The Starting Line — Veterans Group to Start Weekly Vigil on Domestic Predator Drone Use Outside General Atomics Poway Location

Say ‘no’ to Predators overhead… Tomorrow, Thursday, August 16th, San Diego Veterans for Peace will begin a weekly vigil at the General Atomics plant in Poway, where the Predator Drone is built. The goal of this series of demonstrations is to get people thinking about the threat drones present to American liberties.  Congress has passed legislation mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The agency is predicting that there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020.

San Diego Veterans for Peace is concerned that the melding of law enforcement with Homeland Security is producing the basis for a big brother state. Certainly there has been little to no public discourse about the implications of the ability of local law enforcement agencies sending drones to look in our back yards or bedroom windows, streaming the video to people unknown, without our permission. What could be a powerful tool for crime fighting could easily become an easily abused loophole that negates the Fourth Amendment. Sadly, the track record of law enforcement agencies utilizing technologies developed for combat use in domestic situations is very poor.

The demonstrations will start tomorrow at 4pm outside the General Atomics location at Scripps Poway Parkway and General Atomics Way. (Map) The vets will be there with some flags and signs designed to get people asking questions, and are encouraging people to join them in this effort. They ask would be participates to note that the local temperature is expected to be hovering around 100 degrees, and urge people to come prepared with plenty of water and big hats. For more information, contact Dave Patterson.

#Lilypondgate continues (Day 47, I think)… Yesterday’s low lights in the Mayoral contest-turned-ugly included a debate kerfuffle, a Survey USA poll of voters saying “meh, who cares?” and Carl DeMaio’s media director having a melt down in front of the media. From the Andrew Keatts reporting at the San Diego Daily Transcript:

  During a debate ostensibly relating to building-industry issues, San Diego’s mayoral candidates ensured yesterday’s dust-up over weekend vandalism to Balboa Park isn’t going anywhere, at least for another day.


 Following the debate, after Filner reasserted his claim that Hale was set to have a role in DeMaio’s administration and should therefore stand to media questioning over the weekend’s events, Filner said he would levy the same charge at any other media outlet in town that had a publisher set to have a role in a potential mayoral administration.

 New DeMaio Communications Director K.B. Forbes interrupted the interview, calling Filner a bold-faced liar, a pathological liar, and a lying sack of marbles.

This morning’s Daily Fishwrap has an editorial calling on Congressman Bob Filner to apologize to Carl DeMaio’s partner Johnathan Hale. I’d be willing to negotiate a deal whereby Filner apologizes, if the UT-San Diego agrees to print Hale’s previous names (aka John Wyckoff, aka Johnathan Hackett) and looks into his criminal record (is he a convicted felon?). UPDATE: San Diego City Beat has published a first person account with lotsa pics.

SeaWorld gets dunked by former Motley Crue drummer… Dorian Hargrove over at the SDReader reports that percussionist Tommy Lee has posted a letter under the heading “Shamu Rocks! SeaWorld Sucks!” on the on the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals blog.

 To John T. Reilly, President  SeaWorld San Diego

Dear Mr. Reilly:

I just learned of the latest way that SeaWorld makes captive marine mammals miserable: “Shamu Rocks,” a show in which orcas thrash around in tanks while rock music blares. I’m writing to ask you not to play any Mötley Crüe songs at any of SeaWorld’s parks during this sad show. Although we like to torture the human fans who willingly come to our shows, we don’t want to be a part of making innocent animals’ lives hellish. I’ve learned from my friends at PETA that these marine animals are very sensitive to sound, as they communicate by sonar, and loud noises mess with their most basic instincts and drive them more nuts than they already are when trapped in your tanks. Some experts say that a noise level of more than 70 decibels is considered too loud and nerve-racking for the animals. “Shamu Rocks” shows have reached 90 decibels. Whales are not head-bangers, so stop cranking the music and take one small step toward improving their welfare, as the Navy did, recently changing the course of loud ships that were heading into San Francisco to avoid interfering with the whales’ migration. I’m among those who would like to see the dolphins and whales at SeaWorld moved to a coastal sanctuary, but at least give them some peace and quiet.

