Frank Gormlie

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 New Regulations Prohibit Food Trucks From 2 to 3 Blocks of Beach … and More

New Regulations Prohibit Food Trucks From 2 to 3 Blocks of Beach … and More

by Frank Gormlie 03.06.2014 Business

By Frank Gormlie/OB Rag

New food truck regulations just passed by the City will prohibit them near the beach in Ocean Beach. In fact, the new law will not allow any food truck – unless on private property – from operating within 2 to 3 blocks of the beach.  This will certainly bring smiles to restaurant owners in OB, but it is also bringing frowns to the mobile meal managers.

However, the new restrictions will not apply near the coastal communities until the California Coastal Commission weighs in and grants its approval

Yes, the City of San Diego finally took action to provide guidelines and new rules for the exploding gourmet food truck industry, on Monday, March 3rd, when the City Council approved an ordinance restricting their hours of operations, location prohibitions and permit requirements.

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Thumbnail image for Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

Point Loma High School Students Honor “Blackfish” Director and Her SeaWorld Expose

by Frank Gormlie 02.05.2014 Activism

By Frank Gormlie / OB Rag

Hundreds of Point Loma High School students honored the director of the controversial film “Blackfish” – the expose on SeaWorld’s treatment of their Orcas – on Monday, Feb. 3rd.

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite came to the campus after some film students had produced their own film criticizing SeaWorld and addressed an assembled group of them.  She told them she wanted her documentary about the water-park’s captive killer whales to persuade SeaWorld to discontinue “using animals as entertainment.”  Cowperthwaite also told the students that they need to form their own opinions on the issue.

Her film began, she said, as a research project on the death in 2010 of Orca trainer Dawn Brancheau and Tilikum, the killer whale.

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50 Years of the Big Lie – the Cover-Up of the JFK Assassination – Part 2

by Frank Gormlie 11.22.2013 Culture

JFK assass colorcropHere’s Part 1.

By Frank Gormlie

It’s finally here, Friday, November 22nd – exactly 50 years after President Kennedy was assassinated in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

Of course you’ve noticed it – you can’t help but … as everywhere you go there are signs that everybody in the media is commemorating the half century mark of the end of the Kennedy Era – an era that was terminated with bullets.

It’s been 50 years since the end of Camelot and we are told it was the end of the “idealism of the Sixties”.

Well, it has been fifty years, and it’s been fifty years of the Big Lie – the Big Lie that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman, and that Kennedy’s killer was then killed himself – which wraps it all up rather nicely, – case closed. The Big Lie is the Warren Commission Report – and all its apologists and defenders.

The Big Lie includes the failure of government to adequately and fairly investigate the execution of America’s chief executive, it includes the dismissal, omission, suppression and misrepresentation of evidence, it includes the manipulation, dismissal and intimidation of witnesses – and ultimately elimination of witnesses.

The Big Lie represents the plot necessarily carried out by a conspiracy to eliminate JFK and then to cover it up; the Big Lie is the half century of a carefully calculated deception laid on the American people, a deception that allowed governmental policies involving getting the US out of Vietnam, restricting the war industry, ending nuclear brinkmanship with the Soviet Union, and reproachment with Cuba to be reversed. The Big Lie is treason incarnate.

But the Big Lie is also very personal, as many Americans of my generation – the Sixties Generation – were all individually deeply affected by Kennedy’s murder and the subsequent shenanigans involving Jack Ruby killing Oswald on live TV. And we were all affected as a generation, as a class of humans by what happened in Dallas.

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Thumbnail image for America’s Big Lie: Fifty Years of the Cover-Up of the John F Kennedy Assassination

America’s Big Lie: Fifty Years of the Cover-Up of the John F Kennedy Assassination

by Frank Gormlie 11.21.2013 Culture

By Frank Gormlie

Fifty years ago this Friday, the 22nd of November, I walked out of my English class at Point Loma High School and full of disgust threw my brown bag full of lunch away in a trash can. I felt sick to my stomach and couldn’t bare to think ab0ut eating – we had just heard that the President had been shot by someone from an overpass while he was riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

Classes were cancelled and we all went home, most of us saddened and confused. I remember very vividly sitting in our Point Loma home watching the news that Sunday, the 24th with my dad. It was almost all we did that weekend – watch the news on our black and whites, fiddling with the rabbit ears or electrically moving the antenna on the roof.

