Post image for Not the News in San Diego: Homeless Human Shot and Killed (Video)

By Doug Porter

A shocking confrontation caught on video involving a mentally ill homeless man in Los Angeles who was gunned down as police tried to evict him from a street-side tent is getting nationwide news coverage.

The Washington Post, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and of course the Los Angeles Times all covered the story. But you’ll have to dig to find it at UT-San Diego. It’s not in the today’s edition. (You can find it online if the paper’s search engine is working.)

This video cuts to the chase on three major issues facing this country; how we treat the mentally ill, our homeless population and the willingness of police to use firepower over brain power.


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Post image for Golden Hill’s 25th Street Nightmare Gives the Lie to Faulconer’s Infrastructure Fantasy

By Jim Miller

A little over a week ago I was amused to see the Turko Files run a couple of segments “exposing” a disastrous Golden Hill renovation project on 25th Street that I had covered nearly six months earlier in late August of 2014. The KUSI angle was, appropriately, how bad the endless construction has been for local small businesses who have suffered through the scatter-shot planning and surreal whack-a-mole approach to getting the job done more“efficiently.”

Neighborhood residents might recall how Mayor Kevin Faulconer claimed his administration would change the game back in April of 2014 when he opined, “It’s a mindset that’s changing, and it says do it all at once. It’s taken awhile and it’s been frustrating for us, it takes more planning. So now, we do all of the projects at once – pipes, streets – so you don’t have to come back six months, two years later.”

What he didn’t consider was whether the residents of Golden Hill would dig it any better if his “efficient” new mindset of “doing it all at once” just meant that the work would keep going with no end in sight for the foreseeable future. Indeed, as bad as it is to live through the interminable disaster that is 25th Street, the political ironies are rich beyond words.


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Post image for The Lobbyists at Your Dinner Party

Every purveyor of food and drink wants the government to advise Americans to consume more of what they produce

By Jill Richardson /Other Words

Remember the old food pyramid?

Until “MyPlate” replaced it a few years ago, the U.S. government’s official dietary advice for Americans fit neatly into that triangle.

The government recently moved toward updating those standards again. And the result isn’t nearly as digestible. In classic bureaucratic form, the Department of Health and Human Services cooked up a 571-page draft report for Americans to comment on.

The actual updated dietary guidelines will come later. Here’s what we know about the draftso far: The meat and soda industries hate it.


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Post image for Eve on the Move

The rising Feminine has something to offer our old fashioned religions

By Dr. Carol Carnes

The great American Man of Letters, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “be an opener of doors for such as come after thee and do not try to make the universe a blind alley.”

I interpret this to mean, contribute to the overall wisdom of the world. Do not perpetuate superstition and dogma. Challenge the isms that limit our experience of the greater good. Share your ideas with the young. Teach them to think critically. Show the power of Love by your own actions.

None of us lives in a private reality to the exclusion of the collective. We can go along with the tribes’ beliefs or we can be part of raising our shared version of reality. Those who speak out to challenge ideas that belonged in ancient times but do not serve us today, are making a great impression on the whole.

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Post image for Looking Back at the Week: Feb 22-28

Compiled by Brent E. Beltrán

This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles by San Diego Free Press and OB Rag regulars, irregulars, columnists, at-large contributors and sourced writers on the Chargers leaving narrative, crime and punishment roosting at home, gas prices on the rise, Corey Briggs, CPAC wingnuttery, Barrio Bits, adjunct profs getting screwed, Gandalf vetoes XL, Perry’s Café review, slow renewable energy conversion, happy talk Newt, the best medicine, the origins of institutionalized racism and lots of news nuggets from OB.


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Post image for Unist’ot’en Camp: The Best Medicine

By Will Falk

I’ve decided to go off my medication. This decision is one I’ve been struggling with for months. It’s not a decision I make easily, but I think it’s the best decision for me. Ever since I was diagnosed with severe depression and prescribed anti-depressants in November, 2012, I have had a dubious relationship with my medication.

