Civil Rights

If Trump Declares a National Emergency, He’ll Be Breaking the Law

February 15, 2019 by Source

Originally posted Jan. 11, 2019

By Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn Blog / Jan. 11, 2019

Congress refuses to enact legislation containing the nearly $6 billion that Donald Trump is demanding for an unnecessary wall on the southern US border. In response, Trump is considering whether to declare a national emergency, take money Congress has appropriated for other purposes, and divert it to build his wall. But under US law, the president cannot usurp the spending power the Constitution grants only to Congress.

Desperate to appease his right-wing base and Fox News pundits, Trump backed off his commitment to sign a bill that would have reopened the government that has been shuttered for 20 days. Although Congress unanimously supported that bill, Trump is stubbornly holding out for money to build his wall, continuing to hold the American people hostage. One quarter of the federal workforce has not been paid, airline safety is imperiled, the Food and Drug Administration is postponing food safety inspections and national parks are being desecrated while Trump plays wall politics.

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San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art to Honor the 2019 Keepers of the Culture

February 7, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

On February 9, 2019, the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art in collaboration with the San Diego History Center will host the 2nd annual recognition of individual’s whose contributions have resulted in retaining and expanding the cultural expressions that are uniquely African American.

The event will be from 5:30-7:30 PM at the San Diego History Center, located in Balboa Park, Casa de Balboa, 1649 El Prado, Suite #3 San Diego, CA 92101.

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Point Loma House Crushed by Pine Tree Was a Vacation Rental

January 21, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The 2-story house in Point Loma that was crushed by a falling pine tree and in which two people were killed, was a short-term vacation rental.

The house at 4404 Santa Monica Avenue is listed on VRBO – a major vacation rental host site – for an average of $193 a night. And tragically, you can see the huge tree that collapsed in the background on the main photo.

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The Constitution Does Not Give Trump ‘Emergency Powers’

January 8, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

Our Constitution does not give President Trump “emergency powers” and he can’t suspend it whenever he perceives there’s a national emergency. So says Constitutional expert and Dean of UC Berkeley Law School, Erwin Chemerinsky. And I believe him over Trump and any of his sycophants.

Two decades ago, I met Chemerinsky after one of his “Constitutional Law” lectures – as he was one of the professors hired to teach hundreds of us San Diego law school graduates how to take the California State Bar. Totally impressed with his sweeping grasp of the Constitution, I followed his career over the years. At some point, he became the very first dean of the brand new law school at UC Irvine. Now, he’s at Berkeley – and today he wrote an Op-Ed piece for the LA Times, “Trump’s border wall woes”.

If Trump tries to simply invoke emergency powers and build a wall between the United States and Mexico without congressional approval, it would “constitute an unconstitutional and dangerous expansion of presidential power,”

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Have an OB Christmas

December 25, 2018 by Source

by Ray Blavatt

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Amazon’s Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door

December 17, 2018 by Source

By Jacob Snow, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU of Northern California / ACLU Speak Freely

Recently, a patent application from Amazon became public that would pair face surveillance — like Rekognition, the product that the company is aggressively marketing to police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — with Ring, a doorbell camera company that Amazon bought earlier this year.

While the details are sketchy,

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30 Arrested at Border for Nonviolent Action in Support of Migrant Caravans

December 11, 2018 by Source

Border Patrol agents in riot gear stop faith leaders in Border Field State Park

By American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

On the afternoon of December 10th, dozens of faith leaders were arrested in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience at the U.S.-Mexico border. More than 400 people of faith and supporters gathered in Border Field State Park in San Diego in support of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S. Faith leaders guided the group in a solemn procession to the border. When they reached the enforcement zone, they were stopped by a line of Border Patrol agents in riot gear. Leaders moved forward to offer a ceremonial blessing. Thirty people were taken into custody.

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Chaos and Cruelty at the San Diego Border

November 26, 2018 by Anna Daniels

We have become the barbarians at the gate
By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

As if ripping children from their parents’ arms, locking them up in cages or sending them to facilities on the other side of the country weren’t the absolute low point of the Trump administrations response to immigrants seeking asylum, we are now tear gassing children.

Let that sink in for a moment. We are tear gassing children, who were reported as running screaming and crying from the tear gas canisters shot into Mexico, a foreign country, by US Border Patrol. (Imagine this situation reversed, with Mexico lobbying canisters into the US.)

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Marjorie Cohn to Speak – Church of the Brethren – Sunday, Nov.18

November 16, 2018 by Staff

This Sunday, Marjorie Cohn is the Souper Supper Speaker at the Church of the Brethren. In celebration of San Diego peace and justice.

Marjorie’s profound analysis of human rights, US foreign policy and the contradictions between the 2 is deeply respected around the world.

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Midterm Voters Rejected One-Party Rule and Created Most Diverse Congress in U.S. History

November 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie


What happened one week ago cannot be over-stated. Yeah, those mid-term results – whose vote totals are still coming in. And despite pundit declarations there wasn’t a “blue wave”, Democrats continue to be declared winners.