We had heard that the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was going to be moved and all the news cameras were there to broadcast the live event. The nation was riveted on the tube – and I know my father and I sure were.

“Here comes Oswald!” someone shouted, cameras rolling, and there he was – evil incarnate – his arms gripped by big guys in suits – on live TV – being brought out from some back office into full view of millions of Americans.

We all now know what happened next – we’ve seen it a dozen replays since. But on that Sunday, before Jack Ruby rushes out from the crowd, it was just a few days from Thanksgiving; yes, we had lost Kennedy but the killer was in custody and the nation would get to the bottom of this dreadful and tragic act. We had a new president and everything would get back to normal after Kennedy’s funeral – which was the next day.

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Thumbnail image for CNN Joins the Cover-Up of the Kennedy Assassination

CNN Joins the Cover-Up of the Kennedy Assassination

by Frank Gormlie 11.15.2013 Culture

By Frank Gormlie

This may not be a surprise to hardcore corporate media watchers, but CNN has joined the ranks of those establishment outlets that are continuing the cover-up of the assassination of John F Kennedy. The news station has jumped on the bandwagon that is making a lot of noise these days due to the 50th anniversary of the President’s murder.

It was a real disappointment however, in viewing CNN’s “The Assassination of President Kennedy” because one of my favorite actors, Tom Hanks, was one of the producers and I was looking for some truth. Alas, it did not come through.

The show promised a look at the Warren Commission Report, and it started out with a lot of television footage from those crazy days in Dallas, November 22nd through the 24th when Lee Harvey Oswald was killed by Jack Ruby. The old TV scenes in black and white gave the film authenticity, which were followed up by interviews of some of the major researchers and book authors on the killing of Kennedy.

It started off fairly balanced, with old scenes of Jim Garrison – the New Orleans DA who brought the only trial involving the assassination to life in America – , interviews with Mark Lane – the original critic of the Warren Commission, and also interviews with those who back the “3-bullet theory” and think Oswald did it and did it alone.

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Thumbnail image for How to tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the JFK assassination cover-up.

How to tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the JFK assassination cover-up.

by Frank Gormlie 11.14.2013 Books & Poetry

By Frank Gormlie

We’re all fairly aware now that this month is the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. President John F Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963 in Dealy Plaza in Dallas, Texas.

And boy, we’re being swamped with films, articles, videos and books about the assassination and the subsequent cover up. For example, both the History channel and National Geographic channel are throwing new films at us this month at almost a daily basis.

So, how can you tell if what you’re reading or watching is still part of the Kennedy murder cover-up?

Here’s three simple rules:

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Thumbnail image for Kevin Faulconer and the Republicans Really Don’t Want Liberal Voters to Vote for Nathan Fletcher

Kevin Faulconer and the Republicans Really Don’t Want Liberal Voters to Vote for Nathan Fletcher

by Frank Gormlie 10.23.2013 Business

By Frank Gormlie/OB Rag

It’s very clear – Kevin Faulconer really doesn’t want you – the liberal voter at the beach – to vote for Nathan Fletcher.  Faulconer, of course, is OB’s current City Councilperson and sole Republican candidate for mayor of all San Diego.  And of course, Nathan Fletcher is one of his Democratic opponents.

Two recent, slick campaign fliers have recently hit the beach area and tell the story.

One of them shouts out that “Nathan Fletcher is a trusted conservative.” as a quote from liberal nemesis, Karl Rove.  Natch, there’s also a nice color photo next to the quote showing Fletcher and Rove standing together – and Karl has a huge smile.

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Thumbnail image for You Don’t Want to Miss the Golden Hill Street Fair – Sunday, Oct. 13

You Don’t Want to Miss the Golden Hill Street Fair – Sunday, Oct. 13

by Frank Gormlie 10.10.2013 Culture

Its back … the Golden Hill Street Fair.

The 2nd annual Golden Hill Street Fair is happening this Sunday, October 13th from 10:30AM until 8PM, and will be held on 25th Street in Golden Hill.

