Culture

Thumbnail image for Video Pick: Which Side Are You On?

Video Pick: Which Side Are You On?

by Anna Daniels 09.01.2014 Activism

Wanted:  A Living Wage

By Anna Daniels

It is useful exercise to remind ourselves that the battle for an increased minimum wage/sick leave benefit in San Diego is not a new one. Peel back the right wing maker versus taker meme and you get Howard Zinn, placing today’s minimum wage struggle firmly in our collective history of bitter class conflict between the rich and the poor and working class.

In 1944, when Franklin Roosevelt was running for his third term, he emphasized the need for an economic bill of rights as a vehicle for addressing the limitations of the political Bill of Rights. This economic bill of rights would have constitutionally guaranteed that workers have a living wage, would not have to work more than a certain number of hours and that the people would be entitled to vacations and healthcare. An economic bill of rights never materialized. Today, here in San Diego, we are experiencing the results of this omission.

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Thumbnail image for Baja Lovers: Ex-Pats in Mexico

Baja Lovers: Ex-Pats in Mexico

by At Large 08.31.2014 Film & Theater

SDFP videographer interviews American ex-patriots living in Baja California

Video by Horacio Jones

Last week I had to travel to Rosarito for a video gig, so I took the opportunity to pay a visit to a couple of friends who had moved to Baja a few of years ago.  I decided it would also be a good idea to do some kind of story about ex-pats living in Baja while I was there.  So I paid Shari and Fernando a visit to see what it was like for them now that they live along the Baja coast.

During the trip we also met another Shari and an artist named Gretchen who has opened up a place called Art House Rosarito, where she lives, creates art and plans for sustainable communities.  She also opens up her home to other artists to stay and work at.

In this report they discuss what it’s like to live in baja, as well as the differences between the U.S. and Mexico.  This is an expansive subject and you could certainly make a feature documentary about it, and I hope in the future to be able to make a more comprehensive report on the subject. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make the move…

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Thumbnail image for A History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Paul “Paulie” Torres

A History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights: Paul “Paulie” Torres

by Maria Garcia 08.30.2014 Culture

By Maria Garcia

Paul “Paulie” Torres is a retired longshoreman who attended Neighborhood House from 1947 to 1954. His family moved to Logan Heights from the Little Italy area of San Diego. Paulie says there was a little barrio located in the Little Italy area with several Mexican families living there. Little Italy was in the proximity of the canneries and as far as Mexicans could live in the downtown vicinity–Point Loma to the north was the dividing line where whites and ethnic Europeans lived.

Like many others, Paulie had heard stories about the Logan Heights guys and felt intimidated when he first moved there. Within a short period of time, Paulie fit right in with the other boys who called Neighborhood House their other home. He states in a straightforward manner that the reason everyone called it Neighborhood House was because everyone in the neighborhood went there. He recalls the boys sitting there on the steps, talking, laughing, hanging out for as long as they could.

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Thumbnail image for Really, Really, Bad News About Climate Change (And a Chance to Do Something About It)

Really, Really, Bad News About Climate Change (And a Chance to Do Something About It)

by Doug Porter 08.29.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

A United Nations report being shared with governments around the world prior to publication uses the strongest language to date, warning of dire consequences of continuing climate change.

Human influence on the planet’s climate is clear and having “widespread and consequential impacts on human and natural systems,” some of which may be irreversible, says the leaked draft of its final “Synthesis Report” which seeks to tie together previous reports the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released over the last year.

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia,” the report concludes. “The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.”

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Todd Gloria: Union Thug

by Junco Canché 08.28.2014 Business
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Thumbnail image for Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

Barrio Art Crawl Once Again Takes Over Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.28.2014 Arts

San Diego’s Last Bastion of Grassroots Art Spaces Join Forces for Monthly Series

By Brent E. Beltrán

On Saturday, August 30 the various arts venues in Barrio Logan will join together for another Barrio Art Crawl. The Crawl is a self-guided tour of open studios, galleries, and local businesses within the Barrio Arts District. The Barrio Art Crawl was initially created for the Barrio Arts District by the operators of The Roots Factory.

Participating venues in this installment of the Barrio Art Crawl include Border X Brewing/SD Taco Co., Chicano Art Gallery, Chicano Park, La Bodega, La Esquina, Pop-Up Art Gallery at Fuller Lighting, The Church, The Glashaus, The Roots Factory, The Yard at Stronghold Collective, Union Barrio Logan and Woodbury School of Architecture. Each venue will have either visual art, music, food or a mixture of all.