It is true that I have been on anti-depressants and have not tried to kill myself since August, 2013. It is also true that I was taking my anti-depressants each time I tried to kill myself. I know that my decision to stop taking my pills will cause friends and family anxiety. But, I truly feel this is the best decision for me.


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Post image for The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Love and Marriage, 1940s

Part II of the Lives of Girls

By Maria E. Garcia

Today’s article is a continuation of last week’s conversation with Amparo “Tuti” Zumaya, Consuelo Zumaya Lopez, Noralund Cook Zumaya, Rosa Zatarian Ramirez, Armida Piña, and Bertha Castro Zumaya. While hard economic times affected everyone, there were different societal expectations about what were considered appropriate activities for boys and girls during this time period. These women all provide rich details about the lives of girls who grew up during the war years.

Rosa Zatarian has her own memories about Neighborhood House and about Logan Heights. She and her sister would lay in bed on Friday night and listen to the Latest Hits program. This program came on at 9 p.m. every Friday and they couldn’t wait to listen to the music of the 1940s.

Rosa also remembered that when her family lived in El Paso and did not own a radio, a neighbor would place his radio in the window. Neighbors would then bring chairs and sit in the yard to listen to President Roosevelt’s fireside chat broadcasts. According to Rosa’s mother “Él nos quitó el hambre.” (He took our hunger away.) It seems that helping and supporting each other was a way of life all over our country.


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Thumbnail image for Feds Threaten D.C. Officials With Prison If They Go Through with Pot Legalization

Feds Threaten D.C. Officials With Prison If They Go Through with Pot Legalization

by Source 02.28.2015 Government

By Jay Syrmopoulos / The Free Thought Project

In a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, two Republican congressmen Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chair of the appropriations subcommittee that handles D.C.’s budget, ominously warned not to move forward with legalization in the District, claiming that to do so would be a violation of federal law.

D.C. officials and federal lawmakers have sparred over whether Initiative 71, a ballot measure approved by 70 percent of voters in November, can legally take effect.

The letter arrived the same day that the voter-approved legalization measure is scheduled to become law, at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday. It sets the stage for a showdown between the will of the D.C. voters and their city and the federal government, attempting to enforce its will over that of the District’s constituents.

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Thumbnail image for The Right and the Righteous Aspire to Greatness at CPAC

The Right and the Righteous Aspire to Greatness at CPAC

by Doug Porter 02.27.2015 Activism

Infotainment for a Rainy San Diego Weekend

By Doug Porter

It’s time for that annual exercise in wingnuttery known as the Conservative Political Action Conference(CPAC), wherein activists of the far right persuasion gather in what Salon columnist Jim Newell calls the “fake shopping town of National Harbor, Maryland.”

Given that the biggest news around San Diego this morning appears to be anticipation about the arrival of rain (!) and possibly snow (!!) at the higher elevations, I’ll take the bait and share highlights from the annual gathering of the right and the righteous. 

It’s important to note that CPAC induces sympathetic craziness among the faithful who, for job-related reasons, are unable to attend during high profile sessions where CSPAN cameras may be turned on. This weekend is, after all, their turn to steal the spotlight from the liberal media’s endless praise of the Obama administration. 

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Thumbnail image for The Origins of Institutionalized Racism – a System to Control Blacks … and Whites

The Origins of Institutionalized Racism – a System to Control Blacks … and Whites

by Frank Gormlie 02.27.2015 Culture

100 Years Before Lexington and Concord, Bacon’s Armed Rebellion of Whites and Blacks Forced Plantation Elite to Create System of Racial Slavery

By Frank Gormlie

Since the turmoil last year in Ferguson, Missouri, swept in a new civil rights movement, once again America is faced with the reality of its system of institutionalized racism. For Americans with conscience, understanding this system is key to changing it, and it cannot be understood without understanding its origins which trail back, of course, to colonial America.