The event will feature an incredible array of delicious local food, have a shaded beer garden with selection of local craft beer. This event will bring together Southern California musicians to highlight the music scene in our neighborhood with free live music all day.

The musical acts include San Diego Music Awards nominees Tropical Popsicle, Wild Wild Wets, and Ed Ghost Tucker.

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Thumbnail image for Outraged? Call Government Shutdown Supporters Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa of San Diego

Outraged? Call Government Shutdown Supporters Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa of San Diego

by Frank Gormlie 10.03.2013 Activism

We’re in Day 3 of the Federal government shutdown. If you are outraged or upset, how about calling or contacting San Diego’s Congressional members who support the shutdown?

Call Congressmen Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter, Jr. Both are Republicans and both have consistently voted to shutdown the federal government in efforts to defund the law called the Affordable Care Act.

San Diego’s Democratic Congressional members, Susan Davis, Juan Vargas, and Scott Peters – all have supported the Obama Administration’s efforts to keep the government open.

Here’s contact info on both Darrell Issa and Duncan Hunter.

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Thumbnail image for Accusations Mount of San Diego Police Department Favoritism

Accusations Mount of San Diego Police Department Favoritism

by Frank Gormlie 09.17.2013 Culture

A culture of favoritism within the San Diego Police Department has recently been described in a number of civil suits against the Department by plaintiffs who allege the misconduct.

The U-T San Diego picked up the story yesterday, with a report by Jeff McDonald and Greg Moran, on how the case of former officer Anthony Arevalos – who is currently in prison for 8 years – has produced over a dozen law suits against the city for his conduct. Eleven of the 14 suits have been settled – to the tune of $1.55 million – and 3 are pending.

The U-T article described the culture of favoritism:

Two of the remaining cases portray a department that fails to discipline wayward officers, with a command staff that provides special protections to certain employees and their families and to other law enforcement professionals. The allegations are contained in testimony from officers drummed out amid corruption allegations themselves.

The article goes on to state, that during a deposition taken last July of former officer Arthur Perea for one of those cases, Perea testified that based on his 18 years with the SDPD, “police officials routinely hide officer misdeeds from the public”, and that “commanders favor officers who are ‘in the club’ over others who are not.”

Perea had quit the force 2 years ago amidst complaints about his own sexual misconduct, none of which resulted in him being charged.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego City Council Committee Pushes for Ban on Plastic Bags

San Diego City Council Committee Pushes for Ban on Plastic Bags

by Frank Gormlie 09.12.2013 Activism

By Frank Gormlie

A key committee of the San Diego City Council came out today in strong support for a ban of plastic bags. The Rules and Economic Development Committee took a unanimous vote in directing staff to construct an ordinance that would ban plastic bags at city grocery stores and other retail sites within the city.

The proposal at this stage of its process would ban plastic bags in supermarkets, and other retail sites that include large stores that sell food, drug stores, convenience, hardware and clothing stores. It also has a requirement that stores charge 10 cents a paper bag, but exempting restaurants, nonprofits, food stamp recipients, and produce and meat products.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego’s Smorgasbord of Independent and Progressive Blogs

San Diego’s Smorgasbord of Independent and Progressive Blogs

by Frank Gormlie 08.22.2013 Activism

By Frank Gormlie

Every now and then, it’s important to acknowledge and highlight the many independent and progressive blogs out there in San Diego’s blogosphere. Let us take you through some of them – as many of these blogs post daily and carry very informative news and perspectives – needed media options for San Diegans.

GrokSurf’s San Diego

GrokSurf’s San Diego is published by George J Janczyn who has all the news and info you need about water issues in San Diego and Southern California. The banner says it’s “local observations on water, environment, technology, law and politics.” On top right now at GrokSurf is a mid-August “round-up” of regional water news. If water is in your veins, you have to check out this valuable resource for our County.

