are fast coming to a crossroads in our life as an American people. We shall either be brothers and sisters emerging from a frenzy of chaos into the light of our motto, “Out of many, one.” Or we shall hack apart the bonds of our American family, wrapping our hatred and hostility toward our fellow Americans in a flag of patriotism.

With the former choice, we will revitalize our democracy. With the latter, we will shred our stripes and scatter our stars until they are strewn across the barren fields of our future as the United States of America. We are only 50-some days from our destiny.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, I have tried to understand my fellow Americans who support him. At first, it was said they felt forgotten by mainstream politics. Their economic futures had been lost in the closures of manufacturing plants and the loss of thousands of other jobs to global forces. No one in Washington cared. People who supported Donald Trump said they wanted someone would take seriously their hunger for economic, social and political justice.

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The 2020 Race for San Diego Mayor: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts

September 9, 2020 by Source

ACT I : A Cautionary Tale About What a Mayor’s Negligence, Lack of Independence, Inept Management, and Behind-the-Scenes Manipulation Can Do to a City

By Norma Damashek / NumbersRunner / September 8, 2020

Scene One: Let’s talk politics

We can start by noticing that “politics” is simply the exercise of power that determines who gets what, when, and how.

It means that on election day, either Barbara Bry or Todd Gloria will be handed the power to determine which beneficiaries will prosper (for decades to come) from the policies, decisions, contracts, agreements, awards, favors, negotiations, and other goodies originating in City Hall.

So before we decide which candidate deserves the political power to determine who gets what, when, and how, we might want to know which one can be trusted to take the interests of the public seriously enough to place it ahead of all others.

And of course we need to be sure about which candidate has the ability and integrity to successfully oversee and manage our deteriorating, problem-plagued city.

These are not frivolous questions.

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Losers and Suckers at the Trump Boat Parade

September 9, 2020 by Source

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OB Rag Calls Out San Diego Media on Reports of ‘Thousands’ in Trump Boat Parade

September 8, 2020 by Source

Editordude: San Diego Bay suffered through the Trump Boat Parade #2 in on Sunday. Luckily, no boats were swamped here – but other Trump boat parades keep sinking other boats.

Locally, the biggest-Trump media supporter, KUSI, predicted there would be 2,000 boats and 50,000 spectators.

Our reporter on the scene Sunday at San Diego Bay filed this post:

By John Michael Williams

I arrived onsite, east-facing Ullman St., and parked under the lone palm tree on the south side of the block, at 12:19PM. It was 93 degrees F according to my car, but haze still veiled the mountain backdrop of the cityscape and bay and bit of white cloud drifted overhead as seven piston-engine planes, in groups of five and two, overflew the bay and left contrails as they passed.

At first glance, it was obvious that this Parade would not replicate the previous one.

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The Final Season of the Trump Show – Part II: a Failed Supernova That Goes ‘Poof’ Without a Trace 

September 7, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

When will the chaos all end? Will democracy survive the tumult?

Heady questions.

No need for polls or op/ed pieces to divine the answers. Nor even a need to read Shakespeare, eloquent tho’ he be.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Rather, look to the scientists. Sometimes scientists are amazing. No, not the ones currently fighting COVID-19; or rushing for live-saving treatments and effective vaccines. They are very good. Even now, they are writing Agatha Christie-worthy descriptions of the epidemic.

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Citizens’ Report Shows Developers Buying Santee City Council Votes

September 4, 2020 by Source

versus

Citizen Report Shines Light on Corruption

From Preserve Wild Santee

A new report, “A Money Laundering Web: Who is Buying Santee City Council Votes” traces the flow of funds from the development industry through intermediaries with the intent of purchasing favorable decisions.

The report documents substantial flows of money from Fanita Ranch and Carlton Oaks Golf Course Development interests flowing directly to Santee elected officials campaign and allied PACs.

The report reveals hundreds of thousands of dollars in “unitemized receipts” in need of explanation.

“City Council votes should not be for sale,” stated Van Collinsworth, PWS Director.

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The Trinity in My Manly Home

September 4, 2020 by Source

The Holy Trinity shall not be desecrated.