Confronting a system that predates the very formation of the Republic itself necessitates understanding its raison d’etre – its reason for being. Why is there such a system that has a solid foundation and that has existed all this time, and is so deeply ingrained? Why is there institutionalized racism? If one accepts such a premise, that there is such a thing, then the most obvious answer is that it exists to control blacks, African-Americans. And to control other minorities, Mexican-Americans, Native Americans.

Yet this system is not meant to only control blacks – and other peoples of color – but it also meant to control white people.

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Thumbnail image for Newt Gingrich Happy Talk at the Times of San Diego

Newt Gingrich Happy Talk at the Times of San Diego

by Anna Daniels 02.27.2015 Media

One big helping of pre-digested revisionist twaddle

By Anna Daniels

The lead business story in the February 26 Times of San Diego reports that Newt Gingrich has joined the strategic advisory board of San Diego-based Pathway Genomics Corp. The former Speaker of the House’s bona fides for this position are taken directly from Gingrich’s own site or from countless other sites which uncritically regurgitate the same information:

…During his time in Congress, he helped save Medicare from bankruptcy, shepherded Food and Drug Administration reform to help the seriously ill and initiated a new focus on scientific research, prevention and wellness.

This engenders severe cognitive dissonance for those of us who were breathing and sentient during the Gingrich years.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces: Unvarnished

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Unvarnished

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 02.27.2015 Books & Poetry

For men and women who work for love and not financial gain

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

It takes a man
to do what my parent’s generation
deferred as “woman’s work.”

No minimum wage
cause and effect rewards
just salivating dogs
and pooper scoopers
the prolific
propagation of dirty laundry
the monotonous
mopping up of sweat

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Thumbnail image for Barrio Bits: Will East Village Chargers Stadium Bring Ethnic Cleansing to Barrio Logan?

Barrio Bits: Will East Village Chargers Stadium Bring Ethnic Cleansing to Barrio Logan?

by Brent E. Beltrán 02.26.2015 Desde la Logan

Plus, Barrio Loganites Seek Crosswalk, Barrio Art Crawl Returns, Barrio Seed Bank Opens, Chicano Park Day Fundraiser y Más!

By Brent E. Beltrán

With all of the talk around town about the Chargers and their demands for a new stadium something has been overlooked: Barrio Logan. If the city acquiesces to the demands of the Chargers (which they have done in the past) and gives them a brand new stadium in the East Village what happens to the community that sits just south of there?

The impact on Barrio Logan residents would be tremendous… in a bad way.

For the most part the residents of Barrio Logan are renters. A new stadium so close to a community of renters would raise property values up to the point where they could no longer rent in the community they love. Thus, forcing many longtime community members out and changing the socio-economic and cultural character of Barrio Logan.

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Thumbnail image for Environmental Lawyer Cory Briggs: Saint or Sinner?

Environmental Lawyer Cory Briggs: Saint or Sinner?

by Doug Porter 02.26.2015 Columns

“The case put forward to this point just doesn’t seem right, kind of like a badly fitted toupee on an otherwise well-dressed man.”

By Doug Porter

There’s no doubt about the fact that attorney Cory Briggs has made his fair share of enemies in San Diego. His actions in court have made Briggs the bane of corporate interests, providing what I believe to be a necessary counter-balance in a region where it seems as though the “people’s advocates” express concern about issues only after exposés appear in the press.

So it’s ironic that San Diego’s City attorney is now responding to an investigative series focused on Briggs. And the suggestion is being made that the source for these stories may have been somebody connected with the city’s legal offices, which have made no secret of their disdain for the attorney in the past.

Over the past few days inewsource  has published three stories questioning Briggs’ ethics. Liens filed by the attorney on properties may have been fraudulent efforts to shield assets. Briggs wife’s employment with an environmental planning company used by local governments may represent a conflict of interest, given the nature of many of the legal actions he has pursued against various agencies.

