Post image for Review: Cesar Chavez Remembered, Warts and All

Miriam Pawel offers the most comprehensive look at Chavez and his movement in her new book, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez.

By Mark R. Day / Labor Notes

“Cesar was not a humble man,” narrator Luis Valdez says at the conclusion of the new documentary “Cesar’s Last Fast,” about the late farm labor leader Cesar Chavez. “Nor was he a simple man.”

Indeed, Chavez was a controversial and complex figure. That’s the problem with Diego Luna’s feature film “Cesar Chavez,” whose release coincided with the charismatic leader’s March 31 birthday.

Chavez was, of course, a genius and a master organizer. His successes in the vineyards and lettuce fields of California came about as a result of enormous personal sacrifice and his ability to reach out to a wide audience: students, priests, nuns, ministers, labor leaders, and average housewives who made up their minds not to buy grapes.

He broke the back of the open shop in the fields and is credited as a founder of the Chicano movement. Just a decade after he began organizing grape pickers in Delano, California, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine.

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Post image for Historic Win for Labor and A New Direction in the University of California System

By Daniel Gutiérrez

La Jolla, California — On Tuesday, April 15th, UAW Local 2865, representing graduate student-workers across the University of California system, reached a tentative agreement with UC management regarding the procurement of all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations. UC management succumbed to the necessities demanded by UAW Local 2865, acknowledging that both all-gendered bathrooms and lactation stations are a labor right to graduate student-workers. The historic achievement was reached after the union went on strike for two days early this month, in which nearly two dozen students were arrested and many others intimidated.

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Post image for Drone APP Converts Leafblowers to Hair Dryers!!!

By Bob Dorn

I’m from the stone age. I don’t carry a smart phone because I’m not smart enough. I think an app has something to do with Apple, like maybe it’s an abbreviation. It took me a number of years before I found out that Silicon Valley wasn’t a reference to that place between two huge phony boobs, where the pearl necklace settles.

My feeling about technology – just a feeling, now, or an opinion, if you prefer – is that it might be self cancelling, like a chia pet, or, say, network television, where on air people laugh at stuff that isn’t funny (and for a while longer might get paid for it). For all but fanatics, cars are done, too. …

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Post image for Poem of the Day: “Don’t Want to Spoil Your Party Don’t Want to Bust Your Balloon”

By Ernie McCray

Don’t want to spoil your party
Don’t want to bust your balloon
But look up above your head
There’s some ozone gone
ozone gone
ozone gone
Can we get it back

And you’ll see that the sky
Is no longer blue

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Post image for Gabriel García Márquez in His Own Words

By Staff

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.

Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recorder aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo.

This is the unforgettable opening line of Gabriel García Márquez literary masterpiece Cien años de soledadOne Hundred Years of Solitude.

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Post image for Orca Profiles in Captivity: The San Diego 10

Activists Gear Up for Easter Protest at SeaWorld

By Cara Wilson-Granat / OB Rag

Dame Jane Goodall (famed British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace) was asked a question. “Why did she do what she did for the chimps she has advocated for all her life?” She answered by sharing a true story.

A captive lab chimp had never lived outside a cage his entire life. Now freed by Jane and her team of researchers and scientists, the frightened primate sat and watched the other chimps in a large zoo compound—free of cages and offering grassy, rocky, chimp-appealing offerings, including the sight and sound of others like him. He was terrified by such a contrast—from darkness to light.

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Post image for The Marshians Have Arrived – Eco-Activist-Art in Pacific Beach

Update Given on Release of 7 Clapper Rails Last Year

By Mic Porte/ OBRag

The Kendall-Frost UCSD Marsh research facility at the corner of Mission Bay was host to a Marshian Art encounter of the first kind, Saturday evening, April 12, Marshian Day.

Inaugurating her mural, Celeste Byers, UCSD student and art muralist, and friends and supporters of The Marsh, joined in art and music to celebrate. Some 40 people attended and enjoyed the musical event. The photos document the completed mural on Saturday and Celeste Byers, after she signed the mural on Monday.

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Thumbnail image for Still Thinking 76

Still Thinking 76

by Ernie McCray 04.19.2014 Culture

By Ernie McCray

There’s something about the age of 76 that’s different than any other age I’ve had the pleasure of being. I keep thinking about it for one thing. Maybe it’s because 76 leans closer to 80 than those other yearly milestones along life’s way. As we get older, I think, we see ourselves as Grim Reaper victims every now and then in very brief moments. Briefer than the one just passed, for anyone interested in specifics. Thinking about something can be a lot different than dwelling on it.

