Let Cuba Live and Free Us From the Mainstream Media Narrative

July 30, 2021 by Source

The San Diego Union-Tribune of late has been running numerous op-eds about the current plight of the Cuban people and even how the US must intervene. The ferocity of these one-sided rants makes it seem like the old Cold War has reignited. And calls for the Biden administration to militarily intervene are stark reminders that the official policy of this government has been to squelch the efforts by Cubans to have their own country ever since the revolution began 22 years ago.

Well, there is a different reality out there other than the narrative propagated by the mainstream media. Here are views you won’t find in the U-T:

Full-Page Ad in the New York Times, July 23, 2021:

Dear President Joe Biden,

It is time to take a new path forward in U.S.-Cuban relations. We, the undersigned, are making this urgent, public appeal to you to reject the cruel policies put into place by the Trump White House that have created so much suffering among the Cuban people.

Cuba – a country of eleven million people – is living through a difficult crisis due to the growing scarcity of food and medicine. Recent protests have drawn the world’s attention to this. While the Covid-19 pandemic has proven challenging for all countries, it has been even more so for a small island under the heavy weight of an economic embargo.

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7 Key Takeaways From First Day of Testimony at Hearing on January 6 Insurrection

July 28, 2021 by Source

Four officers spoke of the physical and psychological wounds they sustained during the Capitol riot — a day some thought they wouldn’t survive.

By Sara Boboltz / HuffPost / July 27, 2021

Tuesday marked the first meeting of the House select committee charged with investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, with hours of emotional testimony about the mob of angry Donald Trump supporters who stormed the building and terrorized its occupants.

Four law enforcement officers delivered prepared remarks before the panel and answered questions: U.S. Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, and Metropolitan Police officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges.

Each was on the front lines of the attack and spoke of injuries they sustained both mentally and physically. Each also showed varying degrees of emotion on the stand ? whether they were clearly holding back tears or reaching for a tissue.

Here are seven key takeaways from the hearing.

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OB Town Council Meets Wednesday, July 28

July 28, 2021 by Source

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Deja Vu: San Diego County Asks Everyone to Mask Up Inside Public Spaces

July 28, 2021 by Source

Public Service Announcement

BY Jonathan Wosen / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 28, 2021

San Diego County officials asked everyone — fully vaccinated or not — to wear masks in indoor public spaces to slow the spread of the coronavirus, echoing a plea issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier Tuesday.

Unlike Los Angeles County, local officials aren’t mandating indoor masking, simply recommending it. But the new announcement still marks a shift from the county’s message over the past few weeks, during which it has encouraged San Diegans to get vaccinated while asserting that wearing facial coverings is a personal choice.

The news comes hours after the CDC reversed guidance it issued in May,

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The Ocean Beach Pier – Past, Present, and Future

July 27, 2021 by Source

By Geoff Page

The Ocean Beach Pier was the main subject of the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democratic Club meeting Sunday, July 25. The club invited local OB historian and author Kathy Blavatt, mayor Gloria’s representative Kohta Zaiser, and this writer to provide information on the pier – past, present, and future.

When the discussion moved on to the pier, Kathy Blavatt was up first, providing history on, and pictures of, the pier and OB. Blavatt was a contributor to Ocean Beach, a history book by the Ocean Beach Historical Society, and wrote Ocean Beach Where Land And Water Meet. Blavatt’s account covered the waterfront of OB including the older buildings that were once there, the saltwater pool, and Wonderland Amusement Park. It is ironic that Wonderland was mentioned.

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Public School Privatization Advocate and Billionaire Eli Broad Opens His Center at Yale

July 27, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

December 5, 2019, the LA Times reported “Broad Center to move from L.A. to Yale along with $100-million gift.” On that occasion, the well known blogger Mercedes Schneider described the Los Angeles-based “Broad Center,” which includes the “Broad Academy” and “Broad Residency” as a “pseudo-credentialing mechanism for would-be leaders espousing market-based ed reform…” The new Ivy League center has adopted Eli Broad’s philosophy while giving it a sheen of academic respectability.

On July 1, 2019, Kerwin K. Charles was selected as dean of the Yale School of Management (SOM). Evidently, while looking around for a way to secure his Broad Center legacy, Eli Broad found the new leadership at Yale SOM a comfortable fit.

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Inside Baseball and the ‘Blueprint San Diego’ Scam

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

If you hang around journalists for any length of time, you’ll hear the term “inside baseball.” It’s the metaphor of choice for explaining the things that *don’t* get reported in a story.