There exists in my house a sacred triangle: it’s composed of the TV, couch, refrigerator. This is where all philosophical thought originates, where argument adheres to strict rules of conduct. Rules inviolate.

Take Myles Doughty’s (Slightly Stoopid) rules regarding monkey rolls in the wrestling room at Pt. Loma High School and multiply times ten. I am that strict regarding the Holy Trinity.

First, if I am on the couch, then anytime is beer time. Second, whiskey consumption begins after 5 p.m. (or 3 p.m. if there was a recent full moon) Third, there shall be only 12 paces or less from couch to refrigerator.

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The Washington Post Editorial Board Warns the Director of National Intelligence Is Providing Cover for Putin’s Attacks on Our 2020 Election

September 3, 2020 by Source

The Director of National Intelligence Is Providing Cover for Putin

By Editorial Board, The Washington Post / September 3, 2020

After the intelligence community briefed members of Congress in late July about threats to the upcoming election, Democrats expressed alarm about what they had learned — and about the fact that the information had not been shared with the American public. “The warning lights are flashing red. America’s elections are under attack,” wrote Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in a Post op-ed, without disclosing any specifics.

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Blackout Blackmail Behind Mid-August Power Outages?

September 3, 2020 by Source

by Thomas D. Elias / The Coast News / September 2, 2020

Never before in California’s long experience with power blackouts have systematic, preplanned outages been as short as the 20-minute to 30-minute electric shutdowns inflicted on about 3 million homes and businesses around the state in mid-August.

Without doubt these blackouts were pre-planned. “(We will have) excessive weather conditions and a persistent shortage of electric supply for the California grid,” said a warning texted to electric customers hours ahead of the first outages.

There was a lot odd about this, aside from the short span of the blackouts. Gov. Gavin Newsom said later he didn’t learn of the shutdowns until just beforehand,

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Latest San Diego Mayoral Poll: Bry Leads Gloria by 3 Points

September 2, 2020 by Source

Councilwoman Barbara Bry has a 3 point lead over Assemblyman Todd Gloria in a very recent poll by local media released Tuesday. In the survey on choice of mayor, Bry had 37 percent to Gloria’s 34 percent. This is definitely good news for the Bry campaign that up to now had to face the strong winds of an earlier poll that showed Gloria with a huge lead.

However, the Bry camp needn’t rest, as Bry’s lead does fall within the poll’s margin of error. And a huge number, 29 percent, were undecided. The poll was taken by the San Diego Union-Tribune/ 10News – SurveyUSA

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Electing Barbara Bry as Mayor Will Keep San Diego On a ‘Human Scale’

September 1, 2020 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor / Times of San Diego / August 31, 2020

What are the things that you love about San Diego?

Once upon a time, it was the beauty of its neighborhoods and parks — its human scale.

It was “Camelot by the Sea,” as San Diego was once described, a city bounded by water.

Its neighborhoods hung together in scope, scale and solidarity. Roads were maintained and improved. Trash was picked up. Freeways and traffic flowed.

In short, San Diego had a reputation for being “safe, clean and prosperous.”

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Controversy Over P.L. Nazarene University Alum Speaker at GOP Convention Continues to Simmer

September 1, 2020 by Source

The controversy over Point Loma Nazarene alum Natalie Harper’s speech at the GOP convention last week continues to simmer. Over 500 PLNU alumni signed a statement denouncing Harp’s speech, saying ‘she didn’t speak for me.’ Now The Point, PLNU’s online student news platform has posted two statements, one that says, “Natalie Harp Should Be Celebrated,” by Christian Aguayo, and another that states, “Natalie Harp Doesn’t Speak for Us, Either“, by Maggie Valentine. We repost both of them here:

Natalie Harp Should Be Celebrated

Point Loma Nazarene University is a liberal arts college. In several of my freshman year courses, we discussed what it means to get a liberal arts education. Central to a liberal arts education are important ideas that came out of the Enlightenment, including critical thinking and tolerance. These same ideas form the backbone of western thought and civilization.