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Our Tax Dollars at Work

by At Large 08.27.2014 Cartoons

  Known for mixing history and culture with contemporary themes, Eric J. Garcia always tries to create art that is much more than just aesthetics. Born and raised in Albuquerque’s South Valley, Garcia earned his BFA from the University of New Mexico and went on to get his MFA from the School of the Art Institute […]

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Yazidi Moon

by At Large 08.27.2014 Culture

By Nat Krieger

On the night of August 10th the people of San Diego looked up in the sky and saw exactly what thousands of Yazidi men, women, and children trapped on the slopes of Mount Sinjar saw: a supermoon, the moon closer to our planet than it will be for more than another year.

In the day leading to the super, or perigean moon, I searched the web trying to find something out about this people on the verge of extermination. There isn’t much. First the shock of learning that for nearly a thousand years a faith described as syncretic and nonviolent had withstood the never ending storm surge of monotheism spinning across the Middle East and Mesopotamia…

…Followed by the realization that, as with most religious minorities who don’t force their beliefs on other groups and rely on oral tradition to teach their children, the few written accounts of the Yazidis are nearly all by outsiders who offer mainly speculation as to when the religion started, or why, or what its roots are.

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Thumbnail image for DIY Resistance: Develop a Sense of Urgency

DIY Resistance: Develop a Sense of Urgency

by Will Falk 08.26.2014 Activism

By Will Falk

We are losing badly. The dominant culture is destroying what is left of the world and, right now, our resistance is simply ineffective. I cannot pretend to know exactly how we’re going to turn things around and stop the madness. But, I do believe we must develop a profound sense of urgency.

Wherever we look we’re met with the horror that should produce the necessary urgency. Look to the oceans and you’ll find that the coral reefs are dying. Zooplankton, forming the base of the oceanic food chain, have declined 70% over the last 40 years.

Look to the climate and you’ll find we’re boiling the world to death. Even mainstream scientists are predicting a 6 degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures by the end of the century.

Look to the animals and you’ll find 50% of all species disappearing. Look to the forests and you’ll find between 8 and 16 billion trees being cut down a year.

It’s as if the dominant culture sees the future and is holding the most macabre going-out-of-business sale imaginable complete with the advertisement “Everything must go.”

The statistics I include here are tiny snapshots of the immensity of the problem.

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10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America

by Source 08.26.2014 Activism

george-orwellBy Justin King / The Anti-Media 

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Though many in the modern age have the will to bury their head in the sand when it comes to political matters, nobody can only concern themselves with the proverbial pebble in their shoe. If one is successful in avoiding politics, at some point the effects of the political decisions they abstained from participating in will reach their front door. More often than not, by that time the person has already lost whatever whisper of a voice the government has allowed them.

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Kate Loves a Parade

by At Large 08.25.2014 Activism

Editor’s Note:  Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was certified as law.  In 1971 at the urging  of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day,”calling attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. 

By Anne Hoiberg

“Kate Sessions” herself, the Mother of Balboa Park, will be on hand to speak and to greet at the Annual San Diego Suffrage Rally and Parade coming up on August 26 in Balboa Park. Thus, San Diego will kick-off the 8th annual women’s rights event starting at 5pm. The crowd will gather, appropriately enough, at the Kate Sessions Statue on the 6th Avenue side of the Laurel Street Bridge to hear a 30 minute rally prior to marching en masse across the Laurel Street Bridge.

The parade will be lead by enthusiastic women’s rights activist, Judy Forman, owner of the Big Kitchen. Marchers will be dressed in 1900s suffragist outfits along with those fabulous 1900s hats, outrageous enough to make any dame at Del Mar jealous. All San Diegans and visitors are invited. Many local women’s organizations and activists will participate. The event is produced by the Women’s Museum of California.

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Thumbnail image for Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery:  The Slow Death of a Prism of Beauty

Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery: The Slow Death of a Prism of Beauty

by Judi Curry 08.23.2014 Culture

By Judi Curry

Note: After visiting the cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 9th, 2014, we three widows were sorely disappointed in what we saw — or didn’t see — two years later. I sent this article to Doug Ledbetter, the director of the Ft. Rosecrans and Miramar cemeteries so that he would be aware of what I was going to write. He called me, and we discussed the conditions I have mentioned in this article. His responses are italicized.

