This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, cartoonists, at-large contributors, and sourced writers on: Anti-Muslim bigotry in SD, BLM on Black Friday, New Dems tired third way, Sprague rocking Dizzy’s, security patrols in OB, Sea World’s doomed hotel idea, Jerry Brown at the Climate Change Conference, and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site. [Read more…]
By Juanita Lopez
It is the year of 2014 and both of my grandparents are very old but alive, though suffering from dementia. I decided to pay them a visit to interview them. Believe it or not, they still live in the same one-bedroom apartment in San Ysidro where they established their U.S. residency in the late 1970s. From their yard, I am able to look at the thousands of tiny houses in Tijuana, where they once lived, dreaming of crossing over for a better opportunity. I look at my dark-skinned grandmother and admire her toothless smile. Her eyes light up every time she sees me. She normally asks me how my brother is doing, and I tell her he’s okay, working like always since he has a baby to take care of now. She smiles and two minutes later asks me the same question. I go over to her kitchen and wash some strawberries that were in her refrigerator. I offer her some after I cut them and sprinkle some sugar on top—my grandmother smiles again and starts telling me about her life, a not-so-sweet story about the times she labored as a farm worker picking strawberries and cutting flowers. [Read more…]
If you look past the preordained stories about Black Friday either being a success, disaster or nothing-burger for shoppers, the coming climate summit in Paris is the big story of this holiday weekend.
The United Nations meeting, Nov. 30-Dec 11, will discuss the wording of an international treaty to try to prevent climate change getting out of hand. Prognosticators are saying we should expect an agreement pointing in the right direction, but lacking enough enforceable specifics to really solve the complex problem of saving the planet from ourselves.
Much of what needs to be done will end up being the task of local and regional governments. California Gov. Jerry Brown has been brokering his own international climate agreement with regional governments, including states and provinces in Brazil, Germany and Mexico. They’ve agreed to cut their emissions 80 percent or more by mid-century. [Read more…]
Donald’s farting mouth that troubles me
his defecating lips
have done more for Democrats
than Quayle did for potatoes
or Palin’s Russian garden
did for geography
Isn’t the millions of dollars
Trump pisses into America’s living rooms
it’s the toupee that Whigs me out [Read more…]
In this season when we should be enumerating all of the reasons we feel grateful, many of us are feeling so overwhelmed by the number of critical issues that need to be addressed that it is nearly impossible to summon up gratitude.
We are disheartened by the pervasive tirade of mean-spirited, uninformed yelling coming from mass media and our neighbors. The temptation is to cocoon – to crawl into our personal space, lick our wounds and resign ourselves to defeat.
We can’t! We know deep down we can’t stop! [Read more…]
Two elements of the ugly side of our society and economy are coming together this week.
Black Lives Matter groups and their supporters in cities around the country, including San Diego, are staging Friday protests and urging people not to shop. Events in Alabama, Washington state, Chicago and Minneapolis have served to bolster their case about the pervasiveness of racism.
Black Friday sales events stand as reminders of the false prosperity of the consumer economy. Retail workers and supporters will be ending a fifteen day fast as they picket outside WalMart heiress Alice Walton’s apartment in New York City and various locations around the country. [Read more…]
Coming off a trouncing over the last 2 years because of the Orca circuses, SeaWorld has announced that it now plans on building a hotel and resort at its location on the southern rim of Mission Bay. Its hope is that declining attendances and revenues will be halted with a branded hotel right there on its site with its aquatic theme.
Yet, there is trouble afoot for these plans. SeaWorld needs to re-appraise the project, for the last time a major hotel was planned for that area of Mission Bay – it ended in disaster. In the early 1980s, Ramada wanted to build a resort – and the city had given the go-ahead.
But when it came time to begin construction, it was uncovered that a toxic landfill sat beneath all that sand. The old Mission Bay Landfill. [Read more…]
Public Policy Polling is out with a survey of Americans holiday preferences and, much like the Thanksgiving dinner consumed by many, there’s something for every taste.
Republicans surveyed opposed President Obama’s pardoning of two turkeys last year by a 27% margin. Democrats and Independents approved of the executive order.
I wish I could say this was satire, but it’s not. From the PPP press release:
“Republicans are so opposed to everything President Obama wants to do that they even take issue with his handling of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey pardon,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “It’s pretty hard to work across party lines on real issues against that backdrop.” [Read more…]
CEOs Got a Pay Increase Last Year But No COLA for Social Security Recipients
The Social Security Administration announced that senior citizens would get no increase in their monthly checks because there wasn’t any inflation last year as measured by the increase in paychecks for urban and clerical workers. Yes, those workers didn’t make any more money, but CEOs certainly did. Why don’t they gear their index to the increase in paychecks for CEOs? That was a whopping 3.9%. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (the only Senators who stand up for We the People) are introducing legislation that would give seniors the same increase that CEOs got last year. It has a snowball’s chance in Hell of passing, but they get A for effort. [Read more…]
My mother used to say “Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying,” and when I think back on our days of second-class citizenship she sure wasn’t lying.