Yet, we must underscore and duly acknowledge the two huge things that happened last Tuesday. A majority of American voters rejected the one-party rule we’ve had these last two years, at least on the Federal level, – and in the process created the most diverse Congress in history. Or vice-versa.

The results were devastating to Trump. That’s why – the very next day – he fired Attorney Jeff Sessions

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Dumanis Was Swamped by Fletcher in County Supervisor Race

November 9, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

County Supervisor candidate and former District Attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, was simply swamped by Nathan Fletcher.

Check out this map of how all the precincts in Supervisor District 4 voted, thanks to inewsource.

As you can see plainly, Fletcher took all but 11 precincts, and one of those was a tie. District 4 includes most of the City of San Diego, including Ocean Beach, more than half of Point Loma, and all the other northern beach areas, as well as most neighborhoods north and south of I-8. All in all, a very Democratic-leaning area.

We can easily speculate that this race was probably the last one that Dumanis will run.

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OB Hardware About to Celebrate 100 Years in Ocean Beach

October 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Hardware store at 4871 Newport Avenue is about to celebrate being one-hundred years old, having first opened in 1919. We don’t know yet how they plan to celebrate and we don’t know the details of the original days on a dusty street called Newport. But we wish them the best – one hundred years for a business, especially these days, is a very, very long time.

The storefront, formally called OB Paint and Hardware, has been at its current location for about 5 or 6 years, having moved just a few doors down from the space they occupied literally for decades.

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50 Years Ago Today – October 2, 1968: Massacre in Mexico City

October 2, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Troops opened fire on protesters in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas - APWhen I traveled in Mexico in the late 1970s, I would often come across political graffiti that read “gobierno asesino” with ‘remember October 2’ inscribed on walls or fences. These referred to the huge massacre in Mexico City of protesters on October 2, 1968, right around the time of the Summer Olympics in that city.

Fifty years ago today. Thousands were killed by the bullets of soldiers and police in an unbelievable display of authoritarian might in our southern neighbor. This mass murder came down at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco . The protests in Mexico City mirrored upheavals around the world that explosive year – in Paris, in Prague, in Chicago. Yet no where else, did a government simply murder so many of its own citizens as in Mexico City.

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OB Rag Is Taking a Sick Day Monday

October 1, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Thank god for MediCal

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What Just Happened With the Kavanaugh Vote?

September 28, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Bi-Partisan Group of Senators Agree to Delay Kavanaugh Vote One Week on Senate Floor for FBI Background Investigation; Trump Still Has to Authorize It

If you’re wondering ‘what just the heck happened?’ in the Senate Judiciary Committee vote this afternoon – here,

IN BRIEF:

Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley had scheduled a vote on Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon at 1:30 pm ET. But there were some last-minute ‘backroom’ discussions going on involving Republican Jeff Flake and Democrats. Earlier in the day, Flake had announced he intended to confirm Kavanaugh.

But something was up.

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We Didn’t Publish Today as We Watched the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Dr Ford and Judge Kavanaugh

September 27, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

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Trump to Meet With Rosenstein on Thursday After Rumors Swirl He’d Be Fired

September 24, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Are We About to Witness Trump’s “Saturday Night Massacre”?

President Trump will meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this Thursday, September 27, in the White House after rumors and speculation swirled today, Monday, through Washington DC and the mainstream media that Rosenstein was about to be fired today.

Rosenstein did go to the White House today – and initially the White House reported he was coming to resign – something the Department of Justice at the same time denied. Trump is in New York attending the United Nations conference. Rosenstein also attended a previously scheduled “Principles Committee” meeting at the White House in place of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Rosenstein did meet with Chief of Staff John Kelly –

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Do You Have a Local Group or Small Business? How About a Free Ad for One Week

September 7, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag Extends Its Offer for Groups or Small Businesses in Ocean Beach or Point Loma

Do you have a small or home business – or are you a member of an organization or group that does public service?

How about one week of free advertising on the OB Rag? You send us the display “camera-ready” and we’ll post it our website for a week.

The OB Rag has between 1,000 to 2,000 readers a day – most by far are from the city and county of San Diego.

This is all part of our support for local groups and small businesses.

Here are the details:

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Trump Administration Moves to Extend Detentions As Immigrant Children Contemplate Suicide

September 7, 2018 by Doug Porter

Having been stymied in attempts to circumvent the 1997 Flores ruling which set standards for children in immigration detention centers, the Trump administration is proposing new federal regulations with sweeping implications.

The more than 200-page proposed regulation would give the administration much broader authority over how undocumented immigrant children are treated in its care. Publication of the proposal in the Federal Register on Friday will kick off a 60-day window for the public to comment, after which the administration can move to certify the regulations as final.

Some undocumented immigrant children will be kept in detention for far longer than currently allowed.