Two years ago this August I wrote my first article about the deplorable conditions of Ft. Rosecrans Cemetery. The cemetery has special meaning to me because my husband is interred there, and it will be my “home” when I leave my Pt. Loma home. Over the past two years I have written several follow-up articles about the grounds and have complimented the new director, Doug Ledbetter, on returning the cemetery to its pre-2012 standards.

I recently received an unexpected call from Doug asking me if I had been up to the cemetery lately. I had not, but told him that three of us were going to visit our husbands that weekend because it had been a while since we had been. I told him that we were looking forward to the improvements we expected to see, and I would let him know our thoughts.

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Thumbnail image for Geo-Poetic Spaces:  Broken Tracks

Geo-Poetic Spaces: Broken Tracks

by Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes 08.22.2014 Books & Poetry

By Ishmael von Heidrick-Barnes

No trains
arrive Gate 17 Grunewald Station

A red and white gate flung open
exposes splattered stones

Nameless platform
Of dates, places, numbers

Sorrow is a spike
that crumbles buildings …

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“Anglo-American” Justice in Ferguson

by Junco Canché 08.21.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for Can We Just Create a Civil Society Where Black Boys Can Feel Free to Just Be?

Can We Just Create a Civil Society Where Black Boys Can Feel Free to Just Be?

by Ernie McCray 08.20.2014 Culture

by Ernie McCray / The OB Rag

Michael Brown. Another black boy dead, unvalued and unloved by this society, unseen for what he is, a human being, dehumanized before he’s memorialized because we love to show a victim at his worse. They just had to show him strong arming a man for a pack of cigarillos.

So now we get away from his being shot (six times I just read) by someone paid by the citizenry to “serve and protect” and we start thinking, because of his criminal shenanigans, that maybe, just maybe, he isn’t deserving of continuing to live on earth with the rest of us.

Well, I’ve known many kids, a grandson of mine being one of them, who thought, at one time, they were slick and went off and committed some stupid crime and then went on to become outstanding human beings. Why? Because nobody killed them. …

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Restaurant Review: Buona Forchetta

by Judi Curry 08.20.2014 Food & Drink

Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 381-4844

By Judi Curry

Whomever said “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” sure must have been in the house last night.

For weeks I have been corresponding with Michael, a reader of the San Diego Free Press. He has commented on many articles I have written; has made suggestions about reviewing a variety of restaurants – Jade, for example – and has suggested that we go out together to review a restaurant.

He has been telling me about the Buona Forchetta for weeks and we finally set the date for last night. Lest you think that this was a “date, date” – let me assure you it was not. I met up with Michael, Jerry, Susan and Monique.

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Video Pick: Charles Bukowski Uncensored (and Animated)

by Staff 08.19.2014 Books & Poetry

“If you can’t write the next line, you’re dead…”

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DIY Resistance: Beat the Grief

by Will Falk 08.19.2014 Culture

By Will Falk

Surviving into adulthood in this destructive culture comes with a deep familiarity of loss.

We lose loved ones to environmentally-induced diseases like most forms of cancer, to the diseases of civilization like diabetes, and to actions previously almost unheard of in our original communities like suicide and patriarchal violence.

We lose the grasslands, forests, beaches, and riverbeds – words once synonymous with the homes our ancestors dwelled in so comfortably – to the murderous march of progress. We lose our memories, our stories, and thus, our identities, to the culturally homogenizing processes of colonization. We lose our sense of safety while men at staggering rates rape women and people of color are gunned down by police in the streets and bombed by soldiers in their homes.

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As Abortion Rights Shrink, What’s the Best Language to Use to Protect Women’s Options?

by Source 08.19.2014 Activism

As leaders like Planned Parenthood are dropping “pro-choice” language, is there a smart alternative—and should there be one?

By Alyssa Figueroa / AlterNet

Planned_Parenthood_HCR
Across America, reproductive freedom is shrinking. Even with Alabama’s recent court victory protecting abortion rights in that deep red state, the overwhelming trend is very discouraging.

Red-state Republicans have shut down clinics in states like Texas. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld protesters’ right to harass women going to clinics. State legislatures haveenacted 21 new abortion restrictions so far this year. Worse yet, recent research has found that while many young women support the substance of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the right to end pregnancies, they are still apt to label themselves pro-life.

What’s going wrong? There’s no one answer. But a striking development is that the reproductive health movement is backing away from its longtime “pro-choice” label. Planned Parenthood has recently decided to drop it in favor of newer messaging that seeks to connect abortion with a wide range of women’s issues.