The other day Maria and I gave in to that old adage as we laughed about this and that, whiling the time away during her stay in a little two-bed hospital room at Scripps Mercy, worrying about what the doctor might say.
We started laughing ourselves silly listening to a woman’s (Maria’s roommate) emotional and animated conversation in Cantonese, with all the rhythmic inflections and rapidly changing nuances intertwined.
It was so beautiful and exciting to listen to, actually, but we couldn’t help but crack up when, at the end, the woman paused and said “Bye, bye” like she had suddenly become Lily Tomlin or Whoopi Goldberg. Looking for anything to cut into our anxiety we just lost it. [Read more…]
A female Muslim student at San Diego State University was assaulted on campus last week. An unknown male, believed to be a SDSU student, pushed her and pulled her by her hijab while making hate comments and threats based on her religious appearance.
An unidentified pregnant woman, dressed in a traditional Muslim headscarf and pushing her child in a stroller in Mission Valley, was stopped by an unidentified man making racially charged threats. He went so far as to push her stroller back into her.
Those are just the most recent two of the 170 reported threats against Muslims in San Diego this year, according to officials with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. The Muslim Student Association organized a rally at SDSU for today, urging the community at large to come make a statement against Islamophobia. [Read more…]
Recently I noted how movements like the Fight for $15 and the insurgent Bernie Sanders campaign have revealed a widespread thirst for an overtly left politics that makes the battle against the billionaire class a central rallying cry. Indeed, Sanders has continued to force Hillary Clinton to tack to the left on multiple issues, and he has had a genuinely transformative impact on the national political discourse by unashamedly bringing democratic socialism to the stage.
This is why Harold Meyerson argues that the Sanders’s campaign represents “the largest specifically left mobilization—and by ‘specifically left’ I mean it demands major changes in the distribution of income and wealth and major reforms to U.S. capitalism—that the nation has seen in at least half a century.”
Last week, Sanders himself defined what such a movement should be based on in a speech in which he defined his version of “Democratic Socialism” by linking his political vision to FDR’s Second Bill of Rights and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s proposition that “true freedom does not occur without economic security” [Read more…]
This week’s edition of Looking Back at the Week features articles, commentaries, columns, and other work by San Diego Free Press regulars, irregulars, columnists, cartoonists, at-large contributors, and sourced writers on: wargasms, Hillary holding her own, Carson’s terrorist recruiting campaign stopping in SD, The Citizens’ Plan, Peters voting with fear, suicide of the white working class, SD’s hidden homeless, Jesse Ramirez, the little people of Carlsbad, extreme weather, hawkish Hillary, renaming Robert E. Lee and lots of other grassroots news & progressive views from San Diego’s friendly, neighborhood, all volunteer, slightly funky, community news site.
As we sat down to do our interview, Jesse Ramirez opened the conversation saying “I am a product of the Great Depression. We had to put food on the table so we did everything we could to make money”. He had many stories and memories of various events in the period between the 1930s and 1940s.
Jesse was born on April 22, 1926, in Houston, Texas and raised there. During the Depression he and his brother did various things to “put food on the table”. They sold newspapers and shined shoes to earn a few pennies. He sold the Houston Chronicle for three cents. He says the big thrill would be if someone gave you a nickel for the three cent newspaper and told you to keep the change. On Saturday nights they would stay up late preparing the Sunday paper for delivery. [Read more…]
In Mike Davis’s seminal discussion of noir in City of Quartz he defines the genre as “a fantastic convergence of American ‘tough-guy’ realism, Weimar expressionism, and existentialized Marxism—all focused on unmasking a ‘bright, guilty place.’” Born in the minds of the “Depression-crazed middle classes” of southern California, the “nightmare anti-myth of noir” trafficked in alienation and a distrust of the morality of capitalism. More specifically, Davis notes how “noir everywhere insinuated contempt for a depraved business culture while it simultaneously searched for a critical mode of writing or filmmaking within it.” Thus in the “through-the-glass-darkly” novels of this new genre, early noir writers created “a regional fiction obsessively concerned with puncturing the bloated image of Southern California as the golden land of opportunity and the fresh start.” In so doing, they transformed “each charming ingredient of the booster’s arcadia into a sinister equivalent.” [Read more…]
Congressman Scott Peters joined with Republicans yesterday to vote yes on hastily drafted legislation creating a micromanaged immigration process essentially barring refugees from Syria and Iraq, including those who served alongside U.S. troops. The bill is H.R. 4038, the so-called “American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act.