Anyway, while pondering such thoughts on the night before I turned 76, I found myself clicking into flickr on the internet for something that might symbolize my reaching such an age, looking for something that screamed “Orale!” The Reaper doesn’t like such expressions of “liveliness.”

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Thumbnail image for Poems to Saturday by…

Poems to Saturday by…

by Anna Daniels 04.19.2014 Books & Poetry

Poems by John Wester

By Anna Daniels

Back in the early 70′s Julian was home to an enclave of young writers, intellectuals and politicos. John Wester was part of this group of kindred spirits that also included SDFP contributor Jay Powell and Bud Sonka who recently introduced me to John’s poetry. I hope that we will hear more about what they built and thought about up on the mountain during that time.

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Thumbnail image for DA Bonnie Dumanis’ Re-Election Campaign Gets Petty

DA Bonnie Dumanis’ Re-Election Campaign Gets Petty

by Doug Porter 04.18.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Things must be going poorly for incumbent District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in her re-election campaign. While she hasn’t been accused of involvement in the unfolding campaign finance scandal stemming from a foreign donor’s quest to turn our downtown waterfront into another Miami, a whiff of ‘something’s not right here’ remains in the air.

Her re-election effort is facing a stiff challenge from a well-funded opponent who’s managed to nail down endorsements from a large majority of law enforcement-related groups and nearly two dozen former assistant DAs. And her latest gaffe won’t help matters much.

Yesterday, challenger Bob Brewer announced the endorsement of Father Joe Carroll, whose high profile blessing of Kevin Faulconer was well received by voters during the recent mayoral contest. It should have been a blip on the radar of the campaign. Now it’s not.

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Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day: “PTSD” by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Poem of the Day: “PTSD” by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

by Source 04.18.2014 Arts

As part of the ongoing SDFP column Geo-Poetic Spaces

Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

Sun’s shell exploding
swimming pools
displacing water’s reflections
with electro-convulsive
flashes of dendrites in chlorine

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Thumbnail image for Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Grassroots vs Astroturf

Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Grassroots vs Astroturf

by Source 04.18.2014 Editor's Picks

Part 5: The Battle for Progressive Hearts and Minds 

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is the end of a five part series running this week at San Diego Free Press. Part one covers her early encounters with Filner, Part two describes the indifference she met when she tried to alert Democratic Party leadership, Part three talks about the pressures brought about to gain her endorsement of the Filner mayoral candidacy. Part four is about keeping the biggest secret.

By Lori Saldaña

As voters look ahead to the next campaign cycle, we increasingly hear of battles over how to fund these elections. These range from discussions over local races to arguments before the US Supreme Court over campaign financing.

The discussions range from proposals for setting up public financing for elections, to arguments in favor of allowing unlimited private contributions from the wealthiest 0.1% of people in the country.

If money is speech, a lot of people have no chance of ever being heard.

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Thumbnail image for Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

by Source 04.18.2014 Activism

You can’t encourage other people to eat a diet that’s better for them and the planet by getting all vegangelical on them.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

As a vegetarian, I have to walk a fine line.

Really, I’m not judging you. But I often find it necessary to establish myself as “not a threat” to meat eaters. I also occasionally bump up against militant vegans.

Consider this collision I had the other day with a devout vegangelical. While at a potluck among an omnivorous group that included a woman who raises and slaughters chickens and turkeys for meat, I tried to politely excuse myself for not partaking in most of the food.

“I’m vegetarian,” I said. “Well, mostly vegetarian.”

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Thumbnail image for To Be a Warrior Poet

To Be a Warrior Poet

by Will Falk 04.18.2014 Activism

By Will Falk

I tried to kill myself a year ago.

In the year since, I quit my job as a public defender, spent weeks in group therapy, went on Phish tour, tried to kill myself again, searched every corner of my soul and began writing earnestly.

Sometimes, I think writing has kept me alive. Writing my poetry and essays allows me to fill my world with a meaning that is under attack.

The world is burning at an ever-faster pace. We are at war. Many of us may be imprisoned, tortured, raped and ultimately killed. Before I tried to kill myself, I let myself wander too far with clogged ears deaf to the friends – both human and non-human – that fill this world with meaning.

Armed with my experiences, I know that art can – and must be – a weapon used in defense of the world.

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Thumbnail image for Taxi Medallions: San Diego’s Licensing Program for Exploiting Immigrants

Taxi Medallions: San Diego’s Licensing Program for Exploiting Immigrants

by Doug Porter 04.17.2014 Battle for Barrio Logan

By Doug Porter

While lots of local politicos are willing to give at least lip service towards increasing the minimum wage or creating affordable housing, the abject lack of interest in rectifying a government sponsored system of exploitation in the local taxi industry is staggering.