La Vida Locavore

Then we have nationally-known foodie Jill Richardson‘s own blog here in San Diego: La Vida Locavore . Richardson posts recipes, knowledgable tales with “how-to-do’s” in cooking, botany, Native American cooking and culture. Right now, Jill has up a post about “Finishing the Kumeyaay Village”, with text that explains that Kumeyaay Indians and a few non-Indian helpers like herself were “putting the finishing touches on a model village they’ve built on some land they’ve recently (re)acquired near the Sycuan reservation.” Also up is a lesson on “botany for foodies”.

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Thumbnail image for Filner Supporters Hold Rally and Press Conference Calling for Due Process

Filner Supporters Hold Rally and Press Conference Calling for Due Process

by Frank Gormlie 08.20.2013 Activism

By Frank Gormlie / OBRag

About a hundred supporters of besieged Mayor Filner held a brief rally and march in the Civic Center Plaza Monday, followed by a press conference.

Most of the speakers were women or were people of color – and most criticized the trial in the press of the mayor that is going on in San Diego’s mainstream media.

Other speakers talked of Filner’s history and record in the civil rights movement, that this was a time of healing and patience.

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Thumbnail image for CicloSDias San Diego – From Golden Hill to City Heights and Back

CicloSDias San Diego – From Golden Hill to City Heights and Back

by Frank Gormlie 08.12.2013 Activism

Yesterday, Sunday, August 11th was CicloSDias in San Diego. Three friends and I – all on bikes – joined the celebrated 5.2 miles of open roads and streets just for bicycles and pedestrians, and we rode from Golden Hill, through North Park, over to City Heights – and back.

Weather was perfect, the streets were cleared of cars – except for the four that we counted along the way – and there was an enthusiastic turn-out for the event. Hundreds of San Diegans took part in the 6 hour free bike tour thr0ugh San Diego’s mid-city. Yes, hundreds – not the thousands that we wanted to see – came out. We wanted to see hordes on bikes – but were happy with what we saw and experienced.

Ever so often, there would be a few tents and the canopies of booths open to participants, some giving away gifts, others selling their bicycling-related products and services.

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Thumbnail image for In Search of the Chariot Fire Burn on Mt. Laguna

In Search of the Chariot Fire Burn on Mt. Laguna

by Frank Gormlie 08.05.2013 Editor's Picks

By Frank Gormlie

Like many San Diegans I watched images of the recent Chariot Fire that began on July 6th destroy sections of Mt Laguna with great concern. That mountain is one of my favorite spots in the county and I waited for the local media to give us an update on the damages that the fire caused to the natural habitat of the area along Sunrise Highway. Not satisfied with the paltry amount of news of the burn since the fire was put out, I decided to head out there myself and do a photo gallery of the destructive havoc wreaked by a wildfire.

On Friday afternoon, August 2nd, I drove east on I-8, heading for Sunrise Highway – the road that traverses Mt Laguna. With camera at the ready, I took notes in my search for the burn, holding my fears in check as I hurried towards the 6000 foot plus ridges that separated the mountains from the desert. There were sections of the mountain that I worried had been destroyed, as reports of the fire had it crossing Sunrise Highway, and eating its way west through pine forest.

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Thumbnail image for All Five Members of San Diego’s Congressional Delegation Voted Against Ban on NSA Surveillance

All Five Members of San Diego’s Congressional Delegation Voted Against Ban on NSA Surveillance

by Frank Gormlie 07.25.2013 Encore

Vargas, Davis and Peters Join with Issa and Hunter to Defeat Attempt to Rein in the NSA

Count ‘em. All five members of San Diego’s Congressional delegation voted yesterday against the ban on continued National Security Administration surveillance of Americans’ phone and internet records.

Democrats Susan Davis, Juan Vargas and Scott Peters joined with their ostensible nemesis Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa to shut down the attempt to rein in the NSA’s spying.

It was a close vote; 205 to 217 – against the Amash amendment, a bipartisan effort added to a spending bill.

The vote was a huge disappointment to civil libertarians and critics of the NSA surveillance programs. The NSA has been criticized for overstepping its authority in conducting warrantless spying on US citizens. Critics assert that Congress never authorized the extent and breadth of the spying, and that the projects violate the Constitution.