If there’s a bright side to this dark moment in American history, it’s that this vote was largely symbolic. Despite the lopsided number of ayes in the House, this act of political cowardice isn’t likely to make it through the Senate with enough votes to overcome the President’s veto.
The rationale for Democrats who supported this legislation was two-fold; it was moderate in that it didn’t include a religious test for entering the US demanded by right-wing extremists and a fear (that’s the operative word here) they’d be branded as soft on terrorism in the 2016 elections. [Read more…]
While the world
paints itself into corners
flowers of evil bloom:
troops are called in
security tightens its grip on the free
liberty, abandoned for barricades [Read more…]
Oh, what a tangled web we weave in San Diego. Tourism tax dollars go into private coffers. Hotel owners snap their fingers and elected officials bow down before them. Our local politicians say and the media convey our most pressing needs as a meeting hall and a place to play football. The mayor fills potholes for TV cameras to make citizens feel better about it all.
The spoilers in all this have been lawsuits. The biggest one of them all is likely coming to trial shortly after the first of the year. San Diego’s hoteliers have spent millions of tourism tax dollars defending the indefensible. Their attempts to shoot the messenger, both in the courts and in the media seem doomed to fail.
It may sound a little complicated, but there is a way to straighten this mess out. A proposed initiative that would change the current system rolls out today, endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, and a host of others to be made public at an upcoming press conference. [Read more…]
By Lucas O’Connor
I’m not from San Diego.
I grew up in Arlington, Virginia, surrounded by the Lee-Custis Mansion, Lee Highway, Washington-Lee High School, and Jefferson Davis Highway. A place where schools and streets co-mingle presidents and traitors. Raised in a house a mile and a half from the intersection of Lee Highway and Lincoln Street with no apparent embarrassment or irony. Maybe it’s a perfect metaphor.
I know a little bit about what it means to be raised as though the Confederacy is an awkward family footnote we try not to bring up at Thanksgiving, even in an otherwise liberal bastion like Arlington (Obama twice won by 40 points there). I know growing up that way warps you. There’s no way around it. When these people are not only normalized, but memorialized, it’s a struggle to grasp the enormity of what they did. [Read more…]
Homeless women and children undercounted and underserved.
It looks like the issue of homelessness will be getting some airtime during the 2016 election season in San Diego. That should be good news for anyone who is deeply concerned about homelessness in the region. Problem is that some candidates might use the issue to put forth solutions, without taking the time to understand the problem.
By feeding the electorate with misinformation that plays into their eagerness for a quick and easy fix to the city’s growing homeless situation, they will not only fail to solve the problem, they will exacerbate it.
Take a recent plan offered by San Diego City Attorney candidate, Robert P. Hickey, that he calls his “Community Care Plan”. Why would the City Attorney be making homelessness a cornerstone to his campaign? [Read more…]
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was in San Diego yesterday, ostensibly appearing at campaign fundraisers in La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe.
The big news, however, continues to be Republican cooperation with the idea of spreading fear and loathing outside the Caliphate, as Carson and other candidates have wasted no time in exploiting the Paris attacks as a way to prove who’s “tougher” on terrorism.
In doing so, they’ve fallen right into ISIS’ trap. They might as well open terrorist recruiting offices in major cities. [Read more…]
Right-wing politicians in the United States are working overtime to drum up fears about refugees in the wake of last weekend’s terrorism in Paris. Today we’ll look at the coverage of the cowardly lions and the facts which, unsurprisingly, don’t support their case.
Twelve million people have fled their homes in Syria over the past five years. Four million of those displaced have fled the country, coming mostly from what’s left of the once-burgeoning middle class. Half of those leaving the country are children.
At present, the United States is poised to accept 10,000 refugees in the coming year. Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the United States has taken in 1,800 refugees. It is likely some of the refugees well be resettled through San Diego, given the existing infrastructure.
I guess I have to start out by saying Senator Bernie Sanders is the democratic candidate whose positions align most closely with my own. I will, given the opportunity, cast my vote for him in the California primary.
Having put that disclaimer up first, I’ll go on to say that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won (by not losing) in Saturday’s Democratic Debate. Yes, I know that Sanders won every straw poll out there. I also know that Ron Paul won a lot of straw polls in 2012.
Straw polls don’t replace actual canvassing, social media interest is an unreliable predictor for election results, and the photos of overwhelmingly white male attendees at Sanders watch parties are a big warning flag about vital segments of the electorate that are not engaged with the campaign. [Read more…]