This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, toons, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors, cartoonists, and sourced writers on: Trump, Radical Anti-Semitism, Indivisible taking on Issa and others, inequality in America, council troubles in National City, The DC Shuffle, MOXIE’s Blue Door, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
Three coats of gesso
brushed across naked canvas
painted by sunrise
We’re Not Going Away! More Than Three Dozen Ways to Get Involved
Duncan Hunter’s on the Run! The Los Angeles Times ran a hilarious article about the San Diego Congress-Critter’s pathetic attempts to close down his offices in the face of ongoing protests. Also, Congressman Darrell Issa tried and failed to co-opt the local resistance this week.
Two hundred representatives are not even bothering to try and meet with constituents during the February break. But that hasn’t stopped people from picketing their offices and flooding their switchboards with calls demanding answers on immigration, health care, and a host of other issues. And it’s not going to stop anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Congresspersons Susan Davis and Scott Peters spoke before full houses this week, answering questions and seeing up close and personal the passion people are feeling these days. As Democrats, these representatives didn’t face crowds that were necessarily upset, but the message of resistance was just as strong. [Read more…]
Independent Investigation On Whether SANDAG Deceived the Public: Mayor Ron Morrison on the Board of Directors
Summary: The Voice of San Diego reported that SANDAG may have deceived voters, telling them Measure A would generate $18 billion over 40 years, although they knew this was untrue. Mayor Morrison was a SANDAG Board of Director and residents wondered if he knew about the deceit.
Residents during public comments and two council members asked that the California Attorney General do an investigation. The motion failed in a 3-2 vote. A subsequent motion asked for an independent investigation without the California Attorney General, which passed unanimously.
On February 21st, Voice of San Diego reported that prior the November 2016 election, voters were told Measure A would generate about $18 billion over 40 years. Newly uncovered emails, however, revealed SANDAG staff knew as early as 2015 that the $18 billion figure was unrealistic. (The measure failed.) [Read more…]
California oil lobby tops spending in 2015-16 session with $36.1 million>
By Dan Bacher
In spite of California’s reputation as a “green leader,” Big Oil is the largest corporate lobby in the state and exerts enormous influence over the Governor’s Office, Legislature and regulatory agencies.
As usual, the California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million as of December 31, 2016.
The spending amounts to $1.5 million per month — nearly $50,000 per day — over the last two years. The $36.1 million surpassed the $34 million spent in the prior session, according to a report by the American Lung Association in California. “That’s enough money to buy 103,000 goats,” reported Stop Fooling California. [Read more…]
In a meeting with corporate executives this morning, President Donald Trump took time out to extol the virtues of his administration’s immigration policies, saying his effort to ramp up deportations is a “military operation” aimed at ridding the U.S. of “really bad dudes.”
The reality of what’s happening is divorced from the administration’s portrayals. Mexican authorities say they’ve seen no increase in deportations. What has increased are public relations efforts to justify the new policies.
Locally, the suicide of Guadalupe Olivas Valencia, less than an hour after he was deported has impacted the immigrant community. The 45-year-old Mexican citizen jumped to his death from a pedestrian bridge spanning the border in San Ysidro. [Read more…]
By Shanty Asher / SanDiego350.org
I am a proud Pacific Islander. Over the years, I have witnessed and stood alongside many of my fellow islanders and leaders, combating climate change and its impacts on the islands. Though the percentage of people in the U.S. who believe that climate change is real and human-caused is rising, it still only amounts to around half. I have no doubt that if Americans had seen what we have seen, had lived what we have lived through, I believe that percentage would be higher. Much higher.
Today, I will share that story with you through an islander’s lens and maybe, just maybe, my story will paint a different picture of climate change, one that you may not have heard before, one that you can relate to because it is not a scientific prediction, but based on actual events. [Read more…]
By Anne Haule / Musings of a Boomer Feminist
The election of Trump has caused me to focus on my core beliefs and work toward advancing them. I recommend this exercise for everyone. It is a useful way to clarify where you stand and to focus your energies.
So, in no particular order and subject to further additions, here they are. [Read more…]
By Dan Bacher / Daily Kos
On February 17, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) officials announced they are joining over 100 fellow investors asking major U.S. and international banks backing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to address the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota.