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‘ReWild Mission Bay’ Releases Statement on Kumeyaay History of Mission Bay

September 1, 2020 by Source

The group that has been trying for years to enhance and restore wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay, ReWild Mission Bay, has just released an equity statement on the history of the Kumeyaay in the Mission Bay region. We repost it below, followed by their press release. . ReWild Mission Bay is a project of the San Diego Audubon Society.

Equity

The northeast corner of Mission Bay is land that was historically occupied and used by Indigenous communities, Kumeyaay (‘Iipay and Tipai), and represents just one example of our unjust and racially-motivated public lands history in San Diego.

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September 2020 Event Calendar From the Ocean Beach Green Center

September 1, 2020 by Source

Events All events are online and free unless stated otherwise.

Every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Climate Mobilization Coalition Zoom Meeting. September 5th,12th,19th and 26th
September 1st Tuesday 6 pm – 7pm Project Community Care Hosted by Sunrise Movement San Diego
September 1st Tuesday 7 pm – 9 pm SD Veterans For Peace General Monthly Meeting via ZOOM Hosted by San Diego Veterans For Peace
September 2nd Wednesday – 5th Saturday 10 am – 12 pm Screening and Panel Discussion of the Film “Public Trust – The Fight for America’s Public Lands” Hosted by North County Climate Change Alliance
September 2nd Wednesday 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm No Justice, No Games Petco Park 9th and J Street Vigil (please bring a candle) Let’s join our voices to ask the San Diego Padres to walk off the field in protest for the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many more due to the color of their skin.
September 3rd Thursday 6 pm – 7 pm Rooting Out White Supremacy in the US Military: A KPBS News Online Event
September 4th Friday 6 pm – 7:30 pm Intersectionality & Justice Panel Hosted by Andréa N. Agosto and Diversionary Theatre
September 5th Saturday 9 am – 4 pm Black Panthers Fundraiser Yard Sale
September 6th Sunday Rot On Sundays! Hosted by Food2Soil Composting Collective
September 7th Monday 11 am – 1 pm Protest Sea World San Diego – Labor Day

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A Riff on Donald Trump: He Drained the Swamp and Turned It into a Canal

September 1, 2020 by Source

By John M. Williams

If you love hypocrisy, deception, lying like breathing, crassness, bellowing fascists with heartless underlings, then you should love Donald Trump, unbelievably, President of the United States of America, a country which used to have a pretty good name, though that too is discussable.

Many bad ideas have become laws here. Corruption, avarice, malfeasance, theft, fraud, stupidity and ignorance have always had a presence in the body politic; these things are part of the USA now as they are everywhere.

But, if you said, ‘Yes! I love the President! MAGA! 4 MORE!’ or anything similar, then, I’m happy to know that because I can stop listening now and put you on my invisible list. I do this because it is my opinion that your opinion has already been heard and rejected; it’s just efficient: you won’t bother me again.

Closed minded? Me or you? Both?

You are convinced DJT is a savior. I am not. Then again, I do admit that the prospect of this charlatan dominating all news for four more years makes the pandemic seem preferable in comparison.

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Center for Reinventing Public Education – the Billionaires’ Advocate

August 28, 2020 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican / August 26, 2020

In 1993, Political Science Professor Paul T. Hill established the Center for Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs on the University of Washington campus. The research group Hill founded is steeped in public school failure ideology. On their web site Hill let it be known “The Center has a definite point of view.” Among the points listed are:

“The ineffectiveness of big city public schools clouds the futures of millions of children.”

“Incremental efforts to improve urban public education without disturbing the school boards, unions, and central office administrators have failed, largely because roles, missions, and interests of those organizations are incompatible with effective schooling.”

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Judge Denies Kumeyaay Injunction to Halt Border Wall on Ancestral Lands

August 28, 2020 by Source

By Kristina Davis / San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 27, 2020

A San Diego federal judge on Thursday denied a motion by a band of the Kumeyaay Nation to halt construction of a border wall being erected on ancestral land.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia said his decision to deny both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction falls in line with the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings in a similar border wall case, Trump v. Sierra Club. “I think the Supreme Court doesn’t always give us insight, and here they did,” Battaglia concluded, “and when they speak I think we are obligated to listen.”