Normally meant to describe the nuances of how political decisions are made, in San Diego it’s also about certain media collaborating with the players on whom they report.

The big teams in this league are lobbyist and issue advocacy nonprofits such as Circulate San Diego, BikeSD, the Climate Action Campaign, and Voice of San Diego. They improperly self-report to the IRS not as 501(c)4 “social welfare organizations” — for whom donors’ contributions are taxable yet can engage in political activity, but as 501(c)3 “charities” — which are restricted from political activity as a consequence of donors being able to wholly deduct their contributions.

Once you know the rules you can see how the game is played.

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How San Diego Incubates White Extremism with One America News

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Jean Guerrero / Los Angeles Times / July 22, 2021

The pro-Trump cable propaganda network One America News is headquartered in a sandy-colored building in the San Diego sun.

It doesn’t look like the epicenter of a collective delusion in which Trump remains president, the COVID-19 vaccine is deadly and “illegal aliens” are destroying the country.

But OAN, launched in 2013 by Louisiana-born technology magnate Robert Herring, is the latest chapter in San Diego’s history as a hotbed of white paranoid extremism. The network has become Trump’s favorite Big Lie megaphone about the “stolen” presidential election. In March, Pearson Sharp, one of its star correspondents, said in a report, “There’s still serious doubts about who’s actually president.” In another, he suggested COVID-19 vaccines are causing mass deaths..”

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Heroes of the Week:  Governor of Alabama, the NFL, and Tokyo Olympics

July 26, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Finally, some clarity from unlikely quarters. No more bumbles, stumbles, and contradictory sound-bytes.

Start with the best truth teller on the planet; Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey. Her candor on COVID caught everyone by surprise. She blasted a reporter who asked, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?”

“I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

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San Diego County Spike in COVID-19 Cases Highest Since Early February

July 26, 2021 by Source

From KPBS – City News Service / July 23, 2021

San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency is seeing a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases, with 1,264 new cases reported Friday, the highest number since Feb. 5.

The increase in cases is not a single-day phenomenon, but part of a larger trend in recent weeks. In the 30 days between June 21 and July 20, 6,572 San Diegans tested positive for COVID-19. Of that group, 11% were fully vaccinated, while 89% were not. “We are facing a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said San Diego County Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.

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Voters’ Suppression Is Real – Voting Laws Roundup, July 2021

July 22, 2021 by Source

Voting Laws Roundup: July 2021: Eighteen states have already enacted 30 laws this year that will make it harder for Americans to vote.

From Brennan Center for Justice/ July 22, 2021

As many state legislatures conclude their regular sessions, the full impact of efforts to suppress the vote in 2021 is coming into view.

Between January 1 and July 14, 2021, at least 18 states enacted 30 laws that restrict access to the vote. These laws make mail voting and early voting more difficult, impose harsher voter ID requirements, and make faulty voter purges more likely, among other things. More than 400 bills with provisions that restrict voting access have been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.

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Local ‘Serial Good Samaritan’ Hospitalized For Trying to Put Out Fire in Stranger’s Vehicle

July 22, 2021 by Source

Diane Bell, the U-T columnist, showcased local Michael Pallamary as a “serial good Samaritan” in today’s column. Apparently, Michael had to be hospitalized recently for injuries he suffered trying to put out a stranger’s vehicle fire on Rosecrans Street.

By Diane Bell / San Diego Union-Tribune / July 22, 2021

Michael Pallamary is a serial good Samaritan.

The San Diego businessman’s most recent rescue was about noon on July 10 when he spotted smoke coming from a van on Rosecrans Street near its intersection with Interstate 5 East. Pallamary didn’t hesitate to pull over his car to help — and his heroics landed him in the hospital.

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Will Point Loma High School Be Ready for its Opening on August 26? – Updated

July 22, 2021 by Source

School begins August 26. Will the “new” Point Loma High School be ready?

The principal is optimistic.

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New Ocean Beach Library Manager – Helene Idels

July 22, 2021 by Source

The Ocean Beach Library has a new branch manager: Helene Idels.

Here is what the Friends of the OB Library reported in their April 2021 newsletter:

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Uber and Lyft Drivers Stage Strike Over Pay and Conditions

July 22, 2021 by Source

People looking to use ride-hailing services such as Lyft and Uber may have had some difficulty on Wednesday, July 21, as many drivers conducted a one-day strike for better pay and status under the law.

Rideshare Drivers United — an independent association of U.S. rideshare drivers founded in Los Angeles — organized the strikes in a number of cities across the United States, including San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Denver, and Baltimore.