The statement endorsed by CalPERS supports a rerouting of the pipeline, but doesn’t call for halting DAPL, a project that poses enormous harm to the drinking water supply for 17 million people and to many fish and wildlife species on the Missouri River.
The announcement came four days after 150 people from a coalition of environmental and Native American Groups held a march and rally in front of the CalPERS office in Sacramento to tell the retirement fund to divest from its investments in banks backing the Dakota Access Pipeline. [Read more…]
‘This is Democracy. You Should Come Try It.’
By Doug Porter
Pressure from citizens groups continues to mount nationwide, as elected representatives grapple with political blowback over health care, immigration, environmental, and other issues raised by Republicans seeking to dismantle America’s social contract.
Nearly 2000 people came to what was billed as an ‘Emergency Town Hall’ in Vista on Tuesday night, even though the guest of honor, Congressman Issa, made it clear he had no intention of showing up.
The Jim Porter Recreation Center quickly filled up to its legal capacity of 350 people; the remaining attendees rallied outside. Midway through the proceedings, which included speakers from faith-based and healthcare organizations, the room was emptied to allow a new group of constituents in to hear speeches. [Read more…]
By Ed Merta
In the age of Putin and Trump, the left is divided over what to think about reports of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and the new U.S. President’s ties to the Kremlin. Are the reports credible? What do they mean for those who’ve always been skeptical of U.S. actions toward Russia? Should the reports be dismissed, given the U.S. record of (among other things) sabotage in foreign elections, pervasive cyber-intrusions around the world, support for needlessly provocative NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, and complicity in robber baron plunder of Russia after the collapse of Communism?
Understanding possible answers to these questions requires first looking at the history behind them. Learning from that history depends on an act of faith: believing in whatever truth emerges, even when it conflicts with what our faith has taught. [Read more…]
2016 Breaks 2015’s Record Which Broke 2014’s Record
For the third year in a row planet Earth has set records for hottest year as the planet warms due to global warming. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. Meanwhile, President Trump took down the White House climate change website. He has called global warming a hoax and a Chinese plot, and staffed his administration with global warming deniers.
The heat extremes were especially noticeable in the Arctic region where temperatures are running 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. Sea ice is melting at a rapid pace and coastal communities are dealing with rapid beach erosion. Polar bears are losing their habitat and starving. [Read more…]
The following is an OB Rag staff editorial from October 1973. It was published during the time of the Nixon administration and the Watergate scandal. As Nixon didn’t resign until August 1974, there were fears of what he would do in the months prior to the resolution of the Constitutional crisis. In reading this editorial written 44 years ago, many of the themes resonate with us today.
tyranny at home …
We of the OB Rag staff are appalled at Richard Nixon’s latest moves at establishing one-man rule n America. Nixon has stepped outside the bounds of his constituted authority … again. He has usurped the powers of the courts by refusing to comply with a court order to release the tapes. More, he has fired the one man, Archibald Cox, who had the legal authority to investigate the White House’s involvement in Watergate. [Read more…]
“The President’s sudden acknowledgment is a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own Administration.”– Anne Frank Center
For the second time this month, The Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla was evacuated in response to a bomb threat. San Diego Police searched the facility following a 6am phone call on Tuesday.
On Monday there were 11 new bomb threats against Jewish community centers, from New York to New Mexico. Over the weekend, vandals toppled and damaged as many as 200 headstones at a St. Louis-area Jewish cemetery.
Prior to Tuesday morning’s threat, the Jewish Community Center (JCC) Association of North America has documented 69 incidents at 54 centers in 27 U.S. states and one Canadian province since the start of 2017. [Read more…]
Exploring Self-Identity through Conversations with Ancestors
By Yuko Kurahashi
The MOXIE Theatre production of Blue Door by Tanya Barfield, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, portrays a middle-aged African-American mathematics professor Lewis’s search for his identity and history by bearing witness to the paths of his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father.
Set in the bedroom of his apartment in 1995, Lewis opens the play with a monolog about his wife of 25 years (she never appears on stage) who has just left him, asking for a divorce. According to Lewis, his wife, who is white, is divorcing him because he would not participate in the Million Man March. This historical march held on October 16, 1995, was led by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who called for black men to gather in Washington, D.C. to reflect and change their roles both in the private and public spheres. Lewis explains his unwillingness to participate in this historical event disappointed his wife. [Read more…]
We’ll start with a trick question: Is Mayor Kevin Faulconer the mirror image of President Donald Trump? No, of course not! you’d probably say.