The medallion based system of licensing currently in place in San Diego, wherein drivers pay for the privilege of leasing a vehicle that may or may not be roadworthy, insures consumers of two things: scarcity of service and higher fares. This form of regulation might have made sense 80 years ago in New York city when it was started, but today a privileged few and the politicians they fund are the only beneficiaries.

Of all things revealed in a 2013 San Diego State University/Center for Policy Initiatives study–the unsafe working conditions, the dangerous vehicles, the exploitation of drivers–it would appear that Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s response will be limited to the vehicles themselves and, perhaps, record keeping issues.

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Thumbnail image for Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Hating the Sin While Supporting the Sinner

Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – Hating the Sin While Supporting the Sinner

by Source 04.17.2014 Gender

Part 4: The Aftermath

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part three of a five part series running this week at San Diego Free Press. Part one covers her early encounters with Filner, Part two describes the indifference she met when she tried to alert Democratic Party leadership, Part three talks about the pressures brought about to gain her endorsement of the Filner mayoral candidacy.

By Lori Saldaña

On Election Day, I trailed Peters on the first ballot announcement by less than 200 votes. I eventually lost by 700 votes, after being outspent 4:1. Most of his funds were family money.

Dollar for dollar, we ran the most cost efficient Congressional campaign in the state, if not the country. But in the end, personal wealth and internecine party warfare trumped our efforts.

Worse, after the June 2012 primary election, I continued to hear reports regarding Filner’s behavior towards women, including at campaign fundraising events. I did not personally witness these activities, since I had withdrawn from political activity. But they became common knowledge throughout the political community and were discussed by volunteers and others at events, who apparently decided to “hate the sin, but support the sinner.”

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Thumbnail image for My Buddy Has a Playmate

My Buddy Has a Playmate

by Judi Curry 04.17.2014 Books & Poetry

By Judi Curry

My 13 year old Golden is having some hip issues

Trying to watch him walk down the stairs brings out the crying tissues.

He doesn’t seem to be in much pain and he “smiles” all the time,

Except when he tries to stand up and then you know he’s not fine.

He just helped me “dog sit” my daughter’s big dog,

Who really is a cross between a kangaroo and a frog.

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Thumbnail image for “We Are More Than Just Workers — We’re People.”

“We Are More Than Just Workers — We’re People.”

by Source 04.17.2014 Activism

By Lisa Maldonado Robinson/ Escondido Democratic Club

It takes an hourly wage of $13.09 and a full-time job to be able “to make ends meet” in San Diego County, according to Lisa Maldonado Robinson of the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice (ICWJ). Robinson spoke to Escondido Democrats at their April 12 meeting about the ICWJ’s ongoing program in San Diego County in which religious leaders strive “to lift workers out of poverty.” The program has a North County component and Robinson described efforts to organize workers at Casino Pauma and Northgate Markets.

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Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day: “notes from Hillcrest/one year after suicide attempt” by Will Falk

Poem of the Day: “notes from Hillcrest/one year after suicide attempt” by Will Falk

by Will Falk 04.17.2014 Arts

4/16/14

By Will Falk

I am looking for a pick-axe
a long one with a thick handle
one to chip my way
through the asphalt covering
everything

I want to hear crickets
tall grasses at my heels
the shift of sand
the suck of mud

starlight

this is what I think about
wandering San Diego at night

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Thumbnail image for New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

New Chicano Park Muralists Are Honored to Paint in the Park

by Brent E. Beltrán 04.16.2014 Arts

44th annual Chicano Park Day Celebration this Saturday

By Brent E. Beltrán

The Chicano Park Steering Committee and thousands of their friends will be celebrating the 44th anniversary of the takeover of Chicano Park this Saturday in San Diego’s Barrio Logan. The theme of the celebration is “La Tierra Es De Quien La Trabaja: The Land Belongs To Those Who Work It.” 

Last year I wrote:

“On April 22, 1970 a rag tag group of artists, activists, and community members joined forces and took over the land underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. At the time, construction was about to begin on the building of a California Highway Patrol substation. For many years, residents of Barrio Logan had been promised a park. Seeing the pending creation of a CHP substation was the straw that broke this barrio’s back.”