The group had a rally at San Diego’s Lyft driver center at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

They say the companies have:

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Talk by Geoff Page on the Ocean Beach Pier – Sunday, July 25

July 22, 2021 by Source

Reporter Geoff Page will be giving a talk on the “OB Pier – Past, Present and Future” this Sunday, July 25 at the Point Loma – Ocean Beach Democrats zoom meeting.

Here is what the Club announced:
Regular contributor to the OB Rag, Geoff Page, will bring us up to speed on the saga of the OB Pier.

Geoff Page has contributed several articles on the state of the pier to the OB Rag, who broke the story that engineering reports commissioned by the city in 2004, 2016 and 2019 highlighted the state of the pier and recommended keeping

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From Negligence to Malevolence: How the Climate Crisis has Gone Critical

July 21, 2021 by Source

By David Helvarg / The Progressive / July 20, 2021

In June, record heat waves hit Russia, Northern Europe, Canada, and the United States. When these increasingly common weather phenomena began killing hundreds of people, the U.S. media focused its coverage on a single record breaking 116-degree day in Portland, Oregon.

When unprecedented flooding in Germany and Western Europe had killed more than 100 people by July 16, I watched as three U.S. network news shows rolled that report into coverage of the West’s wildfires and California’s worst drought in 1,200 years. Yet, none of the three main TV news outlets—NBC, CBS, or ABC—mentioned climate change,

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Time for Democrats’ Political ‘YOYO’ Strategy: ASAP

July 21, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

Most recognize those shorthand text and radio signals.

“BOLO” is the police code for “Be On the Lookout” for villains escaping on roads, in the air, and everywhere.

“YOLO” the younger set’s call to quit work as in “You Only Live Once” so ditch that dead end job and go places.

I don’t know if this shorthand code already exists, or not, but it is time for the Democrats to embrace it ASAP: “You’re On Your Own.” The Texas Democrats who left their state, arrived in D.C.,

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Radical Right Opposes Another American Institution – the PTA

July 19, 2021 by Source

By Thomas Ultican / Tultican

Founded in 1897, the ubiquitous PTA has been a long time powerful voice in legislative halls. With their many victories, they have developed enemies especially among school privatization advocates. However, the reports of their imminent demise have proven inaccurate. PTA’s robust 2019 tax form (EIN: 36-2169155) and a reported membership of more than 4 million indicates they will be viable for some time to come.

Radical Right Opposes another American Institution

One of the first big hit pieces on the PTA came from the Brookings Institute in 2001. Thomas Toch claimed that the PTA was floundering because they were “out of step with many parents’ demands for change in public education.” Toch also claimed that the PTA was working with teachers to slow the pace of reform,

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Kremlin Papers Show Putin’s Plot to Put Trump in White House

July 15, 2021 by Source

By Luke Harding, Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh / The Guardian / July 15, 2021

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.

The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

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Ah, the Age-Old ‘Should I Tell the Friend About Their Cheating Significant Other’ Dilemma

July 15, 2021 by Source

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

Dear SWAT,

I know this question has been asked of a million advice columnists already but I’d like to hear your take on it. I recently discovered my friend’s boyfriend of seven years is cheating on her. Should I tell my friend?”

Sincerely, Phillip of Bankers Hill

Ah yes, the age-old, “Should-I-Tell-The-Friend-About-Their-Significant-Cheating-Other” (SITTFATSCO) question. You’re right. SITTFATSCO is probably the oldest and most often asked question of advice columnists. In fact, it was the very first query answered by the very first advice columnist, midwife Cinderwench Wartyface, in the Hertfordshire Town Crier in 1547. It went like this:

“Deary Cinderwench, mine own freond’s jointress hath committed adult’ry with a hairy scallywag. Shoulds’t I acquaint hire? Sincerely, Eathellrelda from Boggy Slogs, Hertfordshire.”

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Legislation Introduced in Senate to Federally Decriminalize Marijuana

July 15, 2021 by Source

By Eugene Scott / San Diego Union-Tribune – Washington Post / July 15, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced legislation Wednesday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, vowing to use his clout as majority leader toward reversing policies and laws that he says have caused significant harm to the lives of thousands of Americans. The draft bill, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory’ Booker, D-N.J., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would remove federal penalties associated with cannabis, expunge nonviolent federal cannabis-related criminal records and begin regulating and taxing the drug.