Kevin Faulconer is a pleasant, if unremarkable, go-along-to-get-along San Diego city councilman turned mayor:
“…born and raised in Oxnard California… learned to speak Spanish in grade school… San Diego State University… member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity… one year as Student Body President of Associated Students. He and his wife Katherine, a small business owner, live in Point Loma with their two children. Before running for office… executive with the public relations firm NCG Porter Novelli and volunteered on the Mission Bay Park Committee…” (see Wikipedia)
You might say that Kevin Faulconer is a lightweight Republican who goes down nice and easy in a city like San Diego. He is decorum incarnate – never an unguarded sneer, never an unscripted rant. [Read more…]
Here we are, just over one month into the Presidency of Donald J. Trump, [Insert your favorite descriptive phrase here]. Things aren’t going well for the current administration.
It’s leaking so much that ‘false leaks’ — like the story about the National Guard being mobilized to aid in deportations — are now part of White House strategy designed to portray the press as the “enemy of the American people.”
Based on a misunderstanding of a Fox news show, our government is now at odds with the government of Sweden. Rather than admit the error, the administration is doubling down on it. (If they want to declare war, I’m willing to negotiate terms of surrender!)
Most importantly, resistance against the policies and proposals of the administration and its Republican allies continues to spread. [Read more…]
While most of us were busy watching the Trump administration and their crack team of “populist” millionaires light the world on fire, a new study released by Thomas Piketty, Facundo Alvaredo, Lucas Chancel, and Emmanuel Saez underlined the fact that the steep costs of our historic level of economic inequality are being borne by those at the bottom of the economic system, particularly here in the United States. As the Market Watch story on this new research outlined:
In the U.S., between 1978 and 2015, the income share of the bottom 50% fell to 12% from 20%. Total real income for that group fell 1% during that time period. [Read more…]
By Murtaza Baxamusa
There were about 185 thousand union members in San Diego, based on surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016. About 110 thousand of these workers are in the private sector. There are additionally 20 thousand workers covered by union contracts in the region. The continuing employment recovery in the last two years contributed to an increase in union membership.
Union density is the share of workers that are union members. It is an important measure of union prevalence that determines the impact of collective bargaining agreements on area-wide labor wages and benefits. In 2016, union density was 12.9 percent for all workers in San Diego. It was about 6.2 percent in the private sector and 45.5 in the public sector in San Diego. Union membership rate in California stayed almost constant at 15.9 percent since membership grew by 65,000 members at the same pace as the overall employment. [Read more…]
By Michael-Leonard Creditor
I watched (again) the movie “Lucky Number Slevin” just last night, so as soon as the thought hit me, I called it a Kansas City shuffle.
No, it’s not a card trick. But it is an old jazz tune, originally by Benny Moten, who hailed from there.
But, that’s not it either. It’s more akin to the kind of side-step that Charles Durning performs as a fictional Texas governor in another film, “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
As used in “Lucky Number Slevin” Kansas City Shuffle is a distraction tactic. When everybody looks one way, you do something else in another direction.
That’s exactly what is going on in D.C. lately, in the administration of 45*. [Read more…]
By Scott Starbuck/ SanDiego350
Reuters reported that on October 11, activists in four states “shook the North American energy industry.” An appreciative audience at San Diego’s First Church of the Brethren greeted them Monday February 13 with $2,300 in donations for their legal funds, repeated applause, and a standing ovation honoring their vision and courage. A donation link has been set up for those who want to support Valve Turners.
Of the group of five, Emily Johnston, Annette Klapstein, Leonard Higgins, and Michael Foster were present and spoke at the event. Ken Ward, the fifth member and first to face trial, was unable to attend due to preparing for a retrial after a jury in Mt. Vernon, Washington, refused to convict him on February 1.
San Diego was the last California stop on this leg of the Valve Turners Speaking Tour that will take them from Pacific to Atlantic in effort to awaken consciences of citizens to respond to climate reality. [Read more…]
This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, toons, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors, cartoonists, and sourced writers on: resistance, A Day Without Immigrants, Altar Boyz, Ecopsychology as Human Supremacism, ACLU suing San Diego, SD lawyers’ rally, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
“Trump’s a fool, Trump’s a clown, we are here to shut him down”– crowd chant.