The La Posta Band of Diegueno Mission Indians, one of 12 bands of the Kumeyaay people, filed the lawsuit against the Trump administration earlier this month, accusing the government of improperly funding the project and ignoring a duty to formally consult with the tribe on the impact to the land. Tribal members say the construction near Campo is disturbing sacred land where they believe cremated remains of ancestors may be buried.

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400 Point Loma Nazarene University Alumni Denounce Fellow Grad Natalie Harp’s RNC Speech

August 28, 2020 by Source

By Alejandra Molina / Religious News Service / August 27, 2020

Former students from Point Loma Nazarene University, a private Christian liberal arts college in San Diego, are denouncing a speech fellow grad Natalie Harp gave at the Republican National Convention on Monday (Aug. 24).

In her speech, Harp, a California entrepreneur, lauded President Donald Trump’s restrictions on travelers from China, which she said prevented further spread of the novel coronavirus. “Millions more would have been infected,” she said.

Point Loma Nazarene University alumni rejected her comments

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Straight-up With a Twist

August 28, 2020 by Source

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, recently my band was offered a lot of money to use one of our songs in a commercial for a new energy drink trying to crash the SoCal market. Half the band feels like this would be selling out and the other half say we need money more than we need dignity. Can you break the tie for us?

~The Keyboardist’s Left Hand

Thanks for the email KLH. I don’t think this is necessarily a choice between dollars and dignity. There is a big difference between selling out and simply selling and I do not see anything undignified about licensing a song to sell a product that doesn’t betray the moral sensibilities of the song in question. Now if, say, a vegan activist band sells their protest anthem, “Can’t You Hear the Baby Chickens Weep?” to Foster Farms—that would be selling out.

I’m reminded of when Tom Waits was asked why he doesn’t permit advertisers to license his music. He replied,

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Jesus Is On the Ballot

August 27, 2020 by Source

By Joni Halpern

You might have thought Donald J. Trump was on the ballot as the Republican candidate for President in the upcoming presidential election. You would be wrong.

Mr. Trump does inhabit the physical presence of candidacy, and it is his name on the ballot. But he is not running for President. Jesus is.

Donald Trump plans to eke out an election victory by duct-taping his base to the notion that he is Jesus’ choice for President. Apparently, there are some among the White Christian Right who believe Jesus wants the whole of America, regardless of the dictates of personal conscience, to fall into lockstep with Mr. Trump, to whom completely loyalty must be given, just as Jesus asked of his followers.

Of course, there are some big differences between the conduct of Mr. Trump and the conduct of Jesus:

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California Fires: Want to Control Blazes? Start More, Experts Say

August 27, 2020 by Source

Why one of the most feasible solutions for worsening wildfires is doing more prescribed burns.

By Jill Cowan / New York Times / Aug. 26, 2020

As Californians brace for more bad news about what is already shaping up to be one of the state’s most intense fire seasons ever, and as we watch as firefighting capacity is stretched thin, I keep coming back to one question: What is California supposed to do?

This question isn’t new, and neither are many of the answers experts and policymakers routinely offer.

For one, they say, too many people are moving into the wildland-urban interface, the transitional zones between denser areas of human development and vegetation, which makes them more vulnerable to damage in the event of a wildfire.

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Fanita Ranch Developer Postponed Hearing Amid Santee Residents’ Concerns

August 26, 2020 by Source

By Karen Pearlman / San Diego Union-Tribune / Aug. 25, 2020

A long-awaited vote on a highly contentious East County housing project has been delayed at the request of the developer, who apparently sensed the 3,000-home development faced some headwinds on the Santee City Council.

Home Fed Fanita Rancho LLC, the applicant for the latest version of the plan for housing off Fanita Parkway above Santee Lakes, asked the city last Thursday to cancel a public hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Jeff O’Connor, HomeFed vice president of community development, said the decision to pull the item after years of planning was made to satisfy concerns about traffic and to free up Councilman Rob McNelis, who could have been barred from voting on the original submission.

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