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Duncan Doubles Down on Deep State

August 24, 2018 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Now that Congressman Duncan Hunter and wife Margaret have been indicted, Republicans are working hard on formulating a strategy to keep his District 50 seat red.

While the Representative from Alpine has been full of bluster, anybody who’s actually read the 60 counts against him knows he’s a dead man walking. All that’s left for him to do is work out a plea deal that is consummated after November 6. Oh, and hope his wife doesn’t escalate expression of her rage beyond the stony silence on display at their arraignment.

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Don’t Get Distracted: 565 Immigrant Children Are Still Held by U.S. Authorities

August 23, 2018 by Source


By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

Amid a news cycle dominated by the day-to-day chaos, antics, and scandals of the Trump presidency, new government numbers released on Thursday offered a grim reminder that the humanitarian travesty sparked by President Donald Trump’s inhumane family separation policy is still ongoing, despite the fact that it has faded into the background of corporate news coverage.

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3 Vegan Restaurants in Ocean Beach Named Among ‘Best in San Diego’

August 7, 2018 by Source

Pam Kragen at the San Diego Union-Tribune has just come out with “San Diego’s Best Vegan Restaurants” – and she lists three from Ocean Beach.

Kragen begins with declaring “vegan food has been named among the top six global culinary trends of 2018, and San Diego is well ahead of the curve,” and then she lists several new vegan eateries that have opened around the county recently along with some ‘oldies but goodies’ – a total of 24 eateries in all.

(Turns out the list is not so much a “best of” but more like a showcase of what’s out there.)

Here’s what Kragen says about OB’s vegan places on the list:

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‘Can We Get Some Worker Justice Along With Our Fries and Burgers?’

July 31, 2018 by Source

By Peter Zschiesche

We have heard the argument against the “Fight for 15” campaign, which tells us fast food jobs require no skill and no expertise and, therefore, are not worthy of making $15 per hour.

That argument is rubbish, something fast food chain employers know all too well — and the primary reason behind their ‘no poaching’ policies. These policies allows food chains to block workers from changing branches in search of better pay or promotions, all while the company pays the lowest wage they can.

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Notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg Dissents

July 9, 2018 by Source

#SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh is a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

He says a lawsuit or indictment would interfere with the President’s ability to protect national security.

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Superman as ‘Enemy of the American People’

July 9, 2018 by Staff

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4,000 San Diegans Rally and March Downtown in Protest of Trump’s Immigration Policy

June 30, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

An estimated 4,000 San Diegans rallied at the County Administration Building / Waterfront Park, listened to music and speakers, then marched down Harbor Drive and back around on Pacific Highway to a second rally. All to keep families together

The demonstration was one of 750 protests scheduled around the country

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Despite Trump Signing His Executive Order, Actions in San Diego Are Still On

June 22, 2018 by Staff

The Overpass Light Brigade’s display on Tuesday evening:

Protest Actions in San Diego on Friday and Saturday Still On

FRIDAY JUNE 22

11 AM
Keep Families Together With Senator Kamala Harris
Otay Mesa Detention Facility, 7488 Calzada De La Fuente

3:00 – 4:30 PM
“Keep Families Together” Nurse-In
880 Front Street San Diego 92101

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Mayor Releases His Proposal for Short Term Vacation Rentals in San Diego

June 14, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has finally released his proposals for regulating short term vacation rentals in the city of San Diego – he is due to publicly release them Thursday, June 14.

According to today’s San Diego Union-Tribune, Faulconer’s proposal restricts short term rental units to only two per individual owner, with the huge exception of the entire Mission Beach community would have no restrictions.

Short term rental hosts would be allowed,

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Dreaming of Racial Harmony

June 7, 2018 by Ernie McCray

At 80 I find myself still pursuing the same dream in which I’ve indulged myself all my life, a dream that someday the races of people would get along in harmony. Or at least try.

I say try because it seems to me that it’s been our failure to even pursue such a dream that has gotten in the way of it becoming a reality.

But, I’d dare say, there’s no better time than now for us to find ways to embrace each other. I feel that way just because of how the world is.

I mean you can sit down, after a long day of being retired, and turn on the tv and see a man, on this occasion a representative of the NFL, privileged beyond belief, telling football players (most of them black) that they can no longer protest police brutality at their knees while the flag is being sung to.

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NFL’s National Anthem: Divide and Conquer

June 4, 2018 by Source

So here we go. The 2018 National Football League (NFL) season may start with the NFL owners brilliant triple-edged National Anthem policy based on a militaristic, jingoist right wing bastardization of patriotism (espoused and aided by Donald Trump) to, as Dave Zirin writes in The Nation, re-establish their control over a restless, aggressive, largely Black labor (players) force.

This makes sense. The NFL is big business in a capitalist political economy, thus class conflict is expected and not new. Over the decades it has produced a NFL Players Union (NFLPA), player and game officials’ threatened and real strikes, a management lockout and lots of strikebreaking scabs.

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