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The Navy Is Launching a Major Redevelopment Project and Many San Diegans Aren’t Paying Attention

July 14, 2021 by Source

By Phillip Halpern / San Diego Union-Tribune OpEd / July 13, 2021

The U.S. Navy has embraced “stealth” technology with the launch of three Zumwalt class warships. This technology allows the ships to elude radar, sail into enemy territory undetected and conduct surveillance in a clandestine manner. Such stealth strategies are, of course, both necessary and laudable when undertaken in the national interest.

Unfortunately, the Navy has also recently launched a stealthy redevelopment project, which has been flying under the radar of most San Diego residents. This project — which is shamefully supported by the city of San Diego — seeks to modernize the old SPAWAR site

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Public Comment Today on Famosa-Nimitz Development

July 13, 2021 by Source

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The Tide May Be Turning on Pro-Developer ‘Rise Uptown’ Type Slates in Local Planning Group Elections

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Mat Wahlstrom

As any regular reader of the OB Rag can tell you, the undertow of all San Diego politics is not just money but developer money. With the meltdown of the Republican Party and the rise of California as a de facto one-party state under the Democrats, developers and former GOP influence peddlers pivoted to rebrand their same trickle-down policies as “progressive.”

Their success at this has meant that most every politician and pundit regardless of party now self-identifies as YIMBY, for ‘yes in my back yard.’

Consider how this has been playing out at even the local level.

Sometime before 2019, the city attorney’s office decided to make a quiet but very consequential change in how it would interpret the law governing community planning groups (CPGs).

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City Commission for Arts and Culture Awards $400,000 to Peninsula Groups

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Tracy Dezenzo

Congratulation are in order to our local Peninsula awardees!

The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture announced 174 funding awards for FY2022. More than $7.7 million will be distributed to nonprofits that make meaningful impacts in communities and expand access to arts and culture throughout the city. But locally, more than $400,000 is going to 16 organizations in Ocean Beach, Point Loma and the Midway district.

The groups awarded include:

Ocean Beach:

  • Ocean Beach Mainstreet Association

Point Loma:

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Democracy’s Refugees: Offer Them Sanctuary

July 13, 2021 by Source

By Colleen O’Connor

What a time to be alive. Wake up early and pay attention.

Tuesday offers all manner of news about chaos; pandemics, culture feuds, cyber-terrorism, domestic terrorism, racial and sexual cruelties, financial and food insecurities, raging fires, and devastating drought, alongside a couple billionaires blasting into space.

Forget the World Soccer Cup matches that unleashed hideous social network racism against Black players on England’s losing team; or the nail-biting (and history-making) Wimbledon finals or even the coming fan-less Tokyo Olympics.

The most riveting political spectacle (with massive consequences for the future of democracy) is Tuesday’s duel between Texas and Washington, D.C. 67 Democrats in the Texas legislature, flew to D.C. on Monday,

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Sacramento Democrats Complicit in School Privatization Agenda

July 12, 2021 by Source

By Thomas ltican / Tultican

Two pieces of legislation are racing through California’s state legislature both advancing the school privatization agenda. A third piece designed to protect taxpayers from the ravenous charter industry has been squashed. Public schools and sound pedagogy are being harmed by a radical market based ideology. Democrats continue their complicity in this conservative agenda.

The Charter School Give Away

A few weeks ago, Oakland school board Trustee Mike Hutchinson raised alarm bells about Governor Newsom’s education budget trailer bill.

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Ocean Beach Heights Are Blooming Beautiful!

July 9, 2021 by Source

By Kathy Blavatt

All photographs by Kathy Blavatt

Up at the top of the hill overlooking Ocean Beach are the “Heights,” sometimes referred to as “Ocean Beach Heights,” other times called “Point Loma Heights,” which depends on who describes the area or what maps and documents they are reading.

This neighborhood above Froude Street is formally in the “Peninsula Community Planning Area.” Many residents feel that the houses’ styles and vibe are much more in tune with Ocean Beach.

Two of the area’s large early homes played essential roles in the local history:

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How San Diego Brewers Guild Is Addressing Its #MeToo Movement

July 9, 2021 by Source

Partnering with a labor law firm, a sexual harassment hotline has been established, training and a Code of Conduct is underway

By Abbie Alford / CBS8 / July 8, 2021

Two months since the Me Too movement erupted in the brewing industry across the country, women’s voices are being heard and the San Diego Brewers Guild is taking action.

What started out as a reckoning in May, with women reporting misogyny, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, and assault by men in breweries across the world including in San Diego has turned into an important message of empowerment.

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