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Thumbnail image for President Gandalf Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline

President Gandalf Vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline

by Junco Canché 02.26.2015 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Justice Comes to Mississippi

Justice Comes to Mississippi

by Source 02.26.2015 Courts, Justice

Sentencing begins for the ten white teenagers who beat and murdered African-American James Craig Anderson in 2011

By Federal District Court Judge Carlton Reeves

Editor Note: James Craig Anderson was attacked and murdered by a mob of teenagers who went out for the purpose of terrorizing African-Americans. They surrounded Anderson in a parking lot and ran over him with their pick-up truck. His death has been described as a Jim Crow style lynching. In the words of William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It is not even past.” The following is Judge Reeves’ complete remarks at the sentencing of the first three of the teenagers on February 10, 2015.

One of my former history professors, Dennis Mitchell, recently released a history book entitled, A New History of Mississippi. “Mississippi,” he says, “is a place and a state of mind. The name evokes strong reactions from those who live here and from those who do not, but who think they know something about its people and their past.”

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Thumbnail image for Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

Joining Spirit with the Billions of Us Human Beings

by Ernie McCray 02.26.2015 Culture

By Ernie McCray

I was driving and turned my radio to 89.5, KPBS, and there was a conversation going on about “7 Billion Others,” an exhibit that’s opening in the U.S. for the first time – at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA): February 21 to September 13.

I liked what I was hearing and googled around and found, on the MOPA website, 45 questions written for visitors to the exhibit to answer so that they can find in themselves that spark that resides in us all and connects us to the journey of human beings featured in the video project.

My answer to the first question was: Ernest Charles McCray; age 76; retired school principal; widower; American as in United States of America.

Here are my replies to the other questions, based on what first came to my mind:

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Thumbnail image for Gas Prices Rise in San Diego as Refinery Strike Spreads

Gas Prices Rise in San Diego as Refinery Strike Spreads

by Doug Porter 02.25.2015 Business

By Doug Porter 

The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline reached three dollars in San Diego this week, roughly seventy cents more than a month ago. The primary cause of this steep increase is the largest refinery strike in 35 years, a walkout that’s continuing to spread as negotiations have stalled out. 

A total of 6,550 workers represented by the United Steel Workers are on strike at 15 plants, including 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of U.S. capacity. The central issue in this labor dispute is safe working conditions for the USW members at more than 200 oil terminals, pipelines, refineries and chemical plants in the U.S. 

The American Automobile Association says the steep increase in prices comes on the heels of a record 123 consecutive days of declines. 

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Thumbnail image for The Old Hippie Gets a Medical Marijuana Card

The Old Hippie Gets a Medical Marijuana Card

by At Large 02.25.2015 Culture

The Ol’ OB Hippie Writes / The OB Rag

I’m finally going legal after 50 years – or at least almost 50 years. I started smoking pot when I was a freshman in college. And I still smoke – but the other day, I went legal and obtained my medical marijuana card, and now I can smoke legally for the first time in a half century. And god I need it – for all my genuine ailments, from chronic back pain to insomnia to other problems whose symptoms are relieved by the inhalation of the medicinal gift from nature.

Actually my very first joint was during my first year’s Christmas break – I was going to college on the East Coast and had flown home for the 2 week break. Pot smoking literally exploded here in OB and Point Loma in 1966-67. It blew up in OB. And of course, PLHS was called “Pot Loma” after that large bust behind the church – I think – in 1968. Plus we all thought it would be legal by 1976. Seriously.

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Thumbnail image for Firing a Mom Because She’s Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

Firing a Mom Because She’s Breastfeeding Is Sex Discrimination

by Source 02.25.2015 Courts, Justice

By Galen Sherwin, ACLU Blog of Rights

A few months ago, I posted about Angela Ames, the Nationwide Insurance worker who alleged that she was denied a place to pump breast milk when she returned to work from maternity leave. When she protested, Angela was coerced into resigning by her supervisor, who told her she should “just go home and be with your babies”.

In January, the Supreme Court sent her the same message – go home ­– rejecting her petition for a review of the dismissal of her case. The denial of her petition effectively means the end of the line for her case.