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Mayor Filner: DO NOT RESIGN

by Frank Gormlie 07.11.2013 Activism

By Frank Gormlie

For the last twenty-four hour news cycle, San Diegans have watched stunned as three Democrats have stepped forward and publicly called for Mayor Bob Filner to resign. Donna Frye, Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez all sent letters to Filner – and the media – in the last couple of days calling on the Mayor – who has been in office all of seven months – to step down.

Briggs and Gonzalez are both attorneys involved in litigation against the City of San Diego. Donna Frye, of course, is the former City Councilmember and the ‘woman who should have been mayor’. Frye actually won a three-way race a few years ago for mayor in her write-in campaign, but was not sworn in due to the ballots being questionable.

Frye and Gonzalez alleged sexual harassment charges in their letters – although no details were given – whereas Briggs cited other issues, mainly around the latest Sunroad controversy.

The three are holding a press conference, today, Thursday, at 10 a.m. to outline more details it is assumed. The San Diego Free Press will have a reporter present who, hopefully, will be writing up a report later this morning.

In the meantime, thoughtful Democrats and progressives have had their worst nightmare materialize. Their darling – the most liberal mayor of San Diego in history – is on the ropes. Will he resign? Can he weather this crisis?

At this point – we urge Mayor Filner NOT TO RESIGN.

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Thumbnail image for July 4th, 2013: I Don’t Feel Very Proud of Being an American Today – With Latest Revelations About Postal Service Copying All Our Envelopes

July 4th, 2013: I Don’t Feel Very Proud of Being an American Today – With Latest Revelations About Postal Service Copying All Our Envelopes

by Frank Gormlie 07.04.2013 Activism

Yes, it is the Fourth of July, that glorious day where we Americans celebrate our history – honoring the day in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed and passed by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

But, no, I don’t feel very proud today of being an American. Why not, you ask, as you bundle up your family, hot dogs, beach umbrellas and head out for your own family’s festivities.

It now turns out that our own Postal Service has been spying on our mail for years. About 160 billion postcards, packages – and yes, envelopes were photographed by the good ol’ US Postal Service last year.

This is all part of … drum roll please … because you probably have never heard of this before … the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program. Under this nefarious program Post Office computers take photos of the exterior of every piece of mail – snailmail we’re talking her – that Americans mail out and which goes through our postal system.

The The New York Times reports that the postal mail is being subjected to similar surveillance to our phone calls and emails by the National Security Agency. CBS picked up the story, using this headline: Report: Postal Service uses “spying” programs similar to NSA.

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Thumbnail image for From Yoga, Chalk to Medical Pot, San Diego Courts Protect Rights

From Yoga, Chalk to Medical Pot, San Diego Courts Protect Rights

by Frank Gormlie 07.02.2013 Activism

If anyone was counting, Monday, July 1st in San Diego should stand out as a day when San Diego courts delivered justice. From the yoga case, to the by-now well-known chalk case, to the medical marijuana case, in one day local courts involving two juries and two judges stood up for the rest of us, and for our rights.

Jeff Olson, the Chalk Man, Wins

Certainly, justice was delivered – a little late – in Jeff Olson’s fight against those 13 counts of vandalism for his anti-bank messages. On Monday, a jury found him not guilty on all counts. Jan Goldsmith, our city attorney, and his deputy du jour on Olson’s case, both made public statements that it was all about graffiti.

In a sense, the judge – Howard Shore – agreed. He ruled that the defense could not bring up First Amendment arguments during the trial. And then he gagged everybody. In a misdemeanor case. That’s unheard of. Nobody that was involved could talk to the media. Shore rules that it’s not about free speech and then he declares that there’s no free speech for the parties or witnesses.

The jury felt otherwise and issued a necessary victory for free speech.

Medical Marijuana Mistrial, a Dismissal and a History Lesson in Jury Nullification

On the same day, Monday, in another courtroom – …

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Thumbnail image for Support Grows for NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

Support Grows for NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

by Frank Gormlie 06.20.2013 Activism

Restore the 4th Protest Planned for San Diego in Balboa Park – July 4

Public support for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is growing across the country in leaps and bounds.

Already over 62,000 people – as of 10:30 am 6/20/13 – have signed an online petition in support of Snowden. The petition can be accessed here.