The bad weather took a pause for Saturday’s Solidarity with Immigrants rally. SDFP editor Frank Gormlie counted two thousand people as the crowd left the staging area in front of the County Administration Building.
Speakers included Sharia Alam (Rage against Fascism), Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales-Fletcher, Ismahan Abdullahi (PANA), Former Los Angeles Major Antonio Villaraigosa, Dreamer Maren Ramos, Imam Taha Hassane (Islamic Center San Diego) and Christian Ramirez (Alliance San Diego). [Read more…]
National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Americorps are among targets meant to showcase ‘waste’ of taxpayer funds
By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams
With Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) confirmed to lead the White House budget office, the Trump administration is getting ready to follow through on plans to slash major domestic programs, the New York Times reported Friday.
Work on President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal has been delayed as Republicans worked to get Mulvaney—known for his unyielding stances on safety net programs—approved as head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Now, his office has targeted nine popular and critical programs to axe, according to an early internal OMB memo obtained by the Times.
The so-called “hit list” includes, in part, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Export-Import Bank, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps projects. [Read more…]
The sun rose
without an executive order
Unvetted clouds immigrated
Crows bullied each other
over the tallest lampposts
in vacant parking lots
As part of a set of actions at courthouses across the country, San Diego lawyers and legal workers rallied in downtown San Diego today – February 17 – in front of the Federal Courthouse on Front Street, all in solidarity with the proclaimed General Strike Against Trump on F17.
Several dozen brave folks made their voices heard and presence known in front of the red-bricked buildings, as the wind kicked up and the skies promised rain. Additionally, there were courthouse rallies in at least 17 other cities nation-wide. [Read more…]
More than two dozen ways to get involved
Congress will be taking a break next week to listen to their constituents, except for the 200 Republican members of the House of Representatives who refuse contact with the public.
By contrast, in the first two months of 2015, Republicans held 222 in-person events.
Donald Trump is already campaigning for 2020, and as was true with his last launch event, people are being paid to be there.
So what can you do? There’s plenty of local activism to support. Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings [Read more…]
South Bay took a big blow in comprehensive news coverage and support this week when reporter Christine Huard was laid off from the San Diego Union Tribune.
Huard covered all of the South Bay school districts, often uncovering scandals such as the fact that San Ysidro has paid millions, but not yet received their solar panels from Manzana Energy — a company whose owner also owns La Prensa San Diego. She also covered school board irregularities, celebrated school successes and so much more. This has now, overnight, disappeared.
Huard is only one of two regular South Bay writers at the Union Tribune, Allison Sampite-Montecalvo being the other reporter who serves approximately 450,000 residents south of the I-54 to the border. The other reporters laid off with Huard apparently are going to be staff members who wrote about the Chargers in the sports section. This is yet another example of under-covered and sometimes outright ignored communities losing a key voice who skillfully and thoroughly took on tough assignments necessary to get to the truth [Read more…]
By Dan Bacher
As soon as I heard on election night that Donald Trump was going to be the next President, I predicted on Twitter, Facebook and in conversations with friends that Governor Jerry Brown, in spite of his “green” image, would try to make a deal with Trump to build his legacy project, the environmentally destructive Delta Tunnels, and expand fracking and other oil drilling in California.
Sure enough, Jerry Brown has been working hard since the election to pressure Trump to support the Delta Tunnels, going so far as to praise Trump’s infrastructure plans in his state of the state. Departing from his prepared remarks, Brown remarked, “I say, ‘Amen to that, Brother!’” in reference to Trump’s focus on new infrastructure.
Then this week, we discovered that the administration of Brown’s so-called “Brother,” Donald Trump, has granted requests from Brown’s regulators to exempt three aquifers near the Fruitvale, Round Mountain and Tejon oilfields in California’s Kern County from the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. [Read more…]
Information provided by the Rebel Action Network
Strikes Work. Here’s Why:
Individually, our strength is inconsistent. Collectively, we’re indefensible. When a few hundred thousand citizens coordinate, we can bring the powerful US economy to a grinding halt. And without America’s formidable economic strength, the government is redundant. They need cashflow & the tacit permission from all citizens in order to work. Friday we’ll withhold both in our collective show of strength.
While other resistance organizations are organizing rallies & symbolic gestures of protest, we Rebels are getting down to high-impact business.
Here’s what you need to do in three easy steps: [Read more…]