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Thumbnail image for Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

Why We’re All Becoming Independent Contractors

by Source 02.25.2015 Business

By Robert Reich

GM is worth around $60 billion, and has over 200,000 employees. Its front-line workers earn from $19 to $28.50 an hour, with benefits.

Uber is estimated to be worth some $40 billion, and has 850 employees. Uber also has over 163,000 drivers (as of December – the number is expected to double by June), who average $17 an hour in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and $23 an hour in San Francisco and New York.

But Uber doesn’t count these drivers as employees. Uber says they’re “independent contractors.”

What difference does it make?

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Thumbnail image for The War on Terror Comes Home: Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century

The War on Terror Comes Home: Crime and Punishment in the 21st Century

by Doug Porter 02.24.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

A report in today’s Guardian about a “black site” used by the Chicago police department to keep suspects off the grid for extended periods of time provides the starting point for today’s column. I’m going to weave three ongoing stories together to try to better understand what’s going on.

Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times says next to nothing is happening with a promised crackdown on the use of excessive force with the US Border Patrol. 

And the prison industrial complex in California is pushing back against reforms instituted through Proposition 47, which essentially decriminalized drug possession for personal use and reduced other petty crimes from felony to misdemeanor status. 

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Thumbnail image for Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 4

Conversion to Renewable Energy is Going Too Slow to Avoid Catastrophe – Part 4

by John Lawrence 02.24.2015 Environment

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

While many positive advances in renewables are being made, rising coal, natural gas and energy demand outweigh any reductions from recent strong growth in renewables in a few countries. Renewables and hydro are still a TINY 9% of primary energy consumption today They are forecast to be a TINY 20% of energy consumption in 2030 and no more than 25% in 2040.

The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts the same weak growth in renewable electrical generation shares reaching a miniscule 22% in 2015 and 25% in 2040.These weak shares explain why EIA and others expect CO2 emissions to soar ahead from 36 billion tons today to over 50 billion tons in 2050.

This week (Part 4) we address how FAR we have to go to reach a hydro-renewables mix of 70% of global energy consumption by 2050. Cataclysmic global warming can only be stemmed by considerably speeding up practical community-based and disruptive technically-based solutions for sustainable fuels, energy efficiency and lifestyle adaptations (that reduce energy demand) like Scandinavia, Germany, and California are remarkably doing in their own way – without disturbing economic growth.

Part 3 can be found here

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Thumbnail image for A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

A Close Encounter With a Coyote at Laguna Ojo de Liebre

by Lori Saldaña 02.24.2015 Culture

By Lori Saldaña

The moon was waning that night at Laguna Ojo de Liebre, and clouds from a freakishly warm winter storm still blocked the stars. The sunset was beautiful, but all day heavy rain had fallen in towns near the camp: roads near Vizcaino were flooded, Ejido Benito Juarez had mud running through its streets. Yet here at the water’s edge, only a few drops had made it to the ground.

For all these reasons- chance of rain, clouds blocking the stars- most of us camping near the whales went to bed early. We could hear the whales breathing across the lagoon, but the clouds made it impossible to see their backs shining in the moonlight and determine where the loud exhalations were coming from. Not much to see- good night to read in bed and get to sleep early.

I slept soundly the first few hours, then was awakened shortly after midnight by the jingle of the poodle’s dog collar. She was scratching, and restless, then scratching some more. Between scratches she panted, as if anxious or ….poisoned?

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Thumbnail image for Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

Some Things Never Change: A Review of Perry’s Café

by Judi Curry 02.24.2015 Culture

By Judi Curry

It has been years since I have had breakfast at Perry’s. It was a place that my husband and I used to go to frequently and always enjoyed the meals we had there. However, since he passed away, I find it difficult to frequent those places that we patronized, because it always brings back memories that I would just as soon forget.

However, one of the members of my widow support group – Ro – had a birthday today that we wanted to celebrate, and she chose “Perry’s” as the place she would like to go. Interesting enough, all of us had been there with our spouses, with the exception of Candy. We asked the very nice waitress when Perry’s opened, since we all had recollections of our previous visits there and she said it was about the middle 1980’s.

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