The online petition at RootsAction states:

Thank NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden

Our country is in the midst of a struggle between the growing surveillance state and our precious civil liberties. Now a whistleblower has boldly stepped forward to expose the National Security Agency’s vast spying on our phone records and online communications.

Explaining his actions, the 29-year-old computer expert said:

“I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

We thank Edward Snowden for his principled and courageous actions as a whistleblower, informing the public about vast surveillance by the National Security Agency that undermines our civil liberties.

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Thumbnail image for The US Establishment Wants the American People Under Surveillance

The US Establishment Wants the American People Under Surveillance

by Frank Gormlie 06.15.2013 Activism

Let this moment be a educational one so let’s have the Debate that the President calls for

What a dastardly crazy last nine days it’s been.

Beginning Thursday, June 6th, with the Washington Post and the Guardian in London both running with the explosive news about the National Security Agency surveillance programs, we’ve been hit with daily revelations – that are still continuing every news cycle – that have created quiet a long list of whistle blower-delivered disclosures about what the government and the NSA are and have been doing to us – the American people.

Also on June 6th, the director of national intelligence confirmed the existence of a secret program in which the government has tapped into the central servers of 9 leading internet companies to search for data linked to terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation. During this six year old program – called PRISM – the FBI and NSA searched emails, videos, photographs and other documents involving Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple – but not Twitter – yet.

Over last weekend, we found out that the federal government has amassed a database at least for these last 7 years – since 2006 during the Bush administration – with details on every telephone call made within the U.S. and between this country and phones overseas. The data collected includes the phone numbers, the time, date, duration of the calls and the route the calls take through the vast phone networks.

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Thumbnail image for Family of Un-armed Marine Killed by Orange County Sheriff Settles for $4.4 Million

Family of Un-armed Marine Killed by Orange County Sheriff Settles for $4.4 Million

by Frank Gormlie 06.02.2013 Government

Do you recall the case of the unarmed Marine killed by an Orange County sheriff right in front of his two daughters? We do as we ran articles on the incident.

Marine Sgt Manuel Loggins Jr was shot to death as he sat in his SUV along with his daughters by Deputy Darren Sandberg back on February 7, 2012.

His family just settled a federal lawsuit against Orange County for $4.4 million. Loggins had been stationed at Camp Pendleton.

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Thumbnail image for San Diegan Wins National Award From Military Women’s Advocacy Group

San Diegan Wins National Award From Military Women’s Advocacy Group

by Frank Gormlie 05.22.2013 Activism

Kathy Gilberd – a counselor for the Military Law Task Force here in San Diego – has just won an award from a national military women’s advocacy group, SWAN – Service Women’s Action Network.

Gilberd – a long-time counselor for vets and others with problems in registration and draft issues – , was flown back to Washington, DC to accept the award last month for being one of the “service providers of the year” for 2013, for her “outstanding pro bono legal service to veterans and service members.”

SWAN was formed several years ago by ex-military women and supporters, and now is the lead national group doing work around women’s issues in the military especially around sexual assaults and sexual harassment. The organization takes women’s cases, and also does lobbying and policy work, and public education. The awards were presented during SWAN’s 2nd annual summit in DC.

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Thumbnail image for It’s a Sad Day in America When the Navy Launches a San Diego-Built Drone off a Carrier

It’s a Sad Day in America When the Navy Launches a San Diego-Built Drone off a Carrier

by Frank Gormlie 05.16.2013 Culture

It’s a sad day in America. The US Navy launched the first carrier-based drone off its deck the other day, off the coast of Virginia. It’s an even sadder day for us in San Diego, as the drone was manufactured – in part, at least – by plants and engineers right here in our own city.

The launching of the drone off that deck demonstrates clearly that as drones become more and more integrated into becoming the armament of the nation’s military, they are becoming more and more accepted – here domestically, back in the good ol’ US of A.

And as drones become more and more prevalently utilized, not just by our armed forces overseas, but by law enforcement, border patrol, and local police departments here within our very own borders, American citizens are more and more subjected to a high-tech surveillance that is quite unlike anything we’ve known in the past – a surveillance that is becoming so pervasive, that it challenges our basic civil rights, freedoms and privacies.

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