 The water park’s executives response to Lee’s letter, cited from a New York Post article, is that SeaWorld denies ever using Motley Crue songs during the show and rejects his claim that the music is too loud for the whales.

Passes belonging to former KGB Radio News Guy Brad Messer

A pressing issue… The North County Times reports that San Diego City & County are being sued by a Connecticut-based news organization on behalf of a Ramona based videographer. The San Diego Police Department is responsible for issuing press credentials for both the City and the County.

The lawsuit maintains that freelancer James Playford’s First Amendment rights were violated by the San Diego Police Department, which revoked a government issued press pass after a restraining order was filed against him. Credentials issued by his employer, American News and Information Services, were routinely not recognized by local enforcement officials, according the suit.

The legal action is significant in the face of a growing body of court decisions that saying the government cannot differentiate between the news media’s rights and the rights of individual citizens in terms of access to information.

It’s good for me, right?

Big Tobacco shills working against GMO-labeling initiative… reports that the latest financial filings in California for the “No on 37: Coalition Against the Deceptive Food Labeling Scheme” reveal that many of the consultants being used by the food industry in their campaign to defeat Proposition 37 gained their experience in elections by representing tobacco companies. Tactics being utilized by these consultants include the creation of so-called “astro-turf” groups, which falsely claim to represent citizen constituencies, and front groups like the “California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse,” whose primary funder is the Phillip Morris Company.

Pointing out that creating doubt in people’s minds about issues is the primary product of these types of consultants, the group concludes its report by saying:

 For decades the tobacco industry and its shills hid the truth by deploying its most effective weapon: manufacturing doubt about the health hazards of smoking. How many millions of Americans died as a result of Big Tobacco’s deceptive and cynical campaign? Why would we trust these same operators now?

 You can hardly blame industry for calling on such shady characters. Big Food has seen the polling data showing that more than 90 percent of consumers want to see GMO foods labeled. When you don’t have the people or the truth on your side, all you have left is playing dirty.

Back on the air (sort of)… The ever-popular Sunday morning reggae sounds of the “Brunch with Bob and Friends” have found a new home after being banished a couple of months back by the pinheads running 94/9fm. KOPA (Rez Radio 91.3), a public radio station owned by Pala Band of Mission Indians in North County will start broadcasting the show this Sunday, August 19th in its old time slot, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.

Rez Radio 91.3 has a limited range in and around Pala, but the station is part of a growing number of community broadcast outlets which are aggressively utilizing the internet and web applications to compete directly with broadcast radio and on-line music streaming services. Listeners and fans of the show can easily tune into KOPA Rez Radio 91.3 at the “listen now” function on the Pala Band of Mission Indians website, at I Heart Radio or on Rez Radio’s locally hosted stream.

Chef and Author Julia Child was born 100 years ago today. Thanks to Anna Daniels for sending me this terrific video mash up of Julia’s TV appearances set to “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. It’s truly inspired!

On This Day…  In 1939  The Wizard of Oz premiered in Hollywood, CA. Judy Garland became famous for the movie’s song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” In 1969 the Woodstock Music and Art Fair began in Bethel, NY. The three-day concert featured 24 bands and drew over 400,000 people.(This columnist was offered free tickets and a ride to New York State and turned them down to go to an anti-war demonstration in Berkeley In 1986 the U.S. Senate approved a package of economic sanctions against South Africa. The ban included the importing of steel, uranium, textiles, coal, and produce from South Africa.

Eat Fresh!  Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills  (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead  (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach  (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos  (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee  (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!


  1. avatarAndy Cohen says

    Nice to see “Brunch with Bob and Friends” back on the air. It was a very unique show and concept that highlighted music that we don’t ordinarily hear on the radio.


  1. avatar The Starting Line — Veterans Group to Start Weekly Vigil on Domestic Predator … – San Diego Free Press | San Diego Technology News says:

    […] The Starting Line — Veterans Group to Start Weekly Vigil on Domestic Predator …San Diego Free PressCongress has passed legislation mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration create a comprehensive program for the integration of drone technology into the national air space by 2015. The agency is predicting … For more information, contact … […]