Every year the community of Barrio Logan, as well as Chicanas and Chicanos from all over, and our friends and allies, all come together to celebrate the takeover of the area underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

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Thumbnail image for Supreme Court to Consider Lies in Political Ads

Supreme Court to Consider Lies in Political Ads

by Doug Porter 04.16.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Not even George Orwell could have predicted this; an anti-abortion group is challenging Ohio’s law making it a crime to knowingly publish false statements about political candidates.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times, the case involves billboard ads funded by the Susan B. Anthony List accusing an Ohio congressman of voting for taxpayer-funded abortions based on his support of the Affordable Care Act. The Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, prohibits using federal funds to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

Concerns about any Supreme Court ruling in this case stem from a ruling (made on the same day the court upheld most sections of Obamacare) overturning the conviction of Xavier Alvarez for violating the 2006 Stolen Valor Act making it a crime for a person to falsely claim, orally or in writing, “to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States.” The 6-3 decision asserted  the act was an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

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Thumbnail image for Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – A Double Standard for Party Endorsements

Sex, Power and Politics in San Diego – A Double Standard for Party Endorsements

by Source 04.16.2014 Gender

Editors Note: Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has an up close and personal story to tell about her dealings with former Mayor Bob Filner and the Democratic party establishment. This is part three of a five part series running this week at San Diego Free Press. Part one covers her early encounters with Filner, Part two describes the indifference she met when she tried to alert Democratic Party leadership.

Part 3: Endorsement Roulette

By Lori Saldaña

By early 2012 I was campaigning full time, struggling to raise money, and trying to earn the Democratic Party endorsement. The grassroots, progressive delegates were with me, but the more moderate Democratic faction did all they could to block my State Party endorsement.

A short time after I had shared my concerns about Filner he announced his engagement. Privately, I suspected this was done to counter my allegations. When I encountered Filner at campaign events we kept our distance, and I was never introduced to his fiancee.

Still, knowing what I knew about his personal behavior, I refused to give his campaign an endorsement.

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Thumbnail image for Sarah Boot Takes on District 2

Sarah Boot Takes on District 2

by Frank Gormlie 04.16.2014 Politics

By Frank Gormlie

Sarah Boot and I grabbed a table outside at Nati’s in OB the other day for our interview – but as the sun was playing hide and seek, we later had to move inside. Sun or no sun, Sarah is running for the District 2 City Council seat in the Primary which is coming up on June 3rd.  The mail ballots go out in May.

Before we sat down outside, we met in the foyer of the iconic family cafe on Bacon Street.  We shook hands, then while leading her into one of the dining rooms, I informed Sarah that Nati’s was the oldest Mexican restaurant in the Peninsula.  I pointed to the oil painting hanging prominently on one of walls of Louisa – the famous server who worked at Nati’s for over 50 years – and who I met when I was a teenager when my family came during the Sixties.

Once outside, we ordered some lunch – Sarah’s a partial vegetarian – she does eat fish and cheese – and we settled in for a back-and-forth discussion over the next hour or so.  And it was a discussion, for she’s good at listening and I had a whole mental cabinet full of OB and Peninsula history and issues to share with her.  I also threw her questions, and I’ve integrated her responses into my story.

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Thumbnail image for Poem of the Day:  “Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski

Poem of the Day: “Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski

by Anna Daniels 04.16.2014 Books & Poetry

The poet’s secret pact

By Anna Daniels

Brent Beltrán is the Wednesday editor du jour, so I gave him a heads up yesterday that Bukowski’s poem would be ready to post today. Brent shot back an email with “In honor of Bukowski I’ll get blindingly drunk and bang my head on the keyboard in hopes that a poem appears on my computer screen.” I sense that the man who wrote “Poetry is what happens when nothing else can” would approve of the homage.

Much of Charles Bukowski’s poetry expresses his contempt of hypocrisy, willful stupidity, gratuitous judgments, posturings of superiority and the easy sell-out.

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Thumbnail image for Happy Tax Day! The Rich and Poor Are Now Equally Free to Purchase Political Influence with Their Income Tax Refunds

Happy Tax Day! The Rich and Poor Are Now Equally Free to Purchase Political Influence with Their Income Tax Refunds

by Doug Porter 04.15.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

It seems appropriate on tax day, given the annual media binge of gratuitous coverage of Tea Party protests at Post Offices and editorial cartoons demonizing the Internal Revenue Service, to survey the political landscape and make some comments about where we find ourselves in 2014.

The vast majority of stories you’ll see repeated by tax protesters on the evening news today are simply bullshit–not that any of these so-called “reporters” will actually fact check them. If some guy carrying a sign about the Muslim socialist in the White House screams ignorant slogans about the gubment, it must be news. Because “everybody knows” all these things they say must be true.

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