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Thumbnail image for SeaWorld: A Bigger Cage Doesn’t Change Anything

SeaWorld: A Bigger Cage Doesn’t Change Anything

by Doug Porter 08.18.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

 After a bad week in the stock market and a bad first half of the year at the turnstile, the company behind SeaWorld announced a series of moves it obviously hopes will enhance the image of its water parks.

The plans include doubling the size of its orca environment, contributing an additional $10 million to research on the species and establishing an independent advisory committee of scientists to oversee its orca program.

The new orca environment, dubbed the Blue World Project, will cover 1.5 acres at 50 feet deep and 350 feet in length. The new habitat will have 10 million gallons of water, up from 5.6 million. Visitors will be able to view the orcas from a 40-foot-tall glass wall below the water line.

The editorial board at UT-San Diego was impressed. Not many other people seemed to share their near-gushing sentiment.

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Thumbnail image for Why Read? In Defense of Uselessness

Why Read? In Defense of Uselessness

by Jim Miller 08.18.2014 Books & Poetry

By Jim Miller

While I still deeply love my chosen profession of teaching after twenty-five years of work at various colleges with the last seventeen of those at San Diego City College, it’s hard not to notice the constant drumbeat of critics casting doubt on the value of my life’s work in the humanities.

Whether they be corporate education reformers bent on imposing a business model on colleges or techno-boosters with a zeal to toss all that I hold dear into the dustbin of history, there is a long line of naysayers.

As David Masciotra recently noted in “Pulling the Plug on English Departments” in The Daily Beast, “The armies of soft philistinism are on the march and eager to ditch traditional literature instruction in favor of more utilitarian approaches . . . It is easy to observe the sad and sickly decline of American intellectual life, through the cultural and institutional lowering of standards, when prestigious publications promote the defense, if not the celebration, of lower standards.”

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Thumbnail image for Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 10-16

Looking Back at the Week at SDFP and OB Rag: August 10-16

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.17.2014 Culture

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, and at-large contributors on the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, $20 Koch burgers, Ferguson, anti-minimum wage increase shill Jason Roe, the mayor’s war on the poor, A Trail for Humanity, Kingmaker Papa Doc, double toons by Junco, SD’s genome, a new Cold War, remembering Robin, Sea World losing money and building a bigger bathtub for Orcas and so much more from San Diego’s community journos. Go read them if you haven’t already.

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Thumbnail image for Our Communities Are Not Warzones

Our Communities Are Not Warzones

by At Large 08.17.2014 Culture

Tell the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice: Stop funding the siege on communities of color.

By American Civil Liberties Union

Last week, local police fatally shot an unarmed African-American 18-year-old named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In the days that followed, there have been massive protests in Ferguson and heavily armed SWAT teams are roaming the streets in response. Our communities are not warzones.

And yet the police, armed to the teeth, treat us like the enemy, especially if we’re black, young, poor or homeless. Tanks are rolling through our towns. What will it take for police to start protecting communities of color, not waging war on them?

The Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice are funneling billions of dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies every year to help them purchase military weaponry and equipment. What business do DOD, DHS, and DOJ have funding a war here at home?

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War Weary

by At Large 08.17.2014 Activism

By Jay Powell

Weary.
That’s what they say we are.

The chicken hawk sabre rattlers
Are yellin’ at Obama ‘cause
He won’t put real boots on the ground
But they won’t say exactly that cause they know we are

(war) weary.

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Thumbnail image for Is the Obama and EU Face-Off With Putin a New Cold War? What Forces Are Driving the Confrontation? Part III

Is the Obama and EU Face-Off With Putin a New Cold War? What Forces Are Driving the Confrontation? Part III

by At Large 08.16.2014 Culture

By Frank Thomas and John Lawrence

Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here.

So Why is This Obama’s Problem (J. Lawrence)

Without any cooperation from Congress, Obama is relegated to using his executive powers to try and effect some meaningful action on his domestic agenda for which the Congressional Republican response is, “Let’s sue him.” The Republican House not only will not cooperate with Obama on any level, they actively oppose his every move. They are worse than a “Do Nothing” Congress; they are an active “Try to Make Obama Fail No Matter What He Does” Congress. The only legislation the Republicans in Congress would support is if Obama suddenly came to them and proposed a massive tax reduction for the rich and a concomitant tax increase on the poor and middle class. Or if he proposed to do away with Medicare and Social Security. Then they would line up in support of Obama and cheer him on.

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